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When Captain O’Rourke proclaimed the “End of the Submarine Era’’ in the February 1988 Proceedings, he rattled a lot of cages. Submariners and their friends fdled our mailbox. Here are some responses:
Allied ASW aircraft and surface escorts became available-
Dr. Richard T. Ackley, Commander, U. S. Navy (Retired), Professor of Political Science and Director of National Security Studies, California State University (San Bernardino)—Captain O’Rourke advances the hypothesis that the preeminence of the near-invincible nuclear-powered submarine is suspect and on the wane because of recent ASW developments. However, it is indeed this technological progress that, on the contrary, favors the nuclear sub rather than ASW. In fact, it can be argued credibly that the nuclear-powered attack sub (SSN) is the Navy’s premier ASW platform. Nuclear-powered submarines have never been invincible, but they are better today than ever before. In part, this is because advanced technologies have expanded submarine missions from the tradition of closing targets on heavily traveled sea lanes to operating in more remote ocean areas where ASW is increasingly difficult.
Captain O’Rourke employs compelling logic in pointing out the inevitability of change. After all, it is conventional wisdom that nothing lasts forever. Building on this logic, he notes that the pinnacle of naval war-fighting supremacy changed from the battleship to the aircraft carrier to the nuclear-powered submarine. He doesn’t know what will succeed the SSN as “King of the Sea,” but he is certain that the SSN will be usurped by ASW because of recent developments, particularly in sensors, data processing, command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I), and the ASW version of the Osprey MV-22 tilt- rotor aircraft, which, incidentally, was delayed in the 1989 Navy budget.1
» Such conclusions are based on flawed methodology and a lack of balance. For example, the historical predominance of the battleship and then the carrier is the result of retrospective interpretation. These things happened and are now considered facts. But
to predict the demise of the SSN and the succession of AS simply does not follow demonstrated evidence. Historical deter minism, like dialectical materialism, cannot predict the direction or nature of research, its timetable, or even the degree of sue cess—if any—that ultimately may result.2 In other words, h,s tory may suggest various paths to the future, but it cannot deti the one taken. .
Captain O’Rourke is correct in stating that neither submarine warfare nor ASW have been rigorously tested by combat since World War II. However, some lessons were learned in the 1" Falklands Conflict. The sinking of the Argentine cruiser Genera Belgrano (escorted by two destroyers) by the British SSN Con queror suggested that: .
► The SSN’s high mobility allowed the use of a simple, low-co torpedo in the antiship role. (The General Belgrano was sunk . two Mk-VIII, pre-World War II, straight-running, 45-kn° ■ 5,000-yard, steam torpedoes).
► After the sinking of the cruiser, and aware that at least0
British SSN was in the area, the Argentine surface flee1 el e tively took no further part in the campaign.3 .
During World War II, the Battle of the Atlantic against German U-boats turned around when large numbers of U. S. 8 out taking credit from the brave seamen and airmen who ^oU®aj the U-boat campaigns, another element—“Ultra”—was cruC^r to the Allied success in the Atlantic. Ultra was the code name ^ “special intelligence” provided by the British after they quired the German coding machine known as “Enigma.’ N8 Ultra enabled the British to read many instructions sent ^ U-boats at sea and to locate them from U-boat position rcP° sent to German naval headquarters. The former Commandc
off course and operating out of his eI1^_ lope. First, it is overly simplistic t0 .j
rines began to join the fleet in number^ ridiculous. Carrier battle groups ^ been and continue to be the prenll\ fensive striking force in the U. S- 0 It has been said that there are on y kinds of ships in any navy—su^nlui() be
Commander Michael McHugh, U. S. Navy, Commanding Officer, USS Swordfish (SSN-579), and former Commanding Officer, USS Haddock (SSN-621)—1 don’t think any submariner can let Captain O’Rourke’s article go by without comment. I think most of us would agree that advances in ASW have been made, but “the end of an era?” Hardly. Captain O’Rourke’s article is not very convincing. The name of the game in ASW is still acoustic detection and, as he points out, this “still remains more an art than a science.” All the best data processing and C3I is not going to change the peculiar ways sound acts in a constantly changing environment. The “inevitable” development of a non-acoustic sensor may be possible, but a quick glance at a globe should quickly reinforce the magnitude of the problem an aircraft-mounted device would have scanning the oceans for a quiet strategic-missile submarine.
The short description of the capabilities of the SV-22 Osprey does not inspire an appreciation for “the dramatic changes it will bring to ASW.” In fact, Captain O’Rourke admits that there will probably be opposition to basing these aircraft at sea. Captain O’Rourke also presents another subtle problem for the
Osprey that has already plagued our other ASW aircraft—its usefulness for “a number of routine tasks.” Just like the S-3 Viking, I can envision a lot of “surveillance, C3I, and utility missions” for the Osprey detracting from its ASW role.
Overall, I remain unconvinced by Captain O’Rourke’s contention that ASW has become “ten feet tall,” but it is the conclusion of the article that disturbs me most. I believe the statement “aside from its stealth, the submarine has not much going for it in terms of naval warfare” could only be made by someone who has not been on board one of our submarines and who has little knowledge of what we do and how well we do it. In addition, to suggest that future submarines would be designed without weapons further detracts from the credibility of the article.
Whether submariners consider themselves “Kings of the Sea” is debatable. I do not believe, however, that submariners would question their ability to carry out the missions they are assigned now and will be into the foreseeable future.
Commander Miles B. Wachendorf, U. S. Navy, Commanding Officer, USS Parche (SSN-683)—Captain O’Rourke is 180°
sign “eras” to any type of warship- ^ warship platforms have strengths ^ weaknesses. The nuclear submarine is^ exception. The key to success in any tile maritime environment is to take vantage of the strengths and offset j weaknesses with superior tactics multiplatform employment. ^
Navy does that very well. To suggeS ^ “the beginning of the end of the air>ar|y carrier’s reign” occurred in the 1960s, when nuclear-powered
and targets. But this submariner the first to agree that there are n things that “targets”—not to me aircraft—have always done better any submarine. . ^at
Second, aircraft-mounted device^ ^ can “see” through a few thousand ® water have been ASW goals for dec ^ While aircraft, notably the P” , LAMPS-III, are making valuable ^ contributions, to suggest that the 0
The improved Los Angeles-class subs—the first will be commissioned in August—will carry 50% more weapons, because they are equipped with the vertical launch system (VLS) for 12 Tomahawk missiles. The VLS tubes, with their hatches open, left, join the eight missiles carried internally for torpedo tube launch.
tlc missile (SLBM).
(^ he SSBN security program has outdistanced both U. S. and Vlet ASW. It incorporates in-depth intelligence, laboratory j. P^timents, mathematical models, and real-world tests to iden- y and evaluate potential submarine threats. Technologies that i„ eatially threaten our SSBNs are not only assessed, but coun- ^easures are developed before a need arises.5 Some ASW
Coastal Command, Royal Air Force Marshal Sir John ssor, wrote: “I have the best reason to know that in the Battle the Atlantic Ultra, in conjunction with HF/DF [high-frequen- .i'hirection finding], was a real war-winner.”4 The ASW plat- tTns ma(je a difference in the heavily traveled North Atlantic ‘t'Pping lanes, but Ultra helped improve the kill ratio and saved ll convoys by providing information to route them around u'b°at wolf packs.
'n terms of balance, Captain O’Rourke slights the revolution Current and developing submarine technologies, and the ex- Y^ed operational missions assigned submarines since the USS ^“ttilus (SSN-571) joined the fleet in the 1950s. Foremost is the °lution of the strategic submarine force from the diesel subma- q,es armed with Regulus air-breathing cruise missiles, to the ‘° (SSBN-726)-class ballistic-missile subs armed with the lent-I—and soon the Trident-II—submarine-launched ballis- advocates raise the image of a “transparent ocean.” Despite the fact that no one can disprove this possibility, there simply is no credible evidence to indicate this advance is even on the horizon. Strategic ASW is more difficult today than ever before.
To grasp a sense of the enormous patrol areas available to the SSBN, consider the fact that 71% of our planet is covered by water—a volume of 360 million cubic miles. All the world’s population—about two billion—would not displace a single cubic mile of sea water.6 In this vast space, the Ohio SSBN carrying the Trident-11 missile can patrol an area of about 50 million square miles below the ocean surface.7 With the presence of merchant traffic, naval formations, fishing boats, sea mammals, and miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam, any attempt to locate, classify, and attack the submerged SSBN is analogous to finding a needle in a haystack and trying to beat it to death with a stick—even with state-of-the-art ASW technology. The U. S. SSBN is, and will remain for the foreseeable future, far from the “very expensive, highly vulnerable nuclear-powered missile silo” Captain O’Rourke describes.
As demonstrated in the Falklands Conflict, the SSN can successfully attack unsophisticated surface target groups from close range with “dumb” weapons, and use smart standoff weapons such as the advanced capability (AdCap) Mk-48 torpedo, anti-
1^. s°on become transparent is wishful
de 0st important, Captain O’Rourke’s j^iption of submarines as noisy, blind
unable to fight off a determined at- not representative of my experi-
5^.y aircraft support against a single % ^ore °ften tban n°t, the SSN was rj lted only by the number of flares car. °n board to simulate torpedo firings lnst high-value units.
. » * *■ theln more i*130 30 ASW exercises in „ 'ast three years, most of which tar-
trn t*16 combined arms several mod- p ^SW surface warships with maritime carr'er"bome’ and helicopter
M^nant Michael J. Shewchuk, U. S. r,na Reserve, Helicopter Antisubma- (w Squadron Light 74—Captain ‘^r*Ce ^ads t0 substantiate his claim submarine supremacy is on the p0| e' ’ While our ASW tactics and tech- of °8y have improved and show promise ti0( °ntinued improvement, the threat has Hreremained static. Soviet submarines hav^Uleter’ dive deeper, run faster, and f0ree Sreater standoff range than ever be- ■ While I agree that without stealth a submarine doesn’t have much going for it, I see nothing in our current ASW capabilities that can be counted on to deprive the submarine of that stealth. It is dangerous, wishful thinking (from a target’s point of view) that the submarine of the future will carry few or no weapons.
Rear Admiral W. J. Holland, Jr., U. S. Navy (Retired)—Captain O’Rourke himself gives the game away when he says: “With the galloping technological progress shaking almost all branches of physics and chemistry, the early development of a practical non-acoustic sensor seems inevitable.” And with no more than this “hunch,” he delivers a eulogy.
The redeeming feature of this article is Captain O’Rourke’s implicit acknowledgment that today we are in the submarine era. This is an unusual statement from a naval officer who is not a submariner. Though the submarine-as-capital- ship era began when appreciable numbers of nuclear submarines were at sea (circa 1965), it was not until the 1982 Falklands Conflict that this became manifest. The total elimination of the Argentine Navy as an effective naval force by the presence of two or three nuclear submarines proclaimed today’s balance of forces at sea.
The submarine era will end when it is replaced by something that has yet to be invented. Even when invented, the vast spaces involved will require massive engineering and resource commitment to deploy it. Such developments are not described in Captain O’Rourke’s well- written, but polemic, article. He ignores the factual sciences involved with his proposition and thus his proposition escapes reality.
The Navy is a scientific service and a technical organization. It is capital intensive, and its modernization is driven by technology and economics. The equipment Navy personnel operate is among the most complex in the world, much of it in the forefront of scientific and technical endeavor. The Naval Institute should take more care that its published articles recognize these considerations.
If we make that effort to ensure that our publication is a standard of excellence as literature—and it is, we ought to make a similar effort to ensure that the articles published do not claim the earth is flat.
launched from a submerged submarine and flew more than
latest SSN to be funded and the first unit of the new class submarine. The weapons and combat systems on - ^
proved SSN-688s will provide the transition to the SSN-21- Navy estimates that the SSN-21, equipped with a new ANM'
2 combat system, will be three times more effective overall the improved SSN-688. It will have the VLS system for 12 ahawks, Harpoon antiship missiles, and eight large-diameter
submarine rocket (SubRoc), Harpoon, and Tomahawk against high-value sophisticated targets. The advent of long-range, terminal-homing, antiship missiles and torpedoes permits a “concentration of fire”—a basic principle of warfare—on target groups from widely dispersed SSNs. This revolution in naval warfare (massing weapons, not ships) can overwhelm enemy defenses in general and ASW aggressiveness in particular.8
The SSN’s traditional tasks of ASW, antisurface warfare (ASUW), and mine warfare changed for the better when microelectronic technology became available. Major breakthroughs in high-speed data and signal processing have made the difference. Super-sensitive sonars, sophisticated decoys, advanced electronics and electronic countermeasures warfare, and smart standoff weapons have been integrated with faster, quieter submarine platforms to increase mission effectiveness. The Los Angeles (SSN-688)-class submarine was designed for open-ocean ASW, and thus became an integral part of the carrier battle groups’ ASW defense. Yet in fleet exercises, in which SSNs go head-to- head against the battle group, the submarine usually prevails.
Despite the overwhelming success of the Los Angeles class, a new version of the SSN-688 is being built; the San Juan (SSN- 751) was the first of 27 to be launched (December 1986) and will commission in August 1988. This version will be quieter than the existing model and have improved combat systems that will increase significantly its ability to detect targets and determine their range. Central to the subs’ modernization are the AN/BSY-1 combat systems, which began to be delivered in July 1987. The SSN-751 is the first new SSN-688-class boat to be equipped with the vertical launch system (VLS) for 12 Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs), joining the eight carried internally for launch through the standard 21-inch torpedo tube.9
New submarine technologies have permitted expanded subnW fine roles in special warfare and intelligence missions. In au tion to ASUW, the Tomahawk SLCM permitted the SSN to assigned a new mission—land attack, or strike. With either nuclear land-attack (TLAM-N) or conventional (TLAM-C) ver^ sion of Tomahawk, the SSN can attack ports, harbors, and inlan targets to a range of 1,500 miles from a submerged firing P°j^ tion. Operations in large ocean areas increase the threat to coas targets and the opponent’s ASW problem.
In November 1987, a submunition-armed Tomahawk v/
miles to attack separate targets. The missile dispersed BLU/9 combined-effects bomblets on an aircraft, a missile storage s • and a radar site; all three targets were destroyed. This subm tion-dispensing missile is part of the Navy’s Tomahawk TLA C family. Each of its 166 combined-effects bomblets weighs ■ pounds and has an incendiary fuse, a fragmenting case, an . armor-piercing nose.10 Consider the effect of this land-at missile in a counter-ASW role detonated above an adversary ocean floor sound surveillance system (SOSUS) facility, A command center, satellite down-link, or even above a threa ing ASW surface platform. ASW is advancing, but so is offensive capability of the SSN. >s
If this isn’t enough, consider the Seawolf, the U. S. Na ^
Captain O’Rourke touted data processing and artificial intelligence as solutions to ASW. But they can do little than enable ASW forces to digest millions of bits of data, which may keep track of a few loud subs. What about quiet ones, though?
^ contention that submarine technology is outdistancing ASW. h*s is not to claim that ASW may not usurp the nuclear- P°Wered submarine in the future, which would force the “rewrites of maritime strategies and naval tactics” that Captain ^ourke suggests. But the evidence suggests it won’t be soon.
Wo tubes that can fire two types of torpedoes—the AdCap ^k-48 and the new Sea Lance rocket-launched, long-range, ^>W standoff weapon. In addition, the SSN-21 is to be underICe-capable, and have infrared sensors, a new passive wide- tyerture array for rapid target detection, as well as fiber optics Hiking sonars with its combat systems.11 ASW will not become easier as it expands into larger areas.
To meet mission requirements, U. S. submarine design emphasizes quiet covertness and superior acoustic capability over a,§her speed and deeper depths. Congress, however, in review- **8 recent improvements in Soviet attack submarines, increased r,e submarine research budget by more than $100 million. Con- Sress targeted the following “exotic” technologies for acceler- jW research:
Superconductors for propulsion systems that might make the ^ “half the size and twice as deadly”
Boundary-layer control for decreased friction, meaning higher *Peed
; New weapon systems, including autonomous underwater ve- lcles, the underwater version of the remotely piloted vehicles |*sed so effectively by the Israelis12
The intent is to increase the submarine technology base suffi- C|ently to provide the Navy with design options that are not cur- rent]y feasible and to serve as a hedge against technological surprise.” 13
This shopping list is not exhaustive, but is presented to support
The submarine force is committed to mission effectiveness by improving combat capabilities and readiness. Clearly the submarine can’t do everything, but it is and continues to be a major contributor to our national defense.
‘William Matthews, “600-Ship Goal May Slip from Navy’s Grasp,” Navy Times, 29 February 1988, p. 22.
2See Arnold Buchholz’s critique of the dialectic materialism methodology in “W/s- senschaftlich-technische Revolution,” in Osteuropa, XXII (1972), p. 355, cited in John A. Armstrong, Ideology, Politics, and Government in the Soviet Union, 3rd ed. (New York: Praeger, 1974), p. 31.
3Phoenix, “Submarine Lessons from the Falklands War,” The Submarine Review, April 1983, pp. 38-43.
4F. W. Winterbotham. CBE, The Ultra Secret (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), pp. xii, 84-85.
5See Rear Admiral Roger F. Bacon, USN, “Undersea Forces Emphasize Role of Nuclear Power to Counter Attack,” ROA National Security Report, July 1986, p. 11; and Capt Jim Hay, USN (Ret.), “The TRIDENT Program,” The Submarine Review, July 1986, pp. 87-91.
6Don Walsh and Donald Reach, “Science and Engineering in the Oceans,” in Managing Ocean Resources: A Primer, Robert L. Friedhein, ed. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1979), p. 3.
7Richard Halloran, “A Silent Battle Surfaces,” The New York Times Magazine, 7 December 1986, p. 94.
8Phoenix, “Concentration of Force by Submarines,” The Submarine Review, July 1986, pp. 12-21.
9Barbara Starr, “Seawolf Subs Win Full Funding in Congress,” Navy Times, 28 December 1987, p. 26.
10“Submunition-Armed Tomahawk Tested,” Armed Forces Journal, January 1988, p. 22.
“Starr, p. 27.
l2See “From the Editor,” The Submarine Review, January 1988, pp. 3-6; and “Superconducting Subs: Twice as Deadly, Half the Size,” Navy News & Underseas Technology, Summer 1987, p. 5.
,3Richard Whitmire, “U. S. Boosting Submarine Research by $100 million,” The Sun (San Bernardino, CA), 5 January 1988, p. A-4.
range of latitude given authors to ss their points, including the occa-
faint praise, clearly indicating that e reign of the submarine is far from
ential of lasers and the blind faith in a
technological breakthrough. Data
,,CW/ J. Hoernemann,—An admirable aracteristic of the Naval Institute is the ^ide
fj',"'al use of fiction and satire. Captain . Nourke chooses satire to draw atten- a'°n to the sorry state of ASW. Under his 0,lcle’s provocative title, Captain .Rourke discusses four ASW aspects cVer- The discussion of ASW sensors s have been taken verbatim from les- rt'11' Plans I used as an ASW instructor 0re than 20 years ago, including the
^°cessing and artificial intelligence now 0j.aBle us to rapidly digest millions of bits thedata to electronically pronounce that tw re are *ew submarines out there today tjat are loud enough to be detected con- dj u°usly. c3I, a military buzzword of ® 1980s, has taken on the status of P|tvCrh°°d an(l apple pie. The lone-wolf pr T notwithstanding, ASW C3I has cgb'y not returned to the levels of suc- (lySs achieved by the Tenth Fleet and its Effter'kiHer grouPs during World War II.
coordinated ASW remains as s,Ve in the operating fleet as it does in
the halls of the Pentagon and Crystal City, where no one is in command and no one is in control of ASW programs. As for the Osprey, what right-minded naval analyst can deny the inevitability of the succession from battleship to aircraft carrier to nuclear submarine to tilt-rotor aircraft. The message of the article is epitomized by the double-edged photo caption. Yes, the progress in ASW is incredible, if not downright embarassing.
Captain James H. Patton, Jr., U. S. Navy (Retired)—In summary. Captain O’Rourke seems to be saying:
► Those submariners will eventually “get theirs”
► Maybe someday nonacoustics will help
► Can’t really explain why, but the V-22 is the answer—honest!
As for modern submarines being “fragile,” consider the fact that when the unfortunate incident of a collision at sea now occurs, it is the surface ship, and not the submarine, that is at risk of sinking. As for cumbersome submarines, the first SSN I served on had a turning radius on the same order of magnitude as its length, and documented simultaneous roll-and- pitch angles in excess of 50° on a strip- chart recorder during a controlled maneuver. 1 wish Captain O'Rourke could have been on board a ship I served on during an exercise “mini-war” when, starting at test depth and greater than 20 knots, it went to periscope depth for one seven- second look, then returned below layer while firing exercise Mk-48s in an undetected combined attack against an active Spruance (DD-963)-class destroyer and the “high-value unit” she was escorting. The total elapsed time of the evolution was five minutes, less than two of which were above layer. Maritime patrol aircraft and ASW helicopters were supporting the surface units.
I implore the Naval Institute to insist on a modicum of technical veracity in anything other than your novels. Controversy is great, but not sensationalism. I have enjoyed Proceedings for too long to see it evolve into the National Enquirer of professional defense journals.
Commander Robert E. May, U. S. Navy (Retired)—As I started into Captain O’Rourke’s article, I wondered to myself: “What kind of a submarine is he talking about?” Then I figured it out. He’s talking about submarines that fire
their weapons at a range of 2,000 yards. By golly, he’s talking about the submarines of World War II. After more than 40 years, it is nice to hear that our ASW forces can now handle the submarines of a past era.
On the other hand, why would anybody in this day and age expect that a future enemy would fight with these antiquated antiship weapons? For the past 30 years, the technology has been available to develop a 30-mile homing antiship missile for submarines. Captain O’Rourke talks extensively about submarine sensors, but does not include satellite surveillance. How would our super ASW forces do against a submarine with 40- knot speed, more than 100 antiship homing missiles with a 30-mile range, satellite support, and capable of firing five missiles from one location, then moving quickly to another firing point—never closing within 20 miles of the surface targets?
The real question here is why such a submarine antiship capability has not been developed. Several reasons come to * mind. Since World War II, the emphasis for submarine development has been antisubmarine and antiland. Internal Navy differences also apply: No carrier admiral wants to even think about encountering such a submarine menace. And if we do not develop it, the Soviets cannot steal it.
Captain O’Rourke’s article reflects a dangerous viewpoint, one that allows our ASW Navy to continue to be fat, dumb, and happy, fighting the submarine with short-range torpedoes—and have absolutely no inkling of what to do against a submarine with a real antiship capability.
Lieutenant Sam J. Tangredi, U. S. Navy— While Captain O’Rourke delineates the recent trends in the evolution of ASW technology, he neglects to discuss the other factors of the undersea battle: strategy and the budget.
The dominance of the submarine in
current U. S. naval planning is not merely a result of technological advances but of deliberate, or at least historically identifiable, choices. Three of these past choices ensure the importance of the submarine force at least until the end of this century.
First, U. S. decision makers have chosen to rely on the submarine as a primary means of ensuring a survivable strategic deterrent. Since the Soviet Union has developed forces to nullify the deterrent effect of U. S. land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and strategic bombers, this turned out to be a pretty good choice. Soviet strategic dominance seems to result more from our unwillingness to compete rather than from an increase in Soviet planning efficiency, so it is quite fortunate that the one area that poses the toughest planning challenge, attacking SSBNs at sea, coincided with the leg of the Triad that remained most acceptable to U. S. political preferences. Given the glacial pace of the stealth bomber and small ICBM (Midgetman) programs, and continuing congressional opposition to an expanded Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, the SSBN will be the sole strategic force capable of absorbing a Soviet first strike for the foreseeable future. That alone will ensure its top billing in naval planning.
Second, to deal with defense-budget constraints inherent in a democratically run, consumer-oriented society, our defense-acquisition strategy has been to develop technologically sophisticated units expected to balance an enemy’s superiority in numbers. The modem nuclear-powered submarine symbolizes the epitome of this approach. With so much technology invested, it is not likely that we will choose to “allow” our submarine force to become so vulnerable as to be considered obsolete. For almost every new ASW capability that Captain O’Rourke proposes, a submarine countermeasure can be developed through similar technologies.
Third, the United States, since World War II, has relied on an strategy of alliance-formation and forward defense ensure its conventional deterrent. Instead of a military establishment that equals tbf probable threat in numbers and capabil ity, we have attempted to develop force* that are technologically sophisticated and flexible enough to deal with a multiplied! of possible threats, and to pair these forces to those of willing allies. The & suit is that the probable defensive battle' front is separated from us by two ocean* This necessitates a sealift capability the' must be protected by a combination ol defensive and offensive ASW. By far, th£ best platform for offensive ASW is the SSN. Even if our ASW capabilities W prove substantially, it is likely that AS'' detection capabilities can be used (organ' ically or possibly by data-link) by SSY as well as by surface forces.
On the budget side, Captain O’Rouri^ forgets to note that effective surface an" airborne ASW requires vast expenditure to produce the numbers of platforms & quired. Few would suggest that a sing' surface ship or aircraft can—with0'1' nonorganic support—detect, track, an attack individual modem SSNs on a rod" tine basis. To fight submarines effcc’. tively, we need a sufficient number 0 combined forces. Where are we going get the numbers of ASW units that wou'“ be required to make the submarine thre3: totally “obsolete?” The large number0 Soviet submarines ensure that the subn1*1 fine will always be a considerable thr°a to surface units no matter what AS’ technologies are employed. Even 'vlt new developments, ASW is also a qu°s tion of numbers.
Captain O’Rourke presents a false chotomy when he implies that ASW a. vances make submarines obsolete. SSN are integral ASW units. Since the Sov>‘ Union is less dependent on seaborn' commerce and its navy than we are, •J' U. S. subs’ prime wartime targets will Soviet subs. From this perspective, AS\ advances are also advances in submanr‘ warfare. This ensures that submari^j will remain in the forefront of U. S. n»vJ strategy.
Watch Those Turns
 wasn’t exactly looking forward to my “mug” (freshman) summer training cruise at New York Maritime College. As the lowest of the low, I had only a few minutes to say goodbye to my parents before boarding the training ship. I knew I was in for a terrible trip—one filled with musters, scrub downs, and other assorted mug miseries.
As the ship drifted from the pier, I waved farewell to my folks, who I expected would already be missing me. Instead, I saw them and all the other parents laughing uproariously! How could they be so happy while we were so down?
It wasn’t until much later that day, during a rushed dinner, that I heard the scuttlebutt. Some cadet, it seemed, had draped a hand-painted sign from the ship’s stern: “Student Driver.”