Sensor, electronics, and weapons technologies have improved dramatically since 1945, making warships deadlier than ever. At the same time, however, combatants have become more susceptible to dramatic damage if hit today than their World War II counterparts. The uncertainties of future warfare in the littorals, with the high risk of surprise attacks, dictate we build vessels that can take punishment—and keep on fighting.
Lately, the pages of Proceedings have been filled with calls for "rebalancing the fleet" to ensure access to and dominance of the littoral battle space. 1 A fleet mix of "Economy A" and "Economy B" ships has been proposed to accomplish this. The Economy A ships are envisioned as economical power-projection ships, and the smaller Economy B ships are to provide risk-tolerant access to the littorals (i.e., the Streetfighter concept). A necessary characteristic of these ships is "sturdiness." The word sturdiness can be defined several ways, but here it refers to the capability of a ship to return fire after taking one or more missile hits.