dimarts, 30 d’octubre de 2012

The Nightmare Scenario: a U.S.-China War

Compartim amb vosaltres una sèrie de 5 articles del professor James R. Holmes, pubicats a The Diplomat, on s'analitzen com podria desenvolupar-se un conflicte entre els Estats Units i la Xina. Recomanem la seva lectura per l'altíssim nivell acadèmic que contenen. Alhora, el seu escriure entenedor en fan accessible tant al lector mig com als professionals vinculats a Defensa i Afers Internacionals. Llegiu-los!

Navy_binoculars


The Nightmare Scenario: a U.S.-China War

dilluns, 29 d’octubre de 2012

.Royal Navy’s Successor submarine programme moves ahead

HMS Vigilant

UK defence secretary Philip Hammond has announced an additional £350m funding for the next stage of design work on the Successor nuclear-powered submarine programme that will replace the Vanguard-class fleet to maintain the UK's nuclear deterrent.
In May 2011, the UK MoD had approved £3bn for the Successor programme design phase.
As part of the latest funding, BAE Systems will receive an additional £315m and Babcock a further £38m to carry out their respective work on the programme.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) funding follows £350m for initial design work for the Successor submarines announced earlier in 2012, aimed at maintaining a continuous deterrent for future decades at sea while safeguarding national security.
"This latest expenditure for the next-generation of nuclear-armed submarines is an investment in UK security and the British economy, sustaining high-quality jobs and vital skills," Hammond added.
The Royal Navy expects all submarines in its service to be based at Faslane by 2017, including the Astute and Trafalgar classes, as well as the Sandown-class mine counter measure vessels.
Commenting on the additional funding, first sea lord admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said: "One of the core roles of the Royal Navy, the continuous at sea deterrent remains an enduring strategic capability, underpinning our nation's commitment to the preservation of peace in our uncertain world."
Recently, the navy's third Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigilant successfully test-fired an unarmed Trident ballistic missile in the Atlantic Ocean.
The four Vanguard-class submarines currently operational with the UK Royal Navy were planned to be decommissioned in 2022 as part of the strategic defence and security review (SDSR), but their operation life has since been extended to 2028.

Notícia publicada a Naval Tecnology

divendres, 12 d’octubre de 2012

BrahMos to Test Submarine-Launch Missile by Year-End*


BrahMos, the Russian-Indian supersonic cruise missile joint venture, is to test-fire their anti-ship missile from a submarine platform by year-end, the  Russian partner NPO Mashninostroyenie said Friday.

"We need a test-launch by the end of the year," said the company's Deputy General Director Alexander Dergachev. "A decision will be made on whether the weapon can be accepted for service with the Indian Navy, dependent on the outcome," he added.
The test will be a single demonstration firing from a submerged raft, he said. "When an operational carrier has been chosen, then further trials will continue," he said.



BrahMos, set up in 1998, produces three variants of the BrahMos missile, based on the NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (NATO SS-N-26) supersonic cruise missile already in service with Russia's Armed Forces.
The Indian Army has already taken delivery of the land-launched variant. The Navy already has the ship-launched missiles on ten vessels, Dergachev said. The Indian Air Force will also use the weapon, from an upgraded batch of 42 Sukhoi Su-30MKI strike fighters it is expected to order later this year, Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said earlier this week in Delhi.
"The missile had a range of 300 kilometers (180 miles), and will be vertically-launched by a gas generator in its launch container, which will eject the weapon by gas pressure, after which it will reach Mach two," he said.
BrahMos can fly as low as 30 feet (10 m) or attack its target from a high angle, combined with supersonic speed and evasive maneuvering. BrahMos can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg (660 lbs).
Earlier this week, Russian daily Izvestia quoted defense industry sources as saying India has uprated its BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles by installing the advanced satellite navigation systems from Russia's Kh-555 and Kh-101 strategic long-range cruise missiles, adding GPS-GLONASS technology to the existing doppler-inertial platform.

Notícia publicada a RIA Novosti. El programa Brahmos segueix amb exit; caldrà estar atents a les properes proves de llançament.

Russia to Salvage Sunken Nuclear Subs *




The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to raise and scrap two sunken nuclear submarines in the northern Barents and Kara seas in order to prevent potential radioactive pollution of the area, the Izvestia newspaper said on Thursday.
The ministry will announce an international tender, which may include companies from the France, the Netherlands, South Korea and United States, as the Russian Navy does not have the necessary equipment to carry out deep-sea salvage operations, Izvestia said, citing a military source.
The B-159 (K-159), a November class nuclear submarine, sank in the Barents Sea in August 2003, 790 feet (238 m) down, with nine of her crew and 1760 lbs (800 kg) of spent nuclear fuel, while being moved for dismantling.
The K-27 was an experimental attack submarine built in 1962 and decommissioned in 1979 due to its troublesome nuclear reactors. Her reactor compartment was sealed and the submarine was scuttled in the eastern Kara Sea in 1982 at the depth of 220 feet (75 m).
After the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2000, Russia has bought a number of deep-sea submersibles from the UK and Iceland, but these vessels are designed for search-and-rescue operations rather than salvage work.
Two Dutch companies, Mammoet and Smit International, contracted by the Russian government, salvaged the Kursk in 2001.
Meanwhile, the wreck of another sunken submarine, the Komsomolets, will most likely forever remain at the site where it sank in a 1989 accident, as a salvage operation would be too costly and dangerous.
The K-278 Komsomolets nuclear submarine sank in the Norwegian Sea on April 7, 1989, south of Bear Island. The submarine sank with its active reactor and two nuclear warheads on board, and lies at a depth of 5,560 feet (1,685 m).

Notícia publicada a RIA Novosti. Que es vulgui recuperar el material nuclear dels submarins enfonsats és una bona iniciativa. Que és faci mitjançant un concurs obert a empreses privades és tot un senyal per part del govern rus, que pel que sembla prefereix no córrer cap risc.

Notes sobre l'entrada en servei del Liaoning *




Malgrat les notícies publicades al voltant de l'entrada en servei del nou portaavions xinés, això no ens aporta novetats rellevants. Hi ha un seguit de factors, que ara desgranem, que resten pendents de resoldre

En primer lloc, les unitats d'escorta, i més concretament els destructors destinats a la defensa antiaèria. Si bé és cert que els progressos de l'Armada xinesa han estat notables, i la nova classe 052D sembla retallar la distància amb els DDG de la US Navy, caldrà produïr-los en sèrie per tal de poder garantir les rotacions obligades per manteniment i recanvis. Calculem que per poder donar unes certes garanties, caldria una escorta de 5-6 DDGs per grup. Ara per ara l'Armada xinesa només disposa de 9 DDG realment homologables per la defensa antiaèria ( classes 052B, 052C i 051C) . Es pot objectar, amb part de raó, que les fragates Jiangkai II (classe 054A) podrien cobrir aquest buit. Però hem de pensar que només disposen de 32 cel•les VLS per nau. Un DDG de la classe 054C té 48 cel•les VLS i míssils que tripliquen l'abast dels que porten les fragates 054A, ambdues coses ( abast i potència de foc) són imprescindibles si es vol aturar un atac per saturació. És evident doncs que les drassanes xineses hauran d'accelerar el ritme de producció de DDGs per garantir una completa disponibilitat d'aquest tipus de naus en els grups de portaavions. 

En segon lloc, i no menys important, tenim el factor logístic. Tothom qui conegui mínimament les rutines dels Carrier Strike Groups nord-americans sap que s'hi desenvolupa una enorme i complexa activitat logística. Si Beijing vol operar els seus grups de portaavions més enllà de la First Island Chain no només haurà de disposar de més petroliers d'esquadra, vaixells de càrrega i "tallers" flotants. L'Armada xinesa haurà d'intensificar els seus exercicis de re-avituallament i repostatge en alta mar. És cert que ja s'han realitzat missions a llarga distància, com ara els desplegament a Somàlia o les "visites" a ports al Mar Roig i al Golf Pèrsic. Però no és el mateix abastir una flotilla de 2-3 fragates i destructors, que mantenir operatiu un portaavions i el seu grup. De ben segur, els planificadors militars xinesos deuen estar estudiant a fons el funcionament del Military Sealift Command nord-americà.

Un altre element imprescindible és la disponibilitat de pilots navals. La Xina porta dècades entrenant-ne a l'espera de disposar d'un portaavions. No obstant, aquesta espera ha estat tant llarga que una part d'aquests han acabat essent "reciclats" a oficials pels DDG que hauran de formar la pantalla antiaèria. Sigui com sigui, els esforços han continuat ( pistes terrestres simulant portaavions, intercanvis amb l'Armada brasilera, etc...) i ha arribat el moment. Ara ja podran practicar de debò les maniobres d'envol i aterratge sobre una plataforma mòbil sobre l'oceà. No serà una tasca ràpida de completar, i malgrat la persistència xinesa, encara tardarem uns anys en veure el seu portaavions plenament operatiu.

Finalment, hem de fer esment del major punt feble de l'Armada xinesa: la guerra antisubmarina (ASW). L'obsessió ( lògica) dels militars xinesos en dotar-se de sistemes d'armes i sensors per prevenir l'aproximació dels Carrier Strike Groups nord-americans, els ha fet perdre la perspectiva, tot negligint l'enorme amenaça que els poden representar submarins de la US Navy. En operacions d'alta mar, els principals vectors ASW xinesos serien helicòpters Ka-28 de fabricació russa i submarins. En el cas dels helicòpters, tot dependrà de la qualitat dels seus sensors ( principalment, el sonar); no obstant, els submarins plantegen un dilema. Els de propulsió convencional ( Kilo, Song i Yuan) són molt silenciosos però massa lents per seguir el pas dels portaavions, mentre que els de propulsió nuclear encara estan lluny, en qüestió de signatura acústica, dels seus equivalents americans. Els SSN de tipus Shang ( classe 093), segueixen essent un misteri respecte a les seves prestacions, tot i que les informacions disponibles no apunten res equivalent als 688 (i), els Seawolf o els Virginia.

Exposats tots els elements, sembla clar que encara queda bastant temps fins que veiem operar plenament un Carrier Group xinés. Aquests condicionants i dificultats, que no només afecten al programa de portaavions, creiem que hi hauran les principals línies de treball de l'Armada xinesa en els propers anys.

Pol Molas
Analista del CEEC


Anàlisis publicat al web del CEEC.

divendres, 5 d’octubre de 2012

Operation Red Wings June 28, 2005*


Operation Red WingsJune 28, 2005

 


On June 28, 2005, deep behind enemy lines east of Asadabad in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan, a very committed four-man Navy SEAL team was conducting a reconnaissance mission at the unforgiving altitude of approximately 10,000 feet. The SEALs, Lt. Michael Murphy, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz, Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell had a vital task.  The four SEALs were scouting Ahmad Shah – a terrorist in his mid-30s who grew up in the adjacent mountains just to the south. 

Under the assumed name Muhammad Ismail, Shah led a guerrilla group known to locals as the "Mountain Tigers" that had aligned with the Taliban and other militant groups close to the Pakistani border. The SEAL mission was compromised when the team was spotted by local nationals, who presumably reported its presence and location to the Taliban. 

A fierce firefight erupted between the four SEALs and a much larger enemy force of more than 50 anti-coalition militia.  The enemy had the SEALs outnumbered.  They also had terrain advantage.  They launched a well-organized, three-sided attack on the SEALs.  The firefight continued relentlessly as the overwhelming militia forced the team deeper into a ravine.  

Trying to reach safety, the four men, now each wounded, began bounding down the mountain's steep sides, making leaps of 20 to 30 feet. Approximately 45 minutes into the fight, pinned down by overwhelming forces, Dietz, the communications petty officer, sought open air to place a distress call back to the base. But before he could, he was shot in the hand, the blast shattering his thumb. 

Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men. 

Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire.  This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy.  While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in.  Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle. 

An MH-47 Chinook helicopter, with eight additional SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers aboard, was sent is as part of an extraction mission to pull out the four embattled SEALs.  The MH-47 was escorted by heavily-armored, Army attack helicopters. Entering a hot combat zone, attack helicopters are used initially to neutralize the enemy and make it safer for the lightly-armored, personnel-transport helicopter to insert.

The heavy weight of the attack helicopters slowed the formation’s advance prompting the MH-47 to outrun their armored escort.  They knew the tremendous risk going into an active enemy area in daylight, without their attack support, and without the cover of night.  Risk would, of course, be minimized if they put the helicopter down in a safe zone. But knowing that their warrior brothers were shot, surrounded and severely wounded, the rescue team opted to directly enter the oncoming battle in hopes of landing on brutally hazardous terrain.

As the Chinook raced to the battle, a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter, killing all 16 men aboard.  

On the ground and nearly out of ammunition, the four SEALs, Murphy, Luttrell, Dietz and Axelson, continued the fight.  By the end of the two-hour gunfight that careened through the hills and over cliffs, Murphy, Axelson and Dietz had been killed. An estimated 35 Taliban were also dead.
  
The fourth SEAL, Luttrell, was blasted over a ridge by a rocket propelled grenade and was knocked unconscious. Regaining consciousness some time later, Luttrell managed to escape – badly injured – and slowly crawl away down the side of a cliff. Dehydrated, with a bullet wound to one leg, shrapnel embedded in both legs, three vertebrae cracked; the situation for Luttrell was grim. Rescue helicopters were sent in, but he was too weak and injured to make contact. Traveling seven miles on foot he evaded the enemy for nearly a day. Gratefully, local nationals came to his aid, carrying him to a nearby village where they kept him for three days. The Taliban came to the village several times demanding that Luttrell be turned over to them. The villagers refused.  One of the villagers made his way to a Marine outpost with a note from Luttrell, and U.S. forces launched a massive operation that rescued him from enemy territory on July 2. 

By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and inspirational devotion to his men in the face of certain death, Lt. Murphy was able to relay the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of Luttrell and the recovery of the remains of the three who were killed in the battle.

This was the worst single-day U.S. Forces death toll since Operation Enduring Freedom began nearly six years ago.  It was the single largest loss of life for Naval Special Warfare since World War II.  

The Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community will forever remember June 28, 2005 and the heroic efforts and sacrifices of our special operators.  We hold with reverence the ultimate sacrifice that they made while engaged in that fierce fire fight on the front lines of the global war on terrorism (GWOT).

-NSW-
OPERATION REDWING KIAs- On June 28, 2005, three of four SEALS on the ground (Murphy, Dietz, Axelson) were  killed during combat operations in support of Operation Red Wing.  ON the same say, a QRF of eight Navy SEALs and 8 Army Night Stalkers were also killed when the MH-47 helicopter that they were aboard was shot down by enemy fire in the vicinity of Asadabad, Afghanistan in Kumar Province. 
Navy SEALs
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

  1. Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y. 
  2. Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson, 29, of Cupertino, Calif.
  3. Machinist Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Eric S. Patton, 22, of Boulder City, Nev.
  4. Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SEAL) Daniel R. Healy, 36, of Exeter, N.H. 
  5. Quartermaster 2nd Class (SEAL) James Suh, 28, of Deerfield Beach, Fla. 
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2, Virginia Beach, Va.
  1. Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny P. Dietz, 25, of Littleton, Colo. 
SEAL Team 10, Virginia Beach, Va.
  1. Chief Fire Controlman (SEAL) Jacques J. Fontan, 36, of New Orleans, La. 
  2. Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Erik S. Kristensen, 33, of San Diego, Calif. 
  3. Electronics Technician 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffery A. Lucas, 33, of Corbett, Ore. 
  4. Lt. (SEAL) Michael M. McGreevy Jr., 30, of Portville, N.Y. 
  5. Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffrey S. Taylor, 30, of Midway, W.Va. 
Army Night Stalkers
3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.

  1. Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare, 29, of Danville, Ohio. 
  2. Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature, 35, of Clarks Grove, Minn. 
  3. Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby, 21, of Pompano Beach, Fla. 
  4. Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles, 33, of Shelbyville, Ind. 
  5. Maj. Stephen C. Reich, 34, of Washington Depot, Conn. 
  6. Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell, 31, of Stafford, Va. 
  7. Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach, 40, of Jacksonville, Fla. 
HQ Company, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.
  1. Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III, 36, of Franklin, Tenn. 

            U.S. Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Navy’s special operations force.  The SEALs take their name from the elements in which they operate – sea, air and land. Experts in special reconnaissance and direct action missions – SEALs continue to successfully execute DoD’s most important warfighting missions in the GWOT.

Article publicat al lloc web de la US Navy. Hem decidit compartir amb vosaltres els detalls de l'operació Red Wings, 

US Navy to commission USS Michael Murphy *



USS Michael Murphy
The US Navy is scheduled to commission its new Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer (DDGs) USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) on 6 October in New York.
US secretary of the navy Ray Mabus said that the newest destroyer had been named to honour the navy sea, air, land (SEAL) lieutenant Michael P Murphy, fellow SEALs, special operators and service members.
Chief of naval operations admiral Jonathan Greenert said: "USS Michael Murphy, the most flexible, lethal and multi-mission capable ship of its kind, represents the backbone of our surface combatant fleet."

"Like its namesake Lt Michael Murphy, this ship will serve to protect, influence and win in an era of uncertainty," Greenert added.Michael Murphy, the final DDG 51-class ship to be delivered until the class restart ships begin delivering in 2016, will be deployed to conduct missions in areas of national interest and assure allies of enhanced capabilities.

Capable of performing air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously, the 9,200t frigate is armed with offensive and defensive weapons to support maritime warfare missions and power projection.
Powered by four gas turbine engines, General Dynamics-built DDG 112 is 509ft-long and has a waterline beam of 59ft, navigational draft of 31ft and can cruise at a top speed of 30k.
Equipped with Aegis combat system and SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar, the vessel has been designed for survivability and carrying out peacetime operations, crisis management and sea control activities, while enhancing US naval capabilities.

* Notícia publicada al web de Naval Technology. L'entrada en servei del USS Michael Murphy és una gran mostra que els Estats Units no obliden els seus herois.