2.6 Research Paper Release: The Need for Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Disruptive Air Warfare

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies invites you to enjoy our rollout for our newest paper: The Need for Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Disruptive Air Warfare by Mark A. Gunzinger, Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, with Maj Gen Lawrence A. Stutzriem, USAF (Ret.), Mitchell’s Director of Research, and Bill Sweetman. This discussion featured Robert Winkler, Vice President, Corporate Development and National Security Programs, Kratos Defense, and Curtis Wilson, Senior Director, Emergent Missions, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. The event was moderated by Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.), Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

This report is a product of the Mitchell Institute’s wargames and related research that involved expert participants from the Air Force warfighter communities, defense technologists, and industry. It strongly supports the Air Force’s proposition that CCA will help mitigate the Air Force’s existing—and growing—capability and capacity gaps that threaten its ability to achieve air superiority in a conflict with the pacing threat. However, while CCA may provide affordable mass to bolster an otherwise dwindling inventory of crewed combat aircraft, CCA combined with crewed 5th and future 6th combat aircraft have the potential to disrupt China’s A2/AD operations and then deny and impose costs as called for by the National Defense Strategy. The stakes for creating this new, hybrid force design have never been higher, given China’s unchecked campaign to field new A2/AD weapon systems and proliferate them to other actors that threaten the security of the United States and its allies and friends.

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