March 20, 2013

CHANGE: After the Aircraft Carrier: 3 Alternatives to the Navy’s Vulnerable Flattops.

The U.S. Navy’s huge, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers — capital ships that have long dominated military planning and budgeting — are slowly becoming obsolete, weighed down by escalating costs, inefficiency and vulnerability to the latest enemy weapons.

But if the supercarrier is sinking, what could rise to take its place? Smaller, cheaper flattops; modified tanker ships; and missile-hauling submarines are three cheaper, more efficient and arguably more resilient options.

And drones, of course. Always the drones.

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