- Foxtroxt Alpha – For what it lacks in beauty it sure makes up for it in character, Russia’s 100 year old Kommuna is the world’s oldest active naval vessel. Launched as a submarine tender back 1915, this pre-Bolshevik Revolution relic continues to serve as a salvage ship and midget sub tender as part of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
- Defense News – The US Navy ended nearly a year of speculation on Dec. 11 about what form the new small surface combatant would take with the announcement that it would move ahead with variants of both littoral combat ship designs. But that was only the beginning of a process to turn those ideas into a formal ship development and procurement program. Now, the holidays are over, and the service is getting to work.
- The Diplomat – Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam are all striving to bolster their maritime capabilities.
- USNI Proceedings – To win the A2/AD challenge, the U.S. Navy must be prepared to best an adversary in the battles for information dominance, bases, undersea superiority, and precision strikes.
- US Naval Institute – It is an often quaffed line, ‘British Defence Spending is the 5th largest in the world’ – inferring therefore that everything must be fine…
- Breaking Defense – Submarines have been America’s invisible advantage since World War II. But the oceans are getting more transparent.
- USNI News – The Pentagon has dropped the controversial name Air Sea Battle for its concept to defeat modern anti-access weapons and folded the accompanying Air Sea Battle Office (ASBO) into the Department of Defense’s Joint Staff.
- USNI News – Less than a month after U.S. Navy leaders announced modified versions of both variants of the Littoral Combat Ship would be the Navy’s pick for its for a more lethal and survivable small surface combatant, one of the chief LCS critics said the upgrades would do little to improve the survivability of the class.
- USNI News – The U.S. has moved two amphibious warships close to Yemen as a precaution against an ongoing militia uprising in the region. Amphibious warships USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) with embarked elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24 MEU) are on station in the southern part of the Red Sea near the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
- USNI News – The Navy has released the outline for its plan to have enlisted women serve onboard submarines starting in 2016.
- Want China Times – Vietnam’s recent acquisition of three new 636MV attack submarines has cast the spotlight on the burgeoning regional submarine race in the South China Sea.
- National Interest – The case for building the next generation of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) submarines in Australia begins with the stand-out attributes that make submarines so important for Australia as a whole: they must be able to operate in areas a long way from home, without air or sea control, to watch, listen, evaluate and act when necessary. Australia’s future submarine will be a unique platform, giving early warning of an adversary’s intentions and providing an excellent antisubmarine and anti-surface ship capability.
- War is Boring – The Kremlin has announced that Russia will hugely boost its naval operations in 2015. But that’s an empty promise—or threat, if you will. In fact, the Russian fleet is on the edge of a precipitous decline in ship numbers and combat power, owing to huge industrial shortfalls that have been decades in the making.
- Foxtrot Alpha – In what is a highly controversial move, the US Navy has announced that it will procure tilt-rotor V-22 Ospreys to replace its venerable C-2A Greyhound Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) aircraft. Here’s why it’s such a terribly bad idea.
- USNI News – The leaders of the U.S. Navy’s surface force are pitching a new philosophy to squeeze the offensive power out of its existing surface ships in a tactical shift that calls for using small surface action groups and increasing the number of anti-ship weapons on more platforms in a plan branded, “distributed lethality.”
We invite you to try War Studies Primer – an introductory course on the study of war and military history. Its purpose is to provide an introduction, or primer, to the study of war. War Studies Primer is presented as a lecture curriculum at the university level. It is a free, non-credit, self-study course that consists of 28 lectures and over 1,800 slides and is updated on a yearly basis.
- BBC – How is progress measured on board the US aircraft carrier which is playing a key role in the fight against Islamic State?
- USNI News – The director of the Navy’s Surface Warfare Division said the Navy is making choices in three areas in planning: How to “hit the bad guys first,” how to “keep from getting hit,” and how to “make sure you can back-fit” as new technologies emerge or existing ones are modified to meet new threats.
- USNI News – The Navy will almost certainly select the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor to replace the Northrop Grumman C-2A Greyhound as its next carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft, according to a Jan. 5 memo signed by Department of the Navy leadership.
The ten most significant naval news stories / trends / themes this year included:
- The successful operations of the Russian Navy in neutralizing the Ukrainian Navy during the seizure of the Crimea by Russia, leading to a near permanent presence of NATO warships on patrol in the Black Sea. Can Russia financially afford to hold on to its new acquisition in the long term?
- The aggressive operations of the Russian Navy around the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia. How long will these countries allow their borders to be harassed in this manner?
- The successful humanitarian operation carried out in support of the Ebola crisis in West Africa by the Royal Navy, US Marine Corps and US Army. Where will the next humanitarian crisis be?
- The attempted hijacking of a Pakistan Navy frigate by Al Qaeda. What will Al Qaeda’s next naval adventure be?
- The first operational deployment of a laser weapon at sea on the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. How will this weapon work under combat conditions?
- The US Marine Corps new and innovative Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Forces for African Command based in Spain and for Central Command based in Kuwait. These company-sized units show the Marines at their expeditionary best. For what geographic region will the next one be created?
- The continued rise of the Chinese Navy and the growing threat it poses to the global commons in its “near seas” coupled with the growing belligerence of China toward Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam this year. How long will the rest of the world allow the “salami-slicing” in the South China Sea to continue?
- The deployment by China of a SOSUS-like underwater sonar network in the South China Sea. Will this begin to neutralize the US Navy’s most potent weapon against the Chinese Navy?
- The inability of the US Navy to design and construct well armed ships that work well (see LCS and San Antonio LPD) and to base new ship designs on problematic older ones (see LCS follow-on frigate and LX(R)). Why does the US Navy continually reward ship builders that produce substandard products with new contracts.
- The inability of the US Navy to agree on a specification for its new UCLASS unmanned aerial vehicle. If your Chief of Naval Operations forbids the public naming of the country you are most likely to fight, is it more difficult to design a weapon to fight against them?
In 2014, NOSI linked to 599 news stories.
In 2014, 295 of these stories (49%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.
In 2014, 51 of these stories (9%) were background stories.
The remaining 253 news stories (42%) covered the operational activities of 29 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Phillipines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vietnam
In 2014, 141,935 pages read (page hits) from 120,602 users (visitors). There were 84 email subscribers. There were 70,614 post views (impressions) and 39,264 unique users (reach) and 824 fans (members) on the NOSI Facebook page. There were 9,700 impressions and 118 followers on Twitter.
- Foreign Policy – Russian submarines bearing nuclear cruise missiles are lurking just off the eastern seaboard. But can a pair of unmanned blimps near Baltimore actually protect the U.S. capital from a sneak attack?
- USNI News – The modified Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class will be designated as frigates.
- Los Angeles Times – David Zucchino on what is wrong with Iraq’s army.
- Stars and Stripes – The U.S. military wants to establish a permanent presence of up to 3,000 Marines at a Spanish air base that now serves as a temporary host for a task force of crisis-response troops supporting U.S. Africa Command.
- National Interest – Why Tokyo should be concerned over Beijing’s rising military might.