US Navy to slash the number of Virginia-class attack subs in long-delayed Block V contract

Defense News – The U.S. Navy is preparing to sign a contract for nine Virginia-class attack submarines, eight of which will include a 84-foot section that boosts the boat’s strike missile capacity, which is down from 11 boats planned for in this year’s budget submission.

In A Remote Arctic Outpost, Norway Keeps Watch On Russia’s Military Buildup

NPR – There are precisely 525 stairs from the icy waters of the Barents Sea to the top of the observation post in the far northeast corner of Norway, along the Russian border. It’s a steep climb, but once you reach the apex, there’s a good chance one of the young Norwegian conscripts manning the outpost will have a platter of waffles — topped with strawberry jam and sour cream, a Norwegian favorite — waiting.

Is China’s DF-100 Missile a Threat to the U.S. Navy?

National Interest – Anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles—latter-day counterparts to cannon fired from land—replicate this dynamic from the age of close-range gunnery. James Holmes asks what should the Navy do about it?

Guard the African Coast

USNI Proceedings – Africa could be the right place for the U.S. Coast Guard to maneuver against Chinese global efforts.

Exploring the Role Nuclear Weapons Could Play in Deterring Russian Threats to the Baltic States

RAND – The insights derived from the research highlight the reality that, even if NATO makes significant efforts to modernize its nonstrategic nuclear weapons, it would have much stronger military incentives to end a future war than Russia would. That is, Russia would still enjoy escalation dominance.

Top Military Officers Unload on Trump

The Atlantic – Mark Bowden writes that the commander in chief is impulsive, disdains expertise, and gets his intelligence briefings from Fox News. What does this mean for those on the front lines?

Is Russia Preparing For An Invasion of This Important Piece of the Arctic?

National Interest – More then Greenland, Donald President Trump should know that the real Arctic prize is Svalbard (formerly known as Spitsbergen). At least that’s what renewed murmurs of Russia seeking to invade the Svalbard archipelago highlight. And these rumors die hard. A Russian-annexed Svalbard is a peripheral fear, which is anchored by historical precedent.

Navy, Marines Moving Ahead with Unmanned Vessel Programs

USNI News – The Navy is gaining enough experience with unmanned vehicles on and below the water’s surface that it’s becoming easier to kick off new programs, as each can build on previous program’s lessons learned.

The MAGTF is no longer sacred: The Marine Corps is looking at other ways to fight

Marine Corps Times – The concept that set the Marine Corps apart from the other services decades ago, the one that set up a particular way of warfare for generations of Marines, is no longer untouchable. The Marine Air-Ground Task Force may remain the way the Marines want to fight but increasingly it may not be what they will deliver when steel meets steel, especially in maritime spaces.

Heritage Index Rates Navy, Marines ‘Marginal’ In Ability to Counter Current Threats

USNI News – The Navy and the Marine Corps have been assessed as “marginal” in their ability to meet the challenges from rival powers in Beijing and Moscow, as well as regional threats coming from Tehran and Pyongyang, according to annual report on U.S. military strength from The Heritage Foundation.

Merger of China’s shipbuilding giants gets the green light

South China Morning Post – The merger would enable China to establish a shipbuilding giant with a combined revenue up to 1 trillion yuan (US$141.5 billion), capable of building vessels ranging from warships, like aircraft carriers, to civilian ships such as container ships and oil tankers.

China Is Building a “Undersea Great Wall” To Take on America in a War

National Interest – This edition of Dragon Eye seeks to sketch out the undersea warfare competition in the western Pacific in slightly greater detail, by discussing a new Chinese-language article about China’s new “undersea Great Wall” (水下长城) that appeared in a late 2015 edition of China Ocean News (中国海洋报).

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Make China Great Again: Xi’s Truly Grand Strategy

War on the Rocks – Andrew Erickson writes that to the extent that any nation has a grand strategy, China surely does.

Two icebreaking patrol ships of project 23550 will be built for the Border Service of the FSB of Russia

BMPD – According to the web resource Mil.Press FlotProm , two multipurpose patrol icebreakers of project 23550 will be built for the FSB border control department of Russia.

(Thanks to Alain!)

The lead patrol ship of the ice class Ivan Papanin, project 23550, was launched

BMPD – On October 25, 2019, the Admiralty Shipyards JSC (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation JSC) in St. Petersburg hosted the launch ceremony of the project’s Ivan Papanin, a multi-purpose ice class patrol ship under construction for the Russian Navy, project 23550 (code “Arctic”) with the serial number 02460.

(Thanks to Alain!)

Marines, Navy Considering ‘Alternate’ Amphibs to Supplement Today’s Fleet

USNI News – The Commandant’s Planning Guidance has sparked several questions about the future of the amphibious ship fleet – how many ships are needed, and what kinds of ships will have a role in the future – and while answers are still in development, the expeditionary warfare community has a lot of thoughts on the matter.

Russian subs honing stealth skills in major North Atlantic drill, says Norwegian intel

Barents Observer – At least eight nuclear-powered submarines sailed out from their homeports on the Kola Peninsula last week, the Norwegian military intelligence says to NRK.

All 6 East Coast Carriers In Dock, Not Deployed: Hill Asks Why

Breaking Defense – As the Navy scrambles to get enough parts and people to move carriers back out to sea, it’s facing a crowded waterfront at Norfolk.

Navy Current Warship Mix Is Not Optimal for Future Fight

USNI News – The Navy has concentrated more capability – and therefore more cost – onto a smaller number of ships, and that force design may not work well in a high-end fight against a peer adversary.

After a leadership shakeup at General Dynamics, a murky future for submarine building

Defense News – Submarine building, the pride of the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding efforts over the past decade, is facing a mountain of uncertainty.

Submarines are poised to take on a major role in strike warfare, but is that a good idea?

Defense News – The U.S. Navy is preparing to ink one of the largest contracts in its history with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the firm’s partner shipyard Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News that will make the new generation of attack submarines a major force in strike warfare.

Let’s Send the U.S. Navy’s ‘Stealthy’ Destroyer Back in Time to Fight a World War II Battle

National Interest – James Holmes asks if the U.S. Navy had to refight the Battle of Leyte Gulf in contemporary times—clashing arms with a new Asian contender along Asia’s first island chain—how would it use its latest surface combatant ships to advance the cause?

Rethink Coast Guard Priorities

USNI Proceedings – A shift from drug interdiction to fisheries protection could be a better use of funds, protect U.S. natural resources, and contribute to mission success.