navy

Marine F-18 Hornet

CAPITOL HILL: It turns out Navy pilots like to breathe. That’s a potential problem in the Navy’s mainstay fighter, the F-18 Hornet, which is suffering failures of its On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS). While rare, a single case of in-flight oxygen deprivation could potentially kill the pilot, destroy a $30 million to $60 million aircraft, or… Keep reading →

F-35A climbing at Eglin Air Force Base

WASHINGTON: Frank Kendall signaled in December that the F-35 was no longer immune from budget cuts and it looks as if he knew what he was talking about. The story out this afternoon is that five Air Force F-35As will be cut from the fiscal 2017 budget request. Mackenzie Eaglen said at a Brookings Institution… 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 →

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

PENTAGON: After more than a year of intense debate over whether the Navy’s future UCLASS drone should be a long-range stealth bomber or a lightly armed scout, the Defense Department has chosen — neither. Instead, the 2017 budget proposes a program that is less ambitious than either version of UCLASS but, to their mind, more… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

[UPDATED with experts’ analysis; “innocent passage” confirmed] WASHINGTON: Just two days after the head of US Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, pledged to push harder on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within the 12 nautical mile limit around Triton Island. Situated in the Paracels, which are claimed… 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 →

F-35 Wing Assembly Cameri Italy

WASHINGTON: The Air Force’s top priority programs — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Long Range Strike Bomber, and the KC-46 tanker — will cause Pentagon procurement spending to balloon in the early 2020s, says one of the capital’s leading defense budget experts. Army ground combat programs are also increasing rapidly, but they are rising from such… Keep reading →

The USS Lassen, which sailed through Chinese-claimed waters in October 2015

UPDATE: USS Wilbur sails through Paracel Islands Friday WASHINGTON: The United States will keep challenging Chinese claims in the South China Sea, the head of Pacific Command said this afternoon. Such Freedom of Navigation operations will grow in frequency, complexity, and scope, said Adm. Harry Harris. And Harris defended the first such FON operation” since 2012, last October’s cruise of the… 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 →

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