Do not underestimate small ski-boats!
In recent times I noticed that a major magazine, Popular Mechanics, is turning into a Pentagon supporter. Perhaps they always were but they seem to follow the lines and nonsense coming from the Merchants of Death regarding US weapon systems slavishly. If so, it is a pity. It makes the magazine not read-worthy since you want an objective opinion above all else. It really is not subjective when it comes to weapon systems. The functionality is based on facts. If I say that the Chinese Navy can track an F-35 (Stealthy-it-is-not) fighter at 400 miles it means that they did so and I saw the reports. There is nothing subjective in that statement. It is not my own opinion even if speaking as an expert. It can be researched as can all my books. At the same time, all patriotism is subjective by nature, not objective.
There is something that I wish to warn about. Popular Mechanics started it with an article about the Iranian Navy (whatever they call themselves) small boats circling US Navy ships. They even have videos and it led to Mr Trump warning (well, it was an outright threat) that the US Navy will sink/shoot down any such Iranian boat in the future. A lot of people had great fun with his unfortunate choice of wording “to shoot down” a boat. Yes, good luck with that but read this blog on how a helicopter was torpedoed by a South African submarine – it might even have happened - https://www.georgemjames.com/blog/torpedoing-a-helicopter-in-angolan-waters. What no one, these armchair ninjas, seem to realize is that to sink an Iranian boat, even a small ski-boat, is an act of war. They will retaliate. Last time they did the White House, Pentagon, and every official lied so much to cover for the US casualties inflicted that they lost all credibility. Not that they had any outside the bubble country to begin with but still. Then Popular Mechanics declared, typical American bravado based on “exceptionalism” that an encounter would have taken less time than a television commercial to be won (by the US ship). It then stated the difference in armaments taken probably from Wikipedia. It was the most cringe-worthy article that I read in years.
So let me explain life to you, mere facts, not subjective opinion. When a ship, even a US Navy warship, is surrounded by a dozen small fast-moving ski-boats shooting at point-blank range with heavy and light machine guns, automatic cannon, and probably anti-tank missiles, you are in deep deep trouble. You are not armored in any sense of the word. Every sailor above the waterline will be at great risk as the bullets will go right through the thin metal sheets. Your own deck gun cannot depress low enough to shoot back when they are that close. The same for your obsolete (yes, obsolete) CIWS. It cannot depress low enough to shoot back. Those of you risking manning a machine gun on your open decks will be killed. Your communication systems, deck gun, and CIWS will be taken out with the antitank missiles right at the beginning. Then you will be boarded and sunk. Or, you might have another USS Cole incident where a small craft is loaded with tons of explosives and detonates next to you. The risk is very real once the ski-boats are within point-blank range (and note that I said “point-blank” range twice now). Only air power, gunships, will be able to fend off such an attack but it might already be too late. Should the onboard helicopters be hit, and they will be, the fire so caused, and out of control since no one will be able to fight it and not be shot dead, the ship might well sink.
How do I know these things? We practiced the terrorism scenarios in real life. We found exactly such plans at terrorist nests that we raided. We warned the West and no one listened. Thus I described the tactics in Code Name Pour Angelique and in Code Name Phoenix as well as other books as a warning. Let your arrogance not cost you more lives. Wake up to reality. And by the way, the US Navy wants to get rid of two aircraft carriers and go the small boat / drone ship way. They seem to be realizing that the carrier groups are only useful against weak States unable to sink them. That is not the case with either Russia or China. They do not fear a US carrier group for a reason. But, read Code Name Unbutton to find out how you are already compromised and how far you lack in capability against Chinese and Russian drones. You will be shocked.