– CIMSEC – A discussion on the UN’s Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on territorial disputes in the South China Sea with one of the China-watching community’s best known, most respected, and outspoken voices, retired U.S. Navy Captain James Fanell.
– Defense News – The Israel Navy is planning to deploy a new generation of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) based on a US-built combat craft and remote-control technologies and subsystems developed by state-owned Rafael. Once deployed by the middle of next year, they will complement manned surface ships in multiple missions, including defense of Israel’s economic waters, anti-mine and anti-submarine warfare.
– China Topix – Warships of the French Navy (the “Marine nationale”) are expected to begin patrols of the disputed South China Sea, perhaps by as early as this year, as the government of President François Hollande seeks to enforce its defense of the rules based international order.
– Breaking Defense – The balance of power underwater is shifting against the West, warns a new report from the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Both Russian and NATO capabilities cratered after the Cold War, but the Russian submarine fleet is clawing its way back — and we’re not ready to face it, CSIS says. The US, its allies, and the Nordics need to invest in new technology, intense training, and, above all, closer cooperation to counter the resurgent threat.
– The Economist – The ability to peer unhindered into the deep would reveal a host of wonders—and have huge practical consequences.
– Defense News – The outlook earlier this year for the homeward journey of the littoral combat ship Fort Worth was grim. The damage from a January 12 pierside incident in Singapore seemed to be severe, bad enough that it was a question whether any the ship’s four main propulsion engines could be brought online…
– USNI News – While Russian submarine activity in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas and the North Atlantic are at their highest levels since the end of the Cold War, its navy has only started to be resourced and its undersea fleet, while “a pocket of competence,” remains small.
– CIMSEC – With the deteriorating relations between the West and Russia in the wake of Crimea’s annexation and the hybrid war in Eastern Ukraine since early 2014, the Baltic Sea is suddenly thrust back into the spotlight of naval planners, policy analysts, and students of strategic geography alike. This article lays out some principles of looking at the Baltic Sea through the lens of the German Navy, which – while busy conducting a host of maritime security operations (MSO) in such far-flung places as the Horn of Africa, the coast of Lebanon, and the Central Mediterranean for more than two decades – finds itself returning conceptually to one of its home waters.
– USNI News – The Pentagon’s office tasked with tweaking existing and developing military technology for new uses is pushing development of ammo meant for the electromagnetic railgun for use in existing naval guns and artillery pieces. The initiative will recast existing weapons as potential air defense platforms through a change in ammunition.
– Bloomberg – The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier isn’t ready for warfare.
The $12.9 billion USS Gerald R. Ford — the most expensive warship ever built — may struggle to launch and recover aircraft, mount a defense and move munitions, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons tester.
– Reuters – The U.S. Navy plans to send a ship to New Zealand in November, Prime Minister John Key said on Thursday, formally ending a standoff over the Pacific nation’s anti-nuclear policy that dates back more than 30 years.
– BBC – One of the UK’s newest nuclear-powered submarines has docked in Gibraltar after a collision with a merchant vessel during a training exercise.
– USNI News – Is China about to declare an Air-Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea? And how effectively would it be able to enforce such a zone?
– USNI News – The head of the People’s Liberation Army Navy told his U.S. counterpart that China has no intention of stopping its island building campaign in the South China Sea Spratly Islands.
– Focus Taiwan – The Lafayette-class Di Hua frigate is on its way back to Taiwan after completing a routine patrol mission in waters near the Spratly Islands.
– BBC – The House of Commons has backed the renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system by 472 votes to 117.
– Defense News – The US Navy is stretching the lives of some of its submarines, if only by a year or two.
– USNI News – Russian shipbuilding officials have offered New Delhi their nuclear-powered design for an Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier.
– Jane’s – There are still a number of problems with India’s Russian-built Mikoyan MiG-29K/KUB aircraft, as well as with the aircraft carrier formerly known as Admiral Gorshkov that entered Indian Navy service in 2013.
– Breaking Defense – “To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape,” Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago. It’s a stratagem – often called the “golden bridge” – that the US and its allies would do well to remember tomorrow morning, when a UN tribunal ruling on disputes in the South China Sea will almost certainly deliver China a legal and political defeat. Chinese nationalists will stridently demand retaliation. We need to give Xi Jinping room to deescalate instead without losing face.
– Asia Times – The United States is stealing a page from China’s strategic playbook in using international law as a means to counter expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.
– BBC – An international tribunal has ruled against Chinese claims to rights in the South China Sea, backing a case brought by the Philippines.
– Defense News – Even as the finishing touches are being put on the US Navy’s new aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, its new-technology aircraft landing system has emerged as the most worrisome element of several new technologies that are key to the first-of-class, $13 billion ship’s design.
– BBC – A tribunal is about to rule on China’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. But Beijing’s desire for control is about much more than rocks above the water, argues analyst Alexander Neill. It is also central to China’s plans for a submarine nuclear force able to break out into the Pacific Ocean.
– Breaking Defense – Got subs? The Navy sounds increasingly confident it can squeeze an extra submarine into its construction plans. The additional Virginia-class attack sub, to be funded in the 2021 budget, would enter service just as the attack submarine force shrinks to historic lows while Chinese and Russian fleets grow in both numbers and sophistication.