Once again, Matthew Hipple welcomes a high ranking Naval officer in the show. He talks with Rear Admiral Thomas S. Rowden, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Staff, Surface Warfare Division, about his concepts for Sea Control, the development of Littoral combat ships (LCS), the perspectives on the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000), and his plans as incoming Commander, Surface Forces.
Rowden advocates an offensive way of sea control. Because of the superiority in the area of power projection, the U.S. Navy was unchallenged for the better part of two decades. Without this challenge, the fundamentals of sea control – searching for and killing submarines, over the horizon engagement of enemy fleets, and long range air and missile defense – diminished, even when the seas in which the U.S. Navy operates were denied. Rowden thinks that the tendency to concentrate on the defensive capabilities of the surface ships reduces the capabilities of power projection. Thus, for the U.S. Navy’s future, it is important to re-focus on “offensive sea control”.
The LCS will have its part in the “offensive sea control”. The outstanding advantage of this system is the modularity. Each mission package includes mission module equipment such as, for example, weapon systems, sensors, etc.. At the moment, there are three mission packages for LCS designed: the mine sweeping and the mine countermeasure package, the surface warfare package and the submarine warfare package.
The DDG-1000, too, will field significant capabilities for the U.S. Navy, which is building three ships of this class. According to Roden, the DDG-1000 will have a significant different technologies on the ship than it was seen before.
Thomas S. Rowden, “Surface Warfare: Taking the offensive“, CIMSEC Next War Blog, 14.06.2014.
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