lcs

Robert Work

UPDATED: Adds DepSecDef Explanation For Additional LCS PENTAGON: “We don’t have enough money to do everything we want to do,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told me in an exclusive 85-minute interview in his E-Ring Pentagon office. “So what we’re doing this year, Sydney, is we are trying to prepare as many demonstrations on advanced… Keep reading →

USS Independence, LCS-2

WASHINGTON: The day before the Defense Department unveils a budget that cuts the Littoral Combat Ship program, news broke that two top senators had slammed the controversial vessel in a letter to the Chief of Naval Operations. That letter and our analysis follow: Senate Armed Services Committee chairman — and decorated Navy pilot — John McCain is no… Keep reading →

Navy photo

UPDATED with full DOT&E memo WASHINGTON: On Friday, a Navy official told us a critical test report on the embattled Littoral Combat Ship was “unfair.” This afternoon, we found out the Pentagon’s independent test office has already circulated a coldly scathing response. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered the Navy to cut the LCS in favor of… Keep reading →

pentagonaerial

PENTAGON: After 25 years of war in the Middle East, the Pentagon’s 2017 budget is the first driven by Russia and China. “The program has been shifted to a more acute focus on the two high-end competitors, Russia and China,” a senior defense official told Sydney in an interview ahead of Secretary Ash Carter’s budget speech this… Keep reading →

USS Coronado

PENTAGON: “Unfair!” That, in a word, is the Navy’s response to a Director of Operational Test & Evaluation report saying the controversial Littoral Combat Ship had trouble defending itself against Iranian-style swarms of fast attack boats. Yes, a Navy official told me, in the test some “enemy” boats got dangerously close to the USS Coronado… Keep reading →

USS Independence, LCS-2

WASHINGTON: Is the Littoral Combat Ship a real warship? That question has bedeviled the small, sleek, lightly armed ships for years. Now it’s taken on new urgency as the Defense Department and the Navy both refocus on high-intensity, high-tech warfighting against “great powers” — i.e. China and Russia. Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to cut… Keep reading →

SINGAPORE (April 18, 3013) Sailors attached to Forward Liason Element, USS Freedom (LCS 1), observe Freedom as it arrives in Singapore during an eight-month deployment to Southeast Asia. Fast, agile, and mission focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this deployment to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

WASHINGTON: “I guess I’m going to have to attack your question on almost every aspect,” Adm. John Richardson told me. As an analyst, it’s unnerving to have the Navy’s top admiral tell you to your face, albeit politely, that you’re just plain wrong. (I’d politely disagree, though I did miss some important nuances in an earlier story). I had asked… Keep reading →

USS Coronado

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s decision to curtail the controversial Littoral Combat Ship program may not be the last word, according to several well informed sources. Those sources independently told Breaking Defense that the Office of the Secretary of Defense is divided over the decision cut LCS from 52 ships to 40. So is the Navy, which has had pro-… Keep reading →

Navy photo

[UPDATED with Rep. Forbes & Robert Martinage comments] WASHINGTON: Presence? What’s “presence”?” Once a primary measure of naval power and a driving factor in shipbuilding decisions, the word “presence” appears not once in the new Chief of Naval Operations’ strategic vision, out today. Instead, Adm. John Richardson‘s eight-page “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority” mentions “war,”… Keep reading →

A Navy cruiser launches a Harpoon anti-ship missile, a 1977 design unsuited for long-range war in the Pacific.

2016 will be challenging for the Navy. At sea the fleet will continue to face demands that exceed its supply of forces, while at home the fiscal 2017 budget is likely to make difficult choices that prioritize high quality over adequate quantity. Most significantly for sailors, the supply-demand mismatch will get worse next year. While… Keep reading →

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