SYMPOSIUM LOCATION: The Kossiakoff Conference and Education Center, The Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland. (Lat. 39.1653 N, Long. 76.8972 W).

Theme: Innovation for Continued Undersea Superiority and Increased Contributions across the Battlespace from Under the Sea.

Description: The United States’ ability to maintain and extend its position of superiority in the undersea battlespace is critical to the success of the National Security Strategy. Superiority in the undersea battlespace underpins the Joint Force’s ability to access and operate effectively in other domains, including air, surface, cyber, land, and space. It is essential that the nation preserves this winning edge in the undersea domain to achieve required military outcomes and exercise strategic influence in the future, especially in light of the real-world challenges presented by advancing and adaptive threats like China and Russia, and emergent third-world adversaries enabled by sophisticated technology available on the global market. Quieter and more capable submarines will require the Navy to improve its undersea capabilities continually, while the development and proliferation of advanced systems that can accurately sense, target and strike ships at increasing ranges remains a vital concern to Navy leadership. Since unhindered use of the maritime commons is essential to the global economic system and to our national interests, the Navy must continue to develop new concepts, platforms, and technologies that can effectively address emerging threats to our ability to access and operate freely around the world.

In testimony supporting his confirmation hearing as CNO, ADM Richardson stated: “Just as important as any technology, the process by which the Navy develops and fields new capabilities must become more agile. We must learn and adapt faster.” 1 In the commercial world, new technologies often reach the marketplace in 18 months or less—much faster than existing Department of Defense acquisition approaches have historically achieved—and routinely offer performance and functionality that equal or exceed the capabilities of systems already in use by our warfighters. Moreover, adversaries no longer feel the pressure to match the United States’ capabilities plane for plane, ship for ship, or tank for tank, but instead seek opportunities to employ asymmetric strategies that counter our nation’s strengths, often by leveraging non-traditional, low-cost, and uncomplicated commercial-off-the-shelf technologies. If the United States is to continue to lead in the undersea domain it is vital that we “learn and adapt faster” 1.

Accordingly, this Symposium will highlight:

  1. Technologies, processes, and threats that challenge the United States’ ability to operate freely under the sea and around the world;
  2. Novel concepts, technologies, and capabilities that enable or enhance the inherent stealth, survivability, and warfighting resilience of the future undersea force;
  3. Opportunities for industry and government to develop and deliver operationally relevant technologies and game changing capabilities that can assure the nation’s undiminished ability to execute critical missions in the presence of Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) and tactical threats;
  4. Innovative strategies, including rapid prototyping and real-world experimentation processes and techniques, that can be implemented to accelerate the learning cycle and reduce the time to acquire and deploy new, potentially revolutionary capabilities to the fleet;
  5. Relevant and disruptive foreign technologies, systems, and strategies.
Session 1: Potential Challenges to the U.S. Ability to Operate Freely from Under the Sea

Chair: Mr. Jim Buch, OPNAV N2/6I
Assistant: Mr. Ken Malphurs, CIA
Technologies and capabilities developed or under development by foreign countries or commercial or academic organizations that may threaten U.S. operations from under the sea. Technical topics sought include: disruptive technologies that could change the nature of undersea warfare; analytical models of unique foreign undersea technologies; advancements in foreign submarine sensors, signal processing and A2/AD capabilities and tactics, including acoustic and non-acoustic; manned and unmanned platform developments, including UAVs, UUVs, distributed/netted/unattended sensors; foreign submarine weapons; foreign ASW weapons.
Session 2: Leveraging Off-board Vehicles, Sensors and Payloads to Execute Challenging Missions from Under the Sea

Chair: Ms. Michele Keller, Penn State University/ARL
Assistant: Dr. Angus Hendrick, Penn State University/ARL
Technologies and future concepts that extend the submarine’s ability to conduct a full spectrum of independent and coordinated missions from under the sea through the use of current and planned off-board vehicles, sensors, payloads and distributed networked systems. Technical topics include planned and potential Virginia and SSN(X) payloads, including: UUVs, weapons, modular torpedoes, and next-generation sensors and distributed systems that are deployed in novel, synergistic ways that allow the Submarine Force to extend its reach and impact across the battlespace. Capabilities that leverage synergy between future manned submarines and unmanned systems will be considered, particularly those technologies that offer a cost-effective approach to warfighting. Opportunities to employ rapid prototyping and real-world experimentation processes to accelerate the learning cycle and reduce the time to acquire and deploy new, potentially revolutionary capabilities to the fleet will be explored.
Session 3: Aligning Theater ASW Communities to Maximize Battlespace Awareness

Chair: Dr. Andrew Foraker, JHU/APL
Assistant: Mr. Andrew Cully, JHU/APL
Technologies and future concepts that extend the undersea enterprise’s ability to conduct full-spectrum ASW and achieve synergy across the Joint Undersea Warfare community in how it mans, trains, equips and fights. Technical topics sought include advancements and opportunities to achieve commonality in acoustic sensors, environmental sensors, tactical situational awareness capabilities, communication, data sharing, and potential payloads and distributed systems that support undersea dominance objectives and increase the overall Joint Theater awareness.
Session 4: Applying Design Thinking to Undersea Challenges

Chair: Mr. Ross Lindman, Huntington Ingalls Industries
Assistant: Mr. Tom Ruzic, Huntington Ingalls Industries
New and innovative techniques and processes that allow industry and government organizations to identify, develop, and deliver operationally relevant technologies and capabilities to the undersea community in a more agile manner. Implementation strategies and opportunities (e.g., rapid prototyping, real-world experimentation processes and techniques, etc.) will be explored that accelerate the learning cycle and reduce the time to deliver new, impactful capabilities to the fleet. Consideration will be given to improved procedures and regulatory approaches that effectively instill innovation within the acquisition process and leverage experimentation and “build/test/learn quickly” strategies.
Session 5: Improving Submarine Operations

Session Chair: Dr. Vic Ricci, Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Assistant: Mr. George Zvara, Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Technologies that seek to improve crew effectiveness and quality of life, and enhance overall operational effectiveness and resilience. Technical topics sought include those that address resiliency of submarine systems to cyber-attack; technologies that improve submarine stealth and survivability; technologies that improve or streamline the sailor’s ability to fight the ship; technologies that aid employment of new and existing off-board systems, payloads, and sensors; technologies that manage tactical risk; approaches to conduct maintenance and control damage; approaches to effectively train; and technologies to minimize the impact of manpower-intensive tactical and administrative tasks.

Submitters will be notified of a decision by 1 December 2015.

For additional information concerning Submarine Technology Symposium 2016 please contact the Program Chair, Mr. Brad Wolf by unclassified email at

1 Defense Science Board Summer Study 2006: 21st Century Strategic Technology Vectors