RUSI JournalVolume 161Issue 6members only

Is the SSBN Deterrent Vulnerable to Autonomous Drones?


The underwater environment poses physical challenges which limit the ability of drones to monitor ballistic missile submarines.

It has been claimed that drones, such as autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles, will be able to search the oceans for nuclear-powered submarines carrying nuclear-tipped weapons (SSBNs). Deployed in large numbers, it is posited that these drones would make the continuous at-sea deterrent obsolete. Jonathan Gates argues that few of the sensors carried by these drones would be able to detect a deeply submerged submarine, even if it were large.

lockmembers only content

Continue reading by joining RUSI

View membership options

Join the World’s Leading Defence and Security Community

  • A busy programme of members' only events
  • Access to a suite of RUSI publications
  • Access to experts, networks and research teams

Already have an account?


keywords

Explore our related content