Aircraft carriers more vulnerable than ever, and hypersonic weapons could make risks outweight firepower

Dec. 4, 2019
Unmanned submarines and aircraft, cyber warfare, and hypersonic weapons may pose such risks to aircraft carriers as to outweigh their firepower.

WASHINGTON – As long as they serve usefully in that role, nations will seek means to neutralize them. Aircraft carriers have proven remarkably flexibly, serving in one way or another for nearly a hundred years. The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

4 Dec. 2019 -- From the USS Forrestal on, the U.S. Navy supercarrier has existed in basically the same form since the 1950s, and is expected to continue operating into the latter half of the twenty-first century.

Still, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), cyber warfare attacks, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and hypersonic weapons are making the aircraft carrier increasingly vulnerable.

At some point, the game will be up; carriers will no longer pack the offensive punch necessary to justify their vulnerability. It’s not obvious when that day will come, however; we may find out only after the destruction of one of the Navy’s prize possessions.

Related: Pentagon warfare experts draft plan to provide defenses against hypersonic weapons in future conflicts

Related: The new era of high-power electromagnetic weapons

Related: Conventional thinking and the aircraft carrier: is the formidable vessel one of the most vulnerable ships?

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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