A stochastic salvo model for naval surface combat
Armstrong, Michael J.
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In this work we propose a stochastic version of the salvo model for modern naval surface combat. We derive expressions for the mean and variance of surviving force strengths and for the probabilities of the possible salvo outcomes in forms simple enough to be implemented in spreadsheet software. Numerical comparisons of the deterministic and stochastic models suggest that while the two models tend to provide similar estimates of the average number of ships surviving a salvo, this average by itself can be highly misleading with respect to the likely outcomes of the battle. Our results also suggest that a navy's preferences for risk (variability) and armament (offensive versus defensive) will depend on not only its mission objectives but also on whether it expects to fight from a position of strength or of weakness.