Category Archives: Guam

China’s new map includes “Second National Territory” of oceans

On June 25, 2014, Reuters reports that China has unveiled a new official map of the country giving greater play to its claims on the South China Sea by making the disputed waters and its numerous islets and reefs more clearly seem like national territory.

Although previous maps published by Beijing included China’s claim to most of the South China Sea, that claim was depicted in a little box in a bottom corner to enable the rest of the country to fit on the map. That placement made the South China Sea’s islands appear more like an appendage rather than an integral part of China.

The new, longer map dispenses with the box, and shows continental China along with its self-declared sea boundary in the South China Sea — stretching right down to the coasts of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines — on one complete map.

An unnamed official with the map’s publishers told the Chinese government’s official newspaper People’s Daily that the new “vertical map of China has important meaning for promoting citizens’ better understanding of … maintaining (our) maritime rights and territorial integrity.”

H/t CODA’s M.S.

New map of China 2014Click map to enlarge. Note the purple dashes marking the South China and East China Seas as parts of China.

Indeed, China’s recent aggressive moves in the South China Sea, as well as last November’s declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea, are but indicators of an overall policy shift by the Chinese military from a land-based to an ocean defense strategy.

From p. 230 of Maria Hsia Chang’s Return of the Dragon: China’s Wounded Nationalism (Westview, 2001):

An article in [Beijing’s Guofang journal] National Defense in 1995 explains that, “In the past, for a long period of time,” humanity primarily relied on land for their survival and development, thinking that “national territory (guotu ) only meant dry land.” But in today’s world, due to rapid increases in population and dwindling land and resources, “national territory” must mean more than “land territory” (lingtu ) but should include “territorial waters” (linghai ). This has led nation-states to turn to the “oceans” (haiyang ) — most of which are still “virgin territory” — in their search for new “living space” (shengchun kongjiang  ).

The PRC  now conceives oceans to be its “second national territory” (dier guotu  ). It defines “maritime national territory” (haiyang guotu ) as “the maritime portion of any land and space belong to or under the jurisdiction of a coastal country.” China’s “second national territory” includes 12 territorial seas (linghai ), 24 “maritime adjacent regions” (haili pilian qu ), 200 maritime economic exclusive zones and continental shelves — totaling more than 3 million square kilometers or one-third of China’s land mass.

Defense of its “national maritime territory” requires Beijing to shift its defense strategy from one of “coastal defense” (jin’an fangyu ) to “offshore defense” (jinhai fangyu ). National Defense maintains that since “the frontline of maritime national defense lies beyond China’s territorial waters . . . there will be times” when China’s defense of its seas “may require doing battle in farther maritime regions” including “international waters and seabeds.” China’s perimeter of “offshore defense” is conceived to include two “island chains.” The first chain stretches from the Aleutians to the Kurils, the Japanese archipelago, the Ryukyus, Taiwan, the Philippine archipelago, and the Greater Sunda Islands. The “second island chain” comprises the Bonins, the Marianas, Guam, and the Palau archipelago.

See also:

~StMA

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Russian nuclear bombers within 50 miles from California coast

Tu-95 Bear nuclear bomber

Tu-95 Bear nuclear bomber

Bill Gertz reports for the Washington Free Beacon that four Russian strategic bombers triggered U.S. air defense systems while conducting practice bombing runs near Alaska this week, with two of the (Tupolev) Tu-95 Bear H aircraft coming within 50 miles of the California coast, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) confirmed yesterday, June 11, 2014.

“The last time we saw anything similar was two years ago on the Fourth of July,”

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Norad spokesman, said the Bear H incursions began Monday around 4:30 p.m. Pacific time when radar detected the four turbo-prop powered bombers approaching the U.S. air defense zone near the far western Aleutian Islands.

Two U.S. Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled and intercepted the bombers over the Aleutians.

After tracking the bombers as they flew eastward, two of the four Bears turned around and headed west toward the Russian Far East. The bombers are believed to be based at the Russian strategic base near Anadyr, Russia. The remaining two nuclear-capable bombers then flew southeast and around 9:30 P.M. entered the U.S. northern air defense zone off the coast of Northern California. Two U.S. F-15 jets were deployed and intercepted the bombers as they eventually flew within 50 miles of the coast before turning around and heading west.

A defense official said the four bombers also were supported by two IL-78 aerial refueling tankers that were used for mid-air refueling during the operation this week.

The Tu-95 is a long-range strike aircraft capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles. Other versions are equipped with intelligence-gathering sensors and electronic warfare gear. It has a range of around 9,400 miles without refueling.

Davis said the aircraft “acted professionally” and the bombers appeared to be conducting a training mission. “They typically do long range aviation training in the summer and it is not unusual for them to be more active during this time,” he said. “We assess this was part of training. And they did not enter territorial airspace.”

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Alaska commander for Norad, said he does not remember a case of Russian strategic bombers coming that close to the U.S. coast.

McInerney said in an email, “Again we see the Obama administration through their covert—but overt to Mr. Putin—unilateral disarmament, inviting adventurism by the Russians. At the height of the Cold War I do not remember them getting this close. Mr. Putin had to approve this mission and he is just showing his personal contempt for President Obama right after meeting him in Normandy less than a week ago.”

McInerney said no American president has been treated with such disrespect in U.S. history: “A sad day indeed and at the same time Mosul and Tikrit [Iraq] fall to radical Islamists after the Obama administration’s failed Iraq policy. He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.”

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, called the Russian flights “intentional provocations.” He said in an interview that “Putin is doing this specifically to try to taunt the U.S. and exercise, at least in the reported world, some sort of saber-rattling, muscle-flexing kind of nonsense. Truth of the matter is we would have squashed either one of those [bombers] like baby seals. It’s a provocation and it’s unnecessary. But it fits in with [Putin’s] macho kind of saber-rattling.” Conaway expects Russia will carry out more of these kinds of incidents in the future.

In fact, in April 2014, a telephone conversation between two Russian ambassadors was posted on YouTube and appeared to show the diplomats joking about the Ukraine crisis and discussing the possible incursions in the United States and Eastern Europe. The leaked conversation between Igor Nilokaevich Chubarov and Sergey Viktorovich Bakharev, Russian ambassadors to the African nations Eritrea and Zimbabwe and Malawi, respectively, includes references to post-Crimea Russian imperialism to include Eastern Europe and “Californialand” and “Miamiland.”

The bomber incursion is only the latest in a series of Russia’s increasing strategic assertiveness toward the United States:

  • On April 23, 2014, a Russian Su-27 interceptor jet flew dangerously close to within 100 feet of the cockpit of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft flying over the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan.
  • In July 2013, two Russian Tu-95s were intercepted by Japanese and South Korean jets near the Korean peninsula and Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island.
  • On April 28, 2013, two Russian Bear Hs were intercepted near Alaska.
  • On February 12,  2013, two Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers, equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, circled the island of Guam and were followed  by U.S. Air Force F-15 jets from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The bomber incident was considered highly unusual. Russian strategic bombers are not known to have conducted such operations in the past into the south Pacific from bomber bases in the Russian Far East, which is thousands of miles away and over water.
  • In August 2012, Gertz reported that a Russian nuclear-powered Akula-class attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region. The Navy is in charge of detecting submarines, especially those that sail near U.S. nuclear missile submarines, and uses undersea sensors and satellites to locate and track them. U.S. officials said the fact that the Akula stealth submarine was not detected in the Gulf is cause for concern, as well as exposes deficiencies in U.S. anti-submarine warfare capabilities—forces that are facing cuts under the Obama administration’s plan to reduce defense spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years.
  • On July 4, 2012, Russian bomber flights near the U.S. West Coast were the first time since the Cold War that Russian jets has traveled so close to the U.S. coastline.
Akula-class submarine

Akula-class submarine

~StMA

China sinks VN fishing boat; deploys 3 nuclear subs to South China Sea; troops on VN border

South China Sea

Bill Gertz reports for The Washington Free Beacon, May 28, 2014:

[Note: Maps, pictures and side notes are inserted by StMA]

China has deployed three nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines to a naval base in the South China Sea, according to a recent photo of the vessels that appeared on the Internet.

Chinese nuke subs

The three Type 094 missile submarines were photographed at the Yalong Bay naval base on Hainan Island, located at the northern end of the South China Sea.

The submarines appear to be part of China’s plan to begin the first regular sea patrols of nuclear missile submarines.

Adm Samuel Locklear III

Adm. Samuel Locklear III

Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, voiced concerns about Chinese missile submarines in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee in March.

“China’s advance in submarine capabilities is significant,” Locklear said. “They possess a large and increasingly capable submarine force. China continues the production of ballistic missile submarines. … This will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, probably before the end of 2014.”

Disclosure of the strategic submarine deployment comes as China sharply increased tensions over the weekend after one of its naval vessels rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in disputed waters claimed by both countries in the region.

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For more on the sinking of the fishing boat and Vietnamese reaction, see “China Sinking Vessel Raises Tensions With Vietnam,” Bloomberg News, May 27, 2014.

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Meanwhile, China on Tuesday called recent Japanese military aircraft incursions during joint Chinese-Russian war games in the East China Sea both dangerous and provocative, further escalating tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.

The photograph of the three missile submarines is the latest example of state-controlled media signaling new strategic nuclear capabilities by China.

The submarines, also called the Jin-class, are equipped with 12 multiple-warhead JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missiles that have a range of up to 4,900 miles.

Meanwhile, one of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarines based in Guam last week deployed for missions in the Asia Pacific and likely will conduct surveillance of China’s submarine forces in the region.

The submarine was monitoring a large Chinese-Russian joint naval exercise in the northern East China Sea that ended this week.

The Air Force also has begun long-range Global Hawk drone flights over Asia as part of a summer deployment of two of the unmanned surveillance aircraft to Japan.

China-Japan ADIZs

On Tuesday, a Chinese general called the intrusion into military exercises by Japanese warplanes “dangerous” and “provocative.”

“Japan unilaterally stirred up the military jets’ encounter over the East China Sea,” Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told Xinhua, referring to the Japanese jets’ confrontation by Chinese jets.

The jets flew in the unilaterally declared Chinese air defense identification zone that Tokyo, Washington and other Asia states do not recognize.

The incident occurred as Chinese and Russian warships were engaged in naval maneuvers.

“Japan’s move, like its decision to purchase the Diaoyu [Senkaku] Islands in 2012 so as to change the status quo, is very dangerous and provocative,” Sun said

The encounter between Japanese and Chinese jet fighters took place May 24 over open waters as the Japanese sought to monitor the military exercises.

The Vietnamese fishing boat sank Monday after colliding with a Chinese patrol vessel near the disputed Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea, where China raised tensions by beginning undersea oil drilling.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters the vessel sinking is troubling.

“We remain concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by vessels operating in this area by the Chinese,” she said. “We continue to call on all parties to exercise restraint and take steps to lower the tensions and conduct themselves in a safe and, of course, professional manner.”

Relations between Hanoi and Beijing remain tense over the maritime dispute. Protests were held recently in communist Vietnam against communist China.

There have been unconfirmed reports that Chinese military forces were massing near the Chinese border with Vietnam. The two nations fought a brief conflict early 1979, after Chinese forces invaded and captured several cities before retreating.

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For more on the PLA massing near the Sino-Vietnamese border, see “Chinese Military Said to be Massing Near the Vietnam Border,” Epoch Times, May 18, 2014.

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Regarding the missile submarines, Andrei Pinkov, a military analyst with Kanwa Defense who reported on the submarines May 1, said the three submarines at Hainan are a sign Beijing is speeding up the pace of deployments. Also, a review of the photo indicates that one of the three submarines could be a more advanced missile submarine called the Type 096, based on an analysis of the length of missile submarines, he stated in his journal Kanwa Defense Review.

The deployment is “intended to give the new SSBN better protection in the deep waters of the South China Sea,” Pinkov stated, using the military acronym for ballistic missile submarine.

Hans M. Kristensen, an analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, said China now has three or four Type-094s.

China over the past decade has built an extensive naval infrastructure for its underwater forces, including upgraded naval bases, submarine hull demagnetization facilities, underground facilities and high-bay buildings for missile storage and handling, and covered tunnels and railways to conceal the activities from prying eyes in the sky.

It is not known if the Chinese will deploy actual nuclear warheads with the submarines or continue the past Chinese practice of keeping warheads in central storage sites for deployment in a crisis.

The South Sea Fleet naval facilities on Hainan Island are under significant expansion,” Kristensen stated in a recent blog post. “The nuclear submarine base at Longpo has been upgraded to serve as the first nuclear submarine base in the South China Sea.

The base also includes a submarine tunnel that is part of an underwater complex of nuclear facilities on Hainan.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported in July that China would begin the first sea patrols of the Type 094 some time this year.

China conducted a test flight of the JL-2 missile, the system to be deployed on the Type 094, in August 2012.

A report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center last year stated that the JL-2 “will, for the first time, allow Chinese SSBNs to target portions of the United States from operating areas located near the Chinese coast.”

China’s jingoistic Global Times on Oct. 28 published an unprecedented report that revealed a nuclear missile strike on the western United States with JL-2 missiles could kill up to 12 million Americans.

The Obama administration and senior Navy officials were silent regarding the nuclear attack threat, which included graphics showing nuclear plumes and collateral damage caused by radiation.

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See “China’s state media boast of Chinese nuclear subs attacking U.S. cities,” Nov. 3, 2013.

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The congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission stated in a report several years ago that China is planning to deploy an anti-satellite missile on its missile submarines.

Anti-satellite missiles are key elements of China’s anti-access, area denial capabilities designed to drive the U.S. Navy out of Asia.

China only recently began publicizing its nuclear missile submarine forces, mainly through semi-official disclosures on so-called military enthusiast websites.

See also:

Taiwan think tank on China’s territorial ambitions and decisive military superiority by 2020

1st and 2nd island chainsFirst and Second Island Chains (click map to enlarge)

Wendell Minnick reports for DefenseNews, March 4, 2014, that New Frontier Foundation, the think tank of Taiwan’s opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), released “a remarkable report on China’s military ambitions against Taiwan.”

The report, edited by York Chen, convener of the Foundation’s Defense Policy Advisory Committee, is entitled “China’s Military Threats Against Taiwan in 2025.” It is the 5th in a series of Defense Policy Blue Papers produced by the DPP think tank on defense issues, but the first to produce substantive research on the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) modernization efforts and Chinese military programs aimed at waging a successful war to take the island. The report had input from former Taiwan military officers, US analysts, and reports issued by the Ministry of National Defense (MINDEF).

What the report says:

  • Taiwan must raise its defense budget “to the level of 3% of GDP” and build an effective “national defense with Taiwanese characteristics.” The latter means relying more on domestic defense industry sources for military arms and equipment.
  • The paper outlines three priorities: cyber defense, indigenous submarine production and improving air defense capabilities.
  • On cyber defense, it is recommended that the status of MINDEF’s Information and Electronic Warfare Command be raised in the organization chart; attract more information warfare personnel;  develop asymmetrical cyber operational concepts and equipment; and strengthen its cyber “front lines.”
  • On the indigenous submarine issue, the report recommends an immediate two-stage building program that allows for “conserving the integrity of the Navy’s current submarine force” but also “activating a long-term development cycle of ship design and research and development, critical equipment acquisition, testing and operation, and upgrade.” The best way to proceed is to reverse-engineer the two Dutch-built Zwaardvis-class submarines sold to Taiwan in the 1980s. The US offered to sell Taiwan eight diesel-powered attack submarines in 2001, but the US has been unable to develop the infrastructure needed to manufacturer diesel-submarines. The report says that since “Submarines are the major platforms to deny the PLA’s invasion fleet from crossing the Strait, indigenous production has become the only choice for Taiwan to acquire submarines.” Taiwan has struggled with efforts to produce submarines over the past decade, including the Hidden Dragon Program and the Indigenous Defense Submarine Program, which the Taiwan Navy failed to support.
  • The report recommends that Taiwan procure unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV), upgrade fighter aircrafts, refine precision strike munitions, and develop next-generation fighters, including the procurement of “vertical and/or short take-off and landing” (V/STOL) fighters. This is because China’s air warfare capabilities continue to expand with the production of more advanced fourth-generation fighters, the roll-out of two types of fifth-generation stealthy fighters, the replacement of aging ballistic missiles with more precise missiles, and the fielding of more advanced land-attack cruise missiles. In the past, Taiwan has expressed interest in buying refurbished AV-8 Harrier V/STOL jump-jets and has received US government briefings on the F-35B short-takeoff vertical-landing (STOVL) fighter. On UCAV technologies, Taiwan’s military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology has produced a variety of UAVs, including designs for a stealthy UCAV, but has long suffered budgeting problems and a lack of support from the Taiwan military, which has pushed for the procurement of US-made UAVs.
  • Despite the report’s recommendations, the overall conclusions of the report are dire. The PLA attained the operational capability to respond to a Taiwan contingency in 2007, surpassed Taiwan’s forces in quantity and quality in 2010, and continues working to secure decisive capabilities for a large-scale operation against Taiwan by 2020. “The expansive range of the PLA’s air defense missiles has already embraced Taiwan within a de facto air defense identification zone, and when the 5th generation fighters enter into service by 2020, the PRC [China] will achieve clear airpower superiority over Taiwan,” said the report.
  • Beyond Beijing’s benign claims of reunifying Taiwan with the motherland, the report gives a sobering picture of the real reason China needs the island. “Taiwan is absolutely needed for China to establish credible long-range power projection capabilities, to actually surpass the geographical restrictions of the first island chain, and to become an equal power with the U.S. in the Pacific,” the report said. Further, it is in China’s strategic interest to turn the island into a military outpost. “The island is a strategic jumping point for offensive” military operations in the Pacific.
  • The clock is ticking. Within the next several years the PLA will introduce the S-400 surface-to-air missile system with a 400-kilometer range giving China absolute air defense coverage of the island. The S-400 radar “claims to be able to effectively detect the enemy’s stealth fighters.”
  • Though it appears doomed, the paper advocates the continued upgrade program for its fleet of 146 F-16A/B fighter aircraft, “but even if it proceeds smoothly, the earliest possible completion date will not be until the mid-2020s.” Taiwan is preparing to retire its remaining F-5 fighters and the 56 operational Mirage 2000 fighters within the next five-to-10 years. This will leave the Air Force with only 146 F-16s and 128 Indigenous Defense Fighters, which are both undergoing upgrades. The US has refused to sell Taiwan F-16C/D Block 52 fighters due to pressure from China. US officials have also stated there are fears the F-16C/Ds might fall into Chinese hands as relations between Taiwan and China continue to progress.

H/t AnchorageKnight

~StMA

China’s ADIZ is a strategic move to control First Island Chain

China-Japan ADIZs

On Nov. 23, 2013, China unilaterally announced an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) which includes the Japan-held Senkaku Islands, which Chinese call Diaoyutai and over which China also claims ownership.

Since that declaration, Japan and South Korea have refused to accept China’s ADIZ, while the Obama administration has sent mixed signals — at first seemingly challenging the ADIZ by flying two unarmed B-52 bombers over the East China Sea (and the disputed Senkaku islands), then seemingly accepting the ADIZ so long as China not require all aircraft, commercial and military, to check with Beijing before flying through the ADIZ.

It turns out that China’s ADIZ isn’t solely motivated by Beijing’s irredentist claim over the Senkakus, but reaches beyond those disputed islets to include none other than the First Island Chain.

What is the First Island Chain? From Maria Hsia Chang, Return of the Dragon: China’s Wounded Nationalism (Westview, 2001), p. 220:

The PRC [People’s Republic of China] now conceives oceans to be its “second national territory (dier guotu). … China’s “second national territory” includes 12 territorial seas …, 24 “maritime adjacent zones”…, 200 maritime exclusive economic zones and continental shelves — totaling more than 3 million square kilometers or one-third of China’s total land mass.

Defense of its “maritime national territory” requires Beijing to shift its defense strategy from one of “coastal defense” … to “offshore defense”…. National Defense maintains that since “the frontline of maritime national defense lies beyond China’s territorial waters … there will be times” when China’s defense of its seas “may require doing battle in farther maritime regions” including “international waters and seabeds.” China’s perimeter of “offshore defense” is conceived to include two “island chains.” The first chain stretches from the Aleutians to the Kurils, the Japanese archipelago, the Ryukyus, Taiwan, the Philippine archipelago, and the Greater Sunda Islands. The “second island chain” comprises the Bonins, the Marianas, Guam [a U.S. territory], and the Palau archipelago.

1st and 2nd island chainsFirst and Second Island Chains (click map to enlarge)

Below is an excerpt from a commentary by Li Xuejiang (李学江) in the Chinese-language People’s Network (Renmin wang 人民网) of Dec. 3, 2013, titled “Why China’s ADIZ is like a fishbone stuck in the throats of Japan and the U.S.”:

China’s announcement of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) caused an uproar in Japan, the United States, Australia, Canada and other Western countries. Japan and the U.S. even sent military planes as an act of provocation. Their media also rallied together to attack China. Some people laughed at China, saying that the ADIZ is a “disgrace,” “useless,” “a paper tiger.” But in truth, their reaction proves that China’s ADIZ is like a fishbone that’s stuck in the throats of Japan and the U.S.

One of the accusations against China is that China’s military modernization is “disrupting the balance of power in the region.” The United States, therefore, should “return to Asia” to restore the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific. Some U.S. allies in Southeast Asia also expect the United States to counterbalance China. It should be noted, however, that the Asia-Pacific has never had a military balance to restore. Not only has the United States never left Asia, it has had military dominance in East Asia. …

In recent years China’s military modernization has been more in the interest of  defense — an interest that is necessary and legitimate in order to rectify the “imbalance” of power so as to achieve a “rebalance.” This is what worries the United States and Japan. But that should not deter China — China cannot stop cultivating crops because of a “fear of locusts.”

China’s establishment of the ADIZ is not only a matter of the sovereignty of our core national interests and of economic importance; it also has great strategic significance. The United States not only has never accused Japan for its ADIZ, but strongly supports it. Why do these two countries cooperate so seamlessly? Their purpose is, through Japan’s ADIZ, to achieve a blockage of China’s sea and air passages in the first island chain.

Japan’s attempt in so doing is not just “unacceptable,” China must break through the blockage. Ironically, the United States and Japan have shown us how to break that blockage. Now that American and Japanese military airplanes have trespassed into China’s ADIZ without notice, China can also do so vis-a-vis Japan’s ADIZ and without notification. In effect, the U.S.-Japan’s first island chain has become a “useless paper tiger.”

H/t CODA’s Sol Sanders

See also:

The Bell Continues to Toll

This outstanding weapon system will be a great compliment to the LRASM under development (or maybe that’s the other-way-around, since the JSOW C-1 is much further along its development track).  Air-dropped and networked, this is another weapon that can be delivered by (for example) F-18s that can then break off, leaving guidance to other aircraft flying beyond the range of shipborne air defenses.  This article references guidance provided by an E-2D, but as mentioned in the last paragraph it could also come from P-3C Orion–and hence the new P-8A Poseidon replacement for the P-3–and the E-8C JSTARS.  I’m quite confident that guidance could also be provided by/relayed through the MQ-4C Triton UAS.

Displacedjim

E-2D_Hawkeye_FeaturesE-2D Hawkeye

Raytheon’s Joint Standoff Weapon C-1 demonstrates networked capability with E-2D aircraft

Weapon showcases interoperability, flexibility

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and the U.S. Navy demonstrated the capability of the newest version of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1 by establishing communications among an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft and the JSOW C-1.

The test was part of the Navy’s Trident Warrior 2013 demonstration in July. During the demonstration, fighters simulated the launch of a JSOW C-1 while the E-2D directed the weapon toward the positively identified target. The E-2D aircraft also received status updates sent from the JSOW C-1.

“The success of the Trident Warrior 2013 demonstration proves the feasibility of providing the fleet a means of executing the complete kill chain with carrier-based assets utilizing the F/A-18E/F, JSOW C-1 and E-2D to engage maritime targets at range,” said Cmdr. Errol Campbell, the U.S. Navy’s Precision Strike Weapons program office deputy program manager for the JSOW program.

Additionally, the team was able to track and designate a target; simulate the launch of the JSOW; send, receive and acknowledge target updates; and receive bomb hit indication data from the weapon.

“This test further verifies the flexibility and seamless plug-and-play connectivity of JSOW C-1’s network-enabled capability,” said Celeste Mohr, JSOW program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. “The test demonstrates the relative ease with which the U.S. Navy can build on the ongoing integration of the JSOW C-1 on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 and expand the interoperability and connectivity to a fielded carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft.”

In 2009, the Navy performed a similar demonstration of connectivity and interoperability among sensor platforms, a shooting platform and the JSOW C-1 during the Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capability Technology Demonstration. This demonstration involved a P-3 Orion aircraft’s littoral surveillance radar system and an E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.

About the Joint Standoff Weapon

JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker. JSOW C-1 adds the two-way Strike Common Weapon Datalink to the combat-proven weapon, enabling a moving maritime target capability. JSOW C-1 will provide an advanced anti-surface warfare solution on the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.

Chinese warship tries to stop U.S. warship in So. China Sea’s international waters

USS CowpensUSS Cowpens is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser that is named after the Battle of Cowpens, a major American victory near Cowpens, South Carolina, in the American Revolution.

Bill Gertz writes for The Washington Free Beacon, Dec 13, 2013:

A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials.

The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which recently took part in disaster relief operations in the Philippines, was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to officials familiar with the incident.

“On December 5th, while lawfully operating in international waters in the South China Sea, USS Cowpens and a PLA Navy vessel had an encounter that required maneuvering to avoid a collision,” a Navy official said.

“This incident underscores the need to ensure the highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap.”

A State Department official said the U.S. government issued protests to China in both Washington and Beijing in both diplomatic and military channels.

The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. The carrier had recently sailed from the port of Qingdao on the northern Chinese coast into the South China Sea.

According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop. The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters.

Then a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course in what the officials said was a dangerous maneuver.

According to the officials, the Cowpens was conducting a routine operation done to exercise its freedom of navigation near the Chinese carrier when the incident occurred about a week ago.

The encounter was the type of incident that senior Pentagon officials recently warned could take place as a result of heightened tensions in the region over China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently called China’s new air defense zone destabilizing and said it increased the risk of a military “miscalculation.”

China’s military forces in recent days have dispatched Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, as well as KJ-2000 airborne warning and control aircraft, to the zone to monitor the airspace that is used frequently by U.S. and Japanese military surveillance aircraft.

The United States has said it does not recognize China’s ADIZ, as has Japan’s government.

Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew through the air zone last month but were not shadowed by Chinese interceptor jets.

Chinese naval and air forces also have been pressing Japan in the East China Sea over Tokyo’s purchase a year ago of several uninhabited Senkaku Islands located north of Taiwan and south of Okinawa.

China is claiming the islands, which it calls the Diaoyu. They are believed to contain large undersea reserves of natural gas and oil.

liaoningChina’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (source)

The Liaoning, China’s first carrier that was refitted from an old Soviet carrier, and four warships recently conducted their first training maneuvers in the South China Sea. The carrier recently docked at the Chinese naval port of Hainan on the South China Sea.

Defense officials have said China’s imposition of the ADIZ is aimed primarily at curbing surveillance flights in the zone, which China’s military regards as a threat to its military secrets.

The U.S. military conducts surveillance flights with EP-3 aircraft and long-range RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.

In addition to the Liaoning, Chinese warships in the flotilla include two missile destroyers, the Shenyang and the Shijiazhuang, and two missile frigates, the Yantai and the Weifang.

Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said it is likely that the Chinese deliberately staged the incident as part of a strategy of pressuring the United States.

“They can afford to lose an LST [landing ship] as they have about 27 of them, but they are also usually armed with one or more twin 37 millimeter cannons, which at close range could heavily damage a lightly armored U.S. Navy destroyer,” said Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Most Chinese Navy large combat ships would be out-ranged by the 127-millimeter guns deployed on U.S. cruisers, except China’s Russian-made Sovremenny-class ships and Beijing’s new Type 052D destroyers that are armed with 130-millimeter guns.

The encounter appears to be part of a pattern of Chinese political signaling that it will not accept the presence of American military power in its East Asian theater of influence, Fisher said. “China has spent the last 20 years building up its Navy and now feels that it can use it to obtain its political objectives,” he said.

Fisher said that since early 2012 China has gone on the offensive in both the South China and East China Seas. “In this early stage of using its newly acquired naval power, China is posturing and bullying, but China is also looking for a fight, a battle that will cow the Americans, the Japanese, and the Filipinos,” he said.

To maintain stability in the face of Chinese military assertiveness, Fisher said the United States and Japan should seek an armed peace in the region by heavily fortifying the Senkaku Islands and the rest of the island chain they are part of. “The U.S. and Japan should also step up their rearmament of the Philippines,” Fisher said.

The Cowpens incident is the most recent example of Chinese naval aggressiveness toward U.S. ships.

The U.S. intelligence-gathering ship, USNS Impeccable, came under Chinese naval harassment from a China Maritime Surveillance ship, part of Beijing’s quasi-military maritime patrol craft, in June.

During that incident, the Chinese ship warned the Navy ship it was operating illegally despite sailing in international waters. The Chinese demanded that the ship first obtain permission before sailing in the area that was more than 100 miles from China’s coast.

The U.S. military has been stepping up surveillance of China’s naval forces, including the growing submarine fleet, as part of the U.S. policy of rebalancing forces to the Pacific.

The Impeccable was harassed in March 2009 by five Chinese ships that followed it and sprayed it with water hoses in an effort to thwart its operations.

A second spy ship, the USNS Victorious, also came under Chinese maritime harassment several years ago.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, when asked last summer about increased Chinese naval activities near Guam and Hawaii in retaliation for U.S. ship-based spying on China, said the dispute involves different interpretations of controlled waters. Locklear said in a meeting with reporters in July, “We believe the U.S. position is that those activities are less constrained than what the Chinese believe.”

China is seeking to control large areas of international waters—claiming they are part of its United Nations-defined economic exclusion zone—that Locklear said cover “most of the major sea lines of communication” near China and are needed to remain free for trade and shipping.

Locklear, who is known for his conciliatory views toward the Chinese military, sought to play down recent disputes. When asked if the Chinese activities were troubling, he said: “I would say it’s not provocative certainly. I’d say that in the Asia-Pacific, in the areas that are closer to the Chinese homeland, that we have been able to conduct operations around each other in a very professional and increasingly professional manner.”

The Pentagon and U.S. Pacific Command have sought to develop closer ties to the Chinese military as part of the Obama administration’s Asia pivot policies.

However, China’s military has shown limited interest in closer ties.

China’s state-controlled news media regularly report that the United States is seeking to defeat China by encircling the country with enemies while promoting dissidents within who seek the ouster of the communist regime.

The Obama administration has denied it is seeking to “contain” China and has insisted it wants continued close economic and diplomatic relations.

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to seek a new type of major power relationship during a summit in California earlier this year. However, the exact nature of the new relationship remains unclear.

James R. Holmes writes for The Diplomat, Dec. 14, 2013:

[…] Beijing’s moves in the China seas — seizing disputed islets and atolls, asserting ownership of others, trying to restrict free use of the maritime commons — [can be interpreted] as China’s version of a first-mover strategy. […] Beijing has staked claims to parts of the commons while daring fellow Asian powers to reverse its claims at high cost and risk to themselves, and to regional tranquility. Strategic offense, tactical defense.

This would help explain China’s passive-aggressive approach to offshore quarrels. It proclaims some new policy, then acts put-upon and oh-so-prickly when challenged. Beijing’s announcement of an air-defense identification zone (ADIZ)  has riveted commentators’ attention on the skies over the East China Sea for the past three weeks. The South China Sea appeared somnolent. But last week, reports Bill Gertz reports, a PLA Navy vessel ordered the cruiser USS Cowpens to stop in international waters (but presumably within the nine-dashed line). Cowpens was evidently shadowing the carrier Liaoning at a distance, and Chinese commanders didn’t take kindly to its presence. When the cruiser refused to halt, a PLA Navy amphibious vessel cut across its bow so close aboard that the crew had to maneuver to avoid colliding.

This is serious business. U.S. officials continually harp on the need to work out procedures whereby American and Chinese reduce the chances and ill effects of “miscalculation.” Maybe so. But the main problem in maritime Asia isn’t miscalculation, it’s calculation. The ADIZ, the Senkakus, Scarborough Shoal — none of these are accidents. They’re policies made in China. By all means, let’s work out hotlines and incidents-at-sea agreements in Asia, if possible. But let’s not kid ourselves about their prospects for success. U.S. and allied strategists had better ponder how to counter [China] ….