Instead of doubling down on an obsolete and prohibitively expensive plan for these iconic American ships, the military should build cheaper carriers that are upgraded for modern military engagements. With the size of the air wing shrinking from 90 aircraft in the 1990s to around 65 airplanes today, the Navy no longer needs a 100,000-ton carrier to hold them all. A ship around 75,000 tons would meet our needs and would save a significant amount of money.QE sized carriers? I don't know. I always looked at the current carrier air wing as just a place holder for low intensity ops. If we had a conventional war I always imagined that those wings would be plus sized back up to the 100 plus planes that were once carried regularly before the 2000's.
The Navy could also revamp the carrier’s relevance by repurposing a program to develop a carrier-based drone, which is currently intended solely for surveillance missions, so that it is also capable of performing long-range strike missions. Sixteen stealthy unmanned aircraft built to fly 1,500 miles while carrying three tons of precision-strike ordnance would allow the U.S. to launch strikes from the carrier while keeping it out of the range of carrier-killing missiles.
The Navy’s decision on the carriers today will affect U.S. naval power for decades. These carriers are expected to be combat effective in 2065 — over 150 years since the idea of an aircraft carrier was first conceived. With an updated plan, the aircraft carrier can continue to defy the odds and demonstrate America’s military might across the world.
If I was wrong in my assumption then this makes sense. But I do wonder. Why have 10 carriers that are operating under capacity? Maybe 7, 6 operational and one in reserve with full decks might be a better option.
We would have to dump parts of the forward presence bullshit but when we sent a carrier out people would know we mean business.