Military Ships and Naval Vessels

  • The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis approaches the fast combat support ship USNS Rainier during a replenishment at sea in the South China Sea, March 4, 2016

    Commentary

    South China Sea Spat a Symptom of U.S.-China Jockeying for Advantage

    A spate of high-profile diplomatic feuds and military actions related to the South China Sea has raised concern about the direction of U.S.-China relations. Neither country is well-positioned politically or economically to engage in a long-term, antagonistic relationship, let alone a major conflict.

    Jun 27, 2016

  • The guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke in the Mediterranean Sea

    Report

    Weighing the Benefits of Longer Operational Cycles for Certain Ships

    The Navy is transitioning from a 32-month to a 36-month cycle, but adopting a 72-month cycle could increase the time surface vessels are deployed, allow for multiple deployments between depot availabilities, reduce the number of basic training periods, and achieve some cost savings by removing the crews during the depot maintenance period.

    Apr 18, 2016

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago, which is known in China as the Xisha Islands, January 29, 2016

    Commentary

    Beijing Ups the Ante in South China Sea Dispute with HQ-9 Deployment

    China's recent deployment of HQ-9 missiles to the Paracel Islands signals its determination to consolidate its gains in the South China Sea, regardless of criticism by the United States and its allies.

    Mar 29, 2016

  • The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Coronado (LCS 4)

    Report

    Modularity and Flexibility in Future Ship Designs

    What are the U.S. Navy's options for extending the service lives of operational ships by adopting the concepts of modularity and flexibility in ship design? Researchers examine the concepts of modularity and flexibility, technological trends, the current geopolitical context, and lessons from past incorporation of new missions and technologies into naval ships.

    Mar 3, 2016

  • The Chinese Luyang II-class guided missile destroyer Jinan and other ships in formation during a passing exercise, November 7, 2015

    Commentary

    China's Naval Modernization: Where Is It Headed?

    The PLA Navy is expanding its capabilities and operations to reduce vulnerabilities in China's near seas, but also to aggressively support its expanding global ambitions and challenge U.S. leadership in Asia.

    Feb 10, 2016

  • The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group in formation with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships for a photo exercise, November 23, 2015

    Commentary

    Transforming 'Distributed Lethality' Strategy into Action

    Distributed lethality offers a more offensive approach to using naval surface forces as potential adversaries acquire naval capabilities designed to control the sea. Translating the concept into action has implications for Navy operations, logistics, finances, and overall strategy.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army of China arrive at Tiananmen Square during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, in Beijing, September 3, 2015

    Testimony

    China's Expeditionary Capabilities and Implications for U.S. Asia Policy

    Alongside China's development of many capabilities necessary to conduct missions far from its borders, China's actions to shape the international security environment are accelerating. This poses both opportunities and challenges for U.S. policymakers.

    Jan 21, 2016

  • Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, surveys work done on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during a visit

    Report

    Assessment of Surface Ship Maintenance Requirements

    This report by the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI) examines the impact of the U.S. government's fiscal challenges on the U.S. Navy's surface ship maintenance and operations requirements.

    Dec 21, 2015

  • U.S. President Obama departs after his remarks and a tour of the Philippine Navy's BRP Gregorio Del Pilar at Manila Harbor, Philippines, November 17, 2015

    Commentary

    Obama Doubles Down on Maritime Capacity Building in Southeast Asia

    By contributing to coast guard capacity building by donating ships and funding, the United States has found an important and politically viable avenue to bolster maritme security to partners and allies in Southeast Asia.

    Dec 15, 2015

  • USS Lassen conducts exercises with Korean and Turkish navy ships

    Commentary

    How Will China Respond to Future U.S. Freedom of Navigation Ops?

    On October 27, the USS Lassen carried out the first freedom of navigation patrol to challenge China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. In assessing China's potential response to follow-on operations, the extremes of either complete inaction or a military attack can be ruled out.

    Oct 29, 2015

  • An Airbus A321 being assembled at the new Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama, September 13, 2015

    Commentary

    The Prospective Impact of Airbus Industries on Mobile

    Austal USA's operations in Mobile, Alabama have benefited the broader region. Similarly, Airbus's hiring should have a net favorable impact on the region's economy, since the area does not appear to be at or near full employment.

    Oct 10, 2015

  • News Release

    China's Military Modernization Increasingly Challenges U.S. Defense Capabilities in Asia

    Although China continues to lag behind the United States in terms of aggregate military hardware and operational skills, it has improved its capabilities relative to those of the U.S. in many critical areas. Moreover, China does not need to catch up fully in order to challenge U.S. ability to conduct effective military operations near the Chinese mainland.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, en route to the Western Pacific Ocean

    Research Brief

    Chinese Threats to U.S. Surface Ships

    China has rapidly improved its ability to reliably locate and attack U.S. carrier-strike groups at distances of up to 2,000 kilometers from its coast in a possible military conflict.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chinese army Gen. Fang Fenghui, China's chief of the general staff, salute during a ceremony in Beijing, April 22, 2013

    Research Brief

    Tallying the U.S.-China Military Scorecard

    A set of “scorecards” assesses the relative capabilities of U.S. and Chinese military forces in diverse types of conflict, at varying distances from the Chinese mainland, and at different points in time.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy recruits march during a parade in Qingdao, Shandong province, December 5, 2013

    Report

    China's Military Modernization Increasingly Challenges U.S. Defense Capabilities in Asia

    Although China continues to lag behind the United States in terms of aggregate military hardware and operational skills, it has improved its capabilities relative to those of the U.S. in many critical areas. Moreover, China does not need to catch up fully in order to challenge U.S. ability to conduct effective military operations near the Chinese mainland.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea May 21, 2015

    Commentary

    China's Airfield Construction at Fiery Cross Reef in Context: Catch-Up or Coercion?

    Even if China really sees itself as undertaking legitimate activities to protect its rightful interests, it is not surprising that its rival claimants, as well as the United States and other countries in the region, see Beijing's island building activities as efforts to improve China's abilities to bully its neighbors.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • Marines approach the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in a combat rubber raiding craft following a simulated boat assault to support a certification exercise in the Coral Sea, Aug. 8, 2013

    Tool

    Allocating Marine Expeditionary Unit Equipment to Minimize Shortfalls: Third Edition

    In many cases, the available space on a Marine Expeditionary Unit's ships falls far short of what is needed to transport the full set of required equipment. A RAND-developed software tool was designed to help limit the effects of these shortfalls.

    May 21, 2015

  • A Chinese Coast Guard vessel in the South China Sea maneuvers to block a Philippine supply ship with members of the media aboard, March 29, 2014

    Commentary

    China's Island-Building Stirs Fears, but Creates Openings for the United States

    News of proposed Navy patrols nearby disputed islands claimed by China suggests that the United States is toughening its response to Beijing's assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    May 18, 2015

  • The Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Perth arrives in Pearl Harbor during a routine port visit

    Report

    Weighing Options for Australia's Naval Shipbuilding

    Australia is examining an enterprise-level naval shipbuilding plan. All three options — sustaining a domestic naval shipbuilding industry, buying ships from foreign shipbuilders, or building ships partially in-country and partially overseas — have complex consequences and trade-offs.

    Apr 15, 2015

  • Littoral Combat Ships under construction in Mobile, Alabama

    Report

    The Economic Consequences of Investing in Shipbuilding: Case Studies in the United States and Sweden

    This report assesses the economic impacts that a shipbuilder has on its local community and region. The authors utilize a case study methodology to examine two U.S. shipbuilders and the Saab Aeronautics Gripen program in Sweden.

    Apr 15, 2015