Could China’s Carriers Go Nuclear?
Will the People’s Liberation Army Navy ever take the leap into nuclear propulsion for its aircraft carriers? Credible reports confirm that the PLAN is already building at least one conventional carrier in the 80,000-ton range. Given how quickly Chinese shipbuilding has accelerated, does it make sense for the PLAN... Read more
Why Isn’t Russia an Aircraft Carrier Superpower?
Historically a land power, the Soviet Union grappled with the idea of a large naval aviation arm for most of its history, eventually settling on a series of hybrid aircraft carriers. Big plans for additional ships died with the Soviet collapse, but Russia inherited one large aircraft carrier at... Read more
India’s Aircraft Carriers Have Some Advantages
With one large carrier in service and another on the way, India has become one of the world’s pre-eminent naval aviation powers. How did the program come about? Where is it going? And what is the strategic rationale for India’s massive investment in aircraft carriers? Above — an Alize... Read more
In a First, a Finnish Fighter Pilot Lands on a U.S. Aircraft Carrier
On March 17, 2018 in the Atlantic, a fighter jet landed onto the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The only difference this time was that the pilot was Finnish, not American. Capt. Juha “Stallion” Jarvinen’s landing was the first landing on an aircraft carrier by a Finnish air... Read more
India’s Third Aircraft Carrier Is Most Likely a Waste of Money
The Indian Navy has put out a proposal for its third aircraft carrier, tentatively titled the Vishal due to enter service in the latter 2020s. The 65,000-ton Vishal will be significantly larger than India’s sole current carrier, the Vikramaditya known formerly as the ex-Soviet Admiral Gorshkov, and the incoming second... Read more
Could North Korea Sink an American Aircraft Carrier?
Could North Korea’s armed forces sink an American aircraft carrier? Yes — depending on what type of carrier they confront, how skillfully U.S. Navy commanders employ the flattop and its consorts, how well North Korean warriors know the tactical surroundings and, most crucially, whom fortune favors in combat. Fortune... Read more
The Japanese Carrier ‘Taiho’ Blew Up Due to a Terrible Mistake
Six torpedoes from the U.S. Navy submarine USS Albacore headed toward the Japanese aircraft Taiho as she launched her planes on the morning of June 19, 1944 during the fighting on the Philippine Sea — the largest carrier battle in history and the last major Japanese carrier operation. “White... Read more
Why the U.S. Navy Loves Big Aircraft Carriers
A new RAND Corporation study has concluded that bigger aircraft carriers such as the Gerald R. Ford-class are more effective and more survivable than smaller carriers. While a slightly smaller 70,000-ton design would be cheaper to operate, such a vessel would be more vulnerable while costing extra money to develop and... Read more
How a Rocket Explosion Nearly Consumed a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier
A series of collisions involving U.S. Navy destroyers in 2016 and 2017 — including two incidents this summer that left 16 sailors dead — have raised questions as to why the maritime fighting branch appears to be suffering the same accident again and again. However, it can take time... Read more
How Fire and Fatigue Almost Destroyed an American Carrier
Two deadly collisions involving U.S. Navy destroyers in June and August 2017 cost the lives of 16 sailors, leading the Navy to declare a day-long operational pause to reflect upon its safety culture. That such similar accidents took place in such close proximity reflects stresses and failings common to the maritime... Read more
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