US Navy braces for evolving competition with new strategy

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Responding to challenges from ‘near-peer’ competitors, the U.S. Navy has released a new surface force strategy under which it will strengthen its naval power at and from the sea.

The objective of the strategy is to achieve and sustain sea control which the navy sees as a pre-requisite to achieving the other objectives of all domain access, deterrence, power projection and maritime security.

The strategy describes the return to sea control and implementation of distributed lethality as an operational and organizational principle for achieving and sustaining sea control at will.

Distributed lethality reinforces fleet initiatives that drive collaboration and integration across warfighting domains. The concept requires increasing the offensive and defensive capability of surface forces and the navy is therefore working on a maritime version of the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile and is considering the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile, Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Surface Missile and a modified Boeing Harpoon as means of increasing its offensive power.

“We are entering a new age of Seapower. A quarter-century of global maritime dominance by the U.S. Navy is now being tested by the return of great power dynamics,” Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, said.

“By providing a more powerful deterrent, we can dissuade the first act of aggression, and failing that, we will respond to an attack to compel the adversary to cease hostilities by rendering it incapable of further aggression.

We will do this by providing our warships with the tactics, talent, tools, and training to deceive, target and destroy enemy forces, and by instilling this warfighting ethos in the crews that fight our warships. The strategy serves as our call to action to build, organize, train, and equip surface forces that can fight and win today, tomorrow and beyond.”


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