Why do aircraft carriers still need destroyer escorts?
Since the principal role of an aircraft carrier with its embarked air-wing lies with its offensive capability, the majority of its defensive capabilities is left to its varied escort ships. Nevertheless these roles are not exclusive to each, since the carrier’s escorts also maintain significant offensive capability while the carrier maintains a number of defensive weapons, and can also use its air-wing in a defensive role.
While a nuclear carrier can sail for years without refueling, its aircraft need to be frequently replenished with fuel; its crew replenished with foodstuffs, etc. Thus one of the dedicated escorts is a necessary supply ship - A combined ammunition, oiler and supply ship (AOE/AOR).
Submarines are a serious threat to an aircraft carrier. The best defense against them is another submarine. Thus a carrier strike group will include two attack submarines with both defensive and offensive capability.
Additionally a carrier strike group will include perhaps two Aegis cruisers (CG), and up to three guided missile destroyers (DDG), all with tremendous offensive and defensive capabilities in air, surface, or sub-surface warfare. These escort ships may be a couple of hundred miles in distance from the carrier (or they may not), providing multiple layers of defensive capabilities to protect their number one, high-value target - the carrier.
- JeffreyLv 74 weeks ago
Submarines and missiles.
- it is iLv 54 weeks ago
Just finished working with a bunch of navy seals- they say aircraft carriers are done for. A small nuke anywhere near one would kill it.
- The TaxpayerLv 74 weeks ago
Aircraft carriers do have a substantial defense on their own...like bombers during WWII, they still prefer a fighter escort.