Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, May 12, 2019

The American military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represented a "target" and and "opportunity", a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander said, raising the rhetoric as US forces head towards the region.

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A former top US defence official, meanwhile, warned on Sunday of a "real risk" of a miscalculation between the two sides as the war of words intensifies.

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Yawn, they have always been a target, the problem that the Mullahs still have is how to get the weapons that they have through the defensive screen around a carrier:

Putting 5,000 sailors and six dozen high-performance aircraft on a $10 billion warship creates what military experts refer to as a very "lucrative" target. Taking one out would be a big achievement for America's enemies, and a big setback for America's military. However, the likelihood of any adversary actually achieving that without using nuclear weapons is pretty close to zero. It isn't going to happen, and here are several big reasons why.

Large-deck carriers are fast and resilient. Nimitz-class carriers of the type that dominate the current fleet, like the Ford-class carriers that will replace them, are the biggest warships ever built. With hundreds of watertight compartments and thousands of tons of armor, no conventional torpedo or mine is likely to cause serious damage. And because carriers are constantly moving when deployed at up to 35 miles per hour -- fast enough to outrun submarines -- finding and tracking them is difficult.

Carrier defenses are formidable. U.S. aircraft carriers are equipped with extensive active and passive defenses for defeating threats such as low-flying cruise missiles and hostile submarines. These include an array of high-performance sensors, radar-guided missiles and 20 mm Gatling guns that shoot 50 rounds per second. The carrier air wing of 60+ aircraft includes a squadron of early-warning radar planes that can detect approaching threats (including radar periscopes) over vast distances and helicopters equipped for anti-submarine, anti-surface and counter-mine warfare. All of the carrier's defensive sensors and weapons are netted together through an on-board command center for coordinated action against adversaries.

Carriers do not operate alone. Carriers typically deploy as part of a "carrier strike group" that includes multiple guided-missile warships equipped with the Aegis combat system, the most advanced air and missile defense system in the world, capable of defeating every potential overhead threat including ballistic missiles. It is linked to other offensive and defensive systems on board U.S. surface combatants that can defeat submarines, surface ships and floating mines, or attack enemy sensors needed to guide attacking missiles. Carrier strike groups often include one or more stealthy attack subs capable of defeating undersea and surface threats.

New technology is bolstering carrier defense. Although there has been much speculation about emerging threats to aircraft carriers, the Navy invests heavily in new offensive and defensive technologies aimed at countering such dangers. The most important advance of recent years has been the netting together of all naval assets in an area so that sensors and weapons can be used to maximum effect. Initiatives like the Naval Integrated Fire Control - Counter Air program link together every available combat system in a seamless, fast-reacting defensive screen that few adversaries can penetrate.

Granted, being in the Persian Gulf minimizes manuevuerability, but with Al Udied providing CAP and CAS for the Navy as well, nothing short of a nuke is going to dent a US Carrier. If the Mullahs pull that off, then that will not only put the lie to the Iran Nuke deal, but will result in Tehran becoming a parking lot.

#1 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-05-12 09:59 PM | Reply

Granted, being in the Persian Gulf minimizes manuevuerability...

Exactly.

#2 | Posted by REDIAL at 2019-05-12 10:20 PM | Reply

Again, false flag operation here we come.

#3 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2019-05-12 10:39 PM | Reply

Again, false flag operation here we come.

#4 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2019-05-12 10:41 PM | Reply

#2

At the Strait of Hormuz it is "only" 35 miles across, but it averages about 150 miles wide across its 600 mile length. I am sure that they will stay in the widest and deepest part of the Gulf while they are there, so while the "limited" area of the Gulf keeps search patterns limited for the Mullahs, 93,000 sq. miles gives a carrier group plenty of room to operate.

Moreover, there are usually at least two Los Angeles class nuclear attack subs in the Gulf during carrier operations, so the biggest threat, Iran's two diesel subs, will be quietly shadowed throughout deployment.

#5 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-05-12 10:47 PM | Reply

But, there's those pesky land based missiles. Iran's usual hole card.

#6 | Posted by REDIAL at 2019-05-12 10:52 PM | Reply

Aegis should take care of them, and since they have 25 decks standing 250 feet in height, displace 100,000 tons of water and with hundreds of watertight doors it would take more than a few direct hits on a Nimitz class to cause problems, even from the Rev Guards Qadar and Nasr cruise missles, which are based on the KH-55. Those missiles still have to get past the CAP, cruiser and destroyer screen and launching a large wave of them against a CAG would be suicide for the Mullahs, and they know it.

#7 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-05-12 11:36 PM | Reply

Without nukes, Mullahs are toast.

Iran's most impressive weapon is a license made Russian super-cavitating torpedo called the "Squall" or "Skvall". But even that can't finish off a carrier.

Iran seems to think it's fleet of North Korean midget submarines.. which can fire two torpedoes each... are a threat.

I don't think so.

As for shore to ship missile batteries... that's what a carrier's air group is there for. Those will be the first things taken out.

"Swarm attacks" with their ------ little speed-boats? Again.. the aircraft will turn that into a joke.

What about Iran's airforce?

What bloody airforce? LOL

#8 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2019-05-13 01:03 AM | Reply

youtu.be

Iranians call it "Hoot" (whale).

#9 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2019-05-13 01:06 AM | Reply

youtu.be

#10 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2019-05-13 01:16 AM | Reply

Hoot test.

youtu.be

#11 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2019-05-13 01:23 AM | Reply

But, there's those pesky land based missiles. Iran's usual hole card.

#6 | POSTED BY REDIAL AT 2019-05-12 10:52 PM | REPLY

What aims them? All the CV has to do is operate near Bahrain and shield itself with the land masses.

#12 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-05-13 09:08 AM | Reply

Torpedos are a risk, but PG bathymetry sucks, so IR subs need to shoot using periscopes. They'll only get one chance. After that, every periscope that pops up will get fragged, and there won't be many, because all the vessels pierside will get wiped in the first strikes. I expect IRs first shot will be a sneak attack against an HVU, hoping for good propaganda footage.

Shore-based cruise missiles are minimum threat. IR Air Force is even less.

Swarms would be fun to watch...through crosshairs.

#13 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-05-13 10:17 AM | Reply

Not to mention the Navy will drop so many sonar bouys you will be able to cross the gulf without getting your feet wet. Everything is going to get pinged. The Iranian subs are f'ed.

#14 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-05-13 10:33 AM | Reply

#12-14

All good points, the bottom line is that the Mullahs are full of bluster designed to inflame national pride, but the reality of the situation is that they are terrified of that kind of firepower facing them down.

#15 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-05-13 11:47 AM | Reply

#14. True, but the same crappy acoustic conditions that hamper subs hampers sonobuoys. This time of the year, the PG is a giant bowl of bath water. The up side is that it's so glassy that you find subs from surface wakes.

#16 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-05-13 12:11 PM | Reply

The American military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represented a "target" and and "opportunity", a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander said

Now that is funny.

#17 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-05-13 05:09 PM | Reply

25 decks standing 250 feet in height, displace 100,000 tons of water and with hundreds of watertight doors it would take more than a few direct hits on a Nimitz class to cause problems - #7 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-05-12 11:36 PM |
8th deck to the 03 level plus the island 04-010 + mast...not sure that I'd really call that 25 decks. You are very correct that they are tough beasts, but I'd still prefer they all come back with only the usual wear-and-tear.

#18 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-05-13 09:49 PM | Reply

#18

I defer to your superior knowledge, I was just going off an article in Military Times about the Nimitz class, but I do agree, no damage would be best.

#19 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-05-14 02:02 PM | Reply

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