|It's the Air Wing the Matters, not the Carrier!|
|Less Capable Air Wings|
People who argue either for or against the carrier, miss the point that it's the air wing that's important, not the carrier. Unfortunately, the air wings are getting steadily smaller and less capable. As you make your arguments for or against the carrier, do it from the perspective of the air wing. Thus, the question becomes, is the cost of a modern supercarrier justified to carry around 40 combat planes? I'll leave it to you to decide that.
On a related note, the new Ford class is bigger than the Nimitz but will carry an air wing approaching half the size that the Nimitz first carried. Am I the only one who sees a logical inconsistency here?
For those interested in the numbers, here are the Air Wing sizes as of April 2012 as listed in the May 2012 issue of Proceedings.
CVW-1 44 combat / 58 total
CVW-2 46 combat / 70 total
CVW-3 45 combat / 66 total
CVW-5 46 combat / 67 total
CVW-7 44 combat / 59 total
CVW-8 44 combat / 70 total
CVW-9 44 combat / 75 total
CVW-11 44 combat / 67 total
CVW-14 46 combat / 55 total
CVW-17 44 combat / 59 total
The large variation in the totals is due to some Air Wings carrying an extra squadron of helos, for some reason.
All Air Wings also embark 2 CODs (C-2A) when deployed but they aren't part of the wing.