Navy should resurrect the operations and systems analysis capability it once used to guide decision making and use it again to determine which concepts of operation would be most cost-effective within the context of the likely future warfighting scenarios. The concepts of operation that emerge from such analysis should then serve as a foundation for additional analytic work aimed at deciding which technology would best serve the Navy's undersea weapons development.
The Navy should reconsider its position and reassess its risks against the likely level of undersea threat to its surface forces. As is done in other areas, the risk should be taken, roughly, as the product of the probability of failure and the consequence of a loss. This reassessment will not be easy and will require the intervention of highly placed military leaders; the “hammer” such leaders could wield could do much to change the current laissez-faire attitude about the undersea threat. The recent impetus the submarine sonar program received from ADM Bruce DeMars, USN (now retired), and the highly successful ARCI program that resulted from that intervention (discussed in Chapter 2 under “Weapons Design Optimization” and in Appendix B), is an excellent case in point.
Next, the Navy should take advantage of the heightened concern about the undersea threat that would come from such a push and try to provide adequate funding. The funds should not only support the enlarged research program that would emerge from the concept studies mentioned above but would also have to underwrite the beginning of a future acquisition program. As has already been explained, an acquisition program is long overdue. First, since it has taken 15 to 20 years to develop a completely new generation of torpedoes, there may not be much time to update U.S. undersea warfare capability. Second, the Navy should quickly revive the incentives for industrial investment in R&D, which can be brought about only by an acquisition program. And finally, the Navy should provide the exciting research activity that can attract young scientific and technological talent, without which the nation will not be able to maintain a credible undersea warfare capability into the next century.
No other organization will do these things for the Navy.