Thomas Modly Wants Task Force to Look at Future Role of Aircraft Carriers

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Thomas Modly
Thomas Modly

Thomas Modly, acting secretary of the Navy, is commissioning a task force to carry out a study to look at the future role of carrier-based naval aviation in the global security environment for 2030 and beyond.

The Future Carrier 2030 task force will examine how best to modernize and use the existing fleet of aircraft carriers to address the challenges posed by advanced long-range weapons, determine possible limitations of means in future defense budgets and provide an opportunity to consider future technologies for carrier-based naval aviation as part of the six-month study, the Navy said Monday.

“Because we have four new Ford carriers under contract, we have some time to reimagine what comes next,” Modly said. "Any assessment we do must consider cost, survivability, and the critical national requirement to sustain an industrial base that can produce the ships we need—ships that will contribute to a superior, integrated naval force for the 2030s and far beyond.”

An assessment of U.S. shipbuilding requirements led by David Norquist, deputy secretary of defense and a 2020 Wash100 award winner, will inform the task force.

An executive director selected from within the Department of the Navy will lead the task force. Representatives from the Office of Naval Research and the deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting development will provide assistance to FC-2030.

John Warner, former senator of Virginia, has agreed to serve as honorary chairman of the FC-2030 executive panel. The panel’s executive members will include John Lehman, former secretary of the Navy; Christine Fox, former acting deputy secretary of defense; Seth Cropsey, former deputy undersecretary of the Navy; and Randy Forbes, former congressman from Virginia.

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