Conceptual System of Systems Enabling Maritime Dominance in the Littorals
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To gain maritime dominance in the littorals in the 2020 timeframe, the US Navy must have capabilities to assure access to the littorals and to enable Sea Basing and Sea Strike. These capabilities necessitate innovative and radical concepts for systems, tactics, support, and force structures. Focusing on only system-of systems (SoS) concepts, we consider a system of only manned platforms, a system of primarily unmanned platforms, and a balanced hybrid system of manned and unmanned platforms. Based on a cost, risk-to-personnel, performance, and sensitivity analysis, using a Shallow Water Acoustics Toolset (Excel/SWAT), the Autonomous Littoral Warfare Systems Evaluator Discrete Event Simulation (ALWSE), and a Force/Theater Extend Model, we select a balanced hybrid system of manned and unmanned platforms that uses distributed communications network architecture and a decentralized command and control structure. Our work demonstrates that unmanned platforms, while cost effective and capable of reducing risk to personnel, complement but cannot replace manned platforms. Manned platforms will still be required for command and control, crucial operational decision making, and logistics support to unmanned vehicles. Finally, we suggest further research to provide additional insight into the solution to the problem of maritime dominance in the littorals.
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