From drones to docks, from sea to space, here’s a look at some of the stories by Defense News and C4ISRNET that won awards this year:

After 2014 decimation, Ukrainian Navy rebuilds to fend off Russia

Ukraine lost most of its Navy in the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. But rebuilding its fleet from scratch has allowed it to procure systems compatible and even interoperable with NATO. Read more here.

How the Space Force foiled an Iranian missile attack with a critical early warning

Members of the 2nd Space Warning Squadron explain what it was like providing the crucial early warning that allowed war fighters to seek cover from a barrage of Iranian missiles. Read more here.

US Air Force fleet’s mission-capable rates are stagnating. Here’s the plan to change that.

The Air Force has spent the past four years making a concerted push to ready its planes for war. It’s gained almost no ground. Read more here.

Bath Iron Works plays catch-up on ship delivery after years of upheaval

Defense News traveled to Maine to meet with shipyard and union leaders, who spoke about the state of the company, its workforce and its future. Read more here.

Tension on the Black Sea: What great power competition looks like from the deckplates

Though U.S. defense leaders often talk about great power competition in the future tense, the Navy’s leaders in U.S. 6th Fleet say it’s already taking place in Europe. Perhaps nowhere is that clearer than the Black Sea. Read more here.

Space Force envisions digital future for testing and training

The Space Force is on a path toward creating a National Space Test and Training Complex, but the endeavor also presents some challenges — most of which lie in creating virtual training and testing environments that realistically depict the space domain. Read more here.

Small drone biz Vanilla Unmanned has big plans for the US Navy

Vanilla Unmanned, a small business that was featured in an April 2021 naval drill, promises “world-record endurance, unmatched payload, and then a disruptive cost profile” in its Group 3 UAV that it hopes will change how the Navy thinks about unmanned aircraft. Read more here.

How a 221-year-old shipyard is leading a US Navy modernization effort

The Navy is beginning to modernize and optimize a shipyard built in 1800 — and is learning some important lessons already that will shape the 20-year, $21 billion planned effort to overhaul all four naval shipyards. Read more here.

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