With their ability to move globally, project power against the land from a sovereign base at sea, act as the centerpiece for the organization of naval forces to exert sea control and to deploy a wide array of aerial platforms, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) may be this nation’s number one asymmetric military advantage. The Navy wants a force of 12 aircraft carriers as part of its plan for a 355 ship fleet. Achieving this goal over the next several decades will require reducing the interval between the start of construction, currently five years to four or even three years. The Navy bought the first two Ford-class carriers, CVNs 78 and 79, as single ships. If one CVN is good, more are better. Buying the next Ford-class ships in a block will speed up the creation of the 355 ship Navy, allow for an increase in the number of CVNs and reduce the cost of individual ships. I have written commentary on this topic for The National Interest here.
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