– Canberra Times – Sailors on Australia’s submarines will be given annual lump sum payments of up to $50,000 just for staying in their jobs as navy bosses grow increasingly desperate to keep crews on the boats.
The navy’s high command hopes the big money offer will end their long struggle to hold on to enough sailors to maintain Australia’s vital submarine warfare capability.
– National Interest – The United States Navy’s fleet of Aegis cruisers and destroyers are getting a massive boost in lethality. For years, many believed that America’s mighty surface combatants were on track to be outgunned by their Russian and Chinese counterparts—however, a newly unveiled modification to the Raytheon Standard SM-6 changes of all of that.
– USNI News – Secretary of Defense Ash Carter confirmed the Navy was developing a modification to the Raytheon Standard Missile 6 that will give the service a supersonic anti-ship weapon to reach a target more than 200 nautical miles away.
– Breaking Defense – Arsenal plane. It’s a great name, no? And the Hyper Velocity Projectile. Whoa. Fast flying swarming micro drones. Neat! There’s much more being developed, but it’s classified. Where is all this coming from? The Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO for short.
– National Interest – While certainly not a full-blown alliance, relations have grown to such an extent that U.S. defense officials seem willing to share some of their most prized military technologies with India. Indeed, the United States seems ready to share the very symbol of American power projection: the mighty aircraft carrier.
– National Interest – Tsai Ing-wen must make maritime-strategic affairs a priority as president.
– National Interest – The enduring significance of the Pacific ‘island chains’
USNI News – The commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of naval operations have been discussing how to design a more effective naval campaign that leverages both the carrier strike group and the amphibious ready group to fight a near-peer competitor.
– USNI News – If the Navy buys lower-cost, low-survivability vessels and puts them into harm’s way without adequate passive and active protection against burgeoning undersea, surface and air/space-borne threats, it runs the unacceptable risk of cheap kills––missions, ships and people.
– Breaking Defense – The US Army must play a larger role in the Pacific to deter China, one of DC’s leading defense experts is telling Congress today. That larger role requires politically and fiscally difficult decisions to build new kinds of units and base them in new places. The core of Krepinevich’s vision: Army missile batteries — for anti-air, anti-ship, missile defense, and long-range strike — regularly deploying to, or even permanently based in, West Pacific nations.
– USNI News – The Navy’s imperative to provide “uninterrupted strategic deterrence” with its ballistic missile submarines requires it meets two goals: development of the new boats must stay on schedule, and the old boats must make it to the end of their expected service lives.
– USNI News – New submarines, frigates and offshore patrol vessels will be at the top of Australia’s list to modernize its military capabilities.
– National Interest – Beijing has a long history of sneaking up on rival ships.
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– Jane’s – Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic is currently equalling or even surpassing Cold War levels, according to NATO’s top naval officer.
– Breaking Defense – On Friday, a Navy official told us a critical test report on the embattled Littoral Combat Ship was “unfair.” This afternoon, we found out the Pentagon’s independent test office has already circulated a coldly scathing response.
– National Interest – Last July, the United States Marine Corps declared their short takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter operational. However, a new Pentagon operational test and evaluation report shows that the jet is far from ready. Even at the time, many had suspected that the service’s initial operational capability (IOC) was more hope than reality—now there is data to back that up.
– National Interest – Winston Churchill once famously remarked that Bolshevism must be “strangled in its crib.” In that same spirit, should the United States now seek to strangle China’s economy as a means of deterring its aggression?
– National Interest – Boosting Tokyo’s presence is key to regional security.
– The Diplomat – Despite some media reports to the contrary, the Russian Navy will continue building Lada-class subs.
– Defense News – The extensive chains of Pacific islands ringing China have been described as a wall, a barrier to be breached by an attacker or strengthened by a defender. They are seen as springboards, potential bases for operations to attack or invade others in the region. In a territorial sense, they are benchmarks marking the extent of a country’s influence.
– National Interest – When Chinese officers go to bed at night, what do they fear most? Despite all the hard work, all the billions of dollars spent, no Chinese sailor wants to tangle with the U.S. Navy. As one retired Chinese senior defense official told me in late 2014: “The 3 A.M. crisis ‘call’ I feared the most is that we were at war with your navy.”
– Defense News – One of the biggest questions facing the future of US Navy carrier-based aviation is what will be the primary mission of its new unmanned jet. Some believe the aircraft – to be produced by the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program – should be a stealthy strike jet able to penetrate an enemy’s defenses without risking a pilot. Others want a spy plane, able to launch from a carrier and produce high-quality, real-time intelligence…Now it would seem a decision has been made between strike and recon. The winner? Aerial refueling.
– RAND – Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine has disrupted nearly a generation of relative peace and stability between Moscow and its Western neighbors and raised concerns about its larger intentions. From the perspective of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the threat to the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — former Soviet republics, now member states that border Russian territory — may be the most problematic of these. In a series of war games conducted between summer 2014 and spring 2015, RAND Arroyo Center examined the shape and probable outcome of a near-term Russian invasion of the Baltic states. The games’ findings are unambiguous: As presently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members. Fortunately, it will not require Herculean effort to avoid such a failure. Further gaming indicates that a force of about seven brigades, including three heavy armored brigades — adequately supported by airpower, land-based fires, and other enablers on the ground and ready to fight at the onset of hostilities — could suffice to prevent the rapid overrun of the Baltic states.
– Sea Power 2016 Almanac – The Sea Power 2016 Almanac, an excellent guide to the US Navy and US Coast Guard, can be freely downloaded as a PDF.