US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Austin
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 09 Sep 2017 20:48

Looks interesting can any one post the full article from Janes

Lockheed Martin progresses concept studies for PAC-3-MSE derivatives

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Sep 2017 21:09

Nothing that Cahill hasn't discussed in the past. Their H2K strategy revolves around replicating the PAC-3 concept across different groups. Starting with the tiny MHTK (actual to scale photo below), to a 6-7" diameter missile (different from CUDA which he mentions as not part of this effort but distinct) which is an air to air missile allowing optimized internal bay carriage, and to the concept of using the PAC-3 itself as an air-to-air weapon against TBMs in the ALHTK configuration and taking the MSE to the ship's VLS as an alternative to the ESSM.

VLS integration demonstration of PAC-3 MSE has happened for the Navy and foreign customers (Saudi Arabia iirc), while MHTK has been under company funded flight testing and has been test fired by the US Army as part of its technology development phase of a new air defense system (IFPC). ALHTK has been modeled on behalf of a USAF study from a few years ago, while the CUDA is an internal project that is now a part of a DARPA program. The other 6 ft. 6/7 inch missile is a dual purpose air to air, surface to air, and ship to air weapon.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2017 16:31

Had a good chat with the Textron reps. at a recent air show I visited..Lots of positives from the Phase-1 of light Attack experiment at Eglin AFB but they felt that phase-1 was structured to favor turboprops (which Textron also demo'd there). They were initially not cleared to demonstrate weapon release but eventually got to put weapons on target. All demonstrations were flown by USAF pilots and not company test pilots. They validated metrics like cost per flight hour, and submitted a lot of data on components that they are directly borrowing from their commercial aircraft programs. They were very confident that USAF analysis would validate their sub $3000 CPFH which they have encountered while flying the three prototypes.

They think Phase-2 and 3 (which is optional) would be structured more favorably towards the Scorpion as it includes ISR and communication components. As far as the bay, they have demonstrated integrated large aperture IR turrets (see image below), and even an RF SAR sensor. Additional demonstrations are planned to demonstrate communication nodes. Power provisioned for sensors in the bay match or exceed similar ranges that exist on comparable unmanned Predator family. They have also submitted proposals for it to receive fuel through a pod but think its not a good investment for them as far as a company funded demonstration but are pitching it as a customer funded demonstration program (they are ready to design, develop and integrate the solution themselves but would want a CRADA with USG or another customer for range infrastructure time, and tanker support).

Three jets have been built and are being flown. No single seater variant is planned. Range and loiter on account of the straight wing is significantly higher than what the USAF wants so they are retaining the two seat configuration for all mission areas. The one in the pictures below is the third and most recent one, and represents the final design configuration Textron plans to bring to production. Overall, these prototypes have had multiple trips across the Atlantic, and have demonstrated capability through live flying to 4 countries at Eglin, or in England.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Nov 2017 05:34

DOD flies experimental hypersonic payload; claims success, technological advances


The Pentagon successfully demonstrated a hypersonic glide vehicle Oct. 30, lofting an experimental payload on a rocket from Hawaii that -- during its ultra-fast, unpowered flight to the Marshall Islands across the upper reaches of the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean -- verified technological advances relevant to a potential future U.S. military hypersonic strike system.

The event -- dubbed Flight Experiment-1 -- was a high-stakes assessment three years in the making by the Defense Department's Conventional Prompt Strike program and comes six years after the last successful U.S. military flight demonstration of a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle.

Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, head of the Navy's Strategic System Programs office, which executed the test, declared the event a “success” during remarks at a Nov. 2 Navy Submarine League Conference in Arlington, VA.

The result advances U.S. military efforts in the race against China and Russia to develop a long-range, ultra-fast missile -- a capability that, if eventually fielded, could give the president the option to strike a powerful, non-nuclear blow precisely to a target anywhere in the world within an hour.

Dyke Weatherington, principal director of space, strategic and intelligence systems in the Pentagon's acquisition directorate, which oversees the Conventional Prompt Strike program, said the flight test demonstrated technological headway.

“What I can tell you at this [unclassified] level is we matured a number of the technologies that have relevance in associating capabilities in what a warfighter might need in a future operational capability,” Weatherington told Inside Defense.

“We are assessing the results of the test,” he said during a Nov. 2 interview at the Pentagon. “Generally, I will say, we were mostly satisfied with the results.” He declined to say how fast the glider traveled or anything about its trajectory, but noted the payload took less than 30 minutes to reach its target.

“The specific flight objectives are classified, and the department is assessing the data to discern if we met those flight objectives,” Weatherington said.

Last year, however, the Office of the Secretary of Defense told lawmakers the objectives for FE-1 included a first-ever live warhead integration with hypersonic glider, demonstrating flight control software improvements, higher G-loads while maneuvering, advanced avionics, miniaturization of subsystems and improved guidance algorithms.

Did the Defense Department integrate a warhead on the hypersonic glider in FE-1?

“I have no comment,” Weatherington said.


_________

The flight began at the Sandia National Laboratories flight test pad at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. A Strategic Target System launch vehicle, similar to the system the Army began developing with Sandia National Laboratories in 1985 using refurbished Navy Polaris missile motors for its first and second stages and a commercial Orbus-1a solid rocket motor guidance and control for its third stage, was the booster for the flight test. The experimental payload sat atop in a nose cone, giving the entire ensemble a length of more than 30 feet, diameter of 54 inches and weight of 36,000 pounds.

The hypersonic boost-glide vehicle was manufactured with participation from “several different elements” of the Conventional Prompt Strike national team, Weatherington said.

The glide vehicle has an internal structure which is overlaid with a thermal protection system; the design of the latter is a team activity, according to Weatherington.

Hypersonic glide vehicles of the variety DOD is exploring travel in the atmosphere for tens of minutes, Weatherington said. “That's a long time to heat-soak a vehicle compared to a typical ballistic re-entry vehicle, which, from the time it reenters the atmosphere and hits the ground, is 20 to 30 seconds,” Weatherington said. “The thermal protection system has to be much more complex. Assessing the performance of that thermal protection system is one of the sensitive areas of this program.”

The Pentagon, with prodding from Congress, has adopted a goal to codify a Conventional Prompt Strike acquisition program of record by 2020.


The Conventional Prompt Strike program has spent $1.2 billion to date and plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years, including $201 million in fiscal year 2018.

The program focuses on demonstrating component and subsystem technology maturity with risk-reduction initiatives that culminate with flight tests. The program funds the design, development, and experimentation of boosters, payload delivery vehicles, non-nuclear warheads, thermal protection systems, guidance systems, test range modernization and mission planning and enabling capabilities, according to the Pentagon's budget.

The Conventional Prompt Strike program has two follow-on tests planned, one in 2020 and another in about 2022, Weatherington said. “We will use data collected from this flight test to refine our models and to refine what potential [concept of operations] could be for a future operational system. Then we will continue to burn down the technology risk, we'll continue to mature the technologies for capabilities the warfighter might need and it is likely we will demonstrate some of those -- not all of those -- in the next flight test.”

While plans are being drafted for a third flight test in 2022, Weatherington said those are soft. “It is difficult for me to make a prediction four years from now in a technology area -- and a threat area -- frankly that is moving this fast,” he said.

Since 2003, the Defense Department has explored a range of options for giving commanders new ways to strike high-value, time-sensitive targets -- from terrorists to weapons of mass destruction to anti-satellite weapons -- anywhere on the planet in about an hour.

In 2008, Congress quashed a Navy proposal to fund the modification of submarine-launched Trident missiles to carry conventional weapons and perform the prompt strike mission over concern that such systems, when employed, could be misconstrued for nuclear launches. Air Force plans to develop a boost-glide hypersonic weapon stalled out after the Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2 project, pursued with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, resulted in test flights in 2010 and 2011 that terminated early.

In November 2011, an Army-led project notched the U.S. military's first hypersonic boost-glide success when the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon was launched from the same location in Hawaii to Kwajalein. That test, according to DOD, demonstrated the feasibility of a boost-glide end-to-end missile concept capability. It also yielded, according to Pentagon officials, valuable flight, ground, modeling, and simulation data in the areas of aerodynamics, thermal protection systems and navigation, guidance and control.

In the effort to identify a Conventional Prompt Strike capability, the Pentagon has funded two different types of ultra-fast missile technology development: hypersonic glide vehicles, which glide to their target while skimming at the top of the atmosphere, and hypersonic cruise missiles, powered during their entire flight by high-speed jet engines.

In 2012, Pentagon leaders in classified guidance directed the program to shift away from developing a hypersonic weapon with a “global” range and instead focus on a “regional” reach.

In 2013, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council directed in a classified memorandum that the Conventional Prompt Strike program focus on demonstrating the feasibility of hypersonic boost-glide for a potential intermediate-range strike system independent of service as well as basing or launch platform, according to DOD.

In October 2013, the Conventional Prompt Strike program conducted a key high-speed ground test of a new warhead developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, replicating flight conditions of the prototype Kinetic Energy Projectile mounted on a sled and propelled at speeds greater than three times the speed of sound.

In 2014, the Conventional Prompt Strike program attempted a second launch of the AHW, seeking to demonstrate a 5,400-nautical-mile flight from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska to Kwajalein Atoll, but a booster rocket experienced an anomaly after liftoff and caused authorities to terminate the flight for safety reasons.

Following that setback, the Office of the Secretary of Defense tapped the Navy to conduct the next test flight of a candidate Conventional Prompt Global Strike capability -- the just-completed FE-1. The service was tasked with modifying the Army-developed Advanced Hypersonic Weapon by scaling it down as a first step toward shrinking it further to eventually launch from a ship, including a submarine.

“The flight vehicle was reduced in size from the 2014 test,” Weatherington said. “The direction of the program three years ago was to maintain basing options -- but include potential maritime options as one basing consideration. Maritime basing options are generally more volume constrained than land-based options might be. So, there was work to reduce the size of the hyper glide vehicle.”

The recent U.S. hypersonic success comes as China and Russia are, according to press reports, actively working to develop a similar ultra-fast weapon, conducting as many as four flight tests a year of the DF-FZ and 3K22 Tsirkon systems respectively.

While the Conventional Prompt Strike program conducts flight tests less frequently, the Defense Department maintains its approach to mature hypersonic technologies is sound, utilizing what it calls a “synergistic combination” of modeling and simulation, ground testing and flight testing with the goal of building a formal acquisition program in the near future.

The Conventional Prompt Strike program, according to DOD, has taken a deliberate approach to technology maturation by relying on the strong ground test and modeling capabilities of the United States. This approach has allowed the department to acquire data at significantly less cost than flight testing, according to DOD.

As DOD reduces risk with the hypersonic glide vehicle, it is now beginning to focus on a potential new booster dedicated to launching such payloads.

In October, the Navy locked in requirements for a very-high-speed missile that could provide a key component for a potential prototype Conventional Prompt Strike capability and launched a competition to design, build and ground-test a booster capable of delivering a hypersonic glide body payload.

“A more purpose-built booster would allow an operational capability to be delivered,” Weatherington said, noting the Pentagon has not made a decision to develop a hypersonic strike acquisition program.

In a related effort, the Navy's SSP office has retained Lockheed Martin and Raytheon since 2014 to draft technical proposals for an offensive hypersonic weapon as part of an ongoing analysis of alternatives for a conventional prompt strike capability DOD aims to codify in a program of record by 2020.

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Last edited by brar_w on 03 Nov 2017 21:49, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Nov 2017 21:43

I'm getting a distance of approximately 3500 km for the BG test -

https://s1.postimg.org/4j5w1t9iwv/Distance_FTV1.jpg

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Avarachan » 07 Nov 2017 07:19

https://journal-neo.org/2017/10/29/usa- ... r-paratus/

Incredible as it may seem, for the world’s largest and most formidable Navy, a decision was made during the Bush-Cheney Administration when Don Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense to “save money” by scrapping the traditional training of Navy officers. As naval electronics such as advanced radar, sonar, gun, missile, and data linkage systems became more complex during the 1960s, the Navy created what was called the Surface Warfare Division Officer School which gave future officers a rigorous 12-14 months of training before they boarded their first ship. In 2003, it was shut down “to create efficiencies,” and replaced by computer-based training (CBT). Instead of attending the earlier training, new naval officers were given a packet of computer training discs and the ship commander was told to be responsible for the competence of officers under their command.

Vice Admiral Timothy LaFleur, the one responsible for the decision, sharply criticized by many officers, insisted the elimination of serious training would, “result in higher professional satisfaction, increase the return on investment during the first division officer tour, and free up more career time downstream.” The training cuts saved a ludicrous $15 million a year. Moreover, over-reliance on “fail-proof” electronics such as automated radar systems and the automatic identification system (AIS) led to abandonment of human watch-standers actually looking out the bridge window of the ship for dangers. No one was watching on the USS Fitzgerald or the USS McCain.

The commanders of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS McCain were relieved of their commands, hardly a serious response to the deeper problem. The rot goes much deeper ....

Not surprisingly, in this context the US Armed Forces are having difficulty recruiting sufficient qualified, intelligent service personnel for the wars that Washington and its patrons in Wall Street seem to want to wage around the world.

This year to meet its quota of new recruits to fill its global missions, the US Army has had to accept recruits with lower qualifications, to take recruits who scored in the lower third of the tests, so called Category Four recruits, including those with records for drug use.

And it is not only the lack of sufficient preparation of its Army personnel or of its naval officers ....

On October 21, President Trump signed an executive order allowing the Air Force to call back to service up to 1,000 retired pilots, by expanding a state of national emergency declared by George W. Bush after Sept. 11, 2001. The order is part of an attempt “to mitigate the Air Force’s acute shortage of pilots,” according to a Pentagon spokesman.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Shameek » 13 Nov 2017 22:30

2 Navy SEALs Under Suspicion in Strangling of Green Beret in Mali

WASHINGTON — Navy criminal authorities are investigating whether two members of the elite SEAL Team 6 strangled an Army Green Beret in June while they were in Mali on a secret assignment, military officials say.

Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar, a 34-year-old veteran of two tours in Afghanistan, was found dead on June 4 in the embassy housing he shared in the Malian capital, Bamako, with a few other Special Operations forces assigned to the West African nation to help with training and counter terrorism missions.


Link to report

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 25 Nov 2017 18:18

B-52 bomb-bay upgrade declared ready for combat
Jane's International Defence Review
23 Nov., 2017


The USAF announced on 20 November that the first upgraded Conventional Rotary Launcher (CRL) has now been transported from Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB) in Louisiana to an undisclosed “combat area of responsibility”, reported to be Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

As noted by the USAF, the enhancement, which forms part of the wider 1760 Internal Weapons Bay Upgrade (IWBU) for the B-52H, affords combat commanders a much more flexible weapons selection without the need to request additional air support.

The nearly 60-year old bomber was already able to carry up to 12 Joint Attack Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSMs) and Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) on external pylons but until now had only been able to carry ‘dumb’ bombs internally. With this upgrade, the aircraft total smart-weapons carriage capacity has been increased by nearly 70% with a further eight internal munitions. As previously noted by the USAF, the primary advantage of carrying these stores internally is that it greatly reduces drag, which extends the aircraft’s range and/or mission time.

Boeing was awarded the engineering, manufacturing, and development contract to develop and produce six CRLs by April 2016, with a new contract awarded following for the procurement of an additional 38 units. A Boeing spokesperson has previously told Jane’s that, while only 44 launchers will be modified, they can be fitted to any of the 76 B-52H platforms in the USAF inventory.Named after Military Standard 1760, which relates to aircraft wiring, the 1760 IWBU work involves reformatting the B-52’s existing internal CRL so that the storage management overlay will be able to digitally communicate with smart weapons.

The 1760 IWBU is one of a number of enhancements that are designed to keep the venerable B-52 in service out to 2040 and beyond. Other upgrades include installing of the Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) digital data suite, replacing the now obsolete Northrop Grumman AN/APQ-166 radar, integrating the AN/AAQ-33 Lockheed Martin Sniper pod to complement the AN/AAQ-28 Northrop Grumman Litening Advanced Targeting Pod it already carries, and fitting an extremely high-frequency satellite communications upgrade. These enhancements are all underpinned by the rolling B-52 Software Block upgrades, which look to improve the bomber’s capabilities every 18–24 months.

Further to these, it was recently disclosed that the USAF is once again examining the feasibility of fitting new engines to the bomber, though no decision has yet been made.

Image

A JASSM cruise missile is released from the bomb bay of a B-52 during tests in August 2016. The Conventional Rotary Launcher (CRL) upgrade has now been declared to be combat ready.
(US Air Force)



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 25 Nov 2017 18:36

Pentagon Budget 2018: Senate defence appropriators recommend USD643.7 billion

The Senate defence spending bill provides USD581.3 billion in base funding, USD64.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) spending, and USD4.5 billion in emergency funding for missile defeat and defence enhancements, according to a Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) statement...Both chambers approved the conference report and the bill awaits President Donald Trump’s approval or veto.


---

SAC recommends USD4.4 billion for US Air Force (USAF) Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) conventional variant procurement. This is less than requested in the president’s budget request, but enough to buy 46 conventional variant aircraft. SAC also recommends USD661 million in advance procurement (AP) funding for 207 F-35s planned for procurement in FYs 2019 and 2020.

The committee recommends USD1.1 billion for eight F-35C carrier variants, four more aircraft than requested, and USD2.8 billion for 24 F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variants. This is for four more aircraft than requested.



So early FY19 and 20 USDOD procurement numbers look to be around 100 aircraft for each year. This should comfortably take overall order size (factoring in partner and FMS customers) north of 150-160 range for each of those two production years (different form lots). It's like delivering the entire F-22 program in one year! Needless to say this won't be easy given the ramp up. From around 60 in 2017, deliveries are expected to climb to close to 90 iirc in 2018 and eventually to the 150-160 levels in 2020/21.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Philip » 25 Nov 2017 19:22

US Navy floundering under sea of crises, according to jaw-dropping reports
THE US Navy is floundering in a big way. Now, sailors are beginning to share their stories as the extent of the crisis is revealed.
Matt Young@MattYoung


“IT’S only a matter of time before something horrible happens.”
These were the ominous warnings of a shipmate taken in a survey on US Navy cruiser Shiloh in a desperate bid to be heard.
Another described it as a “floating prison”.
“I just pray we never have to shoot down a missile from North Korea,” a distraught sailor lamented, “because then our ineffectiveness will really show.”
According to the Navy Times, “these comments are not unique”.
As the desperate search for three missing American sailors lost at sea ended Friday afternoon, whispers surrounding the United States’ military strength suggest a worrying decline in competency from both sea and air.
The crash of the navy aircraft near Okinawa, Japan, last week, was the fifth accident this year alone for the United States’ largest overseas fleet, the Seventh Fleet.
It has 50 to 70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft and about 20,000 sailors.
It works with South Korea to watch for North Korean strikes, but it is also circles the South China Sea, where China is building man-made islands and deploying new ships and planes.

Then there is India, clawing to find a way into the battle, and notorious Russia. Port calls to allies in Australia also maintain an American presence with one of its closest allies.

Three F/A-18E Super Hornets fly in formation over the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Nimitz and their strike groups along with ships from the South Korean Navy as they transit the Western Pacific.
Three F/A-18E Super Hornets fly in formation over the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Nimitz and their strike groups along with ships from the South Korean Navy as they transit the Western Pacific.Source:AFP
In August, news.com.au highlighted a series of recent tragedies that forced the Navy to dismiss the commander of its seventh fleet amid questions about the future of American operations in the Pacific.
Yet an eye-opening internal report released earlier this month, described as “one of the most remarkable US Navy documents in recent memory”, said the fleet was forced to make cuts to maintain schedule.
“The risks that were taken in the Western Pacific accumulated over time, and did so insidiously,” the report said.
“The dynamic environment normalised to the point where individuals and groups of individuals could no longer recognise that the processes in place to identify and assess readiness were no longer working at the ship and headquarters level.”
Seven sailors died and several were injured in June when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship south of Tokyo. The sight of the damaged boats, with gaping holes in their hulls, left a stain on America’s supposed strength at sea. If a commercial ship could cause so much damage, what could the US’s enemies do?
“They were either incredibly complacent or sloppy beyond description,” Carl Schuster, a Hawaii Pacific University professor who spent 10 years “driving” US warships, told CNN.
In August, the destroyer USS John McCain hit an oil tanker near Singapore, injuring five sailors and killing 10 others. The ship’s top two officers were relieved of duty at the time.
The head of the Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph P Aucoin, was also removed due to the accidents, which a Navy investigation found were “avoidable”.
At the time, outgoing Vice Adm Aucoin said the navy would carry out a “deliberate reset” of all its ships in the Pacific, focused on navigation, mechanical systems and bridge resource management. It would include training and an expert assessment of each ship.
Months later, the future looks even bleaker.

USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz conduct operations with South Korea's destroyer King Sejong front during a joint naval drill in the waters east of South Korea.Source:AFP
Over the past three decades alone, the Navy’s fleet has shrunk from almost 600 ships to 308 today. It included nearly 1200 aircraft and more than 130,000 sailors and civilians.
While campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump promised to expand the fleet by building more ships and increasing the number of aircraft carriers to 12, but his first budget actually proposed cuts to funding for shipbuilding.
“Behind the dramatic show of force, questions are emerging as to whether the US Navy is up to the challenges it faces in the Pacific — from both a nuclear-armed North Korea and a strengthening China — at a time when its top leaders acknowledge it lacks the money, manpower and weapons to ensure success,” CNN reported.
While the US Navy’s operations overseas are growing considerably, it has been forced to navigate through some serious accidents while showing brute force to its enemies.
When he appeared before the House Armed Services Committee to address the crisis, the Navy’s No. 2 officer, naval operations vice chief Admiral William Moran said the Navy was being pushed to its limits.
“We continue to have a supply-and-demand problem, which is placing a heavy strain on the force,” he said.
“All of these things culminate with this notion we aren’t big enough to do everything we’re being tasked to do. And our culture is, ‘we’re going to get it done’, because that’s what the Navy is all about. And sometimes our culture works against us.”
Even one the US Navy’s most respected members, Senator John McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, admits there are problems.
“The reality remains that our Navy is underfunded, overtasked, and too small,” he told CNN.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), front, Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) RSS Supreme (FFS 73), left, and RSS Endurance (LST 207), right, participate during Exercise Pacific Griffin 2017, off the coast of Guam in August.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), front, Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) RSS Supreme (FFS 73), left, and RSS Endurance (LST 207), right, participate during Exercise Pacific Griffin 2017, off the coast of Guam in August.Source:AFP
The task the US Navy must face is now is how to expand its fleet while maintaining its current one — no mean feat for what is supposed to be the world’s strongest.
CNN reports “maintenance delays are currently sidelining 11 Navy ships” while a report from the Government Accountability Office in September cited “inadequate facilities and equipment led to maintenance delays that contributed in part to more than 1300 lost operational days — days when ships were unavailable for operations — for aircraft carriers and 12,500 lost operational days for submarines”.
The report, entitled Naval Shipyards: Actions Needed to Improve Poor Conditions that Affect Operations, estimated the Navy “will be unable to conduct 73 of 218 maintenance periods over the next 23 fiscal years due to insufficient capacity and other deficiencies”.
The jaw-dropping report estimated it would take a whopping 19 years to clear its $4.68 billion backlog of restoration and maintenance projects.
“The current math won’t work,” Randy Forbes, a former US politician who served as chairman of the House Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, told CNN.
“It’s going to take an overall rebuilding of the Navy to meet the challenges around the globe.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 25 Nov 2017 20:01


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 26 Nov 2017 15:13

Excellent Display by Raptor , Good Display of TVC at Slow Speed and T:W Ratio of engine is shown to good effect.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 29 Nov 2017 01:38

US Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower tank to skip development phase ; Jane's International Defence Review; November,2017



The US Army officially kicked off Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme with a request for proposals (RFP), seeking to close a gap for a mobile, direct-fire capability in the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) formations by providing a protected, long-range, precision, direct-fire capability.

The MPF was the top priority in the US Army’s 2015 Combat Vehicle Modernization Strategy, and its RFP was released on 21 November.

“I don’t want to say it’s a light tank, but it’s kind of like a light tank,” David Dopp, programme manager for MPF, told reporters on 10 October. He said it will have a 105 mm cannon and the army plans to fit two on a C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, and that transport requirement has been one of the key design restrictions.

Major General David Bassett, programme executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, added that the platform will be tracked, weighs 25–35 tonnes, and has substantial armour protection, but not as much as a main battle tank. He said the MPF is not expected to have a C-17 airdrop capability because that requirement would cost the tank too much on the protection side.

Maj Gen Bassett said “by next spring”, or mid-2018, the army hopes to be testing bid samples, and could award initial engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract in early fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) as soon as money is appropriated, assuming budget legislation is enacted early in the fiscal year; the last few fiscal years have not begun with new appropriations.

The army expects to receive industry’s prototypes within 14 months of the anticipated FY 2019 contract award, and have them under evaluation at least four months after that.

The army is indicating it will skip the development phase and intends to obtain commercially ready vehicle options. The RFP outlines a plan similar to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, with two companies involved in the EMD phase and each contractor building 12 prototypes.

Following EMD, the winner would build 54 low rate initial production (LRIP) vehicles (26 initial and an option for 28). Eight of the EMD vehicles would also be retrofitted during the LRIP phase. Fifty vehicles per year would be produced towards a total of 504 vehicles. The first MPF units are to be constituted in 2025. Proposals are due in March and bid samples by 1 April.

The MPF vehicle must provide IBCTs with a “protected, long-range, cyber-resilient, precision, direct-fire capability for early or forcible entry operations.” The RFP also set a price target of USD6.4 million per vehicle.

SAIC with ST Kinetics and CMI Defence, BAE Systems, and General Dynamics are the expected entrants, however, more are likely to come forward.


Image

BAE Systems' demonstrator vehicle for MPF, based on its M8 AGS, was shown in 2015 and 2016 at AUSA.

Image

General Dynamics Land Systems' Griffin technology demonstrator vehicle was unveiled at AUSA in 2016.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ramana » 06 Dec 2017 03:40


brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Dec 2017 04:36

ramana wrote:Looks like rail gun is nixed


https://twitter.com/ramana_brf/status/9 ... 1129277440


That is inaccurate. The SCO was never really interested in the EMRG but was interested in its HVP on regular guns. I have been documenting SCOs programs focused to that end for a year or more here (International thread). EMRG is and was never a SCO program. It is a Navy and ONR program and this is where the funding and support comes from. As I have pointed to earlier, the next phase in dynamic EMRG testing will begin next year or so and from a cruise missile defense perspective, in 2018 General Atomics will demonstrate their smaller 10 MJ railgun at one of the ranges against a cruise missile surrogate target.

SCO takes on mature or relatively mature components and systems and re-purposes them for other applications. They are not in the business of developing or maturing technology. Industry, and Service labs/DARPA et al are the main drivers of that and this is exactly what is happening on the EMRG. The HVP is much more mature than the EMRG hence SCO went with it and is currently integrating it on the M777 and other in-service guns for air and missile defense application.

Earlier this year, the Navy moved the EMRG to their terminal range at Dahlgren and begun rate of fire testing. At some point this is going to go on a test ship for dynamic at sea testing.



Below is an update from its program manager from earlier this year as well -


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 06 Dec 2017 05:08

This vid, from Jan, 2017, explains the three components (Naval Guns, Projectiles and Electromagnetic Cannons) very well. Note that the projectiles can be used against maneuvering aerial targets (7 min or so).





When the USN is moving towards electric, no idea why they would dump that cannon.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Dec 2017 05:39

When the USN is moving towards electric, no idea why they would dump that cannon.


They aren't. As I mentioned earlier, SCO was never interested in the EMRG which is a Navy and ONR initiative and is part of the future cruiser strategy and trade space. An electro-magnetic rail gun for missile defense application is also being prepared but it is not part of the SCO effort. Link HERE. The big gun that is under testing under ONR isn't going to be used for land based Missile Defense applications. It is too large for such an application. The Blitzer on the other hand is more suited since it is smaller and developed for the defensive mission.

Missile defense using the HVP is a short term SCO program and the SCO is said to have mated a fire-control-radar borrowed from an air-force F-15 AESA (AN/APG-82 derived likely). It is all a very interesting effort that was first unveiled by Ashton Carter a year or two ago. an HVP+Existing Gun+Radar demonstration will occur in 2018, funded by SCO.

This is an important effort. One of the first target contract awards for the HVP effort was to prepare the GQM-163A , a mach 4 capable cruise missile target for testing on the system -

Hyper-Velocity Gun Weapon System
Solicitation Number: N00019-17-PMA-208-0038



On the SCO announcement from 2016 which I posted at the time -

SCO aims to flip the script on missile defense for bases, ports, ships with hypervelocity gun


The Pentagon wants to take a weapon originally designed for offense, flip its punch for defense and demonstrate by 2018 the potential for the Army and Navy to conduct missile defense of bases, ports and ships using traditional field guns to fire a new hypervelocity round guided by a mobile, ground variant of an Air Force fighter aircraft radar.

The Strategic Capabilities Office is working with the Army, Navy and Air Force to craft a Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System that aims, in part, to provide China and Russia an example of a secret collection of new U.S. military capabilities the Defense Department is bringing online in an effort to strengthen conventional deterrence.

"It is a fantastic program," Will Roper, Strategic Capabilities Office director, said in a March 28 interview with reporters, who said the project aims "to completely lower the cost of doing missile defense" by defeating missile raids at a lower cost per round and, as a consequence, imposing higher costs on attackers.

Current U.S. missile defense capabilities are centered around very sophisticated guided-missile interceptors, which cost -- in most cases -- millions of dollars per shot, an approach the Army and Navy service chiefs, in a Nov. 5, 2014 joint memo, warned the defense secretary is "unsustainable."

"Projectiles that we fire and test today are on the order of $50,000 currently and we hope to push down to $35,000 -- a two order-of-magnitude swing in some cases," Roper said.

The Pentagon is seeking $246 million for the HGWS in fiscal year 2017, building on $364 million appropriated for the project in FY-15 and FY-16.

The HGWS takes smart projectiles developed for the Navy's electromagnetic railgun and fires them with artillery already in the inventory.

"Cost-effective, large magazine, base defense will be demonstrated by closing the fire-control loop between existing sensors and prototype projectiles launched from existing powder guns including the Navy's Mk-45 5-inch Naval gun and the Army's Paladin 155 mm self-propelled howitzer; advanced powder gun prototypes; and the electromagnetic railgun," the Pentagon's FY-17 budget request states.


The Army and Navy have a combined inventory of approximately 1,000 guns capable of firing rounds of this size, including about 900 Army Paladins. The Navy has about 100 cruisers and destroyers, each with one 5-inch MK-45 gun on the bow.

"The intended end-state is a prototype system that retires risks to allow transition of gun-based defense to partners: the Missile Defense Agency, the Navy, and/or the Army," the budget request adds.

Roper, during the March 28 interview, disclosed a new dimension of the HGWS project.

"We haven't talked publicly about the sensor that we're doing with that," he said. "So, if you're going to do missile defense, you're going to need something to do the tracking. And we are working very extensively with taking fighter radars, in which we have a huge investment, and building ground-based variants of these."

The SCO is working to fashion a ground variant of the most advanced fighter radars, based on active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology: "Putting them on the ground to support intercepts of systems that can truly move," Roper said, referring to the radar's role in plans to take out ballistic and cruise missile threats.

He said the hypervelocity project has evolved to be a joint effort with three services: "We have a Navy round, an Army gun, and an Air Force sensor -- all combined into one Frankenstein architecture."

Roper, who was the Missile Defense Agency's director for engineering before being tapped to head the SCO at its formation in August 2012, declined to quantify the estimated range for the hypervelocity gun system.

"It goes without saying that because it is a gun, it is not a huge area defense," Roper said. "We're wanting to be able to defend high-value, small-area assets -- forward operating bases, ships, ports with a high, high density of fire -- with assets that are completely mobile."

He noted that much of the existing missile-defense capability is hindered by being fixed infrastructure. "Things that don't move give an opponent a decided advantage," Roper said. "We want to deny those, complicate their counter-targeting" with the HGWS, he said.

"We'd like opponents of the U.S. to think: 'I can't saturate their defense by having enough systems on my side.' We'd like them to think these critical forward operating bases and stations will continue to operate no matter how many missiles they continue to throw at them," the SCO director said. "We want that deterrent aspect in play."

Roper said the SCO is testing the new round out of the guns every three months. "We hope to prove the end-to-end architecture by the end of 2018," he said.


Of particular importance is that the HVP is going to be integrated on the extended range M777.

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Last edited by brar_w on 06 Dec 2017 15:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 06 Dec 2017 14:11

with a few of these, Noko will enforce a stability vs Soko/US combine and people will have to give concessions and back away

NYT excerpt::
Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington, drew similar conclusions in his analysis of the photos and video released by North Korea. In a report published Thursday, Mr. Elleman said his “initial calculations indicate the new missile could deliver a moderately sized nuclear weapon to any city on the U.S. mainland.”

But he also said the North Koreans would need to conduct additional tests to establish the Hwasong-15’s reliability. And like other aerospace experts, Mr. Elleman pointed out that North Korea had yet to show it had mastered technology to ensure a missile warhead survives the rigors of violent re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Still, he said, “if low confidence in the missile’s reliability is acceptable, two or three test firings over the next four to six months may be all that is required before Kim Jong-un declares the Hwasong-15 combat ready.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Dec 2017 17:51

Below is another article from July of this year covering what the USN plans to do with Railgun testing in 2018 and into 2019. Essentially, development and a lot of the development testing would be finished by around mid 2019 and the team would await a Navy decision to begin the next phase which would focus on integration with a platform, and dynamic at sea testing. The Navy had earlier shortlisted the Joint High Speed Vessel as the ship of choice to begin at sea testing of the railgun in 2016 but this was deffered as the CNO wanted a fully developed system to be demonstrated on land first before moving to the sea. There were rumors that in the 2018-2020 time-frame the Navy may decide to skip the JHSV bit and move straight towards integration on the ultimate platform of choice which would most likely be the Zumwalt. This remains to be seen and is likely a decision they will unveal around late 2018 or so.

While the weapon development is one part you still have to integrated it with a platform and your combat system which is not a very easy task..concurrent to that you also have to formulate TTPs and incorporate it in the offensive and defensive doctrine.

This is a late 2020s or early 2030s technology given the tasks that lie ahead. You could perhaps pull it a few years to the left if you do really really well but if I were to venture a timeline for the first EMRG equipped vessel (likely a DDG-1000 class) to go on an operational deployment, I'd say 2028-2032 time-frame. You could have land based systems, or even mobile 10 MJ Blitzer like weapons faster since there is less risk in integrating those but the Army or the Missile Defense Agency don't have the same level of cash to support these systems as the Navy does.

Navy Railgun Research To Reach 10 Rounds Per Minute In 2018

The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) is proceeding in its electromagnetic railgun research and expects to reach a capacity of 10 rounds per minute with a 32 Mega-Joule muzzle launch for each round, officials said Thursday [July 20].Dr. Thomas Beutner, department head of Code 35 in ONR’s Naval Air Warfare and Weapons Department, told reporters that the railgun research is going well and has made several scientific advances....

Tom Boucher, program officer at Code 35 said the ONR S&T program calls for a maturation of achieving 10 rounds per minute at 32 megajoules by fiscal year 2019. To reach that goal, ONR is building a series of barrels and incorporating lessons learned. They will achieve the full rep-rate and muzzle energy in 2018 and in 2019 demonstrate the longest life of a barrel at that muzzle energy.

After reaching these goals the S&T portion of the program should be complete. Separately the Navy’s Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) will look at shipboard integration if the Navy decides to do that and that office will make any follow-on acquisition decisions, Boucher said....

ONR’s rep-rate composite launcher, which can repeat launches quicker than other test devices, will be able to achieve the 10 round-per-minute rate the program seeks by later this summer. ONR plans to gradually ramp up this launcher to higher rep-rate and energy levels through the end of the year, Beutner said.

He also talked about how ONR has demonstrated the ability to use pulse power, having fired 5,000 pulse shots. For the rep-rate firing, ONR has to use a larger energy farm or capacitor base resulting in pulse power using over one megajoule per cubic meter energy density. “That’s an important scientific advance in terms of energy density in those capacitors, but even more important that’s a size factor that will fit into the ships. Both crewed combatants and future combatants,” Beutner said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 06 Dec 2017 19:32

Just in time after the ATAGs recorded 48 kms , the M777 has to record 48 miles eh :)

brar_w wrote:
Of particular importance is that the HVP is going to be integrated on the extended range M777.

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Dec 2017 19:59

^ ERCA in addition to extending range for currently used rounds also opens up the HVP from the EMRG to be used on the M777. Of course, as a stand-alone program the MTAR (I've posted details in the Artillery thread) has an objective of 100 km max range out of the triple seven (threshold of 70 km) but using a new round.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 06 Dec 2017 21:41

the EM railgun stands cancelled today after $500 mil of proto phase due to significant remaining challenges.

their navy will use the guided projectiles developed for the now cancelled railgun on their conventional 5" naval guns throughout the DDG/CG fleet.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Dec 2017 21:54

Again, ignore the MSN/Gizmodo reports that focus on the SCO effort which was always to leverage just the HVP as I have been stating hear for over 1 year now. The EMRG is an S&T program led by the Office of Naval Research. It, as an S&T program still has a year or a half of development left before they demonstrate all the things that they have to demonstrate before passing the product on to the Navy for further dynamic testing. The only current vessel that can accommodate the 32 MJ railgun is the DDG-1000. The Burke Flt IIIs or the Tico's can't. There is a mid 2020s plan to mount the 32 MJ EMRG on the Zumwalt and EMRG integration is also in the trade space for the next cruiser that replaces the Ticos. These decisions are going to be made in the future..first you have to complete the S&T program and overcome the challenges of designing the system in the first place. This is what ONR is doing as they increase the rep rate from the 4-5 now to 10 per minute as is required of them.

They'll spend all of 2018 and into 2019 doing that. Then there is the power delivery, and storage challenge that General Atomics is working on. The other components are vessel integration and the projectile. Out of these the projectile is the most mature, hence SCO prefers to take it and integrate with the powdered guns since SCO is a rapid capabilities office that prefers to re-purpose mature technologies (like they did with the land attack capability addition to the SM6). The US Navy has to own up the other challenging areas.

The next surface combatant design has not been fixed yet. There are many proposals out there ranging from a modified Zumwalt to a modified San Antonio Class vessel as an arsenal ship. Both these proposals (and others) will be decided upon in the next 2-5 years and both can accomodate the 32MJ railgun from a space, weight, power and thermal perspective. The raigun was never meant to be back fitted on the Burke's..The ultimate fate of the 32 MJ EMRG rests on the cruiser replacement strategy that we won't know for till some time yet. You may have appropriation issues with annual funding being lower than what was requested which may cause delays or move plans to the right but the current program was always a science and technology effort and any decision to pursue it beyond that will have to wait until the US Navy provides the US Congress and the Pentagon with its intentions for the next generation cruiser. Until then there is really no vessel for the 32MJ railgun.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Philip » 07 Dec 2017 00:32

The USN is doing an about turn on the $500M rail gun due to costs, prolonged development taking sev. years with no guaranteed results and the high power req. aboard its warships. Though initial tests were v.successful, the USN wanted enhanced performance.However, it has discovered that the Mach 7 projectiles being used for the rail gun can be used on its existing larger guns across board of its major surface combatants wigh a Mach 3 velocity ,double that of existing shells,giving it a very cost-effective solution.These projectiles will have enhanced capability to shoot down enemy missiles including BMs. There will be no need for extra power which a rail gun would've demanded.The money earmarked for RG dev. will now be used for projectile development.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 07 Dec 2017 10:00

canada has cancelled a planned buy of new Shornet in favour of buying used from australia

in retaliation for trade sanctions on bombardier.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2017 15:54

Northrop Tests Air-dropped UAV For EA-18G Growler


Northrop Grumman has been performing flight demonstrations with a new foldout UAV that could someday drop from the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.

The UAV would deploy from an air-released canister and fly for about 10 hr. at 60 kt., or until shot down, all the while collecting valuable intelligence and location data on radio frequency-emitting targets inside contested airspace.

The “Dash X” is the product of Morganton, New Carolina-based VX Aerospace, which developed it over nine months in collaboration with North Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina, with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

Two of the aircraft were on display during a media tour of the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems radar production facility here on Dec. 5.

One UAV was displayed with wings extended and another was stuffed inside a canister. Its signals-collecting antennas were visible on the fuselage.

At the display, John Thompson, naval aviation campaign director for the company’s airborne C4ISR systems group, explained that the aircraft can find and geolocate signals-emitting targets of interest on the battlefield and relay that information back to the Growlers and other U.S. forces operating locally.

VX Aerospace CEO and chief engineer Robert Skillen says the Dash X, which Northrop has branded “Remedy,” was developed from clean-sheet concept to first flight in just nine months. It is the product of his “Carolina Consortium.”

Northrop first tested its concept for manned-unmanned teaming with the Remedy during an Oct. 26 flight demonstration. During the test, the UAV cooperated with Northrop’s Bombardier Dash 8 testbed aircraft, with the two platforms “collecting and sharing electronic warfare and signals intelligence data inflight,” the company says. Operators onboard the Dash 8 were also able to direct the UAV to change missions and locations in real time.

Although the canister the UAV would deploy from looks like a cluster munitions dispenser, there are no explosions involved. By using an existing munitions canister design, Northrop and Boeing would not have to modify the carrier aircraft.

Thompson says this UAV capability is a potential candidate for the EA-18G midlife upgrade program. Northrop has been working with Naval Air Systems Command’s F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) to mature the concept.

Thompson says the UAV would be ideal for extending the reach of the Growler into denied airspace. Because the Dash X flies very slowly, it is difficult to detect and track with conventional military radars that are optimized to spot fighters and bombers.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 07 Dec 2017 16:39

seems based on this product idea and chukkar drones albeit they had 2 hrs of life this one 10.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADM-141_TALD

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2017 17:21

This isn't a decoy. The USN although does not operate the MALD (which is much superior to the legacy TALD) they do have interest and at the last Northern Edge integrated their own Electronic attack payload into a modified MALD-J. They will likely acquire a thousand or so MALD-J built to their requirements in the short term. This drone is not a decoy or a stand-in jammer like the TALD or MALD or MALD-J. This is an ISR asset that the Growler can release so that it can focus on specific targets or areas of interest where these can feed EW data to the aircraft to complement the ALQ-218's that the Growler carries. In the post-cold war restructured US Military, the USN handles stand-off Airborne Electronic Attack, while the USAF handles the stand-in AEA mission, information warfare, and some stand-off and C2 jamming working via the EC-130 and EC-X.

The idea behind this appears to be to help the Growler crews to more efficiently cover higher number of targets since they will soon be acquiring jamming that will more than quadruple the number of targets they can suppress. You can't effectively or efficiently target without having high quality situational awareness on targets and as the number of targets increases and you are no longer limited by your jammer's ability to handle diverse and multiple threats you will need better eyes and ears on the threat and these sort of extremely low cost payloads can be quickly deployed and netted to aid the organic receivers.

When cost is not the absolute driver the US Navy and the USMC has and is exploring unmanned payloads that are at a higher price point than the MALD and MALD-Js and are recoverable so you could put more sophisticated payloads onboard for ISR and electronic warfare missions.

UTAP-22 is one such example and the USMC recently demo'd its MUM-T (Manned Unmanned Teaming). The USAF is pursuing an even more sophisticated unmanned vehicle in the XQ-222, that will be unveiled over the next 6 or so months.



Specifically on the Growler, for which this particular payload is being proposed, if you add CFTs as Boeing is proposing for the block 3.0 and the Super Growler configuration, you free up two stores that are currently occupied by the EFTs. This would allow you to carry a few of these. If you remove the third pod which is usually mission specific (payloads are configured based on the spectrum they are looking to suppress so not all sorties will be carrying the mid, high and low band pods together. Usually it would be two mid band pods only since that is where majority of the threats reside) then you can add even more. Moreover, there is a Silent-Growler concept that I very much hope the USN pursues in which they convert Super Hornet's with ALQ-218s as DEAD platforms tasked with concentrating on getting warheads on emitters rather than a combination of SEAD and DEAD.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2017 18:00

Apparently, USAF has selected the Northrop Grumman's Gallium Nitride X-Band AESA radar for the JSTARS replacement. Platform and lead integrator is still to be chosen (sensor was competed separately).

U.S. Air Force Selects Northrop Grumman Radar For J-Stars

In late November, industry officials confirmed to Aviation Week that the Air Force has picked Northrop Grumman’s active, electronically scanned array radar over Raytheon’s alternative, branded Archimedes.

If the J-Stars acquisition proceeds, Northrop’s radar solution will become the central component of one of the J-Stars designs being proposed by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop.

Raytheon’s and Northrop’s radar shops had been barred from exclusively aligning their radar products with one team or another to prevent anti-competitive behavior. Instead, the government got to choose.Northrop and the Air Force did not deny the choice, but declined to provide additional information, because the source-selection process for the total J-Stars package is ongoing. Raytheon, however, did not mince its words, calling the radar-evaluation process “flawed.”

Raytheon has protested the decision through the U.S. Government Accountability Office, filing its complaint on Nov. 20.

“Based on our assessment, the evaluation process had significant flaws, and we have filed a protest accordingly,” the company said in a Nov. 27 statement. “Our radar solution for the J-Stars program offers the Air Force the most mature and capable technology available to meet this urgent need.”


Northrop Grumman Mission Systems of Baltimore and Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems of McKinney, Texas, both received contracts from the government in March 2016 to mature competing radar designs for J-Stars. Work on those contracts probably wrapped up in late September, ahead of the decision.

Both companies had proposed advanced, long-range radars based on gallium-nitride components that can detect very-slow-moving human-size ground targets and even submarine periscopes at sea.

It is understood that Northrop’s radar product is called “Vanguard.” Raytheon’s Archimedes was developed from the secretive APS-154 Advanced Airborne Sensor that is being introduced on the P-8A.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Dec 2017 19:59

Additional information on the Unmanned payload being proposed for Growler Block II -

Northrop executive: Navy may incorporate new unmanned system for Growler Block II

The Navy may consider using a new unmanned aerial vehicle created through a joint venture between Northrop Grumman and VX Aerospace as part of the EA-18G Growler Block II upgrade, according to a Northrop Grumman executive.

JJ Thompson, naval aviation campaign director at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, told reporters here the system, known as Dash X, is designed to be an expendable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset.

Dash X has been overseen by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of Naval Research and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program office, he said.

VX Aerospace, using ONR funding and working with North Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina, designed and built two Dash X unmanned aerial systems for flight testing.

The UAS folds into a canister that can be carried by a tactical aircraft. When dropped by an aircrew, it separates from the container and flies off to perform its mission.

The UAS then relays information back to the aircraft. Though Thompson did not predict the precise cost of Dash X, he said the military will be able to treat the systems as disposable.

VX and Northrop concluded the first phase of development with a flight test on Oct. 26 at Foothills Regional Airport in Morganton, NC. The demonstration proved Dash X could work in conjunction with a manned aircraft, collecting and sharing electronic warfare and signal intelligence data inflight, Thompson said.

The demo used a modified Bombardier Dash 8 as the manned aircraft. Northrop installed a sensor suite developed with internal research and development dollars, Thompson said.

Though Dash X can only travel up to 60 knots, Thompson said this speed works to its advantage. The system goes too fast for small arms to shoot it down, but is slow enough to be below the range of tactical aircraft engagement systems.

Thompson said he envisions the Navy using this technology as part of the Growler Block II upgrade because the modernization effort focuses on manned-unmanned teaming.

"I think that long-range teaming is where the highest probability of fielding this is going to go," he said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby shiv » 11 Dec 2017 20:43

brar_w wrote:Northrop Tests Air-dropped UAV For EA-18G Growler


Thompson says the UAV would be ideal for extending the reach of the Growler into denied airspace. Because the Dash X flies very slowly, it is difficult to detect and track with conventional military radars that are optimized to spot fighters and bombers.


Interesting. This means air defence radars are programmed to ignore targets flying at 100 kmph

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Dec 2017 21:28

For many yes but not likely for all. I know that the US forces themselves had to modify the software and in some instances the hardware on their surveillance radars (that operate in the L-band) to be better at identifying the really slow flying cheap UAVs since at their baseline these sensors either ignored or weren't as capable at detecting or tracking these threats with great accuracy. On replacement systems for these radars they have created this requirement at the baseline itself. The same also applies to the Boost Glide systems..this is a major push now for US BMD sensors to get upgrades in anticipation of the TBG threats of the future. If one looks at the air-defense systems deployed around the world, overwhelming majority of them are legacy systems with no known track record of constant upgrades to keep them relevant against all types of current and emerging threats. A Passive, small, slow flying disposable UAV will be extremely hard for a very large number of them to pick up, track and eventually target in a cost-effective manner..this with a very powerful stand-off jammer in the vicinity. If they do, you just launch another one.

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/md ... le-targets


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby sum » 18 Dec 2017 12:00

Was this posted earlier?

Beautiful article on the origins of the Stealth programme and the F117. Read it all

Stealth turns 40: Looking back at the first flight of Have Blue

McDonnell Douglas' team took a look at the specifications for the XST's radar return threshold and balked. That left Lockheed and Northrop, who were both given the modest sum of $1.5 million to build their mock-ups. The models would be evaluated at the Air Force's Radar Target Scatter testing range at the White Sands proving grounds in New Mexico. To test the model before delivery to DARPA, Lockheed had to turn to former competitor McDonnell Douglas to make use of their radar test range in the Mojave Desert—a move Rich compared to "Buick borrowing Ford's test track." According to Rich's recounting of that test, the radar operator told Rich to check if his model had fallen off the pole... until a crow landed atop it and was detected by the radar.

The Skunk Works team delivered their models to White Sands in March of 1976. "They put our model up on a pole at the radar return range," Burnett recounts. "People were saying, we see your model. But it turns out they did not see the model—they were seeing a lot of other things, not the actual vehicle model. That original shape was not something that could have been made into an airplane, but it definitely showed the technologies were feasible."

In fact, what the Air Force test team picked up was the pole that they provided to mount the models on, which had bigger radar return than both the models. Lockheed and Northrop each spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from their budgets to build new poles with smaller radar returns—poles with 10 decibels less return than the models themselves.


"We were able to take a lot of off the shelf components from other vehicles," said Burnett. "The flight control system was lifted out of (General Dynamics') F-16 design. The engines were out of the (Northrop) T-38, and the nose gear also came off a T-38. And the main gear were from the F-104, if I remember correctly. The ejection seat was from the F-16." To put it all together, tools were pulled from Lockheed's C-5 cargo plane line.

The F-16's flight control system was an important piece of the puzzle, because it was a "fly-by-wire" control system. Since the strange nature of Have Blue design would make the aircraft inherently unstable in flight—more than any human pilot could cope with—it needed a "fly-by-wire" control system to make it work. "Because we knew we had a very unstable vehicle, the F-16 flight controllers made a lot of sense," Burnett said.

The rest of the cockpit layout was decidedly low tech. Aside from the F-16's "side stick" arrangement, the Have Blue aircraft used "a lot of the old-fashioned steam gauges for instrumentation," Burnett explained.

Shows why Khan is the king kong when it comes to advanced technologies


Comments are also very good:
Dec 17, 2017 6:35 AM
Ben Rich had been having trouble convincing anyone that the equations were solid and the plane would be invisible. He proposed a demonstration test where the Have Blue would fly against our Hawk ground to air missile system. The Hawk was so named because it ostensibly could see a hawk at 30 miles.

As the plane technology was top secret, the Marines who would be manning the missile radar system were told the plane had a black box that would confuse their missile guidance equipment. Rich was standing outside the command trailer with a Marine sergeant whose job it was to verify a plane had flown by.

Rich and the sergeant saw the plane as it approached and flew directly over the trailer housing the radar guidance crew. The sergeant gaped at the oddly shaped plane and the missiles which should have been tracking the plane as it passed overhead sitting completely still.

Rich grinned at the sergeant and went into the trailer where he found the missile crew hunched over their gear waiting for the plane. They saw the chase plane come up and identified it as a T-38. The crew captain turned to Rich and said "Sorry sir. Looks like your gizmo isn't working too good." Just then, the sergeant stepped into the trailer looking as if he'd just seen a UFO and said "Captain. You won't believe this..."


At this risk of sounding pretentious, I would suggest that this paragraph be corrected.

The first production aircraft to be designed from scratch with a fly-by-wire system was the Avro Canada CF-105, which first flew in 1958. The CF-105's flight computer was the origin of what we now consider the defining characteristics of fly-by-wire:
- All flight surfaces actuated by electrical or electric-over-hydraulic actuators under computer control
- Flight envelope and stability characteristics defined and enforced by the computer
- Artificial feel (force feedback) on the control stick
- Flight computer integrated with radar and electronic navigation systems

The plane was designed so that it could even be flown on autopilot from ground control if necessary, although the program was cancelled before this capability was fully validated. It was also intended to be supercruise-capable; the first one to have the Orenda PS.13 Iroquois engines with this capability was just a few days away from demonstrating it when the program was cancelled.

The CF-105 was scrapped for political reasons in 1959, and Avro Canada effectively died with it. Most of the engineers were snapped up by aerospace firms contracted to NASA and the US DoD, and they took the expertise and technology with them.

The F-16's analog computer was a direct descendent of the one designed for the CF-105, drawing heavily on the experience of the engineers that General Dynamics got out of the Avro Canada collapse.

(Source: The CF-105 project was remarkably public and well-documented for a military program. Also, my grandfather was among the Avro staff who actually wired up the thing's flight controls.)


Love the article. I worked with the F117 program in the 90's. There are a few interesting tidbits I could add if I felt inclined to violate the 75 year NDA they made me sign when I left the program in 1998. The thing is, they really wouldn't add much to the story. I love how much is available these days from completely unclassified sources. Well done!

Edit: One I can think of that is unclassifed: We were told the Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) was akin to a third weapons bay. The F117 has 2 weapons bays and a typical weapons load was a 2000 lb laser guided bomb in each bay. The RAM coating weighed about 2000 lbs itself, so the reduced Radar Cross Section was like carrying a third weapon.

Edit: A second anecdotal (I can't confirm aspects of it) story. The F117 should properly be called an A117. It has no internal gun and the only time it ever fired an air to air weapon was in testing. They supposedly locked one of the launch racks in the down position to fire the missile. Once it had successfully launched an air to air missile, the "F" designation could be applied. The reason they wanted the "F" instead of the "A"? While many fighters (F16s and F117s for example) were capable of dropping nuclear bombs, "A" designated aircraft counted as launch platforms in the nuclear arms treaties and "F" designated did not.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2017 18:29

Reaction Begins Building U.S. Hypersonic Engine Test Site;
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Dec 18, 2017


LOS ANGELES—A high-temperature airflow test site designed to evaluate a key technology in the Reaction Engines’ hypersonic air-breathing combined cycle Sabre rocket engine is under assembly at Front Range Airport near Watkins, Colorado.
Construction of the facility follows the award earlier this year of a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) contract to test the engine’s pre-cooler heat exchanger, or HTX. The test work, which is due to start in 2018, will focus on running the HTX at airflow temperatures in excess of 1,800F (1,000C), representing inlet conditions at Mach 5.

The HTX is designed to chill airflow down from this temperature to minus 150C. in less than 1/20th of a second, and is a vital element of the Sabre concept, which extracts oxygen from the atmosphere. The chilled air is passed from the HTX to a turbo-compressor and into the rocket combustion chamber, where it is burned with sub-cooled liquid hydrogen fuel.

Tests of the heat exchanger, which is made from thousands of thin-walled tubes to provide high surface area at low weight, represent a major milestone for Reaction, which has seen growing U.S. interest in elements of Sabre since the concept was first independently validated by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in 2015. Each tube in the HTX is joined to an inlet and outlet manifold, which allows coolant to be injected and removed for the cooling process.

Reaction says the work is designed to build upon previous successful testing of the precooler heat exchanger at ambient temperature conditions. Adam Dissel, president of Reaction Engines Inc., says the “facility’s ability to deliver controlled temperature profiles over flight-like run durations at significant airflow represents a unique capability that can fill additional testing demand beyond HTX.” Inlet air for the facility will be heated by a General Electric J79 engine.

Dubbed TF2, the Colorado test site also will be made available to industry, technology developers, and universities, following evaluation of the HTX. Reaction Engines in the UK is meanwhile continuing to develop the TF1 engine test facility at Westcott, where the first ground-based demonstration of the Sabre rocket engine will take place. The UK site will incorporate a hydrogen/air-breathing preburner to condition the air for core evaluation and is adjacent to a test facility where Reaction’s rocket nozzle tests have also been conducted.

Core testing is provisionally targeted for 2020 and will focus on the low fuel consumption potential of the cycle, as well as operability work covering transients, startups and shutdowns. The second phase will evaluate the integrated engine for the first time from around 2021 by linking up precoolers and thrust chambers to take the engine through the full operating range with heated inlet air.

For the third phase covering flight testing, Reaction is considering an X-plane type flight demonstration program. Targets for the flight test engine include inlet and bypass demonstrations, complete propulsion integration, maintainability and reliability.


Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 26 Dec 2017 18:57

From the China Mil Watch thread:

chola wrote:^^

Thanks for the description of how the thing works. The US never went with TVC in the F-16 or any of the later Teen variants. The trade-off in complexity and, I assume, maintenance versus more maneuverability is not worth it?


It wasn't that. There was little doubt that addition of the AVEN when combined with other upgrades would have made the F-16 much more lethal in air-combat particularly in the WVR arena. Similar path was also considered by SAAB when GE agreed to modify the AVEN to work on the GE F404/414 families but for SAAB the high cost of the modification likely meant that they would have to trade other capabilities that they were pursuing at that time including an AESA antenna that they sourced from Raytheon.

TVC was a means explored in a very comprehensive fashion for shorter takeoffs and landings, greater agility etc with plans to see if this increases the combat capability of the CAF against advances made by potential adversaries elsewhere. This however, was just one thing explored to that end. By the mid-late 1980s, simulated/virtual analysis and wargaming in support of the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) was in full swing at Wright Patterson AFB, looking at various potential advances that, when combined, could result in performance leaps compared to the status quo. By late 1990, both the ATF Technology demonstrators that incorporated many of these capabilities were in the air and major sub-system TD fabrication was also well underway. What followed over the next decade in terms of further live and virtual analysis put the USAF on a path towards the ATF approach of pursuing Low-Observability, sensor fusion and advanced performance and networking as a means to improving the overall effectiveness of the CAF. Keep in mind that the USAF was performing real world analysis on these advances via the F-22A prototypes of which they had 6-8 by the late 1990s (a point not very different from where the PAK FA program currently stands i.e. most prototypes/TDs delivered and LRIP to begin over the next few months or so).

By 2001, the F-22 was approved for Low-Rate Initial Production, and the first squadron declared IOC 4 years later. Around the same time (2001) the JSF EMD contract was awarded with aircraft specifications taking a lot from the ATF systems analysis, while also advancing the needle on other vital areas such as LO designs, maintainability, avionics and sensor fusion and sustainment etc. TVC was not explicitly a requirement on either the ATF or the JSF. What the USAF required was a minimum threshold performance that had to be demonstrated at the TD or prototype stage (to include modeling and analysis). Lockheed was able to meet the more demanding (compared to F-16) High Alpha requirements on the JSF without the need to use TVC. Even on the ATF, there were no specific TVC requirements but the contractors were free to choose designs that best met or exceeded the rather strict agility requirements.

The USAF simply decided to move on and not buy additional fourth generation aircraft well into the 2000s and 2010s. This meant that any retrofits planned for existing fourth generation aircraft that had been delivered or were on order in the mid-late 1990s or early 2000s focused on the missions and threats that were more immediate or the long term needs to make these aircraft complement the 5th generation fleet. So things that got funding had to do with sensor advances (AESA radars), EW advances, better targeting and weapons.

Post 9/11 the focus really shifted towards a very massive increase in the Unmanned Enterprise with the mandate being to increase that capability to support an insane number of global orbits to support all major COCOMS which took away a lot of resources that could have potentially funded comprehensive legacy fleet upgrades. As a result a lot of the mission system upgrades on the F-15 enterprise moved half a decade to a decade to the right while others potential upgrade paths were totally dropped. AESA radars, digital AESA based Electronic Warfare suits, newer weapons (C7 and D AMRAAMs) and improved networking are the upgrade paths that the USAF has sort of agreed upon as the best combination of combat capability and affordability of the F-15 (E and perhaps C) and F-16 (a few hundred aircraft at the most) as far as air-combat is concerned since the major thrust will still come from the 5th generation fleet which now exceeds 250 aircraft and will grow at roughly 2 squadrons a year or more from here on in.

It would be great if there were AVEN kitted F-16's doing Cobra's but given the overall USAF construct, I'd rather take the constant upgrades on the AMRAAM seeker and guidance that have happened over the last decade or more (, C7, D and now F3R for the early 2020s) and a high procurement rate for that weapon and AESA radars if given a choice. I'd also continue to, if not increase, how squadrons are cycled through Red Flags, Northern Edge and other large force exercises. These are critically important ways via which you can create gaps between the adversaries that you are likely to need A2A for anyways. Counter-Air gets a disproportionate amount of "forum time" here given that this is by far the sexiest element of air-power, but in the overall scheme of things, particularly in how the USAF operates or is likely to operate, it is one small piece of the overall puzzle. One can argue that it is in fact the Surface to Air threats that are far more challenging to the USAF than Air to Air ones.

Would they like to add additional capability such as TVC etc to make these aircraft even better? Sure, but not at the expense of recapitalizing their squadrons and the math that gets them there is roughly 60 new built aircraft a year in the early-mid 2020s so getting from the current (around 45 aircraft a year) state to that by 2023 (order year) takes precedence. Then they have to also invest in what comes after the F-35. The USAF has traditionally kept the NG system in TD phase while it is buying the current generation of systems. The ATF program was up and running concurrent to F-15 and F-16 acquisition programs, and the same applied for the JAST/JSF program. So, expect a sharp increase in funding for Next Generation fighter prototyping which is something they have been investing in since 2016. We have heard a lot more on NG propulsion and sub-system thermal and power management but there is acknowledged, funded activity in the aero side as well that is hidden behind classified budgets.

Yes, we have examples of the Russian one in production with the MKI’s AL-31FP.


Although a true 3D TV Nozzle (AVEN analogous) from Russia did not emerge till the early 2000s iirc.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby chola » 27 Dec 2017 17:47

It would be great if there were AVEN kitted F-16's doing Cobra's but given the overall USAF construct, I'd rather take the constant upgrades on the AMRAAM seeker and guidance that have happened over the last decade or more (, C7, D and now F3R for the early 2020s) and a high procurement rate for that weapon and AESA radars if given a choice.


Great post, Brar. It took a bit to digest all that info but the above made things very clear.

It seems it is still useful technology for new aircraft even if retrofitting a large standing force like the USAF’s F-16 is not cost effective in comparison to other needs.

And that would make it useful for the chinis on their upcoming J-10 variants? If so, do we need to look into the technology ourselves? Maybe for the later Tejas or AMCA?

Although a true 3D TV Nozzle (AVEN analogous) from Russia did not emerge till the early 2000s iirc.


How would you categorize the TVC we currently have on the Al-31FP? I had always assumed it was all directionsl like the 117S on the Su-35 just not as advanced.

Is it a good enough base for us to base a possible 3D TVC program on?

Or should we go after the AVEN technology from the US MATV program?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 18:11

chola wrote:It seems it is still useful technology for new aircraft even if retrofitting a large standing force like the USAF’s F-16 is not cost effective in comparison to other needs.

And that would make it useful for the chinis on their upcoming J-10 variants? If so, do we need to look into the technology ourselves? Maybe for the later Tejas or AMCA?


The Chinese likely want to develop this technology, demonstrate it and perhaps upgrade a few J-10s and maybe even look to incorporate it into the J-20 in the future. They will likely be far more reliant on their 4th generation aircraft flee than the USAF which has already ramped up, and is significantly ramping up its F-35 procurement in the coming years and has already fielded its F-22 fleet. At some point China will likely want to export the J-10 as well so more capability may help there, not to mention that improved flanker clones are also likely from them (now that they are getting their hands on the Su-35) so that could be another potential area of application.

My initial point was that despite tremendous advancements in some areas they are quite behind in others since Like I mentioned this was demonstrated (based on fairly smallish amount of R&D investment and risk) in the west nearly 25 years ago and in Russia 15 years or so ago. So at least in this area, China has a lot of catching up to do.

How would you categorize the TVC we currently have on the Al-31FP? I had always assumed it was all directionsl like the 117S on the Su-35 just not as advanced.


The TV nozzles on the Flanker operate in one plane and it is their canted nature and combination that allows the FCS to use them for both pitch and yaw. The AVEN, (and the competing P&W design that did not make the cut) the nozzle that flew on the MiG-29 OVT in the early 2000s, and the one bench tested by the European partners for the Typhoon are 3D systems.

Image


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby chola » 27 Dec 2017 19:22

My initial point was that despite tremendous advancements in some areas they are quite behind in others since Like I mentioned this was demonstrated (based on fairly smallish amount of R&D investment and risk) in the west nearly 25 years ago and in Russia 15 years or so ago. So at least in this area, China has a lot of catching up to do.



Right but if it is pointless technology just because the US and Russians did it then I rather we not follow suit. Just like the PRC’s move to the bullpup assault rifle. They followed the UK and France and are now going back to a conventional one. So I was glad the IA ignored that trend.

So should the IAF ignore them testing their AVEN on the J-10 and not waste funding on a technology that is “nice to have” but not critical? I guess that is my real question.

But if it is critically important should we start a 3D TVC program based on the Al-31FP or attempt to get the AVEN tech from the US?


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