‘It’s a Big Mess’: Newest US Aircraft Carrier ‘is in Serious Trouble’

‘It’s a Big Mess’: Newest US Aircraft Carrier ‘is in Serious Trouble’

United States President Donald Trump praised the soon-to-be-commissioned USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the newest and most expansive weapons system in the Pentagon’s arsenal, as “a great symbol of American strength.” But defense analyst Roger Thompson told Radio Sputnik that the ship is in fact a mess.

“The Gerald R. Ford class is in serious trouble,” he noted. These supercarriers “are overbudget and behind schedule. I am not exaggerating when I say that half the systems on them don’t work. Their pilots have a long tradition of not being well-qualified in air combat maneuvering. My book documents extensive losses in simulated air combat exercises against Israeli, British, Canadian and Australian pilots for example. It’s a big mess.”

Thompson, a professor at Kyung Hee University in South Korea, further said that Donald Trump “is out of touch with reality” since he believes that the Ford class ships are masterpieces of engineering.

The defense analyst detailed his intimate knowledge of the US Navy in a book titled “Lessons Not Learned: The US Navy’s Status Quo Culture.” He argued among other things that the aircraft carrier is “a thing of the past” and “a relic of World War II,” urging the Pentagon to focus on those vessels that are better suited for modern warfare.

Thompson mentioned three reasons behind America’s reliance on aircraft carriers.

“They are trying to relieve their glory days in WWII when it was the US against Japan, carrier versus carrier, the Battle of Midway,” he said, adding that Washington appears to believe that “the last great war that they fought” will be repeated again. “No great power in the world operates this many aircraft carriers anymore. <…> Several countries that did operate aircraft carriers, like Canada and Australia, eventually gave them up because they are not cost-effective.”

Thompson further said that the US Navy must maintain at least 11 aircraft carriers under the law.

“Right now they have ten. The law is technically being broken. And Trump wants to bring it up to twelve which has been promised before. That’s not a new promise. Ronald Reagan wanted [the 600-ship Navy] and never got it. The law and the tradition of fighting the last war over and over again when there’s nobody to fight is the reason why they’re so obsessed with it. Also there’s too much money and too many jobs associated with the military-industrial complex to so easily get rid of this outmoded type of ship,” he noted.

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