So, in a potential battle today between a US carrier strike group and a peer or near-peer adversary, a mere half-dozen ships with an extremely limited number of defenses will face massed salvos of hundreds of cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, supersonic and hypersonic anti-ship missiles, and dozens of submarines with many hundreds of torpedoes – all of which deploy large modern warheads capable of inflicting a mortal blow against any of the ships in the group.
US naval power apologists may argue that the array of defenses on these ships is much more capable than in World War II. But it simply does not matter. It won’t be enough. Regardless of how one attempts to crunch the numbers, a putative engagement between a carrier strike group and the PLA Navy in the South China Sea would entail simultaneous massed attacks of precision-guided anti-ship missiles zooming in from all points of the compass.
It doesn’t require more than middle-school math to realize the inevitable result: the strike group’s defenses would be utterly overwhelmed. In all likelihood, every single ship would be sunk in a matter of minutes. It would be a catastrophic defeat – one which would shock the entire world and forever alter the course of military history.
The plain truth of the matter, in my estimation, is that, faced with the wide array of 21st century anti-ship missiles possessed today by Russia, China, Iran, and likely even North Korea, conventional surface fleets are effectively obsolete, and this will be proven beyond dispute in the first few hours of the next great power war. Read more…