Navy Lacks Plan to Defend Against `Carrier-Destroying Missi

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by JustinThyme, Mar 23, 2007.

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  1. March 23 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Navy, after nearly six years of warnings from Pentagon testers, still lacks a plan for defending aircraft carriers against a 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.
  2. Makes mental note not to go to war against China on a US carrier.
  3. Do you think we would do much better? We haven't even got enough ships to put around our new proposed carrier.
  4. These missiles have, according to a source in the article, been offered to Iran. I'd imagine Uncle Sam wouldn't be too happy if they are supplied?
  5. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    It is so small compared to US ones that it may be harder to hit - perhaps that was the idea....
  6. The Chinese sold this capibility to Iran over a year ago.
  7. Well our Navy apparently lack a plan to stop boarding parties being captured by the opposition so god help us if a proper naval war starts.
  8. Didn't the USN buy some supersonic russian target 'missiles' a few years back precicely to practice against this kind of threat? I would have thought Aegis/SM2/ESSM/Hawkeye combo would be sufficient to deal with the threat in most scenarios?
  9. Possibly another reason HMS Cornwall didn't retaliate earlier today?
  10. They should take a leaf from the Royal Navy's book. In the fairly near future, we wont have any carriers. That is the ultimate defence against carrier destroying missiles.
  11. Errr... how is this any more of a threat than the huge numbers of supersonic missiles the Russians were ready to throw at US carrier battle groups during the Cold War? The Chinese and Iranians can't throw nearly as many as the US as the Russians could, and the US had a plan back then.
    This looks suspiciously like one guy throwing his toys out of the pram because his pet system didn't get selected.
  12. Seems a little odd.

    They must already have system for countering fast movers flying at mach 1+ and ballistic missiles which tend to move pretty quickly.
  13. Perhaps their Navy is also trying to get more funding when the country is focused on two land based conflicts.
  14. jrwlynch

    jrwlynch LE Book Reviewer

    MA31 target drones, which are based on the AS-17B "Krypton" missile. Quite a nasty beast, small and quick, but flies higher and is an easier target than the SS-N-27.

    The SS-N-27 is designed to try to defeat that combination. It's a tough customer because it's a "composite missile": for most of its flight it's sneaky, low-flying, and fairly slow: but for the exciting part where Aegis and ESSM would be coming into play, it ditches the "sled" with the fuel tanks and turbine engine, and a small "dart" finishes the attack run. It does so by accelerating to over Mach 2 while using an evasive weave, which makes it a difficult target to track and hit.

    The Type 45 destroyers, with PAAMS (Sampson radar and ASTER missiles) have been claimed to be the only credible hard-kill capability against the SS-N-27 (former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan West, quoted on 1 February 2006 at the launch of HMS Daring) - make of that what you will.
  15. There is apparently a very low probability of CIWS/Phalanx hitting a supersonic sea skimming weapon at their normally effective range.

    One thing against this missile is that it apparently does not have a particularly large warhead, 200kg iirc and it is relying upon its speed to add to the damage of the warhead.