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posted by janrinok on Saturday June 18, @08:53AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

China Launches 'Fujian,' its Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier

China launches 'Fujian,' its most advanced aircraft carrier:

China launched its largest and most advanced aircraft carrier on Friday at a shipyard in Shanghai, in what state media called a "short but festive ceremony."

The 80,000-ton Fujian, named for the southern coastal province opposite Taiwan, is the first of China's three carriers to be fully designed and built domestically. Unlike China's Liaoning and Shandong carriers, which use ski-jump ramps, Fujian will launch planes using electromagnetic catapults, the technology used on current U.S. carriers.

"Although it will be years before the [carrier] enters military service and achieves initial operating capability, its launch will be a seminal moment in China's ongoing modernization efforts and a symbol of the country's growing military might," said analysts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, in an article earlier this month.

China Launches Third Aircraft Carrier: State Media - Times of India

China launches third aircraft carrier: State media - Times of India:

[...] However, it will take years before it reaches operational capacity, as the Ministry of Defence has not announced a date for entry into service. "Sailing and mooring tests will be carried out as planned after the ship is launched," CCTV reported. China has two other aircraft carriers in service. The Liaoning was commissioned in 2012, and the Shandong entering service in 2019.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Saturday June 18, @09:46AM (5 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Saturday June 18, @09:46AM (#1254195)

    Humanity has learned from the unspeakable terribleness of the 20th century and moved on to try to promote peace on Earth at any cost.

    Sigh...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @09:51AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @09:51AM (#1254196)

      Don't worry. It will be mighty peaceful once we drive ourselves to extinction.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @10:20AM (45 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @10:20AM (#1254198)

    It's about the size of the Nimitz and Ford class fleet carriers operated by the US, and it carries about the same number of aircraft (a fighter wing of 40+, some support aircraft, and some drones and helicopters). The fighters are comparable too, two wings of J-15s (probably not quite as good as the two wings of F-18s on a US carrier) and two wings of J-20s (probably a little better than the two wings of F-35s on a US carrier). The Fujian seems to have somewhat more drones available, although these might just be replacing manned fighters. On the other hand, the US probably has better support aircraft; China has developed a naval AWACS aircraft, but I don't think they have cargo and electronic warfare airplanes available.

    But there is more to a carrier than the size and number of airplanes. It has three catapults instead of four, which affects not only launch rate but also overall readiness, as the catapults are not always available. It's not angled-deck, so if aircraft are landing it can only use at most one of the three catapults. US carriers can land one and launch up to two aircraft simultaneously (if both of the forward catapults are working). It uses electromagnetic catapults that are similar to the ones on the newer Ford class, which are more versatile but less reliable than the steam-powered catapults on the Nimitz class. Regardless of the type of catapults, a catapult launch is far superior to the old-fashioned "ski jump" style of launch.

    It is not nuclear-powered, so it should be expected to be less capable of long-duration voyages, less comfortable for the crew, and perhaps have a somewhat lower top speed. The nuclear-powered US carriers have enough power to do pretty much everything at once, which the turbine-powered Fujian probably cannot.

    Beyond the ship itself, of course, is the support for it. The US still has a big advantage here. China doesn't have 90 years of experience operating carrier escorts, and while it does have some good air defense missiles, it doesn't have anything like the integrated Aegis system used by US escorts. They also don't have as much experience operating carrier-based aircraft, which is difficult under the best of circumstances. And they don't have the US's capability in submarine warfare, which is necessary to keep the big, ponderous ship actually afloat long enough to get to the battle. On the other hand, China has an advantage right now in hypersonic missiles, which may or may not be able to hit a carrier at sea.

    One of the lessons of the Russia-Ukraine war is that damage control is very important and the US is good at damage control, as demonstrated by the attacks on the USS Cole and USS Stark, in which much smaller ships survived damage more serious than that which destroyed the Russian Moskva. This is a lesson the US forgot with the "disposable" LCS program (in which the damage control procedure is to abandon ship) but this is definitely not the case with carrier battle groups, which still remember kamikaze attacks in WW2. It remains to be seen how good China is or will be at this.

    It is still a huge step forward in Chinese naval capability, even though China has only one carrier (that has only launched, and is not ready for combat) and the US has eleven. It also reflects a shift from the inherited Soviet doctrine, in which aircraft carriers were really cruisers that had some airplanes on board, to a more American-style approach, in which the airplanes are the primary weapon and everything is devoted to supporting them.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Opportunist on Saturday June 18, @10:40AM (35 children)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday June 18, @10:40AM (#1254200)

      It remains to be seen if carriers are still the kings of the naval battlefield they used to be. It's been about 80 years since the last carriers duked it out, and technology progressed a LOT since. Only recently we have seen how tanks are no longer the supreme battle lords of open field warfare with the improvement of anti-tank weaponry, and it remains to be seen just how effective defenses against modern anti-ship technology is anymore.

      Carriers are huge, HUGE, targets. US naval doctrine is pretty much that carriers are the backbone of a fighting group, with everything and everyone else playing a supporting role to that carrier. Sink that carrier or put it out of commission, and it's a decapitation strike that pretty much renders the complete battle group toothless. Now, of course, "sink that carrier" is probably way easier said than done, but you should be aware that the US pretty much puts its whole money on this card. So far, it worked flawlessly because the US never really had to defend their carriers against a threat that could remotely be considered serious in the past 70ish years.

      But if that card doesn't do the trick anymore, you're out of a hand.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Saturday June 18, @04:21PM (10 children)

        by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 18, @04:21PM (#1254230) Journal

        Carriers are relics of WWII, today only useful against enemies who do not have guided missiles or torpedoes, or all kinds of other things that could threaten a carrier. I would expect a modern carrier to have defenses that might work agains a few missiles, but can't handle a couple dozen or more all at once. Can't count on armor either, weapons can be equipped with ordinance far more powerful than the best of WWII. I mean, look, ragtag suicide bombers in something not much bigger than a freaking rowboat blew a huge hole in the USS Cole. Couple more factors are that planes today have a lot more range, and we're seeing a transition from planes to drones. Still another factor is satellites. A carrier cannot hide from that. The Japanese failed to find and track the American fleet in the critical days leading up to the Battle of Midway. They did not know the Yorktown was operational and present. Thought it would still be laid up for repairs. That particular fog of war is not going to happen today. Satellites will see all. In many scenarios, to avoid attack, a carrier would have to stay so far away that it might not reduce the range from the nearest base at all. There's no question about it, the idea of a carrier is very obsolete. Even if a carrier can stop dozens of guided missiles, and swarms of drones, it can't stop a nuclear bomb. A nuke detonated some 10 miles away could sink it. But why even bother, when the same nuke can take out the port city?

        Any power contemplating the use of a carrier against the US or Britain, the powers most likely to have all kinds of anti-carrier and anti-ship weapons, is just being stupid. Yeah, we saw that kind of stupid in WWII with the Bismarck and Yamato class battleships, very embarrassingly sunk extremely quickly, in some cases mere days after launch, and in others, after months of fruitless cowering in safe waters because they knew it would be sunk if they tried anything. So, is China that stupid? What do they have in mind, using it to threaten Taiwan? I can't see that one, the mainland is quite close enough to make an aircraft carrier pointless. I wouldn't count on it being safe from a counterattack from Taiwan either. Is it intended to force US naval forces to keep more distance? Maybe it will be most useful against the others around the South China Sea? Doubt that too. Vietnam could probably sink it. Ditto Malaysia and the Philippines. I cite the sinking of the Moskva by the Ukrainians just weeks ago. Maybe it's for influence in East Africa, which I read China has begun to take an interest in?

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @05:38PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @05:38PM (#1254240)

          10 miles? Hardly. The first bomb dropped during Operation Crossroads, an A-bomb test designed to test the effects of an atomic blast on ships at sea, was off target by less than half a mile, and that resulted in most of the ships that were supposed to sink surviving. And these were (obviously) uncrewed, inactive ships. The observation post for that test was about ten miles away, the observers said the test was unspectacular.

          Although we have larger thermonuclear weapons today, they are not mounted on tactical missiles. It would take the Tsar Bomba to sink a warship from ten miles away, and nobody is putting anything like that on a missile (the Soviets could barely fit it into a bomber).

          As for why China wants an aircraft carrier, not everything is about Taiwan. The purpose of the ship is to project power into the Pacific Ocean and, especially, the South China Sea, which China thinks belongs to them. (I guess it does have their name on it, but it definitely isn't theirs).

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday June 18, @09:21PM

            by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday June 18, @09:21PM (#1254274) Journal

            You should look into the "Ripple" bomb design [soylentnews.org]:

            https://muse.jhu.edu/article/794729 [jhu.edu]


            Livermore’s Edward Teller and Harold Brown predicted that by 1965 a 50-megaton yield would be possible from a device weighing only 6,000 pounds—an approximately 350 percent increase over the most efficient weapon ever built, Livermore’s own B-41. These figures represented a yield-to-weight ratio of 18.4 kilotons per kilogram (kt/kg), thus exceeding the total raw energy content of plutonium and obliterating the “Taylor Limit” of six kt/kg of device weight (the most advanced weapon in the arsenal today, the Livermore/Los Alamos W-88, registers in at around 1.5 kt/kg).

            [...] These statements both confirm the viability of the Ripple concept and provide some actual numbers and reference points from which to determine the projected performance of a weaponized device. With the primary as the only source of fissile material in the “inherently clean” Ripple design, the device would be around 99.9 percent clean; for all practical purposes, a pure fusion device. The yield-to-weight ratio would be more than twice that of the most efficient high-yield weapon constructed, Livermore’s own three-stage B-41 bomb. The B-41 had a device weight of 9,300 pounds and a maximum (untested) “conventional” yield of 25 megatons, giving a yield-to-weight ratio of close to 6 kt/kg. More than twice this ratio, or approximately 12 to 15 kt/kg, would correspond accurately to the quoted yields of 35 to 40 megatons for the Titan II warhead. Given the admittedly overbuilt and far from optimized devices tested, we can reasonably assume that even higher yield-to-weight ratios would have been attainable if testing in the atmosphere (or deep space?) had continued.

            [...] An additional factor weighed against the weaponization of the Ripple concept for reentry vehicle purposes; namely, size. Despite being unusually lightweight, the Ripple concept required a particularly large volume relative to standard Teller-Ulam designs. The only ICBM in the inventory dimensionally large enough to carry a Ripple-based design was the Titan II, and even though this class of launch vehicle was relatively new, it was already being phased out in favor of smaller missiles such as the Minuteman. This shift, coupled with a strategy that sought to minimize warhead size in order to maximize numbers, also played a role in the decision to halt development.

            [...] When compared to the most modern and powerful ballistic missile warhead in the arsenal today—the 475-kiloton W-88—the Ripple concept offers at a minimum ten times the yield-to-weight ratio and does it “clean.” The Ripple concept as it stood in early 1963 was at the very beginning of its development cycle as a potential weapon system. Given further development through testing and complete computational analysis, the Teller-Brown prediction of 50 megatons for a 6,000-pound device by 1965 may have been within reach. In today’s technological environment, after nearly 60 years of continual ICF research and petaflop computing, the potential gains for the Ripple concept are staggering.

            I'm not saying that this changes your analysis or that these are even being built today, just that it is theoretically possible that Tsar Bomba-like 50 megaton yields could be realized in a "small" package. If the U.S. decides to modernize its nuclear arsenal and start producing new bomb designs, something like this will probably make its way in there. Given the lineup of ever more powerful supercomputers that have been used for nuclear simulations for decades, I bet there has been additional development of the Ripple concept, just no testing or production.

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Opportunist on Saturday June 18, @08:19PM (5 children)

          by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday June 18, @08:19PM (#1254264)

          I feel like pointing out that the official Russian position on the sinking of the Moskva is that it was not sunk by Ukraine but that the Russian navy can't sail its own ships without sinking them.

          • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Sunday June 19, @04:07AM

            by captain normal (2205) on Sunday June 19, @04:07AM (#1254333)

            Do we have Russian trolls registered so that they can mod-bomb anything they consider anti-Putin? That's the only explanation I can think of for modding that post "troll".

          • (Score: 4, Funny) by driverless on Sunday June 19, @06:24AM (1 child)

            by driverless (4770) on Sunday June 19, @06:24AM (#1254351)

            It wasn't sunk, it was promoted to submarine as part of a Special Diving Operation.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday June 19, @12:30PM (1 child)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 19, @12:30PM (#1254382) Homepage Journal

            Yeah, I read that spin work on the sinking as well. There seem to be kernels of truth in the propaganda.

            The Moskva didn't sink in two minutes, unlike the HMS Sheffield. Two minutes is something of a critical time limit in the sinking of a warship. Among the very first things we learned in boot camp was, if a destroyer doesn't sink it two minutes, it's not going to sink.

            So, Moskva was struck with a warhead. Damage control started immediately, and was ongoing. The ship was apparently under tow, and headed to port. The Russian claim is that a storm came up, the Moskva took on too much water, and was lost.

            So, the propaganda is in line with naval doctrine.

            And, there is no way that any of us will ever learn any further details on the sinking.

            Regardless of any doctrine, or any propaganda, Moskva was hit with a missile, and was subsequently lost. Points to Ukraine, no matter how the story is spun.

            --
            Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
            • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Sunday June 19, @09:22PM

              by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday June 19, @09:22PM (#1254462)

              If that weather is considered a "storm" by Russia, my position stands: Their navy can't sail ships. I've been in worse weather with my 470.

        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday June 19, @06:21AM

          by driverless (4770) on Sunday June 19, @06:21AM (#1254349)

          It's also nowhere near finished, there's still a huge amount of fitting out to do. Most of the innards for example are either at "Outbound in sorting centre" or "Received by line haul" with no tracking updates for months. Refund claims have been lodged for some components, with the seller either promising to ship replacement parts or a Paypal refund if the dispute is closed first.

        • (Score: 1) by liar on Sunday June 19, @06:55PM

          by liar (17039) on Sunday June 19, @06:55PM (#1254441)

          "Maybe it's for influence in East Africa, which I read China has begun to take an interest in?"
          from https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/6/19/leviathan-chinas-new-navy [aljazeera.com]

          The Chinese naval base at Djibouti has been revamped, its piers extended to 340m (1,115ft) and now able to accommodate its growing fleet of aircraft carriers. Situated at the mouth of the Red Sea near the Horn of Africa, the base is rapidly becoming a logistical supply hub for Chinese naval vessels in one of the world’s most strategically significant waterways. As China’s economy becomes truly global in scale, its naval fleets are fast moving away from protecting China’s shoreline to long-range force projection. This has the US increasingly concerned as China negotiates base rights in Equatorial Guinea on Africa’s west coast with the aim of building a naval presence in the Atlantic Ocean.

          --
          Noli nothis permittere te terere.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:15PM (8 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:15PM (#1254246)

        The Ukraine war is certainly going to force a re-evaluation of the role of tanks, but how important this is, is still unclear. It is possible that the T-72 is just a really bad tank.

        Consider the Battle of 73 Easting during the 1991 Iraq war. American and Iraqi tanks clashed in one of the few battles of that war that didn't feature much American air power. The Americans and Iraqis were both surprised by encountering each other, so there was no time for air strikes to be called in. The Americans destroyed 85 Iraqi T-72s (and about a hundred outdated T-55s) and lost only one Bradley and no Abrams.

        In fighting during the second Iraq war and Afghanistan, it was uncommon for an Abrams to actually be knocked out by direct attacks although it did happen. It was more common for them to get stuck or break down and have to be abandoned. They were more at risk from mines/IEDs, which could damage the tracks, than from enemy guns and missiles.

        Even if it turns out that the Javelin and similar advanced missiles are effective against all currently deployed tanks, it doesn't mean that the whole concept is obsolete. Tanks could incorporate more active anti-missile defenses similar to the CIWS systems mounted on ships for example. This might be necessary anyway as designers have experimented with tanks armed with missiles instead of a gun.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @08:24PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @08:24PM (#1254265)

          The biggest problems the Russian tanks are having in the Ukraine is the lack of infantry and air support. They're meant to be used in a full-up combined-arms operation. Operating without that makes them very vulnerable, as the Ukrainians have shown.

          Many modern tanks do have active missile defenses, although I don't know the status of that for Russian tanks; the main system I know if is Israeli, so it's not likely the Russians have much access to it. It'll probably be a bit before those systems are tested in any scale in actual combat.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday June 19, @12:46PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 19, @12:46PM (#1254387) Homepage Journal

            Thank you. The concept of combined arms has most definitely not been on display in the Ukraine war. While Russia does have a lot of mechanized infantry, those troops are not proper infantry unless and until they dismount. Tanks and similar vehicles have always been near to worthless on the battlefield, unless they have proper infantry screening. One sapper with as little as $100 worth of equipment can, and does, defeat millions of dollars in technology along with however many troops are inside the can of people.

            On the other hand, Russia hasn't forgotten the concept of combined arms entirely. They seem to be using armor and mech to probe, then on contact, they fall back on artillery. I've seen no indication that the armor and/or mechanized actually press the attack while artillery works on the target.

            --
            Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
        • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Saturday June 18, @08:29PM (5 children)

          by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday June 18, @08:29PM (#1254267)

          That the Pop-goes-the-weasel tank isn't the best design is a given. But we can see here that a modern MANPADS can take out a tank fairly reliably. That the US crews have a higher survival rate because their ammo blows out to the back rather than into their face is nice for the crew, but the tank is toast either way.

          I'm also not talking about tank vs tank. I'm talking MANPADS vs tank. Or, if you want it more provacative, $150k vs. $6.2m. One of them needing a three man crew that takes a few years to train properly, the other one taking a two men crew (one man in a pinch) with a few weeks of training. You can outfit 40 anti-tank crews for the price of a single tank. And you can train them consecutively if you so please and still come out ahead in terms of training time. In other words, you need to accompany the tanks with infantry to protect it against infrantry. And that in turn means you give up the key advantage the tank gives you on the battlefield. In other words, what justification to exist do these things still have?

          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @10:10PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @10:10PM (#1254281)

            You forgot to count the price of solder's lives here. Very typical for Nazi psycho you are.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @04:19PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @04:19PM (#1254414)

              What's your problem with Malthusianism? We need breathing room!

            • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday June 20, @07:28AM

              by Opportunist (5545) on Monday June 20, @07:28AM (#1254540)

              3 tankers vs 2 infantrists, where the latter have the higher survival chance? I'd put my money on the infantry.

              Also, please can the bleeding-heart bullshit. It's kinda laughable when you do that, Ivan.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 20, @05:52AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 20, @05:52AM (#1254526) Journal

            In other words, you need to accompany the tanks with infantry to protect it against infrantry. And that in turn means you give up the key advantage the tank gives you on the battlefield. In other words, what justification to exist do these things still have?

            It still provides teeth and protection to an infantry column. This actually has historical precedent. Russian armor units in the Second World War started with a similar mix. It's not great in a mobility fight, like against the first rush of Nazi units in 1941, but when things are near stagnant it does ok. They can overrun trenches, for example, while artillery just doesn't work that well.

            Later the Russians put together more mobile tank units and started doing the same maneuver tactics as the Germans.

            • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Monday June 20, @07:34AM

              by Opportunist (5545) on Monday June 20, @07:34AM (#1254543)

              Overrunning trenches doesn't work anymore. You have anti-tank weapons today that shoots further than any anti-infantry weapon, especially infantry based anti-infantry weapons. Your tanks get popped long before they could become a threat to entrenched troops.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @07:11PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @07:11PM (#1254258)

        That's why we're working on anti-anti-ship technology!

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Opportunist on Saturday June 18, @08:25PM (1 child)

          by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday June 18, @08:25PM (#1254266)

          Hah! That's not match against our anti-anti-anti-ship technology!

          And no backsies!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @09:48PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @09:48PM (#1254277)

            Unfortunately for you the anti-anti-anti-ship technology is no match for a ship.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday June 18, @11:47PM (10 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday June 18, @11:47PM (#1254296)

        Swarms of drones are a true game changer. I'm sure a carrier escort group can take out a couple hundred incoming armed drones, but when a couple thousand are incoming, each capable of penetrating a carrier hull at the waterline? No single drone need be capable of sinking a ship by itself, if a thousand of them get through to their targets...

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
        • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Sunday June 19, @04:42AM (5 children)

          by captain normal (2205) on Sunday June 19, @04:42AM (#1254341)

          The payload large enough to hole a large Aircraft Carrier would take a large drone. China has the CASC Rainbow-CH4 UAV which should be able to carry a large enough load. But it is not a small drone that would be easy to launch in a large swarm. with a 20 meter wing span and an 11 meter length a swarm of 1000 would take something larger than the biggest carrier.
          https://www.militarydrones.org.cn/ch-4-rainbow-uav-drone-china-price-manufacturer-p00095p1.html [militarydrones.org.cn]

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday June 19, @12:12PM (3 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday June 19, @12:12PM (#1254374)

            It's a matter of finding the sweet spot. One $10k skiff nearly took down the USS Cole. 104 such skiffs launched out a dozen hatches is a viable possibility on an 80,000 ton vessel.

            Flying drones might have greater range, but skiffs could own choke points like the strait of Hormuz, or key points in the South China Sea

            --
            Україна не входить до складу Росії.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @03:30PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @03:30PM (#1254406)

              ... While it was docked, in a "friendly" but not particularly, well, friendly port. The Cole could not use its weapons in self defense or maneuver because it was docked.

              This is not any kind of example of what would happen in an actual battle. It was a terrorist attack, not a war tactic.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday June 19, @06:45PM (1 child)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday June 19, @06:45PM (#1254437)

                Not saying that the Cole in open water and fully operational would be vulnerable to a single skiff. But, 100 skiffs coming from a variety of approaches, possibly stealthy enough to get within 1000 yards before detection?

                At 1000 yards, a normal skiff can close that distance in 60 seconds. How many skiffs do you think the Cole is capable of neutralizing in 60 seconds, when all you need is one or two to get through to sink it?

                --
                Україна не входить до складу Росії.
                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @10:01PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @10:01PM (#1254471)

                  How are the 100 fiberglass motorboats supposed to get out into the open water? How are they supposed to surround a ship that would never go below 25 knots in a combat situation? How stealthy are these motorboats exactly? Remember this is a ship with radar designed to spot a submarine snorkel, it has no problem spotting an outboard motor, much less a hundred of them. How brave are these motorboat crews that they can make a frontal attack with two heavy machine guns and probably the 5" main gun shooting at them?

                  The bomb used against the Cole was a shaped charge that had to be positioned precisely, something only possible because the ship was in port. An ordinary 500 pound explosive in proximity rather than contact would do a lot less damage.

                  Your scenario just isn't plausible, but there is one that sort of is.

                  Iran and North Korea have a bunch of what used to be called PT boats or torpedo boats, because they're cheap to build, but these are not stealthy at all and they are only useful in coastal waters. These are somewhat a threat, because today they are typically armed with short range missiles, but it's a question of how they can be used. One or two aren't too dangerous, and you would use SM-2 or SM-6 missiles against them (as well as against the missiles they would fire). These missile boats use exactly the sort of missiles that Aegis destroyers are designed to counter. There are 96 missiles in the destroyer's launcher, although some of them are typically going to be anti submarine only. A hundred of these missile boats would 1) be about half of the North Korean navy and 2) absolutely be something you would have used a carrier group against, not a lone destroyer.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 20, @06:03AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 20, @06:03AM (#1254527) Journal

            But it is not a small drone that would be easy to launch in a large swarm.

            Two things. First, it has a range of at least 3500 km from your link. So you can launch from land and get a lot more than a thousand in the air. Second, it's a stand off weapon that can loiter for more than a day, and can launch 6 missiles. So if the foe isn't clearly the air of these things efficiently, then they can apply a lot of long term pressure (at least until China runs out of missiles).

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday June 19, @12:54PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 19, @12:54PM (#1254388) Homepage Journal

          As always, it's an arms race. If each ship in the carrier strike group has it's own fleet of drones, things get interesting real fast. We might anticipate a major naval battle involving literally millions of drones. And, of course, with those sort of numbers, the human element quickly loses significance in the battle. Only the computers will be able to keep up with developments during the battle.

          --
          Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday June 19, @06:39PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday June 19, @06:39PM (#1254436)

            That's the thing, when a drone fleet can outmatch a conventional engagement, then you need a drone fleet to defend against the possibility of a drone fleet attack.

            --
            Україна не входить до складу Росії.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @02:21PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @02:21PM (#1254398)

          You're not thinking about this correctly. You don't need to sink an aircraft carrier to nullify it's combat effectiveness. The best cost-performance method will probably be something like a drone swarm with small munitions, not trying to sink the carrier, but just to damage the deck enough to disable the catapults and arresting wires. Once it can't launch or recover aircraft it's pretty much useless in combat, so why bother trying to do more?

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday June 19, @06:36PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday June 19, @06:36PM (#1254434)

            >so why bother trying to do more?

            Headlines: West Nowherezestan SINKS US carrier John F Kennedy!!! vs. West Nowherezestan briefly disrupted flight operations on a carrier in the area.

            Military actions against the US are mostly of a terrorist nature. Nobody (lately) is trying to achieve a victory over the US to dictate terms of surrender, but lots of groups would love to score a hit and count coup on the biggest symbols of US power.

            --
            Україна не входить до складу Росії.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday June 19, @06:49PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday June 19, @06:49PM (#1254439)

        The naval battlefield today is not about winning an all out war, it is about projection of force, the ability to deny an adversary access to a disputed area by threat of deadly harm.

        Very different missions, and Nimitz and Ford class carriers still fulfill those objectives all over the world every day.

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Rich on Saturday June 18, @10:59AM

      by Rich (945) on Saturday June 18, @10:59AM (#1254202) Journal

      Good textbook analysis! I think advanced guided missiles could more or less reliably sink carriers this day. But that's beside the point, because the carriers aren't used in huge open sea battles ("blue water showdown") anymore, but more to be able to support some African dictator in your pocket from offshore against insurgents in someone else's pocket ("force projection"). Or to annoy some other countries by cruising in disputed territory.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday June 18, @11:45AM (7 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 18, @11:45AM (#1254205) Homepage Journal

      The crew of the ship decides how capable the ship is. You can have the most awesome ship in all of history, but if the crew is crap, that mind-boggling ship is crap. You can also have a worn out rust bucket, but with an excellent crew and leadership, it can pull off the most amazing feats.

      There is really no reliable way to measure this metric, until the ship goes into harm's way. Weather, enemy action, supply problems, humanitarian aid, whatever the mission, you don't know how good a ship is, until it gets into the action, and is tested. History is filled with examples, like the famous Spanish Armada. The English didn't stand a chance against the Spanish, until the Spanish just fell apart for reasons that are difficult to understand.

      You might get an idea of a ship's capabilities by looking at maintenance and upkeep. If a relatively new ship looks like a garbage scow, the crew is probably substandard. On the flip side, if every fitting and all the brightwork sparkles and shines, and paintwork is immaculate, the crew may be too dedicated to appearances, rather than actual capabilities.

      No one can possibly know how impressive the Chinese fleet is, until it is tested.

      Let it be noted that many of the most outstanding naval commanders in history have been - shall we say - nonconformists? Often enough, the top commanders were hated by their own superiors, under supported, and sent into the worst possible situations in the hopes that the enemy would eliminate them.

      The Chinese are noted for not tolerating such men. I don't foresee nonconformists being rewarded for thinking outside the box. Maybe, but a nation with social credit scores doesn't bode well for nonconformists.

      Compare all of that with the modern US Navy . . .

      --
      Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:29PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:29PM (#1254251)

        One of the eternal problems in military operations is choosing people with exactly the right amount of initiative to be officers. Too much, and they will create problems. Not enough, and they will be ineffective. Probably everyone assumes that China will fall into that latter category, as the Russians have. I'm sure China knows this, and just as surely they will still be unable to solve it.

        But the Americans are not perfect here either. The US did not, as far as I know, relieve any battlefield commanders in Afghanistan or the second Iraq war as a result of ineffectiveness. While the problem in these wars was politics, not combat, there were enough failures that it's hard to believe that everyone did an outstanding job.

        In the American military, the only way it seems that you can lose your job is to run afoul of politics, or to be a scapegoat, or to commit a blunder that embarrasses someone higher up. The US system is much better about choosing its leaders, but it's probably not much better at making sure they are actually effective in practice.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @08:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @08:37PM (#1254270)

          I hope the draft never comes back, but if it does then the US has tended to pull in some great people. It didn't help us in Vietnam, but that was probably unwinnable no matter what. A lot of great mid 20th Century authors were WW2 vets. You know they were not conventional military people at all. Drafted or not, an existential crisis pulls in the best Americans. Audie Murphy had to lie about his height or something just to get in, and he became one of the most decorated soldiers of WW2.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @09:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @09:58PM (#1254278)

        > Compare all of that with the modern US Navy . . .

        Tell that to the "Diversity is our strength" crowd. https://cdn.airgundepot.com/ty/cdn/airgundepot/redneck-adt.jpg [airgundepot.com]

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Saturday June 18, @11:51PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday June 18, @11:51PM (#1254297)

        >You can also have a worn out rust bucket, but with an excellent crew and leadership, it can pull off the most amazing feats.

        Back to the movie theaters for you.

        If that worn out rust bucket isn't supplied well, your excellent crew and leadership will have limited fuel, limited mobility, limited armament, and limited ability to deploy those arms. They may pull off a surprise attack or two with what they've got on hand, but they're not going to be boarding enemy vessels and sabotaging them, not in today's world.

        Crew matters, logistics supply chain matters more.

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @08:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, @08:38AM (#1254362)

          If that worn out rust bucket isn't supplied well, your excellent crew and leadership will have limited fuel, limited mobility, limited armament, and limited ability to deploy those arms.

          Bollocks! Everyone can work wonders if supplied well.

          An excellent crew will propel the ship by paddling with their feet, will catch and eat raw fish while doing so and will inflict terrible damage with the fish bones.
          Otherwise it's not an excellent crew.

      • (Score: 2) by quietus on Sunday June 19, @01:55PM (1 child)

        by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 19, @01:55PM (#1254396) Journal

        Compare all of that with the modern US Navy ...

        Maybe that's what the Russians thought when those skimpy Japanese started their ten year plan [wikipedia.org] for a 260,000 ton Navy in 1896, after being humiliated by the Triple Intervention [wikipedia.org] under Russian leadership. By 1905 the Russian Navy was destroyed.

        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Sunday June 19, @03:32PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 19, @03:32PM (#1254407) Homepage Journal

          I think perhaps I left room for misunderstanding. I'm not terribly impressed with our Navy today. I'm neither scoffing at the Chinese navy, nor bragging on our own navy there. We have instituted out own social standing bullshit in our own navy. Military personnel should be judged on their core skills and duties - fighting. Instead, we see good fighting men being kicked out because they don't support LGBT, trans, etc ad nauseum. Many have been booted or otherwise "disciplined" because they are reluctant to get vaxxed. Our military is being bent and warped away from their primary duties, to support social agendas.

          We've seen some pretty terrible performances in recent years, with submarines running aground, surface ships and submarines colliding with other ships, we saw a bunch of squids captured by Iran - on and on it goes.

          We see 'explanations' that crews are undermanned and overworked.

          It often appears that our own military is falling short.

          --
          Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @12:00PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @12:00PM (#1254207)

    From tfa, it appears that the Fujian didn't sink directly after being launched--can we conclude that the Chinese have the basics of naval engineering under control? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this fate has occurred many times to new warship designs. Here's an early example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship) [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday June 19, @12:15AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday June 19, @12:15AM (#1254301)

      I read that it will be practicing docking maneuvers for some time before being fully outfitted.

      It's remarkable how challenging it is to simply operate 80,000 tons of ship from place to place, regardless of what's on deck.

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:17PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:17PM (#1254247)

    methinks it's really polite of 'em chinese people to not put a nuke reactor on that thing.
    it kindda sayz: "look, guys, we can do big and nasty things too but the legs are short and if you're far away and leave us alone, we won't be seeing you anytime soon".
    unlike other countries, that need to be all over the place, sometimes even uninvited ...

    how "far" is it from electro-launch of jet-engine with wings and soft-squishy filling to a railgun ... to orbit?

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:28PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @06:28PM (#1254250)

      ah, also on the topic of amazing things:
      it's amazing they can transplant a whole chip industry from taiwan to 'murika in a couple of years but consider it impossible to get native, vertical photovoltaics manufacturing off the ground.
      "If there's a will, there can also be "no way"..." *shrug*

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @07:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @07:55PM (#1254262)

        wow, that's nothing!
        just imagine goin' thru the trouble of building reusable rockets so you can beam down advertisements from orbit!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Sunday June 19, @07:43AM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Sunday June 19, @07:43AM (#1254358)

      Except for the part where they named it after the other side of the straight from Taiwan. They might as well have called it "We're Coming For You Taiwan" for all the subtlety that has.

      Not that modern China has really ever been known for its subtlety...

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @10:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @10:17PM (#1254282)

    Looks like building these ships are straight on course for reduced emissions we need. /sarc

    As we argue over nuclear vs renewables too, this is one case where having nuclear onboard is far better than burning fossil fuel.

    The USS Ranger was said to make 6 inches travel per Gallon.
    The Persian Gulf is a long way to ping pong back and forth.

    What is the fuel consumption of this new FujiBeast going to be?
    Worse, what was the carbon footprint to make and what will it be to maintain and decommission?
    And even more diabolical, is that its intent is to kill.

    Nobody ever wants to discuss those elephants.

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