Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Return of the U-boat

American Thinker says:

The giant supercarrier may be entering its last days in the US Navy. In defiance of Congress, America’s sea service is retiring one of the last of its oil-fired flattops, the USS Kennedy which is too old to repair and too expensive to upkeep in a fleet desperately attempting to replace its Cold War era ships. According to the recent Quadrennial Defense Review, the number of carriers will be reduced to 11, but the available airwings will number only 10.

This is coming at a time when the big ships are mostly left out of the War on Terror. Al Qaeda has no navy to speak of; the only warships seeing action are patrol ships and frigates hunting pirates in coastal waters. Billion dollar destroyers and cruisers performing the same mission appear like Goliath chasing David. The most important warships currently being built are new littoral combat ships, especially geared for such inshore operations, and at $300 million each, much more affordable.


The conventional boats have become a very grave threat to the surface warship. On numerous occasions during wargames with friendly navies, diesel boats from Australia, France, and Germany have pierced the anti-submarine screen and gotten within firing range of American carriers. Chinese subs are increasingly seen further and further from home waters. China's fleet of undersea boats include ex-Russian Kilo class which are well armed with cruise missiles, and China may also posses the new Shkval rocket, reported to reach underwater speeds of 200 knots. Rest here

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