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Breaking Defense

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2016 transition

Mattis Review Only Looks At F-35C Vs. Super Hornet; F-35 Cost Study Separate

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Of the three variants of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, only the carrier-launched F-35C is at risk of being replaced by Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet, the Marine Corps’s top pilot said today. It’s not on the table to substitute Hornets for either the land-based F-35A variant or the vertical-takeoff-and-landing F-35B, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy Commandant for… Keep reading →

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Mattis Orders Air Force One, F-35 Reviews As Trump Opens Door To $60B DoD Budget Boost

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: After weeks of uncertainty and mounting evidence that only larger deficits were the path to a significant boost to the US military, President Trump has signaled the fiscal spigots will be opened in the interests of a larger and more capable US military. “I think it’s significant in signaling this is a priority among the… Keep reading →

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Bilden Would Be Least Experienced Navy Secretary Since 1980

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CORRECTED: Bilden is least experienced, not 2nd to last WASHINGTON: Trump’s pick for Navy Secretary, Philip Bilden, has less relevant experience than any of his predecessors since 1980, Breaking Defense has found. To be precise, every Navy Secretary for 36 years has had significant prior experience in either government or the defense industry or both: Bilden… Keep reading →

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Mattis Heads To Japan, Korea: Why Asian Alliances Will Survive TPP’s Death

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership just two days ago, but this morning, multiple experts and one four-star general agreed that America’s Pacific alliances — except perhaps the Philippines — would survive and even thrive. A few hours later, aptly enough, the Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary James Mattis, the new administration’s most outspoken… Keep reading →

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Trump WH Makes It Official: Bigger Navy, Air Force & ‘End’ To Sequestration:

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Soon after President Donald Trump took the oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” the White House posted two documents declaring they would boost the size of the Navy and Air Force, increase our offensive and defensive cyber capabilities and end sequestration. In the first document, Making Our Military Strong Again, the Trump Administration… Keep reading →

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Fear China Most, ‘Flip’ Russia, Beware Iran: CSBA

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Wealth, population and thin-skinned nationalism make China the number one threat to the US-led world order, not Russia or Islamic terrorism, writes leading military strategist Andrew Krepinevich. That means the US must build up forward-deployed forces in the Western Pacific, he writes, if necessary at the expense of defending Europe. Russia’s oil-dependent economy and… Keep reading →

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Build More Ships, But Not New Designs: CNO Richardson On McCain Plan

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CLARIFIED w/ CNO response WASHINGTON: The Navy wants a 355-ship fleet. Can US shipyards build it? Yes, they can, the Navy leaders are insisting. But, the Chief of Naval Operations warned this morning, to keep production swift and steady, we should be careful about replacing existing designs — including the Littoral Combat Ship — with all-new warships… Keep reading →

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Cyber/EW, Aviation, Air Defense, Artillery: CSA Milley’s Priorities

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ARLINGTON: The Army needs new weapons to fight for the air, the airwaves and cyberspace against a high-end adversary such as Russia or China, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said today. While the Army’s near-term readiness to “fight tonight” remains Milley’s top priority, there’s enough progress on readiness — and enough potential for a budget… Keep reading →

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Mattis Signals Strong Commitment To Allies, Especially NATO; Announces Weapons Review

Posted by Colin Clark on


Presumptive Defense Secretary James Mattis sent a clear signal to America’s allies — and to his presumptive boss, President-Elect Trump — that the NATO alliance is “enormously” important and that America “must also take no ally for granted.” If approved by the Senate, Mattis said, in written answers to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee,… Keep reading →

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Mattis Says Prez-Elect Supports F-35 After Trump Sort Of Bangs F-35 Again

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Mattis Says: Trump “Has In No Way Shown A Lack Of Support For The F-35 Program” WASHINGTON: President-elect Donald Trump said more than 144 characters about the F-35 program today at his first press conference since being elected president, and Lockheed Martin appeared to have had little reason to be happy. But there are other… Keep reading →

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