Sneaky Drones for U.S. Navy Jamming Planes
Northrop Grumman is trying to convince the U.S. Navy to transform the branch’s EA-18G Growler electronic-warfare planes into motherships for small, slow-flying unmanned aerial vehicles that could extend the distance at which Growler crews can pinpoint enemy radars. The 12-foot-long “Dash X” drone fits inside the military’s Tactical Munition... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Turning Its Stealth Destroyers Into Ship-Killers
The U.S. Navy is transforming its Zumwalt-class land-attack destroyers into surface-warfare ships whose main mission will be sinking other vessels at sea. In swapping the job of the three-ship class, the Navy is admitting that its original concept for the 600-foot, stealthy warships is no longer viable. “We see... Read more
‘Smoke ‘Em’
Two the largest naval battles of the post-World War II era occurred in the 1980s. The United Kingdom fought Argentina over the Falkland Islands from April 2 to June 14, 1982, resulting in the British regaining control of its territory. In the second battle, Operation Praying Mantis, the United... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Planning Its Next Guided-Missile Submarine
The U.S. Navy is mulling a plan to build a new class of guided-missile submarines to replace today’s four-strong Ohio-class SSGNs beginning in the 2030s. The sailing branch is worried that not replacing the SSGNs could exacerbate a looming, medium-term reduction in undersea cruise-missile capacity. The Tactical Submarine Evolution... Read more
What Teddy Roosevelt Taught Mao About Naval Power
Theodore Roosevelt was an avowed Mahanian. He was also a closet Maoist! Or at least, his convictions about strategies for lesser competitors ran parallel to those made popular by Mao Zedong during the Chinese Civil War and Second Sino-Japanese War, as transposed to marine warfare by the Great Helmsman’s... Read more
Here Is Why the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships Punch Below Their Weight
The U.S. Navy’s newest class of small surface combatants, the Littoral Combat Ships, come with a few minor flaws. They don’t have the firepower to hit anything more than a few miles away. They’re unlikely to survive being hit by anything in return. They cost more than twice as much... Read more
The U.S. Navy Still Hasn’t Figured Out How to Make a Decent Uniform
In 2016, the U.S. Navy announced it would dump the much-derided NWU Type I — also known as the “blueberry” or “aquaflage” — after it was revealed in 2012 that the uniforms are flammable. Fire, of course, is one of the greatest threats to sailors. That was the worst... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes Watch for Chinese Stealth Fighters
The Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye completed its first aerial refueling earlier this summer. The new capability, which will be eventually be retrofitted onto the U.S. Navy’s entire E-2D fleet, will greatly increase the range and endurance of the Advanced Hawkeye. That is particularly important as the United States... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s Secret Undersea Lair
This story originally appeared on June 24, 2013. Point Sur is 600 feet of tough rock facing Pacific rollers that come 6,000 miles to pound the central California coast. Like the 19th-century lighthouse that marks the Point, the now-derelict compound of the former Naval Facility Point Sur evokes another... Read more
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