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"Could North Korea Sink an American Aircraft Carrier? " Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 10:22 p.m. PST

"Could North Korea's armed forces sink an American aircraft carrier? Yes depending on what type of carrier they confront, how skillfully U.S. Navy commanders employ the flattop and its consorts, how well North Korean warriors know the tactical surroundings and, most crucially, whom fortune favors in combat.

Fortune is a fickle ally, prone to switch sides and back again in battle. It's doubtful an American carrier would fall prey to undersea or aerial attack but only the foolish say never or always in martial competition, a topsy-turvy affair in which the weak sometimes best the strong.

It could happen, and that warrants forethought…"
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Why is it that all those por people who be around the beloved leader … show a face of terror or frenzy?


CFeicht Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2018 7:20 a.m. PST

Yes – if Kim Jong Un ever boarded one ….

Tgunner13 Jan 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

Do it or die… or worse.

These people are scared silly by a leader who makes Vlad the Impaler look like a saint. The Kims rule through power and fear. If you fail to follow "Young Captain" then you face the flak gun, flame thrower, or gulag. And that is not only you but possibly your family too!

As for carriers that is a problem that has been around for years. Modern destroyers aren't destroyers! The Navy just doesn't have the fleet of proper "Tin Cans" prowling about the fleet hunting contacts like they use to. The battlegroup's screen is basically a division of AAA cruisers. Great for knocking down flying stuff but just so many targets for well skippered attack boat.

ThePeninsularWarin15mm Inactive Member13 Jan 2018 7:24 p.m. PST

If the Vietnamese managed to sink one of our carriers (USS Card for those of you who are unaware, which is basically all of you) then most certainly the North Koreans could with technology better than simple explosive charge. You can probably thank the Chinese and Russians for the goodies that would make such a task possible.

john snelling13 Jan 2018 8:33 p.m. PST

LOL, a USNS ship with a civilian crew counts as a aircraft carrier.

The ship was reactivated on 16 May 1958 as USNS Card and operated with a civilian crew under Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) control as an aircraft transport. On December 15, 1961, the Card left Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island, with a cargo of H-21 Shawnee helicopters and soldiers from Fort Devens, Massachusetts, bound for Vietnam. At Subic Bay in the Philippines, the cargo and troops were transferred to the helicopter carrier USS Princeton (LPH-5), which arrived and unloaded off the coast of Da Nang on January 25, 1962.

On 2 May 1964, while moored dockside in Saigon, a North Vietnamese frogman, Lam Son Nao, planted an explosive charge that blew a hole in the hull, killing five crewmen. (It should be noted that this event was prior to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident which led to the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam.) Card settled in 20 feet (6.1 m) of water. She was patched and pumped out, and raised on 19 May, and towed to Subic Bay, and then Yokosuka for repairs. Card returned to service on 11 December.

john snelling13 Jan 2018 8:38 p.m. PST

The DPRK's attack submarine inventory is estimated to include 4 former Soviet Whiskey class submarine, 22 Chinese ROMEO Class submarines, and DPRK-built ROMEO Class submarines. The WHISKEYs, acquired in the 1960s, can carry 12 torpedoes or 24 mines. Shortly after delivering four ROMEOs in the early 1970s, China helped the DPRK start its own ROMEO construction program. The ROMEOs are well equipped, have an improved sonar, and can carry 14 torpedoes or 28 mines.

The possibility is there.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2018 4:31 a.m. PST

The North Koreans are weaker and stronger than you think.

The regime is a diabolically efficient system for generating money, especially the branch that generates the money for the Kim family which is totally separate from the widespread corruption racket of the other elites in the regime.

They have a huge conventional force which is tiered along lines of loyalty to the regime and usefulness. It's a big blunt hammer with clay feet. It can do damage, but can also be knocked out with some effort.

It's the "dirty tricks" department that worries me because they have this mix of indoctrinated elite troops, advanced tech and every trick in the book to take out the major juicy targets.

We are aware that the North Koreans may have access to dozens of ships registered through strawmen that are used to smuggle goods and move stuff through China into North Korea and vice versa.

I wouldn't be surprised that some of them have been modified to carry missiles and that three or four are on call to sneak up on a carrier group and spam it with as many missiles as possible while their subs and suicide assault teams move in. Sinking a carrier would be a huge propaganda victory.

They are trying to ward off a war by threatening to flatten Seoul. And I'm sure that any reversal or stepping up of power in the region will be met by strikes on Japan to target their infrastructure, WMD's on main cities and bomb runs on their nuclear stations could have enormous consequences …

And there is still the Chinese-Russian card, the Chinese will probably send their fleet to enforce what they believe to be their territorial waters and the Russians will probably try to get to the US in similar ways. Leaving the US with little room to maneuver the navy.

It's gonna be messy regardless of how it goes …

Lion in the Stars14 Jan 2018 5:37 a.m. PST

It is *possible* to sink a modern carrier with submarine torpedoes. We tested the idea with the old USS America (CV-66), but it would take a *lot* of firepower. IIRC, something like 4 Mk48 torpedoes were fired during the testing (in addition to several tens of tons of bombs and missiles), and it still took a deliberate scuttling to finally sink her.

Sinking a carrier would be the utter end of whatever nation did it.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa14 Jan 2018 10:49 a.m. PST

We are aware that the North Koreans may have access to dozens of ships registered through strawmen that are used to smuggle goods and move stuff through China into North Korea and vice versa.

Though apparently they are generally in a shocking state of repair – the one that got picked up by the Egyptians was thought to be on a more or less one way trip!

I'm guessing they're actual military vessels are in a better state (well at least some of them), but I wouldn't volunteer to take a trip on a NK submarine! Submarine warfare isn't an area I know much about, but I would have thought poorly maintained equipment runs rougher and therefore noisier…

Lion in the Stars14 Jan 2018 3:54 p.m. PST

Poorly maintained equipment tends to not return to the pier.

nsolomon9914 Jan 2018 10:48 p.m. PST

On a tangent about the maintenance condition of equipment I remember back to 1978 when I arrived in Indonesia as a young man. In the then current Jane's on Airforces of the World the Indonesian Air Force was listed as one of the largest and most formidable in the world for a secondary power.

Apparently, the numbers of relatively modern Soviet jets they had in inventory was matched with the aircrews assigned to produce a powerful capability.

In actual fact we used to play table-tennis every few days with said aircrews at a military airfield near Bandung in the mountains of western Java. The aircrews were indeed permanently assigned … to the rusting, decaying Soviet jets parked in rows outside the hangars, cockpits blackened, tires rotting with mold.

The Indonesian Airforce were the national table tennis champions because thats all they did!! They were effectively professional ping pong players and the jets had been moved outside to create space for more tables.

Numbers of equipment means nothing, crews mean little, its about operational capability.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2018 3:11 p.m. PST

I'd say the ones most aware of the problem are the North Koreans themselves. They have for decades studied their situation. that's why they have set up so much equipment in fixed positions so that even untrained peasants supervised by a handful of trusted officers can flatten one of the world's modern metropolises in a matter of days and actually do very little else.

That's why the disposable part of their armoured forces are set up to charge headlong down the peninsula until they break down and then dig in until they are relieved or die. The loyal part is designed to shield Pyongyang from any counter-attack.

That's why they have spent a fortune in training elite forces that can cause massive damage through asymmetric warfare by targeting anything of value or that can cause massive collateral damage like Japanese ports and nuclear power stations.

That's why they spend a lot of money on Chinese and Russian contacts in Beijing and Moscow to remind them that North Korea is not a threat to them, but a major headache for the USA.

The Kim family are running one of the most efficient crime empires in history, they make most dictators pale in comparison and they plan to keep on doing this for a very long time to come, that's why North Korea has such a big army, it's their private militia to make sure that even the toughest cops can't bust in the door and drag them to jail.

Their most important asset of all is creating the idea that North Korea is a toxic problem you don't want to mess with. It's a very rational system designed to warn off most democratic nations by saying. "Is the damage and headache we can cause worth a regime change." As long as the answer in the minds of US leaders is "Yes" then North Korea can continue to exist and the Kims can continue to rake in the money. But throw in somebody like Trump who if anything has created the image of being a potentially unpredictable and irrational and therefore dangerous individual and North Korea can only step up the rhetoric and it's up to Trump to decide how far he's willing to go. You can call him a genius or an idiot, but whatever he's doing, it's got at least some people in Pyongyang sweating because he doesn't react like all the previous leaders.

David Manley17 Jan 2018 11:38 a.m. PST

North Korea is one of only three nations to have sunk a ship by torpedo in action since the end of WW2. Their attack was very well executed, the boat was undetected throughout and it returned to the pier OK. So don't write them off.

Caedite Eos17 Jan 2018 11:57 a.m. PST

Allegedly ;)

Lion in the Stars17 Jan 2018 3:55 p.m. PST

North Korea is one of only three nations to have sunk a ship by torpedo in action since the end of WW2. Their attack was very well executed, the boat was undetected throughout and it returned to the pier OK. So don't write them off.

Brits during the Falklands is the second.

Who is the third? I don't think it's the US, unless we're talking about Korea or Vietnam… The USN hasn't issued a Submarine Combat Patrol Pin since WW2, and you need to sink tonnage for that one.

Murvihill18 Jan 2018 11:21 a.m. PST

Pakistan is the third. Google is your friend…

Lion in the Stars18 Jan 2018 8:33 p.m. PST

My google-fu is weak.


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