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Does China Want 6 Aircraft Carriers?

Shortly after China’s first homemade aircraft carrier set off for sea trials on its maiden voyage this week, the Chinese media starting making waves, saying the country’s navy needed four more such vessels to advance the country’s interests in the western Pacific and northern Indian oceans.

Some Chinese papers said the People’s Liberation Army needs a total of six carriers to form convoys and strike groups to project and advance China’s interests in the western Pacific and northern Indian oceans.

North Korea's Submarine Force: A Threat to the Navy or Paper Tiger?

North Korea’s latest submarine is a step in a different direction, the so-called Sinpo or Gorae (“Whale”) class ballistic-missile submarine (SSB). The SSB appears to blend submarine know-how from previous classes with launch technology from the Soviet Cold War–era Golf-class ballistic-missile submarines; North Korea imported several Golf-class subs in the 1990s, ostensibly for scrapping purposes. Both the Golf and Gorae classes feature missile tubes in the submarine’s sail.

The Navy Has 1 Nuclear Missile Submarine That Could Destroy North Korea

Meanwhile, the New START treaty which came into effect in 2011 imposes additional limits on the number of deployed nuclear weapons. The current plan is to keep twelve Ohio-class subs active at time with twenty Trident IIs each, while two more boomers remain in overhaul, keeping a total of 240 missiles active at a time with 1,090 warheads between them. Don’t worry, restless hawks: that’s still enough to destroy the world several times over!

Why North Korea's Worst Nightmare is the B-21 Stealth Bomber

For conventional missions, the B-21 will carry the JASSM-ER conventional cruise missile and two-thousand-pound GBU-31 Joint Directed Attack Munition satellite-guided bombs. The B-21 could use these weapons in a similar manner as its nuclear weapons, blasting its way through the enemy’s defenses before dropping JDAMs. Alternately, the B-21 could be used as a missile truck, launching up to sixteen JASSM-ERs at enemy targets from a distance, or penetrating less sophisticated enemy defenses to deliver JDAMs on target.

How China Plans to Win a War Against the Navy: Sink Its Aircraft Carriers

After the missile tests, the carrier USS Nimitz left the Persian Gulf region and raced back to the western Pacific. This was an even more powerful carrier battle group, consisting of the Aegis cruiser Port Royal, guided missile destroyers Oldendorf and Callaghan (which would later be transferred to the Taiwanese Navy), guided missile frigate USS Ford, and nuclear attack submarine USS Portsmouth. Nimitz and its escorts took up station in the Philippine Sea, ready to assist Independence. Contrary to popular belief, neither carrier actually entered the Taiwan Strait.

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