Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is the deputy editor for USNI News. She previously covered Congress for Defense Daily and the U.S. surface navy and U.S. amphibious operations as an associate editor for Inside the Navy.


Recent Posts By the Author


Esper: Unmanned Vessels Will Allow the Navy to Reach 355-Ship Fleet

Esper: Unmanned Vessels Will Allow the Navy to Reach 355-Ship Fleet

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks to sailors aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on Sept. 17, 2020, during a visit to California. USNI News photo.

ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CARL VINSON, OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA – Defense Secretary Mark Esper told sailors today that heavy investment in unmanned systems would be key to the Navy reaching 355 or more ships and having the lethality and survivability needed if a conflict were to break out with China. Read More

Austal Expanding Yard In Alabama as It Eyes New Unmanned, Amphibious Shipbuilding Programs

Austal Expanding Yard In Alabama as It Eyes New Unmanned, Amphibious Shipbuilding Programs

The future Savannah (LCS-28) is floated down the Mobile River on Sept. 2, 2020, just days after it was christened at the Austal USA shipyard. Austal USA photo.

Austal USA is expanding the capacity and capability of its Alabama shipyard, doubling down on investing in its future in a way reminiscent of 2009, just before it won the block buy of Littoral Combat Ships that secured the yard a spot in the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. Read More

Attack Sub Montana Christened at Newport News, As Yard Tries Keeping to Schedule Despite COVID

Attack Sub Montana Christened at Newport News, As Yard Tries Keeping to Schedule Despite COVID

With one solid swing, the ship’s sponsor, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell christened the Virginia-class submarine Montana (SSN 794) as (from left) the ship’s commanding officer Capt. Michael Delaney and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin look on. Newport News Shipbuilding photo.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic taking its toll on submarine construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, as the company president announced last month, the shipyard and the crew of the future Montana (SSN-794) have been working hard to keep the Virginia-class attack sub on track to deliver to the fleet next year. Read More

Valiant Shield 2020 Kicks Off Today As Joint Force Assembles in Mariana Islands

Valiant Shield 2020 Kicks Off Today As Joint Force Assembles in Mariana Islands

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a formation of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 ships as U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft and U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets pass overhead for a photo exercise during Valiant Shield 2018 on Sept. 17. US Navy photo

Joint forces are assembling around Guam and the Mariana Islands Range Complex for high-end Pacific exercise Valiant Shield 2020, which kicks off today. Read More

Common Standards, Software Key to Navy’s Future Unmanned Systems

Common Standards, Software Key to Navy’s Future Unmanned Systems

An MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) idles on a runway at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam after arriving for a deployment as part of an early operational capability (EOC) test. US Navy Photo

The Navy is crafting common unmanned system enablers like autonomy, network standards and control stations that would fall outside individual program offices, allowing program managers to focus on range, stealth or other features that make a particular unmanned vehicle unique.
Read More

USV, UUV Squadrons Testing Out Concepts Ahead of Delivery of Their Vehicles

USV, UUV Squadrons Testing Out Concepts Ahead of Delivery of Their Vehicles

Sailors assigned to Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron 1 (UUVRON 1), mobilized with Undersea Rescue Command (URC), perform maintenance on a Bluefin-12D, an unmanned underwater vehicle, on board the Norwegian construction support vessel Skandi Patagonia on Nov. 25, 2017. URC is mobilized to support the Argentine government’s search and rescue efforts for the Argentine Navy diesel-electric submarine A.R.A San Juan (S 42). US Navy photo.

Development squadrons working with unmanned underwater and surface vehicles are moving out quickly to develop concepts of operations and human-machine interfaces, even as they’re still using prototypes ahead of the delivery of fleet USVs and UUVs, officials said this week. Read More

Navy Pushing to Maintain 2023 USV Program of Record Timeline

Navy Pushing to Maintain 2023 USV Program of Record Timeline

A Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessel takes part in a capstone demonstration during the conclusion of Phase I of the program in September. Two existing commercial fast supply vessels were converted into unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for Overlord testing, which will play a vital role in informing the Navy’s new classes of USVs. US Navy photo.

Several Navy program officials and resource sponsors today outlined how they’ll spend the next couple years giving Congress enough confidence in unmanned surface and underwater vehicles to allow the service to move from prototyping into programs of record. Read More

VIDEO: Carrier USS Carl Vinson Returns to San Diego after Maintenance to Prepare for F-35C Deployment

VIDEO: Carrier USS Carl Vinson Returns to San Diego after Maintenance to Prepare for F-35C Deployment

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrived in San Diego after conducting a homeport change from Bremerton, Wash. Vinson recently completed a 17-month regularly scheduled docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) and successful sea trials to test the recently upgraded ship’s systems. The DPIA included a system retrofit to accommodate Joint Strike Fighter mission capabilities to support F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter squadrons. US Navy photo.

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) shifted its homeport back to San Diego, after spending a year and a half undergoing maintenance in Washington to prepare for its first deployment with the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter. Read More

Geurts: Early Contract Awards During Pandemic Giving Navy Bandwidth to Plan for Possible Continuing Resolution

Geurts: Early Contract Awards During Pandemic Giving Navy Bandwidth to Plan for Possible Continuing Resolution

Attack boat Vermont (SSN-792) float-off on March 29, 2019. General Dynamics Electric Boats Photo

The Navy has created stability for the defense industrial base during the coronavirus pandemic by awarding contracts early to create a plentiful backlog of work, and the service’s acquisition chief said he doesn’t want to lose that stability heading into the new fiscal year, which could kick off with a continuing resolution. Read More