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MDA's Satellite Missile Tracker Scores First Kill

MDA’s Satellite Missile Tracker Scores First Kill

Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) launches a standard missile (SM) 3 Blk IA during a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) launches a standard missile (SM) 3 Blk IA during a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully conducted the first live test Wednesday of a satellite missile tracking system designed to provide ship and shore-based batteries greater range to destroy rogue missiles, MDA officials told USNI News Wednesday.

At 4:10 a.m. EST, a missile from USS Lake Erie (CG-70) successfully intercepted a “medium-range ballistic missile target,” launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii using Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators (STSS-D) with a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA guided missile, MDA spokesperson Rick Lehner said.
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SECNAV: Monitor Sailors to be Buried in Arlington

SECNAV: Monitor Sailors to be Buried in Arlington

Facial reconstruction of the two unknown sailors from USS Monitor from a March,6 2012 ceremony in Washington D.C. U.S. Navy Photo

Facial reconstruction of the two unknown sailors from USS Monitor from a March,6 2012 ceremony in Washington D.C. U.S. Navy Photo

Two of the U.S. Navy’s oldest unknown sailors from the Civil War ship USS Monitor will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery in March, announced Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Tuesday.

The decision comes after more than a decade of work to by the Joint Prisoner of War Missing in Action Command to identify the remains, Navy spokesperson Lt. Lauryn Dempsey told USNI News on Wednesday. Read More

Navy Tells Congress Budget Cuts Hurt Readiness

Navy Tells Congress Budget Cuts Hurt Readiness

File photo of Adm. Mark Ferguson. US Navy Photo

File photo of Adm. Mark Ferguson. US Navy Photo 

Department of the Navy officials testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday on the devastating effects the ongoing Continuing Resolution and looming sequestration would have on the services.

By allowing sequestration—the across-the-board cuts—to take effect 1 March and hamstringing the Pentagon and the services as to what they can do under a Continuing Resolution through 27 March, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “We just put the federal government . . . in a position of owing the military a lot of money” to repair the damage caused by deferred maintenance and canceling contracts.
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Opinion: Chuck Hagel and the Necons

Opinion: Chuck Hagel and the Necons

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Chuck Hagel’s going over at the hands of Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday was more than an argument over political and policy differences; it was another spasm in the efforts of neoconservatives to define U.S. security policy in their own image.

Hagel, a Republican former two-term senator from Nebraska, had once been considered one of the neoconservatives’ own, at least for a while. After joining the Senate in 1997, he quickly became one of Republican Sen. John McCain’s more avid wingmen. He helped run the Arizonan’s 2000 campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. Hagel also voted for the 2002 resolution to authorize U.S. action against Iraq, the precursor to the March 2003 invasion.
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Jane's: India to Grow to Fourth Largest Defense Spender

Jane’s: India to Grow to Fourth Largest Defense Spender

A new report from IHS Jane’s estimates that India will outpace the United Kingdom, Japan and France to become the fourth largest defense spender in the world in less than ten years.

By 2020 the Indian defense budget is expected to grow to $65.4 billion. That level of spending will be behind only the U.S., China and Russia.

Flanker

An Indian Air Force SU-Mk30 during an U.S. Air Force exercise. U.S. Air Force Photo

“We anticipate that India’s defense spend will overtake France in 2016, the UK in 2018, and Japan in 2020. By the end of the decade, India is expected to be spending up to USD 17.4 billion on the procurement of defense equipment each year,” Craig Caffrey, senior Asia Pacific analyst, IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets on Friday.
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Navy: Lincoln Refueling Delayed, Will Hurt Carrier Readiness

Navy: Lincoln Refueling Delayed, Will Hurt Carrier Readiness

The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. US Navy Photo
The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy will delay the refueling of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) for an unknown period because of the uncertain fiscal environment due to the ongoing legislative struggle, the service told Congress in a Friday message obtained by USNI News.

Lincoln was scheduled to be moved to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipyard later this month to begin the 4-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the ship. Read More

Interview: A Future for Avondale

Interview: A Future for Avondale

Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. The yard historically built amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. Owners are now exploring using the yard for manufacturing oil and gas infrastructure. Google Photo Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. The yard historically built amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. Owners are now exploring using the yard for manufacturing oil and gas infrastructure. Google Photo

Avondale Shipyards, in continuous operation since 1938, is best known in recent years for constructing Navy amphibious ships, including the Whidbey Island (LSD-41) class and the San Antonio (LPD-17) class. The yard was one of three spun off by Northrop Grumman to form Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in 2011. The company announced it would close the yard in 2013 at the completion of the last LPD scheduled there. At its height the yard employed 6,000; currently there are about 2,200 workers.In December, however, CEO Mike Petters announced HII was exploring use of the yard for the construction of oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) infrastructure around the Gulf Coast.
USNI News spoke with Christopher D. Kastner, HII’s corporate vice president and general manager–corporate development, about the future of the yard, its workforce, and what it means for the U.S. Navy.
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Down to One Middle East Carrier

Down to One Middle East Carrier

 Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Harry S. Truman Strike Group, addresses the media on the pier alongside the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on Wednesday. US Navy Photo

Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Harry S. Truman Strike Group, addresses the media on the pier alongside the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on Wednesday. US Navy Photo

Looming budget restrictions means the U.S. Navy will reduce the American presence in U.S. Central Command from two aircraft carriers to one for the immediate future, a defense official told USNI News on Wednesday.

A deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), planned for later in February, has been delayed to preserve operating a carrier in the Middle East well into 2014, the official said.

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Funding Faults Threaten to Hollow Force

Funding Faults Threaten to Hollow Force

With the passage of the Budget Control Act (BCA) in 2011, Congress and the President set up a series of mechanisms meant to compel consensus on a roadmap for the nation’s long-term fiscal stability. But instead of compromise, bickering and discontent among the nation’s political leadership led to successive fiscal showdowns and short-term budgetary patches, the latest of which expires in just a few weeks. The effects of the budgetary stalemate have been particularly acute in the Department of Defense (DOD), and the threat to the nation’s armed forces is growing every day.

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Opinion: Women in Combat is Old News

Opinion: Women in Combat is Old News

In a joint news conference on Thursday afternoon, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs announced the discontinuation of the 19-year-old Combat Exclusion Policy. The removal of existing gender barriers will be implemented on a rolling timeline: the services must report initial plans by this May, and by January 2016 all fields should be opened to qualified service members regardless of gender. The timeline delays are planned to give the services time to comply, to figure out how to apply for any desired waivers, and to evaluate resulting questions or concerns. The end of the Combat Exclusion Policy seems anticlimactic yet absurdly necessary.

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