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A confluence  today of many  military technologies, international political relationships, emerging sea threats, and joint military interdependencies indicate that in order to further our national security, our submarines must be an important part of joint {or combined) operations

at sea. {The Air Force and NATO navies may join this system. ) In particular, the surface battle groups which are an essential element in the u.s. Maritime Strategy are becoming increasingly vulnerable to enemy airborne and submarine threats and have a great need for submarines to augment their composition. As utilized today, submarines will provide a form of “associated support” to battle groups through distant picket-type operations — sweeping the oceans more than one hundred miles out ahead of a battle group to eliminate or divert enemy submarine or surface threats from the battle group’s main elements.

The antisubmarine function of U.S. submarines is well understood while the antisurface ship function — using TOMAHAWKS or HARPOONS — is just emerging. In the near future, an antiair capability (including destruction or diversion of enemy missiles in their trajectories) is likely to develop as an additional supporting submarine function. Moreover, the high speed of u.s. nuclear submarines — well in excess of a battle group’s maximum speed — and their high “quiet” speed, as well as their great stealth and the considerable firepower of their missiles and torpedoes with high PK’s. increases the requirement for submarines in order to reduce the vulnerability of battle groups in today’s warfare environment.

The joint operational tactical system (JOTS) which is the subject or this article is basically a micro-computer “battle management” system. This system, requiring 4.5 megabytes or random access memory and 55 plus megabytes or hard disc storage capability, consists mainly or programs integrated in an existing shipboard computer — in most cases in the Hewlett Packard 9020 computer. It has also been tried in the HP 9050s and 850s. The system is installed on many surface combatants and in fact is on all surface units of the battle groupcontaining the attack carrier SARATOGA. It is also installed in supporting ship and shore based command centers, at certain Navy fntelligence sources and at meteorological centers. It  is not yet installed, however, in aircraft which might support a battle group, e.g., AWACS, E-3s. E-2Cs or P-3s. Nor is it in submarines, although it has been experimentally tried in a Sublant submarine.

What this tactical desk-top, micro-computer system offers is graphic geographical information, contact or target information and their tracks, and near real-time meteorological data for battle areas under consideration. Targetinformation from possibly several battle group sources correlated with programmed enemy intelligence and other data base information can provide coordinated fire control decisions within a battle group and offer the tools for current or long term operational planning.

In dimensions, a stand-alone, joint operational tactical system would require about 3x3x4 feet of micro-computer volume and include a 13-inch display screen — if not housed in an on-board HP 9020.

The joint tactical systems for a battle group and its supporting activities are tied together by mainly Link II or Link 14 communications along with direct satellite communications — communicating securely with each other while exchanging tactical and firing data and sharing a Red, White and Blue picture (Red for enemy, White for non-combatants, and Blue for friendlies).

Why should this joint, tactical computer battle management system be introduced into a submarines’s HP 9020 all purpose micro-computer?

First, submarines are expected to be an integral part of a battle group, even if only in the associated support role. Second, since the SSNs with a battle group will play an increasing antisurface role, and possibly an antiair and outer air-battle role, an increasingly tight integration of effort appears to be required.

Basically, this joint tactical system involves automated data entry to each unit’s computer. In the case of submarines, it builds on the data supplied by the Submarine Fleet Mission Program Library . A strength of this system is its use, to control from start to finish, any attack involving the battle group, even when changes are made while the attack tactics are in progress. A cruise missile attack, for example, against an enemy surface group, can be monitored by all units on their real-time screen presentations — with continuous updating of enemy target data from any part of the system, including satellites. This makes possible close coordination of missile strikes, inflight correcting and retargeting of missiles, missile avoidance of friendly forces, and possibly battle damage assessment — making re-attack decisions feasible in a matter of minutes. Gridlock problems for this system are already solvable through utilization of NAVSTAR (or TRANSIT) geographic positioning, generated by calculation from  a  single   global   positioning satellite. (Five GPS satellites are presently in orbit with more coming on line shortly, thus pro-viding a 24-hour-a-day capability.) Importantly, to make TOMAHAWK attacks by a submarine most effective, the joint, real-time contributions of third party sources appear to be essential.

With  this  joint  tactical  system  in  operation, a submarine: (1) will quickly know when a sub-marine contact that has been classified as an “enemy” by any part of a battle group, is actually a friendly member of the group and (2) will have the tools to take rapid action to prevent any mistaken attacks.

It should be noted that less of the “stealth” of the supporting submarines is compromised with this automatic tactical system in operation. The need to remain as covert as possible in playing the antisubmarine role is recognized, and this system helps this basic principle of submarine operations by collecting and keeping updated a tactical picture which can be readily dumped to a submarine either via the Shore Targeting Terminal (STT) or directly.

This joint tactical computer system is ideal for independent submarine operations, as well as for employment with battle groups, since it re-flects a best picture of friendly, non-combatant and enemy forces as compiled by a fleet commander. This would tend to minimize the chances of a submarine’s normally generated plot neglecting to include some of the surface and air contacts in the area under the submarine’s consideration.

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