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    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

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    Post  max steel on Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:27 pm

    You forgot to remove the watermark Laughing

    See my reply on DARPA thread.
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    Post  Guest on Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:00 pm

    max steel wrote:You forgot to remove the watermark Laughing

    See my reply on DARPA thread.

    They do not have rights on this photo as they did not take it, nor did they buy out any rights, they can put whatever watermark they feel like and i have obligation not to give a damn.
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    Post  max steel on Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:19 pm

    LCS 4 completes survivability trial off California coast

    LCS is a boondoggle for navy.

    USS Coronado (LCS 4) completed its Total Ship Survivability Trial (TSST) off the California coast on 28 January. According to NAVSEA, during the trial Coronado 's crew handled damage scenarios, including fire, smoke, electrical failure, flooding, ruptured piping, and structural failure.

    "The purpose of the TSST is to evaluate the ship's systems and procedures following a simulated conventional weapon hit," NAVSEA stated in a release. "The primary areas that are evaluated include the ship's ability to contain and control damage, restore and continue mission capability, and care for personnel casualties.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Littoral Combat Ship Is 'Dearly Needed' in Pacific, Navy Commander Says

    he littoral combat ship Fort Worth has been sidelined at a pier here for several weeks after an in-port accident, an embarrassing setback to a deployment so successful that the cruise had just been extended.

    Coming just a few weeks after another LCS, the Milwaukee, broke down off Virginia and had to be towed to port, the incidents have further damaged the reputation of a type of ship struggling to prove itself in the face of constant criticism.

    But the Navy's senior commander in the Western Pacific still expresses confidence in the ships.

    "LCS is dearly needed out here," Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the Japan-based US Seventh Fleet, told reporters here Monday.

    "I think this is an ideal ship for this area. I like the size, the capability, multi-mission [features], there's also room for growth. And it complements so many navies in this region."

    The ship's cruise had been a great success, Aucoin noted.

    "Up until this incident, Fort Worth did very well," he said. "It made all its scheduled events."

    The accident took place Jan. 12 while the Fort Worth was undergoing maintenance at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore. Early reports, according to Navy sources, indicated the ship's port and starboard main propulsion diesel engines were started — ones that turn shafts into a combining gear, allowing operators to shift between diesel and gas turbines to drive the ship. But lubrication oil for the combination gears apparently was not turned on, and the system suffered serious damage.

    Details of the damage, however, remain a secret.

    "There's a [mishap] investigation going on with Fort Worth to determine what happened," Aucoin said. "I don't want to get into prematurely saying what happened.

    "But it sounds like we didn't follow established standard operating procedures with the startup of the diesel engines, and it impacted the combining gears.

    "We're still determining the extent of the damage and how to fix it," Aucoin said, "but it looks like operator error that led directly to this failure.

    "This is a momentary setback," Aucoin added. "I wish it hadn't happened. But we're going to fix it and we're going to continue on track, because it's a great platform to help us in this region."

    Aucoin spoke to reporters on the eve of the Singapore Airshow, the region's largest. As expected, most questions revolved around China's actions in and around the South China Sea. Aucoin acknowledged the Chinese were being provocative, particularly with extensive artificial island-building that is inflaming already sore tensions in the region.

    But he also continually stressed ways to cooperate with China, including having more People's Liberation Army Navy participation in more multinational exercises.

    "I'm stressing the multilateralism that is very important to strengthen our alliances and partnerships in this area, that helps us with the collective security in this region," Aucoin said. "I'm pushing for more multilateral exercises working closely with all the countries in the region, to actually include China."

    Pressed by reporters to speak to US intentions regarding freedom of navigation exercises through waters that China is claiming as the result of the artificial islands, Aucoin was adamant. "We're going to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.

    "We want to make sure this is a global commons that can be used by all countries.

    "We would like China to be more transparent about what their intentions are," Aucoin added. "I think that would relieve some of the angst that we're now seeing. We're unsure where they're taking this."

    He noted there was risk that at-sea confrontations could grow into serious incidents, and cited work between the US, China and other countries to establish a protocol for such encounters. Called CUES — Code for Unplanned Encounters At Sea — the agreement has been signed by the US and Chinese navies.

    But the Chinese have been employing new and ever-larger Coast Guard ships — painted white rather than Navy grey — in carrying out provocative behavior, and many smaller ships, seemingly local fishing or cargo ships, are being manned by Chinese government-organized militia, using aggressive tactics to threaten or even damage other ships.

    "We've done a lot with CUES to address combatant-to-combatant [encounters] so there's no miscalculation," Aucoin said. "But I have a greater fear that some of these others, Coast Guard — what we refer to as "white shipping" — cabbage ships [local cargo ships], I'm not sure about their professionalism. I think that having a code of conduct to cover that would be a good thing. That definitely is a concern of mine."

    "I'm asking our Coast Guard to become more involved to help us with these types of operations," Aucoin added, because it's not simply grey hulls any more."

    Aucoin praised the US Navy's relationship with Singapore, which allows the US to support its LCSs at Changi, and where US P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will sometimes operate.

    "The occasional operation of a P-8 detachment out of Singapore really helps us collectively with the security in the region," he said.
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    Post  George1 on Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:07 pm

    BAE Systems to Upgrade Criticized US Littoral Combat Ships in San Diego

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160220/1035073387/littoral-combat-ships-upgrade-bae.html#ixzz40iFtO4Wr
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    Post  Guest on Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:33 pm

    "A U.S. Navy Aircraft Vehicle Modification and Instrumentation team is hard at work augmenting instrumentation to an Edwardsassigned KC-135 tanker.

    The unusual arrangement started when the Navy PMA-290 program office approached the 412th Test Management Group about using the Edwards AFB-instrumented KC-135 to certify their P-8A Poseidon from Navy unit VX-20 at Patuxent River, Maryland, for aerial refueling.

    The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. It functions as a multi-mission aircraft used by the U.S. Navy for anti-submarine warfare and communications command control, and intelligence missions. It possesses an advance mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in future battle space, which is capable of broad area maritime and literal operations. It will also influence how the Navy's maritime patrol and reconnaissance forces train, operate and deploy.

    While the 412th Test Engineering Group was all too happy to offer their support with an instrumented KC-135, the Navy program needed additional instrumentation. "The Instrumentation division is very busy right now working other projects - KC-46, [Joint Strike Fighter] ...we just didn't have the capacity to [make additional modifications]," said Steve Parker, 412th TENG, Global Reach Instrumentation lead. "So I approached the Navy and asked if they could support with their own instrumentation engineers and technicians and they said, 'Yes, absolutely.'" Feb. 3, an eight-man AVMI team from the Naval Air Systems Command arrived at Edwards to begin modifying the KC-135 using the Air Force processes. The 412th TENG will oversee the modifications as they continue to work towards the first test flight slated for March 31.

    The AVMI team also worked closely with the 412th Test Wing Mod Dock team to work through design reviews, program management, installations and inspections. According to Leonard Roen, 412th TMG, the flight test will mark the first time that the Navy has accomplished aerial refueling behind an Air Force tanker with a center-boom system. He also added that the data collected by the new instrumentation will be used to create a robust, high fidelity simulator that will be used to train and maintain proficiency of Navy aircrew. "This simulator is expected to save the Navy multi-millions of dollars in the future by not requiring actual flight time to train the aircrew," said Roen.

    When they first arrived, Parker didn't know what to expect of the Navy AVMI team. "I was very cautious at first, but based on what I've seen and what I've heard; gosh I'm really impressed with those folks," said Parker. "The team is fast, the quality of the work they've done so far has been terrific." The AVMI team will work closely with the 418th Maintenance Squadron for support in their modifications. According to Roen, the Air Force will also benefit from the work the Navy is doing because the new instrumentation can be utilized by other programs in the future.

    "This is an outstanding example of utilizing trained personnel from other services to meet the needs of test programs. With manpower limitation, it is critical that DOD shares what we can, when we can," said Roen. "This cooperation will significantly improve the data collection effort that would not have been possible without this sharing of trained personnel. Using this as an example could lead to other opportunities in the future and allow for more efficient testing and data gathering."


    Source: http://www.edwards.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123469153
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    Post  max steel on Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:24 pm

    Why the Navy is Christening the USS Washington with Cheap Bubbly



    DDG-1000 Mast Reduces Ship’s Stealth From Original Design
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    Post  max steel on Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:51 pm

    Lockheed Martin's Billion-Dollar Drone Submarine Faces Cancellation Newest Drone Became an Epic Failure
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    Post  AlfaT8 on Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:15 am

    max steel wrote:Littoral Combat Ship Is 'Dearly Needed' in Pacific, Navy Commander Says

    When did the Chinese Coast Guard turn into The Pirates of the Pacific, did Sao Feng take over, he must be pissed about losing Singapore. Wink

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    Post  AlfaT8 on Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:16 am

    max steel wrote:Lockheed Martin's Billion-Dollar Drone Submarine Faces Cancellation Newest Drone Became an Epic Failure

    Bhahahaha....... and another one bites the dust. Laughing
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    Post  max steel on Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:38 am

    AlfaT8 wrote:
    max steel wrote:Lockheed Martin's Billion-Dollar Drone Submarine Faces Cancellation Newest Drone Became an Epic Failure

    Bhahahaha....... and another one bites the dust. Laughing


    They're planning to replace it with "Knifefish" Robo-Sub. These drones are for mine-sweeping and mine warfare.
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    Post  AlfaT8 on Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:50 pm

    max steel wrote:
    AlfaT8 wrote:
    max steel wrote:Lockheed Martin's Billion-Dollar Drone Submarine Faces Cancellation Newest Drone Became an Epic Failure

    Bhahahaha....... and another one bites the dust. Laughing


    They're planning to replace it with "Knifefish" Robo-Sub. These drones are for mine-sweeping and mine warfare.

    Interesting, then i guess it's time to develop mines that can "relocate" themselves. Twisted Evil
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    Post  Guest on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:02 pm

    "BY ACCIDENT OR NOT, A U.S. NAVY E-6B IS FLYING OVER CONUS USING CALLSIGN “TRUMP.”

    This is really interesting: at 18.15 GMT an E-6B Mercury (TACAMO – “TAke Charge And Move Out”) that appear to have departed from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is flying at 29,000 feet over central U.S. Based on the information gathered by Planefinder.net via ADS-B, the aircraft is serialled 162784 and it is flying more or less southbound over Arkansas, after crossing the airspaces over Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. And, most interesting, it’s using a somehow unusual callsign: Trump. Not sure the reason behind this callsign.

    Most probably someone thought that it was funny to give a “Doomsday” plane the name of the (controversial) candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election as a radio callsign. Or maybe something else. Who knows? Anyway, the “Mercury” are U.S. Navy operated aircraft that play an extremely important role for U.S. National Security: they are used to relay instructions to the fleet ballistic missile submarines in case of nuclear war but also act as back ups of the four E-4Bs NAOC (National Alternate Operations Center), working as ABNCP (Airborne Command Post) platforms (hence “Doomsday Plane“).

    They are often trackable online, while performing various critical missions: the so-called Looking Glass mission (mirroring the ground-based C3 center at Offutt AFB and relaying orders); talking to submarines trailing a 26,000 ft wire antenna; launching commands to ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles) via Airborne Launch Control System, and performing C3 (Command Control Communication) operations to forces operating in theatre. But they were never seen or heard using such a callsign before Mar. 8, when E-6B 162784 was caught using “Trump” for the first time. BTW, as “Trump” continues its flight southbound, another E-6B is flying over northeastern U.S. with a less weird callsign: “Leon 55.”


    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News - Page 5 Trump-flight-706x311

    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News - Page 5 Leon-55-706x313

    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News - Page 5 Navy-e6-070403-07-16

    Source: http://theaviationist.com/?p=37676
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    Post  max steel on Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:23 am

    Navy Again Reduces Scope of Destroyer Modernization, 5 Ships Won’t Receive Any Ballistic Missile Defense Upgrades

    Five Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51) will forgo a combat system upgrade that would allow the ships to fight ballistic missile threats as part of a reduction in modernization funding included in the Navy’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget that will save the service $500 million over the next five years, USNI News has learned.

    Modernization periods for five Flight IIA Burkes — USS Howard (DDG-83); USS McCampbell (DDG-85); USS Mustin (DDG-89); USS Chafee (DDG-90); USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) — will not include the Baseline 9C Aegis Combat System series of processing power and software upgrades to bring an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability to the destroyers, according to an unclassified version of the current modernization plan seen by USNI News.

    Instead, the ships will undergo a much more modest upgrade that will focus on hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) systems repairs, leaving the ships — all commissioned between 2001 to 2004 — without any ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability.

    Additionally — without the Baseline 9 upgrade — the ships will not be wired into the Navy’s emerging Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA (pronounced: nifk-kah)) that would allow destroyers to download targeting information from assets outside of the range of their SPY-1D radars to attack air and BMD threats with the Raytheon Standard Missile 6 (SM-6).

    The budget line item in FY 2016 budget reduces modernization funding by $63.1 million — about what it would cost to upgrade a ship to Baseline 9 — which precluded the Baseline 9 upgrade for Howard.

    Equivalent cuts to the Burke modernization line in the Navy’s Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) — about $500 million over five years, USNI News understands — created a knock-on effect for the McCampbell, Mustin, Chafee and Bainbridge modernizations preventing the service from buying long-lead materials for the ships and allowing even a basic BMD capability, USNI News has learned.

    When asked about the reductions following a House appropriations hearing on Thursday, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert told USNI News the cuts were a result of hard fiscal choices and reflected the service’s priorities.

    “When I bring the budget to the Secretary [of the Navy] and say ‘Here are the mandates. You saw the priorities’ and then you get to modernization and asymmetric capability and say ‘Here’s where we stand versus the other important matters that we need, I recommend that we’re going to have to defer these modernizations’ and that’s when the ballistic missile defense modernization came out,” he said.

    Currently, the Navy’s number one priority is the $100 billion design and construction effort for a new nuclear ballistic missile submarine to replace the aging Ohio-class boomers (SSB).

    Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) — chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee — said the reduction in the modernization was shortsighted.

    “This is just another example of a critical upgrade being deferred by budget cuts. This decision was not strategy-driven, it was budget-driven. Demand for ballistic missile defense capacity and for ships that can be integrated into Navy anti-aircraft battle networks is higher than ever,” Forbes told USNI News on Tuesday following an earlier version of this post.
    “These kind of decisions ought to be based on what we need for national security, not what we want to spend.”

    Begun in 2007, the Baseline 9 upgrade was designed as a transformational upgrade that would not only replace aging the 1980s AN/UYK-43 32-bit military standard (MILSPEC) computers with much more easily upgradeable and powerful modern commercial computers but also give ships more flexibility in the targets they could handle.





    Baseline 9 Types


    9A:Upgrade for Ticonderoga-class cruisers that does not include BMD capabilities.

    9C: Upgrades Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers with the Lockheed Martin Multi-Mission Signal Processor that will allow the destroyers to switch between BMD and the air defense role.

    9D: Is a variant of the 9C program for new construction ships, starting with the planned John Finn (DDG-113).

    9E: Is the Baseline 9 variant for the Navy’s Aegis Ashore program.
    Legacy BMD capable ships make a choice between BMD and AAW modes.

    Initially, the service had planned to upgrade all of its Burkes to Baseline 9 but decided last year to limit the upgrades to earlier Flight I and II DDGs citing the time and the cost of the upgrades.

    Instead, the service decided to include HME upgrades and an install a BMD upgrade on the legacy MILSPEC computers on 21 of the 28 Flight I/IIs, Navy officials told USNI News last year.

    The five Flight IIAs in the scheme will not see even the limited BMD capability installed in the older ships, according to a draft of the Navy’s FY 2016 fielding profile obtained by USNI News.

    Officials at Lockheed Martin — the prime contractor for the Aegis modernization — told USNI News in February the company was working with the service on ways lower costs ways to increase the BMD capabilities of the Flight I/II upgrades.

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    Post  max steel on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:37 am

    US development in UUV thumbsup


    Boeing’s New Autonomous Sub Can Dive to 20,000 Feet Deep





    EXPLORING THE BOTTOM of the ocean is tedious, difficult work. Traditionally, there have been two good options. You go with a manned submersible, like James Cameron used in those scenes from Titanic, or try an unmanned craft, tethered to a ship on the surface via a long umbilical cord.

    Neither’s a great option. Any person down there faces an inherent safety risk, and if nothing goes wrong, they’ll spend a lot of time looking at absolutely nothing interesting. Tethered craft require expensive ships to sit on the surface while they poke around, and they can’t be used if the surface weather is bad enough.

    That’s why these days, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) are the new best thing for tasks like oil and gas surveying, searching for sunken ships and aircraft, and mapping underwater features. Because it’s nearly impossible to communicate with a craft at the bottom of the ocean without a physical connection, these machines must be able to operate completely autonomously, without any kind of human intervention.

    To meet the demand, Boeing has built the Echo Seeker, a 32-foot-long autonomous submarine that can hang out in the abyss for up to three days at a time. It’s the younger brother of the Echo Ranger, a smaller submarine Boeing built a little more than a decade ago and has used to help discover shipwrecks off the California coast.

    The Seeker’s larger size allows it to run for twice as long and go twice as far as its predecessor. Boeing’s used the extra interior cargo space—170 cubic feet, compared to 25 in the Ranger—to increase payload capacity, and packed it with enough silver-zinc batteries to keep it running for days on end. At a typical speed of 3.5 mph, it’s got enough life to travel 265 miles without recharging. And it fits inside a standard 40-foot shipping container—important for moving it quickly and safely around the world.


    A team of 50 people spent three years developing the Echo Seeker. The one unit that’s been built is still in testing, swimming in a 33-foot deep pool at a Boeing facility in Huntington Beach, California.

    When it’s at the bottom of the ocean, the Echo Seeker will have very limited contact with its controllers—there’s no GPS, radio, or line of sight communications. Its acoustic communication system runs, at best, around 300 baud—equal to the modems people used in the 1980s.

    That means the vehicle must be able to complete all its tasks—surveying or searching or exploring—on its own. Because the ocean floor is in many places poorly mapped, the Echo Seeker must be smart enough to see things like mountains or canyons and avoid them as necessary. Or it can follow a “nap-of-the-earth” type path and stay a certain height above the ocean floor no matter the terrain. Its onboard synthetic aperture sonar lets it stay as high as 300 feet off the bottom, scanning a path two miles wide with a resolution of 10 centimeters, to keep it out of trouble and complete its mission.

    Getting back to base is just as important. Once its mission is complete, or if it has a system failure of some kind, Echo Seeker will return to a preset rendezvous point and slowly swim in circles (it’s hard to stay still in the constantly moving ocean), loitering while awaiting further instructions. If it doesn’t hear from its human buddies, it will head to the bottom and drop anchor, conserving battery life. It can go into a low-power mode for months, shutting down non-essential systems and patiently awaiting further instruction.

    Boeing won’t say how much it spent developing the Echo Seeker, or how much it will cost to buy, but don’t expect it to be cheap. The good news is that it’s loaded with failsafes to make sure it doesn’t get stuck underwater. Most systems are redundant, with two motors and dual controllers. If all those fail, there are two auxiliary thrusters, less powerful but still be enough to get it back to the rendezvous point.

    If the Echo Seeker‘s battery dies, its “doomsday machine” kicks in. The borderline analog computer can sense when everything has gone haywire, and take over the ballast controls and shed weights to bring the submersible up to the surface. It’s powered by a section of the battery that isn’t used during normal operations, and there’s a separate acoustic path that folks at the surface can trigger remotely. The Boeing team calls it the “Last Failsafe.” And, unlikely as it may be, if all of that craps out and it gets stuck on the ocean floor, no one gets hurt and you can go get it—even if it takes months to mount a “rescue.”

    Boeing says it’s still in the market evaluation phase, but sees a lot of promise for autonomous underwater vehicles, especially since it should be significantly cheaper to operate over long periods than manned or tethered options. It says it got great feedback about the smaller Echo Ranger from potential clients like oil and gas exploration firms, NOAA, and the US Navy, with most interested in a bigger, longer-running sub.
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    Post  max steel on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:43 am

    Stealthy Drone Can Hide Underwater For Months, Then Float To Surface To Take-Off Wink







    After months of analysis and experimentation, a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab announced the successful development of a reliable sea-to-air UAV. Dubbed the Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System -- or CRACUNS for short -- Johns Hopkins' drone has the ability to reside for months underwater without deteriorating or decaying. Once given the signal, the CRACUNS would then rise to the water's surface and begin flight, capable of undertaking a variety of missions.

    In order for the drone to accomplish this, the team had to develop a body that contained no structural metal parts or machined surfaces. The composite-body had to not only be extremely lightweight, but able to be submerged in water and hold up to constant water pressure. CRACUNS project manager Jason Stipes said in a published press release, "Engineers at APL have long worked on both Navy submarine systems and autonomous UAVs. In response to evolving sponsor challenges, they were inspired to develop a vehicle that could operate both underwater and in the air."


    Before the university started work on the project, it knew there were two massive challenges it had to overcome before the CRACUNS could ever become a reality. First off, it had to manufacture an extremely lightweight, composite-body that was not only capable of being submerged but able to hold up to constant water pressure. Thanks to the Johns Hopkins fabrication experts, the APL had the most innovative and advanced fabrication and additive manufacturing techniques available to them from the start.

    “CRACUNS successfully demonstrated a new way of thinking about the fabrication and use of unmanned systems,” APL’s Rich Hooks said.


    The APL’s second challenge was to make sure the drone could effectively operate after staying submerged for long periods of time. What particularly stood in the lab’s way was finding an effective method for sealing the craft’s electronics. To start, the team first sealed CRACUNS’ sensitive components inside a dry pressure vessel before coating its exposed motors with a commercially available protective coating. After submerging the drone in salt water for two months, the team found no sign of decay and that the CRACUNS operated at full capacity.

    “APL’s culture of innovation and mission-ready solutions continues to deliver success for our sponsors,” said Sea Control Mission Area Executive, Christopher Watkins.

    Success, indeed, and likely a fixture of not just U.S. Navy operations but the entire U.S. military in the very near future.
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    Post  max steel on Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:44 am

    USN begins testing of SPQ-9B radar with periscope detection upgrade

    The US Navy (US Navy) has completed the first shipborne 'light-off' test of an AN/SPQ-9B horizon search radar upgraded with a Periscope Detection and Discrimination (PDD) capability, the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) revealed on 18 March.

    The 12 March 'light off' was conducted on board the CG 47 Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) during live-fire testing off the Californian coast.
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    Post  max steel on Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:15 pm

    US Navy extends Orbital ATK AGM-88E production

    The US Navy has extended production of AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) multi-mode seekers, built by Orbital ATK, by three years to fiscal year 2023 with an added requirement for 556 more units.

    That’s according to the Pentagon’s latest selected acquisition report, which shows an increase in planned production quantities from the 2003 objective of 1,879 units to 2,435, not including the 40 test assets. That and other changes bump up the total programme cost by $484.8 million to over $2 billion.

    The missile modification was jointly developed by the USA and Italy to improve the effectiveness of legacy Raytheon AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) variants against fixed and relocatable enemy radar and communications sites, particularly those that would shut down to throw off incoming anti-radiation missiles. Australia also procures AGM-88Es.

    The new seeker attaches to the existing Mach 2-capable rocket motor and warhead section, adding a passive anti-radiation homing receiver, satellite and inertial navigation system, and a millimetre wave radar for terminal guidance. It can also beam up images of the target via a satellite link just seconds before impact.

    Raytheon produces an alternative modification kit for the US Air Force, known as the HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM).

    The Orbital ATK AARGM is compatible with all F/A-18 models and the EA-18G Growler, plus the Panavia Tornado, F-16, EA-6B and it will be carried externally on the F-35. It went into full-rate production in 2012.
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    Post  max steel on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:12 pm

    Militarov wrote:"As the division of the US military most responsible high-tech developments, DARPA has announced that April will the launch of a futuristic ship that is designed to detect and fight submarines at sea. But the thing is, the ship doesn't even have a crew; it's completely autonomous. That means it's basically a robotic, submarine-hunting drone yacht. Unfortunately, because it's the military, they have to give it an acronym for its long, ridiculous name, instead of just calling it an "autonomous submarine hunter."






    U.S. Navy’s sub-hunting drone ships will hit the open ocean this summer

    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News - Page 5 398649f25db2deab072b71b633ed9797


    Drones may known for their prowess in the skies, but thanks to some new developments at the U.S. Navy, they’ll soon be turning the open seas into their turf as well. A new video shows off an autonomous watercraft dreamed into reality from the men and women at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), all with the hopes of tracking submarines that haunt the depths of the ocean.

    The very first prototype is meant to demonstrate the potential of what will ultimately become a fleet of unmanned ships, known as Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessels (to be pronounced “active” for short). The 132 foot long vessel managed to log a top speed of 27 knots during its test in Portland, Oregon, and it’ll be ready for open seas this summer when it launches from the California coast. The drone ship’s official christening is fast approaching on April 7, and the Navy seems pretty excited by the prospects of “an unmanned vessel optimized to robustly track quiet diesel electric submarines.”

    In addition to tracking submarines, the ACTUV could prove useful in a number of additional operations.Everything from serving as a supplier to other ships, countering undersea mines, and aiding in the logistics of complex operations could be carried out with these unmanned vessels, especially given their ability to remain at sea for three months at a time without a human crew.

    In preliminary tests, the drone has successfully tracked a submarine from 1 kilometer away, which the Pentagon says is a major improvement in the technology. “Picking up the quiet hum of a battery-powered, diesel-electric submarine in busy coastal waters is like trying to identify the sound of a single car engine in the din of a major city,” said Rear Admiral Frank Drennan, commander of the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.


    ACTUV ships are also expected to help lower costs for the U.S. Navy, helping it save human capital and resources with this autonomous technology. It’s still unclear as to whether these water drones will be weaponized, but if you happen to see an unmanned vessel floating around the California coast this summer, don’t be alarmed. It’s just an ACTUV ship, waiting to do its duty.
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    Post  George1 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:18 am

    US Navy Spending Soars with $81 Billion Shipbuilding Spree

    Is the US gearing up for WWIII, or are the lobbyists signing the checks for US military spending?

    The US Navy announced plans on Wednesday to build 38 ships in the next five years, including nine Virginia-class submarines and 10 Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The plans were detailed during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    The program will bring the US Navy fleet to a total of 308 ships by FY 2021 — up from the current 272 — and will lead to a 10% increase in the number of US amphibious assault ships, a development that received praise from Naval combatant commanders and also the Marines tasked with deploying them.

    The centerpiece expenditure is a new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, in which the Navy plans to invest some $13.5 billion over the next five years. The hefty price tag makes the warship the single most expensive boat in the US Naval fleet.

    The spending may be driven less by America’s military strategic imperative and more by corporate interest and congressional aspiration. Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., General Dynamics Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp., Austal Ltd. and Raytheon Co. have all released statements to investors celebrating the planned expenditures as signaling the growing value of their companies to shareholders.

    The plan has also received praise from the congressional delegation of top shipbuilding states, including Virginia, Maine, Alabama, Mississippi and Connecticut, states that benefit significantly from US military contracts, maintaining high-paying jobs within their districts. To that effect, shipbuilding and steelworker unions have also praised the new ship building plan as critical to maintaining its workforce.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160407/1037664759/navy-billions-spending-nuclear-warship.html#ixzz45Dlhs9Hz
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    Post  max steel on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:25 am

    Supercarrier Ford to join Navy fleet in September

    The most expensive warship ever built, the $12.9 billion aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), is expected to join the U.S. Navy's fleet in September, a Navy official says.

    Sean J. Stackley, the Navy's assistant secretary for acquisitions, gave the timetable for the 100,000-ton, 1,100-foot-long supercarrier in testimony prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee on wednesday.

    As of March, the Ford, on which construction began in 2009, was 97% complete, Stackley said. He said the carrier is expected to begin sea trials in July and be delivered to the Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding two months later.

    The ship is named after the 38th president, who died in 2006. He served aboard the USS Monterey during World War II and was discharged from the Navy as a lieutenant commander.

    Stackley said the next carrier in the Ford class, the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), is scheduled to be launched in 2020. That ship was 18% percent complete as of March, he said.

    The third Ford-class carrier, the USS Enterprise (CVN 80), is set to begin construction in 2018, Stackley said.

    The timetable for the Navy's biggest warships came as Stackley gave lawmakers the Navy's budget request for the next five years. The service wants to spend $81.3 billion over that period to build 38 warships, he said.

    Included in that request are the first replacement for the aging Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, nine Virginia-class attack submarines, 10 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and smaller numbers of other surface ships.

    The goal of the building plan is to have a Navy battle force of 308 ships by 2021, according to Stackley's testimony.


    3 new Aircraft Carriers Suspect
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    Post  max steel on Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:33 pm

    US Navy plans for $81.4 billion to buy 38 warships over the next 5 years


    The U.S. Navy will seek $81.4 billion to buy 38 warships, submarines and support vessels in the next five years, according to new budget figures from the service.

    The plan calls for spending about $14.7 billion on seven vessels next year, $16.8 billion on eight in fiscal 2018, $16.2 billion on seven in 2019, $16.9 billion on eight in 2020 and $16.8 billion on eight vessels in 2021.

    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News - Page 5 Fordcarrier


    The first new Gerald Ford aircraft carrier will be commissioned this year and the second should be commissioned in 2020. The third new carrier is scheduled for a 2025 commissioning.

    The new Navy plan proposes bankrolling one new frigate each in fiscal 2019 and 2020 and two in 2021, for a total of $3 billion. These are the first of as many as eight better-armored and more survivable versions of the Littoral Combat Ship that Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his predecessor Chuck Hagel directed to be built.

    The Navy plans to hold a competition for the frigate program, selecting between Lockheed and Austal, which both currently build versions of the Littoral Combat Ship.

    The five-year plan also updates funds earmarked to start work on replacing the Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine. The service plans to spend $9.25 billion through fiscal 2021, up from the $5.7 billion it planned to spend through 2020 in last year's plan. The boost comes from $3.6 billion earmarked in 2021 to begin construction. The Navy last week announced that General Dynamics will be the prime contractor, with Huntington Ingalls the subcontractor.


    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News - Page 5 Ohiosubreplace

    The Littoral Combat Ship will be optimized for lethality and survivability. The program is transition to a multimission frigate. The 40-knot sprint speed requirement will go away to allow for more armor, more weapons, an over-the-horizon missile and full-time anti-torpedo protection


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    Post  max steel on Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:01 am

    How stealthy is Navy’s new destroyer? It needs reflectors

    The future USS Zumwalt is so stealthy that it’ll go to sea with reflective material that can be hoisted to make it more visible to other ships.

    The Navy destroyer is designed to look like a much smaller vessel on radar, and it lived up to its billing during recent builder trials.

    Lawrence Pye, a lobsterman, told The Associated Press that on his radar screen the 610-foot ship looked like a 40- to 50-foot fishing boat. He watched as the behemoth came within a half-mile while returning to shipbuilder Bath Iron Works.

    “It’s pretty mammoth when it’s that close to you,” Pye said.

    Despite its size, the warship is 50 times harder to detect than current destroyers thanks to its angular shape and other design features, and its stealth could improve even more once testing equipment is removed, said Capt. James Downey, program manager.

    During sea trials last month, the Navy tested Zumwalt’s radar signature with and without reflective material hoisted on its halyard, he said. The goal was to get a better idea of exactly how stealthy the ship really is, Downey said from Washington, D.C.

    The reflectors, which look like metal cylinders, have been used on other warships and will be standard issue on the Zumwalt and two sister ships for times when stealth becomes a liability and they want to be visible on radar, like times of fog or heavy ship traffic, he said.

    The possibility of a collision is remote. The Zumwalt has sophisticated radar to detect vessels from miles away, allowing plenty of time for evasive action.But there is a concern that civilian mariners might not see it during bad weather or at night, and the reflective material could save them from being startled.

    The destroyer is unlike anything ever built for the Navy.Besides a shape designed to deflect enemy radar, it features a wave-piercing “tumblehome” hull, composite deckhouse, electric propulsion and new guns.

    More tests will be conducted when the ship returns to sea later this month for final trials before being delivered to the Navy. The warship is due to be commissioned in October in Baltimore, and will undergo more testing before becoming fully operational in 2018.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Littoral Combat Ship Likely to Continue Past 40 Hulls

    The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is like the cat with nine lives. It has survived more near-death experiences than just about any other Navy program in modern times. First there was the problem with trying to build a military vessel based on commercial standards. When Navy shipbuilding rules were applied, big surprise, the cost per hull went way up and LCS no longer looked like a bargain. Then there were seemingly endless problems with the mission modules intended to allow the ships to perform multiple missions serially by simply swapping out payloads. The acquisition strategy was certainly unusual.

    The Navy made the bold decision, widely criticized at the time and even today, to acquire two variants. Then there was Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s decision to truncate the program at 40 ships vice the planned 52. Most recently, the Chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain, blasted the Navy and the Program Office for continuing problems with the reliability of an unmanned undersea vehicle that was part of the mine countermeasures mission package.

    Perhaps the proper analogy is to the mythical phoenix, because the program has risen from the ashes at least three times. In each instance the concept of operations changed and with it the requirements. The LCS went from a lightly armed, essentially unarmored, high speed close-in patrol boat to a more heavily armed, slower, littoral and brown/blue water combatant and finally, to a new class, a frigate variant, with capabilities that will exceed that of the Perry-class frigates.

    The current plan for the LCS, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, is to cut the total procurement to 40 (six ships, three of each type have already been commissioned and approximately 20 more are being built or under contract). One of the two variants and the shipyard that builds it will be terminated by 2019. The final eight ships will be converted to a frigate based on an as yet unapproved design variant of one of the two LCS classes.

    In addition, the Navy is already deep into a program to improve both the survivability and lethality of at least some and possibly all the baseline littoral warships. Additional armor will be added to protect critical compartments and functions. New weapons are being deployed, particularly existing tactical missiles capable of sinking corvettes and small combatants. The Program Office recently conducted a successful series of tests with a variant of the Hellfire missile. Work is underway to provide the 57mm gun with precision rounds that will substantially increase its lethality. There will also be improvements to the LCS’s sensor suite, defensive systems, electronic warfare capabilities and sonar systems.

    The initial concept behind the LCS was for a modular ship, with a basic sea frame and common operating systems, an open architecture and standard interfaces that would allow the Navy to plug and play a wide variety of sensors, weapons and C3 capabilities, as well as specialized mission modules for surface warfare, anti-submarine and mine countermeasure missions. Ironically, after a number of false starts and program redirections, a modular ship seems to be exactly what the Navy is going to get.

    The “reborn” LCS, both the up-gunned versions of the baseline designs as well as the new frigate variant are but a couple of the possible options. The current program is being restructured to allow for continual upgrades. Future possibilities, particularly for the new frigate variant, include adding air and missile defenses based on the Standard Missile 2 and 3 series and a phased array radar, creating a mini-arsenal ship loaded with Harpoons or other over-the-horizon missiles and even deploying directed-energy weapons. The LCS is well-suited to take advantage of advances in both manned rotorcraft and unmanned aerial vehicles to further extend its reach and effectiveness.

    Despite the desire of the current Secretary of Defense to truncate the LCS program and spend the savings on higher priority procurements such as more F/A-18 and F-35 fighters, it is not only likely that the original goal of 52 hulls will survive but it could even be increased. Given all the options available in both the baseline upgunned LCS and the new frigate, as well as expected advances in technologies associated with power, sensing, lethality and command and control, why shouldn’t the Navy continue to produce ever more capable small ships?



    The LCS is not a combat ship. It is not expected to be survivable in high-intensity combat. LCS is similar to F-35 with its "concurrency," i.e. producing end items wile testing is still ongoing which results in poor-performing weapons systems provided to operational units who are then stuck with poor unreliable performance and high maintenance.



    Last edited by max steel on Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  max steel on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:46 pm

    Autonomous ASW: The Predator Becoming a Prey

    The number of diesel-electric submarines that could challenge US naval forces is growing throughout the world. The need to offset the risk posed by such small and quiet subs, particularly at the littorals and narrow strait is becoming critical.

    “Our goal is to transition an operational game-changer to the Navy’” said Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA’s) Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vehicle (ACTUV) Program Manager Scott Littlefield, “This should create an asymmetry to our advantage, negating a challenging submarine threat at one-tenth their cost of building subs.”

    US defense contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is developing a new concept for unmanned surface vessel that will be able to locate and track submarines deep under the water, at levels of precision, persistence and flexibility far beyond those available by manned surface ships operating anti-submarine warfare. Such capabilities could become particularly important as the US Naval missions are focused toward littorals in the Hormuz Straits, the Persian Gulf, South China Sea, East Africa, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean Sea.

    In August 2012 DARPA awarded SAIC $58 million for the development of a prototype Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vehicle (ACTUV) to be ready for at-sea operational testing by mid 2015. SAIC was one of several companies developing conceptual designs for the new vessel. The agency selected the wave piercing Trimaran design for the prototype. According to SAIC, this design will be able to perform continuous missions lasting up to three months at sea, operating autonomously, or semi-autonomously.

    The vessel is designed to operate fully autonomously, providing a forward deployed and rapid-responsive ‘node’ in the global maritime surveillance network. This network will be shared by manned and unmanned assets such as naval forces, P-8A Poseidon aircraft and RQ-4C Triton (BAMS) drones. The ACTUV will be capable of ‘sprinting’ rapidly to arrive as soon as possible in the area of operation, quickly establish track of quiet diesel-electric submarines and shadow such targets overtly for months, over thousands of kilometers, with minimal human input.


    The Predator Becoming the Prey

    To establish the initial detection ACTUVs could rely on its own sensors or more likely on sonobuoys dropped by maritime surveillance aircraft, drones or ships. Effectively covering a wide area, these sonobuoys will provide the initial indication on the presence of a suspected target. Forward deployed near designated areas of operation. With ACTUV arriving at area, the unmanned vessels will deploy the long-range acquisition mid-frequency active-passive sonar carried in the two side pods, to verify the presence of submarines, and assess the ‘area of uncertainty’ (AOU) affected by the threat, limiting surface ships movement in that area.

    Follow-through with two higher frequency sonars located in the main hull, are used to improve tracking precision and mission reliability. Once in close proximity to the target, total field magnetometer arrays are used to provide additional information about target activity. Once continuous track is established, very high frequency sonar is used to paint an ‘acoustic image’ of the target, thus identify and classify it as a specific submarine. Once the AOU has been determined and the threat positively identified, thus verifying the AOU boundaries, the rest of the area would be safe passage, the ACTUV will shadow the suspected submarine, keeping it at risk, vulnerable to attack if it moves offensively against friendly forces.

    CTUV is designed to outperform and out-endure conventionally powered diesel-electric submarines, (including those using Air Independent Propulsion – AIP), even when they are remaining quiet or try to evade the shadowing vessel, thus keeping them at risk until they return to their home bases.

    In fact, ACTUV performs the role of a number of manned ASW surface vessels currently used to defend carrier battle groups or other flotillas from submarine threats. Their autonomous operation will enables the Navy to commit manned platforms to offensive operations and other support roles, requiring human support, leaving the ASW mission for the unmanned platform.

    The award will see SAIC provide a final design and production plan for the ACTUV prototype in phase two, construction of the prototype is scheduled to be completed in phase three, and government testing in phase four demonstrate an experimental vessel capable of independently deploying under sparse remote supervisory control, to achieve ‘a game-changing ASW operational capability, with the ultimate objective to facilitate rapid transition of that capability to the navy in response to critical operational demand’.

    Ultimate Autonomy


    “This surface platform is conceived from concept to field demonstration under the premise that a human is never intended to step aboard at any point in its operating cycle. “ Program Manager Scott Littlefield said. “As a result, a new design paradigm emerges with reduced constraints on conventional naval architecture elements such as layout, accessibility, crew support systems, reserve buoyancy and dynamic stability.”

    The objective is to generate a vessel design that exceeds state-of-the art platform performance to provide complete propulsive overmatch against diesel electric submarines at a fraction of their size and cost.” The advanced level of autonomy will enable independently deploying systems to operate on missions spanning thousands of miles in range and months of endurance, under a sparse remote supervisory control model. “Such missions require autonomous compliance with maritime laws and conventions for safe navigation, autonomous system management for operational reliability, and autonomous interactions with an intelligent adversary.”

    Littlefield added. In fact, the only time a sailor will be required to be present on board will be to start the vessel and help guiding it out of port. On-board computers will control the rest of the mission. To assess the strategy and tactics necessary for controlling the vessel at sea, while avoiding other vehicles and obstacles, DARPA developed a strategy game called ‘Dangerous Waters’. The agency has integrated the ACTUVs tactics simulator into the game, as part of the toolkit available for gamers. The agency planned to select the best tactics developed by the gamers and build them into the ACTUV prototype.

    DARPA scientists believe the core platform and autonomy technologies developed under the ACTUV program will be extendable to underpin a wide range of missions and configurations for future unmanned naval vessels.

    Pete Mikhalevsky, SAIC senior vice president and operations manager, said: ‘Drawing on SAIC’s technical depth in marine hydrodynamics, ship design, sensors, and advanced autonomy, we’re confident that the SAIC team will meet or exceed DARPA’s requirements for ACTUV, a revolutionary autonomous maritime vessel.



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    Post  max steel on Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:48 pm

    4-year-old Navy ship needs $23M in repairs

    A repair bill of an estimated $23 million and months out of action. That's the cost to U.S. taxpayers and the Navy after the four-year-old littoral combat ship USS Forth Worth tried to operate its propulsion system without enough oil in January.

    The Navy announced Wednesday that the $360 million vessel would make a six-week-long journey this summer from Singapore, where it has been tied up since the incident, to San Diego for repairs to its combining gears, the hardware that transfers power from the ship's diesel and gas turbine engines to its water-jet propulsion system.

    "The casualty occurred due to an apparent failure to follow procedures during an operational test of the port and starboard main propulsion diesel engines," said the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a statement issued earlier this year.
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    Post  max steel on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:00 pm

    U.S. Navy to Receive Largest Shipbuilding Budget Since President Reagan?

    If the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower & Projection Forces subcommittee gets its way, the Navy will ramp up its shipbuilding in the fiscal year 2017 budget. It will also get a new carrier sooner than planned. The subcommittee is boosting funding to the Navy because of a resurgent Russia and increasingly aggressive China.

    “The last eight years have shown that bowing down to bullies or ignoring them does not make them go away,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) said. “We need to make sure that when we have men and women from this country who are willing to stand up to them, that they have the resources they need to win that fight. Among those resources are the ships and planes necessary to win and come home safely.”

    The subcommittee—which is chaired by Forbes—authorized a total shipbuilding budget of $20.6 billion. Of that total, $19.9 billion would go into shipbuilding and conversion (SCN) funding while an additional $773 million would go to the National Sea Based Deterrent Fund, which would be used to buy the new Ohio Replacement Program ballistic missile submarine. According to Forbes’ office, the subcommittee authorized $2.3 billion more than the President’s budget request—and even accounting for inflation—which would be the most amount of money allocated to shipbuilding since President Ronald Reagan was in office.

    In its markup, the subcommittee expressed that it wants the Navy to accelerate construction of aircraft carriers from one every five years to one every four years. To that end, the subcommittee wants to start construction of the as-of-yet unmanned CVN-81 in 2022—one year earlier than planed. “This twenty percent acceleration would increase carrier force structure and prevent a return to a 10-carrier force in the 2040s,” reads a statement issued by Forbes’ office.

    To that end, the subcommittee is authorizing $263 million in advance procurement of parts for CVN-81. It is also authorizing the Navy to purchase parts for multiple aircraft carriers in an “economic order quantity.” That would mean that the service would be able to “block buy” components of CVN-80—Enterprise—and CVN-81. Meanwhile, the subcommittee has voted to deny the Obama Administration’s request to deactivate Carrier Air Wing 14 and a number of its constituent squadrons.

    Under the subcommittee’s plan, naval aviation would receive a significant boost. The committee is authorizing the procurement of additional Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II strike fighters, which are on the Navy and Marine Corps’ unfunded requirement lists. The subcommittee is also fully funding the purchase of eleven Boeing P-8A Poseidon sub-hunters and six Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. It’s also funding the development of the Navy’s new unmanned carrier-based aircraft refueling system.

    The Navy’s surface fleet gets a boost too. Under the subcommittee’s plans, the service would procures ten major ships, which is three more than the Pentagon’s request. The Navy would buy two attack subs, two destroyers, two Littoral Combat Ships and one LHA. But the subcommittee also added $856 million to the budget to either accelerate procurement of the next-generation LX(R) amphibious ship or procure a thirteenth San Antonio-class amphibious ship (LPD-29). It also added money for an addition destroy and another LCS.

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