Arleigh Burke Wisdom in the Age of AI

August 31, 2018

Back in January 1984, the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine published some commentary by World War II destroyer skipper and former CNO, Admiral Arleigh Burke. The free-wheeling comments from this old Analog Admiral are appropriate in today’s whiz-bang AI era. Now, to understand the context of his comments, Admiral Burke–who had built his wartime reputation […]

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Unpopular Opinion: Russia’s Sub Fleet is Dying

July 7, 2018

For all the dire talk about Russia’s undersea resurgence and phoenix-like re-emergence from post-Cold War disarray, Russia’s nuclear sub fleet is dying. There is no denying it. Despite all the hand-wringing over increased undersea activity and fretful talk of new sub designs and weapons, nothing of substance has changed since the Cold War. Outside of […]

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When “Kill The Robots” Is Routine

June 23, 2018

Even the most optimistic unmanned evangelists must acknowledge that naval doctrine will, eventually, boil itself down to a simple precept: “Kill the Robot, and Quickly”. My sense is that America, as the first-mover in the unmanned space, finds that future somewhat distasteful. It is difficult to move from uncontested exploitation of potential utility to a […]

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Is the West Ignoring Asian Naval Architecture?

June 6, 2018

Asia is in the midst of a naval renaissance. But this renaissance has failed to lead to widespread adoption of Japanese and South Korean warship designs in the West. Why? Not that there haven’t been opportunities for hybridization. But the American FFG(X) program is full of European designs, the Australian Navy has rebuilt their Navy […]

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Is HII’s “Missing” FFG(X) Using StanFlex? Is it a Type 31e?

May 23, 2018

What is Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) going to offer for the FFG(X) competition? America is in the midst of a multi-billion-dollar competition for the next surface combatant, and HII–after years of gleeful anti-LCS rabble-rousing, agitating for FFG(X) and showing all kinds of notional National Security Cutter (NSC)-based FFG(X) prototypes–has gone completely and utterly quiet. Why […]

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Sea State 3 Limitations Mean Failed Operations

May 14, 2018

By now it should be pretty obvious that the post-Cold War U.S. Navy forgot about high-Sea-State operations…and somehow decided to harness the Navy’s future to a foolish idea that Sea State 3 was a fine operational goal for critical shipboard systems. It made sense.  Life was good back in the Post Cold War era–The Navy […]

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Appreciate the Un-deterrable Sub

April 23, 2018

Future undersea attackers will become far less deterrable. That’s a big shift–the idea that attacking submarines are deterrable has been enshrined in ASW Doctrine since World War I, and, even today, the idea that undersea attackers can be forced to break off their attack (or other mission) informs the resourcing and posture of ASW assets. […]

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Huntington Ingalls Confronts the Stigma of Shipbuilding

April 17, 2018

With all the fun and excitement of Washington’s Sea/Air/Space exposition, it was easy to overlook one of the more interesting and consequential displays of the show. Most observers missed it–because this Huntington Ingalls offering was stuck off on a tractor-trailer, off the display floor. It was parked way out back, beyond the reach of the […]

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The Tug and Salvage Fleet T-ATS(X) has a Builder!

March 26, 2018

As a staunch advocate for the Navy’s tug and salvage fleet, I am thrilled to see the drama-filled T-ATS(X) program head towards production (some history here). It has been a long road for this important but low-profile and oft-ignored vessel–the T-ATS(X) wallowed under multiple RFIs for years. It nearly foundered after several efforts to privatize […]

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Shockingly, USS Ford to be Shocked

March 24, 2018

I know I should be talking about big bolus of shipbuilding cash that is headed the Navy’s way, but…I’d be remiss if I failed to note some Ford Class news. Inside Defense reports: The Navy is reverting to an earlier plan and will shock test the lead ship of its new aircraft carrier class, the Gerald R. […]

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