As explained in previous posts (see back pages section) I believe some modern military hardware is actually obsolete, but PTB don't believe it, they have their special interests to lavish tax money upon.
So fighter jets and aircraft carriers should be removed from service, what should replace them?
Before we get into that, let's talk about modular systems. An example most readers will recognize is desktop computers. These do include some entirely proprietary models, but when IBM introduced their open format platform the AT (X86) series, the advent of computer modular design opened the door for (decentralized) manufacturers of components to compete, so the capability, quality and price improved. That's what I'm suggesting should be done for military hardware. Form factors set the specifications for components, which when assembled, create a fully operational device.
As illustrated in my discussion of Lockheed's F-35, a swarm of relatively cheap rockets could defeat them very reliably. Same goes for any surface ships, submarines won't be obsolete in the foreseeable future.
Going up like a rocket? that's rocket science
cheapest rockets, models; disposable engines, complete with pressure jacket, see model (toy) rocket engines, prev. link
So rockets are really the go-to device type we need to replace much of the obsolete stuff. Before we go into that, let's get some obsolete thinking out of our way. A very old concept popular with ruling classes is the desire to "project power", aka "saber rattling", aka "shows of force", meaning threaten with fear as a means to attain and hold dominance, aka "might makes right". I believe this is a narcissistic, psychopathic mindset which makes the persons having it dangerous to everyone else. This dangerous trait is much admired in USA. Take for example the faces on Mt. Rushmore, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln. The latter two are most famous for their war exploits, Roosevelt for Spanish war, Lincoln for the Northern Aggression war. Roosevelt was especially fond of projecting power, witness his quote "speak softly, carry a big stick", and his world tour of Great White Fleet. Lincoln was famous for his desire to maintain the Union, at all costs, and the costs were enormous.
So if you are funding a military for its practical use only for defense, you don't need to show-off, you only need to have an adequate armory, optimum ability at minimum cost. Cost is important because weapons have no auxiliary economic effects like infrastructure does, they're investment "dead money". They are more like fire extinguishers and barrier walls, have no use until some threat emerges.
OK, now let's have a look at rockets.
First off, rockets are the VTO (vertical takeoff) champs. All we want for this iteration is to deliver a payload quickly and accurately. So we don't need landing gear. How to send aircraft up to flying altitude, vertically? This idea will work for any aircraft with a hard-point above the center of mass. To that, we attach a tether, at the other end is a two stage booster. First stage merely sends the main booster to the end of its tether. The main booster has at least 2 rockets directed slightly out-of vertical so the heat does not toast the tether (which can be shielded with heat resistant fabric). This lifts our aircraft straight up to a good release altitude. To land, our aircraft deploys a para-glide wing, and air-bags that inflate just before touch-down.
For very fast delivery service, we already have fast launch rockets. This Sprint missile was hypersonic in 1975. Hypersonic missiles made in Russia have aroused interest again lately, but they have a short range, so not applicable (yet) for intercontinental use. They could be attached to a long range delivery craft to make a potent strategic package.
Moving things requires energy (fire). Oxidizer from environment, compressing air requires complex, expensive device, wasteful for one-time use; or in case of ramjet, needs launched at high speed. Use of solid-fuel rocket engines, heavier, bulkier, but cheaper so more units can be deployed for a given budget; ramjet a separate case.
Simplest setup is to carry a "magazine" loaded with disposable solid fuel engines, which are drawn into position and fired, by physical punch, or electrical trigger; result is pulses of thrust between long intervals of glide, see woodpecker flight style.
Fancier setup, reusable pressure jacket, similar to breech-loading gun; fuel cartridge comes in plastic container which is vaporized with fuel; combustion chamber is opened, swabbed and cooled before next fuel charge loaded... mechanism is more complex, but allows big saving in pressure-jacket material, less debris dropped to environment.
USS Iowa turret explosion
That's the engine module, what about other components?
This device is essentially a computer with various peripherals, and the modular design paradigm applies here in spades. Different components with various abilities can be arranged to work together marvelously. Your magical smartphone is a brilliant example.
Plenty of room for various types of explosive to fit a few standard types of framework for different size craft.
That's it folks, motive force, payload and smarts to get it there, every component standardized to work together with appropriate mates. Setup testing and recycle programs to check viability and decommission unused units, so new units can be requisitioned periodically or as needed, to keep suppliers in business, and always seeking to improve. That's how capitalism works, not cronyism.
Scope of USA defense postures; drawing back a curtain on obsolete ideas Feb.2017
Survey of Creativity and Destruction 2 the future of war May.2018
War, Defense, Economy, Gov.t Jun.2020
US Carrier force sent to S China Sea (alternative view)... Jul.2020
MARITIME 'HAROP' LOITERING MUNITION 9 min
Launch 1/10 scale Saturn V 2009 1.5 min