Carrier group vs. islands? | World Defense

Carrier group vs. islands?


Feb 19, 2015
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In recent years, the disputed islands issues in South China sea has heated up thanks to the mass media.

Anyway, we are not going to talk about who should be owning the islands in this thread.

The fact is, China has built several runways on some islands in South China sea (They are actually the last one to do so in the area. All of the other 5 countries claim these islands had already built runways many years ago).

The question here is, how will these airbases (lets assume all these islands with long runways will be turned into full airbases) will do against a carrier group or two in case of a real conflict?

I know carrier groups have the advantage of mobility. They can strike from any direction and be able to enter or leave strike range at will. They also know the fixed positions of the islands. However, the islands is not without its advantage. They can't be sunk, and some of them can probably operate more aircraft and larger aircraft than a carrier can. (ex: The early warning aircraft can be launched from a carrier is a mini version of what can be launched from a full sized runway, and its capability is far below the larger cousin).

So what do you guys think might happen if one or two carrier groups are sent to attack these island bases? Keep in mind that in this scenario, we assume there are at least three island bases close enough to support each other, each of them are fully supplied with air groups, anti-air (including long range area defense missiles + point defense systems, and anti-ship platforms, and there can be multiple destroyers/frigates plus submarines in the vicinity to support them.