The U.S. Navy Wants to Spend Billions on Aircraft Carriers That Aren’t Ready
The U.S. Navy wants to go all in on the USS Ford-class aircraft carrier program. Less than a year after the first-in-class ship’s commissioning — before it ever launched or recovered an aircraft, a first in history — the sea service is exploring options to buy similar vessels in... Read more
Three U.S. and British Submarines Meet at the North Pole
Two American submarines and one British boat gathered near the North Pole in mid-March 2018 for one of the biggest Arctic undersea exercises in decades. ICEX 2018, the 27th in a series of roughly biennial exercises dating back to 1959, kicked off in early March, when aircraft from the... Read more
In a First, a Finnish Fighter Pilot Lands on a U.S. Aircraft Carrier
On March 17, 2018 in the Atlantic, a fighter jet landed onto the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The only difference this time was that the pilot was Finnish, not American. Capt. Juha “Stallion” Jarvinen’s landing was the first landing on an aircraft carrier by a Finnish air... Read more
The Dynamite Cruiser Was Nearly as Dangerous to Her Crew as She Was to the Enemy
On June 13, 1898, the cruiser USS Vesuvius crept within one mile of the Cuban coastline and began launching explosives from her monstrous compressed-air cannons — quietly, as far as the Spanish soldiers ashore in their fort knew until the shells landed. The nighttime shore bombardment targeting Santiago was... Read more
The Russian Military Wants Students to Design Its New Underwater Drone
In recent years, Russian Federation borrowed one great idea from the United States — creating a federally funded center for breakthrough and innovating technologies. The Foundation of Advanced Studies — basically the Russian DARPA — launched in 2013. The FAS stays busy these days with a variety of projects... Read more
The French Cruiser ‘Emile Bertin’ Escaped Halifax With a Belly Full of Gold
In June 1940, the 581-foot-long French light cruiser Émile Bertin sat docked in Halifax, when back in Europe, French officers gathered in the late Ferdinand Foch’s railway car at Compiègne to sign the humiliating armistice with Nazi Germany — sealing continental France’s subordination to German hegemony for a following... Read more
China’s Three ‘Navies’ Each Have the World’s Most Ships
As a friend’s five-year-old puts it, “China has three navies: the regular navy, the police navy and the sneaky navy.” Each of these three sea forces is the world’s largest of its type by number of ships — at least by some measures. China is truly a maritime power in its... Read more
The Submarines of the Future Will Be Robotic
Imagine a future in which nuclear attack submarines — SSNs — can deploy undersea drones (UUVs) to hunt, and possibly kill, enemy subs. The U.S. Navy, at least, is taking steps to make this a reality. What impact could this have? On the one hand, UUVs could shake modern... Read more
No, China Doesn’t Want Confrontation in the South China Sea
It’s been said that groupthink is a bad thing, that creative tension is a good thing and that appointing a “devil’s advocate” represents the best way to counteract the former while generating the latter. With any luck the give-and-take of debate yields better insights into ambient circumstances and how to manage them. To assure there is some... Read more
How Defensible Are China’s Island Bases?
China has built some islands in the South China Sea. Can it protect them? During World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually. Moreover, over time the islands became a strategic... Read more
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