Times change, and methods of warfare change with them—often in cycles. The U.S. Navy has shifted its antisubmarine warfare (ASW) focus to the littorals and to the prevalent threat: the quiet diesel submarine. And rightly so. The majority of vessels in or on the high seas today are transiting merchant ships and the U.S. Navy.
The littoral combat ship (LCS) was envisioned to perform littoral surface, mine, and antisubmarine warfare, which would permit safe access to contested littoral areas through the use of modules that could be applied as part of a mission package. Some mission-package concepts are straightforward; others are more challenging. ASW is one of these. It has always been a difficult war-fighting problem. In the littorals, it only gets harder.