Forecast International say they expect some 80 aircraft carriers and major amphibious warfare ships, valued at $59.37 billion, to be commissioned during the next 10 years.

Of these, eight are aircraft carriers, comprising two each for Britain, China, India and the United States.

These ships represent only about 11 percent of the total for this sector, but have an aggregate value of $32.2 billion, or 54.2 percent of the sector total.

“It is an essential truth that aircraft carriers dominate the seas and make operations by hostile fleets without such ships impossible,” said Forecast International Naval Analyst Stuart Slade. “Aircraft carriers are the key element that turn a local navy into a regional power. That is why we see these ships being adopted by an increasing number of navies.”

The spread of aircraft carrier capability is being matched by the widespread procurement of large-deck amphibious warfare ships. These days it is rare to find a helicopter-carrying amphibious warfare ship in the LPH, LHA or LHD categories that is not configured with a through deck. Even dock landing ships such as LPDs and LSDs for which helicopter operation is a secondary role are increasingly being designed with through decks.

According to Slade, these ships resemble aircraft carriers and the distinction between the two is becoming blurred.

“Each successive generation of amphibious warfare ships is larger, carries more aircraft, and has greater fuel, munitions and maintenance capability,” said Slade. “With the arrival of highly-capable aircraft such as the F-35B that can fly from these amphibious warfare ships, the same warship can fill either strike or amphibious roles according to circumstances.”

The large-deck amphibious warfare ship has spread across the world, providing nations with ambitions to become regional powers with an affordable route to obtaining the essential organic air power needed to claim that status. Italy, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, India, China, Australia, Egypt, Russia and Japan have all acquired ships of this type. Additional navies look set to follow this route as the need to project power into their maritime resource areas grows.

The power projection capability of the aircraft carrier makes it inevitable that their procurement continue through the forecast period say the group, with navies orienting their procurement plans according to their resources and their strategic objectives.

“Those nations that can afford aircraft carriers will procure them,” said Slade. “Those navies that need them but can’t afford them will get amphibious warfare ships and some suitable aircraft. One thing remains the same; when facing a navy with organic naval air power, a navy lacking those capabilities has only the options of withdrawing or getting sunk.”

Forecast International is a major provider of ‘Market Intelligence and Consulting in the areas of aerospace, defence, power systems and military electronics’.

43 COMMENTS

  1. What a tragic waste of hard earned taxpayers’ money. The UK is nearly two trillion pounds in debt and many other countries are as well. What a sad world.

    Standard note:

    Note:

    Despite comments by other board users, I am not left wing, have never voted Labour or Liberal Democrat and am not a moron. I have paid my mortgage off, have a new car which I bought outright and my wife is not sterile. I do not claim any form of social allowance. I am not Russian.

      • Labourlist support trident and campaign for 2% spend in real terms on defence.

        There seems to be a few of these comments under this idiots posts.

        If you really think cutting defence spending, therefore making people redundant with towns and communities possibly losing their industrial capacity is a left wing idea you really are so misinformed, that goes against everything people like myself stand for.

        I don’t want to get into a political debate on here yet again but do try at least have a little bit of knowledge of the groups you throw around, because they certainly wouldn’t entertain a troll like TH.

    • You seem to lack a basic understanding of how defense spending both protects a country and feeds its economy. If we cannot defend our country then stuff like paying your mortgage wont matter much.

    • I accept what you say in your note and your right to contribute but I think you are wrong. Please explain to me, given the experience of history, why you feel that the U.K. can afford to be without it’s armed services.

      • An interesting little piece I read last week regarding the last Duke of Westminster (resulting from a trip to Chester where I hadn’t realised the Grosvenor family had their power base) who owned the land the (former) American Embassy in London was based. Asked to sell them the land so that they could make it sovereign territory he said he would but only if they would return all the land his family owned and had confiscated after the Revolutionary War. A humorous story but most insightful shows just how little ‘ownership’ or ‘contro’ of anything or to add hard work or holding down a civilised life means if you fail to have the means to defend it. Its far to easy to forget that and take what we have for granted.

    • TH, you are entitled to your opinion, but you don’t seem to offer one, just posting the same standard comment.

      This is a Defence comment forum after all.

      So, how do you think Britain should defend its vital worldwide interests in a post BREXIT world?

      Strongly worded letters to potential adversary’s perhaps?

    • @TH Your note is amusing but your posts do largely say the same thing: namely, that we should not have significant defence spending. Most I suspect will not agree.

      It is certainly a valid point of view if you are a country that can rely on others to defend it because you are in their regional defence zones. So while Mexico and Canada (to give just a couple of examples) do have defence budgets, we all know that were anybody to invade them, the US would step in. But that is not the case in the UK and we are a significant element of pan-European defence (whether through Nato, the EU or in ad-hoc collaboration with others), so we need to have defence capability.

      We can all argue about whether or not this or that piece of kit is the right thing to buy, or whether or not we should intervene here or there – or not. But to argue against any defence spending is simply unwise.

      Yes, Costa Rica works better than its neighbours and has indeed benefited from not having an army navy or air force (though their police and customs do all the civil policing duties one could ask for) – but again they can rely on Uncle Sam as they are in the US’s backyard. We are not and whether the idiocy of Brexit succeeds or not, we shall need defence spending.

      Best Tim62

  2. I would say this isn’t a waste of taxpayers money. We give far more away to other countries which serve us no purpose or interests rather then paying out billions of pounds in foreign aid to countries who won’t stop having children we should invest it in our own country.

    The world is a very hostile place and has become more hostile with N.Korea now a credible ICBM power and terrorism globally. Powerful naval capabilities is necessary to for national security and for global security

  3. The potential to project power is enabled with the carrier. However, if all that can be thrown towards the enemy ships by that potential are a handful of Spear 3 then, despite the quality of that missile for its design purpose, other navies with any form of punch or resilience won’t withdraw or be sunk…it will become a slugging match. We shoot down their aircraft….they sink our ships.

        • You don’t need to sink them …you need to make them combat ineffective. A ship that has had an Anti Radiation Missile blow its radars off the upper deck is not much use to anyone.
          Stick a hole in one and the crew will be spending their time trying not to sink instead of fighting.

          • Yes I’m sure there was an embarising incident way back when a US AAW cruiser got mission killed by a US antiradiation missile.

            It’s far better to hit with a couple of spear3 type weapons than miss with a heavyweight ASM. After all modern warships are designed not to be hit by a small numbers of heavyweight ASMs via hard and soft kill. I would imaging it’s far nastier to throw a shed load of smaller munitions at them.

  4. According to my maths, 72 large deck amphibs costing $27 billion or $27,000 million total is $375 million each, or £280 million each at today’s ROE.

    Who’d be without 1 or 2?

    And it does seem to justify on its own the F35-B decision of VSTOL, considering interoperability …

    • Good last point. A lot of people have argued that we should have bought the F35C because we could cross deck with the Americans or the French but I’ve never seen the sense of it. The US doesn’t need our aircraft and it’s more likely, if at all, that we could fly off Aussie or French amhibs. Here’s a real leap of faith…what if we were to replace Ocean, Albion and Bulwark with two flat tops!

      • “Here’s a real leap of faith…what if we were to replace Ocean, Albion and Bulwark with two flat tops!”

        If only, provided that they were big and capable ones. Albion & Bulwark do have a very big well docks so replacements would need to be big, Juan-Carlos/Canberra or Cavour size rather than Mistral. If that happened though I’d even throw Argus into the sacrificial fire to get two big new flattops although ideally in return for also getting a 4th MARS SSS with suitable flexibility to serve a primary hospital role if so configured.

        Be careful what you wish for though. In these days of defence cuts there is a real danger that your leap of faith will happen but not as you expect. In fact it might already be happening in front of your very eyes. Albion, Bulwark and Ocean to be replaced by two flattops. I believe we have one on sea trials already and the other named just a couple of weeks ago. All that’s left now is to decommission those surplus unnecessary assets once the two new flat tops are operational, or maybe slightly before they are operational because who doesn’t love a capability gap (says some completely defence-unaware politician somewhere in Westminster as he/she rubs their hands in glee at the money saved). Shades of the film “Bedazzled” with Raquel Welsh & Dudley Moore in the original version.

        • I said that on here a few weeks back about replacing Albion, Bulwark and Ocean with 2 big LHD’s.

          The NSS does say we will be looking at our amphibious capability in the near future, I do think you are right however in the QEC being the replacements unfortunately.

          Having said that it will be a potent amphibious force, Bulwark, Albion and POW, you could land a fair few marines by sea and air, so all is not lost.

          Also to counter the argument about using a 3 billion pound ship for that purpose, realistically we wouldn’t even consider an amphibious operation without more or less total sea and air supremacy. And because the marines will be flown in the POW would be quite a way offshore you would imagine.

          • “Having said that it will be a potent amphibious force, Bulwark, Albion and POW, you could land a fair few marines by sea and air, so all is not lost.”

            Actually, admittedly slightly tongue-in-cheek, I was suggesting a potential absolute nightmare scenario in response to Geoffrey not what you say, i.e. QE & PoW as replacements for all of Ocean, Albion, Bulwark and Argus for good measure. Not for an instant am I saying that would be a sane or appropriate thing to do but frankly I wouldn’t put it past many of our politicians to think “we’ve now got (or soon will have) two big flat top shipy things, why do we need those others?”. Anyway, probably best to not even talk about that in jest!

  5. Two carriers or 12 astutes , 12 t45’s and twenty frigates rammed to the gills with Cruise , anti ship weapons and bmd ?

    We basically have invested in being part of the USN that is the only reason that makes any sense to procure the carriers. Make the Americans reliant on us as cover.

  6. What about buying some Wasp class LHDs? They’re probably pretty cheap considering the quantity ordered by the USA, they are interoperable with the F-35B and have amphibious capability so we wouldn’t have to use PoW

  7. Julian,Kieran
    We’re agreed i think and I like the idea of a 4th MARS suitably kitted out but you may be right. SHHHH!

  8. I KNOW that HMS OCEAN is to be sold off. Has it been confirmed what the future is for HMS BULWARK and ALBION does anyone know? Any news on RFA ARGUS due to meet her end in five years? Any news of RFA DILIGENT? Apart from the three BAY Class, is the RN going to be restricted to QE and PoW for beach landings etc? If so, what a huge loss.

    With QE and PoW are we to lose all these vessels?

    • Doubt it. QE and POW cannot do beach landings, they lack the well dock for LCVP and LCU.
      They would provide company sized air lift using the Merlins transferred from the RAF and also Chinook as necessary.
      LPD’s should remain as is, 1 in service, 1 in reserve.
      Would be handy to have the Bay’s in role rather than losing one as a mother ship in the gulf.
      I expect Argus to be life extended in service. Dilligence is already gone.
      3 Commando Brigade has long been a brigade in name only as it cannot do brigade level assault operations. 1 of the 3 Commando’s is being given a new role of specialist maritime support, like providing personnel to deployed ships for counter piracy and the like, leaving just 2 Commando’s for traditional assault/arctic work. It provides 1 Commando at any one time, with minor supports, same as 16AA with 1 Para Battalion in role. These and UKSF are the UK’s rapid reaction forces.

  9. As I have always predicted, there are huge defence cuts on the way. This country no longer has the financial means to maintain imperial armed forces. Shout me down and throw abuse at me all you like. Reality will dawn.

    The Royal Marines are due for massive cuts and the amphibious warfare ships struck off in both the navy and RFA.

    John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “If we are ever going to balance the books then it is essential that a culture of delivering best value for money exists across the public sector and the MoD cannot be any different.”

    Read about the coming massive cuts in November in the International Business Times:

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-defence-chiefs-may-cut-royal-marines-by-1000-cost-saving-review-1640025

    Standard note:

    Despite comments by other board users, I am not left wing, have never voted Labour or Liberal Democrat and am not a moron. I have paid my mortgage off, have a new car which I bought outright and my wife is not sterile. I do not claim any form of social allowance. I am not Russian. I am a taxpayer

    • TH, you used the words “imperial armed forces” who uses that expression, I,ve come to the conclusion you may just be North Korean………

      Anyone else got a guess ?

      • Hello – remember the RN ‘Concept submarine article’ last month ? The cost to the RN ‘to date’ was £9600, according to the response to the FOI request I made.

  10. I am fast coming to the conclusion that our armed forces are ended! I’m glad I retired a long time ago. Never thought I would see the French with a bigger fleet than ours.

  11. The French seem to be in a bit of a naval recession themselves at the moment. A second carrier has been indefinitely deferred, FREMM Type frigates capped with a cheaper alternative mooted and rumours of a reduction in attack sub numbers. We’re not the only country with budget problems!

  12. Do today’s carriers really hold sway? Powerful indeed, but how vulnerable are they to submarines or massed supersonic anti ship missiles? Just asking.

  13. Surely by association, there will be a global increase in the number of expeditionary blue water navies also. Carrier Strike and Amphibiosity are all very well but if they aren’t truly able to operate far from home, they’re floating vanity projects.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here