A Japanese tugboat lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold on Saturday, causing minor damage to the guided-missile destroyer. No injuries were reported on either vessel, and the Navy is investigating the incident, which occurred during scheduled exercises.
The USNS Brittin will be making six trips from South Carolina to Puerto Rico as the Navy's Military Sealift Command brings aid to the island struggling to recover from hurricane damage. On its initial trip, the Brittin delivered 7,000 tons of cargo, including food, water, generators and heavy vehicles.
The Marine Corps is shopping for ship-killing artillery, a capability the Army is also pursuing, and industry information papers are requested by the end of this month. Any system will need to be mobile but capable of maintaining connections with Navy fire control networks.
The Navy recently carried out a successful test of a hypersonic missile that could be fired from an Ohio-class submarine tube. The test evaluated boost-glide technology and the potential for long-range atmospheric flight.
The USS Tortuga LSD-46, a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship, will be undergoing repair and modernization in Norfolk, Va., with BAE Systems. The work comes under a $139.8 million contract that could grow to more than $183.7 million if options are exercised.
The LCS 27, the Navy's newest Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship, will be powered by diesel engines from Fairbanks Morse, an EnPro Industries company. The engines are scheduled for delivery to shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis., in 2019, when Fairbanks Morse will support installation and testing that includes sea trials.
The Navy is taking a cautious approach to tanker drones, saying it will initially buy only four prototypes of the winning design to test whether the contractor can measure up to program demands. The Navy hopes to eventually have dozens of tanker drones, with Boeing, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin in the running for the initial development contract.
Defense contractors will by vying for $30 billion worth of business from the Pentagon next year in the form of three major projects: the Navy's next frigate, an upgrade to the Air Force's GPS satellites and the Army's Mobile Protected Firepower, or MPF, vehicle.
The Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., was the scene as the keel was laid last week for the future USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee, a Flight IIA destroyer. The ship's namesake was the superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in the early 20th century and was honored with the Navy Cross for distinguished service in World War I after becoming one of the first 20 women to join the newly established corps.
Toxic algae is now a severe and growing problem ranging across the country from the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes and out to California's Central Valley. The deadly blooms are triggered by rising concentrations of agricultural fertilizers, as well as the warmth of changing weather patterns, with voluntary efforts to curb the contributing pollutants so far proving inadequate.
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