Earlier this week the Chinese destroyer Lanzhou acted like a giant asshole and almost rammed into the USS Decatur. Obviously, right out of the gate, we want to say that had this turned into an actual shooting war, we definitely want to side with the USS Decatur against the Chinese destroyer, the Lanzhou. How do they really measure up though? Well, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that the United States has in service are some pretty potent weapons platforms. The Lanzhou, well, this is probably the first you're hearing of them, so let's get to it.Fire Power Winner: USS DecaturThe main threat from the USS Decatur comes from its 90 missile cells carrying a vast array of surface-to-air, anti-ship or cruise missiles. That assortment and diverse strike capability alone throw the USS Decatur up there on the weapons capability versus the much less armed Chinese destroyer with room for only 56 missiles, most of them anti-air... One might think that when it comes to naval ships you might want to be able to you know...engage the enemy ships. The Chinese destroyer does have one 100mm cannon as opposed to the 5 inch gun on the Decatur, but couple the VLS of the Decatur and the diverse array of missiles available to load into those vertical launch system cells and the Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers...call it an even draw on the torpedo armament.The Decatur has an extreme advantage in firepower.[caption id="attachment_18808" align="alignnone" width="750"]
The US Navy (USN) Arleigh Burke Class (Flight II) Guided Missile Destroyer (Aegis) USS DECATUR (DDG 73) (foreground), and the USN Arleigh Burke Class (Flight IIA) Guided Missile Destroyer (Aegis) USS MCCAMPBELL (DDG 85) execute maneuvers during a sea power demonstration conducted while on deployment in the Pacific Ocean (POC).[/caption]Survivability Winner: USS DecaturHere's why we're gonna go with the Decatur. Do you guys remember when the USS Cole was bombed? Big ass explosion, killed 17 American sailors, wounded 39...the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer took a massive blow and while it obviously needed repairs, it didn't sink to old Davy Jones locker. It took a massive hit and was still floating. We imagine in a combat scenario, that the sailors would continue to put up a stiff resistance until their ship either depleted every last bit of its ammo or it was sent to the bottom. The Chinese destroyers, while we're sure they can take a punch, we haven't seen exactly what they can handle. Maybe the bomb that hit the Cole would have sunk a Chinese ship, we don't know. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are pretty tough ships and we all know the rumors about Chinese steel...Range Winner: USS DecaturSo there are relatively no specs out on the Chinese radar/sonar systems. However, we do know a little bit about the radar/sonar systems of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers such as the USS Decatur. They are stupid ridiculous impressive, not only can we launch our weapons first, but we can see their missiles inbound with more than enough time to get our CIWS on target and destroy their meager attempts to attack our ships.[caption id="attachment_18807" align="alignnone" width="750"]
Chinese Guided Missile Destroyer Lanzhou[/caption]Right now the United States Navy is the proverbial Poseidon. Even when other nations think they have a leg up on us, there is something to be said for the longevity with which the United States of America has ruled the seas.The Lanzhou stood literally zero chance against the USS Decatur and is quite lucky they didn't get sent to the bottom of the ocean. It would most likely have ended extremely poorly for them.