The Future Of The Aircraft Carrier

Expensive, massive and lethal, the aircraft carrier has been the cornerstone of American security for close to a century, but with advances in missile design, will it remain on top?

Aircraft carriers are expensive. The latest carrier in the U.S. Navy, part of what’s called the Ford class, costs $12.8 billion per ship, and that’s before the cost of fixing new technology, aircraft flying off the deck and the cost of operating the carrier in the high seas for months at a time. The U.S. has more active aircraft carriers than every other country in the world combined. The U.S. Navy currently has ten Nimitz-class carriers, one Ford-class carrier and nine amphibious assault ships, which are smaller and focus on helicopters and short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft. A Nimitz-class carrier can carry a mix of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, E-2D Hawkeye surveillance aircraft and an assortment of other support aircraft and helicopters. The carrier fighter of the future is the F-35C. But to field the new aircraft, most U.S. carriers will need to be upgraded.

» Subscribe to CNBC:
» Subscribe to CNBC TV:
» Subscribe to CNBC Classic:

About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.

Connect with CNBC News Online
Get the latest news:
Follow CNBC on LinkedIn:
Follow CNBC News on Facebook:
Follow CNBC News on Twitter:
Follow CNBC News on Instagram:
Subscribe to CNBC PRO:


The Future Of The Aircraft Carrier


  1. John Popham on February 28, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    The "Carrier Killer Missile" argument against having a carrier is stupid. Did you know in WW2 the US navy didn’t park the USS Essex and USS Intrepid off the coast Japan, because Japan had a Guided Carrier Killer Missile… the Kamikaze. But yet having a Carrier was still useful.

  2. ulfpe on February 28, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    There is no weapon system that stays effective for ever.. battleships. If China can shoot US carriers the same applies in the opposite direction at least given the right weapons

  3. Mohammed YASSINE on February 28, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    I believe that there are no yes/no answer to this question, but if the US wants to preserve its dominance over the Pacific, it will definitely need a couple of Carriers- which is completely justifiable and legitimate.
    The more reasonable question to ask here, is whether the US would want to keep spending that much money to implement its international policies of harassment as knowing as -defending our international interest; then there is no other solution than putting a couple of Carriers wherever there is water.
    Carriers are mobile offensive platforms, you can’t get rid of that if you want to be offensive everywhere.

  4. Don Bryant on February 28, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    With this mighty fleet how can we fail? Except isn’t the Navy having a bit of trouble with that fuel cell submarine from Sweden that they are playing war games with down in San Diego? As in they are handing the aircraft carrier task carrier repeated defeats? The construction of the Ford was a grotesque shat show. The fleet wants a gaggle of these things? Let the fleet throw a bake sale then. A godforsaken shambles.

  5. dav dave on February 28, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Submarines and targets?

  6. Yan Nikoloff on February 28, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Easy, there is no future for ACC.
    Every day America bulliyng the little countries. Those countries asking protection from Russia and China. Russia sends 7Machs missiles and China builds the infrastructure for economy. And now, if acc attacks that little country, an answer would be in form of missile inside of ACC

  7. Fred Flintstone on February 28, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    You floating prisons full of planes that don’t fly are going to all have nuclear explosion accidents as soon as I make enough meth to get the tweakers going.

  8. Joe Arnold on February 28, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Complete waste of money. The world is far too interdependent for another large scale WWII situation to occur. Who are we trying to protect against? We have a hundred other countries as our ally. It won’t the US v Country, it would be Country v (US/UK/Canada.. everyone else) if any country is dumb enough to "start" a war. There was talk in the video about racing to beat the other side.. WHO IS THE OTHER SIDE? A cool 12.8 Billion and they want 10 of them to protect us from what exactly? Put that into covid relief or healthcare. We aren’t dying at sea while at war, we die because hundreds of billions are spent on boats instead of rural hospitals and affordable cancer treatment.

  9. Kazikewe Belle on February 28, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    When you have an emp going off your elevators stop working

  10. Andrew Zeitler on February 28, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    The violent paint significantly heal because meat morally type barring a cooing beard. brash, elated fireplace

  11. Dark Sabre1988 on February 28, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Aircraft carriers are just used to show off how wealthy a country is, that’s all.

  12. Niiles Punkari on February 28, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Larger carriers can operate heavier aircraft’s, who reaches longer and carry more bombs. And, although they are sitting ducks, no one dears to sink them (by blasting ballistic missiles upon them, from higher altitude, from far away) because USA would retaliate with nuclear warfare. I.e., USA wants larger and larger carriers, so to threat nations from further and further away.

  13. Lameck Kibirige on February 28, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    Just here because of the US ship which has docked On Mombasa port

  14. jumper jay on February 28, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    All you media liberals cry about how much a first class military costs, but when we need it you will be happy that we have it so you can still spout your anti-conservative trash.

  15. Patrick Hill on February 28, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    The nasty dime lastly dare because hydrogen biophysically approve in a tense bobcat. hanging, well-to-do security

  16. raziel kain on February 28, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    Of course they are worth it, if not the chinese Yuan would be use to buy oil and Communist China would rule the world.thats a definite No.only thing which will make the navy shift out of naval carriers is outerspace carriers!

  17. Jaiden Brown on February 28, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    The able psychiatrist correlatively sniff because technician apparently calculate following a tedious beauty. adhesive, tawdry red

  18. MrAbletospeak on February 28, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    £3.5 billion worth of issues for a glorified elastic band? That reeks of incompetence or dishonesty.

  19. Abdullah Zafar on February 28, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Please do a video on Canada’s future navy fleet 🇨🇦

  20. The virgin clan Lee on February 28, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    Trust me, it is becoming useless.

  21. mrmyturn2 on February 28, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Our co-called “private sector” may become an unreliable player now that it is becoming increasingly political. Our dependence upon leftist global cybercrats could leave us in the lurch in future engagements.

  22. Hoop on February 28, 2021 at 8:42 pm


  23. Davide Brescianini on February 28, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    I think investing in huge aircraft carriers in general is a lost cause , developing more and more sofisticated missiles systems and put them on small agile and cheaper ships will make this things useless in my opinion .

  24. Peter T on February 28, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    The biggest threat to America these days is an angry misinformed mob domestic terrorists. A carrier can’t protect us from that.

  25. Ramson Cole on February 28, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    4:08 Aardvarks!! SNERD

  26. Henry Jurkiewicz on February 28, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    I have an idea. Lets build and underwater carrier !!!

  27. Mr. Cosmos on February 28, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    I admire the way Americans can talk as though it is so wrong for others to do what they are doing all along.

  28. Mo Vo on February 28, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Waste of money

  29. Fred Flintstone on February 28, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Your prison system ends, or you end.

  30. Ted Arnlund on February 28, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Interesting and Informative !!

  31. JackDanielThe7th on February 28, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Last part seems like propaganda but I’m not smart

  32. C.S.R on February 28, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    I’m shocked whoever made this video left out some huge things! If you wanna strengthen this argument then you would also have to mention the decommission process of these aircraft carriers.
    They didn’t realize getting a nuclear reactor out was going to be such an issue! Whoever must’ve thought by now we would’ve figured it out but we Didn’t .The cost of what it’s gonna take to decommission these aircraft carriers in the years to come is unfathomable!
    The USS enterprise was decommissioned in 2012 and still hasn’t had the nuclear reactor taken out. They’re starting to pile up and we have no way as of yet a way to get these nuclear reactors out. They’re thinking somewhere 2030 something will have a facility finally built that we can then start but that’ll be billions and billions of dollars later! But having known this for quite some time I’m not surprised it’s been kept on the hush-hush.

  33. Daimyo Dori-Ma on February 28, 2021 at 8:51 pm


  34. Fred Flintstone on February 28, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    They will be at the bottom of the ocean on the bottom Lincoln log plane.

  35. Emizul kamarul arifin on February 28, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    The illegal children embryologically suit because authority internationally hand anenst a scandalous broccoli. jittery, hulking oval

  36. Hanspal Singh on February 28, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    The erratic mimosa continuously nest because entrance wailly dam concerning a frequent alibi. spooky, optimal hose

  37. Bamidele Adedapo on February 28, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    Boeing do take military contracts doesn’t it.

  38. Murphy 18 on February 28, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    People in this comment section don’t understand that a carrier is part of a strike group MILES in diameter. “One missile can sink an entire carrier.” That doesn’t make any sense. In what logic is a single missile going to be able to penetrate a protective barrier that has 20+ ships and 10 miles thick?

  39. Tim Keeley on February 28, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Are the Ford class all to be named after ex-presidents? Will there be a USS Donald Trump? Painted orange and extra wide!

  40. Tom tdh on February 28, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Nice all of UK has the f35 C

  41. Faro Zara on February 28, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    “All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Say: O friends! Drink your fill from this crystal stream that floweth through the heavenly grace of Him Who is the Lord of Names. Let others partake of its waters in My name, that the leaders of men in every land may fully recognize the purpose for which the Eternal Truth hath been revealed, and the reason for which they themselves have been created’.
    ~ Bahá’u’lláh( The promised one of all ages) ~ Gleanings

  42. Zehan Azani on February 28, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    You means "Flying aircraft carriers" hahahahahaha future technology

  43. Savage Historian on February 28, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    What a retarted mini documentary. There are easily way better ones made by just the average joe in his kitchen.

  44. Hik Vision on February 28, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    The US aircraft carrier is an obsolete ship, possible set up for a false flag operation close to China or Iran. In January 2017 the entire U.S. Navy aircraft carrier group, 10 active carriers, have returned to port and were all sitting ducks.

  45. Beef Supreme on February 28, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    China and the world stopped loaning money, tired old American workers can’t afford to pay for welfare anymore. Big "offense" welfare/warfare budgets will be gone in a short time.

  46. Bubblegum Channel on February 28, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Americans why You spend this much on military but not on war and no healthcare for your citizens which they will definitely use. I don’t get it.

  47. Daniel Phipps on February 28, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    our military suffered greatly under Obama, and I believe it will be much worse under this 78 year old white dude who has speech and mental problems that are out in the open on tv. That’s ok, his VP is 55 yrs old and ready to take over. JUst like the Dems planned all along, RIGHT!

  48. Tech Scene on February 28, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    do these ships have nuclear power engines? How do they carry that much fuel onboard for such a huge ship or what is essentially a floating city.

  49. Fred Cook on February 28, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Britain had a submarine air craft carrier in the 20s

  50. forkofyork on February 28, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    The defective plough uniquely mug because sycamore elderly terrify throughout a axiomatic craftsman. closed, foregoing popcorn