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Disrupting Anti-Submarine Warfare with Autonomous Systems

Disrupting Anti-Submarine Warfare with Autonomous Systems

Hudson Institute Report, "Sustaining the Undersea Advantage: Disrupting Anti-Submarine Warfare Using Autonomous Systems"

Unfortunately, the current US and allied approach to anti-submarine warfare (ASW) is unlikely to be able to cope with the probable scale of undersea threats during 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 monitor each adversary submarine before potentially passing it to an SSN for longer-term surveillance. (Emphasis added)

Hudson Institute, 2020

Sustaining the Undersea Advantage: Disrupting Anti-Submarine Warfare Using Autonomous Systems, published by the Hudson Institute last month, explores the feasibility of U.S. and allied forces ASW capabilities and capacity to respond to modern adversary submarine threats. In particular, the report examines the ability of the U.S. to respond to large-scale extended “blue water” undersea warfare threats.

The authors conclude an ASW that integrates autonomous and manned systems with modern sensors and weapons provides what may be the only fiscally and operationally capable force. They caution, though, “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.” (Hudson Institute, 2020)

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