The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis pulls into San Diego Bay, Aug. 10, 2016, after completing a seven-month deployment. Navy photo by Seaman Austin R. Clayton
Loren B. Thompson, National Interest: Five Reasons U.S. Aircraft Carriers Are Nearly Impossible To Sink
Large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are the signature expression of American military power. No other combat system available to U.S. warfighters comes close to delivering so much offensive punch for months at a time without requiring land bases near the action. As a result, the ten carriers in the current fleet are in continuous demand from regional commanders -- so much so that extended overseas combat tours are becoming the norm.
Nobody really doubts the utility of large-deck carriers. There's nothing else like them, and the United States is the only nation that operates a fleet big enough to keep three or more carriers continuously deployed at all times. However, two issues have come up over and over again since the Cold War ended that have led at least some observers to question why carriers are the centerpiece of America's naval fleet. One concern is that they cost too much. The other is that they are vulnerable to attack.
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WNU Editor: It can be sunk .... especially if this missile reaches its target .... China’s DF-21D Missile Sytem Could Sink US Aircraft Carrier Group (March 11, 2014).