– Global Times – Questions have been raised over whether there will be large-scale novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections on a deployed US warship after the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt reported three confirmed cases on Tuesday in what is believed to be the first such COVID-19 case on the deployed warship.
– Naval News – French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that French Navy Mistral-class LHDs Mistral and Dixmude will be deployed to Reunion Island and the Caribbean in support of the Coronavirus relief efforts. These new deployments will take place as part of the new operation “Résilience”.
– Defense News – Amid heightened tension with Iran, the U.S. Navy is operating two carriers in the Middle East, and all signs point to increasing pressure from U.S. Central Command to maintain aircraft carrier presence that has ebbed in recent years as the U.S. focuses on competition with China and Russia.
– Bloomberg – New toilets on the Navy’s two newest aircraft carriers clog so frequently that the ships’ sewage systems must be cleaned periodically with specialized acids costing about $400,000 a flush, according to a new congressional audit outlining $130 billion in underestimated long-term maintenance costs.
– Barents Observer – The K-157 “Vepr” is first of five upgraded Akula-class subs that are about to return to active duty in the Barents Sea.
– Naval News – Borei-A-class SSBN of project 955A will operate in the Far East. Five out of eight submarines will serve in the Pacific fleet. The Russian Navy is restoring the Far Eastern nuclear arsenal which was nearly lost thirty years ago.
– USNI News – The Marine Corps will soon lay out its path to achieve a 2030 force optimized for conflict with China in the littorals – a force that will completely divest of its tanks and slash most of its artillery cannon battalions, instead focusing on developing light mobility options to get around island chains with the assistance of unmanned systems and mobile anti-ship missiles.
– The Hill – James Holmes writes that last week Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations or America’s top naval officer, released a video message reviewing precautions the service has taken to fend off the coronavirus. Chief among them: enlisting water as a barrier against contagion. Themistocles’ fleet staged a waterborne defense of land against human antagonists; the U.S. Navy fleet can defend its crews from landborne pestilence by remaining at sea. It can self-isolate.
– Guardian – For years, they were referred to in hushed tones simply as “Big Foot” – a mythical creature rumored but never seen – but these days, the narco-submarines used by Colombia’s drug cartels have become almost commonplace.
– Newsweek – William Arkin writes that with the National Guard now active in 22 states and governors continuing to declare more severe emergency measures daily, the U.S. military is preparing forces to assume a larger role in the coronavirus response, including the controversial mission of quelling “civil disturbances” and enforcing the law, a mission that the military has not engaged in for almost 30 years.
– Naval News – 2020 continues to see explosive boats being launched against tanker traffic in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea area. They also pose a threat to warships, particularly of the Saudi-led coalition. This represents a persistent threat to International SLOCs (Sea Lines of Communication) in the Southern Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb strait, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. The threat can exist over 100 nautical miles off the coast.
– National Interest – James Holmes writes: Note to China and Russia: despite appearances, the time of coronavirus may not be an opportune time for you to chisel away at America’s global standing.
– AFP – The United States announced Friday it has successfully tested an unarmed prototype of a hypersonic missile, a nuclear-capable weapon that could accelerate the arms race between superpowers.
– Naval News – The French Navy is about to deploy its Mistral-class LHD “Tonnerre” to the Island of Corsica in a mission to evacuate several Coronavirus / COVID19 patients towards mainland France.
– Naval News – The main missions of big-displacement warships armed with a major number of missiles is to provide air defense to warship formations and deliver missile strikes at sea and coastal targets.
– Naval News – Open sources reported in July 2018 that it had been decided to take a break in the creation of a prospective destroyer (heavy nuclear missile cruiser) of project 23560. A publication in February 2020 in FlotProm online media outlet did not add anything new.
– Global Times – Chinese military experts on Tuesday suggested the use of non-lethal electromagnetic weapons, including low-energy laser devices, in expelling US warships that have been repeatedly intruding into the South China Sea in the past week.
– Congressional Research Service – Latest report as of March 18, 2020.
– Naval News – The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned today its first Maya-class AEGIS Destroyer at Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) Isogo shipyard in Yokohama. JS Maya まや (DDG-179) joins the JMSDF’s Escort Flotilla 1, based in Yokosuka.
– USNI Blog – Toss out your plans to get to 355.
– War Zone – A lack of investment has left America’s N95 stockpile hollowed out. Meanwhile, the U.S. will spend $738 billion on weapons and war-fighting this year.
– USNI News – The Pentagon is starting the process of activating Navy hospital ships USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) as part of the Defense Department’s domestic response to the spreading COVID-19 virus.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy is backing away from the idea of a classwide service-life extension project for the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, but is leaving open the possibility to upgrade some of its workhorse surface combatant.
– War on the Rocks – China’s Spratly Island outposts’ offer Beijing decisive information superiority against any challenger in the South China Sea. Their primary purpose is not military power projection and the deployment of weapons, but information power. The Chinese bases’ main contribution is to facilitate substantial command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities in the South China Sea.
– CDR Salamander – Bryan McGrath opines on the USMC’s recent decisions on unmanned air systems.