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THE USA’s NEW GERALD FORD CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER

The old pre-World War Two debate on the all-big-gun battleship versus the aircraft carrier may be entering a new phase. Back then, of course, old-paradigm admirals defended the use of the battleship as the offensive arm of the US Navy, a point which, in the carrier-based battles of the Pacific, quickly proved their obsolescence. Even in the stormier North Atlantic, the German battleship Bismarck was, in part, brought to her end by ship-born aircraft of the British, until the crippled ship could be hunted down by British battleships and delivered the coup-de grace. And the Bismarck's sister ship, the mighty battleship Tirpitz suffered a similar fate, being sunk in her Norwegian fiord hideaway by British bombers. Though, of course, in the Atlantic, conditions were never quite as favorable to carrier operations as in the Pacific, as the  British carrier Glorious met a rather inglorious end beneath a rain of 11" shells from the German battlecruisers Scharhorst and Gneisenau in the Norwegian operations of 1940.

With the advent of deadly long-range anti-ship missiles in modern times such as the French Exocet and equivalents in other nations arsenals, small missile cruisers could pose a significant threat to the huge American carriers. The answer of the US Navy, for the moment, appears to be a compromise:

CVN 78 Gerald R Ford Class – US Navy CVN 21 Future Carrier Programme, United States of America

There are notable features of this ship design, among them the increase of aircraft from 140 to 160 sorties, but note that the real interest in this article is the installation of anti-missile defense systems.

We are returned once again to the days of World War Two, when battleships had to be increasingly armed with all manner of anti-aircraft guns for protection against aircraft, and none more heavily so-armed than the Japanese behemoths Yamato and Musashi. Granted, the Japanese superbattleships did not have the advantage of radar directed anti-aircraft or proximity fuses, but nonetheless packed a lot of anti-aircraft firepower. Nonetheless, both ships succumbed to the attacks of sheer overwhelming "ants". It looks to me like the same mistake is being made by the US Navy. No anti-missile defense system - especially on a ship this large - will be up to the massed attack of several missiles, and missiles are cheaper than aircraft carriers. In the current debate on national foreign and defense policy, we'd do well to look back at the lessons of history.

19 thoughts on “THE USA’s NEW GERALD FORD CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER”

  1. Speaking of battleships; pocket battleships. Of the many accounts I’ve read about the Graf Spee there never seemed to be a final “the men went back to Germany or were all interned” ending. Not being able to resist new AH info I read the Grey Wolf which seems to spell out what did become of some of the Graf Spee men, they went from Uruguay to Argentina to support the cause.
    After the war Bormann could have spent some of his money raising the Graf Spee and converting it into a cruise ship so AH could get out once and awhile.

  2. Anyone mentioned this “Iron Sky” movie on here? It’s described as ‘science fiction-comedy’ and the filmmakers have clearly been reading some of Dr. Farrell’s books. Synopsis on Wikipedia mentions Hans Kammler, anti-gravity, an Antarctic base. The Nazis establish a moonbase called ‘Schwarze Sonne’. Maybe Dr. Farrell will be getting some unwanted attention if this thing catches on. Search for the trailer online and see for yourself.

  3. Don’t have to go back no more than a generation the Falfland Islands in 70’s. Let go back a lot further David and Golliath David first good decession not to wear armour . My late father who fought in the Pacific theater use to tell me all you needed on the battlefield was as a example from the past a sword and shield nothing else. A good example of this was the so called Sea People who destroyed the great powers of the eastern and central Mediterranean Bronze Age the guys who did that job were called runners lightiy armed foot soldiers. Look at the mess they made of those kingdoms Egypt survived because it was last on the hit list and knew what was coming and was prepared to meet and fight if not it would have gone down too with the other kingdoms of the time. Getting back to Goliath David turn his opponent ad vantages against him defeating and killing him. The main problem with the USA has always underestimated all their opponents and pay the price for this. They never learn from their mistakes they just repeat them.

  4. That is why there are Carrier groups: a carrier protected by air defense destroyers, some of wich are equipped with anti-missile/anti-satellite Sandard SM3. These Aegis comabt system equipped ships are rather capable of handling saturation missile attacks. The Nimitz (and now the Gerald Ford Class) class ships are equiped with anti-missile misile systems (and guns) for decades time but these are just for close in defense (20km or less).
    I believe the main issue should be the alleged convertion by the chinese of nuclear ballistic missiles with conventional warheads and terminal guidance for anti-ship attack / carrier interdition.

    1. That’s true Pedro but they have never been tested in a combat situation. In theory all well and good but in practise when the proverbial hits the fan? We’ll see.

  5. Robert Barricklow

    It’s a money maker.
    A political tool.
    As a weapon it’s not a: ‘game changer’.
    -those are NOT for the current ongoing CNN shows,
    -those ‘game changers’ are held in reserve for
    -the war games ‘gone live apocalypse theater’.

  6. just my own personal cheap opinion but I think the linked article is smoke and mirrors-

    satellite-guided scaler technology/weaponry is a fact- so why bother to up-grade sailing, militarily-equipped dinosaurs?-

    just another cover-story-

    Larry in Germany

  7. new nazi film Iron Sky: BBC entertainment describes the film as ‘a group of Nazis who escape to the moon at the end of World War II plan a new assault”.

    Someone call Joseph P Farrell!!!

  8. This is doomed if only for the eternal visual of Jerry Ford tripping out of that airplane. Yep, the carrier works just as well.

    1. LOL MQ. Perhaps Gerald Ford was not the best choice of names for a ship of intended precision and accuracy.

    2. The Ford class is adept at diversion and is capable of creating much doubt and confusion. can lead “investigative comissions” (LOL) and drive your mate to substance abuse.. It’s all pork construction it surely proves a handy addition to any naval gazer’s arsenal.

  9. If we could just limit the next global war to naval battles it might be far more entertaining then the current claptrap we get on our tvs every night. It would be like watching the super bowl and the finale of your favorite reality show every night, except there would be a much greater emotional investment by the viewers because if our team loses, we could all die! That would make it just that much more exciting.

    disclaimer: I actually don’t have a tv so I would have to rely on the crew at the local convenience store to find out who the tv says is is winning and losing. For deeper analysis I would of course go to Gizadeathstar.

    Imagine the excitement as the aircraft carrier is getting pulverized by cheap Chinese made missiles and the poor sailor, who has just given birth on the carrier, has to abandon her post and make her way down to the ship day care center along with the dozens of other new mothers/sailors. The tv could then cut to the girl’s family back home in Detroit or West Virginia as they all sit glued to the tv watching their love one escape explosions and fires and rescue her baby. She could even call them from her cell phone. It would be the ultimate reality show.

    My bet is, when the big naval war finally breaks out, we are going to witness the net worth of the United States drop so fast it will make all our heads spin. Nine giant aircraft carriers worth trillions of dollars sunk in minutes. I vaguely recall a similar scenario thousands of years ago when a giant Persian armada with large, vulnerable, and costly warships sailed on the Greeks and their outnumbered sleeker, more lethal, and more cost effective combat ships. The Greeks were victorious.

  10. Unless there is no intention of learning any lessons. This is not about defense at all, on the U.S. governments part.

    1. One cannot credibly claim that governments make nearly 100% bad decisions across decades by accident.

      “The two most common errors in this country are that our politicians are dumb and that they mean well.” J.R. “Bob” Dobbs

      1. They have intellect, but it is misguided & devolved into greed & megalomania. And they know they are no more than “trustees” – very few comprehend this as thoroughly as these trickster “ministers to man.”

          1. Directorial positions include more enabled operational “savvy.” Their equally knowledgeable counterparts are more often much less grid-Control connected, hence less powerful. It’s a small racial percentile that’s “in the know.” … As far as greed – Wake Up. Insofar as the megalomania… it’s meaning can be ascertained, then asigned as perceived.

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