Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

CAPITOL HILL: Sen. John McCain says the $4.7 billion overrun on the Navy’s new Ford-class aircraft carriers is “unacceptable.” That’s understandable. But Congress’s own investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, told McCain today it’s also “predictable.” Given our broken acquisition system, huge cost and schedule overruns on new designs are the norm, GAO said, adding… Keep reading →

A Navy F-35C conducts its first-ever arrested landing aboard the carrier USS Nimitz

WASHINGTON: The conference version of the defense policy bill for 2016 puts the Navy on notice in multiple high-priority programs. In three areas — carriers, the UCLASS drone, and LCS — Sen. John McCain‘s tough positions prevailed over the House, albeit with some compromises around the edges. In a fourth — Ticonderoga-class cruisers — it was a House leader,… Keep reading →

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000)

WASHINGTON: Under intense budget pressure, a Pentagon cost-cutting team is pushing the Navy to cancel its third and last Zumwalt-class destroyer, the Lyndon Johnson (DDG-1002). But two sources familiar with the program say this cost-cutting measure just doesn’t add up. The DDG-1000 Zumwalts are expensive; three ships will cost almost $13 billion. About $9 billion of that… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin photo

Once, the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship was a nightmare of cost overruns, schedule slips, and design flaws. That was especially true of Lockheed Martin’s LCS-1, the Freedom, with its hull cracks and electrical failures. Eight ships later, the design is fixed and the price has dropped by a third . Production is moving at such a… Keep reading →

RDML Jabaley, Michael

WASHINGTON: Submariners come under a lot of pressure — up to 100,000 pounds per square inch, to be exact. Now sub program managers ashore are under intense pressure too, as the Navy tries to squeeze three major sub initiatives — including the enormously expensive Ohio-class replacement (ORP) — into a tightening budget. That’s the challenge career… Keep reading →

BA14 LPD Arlington & Dutch boats from bridge of DE WITT IMG_0309

WASHINGTON: Is the US Navy really so short of warships that Marines must catch a ride on foreign vessels, like heavily armed hitchhikers? The answer is, well, sort of. Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire — the Marines definitely could use more amphibious warfare ships — but on this story, politicians, lobbyists, and some of… Keep reading →

Navy cruiser Lake Erie launches SM-3 IB missile 575519537757ad8b1368733557

WASHINGTON: Sometimes success is its own punishment. Shooting down ballistic missiles is one of the Navy’s most high-tech, high-profile capabilities — and it’s one of the most popular with Congress as well. But as demand for missile defense increases at what the Chief of Naval Operations has called an “unsustainable” pace, it’s an ever-greater burden… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

UPDATE: Forbes’s amendment passed the House Wednesday night, by 321 votes to 111. WASHINGTON: Two powerful committees are headed for a rare House floor fight over a controversial fund to build new nuclear missile submarines. Rep. Randy Forbes and Rep. Joe Courtney, the chairman and top Democrat of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower,… Keep reading →

Navy photo

The geostrategic sky isn’t falling because the US won’t have an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf region for a period this fall. Land-based aircraft will do an excellent job of striking ISIL, analysts say, while smaller ships are better suited to combat Iran in the tight confines of the Gulf. “This is not an example of American… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

CAPITOL HILL: There is zero room for error in the Navy’s $80 billion plan for nuclear missile submarines, a senior sub admiral said this morning. “We have effectively skipped an entire SSBN generation,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, “but in doing so we have consumed the entire margin for error.” America’s first nuclear missile submarine,… Keep reading →

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