China Sends Bombers to Challenge US Aircraft Carriers in South China Sea – Every Time

he US Navy (USN) Aircraft Carrier USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) pulls into the port of Valletta, Malta, for a scheduled port visit. / PH3 Joshua Karsten, Usn

In the increasingly tense South China Sea, which CCP China increasingly calls its own, despite all international law stating otherwise, there appears to be one constant. Every time American aircraft carriers enter those international waters; China immediately sends out bombers in response.

As David Axe notes in Forbes: “Every time an American flattop has sailed into the South China Sea in recent months, a powerful formation of Chinese warplanes—always including H-6 bombers—has launched the very same day.”

 Axe adds:

Bombers packing cruise missiles aren’t China’s only weapons for attacking American carriers. Land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles are at least as dangerous to the flattops. But as a signal, the bombers can’t be beat. A U.S. carrier sails into China’s near waters, bombers take off.

To highlight the Chinese bomber – U.S. carrier dynamic, Axe provides a Tweet by Duan Dang:

The tweet describes what he calls the “Welcome and farewell rituals” of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) to the U.S. flattops in the South China Sea.

Welcome and farewell rituals

23/1: CVN71 entered South China Sea via Bashi Channel. China deployed 13 aircraft (8 H-6K), to southwest of Taiwan.

12/4: CVN71 left SCS, 25 aircraft (4 H-6K).

15/6: CVN76 entered SCS, 28 (4 H-6).

5/9: CVN70 entered SCS, 19 (4 H-6).

23/1: CVN71 entered South China Sea via Bashi Channel. China deployed 13 aircraft (8 H-6K), to southwest of Taiwan.

12/4: CVN71 left SCS, 25 aircraft (4 H-6K).

15/6: CVN76 entered SCS, 28 (4 H-6).

5/9: CVN70 entered SCS, 19 (4 H-6).

The above listing makes it fairly clear that the PLA intends to counter American carriers in its backyard with land-based bombers as well as ballistic and cruise missiles.

The PLAAF has an estimated 150 of the twin-engine H-6s based on the old Soviet Tu-16 bomber design. Pending the full-scale deployment of the H-20 Xian stealth bomber, the H-6s are the PLAAF’s primary long-range bombers. Armed with the 200-mile range YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missile, the latest H-6Ks and H-6M’s carry a significant anti-ship punch.

This is just one concern American war planners must consider when anticipating a carrier response to a potential Chinese military assault on Taiwan – expect Chinese bombers to launch in force. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
38 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Murphmeister
Murphmeister
3 days ago

If I were president, i would make it clear to the ChiComs that the Sword of Damocles, the Three Gorges Dam, would be blown to smithereens and wipe out the entire Yang Tze River valley all the way down to Shanghai, if it decided to attack Taiwan or try to prevail in the South China Sea. But, I’m Irish, and perhaps that’s forgivable, but not at confession.

Recce1
Recce1
3 days ago
Reply to  Murphmeister

We need to develop long range BOMBERS capable of carrying multiple MOABS.

Tony Winters
Tony Winters
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

Although an MOABS sounds impressive,the USAF currently has Long Range Bombers, the B-52, The improvements allowed the B-52 to carry 84 500-pound bombs internally as well as another 24 750-pound bombs mounted on wing pylons. This gave the bomber a total of 108 bombs or 60,000 pounds of bombs to drop on the enemy. I would say that that is enough ordnance to make a lot of noise, add some Napalm and just one B-52 can really spoil your day.

Recce1
Recce1
3 days ago
Reply to  Tony Winters

Having flown on a B-52 BUFF as a “naviguesser”, I’m impressed by them. But despite their payload capacity, I’d love to see an updated LONG RANGE bomber capable of carrying about 4 MOABS internally and 2 on hard points for about 130,000 pounds.

My main concern about the venerable B-52s is their capacity, or lack thereof, of penetrating DEEP into China.

CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

That is why we have missiles and nukes.

Recce1
Recce1
2 days ago
Reply to  CharlieSeattle

Why is it so many want the nukes to fly?

Charles Nolan
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

China will go to nuclear weapons, which gives us the justification to launch a retaliatory strikes against all possible locations of Chinese nuclear weapons.

I would prefer to see some of the old 10-megaton warheads used against Beijing. Shanghai, and other major cites, with a 72 mile kill radius.

After China looses the nuclear war, China must be broken up into provinces, with no central government or commonwealth. Han Chinese must be forced to return lands to the Tibetan people.

Recce1
Recce1
2 days ago
Reply to  Charles Nolan

What do you think the US OPLAN 8044 Revision calls for? Should China use nukes, or invade Japan or S. Korea, then all bets are off. About the only place in China that’ll be “safe” will be the Gobi Desert.

The discussion here is how do we make a point with China WITHOUT going nuclear? I believe Murphmeister had a VERY good proposal.

Jack Powers
Jack Powers
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

we got ’em. We also have something much bigger, badder, and more explosive. Our best offense is high altitude hunting parties ready for bombers, and their petty-escorts. U.S. (6 Bombers, 8 escort)-, CCP-0. “Raptors and Strike-Eagles”, ‘Come and get some, Commies’!

Recce1
Recce1
2 days ago
Reply to  Jack Powers

We have a long range bomber that can carry 4 internal and 2 external MOABs? Which platform is that?

We do have a bomb in development that is as effective as the MOAB which can be carried by the B-2, but it hasn’t been deployed yet.

Bret
Bret
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

MOABS are nothing compared to the Trident 2’s MOAB’s are dropped from planes, Trident 2’s are too big for planes ICBM’s! Much higher yields! They need to make a bunch of flat tops dressed up like Aircraft Carriers, only below deck instead of having planes having the ability to launch multiple ICBM’s that way you are close to target so the enemy prep time is cut way down before delivery of massive payload! Hit ‘Em Fast, Hit ‘Em Hard!

Bret
Bret
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

MOABS are 5 kiloton yield! Trident 2’s 2 Megaton Yield sincerely ex- 55-G (Nuclear Weapons Specialist) US ARMY 1991!

Recce1
Recce1
3 days ago
Reply to  Bret

I was talking about 6 to 8 MOABS TOTAL. Buckets of sunshine are usually a bit nastier. However, I’m not sure we want to be chucking nukes around in Asia unless absolutely necessary.

But why use fake flattops when we have SSBMs capable of both conventional and nuclear delivery?

USAF EAO

Bret
Bret
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

The difference is 5,000 tons of TNT vs 2 Million tons of TNT! BIG Difference!

Bret
Bret
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

That would be like sending Pee Wee Herman into a ring to fight Mike Tyson if Mike Tyson was 1,000 feet tall!

Recce1
Recce1
3 days ago
Reply to  Bret

Why use nukes unless absolutely necessary?

CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

Uhh, it is now.

Recce1
Recce1
2 days ago
Reply to  CharlieSeattle

Can we really afford a NUCLEAR war in Asia against China, Russia, and N. Korea? US policy since after WW2 has been not to use nuclear weapons as a first strike option.

About the only thing I could imagine that would cause the US to do so is a large scale biological attack against the West.

WAIT. Wasn’t the Chinese Wuhan virus a biological weapon? Well, it’s too late for that response.

But the sinking of one of our carriers, an attack against Japan, or S. Korea might cause the US to respond with nukes against the Chinese navy, its ports, airfields, and it’s nuclear facilities.

As a former Strategic Air Command crsewmember, SIOP, intel officer and PACAF EOA all I’m saying is that starting a nuclear war is a rather dangerous undertaking not to be taken lightly.

By the way, how many aircraft have we sent against China, the USSR, Russia, N. Korea, Libya, E. Germany, Iran, etc? And how many have we had intercepted, shot at, and even downed? Yet we never retaliated by starting a war.

Nedra Downing
Nedra Downing
3 days ago
Reply to  Recce1

Your president is taking money away from the military. Did you really vote for him?

Recce1
Recce1
2 days ago
Reply to  Nedra Downing

How did you come up with that assumption? I voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. I believe he’s our legitimate President and I will vote again for him if he runs in 2024.

Tragically, Biden is an inept mentally declining corrupt fraud and would be tyrant. I think you agree. So I hope you voted for Trump.

Our BUFFs are aging and can’t carry such large non-nuclear bombs internally. So as I wrote, we need to develop a long range bomber capable of delivering multiple MOABs. Right now we use turboprop cargo MC-130s to drop a single MOAB. So, do you disagree? If so, why? What would be a good alternative, the GBU-57 MOB with the B-2?

Please keep in mind Murphmeister made the suggestion of taking out China’s Three Gorges dam with conventional weapons. Not a bad idea in a nasty confrontation with China.

Nedra Downing
Nedra Downing
3 days ago
Reply to  Murphmeister

You nailed the problem: the president who is favoring China in trade and CO2 emissions related to global warming. did you really vote for him?

Ruckweiler
Ruckweiler
3 days ago

The concern I have is that one of these bomber crews will go cowboy and…

Michael Weyrauch
Michael Weyrauch
3 days ago
Reply to  Ruckweiler

Only once!

Tony Winters
Tony Winters
3 days ago

Now IF we had a real presidnet the CCP Would NOT be doing this crap, but since they know that good ol grandpa Joe and the rest of the Biden Socialist Regime don’t have the guts to stand up to them they will push and push until someone makes a mistake. Of course following the Biden Socialist Regime’s foreign policies we will more than likely apologize for being in their way. The CCP deals from Strength and if you show that you are even just a bit weak they will push and push and each time you do not respond they will push just a bit harder. This applies to the Taliban as well, if you show Weakness you lose, they only respect strength something that the Biden Socialist Regime has already proven it Does NOT have.

Charles Nolan
3 days ago

Expect the Chinese to immediately go to nuclear weapons, if fighting the US in Asia. China seems convinced that Biden would not escalate with a US nuclear response. Instead, John Kerry would be sent to negotiate a US withdrawal from Asia, just as Biden gave Afghanistan to the Taliban for a September photo op..
The people of Japan should expect nuclear extermination, once the US abandons Asia. Japan must immediately begin constructing bomb shelters, and hope that some American smuggles the nuclear technology to Japan that Japan will need to survive China’s hatred.
Critical industries need to be moved into underground bomb resistant shelters, as quickly as possible.

colsteve
colsteve
3 days ago

F Biden, F Biden, F Biden. chant 100 times.

Bbear
Bbear
3 days ago
Reply to  colsteve

Chanting still won’t make him disappear,lol

Recce1
Recce1
3 days ago
Reply to  colsteve

FAVOR Biden 100 times? Hee, hee.

Joe
Joe
3 days ago

OOooh, were supposed to be scared, chicons love to bully, until there stood up to, time to join forces against this out control, rival, that has used a bio=weapon of covid against the world. It’s time for china to pay for their evil deed, however it has to be. they have been caught red handed, and we caught fraudci red handed covering for them. Bad juju

Daisy
Daisy
3 days ago

This is what happens when you have weak leadership. This would not have happened under Trump

VIETNAM VET 67-68
VIETNAM VET 67-68
3 days ago

WHEN WE HAVE A CHINESE PRESIDENT ITS NOT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT CHINA IS RATTLING THEIR SWORD AT US WHILE JOE MAO BIDEN IS IN HIS BASEMENT COWERING BEHIND HIS WIFE !! WE SHOULD HAVE HAD A 30 FIGHTERS OF OUR OWN RIGHT BESIDE THEM. WE OUT NUKE THEM AND THEY KNOW IT !! WE ALSO HAVE BETTER PILOTS !! FK THEM FK BIDEN THE COWARD SELL OUT TO CHINA !! IF WE DON’T GET ALL THESE COMMUNISTS OUT OF THE SEMI WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS WE WILL BE OVERRUN BY CHINESE MILITARY AND FIGHTING ON OUR OWN SOIL !! VIETNAM VET 67-68

Righteous Indignation
Righteous Indignation
3 days ago

Yes but most of our nukes are still from the ‘cold war’, and have they been updated? We have sat on our laurals for too long, then ‘feckless Joe’ comes in and he is already beholdin’ to the CCP due to Hunter’s deals for 10% to the ‘big guy’. Glad Congress is back in session (wouldn’t have wanted to interfere with their ‘vacay’ while Joe FUBAR’ed the world stage?) Yet doubtful they have the ‘cahones’ to get rid of the ‘dick tater’! Our adversaries must be laughing and doing their ‘happy dances’ around our flags! All we dare to ask(if we dare) is for ‘God to help and further bless America, for our sins are many’! # 1 sin =Abortion!

Robert Hardesty
Robert Hardesty
3 days ago

To me their is a fix to China’s Junk. Knock the bombers out of the SKY. They are doing this because the USA appears to be afraid to show them who’s Boss. The USA Military Services are among the “Best/ If Not the Best)
This is not a game.

Watchman48
3 days ago

As great as our Armed Forces are they will be over come, how I don’t know but the worldly protector of Israel will come to ruin, never to rise again; thus, the advancement to the New World Order with the One World Government, with the One World Religion, and with the seven year peace treaty, although we know it will be a false peace… Seven short years after the destruction of the United States all the armies of the secular nations will surround the army of Israel on the Plains of Megiddo for the greatest of all Battles, Armageddon in the hopes of destroying God’s people for good…
But God will supernaturally destroy the secular armies and a new age will begin…

Steviedore
Steviedore
3 days ago

I guess we can thank Bill Clinton and Lockhead Martin, which helped the CCP get their missiles off the ground.

“Here’s where it gets sticky: after Chung passed illegal money to the D.N.C., [Bill] Clinton approved the transfer of commercial satellite-launch technology to China–technology that might have helped China improve the accuracy of its long-range ballistic missiles that threaten the U.S.”

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/05/25/time/china.missles.html

Omega 2
Omega 2
3 days ago

Looks like BEJING WANTS TO BECOME A ” GLASS FIELD ” WITH THESE STUPID ACTS OF INTIMADATION! THEY DO NOT OWN THE WATER BETWEEN THEM AND TIWAN AS IT IS OPEN TO ALL SAILORS IN THESE ” INTERNATIONAL WATERS!


People, Places & Things