Picture for a moment a scene from the next conflict. The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) has sustained a critical hit from a Chinese DF-21D (CSS-5 Mod-4) anti-ship missile.

Whether the Ford is lost entirely or merely removed from the fight, the U.S. Navy just lost a $13 billion asset in a matter of seconds.

The financial costs notwithstanding, 2,600 sailors have been put in mortal jeopardy and a massive blow is dealt to U.S. prestige and morale.

For a scenario like this to take place, a good deal must go wrong. The situation is predicated on the defensive ring of a carrier strike group failing to protect the central prize. However, missile defense is based on the unfortunate truth that not all defensive systems will catch all missiles. Simple saturation attacks can defeat even the most advanced systems. As such, it is by no means improbable that carriers will be targeted and hit in the next conflict.

With a range of 900 miles, the DF-21D Chinese missile is perhaps enough to cause second thoughts about the deployment and use of carriers in the South China Sea or the Western Pacific.

Additionally, a carrier strike group must contend with the threat of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. One may conjecture that, given the rate of Chinese military modernization and advancement, the range of acceptable circumstances for a carrier strike group to operate will grow smaller.

This leads to an uncomfortable conundrum for the U.S. Navy.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. https://tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/volley-of-chinas-df-21d-missiles-kills-us-aircraft-carrier-at-low-cost/

    According to a mil.eastday.com article, the US can no longer boast the strong missile defense capabilities of its Aegis destroys in an aircraft carrier battle group. An Aegis destroyer can be armed with only 90 Standard-3 Block1B missile defense missiles that cost $10 million each and $900 million in all. With their maximum interception rate, the defense of all those missiles can be broken by the volley of China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles that cost less than $20 millions in all. As the anti-ship missiles are based on land, their launch system costs much less than an Aegis destroyer that costs $2 billion.
    According to previous reports summarized in my posts dated May 20 and February 17, China has 7 anti-ship missile brigades each with the capabilities of launching 24-32 anti-ship ballistic missiles simultaneously. Together, they can attack with the volley of 168 to 224 missiles to sink an entire aircraft carrier battle group. Moreover, they can reload for a second round of volley within hours.

  2. $13bn here, $13bn there and billions on a plane, F-35, the plane that couldn’t fly straight, …it’s only money and there’s plenty more where that came from: the Federal Reserve. Make a phone call and the cash is ready to move.
    It doesn’t matter to Washington. The future is being sacrificed to useless, overpriced and over engineered military gear, most of which either doesn’t work properly or needs massive amounts of maintenance ( costs) to keep running.
    Neither side of the aisle cares. They have their constituents back home who work for these sub contractors to keep fat and happy no matter what the costs to the rest of the taxpayers. Spread the work out across as many congressional districts as possible and make it impossible to curb military spending when so many people’s jobs are dependent on it …..sorta like a welfare program.
    It ain’t gonna stop ’till the well runs dry and it will, sooner or later and the sooner the better.

    • According to a mil.eastday.com article, the US can no longer boast the strong missile defense capabilities of its Aegis destroys in an aircraft carrier battle group. An Aegis destroyer can be armed with only 90 Standard-3 Block1B missile defense missiles that cost $10 million each and $900 million in all. With their maximum interception rate, the defense of all those missiles can be broken by the volley of China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles that cost less than $20 millions in all. As the anti-ship missiles are based on land, their launch system costs much less than an Aegis destroyer that costs $2 billion.
      According to previous reports summarized in my posts dated May 20 and February 17, China has 7 anti-ship missile brigades each with the capabilities of launching 24-32 anti-ship ballistic missiles simultaneously. Together, they can attack with the volley of 168 to 224 missiles to sink an entire aircraft carrier battle group. Moreover, they can reload for a second round of volley within hours.

    • You are quite correct. They could care less about the cost in men and equipment. That carrier is out there to get hit. That is it’s purpose in the end, bait, and an excuse to start WWIII. Don’t forget, that is the endgame.

  3. I cannot imagine a scenario where China would actually launch those missiles against any US carrier, except well into a strategic conflict. At that point nukes fly. Rather, the question should be who’s going to risk Beijing as the price for sinking a US super carrier?

    • It becomes moot at that point. The point being made is it worth losing a$13bn floating target, that has very little defense against a swarm of hypersonic missiles, most of whom would probably make it though the defenses.
      At that point, the Chinese will have calculated what the response would already be.
      Besides, I seriously doubt the Chinese would instigate such an exchange. It would be to their moral advantage to take the first hit and claim U.S. aggression.
      Then all bets are off.

    • the Chinese don’t need to Fire Any Antishipping Missiles or they’d be Directly involved BUT China Freely Sells Chinese Missiles NOW the Question here is How much Will it Cost Iran to buy a Chinese Missile to sink 13billion …… IF The Chinese Missile is below $10,000 then its bloody happening ……

  4. Admirals and generals are always fighting the last war. Bayonet charges against barbed wire and machine gun pillboxes in WW One, the useless battleships of WW Two and now the floating Pearl Harbor aircraft carriers.

    “Russia Deploys Avangard Hypersonic Boost Glide Missile” on YouTube > the Mach 27 end to surface fleets and “air defense” systems.

    • Yup. These missiles will be coming in too fast and too hot for the targeting computers to be able to process the information. By the time it has , it will be too late.