shipbuilding

Rep. Randy Forbes

CAPITOL HILL: As predicted, House Seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes was swift to slam the Navy’s 2017 budget request. I asked him about the Navy’s proposals to deactivate a carrier air wing, sideline seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, and replace the UCLASS drone program with a drone fuel tanker with “limited strike” capabilities, CBARS. Here’s what the fiery… Keep reading →

USS Independence, LCS-2

WASHINGTON: The day before the Defense Department unveils a budget that cuts the Littoral Combat Ship program, news broke that two top senators had slammed the controversial vessel in a letter to the Chief of Naval Operations. That letter and our analysis follow: Senate Armed Services Committee chairman — and decorated Navy pilot — John McCain is no… 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 →

Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

WASHINGTON: Think of international conflicts as earthquakes. Many little ones are better than one “Big One” — a global war. Social science suggests that the more often two rival powers interact, the more likely they are to resolve their differences through many small, manageable conflicts rather than one violent conflagration. That makes naval presence worldwide a very… Keep reading →

SINGAPORE (April 18, 3013) Sailors attached to Forward Liason Element, USS Freedom (LCS 1), observe Freedom as it arrives in Singapore during an eight-month deployment to Southeast Asia. Fast, agile, and mission focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this deployment to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

WASHINGTON: “I guess I’m going to have to attack your question on almost every aspect,” Adm. John Richardson told me. As an analyst, it’s unnerving to have the Navy’s top admiral tell you to your face, albeit politely, that you’re just plain wrong. (I’d politely disagree, though I did miss some important nuances in an earlier story). I had asked… Keep reading →

USS Coronado

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s decision to curtail the controversial Littoral Combat Ship program may not be the last word, according to several well informed sources. Those sources independently told Breaking Defense that the Office of the Secretary of Defense is divided over the decision cut LCS from 52 ships to 40. So is the Navy, which has had pro-… Keep reading →

Coast Guard icebreaker Healy

[UPDATED with Adm. Papp comments] SURFACE NAVY ASSOCIATION: In an important step to filling the increasing gap between American’s Arctic strategy and our capabilities, the Coast Guard has released its “notional program schedule [and] notional Polar Icebreaker requirements” for two new heavy icebreakers today. “This will be available to industry at noon today and I’m sure… Keep reading →

Coast Guard ice breaker Healy

We’ve got something here for Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Angus King and Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft to read before they speak Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on “National Security Challenges and Icebreaking Operations in the Arctic.” Scott Truver, known to most serious students of Navy shipbuilding, argues the case for icebreakers.… Keep reading →

Navy photo

[UPDATED with Rep. Forbes & Robert Martinage comments] WASHINGTON: Presence? What’s “presence”?” Once a primary measure of naval power and a driving factor in shipbuilding decisions, the word “presence” appears not once in the new Chief of Naval Operations’ strategic vision, out today. Instead, Adm. John Richardson‘s eight-page “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority” mentions “war,”… Keep reading →

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