Future Aircraft Carrier Options

by Bradley Martin, Michael McMahon Although the integrated carrier air wing is the actual component of sea-based tactical aviation delivering warfighting capability for power projection, the individual air wings require aviation support for launch and recovery at tactical distances, fuel and flight crew replenishment, maintenance, and other sustainment. The aircraft carrier and embarked crew provide this support. Some are concerned that continuing the current carrier program imposes high acquisition cost and might unduly affect the whole of the Navy shipbuilding budget. The Senate Armed Services Committee noted that alternatives could…

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