MSimon wrote:pfrit wrote:MSimon wrote:Say Iran fired off a few Sunburns? What do you think are the odds their refining capacity would last six hours past launch?
If you are suggesting that a nation fires a lethal attack at an US carrier force and has to wait 6 hours for a response (or even 15 minutes) I think you are nuts. The commander of a carrier force is authorized to use any and all means at his disposal to ensure the survival of his command. A serious attack on his command would mean an immediate, maximal response from his command. He would not need any political approval for it. I doubt he would use his nuclear options if he is not attacked with nuclear weapons, but they would be at his disposal. The rules of engagement when under enemy fire is more than a little frightening. There may be as many as five countries in the world with more firepower than a modern US carrier force. As far as I am concerned, that is the biggest defensive system of a carrier force.
It takes time to mount an attack. And the attack might need to be repeated for effect. I was figuring six hours was enough time.
Actually, you are probably correct on the lag for their oil equiptment as it would not be a military threat and would only be attacked after an order by a political entity. That could take 6 hours. The counter-attack against military targets would be remarkably fast. They would surely have the coordinates of hostile emplacements already in hand and would only need the order to fire against them. Enemy planes in the air away from the conflict might take as much as an hour to splash. This, of course, assumes that a large, lethal attack was made and not just a single missile fired. In Iran's position, I would launch a large attack on an independent ship, not a carrier group. That would provide a show of force and would reduced the danger of an all-out defensive retalliation. To be honest, in their position I wouldn't attack any US navy ships. Much better targets to be found elsewhere.