Monday, July 17, 2017

Why Aircraft Carriers May Soon Be Obsolete

In this file photo, ships and submarines participating in the U.S. 3rd Fleet-coordinated Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise sail in formation in the waters around the Hawaiian islands, July 27, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Keith Devinney)

Michael Peck, National Interest: New Study Warns Aircraft Carriers May Be Obsolete (Thanks to Russia and China)

Inexpensive Russian and Chinese weapons, such as cyberwar and antiship missiles, threaten the West’s reliance on expensive arms such as aircraft carriers.

“China and Russia appear to have focused many (but not all) their efforts on being able to put at risk the key Western assets that are large, few in number and expensive,” reads a recent study by the Royal United Services Institute, a British military think tank.

“Western governments have become acutely aware of the problems of this financial imbalance in the counterinsurgency context, when they found themselves using weapons costing $70,000, sometimes fired from aircraft that cost $30,000 an hour to fly, to destroy a Toyota pick-up vehicle that might be optimistically valued at $10,000,” the report went on. “Missiles costing (much) less than half a million pounds [$642,000] a unit could at least disable a British aircraft carrier that costs more than £3 billion [$3.9 billion]. Indeed, a salvo of ten such missiles would cost less than $5 million.”

Read more ....

WNU editor: I also fail to see how these aircraft carriers will be able to survive in a major war.


Andrew Jackson said...

You need carriers to fight your way across an ocean,we already did that.we have unsinkable carriers called U.S.S. Japan,Okinawa,Philippines,Taiwan,Iwo Jima,Vietnam etc.

Andrew Jackson said...

China will attack Russia,they want Siberia which will give them the raw materials they need.The US and Japan combined have 105 guided missile destroyers,it would be suicide to attack them.

B.Poster said...

Actually aircraft carriers are already obsolete, at least the ones the United States has are, and have been for quite some time. As a rule of thumb, when pundits, reporters, talking head pundits, etc start asking questions about is thus and such weapon or weapon system obsolete, is thus and such adversary/potential adversary about to catch up to the United States and its "allies" the thing they are asking about has already happened and they are just now catching on. Such people are almost always "behind the curve."

RussInSoCal said...

I've been reading and hearing arguments that carriers are obsolete for 10-15 years. Quite a lot of nonsense. There's no other system in the world that can monitor and defend the area that a acV stroke group can. The US maintains 10 mobile air forces. Each one capable of covering an area the size of Texas.

When you come up with a substitute for that, then they're obsolete.

B.Poster said...


"Floating death trap" for the crews and other personnel on them is the best description of them unfortunately. They are easily eliminated by even a country with only a moderate navy such as Iran.

In fact, one of the admirals a few years ago was confronted publically with this information and his response was to essentially laugh this off. A better response would have been something along the lines of "we are well aware of Iranian capabilities and have taken the appropriate counter measures against them." Even if the US had not done so, we would at least have some cause for confidence that US leaders are living in the real world and not some made up fantasy land.

"There's no other system in the world...." It only works if your opponent either has no navy or a very minimal one. Perhaps the "substitute" is formulation of a military/defense policy that makes sense for US national security and economic needs. For example, Canada and Australia do just fine with no aircraft carriers and they are more secure, more prosperous, and have opportunities for advancement that far exceed what most Americans can hope for.

RussInSoCal said...

BP, your inverted world view notwithstanding, in all out war, most means by which the enemy would use to destroy CVs would liley have been destroyed.

I understand it's a hobby of sorts - for some folks - to denegrate the US and our capabilities. It is a first strike scenario - no matter who it was - the US would destroy the mil infrastructure of that adversary. Bar none.

Think ahead, BP - the CVN is strategic. An LHD groups is tactical.

But that's a whole 'nother conversation

B.Poster said...


Thank you for the reply. In "all out war," the carriers will likely be sunk preemptively or very quickly overwhelmed by smaller and faster vessels along with any-ship missiles. I would estimate their survival time at an hour perhaps less in the event of "all out war" with a country with a mediocre navy. Against a country with a strong navy the prognosis is even more grim.

Actually it seems to be the "hobby" of some to overestimate the US and its capabilities. To point out the limitations of the US and it's military and/or to suggest that limited US resources might be best allocated differently than they currently are is not denigrating the US and it's military. Instead such things are sensible, prudent, and are more likely to advance American interests.

In a "first srike scenario" where the US struck first, the US might well devestate the enemy, however, any of our major enemies would devestate us as well. Given the improper allocation of resources, improper deployment of military personnel, grossly incompetent "Intelligence" services, inadequate training and low morale of the personnel whose responsibility is the ICBMs, wearing down our mikitary in a series ofvfruitless operations around the world, inadequate attention to cyber security, a messed up immigaration system, and I could go make our country extreme vunerable to a first strike by an enemy to the point that we may be unable to carry out a counter strike.

As for the carriers, they probably either get sunk an enemy first strike or counter strike. Understanding this Russia has backed away from these and China has not sought as many of these.

I will reiterate what I've said here and elsewhere many times. We cannot "know" the outcome of a war in advance.

Nick Sebastian said...

B. Poster would lick Putins cock like a lollipop if he would let him.

B.Poster said...


Please read the posts in their entireity. Had you done so you would know that your ststement is obviously not true.