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Anti-Surface Warfare

Anti-Surface Warfare

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Anti-surface warfare is a type of naval warfare
Naval warfare
Naval warfare is combat in and on seas, oceans, or any other major bodies of water such as large lakes and wide rivers.-History:Mankind has fought battles on the sea for more than 3,000 years. Land warfare would seem, initially, to be irrelevant and entirely removed from warfare on the open ocean,...

 directed against surface combatant
Surface combatant
Surface combatants are a subset of Naval Warships which are designed to engage in combat on the surface of the water, with their own weapons. They are generally ships built to fight other ships, submarines or aircraft, and can carry out several other missions including counter-narcotics operations...

s. More generally, it is any weapons, sensors, or operations intended to attack or limit the effectiveness of an adversary's surface ships.

Broadly speaking, ASUW can be divided into four categories:
  • Air (or aviation): Anti-surface warfare conducted by aircraft
    Aircraft
    An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

    . Historically, this was conducting primarily through bombing and strafing
    Strafing
    Strafing is the practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft using aircraft-mounted automatic weapons. This means, that although ground attack using automatic weapons fire is very often accompanied with bombing or rocket fire, the term "strafing" does not specifically include the...

     runs (and in some cases by suicide (Kamikaze
    Kamikaze
    The were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible....

    ) attack). Today, air ASUW is generally conducted by stand-off attacks using air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM) or air-to-surface missiles (ASM).
  • Surface: Anti-surface warfare conducted by warships. Warships can use torpedoes, guns
    Naval artillery
    Naval artillery, or naval riflery, is artillery mounted on a warship for use in naval warfare. Naval artillery has historically been used to engage either other ships, or targets on land; in the latter role it is currently termed naval gunfire fire support...

    , surface-to-surface missiles
    Anti-ship missile
    Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

    , or even mines
    Naval mine
    A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

    .
  • Submarine: Anti-surface warfare conducted by submarines. Historically, this was conducted using torpedoes and deck guns. More recently, the submarine-launched cruise missile
    Submarine-launched missile
    A submarine-launched missile is a guided missile fired from a submarine. Some SMs are placed in launch capsules to be fired through the submarine's torpedo tubes. These missiles are initially solid-propellant motor-driven, and once clear of the water ignite their booster motor...

     (SLCM) (or, more commonly, Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM)) has become a preferred weapon.
  • Shore: Historically, this refers to shore bombardment from artillery and cannon. Today, coastal-launched cruise missiles are considerably more common.


Some weapons used in ASUW include:
  • Guns
    Naval artillery
    Naval artillery, or naval riflery, is artillery mounted on a warship for use in naval warfare. Naval artillery has historically been used to engage either other ships, or targets on land; in the latter role it is currently termed naval gunfire fire support...

  • Missiles
    Anti-ship missile
    Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

    , such as the Harpoon, RBS15
    RBS15
    The RBS-15 is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile. The later version Mk. III has the ability to attack land targets as well...

    , SS-N-12 Sandbox and Exocet
    Exocet
    The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.-Etymology:...

  • Naval mine
    Naval mine
    A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

    s
  • Torpedoes