Opinion: U.S. Navy should rely on unmanned systems and sensors to find, track, and attack enemy submarines

April 23, 2020
Unmanned systems could address shortfalls in concert with a new approach to ASW that suppresses enemy submarines rather than destroying them.

WASHINGTON – Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) is one of a navy’s most difficult missions. Sonars detect submarines with only a fraction of the range and precision possible using radars or visual sensors against ships above the water. Defense News reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

23 April 2020 -- The Navy should increase the use of unmanned systems in ASW across the board, which cost a fraction to buy and operate compared to their manned counterparts.

Unmanned aircraft could deploy sonobuoys or stationary sonar arrays, and unmanned undersea or surface vehicles could tow passive sonar arrays. Unmanned surface vehicles also could deploy low-frequency active sonars like those carried by U.S. undersea surveillance ships that can detect or drive off submarines from dozens of miles away.

Although autonomous platforms will not have the onboard operators of a destroyer or patrol aircraft, improved processing is enabling small autonomous sensors to rapidly identify contacts of interest. Line-of-sight or satellite communications can connect unmanned vehicles and sensors with operators ashore or on manned ASW platforms.

Related: Industry asked to develop magnetic anomaly detector (MAD)-equipped UAV for anti-submarine warfare (ASW)

Related: Leidos gets Navy go-ahead to fabricate TRAPS deep-ocean sonar system prototypes for anti-submarine warfare (ASW)

Related: Lockheed Martin to build new Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) shipboard sonar undersea warfare systems

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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