字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Aircraft carriers are expensive, the latest carrier in the U.S. Navy. Part of what's called the Ford class costs twelve point eight billion per ship, and that's before the cost of fixing new technology, aircraft flying off the deck and the cost of operating the carrier in the high seas for months at a time. The U.S. has more active aircraft carriers than every other country in the world combined. The U.S. Navy currently has 10 Nimitz class carriers, one four class carrier and nine amphibious assault ships, which are smaller and that focus on helicopters and short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft. A Nimitz class carrier can carry a mix of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, E-2D Hawkeye surveillance aircraft and an assortment of other support aircraft and helicopters. The carrier fighter of the future is the F-35C.. But to field the new aircraft, most U.S. carriers will need to be upgraded. Do you want to operate aircraft carriers? You need a whole lot of high end technology to be able to defend it with new threats, unproven technology and a rash of pricey design failures. Are aircraft carriers worth the high cost? There are two major types of carriers. The first is the one most are familiar with, the large capital ship that can field fighters, ground attack aircraft, helicopters and even larger specialized aircraft. The second is was known as an amphibious assault ship. These smaller ships are usually tailored towards carrying helicopters, but in recent years, that trend is changing. The WASP class in America class are capable of operating some variants of the F-35 fighter, but the smaller size of these ships limits the quantity and types of aircraft they can carry. On the larger side, the new Ford class has had costly issues with its ambitious design. This includes a new sewage system that requires regular acid flushes that cost $400,000 Per go plus $120 million to refit the weapons elevator system. The Navy didn't, for example, do enough land based testing for really key technologies. There have also been problems and cost overruns with the advanced arresting gear that helps land planes and setbacks. With the electromagnetic launch system used to shoot aircraft off the deck have continued to be a headache for the Navy. In a request for comment. The U.S. Navy noted that the sewage system on the USS Ford is fully operational. Overall, work on the advanced weapons elevators is 93 percent complete, and the AAG and EMALS has shown steadily improving performance. In an op ed in The Virginian Pilot, Rear Admiral John Mayer and Rear Admiral Craig Clapperton noted that it is not unusual for the first ship of a class to have unexpected challenges and delays. Ford is vigorously testing its new technology and aggressively resolving issues for class carriers will serve as the centerpiece of strike group operations through the 21st century, supporting national strategic objectives. But the question is how over budget? How behind schedule can you go when it starts to really become a strategic issue for the efficacy of the United States Navy? And, you know, and we'll have to see if they call it they don't call it an arms race for nothing. I mean, it's a race to the finish. Building a carrier can take more than a decade and involves thousands of workers, companies such as Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding Division take the lead. And other companies like General Electric are also involved in integrating the systems in the new ship hull. The Navy wants 10 four class carriers, but that could change. Some have advocated that the multibillion dollar program is the wrong strategy for the Navy and that fewer carriers or more small carriers could be a better bet. So that's the million dollar, well, multibillion dollar question. Should the U.S. Navy move away from aircraft carriers? It's it's a great question. And it's one that if you get a bunch of naval vessels around the table with a bottle of scotch and talk about you could argue about it all night and nobody would have a better idea on the other side of of which direction we should go. The importance of aircraft carriers and military history cannot be overstated. Aircraft carriers help the United States win key naval battles in World War Two, especially in the Pacific theater. In the decades after World War Two, aircraft carriers gave the United States the ability to project its military power across the entire globe. So I think the only thing one can count on is unpredictability and the fact that if there were a large naval war, you would see each side rapidly trying to adapt to the tactics employed of the other side. The aircraft carrier will obviously play an important role in that, whether or not it will continue to play the central role as it has for almost the last century and is really to be determined. Japan is looking at converting existing Izumo class helicopter destroyers to carry the stealthy F-35, and South Korea is aiming to build a light carrier class to be able to feel the new stealth fighter they've also acquired from the United States. India is producing its own new carrier, and the UK has two new carriers nearing operational status. Spain, France and Italy have produced or are in the process of designing, building or fielding new carriers or amphibious assault ships with an emphasis on airborne capability. China is also building both fleet carriers and amphibious assault ships. Some have contended that covid-19 and the economic crunch caused by the pandemic could slow shipbuilding. But that may not be the case for China, and it looks like they're still progressing. There's a few things you can look at to point. The third aircraft carrier, they keep making improvements and they keep they keep working on it, keep sort of moving along to things on the sort of paramount projects, really prestige projects, but also the sort of pushing the boundaries of China's technology or continuing to move forward. And I think that shows a clear prioritization that they weren't going to let this slowdown. China's shipbuilding also works much more closely with the state than shipbuilders in democratic countries. The China State Shipbuilding Corporation re-merged with the China Shipbuilding Industry Company in twenty nineteen, which created the largest shipbuilding company in the world with one hundred and ten billion in assets and 20 percent of global market share. What you see is just that there's not a there's not a clear separation between sort of the commercial side of things and the military side of the same shipyards that are producing commercial vessels that other countries are buying. They need tankers or whatever the case may be. You know, just, you know, the next dock over just a little bit over is also where military vessels are being produced. So there's a there's a blurring there between the military and the commercial side, which I think is is a question that we need to spend a little bit more time thinking about, like what are the consequences of that? What is the relationship between a company that has both a commercial and a military arm and it's getting financial input or financial capital injected into it from other countries because they're looking to purchase commercial vessels? You know, what does that mean as far as helping to advance China's naval ambitions? One of the biggest arguments against a larger carrier fleet is that a much cheaper, long range advanced guided missile could sink these billion dollar floating airfields. Which side is going to be able to innovate into what is the next type of warfare that comes after the sort of classic 20th century style of carrier warfare that we've seen and then made that might continue to be a carrier based and carrier centric type of naval warfare, or it might become more reliant upon sort of more asymmetric types of warfare. We've seen, such as carrier based drones or even land based drones or ship based missiles or even land based missiles. We don't know. All we know is that there is both with the United States and China, a sustained investment in new technologies and seeing how those technologies overlap with one another, that is going to be the future of naval warfare. China, Iran and Russia are three major producers of guided missiles designed to attack carriers, but carriers remain effective at lower intensity missions. A soft operation is where a carrier is used to help after a natural disaster or to train with other nations. Talk about the smaller carriers and that's a big part of their job. Just showing up in humanitarian assistance roles and disasters. You get a lot of utility out of that flight deck and the equipment that the Marines have is designed to haul heavy stuff along ways. Sometimes in a war that's really handy. Well, every time in a war that's really handy, but in a disaster, it's also vitally important. China continues to grow its blue water navy, but questions remain about its capabilities, yes, technology is important. Yes, it's making that a really impressive strides that we shouldn't that we should be paying very close attention to. But the human element is more important, in my view, because it's really about how those systems are operated by whom and how that can be used to secure certain types of defectives. And that's something with China. We just haven't we just haven't seen it happen yet with the ongoing concerns about the viability of the carrier. It's possible that the U.S. Navy could change its plans for the size and mixture of the carriers it will buy in the future. There's a range of capabilities that the carrier brings. And it's and so it's not just the it's not just the fighter jets coming off the flight deck. It's all of these other capabilities that the carrier brings that are really essential to any warfighting effort in on the open ocean. The U.S. Navy needs to continue to innovate. And with innovation, there are obviously setbacks. We've seen that one of the great aces the United States has is our private sector, which is an incredible incubator for innovation. And when the private sector teams up with government and government puts that muscle behind the private sector, you can really see these innovations taking to scale.