Undersea Warfare The Official Magazine of the U.S. Submarine Force Fall 2003 U.S. Submarines… Because Stealth Matters Cover of Fall 2003 Issue
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NSWC Submarine Races Encourage Innovation

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Undersea Warfare 2002 CHINFO Merit Award
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Photo RADM (sel) Michael C. Tracy The Submarine Force is working hard to ensure that technology and training are countering today’s threat to sustained undersea dominance.

Today, the world’s best Submarine Force remains positioned and on watch, meeting and combating potential threats to our nation’s security, upholding the traditions of the Silent Service, and preparing for the challenges of the future.

Looking ahead, the Submarine Force is pursuing ways to increase the submarine’s tactical horizon with programs such as ARCI, which includes both acoustical and tactical onboard-processing improvements, unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs), and cueing from the Advanced Deployable System (ADS). As part of the UUV development program, the Long Term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS) and Mission Reconfigurable Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (MRUUVs) will open new tactical portals into the littoral and extend our reach. Additionally, significant improvements are underway in periscopes, acoustic sensors, combat control systems, and weapons that will improve our warfighting capabilities.

The future roadmap also includes a network for linking submarines with national and theater-
level information systems to provide a more robust, real-time tactical picture. These improvements will integrate onboard and external data to provide combat situational awareness second to none. Submarines of today and tomorrow will communicate much more efficiently and effectively with shore stations, surface ships, satellites, and a host of other outlets, thus sharing unparalleled situational knowledge over multiple sensor and communication grids.

These exciting developments in technology mean little if we lack adequately-trained Sailors to capitalize on our competitive advantage in the undersea battlespace. This issue of UNDERSEA WARFARE highlights an important development in preparing highly-trained Sea Warriors to man our submarines now and in the future. Accelerating the rate of technology insertion, increasing the bandwidth of critical data transfer, and optimizing the tactical decision loop are just some of our warfighting challenges. Through focused and innovative training at the Submarine Learning Center in Groton, CT, we continue to improve our warfighting skills. This training combines a human-centric philosophy and the latest in simulation equipment to produce a quantum leap in the capabilities of our Sea Warriors.

Education, experimentation and operational testing are the keys to maintaining our undersea dominance. Also in this edition is a story about the teamwork of USS Connecticut (SSN-22) and Navy and university scientists during this year’s ICEX. Surfacing north of the Alaskan coast, Connecticut demonstrated our newest submarine’s unmatched capabilities in the extreme environment of the Arctic, where her ADCAP torpedo experiments played a crucial role in our weapons-testing program. I am certain you’ll take particular interest in reading this article, especially for its descriptions of life in the ice camp that supported both Navy and civilian personnel throughout the ICEX.

Whether under ice, in the littorals, or alongside allies supporting the Global War on Terrorism,
serving on submarines can be risky. Ongoing survival investigations at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL), supported by a recent SURVIVEX on USS Dallas (SSN-700) at SUBASE New London, are only two of many examples of Submarine Force efforts to improve systems and procedures for mitigating risks and minimizing casualties among our submarine Sailors.

These technical and training developments build on a series of cornerstones laid by our submarine forefathers. This issue’s historical examination of the Navy’s V-class submarines from the 1920s and 1930s shows how a series of five radically different submarine designs became the forerunners of the successful boats that were crucial to victory in the Pacific during World War II – while setting a standard for innovation and experimentation that characterizes the U.S. Submarine Force today.

Signature of RADM (sel) Tracy
RADM(sel) Michael C. Tracy, USN
Director, Submarine Warfare