Recently, an extremely interesting article appeared on BO - "Dear Khrushchev or how dangerous for Russia will be American aircraft carriers". The conclusions boiled down to the fact that, taking into account modern detection systems and with the availability of the latest Russian cruise missiles, it has the ability to reliably protect its shores from the attacks of AUG. Express a different point of view on this issue.
It should be recognized that the conflict between the United States and the Russian Federation is extremely unlikely, and if it comes to military action, then most likely it will be a conflict between the Russian Federation and NATO. Such a military conflict can occur in two forms - nuclear or nuclear-free.
Unfortunately, “on the Internet” constantly have to deal with remarks on the theme “They will attack us, and we are the whole world in dust!” Alas ... Neither the Russian nor the American arsenal has long been enough to turn this very world into dust . For example, according to the US Department of State data on the implementation of START-3 from 1 in January 2016, the US has 762 deployed nuclear warhead carriers, Russia has 526. The number of warheads on deployed carriers from the US - 1538, from Russia - 1648. But it is only on deployed. According to other sources, the US has 1642 deployed and 912 canned warheads; Russia has 1643 and 911, respectively. Roughly speaking, and we. and the Americans are capable of delivering a one-time strike using roughly 1500-1600 warheads (according to other sources, the United States is weaker - on the order of 1400 warheads) and ... what does this mean? Alas, for the Russian Federation - nothing good.
Our country has approximately 1100 cities. Of course, the destruction of some of them by one standard 100 CT warhead will be small, but nonetheless. As for the United States, they have about 19 000 cities. And to hit them all by hitting 1600 with warheads is completely impossible. And besides ... there won't be their 1600. It never happens that absolutely all missiles will start normally - some percentage of failures will still happen. Perhaps not all strategic missile submarines will be able to strike - someone may die before they have time to shoot. Something will reflect the US missile defense system, not that the author seriously believed in the ability to repel ballistic missile attacks, but here are some cruise missiles launched from strategic missile carriers, they can "win". It is unlikely that even all this taken together will select a large percentage, but it should still be understood - some part of our CU still does not reach the enemy.
With the explosion of the warhead of the megaton class, in 10 kilometers from the epicenter no more than 5% of the population there will die. True, another 45% should receive injuries of various severity levels, but this is only if the blow hits the unsuspecting citizens. But if they are ready and take even the simplest measures of protection, then the losses will be significantly, if not even multiple, reduced. And we have far from all of the 1600 warheads - the megaton class, there are times weaker in 10, and there are many of them.
Radioactive infection? It is worth noting that the Japanese after the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki began to restore and settle these cities after some two or three years. Yes, of course, the consequences were - for example, an abnormally high level of leukemia (exceeding the norm at least twice), but still the infection did not threaten the death of the society located in its very center. The Japanese estimate the scale of environmental contamination in Chernobyl at least 100 times the effects of the Hiroshima bomb blast. And it should be borne in mind that thermonuclear munitions, under certain conditions, give a not too significant environmental contamination.
Nuclear winter? In the USA, USSR, France, Great Britain and China, at least 2060 tests of atomic and thermonuclear charges, including in the atmosphere - 501 test, were carried out. It cannot be said that the world did not notice this at all, but no consequences, at least as close to fatal ones, have come.
In other words, having spent all our strategic nuclear potential deployed today, we are not that world - we are not even bold about the United States. We will cause the most terrible losses, destroy a significant number of the urban population - yes. We liquidate most of the industrial potential - of course. Rejecting development in the region of Central African countries - perhaps even though this is no longer a fact.
“The whole world is in the dust” is from the times of the USSR. When we didn’t have 2550-2600 warheads, but 46 000 (FORTY SIX THOUSANDS) - then - yes, we really could have “sown” the territory of the USA, and, probably, all of Europe, if not to the complete destruction of any intelligent life, something very close to that. Now - alas, we do not have such power. For a long time, we have no opportunities for the USSR to use only thermonuclear power to wipe the United States, Europe and NATO’s military potential together from the ground.
At the same time, we ourselves, if the Americans choose our cities as a priority goal, will find ourselves in an extremely difficult situation. The vast majority of the urban population will perish. In essence, our losses are unlikely to exceed those of the United States, but we need to understand that they have significantly more cities and population than we do, and they will suffer losses of equal size than we do. 326 million people live in the USA, it is more in 2,22 times than in the Russian Federation. But having an approximate parity in the warheads, we cannot expect to inflict more damage to the Americans in 2,22 times.
We can strike, from which tens of millions of Americans will die at once, and as many more - subsequently, from injuries, diseases, infections and as a result of the destruction of the infrastructure of their country. And we ourselves, having received a “full-scale answer”, do not die out at all until the last person. We will simply remain on the ashes of a once great country in the face of Europe consolidated and untouched by nuclear fire. It is not in our interest, so some nuclear weapons probably will be spent on defeating military targets on the European continent. And this, again, weakens our blow to the United States.
But ... If our position in a nuclear conflict is obviously worse than that of the United States, then this does not mean that the United States is doing well. The fact is that the United States apparently also does not have the possibility of using only nuclear weapons to destroy both the human, industrial and military potential of the Russian Federation.
Cruise missiles do not cope well with disabling modern airfields. And if you spend on them nuclear ammunition, then ... well, yes, we are not the RSFSR with its approximately 1450 civil airfields. We still have about 230 order left, and after Serduk reforms from the 245 military, only 70 remained in operation, but ... But these are already 300 airfields, which require at least 300 warheads for their destruction. And how many are there really? Could it be that the insidious Russians on sly restored a part of the previously abandoned airfields? Or maybe not too abandoned? Maybe only canned? And waiting in the wings? Maybe so, and maybe some sort, and how to check for sure? CIA? No, there is not enough to climb on instagrams and “VKontakte”, Jen Psaki also fails, it’s necessary to work here, and James Bond remained in 20-th century films ...
And the location of the ground forces? They also need to be taken out of the game. Well, how will the Russians, who already have nothing to lose anyway, take, and give up on an excursion to the English Channel? Who will stop them? Bundeswehr? Pardon me, in 1985 it was the Bundeswehr with a capital "B", consisting of 12 divisions, including 6 tank, 4 motorized infantry, one mountain infantry and one airborne. Despite the fact that the number in peacetime was 75% of the staff, and the staff in the tank division then consisted of as many as 24 thousand people (that is, in fact, it is a tank corps). And there were also the “Heimatschutz” territorial troops in the amount of 12 brigades and 15 regiments, which, although they were squadron and had no more than 10% of the standard number in peacetime, but a full set of heavy weapons awaited them in warehouses. The Bundeswehr had 7 thousand tanks, 8,9 thousand infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 4,6 thousand guns, mortars and MLRS, from the air they were supported by a thousand aircraft ... And now - what? Three divisions, and on all - as many as 244 tanks, of which 95 are combat-ready, 44 are for modernization, 7 are for certification (whatever that means) and 89 are "conditionally out of order" and cannot return to it due to lack of spare parts ...
The ground troops of the Russian Federation - this, of course, is also far from the USSR, but ...
In addition, our army has a small deck of trump cards in its sleeve, which is called "tactical nuclear weapons" (TNW). The modern brigade of the Russian Federation in the offensive is unpleasant in itself, but when this brigade at any moment can shoot out with ammunition, kilotons of commercials at five, and not one ... But, if there is absolutely nothing to lose, the Rosgvardians themselves can back up. With its own armored personnel carriers, artillery and helicopters. They would, in an amicable way, also somehow be excluded from the system of equations before the start of the conflict. And command posts? Air defense and missile defense? And the intelligence system, all these over-the-horizon radar and so on? Naval bases? Tactical and strategic nuclear weapons storage sites, because we don’t have all of them deployed and the United States is completely undesirable for them to go into action? Stocks of conventional weapons, so that there was nothing to arm reservists? And transportation junctions and interchanges?
And again - it must be remembered that not all US warheads reach the territory of our country. For American missiles, the same laws apply as for ours — it doesn’t start up at all, it doesn’t reach as many for technical reasons, and Russian missile defense systems intercept it. And after all, for the American generals it’s not even bad, but another thing - to defeat the most important goals, the number of attacking warheads will have to be duplicated, which entails an increased expenditure of nuclear weapons.
If you spend nuclear weapons on all of this, then the destruction of the industrial potential of the Russian Federation will not so much. And if you send a blow to the destruction of cities and industries, the Russian Federation will be able to maintain a fair military potential.
Of course, as we said earlier, the US nuclear arsenal is by no means confined to a “first strike weapon.” Americans have both undeployed nuclear weapons and TNW (mostly in the form of free-fall bombs). And, for example, they can, by sending a blow to strategic forces to defeat stationary targets, “finish” our armed forces with undeployed warheads and tactical nuclear forces. But for this, they themselves will need to maintain a certain military potential at our borders.
In other words, even the US and NATO will not be able to do with nuclear weapons alone to completely crush the Russian Federation. They will also need the massive use of conventional weapons - we are talking about aviation, cruise missiles, they will need ground troops and everything else that is usually used in wars by "conventional" weapons.
A nuclear war in the present conditions is by no means the end of all existence, and it does not at all rule out further hostilities with conventional weapons.
And then the question arises. And what role can a US aircraft carrier play in a nuclear war?
By common thought - colossal. The fact is that strategic nuclear weapons have one peculiarity - they are intended for stationary purposes with known coordinates. They cannot hit aircraft carriers that have gone to sea. Well, let's imagine a situation: the world is on the verge of a nuclear war. The Americans put their aircraft carriers into the sea - not all ten, of course, because part of their ships will be under repair and in the event of a quickly sparked conflict they simply will not have time to put into service. For example, out of ten American aircraft carriers only six can go out to sea. But these six aircraft carriers are forced to the top by airplanes - the atomic aircraft carrier is quite able to carry off 90 airplanes, and even more. Of course, at the same time he will not be able to fight, having turned, in fact, into air transport, well, nothing more is required of him.
Carriers go out into the ocean ... and get lost in its expanses.
And then there is Armageddon. Both we and the United States use nuclear arsenals to the fullest. We are in a more vulnerable position, but let us assume that we have succeeded. And we attacked not only the territory of the United States, but also managed to cover the main military targets in Europe with a nuclear strike. Including the enemy's air base before the planes located there had time to disperse.
What is the result? Military vehicles of the Russian Federation and NATO suffered the hardest damage. A significant part of both our and NATO military potential burned down in an atomic flame. And at this moment, those six US nuclear aircraft carriers emerge from the sea haze. With five hundred and forty aircraft on board.
Come on - only airplanes. It is no secret that airplanes require maintenance, the most unassuming of modern machines "ask" 25 man-hours of technical work for each hour of flight. These are special tools, trained people, etc., but all this is on American aircraft carriers. But in Europe, whose military bases were subjected to nuclear strikes, none of this may not be.
Many authors have written, write and will write that the military potential of American aircraft carriers is not too great against the background of the power of the Western Air Force. And this is definitely the case. But they absolutely do not take into account the fact that in a full-scale nuclear conflict the potentials of the Air Force will suffer the hardest damage, but aircraft carrier aviation can be saved. We have neither reconnaissance means capable of quickly identifying enemy aircraft carriers in the expanses of the world's oceans, nor weapons capable of destroying them there. The ideas that “we will see them through Google Maps and dash“ Satan ”” are wonderful, if you do not take into account that the correction of the flight of ballistic missiles is carried out using astrocorrection. And in order to change the coordinates of the impact, it is necessary to calculate and prescribe the reference positions of the stars so that the rocket can navigate through them in flight, and this is a very difficult and, most importantly, slow task, which completely excludes the possibility of attacking moving targets. It is also clear that no one will sow the megaton class warheads hundreds of square kilometers of sea space, hoping to hit the area of the approximate location of the enemy aircraft carrier. This is because, in the case of Armageddon, the Russian Federation will face the fact that the number of targets to be hit is several times higher than the number of available strategic warheads.
It is possible that the Russian Federation has accumulated enough non-nuclear high-precision weapons, and using TNW to the fullest in Armageddon, we will be able to neutralize a significant part of the military potential of NATO in Europe. But we are definitely unable to disable the European (and even more so - the American) aerodrome network. In Germany alone, there are 318 airfields with hard surface. Turks have 91, France have 294, and all over Europe have their 1882. In the United States, their 5 054.
Of course, one of the main objects of nuclear strikes will be port cities in order to prevent the transfer of anything from the United States to Europe. But the United States is quite capable of dispersing and preserving the bulk of transport aviation on its own territory, and then ...
Then, on the arrival of aircraft carriers to the European shores, their planes will fly to the airfields that survived after Armageddon. Fuel and ammunition can be supplied both from European stocks and from the Metropolis, i.e. from the United States through transport aviation. Repair and maintenance will be carried out directly on aircraft carriers, located somewhere far away from the fighting.
Yes, with the described “scenario”, US aircraft carriers will not enter into battle with any adversary at all. They will play the role of air transport at the first stage of the conflict, and aircraft workshops at its subsequent stages. But here, five hundred combat aircraft capable of conducting combat operations AFTER Armageddon will most likely prove to be an ultimatum argument in the opposition of the Russian Federation and NATO. It is very likely that we will have nothing to protect against this threat. Moreover, as already mentioned above, a significant part of the US TNW represents free-fall aerial bombs.
Of course, the above-described method of using aircraft carriers is completely utilitarian and extremely far from any heroics. And yes, someone can laugh: “Mighty lords of the seas as a floating masterpiece ?!”. But the main thing in the war is not beautiful postures, but victory, and, under certain conditions, aircraft carriers in the conditions of a modern full-scale nuclear-missile conflict are quite capable of giving it.
But there is one more nuance.
Perhaps the nuclear retribution of the Russian Federation will not cast the United States into the stone age, but the economic losses of the "hegemon" will be so great that the status of a superpower will have to be forgotten for a very long time, if not forever. The economic power of the United States will be undermined. But if the Americans at the same time retain the naval potential, which allows them to unconditionally control sea transportation (and, accordingly, the foreign trade of the world, since 80% of its cargo turnover just goes by sea), then they will be able to stay in their rank, if not at the expense of economic, but at the expense of military force.
Or does someone think that such an approach is immoral and unacceptable for the United States?
To be continued ...