Critics of U.S. aircraft carriers have been warning for decades that the warships were becoming vulnerable to attack by long-range anti-ship missiles. The latest source of this threat is said to be China. However, the missiles aren’t of much use if Beijing can’t find-fix-track-target U.S. carriers. There are reasons to suspect it can’t. First, it would need to monitor millions of square miles of ocean for a target that is constantly moving. Second, Chinese over-the-horizon radars have poor resolution and no tracking capability. Third, there are big gaps in China’s orbital reconnaissance constellations. Fourth, airborne and sea-based sensors can’t get inside the layered defensive perimeter of a carrier strike group. So while the Navy is well advised to keep investing in new technology and tactics, rumors of the carrier’s demise are greatly exaggerated. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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