Future Roles of the U.S. Nuclear Submarine
MARINE CORPS WAR COLL QUANTICO VA
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U.S. nuclear submarines will remain a potent conventional and nuclear force in the 21st century. The submarines unique characteristics of stealth, endurance, survivability, mobility, flexibility, and lethality make it an invaluable asset not only in the pursuit of deterrence, but also in the achievement of National Military Strategy objectives. Though submarines are an instrumental tool in these matters, they need to be more integrated within the Department of Defense in order to maximize their impact. The United States should make the best of the personnel and equipment on hand while looking to the future for an opportunity to incorporate new capabilities in submarine warfare. Seven major areas of change should be vigorously pursued in order to meet the 21st century challenges. First, four Ohio class submarines should be converted to guided missile submarines. Second, Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines should perform more of the traditional Fast Attack submarine roles. Third, more realistic training should be conducted by submarine crews, using their own ships equipment whenever possible. Also, submarine officers should pursue more Joint Professional Education. Fourth, Fast Attack submarine production should be increased to at least two, but preferably three, per year. Fifth, a submarine fire support capability should be developed. Sixth, naval and submarine doctrine should be changed to more fully support Joint Vision 2010 and Operational Maneuver From the Sea. Finally, a Theater Missile Defense role for Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines should be developed.
- Submarine Engineering