At the beginning of the new millennium, the navy will be able to go anywhere to accomplish almost any task thanks to the sea power of the 21st century. Thanks to new technologies, some of which are still under development, the navy has been able to largely coordinate naval operations with operations on land, in the air and in cyberspace. This interaction allows you to create a single interactive combat space.
Revolutionary design solutions, computers, and software have become a trend toward radical improvement. All these aspects of the new fleet will soon be connected by a single system that allows you to coordinate the capabilities of forces scattered across a vast space. The armada of independently operating ships has become a combined information-led force with unprecedented capabilities and tasks of offensive, defense or naval readiness. This phenomenon is called by the sailors “the sea power of the XNUMXst century,” the goal of which is “smart war” from beginning to end. Namely, improving the collection of information, quick decision-making at all levels, the capabilities of the Navy and the Marine Corps with proactive deployment are truly unimaginable.
Over the past 20 years, the naval strategy has undergone numerous changes due to the latest advances. The renewed fleet strategy focuses not on war in the open sea, but in coastal waters. Soon the military fleet will turn into a fully integrated alliance with network support designed to combat regional and transnational threats.
All this became possible with the advent of the development of a universal operational concept called the “military network”. This is an initiative of military sailors in the framework of the concept of a centralized network warfare, which is being introduced by scientists as part of a unified service. This is a gigantic education that allows you to act on an integrated circuit with the maximum use of sensors and other innovations. Moreover, the decision is made not only on the basis of tactical information, but also on the basis of what the operators themselves see when they are on a warship or any other place. In other words, based on an analysis of the total amount of data received in the combat space, when any warship or any armory the system, as well as any sailor, can play a significant role in the outcome of the war as a whole.
Such integrated knowledge will allow interacting advanced units of the navy to dominate the combat space, wherever it is. It is about the possibility of integrating a tactical picture in an effective and reliable unified connection. For example, having one integrated air picture (data), where two units operate on two different platforms that have the mutual exchange of information, in case of detection of the target, after its identification, digital information will go to both participants of the operation. The results of such innovation may be of particular importance in coastal areas, where the fleet was previously at a disadvantage.
The new equipment allows you to radically change the conduct of the battlefield in the coastal zone with the use of sea-based combat vehicles that are outside the line of sight of the enemy and have the ability to quickly land.
Sea battle on the coast
Modern ship for operations in the coastal zone can be represented as a combat surface unit with a network connection, and maneuverable and secretive. This high-speed ship will become an important element of the defensive fleets operating in areas inaccessible to large ships. Ships of this class will have the ability to self-deploy in remote coastal areas. A one-piece, low-draft body allows speeds of more than 40 knots. Equipped with interchangeable modules to perform various tasks, the Freedom class ship can disembark Navy Special Forces units, crews for conducting preventive operations in the coastal zone, reconnaissance teams, and, if necessary, deliver anti-terrorism units and groups cover.
Modern network equipment on board will allow the use of combat unmanned vehicles, for example, the fully computerized boat “Protector”. This is the perfect tool for anti-terrorist operations. The patrol boat and the onboard weapon system are controlled remotely. This boat is fast and maneuverable. The identification of objects is carried out using an electronic optical system, and a gun with a remote control is used as a firing means.
A group of unmanned boats, receiving operational information from the board of unmanned aerial vehicles, can carry out defense of the navy from terrorist attacks. They can also carry the patrol service offline, forwarding information to the control center about any potential threat. It will be an excellent partner during combat operations on the coast.
The ability to act in the power network system will provide ships of the coastal zone (LCS) a huge advantage over the enemy in the course of performing complex combat multi-stage tasks. Perhaps the most important event among the transformations in the framework of the expeditionary naval forces will be the entry into service of the twelve amphibious assault ships of the San Antonio class. These multi-purpose ships for action in crisis areas will be distinguished by a highly mobile combination of air and ground fire weapons, with autonomous action forces. They will deliver rapid strikes and quickly retreat to regroup before performing the next task. On board military vehicles will also be hovercraft and other assault assault vehicles.
Expeditionary shock group
The emergence of new technology also forces to change the structure of the military structure of the Navy. New shock groups are a combination of the forces and means necessary to adequately respond to conflict situations around the world in the process of their development. Now there is a tendency to move from autonomous operations by forces of individual ships, with the exchange of tactical information with other platforms, to operations - carried out by ships in tactical groups with an appropriate level of integration. Due to this, it became possible to influence the development of events, having such means as a maritime fire control system. In other words, new means appeared at the disposal of the sailors, which previously simply did not exist.
An expeditionary strike group is a combination of a typical carrier-based strike group and an amphibious assault landing group. It may include landing ships, a frigate, a destroyer, a cruiser, a strike submarine, and ground-based Orion class aircraft. This type of connection allows sailors and marines to carry out a landing, while warships and submarines hit targets deep in the coast with rockets and artillery fire.
The basis of the combat power of the fleet remains carrier-based strike group. This is a group of ships acting as an independent combat unit. Its composition, as a rule, includes an aircraft carrier with 80 aircraft onboard, two URO cruisers, two destroyers, a frigate, two strike submarines, and also support vessels.
Commander in the rank of admiral aviation holding his flag on an aircraft carrier. With operational capabilities in full, such a group is an ideal means of prolonged force impact on the enemy while ensuring their own invulnerability.
Today, aircraft carriers form a key element of the remote global presence of the naval forces, remaining the main means of deterrence, conflict resolution and warfare during a crisis.
Aircraft carriers of the Nimitz class remain the main element of the united allied expeditionary forces. In the era of advanced technology, the combat readiness of the carrier fleet is higher than ever. The most important role in deterring and achieving victory in the conflicts of the future belongs to the anti-missile defense group, which is an autonomous means of resolving the crisis using high-precision missiles. The striking power of the American fleet will also be enhanced by military surface groups, whose main task is to provide additional security to the combined allied forces on the coast. Special submarines capable of launching cruise missiles or disembarking special forces units will interact with them.
As part of the concept of an expeditionary strike group, new combat ships are being developed that guarantee the superiority of the American fleet. So in the near future, the CVNX class aircraft carriers, designed with the maximum use of the latest technological advances, such as new propulsion systems, electric catapults, automation, high survivability and the possibility of more efficient aircraft operation, will replace the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Surpassed three times their predecessors in the production of electricity, the ships of the type CVN will be equipped with electromagnetic launch systems for aircraft, the latest brakes and new integrated combat control systems. Their hangars will house F-35 aircraft, replacing F-18A veterans and Harrier. The fighter designs have been modified to meet the needs of each branch of the 21st century. The naval version of the F-35 is distinguished by wider steering surfaces on the wings and tail, which greatly facilitates the approach to the aircraft carrier at high speed, as well as the possibility of a shorter starting takeoff and vertical landing.
The first destroyer was built over 100 years ago. Having received the name "torpedo fighter" he had to destroy the enemy ships. This task will remain the same a century later. Today's destroyer class "Arleigh Burke" is recognized as the most advanced warship in the world. Equipped with a vertical launch system, modern anti-submarine weapons, anti-aircraft missiles and cruise missiles, this destroyer became a real masterpiece among ships. But the American shipbuilders still tried to improve this class of ships, and soon we would have the opportunity to evaluate their design.
The destroyer DDG-1000 of the USS Zumwalt class (formerly known as DDX) will be the next destroyer for naval battles of the future. This warship will be the epitome of revolution in the U.S. Navy. Probably the most interesting in the design of the destroyer DDG-1000 is a low-sitting streamlined body, which received the informal name "tumbler". An inwardly directed bevel reduces wave resistance and pitching, which adversely affects the operation of the radar. Four-wheel drive will significantly reduce vibration and acoustic performance, making it difficult for the enemy to detect a new destroyer. Among the technical innovations on board the new ship, the AGS multipurpose radar should be specially noted, which will replace the 5 radar systems and will detect even the most advanced cruise missiles for fighting ships. And, of course, a new unique artillery mount, more long-range and quick-fire, which will allow influencing the outcome of military operations not only with the help of cruise missiles, but also with artillery. The new artillery system will allow to hit targets at a distance of 100 nautical miles. The guns will be located in the mines that open before the attack. The automatic system will provide gun service without the participation of personnel. Shells will be automatically loaded into "stores". Charging will be done electronically as needed. The gun can fire with a rate of fire up to 200 rounds per minute, adjusted for body roll and very high accuracy. But the designers did not stop there. To date, the weapon of the future is under development, which will soon complement a set of missiles and other military equipment on board the USS Zumwalt destroyer.
The latest high-tech weapons include electronic lasers to destroy enemy aircraft by photons moving at the speed of light; high power microwaves for hitting electronic systems and electrical appliances; electromagnetic rail guns, for a fraction of a second giving a projectile speed of more than 20000 km / h.
If the destroyers can be compared with spears, then the cruisers will be their tip, the first to arrive in the battle area. Cruisers support aircraft carriers, amphibious assault forces or operate independently. The main defensive means of the Ticonderoga class cruisers is the Aegis missile system. Yielding to the size of destroyers, cruisers, however, equally formidable ships. The on-board vertical launch system allows launching cruise missiles with pinpoint targets. Together with rockets, the Aegis system makes the cruiser one of the most combat-capable surface ships of the modern world. However, on the horizon, the silhouette of another ship coming to replace the cruisers “Ticonderoga” has already appeared. The cruiser under development was called the CGN (X).
Ships of this class armed with long-range missiles will provide air and missile defense, cover for aircraft-carrier strike groups and other ships and vessels. More powerful large-caliber missiles will allow you to effectively combat enemy aircraft on its territory, at a distance of hundreds of kilometers from the coast. As expected, CGN (X) class cruisers will begin to enter service with the 2017 year.
Integrated Management System
But the Aegis control system alone will not be able to complete the defense tasks. In the past 20 years, the amount of available information has clearly exceeded the capabilities of the Navy’s communications facilities for its processing. The solution was the so-called integrated management system, where, thanks to technical advances, a person must become an integral part of such systems.
Integrated management environment means command, control, communications and intelligence. In other words, it is a structure that works with information in order to achieve the maximum benefit from all technical innovations in the Navy system.
Different management environments require matching and sorting of various kinds of data, converting them into the context of an operator’s action. The most important information from the combat area simplified and systematized will largely determine the nature of the conflicts of the future, being a means of ensuring superiority. Workstations should analyze data as they become available, ensuring the further transfer of processed electronic information received from many sources. The result is a bold innovation unprecedented in stories The fleet is a control center with a small staff and access to all senior commanders. In other words, a ship that will go into service with the US Navy in the coming 10 years will have much greater combat capabilities, and will be equipped with advanced systems that will require much less control to operate in combat. In this regard, it is expected to significantly expand the scope of automation, as well as try to integrate the operator and the system he controls so that when people see something on the display, or take any action to influence the course of a combat operation, they are sure that they are doing it is quite timely. All this is done with the aim of making more adequate decisions capable of determining the outcome of the battle of American troops on the coast. Low efficiency in this case is simply excluded.
The following new technical tools will come to the aid of military sailors in the 21st century: 2D, 3D and 3D audio visual technologies; wireless communications and wireless sensors; visual trackers and various warning systems (sound, visual and tactile). In the near future, the integrated control environment will allow the commanders of ships to make an adequate decision in a timely manner.
Distributed technical modeling
In order to be convinced of the effectiveness of new modern systems, seafarers are conducting tests in special laboratories with a simulated combat situation according to the method of distributed technical modeling. A technical modeling plan is a structure based on the existence in the United States of centers built specifically for the purpose of developing integration and testing of combat systems with which almost all combat units, from aircraft carriers to destroyers, will be equipped. In the process of integrating these systems in the framework of technical modeling, their actions can be analyzed in real time without risking people's lives. In accordance with the plan, military experts seek to link fleet bases and target designations with the help of telecommunications, with the subsequent formation of a synthetic combat space in order to be able to analyze the performance of combat systems in terms of their interaction. The system of distributed technical modeling includes simulators with network connection, scenario drivers, allowing to simulate the combat space with the actions of their troops and enemy troops. The advantage of this method in addition to cost savings, of course, is the study of new systems. Regularly repeating or rotating the battle scenario over and over again, the influence of certain capabilities of the entire system as a whole is manifested.
Research in the field of science and technology, together with the improvement of the existing technology, will soon have to play its role as a revolution, witnessing the beginning of which we have become today and which will inevitably continue in the future. And the naval equipment of the 21st century will continue to evolve to preserve peace.