In this volume of The Drift, former Defense News Naval Warfare Reporter and dean of the Navy press corps Chris Cavas returns to Defense News to close out our Rust Dialogues, arguing that keeping rust off the ships is a matter of pride and competence.
I am moving on from Defense News after more than 13 years as this publication’s naval warfare correspondent. For five years prior to that I was at Navy Times, lastly as the managing editor. It’s been a very long and amazingly fruitful association with what was the Army Times Publishing Company, now Sightline Media Group, but all good things end, and I’m eager to seek another chapter in my career before I fade away.
U.S. Marines based out of Norway, another Marine expeditionary unit operating from Sicily. U.S. submarines forward-deployed to Scotland, littoral combat ships in the Mediterranean. Supply ships, fleet oilers and amphibious ships armed with cruise missiles. A third aviation-centered assault ship. More networked connectivity. Those are just some of the changes and enhancements proposed by the new iNavy concept – i for Improved Navy -- a set of force enhancements that, according to its proponents, can be implemented over the next five years to make the existing fleet more lethal and effective.
Aircraft top the U.S. Navy’s 2018 unfunded priorities list sent to Congress this week, as the service seeks $2.7 billion to buy 24 more planes. The aircraft are part of an overall $4.8 billion, 48-item Navy list of needs left out of the $171.5 billion Navy fiscal 2018 budget sent to Congress on May 23.
Despite ongoing tensions in the South China Sea and several recent tense aerial confrontations, China has been invited to attend next year’s U.S.-hosted Rim of the Pacific exercises, the U.S. Navy confirmed Monday.
Judging by the number of ships, aircraft and weapons the Pentagon wants to buy in 2018, there are no significant differences between the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget and the plan as laid out in the last Obama administration submission.
Citing continuing requirements changes that would mean giving ships a less-capable weapon than those carried by aircraft, Boeing said Tuesday it would drop out of a U.S. Navy effort to buy an over-the-horizon (OTH) cruise missile for littoral combat ships (LCS) and frigates.