Convoy protection under multi-threat scenario
Zaman Khan, Akhtar
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Convoy screening has long been studied and practiced to minimize losses of ships supplying forward battle areas. Today, the threat of surface and subsurface platforms equipped with torpedoes and anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) requires reevaluation of the best protection measures taken by warships, aircraft, and unmanned systems to screen convoys. This research used agent-based simulation to develop and analyze the effectiveness of 18 models based on two basic screening methods: zone defense and close escort. Variants were developed based on stationing and type of combatant platforms--manned and unmanned. They were tested for robustness against two Red submarine approach tactics based on weapon priority and various acoustic conditions. The study determined the optimum weapon/sensor capabilities of combatant platforms for effective protection. We showed that layered defense in the outer screen is the most robust and effective defensive model against any Red weapon priority tactic and in any acoustic condition. A model with ASW helicopters in the intermediate screen was found to be the most effective against submarines with torpedo as priority weapon. Models with ASW helicopters or MDUSVs and two DDGs in the outer screen, however, were found to provide better defense against submarines with ASCM as priority weapon.
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