On D+0 on the Opening of the Next Pacific War - we Will Regret not Having This
sexy is in the eye of the person on day-3 in a dingy off Taiwan
With the expected losses due to enemy action and mechanical failure, how do we plan to rescue aviators out of the water in the western Pacific?
What few subs we have will be fully employed elsewhere and really shouldn’t show themselves in a lot of those waters. We don’t have a lot of surface ships with helos either to spare.
As the USMC desires to make every island possible a fighting position, how do you supply them when their airfields – such that the are – are cratered by the PLARF conventional S//M/IRBM at D+1?
If your major airfields are unusable due to enemy military action or host nation political uncertainty ... how do you conduct long range ASW and reconnaissance as the Chinese fleet goes to sea and our satellites are blinded? What about tankers who use the same fields that our CVW are reliant on now that the same green-eyeshade pod-people got rid of organic tanking too (again, no - buddy tanking does not count).
How limited is your ability to fully use your special forces if you cannot deliver and extract them in a theater dominated by shallow seas and countless islands, bays, coves, and rivers?
Why is your tool box limited to a flathead screwdriver and a hammer?
My entire adult life I have lamented the lack of seaplanes/flying boats in the toolkit of the US military.
We had that capability in the past, but politics, green eye shade efficiency-cultists, and leaders of limited imagination but unlimited ambition stripped it away decades ago for the worst reasons possible. Some of our friends, like Japan, never did. Some opponents, like China, are rediscovering the logic of having such a versatile asset.
It is time again to discuss a huge gap in the US Navy’s toolbox; the seaplane.
Peter Ong at Naval News has a good update at a good – though not optimal – hope;
“In terms of amphibious MC-130 demonstration, USSOCOM is actually going through some market research, currently, to see if we can identify any potential amphibious capacities to meet some of the SOF Requirements that are existing. And currently AFSOC is also doing an experimental demonstration where they are planning on putting some float assemblies on a C-130 platform. They use digital engineering as a major factor of reducing some of that risk and making some of those changes, and they have gone through some hydrotesting and some aero testing on a subscale factor.”
Yes, we should give a nod to the C-130 option, but should just buy what works NOW and works exceptionally well, the Japanese ShinMaywa US-2.
If Japan can buy US built F-35s whole and in part, we can buy a few dozen US-2.
…and give them a great livery while we are at it.