It’s a Boeing/Northrop Grumman Fight For the MQ-25 Stingray

October 30, 2016

Two things inform the upcoming MQ-25 Stingray opportunity: The first is that Northrop Grumman will be hard to beat, and, second, airframe innovation should take a distant backseat to the work needed to harden and prove-out the electronic “back-end” of carrier-based UAVs. I had a chance to discuss all this with the San Diego Business Journal last […]

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Overlooked in the CNO’s CSIS Speech

October 5, 2016

So the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, gave a speech at CSIS, and everyone is excited about his surprise termination of the term “A2/AD”. That’s all well and good–I have hated the A2/AD debate since the term crawled out from the torrid fever swamps of swarm boats and carrier killers (Read this, for […]

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Rotary Wing Integration With Surface Combatants Is Important!

October 3, 2016

As ubiquitous as maritime helicopters are, America often forgets that the sustained operation of rotary-wing craft off smaller surface combatants only really started in the sixties. Today, it’s easy to scoff that helicopters got their start aboard combatants decades ago, but…for the U.S. Navy, the regular use of helicopters aboard smaller combatants spans only a […]

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Restore Admiral Bulkeley’s Test:

September 30, 2016

The Navy needs to regularly test the ability of ship crews to function at half-strength. It’s been done before: After World War II, Medal of Honor winner and PT Boat hero Rear Admiral John Bulkeley (He’s the tough guy on the right) ran Naval Training Command, where he developed some interesting “real world” manning tests, […]

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In Press: Talking T-ATS(X) With InsideDefense.com

April 14, 2016

As the oil industry races to put modern platform support vessels and anchor handling ships into layup, the eight-ship “tug and salvage” T-ATS(X) program is getting kinda tough to justify. Why build new ships if the Navy can buy suitable hulls for far less? Right now there’s plenty of ships on the market that would make […]

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In Press: Fat Leonard Is Still With Us

April 10, 2016

Though it is now back-page news, the Glenn Defense Marine/Fat Leonard scandal is still with us. Greg Moran, of the San Diego Union Tribune, has been doing a great service, following this case as it winds through the local courts, transforming from a paper-selling “prostitutes and corruption” scandal to less exciting court-reporter fare. But somewhere […]

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In Press: New Tools Demand New Homefront Doctrine

April 1, 2016

How, exactly, will the MV-22 Osprey–and other new Navy/USMC gear–help at home? It’s a valid question–Waaay back in 2010-11, when the MV-22 first started to shoulder aside the West Coast’s enormous inventory of venerable, obsolete CH-46 Sea Knights, I started urging the military to get real about evaluating the MV-22’s suitability for HA-DR operations typical […]

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Mulling Australia’s Next Submarine:

March 16, 2016

Australia has happily discovered that, for high-end subs, this is a buyer’s market. In Australia’s Collins Class Replacement Project (SEA 1000), eager German, French and Japanese sub venders are offering some top-tier submarine models for some pretty good terms. With all three platforms technically “solid”, I won’t go into technical differences here (look anywhere else […]

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Kill off the Old-School Carrier Air Wing

March 1, 2016

In the coming “Age of UAVs”, the influential Cold War-era Carrier Air Wing is set to become something of an old-school anachronism. Now, such sentiment is anathema to most of the exalted flyers in the leather-recliner ready-room set, but, well, the robots just don’t care. To a robot a deck is just a deck, and, […]

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UAV Advocates Should Cheer The Navy’s Tanker Plan

February 2, 2016

It looks like the Navy is getting an UAV mid-air tanker. That’s great–it forces the Navy to really incorporate a UAV into the daily grind of carrier operations. It’s the fastest route to UAV normalization, and it offers a spiral route to something far more interesting. The little kid in me would have have loved […]

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