As military doctrines around the world begin to shift towards out-of-area operations, the requirements for naval vessels have also begun to change. The focus of naval operations is shifting inshore and many traditionally blue-water navies are beginning to re-focus on their littoral and expeditionary force capabilities.
This attention has lead to a huge increase in work on amphibious and assault vessels. Countries including the UK and USA have new classes of large dock-ships in construction and all over the world, from Italy to Australia, navies are looking into the modernisation of their amphibious and logistics forces. This includes proposed large air-capable ships and designs with dual civil and military roles.
At the same time, there have been a number of major combat vessel projects. The most prominent of these is the US Littoral Combat Ship, a novel and highly potent warship optimised for operations in the littoral. This will be able to capitalise on the experience of a number of recent advanced designs, including Sweden’s Visby Corvettes and Norway’s Skjold SES Fast Attack Craft.
Warship 2004, to be held at Victoria Park Plaza (London, UK) aims to explore all of these trends: looking at the modern idea of a littoral warship, exploring the capabilities of the new-generation amphibious assault ships and landing craft and investigating the associated support requirements of modern out of area operations, including mine warfare, hospital and logistics vessels. Papers are invited on all aspects of modern littoral and expeditionary warfare by 19 March 2004.