Fighting 50 Years Hence
Most naval experts warn that it is entirely too soon to write the epitaph for the most dominant warship of the century.
The Ford, designed so it won’t require the kind of extensive refueling necessary for Nimitz-class carriers, will be a central player in naval warfare for 50 years, launching stealthy F-35Joint Strike Fighters as well as other aircraft from its four-and-a-half-acre flight deck.
Nonetheless, other nations are investing heavily in technologies such as anti-ship missiles, air defense systems and undersea weapons that are designed specifically to drive aircraft carriers farther from shore and put their fighters out of range. No nation has done more on this front than China, which, along with its thousands ...