How did it happen that the West forgot how to build aircraft carriers

Aircraft carriers are deservedly the pride of the US Navy. No other country has so many AUGs capable of projecting the full "power of American democracy" almost anywhere in the world. Former "ruler of the seas" Great Britain is building its second aircraft carrier. However, the tiny coronavirus showed that a ship with a displacement of 100 thousand tons instantly turns into a floating hospital, and hypersonic missiles make it a great target from a formidable weapon.

Already this is enough to think about whether it is worth getting involved with the construction of aircraft-carrying ships, which cost crazy money and then require constant expensive repairs? By the way, this question is periodically raised by military experts in the United States itself, who believe that it is advisable to reduce the number of AUG. And they have good reasons for this.

Despite the fact that in the US Navy there are 10 aircraft carriers formally in service and one more is in trial operation, last year there was such a situation that only 1 of them was actually combat-ready. It was the CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln on watch in the Middle East. At the same time CVN-77 "George Bush", CVN-73 "George Washington", CVN-71 "Theodore Roosevelt", CVN-76 "Ronald Reagan", CVN-70 "Carl Vinson", CVN-69 "Dwight Eisenhower" "And CVN-68" Nimitz "were undergoing a major overhaul, which, by the way, costs taxpayers a pretty penny. The John C. Stennis was getting ready for a major overhaul, and the Harry Truman was already replacing the Abraham Lincoln, but it had a serious accident along the way.

To repair the electrical circuits, the aircraft carrier had to be deployed back to the base, and the entire escort group followed. It turns out that it is not very effective to drive the entire AUG for the sake of one lead ship, but there is no other way. For the urgent repair of the Truman, workers had to be relocated from other aircraft-carrying giants, which slowed down their maintenance.

With the promising CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford, the story is even more complicated. The ship is constantly haunted by the consequences of design flaws. It took several months to replace the propeller shaft bearings on the already launched aircraft carrier. Then it turned out that only 2 of the 11 elevators that carry ammunition to the deck could operate at the same time. An advanced electromagnetic catapult constantly malfunctions: the manufacturer promised that a failure can occur no more than once every 4166 take-offs, but in reality it happens every 370 take-offs. The efficiency of the aerofinisher also turned out to be ten times lower than the declared one.

As a result, Ford has grown in value due to constant improvements from $ 12,8 billion to $ 15. And this is not the limit. The ship is still undergoing experimental tests, its wing has not yet been formed. By the way, it is rather curious that for themselves the Americans left the proven Super Hornet fighter-bombers for themselves, and the vaunted F-35s are supplied to the British.

The British have no less problems with aircraft carriers. The lead ship in the series of the two, Queen Elizabeth, leaked shortly after being transferred to the United Kingdom Navy in 2017. It had to be returned to dry dock and refurbished for six months. In addition to the leak, a shaft defect was also found. In 2019, the problems were repeated: the aircraft carrier again began to "slurp" the sea water.

At the same time, British ships are much more modest in terms of capabilities than American ones: a displacement of only 65 thousand tons, a gas turbine power plant, an air wing consists of only 24 vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and 18 helicopters, so there is no catapult or an aerofinisher. Because of this, there are no AWACS aircraft on board, the role of which is played by helicopters.

In the end, it turns out that having aircraft carriers in your fleet is very prestigious, but very expensive and problematic, and the practicality of their actual use raises some doubts. There are also questions about quality: have the two great maritime powers, the United States and Great Britain, forgotten how to build good ships? Or did it happen here that a long-term construction is not only a shame for the manufacturer, but also quite profitable?
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.
I have an account? Sign in
  1. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 19 August 2020 16: 50
    USA and Great Britain, have forgotten how to build good ships?

    So they both "flew to the moon" and have forgotten how to make rockets.
  2. Cat Offline Cat
    Cat (Sergei) 19 August 2020 18: 57
    Loss of competencies ... General degradation of the US population, however, as in other countries of the world.
  3. Sergey Sfiedu Offline Sergey Sfiedu
    Sergey Sfiedu (Sergey Sfyedu) 19 August 2020 20: 34
    As if the experience of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya (and even the short-term visit of Kuznetsov to Syria) suggests that it is too early to write off the aircraft carriers.
    1. Rum rum Offline Rum rum
      Rum rum (Rum rum) 20 August 2020 01: 20
      In all of these operations, carrier aviation performed from 30% to 10% of combat missions.
      The rest was done by classical aviation. Which could easily cope on its own.
      And where is the departure cost higher? Guess.
      That is, they were pure show-off, to support the myth of the omnipotence of aircraft carriers.
      1. The comment was deleted.
  4. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 19 August 2020 21: 15
    Yes. Have forgotten how, exactly.
    This is their aircraft carrier repair, first the dock is drowned, then the fire)))
    Probably, now they won't do a single one, the poor))))

    And what a concern about their taxpayers, it's really unusual))))
    1. Rum rum Offline Rum rum
      Rum rum (Rum rum) 20 August 2020 01: 26
      Everyone has crooked-handed repairmen. Dave was on fire at the amers.
      Cry for it.

      The effectiveness of aircraft carriers is greatly exaggerated.
      Read the post above about the share of sorties in major operations, recent history.
      1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
        Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 20 August 2020 09: 20
        You need, you and cry.
  5. Oyo Sarkazmi Offline Oyo Sarkazmi
    Oyo Sarkazmi (Oyo Sarkazmi) 20 August 2020 08: 49
    In the end, it turns out that having aircraft carriers in your fleet is very prestigious, but very expensive and problematic, and the practicality of their actual use raises some doubts.

    The British have to hold on to the squeezed Maldives. Without aircraft carriers - no way, otherwise the Argentines on the An-2 will squeeze them back. Americans have wrung out - all over the world. Fortunately, during the calm years 1991-2010, they created a self-sustaining transport infrastructure that allows for the time being to do without aircraft carriers. But if Pakistan and the Strait of Hormuz fall out of logistics, robbing the Papuans further will not work without aircraft carriers.
    Now, if Russia squeezes out some Vanuatu from Kiribati, and Madagascar to boot, then we can't do without aircraft carriers!
  6. Bitter Offline Bitter
    Bitter (Gleb) 20 August 2020 10: 39
    The West has forgotten how to build aircraft carriers.

    Studied, studied and ... forgotten how. Joke. laughing
  7. Slav Svarogovich (Slav) 24 August 2020 01: 23
    An aircraft carrier, like a Gelendvagen (sorry, if I did not write it correctly), is prestigious, yes, dofig is worth it, yes, after the purchase you have to invest a lot of dough, yes, the quality, so-so for such a price, yes, no offense to the Germans, but they are exactly similar , although the sizes are different.
  8. Lord Offline Lord
    Lord (Lord) 27 August 2020 07: 43
    Personally, my opinion is bullshit.
    It reminds me of what Comrade Khrushchev babbled about artillery and the ocean-going fleet. Like, we have missiles and we don't give a fuck. But, as history has shown, both artillery was very needed, and the ocean fleet. History always repeats itself.
    Aircraft carriers are necessary and necessary, they provide the presence of tactical aviation in almost any part of the world, which allows you to quickly and relatively inexpensively solve various problems.
    Now let's go over quality and tech. the state of America's aircraft carriers. The Americans have not forgotten how to do it and they have not degraded, they have just come to the point of modernization and cap. repair, and modernization and cap. repairs cost a lot of money, who want to cut a fairly large number of people among the top of American society, so they cannot agree. Yes, modernization or just a cap. repairs take several years, it's not a trifle to drive the coastal zone to repair. And then, Basic Minesweepers have been repairing them for a year and a half. About the large ships of our Navy, I generally keep quiet, for 5-6 years on repair, for a class 2 ship this is the norm. Ships of the 1st class cost decades. Now let's look at the new ships from the other side, the word new and the first in the series is always associated with a bunch of difficulties and nuances for this, mistakes are inevitable whoever builds and designs these ships. Let's remember Kuznetsov or Peter the Great, the main ones, in fact, the projects of their series, Kuznetsov still has problems, and they arose for the same reason as the Americans, since he was the first modernized TAVKR project 1143, in contrast to his predecessors in the project ( Kiev, Minsk, Novorossiysk, Baku) received an enlarged flight deck, a springboard and was able to receive and release aircraft of the classical scheme. Hence, all the problems, in fact, made a new ship and under the USSR for 3-4 years of operation all the jambs would have been eliminated, but since the USSR was gone, there was no one to eliminate the design flaws. And then I must say thank you for finishing the construction.
    So, the author is not objective and illiterate in matters of shipbuilding and the use of large surface ships.
    1. Mikhail Svetlov Offline Mikhail Svetlov
      Mikhail Svetlov (Mikhail SEO) 28 August 2020 23: 21
      Aircraft carriers are needed and needed, they provide the presence of tactical aviation in almost anywhere in the world.

      This is only if the enemy allows you to get close enough to their sea borders. If the aircraft carrier cannot get close enough to the coast, then it will not be able to use its aircraft. Those. the aircraft carrier is effective only for backward countries.
  9. Andrey Miller Offline Andrey Miller
    Andrey Miller (Andrey Miller) 27 August 2020 17: 11
    Such articles are written in order to support the Russian anti-aircraft lobby, which is trying to prevent the construction of normal aircraft carriers in Russia. Since this is not in the interests of the West. The problems of US aircraft carriers are deliberately exaggerated, and the paint is thickened ..
  10. shinobi Offline shinobi
    shinobi (Yuri) 30 August 2020 09: 29
    Question: How many bombs do you need to remove (not drown) an aircraft carrier from combat? Correct answer: One. A properly placed 500 kg armor-piercing bomb turns the "king of the ocean" into a multi-billion dollar floating trash. With the advent of anti-ship missiles and shipborne air defense systems, the aircraft carrier from the strike unit returned to its original form. Air strike support vessel. One multipurpose attack nuclear submarine can gouge the AUG even without coming close to the warrant. It is too early to write them off, of course, but they are not needed in large quantities.
    PS There is a very good film of 2019, which qualitatively shows how vulnerable aircraft carriers are. The film "Midway" is based entirely on documentary data, real historical events and personalities. I recommend for viewing.
  11. Ashneur Offline Ashneur
    Ashneur (Alexander) 31 August 2020 21: 12
    What a strange question ... I am now interested in: why did they not learn to build them in Russia? And having built one lousy aircraft-carrying cruiser, they managed to break it ineptly. Although, why is it mediocre? .. Well, how did you have to try so that for such an amount ?!
  12. Evgeny Kozyrev Offline Evgeny Kozyrev
    Evgeny Kozyrev (Evgeny Kozyrev) 24 September 2020 17: 19
    Everything is very simply explained .. the whole system of the US army .. its connection with the campaigns producing weapons .. interaction with the country's politicians .. and also with the ruling clans of the USA .. all this has one goal .. enrichment! Everyone in this chain is plundering that military the budget that is so huge for the United States .. everyone pulls .. from here and all the devastation .. and not only in the Navy ..
  13. Kir shadrin Offline Kir shadrin
    Kir shadrin (Kir Shadrin) 30 October 2020 14: 49
    Neither the USSR nor the Russian Federation ever knew how