Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Aircraft Carrier Vs. Cruise Missile #22

From Wash Park Prophet:

A reader has noted that about two
years ago

The U.S. Navy, after nearly six years of warnings
from Pentagon testers, still lacks a plan for defending aircraft carriers
against a supersonic Russian-built missile . . . known in the West as the
``Sizzler,'' . . . ``This is a carrier-destroying weapon,'' said Orville Hanson,
who evaluated weapons systems for 38 years with the Navy" . . . . China bought
the missiles in 2002 along with eight diesel submarines designed to fire it,
according to Office of Naval Intelligence spokesman Robert Althage. A Pentagon
official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia also offered the
missile to Iran, although there's no evidence a sale has gone through. . . .

The Navy's ship-borne Aegis system, deployed on cruisers and destroyers
starting in the early 1980s, is designed to protect aircraft-carrier battle
groups from missile attacks. But current and former officials say the Navy has
no assurance Aegis, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., is capable of detecting,
tracking and intercepting the Sizzler....

[The] Sizzler, which is also called the SS-N-27B, starts out flying at
subsonic speeds. Within 10 nautical miles of its target, a rocket-propelled
warhead separates and accelerates to three times the speed of sound, flying no
more than 10 meters (33 feet) above sea level.

On final approach, the
missile ``has the potential to perform very high defensive maneuvers,''
including sharp-angled dodges, the Office of Naval Intelligence said in a manual
on worldwide maritime threats. . . . Most anti-ship cruise missiles fly below
the speed of sound and on a straight path, making them easier to track and