Despite the high cost, the U.S. military currently maintains a large number of aircraft carrier battle groups as an important force for long-range force projection, mainly focusing on the ability of aircraft carrier battle groups to be deployed quickly, without borrowing other countries’ airports and related facilities, and reducing political interference and discounts. On the other hand, it also reflects the division of labor planning in the United States during the Cold War. The U.S. Navy provides naval aviation forces with aircraft carrier battle groups to maintain ocean-going operations and route safety between the two sides of the Atlantic, while NATO allies provide other combat ships to support aircraft carrier battle groups or other operations and transportation needs.
Although the aircraft carrier can provide an air force, the defense capability of the ship itself is weak, so other ships, including surface and underwater ships, are needed to provide protection. The division of labor of the aircraft carrier battle group can be regarded as the aircraft carrier performing tasks, while other ships protect the aircraft carrier.
There are different aircraft carrier battle groups, but now a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group basically consists of the following ships, covering five major areas: air defense, anti-ship, anti-submarine, underwater combat, and supply
An aircraft carrier
It is currently a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, providing the US government with many options, ranging from a simple display of force to launch attacks on various targets. The aircraft carrier also saves the aircraft from having to worry about the use of other countries’ airports and airspace. Aircraft carriers can also provide long-term support for other troops. The aircraft carrier is the flagship of the fleet, commanded by a rear admiral with advanced combat systems and communication equipment. A Nimitz class aircraft carrier can carry 90 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter with unlimited range.
Two Guided missile cruisers
At present, Ticonderoga-class cruisers equipped with the Aegis combat system are serving: these two cruisers serve as the escort center of the aircraft carrier battle group, providing air defense, anti-ship, and anti-submarine combat capabilities. There are also Tomahawk cruise missiles on the ship, which have the ability to attack ground targets over a long-range.
Two to three guided missile destroyers
The current service is the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, which also uses the Aegis combat system. These destroyers assist the cruisers in the fleet to expand the scope of the defense circle, and are also used for air defense, anti-submarine and anti-ship operations. The ships of this class are also equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
An anti-submarine frigate.
The ship is equipped with main gun is the Oto Melara mk75, 76mm naval gun, Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles and Raytheon Standard SM-1MR surface-to-air missiles. This ship also equipped with torpedoes, the Alliant Techsystems (ATK) mk46 mod 5 lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes and the ATK mk50 torpedo.
Four assault submarines
The US Navy currently operates around 40 Los Angeles class submarines alongside the newer Seawolf and Virginia class boats. These submarines proved to be an exceptionally good anti-submarine platform. First boat of the improved Los Angeles class was commissioned back in 1988.
Improved submarines are much quieter than original Los Angeles class boats. It is described that improved Los Angles class boats are 7 times quieter than the original Los Angeles class boats.
The class features a very potent weapon array, including Mk.48 torpedoes, Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. The Tomahawk missile can be launched from the dedicated vertical launching system or from torpedo tubes. These boats can operate under ice where Russian ballistic missile submarines tend to hide. A supply ship
At present, the attack and defense capabilities of a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group are complex. Generally speaking, it relies on fighter aircraft, attack aircraft, early warning aircraft, anti-submarine aircraft or helicopters carried by aircraft carriers to attack, defend or search for enemies hundreds of kilometers away from the aircraft carrier. Other combat ships take protecting the operational safety of the aircraft carrier as the first priority task, followed by supporting the aircraft carrier’s attack task, and undertake personnel search and rescue work.
Aircraft carrier battle group
The role of the aircraft carrier battle group includes: protecting the use and safety of maritime transportation channels. Protect the transportation and mission execution of amphibious forces. Cooperate with land-based aircraft to form and maintain air superiority in specific areas. Meeting the needs of national interests by means of display of force.
Cancelled aircraft carrier strike group: Aircraft carrier strike group 4 was converted to Taixiyang strike training group in 2004. Aircraft Carrier Strike Group 6, 2004 reorganization but has now been canceled. Aircraft Carrier Strike Group 15 has been canceled and the carrier was converted to Aircraft Carrier Strike Group 7. Aircraft Carrier Strike Group 7 was cancelled and merged into Aircraft Carrier Strike Group 9 in 2011 due to funding issues.