Category Archives: Aviation

Conflict with Iran: Lessons From the Past

Conflict with Iran: Lessons From the Past

Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo

Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo

The 2013 Surface Navy Association’s Naval Heritage program topic was Operation Praying Mantis. The program featured first hand accounts of events that transpired in the Persian Gulf during the spring of 1988. Those naval operations culminated with an operation called Praying Mantis — the punitive attack against the Iranian navy on 18 April. The focus was on the dramatic tactical events that occured, and included a detailed description of the sinking of the Iranian Kaman-class corvette Joshan. Retired Navy Vice Adm. Anthony Less said at the forum that in 2006 Iran commissioned a new missile patrol boat named after the former Joshan. If the Iranians dare to disrupt shipping in the Persian Gulf again, “we’ll put this one on the bottom of the Persian Gulf with her namesake,” Less said.
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Joint Chiefs to Congress: Budget Cuts Will Result in Deaths

Joint Chiefs to Congress: Budget Cuts Will Result in Deaths

Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos speaks along side Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert before the House Armed Services Committee in 2012. US Navy Photo

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos speaks alongside Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert before the House Armed Services Committee in 2012. US Navy Photo

The Joint Chiefs of Staff made another round of dire warnings about impending sequestration at a hearing Wednesday, this time telling the House Armed Services Committee who may die because of budget problems — and how.
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CNO's HASC Opening Statement

CNO’s HASC Opening Statement

Adm. Jonathan Greenert with fellow service chiefs addressing Congress in an undated photo. US Navy Photo

Adm. Jonathan Greenert with fellow service chiefs addressing Congress in an undated photo. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s opening statement to the House Armed Services Committee for the Feb. 13 House Armed Services Committee’s hearing on the effects of the Continuing Resolution and Sequestration. This post originally appeared in Adm. Greenert’s blog.

Shipmates,

Today I testified before the House Armed Services Committee to outline the readiness impacts of sequestration and the lack of an appropriations bill. The following is my opening statement:
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MDA's Satellite Missile Tracker Scores First Kill

MDA’s Satellite Missile Tracker Scores First Kill

Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) launches a standard missile (SM) 3 Blk IA during a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) launches a standard missile (SM) 3 Blk IA during a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully conducted the first live test Wednesday of a satellite missile tracking system designed to provide ship and shore-based batteries greater range to destroy rogue missiles, MDA officials told USNI News Wednesday.

At 4:10 a.m. EST, a missile from USS Lake Erie (CG-70) successfully intercepted a “medium-range ballistic missile target,” launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii using Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators (STSS-D) with a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA guided missile, MDA spokesperson Rick Lehner said.
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Down to One Middle East Carrier

Down to One Middle East Carrier

 Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Harry S. Truman Strike Group, addresses the media on the pier alongside the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on Wednesday. US Navy Photo

Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Harry S. Truman Strike Group, addresses the media on the pier alongside the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on Wednesday. US Navy Photo

Looming budget restrictions means the U.S. Navy will reduce the American presence in U.S. Central Command from two aircraft carriers to one for the immediate future, a defense official told USNI News on Wednesday.

A deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), planned for later in February, has been delayed to preserve operating a carrier in the Middle East well into 2014, the official said.

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The Royal Navy's Pacific Strike Force

The Royal Navy’s Pacific Strike Force

Naval History Magazine, January 2013
After more than five exhausting years of global conflict, the British Commonwealth organized a powerful modern fleet that fought as equal partners with the U.S. Navy in the late stages of the Pacific war.

For the Royal Navy, the end seemed to come quickly in the Pacific war. Less than three days after the conflict’s outbreak, Japanese aircraft attacked and sank the most powerful British warships in Far Eastern waters, the modern battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse . Their loss, followed within a couple of months by the capture of the naval bases in Hong Kong and Singapore, effectively drove the British navy out of the Pacific.

HobbsF0JF13

But the Royal Navy—in the form of the British Pacific Fleet (BPF)—returned to make a major contribution in 1945 to the defeat of Japan. The BPF, its vital bases, and logistical support organization did not exist until late 1944, but eight months later, the fleet had become the most powerful deployed force in the history of the Royal Navy.

The BPF did not begin to come into focus until the August 1943 Quadrant Conference of Allied leaders in Quebec. Agreement was reached that greater priority should be given to the Pacific war, while retaining the “Germany first” principle. But for much of 1944, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff argued over how best to implement the decisions.

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This Time, It's Different

This Time, It’s Different

Proceedings, January 2013

A close observer of defense-spending trends takes a look at dollars and sense and the looming budget challenges in the Pentagon.

Defense-budget headlines of late have concentrated on sequestration, as hand-wringing increased about the so-called fiscal cliff. Most coverage has focused on defense officials predicting dire consequences for the Department of Defense (DOD), or industry officials warning of job losses and collapse of certain technology sectors and associated businesses. The U.S. Naval Institute recently hosted Defense Forum Washington with a program titled “The Fiscal Cliff: What Does This Mean for Defense and National Security?” The conference focused on sequestration and its impacts. Speakers and panelists offered different perspectives on impact, ranging from disaster to a mere “pothole,” and on occurrence from irresponsible to a fait accompli that should happen to provoke fundamental changes in DOD.

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Historic Aircraft - A Dart From The Sea

Historic Aircraft – A Dart From The Sea

Naval History Magazine, Dec. 2012
From the 1920s into World War II several nations developed high-performance floatplane aircraft. Indeed, some were among the fastest aircraft of their time. During World War II, the British evaluated float configurations with several versions of the famed Supermarine Spitfire fighter, and the U.S. Navy fitted a single Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat with floats. But only Japan pursued large-scale operational floatplane fighters during the war, primarily with the Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe, a variant of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, or Zeke.

After the war the British developed a flying-boat fighter, the turbojet-powered Saunders-Roe SR.A/1. And the U.S. Navy undertook development of a supersonic “water-based” fighter, the Convair F2Y Seadart. 2

Convair had previously produced several successful seaplanes, most notably the PBY Catalina flying boat. That aircraft—produced in larger numbers than any other seaplane by any country—was flown in every theater of World War II by the United States and several other nations. But the company had limited turbojet and fighter experience. However, Convair’s Hydrodynamic Laboratory was exploring several subsonic seaplane concepts, some given the project name Skate. At the time, the U.S. Navy was considering advanced seaplanes for a number of roles—cargo, strike, minelaying, reconnaissance, patrol, and fighter. Fitting a fighter with floats—or using the British flying-boat configuration—would introduce considerable drag on the aircraft. Convair engineers conceived a plan to employ retractable hydro-skis for waterborne operations.

J.M. Caiella

J.M. Caiella

The Navy awarded Convair a contract for two XF2Y-1 prototype aircraft in January 1951. The first test flight occurred on 9 April 1953, in San Diego Bay, with the company’s E. D. “Sam” Shannon at the controls.

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Sequestration: Coming Soon?

Sequestration: Coming Soon?

Sequestration has lately been hotly debated and often derided. Many probably have heard the term, aware it involves budget reductions, and possibly many know it could come to pass on Jan. 2, 2013. These potential spending reductions and simultaneous expiration of tax cuts have been collectively dubbed the “fiscal cliff,” receiving increased, post-election media attention as the President and lame-duck Congress negotiate a potential deal to change or avert both. But what does sequestration mean, and in context of the Department of Defense (DOD), what is its impact?

Sequestration could still be avoided (the President alluded to this in the Oct. 22 final campaign debate). Likewise, another outcome could be modification of the amount of budget reduction and/or the mechanisms by which it is conducted. However, worst-case sequestration under current provisions, coupled with previous budget reductions under the Budget Control Act (BCA) and compounded by other long-standing trends in defense spending, will be extraordinarily disruptive and damaging to the long-term defense program. Any change to sequestration requires passage of new legislation and presidential signature before Jan. 2, 2013 which very well may not happen. Therefore, assuming sequestration does trigger as planned in both timing and manner, let’s consider implementation impact on DOD.

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