A lengthened, more streamlined hull for faster, more efficient sailing. Better windows for improved visibility. Simpler wiring. Superior rust-resistant paint. A more reliable system for landing helicopters and drones on her flight deck. And most importantly, an extra 20 beds in case the Navy decides she needs a bigger crew. That’s a good thing: the ship’s original crew size of 75 has been deemed too few in number for basic ship repair and maintenance.
Archived posts from category ‘Naval’
Sometime in the next few years the world’s most sophisticated drone prototypes will likely face off in what could be a multi-billion-dollar competition to shape the future of air warfare. And now we finally know what all four contestants look like.
In January the U.S. Navy announced a crash program to convert the USS Ponce, a 41-year-old amphibious transport, into a floating base for helicopters, minehunters and Navy SEALs in the Persian Gulf. Adm. John Harvey called the ship’s three-month conversion a “remarkable feat.”
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN It can be hard to tell which announcements from Iran are true, which ones are wish-fulfillment, and which ones are simply Iran trying to keep up with the Joneses. Consider that when you hear the news that Iran is planning to build nuclear submarines. According to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency, Rear Adm. [...]
The U.S. Navy just dropped another $2.4 billion on a class of new light aircraft carriers specifically designed to carry the U.S. Marines’ F-35B stealth jump jet. Just one small problem: the F-35B is still plagued by design problems — and there’s no guarantee if or when they’ll be resolved.
The U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers flight decks are some of the most chaotic and deadly real estate in the world. Teeming with scores of high-performance aircraft, wheeled vehicles and up to a thousand sailors generating up to several hundred sorties per day, flight decks “are fraught with danger,” the Naval Safety Center warned in a 2003 publication. “You can get blown down by prop wash, blown over-board by jet exhaust, run over by taxiing aircraft or sucked up and spit out by a turning engine.”
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is trying to reverse cuts announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year. The House’s proposed defense bill would reverse some of Obama’s planned cuts to ships, drones and warplanes. “The proposal is designed to put real combat power behind the President’s proposed pivot to Asia,” the House Armed Services Committee stated.
The just ended standoff between China and the Philippines over a disputed shoal in the South China Sea is a painful reminder of Manila’s maritime weakness.
The U.S. Navy is beginning the planning process for its next-generation carrier air wing. New fighters, drones, radar planes and resupply aircraft are in testing or concept development. The result, sometime after 2030, could be an even more powerful naval air force.
A Marine Corps V-22 Osprey tiltrotor crashed during a training exercise in Morocco yesterday, killing two people aboard and injuring two others. The Marines have released only a few details so far, but it’s worth pointing out that the Boeing- and Bell-built V-22, which takes off and lands like a helicopter and cruises like an airplane thanks to its rotating engines, has a long history of mechanical problems — and a safety record far worse than the military likes to admit.
Last week, the U.S. Navy released its annually-updated 30-year shipbuilding plan. The document confirms what analysts have expected since the January publication of the Pentagon’s new Strategic Defense Guidance: the world’s leading naval power is no longer planning a major expansion from today’s 285 warships to 313 or more, as was expected as recently as last year. Instead, the U.S. combat fleet will slightly shrink to a low of 276 vessels in 2015 before modestly expanding, peaking at a planned 307 ships in the late 2030s.