Sunday, June 23, 2019

Columbia Class SSBN 826

The Navy expects to award a contract for the lead Columbia-class platform (SSBN 826) by late 2020. The only problem is that our Navy is unclear on what it is buying or how much it will cost.

The Navy's goal is 83 percent design maturity by the time it awards the contract...the GAO is expressing skepticism. Our submarine builders are good but are unlikely to meet expected cost or schedule goals within existing capacity.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Virginia Class Submarine - Defense Authorization FY11 Update-2

Originally Published November 20, 2010; Last Updated December 01, 2018; Last Republished December 01, 2018:

The Navy's September 30, 2010 December 31, 2012 selected acquisition report (SAR)  latest SAR has rebaselined the Virginia-class submarine program at $93,207,300,000.00 (read $93.2 billion dollars) $91, 847, 400 for 30 submarines or $3,106,910,000.00 $3,061,580 per submarine1 platform (30-402 years of weapons, men, and maintenance are extra).
USS Virginia SSN 774
The September 30, 2010 SAR for the Virginia-class submarine program is reporting a $1,813,400,000.00 increase over the June 2010 SAR.

The "rebaselining" reflects a transition from development to production (Milestone III) notwithstanding the SAR attributes a substantial proportion of the $1,813,400,000.00 increase over the June 2010 SAR to an extension of the Virginia-class development program through 2027.

Stated differently the contractor is in rolling production on the Virginia-class submarine program, notwithstanding declaration of Milestone III. The "rebaseline" is for Block I submarine platforms while development continues for Block II (SSN 778-783), Block III (SSN 784-791), IV (SSN 792-803), and V (SSN 804-807) submarine platforms.

The benefit of using rolling production is that you can field a weapon system while you design it; the burden is that it's very expensive, as the eye popping price tag of today's weapons system attest. Additionally, managing total life cycle costs becomes very difficult and expensive as each succeeding block design is retrofitted or backfitted into the preceding block design.

If the contractor cannot retrofit or backfit preceding blocks (because of design or costs constraints) then the Navy must manage multiple submarine platform configurations, rarely if ever desirable.


UPDATED 02/27/2017 Navy, SCN Book
UPDATED 09/13/2016 FissileMaterial, Conceptual Research and Development Plan for Low-Enriched Uranium Naval Fuel and FissileMaterial, Report On Low Enriched Uranium for Naval Reactors' Cores  and NAP, Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors (2016)
UPDATED 03/31/2016 NavSea, Technical Capabilities of Warfare Centers Manual
UPDATED 03/18/2016 NASA-STI, ApexExpoIPX Slides: Counterfeit Electronics: Current Threats and
Detection Methodologies

UPDATED 02/18/2016 CRS, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Ongoing general discussion, woefully limited in details, on the impact(s) of the estimated $530M NavSea FY17 detail design, Platform and Payload Integration,Code 40VPM modifications (e.g. impacts on: direct and indirect costs; trade-offs; build and operational schedules; hydrostatics; hydrodynamics; deployments; and missions etc.)

UPDATED 02/10/2016 SecNav, Proposed 2017 Obligation Authority, Virginia-Class

UPDATED 01/16/2016 CSIS, Chinese Strategy and Military Modernization in 2015: A Comparative Analysis#Figure 10.7: Force Structure of the PLA Navy 1985-2015-Part I; Submarines

UPDATED 01/14/2016 CRS, Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans:Background and Issues for Congress [January 2016] (courtesy FAS)

UPDATED 06/10/2015 CRS, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress, dated June 01, 2015; Cut-n-Paste

UPDATED 03/19/2015 FAS, Naval Nuclear Propulsion: Assessing Benefits and Risks

UPDATED 07/05/2014 CRS, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress dated June 25, 2014 and CRS, Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress dated June 25, 2014 (Courtesy FAS Secrecy Blog)

UPDATED 04/28/2014 Wikipedia, Virginia-class Submarine

Proponents of a 300+ navy shipbuilding plan appear to be expressing "hopes, wishes and aspirations" under the "Future Acquisitions" and "Improved Virginia" sections.

Typically, "improved" platform refers to upgrading platforms in an existing class, not the production of a new class (i.e. follow-on class) characterized as "improvements" to the platforms in an existing class!

Not sure if this "marketing" is clever or confusion or clever confusion?

UPDATED 12/21/2013 CBO, Long-Term Implications of the 2014 Future Years Defense Program and CBO, An Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2014 Shipbuilding Plan

UPDATED 12/17/2012 CRS, Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress, Dec 2012

Alternative force structures for submarines—currently one 2014 VCS is being pushed out to the 2018 period—uncertainty in the Ohio class-replacement program persists.

The Cato and Sustainable Defense submarine structures seem entirely reasonable—a lot of luck and leadership might combine to eliminate sea based ballistic missile weaponry altogether!

UPDATED 08/07/2012 CRS, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress, April 2012

In an era of increasingly sophisticated autonomous vehicles11 and expectations that nations synergistically partner to protect and patrol our global commons 37 American SSNs is not a trough.

Of course, it's not necessarily the job of our Congressional Research Service to analyze whether proposed submarine missions and force structure reflect collaborators or cowboys.

UPDATED 07/27/2012 CBO, An Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2013 Shipbuilding Plan (navy comments on some aspects of CBO's analysis here)
UPDATED 07/22/2012 CRS, Defense: FY2013 Authorization and Appropriations

Unfortunately, our Congress and navy continue their wasteful and unnecessary efforts to build two VCS per year10—restoring $723 million for long lead procurement for a second VCS in 2014.

UPDATED 12/10/2011 RAND, Learning from Experience: Volume I: Lessons from the Submarine Programs of the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia (other volumes MG 1128.2-4) deal individually with each nation's submarine program).

Volume I is a general summary for how to manage a major weapons system program. Things every experienced program manager learns, understands, but does not always implement. If the intention is to document best practices for the inexperienced this volume is too general to be of much use—each chapter needs a comprehensive "cookbook" companion.

Effective substitutes for an enthusiastic, experienced, and exceptional program manager (navy and contractor) are rare, but transparency comes closest and can mitigate much ineptitude,  inexperience, and indirectness:
"Full disclosure during the program is necessary to obtain government, industry, and public support. There should be periodic feedback to government decisionmakers and to the public on how the program is progressing. Such feedback is especially important when there are unanticipated problems. In this regard, a good media management program is necessary. Effective communications with the press, academia, and government must be proactive, not reactive. Program managers must proactively ensure that all parties are well informed in advance of positive and negative developments and their associated implications."--Lessons, Volume I--
As an aside it's unclear why the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada do not develop, operate, and maintain integrated submarine platforms complete with interchangeable submariners?

UPDATED 10/21/2011 CBO, An Analysis of the Navy's Fiscal Year 2012 Shipbuilding Plan (June 2011)

OSD, Table of Links to Past SARs

UPDATED 04/06/2011 GAO, Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs. GAO is out with its proforma March 2011 Assessment of Selected Weapons Systems. GAO is reporting among other items that4: the Navy thinks the contractor GD/EB is on a cost trajectory for achieving its $2 billion (2005 dollars) per VCS target; VCS program is 40 percent overrun; some performance and cost reducing design changes have been accomplished, others delayed, one abandoned; in-process (anechoic coating and torpedo room racks) problems have been solved.


UPDATED 12/01/2018 KitsapSun, Maintenance Backlog Results in Costly Delays in Returning Submarines to The Fleet and DiDaily, Virginia Pivot: The USA’s Multi-Year Block IV Sub Deal and PopMech, The Navy Is Preparing to Counter a Submarine Shortage and FAS, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement Oct 2018

...the promised reduced unit cost of the Virginia-class platform (VCP) is dependent on maintaining the Navy's expected operational tempo, which is dependent on meet previously promised maintenance schedules...what is the latest ever increasing unit cost of the VCP...

UPDATED 07/26/2018 USNI, FY 2019 Defense Authorization Bill Passed by House and GovTrack, H.R. 5515: John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 and CongressGov, (a) In General.—This Act may be cited as the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019” [pdf conference report]

UPDATED 03/27/2018 DoD, Officials Discuss DoD’s Audit, Business Operations on Capitol Hill

Our military and civilian leadership has known for many decades that DoD cannot and will not ever offer a clean audit of its accounts, which have often changed over the decades. It's unclear what has persuaded them to embark upon another fool's errand?

UPDATED 03/17/2018 NavyLive, Commissioning USS Colordo SSN 788
UPDATED 12/10/2017 USNI, Navy Considering Mid-Block Virginia-Class Upgrades, SSGN Construction in Late 2030s and CRS, Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress (Nov 2017)

UPDATED 10/07/2017 Navy, USS Washington (SSN 787) Commissioning

UPDATED 05/23/2017 Navy, Department of the Navy Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal FY2018 proposes two Virginia-class platforms. (article provides links for those wanting to drill down--$19.9B for ship building!) and Navy, Fact File, Attack Submarines

UPDATED 05/13/2017 CSIS, Congress and Seapower: The View from The Hill SeaPower Subcommittee members advocating for budget lock on their ideated 350 ship navy.

UPDATED 05/04/2017 Brookings, Assuring a ready fleet: A discussion with Admiral John Richardson and Brookings, How to Ensure That the U.S. Navy Remains Effective

UPDATED 04/07/2017 AiirSource, A Rare Look Inside US Navy Nuclear Submarine USS Texas

UPDATED 03/21/2017 HudsonInst, American Seapower Speaking Tour (Full Version) and HudsonInst, The Trump Navy: Getting to 350 Ships

Hudson Institute roadshow for its proposed 350 ship Forces Structure Assessment (FSA). It seems incongruous for our "new" alt-white-house to simultaneously advocate an unprecedented and dangerous nationalistic isolationism and a bloated (48, 51, 66 fast attack platforms) sea power build up!?


Also, CSBA, statement by Bryan Clark in support of Restoring American Seapower: A New Fleet Architecture for the United States Navy (i.e. 66 fast attack platforms).

The Hudson roadshow and other promoters need measurable metrics and data for their eye-popping proposed  sea power budgets outside the traditional echo chamber (i.e. Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces et al.)

Our "new" alt-white-house's oxymoronic nationalistic-isolationism platitudes "America first" and "make America great again" are not measurable metrics or data!

UPDATED 12/17/2016 USNI, Dec. 14, 2016 executive summary of the Navy’s 2016 Force Structure Assessment  and CtMirror, Navy boosts projections for Virginia-class submarines and BreakingDefense, The 355-Ship Fleet Will Take Decades, Billions To Build: Analysts  and MarineLog, New Force Structure Assessment calls for 355 ship Navy

UPDATED 12/16/2016 USNI, Navy Wants to Grow Fleet to 355 Ships; 47 Hull Increase Adds Destroyers, Attacks Subs and Navy, Secretary of the Navy Announces Need for 355-ship Navy

The Navy's 2016 Force Structure Analysis (FSA) did not come with the SecNav's FSA announcement—for now all we can say is our navy is asking Santa Claus to deliver a lot of Christmas presents! Even Santa Claus has budget and funding limits!

But, evidently SecNav's bloated boat announcement is conservative because to counter "all the threats out there" would take a 653 ship navy! Whew, that's a relief...did we stop random drug testing of our sailors and analysts?

UPDATED 10/29/2016 NavyLive, Commissioning USS Illinois (SSN 786) The well-done and official "Silent Service" promo video accompanying this page needs to prominently feature female submariners, too (also, Enlisted Women in Submarines Road Shows Hit Fleet Concentration Areas).

and UPI, First lady Michelle Obama welcomes U.S. Navy's most advance submarine USS Illinois

UPDATED 07/08/2016 CSIS, Delivering on the Future of Submarine Warfare

Navy (N97 and PEO Submarines) discuss block changes for Virginia-class platform.

UPDATED 03/30/2016 USNI, Navy Sub Build Strategy: Electric Boat Will Focus On Ohio Replacement While Newport News Delivers More SSNs

UPDATED 03/29/2016 NT, Secret weld: How shoddy parts disabled a $2.7 billion submarine and TFT, How a $2.7 Billion Submarine Was Crippled by Defective Parts and UPDATED 12/17/2016 Breaking Defense, Welding Problems Fixed For Virginia Subs; Carter Tours Electric Boat

Whether a steam leak failure in the submarine's power plant primary loop12 is "catastrophic" depends on the platform's operational profile at the time of the failure. Suffice it to say no submariner wants to experience a power plant primary loop steam leak, even with a platform operational profile of Beaufort state zero, positive platform buoyancy, flank speed, and periscope depth!

The word "hot" in the context of a submarine’s nuclear power plant refers to temperature and radioactivity. Suffice it to say a primary loop elbow's (by definition up to an approximately 90o redirection of a "hot" pressurized fluid) fatigue and brittleness do not improve during the power plant's 30-40 years estimated life-cycle.

This article is woefully lacking in the details necessary for an interested public to adequately and accurately estimate the total impacts of the "elbow" subcontractor's performance failure, which may be the result of the ongoing (criminal?) investigation.

UPDATED 02/29/2016 Brookings, Uncharted seas: Maritime strategy for a new era of naval challenges (video - SecNav, CNO, Commadant)

Asking SecNavs and CNOs if the navy has enough attack submarines is like asking children if they have enough ice cream!

USNI, Navy Revising Force Structure Assessment In Light Of Increased Attack Sub, Other Ship Needs and USNI, Stackley: Funding Levels Creating Risk In U.S. Navy Attack Submarine, Surface Combatant Fleets

UPDATED 01/14/2015 Riverhead, Making history: Riverhead grad will be one of the first female officers to serve in Navy submarine force

UPDATED 11/25/2015 UPI, General Dynamics receives Virginia-class submarine contract modification and DoD, Contracts, Navy

"Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is being awarded a $102,876,417 modification to previously awarded contract N00024-10-C-2118 for additional lead yard services and development studies and design efforts related to Virginia-class submarines."

UPDATED 08/07/2015 DefenseNews, US Navy Sidelines 3 Newest Subs

NavSea must publicly release additional information on this Virginia-class submarine platform's potential power and propulsion plant piping failure, including platform operational limitations pending completion of the supplier investigation and corrective actions.

UPDATED 08/03/2015 USNews, New paint, water-resistant grease: Navy finds ways to squeeze more life out of attack subs
UPDATED 12/08/2014 FBO, Long-Range Research and Development Plan (LRRDP) of Today and DefenseOne, Why Does the Navy Still Not Have Enough Money for New Submarines?

A question the recently nominated SecDef, Ashton Carter will often ask (or mumble) over the next several years.

In the unlikely event of a non-DoD component donating or reprogramming $80B of their budget, solutions will likely mean fewer separate common class (i.e. SSN, SSN-X, SSGN, SSBN, SSBN-X) submarine platforms.

Increased reliance on combinations of uncommon, non-traditional and alternative submarine and other platforms seems likely.

UPDATED 10/29/2014 USNI, Navy Starting Work on New SSN(X) Nuclear Attack Submarine

Post Virginia-class, Block VII platform exploratory project, SSN(X) announced at this years sub-league symposium.

The announcement is about as meaningful as announcing a preliminary project for the purpose of exploring a redesign of a navy coffee cup.

Our submarine designers are continuously projecting (no pun intended) and pitching all matter and manner of next generation submarine platforms, with or without realistic threat parameters—that's what submarine designers do. However, it's a bit unusual for these pitches to go public 30 plus years pre-IOC—guess today's eye-popping platform price tags demand earlier starts?

The good news is that next generation platforms increasingly require first principle understanding and advancement as opposed to purchasing more and larger displacements and throw weights. Such will no doubt be a focus of session two (Technologies for SSN(X)) at next years APL Submarine Technology Symposium.

UPDATED 10/29/2014 NavyTimes, Virginia subs to get berthing changes for female crew

UPDATED 10/25/2014 DoDNews, Navy to Commission USS North Dakota, Newest Attack Sub and NavyLive, Inside North Dakota (SSN 784) and NavyMil, USS North Dakota (SSN-784) Commissioning (stream)

UPDATED 05/07/2014 AviationWeekly, U.S. Navy Continues Virginia-Class Sub Investments

The navy and contractors are putting some thinking and effort into cross class design and procurement, which may impact the estimated total cost of ownership for both VCS and Ohio-class-replacement platforms?

As if it wasn't difficult enough to accurately measure and track the acquisition target costs of a single class submarine platform.

UPDATED 04/29/2014 GD, General Dynamics Awarded $18 Billion by U.S. Navy for 10 Virginia-Class Submarines and Courant, Navy Awards $17.6 Billion Contract For Sub Work at Electric Boat, Newport News and Jane's360, USN lets contract for Block IV Virginia submarines

NavSea awards General Dynamics, Electric Boat (GD/EB) a fixed price incentive contract for Block IV Virginia-class submarine platforms (qty 10). The contract's incentive targets and amounts to be shared between prime contractor (GD/EB) and major subcontractor  Newport News were not disclosed?

Jane's 360 reminds us that changes to the original baseline design and configuration, typically referred to as "improvements", have been made for Block IV platforms. These "improvements" again realign any "cost growth" with existing expected budgets. The navy, contractor and congress simultaneously pronounce the "improved program", which typically change an expensive coach platform into a relatively more affordable pumpkin platform the Cinderella of military procurement programs.

UPDATED 11/14/2012 NavyLive, Ohio Replacement Class – a Collaborative Effort

Rear Admiral Barry Bruner commingles Virginia-class and inchoate Ohio-replacement-class (ORCS) submarines (VCS and ORCS, respectively)  in support of our navy's desire of funding a two VCS and one ORCS per year shipbuilding program. Presumably the admiral intends the reader to use current VCS program performance as simultaneous evidence, threat and incentive in support of the inchoate ORCS?

To put it kindly the admiral is comparing apples to oranges or stated differently he's comparing a descoped, restructured, redesigned, and rebaselined VCS program to the inchoate ORCS. Only those unfamiliar or uninformed about the origins and history of our VCS program would seriously credit such a comparison.

Of course, the admiral's sensitivity to VCS and inchoate ORCS submarine platform milestones, costs, and commonality are welcome, if short of any meaningful details. We can only hope to hasten our navy's transition to a single submarine platform with a variety of mission modules (tactical and strategic) in inventory.

UPDATED 08/03/2012 BusinessInsider, Step Aboard The Navy's $2.4 Billion Virginia-Class Nuclear Submarine Some nice below decks images.

UPDATED 04/13/2012 EpochTimes, Navy’s Submarine Building Plan Could Fall Short

A significant benefit of a reduced submarine force structure is that our navy will not sink money into submarine platforms searching for yesterday's obsolete Cold War missions or awaiting an infinite variety of China war game scenarios (one scenario is currently playing out in the South China Sea, Spratly Islands between Chinese fishing and surveillance vessels corralled by Philippine ships—both nations have wisely withdrawn their military vessels as diplomats resolve the playground dispute) .

Instead, our navy can focus its limited resources and considerable research and development prowess on maturing next generation technology. Technology that will be required to economically build platforms responsive to tomorrow's missions.

Notwithstanding the considerable efforts by some of our politicians, tomorrow's missions will require Russia and China's participation as responsible partners, not political whipping boys.

UPDATED 03/31/2012 Reuters, Internet search yields bogus arms parts from China Two of the 16 suspected bogus electronic parts are used on the Ohio-class and Los Angeles-class submarines.

A recent GAO report that describes GAO's request for purchase of 16 electronic parts. The purchase orders divided the parts into three categories--authentic parts that are rare or obsolete (7); authentic parts with manufacture date codes beyond known last date of manufacture (5); and parts with completely bogus part numbers (4).

Hundreds of Chinese and a few non-Chinese vendors responded. GAO accepted low bids from the Chinese vendorsand sent the part for testing to an independent laboratory.

The two parts used in submarines (GAO assigned identifiers MLL1 and YCC2) failed macroscopic and microscopic tests.

All 16 parts described in the GAO report are suspected counterfeit parts. These types of inspection and analysis must become built-in features of international trading protocols. Including provisions for allocating company and country responsibility for every counterfeit product (not just military) entering the stream of international commerce.

UPDATED 03/28/2012 DefNews, Fleet Size Hovers Around 300 Ships in New U.S. Navy Plan

It remains a mystery why our navy's 2013 shipbuilding plan (pdf) is proposing to build 46 Virginia-class submarines8 (VCS, SSN Attack) between the years 2013-2042. Perhaps congressional inertia in transitioning to an equivalent non-military jobs programs and enhancing our multilateral cooperation with like-minded peer nations.

The bottom row, SSN-Alt is not part of our navy's proposal but included to show a total (30), if one VCS is built each year between 2013-2042.

Our navy's 2013 shipbuilding plan proposes dismantling eight Los Angeles-class submarines (SSN 688) between 2014-2017 and conversion of two SSN 688s to moored training submarines during this same period.

UPDATED 03/25/2012 CRS, China Naval Modernization RL33153 dated February 2012 (Courtesy of FAS Secrecy Blog)  (Posted under  Chinese Jin Class Type 094 SSBN)

UPDATED 02/08/2012 CSIS, The Acquisition Implications of the DoD Strategic Guidance and the FY2013 Budget

Interesting comments on acquisition processes by Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall—cost caps, life-cycle-costs budgeting, (un)affordability, contracting types, value maximization, data driven management, workforce quality, industrial base, industry performance improvements and professional development, etc.

Related post Navy’s Science Chief Targets Practical Fleet Concerns to reduce the cost of platform life-cycle ownership.

UPDATED 01/28/2012 NJ, Pentagon Unveils New Plan for Conventional Submarine-Based Ballistic Missiles

UPDATED 01/26/2012 Defense, Major Budget Decisions Briefing from the Pentagon and  Major Budget Decisions Media Roundtable at the Pentagon

Related post Navy’s Science Chief Targets Practical Fleet Concerns

A test balloon for the upcoming 2013 defense budget—the pentagon floats a precarious proposal for a precarious posture—no change to the current VCS posture; SBSD (aka Ohio-class replacement) delayed a couple of years.

More after the release of the actual 2013 budget and proposal (RFP) for the  next block of VCS.

UPDATED 11/27/2011 Defense Secretary Panetta and Congressman Courtney (R-CT) visit Electric Boat (EB) to express support and appreciation for those building our VCS. Also, the recently appointed debt- reduction committee's inability to reach an agreement is expected to trigger sequestration, which will likely impact the VCS submarine construction (see NOSINT,Virginia-class Sub Program Likely To Survive for another VCS impact view).

Further legislation could alter the sequestration before it takes effect in 2013. The President has expressed his preference for Congress to reach agreement on debt reduction and indicated he'd veto legislation aimed at circumventing the sequestration.

It's probably unrealistic, if not down right delusional to assert that our navy and submarine builders should stop doubling then halving budgets in response to simple changes in our government?

UPDATED 08/18/2012 How Politicians and the Press Overstated Military Budget Cuts by $100 Billion These headlines may shock our citizenry, but our experienced defense and congressional budgeteers and bean-counters gave up long ago trying to accurately determine our Pentagon's budgets or its actual expenditures!

UPDATED 10/24/2011 TheDay, Submarine force is preparing for a changing landscape

Before reading this article I would not have guessed you could quote five admirals (one select) in a ~1200-word article about submarines—admirals that say nothing about the gains implicit in common cooperative strategies.
Uncertain what to name the evolving strategy, the admirals' first priority is building 12 new ballistic missile submarine platforms (Ohio-class replacement) between 2019 and 2033, inclusive6.

The second priority appears to be the purchase of 46 new VCS between the years 2011-2041, which is not a "changed landscape" so much as a temporary dip in the existing landscape.

A changed landscape would be the purchase of 32 new VCS between the years 2011-20317 coupled with an improvement program for 14 of the existing VCS platforms, beginning around 2031.

Alternatively, instead of building two VCS for the years 2011-2017, 2019-2022, 2035, 2037, 2039, and 2041 simply level load one VCS for all years between 2012-2041, completing the two VCS already in-process for 2011.

Our navy can designate, as appropriate any of  the new 32 VCS platforms to receive a payload-stretch section.

Begin the non-recurring effort for the VCS-improved platform follow-on, as appropriate.

UPDATED 10/21/2011 The Submarine Review, Submarine Technology Symposium (subscription) Several articles on the challenges and cost of the VCS platform.

UPDATED 10/21/2011 AviationWeek, U.S. Submarine Programs Face Uncertainty

The article discusses the VCS acquisition lessons learned, primarily after the 2005 period—unfortunately those lessons will have minimal impact on the VCS's total life-cycle costs5

An important lesson the article fails to mention is that our major weapon systems are procured in an opaque environment of self-selecting secrecy. Within such an environment it's easy to forget that one man's sweet smell of success is another man's stench of sophistry or spin: 
- sole source monopolist profits (cost overruns) is cost growth; and
- adding a second source (i.e. 2x capital costs) is investment or preserving industrial base; and 
- rescoping unaffordable performance parameters is an impressive idea or production improvement program; and 
- advanced purchase of hardware rendered obsolete by rescoped performance parameters is unexpected material growth (same for any newly purchased or reworked hardware); and 
- decreasing quantities as a result of the escalating unaffordability is failure of economies of scales; and
- program restructure, schedule slippage, and inflation is an acquisition success story that will stand forever;

Reducing or eliminating the opaqueness from our acquisition process of major weapon systems will help ensure that assertions of the sweet smell of success will pass the smell test.

UPDATED 04/23/2011 Time, How to Save a Trillion Dollars.
"...Does the Navy need 50 attack submarines when America's main enemy hides in caves? ...If the Chinese want to slay us, they don't need to attack us with their missiles. They just have to call in their loans. ...For too long, an uninterested and distracted citizenry has been content to leave the messy business of national defense to those with bottom-line reasons for force-feeding it like a foie gras goose. It's long past time, Ike might have added today, for U.S. taxpayers to demand that its government spend what is needed to defend the country — not a penny more."--Time, April 14, 2011--
UPDATED 02/26/2011 Full FY2012 Defense Budget Request.

The next VCS christening (Fall 2011) is the Block II, USS Mississippi, SSN-782 [Builder: GD-EB; Sponsor: Allison Stiller; Officer-in-Charge: Commander John McGrath]. 

 Virtual below decks tour (360o) of some VCS spaces on USS New Mexico SSN-779. UPDATED 12/11/2010 Aviation Week, Navy Hard-Pressed To Meet Sub Numbers

Yet, another article concluding that the expected eye-popping unit platform prices implicit in our Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan (dream) will not support a 313-platform Navy. Of course this is not news; the interesting part of the article is in the next to last paragraph:
“...It would be a very interesting world if Virginia-class SSNs had the flexibility to serve in either the conventional SSN, SSGN or strategic SSBN roles. That would be a massive force multiplier and a boon for the bottom line,...”--Aviation Week quoting Craig Hooper--
It would be an even more interesting world if these modern-modular-snappable submersibles3 were virtually modeled, configured, tested, manufactured, christened, and commissioned...just in time for its mission and submariners (unless the snappable submersible happened to be crewless).


1. The original 1995 baseline cost for 30 submarines was $64,040,000,000.00 or $2,134,666,667.00 per submarine. The original estimated price was $1 billion dollars per Virginia-class submarine platform (refer to New Attack Submarine Capability -- Acquisition Decision Memorandum (NASC-ADM) Milestone 0, dated August 28, 1992)!
"...Examine a range of alternative new nuclear attack submarines. Include alternatives with reduced capabilities relative to those of the SSN-21, and designs smaller than that of the SSN-688I. Examine designs smaller than 5000 tons and options with reduced or deleted mission capabilities; e.g., power projection. These designs should be more affordable ($1B), less than or equal cost of the SSN-688I....."--NASC-ADM 1992, Milestone 0--
UPDATED 05/07/2014 The GAO is out with a different set of 2014 numbers which estimates the current VCS program cost at $84,350,000 or $2,811,667 per platform, in the unlikely event the original quantity of 30 platforms are procured. GAO's uses a first full program estimate (different from the first or original estimate) of $63,582,000.

2. At the end of the submarine's life, additional costs are incurred for decommissioning and decontaminating the radioactive reactor compartment, reactor, and reactor core. The decontaminated reactor compartment minus the reactor core is then sealed and securely buried as mixed low-level radioactive waste—for hundreds of years.

3. There's no reason to limit the possible modular designs to snappable submersibles characterized by the SSN, SSBN, or SSGN configurations.

4. UPDATED 04/09/2011 Not included in GAO's proforma VCS 2011 assessment is the recent failure of the oxygen generator onboard the Virgina-class USS New Hampshire. The VCS oxygen generator (i.e. Integrated Low Pressure Electrolyzer) is produced by Hamilton Sundstrand, Sea Systems using integrating Proton Energy Systems' electrolysis cell stacks, which is based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. The recently qualified Integrated Low-Pressure Electrolyzer is next generation technology, so its failure is of some concern. Neither the Navy nor contractors have yet provided a root cause for the mission critical system’s failure.

5. Captain Michael Jabaley (VCS Navy program manager) in a comment to the main article conjectures an increased VCS operation tempo (i.e. more at sea time per platform which is primarily dependent on platform MTBF). Time will determine if this conjecture is proven true?

6. Vice Admiral Richardson seems certain that a new undersea warfare strategy should not be called  "post-Cold War".

Which seems appropriate since a "post-Cold War" strategy will require more than deploying fewer ballistic missile platforms using fewer missile tubes (although a good start)—our nation must also transparently substitute common cooperative strategies and eliminate confrontational strategies.

7. UPDATED 12/24/2011 The remaining Los Angeles-class (688 and 688i) fleet were commissioned between 1985 and 1996—last in  Los Angeles-class is the USS Cheyenne (SSN 773).

A submarine's operation, maintenance, and overhaul history will determine its safe hull life, but rarely will its safe hull life exceed 38 years. Unfortunately, the economics of maintaining our older submarine fleet often dictate inactivation before its safe hull life.

Most or all Los Angeles-class will have been inactivated by this date—many will be decommissioned or scrapped.

8. Hopefully, those familiar with our aircraft carriers and their role in the 21st-century battle space will publish more details about our navy's proposed 11 aircraft carriers.

It's unclear what use 11 carrier battle groups are in the 21st-century battle space—in the congressional battle space, they provide justification for a plethora of additional weapons programs and platforms, including the attack submarine platforms.

9.  It's not clear if GAO exercised any "price sanity checks" before accepting the lowest Chinese bidder. Vendors that are ignorant, corrupt, or criminal are often unfamiliar with a military part's specifications or requirements and will submit obviously silly bids. An experienced purchasing agent will simply ignore an obviously silly bid.

10. Producing two VCS per year may make sense under some circumstances—for example, future plans to sell or lease one or more VCS to another Pacific partner nation.

11. Carting up to 65 cruise missiles (count assumes four vertical tubes modification, currently scheduled for 2019) around the oceans to periodically launch a few salvos in support of Special Ops does not seem like an optimal use of a $4.08 billion dollars (2016 dollars) submarine platform, which is crewed by 137 highly trained submariners.

UPDATED 09/23/2012 The above paragraph would change significantly in the unlikely event that the recently approved quad-pack for the Ohio-class follow-on is swappable with a VCS quad pack—effectively creating one common submarine platform with the ability to snap-in (weld-in for now) strategic or tactical missile quad pack modules.

UPDATED 10/21/2012 DoDLive, The Next Generation In Submarines Our navy must publicly release the referenced study purportedly justifying divergent SSBN-X and VCS submarine platforms.

The post does not state with specificity the exact divergent design constraints, trade-offs, and related cost drivers.

12. The article's usage of the confusingly phrased, "pipe joint near the innermost chamber of its nuclear-powered engine" may refer to a location outside the primary loop and reactor compartment?

Use Ctrl-+ to Enlarge or Open Astute-class Cartoon in New Tab
Virginia-class Cartoon
It would be helpful and useful to specify a component's location (defective elbow) by providing the nearest hull ring stiffener (aka station number) and distance from the submarine's longitudinal center line (see Virginia-class cartoon for approximate component locations).

See above cut-away Astute-class cartoon for a convoluted routing of the submarine's large (approximately 10 inches for the Nuflo elbow) tertiary steam duct piping—number 24.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Deployed Unmanned Underwater Vehicles Persists

Originally Published July 30, 2013; Last Updated November 18, 2018; Last Republished November 18 2018:
NavSea concludes a week of deployment training for sailors operating its unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV)1 Sea Glider (Seaglider and Remus2) variants3. These UUVs form a developing and potentially beneficial network of ubiquitous autonomous undersea nodes4 for real-time data collection and analysis.

If these data collection nodes are operated transparently they'll credibly benefit our nation and global commons.
Synthetic Aperture Sonar Scans

Ocean mapping, searching, and grid making made easy:


Ocean R/V:

NOAA,  Okeanos Explorer
UniversityWashington, OOI Interactive Oceans
Woods Hole and Navy, Exploration Now
SOI, Falkor


UPDATED 02/16/2018 BI, The Global Market for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) Reached $671.5 Million in 2017
UPDATED 02/08/2018 AUVAC
UPDATED 04/26/2017 Arxuv, An Extensible Benchmarking Infrastructure for Motion Planning Algorithms and Kavrakilab, Planning Feasible and Safe Paths Online for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in Unknown Environments


...Therefore, the Committee directs the Secretary of the Navy to provide, no later than February 1, 2017, a report to the congressional intelligence committees—in addition to the congressional defense committees—that details the Unmanned Systems roadmap strategy (not to be confuse with SecDef, Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap FY2013-2038)   and the program objective memorandum 2018 investment strategy to obtain such a capability....

UPDATED 04/20/2016 NAP, Mainstreaming Unmanned Undersea Vehicles into Future U.S. Naval Operations (2016) and Project Working Group Meetings
UPDATED 03/24/2016 USNI, Document: U.S. Navy’s Autonomous Undersea Vehicle Report
UPDATED 03/24/2016 Wikipedia, Autonomous underwater vehicle


UPDATED 11/18/2018 PRNewsWire, Ocean Infinity Locates the Missing Argentinian Submarine, ARA San Juan and GeoGarage, Submarine ARA San Juan Located and NewsCorpAu, First Photos of Submarine Emerge As Families Implore Argentine Government To Recover Wreck

UPDATED 02/23/2018 NATO, Underwater Glider for NATO and Nations and NATO, Autonomous Systems, Issues for Policymakers

UPDATED 12/10/2017 USW, The Coming Revolution in Cognitive Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (Winter 2017) and USW, The Next Big Thing in Undersea Warfare May Be Micro (Winter 2017)

UPDATED  10/27/2017 CGTN, China’s Deep-sea Manned Submersible Returns Home

UPDATED 10/17/2017 ComPacFleet, Multinational Mine WarfareExercise Begins Off South Korea Coast

UPDATED 05/23/2017 ProjectRecover, Two Missing World War II B-25 Bombers Documented By Project Recover Off Papua New Guinea

UPDATED 05/01/2017 NOAA, April 27 - May 19: Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

UPDATED 04/11/2017 DoD, Navy Announces Launch of Task Force Ocean
UPDATED 04/09/2017 DefWebTV, Sea-Air-Space 2017 Day 2 - ASW & Underwater Technologies

UPDATED 12/16/2016 Reuters, China's Navy seizes American underwater drone in South China Sea
UPDATED 10/11/2016 UCTV, Ocean Exploration - From Genes to Geology

UPDATED 08/13/2016 UPI, U.S. Navy to team with Germany on undersea mine detection and Navy, US Navy Collaborates with Germany for Technological Advances
UPDATED 06/22/2016 Atlantic, GPS Doesn't Work Underwater The Positioning System for Deep Ocean Navigation (POSYDON), mentioned in the article is a DARPA project.UPDATED 05/18/2016 AV, United States Navy to Deploy AeroVironment Blackwing Reconnaissance Systems on Attack and Guided Missile Submarines
UPDATED 03/24/2016 USNI, Navy: Future Undersea Warfare Will Have Longer Reach, Operate With Network of [Autonomous,]Unmanned Vehicles
UPDATED 03/21/2016 Wired, Boeing’s Monstrous Underwater Robot Can Wander the Ocean for 6 Months
UPDATED 01/01/2015 BBC, The search for Australia's lost hospital ship Centaur found at a depth of 2059m:
Article contains other images, including of a commemorative plaque attached to the torpedoed ship.

UPDATED 10/30/2014 USNI, CNO Greenert Bullish on Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
UPDATED 06/26/2014 WT, Marine sanctuary hosts underwater robot event
UPDATED 03/26/2014 WHOI, FAQ: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

REMUS will likely soon begin scanning the remote Indian Ocean seafloor searching for Flight MH370 debris.

UPDATED 11/12/2013 NYT, Ocean Drones Plumb New Depths
UPDATED 08/23/2013 PopularScience, Robotic Search for WWII Airmen
UPDATED 08/23/2013 NSF, Underwater robotics competition helps students build skills for ocean occupations
UPI, U.S. Navy personnel trained on Sea Glider underwater drone
NavyCIO Chips, Advances in Synthetic Aperture Sonar Transform Mine Countermeasures and Undersea Warfare


1. Also referred to as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

2. Hydroid, a small subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, manufactures Remus and is a leading manufacturer of AUVs.

3. Other AUV, UUV, ROVs (Remotely Operated) and Towed vehicle variants exist limited only by mission profile (e.g. Air France Flight 447 search), imagination and available funding (e.g. Slocum, Spray, Hugin [video] Seabed, Kiel, and Towed etc).

4. UPDATED 12/06/2013 There are an increasing number of DIY groups contributing to serious ROV kits (e.g. OpenROV).


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hawaii Hosts RIMPAC 2012

Originally Published July 06, 2012; Last Updated June 28, 2018; Last Republished June 28, 2018:

Twenty-two nations converge on Hawaii for the purpose of conducting biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime exercises, which will run through August 3, 2012.

Rear Admiral Frank Ponds stopped by a local media station for a little RIMPAC talk and a lot of navy PR.

Our navy seems to be getting serious about partnering—sharing exercise maritime command with Australia and Canada.

SecNav used the opportunity to highlight our navy's nascent green-fleet—kudos to SecNav for his Texas sized leadership amid Texas sized criticism on this issue.


UPDATED 06/28/2018 Reuters, Xi tells Mattis China Won't Give Up 'Even One Inch' Of Territory and USNI, 47-Ship RIMPAC Exercise Kicks Off Tomorrow

...the disinvite of China was unfortunate, unnecessary, and unacceptable...can China partly fill in for the last-minute absence of Brazil?...including intramural exercises, and activities...

UPDATED 05/24/2018 Reuters, China Scolds U.S. For Withdrawing Invite To Naval Drills
UPDATED 01/26/2018 Reuters, China Says Has Been Invited Again To U.S.-hosted Naval Drills

Excellent, all RIMPAC 2018 participants, including China can navigate close to all the disputed rocks together, during the exercises!

UPDATED 08/05/2016 CCTV, Hawaii RIMPAC: China’s participation helps boost cooperation and CCTV, Chinese Vessels Finish Missions in RIMPAC Multinational Drill

UPDATED 06/28/2016  PopularScience, Chinese and American Warships Rensezvous for RIMPAC 2016 and NavalToday, U.S. Navy destroyers reunite in South China Sea

UPDATED 06/30/2016 YouTube, Chinese Fleet Joins U.S. Warships for RIMPAC Exercise and Navy, 27 Nations to Participate in World's Largest Maritime Exercise

UPDATED 04/20/2016 CSIS, PacNet #35R - Response to PacNet #35 "Rescind China's invitation to join RIMPAC"

Assertions that entire seas are national territory is in the same category as the assertion that China should be "dis-invited" from RIMPAC 2016 participation—the category of assertions that are so absurd and doltish they "aren't even wrong".

UPDATED 04/19/2016 USNI, SECDEF Carter: China Still Invited to RIMPAC 2016 Despite South China Sea Tension

Kudos to the Secretary of Defense.

UPDATED 04/18/2016 CSIS, PacNet #35 - Rescind China's invitation to join RIMPAC

It's unclear where nations learned the behavior that when another nation does not "snap to" its demands they threaten to collect their toys, go home, and refuse to play?

Maybe Representative Takai learned it from China, which very often in the past pouted and refused to play almost every time it had a disagreement with our nation. It's not without some irony that our nation then rightly criticized China for their childish behavior.

What better forum than RIMPAC 2016 to continue discussions of Asia maritime issues with China?

UPDATED 02/22/2016 Navy, RimPac 2016 PR
UPDATED 06/26/2014 UPI, Chinese Navy ships arrive in Hawaii for military exercise
UPDATED 06/09/2014 Reuters,China confirms attendance at U.S.-hosted naval exercises in June and SinaEn,Chinese vessels sail to US to join 2014 RIMPAC drill and Nikkei, China to send 4 ships to U.S.-led naval exercise

RIMPAC 2014 naval exercises will run from June 29, 2014 through August 1, 2014.

UPDATED 09/21/2013 Xinhuanet, Chinese FM, Hagel applaud steady improvement of China-U.S. military ties
UPDATED 04/07/2013 Reuters, China to attend major U.S.-hosted naval exercises, but role limited

Kudos to the U.S. for inviting China to RIMPAC 2014 and kudos to China for RSVPing, Yes.

Accusation concerning espionage or partisan political rhetoric should not impede either nation's full and meaningful participation in all RIMPAC 2014 exercises.

Nations that spy on each other must still establish, build and maintain mature relationships—the easiest way to minimize spying is convince your putative adversary that it's more effective, efficient and accurate to establish, build and maintain mature military-military relationships!

UPDATED 12/06/2012 NavyNews, Vice Chief Of Naval Operations Meets With Chinese Admiral
UPDATED 11/30/2012 Reuters, China considering attending U.S.-hosted military exercise

A RIMPAC invitation to China is past due—China must participate in RIMPAC 2014, along with all other major military nations.

UPDATED 10/07/2012 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Collins-class HMAS Rankin SSG-78 and United States Navy Los Angeles-class USS Key West SSN-722 et al. engage in pre-RIMPAC, Silent Fury ASW exercise

UPDATED 08/07/2012 Navy, RIMPAC 2012 Concludes

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Pirouetting InTo The Past

Our global challenges will not get solved when the United States and Russia are doing clumsy pirouettes on regional stages like two overweight pensioned prima ballerinas reminiscently reliving earlier performances.

Cooperation will more effectively respond to our global challenges than pirouettes into the past.


UPDATED 06/29/2017 DIA, Russia Military Power Report 2017
UPDATED 06/08/2017 CSIS, The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe  (CrossCountry Survey)
UPDATED 04/17/2017 SmithsonianMag, Vladimir Lenin’s Return Journey to Russia Changed the World Forever

UPDATED 11/21/2016 Wikipedia, Truman Doctrine and Turkish Straits crisis (past is prologue albeit with a hint of irony ... Reuters, China says would consider Turkish membership of security bloc)


UPDATED 10/14/2016 HI, Cold War Archive
UPDATED 07/30/2016 LSE, Cold War Studies Project
UPDATED 07/30/2016  gBooks, The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Volume 1 (also, Volume 2 and 3)


UPDATED 06/06/2018 Reuters, In Europe, Mattis Is In Familiar Spot: Calming U.S. Allies and ERR, Experts: NATO's Focus In Baltic Region Must Be On Reinforcement and ERR, NATO Needs Joint Forces Command In The Baltics Says Latvian Defence Chief and NATO, NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force - Can The VJTF Give New Elan To The NATO Response Force? (pdf download 1.3M) and NATO, Brussels Summit 2018 and BNN, Putin In Austria Urges For EU's Harmful Sanctions To Be Lifted

...kudos to Austria...the United States et al. must maintaining or increasing Russia sanctions, if necessary (and diplomatic dialogue) to compel compliance with the Minsk Protocol...

UPDATED 04/15/2018 Reuters, Russia's Putin Predicts Global 'Chaos' if West Hits Syria Again and Newsweek, Putin, Who Invaded Ukraine And Sent Troops To Syria, Complains The World Is 'Becoming More Chaotic'

...really, what proof do you have for such an absurd assertion...beyond that the chaos is probably staged by America, Britain, Germany, France, Ukraine, et al!..."action speak louder than words"...

Publicly release OPCW's full unrestricted report. Russia's assertion that it will not accept OPCW's final report (or responsibility) unless given access to the Russian assassins' targets is not relevant.

UPDATED 03/28/2018 Reuters, With NATO, EU Sets Out Plan to Enable Faster Troop Movement Across Europe and Reuters, U.S., EU to Expel More Than 100 Russian Diplomats Over UK Nerve Attack and Reuters, Russia Says It Will Respond in Kind to West's Expulsions and WP, The Latest: Trump Calls UK’s May on Expelled Russian Envoys and RNZ, PM's Spy Comments Make NZ 'a Laughing Stock'

No spy to expel, no problem...just send a dangle to the Russian Embassy...then expel the responding "diplomat"...or perhaps our nation will expel another Russian "diplomat"  (i.e. 60 plus one) for New Zealand's many years of support?

UPDATED 03/02/2018 Republic, В демонстрации новой ракеты на послании Путина использовали анимацию из фильма Первого канала 2007 года and Twitter, Теперь показывают мультик про систему "Кинжал". Такой, помню, в первой версии игры Red Alert был

Amb. Michael McFaul, Susan Del Percio and Max Boot discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia had an intercontinental ballistic missile that renders defense systems 'useless' and Trump's lack of public response.

UPDATED 01/26/2018 SeaPower, NATO Eyes New Atlantic Command to Strengthen European Maritime Capabilities
UPDATED 01/18/2018 CNN, Russian Spy Ship Heading Toward US

UPDATED 12/24/2017 Forbes, Angela Merkel Tries Pressuring Vladimir Putin On Ukraine War

It is unclear why Putin thinks he has a right to menace Ukraine and Ukrainians or perpetuate Russia's long history of inflicting misery† on them, then indignantly respond when they resist?

† The misery and mayhem of the Holodomor resulted in the mutilation of many Ukrainians by starvation.

UPDATED 12/06/2017 Brookings, The Kremlin’s Latest Crackdown on Independent Media and BBC, Russia Election: Putin to Run Again for President and NATO, Ministers affirm support for Georgia and NATO, Meetings of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs

UPDATED 10/30/2017 TASS, Fourth Borei-class submarine to be floated out in November
UPDATED 10/29/2017 WashingtonExaminer, Angus King: First charges under Robert Mueller Russia probe 'really just the beginning'

Senator Angus King could not be more wrong when he asserts that Russia is taking advantage of our free press and our open society and driving divisions:

"...They have discovered a way to turn the strengths of our country and the West against ourselves," he said. "I call it geopolitical jiu-jitsu, where they're taking advantage of our free press and our open society and driving divisions, and there's no question that they did that in 2016 in a big way."--Examiner quoting King
It is not our free press and open society that are the problems, they are the solution and our nation's greatest strengths!  The problem is an untrustworthy and dysfunctional Congress held in contempt by a mostly uniformed citizenry, which is therefore susceptible to a relatively simple and transparent foreign adversary's propaganda campaign!

Militarists and untrustworthy leaders cannot provide effective solutions to propaganda campaigns! An unstable, unfit, unwell, and unbalanced "new" alt-white-house willing to exploit or actively aid such a propaganda campaign for personal gain significantly exacerbates the problem!

UPDATED 09/14/2017 Reuters, Russia's Zapad war games unnerve the West and AP, Stoltenberg, Estonian PM Comment on Zapad Exercise and DW, NATO voices skepticism over size of Russia's Zapad military exercise and ECFR, So far from god, so close to Russia: Belarus and the Zapad military exercise (pdf) and BB, Rapid Trident 2017 - Equipment and Personnel Arrive in Ukraine B-roll and USArEur, Exercise Rapid Trident

A calm and confident NATO is good. A NATO unconditionally committed to ensuring no nation(s) alters any recognized borders through force, intimidation or menacing behavior is best.

UPDATED 06/28/2017 PBS, LIVE: Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in European elections and U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Open Hearing: Russian Intervention in European Elections, including witness list and opening statements.

UPDATED 06/07/2017 AP, Clapper: Russia Meddling Bigger than Watergate

UPDATED 03/30/2017 C-SPAN, Senate Intelligence Committee, Russian Interference [aka "active measures"] in the 2016 Election and Its Capabilities to Impact Elections

An early start to Senate hearings after the House Intelligence Committee Chairman immolated the committee's credibility and immobilized its current work.

In addition to the Senate hearings Congress must launch a select committee, commission, and special prosecutor to investigate Russia's active measures effecting our 2016 Election.

UPDATED 03/23/2017 Vox, From Spy to President: The rise of Vladimir Putin

UPDATED 03/20/2017 C-SPAN, House Select Intelligence Committee, Russian Election Interference FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers

UPDATED 03/10/2017 EurasiaNet Op-Ed, Russia: The 1917 Revolutions and the Ambiguity of Post-Soviet Identity

UPDATED 02/27/2017 NewYorker, Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War
UPDATED 02/17/2017 Courant, Coast Guard Tracking Russian Spy Ship Near Submarine Base In Groton and Russian Spies Off The Coast Are Nothing New For An Old Sub Hand and ABCNews, Russian spy ship 30 miles from US Navy sub base

Our media should not combine reports of Russia loitering and snooping in international waters with Russia's possible technical (or worse?) violation of the INF Treaty! The later activity, if accurately reported and accurately verified2 (i.e. deployment of GLCM launcher and violating missile), is orders of magnitude more significant than a bunch of Russian spooks harmlessly floating off Long Island recording signals and images, generally being a nuisance!

A bad attempt to knockoff a good "Saturday Night Live" skit?

UPDATED 07/01/2017 Army, Atlantic Resolve and Reuters, Baltic states seek more NATO help ahead of Russian exercise and Reuter, Russia calls NATO moves in Baltics, Poland and Germany a Threat: RIA and Reuters, Factbox: Minsk agreement on Ukraine

Operation Atlantic Resolve is President Obama and Europe routinely engaging with our NATO Baltic allies before leaving office.

Wonder how our "new" alt-white-house and comrade Putin or is it nemets Adamov are going to work this into their active misinformation-disinformation campaign3?

UPDATED 01/27/2017 SI, Fast Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War
UPDATED 12/17/2016 USNI, Dec. 14, 2016 executive summary of the Navy’s 2016 Force Structure Assessment
UPDATED 12/16/2016 USNI, Navy Wants to Grow Fleet to 355 Ships; 47 Hull Increase Adds Destroyers, Attacks Subs and Navy, Secretary of the Navy Announces Need for 355-ship Navy

The Navy's 2016 Force Structure Analysis (FSA) did not come with the SecNav's FSA announcement—for now all we can say is our navy is asking Santa Claus to deliver a lot of Christmas presents! Even Santa Claus is constrained by budget and funding levels!

UPDATED 12/02/2016 Telegraph, Vladimir Putin says Russia wants to normalise relations with US

A Security Council vote is not required to steadfastly support or increase and extend the sanctions imposed on an infandous (odious beyond expression) government.

Normalized relationship with the United States must require Russia's compliance with the Minsk II protocol. Changing or maintaining national borders by use of force or an infinite variety of thuggery is a twenty-first century anathema and affront to all peaceful nations.

UPDATED 11/23/2016 WP, These maps show how Russia has Europe spooked
UPDATED 11/21/2016 WT, Russia withdraws from International Criminal Court after being called out over Crimea invasion
UPDATED 10/13/2016 CSM, Gorbachev calls for peace: Is there a path forward? and  IPI, Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit

“Worst Thing” Collapse of Trust Between Major Powers" --Mikhail Gorbachev--

Even worse than mistrust between nations, is the twenty-first century chaos created when any nation's government seeks to impose ad hoc changes to international rules or order by threat, intimidation, force, and coercion, 

UPDATED 08/19/2016 UPI, Russia's military buildup in Arctic plays into global strategy

The sooner all global citizenry live under representative type governments, the sooner nations can get on with doing things that matter!

UPDATED 07/31/2016 CSIS, Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe and CSIS, Report "Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe" (PDF 1.6M) and The Cold War: In Enemy’s Depth - The Submarine War and Cold War Spy Secrets Under the Sea1



1. The turbulent and noisy bubble bursts called cavitation releases enough energy to pit the surface of a polished propeller blade, which further disrupts laminar flow and decreases propeller efficiency (η0)*.

UPDATED 01/19/2017 Some militarists have long speculated that cavitation might change a relatively slow-moving hydro-body into a faster-moving aero-body by enveloping the hydro-body in bubbles (i.e. supercavitition).

A modern sonar women might wonder why you would spend millions on supercavitation to continuously broadcast your submarine's position when you could just turn on the active sonar and ping away?

Modern submarines will typically use pump-jet propulsors (i.e. a shrouded propeller).

* See A.H. Techet, Hydrodynamics for Ocean Engineers: Propellers: Propeller Performance Characterization, 2004 for an introduction to propeller performance.

2. UPDATED 09/16/2017 FAS, NASIC Removes Russian INF-Violating Missile From Report

 UPDATED 02/18/2017 NATO Defence Ministers take steps to strengthen the Alliance and NATO, Doorstep Statement and Der Spiegel, The Greatest Threat to Security Since WWII (by John Kasich) and Reuters, Trudeau to Trump: NATO is About More Than Spending and NATO Secretary General doorstep statement at the Munich Security Conference, 17 FEB 2017 and NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Meetings of Defence Ministers, 16 FEB 2017 and  NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Meetings of Defence Ministers, 16 FEB 2017, 2/2 and AP, Pence: 'We Must Hold Russia Accountable' and VOA, US Defense Secretary Mattis Tells NATO Collective Defense a Bedrock Commitment

UPDATED 07/14/2017 PBS, Inside Russia's Propaganda Machine

UPDATED 09/14/2017 Bloomberg, Mueller Probe Has ‘Red-Hot’ Focus on Social Media, Officials Say and AtlanticCouncil, #DisinfoWeek Countering the Hybrid-Tactic of Strategic Misinformation and Disinformation and Stanford, Digital Disinformation Forum and Facebook, National Democratic Institute

(note: several  problems with the video's sound)

Countering misinformation and disinformation is about more than our "new" alt-white-house, but any American campaign to counter these strategic hybrid-tactics will fail without understanding and acknowledging when such tactics are used against our own citizenry.

Stated differently efforts by Senator Rob Portman to minimize the very active misinformation and disinformation campaign being run by our "new" alt-white-house against our citizenry is itself both misinformation and disinformation!

A nascent effort to comprehensively understanding "influence" campaigns is the The German Marshall Fund: The Game Has Changed: Russian Interference and the Alliance for Securing Democracy. The effort tracks an estimated 600 Twitter accounts thought linked to Russia's misinformation and disinformation efforts (The Methodology of the Hamilton 68 Dashboard and Hamilton 68 Dashboard).

UPDATED 11/02/2017 GMF, Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with Tech to Find Solutions

UPDATED 10/21/2017 FB, Facebook to Provide Congress With Ads Linked to Internet Research Agency and FB, Hard Questions: More on Russian Ads

Originally Published July 26, 2016; Last Updated June 06, 2018; Last Republished June 06, 2018: