No, China Doesn’t Want Confrontation in the South China Sea

National Interest – An antagonist who stumbles into the arena of combat is different from one who strides into the arena.

A White Hull Approach to Taming the Dragon: Using the Coast Guard to Counter China

War on the Rocks – It has been deemed the “Era of Coast Guards” in the Asia-Pacific. The U.S. Coast Guard has suggested that the service’s frequent interactions with the Chinese Coast Guard better position it to navigate the “narrow door of diplomacy” in the region than U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers. Yet despite the growing emphasis on a “white hull” coast guard versus “grey hull” naval approach in the South China Sea, many analysts continue to argue against utilizing the U.S. Coast Guard there. These critics contend that the service would have little if any positive effect on China’s coercive maritime behavior, and even go so far as to say it’s “too little too late” for a white hull answer. Even more ominously, some believe such an approach could accidentally spark war.

Finland’s Getting Ice-Breaking Missile Corvettes With Serious Air Defense Abilities

War Zone – The four all-new ships will be uniquely suited to Finnish requirements in the confines of Baltic Sea amid growing threats from Russia.

India and the South China Sea

CIMSEC – The ongoing disputes in the South China Sea (SCS) have been regarded as one of the most enduring and complicated regional conflicts in the Asia-Pacific. The disputes involve China along with several states in the region and encompass issues such as overlapping territorial claims and access to critical resources like energy and fisheries. Within this turbulent environment, India has been expanding its influence through implementing its Look East Policy (LEP).

How To Implement The National Defense Strategy In Pacific

Breaking Defense – Andrew Krepinevich writes that the National Defense Strategy does a service by getting the diagnosis right. But that is only the first step. To get the right prescription—the defense program—we will have to develop the operational concepts that link the ends sought with the means we can procure to achieve them.

Two U.S. Guided-missile Destroyers Now Operating in the Black Sea

USNI News – Under cover of darkness, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) slipped through the Bosporus Strait and into the Black Sea on Friday. The next day USS Carney (DDG-64) joined Ross. The ships are operating are part of an unspecified regional “proactive” presence mission in the sea bordered by Russia, according to the Navy.

Poland, Canada join NATO members in potential maritime surveillance aircraft buy

Army Times – Poland and Canada have agreed to join a coalition of NATO countries seeking to jointly buy a fleet of maritime surveillance aircraft.

MoD sells Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean to Brazil for £84m

Daily Telegraph – The Ministry of Defence has sold the Royal Navy flagship, HMS Ocean, to Brazil for around £84m, in a bid to plug a major funding black hole in its accounts.

The future of war

The Economist – War is still a contest of wills, but technology and geopolitical competition are changing its character.

Navy Picks Five Contenders for Next Generation Frigate FFG(X) Program

USNI News – Five ship designs will compete in the Navy’s bid for 20 next-generation guided-missile frigates (FFG(X)) that will follow the Littoral Combat Ship, the service announced on Friday.

ESB USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams Likely to Deploy to Mediterranean

USNI News – The Marine Corps intends for the next Expeditionary Sea Base ship, the future USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (T-ESB-4), to operate in the Mediterranean Sea on its maiden deployment.

Through Quiet Dealmaking, New Delhi Extends its Influence in the Indian Ocean

War on the Rocks – It seems that we are in the middle of a base race across the Indian Ocean. The latest move, reported on Tuesday, involves an agreement to give India access to naval facilities in Oman, close to the Strait of Hormuz. This may be the first step towards a greater Indian naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Upgrade Navy Networks To Get Most From F-35: Commandant Wants Quality

Breaking Defense – If the Commandant of the Marine Corps had one more dollar to spend — and he probably will with the recent budget deal — he’d use it to upgrade Navy ships’ electronics to take full advantage of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Navy’s stealth destroyers to get new weapons and a new mission: killing ships

Defense News – The Navy has a new vision for what its enormous high-tech destroyers will do: Killing enemy warships at extended ranges.

Navy Buildup Partially Rests on More Forward-Deployed LCSs; Supported by More Accurate Manpower Funding

USNI News – The Navy intends to support a near-term increase in ship inventory and deployed forces by forward-deploying some ships with rotational crews, tackling often-overlooked manpower costs and reestablishing the readiness squadron concept. However, many questions still remain about the feasibility of the buildup in force structure and operations at sea.

Navy P-8A Poseidon Expanding Operations in Asia

USNI News – Following its inaugural deployment to the Asia-Pacific, the U.S Navy’s P-8A Poseidon Patrol Squadron 16 has been playing a key role not only in regard to operations in the region but also in cooperation and engagement activities with U.S partner nations.

Manpower, Parts Shortages Would Hinder Navy In Wartime

Breaking Defense – Faced with erratic funding from Congress, the Navy has pursued cost-efficiency so rigorously that it has cut corners and compromised peacetime safety and, very possibly, wartime performance. Crews are shorthanded and spare parts stockpiles are low.

Righting the Listing Ship of Navy Readiness – Without Sinking the Pentagon

War on the Rocks – The Navy has done well to acknowledge its shortcomings, but it is a long road ahead to get healthy. The recent budget deal is a positive step toward one aspect of giving the service dollars to jump start advance procurement of future ships. While long-term, stable funding is needed to refocus the military toward high-intensity warfare and the modernization of the nuclear triad, raising the spending caps alone is insufficient to address the Navy’s systemic woes.

Here’s Why General Atomics Teamed Up With Boeing For The MQ-25 Tanker Drone Tender

War Zone – Amid news of the partnership and the Navy’s questionable budget plan for the program, we talked to General Atomics and got their take.

Marines to Field Small UAS, EW Tools, Upgraded Weapons After Sea Dragon 2025 Experimentation

USNI News – The Marine Corps is beginning to implement changes to the infantry battalion a year into the service’s Sea Dragon 2025 experimentation effort, with recommendations that include fielding small unmanned aerial systems (UAS), adding advanced training opportunities, restructuring the rifle squad and drawing up new tactics and procedures for a high-end battlefield.

U.S. Needs More Forward Presence in Mediterranean Sea

USNI News – The Eastern Mediterranean is becoming “one of the most kinetic areas in the world,” as the U.S., NATO, Russia and China operate more and more in the crowded region, the Navy’s top officer in Europe said on Tuesday.

US Navy to add 46 ships in five years, but 355 ships is well over the horizon

Defense News – The Navy will grow by more than 40 ships over the next five years, the Navy’s Budget director said Monday. But while the fleet will grow rapidly in the near term, the gains will sputter out shortly thereafter.

The Army Eyes Getting Into The Ship Killing Business With This Cruise Missile

War Zone – The service long neglected land-based anti-ship weapons, but its rushing to fill the gap as threats emerge, especially in the Pacific.

Navy FY 2019 Budget Request Pushes MQ-25A Stingray to Mid-2020s

USNI News – The Navy’s MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial tanker project, previously described as a rapid acquisition program for the department, is now not set to be integrated into the air wing until 2026.