US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Dec 2018 18:08

First Engage On Remote (EOR) IRBM intercept for the SM3 IIB missile. Aegis Ashore site in Hawaii launched and engaged an Air Launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile target without having a Line of Sight (then coverage area) of the target missile. Early warning was provided using Space Based Assets, and target tracking performed using forward deployed AN/TPY-2 X-band radars.

This is an important launch/intercept mode for SM-3 IIB because using the current SPY-1 radars as a baseline, the missile envelope exceeds the sensor envelope thereby making use of forward deployed sensors critical to its concept of operations. This will change slightly with SPY-6 and the SSR-Japan/Hawaii but will still help them with other launch modes (forward pass etc). Demonstrating EOR was also an important early step to demonstrate possible ICBM intercept capability with the SM3-IIB which the MDA is currently studying for a possible 2020 flight-demonstration.

SM-3 Block IIA Launcheed From Aegis Ashore Successfully Intercepts Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Target During Operational Test


December 11, 2018
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Kauai, Hawaii, successfully conducted Flight Test Integrated-03 (FTI-03). This was an operational live fire test demonstrating the Aegis Weapon System Engage On Remote capability to track and intercept an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target with an Aegis Ashore-launched Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor.

FTI-03 consisted of an IRBM target, air-launched by a U.S. Air Force C-17 from the broad ocean area thousands of miles southwest of the Aegis Ashore Test site that launched the SM-3 Block IIA Interceptor. The engagement leveraged a ground, air and space-based sensor/command and control architecture linked by the Ballistic Missile Defense System's Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) suite.

"Today's successful flight test demonstrated the effectiveness of the European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase 3 architecture. It also was of great significance to the future of multi-domain missile defense operations and supports a critical initial production acquisition milestone for the SM-3 Block IIA missile program," said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. "This system is designed to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends from a real and growing ballistic missile threat. I offer my congratulations to all members of the team, military, civilian, contractors and allies who helped make this possible."

Based on preliminary data, the test met its objective, and program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Dec 2018 08:49

Here's a video of the test.

I think this concludes the developmental testing for the IIA interceptor. Next intercept would be an operational test (FTO) in early-mid 2019.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Dec 2018 18:07

US Missile Defense Agency, Raytheon perform intercept with SM-3 Block IIA

Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 radar served as a remote sensor, tracking and providing the missile with data of the incoming threat, instead of using the phased-array connected to the Aegis Ashore system. Bryan Rosselli, Raytheon vice president of mission systems and sensors, said on 11 December that the AN/TPY-2 was exercised remotely and tasked through the C2BMC. He also said that remote tasking was able to autonomously acquire the target complex through its surge fences without additional direction.

After tracking the threat complex, Rosselli said the radar performed discrimination as tasked by the C2BMC system, back into the BMDS system, to exercise the engage-on-remote functionality. The radar, after initially acquiring, tracking, discriminating, and sending the information, tracked the target all the way through the field of view, ending with the command of the SM-3 launch. Raytheon said the AN/TPY-2 radar was located on an island in the South Pacific but declined to specify further.

Raytheon said the test achieved three firsts for the Block IIA variant: intercept from a land-based launch, intercept of an IRBM target, and using tracking data from remote sensors, known as engage-on-remote. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon strategic and naval systems vice-president, said that the IRBM target was the longest-range threat intercepted with a Block IIA variant. The Block IIA variant has larger rocket motors and a bigger kinetic warhead.

The engage-on-remote capability was key for this test, according to Tom Karako, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) senior fellow for international security and missile defence project director. Karako told Jane’s on 12 December that engage-on-remote means the missile can be fired from its launcher before its co-located organic radar picks up the threat. This, he said, allows the missile to engage threats within the missile’s full range.

“The netting together of sensor and the ability to fire on non-organic track data vastly improves the defended area of a given missile,” Karako said.A congressionally required test against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will be the next notable SM-3 Block IIA exercise.


Slight error in the article: What Tom Karako is referring to towards the end is "Launch on Remote" mode where the target is outside of the organic sensor FOV, but the interceptor is launched using remote data and a PIP update is provided by the organic sensor once the target enters its FOV and is acquired.

In "Engage on Remote" the entire chain of engagement (from detection, tracking, to discrimination) is handled by a remote sensor and the organic sensor is only tasked with providing the interceptor the information received from the remote sensor (missile communication).

I'm going to have to check, but I believe this was the first time that the AN/TPY-2 radar was tasked with the entire kill chain while operating in Forward Based Mode (usually it either handles discrimination or LOR or engages the target in Terminal mode when mated to a THAAD battery). The Chinese would have noticed that for sure.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Dec 2018 20:13

Will likely be part of the Canadian MRCA deal as both US and Canada also look to upgrade its North Warning System. This is probably the reason Lockheed has completed development themselves despite losing out on the USAF (USMC) contract for a long range surveillance radar to Raytheon.

Using the two humans in the picture as reference it does appear that they have sized the radar to fit (or below) the TPS-59's 30 ft by 15 ft antenna dimensions so a smaller, shorter ranged radar would also be required to split NWS needs unless they choose to just offer their proven classic row-board style TPS-77 an NG/MRR version of which has now become operational with the Latvian Air Force (after a major overhaul that saw it get Lockheed's new GaN based module upgrades). Scaling this radar antenna down may be better though given its capability and the element level DBF etc which cannot be done at this scale on the legacy radars given the architecture.

Lockheed Martin readies its latest L-band radar for production



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Lockheed Martin has completed the final full-scale prototype of its TPY-X multimission ground-based radar system and is now preparing to begin production.

TPY-X was developed as part of Lockheed Martin’s long-term vision of continuous support and service for its existing long-range surveillance products, addressing obsolescence and enhancing performance as the threat has evolved. The L-band radar is scalable, has a modern digital architecture, a distributed architecture with digital beam forming, and uses gallium nitride semiconductors. The radar will be available in fixed and mobile variants. It is transportable via C-130 or C-17 cargo aircraft, truck, rail, or helicopter.

TPY-X is designed to provide increased performance against smaller threats in the clutter and electromagnetic attack environments that ground-based radars operate in, Mark Mekker, director of next-generation radars for Lockheed Martin, told Jane’s
.

Since initially introducing the radar in mid-2016, Lockheed Martin has completed several designs and releases of system builds at various levels, he said.

“Each one was used to flush out improvements for performance and manufacturability as part of our affordability initiatives,” he said. “The final version provided what was needed to begin the production process for initial release."

For its new radar, Lockheed Martin leveraged development and production radar programmes that offered direct-use technology, such as the leveling legs and rapid emplacement capability from the TPQ-53 radar system, Mekkor said.

Lockheed Martin continues to utilise the prototype TPY-X system to validate and qualify hardware designs leading into a production release. The system also serves as an asset to use as software baselines are finalised.

“We can use the actual AESA [Active Electronically Scanned Array] antenna to test our SW functionality and control instead of relying on models and simulations,” Mekker said.

TPY-X was initiated as one of Lockheed Martin’s internal focused long-term investment initiatives. There is no current US military requirement for the radar.

“As we developed and matured technology we included objectives to ensure key items, like transmit and receive technology, for example, had some level of commonality to other products and opportunities,” Mekker said. “In cases where that was successful, we were able to supplement and combine some level of funding from those programmes to continue the maturity progress on TPY-X. But the majority of funding has been internally funded.”

Since initially announcing the TPY-X in 2016 at the annual Space and Missile Defense symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, Lockheed Martin has completed initial testing of the radar in the company’s anechoic chamber and outdoor far-field and has finalised the radar’s manuals.


Lockheed Martin has been testing 2 prototypes since 2013 (first) and 2016 (second) so the fourth radar onward would be a production representative design based on results from the testing of three units..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 18 Dec 2018 21:18

The SHieLD program is very much geared towards supersonic fighters (podded for legacy and current gen. and integrated for future fighters) while this HELFP is geared towards making support aircraft like tankers/AEW/Transport aircraft more survivable.

USAF Plans Laser Weapon Prototype - AWIN--Aerospace Daily & Defense Report


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The U.S. Air Force is seeking a prototype high-energy laser (HEL) that can be tested on the ground and in the air to determine the technology readiness and operational viability of an airborne laser weapon system (LWS).

The “request for solutions” (RFS) for the HEL Flexible Prototype (HFP) is the second known solicitation to emerge in response to the Air Force’s Directed Energy Weapons Flight Plan. This was signed in May 2017 and sets out the time line and actions to advance directed energy from the laboratory to operational capability.

In September 2017, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation program issued a request for proposals for a demonstration using directed energy to counter unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The latest RFS says the Air Force’s Life Cycle Management Center “has been directed to execute a project that integrates current LWS technologies into a flying prototype to be evaluated against relevant airborne threats to aircraft and/or air bases.”


AFRL already has the SHiELD program underway to demonstrate a 50-kW-class self-protection laser packaged into a fuel-tank-sized pod carried by a fighter. Airborne tests against electro-optical/infrared-guided missiles are planned for fiscal 2021.

More-powerful electric lasers have been tested in the ground, including the 150-kW Hellads jointly funded by DARPA and AFRL. The power level planned for the HEL Flexible Prototype is not specified. The RFS says the size, weight and power should be “reasonable for integration into larger class manned and/or unmanned air vehicles.”

The HFP team “has determined that industry currently has LWS technology … of appropriate maturity for near-term aircraft integration,” the RFS says. Up to two “other transaction agreement” prototyping contracts are to be awarded through the Pentagon’s Training & Readiness Accelerator (TReX).

TReX has been set up to facilitate the delivery of prototypes for operational experiments, and its web page for the HFP program is illustrated by concept art of an unidentified large, twin-engine commercial-derivative aircraft equipped with a laser weapon “dome” and engaging incoming missiles.

Winning vendors—which must be members of TReX—are required to deliver a complete LWS, including sensors, power and thermal management, laser and beam control capable of validating the full kill chain, enabling rapid detection, tracking, identification, targeting and engagement of airborne targets.


A system-level ground test is to be completed within 12 months of contract award. “To expedite the solution, all detailed technical characteristics, capabilities and objectives of Phase 1 will be defined by the vendor” and derived from the Directed Energy Weapons Flight Plan, the RFS says. If this initial phase is successful, aircraft integration and flight test may follow.

“The HEL Flexible Prototype LWS shall be designed with an emphasis on modularity, scalability and open architecture for growth capacity. The system shall have size, weight and power capacity for eventual airborne application, full kill-chain mission systems, and precision sensors to enable the acquisition, pointing, and tracking of targets,” TReX says.

Participants are to demonstrate “system functionality, reliability, maintainability, and supportability during a multi-day ground test event in real-world conditions,” TReX continues. “A successful ground test event will show that HEL Flexible Prototype has a threshold mission capability rate of 95% when operated within adequate and reasonable atmospheric conditions, at acceptable ranges, and against appropriate airborne targets.”

The U.S. Army plans to demonstrate a 100-kW laser on a tactical vehicle in 2022, shooting down rockets, mortars and unmanned aircraft, and wants to field a 50-kW laser on Stryker armored vehicles by 2021. The U.S. Navy wants to test a 60-kW laser on a destroyer in 2020 and grow to 150 kW over time. Air Force Special Operations Command wants to fly a 60-kW laser on an AC-130 gunship by 2022, if it can find funding.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2018 19:14

Bell V-280 highlights through first year of demonstrator testing and no doubt to rub it in the Sikorsky team that was supposed to fly mid 2018 but will likely only have their first flight by mid January, 2019. First year achievements include 80 hours of flight time, 250 knots of demonstrated airspeed and at least one long distance sortie of 600 km..



Bell is reporting critical milestones in its V-280 next-generation tiltrotor flight test program. The V-280 is a current competitor in the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program. The aircraft made is first flight a year ago, and in the past 12 months it has flown 85 hours and completed more than 180 rotor-turn hours. During flights, the V-280 has achieved 250 knots true airspeed, performed 50-degree banked turns at 200 knots, demonstrated a climb rate of 4,500 feet per minute and sustained flight at 11,500 feet, and flown a single ferry flight of over 370 miles.

The aircraft also has successfully demonstrated in-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical takeoff and landing and low and high-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls. In the coming months, Bell said the V-280 will continue to expand its flight test envelope including full speed in forward cruise flight and low-speed agility tests.

“I am proud of the team’s remarkable accomplishments during the first year of flight,” said Bell CEO Mitch Snyder. “By working with the government, we continue to prove the V-280 is the agile aircraft that our military needs now.”LINK

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 21 Dec 2018 14:57

May happen that one day the IN will operate the type..

A long article with some good nuggets... including a reference to this famous photo

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Confessions Of An E-2C Hawkeye Radar Operator

It may not be glamorous, but the largely misunderstood Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is arguably the most important aircraft deployed aboard America's supercarriers. It acts as the high-flying eyes of the carrier strike group and provides critical air traffic control and combat management for carrier air wing aircraft, as well as communications relay and other functions.


Had Top Gun filmmakers been accurate in their account, the opening scene with Maverick would have been handled completely differently.

Under the powerful radar and watchful eyes of its crew, the E-2 Hawkeye, flying at 27,000 feet, would have spotted the incoming “bogeys” from more than 150 miles away. Maverick’s Tomcat would have been quarterbacked with a real-time picture, accompanied with data-link updates and a familiar voice helping with the “target sorts.”

A surprise 2nd bogey? Not a chance!

Cougar wouldn’t have been jumped and would have kept his wings to fight another day.

Today, the entire dogfight might have be quarterbacked by the E-2 without its controllers even saying a word.


Oh, and don’t let the E-2’s size fool you. Its five-person crew, two Naval Aviators (pilots) and three Naval Flight Officers (NFOs, the radar operators), are highly trained and skilled, and the reality is that the new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye can do everything its larger cousin, the E-3 Sentry AWACS, can do, but with a whopping 20 fewer people onboard.


I’m not sure how the Grumman engineers came to develop the E-2, because it’s an engineering marvel that got beaten by an ugly stick. Its design also overcomes several extraordinary challenges that needed to be addressed for the airplane to meet its unique mission requirements.

First, the 24-foot wide radar dish is neutral in flight. It provides as much aerodynamic lift as it does parasitic drag.

Second, the engines and propellers provide enough power to allow for engine-out climb capability should the Hawkeye lose an engine mid cat-stroke (catapult launch).

Third, both propellers spin counter-clockwise creating a lot of yaw instability, thus, the reason for the four vertical stabilizers and three rudders. The propellers are made of composite material to eliminate interference with the radar’s performance.

Like every airplane, the design is a compromise. It does some things well, others not so much. It will never be fast. It will never be pretty. And, because it’s a turboprop it’s limited to about a 28,000-foot ceiling, above which the props become inefficient.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Dec 2018 22:28


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 26 Dec 2018 21:52

Here’s the first look at the Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant helicopter


First flight expected next month..

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WASHINGTON — Sikorsky and Boeing provided the first look at the Defiant helicopter, one of two designs competing under the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator program, two weeks after confirming the first flight would be delayed until 2019.

The Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator effort will inform requirements for the U.S. Army’s FVL family of systems, which will come online in the 2030s.

The Defiant is designed to fly at twice the speed and range of today’s conventional helicopters and offers advanced agility and maneuverability, according to the Sikorsky-Boeing team. Data from the Defiant will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s.

The Defiant’s first flight was bumped to 2019 following a technical issue discovered during ground tests. Competitor Bell’s V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft has been flying since December 2017.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby PratikDas » 27 Dec 2018 10:34

brar_w wrote:
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Click for hi-res.

This is an amazing design.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2018 11:16

It has some catching up to do given that its competitor has been flying for more than a year now and may upend its first flight by hitting its top cruise speed target of 280 knots around the same time.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby PratikDas » 27 Dec 2018 11:24

brar_w wrote:It has some catching up to do given that its competitor has been flying for more than a year now and may upend its first flight by hitting its top cruise speed target of 280 knots around the same time.


I’m not a pilot. Nevertheless, from an ease-of-use and operational-safety perspective I’d think the Sikorsky-Boeing craft is much better than the complex Bell tilt-rotor. Happy to be corrected on this.

Something about the Sikorsky-Boeing design tells me I could fly it.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2018 11:39

Well no one is here in a position of refuting that based on hard data but I think this is something that flight testing will verify because Bell's tilt rotor design is a generational leap over its previous efforts on which it (and the US Army) has tremendous amount of real world usage data that it can use to benchmark the current iteration against. If it is about cruising long distances at high speeds, I really do not think the SB>1 Defiant would be able to compete with the V-280 and come out on top. In other areas it may well perform better but for it to claim this it has to get its test program up and running.

I always thought that the Sikorsky design was better suited for the FARA (Armed recon - Kiowa replacement) role with the S-97 Raider based design while the Bell V-280 was going to be better as an armed troop carrier with a notional mission requirement of 2x the speed and 2x the range of the Blackhawk. I just don't see how the SB>1 can outrange and outfly (speed) the V-280 in this mission.

Sikorsky hasn't really laid to rest some of the early concerns that many had in terms of the scalability of their concept from an X-2 up to an SB>1 and the delays in completing the first prototype and subsequent flight testing don't help. They will now have to run a fairly fast and glitch free test campaign and may in fact have to add test points at their own dime to show maturity beyond what the government is paying for.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Dec 2018 03:34

A deeper analysis by Jane's IDR:

Sikorsky-Boeing team rolls out Defiant ahead of first flight

For the Capability Set 3 (Assault)/FVL-Medium requirement that the Defiant and Valor are geared towards, the US Army has laid down a number of key performance parameters for the competing designs. In terms of speed, the service stipulated in its 2012 Broad Area Announcement a performance of more than 230 kt while carrying 12 fully equipped troops.

To achieve this the SB>1 Defiant uses the same co-axial rotor and pusher propeller technology that Sikorsky developed for its X2 high-speed demonstrator and later its S-97 Raider. Developed by Sikorsky to cruise comfortably at 250 kt while retaining excellent low-speed handling, efficient hovering, and safe autorotation combined with a seamless and simple transition to high-speed flight, the X2 incorporated a number of advanced technologies, including fly-by-wire flight controls, counter-rotating all-composite rigid rotor blades, hub drag reduction, active vibration control, and an integrated auxiliary propulsion system that included a pusher propeller driven by the same gear box that turned the main rotors.

Weighing 6,000 lb (2,722 kg) and accommodating a crew of just two, the X2 was significantly smaller than the 32,000 lb (14,515 kg) and up to 18-person Defiant. Partly in order to help bridge this gap, Sikorsky developed its X2-derived S-97 Raider, which weighs in at 11,000 lb (4,990 kg) and can accommodate up to eight crew and passengers. The Raider is being fully funded by Sikorsky to achieve two objectives: X2 technology maturation towards JMR-TD and FVL and to be a possible platform to support interest in a possible FVL (Light) variant (also termed Capability Set 1 [Light]).

Powered by the Lycoming/Honeywell T55 engine, the SB>1 Defiant is expected to fly at up to 250 kt. While it is fitted with a current-generation powerplant (the T55 drives the Boeing CH-47 Chinook), it will probably benefit from the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) and Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) programme that are now under way.


In terms of the concept of the Defiant, Sikorsky and Boeing officials have touted the aircraft’s ‘game-changing’ nature. The manoeuvrability of the aircraft is said to be particularly impressive, with operational assessments providing impressive results in terms of acceleration and deceleration with the rigid co-axial rotors, as well as the ability to make the radius of turns half as large as would be the case with a conventional helicopter.

Further to developing a baseline transport and utility version of the Defiant, the Sikorsky-Boeing team has also released imagery showing a dedicated attack variant. While both versions appear to share much in terms of commonality, the attack variant features the twin-seat tandem cockpit, weapon-festooned stub-wings, and chin-mounted gun that are synonymous with this class of rotorcraft. This ‘gunship’ is geared towards the US Army’s Capability Set 3/FVL-Attack requirement.

The US Army plans to field a family of its FVL platforms as replacements for the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk transport (FVL-Medium) helicopter and Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter (FVL-Attack) in about 2030 and 2040 respectively. A replacement for the Boeing CH-47 Chinook (FVL-Heavy) is expected to enter service in about 2060. In all, JMR-TD/FVL aims to replace more than 4,000 of the US military’s 1970s-era utility, transport, and attack helicopters over the coming decades.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prithwiraj » 28 Dec 2018 04:31

Expecting to see a Chinese version in next 2 years

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prithwiraj » 28 Dec 2018 04:34

brar_w wrote:

straight out of sci-fiction

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Dec 2018 07:02

Via SPF : Official photos Scaled Composites/Northrop Grumman N400:

Swift is a low-cost, high-performance, proof-of-concept jet designed to meet high-G, high angle-of-attack maneuvers. With such technically challenging goals laid before us, we were able to go from concept to first flight in only two years.


F404 powered, flew 7 times before Northrop terminated funding and decided not to compete for the USAF T-X trainer program.

http://www.scaled.com/portfolio/swift/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Dec 2018 23:22


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prithwiraj » 29 Dec 2018 08:01

brar_w wrote:Via SPF : Official photos Scaled Composites/Northrop Grumman N400:

Swift is a low-cost, high-performance, proof-of-concept jet designed to meet high-G, high angle-of-attack maneuvers. With such technically challenging goals laid before us, we were able to go from concept to first flight in only two years.


F404 powered, flew 7 times before Northrop terminated funding and decided not to compete for the USAF T-X trainer program.

http://www.scaled.com/portfolio/swift/

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http://www.airliners.net/photo/AVIC/FTC-2000G/5329117


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Dec 2018 11:06

DDG-121 "Translation and Launch" from August 2018. She is the second to last of the 6 DDG-51 IIA ships that Ingalls will deliver before switching deliveries to the Flight III DDG-51 hulls. Currently slated to be commissioned in late 2019 or early 2020. Ingalls started fabrication of the first Flight III this May and expects to launch the ship late 2021/early 2022.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby rkhanna » 31 Dec 2018 16:42

US Army Light Tank Program

30Tons - 105/120mm Calibre

The MPF, a 30-ton light tank expected to fill a critical capability gap, is one of five next-generation combat vehicles being developed by Army Futures Command, a new four-star command focused on preparing the force for high-end warfighting against near-peer threats in an age of renewed great power competition.

The Army, shifting its focus from counterinsurgency to high-intensity multi-domain operations with an eye on rivals China and Russia, wants contractors to deliver a vehicle that offers mobility, lethality, and survivability.

The MPF light tanks would provide the firepower to breach heavily-fortified defensive positions, potentially in an area, such as Russian and Chinese anti-access zones, where the US might not be able to achieve absolute air superiority.
The MPF vehicles will help Infantry Combat Brigade Teams (ICBTs) "disrupt, breach, and break through" secure defensive zones, Coffman explained.

The final Mobile Protected Firepower light tank, which will be delivered to troops in 2025, will be a tracked vehicle with either a 105 mm or 120 mm cannon that can withstand an unspecified level of fire. The Army also wants to be able to carry at least two light tanks aboard a C-17 Globemaster III for easy transport.


https://www.businessinsider.in/The-US-A ... 153677.cms

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Dec 2018 19:25

Bell's V-280 Valor Expected to Achieve Flight-Speed Goal in 2019


“Early after the New Year we should … be able to hit” the ultimate speed goal of 280 knots, said Terry Horner, director of government relations for Bell’s Washington, D.C. office, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Valor’s first flight. “We're not trying to rush.” To date, the aircraft has flown at speeds of up to 250 knots. The company chose the V-280 designation with the 280-knots speed goal in mind.

The Valor has hit major milestones over its year of flight, he noted. It has flown nearly 85 hours and has completed more than 180 rotor-turn hours. It achieved a 4,500-feet per minute rate of climb and sustained flight at an altitude of 11,500 feet, and demonstrated low- and high-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jan 2019 23:10

2nd Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) derived site destined for Hawaii. This will be a single face S-band GaN AESA radar to complement the 2 face radar in Alaska. A smaller three face site is also planned on the US west coast to be fielded in the mid 2020's (HDR-P(pacific)). LRDR (Alaska) and HDR-H (Hawaii) will serve as the primary discrimination sensors with Sea Based X-band radar providing additional discrimination when deployed. Early warning would still continue to be provided by Satellites, the UEWR UHF band radars, and forward deployed TPY-2's and AEGIS ships. Notably, the LRDR and LRDR derived radars are also expected to provide Early Warning when the UEWRs are down (for maintenance or upgrades) which is something probably enabled by the switch to GaN given its higher power and efficiency.

Currently 100% of the discrimination duties are handled by the SBX radar which is not deployed round the clock, must be pre-positioned and is a shorter ranged systems (but with better discrimination) then these S band radars. Having longer ranged radars capable of advanced discrimination at range should improve the PSSK significantly since in the absence of a deployed SBX, the only native sensors the GMD system had were the UHF band radars which were practically useless for discrimination.

Missile Defense Agency Awards Lockheed Martin Contract to Construct Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii


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Lockheed Martin was awarded a $585 million contract by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to design, develop and deliver its Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii (HDR-H) in Oahu, Hawaii.

The HDR-H radar will provide autonomous acquisition and persistent precision tracking and discrimination to optimize the defensive capability of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and counter evolving threats.

“Lockheed Martin will leverage the development of our Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) to provide the lowest risk and best value HDR-H solution to MDA, which includes open, scalable architecture for future growth,” said Chandra Marshall, program director for Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense Radars market segment.

LRDR, a Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based, solid-state Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) early-warning radar, is currently under construction at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, and is scheduled for an on-time delivery in 2020. LRDR will be part of the United States’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) anti-ballistic missile system.

The system’s open architecture design will enable future growth to keep pace with emerging threats.


Meanwhile, a larger upgrade contract on the SBX is also currently being negotiated that will see software and hardware changes incorporated on the giant radar. One of the changes announced is a switch to a common processor also shared by the TPY-2 radar of the US army and the AMDR radar of the US Navy. If there is a protracted dry dock time scheduled then there may also be a switch to GaN modules (just like TPY-2) and other changes to the platform to increase its mission capability rates.

Raytheon to upgrade hardware and software in sea- and land-based X-band missile-defense radar


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Officials of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., have announced plans to award a five-year contract to the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems segment in Woburn, Mass., to upgrade the Sea-Based X-band (SBX) radar, as well as the AN/TPY-2 transportable missile-defense radar.

The nine-story-high SBX radar from Raytheon and Boeing is the world's largest X-band radar, and is designed to operate in high winds and heavy seas. Raytheon developed the system originally for ballistic missile defense.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2019 06:25

Jane's International Defence Review report on the recently launched first GPS-III Satellite and the 32-sat. constellation that it will eventually be a part of.

GPS III - 1 launched
GPS III - 2 to be launched in 2019
GPS III - 3 to be launched in 2019
GPS III - 4 through 7 - to be launched by 2021
GPS III - 8 through 32 (Sat. 11-34 are IIIF satellites) - to be launched by 2034

GPS III brings new capabilities to space-based navigation

GPS III-1 is the first of a planned 32-satellite constellation to be placed into orbit over the next two decades. GPS III-1 represents the first of an entirely new design of GPS satellite meant to help the USAF modernise the legacy GPS constellation with new technology and advanced capabilities. GPS III is to have three-times better accuracy and up to eight-times improved anti-jamming capabilities, according to prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

GPS III also includes a new military code (M-Code) designed to enable military receivers to operate closer to jammers and under trees, enhancing their ability to track the GPS satellites, support a more secure and flexible cryptography architecture, detect and reject false signals, and provide higher power with comparable availability and accuracy improvements.

The GPS III programme also provides navigation and timing to a broad spectrum of civil users, which will include the three civil signals (L1C/A, L2C, and L5) flown on previous satellites. It will also transmit a new fourth civil signal, L1C, which is compatible with the European Galileo satellite navigation system signal. L1C is compatible with those signals planned for broadcast on Japan's Quazi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS): a system meant to augment GPS services.

Once implemented, the common civil signal will be jointly broadcast by up to 60 satellites from GPS and Galileo constellations, further increasing the accuracy and availability of user PNT solutions.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a December 2017 report on GPS that operational need for the first GPS III satellite is June 2021, as the current GPS satellites are expected to remain operational longer than previously projected. The GAO believes that the USAF is likely to meet this GPS III operational requirement date because there are seven of the next-generation satellites scheduled to be launched by June 2021. This will also help the service to resolve any development issues with the new satellites.

GPS III spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, which is 25% longer than any of the 31 GPS satellites currently on orbit.

The USAF had originally contracted with Lockheed Martin for eight satellites with an option for two more. That option has since been exercised. A few months ago, the air force awarded satellites 11–32 to Lockheed Martin and dubbed those GPS IIIF for follow-on.

In August 2018 the USAF declared GPS III-2 available for launch and, in November, declared the spacecraft ready for 2019 launch. Lockheed Martin spokesperson Chip Eschenfelder said on 17 December that GPS III-3 is expected to be declared available for launch towards mid-2019.

GPS III-4 has completed thermal vacuum testing and GPS III-5’s navigation payload has been fully integrated and is beginning environmental tests. GPS III-6 has its navigation payload and is being prepared to be integrated while GPS III-7 and GPS III-8 are in component build-up. Eschenfelder said GPS III-9 and -10 will start up as soon as work cells are available.


As part of the USAF’s GPS modernisation effort, the new GPS next-generation Operational Control System (OCX) is meant to improve cyber security protection so GPS could operate through cyber attacks.

OCX, built by Raytheon, is to support up to 63 satellites on orbit, almost twice as many as the legacy system. Not that the government is going to build that many satellites, Bill Sullivan, vice-president of Raytheon’s GPS OCX programme, told Jane’s, “but the more they put on [orbit] basically provides better accuracy for any particular receiver whether it is on your smartphone or a smart weapon.”

Raytheon has also automated OCX to handle some of what Sullivan said are the more mundane activities associated with contacting the satellite. Taking those tasks out of the hands of air force operators will enable the ground station to communicate with the satellite more often each day.

“The more we can talk to the satellite the more often we can update its position, navigation, and timing information. The more you do that the more accurate the data signal will be coming to the ground,” Sullivan said.

OCX appears to have overcome a troubled history, most notably in 2016 when it breached a congressional cap that exceeded the 25% cost overrun threshold known as a Nunn-McCurdy breach. At the time the USAF said that inadequate systems engineering and software with high defect rates led to the cost growth. Further, corrective actions by Raytheon took longer than anticipated, according to the USAF.

Now, OCX is set to help the air force reduce operation costs by reducing crew size by about 40%, Sullivan said.

“The [USAF] will be able to do it with a [smaller] crew, which allows them to use their resources on more high-order warfighting capabilities as opposed to the manual work associated with contacting the satellite,” Sullivan said.

Raytheon’s layered defence gives OCX manoeuvring ability to address emerging cyber threats, Sullivan added. “We all know the cyber threat changes on a daily basis. We have a lot of flexibility there to be able to address threats as they come through the life of the GPS III mission and obviously of GPS OCX,” he said.

OCX is the first space ground control system to implement the 'DoD 8500.2 IA Defense in Depth’ information assurance standards, which provide the procedures for applying an integrated layered defence for DoD information systems and networks.

“I think that was a challenge for both us and the air force to not only just interpret those standards but then develop an implementation plan, actually imperilment it, test it, and then verify it,” Sullivan said. “That is all behind us at this point. I consider it a monumental achievement by Raytheon and our air force partner.”

The first GPS OCX Block 0 ground system was delivered to Schriever Air Force Base (AFB), Colorado, in 2017 and is in operation today at the Master Control Station. A back-up system is in place at Vandenberg AFB, California. Raytheon is also working on the second OCX delivery, known as Block 1, which will deliver full navigation capability for the entire GPS III and the currently deployed GPS II constellations. Block 1 is scheduled to be delivered in June 2021.

Block 0 will send commands up to and receive telemetry down from the satellite. However, before launch, OCX has been receiving telemetry from the satellite. Raytheon will monitor the state of the satellite up through launch and then through boost phase.

“Once the satellite gets into space, we will make first contact through the air force’s satellite control network, or AFCN, and we will start issuing commands to the satellite to basically get it into the correct orbit and that takes a couple of weeks to do,” Sullivan said.

It is Raytheon’s understanding that there will be some technology upgrades in the GPS IIIF block of satellites. A study is expected to begin shortly, bringing together Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and the USAF to work collaboratively to determine what those technology changes will be.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby SaiK » 09 Jan 2019 08:54

RIP F-35: The Air Force's Sixth-Generation Fighter Could Make Everything Obsolete

Image

Current work on a futuristic 6th-gen fighter - to come after and fly alongside upgraded F-35s -- includes development of stealthy drone fighters, hypersonic flight, lasers, new precision weaponry and advanced AI able organize targeting data in milliseconds.

Next-generation stealth technology, for instance, is of course a large focus of the technical equation. Newer radar absorbing coating materials, improved IR suppressants or thermal signature management, evolved radar-eluding configurations and acoustic reduction technologies offer a window into current areas of developmental focus.
..
These skins do this by distorting or eliminating heat distribution to restructure its thermal shape.. {so focus on short range or defeat OLS50}...

Emerging “Variable Cycle Engines” introduce a third air stream into an engine, which can be controlled by the pilot, the essay explains. The new engines reportedly massively increase an aircraft’s reach, fuel efficiency and speed.

..... interesting!! Third stream for controls.. wonder it has to still come from inlets. (Perhaps thin slits along the frontal wing surface. Or slats.
...


This scares me:

AI-enabled real time analytics will, for instance, bring an ability to compare new sensor information against vast databases of relevant data in milliseconds.

... but then no direct inflight man-machine interface would throw away these risks. it is all about collateral damages.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prem » 09 Jan 2019 11:18

https://news.usni.org/2019/01/08/navy-q ... rs-deckgun
Navy Quietly Fires 20 Hyper Velocity Projectiles Through Destroyer’s Deckgun

Last summer USS Dewey (DDG-105) fired 20 hyper velocity projectiles (HVP) from a standard Mk 45 5-inch deck gun in a quiet experiment that’s set to add new utility to the weapon found on almost every U.S. warship, officials familiar with the test have told USNI News.The test, conducted by the Navy and the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office as part of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 international exercise, was part of a series of studies to prove the Navy could turn the more than 40-year-old deck gun design into an effective and low-cost weapon against cruise missiles and larger unmanned aerial vehicles.While the HVP was originally designed to be the projectile for the electromagnetic railgun, the Navy and the Pentagon see the potential for a new missile defense weapon that can launch a guided round at near-hypersonic speeds.The HVP is also being investigated to use with ground-based 155mm artillery pieces for the Army and the Marines to provide limited air defense options for forward-deployed troops in austere environments. HVPs could also find a home aboard the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers as a replacement round for the classes 155mm Advanced Gun System.While officials confirmed to USNI News that the RIMPAC test was unclassified, both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of Naval Research would not acknowledge the test when asked by USNI News. A spokeswoman for OSD referred USNI News to the Navy.“I don’t have anything for you,” an ONR spokesman told USNI News on Monday. HVP manufacturer BAE Systems referred USNI News to the Navy when contacted.


( check the Photos of projectiles in the link)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Jan 2019 21:36

Prem wrote:System.While officials confirmed to USNI News that the RIMPAC test was unclassified, both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of Naval Research would not acknowledge the test when asked by USNI News. A spokeswoman for OSD referred USNI News to the Navy.“I don’t have anything for you,” an ONR spokesman told USNI News on Monday. HVP manufacturer BAE Systems referred USNI News to the Navy when contacted.


The news release a week or two before the Surface Navy Association annual symposium is no coincidence :wink:

That said, the Navy is behind on this compared to the SCO (also referenced in the article) that should have wrapped up its live testing of the Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System which was attempting to link a X-Band Interferometric Radar with an S-band Surveillance radar and close the fire control loop on a M-777 (ERCA) fired modified HVP shell in order to demonstrate efficacy against a ballistic missile warhead. I have posted about this in the past (probably on this thread) but the actual test (besides the info that it was being planned and slated to happen in 2018) was largely classified.

The last Deputy Secretary of Defense (Bob Works) was a big proponent of this and wanted to perform a 'cold war' style "Raid Breaker (like assault breaker back in the day)" large force exercise with dozens of HGWS taking on dozens of simultaneous ballistic missile targets. I do not know if that is still on the cards but he wanted the US services to perform that exercise sometime in the early 2020's.

The US Navy is adopting the block 0 projectile which is an HVP round with a US Navy specific warhead and is going to be developing a block-1 projectile for the mid 2020's which will add a missile-defense seeker turning the weapon into a guided projectile that would be able to provide another layer of defense against anti-ship cruise missiles during their terminal phase of flight while still retaining the capability to hit surface targets at 30-50 nautical miles depending upon the type of non railgun weapon that is firing them. With the 32MJ railgun this will go out to beyond 100 nautical miles.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Jan 2019 00:55

Philip wrote:Read lreports about latest US tests lsst year with near hyper- velocity rounds fired from std. naval guns, requiring no huge power banks required for rail guns. Modified projectiles. Far cheaper than a rail gin, plus makes any warship that has a legacy main gun which can fire rounds of the same calibre, hugely increase their lethality.


^ That is not a substitute for a railgun but a complement to that capability and something that can be retrofitted to increase performance. The same HVP round when fired from a 32MJ EMRG travels nearly twice as fast and goes more than twice as far compared to the "best case" use of these rounds on a normal gun. The advantage is retrofitting and qualifying these (and future iterations) of these rounds on older guns is that they are still fast enough, and have enough range to open up new missions like defense from Anti Ship Cruise Missiles something not possible with current rounds. Additionally with so many of these guns in service a common round brings tremendous economies of scale and since the round is about a half a decade ahead in maturity compared to the gun itself opens up uses earlier. No reason for the projectile to wait for the gun to mature and for a suitable ship to be designed or modified.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 13 Jan 2019 00:28

Will the F-35 have laser weapons in the future?
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/will-th ... he-future/

Lockheed senior fellow for laser and sensor systems said at a media briefing: “We’re looking at concepts for the integration of a laser weapon onto the F-35. We’re also looking at the utility and doing models and calculations so you would understand the utility of a leaser weapon system in the F-35.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 15 Jan 2019 00:35

The future of the US surface fleet: One combat system to rule them all
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... -them-all/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Jan 2019 01:37

Rakesh wrote:The future of the US surface fleet: One combat system to rule them all
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... -them-all/

One disadvantage of having a large Navy, and a large navy with a very large Large Surface Combatant force (90 Cruisers and Destroyers currently in service or about to be commissioned by end of 2019) is that upgrades aimed at getting everything to one modernization standard are nearly impossible. Therefore you need to modernize multiple baselines currently so that each ship class is getting improvements in the interim.

At 2 destroyer upgrades a year, it will take the US Navy 15 years to get all the AEGIS baseline 7 ships up to AEGIS baseline 9 and at the same time they will be taking the AEGIS baseline 9 ships up to AEGIS Baseline 10 also at 1-2 ships a year. Meanwhile the production standard would have moved to Baseline 11 or 12 or whatever comes next. The ratio will get better as you begin retiring older ships and new ships begin deployments. This will happen soon since the current 2 baseline 9 DDG51 IIA orders a year have transitioned to 3 a year Flight IIIA's with the exercise of the most recent options. By 2030 there will be 17-20 modern Flight IIA restart (baseline 9) or Flight III (Baseline 10) ships in service in addition to about a dozen older baseline 9 ships and perhaps more given planned upgrades over the next decade.

The Baseline 7 to 9 upgrade is described by David as a $180 Million process but it is much worth it because it allows the BMD ships to serve a dual role so is a multiplier. The Baseline 9 to 10 transition will likely cost 2 times that given it also aims to upgrade to a new AESA radar along with power and cooling upgrades in addition to the computing. Although they are still doing the study on the upgrades it does appear that BL 9 to 10 will require a drydock so there is a limit to how many ships you can upgrade each year without sacrificing other things.

Basically the AEGIS fleet will NEVER be on one standard as this is just not possible or practically feasible as there is not enough infrastructure or O&S budget to upgrade them at the tremendous rate that is required to get them all on one modernized standard . There will be pre Baseline 9 ships, Baseline 9 Ships and Baseline 10 ships so they have to figure out upgrades to each of these three AEGIS blocks which add capability without the extensive hardware modifications required to bring them to a different baseline.

On the software side they are moving quite well. AEGIS on the Burke now has a virtual-twin which speeds up integration and opens potential upgrades to competitors. The problem is that many of the things that are required to take AEGIS baseline 7 to 9 and then to 10 require extensive hardware changes including the power generation and thermal performance improvements of the ship. To do that requires taking the ship offline for a significant amount of time.

A future drydock that can support the destroyer and cruiser force is being talked about for Guam so perhaps this can allow them to speed up some of the process but without taking ships out of operational patrols for extended period of time (around 12 months for Baseline 7 to 9 conversion and probably as much for 9 to 10) there is no way to speed up the upgrade process.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Jan 2019 19:47


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Jan 2019 18:11


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prem » 29 Jan 2019 04:07

https://t.co/VDcdGjtSWi&utm_medium=shor ... shortening
US Navy Issues $2.4 Billion Contract for P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The P-8 is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. It includes a bomb bay and pylons for weapons and performs anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The US Navy has issued a $2.4 billion contract for 19 additional long-range Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, Boeing announced in a news release on Monday."The US Navy has awarded Boeing a $2.4 billion production contract for the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft," the release stated. "The contract includes ten aircraft to add to the current inventory of P-8As in the US Navy fleet, all five jets… for Norway and the four aircraft remaining for the United Kingdom", the release said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 29 Jan 2019 21:17

brar_w: In this day & age of BVR combat, F-22 Raptors, F-35 Lightning-IIs, see-first, shoot-first, kill-first...what is the point of this?

A US Air Force F-16 painted like Russia's Su-57 could give the US a major combat advantage
https://www.businessinsider.com/air-for ... ots-2019-1

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Jan 2019 02:51

They still train for BFM and aggressor units often go for red-air color schemes. Beyond this, there is no significance. Business Insider is a click-bait publication which is not worthy of being taken seriously.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Neshant » 30 Jan 2019 12:01

U.S. Upgraded naval warfare plan allows Marines to take South China Sea Islands



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Aditya_V » 05 Feb 2019 15:23



Given Lockheed Martin's history, they will probably completely knock out India's capabilities in defense. Hope we don't from for this hi powered propaganda.


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