- USNI News – The U.S. Navy is preparing two amphibious warships to join the disaster relief effort in the Philippines. USS Germantown (LSD-42) and USS Ashland (LSD-48) will shortly depart from Naval Station Sasebo, Japan and will arrive sometime next week.
- Stratus Military Reform Project – In 1959, The U.S. Navy commissioned its final diesel-electric submarine combatant, the USS Blueback, which served until 1990. She was the last of her kind in the American Navy because of its insistence, or some would say, dogma, that all combatant submarines must be nuclear powered. After all, diesel-electric submarines are merely surface ships that can submerge only for short periods of time. They are too slow as well, and for these reasons primarily, they are thought to be inferior to nuclear submarines. At least that’s the way the U.S. Navy thinks, but I would like to suggest that this thinking is wrong. Not just wrong, actually, but expensive and unreasonable as well. Conventional submarines, especially those with the incredibly quiet and long lasting Air Independent Propulsion (AIP), are arguably an essential weapon for any modern navy, including the U.S. Navy, for reasons that follow….
- Reuters – The USS George Washington and HMS Daring are on their way to the Philippines to assist.
- USNI News – The Navy has selected a design concept to replace its nuclear guided missile submarines (SSGNs). Late last month NAVSEA and the Navy settled on a design concept for the Virginia Payload Module, a $743 million design change in the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines (SSN-774) that will eventually replace the current Ohio-class SSGNs as part of the Block V iteration of the attack boat. The design will extend the hull by approximately 70 feet to include four so-called Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT) each containing seven Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs).
- Defense News – US military commanders have dispatched a team of Marines to the Philippines where as many as 10,000 people are feared dead in the wake of Friday’s devastating typhoon, which now is barreling toward Vietnam and prompting mass evacuations there.
- National Interest – The mounting challenge presented by China’s military modernization has led the United States to review existing military strategies and to conceptualize new ones, as illustrated by the ongoing debate over AirSea Battle (ASB), a new concept of operations put forward by the Department of Defense. But in the universe of possible strategies, the idea of a naval blockade deserves greater scrutiny. By prosecuting a naval blockade, the United States would leverage China’s intense dependence on foreign trade—particularly oil—to debilitate the Chinese state. A carefully organized blockade could thus serve as a powerful instrument of American military power that contributes to overcoming the pressing challenge of China’s formidable anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) system. A blockade could also be easily paired with alternate military strategies, including those based on ASB.
- War is Boring – Giant dock ship can carry jump jets, copters, hovercraft—and for cheap.
- War is Boring – Three-inch robot could spot targets for cruise missiles.
- Forbes – Robert D. Kaplan writes that “The bottom may be starting to fall out of the U.S. defense budget. I do not refer to numbers when I say this. I am not interested in numbers. I am only interested in public support for those numbers.”
- Project 2049 Institute – A big picture look at China’s current military strategy.
- The Diplomat – The PLA Marines are at present a relatively small amphibious assault force, numbering just two brigades with roughly 6,000 men each. Nevertheless, they are reinforced by naval and air power, amphibious artillery and armor. The PLA Marines are considered an elite special operations force, and theoretically therefore “punch above their weight class.” They are well trained and well equipped, using both the latest Chinese and Russian technology. They are trained for amphibious and airborne assault operations. While they were originally designed to be a much larger mass invasion force, they have quickly evolved into a rapid deployment invasion force specifically tasked for assault operations. Despite this, however, the PLA Marines are still very much a work in progress (as is arguably the PLA Navy in general), and currently lack the full necessary capabilities for a cross-Strait invasion of Taiwan. They are, however, rapidly developing this capability as part of overall Chinese military strategy.
- USNI News – A nice roadmap of the next steps that must be taken in implementing the Air Sea Battle concept.
New York Times Magazine – The shell of a forsaken ship has become a battleground in a struggle that will shape the future of the South China Sea and, to some extent, the rest of the world.
- War is Boring – Taiwanese spies caught helping Beijing build E-2 clone.
- Virginian Pilot – Sailors at sea will soon be required to wear flame-resistant coveralls, relegating their blue camouflage working uniforms to events on land, the Navy announced Thursday.
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- Asia Unbound – Out of the limelight, Gulf of Aden cooperation has provided both China and the United States with a vital conduit for progressive military contact amid protracted mistrust in the Asia Pacific. Indeed, their navies recently conducted a joint anti-piracy exercise there. In the future, Far Seas non-traditional security cooperation is set to play an even larger role in buttressing Sino-American military relations.
- War is Boring – Case studies in faulty flattops.
- War is Boring – Admiral reveals five possible future sub designs.
- The Diplomat – An update on the Chinese antiship ballistic missile program.