Home » Budget Industry » VIDEO: U.S., French Warships Launch Attacks on Chemical Weapons Targets in Syria; U.K., French Fighters, U.S. Bombers Also Strike

VIDEO: U.S., French Warships Launch Attacks on Chemical Weapons Targets in Syria; U.K., French Fighters, U.S. Bombers Also Strike

USS Monterey (CG 61) fires a Tomahawk land attack missile April 13, 2018 against land targets in Syria. US Navy Photo

U.S and French guided-missile warships and a U.S. nuclear attack submarine launched land attack missiles on targets in Syria suspected to be targets related to chemical weapons, Pentagon officials said on Saturday.

USNI News obtained video of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) launching Tomahawks land attack missiles from the Red Sea. Monterey and guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG-58) launched a combined 37 missiles from the Red Sea. Destroyer USS Higgins (DDG-76) fired 23 Tomahawks from the Persian Gulf.

Additionally, Virginia-class attack boat USS John Warner (SSN-785) launched six Tomahawks from the Eastern Mediterranean. USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) was operating in the region but did not fire weapons, according to Pentagon officials. The French Navy released footage of French frigate Languedoc (D-653) firing three of the naval variant of the SCALP land attack cruise missiles.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, along with French Rafale and Mirage warplanes, and British Typhoon and Tornado fighters also participated in the strikes in the country. The B-1Bs were accompanied by U.S. fighters, a U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft and was supported by U.S tankers, according to press reports.

The strike was timed for all of the weapons to strike at about 4 A.M. local time on Saturday (9 P.M. EST on Friday). During a press briefing Saturday morning, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the joint staff, said all missiles hit their targets within one minute of the designated strike time.

Three targets hit by U.S., British and French forces included the Barzah scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area and two locations near the city of Homs — one the Him Shinshar facility used to store chemical weapons and equipment and another Him Shinshar facility used as a chemical weapons command post.

“None of our aircraft or missiles, missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses and we have no indication that Russian air defense systems were deployed,” McKenzie said.

The early morning strike time was selected to minimize the chance of civilian or Syrian military deaths, McKenzie said. The goal was to severely diminish the Syrian government’s capability to produce and deploy chemical weapons. The three distinct targets all contained what McKenzie described as either chemical munitions or large, immovable equipment used to deploy or process these munitions.

“Last year we conducted a unilateral attack on a single site. This evening we conducted strikes on multiple sites with two allies,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said during a media briefing Friday night.

This was a significantly heavier strike than the one the U.S. conducted a year ago with almost 60 Tomahawks on the al-Shayrat Airfield, Mattis said, telling reporters “we used a little over double the weapons than what was used last year.”

The three targets, which were selected to inflict damage on the Syrian chemical weapons program, because their locations minimized the chance for civilian injury, and to mitigate the risk of Russians being involved, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said at the press briefing.

U.S., French and British forces fired a total of 105 missiles at the facilities.

The Barzah facility was hit by 76 missiles, including 57 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles
and 19 AGM-158 Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSMs)

“They had three buildings there and a parking deck,” McKenzie said.
“Now they don’t.”

The Him Shinsar chemical weapons storage facility hit by 22 weapons, including nine Tomahawk land attack missiles, eight Storm Shadow missiles, and three Naval cruise missile.

The Him Shinsar command facility was hit by seven air-launched French SCALP missiles.

Using normal deconfliction of airspace channels, the Russians were alerted to U.S. plans to use certain airspace over Syria, but they were not informed of the reason or the targets, McKenzie said.

“None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses and we have no indication that Russian air defense systems were deployed,” McKenzie said “All aircraft returned to bases. We assess 40 surface to air missiles were launched by the Syrian regime and most of these were launched after the last impact of our strike was over.”

The Syrian missiles fired after the strike posed a risk to civilians, McKenzie said, because they all appeared to be unguided, which means once fired, they Syrians did not have a means to control their course.

“When you shoot iron into the air without guidance, it’s going to come down somewhere,” McKenzie said.

While there had not been any sort of Syrian or Russian response, other than the initial firing unguided missiles by the Syrians, a Russian-led misinformation campaign has already started online, Pentagon spokeswoman Dan White said.

“The Russian disinformation campaign has already begun,” White said.
“There’s been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls over the last 24 hours.”

The strike was part of a coordinated U.S., U.K. and French retaliation action against an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Bashar al-Assad regime. The strike was announced by President Donald Trump on Friday.

“A short time ago I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” Trump said.
“A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. … We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents. I also have a message tonight for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime. To Iran, and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”

The British government released a statement following the strike, detailing its participation.

“The UK element of the carefully coordinated joint action was contributed by four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s. They launched Storm Shadow missiles at a military facility – a former missile base – some fifteen miles west of Homs, where the regime is assessed to keep chemical weapon precursors stockpiled in breach of Syria’s obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. Very careful scientific analysis was applied to determine where best to target the Storm Shadows to maximize the destruction of the stockpiled chemicals and to minimize any risks of contamination to the surrounding area. The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk.”

The office of French President Emmanuel Macron released footage of French fighters preparing for the strike.

“We cannot tolerate the normalization of the use of chemical weapons,” Macron said in a statement.
“The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed.”

  • Murray

    Clearly a measured response to the Syrian chemical weapons attack on Douma. Now await what, if any response, from Syria’s backers Russia and Iran. This could get messy.

    • TheFightingIrish

      I wouldn’t expect a direct response from either Russia or Iran. But, I would expect an attack from one of their proxies and they have plenty to choose from.

      • Kypros

        Agreed. The Russians and Iranian are just glad they didn’t get wacked on this. I expect nothing more but lip service from them. The Russian propaganda on this would put Joseph Geobbels to shame. Pure lies!!!

  • j James

    If these facilities are known for target assessment and then taken out. What gives reason then to haste target picking? In other words. Why weren’t they taken out a while ago? A no fly zone kind of thing.

    • Duane

      Syria has been using chem weaps routinely since last year, even after the US missile attacks, according to intelligence agencies. The difference this time is that rebel sources managed to get video of the obviously-gassed civilian victims to international media.

      In today’s world, stuff only “really happens” when there’s video posted. And western governments only react when the video pops up.

      • j James

        Thank you.

      • NavySubNuke

        Duane – I’d love to see your evidence of which intelligence agencies believe Syria has been “using chem weaps routinely since last year”.
        Because there have been no public statements of the sort that allege that.

    • Ed L

      Haste Target picking? get real! I wager the targets have been in the Target index Guide for decades.

    • airider

      I think it has a lot to do with the confused situation that Syria is….too many fingers in that pot all trying to stir it the way they want it.

    • tiger

      Well….. question one should be why are there NBC weapons left, when Obama made a deal to empty the Syrian stockpile?

      • j James

        That is a great one at it too.

  • Spencer Whitson

    Look, I’m not the biggest fan of the LCS myself, but don’t you think that his comment is more than a little reaching in order to try and make a connection here? What relevance does the LCS have to this topic? If it’s not relevant, why in the world is it being named here?

    • ShermansWar

      LCS delenda est

  • Ed L

    that’s funny i wager that less than 30 missiles were launched this time. This Airforce was involved most likely with B-1B. you obviously know nothing about how cruise missiles function

    • Duane

      According to Sec Mattis, the number of missiles fired was “more than double the number used in last year’s attack”, which was 59. Fired as a combination of ship-launched TLAMs and air launched missiles from Brit and French fighters, and early reports also indicated from US B-1B heavy bombers.

      Nevertheless, it is preposterous to claim the Syrians shot down the TLAMs, which fly at barely above treetop level at 550 mph … meaning undetectable by any radar except a sophisticated look-down shoot down radar equipped fighter that happened to be deployed and directly above the flight paths of the incoming missiles.

      Also, shooting down a treetop hugging TLAM will just result in the missile detonating on the ground at some place other than the target, creating a massive explosion and fireball on the ground, with building damage and civilian casualties … yet no such reports, let alone video, of these off target detonations from the Syrians.

      “Baghdad Bob” has arisen from the dead and is working now for the Syrians and Russians!

      The Russian-Syrian claims of 71 shot down are absurd.

      • IssacBabel

        Syrians claim 13 downed, Russians claim 71, major failure at the
        Baghdad Bob Memorial Media Centre.
        Russians were targeting ballistic Syrian SAMs ?

        • USNVO

          What are you talking about, there is irrefutable evidence that every single missile crashed in Syria. They must have been shot down. Sure there is clear video from the Syrians themselves showing them shooting missiles high into the sky to defend against supposed nap of the earth missiles and all the missiles were fired after the time the capitalist running dogs said was set for Time on Top, but that is just propaganda.

          • Duane

            LOL … according to DOD, all of the ancient Soviet era Syrian SAMs were launched AFTER our missiles hit their targets. That was done purely so that the Syrians and Russians could lay claim to shooting down our missiles.

            It truly bites to only have minimally competent propagandists, instead of a competent military. But if the best they can muster is barrel bombs filled with chlorine and banned nerve agents dropped by helicopters on innocent civilians, then you have to go with what you’ve got, apparently.

  • sid


    Great job of making it all happen in plain sight.

  • DaSaint

    Brit and French aircraft also launched Storm Shadows. France finally gets to demonstrate their VL naval variant of the SCALP (Storm Shadow) cruise missiles.

    • Duane

      Yup. All munitions used were very low observable. The Storm Shadow and Scalps – different names used by the Brits and French for the same missile – are treetop flyers, like the TLAMs, and make no electronic emissions, using combinations of infrared imaging and digital map and photography terrain following. Also used were JSOWs launched by B-1Bs, which are also VLO glide bombs with 130 km range, thus no heat emission that can be tracked by IR sensors unless they are highly advanced IR imaging, which is very doubtful the Syrians possess. None of the aircraft needed to enter Syrian airspace to launch weaps.

      • Spencer Whitson

        I’d hesitate to call a TLAM VLO.

        • Duane

          Actually it is, very much so. Partly do to treetop flying (making it invisible to all surface radar) … in part also because it doesn’t emit any radiation to find stationary targets (uses terrain following/terrain recognizing passive IR imaging).

          We’re talking here about the current generation of TLAM Block 2, anything built in the last 20 years or so.

          • Spencer Whitson

            Just because something is terrain following or seaskimming does not make it VLO by any stretch of the imagination. Lacking emissions does not make it VLO. VLO requires at the very least some measures of reduction of detectability through the design- foremost being RCS reduction. The Tomahawk has absolutely zero aspects that would make it VLO. It’s an unstealthy missile the size of a large tree- and the RCS of one too.

          • Spectreoneone

            Considering that TLAMs are currently in Block IV tells me that you don’t know anything about the platform. And, flying at “treetop level” does not make you invisible to radar, especially modern radars with robust MTI processing. The Tomahawk is not VLO. The Block IV did provide some improvements for RCS reduction, but it’s still far from VLO. Raytheon’s own website even makes no mention of it being a “stealthy” platform. Please do some research before you start trying to claim you know what any of these concepts are.

      • waveshaper1

        The B-1’s didn’t launch JSOW glide weapons but they did launch 19 AGM-158 JASSM-ER (ER = Extended Range) low observable stand-off air-launched cruise missiles. Note; The range of the JASSM-ER is 1,000+ km and the range of the basic JASSM is 370+ km.

        Source = USAF, this info was just officially released about 30 minutes ago. Excerpt; Two USAF B-1B Lancers from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron launched a total of 19 JASSM-ERs. The two bombers, deployed from Al Udeid AB, Qatar, entered Syrian airspace from the south and were escorted by a USMC E/A-6B Prowler.

        • Duane

          Yes … DOD changed their report today.

          • NavySubNuke

            Liar liar pants on fire. The DoD never made a report of using JSOWs you just lack the personal integrity to admit you are wrong.

      • NavySubNuke

        Except of course that the B-1’s didn’t drop JSOWS and TLAMs aren’t actually low observable nor are TLAMs “tree top flyers”.
        You can’t have an unmanned platform with no emissions also be a tree top flier —- unless of course your idea of “tree top” flying is 200 feet off the deck….

  • Ed L

    Because the U.S. Military Target Index Guide has been around since the 1960’s and is constantly being updated. Which I use to do in the late 1980’s. One would be surprise what countries and targets are listed in that guide. I am not calling it by it’s real name since that is most likely still classified

  • airider

    I guess my only question here would be….why wouldn’t we want to take out the folks involved in these facilities???? Get rid of the source, the means, and the stockpile.

    • tiger

      We want to face slap. Not break knee caps. Measured response. Enough to show we care. But not enough to turn up the Defcon level.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Where’s the proof?

    Photos of those “shot down” missiles?


    You Russian trolls are SO easy to BUST…


    The strikes were successful . More importantly it showed ,other bad actors out there ,that the current president of the United States is not bluffing when he threatens to use military force . The denuclearization talks with Kimchi McFatface are more likely to take place now .Coming to the negotiating table from a position of strength benefits American national security interests .

    • Duane

      Actually, these strikes proved that Trump is all bark and no bite. Taking out 3 chem weaps labs, while avoiding any attacks on the air bases and aircraft that launched the gas attacks was a virtually meaningless act. The attack last year at least hit the Syrian AF base responsible and destroyed 20 Syrian warbirds on the ground … and as Trump well knows, even that attack did not stop Assad from launching more gas attacks on his people.

      This weekend’s attack, while tactically successful, was worthless as a strategy to end the genocidal murder in Syria. Even Trump’s own senior national security staffers told the media in interviews after the attack that “Trump has no strategy in Syria”.

      As successful as our military performed this weekend, the attack serves no purpose but PR for Trump.

      • Kypros

        Would you have preferred a sustained campaign, destroying all airbases and aircraft, including all Syrian aircraft which took refuge at the Russian airbase, and embroiling the US more deeply in a Syrian civil war? No thanks! In and out, point made and done.

        • Duane

          Yes … destroy the Syrian Air Force. That’s what it will take. I know that there is disagreement, including some who think we should just bug out of Syria. But strategically, either we destroy Assad’s ability to continue his campaign of murderous genocide and depopulation of all non-Alewite controlled areas, or he will continue.

          And wherever Assad takes over, the Iranians are moving in. If Assad is not defeated, the entire middle east will go up in flames. The Israelis will never and can never allow Iran to build an occupied land bridge to Lebanon.

          It makes no practical or moral difference if Assad uses chem weaps to murder and depopulate, or if he uses nail filled barrels of explosives to knock down homes, hospitals, schools, and orphanages. To pretend that it makes a difference is to be dishonest.

          If Assad were deprived of his air force, his government would lose the war and collapse.

          • Kypros

            And if Assad goes away, who replaces him? The Obama administration made a huge mistake when they gave Russia a green light to enter Syria and get the naval and airbases they’ve always wanted under the auspices of taking charge of Syrian chemical weapons. They care about Assad only as long as they keep their bases and have access to Syrian oil fields. The Iranians are more problematic. They support Assad, as long as Syria can supply a land bridge to the Med. It’s a sticky situation. Once you destroy the Syrian air force, you’d need to establish a no fly zone to prevent them from reconstituting it. That would be a major US commitment, lasting years. I think the value of this strike should be looked at as something other than pure bomb damage assessment. It proves to the regional players that Russia and Iran are either unwilling or unable to defend Syria against the US, despite all of their hyperbole..


            I have a feeling the first major direct clash between Iran and Israel is fast approaching . The chess pieces are set . Its a matter of when not if .

          • Kypros

            The Israelis have been hitting the Iranians in Syria for a while now. There are unconfirmed reports that Israel has hit an Iranian air base in Syria today. I think that Israel knows that Trump won’t block them like Obama did and they also have the full support of the Gulf States.


            Yes they carried out dozens of strikes over the past several years . But those were skirmishes compared to whats fast approaching.

          • SolarWarden

            What’s approaching? The only concern Israel has in striking Syria or Iranian targets in Syria are those Hezbollah rockets. As long as Israel doesn’t go after Assad himself those hezbo rockets will stay quiet and Israel can bomb as many Iranian targets in Syria without fear of rocket attack. I also think Iran, Syria and Hezbollah knows that once those rockets are launched Israel will go all out to destroy Hezbollah and Iranians in Lebanon. This wont be like 2006 this time Israel will play for keeps.

          • Duane

            Assad and his family have ruled Syris ever since the Brits abandoned Palestine in 1947. He is not just another guy. Killing him won’t solve all the world’s problem, but it is a necessary step to end the Syrian civil war, which is in fact all about him and his family and his minority tribe’s rule over Syria

            In any case, killing him and ending his murderous rule is a strategy … which is way more than we have now.

          • Gary Wilson

            That is not a strategy any more than killing Qaddafi helped anything in Libya. Oh, and Hafiz Assad took over around 1970 after a string of military coups. Syria is a naturally unstable country, much like Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. This was a punitive strike to communicate a point to Assad. Even Israel would rather that Assad stay in charge rather than risk the chaos that will result if he dies. In the real world there are relative degrees of evil, and you learn to assess and plan based on that.

          • Dan O’Brian

            So why do Obummer do that 8 years ago if it’s such a great idea?

          • El_Sid

            The alternative to that minority tribe’s rule is a majority Islamic rule that oversees genocide in what has traditionally been one of the most multicultural of ME countries. Although arguably the triumph of the Miliband solution has been to have most of the genocide without getting rid of Assad.

            I used to work with a Syrian Christian and he was a big fan of Assad, despite his faults – or rather he was absolutely terrified of a world without the Alawites in power, he could see the stirrings of ISIS and thought Assad was doing the right thing in clamping down on eg Saudi attempts to export Wahhabi missionaries. From a Christian point of view, Assad is very much the lesser of two evils, although an Alawite government without Assad in charge might be less bad still.

            The trouble is you can’t see a Northern Ireland-type solution working, with minority interests baked into the system as there are just too many guns and not enough law & order at street level to avoid something like the partition of India/Pakistan.

          • waveshaper1

            All true and the same could also be said about Saddam in Iraq. Here’s a few stats on the cleansing of Christians from Iraqi turf post 2003:
            – This round of Iraqi Christian Genocide started 15 years ago and the latest round of Syrian Christian Genocide started about 7 years ago.
            Iraq Christian population (estimates from multiple sources).
            Under Saddam Hussein’s rein; 24 years (1979 – 2003). Iraq had a stable Christian population with moderate population growth (+150,000 Christians).
            1979; 1,350,000 Iraqi Christians lived in Iraq when Saddam Hussein takes power.
            2003; 1,500,000 Iraqi Christians lived in Iraq when Saddam Hussein is removed from power.

            – Under USA control/occupation (with 120,000 plus US troops on the ground); 8 years (2003 – 2011). During this time frame one of the largest depopulation/extermination of Iraqi Christians in history took place (-1,000,000 and 330,000 Iraqi Christian refugees went to Syria during this timeframe/what a mistake that was). The main culprits for the demise of Iraqi Christians during the US occupation of Iraq was Al Qaeda in Iraq and their Sunni tribal coalition partners. This size depopulation/extermination of Christians is comparable to when the 14th-century Muslim warlord Tamerlane (of Mongol descent) had 70,000 Assyrian Christians beheaded in Tikrit and 90,000 more beheaded in Baghdad.
            2003; 1,500,000 Iraqi Christians when the USA invades/occupies Iraq.
            2011; 500,000 Iraqi Christians remain when the USA departs Iraq.


            Killing Assad is meaningless at this point . He is not calling the shots . You would have to target the thousands of allied shia militias in the country who are doing the dirty work .

          • Duane

            Assad is calling the shots. Russia does not authorize the gas attacks or the genocide … it makes them look bad. The Iranians only want to occupy Syria. They are filling the vacuum left when the US has no strategy.

          • Real sailor

            Trump is cleaning up the huge mess left by the previous occupier in chief, the one who danced around, bent over, and drew pink lines in the sand-or don’t you remember?

          • tiger

            Want to go that far? You need Congressional approval.

          • Duane

            Sure, Congressional authorization is necessary. Senior members of Congress including members of Trump’s own party in Congress have stated repeatedly that the President needs to formulate and state his strategy for Syria. He does not have a strategy. Pinprick attacks in response to the media playing video of gas attack victims is not a strategy … it is kneejerk.

          • tiger

            The nation has no desire to go deeper into Syria,

          • Dean687

            The previous “strategy” (as you so proudly want) by “0” was to draw pink lines in the sand, have Assad cross it, move back, draw another pink line, have Assad cross it, and repeat that over and over again.

          • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

            In 2011 “O” made war on Libya and killed the head of state without congressional declaration of war, and for what reason? Did Libya threaten us? NO, Did Libya declare war on us? NO! “O” invaded a country and killed 100’s of innocents simply because he wanted to? NO. “O” wanted Libya’s gold and oil reserves and as a result of this foolish action, the entire middle east caught on fire. BZ “O”

          • Gary Wilson

            You are aware of the fact that chemical munitions can be fired from tube and rocket artillery, right? So now you want to hunt down every artillery tube and multiple rocket launcher? Get real. This strike was to send a message to multiple entities. You can bet your next paycheck that there is an ascending list of targets in Syria that the President can strike in order to send stronger messages if needed.


        You need to look at the bigger picture . This was less about syria and more about sending a message . He put his money where his mouth is. Very important when North Korea russia Iran and China are watching . Dropping the operation would have conveyed a message of weakness . Yes this operation was limited but remember Trump can order another strike any moment.

      • muzzleloader

        Trump is all bark and no bite? Lol, this is your weekly “ I hate Trump screed. Tell you what Duanne, how about you sit in the big chair and make all the calls that the CIC makes?
        And what if the entire Syrian AF was destroyed? What would prevent Putin from restoring it with replacements?
        The Russians have plenty of Cold War era aircraft to give away still.
        Have you considered that there are other things going on globally, the North Koreans, the South China Sea, Iran?
        The US does not have an unlimited stock of special munitions, they have to be utilized in measure.
        Consider also that American air assets have been worked to the bone for two decades, and the priority of their tasking has to be carefully considered.
        It is easy for you to say what you would do when you don’t have to consider factors that few outside the National Command Authority have to factor.

      • Techdude

        All the previous muslim occupant of the white house did was paint rainbow lines in the sand…in cause you don’t remember (now go sip on your latte)

      • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

        Dueneee, if you weren’t here posting your silliness, where would we get our daily laughs?

  • Just to clarify, UK Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 cannot launch Storm Shadows yet. They will by end of this year or in 2019, when the Tornado GR4s retire.

  • NavySubNuke

    Great to see the French frigate Languedoc (D-653) getting in on the action. As the US considers what small surface combatant it should buy moving forward the now combat prove FREMM will hopefully be the winner.
    Just as a point of comparison to other small surface combatants the Languedoc was laid down in 2011, launched in 2014, and commissioned in 2016 and has now been successfully used in combat.

    • Retired weps

      …and Fourteen years later the Littoral mafia is boasting how great the Little Crappy Ship is in spite of it doing nothing-that’s what you call a paradox of the tenth order.

      • NavySubNuke

        Certainly – as an example USS Jackson (LCS 6) was also laid down in 2011 and not only has yet to deploy but won’t even deploy this year.
        USS Milwaukee, also laid down in 2011, has also not ever deployed isn’t expected to deploy this year.

        It should be noted that Languedoc is not only deployed currently but was also deployed last summer and performed admirably in concert with US forces in the Eastern Med while there.

  • Spencer Whitson

    I’m callling BS on that. You’re the one who doesn’t understand VLO. If I take a F-5 and I start flying NOE, is my F-5 suddenly a VLO aircraft? Is it designed with VLO features? Absolutely not. I’m just taking advantage of a flight path to limit exposure to radars in the first place, as well as hiding in the ground clutter. While that certainly is an important part in not being seen, that does not make it VLO. Nor does a lack of emissions make something VLO, although if something were to be VLO, they probably shouldn’t be having their emissions easily seen, or else it somewhat lessens the advantage of being VLO.

    Remember, VLO is not just low observability. It’s not merely taking advantage of existing systems to make yourself less visible. It’s VERY low observability. That requires actual design choices which physically make you INCREDIBLY hard to spot, not just from ground based radars, but from anything that has line of sight to you. No, a Tomahawk is not VLO just because it seaskims. Saying that it does betrays a complete misunderstanding of the word.

  • Ed L

    Anyone remember the First gulf war. When CNN show the Tomahawks flying through downtown Baghdad and the Iraqi SAM’s were shooting off all over the place and those SAM’s ended up coming all over town

    • publius_maximus_III

      CNN were the only ones broadcasting that first night from atop a hotel in downtown Baghdad.

  • adaptus primus

    MdCN doesn’t look like Storm Shadow/SCALP at all. The shape of its air frame is more similar to that of TLAM i.e. non-VLO

  • Retired

    “French frigate Languedoc (D-653) firing three of the naval variant of the SCALP land attack cruise missiles.” This is rich. An allied naval frigate with real capabilities. Now for fun let’s see what “OUR” frigate can do:
    -it can successfully deploy to Canada and get suck in the ice
    -it keeps our of our dry docks very very busy
    -it require two crews and two O-5 officers to run (I’d love to read their fitreps)
    -it simulates the economy by making lockmart very very wealthy
    -furthermore, it simulate the supply chain by needing a constant stream of repair parts
    -furthermore furthermore, it simulates the oil economy by burning lots and lots of fuel
    -with it’s potent 57mm gun and hellfire missiles, it’s can be huge lever in the current situation in the middle east (be afraid Assad, be very afraid).
    -overall, a very successful FRIGATE program, right on par with the French Navy 😛

  • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

    Five days ago at a war council discussing the Syrian situation, Trump was heard to ask loudly “Where are the Little cra pp y shi ts,” the CNO whispered in his ear, Trump nodded and asked louder this time “Where are the Littoral cra p py ships,” at time the CNO was visibly flustered “Mr President, the Littoral Combat Ship was never intended to go into harm’s way.” To which Trump replied, “We’re getting a bad deal, you’re f ir e d…”

  • RunningBear

    NGJ has flown!!….on the VMAQ-3 Prowler accompanying the B-1Bs on the Syrian raid.

    – VMAQ-3 Prowler MD-01 162228 spotted in Lajes on 24Mar18.
    – “The Marine Corps has recently solidified plans to install a next-generation jammer/ NGJ on the F-35 Lightning II. It has joined the EA-18G Growler as the launch platform for the jammer, which is scheduled to enter service in 2018.”