navy

Navy image

NATIONAL HARBOR: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus may want to move drones to the top of his priorities, but what kind of unmanned systems do the Navy and Marine Corps want to buy? Don’t think Predator or even the Navy’s new 131-foot-wingspan Triton. Imagine a swarm of buzzing, scuttling or swimming robots that are smaller but smarter. While a… Keep reading →

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

UPDATED Thursday with test results NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: “Tomorrow, actually, the weather looks good,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, the Navy’s head of carrier-launched drone programs — at least, he added cautiously, as of “right now.” If the weather holds, the Navy’s experimental X-47B drone will refuel in mid-air — the first time an unmanned aircraft has… Keep reading →

Tomahawk cruise missile launch against the Khorasan group in Syria

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: Amidst unabated budget gloom, Navy and Marine leaders aren’t looking for salvation in big new programs. They’re “repurposing and reusing existing capabilities” to get the maximum out of existing hardware for minimum cost. It’s a vision of the future in which a junior Marine Corps officer might call for fire support from a… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The seas are shrinking. As missiles grow longer-ranged and more precise, as sensors grow ever sharper, there are ever fewer places for a ship to hide. “A ship’s a fool to fight a fort,” goes an old naval adage, because a land base can carry more ammunition and armor than anything that floats. Admirals… Keep reading →

AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter

PENTAGON: “You ever seen what an attack helicopter does to a small boat? That’s a Cuisinart.” The Navy’s long been nervous about the survival of its high-cost high-seas warships in coastal knife fights. (That anxiety drove the development of the controversial Littoral Combat Ship). Iran, in particular, is notorious for its shallow water mini-submarines and… Keep reading →

The Avenger-class minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground in 2013.

WASHINGTON: Every year, the Navy releases its 30-year shipbuilding plan. Every year, budget analysts decry it as unrealistic and sea hawks decry it as underfunded. Last year, the Navy dropped all pretense and agreed with the critics, saying its own modernization plan was “unsustainable” — especially if additional funding was not forthcoming for the new… Keep reading →

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 →

IMCMEX 2013

This is the second in our exclusive series on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this very real global threat. Only 4.7 percent of the US Navy’s 275 warships are dedicated to mine warfare. Those small numbers face Iran’s several thousand naval mines, North Korea’s 50,000, China 100,000 or… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jack Reed SASC hearing

UPDATED: With Thornberry Comment Supporting Reform WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain plans a long-term review of the law underpinning the modern American military, the Goldwater-Nichols legislation that created the current chain of command from president to defense secretary to combatant commanders. “The Committee will be conducting a preliminary examination of the structure, roles, and missions of civilian… Keep reading →

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