Well, I think we now know how the Navy plans to get from a 12 carrier force to an 11 carrier force. The KENNEDY was the poster child for neglected maintenance and care during the lean budget years of the 1990s while the “peace dividend” was being enjoyed, and a 15-month overhaul was going to bring her back to fighting trim.
But it’s been canceled to save $335 million. One advantage of refurbishing the KENNEDY is that the ship would be available to take the place of the KITTY HAWK in Japan if that nation doesn’t change its mind about basing nuclear-powered ships there. The KENNEDY and the KITTY HAWK are the last two conventionally-powered carriers in the US fleet. The KITTY HAWK is scheduled to be deactivated in 2008.
However, its no secret that the KENNEDY is well past her prime. She has had many overhauls canceled, and the Navy seems to be set to decommission her this year.
Murdoc doesn’t think 11 carriers is enough.