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New naval threats include an apparent goal to provide new naval  attack Su-30MK2 fighters with multiple ISR assets to ensure the  targeting of U.S. ships. The M400 locating radar, new radar satellites  and possible new radar equipped strategic UAVs may all be combined with new ground-based long-range radar systems to provide an overlapping ISR  picture for PLA attack platforms.  It can then be expected that a common naval battle zone picture can then be used to coordinate strikes by  Su-30s, multi-role J-11s, J-10s, submarines and surface ships.  Land-based ballistic and cruise missiles may also be used in naval battles.  

The U.S. is going to face greater pressure to augment  its airpower assets in Asia.  A PLAAF with more than 300 Su-27/30 class  fighters plus hundreds of J-10 fighters, with modern ISR and weapons,  means the PLAAF will no longer be a sub-standard airforce.  The advent of modern combat jet engines also means that the PLA will be increasingly  able to develop new indigenous fighters such as the “XXJ” program. The PRC can be expected to sell what it makes, increasing threats in other  areas critical to U.S. interests.

Given U.S.  global commitments, it may no longer be sufficient to purchase 300 or less F/A-22 fighters.  To sustain deterrence the U.S.  will require fighter platforms that are significantly superior to  current or anticipated Russian or PLA fighters.  It is also necessary to accelerate the introduction of advanced versions of the F/A-18E/F in  order to give U.S. carrier battle groups a margin of superiority.  In  addition, the Navy should ensure that its version of the F-35 should also be superior to anticipated threats. Just as important the U.S. should  continue to develop and
field superior aircraft weapons and invest in  truly effective combat UAVs which can defeat or avoid expected PLA  aerial threats. 


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