Category Archives: Surface Forces

Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aircraft Performs First Touch and Go

Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aircraft Performs First Touch and Go

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

Less than a week after its historic launch off the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the Navy’s X-47B demonstration aircraft performed a so-called “touch and go,” landing off the carrier on Friday, Navy officials told USNI News.

The 44,567 pound X-47B hit Bush’s deck and then powered off the end of the carrier. The operation at sea is one step closer for the ultimate goal of the Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) — landing on a moving carrier. Read More

MDA Destroys Missile in Successful BMD Test

MDA Destroys Missile in Successful BMD Test

USS Lake Erie fires a SM-3 interceptor in February. MDA Photo

USS Lake Erie fires a SM-3 interceptor in February. MDA Photo

The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy intercepted a simulated ballistic missile in the third successful test of the Navy’s next generation Aegis ballistic missile defense system, MDA officials told USNI News on Thursday.

The target missile – fired from a test range in Hawaii at 5:25 p.m. local time on Wednesday – was detected by the SPY-1 radar aboard USS Lake Erie (CG-70). The ship launched a SM-3 Block IB equipped with a BMD kill vehicle that successfully destroyed the simulated threat missile in low Earth orbit. Read More

Admiral: China Will Likely Learn Carrier Ropes Faster than U.S.

Admiral: China Will Likely Learn Carrier Ropes Faster than U.S.

Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Force, Atlantic, speaks to Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in 2012. US Navy Photo

Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Force, Atlantic, speaks to Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in 2012. US Navy Photo

A previous version of this story cited an incorrect figure for the number of lost aircrew in the Navy and Marine Corps from 1949 to 1988. That actual number of was not 5,000, but 8,500. USNI News regrets the error. 

It will take less time for China to learn how to effectively operate aircraft carriers than it took the U.S., the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic air arm, Rear Adm. Ted Branch said Wednesday. Read More

Navy Makes History With Unmanned Carrier Launch

Navy Makes History With Unmanned Carrier Launch

The U.S. Navy ushered in a new era in aviation with Tuesday’s launch of the first autonomous jet from an aircraft carrier.

The angular X-47B flew from deck of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) launched from the same steam catapult that’s pushed manned fighters into the sky for decades — but without a cockpit or a pilot. Read More

Nimitz Leaves Busan for Sea of Japan

Nimitz Leaves Busan for Sea of Japan

Army Gen. James D. Thurman, commander, United Nations Command, Republic of Korea - United States Combined Forces command, and United States Forces Korea onboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on May, 11 2013. US Navy Photo

Army Gen. James D. Thurman, commander, United Nations Command, Republic of Korea – United States Combined Forces command, and United States Forces Korea onboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on May, 11 2013. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) has left Busan, Korea for joint exercises between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, according to a Monday statement from U.S. 7th Fleet.

“The operations are taking place beyond the territorial seas of any coastal nations and are intended to reinforce regional security and stability, enhance interoperability with our allies, and increase operational proficiency and readiness,” read the statement. Read More

Navy Plan Calls for More Sub Funding

Navy Plan Calls for More Sub Funding

Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN-734). US Navy Photo

Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN-734). US Navy Photo

The Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan warns Congress unless the Pentagon can find more money to complete the Navy’s planned 12 new Ohio-class Replacement ballistic missile submarines the service will be unable to meet its future obligations. Read More

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