lcs

Navy photo

UPDATED with full DOT&E memo WASHINGTON: On Friday, a Navy official told us a critical test report on the embattled Littoral Combat Ship was “unfair.” This afternoon, we found out the Pentagon’s independent test office has already circulated a coldly scathing response. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered the Navy to cut the LCS in favor of… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON: After 25 years of war in the Middle East, the Pentagon’s 2017 budget is the first driven by Russia and China. “The program has been shifted to a more acute focus on the two high-end competitors, Russia and China,” a senior defense official told Sydney in an interview ahead of Secretary Ash Carter’s budget speech this… Keep reading →

USS Independence, LCS-2

WASHINGTON: Is the Littoral Combat Ship a real warship? That question has bedeviled the small, sleek, lightly armed ships for years. Now it’s taken on new urgency as the Defense Department and the Navy both refocus on high-intensity, high-tech warfighting against “great powers” — i.e. China and Russia. Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to cut… Keep reading →

SINGAPORE (April 18, 3013) Sailors attached to Forward Liason Element, USS Freedom (LCS 1), observe Freedom as it arrives in Singapore during an eight-month deployment to Southeast Asia. Fast, agile, and mission focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this deployment to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

WASHINGTON: “I guess I’m going to have to attack your question on almost every aspect,” Adm. John Richardson told me. As an analyst, it’s unnerving to have the Navy’s top admiral tell you to your face, albeit politely, that you’re just plain wrong. (I’d politely disagree, though I did miss some important nuances in an earlier story). I had asked… Keep reading →

USS Coronado

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s decision to curtail the controversial Littoral Combat Ship program may not be the last word, according to several well informed sources. Those sources independently told Breaking Defense that the Office of the Secretary of Defense is divided over the decision cut LCS from 52 ships to 40. So is the Navy, which has had pro-… Keep reading →

Navy photo

[UPDATED with Rep. Forbes & Robert Martinage comments] WASHINGTON: Presence? What’s “presence”?” Once a primary measure of naval power and a driving factor in shipbuilding decisions, the word “presence” appears not once in the new Chief of Naval Operations’ strategic vision, out today. Instead, Adm. John Richardson‘s eight-page “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority” mentions “war,”… Keep reading →

A Navy cruiser launches a Harpoon anti-ship missile, a 1977 design unsuited for long-range war in the Pacific.

2016 will be challenging for the Navy. At sea the fleet will continue to face demands that exceed its supply of forces, while at home the fiscal 2017 budget is likely to make difficult choices that prioritize high quality over adequate quantity. Most significantly for sailors, the supply-demand mismatch will get worse next year. While… Keep reading →

amphibiousreadinessgroup

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wants to cut the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program to buy more missiles, aircraft, and upgrades to ships. That’s good as far as it goes, eminent naval historian and analyst Norman Polmar told me this morning — “in my opinion the decision should have been five years ago” — but it’s… Keep reading →

The two Littoral Combat Ship variants, LCS-1 Freedom (far) and LCS-2 Independence (near).

UPDATED: Adds SecDef Carter Memo, Rep. Forbes Questioning Carter Decision, Navy Statement WASHINGTON: The Navy is not yielding to Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s memo cutting the Navy’s much-maligned Littoral Combat Ship program from 52 of the small ships to 40 and dumping one of the two shipyards building them. Carter plans to use the savings for other… Keep reading →

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 →

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