H. I. Sutton, USNI News

H. I. Sutton

USNI News

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Recent articles by H.:

Russian Navy Pulls Warships from Black Sea into Port After Attacks

The Russian Navy still outnumbers and outguns the Ukrainians in the northern Black Sea. Despite the dominance on paper, the Russian Navy is on its back foot after several successful attacks from the smaller Ukrainian forces. The Oct. 29 attack on Sevastopol, in which uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) with unmanned aerial vehicles attacked Russia’s Black … → Read More

Suspected Ukrainian Explosive Sea Drone Made From Recreational Watercraft Parts

A small, unmanned watercraft of unknown origin washed up from the Black Sea on the shore of Crimea, near Russia’s naval base in Sevastopol, late last month. Pictures posted on Russian social media show what appears to be a small, novel surface drone made from commercial watercraft parts laden with explosives that could explain recent … → Read More

Potential New Stealth Missile Boat Under Construction In Iran

A new vessel has been observed under construction in Iran, according to satellite imagery. The unidentified catamaran is characterized by a clean-angled form, appearing stealthier than earlier types, and could be a missile boat. It is located at Qeshm Madkandaloo Shipbuilding Cooperative Co. shipyard on the island of Qeshm and is visible in Airbus commercial satellite … → Read More

Great Wall of Naval Targets Discovered in Chinese Desert

China has been honing its ship-killing skills for potential future conflicts on new targets in a remote desert, according to new satellite photos reviewed by USNI News. New analysis shows the People’s Liberation Army is testing the ability to hit ships in port with long-range ballistic missiles. Since USNI News reported China has been building … → Read More

Satellite Images Confirm Russian Navy Landing Ship Was Sunk at Berdyansk

The Russian landing ship attacked by Ukrainian forces this week at in the southern port city of Berdyansk has sunk, Pentagon officials confirmed on Friday. Satellite images provided to USNI News by Maxar Technologies prove the Alligator-class landing ship tank (LST) that was seen on video on Thursday was underwater at the side of the … → Read More

Russian-Owned Super Yachts Going Dark to Avoid Sanction Seizure

Mega-wealthy owners of the superyachts value privacy and discretion and keep as low a profile their vessels allow and recent events in Ukraine have increased the desire of some superyacht owners to hide their movements. Yachts owned by Russia’s oligarchs may be subject to being seized under international sanctions. Several vessels have already been detained. … → Read More

Iran’s Drive to Modernize Navy Faces Latest in String of Setbacks

Iran’s drive for naval modernization and self-sufficiency has had another recent setback the when Iranian Navy’s newest frigate capsized in its dry dock. Last week, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps showed off more than 100 of their latest homegrown fast attack craft – new types of missile boats, unique torpedo boats and other craft – … → Read More

Russia's Growing Secret Submarine Fleet Key to Moscow's Undersea Future

Tensions between Washington and Moscow are rising with a marked increase in competition in the undersea domain, as Russia continues to invest in a fleet of specialized submarines. Russia is the only country with a fleet of special mission subs for seabed warfare and espionage and is expanding the capability. Other countries, like the U.S., … → Read More

Commercial Radar Satellites Reveal Russian Stealth Fighters

Back in 1955, the Soviet Union flew its bombers in a loop over an air show to give the illusion of having more aircraft than were actually in its arsenal, a move that caused alarm in the West. The resulting ‘bomber gap’ was finally disproven when U2 aircraft were able to systematically photograph Russian airbases. … → Read More

Commercial Radar Satellites Reveal Russian Stealth Fighters

Back in 1955, the Soviet Union flew its bombers in a loop over an air show to give the illusion of having more aircraft than were actually in its arsenal, a move that caused alarm in the West. The resulting ‘bomber gap’ was finally disproven when U2 aircraft were able to systematically photograph Russian airbases. … → Read More

Ecuadorian Navy Sailing Ship Interdicts Drug Smugglers in the Pacific

A three-masted training ship interdicted a drug-laden high-speed smuggling vessel off the coast of Colombia on Friday, the Ecuadorian Navy announced. Sailing ship BAE Guayas caught the low-profile vessel within the 200-nautical miles of the Colombian exclusive economic zone, the service announced. “The Guayas School Ship, carrying out its International Instruction Cruise, was able to … → Read More

Chinese Testing Experimental Armed Drone Ships at Secret Naval Base

In front of scenic cliffs and an ornamental European-style windmill is a secret People’s Liberation Army Navy pier. Here, at a former tourist resort on China’s northern coast, is where the PLAN is developing some of its most secretive, and previously unreported, naval programs, USNI News has learned. The pier near Dalian is where China … → Read More

This is What a Chinese Stealth Warship Looks Like on Radar

Warships designs are increasingly taking their radar signature into account. Sharp angles that deflect radar waves and coatings that absorb radar energy have been standard features of warship designs for most new warships over the last 20 years. An extreme example is the class of the Chinese Navy’s (PLAN) Type-022 missile boat. Its lines are … → Read More

New Satellite Images Hint How Russian Navy Could Use Massive Nuclear Torpedoes

The Russian Navy continues to develop how it intends to deploy its latest strategic weapon – a bus-sized torpedo tipped with a nuclear warhead. The Poseidon weapon, described in U.S. Navy documents as an Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo, will require new bases and facilities and new images, which gives hints as to where and … → Read More

Two Iranian Warships Spotted Near English Channel

Two Iranian warships are nearing the English Channel, according to satellite photographs reviewed by USNI News. The ships are thought to be headed to the Baltic Sea to represent Iran in a July 25 naval parade to commemorate the 325th anniversary of the Russian Navy off the coast of St. Petersburg. The pair, the frigate … → Read More

Positions of Two NATO Ships Were Falsified Near Russian Black Sea Naval Base

The tracking data of two NATO warships was faked off the coast of a Russian controlled naval base in the Black Sea while the actual ships were moored 180 miles away, USNI News has learned. The U.K. Royal Navy’s HMS Defender, a Type-45 Daring-class destroyer, and the Royal Netherlands Navy’s HNLMS Evertsen, a De Zeven … → Read More

Iran’s New Missile Corvette Could Reshape IRGC Naval Doctrine

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGC-N) is building a new class of warships, as first reported in Naval News last week based on satellite imagery. The catamaran design appears relatively large, modern and capable compared to existing IRGC commercial-based designs. The sectarian arm of the Iranian military’s move to more substantial warships may be … → Read More

Two Chinese Survey Ships are Probing a Strategic Section of the Indian Ocean

China is gathering data on the undersea environment in the Indian Ocean as evidenced by two government survey ships seen operating in the region via open source satellite photos. These survey activities may be aimed at giving Chinese submariners an advantage in their area. In January, a Chinese survey ship was accused of “running dark” … → Read More

New Details of Russian Belgorod 'Doomsday' Submarine Revealed

Russia’s latest super-sized submarine, Belgorod, has been a conundrum for interested observers. While its existence is far from secret, Moscow has gone to great pains to keep certain key details out of the public domain. While navies traditionally hide the screw, or propeller, from the cameras, in Belgorod’s case the reverse was true: the screws … → Read More

New Details of Russian Belgorod 'Doomsday' Submarine Revealed

Russia’s latest super-sized submarine, Belgorod, has been a conundrum for interested observers. While its existence is far from secret, Moscow has gone to great pains to keep certain key details out of the public domain. While navies traditionally hide the screw, or propeller, from the cameras, in Belgorod’s case the reverse was true: the screws … → Read More