Using a Nuke RE: French Carrier

John Hall
Fri, 26 Apr 2002 09:19:43 -0700

The Dunnigan analysis on taking out a USN task group required 3 missiles
to land on the carrier.  But you had to throw 300 at a USN carrier group
to have a high percentage chance of getting 3 to the carrier.

It isn't easy to get a cruise missile into a (USN) carrier.  That is
where the task group comes in.

Balistic delivery requires you know where the carrier is, and even where
it will be.  And the US can detect the inbound ballistic missile.  Even
15 minutes warning gives you 7.5 miles of sea room with your back to the
splash.  I don't think that is anywhere near close enough, and that
requires you to locate the carrier with precision.  Even that window is
closing as AEGIS is being tested as an anti-ballistic missile system.
Such testing was one reason we pulled out of the ABM treaty.

A Nuke mine requires you to know exactly where it will be in the future.

A Nuke torpedo would do it, but now you are talking something only the
Soviets had the ability to do.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf Of
> Humphries
> Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2002 9:21 PM
> To: FoRK
> Subject: Re: French Carrier
> On Thursday, April 25, 2002, at 09:09 PM, John Hall wrote:
> > But supersonic Backfire bombers with those massive 250nm cruise
> > are also expensive.  The Soviets probably would have had to launch
> > of their entire strength at a single Navy carrier to take it out.
> > the time we had 14, and that was a losing proposition.
> Do you mean take it out by non-nuclear means? If you threw caution to
> wind, I'd think it would be easy to pitch a nuke at it.
> -- whump