Sunday, 29 November 2009

Big Carrier Blues

During world war II it was not the Audacious class carriers like Ark Royal or the smaller Majestic class that served the Royal Navy best but the adhoc escort carriers.

The large carriers serve the role of force projection, you can have a small airfield within range of any point on earth without the need for someone else's permission. Very useful in the right circumstances as Eisenhower said "talk gently and carry a big stick" the big carriers are the big stick. Is that a role that the UK can justifiably take or afford? When was the last time that they were the only option? When was the Invincible Class to small for the job?

They can however only be in a limited number of places at any one time so no matter how small the fight you're in, you have only one choice and that is to deploy a force that is a far larger than is needed. They are incredibly vulnerable. In international waters a Chinese submarine got within torpedo range of a US carrier without being detected.

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