We are currently observing more and more airborne military tasks being allocated to relatively inexpensive drones that remove their valuable operators from the risk of being killed on service.
Is not a parallel situation not going to happen in submarine warfare in the next 20 years rendering those submarines to the same fate that befell battleships and cruisers before them?
CND here have tried that argument, ‘Trident won’t be a viable deterrent because of undersea drones.....or something’
(Not mocking you, it’s just their obsessively clutching at straws, a fair question generally though).
These systems are here and being developed further, obvious applications including mine countermeasures (the RN and they are not alone, are to replace their Minesweeper fleet with unmanned systems).
But the very same nations are also developing potential undersea drones and they are not stopping developing and building submarines.
Battleships were replaced as surface capital ships by aircraft carriers because they had greater range than any gun, could provide AA defense way beyond even the huge array of AA guns and radar direction that in particular USN Battleships had in the Pacific, in fact they were still important for carrier groups and supporting the landings by providing that support and shore bombardment, as the threat they were built to counter, enemy major surface units, disappeared through being sunk largely by aircraft and submarines. That was unlikely to be repeated at least in a big fleet on fleet action they were designed for.
In the wake of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, many announced that the tank was now facing becoming obsolete due to a simple, relatively cheap man portable guided anti tank missile, the Soviet supplied AT-3 ‘Sagger’ which took a heavy toll of Israeli tanks.
But tanks have not gone the way of Battleships in the nearly 50 years since, even as much more effective anti armor systems replaced the Sagger which even then, was not state of the art.
Due to various countermeasures, the ‘Chobham Armour’ developed in the UK and passed to the US and West Germany, (maybe France too had they not hissy fitted out of NATO) being an obvious example, along with reactive Armour and other examples. The latter being better still at countering missiles.
Numerous other examples, radar did not stop air raids, surface to air missiles from the late 1950’s did not make aircraft useless. Not that this stopped the British Defence secretary Duncan Sands in his infamous 1957 White Paper which declared that manned combat aircraft would all soon be obsolete, dealing a blow to the UK industry far greater than the 1960’s cut backs that still obsess some in aviation. Sands in WW2 had been involved in the the defence against the V1 and then feeling the lack of any, save for bombing and then overrunning launch sites, for the V2.
He took an early emerging technology to it’s absolute conclusion while ignoring what everybody else was still doing, plus of course he had a mandate to slash spending which at the time was unsustainable.
The early tanks did not turn the tide of WW1 quickly or on their own.
Then there is the context of how and where they were used, those Saggers had the advantage of few obstacles between the missile operator, great visibility, the sighting and wire guided missile and sighting flare, this would not be the case in the terrain and conditions in NW Europe, as in NATO vs the Warsaw Pact.
So there have been plenty of new tech that has threatened to make others out of date, some have but those are more fundamental than an improvement on existing technology which undersea drones are.