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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 →

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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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WASHINGTON: Nuclear weapons are expensive. So are the bombers, missiles, and submarines used to deliver them. But in the context of total defense spending, budget guru Todd Harrison argues, they’re a relatively affordable — and strategically critical — part of our armed forces. Even a package of radical cuts to nuclear forces — reducing submarines… Keep reading →

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From the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, the US military is getting more and more worried about the threat from various missiles. But all incoming missiles are not the same, which makes missile defense much harder. That’s the problem Raytheon’s SM-6 interceptor tackled in a recent test that has important tactical implications. If you… Keep reading →

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