Rep. Randy Forbes

Lockheed Martin's UCLASS concept.

WASHINGTON: Overstretched as they are, the Navy’s 10 aircraft carriers remain unequalled icons of American might. But the ugly truth is they’re not as mighty as they might be. The maximum range of carrier-borne strike aircraft has eroded over the last quarter century. Even the Navy’s future fighter, the F-35C, will have an unrefueled range of about 600… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

UPDATE: Forbes’s amendment passed the House Wednesday night, by 321 votes to 111. WASHINGTON: Two powerful committees are headed for a rare House floor fight over a controversial fund to build new nuclear missile submarines. Rep. Randy Forbes and Rep. Joe Courtney, the chairman and top Democrat of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower,… Keep reading →

Navy photo

The geostrategic sky isn’t falling because the US won’t have an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf region for a period this fall. Land-based aircraft will do an excellent job of striking ISIL, analysts say, while smaller ships are better suited to combat Iran in the tight confines of the Gulf. “This is not an example of American… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The Senate Armed Services Committee has joined the push to give the Army a much larger role in the Pacific. The hard part, ironically, may be getting the Army to go along. Why should soldiers do more in the Pacific, a theater traditionally dominated by pilots, Marines, and, above all, sailors? The Pacific, obviously, is… Keep reading →

Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo

WASHINGTON: As nations like China build up their anti-access/area denial defenses to keep the US out, “the submarine force is the key that unlocks that A2/AD bubble,” Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo once said. “We’re the folks that are expected to get in underneath.” As the two-star director of Undersea Warfare on the Navy’s Pentagon staff… Keep reading →

Ray Mabus

[UPDATED with Congressional reaction] ROSLYN, VA: Ray Mabus likes robots. The Navy Secretary has declared the F-35 will be “the last manned strike fighter” the service ever buys and invested heavily in unmanned aircraft, boats, and submersibles. But Mabus has frustrated drone advocates on one major program: the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft. This morning, Mabus defended… Keep reading →

ADMIRAL_JOHN_M._RICHARDSON

WASHINGTON: Even before it’s announced, the Pentagon’s pick for Chief of Naval Operations – the current head of Naval Reactors — is already being questioned, not because of his performance but because of his current job. When Adm. Hyman Rickover created the unique post of director of Naval Reactors (NR) with its eight-year term, he did it… Keep reading →

Map of Djibouti and surrounding area

WASHINGTON: China is pushing hard for either special port access or basing rights in the former French colony of Djibouti, a key center where US and French special operations forces operate from against terrorism in both Africa and the Middle East. I confirmed with a senior allied official today that China is seriously pursuing a favored… Keep reading →

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter responds to questions while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee, in Washington, D.C., May 6, 2015. DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

WASHINGTON: The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has been identified as Congress’ soft underbelly in the Pentagon’s battle to win a real solution to the Budget Control Act similar to the compromise secured two years ago. That became clear at the Wednesday hearing of the subcommittee, when Carter went way out of his way to praise SAC-D… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

WASHINGTON: The cruiser war continues. With House seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes declaring the Navy has “no credibility” when they promise to modernize aging Ticonderoga-class cruisers, House Republicans and Navy leaders are accelerating towards a public collision. Last week, Forbes rolled out legislation requiring the Navy to modernize the cruisers twice as fast as planned,… Keep reading →

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