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 →

Rear Adm. David Johnson

WASHINGTON: When the Navy named its next top sub-builder, Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, back in July, I wondered where the submariner he was replacing would surface. Now we know: The Pentagon announced late yesterday that Rear Adm. David Johnson will pin  on his third star and become the top uniformed acquisition official in the Navy… Keep reading →

An unmanned mine-hunting mini-sub, the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV)

WASHINGTON: In a letter obtained by Breaking Defense, senators John McCain and Jack Reed slam a key component of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship as unreliable and urge the Pentagon to explore alternatives to the Remote Mine-Hunting System. In their Aug. 31 letter to the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, Frank Kendall, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, and outgoing Chief… 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 →


CAPITOL HILL: More ships. More weapons. Less waiting. That’s the essential philosophy of Rep. Randy Forbes, chairman of the House subcommittee on seapower. In the draft National Defense Authorization Act headed for mark-up next week, he certainly seems to have gotten his way — on amphibious assault ships, submarines, land-based cruise missiles, and more. “My… Keep reading →

An Avenger-class minesweeper at work

This is the third in our exclusive series on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this global and very real threat. Here we’re looking at the most promising technologies, ships and aircraft that can give the United States the edge in this crucial and complex battle.… Keep reading →

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Jan. 26, 2013) Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrated significant progress today as the 555-metric ton island was lowered onto the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division. The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island was the 452nd lift of the nearly 500 total lifts needed to complete the aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Huntington Ingalls Industries/Released)

WASHINGTON: “About half” of the shipyards building US Navy vessels are “one contract away” from leaving the business, the Navy’s top procurement officer told the Senate today. After decades of decline due to foreign competition, the US shipbuilding industry has become so fragile and so dependent on government contracts that the Navy is taking unprecedented and… Keep reading →

Senate side of the capitol

WASHINGTON: The hearing season is roaring ahead at full tilt, with senior officials at five defense hearings on Wednesday. Here’s our preview of some of the likely topics and issues. The most interesting to Breaking Defense readers probably will be the unique pairing of the four Army and Air Force leaders before the full Senate… Keep reading →

USS Coronado Littoral Combat Ship LCS sea trials

CAPITOL HILL: The war over the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship is far from over. This morning, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain warned Navy leaders that their drive towards an upgraded LCS frigate may be repeating the mistakes that resulted in the original, much-criticized LCS design. “Without a clear capabilities-based assessment, it is not clear… Keep reading →

Tomahawk cruise missile launch against the Khorasan group in Syria

Last week, the US Navy made waves by announcing two bold ideas for the surface fleet: a new concept of warfighting called “distributed lethality” — “If it floats, it fights” — and a new name for the controversial Littoral Combat Ship — now called a “frigate.” We asked Bryan Clark, a former special assistant to… Keep reading →

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