Navy to Review Ship Needs–Opportunities for Cooperation?

File:BAMS-UAS.jpgAccording to Reuters, when the new Chief of Naval Operations addressed the Surface Navy Association on January 10, he offered some clues as to how he thought the Navy might address the changing environment and stated that a review of the Navy’s force structure is expected this spring.

There are a few areas where CG and Navy interests might intersect.

“The four-star admiral mapped out some areas of continued investment, including unmanned aerial and undersea vehicles…”

The CG could benefit, if Navy systems don’t become so sophisticated they are priced out of reach. Hopefully the Navy will apply their Broad Area Maritime Surveillance System (BAMS) (Navy illustration left) to areas of interest to the Coast Guard and the CG will be able to use it to help maintain maritime domain awareness.

“Greenert, who took over as the Navy’s top uniformed officer in September, told a packed audience that he made some changes to the Navy’s budget plan after visiting the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important shipping lane, which Iran last month threatened to shut off if new U.S. and EU sanctions over its nuclear program halted Iranian oil exports.

“He said funds were added for more mine warfare equipment, counter-swarm, and anti-submarine warfare.”

This could refer to mission modules for the Littoral Combat Ship program, but increased emphasis on ASW could mean another ship type may be needed. There could be an opportunity to share a hull with the OPC.

“Other priorities for the Navy in coming years included work on a next-generation destroyer to replace the Arleigh-Burke DDG-51 destroyers, a ship that he said would need a common hull and modular systems.”

So modular systems are being extended beyond the LCS program. This may be a way for cutters to have a meaningful war time role without the burden of maintaining weapon system on board in peacetime.

He also underscored the Navy’s interest in development of an anti-torpedo torpedo and new electronic warfare capabilities.

An anti-torpedo torpedo, might also be the basis of a system even small cutters could use for stopping large merchant ships.