Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Adm. Jonathan Greenert estify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday. US Navy Photo
With the USS Freedom (LCS-1) due to arrive in Singapore this week, the Littoral Combat Ship program’s cost received close scrutiny—as well as some sharp questions about the vessel’s survivability—during a House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing on 7 May.
Despite New Jersey Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s opening statement that the LCS and many others in the shipbuilding plan “to our way of thinking are support ships” rather than “classic combatants” such as large cruisers or submarines, and Virginia Democrat Jim Moran’s comments near the end of the two-and-a-half-hour session that “no other ship requires contractors throughout the deployment,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus defended the LCS as “one of our best performing programs.” Read More
Former US Marine Lt. Col. Art Nalls with his restored Sea Harrier. Since military teams have canceled air shows dates due to budget cuts, Nalls has seen increased demand from air shows.
Art Nalls—air show performer and the owner/operator of what maybe the only working civilian Harrier jump jet in the country—may be one of the few people benefitting from recent military budget cuts.
Those spending reductions have bumped the Pentagon’s professional aeronautics teams—the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds—off the air show circuit for the rest of the year, creating a demand for Nalls’ stubby-winged Sea Harrier to visit air shows: $35,000 for a 15-to-20 minute show.
“We’re turning away business,” the retired Marine aviator based in Washington, D.C. told USNI News on Monday.
“We shoot for six air shows. We got ten.” Read More
USS Anchorage during its May, 4 2013 commissioning ceremony. US Navy Photo
The Navy commissioned the seventh San Antonio-class amphibious war ship into the Fleet in a snowy Saturday ceremony in Alaska.
The 26,000 ton USS Anchorage (LPD-23) is the latest in the line of dock landing platform ships to enter the Fleet and one of 11 planned warships designed to ferry 720 Marines and their aircraft and landing craft around the world. Read More
From the summary of the U.N. Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns. The report calls for a suspension of lethal robotic technology until international rules can be drafted:
Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs) are weapon systems that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further human intervention. They raise far-reaching concerns about the protection of life during war and peace. This includes the question of the extent to which they can be programmed to comply with the requirements of international humanitarian law and the standards protecting life under international human rights law. Read More
An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator aircraft is transported on an aircraft elevator aboard the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). US Navy Photo
An April U.N. report calling for suspending the use deadly robotic weapon systems singled out two Navy systems, the Phalanx ship protection weapon system and the Navy’s test platform for carrier-based unmanned vehicles as part of a report recommending an international moratoria on so-called “lethal autonomous robotics.”
Report author Christof Heyns, a human rights professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, mentioned the Phalanx and the Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) X-47B as examples of weapon systems with at least some degree of autonomous operation. Read More
Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. US Coast Guard Photo
The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a $487.1 million contract to Huntington Ingalls Industries for the construction of the sixth National Security Cutter, according to a Tuesday release from the U.S. Coast Guard. Read More
Commander Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy in 2008. US Navy Photo
Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command has a rare interview in the latest issue of Proceedings.
While at the helm of NAVSEA for an unprecedented five years McCoy was mostly media shy while he was a driving force to realign years of damage to the way the Navy fixed its surface ships. Read More
USS Porter shortly after its collision in August, 2012. US Navy Photo
The Navy issued a $49.4 million contract to fully fund the repairs to the USS Porter (DDG-78) putting aside one of the last iconic effects of a combined Fiscal Year 2013 Continuing Resolution and mandatory sequestration budget cuts, according to a Tuesday release from Naval Sea Systems Command. Read More
An artist’s conception of an Aegis Ashore battery. Lockheed-Martin Photo
The estimated cost of a for series of ballistic missile defense batteries in Eastern Europe and Hawaii have doubled, according to an April report from the Government Accountability Office. Read More
The following is from the introduction to the Congressional Research Service’s April, 24 2013 report: Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress.
Department of Defense (DOD) development work on high-energy military lasers, which has been underway for decades, has reached the point where lasers capable of countering certain surface and air targets at ranges of about a mile could be made ready for installation on Navy surface ships over the next few years. More powerful shipboard lasers, which could become ready for installation in subsequent years, could provide Navy surface ships with an ability to counter a wider range of surface and air targets at ranges of up to about 10 miles. These more powerful lasers might, among other things, provide Navy surface ships with a terminal-defense capability against certain ballistic missiles, including China’s new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). Read More