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Aircraft Carriers Research Paper

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Aircraft carriers are essentially the backbone of the United States Navy as they are a hybrid warship with the unique ability to provide the greatest projection of power through the aircraft launched off of their 4.5 acre flight decks. Beyond their vital aircraft launching capabilities, they support the largest number of crew members over any other class of ship making them a powerhouse for almost any mission type designated to them. With the aircraft carrier holding the title of being the flagship and most valued asset of the United States Navy also comes the accompanying hefty price tag of production and running costs. All that the aircraft carriers offer may also be their demise as they slowly become too expensive to maintain and consequently…show more content…
Furthermore, the Navy has no viable alternative to replace the esteemed nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the near future thus bringing to question how many aircraft carriers does the United States Navy…show more content…
6). Although the carriers have adequately carried out their missions during their decades of service, constant repairs are signaling the end of their lifespan. Furthermore, significant advancements in technology have necessitated a successor class. The flagship for the new Ford class, the USS Gerald R. Ford, comes with a hefty price tag of $13.5 billion (Hendrix, At What Cost a Carrier? 6). For the price, the Ford class carriers come with an improved aircraft launch system which increases its potential sortie rate to 160 a day, which translates to a "33 percent increase in launch capacity" from its predecessor (Hendrix, At What Cost a Carrier? 6). An aircraft carrier is only as effective as its air wing. Therefore the potential sortie number for a carrier versus its cost can accurately be used to determine the effectiveness of the carrier. When comparing the Ford class to the Nimitz class, Hendrix argues that "the nation is paying nearly 94 percent more for a carrier that can only do 33 percent more work" (At What Cost a Carrier? 6). Although some members of the Navy believe the increase in the output of the new Ford class carriers to be significant enough to justify the increase in cost. This is reflected in their willingness to have the
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