New Second Fleet To Stay Lean, Unpredictable, Commander Says; & Watching China

Breaking Defense – The Arctic will become increasingly crowded in the coming years, and the US navy;’s Second Fleet is making it a priority to get up there more often.

Early report blames confused watchstanders, possible design flaws for Norway’s sunken frigate

Defense News – Norway’s accident investigation board is raising questions about the watertight integrity of the Nansen-class frigates and is pointing its finger at shipbuilder Navantia in the wake of the collision and subsequent sinking of the frigate Helge Ingstad in early November.

The Navy’s New Jammers For Its EA-18G Growlers Cut Back Their Range More Than The Old Pods

War Zone – The Growlers are sorely in need of the new jamming systems, but the present pod design could create all-new issues.

Zumwalt Close to Losing Gun, But Open to EW and Directed Energy

Breaking Defense – The once-revolutionary prospects of the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyer continue to be whittled away. Having lost some of its touted stealth capabilities and suffered a series of engine and electrical problems, now it’s likely to ditch its long-troubled gun.

Why the Navy thinks the carrier Gerald R. Ford will work after all

Navy Times – The technology glitches plaguing the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, lead ship of the Navy’s next generation of flattops, are getting fixed, officials told lawmakers during a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill.

The Sea of Azov won’t become the new South China Sea (and Russia knows it)

Defense News – Russia’s brazen seizure of three Ukrainian navy ships on Sunday set off a firestorm of finger-pointing and appeals to international law on both sides. But the clash over the Kerch Strait and access to the Sea of Azov isn’t likely to become a long-running international spectacle like the ongoing maritime feud between the U.S. and China over China’s claims in the South China Sea.

Next Navy Force Structure Assessment Unlikely to Alter Plan for 355-Ship Fleet

USNI News – The Navy’s next in-depth look at force structure, due sometime in 2019, is unlikely to alter plans for building a 355-ship fleet, according to the service’s top leaders.

Russia and Ukraine had a short naval battle. Here’s what you need to know

Washington Post – The Nov. 25 skirmish between Russian Border Guard and Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait has escalated tensions not just between the two countries, but also between Russia and NATO.

Yes, Virginia, there is a submarine payload module that could launch drones

C4ISRNet – A new module will outfit the Navy’s Virginia-class submarines with a series of useful tubes waiting to be filled with possibility. New missiles and possibly torpedoes will likely form the bulk of new payloads for the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), but one of the possibilities is as an exit point for vertically berthed underwater uncrewed vehicles, a home and launching point for robots waiting to scout the surrounding sea.

China’s 3rd aircraft carrier under construction, to be equipped with new technologies

Global Times – China’s third aircraft carrier is now under construction, the Xinhua News Agency said via its WeChat public account on early Sunday, with Chinese military experts saying on Monday that the warship is expected to be launched in two and a half years.

Ukrainian Sailors Injured, Held After Russia Seizes Three Warships

USNI News – Russian maritime forces have fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels that were attempting to sail from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov.More than 20 Ukrainian sailors were also detained by Russians – several of them reportedly suffering injuries – after open hostilities erupted on Nov. 25 in the Kerch Strait, which separates Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula from mainland Russia.

U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Brings Care to Venezuela Migrants in Colombia

Reuters – Thousands are set to receive treatment this week from doctors and dentists from United States Navy hospital ship the USNS Comfort.

US Navy steps up training standards following fatal McCain, Fitzgerald collisions

Defense News – In the wake of two tragic collisions that claimed the lives of 17 sailors in 2017, a troubling question arose: What if the U.S. Navy has forgotten how to drive its ships? After the accidents, reviews found shortfalls in training, manning and deployment schedules for forward-deployed Navy ships.

Tension escalates after Russia seizes Ukraine naval ships

BBC – Russia has fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean Peninsula in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries.

U.S. Military Strategy Must Return to the Basics

National Interest – It is time to really match means to ends against specific threats.

Australia, U.S. Set to Expand Papua New Guinea Naval Base

USNI News – The U.S. has announced it will join an Australian effort to push back against China’s expanding presence in South East Asia with the decision join in the modernization of the Lombrum naval base at Manus in Papua New Guinea.

Navy Leaders Say ‘Dynamic Force Employment’ Proving Successful in Truman Deployment

USNI News – The chief of naval operations and the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group leadership said their first deployment under the dynamic force employment (DFE) model sharpened their proficiency in high-end warfare more than expected.

Navy Developing Prompt Global Strike Weapon that Could Launch from Sub or Surface Ship

USNI News – The Navy has stood up a program office within its Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) to address the conventional prompt global strike mission the Pentagon has handed to the sea service.

China Has More Nuclear Subs Than the West Believed

Defense One – Western observers have likely underestimated the number of Chinese nuclear submarines in development, but overestimated how many are operational, a new analysis suggests.

The Fischer Model in the 21st Century

War on the Rocks – American strategists stand to gain a great deal by turning to the model offered by Fisher: seeking sea denial in core regions and maritime preponderance at the periphery. This is the optimal course of action for a maritime power facing a dual-track threat environment.

Rising seas threaten Norfolk Naval Shipyard, raising fears of ‘catastrophic damage’

NBC – Norfolk Naval Shipyard now faces its greatest existential threat: rising seas and extreme weather driven by climate change.

Why France’s Own ‘Tomahawk’ Missile Is In Serious Trouble

National Interest – A bad performance in Syria was just the start.

A Question of Time: Improving Taiwan’s Maritime Deterrence Posture

CIMSEC – A call for Taiwan’s navy to change its current acquisition priorities and embrace an unconventional-asymmetric doctrine of sea denial.

The Chinese vessel we encountered during a fuelling drill

Straits Times – What it is like for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force to operate in the South China Sea.

China Has Built ‘Great Wall of SAMs’ In Pacific

Breaking Defense – From militarized atolls in the South China Sea to a growing Chinese navy looking increasingly aggressive, the head of the Indo-Pacom command lays out his needs and concerns.