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
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
What Would the Athenians Think of the U.S. Navy’s Mishaps?
U.S. Navy leaders should drink hemlock! Some of them, I mean. Figuratively. That would be the Greek approach to solving the Navy’s woes, at any rate. Take Athens. Ancient Athenians were hypersensitive about individual accountability. Athenians enforced accountability remorselessly, and these radical democrats seldom did things halfway. They went... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Flat Worn-Out
The U.S. Navy is supposed to be adapting to face a series of threats it hasn’t seen since the Cold War. In particular, China’s growing — and increasingly assertive — navy comprised of warships that outrange American ones. The United States’ sailing branch has to do all of this... Read more
U.S. Navy Really Might Bring Back Old Frigates
The U.S. Navy is seriously considering reactivating as many as seven recently-decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates in order to quickly boost the size of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet. But the Navy would not significantly modernize the recommissioned frigates, nor add heavy weaponry, Secretary of the Navy Richard... Read more
How a Rocket Explosion Nearly Consumed a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier
A series of collisions involving U.S. Navy destroyers in 2016 and 2017 — including two incidents this summer that left 16 sailors dead — have raised questions as to why the maritime fighting branch appears to be suffering the same accident again and again. However, it can take time... Read more
How Fire and Fatigue Almost Destroyed an American Carrier
Two deadly collisions involving U.S. Navy destroyers in June and August 2017 cost the lives of 16 sailors, leading the Navy to declare a day-long operational pause to reflect upon its safety culture. That such similar accidents took place in such close proximity reflects stresses and failings common to the maritime... Read more
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