US Navy holds impact trial test on N-carrier, sends message to China

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During the shock trial testing 40,000 pounds of ordnance is detonated in the water near the hull to test the ship as well as its system….reports Asian Lite News

The Navy’s aircraft carrier Gerald R Ford successfully withstood an impact trial test when 20 tonnes of explosives were detonated underwater, American Navy officials said. Military observers told the news agency that the successful test indicates that the threat posed by Chinese ‘carrier killer’ missiles have been effectively reduced.

The final trial was conducted in Florida on Sunday. Earlier full ship shock trials were conducted on the US’ most advanced nuclear carrier on June 18 and July 16. During the shock trial testing 40,000 pounds of ordnance is detonated in the water near the hull to test the ship as well as its system. Success in the test will indicate no major injuries, no fires and no flooding. The amount of ordnance used is equivalent to a 3.9-magnitude earthquake.

“We had zero catastrophic failures on the ship, zero situations where we had flooding or anything, and zero fires. All that is pretty significant,” Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer was quoted as saying in the press release.

China watched the developments very keenly as the Chinese military continues to flaunt its DF-21D and DF-26 missiles, which it calls ‘carrier killers’. China’s carrier killers can hit moving aircraft carriers from a distance of 5,000 kilometres.

Former Chinese military instructor Song Zhongping told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post that the 40,000lbs explosive blast was bigger ‘than any single warhead of a conventional missile or torpedo’. He also said that the reason for conducting the trial is also to send a message to China and Russia that US aircraft carriers have ‘super-resilience’. “They want to send a message to China and Russia… They are not worried about Chinese or Russian conventional anti-ship weapons,” Zhongping was quoted as saying by the SCMP.

Zhongping however said that some ballistic and hypersonic missiles have the capability of taking these carriers fully out of combat as they may also carry electromagnetic pulse weapons that are detonated at high altitude.

China’s DF-26, according to military experts, can conduct accurate nuclear or conventional strikes against ground and naval targets.

US plans to maintain a stronger fleet

In July, the Chinese president Xi Jinping asked the People’s Liberation Army to ‘ make resolute efforts to transform China’s army into the world’s best army by 2027 on par with the US army’. The Chinese navy continues to strengthen its fleet and has more ships than the US.

Chinese navy has 360 ships and the US Navy 297, as of 2020. The US, however, has larger ships with 11 aircraft carriers to China’s two. The US also has 92 cruisers and destroyers compared to PLA’s 33, according to a report by news agency SCMP. The US government in June made it clear that it plans to maintain a fleet of between 321 and 372 manned ships.

The US Navy’s moves come amid the US trying to challenge the Chinese supremacy in the disputed South China Sea. The test sends a message that its focus on maintaining its supremacy is its primary objective as China’s navy continues its shipbuilding spree.

China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles DF-21D and DF-26, also known as the ‘aircraft carrier killer’ missiles, simultaneously hit targets which were moving thousands of kilometres in a test in the South China Sea in 2020, according to the SCMP. Russia is also testing Zircon — a hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile – which has the ability to reach a maximum speed of Mach 9.

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