WORKSHOP - 25 FEBRUARY 2020: MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF LONG-RANGE SUPPORT ON THE HIGH SEAS, AWAY FROM THE HOST NATION
1:30 pm - 5:00 pm MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF LONG-RANGE SUPPORT ON THE HIGH SEAS, AWAY FROM THE HOST NATION
MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF LONG-RANGE SUPPORT ON THE HIGH SEAS, WITH REDUCED HOST NATION SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES
As NATO navies strive to achieve and retain blue water naval supremacy in the face of resurgent and emerging near-peer adversaries in different operating areas, the challenge of supplying large fleets at sea – away from the security of guaranteed and established host nation support– is becoming increasingly apparent.
This interactive workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to examine the challenges currently facing every Navy with ambitions towards to securing/retaining blue water maritime supremacy – within the context of long range support – and how these could be mitigated. We will look at current approaches – and any potential flaws they might have – and will also seek to identify potential solutions based on existing technologies, capabilities and doctrine. We will then also explore other potential solutions – from the technical to the commercial.
We will discuss:
- Technological and platform-based solutions: Does the solution to this issue lie in the design and building of ever-larger, and ever-more capable support vessels? And should these vessels be dedicated in purpose, or multi-role – in order to better meet the range of challenges that might evolve at sea?
- Predictive maintenance and supply software doubtless has a key role to play in preparing fleets for long-range operations, away from host nation support, as it will allow such forces to be fully prepared and – simply put – to pack enough spare parts, fuel and ammunition. Is predictive maintenance currently meeting this need? How is it currently being utilised, and is there room for greater innovation/utilisation of new technologies?
- Do Support ships operating at long ranges need to be better armed? How does this impact on Force Protection?
- Does the answer lie within training and doctrine? Can Navies work with the tools they have in order to facilitate long range operations – in a hostile environment?
- Is there a role for commercially-leased support vessels here? After all, only the largest Navies will seek to maintain such long-range capability on a permanent basis. Could other Navies therefore look at leasing vessels (i.e. Ships Taken up from Trade – STUFT), that will augment their long-range capability in the short to medium-term, at a time of heightened threat?
Commodore James Fanshawe (Ret.)Chair
UK Maritime Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group