From the monthly archives:

September 2010

San Francisco Fleet Week is a community effort. Fleet Week organizers (myself included) worked hard to raise the $1.2 million dollars we needed to throw an appropriately-sized gala for the Navy and Marine Corps. Many local companies dug deep. Some gave until it hurt. Everybody from Google Earth to Solazyme to Bank of America to […]


The indefatigable Peter Frost from the Newport News Daily Press sunk his teeth into the Virginia Class sub-skin failures (which we have been covering here, here and here), leading to a nice article that, earlier this week, bounced the ball down-field a good bit. Sharing a story with the grand-old-man of naval observation, Norman Polmar, […]


Hey, is the IDF integrating the submarine fleet?

by Craig Hooper on September 28, 2010

The IDF is facing a manning problem. According to Ha’aretz, the Israeli Defense Forces’ sub fleet is working to expand the submariner pipeline, growing from three sub teams to a total of ten. Are women going to be a part of this new cadre? Look, finding enough guys capable of completing the grueling training cycle […]


UPDATE: Interested news media can contact Craig Hooper at Earlier this week, the Virginia Class Program Office indulged in some nimble footwork to minimize the scope of their emergent hull treatment debonding problem. First, they told observers that only three of the first four Virginia-class subs suffered the most serious hull treatment failures–the USS […]


Austal leadership upheaval: Reading the tea leaves

by Craig Hooper on September 24, 2010

So Austal CEO, Bob Browning, is leaving Austal. As of November 15. What does it mean? As somebody who has written about Bob Browning before–here and here–I can’t resist the opportunity to speculate as to what Bob is up to. In press, the only real hint comes from, that says: Browning, who lives in […]

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LCS-1 turbine breaks…are turbine removal rails AWOL?

by Craig Hooper on September 23, 2010

Sooo…who remembers, waaay back in February 2009, when a desperate NAVSEA was looking to get 3-5 tons off the LCS-1? Remember what they wanted to take out? I do. From Janes: Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) told Jane’s that officials are considering taking out components “that have become unused on the finished ship”. The proposed […]


I joined the President of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, C. Michael Petters and Dave Heebner, the executive vice-president of General Dynamics Marine Systems, in a NDIA post on recent shipbuilding developments (i.e. the T-AO(X) acceleration). Here’s what Sandra Erwin, the Editor of their flagship National Defense Magazine, included of my interview: Lumping the T-AO(X) acceleration with […]


Dear Virginia-class Program Office: Get yer story straight

by Craig Hooper on September 21, 2010

UPDATE: Interested news media can contact Craig Hooper at Don’t bother asking the Virginia Program Office (PMS-450) when they noticed the Special Hull Treatment was prone to debond, because they don’t know. The Program Office’s story changes by the month. Here’s their story as of July 15, 2010–the Virginia Program Office to Inside The […]


T-AO(X) accelerated: Will total tanker purchase grow too?

by Craig Hooper on September 16, 2010

I am not funded by any shipyard, but, for the past several months–on my own swiftly depleting savings, so to speak–I have been pressing for the next-generation, double-hulled T-AO(X) program. Tomorrow, if the early reports are valid, the SECNAV will formally announce the acceleration of the T-AO(X) program–starting procurement of the first hull in 2014 […]


In Press: Stoking the soft-power arms race!

by Craig Hooper on September 12, 2010

Erstwhile NextNavy amigo Christopher Albon and I pounded out another call for more U.S. hospital ships–a second Great White Fleet, as it were. After watching many calls for new–or more–hospital ships go ignored, I can only wonder if things might change now that some new hospital ships, supported by a well-funded and savvy diplomatic corps, […]