Thursday, March 14, 2013

Are Surface Combat Fleets Obsolete?

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan travels through the Pacific Ocean with other ships assigned to the Rim of the Pacific 2010 exercise, north of Hawaii, July 24, 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dylan McCord

Surface Combat Fleets: Obsolete? -- James R. Holmes, The Diplomat

America is developing its own carrier killer. Defense Industry Daily reports that the U.S. Navy has budgeted some $198 million through 2017 to fund a sorely needed replacement for its swiftly aging RGM-84 Harpoon antiship cruise missile. The workhorse Harpoon is rapidly being overtaken by rivals such as the Indian Navy's supersonic BrahMos, which outranges the American bird by a wide margin. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency started developing a subsonic and a supersonic variant of a long-range antiship cruise missile, or LRASM, in 2009. It subsequently dropped the supersonic LRASM-B while pressing ahead with the subsonic LRASM-A. Testing will commence this year. Assuming all goes well, the navy may soon accept ownership of — and begin funding — the missile's development, manufacture, and deployment in fleet warships.

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My Comment: Technology is definitely changing the naval battlefield .... but the end of surface combat fleets .... that is a concept that is hard to accept.

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