The hapless attack sub Boise could return to the fleet in 2023 after 8 years sidelined

Defense News – It has been five years since the attack submarine Boise returned from its last patrol, and this whole time she has been waiting on some loving care and attention in the shipyards.

How Robert O’Brien helped steer the Pentagon toward a bigger Navy

Politico – Next month, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser is expected to make a highly unusual visit to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine to lay out the commander in chief’s vision for a bigger Navy.

Marine Corps’ Builds New Littoral Regiment, Eye On Fake Chinese Islands

Breaking Defense – The Marine Corps is moving quickly to develop a new kind of infantry unit to challenge Chinese claims on small islands in the Pacific, while the Navy is developing new and smaller ships to move and supply them once they deploy.

Unraveling China With Soft Balancing: Malaysia, ASEAN, and the South China Sea

CIMSEC – If China follows the international rule of law it will grow stronger and become more respected. Its growing integration with the region need not be accompanied by a growing sense of mistrust. China needs ASEAN to maintain its growth, and ASEAN needs China and the U.S. for both growth and security, respectively. Once this is understood and reflected in the policies of great powers, new dynamics will not only benefit ASEAN Members, but ultimately China and the U.S. as well.

Royal Navy tests world’s most advanced torpedo against Plymouth warship

Plymouth Herald – The Royal Navy has tested the world’s most advanced torpedo against one of its own warships – and it is now on the cusp of being added to Silent Service’s hunter-killer and nuclear-deterrent submarines’ arsenal.

(Thanks to Alain)

US Marines wants to move fast on a light amphibious warship. But what is it?

Defense News – The U.S. Marine Corps is moving as fast as it can to field a new class of light amphibious warship, but it remains unclear what it will do, where it will be based or what capabilities it will bring to the fight.

Southeast Asia: A New Strategic Nexus for Japan’s Maritime Strategy

CIMSEC – With all branches of Japan state power now investing in Southeast Asian maritime security, this region is cementing as a new nexus in Japan’s maritime strategy. The scope, strategic intent, and likely future development of Japan’s maritime security activities in Southeast Asia merits closer examination.

The Arctic is a strategic hot spot, but Western allies lack good intel

Defense News – The United States and its allies have been chilling out this summer, but experts and officials say something has been missing that prevents them from making the most of the experience.

The Mediterranean Sea Is One Dangerous Place

National Interest – James Holmes writes that Russia’s navy conducts live-fire exercises. Greek and Turkish ships collide while staking claims to undersea resources. Civil war rages in Libya and smolders in Syria, drawing in outside powers with competing agendas and little love for one another. European coast guards and navies struggle to stem a flood of refugees fleeing unrest in North Africa and the Levant. And on and on. While military and maritime folk rightly focus on managing events in maritime Asia, the headlines serve notice that the Mediterranean Sea is far from placid. Newsworthy events are commonplace of late.

Did the US Marine Corps give up on a big ship-based surveillance drone too soon?

Defense News – The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps both say they need expanded surveillance capabilities for a potential fight with China, but the Marines have cut bait on a big, ship-based system that some analysts say would make a big difference for both services.

Secretive Seawolf Submarine Makes Port Call In Europe For The Second Time In Two Months

War Zone – The advanced submarine has been spotted sailing to the Royal Navy’s main base in Scotland just weeks after making an unusually public visit to Norway.

Vietnam’s Struggles in the South China Sea: Challenges and Opportunities

CIMSEC – In recent years, China has deployed grey zone tactics, such as utilizing micro-aggressive measures such as maritime militia and the deployment of survey vessels to enforce its claims. Vietnam, as one of the major claimants involved, has been a frequent target of these tactics. With only weak, symbolic reactions to China’s aggression, Vietnam is without a proactive or effective strategy to fight back. There are policies that Vietnam should adopt, but at the heart of these policies is the need for more international cooperation in resolving the issues linked to China’s strategy.

MQ-9B SeaGuardian Maritime UAV: Which Missions ? Which Customers ?

Naval News – MQ-9B SeaGuardian maritime tests flights concluded off the coast of California on September 11th. They can probably be seen as the next step toward a worldwide export success. Indeed, if the first variant of the MQ-9 Predator-B mainly served as an ISR platform for above ground missions, the new MQ-9B SkyGuardian/SeaGuardian is likely to find much more customers in its maritime variant.

After a grueling deployment, the carrier Eisenhower gets set for a dubious ‘double pump’

Defense News – After shattering the U.S. Navy’s modern record for consecutive time at sea, the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower is preparing for another deployment early next year just six months after returning.

Is the US Navy winning the war on maintenance delays?

Defense News – The U.S. Navy, beset by maintenance delays, is making progress on getting its ships out of the shipyards on time, fleet officials say.

Between the Giants: The Future of the Taiwanese Navy in an Era of Great Power Competition

CIMSEC – In this new era of great power competition the ROCN is designed to maximize utility with a small budget while facing a much wealthier and larger adversary. The small surface fleet patrols and guards the island’s territorial waters, while the anti-invasion force is designed to ensure that the PLA will not be able to land troops on the beach without paying a heavy toll. The future of the ROCN is likely one of further bifurcation, with the anti-invasion fleet continuing to dwarf the surface fleet. Pursuant to its hedgehog strategy, the ROCN will concentrate on raising the cost of conflict with China in the years to come in an attempt to prevent Chinese aggression, while the surface fleet will conduct goodwill tours and conduct joint operations with allies to build relationships and raise Taiwan’s image abroad.

Tracking China’s Third Aircraft Carrier

China Power – China is making steady progress in constructing what is believed to be its third aircraft carrier. Commercial satellite imagery collected on August 18, 2020, shows significant developments in the construction of the vessel and additional improvements to the infrastructure at Jiangnan Shipyard.

The US Navy is short almost 100 fighter pilots

Defense News – A rash of technical and safety problems has left the U.S. Navy’s fleet short by about 90 fighter pilots. Fixing the issue is an uphill battle.

Sweden and the Blue Society: New Challenges For a Small Navy

CIMSEC – The Royal Swedish Academy of War Science is presently undertaking a study of strategic and operational requirements for the Swedish Armed Forces in the 2030 timeframe. Its naval section has recently published its findings in a book, Vår marin för ett tryggt Sverige och ett starkt Europa. Marin strategi 2030 (Our Navy for a Secure Sweden and a Strong Europe. Naval Strategy 2030). This article discusses some of its findings.

In A War With China, Shipyards Are America’s Achilles’ Heel

National Interest – James Holmes writes that if ships were smaller and easier to construct—if they were more like aircraft—then manufacturing a ship would come to resemble manufacturing an airplane. Fast design improvements would become thinkable even as mass production replenished numbers of hulls. Let’s revivify the marine industrial base—and put it to work laying the keels for an anti-fragile fleet.

A South Pacific Island-Led Approach to Regional Maritime Security

CIMSEC – Given the strong influence of the maritime space on the national economies and local communities within the South Pacific, the deleterious effects of non-traditional threats to human security in the maritime domain are of significant concern to the island nations.

The Plan For Making Aging USMC F/A-18 Hornets Deadlier Than Ever For A Final Decade Of Service

War Zone – The U.S. Marine Corps is moving towards a streamlined fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35B and C-model Lightning IIs for all of its tactical aircraft (TACAIR) needs post-2030. While USMC leadership juggles the exact planning over the number of the stealthy fighters it will need to meet future requirements, both the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II and F/A-18A-D Hornet fleets will continue to provide Close Air Support (CAS) for Marines on the ground and air cover above the battlefield. Under current plans, the Harrier II will bow out in Fiscal Year 2028, followed by the Hornet in 2030. 

Storm Clouds Gather Over F-35B Lightning As United Kingdom Prepares Defense Review

War Zone – As the United Kingdom prepares its next defense review — the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy — experts close to the program are increasingly talking about a significant cut in the country’s orders for F-35B Lightning jet fighters.