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US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 19:33

It depends where and how you want to use it. The conclusion on the AVEN/MATV paper I linked earlier, and pretty much everything within it clearly points to an advantage of the MATV configuration as the F-16 is concerned. Similar observation was made on other efforts by NASA and USAF/USN/Germany. The Flanker and F-22 experience also shows advantages and in the latter they were able to adjust the control surfaces post ATF selection to account for the TVC (after designing the technology demonstrators to meet all performance requirements w/o need for TVC) and the same is true of the MiG-35. If you want greater agility, particularly in the post-stall and high alpha region, thrust vectoring is a great way of achieving it. Depending upon what the requirements you are designing to it may not be the only way of doing it but it is always an option if you have the technology in hand (For example, both the YF-22 and YF-23 could meet ATF sustained AOA requirements w/o TVC, and the F-35 meets the 50 degree requirement without as well). The US clearly did not pursue AVEN because of the reasons I highlighted earlier so the Chinese will have to weight the same for each of the system they wish to apply this technology on.

In IAF's and MODs case it is a means to an end much like everyone else. If greater high alpha performance and post-stall capability is required in current and future systems then it is one aspect that can be considered. Clearly having access to, or mastering it gives you the option of rolling it into a design as a low risk option as GE was able to do on the MATV and later offer it on the F404/414 family for export customers if they so desired to invest in it.


" The bandits were leery about pointing at MATV since my post-stall "bat turn" and rudder gun attack generally killed them." -- Major Jay Pearsall, 422nd Test and Eval Squadron.

"The bottom line: you have a greatly increase capability to survive and kill with this system."-- Capt Jim Henderson, 422nd Test and Eval Squadron.

" Very impressive. The combined ability to expand the usable flight envelope to CLmax (maximum lift) and to reduce any departure tendency for both air-to-air and airto-ground loadings could increase military utility and safety." -- Brig. Gen. Rich Engel,commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB.

"The performance of the MATV aircraft was very impressive. Handling qualities were good. I found it valuable to see the MATV utilize many of the maneuvers and control schemes conceived in the YF-22 and planned for the F-22." -- Jon Beesley, Lockheed F-16, YF-22, and F-22 test pilot.

"MATV opens up a new era of fighter tactics. Let's hope we see it in the
operational fleet soon." -- Gen. Ron Yates, Head of the USAF Material Command,
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.


The debate over thrust vectoring has moved from the chalkboard to the cockpit.
The MATV program proved that effective thrust vectoring was not aircraft, engine, or
technology limited, but budget limited. This new technology is a reliable and highly
effective means of control for tactical jet aircraft and significantly enhanced the combat
capability of the F-16. Thrust vectoring can be integrated economically - approximately
$1 million - into the F-16. The capability designed for the F-22 may well find its way
into existing and future versions of the well-fielded F-16. The pilots who have witnessed
this capability first-hand have been very impressed and the data collected will alone
revolutionize future fighter research and development.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby chola » 27 Dec 2017 19:50

^^^ Fantastic post again, Brar ji!

You know what is going through the mushy mango sitting between my ears right now?

F-16 MATV for the SEF!!!

As much as I love the idea of the IN getting cutting rdge EMALS, this technology from 25 years ago — which must have tons of data — would even be better.

This would be ground breaking yet at the same time engender much less risk than a new platform since we will mate a mature, highly successful platform in the F-16 with an incredible innovation that was worked out decades ago!

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 20:31

I don't know how much it makes sense on the F-16 (or how much the F16 makes sense in general) but looking at an AVEN variant for future applications on the LCA and AMCA sounds like a really good idea as long as there is some, even interim, intention of utilizing the GE F414. GE has been shopping the system on the engine family for well over a decade now for potential consideration by SAAB so it is something that can be looked at if TVC is identified as an area of interest on the AMCA.

Below are some images I had shared earlier on the Kaveri and other threads :



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Dec 2017 21:34

MEHEL participates in MFIX exercise

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- An Army team is laser-focused on improving high-energy technologies to support Soldiers in the field.

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Technical Center's Air and Missile Defense Directorate participated in the Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment, or MFIX, hosted at the Fires Center of Excellence, or FCoE, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Dec. 4-14.

At MFIX, a crew of three air defense Soldiers were able to detect, acquire, track and defeat aerial targets as well as ground targets with USASMDC/ARSTRAT's Mobile Experimental High Energy Laser, or MEHEL, vehicle after a week of training.

"I am very proud‎ of our SMDC and contractor MEHEL team," said Adam Aberle, SMDC High Energy Laser Division technology development and demonstration lead. "They worked very hard pulling the MEHEL system together to support the event and did an exceptional job ensuring that MEHEL was able to support FCoE MFIX objectives."

MEHEL is a laser testbed on a Stryker-armored fighting vehicle chassis and serves as a platform for research and development. The current version of MEHEL has a 5kW laser and other capabilities.

The MEHEL crew demonstrated the ability to defeat UAV targets above and below the horizon in both daylight and low visibility scenarios. The team successfully defeated UAV threats and static mortar round engagements.

"The information we learned in the field will be incorporated into future designs," said Dee Formby, SMDC Tech Center Multi-Mission High Energy Laser lead engineer. "The feedback we took from the Soldiers will help improve the performance and user interface. The Soldiers did a great job and picked up the training quickly and also understood that a more mature version of this system could be beneficial to them in the future."

MEHEL successfully met the objectives of the Fort Sill Battle Lab, validating the improvements made since the prior MFIX, and providing valuable feedback from the users.

The data gathered will allow MEHEL to be used to help develop concept of operations and tactics, techniques and procedures for directed energy systems and inform requirements for future directed energy development efforts.

Besides MFIX, the team said the Army is looking at how to utilize the MEHEL during future exercises in the coming year.


A Stryker Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser, or MEHEL, participates in the Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment, or MFIX, Dec. 4-14 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The MEHEL was one of more than 40 platforms experimented on during MFIX

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 29 Dec 2017 18:04

Singha wrote:What is advantage of the hypersonic weapon being very
Hot and only mach6 vs the faster mach10 of a traditional irbm?
Does it delay getting tracked by abm radar and is more manouverable via some preset library? Due to buildup of so called plasma around nose can it acquire or send rf signals for passive ew and active radar scans? I believe the pershing2 was doing a radar scan...

Hypersonic Gliders pose challenges throughout the kill chain beginning with the ABM radars. US ABM radars, even the TPY-2 are being upgraded to better manage the threat since they do not inherently perform well against he target set. Then you have to worry about their ability to spend >50% of their time within the atmosphere at very high speed. This complicates intercept dynamics and creates target ambiguity. It is much easier to calculate a PIP and execute an interception against an incoming warhead starting all the way from space using Mid Course systems and then within the atmosphere. Even your traditional gliders that may be able to execute some terminal performance will only do so for a fraction of the time that the BGVs are being designed for so you can adjust launch doctrine to accommodate for that. Keep in mind that the premise behind the US' land based BGV program and why they can test and in the future deploy them is that they will be spending >50% of their time within the atmosphere therefore making them treaty compliant (Plus they'll be air-launching them as well from B-2s and other bombers). That is quite challenging from both a design and development perspective but it also complicates the entire defensive kill chain.China and Russia are also aiming for similar performance.

Singha wrote:Massa had a boeing alcm now retired different from thawk with a fixed dorsal intake that had a massive range . B52 used to carry it. They will likely bring something back

A Conventional LRSO cannot be ruled out in the future if greater range is required. However, the emphasis for the short-medium term is very much to make cruise missiles cheaper, smarter and networked (with each other) so that they can execute swarm behavior against air-defense systems. Think a $2 Million dollar JASSM data-linking with half a dozen Gray Wolf's, each at a fraction its cost and with unique payloads all connected and with a large amount of autonomous capability. Building longer ranged ALCMs is quite easy for these OEMs but developing more capable and smarter missiles at a cost where you can increase inventory by 3-4 x is the real challenge..Lockheed has had the JASSM-XR proposal for some time and has never seen any interest from the USAF. They are developing penetrating systems (F-22/F35, B-21, UCAVs and future fighters) so can trade launch from closer than the legacy B-52s, B-1s and older fighters but if you needed to you could very easily field longer ranged ALCMs or even Ship launched missiles. The combined JASSM and JASSM-ER inventory (when the last ER missile is delivered in 2025) will be 5000..That is not going to cut it given the number of target sets that are likely to emerge. Building larger, longer ranged missiles that are more expensive will only result in smaller inventories. They are looking for a multiple of that number for a future AGM-X application hence the Gray Wolf demo to see if they can make individual weapons cheaper by obtaining capability via collaboration and swarming with other sensors and shooters since the cost of the weapon is to a large part based on novel seekers and electronics designed to make it effective and survivable.

"Lockheed Martin's concept for the Gray Wolf missile will be an affordable, counter-IAD missile that will operate efficiently in highly contested environments," said Hady Mourad, Advanced Missiles Program director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Using the capabilities envisioned for later spirals, our system is being designed to maximize modularity, allowing our customer to incorporate advanced technologies such as more lethal warheads or more fuel-efficient engines, when those systems become available."

The Gray Wolf program consists of four spiral-development phases that allow for rapid technology prototyping and multiple transition opportunities. This first phase, defined by an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, is anticipated to run until late 2019. Initial demonstrations will be from an F-16 aircraft. In addition to the F-16, the system will be designed for compatibility with F-35, F-15, F-18, B-1, B-2 and B-52 aircraft. ... 75550.html

Singha wrote:They will likely bring something back

The CALCM isn't coming back. It has served its purpose and was even used in the 1991 Gulf War from the B-52s. LRSO development is now in full swing and if they are ever interested in fielding weapons with 50-100% more range than the JASSM-ER then they can think of a CLRSO or just dust off the JASSM-XR concept from years ago. Beyond a certain range and performance limit, it is cheaper to develop platforms that can deploy cheaper munitions as opposed to more expensive longer ranged missiles especially when the sheer number of targets call for an inventory in the high 4 digits (for future applications). AGM-X will likely be a Gray Wolf type where you can perhaps buy 2-3 for the cost of each JASSM and then deploy them from every large platform in volume while also developing dedicated, reusable drones capable of deploying them. Having used Air Launched, and Ship Launched cruse missiles in 1991 Gulf War the USAF and even the USN wanted that capability across their fleet and not just on their largest and most expensive platforms. The result was the JASSM and JASSMER, LRASM, and the JSOW (with a powered variant now in testing) which allow even the smallest of the fighter aircraft (F-16s) the ability to carry multiple such weapons.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2018 19:32

A very detailed synopsis on the US F-35 program status from Jane's DW as far as aircraft and numbers/squadrons are concerned (posting a summary since the article is currently behind a paywall):

Future fighter: F-35 begins transition into US service - Jane's Defence Weekly 03 Jan, 2018

With the US Marine Corps (USMC) having declared initial operating capability (IOC) for the F-35B version of the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in 2015, the US Air Force (USAF) having done the same for the F-35A in 2016, and the US Navy (USN) set to follow suit with the F-35C in late 2018 or early 2019, the US military is at the beginning of the process to introduce what will be the country’s premier combat aircraft for decades to come.

US Marine Corps

As the first service to declare IOC, the USMC is at the forefront of not just the US effort to introduce the JSF into service, but also of the global effort. With a programme of record for 353 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs and 67 carrier variant (CV) F-35Cs to be spread across 16 and four squadrons respectively, plus an additional two training units, the corps is already well ahead on its path to fielding the F-35.

To date the corps has stood up Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 ‘Green Knights’, initially at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma in Arizona and now at MCAS Iwakuni in Japan, and VMFA 211 ‘Avengers’ at MCAS Yuma as its first two operational F-35B units. The next three operational squadrons – VMFA 122 ‘Crusaders’, VMFA 314 ‘Black Knights’, and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All-Weather) VMFA(AW) 225 – will transition over from the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet in the coming months, with VMFA 314 being the first of the corps’ four F-35C squadrons. The USMC will first transition over its Hornet units before doing the same with its Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier IIs.

In addition to its current and near-term operational units, the USMC has one training unit in VMFAT 501 at MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina, as well as VMX-1 Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California. This unit will move to MCAS Yuma, where it will co-locate with the USMC Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) unit and weapons school.

The transition of VMFA 121 from MCAS Yuma to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) at MCAS Iwakuni in January 2017 was a key milestone in the F-35B programme for the USMC, coming just six months after IOC for the type was declared in July 2015. Being the first operational unit (the squadron was actually stood up in November 2012), VMFA 121 has been heavily involved in developing the corps’ tactical and austere capabilities for the jet.

In early April 2017, just four months into its inaugural overseas deployment, VMFA 121 trialled the use of ‘hot’ ground refuelling conducted from a USMC Lockheed Martin KC-130J Hercules from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152. As noted by the USMC at the time, this aviation-delivered ground refuelling (ADGR) trial was the first time that the F-35 had been fuelled with the engine running to enable the aircraft to be replenished in austere locations that are not equipped with the normal infrastructure. This “stepping stone” test, as the marines described it, was followed in September by the first ‘hot loading’ exercise of live missiles, again to develop the tactical capabilities of the aircraft.

With VMFA 121 now operationally deploying the F-35B overseas for the first time, the USMC will conduct the first operational maritime deployments aboard its Wasp- and America-class amphibious assault ships this year. According to Gen Davis, the corps will embark six to eight F-35Bs on shipboard Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) task forces.

US Air Force

Having declared IOC for its conventional take-off and landing (CTOL)-variant F-35A in August 2016, the USAF is now just beginning to ramp up its aircraft numbers. To date the USAF has received approximately 120 F-35As, which are distributed across five bases in the contiguous United States (CONUS).

What is interesting about that number is that it seems like a lot, but we are going to grow to 1,763 aircraft over the life of the programme. So in many ways, even though we have had the aircraft for a number of years already, we have only really just begun,” a USAF spokesperson told Jane’s in October 2017, adding, “The hallmark of the programme over the coming years will be the exponential growth of the number of F-35s and in the number of USAF bases in the US and overseas [such as at RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom in the early 2020s].”

Currently the USAF has F-35As located at Edwards AFB in California; Hill AFB in Utah; Eglin AFB in Florida; Luke AFB in Arizona; and Nellis AFB in Nevada. Hill AFB is the combat-ready unit with the 34th Fighter Squadron (FS). If a combatant commander required the F-35A, then this is the unit that would be deployed. As evidence of the 34th FS’ capabilities, in April/May 2017 the unit was deployed to the United Kingdom and across forward bases in Europe. “That training deployment was a huge milestone for that unit to demonstrate its combat readiness – and was also a significant signal from the USAF to show the world that it is ready with this stealth fighter and that we can take it any place that we need to,” the service representative said.

Eglin AFB and Luke AFB are pilot training bases for USAF and international F-35A customers, as well as for USN F-35C pilots, while Edwards AFB is where developmental testing is carried out by four USAF aircraft. The final location where USAF F-35As can currently be found is Nellis AFB, which is home to the 'Red Flag' exercises.

US Navy

The USN is set to receive 273 CV F-35Cs over the life of the programme. For the service the urgency to introduce the F-35 into service has not been as acute as it has been for the USMC and USAF, given that it is still receiving Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growlers fresh from the factory. As such, it will be the last of the three services to declare IOC when it does so toward the end of this year.

Despite the lack of urgency, and contrary to anecdotal reports that of all the US service arms the USN is the least keen to receive the F-35, the service is keenly anticipating the arrival of its future primary combat aircraft. As one senior navy official, speaking under the Chatham House Rule, put it, “The US Navy has never had a fifth-generation stealthy multirole fighter before – and there is much to be excited about.”

In terms of its F-35C stand-up to date, the USN has so far equipped Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 ‘Grim Reapers’ and VFA 125 ‘Rough Raiders’ as the East and West Coast Fleet Replacement Squadrons respectively. The first operational fleet unit will be VFA 147 ‘Argonauts’, which will transition from the F/A-18E this month.

The service is now anticipating the Block 3F (full combat) software release early this year, with the next phase of operational testing to begin on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shortly thereafter. IOC is expected between August this year and February 2019, with the first deployment scheduled for the carrier USS Carl Vinson in 2020/21. Once their future air components are fully stood up, each carrier will be equipped with two F-35C squadrons to complement the two F/A-18E/F squadrons and one EA-18G unit that will also be embarked.

The USN has taken the F-35C to sea for trials four times already and, notwithstanding a tail hook redesign and an issue of excessive head movement for the pilot during catapult launches, the trials have proven successful. “The F-35 has earned her sea legs, and for US Navy aircraft to be operationally relevant we lower our tail hooks and land on big deck aircraft carriers. We have now taken it to sea on [four] different occasions, and have extended the envelope in deteriorating weather conditions, varying sea states, and in both day and night operations. These involved pilots who were new to the F-35; we brought them out to the carrier and the tests proved to be very successful,” the navy official said, adding, “The tail hook was redesigned and is now working well. These kinds of things are going to happen with a new airplane, especially when you bring them to sea where there is less margin for error and much greater forces at play.”

One aspect of the F-35C’s carrier performance that has pleased the navy has been the aircraft’s automatic landing technology, or delta flight path (DFP) mode, as it is officially known. According to the official, “The delta flight path advanced landing capability is something that we are quickly finding is revolutionising our ability to land on the aircraft carrier more accurately. As naval aviators we tend to target the number two or three wire on the flight deck, and with DFP we are able to do this at a phenomenally consistent rate.”

He went on to explain that, “When VFA 101 was doing trials they had zero bolters [ie no aircraft having to abort their landing]. The DFP is coming online at the same time as the Magic Carpet [system] that has been developed for the Super Hornet; it uses the exact same technology. The two systems will revolutionise carrier operations, reducing the time steaming into the wind and the number of tanker aircraft that are needed.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2018 17:37

DARPA's Near-Mid Term RF bets..


Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT)

Today’s electromagnetic (EM) systems use antenna arrays to provide unique capabilities, such as multiple beam forming and electronic steering, which are important for a wide variety of applications such as communications, signal intelligence (SIGINT), radar, and electronic warfare. However, wider use of arrays has been limited by lengthy system development times and the inability to upgrade already- fielded capabilities—problems exacerbated by the fact that military electronics have evolved at a slower cadence than in the commercial sector. In particular, the performance gap is widening between the radio frequency (RF) capabilities of fielded military systems and the continuously improving digital electronics surrounding those systems. The Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) aims to shorten design cycles and in-field updates and push past the traditional barriers that lead to 10-year array development cycles, 20- to 30-year static life cycles and costly service-life extension programs.

Specifically, as an alternative to large undertakings focused on traditional monolithic array systems, ACT seeks to develop a digitally-interconnected building block from which larger systems can be formed. The desired building block, composed of a common module and a reconfigurable EM interface, would be scalable and customizable for each application, without requiring a full redesign for each application space.

The ACT program has two thrusts, each focused on a specific enabling technology for rapidly upgradable and widely deployable array architectures:

* A digitally-influenced common module comprising 80 to 90 percent of an array’s core functionality for insertion into a wide range of applications
* Reconfigurable and tunable RF apertures for spanning S-band to X-band frequencies (and points between) for a wide variety of characteristics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2018 22:37



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Jan 2018 02:42

The Pentagon Wants Its Nuclear Tomahawks Back

The Trump administration will embark on a “big-league” revival of the U.S. nuclear complex after decades of decline by reviving production of plutonium cores for new warheads and reintroducing a sea-launched cruise missile, among other plans.

A leaked draft of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review confirms what has been foreshadowed by U.S. military leaders over the past year: America will respond to the growing might of the nuclear forces of China and Russia, as well as emerging threats from North Korea, by broadly modernizing its outdated nuclear arsenal of Cold War-era bombers, submarines, missiles and nuclear-certified tactical fighters.

The draft policy, if adopted, would “move forward without delay [and] seek opportunities to accelerate” every key modernization program set in motion by the previous administration. This includes the Columbia-class submarine, Northrop Grumman B-21 bomber, Ground-Based Strategic Deterrence ballistic missile, Long-Range StandOff cruise missile, dual-capable Lockheed MartinF-35A Joint Strike Fighter and B61-12 guided free-fall bomb.

It would also reverse several Obama-era arms reduction initiatives by restoring the Navy’s nuclear cruise missile capability and retaining the air-delivered B83-1, the U.S.’s last megaton nuclear bomb. The B61-11 earth penetrator and other conventional bunker bombs will also remain to, if necessary, destroy underground military facilities.

To counter Russia’s “significant advantage” in nonstrategic nuclear weaponry and expand the range of military options against China and North Korea in the Pacific theater, the Defense Department will also retrofit “a small number” of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) with a low-yield nuclear-strike option and invest in a modern sea-launched cruise missile. This fills a void left by the Obama administration’s retirement of the nuclear-armed Raytheon Tomahawk Land Attack Missile.

The new policy would leave room to buy more Columbia-class submarines than the dozen originally planned, with the program now delivering a “minimum of 12” vessels. In 2020, the Pentagon will also begin studying future replacements for the Trident D5 fleet ballistic missile, which is currently being life-extended for service on the Ohio- and Columbia-class submarines.

To indefinitely sustain the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal, the Trump administration will order the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration to scale up production of new plutonium pits (the core component of a nuclear warhead) to “at least” 80 per year by 2030, compared to zero today.

Most of America’s plutonium pits were produced in 1978-89 and have been refurbished for additional years of service. In fact, the U.S. has not produced new plutonium cores since the Los Alamos National Laboratory, near Santa Fe, New Mexico, produced some for the W88 warhead program in 2007-12. “At present, the U.S. does not have the ability to produce new nuclear warheads,” the document states.

The overarching strategy behind this revival of the U.S. nuclear force is to dispel the “mistaken perception” of weakness and deter any major attack, nuclear or conventional, according to the leaked review. This now includes interference with the U.S. nuclear command, control and communications network in space and cyberspace.

The document confirms that the Trump administration will not adopt a “no-first-use” policy, as was being actively discussed by the former administration. This means Washington reserves the right to strike first with nuclear weapons, if needed.

Leaked by The Huffington Post, the policy shift has been welcomed by defense hawks in Washington but condemned by arms control advocates.

“This Trump plan seeks to expand the scenarios for the possible use of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear threats, including cyberthreats,” Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl Kimball says. “That is dangerous and destabilizing. The use of even a small number of these weapons would be catastrophic.”

While the previous administration viewed U.S. nuclear weapons solely as a means of deterring others from launching a nuclear attack, Kimball believes President Donald Trump now seeks “more usable” nukes, as evidenced by the low-yield warhead proposal for the Trident D5 SLBM and planned reintroduction of a sea-launched cruise missile. He says both weapons are “militarily unnecessary” and would only increase the risk of miscalculation in a crisis or conflict.

“There is no evidence that more usable weapons will strengthen deterrence of nuclear-armed adversaries, like Russia, or compel them to make different choices about their arsenals,” Kimball tells Aviation Week. “Rather than lower the threshold for nuclear weapons use and further stimulate global nuclear arms racing, the U.S. needs to show leadership,” he says.

Private defense consultant and nuclear policy commentator Peter Huessy welcomed the change in strategy as a counterbalance to Russia’s conventional and tactical nuclear forces in Europe.

“Russia matches the U.S. and NATO conventionally along the border, and they seek theater nuclear weapons to blackmail or coerce us into standing down in the face of threats and aggression,” he says. “The U.S. has a limited theater nuclear capability, [and] the development of a sea-based cruise missile capability would be an excellent addition to the current mix for extended deterrence,” he contends.

Huessy says the U.S. under every president since Ronald Reagan has reduced its inventory of strategic nuclear weapons by 85% total, which he calls “an unprecedented historical achievement.

“But the world’s security environment since 2010 and the last Nuclear Posture Review is significantly worse,” he cautions. “Russia has threatened to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. some two dozen times between 2009-16.” He adds that “both the Russians and the Chinese have, since 2010, dramatically increased their strategic and tactical nuclear modernization, the latter being under no arms control limits whatsoever. Combined, the Russians and the Chinese have multiple thousands of additional theater weapons compared to the U.S.’s hundreds,” he says.

He goes on to note that in the eight years since Obama’s review, India and Pakistan have “dramatically increased” their nuclear arsenals; China has added hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of nuclear warheads; Russia has modernized the majority of its strategic and tactical nuclear forces; North Korea has built as many as 100 nuclear warheads; and Iran remains capable of rapidly fielding a nuclear weapon. “In response, the U.S. has not even deployed a single new land-based missile, submarine or bomber and will not do [so] for nearly another decade,” Huessy says.

The Trump administration’s push to accelerate existing nuclear modernization plans while adding a low-yield nuclear warhead and modern sea-launched cruise missile without making any cuts will likely add billions of extra dollars to the modernization bill. The Congressional Budget Office already estimates that current plans to sustain and modernize all three legs of the nuclear triad will cost about $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years: $800 billion for operations and sustainment and $400 billion for modernization projects.

Under Trump’s plan, spending on nuclear forces would peak in 2029, accounting for 6.4% of the total defense budget. For context, spending on nuclear programs accounted for 24.9% of U.S. defense spending in 1962 during the first major buildup and 13.4% in 1984 during Reagan’s recapitalization. However, overall defense spending was comparatively lower in those years.

The Pentagon has so far refused to comment on the draft document because it is predecisional. The final version is still subject to review and approval by the president and defense secretary for rollout in early February.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Jan 2018 19:47

This was awarded to L3 last year and effectively takes the entire Mission system and antenna systems from a latest block EC-130H and ports it on an G550 which flies higher and faster and likely has more room for growth. Compass Call is the primary tactical Electronic Warfare, Communication Warfare and apparently the lead platform for tactical cyber capability as an extension of Project Suter.

US Air Force awards L3 Technologies Compass Call replacement UCA

Jane's International Defence Review; 11-Sep-2017

The US Air Force (USAF) announced on 8 September that it had awarded L3 Technologies an undefinitised contract action (UCA) for the Compass Call replacement programme, according to a service spokesperson.

USAF spokesperson Ann Stefanek said that L3 chose the Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft as the new platform after sharing analysis with the USAF programme office. According to Stefanek, the new Compass Call platform has been designated EC-X.

UCAs are contract actions for which the contract terms, specifications, or price are not agreed upon before performance commences.UCAs are contract actions for which the contract terms, specifications, or price are not agreed upon before performance commences.

L3 spokesperson Jennifer Barton on 8 September deferred comment to the USAF; Stefanek declined further comment.

The USAF announcement follows a 6 September bid-protest decision by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to deny and dismiss, in part, protests from Boeing and Bombardier. Boeing spokesperson Caroline Hutchinson told Jane’s on 9 September that the company would not sue the USAF over the GAO decision.

The protesters argued that the proposed sole-source award to L3 would be improper for a number of reasons, including that it would provide for an improper sole-source contract award for the re-host aircraft at the direction of the government. According to GAO, Bombardier argued that the USAF effectively directed L3 to select Gulfstream for the award of a subcontract to provide the aircraft for the Compass Call re-host; GAO ruled that the decision to select an aircraft will occur under a proposed subcontract – therefore the terms of the subcontract competition, and the merits of the selection decision, are matters outside of GAO’s jurisdiction.

Boeing and Bombardier argued that the proposed sole source would violate the terms of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). According to GAO, the companies contended that the NDAA requires the USAF secretary to determine the capabilities of the re-host aircraft before a contract is awarded for the re-host integration: the USAF, the protesters argued, had improperly delegated that decision to L3. GAO said it found no basis to conclude that the USAF violated the NDAA requirements, as there is no specific statutory requirement for the USAF to determine the capability of the re-host integration as a precondition to a procurement.

The protesters additionally argued that the sole source would require L3 to perform an inherently governmental function with respect to the selection of the aircraft. GAO disagreed, saying the parties had failed to demonstrate that the proposed contract violated any procurement law or regulation. The companies further contended that the sole-source award would violate the prohibition on the award of a new lead systems integrator (LSI) contract; GAO concluded that the proposed contract with L3 did not meet the statutory definition of a prohibited LSI contract.

The protesters claimed the USAF had not justified a sole-source award to L3, and argued that L3 has an organisational conflict of interest that prohibits the firm from receiving the award. GAO outright denied both of these allegations.

The USAF possesses 14 Lockheed Martin-BAE Systems EC-130H Compass Call special mission aircraft, but the ageing platforms require significant maintenance and support due to high operational demand. The service has sought to proceed with a Compass Call replacement, but this was delayed by the lack of a FY 2017 spending bill, and a previous bid protest by Bombardier.

The EC-130H is an airborne tactical weapon system using a heavily modified version of the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules airframe. The system disrupts enemy command and control (C2) communications, and limits the adversary co-ordination that is essential for enemy force management, according to the USAF.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 26 Jan 2018 16:21

First Red Flag of the year (18-1) is going to also be the largest such exercise in its 42 year history and is perhaps for the first time going to include a heavily degraded or GPS denied environment. From what is know based on open source materials the USAF has rapidly fielded the capability to both operate in a GPS degraded environment (maintain strike accuracy) and target GPS deniers (via Anti Radiation Seekers) on the Small Diameter Bomb - 1, and the MALD and MALD-J platforms in order to specifically target devices and capabilities that jam or otherwise disrupt GPS.

USAF Is Jamming GPS In The Western U.S. For Largest Ever Red Flag Air War Exercise

The year's first iteration of the USAF's premier set of aerial war games, known commonly as Red Flag, is kicking off today at Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas, but this exercise will be different than any in the past. Not only is it the largest of its kind in the exercise's 42 year history, but the USAF is going to blackout GPS over the sprawling Nevada Test and Training Range to challenge aircrews and their weaponry under realistic fighting conditions. The tactic will spill over throughout the region, with warnings being posted stating inconsistent GPS service could be experienced by aircrews flying throughout the western United States.

he disruptions will begin on January 26th and will run through February 16th. reports:

"The NBAA Command Center reports the U.S. military will begin training exercises on the Nevada Test and Training Range between 0400Z until 0700Z daily. Training maneuvers will impact vast portions of the Western U.S. including California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico. FAA enroute ATC centers affected include Albuquerque (ZAB), Denver (ZDV), Los Angeles (ZLA), Salt Lake (ZLC), Oakland (ZOA) and Seattle (ZSE). Operations in R-2508 and R-2501 may also be impacted.

Arrivals and departures from airports within the Las Vegas area may be issued non-Rnav re-routes with the possibility of increased traffic disruption near LAS requiring airborne re-routes to the south and east of the affected area. Aircraft operating in Los Angeles (ZLA) center airspace may experience navigational disruption, including suspension of Descend-via and Climb-via procedures. Non-Rnav SIDs and STARs may be issued within ZLA airspace in the event of increased navigational disruption. Crews should expect the possibility of airborne mile-in-trail and departure mile-in-trail traffic management initiatives."

Those dates and the location perfectly correspond with Red Flag 18-1. The timeframe for the daily disruptions is also the same as the night launch and recovery period for Red Flag this time of year. Two major large force employment missions take place every day during the exercise, one during the light and one during the night, with each last roughly two to three hours.

This particular Red Flag includes players from the USAF, USMC, Australia and UK. The very limited guest list of only America's most trusted allies is indicative of a Red Flag exercise where high-end and sensitive capabilities will be put to the test. According to a press release from the USAF that was posted just hours ago, this seems to be an accurate assumption, with Colonel Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander, stating:

“We’re trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1... It’s the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness... Red Flag 18-1 primarily is a strike package focused training venue that we integrate at a command and control level in support of joint task force operations... It’s a lot of words to say that we integrate every capability we can into strike operations that are flown out of Nellis Air Force Base.”

GPS denial is a becoming a huge issue for American military planners. Peer states, especially Russia, are already putting GPS spoofing and jamming tactics to work during various training events near their own borders. We have discussed this situation in great depth before, and I would suggest you read this article to understand just how deeply the loss of reliable global positioning system data can mean for the U.S. and its allies during a time of war, as well as what is being done to overcome such a monumental hurdle.

The Pentagon has mysteriously tested technology that can jam GPS over a wide area before, and it is likely that this same capability will be put to use in the Nellis Test and Training Range for this Red Flag 18-1. Line-of-sight and distance impact the way in which GPS users, especially other airplanes, operating far outside the training area will be affected. Here is an article on those tests, which emanated from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which is located on the western edge of the Mojave Desert in California, in June of 2016. Below is a released image showing how line-of-sight impacts the jammer's abilities:


The fact that the Department of Defense is going to execute wide-spread GPS jamming operations during such a high-end exercise is more proof of just how big of a threat these emerging electronic warfare tactics pose. It will be interesting to see if the USAF admits that the technology was indeed used for Red Flag after the exercise concludes, but considering that there are a whole number of position, navigation, and timing (PNT) technologies being developed in hopes to help overcome the loss of GPS during combat, advisories like this one that occur during major military exercises will likely become increasingly normal in the years to come.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 29 Jan 2018 23:34

Grand Finale: Three B-2s Drop Three 30,000-lb. Bombs
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Jan 26, 2018

A new test and evaluation report by the Pentagon details what would be one of the most ferocious non-nuclear bombing raids in modern history.
Last May, the U.S. Air Force loaded up three Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers with 30,000-lb. earth-penetrating bombs and sent them on a test mission against a single target at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

If armed, the huge explosions from those three Boeing-build GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOP) would have rumbled the desert test complex like nothing else since the U.S. stopped testing nuclear weapons.

Having famously hosted the first atomic bomb test in July 1945, codenamed Trinity, it is only natural that the 3,200-sq.-mi. U.S. Army range complex is now used to demonstrate the accuracy and effectiveness of the Pentagon’s largest non-nuclear munition. The gigantic GPS-guided munition has one task: to penetrate and destroy deep underground bunkers, like certain weapons facilities used by Iran and North Korea.

Most details about the MOP are classified, but the Air Force does disclose some information about planned upgrades in its budget documents. We also know Boeing maintains an active production line in St. Charles, Missouri. Other details come from the annual reports prepared by the Defense Department’s office of the director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E).

In the latest report for fiscal 2017, released this week, DOT&E notes three previously unreported MOP tests at White Sands dating back to December 2016. Of those, two were single MOP drops, but the test conducted in May 2017 appears to have been largest and most significant test ever publicly disclosed. It might also be the last major MOP test we learn about for a while, since no more tests of weapon upgrades are currently planned.

“In May 2017, the Air Force conducted a three-weapon test on a representative target at White Sands Missile Range to evaluate Enhanced Threat Response-5 (ETR-5) modifications and to test weapon effectiveness,” the report states. “Three Air Force B-2 aircraft each flew one sortie to complete the mission.”

The report does not say whether those weapons exploded or were inert. However, most previous tests noted by DOT&E were live bombs used against specially constructed underground targets.

Testing of early MOP prototypes began in 2004 as a joint initiative between the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The weapon initially was developed in response to Iran’s underground nuclear facilities, but these days the primary threat comes from North Korea, which has conducted three underground nuclear explosions since 2006. However, Iran also maintains several underground bunkers filled with ballistic missiles that can potentially carry nuclear weapons.

The weapon has been dropped by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, but the only aircraft that would actually use it in combat is the stealthy B-2, because the carrier needs to get right above the target without being shot down to drop the bomb.

Notably, the “multi-MOP” test came right around the time the White House was trading barbs with Pyongyang over ballistic missile testing. In the weeks leading up to the May MOP test, North Korea had fired three or four intermediate-range Hwasong-12s, its most advanced ballistic missiles at the time.

Of the other two tests noted by DOT&E, one occurred in December 2016 and the other in January 2017. The December test involved one B-2 dropping one live ETR-5 MOP on a “representative target” to evaluate weapon functionality. It was deemed successful.

The next test in January also involved one B-2 and one ETR-5 MOP, but something went wrong. DOT&E called it a “partial failure” and recommended that the program office figure out the root cause.

“A partial failure on the second test event identified a failure mode that appears to occur under specific circumstances with improper tactics, techniques, and procedures,” the report notes.

Perhaps coincidently, the megatest involving three MOPs took place one month after the Pentagon dropped the nation’s second largest non-nuclear bomb in combat, the 21,600-lb GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) developed by AFRL and Dynetics. The weapon was used against an Islamic State tunnel network in Afghanistan, killing almost 100 insurgents.

Unlike MOP, MOAB detonates above the target to collapse tunnels, kill people and spring booby traps. The air strike was carried out by a special forces MC-130 Combat Talon.

Development of the MOAB, nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs,” began at Eglin AFB, Florida, in 2002. It was intended to strike Saddam Hussein’s subterranean facilities in Iraq, but MOAB sat on the shelf, at least until U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

To date, none of the larger MOPs have been used in combat. The weapon would likely be used in any pre-emptive, non-nuclear strike against North Korea. The only alternative would be the variable-yield B61-11 nuclear bunker buster.
Each B-2 can carry up to 160,000 lb. of conventional or nuclear ordnance. Its bomb bay reportedly has enough space to accommodate two MOPs.

With these latest tests, it appears no other upgrades are planned for the MOP. Air Force budget documents seek $38 million for MOP production this fiscal year and another $38 million for fiscal 2019, but funding flatlines thereafter. The bombs Boeing is building now probably are intended to replace those dropped in testing.

This will be DOT&E’s last report on MOP, since “no further enhanced threat response testing is currently planned,” the office says.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Jan 2018 17:47

Lockheed Martin Miniature Hit-to-Kill Missile Demonstrates Increased Agility and Affordability


WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M., Jan. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin's (NYSE: LMT) Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) missile successfully conducted a controlled flight test to demonstrate the interceptor's increased agility, and to validate the performance of its airframe and electronics -- now common between MHTK's two configurations to drive affordability.

Friday's test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, was the first ever for MHTK's updated electronics, and the second for the interceptor's next-generation airframe. Commonality between the two missile configurations (active and semi-active seeker), and the increased agility demonstrate MHTK's transformational capabilities to defeat rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) targets with greater accuracy, reliability and range compared to current systems. Funded by Lockheed Martin, the successful test advances the program's technical maturity level and builds confidence in the interceptor's ability to defeat current and evolving threats.

"The U.S. Army and international customers have made it clear that today's global security environment demands agile, close-range solutions that protect warfighters and citizens from enemy rockets, artillery and mortars. The design of the MHTK interceptor enables a highly effective solution in a very compact package," said Tim Cahill, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This test is exciting because it is another successful milestone demonstrating the interceptor's revolutionary capabilities. We look forward to building on this success."
Shorter than a yardstick, MHTK retains the range and lethality required of a counter-RAM solution. MHTK uses hit-to-kill technology, which destroys threats through an extremely accurate application of kinetic energy in body-to-body contact. Hit-to-kill technology eliminates the incoming threat while reducing the risk of collateral damage seen in traditional blast-fragmentation interceptors.

The MHTK interceptor is less than 2.5 feet (72 cm) in length and weighs about 5 pounds (2.2 kg) at launch. The mini missile has the potential to bring miniaturized capabilities to the warfighter with lower costs and reduced logistic footprints, while opening a world of opportunities for applications of small interceptors.

The Baseline (threshold) interceptor for this mission is the Tamir (US Army is also testing it) but if Lockheed can demonstrate credible CRAM capability with a sub 3ft missile that weighs 5 pounds it will quadruple the interceptor load out compared to the Tamir. US Army has in the past indicated its preference for trading range for a larger magazine. Pretty amaging to see a 2kg missile with an active RF seeker..

Interestingly, Lockheed last year revealed that they are also working on a 40 inch long missile which would be a little more than half the length of the MH2K and intended for launch from 40 mm Naval guns.
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Feb 2018 00:43

Another US Navy ballistic missile intercept reportedly fails in Hawaii

WASHINGTON — A test shoot of the SM-3 Block IIA fired from an Aegis Ashore test site in Hawaii failed Wednesday, CNN has reported. The missile is designed to intercept ballistic missiles.

If confirmed, it would mark the second unsuccessful test of the Raytheon missile in the past year. It also deals a setback to U.S. missile defense efforts as North Korea makes seemingly daily progress on it goal of striking the U.S. mainland with nuclear-armed missiles.When reached for comment, U.S. Missile Defense Agency spokesman Mark Wright declined to comment on the outcome of the test.

“The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning,” Wright said.

CNN was first to report the failed test.Its important to note that a number of factors apart from the missile could be to blame for the failed test. The targeting and fire control radars, or the Navy’s AEGIS system could also have caused the failed test.An SM-3 Block IIA test in June failed after a sailor on the destroyer John Paul Jones mistakenly triggered the missile’s self-destruct mechanism.The missile successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target last February in a test launch. The missile is being developed by Raytheon and is a joint project between the U.S. and Japan, designed to counter rising missile threats from North Korea and elsewhere.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prem » 03 Feb 2018 02:25 ... 15393.html
Trump Nuclear Doctrine Takes Tougher Stance Toward Russia

The administration of President Donald Trump wants to revamp the U.S. nuclear arsenal and develop new low-yield atomic weapons, mainly in response to Russian actions in recent years, according to a policy statement released February 2.The Nuclear Posture Review outlines the Pentagon's nuclear goals under Trump and is the first time since 2010 that the military has spelled out how it foresees nuclear threats in the coming decades.It says Russia must be persuaded that it would face "unacceptably dire costs" if it were to threaten even a limited nuclear attack in Europe."This is a response to Russian expansion of their capability and the nature of their strategy and doctrine," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote in the 75-page summary of the sweeping review, which also highlights U.S. concerns about North Korea, Iran, and China.The Pentagon-led effort, known officially as a nuclear posture review, is customarily done at the outset of a new administration.The document specifically points to a Russian doctrine known as "escalate to de-escalate," in which Moscow would use or threaten to use smaller-yield nuclear weapons in a limited conventional conflict in Europe to compel the United States and NATO to back down."Recent Russian statements on this evolving nuclear weapons doctrine appear to lower the threshold for Moscow's first-use of nuclear weapons," the review said.The review recommends a two-step solution.Modifying "a small number" of existing long-range ballistic missiles carried by Trident strategic submarines to fit them with smaller-yield nuclear warheads would be a first step.Second, "in the longer term," a nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile would be developed -- bringing back a weapon that existed during the Cold War but was retired in 2011 by the Obama administration.The review also calls North Korea a "clear and grave threat" to the United States and its allies, and warns that any North Korean nuclear attack against the America or its allies would result in "the end of that regime.""There is no scenario in which the Kim regime could employ nuclear weapons and survive," it says.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ArjunPandit » 03 Feb 2018 04:30

Had it been DRDO there would have been calls for Modi to purchase off the shelf solutions from US/Israel and russia, sack the DRDO head, chinese coming to Delhi and kolkatta in an hour. But again this is land of brave and home of free.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Feb 2018 18:51

While in the short term this will apply to the AEGIS Block 9 and SM6 ships only, but this will also expand to (in the short-medium) the active variants of the SM2 and the ESSM.

U.S. Navy To Test F-35 With Aegis At Sea

SINGAPORE—The U.S. Navy hopes to further validate the Lockheed Martin F-35’s performance as an airborne sensor for air and missile defense in an upcoming Aegis sea trial.

Sometime between June and August, the Navy will attempt to use tracking data from an F-35 to shoot down an air-breathing target drone with a Raytheon Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) interceptor fired from an Aegis ship in the Pacific Ocean.

Steve Over, Lockheed’s director of F-35 international business development, says the at-sea demonstration will be a follow-on to a September 2016 test involving a Marine Corps F-35B and the USS Desert Ship at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. In that trial, targeting data from the F-35B was used to successfully intercept an MQM-107 Streaker target drone with an SM-6.

At the time, the government wanted to preserve the MQM-107 for reuse, but the test proved to be so successful that the radar-guided SM-6 destroyed it on impact. The SM-6’s fuse had been replaced with a telemetry kit to measure its final proximity to the target rather than explode, but it struck the MQM-107 target anyway.

“The Navy got very excited when we did this successful test that they’re planning the next test now,” Over said during an interview at the Singapore Airshow here Feb. 4. “They plan to do a live-fire exercise out in the Pacific this summer [Northern Hemisphere].”

The key to these tests is enabling the Aegis Combat System to receive information from the Joint Strike Fighter’s Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL). This data link has a low probability of detection by passing information through a narrow, directional beam that is extremely difficult to intercept.

Over says last November the Navy outfitted one of its San Diego-based Aegis destroyers with a MADL receiver in preparation for the upcoming test. With this modification, the ship can receive targeting information directly from the F-35.

The purpose of this at-sea demonstration is to show how the F-35’s advanced Northrop Grumman-built infrared distributed aperture system (DAS); active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; and fusion algorithms can support air and missile defense as part of a networked “kill web” architecture.

The F-35’s six-camera electro-optical/infrared Northrop AAQ-37 DAS enables the pilot to look through the skin of the aircraft and see incoming air and missile threats at great distances. DAS’s full capability became apparent in 2010 when an F-35 flying near Washington, D.C., detected a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch at Cape Canaveral almost 800 nm (1,482 km) away.

Two networked DAS systems can be linked together to generate a three-dimensional target track, or it can simply cue the F-35’s Northrop APG-81 AESA fire control radar, if within range, to get an even better track.

This targeting information can then be passed via MADL to any “shooter” capable of intercepting the target through kinetic or electromagnetic means. This could include the U.S.’s Aegis, Patriot or Thaad missile systems.

Flying at 30,000 ft., the F-35 can see farther than any land- or sea-based sensors. In the September 2016 test, the MQM-107 was replicating a subsonic cruise missile flying low behind a mountain range and it could not have been seen without the F-35B.

“Aegis didn’t even have its radar turned on,” Over notes. “It couldn’t have even seen the target drone because of the mountain range.”

Over says the F-35B provided an initial target location as well as midcourse guidance updates to the SM-6. He says SM-6 is an “enormous missile” that could not possibly be carried by a typical fighter aircraft, so linking F-35 and Aegis allows the F-35 to kill a wider variety of targets without even firing a single shot.

“This is a logical evolution of the capability of the airplane,” Over says. “It just requires software and the right communications link.”

John Montgomery, Northrop’s fifth-generation improvements and derivatives program manager, says the distributed aperture system ensures that no airborne missile can sneak up on the F-35. Northrop has been exploring ways to employ DAS for air and missile defense for several years. This capability was successfully demonstrated during a test designated FTX-20 on Oct. 16, 2014.

During that trial in Hawaii, a ground-based DAS and one carried aboard a Gulfstream testbed aircraft were able to establish a three-dimensional target track of a medium-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missile.

“This weapon system is going to evolve to do things legacy fighter airplanes could have never even thought about,” Over says.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Feb 2018 21:58

US leads the world in 2017 aerospace and defense exports, says AIA report

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. aerospace and defense industry was the global leader in exports of its type in 2017, accounting for 34 percent of industry exports, according to a recently released Aerospace Industries Association report.

Using data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the report finds the U.S. A&D industry generated $143 billion in exports last year.

Although slightly down from 2016’s near $146 billion high-water mark, overall A&D exports have increased 26 percent over the last five years.The export of supply chain products such as engines, components and parts accounted for 56 percent of exports, totaling $80 billion.China retained its status as the top purchaser of U.S. A&D products, buying $16.3 billion of U.S. goods. France and the United Kingdom ranked second and third, importing $12.9 billion and $10 billion, respectively.In total, the A&D industry accounted for 9 percent of all U.S. exports, making it the nations third-largest gross exporter. The industry also generated an $86 billion trade surplus in 2017, the largest trade surplus of any U.S. industry.

Defense Exports - ... rts-graph/

This also shows nearly $6 Billion in Defense (Aerospace and non Aerospace) imports last year - ... rts-table/
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 12 Feb 2018 22:04

Two-Year Budget Deal Would Raise Caps, Give Pentagon $700B in 2018

Senators struck a budget deal Wednesday that would provide steep increases in U.S. defense spending over the next two years — up more than 15 percent in 2018 alone, the largest boost in more than a decade and a half.

The full agreement remains to be hammered out between the House and Senate, but Defense Secretary James Mattis pronounced himself “very happy with $700 [billion] for this year, and $716 [billion] for next.”



Industry Reinvesting In R&D After Dearth Of Spending

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Feb 2018 22:18

R&D will be a major theme of the defense budget for FY19 that is expected to presented later today (in about 10 minutes). Of note, the USAF will be seeking more money for R&D in FY19 than it will for procurement. Next generation tactical aircraft, missiles and sensors to get a major increase across the future years compared to what was shared last year. Overall, the department of defense (minus DOE etc) gets about 3.1% of GDP.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Feb 2018 16:22

Nothing surprising besides the R&D investments that I had mentioned earlier (or how extensive they were). As a total, procurement for many, including the USAF has actually gone down slightly, the service choosing to invest in next-generation technology R&D with the increase in funding it received. Only surprise was the third DDG-51 Flight III which was added to the Navy when they were expected to keep the buy rate to a steady 2 a year. Virginia SSN has now increased in price to around $3.2 billion per sub, due to both the VPM and the US Navy deciding to cut in the new Acoustic improvements into all subs procured in FY19 and beyond.

Pentagon unveils $686 billion military budget for FY19


The budget earmarks $236.7 billion for acquisitions. Of that, $144.3 billion is for procurement and $92.4 billion is for research, development, test and evaluation. Major defense acquisition programs take up $92.3 billion.

One of the largest increases is for the vaguely worded “mission support activities,” which jumps $16.9 billion, from $49.9 billion in FY18 to $66.8 billion in FY19.

Twenty-eight percent of the entire investment budget request includes various departmental capabilities, such as live-fire test and evaluation, classified special programs and the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization — which is researching counter-drone technologies.


77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters: $10.7 billion
15 KC-46 tanker replacements: $3 billion
24 F/A-18s: $2 billion
60 AH-64E attack helicopters: $1.3 billion
Six VH-92 presidential helicopters: $0.9 billion
Eight CH-53K King Stallions: $1.6 billion


Two Virginia-class submarines: $7.4 billion
Three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers: $6 billion
One littoral combat ship: $1.3 billion
CVN-78 class aircraft carrier: $1.8 billion
Two fleet replenishment oilers: $1.1 billion
One expeditionary sea base: $0.7 billion

Ground systems

5,113 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles: $2 billion
135 M-1 Abrams tank modifications: $2.7 billion
30 amphibious combat vehicles: $0.3 billion
197 Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles: $0.8 billion

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Aditya_V » 13 Feb 2018 17:25

Thats still 450 Billion other than acquisitions, wonder how much of that is for weapons, Ammo, Torpedos, Bombs and stores acquisitions

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Feb 2018 17:56

Aditya_V wrote:Thats still 450 Billion other than acquisitions, wonder how much of that is for weapons, Ammo, Torpedos, Bombs and stores acquisitions

Weapons and ammo are part of the acquisition budget number given in the article (it is for all acquisition of hardware or services). The rest of the money will be spent on O&M for the entire force, pay, military construction and Science and Technology not included in R&D ( funding for DARPA for example).


Here is the chart on select munitions for both the current year and the next. Do note that these are Trump budget requests. The congress can add or subtract. Based on the budget deal reached last week, Defense spending will rise $20+ Billion to what Trump had asked for in his FY18 budget request but th FY19 numbers are unlikely to change significantly (other than movement within accounts) because they had a much clearer top line from the Congress prior to submission ($716 Billion ovreall for National Security). -


Budget Summary Slides: ... equest.pdf

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