The Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) launches a standard missile (SM) 3 Blk IA in July 2009. US Navy Photo
When the first new Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer enters service with the U.S. Navy in 2019, it will be equipped with a new radar roughly 30 times more powerful than the long-serving Lockheed Martin SPY-1 system found on current Aegis warships. Called the air and missile defense radar (AMDR), the new sensor is expected to exponentially increase the ship’s performance in simultaneously defending the Fleet against both air-breathing and ballistic-missile threats. The key technology that enables such high performance is a semiconductor called gallium nitride (GaN).
“It is definitely one of the key enabling technologies,” said Captain Douglas Small, Naval Sea Systems Command’s AMDR program manager, during an interview with USNI News. “We’re basically in the Flight III going to deliver over 30 times the radar capability for about twice the input power.” Read More
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. Defense Department Photo
Last week Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined American military options in Syria, in response to a threatened hold on his reconfirmation by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and a letter signed by McCain and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.). Both senators are proponents of American intervention in Syria, and both are frustrated by what they believe is the administration’s slow and limited decision to intervene in Syria’s conflict. The traditions of American civil-military relations make uniformed discussions of military options in politically charged issues—especially in a public forum—a delicate issue. Nevertheless, in order to secure a second term as JCS chairman, and in response to a formal request, Dempsey presented an unclassified assessment of five options for American military involvement in Syria. Read More
HMCS Windsor transits from the U.K. to her home port in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2001. Canadian Navy Photo
Canada’s Victoria-class submarine fleet has been controversial since its inception. Most recently, a report by Michael Byers and Stewart Webb argues that the time has come to either phase out the program or commit to a robust discussion of how to replace the fleet. Critics cite a disappointing history of expensive repairs, time lost, and a catastrophic fire. Supporters insist that the boats provide important capabilities. And navy planners have sought to get the ball rolling on acquiring new subs sometime after 2020. Debate over the current fleet and its potential replacement should include all of those elements, but focus on how they align with one another, on whether submarines provide the right capabilities at the right price to serve Canada’s national interests. Read More
The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS-2) demonstrates its maneuvering capabilities in the Pacific Ocean on July 18, 2013. US Navy Photo
A long-awaited report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says “a pause is needed,” in the Navy’s acquisition of both variants of the littoral combat ship (LCS) until the service proves it has overcome the myriad difficulties it has had fielding the ships and their three proposed mission packages, which allow the ships to act as either minesweepers, sub-hunters, or close-to-shore combatants. Read More
HMAS Diamantina sails into Rabaul Harbour in Papua New Guinea in 2011. Royal Australian Navy Photo
A mine hunting ship will be deployed to find four bombs dropped by two U.S. Marine AV-8B Harriers last week in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, according to local press reports published on Tuesday.
The vessel would either come from U.S. 7th Fleet’s homeport in Japan or Australia’s Fleet Base East in Sydney, according to the report. Read More
Rear Adm. Samuel Perez in 2011 while he was commander of Carrier Strike Group 1. Perez was tasked in 2012 to review the Littoral Combat Ship Program. US Navy Photo
Ahead of a busy week for Littoral Combat Ship policy makers, the Navy has released the executive summary of the Office of Chief of Operations Report (OPNAV) Review of the Littoral Combat Ship led by Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Plans, Programs, and Operations in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and former commander of Carrier Strike Group 1.
In January of 2012, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson directed Perez to evaluate, “ the Navy’s readiness to receive deploy, employ and deploy the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) vessel,” according to the review’s executive summary. Read More
Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo
Panamanian officials have found two 1950s era MiG-21 fighters onboard a North Korean ship detained last week after authorities detained the ship after an initial discovery of components of a surface-to-air missile system originating from Cuba, government officials said on Sunday. Read More
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey waits to be seated during the Senate Armed Services Committee reconfirmation hearing on July 18, 2013. Department of Defense Photo
How far the United States should go in supporting the Syrian opposition, and just what the role of the Chairman (and Vice Chairman) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in formulating that strategy should be, dominated the sometimes testy re-confirmation hearing of Gen. Martin Dempsey and Adm. James Winnefeld on 18 July.
Dempsey’s re-confirmation is not assured. A key member of the panel—Arizona Republican John McCain—was so upset by Dempsey’s answers on Syria that he threatened to put a hold on the nomination. The chairman of the committee offered a possible compromise to get the nomination for a second Dempsey term back on track. Winnefeld did not come under that kind of scrutiny. Read More
A Central Michigan University educator speakers to Sailors and Marines during the “No Zebras, No Excuses” sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) program aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island in 2012. US Navy Photo
The Navy has issued its new plan to combat sexual assaults in the service that include limiting alcohol sales on Navy installations and increasing personnel trained to handle sexual assault cases, according to documents provided to USNI News on Thursday.
The changes in the Navy’s policy to handle sexual assault cases and prevention comes while some in Congress are pushing a bill that would limit commander’s discretion to prosecute alleged offenders under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Read More
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a vocal advocate for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, is right about at least one thing—a victory for President Bashar al-Assad is a victory for his allies in Iran.
McCain is wrong on many other accounts, most notably the assumption that a more favorable outcome can be achieved if the United States plays a more heavy-handed role in the conflict: history shows that to be false. Read More