Sorry for the sensational thread title.
I'm pretty much done with cataloging the world's main navies, adding up their anti-ship missiles and basically calculating who has the most
firepower. This is just an expansion of the methodology put forward in the IndiaPakistan thread to include loads more countries.
As you can see, Russia wins
by a substantial margin. Both the US
and Russia's figures are probably exaggerated to similar extents –
in general Russian anti-ship missiles have a longer range, bigger warhead and travel MUCH faster than the American Harpoon family. I’ve over-counted
Harpoons by assuming that carrier air wings carry enough rounds to load every Hornet with two, and also that the attack subs carry four each when in
fact they are rarely deployed.
But the general indication, that the Russian Navy has more readily available anti-ship missile firepower is very fair. Anti-ship warfare seems not to
be the USNs priority, whereas Russia is still, at least in procurement terms, more concerned with having the ability to counter the US’s huge
advantage in carriers.
Aside from US coming in second, despite Russia’s declining fleet, there were several results I wasn’t expecting:
; the Chinese fleet is increasingly modernized, with most destroyers now carrying a whopping sixteen anti-ship missiles compared to
the more typical four or eight. India is following this trend also. The sixteen-missile punch allows saturation attacks with several missiles being
launched in place of one – somewhat making up for the slightly lesser technology of the mainstream Chinese missiles.
UK still OK
. OK, so the Royal Navy is no longer ruler of the waves, but with the retirement of the Sea Eagle anti-ship missile which equipped
to Tornado GR.4 squadrons, I expected the UK to come out worse than they did.
Does so well mainly because of the large number of Harpoon equipped air force (RAAF) Hornets, F-111 and Orion aircraft. The RAN
itself provides a puny anti-ship punch without the RAAF.
, home of the Exocet, does so poorly because it has hardly updated its missile stocks. The basic MM-38/40 Exocet is comparatively short
ranged and less sophisticated than the Harpoon. Whilst there are more up to date turbo-jet versions, the actual Exocets in French service are still
MM-38 (10 ships), MM-40 (14 Ships) and the equivalent SM-39 submarine launched and AS-39 air launched versions. As far as I am aware the super-sonic
replacement (ANS?) has been shelved. The French habit of carrying only 4 Exocets on many combatants also eats into their firepower rating.
Other highly regarded navies like Italy
have clearly felt the post-cold-war bite and sunk low.
, a country which pioneered the use of torpedoes in the 1900s is now somewhat toothless, as is Brazil
despite their 35,000ton
Talking of carrier operators, here’s an interesting observation:
Imagine that, most countries that operate aircraft carriers don’t equip their carrier fighters with anti-ship missiles(!).
[edit on 30-6-2006 by planeman]