Category Archives: Budget Industry

Military Sealift Command Will Keep WestPac Until 2014

Military Sealift Command Will Keep WestPac Until 2014

Westpac Express High Speed Vessel pulls away from the pier at Naha Military Port, Okinawa. US Navy Photo

Westpac Express High Speed Vessel pulls away from the pier at Naha Military Port, Okinawa. US Navy Photo

U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) is exercising a contract option on a high-speed aluminum catamaran used to transport U.S. Marines by six-months, MSC officials told USNI News on Monday.

WestPac Express, in use by MSC since 2001 years, has been retained until February of 2014 by MSC, according to a release by the Australian vessel owner, Austal. Read More

Philippines Exploring Allowing U.S. and Japan More Use of Bases

Philippines Exploring Allowing U.S. and Japan More Use of Bases

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) at Subic Bay in 1993. US Navy Photo

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) at Subic Bay in 1993. US Navy Photo

The Philippines plan to give greater access to U.S. and Japanese allies to military bases including the former U.S. Naval Station Subic Bay, Philippine defense officials said Thursday in a report in Reuters.

The report comes in tandem with reports, the military is preparing a proposal to expand leftover U.S. bases after the Pentagons removed its forces in 1992.

According to the report, Philippine naval leaders are preparing a $230 million plan to base development bases as hedges against increased Chinese expansion into the South China Sea. Read More

Navy Docs Reveal UCLASS Minimum Ranges and Maximum Costs

Navy Docs Reveal UCLASS Minimum Ranges and Maximum Costs

Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator flies near the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). George H.W. Bush on May 14, 2013. US Navy Photo

Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator flies near the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). George H.W. Bush on May 14, 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy aims to build a system of stealthy pilotless aircraft to patrol at a minimum range of 600 nautical miles around an aircraft carrier at a maximum cost of $150 million per orbit, according to May Navy requirements documents obtained by USNI News.

The Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) so-called key performance parameters (KPPs) outline an aircraft that will primarily fill information, reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting (ISRT) roles for the service’s carrier strike group with a limited ability to strike targets at a range of 2,000 nautical miles from the strike group in lightly contested environments, according to the documents. Read More

Once Troubled Mine Hunter Passes Navy Reliability Tests

Once Troubled Mine Hunter Passes Navy Reliability Tests

Lockheed Martin's Remote Multi Mission Vehicle in 2010. US Navy Photo

Lockheed Martin’s Remote Multi Mission Vehicle in 2010. US Navy Photo

Naval Sea Systems Command has completed a reliability program on a key component of Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasure (MCM) package, NAVSEA told USNI News on Thursday.

Lockheed Martin’s Remote Multi Mission Vehicle (RMMV) — the autonomous semi-submersible designed to enter mined waters instead of a ship — is now cleared to continue developmental testing with the LCS MCM package. Read More

Navy Develops Torpedo Killing Torpedo

Navy Develops Torpedo Killing Torpedo

The Navy's experimental Countermeasure Anti-Torpedo launches from the fantail of USS George HW Bush in May. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s experimental Countermeasure Anti-Torpedo launches from the fantail of USS George HW Bush (CVN-77) in May, 2013. US Navy Photo

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

NAVAIR Issues UCLASS RFP

NAVAIR Issues UCLASS RFP

Northrop Grumman's X-47B flies over USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 14, 2013. US Naval Institute Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B flies over USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 14, 2013. US Naval Institute Photo

The Navy is taking its next steps in creating unmanned and autonomous vehicle to provide surveillance and strike capabilities from aircraft carriers, Naval Air Systems Command told USNI News on Monday.

NAVAIR released a request for proposal to four companies on June 10 for further design studies on the Navy’s planned Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system. Read More

Arming Syrian Rebels Will Do Little

Arming Syrian Rebels Will Do Little

fsa_dec12After years of debate and increased involvement in the training and logistical support of Syrian rebel forces, the U.S. government authorized the CIA to begin directly arming opponents of the Bashar al Assad regime. Casualties from Syria’s civil war already number at least 93,000 according to some sources, and millions of Syrians are now refugees or internally displaced.

Meanwhile, the United States now confirms that Syria used chemical weapons in a number of instances, at a small scale that many fear may escalate. Chemical-weapons use provided rhetorical justification to this policy decision, but is not the entire reality of the matter. Internal pressure and Free Syrian Army leadership’s refusal to participate in a new round of negotiations at Geneva without U.S. weapons played a major role. Unfortunately for the United States and the administration, neither the known particulars of the U.S. plan, nor the concept of providing arms to rebel forces generally, appears likely to turn the war’s tide or secure lasting U.S. influence in Syria. Read More

The Future of the Marine Corps

The Future of the Marine Corps

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

US Marines from Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), drive their AAVs on April 20, 2013. US Marine Corps Photo.

After ten years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Marine Corps is retooling and repositioning itself back into its traditional role as a medium-weight maritime force that can operate with agility from the sea. Instead of training almost exclusively to fight insurgents deep inland, the Marines will focus on roles ranging from conventional warfighting, to conducting humanitarian missions, and to training the armed forces of partner nations. In essence, it will be a case of back to the future for the Marine Corps as it shifts back into its traditional role as the nation’s 911 quick-reaction force, former officials and analysts told USNI News. Read More

Second V-22 Multi-Year Buys 99 Ospreys

Second V-22 Multi-Year Buys 99 Ospreys

MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 as it launches from the flight deck of the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) on April 23, 2013.

MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 as it launches from the flight deck of the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) on April 23, 2013.

The Department of the Navy has kicked off its second multi-year buy for 99 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with option for 22 more, a NAVAIR official told USNI News on Thursday.

The Pentagon issued a $4.89 billion contract for the Ospreys on Wednesday with Textron’s Bell Helicopter division and Boeing. Read More

Hagel: Sequestration Could Scuttle Tenth Burke

Hagel: Sequestration Could Scuttle Tenth Burke

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, right, testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday. DoD Photo

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, right, testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday. DoD Photo

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel on Tuesday the ongoing specter of sequestration could prevent the U.S. Navy from adding an additional ship to a $6.1 billion deal that forms the backbone of the service’s surface fleet.

Last week, the Navy entered into a multi-year contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) for nine Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51), extending the Navy’s commitment to the high-end surface combatant into 2017. Read More