Danger Room: After The Carrier: 3 Alternatives To The Navy’s Vulnerable Flattops

20.03.13

Categorie: David Axe, Naval, Wired |
Tags: , ,

The carrier USS <em>Ronald Reagan</em> tests a flight deck sprinkler system last week. <em>Photo: Navy</em>

The carrier USS Ronald Reagan tests a flight deck sprinkler system last week. Photo: Navy

by DAVID AXE

The U.S. Navy’s huge, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers — capital ships that have long dominated military planning and budgeting — are slowly becoming obsolete, weighed down by escalating costs, inefficiency and vulnerability to the latest enemy weapons.

But if the supercarrier is sinking, what could rise to take its place? Smaller, cheaper flattops; modified tanker ships; and missile-hauling submarines are three cheaper, more efficient and arguably more resilient options.

Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix, an historian, analyst and futurist, caused a stir by making the case against the Navy’s cherished supercarrier fleet. Hendrix’s recent study “At What Cost a Carrier?” (.pdf), published by the D.C.-based Center for a New American Security, urges the Navy to begin drawing down its 10-11 Nimitz-class flattops and follow-on Ford-class vessels.

Read the rest at Danger Room.

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3 Responses to “Danger Room: After The Carrier: 3 Alternatives To The Navy’s Vulnerable Flattops”

  1. this reminds me a lot of the project of the late 70′s namely the Harrier Carrier, which was a project to build small scale carriers handling 8 Harrier fighters max. At the time the idea was shelved as being too expensive

  2. Sorry Tony,

    the Wasp is not the Harrier Carrier. The Harrier Carrier was developed by Vosper Thorneycraft in 1976. You can find some pictures here:
    http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/20270/Smallest-Possible-Escort-Carrier-Size#.UVVx3TfAGSo

    regards
    Philippe

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