shipbuilding

The attack submarine North Dakota.

Problems with a new kind of missile launcher will delay the commissioning of the attack submarine North Dakota, the Navy announced this afternoon. That’s a significant stumble for the Virginia-class submarine program, whose steadily decreasing costs and construction time per boat have become a point of pride for the Navy and shipbuilder Electric Boat alike.… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine (SSBN).

NATIONAL HARBOR: This is rocket science. As the US Navy tries to keep its crucial 1990-vintage Trident D5 nuclear-capable missile viable for decades to come, it’s working with everyone from the Royal Navy to the US Air Force to NASA to keep costs down and technology up to date. Meanwhile, the design team for the… Keep reading →

The first Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom, on its way to Singapore last year.

UPDATED with US Navy response WASHINGTON: Some spectacular glitches marred the first overseas deployment of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, including an electrical failure that left the USS Freedom “briefly” dead in the water. Now Breaking Defense has obtained an unpublished Government Accountability Office study of Freedom‘s Singapore deployment that raises more serious questions about… Keep reading →

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The US Navy needs more ships. The United States cannot protect the world’s sealanes, let alone “pivot to the Pacific,” if we further downsize our military. Especially given other nations’ growing anxiety about whether the US will still shoulder the leadership role of protecting them, the Navy must grow, not become smaller. Yes, individual ships… Keep reading →

USS Coronado Littoral Combat Ship LCS sea trials

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told the Navy in no uncertain terms that he wants a second opinion on the controversial Littoral Combat Ship. Perhaps that’s why the newly formed “Small Surface Combatant Task Force” won’t be led by a sailor or even a Navy civilian. Instead, the “SSCTF” chairman will be Marine Corps Systems… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: “I think this is a papering-over of their dismantling of the Navy,” House Armed Services seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes told me this afternoon. “They aren’t having the courage or the straightforwardness or transparency to call it what it is.” Between the Pentagon’s proposed reduction in warships currently in the water and its… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON: “Sydney, I don’t know how to squeeze it much thinner than we have,” the Chief of Naval Operations said. Adm. Jonathan Greenert was talking about the aircraft carrier fleet, but he could have meant almost any aspect of the Navy’s 2015 budget . “It’s a confusing budget,” the admiral admitted within minutes of sitting… Keep reading →

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Even if Congress somehow rolls back sequestration, the Navy’s fiscal situation will be uncomfortably tight, like trying to steer a battleship through the Panama Canal. Under the president’s five-year budget plan — which assumes sequester away — the “real buying power” for the Navy and the Marine Corps declines after fiscal year 2016, the Navy… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: The LCS is dead, long live the LCS? The Navy’s controversial Littoral Combat Ship program is in good shape despite a 38 percent cut in the number of vessels the Pentagon plans to buy, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus insisted this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And he may be right.… Keep reading →

Arlington LPD 24 100 percent unit erect

WASHINGTON: This town needs another lobbying organization like I need another hole in my head. But when everyone else has a “grass roots” group to help make their case to Congress, not having your own is a form of unilateral disarmament — an especially bad idea in a time of escalating budget wars. “Having a… Keep reading →

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