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Small Boat and Swarm Defense: A Gap Study

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Master's thesis

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United States Naval forces conducting straits transits face a host of unique force protection challenges. Traffic density is often high, with many ferries, fishing and pleasure boats, and large cargo ships maneuvering in a small area. Although the Rules of Engagement ROE will generally designate query and warning ranges, International law and freedom of navigation allow vessels to operate in very close proximity to warships. Small vessels are often difficult to regulate and many lack basic equipment such as bridge to bridge radios. With a host of stationary and seemingly randomly moving boats, determining a hostile action in a timely manner is difficult at best. These conditions make the identification of and defense against hostile small craft extremely difficult. Even after a craft is designated hostile, the timeline for mounting an effective defense is often very short. This thesis shows that a gap in capability exists in the surface force to defend itself against small threat craft. It adds functionality to the Anti-Terrorism Force Protection ATFP Tool initially developed by Lieutenant James Harney Harney 2003 and significantly enhanced by Lieutenant Patrick Sullivan Sullivan 2006. Lieutenant Harney created the foundation for all the work that followed by investigating the role of Discrete Event Simulation DES in defense Modeling and Simulation MS. The result of this work was a fully integrated, prototypical, Java-based application that demonstrates how various Open-Source, webbased technologies can be applied in order to provide the tactical operator with tools to aid in Force Protection planning Harney 2003.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Naval Surface Warfare

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