Saturday, January 27, 2018

Navy Ignores SecDef

Here’s an item that speaks for itself, from the DOT&E 2017 Annual Report,

“The SECDEF [Secretary of Defense] directed in FY16 and reiterated in FY17 that the Navy fund long-lead items for an Aegis SDTS [Self Defense Test Ship] to be used for testing Aegis ACB-20, DDG 51 Flight III, the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR, a.k.a. AN/SPY-6), and Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) Block II; the Navy initially complied with the direction but subsequently removed all funding for the Aegis SDTS and the required aerial targets.”  [emphasis added]

The Navy, against “directions” from the Secretary of Defense, refused to fund an Aegis test ship.  Aegis - the main weapon system of the Navy and the Navy won't even fund a test ship for it.

There’s nothing I can add to that.  It speaks for itself.  CNO Richardson must be fired.


  1. At this point I'm almost suspicious that the Navy has run and failed high-intensity combat tests for AEGIS at some point in the past, realized the problems were insurmountable and then classified the results.

  2. I'd be fascinated to know what the Navy's excuse is for this. I fear it might be something that translates to "the system we rely on for so much, and have for so long, can't possibly be defective or limited."

  3. I am really starting to wonder how many of our systems are either obsolete or paper tigers.

    Even if everything works right with Aegis the lack of training against realistic peer-level attacks is highly concerning.

  4. The Chinese stole the plans for Aegis and essentially copied it. That leads me to think it works - or at least the Chinese thinks it does.
    But then articles like this are incredibly concerning.

  5. One of the reasons why I have talked about adopting one or more of the European designs for our frigate or low-end destroyer is to get an alternative to Aegis into the fleet in numbers. Between the remaining Ticos and the Burkes, we have enough Aegis platforms. Having a different system with comparable capabilities in numbers would also be good.

    I think back to the Brits in the Falklands. Their primary AAW platform were the Type 42 destroyers with the Sea Dart system. But the Type 42 radar was designed to operate at sea, and lost Arg aircraft in ground clutter over land. So they paired the Type 42s up with Type 22 general purpose frigates, which used different detection and fire control radars that worked over land. The 42/22 combo became their standard AAW picket.

    1. Very good example of the value of diversity.

    2. Agreed. One of the supposed reasons the DD's were sunk was because the NTU was considered a threat by the Aegis mafia. But you know that the new FFG will have some Aegis-lite system.

    3. The Navy has already specified the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) as the government furnished radar for the frigate.

  6. It appears the top Admirals are untouchables by the President, DOD or Congress, some thoughts -

    1) Pork barrel politics, Admirals have too many powerful allies in Congress with unwritten agreement to keep the contracts coming in their districts to keep the corporations funding their expensive election campaigns, Trump needs those Congressional votes to deliver on his flagship campaign promises.
    2) Weak leadership at DOD with the new Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, only appointed last August.
    3) If CNO was sacked the bad press claiming additional proof of the incompetence of Trump administration, not worth the political fallout ?

  7. As drastic as it sounds, the Oval Office should look at a courts martial. While it can be argued that the SecDef isn't in the CNO's direct chain of command, and thus not disobeying an order, such a refusal is most certainly conduct unbecoming an officer.
    If the White House simply make a threat about such a thing--letting Richardson resign when he hears it--then that would send enough shockwaves thru the Pentagon to wake some people up and probably lead to more much needed early retirements.
    If the Pentagon resists then we go to equally over the top suggestion 2:
    the President IS commander and chief and should start ordering people transferred from the Pentagon to a post with zero authority on Shemya in Alaska.
    Won't happen. But its a nice day dream.


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