Spin it around all you want. You said what you said, and it is nonsense. The previous layered air defense systems were never "cast aside." They exist here and now, and in updated form.
As far as China launching a war next year, I have written here before what I have read the theater commander say what he was going to do in an article. In the first place, if the war was focused around Taiwan, he was going to attack targets on the north coast of China, and all along their coast, destroying their ports and shipyards, and forcing them to unconcentrate and spread their forces out to defend the whole of their geography. I will not disclose the primary weapon that will be used to accomplish this, but is has nothing to do with any system you've named here. (But you've also labeled them obsolete in the past, too.) Then, he planned to defeat their spread out forces in detail. Attacking mainland China in this fashion with conventional weapons leaves their population very angry, and puts pressure on China to retaliate on ours. The only weapons they possess with that ability are nuclear, and we will reply in kind.
So, both sides are really clear on the dangers of going to war with each other, and China will not "arbitrarily" launch an unprovoked attack unless/until they are confident that they have some sort of overwhelming superiority, and that they will not have for decades, if ever. Their outlook is then in decades. So is ours.
And if a war breaks out now anyway, Ford, Zumwalt and on and on, but what will be more important is whether or not we see mushroom clouds.
The problem is Ralph a saturation attack means more than one attack until your magazines are empty. Attacks can be made with decoys , in coordination with other combatants all employing their own ECM both offensively and defensively. How long would a Ford be mission capable if 50% of its escorts were either sunk/damaged or magazines empty?
The F-14 was created to carry the long range Phoenix. Both are gone. CIWS, Sea Sparrow and RAM as you argued once are point defense weapons and they too empty and are your last line of defense if they are fast enough and accurate enough to be called a defense once the smoke clears.
But more importantly there is not enough SAM missiles in USN inventory today to fill the magazines for what will be needed. And there is no ability to ramp up production.
As for Zumwalt being obsolete, we’ll lot of money spent to accommodate AGS which is no longer. Though the ship is designed for advanced weaponry they do not exist either. So how does all of its advanced technology serve the fleet as a mere missile hauler? So I guess according to your logic build the expensive technological advance hull and keep your fingers crossed that weapons will follow?
And I see your still defending LCS. A 3.1 billion dollar class so that it could replace Burkes on FON missions yet not contribute to combat capability of the fleet. A class of ship that needs a Burke to protect it. Maybe money better spent on multi-mission frigate on day one. You termed it once as the 21st century destroyer, more like a cutter isn’t it ? There were hopes that modules which would have been shared by all hulls would provide a cost savings but the modules did not exist and to large a degree never will since the weapon system are now being permanently affixed to hulls such as the NSM.
So let me drive home obsolescence so you have a clear understanding : It’s January 2021 hostilities have broken out between China and Taiwan. China is preparing an invasion of Taiwan and for argument sake we will say the Ford is fully functional. She finds herself and her escorts 300 miles off the east coast of Taiwan . What do you think her service life expectancy will be? Other than a Doolittle type of raid, what more could she do without risking her total loss or the loss of her escorts?
The Navy saw this coming and today we are playing catch up in the “hopes” that are technology will mature. If you can’t read between the lines The Navy is panic mode to deploy robotic systems for nearly all of its multi-billion programs are in serious jeopardy.
Now I am all in agreement in developing and deploying new war winning weapon systems but that is where evolution of design comes into play and not budget busting revolution where only a few hulls can be put to water in the hopes technological advanced weapons will be deployed.
And I do not even wish to wade into the pool of training sailors who maybe transferred from ship to ship. Another nightmare to come.
Debate all you wish against the reality.
Bull poo. The layered air defense tech of the Cold War was the Tomcat fighter to kill launching bombers at range, the Standard missile as the next layer, the Sea Sparrow as the next layer, then CIWS as a last ditch defense. Except for the Tomcat, all these systems still exist, and RAM has been added, and all these systems upgraded. So this statement: "but the needed layered technologies to evolve its defeat was cast aside with end of the Cold War" is nonsense. So is your statement about building ships to fight the Third World. Our fleet numbers are predominantly Burkes and holdover Ticonderogas, and using them for "everything" instead of only the high end missions they were meant for has been the primary cause of their wearing out as drastically as they have. Until we finally did build something to handle these other duties, we sent a top of the line warship for everything. They were all we had!
What is new is the threats. DF-21 and 26 missiles, and hypersonic weapons, and more precise targeting abilities. So, we are changing tactics, and developing new systems to adjust. You want lasers? You need to have ships with the power to handle them, like Fords and Zumwalts. So, claims of their obsolescence are not accurate.
Until a rapid shot multi-engagement laser or rail gun or other such device is deployed in numbers to the fleet the Ford, Nimitz as a matter of fact the entire fleet is obsolete.in a peer war due to saturation attacks. The tactic of using saturation in an attack is not new (think Kamikaze) but the needed layered technologies to evolve its defeat was cast aside with end of the Cold War (no peers cry) and Navy squandering funds building hulls to fight the 3rd World. The Navy of WW2 was able to deal with the the Kamikaze for it developed many systems before the appearance of the Kamikaze that when employed jointly defeated the attack ( i.e. fighter direction, creation of a CIC allowing fighter direction, the F6F, the belly drop tank, 40mm gun, radar directed gunnery) . We have some of that today but not nearly enough of what is needed. In addition to lasers etc. long range strike has to be developed to take advantage of any carrier’s mobility, a cheap super-sonic anti-missile missile developed and deployed in numbers which can be fired from an aerial platform as well as say floating drone magazines and guided by Aegis (ESSM perhaps?)
Articles and hope do not provide capability merely information and desires. The articles though informative do not contradict the reality.