How Many Aircraft Carriers Do You Need?

The United States is not only broke, but $13 trillion in debt. And the elephant in the room? Military spending.

Of course we need to support the troops, secure our country, prepare for defense, but give me a break — how many freakin’ aircraft carriers do we need? Our friends in the United Kingdom have 4. Our old nemesis Russia has 1. India, Spain, France, Brazil — they each have 1, too.

So, again, how many aircraft carriers does the U.S really need to fund?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but this I can say without a doubt: We don’t need 22!

That’s right, the United States blows billions keeping 22 aircraft carriers afloat:

America has about twice as many aircraft carriers as the rest of humanity combined, and America’s aircraft carriers are substantially larger than almost all the other’s aircraft carriers. The Navy likes to call the big Nimitz class carriers “4.5 acres of sovereign and mobile American territory” — all two dozen American carriers of all classes add up to about 70 acres of deck space. Deckspace is probably a good measure of combat power. The rest of the world’s carriers have about 15 acres of deck space, one fifth that of America’s.

(Be sure to check out the graphic deck size comparison graphic at the bottom of the link above…sometimes words are not enough.)

Seventy acres of deckspace compared to the rest of the world’s fifteen acres…I’d say we won. Game over. Quit playing already.

So, how much could we save if we got rid of half of those carriers and cut back to, you know, only a little over twice the total aircraft-carrier deck space of every other nation on earth combined?

First find the cost of one aircraft carrier:

•Construction Costs – $4.5 billion
•Mid life overhaul Costs – $2.3 billion
•Operating and Support Costs – $14 billion
•Other Costs – $1 billion
•Total Average Cost – $22 billion each

Multiply by eleven: $242 billion.

But that’s peanuts. The next generation of U.S. carriers already being built have a construction cost alone of $14 billion.

Because four and a half times the deck space of the rest of the world’s aircraft carriers is not enough.

Because, for these U.S. defense contractors a trillion dollars a year isn’t enough.

Because the peasants in your country who don’t make bullets aren’t broke enough.

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