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Posted: 1/28/2006 1:06:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 1:08:06 PM EDT by PeteCO]
If an enemy of ours managed to somehow sink a carrier, be it an errant Iranian Sunburn missile or whatever, what is the stated U.S. response? A friend and I were discussing this, and I thought I read somewhere once upon a time that we would use nuclear retaliation, the idea being that a carrier is such a projection of U.S. force, and there are so few of them, that we would consider it a debilitating attack.

I don't want this to turn into yet another Iranian military capability thread, let's just assume that somehow, somewhere an enemy managed to send one to the bottom. What would we do?
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:18:15 PM EDT
Considering the destructive force required to sink one of our carriers, I would think we would be at total war.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:44:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 1:44:42 PM EDT by GarethB]

Originally Posted By scrum:
Considering the destructive force required to sink one of our carriers, I would think we would be at total war.



I'm inclined to agree. Those carriers are designed to not go down easily. If someone wants to sink one, they're going to have to put some real effort into it. A single missile or torp isn't going to be enough (unless they're prepared to go nuclear to bag the carrier).

This sort of ties in with a story that hit the media not long ago. China is claiming they will have ballistic missiles with manuevering warheads capable to attacking ships at sea by 2009 (the story may have been mentioned here already).

What's the big deal? Well, ballistic missiles are not like cruise missiles, they don't change course in mid-flight. Up until now they've only been useful for targets that are in a fixed location. Hitting a moving target at very long range is a seriously non-trivial task to accomplish. Even with manuevering warheads, there's a limit to how much the warhead can manuever, so you have to be very certain where a moving target is heading during the time the missile is in flight, because if you get it wrong, you're not only going to miss the target, you'll waste a ballistic missile in the process. There are also a whole raft of political implications about using ballistic missiles for this sort of thing. Once the US detects the launch by sattelite, the Whitehouse isn't going to sit on it's hands waiting to see where it's headed before deciding what to do in response.

As US naval BMD comes online, one ballistic missile won't be enough to be certain of bagging a carrier, several will be needed to have a good change of hitting it, but that just escalates the political implications when multiple simultaneous ballistic missile launches are detected.

This is why the other nuclear powers don't use ballistic missiles for this sort of thing. Once the first one flies, hell in a handbasket will be knocking on the door very soon afterwards.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:44:42 PM EDT



+





=


Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:46:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:53:43 PM EDT
well subs target 4 torpedos at a carrier, and one torpedo will lift a cruser out of the water. then again i feel sorry for anyone who tries to hit one of our nuke carriers, the damn things ( the carrier ) can out run a mk48 torp if it not shot from close in ( under 5 k yards )
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:57:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 1:59:49 PM EDT by 95thFoot]

Originally Posted By Paul:
If a democrat was President he (or she) would certainly have stern language for the attacking nation and might ask the UN to do something like sanctions. blame the Republicans, and in effect, do nothing.




Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:57:46 PM EDT
Taking out a carrier would, indeed, be a serious proposition. However, if one was taken out using conventional weapons, I'm sure our response would be conventional and directed towards the state involved. In other words, we'd stay at war, keep trying to get the job done.

We shouldn't have these things if we're going to go WMD at the first loss of one. We're not the rogue nation that overreacts and goes nuclear in response to an attack on a military target. They're conventional tools of power projection, and we've lost them before.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 1:58:07 PM EDT
Scotty, I would like to know where you heard that. Always on the look out for expanding knowledge...

Personally, I can't see it being as great a response as Pearl Harbor. I see little more than a Clinton-esque tomahawk strike unless we have ultimate knowledge of who/what did it.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:02:46 PM EDT
The offending country would likely never be allowed in the water again.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:06:30 PM EDT
In before Andy with grainy pics from the periscope of a Brit sub in . ..
5......
4......
3......
......
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:10:57 PM EDT
Depends who's POTUS.
Remember the U.S.S Cole
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:12:10 PM EDT
I would guess that the dimocraps would say sorry for what ever the carrier was doing to make the peace loving country sink it,the aclu would take some govt agency to court for an injunction(and sue the boy scouts),the gays would march in san fran sisco against America,the frenchies would kiss their asses,chucky shumer would call for a renewal for the AWB for the children.Pretty much a typical Saturday night in Amerika
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:14:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:21:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
If a democrat was President he (or she) would certainly have stern language for the attacking nation and might ask the UN to do something like sanctions.



Then go on to, in the presence of the sailor's grieving families, suggest that it was somehow the captain's fault.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:26:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:
In before Andy with grainy pics from the periscope of a Brit sub in . ..
5......
4......
3......
......



Will one from and Australian sub do until Andy gets here?

USS Carl Vinson from the periscope of Oberon class HMAS Onslow, during exercise RIMPAC 98
www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/4834/vinsona.jpg
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:30:36 PM EDT
Whatever the reasons, motivations or craziness involved in attacking a carrier, all those who would try can be assured of one thing. We have bigger stuff and we've used it before.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 3:13:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 3:21:00 PM EDT by scotty1911]

Originally Posted By MoparMike:
Scotty, I would like to know where you heard that. Always on the look out for expanding knowledge...

Personally, I can't see it being as great a response as Pearl Harbor. I see little more than a Clinton-esque tomahawk strike unless we have ultimate knowledge of who/what did it.




edited for relivant info, and some off the other stuff is why i had a top secret clearance



edited for size
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 3:22:50 PM EDT
It was the Russians, not the Chinese, that had the manuevering ballistic missiles. Their ability to target a ship at sea is highly improbable.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 3:35:11 PM EDT
yah and refrencing the binkin atoll tests, airbursts really dont do shit to ships at sea
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 3:44:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:
yah and refrencing the binkin atoll tests, airbursts really dont do shit to ships at sea



That was a puny 21 KT shot. A airburst right over any vessel on the water from say a B-83 (MT+ yield) would absolutely fucking obliterate anything that floats. The Fireball alone would be probably over a mile across, even without a fireball, everyone would be toast from neutron/gamma radiation.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 3:58:16 PM EDT
One has to remember that modern aircraft carriers do not float alone. There is something called a carrier group that is centered around an aircraft carrier, but that also includes several other vessels in formation around the carrier, including submarines and high tech ships, etc.

The aircraft also create a protected airspace around the carrier.

Actually sinking a carrier would require some serious firepower, and would be an act of war. The carrier group is one of the United States' main ways of projecting force around the globe. They own whatever chunks of water and air they are on at any one time.

If someone was to actually sink a carrier, it would kill hundreds or thousands of sailors, destroy lots of aircraft, and make a fairly serious dent in the US Navy's arsenal.

Somebody's head would end up on a platter.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:04:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
It was the Russians, not the Chinese, that had the manuevering ballistic missiles. Their ability to target a ship at sea is highly improbable.



The Chinese are saying they have manuevering warhead tech now and they'll have them and ocean surveilance sattelites operational by 2009. I agree, talking about doing it is one thing, actually being able to do it is another.

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:13:25 PM EDT
Except bake everyone on board



Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:
yah and refrencing the binkin atoll tests, airbursts really dont do shit to ships at sea

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:28:11 PM EDT
I don't see there being a nuclear response. America has a no-first-use policy which is still in effect, last time I checked.

NTM
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:34:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GarethB:

Originally Posted By dport:
It was the Russians, not the Chinese, that had the manuevering ballistic missiles. Their ability to target a ship at sea is highly improbable.



The Chinese are saying they have manuevering warhead tech now and they'll have them and ocean surveilance sattelites operational by 2009. I agree, talking about doing it is one thing, actually being able to do it is another.




If we had it in the 1990s, you may be sure the Chinese have it now.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:35:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I don't see there being a nuclear response. America has a no-first-use policy which is still in effect, last time I checked.

NTM



Israel would do it...for US..
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:35:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 5:10:15 PM EDT by dport]

Originally Posted By GarethB:

Originally Posted By dport:
It was the Russians, not the Chinese, that had the manuevering ballistic missiles. Their ability to target a ship at sea is highly improbable.



The Chinese are saying they have manuevering warhead tech now and they'll have them and ocean surveilance sattelites operational by 2009. I agree, talking about doing it is one thing, actually being able to do it is another.




Nevermind, I found the article. It's interesting to note the Russians have the manuevering ballistic missiles now. The Chinese do not.


JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY - JANUARY 25, 2006
China develops anti-ship missile

TED PARSONS JDW Correspondent
Virginia, US

* China's missile development programme has been confirmed by both US government and Asian military sources

* The anti-ship ballistic missile may be operational by the Chinese People's Liberation Army by 2009

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is in the advanced stages of developing a revolutionary anti-ship ballistic missile to supplement its well known Ying-Ji family of anti-ship cruise missiles.

The development programme has been confirmed by both US government and Asian military sources, with the latter estimating that the PLA may be able to deploy the space targeting systems needed to make its anti-ship ballistic missile operational by 2009. Commenting in a 2004 unclassified Worldwide Maritime Challenges report, the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) noted: "Chinese writings state China intends to develop the capability to attack ships, including carrier strike groups, in the waters around Taiwan using conventional theatre ballistic missiles (TBMs) as part of a combined arms campaign."

PLA efforts to provide terminal guidance capabilities to both its 600 km-range DF-15 (CSS-6) short-range ballistic missile and DF-21 (CSS-5) medium-range ballistic missile with a range of 2,150 km, or 2,500 km for the DF-21A (CSS-5 Mod 2), have been known since the mid-1990s. The existence of a terminally guided DF-21C has long been reported. Asian military sources said that the PLA will be using a version of the DF-21 for its ballistic anti-ship missions.

However, the PLA would need to make substantial advances in missile guidance and countermeasures in order to achieve the very high precision required to attack a moving target. To do so, the ONI noted: "The current TBM force would be modified by changing some to the current missiles' re-entry vehicles (RVs) to manoeuvring re-entry vehicles (MaRVs) with radar or infra-red seekers to provide the accuracy needed to attack ships at sea."

In an illustration for its 2004 report, the ONI postulates that the PLA's anti-ship MaRV will use both active and passive radar, in addition to a manoeuvring capability, to achieve successful terminal guidance to its target. To do this, the PLA would have to accomplish significant miniaturisation and stress hardening for RV-sized radar packages. In addition, the PLA would have to significantly improve its surveillance system in order to adequately target its anti-ship ballistic missiles. The ONI said: "China may be planning ultimately to use over-the-horizon (OTH) radar, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor the target's position."

Asian sources note that the PLA will not have its new system of surveillance satellites in place until 2009 to make its anti-ship ballistic missiles fully operational.

Both Chinese and Russian sources noted that China is now co-producing versions of the NPO Machinostroyenia Kornet-series of electro-optical and radar surveillance satellites. Chinese sources said the first constellation would consist of two electro-optical and one radar satellite, to be expanded to four electro-optical and four radar satellites.

China also has OTH radars in place and is known to be developing both medium- and long-endurance UAVs that could supplement satellites and radars at ranges consistent with the DF-15 or the DF-21.

The US is not expected to deploy any effective sea-based defence by 2009 that could counter a DF-21 class anti-ship missile.

Additional challenges could follow should China elect to sell this technology to select client states. For example, should Pakistan purchase this MaRV technology for its Shaheen-2 ballistic missile, it would be able to effectively counter India's naval power with a relatively small investment. Also, should China be able to even further reduce the size of the MaRV, it might be able to employ smaller missiles, like the DF-11 or the smaller B-611, to potentially provide an inexpensive weapon to deter much larger navies.

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:39:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By scotty1911:
well subs target 4 torpedos at a carrier, and one torpedo will lift a cruser out of the water. then again i feel sorry for anyone who tries to hit one of our nuke carriers, the damn things ( the carrier ) can out run a mk48 torp if it not shot from close in ( under 5 k yards )



Yeah, right. That's assuming that the carrier and/or "Anti Submarine Warfare" screen can actually hear the attacking boat before it fires. Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:39:08 PM EDT
In EX TANDEM TRUST 1996, our F-111s got past escort screen and sank the U.S.S. Independence. I think one of our subs managed to do the same thing in the same exercise. GarethB's photo says it all, really.

That said, the ADF really is one of the best military forces in the world. Small and underfunded, but good. It would be a completly different matter for any other nation, except Britian and maybe one or two EU nations to do it these days. The Soviets could have done it, but I seroiusly doubt that the Russians today could do it, unless the U.S.S. Nimitz was alongside on a goodwill visit to Murmansk.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 4:39:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I don't see there being a nuclear response. America has a no-first-use policy which is still in effect, last time I checked.

NTM



Not entirely true, but it's pretty nuanced. The US has a policy of no UNPROVOKED first-use. The 2002 (I think) National Security Strategy outlines a policy of preemption if required, and does NOT make a distinction between nuclear & conventional. It's what's unspoken that makes a difference.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:07:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lert:
In EX TANDEM TRUST 1996, our F-111s got past escort screen and sank the U.S.S. Independence. I think one of our subs managed to do the same thing in the same exercise. GarethB's photo says it all, really.



Don't pay too much attention to claims of "kills" during exercices. The exercises usually have a set of rules that deliberately increase the chances of the target being detected to that someone can make an attack on it. If they can't find the target, they don't get to practice their attack techniques and the defenders don't get to practice their defence techniques. That sort of defeats the purpose of the exercise just a little bit.

I've heard stories from former USN sumbarine crewmembers about deliberately making more noise than usual so that surface ships trying to find and "attack" the sub actually can find it. For all those periscope photos of US carriers, the carrier is normally restricted to a known area, which limits it's ability to evade and stay out of reach from the sub in the first place.


Source for China's claims of using ballistic missiles for anti-ship role: Janes Defence Weeekly, Jan 25 (sorry, I don't have a link direct to the article)


JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY - JANUARY 25, 2006
China develops anti-ship missile

TED PARSONS JDW Correspondent
Virginia, US

* China's missile development programme has been confirmed by both US government and Asian military sources

* The anti-ship ballistic missile may be operational by the Chinese People's Liberation Army by 2009

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is in the advanced stages of developing a revolutionary anti-ship ballistic missile to supplement its well known Ying-Ji family of anti-ship cruise missiles.

The development programme has been confirmed by both US government and Asian military sources, with the latter estimating that the PLA may be able to deploy the space targeting systems needed to make its anti-ship ballistic missile operational by 2009. Commenting in a 2004 unclassified Worldwide Maritime Challenges report, the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) noted: "Chinese writings state China intends to develop the capability to attack ships, including carrier strike groups, in the waters around Taiwan using conventional theatre ballistic missiles (TBMs) as part of a combined arms campaign."

PLA efforts to provide terminal guidance capabilities to both its 600 km-range DF-15 (CSS-6) short-range ballistic missile and DF-21 (CSS-5) medium-range ballistic missile with a range of 2,150 km, or 2,500 km for the DF-21A (CSS-5 Mod 2), have been known since the mid-1990s. The existence of a terminally guided DF-21C has long been reported. Asian military sources said that the PLA will be using a version of the DF-21 for its ballistic anti-ship missions.

However, the PLA would need to make substantial advances in missile guidance and countermeasures in order to achieve the very high precision required to attack a moving target. To do so, the ONI noted: "The current TBM force would be modified by changing some to the current missiles' re-entry vehicles (RVs) to manoeuvring re-entry vehicles (MaRVs) with radar or infra-red seekers to provide the accuracy needed to attack ships at sea."

In an illustration for its 2004 report, the ONI postulates that the PLA's anti-ship MaRV will use both active and passive radar, in addition to a manoeuvring capability, to achieve successful terminal guidance to its target. To do this, the PLA would have to accomplish significant miniaturisation and stress hardening for RV-sized radar packages. In addition, the PLA would have to significantly improve its surveillance system in order to adequately target its anti-ship ballistic missiles. The ONI said: "China may be planning ultimately to use over-the-horizon (OTH) radar, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor the target's position."

Asian sources note that the PLA will not have its new system of surveillance satellites in place until 2009 to make its anti-ship ballistic missiles fully operational.

Both Chinese and Russian sources noted that China is now co-producing versions of the NPO Machinostroyenia Kornet-series of electro-optical and radar surveillance satellites. Chinese sources said the first constellation would consist of two electro-optical and one radar satellite, to be expanded to four electro-optical and four radar satellites.

China also has OTH radars in place and is known to be developing both medium- and long-endurance UAVs that could supplement satellites and radars at ranges consistent with the DF-15 or the DF-21.

The US is not expected to deploy any effective sea-based defence by 2009 that could counter a DF-21 class anti-ship missile.

Additional challenges could follow should China elect to sell this technology to select client states. For example, should Pakistan purchase this MaRV technology for its Shaheen-2 ballistic missile, it would be able to effectively counter India's naval power with a relatively small investment. Also, should China be able to even further reduce the size of the MaRV, it might be able to employ smaller missiles, like the DF-11 or the smaller B-611, to potentially provide an inexpensive weapon to deter much larger navies.


Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:21:28 PM EDT
What's interesting about that article is the amount of speculation. First, they may have the sensors available in 2009. Then they'd have to overcome a whole host of technical obsticals to put the guidance in the warhead. In other words, it's vapor ware.

Meanwhile, the USN has some TBMD capablity in the SM-2 Block IV and BMD capability in the SM-3.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:30:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PeteCO:
If an enemy of ours managed to somehow sink a carrier, be it an errant Iranian Sunburn missile or whatever, what is the stated U.S. response? A friend and I were discussing this, and I thought I read somewhere once upon a time that we would use nuclear retaliation, the idea being that a carrier is such a projection of U.S. force, and there are so few of them, that we would consider it a debilitating attack.

I don't want this to turn into yet another Iranian military capability thread, let's just assume that somehow, somewhere an enemy managed to send one to the bottom. What would we do?



Make the admiral incharge bend over and grab his ankles with no vasiline.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 12:06:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nightstalker:

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:
I don't see there being a nuclear response. America has a no-first-use policy which is still in effect, last time I checked.

NTM



Israel would do it...for US..


Yeah, just like Israel was willing to sell the Chinese the U.S. weapons technology we didn't want to sell the Chinese.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 12:17:40 AM EDT
Response? There would be one hell of a Report of Survey to answer for!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 1:18:53 AM EDT
Intresting question...

I do have a question for anybody who may know.. Around how many "tactical" nukes are stored onboard our carriers? I know there has to be some special room on that big ass ship just full of atom-splitting hurt...

anybody?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 1:35:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 1:41:42 AM EDT by AROKIE]
I think i read somewhere that an initial attack from china the United States expects to lose several carriers in the first wave. but i may have dreamt that, but i swear i read it on here though.

this is all i could find

"CRM quoted a "top Beijing official" as saying that "as long as [China] can strike and sink U.S. aircraft carriers that come to Taiwan's aid, there is no problem settling the issue" of forcing the reunification of both Chinas.

Any such attacks would include strikes using DF-31 road mobile ICBMs, the report said, which have a range of 8,000 miles. The missiles could be launched either from land or by submarine
. "



www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25731
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 2:06:35 AM EDT
What would hurt them the worst?

Complete and total trade embargo. Not another cent from the U.S. Will it be difficult for us? Yes. Can our businesses survive it? Yes.

Cut the Chinese communists off and their economy will go south. The Chinese people will get restless and before long they will revolt and throw the communists out.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 2:24:31 AM EDT
The USA has never had a prohibition on "first-use" of nuclear weapons. We had a total ban on biologicals, and a "no first use" of chemical weapons, but retained the right to use nuclear weapons first. It was stated policy not to use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear nations though for quite some time. The 2002 Nuclear review changes that policy to allowing nuclear use even on non-nuclear nations in the form of preemptive strikes. For nations that have nuclear weapons, the US has always reserved the right of first use.

As for the maneuvering ballistic missle, the US is screwing around with the same thing using a Trident missle. The intention is to have conventionally armed Trident missles at sea to provide a long reach-short time strike capabiltiy. One of the big problems everyone sees with it is how to use it without everyone thinking you're going to nuke and retaliating before the conventional rounds hit.

This is a different program than the conversion of Trident subs to SSGN with the 154 cruise missles.

www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aZeqovAl9zgY&refer=us

There's also a study done by the Congressional Research Service done on the subject in pdf here:
www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL33067.pdf

Rather than ask what the US would do, ask what the effect would have on the US public and political situation? If the President was on shaky ground to begin with, how would the sinking of a carrier effect things? Would the nation get behind the effort because of the loss, or would the nation decide that it was the President's fault because he was wrong to begin with?

What about the effect that loosing a carrier may have on other nations? Would nations view it as yet another symbol that the US is going down the tubes and little nations can start all sorts of stuff up, knowing that they could sink a carrier? Sure, you can justify logically any sinking in the carrier being a warship, and you loose warships in war, and you should be able to understand that. Most miiltary will understand that, but wonder if the loss of one will prevent the aggressive use of the others on the oft chance that more are lost?

You can bet anit-carrier advocates would be screaming their lungs out. "I told you so"

Many of the responses in this thread reflect Western European thinking in that the sinking has no outside effect on anything. All that is needed is the correct response to the individual situation. Sorta "all we need to do is defend Khe San" and the war will be won. Without looking at the overall political will.

The oriental view is all about how one event can change the outcome of a war politically, because it doesn't matter what happens in detail to the carrier or the response to an enemy like for example, the Chinese. What matters is what the effect the sinking would have the US war effort.

The question is not what to do to the enemy if a carrier is sunk. The question is what to do to the US public/politicians if a carrier is sunk. There are ways to both win or loose and it has nothing to do with the response of the sinking itself. Focusing on what response to make in the form of attacking the enemy is how to loose. Focusing on how to turn the event to your advantage (like Pearl Harbor) is how you'd win.

If you're thinking about the Chinese (who are buddies with Iran BTW) or any of their friends, you need to be thinking like an oriental. They don't think the same way as Americans.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 2:34:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 2:49:21 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 2:38:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 2:48:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:18:08 AM EDT
An aircraft carrier can be sunk. It is only a ship after all and NO ship is unsinkable. That said, an aircraft carrier, especially if the ship and the other ships of the strike group are prepared, is a VERY difficult target. The ship is huge and well compartmented. The flight deck is heavily armored. The damage control and fire fighting systems are extensive and excellent. The crews are well trained in keeping their ship upright and steaming.

A nuclear weapon detonated close enough (And "close" in this case is entirely relative.") would either wreck the ship so she was a mission kill or simply sink her, depending on the range and deolivery mode of the bomb.

Likewise, a few well placed heavyweight torpedos would either sink or so disable the ship so as to make her no longer capable of employing her airgroup, which is the only reason for her existance in the first place.

The defensive systems of the ship and her consorts including the escorting subs are designed to defend against virtually all of the potential air, surface and subsurface threats out there. As a group, with the air group attack A/C up and ready, the strike group is a fearsome war machine and well capable of defending the carrier. The surface units would even take one for the team if necessary...we used to train for that. Our carriers have the best intelligence gathering sources in the world available to them. They pretty much know who everybody is, where they are, and what they are doing. The key is employing this intel properly.

A carrier is also a "National Asset." Sinking a carrier greatly reduces the ability of the United States to conduct war. Her loss might very well kill thousands of crew. It would certainly rob our national treasury of several billions of dollars. A carrier at sea is roughly four acres of United States sovereign territory.

Sink a carrier and you start a war. Sink a carrier with a nuke and you start a nuclear war...unless a Democrat is in the White House. In that case, you send in the Justice Dept. to "bring the criminals to justice", and the State Dept. with handouts to pacify the poor unfortunate enemy. See how easy it is to avoid a war?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:32:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
One has to remember that modern aircraft carriers do not float alone. There is something called a carrier group that is centered around an aircraft carrier, but that also includes several other vessels in formation around the carrier, including submarines and high tech ships, etc.

The aircraft also create a protected airspace around the carrier.

Actually sinking a carrier would require some serious firepower, and would be an act of war. The carrier group is one of the United States' main ways of projecting force around the globe. They own whatever chunks of water and air they are on at any one time.



That's one of the things that botherd me about "The Sum of All Fears". I seen the Carrier get hit and was like "How in the hell do you hit an American Aircraft Carrier! They are so damn protected by aircraft and the rest of the group I can't imagine they would have much of a shot at ever hitting one.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:45:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:46:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PeteCO: What would we do?
We would recover the carrier hulk and refit it back into combat service and build two more.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:21:37 AM EDT
The last time someone sunk one of our carriers, they got their assess nuked.
Granted, it was a long time ago, and the nuking wasn't directly linked to the carrier sinking, but the outcome might be the same.
It would be tough to sink one of our carriers. They travel in a carrier group. They are well protected. If a carrier was sunk, it would most likely be as the result of a major attack.(SHTF type situation). Nukes could very well come into play as a result of such an attack.
Let's hope we never find out....
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:41:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AROKIE:
I think i read somewhere that an initial attack from china the United States expects to lose several carriers in the first wave. but i may have dreamt that, but i swear i read it on here though.

this is all i could find

"CRM quoted a "top Beijing official" as saying that "as long as [China] can strike and sink U.S. aircraft carriers that come to Taiwan's aid, there is no problem settling the issue" of forcing the reunification of both Chinas.

Any such attacks would include strikes using DF-31 road mobile ICBMs, the report said, which have a range of 8,000 miles. The missiles could be launched either from land or by submarine
. "

www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25731


No matter the "cause," "provocation," or "justification," if China ever did anything like that, we should "settle the issue" once and for all.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:45:32 AM EDT
It would be time to get serious and open a big can of whupass on someone, but not nuclear.
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