End of Aircraft Carriers Era?

…from SouthFront
The flagships of the American Navy are ready to disappear from the oceans. This is the the perspective drawn for these monsters of the American Navy by senior analyst Ben Ho Wan Beng of the prestigious School of International Affairs in Singapore. His report was published by the American naval academy.
Firstly, this is due to a rather small range of the naval aviation aircraft. Most of the F-18 aircraft cannot be more that 500 nautical miles off the mothership. And even if the ship is at that distance away from the shoreline, there is no chance the Hornets will get into the enemy territory – no more fuel. If their objective is to attack a country which is not a small one, or an island nation, but a country with a deep “strategic depth” these aircraft are useless. The F-35 that is meant to replace it will not solve anything, because its combat radius is only 50 nautical miles greater.
Secondly, two of the likeliest USA’s military opponents – Russia and China are creating new generation of long range missiles that could be “moved” deep into the continent – the analyst thinks, that they could be moved up to 800 miles inland and still be highly effective against naval targets. The missile defense lines are virtually invincible for the American aircraft carriers.
So, the defending side has no need to attack the aircraft carrier with dozens of their own naval aviation aircraft – a Chinese DF-21 missile, just one, would be sufficient to sink a ship together with the 6000 men on board. It is difficult to say where up to 84 aircraft would land after that.
The new series – Gerald Ford class carriers. The first one was launched in 2013. By 2019 it is planned to build a second one. Their characteristics are vastly different, however, considering the existing conditions, these ships are made redundant by Russian and Chinese defenses.
The aircraft carriers that are capable by their mere presence near a country’s shores strike fear in the hearts of a small country’s government are turning into a gargantuan sitting duck for Russian hunter-killer submarines, Kirov-class cruisers and countless long-range missile systems. They are probably going to be about as useful as a movie prop in the next few decades. In the worst-case scenario – they would be scrapped.
The massive program to build these monsters nowadays exists more to beat the cash out of American taxpayers in favour of the American military industries. The main American suspected opponentы – Russia and China – aren’t scared of the fleet of naval airfields, but these ships are still capable of earning big money for the people who own the industries that build them.

The disputed South China Sea will soon see increased U.S. military activity from five Philippine bases, following the signing of a deal between Manila and Washington that will allow the Pentagon to deploy conventional forces to the Philippines for the first time in decades.
The deal — called an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement — was reached Friday between State Department officials and the government of the Philippines, and will allow the Pentagon to use parts of five military installations: Antonio Bautista Air Base, Basa Air Base, Fort Magsaysay, Lumbia Air Base, and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base. It comes at a time when the United States and its allies in the region have expressed concern about China increasingly deploying military assets to man-made islands in the South China Sea.

Why China is militarizing the South China Sea

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China has laid claim to a number of islands in the South China Sea, building airbases on tiny spits of land while installing powerful radar and missile launchers. Here's why. (Jason Aldag, Julie Vitkovskaya/The Washington Post / Satellite photos courtesy of CSIS)
State Department spokesman John Kirby, a retired two-star Navy admiral, saidthat the United States has “made absolutely no bones about the fact that we take the rebalance to the Asia Pacific region very seriously.” But he added that there is “nothing offensive or provocative” about any of the Pentagon’s deployment of troops to the region.
“It’s not about selling it to the Chinese or to anybody,” Kirby said, under questioning during a media briefing. “It’s about meeting our security commitments in a serious alliance with the Philippines. That’s what this is about.”
The map above shows where the bases are. Antonio Bautista Air Base, on the island of Palawan, is a few dozen miles east of the disputed Spratly Islands, where China’s military buildup is underway. Basa Air Base is also near the South China Sea, and is in a rural area outside Manila. Bautista Air Base is the closest installation the Philippines has to the Spratlys, according to Philippine air force. Other bases were considered, according to Philippine media reports, but ultimately not included in the agreement.
China raised questions about the plan Monday, saying that cooperation between the United States and the Philippines should not harm the sovereignty or security interests of any other country.
“The U.S. has talked about militarization in the South China Sea. But can it explain whether its own increased military deployment in the region is equivalent to militarization?” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a media briefing, according to Xinhua, a state-run news agency.
The United States had a conventional military presence in the Philippines for nearly a century until 1991, when the country ordered the U.S. military to leave its naval base in Subic Bay after the countries could not reach an agreement on the extension of a lease. A U.S. Special Operations task force was based in the Philippines for 13 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but was phased out last year in favor of keeping a small amount of U.S. troops nearby to assist Philippine forces in their fight against Islamist militants.