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Defense Acquisitions: Comprehensive Strategy Needed to Improve Ship Cruise Missile Defense
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Navy has shifted its focus from preparing for warfare on the open ocean to developing operational concepts and capabilities for conducting combat operations in the coastal waters of the world. However, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles threatens the ability of Navy ships to operate and survive close to hostile shores. In response to this threat, the Chief of Naval Operations directed a comprehensive review of ship self-defense requirements. Completed in fiscal year 1996, this study formally identified the capabilities needed by each ship class to defend against cruise missile threats in the near, mid-, and far term.2 Since then, the Navy has spent 3.8 billion to improve its ship self-defense capabilities against cruise missile attacks, and it plans to spend another 5.1 billion over the next 6 years. This report responds to your request that we 1 assess the Navys progress since 1996 in improving the self-defense capability of surface ships against cruise missiles and 2 evaluate Navy plans for meeting future anti-cruise missile self-defense requirements. Appendix I contains the specific information you requested on the planned defensive suite for the San Antonio class of amphibious ships now in development.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE