The HMS ‘Queen Elizabeth’ Was an Unlucky Battleship
Earlier this week HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest aircraft carrier ever built for the Royal Navy, began sea trials. The Queen Elizabeth class represents a massive leap forward for the Royal Navy, and the success or failure of the class will structure British seapower for the rest of the 21st century.... Read more
The Carrier USS ‘Enterprise’ Helped Destroy the Core of the Japanese Fleet
In May 1938, the U.S. Navy commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the seventh ship to bear the name in American service. The second of three sisters, Enterprise made a central — perhaps the central — contribution to the war effort in 1942. The U.S. Navy began 1942 with six fleet carriers — excluding... Read more
The Alarming Story of How French and British Nuclear Submarines Collided
Late at night on Feb. 3, 2009 the crew of the French nuclear submarine Triomphant, experienced something of a shock. The 138-meter-long submarine, the lead boat of four serving today as a key part of France’s nuclear strike force, was returning to port submerged under the heavy seas of the... Read more
The U.S. Navy Isn’t Revealing How Much Its New Carriers Really Cost
The U.S. Navy has learned a lot of lessons trying to develop its next generation aircraft carrier. The trouble is, as a report by the Government Accountability Office mentions, the Navy is so far refusing to put these lessons into practice, and the taxpayers end up paying the price. The GAO... Read more
Underwater Firearms Are a Thing, and Russia Is Really Into Them
This story originally appeared on Feb. 13, 2016. The Soviet Union began developing underwater guns nearly 50 years ago. The idea — to arm commando frogmen and other combat divers for underwater engagements, however rare and unlikely these subsurface firefights might actually be. In the late 1960s, Moscow enlisted... Read more
This Tiny Greek Gunboat Had a Scary Amount of Firepower
On July 20, 1974, around 3,000 Turkish soldiers supported by artillery, armored carriers and two dozen tanks hit the beaches of northern Cyprus following a coup on the island by EOKA-B, an ultra-nationalist Greek paramilitary organization which espoused the enosis ideology of uniting all Greeks under a single state. The... Read more
The U.S. Navy Wants to Deploy Its New Flattop Without Vital Testing
The U.S. Navy is trying to dodge its responsibility to conduct a critical test of its new, $13-billion aircraft carrier. Language included in the a subcommittee mark for the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would strip the requirement for the Navy to complete explosives testing on USS Gerald... Read more
The Navy’s New Mini-Carriers Balance Air Power and Beach Assaults
The U.S. Navy is acquiring early materials, working on systems engineering and starting detailed design work for a new America-class amphibious assault ship which re-introduces a “well deck” to prepare the service for future amphibious warfare. Construction of the ship, Bougainville, is scheduled to commence in late 2018 with... Read more
It’s Too Late to Save the Battleship
There’s a mystique to battleships. Whenever inside-the-Beltway dwellers debate how to bulk up the U.S. Navy fleet, odds are sentimentalists will clamor to return the Iowa-class dreadnoughts to service. Nor is the idea of bringing back grizzled World War II veterans as zany as it sounds. We aren’t talking... Read more
To Grow the Fleet, the U.S. Navy Could Recommission Retired Warships
In its desperation to grow the fleet, the U.S. Navy is considering pulling old, decommissioned vessels from “mothballs” — the inactive reserve fleet that the Navy maintains at ports on both U.S. coasts. But reactivating old ships might prove less viable than keeping newer ships longer. In early June,... Read more
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