As I explained in a Forbes piece last month, the U.S. Navy’s large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are very survivable against all known threats short of nuclear war. However, survivability only matters if the functionality and cost-effectiveness of carriers is unsurpassed by other warfighting systems. In fact, there are many vital warfighting tasks that only a large-deck, nuclear-powered carrier carrier can accomplish, especially when regional bases are unavailable. These include survivable basing of forward air power, freedom from host country constraints, sustained strike operations against hostile countries, continuous air cover of forces ashore, airborne early warning of potential threats, jamming of enemy radar and communications, offensive operations against hostile navies, protection of friendly maritime forces, rapid response to remote military crises, and presence is support of deterrence. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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