One of the key determinants of the Navy's ability to execute the Maritime Strategy will be the tactical and strategic efficiency of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) efforts. The Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, and numerous flag officers all have pointed to ASW as a top priority in all warfighting operations. An unfolding and variable Soviet submarine strategy may require a combination of barrier operations against nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) and nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines (SSGNs) and highly offensive ASW campaigns against nuclear-powered fleet ballistic submarines (SSBNs). The effective execution of ASW tactics and strategy will require a high degree of interoperability among sensors and weapon systems. One way to do this will be to establish a set of killing zones in areas where Soviet submarines are likely to be concentrated and to assign coordinated packages of sensors and weapon systems to each zone. One key addition to current ASW forces will be squadrons built around new surface ships that can act as linebackers and mobile attack groups in the ASW battle.
Creating ASW Killing Zones
By Lieutenant Commander James Stavridis, U. S. Navy