Republican presidential hopeful and Ohio Governor John Kasich says the United States should build five more aircraft carriers.
Speaking at a forum on national security in South Carolina on Monday, Governor Kasich argued that the United States should try to have around 15 aircraft carriers.
“We have about 10 carriers now, my goal would be to get closer to 15. And you’ve got to have the ability to project power when you get there,” Kasich said, the Columbus Dispatch and Politico reported.
Speaking to reporters after the forum, Kasich clarified his remarks by saying that the project to build five additional aircraft carriers would have to be done “over time. It’s not going to be done in a day. It has to all be done calmly and over time.”
The crux of the issue for Kasich, as is so often the case when it comes to the defense spending and the Navy in particular, is cost. The latest U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, cost between $6 billion and $10 billion to build, according to the Columbus Dispatch (other estimates put the cost of the lead ship at upwards of $12 billion). Adding an additional five aircraft carriers to the ones America already intends to build would be an enormous burden on federal spending.