During the recent crisis in Crimea the US sent a guided missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, into the Black Sea. A single Russian SU-24 fighter bomber conducted simulated bombing runs on the destroyer. The SU-24 was reported to have frozen the destroyer's defense systems with an electronic warfare device and simulated shooting 12 missiles at the destroyer. "After this incident, the USS Donald Cook chose to immediately and at full speed move towards a port in Romania, where 27 shocked crew members asked for dismissal from the service."
|The guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook: It looks lethal - Maybe against a "third world" navy or civilian|
airliners.. But against modern weaponry it's little more than a floating coffin. The $2 billion dollar ship was
"destroyed" during simulated bombing runs by a $25 million dollar Russian SU-24.
.How Long Would the US Navy Survive in a Shooting War?
By Marc Hopf
America sees itself as a ruler of the world’s oceans. After all, the country — which spends 10 times more on its military forces than the following nine countries — has by far the biggest naval force. And as since the Vietnam War they have dealt only with militarily inferior opponents, they are extremely self-confident in their belief that they can defeat everything and everyone. It is not surprising that some young Americans even wear T-shirts with the logo: “United States Navy: The Sea is Ours.”
Perhaps we need to meet this pride and arrogance with some understanding in view of the numerical superiority of the U.S. Navy. In total, it currently has 10 operational aircraft carriers (two in reserve), while Russia and China have only one each.
Aircraft carriers are the great pride of the U.S. Navy and are also perfect to underline visually the claim of the ruler of the seas. They are therefore well liked by U.S. presidents as stages for delivering speeches when the time comes to tell the people that this unique nation has once again won a heroic victory.
What thrilling moments these were (at least for Americans) when George W. Bush landed in a fighter jet on the USS Abraham Lincoln (no, not as a pilot) and then, with the words “mission accomplished” and “a job well done,” proclaimed the end of the Iraq war to the people. As we know, the destruction of Iraq was carried out by the Americans under the label of Operation Iraqi Freedom. We may still ask ourselves what it had to do with freedom, but that’s a different story.
In addition to their suitability as impressive orator stages, the aircraft carriers also fulfill, of course, a military purpose. They can be considered as small floating airports, which ship up to 100 fighter jets to the scene of the action. Since they are equipped with the best weapons, radar, and defense systems, until now they have experienced almost no threat, especially since in the past the U.S. Navy parked them preferably off the coasts of defenseless desert states.
But what would it look like if the power of the U.S. Navy met its peer? The title of this article already implies the answer: not so good, and it could be that the patriotic U.S. Navy fans would hide their T-shirts quickly in the closet.
Back in the 70s, Admiral Rickover, the “father of nuclear navy,” had to answer the question before the U.S. Senate: “How long would our aircraft carriers survive in a battle against the Russian Navy?” His response caused disillusionment: “Two or three days before they sink, maybe a week if they stay in the harbor.”
The reason for the greatly reduced lifetime of the aircraft carrier in a battle against the Russians is a deadly danger below the water: modern submarines — especially Russian ones — are so powerful and difficult to locate that they can send large battleships and aircraft carriers to the bottom of the sea in the blink of an eye. The weakness of the U.S. Navy, therefore, is their vulnerability when they compete with an enemy that — using the language of the Americans — dominates the seas below the water surface. Of course, the U.S. military analysts are aware of this weakness, so one wonders why the U.S. Navy still adheres to the doctrine “the bigger the better” and continues to rely on an armada of aircraft carriers and large battleships.
Colonel Douglas McGregor, a decorated combat veteran, author of four books, a PhD and military analyst, gives the answer: “Strategically, it makes no sense, but the construction of large ships, of course, creates a lot of jobs.”