A Case for the Return of Patrol Bombing (VPB) Squadrons for Sea Control Using the P-8 Poseidon and B-1 Lancer
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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The United States could drastically expand maritime strike capability by reviving the patrol bombing squadron VPB concept of World War II, pairing Navy P-8s with Air Force B1s. The Navy is at risk of falling behind China in sea control capabilities after more than two decades of focusing on overland wars and almost thirty years of unchallenged US supremacy of the seas. The United States spends over 700 billion on defense, yet lacks the capability to conduct large scale war at sea or at least, so it seems. New technology, weapons, and manned and unmanned platforms have to be developed for sea control, and there is promise in emerging programs like the Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle LUSV, Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle XLUUV, Maritime Strike Tomahawk and directed energy weapons. However, the United States can drastically increase maritime strike capacity right now with existing platforms armed with existing weapons with some creative thinking, agile concepts of operation, and a relatively small investment. Sea control is a multi-domain effort now more than ever, and although ships, submarines, space, and future technology will play a role, the quickest and most effective way to increase maritime strike capability and capacity today is to revive the VPB concept.
- Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics