The growing case for an Australian aircraft carrier Interesting article on carrier debate. Japan's carrier decision seems to have had a ripple effect. If you include long-range strike capabilities on the F-35B (such as JSM) then you can partially offset the relatively limited availability via standoff distance. However there is still the question as to how often one carrier may be available, considering maintenance and operational tempo in an ever increasingly contested region. Certainly useful up North if we would ever use it there. However I question whether such an asset is really needed in the South Pacific or the Indian Ocean when (as discussed) forward bases can be upgraded and exploited - which can be done relatively quickly by engineers if required. I'm not an experienced naval or air guy, especially with technical details... But I don't see a particularly strong case for it when other options are available.