How America’s aircraft carriers could become obsolete

But this formation is likely to face greater risks due to new missile technology in the coming years. China and Russia are both perfecting more sophisticated missile designs, and both are believed to be developing hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs), weapons that travel faster than Mach 5, according to a Pentagon report obtained by Bloomberg News.

China already fields a ballistic missile, the Dong Feng-21D, which has been dubbed a “carrier killer” due to its 900-mile range and lethality. Over time, these types of weapons are likely to keep U.S. carriers farther from shore, which will require greater refueling capabilities for their aircraft complements.