From: The Coastal Elite
Getting back to the topic, I should note that the carrier still very much serves a need, otherwise the Chinese wouldn't be building their own carriers. Along with the Liaoning which they purchases from Ukraine and refit, the Chinese will have their first domestically produced variant of the Kuznetsov-class commissioned this year (better launch catapults, etc.) with a newer class set to be commissioned in 2023. This would bring the number of Chinese carriers to three by that time. However, their role is more limited in today's age, acting as tools of power projection for nations with ambitions or security needs beyond their own shores, especially in areas they can't readily reach by other technologies.
For China, this means being able to project its power into surrounding areas and more readily pushing its aggressive claims to territory and borders far beyond its shores (Spratly Islands, Philippines, the East Indies, the Indian Ocean); for the USA, this means supporting its security alliances in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. If some think that China only wishes to "control their shores" and protect themselves, they may well want to ask why China is so rapidly building blue water, power projection capabilities. This becomes more ominous when coupled with China's increasingly aggressive stance as to what constitutes and doesn't constitute Chinese territory.
But make no mistake, the carrier is no longer the single, dominant arbiter of naval power, subject as it now is to risks from increasingly dangerous adversarial technologies. It is one tool among many.
< Message edited by Anachro -- 5/17/2019 3:53:30 PM >