2017-2020 are going to be exciting.
… the US Navy will be unveiling a new strategy for surface combat as early as today, which is just two years after their move to what’s called distributed lethality. That means that Navy ships, instead of operating in one mass formation, will break up into several smaller formations. This focus on splitting a large formation into small groups and increasing lethality means that adversaries will have more numerous target groups as opposed to one mass formation. And given electronic warfare and the capability to present decoy targets to adversary targeting systems, the US Navy is betting that they’ll be harder to hit as a result. The carrier strike groups will remain operational, but will launch aircraft and missiles from the rear of a sea battle, while distributed formations stay closer to the fight. This is most likely in response to recent Chinese weapons developments, which includes a series of upgrades to anti-ship missiles, and the expectation that a naval conflict is growing more likely. China’s strategy is to use long-range air-to-air and anti-ship missiles in what’s called an anti-access/area denial strategy. I’ll be paying close attention this week to see what comes of the Navy’s new strategy in response.