This Nuclear Outboard Motor Was a Really Terrible Idea
This story originally appeared on Aug. 6, 2013. In the early 1960s the U.S. Navy could have gotten a disposable, atomic-powered outboard motor that would have made America’s warships a Hell of a lot more efficient. But there was the little problem of all that noise and radiation. File... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Re-Arming for Surface Warfare
In 2016 the U.S. Navy possessed just one surface-launched anti-ship missile type — Boeing’s Harpoon, a munition that first entered the fleet in the 1970s. Two years later, the Navy had added no fewer than five additional ASM types to the fleet and also updated the Harpoon. The fast... Read more
There’s Nothing the U.S. Navy Can Do to Avoid a Submarine Gap
In 2018, the U.S. Navy has finally begun to come to terms with a long-term problem that has been decades in the making. The fleet has too few attack submarines. And arresting the growing shortfall — never mind reversing it — could prove too expensive. The Navy needs 66... Read more
How the Soviet Navy Would Have Fought World War III
Over the course of the Cold War, the balance of forces between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Soviet Union changed dramatically. At different points, a war would have played out in far different ways in the major theaters, including Central Europe, the Arctic, the North Atlantic, the... Read more
China Is Muscling India Out of the Maldives
Two helicopters sit between Asia’s two great powers. India is fast approaching a deadline to withdraw HAL Dhruv utility helicopters from the Maldives, which appears to be the result of mounting pressure from China. While the helicopters may seem insignificant, a withdrawal would be another sign of India’s declining influence... Read more
Israel Has a Killer New Torpedo
Submarines and torpedoes are among the most closely-guarded and sensitive topics among navies. True to type, a recent announcement by the Israeli navy about the adoption of a new torpedo came with few details. But it appears to be an interesting torpedo — more advanced, with state-of-the-art technology. The... Read more
This Aircraft Carrier Did Not Exist
This story originally appeared on Sept. 22, 2015. One of the strange little stories of World War II involves the aircraft carrier USS Robin, which didn’t really exist. There was a carrier that sailors called the Robin. She and her sailors were underneath U.S. Navy command, took part in American... Read more
Coming Soon — Containerized Missiles on Russian Warships
Russia’s military spending cannot match the Kremlin’s ambitions. Western sanctions and low gas prices forced a 20-percent cut to the Russian military budget in 2017, bedeviling a host of military projects. However, Russia is looking at cheap and easy ways to equip its forces — particularly the navy —... Read more
Jim Mattis Is Pushing the U.S. Navy to Act Unpredictably
Well, there is a reason he cops to the nickname “Chaos.” Last month Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis set the naval community aflutter by musing, Hamlet-like, about jettisoning the U.S. Navy’s effort to rotate carrier, amphibious and surface forces from home port to foreign stations on a foreseeable cycle. To be predictable,... Read more
Chinese Robo-Boats Swarm the South China Sea
A video from late May 2018 shows a swarm of 56 small, unmanned boats operating in the South China Sea. While a rudimentary demonstration, it mirrors similar exercises performed by U.S. Navy boats practicing — semi-autonomously — to defend harbors and intercept incoming vessels. The Chinese robo-boats do not... Read more
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