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Aircraft Carrier Vs. Cruise Missile #31

March 29, 2009

The Russian’s are back in the carrier-killing business, if they ever left. Report from SeattlePI:

ITAR-Tass quoted the Defense Ministry as saying that the first in a series of six atomic submarines, the Severodvinsk, will join the navy in 2011. At least five other submarines of the same type will be built by 2017, it said.

The new hypersonic cruise missiles with increased range are designed to strike “aircraft carriers of the potential enemy if they pose a direct threat to Russia’s security,” the ministry said, according to ITAR-Tass. It said the missiles are also capable of hitting land targets.

H/T to Neptunus Lex.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. west_rhino permalink
    March 30, 2009 10:16 am

    Moose, the PRC, et al, don’t need an ICBM, beyond offering maskirovka. A container bearing a bomb travels via semi trailer to a transhipment point conveniently located in (Insert your choice of targets) and awaits a signal. Trojan horse delivers WMD. My own take is that container ship makes for an ugly but potent Q-ship in several modular options that the LCS seems to play at. Cruise missiles aer but one option there, though for mutual assured destruction, I prefer an airborne magazine ship equivalent that can stand off and pour several hundred ALCMs or perhaps air launched Tomahawk TLAM-N/C across the skies. One could probably work well with a descendant of the old Quail to muddle any interception issues.

  2. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:47 am

    I hope you are right Distiller. Sometimes Empires in their death throes do bizzare things.

  3. Distiller permalink
    March 30, 2009 3:49 am

    Russians tend to be strange but hardly ever irrational. And they love symbols. Going (again) against U.S. Navy carrier groups is ninety percent symbol. But the real part are the Russian ambitions in the arctic. I think they want to increase their capabilities up there so that they can scare anyone but the U.S. out of the area – Norway, Canada, Denmark. The talk about nuclear capability is of course aimed at the U.S., not to get involved too much outside the Alaskan economic zone. And in parallel they will test NATO’s will to stick to article 5 for the economic interests of these three countries. Prediction: The Euro part of NATO will not help them (also because of the energy situation, even after oil is gone, Europe will have a hard time without Russian gas). Now, the Russian gamble of course is (i) the question if there is something under the Arctic at all, and (ii) the Russian inability to get the stuff up that might be there, without Western technology.
    Basically it’s a scare game, with potential localized short flares of violence. The important part is not to get scared, the Russians will pull back and behave when facing stiff opposition.

  4. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 29, 2009 10:26 pm

    The Russian are in a steady decline, but isn’t the West as well? Might not hinder them from doing something crazy, like the Europeans twice last century, hastening their own demise.

  5. March 29, 2009 7:49 pm

    Some very interesting acquisition decisions on the part of Moscow. Clearly, they’re modernizing their capabilities in a number of military domains. But these acquisition beg a much broader policy question: why? What do these new, advanced capabilities get them? What is Russia’s grand strategy? Obviously, these moves are concerning for Washington and quite provocative. Still, placing Russia’s behavior in a broader context is difficult.

  6. Moose permalink
    March 29, 2009 5:25 pm

    Start chartering commercial ships as offensive weapons and you’re inviting hard times for the merchies. Atlantic Conveyor is a good case study there. Not to mention what the other guy would start sticking on HIS container ships, and where he’d send them, if you go down that road.

    This is a pretty optimistic build schedule last year when oil was sky-high and Russia was feeling rich, this year it looks pretty crazy. Of course, Severodvinsk was supposed to join the fleet in 1998….

  7. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 29, 2009 2:58 pm

    Sounding much like my friend West Rhino, Sven! But this is a good idea and I’m surprised our enemies haven’t thought of this. Give them time!

  8. March 29, 2009 2:52 pm

    I never understood the need for CMs on warships, or even for SSGNs.

    You can simply build a few containers, charter a container freighter, send it into range, raise the navy flag, fire early at night and return. Job done. Their range is a great simplifier.

  9. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 29, 2009 2:27 pm

    I would say, rather than build a defensive force geared to just surviving such attacks, we should build a Navy for the offense. Lets place our Tomahawks ( and hopefully a future supersonic replacement) on board many small warships, scattering them around the globe. Let the other guy wonder when he may be the target of a sea skimming menace which allows only seconds to react, where very costly antimissile systems have yet to prove their worth against. Let our enemies sweat out the next war at sea!

  10. March 29, 2009 9:25 am

    It’s very, very difficult to know the vulnerability of large surface combatants against anti-ship missiles. It’s the some with torpedoes.

    Peacetime tests, exercises and operational analysis can give hints, but no certainty – and the public gets very few of those hints anyway.

    It’s an issue that will remain entirely uncertain till the next major naval war.

    I don’t dare to assert a high vulnerability or express confidence in survivability for this reason.

    There are five conventional threats; any one can range from total failure to weapon of ship mass destruction:

    – subsonic sea skimmers (Exocet et al)
    – supersonic anti-ship missiles (can attempt to be sea skimmers as well, but not as low level as subsonic missiles)
    – quasiballistic missiles (Iskander)
    – heavyweight torpedoes (guided, of course)
    – mines (many different kinds of mines)

    plus anti-radar missiles and rather improvised anti-ship weapons
    (artillery, ATGMs, ramming/explosive boats, lightweight torpedoes, bombs, unguided rockets, surface-to-air missiles, drones).

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