New Russian and Chinese Weapons Could Make Aircraft Carriers Obsolete, Study Warns

    Michael Peck

    Security,

    An F/A-18E Super Hornet participates in an air power demonstration near the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as the ship operates in the Pacific Ocean on April 24, 2013.

    Inexpensive Russian and Chinese weapons, such as cyberwar and antiship missiles, threaten the West’s reliance on expensive arms such as aircraft carriers.

    The RUSI study suggests that Britain—and implicitly the United States—adopt a four-pronged approach it calls Tolerate, Treat, Transform and Terminate. The first three refer to maintaining the capability of current weapons, upgrading current weapons to meet future threats and developing entirely new technologies. However, the last option—what RUSI calls Terminate—is the most explosive. It essentially means getting rid of weapons that can no longer perform effectively in combat, yet can’t or are too expensive to upgrade. “The judgement here will be whether it is the most cost-effective means to deliver that effect, or whether a less sophisticated capability might be more appropriate,” RUSI says. “Second, while desirable, the capability could be rapidly reconstituted should the need arise.”

    Inexpensive Russian and Chinese weapons, such as cyberwar and antiship missiles, threaten the West’s reliance on expensive arms such as aircraft carriers.

    (This first appeared last year.)

    “China and Russia appear to have focused many (but not all) their efforts on being able to put at risk the key Western assets that are large, few in number and expensive,” reads a recent study by the Royal United Services Institute, a British military think tank.

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