Internationale ontwikkelingen op onderzeebootgebied.

Gestart door Zeewier, 21/04/2017 | 10:51 uur


CitaatDefence Procurement Minister James Cartlidge, appearing before a parliamentary Defence Committee on a separate topic on Feb. 21, confirmed that he too had been onboard along with senior unnamed U.S. officials.

Cartlidge declined to comment on a question from a committee member suggesting the failure was unrelated to the missile itself.

The Sun newspaper, which broke the story, reported that a Trident 2 was propelled into the air by compressed gas in its launch tube but that its first-stage boosters did not ignite[/i].

"On this occasion, an anomaly did occur, but it was event specific and there are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpiles," Shapps told lawmakers. "Nor are there any implications for our ability to fire our nuclear weapons, should the circumstances arise in which we need to do so."

 :hrmph: De Amerikanen hebben in september nog wel een succesvolle lancering gedaan met hetzelfde type raket. Of zou het toch iets met de lancering zelf te maken hebben ? met het "wegdrukken" van de raket uit de silo van de onderzeeboot naar het moment dat de raket het zelf moet doen, het ontsteken van de raketmotor ?

Lancering als het goed gaat, Trident Missile Launch
This video shows the back-to-back launching of two Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missiles.


Heel vreemd verhaal. Wat er dus eigelijk aan de hand is, is dat de nucleaire paraplu van de Britten niet meer gegarandeerd is. Bizar
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion" US secmindef - Jed Babbin"


Citaat van: Huzaar1 op 21/02/2024 | 10:18 uurVreemd verhaal

Maar wordt nu wel bevestigd

UK admits Trident nuclear missile 'anomaly' caused test misfire, dismisses rocket booster reports

Despite a resolute defense of Trident by the UK MoD, the latest misfire will likely raise questions about the stability of the UK nuclear deterrent.

A British Trident II D5 unarmed nuclear missile that fell into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after failing to launch properly from a Royal Navy submarine suffered "an anomaly," according to UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

The embarrassing incident, marking the second successive Royal Navy Trident launch test failure in eight years, was first reported by The Sun, which linked the cause of the misfire to first stage rocket boosters not igniting. The long interval between test fires on HMS Vanguard are a result of a more than seven year refit program.

As for the exact cause of the misfire, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Breaking Defense in a Wednesday statement that reports of Trident suffering a rocket boost failure were "not" correct, clearly pushing back on the Sun report. However, the MoD would not comment on the "specifics of the anomaly."

Breaking Defense was also told that the MoD "wont comment on the specifics of investigations," relating to the Trident incident but the test failure is considered a "concern" for both the Royal Navy and the UK Defence Nuclear Organisation, with the latter, in particular, continuing "to work closely with the US."



Collins concerns: Australian submarines face upgrade challenge

Although planning is well-advanced for the Life of Type Extension (LOTE) planned for all six of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) conventionally powered Collins-class submarines, some question marks hang over the schedule and implementation of the multibillion-dollar programme.

The LOTE will keep the Collins-class boats operationally capable and available into the 2040s, supporting the RAN's transition to nuclear-powered submarines, initially with three Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) acquired from the United States as soon as the early 2030s, while retaining the option to seek two more if needed.

In addition, construction of Australia's first SSN-AUKUS, based on the UK's next-generation design and incorporating technology from all three AUKUS partner countries (Australia, the UK, and US), will begin at Osborne in South Australia at the end of this decade. Delivery of the first Australian-built SSN-AUKUS to the RAN is anticipated in the early 2040s.


"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion" US secmindef - Jed Babbin"


Test met dure raket vanaf Britse onderzeeër ook tweede keer mislukt

Voor de oostkust van de Verenigde Staten is een test met een raketlancering vanaf een Britse nucleaire onderzeeër fout gegaan. Door een storing viel het projectiel terug in zee, niet ver van de onderzeeër.


Norway's New Submarines Will Be Game Changers, Says Navy Chief

Norway is investing in new submarines that will be 'game changers' for the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) and for Norway's wider defence and security interests, according to the RNoN's Chief of Navy.

The submarines will provide game-changing capability through improved stealth that will reduce their vulnerability, and through a potential increase in hull numbers that will add deterrence capacity, Rear Admiral Oliver Berdal told Naval News.

Together, these two developments will significantly impact the presence and effects the RNoN can generate through its submarine capability.

Norway's new boat, the Type 212CD submarine, is being built under a German-Norwegian strategic partnership that is delivering T212CDs for both navies. The boat's propulsion system combines air-independent propulsion (AIP) and hydrogen fuel cell technologies to provide significantly increased dived endurance. "[The submarine] can stay underwater for weeks without exposing itself, and that is the game changer," said Rear Adm Berdal. "You fundamentally change the vulnerability, because you bring down exposure."

he design also brings improved acoustic stealth, through a new hull shape, better sound absorption capability, and reduced irradiated noise. "It's going to be a submarine that is very hard to find," the admiral noted.

In addition, the T212CD is designed to deliver enhanced situational awareness and networking.
Norway is also considering growing the RNoN's submarine force level from four to six boats. This would improve availability and presence.

Citaat"Any increase ... will give a significant increase in the availability of the submarines, but also the deterrent effect."
Rear Admiral Oliver Berdal

The RNoN's current submarine force numbers six Type 210 Ula-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs). However, two will be phased out, with a four-boat level maintained (including through service life-extension work) until the anticipated arrival of the T212CDs by the mid-2030s.

The Ula-class SSKs have already received upgrades including new sensors and a new combat management system. Other planned work includes technical measures to extend the boats' operational life, said Rear Adm Berdal.

TKMS showcased a model of the Type 212CD submarine

Norway's Parliament approved the T212CD partnership programme in 2017, with an order following in July 2021. Production work on the RNoN's first boat began at Germany's TKMS shipyard, Kiel in September 2023; delivery is expected in 2029.

Norway's original T212CD order was for four boats. However, in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence's The Military Advice of the Chief of Defence 2023, published in June 2023, Chief of Defence General Eirik Kristoffersen proposed that the RNoN's submarine force level should return to six boats.
"Given the economic scope for manoeuvre, the Chief of Defence recommends increasing the number of submarines from four to six," the report stated. It assessed that stepping up to a six-boat force level would double operational availability, and would increase the armed forces' ability to counter an adversary's maritime forces and deny them freedom of operation.

The report explained that submarines will be a key capability for Norway. In maritime terms, they will build RNoN sea denial capacity. Within wider modernisation of Norway's armed forces, they will support emphases on enhancing situational awareness, mobility, and firepower (the latter, growing capacity to inflict losses on opposing maritime forces).

One technology option to enhance the surveillance and, potentially, firepower output of Norway's future boats would be the addition of uncrewed capabilities.

The CDS report placed priority on increasing submarine numbers, even compared to (for example) a similar step-up proposed for the RNoN's frigate fleet.

Citaat"An increase from four to six submarines takes higher priority than an increase from four to six frigates."
CDS report

he increasing threat on Norway's doorstep is a primary driver here, Rear Adm Berdal explained. Today, he said, Russian submarine capability is greater than at any time over the last 30 years, with steadily increasing numbers of new and very capable boats.

The CDS report pointed to Russia's reliance on naval bases on the Kola Peninsula and the resultant need for access from the Barents Sea through the Norwegian Sea into the North Atlantic. Russia's improving submarine capability includes the addition of long-range precision-strike cruise missiles that can reach strategically important targets across Europe and could target allied sea lines of communication (SLOCs) across the North Atlantic.

Rear Adm Berdal underlined the RNoN's endorsement of the CDS proposal to increase submarine numbers. The proposal will be a central consideration within the armed forces' wider long-term plan, which will be presented to Parliament in 2024. Any plan for additional boats is, of course, not yet approved. However, to achieve synergies and economies of scale with the current build programme, an investment proposal for more boats would have to be presented shortly after the approval of the long-term plan. "Ideally, any additional submarines would follow at the same drumbeat the existing production is aiming for," said Rear Adm Berdal.



Philippines Confirm That It Will Acquire Submarines

The Philippines has confirmed that it will acquire submarines for its fleet as part of efforts to strengthen its territorial defense amid China's aggression in the West Philippine Sea.


Brazil commissioned Humaita (S41), its second Scorpene type submarine.

Brazilian Navy Commissions Second S-BR Submarine

The second of four Riachuelo class diesel-electric submarines built in Brazil by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) under the PROSUB program has been accepted into service by the Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil).

Humaitá (S 41) was formally signed over to the navy and commissioned during a 12 January 'Cerimônia de Mostra de Armamento' event at the Base de Submarinos da Ilha da Madeira (BSIM) in Itaguaí in the presence of defense minister José Mucio Monteiro. The Riachuelo class (also known as S-BR) is a customized variant of the generic Scorpène design developed by France's Naval Group.

Building on a strategic defense agreement signed by the Brazilian and French governments in December 2008, Naval Group is delivering the PROSUB (Programa de Desenvolvimento de Submarinos) programme through the ICN joint venture established with Brazil's Novonor. In December 2019, ICN was given authority to also undertake submarine maintenance, and to take on additional naval construction or manufacturing work outside of the scope of PROSUB.

The Brazilian government concluded detailed contractual terms with Naval Group in September 2009. The original scope of supply, involving eight separate contracts, encompassed three main components: a transfer of technology package for the in-country build of the four Scorpène S-BR boats; design and manufacturing services related to the non-nuclear elements of Brazil's first SCPN (Submarino Convencionalmente Armado com Propulsão Nuclear) nuclear-powered submarine; and support for the design and construction of a new submarine build facility and naval base in Itaguaí.

Compared to earlier Scorpène variants, the S-BR version features a lengthened hull (increased from 66.4 m to 71.6 m) to meet the specific requirements of the Brazilian Navy for increased range, extended endurance, and accommodation for a larger crew. Displacing 1,870 tonnes submerged, the S-BR design is fitted with six 533 mm launch tubes for the discharge of Naval Group F21 heavyweight torpedoes, MBDA Exocet SM39 Block 2 Mod 2 missiles, and mines. Up to 18 weapons can be carried: 12 on racks in the weapon compartment plus six in the tubes.

Humaitá was launched in December 2020, and began an extensive program of sea trials in December 2022. This has included a deep dive and initial weapon firings with F21 exercise torpedoes. Naval News was told that the submarine is expected to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

First-of-class Riachuelo (S 40), commissioned in September 2022, was moored adjacent to Humaitá during the commissioning ceremony. The Niteroi class frigate Defensora was berthed on the opposite quay as guard ship.

The third and fourth S-BR submarines, to be named Tonelero (S 42) and Angostura (S 43), are both in the construction hall at Itaguaí. Launch of Tonelero is planned for March this year, with sea trials to start later in 2024 prior to handover next year. Angostura's schedule is approximately 12-13 months behind: launch is planned for April 2025, with sea trials beginning later next year ahead of planned handover in 2026.

A new headquarters (Comando da Força de Submarinos) for the Brazilian Navy's submarine force was also inaugurated at the BSIM facility on 12 January. The Marinha do Brasil's submarine arm (Força de Submarinos) was previously headquartered at Mocanguê Island in Nitéroi.

Naval Group is providing support for the design and construction of the non-nuclear aspects of the SCPN, to be named Álvaro Alberto. The SCPN program transitioned into the main C phase of detailed design in 2022: Naval Group is currently contracted to provide design support for the project through to 2032.

The SCPN design will be approximately 100 meters in length and displace around 7,000 tonnes. Current planning envisages completion of Álvaro Alberto in the 2036-2037 timeframe; the navy cut the first steel plate of a qualification section in October 2023.


Citaat van: Harald op 11/01/2024 | 08:40 uurFirst Look At Columbia Missile Submarine's X-Shaped Stern

The delivery of Columbia's stern section is a milestone for the first ballistic missile submarine built for the Navy since the 1990s.

 :hrmph:  Komen ze daar nu pas achter ... wij varen al meer dan 30 jaar met de X

Wat extra info over X-roer

The "X-Factor"
Stuur een reactie. Je hebt een punt.
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion" US secmindef - Jed Babbin"


First Look At Columbia Missile Submarine's X-Shaped Stern

The delivery of Columbia's stern section is a milestone for the first ballistic missile submarine built for the Navy since the 1990s.

CitaatThe images show the Columbia class's distinctive x-shaped stern configuration, the first one designed for a U.S. submarine in six decades, with the USS Albacore featuring it back the 1960s. The configuration provides enhanced maneuverability, efficiency, and safety, as well as acoustic signature reductions across major parts of the submarine's operating envelope compared to the current cruciform system used on existing American submarines. The x-stern configuration has become increasingly popular and is now found on other submarine designs around the globe.

 :hrmph:  Komen ze daar nu pas achter ... wij varen al meer dan 30 jaar met de X

Wat extra info over X-roer

The "X-Factor"


Kawasaki Heavy Industry Unveils New Submarine Concept With VLS

On December 12, 2023, Kawasaki Heavy Industry (KHI) which is one of the leading defense company in Japan, unveiled its new submarine concept for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). The design features vertical launch systems (VLS).

According to KHI, this submarine will succeed the Taigei-class, which is the latest submarine class currently being fielded in the JMSDF fleet. Compared to existing JMSDF's submarines, this new concept brings several new features.

First, in previous submarines the sails have been positioned forward of the hull, but in this concept it is placed aft. In addition, the concept is equipped with bow diving planes, whereas in previous designs, Japanese submarine were typically equipped with sail diving planes. KHI emphasizes increased maneuverability in this concept, and the bow planes are probably related to this.

KHI is also participating in a study currently being conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) on the loading of standoff missiles on submarines. The most important aspect of this project is the presence of VLS. In this concept, the VLS would probably be fitted between the sail and the bow which is unusual.

Other details are still unknown, but the propulsion system is diesel-electric, not nuclear.

How will the JMSDF operate its future submarines?

KHI has identified the following four key points in the new submarine.

(1) High stealth technology

(2) High detection technology

(3) Improved maneuverability

(4) Carbon dioxide removal technology

 With regard to (1) through (3), this probably anticipates future changes in submarine operations in the JMSDF. Previously, JMSDF submarines have been deployed in straits and chokepoints where other countries' vessels transit, from the Sea of Okhotsk in the North to the East China Sea in the South, where their mission is to gather information in peacetime and to sink enemy vessels in war time. However, the proliferation of SLBM-capable submarines (from North Korea for example), and the increasing trend of standoff missiles aboard submarines will change the way the JMSDF uses its submarines

First, dealing with North Korea's SSB and the rumored SSBN that is expected to be built in the future is an urgent issue for Japan. To deal with this situation, JMSDF submarines will need to operate in North Korea's coastal areas. Furthermore, when it comes to monitoring the movements of SSB/SSBN, more underwater maneuverability is required than ever before. In addition, of course, as the performance of enemy submarines improves, detection capabilities must also improve.

Also, the loading of standoff missiles on submarines does not simply mean that JMSDF submarines will change from traditional passive operations to active operations. This means that submarines will be embedded within the integrated firepower that supports the Japan Self-Defense Forces' (JSDF) cross-domain operations. Traditionally, JMSDF submarines have been a presence that has forced psychological pressure on opponents. But with their new VLS-equipped submarines, the Japanese submarine force will also be a presence that can further cause nervousness in opponents by being able to attack from any directions with standoff missiles.


SSN AUKUS To Feature AN/BYG-1 Combat Control System

Australia's Minister for Defence Industry has revealed that Australia and the United Kingdom's future attack submarine, known as SSN-AUKUS (SSN-A) will use an "evolved version" of the AN/BYG-1 Combat Control System.



Nog een ander interessant artikel

Sustaining the Undersea Advantage: Transforming Anti-Submarine Warfare Using Autonomous Systems

The current US and allied approach to antisubmarine warfare is unlikely to cope with the probable scale of undersea threats in a crisis or conflict

Submarines have posed a challenge to naval forces for more than a century, enabling weaker maritime powers to launch surprise attacks ashore or cut an opponent off from the sea. But submarine threats, and the difficulty of countering them, increased substantially for the United States and its allies during the past decade. The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is modernizing its fleet with conventional air-independent propulsion submarines (SSPs) that support its broader sensor and weapon networks. It is also fielding nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) capable of longer or more distant deployments. New generations of Russian Federation Navy (RFN) SSNs are difficult to track and could be employed for conventional or nuclear strikes during a conflict. Both countries are augmenting their submarine fleets with large autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) incorporating submarine like capabilities. Modern submarine technology has also proliferated, with the North Korean and Iranian navies using submarines and AUVs to level the playing field with their larger regional competitors and the United States.

Unfortunately, the current US and allied approach to antisubmarine warfare (ASW) is unlikely to cope with the probable scale of undersea threats in a crisis or conflict. US Navy ASW concepts rely on fixed seabed sensors such as the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) or Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) ships to detect and initially track submarines. Multiple maritime patrol aircraft and guided missile destroyers (DDGs) then track each adversary submarine before potentially passing it to an SSN for longerterm surveillance. This approach works when opposing submarines deploy infrequently but is likely to break down during a large-scale submarine deployment or as submarines become quieter and harder to track. When manned platforms and expendables such as sonobuoys or torpedoes run out or are needed elsewhere, ASW operations will necessarily collapse to a defensive strategy protecting high-value targets, instead of suppressing enemy submarine operations closer to the adversary's waters. This may result in unlocated adversary submarines operating in the open ocean, where they could threaten US and allied shipping and maritime operations.

US and allied ASW concepts are also expensive, requiring significant manpower and tying up multi-mission platforms like DDGs and SSNs that are needed elsewhere for other operations such as air defense or anti-surface warfare. These approaches may be unaffordable in a period of flat or declining defense budgets and would likely be unsustainable during confrontation or conflict against a capable submarine force. To address the rising submarine threat, US and allied militaries need a new approach to ASW that is more affordable and effective.

Leveraging Mature Unmanned Technologies

The US Navy and allied navies can regain an ASW advantage by adopting ASW concepts that focus on offensive ASW operations and rely primarily on unmanned systems for finding, tracking, and suppressing enemy submarines. Mature technologies for autonomous vehicles, deployable sonars, automated acoustic processing, and communications networking are creating new opportunities for submarine detection, tracking, and engagement. Combined with new, more offensively oriented ASW strategies and tactics that exploit submarines' inherent vulnerabilities, these technologies could allow ASW forces to suppress and marginalize submarines with greater effectiveness and at lower cost than today's predominant ASW concepts. This approach would free US SSNs to focus on engagement and destruction of enemy submarines when needed, rather than being tied up in ASW search and track.

A new unmanned ASW systems of systems would consist of the elements summarized in figure 1. If the US Navy and allied navies adopted more sustainable and risk-worthy unmanned systems, ASW operations could concentrate on choke points and an opponent's home waters. This would reduce the threat in open ocean or enable more effective monitoring of submarine deployments to allow rapid attacks on them when competition turns to conflict. Each phase of the proposed ASW approach is described below:

Cueing and Detection: Several types of sensors would detect submarines as they pass through choke points and likely transit lanes: fixed sensors such as SOSUS; electronic intelligence (ELINT) or electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) satellites; relocatable sensors, such as the transformational reliable acoustic path sensor (TRAPS); and mobile sensors, such as passive sonar arrays towed by glider unmanned surface vessels (USVs) or extra-large unmanned underwater vehicles (XLUUVs) and SURTASS arrays towed by medium USVs (MUSV). Unmanned passive sonars would use automated target recognition algorithms, increasingly augmented with machine learning (ML), to identify specific submarine or surface contact frequency tonals from the overall ocean noise.

Tracking: Cued by detection sensors, MUSVs with towed active or passive sonars would continue to track adversary submarines. To reduce the threat to search platforms, active sonar would be employed multistatically, with an MUSV serving as the transmitter and passive sonar arrays towed by manned or unmanned platforms receiving the returns. To further localize or identify submarines, medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) like the MQ-9B SeaGuardian would deploy sonobuoys, scan the ocean with mast detection radars and employ passive SIGNIT capabilities to detect electromagnetic transmissions. Search and track by unmanned systems would be complemented by fixed or deployable undersea sensors, existing SURTASS ships, or other vessels of opportunity with towed arrays.

Trail: A significant limitation of today's ASW approach is it cannot scale to address more than a few adversary submarines at a time after they leave chokepoints and deploy into the open ocean. During wartime enemy submarines would be engaged before they leave chokepoints, but an opponent may sortie undersea forces before a planned offensive to create an open-ocean ASW demand on US and allied forces and a potential threat to sea lanes or US and allied home territory. To address this challenge the proposed ASW concept would employ MUSVs towing active and passive arrays and MALE UAVs with radar, EO/IR, and visual sensors to loosely trail opposing submarines in the open ocean. Maintaining trail on submarines outside their home waters enables them to be more quickly engaged when conflict begins and simplifies the homeland defense ASW task by providing cueing from the trailing ASW sensor platforms.

Engagement: When conditions warrant, ASW engagements would prioritize suppression of submarines over destruction, based on lessons from the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War. MALE UAVs would conduct suppression attacks using small, inexpensive, air-launched torpedoes such as the compact very lightweight torpedo (CVLWT), depth bombs like the Second World War–era Hedgehog, or rocket-propelled depth charges like the Russian RPK-8. Alternatively, MUSVs in trail could close on the target submarine at acceptable risk and launch short-range standoff ASW weapons such as anti-submarine rockets (ASROCs) with a CVLWT or depth bomb payload. The smaller warheads of CVLWTs or depth bombs are less likely to destroy a submarine outright but could disrupt its operations by forcing it to evade or damage the target submarine and make it easier to track. Applying lessons from the Second World War's hunter-killer groups, less-expensive and more numerous unmanned vehicles could also collaborate to track and repeatedly engage submarines, increasing the eventual probability of destruction.

When submarine destruction is necessary to impose greater costs or reduce the long-term threat, ASW attacks would focus on locations such as choke points, where unmanned systems could employ larger, more lethal weapons effectively. XLUUVs carrying heavyweight torpedoes and mines, such as the developmental Hammerhead mine, would be positioned outside ports, straits, and other choke points to engage transiting submarines. US and allied attack submarines would often be needed for higher-value missions such as anti-surface warfare or strike, but they would be employed for ASW against opposing SSBNs to compel the adversary to use its own attack submarines for pro-SSBN operations.

Command and control (C2): The unmanned ASW concept would employ a C2 approach combining human command with machine control. Unmanned search and track operations in an adversary's home waters and at choke points would be highly automated, with sensors following search plans developed and modified in real-time by AI-enabled tools to reduce operator workload. Human operators deployed to the region or would manage offensive ASW operations by reviewing search plans before and during an operation, providing direction and guidance to the autonomous control systems and overriding them when necessary. Search plans would be approved by human commanders, who would also direct engagements. Operators and commanders could also manage unmanned ASW missions remotely from US territory in situations where host nation access may not be available, as could happen during far-forward ASW operations in the Black Sea or Persian Gulf.

P-8A maritime patrol aircraft would host operators to locally manage ASW operations in uncontested or moderately contested areas to ensure communications with unmanned systems and provide additional sonobuoy or weapons capacity. For C2 in contested airspace, operators could coordinate ASW operations via UAV-borne communication relays or satellites from ships or mobile ground-based C2 cells containing the P-8A processing and control systems. Human command and machine control would be more effective than either an all-manned or all-unmanned force and would focus highly skilled crews and their platforms on cognitive tasks and episodic action, rather than continuous search and track activities.

Offensive ASW operations like those described above should be the focus of US and allied ASW strategy, keeping adversary submarines bottled up in their local waters or busy evading tracking or attack. However, if offensive operations are unsuccessful or overcome by submarine numbers, unmanned ASW systems of systems would enable maritime formations to disrupt enemy submarine attacks.

Implementing an Unmanned ASW Approach

Unmanned concepts would increase the US Navy's ASW capacity, make it more scalable, and improve its cost and sustainability over time. This report assessed force structure requirements to detect and track adversary submarines in a set of scenarios involving China and Russia. In each case, adversary submarines attempted to transit through straits in the Western Pacific or the Greenland, Iceland, United Kingdom (G-I-UK) gap and reach naval forces in the open ocean. Figure 2 summarizes the procurement and operations and support (O&S) costs associated with the current and proposed ASW concepts for one month in the China and Russia scenarios.

The comparison is not meant to imply that manned platforms like DDGs, SSNs, or P-8As are not needed. These platforms are still needed for ASW C2, and more importantly, for operations where their multi-mission capabilities and onboard operators are more essential. Instead, the argument conveyed by Figure 2 is that the unmanned ASW approach would not require the Navy to divest of manned platforms because the new concept could pay for itself with O&S savings from less than a year of sustained ASW operations.

The technologies used for the unmanned ASW approach are all in existence today, although some are not yet being employed operationally in the form proposed by this report. To provide time to mature these technologies, the unmanned ASW approach would be implemented over 5 to 10 years, substituting manned platforms with unmanned systems over time in day-to-day and responsive ASW operations. In the process, manned US Navy platforms such as P-8As, DDGs, and SSNs would be freed to conduct other operations or to focus on C2 of ASW operations.

To enable a more rapid adoption of this approach, procurement funding could be shifted from a few manned platforms to buy the needed portfolio of unmanned systems. Arguably, a slight deceleration in manned platform procurement could be justified by the ability to conduct ASW with unmanned systems. For example, by reducing procurement over the next several years by one FFG, one DDG and one SSN, the Navy could field the ASW portfolio of unmanned sensors, platforms, and expendables shown in table 1. Some aspects of this particular trade may not be desirable for industrial base or other reasons, but it illustrates the relatively modest change in investment needed to adopt an improved ASW concept.

A Closing Window for Transition
US and allied militaries should begin the shift now to unmanned-centric ASW concepts and increase their investment in unmanned ASW sensors and platforms. These and other technologies described in this report are mature and are being used by US or allied navies, or they are rapidly reaching maturity and can help create a force that is much more affordable, scalable, and effective.

However, the United States and its allies face a short window of opportunity. There is a risk that rising procurement and O&S costs for the current manned ASW portfolio and flat or declining budgets will prevent the adoption of new ASW concepts or investment in new unmanned systems. If US and allied navies fail to act during the next several years, they could lose their undersea advantage to surging fleets of adversary submarines.

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