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NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: They get so big, so fast. Once a child-sized helicopter that could just collect reconnaissance imagery, the Navy’s MQ-8 Fire Scout has graduated to a bigger airframe that will also carry a maritime search radar and laser-guided rockets. The tentative plan is to kick off the competition for the new radar with… Keep reading →

ohioclasssubmarinemaine01

WASHINGTON: The Navy rebuffed today a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the service is too optimistic about the cost of its new nuclear missile submarine. Still, whatever the final cost, it’s certain to be high — so high the Navy officially admits its own figures show the sub is unaffordable under current budget plans. In… Keep reading →

Greenert & Stackley w modified LCS pic IMG_0843

PENTAGON: The controversial Littoral Combat Ship dodged a big torpedo today, when outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the Navy’s plan for a larger, better armed and better protected version of the ship. Critics had called for a radical redesign or an entirely new ship. The “modified LCS” simply adds new weapons, electronics, and armor to… Keep reading →

US Navy photo

PENTAGON: The age of laser weapons has officially begun. Since September, the Navy has had a $40 million, 30-kilowatt Laser Weapons System (LaWS) aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. “They’re using it every single day,” said the Chief of Naval Research, Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder. Sailors — not contractors or engineers — perform basic… Keep reading →

The US Capitol seen from the Newseum this morning during a US Naval Institute conference.

UPDATED: Includes Link To NDAA Language Filed Late Tuesday; SASC Weapons Summary  CAPITOL HILL: If you want to get some idea just how hard it will be to reduce the yearly increases in pay and benefits that have marked the last 13 years, look at the new defense policy bill out today. The senior leadership of the… Keep reading →

f-35cproduction

WASHINGTON: Lockheed and the government made it official today, signing the $4.7 billion eighth Low Rate Initial Production contract for the F-35. Here’s the full price and the official language: “Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $4,123,746,486 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive firm-target contract (N00019-13-C-0008) for… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: Someone shoots a cruise missile at you. How far away would you like to stop it: over 200 miles out or less than 35? If you answered “over 200,” congratulations, you’re thinking like the US Navy, which has spent billions of dollars over decades to develop ever more sophisticated anti-missile defenses. According to Bryan… Keep reading →

Next Generation Jammer in tests

WASHINGTON: Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer underwent its first test flights at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake as the electronic warfare association’s annual conference got underway in October. The tests were performed to judge whether the system could successfully jam and disrupt enemy threat radars. This marks the first tests of the pod itself, the AESA… Keep reading →

F-35C Joint Strike Fighter conducts its first launch from an aircraft carrier.

WASHINGTON: Hard as it may be to believe in light of the F-35’s history, the carrier version of the plane completed its first shipboard developmental tests three days early. Now the program did build several days into the F-35C’s test schedule to embrace delays caused by weather or other unexpected problems, but the fact is… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

ABOARD THE USS ARLINGTON: 17 warships and two submarines. Thousands of personnel from 19 countries. Billions of dollars of high-tech hardware. Months of planning. But sometimes you still have to improvise. When US and Dutch warships and marines united in an international task force for the 2014 Bold Alligator wargames off Virginia, the two countries could… Keep reading →

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