Nations with established Undersea Defence capabilities, and those nations seeking to develop their capabilities are faced with many of the same challenges. The sea as a natural environment is one of the most technically difficult environments in which to operate. The physics and chemistry of the ocean are key constants that can be exploited for advantage through the application of science, technology and human ingenuity. The Undersea Defence Technology Conference is focused on pushing the boundaries of science, technology and the skilful exploitation of new knowledge.
Submarine and anti-submarine platforms have a number of key requirements that are constants: Endurance, Survivability, Lethality and the ability to deliver military capability that is Value for Money (vfm).
- Greater endurance continues to force the pace in platform design, demanding innovation in propulsion, auxiliaries, energy storage, energy conversion and reducing crew overheads.
- Survivability drives platform design, emphasises signature reduction, drives the development of counter-measures, presses the boundaries of connectivity, and challenges the need for manned operation.
- Lethality demands improved sensor ranges, increasingly sophisticated information management and improved weapons.
- Value for money places a premium on the need to design common systems that are capable of through life upgrade with a low logistic overhead and continue to reduce crew demand
Mines offer many nations a low cost sea denial capability. Mine technology continues to advance, and, in tandem, Mine Counter Measures (MCM) are responding to these Anti-Access/ Area Denial (A2/AD) technologies. The key constant in MCM is the need to effectively and efficiently clear areas at the lowest achievable risk to MCM forces. The constant demands of understanding the environment, improved platform endurance and survivability, and delivery of value for money are as critical in MCM as they are in ASW and submarine operations.
Against this background of demanding constants, the UDT community comes together each year to explore how the key variables of technology, science and skills can be brought to bear in furthering Undersea Defence.