Senators Are Finally Funding A Design Study For A New Light Aircraft Carrier @USNavy

Since the early retirement of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the Navy has struggled to meet tasking demands with the ten supercarriers it has in its inventory, and the USS Gerald R. Ford’s date of entry into operational service is a question mark due to technological issues and delays. With all these things in mind, the call for smaller, cheaper and more flexible aircraft carriers to add extra capacity to the Navy’s carrier force have grown louder in recent months. 


USS Gerald R. Ford next to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Notice the platform extensions on either side of the Ford’s fantail. The ugly structures  serve two purposes. First they increase the internal volume off the hangar deck, and second they provide extra area for new defensive gear, such as lasers, that could be installed over the ship’s 50 year lifespan.

This has been one of the key ideas I have talked about and pushed for over the years (like here and here), and it is a controversial topic to say the least. But clearly I am not alone when it comes to identifying a need to field smaller carriers and a more nimble aircraft carrier force than the Navy’s rigid, all supercarrier-based strategy that exists today. Most recently, I put this among the top of the list of things the Navy could do to revolutionize its war fighting capabilities in the piece Seven Revolutionary Hardware Changes The Navy Should Make In The Trump Era, stating:

“The supercarrier still has its place in America’s arsenal, but naval aviation and naval warfare have changed since its genesis during the early decades of the Cold War. Since then, the supercarrier has become grossly expensive to construct, with the first of the new Ford class supercarriercosting roughly $13 billion, without research and development included. The second carrier in the class, the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), is slated to cost roughly $11.5 billion

Author: Lisa the Infidel

I am an #Infidel - born and bred North Carolina.

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