U.S. Navy doctrine demands that sea superiority be established to support the projection of power from the sea to influence events ashore within the littoral regions of the world. It is unlikely that adversaries within the near future will be able to contest seriously control of the seas using conventional naval forces. Therefore, the U.S. Navy will likely encounter asymmetric threats from its future enemies. The international arms market has made technologically advanced sea denial weaponry available to many potential adversaries. When these weapons are integrated within a coordinated coastal defense system, they could place U.S. platforms assigned to conduct sea control operations at risk. This is of particular concern while the Navy is transitioning its primary focus from a blue water threat to littoral operations. This paper analyzes the modern littoral threats to U.S. sea control operations, accesses current U.S. vulnerabilities, and provides recommended options to mitigate adequately the threat in order to achieve local sea superiority.
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/