carriers

Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

NORFOLK: The famed “eyes of the fleet” are getting sharper. The Navy has declared the latest variant, the E-2D radar plane, ready for real-world operations just in time for the 50th anniversary of the original E-2 Hawkeye. The first five-plane squadron will deploy on the USS Theodore Roosevelt next year. Meanwhile, the current E-2C models are… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin's UCLASS concept.

It’s crunch time for UCLASS. On September 10th — after multiple delays — the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer and his Defense Acquisition Board will sit in judgment on the proposed combat drone. The question: how best to bring the robot revolution to the deck of the 90-year-old aircraft carrier. The “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and… Keep reading →

The U.S. Navy's unmanned X-47B conducts flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The aircraft completed a series of tests demonstrating its ability to operate safely and seamlessly with manned aircraft. Operating alongside an F/A-18, the X-47B demonstrated two successful launch and recovery sequences. The Theodore Roosevelt is currently underway preparing for future deployments. Photo by Alan Radecki.

[UPDATED: Key test goal met] Robots may be the future of war, but for now they’re going to have to share the battlefield with humans and human-operated vehicles. That’s especially tricky in the tight confines of a Navy carrier’s flight deck, where one miscalculation could drive a drone into a manned aircraft, the bridge island, a… Keep reading →

100803-F-9209C-945

[UPDATED with details on latest strikes] Yesterday, President Obama ordered humanitarian airdrops to Iraqi refugees and authorized — but did not actually launch — airstrikes on Islamic State forces threatening either the refugees or Erbil, the capital of quasi-independent Kurdistan. This morning, at 6:45 am Washington time, the other shoe dropped, in the form of 500-pound smart bombs… Keep reading →

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.

WASHINGTON: August is the month of decision for UCLASS, the Navy’s controversial program to build armed drones that fly off aircraft carriers. At stake: whether the “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance & Strike” aircraft will be primarily a scout (surveillance) or a bomber (strike). The new Deputy Secretary of Defense, Bob Work, delayed the Navy’s release of… Keep reading →

HMS Queen Elizabeth CGI image

WASHINGTON: 65,000-ton ships are hard to turn around, and they can drag a lot else in their wake. That’s the $10.4 billion (£6.2 billion) bet the Royal Navy has placed on its controversial program to build two new aircraft carriers. While a third smaller than American nuclear carriers, the ships’ costs have grown so much… Keep reading →

The Navy's X-47B drone becomes the first unmanned aircraft to launch from an aircraft carrier.

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: The Navy’s carrier-based drone known as UCLASS continues to face challenges from the Joint Staff, parts of the Navy and, perhaps most importantly, Capitol HIll. While the head of the program, Rear Adm. Mat Winter, told reporters here yesterday that a Request for Proposal will be issued “very soon,” the program’s requirements… Keep reading →

Amtank landing at Peleliu on D-Day

WASHINGTON: Tarawa. Saipan. Iwo Jima. Peleliu. Okinawa, Inchon. These are among the most sacred names in Marine Corps history. They define the sea-borne warriors’ in so many ways: sacrifice, grit, honor, competence. To most Americans, and to many Marines, those amphibious assaults are the soul of the Corps. But those bloody and costly frontal assaults are… Keep reading →

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) after Thursday evening's press conference on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015.

THE CAPITOL: “We do emphasize readiness,” Sen. Carl Levin told me. “I for one would rather have a smaller force that is ready than a bigger force that is less ready.” With those words — his parting shot as I hounded him through the Capitol’s marble halls after his official press conference yesterday on the… Keep reading →

A computer-generated image of a Royal Navy F-35B taking off vertically from the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be commissioned July 4th.

WASHINGTON: The best Fourth of July celebrations this year may happen in the evil empire we cast out, if the F-35B flies at the christening of the United Kingdom’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. The final details are still being hammered out, and it may all fall apart, but the official announcement is expected… Keep reading →

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