Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks with Randy Forbes in Forbes’ office on June 13, 2013. US Navy Photo
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) — chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee — sat down with USNI News on Sept. 18 to talk about the challenges of sequestration, how he feels about the Littoral Combat Ship program, China, what the Navy is doing right and—more important—what the Navy is doing wrong. 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 Thach (FFG 43) returns to San Diego after completing a six-month deployment in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility in April, 2013. US Navy Photo
Seven Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates are up for Foreign Military Sale (FMS), according to a list of ships the Navy plans to decommission by the end of 2014.
The list, issued on Wednesday, included a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack boat USS Dallas (SSN-700), minesweeper USS Avenger (MCM-1), an amphibious warship and two Military Sealift Command ships. Read More
INS Chakra II, shortly after its April, 2012 commissioning. Indian Nay Photo
India may be interested in leasing a second nuclear attack submarine (SSN) from Russia, according to a Wednesday report from Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Jane’s quoted Russian officials at the International Maritime Defence in St. Petersburg saying the Indian Navy was interested in leasing a follow-on submarine to INS Chakra II , an Akula-class submarine the Indian Navy is leasing from the Russians for ten years. Read More
Rep. J. Randy Forbes is chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee. The Virginia Republican has held several hearings on naval readiness in the current Congress. He will be part of a panel on the looming fiscal cliff— that could result in a 10 percent reduction in defense spending—at Defense Forum Washington hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute next week.
Rep. Forbes, you said Wednesday that you’re expecting to see sequestration in some form in January. Could you expand on that?
Obviously we are still hopeful to divert sequestration from taking place. The clock is ticking. We continue to believe that defense has already paid its share and shouldn’t be cut in such an arbitrary and drastic fashion. But it’s going to take an awful lot to keep from going over the cliff.
The first look at video of Chinese carrier operations recently released shows China has been paying attention to the way flight deck operations are safely conducted by the U.S. and other navies. Flight deck crew personnel jersey colors and hand signals are similar to international standards. There seem to be two sailors at every position, indicating that one of them is “under instruction.” There seems little doubt that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is above the aircraft carrier learning curve, albeit in good weather and basic operations. Potential material problems lie in Liaoning’s very long construction period, which likely have resulted in significant structural problems, and with its pressure-fired steam propulsion system, which historically has been difficult to maintain and operate efficiently.
An undated photograph onboard the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning during a take-off and landing test. Xinhua News Agency Photo
China’s Carrier History
Beijing first acquired an aircraft carrier in 1985, when it bought the ex-Australian Melbourne. Engineers studied the World War II-designed ship in detail before it was scrapped. Next, during the 1990s came two former Soviet aircraft carriers—Minsk and Kiev—both purchased to serve as theme park attractions in China. Those ships were actually called “heavy aviation cruisers” by Moscow, so the first modern aircraft carrier to arrive in China was another ex-Soviet ship, the Varyag.