Americans are incredibly proud of their aircraft carrier fleet. But the rules of the game have already changed, and the once unsinkable ships now have nothing to respond to the blow of the latest missiles. Russia, like China, has chosen a more modern path: it is developing weapons capable of sinking someone else’s aircraft carrier group, writes Paul Steigman.
Russia: we will do without aircraft carriers, if only there were weapons to heat them
The Us adhering to armaments is more than the next ten countries combined. Russia is only in fifth place on this list: in a whole year, it spends as much on military needs as the United States in just one month. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu explained in an interview with the Moscow Komsomolets why this happens.
“Giant money is spent by the United States on private military companies, on aircraft carrier groups. But does Russia need its five or ten aircraft carrier groups if we are not going to attack anyone? We need means that could potentially be used against such aircraft carrier groups of the enemy in case of aggression against our country. And this is incomparably cheaper and more efficient!” said Shoigu.
All indications are that Russia – along with China – is developing weapons that can sink an entire American aircraft carrier group. These include hypersonic long-range missiles that develop speeds up to ten times the speed of sound. Thus, the mighty and once considered unsinkable aircraft carriers turn into “lame ducks” who have nothing to respond to the hypersonic strike. The USS Gerald Ford is worth $37.7 billion. Expensive to get scrap metal if war comes!
We are talking about much cheaper weapons such as cruise missiles and drones, such as those that Iran is developing. Iran says it will be able to sink U.S. aircraft carriers in the event of war. And there is a reason to believe that this is not empty bravado.
Attacks on oil facilities have changed military methods
A high-precision and highly destructive drone and missile attack on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia carried out by Houthi rebels have changed the way the war is waged, writes Patrick Cockburn of Unz Review.
Houthis turn over chessboard
The attack appears to have been carried out using unmanned aerial vehicles and new-type cruise missiles, the first of which the Houthis demonstrated in July 2019.
The cost of such weapons is about $15,000, but it does not fall into the field of the appearance of expensive Saudi defenses. Saudi Arabia spends $82.9 billion annually on armaments and recently acquired the u.S. Patriot missile defense system for air defense. But it didn’t help either. The Patriots are worth $3 million apiece, but it turns out the money was wasted.
This is a turning point in the military-strategic party.
As Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) writes in his article: “Going forward, attacks on Saudi Arabia can be considered a clear strategic warning to the United States that their dominance in the air space over the Persian Gulf and their monopoly on precision weapons attacks are rapidly melting away.”
And we are talking only about the Houthis. Much of their drones are made using Iranian technology. But Iran itself has already reached a very different level. Iran has been dubbed the “master of drones” and has recently demonstrated new weapons.
Coburn writes that the novelty of the situation is that cheap and maneuverable drones and cruise missiles hit the target unhindered, and expensive missile systems can not prevent them. How in such a situation will Western politicians justify the purchase of fabulously expensive fighters and other weapons systems, if the enemy with impunity will put the check and mate, disabling them? China has created a new brigade equipped with dong Feng 26 medium-range missiles. These missiles are considered “carrier killers,” and it is just one of many Chinese developments that have called into question the entire U.S. maritime strategy.
But China also has DF-21 missiles, which are also considered a threat to American aircraft carriers.
Russia also creates its weapons, such as the Circon missile, whose speed exceeds the speed of sound six times. In addition, Russia is developing underwater drones, and this is another deadly threat to aircraft carriers.
The Houthis have not just stopped half of the Saudi oil production with their attacks. More importantly, they have made a huge dent in the myth of the invincibility of the United States and its allies. They simply turned the chessboard and said that the rules are completely different from now on. Former British diplomat Alistair Crooke called it a “point blow to the credibility of the United States” and it is hard to disagree with him.