With fiscally strained times forcing the Navy to tighten its belt and possibly cut ships, the basic question of the relevance of the surface Navy is once again being asked. So 27 years after first asking the question, we once again ask: Are surface combatants simply supporting players, or do they have a larger strategic role?
The Transformation (Again!) of the Surface Navy
In the 1980s, the Tomahawk cruise missile expanded the surface Navy’s role; in the 2000s, new technologies continue to enhance surface warfare’s strategic significance.
By Captain R. Robinson Harris, U.S. Navy (Retired), and Lieutenant Robert McFall, U.S. Navy