– War Zone – Pass or fail, the ship’s sea trials still won’t answer more serious questions about plans for its air wing and the fiscal viability of its sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales.
– Korea Times – The US Navy’s Pacific fleet used to mock Chinese submarines for being too noisy and too easy to detect, but that has largely been remedied in recent years, and China is now on the cusp of taking the lead in a cutting-edge propulsion technology.
– Daily Mail – What a glorious photo opportunity: the new pride and joy of British sea power, HMS Queen Elizabeth, largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, this week sailed from the Firth of Forth for sea trials. Here is a 21st-century ‘castle of steel’ to strike terror into the nation’s enemies. Except the ship is nothing of the sort. HMS QE and its half-built sister, Prince of Wales, are giant embarrassments. They are symbols of almost everything that is wrong with British defence policy.
– War Zone – The new ships will be key components of the service’s future carrier battle groups, among other missions.
– USNI News – The Navy issued its latest draft request for proposals for what will be the service’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle.
– Breaking Defense – Run silent, run deep — and now, run in packs? Submarines are traditionally lone wolves, but the rise of robotics is starting to change that. Just yesterday, defense contractor BAE announced a $4.6 million award from DARPA to build an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) to accompany manned submarines, helping them spot targets by sending out active sonar pulses.
– War Zone – There’s a massive amount of firepower being amassed in the Baltic Sea, including China’s most advanced operational destroyer and Russia’s largest submarine and cruiser.
– BBC – The ship spotters of Istanbul have become a key resource for diplomats and intelligence experts, alerting the world to the scale of Russia’s campaign in Syria.
– USNI News – The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded BAE Systems a $4.6 million contract for an unmanned underwater vehicle that would help U.S. Navy submarines detect adversary subs while minimizing their own risk of being detected.
– War Zone – The Type 815’s visit is a significant display of China’s expanding naval capabilities.
– War Zone – Early last April, we were among the first to report that Russia intended to send the world’s largest submarine, the Typhoon class Dmitry Donskoy, and their largest surface combatant, the nuclear powered Kirov class battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy, to the relatively tight and tense confines of the Baltic Sea. Now both ships have officially set sail from their home port of Severomorsk on their unprecedented voyage.
– The Atlantic – Mark Bowden writes that there are no good options. But some are worse than others.
– War Zone – Chinese forces in Djibouti are just the latest sign that the country wants to expand its military presence abroad.
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– The Economist – An isolated island battles to hang on to its outpost at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
– USNI News – As the first-in-class USS America (LHA-6) begins operations on its first major overseas deployment, leadership has a good understanding of the basics of operating this new type of ship – an amphibious assault ship without a well deck – but also a lot of room to learn how to maximize the new capability it brings to the fleet.
– CIMSEC – The development of the Future Surface Combatant (FSC) family of warships has widespread implications. These ships will form the backbone of the Navy’s surface force, and add sorely needed numbers to the fleet in general. They may also signal a reorganization of the Navy from its current strike group system to a more amorphous model. Additionally, the FSC’s projected service life indicates that it will encounter and employ technologies that today are only in the developmental stages. Creating requirements for this ship is obviously important.
– USNI News – The first-in-class Expeditionary Sea Base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) departed Norfolk on Monday for the Middle East for its first full operational deployment.
– Breaking Defense – Denmark really wants you to know they have a solution for the US Navy’s frigate problem. Pentagon officials are on the record that they’ll consider foreign designs in their quest for a more powerful small warship than the $450–$550 million, 3,400-ton Littoral Combat Ship. The Danish answer: their $340 million, 6,600-ton Iver Huitfeldt “Stanflex” frigate.
– CIMSEC – Read the latest episode of Sea Control for a conversation with Captain Klaus Mommsen (ret.) of the German Navy to talk about the Russian Navy and its latest developments.
– RAND – The role of U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in the Middle East has expanded steadily since the inception of the counter-ISIS campaign in 2014. In part, this expansion is due to the metastasis of ISIS into Libya, Yemen, and other countries beyond its major land-holding presence in Iraq and Syria. But the most notable feature of the expanded U.S. SOF role in the Middle East has been its work alongside indigenous forces in Iraq and Syria. Conventional and coalition forces provide additional numbers of troops. What makes this campaign so unusual is that U.S. forces are not providing the muscle of the frontline combat troops. Instead, the campaign is conducted “by, with, and through” others, a Special Forces phrase that the CENTCOM commander, General Joseph Votel, has adopted to call attention to this new way of warfighting. If the counter-ISIS campaign succeeds in dislodging ISIS from Iraq and Syria, this approach is more likely to be considered for other, similar conflicts.
– Washington Post – David Ignatius writes of what lessons can we take from the Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul and its coming eviction from Raqqa? The collapse of the caliphate tells us that the United States can succeed militarily in the Middle East if — and probably only if — it works with local forces who are prepared to do the fighting and dying.
– Xinhua – Ships carrying Chinese military personnel departed Zhanjiang in southern China’s Guangdong Province on Tuesday to set up a support base in Djibouti.
– USNI News – Three NATO guided missile warships are set to exercise with Ukrainian forces in the Black Sea later this month.