Fighting DMO Part 7: The Future of the Aircraft Carrier in Distributed Warfighting

CIMSEC – The aircraft carrier has been the main striking arm of the U.S. Navy for decades, but distributed warfighting demands something new. Anti-ship missile firepower is proliferating across the force structure of both friendly and competitor forces, creating larger demands for the tactical information required to leverage these long-range weapons. Massed fires heavily depend on information to work, and air superiority is a powerful enabler of information superiority. By focusing on a set of critical information functions and fleet air defense, the aircraft carrier can serve as a powerful enabler and force multiplier for distributed fleets and massed fires. These roles foreshadow how nations who engage in naval salvo warfare without naval aviation will be at a sore disadvantage.