Your weekly defense links:
According to Want China Times, China’s nationalistic Global Times has reported that China’s currently military capabilities would be unable to combat the F-35. Want China Times cites the Global Times as saying that in a hypothetical aircraft carrier battle between the U.S. and China, China’s current carrier-based fighter, the J-15, would be unable to compete with American and allied F-35s.
“In an attack on the Liaoning the F-35 could carry joint strike missiles developed in Norway, which have a range of 290 kilometers. The J-15, on the other hand, could carry two YJ8-3 anti-missiles with a range of only 180 km,” the report cited Global Times as saying. It continues: “In terms of radar technology, the U.S. has the clear upper hand with its AN/APG-81 AESA radar developed by Northrop Grumman, which has a thousand transceivers with the ability to simultaneously search for 23 moving targets, including 19 targets in just 2.4 seconds, after which it would turn to tracking mode.”
The report goes on to note that even when China deploys the “J-20, the stealth, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter aircraft prototype being developed by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, the F-35 would still be the first to detect its opponent due to its superior radar.”
Kyle Mizokami agrees. Writing over at War is Boring, Mizokami argues that the People’s Liberation Army is a “paper dragon.” In his own words: “China’s military budget has grown by double-digits year after year, but inflation has eaten away at the increases. China’s army, navy, air force and missile command are wracked by corruption—and their weapons are, by and large, still greatly inferior to Western equivalents.”
Meanwhile, over at the National Interest, Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) makes the case that the U.S. Army — which has been searching for a way to gain a larger foothold in Asia — should treat the pivot to Asia as an opportunity to redefine its mission. Placing his argument in the context of Samuel Huntington’s writings on the U.S. military in the 1950s, Forbes writes: “I believe this is a moment of opportunity for the services, just as Huntington encouraged, to sharpen their arguments and make the most compelling case to the American people for the utility they can offer our national security policy in the second half of this decade and beyond.” He later adds: “The Army could offer unique capabilities that, if further developed, will play a critical role in protecting American and allied interests in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming decade.”
Speaking of the National Interest, the May/June issue of the magazine is out. In the issue, John Allen Gay defends the Iran-P5+1 negotiations, while Andrew Erickson and Michael Chase discuss China’s growing ballistic missile capabilities.
On a related topic, Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists takes an in-depth and deeply informative look at China’s emerging sea-based nuclear deterrent capabilities.
Michael Mazza of the American Enterprise Institute has a new report out exploring Taiwan’s defense options.
Real Clear Defense’s Dustin Walker profiles and interviews Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the frontrunner to be the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. It’s worth noting that as of late, RCD has really been a one-stop shop when it comes to congressional defense debates. Among many recent examples, earlier this month the top Democrat and Republican on the House Appropriations Committee wrote dueling op-eds on defense budgetary policy for RCD. For readers in Washington, DC, on May 9 RCD and Real Clear Politics will be co-hosting a panel on the U.S. Navy in the 21st Century. More information over at Information Dissemination.