– Breaking Defense – The Marine Corps’ top pilot sketched a vision of fast-paced and networked air operations, spearheaded by F-35 fighters, V-22 tiltrotors, and the future MUX drones, all linked to each other and the rest of the force by Link-16 and MADL.
– Daily Telegraph – he Navy’s delayed new aircraft carrier is facing a morale crisis, it has been claimed, as sailors ‘abandon ship’ because they are bored. In the last few weeks, around 21 sailors have quit aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth – the largest and most powerful warship ever built for the Royal Navy – amid claims morale has dropped “to an all-time low”
– War Zone – Though Russian officials have delayed plans to move forward with two of its major surface ship programs indefinitely, including a new aircraft carrier, the Kremlin insists it will move ahead with work on a modern amphibious assault ship. Despite assurances to the contrary, there is little evidence that the country’s shipbuilding infrastructure is anymore ready for this task, and the project could easily end up deferred in the face of other priorities.
– USNI News – Fifty ships set sail in the Baltic Sea this week for the annual NATO exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), with this year’s event including a larger aviation component and a larger adversary “red force” in the hopes of creating a realistic scenario for high-end warfare in Europe.
– The Australian – Washington was rebuffed by the Australian government when it tried to convey strategic concerns about the $150 billion new submarine project. Washington was “not able to have a serious alliance discussion” with the Turnbull government about the Americans’ preference for Japan to build the navy’s new submarines to strengthen Australia-US-Japan ties in the face of a rising China.
– War Zone – Advanced, but relatively small kits will allow even conventional subs to become increasingly powerful intelligence collectors.
– Straits Times – The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) is a low-profile but important regional security institution established in 1971 between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom in the wake of the latter’s withdrawal of most of its military forces from “East of Suez”. Far from anachronistic, the FPDA has continued to fulfil vital security roles to the benefit of not only its members but also the wider security and stability of South-east Asia. But an important question for its member countries’ ministers when they hold their triennial meeting in Singapore on June 2, just before the 16th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue, is how to develop the FPDA in the future.
– ABC – India has declined an Australian request to take part in multilateral naval exercises in July over fears it could unnecessarily enflame diplomatic tensions with China.
– Reuters – Japan’s navy and air force began a three-day military exercise with two U.S. aircraft carriers in the Sea of Japan on Thursday adding pressure on North Korea to halt an accelerating ballistic missile program.
– AP – Around 4,000 U.S. and European troops from 14 nations took part in the annual Baltic Operations navy exercise that opened Thursday in Poland’s Baltic Sea port of Szczecin. The 45th edition of the so-called BALTOPS exercise involves maritime, air and ground forces with about 50 ships and submarines and over 50 aircraft, and will run through June 16.
– War Zone – The U.S. Navy is leading developing a new 155mm artillery round capable of destroying moving targets on land or at sea that could end up in use across three services, including the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. More importantly, the precision munitions will not use GPS, making them useful even in GPS denied environments.
– The Guardian – The UK’s Trident submarine fleet is vulnerable to a “catastrophic” cyber-attack that could render Britain’s nuclear weapons useless, according to a report by a London-based thinktank.
– Forbes – China’s efforts to encircle India won’t work. That’s the message India and its allies, America and Japan are prepared to send to Beijing in a joint naval exercise.
– War Zone – Officially, China’s planned system will gather scientific data, but it also has an unspecified “national defense” role.
– War Zone – Russia is reportedly moving ahead with aggressive plans to revitalize its military as the country adopts an increasingly revanchist foreign policy. However, some items are noticeably absent from the Kremlin’s latest rearmament program, specifically two all-new surface warships, suggesting earlier proposals may have been, not surprisingly, too ambitious for the Russian defense industry. In particular, the new plan put work on new classes of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and destroyers for the Russian Navy on hold indefinitely.
– National Interest – The P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane may not be as sexy as an F-35 stealth fighter, but in some ways it is far closer to the forefront of international flashpoints in the Pacific Ocean. Maritime patrol planes are essential for tracking the movement of ships and especially submarines across vast oceanic waters—and potentially sinking them in the event of hostilities.
– BBC – The pride of Japan’s naval defence, the JS Izumo, is making an unprecedented journey through Asian waters over the next three months.
– South China Morning Post – Howard French, American China watcher, talks about Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, and his new book looking at how the nation’s rise accords with a concept it has long taken for granted – tianxia.
– San Diego Union Tribune – The seventh-month odyssey of a “blue-green” flotilla that saw combat in Yemen and Syria and conducted training exercises across a large swath of the globe demonstrates the enduring importance of the Navy-Marine Corps team overseas, commanders of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit said Wednesday.
– USNI News – The U.S. Coast Guard transferred a Hamilton-class cutter to the Vietnam Coast Guard during a Thursday ceremony in Hawaii.
– Defense News – Lockheed Martin, frustrated by changing requirements the company feels are skewed to a particular competitor, is dropping out of the U.S. Navy’s over-the-horizon missile program intended to give a lethal capability to littoral combat ships and frigates.
– The Guardian – A US navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, US officials have said, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since Donald Trump became president.
– New Yorker – The former Marine Corps general spent four decades on the front lines. How will he lead the Department of Defense?
– US Naval Institute Blog – As the environment in the Arctic changes, the Navy plans to take deliberate action to increase its operations in the region.
– Breaking Defense – Despite his campaign pledge of a 350-ship fleet, President Trump’s first budget cuts Navy shipbuilding and aircraft procurement below what was enacted in 2017, documents released today reveal. Despite Trump’s criticism of President Obama’s defense plans, this budget sticks with Obama’s shipbuilding plan for 2018: eight ships.