submarines

The USS Ohio being converted from a nuclear missile submarine (SSBN) to a conventional missile one (SSGN). By 2028, all four SSGNs will have retired.

[UPDATED with total hiring figures] WASHINGTON: Navy demand for submarines is so strong that sub-builder Electric Boat is betting on growth, despite the bleak budget outlook for defense in general. Connecticut congressman Joe Courtney, the top Democrat on the House seapower subcommittee, exulted in a statement this morning that his home state yard expects to add… Keep reading →

CSIS image

WASHINGTON: If the United States is serious about “rebalancing” to Asia, it needs to invest some serious cash. Strategic small change won’t deter China or reassure our increasingly anxious allies, says a new report from the influential Center for Strategic & International Studies. And that means the CSIS study’s sponsor — Congress — must get its… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

The Navy’s nuclear ballistic submarine replacement is coming online in next year’s budget and the bill will be huge. It is so big, in fact, that Congress has already established a special account outside the normal shipbuilding budget to help ease financial pressure and not disrupt almost every other ship coming under construction. While the… Keep reading →

amphibiousreadinessgroup

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wants to cut the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program to buy more missiles, aircraft, and upgrades to ships. That’s good as far as it goes, eminent naval historian and analyst Norman Polmar told me this morning — “in my opinion the decision should have been five years ago” — but it’s… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: With Russian subs and bombers nosing around the British Isles while the Islamic State massacres Parisians just two hours by train from London, the British Defense Ministry is besieged from both sides. The new Strategic Defense Review aims not only to rebuild the UK military after 2010’s cuts but to make it capable of confronting… Keep reading →

Submarine launched cruise missile

WASHINGTON: Two years ago, Capt. John Zimmerman and his award-winning Navy team were testing a software upgrade for submarines when they ran into a surprising problem. When they changed the code controlling the Tomahawk missile launchers, the torpedo tubes stopped working. Fortunately, this all happened in a laboratory ashore before the upgrade got anywhere near the… Keep reading →

US and Russian warships

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 →

Rear Adm. David Johnson

WASHINGTON: When the Navy named its next top sub-builder, Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, back in July, I wondered where the submariner he was replacing would surface. Now we know: The Pentagon announced late yesterday that Rear Adm. David Johnson will pin  on his third star and become the top uniformed acquisition official in the Navy… Keep reading →

Fir

CAPITOL HILL: Adm. John Richardson sailed through his Senate confirmation hearing this morning. But two ominous issues breached the surface, hinting at growing conflict between the administration and Hill Republicans over how to handle China. Richardson, an experienced submariner nominated for Chief of Naval Operations, deftly dodged the difficult questions from Senate Armed Services Committee: Does US-China… Keep reading →

RDML Jabaley, Michael

WASHINGTON: Submariners come under a lot of pressure — up to 100,000 pounds per square inch, to be exact. Now sub program managers ashore are under intense pressure too, as the Navy tries to squeeze three major sub initiatives — including the enormously expensive Ohio-class replacement (ORP) — into a tightening budget. That’s the challenge career… Keep reading →

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