Fiction Week

CIMSEC – Last week CIMSEC featured 6 fictional short stories related to the near-future of warfare at sea, that provide you with new ways to think about that topic. Highly recommended!

Small Aircraft Carriers: RAND Report Won’t Convince McCain

Breaking Defense – The fleet needs smaller, cheaper aircraft carriers than the badly over budget, behind schedule Gerald Ford, ex-Navy pilot John McCain has long argued. No way, “Bigger Aircraft Carriers Are Better,” declares a recent National Interest article – widely publicized by the carrier industry’s advocacy group, ACIBC – citing a study that RAND did for the Navy. But McCain is unlikely to be convinced, and RAND actually thought at least one kind of smaller carrier was worth considering.

U.S. carrier patrols off Korean peninsula in warning to Pyongyang

Reuters – The USS Ronald Reagan, a 100,000-ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier, patrolled in waters east of the Korean peninsula on Thursday, in a show of sea and air power designed to warn off North Korea from any military action.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin Moving Forward with Navy XLUUV Acquisition Program

USNI News – The Navy selected Boeing and Lockheed Martin to pursue the Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV) program, which will test the Navy’s ability to manage a rapid-acquisition project and the Navy-industry team’s ability to develop and integrate an unmanned system that operates completely independently of manned ships.

Influential congressman calls on Navy to extend lives of oldest cruisers

Defense News – The Navy’s oldest cruisers have a friend in Congress. The influential head of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee is calling on the Navy to enter its oldest 11 cruisers into a service-life extension program rather than retire them at the end of their 35-year hull life in the coming years.

The Ultimate Stealth Ship

CIMSEC – When one thinks of a stealth ship, images of the Chinese Type 055 destroyer, the French La Fayette-class frigate, or Swedish Visby-class corvette come to mind. The use of material and technology to produce a smaller radar cross-section or to reduce sound and electronic emissions are all common attributes of what is commonly considered a stealth ship. Yet, if one was to ask what is the stealthiest ship in the U.S. Navy, the answer may prove surprising. It is not USS Zumwalt, the newest destroyer in the fleet. It is also not the most recent Virginia or Seawolf-class submarine, and it most assuredly is not one of the littoral combat ships. The ship that holds this title is not even a commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy, or owned by the government, but leased from one of the largest ship operators in the world. MV Ocean Trader, chartered by the Military Sealift Command for the U.S. Special Operations Command, most assuredly holds this title.

‘I now hate my ship’: Surveys reveal disastrous morale on cruiser Shiloh

Navy Times – Amazing comments from three command climate surveys taken on the cruiser Shiloh during Capt. Adam M. Aycock’s recently-completed 26-month command. The Japan-based ship is a vital cog in U.S. ballistic missile defense and the 7th Fleet’s West Pacific mission to deter North Korea and counter ascendant Chinese and Russian navies.

Navy to Surge USS Monterey, USS O’Kane for BMD Operations to Cover Ships Sidelined in Collisions

USNI News – The Navy is surging two guided-missile warships to cover gaps left by two ballistic missile defense-capable destroyers that were damaged in collisions with merchant ships.

General Atomics Is the First to Show Off Its MQ-25 Drone Tanker Design

War Zone – The US Navy has sent out the final request for proposals and expects to pick a winning aircraft in September 2018.

Navy Declares COBRA Coastal Mine Detection System Operational After Successful Test

USNI News – The Navy completed the first phase of its initial operational test and evaluation on the AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) airborne mine detection system and is awaiting Littoral Combat Ship availability to complete the remaining testing.

USNS Dreadnaught: A Combat Logistics Force for 21st Century Warfare

CIMSEC – Aggressive recapitalization of the Combat Logistics Force (CLF) is needed because the Navy’s current logistics force structure is unprepared to support a distributed fleet in a fight against a peer competitor.

The U.S. Navy will start losing its largest surface combatants in 2020

Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s surface fleet will start losing some its biggest guns in 2020 at a two-per-year clip.

The US Army Is Buying New Boats to Replace Vietnam-Era Landing Craft

War Zone – The service’s little known fleet is important to operations around the world, but is sorely in need of new watercraft.

Fixing a Navy in crisis: A conversation with House Seapower Chairman Rep. Rob Wittman

Defense News – Congress has also taken notice of the Navy’s continuing problems. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., the chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, traveled to Japan to visit the fleet and speak with Navy leaders and sailors about what Congress can do to help get the service back on track. Upon returning, he sat down with Defense News naval reporter David Larter to talk about the trip.

US Navy worked around its own standards to keep ships underway

Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s top officer in the Pacific is reviewing a program that allowed ships from the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet to operate with expired certifications amid a wide-ranging probe into two deadly collisions that killed 17 sailors and caused untold hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to two destroyers.

What Would the Athenians Think of Recent U.S. Navy Mishaps?

National Interest – The Greeks took official accountability too far. The U.S. Navy might not take it far enough.

The Real Story of the USS Ponce as the American Sea Base Sails Into Retirement

War Zone – One of the U.S. Navy’s most unique ships, the USS Ponce, has returned home to the United States after spending more than five years as a floating base in and around the Arabian Sea. Though she was the subject of intense public interest during that time, thanks to internal histories The War Zone obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, we can tell the story of a ship that went from being infested with bugs and headed to the scrap heap to a hub for conventional and special operations elements in the Middle East that helped set the stage for an all-new classes of ships.

The US Navy Has Created Its First Ever Underwater Drone Squadron

War Zone – The U.S. Navy has created its first ever dedicated underwater drone unit, Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron One, or UUVRON 1, splitting it off from a secretive submarine unit in the process. The decision highlights the steadily growing importance of unmanned craft within the service, which hopes to have dedicated operational unmanned undersea elements by the end of the decade, and across the U.S. military in general.

A Thoroughly Efficient Navy For The 21st Century Part 2

CIMSEC – This article reviews America’s current naval strategy and is divided into two parts. Previously, Part 1 analyzed U.S. naval defense strategy in light of 21st Century national defense threats. Part 2 will recommend changes to the Navy’s force structure to gain significant cost savings while still satisfying America’s naval defense requirements.

Navy Racing to Test, Field Unmanned Maritime Vehicles for Future Ships

USNI News – With unmanned vehicles integral to the future of the Littoral Combat Ship, the Future Surface Combatant and the next-generation SSN(X) attack submarine, the Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office is testing as many unmanned vehicles – both programs of record and prototypes alike – as fast as it can to learn lessons and field systems to the fleet.

After Deadly Collisions Navy will Broadcast Warship Locations in High Traffic Areas

USNI News – Following this year’s pair of deadly collisions between U.S. guided missile destroyers and merchant ships, the Navy is now considering whether it’s surface fleet is often too stealthy.

Navy Stands Up Naval Surface Group Western Pacific To Train, Certify Forward-Deployed Surface Ships After Recent Collisions

USNI News – The Navy is creating a new Naval Surface Group Western Pacific to train and certify forward-deployed surface ships operating out of Japan and has begun additional readiness assessments and certifications, after four surface ship collisions and groundings in the region that killed 17 sailors this year.

Navy Poised to Order Second Vessel for ACTUV Sea Hunter Test Program

USNI News – The U.S. Navy is preparing to take full control of the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program and procure a second craft. A third might also be built as the Office of Naval Research (ONR) starts to evaluate additional roles for the autonomous wave-piercing trimaran design.

McCain Collision Is Dry Run For Navy Cyber Investigators

Breaking Defense – The Navy is making cyber investigations automatic after any mishap, starting with the at-sea collision that killed 10 sailors aboard the USS McCain. They don’t expect to find any evidence of a cyber attack this time, admirals emphasize, but they’re using the McCain as a test case.

Why did one of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced subs return to port with a pirate flag?

Washington Post – An image posted to a Pentagon media site and tweeted by Scottish journalist Ian Keddie shows the USS Jimmy Carter, a Seawolf-class nuclear-powered submarine, returning to her home port in Washington Tuesday flying the American flag alongside the unmistakable pirate skull and crossed bones, known as the Jolly Roger.