Weapon Systems Activated Since January 20, 2021

Without Which Trump Could Not Have Beaten China Decisively

Last week ALL THREE attack submarines of the Seawolf-class steamed out of their home port in Bremerton, Washington SIMULTANEOUSLY.  This is a "surge" to repel an unknown threat, or for a planned attack.  These submarines had their most effective anti-ship weapons removed years ago, and they are only now being restored, along with a literal host of new missiles that have never been fielded before.  The Trump administration signed the contracts and allocated funding for their research, testing, production, and deployment; but these game-changing armaments are only now actually entering the Pacific--since January 20th!

Seawolf and Los Angeles-class attack submarines have always had torpedoes, torpedoes that are faster, smarter, and longer-ranged than in the great wars.  They are the weapon of choice against other submarines, but against surface combatants in the missile age, they are the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight.  That is why, when the Seawolf-class was young, they carried UGM-84 Harpoon heavy anti-ship missiles in watertight containers for launch from the subs' torpedo tubes.  This awesome weapon was decommissioned in 1997 (thanks Bill Clinton), but now it is back (2018 test launch here) and fully modernized (Block II+) to return the anti-ship punch to our submarine fleet. All US attack submarines are also equipped to lauch the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, which has gone through numerous upgrades in its nearly 40 years of service.  This missile carries a 1,000 pound conventional warhead with the returning option of a variable-yield tactical nuclear warhead.  What is new is the Block V Tomahawk test launched December 10, 2020 and first delivered to the US Navy on March 25, 2021, which in the Block Va variant is specialized for "maritime strike".  This monstrous missile is now able to target moving ships, enabling a US attack submarine to sink an entire enemy fleet from perhaps 1,000 miles away!  The Navy is very quiet as to whether the newly-loaded Block V missiles are the maritime strike-enabled or nuclear variants and how many of them have replaced older land-attack missiles...but this weapon is the one we would want to go against a peer (or, God forbid, a numerically superior) enemy navy.  I suspect the silos of US attack submarines and many of our surface vessels in the Pacific are packing the fully operational anti-ship Tomahawk Block Va cruise missle, and those subs have Harpoon missiles in their torpedo rooms.

Wild Weasel on the China coast:  The USS Carl Vinson is in the Pacific with the world's first operational F-35C squadron on deck, and at least 25 F-22 Raptor fighters were recently foreward-deployed to Guam and Tinian.  These fighters have new options for carriage in their internal weapons bays, the JSOW-ER and AARGM-ER.  In both cases, "ER" stands for "Extended Range".  The AGM-154 JSOW or Joint StandOff Weapon is a glide bomb, which when released deploys little wings and glides to a land target or ship up to 70 nautical miles away.  The JSOW was used in the recent SINKEX (video below) against a ship (likely with the super-penetrating 500 lb. BROACH warhead).  The Extended Range variant of the JSOW-ER mounts a tiny turbojet engine to power flight up to 300 nautical miles from the launch point.  The JSOW is also used for "Wild Weasel" missions to destroy air defense, radar, and anti-aircraft installations on enemy shores, opening the way for later waves of non-stealth aircraft and cruise missiles.  The warhead on the JSOW/JSOW-ER is modular, and perfectly capable of carrying a nuclear "physics package" for tactical strikes.  The old-school HARM missile made to seek radar emissions from anti-aircraft sites has been reborn in the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER).  This missile is downsized for fitment in the F-35, has a new rocket motor for longer range and faster (mach 2) attack.  It also has upgraded guidance, data links and seekers to strike multiple targets, including ships.  This gives the US Air Force and Navy another option for maritime strike,  now entering limited production this last week of August 2021.  The JSOW-ER and slender AARGM-ER are able to cuddle together into each of the two internal bays of F-35 A and C variants to give each plane four smart shots, unobservable to radar, for stealth penetration of the air defenses of a peer nation or wary enemy fleet.   

JSM,  "a fifth-generation weapon for fifth-generation aircraft".  The Joint Strike Missile is the air-launched variant of the Naval Strike Missile being fitted to all 30 US Littoral Combat Ships.  The Marines also have the NMESIS, their own ground-launched variant, able to land on beaches by hovercraft (video) and strike a maritime target far out at sea.  "The Joint Strike Missile is the only fifth-generation cruise missile designed to be launched from the internal weapons bay of the F-35A."  Able to strike both ships and attack land targets, the missile was validated in 2018 for external launch from aircraft hard points.  The final hurdle for development of the JSM is deployment from the internal weapons bay of the F-35.  This was tested successfully in March of 2021.  It is likely the fully operational Joint Strike Missile is deployed right now on Guam and underway on the USS Carl Vinson, ready to fight.

China has a massive navy, boasting that they construct the equivalent of the French fleet each and every year, additionally mobilizing their significant civilian ferries for Taiwan invasion drills.  Trump followed Sun Tzu when he boasted in January 2020 that "we have all new missiles"--concealing that those missiles were still in development and the US was not yet ready to confront the Chinese fleet or repel an invasion of Taiwan without global thermonuclear holocaust.  As we begin September of 2021, the new missiles are actually deploying.  Finally, we do have the muscle to destroy any Chinese naval adventure, in the shiny new UGM-84 Harpoon, Block Va Tomahawk, JSOW-ER, AARGM-ER, and Joint Strike Missile.