What If America’s Cutting-Edge Aircraft Carriers Were Suddenly Obsolete?
Harry J. Kazianis
A nightmare scenario.
Key point: Like the battleships of old, no mighty class of capital ship can last forever.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The nuclear-powered submarine. Ultra-advanced stealth bombers and fighters. These all represent the most lethal, sophisticated and expensive weapons in the U.S. military’s mighty arsenal—and they might soon all be close to obsolete.
Well, at least if certain technological trends bear fruit, according to a number of think-tank reports, research studies and in-depth essays that have been published over the last year.
And while it might not all come to pass, or at least not right away and certainly not all at once, the trend lines are clear: America’s military, if it wants to retain its unrivaled dominance on the battlefields of the future, will need to do a great deal of soul searching and investment tomaintain its edge over nations like Russia,China and many others in the years to come.
America’s Carriers vs. China’s Missiles: Who Wins?
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Why China’s Aircraft Carriers Are Only Getting Better Zachary Keck Security, Asia Beijing is learning with each new ship. Key point: China is figuring out how to build bigger and badder flat tops. China’s next aircraft carrier is likely to boast … read more
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Will Britain Lease Its New Aircraft Carriers to the U.S. Navy? Michael Peck Security, To offset a shrinking defense budget, the British military is considering whether to lease a carrier to the Americans, according to British media. The instigator of … read more
Why Not Turn Battleships Into Aircraft Carriers (Or Merge Them Into One)? Robert Farley History, Asia It’s been tried before. Key Point: Tried…and failed. Both aviators and sailors grasped early on that aircraft could revolutionize some aspects of naval warfare. … read more
‘Light’ Aircraft Carriers? These U.S. Navy Ships Can Launch F-35s Sebastien Roblin Security, Americas The Navy’s secret weapon: ‘economy-sized’ aircraft carriers. Were the USS America to cruise alongside the French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, the average Joe might … read more
Battlecarrier! The Cold War Hybrid Between Battleships and Aircraft Carriers Robert Farley History, World The Soviets and Americans really got carried away. The dream of the battlecarrier did not die in World War II, despite the substandard performance of many … read more
How the F-35B Stealth Fighter Will Transform the Navy’s Aircraft Carriers Sebastien Roblin Technology, Asia A massive boon to the Pentagon. Key point: The F-35B will turn even small ships with a flattop into carriers. Naval aviation has from the beginning … read more
Report: Nuclear Submarines May Be The U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier’s Worst Enemy Lyle J. Goldstein Security, Asia What should America do? Key Point: France has found a vulnerability that America’s adversaries want to exploit. Early in 2015, a curious and disturbing … read more
The Age Of Aircraft Carriers Dominance May Finally Be Ending Robert Farley Security, Aircraft carriers have never been so vulnerable. Key point: Time for a sea change. As long as they serve usefully in that role, nations will seek means … read more
Japan Wants To Fly F-35s From Its Own Aircraft Carriers, Here Is How It Could Get Them David Axe Security, Asia The Japanese government in November 2018 announced that it plans to enhance its two Izumo-class helicopter carriers in order … read more
In America’s Next Serious War, It’s Aircraft Carriers Won’t Go Unscathed Robert Farley Security, Asia It’s time to adapt. Key Point: America cannot take its carriers survivability for granted any longer. The United States has decided to spend many billions of … read more
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Could Flying Aircraft Carriers And Submarines Become Reality? Robert Beckhusen Security, A long-desired dream. Key point: Drones may make this dream a reality. If submarines possessed the high vision and quick speed of aircraft, they could dramatically extend their reach. … read more
The U.S. Navy Loves Its Aircraft Carriers, But Are They Becoming Obsolete? TNI Staff Security, Critics have raised legitimate concerns. Key point: The carrier—like the dreadnought-type battleship—is a massive investment of national treasure and concentrates a huge amount of combat power … read more
What If the Navy Brought Back Flying Aircraft Carriers? David Axe Technology, Americas A good idea? Key point: Flying aircraft carriers are doable, but it is unclear how useful they would be in practice. You May Also Like: 5 Best … read more
Forget the Stealth Fighters or New Aircraft Carriers: China’s New Rifles Are Killer Charlie Gao Security, As in super deadly. Key Point: The QBU-88 or Type 88 is a relatively modern design, utilizing the bullpup layout to gain additional barrel … read more
Are America’s Aircraft Carriers Vulnerable To Enemy Torpedoes? Sebastien Roblin Security, Asia A new report raises serious concerns. Key point: A small number of torpedo hits can sink a large warship. In 2019, an annual report released by the Department … read more
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The U.S. Navy’s Big Mistake: ‘Sinking’ Billions of Dollars Into Aircraft Carriers David W. Wise Security, The carrier won’t dominate forever. Here’s why. Key point: Better to adjust to the new reality before a surprise innovation proves you wrong. “History,” … read more
If Japan Is A Naval Power, Why Does It Not Have Aircraft Carriers? Robert Farley Security, Politics. Key point: Japan decided to build helicopter carriers instead. Japan has decided to refit its Izumo-class light carriers to operate the F-35B stealth fighter. So … read more
Google gives up on US carriers, will roll out its own RCS chat system – Ars Technica Enlarge / Promotional image of two smartphones. Google Will RCS ever matter? The standard has been hanging around for years as an upgrade … read more