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US Defense Intel Agency assesment of Chinese Nuclear forces

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  • US Defense Intel Agency assesment of Chinese Nuclear forces

    http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2012/02/chinamissiles.php

  • #2
    Not a single operational deployment of a PLAN SSBN since the first one was launched 30 years ago? Simply incredible.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kuma View Post
      Not a single operational deployment of a PLAN SSBN since the first one was launched 30 years ago? Simply incredible.


      What may be the reason behind PLAN not conductiong operational deployment of its SSBNs even though they have had them for 30 years ?

      Another surprise was that all their ICBMs are single warhead atleast those that are on their SSBNs.

      I had always wrongly assumed that the PLA had a very modern strategic nuclear arsenal unlike their conventional forces. This report was kind of surprising.

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      • #4
        Appaently the Chinese have chosesn to prioritize the modernization of their conventional forces over their strategic systems. This was spurred bythe dominating performance the US displayed in GW1 which opened,the eyes of the Chinese that they needed to rethink their strategy vs the US. Modernizing their conventional forces would be necessary if China's was to pursue it's A2/AD strategy to gradually displace the US as the dominant power in the Pacific region. Doomsday scenarios likely don't figure prominently in Chinese thinking and decisions on allocation of resources. Development continued on the strategic arsenal but with no real urgency.

        http://www.missilethreat.com/missile...ile_detail.asp

        The linked article analyzes the Chinese efforts in ICBMs. (DF 31/DF 31A) and the derivative SLBM (JL 2). To their credit, the Chinese seem to have worked out most of the bugs on the land-based systems, with a successful test in 2006, for a system that started in 1970. The JL 2 is further behind but I wouldn't bet against the Chinese getting it to work eventualy. It's just a matter of not judging them from a Western perspective or timeframe as such an extended development program would not be possible in the West. There are advantages to being an authoritarian state where dissent and criticsm are not tolerated.

        On the lack of operational patrols, I'm thinking the PLAN realized they would just be giving the USN an opportunity to gather first-hand intelligence on the capabilities,or lack thereof of the Chinese subs.. Better just to keep the US in the dark as much as possible.

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        • #5
          I don't see the China moving towards full MAD with United States simply because such a posture is too expensive. The Chinese nuclear posture of "minimum deterent" is deemed sufficient to deter a US first strike. In fact China, along with India and North Korea, are the only nuclear armed states to publicly acknowledge the "no first use" policy.

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          • #6
            I agree with you on both counts. The Chinese don't want to compete in building hugely expensive bomber, ICBM or SLBM systems, when the US had already such a dramatic head start. Besides, they don't need it: even a dozen missiles can achieve a MAD type deterrence when aimed at major US cities.

            On the other hand, conventional arms, especially a blue water navy, are very useful to China. They can used it to flex their muscles in South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, not to mention around Taiwan. These are all areas critical to China's strategic interests.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ogukuo72 View Post
              I agree with you on both counts. The Chinese don't want to compete in building hugely expensive bomber, ICBM or SLBM systems, when the US had already such a dramatic head start. Besides, they don't need it: even a dozen missiles can achieve a MAD type deterrence when aimed at major US cities.

              On the other hand, conventional arms, especially a blue water navy, are very useful to China. They can used it to flex their muscles in South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, not to mention around Taiwan. These are all areas critical to China's strategic interests.
              It's not just about flexing muscles. It's also about safeguarding lines of communication and supply. China can, of course, along with others, take advantage of what the USN is doing. But how stable is that from their perspective?
              "We have no white flag."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                I don't see the China moving towards full MAD with United States simply because such a posture is too expensive. The Chinese nuclear posture of "minimum deterent" is deemed sufficient to deter a US first strike. In fact China, along with India and North Korea, are the only nuclear armed states to publicly acknowledge the "no first use" policy.
                Indeed. Why build hundreds or thousands when dozens will suffice? Money sunk there is money down the drain, IMHO. I think China has a lot more to focus development on (the economy, in particular).
                "We have no white flag."

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