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Worries Surface On New Navy Mine Warfare Plan

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ANNAPOLIS: The Navy’s new plan to put mine-hunting gear on a wider range of warships could finally break mine warfare out of its ghetto — or it could keep mine-hunting the same redheaded stepchild but spread it across more decks. The Navy has experimented with integrating Mine Counter-Measures (MCM) onto ships that weren’t minesweepers before,… Keep reading →

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Marines Need Speed From Ship To Shore

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


  ANNAPOLIS: Small, fast missile boats clear a path through coastal waters for Marine landing forces. Robot jet skis, surfboards, and mini-subs scout out landing sites ahead of the human force. High-speed landing craft carry troops, their gear, and vehicles to the beach. Those are some of the ideas the Marines are experimenting with as… Keep reading →

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No 350-Ship Navy From This Trump Budget

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: All hands, brace for disappointment. The president’s promised naval buildup won’t begin in the 2018 budget out next week — or maybe ever. Sure, before the election, candidate Donald Trump promised a 350-ship Navy. Sure, just this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan repeated the 350 figure. Sure, this week the Chief of Naval Operations… Keep reading →

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Alternative Navy Study Bets Big On Robot PT Boats & LCS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Light carriers. Robot PT boats. Unmanned subs. A congressionally chartered study, the Alternative Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study, “does not represent any official Navy position,”  but offers a surprisingly bold vision for the future of the US Navy. The study, by a “Navy Project Team” of officers, civil servants, and contractors free to brainstorm without… Keep reading →

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China Seizes US Underwater Drone, Fortifies Disputed Islets

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATE: China agrees to return drone WASHINGTON: The same day the US Navy made its case for a much larger fleet of 355 ships, the Chinese navy seized an American underwater drone 50 nautical miles off the Philippines. Just two days earlier, the independent Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative reported China had fortified the artificial islands it… Keep reading →

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Semper Robotic: Marines Try Out New Tech, Tactics

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOl_JOesU54 The first Marines to hit the beach in future wars may well be robots. Flying, swimming, rolling and swarming, the unmanned advance guard will scout out enemy positions, neutralize mines and send out decoy transmissions to deceive the enemy. Then the humans will start to come ashore. First handfuls of SEALs and Marine Force… Keep reading →

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US, UK Do ‘Groundbreaking’ Drone Exercise Off Scotland

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The multinational Unmanned Warrior exercise off the coast of Scotland is doing “really groundbreaking” work on naval drones, said one participating US scientist. There’ve been “a number of world firsts” in networking unmanned vehicles of different types and from different nations into a single unit, Marcus Tepaske, science advisor for the Office of Naval Research,… Keep reading →

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NATO Not Ready As Russian Sub Threat Rises: CSIS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The balance of power underwater is shifting against the West, warns a new report from the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Both Russian and NATO capabilities cratered after the Cold War, but the Russian submarine fleet is clawing its way back — and we’re not ready to face it, CSIS says. The US,… Keep reading →

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Naval Drones ‘Swarm,’ But Who Pulls The Trigger?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The Navy’s research arm is justifiably proud of its recent experiment with “swarming” drone boats, whose results (with video) were officially released today. But the very thing that’s most impressive about the swarmboats — their ability to act autonomously with minimal human guidance — raises crucial questions about when we can trust a robot to pull… Keep reading →

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Iran Mine Threat Scares Navy; CNO Scrambles To Fix Decades Of Neglect

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Iran’s threat to strangle oil tanker traffic through the Straits of Hormuz has the Navy scrambling to redress its decades-old neglect of mine warfare. Admirals from the Chief of Naval Operations on down have publicly admitted the service is not where it needs to be. “What I find amazing is the amount of interest… Keep reading →

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