Tablets & Tomahawks: Navy, Marines Scramble To Innovate

Breaking Defense – Amidst unabated budget gloom, Navy and Marine leaders aren’t looking for salvation in big new programs. They’re “repurposing and reusing existing capabilities” to get the maximum out of existing hardware for minimum cost. It’s a vision of the future in which a junior Marine Corps officer might call for fire support from a ship-launched Tomahawk missile using a Samsung tablet.

The Tools of Owatatsumi: Japan’s Ocean Surveillance and Coastal Defence Capabilities

Australian National University Press – A must read new book by Professor Desmond Ball which is freely available.

He writes that Japan is quintessentially by geography a maritime country. Maritime surveillance capabilities – underwater, shore-based and airborne – are critical to its national defence posture. This book describes and assesses these capabilities, with particular respect to the underwater segment, about which there is little strategic analysis in publicly available literature.

Navy Builds Ship For F-35, Ship Needs Months Of Upgrades To Handle F-35

Foxtrot Alpha – The Navy’s USS America, the first of her class, was controversially optimized to handle the F-35, leaving out the multi-purpose well deck traditionally found on ‘Gator Navy’ flattops. Now, just months after her commissioning, she already needs 40 weeks of upgrades just to handle the very aircraft she was designed for.

Russia Straps A Jet Engine To A Tractor To Clean Carrier Decks

FoxtrotAlpha – Foreign Object Debris (or FOD) is a huge problem on aircraft carriers. A metallic button from a shirt or a single nut could destroy a million dollar engine and endanger the lives of an aircrew. America’s solution? FOD walks and sweeper carts. Russia’s solution? Taking an old MiG-15’s jet engine, slapping on a planar diffuser, and strapping it to a tractor.