The Navy’s New Mini-Carriers Balance Air Power and Beach Assaults
The U.S. Navy is acquiring early materials, working on systems engineering and starting detailed design work for a new America-class amphibious assault ship which re-introduces a “well deck” to prepare the service for future amphibious warfare. Construction of the ship, Bougainville, is scheduled to commence in late 2018 with... Read more
It’s Too Late to Save the Battleship
There’s a mystique to battleships. Whenever inside-the-Beltway dwellers debate how to bulk up the U.S. Navy fleet, odds are sentimentalists will clamor to return the Iowa-class dreadnoughts to service. Nor is the idea of bringing back grizzled World War II veterans as zany as it sounds. We aren’t talking... Read more
To Grow the Fleet, the U.S. Navy Could Recommission Retired Warships
In its desperation to grow the fleet, the U.S. Navy is considering pulling old, decommissioned vessels from “mothballs” — the inactive reserve fleet that the Navy maintains at ports on both U.S. coasts. But reactivating old ships might prove less viable than keeping newer ships longer. In early June,... Read more
U.S. Warship Wrecked, Sailors Missing After One of the Worst Navy Collisions in Years
The collision of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Fitzgerald with the ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged container ship, appears to be the worst U.S. Navy ship accident in years. Seven sailors are missing following the collision, which occurred in the morning darkness off Japan’s Izu peninsula around 2:20 a.m. on June... Read more
Russia’s Machines Are Well-Suited for Arctic Conflict
Over the past decade, nations bordering on the Arctic have found themselves with a big new security problem. The melting of the Arctic ice has opened up shipping lanes and opportunities for the exploitation for undersea resources, but has also exposed vulnerabilities for countries that have long considered their... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Bringing Back a Ship-Killing Tomahawk Missile
The U.S. Navy will keep the Tomahawk cruise missile in its inventory through 2040, but the service will start to develop a next-generation replacement weapon that will be able to strike targets both at sea and on land. In the meantime, the venerable cruise missile will receive an anti-ship... Read more
Need More Naval Missiles? Stick the Launchers in Shipping Containers
The U.S. Navy is unmatched, but not invulnerable. The fleet has been shrinking, stressing the force as sparkling new Chinese warships sail from the shipyards at a brisk pace. A more worrying problem is that American warships are outranged—often by large margins—by anti-ship missiles, such as those also in... Read more
Hubris Led to the Japanese Carrier Fleet’s Doom at Midway
A devil’s advocate is a precious commodity. That has to be one of the takeaways from revisiting the Battle of Midway 75 years on, and it should be etched on the internal workings of any martial institution that wants to survive and thrive amid the rigors, danger and sheer orneriness... Read more
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
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