Security Challenges
Volume 12, No.3 (2016)

The PLA, A2-AD and the ADF - Lessons for Future Maritime Strategy

Over the past two decades the PLA has developed an operational concept designed to deny US naval forces use of vast areas of ocean. Dubbed Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD), this operational concept leverages technological developments in long range anti-maritime weapons, networking and sensors to target naval forces, with precision, over a large portion of the western Pacific. Utilising a case study of the methods, systems and organisation the PLA has wielded to forge such a formidable A2/AD capability over the past two decades, this article contends that A2/AD offers Australia significant opportunities to offset the naval superiority the PLA holds over the ADF, and is thus a desirable, effective and achievable method of operations upon which the nation’s wider maritime strategy can be founded.

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