Friday, March 07, 2008

Submarine Quote of the Week: "... you spend stealth not give it away."

CAUTION: When M.E. sees things this guy's way, something big must be missing. It is.

Background: TSSBP recently posted Two-Way Submerged Communications. Light discussion followed.

Chap said... I'm not arguing they're unuseful, just arguing that the tech isn't there yet despite the breathless nature of the press releases over the last decade or two, and that you spend stealth not give it away. 3/07/2008 6:49 AM - Chapomatic [emphasis added]

Chap is absolutely correct, and elaborates ...

The key to a sub being more useful than a surface ship is its ability to hide from the bad guy. That's why we don't worry as much about talking or emitting on many occasions when the role of the boat is in direct support of a strike group, or about low-probability-of-intercept comms around an adversary which has no capability to see anything about us other than the explosions. However, if you talk all the time, or someone talks at you all the time in a way that can reveal where you are, you become as stealthy as a surface ship but much much more expensive.

M.E. agrees 100%. Following the fundamentals of stealth submarining, there is a closely related element into which Chap did not want to venture. Of course, that won't stop M.E.

Here are some specifics:

Encryption and destruction signals allegedly protect Sea Deep / Deep Siren technology from enemy hands and examination. We probably guessed that anyway. But today's potential enemy subs may be considered Cold War clones of yesteryear's U.S. subs, which stealthily monitored, recorded and analyzed submarine interactions with surface navies, etc. That includes specialized buoys, I'm afraid.

In an age of reverse engineering and EDA, how long before an enemy can home in on and destroy, or jam all active bands of Sea Deep at will? Getting dicier, isn't it? After developing buoy signatures (subject to change without notice) the enemy can within weeks deploy hardware for related:

RF Jamming
Acoustic jamming
Buoy homing and destruction

There has to be more to buoy security for this technology than explosive charges for it succeed against all but Hugo Chavez's navy, of course.

A key preventative is to conduct JC3I (joint Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence) exercises in utter secrecy in controlled seas. Trailing certain surface vessels to exercise areas makes this fairly tough today. No wonder this ex-sailor was convicted.



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