Fighting DMO Part 7: The Future of the Aircraft Carrier in Distributed Warfighting

CIMSEC – The aircraft carrier has been the main striking arm of the U.S. Navy for decades, but distributed warfighting demands something new. Anti-ship missile firepower is proliferating across the force structure of both friendly and competitor forces, creating larger demands for the tactical information required to leverage these long-range weapons. Massed fires heavily depend on information to work, and air superiority is a powerful enabler of information superiority. By focusing on a set of critical information functions and fleet air defense, the aircraft carrier can serve as a powerful enabler and force multiplier for distributed fleets and massed fires. These roles foreshadow how nations who engage in naval salvo warfare without naval aviation will be at a sore disadvantage.

Fighting DMO Part 6: Naval Platform Advantages and Combined Arms Roles

CIMSEC – Massed fires and naval warfighting are greatly enhanced when different platform communities form combined arms relationships. Combined force development and shared platform fluency will strengthen integration between communities. Warfighters will better understand their role in the combined arms team and the operational dynamics that govern the behavior of their cross-community partners. While these relationships will not be without friction or challenging tradeoffs, they will create a force that is far more effective than one that struggles to rise above its silos and parochialism. 

Stinger Missile-Toting Drone Boats Could Protect Navy Logistics Ships

War Zone – The U.S. Navy wants to explore the idea of using small uncrewed surface vessels, or USVs, armed with Stinger missiles as a relatively low-cost additional layer of defense against various threats in the air and on the surface of the water. The service says it is particularly interested in the possibility of using the drone boats to help protect critical, but ever-more-vulnerable logistics vessels, as well as Marine contingents during future expeditionary and distributed operations.

Navy Air-Launched Hypersonic Anti-Ship Cruise Missile Makes Big Move Forward

War Zone – The U.S. Navy has awarded separate contracts to Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to design and build competing prototypes to meet its requirement for an air-launched, air-breathing hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile. The service says this weapon is key to addressing increasingly advanced naval threats in contested environments in future major conflicts, such as a potential one against China in the Pacific, and that it must be in service by 2029.

Using 1202 Authorities to Counter China’s Maritime Militia

War on the Rocks – As the People’s Republic of China expands claims within the South China Sea, the United States should work with partners to find a way to deter further expansion while avoiding escalatory actions that could spark conflict. To do so, the United States government should leverage Section 1202 of the National Defense Authorization Act. This section allows for the United States military to create, develop, train, and maintain partner relationships with irregular maritime forces from across the region. By working with partners, the United States empowers regional nations to defend their respective interests against the encroachment of China while reducing the need for American naval forces to be the sole ever-present bulwarks in the region.

This Ugly Dispute Over Amphibious Warships Didn’t Have to Happen

Defense One – Last week, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps got into a rare public dispute. The disagreement revolves around the Navy’s decision to drop a planned purchase of a San Antonio-class amphibious warship from its 2024 budget. While this is about a warship, the impasse arises from a major problem: the Pentagon’s political leaders have thus far failed to articulate a workable long-term vision for naval shipbuilding.  

Distributed Maritime Operations – A Salvo Equation Analysis

CIMSEC – The first step in this analysis will be to analyze a traditional concentrated force versus another concentrated force using the salvo equations. The second step will be to look at a distributed force that is able to mass fires against a concentrated force. The final step will be to look at a concentrated force that engages part of a distributed force. We will also look at what “firing effectively first” means in practice, and what happens if the enemy force distributes.