Modern Large Ship Naval Battle Lessons

A Type 42 Destroyer of the Royal Navy. Photo courtesy of Luis Holden thru Wikipedia Commons.
A Type 42 Destroyer of the Royal Navy. Photo courtesy of Luis Holden thru Wikipedia Commons.

This is a continuation to my previous blog, “Missile Naval Battle Lessons”, except this time I am summarizing battles involving larger missile-armed ships of least 1,000-tons, or what most navies would call as “Frigates”. By summarizing results from actual battles, I am hoping we could get valuable information on how weapons and equipment performed in actual battle conditions.

‘Battle Examples’
There aren’t that many major battles in modern times involving these large ships, in fact it seems there are only 2: The Falklands War, and Operation Praying Mantis. Because of this I have slightly relaxed the criteria for the examples of battles to be included in this summary to as follows:
– Must involve at least 1 missile-armed large ship;
– Must involve a ship having been sunk, or heavily damaged enough to be stopped dead in the water, or put out of commission for the duration of the conflict.
– Also included examples of ships shooting down aircraft or missiles.

I’ve decided to focus on ships and aircraft for this blog, and did not included event involving submarines as I intend to do 1 or 2 separate blogs about them later on.

(NOTE: Some of the data available right now involving these examples contradict with each other, like the number of planes shot down, for example, hence I just try to resolve them by cross referencing with other sources and/or just using my own judgment to confirm which information I think is correct).

* Sinking of HMS Sheffield, May 4, 1982, the Falklands Islands off the Coast of Argentina
Background: Argentinian aircraft attack the 4,800-ton Type 42 class Destroyer HMS Sheffield as part of the Falklands War.
Battle Accounts:
+ 2 Argentinian Super Etendard Attack Aircraft were vectored by a Neptune SP-2H Surveillance aircraft to the location of the Sheffield. The Super Etendards then attack the ship with 2 AM39 Exocet Missiles, 1 of which hit the ship causing massive damages.
+ Sheffield’s radar was off since she was using her satellite communications equipment due to compatibility issues with the radar, and was unable to detect the incoming aircraft or missiles until it was too late.
+ The ship sank a couple of days later under tow due to rough seas.

* Attack on HMS Brilliant and HMS Glasgow, May 12, 1982, the Falklands Islands off the Coast of Argentina
Background: Argentinian aircraft attack the 4,400-ton Type 22 class Frigate HMS Brilliant and 4,820-ton Type 42 class Destroyer HMS Glasgow as part of the Falklands War.
Battle Accounts:
+ The HMS Brilliant shoot down 3 of 4 attacking Skyhawks with its Sea Wolf Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs).
+ Another 3 Skyhawks attack the Glasgow, 1 bomb hit but did not explode, although damaging the Glasgow’s fuel system and 2 engines causing it to miss the rest of the war.

* Sinking of HMS Ardent, May 21, 1982, the Falklands Islands off the Coast of Argentina
Background: Argentinian aircraft attack the British ships 3,200-ton Leander class Frigate HMS Argonaut and 3,250-ton Type 21 class Frigate HMS Ardent as part of the Falklands War.
Battle Accounts:
+ 6 A-4B Skyhawks attack the HMS Argonaut with 10 bombs, 2 of which hit but did not explode. The bombs caused massive damages to the Argonaut, causing the ship to be put out of action for the rest of the war.
+ 3 Argentine A-4Q Skyhawks attack the HMS Ardent striking her with 7 227kg bombs causing massive damages which eventually led to the sinking of the ship.

* Sinking of HMS Antelope, May 23, 1982, the Falklands Islands off the Coast of Argentina.
Background: Argentinian aircraft attack the British ships 3,250-ton Type 21 class Frigate HMS Antelope and 4,400-ton Type 22 class Frigate HMS Broadsword as part of the Falklands War.
Battle Accounts:
+ 4 A-4B Skyhawks attack the HMS Antelope, hitting it with 2 454kg bombs that failed to explode. Attempts to defuse the unexploded bombs resulted in an accidental explosion that sank the ship.
+ 1 out of the 4 Skyhawks above was shot down by a Sea Wolf SAM from the HMS Broadsword.

* Sinking of HMS Coventry, May 25, 1982, the Falklands Islands off the Coast of Argentina
Background: Argentinian aircraft attack the 4,800-ton Type 42 class Destroyer HMS Coventry as part of the Falklands War.
Battle Accounts:
+ The Coventry shoots down 2 A-4 Skyhawks with Sea Dart SAMs
+ Another 4 Argentine A-4 Skyhawk aircraft hit the Coventry with 3 bombs, 2 of which exploded and causing the ship to sink. The aircraft flew at low altitude over ground and the Coventry’s radar was unable to detect them until it was too late. The Coventry was only able to launch 1 Sea Dart SAM against her attackers which missed.

* Attack on the Carrier Battle Group, May 30, 1982, the Falklands Islands off the Coast of Argentina
Background: Argentinian aircraft attack the British Carrier Battle Group which included the 16,000-ton Invincible-class Aircraft Carrier HMS Invincible, 3,250-ton Type 21 class Frigate HMS Avenger and 4,800-ton Type 42 class Destroyer HMS Exeter as part of the Falklands War.
Battle Accounts:
+ 2 Argentine Super Etendard launches 2 Exocet missiles at the Carrier Battle Group. Supporting warships for the Invincible launches Chaff to decoy away the missiles, which then passed in between the HMS Exter and HMS Avenger. Unfortunately the missiles hit the undefended Atlantic Conveyor causing damages which eventually led to her sinking.
+ Later that day, 2 out of 4 Skyhawks attacking the HMS Avenger with bombs were shot down by Sea Dart SAMs from the nearby HMS Exeter.

* Attack on the USS Stark, May 17, 1987, Off the Coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf
Background: An Iraqi F-1EQ mistakenly attacks the 4,100-ton Oliver Hazard Perry class USS Stark.
Battle Accounts:
+ An F-1EQ is detected by the USS Stark which it did not consider as a serious threat as US-Iraqi relations then were decent. The F-1EQ mistakes the Stark as a tanker, and fires 2 AM-39 Exocet missiles at it. For some reason that was never revealed up to now, the Stark was unable to detect the incoming missiles on radar.
+ The Stark took no evasive or countermeasure actions against the missiles, both of which hit but whose warheads failed to detonate. The unburnt fuel from the missiles caused massive fires, but the excellent firefighting skills of the crew managed to save the ship from sinking.

* Operation Praying Mantis, April 18, 1988, in the Persian Gulf
Background: US Carrier Naval fleet attack military installations in Iran in retaliation of Iran’s mining of the Persian Gulf which led to the damage of an American naval ship.
Battle Accounts:
+ The 1,100-ton Alvand class Frigate IIS Sahand fires Anti Aircraft Artillery (AAA) and Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) at 2 A-6E Intruders, which fired back 2 Harpoon Anti Ship Missiles (AShMs) and 4 AGM-123 Rocket-powered Laser-Guided Bombs, severely damaging it. An Adams class Destroyer also joined in on the attack on the Sahand using another Harpoon Missile, and the effects of the combined weapons finally causing the Sahand to sink.
+ The Sahand’s sister ship, the IIS Sabalan, later also fires off AAA and MANPADS at another A-6 Intruder which the Intruder was able to avoid. The Sabalan was heavily damaged using a laser-guided bomb by the counter-attacking Intruder, but was not finished off.

* Silkworm Attack on US Ships, April 18, 1988, in the Persian Gulf
Background: The American ships 4,100-ton Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigate USS Gary, the 3,280-ton Charles F. Adams class Destroyer USS Joseph Strauss, the 4,100-ton Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigate USS Jack Williams and 8,000-ton Spruance class Destroyer USS O’Brien are attacked with Silkworm missiles by Iran as retaliation for sinking of their ships as part of Operation Praying Mantis.
Battle Accounts:
+ A Silkworm missile is detected attacking the American Mobile Sea Bases (MSB) in the Persian Gulf. The guard ship, the USS Gary moves in between the missile and the MSBs and tries to shoot down the missile. Radar limitation keep the Gary from using its SAMs thus had to rely on its 76 mm cannon. At around 13 km the missile splashes into the sea and the Gary claims a kill, but this is never officially confirmed.
+ The USS Joseph Strauss, USS Jack Williams and USS O’Brien are attacked by 3 waves of at least 6 Silkworm missiles while transiting the Straits of Hormuz. All the missiles miss due to the ships’ use of evasive maneuvers, ECM and sophisticated decoys such as the SeaGnat System (IR, Chaff and Active decoys), Torch (IR decoy) and AN/SLQ-49 (floatable, inflatable radar-reflecting decoy). 1 Silkworm missile was seen by multiple witness missing by passing in between and then behind the ships.
+ Iran used a helicopter with Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) and a C-130 to spot the location of the ships and relay targeting information to their missile batteries.

A Dassault Super Etendard. Photo courtesy of Airwolfhound thru Flickr.
A Dassault Super Etendard. Photo courtesy of Airwolfhound thru Flickr.

* Shooting Down of a Silkworm Missile, February 25, 1991, Off the coast of Faylakah Island in Iraq
Background: American ships shelling the Faylakah Island are attacked with Silkworm missiles by Iraq as part of the Gulf War.
Battle Accounts:
+ Iraqi Silkworm missiles based on shore platforms were launched at American ships. A Sea Dart SAM from the HMS Gloucester shoots down 1 of the missiles in the first and only known case so far of a SAM shooting down an Anti-Ship Missile.
+ The Phalanx CIWS of the USS Jarrett mistakenly attacks at a chaff cloud launched by the USS Missouri, causing minor damage on the battleship.

‘Summary’
Below first is the summary of ships that have been sunk or heavily damaged and aircraft that have been shot down by ships in the above battles:
Large_Ship_Hits

The next list shows the missiles that have been decoyed off or intercepted in the above battles:
AShM_Misses

* Hesitance to Commit Large Ships to Combat – If you’ve noticed, there are no large ship versus large ship example in the battles above, its usually between aircraft or shore-based platforms versus large ships, and one main reason for this is that large ships are expensive so navies tend to afford only a few of them at a time and thus there might be a reluctance to field them for most navies, except for those that can afford to lose them.

In the case of Argentina, for example, who only had 11 major surface combatants fielded in the theater of operations during the Falklands War, of which only 5 were only truly modern (2 Type 42 class Destroyers, 3 Drummond class Corvettes) while the rest including their aircraft carrier were World War 2 relics. So when their 2nd largest ship, the ARA General Belgrano was sunk by the nuclear attack submarine the HMS Conqueror, all their ships promptly went back to their ports to hide, leaving the fighting to their Air Force and Army which suffered heavy losses. The Iranian Navy was even worst off, having only 4 Frigates and committing only half of them piecemeal against the US Navy. It seems only the richest and most powerful countries like that of the US and the UK have the numbers and deep pockets to commit large navies into battle.

* Better SAMs Effective at Shooting Down Aircraft – Armed with longer-ranged SAMs with heavier warheads enabled larger ships to be effective at shooting down aircraft. Frigates and Destroyers were able to shoot down at least 8 aircraft (all A-4 Skyhawks, 4 by Sea Wolf missiles and another 4 by Sea Dart missiles), plus a couple more helicopters, propeller-driven attack aircraft, etc. which I did not include in the examples as I only considered the more difficult targets and/or those that posed a direct threat to ships. Also not included are a couple more aircraft shot down by ships which have contested or shared claims with other weapons. In comparison, Missile Boats equipped only with Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) were only able to shoot down 2 aircraft or 4 times LESS than that of larger ships.

* Aircraft Continue to be a Problem even for Larger Ships – Despite the fact that larger ships have better air defenses and have shot down more aircraft, it has not been enough of a deterrent as aircraft still accounted for 9 ships sunk or heavily damaged, broken down to 3 Destroyers and 6 Frigates. This is specially true for the Type 42 Destroyers which were the state-of-the-art Anti-Air Warfare ships with some of the best SAMs and best naval radar systems of its time, and yet 3 of them were sunk or put out of action by the aircraft they were supposed to shoot down. In terms of attrition, the numbers doesn’t bode well for ships in that ship losses in terms of COST and DEATHS are higher than aircraft losses because each ship costs a lot higher and has a lot more crew to lose than aircraft.

However, not mentioned in the accounts above is the fact that carrier-based aircraft in the Falklands War accounted for shooting down more than 20 jet attack aircraft, or more than twice the number of aircraft shot down by ships. Hence, if you have an aircraft carrier, you can expect to make attacking aircraft pay a higher price for sinking or damaging ships, but most navies around the world like ours can’t afford to own and maintain a single aircraft carrier (let alone multiple aircraft carriers), although we have to note that our opponent China has them and shows how much of a problem we have going up against them.

* Active Radar Guidance Susceptible to Softkill Systems – Anti-Ship Missiles with active-radar Guidance systems seems to be “overrated” in that they are susceptible to missing their targets if “softkill” systems such as Electronic Counter Measures (ECMs) and Decoys are used against them. They work VERY WELL against targets NOT using softkill defensive systems (like the attacks on the USS Stark, HMS Sheffield and the IIS Sahand), but when softkill defenses are up (like in the case of the attack on the British Carrier Group in the Falklands War or the US Ships in the Persian Gulf), they end up MISSING their targets each and every time. This goes way back to the Missile Boat examples, and it doesn’t matter which missile is used, be it a Styx, Silkworm, Exocet or Harpoon, they have problems finding their targets if a combination of ECM and decoys are used.

Take the Exocet missile hits so far, for example. Argentina only had 5 missiles during the Falklands War, and 4 missiles scored hits on 3 targets. But all 3 targets either did NOT have decoys, or for one reason or another were not able to activate their decoys. In fact, the 2 Exocets that hit the Atlantic Conveyor were decoyed off other ships which then hit the biggest target it could find that was not armed with decoys. If you include the Exocet missiles that hit the USS Stark, then that’s 6 missiles hitting 4 targets not using decoys.

* Hard Kill Systems Have Limited Effectiveness Against Missiles – So far there has only been 2 instances of missiles being shot down by hardkill systems over the 4 decades of use of Anti-Ship Missiles (AShMs), and that is a probable by the USS Gary using its 76 mm guns, and the HMS Gloucester using its Sea Dart SAM, both times against Silkworm missiles. In instances where the British Carrier Force in the Falklands War and US Task Force in the Strait of Hormuz were attacked by missiles and tried to shoot it down using SAMs and CIWS, they have been unable to do so, indicating the limited effectiveness in actual combat of these as of now. At the time of the Falklands War, the British ships did not have any gun-based CIWS and relied mostly on their SAMs and main guns, but the American ships that participated in Operation Praying Mantis already had the Phalanx CIWS.

‘Lessons Learned’

* Fleet Build Up – We will really need to build up on our fleet because if not, there might be a hesitance to commit enough of them into battle to make a difference, as in the case of Argentina and Iran. Right now we have 5 modern ships, broken down to 3 Jacinto-class and 2 Hamilton-class ships. Another Hamilton-class ship could be added plus the 2 new Frigates would put our modern surface combatants to 8. However, the Jacintos and Hamiltons needs to be improved to make them more combat capable, like adding sophisticated decoys, decent-ranged SAMs and Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability. If those 2 classes will not be improved, we will then only have 2 capable ships in the new Frigates.

If we can have 8 modern and capable combat ships, then we could add a couple more Corvette-sized ships as “force multipliers”, to have enough ships to commit for combat. However, an even better option would be SUBMARINES as they are arguably the most effective naval combatant after aircraft carriers. If we could get 4-6 Diesel-Electric propulsion Submarines into our fleet, I feel this would be enough to make an effective threat to intimidate China. The topic of Submarines will be discussed more in a future blog.

The Sea Wolf Surface to Air Missile which proved to be effective during the Falklands War. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
The Sea Wolf Surface to Air Missile which proved to be effective during the Falklands War. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

* Airborne Surveillance Support is Critical for Ships – One reason why aircraft continue to be a problem for ships is first because their radar are hampered by the Horizon problem (for more on this, see my blog “Radar Detection and The Horizon Distance” about this), enabling aircraft and/or missiles to fly low above the surface of the sea mostly undetected. Second, if the ships are near the shore, aircraft can hide behind terrain (i.e., mountains, hills, etc.) when making their attack. In both instances, ships then have less warning and reaction to counter the attack.

Aircraft are less susceptible to the horizon problem and low-flying aircraft/missiles hiding behind terrain because they and their radars can operate at much higher altitudes, and thus could give ships earlier warning of an attack, allowing the ships to deploy their countermeasures properly. Hence I feel AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING (AEW) support is critical for ships. All the American Ships during Operation Praying Mantis had air warning support which helped them survive the Silkworm missile attacks.

Aircraft can also be used offensively to spot the location of enemy fleets and provide targeting information to various weapons platforms including ships. This is how the Argentinians were able to direct their Exocet armed Super Etendards, and also how the Iranians directed their Silkworm attacks on the American ships. The Philippine Air Force is acquiring Maritime Surveillance aicraft, it wouldn’t hurt for the Philippine Navy to acquire some of their own to specifically support their ships.

* Softkill and Hardkill Systems – Even with AEW cover, ships will still need the proper weapons to employ against AIRCRAFT, hence SAMs with good range and decent warhead size will still be needed. I did mention a 12 km range minimum for SAMs as acceptable in my last blog about missile boats, and I think that still stands for now, although the longer the range of the SAMs, the better. The US Navy seems to have adopted the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) as their minimum point defence SAM with its 50 km range, but these missiles of course cost more than shorter-ranged missiles. CIWS so far has shown limited effectiveness against missiles, but they are still useful as another weapon for use as part of a LAYERED defense system.

Against MISSILES, softkill weapons seems to be the best systems to use, and right now in our navy only the Del Pilar-class ships have a decent decoy system with their Mk 36 Super Rapid-Blooming Off-Board Chaff (SRBOC). I think our ships will need to use ECM equipment also and more sophisticated types of decoys like “active” or radar-reflecting decoys in order for them to have better protection against missiles.

* AShMs Limitations – AShMs with active-radar guidance systems does seem to be vulnerable to softkill systems, but unfortunately all large AShMs available in the market right now in the west uses this type of guidance. They do work, but only against ships NOT using softkill systems (like in the case of the IIS Sabalan and other Missile Boat examples), or if a ship is SURPRISED and is unable to employ her softkill systems in time (like in the case of the USS Stark or HMS Sheffield).

Hence for now, if we are going to get large AShMs, no choice but to get those with active-radar guidance systems. Sometimes I do think it would be better to just put 1 or 2 more rapid-firing 76mm gun turrets instead of AShMs, but then again doing that means you wouldn’t be able to exploit some tactical situations where AshMs would still work, plus the fact that large AShMs still have much longer ranges than guns (for now).

* Better AShMs Needed – A better guidance system is needed for AShMs, one that is more reliable and not easily fooled by decoys, like one which puts a man-in-the-loop when the missile is homing in on the target. This probably explains the trend of using Semi-Active Laser Homing (SALH) systems among naval vessels nowadays as it is one such type of guidance system where an operator need to manually designate a target with laser which the missile homes on to. But SALH missiles does have weaknesses also in that it the operator won’t be able to take aggressive evasive maneuvers while designating the target, and only one target at a time can be designated. It is also susceptible to fog or other weather conditions, and to thick smoke.

Another example of a guidance system with a man-in-the-loop is the AGM-65 Maverick’s Electro-Optical Imaging Infra-Red (EO-IIR) system, and the fact that we are buying them seems to show that we made the right decision. However these Mavericks only have limited range, and their EO-IIR has not yet been adopted to larger and longer-ranged missiles, and it remains to be seen if they will ever be.

Another solution would be LONG-RANGE, STEALTH AShMs because even if they use active-radar guidance systems, their combination of range and stealth speed means ships won’t know they are under attack until it is too late, giving ships less chances to deploy their countermeasures properly, increasing the chances of the missiles scoring a hit. But availability of these missiles is still at least half a decade away as of now.

‘Parting Shot’
To summarize the lessons that I feel were gained from the above exercise:
– The PhN will need to improve the capability of its existing modern ships and acquire more naval vessels to have enough ships to commit effectively in combat.
– Airborne Surveillance support for ships is critical for both defensive (protection of ships from aircraft and missiles) and offensive (locate enemies and direct weapons platforms) purposes.
– Sufficient protection from aircraft using SAMs with at least 12 km range is needed, and so is the use of more sophisticated decoy systems for protection against missiles
– Current AShMs are effective only in certain tactical situations, stressing still the importance of naval guns in major battles.
– The development of more effective long-range stealth AShMs need to be followed closely as once they go into service they will expand the range of tactical situations where AShMs would be effective, and could tip the balance of technology in favor of the AShMs slightly.

There has been no large ship versus large ship in the engagements I have gathered so far, but I would imagine that if a modern ship-versus-ship battle does occur, it would be something like this: Say for example 2 ships of EQUAL sophistication face off, each with AShMs, decoys, ECM, SAMs, CIWS and guns, and each with sufficient airborne observation support. They are aware of each others attack and start the engagement with their longest ranged weapons, usually the AShMs. Most of the AShMs will be decoyed off, some will be shot down by the SAMs and CIWS.

Ultimately both run out of missiles and thus have to close the gap between them to use their guns. In such a scenario, the ship with the bigger gun seems to have the advantage, but large modern fast-firing guns are prone to fouling, as the US Navy ships with their 125 mm guns found out during encounters with Iranian Swarm Boats, and once the main gun stops firing, the ship will be in trouble as most only carry 1 gun. Hence the ship with the more reliable gun will win. 76 mm guns use less gunpowder and thus could be more reliable and less susceptible to fouling, and it may pay to have more than just one of them.

If such a scenario will hold true, then it is ironic that in this day and age of missiles, naval ships could STILL end up firing cannon broadsides at each other in major naval battles, only their guns would be more accurate with their stabilized mounts and computerized fire control system …

A Mk 36 Super Rapid Blooming Chaff (SRBOC) Decoy Launcher. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
A Mk 36 Super Rapid Blooming Chaff (SRBOC) Decoy Launcher. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

REFERENCES:

NAVAL VESSELS:

* USS Stark incident, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Stark_incident

* Type 42 Destroyer, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_42_destroyer

* HMS Antelope (F170), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Antelope_(F170)

* HMS Coventry (D118), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Coventry_(D118)

* HMS Brilliant (F90), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Brilliant_(F90)

* HMS Glasgow (D88), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Glasgow_(D88)

* HMS Plymouth (F126), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Plymouth_(F126)

* HMS Antrim (D18), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Antrim_(D18)

* HMS Argonaut (F56), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Argonaut_(F56)

* HMS Invincible (R05), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Invincible_(R05)

* USS Jack Williams (FFG-24), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Jack_Williams_(FFG-24)

* USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Joseph_Strauss_(DDG-16)

* USS O’Brien (DD-975), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_O’Brien_(DD-975)

* USS Gary (FFG-51), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Gary_(FFG-51)

* Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_naval_forces_in_the_Falklands_War

WEAPONS AND SENSORS:

* Silkworm (missile), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silkworm_(missile)

* Seagnat, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seagnat

* AN/SLQ-49 Chaff Buoy Decoy System, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/SLQ-49_Chaff_Buoy_Decoy_System

* Exocet, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exocet

* Sea Wolf (missile), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Wolf_(missile)

* Sea Dart (missile), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Dart_(missile)

CONFLICTS:

* TAB H — Friendly-fire Incidents, http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/du_ii/du_ii_tabh.htm

* Operation Praying Mantis, “America’s First Clash with Iran: The Tanker War” by Lee Allain Zatarain

* Sinking of the HMS Sheffield, http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121026065214/http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/D5E979F4-CD1D-4626-86B5-F432355861EA/0/phase2_part2_narrative_of_attach.pdf

AIRCRAFT:

* Argentine Skyhawks in the Malvinas, http://a4skyhawk.org/2e/argentina/falklands-malvinas/argentina-malvinas.htm

* Naval History, Part 54 – Argentine Aircraft Lost, http://www.naval-history.net/F64-Falklands-Argentine_aircraft_lost.htm

Advertisements

72 thoughts on “Modern Large Ship Naval Battle Lessons”

  1. Take away the fact that we cant arm ourselves fast enough there is one advantage we have over the chinese and that is our proximity to the conflict area. Provided we have enough long range missile batteries that are shore based we can overwhelm their softkill systems coupled with over the horizon targeting systems. If they fire the first shot. But intimidation wise we really have to have these frigate class ships to loiter and stake our claim. We also have to have mrfs to defend those shore based batteries. Unlike the argentinians we are more defensive in posture and will only attack if attacked. Unless they go after our batteries it is already equal to waging war with rp already.

    1. Yes, logistically we would have the advantage because we are nearer while the Chinese will have to come with their logistics from thousands of kilometers away.

      Also, if China decides to invade mainland Philippines (which is unlikely), they would play the role of the British while we would play the role of the Argentines since we will be defending our territory. Like the Argentines, we will also be fighting a superior naval power …

  2. Going with the wisdom of your write up, it would appear that the ongoing modernization of our armed forces particularly the Navy, is not yet even halfway. In fact, they are still virtually on scratch when it comes to missiles and other modern and advanced munitions…

    It makes me doubly pissed off with that comments made by that moronic solon from Isabela.

    1. Well, at least the ball is rolling in terms of modernization. We need another military-savvy and honest President, the big question is, will the ‘masa’ elect one?

      As for Albano, remember that when ZTE tried bribed Abalos during Arroyo’s time, the amount they bribed him with was P 300 million. That is how rich China is, and how much money they are willing to part to bribe politicians, hence from there you could sort of understand where some of these politicians are coming from.

      1. With the indictment of Estrada and Enrile, Binay will have a mountain to move in convincing the masses that he is not one of them or is not going to tolerate them.
        Roxas meanwhile is just getting himself embedded deeply with the citizenry on HIGHLY credible public service performance anchored “daang matuwid” of the administration.
        Cayetano is still seeking stability as serious presidential contender while Escudero is once again not bold about his plans other than marrying that luscious Tsinita beauty.
        Marcos, well, he will be as good as what his surname has in store but winning the presidential derby at this time when an Aquino is lording it over is kind of remote.
        Revilla, one barber said that how could you make him president when even his own siblings are killing each other over money and has not done anything to settle or resolve it.

      2. Nope, don’t underestimate Binay. The masses don’t vote logically, and will find ways to justify Binay’s corruption. So far a lot of things going with Binay, he LOOKS like an ordinary person, and so far has been very smart playing his cards, always playing humble, never really antagonizing PNoy. I am afraid Binay will still be a tough nut to crack this coming elections.

        I will N-E-V-E-R vote for Roxas even if PNoy shoves him to my face. He is incompetent and possibly corrupt (Delfin Lee), and worst of all antagonized responsible gun owners like me. Sorry, but after what Roxas did to us, I don’t have the stomach to vote for him.

      3. I have seen the VP once during his tenure as a mayor. He is wearing a baseball cap, shades, walking shorts, in tsinelas (without any bodyguard) in a PUJ after a ‘recce” of our area.
        Can you beat that?
        Above all, what we need as a head of the republic is an administrator, not a legislator. If not the VP, then a strong man from Davao.

      4. He hasn’t been very supportive about the AFP Modernization, though. In fact, he seems to be evading the topic as he hasn’t really said anything about it.

      5. Yeah, but whether you like it or not, it will be a Roxas vs Binay II showdown looming in 2016. And I don’t see Binay continuing what PNoy’s has been doing now especially the fight against corruption and the AFP modernization. Am not sure with Roxas but at least he’s a safer bet if we want to see continuity of the reforms, gains and progress we’re seeing now.

        Here in Southern Mindanao, it will be a close call but in Davao City, I believe Roxas has the edge even though he lost to Binay here in 2010. That’s because Rody Duterte promised to support to whomever Pnoy will endorse. And history-wise, Davao has voted for every Malacanang occupier since 1986 except for one- FPJ. But he did win, right?

      6. Much as I would like to see the modernization of the country’s armed forces continue beyond 2016, the offense Roxas committed is more personal as firearms are more personal or closer to home for me. Perhaps he underestimated the influence of responsible gun owners, or maybe he is just plain stupid, but I just don’t feel it will be worth it for me to vote for him. I will let others vote for him if they want to, but for me, no.

        Frankly if he wins, it means more modernization for the AFP but also more gun restrictions, to the point that owning firearms would be too expensive and restrictive, so its not all positive.

    1. Yeah, you’re right about that, but I feel the analogy should be more or less the same in terms of the fact that the British were on offense while the Argentines were on defense. Any war with China would likely involve only the Spratly’s Islands and surrounding territory, so more or less its likely at some time in the future we will lose those. Interesting view from LKY: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/04/02/1307942/lee-kuan-yew-china-philippines-row-closure-unlikely

    2. Britain went to war to claim Falkland and not invade Argentina because if it did, UK will lose the war due to political pressure just like what happened to US in Vietnam.
      Besides, Britain despite its military might, is not capable overpowering Argentina in an invasion scenario.
      I strongly believe also that China, despite being a military giant, cannot afford invading PH because it will be a case of monumental blunder for that bully nation.
      But they will remain just like that, a BULLY for as long as US is still the undisputed global superpower and is a PH ally.

  3. Good research but this is a 1980 technology era. Technology niw a dats is stealthy, supersonic and hypersonic with multiple warhead, development of evasive radar sensors with combination of IR and INS/GPS or optics guided missiles, and jamming capability of the enemy at sea and air operation. Not to mention their bombers with precision guided munition and air to ground missiles with 50Km beyond range. And alsi withthe support of lower orbitting satellite and more quite attac T thk submarine platform. So for our country we should strategically study our defense if posture. Not to mention the Ultra High Electromagnetic Wave in the field of EWS. The enemy can strike at long distance with massive munitions.

    1. Yeah, but I feel that the lessons learned should still be valid unless proven otherwise. Technology for both missiles and their countermeasures do advance, and they advance at the same time. The only question is, which technology advanced at a faster rate? Has missile technology advanced faster than the countermeasures against it, or not? Its hard to say, unless we see it in actual battle, or during actual combat simulated exercises …

    2. No, question about the advancement in technology but it do not mean that what works effectively before will no longer work now. At least the deterrence is there.

      Even a more sophisticated SWAT team will not always be successful against a threat armed only with a knife and a handgun. The reality of the matter is that it will always boil down on how the card is played. A squad armed with M4 Carbine AR will not always be successful against a squad armed with WWII vintage M1 Garand- I guarantee you that.

      Indeed, It would be foolish to think or believe that we can match China in numbers and in technology but what is important for PH to build on is its defense to be at least on minimum deterrence.

      China is way ahead of us but not in “brains”. In fact, we “outdated” all their advanced military hardware and technology by intentionally running aground LST 57 (BRP Sierra Madre).

  4. i agree with that Deewii. we have to play smart. and one way to play smart instead we hide our world war 2 relics, let them be busy patrolling the west philippine sea side by side with the del pilars. thats the only way we will deter the chinese of extending their influence in our territory. as a matter of fact without the missiles those world war 2 relics can out gunned any modern ships patrolling the west philippine sea. it is bristled with 3 inch guns, 20mm and 40mm anti aircraft guns. dont think so chinese war ships will just fire in our navy ships just because they are there. but what i believe our ships must have water cannons if the chinese ships will fire us with water cannons. it is already shameful we already lack modern armaments but also we dont have water cannons.

  5. A naval skirmish in the WPS is an eventuallity. For me, I would rather prioritize having more planes with AShM, like at least 36 Gripens backed up by 12-18 FA-50 to do offensive battles, than slow frigates. If 5 Exocets can give give pause to the British Navy, how much more would 100+ AShM do greater damage to the Chinese Navy.

    A frigate is at least 10x much more expensive to obtain and maintain than a single MRF. We can easily afford planes but not frigates.

    Build up the Air force first, the navy later, just like what Israel did.

    1. Yep, a skirmish with China WILL HAPPEN, probably soon. China wants to make an example of us, to scare off all of the other countries in South East Asia. The SEA countries are already scared, China wants to scare them even more. Notice that NONE of our SEA neighbors expressed support when we filed our case against China in the international tribunal. Only the US and Japan supported us publicly, the rest of the SEA countries have been M-U-T-E as far as supporting us.

      As for aircraft … I don’t know. I like planes, but China will have aircraft carriers, so that will be a big problem for us. Right now I am more partial to submarines. Watch out for my next blog on that, by the way.

      1. Strongly agree with that observation. Whether we like it or not, China will really flex its muscle to show who’s the boss. Tibet, Vietnam, Mongolia, Formosa, India, and even Japan have been there and are still there. Remember 1989 Tiananmen Square? They massacred thousands of their own unarmed citizens just to showcase their cold-blooded reign.

        Tayo pa kaya? In one survey, they make it appear that Filipinos are their 2nd hated race, next only to the Japanese. So there’s little doubt on my mind that they will not hesitate to display their barbarism in the WPS.

        It’s a state that has little or even nil disregard for the suffering of others as long as it get its selfish motives. Worse, they are ruled by atheist communist leaders and can be best described in Tagalog as “Mga Utak Pulbura” and “Halang ang mga kaluluwa”. They know nothing about compassion.

      2. About the only good thing that will come out for us if China acts militarily in the Spratlys is that it will speed up the AFP Modernization even more. Right now, there is still a hesitance to commit to our modernization fully because the money could be used also elsewhere, but once China starts killing Filipinos then no choice really but to fully commit to having a strong military.

        PNoy committed around USD 2 Billion for the AFP Modernization, more could be spent if there will be skirmish with China, probably the next Administration can easily commit to twice that amount (just my guess, of course).

      3. Hi Deewll. Have you heard or read Von Schlieffen’s Vom Krieg?
        – It says: “War is a matter of intellect.” I think China’s leadership is well aware of its content.

      4. Yes, I agree we will have a skirmish with China sooner or later. but an invasion is a little far fetched. We are treaty ally of the US and invading the Philippines is a big blunder coz it will justify the US bringing more of its forces to Asia. What I am worried about is their medium range missiles that could hit a large portion of Luzon. China is also known for staging quick attacks and getting out quickly even before its adversary could react. In almost all of history’s naval battles where ships and aircraft are involved, the aircraft emerged the victor , we should strenghten our air force as aircraft has the speed to react decisively against threats from air or sea.

      5. China has Ballistic and Cruise Missiles which could easily hit static strategic targets anywhere in the country, which is why I prefer the Hawk XXI SAM for the Philippine Army because if it uses the larger MIM-23 missile, it will have some Anti Ballistic Missile capability to protect some of these targets (won’t do much against Cruise Missiles, though).

        As for aircraft, yes, aircraft did generally well against ships. However, in the case of Argentina, they lost around 30 jet fighters to enemy fighter aircraft and SAMs. So expect heavy losses also for aircraft especially with China having aircraft carriers and Super Flankers. We will need to stock up on a lot of aircraft, probably at least 60.

        But I feel Submarines are more promising, though. I think around 6 Diesel-Electric Submarines would be enough to seriously China at sea …

      6. Yes Argentina lost many planes during the Falkland war, but these were the ones who were trying to hit the ships with dumb bombs at point blank range.

        Had all these planes equipped with 2-4 Exocets each firing at stand-off distances, probably none would have been lost, and no British ships would have made it home, including both 2 aircraft carriers Invincible and Hermes.

        For me, unless proven otherwise, fast, highly manueverable navy strike planes can bring heavy damage to slow ships. This has been true since WWII.

      7. The Skyhawks and Daggers that the Argentines have were not certified to carry the Exocet because they had no radar, only the Super Etendards were certified for the Exocet since they had search radars.

        After the war, the Skyhawks were upgraded with radar, I don’t know if they were then certified to carry AShMs in the league of the Exocet …

    2. I also agree with you. Though israel had it better since its only a tiny nation with small borders compared to us. So the assumption is relative. In the scheme of things it is indeed cheaper but a ship can loiter longer and somewhat be our mobile outpost and sovereign real estate at sea. We must get a minimum of 10 frigates then 100 mrfs equipped with exocets or harpoons, 20 radar stations, a squad of p3’s or p8’s, an awac, mobile or silo based ashm or cruise missiles (a lot of them), sams for runway and harbor protection. We should not be another argentina. Just my opinion. Feel free to add and subtract.

      1. Standoff missiles like AshMs and cruise missiles were so popular in the past decades that many weapons industries made it a priority to develop defenses against them. So now, almost every naval ship is studded with softkill & hardkill systems. If these missiles aren’t cheap, we can swarm the Chinese frigates with it, hoping that their defenses will be overwhelmed, or wait for the upcoming hypersonic or smarter missiles that can assure successful penetration. We need decisive weapons that the enemies aren’t prepared for. Standoff torpedoes perhaps? 50+ km range and smart enough to distinguish decoys? I hope there’s one in the market,

      2. For now, personally I have doubts about “fire-and-forget” weapons. I used to be a big fan of them because of their tactical advantages, but now, I am not so much anymore. All large AShMs that I know of are active-radar or Imaging Infra-Red guided, hence for me no choice but to go with shorter-ranged weapons.

        DIRECT-FIRE NAVAL CANNONS (76 mm or 125 mm) will still work and no easy countermeasures against them. Range though is limited only to 16-24 km.

        SEMI-ACTIVE LASER HOMING (SALH) weapons put a man-in-the-loop (i.e., guided by a human operator) and have become quite popular these days. The Griffin and Jumper missiles and even the indirect-fire 155 mm Vulcano cannon rounds use SALH. SALH guidance have some disadvantages, but if you can keep that laser on target until the moment of impact, it seems to be quite accurate. Range is up to 50-60 km for the Jumper missile and 155 mm Vulcano.

        ELECTRO-OPTICAL IMAGING INFRA RED missiles like the Maverick also put a man-in-the-loop thus probably making it more accurate. Range is dependent on aircraft speed and height, though, usually around 25-40 km.

  6. Naval cannons hmmm. Now the only problem is the range. How far exactly are ayungin, panatag, pag asa from those pesky chinese coast guard. Can we make a natural corregidor again? Or we just swarm them with a hundred ashm or cruise missiles or exocets or harpoons. Or just hypersonic missiles. On the topic of missiles exactly how long can missiles be made? Months or years? Maybe israel or russia can help us make our own.

    1. For sure, we can deal with Israel on matters regarding defense but I doubt if we can with Russia. We don’t want to antagonize with Uncle Sam, do we?

    2. Those islands actually have some distance from Philippine shores, I used Wikimapia to get these distances:
      – Ayungin, 206 km
      – Panatag Shoal, 230 km
      – Pag Asa Island, 481 km

      The study that RAND made recommending long-range AShMs of around 200-300 km was actually to deny China shipping lanes, but not necessarily to be able to protect our Spratly’s Island territories …

      1. So does a fleet of 6-10 frigates. They can only deter an enemy but cannot prevent any eventuality.I go for the submarines.

      2. Personally, I also prefer Submarines, but the PhN doesn’t seem to have any serious plans of getting them yet.

  7. We have the same assesment Sir. Soft kill systems seem to be more effective than the hard kill countermeasures but the problem lies on radar guided ASMs but these are 40 year old systems. Newer ASM like the NSM or RBS-15 latest block have longer range multiple guidance, stealthier & some are supersonic. Well the key to anti ship missile attack is probably STEALTH & SURPRISE If we get a ship to detect us late the less time it has to prepare & mount a counter measure….

  8. Attack a missile frigate/ destroyer wtih AGM-65 Maverick is almost madness considering the amount of anti air capabilities modern ships now employ… lol

    1. Still depends, I think. If the Frigates are close to shore with no airborne observation support, aircraft could use the terrain to hide from the ship’s radar and then pop up to fire their Mavericks, then use the terrain again to get away …

      1. Correct Sir. Just like what the Argentinians did at the raid of San Carlos Bay. If only all of the Skyhawks bomb detonated the British invasion fleet would be wiped out.

  9. I don’t see China sending ships with inferior air warfare capabilities. Yun nga lang CCG vessels na humarang sa PH ship lately e mas hamak na better equipped compared to any of PH Navy vessels.

    Remember that China is thousands of miles away from the Spratlys. So they would not travel that far from their shores and not expecting trouble along the way. They should be armed to the teeth. In fact, I would consider their military leaders Mga BOBO at Gunggong if they won’t send their best hardware and vessel on to the conflict zone.

    How I wish they are. But definitely, they are not. In fact, they are most cunning, deliberate and way way way advanced.

    1. No matter how good a ship’s radar is, it will still be limited by the Radar Horizon and it still won’t be able to detect aircraft hiding behind terrain, which is why airborne surveillance is needed to support ships as they are less limited to those two items.

      But, yeah, it is unlikely that China will send their ships without airborne observation support, but then again, you never know. Maybe they would be too arrogant and think their AAW Destroyers would be enough, maybe they haven’t read my blog, ha-ha-ha …

  10. The spokesperson of china printed a reply to our case in philstar. Makes me puke. Worse is some names were dropped and made us look that we gave away our shoal. And that they historically own the islands. But he fact is they still dont respect the case we filed against them. Bastusan na ito. How can we respond to this crap but by threat of force. Bring in the ashms and exocets and harpoons looks like there is no other way to do this.

    1. I don’t think the US will mind. The Brahmos is nice because its speed means it will give ship defenses less time to react to it. But it can still be seen coming in, personally I prefer the long-range stealth AShMs because the enemy ship won’t even know it is under attack until it is too late …

  11. I’m amused by that news that China is warned to try not tow away the BRP Sierra Madre. Well, it’s a good propaganda but I don’t see China doing such a boo-boo.

    First, before China can attach any moorings or cables to the ship, the PH marines has already detached them.

    Second, If ever the can secure one ( even though I just can’t figure out how they will do it) it will simply just give way once they start to pull because of its rusty condition.

    Third, the vessel that will pull it will also get damaged or sink before it can do so because of the machine gun fire from the nest of the Sierra Madre (unless of course the twin 40mm gun at the aft is no longer working but I believe it still working).

    Fourth, bago nila mahila yon, a squadron of vessels and aircrafts probably including from the US have already sorrounded and prevented them .

    Any physical move China will do on BRP SM is simply a no-no if they do not want to stir the hornet’s nest and those chinky landgrabbers knows that very well.

    Kaya lang natatawa ako at kailangan pang gawing news item. China is either insulted or having a laugh of their lives- and I believe it’s the latter.

    Buhay nga naman o.

    1. Actually, my impression was that China was setting up the removal of the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin when they kept telling the public that the Philippines promised to remove the ship from that area, hence the reaction from the AFP.

      As for the US, yes, I think they will defend us, based on their latest statement. You see, yesterday former Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew said publicly that the US will not risk their relationship with China for the Philippines. Today, the US released a public statement to counter that saying that they will stand by their allies, and warned China not to do to the South China Sea what Russia did with Crimea …

      1. Russia set a precedent that its ok to use force. If the US amd the RP dont stand up to china then its open season for all the world powers. I can grab any piece of real estate in the name of my being a world power. But i doubt the US will get into a shooting war in the name of RP. They have a lot invested in china. But the kicker is they have troops in rp. They might just help us if china gets too antsy. I guess we are the only asean country who has balls.

      2. The situation in Crimea is different because majority of Crimeans actually WANT to be a part of Russia, hence the US’ hands are tied in that situation. The rest of Ukraine is still salvageable because majority of Ukrainians want to be on the side of NATO and the West.

        As for the WPS, there are many ways the US can help us, like escort our vessels, for example. China backed off from blocking our last supply run for Ayungin because the whole thing was being observed by a US P-8 aircraft, something which our armed forces and local press has successfully downplayed by the way. Worst comes to worst, the US can increase military aid to the Philippines, thereby making our military stronger and more capable to facing up to China. Which is probably why the Gripen is doomed … LOL. Just kidding, of course.

      3. Thats what putin did wrong. If the crimeans wanted to be part of russia putin could have just courted the crimeans into starting a referendum on their own not by tanks. It could have taken longer but at least crimea would have been legitimized by the UN. Feeling api kasi siya sa NATO at EU. P8 lang pala katapat. Lets paint our PAL 777 with p8 usnavy colors hehehe. What would make afp not choose the jas39? F16’s too expensive for a single engine mrf.

    2. Taiwan is in a more similar situation with Crimea while Spratlys is more of the situation in Falkland. Whichever, Giant powers rules it over although UK (unlike Russia) got away without stiff international sanctions because of Argentina’s poor clout in the global community.

      1. Agree about the Spratlys-Falklands comparison, it is an uncannily close comparison.

        My biggest worry though in case a war breaks out is how to resupply our troops in areas like Pag-asa Island, for example. It is almost 500 km away, and the sea route will likely be watched by Chinese submarines. The aerial route is possible, but long range enemy fighter aircraft will be present.

        China is actually farther from the Spratlys, but they have better logistics, and we don’t have the weapons to deny their supply lines.

      2. Falklands is so much different from Spratlys. It is more than 200 nm away from the Argentina coast, it can sustain an economic life by itself, and it is already populated with British settlers and colonized natives who overwhelmingly preferred the UK government. Argentina didn’t see any hope of recovering the territory legally so it chose to take the islands by force. Our Spratlys claim is strong under UNCLOS, that’s why China wants to use the military hoping to lure us into conflict and agree to a cession after we lose the battle. It’s the Falklands war turned upside down.

      3. I can understand the hesitancy to compare us with Argentina because for one, the people of the Falklands did not side with Argentina, and also as far as the law is concerned it favored more the British than the Argentines. Hence Argentina actually looked more like the villain in that war.

        But there are also similarities in that like Argentina, we are nearer to the disputed islands than our opponents, and that also like Argentina we are fighting a superior naval force.

  12. Heavy fishing nets and thick ropes is the only least defensive cost to disrupt enemy ship propeller if any attempt aggressive China move.

  13. Why not use 2 types of anti ship or air to surface missile to attack enemy shipping. That would multiply the effectiveness of the attack. 2 weapon system with different guidance will be more difficult to decoy. I realized that after looking at Israeli Eilat Class missile ships Its able to engage an enemy ship with its Harpoon ASM , Gabriel II, & Barak missile which has an anti surface configuration. 3 missile systems in 1 attack imagine how difficult it is to decoy it. Its a new level of lethality.

    1. Possible, but different decoys can also be used for missiles with different guidance systems. You have Chaff, Radar Reflectors, etc. against missiles using active radar guidance, and Infra Red decoys can also be used against missiles using IR-homing guidance.

      The most promising guidance system I feel so far are ones using Electro Optical Imaging Infra Red systems like the ones being used by the Maverick as a human operator can direct it to the target. I initially thought no longer-ranged, standoff weapons were available using this guidance, but it turns out there is in the Israeli Spice Guidance Kits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEohrQDC7vo

      The only problem with these weapons is that they need to be guided until the moment of impact, hence an effective way has to be found to do that and at the same time allow the launch aircraft to make evasive maneuvers …

  14. RHK, which situation involving China in territorial dispute will MOST likely end up in skirmishes if not war; the Spratlys or the Senkakus? And if ever it happens, what would be the post scenario?

    Militarily, technically and strategically, I know you can well dissect it.

    Although I tend to believe that if PH will get fully armed, we’ll most likely end up exchanging bullets with them first. But in today’s situation, it is least likely although it will still be a volatile situation just like the Senkaku.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Deewii, but frankly I haven’t thought much about it until you asked the question.

      With the Senkakus, Japan has a much stronger military than ours, hence there would be less chances for the US to intervene. The US will likely let Japan do most of the fighting initially, and since Japan is stronger, it will be more difficult for China to take over the Senkakus.

      We, on the other hand, are a lot weaker than Japan militarily hence it would be easier for China to take over our territories, but then again the chances of the US intervening directly will be higher because if the US just leaves the fighting to us, we will lose, and once we lose possession of our territories it will be harder to get them back from China.

      The big question is, though, how much will the US be willing to intervene? Would they be willing to risk the lives of their soldiers and the loss of their equipment for us? Would they be really willing to fight ahead of us and confront the Chinese directly? I have doubts on this, especially with a Democrat as President in the US. I think the US want to intervene, but in an indirect way as much as possible.

      I think that China will likely take chances with us first, they will be banking on the fact that we are the weaker enemy, and no matter what the US says, they will be hesitant to intervene. The US will intervene, but not to the point of getting into a shooting war with China. The US will probably beat their chests, make a lot of noise, will probably send a few warships into the area … But that would be it. They would rely more on starting to impose economic and political sanctions against China in a gradual way, like what they are doing to Russia on the issue of Crimea.

      In the meantime, our Spratlys territories will fall into the Chinese. Our defense budget will go up, meaning more equipment for our military. Here the US will help A LOT also, they will find ways to help make our military stronger so we can fight more on our own, and less dependent on them. Hard to say how they will do that, probably like more ships and fighter aircraft for us, like what they’re giving to Egypt or Pakistan now.

      Once China has full control of our territories in Spratlys, they will stop there. I don’t think they will invade Palawan, or even want to invade Palawan. As long as they have the Ayungin and Pag-Asa, that will be enough for them to control most of the shipping lanes of the West Philippine Sea. They will probably turn Pag-Asa into a major military garrison after evicting the Filipino settlers there one way or the other.

  15. your right rhk111. but if it is a limited war, if properly equipped we have the capability to win, after all the u.s. can indirectly support us with their AWACS, satellites or weapons. another force multiplier. if china will really attack us, it can be assured other countries such as india, russia, vietnam, japan, taiwan and etc will beef up their border defence that will eat up the manpower and war materials of china just also to face the other opposing countries to protect their borders. so we have still chance to win a limited war.

    1. Rhk is right in saying that the US will not go to great lengths to help us. Even if they give us intelligence. Worst case scenario is china gets all our islets and imprisons our soldiers BUT their actions will cause worldwide condemnation and border countries near china get trigger happy like india, russia, japan, south korea and start building up more and more arms slowly pushing them to the arms of the US (except russia of course). The US then becomes more and more POGI to the international community and effectively contains china by building more subs, f35’s, long range bombers etc. But china is a communist country with the ability to brainwash its people like north korea and will spin the story that rp is an idiot and the US wants to contain an emerging china. They will believe it and start killing filipino ofw’s and soon its filipino pow’s from ayungin. They then start drilling for oil in the spratllys and effectively start an adiz. Asean countries malaysia and vietnam get fed up and challenge the adiz. The UN then puts sanctions but since china is in the security council it does nothing. Tensions rise in asean and they finally start arming themselves for war. The US then intevenes but china does not care. China then sinks a carrier with their hypersonic missile. The world now has a reason to stop buying made in china products. The US and its allies begin containment measures by destroying its navy. China still believes it owns the south china sea and fires a nuke. US sub commanders have no other choice but to retaliate. India, russia rush in and annex the borders it contests with china while it is being attacked. In the end i believe china knows that what they do to us will influence what the world will think of them. If they go too far they will get burned. Question is how far will they go? And are they willing to kill for it.

  16. problem with china it has only one true ally..north korea. will russia..both countries dont trust each other. without the aid of U.S. and nuclear weapons, a combined force of south korea and japan is stronger militarily than china.

  17. @ RaymondX I didnt compare the KIG to the Falklands. I compared the Falkland Islands to our home Islands. Pag asa is virtually to small to defend …. The best thing we can do is set up a forward observation post in the KIG. We dont have the naval power to defend the small islands either,

    1. Its called “CONDITIONING”. They need to jam the communications in the Spratlys in preparation for an attack, but it also means their opponents will be warned that an attack is about to take place. HOWEVER, by jamming communications constantly for a couple of months, or even years, then your opponent eventually gets used to the jamming and won’t be able to anticipate the attack.

      It is NOT a good sign for our Spratlys territories as it means that, at the very least, they are keeping the option of an attack on their minds …

    1. Our only options here are to file diplomatic and legal protests, and maybe to use non-lethal means to try to bump the Chinese out. If we start shooting, it will mean war with China …

      1. Buti pa ang Vietnam they prevent constructing the oil rig. While the Phil. i dont know what kind mentality, we are letting China do whatever they want.

      2. Just a correction: Vietnam did NOT drive away the Chinese Oil Rig. They TRIED to drive the Chinese away, but they were prevented from doing so.

        I think the Philippines could try non-lethal action to drive away the Chinese from Mabini Reef, but I suspect that the US is holding us back to keep the situation from deteriorating further. Damn US Democrat President …

      3. I think the storm will blow away their sand around the reef. It will make soft and scatter. It takes year to harden the sand and earth soil to build a steel and concrete. Their project will be useless.

  18. Under Pnoy & Obama, no chance will the Philippines be able to stop China from taking all our remaining Spratly Island territories. We need a nationalistic, hawkish president to start getting back our lost territories once ITLOS makes a final judgement in our favor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s