Diesel vs Nuclear Aircraft Carriers

Diesel vs Nuclear Aircraft Carriers

In this video, we compare diesel powered aircraft carriers vs. nuclear powered. We focus primarily on HMS Queen Elizabeth vs. USS Gerald R. Ford.

Note that in this video, we present our personal ideas and opinions from our research on the topic. We do not claim to be experts on the topic, but we did put over 100 hours into making this video.

Note that: – “The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.”

Special thanks to US Navy and Royal Navy for maintaining public domain archives of military footage.



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  1. Correction U.K. Queen Elizabeth is over 70,600 tonnes. As for value for money $4.1 Billion dollars for a conventionally powered U.K Carrier with 72 Aircraft max vs $13+ Billion dollars for a nuclear powered U.S Carrier with 85 Aircraft max. Seems conventionally powered carriers are easily better value money to me. Basic economics you can buy 3 Queen Elizabeth’s with 216 Aircraft max (which are designed to be converted to cats and traps) for 1 Ford class with 85 aircraft max?

  2. Another good reason is that the UK doesnt police the world like the US does and doesnt need to spread freedom all over the globe. Just in and around the UK.

  3. One time I had a job interview at some aerospace company and they showed me a server made for a British nuclear submarine. My face lit up like a nuke lol

  4. Carries are very expensive floating targets! One well directed and powerful missile will destroy that barge!

    Invest in nuclear powered and equipped stealth manned or drone subs…lots of them!

  5. I'd have to go with the diesel powered carrier coz 1, it'd be a lot easier to find guys to service/run the diesel power plant than two nuclear reactors. 2, Also I like the ski ramp coz it enables planes to take off fully laden with fuel and weapons. And 3, I'm biased lol….. I do like our American brothers in arms equipment tho.

  6. I would say that if you want best bang for the buck, you should use diesel carriers. Nuclear only allows creating bigger carriers with longer range but the price is much higher.

    However, for submarines, nuclear submarine is the only thing that's actually competitive in modern warfare. There the real options are no submarines vs nuclear submarines.

  7. Comparing oranges and Apples , sad, as first Stvol wafare isn't more powerfull as a LHD class which are half the weight of this brit monstuosity, second its limited range of power as diesel take lot of place ! so Stvol carriers are useless

  8. The US has smaller non-nuclear carriers for vital aircraft and that's the biggest difference in the carriers you compared only the US can launch non-vitol aircraft when compared to the British carrier Queen Elizabeth

  9. The problem in this video is it tries to compare 2 entirely different classes of ships as if they are equivalent. The conventionally powered jump carriers have a lot more operational limitations than US super carriers do. Us carriers can conduct flight operations in almost any weather, and do it faster for longer periods of time, while carrying more capable aircraft able to strike at longer ranges with more ordnance per flight. You don't mention anything about the capabilities the UK carriers lack such as mid-air refueling and AWACs making them even less able to defend themselves or their battlegroup.

  10. As an American, I would point out we have a lot of military bases all over the world. The thing about a Gerald R Ford class carrier: It is a pretty fair size base in and of itself and it's carrier group, and can be moved closer to a problem spot. I have noticed problem spots are often not where you expect them, and none of the other bases move. And by problem spots, I mean places where some despot decides to do something that puts everyone (the whole planet!) at risk. Americans don't want to conquer anyone. We just don't want anyone doing anything stupid that can cause a global war. Again. So our military is prepared if anyone tries to do that, which makes us and our allies all feel a lot better. Also note: this is not a threat against others becoming super powers, unless they want to do something to the whole planet. We have to share the planet. We don't have to share anything else. Witness North Korea. It's leadership hates us and all we are and do. Fine. That is not a reason to go in and take them out. If they attack South Korea, that would change. I think the US has learned from past (well intentioned) mistakes. Hopefully, others don't have to make the same mistakes.