Regardless, it won't really matter, since sinking a US aircraft carrier probably means nuclear war.
USSR/Russian strategy against air carrier groups are nuclear torpedoes (launched from subs) and swarming nuclear cruise missles diving underwater some last mile before impact (launched from ships/subs/coast/heavy bombers).
Also don’t need to hit precisely - miss by couple hundred meters will do too.
Remind me again what the geopolitical consequences were of the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000?
Sinking a US aircraft carrier (especially if by proxy rather than uniformed military) probably means some strong statements and some court cases.
I would not describe our intervention in the Middle East as "some strong statements and some court cases."
Nice to know the US mentality hasn't budged an inch in 75 years. Please don't nuke the rest of us because you lost a dick waiving contest.
The space race was a dick waving contest and nobody was intentionally killed for that. Bombing naval vessels is not a dick waving contest.
You mean your going to invade a totally unrelated country and fight another 20 year unwinnable war?
Sign me up, that'll do wonders for my options scheme.
Like you said, the UK saved itself (for now), but "American help was instrumental later."
I get the point you're making, but American military involvement had almost nothing to do with the UK repelling German invasion specifically.
I don't understand, in your made-up hypothetical, is there an Eastern Front or not? Or, are you mis-using "Eastern Front" to refer to the war with Japan perhaps?
As soon as Germany lost the Battle of Britain and then failed to immediately take Russia, their fate was sealed. The war was lost, period.
The next question was - would Russia overrun all of Europe (including Western Europe)? Without US involvement, that may have actually happened. Thankfully, it did not.
(Your friendly, local WWII naval warfare enthusiast - or a few well-chosen YouTube contributors - can cite many, many more cases where shock/concussion damage was a painful or fatal surprise for the crew of a ship. Especially in battle, damage to important ship systems or structures tends to cascade rapidly out of control.)
They're still having problems with the electromagnetic launch system. Not, apparently, in the catapult itself, but in the system that powers it. Which is a big flywheel/generator thing. Output is about a megawatt, comparable to the highest performance Tesla cars.
The thing was designed about 15 years ago, before high-power electric car technology was widely available, so it's all custom. The next generation of this will probably be built using off the shelf electric auto parts. Probably on the PLAN's Type 003 aircraft carrier, scheduled for launch next year.
> Each three-second launch can consume as much as 100 million watts of electricity, about as much as a small town uses in the same amount of time. “A utility does that using an acre of equipment,” says lab engineer Mike Doyle, but due to shipboard space limitations, “we have to take that and fit it into a shoebox.” In shipboard generators developed for electromagnetic catapults, electrical power is stored kinetically in rotors spinning at 6,400 rpm. When a launch order is given, power is pulled from the generators in a two- to three-second pulse
The real damage isn't from the actual explosion per se, but from the massive sound wave which propagates far from the site underwater. That assessment is discussing explosions much smaller than the one the Navy just did (and is scheduled to do twice again).
I'd like to believe to do something to mitigate the damage, but I don't know what they could possibly do for something this violent.
Even if you found one visually, guiding a missile to accurately strike a moving carrier is extremely difficult. It's one reason China's much touted "carrier killer" missiles are less of a threat than the Chinese would like. While they could theoretically sink a carrier they rely on a complex system of satellites and radar to guide a missile in, disruption of any one piece of that system (remember the US has successfully tested anti-satellite weapons) and you won't be scoring any hits. Never mind the multi-layered missile defense systems that all carrier battle groups run with, which wouldn't be a guarantee but would have a chance. The most those missiles would is force the carriers to stay further away from the Chinese coast, which given the range of modern aircraft isn't that much of a burden if we're talking sea control.
As for naval combat, there's no combination of ships in any country's Navy that can hope to stand up to the US Navy in a protracted conflict. US carriers have undisputed rule of the seas for at least the next three decades, even against the likes of China/Russia.
Even if China did get extremely lucky and took out a couple of carriers in the opening shots of any conflict, there'd be several more on their doorstep within weeks at a far higher state of readiness.
Remember the USS Cole?
Plus how hard is it to track the location of a huge ship like that… is it that hard?
A supercarrier would not sink from a nuclear airblast in the general vicinity.
In 1946, the US performed an experiment to see how such an airblast would destroy or damage ships, in the operation Crossroads, test Able. The bomb was a 23 kT one (so a bit higher yield than Hiroshima). It detonated at a hight of 158m. The light aircraft carrier USS Independence (10k tons) was only about 500m from the point of the detonation, and although severely damaged, it did not sink. The fleet carrier USS Saratoga (37k tons) was about 2 km from point zero. It suffered even less damage.
That said, the Hiroshima bomb was small by modern standards. A single Minuteman III missile can carry three W78 warheads, each with a yield of ~340 kT. China has similar nuclear capabilities.
It would be an unmitigated global catastrophe if those sorts of missiles started flying. Nobody would be safe.
And 50 warheads might not even do it - naval ships are hardened structures, a carrier could likely survive a detonation within about 3 km for even the largest weapons in chinese inventories, and perhaps within hundreds of meters for a more realistic tactical weapon. 50 missiles each with 200 kt warheads would be able to clear an area roughly 30 km in radius, which a carrier could likely escape in about half an hour. Using 300 5Mt warheads, you'd need to know the position within 85 km, which it could travel in about 90 minutes, which is coincidentally about how long it takes for a spy satellite to complete an orbit.
Carriers are big, but oceans are really really big. Way too big for a brute force solution.
Xi Jinping bluntly promised Obama he would not occupy the SCS, and then did exactly that, and Obama blinked and did nothing. All the other countries in the region, from Japan to Australia to India, are now crapping themselves as China extends further. For example, they are now regularly pushing military ships posing as fishing vessels into Indonesian waters as a repeat of the ‘cabbage leaf’ process they executed in the SCC. Indonesia is in a precarious position because it does not want to be muscled out, but they took on a lot of debt from Belt and Road for stupid initiatives. There are other countries in a worse situation. East Timor has taken on debt from b&r equivalent to a full year of its GDP, and sits on the edge of the Australian oil shelf. Australia is in a weaker situation than it should be due to not having enough coast guard style ships, and the difficulties sourcing world-class conventional attack subs.
This show may be the US signaling that it has learnt its mistake and won’t be had again.
Realistically though what could he have done? They should've been airtight on the CCP since the 80's 90's.
National interest had a good line about it:
"And because carriers are constantly moving when deployed at up to 35 miles per hour -- fast enough to outrun submarines -- finding and tracking them is difficult. Within 30 minutes after a sighting by enemies, the area within which a carrier might be operating has grown to 700 square miles; after 90 minutes, it has expanded to 6,000 square miles."
Binkov on YouTube did a good analysis of the threats modern carriers face as of last year:
TLDR there are some technologies likely to show up in a decade or so that may make carriers harder to use, but would hardly render them obsolete.
As for conventional missiles, Binkov also did a good analysis on how many missiles it would theoretically take to take out a single AEGIS equipped destroyer. Carrier battle groups would have multiple such destroyers in addition to their own missile defense and those of other accompanying ships.
I don't know, hypersonic and/or nuclear warhead cruise missiles and nuclear torpedoes with significant range can do serious damage from a decent distance.
They are a very very effective way to project power. It takes a lot to down one and in the process, the enemy will take a tremendous amount of damage.
For the second half when it did reduce I'd say that is more because nations were exhausted from WW2, countries saw the horror of war more than ever before and started with increasing commitment to United Nations and nuclear weapons.
Maybe Ive misread what your were trying to say...
Carriers are offensive weapons, not defensive. That's why only USA has aircraft carriers: parasitizing on the world resources requires a huge offensive force that has to be regularly used to send a message: "Don't try to resist if we want your resources".
They have almost zero contribution to the prevention of another major world war.
All of the countries supporting the US presence want to see the current rules-based order continue, and are alarmed by the CCP's illegal territory grabs.
There is no analogy with US engagement in the Middle East, Afghanistan, or the Vietnam War. That the US is a long way away is also not significant - several of its largest trading partners are in the region, and it has long-standing treaty obligations to many countries.
US security guarantees have served non-proliferation goals since the second world war, and everyone wins from this: lower investments in military, less risk of rogue nuclear weapons, simpler strategic calculations than if every small country had nuclear weapons.
It is only an instrument to punish countries that are not willing to give up control of their natural resources (mostly oil-rich countries in the Middle East).
I hope at least some consideration and minimisation of this went into the plan.
The Suez Canal has a minimum depth of 12m at low tide.
USS Nimitz navigating Suez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_HOjxu8nB8
Carriers operate in deep water. The only times they are in shallow water are coming into or leaving port, or transiting a canal like the Suez in order to get somewhere.
The parent comment made a verifiably false statement, I provided video evidence to the contrary.
It may not be carrying out battle manoeuvres in the canal, but it also isn’t immune to threat while it’s there.
I don’t see much reason why it couldn’t operate CWIS or launch missiles or aircraft while it’s there if necessary.
They could also serve at least some of their other, non-war, support functions while in shallow waters.
The threat in such a place would not be an underwater explosion a couple of miles away, or a shock wave similar to that caused by such an explosion. It would be bombs or missiles targeted directly at the carrier. Which is not the kind of threat the test in the article under discussion was testing for.
> I don’t see much reason why it couldn’t operate CWIS or launch missiles or aircraft while it’s there if necessary.
Operate CWIS, yes, in the unlikely event that it had to.
I don't think carriers carry missile launchers of their own.
Launch aircraft, not unless they're helicopters or VTOL aircraft; see my response to Retric downthread. Even that kind of launch would be dicey while transiting a canal, since the carrier still needs some room to maneuver for such launches.
Also, shallow waters means something specific, the surface waves are affected by the sea floor. The US Navy actively avoids those conditions for a host of reasons.
They couldn't launch anything that wasn't a helicopter or a VTOL aircraft. Carriers need upwards of 30 knots of wind over the deck, in the right direction (blowing from the front) to launch ordinary planes. You won't get that transiting a canal. Carriers do it by going to full speed in the open sea.
I hadn't thought of this consideration before the grandparent of this post, but now that it's been mentioned, it does seem that the time we can blanket dismiss environmental effects in favor of national security are over.
I wonder if that was intentional.
My biggest concern is how much marine life this affected. In Seattle marine construction projects (like piers) are required to implement various mitigation’s like bubble screens to limit shockwaves and sound from traveling, because they’ve found that even just a pile driver can kill fish half a mile away. This explosion is much, much bigger and I assume its shockwave and sound travel hundreds of miles, especially since it apparently set off seismometers and registered a 3.9 on the Richter scale.
Nowadays with very precise clocks and event timing down to the gnat's ass fraction of a second it is less necessary since records can be correlated between source sensors and remote receivers with extreme accuracy.
An event that registers as a 3.9 earthquake on a land seismometer far from the source tells you nothing about the energy near the source. That wave traveled thru the water column and into the sediments on the seafloor then into the crust beneath before being recorded at distant stations. It suffered attenuation at each interface due to Snell's Law. Some is transmitted, the rest is reflected across each impedance boundary. The true measure of the energy of this event comes from the near-field hydrophones. I bet they don't release that data. With that you could determine how loud it was at the source. Water doesn't attenuate acoustic signals very well though they do reflect at internal temperature and salinity interfaces. Navies take advantage of this lack of attenuation in their subsea communication strategies which allow communication over huge distances through subsurface water layers. Interesting stuff.
This event will show up on seismic records from hydrophones as a broadband signal with a large bubble pulse and multiple collapse peaks. The initial blast creates a huge bubble that collapses back in on itself and re-forms and collapses several times reverberating. It is huge and will affect marine life many miles from the test location. It would be interesting to see a decibel graph of the energy and power spectrum.
Even though modern seismic surveys are timed to avoid important seasons for known marine life there is no way to minimize the impact this will have on marine life that is currently nearby and "out of season" or out of the public eye.
I mentioned to a fellow geophysicist that submarine echo sounders were likely the cause of marine mammal beachings and this person, a PhD in Geophysics, told me that I was wrong because he had studied the issue for the industry and the energy from those tests was too low, the wrong bandwidth, etc. He said he would buy me lunch and show me the data to back that up.
I'm glad I have had the means to purchase my own lunch since that offer was made.
So, somewhat surprisingly to me, this operation was not just a rounding error in the daily budget.
How is that misleading? Isn't that exactly what they did?
They did not, in fact, destroy a brand new supercarrier by setting off a 40k-pound explosive on it :-)
> preposition, 1c. —used as a function word to indicate position in close proximity with: a village on the sea; stay on your opponent