A number of my previous blogs have pointed out the dangers to U.S. aircraft carriers posed by (A) the Russian-built Sizzler supersonic cruise missiles (also deployed on Chinese ships) and (B) new ballistic missiles developed by Russia and China. A previous blog opined that a very large Israeli-American missile defense exercise in which 19 U.S. ships participated may have included tests of a new defensive system to counter supersonic cruise missiles. Such a system is critically needed for U.S. carriers to survive. However, this blog deals with the second threat to U.S. carriers: ballistic missiles fired at U.S. carrier task forces.
The U.S. Navy has a sophisticated defensive system against attacking airplanes and missiles called the AEGIS system. It creates an air defense network around an entire aircraft carrier task force. However, the AEGIS system was originally designed to counter subsonic cruise missiles and I doubt if ballistic missiles were even considered a tactical threat when AEGIS was first deployed. The USA has shared the AEGIS defensive system with the Japanese Navy as well. The link below states that 6 Japanese warships and 18 US warships have the AEGIS defense system. That actually surprises me as I thought the US Navy had more than 18 AEGIS-equipped warships. However, three more U.S. warships are being equipped with this sophisticated fleet-defense system (an excellent investment in my viewpoint).
Both the Japanese and American navies have upgraded their AEGIS defensive systems to shoot down ballistic missiles. It is encouraging that the link reports that the Japanese Navy reported its third successful test-firing of a missile with its AEGIS-equipped warships. The link also reports that the U.S. Navy has been successful on 83% of its more-frequent tests of the AEGIS missiles’ ability to shoot down ballistic missiles. In an action likely designed to counter the latest generation of Russian and Chinese ballistic missiles, the AEGIS defense systems on American (and, presumably, Japanese) warships are undergoing upgrades to improve their ability to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles.
There are two types of defensive missiles used by the AEGIS system. One can intercept incoming ballistic missiles “200 kilometers up,” while the other missile can shoot down missiles or aircraft up to 19 kilometers away. Given that some incoming ballistic missiles in a “hot war” will likely be carrying nuclear warheads, it is vital that the AEGIS missiles be able to intercept incoming ballistic missiles as far away as possible from the U.S. warships.
What do developments like this have to do with biblical prophecy? More than you might think. Revelation 6:8, 9, 16:12-16, 19:11-21 and other latter-day prophecies foretell that unprecedented global warfare will be unleashed on the earth at the end of our age. Ezekiel 38 prophesies that the Gog-Magog alliance (Russia, China, Iran, etc.) will launch this war at the end of the “latter days” (Ezekiel 38:8 and 16), and that the targeted nations will be the modern nations descended from “Israel” (the biblical name for the ten tribes of Israel). Such prophecies as Zechariah 12 and 14 foretell that the Israelis (“Judah”) will also be involved in this end-time world war, but Ezekiel 38 focuses on that part of this prophesied World War III that involves combat between the Russian-Chinese led bloc and the western bloc led by the USA and NATO. Ezekiel 39:3 specifically prophesies that many of the Russian-Chinese missiles (“arrows” in ancient terminology for long-distance weapons) will not successfully reach their targets. This specific prophecy could be fulfilled by U.S. and western missile-defense systems, such as the AEGIS system, which are designed to shoot down attacking ballistic missiles (especially since Ezekiel 38:21 relates that God calls upon the attacked nations of modern Israel to fight back with their own weaponry when they are attacked).
Following the development and deployment of sophisticated new weaponry is an important aspect of determining how close we may be to the fulfillment of end-time events. As President Reagan’s muscular policies confirmed, deterrence works. Until Russia, China and their allies are convinced that their weaponry can overwhelm western military weaponry, that attack is not likely to occur. As I have written before in my blogs, I don’t “set dates,” but I firmly believe that we are witnessing the deployments of the respective weaponry that will fight the prophesied age-ending World War III. In order to read my perspectives re: the biblical prophecies about this age-ending conflict, I invite you to read my in-depth article, What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveal about a Future World War III, available at the articles link at this website. This article focuses on the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39, but it also examines how this prophecy fits in with many other end-time biblical prophecies.