A new military report proposes slashing the budget for any current aircraft carrier projects and reinvesting the money into high-end technology such as direct energy lasers for aircraft and outfitting surface ships with electromagnetic rail guns. The report was created by military and defense experts Jerry Hendrix, Paul Scharre and Elbridge Colby. It outlines changes that they believe need to be made to the Pentagon’s massive $582.7 billion budget to ensure that the United States military remains the most feared and advanced fighting force on the planet. The three experts believe that diversifying the budget and investing in both extremely high end, as well as low end, technology is the key.
The experts from the Center for New American Security have agreed that using 2017’s 2% budget increase to support a “high-low mix” will be best for the nation’s future. The high-low mix is characterized by focusing on utilizing the latest and most sophisticated technology while at the same time investing in lower cost tried and true methods. One example of this method in action is the U.S. military pursing the creation of the B-21 bomber while also purchasing single-engine prop planes such as the A-29 Super Tucano.
The current budget calls for increasing the size of the Navy from 272 to 345 ships over the course of the next 10 years. The size of the Air Force would also grow by more than 120 aircraft. The plan outlined in the report would focus on quality not quantity. The report proposes canceling the Gerald Ford-class aircraft carrier and America-class amphibious assault ship production lines in order to save the $40 billion it would cost to produce those ships.
The plan won’t completely do away with aircraft carriers. Its ensures that the Navy will still have 10 operational aircraft carriers by the end of 2026, most of which will be outfitted with the direct energy lasers. To the relief of many, the report also states that the beloved A-10 will remain in use by the U.S. military.