You’ll hear me speak about a Kill Chain approach. I’d like to share what I mean — We use “kill chains” to help decide how we should invest our time, money, and other resources to build our capabilities and gain an advantage over our adversaries. For example, to execute a successful attack, you have to:
1) Find the target;
2) Determine target’s location, course and speed;
3) Communicate that information coherently to the platform launching the weapon; and,
4) Launch the attack using anything from a kinetic weapon to electromagnetic systems to cyber.
For our own capabilities, we use this model to determine the most efficient and effective way to complete our kill chains. In particular, we emphasize chains we know the adversary will have difficulty breaking. A good example of this is undersea warfare. Not many of our potential adversaries are good at anti-submarine warfare..
To defeat our adversaries’ attacks, we look for the links where the adversary has a vulnerability and we have an advantage. When we break one of these links, if not all of them, we disrupt the kill chain and successfully defeat an adversary’s attack. A good example of this is using electronic warfare and jamming to prevent an adversary’s radar from seeing us. That disrupts the first link in the enemy’s kill chain – Find the target. Once that link is broken, the enemy has trouble completing the rest of the chain and attacking us.
So when we build a new weapon or improve an existing system, we need to understand how the kill chain will be affected or implemented.
I hope this helps you understand an aspect of our investment strategy as we work on today’s and tomorrow’s capabilities. I feel this kill chain approach, from end to end, will ensure our Sailors operating forward have the best capabilities they need to remain the preeminent maritime force.
Thanks, see you out there in the Fleet!
JONATHAN W. GREENERT
Admiral, U.S. Navy