– Breaking Defense – What good is a little ship in a big war on a big ocean? It can hide behind islands and in shallow waters, sniping at the enemy fleet — much like the PT boats of World War II or skirmishers in a Napoleonic army. That’s the US Navy’s newest argument for its much-criticized Littoral Combat Ship, and they have evidence to back it up from the latest LCS deployment to the Pacific.
– War Zone – Inside what some would consider the most important vessels in the entire U.S. Navy and the nerve centers of the fleet.
– USNI Proceedings – To chart a course going forward, it is necessary that we understand what went before and how it all went wrong so we can avoid the mistakes that have led us to this place. It is not enough to remedy issues such as the lack of quality sleep available to those who serve in ships, or elapsed and waived certifications, or faulty training in seamanship and navigation. It is not enough to decide that we need to begin transmitting on the automatic identification systems (AIS), or that we should rationalize all of the bridge radars and ship control systems in the fleet, or that we should usurp a captain’s prerogative to write his or her own standing orders. This approach is tantamount to treating the symptoms of an illness instead of addressing the underlying causes. The surface warfare community must determine the answer to the following question: What is the malady that lies behind the symptoms?
– CIMSEC – If we are going to successfully engage adversaries relying on A2/AD strategies, our Navy needs bold and innovative solutions that can successfully counter their attrition focus.
– Breaking Defense – As the overstressed surface fleet struggles to rebuild its readiness for great power war, it’s adding a whole new type of training exercise called SWATT. Modeled on the Top Gun program for naval aviators — Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training involves mock sea battles of increasing complexity against other surface ships, submarines, and aircraft.
– War on the Rocks – The 2017 National Security Strategy is a statement of Trump administration priorities, and its central tenets can be directly traced to statements made by Donald Trump on the campaign trail, albeit now framed in more genteel terms. National security experts are busily analyzing the strategy to discern its insights, pivots, oversights, inconsistencies, and priorities. This essay, however, concerns itself solely with the strategy’s implications for American seapower.
– USNI Proceedings – The TacAir Navy has a pilot retention problem. Money isn’t the only reason, but it’s a contributor.
– Breaking Defense – The Littoral Combat Ship is finally about to get the capabilities envisioned for it at the start, 15 years ago.
– Defense News – It’s been more than a year since the Navy decided to cancel procurement of an expensive new ammunition for its Zumwalt-class destroyers, but the service is still pondering how to best replace the munition.
– CIMSEC – Professor John Kuehn’s new book, America’s First General Staff: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of the General Board of the U.S. Navy, 1900-1950, is a detailed and fascinating look at how the U.S. Navy’s General Board began at the turn of the 20th century and evolved into what would become the core of U.S. naval planning and strategy.
– War Zone – The Navy talks big surface fleet dreams but it is going to take some serious planning and tough decision making to realize those dreams.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy will test a new laser weapon aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious ship Portland as early as this fall.
– Defense News – Two lawmakers who oversee defense policy took aim at a years-long walk-back of U.S. Navy transparency, calling on the Navy to declassify ship inspection results and end an information chill spurred by U.S. Navy and Defense Department memos over the past year.
– USNI News – The Navy is working on adding a number of anti-surface weapons to an unmanned surface vehicle that so far has been used as a passive platform for mine countermeasures.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s top surface warfare officer has said the military must ease the burden on the service if it’s to fix issues that came to light after a pair of collisions that took the lives of 17 sailors last summer.
– Breaking Defense – Despite collisions this summer that killed 17 sailors and called into question basic seamanship skills, the Navy is undergoing a ‘renaissance’ in high-end warfighting capabilities, the commander of Naval Surface Forces says. New weapons, improved training, and a growing cadre of surface warfare specialists — veritable “Jedis” — are making the fleet more lethal more quickly than he’d expected, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden told reporters ahead of the Surface Navy Association conference here.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s surface fleet is developing a new class of ship that will replace the cruisers — but it’s not another cruiser.
– Breaking Defense – By the end of March, the Navy will award four to six contracts for “conceptual” designs of a future frigate. That ship that must cost under $950 million, have “Grade A shock hardening” on key systems to survive blasts, and carry at least 16 Vertical Launch System cells to defend itself and nearby vessels.
– War Zone – The images give us our first view of the entire aircraft, as well as a sense of its overall scale.
– Defense News – The fact that USS Mobile Bay at 30 is one of the most advanced ships in the fleet speaks volumes about the care the Navy puts into its ships, but the good times are only going to last for so long. Mobile Bay is rapidly approaching its 35-year service life and it needs work.
– Defense News – Defense News sat down with the Navy’s top surface warfare officer, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, at his Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters in San Diego, California, to discuss the past year and look ahead to 2018.
– Defense News – Both Huntington Ingalls Industries and Bath Iron Works have signed on to build Flight III DDGs — DDG 125 will be the first one, built at Ingalls in Mississippi, followed by DDG 126 at Bath Iron Works — but questions linger about whether entering into a multiyear contract on what is almost a new class of ship invites delays and cost overruns.
– Breaking Defense – In 2017, the Navy and Marine Corps hit the wall, with an string of deadly accidents on the sea and in the air. In 2018, we’ll see whether the overstressed sea services start saying “no” to missions.
– USNI News – Houthi forces have captured a U.S. Navy research unmanned underwater vehicle off the coast of Yemen.