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Procurement

Last week America lost an MV-22 Osprey, a Special Operator and, in addition, had several servicemen injured in a bungled “fishing expedition” in Yemen. What can we learn from this? Details are trickling out, but regardless of their veracity (first reports are often wrong, and there’s always a lot of CYA in this sort of […]

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New Navy Budget Buys…Time:

by admin on December 11, 2014

For a last-second, end-of-year compromise, the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015” does a surprisingly good job of preserving America’s naval industrial base. To me, it’s less about buying ships and more about buying…time. The Act offers the Nation a measure of flexibility–if it advances intact, the 11-Carrier fleet is (relatively) secure for […]

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Export Subs: Simplicity Can Sell

by admin on November 6, 2014

Conventional sub buyers have a lot in common with those pesky teenagers who think, in an iPhone 6 era, it’s tremendously gauche to rock a lowly iPhone 4. Computer guru Steve Jobs could have mined the arms business for ideas on how to build out Apple’s retail empire. Conventional sub vendors learned long ago that […]

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Let’s talk sub proliferation! It’s no secret that, for any “on-the-move” developing country, an operational indigenous submarine production capability is the “hot” “must-have” naval accessory. And that’s great. Done right, sub production is an audacious industrial achievement–an exercise in manufacturing mastery, where precision, quality and engineering innovation come together to ensure the survival of humans […]

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For an Agency that loves pomp and circumstance, the Pentagon’s ceremony last week to “name and shame” both their good–and their bad–contractors was uncharacteristically muted. If the Pentagon wants to make the Superior Supplier Incentive Program into something that spurs institutional change, a low-profile Friday announcement and the promise of future incentives to the victors […]

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The current global crop of “conventional” frigates (which I loosely define as a multi-purpose combatant of somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000-4,500 tons), has reached something of a developmental dead end. These ships cannot be improved–or, in the case of foreign models, brought into compliance with U.S. Navy standards and then improved–without a huge investment–An […]

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So, last week the Small Surface Combatant Task Force announced a call for ideas on a small future surface combatant, complete with substantial pricing and production information and–if a boat-load of pricing and production data wasn’t enough–operational concepts as to how the ship will fit and fight with the fleet. Goodness. Where does one sign […]

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If the Navy is going to spend time thinking about new frigates or pondering “up-gunning” the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), then America should also be thinking about developing a low-mix, austere DDG-51. Look, if the U.S. Navy is looking for a low-end Destroyer, then why not use the excellent high-end DDG-51 as a starting point? […]

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The LCS and DDG-1000 are both very different, and yet, they are also very similar–each sports controversial non-traditional hull-forms, minimal crews, no bridge wings, non-traditional hull materials, as-yet undeveloped hi-tech weapons and cost-growth. And while the LCS gets kicked around for these qualities/faults/weaknesses, the DDG-1000 always gets a pass. Every time. It’s amazing. Even with something […]

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We can all hope CNO Greenert’s sequestered LCS(NEXT) Requirements Team is hard at work, leveraging all the LCS lessons-learned to date, plugging the info into a fancy matrix and boiling their findings into something that will, in time, provide the Nation with an ideal “Small-Ship-Of-The-Future”. It’s just not bloody likely. Sure, the CNO’s “Deep Thinkers” […]

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