Sinking Enemy Warships: the U.S. Navy’s Fiery New Weapon

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.

America’s Master Plan to Turn India Into an Aircraft Carrier Superpower

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.

Reshape US Army, Asian Alliances To Deter China

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.

Ohio-Class Subs Approaching Several Firsts As Navy Prepares Them To Reach 42 Years of Service

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.

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Unready for War: America’s F-35 Gets a Bad Report Card

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.

Powers Jockey for Pacific Island Chain Influence

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.

This Is China’s Master Plan to Destroy the U.S. Navy in Battle

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.”

US Navy’s Unmanned Jet Could Be a Tanker

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.

Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank: Wargaming the Defense of the Baltics

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.