Back to the Future: Routine Experimentation With Prototypes

CIMSEC – Broad agreement exists that the Department of Defense’s, and thus the Navy’s, acquisition system is bound like Gulliver by Lilliputian processes, resulting in an inability to adapt. This inflexibility threatens to increase the risks to operating forces as they face a growing number of adaptive adversaries, ranging from China and Russia, North Korea and Iran, to the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and others. Well-intended legislation and increasing reliance upon computer modeling to inform the selection of future platforms and systems are major contributors to the current situation. Greater reliance on experimenting with prototypes at sea could provide a large improvement.

New Report Calls for Allied Monitoring of Chinese in Pacific as Part of ‘Deterrence by Detection’ Plan

USNI News – A “neighborhood watch approach” using coordinated American and allies’ unmanned systems and sensors could provide a continuous and effective, yet low-risk way to ward off Chinese ambitions across the Indo-Pacific, a new report from a Washington, D.C., think tank contends.

NIDS China Security Report 2021 – China’s Military Strategy in the New Era

Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies – Japan’s annual analysis of the strategic and military trends of China.

Cultural Challenges for Israeli Sea Power in theEastern Mediterranean

US Naval War College Review – The strategic-military significance of the recent discovery of extensive natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean works against Israel’s traditional reluctance to become a sea power. But any “turn to the sea” will require adopting a broad national and strategic mind-set in the face of cultural constraints that keep Israel tied to the land.

The Middle Kingdom Returns to the Sea, While America Turns Its Back—How China Came to Dominate the Global Maritime Industry, and the Implications for the World

US Naval War College Review – China soon virtually will control the global seagoing supply chain, with staggering consequences for the United States, its allies, and the world. As a nation dependent on maritime transportation for its economy and the movement of its military forces, the United States must take immediate, decisive steps to promote the reestablishment of a healthy and competitive U.S. maritime industry.

Can The Royal Navy Help America Deter China In Asia?

1945 – Two cheers for Great Britain! Why only two? London merits two cheers because it has accepted that “Global Britain” must play its part in a democratic armada meant to face down aggressors who menace their neighbors while degrading freedom of the sea. 

The Case For Stripping The P-8 Poseidon Down Into An RB-8 Multi-Role Arsenal Ship

War Zone – A non-maritime patrol variant of the P-8 could provide the Air Force with a highly flexible platform for augmenting the bomber force and much more.

Turkey To Deploy MIUS Unmanned Combat Aircraft From LHD Anadolu

Naval News – On July 20, Turkey’s Baykar Defense company introduced the MIUS Project, an autonomous combat aircraft, by releasing concept design images via Twitter. The most notable feature of the images is that the MIUS takes off from Turkey’s future Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) “Anadolu.” This was unexpected because MIUS had never previously been declared to be deployed aboard a naval asset.

Fielding LCS Minehunting Mission Package Now A ‘Key Priority’

Breaking Defense – The senior officer overseeing the testing and fielding of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship mission packages said on Thursday that fielding the mine countermeasures portion of those systems has become a “key priority.”

Hostile Harbors: Taiwan’s Ports and PLA Invasion Plans

Project 2049 Institute – The scale of an all-out Taiwan (Republic of China, ROC) invasion by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) military—the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)—defies human comprehension and would likely eclipse any historical comparison. In this important contribution to the field, Senior Director Ian Easton analyzes Chinese military studies frameworks and internal PLA documents to answer pressing questions that will help Taiwan and the United States both understand and better plan for potential crisis scenarios. He highlights the centrality of ROC port facilities—and Taiwan’s ability to defend them—in the PLA’s potential invasion plans for Taiwan, illustrating likely operational strategies explored by PLA leadership. In addition to postulating ports likely targeted in a PLA invasion, he provides recommendations that the Taiwanese government could undertake to ensure its port infrastructure security, as well as recommendations for the United States on how to be a supportive partner to Taiwan in that effort.

Putting the Sting in the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy: A Vision For the Future of the MAGTF

Modern War Institute – The newest US maritime strategy, Advantage at Sea, fails to include the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) as a viable operational component for competition in the gray zone. Though Advantage at Sea recognizes the ever-growing Chinese maritime threat, it does not provide a practical way for the United States to address that threat. As the Marine Corps reshapes itself through the guidance in Force Design 2030,it must take the opportunity to create a forward-deployed, commando-like force to fill the gaps present in Advantage at Sea. Doing so offers a way to counter China by using disruptive and asymmetric means to both coexist with and deter competitors and, if necessary, fight at sea.

Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth Drills with Indian Navy Ahead of More Pacific Exercises

USNI News – The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (RO8) and its carrier strike group carried out a two-day exercise called Exercise Konkan with the Indian Navy from July 21 to 22 in the Bay of Bengal. The exercise was designed to hone the ability of the two navies to operate together in the maritime domain, according to an Indian Ministry of Defence release. The exercise included anti-submarine warfare, anti-air and anti-surface warfare drills.

Submarine leaders want to tap into JADC2 network without giving away their position

Defense News – The Navy’s submarine force of the future will have to balance its need to remain stealthy against a need for information from the joint force.

Submarine industry is growing less fragile, but it needs stability going into SSN(X), increased repair work

Defense News – The U.S. Navy will ask the submarine industrial base to do a delicate dance in the coming decade: continue building two Virginia-class attack subs a year, ramp up the pace of building the much-larger Columbia-class ballistic missile sub, and begin designing and building the SSN(X) next-generation attack sub, all while restarting a submarine repair capability.

Shots fired from Turkish vessel at Cypriot coastguard: reports

EuroNews – A Turkish Coast Guard vessel fired warning shots at a Cypriot Coast Guard vessel that was on patrol near the port of Kato Pyrgos, on the northwest coast of the contested island.

(Thanks to Alain)

Marine UH-1Y Venom Helicopters Have Been Assisting In The Hunt For Submarines

War Zone – The adaptable UH-1Y Venom is now playing a role in the Marine Corps’ pivot toward the anti-submarine warfare mission.

Drone disguised as a manta ray will be deployed by Royal Marines to spy on warships and submarines with sleek design to avoid enemy radar and silent fish-like propulsion

Daily Mail – A near undetectable drone disguised as a manta ray will soon be deployed by the Royal Marines for surveillance of warships and submarines.

(Thanks to Alain)

Frigate Bayern in the Pacific: The Return of German Gunboat Diplomacy?

CIMSEC – The German government recently announced the deployment of the frigate Bayern to the South China Sea. With this deployment, Berlin is aiming to send a strong signal to its European and American allies. However, it is one that comes with an exit strategy of a kind that is unique to the use of naval forces. On one hand, Germany wants to be seen as standing up against unilateral Chinese appropriation of international waters. On the other hand, China’s potential counterreactions need to be closely monitored and dangerous escalation avoided, especially in light of China’s current conventional and nuclear capabilities, and Germany’s economic dependence on the Middle Kingdom.

Britain to permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters

Reuters – Britain said on Tuesday it would permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships sail to Japan in September through seas where China is vying for influence with the United States and Japan.

America’s Strategy in Oceania: Time For a Better Approach

War on the Rocks – Despite the Biden administration’s growing interest in Oceania, the U.S. government does not have a comprehensive strategy for the Pacific island nations, and time is running out.

Flattops from space: the once (and future?) meme of photographing aircraft carriers from orbit

The Space Review – In 1984, Samuel Loring Morison, an analyst at the Naval Intelligence Support Center outside of Washington, DC, picked three photos off the desk of a colleague. He clipped the security classification stamps off the sides of the photos and provided them to Jane’s Defence Weekly, which had only recently begun publishing. The photos were taken by a satellite of a Soviet Union military shipyard. Knowing that they had a real scoop, the editors at Jane’s put one of the photos on the cover of the magazine and featured the other two in a short article about the latest Soviet naval developments…

Ramping the Strait: Quick and Dirty Solutions to Boost Amphibious Lift

Jamestown Foundation – The apparent shortage of amphibious lift required to execute large-scale landing operations leaves many wondering whether China is serious about its threats against Taiwan. But the PLA may have other plans for transporting troops and equipment across the Strait: the growing capabilities of its merchant roll on-roll off (RO-RO) ships.

Two Iranian Warships Spotted Near English Channel

USNI News – Two Iranian warships are nearing the English Channel, according to satellite photographs reviewed by USNI News. The ships are thought to be headed to the Baltic Sea to represent Iran in a July 25 naval parade off the coast of St. Petersburg to commemorate the 325th anniversary of the Russian Navy.