Defense News videographer Colin Kelly shot this video Tuesday of the Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) launching from the Navy aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).
Typically military posture hearings are a chance for lawmakers to grandstand and spout political soundbites that they promote to constituents in their home districts.
Those at the witness table often stick to their script of talking points, rarely deviating from the party line, and often times don’t even get a chance to respond as a member’s time for questioning expires.
But every now and then, tensions boil over and witness goes off script. That’s exactly what happened Thursday. More
Since last December, Congress has had Fiscal Cliff Week then Sequestration Week then CR Week and most recently Budget Week. The Senate even had Guns Week. And now comes Drone Week.
Two congressional panels on Tuesday are holding hearings on the role of armed unmanned aircraft in future military operations — and the very legality of using armed drones to kill al Qaeda leaders and operatives. Yet, data about the frequency of U.S. drone strikes reveals several interesting things. More
An interesting ship model was unveiled April 8 by Huntington Ingalls Industries at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space gathering outside Washington: a ship intended primarily for the ballistic missile defense mission.
Using the basic LPD 17 hull designed for the U.S. Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships — all of which are built by HII — the BMD ship incorporates an Aegis-type phased array radar atop the superstructure. The aft deck, devoid of much of the topside structure of the LPD 17, is ringed by 18 16-cell vertical launch system launchers, for a total of 288 missile cells. Like the existing Mark 41 and Mark 57 VLS launchers in the fleet, the ship’s VLS would presumably be able to launch a variety of weapons, including SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6 Standard missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and other weapons.
Forward on the ship, HII placed a fairly large rail gun mount, a system now under development by the Navy. The model features 57mm guns in mounts similar to those on the Littoral Combat Ships and Coast Guard National Security Cutters, but not the Mk 46 30mm mounts fitted to LPD 17s.
On April 9, HII released a video to show off the new ship:
“Epic Coburn rant.” Scribbled in a notebook, between notes from two interviews, was that reference to a blunt — and telling — March 20 floor speech by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., blasting Senate Democratic leaders and his fellow senators.
Coburn, a leading GOP voice on fiscal and budgetary matters, panned Democratic leaders for blocking Republican amendments to a government-wide spending bill. And he hammered rank-and-file members for lacking the courage to vote on difficult issues. More
Well, that didn’t take long. David Petraeus, the revered soldier-scholar who became CIA director before stepping down due to an extramarital affair, is embarking on a new path that is quintessentially American: The comeback tour.
Speaking to what appears a friendly audience at an annual University of Southern California event honoring members of the military, Petraeus went all mea culpa. The comeback tour has begun, and only about five months since Petraeus was forced to resign after his affair with his biographer became public. But when will the retired Army four-star counterinsurgency expert be all the way back? More
Firebrand freshman Senate Armed Services Committee member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, embraced deep cuts to annual Pentagon spending Saturday during his keynote Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) address.
“For the last three weeks, conservatives have been winning, and we’re winning because of you,” Cruz said to applause, leading off his remarks. “We’re winning right now.”
What started the perceived winning streak? Sequestration.
“We’re here in Washington at a momentous time,” a serious-looking Cruz said. “And I mean, of course, the sequester.”
(Audience Laughter) More
All it takes in Washington these days to turn an opinion into an industry is a little planning, a few meetings, a coordinated plan and enough dollars. The latest example of this is the ever-growing and -sophisticated campaign against President Obama’s nomination of former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary.
A loose confederation of Republican lawmakers and pundits, pro-Israeli organizations and gay rights groups have mobilized to mount a collective push to convince enough GOP and pro-Israeli senators to shoot down the Hagel nomination. More