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
Why in the World Does Turkey Want an Aircraft Carrier?
Upon overseeing the launch of a domestically-built corvette in July 2017, Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced his country’s goal of building “our own aircraft carriers” as part of Ankara’s efforts to “become independent in the field of defense by 2023.” “We must move even faster,” Erdogan declared. “We... Read more
The Real Reason the World Should Pay Attention to China’s Aircraft Carrier Fleet
China’s first home-built aircraft carrier will soon be completed in the shipyards at Dalian. This vessel, which has yet to receive a name, will spend two years being fit with equipment before she is ready to join her sister carrier the Liaoning in operational service. Both vessels are derived from... Read more
The United States May Share Carrier Tech With India
Anyone who has been watching the United States try to pull off its much discussed “pivot” or “rebalance” to Asia knows one thing. The challenges of the day, from Russian moves in Eastern Europe and Syria to the threat of ISIS — or even just the steady stream of... Read more
The U.S. Pacific Fleet Is Short on Carriers
The U.S. Navy is facing a looming shortage of aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific and the Middle East this year. That could mean the contested waters around China, as well as the war against the ISIS terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, could be short-changed — going without... Read more
Watchdog Says ‘I Told You So’ About New Carrier Costs
The Government Accountability Office has slammed the U.S. Navy for badly managing its plans to buy new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. Too late to do anything about delays and soaring costs, the top government watchdog hopes the boondoggle will at least be a teachable moment. In 2009, Newport News... Read more
Everybody Relax About the U.S. Navy’s Persian Gulf ‘Carrier Gap’
The U.S. Navy has confirmed that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, currently in the Persian Gulf, will pull out in the fall without an immediate replacement. This means there will be no American flattop in the economically and strategically critical body of water — a first since 2007... Read more

Ben Ho

Senior analyst with the Military Studies Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

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