>> United States has more aircraft carriers than any nation on Earth. Still, President Donald Trump wants more. Last week, on the deck of the newest aircraft carrier, the $13 billion USS Gerald R Ford, the President pledging to boost the fleet adding two more ships.>> I just spoke with Navy and industry leaders and have discussed my plans to undertake a major expansion of our entire Navy fleet, including having the 12-carrier Navy we need.
>> But Trump's expansion plan come as evidence mounts that the new class of aircraft carrier is not only hugely expensive, and suffers production delays, but is also highly vulnerable to attack. Reuters investigative reporter, Scot Paltrow.>> They are much more at risk now from real potential enemies, from submarines with advanced torpedoes, from land-based missiles, multiple weapons that can overpower their defenses and sink them.
>> Today, the US is the only country to base its naval strategy on aircraft carriers. Although US has ten, Russia and China each have only one. The Navy and defense experts argue the carriers still perform an essential service.>> Well, the advantage is, they say, is they are able to project US power abroad in a way that nothing else is.
They are basically floating airports that are maneuverable and can travel quickly.>> The critics, including former senior Defense Department personnel, say Washington has put too much of the country's defense budget into a handful of expensive, vulnerable carriers. Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending. The cost of a single new promised carrier would consume nearly 20% of that budget.