The Distributed Air Wing
Research project rept.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The development of advanced anti-accessarea denial A2AD threats by potential adversaries presents a significant challenge to the United States Navy. The proliferation of these threats makes operating an aircraft carrier from contested waters a high-risk endeavor. If a carrier must be withheld from the battle or is put out of action, the entire capability of the air wing is lost. The Systems Engineering process was applied to this problem by exploring a concept called the Distributed Air Wing DAW. This high-level concept includes various methods to distribute and disperse naval air capabilities from their centralized location on an aircraft carrier. This study outlines the development and analysis of three conceptual designs that fall under the concept of the DAW a dispersed land and sea basing concept that utilizes carrier-borne Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, a seaborne unmanned aircraft courier system, and a carrier-based unmanned air-to-air vehicle. The analysis within shows that a mixture of these alternatives in varying degrees delivers the Fleet s most critical capabilities Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance ISR, OffensiveDefensive Counter Air, and SurfaceLand Strike with less risk than the current Carrier Air Wing CVW force structure and operational doctrine.
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