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US puzzled by Iran's mock-up of an aircraft carrier

Iran is building a crude mock-up of an American aircraft carrier at a ship yard on its Gulf coast and US officials said Friday the goal of the project remains a mystery. Iran has made no attempt to hide its "curious" construction effort near Bandar Abbas on the Gulf, as commercial satellite imagery has shown a vessel gradually taking shape, resembling the outlines of a Nimitz-class carrier, three administration officials said.

U.S. to replace nuclear-powered aircraft carrier near Korea

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Navy announced Tuesday that it would deploy a newer nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Japan to replace USS George Washington. USS Ronald Reagan, commissioned in 2003 and currently based in San Diego, will be deployed at the Yokosuka Naval Base as part of the Pentagon's efforts to bolster combat readiness in the region. It is known to carry more than 6,000 crew members.

U.S. aircraft carrier to arrive for Philippines relief in 48-72 hours

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the USS George Washington aircraft carrier to head to the Philippines to support relief efforts and it should arrive in 48 to 72 hours, the Pentagon said on Monday, confirming a Reuters report. A Pentagon statement said crew from the George Washington, which carries some 5,000 sailors and more than 80 aircraft, were being recalled early from shore leave in Hong Kong and the ship was expected to be under way in the coming hours.

U.S. Navy pledges cost cuts as it christens new aircraft carrier

By Andrea Shalal-Esa WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy on Tuesday pledged to cut costs for building new aircraft carriers, as it prepared to christen the USS Gerald R. Ford, first in its class of warships and a vessel whose $12.9 billion cost will exceed forecasts by almost 25 percent. Rear Admiral Thomas Moore, Navy officer in charge of aircraft carriers, pledged that the next carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy, would cost $1.2 billion less than the USS Ford, which will be christened on Saturday.

U.S. aircraft carrier to visit S. Korea for joint drills next week

The U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington will arrive in Busan this weekend to participate in a joint exercise with the South Korean navy next week, Yonhap News Agency said Monday, citing a military source. The exercise, which the source described as routine, will take place in the Sea of Japan and feature aircraft carrier maneuvers, anti-submarine drills and maritime training. The nuclear-powered George Washington is based at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet. ==Kyodo

US Navy searches for 2 sailors after chopper crash

A US Navy helicopter crashed into the Red Sea on Sunday and a search is underway for two of the five crew members, the military said. The MH-60S Knighthawk was flying with the guided missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence, part of a carrier group dispatched to the region to increase pressure on Syria. The US Fifth Fleet said the helicopter was not downed by enemy fire, but ditched into the sea.

Fate of 5 US sailors 'undetermined' as chopper ditches

A US Navy helicopter crashed into the Red Sea on Sunday and the fate of five crew members "is still being determined," the military said. The MH-60S Knighthawk was flying with the guided missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence, part of a carrier group dispatched to the region to increase pressure on Syria. "The crash was not due to any hostile activity," said a statement from US Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.

Report warns of cost overruns on new U.S. aircraft carrier

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first Ford-class aircraft carrier being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc <HII.N> may see further cost increases after it is commissioned, according to a congressional report that urged the U.S. Navy to delay a contract for a follow-on ship. The report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said the Navy should conduct a cost-benefit analysis and study the required capabilities of the second Ford-class carrier before beginning contract negotiations with Huntington Ingalls.

USS Nimitz carrier moves into Red Sea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and four other ships in its strike group moved into the Red Sea early on Monday, U.S. defense officials said, describing the move as "prudent planning" in case the ships are needed for military action against Syria. The officials said the Nimitz entered the Red Sea around 6 a.m. EDT, but the strike group had not received any orders to move into the Mediterranean, where five U.S. destroyers and an amphibious ship remain poised for possible cruise missile strikes against Syria.

US sends fifth destroyer to eastern Med

The US Navy has deployed a fifth destroyer to the eastern Mediterranean, a defense official told AFP on Thursday, as expectations grow of an imminent strike on Syria. The USS Stout, a guided missile destroyer, is "in the Mediterranean, heading and moving east" to relieve the Mahan, said the official, who said both ships might remain in place for the time being. Other destroyers in the region -- the Ramage, the Barry and the Gravely -- criss-cross the Mediterranean and could launch their Tomahawk missiles toward Syria if so directed by US President Barack Obama.
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