Last I looked into the matter, we had 12 active aircraft carriers. Retiring the JFK
without replacing her would bring us down by one.
Since I believe that the JFK
will be replaced by one of the uprated Nimitz
-class already mentioned, I think that the active fleet will eventually remain at 12; the possibility remains that if there is a delay in replacement for scheduling reasons, we'll be down to 11 for the interim. I haven't researched this issue recently and I can't remember if there is such a gap, although I wouldn't be surprised if there were.
I'm actually more curious as to how many carriers we would have in the "mothball fleet" after the JFK
is retired. I'd like to think that we have a number of carriers that could be reactivated in relatively short order if necessary.
At any rate, it's interesting to consider that, as I recall, even our amphibious assault ships (helicopter carriers, such as the Tarawa
) were considered "aircraft carriers" at one point by the Soviets, back in the day. Of course, they're not considered such by our Navy.
By the way, an interesting resource on our latest class of assault ships, the Wasp
, may be found at:
A more up-to-date resource:
By my count, there are 12 active amphibious assault ships, including five of the Tarawa
class and seven of the Wasp
It is my belief that the F-35 may be based on at least some of these ships, replacing the A/V-8B.
[Edited 2006-08-27 13:57:15]
What's fair is fair.