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Over the years, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program has overcome all kinds of threats. But now, with the Department of Defense (DOD) folding under the pressure of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation’s (DOT&E’s) constant anti-LCS hand-wringing, LCS haters may have finally seized upon a weapon capable of sinking the LCS Program–a test […]


What happens when U.S. Navy priorities, Department of Defense priorities and and the Obama Administration’s National Interests are misaligned?  And what are the implications when the differing priorities each suggest a very, very different future for the Navy? There is a dilemma afoot here.  Think back to why the Navy lost the fight to keep […]


With the Navy’s stunning elimination of the DDG-1000 composite deckhouse and the subsequent handoff of all Huntington-Ingalls DDG-1000 work to Bath Ironworks, a bigger story has gone un-discussed–what makes the Navy’s preference for shipyard work-share–a model that helped the Virginia Class Submarine become a major procurement success–actually work? For the uninitiated, the Navy’s work-share concept […]


In praise of heavy weather and breaking stuff

by Craig Hooper on March 25, 2011

One of the underestimated pieces of infrastructure in the American warfighter’s toolkit is, well, their meteorologists. It’s neat to be able to have an up-to-the-minute global read on the weather, so ships and aircraft can know–at a very, very high level of detail, where to go to avoid tough sea conditions or bad weather. The […]

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In Press: Talking a balanced Fleet at The Atlantic

by Craig Hooper on March 15, 2011

In my second piece over at The Atlantic, I argue for the under-appreciated do-anything amphibs. You can read it here. But as the budget gets grimmer and grimmer, I fear that some in the Navy are looking to cut amphibious platforms or restrain/downsize the JHSV, LCS or other experimental platforms that may change the way […]


The Philippines: When renting a relic makes sense:

by Craig Hooper on March 8, 2011

With the impending release of a Hamilton-class high-endurance cutter to the Philippines, the U.S. is doing what it can to help provide the Philippines something–anything–that it can use to show the flag in the increasingly tough waters of the South China Sea. But does the gifting of the Hamilton Class mean that the U.S. is […]


For almost ten years, the Marine Corps–the Third Marine Expeditionary Force–and the Military Sealift Command have leased the Austal-built Westpac Express, a 331-foot long aluminum high-speed ferry. But with the emergence of the “Green Fleet” concept, and with the Navy and Marine Corps eager to highlight “green” initiatives, this puny vessel (a gas-guzzler in itself, […]

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Are LPD-17s Modern-Day Mitschers?

by Craig Hooper on March 1, 2011

It is always easy to point at the latest shipbuilding “disaster” and claim that it is the “greatest” fiasco ever. It’s true that smaller-scale shipbuilding SNAFUS are a fact of life. But these days, to some observers, mistakes are a distinguishing characteristic of naval shipbuilding. The big “disaster” of my era is the LPD-17. But […]


So the Navy has issued an RFI for a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (Solicitation Number M6785411IO213). I’ve written about the EFV before (here and here), and, though I liked the EFV, I am glad to see that we are taking another look at the whole “amphibious tractor” concept. Regarding the RFI, there really is nothing […]


In Press: Talking LPD-17’s rehab in the Virginian-Pilot

by Craig Hooper on February 28, 2011

Until last year, one of the most annoying things about being a long-standing LPD-17 critic was the constant push-back from pro-LPD-17 partisans (my criticism began here and, oh, here). There is no denying that the LPD-17, as planned, is a capable and exciting platform. The only problem, which the Virginian-Pilot’s Navy scribe Corinne Reilly details […]

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