USS George Washington (CVN-73) in 2001.
Even years before its launch, the U.S. Navy’s new class of ships — the aircraft carrier — was dismissed by some critics as an exorbitantly expensive folly that was already obsolete due to advances in modern warfare.
Although this argument has often been levied at USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) currently under construction, it was also said about the nation’s first purpose-built carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) in the early 1930s. In the century since the Navy first started experimenting with shipboard takeoffs and landings, analysts have debated the merits versus the weaknesses of aircraft carriers.
Detractors maintain that carriers are too costly and too vulnerable, while proponents have held that the big flattops have consistently proven their worth and will remain the key to sea power well into the future. This battle over carriers has been raging in the pages of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine for decades: Read More
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down provisions in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The restrictions in the act prevented federal employees in same sex marriages from receiving federal benefits. The Pentagon and the rest of the government will now sort through the ruling and the changes to federal law.
“The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act,” Secratary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a Wednesday statement.
“The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses — regardless of sexual orientation — as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.” Read More
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
The Navy has outlined the specifications for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) in a requirements document obtained by USNI News.
Proposed operational ranges of UCLASS. US Naval Institute Illustration
A UCLASS system should be able to conduct two orbits at 600 nautical
miles or one orbit at 1,200 nautical miles. The system should also be
able to conduct a strike mission at 2,000 nautical miles. Read More
Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in April. US Navy Photo
Adm. Cecil Haney has been nominated to take the top job at U.S. Strategic Command, according to a Monday release from the Department of Defense.
Haney, currently the commander of U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, will replace U.S. Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, pending Senate confirmation. Read More
An undated file photo of the 24th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Frank B. Kelso II. US Navy Photo
On Sunday former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Frank Kelso, died in his home state in Tennessee, “following a fall this week that resulted in a severe head injury,” according to a report from al.com.
The following is an excerpt of 2009’s preface to Kelso’s U.S. Naval Institute oral history.
The early 1990s were a time of substantial-even tumultuous-change in the United States Navy. Adm. Frank Kelso presided over the service during that era as the Chief of Naval Operations and faced a host of daunting challenges. Read More
People’s Liberation Army Navy Rear Adm. Kan Li Kui drinks a sample of purified water at a disaster site in Biang, Brunei Darussalam June 19, as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise. US Marine Corps Photo.
Last week Brunei hosted an important but little-noticed exercise in its portion of the island of Borneo. The multinational event sponsored by and held in conjunction with the second meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and was the first of its kind. The group focused on boosting interoperability among the participants’ medical and disaster response capabilities. But as important was the mix of participants included countries better known for tense maritime stand-offs than working together. Read More
An image of the French-built amphibious warship Mistral (L-9013).
One of the most significant decisions of Russia’s now-disgraced and soon-to-be-indicted former minister of defense Anatoly Serdyukov was the decision to procure Mistral–class helicopter carriers from the French. That was a radical departure from previous Soviet/Russian doctrine, which demanded that the country be able to produce all its own weapons systems. The total reliance on domestic suppliers was seen as a way to ensure the country’s sovereignty: the Russians thought that dependence, or even potential dependence on any external supplier would place major constraints on their decision-making. When one sees how the United States is able to comprehensively influence the foreign and defense policies of countries that rely on its military hardware, the Russian position does not seem without merit or logic. Read More
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
Kilo class submarine Yunes
Vietnam will takes possession of two Kilo-class diesel attack submarines (SSKs) by the end of the year, according to several press reports. Read More