In terms of both absolute tonnage and technology, the US Navy is the world’s preeminent maritime military force.
But the US Navy operates more than just sea-faring ships and essentially has its own marine-based air force. The naval air arm participates in a number of mission types ranging from search-and-rescue to special operations to anti-submarine warfare.
In terms of air power, the Navy leans heavily on the F/A-18E Super Hornet. Within the air arm are 35 Super Hornet strike fighter squadrons. In addition, there are two additional F/A-18 Hornet strike squadrons.
The Super Hornets and Hornets often work in close coordination with the EA-18G Growlers. There are 15 carrier tactical electronic warfare squadrons of Growlers within the air arm. These planes have the primary mission of conducting electronic warfare and jamming enemy radars.
Of course, the Naval Air Arm’s capabilities go beyond just strike squadrons and electronic warfare. Also included within the air arm are P-8A Poseidons, the world’s most advanced search aircraft, and several squadrons of MH-60 Seahawks, some of the most capable helicopters in the world.
The US first began taking steps towards developing its naval aviation capabilities in 1910, and Lieutenant Theodore G. “Spuds” Ellyson became the first Naval Aviator on April 12, 1911. Subsequent advances in naval aviation were to play a decisive role in World War II, particularly against Imperial Japan in the Pacific.
Read more: businessinsider.com