Chinese Naval Expansion Hits High Gear: China’s Navy Acquires 15 Warships in 7 Months

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Ticonderoga Class cruiser USS Lake Champlain CG-57. Decommissioning of these vessels will begin in 2019, with no viable replacement. The U.S. Navy command has proposed keeping half of the 22 vessels in service. Despite the largest defense budget of any nation in the world, and larger than that of Russia and China combined, the U.S. Navy cited budget constraints as a key factor in being unable of replacing the vessels.

 

While there was much fanfare and attention given to the July 3rd launch of two Type 055 guided missile destroyers at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. (DISC) shipyard in Dalian, very little mention has been made of the many other warships that the PLAN has launched or commissioned since the beginning of the year. Although the Type 055 DDG is the PLAN’s most powerful surface combatant, and the largest such vessel constructed by an Asian nation since World War II, they are one component in a steadily growing naval force structure. While the addition of three Type 055 DDGs this year, added to the first vessel in class which rolled into the water from Dalian just over a year ago in June of 2017, showcase China’s growing capabilities not only in producing powerful and modern warships, they also illustrate the maturity and  stunning capacity of the Chinese ship building industry. This industry has launched and/or commissioned 15 modern warships in just the first seven months of 2018. Continue reading

Broken: America’s Latest Failed Supercarrier

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Caption: USS Gerald R. Ford (U.S. Navy)

 

The most expensive warship ever built can’t go to war.

America’s new, most expensive, most advanced aircraft carrier doesn’t work properly.

According to a June 28 memo obtained by Bloomberg News, the $12.9 billion uss Gerald R. Ford “may struggle to launch and recover aircraft, mount a defense, and move munitions.”

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Russia Moves Ahead With Building New Aircraft Carriers

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After decades of effort to reconstitute its shipbuilding industry following the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia looks set to regain a key ability: Moscow will be able to build aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships domestically as soon as 2019.

“We’ll be ready to begin construction of helicopter carriers as well as aircraft carriers,” Alexey Rakhmanov, president of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), recently told Rossiya’24. “If you take up the technological capability for building aircraft carriers, we hope to acquire it by the beginning of 2019 as long as modernization works are completed.” Continue reading

US Military Could Not Handle One Major Theater Operation If Sequester Sticks

“You gentlemen make life and death decisions in the Tank almost every day,” a somber Cooper said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, looking straight at Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh and Marine Gen. James Amos. “We are unwilling to even come up with a budget for America.”

Even the usually partisan HASC Chairman Buck McKeon, after offering a very short defense of the House and GOP’s actions on sequestration, spoke the truth to the Joint Chiefs and the packed hearing room: ”It’s not your fault. It is us.”

How bad will it get if the United States Congress does not reverse the Budget Control Act, the foundation of sequestration?

Three of the four Joint Chiefs told the HASC that they would not be able to execute the most basic strategic requirement of the US military: defeating an enemy in a single major theater operation. Only Gen. Amos, Marine Commandant, said his self-sufficient force could handle one MTO, but could not handle more than that. Continue reading