August 02, 2005

Underwater Warfare

Murdoc provides a pointer to an interesting article about littoral combat (shallow water or close inshore) and the ability of the US submarine fleet to do so. The author makes some good points about the current situation happening between China and Taiwan.

Without giving away too much, "battlespace dominance" against an identified threat such as China invading Taiwan begins long before any shooting ever starts, by the key task for SSNs of "waterspace preparation." This involves missions of the types listed above, into extremely shallow waters for prolonged periods, to study in great detail hydrography, map seabed wrecks, measure local acoustic propagation characteristics (which includes background noise from sources such as oil drilling/pumping platforms, coastal industrial activity, even heavy freight train movements!), also to quantify water transparency, find spots likely to make good enemy minefield locations before mines are ever laid, and using all these different parameters note possible ideal lurking places for enemy diesel subs before those subs have a chance to deploy. Signals intercept antennas are raised for long periods while at periscope depth to monitor and map enemy coastal defense sites, learn the location and organizational structure of various hostile units and headquarters, quantify characteristics of radars so that they can be most effectively spoofed and jammed in time of war, and so on.

All prudent and sensible actions to take when preparing for conflict, but not things that the average person would consider. Which is exactly why we have a military, so that professionals can think about things like this and make sure that they get done before the shit hits the fan.

It's a good read. Recommended.

PS. I knew there was some talk of unmanned underwater vehicles, but I had no idea that things were as advanced as is briefly mentioned in the article. Wow.

Posted by Ted at August 2, 2005 11:52 AM | TrackBack
Category: Military

The Navy gets some very, very bright people.

Posted by: RP at August 3, 2005 03:18 PM
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