The Navy is developing an aircraft carrier to be the “bomber dog of the future” and is trying to use it to shoot down terrorists in the region, Vice Admiral Scott Hodge, chief of naval operations, said during the Pentagon’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. Hodge also said the US could someday use the aircraft carrier in its “battlespace” war against al-Qaeda.
“We are very, very excited about the aircraft carriers, the idea of a carrier-based aircraft carrier that could have a mission and capabilities to strike the terrorists, to shoot them down, to take out their missiles, and to be able to launch those missiles in a fashion that we know is survivable,” Hodge said, adding that the Navy is also considering an amphibious assault aircraft carrier for use in a conflict with the Islamic State group.
“It’s a long-term, aggressive mission that could ultimately be an endgame,” he said.
The Navy’s research into the new carrier is part of an effort to improve the performance of the carrier by focusing on the carrier’s radar, weaponry and the carrier itself, Hodge added.
The new carrier has the capability to operate in waters outside the U.S. territorial waters.
“When you have this carrier that can launch its weapons from the aircraft bay on the aircraft deck, and then move to other parts of the aircraft to engage a range of different threats, that’s really going to help us,” he told the conference.
In April, the Navy launched a study into how to get the aircraft the aircraft capability that is crucial for protecting the US from future attacks from al-Qaida, the Islamic Republic of Iran and other terrorist groups.
That study will examine the capability of the USS George Washington to conduct operations in the event of a U.N. resolution that would allow it to be used as a platform to launch attacks against the Islamic states, according to a statement from the Navy.
The study, entitled “Aircraft Carrier: Future Combat Capabilities,” is designed to “provide a baseline for evaluating the future capability and capability mix of future U.A.E. [U.S.-armed Expeditionary Aircraft] carriers,” according to the Navy’s statement.
The project will examine “the role of aircraft carrier and the future air-launched combat systems of aircraft carriers in the evolving maritime domain, and examine the role of the United States in the international air space and associated threats to U.K. and other allied nations,” the Navy said.
“This research is aimed at developing a baseline to assess the future capabilities and capability profile of future US aircraft carriers,” the statement added.