Accession Number:

ADA254043

Title:

The Future of Carrier Aviation

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI ADVANCED RESEARCH PROGRAM

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1992-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

120.0

Abstract:

Over the last 45 years the U.S. Navy has generally maintained a fleet of 15 aircraft carriers and almost as many carrier air wings. During this time frame, carrier air power was designed with a strong Soviet maritime threat in mind, but used against a myriad of third world nations. With missions ranging from crisis-response to sustained combat operations, aircraft carriers have continually been one of the United States most visible forms of forward-deployed defense. Like the other branches of defense, the Navy is scaling back active forces. With fewer deployable carriers and a marked decrease in funding, the Navy must reevaluate carrier aviations role in a markedly changed world. This study investigates future requirements for carrier aviation by critically evaluating 1 the historical application of carrier air power across a broad spectrum of past scenarios, 2 carrier air powers applicability in light of the increased emphasis on regional threats, 3 variants of forward-defense to counter the changed threat, 4 future carrier aviation requirements, 5 historical and alternative modes in the deployment of carriers. Additionally, this study addresses the variety of forces at work, which interact and impact upon the size and composition of the Navys current and future carrier and air wing structure. Specifically, the Navys two future strike aircraft programs, the AX and the FA-18 EF, are investigated for their future application. Finally, a series of detailed recommendations are provided as measures to best preserve the future of carrier aviation.

Subject Categories:

  • Aircraft
  • Marine Engineering
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE