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Showing posts from March, 2019

Aircraft Carrier Costs: Nimitz vs Ford

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The much-maligned USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78) The United States Navy's new Gerald Ford -class aircraft carriers, like virtually all modern military equipment, have come under intense criticism for their supposedly exorbitant cost. Accusations of their costing 2-3 times as much as their predecessors, the venerable  Nimitz -class have been thrown around and many believe that the Navy would have been better off not developing the Gerald Ford -class. However, I believe these criticisms are entirely unjustified and (as with the F-35, which I previously wrote about ) stem from the media's ignorant if not outright dishonest use of non-comparable costs and a poor understanding of timelines. When put into proper context, I believe that the ships of the  Gerald Ford -class are actually only marginally more expensive than those of the Nimitz -class. First the numbers. The Navy's budget submissions reveal the exact costs of three carriers: the final member of the  Nimitz -class,

FY2020 US Navy Budget Highlights

The recent United States Navy Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal has unleashed the usual flurry of articles analyzing and discussing its ramifications. However, while the vast majority of these have focused on the same details, particularly the proposed early retirement of USS Harry Truman (CVN-75) and the introduction of large unmanned surface vessels, I will instead point out various minor pieces of information that have caught my eye. Missiles The greatest change is that antiship missiles are indeed back with a vengeance. In FY20, the Navy is proposing to procure no fewer than 216 antiship missiles of 5 different types and has stated a desire for an overall inventory of over 2000 dedicated antiship missiles. This is quite obviously aimed at the rapidly growing Chinese Navy. However, by my rough estimation, this is actually enough weapons to sink every non-US warship in the word twice over. Tomahawk Tomahawk production is restarting after a lapsing for FY19. A total of 180 we

Missile Loadouts: Chinese 052-series Destroyers (1994-2019)

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The 052-series destroyers have represented the cutting edge of Chinese naval technology in the post-Cold War period. The original Type 052 destroyer joined the fleet in 1994 and, although its capabilities were limited, it is considered China’s first modern warship. The basic design proved solid and went through several variations, each dramatically improving its combat systems and missile armament. In its latest iteration as the Type 052D, it forms the backbone of the Chinese surface fleet and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The original Type 052 was a basic 155 meter multipurpose destroyer with an emphasis on antisurface warfare. The two members of the class incorporated many foreign technologies and were more experimental platforms than serious warships. The offensive missile battery consisted of an impressive 16 YJ-83 antiship missiles in canister launchers amidship. With a range of 200 kilometers and a 420-pound warhead, these missiles gave the Type 052 a poten