Planned Capabilities May Give Small Surface Warships the Reach and Punch of Larger Ships

Planned Capabilities May Give Small Surface Warships the Reach and Punch of Larger Ships image
January 13, 2016 | Source: John Keller, Military & Aerospace Electronics

Small surface warships like frigates and destroyers historically have been relegated to support roles as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine protection to larger ships like aircraft carriers and battleships.

Future technology advances, however, aim to enable the small surface warship to play even more crucial roles in naval warfare, with anticipated new initiatives in place to provide small vessels with unmanned aircraft, sensors able to see through fog, rain, and snow, and high-resolution electro-optical sensors able to place a dome of long-range visibility and imaging over the entire ship.

Couple these projects with ongoing efforts to improve the sonar and anti-submarine warfare capability of small surface vessels and you have compact-yet-powerful weapons platforms able not only to escort the large capital ships, but also to operate independently over all the world's oceans and coastal waterways.

A pair of projects of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., could play a key role in boosting the future capabilities of small surface warships.

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