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#Thread: With #China gunning for aircraft carriers, #USNavy says it must change how it fights

“Our fleet is too small, and our capabilities are stacked on too few ships that are too big. And that needs to change over time"

A great read👍…
Just because China might be able to hit U.S. Navy aircraft carriers with long-range anti-ship missiles doesn’t mean carriers are worthless, the service’s top officer said Thursday.
The chorus of doom and gloom over China’s anti-access weapons is too simplistic, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said, but that doesn’t mean the Navy should refrain from adjusting the way it fights.
“There are alternative concepts of operations that we must develop and we have to test, and we’re not going to do it during the certification phase of a carrier strike group for a combat deployment,” he told the audience at the USNI Defense Forum in Washington.
“We have to do that in large-scale exercises, that’s where we are going to experiment with unmanned. That’s where we are going to experiment with new capabilities.”
Gilday acknowledged that his fleet is not optimized today to fight the way it thinks it must to beat China, but that can’t lead the Navy to just throw its hands up, he said.
“Our fleet is too small, and our capabilities are stacked on too few ships that are too big,” he said. “And that needs to change over time. [But] we have made significant investments in aircraft carriers and we’re going to have those for a long time.
A study called for the carrier air wing of the future to be able to hunt submarines (like the S-3 Viking aircraft), provide surveillance and targeting, and destroy ships and land targets with standoff weapons, all while fighting at nearly double the range of today’s air wing.
If the Navy wants to counter China’s anti-ship cruise missiles and increasing naval capabilities, it must resurrect the Cold War-era Outer Air Battle concept, which focused on longer-range aircraft to counter Russia’s bombers.
However, instead of fighting at 200-plus nautical miles, the air wing will have to fight at 1,000 nautical miles, according to the study’s lead author, retired submarine officer and analyst Bryan Clark.
“The air wing of the future will have to be focused less on attacking terrorist training camps in Syria, and more focused on killing ships and submarines at sea — dealing with naval capabilities and island-based littoral capabilities,” “Range and the mission set is changing.”
Clark called for the effort to start with the Navy fully committing to the MQ-25 Stingray autonomous refueling drone, which when operational will be able to drag the current air wing out to the 1,000-nautical-mile range.
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