CNO

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 →

Falcon Hypersonic

CAPITOL HILL: Sometimes it can seem as if one lives on several different planets at the same time while living here in Washington. This afternoon saw three top GOP lawmakers decrying China after it apparently tested (we don’t know if the test was successful) a hypersonic vehicle. This evening, the Navy announced it is beefing… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Steve Grundman

After three years of the “age of austerity” in Western military spending, investors’ imperatives and corporate strategies show one indication of how the defense-industrial base will evolve over the next decade. Investors want public companies that demonstrate an attractive risk-adjusted total return, not just M&A-fueled arbitrage plays. In response, companies are husbanding or harvesting their financial… Keep reading →

PENTAGON: With a new military strategy emphasizing Asia and alliance-building, the U.S. Pacific Fleet today kicked off its largest international exercise in years, known as “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC).

Some 42 ships are representing 22 countries, including India, which the US has been wooing as a counterweight to China, and Russia, once the presumed enemy in the annual “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) exercise. The Chief of Naval Operations told reporters today that, heck yeah, the Chinese would be welcome too: “The more the better,” he said. Keep reading →

ABOARD THE USS WASP: Putting the best face on a potentially grim future, the Navy’s top officer is telling his sailors that the active fleet will be about the same size in five years as it is now, despite recently announced plans to retire a bunch of ships early and to not build as many new ones as planned.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, told sailors and Marines here that the number of ships in the fleet in 2017 “will be about the same, 285, but it won’t be going up as high as we wanted.” Keep reading →