The New Navy CSC 1984 SUBJECT AREA Strategic Issues - THE NEW NAVY Submitted to The Marine Corps Command and Staff College Quantico, Virginia In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For Written Communications Commander Mahmoud Y. Rashad Egyptian Navy April 6 1984 THE NEW NAVY The Importance of Sea Power At wars end, the United States had the greatest fleet the world had ever seen, about 68,936 vessels and craft of all sorts and kinds. Yes, in 1945 after the end of the World War II, many Americans thought that the U.S. Navy, which had helped to defeat the German submarines in the Atlantic and swept the Japanese Navy from the seas of the Pacific, had worked itself out of a job. Air power enthusiasts believed that peace of the world could be maintained by flying a few American aircrafts carrying a few atomic bombs, and ground soldiers, might be needed in small numbers to act as police forces to quell minor conflicts after the air atomic forces had won a victory. Thus, the Navy had nothing to fight. The attacks upon sea power persisted in various forms until the Korean War (1950-1953). Soon history set the record straight. The Korean War demonstrated that navies were still vital to the successful prosecution of war. Sea power has always included more than fighting ships. This means combat of all kinds. It also means arms and equipment that enable them to fight effectively, or a merchant marine, factories, bases, building yards, resources to construct and maintain the ships and trained men to operate all these facilities. Fundamentally, sea power exists to use the ocean waterways for exploitation of trade or for strategical reasons. It is a fact that seven tenths of the earth is water. Today, especially, no nation can live as an island entirely unto itself. A nation must exchange its goods for others. It must bring in by sea, raw materials, food and medicines, if it does not possess them. Naval blockades or maintaining patrolling ships and planes off the coast of a nation to sever its seaborn supply lines can quickly strangle a small and vulnerable country and can slowly weaken a large and powerful one. In modern war, all forms of power mutually overlap and are interdependent. Some incidents in history that have happened show the necessity of sea power for nations. Examples of these incidents are: (1) the landing of the Marines in Lebanon during President Eisenhower's administration, and (2) the partial blockade of Cuba to force the Russians to withdraw their missiles from their islands in the fall of 1962. We can't forget the great growth of Russian sea power in the twentieth century. There is no way to forget that the Soviet Navy has the largest submarine fleet today and their surface ships are second only to those of the United States in number and in tonage. Also, Red China is becoming a sea power. The technological revolution may be dated from the invention of the radio, the airplane and the internal combustion engine. This revolution will enable the Navy to defeat all problems. Today, forty years later, modern naval vessels may be propelled by nuclear power. The fissionable element will last normally for years or even for an entire war. Submarines glide at speeds in excess of 30 knots far beneath the sea in a depth man had never been penetrated before. Jet aircraft flying from carrier decks move more than twice the speed of sound, and hovercrafts may skim at 50 to 100 knots. If we look to today's weapons, the gun has been replaced with a missile that extends sea power for thousands of miles inland. Because the dimensions of change are so fantastic and so considerable, it seems to many that the new Navy was not descended from the old Navy. The revolution at sea has altered everything from keel to the mast head. The combined changes have been so great that many navies have assumed totally new dimensions of strategic power. Submarines firing missiles with nuclear warheads represent a potential threat to nearly every city of the earth. In a non-nuclear war, helicopters and jet aircraft can be flown from ships' decks. Destroyers can protect the landing forces with anti-craft and surface to surface missiles, whereas, electronic warfare jaming and deception are widely conducted and have a significant affect on the war. In marine engineering the revolution in propulsion systems has been profound. New fuels have been developed and new systems have been utilized to use these fuels. Atomic power has had by far the greatest impact upon the new Navy. Small amounts of uranium, which can be fissioned or split bombardment of neutrons, are encased as a core of a nuclear reactor. The rate of fussion can be accelerated or decreased by controlling the neutron bombardment. The fission process gives off great heat that is used to turn water into steam and the steam is then used to drive turbines that are geared to a propeller. However, nuclear power is the most important new form of marine propulsion. Because of the high cost of nuclear power and its safety problems, the oil burning boiler steam turbine combination is still the standard marine power plant for all major high speed ships. The oil burning boiler and steam turbines have been also refined and improved in so many ways. Turbines utilizing various types of chemical fuels are also developed and in use. In marine gas turbines, various combinations of chemicals are burned to provide the power to turn the turbine. Most gas turbines now use some kind of fuel oil, usually diesel fuel, and boilers are dispensed with the fuel is injected directly to turbines and burns. The burning gases pass through the turbine blades thus driving the turbine. The advantage of this type of propulsion are simplicity, flexibility and high speed. And finally, there is a completely new and as yet entirely experimental ship-plane combination. It is a hovercraft device which travels entirely above the water on a cushion of air. There are various kinds of these craft with different systems utilizing the air cushion for suspension and propulsion. Submarines From the invention of the first submarine until now, submarines have confirmed their significant role as a sea power. They now form the most significant threat to both sea crafts and sea bases as well as cities (and towns) of the foe as they are now armed with long range nuclear missiles. Thus the application of nuclear power as a means of energy in nuclear submarines has solved many significant problems and made possible the development of undersea craft capable of indifinite submergence. The nuclear power plants utilize tremendous energy released in the form of heat when atoms are fissioned or broken up. The processed materials, U-235, a derivative of uranium and plutanium, provided a nuclear reactor the fuel that, when burned, gives off heat. In a nuclear explosion two so- called critical masses of fissionable materials are brought together in a fraction of a second creating a reaction which would be like a chemical laboratory experiment. The most dangerous effect of the nuclear explosion is the great fire ball with heat which is millions of degrees (as hot as the sun). This heat is used in a nuclear reactor but, unlike warheads or bombs, the reactor is devised with all sorts of safe guards to prevent explosions. A nuclear reactor is thus really a furnace containing carefully packaged and separate packets of the enriched uranium. The potential energy of the Navy is estimated to be a lump of uranium the size of a golf ball (two pounds) and is equivalent to 460,000 gallons of fuel oil or 3,000 tons of coal. This radio active fuel, which is a carefully compartmented core, is constantly giving off neutrons that dash back and forth in all directions and in the process fission heat is given off and more neutrons fly about. The secret of a nuclear reactor is the control of the neutrons -- the limitation of the number permitted to strike and thus fission other atoms. This is made by means of control rods of special metal which absorb or slow down the neutrons and thus control the number of atoms that are split. The nuclear reactor has a built in safety factor that if it happened under certain condition that it emits so much heat, the fission might become so tremendous that the reactor might melt, but, there could be no nuclear explosion as such. The great advantage of nuclear reactors for warships is the elimination of the necessity for frequent refueling and therefore, offering the ability for cruising at high speed for a long time. However, there are of course some disadvantages to nuclear powers such as it is a more expensive system. The Navy has about 85 nuclear submarines which are of two general types -- attack submarine SSN and the fleet ballastic missile submarine SSBN. The attack submarine is used for general purposes. It has many weapons and is a high speed deep diving ship designed to attack the enemy maritime targets, especially the enemy submarines. It also scouts and patrols off enemy coasts. Some classes of SSN submarines are fitted with a mid-ship torpedo tubes to launch the new anti-submarine weapon SUBROC with a destructive warhead nuclear or convention depth charge. The SSBN high speed deep diving submarines are armed with about 18 nuclear missiles. The Trident missile is capable of destroying targets as far as 4,000 nm. ASW -- Anti-submarine Warfare As the enemies of the submarine, the destroyer is the major anti-submarine surface ship of the modern fleet. It is one of a vast complex of ships weapons and means that must be organized and integrated against the threat of the nuclear submarine. The Navy envisions its carrier strike forces as the first line of defense against enemy submarines. Attack planes from carriers and perhaps polarized missiles can be launched from SSBN submarines against the enemy submarines or against the enemy submarine bases. The second line of defense would be our submarines lurking off enemy bases and the coast searching for the enemy submarines. The third line of defense is the so-called anti-submarine barriers. These barriers are designed to block certain narrow bottlenecks of the sea which enemy submarines must use to reach the high seas. A fourth line would be long range patrol planes equipped with ASW based at various outlying bases. They would cover periodically every segment of the ocean. So-called HUK (Hunter-Killer) groups each are composed of aircraft carrier and several ASW destroyers. The Navy has nine of these groups in operation. They range far and wide on our coast, near carrier strike groups to seek and destroy enemy submarines. Detecting and tracking the enemy's submarines is a complex procedure which needs many types of units and sensors to confirm the success of the anti-submarine operation. Many types of sensors and systems are being used for detecting a submerged submarine such as: 1. The SOFA System (sound fixing and ranging) is composed of various hydrophones widely spaced around a wide area. Here, the intersections of directions are taken from a source of sounds which could be fixed and the approximate location of a target could be found. Then the HUK group could be sent to detect and destroy the suspected target. 2. The sonar bouy is one of the significant sensors that may be placed around the suspected area by plane or helicopter. These bouys are of two types -- passive (Jezebel) and active (Julie). The active type uses small explosive charges to send out sound waves which may be reflected back from a submarine's hull and will indicate distance and direction from a submarine. 3. Other means of more precisely locating and detecting submarines are the anti-submarine helicopters which carry dunking sonars. A variable depth sonar, housed in a contraption that looks like a dolphin, can be lowered from a ship's stern to different depths to get beneath the blanking thermal layers that hide a submarine. 4. Powerful new sonars are the "Bottom-Bounce" sonars. These sonars bounce sound waves off the sea bottom and the waves splatter and bounce up and down off the bottom to reach tremendous distances from twenty to over hundreds of miles. 5. Other devices that are indicators of a submarine's presence and that may assist in localization (rather than in original detection) are many, such as: a. Infrared sensors mounted in aircraft or helicopters which will pick up at short range, the hot exhaust gases from the diesel engine running on or near the surface. b. The MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) gear carried by aircraft to discover any sudden change in the normal magnetic field of the earth. At very close ranges these devices are very accurate. In narrow waters, like the Strait of Gibralter, they are used to identify contact already made by other means. 6. ASW aircraft are primarily of three types: a. The newest long range, the four engined 11,000 mile Locheed, has a capability for detection and destruction. They are flown from ASW carriers (Gruman SZD Tracker) which carry sonar bouys (Jezebel and Julie), radio direction finder, MAD gear, snifer gear, search radar and anti-submarine homing torpedos or depth charges. b. The other type of aircraft is the Sikorsky all-weather Sea King (SH-3A) equipped with dunking sonar and torpedoes. Later weapons are varied such as homing and spiraling torpedo like the long range Mark 37, the high speed short range Mark 44, 45, or 46 ASROC. ASROC, the Navy's major surface ship ASW, is a powerful rocket with a long range reach of 5-6 miles. ASROC rocket carries a payload of either nuclear depth charge or a spiraling torpedo. c. DASH (Destroyers Anti-submarine Helicopter) is a destroyer carrying two pilotless helicopters of simple light design with each helicopter being able to mount a homing ASW torpedo. In conclusion we can say that many types of units, sensors and weapons are being committed to modern ASW. The Aircraft Carrier The aircraft carrier dan be defined as a floating airfield which can steam quickly to the vicinity of any troubled spot in the world. The aircraft carrier can conduct many operations such as: - launching a strike with nuclear weapons or conven- tional bombs, - providing air support or a defensive air umbrella for the amphibians landing forces, - beinging the flag ship of the HUK (Hunter-Killer) groups. Now the aircraft carrier is the mother ship of the broad heilcopters which the Marines now use in their vertical envelopments. The Destroyers They are defined as "the hours of the fleet" because of their capability to conduct most of the fleets missions. Because they are armed with a variety of weapons and sensors, are capable of cruising for a long time at high speeds, and have a relatively small displacement, destroyers have been given the privilege of conducting most of the fleet's missions. Destroyers are used to protect and guard the fleet and merchant ships from any attack -- surface, sub-surface or even air attack. They are also used for escorting and patrolling of the shore. They protect the harbors and naval bases from any threats coming from the direction of the sea. Also, destroyers can offer the required fire support for the amphibious forces ashore. Conclusion The high seas cover approximately 140 million square miles which is about 2/3's of the total size of the earth. Sea power is very significant for the United States and its 42 ally countries. Most trade import and export is via the high seas. Furthermore, we shouldn't forget that about 40 percent of the U.S. Army is stationed overseas. For all these vital reasons the United States and its allies should devote their efforts to maintaining sea power to control the seas since it is necessary for survival and victory. BIBLIOGRAPHY Baldwin, Hanson W. The New Navy. E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. New York. 1964.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|