More than at any time in recent memory, the Navy faces greater and more diverse threats in the littorals, including long-range aircraft armed with antiship cruise missiles (ASCMs), attack submarines with cruise missiles, midget submarines, multipurpose corvettes, coastal missile and gun systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sophisticated mines, and medium- and short-range ballistic missiles. Most notably, Navy surface combatants are now vulnerable to attack, with little to no warning, from small, low-observable guided-missile patrol boats (PGGs) or fast-attack craft (FAC) with ASCMs. The PGG/FAC threat alarms warfighters deployed in high-clutter and compressed operating environments, from the South China Sea to the high North Atlantic. If adversaries are investing in these small, multipurpose platforms, should the U.S. Navy not do the same?
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