US Navy's Fleet increasingly Irrelevant
- The current US navy has 12 aircraft carriers (CV, CVN), 18 nuclear armed ballistic missile subs (SSBN), 50 attack subs (SSN) and a host of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, landing and command ships â€“ about 350 ships in all. Itâ€™s hard to see the need for this enormously expensive blue water fleet. Designed to duel a Soviet blue-water fleet that no longer exists, who is it going to fight?Worse, terrorists and 3rd world countries have routinely done serious damage to these billion dollar high-tech missile magnets. In 2000, a couple of guys in a low-tech speedboat full of explosives nearly sank the destroyer USS Cole at dock in Aden killing 17 sailors in the process. In 1987, an Iraqi Mirage F1 put two Exocet AM39 sea-skimming ship killers in to the frigate USS Stark with complete impunity. The then US-ally Sadam Hussien had the pilot beheaded for his error â€“ the Iraqi pilot thought he was targeting an Iranian tanker. During the Falklands war the British learned first hand how vulnerable ships were. Argentineanâ€™s flying French made Mirages armed with Exocets sank a frigate â€“ the Sheffield - and a large containership â€“ Atlantic Conveyor. They even lost several ships to unguided 500lb bombs dropped by US made A4 Skyhawks.