Document: Syria's Chemical Weapons

Document: Syria’s Chemical Weapons

From the July, 1 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Syria’s Chemical Weapons:
Issues for Congress:

The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration’s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons. Read More

India Interested in Leasing Second Russian Nuclear Attack Sub

India Interested in Leasing Second Russian Nuclear Attack Sub

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INS Chakra II, shortly after its April, 2012 commissioning. Indian Nay Photo

INS Chakra II, shortly after its April, 2012 commissioning. Indian Nay Photo

India may be interested in leasing a second nuclear attack submarine (SSN) from Russia, according to a Wednesday report from Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Jane’s quoted Russian officials at the International Maritime Defence in St. Petersburg saying the Indian Navy was interested in leasing a follow-on submarine to INS Chakra II , an Akula-class submarine the Indian Navy is leasing from the Russians for ten years. Read More

Joint China-Russia Exercise More Political Than Military

Joint China-Russia Exercise More Political Than Military

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People's Liberation Army Navy guided missile destroyers in April, 2012. PLAN Photo

People’s Liberation Army Navy guided missile destroyers in April, 2012. PLAN Photo

China and Russia made headlines this past weekend when they participated in the rather blandly titled Joint Sea 2013. Despite the name, Joint Sea was China’s  largest ever joint naval exercise, and one of the more noteworthy bits of naval activity in the past several years. Eighteen surface ships, one submarine, three airplanes, five ship-launched helicopters and two commando units took part in the exercise, participating in a variety of activities including antisubmarine warfare, close maneuvering, and the simulated takeover of an enemy ship. Chinese and Russian officials alike were quick to note that Joint Sea wasn’t directed at any third party, something that might sound insincere but that actually reflects the reality that Chinese and Russian interests in the Pacific are very different. Read More

NAVSEA Awards Three Contracts for Oiler Development

NAVSEA Awards Three Contracts for Oiler Development

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USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199). Monterey is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility on June 30, 2013. US Navy Photo

USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199). Monterey is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility on June 30, 2013. US Navy Photo

Naval Sea Systems Command has issued three contracts to shipyards for work toward the Navy’s next-generation fleet oiler (T-AO(X)).

General Dynamics NASSCO, Huntington Ingalls Industries and VT Halter Marine, “were each awarded firm-fixed price contracts at or below the not-to-exceed amount of $1.7 million as contained in the solicitation for Trade-Off Industry Studies,” according to a Wednesday release from NAVSEA. Read More

U.S. Navy Trading Destroyers for PCs in 5th Fleet

U.S. Navy Trading Destroyers for PCs in 5th Fleet

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Three Cyclone-class patrol ships arrive in Bahrain July 3, 2013. US Navy Photo

Three Cyclone-class patrol ships arrive in Bahrain July 3, 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy is trading high-dollar warships for smaller Cyclone-class patrol craft (PC) to keep the peace in the Arabian Gulf, service officials told USNI News Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.

In an era of tightening budgets and with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the need for as many large ships, like Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers (DDG-51), in the Navy’s 5th Fleet is less, said Destroyer Squadron 50 and Combined Task Force 55 (DESRON50/CTF-55) commander Capt. Joseph Naman. Read More

Underwater Art Galleries Keep Memory of Ships Alive

Underwater Art Galleries Keep Memory of Ships Alive

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An image from The Sinking World of Andreas Franke, an art exhibition currently on display aboard the wreck of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, almost 90 feet below the Atlantic Ocean. Image courtesy of Andreas Franke

An image from The Sinking World of Andreas Franke, an art exhibition currently on display aboard the wreck of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, almost 90 feet below the Atlantic Ocean. Image courtesy of Andreas Franke

Austrian artist Andreas Franke has turned an artificial reef made from the hull of a World War II Coast Guard cutter into a fine art gallery with a naval twist.

Almost 90 feet below the Gulf of Mexico, Franke has hung a dozen magnetized picture frames on the side of USS Mohawk CGC (WPG-78), a 1,005 ton cutter sunk July 2, 2012 to create an artificial reef 28 miles of coast of Florida.

The images on display are pictures of the ship taken shortly after Mohawk was sunk super imposed with models Franke shot in his Vienna studio, the diver/photographer told USNI News on Tuesday. Read More

Background on New Marine Amphibious Vehicle

Background on New Marine Amphibious Vehicle

From the Congressional Research Service June, 28 2013 report on development of the Marine Corps next-generation amphibious assault vehicle:

A Feb. 01, 2007 test of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) in Alaska. US Marine Corps Photo

A Feb. 01, 2007 test of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) in Alaska. US Marine Corps Photo

On January 6, 2011, after spending approximately $3 billion in developmental funding, the Marine Corps cancelled the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program due to poor reliability demonstrated during operational testing and excessive cost growth. Because the EFV was intended to replace the 40-year-old Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), the Pentagon pledged to move quickly to develop a “more affordable and sustainable” vehicle to replace the EFV. The Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) is intended to replace the AAV, incorporating some EFV capabilities but in a more practical and cost-efficient manner. Read More

NAVSEA: LCS Missile Competition Could Start Next Year

NAVSEA: LCS Missile Competition Could Start Next Year

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The Griffin Missile, Raytheon Photo

The Griffin Missile, Raytheon Photo

The U.S. Navy could start its investigation into its new surface-to-surface missile for its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program as early as next year, Naval Sea System Command officials told USNI News on Monday.

Currently, NAVSEA is testing the Raytheon Griffin IIB as part of the Surface Warfare (SuW) mission package, only, “as an interim capability,” according to a statement provided to USNI News. Read More

Polar Star Leaves for Sea Trials

Polar Star Leaves for Sea Trials

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US Heavy Ice Breaker Polar Star (WAGB-10). US Coast Guard Photo

US Heavy Ice Breaker Polar Star (WAGB-10). US Coast Guard Photo

The U.S. Coast Guard’s decades-old heavy icebreaker is currently undergoing sea trials off the coast of Alaska, according to a Friday report from Alaska Public Radio Network.

USCSC Polar Star (WAGB-10) left Friday for ice trials to put the ship and its crew through a training regime focused on Arctic planned to last several weeks. Read More