– CIMSEC – Zhongguo Haijing, or China Coast Guard (CCG) 2901, was not built to fight wars. At over 10,000 metric tons, it is by far the world’s largest constabulary vessel, a class of ship operating at the vanguard of China’s peacetime expansion in maritime East Asia. When it is commissioned sometime in the coming weeks, it will provide a huge advantage to China in the battle of wills taking place along its maritime periphery.
– New York Times Magazine – From a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg, Russia, an army of well-paid “trolls” has tried to wreak havoc all around the Internet — and in real-life American communities.
– Jane’s – The Joint Program Office (JPO) for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has taken the unusual step of publicly defending the aircraft’s air-to-air capabilities following a damning media report that called into question its ability to ‘dogfight’ with even today’s generation of jets.
– National Interest – New technology might just dampen the awesome capabilities of one of America’s most lethal weapons. What can the Navy do about it?
– USNI News – Upgrades to the Russian Navy’s ballistic nuclear missile submarine (SSBN) base in the Pacific could be completed by October.
– Politico – The Joint Chiefs keep ordering up ambitious new war plans. But their biggest battle might be with each other.
– USNI News – Marines will have to continue to be adaptable to meet growing threats with limited resources by fundamentally rethinking how the Marine Corps organizes and operates.
– Aviation Week – After more than three decades Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden finally has what he’s always wanted – a Top Gun school for surface warfare officers.
– USNI News – The Marine Corps is experimenting with the interoperability of its Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) with various non-traditional platforms, including rarely-used 1980s logistics ships and foreign navies’ amphibious ships, to help get its land-based units back out to sea.
– The Diplomat – Could tactical nuclear deterrence help prevent conflict in an Asian maritime context?
– Real Clear Defense – It may be a sign of the times that Taiwan seldom comes up during Q&A sessions following Asia talks these days. But it does sometimes—especially with savvy but lay audiences. So it was this week with the Financial Technology Forum, a gathering of IT professionals on Goat Island in Newport. Question: in light of China’s rise to diplomatic, economic, and military eminence and well-documented ambition to rule Taiwan, is it inevitable that the island will find itself subsumed within the mainland’s communist regime?
– USNI News – The US Navy has accepted the second Virginia-class (SSN-774) Block III nuclear attack submarine from Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding.
– Asian Maritime Transparency Institute – With six-plus-years of Chinese Gulf of Aden anti-piracy operations and China’s first submarine deployments to the Indian Ocean, considering possible support facilities for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) isn’t just for those theorizing a “String of Pearls” anymore. The U.S. Department of Defense itself forecasts that within the coming decade Beijing will establish one or more facilities capable of providing significant, if still limited, logistical support. The IOR is attracting increasing Chinese and American attention, with the latest U.S. Maritime Strategy referring to the “Indo-Asia-Pacific” and the previous commander of the U.S. Pacific Command describing its area of operations extending “from Hollywood to Bollywood.” With IOR geopolitics thus receiving growing outside attention, where China will ultimately locate its naval logistics points is an increasingly important question.
– Real Clear Defense – How do you adapt to changing times and circumstances, particularly when your home institution is big, and bureaucratic, and has compiled a long record of success that seems to vindicate its approach for all time? An institution like, say, the U.S. submarine force, or the U.S. Navy as a whole?
– National Interest – “[I]f the United States insists on publicly denying and routinely penetrating the 12-nm lines, China simply cannot bear the costs of inaction.”
– The Diplomat – China is becoming “more willing and able” to stake and defend its interests overseas.
– USNI News – The Navy’s reduced combat system modernization schedule for its legacy Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers (DDG-51) puts the surface fleets ability to tackle ballistic missile defense (BMD) tasks — as well as protect high value ships like aircraft carriers — at risk.
– USNI News – India’s Kilo-class attack submarine INS Sindhukirti (S-61) is set to return to the fleet soon, with its final “full-power trials” beginning Friday after the ship spent nearly 10 years undergoing refit work..
– USNI News – The Royal Australian Navy has begun sea trials for its second big deck Canberra-class amphibious warship.
– National Interest – Here are three ways in which tensions in the South China Sea might lead to conflict.
– Manila Times – Undersea patrols in West Philippine Sea may roll out by year end.
– Liberty Web – An interview with Robert D. Kaplan.
– Want China Times – Admitting that Japan has the capability to project its naval force to the South China Sea, Admiral Li Jie of China’s People’s Liberation Army said Chinese warships also have the right to ram Japanese ships in the disputed region.
– McClatchy – U.S. officials and many of China’s neighbors are alarmed by China’s construction of artificial islands and military facilities in the South China Sea, given its growing fleet of nuclear submarines.
– Globe and Mail – An interview with Robert D. Kaplan.