The U.S. Navy Readies Its New Missile Submarine
In September 2017, the U.S. Navy awarded shipbuilder Electric Boat $5 billion to proceed with the design phase of the next generation of U.S. nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines, also known as SSBNs or “boomers.” A dozen Columbia-class submarines will start replacing the 14 enormous but stealthy Ohio-class boats that constitute the scariest... Read more
The U.S. Congress Could Save the Navy’s Oldest Cruisers
The U.S. Congress is beginning to write the Defense Department’s budget for 2018. For the Navy, that means yet another heated debate over the future of the branch’s 22 Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers. The Navy wants to decommission 11 of the 567-foot-long cruisers at a rate of two per year... Read more
Five Times the U.S. Navy Was ‘Sunk’ in Battle
It’s crucial to remember and learn from defeat. People and the institutions they comprise commonly tout past triumphs while soft pedaling setbacks. That’s natural, isn’t it? Winning is the hallmark of a successful team, losing a hateful thing. And yet debacles oftentimes have their uses. They supply a better... Read more
All the Times the Iranian Navy Got Its Ass Kicked
This story originally appeared on Feb. 9, 2014. In February 2014, the Iranian navy announced it was sending two warships toward the U.S. East Coast. “This move has a message,” Adm. Afshin Rezayee Haddad said, adding that the deployment is “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in... Read more
Why the U.S. Navy Loves Big Aircraft Carriers
A new RAND Corporation study has concluded that bigger aircraft carriers such as the Gerald R. Ford-class are more effective and more survivable than smaller carriers. While a slightly smaller 70,000-ton design would be cheaper to operate, such a vessel would be more vulnerable while costing extra money to develop and... Read more
The U.S. Navy Turned Its Drone Helicopter Into a Mine-Detector
The U.S. Navy’s helicopter-like Fire Scout drone can now operate an advanced sensor giving it increased ability to detect and destroy mines and submarines from a Littoral Combat Ship, service officials said. The new sensor, designed for combat and surveillance missions in littoral waters, is called the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance... Read more
Before the Nuclear Deal, America and Iran Flirted With War
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, is arguably the most significant foreign policy achievement of former U.S. president Barack Obama’s administration. For all its faults, the deal demonstrated that, under certain conditions, an intensely hostile regime such as the Islamic Republic... Read more
Imagine Almost Every Russian Warship With Hypersonic Missiles
If everything goes according to plan, sometime in the mid-2020s the Russian Navy will adopt an anti-ship cruise missile called the Zircon. It’s a highly maneuverable and hypersonic cruise missile — meaning a weapon capable of traveling at speeds in excess of Mach 5 due to its advanced scramjet... Read more
China’s Giant New Cruiser Matches America’s Naval Firepower
Chinese state television has broadcast the first clear, overhead view of the Chinese navy’s first Type 055 cruiser. The image confirms what foreign analysts have expected since the new cruiser began taking shape in 2014. The Type 055 carries no fewer than 122 missiles in vertical cells — any... Read more
How Do America and China’s Huge New Warships Stack Up?
This story originally appeared on Oct. 15, 2016. On Oct. 15, 2016 in Baltimore on the U.S. East Coast, the U.S. Navy commissioned the guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt into service following a protracted and costly development. Six hundred feet long and displacing 14,500 tons, Zumwalt — the first of three stealthy... Read more