By refuelling in the air without having to return to the ship as before, MQ-25 Stingray allows aircraft carrier fleets to unleash their power from safer ranges.
Offensive operations previously deemed too risky or impractical may finally become possible, greatly expanding the range of the Navy’s capabilities against the toughest adversaries, be it Russia.
These UAVs provide the US Navy with an effective tool to solve one of its most pressing problems today, the anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy of its main adversary, Russia.
Now, these adversaries are all developing platforms capable of preventing US forces from accessing or infiltrating key areas. But because the Stingray can help increase the range of US ship-based fighters, allowing them to neutralize the enemy’s A2/AD tactics.
The US Navy explains because Russia’s Zircon supersonic anti-ship missile has a range of over 1,000 km, while the US’s longest-range fighter jet currently only has a combat radius of 900 km.
This fact has forced the US to operate its warplanes out of effective range or risk putting an aircraft carrier with 6,000 troops and 70 aircraft within range of Russian anti-ship missiles.
But once put into service on aircraft carriers, the MQ-25 Stingray will help expand the range of the US Navy’s current F/A-18 and F-35C fighters, allowing them to operate. effective movement from a safe distance.
“We have improved several features and increased survivability for the MQ-25 before deciding to buy it and be ready to go into service. In addition to the main mission of marketing, the aircraft can also carry out missions. reconnaissance and surveillance as well as the ability to operate as a flying truck,” said Rear Admiral Greg Harris.
According to US military expert Mark Episkopos, the US Navy’s decision to develop and equip Stingray is so that the aircraft carrier can fight well in modern warfare.
In addition, part of the reason is that the US Navy does not have anti-ship missiles far enough to reach long-range missile ships like Russia’s Zircon. Currently, the US Navy’s standard Harpoon anti-ship missile with the furthest variant also has a range of no more than 300km.
“Fighter ships have a limited combat radius and Stingray will solve the difficulties. Fighters such as F-35C, F/A-18 will be doubled in range when fighting against seas. Therefore, the squadron’s fleet. The carrier does not need to enter the danger zone but can still complete the mission,” Mark Episkopos wrote.
According to this expert, in addition to Zircon, the Russian warship currently has a series of other dangerous attack options that can threaten the safety of the entire US aircraft carrier fleet, including the P-1000 Vulkan with maximum range. max 800km.
However, this missile is quite large in size but has only subsonic speed, so dealing with Vulkan may be within the defense capabilities of the US fleet.
The US Navy has determined that the Zircon hypersonic missile is currently the top threat to the US fleet and must find ways to neutralize the attack of this weapon.