All of our ASW eggs are not in one basket, no matter what I write

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about the possibility that the US Navy may cut its attack sub force by as much as one-third. I then went on to explain how the sky was falling. Well, sort of.

Buckethead, a regular commenter on MO and a writer for the Ministry of Minor Perfidy, noted

Of course, subs are not our only asw [anti-submarine warfare] asset…

He’s totally correct. My post makes it sound like the only weapon we have to fight enemy subs are our own subs, and that simply isn’t true. I should have at least pointed this simple fact out, but I didn’t. The reason I post on it now is that this is the exact sort of omission that drives me nuts when I see it in the big media or on other websites.

Slap me down.

Incidentally, one of the coolest new anti-submarine technologies to surface (so to speak) is the Littoral Airborne Sensor- Hyperspectral (LASH), mentioned last August in MO here. LASH basically detects submerged submarines by noticing very slight changes in color around submarines, whales, and mines. It’s particularly useful near shore, where sonar isn’t as reliable.


  1. I haven’t been able to catch up on the blogs lately, but I’m very glad that you made this point before I found your original post. The first use for destroyers was to launch a terrifying new robot wapon at enemy warships. Called ‘torpedo destroyers’, they performed the job well enough. During WWI they were tasked with protecting merchant ships from submarines. That was where they shine. New tech in the form of SONAR allowed them to be particularly good at this during WWII, and they’ve just gotten better at it. Right now, the first and most effective line of defense against enemy subs is our destroyer fleet. James