Friday, June 30, 2017

Are America's Aircraft Carriers Becoming Obsolete?

The USS Gerald R. Ford Source: U.S. Navy

Bloomberg: How America’s Aircraft Carriers Could Become Obsolete

Modern missiles make them vulnerable. A $13 billion price tag makes them expensive. New technology may make them unnecessary.

President Donald Trump has been consistent in his argument that the U.S. Navy has shrunk to a woefully inadequate size. The Republican has repeatedly said he wants the service to expand, including a fleet of a dozen aircraft carriers. That plan isn’t in the Pentagon’s current budget, but on July 22 the Navy will formally commission CVN-78, the USS Gerald R. Ford, its newest, most sophisticated nuclear-powered carrier.

The Ford, hit with delays and technical glitches, is expected to become operational in 2020. One question about its formal readiness, however, rests on whether the Navy will perform “full-ship shock trials,” a test in which the service detonates explosives nearby to demonstrate its fitness. Some in Congress—which has mandated a carrier fleet no smaller than 11—want to move the Ford into duty more quickly to reduce strain on the rest of the carrier fleet.

Read more ....

Update: Are America's Aircraft Carriers On Their Way To Obsolescence? (Zero Hedge)

WNU Editor: Maybe this is the solution? .... Here's Why the U.S. Navy Could Add 'Light' Aircraft Carriers to the Fleet (Dave Majumdar, National Interest).

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