US military, technology, arms, tactics

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brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 May 2019 16:21

NRao wrote:Training AI to Win a Dogfight

Artificial intelligence has defeated chess grandmasters, Go champions, professional poker players, and, now, world-class human experts in the online strategy games Dota 2 and StarCraft II. No AI currently exists, however, that can outduel a human strapped into a fighter jet in a high-speed, high-G dogfight. As modern warfare evolves to incorporate more human-machine teaming, DARPA seeks to automate air-to-air combat, enabling reaction times at machine speeds and freeing pilots to concentrate on the larger air battle.

Turning aerial dogfighting over to AI is less about dogfighting, which should be rare in the future, and more about giving pilots the confidence that AI and automation can handle a high-end fight. As soon as new human fighter pilots learn to take-off, navigate, and land, they are taught aerial combat maneuvers. Contrary to popular belief, new fighter pilots learn to dogfight because it represents a crucible where pilot performance and trust can be refined. To accelerate the transformation of pilots from aircraft operators to mission battle commanders — who can entrust dynamic air combat tasks to unmanned, semi-autonomous airborne assets from the cockpit — the AI must first prove it can handle the basics.

To pursue this vision, DARPA created the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program. ACE aims to increase warfighter trust in autonomous combat technology by using human-machine collaborative dogfighting as its initial challenge scenario. DARPA will hold a Proposers Day for interested researchers on May 17, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia.

“Being able to trust autonomy is critical as we move toward a future of warfare involving manned platforms fighting alongside unmanned systems,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Javorsek (Ph.D.), ACE program manager in DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office (STO). “We envision a future in which AI handles the split-second maneuvering during within-visual-range dogfights, keeping pilots safer and more effective as they orchestrate large numbers of unmanned systems into a web of overwhelming combat effects.”



Slowly these pieces are coming together. Automated Ground Collision Avoidance system was a precursor to the ICAS which is an utmost necessity for effective manned-unmanned teaming. With that ready on the legacy fleet (F-16), and being prepared for the future fleet (F-35) you have the basics in place for these aircraft (manned and loyal wingman) to operate in close proximity to one another safely. With that sensor backbone they can now begin developing the more dynamic and challenging manned-unmanned maneuvering scenarios and concept..

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Last edited by brar_w on 10 May 2019 17:04, edited 1 time in total.


brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 May 2019 17:28

Bidding Phase Begins For Deployable Nuclear Reactor Project


A two-year contract to design a 10 MWe-class, mobile nuclear reactor to power remote U.S. military bases and electricity-hungry weapons, such as high-powered lasers and microwaves, is now open for bidding, according to Defense Department acquisition documents.

The Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) released a “request for solutions” to industry on April 29 to kick off the bidding phase for the Pele program, which aims to construct a prototype mobile reactor if the two-year design phase is successful.
The SCO, an organization within the Office of the Secretary of Defense that was founded in 2012, has not set a schedule for the contract award date after bids are due on June 10.

Fielding a mobile nuclear reactor would help the U.S. military feed increasing demands for energy at a time when it consumes 30 TW hours of electricity per year and more than 10 million gal. of fuel each day, according to the SCO’s solicitation documents.
“Weapons of the future, such as directed-energy and electromagnetic weapons, are already being pursued in order to ensure U.S. dominance,” the SCO documents state, “but such systems will rely on long endurance, energy dense power sources.”
The military is also concerned that continuing to use diesel power generators to sustain forward operating bases will “hamstring operations and fundamentally constrain strategic planning,” the SCO states.

But the proposal to distribute nuclear reactors on remote bases also creates safety and operational risks of its own. The SCO is partnering with the Energy Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review the proposed designs for Project Pele. The civil regulators will also “authorize” the Pele program to advance to Phase 2 after 24 months, which calls for constructing a prototype nuclear reactor to perform a demonstration.
The Pele program first emerged under a different title in January, when the SCO published a request for information for Project Dilithium.
The SCO has set five objectives for the reactor’s performance. It must be able to generate 1-10 MWe of electricity for more than three years without refueling, be safe to transport after shutdown in less than seven days, start up within 72 hr. of arriving at a base, fit into a standard 20 ft. or 40 ft. CONEX container and operate semiautonomously with minimal manning and maintenance required to operate and repair.

The reactor design also must comply with nine more technical requirements, as follows:

• Weigh less than 40 tons and be transportable by a Boeing C-17
• Use high-assay low-enriched uranium advanced gas reactor tristructural isotropic fuel
• Shut down from 100% power operation safety under abnormal and upset conditions
• Start up and produce power with no off-site power, but a minimal external power supply is allowed
• Be capable of passive cooling and use the ground and ambient air as heat sinks
• Create no net increase in risk to public safety by direct radiation exposure during operation
• Impose no excessive training and equipping burdens on first responders in the event of battle damage
• Minimize core fission product release from battle damage
• Minimize added risk of proliferating nuclear technology by the reactor’s choice of technology and engineering

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 10 May 2019 19:48

brar_w wrote:



Slowly these pieces are coming together. Automated Ground Collision Avoidance system was a precursor to the ICAS which is an utmost necessity for effective manned-unmanned teaming. With that ready on the legacy fleet (F-16), and being prepared for the future fleet (F-35) you have the basics in place for these aircraft (manned and loyal wingman) to operate in close proximity to one another safely. With that sensor backbone they can now begin developing the more dynamic and challenging manned-unmanned maneuvering scenarios and concept..

Image


Network.
Network.
Network.

brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 May 2019 23:26

The complexity of what they are trying to put together requires a multi pronged approach to tech development, validation and war gaming. If this stuff were easy, DARPA wouldn't be working on it. The Valkyrie and other programs are developing and validating low cost attritable systems with some pretty bold price-capability targets. Skyborg is addressing the AI behind how these systems perform the missions and how they operate with each other. ICAS ensures that these things and manned platforms can operate and share airspace safely. ACE is focusing on making sure that they can still maneuver in an integrated dynamic environment like a dogfight. The networking is actually happening in the background as well - more specificly the MIDAS program which is going from the current solid state AESA based high frequency communication systems (like MADL on the F-35) to very high speed, high rate, continuous/simultaneous Transmit and Receive and multi-beam systems with DBF that are able to constantly uplink and downlink with multiple platforms (measured in the double digits) - a current limitation of high frequency directional data-links. The networking side of the things is actually more advanced than the rest of the stuff as this is needed on the manned-manned side as well.

Pretty likely to come onboard with the B-21 or future programs (1000X decrease in discovery time compared to single beam systems like MADL currently on the F-35) -

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prithwiraj » 15 May 2019 00:46

The Pentagon and CIA have new secret missile that shreds target with giant flying knives
https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/13/penta ... 9x-knives/

A report by The Wall Street Journal last week revealed a secretive U.S. military weapon designed explicitly to reduce civilian casualties in targeted strikes. Unlike a traditional Hellfire missile dispatched from an aerial drone, the missile variant packs no payload, no explosive. The catch? It drops 100 pounds of metal on a target, shredding them to pieces with six giant knives.

As the WSJ reports, the weapon, developed under the Obama administration, is only deployed in special circumstances. Known as the R9X, it is specifically designed for precision operations in which a normal explosive Hellfire missile would result in civilian deaths.

The paper was able to confirm two operations that employed the R9X: one this January by the Department of Defense that killed Jamal al-Badawi; and another that took place in Syria two years ago, resulting in the death of Al Qaeda leader Ahmad Hasan Abu Khayr al-Masri.

The weapon, nicknamed the “ninja bomb,” wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. military has relied on the remarkably deadly combination of metal and gravity. In both Korea and Vietnam, the U.S. military deployed so-called “Lazy Dog” bombs — two-inch metal projectiles that rained down from the sky by the hundreds, picking up speed before making deadly impact.

While the effect was often grisly, the bombs left no unexploded material behind — a perk (if you can call it that) not unlike the grim benefit of minimizing civilian casualties by dropping 100 pounds of sharp metal onto the heads of your enemies.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_Sharma » 20 May 2019 07:34

Futility of carriers

War Nerd: Iran is building a "fake" aircraft carrier? How can you tell?


By Gary Brecher
written on May 26, 2014


FROM THEWAR DESK

There’s a strange construction project underway in the Persian Gulf. Iran is building a two-third size replica of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in a shipyard near Bandar Abbas. The carrier will have no planes, no crew, no weapons. Nobody knows why the Iranians are building it. It seems to have no sane military purpose, but that’s the only feature it shares with “real” aircraft carriers. (A little anti-carrier humor there, folks.)

The Iranians have been less than frank about what it’s all about. At first they said the fake carrier was just a prop for a film. If so, it was a very, very big prop. It was hard to say whether they were trolling us with that line. Maybe the hardliners were actually doing what they said—building a two-thirds scale model of a US carrier just to keep the home folks angry at the Great Satan and in the process keep those pesky moderates out of power.

More recently, though, an Iranian admiral gave a more reasonable explanation:

"We practice… on replica aircraft carriers because sinking and destroying US warships has, is and will be on our agenda."
That’s pretty straightforward, and not particularly surprising, or scary. But the U.S. Navy press staff spreading this story spun it as a mystery, and of course the stateside press cooperated with their usual alacrity. USA Today ran with the headline “Iranians Up to ‘No Good’ with US Carrier Mockup,” quoting a congressman named Eliot Engel, who said, “It’s some kind of a ruse, and whatever they’re up to, it’s no good.”

Engel had a brilliant reason for his “no good” intuition: “We don’t really know what [the carrier mockup] means, but I for sure don’t trust the Iranians.” This is what logicians call the “Ad Tehranem” argument, and it generally works, because everybody who’s anybody in US foreign policy is phobic on Iran. And by “everybody” I mean two countries: Saudi Arabia and Israel. They may have their little squabbles about religion, but they’re like an old married couple when it comes to Iran: They hate it even more than they hate each other.

Representative Engel is not a very bright guy—he’s a Hunter College grad, which doesn’t win you a lot of respect around NYC, and his pre-Congress career was as a public-school guidance counselor, a job where you'd consider hanging yourself by your cheap tie several times a week.

But the man does have a point. When the Islamic Republic of Iran starts spending tax money building hollow mockups of America’s most expensive aircraft carriers, you have to wonder what’s going on. Ever since the Greeks started keeping the Trojans awake at night with hammers and saws, knocking up that giant horse that they insisted was just a going-away present, people have been nervous about XL versions of sacred images.

And to the US Navy, aircraft carriers are sacred—as huge, expensive, gaudy, and useless as any cathedral, mosque, or temple ever built. That’s one reason the US Defense lobby is so easily scared by this Trojan Carrier: They know that aircraft carriers are the most inviting and helpless naval targets since those Spanish galleons crammed with Peruvian gold made their last voyage.

The Persian Gulf is a body of water specifically shaped to exploit carriers’ vulnerability. It’s fitting that one of the carriers currently deployed to the Gulf is the USS George H. W. Bush, because these carriers will make a suitable memorial to the Bush Dynasty’s habit of rolling the dice one too many times in the wrong part of the world.

I live on the shores of the Gulf, and when I walk along Fahaheel Beach in the evening when it’s a little cooler, I’m always surprised by how small and shallow it is. People wade and quasi-swim out a long way, women in their black Islamic swimming togs, others in more standard Western suits—and even the kids can stand up in the water way offshore. Brave kids; I’m not going into that water, not til I know a little more about Kuwait’s sewage-disposal arrangements; but those kids standing up a hundred yards offshore give you an idea what a silted-up, shallow body of water this is.

The huge tankers have to stick to a few channels way offshore, because the Gulf has been silting up ever since Ur was a seaport, 5000 years ago. Back then, Ur was at the mouth of the Gulf; now, the ruins of Ur are 200 kilometers inland, near the city of Nasiriyah.

No place to hide vertically either, because the Gulf has an average depth of only 50 meters. And narrow, only 230 miles at its widest point and cinching up to 21 miles at the chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz. All in all, a perfect death-trap for a blue-water naval force.

If you look out from Fahaheel Beach, Bushehr—yeah, that Bushehr, where Iran is building that reactor, peaceable or otherwise—is about 200 km (125 miles) across the water. I won’t say I can see Iran from my house—I don’t have Palin’s eagle eye, and the air here is a solid, khaki substance that makes anything more than a mile away fade into the general beige.

But you can certainly feel the claustrophobic geography of the Gulf, walking along the beach. It’s a defender’s dream and a nightmare for an ocean-based navy like ours--the marine equivalent of a box canyon, the perfect ambush site that even rookie lieutenants know not to lead their platoons into. You send a few expendable scouts, maybe, but you don’t charge in with your heavy forces.

So naturally, the US Navy, with its usual wisdom and discretion, has assigned the Gulf to its 5th Fleet, a force so huge it’s divided into 11 Task Forces.

Some of these are useful, survivable weapons, like the submarine force. In fact, the 5th Fleet’s submarine task force could handle any possible war scenario perfectly well on its own. The USN has two kinds of sub in the Gulf: hunter-killer subs of the “Los Angeles” class and the real doomsday subs, Ohio-class models packed with Tomahawk cruise missiles ready to pop out of the sub’s back like the young of a Surinam Toad. These missiles are officially conventional, not nuclear, but the USN has a long history of being coy about which vessels are and aren’t nuclear-armed—so coy that New Zealand refused to let any US Navy ships enter its waters for decades, since USN refused to say which ones were carrying nukes.

Not that the 5th Fleet actually needs nukes on its ships. It’s a very safe bet that land-based American ICBMs have been assigned to every city and military base in Iran, with satellite-image based targeting refined to specify whether you want Ground Zero to be the front or back seat of a particular Iranian base commander’s car. But then the US military’s attitude is that you can’t have enough ordnance, so it’s very possible those 5th Fleet subs are carrying nuclear-, as well as conventionally-armed cruise missiles.

So you might wonder why the showpiece of the 5th Fleet isn’t subs, but aircraft carriers--specifically, the USS Nimitz, flagship of the Fleet’s main Strike Force, the same aircraft carrier the Iranians are making a mockup, if not a mockery, of.

The answer is an old naval cliché, “power projection.” Navies do a lot of things, and fighting wars is by far the least important—at least until the war actually begins. In peacetime, or quasi-peacetime, which is what you’d have to call the state of things in the Gulf at the moment, naval vessels “show the flag”—that is, make the paying customers feel better, and keep the little mobsters away from the tankers. That’s what big mobsters do: Keep the little mobsters away. Henry Hill explained it in Goodfellas: “All they got from Paulie was protection from other guys looking to rip them off. That's what it's all about.”

And that’s the real job of the US 5th Fleet out there in that hot, smoggy Gulf: Protection for the paying customers—Exxon and BP—against the “other guys”—the freelance pirates, big and small, especially the ones operating in the name of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the opposite shore.

For a job like that, you can’t just use submarines. They’re designed as “clandestine platforms,” in USN jargon. What you need to reassure the customers and intimidate the little mobsters is something huge that displaces about the same volume as a mid-size city. And that’s one of the reasons that carriers like the USS Nimitz are still blundering around the oceans, even though everyone in the loop knows they wouldn’t survive one day if the Iranians ever got serious about doing some power projection of their own in the Gulf.

It’s worth emphasizing this, because it’s something most naval war fans don’t or won’t realize: Power projection and effective naval weaponry are mutually exclusive, now that we have cheap, smart missiles in every military inventory. Power projection means big, gaudy surface vessels, and real effectiveness means small, hard-to-target weapons—subs and missiles. So you design a Navy that either looks good and discourages small gangsters, or one that can fight an all-out naval war—but not both.

The Iranians must know that, which makes me lean toward the idea that they’re not really trying to mimic American carriers. They wouldn’t need any carriers of their own to defeat the US Fifth Fleet. The problem with the US military right now is that nobody will play with us on our own terms. Nobody’s going to engage the US Air Force in massive dogfights, fighter to fighter—but they may very well pick off those hundred-million dollar fighters with shoulder-fired SAMs that cost a few thousand. And nobody—not even China—is really going to engage in a retro Battle of Midway, one carrier fleet vs. another. But they can, and will, use some of the very cheap and effective new anti-ship missiles against those carriers, which are weapons from a time when the wet old primate brain was the only effective computer in production.

The Iranians can destroy the 5th Fleet with nothing more than fishing boats, private planes, anti-ship missiles and a few patrol craft. That’s not a guess. It’s a fact, demonstrated at the expense of American taxpayers by our own forces. Back in the summer of 2002, the US armed forces staged Millenium Challenge 2001, the biggest and most expensive war game in history, in the Gulf. The scenario was a war against an unnamed “Red” country, but everyone knew that the red country in question was Iran. At a cost of $250 million, the US Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Army planned to showcase their new HLA (“High Level Architecture”) program, allowing complex logistical and tactical planning among all the services in a joint attack on the “Red” nation.

It was a good idea, emphasizing the network side of war which had been neglected by generations of admirals and generals more comfortable with old-school military maps than software. But something went badly wrong when this joint force sailed out on the simulated waters of the Gulf. It ran into an ornery Marine commander named Paul Van Riper. Van Riper had been given the lousy job of commanding the “Red” forces in the exercise. His job was basically to make the expected moves and lose. But Van Riper, known as a “very controversial individual”—polite Pentagon language for “asshole”-- and a “good warfighter”—Pentagon for “born killer”--didn’t feel like taking a dive. Instead, he came up with a low-tech strategy that sank two thirds of the simulated US vessels in the Gulf. The admiral in charge of the exercise then “refloated” those vessels and went on with the exercise, as if they hadn’t been sent to the simulated silt at the bottom of the simulated Gulf.

What Van Riper did was simple—much too simple and low-tech to seem valid to the US brass, which was only interested in testing its new joint-attack software. Van Riper just tried to think of a way to destroy all those high-tech ships and aircraft as they did their perfectly-choreographed dance number off the “Red” coastline.

And he did. It was simple, and it was completely against the spirit, if not the letter, of the rules. In fact, General “Buck” Kernan, one of the people who planned the exercise, complained afterward that Van Riper “…really focused on the OPFOR [“Opposing Force,” i.e. “Red” force] and he didn’t want any additional information. [about the larger purpose of the exercise]” -- in other words, Van Riper acted like a real enemy commander, rather than seeing the “big picture” in which his role was to throw a few telegraphed, easily-dodged punches and then go down.

And the man in charge of the exercise actually blamed Van Riper for thinking like a real enemy commander. That’s the sort of slack thinking that sends big, technically advanced fleets to the bottom of the world’s oceans, providing interesting dive sites for future generations but ending the lives of thousands of trusting sailors in the process.

To his credit, Van Riper didn’t want to dance the kata; he wanted to play it out full-contact MMA style—and just as you saw when fancy karate-trained “martial artists” went into the Octagon in the first-generation of MMA fights, it turned out that all their fancy moves were very, very vulnerable to less cinematic but more deadly forms of combat.

Van Riper exploited the civilian vs. military divide; instead of using only designated combat vessels, “Red” warships that sailed out in proper Navy gray, he teased the US ships in the narrow, shallow Gulf by crowding them. He had lowly civilian propeller planes buzzing US vessels that cost billions of dollars, and “Red” fishing trawlers sailing along beside the “Blue” American strike force—not doing anything openly hostile, just annoying and confusing the US commanders by getting in their way.

You have to understand that the US armed services always prefer to fight in an imaginary world where there are no civilians at all. That’s why their preferred testing grounds are in uninhabitable deserts. Like the old joke says, “These exercises are fantastic. When the day comes that we have to go to war against Utah, we're really gonna kick ass.”

The Navy doesn’t need deserts. It has thousands of square miles of empty blue-water ocean to play around in with its beloved “over-the-horizon” weapons, designed to keep any threat from getting close enough to threaten its ships.

Add the fact that the Gulf is one of the most heavily-trafficked bodies of water in the world. When I go for my night walks along the beach, the lights of the tankers lined up waiting to load up on the local crude are so thick they look like a city on the water. Every day, at least 28 tankers come in or out of the Gulf.

But those huge tankers are fairly easy to track. The real problem is the swarm of private boats floating around on this little sea. Some are just pleasure craft; people are rich in many parts of the Gulf, and every night I see 32-foot Bayliners, boats my salmon-crazy friends would have died to own, chugging along the short. There are dozens more sitting on trailers in the dust beside every apartment building.

Then there are the fishing boats. That’s where the numbers really get out of hand. Iran has 1,500 miles of coastline along the Gulf (no matter what Mitt Romney might think) and there are fishing villages all along that coast, at least 3,500 of them by recent count.

Then there’s the air traffic. Dubai, the world’s 7th-busiest airport, sits on the Gulf as it turns north toward its narrowest point. And Dubai is getting busier all the time, with a 15% jump in air traffic in 2013. Qatar is finally getting its Doha Airport up to speed, Abu Dhabi is booming, Kuwait shuttles a huge volume of expat workers from the Subcontinent in and out—and they all board civilian jets that fly over the Gulf.

This is exactly the sort of environment the US Armed Forces hate, crammed with civilian traffic—on the water, in the air, driving along the shoreline. You can’t use your “Over-the-Horizon” weapons when the horizon is hidden by civilian craft.

And what if those civilian craft turn into offensive weapons? On September 11, 2001, America saw that civilian airliners were actually incredibly powerful weapons—flying incendiary bombs crammed with explosive fuel, traveling at hundreds of miles an hour. A weapon is anything that can be used as a weapon, and if you’re willing to use them, civilian passenger jets are one of the best.

So the US Navy is sailing around on a narrow, crowded body of water bordered for half its length by Iran. In a situation like that, commanders watching air traffic take off from the dozens of airports around the Gulf either have to ignore all those potential threats or act preemptively and start shooting down anything that might threaten their very expensive, vulnerable surface vessels.

Back in 1988 the USS Vincennes, an American guided missile cruiser near the Strait, decided to err on the side of caution—shoot first and apologize later, if at all.

The Vincennes, spotting an aircraft moving southwest from Iranian territory toward its position (which was inside Iran’s 12-mile limit), decided it was under attack and fired an anti-aircraft missile at an “Iranian F-14.” Except the plane shot down wasn’t an F-14. It was an Iran Air Airbus A300B2, your classic giant passenger jet, on its regular run—Iran Air Flight 655--from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. There were 290 people on board, including 71 children. There’s never been a clear explanation on why the Vincennes decided to shoot down a big lumbering passenger jet on the theory it was a two-seat, twin-engine fighter/bomber. The Navy handled the “accident” its usual way, handing out medals to everyone who’d messed up, covering up the mistake with glory. Vice President George H.W. Bush said, when asked about this “regrettable” incident, “I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

This was the Cheers era, you know? A bad time. Bad people. Bad jokes about beer. Even now, when I hear the theme music from Cheers, I get a depressed Reagan-era feeling.

Even though no one was disciplined for shooting down Flight 655, the incident left the Fifth Fleet more wary of firing at targets that might turn out to be civilian. When Millenium Challenge 2002 came around, Van Riper, playing the enemy (Iranian) commander, exploited that squeamishness. As a veteran American officer, he knew how easily US commanders get confused in crowded, noisy civilian environments rather than the wide-open spaces they’re trained to fight in. They knew it wasn’t really safe to let all these “civilian” craft wander around in the kill zone, but they didn’t want to repeat the USS Vincennes’s mistake either.

In an article I did soon after the Millenium 2002 exercise, I described what happened next:

“Van Riper…was given nothing but small planes and ships-fishing boats, patrol boats, that kind of thing. He kept them circling around the edges of the Persian Gulf aimlessly, driving the Navy crazy trying to keep track of them. When the Admirals finally lost patience and ordered all planes and ships to leave, van Riper had them all attack at once. And they sank two-thirds of the US fleet.”
The Navy filed Van Riper’s shock win under “Lessons Learned” but there were no lessons learned. The Fifth Fleet, operating out of this crowded, shallow, long and narrow death-trap called the Persian Gulf, is still structured around huge aircraft carriers, the world’s biggest, most expensive, and most vulnerable targets. In theory, those carriers are supposed to be protected by overlapping defensive screens extending hundreds of miles into the open ocean. But there is no open ocean here, and not even the US Navy could order all the boats, shore traffic, and civilian aircraft zooming around the Gulf to stay away.

So when and if the quasi-peace of the present slips into real war in the Gulf, the only difference between the real carriers operated by the U.S. and that disposable mockup being constructed by the Iranians will be that the Iranian mockup won’t be worth targeting. The “real” carriers will be such obvious and vulnerable targets that the smart move will be to hide them in San Diego. If the US Navy is foolish enough to leave them here, floating in the Gulf…well, those Nimitz-class carriers are so damn big that at least some of the wreck should end up above the surface, so all it’ll take is a flag and a plaque to commemorate the poor ******** who died in it.

https://pando.com/2014/05/26/the-war-ne ... -you-tell/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Aditya_V » 20 May 2019 12:56

This is pure psy-ops, If a shooting war starts Iran will loose badly, just that America will waste a lot of money and men it does not want to.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 May 2019 21:12

More details on the EA-18 Block II plans from Aviation Week below.

Interestingly, the trend of splitting away from single set up "wideband" transmit and receive systems continues on the receiver side as well. The US Navy abandoned plans for having a single Jammer solution covering both the Low and Mid band frequencies like some of the escort solutions currently offer, choosing instead to develop a dedicated high power Mid Band Jammer, and a dedicated Low band jammer (and a future dedicated High band jammer) given the really high power and thermal requirements for each of those unique jamming needs. They are doing the same on the receiver side now with a dedicated Low-Band Receiver (LBDR) system to supplement the wideband receivers currently carried by the Growlers.

The most common Growler configuration in the future would be 2 x Mid Band NGJ pods and 1 x Low Band NGJ jammer pod. The High band jammer pod will probably be developed for the escort mission and will most likely replace the Low band pod on those missions. Based on a previous Aviation Week article, the Mid Band NGJ is on schedule to begin flight testing in early 2020 with an in service data of 2022. The Low Band NGJ pod is expected to enter service 3 years later in 2025 with a notional in service data for the high band pod set at 2030.

U.S. Navy To Adapt EA-18G To Future Of Agile Emitters


As the last of 160 EA-18Gs ordered by the U.S. Navy nears a scheduled delivery from Boeing in July, the Defense Department can close the book on a 20-year effort to acquire a new airborne electronic attack platform and open a new one.

Since the U.S. military’s only aircraft for carrier- and land-based tactical radar and communications jamming entered service in 2009, the EA-18G has relied mainly on a mission system inherited from the now retired Northrop Grumman EA-6B, albeit enhanced by the cross-cueing abilities from its powerful Raytheon APG-79 active, electronically scanned array radar.

But the EA-18G could soon face adversary radars that have capabilities far beyond anything experienced by the EA-6B in its four-decade career. The threat is posed by a new breed of radars that can sense the presence of the EA-18G’s jammers and adapt. By shifting to different waveforms and signal-processing techniques, it may be possible to mitigate the transmission interference caused by the EA-18G’s jammers.

In keeping with the cat-and-mouse game of electronic combat, the latest countermeasure swiftly inspires a response.
“There were kind of rumblings of Growler Block II a year ago, and now it is a real thing,” says Jennifer Tebo, Boeing’s director of development for F-18 programs, which includes the EA-18G as a major derivative.

The rumblings actually began in December 2017 with an announcement by Northrop, the supplier of the airborne electronic attack mission suite for the EA-18G. Northrop had unveiled the Dash X, a concept for launching an unmanned air system (UAS) from a 16-in.-dia. canister mounted on a future “EA-18G Block II.” The small UAS could fly into defended airspace, pick up signals from hostile radars or radios and transmit information about those signals back to the EA-18G.

At the time of Northrop’s announcement, no Block II retrofit program for the EA-18G existed. When the Navy released its fiscal 2019 budget request two months later, there was still no mention of such an effort.

But that is when Congress got involved. In the final appropriations bill for fiscal 2019, lawmakers slipped in an extra $95.3 million for the EA-18G, with the directive to transition a small but critical science and technology program launched by the Office of Naval Research five years earlier into operational service. This “Cognitive Electronic Warfare capability” would be identified in the Navy’s latest budget justification documents released in March as the official “start to EA-18G [Block] II modernization.”

“It is about adaptive and distributed processing, with big computers to process and react to the threats,” Tebo says. “All of this is accomplished through software-defined radios that are enabled through a flexible and adaptable hardware architecture.
That not only gives the Navy step-function capability now, it allows us to continue to evolve the capability.”

The full details of the EA-18G Block II configuration are still being defined. The Navy has tasked Boeing with analyzing the options and completing the system-functional requirements phase by the end of the year, Tebo says, with the goal of delivering the new system around 2025.
But the broad outlines of the upgrades are already clear: improved sensors feeding data to new processors that are running software with machine-learning algorithms to produce adaptive techniques for the previously announced Next-Generation Jammers now in development. Underlying the upgrades specifically for the EA-18G are a host of improvements that are in development for the F/A-18E/F Block III. These include new 10 X 19-in. large area displays in cockpit stations as well as conformal fuel tanks.

The EA-18G entered service a decade ago with Northrop’s passive ALQ-218(V)2 receiver system. In 2015, a formation of EA-18Gs equipped with high-speed Tactical Targeting Networking Technology (TTNT) data links demonstrated a critical new capability. The EA-18Gs precisely geolocated a transmitter at sea at extended range by sharing and triangulating data from the passive ALQ-218 receivers by using a time-difference-of-arrival technique.

The EA-18G Block II plans to take that one step further. The Navy’s latest budget justification documents call for a set of specific upgrades to Northrop’s receiver suite, including enabling faster and more precise passive geolocation of low-frequency transmitters. The ALQ-218’s wingtip receivers now cover the full range of frequencies, but the plan under EA-18G Block II proposes to alter that. The Navy has requested about $8 million in fiscal 2020 to continue developing a Low-Band Dedicated Receiver (LBDR) for the EA-18G, with the work split between Boeing, Northrop and Navy research centers at Point Mugu and China Lake in California.

More cryptically, Navy budget justification documents also specify that the more advanced next version of the ALQ-218(V2) should “detect and identify radio-frequency emitters with complex waveforms that are not able to be detected or identified using traditional methods.”
The same software-defined radio technology that will be part of the EA-18G Block II also represents the potential threat. If the challenge in an electronic attack mission before was to pack in enough transmitting power to jam a signal generated by an analog transmitter, the new problem is how to process data fast enough to keep up with digital radars and radios that use programmable, agile waveforms with unfamiliar behaviors.

Finding a way to counter that problem has become a focus of new research within the Defense Department. DARPA has launched the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures and the Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare programs. Similarly, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) launched a program in 2016 called the Reactive Electronic Attack Measures (REAM), which dealt specifically with improving the jammer systems for the EA-18G.
This is how the ONR described the vision behind REAM: An EA-18G detects an unknown radar in unfriendly territory, quickly characterizes its behavior and then automatically develops countermeasures tailored to that specific signal. The Navy’s budget justification documents elaborate on the ONR’s original vision with additional details, saying that REAM would allow the EA-18G to jam multiple agile radars simultaneously.
“REAM accomplishes this by implementing machine-learning logic, automated use of [electronic attack] techniques and [software/hardware] upgrades,” the budget documents state.

Adding the LBDR, REAM and possibly the DASH X UAV to the EA-18G’s mission system represents a major leap in capability, but it also helps make up for past decisions.

When the Navy approved the program in 2004, the EA-18G seemed like the least significant piece of a much broader vision for airborne electronic attack. But the Air Force canceled the EB-52 Stand-off Jammer System, and the Navy abandoned plans to adapt a future unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) into a stealthy, stand-in electronic attack platform. Rather than being a piece of a larger puzzle, the entire mission has settled on the shoulders of the EA-18G.

The reversals have benefited the program financially. Instead of the original plan to buy 90 aircraft to support the Navy’s carrier air wings alone, the Navy bought 160 to also support the land-based airborne electronic-attack mission abandoned by the Air Force.

So far, the Navy has no interest in buying any more aircraft, Tebo says. The EA-18G Block II strategy calls for retrofitting either a portion or all of the 160 aircraft that will be delivered by July. Of course, Boeing is open to selling more EA-18Gs to the Navy if the opportunity arises. “The design [of the upgrade package] is not precluding new production,” Tebo says.

As one of the Navy’s youngest fleets—the average service life remaining on 156 aircraft delivered through March 2019 was 5,886 flight hours, according to the Navy—the EA-18G is unlikely to require the service-life extension program mandated for the F/A-18E/F fleet, although an assessment is still ongoing, Tebo adds.

But it is also not clear how long the EA-18G will fit into the Navy’s fleet. An influential study released earlier this year by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Studies called for replacing the EA-18G in the carrier air wing within 20 years. “Its reliance on stand-off effects from outside the range of enemy air defenses is likely unsustainable in the face of improving passive sensors and the increasing range of surface-to-air missiles,” the CSBA report concluded. The think tank recommended transferring the EA-18G’s mission system to a future UCAV.


First set of Next Gen Jammer (Mid Band) pods being assembled -

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 25 May 2019 23:57

HII cuts steel for first Columbia-class submarine


Advance construction of the first in a new generation of US Navy ballistic missile submarines kicked off with a steel-cutting ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division.

With the press of a button, a plasma-burning machine cut the first steel plate that will be used to build Columbia (SSBN 826), the lead ballistic missile submarine.

Worth noting is that the US Navy’s Ohio-class replacement boomers will be the first class of submarines that will be built using fully digital blueprints.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby siqir » 29 May 2019 14:57

trump wants to go back to steam catapults

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0MHNPo2OQM

sez if we make mistakes we have to correct them

https://news.usni.org/2019/05/28/expert ... -catapults

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 29 May 2019 20:51

This is a pet peeve of his and he keeps yapping about it whenever he is on a navy vessel. He even said that the USS Wasp had Steam catapults :). I think he thinks that modern technology is bad and that favoring legacy mechanical and steam systems over electrically operated modern systems makes him sounds macho ;).

Anyhow, he is no Rickover and the US Navy is not going back to "god damn steam"...The USN DCNO spoke about how important EMALS is to the Aircraft-Carrier and the future Air Wing just a week or so ago and the USN took the "no looking back" decision on EMALS vs Steam about a decade ago. EMALS did about 100-150 Takeoffs on the ship during its last test run and tens of thousands of cycles have been put using shore based facilities. I believe all USN CAW aircraft have completed their testing on the shore based set up. Later this summer the first in class vessel (USS Ford) would probably begin the last leg of the developmental testing trials for the system which should wrap up by year end. The Ford will deploy on her first cruise around 2021 so in about two years they would wrap up all the EMD integration, development testing, conduct a formal OTE and set out on an operational extended deployment. Trump has asked for (and secured funding from Congress) 2-3 aircraft carriers, including the most recent budget ask for a 2-carrier buy. All of those carriers will use EMALS...so instead of the rhetoric when it comes to this that he keeps on repeating over and over its better to focus on what his budget actually specifies.

https://www.csis.org/events/maritime-se ... -end-fight

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2019 01:08

From the May issue of Proceedings Magazine -

U.S. Naval Aviation and Weapons: Year in Review

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 31 May 2019 04:45

On the topic of:
REGAINING THE HIGH GROUND AT SEA: Transforming the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wing for Great Power Competition. From CSBA

Very interesting topic. And, very interesting thoughts too. Small vs. large carriers, conventional vs. nuclear, type of carrier wings, etc. Including a mention of DF-26s.

A brief recap, after the presentation, group discussion. He (Bryan Clark) deals with issues like, do we need an Aircraft Carriers, etc


The presentation/discussion (scroll towards the bottom):
https://csbaonline.org/research/publica ... ier-air-wi

Slides from the presentation:
https://csbaonline.org/uploads/document ... at_Sea.pdf

And, the report itself:
https://csbaonline.org/uploads/document ... _Web_1.pdf


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2019 21:00

USN launches Next-Gen Jammer Low-Band integration on Growler; Jane's Defence Weekly ; 31st of May 2019


The US Navy (USN) has launched an effort to integrate the Next Generation Jammer- Low Band (NGJ-LB) system onto the Boeing EA-18G electronic attack (EA) aircraft, with a request for information (RFI) issued on 30 May.

The RFI released by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is for the development, test, and integration of NGJ-LB onto the EA-18G as part of the wider Growler Block 2 upgrade that it formally launched just days previously. The NGJ system will replace the current AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) that dates back to the closing stages of the Vietnam War.

With the TJS operating in the 509 MHz- to 18 GHz-waveband, NGJ will be developed as three separate capabilities, which will include LB, Mid-Band (MB), and High-Band (HB). NGJ-LB (also known as Block/Increment 2), NGJ-MB (Block/Increment 1), and NGJ-HB (Block/Increment 3) are directed specifically against the low- (100 MHz to 2 GHz waveband), mid- (2 GHz to 6 GHz), and high-band (6 GHz to 18 GHz) sections of the overall threat spectrum.

Work on NGJ-LB development, test, and integration is expected to run for five years from 2 December. Northrop Grumman is teamed with Harris Corporation and Comtech PST on the NGJ-LB project, while L3 Technologies is also developing a candidate solution.
As noted by Jane’s C4ISR & Mission Systems: Air , the NGJ will be a pod-mounted system that incorporates digital, software-based, and active electronically scanned array (AESA) technologies to create an enhanced EA capability that is capable of disrupting and degrading hostile radar and communications emitters, as well as addressing advanced and emerging threats operating within increasingly dense environments. The capability’s mission areas are listed as stand-off (supporting deep-strike missions) and stand-in jamming, along with modified (supporting sea warfare; close-air support; irregular warfare – communications and non-conventional weapon targets; and battlefield air interdiction operations) and penetrating escort.

In performing the EA role, the Growler is capable of carrying up to five jamming pods: two under each wing and one under the fuselage. In developing three separate NGJ solutions, the USN is looking to greatly enhance the EA capabilities of the Growler in each of the three separate wavebands, as opposed to the current AN/ALQ-99 solution that provides a good capability across the entirety of the frequency spectrum.
Low-band is especially suited to long-range surveillance and EA roles; mid-band to medium-range; and high-band to short-range. As such, the Growler Block 2 could be equipped with the requisite pods depending on the nature of the mission to be flown, greatly improving its capabilities for the particular operation. Alternatively, it can be flown with a combination of the pods for a more general capability.
Prior to this RFI for NGJ-LB, work on NGJ-MB had already been started by Raytheon while that for NGJ-HB is set to follow with an as yet undetermined contractor. With NGJ-MB set to enter operational service in about 2020–21, NGJ-LB will do so in 2022–23 with NGJ-HB following in about 2025.




One error in the article is that it claims that the current ALQ-99 pods cover all frequency with one pod. This is not entirely accurate. The external pod/housing and the power solutions are the same but the transmitters are different for each frequency range so they are mission optimized. One pod can't do it all and yet still be able to provide stand-off jamming. Instead of going down that route i.e. a common pod/form factor and power solutions with different processing and transmitters (what Raytheon proposed) the USN is having more optimized pods for each of these missions. MB requires 60+kW PS per pod to do its mission, the LB pods will likely require less so a smaller more optimized dedicated LB pod is what they are going with. The HB will probably require a lot more so that will probably be even bigger than the current MB pods being developed.

The current low band pods are actually not a Vietnam era legacy but systems that were completely overhauled in the late 1990's/early 2000s (those frequency ranges for the TJS are also not of these upgraded systems). Also, the LB frequency coverage referenced in the article is the "Threshold" capability, with the "Objective" requirements set at 30 MHz to 2 GHz as this covers both the need to jam LB radars as well as communications given that the NGJ-LB is a dedicated replacement for both the ALQ-99 LB set up and the USQ-113 communication jammer system.

I guess by integrating both the down-selected solutions early and then deciding which one wins they are trying to bring the EOC date from 2025 down to 2023 or so for the Low Band solution. The Mid Band pods will be in flight testing in 2020 so they will be able to deploy if needed later that year with formal EOC scheduled for 2021. There is nothing on the high band pods as far as program requirements or contract/study awards but that is probably the most challenging aspect from a cost and technology side of the equation so they'll probably avoid working on it concurrent to the other two solution sets - It probably would require a completely different power solution and architecture compared to the Mid band pods. There is even a school of thought to delay the HB solution and wait for the microfluidic cooling or other novel approaches, that DARPA and ONR are working on, to pan out and go beyond current GaN on SiC for that jamming solution.

On the NGJ-LB side, at least one competitor (Northrop Grumman) is known to be currently flight testing its proposal, on a business jet, though they've not shared pictures or details of what they propose.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2019 23:01

EGI-M: Northrop Grumman’s GPS for GPS-Denied Areas


The business case for Northrop Grumman's assured position, navigation and timing (A-PNT) solution is tricky, on its face — GPS is better, and as long as you have GPS, you don't need it.

Naveen Joshi, Northrop's director of A-PNT readily admits that. But, the Defense Department is starting to worry about those fringe cases when GPS isn't available, such as when it is being jammed. The modernization of GPS satellites to broadcast M-code, or the new standard military code GPS signal, to combat jamming efforts requires updated receivers, ironically providing Northrop an opportunity.

That's why the U.S. Air Force awarded the company a $59 million engineering and manufacturing development contract in February for its embedded GPS/inertial navigation system (INS) — Modernization (EGI-M) technology, a follow-up to a $49 million development contract awarded in 2017.

The lead platforms for EGI-M are Northrop's E-2D Hawkeye and Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor, but it is designed to be scalable to almost anything.

EGI-M is "a good fit for the vast majority" of airborne military platforms, Joshi said, because "modernization is needed across the services because of M-code." It fits on all manned platforms and all larger drones, and Northrop can sell a smaller version by cutting out the inertial system for smaller drones that have no inertial system to replace.

Legacy solutions were about tapped out on processing capabilities, Joshi said. EGI-M upgrades to two cutting-edge processors — one can handle everything it needs to do now and one dedicated to later applications to provide some future-proofing. That processing power synergizes with the other major change, a switch to an open architecture, to turn EGI-M into a fusion center. The system will take in data from satellites, Doppler radar, electro-optical/infrared cameras, terrain-aimed targeting pods and more, then weave it into a tapestry of PNT approaching GPS in reliability in GPS-denied areas — which is the goal.

"GPS is a bit of a drug because it performs so well," Joshi said. "A lot of people have a hard time answering what is good enough. People often answer, 'Give me GPS or GPS-like performance.'"

That may sound simple, but GPS provides "very good performance on both position and time for relatively low cost and, really, universal access around the world," he added.

Replacing GPS usually requires a compromise in one of those areas. Relying on a space-based system will get you close, but might introduce vulnerabilities. Substituting a combination of other radars can work, but demands that you do additional planning ahead of time and know what the operating area will be, generally.

A challenge facing Northrop with EGI-M, as with any open system, is security; the second processor helps solve that.

"If you have the space available, like you do with EGI, you can have it both ways," Joshi said. "You create an enclave and have an area dedicated for experimentation."

The additional space means that Northrop doesn't have to push any software into the ecosystem with everything else until it is more proven, lowering the risk from compromise.

That software could be from anyone. Thanks to the architecture, neither the sensors that feed EGI's fusion system nor the software running on it need to be from Northrop Grumman, Joshi said. DOD wants the ability to move quickly, integrate more and spiral capabilities, and Northrop is following that directive with EGI-M, trying to make it attractive by leveraging whatever is available to improve its output.

"We don’t really care where the observables come from," Joshi said. "As long as they are there, you can cross-correlate them."

In addition to a processing upgrade, handling that influx of data also demands improved input/output capabilities, where Joshi said Northrop has been constrained in the past. The company upgraded to high-speed buses that allow data transfers measurable in gigabits.

The next step is what happens with the information. Northrop favors a hub-and-spoke model where useful information is centralized, but Joshi said "that could be expensive" and nobody has really put any effective wide-scale method of dealing with the decentralized data into practice. Currently, the focus is on demonstrating the value of A-PNT.

Lab testing is expected to start this year before the testing of representative units in 2020, according to a Northrop representative. The company will be ready to support production fielding in 2021, though developmental and operational testing will determine customer timelines.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jun 2019 02:25

Northrop Grumman’s GaN-based G/ATOR AESA radar system passes initial operational test & evaluation


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Northrop Grumman Corp, in partnership with the United States Marine Corps, has passed an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) for the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) Blocks 1 and 2. Northrop Grumman’s AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is a multi-mission active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that provides comprehensive real-time, 360° situational awareness.

To date, eight AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR production systems have been delivered to the Marine Corps. In early 2017, Northrop Grumman delivered six low-rate initial production systems. The first systems incorporating gallium nitride (GaN) technology were delivered ahead of schedule in July 2018 and were used for development test (DT) 1E1, DT1E2 and IOT&E.

IOT&E is a rigorous phase of testing that a new system undergoes to determine that it is operationally effective and suitable for fleet introduction. The milestone demonstrates viability and suitability of the system, and completion indicates the Marine Corps is ready to operate and field G/ATOR Blocks 1 and 2 in their current configuration. The commitment of both the Marine Corps and G/ATOR team to deliver an operationally effective, 360° AESA radar system will ensure that warfighters can detect – and take action against – complex, modern threats, Northrop Grumman says.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jun 2019 05:57

US Army to equip first land based Tactical Boost Glide Hypersonic missile system.

First battery will be stood up in 2021, first operational unit will launch a weapon in 2022, and the first battery will declare IOC in 2023. A more capable BGV based on DARPA's TBG will come in later with the OpsFire demonstrations also slated in the 2021-2023 timeframe, which should allow three missiles per truck. Both the current program and OpsFires will remain tactical/"theater" conventional systems.

Via Aviation Week -

U.S. Army Lays Out Schedule, Ops Plans For Hypersonic Missile


A U.S. Army artillery battery will receive a transport-erector-launcher (TEL) for a hypersonic weapon in late fiscal 2021 and fire the weapon for the first time in 2022, a senior acquisition official says.

The comments on May 23 by Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, director of the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), reveal new details about the Army’s plans for testing and fielding a land-mobile version of a joint hypersonic weapon being jointly developed with the Navy and Air Force.

The Army News Service on May 31 reported Thurgood’s comments from the LANPAC Symposium and Exposition in Honolulu.
Joint testing of a common hypersonic glide vehicle derived from the Army’s experimental Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) will begin next year, Thurgood said.

The Navy has taken the lead on designing the new version of the hypersonic weapon, so that its Conventional Prompt Strike-Intermediate Range missile (CPS IR) can be fired by submarines beneath the surface.
But the same design will be adapted for launch from a B-52 under the Air Force’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) and from a mobile TEL under the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) programs.
The New Mexico-based Sandia National Laboratory, a subsidiary of Honeywell, is manufacturing the glide vehicles for testing right now, Thurgood said.

The laboratory will produce glide vehicles for testing at a rate of one every six months between 2020 and the end of 2022, he said.
In addition to the glide vehicle, the Army’s $1.2 billion program also is developing a new TEL that will be towed by a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), which currently serves the same role for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile launcher, Thurgood said.
The future operational unit will comprise four 30-ft.-long launchers carrying two missiles each, Thurgood said.

“That is the outcome of an experimental prototype unit with residual combat capability,” Thurgood said.
The Army plans to field the HEMTT and launcher to a unit in 2021, a year before the first live fire test from the new TEL, he said.
“We need them to start training, so when we get to the first shot a year later, they’ll actually know what it looks like,”
Thurgood said.
The Army plans to use the current command-and-control system for artillery for the hypersonic weapon battery, he said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jun 2019 22:50

Excellent book with a collection of the technical papers presented by the F-35 team (many of which I've posted here) at the 2018 AIAA aviation Forum and additional stuff.

Covers the program, air vehicle and mission system design and architecture, and details the flight test program and achievements/pitfalls etc etc.

The F-35 Lightning II: From Concept to Cockpit by Jeffrey W. Hamstra


Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 01 Jun 2019 23:40

A sort of companion ........ a 28 page PDF ......

June 2018:: F-35 Air Vehicle Technology Overview

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II incorporates many significant technological
enhancements derived from predecessor development programs. The X-35 concept
demonstrator program incorporated some that were deemed critical to establish the technical
credibility and readiness to enter the System Development and Demonstration (SDD)
program. Key among them were the elements of the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing
propulsion system using the revolutionary shaft-driven LiftFan® system. However, due to X35
schedule constraints and technical risks, the incorporation of some technologies was
deferred to the SDD program. This paper provides insight into several of the key air vehicle
and propulsion systems technologies selected for incorporation into the F-35. It describes the
transition from several highly successful technology development projects to their
incorporation into the production aircraft
.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jun 2019 23:45

I've posted this before. This is just one of the 18 papers included in the book.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Jun 2019 20:01

Bell V-280 Completes Agility Tests


The Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor completed the low-speed agility key performance parameter flight testing for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program ahead of schedule, Bell announced. In so doing, the V-280 completed maneuvers to meet the Army’s Level 1 handling qualities requirements, its highest agility standard.

“This latest flight milestone proves that the V-280 Valor tiltrotor delivers first-rate handling for pilots during low-speed maneuvers without sacrificing speed, range, or payload that the military needs for multi-domain operations,” said Ryan Ehinger, V-280 program manager. Bell said the V-280's design and digital fly-by-wire flight controls combine to provide a high level of agility, reduce pilot workload, and enhance flight safety in all weather conditions and visibilities. The company said it will continue to expand the aircraft’s flight envelope and demonstrate new capabilities to prove out its key technologies and reduce the risk for future vertical lift programs.

Other performance milestones demonstrated by the V-280 to date include forward flight at over 300 knots true airspeed, more than 110 hours of flight and 225 rotor turn hours, 50-degree bank turns, 4,500 fpm climbs, sustained flight at 11,500 feet, single ferry flight of over 370 miles, and in-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical takeoff and landing.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ramana » 06 Jun 2019 05:11


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 06 Jun 2019 06:30

brar_w wrote:I've posted this before. This is just one of the 18 papers included in the book.


Sorry, I have not been following BR for some time now. What about the other 17 papers?

BTW, do you have any new info on "Networks" and "AWACS"? Would appreciate if you can direct me to any URLs.

Thanks.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 08 Jun 2019 01:25

Dated. Nov 2016.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Jun 2019 07:12

NRao wrote:
brar_w wrote:I've posted this before. This is just one of the 18 papers included in the book.


Sorry, I have not been following BR for some time now. What about the other 17 papers?

BTW, do you have any new info on "Networks" and "AWACS"? Would appreciate if you can direct me to any URLs.

Thanks.


I've posted a number of those here over the last year and others are available on AIAA as individual papers. Good stuff. No one has done a detail "insider" book on the F-35 like what Piccirillo et al did on the F-22/ATF but this, at least from a technical perspective, comes close.
Last edited by brar_w on 08 Jun 2019 20:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 08 Jun 2019 09:52

On the F-22, true.

Elegance in Flight (368 pages PDF), about the F-16XL, is another good effort.

Will check on the AAIA reports some time. Thx.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Jun 2019 21:24

US Army THAAD battery temporarily deployed in Romania at the AEGIS Ashore site as the latter is down for upgrades --

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VIDEO - https://www.dvidshub.net/video/686670/t ... es-romania

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 10 Jun 2019 11:24

LM has been given a 1.8 billion pagaar for block4 sw improvements to the JSF to tackle emerging threats from the russo-cheen combine.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Jun 2019 11:30

This is just a routine block-4 FOM payment to the contracting announced earlier this year and approved late last year by the US and the program partners. Block-4 is not just a set of software enhancements but involves significant hardware changes as well, including h/w upgrades to the Electronic Warfare Suite, Electro Optical and Distributed Aperture System, new mission computers, new cockpit displays, additional CNI enhancements and the integration of 6-8 new US and partner weapons. A major chunk of the block-4 program is also classified (no specifics yet provided) and the exact nature of those will unlikely be revealed until closer to IOC of that particular capability set. The complete list of changes is not yet available but here is a round up of what is known -

Image

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... -Guys.aspx

In addition to the standard/formal US+Partner JPO development model, they are also implementing integration and modernization efforts that are unique customer or service led. So far they've added the GBU-49 , and the Auto GCAS into the standard block 3F capability via that route. Both of those were not formally included in the block 3F effort.

Going forward it is believed that the next step down that path would be full IACAS system and the integration of the LRASM missile, along with other weapons like the JAGM-F which are not a formal part of the block-4 effort but solicitations and work-notifications for which have been released by the USAF or the USN recently -

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity ... e&_cview=1

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Jun 2019 11:01

F-35 development and test team's A-GCAS presentation from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, European Symposium -

The F-35 enterprise elected to implement AGCAS capability 7 years earlier than originally planned and overcome
all real and presumed barriers. This presentation covers some of the lessons learned from jet hardware assumptions
to dive planning safety considerations and test methods that have changed forever the way we plan and execute
medium to high risk diving test points. Ultimately, this presentation will demonstrate an agile path from the first
AGCAS test flight to release to unmonitored active AGCAS system on all squadron jets in three days.


https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1073251.pdf

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Jun 2019 08:02

The Buff is getting ready to begin flight testing of yet another new weapon. Noteworthy that the TBG/ARRW early checks are running ahead of the HCSW (from what we know/released). ARRW is based on a much newer, and more capable boost glide vehicle compared to the Sandia swerve derived common BGV going on the HCSW and other medium-intermediate range conventional hypersonic weapons with the US Navy and Army.

USAF Performs Hypersonic Weapon Flight Loads Test

The U.S. Air Force has conducted the first captive-carry test flight of the DARPA/Air Force Research Laboratory-developed Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) hypersonic demonstrator, a prototype to the follow-on Lockheed Martin AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW.

The test vehicle, which the Air Force describes as a “sensor-only” version of the ARRW precursor, was carried aloft on a B-52 on June 12 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. According to an Air Force statement, the flight collected data on drag and vibration impacts on the weapon itself and on the external carriage equipment of the aircraft.

The ARRW is one of several hypersonic weapons in initial development for the U.S. military along with the Lockheed Martin-developed Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon, or HCSW. As one of two rapid prototyping hypersonic efforts along with HAWC, ARRW is set to reach early operational capability by 2022.

“The goal is fly TBG this year and, if not, the latest would be early next year,” said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works vice president and general manager.

Overall Lockheed Martin is working on five hypersonic programs across the corporation, and Skunk Works is involved “at some level in virtually all of those,” said Babione, who says the focus for the secretive Palmdale, California-based organization is on TBG, ARRW and HAWC.
“We are making great progress, but this is hard. However, they are normal challenges given the technology and how far we are advancing the state of the art. Both TBG and HAWC are doing well, and as Dr. Steve Walker (DARPA director) said, it’s kind of a horse race to see which will fly first. I’m very happy with the progress we are making on them and I don’t see any significant technical challenges that we can’t overcome,” he said.
The timing for HAWC, which differs from the boost-glide weapons in incorporating a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) for most of its mission, is “on a similar trajectory for first flight later this year,” Babione said. Lockheed is working on this project with propulsion system developer Aerojet Rocketdyne. “What they’ve done with the engine is spectacular. It’s an impressive piece of equipment in its simplicity, but also its capability. It’s tough to get to, but we have high confidence it is going to work very well for our customer,” he added.

The June 12 TBG flight was with an instrumented test vehicle. “So we were looking at the environment around the weapon and how it interfaces with the B-52 both from a loads and other aspects point of view," Babione said. "This gives us a better idea of the vibration and noise levels. That program is going very well." Babione describes the hypersonic glider element as being roughly 6 ft. long.

“The goal would be to air-launch [after dropping] from inside a fighter or from a B-52," he said. "My sense, having seen what low-observable technology has done to the way we fight, is that hypersonics will do much the same. It will radically change the way we approach a battle and how we apply that affect. It certainly gives us a capability that will change when and how we engage our adversaries."

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby vasu raya » 15 Jun 2019 20:33

brar_w wrote:F-35 development and test team's A-GCAS presentation from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, European Symposium -

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1073251.pdf


Thanks for the informative paper,
the terrain generation seems minecraft game style reducing load on the processing hardware, probably can simulate any terrain as well for testing purposes
such an architecture is portable to other aircraft? knowing that transports cannot do those aggressive fly ups but can do assault landings
the paper doesn't suggest weather input plays any role in the safety margin setting
and what sensors does it rely on or is it totally passive?

like it even better if they can display pop ups on acronym's, just too many of them.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Jun 2019 20:54

vasu raya wrote:such an architecture is portable to other aircraft?


Yes, the AGCAS on the F-35 has high commonality with the same developed initially for the F-16.

Had they begun working on the F-35 AGCAS from program' inception, they could have probably prevented the Japanese F-35A crash. But at least they'll have this available to current worldwide fleet by the end of the year vs. the initial plan of fielding this in 2025-2026 timeframe.

vasu raya wrote:and what sensors does it rely on or is it totally passive?


They've mentioned using onboard sensors in the past (so not completely passive), though I suspect the use would be minimal to obtain positioning data for referencing the terrain maps.

Integrating higher fidelity and more capable sensors (like EODAS, and EOTS) probably comes into play when they begin work on AICAS on the F-35 (an identified next step for the team). AICAS is considered a pre-requisite for effective manned-unmanned teaming and mission tasking in the air-air and air-ground attack roles. At the moment, the best UAS Collision Avoidance System cannot handle a dynamic environment where these aircraft are tasked to operate and conduct a joint mission within a potential ACM environment. They are at best suited for safe sharing of common airspace. This obviously has to change when things like the loyal wingmap and other AI enabled A2A and A2G companion drones show up.

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby vasu raya » 15 Jun 2019 21:30

Good to know the developments, they moved the timeline to the left implies it was easier to implement and test than anticipated?

From the paper, they should send slide 23 to the Boeing folks responsible for the Max 8 ...

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Jun 2019 21:36

vasu raya wrote:Good to know the developments, they moved the timeline to the left implies it was easier to implement and test than anticipated?


I don't think it was any easier or harder to implement than what they ended up doing but the main point they had to establish was whether the current baseline could support this or whether they should wait for the block 4 and use that as a baseline. As they were working through the block 3F challenges on the F-35 they basically drew the line that no new capability would be added and pushed any request for new capability out to block 4. This begun changing in 2017 as block 3F development was wrapping up giving the team and the program a bit more confidence in accepting unscheduled integration requests. AGCAS and the GBU-49 were both expected to be early (GBU-49) to Mid (AGCAS) Block 4 solutions but were moved to the left and the latter is actually deployed to the ME with the F-35A while the AGCAS will begin to be ported over to the fleet starting this summer.

Once they established that the standard 3F configuration F-35 was good they were allowed to go ahead and begin the integration and flight testing. There was also a sweet spot of a few months after the completion of the flight testing portion of developmental testing and the beginning of the flight test portion of the formal Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) where they had access to the test fleet. One of the biggest challenges with the F-35 program, even with its 20+ strong Integrated Test fleet, is access to these aircraft for supporting testing and integration. There is a long list of current and planned capability and US and foreign weapons integration activities that basically means that there is little if any time to slot in last minute or unscheduled integration and test activities so these things are always a challenge.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby kit » 16 Jun 2019 02:01

I do not know the extent of the F35 s networking but it seems like it is one of the keys of the US militarys ability to create a real time world wide threat perception. In some way the S400 doesnt seem to agree with it .. I also have a hunch that Turkey does not want the US to have that level of penetration into their military, S400 is just a way out.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Jun 2019 02:12

In this context it is a strategic system. It is the only fielded 5th generation fighter out there coming from a set of suppliers who have put out nearly 600 5th gen aircraft into service and who have a hot production line that is producing aircraft at nearly 150 per annum with plenty of capability and weapon enhancements planned in the short-term. Turkey has been defended by NATO Air Defense systems for a while now, and as a NATO member it is obviously under the protection of Article 5. When Turkey was brought on as a partner, the US-Turkey relationship was very different. The current autocratic leader there is significantly more anti-american and the relationship between the two has probably not been worst for quite a while. On top of that Erdogan wishes to procure strategic SAM systems from NATO's primary adversary and then wishes for it to be a part of its larger integrated air defense system of which F-35 was also supposed to be a frontline element.

For many, including this current administration, those things do not seem to be co-exist smoothly for various reasons one of which is interoperability and protecting the current set of systems, those networks and the integrity of the waveforms etc. More broadly, Turkey cannot continue to head towards an adversarial relationship with the US, become a black sheep of the NATO alliance and draw closer to Russia while still expecting to not only operate the F-35 but also derive significant industrial benefits from what is guaranteed to be the largest global combat aircraft program between now and 2050. Something was eventually going to break and the most recent letter from the US SecDef is perhaps the last nail in that coffin. I wouldn't be surprised if the Nukes have already been removed and if there aren't plans being drawn up to relocate the TPY-2 radar to some other place in the region.

Turkey is free to chose, and so is the US. The short term loss of 20-30 aircraft contract will easily be picked up existing operators (those were the aircraft expected to be delivered to Turkey by the early 2020s) and the long term potential of an additional 60-80 aircraft will just be allotted to other operators who are coming in like Poland, and current operators who have committed to increase their quantity (like Japan).

https://www.defense.gov/explore/story/A ... 5-program/


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