submarines

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

CAPITOL HILL: As the Air Force train pulls out of the station, the Navy’s running alongside asking to be pulled aboard. Both services will need to replace aging nuclear missiles sometime ca. 2030. They could save money by coordinating their modernization programs — but the Air Force is on a tighter schedule and the window… 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 →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

CAPITOL HILL: There is zero room for error in the Navy’s $80 billion plan for nuclear missile submarines, a senior sub admiral said this morning. “We have effectively skipped an entire SSBN generation,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, “but in doing so we have consumed the entire margin for error.” America’s first nuclear missile submarine,… Keep reading →

UUV with USS PONCE 130514-N-PX130-142

Think it’s hard to find a place to charge your smartphone at the airport? Try finding a power outlet in the ocean. Imagine you’re a robotic Navy mini-sub whose batteries are running low after a long mission monitoring, say, traffic around Chinese artificial islands in the South Pacific. Currently, you’d have to recharge at a land… 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 →

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 →

100413-N-3215T-004

CAPITOL HILL: More ships. More weapons. Less waiting. That’s the essential philosophy of Rep. Randy Forbes, chairman of the House subcommittee on seapower. In the draft National Defense Authorization Act headed for mark-up next week, he certainly seems to have gotten his way — on amphibious assault ships, submarines, land-based cruise missiles, and more. “My… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The seas are shrinking. As missiles grow longer-ranged and more precise, as sensors grow ever sharper, there are ever fewer places for a ship to hide. “A ship’s a fool to fight a fort,” goes an old naval adage, because a land base can carry more ammunition and armor than anything that floats. Admirals… Keep reading →

The Avenger-class minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground in 2013.

WASHINGTON: Every year, the Navy releases its 30-year shipbuilding plan. Every year, budget analysts decry it as unrealistic and sea hawks decry it as underfunded. Last year, the Navy dropped all pretense and agreed with the critics, saying its own modernization plan was “unsustainable” — especially if additional funding was not forthcoming for the new… Keep reading →

IMCMEX 2013

This is the second in our exclusive series on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this very real global threat. Only 4.7 percent of the US Navy’s 275 warships are dedicated to mine warfare. Those small numbers face Iran’s several thousand naval mines, North Korea’s 50,000, China 100,000 or… Keep reading →

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