How the Fleet Forgot to Fight Part 5: Material Condition and Availability

CIMSEC – During the power projection era the Navy’s readiness cycle lost its discipline. In less than 20 years the Navy has deployed under four separate cycles, and where the two most recent constructs are attempting to restore order and arrest systemic shocks that spiraled out of control. These shocks unbalanced the Navy, sapped its ability to surge the fleet, and incurred significant strategic risk with respect to great power war.

Canada installs Chinese underwater monitoring devices next to US nuclear submarine base

South China Morning Post – Ocean Network Canada confirms addition of hi-tech sensors built by Chinese scientists to its marine observatories in Pacific Ocean.

To combat Russian subs, NATO allies are teaming up to develop unmanned systems at sea

Army Times – The U.S. and its NATO allies are teaming up to more closely cooperate on the development and fielding of unmanned maritime systems, according to an agreement signed by the defense heads of 13 NATO allies.

Navy’s New SSN(X) Attack Sub To Be Faster, More Lethal – And More Expensive

USNI News – The Navy’s next class fast attack submarine will be designed for a return to blue-water great power competition, where the ability to support forces ashore is less important than operating in the open ocean hunting rival submarines.

Finland moves to boost its naval power in the Baltic Sea hotspot

Defense News – The increasingly strategic value of the Baltic Sea as a potential theater of military conflict between Russia and NATO is triggering fresh steps by Finland to modernize its naval forces.

The US Navy will have to pony up and race the clock to avoid a sealift capacity collapse

Defense News – The U.S. surge sealift fleet, the ships needed to transport up to 90 percent of the Army and Marine Corps’ gear if the U.S. had to fight a war against a great power, will be facing a full-blown modernization crisis by the end of the 2020s if the Navy can’t arrest its decline, according to a Navy report send to Congress earlier this year.

Canada Chooses BAE-Lockheed Proposal To Build Frigates Based On U.K.’s Type 26 Design

War Zone – The Canadians have already spent more than a decade working to identify a replacement for their aging Halifax-class frigates.

Peering through the Mists in the Arctic

USNI Blog – The Naval War College convened its second “Newport Arctic Seminar” this week to debate “principles of sea power” that ought to regulate interactions in the polar sea and along adjacent seacoasts…

Japan Is Taking A Two-Step Approach To Fielding Its First Operational Hypersonic Weapons

War Zone – The Japanese are rushing to develop the weapons amid concerns about increasing Chinese encroachment on their territorial claims.

China’s Navy Deploys New H-6J Anti-Ship Cruise Missile-Carrying Bombers

The Diplomat – Based on satellite imagery analysis, Chinese naval aviation has acquired its first four Xian H-6J bombers.

Navy Developing New Mine Countermeasures USV for Littoral Combat Ships

USNI News – Last week Naval Sea Systems Command won Pentagon approval to develop a mine countermeasure unmanned surface vehicle as part of the Navy’s ongoing effort to replace its aging MCM infrastructure.

Iranian Drone Overflights of U.S. Warships in Persian Gulf Now Common

USNI News – U.S. warships operating in the Persian Gulf are now regularly overflown by Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles, adding a new wrinkle to operations in the region.

Atlantico, Brazil’s New Carrier

CIMSEC – Brazil’s new helicopter carrier, PHM Atlantico (A 140), docked in Rio de Janeiro on 25 August 2018 after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, United Kingdom, its former home. The vessel is the new pride and joy of the Brazilian Navy. However, apart from possessing an imposing appearance, how is this vessel useful to Brazil?

Japanese Amphibious Soldiers Hit the Beach in the Philippines with U.S. Marines, 7th Fleet

USNI News – It was no ordinary beach assault when troops took off on amphibious assault vehicles from a U.S. Navy ship and raced ashore in a training exercise with U.S. Marines. That’s because the landing onto a Philippine beach by Japanese soldiers from their AAV-P7/A1 amtracs marked a significant step in bolstering Japan’s capabilities of its nascent Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade.

Will the ‘Bulava’ Submarine-Launched Missile ‘Save Russia’?

National Interest – A return to the days of “duck and cover” in U.S.-Russia relations reflects widespread ignorance of the inherent costs and extraordinary dangers of arms racing in the nuclear age.

Robot War in the South China Sea?

National Interest – The December 2016 drone incident could well be a harbinger of coming attractions.

South China Sea Showdown: What Happens If a U.S. Navy and Chinese Vessel Collide?

National Interest – It might not end peacefully.

South Korea to buy ship-based interceptors to counter ballistic missile threats

Defense News – The South Korean military has decided to buy ship-based SM-3 interceptors to thwart potential ballistic missile attacks from North Korea.

Preliminary F-35C Feedback is Positive, As Formal Operational Testing Begins This Fall

USNI News – The Navy is beginning the formal operational testing of its first stealth aircraft to determine how well the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter performs against stated goals and requirements.

‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war

Defense News – In the event of a major war with China or Russia, the U.S. Navy, almost half the size it was during the height of the Cold War, is going to be busy with combat operations. It may be too busy, in fact, to always escort the massive sealift effort it would take to transport what the Navy estimates will be roughly 90 percent of the Marine Corps and Army gear the force would need to sustain a major conflict.

Fastidious Flattop: Japanese helicopter carrier wages daily war on dirt and grime

Reuters – Japan’s Kaga helicopter carrier is not the biggest, fastest or most powerful warship to sail the seas, but its 500 crew wage a daily war on dirt and grime to keep it the cleanest.

President Trump is helping Beijing win in the South China Sea

Washington Post – Robert D. Kaplan says that there is a direct contradiction between Trump’s aggressive economic nationalism and his administration’s commitment to defend the South China Sea. The South China Sea is not the United States’ home waters; it is China’s. Geography still matters. And because the United States is so far away, its only hope is to offer an uplifting regional vision that anchors its military one.

The Navy’s Terrible Accident Record Is Now Hidden From Public View

The Atlantic – The latest incidence of a government agency quietly removing data from its website demonstrates the dangers of an ever-changing internet.

U.S., NATO Naval Forces Pushing Back Against Russian Harassment

USNI News – U.S. and NATO ships are focused on conducting freedom of navigation operations in Europe to push back against a Russia that is increasingly harassing commercial shipping and introducing new anti-access weapons into the theater.

Drones in Africa: A Leap Ahead for Maritime Security

CIMSEC – The leap-ahead capabilities that unmanned surveillance aircraft could provide to coastal security around Africa are clearly evident. African navies with adequate resources should make acquisition of unmanned air systems a priority. Likewise, western foreign military assistance programs should focus on providing contracted or organic unmanned aircraft capabilities.