China Just Doubled the Size of Its Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Divisions

- The Diplomat – According to media reports China will double the number of its Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Divisions (AMID) from two to four. Initially, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fielded two AMIDs, one stationed in Guangzhou, the other in the Nanjing Military Region, with a total number of about 30,000 men. Now total manpower in the AMIDs will be around 52,000 – 60,000. These new amphibious forces are meant to complement the roughly 20,000 strong elite PLA Marine Corps in future conflicts over the East and South China seas as well as Taiwan, although the PLA Marine Corps and the AMIDs still lack a joint command system.

The Navy’s Newest Linux-Powered Command Center Is Right Out Of Star Trek

- Foxtrot Alpha – The DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyer could very well revolutionize the way the Navy does its surface warfare business. One of its biggest innovations is ditching the cramped, darkly lit Combat Information Center (CIC), a fixture for many decades on past USN combat ships, and replacing it with the state-of-the-art, spacious, Star Trek bridge-like Ship’s Mission Center.

The Oldest Active Navy Ship Is A Century Old Russian Submarine Tender

- 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.

Small Combatant Effort Cranks Up

- 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.

Two U.S. Amphibs and Marines Standing By Near Yemen

- 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.

Run Silent, Run Australian? Why Australia Should Build Its Own Subs

- 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.