Eye In The Sky
- Reaction score
Depends if you're expecting LOS, BLOS, etc.
Physical range/combat radius might mean you don't need to deploy from ships - an MQ-9 flew from Grand Forks ND to 78N, circled around a bit, and returned for a 25.5h mission last Sep. Granted its endurance will be lower with weapons, etc but still probably enough to deploy from the same bases as the associated MPA.
The MQ-25 Stingray expects to have their pilots on the carrier in OSINT articles. However, with BLOS, they could be anywhere.
In theory, a RPA could remain ONSTA for 2+ MPA missions. I suspect the CONOPs would be very similar to an 'overland' sortie. Launch Recover crew/mission crew that takes control/hands over control at "point X".
The "short deck" idea would extent the MPA and, possibly, allow for them to be used without an MPA.