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Navy's Big Weakness: Our Aircraft Carriers Are (Expensive) Defenseless Sitting Ducks!

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posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 11:59 AM
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Yes they are siting ducks. In a real conflict against another super power.
However in the past 50 years they have been used again and again with great success and they will continue to be used that way in the future. If and when someone sinks one of our carriers, well then its game on and no one or nothing is safe. The navy knows what they have and their strengths and limits. Just like any other weapon.




posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by rogue1
 


Well my friend the US conventional war fighting doctrine is still based on fighting large scale combat actions against such enemies as the former Soviet Union which was far more capable than the Present day Chinese.

The equipment and training is still the same although they are trying to squeeze it into fighting "limited engagements" Something Kennedy warned us about.

We should not forget about logistics, containment and firepower. "If" it came down to a conflict and I hope it never does, outside of some fairly modern equipment and huge numbers of Chinese, they would have a severe tactical disadvantage.

No one is advocated conflict nor am I saying the US should even try to invade but the numbers are still just not there. This does not mean the Chinese are not coming on strong.

Keep in mind Americas fighting force that we are using now was pretty much designed to fight in Europe against an overwhelmingly numerically superior Warsaw Pact force.

In other words dealing with large numbers have already been factored in .

Oh by the way I don't think anybody could win such a conflict.

I think it would lead to a horrifyingly bloody Stalemate.






[edit on 12-4-2009 by SLAYER69]



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
Well my friend the US conventional war fighting doctrine is still based on fighting large scale combat actions against such enemies as the former Soviet Union which was far more capable than the Present day Chinese.


I wasn't disouting any of that.



We should not forget about logistics, containment and firepower. "If" it came down to a conflict and I hope it never does, outside of some fairly modern equipment and huge numbers of Chinese, they would have a severe tactical disadvantage.


What do huge number sof CHinese have to do with anything ? They don't need huge numbers to sink a Carrier, they just need one submarine.



Keep in mind Americas fighting force that we are using now was pretty much designed to fight in Europe against an overwhelmingly numerically superior Warsaw Pact force.


True and most studies and exercises have found that if the Warsaw Pact had invaded NATO couldn't have contained the Warsaw Pact without resorting to nuclear weapons. America was there as a deterrant not to win a European War.

Australian, Swedish and Chinese submarines have all be able to penetrate a US Carrier screen with impunity. During RIMPAC an Australian sub easily got within torpedo range of a carrier, even after the US NAvy knew it's position at the start of the exercise and had ASW helicopters pinging away at it with active sonar. They still lost the submarin using ACTIVE sonar.



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 06:57 PM
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I know the carriers have a lot of power available to them, but they're still huge targets cruising in the middle of the ocean. Technology has evolved to the point where missiles can hit other missiles, it's really not that far-fetched to think that a warhead, even if a ballistic one, can hit a carrier.

As for the U.S. war doctrines, the Chinese are not the Soviets. They're not interested in an actual war with the U.S.. They won't go on the offensive, and they really just don't have the capabilities to conduct offensive missions and hold the conquered territories far beyond their borders. So they don't need to conquer the seas, they only need to strike the USN hard enough to convince the Americans that a conflict would be too costly.

If a war should break out over Taiwan, you can bet that the Chinese will not quit. They've whipped up the nationalist frenzy already, and the government is expected to finish the job. But can you say the same about the Americans? It's easy to convince the American public to fight Soviets invading western Europe, but will it be as easy to convince them to fight the Chinese invading Taiwan?



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by dingyibvs
1)It's taking sentences out of context when you break up points that intend to support each other.


Presuming that i don't in fact read your post before responding and do my best to misrepresent your intentions or claims?


Let me repeat, once a single F-18 goes up in the air, its location will be known, assuming it's launched within the F-18's range of China or Taiwan, or it would be useless to launch it anyway.


Let me repeat, once a f-18 goes into the air the chances increases slightly that the battle group might be identified. Planes are launched for many other reasons other than flying out to maximum range to attack targets on land.


The F-18's range isn't that long, Chinese OTH radars can easily pick it out.


The F-18's range isn't that far but that does not mean OTH radars can easily pick it out. OTH are not omnipotent and i am surprised that you believe that they can so easily pick fighter sized targets out of background clutter to say nothing of the electronic countermeasures. OTH radars use low frequencies for a reason and perhaps you should investigate just how 'usefull' their data is for tracking purposes.


And wherever it's launched, that's where the Carrier is. UAVs can fly out there within an hour, by which time the carrier couldn't have possibly moved over 30 something knots.


A OTH radar will not and can not detect a fighter sized target at the ranges you are talking about and they are not built to do that.


2)Those OTH radars are always on. Unless you're prepared to launch a preemptive strike on mainland China, those F-18's and heck, those ships, should be picked up by them.


Presuming that OTH works as your suggesting which they do not. Ballistic targets against a a uncluttered background is VERY different to low level fighter sizes many hundreds of km's away..


Scouting on the open sea is not as hard as you say. And can you track every Chinese sub?


No you probably can not track every Chinese sub's but can the Chinese sub's keep pace with a carrier battle group without compromising it's position? If scouting the open ocean was so easy what was the point of Russian Rorsat's given their large numbers of large OTH radars?


What about a massed missile attack? Jamming? Are you assuming that the Chinese don't know how to jam or enact counter-EW measures?


What about massed missile attacks? Isn't that what Aegis were designed to cope with? Do you know about the initial flaws in the Aegis system or how the patriot's have proved relatively useless against ballistic and cruise missile attacks? Aren't you assuming that the Chinese have figured out how to counteract American ECM or ECCM? When did the Chinese become so good at this naval war stuff? Where is their blue water navy with more than a hundred years of experience gained during at least two world wars? Why are people so desperately worried about the Chinese?


3)Those escorts are useless against AShBM's, the current ABM systems cannot shoot it down.


Since ABM technology were proven to work quite well in the sixties i think you really need to build a sam system with the express intent not to be dual use ABM system but knowing American policy makers that is perhaps just what they did in the case of Aegis despite recent 'tests' that 'proved' the capability.


4)There is a reason I didn't say cannons. Spears and swords didn't become obsolete until guns came out, they were much more effective weapons until the 1900's.


And shared the battlefields of Europe with weapons thousands of years older for a few hundred years. How is you example any good when it can so easily be shown that weapons don't have to or easily make each other obsolete?


5)Why won't they be able to transmit? The Chinese EW capabilities are quite strong you know.


Stronger than the US systems that have been in use for decades longer? Why do i have to go to all this trouble to make a threat out of China when it seems more logical to presume that America might lose a few ships and then figure out the same solutions to problems that the Germans could not and did not overcome not so long ago? Since when are the Chinese such high tech warriors?


Are you hinging your entire argument on the point that you might be able to jam the guidance systems? Because all others are definitively refuted.


What guidance system? A ballistic attack would be USELESS without nuclear warheads and i just don't see what other guidance system they could employ that would make this whole exercise so easy to do. As for having 'refuted' my arguments i have not seen even one source from your side. Should i presume that you are not familiar with how i have done things in the past?


6)Obviously the Chinese would have achieved the necessary CEP in order for an AShBM to be useful.


Which is only partially important given the moving nature of the target. A CEP is in this case much less important than how the Chinese missile will get it's targeting updates while it gets closer and closer to the source of the jamming. Basically it will probably need it's own active radar and i am not even sure if such is possible at the velocity in question.


7)Carriers can be a defensive presence(basically a mobile airfield). The Chinese are interested in defense. Can Carriers carry out effective offensive missions close to Chinese soil? That's the question here.


As long as carrier aircraft can protect their battle groups the rest of the ships can lob cruise missiles at China until American stocks of these weapons become depleted. One does not have to risk getting close enough for aircraft but obviously that might become possible as forward Chinese airbases/missile bases are destroyed. I really don't know how close carriers can operate to Chinese shores but frankly i don't think the Chinese will soon start a war to prove how good they are at attacking a blue water navy.


8)You're avoiding the question. Of course the Chinese are highly unlikely to invade Taiwan or anywhere else any time soon. But we're assuming a conflict does break out and Taiwan is the most likely place. The Chinese does not and will not possess the ability to project power far beyond its borders any time soon, but this missile is clearly a defensive measure.


I don't think i am avoiding the question ( i am after all addressing each of your points.
? ) but obviously this weapon can be used defensively and can in theory prove to be a threat to American task forces provided they can be deployed in relatively large numbers and US task forces are not 'officially upgraded' to have ABM defenses at that time.


Again, can the U.S. carrier carry out an offensive mission, which is basically what intervention at Taiwan means being so close to Chinese shores?


In my opinion a single carrier group would be a large target but since a single carrier would never be committed and land based support will be forthcoming with or without additional carriers the Chinese wont try anything overt against Taiwan until they are very sure that the US will not intervene directly.


Lastly, the USN should look for a paradigm change. How about smaller mobile platforms for example? Say small boats that each can carry only one vertical takeoff plane?


The USN could be turned into any number of different shapes but basically that isn't something that happens over one or two decades unless the rest gets sunks or proves obsolete in a actual war. The 'problem' with smaller mobile platforms is your overhead cost; the economics of size if you will. Presenting the enemy with a hundred targets that doesn't pose much of a threat isn't any better than presenting half a dozen that can return the favor. If you operate a coastal defense force ( few hundred km's from shore) smaller boats begins to make sense mainly because they don't need to go very far. As for Vstol i reckon that is the wave of the future with significantly smaller carriers operating drone( UCAV) aircraft in much the same way as before.

Since fleet design is about as much about politics ( You fight with the result of the government programs that yielded the greatest profit to private contractors) as what is most efficient to construct or effective to fight with it's REALLY hard to say what future combat will look like.


They can link many together to provide a large airfield for even large bombers far away from the shores, or they can link a few together to provide a stable platform for a vertical takeoff.


I think , like me, you have played too many real time 'strategy' games. War might be a game to those who initiate it but those who fight it tend to create the simplest systems that can get the job done and this solution doesn't seem simple at all.


They can also scatter when a missile attacks. Just a thought, but we need something new, something innovative.


And how many can you afford to lose? Why not stick together and use your size and weight to either absorb the blow or as basis for solid defense? Why do we fight in formations and normally only scatter when we know we have lost?

We don't need 'innovation' when it comes to warfare nearly as much as we need to find ways for the people of the world to bypass their leaders and directly negotiate the peace regular people so desperately want.

Stellar



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 04:47 AM
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a weapon of self-defense that i will label SAEME ( small area electro-magnetic explosive) has been developed to completely disable electronics within a kilometer circular burst. explosive pulse field can be adjusted upward depending upon number of incoming targets or evasive manuvers of said targets.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 07:02 AM
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reply to post by JanusFIN
 


But sitting ducks to who?

I wonder what would happen to any country that took out a U.S Aircraft Carrier with 5000 men in one foul swoop?

It seems people are desperate to protray the U.S as some sort of defencless waif, ready to be attacked at any moment.

The U.S is the 50,000 pound gorilla of this planet. It rules the planet for the benfit of judaic zionist imperialism.

It is untouchable militarily.

The United States is the only country to nuke another country and has laid waste to Germany and Japan.

Who is going to tickle the gorilla and live?



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 03:30 PM
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reply to post by rogue1
 


You moved back to the US from China? I see a change in your location status.
You were in Guangdong right?



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by SylviaPlath
 


I can name a few who have done so since these WWII events you talk about.
But that's besides the point here I think.



posted on Apr, 15 2009 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by StellarX
 


1)We've got that cleared up now, we'll move on.

2)A F-18 rising out of the middle of the ocean is a sure sign that a carrier is there, no? That's the point of my argument.

3)I'm surprised you don't think OTH radars can pick up a bunch of F-18s and warships. They do not need to be able to track the targets accurately, that's the job for satellites and UAVs, they just need to narrow the target location down from "millions of square miles."

4)USN's carriers are vulnerable to submarine attacks, that has been well-documented. You shouldn't assume that they're useless vs. carriers.

5)Aegis system is designed to counter massed missile attacks? They're designed to counter missile attacks, not massed missile attacks. How many missiles does each Aegis capable ship carry?

6)The Chinese has no capable blue-water navy fleet to speak of. Thus, they're incapable of launching a naval invasion of Hawaii, but that's not their aim either. They're focused on asymmetrical warfare, which is hardly restricted to naval warfare. Their ECM and ECCM capabilities are very advanced. That the U.S. system has been in use for decades longer is of little relevance, a system in use 3 decades ago is just an obsolete system. How long have the British had a navy? Is it stronger than the American Navy? The Chinese have constructed a large part of the communications infrastructure in GB, and would have constructed the backbone of the Australian one if not for security concerns.

7)I have my doubts over the capabilities of the ABM systems in place right now. They were pretty ineffective in the 90's vs. SCUD missiles, I doubt they were more advanced in the 60's.

8)It's silly to think that cruise missiles will bring the Chinese military down. In fact, attacks on China proper will likely elicit missile attacks on America. And the Americans will unlikely to launch nuclear attacks because they have enough missiles to counter-attack if those Chinese ICBMs carried nuclear warheads.

9)Launching a land attack will take time, but a carrier group can reach it faster. The Chinese does want to make sure that the U.S. won't intervene directly, which is the purpose of this AShBM. However, they certainly will make plans for an U.S. intervention, and the second step would likely be to make sure that the U.S. cannot intervene en masse(i.e. shipping large # of troops to Taiwan) until Taiwan was taken. According to Taiwan, the island can hold out for at most 2 weeks before collapsing, can the U.S. mobilize that many soldiers and ship them to Taiwan if carrier support was taken out?

10)I'm sure guilty of playing too many RTS games
I thought it would be a fairly simple system, since all components would be the same boat, and being mass-produced without much/any armor, radar, defensive capabilities besides scattering would make it fairly cheap. They can probably be unmanned as well, since all they really need to do is to sail and link up. They'd essentially be little pieces of runway on water. But they don't even need to be that, since if you link say 8 of them together you can probably form a platform stable enough for STOVL planes.

Of course, that's just a thought. But my overriding concern for the carrier is that it's too large and expensive to be expendable, hence my proposal of an expendable platform. Sure we can design a weapons system just to protect it, but I think it makes more sense to explore other possibilities.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by dingyibvs
5)Aegis system is designed to counter massed missile attacks? They're designed to counter missile attacks, not massed missile attacks. How many missiles does each Aegis capable ship carry?


Aegis was designed to be capable of engaging air, surface, and subsurface targets at the same time. The radar used is capable of providing guidance to missiles engaging over 100 targets simultaneously.

Now that they've removed the rail launchers and gone exclusively to the VLS, they're even more capable. Early Aegis ships were only capable of firing as fast as the rails could be loaded, and generally only carried four rails, two on the bow, and two on the stern. The Ticonderoga class cruiser carries 2 MK-41 VLS launchers, also carried by the Arleigh Burke class.

The Ticonderoga carries a total of 122 SM-2s for defense, while the Arleigh Burke has 90 tubes, and carries either the SM-2, SM-3, or the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow (from USS Oscar Austin, DDG-79 on).



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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Great discussion

Those US carrier group seems to be pretty well protected when it comes to missiles. However I still feel that they would be very vulnerable to a technolocaly advanced enemy.

It has been said before but the biggest threat to a carrier group don't come from missiles but it come from below. If a friendly Australian sub can get close to a carrier without being detected, I wonder if they will detect an enemy sub.

And with those supercavitating nuclear torpedoes the russian built and probably sold to the chinese, a carrier could be a wreck before knowing what happened. I'd love to hear from anyone who has an idea of the type of defence used to counteract those torpedoes/underwater rocket.

About the shkval underwater rocket



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by grandnic
 



If it were a real war the incidents like with the chinese and aus subs wouldnt happen.
There was probably a LA class boat with a firing solution on the "enemy sub" the whole time.
They wouldnt reveal themselves unless they had to.

We do have the ability to follow all but the deepest subs via their disruption of the surface water.
A large underwater object, slightly displaces the water above it making it trackable from space.

The shkval is a formidable weapon but not one that cant be neutralized, with current technology, or some stuff that is coming down the pipe.
You cant hide a signature like that, once the thing is lit up everybody knows where its at and where its headed.
Like under water auto cannons that fire super cavitating projectiles at nearly atmospheric muzzle velocities. Prototypes were being built 10 years ago that were using blue-green lasers as a target illuminator.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by punkinworks09
If it were a real war the incidents like with the chinese and aus subs wouldnt happen.


Then why does it happen in just about every exercise where subs are involved?


There was probably a LA class boat with a firing solution on the "enemy sub" the whole time.


And US soldiers in Iraq are getting blown up and shown in a effort to fool the Iraqi resistance to stage their own Tet offensive so they can crush it? Why is it that everyone but the vaunted US armed forces have 'a plan'?


They wouldnt reveal themselves unless they had to.


Wait for the sub to launch nuclear tipped torpedoes?


We do have the ability to follow all but the deepest subs via their disruption of the surface water.
A large underwater object, slightly displaces the water above it making it trackable from space.


MAD doesn't even work for anything but the hugest of subs so why would surface water displacement work better ? Why doesn't it seem to work in practice?


The shkval is a formidable weapon but not one that cant be neutralized, with current technology, or some stuff that is coming down the pipe.


It is but again it isn't any more perfect than these ' in the pipe weapons' that never seem to protect the USN from trouble once the shooting actually starts.


You cant hide a signature like that, once the thing is lit up everybody knows where its at and where its headed.


Again at this distances were are discussing it leaves the carrier with precious little time even if it's presumed it becomes immediately aware which may not be the case in the noisy environment we are talking about; a carrier battle group isn't exactly 'silent'.


er water auto cannons that fire super cavitating projectiles at nearly atmospheric muzzle velocities. Prototypes were being built 10 years ago that were using blue-green lasers as a target illuminator.


And i like these discussions/speculation about prototypes as much as the next guy but they hardly addresses the question of why diesels and even those 'noisy' Russian boats have often enough penetrated carrier screens to make it widely understood that in a shooting war the combination of strategic bomber/massed missile attacks and submarine cruise and torpedo attacks would have quickly turned the Atlantic into a killing field for NATO Reforger convoys.

Stellar



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by punkinworks09
reply to post by grandnic
 



If it were a real war the incidents like with the chinese and aus subs wouldnt happen.
There was probably a LA class boat with a firing solution on the "enemy sub" the whole time.
They wouldnt reveal themselves unless they had to.


The funny thing about your argument is that the US Navy were given the positions of the submarines during exercises and still managed to lose them. What chance do they have against a foe that isn't going to radio in their position.
The US Navy has leased a Swedish sub to practice countermeasures against it, none of which have been effective to date.



We do have the ability to follow all but the deepest subs via their disruption of the surface water.
A large underwater object, slightly displaces the water above it making it trackable from space.


Well come on list a source which aren't Tom Clancy books.



Like under water auto cannons that fire super cavitating projectiles at nearly atmospheric muzzle velocities. Prototypes were being built 10 years ago that were using blue-green lasers as a target illuminator.


Also read about those in techno-thriller novels any facts behind it ?



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by Daedalus3
reply to post by rogue1
 


You moved back to the US from China? I see a change in your location status.
You were in Guangdong right?



Yah, been back in the US for about 18 months now.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 05:30 AM
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During the Falkland Islands war, the British assigned the nuclear powered submarine HMS Spartan with the sole task of hunting down & sinking the Argentinian aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo & it's perhaps lucky for her that she was overtaken by events.

There's no reason to believe that any potential adversary would be any less aggressive when it comes to hunting down a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. But the huge advantage those ships have is their ability to maintain high speeds for long periods thanks to their nuclear propulsion.

In wartime simply detecting her would be the biggest problem. She might be the size of a mini city but in the open ocean you'd have as much chance of finding a needle in a haystack. Even with sophisticated satellites I don't believe any potential adversary possesses the ability to track her in real time. Plus once she has been found, her course needs to plotted, reported back, decisions made to take her out and all that takes time.

Meantime her own aircraft & screening escorts are doing their very best to hunt down submarines and she herself is ploughing through the waves at 30+ knots. And that's the thing, the carrier battle group isn't exactly going to be out on a recreational cruise itself. It'll be a shooting war and any enemy ships, submarines or aircraft will be despatched as soon as they're within range.

I don't think she's as vulnerable as folks make out. Although if she were be lost it'd be such a terrible crushing blow it'd set the USN back for the rest of the war, however long that might be.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 07:01 AM
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Originally posted by The Lass
There's no reason to believe that any potential adversary would be any less aggressive when it comes to hunting down a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. But the huge advantage those ships have is their ability to maintain high speeds for long periods thanks to their nuclear propulsion.


Many of her escort ships cannot maintain 30 knots indefinately. Therefore stripping her of her protective screen.


In wartime simply detecting her would be the biggest problem. She might be the size of a mini city but in the open ocean you'd have as much chance of finding a needle in a haystack. Even with sophisticated satellites I don't believe any potential adversary possesses the ability to track her in real time. Plus once she has been found, her course needs to plotted, reported back, decisions made to take her out and all that takes time.


If her purpose is to attack China then where she can operate to be effective is narrowed down significantly. Not to mention travelling at high speed makes an awfully big acoustic signature. A passive sonar could here her from hundreds of miles away.


Meantime her own aircraft & screening escorts are doing their very best to hunt down submarines and she herself is ploughing through the waves at 30+ knots. And that's the thing, the carrier battle group isn't exactly going to be out on a recreational cruise itself. It'll be a shooting war and any enemy ships, submarines or aircraft will be despatched as soon as they're within range.


If the CBG is travelling at 30 knots then their passive sonars would be uslesss in detecting submarine traffic, they can barely track AIP atm, well actually they can't really.


I don't think she's as vulnerable as folks make out. Although if she were be lost it'd be such a terrible crushing blow it'd set the USN back for the rest of the war, however long that might be.


Actually she is probably more vulnerable than most people think. Fact is the carriers have never been engage with an adversary which has a significant Navy since WWII. This IMO has bred a certain arrogance about their survivability.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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If carriers are so vulnerable, why hasn't anyone attacked one yet?

One thing that may already have been noted, is that carriers don't go wandering around alone. Cruisers, destroyers, frigates, subs, and other systems are constantly on guard. So, you don't have a single ships stooging around, you have huge entity, covering hundreds of square miles of sea, moving across the ocean. Good luck messing with them, they do that kind of thing for a living.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
If carriers are so vulnerable, why hasn't anyone attacked one yet?

One thing that may already have been noted, is that carriers don't go wandering around alone. Cruisers, destroyers, frigates, subs, and other systems are constantly on guard. So, you don't have a single ships stooging around, you have huge entity, covering hundreds of square miles of sea, moving across the ocean. Good luck messing with them, they do that kind of thing for a living.


Because the U.S. hasn't been involved in a conflict with any nation with an advanced military that's serious enough to necessitate the destruction of a carrier. We've been living in an era of relative peace for the past 50 years or so.



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