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The Future Of Naval Aviation At Sea: A Move To Smaller Carriers

2027 words - 9 pages

Too often history shows that military gets bogged down into the idea that tactics that have worked in the past will continue to work in the future, and while this may be true in some long tested cases. I do not believe this to be the case for United States Naval Aviation and the future of the super carrier. The history of naval aviation is a short one, with the first self-propelled aircraft only just flying in 1903 built by the famous Orville and Wilbur Wright. When placed on a time line this is only a small blip of 101 years of development, compared to the development time of 210 years the United States Navy has had since 1794 when the original 6 US Navy Frigates were authorized. My ...view middle of the document...

The next distinguishable era is World War Two which forced a rapid growth in technologies and air plane type branching along with the development of many of the tactics and ideas that are used today. The third and final historical era exist during Cold War era the time period after World War Two to the fall of the berlin wall. When again the Navy was forced to come up with new platforms in order to compete with its rival. This period time can be distinguished by the rapid push for quick long distance aircraft that could deliver ordnance far over the horizon and intercept the opponent quickly if need be at a good standoff distance from the sea assets operating. The development and use of the helicopter also flourished during this era when the realization that the start of every deployment of troops from the sea didn’t have to mean a beach landing; instead the helicopter could operate from the sea quickly and deliver the required troops. These factors and developments lead us to the type of aircraft and air wings that we have today. The emphasis being on stealth, efficiency, and multipurpose aircraft ready to complete multiple types of missions.
To get to the point where the Carriers are today that compliment the advanced air craft types and needs above the history of the carrier is also important to examine. The idea of bigger is better can be hashed out from the history of the carrier and their involvement in the conflicts that they have had a hand in over the last 92 years since the commissioning of the USS Langley a refit collier in 1922. These ships have gone from having just a deck place on top of a ship to nuclear powered ships. Again there are distinct eras in the carrier development process the first being the one from the commissioning of the Langley to the end of the service of the carriers built for world war two with elevators and rudimentary radar systems. The second era before the Super Carrier to be introduce in 2015 consist of the ships built after World War Two with all of the things required for the deployment of jet aircraft including forward and waste cats, recovery wires, and an added of center runway. In recent history the carrier for the United States Navy has been USS Nimitz Class of ships. The first of this class the Nimitz was commissioned in 1977 with 8 following ships. These are not the simplistic conventional carriers that my father served on like the Kitty Hawk affectionately known as the “Sh@tty Kitty” which was the last decommissioned diesel burring carrier. This new fleet of carriers, CV-68, and on is made up of the current class the Nimitz which turned our carrier fleet into a wholly nuclear driven force. The fallow on Ford class also maintains these massive steam generators allowing the carriers to drive indefinitely without having to worry about resupply of ship fuel.
The future of the Super Carrier is one of experimentation and space age technology ushering in the Ford Class with the commissioning of...

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