Thursday, April 29, 2021

US: The US Navy just became more lethal

(San Diego)  The US Navy has for the past few years recognised that other nations have gone out of their way in which to try and level the playing field at sea. We see that with the Iranians and their leaning towards mass boat attacks, the Russians with hypersonic missiles and the Chinese, well they have gone down the route of the numbers game. why only last week China inaugurated 3 new navy ships (1 assault ship, I huge missile destroyer and 1 nuclear submarine) 3 days ago. 

The problem with Navy ships is they are fitted with certain (usually single use) weapons, so torpedoes are only good for ships or submarines. Anti ship missiles target ships, cruise missiles target land targets and anti aircraft missiles target aircraft. Having to assign space for each weapon system reduces the amount of weapons you can field on a ship as well as the amount of missiles you can carry.  Now if the other fellow has more ships than you, he has a better chance of winning a future bunfight simply due to the numbers game. So the US Navy went back to the drawing board and decided multi mission weapons was the way to go.

So the Tomahawk cruise missile which started life 37 years ago as a land attack missile, has just been given a new lease of life by giving it the capability to strike moving naval targets.  which with its 1000 mile range outranges most anti ship missiles in the world by far bar one the Chinese DF-26 which is a ballistic missile believed to have the ability to hit ships at sea.

The otherday the USS John Finn took part in a naval exercise off of San Diego where using UAVs running on passive sensors they hunted for and found a barge (meant to resemble an enemy ship) 260 miles away and launched a SM6 standard missile (The Standard Missile family has been the US Navy's main anti aircraft missile since 1967) resulting in a direct hit. The most impressive thing about the strike was not in the use of a multi mission missile , but rather in the use of unmanned vehicles (under the surface, on it and above it) which were able to find the target using only passive sensors and relay that information back to the USS John Finn allowing it to launch a missile without the target knowing it was been targeted.