Chain of Incidents Involving U.S. Navy Warships in the Western Pacific Raise Readiness, Training Questions

USNI News – The unprecedented string of U.S. surface ship incidents that have resulted in the death of at least seven sailors and hundred of millions in damages is prompting the Navy to take a hard look at how they operate their warships in the Western Pacific.

US Navy ship and oil tanker collide near Singapore

BBC – Ten US Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the US destroyer John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided near Singapore.

Fire Scout UAV Prepares for LCS

Proceedings of the US Naval Institute – The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Northrop Grumman’s Tactical Autonomous Systems business unit are preparing for a second phase of dynamic interface testing for the MQ-8C Fire Scout vertical takeoff unmanned aerial vehicle (VTUAV), to be conducted on board the littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS-9) early next year. The “Charlie” is on track to complete initial operational test and evaluation in late 2018.

Navy to Commission Middle East-based Expeditionary Sea Base Lewis B. Puller as a Warship

USNI News – The Navy will re-designate its first Expeditionary Landing Base ship a warship this week, converting the Military Sealift Command ship USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) into USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) so it can better meet operational needs abroad.

Navy, Raytheon Close to Finalizing Maritime Strike Tomahawk Missile Deal

USNI News – The Navy and Raytheon are close to signing a deal to integrate a new sensor into the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile to allow the missile to attack moving targets at sea.

Admiral Scott Swift on Leadership, Risk, and a Life in the U.S. Navy

CIMSEC – An interview with Admiral Scott Swift, the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Lockheed Studies Sea-Launched Patriot PAC-3 & New 6-Foot Missile

Breaking Defense – Lockheed Martin is studying several new air and missile defense systems, from an all-new six-foot rocket to a ship-launched version of the Patriot missile. In keeping with the military’s emphasis on multi-domain operations that attack old problems from new angles, Lockheed is even looking at launching its Patriot PAC-3 MSE from an aircraft.

Iranian drone comes within 100 feet of US fighter jet in Persian Gulf

ABC – An Iranian drone came within 100 feet of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter jet that was waiting to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier in the central Persian Gulf.

A Thoroughly Efficient Navy for the 21st Century Part 1

CIMSEC – America has grown weary of the post-9/11 wars. Long, drawn-out conflicts have worn down American resolve and left many defense officials nostalgic for “the good-old days” when adversaries were easier to describe and devoted military efforts toward preparing for conventional warfare. Seizing an opportunity, the U.S. Navy has capitalized on growing disillusionment and sought to exaggerate the military challenges posed by an ascendant China for parochial benefit in terms of gaining larger budgets and greater quantities of more expensive ships. The Navy should consider an external strategy review that accounts for efficiency as an aspect of its operating concept. This article reviews America’s current naval strategy and is divided into two parts. Part 1, below, analyzes U.S. naval defense strategy in light of 21st Century national defense threats.

LCS Lives: They Still Count In Age Of Frigates

Breaking Defense – Yes, the Navy has cut short its Littoral Combat Ship program and started work on a bigger, tougher, better-armed frigate. But the small ships will still be big part of the future fleet and the frigate will carry on much of the LCS legacy.

The Defense Secretary’s Peculiar Procurement Priorities

Project on Government Oversight – The Navy accepted and commissioned the USS Gerald R. Ford early to avoid breaking a cost ceiling on it imposed by Congress. “It is now using operations and maintenance dollars to repair a new ship…” Not only isn’t the Ford ready for war, its use of O&M dollars to make her shipshape is sucking money from the Navy’s 10 other carriers, reducing their readiness.

Why It’s Time for the Carrier Battle Group

National Interest – James Holmes says we should do away with the “carrier strike group” and replace it with the “carrier battle group” of old—a formation outfitted generously with warplanes, surface combatants and logistics ships to punish seaborne foes while warding off attack.

Navy Proves High Readiness Levels During Carrier’s Sustainment Phase Leads to Maintenance Savings Later

USNI News – Maintaining very high readiness during a carrier strike group’s post-deployment sustainment phase actually saves the Navy money later on, the service found, despite fears that budget constraints might hinder the Navy from making the most of that time in a ship’s deployment cycle.

U.S. Navy Stealthy Special Operations Boats Are Zooming Around the Middle East

War Zone – In an actual conflict, these boats would discreetly surveil coastlines and help SEALs sneak ashore.

Norfolk Aircraft Carriers Seeing Success in OFRP Schedule, With Truman Out of Maintenance Early

USNI News – Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) completed its maintenance availability two days early, and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) will head into maintenance 10 days early later this month – a major feat, given that only one deployment cycle ago the two carriers had been mixed up in double-pump deployments, truncated maintenance availabilities and an unexpected 24-month repair ordeal. Despite previous struggles on the East Coast to get the aircraft carriers settled back into a healthy routine, Commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic Rear Adm. Bruce Lindsey said his fleet is now successfully executing the 36-month Optimized Fleet Response Plan schedule, thanks to a couple key lessons learned.

Navy Pilot Breaks Silence About Shooting Down Syrian Fighter

Military.com – The first U.S. pilot to notch an air-to-air kill in nearly 20 years, shooting down a Syrian Su-22 Fitter earlier this summer, recently made his first public comments about the experience.

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Starts Operations Against ISIS from the Persian Gulf

USNI News – Fighters from Carrier Air Wing 11 launched from the deck of USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on missions to strike ISIS positions on Monday.

EMALS Fix Finalized To Reduce Stress Put On Heaviest Airplanes During Ford-Class Carrier Launch

USNI News – The Navy completed testing on a software fix for its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) that will allow the heaviest planes to take off with less stress to the airframe.

On Hyperwar

US Naval Institute Proceedings – It is more than a revolution in military affairs; it is a revolution in human affairs.

Drone Wars Are Coming

US Naval Institute Proceedings – The United States must overcome the bureaucratic and technical barriers so it has the superior drones needed to prevail in future combat.

Navy Warships Get New Heavy Missile: 2,500-Lb LRASM

Breaking Defense – It’s a big day for the 2,500-pound Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, LRASM. This morning, contractor Lockheed Martin announced an $86.5 million contract to build the first 23 production missiles – as opposed to test weapons – for use by Navy Super Hornet fighters and Air Force B-1B bombers. Lockheed also announce this afternoon that it had, for the first time, successfully test-fired a modified LRASM from the kind of launchers used on Navy ships.

Experts Outline Costs, Benefits of Building a 355-Ship Navy Before Senate Panel

USNI News – Spending more money now to increase the Navy’s fleet size will signal to potential adversaries their victory at sea is not possible, but accomplishing this is neither cheap nor quick.

Trump Acts To Revitalize America’s Defense Industrial Base

Breaking Defense – President Donald Trump has identified a fact few of his recent predecessors have understood: the Defense Industrial Base of the United States (DIB) is a critical component of our national security. The DIB is more important than any individual weapons program – be it an aircraft carrier, long range bomber, or high-tech tank. But for too long, the DIB has been ignored, mismanaged or even attacked.

Newly Commissioned Carrier Ford’s Leap-Ahead Technology Approach May Be a Thing of the Past

USNI News – Saturday’s commissioning of aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was a celebration of the end of a long and at-times hard road to bring the warship and its many new technologies to the fleet – a path the Navy may not choose to take again.

Navy Issues New MQ-25A Stingray Draft RFP to Industry Ahead of Final RFP in the Fall

USNI News – The Navy issued its latest draft request for proposals for what will be the service’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle.