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General Atomics

Shockingly, USS Ford to be Shocked

by Craig Hooper on 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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Shut Up and Shock the USS Ford (CVN 78)

by Craig Hooper on March 8, 2018

America has a very small window of time to shock test a Ford Class aircraft carrier. If missed, the Ford Class will likely not be shocked at all–a perplexing oversight as America “girds” anew for conventional state-state conflict. I am worried. Recent Ford shock trial coverage suggests American maritime commentators forget that the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) […]

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Prepare To Welcome the F-18 Stingray

by Craig Hooper on November 5, 2017

There should be little mystery behind Northrop Grumman’s recent decision to withdraw from the MQ-25 Stingray Program. As the requirements have trickled out, the Stingray has started to look very much like an unmanned F-18 variant. And that’s great, because an F-18 variant would help the Navy focus on integrating a pedestrian unmanned platform into […]

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In Press: Some Thoughts On USS Ford (CVN 78)

by Craig Hooper on August 2, 2017

The newly-commissioned USS Ford (CVN 78) recovered and launched its first aircraft less than a week after commissioning. And while that achievement is all well and good, don’t get too carried away by the hype. Wait for the Ford’s first deployment before really cheering this new carrier and all its new tech. As I told Project […]

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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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The fight over the Navy’s next-generation unmanned asset, the UCLASS, continues, with, as USNI’s Sam Lagrone reports, another delay: The final request for proposal (RFP) for the Navy’s planned carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been delayed pending a review of the service’s information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) portfolio as part of the service’s budget […]

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