Congress

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 →

Rep. Mac Thornberry

CAPITOL HILL: Nunn-McCurdy notifications to Congress of gross cost growth in a weapons system’s costs strike fear in the hearts of top Pentagon acquisition officials, and something like them may become law for a new set of costs — operations and support. “They should be the next frontier for acquisition reform,” former DoD Comptroller Bob… Keep reading →

SD spoke at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON: None of us knows many details about what’s in the last of the Obama defense budgets, but House Republicans are criticizing the sketchy outlines of the 2017 budget offered by Defense Secretary Ash Carter today. In particular, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry is raising concerns that the Pentagon is not asking Congress… 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 →

Promotion ceremony Army

UPDATED: Pentagon official rejects Commission’s Apache plan as “too expensive” WASHINGTON: After nine months of often frantic effort, the National Commission on the Future of the Army delivered its final report yesterday afternoon. Now comes the hard part. It’s 2016, not 2015, that will be the year of the commission, because their 208-page report will… Keep reading →

US power output satellite view

A blizzard slams the East Coast and the lights go out. Then they stay off. Is it an attack? How do we figure out who’s behind it? What do we do in retaliation? These are all questions that need answering since what looks like the first successful cyber attack on an entire nation’s power grid. Ukraine says that… Keep reading →

F-35 Wing Assembly Cameri Italy

WASHINGTON: The Air Force’s top priority programs — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Long Range Strike Bomber, and the KC-46 tanker — will cause Pentagon procurement spending to balloon in the early 2020s, says one of the capital’s leading defense budget experts. Army ground combat programs are also increasing rapidly, but they are rising from such… Keep reading →

Russian-made RD-180 engines propel an Atlas V rocket heavenward.

WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain continued his crusade to stop the Pentagon from using Russia’s highly reliable and cheap RD-180 rocket engines to launch American military satellites during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today. The Arizona senator and the House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, introduced a bill today designed to overturn language in… Keep reading →

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