Asymetrical warfare

Brian W

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It struck me last night how asymmetrical any naval action in the Persian Gulf would be. The Iranians basically have speed boats with auto-cannon and a few ASM to throw at the US Navy's (two?) CAG in the area, let alone Saudi/US air force assets in the area. It seem like a prodigious waste of US resources. If such attacks are a serious problem, convoy the ships through the straights with a tenth of the force now deployed.

Are CAGs currently a huge waste of money? Realistically, they cannot carry offensive action into any state that has a nuclear arsenal (i.e. China and Russia and North Korea), and no other states have a navy that could compete.
 

TopT

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It struck me last night how asymmetrical any naval action in the Persian Gulf would be. The Iranians basically have speed boats with auto-cannon and a few ASM to throw at the US Navy's (two?) CAG in the area, let alone Saudi/US air force assets in the area. It seem like a prodigious waste of US resources. If such attacks are a serious problem, convoy the ships through the straights with a tenth of the force now deployed.

Are CAGs currently a huge waste of money? Realistically, they cannot carry offensive action into any state that has a nuclear arsenal (i.e. China and Russia and North Korea), and no other states have a navy that could compete.
I think they are referred to a strike groups, maybe (?). They are more potent than now than ever and are a major strategic force multiplier. They are almost always utilized in over the horizon status meaning that ASM will have little effect and if we are talking about Nukes, why have an army? A nuke will take out everybody if we carried out any type of offensive action against a nation state that has nuclear arsenal.
When the Ford class gets the bugs worked out they will be absolutely lethal.
Everything is susceptible to something. If someone hits you with something, you have to be prepared to hit back harder so that the penalty outweighs any benefits.

Speaking of the latter, let's see how tRUMP responds to Iran's shooting down of a drone. They have been pushing for this from the beginning. Every time we have a Republican President, we go to war.
 

Paul M. Weir

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CAGs are the 20/21st century equivalent of the 19th century gunboat. Something to terrorise the restless natives. Even with the superiority of US submarines, a nation with enough half decent submarines is likely to wreck a CAG. The US could get submarine kills of 10 to 1, yet enemy sub 11 or 12 or 13 or ... will get a torpedo through. The old submarine adage is that there are only 2 types of naval combatants, submarines and targets.

The later Soviet era diesel electric (SSK) were regarded as the most dangerous by the USN, not their SSNs, simply because they could go so quiet. Due to deficiencies in maintenance and training the USN could track and possibly kill most Soviet SSK, but if the SSK happened to have gone quiet for a pause and long listen then there was a good chance that it would be missed. While the Russians don't have the numbers that the Soviets had, the Chinese do, potentially over stretching even the excellent US SSNs.

You don't need nukes.

CAGs are quite useful in the current "never ending war", but in a major power war you better make the best use of them while you still have them, they are unlikely to last all that long, nukes or no nukes.
 

Brian W

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CAGs are quite useful in the current "never ending war",
I'd go beyond that and say they encourage never ending wars. I did not address the submarine threat as the only countries that have legitimate sub threats are also nuclear armed (not that a sub from Iran couldn't take out a carrier, just that it would have to get lucky to take out one, let alone the eight (?) we have in service).
CAGs are the 20/21st century equivalent of the 19th century gunboat.
In terms of cost effectiveness, a CAG is the equivalent of the 20th century battleship division.
 

Mister T

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The avent of hypersonic missiles may make CAGs sitting ducks.
 

Brian W

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A nuke will take out everybody if we carried out any type of offensive action against a nation state that has nuclear arsenal.
Yeah, that's the point. For all non-nuclear actors a CAV is like weilding a sledge hammer against a fly, as they are not much better than a speed boat with missiles when fighting brown water countries like Iran.
 

Paul M. Weir

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The Swedes who got well into a firing position on a CAG during exercises. The Swedes and their SSK basically had been hired by the USN for training purposes.

Yeah, that's the point. For all non-nuclear actors a CAV is like weilding a sledge hammer against a fly, as they are not much better than a speed boat with missiles when fighting brown water countries like Iran.
A CAG's aircraft can run roughshod against most nations and at great depth from the shore. So a bit more than speed boats.
 

TopT

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A CAG's aircraft can run roughshod against most nations and at great depth from the shore. So a bit more than speed boats.
Just a tad...

Mister T has the most correct observation. The Russians are working on a hypersonic ASM that would definitely change things but then again in order to wage war you have to actually have real money. Russia produces nothing but LNG. Sink one of our carriers and the retaliation to that flow of LNG would be severe to say the least. Oops, no money...
 

Mister T

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The Chinese also have ballistic missiles with ASM capabilities (carrier-killer DF-21D & DF-26). Although their effectiveness is unknown, it would be prudent not to come close to Taïwan if things were to heat up.
 

Brian W

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A CAG's aircraft can run roughshod against most nations and at great depth from the shore. So a bit more than speed boats.
When they can do it eight times out of eight, I'll get worried. Still, it just adds fuel to my point: these things are a trillion dollar waste of money.
 

TopT

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When they can do it eight times out of eight, I'll get worried. Still, it just adds fuel to my point: these things are a trillion dollar waste of money.
yep, F-35's cost billions. We should stop building those too..
 
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