Speculative fiction is great cannon fodder for wargame scenarios. So is the emergence of new technology. Indeed, an entire genre of fiction, the “techno-thriller” was spawned out of the desire to play with neat toys. Thanks to Airpower Australia, we now have a scenario straight out of tomorrows headlines that showcases the new J-20 ‘Black Eagle’ stealth fighter/bomber.
“The events depicted in this NOTAM are “what-if” speculative fiction no different from Clancy’s 1986 novel, “Red Storm Rising”, but the weapons, tactics, operational techniques, targets, and geography depicted are all based on hard facts and as real as it gets.”
Operation Long March speculates on a Chinese attack in the western Pacific in 2020. It is a fairly comprehensive scenario with targets and strike package assignments for not only the J-20 but the DF-21D Ant-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) and PLA Navy submarines. As the author notes, the total time taken to develop the target list was five hours of open source research. In his summary, Wing Commander Mills points out:
This NOTAM makes one deadly and incisive point.
Every nation investing in a major military capability does so with the expectation that some day, it could be used. Weapons systems are classified as ‘Defensive’ or ‘Offensive’; some are both.
The large J-20 stealth fighter is, on balance, a modern example of an offensive sledgehammer conceptually similar to America’s now long retired 1960s-developed F/FB-111 fighter-bombers, with considerable capability as demonstrated by this NOTAM.
A Nation that takes a longer view of world events and invests wisely in its military capabilities will have the power to control events in its own interest – be that defensively or offensively.
Be alarmed and be prepared!
I would also add, “Game on!”