US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Sep 2019 21:22

Some major themes are lots of unmanned enablers, AI and a LEO basee space constellation that aids in Air Superiority..

USAF’s Dogfight Power Curve


“China and Russia understand the value of stealth,” said retired USAF Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, head of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “They are working very hard to replicate that capability. They may not have figured it out to the degree we have, operationally, but they will get there eventually.”

USAF is responding with more than a dozen major initiatives on the books to rapidly develop or insert new capabilities into its existing fighter force, and with others to advance the state of the art in next-generation air dominance.

Looking further ahead, the Air Force is also developing future concepts, ranging from a stealthy successor to the MQ-9 Reaper—because the MQ-9 cannot operate in defended airspace—to a family of systems that will make up the future Next-Generation Air Dominance concept.

The Air Force requested more than $1 billion dollars for NGAD in its fiscal 2020 budget to fund development of a new, undetermined platform as well as a number of other approaches to control the air.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, has proposed developing a “new Century Series” of aircraft, recalling the rapid development of fighters designed in the 1950s and ’60s. Each took a slightly different approach to dogfighting and ground attack, making incremental improvements along the way. None of those aircraft were ever intended to be 30-year platforms, but neither were they disposable.

Because these new aircraft won’t be built for a 20,000-hour service life and won’t need the logistics train to support that, the jets could be developed more affordably, Roper said.

NGAD will also make use of remotely piloted, and potentially autonomous, aircraft to complement the fifth-generation F-22 and F-35. In USAF’s “loyal wingman” concept, RPAs would fly in the vicinity of manned fighters, either providing extra missiles or carrying out their own missions independently. Dubbed “Skyborg” by Roper, the concept is being tested on the XQ-58 Valkyrie, which flew for the first time in March, and on other testbeds.

These unmanned systems would be “attritable” aircraft, meaning combat losses would be acceptable, or at least less costly to lose than manned platforms.

Swarms of such autonomous, attritable aircraft “could do things on behalf of a manned fighter, to either go into areas that pose too high a threat or to provide more dilemmas for the adversary,” according to Pacific Air Forces Director of Air and Cyber Operations Maj. Gen Scott L. Pleus.

In fact, Air Force leaders have consistently said NGAD need not produce a new fighter, but could yield something else entirely.

“If we were to characterize it as a fighter, we would be …thinking too narrowly about what kind of airplane we need in a highly contested environment,” Pleus said. “A B-21 that also has air-to-air capabilities” and the ability “to work with the family of systems to defend itself, utilizing stealth—maybe that’s where the sixth-generation airplane comes from.”
....

Reclaiming clear air superiority is not simply a matter of building another next-generation fighter. Instead, the Air Force is pursuing a “family of systems” that “really does diverge away from a platform-centric way of doing air superiority,” said Pleus, the former director of plans, programs, and requirements at ACC.

Traditionally, the Air Force approached air superiority as a numbers game. “More airplanes equal more capability,” he said. But that may not be the case in the future.

“We’re going to have to up our game in all areas,” Pleus said. Stealth, sensors, and connectivity will be key attributes, increasing situational awareness both for pilots and commanders. Converging air, space, and ground-based sensors creates “the ultimate in synergy” and an “unbelievable edge in dominating in the air superiority realm,” Pleus noted.

Active electronically scanned array radars, infrared search-and-track systems, ground-based sensors, bistatic radars, and satellites­—plus the ability to fuse all that situational insight together into a single operating picture—will give the US a speed advantage and force adversaries into a reactive posture.

That means F-35s and F-22s would penetrate contested airspace and “vacuum up” information, passing it undetected to heavily armed fourth-generation aircraft outside of the contested area. Those aircraft will need longer-range missiles, Pleus said, and the Air Force is “teaming with industry” now to develop jam-resistant multimode sensors to guide those weapons and more powerful motors to increase speed and extend range.

“With the scramjet technology … missiles go much longer, much higher, much faster,” he said.

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin are developing the AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile—a faster, longer-range replacement for the AIM-120 AMRAAM—which has been the undisputed dogfight champ since the early 1990s.

Brig. Gen. Anthony W. Genatempo, USAF program executive officer for weapons, stated in June that said flight tests are to begin in 2021, with initial operational capability targeted for 2022. The missile will fit in the F-22 and F-35 weapon bays, just as the AMRAAM does today.

AMRAAM has a range in excess of 50 miles. The range of the JATM is not yet known. But to counter China’s PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile, Pleus said the US needs something far more capable.

“I would love to see us get a missile that would get us in excess of 150 miles,” he said.




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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 11 Sep 2019 21:51

AFWERX hosted a two day gathering in Las Vegas in July.

MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS (MDO) CHALLENGE

In some scenarios, MDOs will have less than 15 minutes to receive incoming data, orient data into useful information, make decisions, and then disseminate situational awareness to the relevant people who will perform multiple actions to create a dominant effect.


And a lot more.

AFWERX with SBIR AF are moving very fast.

They are considering allowing resources from India to participate through the company's making a proposal.

Technology wise everything is on the table. GPU, FACE, RTOS, .............. ML, CNN, ......... Hardware and OS vendors have already responded to this call.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Nikhil T » 12 Sep 2019 06:33

Poland buys 32 F-35A for $6.5B

https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/p ... r-aircraft

So nearly $200 million per bird, without any weaponry.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2019 06:43

Nikhil T wrote:Poland buys 32 F-35A for $6.5B

https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/p ... r-aircraft

So nearly $200 million per bird, without any weaponry.


That is not a sale. That is an FMS notification based on the maximum amount of resources the US is willing to offer to Poland. It also includes the GOTUS estimate for future contractor PBL cost which is very difficult to estimate this out in the future (since Milestone C is just round the corner) and hence is likely a highly conservative estimate.

Following this, there will be long negotiations where Poland will pick and chose their package and then inform then JSF JPO of their schedule and then the JPO will club their orders in when it comes time to place aircraft on order, generally 2-3 years before delivery. The FMS notification is just giving the US Congress an estimate of a pre negotiation top end of what a potential sale could like. It neither means that Poland has “bought” the F-35, nor that they have agreed to go ahead with package as laid out by GOTUS at the present moment.

There is also no way for GOTUS to be certain of what top lime $ the JPO will arrive to an agreement at in the future so these estimates tend to be conservative and reflect the upper limit of a possible future deal. In the past I’ve shared examples of actual negotiated contracts being 30-50% below FMS top line numbers owing to a different package being negotiated or estimates being off as program has had a milestone transition in between FMS notifications and actual contract complete.

Here's an example of this at play -

FMS Notification for SIngapore's purchase of Counterfire AESA radars -

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Singapore of 6 AN/TPQ-53 (V) Counterfire Target Acquisition Radar Systems and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $179 million. LINK


And the actual contract award, some 4 years later -

The US government has awarded Lockheed Martin a USD63 million firm, fixed-price contract in support of a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procurement effort of six AN/TPQ-53 counter-fire target acquisition radars destined for Singapore, according to federal contracting documents reviewed by Jane's on 21 August.

The contract – which was signed on 13 April 2017 – includes options that would bring the cumulative value of the order to USD81 million if exercised by the Singapore government. Work on the radar systems is expected to be completed by 13 March 2019, with the US Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) in Maryland functioning as the contracting activity...The original DSCA notification of 8 October 2013 for FMS to Singapore involved USD179 million for the purchase of six AN/TPQ-53 radar systems, including all options. The fall in cost to USD81 million reflects a drastic reduction in unit cost of the radar due to full-rate production (FRP). On 30 March 2017, Lockheed Martin was awarded a USD1.59-billion, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract for the radar, which included full-rate production of up to 127 radars – including 70 radars for the US Army, 50 for FMS and/or US requirements, and the remaining seven for obsolescence and production. ~ SOURCE - JANE'S International Defense Review 25-Aug-2017



So what changed? FMS notification went through as the system was at a milestone transition i.e. production was ramping up, costs were projected to come down but the FRP contracts had not yet been negotiated with the vendor. In such cases GOTUS is conservative and errs on the side of using a higher number so that their are no surprises to what the Congress has had no objection too.

Having said that, a package for a first time operator (not someone topping up) with GOTUS and contractor support, spares, and a PBL for a block-4 F-35 will probably run 2x of URF and above so a unit price of around $160 Million won't be far fetched once negotiations are complete and they arrive to a package and price that fits their budget.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Chinmay » 13 Sep 2019 18:41

Fascinating glimpse into the future.

Chinook Teamed Up With Bomb-Slinging Drone In Complex AI-Enabled Test

Personnel flying onboard an MH-47 Chinook special operations transport helicopter directly controlled an MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, which then launched a GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition at a target. Other individuals on the ground then redirected the small glide bomb to another target mid-flight. Altogether, this single experiment offered a window into U.S. military advances in manned-unmanned teaming, networked munitions, and artificial intelligence.


The munition, delivery platform, primary operator and secondary operator are all networked and backed up by AI which prioritizes the targets.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 13 Sep 2019 20:33

Air Force Test Center

Hypersonic test at mach 8.6


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Sep 2019 18:28

Air Refueling Capable E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Joins U.S. Navy Fleet


An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye capable of aerial refueling landed at Naval Station Norfolk Sept. 9, officially marking the arrival of this upgraded aircraft to the fleet.

The aerial-refueling-capable E-2D joined the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120.VAW-120 is only the first step in rolling out this new capability. The U.S. Navy will transition two operational fleet squadrons to aerial refueling capable E-2Ds by 2020.

VAW-120 is a Fleet Replacement Squadron attached to Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing commanded by Capt. Matthew Duffy. Its mission it to train naval aviators, naval flight officers, Navy aircrewmen and qualified maintainers to safely and effectively operate E-2 and C-2 aircraft.



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The US Navy receives its first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye which France would like three copies


France plans to buy three copies to replace the three planes of the 4F Lann-Bihoué (photo above US Navy). These three old planes have been modernized (the last plane is waiting for its re-launch scheduled for next Tuesday, according to the Navy) in order to be able to fly until the arrival of their successors whose order is foreseen in the current law of military programming. , for a delivery between 2026 and 2028. Negotiations would drag a little, the fault at the high cost of this new aircraft.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Sep 2019 18:37

Sneak peek: Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band on a Growler

Below are the first images of Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band on the EA-18 GROWLER. NGJ-MB is a high-capacity and high-power airborne electronic attack weapon system. It will protect air forces by denying, degrading and disrupting threat radars and communication devices.

In July, Raytheon delivered the first Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Engineering and Manufacturing Development pod to the U.S. Navy to begin ground and aircraft integration testing.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Sep 2019 21:29

Raytheon unveiled its entry into the Small Advanced Capability Missile (or derivative) category for the AFRL/USAF. They've been working on it for a few years and I believe they were put on an S&T contract a couple of years back as well. Raytheon is perhaps also the only company in the world that is currently producing a multi-mode RF/IR interceptor seeker for air and missile defense so they not only have a hot production line but also plenty of design experience in that field as well..

Raytheon Unveils Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile Project


Raytheon has unveiled an internally funded program to develop a new air-to-air missile called Peregrine that combines the reach of the medium-range AIM-120 and the maneuverability of the short-range AIM-9X, but in a smaller form factor to increase the magazine depth of tactical aircraft.

The unveiling of a Peregrine mockup on Sept. 16 at the Air Force Association’s annual National Convention in Washington comes just three months after U.S. Air Force officials confirmed the ongoing development of the Lockheed Martin AIM-260, which is intended to replace the AIM-120 with a longer-range missile of the same length.

The Peregrine missile is being pitched to U.S. and international customers that want AIM-120 performance in a smaller package to double missile loads in the internal weapon bays of stealth fighters or triple the magazine depth on the external weapon stations of nonstealth aircraft, says Mark Noyes, vice president of business development and strategy for Raytheon Missile Systems... Raytheon lists the Peregrine with a length of 6 ft. (1.8 m) and a total weight of about 150 lb. (68 kg), or roughly half the length and mass of the 12-ft., 335-lb. AIM-120. Although Peregrine shares a common stature with Lockheed’s Cuda concept, there are distinct differences. Lockheed designed the Cuda as a hit-to-kill weapon, but the Peregrine destroys the target with a blast-fragmentation warhead.

The missile is guided to the target with a “multimode autonomous seeker,” says Noyes, but he declined to elaborate. A multimode guidance system places the Peregrine in a different category than the radar-guided AIM-120 and infrared homing AIM-9X. It could more closely reflect the multimode guidance system installed in the Raytheon/Rafael Stunner surface-to-air missile, which combines radar and infrared sensors into a dolphin nose-shaped radome.

A “new, high-performance propulsion section” will accelerate the Peregrine to supersonic speed to achieve potentially slightly better range than the AIM-120, but Noyes declined to describe the specific type of propulsion technology selected for the new missile.






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Last edited by brar_w on 16 Sep 2019 22:03, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 16 Sep 2019 21:38

Is this a lifafa article?

The Air Force’s latest tanker is banned from carrying cargo and passengers
https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... anker-ban/

Defects in the aircraft could prove deadly to personnel riding inside.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Sep 2019 21:43

No this is true..Boeing has been having severe quality control issues with that program which is typical for their firm when they are in a commercial boom period as they assign their B or C teams to the defense side programs. I think the best option (USAF perspective) is for their defense and commercial business to part ways..But the USAF basically offloaded all of the program risk to Boeing, so anything that is in need of re-work, re-design, or re-testing is on their dime.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 17 Sep 2019 09:22

One of two areas of interest:

Next-Generation Air Dominance Will Rely On Data Sharing

For about two decades, the Air Force has fielded both the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II — both billed as technical marvels. But what's next for the Air Force?

Developing what officials call next-generation air dominance likely won't require a new aircraft at all, Air Force leaders have said.

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The United States is facing an increasingly competitive global security environment, Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Fantini, director of the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability said today at a Mitchell Institute-sponsored panel discussion on next-generation air superiority in Arlington, Virginia.

Nevertheless, he said, the U.S. military will need to continue to execute its core missions of homeland defense and nuclear deterrence. It also will need to be able to defeat a peer adversary while holding another at bay while continuing to engage in countering the violent extremist challenge.

"We will not be able to accomplish that without the ability to continue to control the skies," Fantini said.

The Air Force's next-generation air dominance program is meant to help it maintain control of the skies — and that doesn't necessarily mean a new fighter jet, said Air Force Maj. Gen. David A. Krumm, director for Air Force Global Power Programs.

"It is not a thing. It is not a platform," he said. "The next generation of air superiority is a network-connected family of systems that works together to get after the things we need to get after for our nation to ensure air superiority. It's not one thing; it's a multitude of things."

Next-generation air dominance involves ensuring that everything can share data with everything else, across services and across domains, including air, land, sea, space and cyberspace, Krumm said. "All of that connected is what we want it to be," he added.

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And it takes into account the incredible pace of technology advancement as well, he said, noting that it will be constantly evolving and constantly changing.

The Air Force will look for capabilities that are rapidly upgradable and modular in nature, Krumm said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 17 Sep 2019 09:25

Two of two:

Life After JSTARS

The Advanced Battle Management System could point the way toward a radically new acquisition model for the Air Force—but first, the service needs to get a better handle on what ABMS is going to include.

ABMS is an open architecture family of systems the Air Force hopes to develop in place of the canceled E-8 Joint STARS recapitalization program.

Defining ABMS may not be easy, but that’s the point. “The way our acquisition system works now, we presume we’re smart enough to know the right design before we bend metal. That’s crazy. There’s a huge trade space to explore,” Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, said in an interview.

The Air Force knows it wants the system to include a space component, an air component, and a command and control component, but how those work together, or which element might be more dominant, is still undetermined.

So rather than creating one massive acquisition program, Roper envisions multiple contributing programs, such as ABMS space, ABMS air, and ABMS networking and communications—each with its own funding, its own program manager, and its own schedule. The program manager would be tasked with pushing the program as far as possible over two to three years, after which the service can “reevaluate what the next segment of the race should be and how it should be run,” Roper said.

While each of the program managers will be experts in their field, an overarching “architect” will oversee the big picture. Reporting directly to Roper, that person will be Preston Dunlop, formerly an executive with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

In a March 1 interview with Air Force Magazine, Roper said the architect will spend a significant amount of time modeling and simulating how ABMS could work. The architect likely will have a small staff and leverage federally funded research and development centers or academic institutions, such as MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory or APL for analytical expertise and support.

“We’re going to try to avoid making the major defense acquisition program mistake, and instead, create a new role that we currently don’t have in defense acquisition,” Roper said. “An architect, at least in theory, will be defined by the ability to do technical trades that flow back into the programs.”

Acknowledging that ABMS has gotten off to a slow start, Roper promised the program will pick up pace with his new hire.

The first phase will focus on developing the technology, with multiple goal lines defined by the architect. The more progress each individual program manager makes in the allotted time, the more funding will be available for the next phase of development. This way, Roper said, “you’re incentivized to go big.”

Then, “at that chalk line in time, we’ll evaluate whether we have pushed the technology enough across those different domains to converge to an architecture that we call Advanced Battle Management System,” Roper said.

“If you have, great. You integrate it, then go field it. If you haven’t, then you evaluate who did well and who didn’t, and if someone is further behind with an option to catch up, then you may terminate their tech push and shift it to someone else that still has the ability to go further. That’s where you could see the architecture shifting” to a more space-centric or air-centric model, depending on where the most progress is seen.

The second increment likely will be distributed unevenly across the components, because each component is bound to mature at different rates.

Dunlop will serve as the “honest broker,” Roper said, helping to motivate program managers to smartly take on risk.

“It will be very much a tech-push program initially with rigid delivery times,” he said. “If that technology does not make it, then it will have to go to the next variant. Keeping that constant delivery cadence to see if a design converges that can do the ground moving target indicator mission.”

Roper is already looking at other places this process could be implemented.

He’s spoken with combatant commanders and training leaders about how it could be used in training opportunities. Because the Air Force’s training needs are distributed across the country and utilize a variety of different trainers and simulators, each representing different missions and threat scenarios, this approach could have merit there, he said.

Another possibility could be the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) system. Though he declined to provide much detail, saying he doesn’t want to “tell the world what we think the next generation of airpower will be”—he said a family of systems that allows for a diversified portfolio of options would make sense there, as well.

For now, though, ABMS is the focus. “During the next phase of my tenure in acquisition, I think getting ABMS right is a critical thing,” Roper stated. “It creates a new model in acquisition where when we have to create an integrated system—or a family of systems—we don’t automatically default to a Future Combat System-type program.”

The Army’s ambitious Future Combat Systems program set out to replace virtually its entire vehicle fleet. Once envisioned as a $25 billion acquisition extravaganza, it was canceled in 2009—a massive flop.

“The program of programs has not worked very well in the past,” Roper said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 18 Sep 2019 08:06

Sent as suggested reading from a Major USAF (the due date has been pushed back to end of this year, with a planned AoA)

Here’s the No. 1 rule for US Air Force’s new advanced battle management system

The U.S. Air Force has started work on a data architecture for its Advanced Battle Management System, the family of platforms that will eventually replace the E-8C JSTARS surveillance planes.

But the “biblical” rule for the program, according to the service’s acquisition executive Will Roper, is that “we don’t start talking platforms until the end,” he told Defense News at the Paris Air Show in June.

“It is so easy to start talking about satellites and airplanes and forget what ABMS is going to have to uniquely champion, which is the data architecture that will connect them,” Roper explained.

“I’m actually glad we don’t have big money this year because we can’t go build a drone or a satellite, so we’ve got to focus on the part that’s less sexy, which is that data architecture,” he said. “We’re going to have to do software development at multiple levels of classification and do it securely. All of those are things that are hard to get people energized about, but they’re going to be the make-or-break [undertakings] for this program.”

Some initial work has begun on identifying the requirements for ABMS data architecture. The service in March named Preston Dunlap, a national security analysis executive at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, as the program’s “chief architect.” Dunlap will be responsible for developing the requirements for ABMS and ensuring they are met throughout the menu of systems that will comprise it.

The Air Force Warfighter Integration Center, or AFWIC — the service’s planning cell for future technologies and concepts of operation — provided feedback to Dunlap about how ABMS should work, Roper said.

The Air Force is still deliberating what ABMS will look like in its final form, although officials have said it will include a mix of traditional manned aircraft, drones, space-based technologies and data links.

The effort was devised as an alternative to a replacement for the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System.

While the service first considered a traditional recapitalization program where it would buy new JSTARS aircraft equipped with more sophisticated radars, leaders ultimately backed the more ambitious ABMS proposal, believing it to be a more survivable capability.

But defense companies are hungry for more information about the platforms that will comprise ABMS, seeing the opportunity to develop new systems or upgrade legacy ones as a major potential moneymaker.

Once the service has defined an ABMS data architecture — which Roper believes will occur before the fiscal 2021 budget is released — it will need to form requirements for the data that will run through and populate it as well as the artificial intelligence that automatically sorts important information and passes it to users.

“Maybe one sensor needs to be able to fill a gap that others are creating,” he said. “We’re going to have to look at requirements at a systems level and tell satellites that you need to be able to provide this level of data at this refresh rate. UAVs, you need to be able to do this rate and so on and so forth. Once we do that, then we’ll be in the traditional part of the acquisition, which will be building those satellites, building those UAVs.”

The Air Force intends to conduct yearly demonstrations throughout this process, the first of which will involve “ad hoc mesh networking,” which will allow platforms to automatically begin working together and sharing information without human interference. By FY21, full-scale prototyping could start, he said.

In the commercial sector, where devices can be seamlessly linked and monitored over the internet, this concept is known as the internet of things. But that construct — where companies build technologies from the get-go with open software — is difficult to replicate in the defense world, where firms must meet strict security standards and are protective of sharing intellectual property that could give competitors an edge.

“Openness in the internet of things makes sense because you can monetize the data,” Roper said. “That’s not going to exist for us, so we’re going to have to have a contracting incentive that replicates it. The best theory we have right now is some kind of royalty scheme that the more open you are and the more adaptation we do on top of your system, the more you benefit from it.”

The service wants to hold a series of industry days to see whether such a construct would be appealing to defense companies, and how to structure it so that it will be fair and profitable. One unanswered is how to incentivize and compensate defense firms that build in new software capability.

“If you create the system that allows us to put 100 apps on top of it, you benefit differently than if we can only put one. But the details are going to be difficult because maybe that one app is super important,” Roper said.

“But if we can’t replicate profit and cash flow on which their quarterlies depend, then they’re going to have to go back to the old model of saying they are for open [architecture] but secretly giving you closed.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Sep 2019 18:42

Acting SecAF Donovan announces B-21 manufacturing, testing locations

While speaking at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Donovan remarked on the Air Force’s B-21 program noting, “the development of the B-21 Raider is on schedule and the first test aircraft is under production at the same production facility in Palmdale, California, as its predecessor, the B-2. The first flight of the Raider will take it from Palmdale to Edwards AFB, where the legacy of excellence will continue with the reactivation of the 420th Flight Test Squadron.”

The B-21 will be a highly survivable, next-generation bomber with the ability to penetrate modern air defenses and hold any target at risk globally. The program has a mature and stable design and is transitioning to manufacturing development of the first test aircraft in Palmdale. The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office along with the 420th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB will ensure delivery of this asymmetric capability to the warfighter at the preferred main operating base locations of Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and Dyess AFB, Texas. These three bomber bases will continue their long heritage of equipping and supporting Air Force Global Strike Command as they prepare for the arrival of the next generation bomber.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2019 19:05

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Skunk Works®, the Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Air Force successfully connected an F-35, U-2 and a multi-domain ground station in a ground-breaking test demonstrating multi-domain operations and the secure distribution of sensitive information across multiple platforms.

During the demonstration, called Project Riot, an F-35 detected a long-range missile launch with its onboard sensors and shared the information through the U-2 to the air defense commander on the ground, enabling the commander to quickly make the decision to target the threat. This next-level connectivity reduces the data-to-decision timeline from minutes to seconds, which is critical in fighting today's adversaries and advanced threats.

Leveraging common industry standards to drive down cost and shorten schedules, the team achieved four mission critical data points in less than four months:

Demonstrated the ability to leverage F-35 sensor data for missile defense

Leveraged the modernized U-2's extensive payload capacity, modular design and open architecture to provide beyond line of sight communications between the F-35 and a multi-domain ground station

Established two new data paths to securely transmit 5th generation sensor data at multiple levels of security to the warfighter, enabling a multi-domain network of legacy and 5th generation systems

Disseminated 5th generation data using the Air Force's Universal Command and Control Interface and Open Mission Systems standards for faster capability deployment and seamless connection between systems

.


https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2019-09 ... Operations

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2019 19:17



MQ-25 and how it differs from recovery tanker operations currently performed by the Super Hornet -

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2019 19:27

Meanwhile, as Airbus, Boeing, Dassault et al are producing graphics, and cardboard/plastic models Kratos is not only flying its loyal-wingman (including runway independent take off and recovery) but is also getting ready to integrate mission systems and even weapons...And they are on record of stating that they are working on an even bigger UAV for a undisclosed customer/application..

Payload tests for XQ-58A set for early 2020


19 SEPTEMBER, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GARRETT REIM WASHINGTON DC
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions expects to be on a contract before the end of September 2019 to integrate communications and autonomy payloads into its XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

The loyal wingman aircraft, being developed in partnership with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), would be tested in the first quarter of 2020. The payloads are not part of the AFRL programme, but come from another US defence customer, says Steve Fendley, president of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division. He declines to name the client or the specific hardware that is planned for integration.

Kratos has completed three examples of its XQ-58A and all are flight worthy, says Fendley. The first aircraft has flown twice since March 2019 and is owned by the US Air Force (USAF). The other two are owned by Kratos, one of which is anticipated to fly before the end of the year.

“We know the airplane works. Now, put some sensors and systems on it that are configured in the way that you would ultimately use the airplane,” says Fendley. “We'll be integrating things into the weapons bay and there are two major payload bays on the forward section of the airplane – we will be integrating in all those areas.”

The Valkyrie has a modular nose cone and front midsection, as well as plug and play interfaces, to allow sensor hardware to be quickly swapped in and out, he adds.

Speaking hypothetically about future capabilities, Fendley also says the recently unveiled Raytheon Peregrine, a half-sized, medium-range, air-to-air missile, could be carried in the XQ-58A’s weapons bay. The Lockheed Martin Cuda might be another air-to-air missile candidate, he says.

The UAV’s weapons bay is sized to carry four small diameter bombs, but could fit at least two Peregrine-sized air-to-air missiles, says Fendley. Adding air-to-air missiles to the XQ-58A would help fulfill one of its envisioned roles as an escort wingman for manned aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II or Boeing Super Hornet F/A-18E/F.




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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2019 20:11

MQ-25 first flight pictures courtesy Mark Nankivil -

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Sep 2019 04:02

Check Out These Stunning Photographs Of Four F-35s In “Beast Mode” During “Panther Beast” Competition At Luke AFB

“Panther Beast” is a competition organized by 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, on Aug. 27, 2019. The name comes from the 63rd’s nickname (“Panther”) and the fact that missions were flown in “Beast Mode”....



There were 4 aircraft involved in the competition dropping 24 GBU-12s. Noteworthy, this was the first time Luke AFB launched a four-ship with both internal and external weapons.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Sep 2019 08:33

MQ-25 Slated For At-Sea Testing In Fiscal 2022



The U.S. Navy intends to bring the MQ-25A Stingray unmanned refueling tanker to an aircraft carrier in fiscal 2022 or 2023, according to an official.


A Boeing test asset for the U.S. Navy MQ-25A Stingray unmanned refueling tanker completed its first flight Sept. 19 —lasting two hours—with the aim of eventually providing gas to carrier air wing fighter aircraft. The flight occurred from an airport located in Illinois, Dave Bujold, MQ-25 program director at Boeing, told reporters Sept. 20.

It was a beautiful and clear day for flying and the company was able to evaluate the aircraft’s stability and flying quality, he said.

“After we took a few laps for two hours on our test route we then contacted Scott Tower and informed them we were on our way back,” Bujold said. “My objective in the program for first flight was to have what we call for testers, a boring flight.”

There were approximately 12-24 people supporting the inaugural flight, including one pilot and two operators ready to assist. The pilot worked with the ground crew to collect data, he said.

The first flight comes two years before the first test aircraft is due to be delivered to the Navy, Capt. Chad Reed, unmanned carrier aviation program manager, said on the same call with reporters.

“This lays the foundation for us to move quickly into development and test of the four EMD [engineering and manufacturing development] aircraft … [while] enabling early learning and discovery in our major systems and software,” Reed said.

The first EMD test aircraft are anticipated to arrive in fiscal 2021, he said. Those aircraft will go to a Navy facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey, to complete testing that replicates what it is like to take off and land on an aircraft carrier.

The Navy anticipates the test asset, T1, will keep flying over the next “several” years, he said.

“Testing should include flight envelope expansion, engine testing, aerial refueling store operations, joint precision approach landing systems functionality testing,”
Reed added. “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished, the Boeing and Navy team, who made this first flight a success.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Sep 2019 20:08

P&W is a few months away from delivering the Growth 2.0 package proposal for the F-35s planned engine upgrade path following block 4.2 implementation in 2026. AvWeek covers some of the capabilities they are getting ready to offer and it is utilizing a lot of tech developed to support the 6th generation fighter / adaptive engine work that the company has been involved in for about a decade. Those engine demonstrators themselves are currently in final assembly.

* 10-12% increase in thrust

* >5% improvement (reduction) in fuel consumption

* 2% vertical lift improvement on the F-35 B

* Increase in both power generation and thermal management for the mission systems currently installed and planned for the future

Pratt & Whitney Defining F-35 Engine Upgrade Package

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Sep 2019 20:44

Raytheon's Noyes on New Peregrine Missile to Replace Sidewinder, AMRAAM



From Jane's Missiles & Rockets :

Raytheon discloses Peregrine AAM development

“Peregrine is able to capitalise on the range and autonomous search capability of the [AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile radar-guided] AMRAAM and the manoeuvrability of our AIM-9X Sidewinder [short-range imaging infrared homing AAM]. Mark Noyes, Business Development Executive, Air Warfare Systems, at Raytheon Missile Systems told Jane’s . However, we see Peregrine as complementary to, and not replacing, that portfolio of air dominance effectors, to keep it relevant for decades to come.”...

Raytheon describes Peregrine as approximately 6ft [182.9 cm] in length (which is roughly half the length of AMRAAM), a little over 150 lb [68 kg] in weight, and furnished with a blast fragmentation warhead, an advanced, miniaturised ‘multi-mode autonomous seeker’ and ‘advanced solid rocket propulsion,’ packaged in a lightweight, compact airframe.

However, the company is notably restrained in disclosing specific details of the missile, including its diameter, the composition of the multi-mode seeker, the specific technology and provenance of the propulsion system, and how Peregrine delivers ‘greater range and effect’ in an airframe that is half the size of AMRAAM.

“We have a new, high performance propulsion system that increases speed and time of flight. We have a new lightweight airframe, with a high-performance, modular control system; we are able to take advantage of military off-the-shelf (MOTS) technologies, as well as our additive manufacturing processes, and readily available materials to not only develop the expanded capabilities in this effector, but to deliver an exceptional cost-to-kill ratio,” said Noyes.

“Further, because of Peregrine’s compact design and outer mould line, we are able to significantly increase the air-to-air missile load out on 4th and 5th generation fighters,” he added

Noyes said that development of Peregrine began “some years ago”, but declined to disclose the specific year, although Raytheon filed a trademark application for Peregrine on 14 August last year. He also declined to comment on the current development status of the missile, and the timeline for testing, trials and final development.

The disclosure of the Peregrine development follows the confirmation in June this year by United States Air Force (USAF) Weapons Program Executive Officer Brigadier General Anthony Genatempo that Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract in 2017 to develop and field a new long-range air-to-air missile – designated AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile (JATM) – that will eventually replace the AMRAAM in USAF and US Navy (USN) service.

The AIM-260 JATM is initially planned to fly in the USAF's F-22 Raptor's main weapons bay and on the USN’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, with integration on the F-35 platform to follow. Flight tests will begin in 2021 and initial operational capability is planned for 2022, Gen Genatempo said.


He disclosed that Lockheed Martin commenced work on the AIM-260 JATM ‘approximately two years ago’. He noted that the development is intended as the next air-to-air air-dominance weapon for the USAF and USN to counter adversarial long-range threats such as the PL-15 active radar-guided very long-range AAM developed by the People's Republic of China, against which the current Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM capability might not have sufficient range.

“[The JATM] has a range greater than AMRAAM, different capabilities onboard to go after that specific threat set, but certainly longer legs,” he noted, adding, “As I bring up JATM production, AMRAAM production is kind of going to start tailing off.”



The non willingness to provide lots of details and specifics is understandable. While Raytheon won the USAF AFRL early tech development contract for both the Small Advanced Capabilities Missile (which this system appears to be designed for) and the Miniature Self Defense Munition (MSDM), over the competition, the USAF has subsequently funded the flight-testing of Lockheed's competitor to this missile (CUDA), which Lockheed developed on its own.. so they are probably locked in yet another behind-the-scenes competition like the one that occurred in 2017 for the JATM program -


USAF Funds Lockheed’s ‘Half-Raam’ Missile Flights

The U.S. Air Force has funded a flight test demonstration program for Lockheed Martin’s Cuda air-to-air missile, pushing the concept forward more than five years after it first appeared, the company ...

The flight tests, funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), will evaluate how the Cuda compares to the range and terminal phase maneuverability of the Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-To-Air Missile (Amraam), says Frank St. John, executive vice-president of Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control business area.

Sometimes called the “half-raam”, Lockheed designed the Cuda to achieve similar range to the AIM-120 in a package about half the size, allowing existing fighters such as the F-22 and F-35 to carry twice the number of air-to-air missiles internally.

The “AIM-120-like” range of the proposed Cuda missile may seem counter-intuitive in such a relatively small package, but Lockheed insists it’s possible. After launch, the AIM-120’s rocket motor boosts for only several seconds, then uses momentum and control fins to maneuver as it nears the target.

The half-sized Cuda also is a boosted missile. To compensate for the reduced volume of propellant, Lockheed adds a divert and attitude control system (DACS) derived from the ground-based PAC-3 missile. The DACS inserts small rocket thrusters in the nose of the missile. Combined with aft-mounted control fins, such thrusters could, in theory, render the Cuda more effective than the AIM-120 during the terminal-phase of a long-range intercept.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Sep 2019 21:01

US Army issues RfI for Long Range Precision Munition System for rotary and unmanned platforms


The US Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Missiles and Space (M&S), Joint Attack Munition Systems (JAMS) Project Office (PO) on 10 September issued a request for information (RfI) “on Long Range Precision Munition [air-to-surface] weapons systems ready for qualification, production, and suitable for integration on currently fielded and future Army Rotary Wing (RW) and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)”.

The RfI said that potential weapons systems “must be precision capable and demonstrated as a complete system in a relevant environment”. The JAMS PO has defined seven requirements for the Long Range Precision Munition System solution, in order of priority:

* Effective against various target types including integrated air defence systems, lightly armoured systems, command-and-control nodes, and personnel

* Have a range greater than 30 km (40 km is an Army Munitions anticipated requirement, while a range greater than 40 km is an objective capability)

* Be survivable against air defence and counter-precision guided munition systems

* Have a time of flight at 30 km less than or equal to 100 seconds

* Be able to deliver tailorable guidance and lethal effects

* Be datalink-enabled and adaptable to various network types

* Weigh less than or equal to 200 lbs (90.7 kg) including any containers for containerised weapons.


According to the RfI, “Requirements 1-3 are not tradeable while requirements 4-7 may be traded in support of requirements 1-3.”

According to the JAMS PO, “The weapons system should be able to engage stationary and moving targets in day and night conditions in adverse weather and GPS denied environments with low collateral damage.”

Response requirements also include: operational concept of weapons with a description of the envisioned kill chain including all platforms that would be capable of firing the weapons; lethality and survivability against the intended targets; engagement capabilities that include engagement time, minimum and maximum ranges, rate of fire, off-axis launch capability, impact accuracy, regret avoidance capability, and collateral damage mitigation; an assessment of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) of the product including key subsystems such as guidance and sensor mechanisms employed; propulsion, datalink, safe, arm, and fire device. Responses are also required to “indicate readiness and willingness to conduct a test flight from a RW or UAS within 24 months” of the RfI.

In an unrelated development, the US Army hosted a firing demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in August to determine if the Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Spike Non-Line-of-Sight (Spike NLOS) precision-guided missile can be operated from US combat helicopters. Spike NLOS missiles have a stated effective range of 25km. During the demonstration five Spike NLOS missiles were fired from a Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopter. Conducted in response to an army validated operational needs statements, the demonstration was designed to identify “capabilities supporting the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) ecosystem”, according to the FVL Cross Functional Team. “The demo will determine whether Spike can be fired from a US aircraft and inform future munition and [air-launched effects] requirements for multi-domain operations,” the army noted in a 2 August email to Jane’s prior to the demonstration.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 26 Sep 2019 14:11

Paging Brar_w..

Any details of the specific 'best practices of the commercial industry' which took the readiness rate from 50% to 80% within a year? I do understand that their military and commercial industries are amongst the most mature in the world..

Naval Aviation Achieves SECDEF Readiness Target, Shifts Focus to Readiness Sustainment

Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) announced Sept. 24 that Naval Aviation has achieved its Secretary of Defense-mandated readiness target of an 80 percent mission-capable (MC) rate for both its operational F/A-18 E/F “Super Hornet” and EA-18G “Growler” fleets.

After a year of reforms across Navy squadrons, maintenance and supply depots and other key readiness-enabling commands, Super Hornet and Growler readiness each stand above 80 percent of Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory (PMAI), at 343 and 95 aircraft, respectively.

Last year, with the Navy’s MC rate hovering near 50 percent, then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis directed the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to reach an 80 percent MC rate across their fighter and strike fighter aircraft squadrons.

To achieve this goal, the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) implemented the Naval Sustainment System-Aviation (NSS-A). The NSS-A initiative leverages best practices from commercial industry to update and improve aspects of Naval Aviation’s maintenance practices in squadrons as well as at intermediate and depot Fleet Readiness Centers.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Sep 2019 18:43

Major boost in JASSM/LRASM production and inventory. Would seem logical since the JASSM-XR is going to come online soon and may begin replacing inventory stock of the legacy JASSMs which then get moved over to long term storage..

USAF aims to double long-term JASSM production up to 10,000 units


The US Department of Defense (DoD) is increasing potential long-term production quantities of Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) from a possible maximum of 4,900 to a possible maximum of 10,000.

The US Air Force (USAF) Material Command signaled its intention to increase missile production in a 27 September notice that seeks production sources. Acquisition regulations require the service to seek alternative sources even though Lockheed Martin is the only producer.

The USAF also seeks to increase quantities of Lockheed Martin-made Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) from a possible maximum of 110 to a possible maximum of 400, says the notice. LRASM is based on the extended range version of JASSM (JASSM-ER), which has a range of more than 500nm (926km). LRASM is a joint development effort of the USAF and the US Navy.The JASSM and LRASM weapons are low-observable cruise missiles that fly at subsonic speeds and, because of their long ranges, can be launched from outside an enemy’s air defences.

The USAF notice signals a continued ramp up of annual production as well as long-term DoD interest in buying the cruise missiles.

In May 2019, in anticipation of growing demand, Lockheed Martin broke ground on a new 20,900sq m (225,000sq ft) cruise missile production facility in Troy, Alabama. The building construction is scheduled for completion in 2021, with JASSM-ER production ramping up in the second half of 2022, the company says.

The USAF’s previous JASSM production notice for lot 17 asked for 360 missiles in 2018. That makes this most-recent source-sought announcement the largest intended acquisition of JASSM.

The USAF says it wants up to 390 JASSM-ERs in lot 18; then 360 JASSM-ERs and 40 JASSM missiles in lot 19. Production would reach a maximum rate of 550 units per lot continuing through lot 30, the service says.

LRASM production also continues to ramp up from lot 1 production in 2017, which called for 23 missiles. The USAF says it wants 50 LRASM missiles in lot four, reaching a maximum rate of 96 per lot, continuing through lot eight.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Sep 2019 18:55

Raytheon’s New Peregrine Missile: Smaller, Faster, More Maneuverable

Raytheon’s Air Warfare Systems division in Tucson has a long history in successful missile development, from the venerable AMRAAM air-to-air missile that originally entered service in 1991 to today’s all-weather, lightweight StormBreaker, due to achieve initial operating capability before the end of the year. The latest in their air-to-air missile portfolio is the Peregrine, which Raytheon says will double the weapons carrying capacity of today’s fighters. Kim Ernzen is the vice president of the product line — and on Sept. 20 she updated Breaking D...

Breaking D: So, tell us a little about about your new medium-range missile, the Peregrine? (Unveiled on Sept. 16 at the Air Force Association conference, Peregrine is designed to be smaller, faster and more maneuverable than legacy airborne missiles.)

KE: “Peregrine will usher in a new era for Raytheon’s Air Dominance portfolio, complimenting AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder for air-to-air engagements. It leverages some of our most advanced engineering technology, and combines some of the best capabilities from both of these proven weapons.”

BD: Can you talk a bit about what new trends you are seeing in the market?

KE: “We are seeing the emergence of dual-use or new missions from some of our programs. That’s exciting from a cross-domain capability standpoint, but also for our government customers who are stretching budget dollars, and need new capabilities quickly.

“Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is a great example: the anti-ship missile is being integrated on the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships, but recently interest is growing in the ground-launch capability. We worked with the US Army last summer for a successful firing from a ground-based truck to hit a moving target at sea. And we announced in May that the US Marine Corps will integrate it into its existing force structure. ”

(In its fiscal year 2020 budget request, the Navy asked for an additional $62 million to buy 38 more NSMs — to bring the Navy’s inventory to 64 by 2022 — for the Littoral Combat Ships.)

“The US Government also approved potential foreign military sales of NSM for use on the Sikorsky MH-60R helicopter. In the meantime, Raytheon is working closely with our partners at Norway’s Kongsberg – originator of the missile, to bring production of over 50 percent of NSM to the US.

The AIM-9X Sidewinder also demonstrated a ground-launch capability with a successful flight test from a NASAMS launcher earlier this summer.”

(Breaking D readers may remember that the NASAMS, the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile, is an air defense system developed by Norway that has been protecting the nation’s capital region since 2005. It normally uses a ground-launched variant of Raytheon’s AMRAAM AIM-120 antiaircraft missile, and is capable of knocking down cruise missiles.)

“Not only did that test show another dimension for Sidewinder, it opens the door to customers who want to buy a short-range layer to their ground-based air defense. NASAMS users now have three Raytheon effectors for ground-based defense: AMRAAM, AMRAAM-ER (Qatar became its first buyer this year) and AIM-9X.”

Breaking D: So, what about the lay of the land with air-launched weapons?

KE: “In the air-launched arena, we are advancing and modernizing our weapon systems to pace threats with cutting edge technology for fifth-generation fighters. Several Raytheon systems are also critical for keeping fourth-generation platforms relevant and in the fight.

Our international customer base for air-to-air systems like AMRAAM and AIM-9X continue to grow, and we had record production for both of those systems last year. AMRAAM is approaching 40 countries that use it, and to borrow a quote from one of my colleagues, there is ‘an AMRAAM at the ready in nearly every time zone on the planet.’

Over 21,000 AMRAAM have been produced in the past 30 years with greater than 4,500 live fires in test, training and combat. No other air-to-air will ever come close in production or performance.”

Breaking D: Let’s chat about the status of the StormBreaker. (The StormBreaker Small Diameter Bomb II GBU-53 glide bomb is replacing the Air Force’s old GBU-39 that entered service in 2005. While the GBU-39 used Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites as the guidance method, the StormBreaker when operational will use GPS plus a millimeter wave radar and a semi-active laser as a seeker package. It will be flown by the F-15E and eventually the F-35 fighters.)

KE: “The StormBreaker smart weapon, which is the Air Force’s newest weapon, wrapped up operational testing on the F-15E earlier this year, and is headed toward its Initial Operational Capability in the coming months. StormBreaker means that enemies can’t hide behind adverse weather, smoke or dust, anymore. Its tri-mode seeker is one-of-kind technology and gives pilots the ability to destroy moving targets from standoff ranges.”

Breaking D: Anything else you want to pass along to our readers?

KE: “In one more example of where international partnership means new capability – and the US saves the cost of development — is the Joint Strike Missile. We are teaming with Kongsberg to integrate the Joint Strike Missile on fourth and fifth generation fighter jets. JSM is specifically designed for the F-35’s Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare mission, and was based on the NSM design. It will take on high-value, heavily defended land targets.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 02 Oct 2019 18:23

I guess it is not uncommon for others to try to try to get a free ride on your shoulders when you are the most popular "kid on the block" but this PR exercise seems to have fallen flat even among the usual F-35 hater crowd that is generally more receptive to this kind of BS (https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... gic-people).

They claim that they were able to detect and track (passively) a pair of F-35A's flying in civilian airspace, over a friendly country while having Luneburg lenses installed, using ADS-B and communicating over commercial airspace and they did this by using commercially/civil available emissions like FM radio etc. Or in other words, the F-35 pilots were not only doing nothing to stay hidden, they were actively using transponders and communications channels so that they can be easily detected by using stuff like flight tracking software. If only they bothered to explain how they would do so when the thing is at war, without its transponders, not using ADS-B, not using civil communication channels and when there is Electronic Warfare, cyber, and information warfare operations being run against military comms let alone highly vulnerable civilian comms. If only they'd bothered to realize that F-35 user nations themselves have operational passive radars/sensors actually deployed at the frontline and perhaps know their capability and limitations just as well as they do. Instead of parking themselves at a pony farm, they could have bought tickets to the event and tracked the F-35 pair leaving the air show with their own eyes.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 02 Oct 2019 19:54

Faster, Farther Missiles Drive U.S. Air Force To Adopt New Technology


Flight-test infrastructure within the U.S. Air Force is evolving as a new generation of faster and longer-range air-launched weapons approach a four-year surge of flight-test activity.

By 2023, the U.S. Air Force plans to introduce the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon—which boast double-digit Mach numbers and a maximum range measured in the thousands of miles. About 40 hypersonic flight tests, including prototypes of new Army and Navy hypersonic weapons, are scheduled over the next four years.
RQ-4s selected as hypersonic test monitors


As those weapons are evaluated, the Air Force also plans to introduce the Lockheed Martin AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile by 2022, which features “significantly greater” range than the Raytheon AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile. The Long-Range Standoff missile also will enter development in 2021. And the suffix “extended range” is being added to a host of air- and ground-launched missiles in the U.S. military’s stockpile.

For each such weapon, the Air Force must develop a concept and infrastructure to monitor and relay telemetry data from the missile over the full length of the flightpath, including the ability to terminate the test if a safety issue develops.

The Defense Department has conducted hypersonic flight tests before, but the volume of planned testing over the next four years adds another challenge. The flight tests for DARPA’s Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2 program seven years ago was supported by dozens of assets, including ships and patrol aircraft stretching far out into the Pacific Ocean.

But that approach is “incredibly expensive,” says Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, commander of the Air Force Test Center (AFTC).
The Air Force has developed a new concept to provide the same telemetry relay capability using a small number of high-altitude unmanned aircraft systems, rather than multiple aircraft at lower altitudes and ships.
“What we’re looking at now is an airborne array of RQ-4s that would enable us to do the same thing with far fewer platforms and fewer people, while still covering the same space,” Azzano says The new approach relies on antenna technology that can transmit telemetry data amid the sustained heat and pressure of hypersonic flight, where skin temperatures of the glide body or missile escalate up to 3,600F (2,000C).


The Air Force is also considering other applications of unmanned technology for long-range flight tests. The AFTC is an enterprise that includes: a wind tunnel complex at the Arnold Engineering Development Center in California, a flight-test center at Edwards AFB, California, and a weapons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance test center at Eglin AFB, Florida. The facilities at Eglin include the Gulf Test and Training Range. The 400-nm length of the range is not long enough to support hypersonic weapon testing, but it may serve as a test site for new solid rocket motors and booster rockets developed for hypersonic weapons.

“I need to be able to relay telemetry, I need to have flight termination, I need to do scoring eventually out in the open ocean for where a weapon would impact,” says Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin. “There are actually technology development programs going on to do just that,”

One technology cited by Cain is an unmanned vehicle called a wave glider, which uses the energy from ocean waves to generate power. It uses that generated power to produce thrust, allowing the vehicle to remain in a specific location for weeks or months.
“If you put the right measurement devices on them, that’s essentially the concept,” Cain says.
The Gulf Test and Training Range is also expanding, with plans to install instrumentation from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys. The Air Force has run fiber-optic cable about halfway down the west coast of Florida so far, Cain says.
“We’ve started an underwater survey to the Keys to look at where the Gulf Range extension goes next,” Cain says. “As the range increases, we’re going to use the whole 400-plus miles of the range more frequently.”



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 02 Oct 2019 22:56

Bell Unveils 360 Invictus As FARA Offering


Bell has unveiled a new helicopter design, the 360 Invictus, for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) with the first flight scheduled for the end of fiscal 2022 if selected for the competitive prototyping program.

The Invictus has a single main rotor and shrouded tail rotor, a wing to offload the rotor, and is powered by a single General Electric T901 Improved Turbine Engine, augmented by a supplemental power unit to provide higher speed.

The new aircraft is projected to exceed 180 kt., equipped with a 20mm cannon and internal weapons bay, and is designed to accommodate future munitions, Keith Flail, advanced vertical lift systems vice president at Bell, told reporters Oct. 1.

FARA prototypes are not required to be equipped with a mission system, and the company will continue to evaluate what sensors would outfit the production aircraft, Flail said.

The new aircraft is fitted with fly-by-wire flight controls that lay the foundation for it to be flown autonomously, he said.
“It’s not trivial but having a fly-by-wire flight control system and taking it to the next level of autonomy is something we know how to do,” Flail said.
The FARA competitive prototype will have a “provision” for an optionally piloted aircraft but this will not be required until the initial, Increment 1 production version, he said.

The company completed a subsystem preliminary design review (PDR) with the Army the morning of Oct. 1, paving the way for an air vehicle PDR, he said. Flail anticipates the government will hold its initial design risk review downselect in March, selecting two teams to each produce one prototype.

“By the end of 2020, we’ll have a lot of parts on dock, [and] we’ll have air vehicle [critical design review] completed,” Flail said.
Bell revealed it is teaming with Collins Aerospace on FARA; other partnerships will be announced imminently.

In April, the Army awarded five other transaction authority prototype agreements for FARA two months ahead of schedule. An AVX Aircraft/L3Harris team, Bell, Boeing, Karem Aircraft with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky all received preliminary design contracts. The Army plans to award contracts ranging from $732-938 million for prototype design, build and testing.

The AVX and L3Harris design is a Coaxial Compound Helicopter (CCH) configuration. The coaxial rotor provides hover efficiency and dual ducted fans mounted on a wing offer increased forward speed.

Boeing has not revealed what it is offering for FARA, which the Army says will replace about half of the AH-64 Apaches now in the fleet. Karem Aircraft also has not revealed its FARA configuration.

Sikorsky’s FARA offering is based on its already flying S-97 Raider, which is designed to fly at least 220 kt. and has rigid coaxial rotors and a pusher propulsor.

The Army was able to award contracts two months ahead of schedule because of other transaction authority granted by Congress. Historically, a procurement program as complex as FARA would take three to five years instead of one year, Gen. John Murray, Army Futures Command chief, said in a statement. The Army intends to transition FARA into a formal program of record in fiscal 2024. The new aircraft will replace all the Apaches assigned to heavy attack reconnaissance squadrons.

Army leadership envisions FARA will be a survivable, lethal platform that can operate in megacities.
“The Apache is the best attack helicopter in the world, but it’s not the best armed reconnaissance helicopter,” said Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, aviation cross functional team chief. “We need a smaller form factor that can hide in the radar clutter and that has reach.”


Image

Image

ramana
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ramana » 02 Oct 2019 23:00

US increases acquisition of SDB I and II.

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... e-Buy.aspx


Both the weapons are among the service’s top-priority munitions, and recent budgets called for an increase in production of both. Overall, the Air Force wants about 49,500 SDBs plus 12,000 SDB IIs. It’s unclear when SDB II will start entering combat, after a top USAF weapons official said earlier this year fielding could help the service work out some of the bomb’s remaining issues.


The Air Force is continuing its heaviest bomb program as well. The service on Sept. 30 awarded a $70 million contract to procure Boeing’s GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators. The GPS-guided, 30,000-lb bomb, also known as a “bunker buster,” is designed to break through hardened targets with a 5,300-lb high explosive. While the yield of the bomb is less than the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or “Mother of All Bombs,” its heavier weight helps it destroy tunnels and other underground facilities.


Boeing first began integrating the MOP onto aircraft in 2009. The most recent contract covers work through the end of 2022, according to a Pentagon release.


Notably, the Air Force also indicated it wants to more than double its purchases of Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. After broadcasting its intent to grow the JASSM program from 4,900 to 7,200 weapons in the 2020 budget, the service said Sept. 27 it is growing the potential JASSM total to 10,000 missiles. It is eyeing exponential growth for the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, a JASSM variant, from a possible maximum of 110 to 400 as well.


The service is mulling ordering batches of up to 390 JASSM-Extended Range missiles starting in Lot 18, then up to 400 JASSM variants in Lot 19, topping out at as many as 550 per lot through Lot 30.


“This also includes 50 LRASM missiles in LRASM Lot 4, reaching a maximum rate of 96 per lot in subsequent lots, continuing through Lot 8,” the service said in a sources-sought notice. “This effort also includes sustainment efforts to include operational safety, suitability, and effectiveness.”


Forty JASSM-D units, formerly known as the JASSM-XR “extreme-range” version, would enter the production line as part of Lot 19.


“JASSM-D is a spiral upgrade to the ER missile and it will perform similar missions for the warfighter,” Lockheed spokesman Joseph Monaghen said. After the Air Force awarded Lockheed a JASSM upgrade contract in fall 2018, the XR missile was redesignated as the AGM-158D.


“Lockheed Martin then received a January 2019 contract award from the USAF as part of a planned upgrade program for the JASSM family of missiles,” Monaghen said. “This part of the upgrade activity is to develop, test and integrate new wing designs onto JASSM to increase standoff range, making the weapon even more capable and adding greater mission flexibility.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 02 Oct 2019 23:09

The number of SDB-II's will probably be dictated by the success of the GBU-X program. If it is succesfull and fast I can see the USAF sticking to the 10-12K range. If the GBU-X isn't then they will double or even triple that. The same with the US Navy, I can see them buying more than their current requested inventory of 5000 units if GBU-X or AGM-X takes longer..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 03 Oct 2019 11:25

brar_w wrote:Bell Unveils 360 Invictus As FARA Offering


Bell has unveiled a new helicopter design, the 360 Invictus, for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) with the first flight scheduled for the end of fiscal 2022 if selected for the competitive prototyping program.


Kind of looks a lot like the Comanche.

I still have the novalogic game on my PC :oops:

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Oct 2019 19:23

Manish_P wrote:Kind of looks a lot like the Comanche.

I still have the novalogic game on my PC :oops:


Yes some similarities but very different on the inside not to mention faster . This is a fairly low-risk proposal ( despite nearly doubling the Kiowa Warriors mission cruise speed and providing for significantly greater range ) so it seems Bell has positioned itself as a low risk option as Sikorsky is likely to offer something based on its S-97 Raider platform, which may have some significant performance increases compared to the FARA requirements, but likely also comes with higher risk and possibly higher cost.

I think the US army will like this design and proposal and Bell will easily win the contract to build the prototype and enter the next phase of the competition. This is a much needed capability because currently the AH-64 is filling in for the Kiowa Warriors which were retired without a replacement and this is not only expensive but also an overkill and poor utilization of the heavy attack helo force.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Oct 2019 22:06

Putting a senior B-21 alumn, with an ISR background ( RQ-180??) as a PEO probably means that this is now the most important R&D effort in the USAF and establishing a Program Office also indicates that they are sufficiently advanced into the development stage so as to begin forming requirements and initiating prototype builds once the acquisition strategy is developed and finalized (9 months is the target). Very similar sort of path taken compared to one of the first AF leader on the ATF program who came with a background in advanced weapon systems and implementing the C3I capability..and some loose connections with the Have Blue and other path breaking LO programs of the time..

This would also be consistant with the AIM-260 program, the SACM and the MSDW programs all showing up in the last few years. There was no point in establishing weapon programs for 5th and 6th gen aircraft until you had a fairly good idea on A) Where the 6th generation programs are heading, and B ) Where the 5th generation capability modernization is headed. Otherwise you end up with the Meteor problem of something optimized for current gen. but not for the next gen. systems.

Overall, $6 Billion is what is committed to this program (office) between 2020-2024 in addition to the $$ spent pre 2020 and not counting the three 6th generation propulsion programs (ADVENT, AETD, and AETP) and the Directed Energy turret and mission system (laser) development efforts supporting Air Dominance programs in general (all those are funded via different program offices but their offshoots may now be controlled by White). That should get them to a Milestone-B and they can begin experimenting with pumping out elements every 5-6 or years or so beyond that.

US Air Force’s next-generation fighter inches forward with a new program head


OMAHA, Neb. — The U.S. Air Force is taking a gamble on its future fighter, with officials hoping to rapidly produce a family of jets known as the “Digital Century Series” using digital engineering and other technology breakthroughs. On Oct. 2, that effort took a step forward as the service stood up a new program office responsible for developing its next-generation fighter aircraft.

Col. Dale White, most recently the program executive officer for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and special operations forces, will be in charge of the new Program Executive Office for Advanced Aircraft, the Air Force said in a statement.

Will Roper, the Air Force’s acquisition executive, said White had been chosen to lead the program based on his out-of-the-box thinking.

“I am turning to this program and to Dale in particular to find a way to bring the best technical expertise that we have to bear, to understand industry’s business case — because if it’s not good for industry it’s not going to happen — to see if there’s a way we can continue innovating, doing things smaller, faster, more agile where you don’t have to necessarily be a company that can build a thousand things to work with us,” Roper said during a ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. “I have the utmost confidence that if there’s a ‘yes’ to be found in this universe, [White] will find it.”

White formerly held assignments at the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Headquarters Air Intelligence Agency and the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, where he was the senior materiel leader and system program director for the B-21 bomber program.

“The mission placed before our team today will be tough, but is a must-do to keep this nation on solid footing on a global stage,” White said. “We are no longer assured the super power prominence we once held, and we are now forced to reach back to our roots and relearn those attributes that made us the nation we are today. For those that will be part of the new team, thank you for what you’ve done and what you will do.”

As head of PEO Advanced Aircraft, White will oversee not only the development of new airframes, but also a number of subsystems under development as part of the Next Generation Air Dominance program. While the Air Force hasn’t disclosed how it is investing funds for the NGAD program, officials have alluded to parallel development and prototyping efforts that could yield advanced new weapons, engines and mission systems.

Defense News was first to report on the Air Force’s new approach to fighter development. Instead of having fighter manufacturers compete for the opportunity to produce a single, exquisite air superiority platform, the idea is to fund the development of multiple fighters using new, cost-saving techniques like agile software development, open architecture and digital engineering, Roper said in a September interview. The Air Force would then choose one vendor to produce a small batch of the most viable aircraft, but keep the other manufacturer on contract to continue iterating on its design.

The benefit to such an approach? Increased competition among vendors and the ability to field a new fighter jet with the latest technology every five years or so.

“Based on what industry thinks they can do and what my team will tell me, we will need to set a cadence of how fast we think we build a new airplane from scratch. Right now, my estimate is five years. I may be wrong,” Roper said in September. “I’m hoping we can get faster than that — I think that will be insufficient in the long term [to meet future threats] — but five years is so much better than where we are now with normal acquisition.”

White’s first task will be to create an acquisition strategy that lays out whether the Digital Century Series is viable and how much it will cost to keep multiple fighter manufacturers — including incumbent primes like Lockheed Martin and Boeing, builders of pieces of fighter jets like Northrop Grumman, and potentially new entrants — continually working with the Air Force on new designs.

In response to follow-up questions from Defense News, Roper said he would like to see an initial strategy in six months, with a final strategy coming three months after that.


Last edited by brar_w on 03 Oct 2019 22:55, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 03 Oct 2019 22:27

^

The emphasis:

“I am turning to this program and to Dale in particular to find a way to bring the best technical expertise that we have to bear, to understand industry’s business case — because if it’s not good for industry it’s not going to happen — to see if there’s a way we can continue innovating, doing things smaller, faster, more agile where you don’t have to necessarily be a company that can build a thousand things to work with us,” Roper said during a ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. “I have the utmost confidence that if there’s a ‘yes’ to be found in this universe, [White] will find it.”


Especially small business, via SBIR. One cohort in 2018 and 2 thus far this year (the 3rd is underway), the USAF has 400 SBs in tow, 200 coming on-line this Nov and another 200 or so in about 6 months. They are hoping to involve around a 1000 SBs a year in a variety of sectors.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 04 Oct 2019 14:40

US tested new missile in the Pacific as China paraded weapons

.......

In the waters off Guam, the USS Gabrielle Giffords fired off a Naval Strike Missile (NSM), a sea-skimming cruise missile that is difficult to spot on radar, and can maneuver to avoid enemy defenses.

The NSM, along with a variety of other weapons, were fired at a surplus US Navy frigate, the former USS Ford, which was towed to the Pacific to act as a target in an exercises called SINKEX.

.....

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 06 Oct 2019 08:22

Cain Marko wrote:
nam wrote:
Active BVR requires positional information. Does it matter if it is coming from a AWACS or fighter FCR? The only difference will be level of precision.

Yes it matters because the resolution has to be good enough to guide the missile close to moving targets, which Aew can't provide. Otherwise aew would do it from a distance and fighters would simply launch and shoot away. But they hang around at varying angles from the target using radar on gimbals that can provide accurate guidance after fighter turns away. Why do you think fighters have cheek/side arrays nowadays.



Again I'm not entirely sure on all this but I've not heard of aew providing fire control and guidance for AAMs.


The short answer as far as the US is concerned is it does not matter. In the sensor-shooter scenario being pushed around, the system in between the two either decides the best option (embedded intelligence) or assists humans. That in a nutshell.

Very, very briefly, in 2004 (or so) they introduced a "kill web" (below) (as opposed to a "kill chain"). In the "web" a sensor reports, the system decides (it packs a lot) and the shooter shoots. There is a lot more to this, but that would go beyond the topic quoted above.

Image

(Even that is under review, but the revisions should not be too far from that depiction.)

Recent (past 5 years or so) contributions include methodologies/processes used in the commercial world and standardization (to the extent C2 HW/SW can be pretty much common across all platforms, across services).

Here is a recent (June 2019) article from the US Army. It is rather dense:

FROM SENSOR TO SHOOTER, FASTER


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