Sea

A computer-generated image of a Royal Navy F-35B taking off vertically from the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be commissioned July 4th.

WASHINGTON: The United Kingdom is committed to a high-end battle fleet centered on two aircraft carriers, a senior Ministry of Defense official made clear yesterday. Just as important, the UK is committed to funding adequate crews to sail them — something that had been in doubt after much discussion about cutting costs by effectively mothballing the… Keep reading →

Coast Guard ice breaker Healy

UPDATED: WITH WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ON BUYING MORE ICE BREAKERS WASHINGTON: After seven years of thinking about the possibilities, the Obama administration now says it wants to build at least one serious icebreaker in the face of increasing competition for the oil, gas, fish and shipping routes the Arctic can offer. Right now, we’ve got two truly… Keep reading →

An unmanned mine-hunting mini-sub, the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV)

WASHINGTON: In a letter obtained by Breaking Defense, senators John McCain and Jack Reed slam a key component of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship as unreliable and urge the Pentagon to explore alternatives to the Remote Mine-Hunting System. In their Aug. 31 letter to the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, Frank Kendall, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, and outgoing Chief… Keep reading →

Navy photo

Think of it as Google Glass goes to war — only less nerd and more Marine. Budget cuts and readiness shortfalls have the US military looking at virtual reality as a partial replacement for expensive field exercises. But VR has real limits. So this month, young Marines at the Infantry Officer Course in Quantico tested a… Keep reading →

F-35 Japan concept

PENTAGON: This may be one of those stories that turns on phrasing, but the Pentagon’s new spokesman, Peter Cook, said during yesterday’s briefing — his first — that the military is not reviewing how many F-35s it plans to buy. “Obviously, the budget situation here in Washington will have a big impact on that, but… Keep reading →

Marine V-22 in Monrovia for Ebola support

PENTAGON: The head of Marine aviation is talking with Boeing about costs and ways to upgrade more than half of the service’s 239 V-22 Ospreys to improve readiness. The basic plan would be to improve all 131 of the A and B models of the V-22 to the C level,  Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, told me in an interview… Keep reading →

pentagon-1363895079

At last night’s debate for those with a real shot at the nomination, there was an inverse proportion between the putative Republican presidential candidates’ places in the polls and the detail of information they offered about the US military. Most of the jaw-jaw — for that’s all it is at this stage in the race… Keep reading →

An American JSF AF-4 from the 461 FLTS, Edwards AFB, CA, piloted by Maj. Charles "FLAK" Trickey performs the first contact and fuel transfer from a KC-767 foreign partner Italian Tanker.

This is one of those intriguing benchmarks that illustrates several things about both the F-35 program — it means a lot to allies — and to the Italian tanker program — it works. Irritatingly, I knew this was supposed to happen but it’s hard to write about something that may happen until it does. We have… Keep reading →

BF-02 Flight 197. Asymmetric External Stores Testing on 14 June 2012 with CDR Eric Buus as the pilot.

When Defense Secretary Bob Gates put the F-35B on “probation” and Sen. John McCain became his powerful echo chamber, we responded on the pages of Breaking Defense that these actions were misguided. We had spent many hours with the pilots, maintainers, builders, designers, and testers of the aircraft, and came to a very different conclusion: “The F-35B… Keep reading →

An artist's depiction of a Lockheed Martin LRASM (Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile) hurtling towards its target.

WASHINGTON: For all the US Navy’s worldwide might, it’s painfully short on ship-killing firepower. The Pacific fleet in particular risks being “out-sticked” by longer-ranged Chinese missiles. Today, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations outlined a plan to fill that gap. The two competing options: an update of the old, reliable Tomahawk or the new Long-Range… Keep reading →

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