Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

 

Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

USS Independence, LCS-2

WASHINGTON: The day before the Defense Department unveils a budget that cuts the Littoral Combat Ship program, news broke that two top senators had slammed the controversial vessel in a letter to the Chief of Naval Operations. That letter and our analysis follow: Senate Armed Services Committee chairman — and decorated Navy pilot — John McCain is no… Keep reading →

A US Air Force B-52 flies over the Pacific on a flight out of Guam. Bombers like this one challenged the Chinese air defense one earlier today.

WASHINGTON: Arsenal plane. It’s a great name, no? And the Hyper Velocity Projectile. Whoa. Fast flying swarming micro drones. Neat! There’s much more being developed, but it’s classified. Where is all this coming from? The Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO for short. Defense Secretary Ash Carter talked up the new office in his 2017 budget preview speech… Keep reading →

Marine F-18 Hornet

CAPITOL HILL: It turns out Navy pilots like to breathe. That’s a potential problem in the Navy’s mainstay fighter, the F-18 Hornet, which is suffering failures of its On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS). While rare, a single case of in-flight oxygen deprivation could potentially kill the pilot, destroy a $30 million to $60 million aircraft, or… Keep reading →

An Army Grey Eagle testing a NERO jammer.

ALEXANDRIA: The executive committee on electronic warfare that Deputy Secretary Bob Work created last year is already reshaping the Pentagon bureaucracy. While the four-star officers and top civilians who make up the “EXCOM” itself have only met three times, executive committee co-chair Frank Kendall, undersecretary of acquisition, technology, and logistics, has created a new EW office and chosen… Keep reading →

Missile Defense Agency photo

WASHINGTON: The US Army must play a larger role in the Pacific to deter China, one of DC’s leading defense experts is telling Congress today. That larger role requires politically and fiscally difficult decisions to build new kinds of units and base them in new places, Andrew Krepinevich told me in advance of his Capitol… Keep reading →

Navy photo

UPDATED with full DOT&E memo WASHINGTON: On Friday, a Navy official told us a critical test report on the embattled Littoral Combat Ship was “unfair.” This afternoon, we found out the Pentagon’s independent test office has already circulated a coldly scathing response. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered the Navy to cut the LCS in favor of… Keep reading →

pentagonaerial

PENTAGON: After 25 years of war in the Middle East, the Pentagon’s 2017 budget is the first driven by Russia and China. “The program has been shifted to a more acute focus on the two high-end competitors, Russia and China,” a senior defense official told Sydney in an interview ahead of Secretary Ash Carter’s budget speech this… Keep reading →

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

PENTAGON: After more than a year of intense debate over whether the Navy’s future UCLASS drone should be a long-range stealth bomber or a lightly armed scout, the Defense Department has chosen — neither. Instead, the 2017 budget proposes a program that is less ambitious than either version of UCLASS but, to their mind, more… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

[UPDATED with experts’ analysis; “innocent passage” confirmed] WASHINGTON: Just two days after the head of US Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, pledged to push harder on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within the 12 nautical mile limit around Triton Island. Situated in the Paracels, which are claimed… Keep reading →

USS Coronado

PENTAGON: “Unfair!” That, in a word, is the Navy’s response to a Director of Operational Test & Evaluation report saying the controversial Littoral Combat Ship had trouble defending itself against Iranian-style swarms of fast attack boats. Yes, a Navy official told me, in the test some “enemy” boats got dangerously close to the USS Coronado… Keep reading →

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