Military Review

Why are 11 US Navy aircraft carriers not enough?

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Kyle Mizokami, whom we have already studied well thanks to his impressive competence in naval questions and such a charming sense of humor, pleased me with another masterpiece (I really am not afraid of this word).


The Senate and the US Congress are arguing over whether it's time to stop building aircraft carriers, not send (yes, send) a couple of the oldest ones for scrap, and old Kyle pleases us with material of a completely different kind.

Why 11 Navy Aircraft Carriers Simply Aren't Enough

So how did old Kyle make us happy this time? But what: referring to the opinion of admirals in various positions in the fleet, Mizokami repeats after them simply amazing news: 11 aircraft carriers are not enough for the US Navy.

Why are 11 US Navy aircraft carriers not enough?


It is necessary either more aircraft carriers, or the existing ones to be used not so actively.

The most interesting thing is that just recently, in the Senate, during a speech on the confirmation of his candidacy for the post of Commander of the Asia-Pacific Forces, Admiral John Aquilino said that “The United States has the necessary number of aircraft carriers to meet the needs around the world, if only additional problems. "

It should probably be recalled here that, according to the law, the US Navy must operate at least 11 aircraft carriers to ensure the country's security. And recently, there have been many reflections on the fact that, in fact, the States do not need so many expensive whoppers. It makes sense to reduce the amount, and spend the freed up money on something more urgent.

In general, nothing new.

However, these statements generated a flurry of retaliatory attacks. And this is quite natural. Money, and everything connected with aircraft carriers is not just money, it is AMOUNT, and there will always be applicants for it.

As for the counterarguments, there is a lot of reasoning and reports that have appeared about how overworked the crews of aircraft carriers are. The culmination was the record 10-month combat duty of the aircraft carrier "Nimitz", primarily due to the fact that it could not be replaced in time. The rest of the ships were either on similar duty or under repair.


And here a simply masterpiece conclusion begged: it is necessary to build more aircraft carriers, so that the crews of the ships would not be killed in the service in the name of their country. Or (if not build) you need fewer tasks for aircraft carriers.

At the hearing, Senator J. Roger Wicker asked Aquilino if 11 aircraft carriers were enough for the Navy:
“We have fulfilled the law with 11 (ships - approx.), But is that enough? Just tell us — we need to know. We can change the law of the country if we get enough votes. "

This is an interesting question, isn't it? The point, apparently, is that Wicker represents the state of Mississippi, where the shipyard Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) is located, which builds ... aircraft carriers! Not only in Mississippi, but (mostly) in Virginia.

Aquilino replied, as befits a sailor:
"I think the size of these forces is right at the moment, unless there are additional challenges."

About these "additional problems" ... Interestingly, in general they can be divided into two groups. The first is some kind of suddenly announced enemy. So strong that additional aircraft carriers may be required to curb and reconcile it. Can you imagine this quickly now? So I can't.

Appointing an enemy in the United States is a simple and common business, but in this case it may not work out.

And the second one. This is the technical fatigue of ships, the need to spend huge sums on their repair and maintenance. The same "Nimitz" has been in service since 1975. Eisenhower has been stepping on his heels since 1977. 45 years in the ranks is no joke.

And they serve and will serve. At least, until they sort out the problems of "Ford", which was supposed to take up combat duty in 2018, but in fact it is no longer expected until 2024. Technical reasons. On a brand new ship.

By law, the navy is required to operate at least 11 aircraft carriers. And while Wicker is right that the service has 11 carriers, that doesn't tell everyone. stories... The 11th aircraft carrier, the new USS Gerald R. Ford, cannot be deployed at this time. The ship, whose first operational patrol was originally scheduled for 2018, is stuck on technical issues and may only conduct its first patrol in 2024.

And despite the fact that there are no big conflicts in the world, for some reason American aircraft carriers spend quite a lot of time on military campaigns.


During the Cold War, 13 to 15 aircraft carriers in the US Navy typically spent about 180 days at sea at a time. Over time, the aircraft carrier fleet became smaller and smaller, and for some reason the tasks did not diminish.

In January 2020, the Abraham Lincoln completed a 295-day patrol. In addition, Dwight Eisenhower and Theodore Roosevelt spent 200 days at sea last year.

In 2020, US Navy aircraft carriers spent a total of 855 days at sea - 258 days more than in all of 2019, according to the US Naval Institute News.

What the crews of the ships are doing and what tasks the command assigned to them are already two questions. And the third - how much did it all cost?

Understandably, just because you have 10 aircraft carriers does not mean you have 10 aircraft carriers ready for action at any time.

For aircraft carriers, the navy generally follows the one-third rule that governs most fleets: at any given time, one-third of ships are on patrol, one-third is preparing to patrol or just leaving, and the last third is in maintenance at the shipyard.

In emergencies, many (but not all) ships preparing to patrol may be alerted, and ships completing a patrol may delay their return. Thus, at any given time, 4 out of 11 aircraft carriers may be available for operations, and 5 or 6 in emergencies.

I just want to say: “Guys, why are you so killed? Well, you will never be killed like that! "

Aircraft carriers are sorely lacking. As part of the Eastern Fleet, there is only one operating Eisenhower, plus Lincoln on the base, the rest are under repair. In the west, they cannot deploy a Ford.

One involuntarily begins to believe that with so many breakdowns, more aircraft carriers are needed. Or really, not to get involved in an operation where an aircraft carrier is absolutely necessary. You can also save sailor Ryan with a destroyer.

Of course, there are many ships in the US Navy that are just as deadly as aircraft carriers. The same Virginias. The whole question is - against whom to fight?

When this question will be answered, then it will make sense to ask the question of how many aircraft carriers the United States really needs.

And what will all this translate into from a financial point of view.

In the meantime, it really makes sense to think about the fact that it is not worth so hard to drive such expensive ships around the world. The world did not seem to ask for this.
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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U April 1 2021 03: 58
    +1
    Kyle Mizokami, whom we have already studied perfectly thanks to his impressive competence in naval affairs and such a charming sense of humor ... ... here's what: referring to the opinions of admirals in various positions in the navy, Mizokami repeats after them just amazing news: the US Navy is not enough 11 aircraft carriers.
    The aircraft carrier is good! But as one of the greats said, either Petrosyan or Trushkin, "A lot is good - too bad!" laughing
    1. Ross xnumx
      Ross xnumx April 1 2021 04: 16
      0
      Why are 11 US Navy aircraft carriers not enough?

      This is their strategy. Without their presence, no one perceives them as a serious hegemon.
      In the meantime, it really makes sense to think about the fact that it is not worth so hard to drive such expensive ships around the world. The world didn't seem to ask for it

      good
      Perhaps the development and improvement of hypersonic weapons in Russia (samples have already been demonstrated), China and other countries will reduce the presence of these hulks to "nothing"?
      P.S. Roman, I am pleased to read your works on the site. Thanks!
  2. Uncle lee
    Uncle lee April 1 2021 04: 10
    0
    by law, the US Navy must operate at least 11 aircraft carriers to ensure the country's security.
    What a bad law! This is not enough for them, formidable warriors, damn it!
  3. knn54
    knn54 April 1 2021 06: 19
    0
    Usually: 6 in the Atlantic, 4 in Tikhoi, 1 in Japan.
    Syria, Iran. Ukraine ... It should be in the Mediterranean Sea and its "environs". In the future, and the Indian Ocean. Five pieces, maybe four ...
    1. Sergey_G_M
      Sergey_G_M April 1 2021 07: 17
      +5
      Ukraine? Well then add Belarus wink
  4. Professor
    Professor April 1 2021 06: 26
    +7
    I read it twice and still did not understand what the article was about. request

    By the way, in the Original there is also about the cruiser Zumwalt and the nuclear submarine Virginia and the American hypersonic missiles.
    1. Cherry Nine
      Cherry Nine April 1 2021 08: 11
      +10
      An article about the Americans lying a little bit.

      The standard service cycle of an aircraft carrier is 24 months. Six months of service, a year of combat training (exits for 1-2 weeks), half a year of combat service. Accordingly, in order to always have 2 aircraft carriers in combat service at the same time, there must be 8 of them.
      Since, in addition to servicing 50 year old ships, more lengthy repairs are required from time to time, one more AB in every four is required to cover this gap. In theory, everything converges. 10 AB is, 11th as a possible amplification.

      But nuances arise.
      1. There is no Ford. It was adopted by the Navy conditionally, in the worst Soviet traditions. It is not clear when the ship will become operational.
      2. Nimitzes are no longer as easy as they were when they were young. They will be stuck on repairs for a year, then for two.

      As a result, incidents constantly occur. Then there will be a period - short, but still - when there is not a single ship on the BS. Everything is either under repair or at school. Then there is a disgrace, like the one mentioned, when the AV sticks out on the BS for almost a year. And what the hell?

      So it is quite reasonable that a proposal arises either to bring the wishes in line with the possibilities, or the possibilities - in accordance with the wishes.
      1. English tarantas
        English tarantas April 1 2021 08: 21
        +1
        to always have 2 aircraft carriers in combat service at the same time, there must be 8 of them.
        Since, in addition to servicing 50 year old ships, more lengthy repairs are required from time to time, one more AB in every four is required to cover this gap. In theory, everything converges. 10 AB is, 11th as a possible amplification.

        But you yourself got confused in yourself, there are 11, 1-reserve, 2-substitution for old people, of the 8 remaining 4 are in service, while 4 are on repair and rest. And 4 aircraft carriers for only the Atlantic and the Pacific are really not enough.
        1. Cherry Nine
          Cherry Nine April 1 2021 08: 43
          +12
          You have something wrong with arithmetic.
          Six months - maintenance, a year - combat training - half a year - combat service. AB is in combat service no more than 1/4 of the time. If you need 1 AB in combat service always - there should be 4 + reserve. The Americans have 2 oceans, they need, as they believe, at least 2 ABs per BS at any time.

          Note that 1/4 of the time on the BS is a monstrous intensity, unthinkable for other fleets. It's funny to talk about Soviet / Russian.
          1. English tarantas
            English tarantas April 1 2021 17: 24
            0
            Nevertheless, I am not becoming a lesser fool, 1 aircraft carrier per Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean is even less than two.
      2. bk0010
        bk0010 April 1 2021 09: 55
        0
        Quote: Cherry Nine
        The standard service cycle of an aircraft carrier is 24 months.
        33 months like.
        1. Cherry Nine
          Cherry Nine April 1 2021 10: 23
          +3
          You're right, 24 months is an old simplified diagram. Now the intensity is lower, so holes appear almost constantly.
          33 months now or 36, to be honest, I don't really follow. In the 16th was 36.

          https://news.usni.org/2016/01/19/u-s-fleet-forces-new-deployment-plan-designed-to-create-sustainable-naval-force

          There are only 7 months in a 15-year BS cycle. Another XNUMX months is something like "operational readiness". The rest is repair and combat training.

          So on paper 11 AB, but in fact one or zero is available right now. So what the hell is going on with AB? arise for a long time and regularly.
  5. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek April 1 2021 07: 19
    0
    If we take the Russian Federation and China, then, quite, it is possible to fight m conventional airfields. If, only the blockade of China ...
  6. Doccor18
    Doccor18 April 1 2021 07: 43
    +6
    Why are 11 US Navy aircraft carriers not enough?

    Because it is becoming more and more difficult to play the role of "world gendarme".
    During the Cold War, the United States had 15 aircraft carriers and only one real enemy. And now opponents with missile technologies are a dime a dozen, and there are only 11 aircraft carriers ... Either you need to increase the number of AUGs by one and a half to two times, or radically change the naval strategy, or come to terms with the fact that the world is too big for one "gendarme" .. ..
    1. Eroma
      Eroma April 1 2021 08: 13
      +3
      Countries with missiles to really threatening aircraft carriers are piece goods wink Russia and like China (they say not without our help), even India Brahmos clips, but it has only a 300 km radius, it will hardly get to Avik No. not in packages business.
      There is a lot of mess in the world (they say not without the efforts of the United States) and, perhaps for the sake of a mess, Aviks hang out in the ocean for a year what
    2. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik April 1 2021 08: 32
      -1
      Light AB has been talked about for a long time, it is gaining popularity in the world. The main thing was the armament for them. F-35V + Osprey + UAVs cover all the needs of the fleet, from fighters to AWACS. The F-35B has a combat radius greater than the F-14/18, the Osprey is comparable in parameters to the C2 / E2, and the UAV is a much more flexible tool.
      A second variant of a light AV based on the UDC America and Ford is being considered. For unification and cost reduction. Up to 2-40 aircraft per ship, without a nuclear power plant and a catapult.
      The price of 1 Ford is equal to the price of 4-5 UDC America (up to 22 F35B), even if a new light AB will cost 3 times cheaper, this means reducing heavy AB from 11 to 6, you can build 15 light ones, plus 11 (according to plans) UDC America.
      32 ships carrying fighters, against 20 current ones. Serious gain.
      1. PSih2097
        PSih2097 April 2 2021 05: 10
        0
        Quote: OgnennyiKotik
        The F-35B has a combat radius greater than the F-14/18

        The F-14 has a greater range than the F-35B ... 926 km versus 865 km, plus it is not correct to compare them - light and heavy ...
      2. GEOID
        GEOID April 3 2021 19: 29
        +1
        This is so.
        UDC and other ABBs will be able to close the niche.
        F-35 to help. And the bases of both the United States and the allies.
        Plus the speakers of England, France, Japan.
        PS: Quite a weird discussion about "how bad they are with aircraft carriers"
        from the side of the subject who does not have a single and ditch his only
        media along with the dock.
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik April 3 2021 19: 46
          -1
          Recently, an article was posted on Thedrive, where the current admiral said that the United States would not build light AVs, their niche was closed by UDC. Will expand the number of UAVs after the 30s, there will be 40% of them in the air wing.
    3. Ryusey
      Ryusey April 1 2021 11: 37
      0
      Because they are seriously preparing for war and that's it, it's a pity of course that they don't hear the opinions of our hamsters who are ready to “glaze” everything with someone else's hands, but they don't, and that's it.
  7. Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 April 1 2021 07: 56
    -5
    even the United States, with its ability to plunder the whole world, has problems with aircraft carriers ... which means they have internal conceptual technical problems
  8. Niko
    Niko April 1 2021 08: 22
    +6
    It's nice to laugh at the problems of the rich and healthy. We do not have such problems and will not be for a long time. We really have others: self-falling cranes, strange fires during repairs, ubiquitous distribution .... ah, I'm sorry, guild-mongering, theft. But laughing together at THEIR "problems" -type what is there for breakfast? black caviar again or maybe red for a change? And they constantly feed us with similar articles cut from the original and filed in a strictly DEFINED light, here you giggle at THEM (don't think about yourself)
  9. English tarantas
    English tarantas April 1 2021 08: 28
    -2
    No, and really 11 is not enough. They normally need 1 in the Mediterranean, 1 in the North Atlantic, 1 in the Central Atlantic, 1 in the Arab region, 3 in the western half of the Pacific, preferably 1 in South America, 1 in the Indian Ocean, and one each for the Atlantic and quiet for strengthening ... This is the only way to cover all regions of interest and ensure the readiness to simultaneously close all areas in the event of a war. And these are only those that must be constantly in place, which means we multiply by at least 2.
  10. Viktor Sergeev
    Viktor Sergeev April 1 2021 08: 29
    0
    Well, everything is simple and American style: aircraft carriers are a cut of the budget, more ships, more can be stolen. The entire US military budget rests on lobbying and theft, hence the fear about Russia and China, the demand to build more and more expensive equipment.
  11. arkadiyssk
    arkadiyssk April 1 2021 08: 49
    +6
    You can urge readers to laugh at the weakness of the Americans as much as you want, but in fact, when they need to (for example, put pressure on North Korea with the threat of war), they put 2 combat-ready AUGs into the sea in 7 months. Not only are they taken out of repairs and rest, pushing them away from the pier into the sea, but they manage to pass all qualifying exams at sea before combat deployment.
  12. Holuay T.O
    Holuay T.O April 1 2021 11: 06
    0
    It is really impossible to resist the US Navy, 11 is a lot
  13. Ryusey
    Ryusey April 1 2021 11: 45
    -4
    Really why, or maybe they are just smarter than you, maybe they understand the maritime business, unlike you, and they again have the experience of victories and defeats. Perhaps, unlike you, there is an understanding that in the coming war you will have to fight with what you have, without the possibility of creating a new one, that you need to fight not where you prepared for them, but where they themselves see fit. And yes, they are preparing to fight far from Papua - New Guinea ...
    RS In the USA, the howl about the uselessness of aircraft carriers begins every time the USSR / Russia thinks about building their own AB - it’s a shame not to know, although in your case it’s not surprising.
  14. Angry Alt-Right
    Angry Alt-Right April 1 2021 12: 35
    0
    Judging by the spirit of writing the article, the anti-Chinese alliance that they are building together with Japan, India and Australia (Quad) has not yet met expectations enough to ignore the aircraft carrier theme.
  15. Maks1995
    Maks1995 April 1 2021 14: 13
    -2
    Some kind of confusion in the media and in the articles.

    Either AUG is driven around the world, now it is not. In some, they endlessly stand against the wall, in others they swim a lot.
    Needed, not needed by different authors.

    What is the point? The fable of the fox and the grapes. You can - have it. If you can't - don't have it.