5 Reasons No Nation Wants to Go to War with the US Navy – 5 Reasons No Nation Wants to Go to War with the U.S. Navy
The United States Navy is the largest and most advanced navy in the world, fielding everything from aircraft carriers and maritime patrol aircraft to submarines, destroyers and unmanned helicopters.
So when your editor asks you to choose the Navy’s five most lethal weapons systems, your most difficult challenge is trying to narrow it down to just five selections. For this video I bypassed the larger platforms such as the aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. To be sure, those are actually the most lethal weapons in the Navy’s arsenal, however, everybody knows them, and, as big platforms, they are actually the sum of many smaller ones.
Instead, I wanted to highlight platforms that were outstanding in some particular way, with an emphasis on the biggest bang for the buck. I also wanted to spread out the selection; it’s easy to merely include surface ships and submarines, ignoring aircraft and certain missions.
Before proceeding, it’s worth noting that the Navy is currently on the cusp of a technological revolution, with new ships, fighters, radars, lasers, railguns and unmanned systems on the horizon. In ten years, a repeat of this list may look very different.
Arleigh Burke-class Guided Missile Destroyer:
Named after the legendary World War II admiral, the Arleigh Burke class destroyers are some of the most balanced, capable ships fielded by any modern navy. The Burke class is the backbone of the fleet, with some 62 vessels comprising over a fifth of all the ships in the Navy.
The heart of the Burke’s combat systems is in its Aegis radar system, which is capable of directing a variety of air defense missiles against incoming targets. Aegis can coordinate the defense of an entire naval surface group, and with the new Cooperative Engagement Capability the Burkes can fire on targets at extended ranges using targeting data from platforms such as the E-2D Hawkeye.
The Burke class is also capable of launching Evolved Sea Sparrow air defense missiles against short and medium range targets, and SM-2 and SM-6 missiles against long-range aerial targets. Many destroyers also have a ballistic missile defense capability, and can launch SM-3 missiles specialized for engagement of ballistic missiles.
EA-18G Growler Electronic Attack Aircraft:
Based on the successful F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18 Growler is an electronic warfare aircraft with the performance of a fighter. Unlike its predecessor the EA-6B Prowler, the Growler is capable of being used more aggressively, pacing high performance fighter bombers on dangerous missions.
The Growler is basically a two seat Super Hornet, with 90 percent commonality in some features between the two planes. The Super Hornet’s internal M61 gun is deleted to accommodate an AN/ALQ-227 communications jamming system, and AN/ALQ-99 radar jamming pods are fitted to the plane’s weapons stations.
Virginia-class Attack Submarine:
One of the most successful weapons programs of the post-Cold W-ar period, the Virginia class attack submarine combines one of the most advanced nuclear attack submarines with an affordable shipbuilding program. At least 33 units are planned.
Each Virginia class is 377 feet long and 34 feet in diameter and weighs 7,800 tons submerged. Each has 12 vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk missiles., as well as four 533mm torpedo tubes capable of launching Mk 48 ADCAP homing torpedoes, mines, and torpedo tube-launched unmanned underwater vehicles.
Ohio-Class Cruise Missile Submarine:
The four guided-missile submarines (SSGNs) of the Ohio-class: Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia — are four of the most heavily armed ships in the world. Each is equipped with 154 cruise missiles and can carry up to four platoons of Navy SEALs.
Originally constructed as ballistic missile submarines, each submarine carried 24 nuclear tipped D-5 Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Under the terms of the START II treaty the United States was left with four excess ballistic missile submarine hulls. Rather than decommission them, the U.S. Navy paid $4 billion to convert them to carry conventionally-armed Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles.
It may seem strange for an aging amphibious transport dock to be on this list, and indeed a 2 years ago it would not have made the cut The 43-year-old USS Ponce, launched in July 1971, served for years as a transport for U.S. Marines. Now it’s an Afloat Forward Staging Base, and the first ship in the US Navy operationally armed with a laser weapon.
The U.S. Navy revealed that the Laser Weapon System, or LaWS is now an operational weapons system. The laser system is cleared to be fired in combat.
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