Introduction to the Theme: Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare
NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIV PATUXENT RIVER MD
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Anti-Submarine Warfare ASW is a critical mission area for the U.S. Navy and supports its interest in being able to operate unhindered in any ocean environment. Of the primary ASW platforms submarines, ships, and aircraft the aircraft alone operates outside the ocean environment. This feature promotes the development of ASW hardware unique to the airborne element. In addition, while the ocean s environmental principles remain the same for all platforms, the aircraft s agility and speed permit the exploitation of fields of sensors and, by default, multiple simultaneous acoustic propagation paths and active multi-statics. All of this serves to highlight the versatility of the airborne platform and makes it extremely friendly to technology enhancements. Where is the state of the art in Air ASW Technology To answer this question with perspective, I reviewed a U.S. Navy training video on Airborne ASW, a how to for operational personnel. What was described is what one would expect, i.e., an aircraft deploys a radio sonobuoy, the sonobuoy deploys a hydrophone sensor, and finally, acoustic data is transmitted from the buoy to an aircraft where it is analyzed for submarine signatures. The video offered a pretty basic description involving basic concepts and technology. The unusual aspect here was the date of the video, 1944. The aircraft involved was a Martin Mariner PBM-3 Fig. 1, the sonobuoy, an ANCRT-1, the Navy s first operational sonobuoy. The submarine was, of course, a WWII vintage diesel-electric.
- Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare