An Avenger-class minesweeper at work

This is the third in our exclusive series on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this global and very real threat. Here we’re looking at the most promising technologies, ships and aircraft that can give the United States the edge in this crucial and complex battle.… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: Iran’s threat to strangle oil tanker traffic through the Straits of Hormuz has the Navy scrambling to redress its decades-old neglect of mine warfare. Admirals from the Chief of Naval Operations on down have publicly admitted the service is not where it needs to be.

“What I find amazing is the amount of interest that’s being afforded mine warfare by the senior navy leadership,” said Scott Truver, a naval analyst and author. “It’s all due to the Iranian threat to close — if indeed it is possible to close — the Hormuz Straits.” Keep reading →

Those Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden arrived at his hideout in Pakistan by helicopter. While few Americans have seen video of those helos in flight, that is just the most dramatic example of how much the military relies on such machines these days.

No military equipment has been more pivotal for U.S. forces in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere over the last decade than rotorcraft, but you’d never guess that from the relative pittance the Pentagon annually spends to make them better and safer. Keep reading →