CIMSEC had the opportunity to discuss the growth and evolution of the U.S. Surface Navy’s lethality with Rear Admiral Scott Robertson, commander of the Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC). In this discussion RDML Robertson discusses the cutting edge of Surface Navy training and tactical development, and how SMWDC is planning to take its efforts to the next level.
Much of SMWDC’s effort is geared toward being a learning organization, whether through experimenting with tactics, training WTIs, and digesting technical data gathered from exercises. Going across your various lines of effort, what exactly is being learned and taught by SMWDC?
According to the Indian Press, Chinese ‘Spy & research’ Ship SHI YAN 1 entered Indian territory near Port Blair in Indian Ocean and chased away by Indian Navy warships, Navy News reports.
The Indian Navy recently drove away a suspicious Chinese vessel from Indian waters near Port Blair. The Chinese vessel named Shi Yan 1 was detected by a maritime surveillance aircraft of the Indian Navy when the vessel was supposedly carrying out research activities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) near Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
This essay was highly commended in the youth division of the Chief of Navy’s 2019 Essay Competition. Details of the competition are here.
By Noah Learoyd*
Today the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) must assert its power in an increasingly contested maritime environment, and position itself for success in future conflicts. In the years between federation and World War One (WW1), Australia faced similar challenges, and overcame them with admirable results. This essay will argue that such an example has significant implications for the modern RAN. In order to understand both historical and the contemporary circumstances, it is helpful to think through a theoretical framework, such as neoclassical realism. This identifies that states respond to the pressures placed on them by the international system, but can only act insofar as their domestic structures enable them too. Far from being ‘black boxes’, the internal workings of a state have a large impact on their interaction with the world around them.1 Thus particular focus will be placed on the strategic similarities between the two time periods, and key internal factors that influence outward actions.
For the second time in living memory, the West has lost strategic control of the South China Sea (SCS). The first time was 1940-41, when Imperial Japan obtained strategic dominance of the SCS by occupying French Indochina.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a totalitarian communist imperium which, like Imperial Japan, is territorially aggressive and economically predatory.
Two former air force chiefs have said that there’s an urgent capability gap in the Australian Defence Force’s order of battle—an absence of credible long-range strike capability for the air force and navy. Air Marshals Leo Davies and Geoff Brown told McGregor that Australia needs a long-range bomber (the only real option being the US B-21 Raider now under development) as well as long-range drones and land-based missiles.
In a 1974 article in Aeroplane Monthly, a former Royal Air Force maritime patrol pilot wrote this about his experience flying in World War II:
During a period of 1,200 operational hours flown over a period of about a year—primarily on the Russian route—I was, alas, only involved in three attacks out of perhaps six possible sightings of U-boats, with no positive claim of a kill, and no sightings made of any German capital ship. However … we made an invaluable contribution in containing the German sea offensive against the Allied convoys traversing this area of the high seas. The constant patrolling of Allied convoy routes forced U-boats to be submerged for much longer periods than their attack plans catered for. … [T]here had to come a time when he would be forced to surface, well out of range of Royal Navy escorts and convoy air cover, in order to recharge his batteries. All this put valuable time and distance between the U-boat and his prey, and the prospects of a kill were severely reduced as a result.
The Royal Australian Navy has neglected long-range naval surface-warfare capability for too long.
Its new Hobart-class air warfare destroyers represent Australia’s most advanced naval combatant introduced into operational service, but their main anti-ship and land-attack missile, the RGM-84 Harpoon Block II, has a range of only 124 kilometres, is subsonic and has an explosive payload of just 272 kilograms.