Friday, December 28, 2012

Stealth Arms Race?

Ah! Best way to handle a ginourmous nation state with wads of Dongfengs, conventional jet fighters and an LOLable Blue Water Navy?

Stealth attack bay bee - which funnily enough - comes from stealth deterrence
Great Satan has begun a staged, five-year process that will see each of her three main stealth warplane types deployed to bases near China. When the deployments are complete in 2017, Air Force F-22s and B-2s and Marine Corps F-35s could all be within striking range of America’s biggest economic rival at the same time. With Beijing now testing her own radar-evading jet fighters — two different models, to be exact — the clock is counting down to a stealth warplane showdown over the Western Pacific.

The gradual creation of the U.S. stealth strike force is an extension of the Pentagon’s much-touted “strategic pivot” to the Pacific region, and echoes the much faster formation, earlier this year, of a similar (but only partially stealthy) aerial armada in the Persian Gulf. That team of F-22s, non-stealthy F-15s and specialized “Bacon” radio-translator planes was clearly meant to deter a belligerent Iran, although the Pentagon denied it.

To be fair, the B-2s, F-22s and F-35s aren’t expected to fight alone. Besides the existing Pacific force structure of F-15s, F-16s, A-10s and other warplanes, drones and support aircraft, the Pentagon is planning on sending in the Navy’s new P-8 patrol plane and, eventually, the Air Force’s still-unbuilt KC-46 tanker.

Still, it’s possible that all three radar-evading planes could be flying together over the blue waters of the Pacific as early as five years from now. By that time China might have built and deployed combat-ready versions of its own J-20 and J-31 stealth fighters. That doesn’t mean the two aerial armadas will be fighting each other, of course. Conventional war with China is, and will likely remain, unnecessary and unlikely.

 For both sides the planned stealth strike forces are all about showing off, and impressing your rival so much that actually fighting him seems unthinkable. And that’s a good thing.

Sounds great! Unless, you know - it works out about as well as the  Great Britain/Deutschland Dreadnaught creating race from last century - and begats us all a new Jutland

Pic - "Castles of Steel"


sykes.1 said...

First, Jutland was a tactical victory for Germany, but it did not yield any strategic fruit. Also, the UK did not learn anything from Jutland, which cost them the Hood.

Second, the air will be full of stealth drones, too, doing all sorts of nastiness.