Why the U.S. Navy Loves Big Aircraft Carriers
A new RAND Corporation study has concluded that bigger aircraft carriers such as the Gerald R. Ford-class are more effective and more survivable than smaller carriers. While a slightly smaller 70,000-ton design would be cheaper to operate, such a vessel would be more vulnerable while costing extra money to develop and... Read more
The U.S. Navy Turned Its Drone Helicopter Into a Mine-Detector
The U.S. Navy’s helicopter-like Fire Scout drone can now operate an advanced sensor giving it increased ability to detect and destroy mines and submarines from a Littoral Combat Ship, service officials said. The new sensor, designed for combat and surveillance missions in littoral waters, is called the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance... Read more
What Would the Athenians Think of the U.S. Navy’s Mishaps?
U.S. Navy leaders should drink hemlock! Some of them, I mean. Figuratively. That would be the Greek approach to solving the Navy’s woes, at any rate. Take Athens. Ancient Athenians were hypersensitive about individual accountability. Athenians enforced accountability remorselessly, and these radical democrats seldom did things halfway. They went... Read more
The U.S. Navy Is Flat Worn-Out
The U.S. Navy is supposed to be adapting to face a series of threats it hasn’t seen since the Cold War. In particular, China’s growing — and increasingly assertive — navy comprised of warships that outrange American ones. The United States’ sailing branch has to do all of this... Read more
U.S. Navy Really Might Bring Back Old Frigates
The U.S. Navy is seriously considering reactivating as many as seven recently-decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates in order to quickly boost the size of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet. But the Navy would not significantly modernize the recommissioned frigates, nor add heavy weaponry, Secretary of the Navy Richard... Read more
How a Rocket Explosion Nearly Consumed a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier
A series of collisions involving U.S. Navy destroyers in 2016 and 2017 — including two incidents this summer that left 16 sailors dead — have raised questions as to why the maritime fighting branch appears to be suffering the same accident again and again. However, it can take time... Read more
How Fire and Fatigue Almost Destroyed an American Carrier
Two deadly collisions involving U.S. Navy destroyers in June and August 2017 cost the lives of 16 sailors, leading the Navy to declare a day-long operational pause to reflect upon its safety culture. That such similar accidents took place in such close proximity reflects stresses and failings common to the maritime... Read more
You Needed Grit to Dive On a Target in an A-4 Skyhawk
Modern jet fighters continue to grow ever more complicated and more fantastically expensive. But some of the most influential aircraft in history succeeded instead because they could do their job pretty well at a very reasonable cost. Such was the case of the agile A-4 Skyhawk, a small but... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s Greatest Enemy Might Be Exhaustion
With the USS John S. McCain knocked out of commission after a collision on Aug. 21 near the Straits of Malacca, the U.S. Navy is down two ballistic missile defense-capable Aegis destroyers in the Pacific. With USS Fitzgerald being also being knocked out of action after a June 17 collision... Read more
We’ve Caught a Glimpse of Northrop’s Carrier-Launched Tanker Drone
The U.S. Navy’s future drone tanker has begun to break cover. In mid-August 2017, the first photos appeared depicting Northrop Grumman’s entry in the Navy’s Carrier-Based Aerial Refueling System, or CBARS — the years-long effort to produce the first drone warplane for the Navy’s carrier air wings. The photos,... Read more
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