US No Longer World Leader in Weapon Development


China showcased its DF-17 hypersonic missile in service at its 2019 military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of PRC. Russia has also showcased its hypersonic weapons. The US, however, plans to deploy its first hypersonic weapon by 2028.

Hypersonic weapons are the weapons of future, but the US began research of such weapons much later and allocated much less funds than China and Russia in the research and development of such weapons while wasting lots of resources in developing useless Zumwalt destroyers and LCSs and troublesome F-35s. It began to attach importance to the development of hypersonic weapons only after China and Russia have deployed such weapons. That proves that the US is no longer world leader in weapon development.

Note: the Global Strike described in Popular Mechanics’ article will be HGV (hypersonic glide vehicle) the same as DF-17. As HGV is fast enough to strike anywhere within a couple of hours why shall it be deployed in a submarine to make development more complicated.

A DF-17 is deployed on a mobile truck that can be hidden in China’s 5,000-km tunnels more secure than in a submarine.

China is now developing hypersonic aircraft powered by jet, scramjet and rocket that can take off and land on conventional airfield. It, however, will take years for the US to obtain HGV missiles.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Popular Mechanics’ article “One of the Pentagon’s First Hypersonic Weapons Will Ride on Submarines”, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a31004425/global-strike-hypersonic-submarine/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_pop&utm_medium=email&date=022020&utm_campaign=nl19490819&src=nl.


The Air Force just killed one of its hypersonic weapons programs


By: Valerie Insinna February 11

A DoD conceptual drawing of a hypersonic glide weapon. (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)

WASHINGTON — The Air Force has cancelled the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon program, one of the two major hypersonic weapons being spearheaded by the service.

While the development is a blow to Lockheed Martin, which was developing HCSW, it’s other hypersonic weapons program with the Air Force — the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon — will proceed, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek confirmed on Feb. 10.

Because of budget pressures, the Air Force was forced to choose between funding HCSW and ARRW in FY21, and opted to keep ARRW due to it being a more “unique glide body design” compared with HCSW, which was similar to hypersonic weapons under development by other services, Stefanek said. ARRW is on track for a early operational capability in FY22.

We will continue to work collaboratively with our sister services to see how we can most effectively leverage each other’s capabilities, ensuring the most prudent use of taxpayer dollars,” she said in an emailed statement.

Lockheed was notified on Monday that its work on HCSW will conclude after a critical design review this spring. The program’s cancellation was not due to poor performance, Stefanek added.

The HCSW team pioneered significant advancements in hypersonic technology development and integration of existing, mature technologies for use in various hypersonic efforts across the Department of Defense, including Army, Navy, and Missile Defense Agency programs,” she said. “The HCSW team successfully met all developmental milestones. These advancements will serve to expedite the generation and demonstration of various hypersonic weapon capabilities in the near future.”

In total, the Air Force hopes to invest $382 million on hypersonic prototyping in FY21, down from $576 in FY20.

The Air Force initially envisioned HCSW as a long-range stand-off missile capable of being launched from an aircraft and traveling faster than speeds of Mach 5.

Lockheed in 2018 won the HCSW contract, which had a value of up to $918 million and covered “design, development, engineering, systems integration, test, logistics planning, and aircraft integration support.” Then the company selected Aerojet Rocketdyne in 2019 to provide the solid-fuel rocket motor.

Source: Defense News “The Air Force just killed one of its hypersonic weapons programs”

Note: This is Defense News’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


The Navy’s Newest Nemesis: Hypersonic Weapons


April 15, 2019 Guest Author 12 Comments

By Jon Isaac

Introduction

In January 2019, Chinese Communist Party leaders announced that the newest iteration of their DF-17 missile system was being designed to overwhelm and sink U.S. aircraft carriers and surface combatants stationed in the West Pacific. According to official statements from the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF), a targeted salvo of eight hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) set aloft by DF-17s would swamp a surface vessel’s close-in point defenses and annihilate it through incredible transfers of kinetic energy. This type of inflammatory language is not new and Chinese officials have been known to exaggerate the capabilities of their military. However, discussion of the DF-17 and similar weapon systems as conventional, theater-level assets, rather than the strategic nuclear capabilities generally associated with hypersonic missiles, poses a set of very serious and immediate threats to decision-makers in Washington.

Rather than continue the popular trend of treating hypersonic weapons primarily as delivery mechanisms for nuclear warheads aimed at strategic targets, China has been quick to utilize the technology to augment its theater-level Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2AD) capabilities. Such developments suggest that the most critical threat posed by hypersonic weapons is not strategic, but tactical, operational, and conventional. A focus on hypersonic weapons as operational threats is not a novel concept, though it merits further review as near-peer adversaries continue to develop hypersonic capabilities. Michael Griffin, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, argued recently that the “tactical capability that these sorts of weapons bring to theater conflicts or regional conflicts” is at the core of the hypersonic threat.

Most service branches seem to have adopted a view similar to Griffin’s, with the Army, Air Force, and Navy all independently developing hypersonic platforms intended for a myriad of tactical and operational purposes. For the Navy, however, hypersonics could represent a tectonic shift in weapons technology on par with the decline of battleships and the rise of the aircraft carrier during the Second World War. Indeed, Russia and China’s development and deployment of hypersonic weapons could challenge the decades-long assumption that U.S. naval assets can operate with complete freedom of movement and comparatively little legitimate threat to their survivability. While anti-ship cruise missiles or attack aircraft can be countered through point defense batteries, electronic countermeasures, or even directed energy systems, conventionally armed hypersonic weapons could likely render existing defenses ineffective. As such, with the focus on conventional hypersonics on the rise, the operational impacts of hypersonic weapons systems on the US Navy merit analysis and could prompt a series of doctrinal shifts which could then enhance surface survivability in the hypersonic era. Before engaging in any such analysis, however, one must first grapple with the concept of hypersonics as a whole.

What is a Hypersonic Weapon?

Hypersonic missiles and glide projectiles are those which travel at least Mach 5, or five times faster than the speed of sound. In round numbers, this equates to a speed of about a mile a second. For comparison, even the quickest modern fighters generally top out around Mach 2, with only specialized aircraft capable of reaching Mach 3. Once an airframe reaches Mach 4, 5, and beyond, specialized technologies like supersonic combustion ramjets, or SCRAMJETs, must be used to carve through the air. Unlike traditional jet engines, SCRAMJETs use no moving parts or machinery to direct and combust air, thereby making them incredibly efficient at plowing an airframe through the sky at incredibly high speeds.

Though manned hypersonic flight has occurred in the past, most notably with USAF Major Robert White’s 1961 flight in the NASA X-15, today the technology is most promising when used to propel unmanned vehicles and missiles. Presently, most high-profile hypersonic weapons utilize either SCRAMJET propulsion, as is the case with hypersonic cruise missiles, or are unpowered glide vehicles which are propelled to extreme altitudes by ballistic missile systems, only to turn back towards the surface and glide at extreme speeds towards their targets on a non-ballistic trajectory. This distinction is important, as both hypersonic cruise missiles (HCM) and hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) are being touted as globally destabilizing weapons systems.

Put simply, hypersonic missiles are dangerously fast. So fast, in fact, that they are relatively impervious to currently fielded missile defense technology. Theater level missile defense systems like Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries and the Patriot point-defense missile systems are designed to counter ballistic weapons which fly on relatively predictable speeds and flight trajectories. Conversely, hypersonic cruise missiles and glide vehicles can move erratically and at such incredible speeds so as to render existing defenses mostly irrelevant.

The value of such capability has not gone unnoticed by adversaries. Russia, for example, successfully tested a hypersonic glide vehicle known as Avangard just this past December. The weapon, they claim, is capable of reaching terminal glide speeds of almost 27 times the speed of sound. The validity of that speed claim has been disputed by a number of experts and defense media outlets, but one thing is known for sure – the weapon exists and the weapon works. Meanwhile, China spent most of 2018 conducting more hypersonic weapons tests than the United States has conducted in the past decade. America’s adversaries have funneled enough resources and manpower into developing hypersonic weapons to raise some eyebrows in Washington, not the least of which include the United States Navy.

What Does This Mean for the Navy?

Since the end of the Second World War, the U.S. Navy has been able to operate with relative impunity throughout the world’s oceans. At the center of American postwar maritime dominance is the aircraft carrier. While hulking battleships of old held the status of capital ships in U.S. fleets, aircraft carriers rose to prominence as the crown jewel of American power projection. As a result, aircraft carrier battle groups have stood at the cornerstone of American power projection strategy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and have been able to impose their will (and firepower) upon almost any target on the globe. Much in line with the Mahanian fleet doctrines which helped to drive America to victory in the Pacific, modern surface warfare strategies have seen the Navy organize its fleets and surface action groups around a prime directive, protect the aircraft carrier. To date, this strategy has proven successful (albeit with no serious tests in actual combat), with submarine screens, active electronic warfare measures, air defense umbrellas, and AEGIS-equipped surface assets acting as an impenetrable wall behind which America’s flattops are safe from any potential foe.

What happens, then, when new technologies render virtually all existing missile defense and point defense assets ineffective? What happens when the very foundation of modern American maritime dominance, the aircraft carrier battle group, is held at risk by missiles and high-trajectory, high-speed kinetic glide vehicles which are, as admitted by the Pentagon, extremely challenging to existing missile defenses?

This is the fundamental problem with which the Navy must now address. It must be noted, however, that this type of threat against the carrier battle group is not entirely new to the surface warfare community. For example, China’s decades-long development efforts and eventual deployment of Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCM) and Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles (ASBM) as core to its A2/AD network brought into question the viability of the carrier battle group and questioned whether the hulking warships had a future in a modern battlespace. For the past decade, analysts debated the ramifications of Chinese anti-ship missile capabilities, with increased debate on the topic springing about within the Obama-era Air-Sea Battle concept. A primary feature of the Chinese threat is the reality that increased ASCM and ASBM capabilities may force American carrier battlegroups further out to sea to avoid closing range between themselves and anti-ship missile batteries on shore. In response, analysts have prescribed everything from increased escort vessels to the newly-awarded MQ-25 Stingray Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS) as ways to increase carrier survivability. These prescriptions have offered a diverse set of solutions, with the former hoping to deny ASCM/ASMB strikes through conventional air defense and the latter ensuring carrier battle group effectiveness by increasing the reach of conventional strike fighters. In short, threats to the carrier battle group are not new. What makes hypersonics different?

Unlike conventional ASCMs, ASBMs, and other A2/AD threats, there is currently no technological counter to the hypersonic threat. Existing joint efforts between the service branches and DARPA, like the recently announced Glide Breaker program, have endeavored to come up with a viable defense to stop hypersonic weapons from bypassing existing missile defense networks. Unfortunately, no immediately viable kinetic counter-hypersonic technologies have been identified or developed. To make matters worse, top defense officials in the Pentagon’s technology development offices have diagnosed that even existing radar systems would be unable to adequately track and identify a hypersonic threat, to say nothing of prosecuting or defeating such a threat.

The news is not all bad, however. For example, space based sensor arrays have been touted by DOD officials as viable means for “warning, launch detection, surveillance, acquisition, [and] tracking” of hypersonic threats. Similarly, despite the technological challenges, offices like the DOD’s Missile Defense Agency and DARPA have charged ahead at examining high-saturation kinetic projectiles and even directed energy weapons as potential means for destroying hypersonics on a strategic level. While these efforts are all well and good, however, their technological immaturity and prohibitive cost betray the lack of capability to protect American naval assets from hypersonics in the next few years.

Clearly, then, to address the hypersonic threat in the immediate short-term, the Navy cannot rely on technological development and the traditional edge offered by American technological dominance. Instead of looking to laboratories and development houses for hardware tools to counter the threat of hypersonic weapons, the Navy must look to its own assets and shift traditional surface warfare doctrines to ensure survivability. Three doctrinal shifts stand out as potential options for responding to the theater-based use of conventional hypersonics, each with varying levels of plausibility and effectiveness.

Potential Fleet Options

First, a decreased reliance on the concentrated “porcupine” structure of a carrier battle group in favor of distributed use of destroyers, cruisers, smaller LHD flattops, and even LPD transport docks could provide adversaries with such a widely spread set of targets so as to make concentrated hypersonic attack, like the “eight salvo” mission as described by Chinese authorities, unfeasible. By disaggregating targets around carrier battle groups, the Navy could deny its adversaries the ability to reach the concentration levels of hypersonic firepower needed to effectively eliminate the target. This shift is not without its faults. The notion of networked and distributed surface operations is not a new one and blunders in attempting to implement this type of fleet structure in the past have been the bane of the surface Navy. Moreover, the act of distributing and decreasing the density of American warships in a surface action group or carrier battle group could limit the power projection capabilities of such a force, thereby hindering one of the Navy’s core missions.

A second option posits that further utilization of unmanned undersea assets and existing nuclear-powered submarines may prove to be an effective way to address some of the shortcomings brought about by a more vulnerable carrier battle group. For example, increased development and deployment of guided missile submarines, be they conventional boats like the Navy’s modified Ohio-class SSGNs or emerging unmanned options like Boeing’s Orca/Echo Voyager XLUUV platform, would provide the Navy with several far-forward domain capabilities. Such assets would allow the Navy to field missile strike and reconnaissance assets closer to adversary coastlines without bringing surface assets into the effective reach of hypersonic weapons. While submarines will never be able to field their own independent combat air wing or project visible American power in the same way a carrier can, they could engage in some of the maritime patrol and missile strike projection operations previously led by carrier battle groups. Again, this is not an impervious solution since many of the key operations shouldered by aircraft carriers are unique to their incredible deterrence and firepower projection capabilities.

Finally, DARPA and the Department of the Navy have highlighted increased conventional missile deterrence and conventional disruption operations as potential routes for driving adversaries to “think twice” in the use of their hypersonic missiles in the first place. As argued by Robert Farley, a professor at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, there are an incredibly complex series of decisions and steps which must go off without a hitch for an adversary to successfully conduct a strike against a carrier battle group. “Disrupting any single one,” Farley writes, “can slow or entirely avoid the attack.” As such, the Navy could structure its fleet doctrines and operational focuses to counter the myriad of technologies which support a hypersonic strike, rather than attempt to counter the hypersonic weapon itself. For example, targeted jamming of missile guidance nodes around the region or destruction of the aircraft and satellites which are required to guide such a weapon to its target. This notion spreads beyond merely Navy-commanded operations, with cyber-attacks on networked hypersonic systems standing as a possible counter to their launch and targeting.

Like with previous suggestions, this “full spectrum” approach to preventing hypersonic targeting or strike of a traditional surface group is not without its flaws. For example, preemptively engaging in any such attacks or jamming operations could escalate a tactical or immediate political situation. Though it could decrease the likelihood of a successful hypersonic strike, thereby freeing up American carrier battle groups to do what they do best, it could just as easily prove pyrrhic should the situation escalate out of control.

Still, there is no single doctrinal answer to the hypersonic threat. Instead, the Navy must be willing to evolve from the sacred and historically effective Mahanian capital-ship doctrine which it has adhered to in the past and adopt surface organization tactics which decrease the likelihood of a hypersonic attack in the first place and minimize the potential effectiveness of such an attack should it take place.

Conclusion

For the past few months, press sources have been flooding the internet with stories about impervious hypersonic weapons which could deliver nuclear warheads onto targets in the American homeland quickly and with no warning. While the hypersonic nuclear threat is a valid one, focusing on it betrays the real threat posed by conventional hypersonic systems which are not subject to the deterrent effects of the American nuclear triad. Conventional operational use of hypersonic weapons could render existing naval surface asset structures ineffective. Rather than rely on the historically dominant American tech sector, however, the Navy must address the short-term threats posed by hypersonics through evolution of warfighting doctrine, tactics, and fleet organization. Just as aviation development brought a close to the age of the battleship, hypersonic weapons could bring to end the age of the traditional carrier battle group.

Jon Isaac is a pseudonym for a developing security analyst.

Source: CIMSEC “The Navy’s Newest Nemesis: Hypersonic Weapons” (underline by the reblogger)

Note: This is CIMSEC’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


US Concerns about China’s New Weapons, Especially Hypersonic Ones


Yahoo says in its report “A Direct Threat to the U.S. Military: China’s New Hypersonic Weapons” copied from National Interest that some new weapons shown in China’s 70th national day military parade “provide cause for serious concern among U.S. policymakers”.

It mentions China’s JL-2 SLBM and DF-41 mobile ICBM and is sad that US ICBMs are 30 years old and that US does not have any mobile ICBMs.

However, their greatest concern is China’s DF-17 hypersonic missile. The US lags behind China and Russia in hypersonic technology. So far there has been no defense of hypersonic missiles so that the report wants the US to contribute a larger percentage than current 6% of its 2.6 billion budget for development of hypersonic weapons.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Yahoo’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://news.yahoo.com/direct-threat-u-military-chinas-143400242.html.


Technology Illiterates in US Military Begin Follow China’s Lead


US expert of hypersonic technology Irain Boyd’s article “US, Russia, China Race To Develop Hypersonic Weapons” shows US military is filled with military technology illiterates. They know nothing about the progress of science and technology so that they have given up US leadership in hypersonic technology in developing aero-space planes space shuttles but are now trying hard to catch up with Russia’s and China’s advance in hypersonic technology.

The article has a wrong title that tells readers that China and Russia are racing with the US in hypersonic technology. In fact, China and Russia are leading the US in such technology while US military technology illiterates only now become aware of the importance of the technology and are trying hard to catch up.

However, the scientists and engineers in Chinese military are working hard to develop weapons in various areas of advanced science and technology. It will be very hard for science and technology illiterates in US military to catch up.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on International Business Times’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.ibtimes.com/us-russia-china-race-develop-hypersonic-weapons-2789385


US Indo-Pacific Commander’s Sinophobia


Washington Free Beacon’s report “U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup” yesterday shows US Pacific commander’s sinophobia.

I Reblog the report below with my comments to help readers understand how China’s rise scares the US.

WASHINGTON FREE BEACON
U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup

Pacific commander calls China ‘greatest long-term threat’

Navy Adm. Philip Davidson / Getty Images

BY: Bill Gertz
February 13, 2019 5:00 am

The U.S. military is adding forces and bases in Asia to counter a “massive” buildup of Chinese military forces and aggressive efforts by Beijing to expand Chinese communism. (Note: Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared that China will not export its model and there is no evidence that China is expanding communism. However, US failure in expanding its messy liberal democracy and the great popularity of Chinese model fill the commander with fear and pressure so that he has the nightmare of the expansion of communism. The expansion of communism exists only in his nightmare but he regards it as reality.) the commander of the Indo-Pacific Command told Congress on Tuesday.

Adm. Philip Davidson, the new Pacom commander, testified that China’s military buildup includes significant numbers of advanced missiles, aircraft, ships, submarines and nuclear forces and he called China “the greatest long-term threat to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.” (Note: Long-term threat to US hegemony in the region Without US hegemony the region can really be free and open. China’s military buildup threatens no one, not even the US that is located far away from the region.)

“Through fear and economic pressure, Beijing is working to expand its form of communist-socialist ideology in order to bend, break, and replace the existing rules-based international order,” Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Countries in the region are benefited by their win-win cooperation and trade with China. Only the US has fear and feels economic pressure so as to start a trade war with China. If the countries had fear or felt pressure, they would join the US in the trade war against China. The fact is they oppose the trade war as they fear their economies may suffer.)

“In its place, Beijing seeks to create a new international order led by China and with Chinese characteristics,” he added, an outcome that will replace the over 70 years of U.S.-backed peace and stability. (In the 70 years, the US fought and lost wars in Korea and Vietnam in the region instead of backing peace. The region has peace as the US is no longer able to fight a war there.)

Davidson testified that new U.S. weapons and forces will be added to respond to the Chinese buildup of its conventional, nuclear, and “gray zone” warfare capabilities—information and influence operations below the level of traditional armed conflict. (Note: He forgets that former US President Obama had decided in his policy of pivot to Asia to enhance US military deployment from 50% to 60% of its world forces. China’s military buildup has been its response to US military buildup. Now Adm. Davidson regards US military buildup as US response to China’s buildup. How absurd!)

The command currently is staffed with around 375,000 military and civilian personnel, about 200 ships, including five aircraft carrier strike groups, and around 1,100 aircraft.

“Over the last 20 years, Beijing has undertaken a massive effort to grow and modernize the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” Davidson testified. “The PLA is the principal threat to U.S. interests, U.S. citizens, and our allies inside the first island chain—a term that refers to the islands that run from northern Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia—and the PLA is quickly increasing its ability to project power and influence beyond the first island chain.”

The Chinese military buildup includes both qualitative and quantitative efforts to modernize forces and boost both numbers and lethality of its weapons.

Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the military needs “urgent change at a significant scale” to deal with China.

“Our military advantage and deterrent edge in the Indo-Pacific is eroding,” Inhofe said. “The Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing senses weakness. They are testing our resolve, and if we do not act urgently, they may soon conclude that they can achieve their goals through force. We can’t take that peace for granted.”

Davidson said Pacific forces currently are oriented toward responding to threats in Northeast Asia and are being repositioned to better respond to conflicts further south, such as in the South China Sea. The objective is for U.S. forces to “regain the advantage” militarily in the region, he said.

New military bases are being sought in that region along with closer cooperation with regional allies, he said.

Other areas for strengthened military forces include bolstering special operations forces for both irregular and unconventional warfare, and bolstering anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

New long-range mobile land-based missiles are needed to better deter China’s large force of intermediate-range missiles, Davidson said.

One new flashpoint for the United States and China is the South China Sea, where Beijing has built up some 3,200 acres of islands and is now deploying advanced missiles on some of the new islands.

U.S. trade with regional states in Southeast Asia totaled more than $1.8 trillion in 2017 and more than $1.3 trillion by the third quarter of 2018.

Davidson testified last year during his confirmation hearing that Chinese militarization in the South China Sea had effectively given the PLA control over the strategic waterway “short of war.”

Pacific Command forces have countered the attempted takeover by conducting more frequent naval warship passages and military flights to challenge the Chinese claims.

The most recent freedom of navigation operation took place Monday when two U.S. warships passed close to the disputed islands called Second Thomas Shoal and Mischief Reef.

U.S. military operations to establish freedom of navigation and overflight are critically important for the United States, Davidson said.

“This is about the free flow of communications,” Davidson said. “That’s oil. That’s trade. That’s economic means. It means the cyber connectivities on the cables that travel under the South China Sea, which are deep and profound coming out of Singapore, and it includes the free passage of citizens between all the great nations of the world.”

Davidson said the dangers of miscalculation have increased as a result of Chinese militarization. Large numbers of commercial airline flights regularly transit the sea.

“And each time that happens, there is somebody with a surface-to-air missile and a Chinese soldier evaluating whether that traffic can go on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I think it’s quite hazardous to the global security, and I think it’s quite pernicious that China would take such action.” (Note: Those are pure lies to demonize China. Chinese military threatens no one there. It has military presence there as it is located there. The US is located far away from the region and its military presence there is not requested by any countries there.)

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R., Alaska) asked Davidson whether China had violated a pledge made in 2015 by Chinese President Xi Jinping to then-President Barack Obama not to militarize the South China Sea islands.

“So President Xi … he obviously didn’t keep his word when he made that statement in the Rose Garden next to President Obama, is that correct?” Sullivan asked.

“That’s correct, sir,” Davidson said. “In the most liberal interpretation (Note: Davidson as a military professional certainly knows deployment of defensive weapons and construction of civilian airstrips are not militarization so that he has to resort to “most liberal interpretation”) of militarizing those islands, China in April 2018 populated those islands with anti-ship cruise missiles, with surface-to-air missiles, and electronic jammers,” Davidson said, noting some islands with 10,000-foot-long runways were already in place.

“But now they have the weapons, they’ve got sufficient military cadre and they’ve stepped up their operations both in the maritime and with bomber sorties and fighter sorties in a way that makes it clear that those islands are to support them militarily.”

Beijing is asserting maritime claims in the South China Sea that are contrary to international law. The expansive claims “pose a substantial long-term threat to the rules-based international order,” Davidson said. (Note: What rule? the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)? The US has not even signed it but wants to use it to accuse China. China declared when it signed UNCLOS that it is not subject to arbitration under the UNCLOS! China conforms to the rule but the US does not regard it as rule by refusing to sign UNCLOS!)

China ignored a 2016 ruling from an international tribunal, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, that ruled China’s claims of historic rights over most of the South China Sea are illegal. (Note: As point out in the preceding note, China declared when it signed UNCLOS that it is not subject to arbitration under the UNCLOS.)

Davidson declined to discuss during the open session how the U.S. military would respond to a Chinese military incident in the South China Sea. (Note: He would not tell the truth that US warships were driven away by Chinese military instead of persisting in remaining within China’s territorial waters to continue their freedom of navigation operations within China’s territorial waters.)

Asked if U.S. military logistics could support a military surge to Asia to counter Chinese aggression, Davidson said military sealift capabilities need to be improved.

“One of the other key needs for the region, is … the need to recapitalize our sealift fleet,” he said. “It is decades old now [and] needs to be replaced nearly desperately.”

Further north, Beijing is using its military forces to press similar expansive maritime claims to Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Davidson said. (Note: The US has stated that it did not take side in the territorial dispute between China and Japan over the islands. It only returned the administration of the islands to Japan instead of the sovereignty over the islands. Now Adm. Davidson regards the islands as Japan’s. Such US position makes it necessary for China to develop its military force in case that the US joins Japan in fighting for the sovereignty over the islands. China wants to resolve the dispute peacefully, but it has to be prepared for the worst.)

Chinese economic pressure in the Asia can be seen in offering short term loans that produce “unsustainable debt, decreased transparency, restrictions on market economies, and the potential loss of control of natural resources” for states in the region. (Note: No such pressure at all. The debts are all long term low interest ones and the countries have taken the loans willingly instead of being forced by China to take them.)

For example, in December 2017 Sri Lanka gave China control of its newly built Hambantota seaport with a 99-year lease because Sri Lanka could not afford debt payments on Chinese loans. (Note: Pure lie. The Chinese company paid and has to pay nearly one billion US dollars for 80% of the shares of Sri Lanka government’s company that has the lease. The Chinese company is a Hong Kong listed company. It disclosed that to its shareholders. In fact, Sri Lanka is thus able to have funds to repay the debts it owed other countries.)

As a result of China’s so-called “debt diplomacy,” Malaysia cancelled three projects with China worth $22 billion in August 2018 over concerns about Beijing’s corrupt practices and denouncing the loans as Chinese “colonialism.” (Note: “colonialism” was election rhetoric. When the new government was set up, it discussed with China and obtained China’s consent to cancel the projects. It blamed its preceding government for concluding the projects instead of China. You call China’s such cooperation with Malaysia’s new government “debt diplomacy”? You are unhappy that China and Malaysia remain good friends despite the projects had been canceled but you cannot help that as the two countries keep on seeking win-win cooperation.)

China also is seeking to control areas of the arctic and Antarctica. “Beijing recognizes the growing strategic significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and has signaled its plans to assert a greater role in these regions,” Davidson said, noting the encroachment is part of a “polar Silk Road” economic plan. (Note: Arctic and Antarctic are international areas. China’s greater role there threatens no one. Davidson seems to regard those areas as America’s.)

Another threat posed by China comes from exports of the opioid fentanyl and precursor chemicals that are fueling the opioid crisis in the United States. China’s Xi pledged to regulate fentanyl in a meeting with President Trump in December.

“We look forward to seeing tangible progress,” Davidson said of the Chinese promise to curb fentanyl. (Note: Opioid crisis is America’s own problem. However good China’s control of the drug, the US cannot resolve the problem if it is unable to maintain social order in its own house. Has the US been able to control crimes or put an end to criminals’ massacre of innocent people with easily available guns?)

Davidson outlined several newly deployed weapons systems by China (Note: He is certainly scared by that, but there will be more advanced weapons to come.):
•China deployed its first aircraft carrier group and has a second carrier that will join the fleet this year.
•Supporting the carrier group are new Renhai-class guided-missile cruisers.
•Fuyu-class fast combat support ships are also backing the carriers.
•Advanced J-20 stealth fighters entered service in February 2018 and a more advanced fighter is underway.
•A new heavy-lift transport, the Y-20, is now deployed with significantly larger payload and lift capability.
•Advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile, with a 250-mile range, will expand the PLA air coverage over the Taiwan Strait and other high priority facilities.
•New weapons with next-generation technologies and advanced weapons systems are being built including hypersonic glide vehicles, directed energy weapons, electromagnetic railguns, counter-space weapons, and unmanned and artificial intelligence-equipped weapons.
•Nuclear forces are being expanded with new ballistic missile submarines.
•A new DF-26 intermediate-range missile is deployed capable of striking Guam, Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and other Pacific targets. (Note: and sinking US aircraft carriers. See SCMP’s report “Next stop Guam? China shows off its next generation DF-41 and DF-26 ballistic missiles” on February 2.)
•A new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41 with multiple warheads is being tested.

Regarding Taiwan, Davidson said there are growing concerns about Chinese military intervention based on harsh rhetoric from Xi toward the island.

“We continue to be concerned with China’s military buildup across the strait, Beijing’s opaqueness about its military capability and capacity, and its unwillingness to preclude the use of force to resolve the cross-strait issue,” Davidson said.

Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said the Trump administration’s diplomatic outreach to North Korea has cooled tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“Today is day 440 since the last strategic provocation from the DPRK, the last time since we have had a flight—missile flight test or a nuclear weapons test,” he said, using the acronym for North Korea.

“The reduction in tension on the peninsula—it is palpable.”

Source: Washington Free Beacon “U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup”

My comments indicate that I disagree with the report’s views.


China Tests Wide-Speed-Range Hypersonic Space Plane, Nuclear Missile


Researchers tested three different design shapes and monitored the performance of each, CCTV reported. Photo: Sina.com.cn

SCMP says in its report “China takes step towards precision warheads for unstoppable nuclear weapon, state media says” yesterday that according to China’s state TV media CCTV on September 21 China tested three scalled-down models of “wide-speed-range vehicles that can fly from hypersonic to lower than sound velocity.

The three models are China’s differently shaped designs that China tests for its hypersonic plane and unstoppable nuclear-capable precision weapons.

Hypersonic speed ensures that the hypersonic missile is unstoppable but such high speed allows affects the precision in hitting the target. The variable range of speed enable the missile to reduce its speed for adjusting its trajectory and position to ensure precision hit.

Two of the three models are shaped similar to the waverider Starry Sky 2 China tested last month but the third one is different in shape.

The third one’s shape is called “I” shape, which the Institute of Mechanics of Chinese Academy of Sciences claimed in a paper published in February could produce 60 per cent higher lift coefficient than the waverider.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2166298/china-takes-step-towards-precision-warheads-unstoppable-nuclear.