Are Americas carriers sitting ducks?

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Are Americas carriers sitting ducks?

It seems that a Russian anti ship missile called "the sizzler" has the ability to sink carriers and against which there is still no known defence. It looks like all you need is one missile and a launch platform, and say goodbye to a billion dollars in ships, technology, and men.

Charts prepared by the Navy for a February 2005 briefing for defense contractors said the Sizzler, which is also called the SS-N-27B, starts out flying at subsonic speeds. Within 10 nautical miles of its target, a rocket-propelled warhead separates and accelerates to three times the speed of sound, flying no more than 10 meters (33 feet) above sea level.

On final approach, the missile "has the potential to perform very high defensive maneuvers,'' including sharp-angled dodges, the Office of Naval Intelligence said in a manual on worldwide maritime threats.

The Sizzler is "unique,'' the Defense Science Board, an independent agency within the Pentagon that provides assessments of major defense issues, said in an October 2005 report. Most anti-ship cruise missiles fly below the speed of sound and on a straight path, making them easier to track and target.

The U.S. Navy, after nearly six years of warnings from Pentagon testers, still lacks a plan for defending aircraft carriers against the supersonic Russian-built missile, according to current and former officials and Defense Department documents.

The missile, known in the West as the "Sizzler,'' has been deployed by China and may be purchased by Iran. Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England has given the Navy until April 29 to explain how it will counter the missile, according to a Pentagon budget document.

The Defense Department's weapons-testing office judges the threat so serious that its director, Charles McQueary, warned the Pentagon's chief weapons-buyer in a memo that he would move to stall production of multibillion-dollar ship and missile programs until the issue was addressed.

"This is a carrier-destroying weapon,'' said Orville Hanson, who evaluated weapons systems for 38 years with the Navy. "That's its purpose.''

"Take out the carriers'' and China "can walk into Taiwan,'' he said. China bought the missiles in 2002 along with eight diesel submarines designed to fire it, according to Office of Naval Intelligence spokesman Robert Althage.

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By netchicken: posted on 24-3-2007

No why state such a problem if in fact there was
Such a serious problem, and indeed it would be
Deemed as such.
I believe the mighty Americans are playing a role
Of a sleeping giant of which Iím unsure of.
Because I do feel strongly they could lay waste to all
Potential foes without the Great worry of major
Retaliatory strike.

I donít see any nation within reach of the US abilities,
I would not be surprised there black budget could run
Another countries entire budget.
Iím sure thereís bigger and better weapons in offence and
Defence at there disposal that would cream your proverbial
Jocks. And yet hidden from existence, though I do see
The need to do that.

So while I do respect Americans politically and culturally
And I do feel there is a problem in general to what foes
They have and which need to be dealt with I however
Donít understand why they are deliberately playing this
Game of not being a powerful force to be reckoned with.

I could surmise that a drawn out war is beneficial for
Them or simply this political correctness BS thatís
Come about has crippled their ability to act swift.

O I donít know really I think Iím thinking too much again,
Might be easier for me to just say Crap!!! Gee letís hope
We can come up with something to combat this.
Or they just simply could be facing the problem for
Real and Iím just in a wonderland thinking America is
Stronger than I think.
By Shan: posted on 24-3-2007

IS this the supersonic torpedo that achieves those speeds by creating an air bubble under the water as it travels?
By Xphilesphan: posted on 27-3-2007

Yes, they have "sizzlers". We still have nukes aimed their way.

let em try.

By Twilight_Rogue: posted on 30-3-2007

Quite a bit of our nuclear cabability can be found on submarines hidden in the depths or aboard numerous planes owned by the USAF.

All of our eggs are not in one basket. As far as the carrier basket is concerned, though, I'd expect some serious retaliation against any country that is unfortunate enough to sink a carrier.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 30-3-2007

Utterly speculative reasoning here. The Chinese missile is a crude weapon at best, all they would need is an Aegis Cruiser with each CSG and they'd have nothing to worry about. Besides they could launch a dozen tomahawk's and pepper the AOR with JDAM's and such. I always believed that the PLAAN strategy of littoral warfare is a defeatist policy as far as naval engagements go. They would never be able to sustain sufficient depth in any defense without adequate measures to repulse an approaching enemy fleet or prevent it from blockading their shipping lanes. If the US were at war, our SSBN's would be the best bet to ensure naval supremacy. I doubt they would send in a CSG as a first response.
By IAF: posted on 30-3-2007

... Quote:
The Navy's ship-borne Aegis system, deployed on cruisers and destroyers starting in the early 1980s, is designed to protect aircraft-carrier battle groups from missile attacks. But current and former officials say the Navy has no assurance Aegis, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., is capable of detecting, tracking and intercepting the Sizzler.

The missile discussed is not Chinese but Russian, and it seems that the Navy folks for the U.S. don't agree with your sentiment.
IAF, are you saying it would be possible to use tomahawks against an antiship missile that is visible seconds before impact? Surely not.

Our SSBN's assure our nation would not be the last nation to be attacked in the event of an all-out war, certainly, but they are not designed for doing what a carrier group does.

The Chinese have been working toward the time they could take Taiwan without any resistance from us. They have been working on placing missile systems against South Korea and Japan so that the U.S. forces stationed there could be destroyed or at least damaged to the point of not being mission-capable. They have also been working on being able to destroy any U.S. carrier group that could project U.S. strength. As a manner to insure the U.S. doesn't decide to respond with any special weapons, China is working to have a sufficient nuclear weapons arsenal so that the U.S. would understand what would happen if it struck at China.

This isn't my thinking, this is theirs. The PLA's generals came up with the plane in the mid 90's.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 31-3-2007

The US Navy doesnt know enough to state either way, besides this missile isnt something exclusive, the Russians have sold this to the Chinese, the Indians and I believe even the Iranians have it. Also the US Navy isnt really sure what the missiles capabilities are exactly because they dont have them. They have built missiles to mimic it but cant say for sure if it would sink a carrier or how many of those missiles would take to sink a carrier for sure.

When I was talking about the SSBN's I meant that these would be sent in first before a carrier group because even with a CSG you cant take a beach head. They would have to achieve naval supremacy in the AOR and then move in CSG to take out inland assets and clear the way for a landing. The only carrier group I am aware of near china is the Kitty Hawk which is stationed in Japan. I doubt they would send it in alone if and when China decides to go for it against Taiwan.
By IAF: posted on 3-4-2007

It seems that they have invalidated what you are saying since they are saying just that which you say they can't say.

Uh, again, you are mixing apples and squash; SSBN's are not for securing beaches are achieving naval superiority, they are our ability to project nuclear capability around the world, hiding anywhere around the world and, if we are attacked, lob nuclear payloads on the offending country long after our CnC structure has been disabled. They are not sent in before carrier groups as they have no reason to be and, even if they were sent anywhere you would never know it. Again, to make it clear, strategic deterrence is the single mission of the SSBN.

It doesn't make a difference where the Kittyhawk or any other carrier is, the Chinese intend on striking any of our assets that can be used against her when she is at the time to take Taiwan. The Kittyhawk is within striking distance and their diesel subs run quiet enough to sneak WAY close and attack. Also, China is readying to use nuclear weapons against our assets in the area as well as against Taiwan. The weapons needed for that can be launched on short and intermediate range missiles. ICBM's are going to make sure Washington knows it is not a good idea to attempt to mount a counter-operation when it is capable again.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 3-4-2007

SSBN's can do more than launch missiles. They are forward deployable and can definitely gain naval superiority over chinese shipping lanes and the like . The Chinese PLAAN is incapable of projecting any capability like that or to counter it. They could very well be sent flush out chinese diesels to make it safe for the CSG's to head in. Also how could the PLAAN lauch an attack against the kitty hawk when they have only littoral capabilities ?

The Chinese would never use nuclear weapons against Taiwan for one simple reason, they see Taiwan and its people as Chinese citizens. To kill them with nukes would be equall to nuking themselves. Plus there are massive family relations between the Taiwanese and the Chinese, nuking taiwan would be hugely unpopular with local Chinese and the Communist party cant afford that if they want to stay in power.
By IAF: posted on 3-4-2007

Again, forward deployable and gaining jack over shipping lanes means nothing to an SSBN. They are not attack subs, IAF, they are platforms from which nuclear missiles, that is all! They are used as a deterrent against a first strike by another nuclear power. They are not used for shipping lanes, they are not "forward deployable" or anything like that. They are not, I say again, they are NOT attack subs.

Furtehrmore, I will not get into a strategic argument about what makes sense in regard to using tactical nuclear weapons on Taiwan. This is not my thesis but that of the Chinese genrals; take it up with them. The only thing I will say is that using nuclear weaponry does not mean that the civilian population of Taiwan will be decimated by any means. What it means is that the Taiwanese military will be extremely hobbled if the Chinese have made good use of the nuclear and delivery systems technology provided to them by Clinton.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 3-4-2007

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