A Giant Crane Fell on an Indian Stealth Ship
Disaster struck the first of a new class of Indian frigates in late April 2018 when a towering, 250-ton crane came toppling down onto the vessel during heavy winds as she sat in dry dock. The vessel — which is under construction — was not damaged, according to the... Read more
Could China’s Carriers Go Nuclear?
Will the People’s Liberation Army Navy ever take the leap into nuclear propulsion for its aircraft carriers? Credible reports confirm that the PLAN is already building at least one conventional carrier in the 80,000-ton range. Given how quickly Chinese shipbuilding has accelerated, does it make sense for the PLAN... Read more
Why a U.S-China War Over Taiwan Won’t Be Anything Like the Syria Strikes
Great powers have a habit of intervening to shield weak allies from rival great powers and advance their own purposes. Last week it was Russia vowing to shoot down American missiles bound for Syrian chemical-weapon sites. Judging from recent Chinese words and deeds, next week could see the U.S. Navy attempting... Read more
In 1982, Four U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers Gathered Near Lebanon
As tensions escalated in the Middle East over the civil war in Syria, in April 2018 the United States deployed one of the largest naval forces to the region since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The carrier strike group, centered on Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Harry S. Truman, seven... Read more
Landlocked Bolivia Has a Navy?
In April 2018, Flavio Gustavo Arce San Martin — a vice admiral in the Bolivian navy — inaugurated an institute in La Paz for studying how to best protect and administer Bolivia’s maritime interests. It’s a typical institutional foundation for any navy. Except Bolivia has no coastline, because the country... Read more
Sweden’s Never-Built Nuclear Submarine Would’ve Been a Hazard
In terms of modern diesel-electric submarines, it’s hard to beat Sweden. In 2005, one of them — the 200-foot-long HMS Gotland — sneaked up and virtually destroyed the American Nimitz-class carrier USS Ronald Reagan in a simulated war game. That was due in part to the ultra-quiet Stirling engines... Read more
Why Isn’t Russia an Aircraft Carrier Superpower?
Historically a land power, the Soviet Union grappled with the idea of a large naval aviation arm for most of its history, eventually settling on a series of hybrid aircraft carriers. Big plans for additional ships died with the Soviet collapse, but Russia inherited one large aircraft carrier at... Read more
India’s Aircraft Carriers Have Some Advantages
With one large carrier in service and another on the way, India has become one of the world’s pre-eminent naval aviation powers. How did the program come about? Where is it going? And what is the strategic rationale for India’s massive investment in aircraft carriers? Above — an Alize... 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
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