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 →

Everyone’s scared of sequestration. But the US Navy and its shipbuilders are particularly upset by the prospect, because both the large-scale nature of naval construction and a historic quirk of the appropriations process leave warships particularly vulnerable. That’s why the Navy League of the United States, one of the nation’s oldest and most influential advocacy groups, is about to mobilize its members against sequestration. Keep reading →

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: Britain is the land of “the Lobby,” a setup that grants an official group of reporters access to senior government officials — including the Prime Minister — but does not allow them to attribute the information to anyone.

It is also the land that gave us the Chatham House Rule, that, when invoked means those attending an event “are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” Keep reading →

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD [updated 7:30 am Thursday 19 April with Congressional comment and Raymond Pritchett’s retraction] : The smartest man in the Department of the Navy, Under Secretary Robert O. Work, erupted today in a passionate defense of the service’s integrity in how it counts its ships and of the controversial Littoral Combat Ship‘s place as the most numerous class in the future fleet. Keep reading →

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: Trucks, not sports cars – that’s the Chief of Naval Operations’ vision for an affordable and upgradeable future fleet. And that’s good news for an array of programs, from the controversial Littoral Combat Ship, to the LPD-17 amphibious ship, to a Marine Corps initiative called Harvest Hawk that straps missiles to a KC-130J aerial tanker (pictured).

Historically, Greenert said in an address to the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space convention on Tuesday, when the Navy wants to bring a technology to the fleet – a radar, a sonar, a missile – it hardwires it into a ship or aircraft designed to carry that specific system. “The philosophy has been [that] we’ll design the capability to be integral inside the platform, and we’ll build a pretty high-end integrated sports car,” Greenert said, “but it’s integral and [so] it’s hard to change and it’s hard to update.” Keep reading →

This is going to hurt. That’s the grim message to defense contractors and federal workers alike from top acquisitions brass in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who convened at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space conference this morning to discuss the new “era of austerity.” Pressure to cut costs coming from the highest levels, as with the Administration’s recent cancellation of the Block 30 Global Hawk. As that pain rolls downhill from the service secretaries, the flag officers who run the acquisitions commands are going to tighten centralized control over both industry and their own subordinates in order to double-check every penny. Keep reading →

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: “The LCS is a warship and it is fully capable of going into combat situations,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus insisted to skeptical reporters yesterday. Mabus was attempting to take the edge off last week’s frank acknowledgment by the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, that the Littoral Combat Ship is significantly less survivable than mainline Navy vessels. Keep reading →

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: The Coast Guard is shrinking and may have to cut back on traditional missions like fisheries protection and drug interdiction to free up resources for new issues like cybersecurity and the thawing of the Arctic, warned the service’s commandant, Admiral Robert J. Papp, this morning at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space convention. Keep reading →


UPDATED: Israeli Air Force Flew In CV-22 When In US; UAE May Be First Foreign Sale Keep reading →