guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto and Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Chebanenko

WASHINGTON: “We are observing the manifestation of a more aggressive, more capable Russian navy,” the US Navy’s top commander in Europe said today. And if that fleet is Putin’s seagoing hammer, missile bases ashore are his land-based anvil. Complementing Russian naval modernization, Adm. Mark Ferguson said, we have seen “the construction of an arc of… Keep reading →

Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

CAPITOL HILL: Sen. John McCain says the $4.7 billion overrun on the Navy’s new Ford-class aircraft carriers is “unacceptable.” That’s understandable. But Congress’s own investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, told McCain today it’s also “predictable.” Given our broken acquisition system, huge cost and schedule overruns on new designs are the norm, GAO said, adding… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD: Pax River is a robot zoo today, showcasing unmanned vehicles from micro-mini-submarines — so small you can throw one like a football — to what appears to be a solar-powered canoe. More than 40 systems here from 30 projects and six nations were gathered by the US Office of… Keep reading →

CSIS image

UPDATED: Adds House Letter To White House CAPITOL HILL: Defense officials acknowledged today that the US has not directly challenged the sovereignty of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea for at least three years. US aircraft have not flown over the artificial islets. Nor have US ships sailed within 12 nautical miles of one… Keep reading →

A computer-generated image of a Royal Navy F-35B taking off vertically from the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be commissioned July 4th.

WASHINGTON: The United Kingdom is committed to a high-end battle fleet centered on two aircraft carriers, a senior Ministry of Defense official made clear yesterday. Just as important, the UK is committed to funding adequate crews to sail them — something that had been in doubt after much discussion about cutting costs by effectively mothballing the… Keep reading →

Coast Guard ice breaker Healy

UPDATED: WITH WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ON BUYING MORE ICE BREAKERS WASHINGTON: After seven years of thinking about the possibilities, the Obama administration now says it wants to build at least one serious icebreaker in the face of increasing competition for the oil, gas, fish and shipping routes the Arctic can offer. Right now, we’ve got two truly… 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 →

Army photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: What does the NORAD commander think of America’s current approach to missile defense? “Not only is it unaffordable, it will not work,” Adm. Bill Gortney said. “We are going to lose this fight on our current strategy.” “We’ve made incredible strides in missile defense,” acknowledged Gortney, who heads both NORAD and US Northern… Keep reading →

An artist's depiction of a Lockheed Martin LRASM (Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile) hurtling towards its target.

WASHINGTON: For all the US Navy’s worldwide might, it’s painfully short on ship-killing firepower. The Pacific fleet in particular risks being “out-sticked” by longer-ranged Chinese missiles. Today, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations outlined a plan to fill that gap. The two competing options: an update of the old, reliable Tomahawk or the new Long-Range… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON  As journalists, we often hear chatter in the Pentagon about how much better things would be for the Army, Navy or Air Force if they just had a better story, or told their story better. The Marines don’t need to worry about this, of course, because they tell their own stories better than the… Keep reading →

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