Pacom Nominee: China Military Islands Now Control South China Sea

Washington Free Beacon – Admiral urges rapid U.S. buildup of hypersonic and medium-range missiles to counter China threat.

US weighs keeping carrier strike group in Europe as a check on Russia

Defense News – In a break with recent history, the U.S. military is weighing whether to withhold the Truman Carrier Strike Group from deploying to the Middle East, opting instead to keep the carrier in the Mediterranean and the European theater…the move would be a response to Russian activities in the region and aligns with the new National Defense Strategy that calls on the military to be less operationally predictable.

Advanced Gun System was holding back the Navy’s new stealth destroyer

Defense News – Development issues with the Navy’s Advanced Gun System, destined to be one of the main armaments of DDG-1000, prompted the Navy to change Zumwalt into a ship killer, the Navy’s top requirements officers said Tuesday.

Australia won’t abandon S. China Sea patrols after encounter

AP – Australia’s prime minister said his country has a “perfect right” to traverse the South China Sea after a media report Friday that the Chinese navy challenged three Australian warships in the hotly contested waterway.

Russia vs. America: What Would a Naval Clash over Syria Look Like?

National Interest – It feels like 1973 again in the Mediterranean Sea. That’s when the Soviet Navy administered a rude shock to Western navies in the Eastern Mediterranean, deploying a squadron that outnumbered the Italy-based U.S. Sixth Fleet during that year’s Arab-Israeli war. America sided with Israel, the Soviet Union with the Arab powers. For a time it appeared the Yom Kippur War might ensnare the superpower navies. In other words, war between small Middle East allies might embroil the U.S. Navy and Soviet Navy in combat.

Et tu Vanuatu?

USNI Blog – Geography matters. Last week saw a rather interesting rash of articles of alarm and concern that, well beyond the South China Sea, that China was building a “military base” in Vanuatu.

France turns to plan B when missile launch fails during Syria airstrikes

Defense News – When a French multimission frigate failed to fire its salvo of three naval cruise missiles during last weekend’s joint airstrike on Syria, the military drew on a backup plan. The frigate’s sister ship, the Languedoc, instead launched its naval cruise missiles at the three Syrian targets.

The Next America Class Amphibious Assault Ship Will Almost Be In a Class of its Own

War Zone – USS Bougainville (LHA-8) will be built with a well-deck unlike her two sister ships, but that’s just one of its unique features.

Navy Plans to Spend $21B Over 20 Years to Optimize, Modernize Public Shipyards

USNI News – The Navy will execute a $21-billion, 20-year public shipyard optimization plan as a series of small projects that can be done even as maintenance work on submarines and aircraft carriers continues at the yards.

The Navy Eyes Replacing Its Hospital Ships With A Fleet of Smaller Medical Vessels

War Zone – The service says a mix of less capable ships that are cheaper to operate might be better for future, distributed operations.

This remote controlled ‘naval mine’ attaches to ships, explodes on command

Defense News – A leading Turkish drone manufacturer says it developed a “mobile naval mine” that can blow up warships of all types.

2018 World Navies in Review

USNI Proceedings – This review of the world’s navies presents a snapshot of activities and developments during the past year. It is arranged by region, with nations discussed alphabetically under each subheading.

Navy F/A-18 Legacy Hornets Have Taken Their Last Cruise Aboard A U.S. Aircraft Carrier

War Zone – 33 years after the F/A-18’s first cruise, the Navy’s Legacy Hornet fleet has made its last scheduled deployment aboard a carrier.

Autonomous weapons are a game-changer

The Economist – AI-empowered robots pose entirely new dangers, possibly of an existential kind.

Syria Struck From All Sides, No Missiles Intercepted

Breaking Defense – In one of the largest coordinated international air operations in years, over 100 American, British and French guided missiles slammed into three Syrian chemical weapons facilities early Saturday morning, launched from an armada of aircraft, submarines, and ships offshore.

Weapons the US, UK and France used to target Syria

CNN – The United States combined with the armed forces of the United Kingdom and France early Saturday to carry out airstrikes against the chemical weapons facilities maintained by the regime of Syria. Here are some of the weapons they used.

United States, France, And UK Begin Air Strikes On Syria

War Zone – The strikes come after days of conflicting reports, rapid diplomatic exchanges, and threats of retaliation from Russia.

Navy, Marines Testing Unmanned Systems to Learn Integration Lessons

USNI News – The Navy hopes to eventually make unmanned systems just one tool among many for commanders to pick from. However, to get to that point the service will have to get unmanned systems into the hands of warfighters to work out the kinks.

Navy Will Extend All DDGs to a 45-Year Service Life; ‘No Destroyer Left Behind’ Officials Say

USNI News – The Navy will keep every one of its Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in service for 45 years, extending the life of the entire class. The move allows the Navy to reach a 355-ship fleet by 2036 or 2037.

The Navy’s top submarine builder talks Virginia-class challenges, successes

Defense News – Whether it’s 355 ships or 342, the Navy is getting bigger. And as it looks to expand its fleet, the service is looking to its Virginia-class program as a model for success.

Navy Designates Upcoming LX(R) Amphibs as San Antonio-Class LPD Flight II

USNI News – The Navy’s dock landing ship replacement program officially has a name: San Antonio-class LPD Flight II.

Northrop to begin cutting in aerial refueling capability in E-2D Advanced Hawkeye production this year

Defense News – This year, Northrop Grumman will begin manufacturing the first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning aircraft built from the ground up with an aerial refueling capability.

Navy’s top officer lays out aggressive new cruiser replacement strategy

Defense News – Buoyed by rapid progress on the next-generation Frigate, the U.S. Navy’s top officer is ready to quickly move out on the long-debated replacement for the Navy’s aging cruisers.

Lockheed Is Already Pushing A Stealthy Version Of Its MQ-25 Stingray Tanker Drone

War Zone – The sad thing is, the whole idea originally was for the Navy to get a stealth drone, but it ended up getting a flying gas can.

British warship to help police North Korean sanctions

Reuters – A British warship “changed its deployment” and arrived in Japan on Wednesday to join efforts to police U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.