USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2016.
Though much effort in 2016 was devoted to planning the future Navy – through a new Force Structure Assessment, three simultaneous Future Fleet Architecture studies, an alternative carrier study, ongoing future surface combatant planning efforts and more – the year was also full of major news in research, development and acquisition. At the end of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ eight-year shipbuilding spree, where he put at least 86 ships on contract, the year was full of commissionings, testing, fielding and planning for ships, aircraft and weapon systems. Read More
The following is footage and photos of a July 18, 2016 test of a Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missile fired from the Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship, the former USS Paul Foster. Read More
An artist’s concept of a Lockheed Martin LRASM fired from a U.S. Navy VLS tube. Lockheed Martin image.
Lockheed Martin has completed the third of three test shots to prove that their air-launched Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) can be fired from a surface ship on the move, company officials told USNI News on Wednesday. Read More
A F/A-18E flying with a black LRASM missile. Lockheed Martin Photo
Operating under a $321 million contract from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Lockheed Martin is set to complete the critical design review (CDR) for the company’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) next month, company officials told USNI News on Tuesday. Read More
A Raytheon SM-6 launched from an Aegis guided missile destroyer. US Navy Photo
The Navy fared well during late-in-the-game Fiscal Year 2017 budget negotiations with the Defense Department, despite a widespread initial concern about cuts to the Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate program, Navy leadership told USNI News. Read More
USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) launches a Tomahawk cruise missile as seen from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on Sept. 23, 2014. US Navy Photo
SAN DIEGO – Any U.S. Navy ship or submarine capable of firing a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) could be armed with an 1000-nautical mile anti-ship cruise missile in less than a decade, service officials told USNI News on Wednesday during the West 2016 conference. Read More
Sailors man the phone and distance line aboard the Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG-57) on Nov. 7, 2014. US Navy Photo
This is the final version of this post.
PENTAGON — The Department of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2017 lower-than-expected budget submission follows closely with an overall Department of Defense drive to build higher end warfighting capabilities — but at a cost, according to budget documents released on Tuesday. Read More
USS Barry (DDG=52) fires Tomahawk cruise missiles in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 11, 2011. US Navy Photo
The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) has long been a mainstay of the U.S. strike weapon inventory. Launching from ranges out to 1,000 miles and armed with a 1,000-pound warhead, it is the Navy’s “Kick Down the Door” weapon, attacking well-defended high-value land targets. The BLK IV missile is the latest variant in a steady progression of capability, incorporating mission planning, navigation and guidance, and command and control upgrades designed to improve responsiveness and target flexibility. Combat-proven and operationally reliable, Tomahawk remains a weapon of choice for planners and commanders alike. The FY 2016 budget maintains production and inventory levels, reflecting a continued high demand signal. Read More
The guided-missile destroyers USS Russel (DDG-59), USS Chung Hoon (DDG-93) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) on Aug. 11, 2015.
This year, the U.S. Navy’s surface force is busily war-gaming and analyzing its distributed lethality concept in order to fairly evaluate its potential benefits, risks and costs. Read More
A Tomahawk cruise missile hits a moving maritime target Jan. 27 after being launched from the USS Kidd (DDG-100) near San Nicolas Island in California. US Navy Photo
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Raytheon’s Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) will be a likely competitor in the Navy’s search for a next generation anti-ship missile to replace the 1980s era weapons widely in use in the service, the deputy chief of naval operations warfare systems (N9) said Wednesday. Read More