– USNI News – While Russian submarine activity in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas and the North Atlantic are at their highest levels since the end of the Cold War, its navy has only started to be resourced and its undersea fleet, while “a pocket of competence,” remains small.
– CIMSEC – With the deteriorating relations between the West and Russia in the wake of Crimea’s annexation and the hybrid war in Eastern Ukraine since early 2014, the Baltic Sea is suddenly thrust back into the spotlight of naval planners, policy analysts, and students of strategic geography alike. This article lays out some principles of looking at the Baltic Sea through the lens of the German Navy, which – while busy conducting a host of maritime security operations (MSO) in such far-flung places as the Horn of Africa, the coast of Lebanon, and the Central Mediterranean for more than two decades – finds itself returning conceptually to one of its home waters.
– USNI News – The Pentagon’s office tasked with tweaking existing and developing military technology for new uses is pushing development of ammo meant for the electromagnetic railgun for use in existing naval guns and artillery pieces. The initiative will recast existing weapons as potential air defense platforms through a change in ammunition.
– Bloomberg – The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier isn’t ready for warfare.
The $12.9 billion USS Gerald R. Ford — the most expensive warship ever built — may struggle to launch and recover aircraft, mount a defense and move munitions, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons tester.
– Reuters – The U.S. Navy plans to send a ship to New Zealand in November, Prime Minister John Key said on Thursday, formally ending a standoff over the Pacific nation’s anti-nuclear policy that dates back more than 30 years.
– BBC – One of the UK’s newest nuclear-powered submarines has docked in Gibraltar after a collision with a merchant vessel during a training exercise.
– USNI News – Is China about to declare an Air-Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea? And how effectively would it be able to enforce such a zone?
– USNI News – The head of the People’s Liberation Army Navy told his U.S. counterpart that China has no intention of stopping its island building campaign in the South China Sea Spratly Islands.
– Focus Taiwan – The Lafayette-class Di Hua frigate is on its way back to Taiwan after completing a routine patrol mission in waters near the Spratly Islands.
– BBC – The House of Commons has backed the renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system by 472 votes to 117.
– Defense News – The US Navy is stretching the lives of some of its submarines, if only by a year or two.
– USNI News – Russian shipbuilding officials have offered New Delhi their nuclear-powered design for an Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier.
– Jane’s – There are still a number of problems with India’s Russian-built Mikoyan MiG-29K/KUB aircraft, as well as with the aircraft carrier formerly known as Admiral Gorshkov that entered Indian Navy service in 2013.
– Breaking Defense – “To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape,” Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago. It’s a stratagem – often called the “golden bridge” – that the US and its allies would do well to remember tomorrow morning, when a UN tribunal ruling on disputes in the South China Sea will almost certainly deliver China a legal and political defeat. Chinese nationalists will stridently demand retaliation. We need to give Xi Jinping room to deescalate instead without losing face.
– Asia Times – The United States is stealing a page from China’s strategic playbook in using international law as a means to counter expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.
– BBC – An international tribunal has ruled against Chinese claims to rights in the South China Sea, backing a case brought by the Philippines.
– Defense News – Even as the finishing touches are being put on the US Navy’s new aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, its new-technology aircraft landing system has emerged as the most worrisome element of several new technologies that are key to the first-of-class, $13 billion ship’s design.
– BBC – A tribunal is about to rule on China’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. But Beijing’s desire for control is about much more than rocks above the water, argues analyst Alexander Neill. It is also central to China’s plans for a submarine nuclear force able to break out into the Pacific Ocean.
– Breaking Defense – Got subs? The Navy sounds increasingly confident it can squeeze an extra submarine into its construction plans. The additional Virginia-class attack sub, to be funded in the 2021 budget, would enter service just as the attack submarine force shrinks to historic lows while Chinese and Russian fleets grow in both numbers and sophistication.
– USNI News – Moscow has dispatched a specialized spy ship off the coast of Hawaii with the likely mission to monitor the U.S. Navy led Rim of the Pacific 2016 exercise.
– CIMSEC – This writing discusses the deteriorating strategic environment that will challenge Norwegian security again in the coming decades, and the necessary responses to them. The Norwegian National Security Strategy must address these challenges by refocusing NATO, enhancing bilateral partnerships, and strengthening the Norwegian Armed Forces.
– Virginian Pilot – This is what a modern deployment looks like for Norfolk-based ships in an era of a resurgent Russia and with the U.S. determined to operate wherever it wants in an effort to crush the Islamic State group. No ship illustrates that more than the aircraft carrier USS Truman as it nears the end of an eight-month deployment.
– CSIS – The entry of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, into service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) attracted considerable attention from both the Chinese press and military observers around the world. For some, the Liaoning was a symbol of China’s global power; for others, it represented a significant first step toward a more muscular and assertive Chinese navy.
– Breaking Defense – America’s Pacific partners are building up their amphibious forces, but they can’t storm a beach against a high-tech adversary like China. Even the most advanced allies — Australia, Japan, and South Korea — would need US support for a raid against a well-armed terrorist group, especially in command & control, logistics, and helicopters.
– Defense News – The long-anticipated award of two new major US Navy shipbuilding contracts turned out as expected Thursday, with long-time amphibious shipbuilder Ingalls Shipbuilding getting a new assault ship and veteran support ship builder NASSCO set to build the first six of a new class of fleet oilers.