The US Navy plans to equip the US carrier air wing with drones with functions ranging from tankers to attack and assist. This has been reported Web site US Naval Institute.
According to Rear Admiral Andrew Loizel, Director of the U.S. Navy Air Force, three options are being discussed for equipping aircraft carriers with drones: the first involves creating vehicles that can enter and stay in a high-threat environment for extended periods of time. the second is to quickly complete the task in air defense actions and return to the ship, and the third – to accompany manned fighters, for example, with an additional set of missiles or electronic warfare systems.
According to him, the absence of a pilot would allow a drone the size of a conventional fighter to be equipped with much more fuel, meaning it would increase its range. This is necessary so that the aircraft carrier remains at the greatest possible distance from the anti-ship weapons of the enemy, which is considered to be the Chinese.
The Navy is now testing the MQ-25A Stingray unmanned tanker, which can travel up to 500 nautical miles from an aircraft carrier with 6.8 tons of fuel and refuel the F-35C and F/A-18E/F in the air. Instead of fuel, planes could be tagged with weapons or reconnaissance equipment, Loiselle said.
Earlier it was reported that China has launched the world’s first aircraft carrier for unmanned aerial vehicles. The ship’s deck is equipped for aircraft drones, unmanned ships and submarines.
Beijing claims that the ship was designed for naval research, which is confirmed by its cheerful color, but observers are confident that this is a combat mission, the study of the seabed and the installation of sea mines, especially in the interests of submarines. .