US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2018 03:47

Ramjet Powered Canon Artillery Round could be demonstrated next year:

Long-range in the close fight

he Army is looking at how it will evolve its current M109A7 self-propelled howitzer — or the Paladin Integrated Management — into extended-range cannon artillery, Maranian said.

The CFT is looking at “how do we take that chassis that is hopefully going to be at full-rate production in the next couple of months and get ourselves to a better propellant, a better projectile and a longer barrel — extending from a 39-caliber to a 58-caliber — to be able to not only get on the current battlefield to the 70 kilometer range, but also provide the basis from which either a hypervelocity or a ramjet technology round could get us to very long ranges with cannon artillery,” he said.

The plan is to spiral in capabilities: “We are not going to wait and try to create the next Crusader Howitzer,” Maranian said.

Instead, the Army will build capability for extended-range cannon artillery in a “very methodical manner that accelerates those things that are ready for acceleration,” he added.

“First out of the barrel, pun intended,” Maranian said, “is going to be the ... XM1113. 1113 is the new rocket-assisted projectile.”

That projectile could end up in soldiers’ hands in approximately two to two-and-half years, according to Maranian. It is being demonstrated right now through experiments at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, which took place last month and is continuing into March.

The Army expects the projectile to reach out to 40 kilometers when fired from the current cannon tube, delivering a 33 percent increase in range capability from previous rockets, according to Maranian.

Then the service will extend the cannon tube from a 39-caliber to a 58-caliber, which will provide a number of benefits, Maranian said, including a new breach and new mounts within the turret of the cannon, and will provide “the ability to have a much greater explosive chain to be able to achieve the velocity out of the tube that hypersonics would require.”

Lastly, the Army will work on an autoloader, which will increase the cannon’s volume of fire. “If we can get six to 10 rounds out of a tube for a minute, sustained, as opposed to four rounds in the first minute and one sustained after that with a human crew loading all the ammunition, we are going to dramatically increase our effects on target to be able to have more impact at the same time,” he said.

“Hypersonic technology is absolutely something that we need to look at,” he said. But he added that there are a number things that can be done to give certain projectiles hypersonic-like capabilities.

“Hypersonics is really a speed band of how fast we are getting that projectile moving,” Maranian said.

Another way to get after fast speeds and longer ranges is through ramjet technology. When a projectile leaves the cannon and is flying through the air, the air is fed into the projectile itself and ignites an internal propellant, which causes further acceleration, according to Maranian.

The Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Space and Missile Defense Command, outside of the Army, are looking at a number of classified programs, he said.

The SCO is particularly looking at the 58-caliber cannon tube because it is a base requirement for hypersonics.

The CFT is also taking a look at rail gun technology as well as directed energy, Maranian noted.

The Army sees the possibility of hypersonics and ramjet projectiles being demonstrated in the next couple of years “for certain,” he said, adding that demonstrations for both could potentially happen in 2019.






https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/0 ... bA.twitter

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2018 18:07

Raytheon Reduces Weight Of Apache HEL Pod


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As the U.S. Army gets ready to develop another version of the Boeing AH-64 Apache, Raytheon wants to arm the long-serving gunship with a lethal laser.
In June 2017, the company revealed it had partnered with the Army’s Apache Program Management Office (PMO) to demonstrate a podded high-power laser for shooting ground, airborne and eventually maritime targets in combat at tactically significant distances.

Speaking at a directed energy media roundtable in Washington on March 20, company officials confirmed that those tests continue, but now with a lighter-weight pod that is more mature and can be integrated with more platforms. Like the earlier prototype, Raytheon’s “HEL” pod combines the company’s widely used electro-optical Multi-Spectral Targeting System with a compact fiber laser to blast targets with intense, concentrated photonic energy.

According to Evan Hunt, the head of business development for high-energy lasers at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, the weight of the laser pod has been reduced to about 1,000 lb. It continues to be carried under the Apache’s wing, where the Army typically slings four Hellfire missiles or a rocket pod.

“We’re continuing on, through the relationship we have with U.S. Special Operations Command and the Apache PMO, to do ongoing, iterative demonstrations,” Hunt says. “Those will continue across this year and going into the middle of 2019 to demonstrate increased capability on the podded system.”

Raytheon confirms that it also has been exploring potential carriage on other airborne platforms, as it can take the place of a 1,000-lb. munition on a modern weapons racks.

“Our podded HEL system has a very standard configuration and it could be employed easily by a number of legacy platforms; any platform that could accommodate that kind of weight,” Hunt says. He notes that the company has additional science and technology efforts ongoing to develop laser systems for future platforms, such as next-gen fighters.

Depending on the success of the demonstrations, the pod may integrate with the current-generation AH-64E or perhaps the next version that will enter development around 2021. At the moment, the laser pod is a candidate weapon for either the regular Army or special operations forces. The electrically fed laser pod never runs out of bullets, so it could someday become a standard armament across the entire Apache fleet.

According to slide presentations from an Apache Capability Enhancements industry day in February, the AH-64 will remain the Army’s main attack helicopter through 2048.

The planned production of about 700 Echo models will conclude around 2026, and the service expects to then transition into a future variant as a bridge to Future Vertical Lift.

The program office anticipates a five-year development program for the next iteration of Apache to begin in 2021, followed by a transition into production and deployment around 2025. The Army will not begin developing a heavy attack platform through Future Vertical Lift until 2024, according to the Army’s notional timeline.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 22 Mar 2018 08:37

the apache seems well on its way to be a obese bomb truck of the F-16block60 mould. with this huge pod and 12 hellfires, how agile will it be?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2018 14:39

One of the advantages of a heavy attack helicopter is that it can be loaded with a large payload if and when required. Through propulsion and other enhancements, the Echo regains some of the performance and survivability of the original Apache which had been lost with weight growth over the years.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2018 16:22

MULTIPLE DRONES DEFEATED IN US ARMY EXERCISE


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During a recent US Army exercise Raytheon advanced microwave and laser weapons downed a total of 45 airborne targets, including UAS and drones. The exercise – the Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment (MFIX) – was held at the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence in Fort Sill, OK.

The event brings military and industrial leaders together to assess and demonstrate methods of bridging what the Army sees as capability gaps in long-range fires and manoeuvre short-range air defence. Raytheon’s contribution included demonstrations of a high-powered microwave system that engaged multiple UAS swarms, downing a total of 33 drones, two and three at a time. Also demonstrated was the company’s high energy laser (HEL), which identified, tracked, engaged and neutralised 12 airborne, manoeuvring, Class I and II UAS and destroyed six stationary mortar projectiles.

“The speed and low cost per engagement of directed energy is revolutionary in protecting our troops against drones,” commented Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems Vice President, Dr. Thomas Bussing. Raytheon and the US Air Force Research Laboratory have worked together under a $2 million contract to test and demonstrate high-power microwave, counter-UAV technologies.

“Our customer needed a solution, and they needed it fast. So, we took what we’ve learned and combined it with combat-proven components to rapidly deliver a small, self-contained and easily deployed counter-UAV system,” observed, the Director of Raytheon’s HEL product line, Dr. Ben Allison.


More:

Forty-five down
High-power microwaves and lasers defeat multiple drones during US Army exercise



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 22 Mar 2018 16:34

i think the russians have deployed something similar in hymenium to swat down drones...the microwave and jamming kit

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2018 16:51

Not sure what they have deployed but I am pretty certain they have Jammers and other EA gear there. Their HPM "gun" was in development around 2015 (based on Sputnik so don't know how accurate is so perhaps they fielded a system) with further testing happening in 2016. This Raytheon system is not technically a radar jammer but a High power microwave that is not directed to specifically jam certain radars such as AWACS or GMT sensors but goes after UASs and potentially other targets. Raytheon has been testing this at an Army range for a couple of years now but the US Army has deployed a different system in Syria (a jammer as well, not a HPM). Here's a video of the system from 2016.



Tactically, and doctrinally, there is still quite a bit of work to do before Directed Energy (lasers) and High Power Microwave go into the battlefield. There was a report from this week that showed that the Laser weapon system that is currently deployed in Europe was struggling with range clearances during training which limited how the soldiers could train with it...this along with tactics of operating these in a dynamic blue force environment will be something that has to be solved. It is much easier when operating from a ship like the Ponce did but even there, once you to 100 kW and bigger systems there are going to be some concerns of how you deploy it in a dynamic environment with other services and forces operating in close proximity.

Raytheon Sets Phasers to Drone Destruction with Directed Energy Weapon Test

There are all kinds of creative ways of dealing with rogue drones: Radio jamming. Other drones with nets. Trained eagles. None of these are really designed to handle military drones, however, and large, fast-moving UAVs are still a potential threat, especially if more than one is coming at you at once. It's no surprise that the U.S. Army has been developing solutions for this potential threat— we're not sure what they're working on now, but as of late 2013, Raytheon was successfully testing a long range, high power directed microwave weapon capable of taking out swarms of drones in milliseconds.

The Phaser is essentially a high powered microwave (HPM) cannon that runs on a diesel engine. Exactly how powerful this thing is (and what its range is) is still classified, but we do know that it can be tuned to either "disrupt" or "damage," where for most drones, "damage" seems to be synonymous with "destroy." It's also effective against cars and other vehicles, and almost anything else that wouldn't work properly without functioning electronics.

No matter how heavily cooked you like your drones, microwaves can achieve the desired effect in milliseconds, which is a major advantage of the Phaser over laser weapons: lasers typically require several seconds to burn through a target, and it's very difficult to keep them focused on a small, fast moving, and far away point for that amount of time. One commonality that all directed energy systems have is their very low cost of operation, which is in the range of cents per firing, far cheaper than either projectile weapons or missiles.

Raytheon has plenty of experience with microwave weapons; they've been working on a non-lethal anti-human "Active Denial System" (ADS) for over a decade. From 250 meters away, the ADS can gently heat the water just under your skin with millimeter-wave radiation, making anyone standing in the beam feel like they're on fire. The feeling stops as soon as you get out of the beam, and there are otherwise no physical consequences. As of 2015, the U.S. Air Force was looking at mounting ADS systems on AC-130 gunships as a non-lethal crowd control option.

We're not entirely sure what the current status of the Phaser is, although Raytheon told Aviation Week that the system is now half the size it was in the 2013 test and could be ready for operational deployment in less than two years. At the rate drone technology is evolving and drone population is expanding, it seems likely that there will be a serious need for it by then.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Mar 2018 15:18

Not the first time but yet another confirmation that LRPF/PRSM which is a longer ranged ATACMS replacement would eventually have moving land and sea based targets as a target set.

Army Will Field 100 Km Cannon, 500 Km Missiles: LRPF CFT


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Howitzers, Rockets, & Missiles

Different kinds of combat call for different weapons. Rather than invest in a single Long-Range Precision Fires system to rule them all, the Army is modernizing three,some under existing programs of record and some under Brig. Gen. Maranian’s CFT:

155 cannon, the cheapest option, for the close fight against the enemy’s frontline forces;
guided rockets for the deep fight against enemy reinforcements and supply lines; and
missiles, the most expensive munitions, for very deep or even strategic strikes against targets in the enemy rear and homeland.
Cannon shells have advanced dramatically in recent decades, with precision-guided Excalibur rounds and Rocket Assisted Projectiles to boost range. The current RAP fired from the current 155 mm howitzer can hit targets about 30 km (19 miles) away.

Even before Chief of Staff Milley made Long Range Precision Fires his No. 1 priority, the Army was working on Extended Range Cannon Artillery. ERCA has two aspects. First, the service is developing a new rocket-boosted shell, the XM113, with a 40 km range when fired from current cannon. The XM113 is now in testing, Maranian said: “We’ll see that in the hands of soldiers in about two to two-and-a-half years.”

Second, ERCA is lengthening the barrel of the howitzer by almost 50 percent (from 39 calibers to 58). The longer barrel is a harder to manufacture and more awkward to maneuver, but it lets the propellant push the shell longer, building up speed. The extended barrel should enter service in 2023, Maranian said, and combining the new ammunition with the new barrel and a new propellant, “we foresee being able to get that howitzer out to 70 km.”

The metallurgy of the new barrel should be robust enough to fire even more advanced munitions like hypersonic and ramjet rounds that enter service beyond 2023, Maranian said, although he doesn’t have a date yet. Experimentation will begin “within the next couple of years,” he said, but he thinks hypersonic cannon shells could reach out to 100 km (63 miles).At that range, Maranian said, cannon can take on targets that today require more expensive rockets. So what do the rockets do? Well, they get longer-ranged too. That means, in turn, that means rockets take over missions from the most expensive missiles, so those have to gain range as well.

The current precision rocket — the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, or GMLRS — fires about 70 km (44 miles). That’s roughly the same range as the upgraded ERCA cannon and shorter than hypersonics. So the Army is working on GMLRS Extended Range that will roughly double that, Maranian said, to about 150 km.

Then there’s the artillery’s longest-range system, the Army Tactical Missile System. (This is a “semi-ballistic” missile, not a true ballistic missile). ATACMS in its current form can hit targets about 300 km (188 miles) away. For the last few years, the Army has been developing a replacement that’s both half the size — allowing two in a HIMARS launcher or four in an MLRS — and longer-ranged. Officially, the new missile could go right up to the INF treaty limit of 499 km, although if the treaty collapses expect that number to go higher.

The ATACMS replacement was originally called Long Range Precision Firepower. But when the Chief of Staff designated “Long Range Precision Firepower” as his No. 1 modernization priority, he had a much wider range of weapons in mind — namely, the whole portfolio of advanced artillery Maranian’s discussing. So the weapon formerly known as LRPF will soon be formally renamed PRSM, the Precision Strike Missile.

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon will test-fly their PRSM prototypes next year, in 2019. The winner’s weapon should achieve Initial Operational Capability in 2023 — and then get upgraded over time. The initial PRSM will only be able to hit stationary targets on land, but the Army is working on seekers that would let it track and kill moving targets on both land and sea, including enemy warships — a particularly useful capability for Army batteries on islands in the Pacific. Other warheads under study would home in on radio and radar signals or loiter over the battlefield like drones, collecting intelligence and beaming it back.In the longer run, Maranian said, the Army is looking at even more exotic technologies such as railguns — now being pioneered by the Navy — which use electromagnetism to launch projectiles at about Mach 7. And there are other projects moving along in parallel, like an automatic loader for the M109 Paladin howitzer to increase its rate of fire. Human loaders manage four rounds in the first minute, then one a minute thereafter as they tire, but the autoloader technology could offer 6-10 a minute as long as ammo is left.

All this investment in new technology is a marked contrast from the previous 20 years, when the artillery suffered two major program cancellations — the Crusader howitzer and then the howitzer variant of the Future Combat Systems. One of the Army’s most neglected branches is now the chief cornerstone of its approach to future war.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby VinodTK » 27 Mar 2018 22:28

Cross Posting From: International Aerospace Discussion

Trump Defense Budget Gives Boeing's Super Hornet Fighter A Big Boost
It seems the U.S. Navy can't get enough of Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters. The sea service is leveraging a big increase in military funding from the Trump administration to launch a multifaceted modernization of Super Hornet -- which already dominates flight decks on the service's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

One facet of the modernization plan is to upgrade technology on all new Super Hornets coming off the Boeing production line in Missouri beginning next year. A second facet involves installing the same new technology on Super Hornets already in the fleet, so that all F/A-18s eventually are modernized to what the Navy calls a "Block III" configuration. A third facet will extend the usable life of Super Hornets in the fleet from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours -- a 50% gain signaling naval aviators will be relying on the plane for decades to come.
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According to Lara Seligman of Aviation Week & Space Technology, the Navy will buy 24 new Super Hornets in the fiscal year commencing October 1, and an additional 110 in the following five years. All of these planes will be built to the Block III standard, meaning they will be able to reach targets over 500 miles away without refueling.

That's an important gain in terms of addressing all the likely targets in future conflicts while keeping carriers far away from hostile players. As countries like China invest more heavily in long-range antiship missiles, the Navy needs to avoid putting its carriers in harm’s way. The Navy's supercarriers seldom stop moving when deployed and are nearly impossible to sink with anything smaller than a nuclear weapon but increasing the reach of Super Hornets expands the maneuver options for carriers and their escort warships.

More range is just the beginning of what the Block III upgrades will deliver. Super Hornets will also receive an advanced infrared search and tracking system built around the latest Lockheed Martin sensor enabling them to detect and identify distant targets based on their heat emissions. Relying on both the active radio-frequency signals of radar and the passive collection capabilities of infrared sensors will enhance the situational awareness of Super Hornet pilots and the survivability of their planes in combat.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Mar 2018 16:48

Gen. Mike Holmes USAF Air-Combat Command presentation from the 2018 Air Warfare Symposium -


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 30 Mar 2018 22:54

will all these network solutions survive a distributed swarm of non-nuclear EMP attacks ?

are they workable if a few key comms relay satellites over the western pacific are taken out by ASAT weapons ?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Mar 2018 23:07

Singha wrote:will all these network solutions survive a distributed swarm of non-nuclear EMP attacks ?



Is this a question? If so the answer is "it depends". But I can very easily flip this and ask you, whether all those "EMP Swarm Attack" targeting and launch platforms will survive an equally as capable EMP swarm attack??..of course, the non-nuclear type :D

Redundancy in comms both in the narrow and big pipe context is being built up via gateways and weapon programs designed to first survive GPS denial attempts (i.e. Jamming resistant PNT and comms) and then operate out of GPS dependency are being worked upon at breakneck pace. Future PNT programs are one of DARPA's and US forces most important third offset technology investment areas as they too are aware that any fight against a peer or even near peer adversary will spill over to space.

The second step of this is to distribute space based elements and make them more survivable by eliminating single points of failures. This means advances in miniaturization, low cost space launch and fielding many times more, cheaper, systems than the constellation which exists at the moment. So in a nutshell, as any half-capable force they too are thinking about denial and asymmetric capability being fielded by their adversary and are actively pursuing rapid path to offsetting it. This, to a large extent, is what the third offset is about i.e. a realization that their primary geopolitical adversaries (mainly China but also Russia) have gone to school on their capability and have developed access-denial capability which they must now offset or otherwise mitigate. This is important because as far as denying US Military the control of a region is a lot easier if you can prevent them from entering that region or successfully maneuvering within it. It is always a cat and mouse game as it has always been.

are they workable if a few key comms relay satellites over the western pacific are taken out by ASAT weapons ?


Here is a question for you - Can those ASAT capabilities in the western pacific survive an AASAT capability measures? If so, could you walk us through what those strategies are?

will all these network solutions


Sure depending upon what you mean by "all these network solutions". Most of the USAF tactical networking is airborne data-link based and not Satellite based. The UAS complex relies on GPS and Satelite comms but that is a carve out and not specifically designed for the sort of environments we are talking about (on purpose). There are classified UAS programs that are tailored to that survivability requirement but we are not privy to what communication, navigation and targeting methods they make use of.

Similarly, they are working on wide-area 100GB/Second MMW based big-pipe communication networks that cna be set up by airborne systems with ranges of 100-200 km over an area of interest. This too is independent of any satellite networks

https://www.darpa.mil/program/100-gb-s-rf-backbone

These efforts do not exist in a vacuum but do so because there has been a need identified for them and part of it is exactly as you mentioned - building redundancies and survivability so that when the $hit hits the fan your capability degrades gracefully rather than acute losses of comms or the ability to share data. This is also one of the reasons why the USAF is not really buying any new AWACS when the entire world is fielding new systems. They are happy to upgrade the current fleet, let it retire and not recapitalize it because that way of doing Air-Surveillance is not survivable...or at least, they cannot keep it survivable. Same with their push to cancel the Obama-Era J-STARS recap program which would have also added a new radar on a business jet or 737.

Jam resistant GPS is now included (M-Code) in virtually all PGMs coming out of the factory and there are about half a dozen programs currently in the works, which I have written about earlier, which are developing GPS grade accuracy and CEP without reliance on GPS.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Mar 2018 01:32


USS Nebraska Successfully Tests Trident II D5 Missile


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SAN DIEGO -- The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) along with the U.S. Navy's Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) conducted successful test flights of two Trident II D5 Missiles, March 26. The unarmed test missiles were launched as part of Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) 28 in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California.

The missiles were launched as a double mission test and were the key element of DASO 28, which marked the 166th and 167th successful test flights of the Trident II D5 missile since its introduction to the Fleet in 1989. The primary objective of the DASO is to evaluate and demonstrate the readiness of the SSBN’s strategic weapon system and crew before operational deployment following midlife refueling overhaul.

SSP, along with Naval Ordnance Test Unit, oversees the DASO certification process and provide integrated testing and evaluation capabilities, while various other organizations provide support. More than 130 special guests were invited aboard USNS Waters (T-AGS 45), a Military Sealift Command (MSC) vessel, to witness the event and learn more about SSP and the DASO process.

“The successful completion of DASO 28 was not only an important milestone in USS Nebraska’s return to service, but also an important demonstration of the reliable and credible sea-based leg of the U.S. nuclear deterrent triad,” said Capt. Mark Behning, Deputy Director, SSP.

Waters is an MSC vessel that provides support during the DASO launch as part of her mission. Instrumentation and personnel, such as engineers and scientists, are embarked aboard Waters to track the submarine and missile throughout the launch process. Capt. Mike Elmstrom, commanding officer, Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) and his crew took part in the design modifications of the D5 missiles and planning the test.

“Team SWFPAC put in many hours assembling, preparing and loading these flight test missiles,” said Elmstrom. “This is a great opportunity for many of us to see the results of those impressive efforts.”

Guests who watched the launch aboard Waters said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"The launch was one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen," said Allen Beermann, Executive Director, Nebraska Press Association. "It was truly an experience of a lifetime and I am glad I was invited to attend this wonderful event."

USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) is the 14th submarine of the Ohio-class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Assigned to Submarine Group 9, Nebraska is one of eight ballistic-missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.

The mission of the SSBN force is strategic deterrence, by providing the United States with its most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability. Ohio-class submarines serve as an undetectable launch platform for submarine launched ballistic missiles. They are considered the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad; the other legs being long-range bombers and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Mar 2018 19:34

U.S. Army helicopters airdrop M777 Howitzers, and Soldiers set up and fire the artillery pieces during Exercise Dynamic Front 18 at Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany on March 8, 2018. Unit - 4th Section, 2nd Platoon, Bravo Battery, 2nd Calvary Regiment.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Guddu » 01 Apr 2018 17:37

For full details see https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-30/lockheed-martin-patents-nuclear-fusion-powered-fighter-jet
Lockheed Martin Patents Nuclear Fusion-Powered Fighter Jet
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by Tyler Durden
Sat, 03/31/2018 - 22:42

Lockheed Martin has secretly been developing a game-changing compact nuclear fusion reactor that could potentially fit into a fighter jet. The Maryland-based defense contractor recently obtained a patent associated with its design for a fully compact fusion reactor, after filing for the patent in 2014.

If the latest patent from the defense company serves as a benchmark, nuclear fusion technology could revolutionize the aeronautic industry and eventually begin the quantum leap from fossil fuels to compact fusion reactors for the industry.

According to CBS Washington, the prototype system would be the size of a normal shipping container but capable of producing enough energy to power 80,000 residential homes or a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, sometime in the next year or so.

The patent, tilted “Encapsulating Magnetic Fields for Plasma Confinement,” is dated Feb. 15, 2018. CBS indicates that Skunk Works, also known as Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs or its advanced R&D group, has reportedly been developing the compact fusion reactor since about 2014, with latest reports suggesting the technology could be ready for production by 2019.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Apr 2018 18:53

Six of Six for LRASM as Service Entry Nears


In early March the Lockheed Martin AGM-158C LRASM (long-range anti-ship missile) successfully completed its sixth air-launched firing trial, all of which have achieved their objectives. This test takes LRASM a step further down the path to service entry, which is scheduled for late 2018. The first operational launch platform will be the U.S. Air Force’s Boeing B-1B, with the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet intended to follow in 2019.

The March test involved a production-configured weapon dropped from a B-1B of the 337th Test Squadron in an end-to-end firing trial. Although this unit is tasked with operational test and evaluation, the aircraft launched from the front-line base at Dyess AFB in Texas. The weapon was released over the Point Mugu Sea Range off the California coast, navigated to the target area, and identified its intended target before guiding autonomously to a successful impact.

LRASM is based on the AGM-158B JASSM-ER (joint air-to-surface stand-off missile—extended range) attack weapon, and has been in development by DARPA to rapidly meet an urgent operational requirement (UOR) for an anti-ship weapon with greater autonomous targeting capability than the current AGM-84 Harpoon air-launched anti-ship missile. LRASM has been procured under the Navy’s OASuW (offensive air-to-surface warfare)/Increment I program as an uncompeted UOR. OASuW/Increment 2 is an open competition for a follow-on missile purchase, and LRASM is among the competitors.

LRASM is designed to transit at medium level before descending for a low-level ingress to the target area. Its guidance system includes an advanced BAE Systems radar seeker and it is intended to be capable of operating in regions where GPS and other support systems are denied. The guidance system has the ability to pick out its individual target vessel from among a fleet of ships.

The first air-dropped launch of a LRASM was undertaken from a B-1B on Aug. 27, 2013, the missile successfully identifying and targeting a specific ship from a group of three. LRASM can also be fired in a boosted canister from the standard Mk 41 vertical launch system installed on surface vessels. A first vertical-launched test was conducted in September 2013, and two more followed at the “Desert Ship” trials establishment at White Sands, New Mexico, before the first at-sea firing was performed in July 2016.

Having completed captive-carry trials, a LRASM was fired from a Super Hornet for the first time in April 2017. Two months later Lockheed Martin received the first production contract, covering 23 missiles in the Lot 1 low-rate initial production batch.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Apr 2018 19:03

More Aircraft Added To FY2018 Defense Spend


In passing the bill, Congress appropriated $44 billion for the procurement of 143 aircraft, some 27.5 percent above the funding necessary to pay for the Pentagon’s initial request.

Unsurprisingly, it is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program that is the principal beneficiary. Congress has added 20 additional aircraft worth $2.9 billion to the 70 already asked for. They will be divided among 10 F-35As for the Air Force, four F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and six F-35Cs for the Navy. Overall the government will spend $10.2 billion on the 90 F-35s it is buying, including spare parts and engines.

Another program to receive a boost is the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The Pentagon had asked for 14 new fighters for the Navy, but will now get 24 for a total spend of $1.8 billion. Despite being dogged by technical issues and delivery delays, the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker/transport program has been allocated additional funding, with three more aircraft added to the 15 already requested.

Lockheed Martin will benefit from the request for nine C-130J Hercules being boosted to 25, worth a total of $2.4 billion. The extra 16 aircraft are comprised of six C-130J transports for the Air National Guard, five MC-130Js for Special Operations Command, one HC-130J rescue platform for the Air Force and four KC-130J tankers for the Marine Corps.

Also included in the budget is an allocation to restart the production of new wings for the A-10C Warthog. Funding had earlier been allocated to re-wing about 60 percent of the fleet of approximately 280 aircraft, the wing sets being built by Boeing with the installation being performed by the Air Force at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, Utah. That contract is almost complete, and a new tender process is expected to cover the follow-on contract.


The article gets some facts wrong however. The $44 Billion is the total aircraft procurement spend, which includes way more than the 143 aircraft listed in it. This includes the AF Aircraft (Helicopters, F-35, KC-46) Navy aircraft (P-8, F-35B and C,V-22s, F-18, CH-53K etc) and Army aircraft (AH-64Es etc). More details below -

The defense bill includes $44 billion for aircraft procurement, including $10.2 billion for 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, $2.9 billion for 18 Air Force KC-46A tankers, $2.4 billion for 25 C/HC/KC/MC-130J planes, $1.8 billion for 24 Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and $1.7 billion for 10 Navy P-8A Poseidons.

Other aircraft purchases include $1.6 billion for 30 new-build and 50 remanufactured AH-64 Apache helicopters, $1.3 billion for 14 V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, $1.1 billion for 56 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, $225 million for 20 MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft and $103 million to replace wings on the A-10 close-air-support plane.

The bill contains $23.8 billion to buy 14 Navy ships, including an aircraft carrier, two DDG-51 guided-missile destroyers, two Virginia-class submarines, three Littoral Combat Ships, an Expeditionary Sea Base, an Expeditionary Fast Transport ship, an LX(R) amphibious ship, a TAO fleet oiler, a T-AGS oceanographic survey ship and a Towing, Salvage and Rescue ship.

The Missile Defense Agency will get $9.5 billion, bringing its FY 2018 total to about $11.5 billion when combined with a previously enacted supplemental appropriations bill. The omnibus includes $706 million for U.S.-Israeli cooperative programs, $558 million above the Trump administration's request; $632 million for additional Standard Missile-3 Block 1B interceptors; $617 million for additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors; and $393 million to speed up the fielding of 20 additional, modernized Ground Based Interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska.

http://www.defensedaily.com/dod-weapon- ... ibus-bill/


Note the $10.2 Billion spent on the JSF, which comes to a unit cost of $113 Million including costs of spares. This is obviously skewed somewhat by the more expensive STOVL and Carrier variants (which make up 35% of the total purchase of 90 aircraft) but is still competitive with the Eurocanards, particularly if one does a capability based assessment.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2018 00:01

Singha wrote:that would be the J31. smaller and lighter than the J15 for sure and blazing rates of climb, ELO and heavy internal payload...worthy of the proposed 110,000t "Punisher Class Carrier" :twisted:

it is what the JSF could have been, but never will be ... tsk tsk

Image


A twin engine JSF would not have made sense for the US. If they wanted a twin engine aircraft there would have had to be a need for those two engines which would have meant a larger aircraft that would have sized out a single engine option (like the F-22 did). There are logistical elements you look at when your planned fleet size is a couple of thousand units (and you always fight 'away') unlike a silver bullet fleet. The F-35 is primarily an F-16 (single engine) and F/A-18 (twin engine but only due to Navy requirement from decades earlier). The missions these covered few decades ago, or cover now can very easily be covered without resorting to a twin-engine set up. It need not be a heavy fighter with total thrust requirements north of 60,000 pounds. The current thrust growth can easily be met with the F-135, upgraded F-135s and the AETD offshoot all designed in the 45,000 - 50,000 class. This obviously then leads one to believe that the next US fighter could have total thrust in the 80K+ range which is some indication of how large it is likely to be.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2018 22:03

John wrote:
Turrent of oto is heavy and mounting it to any platform will be a challenging , Oto Berada has developed one however. Also it is not cheap by any means, you are talking about that costs as much as a SPG (3-6 million). It is interesting concept but hasn’t got any interest from anyone. Russia is also working 57mm Wheeled anti aircraft gun system.

http://www.armyrecognition.com/weapons_ ... 07144.html



The US is working on specialized projectiles, including miniature SRM based missiles from 40mm guns for this very mission. 2 prototyping programs are building examples of systems for tests in the coming months.

While this is being addressed under multiple programs, the most notable one is Multi-Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System (MAD-FIRES) which I have provided information about earlier in this thread.

https://www.darpa.mil/program/multi-azi ... ent-system

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prasad » 10 Apr 2018 18:52

I wonder who sits around with a whole bunch of cool singing acronyms and who's job it is to come up with a reasonable sounding expansion for it :D

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Apr 2018 18:57

DARPA, wins the Acronym game in the US DOD (hands down) followed closely by the OSD/SCO run projects :). Annie Jacobsen's excellent book on the organization is full of some really cool and some really weird ones throughout its history.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby John » 14 Apr 2018 21:05

brar_w wrote:
John wrote:
Turrent of oto is heavy and mounting it to any platform will be a challenging , Oto Berada has developed one however. Also it is not cheap by any means, you are talking about that costs as much as a SPG (3-6 million). It is interesting concept but hasn’t got any interest from anyone. Russia is also working 57mm Wheeled anti aircraft gun system.

http://www.armyrecognition.com/weapons_ ... 07144.html



The US is working on specialized projectiles, including miniature SRM based missiles from 40mm guns for this very mission. 2 prototyping programs are building examples of systems for tests in the coming months.

While this is being addressed under multiple programs, the most notable one is Multi-Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System (MAD-FIRES) which I have provided information about earlier in this thread.

https://www.darpa.mil/program/multi-azi ... ent-system


Yea there is lot of work going on with these specialized projectiles but really don't know if cost basis they can make it more attractive than missiles. I always metal storm interesting concept it is shame nothing came out of it.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Apr 2018 23:27

There will be some missions you just cannot accomplish with missiles because you would not have that many because it is just not about how many you can use but how many you have to buy and stock up, then move around during the time of need. As the number of targets spikes up due to Class I through larger UAS threats, decoys, and cruise missiles you have to diversify how you defeat them using hard and soft measures. Miniaturisation and moving to guided missiles or rounds from existing guns is a very good way to exponentially increasing your magazine.

The same for other concepts such as swarming boats..

This is expected to be deployed in about 2-3 years time -


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Apr 2018 14:48

Singha wrote:in contrast the distance from aviano to cyprus is 2100km and the american ships launching into syria would be west of that . they were protected by 4 x 15c and 4 x f16c in a2a loadout.

mainly the presence of the weak f16s needed large scale tanker support to fly them out and return them back. our su30s would have refueled only once, these munnas maybe thrice to haul back.


CAF support for tanking is always in excess of what is actually needed. This is for many reasons but one of them is for contingencies, diverts and mission planning failures (there are also backup tankers in case some have to return due to malfunction). Primary tankers feed the CAF assets which at times can have an open ended mission with post strike requirements for CAP that are not pre-determined or known during mission planning. For example, we know that the US has SOF in Syria, what if they came under counter attack? The fighters then have to make sure that after the 70 minute strike window, they have adequate capability to do any tasks that may come up.

On top of this there would probably be other assets in the region that would not have been using their transponders, allowing them to be tracked by civilian means so they too may need fuel. CAF also usually provides the tanker mission planners a list of aircraft that are on standby that may be launched if needed so the fuel tankers have to place themselves in such a way to be able to assist those as needed. Add to all this a need for CSAR which the tankers would also have to support.

All in, it isn't as straightforward as looking at the number of fighters and the number of tankers and try to gauge tanker need based on that. You determine the absolutely worst case scenario in terms of number assets put airborne under the most challenging circumstances and plan to provide support assets to execute it. If you don't then you have to assume the higher level of risk which is also done on occasions when the adequate amount of support is not available. In that context, switching F-16s with F-15Es wouldn't have reduced the tanker mission by a whole lot. It may have reduced the number of times the aircraft actually refueled but the tankers still would have been needed to meet all potential needs.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2018 03:01


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ramana » 17 Apr 2018 03:15

Snark and Navajo were quite important missiles.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby hnair » 17 Apr 2018 07:48

brar_w, if you see this email, please check your PM. Some regular admin thingies

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Haridas » 17 Apr 2018 11:09

https://sofrep.com/102016/an-air-force- ... e-weekend/

An Air Force F-22 raptor belly flopped at Topgun school over the weekend
Alex Hollings | 04.16.2018
Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 17 Apr 2018 11:13

brar_w there were not 8 but it seems 13 fighters in 2 waves west of crete and all from aviano...so figures into the higher number of tankers plus anything else lurking around. the fighters probably hung around for a few hours post the missile launch while ships moved back west.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2018 15:02

@SIngha, as I said the tanker mission planners have to not only account for the number of aircraft that were put up (8, 13 etc) but also those that were on standby and other contingencies that may involve other assets to be put up as well such as combat search and rescue, more escorts, diverts etc etc etc. You are often limited by the amount of tanker support you need to plan for in the worst case scenario so like I said the resources that you would like to commit will generally be more than what you may need in a scenario X but you still have to be there as you cannot rapidly mobilize such assets and place them where they need to be. A good metric for endurance would be the amount of refueling or fuel offloaded but as I said, the physical number of tankers put up may not have changed if only heavy fighters were used and there were no F-16s as they are likely influenced by other things (such as other contingencies).

The B-1s had their own CENTCOM supplied tanker support and it is quite possible that they were sent airborne hours ahead of time. There was also one Prowler supporting them from CENTCOM which needs tankers to keep up, and it is quite possible that the area had more ELINT/SIGINT than what was publicly known thanks to transponders being used. The days prior to the attack saw a very high number of manned and unmanned ISR aircraft deployed in close proximity to Syrian airspace but those were the ones they wanted everyone to know about and more may have been used during the actual mission given the RF rich airspace since the AD would have been on alert. Also note, that this was a rather simple and straightforward strike. In a combined arms operation in an actual conflict those tankers will not be using transponders and would not only be protected by escorts but the CAF would also be using deception tactics to deny the sort of situational awareness at stand off range that an adversary may need to target them.

First of all the initially denied involvement of 3 B-2 bombers was confirmed. As happened during Operation Allied Force in 1999, the stealth bombers operated directly from Whiteman AFB, Missouri with the support of many tankers along the route.They dropped 40 conventional bombs on an unspecified airbase and, interestingly, to render them much more invisible, even to HF, VHF and UHF listeners that have been exploiting the possibility to listen to radio communications in the clear broadcasted by LiveATC.net, the B-2 used a REACH callsign, usually allocated to tanker, transport and support aircraft.

This gives an idea of how the OPSEC problem was faced by the USAF: keeping in mind that aircraft spotters around the world, virtually interconnected by means of forums, websites, messageboards, Twitter, Facebook and any other social networking tool, are today capable of tracking aircraft movements even before aircraft depart their homebases with the various LiveATC.net, Flightradar24.com, ADS-B, etc., they decided to deceive them not using difficult and “suspect” zip-lip ops (no-radio) but masking aircraft callsigns.

The result was satisfactory as the strikes of the B-2s as well as the TLAM attack were almost unexpected in spite of the technology in the hands of the aircraft enthusiasts meaning that there are still ways to achieve strategical surprise, if needed…..Indeed, very often, Politicians or Military Commands are more than willing to spread the news of active involvement in the air operations or the successful accomplishment of the missions as the news of the aircraft “overflying Libya now” given by the French and Tweets that followed the TLAM attack on Day 1 showed.

Furthermore, the above mentioned social networks tools are today used by media and news agencies that have been providing live and comprehensive coverage of the operations, with actual departure and landing times of each mission, number of involved aircraft, deployment bases and so on.

As never before, online newspapers and TV, using either Twitter feeds or information gathered on the field or by “googling”, are providing interesting details about the missions flown during this starting phase of Operation Odyssey Dawn.- https://theaviationist.com/2011/03/21/o ... ned-day-2/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 17 Apr 2018 16:05

2 in 7 days.. The earlier one seems to be a much worse one (from the comment)

Haridas wrote:https://sofrep.com/102016/an-air-force-f-22-raptor-belly-flopped-at-topgun-school-over-the-weekend/

An Air Force F-22 raptor belly flopped at Topgun school over the weekend
Alex Hollings | 04.16.2018

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2018 16:16

This F-22 incident is the only known one to have occurred in the last few weeks and months. I don't usually read random comments but there is absolutely zero information on any other F-22 incident of this or similar nature. This was first reported by the Warzone.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby rkhanna » 17 Apr 2018 17:38

Previous one was "A similar incident that took play on May 31st, 2012" from the SOFREP article.

The Comment refers to this being the second Engine Failure at Joint Base Elmendorf (does not mention Aircraft type)

PS. The Marines have lost a significant number of Aircraft over the past year due to maintenance issues. Obama budget cuts coming home to roust?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2018 18:49

Yes O&S accounts have been raided to balance other needs but I wouldn't blame just Obama. The BCA and sequestration was a bi-partisan deal and it happened to coincide with and right after high tempo of deployments and operations in Iraq and later Iraq and Syria. Traditionally on the tail end of major sustained operations you have things that are worn out and you need to address readiness by increasing depot capacity (same was the story post Vietnam), providing greater and sustained levels of O&S funding and recapitalizing fleets to replace worn out aircraft. That has not really happened as during the Obama years all increases in funding came through the OCO account which cannot directly pay for readiness (it can only be used to buy stuff not make investments that have consequences in the out years).

There has been some relief to the budget with a base-budget increase for two years (and a significant one at that) but you cannot buy back readiness in a short period of time..it requires a sustained investment in depots, depot capacity, stocking up on spare parts, funding to as close to 100% in terms of manpower etc etc etc. It will take 5+ years to regain some of this. In an hyperpartisan environment in DC the enacted budget really looks nothing like the version proposed by the President so I would say greater than 50% of this responsibility and blame rests with the Congress rather than the executive branch. There was a considerable drop in readiness and an increase in aviation accidents following Vietnam until the teens were fielded in higher quantities and legacy aircraft replaced with the remaining used in feeding as spares for the smaller remaining fleets. This is what is happening now with the USN ending carrier ops with the F/A-18 classic hornets and the parts from them to be used up by the Marines for their F/A-18s as they gradually replace them with F-35Bs and Cs over the next decade. For the next 3 years USN's Carrier Air Wing will be exclusively Super Hornet and Growler. It also doesn't help the smaller fleets (like the F-22A and EA-18G) when many aircraft are pulled out of operation service in order to get upgraded and this contributes somewhat because you cannot use your youngest aircraft at time of need because they are getting an extensive mod which can see them out of action for weeks on end. The F-22A fleet will be going through 3.2B increment and later the Tactical-Mandates mods and this will then begin effecting the F-15E fleet which will see each aircraft out of action for a number of weeks if not months to get its Electronic Warfare system installed which involves a complete overhaul of its ECS.

The FY18 budget added 114 new fighters and FY19 will likely match or exceed that so there will be a 4-5 year period before the data begins to show change and the younger fleet begins to impact readiness in a positive way.

The Comment refers to this being the second Engine Failure at Joint Base Elmendorf (does not mention Aircraft type)


Yes it does but JB Elmendorf is home to the 3rd wing so 3-4 aircraft type and we don't know whether this is even real or not. Certainly no incident occurred which resulted in a mishap or else it would have been reported (it would be quite strange not to report it). This is why I am a bit reluctant to engage in stuff posted from comments sections until some hard facts are made available. But of course, it is entirely possible that an "engine incident" occurred on another F-22, or another aircraft type at the base. These things aren't as common as they were a few decades back but they still happen for various reason, some related to the product and others to the human factor.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ramana » 19 Apr 2018 22:05

brar-w, the race for hypersonic missiles is off and running.

US Air Force awarded first contract for design and development for airborne hypersonic conventional (armed cruise missile0 strike weapon.

Project called HCSW (pronounced hacksaw).

Should compare to Brahmos ER

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Shameek » 09 May 2018 03:07

Amid Mishap Spike, Air Force Orders One-Day Pause for Safety Review

The U.S. Air Force on Monday directed its active-duty wing commanders to hold a one-day pause to conduct a safety review with airmen, assessing trends and criteria that may have led to a recent bout of crashes.

At the direction of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, commanders have until May 21 to hold the review at their discretion "to identify gaps and seams that exist or are developing that may lead to future mishaps or unsafe conditions for our airmen," said Air Force Maj. Gen. John T. Rauch, chief of safety for the service and commander of the Air Force Safety Center.

"The rationale behind that is an increase in recent 'Class A' mishaps for manned aircraft, as well as the fatality rates this [fiscal] year," Rauch said at the briefing. Class A mishaps involve fatalities, severe damage totaling $2 million or more, or a complete loss of the aircraft.


Link

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby dinesha » 25 Jun 2018 12:20

The US ‘Space Force’ and Its Implications
Trump’s proposed ‘space force’ responds to the quandary of how the US can best protect American assets in space.
https://thediplomat.com/2018/06/the-us- ... lications/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby dinesha » 28 Jun 2018 14:13

US military aims for $1 billion missile defense radar in Hawaii
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your ... in-hawaii/
The radar would be about 30 to 50 feet wide and 60 feet to 80 feet high, according to the Missile Defense Agency. It will likely to have a flat-face surface like one in Shemya, Alaska, instead of a ball-like appearance of other military radar. Experts say the larger the face, the more precisely it will be able to distinguish between warheads and decoys.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby souravB » 28 Jun 2018 17:03

A comprehensive guide to US missile defence
A very nice and detailed review of US missile defence systems.
Apologies if already posted.


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