Sea

The amphibious ship USS San Antonio, LPD-17.

CAPITOL HILL: Sometimes $800 million is not enough. Congress really, really wants the Navy to buy a 12th San Antonio­-class amphibious warship. The Marine Corps really, really wants the ship, which would be designated LPD-28. And of course shipbuilder Huntington-Ingalls really, really wants the contract, which would help fill a multi-year gap in amphib construction.… Keep reading →

JointStrikeMissile

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: It’s a remarkable story, really. A fairly tiny country, Norway, decides to place a $1.3 billion bet on developing one of the world’s most capable missiles to be fired from what will probably become the world’s most popular fighter, the F-35. The missile, known as the Joint Strike Missile, may become a… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

F-35B and C

UPDATED: Safety Engine Inspections Make Trans-Atlantic Flights Impracticable   FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: That whoosh sound you just heard was the air rushing out of all the Pentagon officials, Lockheed Martin employees and the myriads who still hoped the F-35Bs would fly here. Rear Adm. John Kirby issued this statement at 7 p.m BST during a… Keep reading →

F-35B in STOVL mode

UPDATED: Frank Kendall Says Decisions Coming Soon on Farnborough Flights FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: An official statement from the Pentagon is on the way but I can confirm that the order grounding the F-35 fleet has been lifted and the pilots waiting on 24-hour standby may well be scrambling fo their planes as I type. Just… Keep reading →

The Navy's X-47B drone becomes the first unmanned aircraft to launch from an aircraft carrier.

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: The Navy’s carrier-based drone known as UCLASS continues to face challenges from the Joint Staff, parts of the Navy and, perhaps most importantly, Capitol HIll. While the head of the program, Rear Adm. Mat Winter, told reporters here yesterday that a Request for Proposal will be issued “very soon,” the program’s requirements… Keep reading →

F-35B and C

LONDON: The head of Pentagon acquisition told reporters here today that “we do not see at this point what I call a systemic problem” resulting from the F-35A fire that led to the grounding of the fleet. “We understand to a degree what happened here. The question is why did it happen,” according to reporting by… Keep reading →

LHA-6 USS America sails - kids in foreground

After five years in the shipyard, the first of a new class of Navy amphibious warship set sail today from its Pascagoula, Miss. birthsite for San Francisco, headed for the fleet. LHA-6 will be commissioned as the USS America this October. America has been controversial in the military and on this website. I’ve argued the LHA-6… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, GEORGIA: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel came here Wednesday to celebrate the Navy’s nuclear deterrence force. But just 20 minutes in, a petty officer second class stood up in front of almost 200 of his comrades and pointed out the $95 billion elephant in the room: Can the Navy afford to… Keep reading →

Navy Tests Converted Guided Missile Sub

Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, during a two-day round of base visits to highlight top budgetary concerns, told an all-hands gathering of nuclear submariners today that America’s military has let its focus on nuclear issues “drift” under pressure from the last 13 years of land wars. “Over the years we’ve let our focus on the nuclear… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine (SSBN).

WASHINGTON: “Unsustainable.” That’s the Navy’s own official assessment of the spending rates required to keep the fleet large and modern enough to do its missions. For the service to state this in writing ratchets up not just the rhetoric but the likelihood of future budget battles in the Pentagon and on the Hill — especially… Keep reading →

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