The navy is preparing for the new Ford-class carriers and the F-35 stealth attack

A file photo of the ATLANTIC OCEAN – (Sept. 4, 2017) and the F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA 101) launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
(U.s. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Josue Escobosa/Released)

The Navy is preparing its first of two new Ford-class of aircraft carriers to launch air strikes, the first-of-its-kind, carrier-launched F-35 stealth fighter, a move expected to further transform the marine air-drop, and new mission options for the commanders.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter achieved initial operational capability earlier this year, it will not only bring a car to the Carrier and the Air Wing, but it also has a drone-like surveillance capability, improved air-to-air combat capability, long range targeting sensor and a new generation of computer and networking technology, and technical developments which are already beginning to shape the new Navy mission and organization.

The F-35C is now being prepared for operational deployment on board of the existing Nimitz-class carriers, as well as the first two of the next-generation Ford-Class ships, the USS Ford (CVN 78), and most recently in command of the USS john f. Kennedy (CVN 79). The new Ford-class carriers, Navy, developers, tell, have now been specially adapted to incorporate with the introduction of the F-35 stealth fighter.

“The necessary changes in the CVN 78 and 79 and by taking full advantage of the capabilities of the F-35s, and will allow them to become more effective, and will occur prior to the onset of the planned F-35C operations on board the carriers,” Capt. Danny Hernandez, public affairs officer for the Navy’s Acquisition Executive, told the Warrior, in a statement.


The carrier changes, Hernandez explained, is built-in to the third, and the fourth, the Ford-class carrier CVN 80 CVN 81); the adjustments optimize the carrier and the take-off and landing for the F-35C, and to ensure that the new stealth fighter is enough to be networked to the ship, and the rest of Carrier Air Wing in support of the combat command and control.

While it is, of course, a lot of yet-to-be-existing and future threats and developments that are likely to be in the form of missions for the year as of right now, there are a number of the major expected areas in which the very existence of the Ford carrier has been in the change of operating concepts and CONOPs. A particular attention, among many, include the expansion of the Carrier Air Wing. The Ford-class will be fitted with a larger flight deck than the current Nimitz-class carriers, resulting in a new set-up in order to increase the sortie rate by up to 33 percent of the time. The mission’s scope is, of course, exacerbated by the F-35C. The F-35C will make you not only more range, and more lethal in air-to-air attack due to the use of the Electro-Optical Targeting System, and the firing of weapons such as the AIM-9X, but it will also be better able to provide precise air-to-ground attack, and surveillance activities. The F-35C is designed and developed to create a drone-like surveillance capability to air combat.

What’s interesting is that in December a paper on Center for International Maritime Security specifically cites the emerging tactical approaches likely to be implemented with the aid of a Carrier Air Wing technology and security threats evolve — such as those with the monitoring of the aircraft, and drones. This corresponds closely to the mission statement of the scope of the F-35.

The essay, written by a Naval War College professor, is called “The Future of the carriers: please take note of the Air Wing, Not the left.” It argues that the Carrier Air Wing and support “and the substrate of the forces in all the ways that you can defeat the enemy airborne ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare activities (as a fundamental mission of the ex-Soviet Su-27), protection (high demand, low availability assets, such as the P-8s and a Triton uav, and the superiority in the air and spread over the surface of the forces,” the essay states, (Robert Rubel).


In addition, the carrier that launched the missions are also expected to continue to evolve, in view of the forthcoming introduction of the now-in-development-SQM-25 Furthermore, aerial refueler. As for the MQ-25 Furthermore, aerial refueler, it will enable the F-35 is almost twice that of the range of products, with the possibility of more missions, more to live, and the time and the opportunity to pursue a wide range of goals, needs, new information from the intelligence services, may arise. The new objectives, in particular in the fight against the scenario in which the F-35 could face multiple opponents in a single engagement will occur. On the drive, which, in combination with the longer arms, it might just mean that there should be more of a mission kill for the F-35 is being attacked by several enemy aircraft; the fighter can use long range sensors to detect enemies and will continue to be involved in an assault for an extended period of time, in a combat, without having to go back for new shots. This is not only to reproduce the attack is variable, but is more of a fighter jet, attack ranges, to enable the carrier to operate further off-shore, and, therefore, less vulnerable to the enemy’s threats.

An increase of Carrier and Air Wing to availability, as selected by the Ford-Class, and greatly increases the up-time and mission, the attack response time, according to Rubel’s essay. He cites the Gulf War as an example of how a carrier’s presence will increase the attack options available to complement or enhance the land-based fighter jet to attack.

“If Saddam had decided to move to the south, it would be the six planes did not have any effect against a large army, and hundreds of aircraft? What if we began to lose the aircraft, as, indeed, we’re at that time thought we would be? The loss of one or two aircraft in each wave, it would have quickly been reduced to the wing of the air treat erectile dysfunction,” Rubel writes, referring to the first gulf war in the early 1990’s.

With a broad wingspan, reinforced landing gear, ruggedized structures and durable coatings, the Navy’s F-35C is designed for heavy sailing conditions. Of the avionics to equip the pilot with a real-time, however, the access to battlespace information. It is designed to be a carrier, the F-35C’s 51-foot wingspan is larger than that of the Air Force’s F-35A and Marine Corps’ F-35B short take-off and landing) types. It can fire two AIM-120 air-to-air missiles and two 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions. The F-35C can reach a speed of up to Mach 1.6 and travel more than 1,200 nautical miles, according to Navy information. A variety of tests and evaluations are also provided for pilots to use night-combat enabled, Helmet-Mounted Displays have been designed in order to provide more fidelity in low-light conditions, such as those with little or no moon, and the Pentagon tell us, a Warrior.


By 2025, the Navy’s carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G rendered some of the electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft, such as the Marine Osprey tilt rotor aircraft, a variant.

Simply put, the CIMSEC’s essay he explains that the carrier may forward the project’s power is both a psychological and tactical advantage.


“They will be able to move around the world, like a queen on a chess board, to respond to emergencies, minor-aggression, and the showing of the flag, or the threat of the use of, or in support of,” Rubel wrote.

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