Pivot to the Arctic

US Naval Institute Blog – As the environment in the Arctic changes, the Navy plans to take deliberate action to increase its operations in the region.

No New Ships: Trump Cuts Navy Shipbuilding, Aircraft Procurement

Breaking Defense – Despite his campaign pledge of a 350-ship fleet, President Trump’s first budget cuts Navy shipbuilding and aircraft procurement below what was enacted in 2017, documents released today reveal. Despite Trump’s criticism of President Obama’s defense plans, this budget sticks with Obama’s shipbuilding plan for 2018: eight ships.

Now The U.S. Coast Guard Wants Cruise Missiles On Its Icebreakers Too

War Zone – As Russia is building literally a new armada of new icebreakers, ice-capable supply ships, a massive arctic “research” submarine and icebreaker surface combatants armed with cruise missiles, the Pentagon is now looking at arming its relatively tiny fleet of future icebreakers with similar weapons as well.

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Set to Answer Lingering Navy Acquisition Questions

USNI News – Since the last Pentagon budget request 15 months ago there’s been a presidential election, a seven-month continuing resolution, a supplemental spending bill, promises from the new administration for a military spending spree, vows from inside the Pentagon to rebuild readiness and multiple studies looking at what a future naval fleet should look like.

In the churn leading up to this week’s release of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget request to Congress, questions still remain on the Navy’s acquisition and readiness plans. The following is a list of important policy and acquisition issues that Navy officials have declined to comment on but have assured USNI News and the public that answers would be found in the budget request.

New Zealand navy paid $700,000 to firm mired in ‘Fat Leonard’ sex and bribery scandal

The Guardian – The Royal New Zealand Navy paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over four years to a ship services company run by a man now imprisoned in the US for an enormous corruption and sex scandal.

Navy’s Sub Fleet Holds Surprise Weeklong Drill

Jerusalem Post – The Israel Navy’s submarine fleet was put to the test in a surprise six-day drill simulating the outbreak of war, aimed at examining the level of operational readiness of submarines and fighters.

U.S. Admiral Richardson: 355-Ship Navy is “Insufficient” (Thanks to Russia and China)

National Interest – With current technology, even a 355-ship United States Navy will not be sufficient to meet the threats of tomorrow. Indeed, the conclusion of a new Navy white paper authored by the chief of naval operations is that not only will tomorrow’s fleet have to be larger, it will have to become far more capable far more quickly than any of the recent fleet design studies have indicated.

Australia’s two new $1.5 billion warships may have design flaws, navy chiefs reveal

Sydney Morning Herald – Propulsion problems on two new amphibious warships which cost taxpayers $3 billion could be the consequence of fundamental design flaws, navy chiefs have revealed, as they confirmed at least one of the vessels will miss major drills with the US next month.

Saudi Arabia’s Naval Capabilities Will Balloon Thanks To Huge U.S. Arms Deal

The Drive – Riyadh’s naval forces increasingly need new and better warships to counter Iran and project power throughout the region.

No 350-Ship Navy From This Trump Budget

Breaking Defense – All hands, brace for disappointment. The president’s promised naval buildup won’t begin in the 2018 budget out next week — or maybe ever.

Navy Railgun Ramps Up in Test Shots

Breaking Defense – Consider 35 pounds of metal moving at Mach 5.8. Ten shots per minute. 1,000 shots before the barrel wears out under the enormous pressures. That’s the devastating firepower the Navy railgun program aims to deliver in the next two years, and they’re well on their way.

Beyond the San Hai: The Challenge of China’s Blue-Water Navy

Center for New American Security – The United States has enjoyed largely uncontested naval supremacy across the blue waters, or open oceans, for decades. The rapid emergence of an increasingly global People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) suggests that this era will soon come to a close. China’s ability to conduct power projection and amphibious operations around the world will become a fundamental fact of politics in the near future, with signi cant consequences for the United States and its allies, all of which need to begin pre- paring for a “risen China” rather than a “rising China,” especially in the realm of maritime security. China’s expanding naval capabilities have implications that are di cult to grasp, and more importantly, consequences that will be impossible to ignore, and it is therefore all the more necessary for U.S. and allied planners to reckon with it now.

What Do The Russians Have Planned Off Libya’s Coast Next Week?

The Drive – Russia may be planning a cruise missile barrage on Libyan targets.

CNO urges faster path to bigger Navy, hints at naval warfare transformation

Defense News – The full text of the CNO’s “The Future Navy” paper.

Russian Warships in Latvian Exclusive Economic Zone: Confrontational, Not Unlawful

CIMSEC – The most recent Russian military activity to draw attention in the Baltic was the transit of three Russian warships through the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Latvia, a NATO member state.

CNO urges faster path to a bigger Navy

Defense News – The U.S. Navy needs more ships and needs them fast, said the chief of naval operations (CNO), but beyond that, the service might be on the verge of something which could transform naval warfare.

Naval Service defends actions of patrol ship during migrant rescue

Irish Times – The Naval Service has said it stands over the actions of the LÉ Niamh when it came under pressure from the Italian coastguard during a rescue of some 400 migrants in the Mediterranean in August 2015.

Beyond LCS: Navy Looks To Foreign Frigates, National Security Cutter

Breaking Defense – The Navy is seriously considering derivatives of foreign designs and the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter for its new frigate, after three years pursuing an upgraded version of its current Littoral Combat Ship. The shift has shaken up the industry, panicking some players, while others quietly reposition.

Naval Mines Are A Growing Threat Near The Mandeb Strait

The Drive – The potential threat to international commerce posed by naval mines remains palpable. This is especially true when it comes to their deployment around known geographical bottlenecks. When those bottlenecks convey a large portion of the world’s daily oil supply, destabilizing any one of them could have massive economic and even life-safety repercussions around the globe. This is why the growing threat of naval mines in the Strait of Mandeb, the narrow body of water that ties the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, is so concerning.

Chinese defence adviser says Djibouti naval facility is a much-needed ‘military base’

South China Morning Post – Jin Yinan, a former director of the strategic research institute at the PLA’s National Defence University, calls the East Africa navy installation that Beijing has termed a ‘support facility’ a critical military base necessary to protect China’s overseas interests

Minding the Interoperability Gap

CIMSEC – A significant science and technology gap currently exists between the military forces of the United States and those of most of the rest of the world. This gap is by design and has long served as a centerpiece of U.S. defense strategy. While it has allowed the U.S. to maintain military primacy for decades, the technical capabilities of many allies and partners now lag far behind, raising concerns about the gap’s impacts on interoperability.

How Trump Can Build a 350-Ship Navy

Politico – The president promised to restore America’s strength on the high seas. Here’s how he can actually do it.

Japan Considering Buying Tomahawks for Destroyer Fleet to Deter North Korea

USNI News – Officials in Japan are weighing arming their fleet of guided-missile destroyers with Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles as a hedge against North Korean missile attacks.

Q&A with Chris Cavas

C-SPAN Q & A – Chris Cavas talked about the U.S. Navy’s s “Fat Leonard” scandal involving Malaysian defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and more than two dozen Navy officials, including several admirals.

Mahan Rules

Proceedings of the US Naval Institute – Potential U.S. adversaries are studying the ideas of the great maritime strategist; we should be doing the same.