From the monthly archives:

April 2011

Austal is the world’s premier manufacturer of advanced aluminum ships. An industrial iconoclast, Austal USA entered the brutal U.S. shipbuilding market in 2000, and is now producing two key components of the future U.S. Fleet, the Littoral Combat Ship and the Joint High Speed Vessel. I have been a fan of Austal and the LCS-2/JHSV […]


Over the course of my naval blogging, nothing has worried me more than the Pacific. I worry that American policymakers have taken their eyes off the ball, distracted by impulsive, poorly justified national security choices (i.e. Iraq and Libya). As resources dwindle, the margin for error and or ability to absorb/compensate/fix strategic mistakes dwindle too. […]


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to chat and email with the Mississippi Press’ Kaija Wilkinson, to discuss the future of the Huntington Ingalls’ yard. I think that yard has its work cut out for it. Craig Hooper, a San Francisco defense consultant who runs the website, said there are advantages to […]

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Australia buys the Bay!

by Craig Hooper on April 9, 2011

Sometimes a deal is just so good, you’ve just gotta take it. Australia’s announcement that it will buy the the UK’s soon-to-be-redundant LHD Largs Bay for $100 million Australian dollars (@$105 USD at present rates) must have government minsters in a gleeful state. Even if the Largs Bay has serious problems, at this price, it’s […]

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Some ASW counsel that never gets old:

by Craig Hooper on April 5, 2011

While doing some research on anti-mine and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) issues, I came upon this wonderful gem from a September 1964 ASW paper in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. I strongly suspect that, at least for ASW, similar sentiment still holds true today: “The problems in the field are tremendous, and getting worse, not only […]


And now, an interlude with Hunter S. Thompson

by Craig Hooper on April 4, 2011

If you have not read any of Hunter S. Thompson’s essays, then you are missing something. For all the drug-tinted, hard-living hyperbole of Hunter S. Thompson’s image, the guy wrote like a fiend. And he was an amazing observer. For me, one Hunter Thompson essay particularly resonates–an essay about Air Force test pilots, entitled, “Those […]