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Breaking Defense

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bryan mcgrath

Upgrade Navy Networks To Get Most From F-35: Commandant Wants Quality

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: If the Commandant of the Marine Corps had one more dollar to spend — and he probably will with the recent budget deal — he’d use it to upgrade Navy ships’ electronics to take full advantage of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, he said this morning. The Marines’ new F-35Bs have the sensors to… Keep reading →

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Vice ADM Rowden: Scapegoat?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: After a string of firings and retirements, the highest-ranking naval officer yet stepped down over accidents that killed 17 sailors. But was Vice Adm. Tom Rowden truly culpable in the summer 2017 collisions, or is he a scapegoat for deeper systemic problems? Our expert sources frankly disagreed. The argument against Rowden is simple. As… Keep reading →

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SecNav Spencer Seeks Repeal of Sen. Inouye Statute After Pacific Collisions

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has asked legislators to repeal an obscure statute that he says hinders Navy readiness in the Pacific, where accidents this summer killed 17 sailors. Armed Services committee leaders seem receptive, but it’s the appropriators who’ll have to change the provision in question, which was written by their late, great chairman… Keep reading →

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Navy Defends LCS, Positioning It For Frigate Competition

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Even as the Navy solicits designs for its future frigate, it is ardently defending its current Littoral Combat Ship. A memo obtained by Breaking Defense lists about three dozen pro-LCS attributes, followed by a mention of the frigate. Upgraded Littoral Combat Ships, of course, are the underdog contenders for the frigate. “This is an attempt by… Keep reading →

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Industry Can Build 355 Ships, But Which Ones?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Sure, American industry can build the 355-ship fleet both Trump and the admirals want, three former Navy Secretaries said today. We can even build it a lot faster than most experts expect, but there are a lot of ifs. If we start using small shipyards that currently don’t build warships. If we streamline procurement, and, of… Keep reading →

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Small Aircraft Carriers: RAND Report Won’t Convince McCain

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The fleet needs smaller, cheaper aircraft carriers than the badly over budget, behind schedule Gerald Ford, ex-Navy pilot John McCain has long argued. No way, “Bigger Aircraft Carriers Are Better,” declares a recent National Interest article – widely publicized by the carrier industry’s advocacy group, ACIBC – citing a study that RAND did for… Keep reading →

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Invisible Bullets: The Navy’s Big Problem In Future War

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: In the brutal naval battles of the future, the first clash of arms will be a clash of electrons. If you don’t win the invisible battle of the airwaves, you can’t win the visible battle of missiles. Before warships can concentrate their fire on the enemy, they first must communicate with each other. Before they… Keep reading →

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LCS Can Too Fight Russia, China: Navy Leaders

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Is the Littoral Combat Ship a real warship? That question has bedeviled the small, sleek, lightly armed ships for years. Now it’s taken on new urgency as the Defense Department and the Navy both refocus on high-intensity, high-tech warfighting against “great powers” — i.e. China and Russia. Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to cut… Keep reading →

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Navy’s Dilemma: What Kind Of Presence?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: “I guess I’m going to have to attack your question on almost every aspect,” Adm. John Richardson told me. As an analyst, it’s unnerving to have the Navy’s top admiral tell you to your face, albeit politely, that you’re just plain wrong. (I’d politely disagree, though I did miss some important nuances in an earlier story). I had asked… Keep reading →

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Carriers Crucial In War With China – But Air Wing Is All Wrong: Hudson

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATE with Forbes statement WASHINGTON: At $4.7 billion over budget, Ford-class aircraft carriers have taken a beating in Congress. This morning, though, the House Seapower subcommittee chairman will roll out a report from the conservative Hudson Institute that’s a ringing defense of the carrier — but which also contains a stinging indictment of the aircraft that fly… Keep reading →

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