The fact that two groups of aircraft carriers of the US and China appeared at the same time in the South China Sea is supposed to act to deter each other between the two powers.
Latest Satellite images published by Chinese media on September 14 show, an aircraft carrier strike group headed by the “Shandong” appeared off the southeastern part of Vietnam, while the US Navy’s “Carl Vinson” aircraft carrier was located In the Natuna waters, the distance between the two aircraft carriers is only 480 nautical miles (approximately equivalent to 890 kilometers).
The “Carl Vinson” aircraft carrier crossed the Bashi Channel on September 5 and began to perform missions in the waters surrounding the South China Sea. It was accompanied by a “Ticonderoga”-class guided-missile cruiser and six “Arleigh Burke”-class Destroyer. The “Carl Vinson” aircraft carrier entered the attack range of the “Shandong” carrier aircraft on September 11, and the two aircraft carrier fleets also mastered each other with the help of satellites and reconnaissance aircraft. Although in times of peace, two aircraft carrier fleet will not engage, but if you assume US aircraft carrier strike froup can easily sink the Chinese aircraft carrier group but can Chinese Shandong do the same against the US.
The Shandong aircraft carrier does not compare to any western carrier and does not even come close to the capability of a 1967 designed Nimitz class. It is a little more than half the weight and has much more limited facilities despite its technological edge over this 50 year old carrier (that has been updated extensively.) The Shandong is actually a Russian Kuznetsov class which is a 30 year old design but has been further modernized.
The new chinese carrier is not the biggest fish in the sea. It is a little bit bigger than the INS Vikramadithya but way inferior to the US supercarriers. Both in size and capabilities
At present, the carrier-based aircraft carried by the “Shandong” aircraft carrier is still the J-15 (copy of Russian Su-33). It can carry 32 J-15 carrier-based aircraft. The “Shandong” aircraft carrier adopts a skid-jump takeoff design, which affects the maximum take-off weight of the J-15. In the case of carrying air-to-air missiles for self-defense, in order to carry the fuel required for a combat radius of nearly 900 kilometers, only It can carry 2 YJ-83K anti-ship missiles.
If all 32 J-15s are dispatched, they can deliver 64 YJ-83K anti-ship missiles to the target. The Eagle-83K is a subsonic anti-ship missile with a maximum range of about 230 kilometers. After approaching the target within a range of 20-30 kilometers, the Eagle-83K’s turbojet engine automatically separates from the missile body, and the second-stage engine ignites Increased the speed of Eagle Strike-83K to Mach 1.3.
However, with 72 Eagle-83K anti-ship missiles, it is very difficult to sink a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. First of all, “Carl Vinson” is equipped with 80-90 F/A-18 “Super Hornet” carrier-based aircraft. These carrier-based aircraft can be 400-800 kilometers away from the aircraft carrier. The YJ-83K missile has a range of only 230 kilometers, which means that J-15 can’t even launch YJ-83K missiles, before that US F-18 can easily shot down them before they reach their target.
The “Carl Vinson” aircraft carrier also has 7 ships equipped with the “Aegis” air defense system to provide protection. Taking the “Arleigh Burke” class guided missile destroyer as an example, it can simultaneously guide about 18 “Standard-2” (RIM-162) Missiles intercept incoming targets, and 7 warships can simultaneously guide 126 anti-aircraft missiles. In order to increase the probability of interception, the usual practice of the US military is to intercept one target with two air defense missiles, and 126 air defense missiles can intercept 63 incoming targets.
Moreover, even if it breaks through the interception of the “Standard-2” air defense missile, the Penetrating YJ-83K anti-ship missile has to face the “sea sparrow” short-range missile and the Phalanx near-air defense. The “Carl Vinson” aircraft carrier alone is equipped with 3 Phalanx CIWS , 16-24 “Sea Sparrow” air defense missile launch systems, three-four RIM-116 missile launch systems, plus the terminal carried by the escort warship. The air defense system can intercept at least 10 anti-ship missiles.
In addition, the “Carl Vinson” aircraft carrier also carries five EA-18G electronic jammers, which can interfere with the J-15 and YJ-83K, causing some missiles to miss the target. Through a rough analysis, the “Carl Vinson” aircraft carrier battle group can theoretically intercept all the subsonic anti-ship missiles. May be 2-3 can reach their destination in a million of chances, even so few CRUISE missile cant sink a super aircraft carrier.
Moreover, the “Shandong” aircraft carrier also needs to reserve a part of the J-15 to perform air defense patrol missions, and the number of carrier-based aircraft that can be used for offense may only be about 20. From the perspective of carrier-based aircraft performance, the F-35C and F/A-18 “Super Hornet” carrier-based aircraft carried by the “Carl Vinson” are equipped with active phased array radars and are ejected The overall combat effectiveness is relatively lot better than that of the J-15 carrier-based aircraft that takes off by skidding.
According to Chinese media claimed.” When performing missions in the Asia-Pacific region, the “Shandong” aircraft carrier can be supported by shore-based anti-ship ballistic missiles and shore-based aviation. For example, the Dongfeng-26 missile has a range of about 4,000 kilometers, and it is difficult for the existing ship-based air defense weapons to intercept it; while the H-6K has a combat radius of more than 3,000 kilometers, and can carry four YJ-12 supersonic speeds. Anti-ship missiles pose a great threat to aircraft carrier battle groups. But with Yj-12 missile you cant sink a supercarrier battle group.