Expect the U.S. Navy carrier air wing to have extended ranges in dealing with threats in the future. This was expressed by officials who are tasked with the improvement of United State's air warfare.
According to experts, the U.S. Navy will focus on giving aircraft carriers and its air wings with enhanced capabilities to increase its operational range. One of the reasons is to counter long-range weapons of their adversaries, including China.
Rear Adm. Greg Harris highlighted the analysis of the carrier air wing and how it is impacted by several factors. These factors are the planes, ship crew, and the different systems that will be used with new weapon systems.
The carrier platform has more opponents who fear the massive firepower of carrier strike group (CSG), using beyond visual range weapons and missile systems to take out a U.S carrier, according to Defend News.
Instead of relying on Air Force aerial tankers, the navy is developing the Boeing MQ-25 Stingray, which is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) tanker drone. This will extend the range of fighters that already takes advantage of the steam catapult. Refueling with UAVs adds more punch to the air wing.
The addition of the unmanned tanker will not only increase the range of conventional fighters but also of the 5th generation F-35s and newer planes. Longer ranges are more lethal with standoff weapons that will add more value to planes.
The remarks of Harris follow after China demonstrated their DF-26 and DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles fired in a test in the South China Sea. China has always been wanting to send the U.S. a message after American CSGs have been roaming the South China Sea region, reported Global Times.
It is the status quo for the Chines People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to ride the waves unopposed, but the U.S. Navy never listened to their complaints. Last July, two supercarrier strike groups did maneuvers and exercises in a literal show of force that sent Chinese in diplomatic protests.
One of the biggest challenges for the aircraft carrier weapons plant form is how to survive and prove its value. Other proponents are saying that the CSG will be developed with a stronger weapons system to strike and disable enemy assets.
For some, bringing in the carrier strike group into the range of China's rockets is harrowing and questionable. Believers in the power of the aircraft carrier think that ways can be found to face Chinese missile barrages.
Admiral Harris admitted the study has opened questions about the range and warfighting efficacy that are needed to be brought in naval might. Devising how to get closest to the enemy without fear of its missiles is one of the priorities of analysts and planners.
Based on the study of the naval forces, the carrier air wing is the focus of the analysis. Traditionally, the CSGs need to be within striking distance to deliver its weapons and payload which is not feasible anymore in the modern battflefield. Thus, there's a growing need to strike at a distance without getting into enemy range too much.
This is the expectation requiring the Navy to adopt counter-measures that are already in development.
He added that the U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is a mobile airfield that has a chance of surviving better than a static land base. Place a carrier air wing with carrier strike group, with all assets working together and they can strike at a distance effectively.
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