The 1980s have ushered in a new era for the U.S. Navy. Despite projections that the number of ships it had at the start of the decade would decline, the total is increasing, and the Navy is predicting that it will reach its long-sought goal of a 600-ship Navy by 1990. The numbers have risen, but debate over the type of ships that should be constructed has not been resolved. Meanwhile, recent developments in Soviet shipbuilding have raised, for the first time, concerns about the possibility that the U.S. qualitative lead in naval technology may finally be slipping. At the same time, the international geostrategic situation and especially permanent U.S. deployments in the Indian Ocean and in the Caribbean have led to increasing naval commitments. These international developments have broad implications for the Navy, and the contributors to this volume provide a thorough reassessment at the midpoint of the decade.
Westview Special Studies -- Participants -- Introduction -- The Naval Air Force -- Opening Remarks -- Sea-Based CTOL Aircraft -- The Role of VSTOL Aircraft -- Land-Based Aviation and Maritime Warfare -- Commentaries -- The Surface Force -- Opening Remarks -- The Surface Fleet -- Battleships for the 1980s: Symbol and Substance -- Amphibious, Mine, and Auxiliary Forces -- Warship Design in the Future -- Commentaries -- The Submarine Force -- Opening Remarks -- Strategic Submarines: The Leviathans -- The Attack Submarine -- Commentaries -- Theaters of Operation -- Opening Remarks -- The U.S. Navy in the Western Pacific -- The Indian Ocean -- Mare Mosso:1 The Mediterranean Theater -- The Maritime Role in the North Atlantic -- The Caribbean Theater of Operations -- Commentaries -- Appendices -- Summary of U.S. Naval Forces (as of 1 January 1985) -- Navy Five-Year Ship Construction/Conversion Plan -- Navy Aircraft Program Inventory (as of 1 January 1985) -- Navy Five-Year Aircraft Procurement Plan -- Summary of Soviet Naval Forces