A lethal, survivable undersea force is essential to the current and future national security of the United States and its allies. The challenge we face is how best to address essential undersea warfighting issues of a very complex world in the face of extremely tight fiscal realities. To do that we need a coherent plan—a long-term investment plan that addresses the full span of undersea capability—platforms, payloads, payload volume, and people—and makes integrated decisions about them in a way that helps us thin out options, focus resources and time, and still end up with the capabilities required by the future joint force. This plan allows us to make future decisions in a coordinated way so that gaps are not created and overlaps and hedging are reduced to a minimum to maximize capability in a time when we have resource constraints.
Characterizing the Future
Setting the stage for the undersea force of tomorrow requires an assessment of challenges beyond today’s horizon and the tools required to meet them. While the future is uncertain, some trends are very likely and useful for planning.