Chinese Survey Ship Caught ‘Running Dark’ Give Clues to Underwater Drone Operations

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A Chinese government survey ship was intercepted “running dark” without broadcasting its position via AIS (Automated Information System by Indonesian officials. The incident is latest twist in an ongoing maritime saga which has also seen Chinese uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs) found in Indonesia’s territorial waters.

The survey ship, Xiang Yang Hong 03, left its base at Sanya on Hainan Island, China, on the morning of Jan. 6. It was intercepted by the Indonesian Coast Guard...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/16/chinese-survey-ship-caught-running-dark-give-clues-to-underwater-drone-operations

Navy: First Constellation Frigate Will Start Fabrication This Year as Shipyard Expands

Rendering of USS Constellation (FFG-62). Fincantieri Image

The first hull in a new Navy ship class in more than a decade is set to start construction later this year, the service’s program manager said this week.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine plans to start fabrication of the future USS Constellation (FFG-62) in late summer or early fall following the completion of the final design review of the plans for the ship, Capt. Kevin Smith, who oversees the program for the Navy, said on Tuesday. The ship...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/15/navy-first-constellation-frigate-will-start-fabrication-this-year-as-shipyard-expands

GAO: Design Delays on Columbia Sub Program Leading to Construction Delays, Cost Increases

Artist’s rendering of the Columbia-class SSBN submarine. US Navy Image

The Government Accountability Office released a new report that warns Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine cost and schedule plans are at risk due to problems with a new digital design tool and cascading effects stemming from the design challenges.

The report – Columbia Class Submarine: Delivery Hinges on Timely and Quality Materials from an Atrophied Supplier Base – explains that Columbia program prime contractor...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/14/gao-design-delays-on-columbia-sub-program-leading-to-construction-delays-cost-increases

Overview of Future Large Surface Combatant (DDG Next) Program

The following is the Jan. 12, 2021 Congressional Research Service In Focus report, Navy Future Large Surface Combatant (LSC) (DDG Next)
Program: Background and Issues for Congress

From the report

The Navy’s Future Large Surface Combatant (LSC) program, also known as the DDG Next program, envisages procuring a class of next-generation guided-missile destroyers (DDGs) to replace the Navy’s aging Ticonderoga (CG-47) class Aegis cruisers. The Navy wants to procure the first Future LSC around FY2028,...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/14/overview-of-future-large-surface-combatant-ddg-next-program

Navy Wants to Shed Aegis Ashore Mission, But Army Still Hasn’t Agreed to Take It

The new Naval Support Facility in Redzikowo, Poland, will be home to the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System(AABMDS) mission. Photo represents construction progress as of August 2019. US Navy Photo

The chief of naval operation’s new call to focus on sea control and power projection could lead the service to shed other non-core missions the Navy conducts today, such as manning Aegis Ashore missile defense sites.

The biggest problem is, no one else has agreed to take over that mission yet...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/12/navy-wants-to-shed-aegis-ashore-mission-but-army-still-hasnt-agreed-to-take-it

Marines, Navy Moving Quickly on Light Amphib, Anti-Ship Missiles to Create More Warfighting Options

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The Navy and Marine Corps are quickly seeking new ideas that allow Marines to support the Navy in sea control and other maritime missions, including the rapid acquisition of a light amphibious ship and a movement toward using Marine weapons while at sea.

Maj. Gen. Tracy King, the director of expeditionary warfare on the chief of naval operations’ staff (OPNAV N95), told USNI News during a Jan. 8 media call that the services are moving quickly to buy their first light...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/11/marines-navy-moving-quickly-on-light-amphib-anti-ship-missiles-to-create-more-warfighting-options

2021 Chief of Naval Operations NAVPLAN

The following is the Chief of Naval Operations 2021 NAVPLAN, published on Jan. 11, 2021.

From the document

For 245 years, our Navy has operated forward to protect commerce and keep fights far from our
shores. Since the end of World War II, we have sailed with like-minded navies to uphold the rulesbased order at sea. Together, we have provided stability, deterred great power war, preserved peace, and ushered in prosperity for billions of people across the world.

Now our collective security—and way...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/11/2021-chief-of-naval-operations-navplan

USNI News 2020 Fleet and Marine Review

When 2020 closed, the Navy’s aircraft carrier forces spent a collective 896 days deployed across the world – 200 more days than in 2019. As reported by USNI News in November, the carrier force has been under strain over the last 20 years, and the use of the force accelerated in 2020. Likewise, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps amphibious ready groups and Marine expeditionary units saw deployments to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command.

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France Finalizes Purchase of 3 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Aircraft

An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye with VAW-120 is refueled in the air. US Navy Photo

France will begin upgrading its E-2C Hawkeye fleet with the purchase of three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, paving the way to a more capable carrier aviation fleet that’s more interoperable with the U.S. Navy.

Naval Air Systems Command announced this week that France became the second foreign customer for the E-2D when it signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance last month to procure three E-2Ds from the U.S. Navy, for a maximum...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/06/france-finalizes-purchase-of-3-e-2d-advanced-hawkeye-aircraft

Summary of Low-Yield Nuclear Warhead Debate

The following is the Jan. 5, 2021 Congressional Research Service In Focus report, A Low-Yield, Submarine-Launched Nuclear Warhead: Overview of the Expert Debate.

From the report

The Low-Yield D-5 Warhead

The Trump Administration developed a new low-yield version of the W-76 warhead for existing submarine-launched Trident II (D-5) missiles. Unclassified sources state that the existing W76-1 warhead has an explosive yield of around 100 kilotons. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)...

https://news.usni.org/2021/01/06/summary-of-low-yield-nuclear-warhead-debate

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