Enormous supercarriers like the carrier Gerald R. Ford may be the future of the Navy’s fleet, but Congress doesn’t want the Navy to leave smaller, light aircraft carriers behind too hastily, reports Popular Mechanics.

The Senate Armed Services Committee designated $30 million in its version of the proposed 2018 National Defense Authorization Act — released last week — to create a “preliminary design” for a light aircraft carrier, says Popular Mechanics.

For decades, the Navy has focused on churning out large supercarriers — like the Ford which will be commissioned later this month — because they can carry more aircraft and hold more fuel, says Popular Mechanics. However, they can be expensive and have experienced their share of issues during construction. The Ford cost $13 billion to build and was supposed to be commissioned two years ago.

As a result, John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has become a strong advocate for switching gears to lighter and smaller aircraft carriers, according to his white paper on defense in January.

Read the whole story from Navy Times.

Featured image of USS Iwo Jima courtesy of U.S. Navy

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