Navy Aviation Industry Competes for Attention
Times are tough for carrier aviation. The Navy is struggling with an aging fleet and rising costs — in addition to the possibility that the fleet may temporarily drop from 11 to 10 aircraft carriers in a couple of years. Naval aviation’s industry boosters were on Capitol Hill recently seeking to enlist congressional support for aircraft carriers. But when members of the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition showed up at the Rayburn Office Building, they found that Navy-friendly lawmakers Reps.
Gene Taylor, D-Miss., and Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., weren’t interested in talking about carriers. Instead, the congressmen took the opportunity to advocate for the use of nuclear propulsion in surface combatants as a way to reduce fuel costs. Aircraft carriers already are powered by nuclear reactors. Maybe Taylor and Bartlett will be enlisting the carrier coalition to help build an “all nuclear” Navy?