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Old October 27 2009, 04:41 PM   #18
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Re: Navy testing two pricey, super-fast warships

F. Kreuger wrote: View Post
Again, it's like battleships. They were great back in the days when you wanted to nail the enemy with offshore bombardment; however, they're only effective for 25 miles (more or less). With the Aegis class, a cruise missile can be sent from thousands of miles away, told to hang a left, go 15 miles, turn right, and nail the large building with the water fountain out front.
Well I agree totally that UAVs are likely to replace many roles currently occupied by conventional fast jets (though clearly you would still need a carrier for the UAVs) there are in fact some rather cool pics of a concept aircraft for the US Navy that can do either role.

Typically with the carrier fleet, there is a "ready" carrier that's in port receiving minor maintenance but can theoretically deploy in days if needed, then there's a stand-by carrier, followed by another carrier in dry dock. The other carrier(s) are either on deployment or in the training fleet. And that's on both coasts. Bear in mind that there are rumblings in Japan that the US needs to move out, and the nuclear powered George Washington is currently there. I've heard that the days of a carrier being parked in Japan are numbered.
Well I can see how by that reckoning they could drop to maybe 8 carriers, but not really 5, though in reality I guess it ultimately depends on whether the "War On Terror" remains a series of occupations fighting low-tech guerillas, or whether at some point the US faces off against someone like Iran who will take some serious putting-down.
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