2024 Unmanned undersea warfare concept
Kish, John Paul
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Potential adversaries throughout the world continue to acquire and develop sophisticated multi-layered, anti-access, area-denial (A2AD) systems. To maintain its maritime superiority, the United States must continue to innovate systems that are capable of operating in and defeating these A2AD environments. In particular, command of the undersea domain remains vital and will increasingly be critical in facing this future battle space. The challenges our nation faces, however, are not limited only to the technological capabilities of the warfighters, but also include a myriad of confounding constraints. In addition to the expected shortfalls of mission-ready assets, the Submarine Forces also must address significant pressures in defense spending. Nevertheless, unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) remain one of the top priorities of the Chief of Naval Operations, as UUVs serve as effective force multipliers, while greatly reducing risk, in critical missions in A2AD environments. This report presents the findings of analysis and assessment conducted by an integrated systems engineering and analysis team of military officer students at the Naval Postgraduate School. Their operationally driven tasking seeks to design a system-of-systems of unmanned and manned undersea vehicles to ensure undersea dominance both in the near term and into the next decade. The importance of the systems perspective to this study is reflected by the extensive engagement with many operational stakeholders, academic researchers, industry partners, and acquisitions programs across the Naval enterprise. The capability-based approach highlights the mission suitability of both currently fielded UUVs and also technologies realizable within the next decade. The capstone final report summarizes these critical insights and provides detailed recommendations to inform decision makers of the present to prepare for the undersea forces of the future.
Student Integrated ProjectApproved for public release; distribution is unlimited
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