– USNI News – China has stepped up development of Catapult-Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) operations for its carriers, with the appearance of a Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark carrier-borne fighter with CATOBAR apparatus and continued construction of supporting land-based infrastructure.
– Asia Times – China is attempting to counteract the near total isolation it has incurred from regional states as a result of its maritime claims by using a regional show of force together with the Russian military.
– USNI News – As the Navy and Marine Corps work through a high-end warfighting exercise in the Pacific, which features a traditional three-ship amphibious ready group (ARG) operating with a guided-missile destroyer as a peek into future operations, a similar ship pairing is performing real-world missions in the Mediterranean today.
– Breaking Defense – Russia could hinder US reinforcements headed to Europe in the event of a major war, warned the recently retired Supreme Allied Commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove. It’s well known Russian radars, missiles, and strike planes — “Anti-Access/Area Denial” systems — threaten ships and aircraft across wide swathes of the Black Sea, Eastern Europe, and the Baltic. But Gen. Breedlove’s worries are on a wider scale: He’s anxious about the Atlantic.
– Jane’s – The first of China’s 1,500-tonne Type 056 corvettes was launched in May 2012, so the rate of production over the last four years has averaged a new hull about every six weeks.
– Defense News – “China’s maritime militia is only as deniable for China as we allow it to be, and we don’t have to allow it to be deniable,” said Andrew Erickson, a professor of strategy at the US Naval War College, where he is a founding member of the China Maritime Studies Institute. The militia, Erickson said, are controlled directly by the Chinese military, adding another degree of complexity to at-sea confrontations below that of the navy and coast guard. The craft, he said, are “working in close coordination with the other two more powerful sea forces or at least with their backing and coordination added as necessary.”
– Defense News – For over a year, the US Navy and its shipbuilders have been anxious to get the new aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to sea and begin engineering trials of the first-of-class design. A number of publicly-announced target dates have come and gone, but the ship is still firmly moored at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Now, however, a key factor in preventing the ship from casting off lines and getting underway is coming into view. A serious voltage regulator problem on the carrier’s four main turbine generators (MTGs) has prevented engineers from running the motors up to full power, and only now has the problem been identified and a fix decided upon.
– USNI News – It may not be 1984 again, but it certainly is not 1994 or 2004 either. Incorporated into what appears to be an overarching strategy to assert Russian primacy in their self-identified “near abroad” the Russians are doing several things simultaneously, the most important of which may well be the large-scale exercises in Crimea as part of an apparent larger strategic war game. While many may argue the relative merits of various aspects of Russian power, sanctions, diplomatic isolation and other lines of effort, there is no denying that Russia is synchronizing a strategy to keep Europe off-balance, potential allies encouraged and possible enemies deterred from the Baltic to the Black Sea and further afield.
– Washington Free Beacon – An interview with Robert D. Kaplan: What America can expect in an age of ‘great power anarchy’
– CNN – Japan is planning on upping its activities in the South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States and exercises with regional navies, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said.
– USNI News – The Navy took risk in many of its destroyer fleet’s mission sets during a period of uncontested operations at sea, and U.S. Fleet Forces Command has now been tasked with regaining sea control and all-domain access.
– USNI News – The 13th MEU and Boxer ARG left San Diego on Feb. 12 for the seven-month deployment that was busy, with air strike missions supporting coalition forces fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq, amphibious war games in and around the Korean peninsula and training with partner militaries in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
– USNI News – Last month the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) returned home from a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific – the first time in several years a carrier from the continental United States had deployed specifically to that region rather than simply passing through on the way to and from the Middle East. In addition to highlighting a shift in focus to the Pacific, the deployment featured an opportunity to practice high-end warfighting skills with another U.S. carrier strike group, several exercises with allies and partners in the region, and persistent but professional contact with Chinese ships sent to shadow Stennis.
– The Guardian – Former residents and environmental campaigners to launch a lawsuit against Pentagon’s plans to use the Marianas islands for bombing practice.
– USNI News – China and Russia kicked off more than a week of naval exercises in the South China Sea that will include an “island seizing” exercise.
– Defense News – After more than twelve years insisting the unique crewing and modularity schemes for the Littoral Combat Ship will work, US Navy leaders are changing those plans as part of a larger shakeup of the long-troubled program.
– Der Spiegel – With its Maritime Silk Road, China is tapping the world’s oceans for its own strategic purposes. It’s a bold plan that is causing unease in India and the United States — and also has implications for Europe.
– Haaretz – Haaretz’s military correspondent joined the crew of INS Rahav, the Israel Navy’s newest submarine, on a brief training cruise. He learned about the unique physical and mental demands of service on the IDF’s most expensive war machine, its technological capabilities and why Israeli subs are still off-limits to women.
– CIMSEC – This piece aims to provide an overview of the Israeli Navy and the maritime dimension of Israel’s national security.
– Breaking Defense – After a series of embarrassing breakdowns, the Navy is overhauling how it operates its controversial Littoral Combat Ships. It’s not only big news for the Navy but a cautionary tale for would-be innovators.
– CIMSEC – This article will argue that the convergence of new technologies is dramatically changing how we make things, what we make, and where we make them. These technologies plus trends in energy production, agriculture, politics, and internet governance will result in the localization of manufacturing, services, energy, and food production. This shift will significantly change the international security environment and in particular the role of the U.S. naval forces.
– USNI News – A trio of planned South Korean guided missile destroyers will be built with the capability to intercept ballistic missile threats. The addition of the capability will give the Republic of Korea (RoK) Navy a powerful organic BMD capability in addition to U.S. Army ground-based interceptors peppered throughout South Korea.
– Breaking Defense – After two years of embarrassing breakdowns in both variants of the embattled Navy Littoral Combat Ship, there are worrying signs that a reliability problem is built into the design. At issue: the unhappy combination of an unusually small crew struggling with a uniquely complex propulsion system, one that yokes gas turbines and diesel engines together.
– USNI News – A U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship was harassed by seven Iranian vessels on Sunday and narrowly avoided colliding with one, in the latest in a string of incidents in the Persian Gulf.
– Defense News – Following two more serious engineering incidents involving separate littoral combat ships, the commander of US naval surface forces ordered an engineering stand down on all LCS crews and directed all LCS sailors to be retrained in engineering procedures.