At .5 billion per ship, Ford-class supercarriers are the most expensive warships built for the U.S. Navy — but not all aircraft carriers have to be that big.
The America-class small aircraft carriers that transport Marines on amphibious assault missions, for example, carry only a fraction of the firepower (no more than 20 F-35B fighters) of a full-size supercarrier (carrying up to 90 aircraft). But at just .3 billion, they also cost a lot less. Military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls (NYSE:HII) builds both types of warship, and is more than happy to spend the Pentagon’s money building whatever size carrier the Navy wants. In fact, Huntington Ingalls just finished building one of the America-class vessels well ahead of schedule.