In the latest insights from wargames conducted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) emerges as a game-changer in potential conflicts with China, offering a paradigm shift in air combat strategies and capabilities.
The Potential of Collaborative Combat Aircraft
Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) has been identified as a transformative asset in future air warfare scenarios, particularly in engagements involving China. The Mitchell Institute’s wargames underscored the pivotal role CCAs can play in augmenting the effectiveness of the U.S. Air Force, offering a cost-effective solution to counter China’s growing air power.
In the wargames, participants emphasized the significance of Collaborative Combat Aircraft as force multipliers, capable of compelling China to expend considerable resources and adapt its defensive strategies. CCAs’ moderate cost and versatility make them a strategic asset, challenging traditional notions of air combat operations.
The wargames highlighted the importance of deploying CCAs strategically within the first island chain of China’s operational sphere. By positioning CCAs closer to potential conflict zones, the U.S. Air Force can enhance operational tempo and exert more significant pressure on adversary defenses.
Critical Recommendations for Future Deployment
The report advocates for integrating CCAs with existing crewed aircraft units, emphasizing the need for collaborative operations and the development of innovative tactics. This approach ensures that CCAs complement, rather than replace, existing modernization programs such as the F-35 and Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter.
The Mitchell Institute report outlines critical recommendations for the effective integration and deployment of CCAs within the U.S. Air Force. These include determining the optimal mix of capabilities, developing operating concepts tailored to CCAs, and acquiring CCAs at scale in the coming decade.