– USNI News – Post-delivery testing on USS America (LHA-6) went far more smoothly than on previous big-decks, and the Navy and Ingalls Shipbuilding are trying to leverage this success as they move forward with the next two amphibious assault ships.
– USNI News – French carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) has left the Persian Gulf after about two months of strike operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) militants.
– New York Times Magazine – More British Muslims have joint Islamic militant groups than serve in the country’s armed forces. How to understand the pull of jihad.
– Associated Press – In a stepped-up response to Iranian backing of Shia rebels in Yemen, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is heading toward the waters off Yemen to beef up security and join other American ships that are prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels.
– 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.
– 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.
– Washington Post – The U.S. Navy has seven combat ships in the waters around Yemen as the Saudi-led bombing campaign there continues, but U.S. troops are not participating in a Saudi naval blockade in the region.
– The Diplomat – The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence offers a wealth of new information on the PLA Navy.
– Defense One – Faster datalinks will allow the Navy’s EA-18 Growler to pinpoint insurgents with weapons-quality accuracy.
– Saturday Paper – The US and Japan have quietly cornered the Chinese navy with an undersea surveillance ring that is framing Australia’s defence policy.
– War is Boring – Fat Leonard’s hookers and cash seduced the U.S. Seventh Fleet … and soaked taxpayers for millions
– FoxtrotAlpha – If you want to know just about every ship and sub in the U.S. Navy’s fleet, this graphic is your guide.
– 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.
– USNI News – The Carl Vinson carrier strike group (CSG) has left U.S. Central Command and has passed its strike missions over Iraq and Syria to a new CSG centered on USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-73).
– BBC – The US Navy is developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, that can be launched from a cannon and “swarm” in a co-ordinated attack.
– BBC – Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea.
– Thomas PM Barnett – Thomas PM Barnett on how to become a grand strategist.
– USNI News – The Navy’s new frigate will go through the requirements-generation and testing processes as a flight upgrade rather than a new-start program, helping save time and money and allowing the program office to focus on what will be different from the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to the frigate upgrade.
– 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.
– Defense One – UCLASS advocates say the plane has to be both survivable and armed to the teeth, but the Navy could use a simpler model.
– USNI News – The Navy is further extending the life of Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) that have already gone through their Service Life Extension Programs (SLEPs), with the oldest craft set for retirement this year and the replacement not ready for its first delivery until 2017.
– Defense News – The US Navy is now building towards a fleet goal of 308 ships, according to the latest 30-year shipbuilding plan — a small evolution from the previously-cited 306-ship target. The two ships added to the fleet total are a 12th LPD 17-class amphibious transport dock and a third Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB).
– USNI News – The second Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has proven so much more reliable than the first that the Navy has been able to experiment with a new expeditionary maintenance model to extend the reach of the ship.
– USNI News – The Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is working with both its shipbuilders to determine how to bring the current LCS designs into a more lethal and survivable frigate design, while it works with other Navy offices to finalize the frigate requirements.
– USNI News – The Program Executive Officer for Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) hopes to send a version of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission package out to sea before officially reaching initial operational capability, as earlier testing showed “phenomenal” capability compared to current systems.