Game Changers in Undesea Warfare

October 27, 2015 via - Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

CSBA Testimony before the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee on “ Game Changers- Undersea Warfare

The same advancements that are improving ASW capabilities will also enable a new generation of sophisticated counter-detection technologies and techniques. For example, against passive sonar a submarine or unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) could emit sound to reduce its radiated noise using a technique similar to that of noise cancelling headphones. Against active

sonars, undersea platforms could—by themselves or in concert with UUVs and other stationary or floating systems—conduct acoustic jamming or decoy operations similar to those done by electronic warfare systems against radar.

New power and control technologies are improving the endurance and reliability of UUVs, which will likely be able to operate unrefueled for months within the next decade. The autonomy of UUVs will remain constrained, however, by imperfect situational awareness. For example, while a UUV may have the computer algorithms and control systems to avoid safety hazards or security threats, it may not be able to understand with certainty where hazards and threats are and what they are doing. In the face of uncertain data, a human operator can make choices and be accountable for the results. Commanders may not want to place the same responsibility in the hands of a UUV control system— or its programmer.

As sensors and processing improve, UUVs will progressively gain more autonomy in operating safely and securely while accomplishing their missions. In the meantime, the U.S. Navy can expect to shift some operations to unmanned systems for which the consequences of an incorrect decision are limited to damage and loss of the vehicle, rather than loss of life or unplanned military escalation. These missions could include deploying payloads such as sensors or inactive mines, conducting surveillance or surveys, or launching UAVs for electronic warfare. For missions where a human decision-maker is needed, unmanned systems can operate in concert with submarines or use radio communications to regularly “check-in” with commanders.





References: None
Author:Clark, Brian
Publisher:Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
Citation:Clark B,Game Changers in Undersea Warfare, CSBA, Oct 27 2015
Date Published:October 27, 2015
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