China’s economy may have significant problems ahead that would put the brakes on military spending for ships, missiles and aircraft in the next decade, therefore its leaders may see the next few years as the best time to improve its positions in the near seas, military and China experts told a key congressional defense committee on Wednesday. Read More
Last week the media around the world carried stories about the rediscovery of the Japanese super-submarine I-400. One of the more unique submarines of the past century—part aircraft carrier, part submarine—she inspired books, television documentaries, and a years-long quest to find exactly where it had come to rest in a postwar weapons test designed to keep it from Soviet eyes. Read More
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for Russia to expand its military presence in the Arctic following Canadian plans to claim dominion of the North Pole. Read More
Following the recent criminal investigations into abuses in port servicing contracts for U.S. Navy ships, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued a Monday memo calling for a complete audit of port services. The final report is due in June, 2014. Read More
The U.S. Navy has demonstrated the launch of a small unmanned aircraft from submarine for the first time, the service announced in a statement on Dec. 5. The successful test could herald the arrival of potentially revolutionary new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for the Navy’ submarine force and special warfare communities. Read More
The following is from the Congressional Research Service report, Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990.
This CRS Report discusses U.S. security assistance for Taiwan, formally called the Republic of China (ROC), particularly policy issues for Congress. It also lists sales of major defense articles and services to Taiwan, as approved by the President and notified to Congress since 1990. This report uses a variety of unclassified consultations and citations in the United States and Taiwan. Read More
From the Nov. 22, 2013 U.S> Defense Department’s Arctic Strategy:
The Arctic is at a strategic inflection point as its ice cap is diminishing more rapidly than projected2 and human activity, driven by economic opportunity—ranging from oil, gas, and mineral exploration to fishing, shipping, and tourism—is increasing in response to the growing accessibility. Read More
From the Oct. 29, 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition.
Multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC) are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent. Read More
From the Nov. 8, 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress.
The Navy’s proposed FY2014 budget requests funding for the procurement of 8 new battle force ships (i.e., ships that count against the Navy’s goal for achieving and maintaining a fleet of 306 ships). The 8 ships include two Virginia-class attack submarines, one DDG-51 class Aegis destroyer, four Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), and one Mobile Landing Platform/Afloat Forward Staging Base (MLP/AFSB) ship. The Navy’s proposed FY2014-FY2018 five-year shipbuilding plan includes a total of 41 ships—the same number as in the Navy’s FY213-FY2017 five-year shipbuilding plan, and one less than the 42 ships that the Navy planned for FY2014-FY2018 under the FY2013 budget submission. Read More