Category Archives: Aviation

Midway at 71: 'I Sank the Yorktown at Midway'

Midway at 71: ‘I Sank the Yorktown at Midway’

USS Yorktown after a series of torpedo strikes in 1942. Naval Institute Archives

USS Yorktown after a series of torpedo strikes in 1942. Naval Institute Archives

The following ran in Proceedings in May 1968:

The tension in I-168’s conning tower had been steadily building up for six and a half hours. In the cramped command post, I stood, palms out, waiting to grip the rising periscope’s handles. We were all perspiring heavily. My torpedo petty officer was scanning his switch panel, and a nervous helmsman wiped clammy hands frequently on his pants. Lieutenant (jg) Nakagawa, pencil in hand, mopped his damp brow between looks at the compass and speed indicator. But my gunnery officer, Ensign Watanabe, seemed almost unconcerned. Of the five, his job was by far the simplest. Our submarine was creeping straight toward the crippled American aircraft carrier Yorktown. There were no ballistics problems for Watanabe to work out-the range was point-blank, and target speed was nearly zero.

The whine of the periscope’s lift motor died away as I sighted through the eyepiece. I had been allowing myself a maximum of five seconds on each sight check and I didn’t intend to change the tactic. One quick glance would give me the range, and I could give the order to fire torpedoes.

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Document: Pentagon's Air-Sea Battle Concept

Document: Pentagon’s Air-Sea Battle Concept

From the Pentagon’s May, 12 2013 Air-Sea Battle Concept outline: 

While ASB is not a strategy, it is an important component of DoD’s strategic mission to project power and sustain operations in the global commons during peacetime or crisis. Implementation of the ASB Concept, coordinated through the ASB office, is designed to develop the force over the long-term, and will continue to inform institutional, conceptual, and programmatic changes for the Services for years to come. The ASB Concept seeks to provide decision makers with a wide range of options to counter aggression from hostile actors. At the low end of the conflict spectrum, the Concept enables decision makers to maintain freedom of action, conduct a show of force, or conduct limited strikes. At the low end of the conflict spectrum, the Concept enables decision makers to engage with partners to assure access, maintain freedom of action, conduct a show of force, or conduct limited strikes. At the high end of the conflict spectrum, the Concept preserves the ability to defeat aggression and maintain escalation advantage despite the challenges posed by advanced weapons systems. Read More

Think Tanks Call For Massive Pentagon Personnel Cuts Under BCA

Think Tanks Call For Massive Pentagon Personnel Cuts Under BCA

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at cutting the Pentagon's budget under sequestration. CSBA Image

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at cutting the Pentagon’s budget under sequestration. CSBA Image

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at balancing the Department of Defense’s budget if the Pentagon has to weather ten years of ten percent across-the-board sequestration budget cuts sequestration on Wednesday.

The consensus of the four (American Enterprise Institute, Center for a New American Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment) was unanimous.

First, cut the Department of Defense’s civilian employees – including shipyard and depot workers. Then reduce the services’ end strength – particularly the Army’s. Read More

Pentagon Still Confident In Weapons After China Design Hack

Pentagon Still Confident In Weapons After China Design Hack

The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo

The Pentagon attempted to allay fears Tuesday it had lost an edge in technology development following a Monday revelation China had hacked more than two dozen weapons programs from the U.S.

“Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a Tuesday statement. Read More

Report: China Hacked Two Dozen U.S. Weapon Designs

Report: China Hacked Two Dozen U.S. Weapon Designs

A launch of the US Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. THADD and two dozen other weapons designs have been stolen by China according to a classified Pentagon report. Missile Defense Agency Photo

A launch of the US Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. THADD and two dozen other weapons designs have been stolen by China according to a classified Pentagon report. Missile Defense Agency Photo

Chinese hackers have obtained designs for more than two dozen U.S. weapon systems — including the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, the Littoral Combat Ship and electromagnetic railguns — according to a Monday report from The Washington Post. Read More

Okinawa F-15 Crashes, Pilot Safe

Okinawa F-15 Crashes, Pilot Safe

A KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-15 Eagle during a training sortie near Kadena Air Base, Japan. U.S. Air Force Photo

A KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-15 Eagle during a training sortie near Kadena Air Base, Japan. U.S. Air Force Photo

An U.S. Air Force pilot is safe after the pilot’s F-15 crashed 70 miles from Okinawa, according to a release from the service.

“Japan Air Self Defense Force rescue squadron crews safely recovered the pilot who ejected from a Kadena-based F-15 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean approximately 70 miles east of Okinawa at around 9 a.m. May 27,” according to the statement. Read More

Document: F-35 Costs Decrease $4.5 Billion in 2012

Document: F-35 Costs Decrease $4.5 Billion in 2012

From the document released May, 23 2013: This information is based on the Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) submitted to the Congress for the December 2012 reporting period.

SARs summarize the latest estimates of cost, schedule, and performance status. These reports are prepared annually in conjunction with submission of the President’s Budget. Read More

Navy's Triton to Middle East by 2016

Navy’s Triton to Middle East by 2016

Two Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Tritons. Northrop Grumman Photo

Two Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Tritons. Northrop Grumman Photo

The Navy plans to deploy its new MQ-4C Triton long-range surveillance unmanned aircraft to the Middle East in 2016, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, said Thursday in a call with reporters following Wednesday’s first successful Triton flight. Read More

Navy's New Surveillance UAV's First Flight

Navy’s New Surveillance UAV’s First Flight

Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight May 22 from the company's manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif. Northrop Grumman Photo

Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight May 22 from the company’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif. Northrop Grumman Photo

The Navy held the first test flight for its next-generation surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle, Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton.

Wednesday’s 80-minute flight, from a Northrop Grumman’s in Palmdale, Calif., will mark the start of flight testing for the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) system that will bear the bulk of the Navy’s long-range reconnaissance mission into the 21st century. Read More

Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aircraft Performs First Touch and Go

Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aircraft Performs First Touch and Go

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

Less than a week after its historic launch off the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the Navy’s X-47B demonstration aircraft performed a so-called “touch and go,” landing off the carrier on Friday, Navy officials told USNI News.

The 44,567 pound X-47B hit Bush’s deck and then powered off the end of the carrier. The operation at sea is one step closer for the ultimate goal of the Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) — landing on a moving carrier. Read More