submarines

Test of a Navy Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The DC debate on the Navy’s new nuclear missile submarines has been about how we can possibly pay for them. In this op-ed, however, frequent Breaking Defense contributor Bob Butterworth takes a step back to look at a much bigger picture. The Navy’s recent admission that it can’t afford the Ohio Replacement Program (ORP) is… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, GEORGIA: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel came here Wednesday to celebrate the Navy’s nuclear deterrence force. But just 20 minutes in, a petty officer second class stood up in front of almost 200 of his comrades and pointed out the $95 billion elephant in the room: Can the Navy afford to… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine (SSBN).

WASHINGTON: “Unsustainable.” That’s the Navy’s own official assessment of the spending rates required to keep the fleet large and modern enough to do its missions. For the service to state this in writing ratchets up not just the rhetoric but the likelihood of future budget battles in the Pentagon and on the Hill — especially… Keep reading →

Test of a Navy Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

CAPITOL HILL: “Failure to launch” isn’t a metaphorical concern when you work on nuclear weapons. That’s why the director of the Navy’s euphemistically named Strategic Systems Program (SSP) is a worried man. What has Vice Adm. Terry Benedict worried is something neither he, nor the Navy nor the entire Defense Department directly control. It’s the… Keep reading →

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 →

navy-carrier-strike-group-maneuvering-090212-n-6597h-078-1366319971

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 →

Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

THE WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM, CA. 2025: “Where are the carriers?” “In the scrapyard, Mr. President. How about some submarines?” That’s a parody, not a projection. But this hypothetical future isn’t that far off from what experts from four top thinktanks — AEI, CNAS, CSBA, and CSIS — presented this morning as the “least unacceptable”… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

WASHINGTON: It looks like the scum of scandals that’s afflicted the Air Force nuclear program has spread to the Navy — although top admirals took pains today to emphasize how different the two problems are. In both cases, military personnel cheated on exams to requalify so they could continue to work with nuclear materials. The… Keep reading →

Obama Holds News Conference On Debt Ceiling Talks At White House

Occasionally journalists find a gem, buried in the Potomac muck. They’re hard to find and often even harder to convince they should be seen by the public. Harald Malmgren spends most of his time buried deep in the darkest muck of Washington — that almost impenetrable stuff surrounding economics. But he sometimes rises forth and… Keep reading →

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