The John Batchelor Show

VIDEO: Navy of the Future

June 24, 2016

Thursday  23 June  2016 / Hour 1, Block B:  Scott Shipman, Shipman Federal Services, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the application of John Boyd’s leadership strategies in the workplace; in re: diesel submarines.  Swedes and others build highly desirable subs.  Nuclear and Diesel: the distinction is the propulsion plant. Nuclear: much faster and longer travels.   Diesel electric – hull shapes are similar; $500 to 600mil a copy; Germans have a great one, and Saab is making the A26, probably to become the best in thee world. There’s some water where diesel is better: underwater mountainous terrain needs a smaller, diesel boat – Baltic and S/E China Seas. Avg water depths in Baltic is 180 feet; in the Yellow Sea, 144, Persian Gulf, 164 feet.    Not risk a very expensive boat in crowded and contested littorals.   We can contest Iran w our nuclear boats, but at what cost? Iran has a sizable fleet  of boats that are smaller, cheaper, running closer to home. Run on batteries: then, invisible to sonar.   Question: compatibility of these boats with our allies’?  Similar – we operate routinely with allies, e.g., Gotland class, which stayed in San Diego for years, acted as a target. Out boats could not find it while it was running on a battery.   The High-low mix approach: one VA class and 2 or 3 diesel to cover our requirements; then we could rapidly grow our sub force.  Currently we can launch missiles, torpedoes, others.  AIP – air independent propulsion – operates independent of the atmosphere, can run for two weeks without snorkeling.  We need at least 20 of them
The ocean is not flat. The strength of these designs, and underwater topography in key regions that favors smaller diesel designs.
Thursday  23 June  2016 / Hour 1, Block C: Paul Scharre,  , in re:  unmanned underwater vehicles: UUVs or drone sub. Comms are so challenging underwater that  . . .  Power is a limiting factor.  For torpedo-shaped UUVs, could be hours or a few days. People have thought of networks of charging statins undersea; there are glider UUVs that tap into thermoclines energy, can stay underwater for years at a time, doing oceanographic missions.  DARPA: continuous trailed unmanned vessel  ___ (ACP); in the underwater envt:  torpedo-sized to very small ones (size of a  baseball bat) to mini subs.  Operating in network with manned stealthy aircraft to augment the attack profile (manned/unmanned teaming); think of the sub as a mother ship with a swarm of undersea drones – cd come from land, the sub, or pods; sub is C2 (command and control) craft.   This technology is a lot ore accessible than huge subs; many smaller and middle powers are working on this.  Recall 1929 to 1941:we thought the Big Gun Club made us safe, then Japan invented the Kido Butai.   We can't afford to have a Navy the size we want; but these technologies can monitor, provide queuing to manned platforms, How they’re networks, knotted together:  1. Lay fiberoptic cables w docking statins for both comms and power. A challenge will be: pace of comms will be slower in view of the time delay.    2. Multidomain swarms: surface unmanned ships and air drones all operating together, UUVs pass data to surface vessels that pass data to drones in air. Skynet.  Naval post grad school is doing interesting research in air swarms that can