Navy Plans Hammerhead Mines To Box In Chinese, Russian Subs

Breaking Defense – The Navy is inching closer to fielding a new anti-submarine mine designed to deploy from underwater drones and loiter for weeks at a time around critical chokepoints, looking for enemy submarines to sink.

The US Navy’s stealth destroyer conducts its first missile test

Defense News – The Navy’s first stealth destroyer, USS Zumwalt, test fired an SM-2 missile out of its MK 57 vertical launch system Oct. 13.

Unmanned Systems Could Track and Fight Submarines At Less Cost Than Manned Ships, Planes

USNI News – A new report from the Hudson Institute, Sustaining the Undersea Advantage: Disrupting Anti-Submarine Warfare Using Autonomous Systems, outlines a potential use for unmanned surface, undersea and aerial vehicles: to help track and even engage with a swarm of enemy submarines.

Navy Claims Victories in Modernizing Public Yards While Congress Questions Pace

USNI News – While service officials have pointed to the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) as a way the Navy is pushing for modernization and efficiency in its yards and facilities to enhance throughput and readiness, some lawmakers have voiced concerns about the plan’s timeline.

Bringing Congress to the (Wargaming) Table for a Bigger and Better Navy

War on the Rocks – When not in the midst of a pandemic, members of Congress and high-level defense officials travel all over the world and attend all sorts of fancy conferences. Some of these trips are valuable, others less so. None of these trips are as important as the wargame that should take place in Newport in early 2021. Done right, 72 hours with members of Congress and defense leaders locked in a room together examining maps, strategy, forces, and assumptions could bring about the oft-promised naval rebuild that, until now, has yet to materialize. Now that the Pentagon finally has a plan, it is time for Congress to pull up a chair and join it at the table.

The US Navy’s ‘Manhattan Project’ has its leader

Defense News – The US Navy’s top officer has tasked a former surface warfare officer turned engineering duty officer to create a powerful, all-connecting network service leaders believe they will need to fight and win against a high-end foe such as China.

Sustaining the Submarine Force’s Competitive Edge

USNI Proceedings – At a time when the U.S. Navy faces intense competition from peer and near-peer adversaries, the submarine force still provides a significant advantage—one we do not take for granted.

Check Out How Rusty And Battered USS Stout Looks After Spending A Record 215 Days At Sea

War Zone – Stout’s sailors went from March to October without setting foot on land and performed maintenance usually done in port while at sea.

Navy’s Troubled Stealth Destroyers May Have Radars Replaced Before Ever Sailing On A Mission

War Zone – A cost-cutting effort years ago left the DDG-1000 destroyers with degraded capabilities and a one-off combat system, but that could be changing.

US Navy eyes new design for next-generation destroyer

Defense News – The U.S. Navy is looking to build a new generation of destroyers from a clean-sheet design, following the model of one of its most successful ship classes, the Arleigh Burke-class DDG, the service’s top officer said Tuesday.

American-Made Spy Boat on Secret Mission Washes Up in Scotland

Popular Mechanics – Beachcombers on the Scottish Isle of Tiree called the local coastguard after discovering a mysterious boat-like object. They found the American-made drone wedged between two rocks, presumably after it ran aground. As of now, no one has claimed ownership of the uncrewed boat, and the details of how it washed up in Scotland remain a total mystery.

(Thanks to Alain!)

Shell Games at Sea: A Resilient Force Structure Component for Modern Maritime Competition

CIMSEC – A hybrid commercial-military approach to force projection in contested environments deserves closer examination, and is an approach that is immediately available. It offers an evolutionary and rapid path to the future.

The Navy Needs a Course Correction: Prototyping with Purpose

USNI Proceedings – There have been far too many shipbuilding programs with unacceptably high cost overruns. The Navy needs to stop repeating the same process while expecting a different result.

Sustaining an Intellectual Overmatch: Management Education for Our Naval Warfighters

CIMSEC – Given the need for the Navy team to perform at its peak under challenging circumstances, the Navy would be well-served by incorporating more management education into PME for both officers and enlisted sailors.

US Navy inspections of Ingalls-built ships uncovered significant problems, report shows

Defense News – Navy inspectors found serious technical issues across all three U.S. Navy ship classes being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi in 2018 and 2019, according to an unclassified report sent to Congress earlier this year.

Battle Force 2045: The U.S. Navy’s Bold Plan for a 500-Ship Fleet

National Interest – James Holmes writes that Battle Force 2045 aspires to accomplish Mahanian strategic goals using a non-Mahanian fleet to prosecute non-Mahanian operations. Can it work?

Sea Machines to Develop Autonomous Refueling Barge for U.S. Military

gCaptain – Boston-based autonomous marine navigation company Sea Machines says it has been awarded a U.S. Department of Defense contract to develop a prototype autonomous barge that will essentially serve as floating gas station for military aircraft.

Why the Pentagon Should Focus on Taiwan

War on the Rocks – China is now the official “pacing threat” for the U.S. armed forces. Simply put, the Pentagon considers the People’s Liberation Army its most serious competition. This is a major and vital shift. But competing with China is a tremendously broad concept that could take any number of forms, and the reality is that China is too powerful to permit the U.S. defense establishment to fritter away money. The Defense Department needs to focus. Most of all, it needs to be capable of achieving U.S. objectives against China in a war.

With DoD’s fleet of 2045, the US military’s chief signals he’s all-in on sea power

Defense News – The U.S. Navy must rapidly grow its attack submarine force, field smaller manned and unmanned combatants and examine changing the role of aircraft carriers in the coming decades as part of a massive expansion of the fleet to maintain American dominance on the seas, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Tuesday.

SECDEF Esper Calls for 500-Ship Fleet by 2045, With 3 SSNs a Year and Light Carriers Supplementing CVNs

USNI News – Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a new future fleet plan for the Navy that would grow the attack submarine force, supplement nuclear-powered aircraft carriers with light carriers to achieve greater day-to-day presence, and invest heavily in small and unmanned ships for distributed operations.

Navy Fielding MQ-8C Fire Scout to Operational Squadrons Ahead of Deployment Next Year

USNI News – The Navy is getting closer to operating the new and larger MQ-8C Fire Scout variant on its Littoral Combat Ships, with two squadrons taking possession of their first aircraft and working towards safe-for-flight certification.

US Navy’s aging surface fleet struggles to keep ships up to spec, report shows

Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s aging surface fleet is getting harder to maintain, and overall is showing declining health in several key areas, such as its main propulsion systems, electrical systems and Aegis combat systems, according to an annual report of the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey submitted to Congress earlier this year.

U.S. Navy To Test Spearhead-Class EPF As Maintenance And Repair Vessel For LCS

Naval News – The U.S. Navy has announced that USNS Burlington will carry out a proof-of-concept test: The EPF ship will serve as an afloat forward staging base style platform, transporting a Maintenance Expeditionary Team of active duty sailors and their equipment and repair materials to various Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) locations for scheduled maintenance.