there is a reason
for in flight refueling. you don't generally launch an aircraft fully fueled and armed from a carrier. you launch max weapons and only enough fuel to make it to the airborne fuel station top off and go. honestly they only thing more devastating on the planet than a nuclear carrier is a nuclear powered slbm sub, and the carrier is much more versatile.
whine away about american weapon systems, or british for that matter. i'll place my bets on the us systems against current russian systems any day.
all you c-130 haters need to uncork your heads from your asses. its 50+ yr old tech that still offers more capabilities than anything else mentioned.
by the way aluminum a/c are proven, composites not so much. call me back in 50 yrs. and maybe that will have changed.
maybe someday we can spend all this money on something worthwhile. somehow i doubt it. seems we all have to many problems seeing eye to eye.
beer, now there is a proven tech.