Drone Wingmen, hypersonic missiles: the American armies are preparing from 2024 for the strategic deadline of 2027

The American armies have been engaged, for three years, in a profound and rapid transformation in order to be ready to take up the Chinese challenge, starting in 2027, a date on which there is growing consensus as to the start of a period to high risk regarding a possible Sino-American confrontation in the Pacific.

To respond to this challenge, two key programs will be launched in 2024: the VENOM program to acquire skills in implementing US Air Force combat drones, and testing of CSP hypersonic missiles aboard the destroyer USS Zumwalt , for the US Navy.

The strategic deadline of 2027 at the heart of the planning of the American… and Chinese armies

Mentioned for the first time in March 2021 by Admiral Phil Davidson, then commander of American forces deployed in the Pacific, the strategic deadline of 2027, concerning the probable date of Chinese military action against Taiwan, has since given rise to numerous debates.

Chinese armies PLA Type 075
The Chinese Navy is increasing large-scale amphibious exercises to prepare for a possible assault on Taiwan, or at least to allow such a threat to pose.

As is often the case, there are at least as many analyzes explaining that this date is improbable as there are analyzes going in the direction of Admiral Davidson. However, since this announcement, it seems obvious that American military planning has evolved to be able to respond correctly, at least, much more effectively than it should have been able to do so, in application of the previous planning.

This deadline is now being considered all the more seriously by the Pentagon, as the Chinese authorities themselves have recognized that they are aiming to reach a key operational milestone by 2027, allowing it, in its planning, to impose in the event of a local conflict, with technologically advanced equipment available in large quantities, and served by soldiers trained in modern doctrines.

Thus, in recent years, numerous military programs have been announced across the Atlantic on particularly short timetables. This is particularly the case of M10 Booker light tank and the new program of M1E3 battle tank of the US Army. The first was developed over a particularly short timetable of just five years, with the second expected to enter service by the end of the decade.

In both cases, these are deadlines unrelated to previous US Army programs, which spanned more than a decade, sometimes two, with often disappointing results, when they were not. not just abandoned.

US Armies M10 Booker
The US Army's M10 Booker light tank program was developed in barely five years, a record considering the numerous time-consuming and extraordinarily expensive programs carried out by the Army over the past three decades.

The US Air Force is also involved in several programs with particularly short deadlines, the most exemplary being the Next Generation Air Dominance program, or NGAD, a 6th generation fighter intended to replace the F-22 Raptor, which must enter service before 2030.

Other major programs have been adapted, such as the KC-Y program to replace the KC-135 tanker aircraft, reduced to only 75 aircraft and turning, without competition, to the KC-46A of the KC-X program, so as to free up credits and deadlines for the KC-Z program, which must design a new generation tanker, adapted to the requirements of the Pacific theater and the air war of the future.

The US Navy, for its part, has launched a major program of frigates, the Constellation class, to increase its mass, and plans tobring its production to four ships per year in the years to come, while production of Arleigh Burke Flight III destroyers must also accelerate beyond two ships per year, precisely to meet the Chinese challenge.

Constellation class frigate
The US Navy wants to launch the construction of Constellation class frigates in a second shipyard, to achieve four new ships per year.

At the same time, the production of nuclear attack submarines of the Virginia class, must reach 2 ships per year, and even 2,3 to take into account the 3 to 5 ships that will be sold to Australia under the SSN-AUKUS program.

As we can see, the American armies have profoundly transformed their planning in recent years, precisely to respond to the Chinese threat, and particularly to remain sufficiently dissuasive and capable of responding in the event of conflict, from 2027.

The 2027 deadline also at the heart of Chinese army planning

The fact is, in recent years, the Chinese technological and industrial tempo has accelerated considerably, particularly with regard to the means likely to prove decisive for a blockade, or even amphibious action against and around Taiwan.

This is how the production of modern J-20, J-16 and J-15 fighters has increased significantly in recent years, probably now exceeding the threshold of 100 new aircraft each year.


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