Connect with us

US

US Navy to arm destroyers with hypersonic weapons

Published

on

Move aims to counter and deter rising Chinese and Russian hypersonic missile threats amid growing tensions

Hypersonic missiles will be installed on three US destroyer-class ships this month as Washington moves to increase its capabilities at sea and counter possible Chinese and Russian threats.

Three of the US Navy’s troubled Zumwalt-class destroyers will be fitted with the hypersonic missiles, replacing the ships’ two massive 155mm Advanced Gun Systems (AGS).

Upon finishing these changes in 2025, the Zumwalt-class would be the first US naval platform to be armed with hypersonic weapons.

The conversion aims to make the futuristic stealth vessels into blue-water strike platforms, in contrast with their original purpose of operating in the littorals and supporting forces ashore with guided rounds from their dual 155mm guns. 

The Zumwalt class was originally built around two 155mm AGS weapons. However, the high cost of the AGS’ guided rounds at US$1 million each – approaching that of a Tomahawk cruise missile – stopped the US Navy from mass procurement.

Also, the proliferation of littoral defenses such as anti-ship missile batteries, naval mines and coastal submarines may have made the Zumwalt destroyers too vulnerable for shore bombardment roles. 

Replacing the twin AGS weapons, the Zumwalt class would be fitted with at least two sets of hypersonic missile tubes inserted on the port and starboard sides of the ship. Replacing the Zumwalt’s AGS mounts with hypersonic missile tubes gives the class strategic-level capabilities, while preserving its 80 existing vertical launchers, which are vital for air defense and anti-ship missiles. 

ALSO READ :  US-China Decoupling Could Jeopardize AI Governance: Insights from Henry Kissinger

These missile tubes would be based on the Multiple All-up-round Canisters (MAC) system installed on four Ohio class nuclear guided-cruise missile submarines. Aboard the Zumwalt class, these MACs could be loaded with three Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) missiles per tube. 

However, the US Navy has not given the exact numbers of how many tubes or hypersonic missiles the Zumwalt class will carry.

Advanced technologies

The US Navy may have planned to repurpose the Zumwalt class from being a failed shore bombardment platform into a hypersonic weapons launcher to continue utilizing the advanced technologies featured in the class. These technologies include its stealth characteristics, radars, electric propulsion systems and processing capabilities.

However, this may also be a move to save what was already an unfeasible design in the first place. 

The Zumwalt’s tumblehome stealth hull could potentially become unstable in high seas and can be detected with low-frequency radar. Also, no close-in weapons systems (CIWS) were installed on the class to maximize its stealth features, making it vulnerable to air and anti-ship missile attacks. 

In addition, the high cost of $4.24 billion per unit for only three ships means there might not be enough Zumwalt ships to fulfill US Navy mission requirements.

Such an approach to weapons design may reflect the US tendency to spend exorbitant amounts on over-engineered and overly-complex designs which promise to do so much yet cannot be mass-produced, due to high costs.

These designs may also be aimed at accomplishing too much that they end up not being specialized for any role. 

ALSO READ :  US Veto of UAE-led UN Resolution: Implications for Gaza War and Alleged US Support for Brutal Mass Genocide by Israel in Gaza

That said, it may be more practical for the US Navy to install hypersonic weapons on cheaper, more numerous assets.

These could include the upcoming Constellation-class frigates, which are designed to take up the role of inexpensive general-purpose warships that can be bought in large numbers, in order to complement the capabilities of larger and more capable ships such as the Arleigh Burke and Zumwalt class. 

While hypersonic weapons are still in their infancy and therefore have high costs at present, it can be reasonably expected that costs will sink once the technology matures and production rates pick up, allowing more warships to be armed with them. 

Also, it could be more feasible to start with a new ship class designed from the outset to be armed with hypersonic missiles. While the Zumwalt class is planned to be equipped with hypersonic weapons, their high unit cost, unproven technology and small number may restrict their roles into being technology demonstrators for more feasible and sustainable ship designs. 

That said, the US Navy’s planned Next-Generation DDG (X) destroyers are expected to be equipped with hypersonic and directed energy weapons, and feature key technologies featured on the Zumwalt class, such as the electric propulsion and electricity generation systems. 

Construction of the new class is planned to start in 2028 and may be substantially cheaper per unit than the Zumwalt class, with a cost estimate of $1 billion per hull.

Via AsiaTimes

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Elections 2024

The Impact of Blackstone Chief Schwarzman’s Endorsement of Trump on the 2024 US Presidential Election

Published

on

photo of boat going through river in between highrise buildings

In the world of American politics, the support of influential individuals can greatly influence public opinion and the direction of an election. The recent statement from Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman backing former President Donald Trump for the 2024 US Presidential Election has generated extensive conversation and conjecture about the consequences of this decision. Let’s investigate the possible effects of Schwarzman’s endorsement on Trump’s campaign and the wider political environment.

Schwarzman’s Influence in the Financial World

Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone, one of the world’s largest investment firms, wields considerable influence in the financial sector. His endorsement of Trump carries weight not only due to his personal wealth but also because of his connections within Wall Street and the business community. Schwarzman’s backing could pave the way for increased financial support for Trump’s campaign, as other wealthy donors and corporations may follow suit in supporting the former president.

Wall Street’s Response to Schwarzman’s Endorsement

The financial industry plays a significant role in funding political campaigns, and Schwarzman’s endorsement of Trump could signal a shift in where Wall Street’s support lies in the upcoming election. While some members of the financial community may align with Schwarzman’s views and choose to support Trump, others may have reservations about backing a candidate with a controversial political track record. The response from Wall Street to Schwarzman’s endorsement will be closely watched as the election season unfolds.

ALSO READ :  Trump's Political Resurrection: A Decisive Win in Iowa Secures Republican Nomination

Impact on Trump’s Campaign Strategy

For Donald Trump, securing the endorsement of a prominent figure like Stephen Schwarzman is a strategic win that could bolster his campaign efforts. Schwarzman’s endorsement may help Trump solidify his support among wealthy donors and business leaders, providing him with the financial resources needed to mount a competitive campaign. Additionally, Schwarzman’s backing could lend credibility to Trump’s economic policies and positions, particularly on issues related to taxation, regulation, and trade.

Public Perception and Voter Influence

Endorsements from high-profile individuals like Stephen Schwarzman can shape public perception and influence voter behavior. While Schwarzman’s endorsement may resonate with some voters who value his business acumen and success, it could also alienate those who disagree with Trump’s policies and rhetoric. The impact of Schwarzman’s endorsement on voter sentiment will be a key factor to monitor as the election approaches, as it may sway undecided voters and mobilize supporters on both sides of the political spectrum.

Conclusion

In the constantly changing realm of American politics, the support of prominent individuals such as Stephen Schwarzman can significantly influence the results of an election. Schwarzman’s endorsement of Donald Trump for the 2024 US Presidential Election could affect the course of the campaign, sway financial backing, and mold voter attitudes. As the election unfolds, the impact of Schwarzman’s endorsement will become more apparent, underscoring the complex relationship between politics, finance, and public sentiment in shaping the nation’s future.

Continue Reading

Analysis

Mainland Chinese Forces Launch ‘Blockade’ Drills Around Taiwan: A Show of Force or a Warning?

Published

on

Introduction

In a move that has sent ripples across the Taiwan Strait, mainland Chinese forces have begun conducting “blockade” drills around Taiwan, just three days after the inauguration of William Lai Ching-te as the new Taiwanese leader. The drills, which involve the PLA army, navy, air force, and rocket forces, are aimed at testing joint combat capabilities and have been seen as a show of force by Beijing. This development comes on the heels of Lai’s first speech as Taiwanese leader, which was met with fury in Beijing. In this article, we will delve into the details of the drills, the context in which they are taking place, and what they might mean for the future of Taiwan-China relations.

The Drills: A Display of Military Might

The drills, which are scheduled to last for two days, are being conducted in the Taiwan Strait and involve a range of military assets, including warships, fighter jets, and missile systems. The exercises are designed to test the PLA’s ability to blockade Taiwan, a move that would effectively cut off the island from the rest of the world. The drills are being seen as a demonstration of the PLA’s military might and its ability to project power in the region.

The Context: Lai’s Inauguration and Beijing’s Fury

The drills come just three days after William Lai Ching-te was inaugurated as the new leader of Taiwan. Lai, who is known for his pro-independence stance, used his inaugural speech to reiterate his commitment to Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy. The speech was met with fury in Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province that must eventually be reunited with the mainland. Lai’s speech was seen as a provocation by Beijing, which has long been wary of Taiwan’s moves towards independence.

ALSO READ :  Democrats in Crisis: Biden's Doom Looms, and the Shocking Lack of Plan B Spells Disaster!

Beijing’s Response: A Warning or a Threat?

The drills can be seen as a response to Lai’s speech and a warning to Taiwan not to pursue its independence agenda. Beijing has long used military exercises as a way to signal its displeasure with Taiwan’s actions, and the current drills are no exception. However, the scale and scope of the exercises suggest that Beijing may be going beyond a simple warning and is instead making a more explicit threat.

Implications for Taiwan-China Relations

The drills have significant implications for Taiwan-China relations, which have been tense for decades. The exercises are a reminder of the military imbalance between Taiwan and China, with the PLA boasting a significantly larger and better-equipped military. The drills also underscore the risks of a military conflict between Taiwan and China, which would have far-reaching consequences for the region and the world.

Regional Reactions

The drills have drawn reactions from across the region, with many countries expressing concern about the escalation of tensions between Taiwan and China. The United States, which has a long-standing commitment to Taiwan’s defence, has been particularly vocal in its criticism of the drills. Japan and South Korea, both of which have their territorial disputes with China, have also expressed concern about the exercises.

Conclusion

The “blockade” drills conducted by mainland Chinese forces around Taiwan are a significant development in the ongoing tensions between Taiwan and China. While the drills can be seen as a show of force by Beijing, they also underscore the risks of a military conflict between the two sides. As the situation continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Taiwan and China will navigate their complex and often fraught relationship.

Timeline of Events

  • May 20, 2024: William Lai Ching-te is inaugurated as the new leader of Taiwan.
  • May 20, 2024: Lai delivers his inaugural speech, reiterating his commitment to Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy.
  • May 23, 2024: Mainland Chinese forces begin conducting “blockade” drills around Taiwan.
  • May 23, 2024: The drills draw reactions from across the region, with many countries expressing concern about the escalation of tensions between Taiwan and China.
ALSO READ :  US-China Decoupling Could Jeopardize AI Governance: Insights from Henry Kissinger

Key Players

  • William Lai Ching-te: The new leader of Taiwan, known for his pro-independence stance.
  • The People’s Liberation Army (PLA): The military forces of mainland China, which are conducting the “blockade” drills around Taiwan.
  • The United States: A long-standing ally of Taiwan, which has expressed concern about the escalation of tensions between Taiwan and China.
  • Japan and South Korea: Countries in the region that have their own territorial disputes with China and have expressed concern about the exercises.

Key Terms

  • Blockade: A military tactic in which a country’s ports or borders are closed off to prevent the movement of goods or people.
  • Joint combat capabilities: The ability of different branches of the military to work together seamlessly in combat situations.
  • PLA army, navy, air force, and rocket forces: The different branches of the People’s Liberation Army, which are participating in the “blockade” drills around Taiwan.

Sources

  • “Mainland Chinese forces start ‘blockade’ drills around Taiwan 3 days after Lai speech.” South China Morning Post, May 23, 2024.
  • “Taiwan’s new leader William Lai vows to defend democracy and sovereignty.” BBC News, May 20, 2024.
  • “China launches military drills around Taiwan in response to new leader’s inauguration.” The Guardian, May 23, 2024.
  • “US expresses concern over China’s military drills near Taiwan.” Reuters, May 23, 2024.
  • “Japan and South Korea express concern over China’s military drills near Taiwan.” Nikkei Asia, May 23, 2024.
Continue Reading

Israel

Gantz Threatens to Quit Israeli Government if No New War Plan by June 8: Ultimatum Brings Internal Tensions to a Head

Published

on

Israel’s political landscape is no stranger to drama, but the recent ultimatum by Benny Gantz, a key member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet, has significantly escalated tensions. Gantz’s threat to resign if a new war plan for Gaza is not formulated by June 8th underscores deep-seated divisions within the Israeli government and raises critical questions about the future of the country’s security and political stability. This article delves into the background, implications, and potential outcomes of this ultimatum, shedding light on the complexities of Israeli politics and the Gaza conflict.

Background of the Conflict

Historical Context

The Gaza Strip, a densely populated area bordering Egypt and Israel, has been a flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. Following the 2005 Israeli disengagement, where Israel withdrew its military and dismantled settlements in Gaza, the region has been under Hamas control. The Islamist militant group’s rise to power led to multiple conflicts with Israel, resulting in significant casualties and widespread destruction in Gaza. The Israeli government has repeatedly cited security concerns, including rocket fire and tunnel infiltrations by Hamas, as justifications for military actions in the region.

Recent Escalations

In recent months, tensions have flared again. Rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel have prompted retaliatory airstrikes. This cyclical violence has led to an urgent need for a revised military strategy. The international community, including the United Nations, has expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, urging both sides to seek a peaceful resolution. However, internal political dynamics within Israel have complicated the formulation of a cohesive strategy.

Benny Gantz’s Ultimatum

Political Stakes

Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party and Israel’s Defense Minister, is a critical figure in Netanyahu’s coalition government. His military background as a former Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) lends significant weight to his demands for a new war plan. Gantz’s ultimatum is not just a call for action but a political maneuver that could destabilize the current government coalition.

ALSO READ :  Rubrik: Your One-Stop Shop for Protecting Your Amazon S3 Data

Reasons Behind the Ultimatum

Gantz has cited several reasons for his ultimatum. Firstly, he believes that the current strategy towards Gaza is ineffective and unsustainable. The repeated cycles of violence without a long-term solution undermine Israel’s security and international standing. Secondly, Gantz argues that a clear and comprehensive plan is necessary to address the root causes of the conflict, including economic hardship and political instability in Gaza. Finally, internal disagreements within the war cabinet have stalled decisive action, prompting Gantz to push for a resolution.

Internal Government Tensions

Netanyahu’s Leadership

Prime Minister Netanyahu, a seasoned political operator, has managed to maintain power through various crises. However, his leadership style, characterized by tactical maneuvers and coalition-building, has also led to internal frictions. The lack of consensus on how to handle the Gaza situation reflects broader disagreements within his government, particularly between hardliners advocating for military action and those calling for diplomatic solutions.

Coalition Dynamics

The current coalition government, formed in 2021, is a fragile alliance of diverse political parties with conflicting ideologies. Gantz’s Blue and White party, which initially opposed Netanyahu, joined the coalition to ensure political stability. However, this partnership has been fraught with disagreements, particularly on security issues. Gantz’s ultimatum highlights the difficulties of maintaining a unified stance on complex issues like the Gaza conflict.

Potential Outcomes and Implications

Resignation and Government Collapse

If Gantz follows through on his threat to resign, it could trigger a political crisis. His departure would likely collapse the coalition government, leading to either the formation of a new coalition or early elections. Given Israel’s fragmented political landscape, forming a new government could be a protracted and contentious process, further complicating the country’s ability to address security and economic challenges.

Impact on Gaza Strategy

The demand for a new war plan by June 8th puts pressure on Netanyahu and his war cabinet to act swiftly. A revised strategy could involve a range of measures, from intensified military operations to diplomatic initiatives aimed at easing tensions. However, any new plan will need to balance security concerns with humanitarian considerations, a challenging task given the current geopolitical context.

ALSO READ :  Federal Judge's Recent Ruling Deems DACA Program Unlawful Once Again in United States

Regional and International Reactions

The international community is closely watching these developments. Key allies, such as the United States, have traditionally supported Israel’s right to self-defense but have also urged restraint to avoid civilian casualties. A new war plan that escalates the conflict could strain Israel’s diplomatic relations, particularly with neighboring countries and international organizations advocating for peace.

Long-Term Solutions for Gaza

Economic Development

One of the root causes of the Gaza conflict is economic deprivation. Any long-term solution must address the dire economic conditions in the region. Initiatives to improve infrastructure, create jobs, and facilitate trade could help reduce the appeal of militant groups and foster stability. International aid and investment will be crucial in this regard.

Political Reconciliation

Political reconciliation between Palestinian factions is another critical component. The division between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has hindered efforts to present a united front in negotiations with Israel. Encouraging dialogue and cooperation between these factions could strengthen the prospects for a lasting peace agreement.

Diplomatic Engagement

Diplomatic efforts, both regional and international, are essential for resolving the Gaza conflict. Engaging key stakeholders, including Egypt, Jordan, and the broader Arab world, can help mediate and support peace initiatives. The recent normalization agreements between Israel and several Arab states offer a potential framework for broader regional cooperation.

Conclusion

Benny Gantz’s ultimatum to the Israeli government underscores the urgent need for a coherent and effective strategy to address the Gaza conflict. The internal tensions within the Israeli government reflect broader challenges in formulating a policy that balances security concerns with humanitarian and diplomatic considerations. As the June 8th deadline approaches, the actions taken by Netanyahu and his war cabinet will have significant implications for Israel’s political stability and its approach to the Gaza conflict. The path forward requires a delicate balance of military preparedness, economic development, political reconciliation, and diplomatic engagement to achieve lasting peace and security in the region.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2019-2024 ,The Monitor . All Rights Reserved .