The combat drone carrier concept appeals to staffs

In July 2020, indiscretions concerning supply contracts signed by the Chinese Ministry of Defense, established that Beijing had started the design of a new class of aircraft carrier derived from the Type 075 heavy helicopter carriers. These new buildings, designated Type 076, would make it possible to use helicopters and rotary wing drones such as the Type 075, aincluding Sharp Sword type fixed-wing combat drones, giving the ship a much wider range of effectors. For this, the Type 076, whose actual construction is still subject to caution, would carry one or two electromagnetic catapults and stop strands, in order to land and catapult the combat drones in charge.

This concept has since been emulated. First in the United States, when the Chief of Naval Operations speaking on the future of aircraft carriers, indicated that it may be time to replace some of the heavy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers of type Nimitz, not their ultra-modern and very expensive counterparts of the Ford class, but by America-class helicopter carriers transformed to also receive combat drones fixed wing. The concept, which takes on a lot of meaning as the US Navy faces many simultaneous issues concerning the modernization of its fleet in a non-expandable budget, is obviously very close to that expressed by Beijing, and would be used to intervene in the areas of less conflict, or as a convoy escort, the hypothesis returning to the taste of the day with the hardening of tensions between NATO and Moscow.

An unofficial representation of the Chinese Type 076. Notice the electromagnetic catapult on the front of the bridge

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