– Breaking Defense – President Trump and the US Navy want a 355-ship fleet, but even if you double shipbuilding budgets compared to historic levels, it can’t be done until 2032, at least 12 years after the end of Trump’s current term of office.
– Navy Times – In early April, officials at U.S. Pacific Command were developing plans to respond to a sharp rise in tensions with North Korea. Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered PACOM Commander Adm. Harry Harris to come up with “robust and sustainable” options for North Korea if President Trump ordered a strike on the rogue regime.
– BBC – The USS Michigan has arrived in South Korea, amid worries of another North Korean missile or nuclear test.
– Breaking Defense – The Navy needs to delay a year before awarding the roughly $9 billion contract for the upgraded frigate version of the Littoral Combat Ship, because it needs more time to thrash out cost estimates and detailed designs, says congressional watchdog GAO.
– The Intercept – The Snowden documents reveal scope of secrets exposed to China in 2001’s EP-3 incident.
– Warzone – Under the new administration the Navy could maximize a planned budget increase and tailor its force to 21st century demands.
– USNI News – The Navy is considering increasing its future frigate’s anti-air firepower and may open up the frigate design competition to hulls beyond the current two small surface combatants.
– The Drive – We talk with a P-8 pilot about how the jet is rapidly maturing into one of the Pentagon’s most versatile and in-demand assets—one that has now been deployed to most of the major hotspots around the globe.
– Navy Times – The head of naval aviation has extended a three-day grounding of all the Navy’s T-45 training jets indefinitely after a group of instructor pilots refused to fly the aircraft.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy is taking a hard look at upgrading its future frigates to protect other ships from anti-air threats in addition to defending against undersea and surface enemies. The move would be a significant enhancement in the effort to develop a frigate from existing littoral combat ship designs.
– BBC – The US military has ordered the USS Carl Vinson Strike Group to move towards the Korean peninsula, amid growing concerns about North Korea’s missile programme.
– Breaking Defense – How much firepower can fit on the Navy’s smallest warship? With the Chinese and Russian navies on the rise, American admirals want more “distributed lethality” from everything in the fleet, especially the controversial Littoral Combat Ship.
– BBC – The US has carried out a missile strike against a Syrian air base in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town. Fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two US Navy ships in the Mediterranean.
– Breaking Defense – In their desperation to convince Congress that budget gridlock hurts military readiness, Navy officials made public some information that they shouldn’t have, Acting Secretary Sean Stackley told reporters here today. It’s this oversharing of readiness data, along with overly detailed talk about future capabilities, that prompted the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, to issue a March 1 memorandum (below) urging all naval personnel “to ensure we are not giving away our competitive edge by sharing too much information publicly.”
– Defense News – Just about everybody in and around the U.S. Navy agrees there is a pressing need to build a bigger fleet. Just about nobody agrees on a way to get there.
– FlightGlobal – A new torpedo upgrade that will fundamentally change the way US Navy airmen hunt submarines is on track to seek approval to begin low-rate initial production later this year.
– USNI News – The Navy has completed testing on potential solutions to solve a ‘must fix’ catapult launch problem on the carrier version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter,
– CIMSEC – A conversation examining the competition between A2/AD technology and the Air-Sea Battle concept in the Western Pacific.
– Reuters – U.S. President Donald Trump says he wants to build dozens of new warships in one of the biggest peace-time expansions of the U.S. Navy. But interviews with ship-builders, unions and a review of public and internal documents show major obstacles to that plan.
– Second Line of Defense – The USN is approaching the P-8/Triton combat partnership, which is the integration of manned, and unmanned systems, or what are now commonly called “remotes”. The Navy looked at the USAF experience and intentionally decided to not build a Triton “remote” operational combat team that is stovepiped away from their P-8 Squadrons. The teams at Navy Jax and Pax River are building a common Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Combat Culture and treats the platforms as partner applications of the evolving combat theory.
– Defense News – The luster is off a bit for the Virginia-class submarine building program, long considered a model US Navy construction effort that routinely brings down the building time and cost for each successive sub. One submarine has just missed its contract delivery date — pushed back even more when sea trials were halted to return to port — and shipbuilders are working harder to keep construction on schedule.
– Breaking Defense – The usefulness of the aircraft carrier, long the centerpiece of American naval power in the world, was in serious question, one year ago. Chronic underfunding, poor strategic assumptions and bad acquisition decisions had left the carrier defensively unprotected and offensively underpowered as its airwing both shrank in size and striking range. President Trump’s election and his public commitment to a 350-ship Navy as well as his explicit call for a twelfth carrier, effectively truncates these concerns, bringing the promise of additional capabilities that will ensure the safety and effectiveness of the carrier.
– War is Boring – The U.S. Navy is quietly converting a 633-foot-long cargo ship into a secretive helicopter carrier with facilities for supporting a large contingent of Special Operations Forces and all their gear, including jet skis.
– Honolulu Star-Advertiser – In 2010, when rubberlike quieting material started to peel off the hulls of newer Virginia-class submarines, the Navy said it was fine-tuning a fix for a problem occurring on the first few ships made. Seven years later, the Navy still appears to be seeking a cure.
– Stars and Stripes – It’s the end of an era for Navy patrol squadrons that have flown the sub-hunting and surveillance P-3 Orion out of Hawaii for more than half a century. The final three planes of Patrol Squadron 9, or VP-9, are expected to wing away from Kaneohe Bay by week’s end with about 60 crew and maintainers on a deployment that started in Hawaii but will end at the squadron’s new home at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington.