Defending the Fleet From China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile: Naval Deception’s Roles in Sea-Based Missile Defense

Jonathan F. Solomon, Defending the Fleet From China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile: Naval Deception’s Roles in Sea-Based Missile Defense, Georgetown University M.A. thesis, April 15, 2011.

Abstract:

This thesis project tests the hypothesis that U.S. Navy active missile defenses’ utility against China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) reconnaissance-strike system can be significantly increased when paired with emerging Electronic Warfare (EW) technologies and novel tactical deception concepts. Qualitative open source-based technical, tactical, and doctrinal analyses of China’s ocean surveillance, reconnaissance, and ASBM strike systems are conducted to outline their likely capabilities and limitations. Qualitative process-tracing is next used within a historical case study of how the U.S. Navy employed EW and tactical deception during the Cold War to defend aircraft carrier battle groups against Soviet ocean surveillance, reconnaissance, and strike systems. The case study’s data and conclusions are then used to qualitatively infer the ASBM concept’s inherent technical, tactical, and doctrinal vulnerabilities. Following this, emerging EW technologies are identified that have the theoretical potential to exploit Chinese radars, electro-optical and infrared sensors, radiofrequency direction-finding/Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) systems, satellite communication networks, and decision-making systems. EW’s theoretical influence on a naval surface force’s active missile defenses’ effectiveness against ASBMs is also qualitatively assessed. The case study’s conclusions and the analysis of emerging EW technologies are additionally used to derive potential U.S. Navy tactical deception concepts as well as recognize the prerequisites for their effective use. Lastly, EW and tactical deception’s implications for U.S. maritime strategy and conventional deterrence against Chinese aggression in East Asia are assessed.

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