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Hudson Institute Releases Report on US Naval Readiness

Hudson Institute

Study examines impact of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers on emerging global threats;
Review of the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the 10 US carrier strike groups

WASHINGTON – Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower has just released Sharpening the Spear: The Carrier, the Joint Force, and High-End Conflict, an in-depth analysis of the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the United States Navy’s fleet of aircraft carriers. The study is co-authored by Bryan McGrath, Seth Cropsey, and Timothy Walton, and chronicles the mounting Anti-Access/Area Denial threats to sea-based operations. An electronic copy of the report is available here.

The study’s key findings include:

  • The Joint Force requires sea-based air power to conduct strike, air warfare, and surveillance. Sea-based air power provides classic naval functions (sea control and power projection) and serves as a key enabler of other Joint Force components necessary for victory in high-end conflict. This demand is growing.
  • The Carrier Strike Group (CSG), with the large, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at its core, remains the most effective and efficient means of providing these capabilities across the range of military options.
  • In order to provide these required capabilities, the Navy must pursue a series of conceptual, capability, and capacity improvements to the CVN, the Carrier Air Wing (CVW), and the CSG.
  • The emerging threat environment increases the need for aircraft carriers, and none of the alternatives to the CVN offer an equal or better capability and capacity across the range of military options from peacetime presence through major power war.

On October 8th, Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) will give keynote remarks at the study’s official release event in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Additional speakers include the report’s authors Bryan McGrath, deputy director of the Center for American Seapower, who will give an overview of the report’s key insights, and Seth Cropsey, director of the Center for American Seapower, who will moderate a panel on the importance of the carrier in American military strategy. The panel will feature Ronald O’Rourke, specialist in national defense at the Congressional Research Service; Robert Martinage, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; and Timothy A. Walton, co-author of the report and principal at Alios Consulting Group.

Members of the press are invited to attend the official report release. For additional details or to arrange an interview with the report’s authors, please contact Carolyn Stewart. The full study, Sharpening the Spear: The Carrier, the Joint Force, and High-End Conflict, can be accessed at