Here's Why the U.S. Navy Could Add 'Light' Aircraft Carriers to the Fleet



Here's Why the U.S. Navy Could Add 'Light' Aircraft Carriers to the Fleet

The U.S. Senate Armed Service Committee (SASC) is inserting language in its markup of the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would mandate that the U.S. Navy study a preliminary design for a new light carrier.
The new ships would not replace the Gerald R. Ford-class (CVN-78) supercarriers, but rather if the new ships were built, they would be used to disperse naval aviation assets across a larger geographical area to help support amphibious ready groups and the like.

“Authorizes $30 million for preliminary design of a smaller aircraft carrier, which is in addition to the administration's request,” reads the summary of the SASC version of NDAA.
Senate aides told reporters during a background brief on June 29 that the reason they inserted the language was because they are seeking information on different carrier types. Several naval force structure studies commissioned by the Navy have shown that there is a need for a light carrier to complement the service’s massive nuclear-powered supercarriers.


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