KYLE MIZOKAMI, a journalist who cofounded the defence blog Japan Security Watch, has run a simulation on a naval war breaking out between the US and Beijing in the South China Sea.
The battle has been simulated on computer programme Command: Modern Naval/Air Operations, which including staff from the US Naval War college in its testing. Mr Mizokami’s simulation takes place in Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by Beijing, Taiwan and The Philippines. The disputed shoal was the basis for Manila’s legal case against China in The Hague.
South China Sea threat: US intervenes in region
The court dismissed China’s claims in the waters but Beijing has rejected and ignored the decision.
The administration of Rodrigo Duterte has avoided enforcing the ruling, believed to be due to diplomatic and economic relations with China.
Mr Mikozami made clear he did not wish to make a statement about the ambitions of either player.
He writes in National Interest: “In our simulation, it’s 2016 and both nations have continued to press their claims. Two ships of the Philippine navy, the patrol craft BRP Emilio Jacinto and BRP Artemio Ricarde, have arrived.
“The US Navy is backing up its Philippine allies – two LCSs, USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, are both about 30 miles south of the Emilio Jacinto and Artemio Ricarde. The USS Halsey, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is behind them at an equal distance.”
He explains the Chinese prescience: “I’m playing the forces of both the U.S. and The Philippines, and fortunately I have an MQ-4C Triton in the area — the naval version of the Air Force’s Global Hawk drone. I send the Triton over the shoal to get an idea of what’s down there.
“The Triton identifies plenty of Chinese fishing boats, but also a wolf in the fold – a Chinese Jianghu-class destroyer named the Changde. Twenty miles to the west is the Qinzhou, a new Type 056 corvette.”
Haley attempts to intervene with SM-6 missiles but in the ensuing fire-fight Artemio Ricarde is hit: “The damage is catastrophic.”
Changde takes serious damage in the barrage and thus Mr Mikozami closes the gap on the Chinese ships with Fort Worth and Freedom.