Thursday, March 17, 2016

Blue Water Navy

Blue Water Navy

Blue Water Navy – Maritime Force

Blue water navy is said to be a maritime force which has the potential of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. As per a dictionary definition, blue water ability tends to refer to an ocean going fleet capable of operating on high seas from its nation’s homeports. Some tend to operate all across the world. In the United Kingdom, a term is used often in describing such a kind of force, like the navy which possesses maritime expeditionary abilities.

Though the definitions of what really constitutes this kind of force vary, there seems to be a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at extensive ranges. Defense Security Service of the United States tends to define the blue water navy as `a maritime force capable of sustained operation across the deep waters of open oceans. Blue water enables a country to project power away from the home country and frequently includes one or more aircraft carriers.

Smaller blue-water navies are capable of dispatching lesser vessels abroad for less period of time. In public address, the capability of blue water is recognized with the operation of iconic capital ships like battleships as well as aircraft carriers.

Military & Value of Overseas Basing – Dependent on Geographical Location

Generally and presently, blue water navies seemed to have established overseas bases to extend the reach of supply lines, provide repair facilities as well as to enhance the effective striking power of fleet further than the abilities offered by the nation’s homeports.

Usually the overseas bases are placed within the areas where probable threats and conflicts to the nation’s interest may occur. For instance, ever since World War II, the Royal Navy and later on the United States Navy continued to base forces in Bahrain for the operations in the Persian Gulf. The importance of the military and value of overseas basing was mainly dependent on geographical location.

A base positioned at choke points in narrow or enclosed seas could be of high value particularly if placed near or within striking distance of sea lines of communications of an enemy. But advanced operating bases could be equally valuable. Naval Station Pearl Harbour tends to act as a getaway for the US Navy for operating forward in the Pacific Ocean.

No Agreed definition – Blue-Water Navy

A blue water navy indicates force protection from sub-surface, surface and airborne threats as well as a sustainable logistic reach enabling a determined presence at range. A trademark of a true blue-water navy is the capability of conducting replenishment at sea – RAS. The commissioning of underway replenishment ships seems to be a strong indication of a navy’s blue water drives.

Though a blue-water navy projects sea control power in another nations’ shoreline, it tends to be susceptible to threats from less capable forces. The logistics and maintenance at range tend to have high costs and could be a saturation advantage over organized force via the use of land based air or surface-to-surface missile assets, diesel- electric submarines or even asymmetric tactics like Fast Inshore Attack Craft. The October 2000 USS Cole bombing in Aden is an example of this susceptibility.

These have been examples of navies which have been defined by different defense experts or academics as being blue-water navies. Some of them have been successful in using their blue-water abilities in exercising control on high seas and from there have proposed power in other nations’ shoreline waters. But it should be noted that there seems to be no agreed upon definition among authorities to what set up a blue-water navy.

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