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UPDATED: Adds Pratt & Whitney Responses To Bogdan; Adds Lockheed Statement Correction (April 18 at 10:55 am) CRYSTAL CITY: Pratt & Whitney got a public drubbing from the sharp-tongued head of the F-35 fighter program, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, when the Pentagon released a new cost estimate for the military’s biggest weapons program. “Pratt’s not meeting their… Keep reading →

The attack submarine North Dakota.

Problems with a new kind of missile launcher will delay the commissioning of the attack submarine North Dakota, the Navy announced this afternoon. That’s a significant stumble for the Virginia-class submarine program, whose steadily decreasing costs and construction time per boat have become a point of pride for the Navy and shipbuilder Electric Boat alike.… Keep reading →

US and Korean Marines staged traditional amphibious assaults like this in the Ssang Yong 2014 wargames -- but such massed attacks may be a thing of the past.

NATIONAL HARBOR: Cheap grey-market missiles and commercially available radar kits are forcing the Marines to reinvent amphibious warfare for the 21st century. The new Corps concept, Expeditionary Force 21, predicts long-range threats will force the fleet to stay at least 65 nautical miles offshore, a dozen times the distance that existing Marine amphibious vehicles are… Keep reading →

Fast Missile Craft FMC for Egypt

The Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf doesn’t have an effective long-distance missile for ship-to-ship engagements. The Navy’s plans to eventually position eight Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in the gulf by 2018 will not alleviate this problem, given current armament and design. (Tarbi wanted to use the Arabian Gulf instead of Persian, but the… Keep reading →

EA-18G Growler

WASHINGTON: Stealth is being outpaced by software, radar and computing power, so electronic warfare and cyber attacks are growing in importance. While the F-35 may possess excellent — if circumscribed — electronic attack and cyber capabilities, it needs help from the Navy’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. That means, Boeing and the Navy are arguing,… Keep reading →

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NATIONAL HARBOR: It’s easy to call for innovation. It’s hard to do. At this week’s Sea-Air-Space conference here, just 10 miles down the Potomac from the Pentagon, admirals and junior officers alike wrestled with the right balance between speed and safety, between it taking hours to 3-D print a new design and many months to certify… Keep reading →

HMX-1 Presidential V-22

SEA-AIR-SPACE: At least one important operating unit of the V-22 is sustaining impressive readiness rates “in the high 80s,” according to Col. Dan Robinson, the new program manager. But Robinson, asked by me and some of my colleagues, also said he didn’t have fleet-wide numbers and offered some unconvincing chatter about different units having different… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine (SSBN).

NATIONAL HARBOR: This is rocket science. As the US Navy tries to keep its crucial 1990-vintage Trident D5 nuclear-capable missile viable for decades to come, it’s working with everyone from the Royal Navy to the US Air Force to NASA to keep costs down and technology up to date. Meanwhile, the design team for the… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED April 8 with more rail gun & laser detail from Rear Adm. Klunder] NATIONAL HARBOUR: 23 pounds ain’t heavy. But it sure hurts when it hits you going at seven times the speed of sound. That’s what a prototype Navy weapon called a “rail gun” can do, and it does it without a single… Keep reading →

The first Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom, on its way to Singapore last year.

UPDATED with US Navy response WASHINGTON: Some spectacular glitches marred the first overseas deployment of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, including an electrical failure that left the USS Freedom “briefly” dead in the water. Now Breaking Defense has obtained an unpublished Government Accountability Office study of Freedom‘s Singapore deployment that raises more serious questions about… Keep reading →

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