5 ways submarine warfare is evolving to fit the 21st century battlespace




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With the threat of a return to symmetric warfare looming large, submarine operations -one of the defining military developments of the 1980s - has taken on a renewed emphasis.

Often cited as the “first line of attack and the last line of defence," submarines are playing a pivotal role in intelligence gathering, maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, and the patrolling and securing of borders and nation-critical trade routes.

In 2016, the global submarine market was worth an estimated $23 billion.

That is expected to hit $36 billion by 2026, due to an increased focus on submersible operations and the need to overhaul and replace ageing submarines that are passing into obsolescence. Submarine warfare has changed markedly since the Akula and Los Angeles-class boats of the 1980s played hide-and-seek beneath the waves.

As technology hurtles ever forward - and Moore’s Law suggests that this will be an exponential trend - the heyday of submarine development is looking increasingly dated. In this analysis, we look at five ways in which submarine warfare is evolving to fit the 21st century battlespace...

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