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US military, technology, arms, tactics

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brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Feb 2017 19:05

JayS wrote:^ I may be totally wrong but, My understanding is LM bought data from Yak such as expt, real life performance data etc. Thats definitely worth hundreds of millions if the quality of data was good, we will never know. That must have reduced a lot of work for LM, if so. Having an idea, a concept or a patent of something mean zilch, what matters is actually designing it, making it and deploying it in real life successfully.


Lockheed's work with YAK was about taking the nozzle and seeing if they could fund a quick but substantial flight test program on YAK so they could go to the selection committee and provide them with real hard data on performance and reliability since the although the nozzle design dates back to Pratt's work from the 1960s their competitor (s) were proposing much simpler and tested Thrust Vectoring solutions. Boeing's approach actually was similar to what Lockheed did on the F-22A when it came to rear nozzle thrust vectoring.

One oft ignored element of Lockheed's design was the amount of risk they were taking with an end goal of providing a clearly superior STOVL configuration. The lift fan approach and the clutch was totally untested in prior DARPA or service run programs and the nozzle, although bench tested had never been put into a flying prototype or technology demonstrator in the US. MCD for example stuck to what had been designed, bench tested and studied before i.e. the Convair/YAK approach of sticking a lift engine up front and an engine int he rear that vectored to assist in generating additional lift. That Lockheed executed the STOVL portion of the flight testing of the X-35 near flawlessly including the Hatrick was remarkable from a design risk standpoint.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/25695066@N00/3782068581

Quite a contrast from Boeing's challenges that involved actually removing physical hardware from he aircraft to demonstrate a vertical landing, and of course their fudging up in the design phase where they concluded the X plane program with a different wing to what they proposed in their final submission (which although technically allowed but wasn't a sign of confidence or design maturity). Even Boeing recognized Lockheed's lift fan appraoch as being a key factor in their victory. Quite unusual to come out and attribute and recognize something ..

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As the CodeOne article mentioned, the design similarity between the two is in regards to the nozzle in the back. A nozzle that Pratt&Whitney designed, tested and patented in the late 1960s, something the Russians flew on the YAK-141 and something that Lockheed operationalized with the F-35B.

IF you are interested, and have time here is a video lecture from the guy who led the effort on the patented lift appraoch -



@ Negi, you may want to watch from here as a comparison to the YAK and what MCD proposed (and how it differs from Lockheed's approach) - https://youtu.be/u-cfy-k_8ew?t=3071

Realize when the Lockheed lift concept originated and when they reached out to YAK. The SST was years earlier, and so was the CALF design which brought forward the propulsion concept designed earlier on the SSF. Lockheed pitched the propulsion concept to DARPA and was selected in 1993. SST was prior to this. Lockheed reached out YAK only a few years later once their basic design concept on propulsion had been sealed.

Lockheed started working on and proposed this lift fan concept in 1987. and had a mature concept that they presented to DARPA and the USMC based on which they were given additional funding for the CALF and later JAST. Had Lockheed wanted to copy YAK, they would have, upon being given access to YAK in 1995, simply ditched their own STOVL approach, stuck a pair of engines in the front and a big thrust vectoring engine in the rear. This was what YAK did. But no, there wasn't a single design element that Lockheed changed from the concept it began working on in the 1980s to when the flew the X-35 . The aircraft around the propulsion concept morphed to meet the requirements laid out by the operator, but the propulsion concept was never really substantially altered.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 23 Feb 2017 19:30

DOD promises 'certain' Conventional Prompt Global Strike capabilities for EUCOM, PACOM

The Defense Department, which two years ago expressed doubts over near-term prospects for fielding an affordable hypersonic strike weapon, has promised U.S. commanders in Europe and the Pacific an initial hypersonic strike capability between fiscal years 2018 and 2022.

This change of plans -- revealed in previously unreported written responses from then-Secretary Ash Carter to House lawmakers in 2015 and 2016 -- come as the Pentagon is readying later this year to conduct Flight Experiment 1, a pivotal event in the campaign to define a U.S. hypersonic strike weapon program of record by 2020.

The Joint Requirements Oversight Council, led by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva, last year assured the heads of U.S. European and Pacific commands, who are watching China and Russia routinely flight test high-speed weapons, that "certain" hypersonic strike capabilities would be fielded within the FY-17 to FY-22 future years defense plan. Others are "slated for fielding beyond the FYDP," Carter wrote last year.

The then-defense secretary was responding to written questions from Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) following a March 4, 2016, hearing of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee. Aderholt asked whether any combatant commanders have formally identified a need for a Conventional Prompt Global Strike capability, or the means to strike targets anywhere on earth in as little as an hour.

Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, EUCOM chief, and Adm. Harry Harris, PACOM head, according to Carter, both "submitted high-priority requirements for these capabilities" as part of the routine process combatant commanders use to influence Pentagon resource decisions, in this case the shape of the FY-18 budget and the accompanying five-year spending plan.

Two years ago, Carter told the House panel -- responding again to questions from Aderholt -- that DOD did not see an immediate, clear path to a hypersonic strike weapon. DOD "is not confident that a realistic, affordable hypersonic strike concept capability can be fielded in the near future," the defense secretary wrote in 2015.

Lawmakers, however, then directed the Pentagon in the FY-16 National Defense Authorization Act to make plans to begin technology development on "at least one conventional prompt global strike weapon" by the end of FY-20.

Now, the Pentagon is on track for the Conventional Prompt Global Strike program "to reach a milestone A decision by the end of FY-20, consistent with congressional direction," Carter told lawmakers last year.

Carter, in his 2016 response to Aderholt recently published by the House panel, further revealed that in a 2013 memorandum, the JROC directed that the Conventional Prompt Global Strike program "focus on demonstrating the feasibility of hypersonic boost-glide for a potential intermediate-range strike system independent of service or basing/platform." The then-defense secretary added that the department's "[c]urrent CPGS technology maturation effort will inform the future program of record."

Since 2003, the Defense Department has explored a range of options for giving commanders new ways to strike high-value, time-sensitive targets -- from terrorists to weapons of mass destruction to anti-satellite weapons -- anywhere on the planet in about an hour.

In 2008, Congress quashed a Navy proposal to fund the modification of submarine-launched Trident missiles to carry conventional weapons and perform the prompt strike mission over concern that such systems, when employed, could be misconstrued for nuclear launches. Air Force plans to develop a boost-glide hypersonic weapon stalled out after the Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2 project, pursued with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, resulted in test flights in 2010 and 2011 that terminated early.

In 2011, the Army -- which was commissioned to work on a hypersonic capability as a hedge against Air Force failure -- successfully demonstrated its Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, a so-called boost-glide system that paired a three-stage rocket with a cone-shaped hypersonic glide vehicle.

The AHW was designed to launch along a trajectory different than that of a ballistic missile, never leaving the atmosphere. It released a cone-shaped glide vehicle designed by Sandia National Laboratories to travel at hypersonic speeds, defined as at least five times the speed of sound or at least 3,600 miles per hour.

During a planned second flight test of the AHW in 2014, however, a problem unrelated to the warhead prompted officials to abort the mission seconds after takeoff. The Pentagon's acquisition directorate for strategic warfare, sponsor of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike development effort, then tapped the Navy to conduct the next test flight by modifying the Army-developed Advanced Hypersonic Weapon to fit in a submarine missile tube and launch the prototype weapon from a land-based test facility.

That event -- Flight Experiment 1 -- "will demonstrate advanced avionics, miniaturization of subsystems, manufacturability and guidance algorithms," Carter wrote last year. The component miniaturization "supports accommodation of a hypersonic glide body that could be deployed on land, sea or air platforms," the then-defense secretary wrote.

"By keeping the trade space open across all potential platforms, the CPGS effort has maintained the possibility of a Family of Systems that could base on land, sea or air platforms," Carter asserted.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2017 18:10

USAF mulls multiplatform approach to AWACS, C2 missions

The US Air Force (USAF) is studying its command-and-control (C2) requirements over the next few decades to determine how that battlefield role is to be addressed, and officials so far believe the solution is likely more disaggregated than its current use of specific C2 aircraft.

Service planners are now evaluating 'multi-domain' C2 through an Enterprise Capabilities Collaboration Team (ECCT) that will inform future requirements, USAF's Air Combat Command General Herbert Carlisle told reporters during a 24 February breakfast meeting.

The USAF uses Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft and Boeing E-4B airborne command aircraft for these roles, but its latest generation combat platforms - such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter and the emerging Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter and Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber - have or will have significant C2 capabilities.

The C2 mission "probably won't look like it does today", Gen Carlisle said. It could potentially be disaggregated to include central nodes, subordinate nodes, and manned and unmanned teaming, he said.

Indeed, F-22s deployed in the Middle East are understood to serve as key situational awareness and C2 nodes that empower other fighter and attack aircraft.The USAF has 31 E-3 platforms in service and these are undergoing a variety of upgrades. In addition to the Diminishing manufacturing sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation (DRAGON) cockpit modernisation programme upgrade, the USAF is putting the fleet through the Block 40/45 mission system upgrade. Gen Carlisle said E-3s are expected to fly through the 2030s.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2017 20:55

More from ID -

Air Force command-and-control study will inform AWACS roadmap


An ongoing, enterprise look at the Air Force's multidomain command-and-control capabilities will likely inform the service's path to replace its E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System with what could be a more disaggregated, networked architecture.

The service last summer wrapped up its first Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team -- a developmental planning and experimentation effort that looked at options for maintaining air superiority in 2030 and beyond. That study predicted that the current AWACS fleet would not be survivable against future threats and called for an advanced battle management system analysis of alternatives to consider what it might look like to distribute consolidated C2 capabilities across multiple platforms.

The service has since launched a second ECCT dedicated to multidomain command-and-control, and Gen. Herbert Carlisle told reporters during a Feb. 24 Defense Writers' Group breakfast the yearlong study will help the service craft a “roadmap” for distributing future AWACS capabilities among multiple platforms.

The ECCT will help the service define “what does disaggregation look like and how much disaggregation there is,” Carlisle said, noting that he thinks there will always be a centralized command-and-control platform even if some sensors are spread across other systems.

“From my perspective, I think we will have centralized command-and-control nodes, we will have the ability to do distributed [capabilities], and I do believe there will be some level of disaggregation,” he said. “But I still think there's going to be an airborne battle management capability that's going to involve an aircraft.”

Although he would like to see an AWACS recapitalization in the near term, Carlisle said he doesn't think the current budget outlook will support it. He predicted the current aircraft will be flying into the 2030s.

“Right now we still have service life left on them and they're lasting until the 2030s,” he said. “I certainly would like to start working on what a replacement and next-generation system looks like sooner than that.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby TSJones » 04 Mar 2017 16:09

welcome to my nightmare...........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7xvqQeoA8c

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Mar 2017 18:24

Slides from a recent presentation on the JDAM/L-JDAM family and the Past, Present and Future of that family of munitions -

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Notice the first reference to a Powered JDAM. Powered Smart munition is a program of requirement for the GBU-X family of munitions and the demonstrations are expected in the the 2018 timeframe. This appears to be the JDAM program's response to those requirements.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Mar 2017 18:35

An SDBII and MALD Update as well -

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 05 Mar 2017 16:43

JASSM/JASSM-ER Presentation -

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Mar 2017 17:12

General Atomics achieved development of Next Generation Railgun Pulsed Power Containers


General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has developed a High Energy Pulsed Power Container (HEPPC) that provides twice the energy density than existing railgun pulsed power solutions. The HEPPC can reduce the number of pulsed power containers required to launch projectiles or hybrid missiles from a railgun weapon system, providing greater flexibility for future Navy and Army railgun applications."For the past decade, GA-EMS has provided pulsed power in support of the Navy's railgun program," stated Nick Bucci, vice president Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. "Our next generation HEPPC breaks our own energy density record and exceeds the capabilities of other available railgun pulsed power container solutions. What we have packed into a 10 foot standard shipping container is equivalent to what is currently available in a 20 foot shipping container, doubling the energy density to provide greater flexibility for ship and land-based installations and maneuverability for mobile applications."

GA-EMS internally funded the development of the HEPPC in support of a Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapons System, which integrates pulsed power, launcher, hybrid missile, and fire control technologies. Each HEPPC includes high energy pulsed power modules with an energy content of more than 415 kilojoules (kJ) per module. Each module utilizes GA-EMS' world-record-breaking high energy density capacitors.

"The HEPPC represents our commitment to pioneering the development of critical power and energy technologies to support the military's current and future operational requirements," continued Bucci. "We continue to invest in and advance railgun technologies. We are performing risk reduction and technology maturation, and testing hybrid missiles under real-world conditions to provide critical capabilities needed to counter complex threats, cost effectively."

GA-EMS is advancing technology development toward multi-mission railgun weapon systems. Railguns launch hybrid missiles using electromagnetic forces instead of chemical propellants and can deliver muzzle velocities greater than twice those of conventional guns. GA-EMS' railgun technology, when integrated into a weapon system that includes the launcher, high density capacitor driven pulsed power and weapon fire control system, can launch hybrid missiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Mar 2017 07:32

UTC's MS-177 built for high-altitude sensing and future growth - Jane's International Defence Review



United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Aerospace Systems is transitioning its MS-177 multi-spectral sensor from a 7- to 10-band configuration, now designated the MS-177A.The systems will be integrated onto the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, and the first flight test of the 7-band sensor aboard the high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle took place on 8 February.

The US Air Force is expected to begin formal development testing of Global Hawk and the MS-177 sensor in April, at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Those tests are intended to demonstrate that the system meets the air force's requirements.

The MS-177 is a very large 177 in focal length system that weighs slightly more than 400 lbs, Kevin Raftery, vice president and general manager of UTC Aerospace Systems, ISR, and Space Systems, told Jane's on 9 March.

UTC spent around two years assessing the technology, customer requirements, and future needs so that when it initially developed the MS-177, it made sure there were provisions within the architecture to enable low-cost, low-risk enhancements as the requirements, capabilities, or technologies changed. In fact, Raftery noted, the design of a system like that takes three to five years after establishing the basic architecture.

"These sensors are long development [items] and are very expensive. When customers make commitments to it they want to make sure it is not going to become obsolete," Raftery said. "We can affordably make improvements without having to re-design or re-manufacture the whole system. You're forward thinking so that you put [in] enough space, power, and processing needs to give us the ability to do that. It is the same approach we used with DB-110."

In fact, Raftery noted that some of the MS-177's capabilities were first demonstrated on the DB-110 dual-band airborne reconnaissance sensor, which is a derivative of the Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS) flown aboard the U-2 aircraft.

For example, the MS-177 can "squint", Raftery said, which means the sensor can pitch forward and aft as the aircraft is imaging horizon to horizon.

In contrast, SYERS traditionally conducted strategic sensing - collecting imagery from horizon to horizon - whereas RQ-4 can point the sensor and collect information of interest, he said.

"Among other things we can start to do some persistent surveillance over designated areas ... the only way you could do that [before] was to fly over the same area at one point," Raftery added. "This capability is not new; we first introduced it into our DB-110 product. That was the first introduction of what we call tactical sensing - [having the] sensor collect the information independent of which way the aircraft is flying."

DB-110 is in its third version and is going through another regeneration upgrade that Raftery said will be the sensor's baseline for at least the next 10 years.

Even though the company has years of airborne sensor experience from DB-110 to providing SYERS for the U-2, Raftery noted the MS-177 for Global Hawk had its own set of challenges, the biggest being image stabilisation.

"Basically the sensor is fixed on the object and regardless of how violent the aircraft is moving in any one direction, up or down, the relationship of what we are taking a picture of and the sensor is fixed, and that is due to our image stabilisation," he said.

UTC is also striving to improve the accuracy of its sensors, Raftery added.

"That is another challenge we had in developing that sensor as new advances in gyros and GPS systems [were introduced and] applying those into our system," he said.

Handling environmental conditions also posed a challenge. Temperatures change quickly from hot to cold, the flight itself at high altitude can be very rough, causing the aircraft to excessively pitch and roll, and there can be high g-forces. "You have to be able to build a system that is robust enough to survive as well as operate in that environment," Raftery said.

"Equally as important, the information is only as good as how fast you get it down to the user. Our other core technology is to deliver that information, those intelligence products, down to the ground [where] the user can then look at the information in real time and make decisions.

Data processing is done in the sensor. The MS-177 is integrated into Global Hawk's communications node. The information gathered by the sensor is pre-processed to enable it to get to analysts quickly.

"Certain things have been done with [the information] that enables it [to] get to the user in as short a timeline and at the same time not bog down the system with terabytes of data [being transmitted]; where suddenly they have a latency because of too much information going down. We have onboard processing that allows the user to pull the intelligence [data] on demand," Raftery added.

UTC does have a roadmap for the MS-177, which represents the next decade of requirements, capabilities, and enhancements, Raftery said.

"We map that all out with our customer and Northrop Grumman. We are aligned so everyone is seeing what is coming down the pipe. That technology roadmap has been a strategy we have had in place probably for eight years and is helping us work the current and future needs," he said. "Making the customer part of the design process is the best way to deliver affordable products."Raftery tells Jane's that other services within the US Department of Defense are investigating the MS-177 for platforms and other missions such as combat identification as well as maritime surveillance. He expects that Global Hawk will be one of many aircraft that will carry the sensor in the future.

Although UTC has designed the sensor's architecture to grow alongside customer requirements and technology advances, one area where little change is expected is in the sensor's optics. To be able to see long ranges, sensors must have large pieces of glass. Raftery noted companies have not been able to break the physics in such a way that there are "revolutionary changes".

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2017 18:27

Lockheed Claims Fiber-Laser Weapon Power Record Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Mar 17, 2017

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Lockheed Martin is eyeing new U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force opportunities for high-power laser systems after demonstrating a 60-kw-class laser for delivery to the Army in the next few months.
In tests this month, the laser produced a single beam of 58 kw and is expected to reach the 60-kw goal after further optimization before delivery to the Army, says Rob Afzal, senior fellow for laser and sensor systems within Lockheed Martin’s Cyber, Ships & Advanced Technologies business.

The electric laser achieves high power with “near-perfect” beam quality by spectrally combining the outputs from multiple kilowatt-class fiber lasers into a single beam. “We are not aware of a higher-power beam-combined laser of this type,” he says.

“During the testing conducted last week, the laser demonstrated a sustained power of 57.5 kw for a duration of 200 sec. with good beam quality. This level exceeds the contract threshold for success, and with the addition of three more channels planned before delivery, power will exceed the 60 kw program objective,” says Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command.

The Army will mount the system in its High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (Helmtt), which currently carries a 10-kw laser. The laser has demonstrated an electric-to-optical efficiency of more than 43%, which Afzal says allows the power and cooling systems to be small enough to fit in a truck.

“Demands on the platform are much reduced, which allows it to carry a laser small yet power enough to be militarily useful,” says Afzal, adding that Lockheed believes the 60-kw laser is small enough to be deployed on the Army’s Family of Military Tactical Vehicle trucks.

With Lockheed’s 60-kw laser producing 50 kw when installed, the Army’s Helmtt will conduct lethality demonstrations against rocket, mortar and artillery (RAM) and UAV threats in fiscal 2018.

Having previously developed the 30-kw Athena in 2015 using the same fiber laser technology, Lockheed has verified the approach is scalable up as well as down in size. “We have shown that beam-combined lasers are real and scalable, with a path to higher powers as the services need them,” he says. “We believe it will scale well beyond 150 kw if they want higher power. Or they can have lower weight and volume.”

Efficiency is key, he says, because a mobile high-energy laser is expected to be powered by batteries that would be recharged between shots by a engine-driven generator.

Similarly, the waste heat generated would be stored during firing and dumped between shots.

For the next steps, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Command (Socom) all have upcoming opportunities for high-energy lasers, he says. The Air Force Research Laboratory plans to demonstrate a podded laser for self-protection of fighters under the Shield program.

The Navy has announced plans to field a 60-kw-class laser operationally on the Flight 2A Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in fiscal 2020 under the Seasaber Increment 1 Laser Weapon System program, and to test a 150-kw laser at sea within a year.

As a follow-on to Helmtt, the Army plans the HEL TVD (for Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator), fitted with a more-powerful laser, which will conduct a counter-RAM and UAV demonstration in fiscal 2022 to support potential transition to Indirect Fire Protection Capability, Increment 2 – Intercept program.

Socom, meanwhile, is seeking funding to modify an AC-130W gunship with a high-energy laser as early as fiscal 2020 to provide an offensive capability.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Neshant » 17 Mar 2017 19:54

India should lobby the US hard to jointly develop, test, equip and induct a new generation of diesel electric subs.

Make the partnership proposal soon.

Neither country can on its own afford to keep up with China's massive expansion of sea power.
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One Way the U.S. Navy Could Take on China: Diesel Submarines


http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... 98?ref=yfp

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2017 19:57

India should lobby the US hard to jointly develop, test, equip and induct a new generation of diesel electric subs.


It would first have to 'lobby' the US Navy to create requirements for them in the first place. The roughly 20 year submarine development and procurement strategy has nothing on them. The Virginia and the VPM programs have done a very good job at reducing cost by moving to a 2 sub a year procurement plan and one test of Trump's negotiating skills would be to see if he can first take the step to buy the extra Virginia in odd years (early 2020s) when the Columbia is acquired and then fund the move to permanently move to 3-a year Virginia procurement. That will consume practically all of the funds in the US Navy's sub procurement program even if there is a 10-15% cost reduction on account on bulk contracts and higher production volumes.

The Aussies have committed to pay approximately $3-$3.5 Billion per unit for their brand new DESs so even if one were to assume that 2/3 of that cost is for actual procurement (rest as offsets, sustainment, industrial cost etc etc) that is still quite expensive given the tradeoffs. Plus shifting requirements will negatively impact the current SSN cost trajectory given that it is the largest bulk purchase contract in the DOD and this arrangement is likely to be extended into the 2020s, and beyond.

https://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/04/29/navy ... -contract/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2017 20:51

Interesting reporting and analysis from Aviation Week below. I for one think that it is just better to stay within the framework and respond to any suspected violations proportionally..At some point INF is bound to rub against the priorities of Europeans that are not signatories..It is also highkly constraining in a post UAV/UCAV environment. There is nothign stopping the Germans or the French for example from developing long range GLCM's in response to similar conventional weapons. At the very least I think the US Army should at least develop a launcher and prehaps do preliminary intgeration work for a GLCM without deploying or mass producing it..The GLCM was something the US Army surrendered as part of the INF when it was created...



Another option would be just palletizing the LRASM launcher that Lockheed is developing out of its own pocket for the LCS...The JASSM-ER has a 500+ nautical mile range..

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Should U.S. Walk Away From 1987 INF Treaty?


Russia’s deployment of a new ground-launch cruise missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has many lawmakers and pundits in Washington wondering if the U.S. should walk away from the landmark agreement altogether.
Signed between Washington and Moscow in 1987, the treaty prohibits each side from deploying ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 km (311-3,418 mi.). The arms control agreement resulted in the elimination of all nuclear-armed Soviet SS-20 “Pioneer” missiles as well as the U.S. Army’s BGM-109G Gryphon and Pershing II weapons, among others.

Thirty years later, Russia has officially adopted a new mystery ground-launched cruise missile, which U.S. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva says puts at risk “most of our facilities in Europe.” The general told Congress in March that this deployment “violates the spirit and intent” of the INF Treaty and is meant specifically to threaten U.S. and NATO facilities within the military alliance’s area of responsibility.

Ground-Launched Cruise Missile Debate
U.S. confirms deployment of potentially nuclear-armed new Russian ground-launched cruise missile

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments analyst warns of preexisting Russian threats to NATO

Arms control advocates say Moscow would be unconstrained militarily if U.S. withdraws from arms treaties

In response, the Pentagon has proposed a number of undisclosed retaliatory actions to the White House for consideration as part of the new Trump administration’s nuclear posture review. Among those proposals could be a nuclear-armed ground-launched cruise missile of America’s own, or perhaps a beefing-up of
NATO’s missile defenses.

The missile deployment begs the question: Should the U.S. remain in compliance with the treaty unilaterally while trying to strong-arm Moscow back into compliance via diplomatic or military pressure? Or should Washington withdraw entirely and begin fielding new weapons?

When asked those questions, chairman of the House Armed Service Committee Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said all options should be considered but gave no personal preference.

“You’re not going to get rid of a Russian capability by not having a capability of your own,” he says. “They’re not going to stand down out of the goodness of their heart, so some sort of strong action is important.” Mark Gunzinger of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) has no qualms about walking away. China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia possess various types of ballistic missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 km; some also have ground-launched cruise missiles.

War-game exercises supported by the CSBA show the precarious situation of NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. These countries are bracketed by compliant, offensive Russian weaponry based in Kalingrad, Belarus and along Moscow’s border, says Gunzinger.

He says future ground-based strike systems could help the U.S. suppress Russia’s advanced integrated air defense systems and freedom of action in the event of a conflict. Those same weapons could also help the Pentagon overcome some of the military roadblocks put up by China and North Korea in the Western Pacific. China has fielded many types of conventional and nuclear medium-range missiles to restrict U.S. forces, and it appears that some of those missiles have recently been emplaced in silos in the South China Sea.



Michaela Dodge of The Heritage Foundation says that after 30 years, the treaty is no longer strategically relevant, and the U.S. should withdraw. The U.S.’s main rivals, now including Russia, possess these weapons, and no actions by the Obama administration have been able to persuade Moscow to ditch its specific INF-violating missile. She notes that it is unlikely the Trump administration can constrain Russia either “First, we had a test of the missile. Then we had production. Now we have a deployment,” she says. “That’s concerning. We should be more forceful in responding.”
The Washington-based Arms Control Association (ACA) takes a different approach, saying that without agreements such as the INF Treaty, Russian forces would be totally unconstrained. It says the Obama administration rightly viewed Russia’s noncompliance as a political problem rather than a military one, since both sides as well as France still hold vast troves of nuclear-capable cruise missiles that can be fired from the air or sea without violating provisions of the treaty. Russia has been upgrading to the 3M14 Kalibr and Kh-102-series land-attack cruise missiles while the U.S. has begun developing replacements for the Cold War-era Tomahawk and AGM-86 air-launched cruise missiles.

Without restraint, either country could rapidly field and proliferate new medium-range weapons and extend the range of already fielded rockets such as the Russian Iskander and U.S. Army Tactical Missile System. Either nation could bring more vertical launchers ashore.

Gunzinger says the specific violation by Russia is not surprising, as it has been in the works for some time. Testing of the cruise missile, designated SSC-8, was first reported in 2008, and the U.S. State Department formally flagged the violation in 2014. “It’s just another deadly tool in the arsenal of capabilities Russia has fielded to coerce its near-abroad states and provide cover for future acts of aggression,” Gunzinger says. “Russia is already capable of reaching NATO targets across most of Europe.”

Russia has long objected to Washington’s placement of Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense sites in Romania and Poland, claiming those vertical launch tubes could easily house nuclear-armed Tomahawk cruise missiles. But Gunzinger contends this is a false narrative, since those sites are configured specifically to intercept missile threats from Iran. They could also potentially be used to shoot down Russia’s new ground-launched cruise missile, he says.

Selva says Washington has confronted Moscow about the issue via bilateral exchanges under the New START Treaty and “will continue to do so.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 17 Mar 2017 20:59

^^ US has not presented any evidence of INF violation so far other then claiming its a violation , INF treaty like START is a verifiable treaty , US can always call a formal conference on INF violation and present evidence and force Russia to accept the violation.

No one serious in Strategic Community is taking claim of any violation seriously unless US presents any formal charge and evidence for the same.

Even Russia is has many concerns of INF violation but so far no formal charge has been put up by them

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2017 21:05

INF treaty like START is a verifiable treaty , US can always call a formal conference on INF violation and present evidence and force Russia to accept the violation.


Or rather don't do any of that and just do a tit-for tat response either through AMD or similar posture. No one seriously believes that the objective range requirement for the LRPF is 499 km just because..This is a better arrangement since you don't force the other side to withdraw..just match conventional capability build-up . Imho an escalation of formal claims and counter claims will only be used as a preemptive attempt to withdraw and that may not be what both sides want at this point in time.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 17 Mar 2017 21:11

brar_w wrote:
INF treaty like START is a verifiable treaty , US can always call a formal conference on INF violation and present evidence and force Russia to accept the violation.


Or rather don't do any of that and just do a tit-for tat response either through AMD or similar posture. No one seriously believes that the objective range requirement for the LRPF is 499 km just because..This is a better arrangement since you don't force the other side to withdraw..just match conventional capability build up symmetrically.


When it comes to verifiable treaty you either comply with it or dont there is no room for vagueness , else whats the point in having treaty.

INF is one treaty which does not allow ground based sysem of certain ranges to be deployed but allows deployment of same system with those banned range to be deployed by Air or Naval systems which itself is a oxymoron.

My personal though is both US and Russia should withdraw from INF treaty reason is when Treaty was signed it was in 1987 for the same reason why US withdraw from ABM treaty , since then China , India , Pakistan have become nuclear powers and have substantially grown nuclear weapons , North Korea has Nuclear weapons , Iran has BM.

Just having treaty between just US and Russia be it INF or START is self defeating when other P-5 and other non-recognised nuclear powers are not in the treaty , This is not cold war era where each party have their own flocks and could control it. There are many powers now with their own nuclear ambition that are independent of US and Russian infulence

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2017 21:16

I don't see either side proposing a formal withdrawal at this time..The US will likely respond to the Iskander system and may boost AMD and perhaps at the very least test a GLCM launcher..the LRPF range bump is there for a reason. For all practical purposes it is something that can be quite quickly be made into a 500+ km system. On the cruise missile side it is just about creating launchers. Another area to skirt the issue is to encourage the non signatories in Europe to pursue GLCMs. There too it is a matter of launchers for the most part. The missiles or missile progams are already there (air or ship launched)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 17 Mar 2017 23:13

brar_w wrote:I don't see either side proposing a formal withdrawal at this time..The US will likely respond to the Iskander system and may boost AMD and perhaps at the very least test a GLCM launcher..the LRPF range bump is there for a reason. For all practical purposes it is something that can be quite quickly be made into a 500+ km system. On the cruise missile side it is just about creating launchers. Another area to skirt the issue is to encourage the non signatories in Europe to pursue GLCMs. There too it is a matter of launchers for the most part. The missiles or missile progams are already there (air or ship launched)


If that happens you can be assured Russia will also GLCM Kh-101,Kalbir etc there is no need for a treaty that exist on paper and not in implementation , it will be formally withdrawn if US and Russia pursues their own option , like I said an allegation needs to be proven if the US has poof then it should put across treaty allies in formal manner as part of verification process and make it public for all to see , its a serious allegation which can have greater consequences for both.

Again I will stick out my neck and say there is no need for a treaty that obliges Russia and US to cut nuclear weapons or not deploy new systems , while the ROW are free to neither limit the number or the types of system deployed , INF and START are treaty of Cold War Era that has no significance today other then wearing the High Moral Ground Hat of having Cut Nuclear Weapons.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 18 Mar 2017 19:23

Another B-21 Preliminary Design Review


The B-21 bomber program, the progress of which remains largely secret, has passed yet another preliminary design review, this one ordered by Congress, an Air Force spokesman said. Last week, Air Force vice chief of staff Gen. Stephen Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee that the bomber had recently passed a PDR, but USAF officials had previously stated that the bomber concepts offered by both Boeing/Lockheed Martin and the eventual winner of the bomber contest, Northrop Grumman, had passed PDRs as a prerequisite to bidding. Explaining the discrepancy, the spokesman said, “During the Technology Development phase, the program conducted a weapon system PDR with both offerors prior to source selection.” As part of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, “and directed by the Congressional Defense Committees, an additional PDR was conducted to provide additional insight and fidelity into the program design since Technology Development.” The spokesman would only say that the second PDR “was conducted earlier this year” and wouldn’t say when the Critical Design Review—the milestone that locks down the design before manufacturing is set up—will take place. “Due to the critical nature of the technology and capability” of the B-21, “specific details are protected by enhanced security measures,” he said. The program is “moving along on schedule as planned,” he added.


System wide CDR should occur by mid-late 2018 imho with first flight to follow 12-18 months later.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Mar 2017 15:35

Long ways form the sub 15% efficiency COIL systems mounted on the 747 or C-130 of the past..

US Army to begin testing vehicle-mounted laser in 2017

Lockheed Martin will deliver a 60 kW-class beam combined fibre laser to the US Army for integration onto a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), following completion of the power and cooling systems testing.Those tests are expected to take several months. Once the army receives the laser, it will begin its own testing of the capability. Lockheed Martin could not say when the testing would be complete or transition into initial operational capability.

The US Army's Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Alabama, will install the laser on to the HEMTT, which has another laser weapon system integrated onto it now, Rob Afzal, senior fellow for laser and sensor systems at Lockheed Martin, said on 16 March.

"The laser we are delivering will go into that truck. It will upgrade the capability of that truck by a factor of five at least," he said. "The laser we built is not just a laboratory demonstration, it is a piece of hardware that is going to be put on a truck out of our facility [in Bothell, Washington) and shipped down to Huntsville (Alabama) and get [integrated] onto [a HEMTT]."

During a demonstration in March, the company proved it could produce a single beam of 58 kW, Afzal noted.

"There is some more optimising of the system yet to be done, which we will be doing over the next few months before delivery, and we anticipate the delivered number will match the 60 kW number," he said.

The demonstration signalled the company had completed the design and development and met its contractual requirements for the laser, Afzal added.

"We were able to demonstrate that we can take [many] high-power fibre lasers and through our technique of spectral beam combination combine the output of the individual fibre lasers into a single near perfect diffraction-limited beam and generate on the order of 60 kW of output power," Afzal said. "We are not aware of a higher power beam combined fibre laser of this type."

Although Lockheed Martin would not provide details on the number of fibres needed to make the laser, Afzal said combining the fibres would provide a kilowatt-class system.

"We are leveraging a lot of the advances made in the commercial, industrial, material processing industry to build high-powered fibre lasers for cutting, welding, and drilling," he said. "However, to optimise the system for military uses, the lasers do need to be much more specialised than a COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) laser to enable the beam combining and scaling to very high powers."

To do that Lockheed Martin developed and built the individual fibre laser assemblies themselves to enable tailoring the system for the military, Afzal added.

"It is an electric laser and demonstrated very high electrical to optical efficiency of 43%; that is a very important number," he noted. "It means the power supply you need to operate the laser can be much smaller because of the efficiency; and maybe more important, the amount of waste heat [generated] by the laser is also greatly reduced and that means cooling requirements for your platform, whether it is a vehicle for land, sea, or air, can be greatly minimised."

The work on the power and cooling systems is a key step in the development of high-power lasers, Afzal added.

"We can now build highly efficient electrically powered high-power lasers and they can be robust because we are using fibre laser technology, and the demands from the platform are greatly reduced. That enables platforms to now carry laser weapons systems that will be small enough and powerful enough for what we believe is militarily useful," he said.

To power a 60 kW laser that is 40% electrically efficient, it will need 150 kW of electric power, Afzal said.

"So 60 kW comes out in the laser beam and the remaining 90 kW becomes waste heat. If you have a 150 kW generator and you have the capability to offload 90 kW of heat you could continue firing that laser," he added.

The laser itself operates from a battery pack that is recharged by a generator. How long the laser can continuously fire is dependent on the size of the generator and how long it takes before the battery pack is recharged, Afzal explained.

"If you have a 150 kW generator you could pretty much run the laser continuously. If you have a 50 kW generator, if it ran for a minute it will take you three minutes to recharge," he said. "But if you only ran the laser for 20 seconds, you would still have stored power. You turn off the laser and your generator would top off the battery pack and you would be ready to go hit the next target."

There is some thermal storage while the laser is operating. Once the laser is turned off, the cooling system would offload the heat that has been stored.

"What is interesting about this technology is that it is very tailorable," Afzal said. "If you have a small vehicle with limited electrical and cooling power you can still have an effective system but you may not be able to fire as many shots for as long as you want," he said. "If you have a much larger army vehicle or if the navy were considering deploying something like this they have more cooling and power on a navy vessel for example."

Lockheed Martin will continue to develop and build upon its laser technology, in partnership with the US military. Those efforts should enable the capability to scale "well beyond 150 kW", Afzal said.

The US Army, US Air Force (USAF), and US Navy are continuing to pursue laser technology solutions. The Air Force Research Laboratory has the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Turret Research in Aero-Effects (STRAFE) programme.

Jane's has previously reported that under that effort, Northrop Grumman would develop and deliver an advanced beam control system for integration as part of a complete laser weapons system into a tactical pod for USAF fighter aircraft.

The navy recently announced an effort dubbed Sea Sabre, and the army has the High Energy Laser-Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL-TVD), a 100 kW-class high energy laser. US Special Operations Command is also thought to be considering a laser for the AC-130 gunship.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2017 20:19


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2017 03:39

Lockheed Sees Future For Hypersonic Glide Vehicles On GBSD Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Mar 21, 2017
James Drew


Lockheed Martin says the next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile it has proposed to the U.S. Air Force to replace the Boeing Minuteman III is modular enough to someday carry maneuvering hypersonic glide vehicles.
The Air Force has specified that the missile for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program must accommodate government-furnished Mk21 and Mk12A re-entry vehicles containing up to three thermonuclear warheads. Those vehicles shield their city-destroying nuclear payloads from the shock waves and extreme temperatures of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speeds but follow a predictable path that can be intercepted.

Russia and China are developing hypersonic glide vehicles—designated WU-14 and Yu-74, respectively—for their heavy-class ballistic missiles as a way of thwarting U.S. defenses. China’s maneuvering hypersonic re-entry vehicle would arm the DF-41/CSS-X-20 missile and Russia’s version would arm the RS-28 Sarmat.

Lockheed says the U.S. could also deploy these types of weapons aboard GBSD if the government so chooses.

John Karas, Lockheed’s vice president and program manager for GBSD, says the Air Force wants a missile with a 50-year service life that is “adaptable to future threats.” Lockheed’s design supports that, and could accommodate hypersonic glide vehicles carrying strategic warheads in the future, he says.

Karas was speaking with Aviation Week March 21 at a Lockheed media day at the company’s Washington office. The building has a display dedicated to GBSD, which features an image of the company’s Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2 under the title “Beyond the Triad?” The display says maneuvering hypersonic re-entry vehicles could evade even the most capable missile shields because of their speed and agility.

“We have to make sure we have the right modularity and capability in the [GBSD] system so that if the government chooses to change the re-entry vehicle, we can adapt to it,” Karas says. “We’re designing a lot of modularity into the system so we can adapt to whatever requirements the Air Force has.”

The U.S. already finds itself behind the curve on hypersonic weapons after five decades of research, which has so far resulted in many successes, failures and missed opportunities. A recent classified report by the National Academies of Sciences says the U.S. could be falling behind Russia and China in this arena unless it changes course.

Lockheed is involved with the U.S.’s two primary hypersonic development efforts that will fly in 2019: Darpa’s air-launched, rocket-boosted, scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) and Tactical Boost Glide (TBG), an unpowered, air-launched hypersonic glide vehicle. Lockheed is also involved in the U.S. Navy’s non-nuclear Prompt Global Strike initiative, which aims to develop complementary technologies for rapid strikes anywhere on Earth.

If successful, Lockheed says the Air Force could decide to launch a development program for a hypersonic maneuvering re-entry vehicle certified to carry strategic nuclear warheads.

That would be some time in the future and would be independent of GBSD, a $62 billion program. The Air Force has stressed that it does not want exotic weaponry for GBSD, just modern, mature technologies to begin replacing the Minuteman by 2027. Full operational status with 400 missiles deployed inside refurbished Minuteman silos is due by 2036.

Karas says Lockheed’s proposed design is low risk, low cost and could meet this schedule challenge while still being adaptable. He says Lockheed has experience in delivering more than 3,000 re-entry vehicles for the Air Force and Navy and the inherent expertise required to engineer accommodations for future weapons.

“Lockheed Martin competes in all re-entry vehicle arenas, including next-generation hypersonics,” he says. “There will be other competitions for improving the re-entry vehicles. Obviously, Lockheed will compete for those.”

Lockheed is battling against Boeing and Northrop Grumman for GBSD. The firm’s industry team includes General Dynamics, Draper Laboratories, Moog, Bechtel, Orbital ATK and Aerojet Rocketdyne. A downselect to two vendors for a three-year technology maturation and risk reduction phase is expected this fall. A contract for full-scale development and production is due in 2020 or 2021.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2017 17:50

Singha wrote:I guess the only way to reduce the astronomical cost of long range heavy bombers (B1 was $300 mil in 1998 prices) and B21 raider is est 900 mil a pop for 100 planes - is to make them ourselves.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -than-plan


The APUC (Average Per Unit Cost) for the B-21 is capped at approximately $564 Million in FY16 dollars for the first 21 aircraft. This is the cost of a serial production, operational capability as delivered to the USAF with an initial bed down of spares. The contract for the first 21 aircraft that were ordered along with the EMD contract was separately negotiated through a fixed price contract (much like the KC-46) so if the cost of production, or part negotiations with suppliers etc rises, Northrop Grumman has to eat it.

Northrop Grumman has taken a huge risk/gamble by going for a Fixed Priced incentive fee contract for the delivery of a fairly large lots (5) fo 21 aircraft..This along with other reasons was probably why they were risk averse on the T-X and withdrew upon seeing how much Boeing and Lockheed had invested or planned to invest.

This obviously does not include the development but a lot of the technology development cost is going to be to create systems and open mission system architectures that will benefit far more than just this program be it propulsion upgrades, materials research, true system wide OMS implementation, embedded arrays and communications..System cost is a function of technology (production processes, materials, mission systems etc etc), size, weight of the vehicle and the man-hours of work required to build it. While looking at labor rates may offer some benefit it needs to be looked at in its entirety given a particular system...cost of technology or materials isn't really impacted significantly if you pick up a production line and move it to a lower_labor_cost setting while production processes can be impacted and result to a change in the cost structure.

As far as what price being acceptable and what being astronomical, it is all relative. An Airbus A350-1000 currently lists at upwards of $330 Million and we are talking about survivable, low-observable long range strike bombers with full up mission systems. Even if one were to go for a generic non VLO bomber based on the 767 Freighter you are likely to be close to if not more than the $300 Million mark once all the changes are made to support a heavy payload. Basing all this on cost alone and barring production process, or material science breakthroughs some have predicted that the B-21 would have an empty weight that is around 60-65% of that of the B-1.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 23 Mar 2017 12:36



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 24 Mar 2017 15:38

Singha wrote:http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/8560/usaf-looks-to-retire-f-15c-eagle-and-replace-it-with-upgraded-f-16s

usaf planning to retire all f15c/d


These are very early pre decisional deliberations. Every new administration that comes into the White House shapes its own five year defense plan and medium to long term strategy which is then circulated to the services which then chart up their own five year spending plans, and long term modernization strategy.

This is also balanced with the congressional outlook of actually getting the money the POTUS commits to the armed forces which has been happening months late and is bound to continue given the type of budget Trump has presented.

I still think this is an unlikely outcome but even if we are to assume that the USAF is going to take such an action, they have been clear (in the testimony) that the sunset would start in or around 2025, and the last aircraft would not be retired till the early 2030s. This is about a 8-10 years ahead of when these aircraft were expected to be retired.

The Congress should have seen this coming when they capped F-22 production but regardless, I think this is just a budgetary pressure driven choice which much like the A-10 is not going to go anywhere because the congress will intervene and provide budgetary relief so that the F-15 Charlie enterprise can be sustained for an additional 5 to 8 years as the Penetrating Counter Air capability is developed that could then fill some of this role.

Speaking of the PCA, it too was in the news over this past week specificly because the modified Trump budget provides a big boost to it which will probably lead to X planes within the next 3-5 years.

Air Force seeks immediate, sharp FY-17 funding increase for sixth-generation fighter


The Air Force is seeking an immediate and dramatic increase in funding for its Next-Generation Air Dominance program, suggesting plans for a new penetrating counterair capability -- also referred to as a sixth-generation fighter -- are poised to accelerate if Congress can provide an additional $147 million in fiscal year 2017 above the $20 million the service originally requested.

The service is seeking the new funds to support work on a follow-on to the F-22A Raptor as part of the Pentagon's amended FY-17 budget request.....

Still, the Air Force -- in budget documents supporting the additional FY-17 spending proposal -- disclosed a previously unknown need for $167.5 million for the Next Generation Air Dominance project, a 735 percent increase compared to the service's original $20.5 million request for the project submitted to Congress in February 2016.

With the exception of an unnamed, classified project, the additional funding for Next-Generation Air Dominance is the single-largest increase in the research and development accounts in the proposed $30 billion hike in FY-17 military spending.

Mark Gunzinger, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, said the change in the funding profile implies the Air Force is seeking money for more than just the AOA, perhaps looking to finance some technology development in an effort to speed things along.

"Some initial money that might help accelerate the penetrating counterair effort," Gunzinger said. "If that is their intent, I would applaud them."

The Air Force has been building the case to launch a new air dominance capability for years, following approval in 2011 by the Pentagon's top brass of a requirement for a follow-on capability to the F-22A.

"Sir, we started that long ago," Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans, programs, and requirements, told the House Armed Services Committee Feb. 16 when asked when the service should start working on a sixth-generation fighter.

Last year, the Air Force published a new blueprint for how it plans to ensure air superiority that called for a "penetrating counterair capability" -- which service officials said would be the focus of the Next-Generation Air Dominance analysis of alternatives. As part of the AOA, the service is expected to explore platform, sensor and weapon combinations that optimize operational range, payload, survivability and affordability, including experimentation on concepts like arsenal planes, loyal wingmen and others.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 29 Mar 2017 15:49

Replace "replace" with compliment and it would probably be more accurate..


Pentagon directs start of potential new major weapon system program to replace F-22A

The Obama administration's Pentagon -- in one of its last official acts -- directed the Air Force in January to begin work on a new Penetrating Counterair capability, kicking off an analysis of alternatives for its Next-Generation Air Dominance program that aims to develop a follow-on to the F-22A Raptor, the U.S. military's marquee twin-engine, stealth fighter.

On Jan. 17, then-Pentagon acquisition executive Frank Kendall approved an Air Force request to transition the Next-Generation Air Dominance program into the acquisition pipeline, setting in place plans to consider launching a Penetrating Counterair (PCA) technology maturation and risk reduction program as soon as next summer, according to a Defense Department official.

The Penetrating Counterair capability is deemed critical -- not only to ensuring air dominance by the 2030s -- but also for the United States to maintain technical competitive superiority.

Kendall signed an acquisition decision memorandum, marking the PCA materiel development decision, according to the DOD official.

The then-Pentagon acquisition executive approved the project, informally referred to as a sixth-generation fighter, to enter the materiel solution analysis phase of the defense acquisition system and “initiating an analysis of alternatives to recapitalize the air superiority mission set created by the forecast retirement of the F-22A,” according to the official.

Kendall designated PCA a pre-major defense acquisition program and the office of the Pentagon's acquisition executive remains the milestone decision authority for the project, according to the official.

Significantly, Kendall did not direct the Air Force to consider restarting the F-22A production line as one possible way to deliver a new PCA capability, the official said.

The service -- at the direction of Congress last year -- is studying what it would cost to get the twin-engine, fifth-generation fighter aircraft production line up and running to buy an additional 194 aircraft. That study is not yet complete, according to the official.

During this early phase of defining a potential new major weapon system, the service sponsor typically conducts analysis and other activities that translates validated capability gaps into system-specific requirements -- which includes identifying characteristics deemed critical or essential to an effective military capability. The program is also to execute planning to support a proposed PCA acquisition strategy.

The Air Force has not yet made any decision on whether to entrust the fledgling PCA program to the traditional acquisition track or hand it to its Rapid Capabilities Office, formed in 2003 to bypass the traditional acquisition system, according to the source.

Air Combat Command -- which spearheaded work beginning in 2009 on a requirement for an F-22A replacement, blessed in 2013 by Pentagon top brass on the Joint Requirements Oversight Council -- is leading the analysis of alternatives.

“The NGAD AOA began in January of 2017 and will conclude in the summer of 2018,” a spokesman for ACC's plans and programs office (A5/8/9) conducting the AOA told Inside Defense. “The AOA will evaluate various alternatives for a Penetrating Counterair capability. Capability development efforts for PCA will focus on maximizing tradeoffs between range, payload, survivability, lethality, affordability, and supportability.”

The PCA capability was a central outcome of the service's “Air Superiority 2030” Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team initiative completed last spring, and effectively rebranded what the service had previously called Next-Generation Air Dominance 2030. That study was completed in April 2016.

Last summer, Congress approved an Air Force request to shift $24 million between accounts to boost spending on NGAD in order to keep the project on track for the January milestone review, a move that raised total available FY-17 funds to $32.5 million.

Then, as part of a Trump administration gambit to increase military spending in FY-17 above amounts set in law, the Air Force on March 16 requested an additional $147 million for the NGAD -- an increase that would lift spending to $167.5 million -- a hike of more than 1,800 percent compared to the service's Feb. 2016 FY-17 budget request.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby nam » 29 Mar 2017 20:00



The next step M1A2? It has a turbine engine as well.

That would be a phenomenal capability. It would really difficult to defend against a hyper velocity projectile from a tank.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 29 Mar 2017 20:04

The projectile has some advantages but it won't be as fast or go as far when it is launched from a Howitzer. As I had posted earlier, there are a few programs out there that are looking at Missiles being propelled by Naval guns including railguns in the future. I referred to a Lockheed program in the International navy thread...

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Mar 2017 21:19

Document CRS report on SSN-774 Virginia Class Submarine : Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress; March 22, 2017


Summary

The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines since FY1998. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2017 are to be the 25th and 26th boats in the class. The 10 Virginia-class boats programmed for procurement in FY2014FY2018 (two per year for five years) are being procured under a multiyear-procurement (MYP) contract.

The Navy estimates the combined procurement cost of the two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2017 at $5,408.9 million, or an average of $2,704.5 million each. The boats have received a total of $1,623.3 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) funding and $597.6 million in prior-year Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) funding. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget requests the remaining $3,188.0 million needed to complete the boats’ estimated combined procurement cost. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget also requests $1,767.2 million in AP funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future fiscal years, bringing the total FY2017 funding request for the program (excluding outfitting and post-delivery costs) to $4,955.2 million.

The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget also requests $97.9 million in research and development funding for the Virginia Payload Module (VPM). The funding is contained in Program Element (PE) 0604580N, entitled Virginia Payload Module (VPM), which is line 128 in the Navy’s FY2017 research and development account. The Navy plans to build some of the Virginia-class boats procured in FY2019 and subsequent years with an additional mid-body section, called the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), that contains four large-diameter, vertical launch tubes that the boats would use to store and fire
additional Tomahawk cruise missiles or other payloads, such as large-diameter unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

The Navy’s FY2017 30-year SSN procurement plan, if implemented, would not be sufficient to
maintain a force of 48 SSNs consistently over the long run. The Navy projects under the plan that the SSN force would fall below 48 boats starting in FY2025, reach a minimum of 41 boats in FY2029, and remain below 48 boats through FY2036. Potential issues for Congress regarding the Virginia-class program include whether to procure an additional Virginia-class boat in FY2021 and, more generally, the Virginia-class procurement rate
in coming years.

Build Time

The building schedule has also been significantly reduced since the first four Block I Virginia's were contracted for an 84-month building period, reduced to 74 months for the six Block IIs. The eight Block III subs — those currently under construction — are set for a 66-month building times, and Block IVs will be reduced further to 62 and then 60 months.

Virginia Payload Module (VPM)

The Navy plans to build one of the two Virginia-class boats procured in FY2019, and all Virginia class boats procured in FY2020 and subsequent years, with an additional mid-body section, called the Virginia Payload Module (VPM). The VPM, with a reported length of 83 feet, 9.75 inches,21
contains four large-diameter, vertical launch tubes that would be used to store and fire additional Tomahawk cruise missiles or other payloads, such as large-diameter unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

The four additional launch tubes in the VPM could carry a total of 28 additional Tomahawk cruise missiles (7 per tube),23 which would increase the total number of torpedo-sized weapons (such as Tomahawks) carried by the Virginia class design from about 37 to about 65—an increase of about
76%.




I see the gap year ships (the odd years they only buy one SSN instead of two because money is allocated to buy 1 SSBN) being easy to work (buying 3 submarines a year b/w the Virginia and Columbia) in and Trump should not have a problem getting that through Congress. Increasing the procurement rate of the Virgnia to 3 a year (therefore 4 submarines total every other year and 3 the following year) will be tougher because of the upfront long term investment in the industrial base is substantial when put in the larger ship building context but 3 a year order rate is possible once they get to 60 month production cycle.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 31 Mar 2017 22:11

brar_w wrote:
Pentagon directs start of potential new major weapon system program to replace F-22A

The Obama administration's Pentagon -- in one of its last official acts -- directed the Air Force in January


I wonder how many such directives did Obama give before his admin left.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Mar 2017 22:18

This was given by Frank Kendall AT&L who set up a program office at DARPA to lead the new aircraft research and development (everything but propulsion which was being handled by service labs). Republicans on the SASC and HASC had been urging them to go earlier but they waited to include the money in the supplemental and the culmination of a few enterprise studies the USAF was conducting which would help inform the Analysis of Alternatives. The US Navy went straight into their Analysis of Alternatives so they were able to start theirs in May of 2016. Navy will finish theirs by the end of this year while the Air Force will conclude its AOA by mid 2018. Both services should comfortably hit Milestone-A before 2020 which would mean that RFP's could be released by 2023 or so. Between 2018 and 2023 they will likely fly a couple of X plane programs to mature technology.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Apr 2017 15:39

First LRIP AN/TPS-80 S-Band G/ATOR AESA radar system handed over to the USMC for IOC early next year (GWLR Mode 1 IOC acheived in Feb. with GWLR Mode 2 IOC early 2018). The first 6 radars will be supporting the Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (CRAM) mission and will be populated with 659 GaAs T/R modules. Starting with the second LRIP block deliveries (begining in 2018) they will also be getting GaN systems for expanded missions to cover surveillance and air defense since this is a multi mission radar by adding additional T/R modules and a larger power generator.

The concept is to use the same basic radar, and antenna architecture but use partially populated arrays for some less demanding missions (such as CRAM) and use fully populated arrays and a larger generator for others (surveillance, Command and Control SA and Air Defense) so one radar can replace multiple mission sets.

The new high power GaN T/R modules actually allows them to add a cooling unit and much higher generator power and take over the US Army BMD mission as well (replace the AN/MPQ-65 on the Patriot's) but US Army is unlikely to go down to S-Band for its lower tier IAMD sensor (X or C will be the likely trade space).

David Branham, a spokesperson for the USMC's Program Executive Office - Land Systems, told Jane's that, as a multimission radar, G/ATOR is intended to be a single solution for a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It will replace five legacy radar systems: the AN/UPS-3 Tactical Defense Alert system; the AN/MPQ-62 continuous-wave acquisition radar; the AN/TPS-63 air surveillance radar; the AN/TPQ-46 counter-battery/target acquisition radar; and the AN/TPS-73 air traffic control system.

Hardware for G/ATOR comprises a radar equipment group (REG) towed by a 5-ton truck; a communications equipment group (CEG) towed by an HMMWV; and the system's power equipment group (PEG).

A complete radar system can be carried in a Lockheed Martin C-130 cargo transport aircraft or alternatively, one REG, CEG and PEG can each be slung below a Sikorsky CH-53 transport helicopter or Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft....


"When we put GaN TR modules in there we will be able to perform the exact same mission with a large reduction in the number of TR modules we have to populate the system with. The TR modules, if you add them up, are the one most costly set of things in a radar system."

Palombo estimates that Northrop Grumman will be able to cut the number of TR modules in G/ATOR by 20-25%. "Instead of populating the whole thing you populate a frame of it. So the outside [of the array] is unpopulated and the inside is populated and it performs the exact same function," he added.

Cost saving is not the only benefit Northrop Grumman is hoping to reap from moving to GaN TR modules.

Palombo expects that during the course of the next few years the improvements that the company will make further in GaN could lead to new opportunities with the USMC.

"When we re-populate the whole face of this array we are going to be able to execute that USMC AN/TPS-59 [long-range air surveillance] requirement as well. So for the USMC, think of the benefit here - one piece of gear. The only difference is how many TR modules are on here," he said.

Exchanging GaAs TR modules for GaN modules is relatively easy, according to Palombo. Both modules are square shaped and each has its own power supply. The TR modules screw into the back of the G/ATOR system.

"GaN is [the] exact same form factor as GaAs, a touch thicker, and screws into the identical place on the back of G/ATOR. So there is no change on the back of the G/ATOR system," he noted.

When Northrop Grumman conducted its Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar (3DELRR) demonstration for the US Air Force (USAF) in July, the company used its AN/TPS-80 radar, replacing all the GaAs TR modules with one-third GaN TR modules. "[We] did nothing else to the system and that is the system we demonstrated to the US Air Force."




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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Philip » 05 Apr 2017 12:22

https://sputniknews.com/military/201704 ... price-tag/
Xcpts:
King StallionUS May Sell Germany 40 King Stallions to Cut Helicopter’s $131M Price Tag
MILITARY & INTELLIGENCE
03:40 05.04.2017
The Pentagon’s King Stallion heavy lift rotorcraft is slated to be more expensive on a per-unit basis than the ludicrously expensive F-35A. If the German Bundeswehr can be swayed to make an order, however, the chopper’s price may go down for everyone.

If Bundeswehr signs the deal for 40 King Stallions, Lockheed Sikorsky claims everyone would get the aircraft at a lower price. “You add another 25 percent to your production run, production unit cost goes down,” Vanderborght said.

The Marine Corps is on the books to buy 200 King Stallions for around $122 million each, Sputnik reported in March.

The Corps’ King Stallion began like many Pentagon projects: the initial cost estimates said one thing, but the reality of building the new military equipment meant those costs would inevitably rise as unforeseen factors popped up.

Looking at program costs is infrequently an accurate indicator of how much the Pentagon’s toys will cost. The King Stallion could be anywhere from 22 percent over budget per aircraft, which is how the $122 million is calculated, to $131 million per unit after taxes, titles and tags are factored in, Defense News reported in a new calculation on April 3.

The US Navy’s new USS Gerald Ford has come in at least 20 percent over budget, at a price of $12.9 billion.

And of course the “scandal and tragedy” that is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is at least five years behind schedule and $13 billion more expensive than expectations, Popular Mechanics reported.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 05 Apr 2017 15:23

Luckily there is a published Selected Acquisition Report on the program (Congressionally mandated in the US) that we can rely on instead of the investigative skills of Sputnik. What does the last SAR tell us? Original program APB for this program was set in 2005 @ $72.4 Million. Current APUC estimate is $82.3 Million after some programatic (requirements) changes between 2005 and now. That is an approximately 13% increase in APUC in constant (program base year / 2005 dollars). SAR estimates generally overshoot APUC during the Low Rate Initial Production phase (there are numerous programs that showcase this) which is by design since its better to be over by 1-2% than be under it in your estimates so expect "should cost" savings to come in once production picks up that could further erode the 13% variance a little.

Now you may say but that will still have a variance of +10-11%. How does that compare to multi-billion projects outside of defense and outside of the government world? I don't know but I do have some idea. You can perhaps look into large commercial aerospace programs and their curves or how their perform to initial pre-program cost estimates.

APUC is over the program and not a lot per lot basis. It is commonly seen that aircraft cost of production follows a curve as does touch labor requirements and time in final assembly. Initial batches are more expensive, require more labor hours, engineering changes, inspections etc with cost stabilizing as production quantities increase and production program matures. Hence they look at the APUC or Average Procurement Unit Price across the entire length of production.

The price of a weapons system or major aerospace industry hardware is largely determined by requirements for size, weight, payload, mission systems, government furnished equipment (sensors etc) and the airframe life (compared to the CH-53Es 5000 hr design life, the CH-53K has a design life requirement of 10,000 hrs at baseline) and other special requirements (marines require marine capability). How does 2 times the designed service life requirement impact the number of helicopters you buy? or the depot capacity, spare inventory, and Performance Based Logistics agreements you negotiate over the decades of operation and sustainment?

How about SLEP costs? You aren't going to be discarding helos (as the Echo experience has shown) as they approach their service life so you would naturally send them back to the depot to receive a Service Life Extension. How do SLEP costs structures vary when looking at a 5000 hr design life fleet vs a 10,000 hr one? These things matter and are dealt with during the "requirements" phase. Nothing has more impact (outside of quantity to be procured) on the cost-of-production than the requirements and you look at your performance needs and Life Cycle Cost to develop those requirements.

The Marines chose to spend extra procuring so that they would spend less over the life because they baked in reliability, availability (Sikorsky had to design changes to enable affordable fleet availability rate of 85%) and Life Cycle Cost reduction elements into the requirements of the CH-53K compared to the Echo fleet. These things add to the cost but are there for a purpose. Restarting the Echo as is would likely have APUC's around the $45-50 Million mark for a 5000 hr service life with a fraction of the capability of the Kilo. The When you add all these things up and have a look at the performance difference between the Echo and the Kilo you'll realize that you practically embarked on a new helicopter program.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 05 Apr 2017 23:28

bloomberg

The U.S. Air Force’s military transport chief is tapping Silicon Valley, the defense industry and the Pentagon’s new innovation office in search of electronic cloaking technologies out of “Star Trek” to shrink the profiles of aerial tankers on enemy radar.

“I’ve got airplanes with big fat bodies and long wings,” General Carlton Everhart, head of the Air Mobility Command, said Tuesday in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “I’ve got first-generation tankers refueling fifth-gen fighters. The enemy doesn’t have to look for the fighter -- he just has to look for me.”

Everhart said he’s spoken with technology companies, defense contractors, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and military service laboratories on an idea still in its earliest stage: Retrofitting tankers as old as the 1950s-era KC-135 and as new as Boeing Co.’s KC-46 with technology to alter the plane’s radar image, or waveform, so it appears to be “either in a different location in the air” or “reduced or disappears altogether: Now you see me, now you don’t.”

“I asked industry for a cloaking device and they all laughed -- they said you’ve been watching too much” science fiction. “I said, ‘Listen to me -- this is what I want -- something that would be able to change the waveform.”’

“I’m piggybacking off industry,” Everhart said “If I put it in the military acquisition system, it would be 50 years before I get it out because of the regulations that we have.”

Pilot Shortage

Based in Illinois, the Air Mobility Command moves U.S. forces and equipment around the globe, fuels planes in midair and provides evacuation of wounded or endangered troops. On other topics, Everhart said:

*The Air Force and commercial airlines have a concern in common: finding enough pilots to replace a generation nearing retirement age. Everhart is convening a conference May 18 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland with representatives of 23 civilian airlines, top service officials and representatives of the National Guard and Air Force Reserve to discuss working together on recruiting and training.

The Air Mobility Command has a shortage of 300 pilots currently, and that threatens to grow far worse by 2021 as 1,600 more pilots become eligible to leave the service. “We are in direct competition for the same product” and “I cannot outspend the airlines,” he said. “So I’ve got to be complementary with them.”

* His command’s tankers fly 40 percent of aircraft sorties over Iraq and Syria against Islamic State terrorists. Air Force statistics indicate KC-135 and KC-10 tankers performed 81,000 aerial refueling operations last year, up from 29,000 in 2014 when operations began that August.

“Everyone says this is a shooting war, but we are providing them all that gas,” Everhart said. Last year, Everhart’s aircraft flew the equivalent of 66 years, he said.

* He wants to equip his tankers with lasers that can destroy ground-to-air missiles instead of just using the intense beams to blind the missile’s warhead as current defensive systems do.

* He said he’d use some of the added money that President Donald Trump has proposed for the fiscal 2018 defense budget to bring up to flying status eight C-5M transports stored at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and Travis Air Force Base in California. They’re languishing over a lack of maintenance after $105 million had been spent on each to refurbish.

* The Air Force program office is reviewing the current KC-46 tanker schedule with Boeing in light of a 14-month delay in delivering the first 18 aircraft by August. The latest schedule calls for delivering 20 by October 2018. The first transport is scheduled for delivery in September, and Everhart says he intends to fly it.

“What is in the art of the doable -- are we going to meet all the milestones?” Everhart said. He said he told Boeing “I’m a very, very demanding customer.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 05 Apr 2017 23:34

Two step strategy for preventing the tanker situation is to use decoys and other aircraft to pretend-play tankers and to roll in survivability requirements into KC-Z. This was discussed at a panel at a recent AFA conference. In fact the Air Force Air Superiority 2030 enterprise team specifically looked at a tanker as an investment track.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Apr 2017 01:14

Space Fence Clears Contractor Test

Lockheed Martin has completed a critical test of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence system to surveil low Earth orbit and is making strides in construction of the massive facility that will house the radar.

Space Fence will be the world’s largest S-band digital array radar, capable of seeing objects the size of a marble in low Earth orbit (LEO). The system, worth $914 million, replaces a 1960s-era, lower-frequency one that was retired in 2013.

The new one will sweep a pattern of radio frequency energy that is narrow to the north and south and wide to the east and west. “To visualize it, it looks like a fence,” says Bruce Schafhauser, director of the program for Lockheed.

Objects in LEO would pass through the fence multiple times each day, and it would track hundreds of thousands of them, as opposed to about 20,000, which the Air Force tracks today. The system is automated, so that when it detects a change, it alerts the operator and then continues to scan the sky. With a less precise alert, a satellite operator could waste power on unnecessary avoidance maneuvers. And as the system is cataloging thousands of times a day, it can also create “microfences” all the way out into geostationary orbit as well.

Building the system is not just a technological feat but a logistical one as well. The sensor site is on remote Kwajelein atoll in the Marshall Islands, 2,100 mi. southwest of Honolulu, where the sensor site is being housed in facilities with thick walls designed to withstand high winds and seismic activity.

Because sending parts to the Army base on the island requires them to be shipped to Los Angeles and then on a second ship to Kwajelein, every part needs to be thoroughly tested. Constructing the facility involves 35 million pounds of concrete, three 62-ton, 3.6 megawatt generators and 1.5 mi. of power distribution line. Lockheed recently installed air-inflated Kevlar radomes, which have the dual function of being the roof and a transmit and receive radar array.

“We have nearly completed construction of the radar itself,” Schafhauser says. Lockheed is shipping components and 16,000 circuit card assemblies made at five different company factories. “The production effort is on the tail end of being complete,” he says.

Those cards contain high-power amplifiers with gallium nitride chips. That technology provides high power density, efficiency and reliability, Schafhauser said. Those are easily maintained and swapped out and help keep life cycle costs low, because only a handful of workers need to be onsite to operate and maintain it.

The company recently completed an in-plant contractor test using its test site in Moorestown, New Jersey. It tested the system against 298 requirements—the software, the firmware and the hardware. It came away with a 94% pass rate initially. The company has plans for the remaining items, which will be verified by the Air Force in an on-site contractor test at Kwajelein scheduled for the second quarter of 2018.

In about one month, the circuit cards and tiles that are fitted to the array to transmit and receive energy will be integrated and installed. After that, Lockheed will do a full integration test that pulls in an operations center in Huntsville, Alabama. Developmental testing will begin toward the third quarter of 2018.

The U.S. Air Force program of record includes a second, smaller radar site in Australia that would patrol the sky over the southern hemisphere and increase space situational awareness in all orbital regimes. If the government opts to exercise the option, funding for it would be included in the Pentagon’s future budget plans, beyond fiscal 2018.



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