- The U.S. Navy is studying light aircraft carrier concepts with an eye toward adopting them for the future fleet.
- A light aircraft carrier could embark modern combat jets and drones.
- The Navy could use the smaller, but more affordable light carriers to both grow the fleet and be in more places at once.
The U.S. Navy is studying adding up to six light aircraft carriers to the fleet of the future. The warships, which would be smaller than existing carriers, are cheaper to operate and could be used in situations that don’t require a $13 billion supercarrier.
The studies appear to be an acknowledgement that big, do-everything carriers are becoming increasingly unaffordable for even the mighty U.S. Navy.
U.S. Naval Institute News reports the Navy is looking into acquiring light carriers as a means of “distributing capability to the fleet for less cost.” The service is reportedly researching several concepts for carriers and then comparing them to the USS Gerald R. Ford, the latest nuclear-powered supercarrier.