Navy Destroyer Modernization Program Could Cost $17B, Take Up to 2 Years Per Hull

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.

Northrop Grumman makes play to add power, space on DDGs for weapons

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.

Andrew Marshall’s Reflections on Net Assessment

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.

Bring Back the Fleet? A Review of NWP-3 Fleet Warfare, Change 1

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.

How the Weak Can Beat the Strong in War at Sea

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.

Sharpening Surface Force Lethality: The Latest in Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training

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.

U.S. Maritime Strategy in the Arctic—Past, Present, and Future

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.