Monday, February 15, 2016

Navy strike groups must adapt to rising threats

Smaller aircraft carriers and more cruisers. Multiple unmanned airframes for tanking, strike missions and dog-fighting. Sixteen carrier strike groups.
As budget season kicks into high gear, House lawmakers called in experts Thursday to discuss the future of the carrier air wing.
With possible looming threats from China, Russia and Iran, they testified, the Navy needs to re-think how it will use its carriers in an environment where they might be vulnerable to an adversary with batteries of long-range missiles.
"The risk to U.S. aircraft carriers is arguably as large as it’s ever been since our carriers were actually out there fighting in the Second World War," Michael Horowitz, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told members of the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on seapower.
Horowitz was joined by Seth Cropsey, director of the Center for American Seapower at the Hudson Institute, and Naval War College professor emeritus Robert Rubel, who shared their ideas for switching up the carrier air wing to keep it safe from attack while still patrolling contentious parts of the world.
"This will be a difficult process for a Navy that has become accustomed to being unchallenged for the past 25 years," Rubel said. more