Saturday, October 22, 2016

Russian Carrier Intimidates US Allies wtih New...(*snore*)

Huh...What?  Sorry fell asleep reading about the dread power of Russian Fleet.

Here you go.  It's from Tass!

The aircraft carrier task force of Russia’s Northern Fleet has started its voyage to the North-East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, the fleet’s press service said on Saturday.

"The group consists of the aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the Pyotr Velikiy battlecruiser, large anti-submarine ships Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov and support vessels," the statement said.

The goal of the voyage is "to ensure naval presence in the important areas of the World Ocean," it said. "Special focus will be made on safeguarding security of maritime traffic and other types of maritime economic activity of Russia and also on responding to the new kinds of modern threats such as piracy and international terrorism."

The previous joint voyage to the North-East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea of the Admiral Kuznetsov and Pyotr Velikiy was completed in the first half of 2014. The current long voyage is the eighth one for the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

And here is the more hysterical version from Reuters;

This deployment, though, is very different. Moscow has spent considerable resources over the last decade developing the ability to conduct operations from the carrier, launched in the dying days of the Soviet Union. But unlike its U.S., French, British and Italian counterparts, it has never used the ship in anger. That’s about to change. Perhaps within as little as two weeks, its SU-33 and MiG-29 jets will be slamming ordinance into downtown Aleppo and other parts of Syria...

I am curious to see how this goes for them. 

On one level, the Kremlin has no particular need to use carrier-mounted aircraft. If it wanted to increase the number of aircraft operating over Syria, it could simply send more ground-based jets to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s airfields.

Sending the carrier and its escorts is in many ways a much more expensive and complex way of achieving the same thing. Nor is it without risk – in the past, Russia’s warships have sometimes shown an alarming tendency to break down, often traveling with their own oceangoing tugs.

Moscow clearly wishes to show that it can emulate Washington by sending a task force thousands of miles and then conducting weeks or months of military activity – an exercise that will highlight Russia’s renewed military capability. It will further complicate the political calculus for the United States and others when it comes to finding a way forward in Syria. And, of course, it offers a neat opportunity to remind a host of countries in northern Europe that Moscow cannot be ignored.

On previous passages through the North Sea, the carrier has deliberately operated jets and aircraft close by Norwegian oil platforms, an act of intimidation that forced nearby civilian helicopters to be grounded. This time, there are reports the carrier may conduct bombing exercises in international waters north of Scotland...

Both Moscow and Beijing have plowed considerable resources into weaponry to take out U.S. carriers – indeed, developing such technology has been at least as important to them as getting their own aircraft carriers operational. U.S. officials, however, say that latest generation of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles remain largely unproven.

I remain less than concerned. At the moment anti-missile technology is trumping missile technology.  The current standard for live fire is Israel's Iron Dome system which has proven itself very effective and that is against a non-moving city sized target.  It's also a generation behind current Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Here is a less hysterical take from Ace:

This month's deployment of the vessel to Syria is her first following an extensive 2010 refit. Photos taken by the Royal Navy (see below) of the vessel transiting the English Channel have led to speculation among American military experts as to the exact nature of these upgrades. “Judging from the stack gas, her power plant appears to have been converted to one burning firewood, or possibly peat.”, said one expert on condition of anonymity, “Either of these would be an excellent choice for them as Russia enjoys vast reserves of both in Siberia. It remains to be seen, however, if they will be able to master the technical aspects of this new-to-them technology”.

In Soviet Navy the...something, somethings you...ah fuck it

Bottom line the Russian Navy is not a credible challenge to the US Fleet carrier groups.

In 1944 the Battleship USS Montana which was under construction at the time suddenly became the USS Midway.  The first of America's super-carriers.  In 1946 the imminent demise of carriers began to be predicted.

This first round of predictions came courtesy of the Air Force who at the time were firmly convinced the entire US military should be dismantled in order to build more bombers.

The predictions of the Carrier certain doom in the face of one new technology or another have continued without respite for the last 70 years.

Consequently I am reluctant to add my voice to this chorus.

None the less I will because the technology in question has been the king of battle for a lot longer than aircraft carriers.  Artillery.

That's right kiddies my suspicion is that the battleship will make a comeback.  Albeit in considerably altered form.  The hyper-velocity rail guns that are currently being developed pretty much everywhere will be able to operate beyond the effective range of a carrier groups aircraft and barring an as yet non-existent counter measure, the shells can't be intercepted.

Now as an ANGLICO cheerleader I am all in favor of it but I can see why the admirals don't really like the idea.

Not that it matters.  As we all know, There Will Be War.

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