Freedom Class = the freedom for defense contractors to rape the taxpayer and deepen the political cesspool.
They’re also getting rid of all current T-EPF (aka JHSV). Keeping the last two being built as portable hospitals.
The whole concept of fast ships was poorly executed.
Here’s a better article. It at least had the ships and numbers right. The author leans toward the ‘cancel ships bad!’ attitude but at least he sees a bigger picture.
A black hole that would have better spent buying more Burkes or even modernizing the Perry class.
With the increasing range of airborne and land based missiles it make no sense to continue to build surface ships for warfare. Most countries figured this out long ago, They are just a cash cow for US contractors, ex admiral board members, lobbyists and congressmen by way of “campaign contributions”
The US pisses away trillions on aircraft carriers compared to other countries.Not to mention the support ships need to defend them and supply them which is another trillion or so.
- United States - 20 (11 aircraft carriers, 9 helo carriers)
- France - 4 (1 aircraft carrier, 3 helo carriers)
- Japan - 4 helo carriers (two of which are being converted to light aircraft carriers)
- China - 3 (2 aircraft carriers, 1 helo carrier)
- Italy - 2 aircraft carriers (one specialized for submarine hunting)
- United Kingdom - 2 aircraft carriers
- Australia - 2 helo carriers
Wow! And I thought calling for closing KP was a hot button!
You are absolutely correct on all points and that will pull the trigger for hordes of pitchfork wielding navy lovers to march on your hallowed halls … so to speak.
A surface ship like an Arleigh Burke destroyer costs about one half to one third the cost of a Virginia attack sub. Two or three destroyers may be better than one submarine. A submarine may survive longer but would struggle to protect surface shipping from small surface hazards and are incapable of defending an area from missile hazards.
I agree with you, in that carrier battle groups will eventually be obsolete in the face of modern technology, just as battleships became obsolete a century ago. But the question is, are CVs at that point yet? The USA maintains so many carrier battle groups because they are still reckoned the most potent non-nuclear method of projecting force across the world.
China is building a third CV, and India is thinking of building another to counter China, so the admirals of those nations think there is some utility to them. Though admirals have been wrong before. Plenty of battleships were built after 1921, the year they were proved obsolete.
Our allies have far fewer CVs because they have smaller economies, and they are happy to rely on the umbrella of U.S. military/financial strength. Our only rival with an economy large enough to begin to match us in CVBGs would be China. Why hasn’t China invaded Taiwan yet? Probably the two NATO CVBGs deployed in the area in the last year, with a message to China of hands off Taiwan.
China might be able to sink those NATO CVBGs in minutes with missiles, but they haven’t, wanting to avoid provoking a larger war. Making CVBGs big chess pieces, arranged on the board to force a political result, with the same result as if they were invulnerable to missiles.
I do agree, though, that eventually they will become obsolete.
Think of all the money the USA would save which could be used for infrastructure, medical care for citizens etc., if the USA decided that force projection all over the world was not paying any dividends except to defense contractors their employees in congress and lobbyists. If China builds another carrier the US will still have 4 times as many carrier groups.
And old debate, certainly, and one responsible for most congressional wrangles over the years. Do we spend on military or social services?
Not too long ago I had a conversation with a woman who looked at it this way: The U.S. military is the nation’s largest social welfare project.
The military take $800 billion from US taxpayers and redistributes that money throughout the economy. $230 billion goes to current and former military personnel in the form of wages, pensions, housing, medical care and education. Most of the money is spent in the U.S. economy to people who paid the taxes to begin with.
$47 billion/year goes to Lockheed Martin. $26 billion goes to Boeing. $16 billion to General Dynamics. But they have workers they pay, and those workers buy stuff, and most of what they buy stays in the American economy and provides American jobs. The biggest thing those workers will buy is their house, and that stays in the USA, and may fund their retirement.
Not all the money is distributed equitably. Lockheed’s CEO makes $24 million a year, versus his average employee’s $134,000. The CEO gets away with it because his wage is a small fraction of the $47 billion. Some of that $24 million will be locked up in investments, and American workers won’t see it for awhile. But it’s a safe bet the CEO’s descendants will piss it all away in a couple of generations, back into the American economy.
My friend argued that you could divert more of that money to education/medical care/ housing/infrastructure for everyone else. But we need a military, and the people in the military and their families need those same things, so its a two-fer: you get your military, and you get your social welfare project
A lot of the 1.3 million people in the military go in as kids not knowing what to do with their lives. The military takes them in, slaps them around, teaches them respect, maybe teaches them a trade. No different than the CCC of old. Most won’t stay in long enough for a pension, but those that do won’t end up public assistance.
A lot of the money gets squandered, but she noted that that graft/corruption is not unknown in the building trades. If you spent $100 billion on building bridges or public housing a lot of it would get siphoned off too.
I don’t agree with her on all of that but I do see her point on some of it.
An aircraft carrier, its aircraft, the accompanying ships of the strike group, and the personnel are all elements of the supply chains that deliver missiles on targets. Consideration of cost and effectiveness of alternatives should be considered when planning.