Lately, we’ve been focusing on threats to security and global hot spots. And that means the week would be incomplete without a discussion of China’s so-called “carrier killer.”
You see, China has developed a missile that travels at Mach 10 and is intended to stymie America’s ability to project forward her naval forces around the globe. The carrier killer is part of the latest strategic thinking in China’s anti-access area-denial, or A2-AD, strategy.
Whenever the United States senses a threat, it sends a flotilla of ships to the area. The navy typically deploys a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) consisting of one aircraft carrier, one guided missile cruiser (for air defense), two Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) capable warships, and one or two anti-submarine destroyers or frigates.
The aircraft carrier basically functions as a fully movable airfield. With an entire air wing on board, it can use the advanced fighters to project force thousands of miles inland from nearly any body of water.
But the carrier killer, officially known as the Dong Feng 21D (DF-21D), changes all of that. This ground-based missile is intended to thwart all of the United States’ current missile defenses.
Unfortunately for us, the DF-21D would threaten a U.S. carrier battle group while on its way to a region… and long before it was ever in position to fight.
Bats to the Rescue
So how can the United States possibly combat such a strategy?
This is where bats come into play. A company called Prime Solutions Group, in Goodyear, Arizona, is building models for the Missile Defense Agency based on the echolocation system employed by bats.
Using mathematical models of a group of bats flying into a swarm of mosquitoes, this firm is building algorithms that deal with the probabilities of incoming ballistic missiles.
Intelligent agents scan the sky for objects of interest and then interact with each other, sharing the data they’ve gathered. The combined data allows the defensive agents to converge on the missile just like a swarm of bats converging on their prey.
This technology is critical to the future of the U.S. military. Without it, the United States would be denied access to certain critical theaters and would likely be faced with the prospect of mass casualties.
And that’s the very last thing any American wants. Our sailors and Marines are an extraordinary group of young people. Several years ago, I was flown to and landed on the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, one of our modern carriers based out of San Diego, California. I spent 24 hours with the young sailors and Marines on board.
They deal with multi-billion-dollar weapons systems and aircraft with incredible ease. To watch jet aircraft land on a carrier at night in almost complete darkness is beyond amazing.
The aircraft carrier has become the symbol of American power across the continents. Our enemies fear them, and our allies welcome them. But without focused and original thinking, they will be relegated to the history books by China’s newest missile.
And this is just one of many challenges facing America today. We live in a changing and dangerous world. The question most prevalent in my mind is: Are the leaders in the Capitol up to the task of protecting and enhancing our military capabilities going forward?
This article originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo credit: Free Grunge Textures – www.freestock.ca
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom