Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Yeah...Not So Much


It's foolishly suggested that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has shifted the paradigm of war, demonstrating Russia's grasp of the new paradigm, and hopelessly outclassing NATO.

The trouble with that argument is it ignores facts from both history, and current events.

Battleships didn't become obsolete because of events at Taranto, nor Pearl Harbor, nor even because of the sinkings of two British battleships off the Malaysian coast. In point of fact, ignored wholly by Piggott, battleships continued to be deployed, successfully, for the rest of WWII (he might have noted the final Japanese surrender instrument was signed on the deck of USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, had he the historical acumen to summon that factoid), and Korea, and Vietnam, and GW1, before the final retirement of ships then over 50 years old. Half a century of action after supposed obsolescence is quite a long time. 

And they weren't retired because of obsolescence, but rather because they were simply aged ships, requiring more in staffing and maintenance than they delivered in capability, and their main-gun ammunition was becoming notably wonky. Naval gunfire is fantastic, and nigh irreplaceable, but running oil-fired bunkers on a 2000+-man ship whose capabilities can be parceled out more economically among other platforms was the end game for the battleships. It was that simple. (OTOH, the defense plan if one was rammed by a speedboat IED, or hit by an Exocet or Silkworm in the multiple belts of foot-thick side armor, was to come about 180°, lower a seaman over the side with a brush and a bucket of gray enamel, and paint over the scorch mark in the hull that would result from such an attack.) 

Carriers didn't become obsolete after Midway, either.

Bad carrier tactics, yes.

Carriers, no.

Particularly against people with no defense against them. (Which is most of 185 nations out of 195 total.)

Piggott nonsensically waves the Russian hypersonic scramjet missiles as the death blow for anything in their path. They can cover 180 miles (their operational range) in a couple of minutes.

Okay, spiffy. Russia has new toys, based on technology around since the 1950s, some 70 years ago. So, had he more perspicacity, the obvious follow-up questions would be:

What are you going to do about targets 190 miles away?

How accurate are those missiles?

How easy are they to jam, spoof, or shoot down?

How are you targeting objects BVR?

How many have you got to shoot?

Where are they?

Those are questions a plebe at West Point or Annapolis would have thought of; Piggott, not so much. What he grasps about warfare in general, or in specifics, could be written longhand with a Sharpie on butcher paper and fit inside a thimble, with room to spare.

And the most obvious question is, if these missiles are so revolutionary, why is Russia in an endless meat-grinder conflict, rather than sitting atop the pyramid of victory in mere minutes, as they expected, and Piggott's suggestion predicts?

The obvious answer is, because all those questions show the utter dearth of ability of those "revolutionary" missiles to effect anything that looks like victory.

Might they have some utility? Perhaps. It remains to be seen. 

Are they a "paradigm shift" in warfare? No. They are a fart in a windstorm in the grand scheme.

Grunt Law: When you declare victory, be sure to inform the enemy.

Offense/Defense Corollary: There ain't a horse that can't be rode, and there ain't a rider that can't be throwed.

IOW, fast missiles are anything but world-beating game-changers.

It would take pages to fisk the multiplicity of military errors, from strategy, to tactics, to logistics, that underpin this pile of gelatinous shit plopped out at the link, but suffice it to say that war has not transformed in 6000 years of recorded human history, and neither have the conditions for obtaining victory. (The plural of 27 fallacious conclusions is not "wisdom". When you ask the wrong questions, and draw the wrong conclusions, you get the equivalent of gibberish from a baboon. For but one example, the machinegun didn't make infantry obsolete. It made head-on infantry charges obsolete. Wee difference, but Piggott doesn't know what he doesn't know - or else ignores it because facts mess up the flow of effluvia in his narrative.)

Hypersonic missiles haven't changed that calculus, and the failure of the Russians to sweep all opposition off the chessboard merely underlines the idiocy of the suggestion that they have.

If ICBMs with nuclear weapons didn't make armies and navies obsolete, there's little likelihood that a few missiles will do so now. The suggestion is risibly ludicrous, and only a rank amateur and total military loon would suggest otherwise. The first prerequisite of being the smartest guy in the room, is that one be smart.

Epic Fail.

Somebody wants to talk about actual new tech in this war, we can do that. But this article wasn't it.

Addendum: For the incorrigibly stupid who need this spelled out with wooden blocks, we lost our first aircraft carrier in 1942. Carriers were vulnerable 80 years ago: This is not news. We started WW II with a total of 7 carriers. We were so distraught and paradigm-shifted by the wholly unsurprising news that they could be sunk, that by war's end, we had 99 aircraft carriers afloat by VE day. And if anyone were to start lobbing missiles at any one of the 11 carriers we currently possess and had the misfortune to sink one, the life expectancy of their fleet, and capitol city, would be measured in minutes. Which is reason #27 why hypersonic AS missiles are largely irrelevant to any serious discussion of anything military-related beyond "What's a great way for a country to initiate national suicide by radiation poisoning?".

After all of the preceding, if anyone is still willing to carry water for Piggott's jackassical thesis, kindly turn up the brightness on your keyboard.


Dan said...

The only real advantage hyper speed missiles have over the slower types is decreased time to react. And that'san advantage not to be ignored.

Aesop said...

Only if they're accurate.

Anonymous said...

Except the Russians seem to be using the missiles against fixed land targets. The targets don't move, so what difference does it make if they take 10 minutes or 60 minutes to hit a fixed spot on Earth? It could make a difference if you are going after a mobile target with an anti-air system, like the Moskva. Or maybe you just send an extra couple missiles?

My uninformed opinion says they are using these missiles for two reasons. A. They are running out of other non-nuclear precision weapons. and B. This is a great way to perform a real world live test of the weapon.


Mike-SMO said...

Plus, they are a dandy threat against NATO members since it shows that they can hit high- value targets in a way that can't be blocked. It is something of a reply to the threat of cruise missiles that Team Putin can't stop. No indication of nuclear, yet.

Makes me wonder about all the fires and explosions reported at Russian facilities. Something is going on.

Unknownsailor said...

Russia just demonstrated the Zicron can reach to 1000km. Targeting remains the issue, in my mind, and I have doubts about their accuracy, but speaking as a career bird farm sailor, who served on 4 of them for 7 deployments, the idea of a mach 4 missile inbound with a dozen or more of their closest friends (Russia won't lob them in singles, they will send a swarm) makes me nervous.

If the carrier is caught flat footed, the ship won't even be able to set full watertight integrity before the vampires hit. I was never on a carrier that could set Zebra inside of 12 minutes from the decision to man general quarters.

Plenty of places to hit a carrier that results in minimal damage, but produces a mission kill. I worked in two of them; the large, two story store room that stores all the repairable aircraft parts, and the HAZMAT issue office and associated storeroom. Both are up against the skin of the ship, and Zircon missile in either spot deadline either office. Planes can't fly for long without hydraulic fluid, or repair parts.

Aesop said...

Noted. But once again, how does this change the paradigm of war?

This is merely a speedier version of AS missiles that have been around for literally decades.
Argentina had Exocets, Britain had an "obsolete" carrier.
So...whose flag flies over Port Stanley today?

And at 600mi distance, the target could be 7 mi away from datum when the missile gets to the neighborhood. While a carrier, being anything but short on space, could launch a literal fleet of programmable decoys in that time, all programmed to send back "Hey, here I am, shoot ME!" signals on the same freq as the missile's terminal guidance radar, and salvo off huge chaff blooms, all packed into a standard torpedo-sized canister designed for surface action.

Now Mr. Missile has 20 or 40 new targets to sort. Pk just dropped to <3%.

This is nothing but the give-and-take of technology, and is far from being revolutionary.

And if you're salvoing missiles at our carriers, the return reply will be arriving via ICBM and TLAM in about 15-25 minutes, and Ivan doesn't have enough SPF for that sunburn.

Michael said...

Aesop since this posting has the label of strategy and not just war tech I have a query.

Since WW2 what war has America won? Korea is still a festering mess, Vietnam 2nd place South East Asia Wargames, Middle East much the same and Afghanistan, do I need to say more?

In none of these little wars we never had second class military and our weaponry and ability to keep it fed and maintained was pretty good. In all but a few weeks in Korea we had full air superiority.

What happened? The enemy simply outlasted us. I doubt the Goat herders of Afghanistan were man for man superior to our high-tech warriors supported by all the modern war toys.

They outlasted us until the political costs (and some say economic costs) drove us off the battlefield.

You ask how Putin can "WIN" against the Mighty USA? Ask the Goat Herders of Afghanistan.

But this time with the social and economic instability inside the USA, we *might* find ourselves without a viable country.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Aesop said...

South Korea is still free and prosperous, rather than a communist shithole. That's definitely a win.
Vietnam was rotten top to bottom, but the conflict bought the rest of Asia time to prepare and resist the spread of communism. It was stillborn elsewhere, and tied up a lot of Soviet and Chinese blood and treasure.
The Central Asia was nothing but mistakes after the initial effort. Militaries don't build nations, they destroy them. The chattering idiots who forgot that lesson wasted billions of dollars and thousands of lives trying a fool's effort. The wars were victories, the nation-building a foregone doomed conclusion. You can't grow crops by pulling on them, and you can't yank people out of the sixth century and into the 18th if they don't want to go there.

We weren't outlasted so much as under-committed from the outset. The only way to outlast the Taliban is to exterminate them all, to the last child. We haven't the stomach for that sort of thing, and knowing this from the get-go, ought never to have tried to half-ass the outcome.

Putin can't "win" against the Ukrainians. They're the goatherders in this analogy, because they won't become good Russians, ever. Getting that assbackwards is the mistake every Putin fanboy has made since the outset. Ukraine will no more be colonized by Russia than Afghanistan would be colonized by anyone else.

If Putin was fighting the US, he'd have to go nuclear in about 72 hours, because his forces would be shredded within days in a major conflict. That's why Putin daren't widen the conflict. At this point, just Poland and the Baltics could kick his army's ass all the way to the Urals in weeks, as their sorry performance against the 4th-rate Ukrainians has demonstrated to the entire watching world. Putin's recklessness and foolishness frightens Europe; his military prowess brings only mirth. He's a baby with a live grenade.

As for "social and political instability" inside the US, that's a literal six-day war if it ever goes hot in both directions. And the worthless eaters and civilizational deadweight are the first ones to go, and all of them sitting at the other end of the political spectrum.

Something I think Emperor Poopypants and his minions will discover in haste if they keep pushing things to their inevitable denouement.

Michael said...

Will be interesting to see what remains after our literal 6-day war and what the newfound "nation state" if any will be born.

I suspect there will be a new definition of Pyrrhic Victory for the history books.

Protect your families, they are the future.

Aesop said...

Like most forest fires, I expect it will burn off a lot of old-growth deadwood.

Anonymous said...

My two cents.

Back in the old days when I was active duty everyone had to go to fire fighting school. Everyone, regardless of rank (I was an ossifer) also had to complete the DC PQS - notable exception were the staff weenies.

USS Stark

USS Tripoli

USS Cole

All of them had holes put in them. None sank.


Sailors who used to know how to fight the ship.

Not sure what it’s like now.

Fair winds and following seas.


Anonymous said...

If we cannot restore our power grid and water purification then our current population of about 330 million will die off (if not overshoot ) to mid 1800's population. Quite a old growth and young trees burn. Pryyhic victory redefined.

Plague Monk said...

I went to his site, and spent about an hour browsing thru his posts, using one monitor for that and using my second to get some writing done.
After reading his posts, the meme "Mediocrates" jumped out at me.
He's not alone on this, though; I used Uncle Googly and found some other articles on the vulnerabilities(?) of carriers, and some of the linked pieces are even more banal.
One site claimed that barnacles on the carriers could lead to their demise; after that little pile of sugar free chocolate pudding I gave up on that site.
There is a case that can be made for carrier vulnerability, but I think the problem at this time is more due to the poor quality of the crews, poor leadership at all levels, and the serious problems with the Ford class of carriers.
One analyst I know has privately said that the Ford class carrier is the Navy's equivalent of NASA's SLS, aka "Senate Launch System." Nothing but a money sink, but a lot of us contract engineers and designers love these programs.

Anonymous said...

The Cold War!!

Unknown said...

I am really skeptical of the idea that Ukrainians will never accept Russian rule in the areas they annex. For context consider the following from Jay in Federalist No. 2:

"With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people--a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence."

If we had to pick, would such a description more readily apply to Russians and southern/eastern Ukrainians or Americans and "Americans?"

I understand your answer is probably neither, especially with the whole six day war thing. I just think the task of assimilating Russian speaking Russian orthodox ethnic Russians into the Russian polity is not going to be near as difficult as you expect.

Skyler the Weird said...

The Brits lost what? 5 ships to the Argies exocets. The Argies ran out of Skyhawks before the Brits ran out of ships. A Petty Officer on the Hermes told a younger me it was a near run thing.

Anonymous said...

Was that idiot writer named "Piggott" or "Pickett"?
John in Indy

Anonymous said...

I hope your day job doesn't require math.

Russia launched a single hyper-sonic missile against a Soviet-era nuclear bunker from over 1000km away. It did not have an explosive warhead. The impact caused a sympathetic detonation of the munitions in the bunker.

Calculate the following. Show all working.

The missile has a 150Kg payload.

It travels at Mach 7.

What is the kinetic energy of the payload upon impact?

How much energy is released from the detonation of 150Kg of RDX?

Assuming the rest of the missile has a mass of 2500Kg, calculate the total kinetic energy at impact.

At Mach 7 the detonation of the payload will behave as a shaped charge. Based on your previous calculations, estimate the thickness of armor required to defeat both the impact and explosive.

At Mach 7 the missile is enveloped in a plasma blanket. Explain how you will interfere with the missile's guidance systems.

Mach 7 is about 2300 meters per second. Given radar is ineffective due to plasma, explain how you will detect the missile prior to impact.

Given the above, explain how any ship currently afloat would survive a single missile strike.

5stonegames said...

The paradigm change comes with multiple powers having precision guidance . The missile speed is just icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

From what I remember reading was that we found out the Russian HSM was basically a payload attached to the front of one of their MIG jet engines. You know the ones setting around because they couldn't keep up $$$ building the actual jet. 1000M should be an easy "distance"(not target)to achieve. Now as for the guidance system well.... we can all ponder the complexity of their ability.


Kansas kid said...

I guess only one way to find out...mix it up with Ivan and or Xi and see if the carriers float or sink, Kind of a rough way to prove a point, however

Old NFO said...

There you go with those facts again... Stop it! :-)

A. J. Pendelton said...

These hypersonic weapons are just the first generation to be brought forth. The Chinese have a system that has tremendous range and accuracy over about 1000 miles I am reading. Take a look at the moving aircraft carrier sillhouettes in a test range they have built in their remote regions. They aren't there for giggles my friends.

There is absolutely nothing in the US arsenal that anyone knows about to counter these weapons. And yes, the days of the aircraft carrier are gone and done with should a war break out. These multi-billion dollar floating cities are just siting ducks in a hot war between a peer adviseary like China or Russia.

Even if one of these missiles struck a carrier or cruiser (or anything) just the kinetic energy from the strike would look like a shotgun blast to a watermelon (let alone a conventional explosive warhead). If nuclear tipped--just a proximty hit would suffice to knock out a ship--see the contaminated hulks in the Bikini tests. So radioactive that no amount of decontamination would render them safe for use.

What are carriers are good for is for beating up advasaries who are weaker than our own military. Period. They are only good for enforcing globalist doctrine and the US ponzi system dollar worldwide.

John Wilder said...

In Russia, missile bomb you?

No, Russia is living up to its motto: "and then? Things got worse." But the meat grinder in the east keeps on, keepin' on. Zhukov would be familiar with the tactics.

Aesop said...

@Anon 11:49A,

I hope your job doesn't involve thinking.

1) Tell the class how fast that weapons bunker was moving when it was hit, and/or whether it was GPS pre-surveyed to a 10-digit grid coordinate.
2) Tell the class how the hypersonic missile receives guidance, both for launch, and terminal homing. Remember that plasma blanket works both ways.
3) The missile reaches Mach 7. It does not start out at that speed. So for a much slower average speed than Mach 7, at 600mi range, how far will the target have moved away from the datum point, moving at a nominal 30+ kts?
3a) If the missile is fired leading the targets, what if the target turns? Or stops?
3b) With a view to horizon of 9mi at 50' ASL, how long before the missile can't even find a moving target, because its terminal guidance can't see 180°?
3bi) What is the boresight view of the missile's guidance package in terminal homing mode? From what altitude?
4) How much kinetic energy is transferred to the target when it misses?
5) How many objects travelling at Mach 7 do you imagine become "invisible" to radar. Show all work.

And maybe stop assuming a pK of 100% for any form of technology, let alone Russian technology. You won't look nearly as silly.


Precision targeting has been around since 30+ years ago. So explain how the paradigm changed now, please.


In a "hot war" with a peer adversary, carriers are superfluous. The hardware in question will be ICBMs, SLBMs, cruise missiles, and manned strategic bombers. All of which will be packing Canned Sunshine. All of which have been around for 60 years or more.

Yet again: demonstrate the warfare paradigm that has changed, and explain how it happened this year. Show all work.

Carriers are for force projection. Of 195 countries, only 10 countries have them, which includes us. Only 2 are likely adversaries. Neither of them is liable to be the subject of a carrier alpha strike.
Piggott's thesis is boob bait for the Bubbas, because he's speaking as if we're going to be doing an amphibious landing up the Volga. This is retard-level military prognosticating on his part. Step away from the stupid.

Russia and China have fast missiles. Which affects nothing whatsoever.

If I have a pistol or rifle that shoots a bullet at Mach 6 instead of Mach 3, the only thing that matters is how functionally accurate it is. And it makes no difference whatsoever to a gunfight other than that.

What retards like Piggott overlook is why they think they need missiles that go that fast.
I threw everyone a yuuuge hint on the answer to that just over a week ago:

Bonus: WhereTF do people imagine we've been flying those Aurora missions, since the early 1990s, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Anonymous said...

Can’t answer the question I see. Typical smart ass keyboard commando pussyhat hissyfit retort from Aesop. Dude you’ve got potential. Some of your stuff is great but these shrill teenage girl shriek-fests are unworthy.

Aesop said...

Answered the question.
Handed you your ass on a platter.
Staple it back on, and pull your head out of it, then get back to me.

None of your irrelevant bullshit matters a damn if the missile can't hit its target.
Own what you write, or continue to serve as a scratching post.

And here's another poser for you to ignore, because it undoes your entire thesis, and you're not tall enough for this ride:

6) What's the life expectancy of anyone in Moscow 30 seconds after a Russian missile takes out a US aircraft carrier?

Landroll said...

I enjoy reading your articles, reader's replies, and your retorts when given. I spent 48 years working artillery, and air defense missile systems. I spent fifteen years in the Army and the remainder as a civilian for various contractors as an SME on a variety of foreign (read Soviet) systems in both the US and overseas. The systems ranged from virtually antique to quite modern systems with build dates in the late 1990's. Some of your readers apparently don't understand that these hypersonic cruise missiles don't travel 600 miles a few hundred meters above ground for their entire flight. They climb to a predetermined altitude turn to their inbound course then accelerate to speed. The climb and inbound cruise make them possible to intercept. They can maneuver but once seen, their capability to evade defenses becomes more limited. Not to deny the pucker factor of these weapons but they are not unbeatable.

Anonymous said...

Aesop is right. The missile can’t send receive signals when hypersonic. It’s why space vehicles go through the communication black-out during re-entry. So any hypersonic weapon will have to slow at some point to re-aquire it’s target if precision is important.

Here’s a long analysis

Anonymous said...

Horizon is not a factor as the missile is air launched.

The missile took a total of 10 minutes from launch to impact on the bunker.

The Gerald R. Ford is 1106 feet long and 250 feet high and is approx. 100000 tons.

Assume the ship is moving at 30 miles per hour and that you are aware of the launch immediately.

The ship will be within 5 miles of where it was when the missile was launched, no matter what maneuver the ship attempts.

If we were trying to hit a small target that might be an issue, but that's only roughly 25 times its own length. Since we don't care exactly where we hit the ship, that doesn't seem much of a challenge for a guidance system.

Perhaps someone here who has served can venture a guess as to how many of the 600 seconds assumed above you'd actually have to do anything useful?

BlueSilver said...

6) What's the life expectancy of anyone in Moscow 30 seconds after a Russian missile takes out a US aircraft carrier?

On 9/11/2001, jihadis flew an airplane full of jet fuel into the Pentagon; you know, the place where the US Military controls everything including those aircraft carriers. This was the equivalent to a cruise missile strike, with conspiracy theorists actually trying to prove that it was indeed a cruise missile. You would think (at least I did on 9/11) that the response would have been immediate eradication of the entire country of Afghanistan. Instead we got a slow build-up to a forever war that didn't result in killing Bin Laden until MANY years later. And then an utterly embarrassing withdraw from the country MANY years after that.

If Russia were to take out a carrier, there would be little response other than some threatening talk at the UN and maybe some retaliatory strikes on military targets. We might even have to have some Congressional Committee look into the event and conduct a full investigation! Residents of Moscow have little to fear in such a scenario because they know the US sending nukes or other mass casualty attacks on a civilian target would result in a return favor on DC, NYC, LA, and a few other strategic civilian targets. The US knows this and unless the desired outcome is to actually start WW3 or WW4 (which I wouldn't put past some of the insane globalist freaks running the world), the US is unlikely to touch Moscow or any other city.

Ed in Tennessee said...

When I was in high school there were a lot of obsolete books in the library. I remember one from pre WWII which said the aircraft carrier was useless because all you have to do is destroy the floating base. Like most things easier said than done.

BTW the carrier outlines drawn in the Gobi desert are to make pretty satellite photos, that's all.

5stonegames said...

The US has not fought an enemy with precision guidance in any signifcant numbers that I know of especially one with GPS jamming and ASW capabilities

. That is why is paradigm change. Its like being into MMA fighting a bunch of jobbers or high school kids or even noobs than suddenly you are in the ring with a 38 year old Randy Couture . He's a bit past his prime . you might win , probably will but its not a fight you want or are expecting. You also might lose. That man got his title back at 40.

The US will not and cannot use nukes in reprisal for sinking a carrier. It would engender a nuclear response which would obliterate us and all our allies. Destroying a carrier or a carrier group with conventional weapons is a legitimate act of war though it would be be responded to in kind and full measure.

Also we aren't going to war with Russia anyway . Odds of us being able to sustain anything are too limited. we are already cannibalizing parts for civilian big rigs, trucks, aircraft and all manner of things. Its peacetime and our ability to procure basic goods and keep the economy running is failing fast . If we went war, we'd collapse and no there would be no patriotic surge. Most of the people on the Right don't care about Russia if they aren't generally OK with it I know you hate them but the USSR is long gone, Vlad is rather ordinary and this is just a return to politics as usual

If somehow we went to war with Russia anyway China won't jump in, probably but they and everyone else would cut us off. Hyperinfaltion here we come and on top of that we'd be short everything, medicine , ammo. fuels you name it is a trifle.

World War Clown is causing the US to implode, The Russkiy Mir to shine a bit brighter and the world order to change. The Pax Ameircana will end, if not today than very soon. And you know what? Its fine. You want goods, make them here, sell them here, buy them here.

Globalism that enriches the elite can go the hell where it belongs

Aesop said...

@Anon 10:49,

"Horizon is not a factor as the missile is air launched."

So I take it you're postulating a flat earth?
If not, you are a FAIL at the Geometry portion of today's problem.
The line from 100,000' to the horizon is 388 mi.
For a (far likelier in the real world) 50K' launch altitude, it's 274 miles.
With your target 600 miles away.
Earth's curvature: still a thing.

Here's a handy online calculator, once you put out the flames around your smoking wreckage:

For Step Two, shooting the a/c down before it launches is a hard kill.

For Step Three, if the launch from BVR (look it up) assumed a steady course and speed, and the ship merely comes about and goes to flank speed (quite a bit more than 30MPH, btw), it's now ten miles or more from where the missile is looking for it. Depending on a host of things, like the missile's ability to acquire targets, and the arc of that ability from boresight. That could handily put the Ford in the missile's blind spot, as Ford watches the thing sail off over the horizon, looking for it where it isn't.
Total kinetic energy delivered: zero.

This is why hitting a stationary pre-surveyed bunker on flat ground from 600 miles' distance is totally not like shooting at a maneuvering ship at sea.

Thanks for playing, and we have some lovely parting gifts for you.

1) The folks responsible for 9/11 were non-state actors.
2) We fucked their countries up so hard and for so long they won't be rejoining the civilized world again for the next century.
3) Russia shooting up a military target like an aircraft carrier would receive a reply by ICBM in about half an hour, less if we used a Trident of SLCM missile to deliver the message. Figure that whatever port had the bulk of their fleet would be a radioactive scrapheap in time for the next news cycle.
We can trade carriers for entire fleets all day long.
If Russia chose to escalate at that point, they could enjoy trying to win from the ashes of World-That-Was, but the point would be academic, because they'd cease to exist as a nation within an hour, and for the next couple of centuries, if they ever recovered.
That lemon isn't worth the squeeze, and they've known that for 60 years.
4) Explain the scenario where their ability to sink a single ship would be worth burning the world down, starting with Moscow. Show all work.

Postulating that such a scenario is even relevant is what happens when idiots like Piggott try to play field marshal or defense minister. He doesn't know what he doesn't know.

Aesop said...


1) Your first two lines are a complete non-sequitir.
A has nothing whatsoever to do with Q.
You skipped a few steps.

2) The US would damned sure use nukes or any other thing in reprisal for an act of war against a capital ship of the line by a nuclear power. Equally likely, we'd simply declare unrestricted submarine warfare against their entire combatant and merchant fleet, and by Wednesday they'd be a land power only, with shoot on sight orders from most fleets worldwide. BTW, that would also trigger the exact war with all of NATO under the charter that they cannot afford nor win, and they'd be lucky to survive to the end of the week under those circumstances.

And they know that too, which is why the entire scenario is retarded. Tell the class WTF Russia gains in return for sinking an American carrier. Show all work.

3) They've had to lock down their entire financial system to prop the formerly free-falling ruble up, and their own GDP is already down 10-20% since March. They're headed for a non-survivable financial crash, because they can't sustain their current draconian controls in a global economy. Gravity always wins. Happy thoughts for them won't change that, and the midwits pretending that the ruble is soaring high in a free market overlook that reality to their own inevitable embarrassment.

4) Both COVID and the Ukraine situation have pounded home the lesson that we sent too much manufacturing capability abroad, and depend too much on unreliable suppliers under the just-too-hard and just-too-late model of production. Unfortunately, the wolf that's pounding in the door is doing so at a house occupied by a doddering halfwit, and his grifting minions, who couldn't find their asses with both hands and a map. Until adult supervision returns to government, in both parties, things will only degenerate, and perhaps irretrievably so.

My conservative estimate is mountains of skulls, and rivers of blood, but I'm sentimental like that.

5stonegames said...

Aesop, your politics and your medical lore are rock solid, nobody I'd rather have around when the balloon went up but your analysis is well, not but again only time will tell.

Sorry my analogy didn't make sense. Lets try this

Also you asked why precision guidance mattered, simple. The US hasn't faced an enemy with the ability to hit anything of ours in a long long time We've been fighting pathetic forces like Iraq (poor morale, Arab fighting doctrine, low grade equipment) or in Afghanistan basically a bunch of guerillas who kicked our ass.

That ability to say hit power plants , the private dwellings of government officials or engineers food distribution all kinds of things makes war harder and more costly.

And though I am not sure about this we may not be able to have air superiority or GPS for any length of time it all . Our doctrine recently seemed to depend on those and if we lose it?

That makes war quite different than what we are used too and will make it harder for us to win. I am not sure the current Clown infested military (good soldiers and officers have been mostly driven out) has the skills to adapt or more important attitude anyway.

We are kind of a glass hammer.

Now I don't think Russia will attack a US carrier group but again I don't think we will fight them either. If we went all out, it will be canned sunshine all around In a couple of weeks anyway or we might surrender. Russians unlike us have courage and someone pulling a J6 in the Dumas somehow wouldn't cause anyone like supposedly tough Republicans to dive under tables. We are decadent.

Modern Russia isn't anywhere near as decadent poor or ruined as it was under Yeltsin where it was as McCain put A gas station pretending to be a country

Also the Russian economy is not really global. Its like the US economy of the past is mostly domestic , they make almost everything they need unlike us with a lot of manufacturing and of the few things they can't make, they already have secondary arrangements for. Ours is a global economy, Russia's isn't caveat resources which being in short supply are resistant to market pressures . The oil simply doesn't exist to be pumped

This is a fundamental difference between us, I see a closed economy within limits as a sign of strength. Too much is bad, open trade is also bad, Globalism is also bad.

My guess is that a new social order with new trade blocs will arise . US/EU vs everyone else (BRICS ++) I don't know how this will turn out. It would not surprise me if Russia told the EU to rot after the contracts are dine and once it has more ability to ship resources. This will make Europe a backwater and won't do us much good either.

But I am speculating so I might be wrong. I will say Russia is doing pretty well, they at least have baby food on the shelves and apparently all the predictions of them losing and be out of ammo have been proven. Ukraine says Russia can keep up what they are doing for another year.

Aesop said...

We won two world wars and successfully fought three additional conflicts wholly without GPS. It's nice, but it's a luxury. We still issue compasses and protractors to basic NCOs, FFS. Not having it cuts both ways. And we still aren't going to be fighting anyone with the ability to hit us, because once they do, this goes nuclear in about 5 minutes. This has been war-gamed to death, for forty years. It's just how it works.
People don't know, for the most part, that when we invaded Inchon in 1950, we had 15 B-29s ready to pop nukes all the way to the Yalu River and into China, if there was any chance the operation might fail. The reason we had carriers at Yankee Station off NVN was that if, at any time, thigs in Vietnam got grim, between what was in the special weapons locker, and what was available to be whistled up from Guam, North Vietnam would have been pool-table flat and extra crispy in about an hour, from China to the DMZ.

The Russian economy is something like 11th in the world. Behind Korea, IIRC. That was before sanctions. Without European trade, they're going to drop to the mid-30s. Europe, OTOH, is a lot those spots on the list between #4 and #25 (4,5,7,8,14,17,18,21,22,23,& 26, in fact.) Germany alone has an economy twice the size of Russia's. The US is 14 times as large. Russia is the equivalent GDP of Florida plus Alabama, combined.

Russia is an upholstered Turd-World shithole with nuclear weapons, and that's all it has been for 70 years.

And if Russia keeps up what they're doing for another year, they'll be conquered by China in 13 months, all the -stans - every single one - will depart and form independent countries, and Putin will be torn apart bodily by the mobs in Moscow on live TV, and his limbs used to decorate the walls of the Kremlin.

Long before that, somebody Stauffenbergs him, and that's the end of the Ukrainian adventure forever.

His forces either start to get good, and make some sort of serious progress (unlikely), or he can start playing Russian roulette with all the chambers loaded. Ukraine wins if they simply continue to exist, and every day they fight, they're bleeding Vlad of irreplaceable money, men, and equipment, and doing the same thing to the Russian economy that Biden has done to ours.

Meanwhile, Emperor Stumblefuck Poopypants keeps trying to blame our blossoming problems on Trump, COVID, and Putin, rather than owning it himself.

None of this ends well for anyone, which is why the quicker Russia realizes this is a slow-motion disaster, the better off the entire world gets. Starting with Russia and Ukraine.

Reltney McFee said...

Ukraine military aged citizens pool strikes me as a finite, and highly valuable, asset.

Michael said...

Aesop I'd love to hear you fisk this report.

Economics, the lifeblood of any nation and thusly its ability to project military power.

I still think Putin will see the US Dollar eliminated from reserve currency status.

So how could Russia "Win"?

Aesop said...

Without even reading it, let's grant the premise: Russia shuts down a huge chunk of the US power grid.
30 minutes later, 1000 ICBMs fly, Russia responds, and Russia and the US and most of the civilized world are faint memories, glassed over and blowing ashes.

So tell me how that's a Russian win in Ukraine?
As usual, show all work.

Michael said...

Sigh everything goes to ICBM's eh? You should read the whole thing.

It's the AMERICAN SANCTIONS that is going to cause a major shortage of nuclear fuel needed every year to maintain our power grid. As in Hillery's selling us down the river to Russia for her profit leaving us as usual screwed and dependent upon Russia (and or China) for critical things.

I guess everything in radioactive ashes does somehow prevent a Russian "Win" eh?

Aesop said...

So the premise is nothing but bait-and-switch? Russia is going to do no such shutting down?
Then what point is your question??

Postulate Russia taking any action that would lead to a die-off of 75% of the country, and ICBMs are the least they (or anyone thusly responsible) could expect.

OTOH, assuming that American sanctions will somehow lead us to inevitably cut our own throats is a fool's errand. And generally, circular reasoning kicks in somewhere.
OTOH, if the point is that because of past US actions, Russia has possible leverage, it assumes no one here would realize that, and take away that leverage in a pinch, which is exactly what would happen.

Anybody wedded to the idea that we'll deliberately punch ourselves in the dick because reasons, is already too short for the ride.

Anonymous said...

Aesop -

The only beef I have with your analysis is that it assumes that the leadership of the US is interested in actually defending the US.

Personally, I give even odds that Spongebrain Shitpants does nothing in the face of any Russian provocation.


Aesop said...

Spongebrain is not the leadership of the US.