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Key point: Boat swarm are hard to stop and are fast. However, America knows to be ready for them.

Should swarms of armed small boats seek to surround, overwhelm and confuse large Navy ships in a coordinated barrage of attacks, surface ship radar could be jammed, long and medium range ship defenses could be rendered ineffective and virtually all angles of a ship could be hit quickly at one time.

Small boats, manned or unmanned, could launch electronic warfare attacks, hit with small arms or even fire various kinds of larger weapons. They are extremely difficult to defend for many reasons, one of them simply being numbers and redundancy; if there are so many spread out, yet fast-approaching small boats, it could be difficult for deck-mounted ship guns or overhead assets such as drones or helicopters to destroy enough approaching targets at one time.

The proliferation of longer-range mobile guns, to include possible emergence of lasers, electronic warfare or boat-launched drone attacks, all make the prospect of facing swarms of armed, fast-moving small boats even more dangerous for surface ships. Furthermore, there is no reason small manned boats could not carry and fire portable land weapons such as RPGs, Anti-Tank Guided Missiles or various kinds of medium-caliber portable guns aimed at ship structures.

Swarming small boat attacks are regarded as extremely serious combat concerns for Navy war-planners, who operate with a decided recognition that this kind of threat is quite substantial when it comes to both counterterrorism and major warfare on the open ocean. The strategy to counter small boat attacks against larger platforms is multi-faceted; multiple, fast-moving points of small missile and gunfire attack are naturally much more difficult to recognize and target.

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Category: Science