Modern day naval fleet vs air force jets?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by vashstampede, May 24, 2014.

  1. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    Back in WWII, warplanes launched from land or carriers always had the advantage over warships at sea due to their small size, fast speed, and due to the lack of accurate anti-aircraft weapons. The warplanes can go in and out quickly while the ships' defense can only engage them in close range with massive but inaccurate firepower.

    Modern technologies allow warships have the ability to shoot down jets over 100 miles out with long range anti-aircraft missiles, as well as having CIWS (Close In Weapon System) to fire very accurately at any incoming missiles and aircraft in close range. Even the main guns on destroyers/frigates are now designed to engage aircraft with high accuracy and high rate of fire.

    I remember watching a video of presentation of how a fleet of warships deal with incoming missiles.
    1. Enemies fired dozens anti-ship missiles at the fleet from over 100 miles away.
    2. The fleet use long range jamming as counter-measure. A few enemy missiles lost the target lock and dropped all over the places.
    3. The fleet fires long range AA missiles which intercepts about half the incoming missiles.
    4. The fleet uses its main guns to shoot down some of the remaining incoming missiles at medium range.
    5. The fleet uses its CIWS to shoot down the last few remaining incoming anti-ship missiles.
    6. The fleet wasn't hit at all by the enemy anti-ship missiles as they are within visual range.
    (of course, I'd say in a real battle, there is always the chance for some of the missiles to get through the multilayer defense if the enemies had fired lots lots of them).

    The question is, if it's just a group of fighter jets armed with anti-ship missiles against a fleet of warships with no air cover, who has the advantage?
  2. shaggy07

    shaggy07 New Member

    In my opinion, warplanes have the advantage of changing rapidly their position, while the ships are quite immobile. A fleet of warships will be destroyed in a few hours without air cover, but it depends on how new are the jets and how silent are their missiles. :)
  3. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    Sure jets are faster than ships, but they aren't faster than the AA missiles launched from the warships.

    Ships have multilayer defense against anti-ship missiles as I have stated in my first post. While the jets do not have much counter-measure against AA missiles but a few flares in an attempt to lure away the heat seeking missiles. Some bombers have jamming pods attached, but they don't work as good as the more advanced jamming on the warships.

    "silent"? Do you mean stealth?
    Anti-ship missiles are quite large and will always be detected by the radar on the destroyers. As the matter of fact, I do not know any "stealth" missiles exist at this moment. There are stealth jets and stealth warships, but not missiles that I know of.

    Most modern warships without air cover still have their helicopters and UAVs which can assist their targeting systems.

    If I am not mistaken, most AA missiles are also much faster than anti-ship missiles. Many anti-ship cruise missiles are sub-sonic. While AA missiles are all several times the speed of sound. It makes AA missiles a lot harder to intercept than anti-ship missiles. There is also no known interception of AA missiles if I am not mistaken.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  4. shaggy07

    shaggy07 New Member

    For a jammed radar, every missile could be considered stealth. It depends on how up-to-date it's the equipment on aircrafts and on ships. It also depends on how much distance range the missiles. It usualy win who have the missiles with longest range. For ships is harder to hide their position than for aircrafts. Also an aircrft who discover an enemy ship can askfor help from submarines. I think warplanes have better chances than warships. ;)
  5. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    The fleet has its own submarines if you want to add a submarine or two for the jets who are supposed to be alone against the fleet with no surface or under the surface help lol. This is supposed to be a fight between a group of jets and a group of warships with no outside interference.

    The latest radar onboard destroyers are more advanced and powerful than the tiny radar on a jet. Unless you throw in an early warning aircraft to help the jet.
  6. shaggy07

    shaggy07 New Member

    In this situation I have to agree with you, the fleet have more chances to survive in a battle with some aircrafts. But if there are a few dozens aircrafts, the ships will destroy some missiles, but the rest of them will surely produce damages. A damaged ship it's an easy target.
  7. aghart

    aghart Former Tank Commander Moderator

    The only example in modern times is the Falklands war. In that war the British only survived because of the small numbers of sea harriers available and that a number of Argentine bombs failed to explode when they hit their targets. However! the British AA defences were not the most modern available, to save money radars and electronics on the ships were not upgraded when they should have been, CIWS were not on any ships and the only modern system "seawolf" was only available on a small number of ships and was a point "self defence" system designed to protect the host ship only. Against a fully equipped naval force which is equipped with modern AA defences any attacking force of aircraft would have to try and "swamp" the fleet by attacking individual ships with a large number of missiles in the hope that some will get through.
  8. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    Each destroyer and frigate has at least dozens AA missiles.
    Each fighter jet and fighter/bomber can carry at most 4~6 anti-ship missiles... sometimes less (ex: only 2).

    If you take equal number of fighter jets/bombers against warships, in my opinion the ships have the advantage.
    Like I said in my first post, there is always a chance for some missiles to get through the ships' defenses... it is especially true when there is overwhelming amount of missiles coming in from multiple directions at the same time. In that case, it will take jets several times the number of ships to do just that. Lets say at least 3~4 jets against each ship. So when you have a fleet of lets say 12 warships, you need at least 36~48 jets to engage them in order to have a great chance of winning against the ships. (that is assume it's the same technology level). What do you think?
  9. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    The Falklands war was quite "ancient".
    Now all modern warships even the small corvette have CIWS on them.

    Actually I just found the specs from this "Type 022" Chinese missile boat. It is tiny, just 220 tons. But even this tiny boat meant for patrol purposes have a CIWS onboard along with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles. Check out the photo.

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