Sunday, November 19, 2006

Posturing, heh.

My faulty info (below) about the number of carriers was all Hugh Hewitt's fault. His first error I suppose. In clarifying comments we learned that the carriers (to the left), the USS Eisenhower and USS Enterprise are, indeed, carriers. The USS Boxer and the USS Iwo Jima are LHD's. (LHD: Landing, Helicopter Deck. They are Amphibious Assault ships, the largest in the world. Above is the Iwo Jima, lower left, the Boxer.) From the website of the Iwo Jima come some facts about the posture of this lovely ship:

The primary mission of LHD-7 is to embark, deploy, and land elements of a Marine landing force through amphibious assault operations by either helicopter, landing craft, amphibious vehicle or any combination of these methods.
BUILDER: Northrup-Grumman Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding Pascagoula, Mississippi
PROPULSION: Two boilers, two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total shaft horsepower
LENGTH: Overall Length: 844 feet
SPEED: 22+ Knots
BEAM : 106 feet
DRAFT: 27 feet 6 inches
DISPLACEMENT: 40,500 tons
AIRCRAFT: Mix of 30 helicopters, 6-8 AV/ 8B Harrier II
CAPACITY: 1086 Ships’s Company, 1897 Embarked USMC Troops
ARMAMENT: Sea Sparrow Missiles, Rolling Airframe Missiles, Phalanx CIWS, 50 Cal. Gun, 25mm Chain Gun
MEDICAL: 600 Bed Ward with 6 operating rooms

(By the way, Charles -gravel voice/gravel brain"Who wants to live in Mississippi" -Rangel, I'd say the men and women of the Northrup-Grumann Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding outfit enjoy working in Pascagoula just fine. Have you built anything as useful all your years in congress, huh?)

And doesn't that phrase Rolling Airframe Missiles roll off the tongue nicely? "Rolling Airframe Missiles". And 1897 Embarked Marines on board, ready to "embark, deploy and land". Go get 'em Devil Dogs. Hoorah!!

And here's an interesting photo. Caption: Arabian Sea (Sept. 4, 2006) - The Japanese Destroyer Sauza Nami (DD 113) sails behind the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) during a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with the Japanese supply ship Mashu (AOE 425). Iwo Jima is deployed on a regularly scheduled six-month deployment to the U.S. European Command and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) areas of responsibility (AOR) in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Christopher L. Clark (RELEASED)

The larger photo is the Sauza Nami. The smaller is the USS Boxer. (The Boxer website loaded poorly onto my computer. No slight to the Boxer.) However, more details and terrific pictures of all the LHD's can be seen here. Be sure to read the weapons and defensive systems specifications. Here's a photo of the Phalanx CIWS, (close-in weapons system, pronounced see-whiz):

That is a 20 mm Gatling gun, firing tungsten or depleted uranium sabots. 3000 rounds per minute, or 4500 per minute on 'full auto'. Heh, posturing.

And a Sea Sparrow defensive missile:
It postures against other missiles.

So to the commenter at Hugh's site who said this: Of course, parading around in the Gulf does leave an awlfull lot of hardware open to the depradations of some wild eyed Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander and his missile batteries.I would hate to lose good men just so we can present a posture in the Gulf, I say Posturing? Depradate this!

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