The Age of the Strike Carrier is Over

CIMSEC – The age of the strike carrier is over. As the United States enters an era where the potential for modern great-power war is increasing dramatically in Eurasia, a return to the traditional roles of the aircraft carrier is required to maintain maritime access. Carrier-borne over-land strike warfare has not proved decisive in previous conflicts in heavily contested air defense environments, and will not prove so in the future. In the potential high-end conflicts of the twenty-first century, the likely utility of carrier-based land strike is largely non-existent. Thankfully, the traditional carrier aviation roles of maritime interdiction and fleet air defense remain highly valuable in wars against modern navies, but are precisely the roles, missions, and tactics sacrificed for sea based over-land strikes over the past sixty years. Regaining this capability will require a modest investment in existing and developing systems and capabilities and should be the force’s, the service’s and the nation’s highest objective in the coming years.

NATO’s Big Test?

The Art of the Future Project – Jeremy Shapiro’s poignant fictional piece in Foreign Policy, This is How NATO Ends, bristles the academic, humors the skeptic, as it paints a dark future for the 68-year-old alliance. Good fictional speculation should draw on history to explore and challenge through imagination; it is the reader’s role to test his or her own assumptions as well by putting themselves in another person’s shoes.

Smart Mines, A Smaller Army, & The Trump Buildup That Won’t Happen

Breaking Defense – Trump’s promised defense budget boost probably won’t materialize, the former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said today, so we can’t afford to grow a larger military. Instead of more ships and troops, retired Adm. James Winnefeld said the military should prioritize investment in new ideas. His own service, for example, should overcome its post-1945 reluctance to lay mines off enemy shores and deploy networks of smart mines. The Army should cut soldiers to buy more modern equipment and stockpile a lot of it in Europe.

Link Army, Navy Missile Defense Nets: Adm. Harris

Breaking Defense – The Army and Navy must link their missile defense systems into a single network so Navy weapons can hit targets spotted by Army radars and vice versa, the chief of Pacific Command said today. That’s a daunting technical task but, if surmounted, it could dramatically improve defense against North Korean, Chinese, or Russian missile salvos.

Distributed Lethality and Situational Awareness

CIMSEC – Distributed lethality depends on being hard to find and securing the element of surprise enabled by superior situational awareness. With the adoption of the distributed lethality concept, it is essential that the concept and doctrine for establishing and maintaining the Common Tactical Picture be reviewed and optimized to assure warfare commanders enjoy the tactical advantage of decision superiority over an adversary.

Crash Dive: America’s Pending Submarine Crisis

CIMSEC – The future of naval warfare is increasingly shifting to undersea competition, in both manned and unmanned systems. American seapower has excelled in this domain and holds a competitive edge today beneath the waves. But the U.S. Navy, by a combination of compressed funding and potentially crippling procurement cost increases, may not be well positioned to sustain its mastery of undersea warfare.

Ilyushin Unveils Il-38 ASW Upgrade for Russian Navy

AIN – The Ilyushin design bureau and the Russian navy have revealed details of a mission systems upgrade and airframe refurbishment of the Il-38 antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. At a ceremony on January 31 at Ramenskoye airbase south of Moscow, Russian naval aviation commander Gen. Igor Kozhin said that “about 30” of the 54 Il-38s in the inventory will be modernized, in a program that will continue until 2025.