US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Anoop » 19 Jul 2020 01:03

Don't know where to put this interview with Boeing's India head. But it contains some good information.

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

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Chinmay » 19 Jul 2020 14:19

Anoop wrote:Don't know where to put this interview with Boeing's India head. But it contains some good information.

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


Interesting datapoint that the P8s have flown more than 25000 hrs! For a fleet of 12, that seems to be a lot. The forces must find it extremely useful

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby MeshaVishwas » 19 Jul 2020 15:02

Chinmay wrote:
Anoop wrote:Don't know where to put this interview with Boeing's India head. But it contains some good information.

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


Interesting datapoint that the P8s have flown more than 25000 hrs! For a fleet of 12, that seems to be a lot. The forces must find it extremely useful

Fleet of 8 atm. #9 will be arriving shortly.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Chinmay » 19 Jul 2020 16:34

MeshaVishwas wrote:
Chinmay wrote:
Interesting datapoint that the P8s have flown more than 25000 hrs! For a fleet of 12, that seems to be a lot. The forces must find it extremely useful

Fleet of 8 atm. #9 will be arriving shortly.


Thanks. So thats an average of 450 hours per airframe per year.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 21 Jul 2020 23:57


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Jul 2020 05:34

Chinmay wrote:
MeshaVishwas wrote:Fleet of 8 atm. #9 will be arriving shortly.


Thanks. So thats an average of 450 hours per airframe per year.


So assuming a 4-5 hour average flight you are looking at just over 100 flights a year. At that rate these airframes will practically last forever and service life will likely be driven by sub-system limitations and growth (which should be robust as well) and cost of system upgrades in the future. Wouldn't be surprised if the IN ends up getting 5 decades or more out of these.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Jul 2020 06:13

Yet another USAF Air to Air Missile program jumping through to the next funding hoop. The $375 Million contract runs through 2023 when the USAF will begin flight testing. The weapon is designed to intercept Air to Air and Surface to Air missiles.

Raytheon To Build Mini-Missile Interceptor For Aircraft Self-Defense


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby arvin » 22 Jul 2020 20:56

brar_w wrote:Yet another USAF Air to Air Missile program jumping through to the next funding hoop. The $375 Million contract runs through 2023 when the USAF will begin flight testing. The weapon is designed to intercept Air to Air and Surface to Air missiles.



Since dimensions are in approx 1m range, they can repurpose the stinger for this.
Designing an anti radiation seeker in that diameter would be a challenge both size and power wise. This requirement may be for threats posed by meteor and SFDR.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Jul 2020 21:07

arvin wrote:
brar_w wrote:Yet another USAF Air to Air Missile program jumping through to the next funding hoop. The $375 Million contract runs through 2023 when the USAF will begin flight testing. The weapon is designed to intercept Air to Air and Surface to Air missiles.



Since dimensions are in approx 1m range, they can repurpose the stinger for this.
Designing an anti radiation seeker in that diameter would be a challenge both size and power wise. This requirement may be for threats posed by meteor and SFDR.



I seriously doubt there would be even a single stinger component in that missile. It is a decades old rocket motor with most of the components no longer in production and high degree of obsolescence. SRM tech has advanced leaps and bounds especially with the HLG and plug and play throttleability which is very very close to being a reality. In fact initial low TRL maturation contracts for this missile were awarded, to primed and propulsion suppliers, in 2016 and a 7-8 year lead time to flight tests point to it utilizing less mature technology instead of repurposing something that is decades old. This missile would have to be highly agile for end game correction perspective given its targeting will likely be from EO/IR.

Why would Meteor and SFRJ be the ones that pose a threat exclusively requiring this approach? I’m not getting what the SFRJ provides outside of extended envelope. You can deter those easily by making yourself extremely hard to target at range and my having long range missiles or your own. Perhaps if they mount them on non combat aircraft like tankers etc or on drones escorting them.

SAMs are a much more relevant threat particularly ones that are small footprint and highly mobile and possibly passive. EW and passive systems are really good now but you probably still have to assume that a good chunk of those will survive initial SEAD and pose a threat particularly to non stealthy aircraft. Active kinetic (like MSDM) and non kinetic like a 50-100 kW airborne HEL will probably be good investments to mount on your less survivable aircraft come 2030s and 2040s. The MSDM and SHieLD are two programs aimed at getting these systems ready ahead of that need. With USAF buying F-15 EXs and the USN having to run their Super Hornets longer now given additional airframe hours ..this seems like a good investment to get ahead of the need.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 23 Jul 2020 01:49

Wouldn't be surprised if the motor had some commonality with this -

Image


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 26 Jul 2020 10:24

USAF awards Skyborg contracts. To be operational in just about 3 years time.

4 Companies Move Forward in Skyborg Competition


The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center on July 23 awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts to Boeing Co., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems, Inc., and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., authorizing the companies to compete for up to $400 million in delivery orders for the Skyborg Vanguard Program over the next five years.

Skyborg—one of three USAF Vanguard programs outlined in the Air Force Science and Technology 2030 initiative—is an affordable unmanned system that will partner with fighter jets and utilize artificial intelligence to conduct strike and intelligence-collection missions that are too dangerous for manned aircraft.

“Because autonomous systems can support missions that are too strenuous or dangerous for manned crews, Skyborg can increase capability significantly and be a force multiplier for the Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Dale R. White, program executive officer for fighters and advanced aircraft, in a release. White and Air Force Research Laboratory Commander Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle oversee the Skyborg program.

“We have the opportunity to transform our warfighting capabilities and change the way we fight and the way we employ air power,” White said.

The Vanguard initiative looks to speed up the time it takes to go from research to operational use. USAF has said it wants Skyborg to be operationally capable by the end of 2023.

Kratos is already flight testing its XQ-58A Valkyrie, created in partnership with AFRL, and will participate in an upcoming Advanced Battle Management System demonstration. Boeing has said it plans to submit a variant of its “loyal wingman” combat drone designed for the Royal Australian Air Force. Lockheed Martin and General Atomics have not said what they submitted and messages left for the companies were not immediately returned.

Autonomy technologies in Skyborg’s portfolio will range from simple play-book algorithms to advanced team decision making and will include on-ramp opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) technologies,” Pringle said. “This effort will provide a foundational government reference architecture for a family of layered, autonomous, and open-architecture UAS.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 27 Jul 2020 02:53

US Army plans long-range missile fly-offs for future helicopters


The U.S. Army plans to conduct a few fly-offs to test possible long-range precision munitions for its fleet of future helicopters, according to the chief of operations in charge of the service’s Future Vertical Lift modernization efforts.

While the Army has picked Israeli company Rafael’s Spike Non-Line-of-Sight missile as an interim solution to deliver long-range lethality from its current and future helicopter fleets, it is also in the market for other options.

“The Army has not committed yet to a form factor of long-range precision munitions. If it’s Spike, or something else, we have time to work with that. We have time to do one fly-off or more” over the next few years to inform requirements, Col. Matthew Isaacson told reporters during a July 24 briefing.

The service is molding a future fleet for the early 2030s, acquiring two manned helicopters, a tactical unmanned aircraft system, air-launched effects, and long-range precision munitions that will be networked together on the battlefield using a common digital, modular, open-system architecture.

The Army extensively demonstrated Spike on both foreign and American AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, which led to the decision to buy some to tie the service over until it can assess other capabilities and better refine requirements before developing a permanent solution.The service fired the Spike NLOS missile from AH-64s in Israel and at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, last year. Defense News was present for one of six multidomain operations-relevant shots fired from an “E” model Apache at Yuma in August 2019.

Isaacson says there are a number of vendors with capabilities that could meet the future need.

The Army will need to finalize a preliminary design review across the board for assets within its future fleet in the 2023 time frame, so Isaacson said the Army has roughly three years to work with industry to settle on a capability and ensure it is interoperable with platforms “that are still somewhat on the drawing table,” something he said will be challenging.“We are looking at getting outside of the range of our pacing threats,” he said. The Army is “pleased” with Spike’s beyond 30-kilometer range, he added, “so any competitor in any future fly-off will have to demonstrate that they can do very similar and get at a long range in a timely manner after our pacing threats.”

Isaacson indicated the Army will likely work through cooperative research and development agreements among other means to demonstrate long-range precision munition capabilities at small venues. Then the munitions would be put to the test with soldiers at the brigade level, followed by higher-level demonstrations at venues like the Joint Warfighting Assessment, to inform requirements, he added.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Jul 2020 18:30

The next Long Range - Precision Guided Kit (LR-PGK) contract has been awarded to see the system through the next phase of trials and to prep for operational capability by 2023. LR-PGK is the PG kit add-on to the XM1113 155 mm shells that will go into the Extended Range Cannon Artillery program and be capable of precision engagements out to 70 km range. It differs from the standard PGK insofar as it required a 3-4 year developmental program and an independent test and certification campaign. It will also be used on a new round which probably also added to the certification and testing schedule.

BAE Systems receives $33 million contract to produce long range artillery guidance system


BAE Systems has received a $33 million multi-year contract from the U.S. Army to further develop its Long Range Precision Guidance Kit (LR-PGK) for 155mm artillery shells, enabling the Army to conduct long range precision strikes in challenging electromagnetic environments.

LR-PGK is a critical program in the Army’s 155mm Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) munitions suite, designed to deliver accurate, lethal fires at greater ranges than near-peer adversaries. The BAE Systems solution builds on proven, mature technology, offering greater performance than current guidance kits through increased maneuverability and an incorporated anti-jam capability.

“We’re helping the Army meet its precision strike objectives with this critical long range artillery capability,” said John Watkins, vice president of Precision Strike at BAE Systems. “Our experience in precision guidance, rugged electronics, and artillery platforms has helped us develop a kit that improves mission effectiveness.”

Under the new contract, BAE Systems will produce a series of LR-PGK fuzes for live-fire testing, further validating the solution and demonstrating its accuracy and reliability in challenging battlefield conditions. Prior to the award, BAE Systems successfully demonstrated the LR-PGK capability and performance at Yuma Proving Ground in September 2019. The company committed significant investment to deliver on the Army’s modernization goals by intentionally designing the LR-PGK’s modular architecture for low-cost production and upgradeability.

LR-PGK is one of several BAE Systems programs that support Long Range Precision Fires, one of the U.S. Army’s top modernization priorities. In addition to designing and manufacturing the M109 family of Self-Propelled Howitzers, BAE Systems has developed and delivered guidance systems for precision munitions for decades and is a major supplier of artillery round explosives and propellants.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby m_saini » 29 Jul 2020 01:49

Don't know if this is the correct thread for this so please move it wherever this fits.

"F-35s Don't Help Families Pay Their Bills": GOP Under Fire for Slipping $30 Billion Pentagon Gift Into Coronavirus Plan

In a floor speech late Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the GOP's newly released coronavirus stimulus package as a "carefully tailored" plan to provide financial relief to desperate Americans.

The HEALS Act proposes a total of $29.4 billion in new military spending just a week after the House and Senate approved a $740.5 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2021.

It includes $686 million for new #F35 fighter jets.

The draft appropriations portion, made public Monday evening, includes money for fighter jets, helicopters, radars, ships, and armored vehicles that the measure's authors have deemed "emergency" spending that is not capped by the budget control law...

The list of weapons is topped by fully $1 billion for an unstated number of Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance jets. Also on the list is $283 million for Boeing Apache helicopters for the Army.

Boeing's Ground-Based Midcourse Defense anti-missile system, which is aimed at intercepting incoming ballistic missiles from sites in Alaska and California, would receive $200 million, and $243 million more would go to a missile defense radar program.


Wish we would include some money for Tejas etc in our Coronavirus plan as well.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 29 Jul 2020 01:57

US budgets are artificially capped because of the Budget Control Act triggered sequestration. To work around that, both parties routinely find contracting vehicles to get their line items funding. So whether that is Overseas Contingency Operational accounts or COVID relief, these are mere contractual vehicles because the two parties don't want to repeal the BCA itself and are happy to negotiate work-arounds year by year/ case by case depending upon the composition of Congress at the time. As far as defense spending, Congess directly asks the three major US services on their UNFUNDED PRIORITIES and once those lists are delivred each year, they negotiate how and from where (which contractual vehicle) to fund those priorities outside of what the sequestered budget request is from the White House.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Jul 2020 01:51

sudham wrote:
brar_w wrote:^^ There are already around 1500 F-414's that the USN has bought..

Brar ji, agree. Just that I found it interesting that the US which heavily depends on its carrier fleet was running with 50% availability
Puts a lot of our challenges in context.


There is difference between 50% USN MCR and 50% USAF MCR. USN can tier its readiness so the impact of a 50% is less severe than what it would be for USAF that does not tier. But the reduction to pull O&S funding was a deliberate decision of the Obama administration (and the Congress at the time) which could either fund modernization, or readiness and not both given the budget gridlock in Congress. They chose to more heavily focus on modernization. Congress likewise played along because modernization means $$ for congressional districts. Readiness really doesn't (not in the same way).

Only with the higher Trump era budgets did the Pentagon get a chance to address both of those levers simultaneously. When you defer long term O&S investments (the USAF for example have delayed the F-35 organic depot capacity by nearly 8 years) it has a compounding impact on readiness as in you have to spend more to buy it back (it is cheaper to fix parts than to get new ones because parts needing repair/overhaul have a TAT measured in weeks/months due to depot capacity constraints so you are forced to maintain larger stockpiles). This is the spiral that the USN and to some extent the USAF got itself in. It was particularly worst with the Hornet and Super Hornet because predicting a scale back of the deployment cadence the USN cut back its O&S investment and those scaled back deployments and cruises never came. In fact the intensity actually ticked up. It was a perfect readiness storm with Hornets and Super Hornets literally lined up at depots waiting for their turn to be turned around. It was the same with component level readiness challenges.

It has taken nearly 4 years to get out of that readiness hole as Mattis called it.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Shameek » 01 Aug 2020 00:12

One Marine dead, 8 missing after training 'mishap' off California coast

One U.S. Marine has died, another is in critical condition and a rescue operation is underway for eight more after a training exercise "mishap" with an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of Southern California on Thursday.


Link

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 05 Aug 2020 04:57

The US Missile Defense Agency just presented its test roster for late fiscal year 2020, and into fiscal year 2021. A lot of previously known but not codified tests upcoming including no less than 7 tracking exercises (of opportunity) as part of USAF and DARPA hypersonic (both TBG and scramjet) testing. The flagship event has to be the ICBM intercept attempt by the SM-3 IIA.

Via Stephen Trimble,

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Last edited by brar_w on 05 Aug 2020 18:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 05 Aug 2020 18:28

US Army Shows First-Ever Footage Of New Hypersonic Missile In Flight And Impacting


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The U.S. Army has released new video footage of a hypersonic missile test it carried out in cooperation with the U.S. Navy earlier this year, including clips of it in flight and impacting the designated target area. That launch, dubbed Flight Experiment 2, was in support of the development of a common hypersonic boost-glide vehicle that is set to eventually go on top of ground and submarine-launched missiles.

Army Lieutenant General L. Neil Thurgood, the Director for Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, showed the video as part of a virtual briefing on Aug. 4, 2020. The presentation was part of the annual Space and Missile Defense (SMD) Symposium, which is being held online this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic....The brief video starts with footage of the test missile sitting on the pad at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on the day of the launch, Mar. 19, 2020. It then cuts to the missile blasting off. The clip of the launch itself was previously released. At the time, the Army and Navy said that this "test builds on the success we had with Flight Experiment 1 in October 2017," which involved firing a prototype from an unspecified Ohio class submarine.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Aug 2020 06:03

Lockheed Martin Delivers U.S. Air Force’s 250th F-35A Lightning II Fighter Aircraft


Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office delivered the U.S. Air Force’s 250th F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft.The Air Force’s F-35A fleet is the third largest fighter fleet in its inventory with the F-16C/D currently the largest with 938 jets. The U.S. Air Force plans to procure a total of 1763 F-35 jets..The F-35B entered service with the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2015, followed by the U.S. Air Force F-35A in August 2016 and the U.S. Navy F-35C in February 2019. The U.S. had plans to buy 2,443 F-35s through 2037 as of 2013, which will represent the bulk of the crewed tactical airpower of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps for several decades. The F-35 was first used in combat in 2018, by the Israeli Air Force.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Aug 2020 07:56

US Missile Defenses Are About to Level Up


Over the next two years, the U.S. military expects to stand up its first "laser battalion," demonstrate that sailors can knock down ICBMs with missiles fired from surface ships, and establish two counter-Russian missile defense sites in Eastern Europe.

It’s all part of a series of soon-to-come innovations in missile defense aimed at deterring Russia, China, Iran, or any other adversary, outlined at the virtual Space Missile Defense symposium on Tuesday.

Among the key ones is the Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense, or MSHORAD, basically a Stryker vehicle outfitted with anti-missile defenses, including the laser-equipped DE-MSHORAD. “Expect to have the first battalion fielded in 2021 with four battalions by 2023,” Lt. Gen. Dan Karbler, commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, told the audience.

Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, director for Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, said that the 50kw laser-mounted Stryker was coming in 2022. The service is also working on a 200kw truck-mounted laser dubbed IFPC-HEL that Thurgood said would be deployable (although not necessarily deployed) with platoons in 2024. By the next year, the Army wants to field an even more powerful laser, the 300kw Indirect Fire Protection Capability-High Energy Laser, or IFPC-HEL.

The Army also wants to outfit maneuvering units with mobile microwave weapons, which, Thurgood said, are more useful against drone swarms than lasers, as microwaves can destroy the electronics of more targets at once. But directed microwaves, built at scale, don’t fit easily on a truck. Scientists are reducing the size and weight and making this more feasible.

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency hopes that by the end of next year in Europe, a new Aegis Ashore missile interceptor site will have been completed in Poland (after delays due, in part, to COVID-19). “We are seeing an uptick in terms of the Army Corps construction,” said Adm. Jon Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency. “We’re really going to go hot in 2021” toward a projected 2022 completion.

Next year will also see the Navy test its ability to down ICBMs with SM-3 missiles fired from an Aegis destroyer and guided by off-ship radar via the Sea-Based Weapons System, or SBWS, Hill said.

MDA and the Navy also will test the SBWS against a medium-range ballistic missile, and in a separate test against two separate short-range ballistic missiles, he said.

Next year will also mark a key one for the new next-generation interceptor program, an effort to build new missiles capable of hitting more advanced ICBMs that deploy decoys or multiple warheads. MDA went back to the drawing board on the project last August, canceling the program. It drafted a new request and re-awarded it to Northrop Grumman in May.

MDA has “paused” its program to design an interceptor that could take out hypersonic missiles, Hill said, to look at near-term options. But the hypersonic threat is only building. That means that a new request could emerge next year, which could speak to the feasibility of different concepts for countering hypersonic missiles.

All of this activity reflects the growing importance the U.S is placing on deterring and defending against missile proliferation worldwide. Congress put missile defense under the defense undersecretary for research and engineering in 2018. MDA's budget requests and appropriations have shrunk as services have taken on more of the “missile defense” role for themselves.

New missiles and missile defense technology are highly desired by U.S. allies in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as Russia, Iran, China and others have armed with the fast and low flying weapons, some threatening to top them with nuclear warheads, and as arms control agreements have expired or are set to, shortly. At the end of July, for instance, Russia announced that nuclear-armed hypersonic missiles would be deployed aboard ships.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Aug 2020 18:36

USAF Tests F-35, Stealth Fleet For Integrated Electronic Warfare

The Air Force just wrapped up a first-of-its-kind test to hone how stealthy aircraft can work in tandem in highly contested airspace — with the F-35A providing critical anti-air defense cover for older aircraft, including the B-2 bomber and the highly classified RQ-170 surveillance drone.

The two-day exercise at Nellis AFB in Nevada also included Air Force F-22, F-15E fighters and the Navy’s E/A-18G Growler electronic warfare plane, with the aim of pairing fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft in conducting electronic attacks (EA) missions.

“Most people don’t think of F-35s as electronic warfare aircraft—but they are, and they are incredibly capable,” Mark Gunzinger, director for future concepts and technology assessments at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, told Breaking D in an email today. (Breaking D readers have known that for a much longer time than most.)

“F-35s have EW suites that can detect emissions from radars and other threats, classify and geolocate them, and then distribute threat data to other aircraft. They can also perform active EW tasks such as standoff jamming of airborne and surface threats. Their active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars can also conduct electronic attacks,” he explained.

The $1.4 million Large Force Test Event was “designed to find solutions to Air Force prioritized Tactics Improvement Proposals for Suppression of Enemy Air Defense, low-observable ingress, and 4th-5th generation electronic attack interoperability,” the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group says in a press release today. “As a result of the LFTE, the Air Force to explore unique integration of tactics, techniques, and procedures that have never been tested together,” the release added.

“This exercise is primarily focused on demonstrating LO [low observable] platform effectiveness against advanced threats,” Maj Theodore Ellis, chief of 53rd Wing Weapons, says in the release. “We do this by utilizing emerging technology and tactics to minimize weaknesses and capitalize on joint capabilities.”......

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Aug 2020 19:48

Barath wrote:As the video touches upon, the army fixed aggressive detailed requirements with little flexibility and an aggressive schedule to the point industry complained, bae withdrew, rheinmetall asked for more time to ship their prototype because they couldn't get permits (they effectively proposed submitting it at their own location) and was rejected, resulted in a single bidder situation.. with flaws. And even then, army futures wanted to go ahead and army acquisition didn't.


In all honesty, have to side with the AFC here. If you cannot rely on a vendor to deliver an evaluation unit to you in a timely fashion, despite the unmatched size of the potential contract then perhaps adding that competitor into the mix, just for the sake of having a competitor, isn't such a good idea.

AFC is trying to juggle between more than a dozen cold war legacy systems that need recapitalization. Some require essentially going back to the basics and addressing each and every component one by one (like FVL for example). Others cannot afford that either due to budgets or schedule as fitting all these into the modernization has to be a very finely choreographed to avoid budget disruptions. So going back, just to avoid a single bidder situation (and for an OTA at that) is rather dumb and reflects the "classic" Army acquisition approach that fails to see the value in a sole source OTA which can easily be "overcome" by IR&D if a vendor was so inclined and incentivised. There is no reason why GDLS could not have received an OTA and proceeded with demonstrating their chops when it came to meeting the OMFV requirements. After all why reward a vendor who actually shows up with a product right :roll: The USAF, Army and Navy did that with Lockheed on the hypersonic programs with LM scooping the first half a dozen hypersonic contracts given its historic lead and internal investments. Later, other competitors (particularly Raytheon) were brought in and they caught up (via IR&D and CRAD) and now they are within a couple of years of where Lockheed is in terms of system maturity. And meanwhile a third competitor (Dynetics) was chosen as the production transition partner for the Sandia designed BGV. So despite a flood of initial orders to Lockheed, three OEM's in the US are now capable of producing and delivering hypersonic weapons. The whole point of OTAs is to get hardware in the hands of operators fast and then to see what the next steps are. Sole source OTA's do not create an insurmountable advantage to the awardees.

US Army has been having a very good run of late in the Pentagon, an organization that general prefers to better fund the AF and the Navy. The SecDef, and the CJCS are Army. They know that out of a few dozen cold-war legacy systems that they need to modernize over the next decade, possibly only half can be addressed by clean sheet designs and traditional development programs (given budget profiles). The rest would need maximum off the shelf, or modified off the shelf solutions, solutions to do so affordably. They've decided on the ones that are too critical to rely on off the shelf and where they need to push the technological boundries (radars and helicopters are those for example). So when it comes to programs like the OMFV they need buy the 80% solution and do so fast and efficiently. OTAs were a means to assist in that but now that the traditional (slow and inept) Army acquisition is dominant, I don't have much faith in this going far any time soon. The existential threat is China and the theater isn’t Europe (where land warfare is easy to game out) but the Pacific. If you can’t get these systems to the theater and if they cannot be ready at cost and quickly then they puts a big question mark on whether they are even useful in that context when compared to other platforms and weapons that contribute more to deterrence in that theater.

There is no time for protracted requirements development, development and competitions. The US Army has bought and built equipment for the ME wars that is not optimally designed for what the Pacific theater is likely to throw at it. So in effect, each of those cold war legacy systems has had to last a decade or two longer. The good times (decision makers being sympathetic to Army modernization) will soon end and if the US Army is not careful they'll be stuck with operating some of these legacy systems into the 2030's by when they would be long obsolete. It won't be long before Air-Sea battle 2.0 is brought back and the Army is again thrown out of the modernization $ gravy train.
Last edited by brar_w on 07 Aug 2020 21:34, edited 1 time in total.

brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Aug 2020 20:40

NGAP is "what comes after" the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) effort which is currently in advanced assembly phase.

Budget Shows Flightworthy Sixth-Generation Fighter Engines Ready By 2025


Details of the first of two mostly secret initiatives to support the U.S. Air Force’s five-year-old pursuit of a sixth-generation successor to the Lockheed Martin F-22 are now released and reveal that a critical technology for the Next-Generation Air Dominance program could become flightworthy by mid-2025.

GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney are scheduled to complete separate competitive designs for a Next-Generation Adaptive Propulsion (NGAP) system by the second quarter of 2022 and finish assessments on a full-scale engine three years later, according to Air Force budget documents.The schedule and spending details on the NGAP appeared for the first time in the Air Force’s budget justification documents for fiscal 2021 that were submitted to Congress in February, but passed unnoticed for several months. The Air Force awarded GE and Pratt each a $427 million contract to support the NGAP program, but the details were shrouded in budget documents within the related Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), an unclassified effort to develop a reengining candidate for the Lockheed F-35.

After Senate authorizers cited the Air Force’s lack of transparency for justifying a $270 million budget cut for AETP this year, service officials decided to break out funding for the NGAP in budget documents.

In fact, the NGAP program reappeared in the fiscal 2021 budget documents for the first time in more than six years. The Air Force has kept all details about the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program highly secret since 2016, but there was a brief, two-year window in 2014-15 when senior defense officials provided information about the underlying technology development efforts.

The NGAP was first referenced in testimony by Alan Shaffer before House Armed Services Committee in March 2014. Shaffer is now the deputy to Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. Six years ago, he was the principal deputy to the director for research and engineering. In that role, Shaffer introduced the NGAP as an enabler to the NGAD program, along with another, complementary initiative focused on new airframes.

This program will develop and fly two X-plane prototypes that demonstrate advanced technologies for future aircraft,” Shaffer said in 2014. “Teams will compete to produce the X-plane prototypes, one focused on future Navy operational capabilities, and the other on future Air Force operational capabilities.

A year later, Frank Kendall, then undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, elaborated on the Aerospace Innovation Initiative (AII). The development of the X-planes would be led by DARPA, he said.

“To be competitive, the Navy and the Air Force each will have variants focused on their mission requirements,” Kendall said. “There will be a technology period leading up to development of the prototypes. This will lead to the systems that ultimately will come after the F-35.”

The results of the AII program have not been released or even acknowledged by Air Force or defense officials since 2015, but the initiative suggests that one or two X-plane aircraft could be in testing now.

Kendall’s remarks to Congress in 2015 came a year before the Air Force received the results of an Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team on the Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan, which urged the development of a family of systems anchored by a next-generation fighter to replace the F-22. The Flight Plan prompted the Air Force to commission an analysis of alternatives (AoA) in late 2016. The results of that study were originally scheduled to be released by the end of 2017, but the analysis continued until early 2019.

Meanwhile, a 2015 presentation by the Air Force Research Laboratory showed a notional schedule for the NGAD program; a contract award to launch the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase is set for fiscal 2023. As late as the Air Force’s fiscal 2019 budget request, the financial resources devoted to the NGAD appeared to support that schedule: A significant increase in funding starts in fiscal 2023, and $13 billion is set aside overall between fiscal 2019 and 2023. Last year, however, as the results of the AoA study became available, the Air Force appeared to defer the launch of the EMD by at least a few years. The fiscal 2020 budget request included only $6.6 billion for the NGAD from fiscal 2020-24.

Funding for the NGAD and NGAP programs is accounted for separately in Air Force budget documents. The fiscal 2021 budget justification documents reveal that the Air Force spent $106 million for the NGAP in fiscal 2019. Another $224 million is allocated to the NGAP this year. But the program has requested an additional $403 million in fiscal 2021, the budget documents show.

“The Next-Generation Adaptive Propulsion effort consists of four phases: preliminary design, detailed design, engine fabrication and engine assessments,” the Air Force’s budget documents state.

“Program deliverables include military adaptive engine detailed design parameters and models, engine hardware (plus spare parts), matured technologies, major rig assessment data (controls, combustor, etc.), program reviews, and technology, affordability and sustainability studies for next generation fighter aircraft,” the documents add.

Lisa
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Lisa » 07 Aug 2020 22:58

Apologies if this has been previously posted

This Is The First Photo Ever Of A Stealthy Black Hawk Helicopter

Almost a decade since we learned of the stealth Black Hawks used in the Bin Laden raid, we have seen no images of them or of their lineage, until now.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... helicopter

brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2020 19:11

B-52 carrying the AGM-183A Hypersonic Weapon (Tactical Boost Glide derived)

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Notional depiction of Lockheed's TBG vehicle (used in this iteration of the AGM-183A ARRW)

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Notional depiction of Raytheon's TBG vehicle, which is about 12-18 months behind Lockheed's in maturity

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