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How vulnerable is an aircraft carrier?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by moeman, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. moeman

    moeman

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    How vulnerable is an aircraft carrier? I get the fundamentals of AWACS and the airwing plus the supporting ships and their missles for protection.

    But somehow, even as advanced we are, I wonder if an aircraft carrier can be truley protected against a determied foe... from rubber boats, to stealth antiship misslies to waves of missles and planes...it is a big, high value target.

    Please share your thoughts.
     
  2. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    to a submarine it is just another target
     

  3. collim1

    collim1 Because Alexa said so!

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    It has a huge amount of safeguards because it is so vulnerable. A carrier loss would be devastating, no questions asked. I dont think any of our current enemies stand a good chance of sinking one, but the ability to is out there no question.
     
  4. Ryan-17

    Ryan-17

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    I was just watching a documentary on netflix that shows what its like to live on an Aircraft carrier. It was pretty interesting but it does seem like it would be an easy target, that being said I also think there are a lot of security measures that are not know to the public or the enemy.
     
  5. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

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    If you're going to sea, it's the safest boat to go out on. Carrier Battle Groups are serious business, providing many comforting layers of security to those on the carrier.
     
  6. Ryan-17

    Ryan-17

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    I agree it would be devastating, those ships hold around 5,000 crew members and a ton of expensive aircraft, the loss would be huge.
     
  7. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    A few short years ago, a Chinese Kilo surfaced right next to one in the center of a carrier group close enough for the guys on the flight deck to smell the moo goo gai pan the sub's mess was serving. So, I'd say extremely. HH
     
  8. Glotin

    Glotin

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    I'd take the Seawolf or a boomer any day over a carrier.

    Yeah... Non-nuke subs are really quiet. Once they launch a torpedo though, game over for them.
     
  9. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    Nobody says they can't be sunk, just that it is expensive to try. That's war! A matter of relative cost.
     
  10. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    or launch 8
     
  11. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    You have not mentioned the Remote Operated Vehicles used by "our" Navy. Things are changing underwater.
     
  12. raven11

    raven11

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    Tom Clancy Red Storm Rising had a passage where the soviets launched a decoy attack using drones that transmitted bomber IFF then launched a main attack at the same time overwhelming the task force's missile defense. which I thought was ingenious, if you can't beat it overwhelm it

    some people thought in 1941 battleships couldn't be sunk by aircraft in their own protected harbor
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  13. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr CLM

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    A Carrier does not sail alone,.........:whistling:
     
  14. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Maybe I read too much fiction, but if a diesel or AIP boat launches close enough, the ensuing noise of the carrier breaking apart will render the entire battlegroup's active and passive sonar useless and only a MAD would find it. That's not bad odds. HH
     
  15. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    The modern Battle group has electronic merging and target id so their is a minimum of overlap of individual defenders and the total number of targets being individually tracked in in the hundreds.

    Overwhelming the Battlegroup was being dealt with beginning with the Aegis cruiser era.

    http://www.brandywinepeace.com/About%20Aegis.htm
     
  16. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Usually at least 2 planes flying CAP in a 200 mile envelope, radar at least that radius. 1-2 attack subs trailing while riding shotgun, on board private air force, satellite links providing realtime intelligence, Phalanx close in radar directed missile maulers, missiles of its own, and a flock of destroyers and guided missile cruisers that will also form a picket line and sacrifice if necessary to run interference on inbound torpedos to save Big Mama.

    And then there's skill. The captain, the helmsmen, the ELINT intelligence people below decks plotting everything that moves, guidance from shore (Pentagon) and dedicated crew that does not want any unscheduled swims in the deep.
     
  17. raven11

    raven11

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    tracking a missile and having enough missiles on-hand to shoot them down are two different things, the book went into more detail than I wrote
     
  18. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    They're noisy as hell. Diesels, anyway.

    If they run on batteries, our sonar guys will still get their props.

    Nuke subs are VERY quiet.
     
  19. Spike52

    Spike52

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    Copy that. And can we say, 'Condition Zebra'? I won't call a carrier 'unsinkable', either, but it'd be like sinking a piece of Styrofoam. Watertight integrity is a many splendid thing.

    But the true danger would be an enemy sneaking up in the nucleus of a battle group unawares, with aircraft on the deck... And that, my friends, just ain't gon' happen. At least, the expense and technology required would be staggering.

    [​IMG]
    I see you...

    -S
     
  20. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Don't the Norwegians and their Naaken class AIP subs routinely escape detection during NATO wargames? I remember the story of one of their captains playing a joke on NATO recently by having his whole crew "on the count of three" start banging stuff against the bulkheads & hull when they were a few meters below the keel of an Aegis. HH
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012