carriers

An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

CAPITOL HILL: It’s a problem the US Navy wants to have, but it’s still a problem. If the service gets enough money both to build its top priority, the Ohio Replacement Program nuclear missile submarine, and to keep producing its vaunted Virginia-class attack subs, then so much new work will be hitting the shipyards so rapidly that they’ll be… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: The Republican congressman who oversees the Navy actually likes Barack Obama’s 2016 defense budget — except for one small thing: It isn’t really a budget. “It would be almost a misnomer to call this a budget. It’s [just] numbers,” Rep. Randy Forbes told me this morning, in advance of tomorrow’s budget hearing. “If you… Keep reading →

Bold Alligator

CRYSTAL CITY: Nudge nudge, wink wink, we love V-22s, Navy officials said here today. We couldn’t possibly confirm the Breaking Defense report that the service’s 2016 budget request buys V-22 Ospreys for the Carrier Onboard Delivery mission, they said, but if hypothetically the Navy happened to choose the V-22 to shuttle people and supplies to… Keep reading →

Expanding the Reach of the Carrier Strike Group

F-35C on approach to USS Nimitz

Naval Air Station Fallon trains the naval air wing for aircraft carriers; Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, director of Navy Air Warfare, works to improve its capabilities. Manazir is a battle-hardened carrier admiral. By chance our interview with the admiral occurred shortly after the successful initial tests of the F-35C aboard the USS Nimitz. He focused on the… Keep reading →

The $13 billion supercarrier USS Ford under construction in Newport News, Va.

WASHINGTON: Navy readiness won’t fully recover from the second-order effects of the 2013 sequester for another year, the Chief of Naval Operations said this morning — and if the Budget Control Act cuts (known as sequestration) return in full force for fiscal year 2016, the nation might lose two of its five remaining major shipyards.… Keep reading →

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

ABOARD USS NIMITZ: The first F-35C seemed to float through the air toward the slowly pitching deck of the USS Nimitz, looking as if it was hanging by a wire and heading implacably to the ship’s arresting wires. The weather was gorgeous, with the massive carrier sailing some 40 miles off the San Diego coast through… Keep reading →

F-35C with wings up

WASHINGTON: The next two weeks will be enormously important for the Navy’s carrier-based version of the Joint Strike Fighter as two F-35Cs undergo extensive testing operating from the USS Nimitz. The Navy has been the least committed of the three services buying versions of the Joint Strike Fighter, so if the two planes being tested… Keep reading →

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 →

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