Analysis: U.S. should look to low-signature defense capabilities in Asia-Pacific

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Feb. 2, 2017 at 2:56 PM
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Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The United States will need to depend increasingly on low-signature capabilities, including bombers and submarines, if it is to continue to deter rivals and reassure allies in the Asia-Pacific, a U.S. think tank report said Wednesday.

According to a defense strategy report on U.S. options in East Asia from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C., military assets that operate out of sight can play a growing role in a region that is being transformed by a rising China.

"Yet the [United States] has long relied on its most high-signature assets – such as carrier strike groups and forward-based air wings – for the global presence that helps convince allies it will stand by their side," the report read.

In addition to depending more on low-signature capabilities, better integration of ground forces could play a role in resolving the "combat power deficit," according to the report.

The report added the United States faces several military challenges, including an "increasingly powerful China" and a nuclear-armed North Korea.

The analysis comes at a time when China is developing a new model of navalized aircraft, British publication IHS Jane's Defense Weekly reported earlier this week.

According to the report, an image released on Chinese social media shows what seems to be a full-scale model of a Chinese navalized airborne early warning and control aircraft on a mockup of a Chinese land-based carrier.

The image was published to Chinese social network Weibo on Jan. 26. The model appeared to be similar to the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft, the report stated.

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