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View Diary: Do we really need 10 obsolete aircraft carriers? (159 comments)

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  •  Carriers are remote power projection bases. (5+ / 0-)

    Not just remote from their home country but also remote from their targets.

    In hot war (as opposed to parading them around to piss off the locals as the US Navy does on a regular schedule around the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea), carriers don't need to get anywhere close to shore. Their planes are here to do the last few hundred miles.

    As a consequence, a defending force has to engage hostile carriers in the deep blue, hence its submarines need to be nuclear if they want to stand a chance. Diesel subs, even with air-independent propulsion, are worthless against carrier groups.

    I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

    by Farugia on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:35:20 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thing is that even with WW2 tech Subs by all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball

      sides had several thousand mile ranges mostly by traveling on the surface and now with more modern Tech and Battery Tech they could do so submerged for longer times if needed. now get rid of the planes put missiles on board in place of 'em and a liquid Oxygen Tank in that Carrier Deck Space for extended underwater high speed cruising plus again modern tech&Materials would allow this Sub to go even deeper than it could in WW2 and this would be a fearsome Anti-Carrier and Surface Ship Weapon System.

    •  The Swedes will say differently (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Farugia, defluxion10, Senor Unoball
      Diesel subs, even with air-independent propulsion, are worthless against carrier groups.
      The Swedes sent one of their non-nuclear subs to San Diego for an extended training tour with the USN. Scuttlebutt has it the Swedes sank US carriers in several wargamed scenarios.

      But your larger point remains. Carriers can hide in the huge ocean. If there was a hot war, the first thing to go would be every hostile satellites in low-Earth orbit.  Big bad ballistic or cruise missiles cannot hit a carrier unless it's location is known. Otherwise it's just back to Xerxes beating at the ocean with swords.

      •  You got my point. Thx. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, defluxion10, Senor Unoball

        I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

        by Farugia on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:23:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh absolutely (4+ / 0-)

          My only quibble is to not underestimate non-nuclear subs. They cannot remain on station as long, but they are very silent and capable.

          But yeah this is about the 500th DK diary talking about obsolete navies because of supermissile G. People don't realize aircraft carriers do not charge headlong into enemy fire, and, the best missile in the world can't scratch a carrier if the shooter does not know where the carrier is located.

          •  IMHO, AIP subs are just like missile G. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rcbowman, Quicklund, Senor Unoball

            They are not as ridiculous a 'threat' as this one, but, even so, at their very best, they are first strike weapons, only usable on fairly unsuspecting and poorly positioned units in the opening shots of a conflict. The only realistic use case would be if the actual intentions of an hostile were badly misread and said hostile decided to reply to a showboat parade with open warfare.

            As for the Swedish sub running on weapon-grade brännvin repeatedly knocking down CVNs in wargames, my suspicion is that the scenarios asked the CVNs to do a job they had no business doing in the case of a clear danger, like running tight circles in coastal or busy waters.

            I once saw a very spectacular bloodbath in the late 90s during a joint exercise with the blues' carrier getting sunk on schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner by red diesel subs and coastal missile batteries.  The red were actually quite cunning and pulled a few funnies. But the real problems were the rules of engagement for the blue fleet, which were completely absurd. Essentially they had to run a shooting war as if on a showboating trip ... in the middle of commercial traffic.

            In a realistic scenario, a carrier group engagement would start by declaring an exclusion zone then blowing up everything left not identified as a controlled friendly in a 200 nm radius. A diesel or AIP sub would not stand a chance of approaching the group or staying on zone.

            By the way, those absurd wargame scenarios are not innocent. They are a great way for the top brass to preemptively nurture their sense of superior purity against them ignorant civilian politicos, who always " ask the military to take inordinate risks for the sake of political correctness" by assuming the most absolutely absurd, irresponsible demands and executing them in the worst, most mindless way possible. It's also a great way of showing Congress it's a dangerous world out there and the military really, really needs mo' money.

            I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

            by Farugia on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:53:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your last paragraph should be a diary. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Really interesting insight. I would like to hear more. Spice it up with more of the entertaining snafu-ery and you'll have a very popular diary, too.

              Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

              by rcbowman on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:12:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  There is always room for scepticism (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Senor Unoball, Farugia

              Wargame rules are not wars and yes they are rigged more than rarely. OTOH the Swedes could really have taught the USN some genuine lessons. That wargame might have been rigged for the Swedes to fail. Politics runs both ways in the surface/submariner navy.

              I do not share your faith there is just no scenario in which the USN loses out to modern non-nuclear subs. But the only sub I've ever touched is the U-505 in Chicago.

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