There has been various speculation about China having five aircraft carrier by 2025 and up to ten aircraft carriers by 2049.
Only two of China’s five aircraft carriers would be anywhere close to the capabilities of the US supercarriers. The first three will have far fewer aircraft and would be closer to the mini-carriers that the US marines have for amphibious assault ships. The USA has twelve supercarriers of about 100,000 to 110,000 tons with about 75+ jets. The US also has eight of the amphibious assault ships.
Aircraft carriers are vulnerable in a war with a nearly equal opposing military. The US can use them to bully weaker militaries. The US is less effective using them to bully China and Russia. A country with a lot of missiles would be able to sink aircraft carriers. During peacetime they are useful for projecting power around the world.
The US has stood alone with a dominant aircraft carrier force for many decades. The had some naval competition with the USSR during the cold war and before that with Japan in WW2. After the cold war the US has stood alone with a massive navy.
China’s is expanding its Navy and military, but is using only about 2% of its GDP while the US spends about 4% of its GDP.
The US and China are not alone, as there are increasing military budgets throughout Asia. There are also growing economies.
India is expanding its economy and has one aircraft carrier and is building two more. India plans five more aircraft carriers. India’s economy is about twenty years behind China’s.
Despite the military vulnerability of aircraft carriers. There will be many nations in Asia able to field a reasonable naval and military force.
This means there will be less one-sided aircraft carrier diplomacy.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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