An Unsophisticated Chinese Navy? Really?
caution is in order
If you are one of those people who whenever someone mentions how large the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is and how their shipyard capacity greatly outstrips anything we have - is to simply respond, “Yes, but they don’t have the quality we have. Their systems are not as sophisticated.” - take a bit of a seat and ponder…
That may be true in some specific areas, but writ large? Are there hits that our luxury of qualitative edge is thinning?
That risk that was brought to the surface while listening to Silverado’s Geopolitics Decanted. On their July 24th episode, Dmitri Alperovitch talked with Andrey Lisovich, President of Ukraine Defense Fund, a charity that provides non-lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.
If you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, go to the 20 minute mark.
They are specifically talking about the preference for Chinese vs American drones on the front by those fighting.
Lisovich’s quote should stick in your craw;
These (DJI Mavic) are Chinese made drones, and the best US made drones in the same category is worse on every single spec and costs five to seven times more. … the US analogs are substantially inferior … and they (the US) are not making near as many as DJI does.
If the PRC is that far ahead of the US in this area - doing it better and cheaper in addition to a higher volume - what if their military is getting similar modern systems?
Maybe the answer is “zero” - but are you willing to bet your fleet on that comfortable assumption?
The whole podcast is great to get a view on some of the smaller “unsexy but important” supporting equipment that is making the difference for Ukraine’s ability to counter Russia’s mass.
From the podcast, they outline four high priority assets needed to enable and enhance weapons systems that are being purchased by the soldiers themselves or various NGO’s like Liscovich’s.
All-wheel drive diesel pickup trucks. Nothing fancy. Any F-series will do for logistics and personnel transport.
Portable energy, i.e. generators.
Comms Equipment. #1 is Starlink; #2 Motorola commercial radios; #3 Portable cell towers.
Intelligence, counter-intelligence, and electronic warfare.
Another interesting point: the old Soviet doctrine requires 50,000 shells per a 8-kilometer front. That is hard math considering Western production capacity and stockpiles - and explains the need for precision and taking the cluster munitions out of the bunker.
Anyway, it’s Monday and I don’t have time to do a transcript. Give it a listen. Lots of good … and important things to consider.