Navy, Marines Testing Unmanned Systems to Learn Integration Lessons

USNI News – The Navy hopes to eventually make unmanned systems just one tool among many for commanders to pick from. However, to get to that point the service will have to get unmanned systems into the hands of warfighters to work out the kinks.

Navy Will Extend All DDGs to a 45-Year Service Life; ‘No Destroyer Left Behind’ Officials Say

USNI News – The Navy will keep every one of its Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in service for 45 years, extending the life of the entire class. The move allows the Navy to reach a 355-ship fleet by 2036 or 2037.

The Navy’s top submarine builder talks Virginia-class challenges, successes

Defense News – Whether it’s 355 ships or 342, the Navy is getting bigger. And as it looks to expand its fleet, the service is looking to its Virginia-class program as a model for success.

Navy Designates Upcoming LX(R) Amphibs as San Antonio-Class LPD Flight II

USNI News – The Navy’s dock landing ship replacement program officially has a name: San Antonio-class LPD Flight II.

Northrop to begin cutting in aerial refueling capability in E-2D Advanced Hawkeye production this year

Defense News – This year, Northrop Grumman will begin manufacturing the first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning aircraft built from the ground up with an aerial refueling capability.

Navy’s top officer lays out aggressive new cruiser replacement strategy

Defense News – Buoyed by rapid progress on the next-generation Frigate, the U.S. Navy’s top officer is ready to quickly move out on the long-debated replacement for the Navy’s aging cruisers.

Lockheed Is Already Pushing A Stealthy Version Of Its MQ-25 Stingray Tanker Drone

War Zone – The sad thing is, the whole idea originally was for the Navy to get a stealth drone, but it ended up getting a flying gas can.

British warship to help police North Korean sanctions

Reuters – A British warship “changed its deployment” and arrived in Japan on Wednesday to join efforts to police U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

New undersea drones are smaller, cheaper and can be refueled deep under water

Defense News – Bright yellow underwater drones were a visible highlight on the exhibition floor here at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition. Among the autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) featured: a new high-speed, micro-sized vehicle by Hydroid and a subsea drone refueling station by Teledyne Energy.

In Japan, a hard-hit US Navy fleet is steadying on a new course

Defense News – Seven months have passed since 10 of McCain’s sailors were killed in a preventable collision, a loss made all the more shocking by the fact that it came just a few weeks after a collision between the destroyer Fitzgerald and a container ship claimed seven lives. While much work and many months lie ahead before McCain will go back in the water and on patrol in the Pacific, the wound in her port side is being healed. Seventh Fleet is healing as well.

Sweden navy chief aims to grow sea power

Defense News – Sweden, one of the only non-NATO aligned nations on the Baltic Sea, is developing a range of naval assets.

Confessions Of A U.S. Marine F/A-18 Hornet Maintainer

War Zone – What it really takes to keep the USMC’s tired Hornet fleet in the air and first-hand experience of Marine Aviation’s waning readiness.

Three Hard Questions for US Maritime Strategy in a Digital Age

CIMSEC – Now is the time for every agency, department, and service in the executive branch to ask itself hard questions and consider decisive change.

Navy Prioritizing Speed to Field Over Price for MQ-25A Stingray Program

USNI News – After years of requirements churn and program uncertainty, the signal to companies vying to build the Navy’s first operational unmanned carrier aircraft is crystal clear: the Navy wants the MQ-25A Stingray as soon as possible.

Sri Lanka cedes major port to China, fueling tensions

Defense News – Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean the size of West Virginia, has become another flashpoint in regional naval competition. That’s because in December, Sri Lanka turned over the strategic port in the southern city of Hambantota to a Chinese company on a 99-year lease. The deal, which allowed the country of 20 million to lessen its debts to China, marked another toehold for Beijing in the heart of the Indian Ocean.

Future plans emerge for Navy’s Triton surveillance drones

Defense News – It could be several years before the Navy can deploy persistent, around-the-clock surveillance using its new high-flying surveillance drone.

Weaponization of unmanned Fire Scout helicopter ‘on hiatus’ until 2023

Defense News – The long awaited upgrade of Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter with weapons remains effectively on hold as the Navy determines what munitions the littoral combat ship will carry in its armory going forward.

Recent Fatal Navy, Marine Aviation Crashes Are Symptoms of Overworked Forces, Officials Say

USNI News – nvestigations into a recent string of fatal aviation mishaps across the joint force are ongoing, but Navy and Marine Corps leaders said the spate of events clearly points to an overworked force.

‘Impossible’: China denies planning military base in Vanuatu

Guardian – Chinese ambassador calls the idea of a base ‘ridiculous’ and stresses humanitarian program.

Here’s Our First Good Look At The Crazy Air Inlet Design On Boeing’s MQ-25 Tanker Drone

War Zone – Boeing’s MQ-25 has a classically problematic but low-observable flush-mounted intake, yet there are no low-observable requirements for the program.

Flush with cash, the Navy bores in on aviation readiness amid a crisis

Defense News – The vice chief of naval operations had to see the issues for himself…What the sailors here told Adm. Bill Moran during a February visit would sound familiar to those who have followed the issue: long waits for spare parts, contracting delays, and the increasingly complex problems associated with maintaining aircraft that have well exceeded their planned flying hours.

How stealthy is Boeing’s new Super Hornet?

Defense News – The Block III Super Hornet is getting a marginal increase in stealth capability, but if you’re expecting the invisible aircraft of President Donald Trump’s dreams, think again.

With all focus for the surface fleet on readiness, what gets sidelined?

Defense News – The U.S. surface fleet is setting its sights on restoring readiness, an effort led by a new boss who is laser-focused on a force that was twice battered in 2017 by deadly collisions in the Pacific.

High North matrix game

PAXsims – Tim Price has produced a free matrix game exploring economic and military competition and cooperation in the Arctic: HIGH NORTH.

Japan activates first marines since WWII to bolster defenses against China

Reuters – Japan on Saturday activated its first marine unit since World War II trained to counter invaders occupying Japanese islands along the edge of the East China Sea that Tokyo fears are vulnerable to attack by China.