Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Face It, The Mighty U.S. Aircraft Carrier is Finished | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on December 4, 2017

This is what will be on our carriers. Over budget, under performing, short on range and helmets cost half a million each.

The U.S. Navy (and to be frank, the whole U.S. military) is living in a state of total denial. In the next great powers war, or perhaps even in a conflict with a mid-tier power like Iran, at least one of our aircraft carriers will sink to the bottom of the sea. That means thousands of lives could be lost—and there would be very little we could do to stop it.

We need to get used to a very simple reality: the decades-old age of the aircraft carrier, that great symbol of U.S. power projection, has now passed. We can deny the evidence that is right before our eyes, but innovations in anti-ship missiles over many decades—combined with advanced but short-range carrier-based U.S. fighter aircraft and missile defenses that can be easily defeated—have conspired to doom one of the most powerful weapons ever devised.

If the aircraft carrier is a symbol, an expression of U.S. military dominance stretching from World War II to today, then there’s another symbol that perfectly encapsulates its demise: China’s DF-21D, what many experts describe as a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile…

Despite all their amazing capabilities, the latest generation of attack planes onboard U.S. aircraft carriers, the F/A-18 and soon-to-be F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, are not long-range strike aircraft, as they’re only able to fly 500 and 550 nautical miles respectively. In a stand-off with a nation like China, this would put our most expensive weapon of war—and, more importantly, thousands of sailors, airmen, and marines—in harm’s way. Since American aircraft carriers sail in large groupings of ships, there exists the possibility of multiple U.S. naval vessels meeting fiery deaths, as they would have to travel close to the shores of other nations that have similar weapons…

This is a problem that will only get worse with time. And considering China is already in the process of developing an even longer-range anti-ship weapon—the DF-26, with a range that could attack our carriers as far out as Guam—simple logic suggests the problem will only get worse.

The best way to begin solving a problem is to admit that you have one. And let there be no doubt that if steps are not taken to redefine what an aircraft carrier does—essentially take bombs and attack enemies at long ranges—then the next war America fights against a formidable foe will truly be historic, and for all of the wrong reasons.

Be seeing you


I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6



2 Responses to “Face It, The Mighty U.S. Aircraft Carrier is Finished | The American Conservative”

  1. larryzb said

    Yes, the technology has changed and made the carriers obsolete against a major power, However, these can still be used to beat up on lesser countries,. These carriers are too expensive in manpower requirements and capital expenditure. Perhaps the Navy ought to have more subs built and try a different strategy.

    • Good thought but subs don’t look as majestic in action, they are underwater. They don’t create nearly the jobs that carriers do. Subs are designed NOT to require a fleet of support ships to be built. Subs don’t need 100’s of special aircraft to be built and maintained. Practicality is not the i$$ue.

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