Now Both Aircraft Carriers In The Western Pacific Have COVID-19 Cases, Raising Readiness Concerns

War Zone – Two sailors onboard the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which forward-deployed in Japan and presently pier-side there, have tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This comes just a day after the U.S. Navy announced it had quarantined the entire crew of another aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on their ship in port in Guam after a number of sailors contracted the virus.

Nearly 4 years after commissioning, the US Navy is about to get a fully working stealth destroyer

Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s first stealth destroyer, the Zumwalt, is on track to have its combat system installation completed and delivered within days.

In the Pacific, a COVID-19 outbreak sidelines deployed aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt

Navy Times – To combat a growing outbreak of COVID-19 on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy has ordered the ship to pull into Guam and have the whole crew of 5,000-plus sailors tested for the novel coronavirus.

Will US aircraft carrier become next Diamond Princess?

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.

With Iran tensions high, a US military command pushes a dubious carrier strategy

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.

Unclogging Toilets at $400,000 a Flush Hits Navy’s Costs

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.

US Navy must stay at sea and stay vigilant to defeat coronavirus

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.

Pentagon successfully tests hypersonic missile

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.

Pentagon Preparing Navy Hospital Ships Mercy, Comfort for Coronavirus Response

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.

Cost of upgrading Arleigh Burke destroyers may not be worth it, says US Navy

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.

Two Carriers & Marine Amphib Converge On Mid East; Patriots Too

Breaking Defense – Two American aircraft carriers are sailing in the Middle East for the first time since 2012, a deployment which joins a large new Marine force and the repositioning of Patriot batteries to Iraq. The movements are part of a broad realignment of forces reflecting the deepening American effort to keep Iran in check.

SecNav Details Gaps Between Navy & Pentagon Shipbuilding Plans

Breaking Defense – Frustrated with Pentagon-run war games that contributed to the Defense Secretary taking over the Navy’s shipbuilding plans, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on Tuesday said be believes planners should not have added a phantom 12th aircraft carrier to the mix, an extra ship the Navy won’t have until the 2060s.

Lockheed Martin To Integrate Layered Laser Defense Weapon Aboard LCS

Naval News – Lockheed Martin received an Office of Naval Research (ONR) contract to integrate a prototype Layered Laser Defense (LLD) weapon system aboard a U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

Navy Mulling Taking Sailors off Forward Deployed Ships as Part $40B Savings Drive

USNI News – Manning forward-deployed ships with fewer sailors, making less carrier strike groups available to deploy and reducing the size of command staffs are moves the Navy is considering as part of its drive to reduce $40 billion from its budget, according to a February memo outlining the cuts under consideration.

Evolving Mine Warfare

USNI Blog – Redefining what a mine is, across the services, is an important step to ensure that the wealth of creativity and expertise in the technical and operational community are taken advantage of.

Amazing: The Navy’s New Undersea Sonar and Laser Can Quickly Find Enemy Mines

National Interest – The growing modern mine threat is so significant, that the Navy has been fast-tracking a wide range of new countermine attack and defense strategies. The approach is focused on both littoral mine fields as well as higher-tech deep water mines associated with threats posed by great powers as well, according to senior service leaders.

(Thanks to Alain)

Don’t Buy Hype Out of the Military-Industrial Complex

National Interest – As Richard Feynman might advise: make caveat emptor your motto when sizing up new concepts. If a hypothesis doesn’t undergo rigorous tests, and if it doesn’t perform well . . . it’s wrong.

Navy Kicks Off Study of Next-Generation Carriers, Naval Aviation

USNI News – Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly is commissioning a six-month study on the future of the aircraft carrier and carrier-based aviation, the Navy announced today.

Sonar Equipped Drone Fleets Could be Key to Future Submarine Warfare

USNI News – The future of anti-submarine warfare for countries who can’t afford to invest in top-of-the-line submarines and maritime patrol aircraft could be a netted fleet of unmanned platforms that can create “passive acoustic barriers” at chokepoints or drag towed arrays through a country’s territorial waters.

Destroyers left behind: US Navy cancels plans to extend service lives of its workhorse DDGs

Defense News – In a move with sweeping consequences for the US Navy’s battle force, the service is canceling plans to add 10 years to the expected service lives of their stalwart destroyer fleet, a cost-savings measure that would almost certainly hamper plans to grow the size of the fleet.

The Navy’s Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers To Be Armed With Hypersonic Weapon Interceptors

War Zone – The U.S. military is developing an interceptor intended to knock down hypersonic boost-glide vehicles specifically for deployment on U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class destroyers equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system.

The Number of Mines is Less Than Infinity

CIMSEC – Mine countermeasures are actions intended to reduce the risk that mines pose to transiting vessels. Risk is defined as the probability that a transiting vessel will incur mission abort damage from a mine detonation if it travels along a predetermined route through the potentially mined area. The purpose of an MCM operation is to lower the risk so it is safer to transit. The estimation of risk is critically important to determine if the level of risk to a transiting vessel is acceptable and if the applied effort is effectively lowering the risk.