The following is from the introduction to the Congressional Research Service’s April, 24 2013 report: Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress.
Department of Defense (DOD) development work on high-energy military lasers, which has been underway for decades, has reached the point where lasers capable of countering certain surface and air targets at ranges of about a mile could be made ready for installation on Navy surface ships over the next few years. More powerful shipboard lasers, which could become ready for installation in subsequent years, could provide Navy surface ships with an ability to counter a wider range of surface and air targets at ranges of up to about 10 miles. These more powerful lasers might, among other things, provide Navy surface ships with a terminal-defense capability against certain ballistic missiles, including China’s new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). Read More
USS Cape St. George (CG-71) approaches Naval Base San Diego. US Navy Photo
“Money is better spent on buying back the life of younger ships” with 25 to 30 years left, than putting it into seven cruisers the Navy wants to retire in 2015, the deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems told a key House subcommittee on 26 April.
Vice Adm. William Burke said, “We have to balance our books” and the way the Navy chose to do that a year ago was retiring the cruisers and two landing ship docks (LSDs) early. “I would prefer to put money into destroyers,” he said, adding that “we have enough” cruisers, all nine of which the Navy intends to operate normally until they are decommissioned. Read More
USS Maryland (SSBN-738) transits the Saint Marys River.
“The most daunting challenge” facing the Navy’s newly released shipbuilding plan is paying for the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine replacement when it is expected to take $100 billion—over 12 to 15 years—from that account, the service’s top acquisition official said. Read More
Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies before the Senate on the Navy’s budget on Wednesday. US Navy Photo
The Chief of Naval Operations said the Ohio-class replacement is his “number one program of concern,” although it remains “on track with all the R&D” to begin construction in 2021, with delivery expected in 2029.
Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on 24 April, Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus expressed concern about its cost, the impact of sequestration on the program and the impact of building it on the rest of the shipbuilding program.
Mabus said, “Sequestration holds the potential to impact this in a significant way.” Read More
The following is the Department of the Navy submitted testimony before a April, 24 2013 hearing before the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. Read More
The following is a draft of the 2014 U.S. Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan, obtained by USNI News The plan, presented to Congress, outlines construction and retirement schedules for the service until Fiscal Year 2043. Read More
Huntington Ingalls Industries proposed Flight II LPD-17 ship class. Huntington Ingalls Industries Photo
Congress included $240 million for a 12th San Antonio-class amphibious warship (LPD-17), as part of the last minute, late March budget deal that funded the Pentagon for Fiscal Year 2013.
However the Navy didn’t ask for the money for what would be LPD-28, leaving open questions for the future of a class that was supposed to stop at 11 ships. Read More
US Army MH-60 from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment taking off from USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44) during a training mission in 2011. US Naval Institute Photo
By June, the U.S. Army will open positions to women in its most elite Special Operations helicopter unit as part of a Pentagon push to include more than 6,000 women in previously closed jobs in the Army and U.S. Marine Corps, according to documents obtained by USNI News. Read More
The following is the April, 17 2013 written testimony of Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Chief of Naval Reserve to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Read More
The following are the prepared testimonies from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert and USMC Commandant Gen. James Amos for the April, 16 2013 House Armed Services Committee’s hearing on the Department of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget. Read More