CVN-79

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 →

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 →


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 →