China: Military Facilities on South China Sea Artificial Islands are ‘For Defense Purposes Only’

China: Military Facilities on South China Sea Artificial Islands are ‘For Defense Purposes Only’

Ships and submarines from the Republic of Singapore navy and U.S. Navy gather in formation during the underway phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Singapore 2015 on July 21, 2015. US Navy Photo

Ships and submarines from the Republic of Singapore navy and U.S. Navy gather in formation during the underway phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Singapore 2015 on July 21, 2015. US Navy Photo

Amidst U.S. and Australian concerns of Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea, officials with China’s foreign ministry are claiming military facilities on a series of artificial islands are “for defense purposes only” in reaction to “high-profile display[s] of military strength and frequent and large-scale military drills by certain countries and their allies in the South China Sea,” according to a Wednesday press briefing. Read More

Industry Confirms Australia’s Hobart Class Destroyers $870 Million Over Budget,  Lead Ship 30 Months Late

Industry Confirms Australia’s Hobart Class Destroyers $870 Million Over Budget, Lead Ship 30 Months Late

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An artist's conception of the Hobart-class guided missile destroyer

An artist’s conception of the Hobart-class guided missile destroyer

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — The consortium building three air warfare destroyers (AWDs) for the Royal Australian Navy has provided an update on the construction of the ships, as well as an overview on the lessons learned from the delays and cost overruns that have plagued the program. Read More

Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Leaves Middle East, No Firm Date on Replacement to Continue Anti-ISIS Strikes

Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Leaves Middle East, No Firm Date on Replacement to Continue Anti-ISIS Strikes

Lt. Cmdr. Craig Ryan launches an F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on Aug. 27, 2015. US Navy

Lt. Cmdr. Craig Ryan launches an F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on Aug. 27, 2015. US Navy

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group left U.S. 5th Fleet on Tuesday with no public timeline for when its replacement will reach the Middle East to continue U.S. air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq in Syria (ISIS) targets. Read More

UPDATED: Navy Launches Independent Review of Littoral Combat Ship Remote Minehunting System

UPDATED: Navy Launches Independent Review of Littoral Combat Ship Remote Minehunting System

scientists and engineers recover a deployed Remote Minehunting System (RMS) during developmental testing of the Littoral Combat Ship's mine warfare mission module package on Jan. 7, 2012. US Navy Photo

scientists and engineers recover a deployed Remote Minehunting System (RMS) during developmental testing of the Littoral Combat Ship’s mine warfare mission module package on Jan. 7, 2012. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include additional information from a letter from Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Navy has chartered an independent review of its criticized Remote Minehunting System (RMS), a key component of its Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasures mission package, which may affect the service’s decision to move forward with LCS testing and RMS acquisition, a Navy spokeswoman told USNI News. Read More

Opinion: Coast Guard Budget Reductions Puts U.S. at Risk

Opinion: Coast Guard Budget Reductions Puts U.S. at Risk

A Coast Guard Cutter Stratton boarding team investigates a self-propelled semi-submersible interdicted in international waters off the coast of Central America on July 19, 2015. US Coast Guard Photo

A Coast Guard Cutter Stratton boarding team investigates a self-propelled semi-submersible interdicted in international waters off the coast of Central America on July 19, 2015. US Coast Guard Photo

In his 2015 State of the Coast Guard Address, Commandant Paul Zukunft said, “Since 9-11, 450,000 Americans have died from drug use and drug violence . . . we have actionable intelligence on approximately 90 percent of known maritime drug movement . . . however, with too few surface and air assets to patrol the vast expanses of the transit zone, they can only attempt to target, detect and disrupt 20 percent of that known flow. You can do the math—this is an issue of capacity.”

So what happens when you reduce that capacity? Read More