Re: How current is this? @ Charles 9
But dumb missiles lends itself to "dumb" defenses like the Phalanx, which is gun-based so is much easier to keep stocked with ammunition and harder to evade since slugs are dumber then missiles
Sorry, mate, you need to think more about the weapons and tactics, which was my point. Phalanx is a last ditch defence, because it is short range, max 2.2 miles. As fire controller for an escort ship, you'd want to knock out all incoming missiles as far away as possible, and only rely on the Phalanx at the last moment for missiles that get through your outer defences - don't forget that at short range you might hit the missile, but if you don't trigger the warhead, chances are still high that it will hit and detonate. Imagine you're weapons controller, you're looking at what might be a swarm attack, you've got two incoming missiles showing as doing 600+ knots. They might be ancient Exocets - but how confident would you be that Phalanx will get them? Would you hold back your anti-missile missiles. and risk a carrier by hoping that Phalanx will stop both, or even one? How would that play out afterwards if you got it wrong?
Now move on to the cream of the crop weapons, and think about the fact that although 4,500 rounds per minute sounds great, a Ruskie Zircon moves at 5,300 mph. How good is your radar, your gun control motors, your barrel accuracy etc? At those sorts of speed, meatsacks are out of the equation. You think that the head on angle helps? Nope, it's the tracking speed and accuracy that counts. Your Phalanx has about 1.5 seconds of firing time when the missile is in range, say 115 rounds spread across an assumed linear path of 2.2 miles. Chances are that it'll splash the water behind the missile a treat. Even if you score a hit, if the warhead doesn't detonate then you've got a (guessing) 2 tonne mass including something like a 300 kg warhead closing on your carrier at over a mile a second. Mass x velocity squared (with a warhead as well)......By the time any Tomahawks arrive to spread democracy in the world, the real sea battle would be long over. Now play out a more complex scenario where an adversary mixes a few hypersonic, supersonic, and subsonic missiles from different angles, to arrive at similar times. That needs a mere three weapons platforms - 3 aircraft, or 2 aircraft and one ship, or one aircraft and two missile boats etc. As your adversary I expend six missiles, and probably lose all three platforms - but you're down an 80,000 tonne aircraft carrier, and the aircraft that destroyed my weapons platforms don't have a carrier to come home to any more. And we haven't even discussed supercavitation torpedos, which amount to underwater missiles, nor maritime drones.
The day of the carrier as a ship of the line is over, just as the day of the dreadnought was over, as is the day of the battleship. Carriers are great for relief operations, for bombing third world nutcases, or showing the flag, but no use as a first rate military asset. Too big, too slow, too easy to hit.