American Warplanes Are Falling From the Sky
Five U.S. military aircraft crashed over a period of less than a month beginning in mid-March 2018, killing 16 crew members and alarming military officials. Two of the crashes involved U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, underscoring concerns that the naval aviation fleet is overworked, undertrained and poorly-maintained. “We’re... Read more
It’s Time to Radically Remake the U.S. Navy Surface Fleet
So Adm. Phil Davidson, the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, has come out in favor of longer, more rigorous training before aspiring surface warfare officers step aboard their first ships. Good, and not a moment too soon. But let’s ask why it took a series of shipboard disasters to jolt... Read more
21st-Century Gunboat Diplomacy
Amid the intense coverage of Russian cyber-maneuvering and North Korean missile threats, another kind of great-power rivalry has been playing out quietly in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The U.S. and Chinese navies have been repositioning warships and establishing naval bases as if they were so many pawns on... Read more
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
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 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
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
Could North Korea Sink an American Aircraft Carrier?
Could North Korea’s armed forces sink an American aircraft carrier? Yes — depending on what type of carrier they confront, how skillfully U.S. Navy commanders employ the flattop and its consorts, how well North Korean warriors know the tactical surroundings and, most crucially, whom fortune favors in combat. Fortune... Read more
America’s New Nuclear Missile Submarines Might Have a Problem
The Government Accountability Office is raising concerns about the technological maturity of the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine. The new boomer, which must become operational by 2031, will feature a host of new technologies that are supposed to increase the vessels’ survivability into the foreseeable future. However, as the GAO notes, many... Read more
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