segunda-feira, 20 de agosto de 2007

Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI)

While these might sound like underwater adversaries, they’re actually allies working together to train and test undersea warfare capabilities. Their partnership through the provides each country with opportunities to train their crews and test capabilities while helping their partner nations do the same.

“DESI provides training opportunities against the real world threat – a modern, quiet, diesel-electric submarine,” said Juan Fernandez, tactical analysis director and DESI Program Manager for Commander Naval Submarine Forces. “Through annual bilateral deployments to each coast, foreign diesel-electric submarines help us attain our fleet ASW exercise objectives. And we share with the participating nations post-exercise results, reconstruction analysis, and lessons learned. That helps them better assess their capabilities and training readiness. It’s a great fleet-training support program with excellent return on investment, while fostering theater-wide naval interoperability.”

“We don’t have enough of our own subs to train these battle groups. Working with submarines from other countries helps us fill a void for ASW training,” said Rick Current, deputy director for training, tactical weapons and tactical development for Commander Naval Submarine Forces. “Each country’s participation in this program is a contribution to the coalition effort.”

The DESI program has predominately concentrated on partnerships with South American countries operating submarines. These conventional boats comprise nearly 15 percent of the 224 submarines operated in the free world today by 27 different countries. Established in 2001, the program has engaged several navies operating conventional diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) to provide a series of U.S.-sponsored deployments to support fleet training exercises and tactical development events. The program enters its fifth year with active participation from Colombia, Peru, and Chile. DESI expansion efforts are currently underway to include Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and possibly Norway and Germany. Over the past five years, the DESI SSKs have provided over 450 engagement days to the fleet on both the east and west coasts. In a related program, the year-long bilateral training effort between the U.S Navy’s ASW forces and the Swedish attack submarine HMS Gotland in San Diego provided about 160 training days to the Pacific Fleet. The DESI program is primarily engaged in providing Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) ASW training. As a participating nation’s naval capabilities improve, they will also be able to contribute more effectively as Allied forces.

In the past, battle group training was done in preparation for upcoming deployments by pitting groups of U.S. ships against each other in a series of simulations. That approach provided opportunities for commanders to practice tactics in a variety of combat scenarios. In the post-Cold War environment, however, today’s threat is more likely to come from a modern, quiet diesel-electric submarine. And since the U.S. Navy hasn’t operated diesel submarines for over 30 years, it’s beneficial to work with partner nations operating diesel submarines to obtain realistic opposing forces for training. Moreover, this alternative better prepares each of the participating navies for operations anywhere in the world.

Diesel-electric submarines are prevalent in many third world countries, and what they lack in firepower, speed, and endurance, they make up for in quiet and stealth. They transit quietly at low speeds, can run on diesels at periscope depth, and are capable of running exclusively on battery power for eight to 24 hours (depending on speed and other factors).

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