Monday, March 31, 2008

Aircraft Carrier Vs. Cruise Missile #23

From Martin Sieff at the UPI:

The Russian-built and designed Sunburn -- known by the Chinese
as the Hai Ying or Sea Eagle HY2 -- in particular is designed to be a U.S.
carrier killer. It can fly at Mach 2.5, or two and half times the speed of sound
-- around 1,700 miles per hour carrying an almost 500-pound warhead. And it can
deliver a tactical nuclear weapon.

Writing in Defense Review on Nov. 20, 2006, respected defense
analyst David Crane also noted a report in Aviation Week that China was also
"developing a new high-speed cruise missile called Anjian -- 'Dark Sword.'"
"From the picture we've seen of it, Anjian also looks very stealthy, i.e., it
looks like it utilizes stealth technology. If China's already perfected this
item, it would be another weapon that our Navy can't combat," Crane
warned.Crane's warnings appear justified. U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers, for
all their size, resemble battlecruisers more than battleships in their high
speed, great offensive armaments and most of all lack of armor plate protection.
Armor plate went out of fashion after World War II among naval designers around
the world, and it has never come back into fashion. However, the nuclear
reactors that power U.S. super carriers would be the modern equivalent of the
Hood's inadequately protected ammunition, or powder magazines. And the new
Russian-designed supersonic anti-ship missiles would be the equivalent of the
Bismarck's 15-inch naval guns.