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Breaking Defense

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Robert Martinage

CBARS Drone Under OSD Review; Can A Tanker Become A Bomber?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Navy’s new flying robot fuel truck, CBARS, is being reviewed by senior officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Breaking Defense has learned. Details about the current review are hard to come by. But our regular readers may be getting déjà vu, because the predecessor program, the UCLASS recon/strike drone, was stuck in OSD… Keep reading →

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Few Choices For US As China Militarizes South Pacific

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Leading Republicans hastened today to denounce China’s deployment of anti-aircraft missiles to the South China Sea. But what can the US actually do about it? The arrival of the sophisticated HQ-9 missiles in the Paracel islands — claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan but occupied by China — is just the latest step in Beijing’s steady extension… 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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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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New CNO’s Given His Vision – Now For The Hard Part

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Yesterday, the new Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, released his strategic vision for the Navy, “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.” One of the experts we asked for insight was Bryan Clark, a retired Navy commander and former top aide to the previous CNO, Adm. Jonathan Greenert. (Clark, Greenert, and Richardson are all… Keep reading →

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The 7-11 For Robot Subs: Underwater Plug And Stay Hubs

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Think it’s hard to find a place to charge your smartphone at the airport? Try finding a power outlet in the ocean. Imagine you’re a robotic Navy mini-sub whose batteries are running low after a long mission monitoring, say, traffic around Chinese artificial islands in the South Pacific. Currently, you’d have to recharge at a land… Keep reading →

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Cyber Subs: A Decisive Edge For High-Tech War?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


THE FUTURE: Imagine you’re a Chinese high commander, taking stock at the outbreak of the next great war. All your aides and computer displays tell you the same thing: For hundreds of miles out into the Western Pacific, the sea and sky are yours. They are covered by the overlapping threat zones of your long-range land-based missiles, your… Keep reading →

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Laser On A Truck: Army’s Role In Offset Strategy

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Where do ground forces fit in the Pentagon’s new offset strategy? The answer may be an intriguing mix of old-fashioned armored forces, mobile missile launchers, and lasers on trucks. While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s remarks formally launching “offset” were frustratingly vague, we’ve heard plenty from other officials and outside thinkers about how the… Keep reading →

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DoD To Silicon Valley, VCs: How ‘Bout Some Help!

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON:  For decades the tech gurus of Silicon Valley have pretty much left Pentagon business alone, letting the military stumble along and try to buy their wares within five years of their coming out. Take the story of former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, hungry for an iPad that could handle classified information. Couldn’t be… Keep reading →

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Hagel To Unveil Counters To China, Russia

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Offset strategy. Doesn’t exactly make your hair stand on end or make you go wow. Does it have to do with international arms deals and tradeoffs companies and countries make to win business? No. In fact, the offset strategy Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel should unveil in the next few days may be one of… Keep reading →

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