Missiles

Robert Work

UPDATED: Adds DepSecDef Explanation For Additional LCS PENTAGON: “We don’t have enough money to do everything we want to do,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told me in an exclusive 85-minute interview in his E-Ring Pentagon office. “So what we’re doing this year, Sydney, is we are trying to prepare as many demonstrations on advanced… Keep reading →

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 →

pentagonaerial

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 Coronado

PENTAGON: “Unfair!” That, in a word, is the Navy’s response to a Director of Operational Test & Evaluation report saying the controversial Littoral Combat Ship had trouble defending itself against Iranian-style swarms of fast attack boats. Yes, a Navy official told me, in the test some “enemy” boats got dangerously close to the USS Coronado… Keep reading →

A Navy electronic warfare technician.

WASHINGTON: In the brutal naval battles of the future, the first clash of arms will be a clash of electrons. If you don’t win the invisible battle of the airwaves, you can’t win the visible battle of missiles. Before warships can concentrate their fire on the enemy, they first must communicate with each other. Before they… Keep reading →

The USS Ohio being converted from a nuclear missile submarine (SSBN) to a conventional missile one (SSGN). By 2028, all four SSGNs will have retired.

[UPDATED with total hiring figures] WASHINGTON: Navy demand for submarines is so strong that sub-builder Electric Boat is betting on growth, despite the bleak budget outlook for defense in general. Connecticut congressman Joe Courtney, the top Democrat on the House seapower subcommittee, exulted in a statement this morning that his home state yard expects to add… 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 →

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

The sea and the sky above it are becoming more dangerous for US forces. Even terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Islamic State have access to anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, let alone great powers like Russia and China. But the US Navy and Marines recognize this “anti-access/area denial” challenge and are reshaping their forces to… 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 →

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