Aircraft Carriers, white elephants?

silverharp

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Happened to watch the video below so posing the question, are aircraft carriers obsolete (for the US) ?

The arguments put forward are

Extremely expensive, new Ford class carrier is $13bn which is twice the cost of the previous class. and expensive to run $6m a day. US building 10 I believe

Too important to actually lose in battle , which goes against the military maxim of not deploying anything you cant afford to lose.

Will tend to be only deployed against weak countries

Middle power countries like Iran could attack them with missiles or swarms of boats.

China has developed missiles specially aimed at targeting Carriers



middling solution scrap the new class and go back to building Nimitz class or smaller and cheaper ones again?




[video=youtube;-2ZC8wyp44w]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2ZC8wyp44w[/video]
 


Lumpy Talbot

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No
Pretty sure it will suit the defence contractors though. And that after all is highly likely to be the primary imperative.
 

ruserious

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It allows a country to have a foothold in the form of a floating airport anywhere in the world. That's pretty damn sought after by any country with global aspiring positions.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
$13 billion though per unit. Perhaps it is because they'll have stealth technology :)

'Where is our 7th Battle Group?'

'Don't know sir. It is so stealthy we've lost it.'
 

Orbit v2

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Before WWII, the Japanese had the biggest and best carrier force. At Midway, I think something like 6 well placed bombs wiped out about half of the fleet by tonnage. Carriers are very vulnerable in conventional battle.

Pretty sure it will suit the defence contractors though. And that after all is highly likely to be the primary imperative.
.. who happen to be the largest industrial employer in Virginia. So, as always, where votes are at stake, the money goes.
 

gleeful

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The primary function of US defense spending is to buy weapons - its to direct tax money towards those people and industries which fund election spending.

$13 billion? They should have paid twice as much.
 

silverharp

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It allows a country to have a foothold in the form of a floating airport anywhere in the world. That's pretty damn sought after by any country with global aspiring positions.
its looks good for sure, Russia getting its coal powered tug boat down to Syria had everyone grasping their pearls. But a bit like battleships in WW2 are they being used in a way they were designed for? there are not a day 1 weapon to be used against Russia and it would be risky to use them against China or the likes of Iran.
If you just want a floating airport to use against uppity third world countries then they are completely over engineered?
 

automaticforthepeople

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If Trump holds off on buying for a few years, he'll surely buy the UK from the receiver for less than $13B in a few years with permission to build a new runway at Heathrow.
 

rainmaker

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It allows a country to have a foothold in the form of a floating airport anywhere in the world. That's pretty damn sought after by any country with global aspiring positions.
This in a nutshell.

They are floating U.S. airbases. They have the huge advantages of not needing negotiation with another state to build an entire temporary airbase near the intended theater, and also being quicker to deploy than building an airbase on land.

They can also carry and deploy large numbers of troops & equipment to carry out a strike or to establish a foothold in a potential theater.
 

The Field Marshal

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Happened to watch the video below so posing the question, are aircraft carriers obsolete (for the US) ?

The arguments put forward are

Extremely expensive, new Ford class carrier is $13bn which is twice the cost of the previous class. and expensive to run $6m a day. US building 10 I believe
Your figure of 6 million per day refers to the alleged cost of the entire carrier fleet armada not to one vessel as the OP would indicate.
In addition that 6 million figure is not broken down and clearly would have to include naval salaries that would have to be paid out anyway.

Too important to actually lose in battle , which goes against the military maxim of not deploying anything you cant afford to lose.

Will tend to be only deployed against weak countries

Middle power countries like Iran could attack them with missiles or swarms of boats.

China has developed missiles specially aimed at targeting Carriers


middling solution scrap the new class and go back to building Nimitz class or smaller and cheaper ones again?


[vieo=youtube;-2ZC8wyp44w]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2ZC8wyp44w[/video]
These carriers all employ highly sophisticated missile defence systems and are not as easy to sink as the video suggests.

As a means of accurately projecting military power to detailed localised large and small scale targets, the aircraft carrier gives operational scoping to a lot of the earths land within striking distance of the combat carrier jets.

In addition aircraft carriers can also carry guided missiles with similar if not greater ranges.

Therefore , IMO, as a stand alone conventional weapon of war the aircraft carrier is here to stay.
 
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wombat

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This in a nutshell.

They are floating U.S. airbases. They have the huge advantages of not needing negotiation with another state to build an entire temporary airbase near the intended theater, and also being quicker to deploy than building an airbase on land.

They can also carry and deploy large numbers of troops & equipment to carry out a strike or to establish a foothold in a potential theater.
The U.S. navy is built around the carriers. The large carriers would need a direct hit from a nuclear warhead to sink one. The only real danger to them is from submarines and only the nuclear subs are fast enough to catch a nuclear carrier. Unfortunately, during wargames, submarines constantly photograph carriers through their periscopes. This practice is confined to U.S. allies as it is fatal to the career of a sub captain to prove he can sink a carrier. BTW Trump was correct when he said a sub is more powerful than a carrier.
 

Jim Car

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Going by you opening statement you could argue the current ford class are white element if it is indeed the case that they are to valuable to lose. But that might not be an accurate description for aircraft carriers in general. If a country could build and produce a class that it cheep and easy to run then you cant really call them white elements. The problem is these type of aircraft carrier would only be produced in war time in fairly large numbers like was seen during WW2 the problem is it is not practical to maintain such a large fleet in peace time. They would only be viable and cost efficient when produced in large numbers with the foresight that a large amount of them might be sunk or damaged as well as retired after the conflict.
 

rainmaker

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BTW Trump was correct when he said a sub is more powerful than a carrier.
Comparing Subs and carriers is probably pointless. They have different purposes.

A submarine will never provide 24 hour air cover for forces in a land conflict, such as Afghanistan or Iraq.
 
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