October 15, 2015

2,200 US fighters needed to defeat PLA attack on Taiwan by 2017

By the year 2017, it will take the United States about 2,200 fighters, a full two-thirds of its Air Force, to defeat an aerial invasion launched by the PLA against Taiwan, according to a report by the Santa Monica-based think tank RAND Corporation.
While the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps together have a larger advanced fighter fleet than their PLA counterparts, China enjoys the geographic advantage. Such geographic and situational factors favor China in nearly all Asian conflict scenarios and allow Beijing to challenge US air power in the Far East without the need to have as many advanced fighters as Washington.
To defeat a potential Chinese aerial offensive against Taiwan, the United States would need to deploy 30 fighter wings to the Western Pacific. Such an attrition campaign against the PLA Air Force and Navy Air Force would be unsustainable for the US.
Seven fighter wings would be able to wipe out half of the Chinese air power over the Taiwan Strait within a week. Three weeks would be needed if the number of fighter wings were reduced to four.
A three-week campaign, however, would give the PLA ground forces enough time to occupy the entire island. It is doubtful whether the US military could logistically even support the deployment of 30 fighter wings to the Western Pacific, China's Global Times said. Even if the US is capable of deploying that many fighters and supporting aircraft to the region, PLA ballistic missiles may be able to wipe them out before they even launched, according to the Global Times report


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