If you were a quartermaster loading out your carrier magazine with bombs in 2025 based on the CMANO database and didn't know where it was going, (the scenario is a routine cruise when hostilities break out), what would you reasonably put in there?
Answer: Lots and lots of Mk. 82, Mk. 83 and Mk. 84 bombs, and lots of BLU-109s. You can build LGBs or JDAMS on the carrier so long as you have the bombs and the guidance kits. It's easier to bring more guidance kits via COD or UNREP than it is to bring lots of big heavy bombs. I'd also bring as many AMRAAMs and heaters as I could bring. Other, more specialized munitions, that I couldn't build at sea, I'd bring in more limited quantities but so long as the COD or UNREP came, I could replenish them.
The good news is that there's lots of space in a CVN's magazine, so you don't really need to worry that much about storage space. I once estimated that a carrier, using a fairly high sortie rate, could go for a whole 6 month deployment, dropping bombs continuously without replenishing its magazines. They're all good for space. If there's an inventory issue, it's probably with newer or more specialized munitions like SLAMs, Harpoons, HARM/AARGM, SDB, LRASM, Mavericks, torpedoes, etc.
If there's something missing in a carrier magazine in Command, I just add it in the scenario editor. It's not necessarily a bad assumption to assume that however many specialized munitions you'd need for a given mission, they'd have brought out to the CVN via UNREP. Tweaking the loadouts on carriers is one way to guarantee I'm absorbed for an afternoon on my computer.
Well one thing I have done is remove every Mk82 kit. All of them. Every aircraft can carry the SDB II. Research shows it costs about the same as a JDAM kit and my mythical quartermaster loves the idea of not having to build Mk-82s all the time. The only capability lost is the ability to put a Mk82 through a window with laser guidance, but that still exists for Mk83 and Mk84. All Paveway II kits are gone as well.
I'm also trying to be realistic in the cost of these things. Research is eye-opening in some cases. A JSOW C1 costs about $50k more than a JSOW C, but the Navy isn't buying the older model anymore and the Air Force is out of the JSOW project completely. Like I said above an LJDAM kit costs 40k more than a JDAM and it isn't replacing JDAM so you would only have a limited number of them.
Same for the penetrators. At first look it seems counterproductive to have both BLU 109 and Blu 116 penetrators in inventory, but it turns out that the BLU-116 is a very specialized, low rate item (less than 40 per year through 2021) and 109s are fairly common.
Another interesting note is that JASSMs aren't even available as a loadout on any of these aircraft. At least the CMANO database thinks the Navy is going to LRASM only. Doing the research on that now.
I'll post the whole thing for comment soon.