Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Ships & Submarines
Tracking the latest news on Navy shipbuilding and submarine programs
Inside the Navy - 04/21/2014

Raytheon is developing a longer-range, fire-and-forget version of its Griffin tactical missile, with an eye toward eventually deploying the weapon as part of the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship surface warfare mission package, Inside the Navy has learned.

Inside the Navy - 04/21/2014

The Navy has postponed the commissioning of the North Dakota (SSN-784) -- the lead ship of the Block III Virginia-class submarine program -- due to incomplete work on its redesigned bow and other issues, according to the service.

Inside the Navy - 04/21/2014

The Navy is actively looking at a common combat system for the two variants of the Littoral Combat Ship, having briefed Navy leadership and conducted a business case for the concept already, according to LCS program officials.

Inside the Navy - 04/21/2014

The MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter will take part in a concept of operations assessment for the Littoral Combat Ship's anti-surface warfare mission package in early May aboard the Freedom (LCS-1), bringing together the LCS seaframe, MH-60 helicopters and the unmanned system for the first time, according to a Navy official.

Inside the Navy - 04/21/2014

The Navy's plan to place 11 guided-missile cruisers in reduced operating status while they are modernized would be funded through the realization of $6 billion in savings from reduced operations and maintenance costs over the phased modernization period, as well as through a $2.2 billion fund established by congressional appropriators.

Inside the Navy - 04/21/2014

Facing budget constraints and another potential round of sequestration cuts, the Navy, and specifically the surface Navy, needs to focus its efforts on making ships more lethal and offensive, according to a Navy official.

DefenseAlert - 04/17/2014

The size of the Pentagon's major weapon system acquisition portfolio held steady over the last year at $1.6 trillion, with seven programs added and six programs removed because they are near the end of the procurement cycle.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

The Navy does not have the time to develop a wholly new design for a small surface combatant, one of the options being looked at by a Navy task force set up to address survivability and lethality gaps associated with the Littoral Combat Ship program, a top Navy official said last week.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

An influential lawmaker who could be the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said last week that he will push Congress to fund a 12th LPD-17 San Antonio-class amphibious ship in fiscal year 2015 as a bridge to a notional LX(R) amphibious ship replacement program.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

The Navy's plan to modernize 11 out of a fleet of 22 guided missile cruisers will lead to more than $6 billion in cost savings for the service, a top Navy official said last week.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

The Navy plans to meet with Lockheed Martin and Austal, the builders of the Littoral Combat Ship, to discuss how best to proceed with an odd number of ships in the Navy's fiscal year 2015 budget request, according to the Navy's top acquisition executive.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

The Navy will soon begin talking to shipbuilders about how best to leverage a possible cross-class buy of Virginia-class submarines and Ohio-class replacements, and when those companies might need to start making investments, according to the Navy's top weapons buyer.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

The Navy will be opting for Lockheed Martin's Longbow Hellfire missile over Raytheon's Griffin missile to support the surface warfare (SuW) mission package for the Littoral Combat Ship due to its targeting capabilities, according to a program official.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) last week urged the Pentagon to redirect $2 billion from the Defense Department's budget to the Navy's shipbuilding account, a move he argued would cover all of the service's planned shipbuilding efforts aside from replacing the Ohio-class submarines.

DefenseAlert - 04/11/2014

An amphibious ship shortfall is hampering Marine aviation efforts in the Pacific, according to a Marine Corps official, who added it could also impact Army aviators as that service rebalances its focus on the region.

DefenseAlert - 04/10/2014

A funding shortfall affecting the Navy's nuclear reactor program could push back by six months the construction schedule for the lead ship of the Ohio-class replacement submarine program, according to top Navy officials.

DefenseAlert - 04/10/2014

Huntington Ingalls Industries executives will meet later this month with the Missile Defense Agency to discuss a new ballistic missile defense ship concept based on an LPD Flight II hull design, a capability the shipbuilder believes could contribute to Ballistic Missile Defense System improvements being considered by the Pentagon for the early 2020s.

DefenseAlert - 04/09/2014

The Navy's plan to modernize 11 out of a fleet of 22 guided missile cruisers will lead to more than $6 billion in cost savings, according to a top service official.

DefenseAlert - 04/08/2014

The Navy's plan to delay a decision on the fate of the George Washington aircraft carrier will add a year of lag time to the ship's refueling and complex overhaul if the Pentagon ultimately opts to keep the ship in the fleet, according to Huntington Ingalls Industries officials.

Inside the Navy - 04/07/2014

Representatives from companies that supply materials to Newport News Shipyard for carrier refueling expressed concern late last month that a delay or cancellation of the aircraft carrier George Washington's refueling and complex overhaul would drive up costs and could result in a long-term loss of the skilled workers needed to execute an overhaul.

Inside the Navy - 04/07/2014

In a war game meant to probe the concept of operations for the Littoral Combat Ship, the Navy focused primarily on the anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities of the ship class in the open ocean, according to a Navy official.

Inside the Navy - 04/07/2014

The Navy's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal forecasts a $750 million total price tag to stretch the design of future Virginia-class submarines by at least 70 feet, a sum that could allow the Virginia Payload Module program -- if needed -- to incur nearly 20 percent cost growth before hitting non-binding cap stipulated by Pentagon brass and lawmakers.

Inside the Navy - 04/07/2014

Lockheed Martin, one of the shipbuilders for the Littoral Combat Ship, is looking to potential international customers as the program faces a Defense Department-imposed "pause" in ship contracting domestically.

Inside the Navy - 04/07/2014

As the Navy looks to begin work on a notional LX(R) amphibious ship replacement program, officials say the LPD-17 hull form is the best fit for the platform in terms of future Marine Corps lift requirements.

DefenseAlert - 04/02/2014

The Navy's unfunded priority list, which was sent to Congress on Tuesday, does not include funding in fiscal year 2015 for the aircraft carrier George Washington's refueling and complex overhaul.

DefenseAlert - 04/02/2014

The Marine Corps is looking for a high water speed "connector" like the Joint High Speed Vessel to ferry its next-generation amphibious vehicle ashore, the service's top requirements officer said today.

DefenseAlert - 04/01/2014

In a war game meant to probe the concept of operations for the Littoral Combat Ship last week, the Navy focused primarily on the anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities of the ship class in the open ocean, according to a Navy official.

DefenseAlert - 03/31/2014

The Defense Department has established a new baseline for the Navy's effort to develop and acquire mission packages for the Littoral Combat Ship, estimating a $7.2 billion price tag beyond the cost of the ships to acquire 64 sets of weapons and sensors that can be launched from MH-60 helicopters and unmanned vehicles -- a 120 percent increase above a 2007 estimate.

Inside the Navy - 03/31/2014

Although a contract award for a 10th DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer option ship awarded earlier this month may make the DDG-51 program ostensibly whole, a lot of work remains to be done and funding appropriated to truly restore the holes introduced by across-the-board sequestration cuts in 2013.

Inside the Navy - 03/31/2014

The Navy plans to buy up front all the materials needed to perform a hull, mechanical and electrical upgrade on 11 of its 22 guided missile cruisers, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said on Capitol Hill last week, in the hope of reassuring lawmakers that the service's controversial plan to lay up the vessels is not the first step toward decommissioning half of the fleet.

Inside the Navy - 03/31/2014

The Navy's small surface combatant task force, meant to develop proposals for a new lethal small surface combatant as an alternative to the Littoral Combat Ship, has not yet set an affordability target to work with, according to a top Navy official.

Inside the Navy - 03/31/2014

The Marine Corps is looking to revamp its amphibious connector program by accelerating scheduled upgrades to its Landing Craft Air Cushions, building a new, more capable ship-to-shore connector and conducting an analysis of alternatives for a replacement Landing Craft Utility, officials told Inside the Navy last week.

Inside the Navy - 03/31/2014

Even if the Navy's nuclear aircraft carrier fleet drops down from 11 to 10 carriers, U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Samuel Locklear says he is confident that there will still be a carrier forward deployed in the Asia-Pacific and specifically in Japan.

Inside the Navy - 03/24/2014

The Navy remains fundamentally at odds with the Pentagon's top weapons tester over the operational testing plan for the Flight III DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, specifically related to the need for a Self Defense Test Ship in order to conduct this testing adequately.

Inside the Navy - 03/24/2014

The Navy's plan to delay any decision on the fate of the George Washington aircraft carrier to fiscal year 2016 does not square with the shipbuilder's plan to execute the refueling and complex overhaul necessary to keep the ship in the fleet, a Newport News Shipbuilding official told Inside the Navy last week.

Inside the Navy - 03/24/2014

The Navy's Flight III DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and the Zumwalt-class DDG-1000 destroyer program could inform a broader effort in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations looking at a future surface combatant.

Inside the Navy - 03/24/2014

The Navy is taking another look at the ongoing analysis of alternatives for a notional LX(R) amphibious ship replacement effort in order to gain a better understanding of the cost element of the program, the commander of Naval Sea Systems Command told Inside the Navy last week.

Inside the Navy - 03/24/2014

The Navy has put together a task force to develop alternative proposals for a new lethal small surface combatant, the service detailed in a memo obtained by Inside the Navy last week.

DefenseAlert - 03/18/2014

The Navy has put together a task force to develop alternative proposals for a new lethal small surface combatant, according to a memo obtained by Inside the Navy.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

The Navy will include 22 additional EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN-73), among other priorities, in a fiscal year 2015 unfunded priority list it plans to send to Congress soon, the service has confirmed.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

The Navy will not meet its $4.9 billion cost target for the Ohio-class replacement submarine if the program's contracting strategy is not in sync with the Virginia-class program, according to a service official.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

The Navy is reviewing additional payloads for the Virginia Payload Module other than the required Tomahawk Land Attack Missile and anticipates wrapping up the studies in April, according to a service official.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

The Navy would need an additional $7 billion from fiscal years 2015 through 2019 in order to keep 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the fleet, money that would pay to refuel, man, operate and maintain the George Washington (CVN-73) and to procure some of the MH-60R Seahawk multimission helicopters in its air wing.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus last week outlined new details of the service's plan to "lay up" 11 of its 22 guided missile cruisers, telling reporters on Capitol Hill that the vessels will go into the shipyard "all at once" for a hull mechanical and electrical upgrade as well as a combat system upgrade.

DefenseAlert - 03/14/2014

The Navy today awarded two separate contract modifications to Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works to fund an additional fiscal year 2014 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, exercising the option to fund this 10th ship in the program's previously awarded multiyear procurement contract.

Inside the Navy - 03/10/2014

Prompted by a January memo from the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation, the Navy has imposed a six-month delay on an operational assessment for its Remote Mine Hunting System, integral to the Littoral Combat Ship's mine countermeasures mission package, Inside the Navy has learned.

Inside the Navy - 03/10/2014

A Connecticut lawmaker is looking to use the 2015 defense authorization bill to drive forward the argument that the Navy's multibillion-dollar Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine replacement program receive funding from outside of the service's shipbuilding budget because it is a national strategic platform.

Inside the Navy - 03/10/2014

The Navy is analyzing the details of the planned phased maintenance of 11 cruisers, Rear Adm. William Lescher told reporters during a March 4 briefing at the Pentagon, following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement last month that the vessels would be laid up.

DefenseAlert - 03/05/2014

In a testy exchange with lawmakers on Capitol Hill today, U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Samuel Locklear defended the Navy's need for a fleet of 11 nuclear aircraft carriers.

DefenseAlert - 03/04/2014

The Navy's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal is $15 billion below the level forecast in last year's budget submission, with the cuts falling heaviest in aircraft and weapons procurement programs, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, P-8A Poseidon Maritime Surveillance aircraft, the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter and the Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile, according to details the service released today.