Does The U.S. Navy Still Want 12 Aircraft Carriers?

Top to bottom: USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) alongside Nimitz class carriers USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) & USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76). Pinterest

Warrior Maven: Does the Navy Still Seek 12 Aircraft Carriers? - Better Armed & Ready for War

Threats from long-range guided missiles, surface ship fire-power, submarine-launched torpedo attacks and incoming air assaults all inform the Navy’s vigorous push to further weaponize its fleet of aircraft carriers - while assessing its plan to expand its number of carriers up to 12.

The service is putting carrier-development and weapons modernization on the fast-track, indicating confidence in the carrier-platform’s combat survivability in coming decades as it shifts focus to blue-water warfare against technologically sophisticated adversaries.

The Navy approach is defined by two interwoven trajectories; the service is performing “sea-based developmental testing” of carrier-based offensive and defensive weapons -- while also hoping to speed up acquisition of Ford-class carriers through two-ship buys and long-term fleet goals. In short, the Navy wants more weapons on carriers and may simply want more carriers - faster. The hope, according to formal Navy studies as of 2016, is to grow the fleet to 12 aircraft carriers, moving beyond its current size of 11.

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WNU Editor: If Congress continues to allocate money for 12 carriers, it will happen even if the Pentagon has other ideas .... The Navy Wants to Shrink Its Aircraft Carrier Fleet (J. Bachman & D. Merrill, Bloomberg).

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