Littoral Warfare Sector Report 2009

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Littoral or Coastal Warfare is not a new concept, but the increased proliferation of air, surface and sub-surface threats in Littoral Waters necessitates increased procurement of Naval Systems, by the world’s navies, to counter these threats.

Fast attack craft threats have resulted in advanced gun systems being fitted and retro-fitted to many surface warships, meanwhile new ship self-protection suites, designed to counter a wide spectrum of conventional and asymmetric threats, are being developed for all sizes of ship, from nuclear powered aircraft carriers, down to minesweepers and patrol craft.

The unique properties of the Littoral environment present problems for naval sensors in detecting threats. Sonars are being refined to better detect diesel-electric submarines which are easily concealed in shallow waters and much progress is being made with new naval radars that can counter air and surface threats.

The highest profile naval programme designed specifically to operate in the littorals, is of course, the U.S. littoral combat ship (LCS). Up to 55 of these vessels are planed for the U.S. navy and their modularity of design is aimed at countering the variety of threats that Littoral Warfare produces. Other countries are already showing interest in acquiring these ships.

Editor's note: Learn more about Littoral Warfare at Littoral Ship Defence 2010 on March 22-23, 2010 in London.