International Military Discussion

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TSJones
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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby TSJones » 23 Mar 2016 10:39

here's the original article.... read it yourself......... :D

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/r ... -disaster/

the story was written by anatoly zak..........uh, a Russian....... :rotfl:

here is his web site:

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/index.html
Last edited by TSJones on 23 Mar 2016 10:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby Austin » 23 Mar 2016 10:46

TSJones wrote:here's the original article.... read it yourself......... :D

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/r ... -disaster/


If Briz-M indeed exploded Roscosmos would have confirmed it like they did before when Birz-M indeed exploded , they article is just a bunch of assumption from so called experts from nowhere land :lol:

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/exomars2016-launch.html

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 Mar 2016 04:10

Manufacturing Tech Key To Driving Down F-35 Costs

When conceived, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) incorporated the latest manufacturing technology available to meet its performance and stealth targets. Affordability was also a goal, but development difficulties and other factors have pushed up costs. Now, as the cost reductions that come with production-rate increases flatten out, the program has turned back to manufacturing technology in a bid to drive down the price of the aircraft, using robotics, near-net-shape ...

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 25 Mar 2016 13:15

Below is a link to the latest F-35 selected acquisition report for 2015.

Key Changes

* Total acquisition price in TY$ reduced by $12.1 Billion from 2014 estimates, greater than 3% decrease in estimated cost from last year. The new number is $379 Billion for R&D, procurement, testing, integration, acquisition, and the creation of JSF related infrastructure at US military bases (MILCON). The number of fighter jets included as part of the $379 Billion estimate remains unchanged: 1763 F-35A's, 340 F-35B's, and 340 F-35C's.

* O&S that is the cost to operate and sustain the fleet over its entire lifetime has always been a controversial estimate since they have tried to not only estimate usage patters, but also the cost of fuel, and inflation decades out. Regardless, the hourly operational cost, and other short term sustainment costs saw a reduction of 2-3% from the 2014 estimates. However, last year the three US services revised their usage patterns and publicly stated that they intend on using the F-35 for 6 more years with a corresponding increase in hours flown over these years. As a result, the new estimate, increases the timeframe for O&S cost estimate out to 2070 ( 54 years from now) and adds more than 1.5 million hours of flying to the previous 2014 estimates. The new overall program cost i.e The cost over the 70 year period between 2000 when the program started, and 2070 when the last aircraft is expected to retire is aprox. $1.1 Trillion.

Had it not been for the added 6 years, and aprox. 1.6 million hours more of flying, and had the 2015 estimates covered the same usage patterns as the 2014 estimates, the O&S cost would have dropped by $22 Billion. All in a fairly positive development, at least on the cost front. As mentioned earlier, the new cost estimate for the fleet wide (all variants) mean cost of acquisition, testing, integration and R&D, is $155 million per aircraft (skewed no doubt by 680 more expensive B's and C's) with a URF naturally much lower.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/305870186/F- ... e#download

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 26 Mar 2016 02:23

Brain behind the Next Generation US Air and Missile Defense. Interesting tidbit, Raytheon proposed an IBCS like solution to keep the US from MEADS, and Northrop took the contract through competition thereby ending Raytheon's monopoly over the patriot air defense system. The mantra is 'any sensor, any shooter' and they have already demonstrated interceptions using patriot missile's with non patriot sensors...


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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 26 Mar 2016 23:48

Interesting picture..

Image

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby Viv S » 26 Mar 2016 23:53

Anything in particular you noticed about the picture?

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Mar 2016 00:21


brar_w
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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Mar 2016 00:21

^ Envelope expansion. LFPS being tested at an extreme envelope and configuration.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby TSJones » 27 Mar 2016 13:48

.........it's short, fat and stubby?

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Mar 2016 18:41

TSJones wrote:.........it's short, fat and stubby?


Yeah That too.. :D But mainly that the image captures them testing various LF engagement envelops.

Meanwhile,


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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 27 Mar 2016 19:26

brar_w wrote:Interesting picture..

Image


one could get to the STOVL configuration using a stealthy cruise missile weighing under 2 tons, a miniature version? maybe a forward placed Wankel engine driving the lift fan. One could loose as many in flight testing and not feel funding cuts.

Wonder what is the payload difference in vertical takeoff and short takeoff for the f-35?

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Mar 2016 23:16

one could get to the STOVL configuration using a stealthy cruise missile weighing under 2 tons, a miniature version? maybe a forward placed Wankel engine driving the lift fan. One could loose as many in flight testing and not feel funding cuts.


The cruise missile configuration would only be necessary if they did not how time to de-risk the design. Lockheed's STOVL configuration went through plenty of de-risking prior to even the x35 and weight growth aside (which they corrected through the probation period) the aircraft has had a perfect record so far with hundreds of successfully vertical landings and short takeoffs during DT, OT and now during post IOC training. The first Marine squadron that declared IOC last year will be deploying to Iwakuni Japan around 10 months from now.

There was no payload requirement for the F35-B as a pure vertical take off. Their specs, since the inception of the JSF program called for a STOVL aircraft that could do a vertical takeoff to deploy if required incase STOVL capability was denied in case there was an attack on forward positioned airstrip. a pure VTOL aircraft would have had too much impact on the other two variants and would have definitly killed the change of a joint program, and with it any hope the marines had to get a new aircraft to replace their harriers and hornets. Lockheed has however constantly worked the vertical take-off envelope into testing and the aircraft does it well, its just not expected to do it for anything other than deploying for very obvious design reasons. Even vertical landings are rarely used on the ground by the Marines since they most often return with a payload. As a result, both he USMC and RN have worked both land based and ship based rolling vertical landings.
Last edited by brar_w on 28 Mar 2016 02:54, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 Mar 2016 02:26

brar_w wrote:
TSJones wrote:.........it's short, fat and stubby?


Yeah That too.. :D But mainly that the image captures them testing various LF engagement envelops.

Meanwhile,



In that vid he shoots down "life cycle cost". Says there are too many variables when you project out 30-40-50 years. Not worth it. Lol.

He prefers to do something right now to reduce costs in the future.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 28 Mar 2016 02:44

In that vid he shoots down "life cycle cost". Says there are too many variables when you project out 30-40-50 years. Not worth it. Lol


Life cycle cost is important no doubt, but these estimates are going into LCC for millions of hours and now trying to do a 70-year LCC analysis. LCC is great for comparison between two fighters..as we can analyze size, weight and fuel consumption penalty and see how large the delta gets with different fuel and man power cost assumptions. However trying to agree on assumptions over 70 years as CAPE is trying to do is not easy and as a result not critically important. If you have your performance metrics down you can still develop a decent range, however the problem with CAPE was that they had a very small amount of data on the F-35 performance since A) The envelope hadn't expended for all these years and only did so when block 2b software was delivered, and MTBF, and MTBCF rates were abysmal on account of system maturity which was to be expected for a young developmental program.

As a result, the CAPE have had to constantly decrease the O&S cost estimates every time they conducted the exercise over the last 2-3 times because as the system became more mature, their cost assumptions were made to look too high for the aircraft. They also did a lousy job of working with the JPO and the three service and at one time assumed that during peacetime the USMC would be doing Short take offs and vertical landings >50% of the time which goes absolutely against the way even the Harriers are operated stateside. They have corrected a lot and as a result we have seen O&S estimates come down the last 3 reports however, the problem with trying to estimate deployment patterns, utilization rates, cost of fuel and the amount of logistics required over 70 years of the aircrafts operational usage still remain.

Even so, the $1.1 Trillion figure for the overall O&S cost, over 70 years and 2443 fighters that would be 2/3 or more of the US Fighter fleet is not something that is very large given the size of the US budget. Of course one could say that the US may never buy 2443 aircraft, in which case the cost wouldnt be as high as you don't pay for manpower, or fuel, or basing, or infrastructure, and/or upgrades for aircraft you do not buy. One must also remember, that ALL US Per Hour Flying cost data, include MANPOWER costs. I have a lengthy post documenting exactly what is included that I'll dig up from a few months ago and link below later.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 28 Mar 2016 05:43

brar_w wrote:
one could get to the STOVL configuration using a stealthy cruise missile weighing under 2 tons, a miniature version? maybe a forward placed Wankel engine driving the lift fan. One could loose as many in flight testing and not feel funding cuts.


The cruise missile configuration would only be necessary if they did not how time to de-risk the design. Lockheed's STOVL configuration went through plenty of de-risking prior to even the x35 and weight growth aside (which they corrected through the probation period) the aircraft has had a perfect record so far with hundreds of successfully vertical landings and short takeoffs during DT, OT and now during post IOC training. The first Marine squadron that declared IOC last year will be deploying to Iwakuni Japan around 10 months from now.

There was no payload requirement for the F35-B as a pure vertical take off. Their specs, since the inception of the JSF program called for a STOVL aircraft that could do a vertical takeoff to deploy if required incase STOVL capability was denied in case there was an attack on forward positioned airstrip. a pure VTOL aircraft would have had too much impact on the other two variants and would have definitly killed the change of a joint program, and with it any hope the marines had to get a new aircraft to replace their harriers and hornets. Lockheed has however constantly worked the vertical take-off envelope into testing and the aircraft does it well, its just not expected to do it for anything other than deploying for very obvious design reasons. Even vertical landings are rarely used on the ground by the Marines since they most often return with a payload. As a result, both he USMC and RN have worked both land based and ship based rolling vertical landings.


thank Q, with STOVL on F-35 where does the requirement for EMALS stand as the existing F-18SH is retired? and then the carrier launched drones didn't go the way of STOVL config

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 28 Mar 2016 05:59

with STOVL on F-35 where does the requirement for EMALS stand as the existing F-18SH is retired?


STOVL does not operate from EMALS equipped ships. It doesn't trap at all. The Marines will be operating the F35B's, from LHD's (Short take off, and vertical landing) and on land while the USN and USMC will be operating the Carrier Variant (without the lift-Fan, with a larger wing and the highest fuel capacity) from EMALS equipped carriers.

and then the carrier launched drones didn't go the way of STOVL config


The only carrier launched drone in the X-47 is a CAT launched aircraft. Its successor will be tasked with refueling, ISR and light strike and again leverage the CAT. There are however other STOVL UAV's in the works for LHD's and other amphibs.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... me-420385/

http://www.darpa.mil/program/vertical-t ... ntal-plane

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/various.html

You don't need STOVL from a carrier since you can go for larger payloads, and a simpler launch mechanism leveraging the CAT's. You need STOVL when operating form LHD's and other ships that the USMC and USN have and plan on having in plenty.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby TSJones » 28 Mar 2016 07:42

the carrier UCAV will eventually become an attack plane. Bet on it.....

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby Austin » 28 Mar 2016 09:12



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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Mar 2016 03:10

TSJones wrote:the carrier UCAV will eventually become an attack plane. Bet on it.....


Sure it will but a very different mission. The X-45/X-47 UCAS/J-UCAS split into two when the USAF's requirement became too big for the USN's carrier deck. USAF bundled their requirements into the LRS-B, The USN requirements however continued to be to add the mission envelop of the carrier strike mission, and support the global strike mission against integrated air-defenses. The very first combat mission war-gamed with live-ammo was the contested environment SEAD mission with a pair of J-UCAS X-45's more than a decade ago that eventually led them to flying a coordinated autonomous pattern on simulated SEAD missions.

http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/ar ... _ids1.html

The X-47 also made breakthroughs in autonomy and won Northrop the Collier Trophy. Even Northrop Cranked Kite configuration is being considered a very competent design that brings together the aerodynamic requirements and the RCS of a pure flying wing - something that even the Anglo-French FCAS is seriously looking into.

The USN began their resistance and course correction soon after they realized that under the BCA, the UCLASS as originally envisioned meant eating into their SH/GROWLER late-acquisition and modernization plans, JSF plans, possibly SSBN plans and definitely their R&D book. They'll give it strike but not long range penetrating strike. They don't like to do missions that they can simply outsource to the USAF, unless there is a quid pro quo arrangement (as is with the EW mission). The new program has a new acronym - Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) - and it will retain some strike, and some ISR but would mainly be a fuel, antenna truck with growth built in to support other maritime, and strike missions. They'll throw in a lot of antennas, and make it a NIFFCA node given it can stay up longer than the E-2D..and of course they'll allow it to drop PGM's in maritime, or non-contested situations.

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-389R

I don't blame the USN. The USAF is on the cusp of major breakthroughs in autonomy, and optionally manned systems (logical since they are putting autonomy into their most expensive acquisition program). They say as much when they claim that the LRS-B has optionally manned built into its requirements. Open mission system architectures are also being demo'd on the LRS-B and even the F-35 by early next decade. The navy is well within its right to let the USAF pay for all the niggles associated with these concepts and concentrate on the SSBN, Ford Class carrier, their JSF acquisitions, and other naval breakthrough technologies in the EMRG, Directed Energy, Electronic Warfare, and under-water UUVs.

The X-47B, and where it could have gone is a classic case of a great program, executed remarkably well given the risk, doing all the right things, checking all the right boxes, but being transformed into something simpler, and lower-risk because going for it would have risked other priorities that would have resulted in a net reduction in the overall USN modernization and capability going forward. A smart modernization-restraint and something that the USAF and US Army could well learn from.


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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby TSJones » 29 Mar 2016 11:31

Japanese astronomy satellite is breaking up in orbit .........

http://spacenews.com/japanese-astronomy ... es-debris/

WASHINGTON — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is working to restore communications with a new astronomy satellite that malfunctioned March 26, generating debris.

In a March 27 statement, JAXA said it lost communications with the Hitomi satellite at 3:40 a.m. Eastern March 26. “Up to now, JAXA has not been able to figure out the state of health of the satellite,” the agency said in the statement.

“We are still trying to recover communication with ‘Hitomi’, and trying to find out the status and causes of this communication failure,” JAXA said in a tweet early March 28, the latest update provided by the agency on the status of recovery efforts.

That loss of communications coincided with the detection of debris in the vicinity of the spacecraft. The U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center, or JSpOC, said March 27 it was tracking five pieces of debris associated with Hitomi created at about 4:20 a.m. Eastern March 26.

While JSpOC classified this event as a “breakup,” the satellite appears to still be mostly intact, although damaged. JAXA noted that it “received short signals from Hitomi” after the time JSpOC reported for the breakup, but did not indicate exactly when it received the signals or any information they provided about the status of the spacecraft.

Amateur satellite observers, observing Hitomi from the ground, reported on a mailing list late March 27 seeing flashes from the satellite with a period of 5 to 10 seconds. Those flashes suggest that the spacecraft, which is normally three-axis stabilized, is spinning.

Neither JAXA nor JSpOC have speculated on the cause of the malfunction and breakup, which could be due to either a technical problem with the satellite itself or a collision with a micrometeorite or piece of orbital debris.

JAXA launched Hitomi, originally known as Astro-H, on an H-2A rocket Feb. 17. The 2,700-kilogram satellite carries several instruments to perform x-ray astronomy observations. Some of the spacecraft’s instruments were provided by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The spacecraft was in the middle of a three-month checkout and instrument calibration phase when the malfunction took place.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 29 Mar 2016 15:18

brar_w wrote:The only carrier launched drone in the X-47 is a CAT launched aircraft. Its successor will be tasked with refueling, ISR and light strike and again leverage the CAT. There are however other STOVL UAV's in the works for LHD's and other amphibs.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... me-420385/

http://www.darpa.mil/program/vertical-t ... ntal-plane

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/various.html

You don't need STOVL from a carrier since you can go for larger payloads, and a simpler launch mechanism leveraging the CAT's. You need STOVL when operating form LHD's and other ships that the USMC and USN have and plan on having in plenty.


Thanks for clarifying, the tail sitting part seems risky given that it has to land on a moving platform, other than that matching with the convair concept is a VLS or inclined tube launched cruise missile UAV that comes back to land on a ship's helicopter deck in a horizontal hover, not even needing larger amphibs nor Carriers. one can carry many of them in the VLS tubes

the second one is too abstract

the VARIANT concept has two lift fans for better roll control and lots of internal space. The cruise missile UAV can be cold launched from a square canister, the diagonal sides leave some space for conformal weapon bays or fuel tanks to be built into the UAV. The payload limitation with pure vertical takeoff can be side stepped. The range is retained with lot less drag penalty.

the conformal weapon bays can hold sonobuoys too with the nose hosting the sonar originally mounted on a chopper like the Mihir, though the lift fan driving Wankel engine will now serve as the internal APU for these sensors

For the army aviation, they can do either tube launched or STOVL with a BFSR sensor or a WLR sensor or a EO ball

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Mar 2016 17:01

The first one is actually being built by Northrop Grumman under contract. The second one is a program, that spells out the requirements and lets the participating design teams figure out the most competitive solution while the third one is a Lockheed concept that leverages the lift fan approach that won them the JSF competition.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Mar 2016 18:01

Extended Range Modifications Could Double the Range of Current Howitzers

Picatinny Arsenal engineers have been working to create a longer, newly modified M777A2 howitzer that has the potential to double the range of current M777 artillery systems. Charged with developing technology to extend the range of all 155mm artillery, the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) project is funded by science and technology office at the US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC).

The ERCA program evaluates the introduction of a longer barrel, developed for the XM907 Common Cannon Assembly Support system, as well as the XM1113 rocket assisted projectile and XM654 supercharge, an autoloader and new fire control system. The program is funded program by the Army and the Marine Corps.With nearly 1,000 pounds (453 kg) added to the system’s overall weight and an additional six feet (1.82 m’) of cannon tube, the demonstration is taking place to give the Soldiers and Marines more confidence that the gun will still meet all of its mobility requirements.

The Army Program Manager Towed Artillery Systems, (PM-TAS) has already demonstrated a modified M777A2 Howitzer with an integration kit for the mass mock-up of the modified XM907 ERCA cannon at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. Follow-on mobility testing will be conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, to document the changes in mobility from a standard M777A2, if any.

After the ERCA program, the M777ER program is engaged in making sure that ERCA’s system is suitable for the M777 system.
The final ERCA system will be demonstrated with an M109A7 system, which is the Paladin self-propelled howitzer.

“The ERCA program is developing the cannon to give it more range. PM-TAS is doing the demonstration to the Marines to show how it would look, feel and move when integrated into the M777A2 carriage,” said David Bound, M777ER Lead, Artillery Concepts and Design Branch, which is part of ARDEC. At this stage the demonstration will not include firing the weapon, but will show how the gun responds when it travels and how it feels when the crew interacts with the controls. “Right now (the M777) can shoot about 30 kilometers, but once all of the upgrades are complete it will be able to shoot about 70 kilometers,” said Bound.

“The visual prejudice we are up against is that it looks like it may tip over with all that extra cannon. We are trying to increase confidence that the M777 is an acceptable candidate for an extended range upgrade” said Bound. In efforts to ensure that the gun will meet all of its requirements, a mobility cannon tube was created.

The mobility tube consists of an old 52-caliber tube that was modified to fit into an M777A2 at the weight of the XM907. Additionally, grooves were added to the exterior of the tube to allow Picatinny engineers to hang weights at different positions, enabling them to move the center of gravity of the weapon forward or rear.

This cannon will allow the Army and the Marines to assess the impacts to the M777 and how it’s operated as the ERCA program optimizes the cannon design.

“The weights allow the Center of Gravity to move and get to the point where we can start towing this around as the configuration of the tube changes as the ERCA figures out what they want to do because it’s in flux right now,” said Bound.

“We are able to replicate how that tube reacts in the system using the different weight configurations. Then, we can hook this up to a truck so we can see what the users can expect from a human-factors point of view of how much harder it is to elevate, traverse back and forth, and what the trucks are going to see as they tow the system around,” said Bound.


Image

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 02 Apr 2016 01:45

Latest developments covering the long awaiting C-RAM, C-UAV and Counter Cruise missile SHORED being designed by the US-Army as the lead integrator.

New Launcher to Deploy C-RAM, C-UAV and Counter Cruise-Missile Defenses by 2019

The US Army is seeking to field a new air defense system comprising two types of missiles, capable to protecting military forces against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Rockets, Artillery and Mortars. The development of the truck mounted system is part of the ‘Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 Intercept (IFPC Inc. 2-I) Program of Record, designed to improve force protection for rapid deployment forces on contingencies beyond 2020.

Last month the Army successfully tested the Multi-Mission Launcher (MML), launching three different missiles from the MML Demonstration Unit at the White Sands missile range in NM. The MML is designed to carry 16 missiles in sealed, ready-to-launch canisters. As a modular open system, MML will be able to use different interceptors to provide the necessary protection, depending on the threat level encountered by the troops.

Multi-Mission Launcher



The Army has already implemented the multi-mission launcher approach in the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and Avenger mobile air defense system. Once deployed, the new MML is expected complement the Avenger in the air defense units.


The recent test, conducted under IFPC Inc. 2-I, launched three different missiles – an AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile, another missile carrying a ‘Low Cost Active Seeker’ developed by the US Army, and the Miniature Hit-to-Kill vehicle carrying semi-active seeker, developed by Lockheed martin under the Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) program. The AIM-9X missile was employed against a UAV flying in a pattern, the other two missiles launched from the MML flew ballistic trajectories.

The test verified the MML tube integrity and the systems’ missile stack integration. The full capability of the system, demonstrating the concept’s network performance is scheduled for 2016, using two MMLs against UAVs and cruise missiles. The Army plans to field the system in 2019.

Developed under the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Command (ARMDEC), the MML program is underway to deliver the two prototypes for integration into the IFPC Inc 2-I system during the forthcoming technology maturation and risk reduction phase of the development. “The IFPC system will close critical capability gaps for the Navy and the Air Force. Seeing the launcher come together is very rewarding.” Lt. Col. Mark Talbot, IFPC Inc. 2 Project Manager commented.


Sensors, Command and Control


MML is built on open architecture and will have the capacity to launch a variety of interceptors to provide 360-degree protection against simultaneous threats from rockets, artillery, mortars, precision guided ordnance, cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft systems. IFPS will become part of the Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IMAD) Battle Command System (BCS) which also follows open-system architecture. IMAD will be able to allocate target data through the Engagement Operations Cell which links to Sentinel target acquisition radars, acting as the integral fire control sensor for IFPS.

The Improved Sentinel (AN/MPQ-64F1) is a 3D phased array tactical air defense radar developed by ThalesRaytheon Systems. It automatically detects, tracks, identifies, classifies and reports airborne threats. It detects helicopters, high-speed attack aircraft and cruise missiles over 360°. IFPC Inc. 2-I will fund the software upgrades to support the current Sentinel’s counter UAS and CM mission.

More than 200 systems have been ordered worldwide, with more than 100 delivered or in production. Future enhancements currently in development include an 80 percent increase in the radar’s detection range.


Testing the Interceptors



For the C-RAM interceptor the Army evaluated two different approaches – a brand new Miniature ‘Hit To Kill’ (MHTK) interceptor, developed by Lockheed Martin and a weapon based on remanufactured Sidewinder missiles developed by Raytheon under the Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative (AI3). According to Lockheed Martin, The MHTK guided missile is about 675mm (27 inches) long, 40mm (1.6 inches) in diameter and weighs just 2.26kg (5 pounds). It is expected to cost below $16K. Raytheon did not publish cost estimates for its weapon. Both weapons were tested in 2012-2014 demonstrating their C-RAM capability against representative targets.

In the Summer of 2014 the AI-3 weapon conducted an intercept of a cruise missile, during the annual ‘Black Dart 2014 demonstration’. The missile used a new semi-active seeker and radar to acquire and intercept the target flying low over the sea in a high clutter marine environment.

Few months later the Army found that the latest AIM-9X with its passive imaging-infra-red seeker would best address the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and cruise missile threats. This has lead to the use of the Sidewinder in the current test. “The AIM-9X is primarily an air-to-air missile, but it has potential latent capability, and we’re using it here in a surface-to-air capacity. Additionally, this is the first time we’ve ever tried to launch it out of a tube,” said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Betts, US Navy AIM-9X Block II Integrated Product Team lead at PMA-259 China Lake that supported the test. “The Army needed to prove that the tube is reusable and that it could withstand the missile fly-out; making sure the missile didn’t act as a blowtorch, cutting the tube in half on the way out.”

New Active RF Seeker



For the C-RAM application the Army is planning to use a new, fully active RF seeker developed by AMRDEC. “We have gone from a semi-active seeker configuration to an active seeker configuration to eliminate the need for a ground-based illuminator,” Loretta Painter, AMRDEC EAPS program manager said. Testing of interceptors equipped with the fully active RF seeker is expected next year (2016).

The active RF seeker self illuminates the target, thus enabling any ground-based or airborne sensor capable of tracking rockets, artillery, or mortar to queue the interceptor. Once launched, and based on this queuing, the missile flies autonomously to engage and defeat the threat.

While more expensive than the semi-active seeker, the fully active seeker provides greater precision needed for other potential target sets. “Being able to hit a vulnerable part of the target as opposed to just hitting the target is a big advantage,” Painter said. “The active seeker will allow us to have aim point selection, to be able to select the place on the target that we want to hit to maximize lethality.”

In January 2015 the Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $46.5 million contract to conduct an integrated demonstration of its miniature missile, as part of the Army EAPS, demonstrating its C-RAM capability and cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) interception.

The main advantage of MHTK, besides its low cost, is the larger Load out it offers for each MML. With four MHTK missiles integrated into each tube, the system can hold 15 tubes – or 60 interceptors – a critical capability in combating saturation attacks, with multiple simultaneous engagements, characteristic of RAM threats. It also allows stacking few larger missiles with dozens of miniature interceptors.

Following the planned demonstration the Army expects to unfold EAPS into the IFPC Inc. 2-I program, meeting the systems’ Block-2 phase fielding credible C-RAM, in addition to Block I Counter Cruise Missile and UAV capability, to be fielded in two active duty and seven National Guard battalions beginning in 2019.



The EAPS effort and the MHTK C-RAM interceptor that came from it was remarkable especially if they can manage to get an Active RF seeker in such a small, and light interceptor. Here was the Lockheed concept when they proposed to do an end to end C-RAM system, which the army rejected having however retained the interceptor (but all other systems will be integrated by the US Army itself).



Emphasis is clearly on versatility. you can pack in a half a dozen Aim-9X's, 24 MHTK's, and 3 Hellfire missiles on one launcher-truck, or in support of the C-RAM mission, 60 MHTKs.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby NRao » 02 Apr 2016 05:59

A refueler refueling a refueler:



Why I wonder.

An AWACS nearly hitting a refueler refueling the AWACS. Old picture.


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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 03 Apr 2016 10:13

Don't know if posted before but :shock:

Emergency Landing on Cargo Ship by Sea Harrier

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2016 16:46

Why I wonder.


Time on station could be one of the reason. One tanker may have very little fuel to give out before having to RTB and may wish to top off another tanker that has more fuel left, before it leaves.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2016 15:52

X posting from secret projects and reddit. This would be a substantial upgrade since they shifted the AN/TPY-2 to Gallium Nitride TRIMM's in late 2014.


Image

Image

Image

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Image

The last one appears to show a diverting interceptor targeting an incoming boost glide RV. Could also be showing re-targeting. Aviation week stressed that the system was being driven by Chinese Boost Glide developments and would be keeping pace with them as far as induction into service is concerned. Added range and AEGIS envelope overlap obviously helps particularly in areas that don't see as much AEGIS deployment.

Image

Thats a multi fold increase in divert given that the entire second stage.. and the Extended range would give it up to 600 km range around the TPY-2 FOV and a significantly higher exo-performance. The radar upgrade would have definitely helped leverage the increased range and the fact that its a tailor made interceptor against boost glide weapons given the divert capability. There is also some seed money in the current budget to develop target boost glide weapons for future testing these and all other interceptors.
Last edited by brar_w on 05 Apr 2016 01:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2016 23:19

ramana wrote:WHy the F-35 costs so much?
Its the different types of aircraft. Only 20% common.



Image

The price of the program quoted is the cost to DEVELOP, TEST, EVALUATE, BUY, and OPERATE 2443 F35A, B's and C's and OPERATE them for 70 years including paying a lot of the manpower and ALL of the FUEL costs over these 70 years.

Here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5092&start=2320#p1997095

^ The cost to design, build, and buy the aircraft (all 2443 units covering the 3 variants) and design and build the infrastructure to support it comes to $155 Million per aircraft. The Fly Away cost for a vast majority of these 2443 would be between $85 Million (A Variant) and $100 Million (CV). The latest Low Rate production ( LRIP ) fly-away cost for the CTOL has already come below the $100 million mark.

The rest is Operation and sustainment costs factoring in upgrades over the next 55 or so of the remaining 70 year program life


Those Trillion dollar O&S projections are so rock solid that they have been adjusting them down for the last 3 or 4 years, with $12.1 Billion downward adjustment compared to the estimates from 12 months ago. These sort of TRILLION DOLLAR click bait articles also fail to mention what an appropriate cost should be to sustain a nearly 2500 fighter force over 70 year of the programs life!! Of course adjusted for inflation in manpower, equipment and energy costs.

On the topic of commonality the article would have been much better had the author compared :

- The cost of two major 5th generation propulsion programs, one run by the Navy and another by the Air-force
- Factor in that the single biggest line-item over the entire spectrum of O&S cost is 'mission system' and here there is 100% commonality

You don't keep designing the wing over and over and over again, but you do continue follow on development that outside of propulsion (where there is massive commonality between all three, but primarily the CTOL and CV variants since the STOVL variant's max thirst is nozzle limited) focuses pretty much exclusively on MISSION SYSTEMS. Historically more than 2/3 of the modernization and FOD funding for the F-18 and F-16 programs has gone towards updating the various standards - block 15, block 30, block 50 mission system upgrades. These will be 100% co-shared with the USN jets (B and C) and USAF jets (A). There is no difference in the mission systems and compared to the previous generation of fighters they will drive an even higher fraction of modernization given the things that could be integrated onto 5th generation aircraft in the coming years/decades such as DEWS, broadband EW solutions, LIDAR, DIRCM etc etc.

The Joint Strike Fighter didn't make two variants one for CV and one for CTOL, it made two versions of a single aircraft type in line with two different service requirements. This is unlike the rafale where the requirements were similar. The Navy and the air Force reconciled requirements as far as they could, and departed and held their ground where it made sense. The Navy with hundreds of F-35's had a cost justification for a separate wing. These sort of Billy French like hit jobs are really getting stale now since they are just repetitive now.

There are legitimate areas to attack the program. The way it was structure is the biggest one, its management at the DOD and vendor level particularly in the early phases is another. These lines of attack however aren't really sticking because they are very very easily rebutted in congressional testimony and open source media by the program-office, and with data to show as evidence.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby ramana » 04 Apr 2016 23:37

Thanks for the insight. Its the total life cycle cost over 70 years with upgrades.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2016 23:42

Yup and even that is quite inflated as is evident from the last 3 years (could be 4) of DOTE, GAO and CAPE downward revisions. The CAPE was so crazy early on that they refused to believe very early on that the USMC that wanted a STOVL aircraft would be operating as CTOL most of the time. They simply couldn't wrap their head around it and calculated a majority peacetime STOVL flying throwing off fuel-burn numbers by a huge huge margin. Only after the USMC went public, and shoved decades of AV8 data at them did the CAPE adjust, and noted that peacetime STOVL ops are only performed to maintain a pre-defined level of profeceincy as opposed to routine flying.

Additionally, CAPE and GAO don't book cost reductions until they are demonstrated, so if you are on a path to reach X amount of system maturity that gets you on a glide path to $XXXX reduction in O&S cost, they won't gradually adjust each report but will book it once its been demonstrated. That is fine from a bean counting methodology perspective but bad for publicity since it makes the Program management and operators look like idiots the same issues come up each report, whether that is the smaller annual report or the more detailed 2 year report. It makes it look like no progress is made, until the PEO is allowed to give rebuttals in front of Congress, that are seldom reported with the same level of enthusiasm as Gillmore's report that inadvertently leaks to Bloombergs Tony Capaccio usually a few hours after congressional submission every year. Its a routine that folks that have been following this program since 2000 have gotten down :)

The Program office adjusts its numbers as soon as their dashboards start showing trend-lines so they are more real time. The gap between O&S numbers from the PEO and the CAPE was around $10,000 or so with the PEO projecting around 20% higher O&S for the F-35A compared to the current F-16C. CAPE has adjusted downwards but there is still a difference and a solid fleet wide multi-decade number that actually is worth taking note off won't arrive until the aircraft is fully tested, and delivered. They have only recently begun going through the block 3F build and the program's System Development, is still 3.5 years from completion.

Multi-decade cost projections require a certain level of system maturity to be of any real use. Otherwise their purpose would only be as an employment/welfare program for auditors since assumptions would require constant adjustments to account for progress made through development, testing and applications of lessons learned.

Some news on Israel's plans with the F-35 :

Israel Seeks Greater Autonomy for F-35 Fighter Force

HERZLIYA, Israel — Israel is working with Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to maximize autonomy of its planned stealth fighter force, including its own command, control, communications and computing (C4) system, indigenous weaponry and the ability to perform heavy maintenance in country rather than at predetermined regional overhaul facilities.

Once the first F-35Is arrive here in December, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will begin installing a tailor-made C4 system on top of the central avionics embedded in the joint strike fighter.

“It’s open architecture, which sits on the F-35’s central system, much like an application on your iPhone. So it doesn’t change anything in the aircraft itself, but it gives the Israel Air Force (IAF) the most advanced and adaptable processing capabilities with relative independence of the aircraft manufacturer,” said Benni Cohen, general manager of IAI’s Lahav Division.


In an interview Monday, Cohen said IAI is already producing the C4 system for installation in the first planes due here in December. “It introduces a new level of freedom for the IAF, as it paves the way for additional advanced capabilities to be embedded in the F-35I in the future,” he said.

As for weaponry, the Israel Air Force and state-owned Rafael Advanced Systems Ltd. have been working with Lockheed Martin to adapt the Israeli Spice 1000 electro-optic standoff precision strike system for internal carriage on the F-35.

“We’re still in the developmental process to make sure the weapon fits the airplane and the airplane fits the weapon,” said Mike Howe, Lockheed’s F-35 director of business development for Israel.

Similarly, Lockheed Martin is engaged with Cyclone Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems, on external fuel tanks to augment range beyond the 18,500 pounds of fuel carried internally by the F-35. At a later phase, Israeli defense and industry sources say they hope to develop with Lockheed Martin — and with the consent of JSF partner nations — conformal fuel tanks to significantly extend the range while in stealth mode.

As for maintaining, repairing and overhauling airframes and engines of Israel’s planned F-35 force, Air Force officers expect a formal exemption from the Pentagon’s Joint Program Office (JPO) to perform work in country, rather than at predetermined Lockheed Martin-established logistics centers.

Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman, IAF chief of staff, told an audience in Tel Aviv that Israel’s “unique requirements” demand independence in maintaining the stealth fighters. Speaking on Sunday at a conference of Israel Defense and the Fisher Institute for Strategic Air and Space Studies, Kalman said the IAF is going for a “phased and coordinated process” to establish an F-35 logistics center at squadron headquarters at Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel.

“The program was built under a certain concept and the IAF wants to maximize its independence in maintaining these planes,” Kalman said.

In an earlier interview, an IAF program official said the service expected to have full access to Lockheed Martin’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a worldwide sustainment network that gives operators the ability to plan, maintain and support the aircraft through their projected 55-year lifespan.

But in wartime, when Israeli airports and seaports may be compromised due to missile strikes, the IAF wants an indigenous capability to keep its F-35s operational.

“The ingenious, automated ALIS system that Lockheed Martin has built will be very efficient and cost-effective, but the only downfall is that it was built for countries that don’t have missiles falling on them,” an IAF program officer told Defense News.


The issue, however, is not yet fully resolved.

Lockheed executives noted that heavy maintenance must be performed under strict security, with program-mandated oversight measures. “When you tear an airplane down, you expose its magic. So that type of work was intended to be performed in designated places,” a Lockheed executive told Defense News.

In an interview Monday, Jack Crisler, Lockheed Martin vice president for F-35 business development and strategic integration, said the JPO and partner nations “deliberately went through a selection process to identify maintenance repair and overhaul facilities in North America, in Europe and in Asia for the airframe and the engines with the expectation that that’s where you would go for depot-level capabilities.”

But that said, “We recognized that Israel is also going to have sovereign sustainability requirements. They want to be able to do as much maintenance of the aircraft and engines as they can. … So we and the Joint Program Office are working through that now to see how this will be done.”


Meanwhile, Lockheed executives here said IAF logisticians are training at an F-35 logistics center at the US Air Force's Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and that the IAF is about to send its first cadre of fighter pilots to train at the Air Force’s Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

In his Sunday conference address, Kalman, the IAF chief of staff, said unique IAF requirements and the high operational tempo projected for the stealth fighters could provide opportunities for Israel to influence the F-35 program writ large.

“I’m sure this aircraft will bring excellent capabilities and there are opportunities for the IAF to influence the project,” Kalman said.

“From my knowledge of the Middle East, I’m sure this aircraft will accrue very vast operational experience very quickly here. The lessons and the understandings from our operational activities will be adapted in the developmental process of the project,” he said.

Israel has signed on for 33 of the 75 aircraft approved by Washington; a first batch of 19 in 2010 and another 14 in February. A follow-on order for another 17 planes is expected once Israel and the US conclude a new 10-year aid package, sources here say.

Israel is on track to declare an initial operational capability (IOC) of its F-35 force at the end of 2017, Kalman said.

“We’re building a plan that within a year of those planes touching down here, we’ll build up to IOC. They’ll be the first outside the US to be operational. This is a huge privilege and responsibility. The year building up to this will be very intensive, and we are prepared.”



On the underlined bit, the article doesn't mention that ALIS and the supply chain management feature is optional i.e. it is intended to support and aid in logistics by providing the most cost-effecting, big data driven utilization and logistics requirements however, if any operator for whatever reason wishes to not use ALIS they can fall back and use the legacy process followed by the teens. That is what the USMC, USAF, Norway, UK, Australia and the USN are using right now.

On the MRO, the security clearances are a MUST for the program, and the basis on which it was given blanket export clearance. Only option the Israelis would have is to develop secure facilities in house if they don't want to use the global MRO chain. It will be expensive, but should be doable.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby Khalsa » 08 Apr 2016 06:00


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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby Austin » 08 Apr 2016 09:52

Military Spending

Image

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2016 02:01

Image

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby NRao » 09 Apr 2016 02:24


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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby ldev » 09 Apr 2016 03:41

brar_w wrote:Image


Simply astounding. I knew my man Elon would do it!! Boo to Bezos....the wannabe Musk :P


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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2016 04:20

Without competition in the reuse market there is nothing stopping SX from just running their business at a higher margin instead of passing on the savings. The more that others try to lower the cost through reuse the better. Bezos is some way behind, but there is plenty of aerospace talent out there to feed both these new companies.

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Re: International Military & Space Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 09 Apr 2016 04:23

Interesting and most likely Convair now gets the funding ...for its STOVL UAV


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