The US plans to step up its commitment to the South China Sea with the deployment of two littoral combat ships to Singapore this year. Adm. Philip Davidson, commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, noted that the greater part of US forces in the region remains there, and "you're not going to see those reduced by any sense of the word."
The US is proceeding with plans to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and will begin initial production of parts for ground-launched cruise missile systems. Early efforts will focus on developmental testing.
The second advanced weapons elevator using electromagnetic motors rather than cables has been accepted aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford. The motors offer greater capacity for movement of weapons, the Navy says.
Bath Iron Works will be providing lead yard services for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers under an $11 million contract modification from the Navy. The contract covers technical assistance, engineering and liaison duties.
General Dynamics will be performing post-delivery work on the nuclear-powered submarine USS South Dakota under three contracts worth a total of $191 million. The work will include planning and execution, alterations and installation of the Stern Area System, as well as support and services.
General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems has demonstrated a power system for remotely operated underwater vehicles that provides hydrogen and oxygen for fuel cell propulsion. The Aluminum Power System is distinguished by its high energy density, producing as much as 10 times the output of a similar volume of batteries.
The Coast Guard cutter Polar Star, which was deployed in Antarctica for Operation Deep Freeze, has returned to its home port of Seattle. The ship, which is operating well past its intended service life, presented a number of engineering obstacles, including a shaft seal that ruptured during ice operations.
If the Navy's forthcoming request for a record $205.6 billion for 2020 is accepted, it could push the fleet above the 300-ship mark again. Rear Adm. Randy Crites says the Navy could reach 355 ships by 2034, and plans for how it will get there should be revealed soon.
The White House has reversed course from last year and now supports building three, not two, new attack submarines. The move comes as the Navy calls for a fleet of 66 attack subs, up from the 52 now in service.
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The joy of poetry is that it will wait for you. Novels don't wait for you. Characters change. But poetry will wait. I think it's the greatest art.
Sonia Sanchez, poet and recipient of the 2018 Wallace Stevens Award