The Navy's next aircraft carrier will be commissioned this weekend. Meanwhile, a new British study warns that large and expensive vessels may soon be out-dated.
The study by the Royal United Services Institute found that nations like China and Russia are doubling down on cheap, yet increasingly effective technologies for cyber warfare and missiles that can neutralize larger and more expensive assets, such as aircraft carriers, to the point where the British and U.S. navies can no longer turn a blind eye to military developments of other nations.
"Although the US spends much more on defence technology development than its potential adversaries, its better technology does not necessarily translate to proportionate military advantage in a specific theatre," said the study.
The study comes less than a month after the House Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces called for the Navy to maintain a fleet of 12 carriers starting in 2023.
Instead, the study recommends the British and U.S. navies reevaluate their assets through a modern lens — even if it means potentially scrapping some traditional weapons systems, reported Real Clear Defense.
"Missiles costing (much) less than half a million pounds [$642,000] a unit could at least disable a British aircraft carrier that costs more than £3 billion [$3.9 billion]. Indeed, a salvo of ten such missiles would cost less than $5 million," said the study.
The U.S. Navy has thrived on the backs of large, imposing aircraft carriers for nearly a century. Current and future developments, however, may force the Navy to rearrange priorities.