Rocketman on April 12, 2008, 06:57:05 pm
If I also remember correctly there was also a treaty between the powers that fought in WWI concerning limitations of weight, size and firepower that capitol ships could carry that also limited them as well.  The aircraft carrier although limited to a handful of small caliber anti-aircraft cannon had no such limitations on them.

enemyofthestate on April 15, 2008, 12:08:55 am
True.  The Five Power Treaty limited all naval warship to 35,000 tons and carriers to 33,000 tons.  Nor could any nation have more than two carriers of greater than 27,000 tons displacement.   The fact the US was already over the limit in gunned capital ships but had only one experimental carrier naturally led to the construction of more carriers.  No other class of capital ship could be built under the terms of the treaty.     This meant that the newest capital ship in the fleet were carriers --no matter how much the Department of the Navy may have looked down it's collective nose at them.

A lucky thing really.  If the conventional thinking had been true then the Japanese Navy could have cleaned the US Navy's clock but good after Pearl Harbor.  As it turned out the carrier is a much more effective weapons platform than the battleship. 

Whether the carrier can retain that position in the 21st Century is a question that may get answered soon depending on how good the Sunburn missile really is and how many Iran really has.

Rocketman on April 15, 2008, 02:19:36 pm
Whether the carrier can retain that position in the 21st Century is a question that may get answered soon depending on how good the Sunburn missile really is and how many Iran really has.
  That's my worry too, and I don't think that America is going to like the answer.   >:(

wdg3rd on April 15, 2008, 03:21:43 pm
A carrier is a big slow target like a Zep.  Something will eventually get through.
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Rocketman on April 16, 2008, 10:27:56 am
I just finished reading an article in antiwar.com by Paul Craig Roberts entitled "American Hegemony is not guaranteed" that voices my fears very nicely.  WARNING:  I would strongly advise that you go to the bathroom just before you read it.  Otherwise, your going to be wetting your pants!!!  :o

enemyofthestate on April 20, 2008, 08:45:09 pm
A carrier is a big slow target like a Zep.  Something will eventually get through.

It will take more than one missile to sink a carrier.  IIRC about six sunburns with HE warheads would be needed.  If the Raytheon SeaRAM system can really deliver and sustain its advertised 95% kill rate in the field against a mass attack, then it would take a 113 missile spread to have a 50% chance of at least six getting thru.  For a 95% probability that would have to increase to 205 missiles.  However, I'm skeptical the system can handle that level of attack.  In fact the Nimitz class carriers have at most four such systems with 11 missile each meaning at _most_ 44 missiles could be stopped without reloading.  I don't know how many support vessels are also equipped to handle supersonic anti-ship missiles.

Given that a sunburn sells for about $1M (?) and a modern Nimitz class carrier cost about $4.5G a 200 missile to one carrier kill ratio looks pretty good if you're the side using the missiles.

Rocketman on April 21, 2008, 05:36:52 pm
I'm so incredibly busy right now I don't have the time to do the research but I clearly remember reading a story about the Iranians buying some advanced russian missiles (sunburn?) that are supposedly designed to specifically EVADE U.S. CARRIER RADAR AND TRAVEL AT SOMETHING LIKE MACH 3 RIGHT DOWN ON THE DECK.  With the warhead that was being carried 3 or 4 of them would be enough to sink a carrier according to the article.  Maybe your right but I sure hope that it doesn't come to finding out which one of us is.   ???

Steffan on August 06, 2008, 12:58:46 am
On the Japanese:  They referred to the Dutch East Indies as the "Southern Resource Area."  They wanted to add it to the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.  They were pissed at the embargo that FDR imposed, and decided (correctly) that the USN and RN would likely contest their acquisition of the East Indies.  Thus the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Singapore. 

They made two mistakes:  They missed the carriers, and they didn't make a second bomb/torpedo run.  According to Walter Lord's Day of Infamy, of the 99 ships in Pearl at the time of the attack, only 9 were irreparably damaged.  Most of the BBs were repaired and got their own back later in the war.

Billy Mitchell proved that air power was the wave of the future.  Unfortunately, he mouthed off about some of the dinosaurs and was courtmartialed for it.  They gave him the Medal of Honor in 1945.... nine years after his death.  It was a nice gesture, anyway.
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