Why China can't target Ronald Reagan Carrier strike group


US Navy Reagan Carrier Strike Group moved into the South China Sea and has arrived in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. US officials stated that some countries must “follow international law sea” pointing to China. Rear admiral Karl Thomas said “The motto of this carrier is peace through strength. We just think that people should follow the law of nations and our presence allows us to supply that security and stability within the background for these discussions to require place.” The statement clearly underlines American resolve to not bow right down to Chinese threats.

Ronald Reagan Carrier strike group

In this article, Defence Talks, analyzes why China can’t do 
very much like Reagan Carrier Strike Group moved to the South China Sea? Let's get started


China’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea have annoyed competing claimants Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. United States, Japan, Australia, and India favor freedom of navigation as it is a very important sea route with 5 trillion $ in trade, half of the global merchant shipping, and 1/2 of the world’s oil shipment undergo it. The sea also has alleged 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of gas

The USA has been doing many Freedom of Navigation exercises to counter what Washington sees as Beijing’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters. US military is periodically sending warships and air force jets to say freedom of flights and navigation over the South China Sea. This mission has special significance as it comes at a time when the relation between China and the Philippines has reached a new low Chinese. 


USS Ronald Reagan carrier is a Nimitz class supercarrier. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers were designed to be improvements on previous U.S. aircraft carriers, in particular, the Enterprise and Forrestal-class vessels. All 10 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers were constructed between 1968 and 2006 at Newport News Shipbuilding Company, Virginia, in the largest dry-dock in the western hemisphere. USS Ronald Reagan carrier is the 9th ship of her class and was commissioned on 12 July 2003. She is named in honor of Ronald W. Reagan, President of the U.S from 1981 to 1989. Yokosuka, Japan is the homeport of USS Ronald Reagan. 


USS Ronald Reagan carrier is one of the largest vessels constructed. It has a displacement of 100,000 tonnes, and an overall length of 332.8 m or 1,092 feet. To give readers a perspective, it's about 3 football fields long. It is powered by two A4W nuclear reactors, kept in separate compartments. These power 4 propeller shafts and may produce a maximum speed of over 30 knots or 56 km/h. As a result of the use of nuclear power, the ship is capable of operating continuously for over 20 years without refueling and is predicted to have a service life of over 50 years. Practically it has unlimited range & endurance. 


USS Ronald Reagan carrier being a Nimitz class carrier possesses a multitude of different radars including electronically scanned array 3D radars. It is equipped with 16 to 24 RIM-7 Sea Sparrow or NATO Sea Sparrow missiles. RIM-7 Sea Sparrow may be a US ship-borne short-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapon, primarily intended for defense against anti-ship missiles. Its range is 19 km and 12 miles Close-in weapon (CIWS) duties are performed by Phalanx, & RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile. Phalanx CIWS features a 4500 /min rate of fireside. RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles have speed in excess of Mach 2. 


USS Ronald Reagan carrier can carry a flight group of more than 60 aircraft, including F-18 jet fighters. These are twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable 4th generation multirole fighter aircraft. They have a payload of 7700 kg (17000 lbs) and may carry attack weapons also as air-to-air missiles. The versatility of the aircraft is often gauged from the very fact that on the primary day of Operation Desert Storm, two F 18, each carrying four 2,000 lb. bombs shot down two Iraqi Migs then proceeded to deliver their bombs on track. The flotilla of aircraft has enough firepower to mount a credible offensive against any Chinese misadventure. 


USS Ronald Reagan carrier doesn’t operate alone but is deployed with the "carrier strike group”. The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group includes the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Antietam (CG 54) Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers are equipped with a diverse array of weapons for Anti Aircraft Warfare (AAW), Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) as well as have the ability to intercept ballistic missiles through Aegis Ballistic missile defense system. 

This class of cruiser has an overall length of 567 ft or 173 m and displacement of about 9,600 tons. Ticonderoga class warship has a speed of 32+ knots (60+ km/h) and a range of 6000 nm or 11000 km. Ticonderoga class cruiser has 2 61 cell Mk 41 Vertical Launch System that can be equipped with a choice of different weapons. 

1. RIM-66M-5 Standard SM-2MR Block IIIB for Air Defense & Anti Ship role with a range of 103 miles or 167 km and speed of Mach 3.5

2. RIM-156A SM-2ER Block IV for Anti Aircraft & Anti Ship role with a range of 115 miles or 185 km and speed of Mach 3.5 

3. RIM-161 SM-3 for Ballistic missile defense with a range of 435 miles or 700 km and speed of Mach 10. It can also be used as an Anti-satellite weapon. 

4. RIM-162A ESSM for the anti-missile role with a range of 31 miles or 50 km and speed of Mach 4. It can be quad packed in single Mk 41 cells. 

5. RIM-174A Standard ERAM or SM 6 for anti-air warfare with a range of 150 miles or 240 km and speed Mach 3.5 

6. BGM-109 Tomahawk for land attack. It has a long-range of up to 1550 miles or 2500 km with subsonic speed. 

7. RUM-139A VL-ASROC anti-submarine missile with a range of 13 miles or 22 km. It also has 8 Harpoon Missile Launcher for Anti Ship role. 2 × Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes are present launching Mk-46 or Mk-50 torpedoes 2 Sikorsky SH-60B helicopters are responsible for Anti Submarine Warfare. 

Other weapons consist of long-range naval guns and a variety of Close-In Weapon System. The strike group also has a Virginia class attack submarine but it is not clear if for this mission any have been deployed. The Virginia class submarines can defeat enemy submarines, clear sea mines, as well as score, hits on land installing. 


It is clear that Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group packs a potent much and China will surely refrain from any misadventure again. Recently The Philippines has "fired off" a diplomatic protest against China and a Philippine defense official accused China of “bullying” in the region. This came after the country's national security adviser, Hermogenes Esperon Jr, revealed that 113 Chinese fishing vessels were spotted "swarming" Pagasa island between July 24 and 25. 

Pagasa, also known as Thitu, is the second-largest natural landmass in the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea. It has been a bone of contention between China and The Philippines readers may note that earlier in the year, on Apr 4th events took a new turn in the dispute when President Duterte stated, “I’m trying to tell China, Pagasa is ours. So let us be friends, but do not touch Pagasa Island and the rest. Otherwise, things would vary .” He insisted that “this isn't a warning, this is often just a word of recommendation to my friends because China is our friend”. Mr. Duterte went on, “I won't plead or beg, but I’m just telling you to get off Pagasa, because I even have soldiers there, If you touch it, that’s another story. 

Then I will be able to tell my soldiers ‘ preparation for suicide missions’.” during this situation, the movement of Reagan Carrier Strike Group sends a message to China.

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  1. Ok, so why cant they target it? Nothing you mentioned is effective against a hyper sonic ballistic missile.