Distributed Maritime Operations Will Demand ‘Lightning Carriers’

USNI Proceedings – As the Navy and Marine Corps adapt to distributed maritime operations and distributed lethality, the types of aircraft carriers and their roles also must adapt.

American Surveillance Aircraft Have Been Flooding Into The Airspace South Of Taiwan

War Zone – For the past three weeks, there has been a big increase in U.S. military air activity in the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines.

Chinese Military Shows Off ‘Rifle-Size Railguns’ In New Video

Forbes – While the U.S. Navy is reportedly struggling to build cannon-sized railguns for its ships, not only has China already put a railgun-armed ship to sea, it is now showing off rifle- and pistol-sized versions being fired at targets.

Approval Of Mega F-35 Sale For Japan Is A Huge Step Towards Its Aircraft Carrier Ambitions

War Zone – Japan would become the second-largest Lightning II operator in the world if it bought all 105 jets in the proposed deal.

Stratospheric Balloons Will Rain Tiny Electronic Spies From The Sky

Forbes – Stratospheric balloons may solve one of the U.S. military’s thorniest problems: gathering intelligence in ‘Anti-Access and Area Denial’ environments, places where the defenses are too dangerous for aircraft to approach.

How The F-35 Triggered Topgun’s Biggest Syllabus Revamp In Nearly Four Decades

War Zone – Not since the introduction of the F/A-18A Hornet in the 1980s has the famed schoolhouse had to adapt to such an advance in air combat capability.

Hidden Harbors: China’s State-backed Shipping Industry

CSIS – Chinese companies are increasingly dominant across the maritime supply chain, aided by a complicated and opaque system of formal and informal state support that is unrivaled in size and scope.

Navy To Add Laser Weapons To At Least Seven More Ships In The Next Three Years

War Zone – The U.S. Navy expects to have eight warships, in total, equipped with the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy, or ODIN, a laser directed energy weapon system, within the next three years.

Could China’s unwanted FC-31 Gyrfalcon stealth fighter finally land a role in the navy?

South China Morning Post – A Chinese aviation firm has said it hopes to start testing a new jet next year, prompting speculation that it may be working on a naval version of the FC-31. The fifth-generation fighter, also known as the Gyrfalcon, has so far failed to attract buyers from the Chinese air force or foreign militaries, but defence analysts said it may be possible to adapt it for the new generation of Chinese carriers.

Russia Is Using Treaty Clause To Change Submarine Balance In Mediterranean

Naval News – The Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet can now deploy its submarines to the Mediterranean. This is despite an international treaty which many thought would prevent it. The Montreux Convention, agreed in 1936, prohibits submarines from passing through the Bosporus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. There are exceptions in the treaty for special cases for Black Sea nations: delivery of new submarines to the Black Sea, and exits for repairs. Russia is now routinely using these clauses to reestablish a permanent submarine presence in the Mediterranean. This is changing the balance of power there.

The U.S. Navy shakes up the carrier Ford program after latest setback

Defense News – The officer overseeing the deployment of the carrier Gerald R. Ford was fired Wednesday, the latest jolt to the trouble program that has been operating under a microscope as technical problems with nearly two dozen new technologies bundled into the lead ship have piled up.

A More Holistic Framework for Military Competition: How the War Might Be Won

Strategy Bridge – In a compelling revisionist history of the Second World War, How the War Was Won, Phillip’s O’Brien argues, “There were no decisive battles in World War II.” In his broad analysis, O’Brien develops what he terms a “super battlefield.” The superbattlefield is, according to O’Brien, the distinguishing characteristic of modern warfare. Instead of an isolated battlefield, the superbattlefield extends over thousands of miles and includes all aspects of building, training, and deploying military capability. Using this construct, O’Brien argues that the individual battles of World War II had little consequence on the overall outcome of the war…The question for American planners today is twofold. Is O’Brien’s theory of victory in warfare still applicable? And, if it is, what does it mean for how America thinks about fighting wars?

PANG: What We Know About France’s Future Aircraft Carrier

Naval News – In the coming days, French President Macron is expected to give the “go ahead” to the French Navy’s new generation aircraft carrier (PANG) program. Here is what we know so far.

U.S., Chinese Navies Hold Dueling Exercises in the South China Sea

USNI News – The U.S. and Chinese navies are holding competing naval exercises in the South China Sea, as the Beijing accuses Washington of militarizing the region. On Saturday, the U.S. Navy’s Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups transited from the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea and held the first dual-carrier drills there since 2014.

China and Taiwan Could Be Headed Towards a Showdown. What Should America Do?

National Interest – Hand it to CCP strongman Xi Jinping: he is a uniter. His bluster and saber-rattling may well unite Taiwanese behind the cause of independence. Beijing could respond quite aggressively. What would America do in response?

Building the Next Generation French Aircraft Carrier

Defense.Info – A new-generation aircraft carrier to succeed the Charles de Gaulle flagship would cost at least €5 billion ($5.6 billion), with a larger price tag if France opted for nuclear propulsion over a conventional engine room, a June 24 French senate report said.

The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century: Three Inherent Challenges

Modern War Institute – The reality of American military power has long been that the United States must project its forces into the enemy’s territory. This brings with it a host of challenges, some inflicted by the adversary and others that are self-inflicted (such as lack of strategic lift or production capacity). In any future war, the US military will likely play an “away game,” and an adversary will probably not allow the United States to leisurely amass personnel and equipment on its borders, but will actively try to prevent it. As a result, the US military will suffer from an inherent asymmetry and have immense costs imposed on it, at least in the initial phases of the war. This challenge lies at the heart of what is colloquially called the “anti-access/area denial” family of military concepts.

Navy Littoral Combat Ship Still Missing Cruise Missile Nine Months After Launching One

War Zone – The Navy has touted the addition of Naval Strike Missiles as a game-changer for the oft-maligned Littoral Combat Ships.

Political Commissars on Chinese Warships Play Crucial Role in Interactions With Foreign Vessels

USNI News – Confrontational or irrational moves by Chinese warships and planes may not be actions of a “rogue commander” but rather decisions by a political commissar, a new report describes.

Major Airfield Expansion On Wake Island Seen By Satellite As U.S. Preps For Pacific Fight

War Zone – America’s remote island outpost in the Pacific is an essential fallback point for pushing airpower west during a major conflict.

Congress Pumps The Brakes On Navy, Demands Answers From OSD

Breaking Defense – A new class of unmanned ships proposed by the Navy as a bulwark against growing Chinese and Russian naval might is running into deep skepticism on Capitol Hill, reflecting larger and broad frustration in Congress over the Navy’s stalled modernization push.