After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.

The Navy's latest Northwest Training and Testing draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment (NWTT EIS/OEIS), first detailed by the Seattle Times on Friday, reveals that " the kinetic energy weapon (commonly referred to as the rail gun) will be tested aboard surface vessels, firing explosive and non-explosive projectiles at air- or sea-based targets."

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The U.S. Navy is moving quickly to develop robotic warships that could hunt submarines and other ships, screen aircraft carriers and convoys from air attack and sweep away enemy mines.

But there's another mission the Navy should consider assigning to unmanned surface vessels, Neil Zerbe, a retired Navy officer, argued for the Center for International Maritime Security: shuttling supplies from ship to shore in the aftermath of an amphibious assault by U.S. Marines.

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Digital messaging is ruining everything. Friendships. Relationships. Work and productivity. The art of conversation. Now, finally, we can add the U.S. Navy to the list.

That's the thesis of the generational pearl-clutching published in the May 2019 issue of Proceedings, in which Navy Capt. John L. Bub, Jr., director of operations and training for Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TTGL), argued that the "highly distracting" chatrooms utilized by sailors aboard Navy vessels are a sinister threat to surface operations that desperately require our attention.

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Russia's conventionally-powered Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier (Associated Press)

Russia wants to build its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Russian state media reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources in the shipbuilding industry.

The carrier, a source told TASS, "will have a nuclear energy unit and displacement of about 70,000 [metric tons]," which would make it smaller than U.S. carriers but still larger than Russia's sole aircraft carrier, the steam-powered Admiral Kuznetsov, which suffered a devastating accident last fall.

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The Russian Ministry of Defense has published training footage of its new Stoikiy corvette firing "Uran" anti-ship missiles, shedding more light on Russia's unfolding naval modernization strategy.

The one-minute clip begins with several shots of Stoikiy, before turning to what appears to be the captain ordering the missile launch in condensed military parlance: "Missile attack. Commander of the second combat unit, surface target, coast 0. Distance of 30 kilometers. Initiate orders."

A red alarm bell is sounded, and a Stoikiy crew member is shown pushing a large "launch" button. The launch of the two Kh-35 missiles is depicted from multiple angles, including the onboard digital targeting module. The clip then shows close-up footage of the blast impact, before ending with a parting vanity shot of Stoikiy.

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The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Harry Andrew D. Gordon)

The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier — the USS Enterprise — is being harvested for parts for other U.S. Navy flattops.

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