From the Sept. 5, 2013 GAO report:
What GAO Found:
The Navy faces technical, design, and construction challenges to completing
Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) that have led to significant cost increases and reduced
the likelihood that a fully functional ship will be delivered on time. Read More
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert, left, and Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus observe an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator make an arrested landing on July 10, 2013. US Navy Photo
Pentagon leaders altered the Navy’s vision of creating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of striking defended targets thousands of miles away from the sea into a less-capable platform more suited for hunting terrorists, USNI News has learned. Read More
USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71 returns to Naval Station Norfolk, Va. from Sea Trials on Aug. 29, 2013. US Navy Photo
The Nimitz-class carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) has completed a complex upgrade and refueling that will extend the life of the ship another 23 years, the Navy announced on Thursday. Read More
From the document issued on Aug. 16, 2013:
A Navigation Plan draws from Sailing Directions to describe in greater detail how a ship will use its resources to safely and effectively sail to a new destination. Similarly, CNO’s Navigation Plan describes how Navy’s budget submission for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-2018 pursues the vision of the CNO’s Sailing Directions. It highlights our investments that support the missions outlined in our defense strategic guidance (DSG), Sustaining U.S. Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, viewed through the lens of my three tenets: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready. This Navigation Plan defines the course and speed we will follow to organize, train, and equip our Navy over the next several years. Read More
USS George Washington (CVN-73) in 2001.
Even years before its launch, the U.S. Navy’s new class of ships — the aircraft carrier — was dismissed by some critics as an exorbitantly expensive folly that was already obsolete due to advances in modern warfare.
Although this argument has often been levied at USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) currently under construction, it was also said about the nation’s first purpose-built carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) in the early 1930s. In the century since the Navy first started experimenting with shipboard takeoffs and landings, analysts have debated the merits versus the weaknesses of aircraft carriers.
Detractors maintain that carriers are too costly and too vulnerable, while proponents have held that the big flattops have consistently proven their worth and will remain the key to sea power well into the future. This battle over carriers has been raging in the pages of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine for decades: Read More
From June, 12 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Navy Ship Names
For ship types now being procured for the Navy, or recently procured for the Navy, naming rules can be summarized as follows: Read More
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces issued their mark on the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget request, “which designates essential funding and sets priorities for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force,” read a statement from subcommittee chair Rep. Randy Forbes (R- Va.) and ranking member Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) on Tuesday.
“Having recently received a 30 Year Shipbuilding Plan from the Navy with no basis in reality, our mark requires a detailed roadmap for how the service will reach its shipbuilding goals under likely budget scenarios,” Chairman Forbes said. “We have laid the groundwork to ask difficult questions of the Navy about the cost overruns on the Ford-class aircraft carrier, while also ensuring the Navy has an additional Virginia-class attack submarine each year. And we have made investments in technologies like the UCLASS carrier-launched unmanned vehicle, which will ensure the viability of the Carrier Air Wing for decades to come,” Forbes said in the statement. Read More
USS Hopper (DDG-70) launches a missile as part of a BMD test in 2009. US Navy Photo
The U.S. Navy has placed an emphasis on ballistic missile defense and a commitment to a next-generation Littoral Combat Ship in its Fiscal Year 2014 draft 30-year shipbuilding plan obtained by USNI News on Tuesday. Read More
Why does the United States maintain a fleet of aircraft carriers?
The answer to that question could appear self-evident. Or, based on much of the discussion over the past few years, one might think the Navy’s carrier fleet is the most expensive, most vulnerable and most foolish extravagance in modern history. Read More
Sailors’ vehicles are parked on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on March, 13 2013. US Navy Photo
When in doubt about grave questions, reach for the classics. What would the likes of Alfred Thayer Mahan or Julian Corbett say about the fate of the big-deck aircraft carrier or nuclear carrier (CVN)? I suspect their ghosts would voice skepticism. Read More