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This presentation was made at the Submarine Technology Symposium 2000. Rear Admiral Young was the Chairman of the session titled Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts/or the 2fS’ Century and his remarks opening that session are included in his subsequent Submarine Vision.

It is appropriate to begin this subject of Concepts and Vision by conveying some of the backgrounds that led to the convergence of ideas and concepts and, most importantly, to the teamwork and innovation that is ongoing today.

Many of these efforts began about two years ago when the Defense Science Board Task Force on the Submarine of the Future clearly articulated the importance of submarines to our national defense. They recommended the Navy focus on the Payloads and Sensors capability portion of our submarines as opposed to putting more effort into the propulsion plant. And finally, and I think most importantly, they recommended we team with DARPA to tap the ability of the industry to innovate.

The second backdrop for this morning’s session deals with the efforts of the Future Studies Group (FSG). About two years ago, Vice Admiral Giambastiani chartered the Submarine Future Studies Group to work on future concepts and goals beyond the FYDP. The Future Studies Group has continued that work under the leadership of Vice-Admiral Giambastiani, Rear Admiral Konetzni, Rear Admiral Fages, and Admiral Bowman.

The third backdrop occurred a year ago at this symposium when Dr. Paris Genalis and Ron O’Rourke challenged us, the Submarine Force, to articulate our far-term vision in terms of bringing the compelling capability to the fleet. To continue that theme about eight months ago, the Director of DARPA, Dr. Frank Fernandez, also requested the Navy further articulate a general vector for where the Submarine Force is going in the future. All of these influences precipitated the FSG-lead efforts this past fall to develop the Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts, which have subsequently been endorsed by the Submarine Force leadership.

The fourth backdrop that I would like to mention is teamwork or partnering. The FSG has to lead the efforts that incorporated some very important work by the Navy organization and industry. The first element of the teamwork and partnering that rm talking about is the Naval Maritime Concept for the 21 11 century. A year ago, we were honored to have Vice Admiral Tom Fargo, then Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy, and Operations speak to this symposium. Since that time, the Navy has been focused on its concepts of the future. It has operationalized them and, through wargames and engagements with the CINCs, I believe the Submarine Force’s strategic concepts that we have developed are well within the context of this evolving Navy concept. That is one aspect of the partnering and teaming that I am talking about.

The second aspect is the teamwork or partnering with the industry. Since its inception, the Submarine FSG has engaged with the industry for ideas and innovation during the development of the strategic concepts. The FSG was directly engaged with the DARPA/Navy Payloads and Sensors Program industry teams. The nature of the teamwork was such that it would be impossible today to separately talk about the industry efforts and the government efforts. These efforts were synergistically combined in producing a Submarine Force future that is only possible when combining the best resources of all involved. Because the DARPA/Navy Payloads and Sensors Program work is ongoing and competitive in nature, it is not possible to share any of their proprietary information at this time. However, we will give the vector that we, the Submarine Force and the industry teams, are on. The FSG has developed in parallel with this industry effort, the Submarine Force Vision. We are not giving rudder orders to the industry teams but we are working with them to take advantage of the prevailing current.

The events and efforts that I have just described are the underpinnings of this work, which is still in progress. The future that we are setting our path towards will be characterized by innovative revolutionary capabilities that submarines will provide, and innovation in the business approach to delivering those capabilities. I believe it is an exciting time in the Navy and certainly an exciting time in the research and development and acquisition communities to help craft new submarine capabilities.

The Submarine Force has defined its path to the future with the goal being four concepts:

  • Gain and Sustain Battleforce Access
  • Develop and Share Knowledge
  • Project Power with Surprise from Close-in
  • Deter and Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction

First of all, it is important to understand that submarines have access. Most believe that there will be access challenges in the future. Many realize that there are access challenges today. And submarines can get into the area of interest as we’ve just dis-cussed-whether it is militarily or politically denied-and set the stage-prepare the battlespace-for follow-on forces. And we can sustain our presence there and be part of the team to protect our forces.

Once there, we can collect the information necessary to develop and share knowledge, our second concept, a critical enabler for all of our military operations and crucial to our nation’s peacetime efforts.

Should the situation develop, we can project power: missiles, special forces, offensive information warfare, bringing our unique ability to get close to shore and attack with surprise.

And finally, as many of you know, the most challenging and insidious threat to us and our allies is the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. With the submarine’s inherent access capability, and through specialized applications of developing knowledge and projecting power. submarines can be a key contributor to solving this growing threat.

Three very relevant studies provide the underpinning and are integrated as a part of the future vision for the Submarine Force.

  • The Defense Science Board report set the stage for the DARPA/Navy Payloads and Sensors Program. It stated the following :
    a. SSNs are the Crown Jewels in America’s arsenal
    b. America needs more, not fewer SSNs
    c. A Flexible Payload Interface is needed.
  • The JCS SSN Study stated:
    a. 68 SSNs will be needed in 2015
    b. 76 SSNs in 2025
    c. 18 Virginia class will be needed by 2015
    And projected ISR to be 72 percent of peacetime tasking
  • Naval Maritime Concept
    a. Forward Presence with a Landward Focus
    b. Knowledge Superiority through Network Centric Operations
    c. Effects-base vice Attrition-based Operations

The FSG was chartered in 1998 by N87, then Vice Admiral Giambastiani, and our charter was to develop future concepts with an emphasis on revolutionary capability. It was designed to provide needed focus to industry, DARPA, ONR, and government laboratories to enable them to invest in the technologies that will provide military capability from under the sea-needed in the 21st- century.

The strength in the FSG lies in its smallness and its closeness to Submarine Force leadership and the ability to communicate these thoughts and ideas. There have been three significant efforts that the FSG has undertaken.

One is the concept statements, the first two of these concepts statements are focused on ISR and Payloads.

Second, an effort to engage junior officers and get their innovative ideas on where the Submarine Force should be in the future. These JO innovation efforts are important as they bring tremendous ideas for both the near term and far term. John Schuster will talk later about the importance of this effort and how our vision of the future will challenge the innovation, dedication, and proficiency of our sailors in new and exciting ways.

And finally, our third effort in the FSG has been the Submarine Force Vision-formulation of the Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts for which the remainder of the brief is focused on.

The goal of the Submarine Force’s efforts is to map out an investment strategy to position us as a relevant element of the joint force for an uncertain future. The future we looked at is considered to be the 2020 timeframe, which is very much consistent with many of the Navy and Joint Staff’s long-term plans. However, to develop our investment strategy for the long term we first need to define what capabilities we will need for the 2020 timeframe.

To define those capabilities, we must understand what submarines will do in the 2020 timeframe, and to do that, we must have a strategic vision for future submarine operations. That is where the Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts come into play-they set the framework for the future on which all of our efforts are based. The ultimate goal of this process is to define the technology roadmap that will provide the Submarine Force with the capabilities it will need in 2020.

The way we approached this was with an alternative future world study, which is a credible methodology. We established a study team consisting of senior submariners with significant operational experience, non-submariners who would provide us with a broad view of naval operations, as well as other independent reviewers. We used a top-down, capabilities-based approach. The alternative worlds are broad in context and we adopted the National Defense Panel Worlds to circumscribe the vector of the uncertain future. In this process we found that the common challenges of the alternative worlds we will probably face in the 2020 timeframe have five basic characteristics:

  • There will be a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Access challenges will exist
  • Quiet, long-endurance coastal submarines will be our adversaries primary opponent
  • Competition for information advantage in cyberspace will proliferate, and
  • Littoral operations will predominate the area in which we will operate. This effort gave us four alternative worlds.
  • Shaped Stability (optimistic)
  • Extrapolation of Today (challenging)
  • Competition for Leadership (more challenging)
  • Chronic Crisis (new challenges)

We started by defining a set of candidate submarine tasks that were examined across these future worlds. We defined these candidate submarine tasks based on history from evolving strategy and a review of forward-looking assessments of defense needs. It’s important to note that the submarine tasks were formulated by the efforts of experienced submariners and other military officers having a significant current and past knowledge of submarine and naval operations.

Using the four alternative future worlds, we built three matrices, all with respect to the alternative worlds. The first matrix examined common world characteristics such as economic, transnational challenges, WMD proliferation, ethnic rivalries, U.S. influence, and what level of challenge they presented to the U.S. The second matrix examined the importance of the elements of national strategy, the elements of engagement, homeland defense, counter asymmetric threats, and regional conflicts. And the third matrix examined the importance of the elements of the naval maritime concept which support our military strategies, such as forward presence, knowledge superiority, battlespace knowledge, and battlespace attack, control, and sustainment.

Based on the information from each of the matrices, we evaluated the relative importance of candidate submarine tasks in each world, both in a naval and a national context. We then determined the relative importance of each of the candidate tasks using an evaluation across the world, which provided us with a representative set of tasks that account for future uncertainty. It’s important to realize here that the alternative future worlds analysis was conducted within a national and joint context and we assessed submarine contributions to both the joint and naval operations.

We then took the evaluation one step farther-we reviewed our list of the highest priority submarine tasks for the future and identified the common operational themes, these common operational themes are the Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts.

As I mentioned earlier, these concepts set our vision for the future. The Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts are:

  • Gain and Sustain Battleforce Access for Joint and Naval Battleforces
  • Develop and Share Knowledge Netted with Joint and Naval Forces
  • Project Power with Surprise from Close-in, complementing fires from other forces, and
  • Deter and Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction as an element of Join Forces.

Vice Admiral Cebrowski in November 1999 articulated in Naval Institute Proceedings the need to rebalance the Navy-after-Next, to assure adequate forces for access, as well as power projection. He stated that access and power projection defined relevance for future operations. I contend that, within the context of our strategic concepts, that access, knowledge, and power projection define relevance for the Submarine Force of the future. The submarine’s ability to gain access enables it to gain and share knowledge, gain access for the battle force, project power, and impact the efforts against WMD as a unique and complementary element of our joint and naval forces. Finally, these concepts apply across the spectrum of operations, not just during the conflict.

Gain and Sustain Banleforce Access. Submarines leverage their enduring attributes (stealth, endurance, agility, and firepower) to gain access and develop the conditions that will enable access for follow-on forces. In peacetime and the transition to conflict, as the first arriving military asset, submarines can provide a non-provocative presence in what might be termed politically denied areas, or if necessary the submarine can be overt and while it’s there it can gain and gather information characterizing a theater of operations. Submarines capitalize on proximity and covertness and will be ready to neutralize threats to U.S. and allied forces.

Finally, as combat is engaged, submarines operating in collaboration with other forces will be key elements of battle force protection, aggressively seeking out adversary challenges, sending required warnings, and eliminating threats. Throughout the spectrum of operations, submariners will employ the expanded reach of offboard systems and vehicles as a force multiplier, further sustaining battle force access.

The second strategic concept of Develop and Share Knowledge stresses that knowledge is the underpinning for battlespace awareness. Joint and naval forces harnessing revolutionary capability for information collection and processing will achieve an unprecedented visualization of the future battlespace, which will enable collaborative and simultaneous efforts to solve the most complex of battle-space problems. Through the vastly expanded reach afforded by new onboard and distributed sensors and offboard vehicles, submarines and their adjunct systems will collect, synthesize, use, and share information and knowledge of the battlespace. Submarines will be a node in the larger network to enable the battle force to develop dominant knowledge, but will also leverage their unique position and collection capability to obtain tactically useful information.

Attaining dominant knowledge necessitates the sustained clandestine collection of information leading to a complete awareness of adversary decisions and operations. The results will be an unprecedented ability to conceptualize and predict adversary actions and responses, potentially deterring conflict escalation. This ability also enables the battle force to confuse and disrupt the adversary’s strategies leading to optimum U.S. and coalition force employment.

The third concept is Project Power with Surprise from Close-in. Submarines complement power project forces-attack with complete surprise, from close to land, and with relative invulnerability. During peacetime and the transition to conflict, submarines will execute deterrence through the assured devastating response as we have for so many years.

Submarines will leverage their unique operating profiles, stealth, and endurance that enable early and sustained access to threaten and/or provide critical firepower. Surprise and the ability to attack from close-in, providing rapid attack is a force multiplier and increases uncertainty in the mind of the potential adversary.

With dramatically improved payload capabilities, including information attack, submarines will provide the Joint Force Commander with a wide range of power projection options. During combat, submarines will operate in areas not otherwise accessible to other members of the Joint Force and they will augment these forces by providing survivable, prompt, precision striking power. Embarked Special Operating Forces fielded with an array of equipment will conduct clandestine direct action ashore against targets that demand their specialized capabilities and absolute surprise.

The fourth strategic concept is Deter and Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction. This is a fundamentally different approach to deal with the WMD threat. As I mentioned before, the proliferation and potential use of weapons of mass destruction are considered to be the greatest threat to U.S. security in the future. Deter and counter weapons of mass destruction enhances the security of our allies, and reduces the threat of the asymmetric employment of WMD against the U.S . and Allied forces. In the face of proliferation and non-state employment of WMD submarines, as a component of Joint Forces, will offer a clandestine solution to gathering information and executing attacks necessary to cowriter the threat of WMD use. Deter first with the credible and assured threat of devastating response should WMD be employed against the U.S . or its allies.

Submarines can be a key player in developing the knowledge of adversary efforts to develop and use WMD. This allows the U.S. to counter through exposure and sanctions against the offenders, as well as disruption to compromise their WMD capabilities, or attack to eliminate the capabilities fielded or in development.

That sets the context for the future, as defined by the Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts. During that process, we defined representative submarine tasks. We started with approximately 50 candidate submarine tasks for the analysis of the alternative future. After assessing those tasks in the analysis it resulted in 25 representative submarine tasks for 2020. This was not a prescriptive list, but a representative list.

The next step was to operationalize the list, so we got the warfighters involved and got their input on this list of submarine tasks for 2020. As part of our Strategic Concepts Working Groups, the TYCOMS reviewed the analysis-looked of the tasks in an operational context. The result is a list of 23 submarine tasks for 2020.


•Clandestine ISRT
•SOF Operations
•Mine Reconnaissance
•Underwater Mapping
•Littoral ASUW
•Theater ASW
•Attack Against Hard or Deeply Buried Targets
•Rapid Attack Against Time Critical Targets
•Strategic Deterrence
•Forward Presence
•Information Operations
•Forward Engagement
•Suppression of Enemy Coastal Defenses
•Theater Nuclear Deterrence
•Tactical Reconnaissanceand Targeting
•Combat Situational Awareness
•Attack against Nodal targets (with high volume, if required)
•Interdiction Operations
•Theater Network Reconstitution
•Covert Neutralization of Mines
•Theater Ballistic Missile Defense
•Arctic Operations
•Extended Mobility Operations

Submarines as a Component of Joint Forces

This list represents the highest priority submarine tasks for 2020. This builds upon the existing capabilities of today’s Submarine Force, and they represent the tasks in which submarines can provide a compelling contribution to joint and naval forces across the spectrum of operations and within the context of the Joint Strategic Concepts. Significant warfighter involvement was used in the development of this list.

The question that we next dealt with is why do submarines need to do those tasks? In other words, what is the compelling reason for submarines to have the capabilities to execute these tasks?

First of all-unalerted presence-we exploit surprise; for example,

  • it allows SOF employment for maximum effect;
  • we also defeat the adversaries’ denial and deception tactics; adversaries know when satellite coverage is not available-submarines can defeat this today and they can defeat this in the future. An example is the India-Pakistan nuclear testing-they were aware of satellite timing and coverage and we were unable to get the information. Submarines could get information like that.

First in and the last out-stealth enables access and staying power. Not only do submarines have access, but they can enable access for the battle force and help sustain access. The submarine collection contributes to determining adversary operating patterns and intent and creates uncertainty in the mind of an adversary.

And certainly dWell combined with vast sensor reach will give us the capability to stay on station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, independent of the weather. Close-in. On-scene Operations-being close enables us to be responsive and to maneuver the deployed sensor net, what we call expeditionary sensors.

  • It also enables quick response or pre-emptive fires with surprise, producing maximum effect. An example is a strike against Bin Laden. That particular strike was a combined surface ship and submarine attack in Afghani-stan. Surface ship movements were observed and may have given away the operation. A couple of SSNs could have probably accomplished that same mission with surprise, but with probably different results. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had a submarine with a greater volume of firepower such as the SSGN and be able to do that with surprise?
  • The ability to be close in provides the opportunity to collect information that is not available using other sources.

With these attributes, submarines provide the Joint Force commander with options.

The next step in our Path to the Future is to define the desired 2020 capabilities. A TYCOM Working Group conducted a representative set of end-to-end assessments of the submarine tasks, which resulted in a long list of desired capabilities to accomplish those tasks. I cannot possibly go into that list in detail since it is an exhaustive list.

However, reviewing this list of capabilities and their associated tasks, you can roll them up and identify three overarching capability themes. First, extended reach through offboard vehicles and distributed sensors. Second, being fully netted to national and theater command networks is absolutely crucial and this is something that the type commander working group insisted is a prerequisite to operations in the future. And third, greater adaptability through modularity.

Now that we have the strategic vision embodied in the Submarine Force strategic concepts, we have an idea of how submarines will execute the vision-submarine tasks for 2020-and we know the desired capabilities to execute those tasks. So what’s left?

Next, we need to look hard at what technologies we will need to execute this vision and define our investment plan to prepare for the future. We have just recently reorganized the submarine technology management system to take advantage of this particular construct and we’ll do the technology development as the strategic concept working groups tum over their deliberations to these groups.


• The Submarine Force is an essential element within the Navy’s vision for an uncertain world
• Submarine Joint Strategic Concepts provide focus and are compelling
->Support Joint and Navy concepts and strategy
• Expanded capabilities critical to the future vision identified
-> Extended reach, fully netted, and adaptable

Access .•• Knowledge .•• Power Projection

So what are the takeaways? The message I want to leave with you from this part of the presentation is that the Submarine Force has a vision, we believe the vision is compelling, and we have identified the capabilities needed for our future vision, and now we need to tum this vision into action, which will require a team effort from both the government, as well as industry, as well as other agencies outside of the Navy.

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