PENTAGON: “Sydney, I don’t know how to squeeze it much thinner than we have,” the Chief of Naval Operations said. Adm. Jonathan Greenert was talking about the aircraft carrier fleet, but he could have meant almost any aspect of the Navy’s 2015 budget . “It’s a confusing budget,” the admiral admitted within minutes of sitting… Keep reading →
Even if Congress somehow rolls back sequestration, the Navy’s fiscal situation will be uncomfortably tight, like trying to steer a battleship through the Panama Canal. Under the president’s five-year budget plan — which assumes sequester away — the “real buying power” for the Navy and the Marine Corps declines after fiscal year 2016, the Navy… Keep reading →
At 1:30 am this morning – 7:30 pm yesterday Hawaiian time — the Navy’s newest missile defense system marked its second successful shootdown in a month. Under what Lockheed Martin called an “operationally realistic scenario” – more on that in a moment – the USS Lake Erie picked up the target with its Aegis Ballistic Missile… Keep reading →
NATIONAL HARBOR: We all know that, since the end of the Cold War, the US military has vastly expanded its ability to precisely strike targets on the land. The dirty secret is that we’ve unilaterally disarmed our capability to strike ships at sea. The military calls this a “capability gap,” but it’s more like a… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: Just when the Navy’s surface fleet had started pulling itself out of a 10-year, $2 billion hole, budget dysfunction may kick it right back in. We’ve written a great deal about the damage done to all four armed services by the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. But what is happening to the… Keep reading →
After failing its first test back in 2011, the Raytheon-built SM-3 Block IB missile looks like it’s back on track, with yesterday marking the third successful test in a row, each against increasingly difficult targets launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai island in Hawaii. The SM-3 IB is the latest iteration of… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: After you count up all the cuts and additions in the House Armed Services Committee’s mark-up of the Pentagon budget, the bill appears to authorize $554 billion for national defense (budget function 050).
At a time when the Pentagon faces the prospect of mandatory spending cuts of another $53 billion if sequestration happens right after the Jan.1 hangover, that’s $4 billion more than the president’s request of $550 billion and eight billion more than the maximum permitted by the Budget Control Act, $546 billion. Keep reading →