Congress

Lockheed Martin graphic

CAPITOL HILL: Take my mission — please. The armed services are notorious for overselling their capabilities and grabbing turf to justify budgets. But when it comes to ballistic missile defense, the Navy feels so overburdened that it is talking up land-based alternatives as superior to its vaunted Aegis ships. [Click here for Part I of this… 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 →

Lockheed Martin's UCLASS concept.

WASHINGTON: Overstretched as they are, the Navy’s 10 aircraft carriers remain unequalled icons of American might. But the ugly truth is they’re not as mighty as they might be. The maximum range of carrier-borne strike aircraft has eroded over the last quarter century. Even the Navy’s future fighter, the F-35C, will have an unrefueled range of about 600… Keep reading →

John McCain

WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain wants the four services chiefs to have more power to buy weapons efficiently and cheaply. Frank Kendall and his colleagues who oversee Pentagon acquisition, technology and logistics (ATL) have made it pretty clear they don’t think that’s a good idea. So I asked the chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee… Keep reading →

Gen.Ray Odierno

WASHINGTON: “In the next two years,” Army chief of staff Ray Odierno said today, the service could move out on four new combat vehicles and reboot its aging inventory for a new era of war. They range from a parachute-droppable light truck for Airborne soldiers to a scout car, a light tank, and a new… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The Senate Armed Services Committee has joined the push to give the Army a much larger role in the Pacific. The hard part, ironically, may be getting the Army to go along. Why should soldiers do more in the Pacific, a theater traditionally dominated by pilots, Marines, and, above all, sailors? The Pacific, obviously, is… Keep reading →

Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo

WASHINGTON: As nations like China build up their anti-access/area denial defenses to keep the US out, “the submarine force is the key that unlocks that A2/AD bubble,” Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo once said. “We’re the folks that are expected to get in underneath.” As the two-star director of Undersea Warfare on the Navy’s Pentagon staff… Keep reading →

Ray Mabus

[UPDATED with Congressional reaction] ROSLYN, VA: Ray Mabus likes robots. The Navy Secretary has declared the F-35 will be “the last manned strike fighter” the service ever buys and invested heavily in unmanned aircraft, boats, and submersibles. But Mabus has frustrated drone advocates on one major program: the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft. This morning, Mabus defended… Keep reading →

Frank Kendall

TYSON’S CORNER: Dear Senator McCain, we need to talk — sincerely, Frank Kendall. The Pentagon’s top buyer made clear today that he doesn’t know nearly enough about McCain’s ambitious acquisition reform plan, and some of what he does know makes him nervous. In particular, Undersecretary Kendall said, he doesn’t want the four service chiefs — the Army… Keep reading →

Lesser prairie chicken and House NDAA 2016

WASHINGTON: Since everyone is exhausted after the final passage of the House version of the annual defense policy bill, let us offer a note of whimsy, nay, even humor, to help lift everyone’s spirits after the unusually depressing saga of watching Democrats and Republicans largely just stand on the floor and bash each other. Let us… Keep reading →

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