Aviators take a look at Anti-Submarine Warfare from below

Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), POIS Phil Cullinan (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Lieutenant Commander Stefan Zohar at the Australian War Memorial. (photo: POIS Phil Cullinan)
Lieutenant Commander Stefan Zohar at the Australian War Memorial.

Navy aviators were given a chance to exchange a bird’s eye view for an ‘up the periscope’ perspective, during a recent presentation by submarine operations.

Lieutenant Commander Stefan Zohar delivered a presentation on a submariner’s perspective of Anti-Submarine Warfare operations to the Fleet Air Arm recently and says the information exchange will benefit all parties.

“Professional information exchanges give us a chance to learn how different branches think,” Lieutenant Commander Zohar said.

“As submariners, our priority is to keep the submarine and those onboard safe, while remaining undetected and achieving our aim. The presentation was intended to give the Fleet Air Arm an insight into some of the strengths as well as some of the difficulties submariners have when operating in an anti-submarine warfare environment.”

With increasing numbers of submarines being operated in the region, and with new technology which makes them harder to track and locate, understanding the way submariners think is vital.  

On current projections, by 2030 about half of all submarines in the world will be based in the Indo-Pacific.  Around ninety percent of maritime trade for Australia and our allies pass through this area.

“It’s about developing a competitive edge, which we won’t achieve with our Forces working in isolation. In my discussion, I used examples and bold statements to provoke interaction with the audience. I was trying to get them to picture a scenario and to broadly think like a submariner,” Lieutenant Commander Zohar said.

“The proliferation of submarines with significant offensive capabilities, both at sea and on land make it important for us all to be at the top of our game.”

Anti-Submarine Warfare is a branch of Naval Warfare that uses warships, aircraft or other submarines to detect, classify, track and ultimately destroy enemy submarines if required. It also involves protecting friendly ships if a hostile submarine is considered to be operating in their vicinity.

Successful anti-submarine warfare is dependent on the tactical mastery at the unit level.  This can be achieved through a combination of training, experience and capable platforms. However, it’s effectiveness, regardless of the assets or forces used, depends on a multi-layered and coordinated response.

“In the future, it would be great to have another anti-submarine warfare tactics forum where the interaction of submarines, aircraft and surface ships can be explored in greater detail” Lieutenant Commander Zohar said.