CVN-78

A US Navy carrier, the USS Roosevelt, undergoing "full-ship shock trials" using live explosives.

You’d expect the nation’s top weapons tester to be a stickler about testing. But there’s “rigorous testing” and then there’s “let’s shoot cruise missiles at you and see what happens.” It’s not that the Navy is wimpy about testing. The service conducts “full-ship shock trials” like the USS Roosevelt test pictured above, where it sets off a… Keep reading →

111009-N-DU438-097

The Navy’s aircraft carrier programs are once again at the vortex of intense scrutiny and debate, fueled by strategic ambiguity, questions about spending billions of dollars for a single ship during a period of painfully tight budgets, and uncertainty whether advanced technologies and systems will deliver the “goods.” As well, carrier critics point to supposed… Keep reading →

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Jan. 26, 2013) Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrated significant progress today as the 555-metric ton island was lowered onto the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division. The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island was the 452nd lift of the nearly 500 total lifts needed to complete the aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Huntington Ingalls Industries/Released)

CAPITOL HILL: Yes, the defense budget is a mess. Continued uncertainty about whether sequestration will go away or is the new norm has thrown the annual budget process into even greater disarray than usual. But, Rep. Randy Forbes believes there’s a silver lining. Precisely because the president’s budget request is largely overtaken by events, Congress… Keep reading →

CF-2 Flight 158 with Mr. Dan Canin and CF-1 Flight 189 with LT Chris Tabert on 18 January 2013. First dual refueling of F-35C on KC-130 tanker. [Lockheed Martin]

An aircraft carrier is nothing without aircraft, and a Navy aircraft is worth little without a carrier. It’s ships and planes in synergy that revolutionized war at sea in the 1930s and with new systems now entering service – the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter and the Ford-class carrier – they can do it again. On… Keep reading →

The $13 billion supercarrier USS Ford under construction in Newport News, Va.

CAPITOL HILL: It’s been a rough 48 hours for the US Navy. Yesterday, the Littoral Combat Ship was battered by House appropriators and questioned by a leaked report. Today it was the Senate Armed Service seapower subcommittee’s turn to grill the Navy about its aircraft carrier and submarine programs. While the automatic 10-year budget cuts known as sequestration played a major role… Keep reading →

CAPITOL HILL: Congress and the Obama administration should thank their lucky stars that hardly anyone watched this morning’s House Armed Services Committee hearing about sequestration.

Everyone in the political arena will try to paint this one as the other’s fault. The GOP will blame the Democrats. The White House will blame the GOP. The GOP will blame the White House and the Democrats. And our country will remain mired in the same quagmire: our elected representatives lack the courage to fix our nation’s books. Keep reading →

DepSecDef Carter @ #HASC says sequester wld mean cuts 4 F-35s, 1 P-8, 12 Strykers, 300 medium, heavy tactical vehicles CVN-78, LCS delays ColinClarkAol


PENTAGON: Lockheed Martin scrambled today to explain the latest increases in the Joint Strike Fighter’s costs, arguing that the three versions of the aircraft “will be comparable to or lower than that of the seven” older airplanes it will replace. Overall, the F-35 will cost an appreciably impressive $1.5 trillion over the 55 years it is expected to be flying, up from an estimated $1 trillion.

The latest numbers were released this afternoon as part of the Pentagon’s authoritative Selected Acquisition Report. The overall value of the program comes from a Lockheed Martin statement. Keep reading →