Using a Nuke RE: French Carrier

Owen Byrne
Fri, 26 Apr 2002 13:35:26 -0300

With a sufficient threat you don't really have to sink a carrier to
neutralize it. If you have the Russian navy circa 1990 suitably modernized
to today's standards,
then you only have to decrease the effectiveness of the screen to gain local
superiority. Knocking out one of those AEGIS cruisers (which cost almost as
much as an aircraft carrier, if you don't count the air wing) and a Spruance
or two would, with a sub and LBA threat, be enough to make the CVBG withdraw
and reduce its

It seems to me that the whole argument seems redundant - the lesson of the
cold war is clear - if you want to defeat a superpower, you play on their
fears of insecurity in order to balloon their defense budget to the point
where it bankrupts their civilian economy. Every extra CVBG the US deploys
is, at this point, a plus for their enemies.

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Hall" <>
To: "FoRK" <>
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2002 1:19 PM
Subject: Using a Nuke RE: French Carrier

> 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
> Bill
> > 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
> missiles
> > > are also expensive.  The Soviets probably would have had to launch
> 1/4
> > > of their entire strength at a single Navy carrier to take it out.
> At
> > > 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
> the
> > wind, I'd think it would be easy to pitch a nuke at it.
> >
> > -- whump
> >
> >
> >
> >