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That's a lotta flattops all in a row...

 ...even if some of them are amphibious warfare vessels.  That's the entire GDP of about 1/3 of the world, when you embark the air wings...

Here's your plot line for Tom Clancy's next novel...

Iran has the bomb, but before they announce (and demonstrate it) openly, choose to send a message. Off the US coast, a container ship or tanker cruises towards the Chesapeake.  Carrying some of those little subs Iran is so fond of.  Target - Norfolk, and carrier row.




121220-N-ZN152-189 NORFOLK (Dec. 20, 2012) The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the world's largest naval station. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernest R. Scott/Released)

The rest of the novel is Clancy telling the world how it couldn't happen, but it was a near-run thing, involving Jack Ryan tossing razor wire off his fishing boat and tangling the screws of the one sub that makes it past the defenses... And, let's face it, at least one of those things has to take a torpedo.

15 Comments

Send a nuke up in the air a ways for a EMP cheap kill and every one of those things becomes useless scrap iron.

Not impossible, but it certaily would be less possible if we stopped IRan fromgetting nukes in the first place.
 
I assume that the booms to seaward of the dock area are anti-torpedo nets of some sort? 

Regarding the possibility of an EMP strike, would not the steel hull of the ship be a huge Faraday cage? I'm sure the exposed electronics topside ie radar and comms would be fried but the powerplant and the steam catapults should be relatively unaffected. I would imagine that most damage would be repaired out of on board spares.  
 
They didn't learn ANYTHING at Pearl Harbor did they?
 
Not sure which Navy you guys are talking about. Everything I ever worked with was either grounded, caged, or shielded specifically to survivean EMP. You'd have to have one heck of a big pulse (translated from a very high yield weapon) to knock out a ship, and I don't think the Iranians are up to that.
 
Don't worry, ray, they're ready  the next time some Mitsubishi A6Ms come calling.

John NTA, while getting a nuke in via conex box might not be that hard, I don't know how they'll get that sucker up into the air for an airburst. One wonders what would happen (electronically) from a ground burst.

I also am not impressed with Iran's navy just now, unless they can convince someone to make a suicide run in one of those little boats.

 
 I don't know what the harbor defenses are (and I'm probably not supposed to, either.  Those booms serve to keep away small vessels, but I have no idea if there are torpedeo nets hanging down there.  There's breaks to take a shot.

Remember, I did talk Clancy.

As for tempest hardening, I know the Army got away from that, one hopes the Navy did not.  That said, it's only a Faraday cage if it is completely contained - there are plenty of openings into the guts of the ship via the elevators and normal open doors while in port.  I dunno what they carry for spares, as they operate in a very different regime than ground forces - but I know if I lost all my comms kit I didn't have enough spares, nor people to do the work.  And I doubt the support battalion would have sufficient people, either - because I wouldn't be the only one who lost his kit.

The Army gave up hardening everything when suddenly everything had a computer in it.  When it was just the radios and specialized kit, that was one thing - but once we started putting a micro-computer onto the soldier's wrist, and in his radios, and his GPS, and his laptop, and then there's all those laptops in the TOC... ad nauseum.

A sufficient EMP pulse would put the Army and Marines back to WWI.

 
 The booms are for containing oil/fuel leaks.
 
 I believe pworker81 is correct. The environment is more important than the defense of the fleet. Any small boat prevention is carried out by our small boats and the Coast Guard. It is, also, an incorrect assumption that all of these carriers are in shape to sortie. Several may be in various phases of overhaul between deployments.
 
Y'all are forgetting who we've become as a nation...

All the Iranistanians have to do is get a nuke into a container and detonate it in a civilian port. After that, our sniveler/enemy lover class would force through legislation demanding 1 in 10 American service personnel be offered up as human sacrifices as a public display of how sorry we are as a people for all the grievances that forced Iranistan to such desperate meausures.
 
Enterprise, of course, is not sortie ready. It is being de-fueled and gutted.
Soon to be towed to Bremerton to have its eight (empty) reactors cut-out and hauled to a waiting trench in the desert at Hanford, WA.
Then, it will be unceremoniusly(sp) be scrapped and made into razor-blades, etc...
Kind of a crummy end for the first CVN, but, whutta you gonna do...
 
How about this for Clancy's next?  Iran waits until the media tells us to elect Hillary in 2016, and the next QDR considers all those vessels "excess" to national security requirements, and they instead are sent to Philly to rust away or be disposed of in SINKEXes.
 
I was an Intel Specialist 2nd class, working with SACLANT when the Soviet fleet was allowed a port visit in Norfolk.  The President made sure that all of the carriers were in port, stern to the pier, when the Soviets made that left turn into the base.  It was a sight to behold. 

Good times.....
 
 Chuck and pworker are correct about those "booms."  They are there to keep the oil that comes out of every ship confined to a small area.

A number of yerars ago, my wife and I crossed the bridge tunnel near the outh of the James river and you can see the entire pier area of the Naval Base from there. At the time it looked like every CV in the atlantic fleet, other than JFK, were tied up at the north end of the base. I remember thinking what the Armorer was thinking here. There were 6 CVs tied up there it didn't bear thinking what our enemies could have done to us then.

Imagine Pearl with CVs rather than Battlewagons. Given the lead time required for a CVN today, we'd enever be able to recover and come back like we did '42-45.
 

AS much as I'd like to agree with folks, as someone who was 'just there"..this time I can't. The booms you see channel ward of the piers is in fact a security fence. they are anchored to the bottom and are opened at "gates" by navy security forces when you need them to be. They were added post 9-11 to stop small boat attacks. No big surprise and no OPSEC violation here as anyone sailing the Elizabeth river sees them.

We do have to boom the ships whenever they are conducting activities that would or might discharge pollutants to the sea (think refueling, busting rust, needle gunning, painting, off-loading oily waste etc) those booms are typically bright orange and are usually snug around the ship.
 

 
 Got another scenerio.  China in a modern pearl harbor move to set the stage for their invasion of Tiawan makes a first strike on the US.  

Chinese cargo haulers packed full of containers of cheep chicom goods, simutaneouslsy off the coast of the main US naval bases go full stop as the top containers open up revealing a hundered D-21 anti ship versions.  Tagged with Chicom spying which had GPS quardanites of every dock side piers and then gave a last minute update marking carrier to peir location and other HVT support ships.  In hours all 5 of the US 11 carriers not at sea are flaming hulks with their upper decks ravaged by multiple BM strikes.  Reports are slow coming in from US bases west pac who are under missile bombardment from the Chinese mainland, due to the overload of the US satelite networks after the mulitiple Chinese ASAT strikes. WW3 starts as WW2 with a sleeping US crippled in the opening hours.