The United States Carrier Strike Group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, will not be sunk by a North Korean missile. That is what Adm. Harry Harris told the House Armed Forces Committee on Wednesday. Addressing the media’s unprofessional take on the strike group’s capabilities, Admiral Harris made the remarks about the Korean missiles. What Bloomberg and others don’t know, is what support the Vinson has overall.
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As the U.S. Navy‘s Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group approaches the Korean Peninsula in coming days, the head of U.S. Pacific Command had this to say about the prospect of incoming ballistic missiles from North Korea: “If it flies, it will die.”
Testifying to the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday, Adm. Harry Harris countered recent reports from media outlets including Bloomberg that the Vinson and its escort ships, the guided-missile destroyers Wayne E. Meyer and Michael Murphy and guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain, were not equipped to fend off a North Korean missile attack.
Amid mounting tensions and American shows of strength North Korea has threatened to sink the Vinson and turn it into a “sea wreck,” spreading the message through state propaganda channels.
Bloomberg reported that the Meyer and the Murphy were not equipped with the Aegis surveillance system designed to track long-range missiles or SM-3 interceptors that can target and destroy medium and long-range missiles. While the strike group escorts carry Tomahawk missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles and the carrier has aircraft capable of jamming radar and executing air strikes, the outlet reported, it remained vulnerable to a ballistic missile attack.
“I believe that article and articles like that are both misleading, and they conflate apples and oranges, if you will,” Harris said. “We have ballistic missile ships in the Sea of Japan that are capable of defending against ballistic attacks.”
Harris did not say which ships in the region possessed this capability. Also recently deployed to the Pacific are the destroyers Sterrett and Dewey, though these ships, like the Wayne E. Meyer and Michael Murphy, are not yet equipped for Aegis ballistic missile defense. But there are five destroyers homeported in Japan and currently located there that are equipped…….
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