Thursday, July 24, 2014

Aircraft Carriers

In the July edition of Time Magazine there was an excellent article about aircraft carriers. There is no doubt that they have been the mainspring of our military since the Second World War. However those days are rapidly coming to an end as more sophisticated missile systems are developed. The article specifically comments on a Chinese weapon system called DF-21D which is truck mounted with a range of 1,000 miles. The maximum range of aircraft is 700 miles which could force our carriers to stay out of range. As time goes on I have no doubt ranges will increase adding to the danger. Not that anyone cares, but I have felt for some time now that the days of the large carrier are ending. Obviously those in authority both military and Congress believe otherwise. Just in the past two years two carriers Ronald Reagan and George Bush have been completed and added to our naval forces. Their cost was about $5 billion each. The crew sizes exceed 5,000. Guess what, there are two ever larger carriers under construction today with a cost estimate of $13.5 billion each. They are the new Gerald R. Ford class which is twice as large. I can’t even imagine the crew required. What a high expenditure on ships growing increasingly vulnerable, again in my uninformed opinion. There was a comment from a retired Navy Captain that compared the Carrier club to the old Battleship Club. “It’s a huge, entrenched interest group-and not just inside the Navy but industry and Congress as well. This is just another example of outrageous expenditures by a country already over $17 trillion in debt and drowning further every day. Jack B. Walters July 24, 2014

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