via AOL Defense.
The high-cost, high-controversy centerpieces for the future Navy fleet — theFord-class aircraft carrier and the F-35C fighter — not only take it in the wrong direction, says a report out today. They double down on a strategic mistake made 20 years ago, when the Navy shortchanged range, argues Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain now with the Center for a New American Security in a new study.
Only investing in new, unmanned aircraft with longer range — ideally launched off smaller, cheaper carriers — can restore the carrier’s relevance in the face of Russian and Chineseship-killing missiles, Hendrix argues. Like a recent study from the Hudson Institute, Hendrix sharply criticizes the modern carrier air wing for being too short-ranged and argues the Navy’s UCLASS drone (Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance & Strike) should be optimized for long-range raids.
This is a huge issue.
The USN is finally crawling out from underneath the Generational War/Small War/SOCOM mafia rock and looking around to see nothing but loooong range Russian and Chinese (and Indian) anti-ship missiles that can launched far outside the fleet air defense cap.
The strike issue is also at question. Not only do you have to sail too close to potential targets but anti-air missiles can reach out much further too.
And despite all the talk of US cruise missiles they're still short ranged in comparison as are our anti-air missiles.
Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon are trying to push lasers out as fast as possible because they see the problem.
But is it already too little, too late?