Military Review

Dragon Spear: China's Asymmetric Military Strategy

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Dragon Spear: China's Asymmetric Military Strategy

More than ten years ago, the Federation of Scientists of America rated the Chinese missile program very highly, amid, in general, the problematic military industry. At 2010, the Chinese military announced that they had begun testing their most ambitious missile program, the DF-21A, an anti-ship ballistic missile. In 2013, several statements were made that rockets were stationed in small numbers in southern China. DF-21A was created as a “carrier-killer”, aimed at deterring US aircraft carrier groups in the event of a conflict around Taiwan or the disputed territories of the southern China Sea.


China’s decision to use ballistic anti-ship missiles is unusual, given that targeting a missile with a ballistic trajectory on moving ships is much more complicated and requires more sophisticated navigation than cruise missiles. The decision of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) to bet on this type of weaponry (ASBM) reflects the growing self-confidence and the development of the military industry.

Analysts disagree on the implications of the introduction of a new system for the US military. Some, not surprisingly, proclaimed this to be a decisive factor, tipping the balance and threatening US forces in the region. Other analysts believe that there are several options through which you can negate ASBM, creating false goals or aiming at system support and communication. Although both sides express the right arguments, the ASBM should not be considered isolated, but as part of a large process of military modernization and change of the PLA military doctrine.

For millennia, Chinese military strategists have been fascinated by asymmetric approaches to the methods of warfare. China has no illusions about its military unpreparedness for war against the United States and knows that in this position it will stay at least another two decades.

Therefore, the PLA is developing a whole range of asymmetric strategies to contain the United States until their military strength ripens to full-fledged opposition.

Given the US dependence on space and satellite communications to carry out even the most elementary military operations, the PLA has invested significant sums for the development of anti-satellite weapons.

In January, 2007 China launched its first anti-satellite missile, destroying its old satellite in space. In May, 2013, China launched a rocket without a payload on 10 000 kilometers into space, the farthest launch from the middle of 1970's. The absence of a satellite load indicates that the rocket was created as an anti-satellite. weapon.

In addition to its missiles, China also experimented with green and blue laser weapons, which was accompanied by accusations from the US military in launching several laser beams on their satellites. Laser impulses can disrupt the communication of satellites, and, depending on the strength, even destroy them.

The Chinese missile program is also developing steadily and in terms of increasing their accuracy and quickly improving in range. Progress in the rocket project, which was expected in the light of the advancement of the space program of China, is clearly visible in the growing number of launched satellites and the increasing complexity of the program. The lunar program is the next explicit expression of space priority for China.

The asymmetric military strategy of the PLA is not limited to the area of ​​space, but extends to other areas - land, sea, air and cyberspace.

Take, for example, the sea, the Chinese navy is not focused on opposing its own aircraft carrier to the American aircraft carrier, and ship, as some might think, to ship. China is deploying a growing number of offensive submarines armed with conventional and nuclear weapons, and the number of soldiers on submarines is 45% of the total fleet, which is the highest percentage among all large fleets.

In addition to submarines, the Chinese fleet accommodates thousands of land-based, cruise and ballistic missiles. The fleet also develops dozens of secretive fast missile-carrying boats and corvettes, like the Hubei class catamaran. In narrow waters and coastal areas, these vessels can be very effective against large adversaries, especially if they are using bee swarm tactics.

Another area that is turning into a front line for the PLA is cyber war. Since 2000, the Chinese military have discussed the concept of total war or unlimited war, in which the PLA will use asymmetric tactics in all areas of the theater of operations.

China's most popular work on asymmetrical military action was written by two PLA colonels in 1999, which is called “Unlimited War,” or 超限战., Which literally means a war without borders.

Recent cyber attacks and incursions into targets sensitive to the United States and other advanced countries demonstrate the growing power of Chinese cyber weapons.

In recent years, Chinese educational institutions, such as the Academy of Military Sciences, the National Institute of Defense and the Institute of Military Fleet, have devoted considerable time to studying the military campaigns of Western countries.

The Arab-Israeli conflicts, including the second war in Lebanon, provide China with countless examples in which missiles stationed at sea can seriously damage the forward fleet.

Although loyalty to an asymmetric war is not new for the Chinese, this concept is rapidly moving from theory to practice, quickly becoming the dominant approach. Do not assume that the PLA will rely only on asymmetric strategies. In reality, when China reduces the technological gap, many of its strategies will be similar to the generally accepted ones. Given the millennial passion, the asymmetric element is likely to remain the dominant strategy. The United States, by contrast, is looking at an asymmetric war and other nonstandard forms of military action with little interest. The so-called American style of warfare is focused on offensive firepower and neglects defensive elements.

The question is not whether the US will be able to cope with a separate system, but whether they will be able to understand the nature of the asymmetric strategy in all areas of the theater of operations. As Captain Scott Jaspar, who has more than 30 years of experience and specializes in anti-submarine warfare, noted

“The combination of ballistic and cruise missiles in combination with submarines and fast missile-carrying boats can be fatal for an aircraft carrier. A large number of missiles with modern counter-measures against radio interference can negate our most advanced systems, like the Aegis. “

In fact, during the 2006 war of the year against Israel, Hezbollah fired a missile made by Iran, delivered by Iran, according to an Israeli Eliat class corvette, killing four sailors. Corvettes of this class are considered the most advanced ships of their kind in the world.

As long as the United States maintains its military superiority in the foreseeable future, China has opportunities to weaken this advantage. This can have a positive effect on both sides, given that both superpowers will hold one another. China and the United States are becoming increasingly interdependent and share many interests. These beneficial relationships can reduce the risk of conflict. However, it is worth remembering that in both world wars of the previous century, Germany was the main trading partner of Britain.
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http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/dragon%E2%80%99s-spear-china%E2%80%99s-asymmetric-strategy
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  1. Edward72
    Edward72 25 October 2013 08: 16
    0
    A good thing to stifle fish and aliens to knock down.
    1. Kibalchish
      Kibalchish 25 October 2013 08: 51
      +6
      I'm afraid things are much worse. No matter how it turned out, "I worked up the fat, I drew wolf meat to taste"
  2. aszzz888
    aszzz888 25 October 2013 08: 18
    +3
    China’s decision to use ballistic anti-ship missiles is unusual given that aiming at moving ships with a ballistic missile missile is much more complicated and requires more complicated navigation than cruise missiles.

    It seems too early for the PRC and its military industry. Or they will copy it from someone again.
    1. Civil
      Civil 25 October 2013 09: 05
      +4
      Oh, there would be confidence in the good intentions of China regarding Russia, it would be possible to help the Chinese comrades ....
      1. Canep
        Canep 25 October 2013 11: 01
        +3
        It is unlikely (but not excluded) that the Chinese will attack Russia. For expansion, they have a more attractive goal - Taiwan.
        1. Phantom Revolution
          Phantom Revolution 25 October 2013 11: 14
          +4
          At the moment, they have an economic expansion (the same Mongolia with 2 million population). And the attack will reflect badly on the economy and the entire economic miracle will come to naught. Yes, Russia may be attacked, but here it is already unlikely that the United States, India and other "friends of China" will stand aside and will not stab China in the back. There are too many "friends" and China is still on the fifth point about the Russian Federation.
        2. Ingvar 72
          Ingvar 72 25 October 2013 18: 11
          +2
          Quote: Canep
          attractive target is Taiwan.

          They live quickly and swallow quickly. In Taiwan, no resources, no territories. Taiwan is their first on the list. I wonder what Russia is on this list? I think that we are in the top three.
        3. Serg 122
          Serg 122 28 October 2013 22: 42
          0
          It is unlikely (but not excluded) that the Chinese will attack Russia. For expansion, they have a more attractive goal - Taiwan.
          Hitler in 41 also had a very attractive goal - England. But something pulled him in a completely different direction ...
      2. mirag2
        mirag2 26 October 2013 06: 07
        +1
        China will not attack us, this is nonsense.
        All that he needs is sales markets and raw materials + hydrocarbons + the possibility of the expansion of his population to another country — he receives all this from us.
        So that he doesn’t need to fight with us.
        And our interests do not overlap. Until.
  3. Garik
    Garik 25 October 2013 08: 20
    +9
    China is developing, and this is already visible with the naked eye. The most important thing is that our officials, on which our country's defense capabilities depend, do not forget about this.
    1. fklj
      fklj 25 October 2013 08: 42
      +3
      The most important thing is that our officials, on which our country's defense capabilities depend, do not forget about this.

      They have sclerosis. Forgot about Daman, about Mao and Co. And blindness tormented, from Moscow Cupid and Ussuri can not be seen.
    2. Airman
      Airman 25 October 2013 08: 47
      +2
      Quote: Garik
      China is developing, and this is already visible with the naked eye. The most important thing is that our officials, on which our country's defense capabilities depend, do not forget about this.

      Officials do not forget, they just DO NOT THINK about it, they, most importantly, cut down more money on the sale of the most modern equipment.
      1. Gari
        Gari 25 October 2013 12: 32
        +3
        Quote: Povshnik
        Officials do not forget, they just DO NOT THINK about it, they, most importantly, cut down more money on the sale of the most modern equipment.

        For them, the main thing is not to forget the felled loot, not to forget to transfer to offshore, but to make it to London
      2. Evgenij.
        Evgenij. 21 November 2013 11: 39
        0
        Now Shoigu at the helm, he built the Ministry of Emergencies very well!
    3. alone
      alone 25 October 2013 11: 02
      +2
      Quote: Garik
      The most important thing is that our officials, on which our country's defense capability depends, do not forget about this.


      and do the officials need it? and who will earn and rob, if they start to go about their business.
  4. Igor39
    Igor39 25 October 2013 08: 39
    +1
    Anti-satellite weapons, very relevant at the moment, having lost satellites, the army loses great potential. Do we work with this issue.
    1. Onyx
      Onyx 25 October 2013 15: 01
      0
      Quote: Igor39
      Anti-satellite weapons, very relevant at the moment, having lost satellites, the army loses great potential. Do we work with this issue.

      the S-500 air defense / missile defense system is created, capable of hitting targets in near space, including. But what to consider as near space? I did not find a clear definition. Found a definition of near-Earth space (20-100 km above sea level). Low-orbit satellites are located at an altitude of 700-1500 km
    2. Evgenij.
      Evgenij. 21 November 2013 11: 46
      0
      In the USSR there were, I doubt that now it is not.
      On the extreme, a proton with nails in orbit and BuM- everyone was blinded
  5. major071
    major071 25 October 2013 08: 39
    +7
    If China continues to grow at such a pace, it will soon surpass the United States. But our politicians are still clapping their ears, they are stealing money from the state. Or do they hope to sit out in the west? It will not work, there are even more Chinese. Money should be invested in the country's defense, and not buy cars, the cost of the entire salary of a small enterprise for a year, and gobble up monthly city budgets at resorts.
  6. Lindon
    Lindon 25 October 2013 08: 40
    +2
    Well done Chinese are looking for their answer on how to counter US AUG.
    It will be necessary to look from the side and already learn from the successes and mistakes of the Chinese - at least some benefit from these professional copyists.
    If China succeeds, the myth of backward Chinese people who can only steal will always be destroyed. Let's hope the Chinese Sun Ji proves his steepness in practice.
    If not, it will be possible to send China back to sleep for a hundred years - to work on the bugs.
    1. Dezzed
      Dezzed 25 October 2013 10: 23
      +1
      It will be dangerous to think that the United States and only the United States have potential opponents of China in the future.
      1. Nevsky_ZU
        Nevsky_ZU 25 October 2013 10: 51
        0
        Quote: DezzeD
        It will be dangerous to think that the United States and only the United States have potential opponents of China in the future.


        Yes, you scare Russia?
        1. Clegg
          Clegg 25 October 2013 12: 10
          +2
          Quote: Nevsky_ZU
          Yes, you scare Russia?

          He answered Lyndon, which means Kazakhstan is more likely to scare
          1. Galinanp
            Galinanp 25 October 2013 12: 24
            0
            Clegg Today, 12:10 ↑ New
            Quote: Nevsky_ZU
            Yes, you scare Russia?
            He answered Lyndon, which means Kazakhstan is more likely to scare

            Which is practically the same.
            1. Clegg
              Clegg 27 October 2013 17: 00
              +2
              Quote: GalinaNP
              Which is practically the same.

              I don’t think we are Kazakhstan and Russia are two different countries
  7. kartalovkolya
    kartalovkolya 25 October 2013 08: 42
    0
    Celestial plans are immense! But what will it lead to?
  8. MIKHAN
    MIKHAN 25 October 2013 08: 42
    +3
    China quietly and without noise makes its way around the planet with its tentacles .. An excellent strategy, I would say!
  9. pahom54
    pahom54 25 October 2013 10: 02
    0
    I think the normal move in the fight against the AUG is that instead of having your own armada of ships, it is enough to launch one ballistic missile. There, above, it was said about the difficulties in the accuracy of guidance, aiming, but, it seems to me, the issue of accuracy is easily solved by the power of the equipped head in megatons. It’s fashionable to equip such that a deviation of 50 km will not save this AUG ...
    And with the percentage ratio of the submarine and surface fleet - it reminds me of something ... It seems that on the eve of the Second World War, such names as Hitler and Doenitz come up ...
    And in general, if you look, the development of mainly offensive weapons predominates in China, and the exercises are carried out in the same spirit, there is no talk of defense. That is, they are obviously convinced that no one will climb on them (I agree, there are no fools), and there is no need to defend against anyone.
    And this ballistic anti-ship missile will force the US to think about tactics and the strategy for the use of AUG ...
    1. Botanologist
      Botanologist 25 October 2013 22: 16
      0
      Quote: pahom54
      the question of accuracy is easily solved by the power of the equipped head in megatons.


      The issue of megatons is easily solved by a retaliatory nuclear strike. Moreover, I believe that all countries of the nuclear club will answer - to prevent further stupid thoughts about a priority nuclear strike. Yes, and for personal peace of mind.

      Quote: pahom54
      they are obviously convinced that no one will climb on them


      How to know. With Japan they can hack hard. There was experience, and in no way in favor of China.
  10. Manul
    Manul 25 October 2013 10: 05
    0
    And can you clarify the performance characteristics of the rocket launched by the corvette and whether the corvette received any damage? And then it seems that the rocket is fragmentation. soldier
  11. Ivanovich47
    Ivanovich47 25 October 2013 10: 10
    0
    The article is interesting. But both China and the United States belong to those countries that will never enter the war first. Remember the thesis of Mao-Dze-tung: we will observe how two tigers (the USSR and the USA) will fight, and then we will defeat them, weakened by the struggle. China never tried to annex Taiwan (the older generation remembers the 2568 Chinese warning) ... China will defeat imperialism by economic means.
  12. Semurg
    Semurg 25 October 2013 10: 22
    0
    Not a sailor, but according to publications like in the sea, the main thing is to find the aug and break through its air defense and anti-aircraft defense, it is probably easier to do with a massive salvo, but the question is how to approach the distance of such a salvo unnoticed. specifically on this missile can it break through missile defense aug?
    1. Rus2012
      Rus2012 26 October 2013 12: 21
      0
      Quote: Semurg
      specifically on this missile can it break through missile defense aug?

      Why "break through" it?
      Traditionally, 2 missiles are assigned to an aircraft carrier on a warrant. Let's take our calculations. It can be an RSD of the "Pioneer" type or, for example, "Topol-E". Operating range in the range - 1000-5500 km. Descending speed, about 3-6 km / sec. To intercept the SM3 anti-missile missile, available on URO destroyers, you need to know (have time to calculate) the exact launch time, launch area, area of ​​fall (exact coordinates of the selected target). And at the same time, do not allow a miss (inaccuracy of calculations) more than 3 km per 1000 in range, otherwise the anti-missile will not pair (there will not be enough energy and control capabilities).
      How can this be imagined? No way!
      Moreover, the thrust parameters of solid-fuel anti-ship missiles are unregulated and therefore off-design, the anti-ship warhead maneuvers - looking for a target and homing at it (also an off-target for a missile) ...
      And if you still put on the anti-shipboard PCB - generally kapets!
      There is another option - to make an anti-ship carrier using the example of Iskander (multiple flight trajectories), go and define the "imaginary trajectory";)
      And if you use a special-BB, in general the task becomes trivial: one of the BB is "masking and blinding", others finish off everything that moves ...
  13. Mikhail m
    Mikhail m 25 October 2013 10: 23
    0
    One of the tigers dropped out of the fight, the second on the brink, although still strong. China will not wait long. But it is also worthless for us to forget about strength, in the hope that no one will be the first to start a war.
  14. Starover_Z
    Starover_Z 25 October 2013 10: 58
    0
    Quote: fklj
    The most important thing is that our officials, on which our country's defense capabilities depend, do not forget about this.

    They have sclerosis. Forgot about Daman, about Mao and Co. And blindness tormented, from Moscow Cupid and Ussuri can not be seen.

    They have not forgotten anything. No wonder they developed or combined missiles and missiles, creating their own MLRS with a declared maximum range of 400 km (here it was written about this too).
    It turns out, our management forgets who it deals with, concluding trade deals.
  15. Ross
    Ross 25 October 2013 11: 43
    +2
    Quote: Kibalchish
    I'm afraid things are much worse. No matter how it turned out, "I worked up the fat, I drew wolf meat to taste"


    Rather bearish.
    1. avg
      avg 25 October 2013 13: 41
      +3
      Ross: Rather bearish.

      Not one predator will not go to the bear when near by, In Southeast Asia, many small but well-fed piglets run around. Which, moreover, often annoy with their screech.
  16. Strashila
    Strashila 25 October 2013 12: 38
    0
    Here you have a hypersonic weapon ... according to this scheme, you can make an air defense system.
  17. komsomolets
    komsomolets 25 October 2013 12: 47
    0
    As long as the United States maintains its military superiority in the foreseeable future, China has the opportunity to weaken this advantage.

    Filling the shelves of city malls with instant noodles and smelly plastic toys for children. This is a very asymmetric answer, all according to Sun Tzu.
  18. ivshubarin
    ivshubarin 25 October 2013 13: 26
    0
    We also need to increase the submarine fleet and develop anti-satellite missiles. Deprive NATO aircraft carriers and communications
  19. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 25 October 2013 13: 55
    +2
    Bluffing has not been canceled. You can arbitrarily talk about new developments, but without testing it is zilch if. Unless a potential adversary is convinced of the performance of the weapon. They believed in the Chinese miracle, they can also believe in these weapons, and then China is right - the cost of one ballistic missile against a grouping of warships is 1: 100000, no less, it is profitable.
  20. nikcris
    nikcris 25 October 2013 14: 55
    0
    Quote: Asan Ata
    Bluffing has not been canceled. You can arbitrarily talk about new developments, but without testing it is zilch if. Unless a potential adversary is convinced of the performance of the weapon. They believed in the Chinese miracle, they can also believe in these weapons, and then China is right - the cost of one ballistic missile against a grouping of warships is 1: 100000, no less, it is profitable.

    Great ratio.
    That would be to calculate the ratio of an aircraft carrier (even three) - the East coast of China, for a start, of course. bully
    PS So cool on Google to look at this very coast. Hiroshima's density is just resting there.
    PS2 There, however, in the east, all the Chinese wonders of the economy are concentrated. So we have a chance to sell Rubin TVs in Europe.
  21. Garik
    Garik 25 October 2013 15: 15
    +1
    No one will go into direct battle against the country with nuclear weapons. China, if it begins to expand, is only economic and political. As now, for example, Americans widely use human rights in their interests to enslave the world am
  22. Lenhard
    Lenhard 25 October 2013 15: 33
    0
    And what about Russia here? How is this presented? China attacks Russia or what? So now they’re not fighting. Justification for war, internal destabilization is needed. Assistance to separatists, rebels, etc. They create tension on the border and inside the powers, and then if the country can’t quickly cope, then weak, then the invasion takes place.
  23. Lenhard
    Lenhard 25 October 2013 15: 35
    0
    We can and should sell weapons. This is money. And money is the further development of the military-industrial complex. This is not static, it is an ongoing process. In this process, you need to be 2 steps ahead, then you will be fine. But to sit on arms and not sell to anyone is stupid.
  24. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 25 October 2013 15: 35
    0
    China always, even when it was "trampled in the mud" (1786-1946), did not go along with all the different "partners", "friends", "colleagues in quartets", etc. China has always pursued a policy aimed only at satisfying its interests. China will never "pour water" on the mill of any state, no matter what kind of "friendly" relations they have. China will always and everywhere pursue only its own interests. The whole success of China consists in systematically bending its line, defending its position everywhere and always. Studying someone else's experience: both positive and negative, testing it for oneself and using it in one's own interests, without regard to the attitude of any, any country to this, is the basis of China's economic and military strategy. China does not and will not have "friends", "partners" and so on. China is selfish in its essence and this is its strength. China will never "feed" or "help" anyone, etc. China is self-sufficient and knows how to satisfy its needs at the expense of others. China has long figured out a simple truth: "money is nothing, and resources are everything. The more resources, the more opportunities, the more opportunities, the more dominance." China using, in fact, useless candy wrappers-money began its expansion, slow but inevitable. Russia is doing everything in an absolutely opposite way, I don't even know why: either out of stupidity, or because our entire government is in fact completely pro-Western and not patriotic, or maybe even quite bad planted on the leadership and controlled by Western, such as "partners".
  25. Lenhard
    Lenhard 25 October 2013 15: 37
    0
    And now no one will work without money.
  26. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 25 October 2013 16: 01
    0
    This refers to savings. The type of "stabilization", "reserve" and other funds that do not work for the economy.
  27. Corsair5912
    Corsair5912 25 October 2013 16: 36
    +4
    As long as the United States maintains its military superiority in the foreseeable future, China has opportunities to weaken this advantage. This can have a positive effect on both sides, given that both superpowers will hold one another. China and the United States are becoming increasingly interdependent and share many interests. These beneficial relationships can reduce the risk of conflict. However, it is worth remembering that in both world wars of the previous century, Germany was the main trading partner of Britain.

    Let these cyku cling to each other and restrain each other even to the end of the world, it won’t hurt Russia. We also need time to prepare asymmetric responses. So far, geography helps us to restrain the Chinese.
  28. tomich
    tomich 25 October 2013 20: 10
    0
    a pair of missiles, especially Chinese-made. when it is still not known where they will fly, such a system as Aegis. it’s unrealistic to kill, such systems aren’t so easily killed, the Americans, of course, where are they to the Chinese comrades. who steal or buy all the technology
  29. Rus2012
    Rus2012 25 October 2013 20: 19
    0
    Quote: aszzz888
    It seems too early for the PRC and its military industry. Or they will copy it from someone again.

    :)))))
    ... and assuming that ALL THIS jointly developed, and it is known with whom;)
    Then kaG?
  30. Goldmitro
    Goldmitro 25 October 2013 22: 36
    +2
    <<< Therefore, the PLA is developing a whole range of asymmetric strategies to contain the United States. The Chinese navy is not focused on opposing an American aircraft carrier with its aircraft carrier, and a ship with a ship, >>>
    Very reasonable policy! And Russia, given the modest financial capabilities and insufficient production and technological capacities, should use this strategy in the development of the Navy! It’s cheaper and faster to equip our Navy with the means of guaranteed neutralization of aircraft carriers, rather than chasing after the Americans and symmetrically creating your carrier fleet! This is how many years it will take Russia to build not just ten, but at least a few aircraft carrier groups, and does Russia have time for this?
    1. Rus2012
      Rus2012 26 October 2013 11: 58
      0
      Quote: Goldmitro
      It’s cheaper and faster to equip our Navy with the means of guaranteed neutralization of aircraft carriers, rather than chasing after the Americans and symmetrically creating your carrier fleet!

      The right thought!
      Moreover, the components of a possible system were available, or are: RSD of the "Pioneer" type, RDD "Topol", homing warheads on the Aerophone theme, preliminary target designation systems (over-the-horizon radar early warning systems, satellites of the "Liana" system).
      And the system practiced by the Chinese is based on these ideas and principles ...;)))
      With due attention ... years through 3-5, quite such a system can get onto the database. Especially if you do it together with the PRC :)))
  31. Vladimir 23rus
    Vladimir 23rus 16 December 2013 04: 02
    0
    Quote: Ingvar 72
    Quote: Canep
    attractive target is Taiwan.

    They live quickly and swallow quickly. In Taiwan, no resources, no territories. Taiwan is their first on the list. I wonder what Russia is on this list? I think that we are in the top three.


    for any enter.