Category Archives: Surface Forces

Somerset LPD will Commission in Philadelphia

Somerset LPD will Commission in Philadelphia

Somerset (LPD 25) is launched from the Huntington Ingalls Industries Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana on April, 14 2012. US Navy Photo

Somerset (LPD 25) is launched from the Huntington Ingalls Industries Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana on April, 14 2012. US Navy Photo

The Navy will commission the third San Antonio-class (LPD-17) amphibious warship — Somerset (LPD-25) — named after a Sept. 11, 2001 attack site in Philadelphia, Pa., according to a Thursday releases from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

Somerset County in Pennsylvania was where the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11. Passengers and crew attempted to seize control of the plane from terrorists and the plane ultimately crashed before reaching its target. Read More

The Future Chinese Carrier Force

The Future Chinese Carrier Force

A naval honor guard at the in 2012 on board the Liaoning. Xinhua News Agency Photo

A naval honor guard at the in 2012 on board the Liaoning. Xinhua News Agency Photo

China’s acquisition of its first operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has generated headlines of late. Those reports have included questions about how many additional carriers Beijing intends acquiring.
Air power is crucial to naval power, and Chinese officers have long expressed interest in acquiring aircraft carriers. Many reports of People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) carrier construction were published during the final quarter of the last century; President Jiang Zemin may have given the Navy permission to begin carrier design in the mid-1990s. Read More

Mabus Defends LCS on the Hill

Mabus Defends LCS on the Hill

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Adm. Jonathan Greenert estify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday. US Navy Photo

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

Navy Plans to Launch Carrier UAV Next Tuesday

Navy Plans to Launch Carrier UAV Next Tuesday

Northrop Grumman's X-47B is loaded Monday onboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) for a planned May, 14 2013 catapult launch. US Navy Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B is loaded Monday onboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) for a planned May, 14 2013 catapult launch. US Navy Photo

Next week the Navy will launch its experimental fixed winged unmanned aerial vehicle on its first flight from an aircraft carrier, Naval Air System Command officials told USNI News on Tuesday.

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) is planned to be launched from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May, 14, several sources told USNI News. Read More

Work and Roughead Talk Fleet Protection

Work and Roughead Talk Fleet Protection

Ships from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower from Carrier Strike Group. US Navy Photo

Ships from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower from Carrier Strike Group in 2012. US Navy Photo

Electromagnetic rail guns, lasers and anti-torpedo torpedoes may be the key technologies necessary to ensure the continued viability of the U.S. Navy’s carrier strike groups when operating against an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environment, top former service officials told USNI News.

In the past few years the Pentagon has placed an emphasis on countering the challenges of A2/AD—a concept broadly defined as denying an assaulting force access to a battle space. In the maritime context, the traditional A2/AD tools have been mines and submarines. With the development of increasingly advanced and inexpensive antiship missiles, the calculus of an assaulting force has placed an emphasis having enough weapon capacity to counter threats. Read More

USS Anchorage Commissioned into Navy

USS Anchorage Commissioned into Navy

USS Anchorage during its May, 4 2013 commissioning ceremony. US Navy Photo

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

Document: U.N. Report Calling For Moratoria on Lethal Robots

Document: U.N. Report Calling For Moratoria on Lethal Robots

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

U.N. Report Singles Out Two Navy Weapons Programs

U.N. Report Singles Out Two Navy Weapons Programs

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 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

New Hybrid UAV and Helo Squadron Stands Up

New Hybrid UAV and Helo Squadron Stands Up

MQ-8B Fire Scout on the flight line at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, Calif in 2011. US Navy Photo

MQ-8B Fire Scout on the flight line at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, Calif in 2011. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s first aviation squadron that combines unmanned aerial vehicles and manned helicopters stoop up on Thursday at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., according to a release from U.S. Naval Air Forces. Read More

Sixth National Security Cutter Contract Awarded

Sixth National Security Cutter Contract Awarded

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. US Coast Guard Photo

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