– Breaking Defense – The fleet needs smaller, cheaper aircraft carriers than the badly over budget, behind schedule Gerald Ford, ex-Navy pilot John McCain has long argued. No way, “Bigger Aircraft Carriers Are Better,” declares a recent National Interest article – widely publicized by the carrier industry’s advocacy group, ACIBC – citing a study that RAND did for the Navy. But McCain is unlikely to be convinced, and RAND actually thought at least one kind of smaller carrier was worth considering.
– Reuters – Three Russian warships, including two anti-submarine vessels, docked in Manila on Friday to unload what navy officials said was weaponry and military vehicles donated to the Philippines as part of a new defense relationship.
– Reuters – The USS Ronald Reagan, a 100,000-ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier, patrolled in waters east of the Korean peninsula on Thursday, in a show of sea and air power designed to warn off North Korea from any military action.
– War on the Rocks – In the last few days, the British press and social media have been rife with reports that the Royal Marines are to be reduced by 1000 from their present establishment of 6,500. In addition, the amphibious fleet may be similarly reduced with the decommissioning of the landing platform dock that is the core of the British ready capability and the possible disposal of both that ship and a sister unit held in reserve. This scheme is one option being considered as part of a “mini defense review” underway in the UK.
– USNI News – The Navy selected Boeing and Lockheed Martin to pursue the Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV) program, which will test the Navy’s ability to manage a rapid-acquisition project and the Navy-industry team’s ability to develop and integrate an unmanned system that operates completely independently of manned ships.
– Defense News – The Navy’s oldest cruisers have a friend in Congress. The influential head of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee is calling on the Navy to enter its oldest 11 cruisers into a service-life extension program rather than retire them at the end of their 35-year hull life in the coming years.
– The Guardian – The catalogue of errors and failings that ended in the sinking of a Royal Navy destroyer during the Falklands war has been disclosed after being covered up for 35 years.
– Defense News – Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have officially marked the launch of trilateral air patrols over the troubled waters of the Sulu Sea.
– CIMSEC – When one thinks of a stealth ship, images of the Chinese Type 055 destroyer, the French La Fayette-class frigate, or Swedish Visby-class corvette come to mind. The use of material and technology to produce a smaller radar cross-section or to reduce sound and electronic emissions are all common attributes of what is commonly considered a stealth ship. Yet, if one was to ask what is the stealthiest ship in the U.S. Navy, the answer may prove surprising. It is not USS Zumwalt, the newest destroyer in the fleet. It is also not the most recent Virginia or Seawolf-class submarine, and it most assuredly is not one of the littoral combat ships. The ship that holds this title is not even a commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy, or owned by the government, but leased from one of the largest ship operators in the world. MV Ocean Trader, chartered by the Military Sealift Command for the U.S. Special Operations Command, most assuredly holds this title.
– Navy Times – Amazing comments from three command climate surveys taken on the cruiser Shiloh during Capt. Adam M. Aycock’s recently-completed 26-month command. The Japan-based ship is a vital cog in U.S. ballistic missile defense and the 7th Fleet’s West Pacific mission to deter North Korea and counter ascendant Chinese and Russian navies.
– USNI News – The Navy is surging two guided-missile warships to cover gaps left by two ballistic missile defense-capable destroyers that were damaged in collisions with merchant ships.
– War Zone – The carrier’s long delayed deep refit and modernization program has had its budget slashed in half putting in question the carrier’s future relevance.
– War Zone – The US Navy has sent out the final request for proposals and expects to pick a winning aircraft in September 2018.
– USNI News – The Navy completed the first phase of its initial operational test and evaluation on the AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) airborne mine detection system and is awaiting Littoral Combat Ship availability to complete the remaining testing.
– CIMSEC – Aggressive recapitalization of the Combat Logistics Force (CLF) is needed because the Navy’s current logistics force structure is unprepared to support a distributed fleet in a fight against a peer competitor.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – Like the Soviet Navy before it, the Russian Navy’s true power lies in its submarine force. Although recovering from a prolonged period of limited investment and confined activity, the various nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSNs), guided-missile submarines (SSGNs), and ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) Russia inherited from the Soviet Union make it a capable adversary in the undersea domain. If Russia is to remain a relevant player beneath the waves in the 2020s and 2030s, however, it will have to substantially recapitalize its aging submarine force in the coming decade. Fortunately for Russia’s submariners, reinvigorating submarine construction has been one of the visible accomplishments of the Russian Navy’s modernization program for 2011–2020.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s surface fleet will start losing some its biggest guns in 2020 at a two-per-year clip.
– USNI News – The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is nearing full operational capability of its amphibious force, after a six-year effort to turn an Army battalion into the heart of a joint-service expeditionary capability akin to the U.S. Marine Corps.
– War Zone – The service’s little known fleet is important to operations around the world, but is sorely in need of new watercraft.
– The Guardian – HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark could be taken out of service, leaving the navy with no way to attack enemy-held beaches.
– CIMSEC – The military plays an integral role in dangerous humanitarian operations. What are these operations and how exactly does the humanitarian world work?
– CIMSEC – The following two-part series will analyze the maritime dimension of competition between Ukraine and Russia in the Sea of Azov. Part 1 analyzed strategic interests, developments, and geography in the Sea of Azov along with probable Russian avenues of aggression. Part 2 will devise potential asymmetric naval capabilities and strategies for the Ukrainian Navy to employ.
– Defense News – Congress has also taken notice of the Navy’s continuing problems. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., the chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, traveled to Japan to visit the fleet and speak with Navy leaders and sailors about what Congress can do to help get the service back on track. Upon returning, he sat down with Defense News naval reporter David Larter to talk about the trip.
– USNI News – Amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) will join the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group in Puerto Rico later this week with additional helicopters to assist with Hurricane Maria disaster relief efforts there.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s top officer in the Pacific is reviewing a program that allowed ships from the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet to operate with expired certifications amid a wide-ranging probe into two deadly collisions that killed 17 sailors and caused untold hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to two destroyers.