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.

Amid Pacific naval arms race, US defense chief calls for increased funding for ships

Defense News – U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday announced called for increased funding for Navy shipbuilding after a major review of its force structure — but it is unclear where that funding will come from.

Narco Submarine: Coast Guard Stop Smugglers In Pacific

Forbes – The San Diego based Coast Guard cutter Bertholf has interdicted a drug-laden narco-submarine in the Eastern Pacific. These vessels are extremely hard to detect and dangerous to board, but the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and partner forces have stopped at least 19 so far this year. 

(Thanks to Alain)

The Sino-Japanese Maritime Disputes in the East China Sea

CIMSEC – In August 2020 China lifted the annual summer ban on its fleet’s fishing in the East China Sea (ECS). Amid speculation that China may use the opportunity to assert its claim over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, U.S. and Japanese naval forces conducted a joint exercise in the ECS to deter China. While much focus is paid to the Chinese claim of sovereignty over the Senkakus (China calls them Diaoyu), the dispute over the islands is partially nested within a larger dispute over the broader Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ)/Continental Shelf boundary dispute between the two countries. As such, the implications of the islands’ sovereignty over the broader maritime boundary dispute and the respective strategies of China and Japan warrant closer examination.

Will China upgrade its destroyers with ‘carrier killer’ missiles?

South China Morning Post – China’s Type 055 guided-missile destroyers have the potential to be refitted with “aircraft carrier killer” missiles but the weapons would have to be lighter and smaller than existing land-based technology, observers said.

China’s 3rd aircraft carrier ‘progressing smoothly’

Global Times – It has been nearly two years since the Xinhua News Agency revealed that China’s third aircraft carrier was under construction, and recent media reports suggest that work is progressing smoothly and the launch of the warship is near.

China’s New Carrier Early-Warning Plane Is More Than A Hawkeye Clone

Forbes – If the PLAN’s carriers sail east into the Pacific or south to the Indian Ocean they may be vulnerable to air attack. This is because they lack airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. But the new KJ-600 plane is about to change that.

The Advanced Thinking Behind Sweden’s New A-26 Submarine

Forbes – Sweden’s next type of submarine, the A-26 Blekinge Class, promises to take stealth to another level. And not just by even quieter AIP. One of its secret ingredients will be uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs). 

Boats, Budget, and Boots: The Colombian Navy’s Challenges in International Cooperation

CIMSEC – The development of the Colombian Navy in the last decade has revealed an assertive regional naval force with the potential to evolve into a provider of regional security. This vision has materialized under the purpose of becoming a “medium regional force projection navy” with the right tools to exert sea control and cooperate with others to share what the Colombian military has learned during its historical fight against insurgencies and criminals. All of this, however, seems to be at risk…

Marines Placing Small UAVs into Ground Combat Element, As Aviators Still Refining Large UAS Requirement

USNI News – While the Marine Corps is still charting its path forward for large drones, the service is moving smaller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) into its ground combat units.

China Launches Second Carrier Rocket At Sea

Defense-Aerospace – China has for the second time launched a 58-tonne rocket from a civilian naval vessel, demonstrating a new capability and raising the specter that similar launchers could be covertly fitted to “merchant” ships. 

Illegal Fishing in the South Pacific: What Can the Chilean Navy Do?

CIMSEC – The Chilean Navy is more than just a national warfighting force aimed at conventional deterrence. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fires, and tsunamis are all examples of natural disasters that Chile faces in which the Navy is one of the first to provide support. Along with disaster relief and safeguarding life at sea, countering Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of the most economically important duties of the Chilean Navy. IUU fishing is not only a matter of protecting the economy, but it is also a matter of the sustainability of natural resources in the Chilean Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). To tackle IUU, Chile requires creativity, and resourcefulness. The key to accomplishing the task, like for many small- to medium-sized navies, is regional cooperation. 

Sustaining the Undersea Advantage: Transforming Anti-Submarine Warfare Using Autonomous Systems

Hudson Institute – To address the rising submarine threat, US and allied militaries need a new approach to ASW that is more affordable and effective.

China’s Aircraft Carriers and Southeast Asia: Testing Coercive Naval Diplomacy?

CIMSEC – Since the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned its second aircraft carrier, the possibility of utilizing these capital ships for coercive diplomacy is becoming more real. In China’s surrounding areas, Southeast Asia would be most suitable for “carrier diplomacy” regarding the proximity, the relatively weak defenses of the regional countries, and the major territorial disputes in the South China Sea. However, Southeast Asian countries, with their military modernizations and geopolitical circumstances, would not be merely hopeless either.