PENTAGON: The Navy would get the largest budget share among the three military services in the 2014 budget submitted Wednesday, but would still see a drop in total funding from what Congress provided for this year in the final version of the continuing resolution.
The $155.8 billion requested for the Navy Department in the president’s proposed defense budget of $526.6 billion is level with the president’s 2013 request but is $11.4 billion above the request for the Air Force and $26.1 billion larger than that for the Army. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: As the government hurtles towards the latest fiscal cliff, March 1st, the Marine Corps‘ deputy commandant for resources outlined a host of painful potential consequences, from reduced rifle training to cancelled deployments to grounded fighter squadrons. Lt. Gen. John Wissler appealed to Congress for so-called reprogramming authority that would at least let the Marines move around the money they do have to mitigate the worst effects.
[Click here to read about the readiness problems for the Army, Air Force, and Navy]
“Our money’s just in the wrong places in some instances,” Wissler told reporters after his speech this morning to the Navy League. But they can’t move it without explicit permission from Congress, he explained: “What we would need is to move things between appropriations, and they would need to help us there.” Keep reading →
[Corrected 9:35 pm with a note about the EC-130 Compass Call] Is stealth still America’s silver bullet? Or are potential adversaries’ radars getting too smart for US aircraft to keep hiding from them?
That’s literally the trillion-dollar question, because the US military is investing massively in new stealth aircraft. At stake in this debate are not just budgets but America’s continued ability to project power around the world. Keep reading →
Iran. Gaza. Syria. Political opposition in the Emirates and adjoining states. The Persian Gulf region simmers and America may have only one carrier group deployed there at the end of this year. Should we worry?
Let’s examine the puzzle. The USS Nimitz’s planned deployment to the Persian Gulf may be delayed. That is raising concern, since the Navy will be down to just one carrier in the region during the months of December and January. Keep reading →
WHIDBEY ISLAND, WASHINGTON: “Every two weeks, we get another Growler,” Cmdr. Christopher Middleton said at the Navy’s electronic warfare hub here. The Navy target is to buy 114 EA-18G Growler aircraft. And it’s those Growler aircraft that will be the cutting edge of future Naval strikes against future “anti-access area denial” defenses like those being built by China.
To break through such defenses, the Navy is very publicly working on a joint “AirSea Battle” concept with the Air Force, but the two services have taken starkly different approaches to defeating enemy radar. Keep reading →
ST. LOUIS: Boeing renewed its campaign to bash Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and promote its F-18 fighters today, as the president of Boeing Military Aircraft slammed the Joint Strike Fighter while noting declining defense budgets here and abroad.
“The F-35 continues to delay and delay,” Christopher Chadwick told a group of reporters at Boeing’s defense headquarters here. “Yes, the F-35 has all-aspect stealth, but that is used in a relatively small part of the combat envelope.” Keep reading →
PENTAGON: The Defense Department named new chiefs today for the Naval Air Systems Command, responsible for all naval aircraft acquisitions, and for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, better known as Naval Reactors (NR), an obscure but powerful organization shard between the Energy Department and the Navy.
Vice Admiral John Richardson, currently the commander of the Atlantic Fleet’s submarine force, will pin on his fourth star as a full admiral when he takes over NR, the job once held by the legendary Hyman Rickover. Rickover exploited NR’s anomalous position — reporting both to the Navy and to the Atomic Energy Commission (which evolved into the Department of Energy) — to build an almost autonomous empire, and the Navy nuclear propulsion program remains a world unto itself. Richardson, like Rickover and outgoing NR chief Adm. Kirkland Donald, is a career submariner, but he’s unusual in the normally reserved submarine community for writing a blog, including a recent, widely cited post on character that pulls together such diverse strands as the Naval academy cheating scandal, Ahu Ghraib, and Plato’s Republic. Keep reading →
PENTAGON: The Navy’s F/A-XX initiative has been depicted as an ultra-advanced “sixth generation” aircraft that the Navy would prefer to buy instead of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. But Breaking Defense interviews with Navy and industry sources strongly suggest that the service has little appetite for another expensive development program and that the most likely candidate for the F/A-XX is, in fact, an upgraded F-35.
“We’re not chasing the next shiny object,” a Navy official told Breaking Defense. “We’re looking to what is the art of the possible with regard to affordable warfighting capability.” Keep reading →
FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: The sun shone — sometimes. Well, once in a while. But regardless of the weather here crowds turned out to watch the planes, especially the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Its sleek composite frame complemented the subtle bend of the wings as the plane took off and banked.
The 787′s pilot was praised by the announcer (yes, they have an announcer at the air show who tells people what plane is flying, offers technical explanation of the maneuvers and discusses the pilots’ qualifications and special skills) for staying within 100 feet of his programmed flight path even as he banked sharply and wandered through the clouds. Keep reading →