The U.S. Coast Guard has exercised a $250.7 million contract option to buy six more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs), according to a Wednesday announcement from the service. Read More
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) — chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee — sat down with USNI News on Sept. 18 to talk about the challenges of sequestration, how he feels about the Littoral Combat Ship program, China, what the Navy is doing right and—more important—what the Navy is doing wrong. Read More
The eastern Mediterranean, off the Syrian coast, presently is saturated with U.S. and Russian warships. The United States has deployed the destroyers USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Gravely, each armed with large numbers of Tomahawk land-attack missiles. The Russian navy announced that it has seven warships in the eastern Mediterranean and that it is sending three more warships—the cruiser Moskva, the destroyer Smetlivy, and the assault ship Nikolai Filchenkov. All of those warships are sailing relatively close to the Syrian civil war’s combat zone. Read More
The Navy is considering increasing the crew sizes for both variants of the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) by 2015, according to a July report obtained by USNI News based on the early data from the current deployment of USS Freedom (LCS-1) and tests aboard USS Independence (LCS-2).
The report — prepared on the Office of Chief of Operations (OPNAV) surface warfare office — recommends the Navy add accommodations to berth 98 crewmembers ahead of a 2014 study that could increase the crew’s size. Read More
From the July 2013 Office of Chief of Operations (OPNAV) report — Littoral Combat Ship Manning Concepts:
Based on current analysis and lessons learned from FREEDOM’s deployment, LCS will be configured to support up to 98 total personnel, to include core crew, Mission Package detachment, and aviation detachment. Projected costs to modify ships to accommodate this manning level are $600,000 for LCS-3 and $700,000 for LCS-4. Projected design and engineering costs for future ships are estimated at $6 million for both LCS variants. The costs to modified follow on ships will be addressed in future budgets.
Manpower and workload analyses of FREEDOM’s eight-month deployment to the Western Pacific will continue through her deployment. Finally,Navy Manpower Analysis Center will conduct a study aboard FREEDOM in early 2014 to support the development of the LCS Ship’s Manpower Document (SMD) which will further codify manpower requirements and policies and validate crew size, crew rotation construct, and associated shore manpower required to operate and support the LCS class. Read More
It is starting to feel like America’s reluctance to get involved in Syria is an echo of the Vietnam War. One of the more interesting things to emerge from the recent national debate over whether America should involve itself in the Syrian civil war is the degree of war fatigue being expressed by the majority of Americans. That anti-war sentiment is kinder and gentler than the angry protests of the 1960s and ’70s, but it stems from the same cultural roots. Read More
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is claiming a Navy ballistic missile defense (BMD) first in a Wednesday test that successfully scored a kill on one of the most difficult targets the agency has thrown at a ship. Read More
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert informally asked the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) for authority to shuffle $ 2 billion in Navy funds to shore up gaps in maintenance, operations and procurement the service would suffer in Fiscal Year 2014 under the current sequestration cuts, Greenert said as part of his testimony before the HASC on Wednesday. Read More
From the document:
In this statement I will explain the impacts of sequestration having occurred in FY 2013 and current law imposing reduced discretionary caps in future years, and why I believe these caps will preclude our ability to execute the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG) in the long term. In the near term, sequestration in FY 2014 will negatively impact our readiness and investments, further degrading programs in all appropriations except military personnel. Combined with the prohibitions on transferring funds, increasing program quantities and starting new projects associated with a continuing resolution, these impacts will be considerably worse in FY 2014 than they were in FY 2013. Read More
In a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Tuesday, members of Congress questioned the Pentagon’s direction in creating a next-generation, carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The letter from the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces—obtained by USNI News—was signed by chairman Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and ranking member Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.). It asks the Navy to develop the planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) UAV that would fully integrate with the carrier air wing. Read More