Department of Defense Directed Energy Weapons

Directed energy (DE) weapons use concentrated electromagnetic energy, rather than kinetic energy, to combat enemy forces. Although the United States has been researching directed energy since the 1960s, some experts have observed that the Department of Defense (DOD) has invested billions of dollars in DE programs that failed to reach maturity and were ultimately cancelled.… Continue Reading Department of Defense Directed Energy Weapons

Russian Arms Sales and Defense Industry

Arms sales are a central element of Russia’s foreign policy and are closely controlled by the government to advance economic and strategic objectives. Russian arms sales provide an important source of hard currency, promote Russia’s defense and political relations with other countries, and support important domestic industries. Given this prominent role, trends in Russia’s global… Continue Reading Russian Arms Sales and Defense Industry

Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program

The Navy’s Columbia (SSBN-826) class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) program is a program to design and build a class of 12 new SSBNs to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 aging Ohio-class SSBNs. Since 2013, the Navy has consistently identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy’s top priority program. The Navy procured the first… Continue Reading Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program

Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program

The aircraft carriers CVN-78, CVN-79, CVN-80, and CVN-81 are the first four ships in the Navy’s new Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs). The Navy’s proposed FY2022 budget requests $2,659.5 million (i.e., about $2.7 billion) in procurement funding for CVN-78 class ships, including $291.0 million for CVN-79, $1,068.7 million for CVN-80,… Continue Reading Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement

  The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) since FY1998, and a total of 34 have been procured through FY2021. Since FY2011, Virginia-class boats have been procured at a rate of two per year. Virginia-class boats scheduled for procurement in FY2019-FY2023 are being procured under a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract.… Continue Reading Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

  The Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. BMD-capable Aegis ships operate in European waters to defend Europe from potential ballistic missile attacks from countries such as Iran, and in… Continue Reading Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

Coast Guard Cutter Procurement

The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR) calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard high-endurance cutters, medium-endurance cutters, and patrol craft. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2022 budget requests a total of $695.0 million in procurement funding… Continue Reading Coast Guard Cutter Procurement

Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program

The Coast Guard’s polar icebreakers do not simply break ice—they are multimission cutters that conduct a variety of other operations that are conducted in lower-latitude waters by the Coast Guard’s general-purpose cutters. U.S. polar ice operations conducted in large part by the Coast Guard’s polar icebreakers support 9 of the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions.6… Continue Reading Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program

Emerging Military Technologies

This report provides an overview of selected emerging military technologies in the United States, China, and Russia: artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons, hypersonic weapons, directed energy weapons, biotechnology, and quantum technology. It also discusses relevant initiatives within international institutions to monitor or regulate these technologies, considers the potential implications of emerging military technologies for warfighting,… Continue Reading Emerging Military Technologies

Hypersonic Weapons

The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons— maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5—as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s. In recent years, the United States has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a… Continue Reading Hypersonic Weapons