USNI News – The plan to upgrade the Navy’s fleet of Flight IIA Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers with new radars and electronic warfare suites is estimated to cost about $17 billion and take anywhere from a year and a half to two years to upgrade each warship. The service has been working for the last several years to develop a plan to back fit about 20 Flight IIAs with the AN/SLQ-32(V)7 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program Block 3, the AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar and the Baseline 10 version of the Aegis Combat System.
USNI News – The Pentagon’s emerging technologies research arm awarded two aviation companies contracts to develop seaplanes that would fly less than 100 feet off the ground and carry 90 tons of cargo more than 6,500 nautical miles.
Breaking Defense – An earlier Air/Sea battle concept was a good start but weakened through forced parochial jointness to include other services that were not ready to contribute.
CIMSEC – The Department of Defense is projected to need on the order of one hundred tankers of various sizes in the event of a serious conflict in the Pacific. The DoD currently has access it can count on – assured access – to less than ten.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy is close to declaring initial operational capability on its second and final Littoral Combat Ship mission package, the mine countermeasures package, as it awaits a final report from the service’s test and evaluation office.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s next-generation destroyer is slated to provide more space and power for new weapons that today’s Arleigh Burke destroyers cannot accommodate — but the DDG(X) program continues to be delayed. With those new weapons needed now, Northrop Grumman is pitching a way to free up space and weight on existing ships for additions like lasers and microwave weapons.
USNI News – A look at the simulators used by the US Navy to train crews of the littoral combat ships.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy will immediately suspend submarine repair work at four dry docks in Washington state, following new concerns about their ability to withstand seismic activity.
Breaking Defense – Little is known about the details of the newly unveiled B-21 bomber, but IISS’s Ben Ho writes that from what we know, its mission set could expand to the sea.
CIMSEC – Today, who is making sure that the U.S. Navy is asking the right questions? Who is defining the vocabulary and the intellectual infrastructure of how we think about our contemporary challengers? And are we learning from each other, and developing the next generation of analysts who will be creative and intelligent enough to do the deep work, “read everything,” and come up with creative new ideas rather than rehashing old models? Andy Marshall believed in focusing on finding the right questions and defining their parameters. In Reflections on Net Assessment, naval and national security practitioners and analysts can still learn a great deal from Yoda in his own words, if we do the reading and remain reality-based in our search for wisdom in confronting the challenges of the 21st century.
Defense News – U.S. Fleet Forces Command is working on an initiative to make destroyers more independent of carrier strike groups during the deployment phase of the Navy’s force-generation plan, even as Naval Surface Forces is working to make them more operationally available in the sustainment phase that follows.
CIMSEC – The Navy recently issued Change 1 to one of its key new doctrine books, Navy Warfare Publication 3, Fleet Warfare. The change was issued to update the definitions of a number of key terms to keep them in accordance with joint doctrine. The issuing command, the Navy Warfare Development Center, says “Ultimately, Change 1 to NWP-3 enhances fleet-centric warfighting effectiveness through establishing a framework for the execution of fleet warfare at the operational level of warfare.” Certainly there is an advantage to maintaining consistency across the services in the definition of terms, but NWP-3’s contribution to warfighting effectiveness is less than it could be due to its generic approach to the subject. Granted, it is an unclassified publication, but nonetheless, it could have offered more practical detail on the evolving nature of the Navy’s approach to warfighting. An unclassified practical framework would be vital to operationalizing the Navy’s renewed emphasis on fleet-level warfare.
USNI News – First the fighter, then the destroyer and finally the submarine. That’s the order the Navy is set to introduce its next three major acquisition programs in the 2030s, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said last week.
War Zone – TF59 and its regional allies hope to deploy a fleet of 100 unmanned vessels by this summer as it works toward building a ‘Digital Ocean.’
Defense News – The U.S. Navy is firming up plans for the Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel, after previously questioning the need or utility of the system.
USNI News – The Navy could deploy the aluminum hull, Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship to the Middle East as part of a future mine-countermeasures force in U.S. Central Command.
USNI News – U.S. Fleet Forces is rethinking how to deploy carrier strike groups by changing how it would train and maintain its guided-missile destroyers.
Defense News – Following a budget that yielded a record-breaking $31.5 billion in shipbuilding funds for the U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday has one message to ship construction yards: “Pick up the pace.”
Defense News – The U.S. Navy wants to keep nearly half its surface fleet in a deployable state, as it aims to raise the overall readiness of the force in case it’s called upon to fight.
Breaking Defense – Long-range missiles, missile defenses, and robotic ships will be essential adjuncts to the big, expensive “Death Stars” that dominate the Navy budget, says Bryan Clark of the Hudson Institute.
Defense News – As ship maintenance metrics improve from a recent low, but remain inadequate, according to naval officials — the sea service is poised to establish “surface groups” meant to renew the Navy’s focus on maintenance and training.
US Naval War College Review – Modern asymmetric naval technologies have not erased the effects of geography. As fortress fleets evolved from dominating harbors to dominating near-sea expanses, weaker naval powers continued to blend the land with the sea to overcome their relative weakness. In response, the stronger naval power must stand ready to win command of the sea through an equally blended strategy.
USNI Proceedings – In naval warfare, a smaller fleet of superior quality ships is not a way to victory. The side with the most ships almost always wins.
CIMSEC – CIMSEC had the opportunity to ask Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) of the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) about the evolution of the Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) events. These events are some of the most advanced combat training events surface units experience, and play a critical role in preparing units for high-end operations. In this discussion, the WTIs highlight how SWATT events are becoming more advanced, what core principles undergird the learning experience, and how Sailors and WTIs are growing from these events.
US Naval War College Review – Warming waters and melting sea ice will create new challenges off our northern shores, and the Navy and Marine Corps must be prepared to provide a presence in the Arctic that will ensure peace and prosperity in the face of aggressive Russian militarization and expanding Chinese interest. Lessons from America’s Arctic past can illuminate what needs to be done.