Frigate defense effectiveness in asymmetrical green water engagements
Sanchez, Paul J.
Kline, Jeffrey E.
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Asymmetric threats pose increasing challenges to combatant commanders in Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations. Threats once confined to littoral waters now extend out to the green water theater. Many NATO countries operate their post Falkland war built frigates in these missions, in which lightly armed small, agile and fast craft are often encountered. This study uses freely available real-world data to build a simulation using an agent-based modeling platform called MANA. The simulation is exercised over a broad range of factor settings that are determined by an efficient experimental design. Using linear regression and partition trees, a robust analysis is performed on the resulting dataset to create statistical models. Conclusions gained through these models suggest that a swarm of small craft, armed with handheld weapons, could attack and achieve a mission kill on a typical NATO FFH operating in a SSTR mission. It further implies that the FFH's mission survival is dependent on the sophistication of installed weapons, and that a mix of advanced, automated weapons is best suited for close-in defense against multiple small seaborne attackers. Therefore, it will benefit mission survivability to improve or replace existing body-aimed weapons of frigates serving on SSTR missions.
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