US to Begin Disarming: Two Nuclear Super-Carriers to Be Scuttled, Navy to be Gutted

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Sputnik/Moscow: An internal assessment from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense reportedly recommends the US Navy remove two aircraft carriers from its fleet and enlist dozens of additional lightly manned or unmanned ships.

Documents obtained by Defense News show that amid the Pentagon’s review of the US Navy’s force structure, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s office drew up an assessment which called for the service to reduce its aircraft carrier fleet from 11 to nine ships.

Furthermore, the study recommended a surface force of somewhere between 80 and 90 large combatants and 55 to 70 light combatants.

This contrasts sharply with past force projections, as last year the Navy bought two Ford-class aircraft carriers and withdrew the USS Harry Truman from an early retirement in an effort to reach its goal of a 355-ship force. Eminent US policy think tank The Heritage Foundation has called for still more, saying the US Navy needs 400 ships, including 13 aircraft carriers.

The US’ Ford-class and Nimitz-class supercarriers are by far the largest on the planet, weighing in at 100,000 tons and carrying 80 aircraft each.

Retired Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix told the outlet that deployment would have to be restructured if such a recommendation was carried out by the Navy.

“The deployment models we set – and we’re still keeping – were developed around 15 carriers, so that would all fall apart,” Hendrix said, speaking of the US’ carrier presence in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

“This would be reintroducing reality. A move like this would signal a new pattern for the Navy’s deployments that moves away from presence and moves towards surge and exercise as a model for carrier employment.”

Defense News highlighted that the assessment calls for the Navy to cease expanding its large surface combatant fleet, which is currently made up of around 90 cruisers and destroyers.

Esper communicated similar ideas in a previous interview with the outlet, saying that one of his visions for the future fleet would require the service to “much more aggressively” push for lightly manned ships.

“You can build them so they’re optionally manned, and then, depending on the scenario or the technology, at some point in time they can go unmanned,” he said.

Esper’s calls for “more smaller surface combatants” were criticized in March by Forbes defense contributor Craig Hooper, who explained that US Navy ships have historically been unable to operate in extreme weather conditions, and a greater reliance on lighter ships would put more lives at risk.

“Do [Esper] and other similarly minded policymakers understand that they may be arguing for a fleet that will be more effective fighting from a pier than out in the contested seas the future Navy is meant to secure?” he asked rhetorically, adding that “as China and Russia emerge, the Navy can no longer plan on operating in calm seas.”

“Today, as storms are becoming stronger and more frequent, the chances of a fight in higher, rougher seas will only increase,” Hooper argued.

News of this review comes while the Navy is conducting its own force structure assessment, which Defense News notes is predicted to echo the US Marine Corps’ previously stated desire to become more integrated with the Navy.

Author Details
Headquartered in Moscow Russia, Sputnik is a news agency with offices around the world. Sputnik covers global political and economic news for an international audience. Launched in November 2014 by the Russian media group Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik works in more than 30 languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Chinese, and more.

*All posts on behalf of Sputnik News are made by Gordon Duff and Jim W. Dean
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7 COMMENTS

  1. What a pointless debate & all b/c someone has the reading comprehension of a potato. Esper is clearly saying lightly MANNED ships that can eventually become fully autonomous not light/small ships.

  2. The cost of a Ford Class aircraft carrier: $13 billion

    The cost of a Zumwalt class destroyer: $4.25 billion

    The cost of an F-35: $120 million

    The cost of a SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses: priceless!

  3. As a former Navy man myself, it grieves me to say that for all its hardware, the USN is but a shell of itself. It is suffering from a lack of leadership and support. I know, I have seen this firsthand. The shore is supposed to support the fleet, not the other way around! This problem has been around for a century now. The fight between BB’s and CV’s ended on Dec. 7, but the admirals were still busy stabbing each other in the back and screwing the fleet during the war and since. That SOB admiral in charge of torpedos killed more american sailors than the japanese. There was john wayne movie (although I despise him) called “In Harms Way” that describes navy politics and its disdain for any but politics.

  4. When you make a comment about the US Navy and drones you really should not add how useless they are because to me drone warfare is for morons. It has no security, autonomously inhuman, with warfare capabilities that is easily detected, hunted, and destroyed, and intelligence can tell those “useless” Navy sailors where the gameboy is. Which would you prefer to fight, a delivery package or an entire fleet full of American citizens protecting their homeland against foreign and/or domestic enemies using land, sea, and air? If I were any Country, looking at the US Navy, Id make peace before thinking I could actually fight with them and win. The US Navy can win even if they just had a spoon and God himself. I think Americans need to see their Navy more often. Those Aircraft Carriers are quite enormous, and intimating so if the US Navy was lead properly It would be a great day for you and me.

    • The USN is for offense (enforcing the racket, as General Smedley Butler might have put it), not defense of the USA – the last time the USN defended the USA from invasion was the War of 1812. (WW2 was putting the screws on Japan – economic warfare – until they had no choice but to attack US assets in the Pacific in hope of forcing an equitable peace deal. Besides at that time Alaska and Hawaii were territories, not states.)

      Lots of countries would like to be at peace with the USA, as long as that peace was not purchased at the price of being economically raped by the criminal bankster cartel. Such as Iran, who has dealt with the ” enormous, and intimating” US aircraft carrier groups by developing their anti-ship missile capability to the point that if those carrier groups got within aircraft (i.e., F-18/F-22/F-35) combat radius of Iran, they would be burning and sinking hulks within hours if not minutes.

      Either you are a troll or need to pay much more attention when Uncle Gordie tells us how the world really works.

  5. Did this decision come after “war gaming” showed that the current surface fleet would be useless against such a country as Iran that developed a significant hyper-sonic anti-ship missile deterrent carried in many small, almost disposable craft? Not to mention any country with deep running drone mini-submarines carrying underwater nuclear explosives that could take out a whole carrier group at once, if not by direct sinking then by radioactive contamination (as was demonstrated in 1946 during the Crossroads Baker test).

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