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
The U.S. Navy’s Persian Gulf Patrol Boats Just Got Laser-Guided Missiles
The U.S. Navy is completing a host of sweeping modernization upgrades to its fleet of 14 Patrol Coastal boats by integrating new laser-guided weapons, communications technology, drone sensors and navigation systems to enable the ships to respond to newly-emerging coastal threats. “This modernization consists of numerous upgrades that support... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s Second Stealth ‘Zumwalt’-Class Destroyer Is Almost Ready for Action
The U.S. Navy’s second Zumwalt-class destroyer successfully completed acceptance trials late last week on Feb. 1, according to the Naval Sea Systems Command. With acceptance trials completed, the massive nearly 15,000-ton future USS Michael Monsoor is set to be delivered to the Navy in March. “DDG 1001 performed exceedingly well during acceptance... Read more
Finland Is Bolstering Its Navy With American Missiles
Finland’s tiny navy will face a crisis in the mid-2020s as half its surface combat fleet — four of eight missile boats in total — retires. To prevent this crisis, the navy is upgrading is planning to build four corvettes which are larger than anything currently in the fleet,... Read more
The Life and Tragic End of the Iranian Frigate ‘Damavand’
The frigate Damavand was the Iranian navy’s most important warship on the Caspian Sea — a symbol of a modest but growing armed presence on the world’s largest enclosed body of water, and a force for Iranian flag-waving in a region full of oil and natural gas reverses. But... Read more
The U.S. Coast Guard Could Arm Its New Icebreakers
The U.S. Coast Guard’s new icebreakers will have space, displacement and electric power for weapons when they enter service starting around 2023, Coast Guard commandant Paul Zukunft said. The coastal law-enforcement agency hasn’t decided yet whether to actually add the weapons. Zukunft said that depends on whether the United... Read more
Attack Submarines Are Getting Quieter and Deadlier
Over the past decade, air-independent propulsion — or AIP — for submarines has spread rapidly around the world. The technology, which allows conventionally powered submarines to operate without access to outside air, has the potential the shift the balance away from the big nuclear attack submarines, or SSNs, that... Read more
The U.S. Navy Can’t Fight North Korea Alone
How can the U.S. Navy destroy North Korea should Washington give the word? It can’t. Or at least it stands little chance of doing so by its lonesome barring improbable circumstances. What the Navy can do is contribute to a joint or multinational campaign that destroys the northern regime... Read more
Just How Many New Missile Submarines Is the U.S. Navy Building?
The U.S. Navy may build more than 12 Columbia-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. While the Pentagon had previously stated that it needed 12 Columbia-class submarines, the new Nuclear Posture Review sets that number as a floor. “The Columbia-class program will deliver a minimum of 12 SSBNs to replace the... Read more
India’s Third Aircraft Carrier Is Most Likely a Waste of Money
The Indian Navy has put out a proposal for its third aircraft carrier, tentatively titled the Vishal due to enter service in the latter 2020s. The 65,000-ton Vishal will be significantly larger than India’s sole current carrier, the Vikramaditya known formerly as the ex-Soviet Admiral Gorshkov, and the incoming second... Read more
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