|With the news about the Tsunami and the relief operations by the USS Lincoln(CVN) and the USS Bon Homme Richard(LHD) it seems that the LHD with it?s 600 bed hospital, well deck and LCAC?s, is more useful to have on the scene to provide relief than the CVN. Should the US Navy be building more LHD?s rather than more CVN?s? You could say ? the Navy can?t organize itself just to support humanitarian assistance missions?. That is true of course, but even in the most likely combat operations the US Navy is going to be facing in the foreseeable future wouldn?t the LHD still be useful? You can shape the airwing for the mission and the well desk can carry small patrol craft,special operations craft as well as the LCAC?s The great configuabitlity of the LHD would make it more valuable in littoral operations, sea control operations, peacekeeping operations as well as the humanitarian mission. I am not calling for the retirement of all the CVN?s just saying we have enough to deal with any high intensity threats we face and we should build a ship better able to meet the needs of our most likely missions.
PS: Does anyone know why the US Navy never fit a ski jump ramp to the LHA and LHD like the British and European did? It doesn't seem like you would lose that much deck space and it would be a great help operating the Harriers and the F35 in the future>