8 months ago
America’s aircraft carriers are in danger of being docked for good.
Advances in new technology and their vulnerabilities could render aircraft carriers in the United States Navy obsolete in wars of the future. The massive ships have become increasingly difficult to defend physically‚—and even more so fiscally.
Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated demands to increase America’s Naval presence, the new budget didn’t include a single aircraft carrier, probably due to their soaring cost. At about $13 billion, the USS Gerald Ford is the Navy’s most expensive ship and it won’t be deployed until 2020, following delays and technical glitches.
Aircraft carriers have historically been a demonstration of American military prowess and most obvious sign of its reach. Yet, today they serve as more of a symbolic gesture.
Bloomberg reports on growing concerns in the Navy that new missile technology put America’s carriers at greater risk. China’s Dong Feng-21D has been dubbed the “carrier killer” for its range and lethality.
Weapons that belong to the Chinese and Russians force carriers to stay further away from the shores, which puts a strain on the 90 aircraft that call these ships home base. As a result, the Pentagon has been forced to stagger its resources to counter threats in the region, from countries like North Korea.