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Frank Kendall

CAPITOL HILL: The United States will begin serious development of prototypes for so-called sixth generation fighters — successors to the F-35 and F-22 — for the Navy and the Air Force in the 2016 budget, says the head of Pentagon acquisition, Frank Kendall. The Aviation Innovation Initiative is a new effort, not an agglomeration of existing DARPA… Keep reading →

ssn695

WASHINGTON: Submarines have been America’s invisible advantage since World War II. But the oceans are getting more transparent. New detection technologies from low-frequency sonar to flashing LEDs — plus the big data computing power to enhance the faint signals they pick up — are making submarines much easier to detect. The same water-penetrating wavelengths, however, will… Keep reading →

Tomahawk cruise missile launch against Khorasan group in Syria

Last week, the US Navy made waves by announcing two bold ideas for the surface fleet: a new concept of warfighting called “distributed lethality” — “If it floats, it fights” — and a new name for the controversial Littoral Combat Ship — now called a “frigate.” We asked Bryan Clark, a former special assistant to… Keep reading →

The two variants of the Navy Littoral Combat Ship -- LCS-1 Freedom and LCS-2 Independence - side by side off the California coast.

CRYSTAL CITY: What’s in a frigate? That which we call a Littoral Combat Ship by any other name would smell as sweet — or stink as bad, according to LCS’s many critics. While LCS is being redesigned and renamed, there’s a lot of hard work and hard choices required to make the improvements real. Yesterday,… Keep reading →

Bold Alligator

CRYSTAL CITY: Nudge nudge, wink wink, we love V-22s, Navy officials said here today. We couldn’t possibly confirm the Breaking Defense report that the service’s 2016 budget request buys V-22 Ospreys for the Carrier Onboard Delivery mission, they said, but if hypothetically the Navy happened to choose the V-22 to shuttle people and supplies to… Keep reading →

Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

CRYSTAL CITY: “If it floats, it fights,” Rear Adm. Peter Fanta says. “That’s ‘distributed lethality'[:] Make every cruiser, destroyer, amphib, LCS [Littoral Combat Ship], a thorn in somebody else’s side.” “It just takes arming everything,” says Fanta, the director of surface warfare (section N96) on the Navy staff. “Lethality” simply means more and better weapons. “Distributed” means… Keep reading →

USS Nautilus 60th anniversary cake IMG_1217

WASHINGTON NAVY YARD: One of the most secretive agencies in the Navy didn’t just invite reporters to its headquarters today: It offered them cookies and cake. The agency? The Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program. The occasion? The 60th anniversary of the first submarine ever to sail under nuclear power. But there’s a lot more going on… Keep reading →

Tom Cotton

WASHINGTON: The youngest senator on Capitol Hill, and one of the very few lawmakers who can wear a Bronze Star and a Ranger tab, has stepped right from his one-term House seat to chairmanship of one of the most important subcommittees on Capitol Hill. That would be Tom Cotton of Arkansas, the new chair of… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

WASHINGTON: One of the Pentagon procurement system’s top officials and one of its harshest critics sounded optimistic today that the military can improve how it buys weapons. The key, both said, is for Congress to repeal old laws that now get in the way before it writes anything new — an idea to which the… Keep reading →

USS Fort Worth, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 3.

The Littoral Combat Ship Fort Worth joined the search for the remains of Air Asia Flight QZ8501. This grim mission marked more than a real-world test of a new and controversial class of ship. It also shows why the Navy needs something like LCS at all. The Fort Worth started working this weekend with the… Keep reading →

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