The Battlecruiser That Wouldn’t Die
On Aug. 1, 1914, the German battlecruiser Goeben was taking on coal, preparing to flee the Italian port of Brindisi in order to escape a pursuing British Royal Navy squadron. Thus began an epic pursuit across the Mediterranean, with effects that reverberated across World War I. In the years... Read more
Cash-Strapped Russia Can’t Afford to Modernize Its Only Aircraft Carrier
The Russian navy will repair its sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, but the massive vessel will not be upgraded or modernized in any meaningful way. Instead, Russia will focus on getting the carrier back into the fleet as soon as possible when the ship goes into overhaul in 2018. “It... Read more
Russia Built a Naval Attack Helicopter It Can’t Use
The Russian navy’s Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopter will complete another round of shipboard tests before the end of 2019. The Russian Ministry of Defense will take delivery of the new aircraft shortly thereafter. “The helicopter trials are planned to be completed before the end of 2019. So, the deliveries... Read more
NATO Bombed Soviet Submarines With Tiny, Annoying Magnets
At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union had so many hundreds of deadly submarines at sea that Western war planners willing to try almost any possible countermeasure, however goofy sounding. Some seemingly crazy ideas proved actually worthwhile, such as the underwater Sound Surveillance System—a vast chain... Read more
No More! It’s Time to Retire the Carrier Strike Group
Let’s do away with the “carrier strike group.” Mind you, I don’t mean scrap the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and logistics ships—the elements that comprise a carrier strike group. Heaven forfend! We need more hulls, airframes and gadgetry of all types to face down the Chinas and... Read more
China’s Quest for Super-Quiet Submarines Is Still Just a Dream
If China’s rim-driven pumpjet propulsion technology works, it would be a significant advance for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s undersea force. In a recent article that appeared in the South China Morning Post, Beijing claims to have developed such a silent propulsion system—which some have compared to the so-called caterpillar-drive in Tom... Read more
Why in the World Does Turkey Want an Aircraft Carrier?
Upon overseeing the launch of a domestically-built corvette in July 2017, Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced his country’s goal of building “our own aircraft carriers” as part of Ankara’s efforts to “become independent in the field of defense by 2023.” “We must move even faster,” Erdogan declared. “We... Read more
The HMS ‘Queen Elizabeth’ Was an Unlucky Battleship
Earlier this week HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest aircraft carrier ever built for the Royal Navy, began sea trials. The Queen Elizabeth class represents a massive leap forward for the Royal Navy, and the success or failure of the class will structure British seapower for the rest of the 21st century.... Read more
The Carrier USS ‘Enterprise’ Helped Destroy the Core of the Japanese Fleet
In May 1938, the U.S. Navy commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the seventh ship to bear the name in American service. The second of three sisters, Enterprise made a central — perhaps the central — contribution to the war effort in 1942. The U.S. Navy began 1942 with six fleet carriers — excluding... Read more
The Alarming Story of How French and British Nuclear Submarines Collided
Late at night on Feb. 3, 2009 the crew of the French nuclear submarine Triomphant, experienced something of a shock. The 138-meter-long submarine, the lead boat of four serving today as a key part of France’s nuclear strike force, was returning to port submerged under the heavy seas of the... Read more
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