From publicly available information on the Internet, one can easily ascertain the locations and formation of the US surface fleets in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Both fleets are centered around aircraft carrier groups headed by Nimitz-class nuclear-powered “supercarriers.”
The USS Nimitz, the lead ship of its class, which has been in service since 1975, and all other older aircraft carriers of the US Navy have undergone extensive capability upgrades and refits so that they are more than capable of dealing with current maritime threats. The newest carrier in the Nimitz class, the USS George H.W. Bush, has been in service for only 11 years.
This is different from former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi’s (蘇起) assertion during a discussion forum last month, when he said that the US would not come to rescue Taiwan “because its aircraft carriers are aging, costly and in a poor state of repair.”
The Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers, currently under construction, are to become the US Navy’s next generation of carriers, replacing the Nimitz-class vessels. The first of its class, the USS Gerald R. Ford, was commissioned in 2017.
The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, under development for these next-generation carriers, is to allow aircraft handlers to launch and recover aircraft much faster than a conventional steam catapult. China’s navy is reportedly struggling to achieve a breakthrough in the development of an equivalent system for its own carriers.
Are the US aircraft carriers currently in service really that old?
Whether examined from the perspective of US naval strategy and data, or from the US Navy’s operational experience, the US carriers remain unsurpassed.
Not only are they still technically superior to any other nation’s carriers, the US carriers also make an immeasurable contribution to safeguarding freedom of navigation in oceans worldwide.
Contrast this with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy: Although having in the past few years rapidly grown in size, there remains a large question mark over the actual combat ability of its untested ships.
Also, the PLA Army has gained no significant combat experience since its disastrous invasion of Vietnam in the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979. China’s navy is even more of an unknown quantity, as it has never been tested in an external conflict.
In air, sea or on land, the US armed forces still surpass every other nation. The US military’s strength lies in the quality of its training, backed up by the latest technology, strict discipline and the democratic society on which it is based.
Ever since its aircraft carriers wiped the floor in the Pacific theater of World War II, the US has dominated the world’s waterways. Today, it is leading the way, constructing a new class of aircraft “supercarriers.”
Let there be no more baseless talk of the US carrier force being outdated and unable to counter an aggression by the PLA Navy.
Ray Song is a graduate of National Chung Cheng University’s Institute of Strategic and International Affairs.
Translated by Edward Jones
In a Facebook post on Wednesday last week, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) wrote: “The KMT must fall for Taiwan to improve.’ Allow me to ask the question again: Is this really true?” It matters not how many times Hsu asks the question, my answer will always be the same: “Yes, the KMT must be toppled for Taiwan to improve.” In the lengthy Facebook post, titled “What were those born in the 1980s guilty of?” Hsu harked back to the idealistic aspirations of the 2014 Sunflower movement before heaping opprobrium on the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP)
Although China’s “reform and opening up” has become an empty slogan, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) still put on a show by touring southern China to mark the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone’s establishment. His motive was not to regain the international community’s trust, but to shore up his power in China. Externally, it was a response to diplomatic setbacks, and it even revealed his adventurist attitude of not being afraid to go to war. When former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) in 1992 conducted similar inspections, it was to suppress the “leftist wind” that was interfering with his
An increasing number of cafes and other businesses in Taiwan are keeping animals, which draw in people who are seeking the next perfect shot for their Instagram accounts. In the past these were mostly standard house pets, such as cats and dogs, which are accustomed to living indoors and being around people. However, raccoons have become popular, as well as alpacas and other “unusual” animals that require specialty care and specific environments to thrive. In late June, a customer recorded a video of the owner of a coffee shop in Taipei apparently unleashing a border collie on a raccoon, who was the star