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Anti-surface warfare

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Anti-surface warfare (ASuW) is the term, in current naval usage, for attacking surface ships from submarines, aircraft, land-based defenses, and warships. The most common weapons for this mission is the anti-shipping missile from ships, land launchers, aircraft and submarines. Naval guns were the historic shipkillers through the early 20th century and to a lesser extent in the Second World War, remain useful against light attack craft.

Submarine-launched torpedoes can be especially deadly; it is said that bombs and missiles, attacking ships from above, let air in, while torpedoes let water enter. Aircraft bombs, especially guided bombs, have a role, especially using cluster submunitions against light vessels.

Mine warfare can be part of an overall campaign, but ASuW usually emphasizes real-time weapons delivery.