Fleet commander directs the U.S Navy’s surface force to develop concepts for unmanned ships

Defense News – The head of the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Forces Command has ordered the service’s surface force to develop a concept of operations for both the large and medium unmanned surface vessels in development.

Proposal for sweeping cuts to US Navy shipbuilding, force structure could herald a new strategy, experts say

Defense News – A sweeping series of proposed cuts to the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding programs and force structure could herald a new strategy for a slimmed-down fleet, or could fizzle out in the budgetary process. But the fact that such a proposal is on the table in the first place shows the pressure under which the Defense Department is working as it anticipates a flat budget and a stack of modernization bills to pay, experts say.

Mainstreaming: The Case for Optimism within the Mine Warfare Community

USNI Blog – With the release of the Presidential Budget that outlines unmanned and autonomous systems as the investment priority for the Department of Defense, it is clear to most in the mine warfare community that the U.S. Navy is stepping away from legacy mine countermeasures (MCM) platforms and toward the littoral combat ship (LCS) and the development of the MCM mission package. This shift will introduce capability and capacity gaps within the mission area, and while I don’t argue that many gaps exist, I believe the second- and third-order effects from operating MCM systems from mainstream platforms present an opportunity for the force to be optimistic about the future.

Veteran Sonarman Explains Why Pump-jets Are Superior To Props On Modern Submarines

War Zone – The propeller is increasingly giving way to the more complex pump-jet propulsor on larger submarines. Here’s why.

Rethink Navy Ballistic Missile Defense

USNI Proceedings – The traditional ballistic missile defense mission is too narrow and operationally limiting.

Pentagon proposal cuts an FFG(X) and an attack submarine out of the budget

Defense News – A small but potentially substantial change in the Pentagon’s five-year budget projection slows down the buying profile for the U.S. Navy’s new frigate, which is expected to be awarded in 2020.

The Future Navy—Near-Term Applications of Artificial Intelligence

US Naval War College Review – Many examples of task automation using artificial intelligence exist in private industry. The U.S. military has a great opportunity to exploit these developments and adapt them for use throughout the force, particularly in areas such as logistics and administration, freeing up man-hours and resources for other, more-complex activities.

What Does the Navy Need from the Marine Corps?

USNI Proceedings – Align the Commandant’s planning guidance and the Navy’s strategic vision.

Research & Debate—The Medium Is the Message: Weaving Wargaming More Tightly into the Fabric of the Navy

US Naval War College Review – By now, the challenge and threat of a rising and contentious China and an increasingly hostile Russia have penetrated the Navy’s corporate consciousness, and current leaders are taking steps to shift the service from a purely power- projection posture to one that focuses again on defending American command of the sea. The Navy is initiating adjustments to fleet design and architecture as well as a rebirth of fleet experimentation. While perhaps late in coming, these responses to the emergent challenges of our time are encouraging.

US Navy proposes decommissioning first 4 LCS more than a decade early

Defense News – The US Navy has put forward a proposal to decommission the first four littoral combat ships in 2021 as part of a cost-savings measure, according to a memorandum from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to the Defense Department.

Pentagon proposes big cuts to US Navy destroyer construction, retiring 13 cruisers

Defense News – The Department of Defense has sent a plan to the White House that would cut the construction of more than 40 percent of its planed Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyers in in fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

What If Trump Ordered a Naval Blockade of North Korea?

National Interest – Could this be one way to respond to Kim’s supposed ‘Christmas gift’?

White House Asks Navy To Include New Unmanned Vessels In Its Ambitious 355 Ship Fleet Plan

War Zone – Changes in official definitions could create an easier path to the goal of a 355-ship fleet and reflects a growing interest in drone ships and subs.

Collision Course

ProPublica – When the USS John S. McCain crashed in the Pacific, the Navy blamed the destroyer’s crew for the loss of 10 sailors. The truth is the Navy’s flawed technology set the McCain up for disaster.

Amid a heated aircraft carrier debate, the US Navy sees funding slashed for a next-generation fighter

Defense News – As questions continue to swirl about the vulnerability and reach of aircraft carriers, Congress has gutted funding for the U.S. Navy’s research effort into a next-generation fighter to replace the relatively limited range F/A-18 Super Hornet, an effort experts say could decide the continued relevance of the aircraft carrier in the 21st century.

Here’s what the Navy got for Christmas

Defense News – So, what did the Navy get for the holidays this year?

The US Navy gets its large unmanned surface vessels in 2020 with strings attached

Defense News – The U.S. Navy will get its two Large Unmanned Surface Vessels in 2020 after all, but lawmakers want the service to proceed with caution.

Navy To Slash 24 Ships in 2021 Plan, Bolster Unmanned Effort

Breaking Defense – The Navy will buy a dozen fewer ships, slash its shipbuilding budget, and possibly decommission 12 more hulls over the next four years as part of a bold cost-cutting proposal submitted to the White House for its fiscal 2021 budget. The proposals would not move the service any closer to its goal of having 355 ships by 2034, as the fleet would actually end up slightly smaller in five years than it is today.

Manning Matters (!)

USNI Blog – Manning matters. That’s the basic conclusion of a pair of Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) studies that were directed by the 2017 Comprehensive Review of Surface Force Incidents (CR).

US Navy to dive deep into its maintenance woes

Defense News – The U.S. Navy is gearing up to peel back the onion on years of delays and tens of thousands of operational days lost with ships languishing in shipyards.

Next-Generation Anti-Ship Missile Achieves Operational Capability with Super Hornets

USNI News – The next-generation Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) achieved early operational capability (EOC) with the F/A-18E/F last month, bringing new capabilities to U.S. naval aviation.

Can the US Navy make lemonade out of LCS lemons?

Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship program endured another round of budget cuts this year to its mission modules, but all is not gloom for the Navy’s small surface combatants.

Foggo: Navy Needs Unmanned ISR, Tankers to Counter Russia

USNI News – As Russia continues to increase its submarine activity in the Mediterranean, Arctic and Atlantic, the U.S. Navy has made organizational changes to be more responsive but should invest in unmanned systems to support forces in the European theater, the four-star admiral who leads Naval Forces Europe said.

If You Can’t See ’em, You Can’t Shoot ’em: Improving US Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Targeting

Hudson Institute – There is a current lack of appreciation for the critical role of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISR/T) capabilities in naval combat success. This operational blind spot has concrete ramifications for the balance of power in the Western Pacific and the ability of the United States to force a political settlement without conflict.

Fight Against China Requires Navy to Field Modern Unmanned Eyes In The Sky

USNI News – Developing updated unmanned scout planes is the best way for the U.S. to have eyes on China’s military actions in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, according to findings in a new Hudson Institute report.