|The deepwater oil and gas industry has developed technologies to place aircraft-carrier sized rigs (and larger, up to 488 meters long and 600,000 tons) in water over 7800 feet deep. SPAR and Tension Leg platforms are re-positionable and can remain in place for quite some time - 25 years.
Capacities are vast, allowing for carrier air wings plus, as well as larger STOL aircraft like C-130s. (some modification required, perhaps rocket-assist for heavy take-offs). A 500 - 800 meter flight deck is possible, with up to 150 - 200 feet above the waterline if we want.
The stationary and stable platform makes advanced UAV operations far more feasible, and reduces stress on the airframes of conventional aircraft. This is the real win: Just imagine what our UAV capabilities will be in 10 years, when a project like this could be deployed? Sorry Naval Aviators, but y'all might be logging quite a bit of virtual air hours.
Vulnerability to attack? Superior, near total defense against torpedo threats as anti-torpedo nets could be emplaced around the entire rig. Against missiles? Stand-off slat armor could detonate missiles 50 meters from the platform, those that got through the hail of Goalkeepers and OtoBredas and Standard missiles, etc. The rig could combine Aegis protection with Carrier capability, and only the most sophisticated militaries would have the assets to threaten it.
Where? How about the southwest corner of the Arabian Sea - where we can keep an eye on Somalia, Yemen, etc, without having to ask for flyover rights. 200 - 300 miles offshore no one could do squat about it. Persian Gulf? We usually have a CBG or three there.
WAAAAAAAY cheaper than a 13 billion dollar CV, on-duty 24/7/365, no time wasted driving to and from home port. One would literally replace 3 CVs because it isn't in transit or retrofit, and because of the capacity.
This concept could be extended to Marine MEUs too: Much better accommodations and training opportunities if you have alot more space.
Let's face it: we know where the likely threats are going to come from. Let's set up shop, make ourselves comfortable and save a bunch of money in the process.