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Drones, Ro-Boats, & F-35 On Wheels: Marines Seek Tech For Major War

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


SAN DIEGO: Before the first human Marine hits the beach in the next war, long-range MUX drones will launch from ships to scout for threats. Next comes a wave of robotic small craft, Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) converted to carry sensors, jammers, missile launchers, even racks of mini-drones they can dump into the water to… Keep reading →

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Clock Ticks As Argentine Submariners Run Out Of Air; US, Allies Race To Rescue

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


In an extraordinary international response, a dozen nations have poured assets into the stormy South Atlantic to help find and save 44 Argentine submariners from the missing sub San Juan. It’s a stark contrast to the last great submarine disaster, when Russia was slow to accept international help for the stricken Kursk in 2000 and lost all… Keep reading →

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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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Every Ship A Minesweeper? Navy Looks Beyond LCS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ANNAPOLIS: There are maybe half a million sea mines in arsenals around the world. To find and clear them, rather than rely solely on a small fleet of small Littoral Combat Ships, the Navy now wants at least some mine-hunting gear on a vessels ranging from modified oil tankers to catamarans to aircraft carriers. The… Keep reading →

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Underwater Bloodhounds: DARPA’s Robot Subs

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Run silent, run deep — and now, run in packs? Submarines are traditionally lone wolves, but the rise of robotics is starting to change that. Just yesterday, defense contractor BAE announced a $4.6 million award from DARPA to build an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) to accompany manned submarines, helping them spot targets by sending out… Keep reading →

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SecNav Nominee Spencer Soft-Pedals Trump’s 355-Ship Navy, Touts Robots

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Amidst a bipartisan lovefest of a confirmation hearing, Navy Secretary nominee Richard  Spencer quietly and consistently downplayed the idea of a 355-ship fleet. The Navy now has 276 ships from supercarriers to minesweepers, President Trump promised 350 on the campaign trail, and the Chief of Naval Operations has officially assessed that he needs 355.… Keep reading →

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Marines Test Killer Hovercraft, Wooden Glider & 3D Printers For The Battlefield

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


QUANTICO: A hovercraft that shoots salvoes of rockets. A speedboat that turns into a submarine. A mobile 3D printing factory. A big wooden box with wings (yes, really). And, of course, more drones than you can shake a stick at (because they swarm). These are just a few of the roughly 100 technologies the Marine… Keep reading →

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Big Wars, Small Ships: CSBA’s Alternative Navy Praised By Sen. McCain

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED with McCain praise WASHINGTON: The Navy needs a bigger fleet of smaller ships than envisioned in its official Force Structure Assessment, says a congressionally-chartered study from the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. CSBA emphatically agrees with the Navy that the focus needs to shift from day-to-day counter-terrorism and presence operations to deterring (and if need be,… Keep reading →

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US, UK In Giant Drone Wargame Off Scotland

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The US Navy needs to get better at hunting sea mines. The Royal Navy needs to get better at robots. So the two fleets are joining forces off Scotland in what the Brits are calling “the largest demonstration of its type, ever,” Unmanned Warrior 2016, with “more than 50 unmanned vehicles from over 40 organizations.”… 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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