CIMSEC – A combination of the United States’ nascent modern industrial policy, diplomacy, and aligned governmental and commercial interests have set the conditions for it to pull ahead in the race to control vital telecommunications infrastructure in the Pacific.
USNI News – The plan to upgrade the Navy’s fleet of Flight IIA Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers with new radars and electronic warfare suites is estimated to cost about $17 billion and take anywhere from a year and a half to two years to upgrade each warship. The service has been working for the last several years to develop a plan to back fit about 20 Flight IIAs with the AN/SLQ-32(V)7 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program Block 3, the AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar and the Baseline 10 version of the Aegis Combat System.
USNI News – The Pentagon’s emerging technologies research arm awarded two aviation companies contracts to develop seaplanes that would fly less than 100 feet off the ground and carry 90 tons of cargo more than 6,500 nautical miles.
BBC – If you look at a map of East Asia, you can see an arc of US alliances stretching from South Korea and Japan in the north to Australia in the south. But smack in the middle of that is a missing link – the Philippines, which borders two of the biggest potential flashpoints, Taiwan and the South China Sea, or the West Philippine Sea as Manila insists on calling it. America hopes to finally stitch that gap when Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin meets Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr in Manila on Thursday.
CSIS – The impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine has been felt in the Arctic. The region’s primary diplomatic venue is paused, and military tensions are increasing. When Sweden and Finland join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), every Arctic country save Russia will be a member of the U.S.-led alliance. The war has not diminished Russia’s core economic and security interests in the region, but it has had some impact on its military readiness there in the short term, especially in terms of ground capabilities, if not at sea or in the air. In addition, there are some preliminary indications that sanctions and export controls may diminish Russia’s ability to deploy precision munitions to the Arctic to a degree. At the same time, Russia’s use of hybrid tactics in the region seems to be increasing in both frequency and severity. The United States and NATO will need to take stock of these developments in a region they have not historically prioritized as they begin to implement their new, respective strategies.
Breaking Defense – An earlier Air/Sea battle concept was a good start but weakened through forced parochial jointness to include other services that were not ready to contribute.
CIMSEC – The Department of Defense is projected to need on the order of one hundred tankers of various sizes in the event of a serious conflict in the Pacific. The DoD currently has access it can count on – assured access – to less than ten.
The Guardian – The Royal Navy has ordered an urgent investigation amid claims that workers on a Trident nuclear armed submarine fixed broken bolts in the vessel’s reactor chamber using glue.
Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies – The body of water dividing the People’s Republic of China and the Koreas has inherent geostrategic importance and military operational significance. It’s long been a complex, congested, contested water space: an overfished area beset by conflicting historical narratives and sovereignty claims.
Navy Lookout – Offshore Support Vessel, MV Island Crown arrived in Devonport yesterday on her delivery voyage from Ulsteinvik, Norway. She will join the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and operate Uncrewed Surface Vehicles (USV) in support of mine countermeasures tasks around the UK and in European waters.
Naval News – The Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset announced the commencement of Naval Strike Missile (NSM) upgrade work.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy is close to declaring initial operational capability on its second and final Littoral Combat Ship mission package, the mine countermeasures package, as it awaits a final report from the service’s test and evaluation office.
CIMSEC – As the U.S. Coast Guard undergoes a period of “prolific” acquisitions, the service must resolve a lurking specter: How to fill all of these ships with qualified personnel?
Chinese Maritime Studies Institute – This report provides a comprehensive assessment of Chinese civilian shipping support to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), examining civil maritime-military activities from October 2021 through September 2022. As of 2022, the PLA and its reserve civilian merchant fleet are still probably unable to provide significant amphibious landing capabilities or the maritime logistics in austere or challenging environments necessary to support a major cross-strait invasion of Taiwan. However, large volume lift exercises conducted in 2022 suggest that the PLA has made significant progress in the use of civilian vessels for the large-scale lift of PLA troops and equipment into undefended ports, a capability that may be leveraged in a military assault on Taiwan. This report also discusses other civil maritime-military activities not previously observed, including the use of civilian vessels and infrastructure to conceal PLA troop movements, operations from austere ports, use of ocean-going vessels to transport PLA forces along inland waterways, and logistics support for China’s South China Sea outposts.
Naval News – A new warship hull widely assumed to be the Type 054B next generation frigate for the Chinese Navy (PLAN) has commenced final assembly at Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai.
USNI News – The United States is facing increased competition in a number of sectors, especially from China in the Western Hemisphere, raising new security concerns, the head of U.S. Southern Command said Thursday.
USNI News – Japan’s Ministry of Defense this week issued a document detailing new military equipment it’s developing, with rationales and status updates for programs ranging from hypersonic weapons to unmanned underwater vehicles.
Naval News – The U.S. Marine Corps reactivated a new base on Guam.
Navy Lookout – There are strong indications the five Type 32 frigates that would follow on from the Type 31 programme will be axed due to lack of funding. Here we look at the implications of this decision and its impacts on industry and the future RN fleet.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s next-generation destroyer is slated to provide more space and power for new weapons that today’s Arleigh Burke destroyers cannot accommodate — but the DDG(X) program continues to be delayed. With those new weapons needed now, Northrop Grumman is pitching a way to free up space and weight on existing ships for additions like lasers and microwave weapons.
RUSI – Russian moves to operationalise the Zircon hypersonic missile represent an important development, but the significance – especially in terms of the current conflict – should not be overstated.
USNI News – A look at the simulators used by the US Navy to train crews of the littoral combat ships.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy will immediately suspend submarine repair work at four dry docks in Washington state, following new concerns about their ability to withstand seismic activity.
USNI News – A two-ship Iranian surface group is set to arrive today for a port visit in Rio de Janeiro as part of a round-the-world cruise.
Global Times – China is building a new type of advanced frigate, which is larger and more advanced than its current Type 054A class, overseas media reported on Friday, citing commercial satellite images.