How Not to Build an Aircraft Carrier
Pres. Donald Trump used the Navy’s next-generation aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, as a backdrop to unveil his vision for the next defense budget in March 2017. The moment was meant to symbolize his commitment to rebuilding the military, but it also positioned the president in front of... Read more
How to Build a World-Class Navy
Analysts and politicians throw around the term “blue-water navy” as if it has a single, fixed meaning. Broadly speaking, having a blue water navy means having the capacity to deploy a task force of ships across the open ocean, and to support them at great distance from their bases.... Read more
Senators Are Forcing the U.S. Navy to Buy Crappy Ships It Doesn’t Want
This year’s Pentagon budget originally included a small victory for taxpayers—it reduced its request for the troubled Littoral Combat Ship to only one ship for $1.2 billion. “The Navy doesn’t want them,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told Hugh Hewitt earlier this month. Yet, while sailors... Read more
In 1905, Japanese Battleships Pulverized a Russian Fleet
In late May 2017, it will be 112 years since the Imperial Japanese Navy’s catastrophic defeat of the Imperial Russian Navy during the Battle of Tsushima. The clash in question was a result of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 and 1905 — a conflict provoked by the Russian search... Read more
America Has Turned a Blind Eye to China’s Growing Naval Power
Admirals say the darnedest things. Over at the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine, retired U.S. Pacific Command Intelligence Chief Capt. Jim Fanell takes PACOM kahunas, past and present, to task for disparaging China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy. Respect for prospective foes, Fanell proclaims, constitutes the most prudent attitude. Such... Read more
From Loathed to Loved—the Deadly History of the Submarine
Submarines are an accepted part of a strong navy and the cornerstone vessel of a superpower. But these stealth killers of the ocean were once as derided and feared as the drone is now. This week on War College, former journalist and current naval historian Iain Ballantyne takes us... Read more
‘Graf Zeppelin’ Was Nazi Germany’s Big, Dumb Aircraft Carrier
From the first days of his ascension to power, Adolf Hitler planned to rebuild the Kriegsmarine into a world-class navy. Most of the world’s other major fleets included aircraft carriers, and so German naval authorities soon determined that the Reich would also require carriers. Germany laid down its first... Read more
Trump’s Bigger Fleet Is Dead in the Water
U.S. president Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to expand the U.S. Navy to 350 front-line warships — a major boost over today’s 275-strong combat fleet. But the Trump administration’s first Navy budget proposal, for the 2018 fiscal year that begins in late 2017, adds no ships to the... Read more
Russia Wants to Put a 76-Millimeter Cannon on an Icebreaker
Russia has by far the largest icebreaker fleet in the world with a total of more than 40 publicly and privately owned, including six nuclear-powered icebreakers all capable of punching through Arctic sea ice. It’s also building new ones after a delay of more than four decades, launching the... Read more
Trump Said All Future U.S. Navy Carriers Will Use ‘Goddamned Steam’ Catapults
Pres. Donald Trump has weighed in on the future configuration of the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier fleet. Trump is insisting that the service return to installing steam catapults in place of the state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, that was developed for the Gerald R. Ford–class super carriers.... Read more