Just-in-time ordnance delivery can extend a carrier battle group's ability to conduct strike sorties. Using vertical replenishment methods, helicopters transfer ordnance from a nearby combat support ship to the carrier, where it is unloaded, finned and fuzed, and uploaded onto strike aircraft for the next mission—without ever being stored in the carrier's magazines.
The Navy's new weapon systems and their increased reliability enable today's carrier air wings to strike harder than ever before. Exploiting these new technologies, we have been able to increase significantly the lethality as well as the number of strike sorties that a single aircraft carrier can generate. Conducting surge operations or other excursions outside of the Defense Planning Guidance, however, can overtask a carrier battle group's ordnance handling and delivery capabilities, which are pivotal to its ability to conduct sustained strike operations, even when augmented by a second carrier battle group or shore-based aircraft.