Since the dawn of military aviation, proponents and skeptics of air power have vigorously debated its efficacy, often focusing on whether air power is capable of winning wars by itself. Not surprisingly, this debate is surfacing again as we consider whether and how the United States should be involved in the current crisis in Iraq. Read More
As Iraq and Syria Islamic State (ISIS) insurgent forces advance on Baghdad, some American political leaders, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have urged that the United States begin airstrikes immediately to stop the growing unrest in Iraq. Although air power may be the only expedient and politically acceptable option, there are several reasons why that all-too-familiar impulse to use our asymmetric advantage in airpower will not defeat ISIS. Read More
The U.S. is repositioning an amphibious warship closer to Iraq as the ongoing conflict between Iraqi security forces and sectarian forces intensifies, a defense official told USNI News on Monday. Read More
The U.S. Navy has completed the initial development of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS), Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) officials told USNI News. Read More
Naval Air Systems Command plans to keep flying the Northrop Grumman’s X-47B into 2014 as part of the Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration (UCAS-D) program, USNI News has learned.
The two unmanned test airframes — call signs Salty Dog 501 and Salty Dog 502 — were designated to be museum pieces after landing tests aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) concluded in mid-July. Read More
The Navy has taken its first steps to develop a weapon designed to intercept and destroy guided enemy torpedoes immune to U.S. countermeasures, Naval Sea Systems Command officials told USNI News on Wednesday.
The Surface Ship Torpedo Defense (SSTD) program under development to protect high dollar surface warships — like the Navy’s Nimitz-class (CVN-68) nuclear aircraft carriers — from Soviet developed torpedoes specifically designed to attack large ships like aircraft carriers and large civilian oil tankers. Read More
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the U.S. Navy had no formal procedure for naming ships. It wasn’t until 1819 that Congress passed an act stating “all of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy.” The secretary has fulfilled this role ever since, even though the passage expressly assigning authority for designating ship names was omitted when the U.S. Code was revised in 1925.
In addition to recommendations from Congress and the president, the secretary traditionally has been guided by a rather loose set of naming conventions—cruisers were to be named for battles, attack submarines for U.S. cities, destroyers for Navy and Marine heroes, and so forth. Controversy has erupted whenever the choice of a name strayed too far from those conventions, was seemingly swayed by politics, or deemed inappropriate for various reasons. Read More