“A Small Thermal Exhaust Port…”

Its defenses are designed around a direct large-scale assault. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense.
[…]
The Empire doesn’t consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they’d have a tighter defense.

General Dodonna

Some good news for the US Navy:

Military experts say the Fifth Fleet has come a long way since Iranian gunboats crippled it within hours in a notorious war game five years ago.

In fact, says John Pike, president of the Alexandria, Va.-based Global Security Web site, the Navy was well on its way to solving the challenge of fending off the swarming swift boats before the war game began.

In that test, an enemy “red team” headed by retired Martine Corps Gen. Paul Van Riper deployed the gun boats and propeller-driven suicide planes to paralyze the Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.

It took Riper less than two hours to knock it out of commission.

Key to the shocking result was Van Riper’s strategy of neutralizing the American advantage in big guns and cruise missiles by getting in close before hostilities began.

But the Navy now has the MK 182, “the mother of all shotgun shells,” fired by 5-inch guns deployed on every major ship in the fleet, says Pike.

Nice to see the USN thinking small, fast, and swarming. Even if it’s just a defensive strategy, the vulnerability of the navy as is to asymmetrical threats – be it dinghies or land-based anti-ship missiles – is pretty damning. Clearly a step in the right direction.

Of course, as Norman Polmar insists, “it always depends on how it starts.”

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