Thursday, August 09, 2012

Carrier Navy. Threat Personified. Chinese Subs.

On October 26, 2006, a Chinese Song class submarine is said to have "popped up" and "surfaced within firing range of its torpedoes and missiles before being detected" within 5 nautical miles (9 km) of the carrier USS Kitty Hawk while she was operating in the Pacific Ocean

The series continues despite some catcalls from the cheap seats.

You would think that after a regiment of SU-27's and Fast Attack Missile Boats, that the carrier in our mythical exercise would begin to catch a break.


In 2006 a Chinese Song Class Sub was able to pop up virtually in the center of a Carrier Battle Group.  The stunning thing.  She was undetected.  This points to another weakness in the carrier force.  The lack of a proper fast flying anti-sub asset.  The Anti-Sub Helos do good work in restricted waters but over open ocean and a fast moving carrier force it becomes a bit of an issue.  You say well no problem we have P-8's coming online and P-3's right?  Well not so fast.  They'll be searching for Boomers and attempting to sweep  the area ahead of the fleet.  Quiet diesel subs will still be an issue.

In this scenario they would seek to lay in wait and pop up for quick shots on the carrier group.  The hope would be to cut reaction down to mere seconds...almost too quick for automatic systems to react, definitely too quick for the officers on the bridge to give the order to fire.

On a sidenote, the British experience in the Falklands must be taken into account too.  Many have talked about decoys and what they would do to incoming missiles.  The Brits found that decoyed missiles sometimes hit other ships in your task force.  Additionally if the attack by the subs is timed to coincide with the attacks by the fighters and fast attack boats you can bump up the number of missiles going after our carrier in this mythical incident to 1200.

1200 missiles going after a carrier in a max effort attack.  Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles still have to be included (I can tell you now I'm thinking at least 5 per carrier) and bombers and a few stealth aircraft.

This is gonna get good.


  1. About ASBMs, there are no confirmed reports of the DF-21D ever being tested, as far as we know it is just a Chinese disinformation plot. And we do not know if China has the tech to build a working ASBM, and even if they did it is extremely hard to hit a target going +25 knots and taking evasive manuvers 1000km away.

    Chinese subs carrying ASMs? Torpedoes perhaps, but adding on 100 ASMs seems like your over estimating ChiComm subs. I brought this up before, but no ChiComm general is going to risk 100 Su-27s. Hell, the ChiComms only have 76, where are they going to get another 24 from? Perhaps the Su-30MKK? They have roughly 100 of those. I might add, where on earth will the stealth aircraft come from? They only have 2-3 J-20s, and we don't even have a firm idea of what those are going to used for. Sol, you make valid points about the vulnerability of our carriers, but you might want to check your numbers first.

  2. this is pure fan fiction and not based on solid info. but you talk about SU-30MKK? why differentiate? its in the SU-27 family. the J-20's? of course i'm not talking about today...i'm talking future force. and that should make this all the more alarming. the idea that we're at best going to stand pat while the Chinese strengthen should chill every military minded American out there.

    thats the main a couple more. stay tuned.

    1. Okay, fan fiction, worst case scenario. Lemme have a go. Say the Chinese cut down a nuke to about the size of a suitcase, the nuke has a yield of maybe 1-2 kilotons. A couple divers attach the nuke to the hull of a CVN in Yokohama, and after the carrier sails, and is a few miles out, the nuke goes bang. One CVN destroyed, with little expenditure in resources, and no country on earth is going to let a U.S. carrier (or nuclear submarine) get near a port. You can do all that without incriminating yourself, and kill WestPac at the same time.

  3. Well, reading Aussie Digger's earlier posts, while the USN may have trained for Soviet anti-ship missile barrages, that was over 20 years ago. The USN USED to train for ASW missions against Soviet subs, too, but there is no way in hell we could duplicate that now. The US Army USED to train for the Fulda Gap.

    The US services just don't have that sort of Cold-war capacity any longer. And based upon how many recent screw-ups we've made in our handling of nuclear weapons, we don't have the training or competency like we used to have.

    Yes, sure, so the Chinese might only be able to launch a 700 or 800-missile attack converging on a carrier group. Do we have the re-loads for the 2nd wave of an attack? Can we reload MK-41 VLS fast enough?

  4. Sol, keep at it with this series, an enjoyable and thought provoking worst-case scenario exercise. I'm going to be an arsehole (or devils advocate if we're being wordy) and see how many holes I can pick in the scenario and see if I can work any counter manoeuvres by the US so we can build up a picture of what could happen.

    This is fun.

  5. Bring back the S-3 ... or a asw version of the V-22...


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