USNI News – More than two years of lax oversight from leadership on one of the U.S. Navy’s most powerful submarines ultimately led to the grounding of the attack boat on an uncharted, underwater seamount in the South China Sea, according to an investigation into the Oct. 2 incident.
War Zone – After intense public speculation, stacks of official documents obtained via the Freedom Of Information Act, ambiguous statements from top officials, and an avalanche of media attention, it has now been made clear that the mysterious swarming of U.S. Navy ships off the Southern California coast in 2019 was caused by drones, not otherworldly UFOs or other mysterious craft. Raising even more questions, a similar drone swarm event has occurred off another coast, as well.
1945 – James Holmes asks can’t the Littoral Combat Ship be repurposed?
CIMSEC – The U.S. Congress should let the Navy retire its Littoral Combat Ships and shift small-ship missions to services committed to doing them.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps promised a “build a little, test a little, learn a lot” approach to unmanned vessels, and the lessons learned are already leading to some changes.
CIMSEC – Thomas Friedman’s 13 April New York Times opinion piece recounts an interview with John Arquilla, a distinguished former grand strategy instructor at the Naval Postgraduate School. In explaining Ukraine’s impressive military performance in the face of the Russian invasion, Arquilla cites three rules of new age warfare from his book Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare, and their application is quite fitting. If these rules concocted for cyberwarfare apply to ground warfare, might they also apply to warfare at sea? If so, what are the implications?
War Zone – The U.S. Navy is considering tacking a few more operational years onto a number of its aging Ohio class submarines.
Breaking Defense – In interviews with Breaking Defense, lawmakers say they’re concerned about the Navy’s revitalization plan, but still aren’t sold on a fifth public shipyard.
Navy Times – Half of the Navy’s littoral combat ship fleet is suffering from structural defects that have led to hull cracks on several vessels, limiting the speed and sea states in which some ships can operate
CIMSEC – The concept for Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) is based on three bedrock tenets: the distributed force must be hard-to-find, hard-to-kill, and lethal. For decades, the Navy has been focused on and has continuously improved its fleet defense capabilities – the hard-to-kill tenet. And, with the recent increased emphasis on the offense, the Navy is making significant progress in becoming more lethal. In contrast, there is limited evidence of progress with respect to the hard-to-find tenet: the very lynchpin of the DMO concept, and the subject of this article.
CIMSEC – In 2014, before the scale of Chinese naval development was widely appreciated, the Navy reported to Congress a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 near-term requirement of 300 ships for “conducting a large-scale naval campaign in one region while denying the objectives of an opportunistic aggressor in a second region.” In the time since, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) added more than 120 battleforce ships and countless maritime militia – while the U.S. Navy still remains short of the lapsed 300-ship goal, and 57 ships short of its current 355 ship requirement. In the past 20 years the Navy’s ideal battleforce goals have all exceeded 306, but the fleet has not broken 300 ships since 2003.
US Naval War College Review – Using existing assets, it is feasible to lay minefields in the Taiwan Strait to delay any Chinese military movement against Taiwan, providing a crisis-response option more forceful than diplomacy but less risky than kinetic operations. This option must be developed in peacetime to be available to U.S. leaders in a crisis.
US Naval War College Review – A new, twenty-first-century design of the size of USS Midway with an air wing up to sixty-five aircraft, whether conventionally or nuclear powered, could complement larger nuclear flattops while still incorporating rugged survivability and being capable of independent operations—and could be built quicker and cheaper and in more shipyards.
US Naval War College Review – Three ships designed in the 1930s that fought in the Pacific theater during the early months of America’s involvement in World War II represent three different ship design approaches that continue to create dissonance in the U.S. Navy’s current ship-design processes. The Navy must transition to a next-generation surface-combatant-design process to accommodate the future warfighting environment.
CIMSEC – Given that there is an EEZ/high seas corridor in the strait, U.S. ships and aircraft can, and should, do more than just “transit” continuously and expeditiously through the strait and instead should exercise high seas freedoms in the EEZ.
CIMSEC – Rep. Luria writes that the 355-ship Navy appears to be a pipe dream, as fleet size has not surpassed 300 ships since 2002 in the Bush administration. She proposes a way to stop the Navy’s hemorrhaging at an acceptable cost. But what she would prefer most is for the Navy to develop appropriate triage measures itself instead of relying on the Congressional emergency room every year.
War Zone – While not a one-to-one replacement for either of the Navy’s huge medical ships, the new vessels will go places they can’t.
Defense News – Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday mused about a day when the U.S. Navy might be able to buy a dozen or more ships each year. The Navy would be given the funding levels, and the surface ship industrial base would have grown the capacity, to support building three destroyers a year, two or three frigates a year, an amphibious transport dock every other year, and a larger number of supply ships. But as he made clear in his remarks this week, that day is not today.
USNI News – The Navy is rethinking its planned portfolio of unmanned surface vehicles following testing of a variety of USVs in the Middle East, the service’s top officer said on Thursday.
USNI News – Despite recent projections that it would eliminate strike fighter gaps in the next three years, the Navy now won’t have enough jets to train and deploy efficiently until 2031, two lawmakers said today.
War Zone – The puzzling move to shutter the EA-18G expeditionary squadrons that only fly from land may point to new capabilities waiting in the wings.
USNI News – Should Congress allow the Navy to move forward with its plan, the service would decommission 10 cruisers in two years, bringing the cruiser inventory down from 22 ships to 12 by the end of Fiscal Year 2023.
USNI News – Some Nimitz-class aircraft carriers could remain in the fleet longer than previously anticipated.
Navy Lookout – Reliable sources say that HMS Talent is being prepared for disposal with a formal decommissioning ceremony planned for sometime in May. This leaves the RN down to just 5 SSNs in service for at least the next year or more.
Breaking Defense – The Navy plans to cancel the Snakehead high-profile unmanned undersea drone research program following missteps during the design and procurement phases.