Friday, October 26, 2012

Interesting graphic on global Cvs

There's been a lot of attention recently about the strength of the Navy, most recently in the third presidential debate as the Republican candidate has made increasing the size of the Navy one of his key campaigning points. Similarly there's been a thread on BoardgameGeek about the USN vs. The Rest of the World., as well, which is where this graphic was lifted from.. I don't know the original source, but it does display rather starkly the differences in capability that we are talking about.

Especially noteworthy is the inclusion of the US navy's amphibious assault ships in the list. Often commenters compare the 11 CVNs to the 11 carriers owned by the ROTW, but this is misleading because many of those 11 other carriers are really much more like the amphibious ships than they're like US carriers. Indeed, NO ONE has a carrier that's truly comparable to an American CVN. The seven British, Thai, Spanish and Italian vessels are basically the same as the nine amphibious ships, although generally smaller.

This leaves just five ships that could possibly be called some sort of "fleet" carrier, one each for Brazil, Russia, China, India and France. Again, all of them are notably smaller than an American CVN.

Hyuga, right, with a US Nimitz-class CVN
Of the 11 foreign carriers of all flavors, seven belong to NATO allies and the US has friendly relations with most of the rest. Only the Russian and Chinese carriers might plausibly be considered in opposition to the USN.

One might give the ROTW a little more than 11 "carriers," though because I think you could fairly consider the Japanese "destroyers Hyuga and Ise as really being light aircraft carriers or amphibious assault ships at least comparable to the smaller Spanish and Italian ships shown in the graphic. They're only called "destroyers" for political reasons having to do with the Japanese constitution and relations with neighboring countries.

Still, even adding those two doesn't change the odds in any meaningful way.

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