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God knows, i doesn't make any sense, the two new CLV future carriers of the royal navy individually cost more than a typical nimitz class supercarrier, and yet they have no nuclear power and carry half as many planes. Maybe things are just more expensive to build in the U.K. Idea!!, scrap the CLV and buy two nimitz class carriers new or old.


Designing and building new aircraft carriers is expensive. That's why few countries build them. The design costs are spread among two UK carriers but among many Nimitz class carriers making the UK ones appear more expensive. We could buy a couple of US carriers instead but then we would lose carrier building capabilities in our own shipyards. That's a strategically bad idea. In addition, the Government gets much of the money back anyway via taxes, both personal and corporate.

The airwing may be a lot smaller, but would the RN have the money for 200 aircraft anyway? Or even need that many? Not to mention the additional pilots, crew numbers etc etc.

The new carriers are not nuclear powered because we don't need them to be. With bases throughout the world fuel supply is not an issue. The expense is not justified. The existing carriers are conventionally powered and that's never been an problem. The only time it would matter is if the bases fall. In those circumstances, it would be a world war and likely go nuclear rendering the carriers pointless in any case.

On an additional note, the Royal Navy has suffered in recent years from cutbacks in funding from the MoD. While the UK's new CLV carriers will be second in the world only to the US Nimitz class, the RN's funding shortages make the uneconomical cost of building these new carriers evenmore unfeasable. Also, since they cost such a significant amount of government money, why not shell out the extra money and make the carriers nuclear powered anyway? After all, the Royal Navy already has other nuclear powered vessels in its fleet.


Comparing these new carriers with the Nimitz class of carrier is not a valid comparison. The Nimitz was laid down in 1968 and commissioned in 1975. Yes they have been upgraded to an extent, as new ones have been built, but because of the original design there are limitations to the extent of upgrading possible or practical. Comparing these two very different classes of carrier is like comparing a slingshot to a rifle.

A more accurate comparison would be the class of carrier being developed and built at the moment, like ours, to eventually replace the Nimitz class, the first of which will enter service in 2015 to replace the Enterprise. The Gerald R. Ford class of carrier was estimated in the last report to cost $14 billion. Just over twice the last estimate for ours.

As for the nuclear question: In addition to that which was written above about our not needing a nuclear powered surface fleet there is a great saving involved. The first of the Nimitz class will be replaced by the 2nd Gerald R. Ford class in 2025. At which point the Nimitz will be de-commissioned and is estimated to cost from $750 to $900 million to do so. This compares with an estimate of $53 million for a conventionally powered carrier.

The value of air supremacy in a defensive or offensive role over land or at sea, for which these wings would contribute to all four roles cannot be over-emphasised, and I believe, despite the cost, represent good value for money. I believe the security these carriers could provide outweighs for example the comparible money being spent for the Olympics. For the first time in over half a century we may have new carriers that could afford to send an effective flight forward while leaving enough behind for defence, very unlike how our current class of carrier, along with Hermes operated in the Falklands conflict.

2011-09-13 22:18:27
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