[Current affairs and military]The number of F-35s around the Taiwan Strait is astonishing. How dare the CCP act rashly | Military facilities | RAND Corporation | U.S. Navy

[The Epoch Times, January 23, 2022]In today’s society, the role of weapons and the military is given a deeper meaning than killing. A strong military force is often used as a deterrent to maintain world peace and human security. The war, although becoming hidden, never stopped.[Current Affairs and Military]Take you to the front to see the details and truth of the battle between good and evil.

As China’s increasingly aggressive military operations in the Taiwan Strait continue to increase, the confrontation in the region is undergoing some unprecedented changes. This is mainly manifested in the fact that the power deployment of the United States and regional allies is advancing to the front.

The foreign and defense ministers of the United States and Japan discussed the sharing of military facilities and other issues in the “two plus two” video conference on the 6th of this month, and promised to increase the joint sharing of military facilities between the United States and Japan, including strengthening the military deployment in Japan’s southwestern islands. Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture is only about 100 kilometers away from Hualien, Taiwan. The facilities and equipment that the United States and Japan are going to share include military runways, material reserves, weapons and ammunition.

Jeffrey Hornung, an expert on Japanese security policy at the US think tank Rand Corporation, said that precision-guided missiles (PGMs) must be deployed where the allies need them, especially in the event of an emergency in Taiwan, and it is necessary to ensure that the arms stockpile is not only To support the initial operation, but also to support subsequent troops entering Japan from the continental United States and Hawaii.

Through the sharing of military facilities, the U.S. military deploys sensitive materials needed in wartime, including joint air-to-surface long-range cruise missiles carried by bombers, long-range anti-ship missiles carried by fighter jets, and advanced anti-radiation missiles aimed at enemy air defense systems to forward positions to deal with Operational requirements in times of crisis in the Taiwan Strait.

Judging from the trend of U.S.-Japan alliance cooperation, the U.S. is already preparing for a possible amphibious attack by the CCP on Taiwan. With only a 100-mile strait separating Taiwan and mainland China, war could start in an instant. Whether the United States and its allies can prevent a large-scale attack by the CCP based on the existing military options depends on the response speed of the entire combat system.

I believe that many military fans have endless speculations on this issue. Presumably, there are people in the Pentagon who are studying such issues in depth every day. Of course, this may involve many factors, such as advanced early warning capabilities, the reaction time of the US Navy, and the ability of the United States to coordinate with regional allies, etc., but the most important variable to consider should be the ability of the US military to establish and maintain air superiority.

The means that the CCP can use in the sky are more likely to be various ground-based missiles aimed at sea and air targets, but both sides of the confrontation have missiles, whether it is quality or quantity, the CCP cannot take advantage of it. So missiles alone are far from being able to seize air supremacy, and it also depends on the capabilities of fighters and bombers. In the absence of air superiority, even if the CCP occupies Taiwan, it will be mortally challenged. Whether the CCP has the opportunity to seize air supremacy in the Taiwan Strait with its existing aircraft, the answer should be very yes, no.

Let’s not talk about the quality and quantity development of the equipment of both sides in the future, let’s talk about the existing fifth-generation fighters. Looking at how many F-35s there are around the Taiwan Strait, it’s not hard to judge how slim the CCP’s chances of gaining air superiority are.

The United States and its allies have sufficient equipment and capabilities to establish air superiority in the Taiwan Strait, mainly referring to fifth-generation fighter jets and various anti-ship and air defense missiles.

Let’s start with South Korea. The 40 F-35A fighter jets ordered by South Korea have been delivered. Deliveries of the second batch of F-35s will begin in 2025 and will eventually reach 80. At least 50 F-35As have been delivered to Japan, and with subsequent orders for F-35Bs, the total number of Japanese F-35 fighters will eventually reach 147.

Australia’s procurement program for 72 F-35A fighter jets is also underway, with 40 aircraft already delivered and the rest due in 2023. You know, Australia and Japan have just signed an agreement to strengthen defense and security cooperation. Under the terms of the agreement, the armies of both sides are allowed to enter the other country for training and other purposes without any legal restrictions. This means that Australian F-35As can enter Japan at any time.

U.S. Navy Abraham. Lincoln and Carl. The USS Vinson has all completed operational certification to carry the F-35C, and each carries 10 F-35Cs currently deployed in the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, the amphibious assault ship USS America, stationed at Sasebo Air Force Base in Japan, can also carry at least 10 F-35Bs. The actual capacity of these aircraft carriers to carry F-35 fighter jets may be much larger than what they currently carry.

So far, with the support of the F-35C and F-35B fighter jets launched by the US Navy’s aircraft carrier, plus the F-35 currently in service in Japan and South Korea, there are as many as 150 F-35 fighter jets that can arrive in the Taiwan Strait to participate in combat operations. Not counting the 40 F-35As currently in Australia. Fifth-generation fighter jets of this scale have already formed an overwhelming advantage over the CCP. By 2030, not counting the projection capabilities of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier F-35, the total number of F-35s deployed in the Indo-Pacific may already exceed 300. If these assets can respond in a timely manner to a Chinese attack, there will be ample opportunities to prevent or repel a Chinese amphibious attack on Taiwan.

The CCP claims that the J-20 is getting the turbofan-15 engine, and also that the J-20 equipped with the turbofan-10 engine is being mass-produced, and the number has exceeded 100, etc. In short, these confusing and self-contradictory statements are not Improve the credibility of the J-20. On the contrary, the outside world has never heard of the J-20 leaving mainland China and participating in overseas operations.

Due to the problems of power plant and aerodynamic layout, the identity of the J-20 fifth-generation fighter has been widely questioned by the outside world. As for the J-10, J-11, J-15 and J-16, fighters with generation differences with the F-35 are even less likely to match the F-35.

China’s fourth-generation fighter jets are useless against the invisible F-35, even if they are equipped with the farther-range PL-15 air-to-air missiles. And the only way these planes knew the F-35 was there was through an alert from the warning system when it was locked on by a missile fired by the F-35.

In recent years, the U.S. Navy has increased the intensity and frequency of military operations in the Western Pacific, especially in the South and East China Seas, and often deploys forward deployments with aircraft carrier strike groups and amphibious alert groups. An American-class amphibious assault ship can carry up to 15 F-35B fighters, capable of supporting an aircraft carrier with a larger number of F-35C fighters.

The operational deployment and coverage of U.S. Navy carrier strike groups are also key factors. They and South Korea and Japan on the first island chain will form an encirclement of possible combat areas in the Taiwan Strait, and these combat areas may be covered by their respective F-35 fighter jets. If Japan had deployed F-35s near its southern islands, it could have responded more quickly. In addition, aerial tankers taking off from South Korea or Japan can support F-35 fighter jets from aircraft carriers and allied ground takeoffs to perform a wider range of air operations.

The ongoing work of the United States and its allies is to strengthen forward deployment near the Taiwan Strait. This fait accompli of forward military presence is the U.S. military’s specific response to the CCP’s anti-access/area denial strategy. If the United States and allies can make comprehensive and rapid responses in terms of intelligence reconnaissance, air warning, fire coverage, and forward presence, etc., the prospect of the CCP’s military unification of Taiwan will be very slim.

The harassment of those military aircraft entering Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone in a peaceful environment, as well as the various military exercises in the waters off Taiwan and Japan, no matter how large, are training and propaganda without lethal weapons strikes Activity.

Without any actual military pressure, the CCP’s actions, training, and combat scenarios to freely cross the Taiwan Strait, Bashi Strait, and Miyako Strait cannot simulate the real battlefield environment. Victory or defeat does not depend on how powerful the CCP claims to be, but whether the CCP military has the strength to compete with a formidable opponent. If the CCP is to use fourth-generation fighter jets as its main opponent to fight against fifth-generation fighters, the troops commanded by the CCP will be in danger, and the result can be imagined.

Written by: Charlotte Mountain (a reporter from The Epoch Times, who has lived in the military for more than ten years, mainly engaged in military teaching and some technical management work)
Production: Current Affairs Military Production Group
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Editor in charge: Lian Shuhua