Wow thanks for that. I suppose you do have to compete with the sheer vast of the pacific. Would you not of thought that china would of spent more time
and money on developing a tanker fleet ? But then I suppose you need somewhere to station those tankers in strategic waypoints. With the US they can
use Hawaii and midway etc
F-18 buddy tankers can only provide enough fuel for 1.8 approaches to the carrier. Not enough gas to really do anything with. They are there for
basically emergency ops when a jet has trouble catching on the carrier.
I don't think China spent time on developing a tanker fleet because they aren't really concerned with being able to strike globally with their
strike aircraft. Their sights, right now, are set squarely on local territories that do not require long range endurance from their aircraft and
keeping us at bay while they bully their position with the neighbors.
If it came down to a shooting match between the US and China (and if it didn't go nuclear) they would strike what ever assets they could that were in
the region already, allowing them time get a foot hold on the land they wanted.
Yes MIRV's never help - but then of course MIRVs are a lot smaller and so able to contain less terminal guidance machinery and will have a smaller
warhead - remember they're supposedly targeting these on ships, and using a conventional explosive warhead.
a reply to: Zaphod58
I'm pretty sure US carrier have some repair ability - and of course they also now have effectively armoured flight decks by virtue of making the
flight deck part of hull "box"* - the 1.5"-2" might not stop a hole being punched - but it will certainly minimize the size of that hole and
damage below it.
* - the "argument" between armoured flight decks and unarmoured ones (British vs American) from WW2 was decisively won by armour when US carriers
became so big that the "strength deck" - ie the top of the structural hull box - had to be moved up to the flight deck. This is because the larger
to cross section of the "box" the more torsional stress it can handle, and keeping the hanger deck as the strength deck was insufficient from the
Forrestal class onwards.
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