In February, the destroyer USS Kidd (DDG-100) fired a Tomahawk cruise missile that hit a moving target ship. That might not seem terribly significant, except that the missile had no seeker, and the ship was being tracked by an F/A-18 that had no direct link to the missile. What might otherwise be a routine test was actually revolutionary, the latest development in an evolving networked capability. It was part of what the Surface Navy Association called “distributed lethality” at its January meeting, and it parallels the new Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter-Air (NIFC-CA) that is now entering service. Both are attempts to maximize the net effectiveness of a combination of ships and aircraft. That is not a new idea, but the current applications go well beyond what was possible in the past.
World Naval Developments - Sharpening the Tactical Picture
By Norman Friedman