a significant degree of flexibility and reconfigurability, both internally and through the use of off-board vehicles, sensors, and weapons; they also will accommodate rapidly emerging technology to improve current capabilities and to enable new roles and missions. Advanced battle management systems that enable cooperative engagement with other naval forces will enhance the effectiveness of submarine participation in complex missions including antisubmarine warfare, strike operations, theater and national missile defense, and the deployment of ground forces for specialized warfare. The greater relative survivability (based on stealth, mobility, and endurance) of the submarine and the potential for expanding the range and depth of mission effectiveness suggest a greater role for submarines in the Navy of 2035.

In striving to attain this vision of future submarine platforms, a major objective must be to develop submarines and systems that can be acquired, operated, and maintained in the most cost-efficient manner possible. This drive for greater affordability must address the submarine's entire life cycle from design to disposal. Cost savings can be pursued aggressively through virtual design and prototyping, design for modular construction and technology insertion, system elimination and simplification, maintenance avoidance, and finally, ship disposal. Taken together, innovation in submarine design and the application of automation can result in a significant reduction in the manpower required to operate and maintain future submarines.

Warfighting Objectives Driving Technology

As naval warfare has evolved and matured, submarine mission areas have steadily broadened. Continued mission expansion will be driven by the ever-increasing value of stealth, endurance, and mobility. The following warfighting objectives serve to define important military capabilities desired by the year 2035; thus, they identify technologies to be pursued:

  1. Sea control. The exercise of sea control and the certain denial of that control to adversaries are fundamental missions of the submarine. If a submarine is in an operating area, other platforms operate at its sufferance.

  2. Precision strike. Covert on-station presence, early and for lengthy periods, is necessary in order to identify, observe over time, and destroy when directed potential threat command-and-control nodes and other vital targets with precision submarine-launched missiles.

  3. Covert insertion. Deployment of ground forces of various numbers, configurations, and capabilities offers the advantage of determining optimum timing by covert and, if necessary, extended on-site observation of the tactical situation.

  4. Coordinated fire support. Submarines must be able to launch strikes in support of forces both ashore and afloat, utilizing various weapons. In the near  



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement