protect Russian strategic ballistic missile submarines. For
its surface ships, Russia is beginning its modernization with
smaller vessels such as patrol ships, corvettes and guided
missile frigates. Its next step will incorporate larger ships,
including a next-generation multimission destroyer and a
new nuclear aircraft carrier capable of carrying up to 90 aircraft. The Russian Navy also is introducing two new classes
of amphibious ships.
Planning for modernization includes adding advanced
types of weapon technologies. New antiship cruise missiles
are in the works, as are antisubmarine missiles and torpe-does. And, as is the U.S. Navy, the Russian Navy is seeking to
incorporate lasers and electrodynamic rail guns on its ships.
Technology Helps Turn
Wish List Into Reality
The U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations’ Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC) has created a prototype information
system to enhance collaboration between sailors and Navy
Personnel Command (NPC) detailers during the future duty
station planning process. System developers plan to launch
LinkedIn-style pilot programs that help match service members looking for their next assignment with units seeking
qualified people to fill an opening.
“Our goal is to build a process that is transparent and
flexible and gives more influence to commands, so they can
build better teams, as well as to sailors so they can have more
say over their lives,” says Lt. Cmdr. Mike Mabrey, CRIC project lead.
In collaborative detailing, Cmdr. Mabrey explains, sailors
and detailers will see the same job opportunities and will
have additional information about an assignment’s specific
requirements. The matchmaking platform is described as a
“talent marketplace” for sailors, commands and the NPC.
The CRIC team also intends to create a simpler platform
for sailors to maintain and update their online record. CRIC
project lead Lt. Cmdr. Rollie Wicks, USN, relates that Navy
personnel records currently reside across more than 100 different systems. “We’re trying to fix this so the Navy can better understand who you are and what your skills are so it can
then recruit you into a job that’s going to match those skills,”
Cmdr. Wicks says.
After further development, the CRIC will test the system
with the information dominance corps as a trial community
in the fall of 2016.
Cell members also are exploring how to leverage mobility
options. “We grew up using computers. We want to be able
to take a picture of our awards from our smartphones and
use that to update our records online. We want online cloud
computing services and mobile devices that make our lives
easier,” Cmdr. Wicks states.
The CST-100 Starliner built by Boeing Space Exploration is in line to fly the third crewed mission via privately built spacecraft to the International Space Station, as NASA has
booked the spacecraft for what would be its second
launch from the United States. The Starliner and the
SpaceX Crew Dragon each have been chosen for
crewed launches under Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts, with NASA aiming for
two launches each per year. Both craft earlier received
individual orders last year, although NASA has not
decided yet which will be the first to fly humans to
the space station. A fourth order is expected to be
placed this year.
The two spacecraft will supplement the Russian
Soyuz craft that have been the sole means of crew
transportation to the space station since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. The Soyuz carries
three crew members, while the Starliner and the Crew
Dragon each will be able to carry four spacefarers
along with 220 pounds of pressurized cargo. Each
spacecraft would remain docked to the station for up
to 210 days.
Both companies have begun planning for, building
and procuring the necessary hardware for their first
crewed missions. Each company must pass NASA’s
certification process before final approval for flight.
Each contract calls for a minimum of two launches
with the potential maximum of six missions, with the
first crewed flights slated to launch as early as 2017.
NASA Books Third
Crewed Station Launch
An artist’s concept depicts the Boeing CST-100 Starliner
docking with the International Space Station. NASA has
contracted with Boeing for a second crewed Starliner
launch to the space station that would complement a
crewed launch using the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.