The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

PENTAGON: The Navy’s new offices for unmanned systems — that’s drones or robots to you and me — are a long-overdue reform, two top experts tell us. But, as emphasized by both our outside sources and the new Navy officials themselves, it’s equally important to understand the initiative’s limits. This is not an overhaul of the… Keep reading →

Bill LaPlante

WASHINGTON: It may have happened before but I can’t remember when the top acquisition officials of two of the three services announced their resignations in the same month — let alone on the same day. But both Bill LaPlante, the lead buyer for the Air Force, and Heidi Shyu, his counterpart at the Army, did just… Keep reading →

Navy photo

CAPITOL HILL: The Navy and Marines are deploying at a pace they can’t sustain, says a report released today.And no feasible defense budget can build a big enough force to solve the problem, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments says. Even the Navy’s famously optimistic 30-year shipbuilding plan — denounced by House seapower chairman Randy… Keep reading →

Fiery Cross Reef April 11, 2015

UPDATED: Obama Calls On China To Halt Reclamation On Reefs WASHINGTON:  China is destroying swaths of coral reefs in one of the most important fisheries in Asia and causing enormous environmental damage as it builds the fake islands it is putting up in the South China Sea, To get some idea as to just how extensive China’s… Keep reading →

Submarine launched cruise missile

WASHINGTON: Two years ago, Capt. John Zimmerman and his award-winning Navy team were testing a software upgrade for submarines when they ran into a surprising problem. When they changed the code controlling the Tomahawk missile launchers, the torpedo tubes stopped working. Fortunately, this all happened in a laboratory ashore before the upgrade got anywhere near the… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. graphic

WASHINGTON: The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have found the $5 billion in cuts required under the budget deal. As HASC chairman Mac Thornberry promised, some of them are painful. The committees released the detailed list Tuesday after close of business, formatted into categories only a legislative aide could love, such as “Increases to… Keep reading →

Russian Tu-95 Bear & USAF F-22 Raptor 071122-F-ZY202-005

WASHINGTON: NATO‘s supreme commander is on a pilgrimage to the Pentagon to ask for three things. Gen. Philip Breedlove wants more intelligence support, more naval power, and continued focus on the Russian threat to Europe. That’s tricky at a time when the Russian intervention in Syria — where the US will now send special operations… Keep reading →


UPDATED 9:45 am Tuesday with details of operation & Chinese response WASHINGTON: After five months of hints, declarations, mixed messages, and dithering, the US is reportedly set to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea. But the months of signaling will cost us. What might have been a low-key “freedom of navigation operation” — sailing,… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: Are we giving Beijing mixed messages? On the one hand, the US Navy is getting ready — maybe — to challenge Chinese claims around their artificial islets in the South China Sea. On the other hand, the Navy’s also preparing to welcome three Chinese warships at Naval Station Mayport in Florida two weeks from… Keep reading →

F-35As at Nellis.

CAPITOL HILL: While Congress and the media focus on immediate issues with the F-35’s ejection seat, the program has begun working on a long-range modernization plan to upgrade the Joint Strike Fighter’s combat power. This modernization package, with the so-called Block 4 software upgrade at its core, is essential to the aircraft reaching its “full warfighting capability,” Maj. Gen.… Keep reading →

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