USNI Blog – Unmanned and autonomous systems will play a significant role in tomorrow’s conflicts. Great leaps have been made in autonomy, and huge potential still exists for development in the underwater domain. The United States and United Kingdom have the technology today (or available in short order) to develop a mostly autonomous platform capable of filling many of the missions held by nuclear attack submarines (SSNs).
War on the Rocks – However, as its newest class of warships begins construction and as the Navy continues to formulate its training and crewing structures, it should take stock in the lessons learned from its ongoing struggle with the littoral combat ship.
USNI News – The Navy is bringing an aerial refueling capability to its E-2D Advanced Hawkeye command and control fleet, with the first operational squadron certifying its pilots to refuel with Air Force tankers.
USNI News – It’s growing more likely that components of the mine countermeasures mission package designed for the Littoral Combat Ship small combatant will end up also fielded on the Navy’s massive Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary sea bases.
Breaking Defense – “If we do come to blows with China, it’s gonna be very confused for the first 30 or 45 days, and then we must fight in a distributed fashion,” said Maj. Gen. Tracy King, Marine Corps’ director of Expeditionary Warfare.
– US Naval War College Review – Recent programs such as the littoral combat ship, the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer, and the Ford-class aircraft carrier all have highlighted the Navy’s failure to produce innovative, afford-able ships in the quantity and of the quality needed to configure a larger, redesigned fleet. Unless the Navy can address mistakes made in these programs it will have difficulty innovating success-fully—with potentially disastrous consequences.
The Strategist – Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) has always been a game of hide and seek, with adversarial states looking to adopt and deploy emerging technologies in submarine stealth or detection to give them the strategic edge. The advantage has shifted back and forth, but, on the whole, it has proved easier to hide a submarine than find one: the oceans are wide, deep, dark, noisy, irregular and cluttered.
USNI News – It’s no secret that the Navy’s four public shipyards have prioritized attack submarines last, instead of focusing the yards’ limited resources on aircraft carrier maintenance and ballistic missile submarine refuelings. But even though the SSBN refuelings are drawing to an end, which should free up resources for SSN maintenance, a Government Accountability Office report released today states the time SSNs will sit idle waiting for maintenance work to begin will actually continue to increase for the next two years.
USNI News – After nearly a decade of fits and starts, the Navy has quietly initiated work to develop its first new carrier-based fighter in almost 20 years, standing up a new program office and holding early discussions with industry.
– Defense News – As the U.S. Navy pushes forward with developing its large unmanned surface vessel, envisioned as a kind of external missile magazine that will tag along with larger manned surface combatants, a growing consensus is forming that the service needs to get its requirements and systems right before making a big investment.
– Naval News – NAVSEA answers some internet myths, rumors, and questions on the three high-tech stealthy guided missile destroyers: USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002).
– War Zone – There’s a lot more involved with punching a torpedo out of a submarine than stuffing it in a tube and opening the hatch.
– National Interest – James Holmes writes that President Donald Trump gave a radio interview last Tuesday during which he declared he would call on an unlikely source for military advice: New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Trump told host Hugh Hewitt, “You know, if I ever had a military battle, I’d call up Belichick and say what do you think? What do you think? Give me a couple of ideas.” Does Coach Belichick have what it takes?
– USNI Blog – The Navy has issued its requirements for the T-45 replacement and, not surprising to anyone who has followed naval aviation for the past 20 years, the request for information published by the Navy indicates that the trainer does not have to land or launch from the carrier. It merely has to do landing practices ashore and touch-and-go landings at sea.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy is on the brink of what could be a major shift in how it operates, but first the service’s top officer wants a plan to both field technologies that have been lagging for years and develop a path forward to add new unmanned tech to the mainstream fleet.
– War on the Rocks – How does America best prevent its own naval decline? This is a good question. The problem is that it is a question asked decades too late. The Navy is in decline right now. So is the United States in terms of relative international power. The proper question for today is, “How does the United States decline gracefully?” Taking a look in the mirror, the U.S. Navy should find marked similarities to the late Victorian-era Royal Navy. Since the United Kingdom managed the declining supremacy of its naval power relatively well during this period, it would behoove Uncle Sam to borrow a lesson or two from Her Majesty.
– US Naval War College Review – American Cold War planning experienced important failures in strategic intelligence and in the way planners used that intelligence. These shortcomings were overcome through massive material investment, technological advantage, and good fortune, but in the twenty-first-century era of great-power competition the Navy cannot count on these advantages. More-careful and better-integrated intelligence-planning processes would improve our chances of success greatly.
– War Zone – The unit is intended to provide Navy submariners and anti-submarine forces with an opponent that fights just like a wide range of potential foes.
– Heritage Foundation – As the United States returns to great-power competition, it will rely more heavily on its Navy to defend the nation’s interests and meet its responsibilities around the world. And the Navy needs an effective repair base to keep its ships operational. This repair base may evolve—and Navy leaders should think strategically about its evolution—but for now it requires modernizing and reconfiguring the four existing public shipyards to meet the nuclear fleet’s requirements. Leaders’ choices to prioritize Navy shipyard modernization will have an outsized impact on Navy readiness and on national security as a whole.
– War Zone – The ability to fight and win in the high-stakes game of undersea warfare is all about the art of listening. Here’s how it’s done.
– Naval News – The United States Special Forces Command’s (USSOCOM) miniature wet and dry submersibles are progressing as planned despite some program delays related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
– CIMSEC – Do the regular functions of the sea services figure in U.S. national strategy, and if not, what must they do to adapt to competition? In so answering that question, we can gain a deeper insight into what it means to compete more fundamentally in the modern era.
– Defense News – The U.S. Navy Saturday commissioned its latest littoral combat ship amid a top-level push to fix the ship’s nagging reliability issues and forge a path to make the small surface combatants useful in the years ahead.
– USNI Proceedings – A major test of U.S. power is coming, and the nation’s military must prepare.
– National Interest – James Holmes asks what should naval architects incorporate into a design to guarantee its longevity amid change? Versatility should be their watchword. It’s possible to experiment with versatile hulls—subtracting, adding, or recombining sensors, weapons, and embarked aircraft to keep the ship combat-relevant in a variety of circumstances.