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US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Manish_P
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 10 Dec 2016 14:48

brar_w wrote:The block 2 can now loft and is networked so could be something that can be used against cruise missiles and other UAV's. There is little benefit to the integration besides this. Still very interesting because the Aim-9X, and this integration activity appears to be a US-Navy project.


What about against Helicopters.. specifically attack helicopters ?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Dec 2016 19:07

Maybe but I doubt it since this isn't being done with the Army that is doing is creating new SHORAAD systems but has not shown interest in providing an air coverage component to them.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby TSJones » 11 Dec 2016 03:14

general atomics sales brochure rant......to be taken a grain or two of salt....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPl_xKPI_5w

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Dec 2016 03:20

This is an old video. Unfortunately for them the Avenger got stuck in a niche market. The USAF wanted a highly survivable, high altitude ISR and AEA platform and not a more survivable predator. The USN went for the Global Hawk based BMCA so it killed the platform with them. The Avenger remains a niche platform and doesn't really fit into the concept of operations when it comes to how the USAF plans to deploy its unmanned drones in an environment where the difference between a predator and an avenger is actually going to matter.

There is more hope for them to get the HEL being fitted in it over and above the current effort to fit an SSL on the C-130.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 11 Dec 2016 10:52

brar_w wrote:Maybe but I doubt it since this isn't being done with the Army that is doing is creating new SHORAAD systems but has not shown interest in providing an air coverage component to them.


OK. Just a matter of time, IMO

There was a thought process on these forums that attack helicopters would be good drone killers.

When drones come armed with AAMs, those tactics will need a change

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby shiv » 11 Dec 2016 11:20

Manish_P wrote:When drones come armed with AAMs, those tactics will need a change

Drones with AAMs are possible but unlikely for most except the most highly sophisticated and well funded nations. AAMs are expensive and weigh at least 100 kg and 2 meters long For that you would need a 300 kg plus drone and some serious communication infrastructure. That would amount to a small aircraft. That would be visible further away and could be out manoeuvred by an attack helo WVR - because "agility" and spped for the drone would make its engine and fuel requirements even more demanding. That aside helos will approach them with flares being pumped out once such a drone is known to exist

Most drones will be ordinary small and light drones for the usual surveillance and fire control purposes

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 11 Dec 2016 11:49

Get Ready Russia, China, Iran and North Korea: America's Missile Defense Program Is Going 'Star Wars'

The Multi-Object Kill Vehicle can simultaneously destroy ICBMs and decoys with a single interceptor.

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency is in the early phases of engineering a next-generation “Star Wars”-type technology able to knock multiple incoming enemy targets out of space with a single interceptor, officials said.

The new system, called Multi-Object Kill Vehicle, or MOKV, is designed to release from a Ground Based Interceptor and destroy approaching Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs -- and also take out decoys traveling alongside the incoming missile threat.

“We will develop and test, by 2017, MOKV command and control strategies in both digital and hardware-in-the-loop venues that will prove we can manage the engagements of many kill vehicles on many targets from a single interceptor. We will also invest in the communication architectures and guidance technology that support this game-changing approach,” a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, told Scout Warrior a few months ago.

Decoys or countermeasures are missile-like structures, objects or technologies designed to throw off or confuse the targeting and guidance systems of an approaching interceptor in order to increase the probability that the actual missile can travel through to its target.

If the seeker or guidance systems of a “kill vehicle” technology on a Ground Base Interceptor, or GBI, cannot discern an actual nuclear-armed ICBM from a decoy – the dangerous missile is more likely to pass through and avoid being destroyed. MOKV is being developed to address this threat scenario.

The Missile Defense Agency has awarded MOKV development deals to Boeing, Lockheed and Raytheon as part of a risk-reduction phase able to move the technology forward, Lehner said.

Steve Nicholls, Director of Advanced Air & Missile Defense Systems for Raytheon, told Scout Warrior the MOKV is being developed to provide the MDA with “a key capability for its Ballistic Missile Defense System - to discriminate lethal objects from countermeasures and debris. The kill vehicle, launched from the ground-based interceptor extends the ground-based discrimination capability with onboard sensors and processing to ensure the real threat is eliminated.”

MOKV could well be described as a new technological step in the ongoing maturation of what was originally conceived of in the Reagan era as “Star Wars” – the idea of using an interceptor missile to knock out or destroy an incoming enemy nuclear missile in space. This concept was originally greeted with skepticism and hesitation as something that was not technologically feasible.

Not only has this technology come to fruition in many respects, but the capability continues to evolve with systems like MOKV. MOKV, to begin formal product development by 2022, is being engineered with a host of innovations to include new sensors, signal processors, communications technologies and robotic manufacturing automation for high-rate tactical weapons systems, Nicholls explained.

The trajectory of an enemy ICBM includes an initial “boost” phase where it launches from the surface up into space, a “midcourse” phase where it travels in space above the earth’s atmosphere and a “terminal” phase wherein it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere and descends to its target. MOKV is engineered to destroy threats in the “midcourse” phase while the missile is traveling through space.

An ability to destroy decoys as well as actual ICBMs is increasingly vital in today’s fast-changing technological landscape because potential adversaries continue to develop more sophisticated missiles, countermeasures and decoy systems designed to make it much harder for interceptor missile to distinguish a decoy from an actual missile.

As a result, a single intercept able to destroy multiple targets massively increases the likelihood that the incoming ICBM threat will actually be destroyed more quickly without needing to fire another Ground Based Interceptor.

Raytheon describes its developmental approach as one that hinges upon what’s called “open-architecture,” a strategy designed to engineer systems with the ability to easily embrace and integrate new technologies as they emerge. This strategy will allow the MOKV platform to better adjust to fast-changing threats, Nicholls said.

The MDA development plan includes the current concept definition phase, followed by risk reduction and proof of concept phases leading to a full development program, notionally beginning in fiscal year 2022, Nicholls explained.

“This highly advanced and highly technical kill vehicle takes a true dedication of time and expertise to properly mature. It is essential to leverage advancements from other members of the Raytheon kill vehicle family, including the Redesigned Kill Vehicle,” Nicholls said.

While the initial development of MOKV is aimed at configuring the “kill vehicle” for a GBI, there is early thinking about integrating the technology onto a Standard Missile-3, or SM-3, an interceptor missile also able to knock incoming ICBMs out of space.The SM-3 is also an exo-atmopheric "kill vehicle," meaning it can destroy short and intermediate range incoming targets; its "kill vehilce" has no explosives but rather uses kinetic energy to collide with and obliterate its target. The resulting impact is the equivalent to a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph, Raytheon statements said.

“Ultimately, these Multi-Object Kill Vehicles will revolutionize our missile defense architecture, substantially reducing the interceptor inventory required to defeat an evolving and more capable threat to the homeland,” an MDA official said.

Kris Osborn became the Managing Editor of Scout Warrior in August of 2015. His role with Scout.com includes managing content on the Scout Warrior site and generating independently sourced original material. Scout Warrior is aimed at providing engaging, substantial military-specific content covering a range of key areas such as weapons, emerging or next-generation technologies and issues of relevance to the military. Just prior to coming to Scout Warrior, Osborn served as an Associate Editor at the Military.com. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at CNN and CNN Headline News. This story originally appeared in Scout Warrior.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 11 Dec 2016 12:23

Drones with AAMs are possible but unlikely for most except the most highly sophisticated and well funded nations.


And from them to their rented proxies
("Hey look here, we understand your concerns and so we are not giving/selling them sophisticated fighters, just drones. Please don't mind".
"What. One of our drones fired AAMs at your Heli nearly killing your pilots? Whoops sorry, must be some malfunction in the code onlee")

Agreed Shiv ji, that the danger is neither clear nor present, but it will be.. and sooner rather than later, IMHO.

We need to start getting prepared, to reduce the risk of any long development cycles we might likely have.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Dec 2016 19:39

Manish_P wrote:
brar_w wrote:Maybe but I doubt it since this isn't being done with the Army that is doing is creating new SHORAAD systems but has not shown interest in providing an air coverage component to them.


OK. Just a matter of time, IMO

There was a thought process on these forums that attack helicopters would be good drone killers.

When drones come armed with AAMs, those tactics will need a change


The challenge with Drone hunting, much like cruise missile hunting is two folds -

* Solving the targeting piece
* Finding a cost appropriate solution so as to not have a mismatch (swarm tactics)

For the former, much like cruise missiles you need a highly networked array of sensors that can exchange targeting and guide weapons therefore you have to move towards active interceptors, or at least those that have active modes or are sensor agnostic. Drones much like cruise missiles can have very small RCS, and can fly low, change altitude, attack profile etc and therefore exploit seams between air-defenses.

The second portion involves having a properly matched weapon to the threat. Do you really want to be shooting a multi million dollar missile at a sub $200K drone? This is more important against drones derived around commercially available technology. Most folks who have thought this out believe that countering something based on commercial technology and exploiting it is best done by doing the same.

Once you get into a predator/avenger class drone armed with a possible a2a missile you are talking about a multi-million dollar platform so you can commit your traditional interceptors without getting into exchange rates or depleting your inventory.

An attack helicopter based solution is great for some drone categories since it gets you a sensor in the air, and also an interceptor that can reach longer than if it were launched from land. They also fly slow enough to actually get them with their cannon which is always a plus. The IAF has chosen to arm its AH-64E's with Stingers.
Last edited by brar_w on 12 Dec 2016 08:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 12 Dec 2016 08:41

Hmm

We need the LCH. In good numbers.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ArmenT » 13 Dec 2016 12:03

Fascinating article on the US Marines Maritime Prepositioning Ships and the Military Sealift Command (MSC):
http://www.stripes.com/news/386-vehicles-563-containers-1-boat-how-the-msc-conquers-this-nightmare-game-of-tetris-1.289457

There are 26 of these ships currently active, with 10 of them in service with the Marines, positioned at various oceans around the world. At the first sign of trouble, a ship can head to a nearby friendly port and unload her entire cargo in under 16 hours. Cargo on board each ship consists of humvees, tanks, artillery, ammunition, food, fuel etc., enough to support 16,000 Marines for 30 days in the field, while the Marines get flown in to the area separately. This allows the USMC to rapidly deploy a force anywhere around the world.

Another older link about them: http://www.msc.navy.mil/publications/pressrel/press97/press73.htm

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Philip » 14 Dec 2016 11:39

Yep,the USN's pre-positioning of support vessels is v,laudable,first done during GW1 from DG.The USN is the only global navy that can carry out "expeditionary warfare" on a massive scale using its CBGs, and amphib flat tops.The support vessels provide the logistical support without which any major op would swiftly run out of steam. As the famous saying goes,"amateurs talk about tactics,professionals,Logistics". If you look at the Ru involvement in the Meditt. supporting the Syrian regime,the lack of amphib support is obvious as the ground fighting is being done by an alliance of regime,Hiz,and Iranian backed troops. Russi is using both merchantmen and an air bridge to support its naval,air forces and spl. forces involve in the conflict. It plans to establish a premanent naval base at Tartus which when completed and operational will be able to provide it with the req. logistical support for ops in the ME theatre. it also plans to acquire support facilities in Egypt which has resumed buying Russian arms.

https://news.usni.org/2016/12/12/navy-w ... le-network
Navy Wants to Weave LCS, Unmanned Systems, Subs into New Battle Network

By: Megan Eckstein
December 12, 2016

The Navy is looked to expand the web of connections currently linking its ships, planes and weapons to include submarines, smaller ships and unmanned systems to create a warfighting network that would be challenging for an adversary to bring down, the Navy’s surface warfare director (OPNAV N96) said.

Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall said that the Navy is comfortable with its Aegis Combat System and the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) construct built around it, but that the service would have to expand this idea to keep up with global threats.

“Unfortunately we’ve had a little bit of a glass ceiling at the ship level, and until we get to the system level and get that across all platforms, that’s the challenge,” he said of Aegis, while speaking at the American Society of Naval Engineer’s annual Combat System Symposium.
“We’ve got to continue what I think we have been the lead on in surface warfare: connecting sensors to those firing platforms. But again, that’s got to proliferate, and that’s got to proliferate amongst all the platforms that we have and all the different networks that we have.”

The ultimate goal, Boxall said, is to create a fleet where “more platforms – again, many of those being armed, hopefully – will create a network of armed nodes that the adversary has to deal with the entire system: not just that ship, not just that strike group or not just that submarine. That’s the future we’re getting into.”

This means bringing in submarines, small ships like the Littoral Combat Ship or even the Mk VI patrol boat, and unmanned boats, along with new aircraft and sensors. NIFC-CA traditionally connects a ship with the Aegis Combat System, an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft and weapons like the Standard Missile (SM) family of weapons.

Boxall told USNI News after his presentation that the addition of the over-the-horizon missile to the LCS is exciting because it helps extend the reach of the LCS ships individually and helps them take a more aggressive offensive posture, but it also fits in with this idea of a more netted Navy.

With the addition of over-the-horizon firing, “now you have that capability on a small ship, we’ve got to be able to make sure we can command and control and stay with it, so the network becomes part of that. So a sensor which can support that ship and that weapon needs to be good enough to keep that network robust, and so if we lose one sensor we have a way to back it up,” he said. One way to add redundancy and increase the robustness of this capability is to net the LCS, its MH-60R helicopter as the sensor, and the missile itself into other naval networks.

“Right now LCS is not a NIFC-CA-capable platform, but the concept that we use for NIFC-CA could be, whether we look at future unmanned air or even using existing helicopters that we have,” Boxall said.
“We have helicopters that are on LCS right now – our most capable MH-60R helicopter, and that’s got a very good over the horizon capability. So do we complement that, or is that the long-term answer?”

Additionally, Boxall said in his speech that the LCS’s upcoming anti-submarine warfare mission package, with its highly capable variable-depth sonar and multi-function towed array acoustic receiver, could be a great asset for submarines and aircraft like the P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance plane to leverage if they could all pass information between platforms run by different program offices, paid for by different resource sponsors and employed by different commanders.

Boxall stressed that the Navy is moving towards a cross-domain warfare approach that would remove some stovepipes that separate these platforms, with the idea that a netted Navy is a stronger Navy against any adversary that would seek to disrupt one node in the network.

During his speech he said that budget constraints mean the Navy needs to determine what jobs can be done by smaller and less expensive ships, and which jobs are reserved for larger and more high-end ships, and conduct these missions in the most cost-effective manner possible.

“I know that I get better the more nodes that I have out there,” he said, and making the case for the largest fleet possible will require being able to state “what things can I have done at the lowest level and what can I have done at the highest level. What do I need bigger ships to do and what do I need smaller unmanned organic things to do?”

“On the low end, I just talked about MDUSV (the Sea Hunter medium displacement unmanned surface vehicle), that type of vessel – maybe it’s Mk IVs, maybe it’s LCS. What we’re doing with different sized platforms, I want them to be as small as they can be but do everything they need to do,” he continued, adding that the surface warfare community is even looking at making some small boats unmanned to further reduce their cost.
“We do some things at the high level, things that carry weapons, that will have big radars, that will ensure we can keep up with the threats of the future.”

Boxall said during his speech that the increasing range of potential adversaries’ weapons have forced the U.S. Navy into a more defensive posture, and the efforts to field longer-range missiles and create this netted Navy are an effort to regain an offensive posture.

NIFC-CA continues to grow more capable, achieving its longest-range intercept ever this year with the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) firing an SM-6. On the SM-6, Boxall said “I’m happy to report that as of this moment, right now, we have got dual-capable SM-6 in theater capable of operating today, in less than two years from inception,” as an anti-air and anti-ship weapon. The Tomahawk land-attack missile will also get an anti-ship capability as the missiles are refurbished and upgraded.

Overall, “it gives us two types of missiles in one cell. So as you get out there and you have VLS (Vertical Launching System) capability out there, we can put SM-6 with dual capability, surface-to-air and surface-to-surface, and same with Tomahawk, land attack and also anti-ship. That type of synergy, that dual-tasking is a force multiplier for us,” Boxall said.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Lisa » 14 Dec 2016 13:03

Philip wrote:Yep,the USN's pre-positioning of support vessels is v,laudable,first done during GW1 from DG.The USN is the only global navy that can carry out "expeditionary warfare" on a massive scale using its CBGs, and amphib flat tops.


Not strictly true. They created ODA's seven in all and the process began in the late 70's. Each ODA - Overseas Divisional Asset would carry equipment for one heavy mechanised division for theatre insertion. I used to be able to recall them all but from memory, 3 were attached to COMFORNOATL - Commander Forces North Atlantic, 2 to COMFORMED - Commander Forces Mediterranean, 1 to COMFORPAC - Commander Forces Pacific, with 1 more in creation (from memory). Basic idea was, for example, one to be in Norfolk, one mid station North Atlantic and one more unit in Europe. All three on permanent rotation constituting 3 ODA's. In concert all 747's in US use had ,on demand. to have strengthened floors to help with air mobility of the said persons of the ODA's.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby TSJones » 14 Dec 2016 14:29

I don't know if we are talking about the same thing or not but the US has 20 roll/roll off ships to transport army logistics. the ships are about 1000 foot long and 100 feet wide with multiple decks.

called US military sea lift command. its mostly civilian run and operated.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Dec 2016 16:12

Parting Shot: Raytheon AMRAAM-ER interceptor
Source - Jane's International Defence Review


The successful intercept of a Meggitt Banshee 80 target drone with an extended-range (ER) variant of a surface-launched air-to-air/surface-to-air missile (AMRAAM) interceptor at the Andøya Space Center, Norway, on 31 August 2016 denotes a significant milestone in the prospective addition of a medium-range air-defence capability to the Kongsberg/Raytheon National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

Some 27.9 cm longer and 120.2 kg heavier than the standard dual-use AMRAAM, AMRAAM-ER is intended to expand the NASAMS engagement envelope with a 50% increase in range and 70% increase in altitude.

Developed by Raytheon specifically and exclusively as a complementary surface-launched interceptor for NASAMS, AMRAAM-ER is outwardly a simple concept that marries the front end (radar homing guidance section, warhead) of an AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM with the back end (rocket motor and control section) of an Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM).

"It's a production AMRAAM C-7 front end - we've done nothing at all to modify the AMRAAM guidance section," explained Mike High, AMRAAM-ER programme manager at Raytheon Advanced Systems. "It's also a production ESSM rocket motor and control section. The transition section, where the aerodynamic fairing starts at the front of the ESSM rocket motor section and which houses the electronics assembly that connects the AMRAAM to the ESSM, is the only part of the missile that is developmental.

"However, it's a lot more complicated than simply gluing the two parts together," said High. "We've had to conduct testing to ensure that we understand the aerodynamics; we've had to ensure that the electronics and the autopilot are correctly set out; and that all components work together properly. That has taken nearly two years of intense development work to prove out the design."

Raytheon announced the AMRAAM-ER programme officially in February 2015, although the company has been considering the concept since about 2008, with a decision to commit company internal research and development (IRAD) funding for the development programme only in mid-2014. While NASAMS is in use by the National Capitol Region, it is not a Program of Record for the United States. Consequently AMRAAM-ER is being developed by Raytheon specifically for Foreign Military Sales.

"NASAMS customers were telling us that they wanted a medium-range capability, and something that could be used with the system as a replacement for the legacy MIM-HAWK capability," said High. "AMRAAM-ER is the best way to get into that medium-range air-defence market. It requires minimal changes to the canister launcher and a minimal software change to the NASAMS Fire Distribution Center."

Raytheon anticipates a fully qualified system will be ready for export in the 2020 timeframe. "We are expecting that our qualification programme will be fairly simple, because we can say that AMRAAM is qualified to these environments, these temperatures, these shock profiles, these vibration profiles etc, and the same with the ESSM. So it's really going to be a lot of analysis to ensure that we have everything covered for it to be formally integrated as a NASAMS capability," High said.

In the interim, an additional test shot at Andøya provisionally scheduled for May 2017 remains to be confirmed. High said the decision rests solely with Raytheon and has not been finalised. "We expect that by January 2017 we will reach a final determination of whether to shoot in May."

FACTS AND FIGURES


- AMRAAM-ER is 396.2 cm long, 17.78 cm in diameter (front end/guidance section)/25.4 cm (aft end/ESSM rocket motor), and weighs 279 kg. The transition section is the only developmental part of the missile system.

- Kinematic improvements include an approximately 50% longer range and 70% increased altitude over AMRAAM. In addition, it has a higher peak velocity and a larger 'no escape' zone.

- The missile will be combined with the AN/MPQ-64 F1 Sentinel radar for use with the NASAMS GBADS launcher. Minor structural and mechanical changes have been made to the NASAMS canister and LAU-129 missile rail launcher, along with minor modifications to the missile interface unit.

Image


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Lisa » 14 Dec 2016 17:47

TSJones wrote:I don't know if we are talking about the same thing or not but the US has 20 roll/roll off ships to transport army logistics. the ships are about 1000 foot long and 100 feet wide with multiple decks.

called US military sea lift command. its mostly civilian run and operated.


Might be the same. The ones I am referring to were kept 'live', ie staff routinely started the tanks engines, did basic electronic checks etc. to ensure the equipment was good to go once it hit the beach/port. All that was needed was staff (the 747's came in here). The ships also carried all necessary fuel, food etc for a 30 day fight. From memory, some of these ships were used in GW1 as they had all the necessary hardware for instant use. Super 4 landed using similar shipping making it the first digital division thrown into combat.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Dec 2016 19:43

SM-6 Intercepts First Medium-Range Ballistic Missile

The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy have intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target using Raytheon’s Standard Missile-6 Dual 1 for the first time.
This first intercept test of 2016 marks another significant step toward the construction of a multilayered missile shield for the U.S. and its allies against threats from North Korea and Iran, or limited salvos by regional superpowers Russia and China.

Having already proven the SM-6 Dual I’s capability against short-range rockets (ranges under 539 nm/1,000 km) and cruise missiles, just after midnight on Dec. 14, the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) fired two of the explosive interceptors against a “complex,” threat-representative MRBM originating from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The Aegis 5.0 (Baseline 9.C1)-equipped destroyer detected, tracked and destroyed the special-purpose target in a high-speed, endoatmospheric salvo engagement.

The agency says in a statement that the test, designated FTM-27, met its primary objective, and program officials are now combing through telemetry data to evaluate system performance. “The SM-6 missile and the Aegis Weapon System continue to prove that they are critical components of our nation’s multilayered, robust ballistic missile defense system,” MDA Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring says.

The intercept follows the May 17 flight of a medium-range ballistic missile target from Hawaii, which proved that destroyers outfitted with the latest Lockheed Martin-built Aegis configuration could detect and track midrange threats in the terminal phase using their SPY-1 radars.

That test was supported by the Kauai-based Aegis Ashore test complex and a Raytheon TPY-2 transportable surveillance radar, as well as the agency’s experimental space-based tracking and discrimination satellite system and command-and-control elements.

At the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium in August, Syring pointed to FTM-27 as a significant demonstration of the U.S.’s sea-based terminal defense technology and further proof of the Standard Missile family’s versatility, having also been used to sink a ship earlier this year. “We’ve flown targets that look a lot like the [MRBM] threat and we will intercept a target that looks a lot like the threat in December,” he said at the time.

At the conference, Raytheon Missile Systems executives told Aviation Week that a successful Dual I intercept would “continue to prove that SM-6 is awesome.” They would not say if the target warhead follows a standard ballistic trajectory or is a maneuvering type. “It will demonstrate the robustness of the system against the threat that’s out there,” one program official said.

SM-6 Dual I has improved software and a more powerful processor, giving it the ability to identify, track and intercept threats potentially armed with conventional, nuclear or chemical and biological warheads while descending at a high velocity from the upper atmosphere—the most hazardous “terminal phase” of flight just moments before impact. With an active and semi-active radar guidance section borrowed from Raytheon’s AIM-120 Amraam [ James Drew gets this wrong, The Sm6 seeker and guidance sections are based on the AMRAAM but are significantly larger and more capable..you could say it's been scaled up significantly. The same is going into the block 2 ESSM], the Dual I variant can also eliminate threatening cruise missiles and aircraft, retaining the same capability as the earlier SM-6 Block I and Block IA variants. Dual I is a lower-cost alternative to Standard Missile-2 Block IV, which was specifically designed for terminal-phase ballistic missile defense.

Over four intercepts from July 28 to Aug. 1, 2015, SM-6 Dual I engaged a short-range ballistic missile target as well as two types of cruise missile targets: the air-launched, Mach 4-capable AQM-37C Jayhawk and rail-launched, subsonic BQM-74E Chukar. The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance reports that SM-6, designated RIM-174, has a range of about 130-184 nm (240-340 km).

The Dual I demonstration checks off one of three significant intercept tests MDA has on its books. Next is an intercept test to validate Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, a 21-in. dia. variant cooperatively developed by the U.S. and Japan to destroy enemy missiles in transit on the edge of space. Armed with a non-explosive lightweight exoatmospheric hit-to-kill projectile, or “silver bullet,” SM-3 Block IIA has twice the range of a regular 13.5-in.-dia. SM-3 at 810 nm (1,500 km).

That flight test, designated SFTM-01, was meant to occur in October but has been pushed back. The agency does not think the delay will impact the overall schedule for completing the development phase, due to end in the second quarter of fiscal 2018.

The most significant intercept test for homeland defense is FTG-15, which will see the silo-based Ground-Based Interceptor fly against an intercontinental-range ballistic missile target for the first time. The test is meant to validate the reliability improvements to the Boeing/Orbital ATK “Configuration 2” booster and Raytheon-built “Capability Enhancement-II Block 1” exoatmospheric kill vehicle. That test has been pushed back into the second quarter of fiscal 2017 due to missile availability and an extended ground test period. The interceptor will be launch from Vandenberg AFB in California to strike an ICBM target launched from the Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Dec 2016 20:00

This is the US Navy wishlist for Trump (who has vowed to follow up on his promise to get to a 350 ship Navy).

12 Aircraft Carriers (from the 10+1 currently), 66 Total Attack Submarines (from 48 projected in the 2014 assessment), 12 BM submarines and 104 large surface ships.

Image

Navy Wants to Grow Fleet to 355 Ships; 47 Hull Increase Adds Destroyers, Attacks Subs

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby shiv » 23 Dec 2016 20:20

5 Ways to Replace the F-35 Stealth Fighter (If Donald Trump Kills It)

So can the program be replaced? What would be the alternatives? For example, could we just build more F-22s? Or maybe make more 4th generation fighters? How about just more drones and forget the whole manned fighter concept?

Back in 2014, frequent TNI contributor Robert Farley pondered this question. We have posted his ideas below for your reading pleasure once again.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby TSJones » 24 Dec 2016 04:01

ok, let's do some critical thinking......

there are 9....count 'em 9........gator navy carriers that the f-35b is destined to serve on. another is being added next year.

they presently use the av8 harriers which are primitive compared to the f-35b. it's just.....a world of difference.

that's 10 gators ready to step up to world class warfare aviation.

does anybody really think the corps is not going to get the f-35b?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Dec 2016 01:48

Boeing Wins Work On Laser Pod For Fighters

The Pentagon has selected Boeing to develop a tactical pod for a laser weapon system planned to one day equip the U.S. Air Force’s fighter aircraft.
The selection, announced Dec. 15, marks the next step in the Air Force’s effort to deploy a high-powered laser on a fighter aircraft. The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Self-Protected High-Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) project intends to build a podded laser weapon system that can be carried externally on a fighter and used to shoot down incoming aircraft or missiles, program manager Richard Bagnell told Aviation Week in a recent interview.

Boeing was one of four competitors sparring for the $36 million contract award, but officials have declined to say what other contractors were in the running. The contract ceiling is $90 million.

Boeing’s tactical pod will house a beam-control system that will allow the operator to track an incoming missile and focus the laser beam, Bagnell explained. Northrop Grumman will build the beam-control system, with the company recently winning a $39 million contract for the work to support a 2021 demonstration.

The final, and most difficult, step in the SHiELD endeavor will be building the laser itself. The Air Force intends to solicit bids from industry for the laser in December, with a contract award expected in 2017. The lag between the start of development of the subsystems and the laser itself gives industry some breathing room to mature the technology needed for a compact, ruggedized system, according to Bagnell.

The air arm hopes harnessing directed energy for self-defense missions will give its warfighters the edge in future battlefields characterized by sophisticated radar technology and anti-aircraft weapons. If AFRL and industry can pull it off, laser-armed fighters could give the Air Force a significant advantage in efficiency, precision and speed of engagement, Bagnell said.

The Air Force has not yet settled on a fighter platform to host the laser weapon system, although it has considered the legacy F-15 and F-16 as well as the fifth-generation F-22 and F-35.

AFRL aims to begin integration of the system in 2019, finish the laser itself in 2020, and demonstrate the full laser system in 2021.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Dec 2016 00:01

US Air Force proceeds with JSTARS recap programme
The US Air Force (USAF) has begun the next stage of its effort to recapitalise the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) fleet as a replacement for the retiring Northrop Grumman E-8C JSTARS.

USAF officials on 28 December published a request for proposals (RFP) for the updated JSTARS. The request covers all aspects of the system "including the airframe, radar, communication systems, and battle management command and control suite", the service said.

The RFP is to lead to "delivery of three engineering and manufacturing development, or EMD, JSTARS Recap weapon systems for testing" and there are to be contract options "for low-rate initial production for two more weapon systems and full-rate production of lot numbers 1-3 for four additional weapon systems each, for a total of 17 aircraft", according to the USAF.

A JSTARS competition began in early August 2015 with pre-EMD contracts awarded to Northrop Grumman, offering a Gulfstream G550 business jet-based solution; Lockheed Martin, offering a Bombardier Global 6000 business jet-based aircraft; and Boeing, which modified its 737-700 commercial airliner.

The programme was set to move forward with an RFP for the next contracts, but the National Defense Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2017 stipulated only firm fixed-priced contracts could be used for this phase. On 23 December, the same day that bill became law, the Pentagon acquisition executive granted the USAF a waiver to continue using a so-called hybrid approach of both fixed-price and cost-plus contract elements.

Service officials argued that changing the contract strategy could delay the planned initial operating capability date by about a year.

The E-8C fleet retirement is expected to begin about 2019 and the USAF had hoped to get recapitalised JSTARS sooner, but the initial operational capability is now expected around 2024. STARS is a long-range, air-to-ground surveillance system designed to locate, classify, and track moving and stationary targets in all weather conditions. It consists of two elements: the E-8C airborne platform, a modified Boeing 707, with the AN/APY-3 multimode, airborne radar system and US Army mobile ground station modules.

The aircraft have flown extensively since 2001 and their replacement is among the USAF's higher priorities, following its 'big three': the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tanker, and Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider Long-Range Strike Bomber.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Dec 2016 01:36

More details from James Drew at Aviation Week

Air Force Launches $7 Billion Jstars Competition


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Air Force has launched another multi-billion dollar aircraft competition, this time to replace its fleet of second-hand Boeing 707-300-based Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Jstars) tank hunters that first deployed as part of Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
On top of an $80 billion program for 100 Northrop B-21 Raiders and $3.2 billion Boeing Air Force One procurement, the Air Force also wants 17 radar-carrying battlefield surveillance, battle management and command-and-control aircraft, with initial operational capability preferably sooner than fiscal 2024. The request for proposals (RFP) issued Dec. 28 is valued at $6.9 billion for development and production, about $400 million higher than estimates published in the Government Accountability Office in March.

Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Boeing are already in the running, but surprise bids from companies such as Sierra Nevada Corp., which competed for an earlier risk-reduction phase, are also possible. Northrop, Lockheed and Boeing are also competing as prime contractors for risk-reduction phases of the Air Force’s next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile and cruise missile programs, launched in July, and will likely submit bids against Raytheon, Sierra Nevada and perhaps Textron Aviation when an RFP for at least 350 T-X advanced pilot trainer aircraft is released in the coming weeks.

The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization, or Jstars Recap, was established as its own division on Jan. 1, 2015, at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, born from the ashes of a failed E-8C re-engining program awarded to incumbent Northrop in 2007.

The program has been on shaky ground from the beginning, with the Pentagon debating internally whether the mission can be satisfied using radar-carrying surveillance drones such as the Northrop RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk along with other hardware. Its greatest challenge came from Congress, which passed legislation demanding the Air Force use a fixed-price contract structure to control costs. The final legislation included a national security waiver, which was exercised on Dec. 23 by Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall on behalf of outgoing Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

The aerospace service says Jstars is a critical capability, and the program must go ahead to reduce the cost of operating, maintaining and fixing outdated 707-300s, which were furnished second-hand and integrated with 24 ft. side-looking phased array antennas and battle management stations by Northrop (then Grumman) in Melbourne, Florida. Originally designed in the 1980s to detect and target Soviet armored vehicles, the first two prototypes were used to hunt down Saddam Hussein’s military convoys in Iraq and Kuwait during the Gulf War. The E-8C is now being used to track down vehicles, trucks and oil tankers used by the so-called Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, but some were grounded this year due to maintenance concerns.

“The future of combined arms lies in fusing information through multi-domain, networked and integrated command-and-control,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein says in a statement accompanying the RFP. “It’s going to be far more about how you take all the information you collect and turn that into decision-quality information faster than any adversary could ever counter. A recapitalized JSTARS will play an integral role in this future.”

The Air Force originally hoped to replace all of its manned airborne early warning, surveillance, battle management and control aircraft with a single type based on the Boeing 767-400ER, the Northrop E-10A. The program was scaled back and then canceled in 2007 due to cost and risk.

The service began asking for a business-class jet airframe to replace the E-8C, but that language has since translated into "a smaller, more efficient airframe,” since Boeing is pitching its smallest regional airliner, the 737-700. Northrop has partnered with Gulfstream and L-3 to offer the G550 or G650-series aircraft, while Lockheed says the Bombardier Global 6000 “hits the sweet spot in terms of size, cost and performance.” The Air Force will not accept used, reconditioned or remanufactured aircraft, the RFP says.

Initial service entry has been pushed back to 2024 through subsequent revisions of the acquisition strategy, but outgoing Air Force Secretary Deborah James wants it sooner. “We will continually look for ways to speed up the process towards initial operational capability,” she says.

Three aircraft will be delivered during the initial test phase followed by two more in low-rate production. Three full-rate production batches of four aircraft each will be delivered over the next decade to achieve full operational capability.

Waiting in the wings are multi-billion dollar programs to replace the Cold War-era E-3A Sentry airborne early warning and 1964-vintage RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic surveillance aircraft. Gulfstream’s G550 conformal airborne early warning and control platform was chosen this year by the Air Force’s Big Safari special programs office to carry electronic warfare equipment now on the EC-130H Compass Call, which entered service in 1983.

The competition will be run independent of the radar system, since Northrop Grumman Mission Systems and Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems are developing competing active electronically scanned array radars, likely based on new gallium nitride material. Saab had been a potential radar supplier until the Pentagon disallowed foreign help. Northrop and Raytheon will continue performing tests and trials through 2017, leading into an eventual down-select to one supplier based. “This work includes non-recurring hardware and software engineering activities to ensure radars are scaled to meet JSTARS Recap specific requirements,” the service says.

The air force will award the overall JSTARS contract based on best value to the government, meaning it is willing to accept a higher price for greater capability. The training system must include two mission crew simulators, two flight deck simulators, one flight training simulator and one maintenance training device.


The author does not clarify the SAAB offering but if it is a version of their AEW sensor then it would not have made the cut regardless since the USAF has long determined that for this mission they need the higher frequency sensor even with the added expense of sticking with X-Band much like the JSTARS. In fact both Northrop Grumman and Raytheon have been receiving money to keep their sensors alive, and develop them further pretty much off and on for the last 10+ years.

Both have a NG AESA sensor in the air, Northrop through Electronic attack funding, E-10 and company funding and Raytheon through USN funding. Both have GaN production capacity in house so it will really come down to which of the two can demonstrate a lower risk and cost approach to meeting full requirements on schedule. My bet is on Boeing winning the Prime with Northrop Grumman as the sensor provider. Although, Raytheon has long wanted to play in this space and it would be an excellent opportunity.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2016 20:32

video inside

https://theaviationist.com/2016/12/28/u ... operation/

US seems to be surging and testing its bomber and UAV assets on drug trafficers - typically low rcs, fast, distributed targets in open seas as a way to simulate such a PLAN threat in western pacific - except that PLAN will be packing supersonic ASMs onto the swarm attack than sacks of cocaine.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Yagnasri » 31 Dec 2016 21:13

Is there any system which can take the place of F35 at this stage if it is dropped by Trump? I do not see anything. Silent Eagle? F22 is already not in production and as per the reports requires large levels of cost and maintanace etc. which makes it a viable for a mass production and deployment around the world.

From what read, F35 production areas located in most of the states ensuring a lot of political support to it. Even DT finds it tough to scrap.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby TSJones » 31 Dec 2016 21:42

it doesn't make any difference.

if the f-35 doesn't make the production goals then the US amphibious fleet is basically obsolete unless fully accompanied by a carrier task force. the av8's can't hack it any more for US purposes.

it's like saying....what if you are crippled?

well, I guess we're just crippled (from an amphibious point of view). seguing with US mission imperatives, that is to say.

so to the US Congress, if it wants a 48 hours anywhere in the world response force then pony up the bucks.

otherwise dear US Congress, draw your horns in and STFU.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2016 22:51

Realistically other than a invasion by Russians of poland , norway or the three baltic states i dont see where the vast usmc amphib forces have a real use case?

In the pacific and indian ocean i see none at all

Invade iran but why?

For longer buildup use cases the us army is plenty enough

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 31 Dec 2016 23:34

Is there any system which can take the place of F35 at this stage if it is dropped by Trump?


Carrier. More jobs lost or exported than saved.

He is a wave generator. But a diff thread.

In the pacific and indian ocean i see none at all


The game plan, for the USMC, since the intro of the F-35 has moved at least a 100-150 miles inland. As in China.

The real question is what kind of a conflict are we talking of. I would think Russian designs will have a lesser impact , to get the USMC involved, than a Chinese one.

And, finally, are the hands tied? Are we talking of a PC war? The F-35 will do very well in one of these fights (IMHO).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 01 Jan 2017 07:52

If you mean usmc meus invade china again why?

There is a role for the ctol jsf but right now the usmc looks like a huge army navy af without a big role to me. Could be halved in size without any impact imo given nature of emerging conflicts. Us army is already moving from ponderous heavy corps into agile brigades..
Agility the marines provided earlier

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jan 2017 08:33

In the pacific and indian ocean i see none at all


Current, and past USMC and USN leaders and strategic planners think otherwise.

There is a role for the ctol jsf but right now the usmc looks like a huge army navy af without a big role to me.


The Gator navy according to both the Pentagon's current leadership and expected new leadership will play a very important role in the Asia Pacific in making sure the Distributed Lethality concept is executed along with the Joint Forces. This can be seen in the F-35B, in the V-22 and how it's currently used, and planned to be used on their ships, on how they are developing and designing their troop movement, troop protection (Air Defense systems around the V-22 carriage) and ultimately command and control. This is even more pronounced in the FVL speed and range requirements.

Army will do well to adapt to this but there posture is more about fixed base protection and command and control for now. They have yet to find a place in the third offset and Asia-pivot unlike the Marines that have evolved and set themselves to a path towards being a prominent player and this is going to be across the entire spectrum covering how they operate, how they train and how the deploy during peacetime.

In the Asia Pacific the Marines have finally found a new purpose that was lacking during the previous time their end-strength was evaluated. They don't tier and are the best suited ground, air and sea going force given the littoral environments of the region. Neither the Army nor the Air-Force have core competency to operate in this area like they do.

And no, it's not about invading china or even preparing to do that. It's about being able to hold an edge in the new cold war in the region and actually having the chops to create effects across the spectrum of likely challenges in this all important economic zone.

All three US services have to evolve to fight in the Pacific particularly in how to fight jointly and in a distributed manner.(In a way it's similar to how they trained to fight in a tactical nuke environment during the cold-war days)...something they haven't been the best at over the last decades in terms of the way they train, the way they build and maintain their force etc. This is on a path to change but it takes a long time to change cultures. Marines already do this since all three of these are their mission areas. They are very much leaders in this regard and how they integrate with the USN (their parent service) and the USAF and Army is crucial.

The F-35 actually makes this easier since you have common capability that does not require bridges to offer 100% interoperability. One example of this was the SM6 test that utilized all operational hardware and software. A marine F-35B guided a Navy Interceptor to a cruise missile flying over land. The Navy doesn't use that aircraft (F-35B) and the Marine's do not use that interceptor (SM6) and the interoperability was possible because there was ZERO sum investment required for the Navy to put a MADL terminal on its ship which is the same for all three services. Now reverse the situation and get the USN to agree to put an IFDL terminal to support the same capability on the USAF F-22. They won't do it unless the USAF ponies up the cash.

Could be halved in size without any impact imo given nature of emerging conflicts.


Its tough to back this up with an actual analysis however when one gets into the weeds of how the Asia pacific role is likely to evolve. Planners however war-game these things and to its credit the current Work led joint service planners have been doing exactly that over the last 3 or so years as their CONOPS and operational construct for future possible scenarios shape up.
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jan 2017 08:57

Is there any system which can take the place of F35 at this stage if it is dropped by Trump?


He hasn't said he is going to cancel it. He has said that it's expensive and he wants to reduce its cost. As I have shown the F-35 APUC is currently super competitive to the F-18E/F program wise and nearly half that of the F-22. To get to $85 Million for a CTOL they have to increase production and Obama has already guaranteed the production rate of 90 in less than a year and a half (money already paid to Lockheed). They need to get from 90 a year to 150+. The total production tally doesn't impact the cost that much as annual production rate does. You can end the program in 2030 instead of 2038 and there won't be any impact on the APUC. Only overall impact would be that the divestment costs will be borne 8 years earlier and when the bean counters divide the R&D cost the denominator (total aircraft built) will be smaller.

The Recurring Flyaway cost of an aircraft rolling out from Fort Worth is determined by the economies of scale and how many you buy a given year and how you buy. Aggressive block buys will no doubt get you the lowest possible price when coupled with the planned production rates. Again, the SAR already has the planned production rates included. IN FY 2021 for example (Orders placed in CY20, with long lead order placed in 2018-19) the US services order 105 aircraft. Add about 40 from partners and FMS customers and you'll be at or close to the 150 mark. Similarly, the very next purchase block they plan on upping the USAF+USN orders to 125..That's the full rate production path. And keep in mind that it's not just arbitrarily set..You have that many Harriers, F/A-18's, and F-16's leaving active duty.

LRIP-10 contract price could be available to us by the summer. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they are close to $95 Million a pop for the CTOL variant with the Engine (URF). Egypt would be buying more expensive Rafale's then that.

Silent Eagle? F22 is already not in production and as per the reports requires large levels of cost and maintanace etc. which makes it a viable for a mass production and deployment around the world.


Silent Eagle cannot replace the F-35 which is an F-16 replacement. The USAF looked at potential F-16 requirements back in the late 1990's and looked at the F-16U which would have been much better suited compared to the F-15 SE. They rejected it on account that it would be inadequate for the type of missions and the type of threats they are likely to encounter. This was before the full nature of the Chinese IADS and 4th and 5th generation capability has come to the light.

One forgets why they want to go to a smaller highly survivable fleet. LO and self-defense suits increase your survivability. If you reduce that you have to bring this in from outside. This would mean that the USAF can no longer rely on the USN Growlers providing SO jamming and EA to them. They would need to revive their dedicated EA fleet like they had back in the day. You'll revert back to being a much larger force and this is what they want to avoid because then manpower cost gets them.

The F-22 can be restarted. A few sane men that remained at the Pentagon (that weren't fired by Gates) had asked that each and everything on the production side be preserved in a warehouse in California and education materials including production process recordings be retained to train future techs in its production. Having said that, much of the F-22's O&S cost is attributed to the small fleet size but regardless if they do decide to re-start it would not be simply the F-22 produced in the last decade.

The F-35's maintain friendly stealth concept (FIBERMAT) actually was supposed to be on the F-22B or whatever followed the F-22A. There will be far too many things to list here that could be taken from the F-35 program and put on a potential F-22 restart.

However, again look at what Trump said..He want's to reduce cost..The F-22 re-start will have an EMD component in the double digit Billions just to develop, test and start the production again. This before a single aircraft rolls out. The APUC and the PAUC will again most likely be 2X the F-35's. So how will this option be cheaper? It won't. The USAF does not wan't the F-22 ++. It wants the PCA which it's finally put a team to chart the requirements. Currently they expect this capability to come close to 2030. If you re-start the F-22 it'll be pushed by a decade at the very least. Again, you'll end up paying more for fewer aircraft while moving your modernization plans closer to 2040 as opposed to 2030 when you want them.

Force structure planning if disrupted can take decades to get back to normal. The F-22 isn't your bulk fighter any more than the F-15 was. You couldn't build an all F-15 fleet then and you can'd build an all F-22 fleet now. Again, any disruption would have near, mid and long term impact on the capability of the USAF and the USMC with the USN bearing less of the brunt on account of having the Super Hornet and the USAF to back up over it's responsible mission areas. Remember, much the way the USAF has offloaded the tactical Electronic Attack duties to the VAQ community, air superiority and similar mission areas are very much the domain of the ACC. The USN has money left over to do other things because the ACC has this mission area. You disrupt that and it messes everything up for everyone.

The idea however isn't to totally disrupt the USAF and USN fleet plans and to go back to 4th generation aircraft when the world is moving towards 5th generation and unmanned aviation. However sexy and nostalgic it may sound you can't afford to maintain hundreds of dedicated aircraft with specialized skills requirement for crews that train for just that specific missions. You surely can do that (even with 5th generation) but it costs money which you have to appropriate. These things are even beyond a Trump 8 year two-term stint. The impact and ramification of changing the very course of modernization will have long term impact. Just look at what a few years delay in F-35 IOC did to the USAF and USMC plan and amplify that by a few times.


From what read, F35 production areas located in most of the states ensuring a lot of political support to it. Even DT finds it tough to scrap.


Not just the F-35, all big ticket production systems are done like that now to make sure there is political continuity.
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 01 Jan 2017 11:34

If you mean usmc meus invade china again why?


Where else can one envision them working behind lines? Iran? China is like planning to land on Mars. Big time stuff. Alternatively they can help build the wall along the border with Mexico - the argument being the cheap labor from Mexico cannot be used (not joking).

There is a role for the ctol jsf but right now the usmc looks like a huge army navy af without a big role to me.


Look at the USMC as the first responders. The difference is they are trained and expected to bloody noses.



BTW, just today I read a small blurp about a drone (yeah, they want them too) to "escort" a V-22 into battle. For? Protection. And in the painting, the drone looked like a V-22 that had lost a lot of weight, but heavily armed.

I just do not see the Marines going anywhere.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Nick_S » 01 Jan 2017 13:52

IMO, F-35 would be a great choice for IAF. Really no point getting a 4th gen fighter when a 5th gen is available at a lower price.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Jan 2017 19:50

U.S. Air Force Launches $16 Billion T-X Competition


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Air Force has launched its highly-anticipated T-X next-generation trainer competition, issuing a request for proposals on Dec. 30 that will likely be answered by five or six industry team already vying for the $16.3 billion contract opportunity.

The Advanced Pilot Training program will deliver 350 high-performance aircraft and an associated ground-based training enterprise to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon, which student pilots selected to fly fighters and bombers have trained in since 1961.

The solicitation covers delivery of five test aircraft for the engineering and manufacturing development phase with contract options covering production of the 350 trainers over 11 annual batches with service entry due by late fiscal 2024 “or earlier,” the Air Force says.

The main aircraft specifications remain unchanged from the key performance parameters published in March 2015, with a sustained-g requirement of 6.5g and objective of 7.5g. There is no requirement to go above that performance level, which must be demonstrated at or below Mach 0.9 over 140-deg. of a 180-deg. maneuver at 80% fuel weight and 15,000 ft. pressure altitude.

There is no indication that the aircraft must fly above the speed of sound, which bodes well for lighter weight competitors. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the requirement for sustained g but was unable to immediately confirm the speed metric.

The aircraft will be assigned to Air Education and Training Command Commander (AETC) for fighter and bomber undergraduate pilot training and an introduction to fighter fundamentals course. The program specifically answers training capability gaps identified in October 2009, although the requirement for a T-38 successor has been around for decades. “Pilot training gaps widen and continue to do so every year as the service brings on more fifth-generation aircraft,” AETC commander Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson says.

The bid request comes after Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall signed an acquisition decision memorandum for T-X on Dec. 5. Earlier this week, the Air Force launched another competition worth $6.9 billion to replace the Northrop E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.

“Our ability to get the most out of our fifth-generation aircraft depends on success in the Advanced Pilot Training program,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein says. “In terms of both providing realistic, holistic training and reducing flying hours on our fifth-generation platforms, T-X is a program we've got to get right.”

T-X is a trailblazer for the Air Force’s cost-capability analysis initiative, and the program office has been engaged with industry for almost two years to neck down the requirements and make tradeoffs between performance and cost in an informed manner. Outgoing service secretary Deborah James credits this initiative with avoiding “tens of millions of dollars in development cost and risk.”the competition will be one of the most hotly contested aircraft competitions of the decade, with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Sierra Nevada Corp. and potentially Textron Aviation likely entering the race. The winner will have the edge in the international market for Western fighter trainers as more advanced fighter aircraft enter service, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Boeing has teamed with Saab to offer the single-engine, twin-tail “BTX-1” model trainer. The clean-sheet aircraft was unveiled in September, and the first of two prototypes took flight over St. Louis, Missouri, on Dec. 20. The second example will fly in early 2017, Boeing says.

Lockheed Martin partnered with Korea Aerospace Industries to submit the T-50A, an Americanized version of the latter company’s T-50 Golden Eagle. Lockheed Skunk Works announced its decision to offer an upgraded T-50 over a clean-sheet design in February with Greenville, South Carolina, selected as the final assembly and checkout facility stateside. Two of the modified single-engine, single-vertical-tail T-50s are already flying as part of Lockheed’s T-X campaign.

Northrop Grumman is teamed with BAE Systems and L3 Technologies to offer the single-engine Scaled Composites Model 400 aircraft, which was first spotted in August conducting ground taxi tests at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. It took flight several days later, but Northrop has so far made no official statements about the aircraft, nor provided any details about the configuration or its performance.

Raytheon, Leonardo, Honeywell and CAE USA come to the T-X table with a reconfigured and rebranded Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master, designated as the T-100. The company is working with two examples of the twin-engine, single-vertical-tail aircraft at Leonardo’s facility in Italy and has chosen Meridian, Mississippi, as the local assembly point.

Sierra Nevada Corp. and Turkish Aerospace Industries are jointly developing the all-composite, twin-engine “Freedom Trainer,” which they will submit for T-X and other overseas trainer competitions. Aviation Week first reported the Freedom Aircraft Ventures partnership on Dec. 13, and one prototype is already under construction at Sierra Nevada's facility in Centennial, Colorado.

Textron Aviation has not ruled itself out of the competition, even though the first model of its self-funded Textron AirLand Scorpion lightweight strike and reconnaissance aircraft would not likely meet the performance requirement for T-X. A production-representative version of the twin-engine Model 530 aircraft with 4-deg. swept wings took flight from Wichita, Kansas, on Dec. 22.

The winner of T-X will be chosen sometime in 2017, the air force says. The alternative offers will be judged on best value to the government, with technical performance and risk weighted equally with price.


Video of Northrop/SC's prototype


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 02 Jan 2017 19:06

Future force philosophy: Operators grapple with the art of fifth-generation pilot training




Although the currently fielded third- and fourth-generation aircraft are set to remain in global service for decades to comes, they are being increasingly joined by the latest fifth-generation platforms that will require a new approach to pilot training.

For those operators - chiefly the United States Air Force (USAF) with the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the USAF and US Marine Corps (USMC) with the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) - that currently operate fifth-generation platforms, pilot training has largely followed the traditional path that has been used over decades for older generation aircraft. With more and more fifth-generation aircraft now entering service across the world, however, operators will increasingly have to marry up ongoing requirements to train for its older generation platforms with those for its newest ones.

Speaking in London under the Chatham House Rule, a senior USAF official noted the training challenges that it will pose, saying: "Not everyone will be flying fifth-generation aircraft. The USAF will have the [fourth-generation] F-16 and F-15 in its inventory through to 2040 at least, so we are going to be faced with training both generations of pilots for quite a long time."

As the official noted, these different generational aircraft will require different skillsets of their pilots that will go to the core of how they will need to be trained.

"The difference between fourth and fifth generation is basically in the way that you employ an aircraft that is stealthy; in the way that you use sensor fusion; the [super cruise] speed of the aircraft; employing avoidance versus engagement; the concept of autonomous operations; the use of signature management and network integration; and how to integrate with a fourth-generation aircraft that is on your side. There are a lot of challenges from a pilot perspective, like the time compression you experience in the F-22 due to the high speeds, and the fact that even your friends cannot see you.

"Previously and currently we have trained our pilots to become good aviators and good wingmen, whereas in a fourth-generation aircraft you are by yourself on many occasions, and often actually trying to avoid other people - even friendlies - rather than trying to fly with them. It creates a different skill-set requirement for a young pilot that doesn't, maybe, have a lot of 'air sense' to run an operation in the way that perhaps an autonomous airplane would. In a third- or fourth-generation aircraft the systems integrator is the human brain, while in the fifth-generation the amount of data that is being processed by the sensor fusion is a lot more. In the latest fifth-generation platforms there are so many systems on board that are showing the pilot so many different things that it can all get a bit overwhelming. The difference in the amount of data that the pilot has to sift through is the real difference, and this will only continue to increase. The skillsets required are totally different."

Traditional pilot training has followed a well-worn path for a number of decades, with students progressing through a linear regimen, which sees classroom instruction being followed by basic and advanced flight instruction (concurrent with ground-based simulator instruction), before being passed onto the operational conversion unit (OCU) for transition to their frontline fighter type. Given that fourth-generation pilots will need to be trained for decades to come, and that fifth-generation pilots will also need to learn the basic art of flying, this system will likely to remain the training template for the foreseeable future. What will almost certainly change, however, will be the nature of, and the degree to which both ground- and air-based (or off- and on-board) synthetic training will feature.

Most sophisticated Western operators rely heavily on simulation and synthetic training, mainly to reduce wear and tear on airframes and the associated costs, not to mention the increased safety factor, with the goal of many of the most advanced countries to reach a ratio of about 50:50 in terms of synthetic-to-live training. When it comes to future training pipelines that include those for fifth-generation platforms, however, this ratio is likely to shift significantly in favour of synthetic training for a host of reasons that still include costs, but which will also factor in the vastly increased sensor performance of the latest aircraft that, in many cases, means they will simply outgrow their real-world training ranges.

As the USAF official explained, "Fifth-generation aircraft have challenges for training, with the geography of ranges not being large enough to accommodate their advanced sensors. Also, the new sensors that we will have you may not want to turn on during training for mission security.

"Third- and fourth-generation aircraft require large numbers of adversary aircraft for them to sense and to react to - that's very expensive and hard to generate. The USAF uses a ratio of 4:1 for Red Air to Blue Air for training sorties, which means either using the very expensive frontline platforms [at which time all of our frontline pilots are pretending to be 'bad guys' and so not really learning what we want them to learn], or we look more closely at the synthetic environment.This was a viewpoint that was backed up by an Israeli Air Force official speaking at the same event under the Chatham House Rule, who said that, while simulation will become an ever important training tool for the Israeli Air Force as it stands up its F-35A 'Adir' force, the service will remain heavily focused on real-world training for those events that cannot be replicated synthetically. "I don't think that we will be able to say that we will do 90% synthetic in the future and 10% real, because you'll still have to expose the pilot to the full spectrum of the mental, physical, and cognitive load that they will only experience in the air. We could maybe go to 75% to 35% [in favour of simulation] in the future, but certainly not more than that."

In terms of real-world training, there will be no lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) trainer aircraft anywhere in the world that will be geared solely towards fifth-generation pilot training. The latest types, such as the BAE Systems Hawk Mk 128 (T2 in UK service), Alenia M-346 Master ('Lavi' in Israeli service), and the future T-X for the USAF, are all centred on the fourth-generation fighter types in terms of their human-machine interface (HMI). Even so, many fifth-generation traits and capabilities can still be synthetically replicated, and this is the path, rather than an expensive wholesale change to the HMI that operators look set to follow as the fifth-generation fighters begin to come online.

"To get a trainer aircraft that can present sensor information in a fifth-generation format is just not affordable," the USAF official said, adding, "You get it as close as you can using an affordable aircraft, but at the same time, you use a building block approach to take the fourth-generation pilots to a certain level and then the fifth-generation students will perhaps have some additional considerations built in to their training. It's a balancing act - you just need to be aware of what skillsets are required for fifth-generation training and put those in a synthetic environment as they can't physically be done in an airplane due to the cost and technical limitations."


"In the past, the highest end training that we could offer our pilots was at Red Flag, but even that range is limited in size. There is no range in the world that is big enough to do fifth-generation training as you'd really like to do it - this forces you back into the synthetic environment, which now requires very high fidelity and expensive simulators. That's the only way that you can do it, though.

"Most countries are going to a 50:50 ratio for live-to-synthetic training for a number of reasons - good training and saving money. You can't ignore saving money, the ratio of life-cycle costs of a really good quality simulator compared to a current fighter is about 1:20 in favour of the simulator, and heaven knows what it will be for the F-35. It's not just about cost savings though, it's about the value of the training also."

Despite the expected increase in reliance on synthetic training, the official conceded that the provision of real-world flight training will remain critical to turning out fully formed fighter pilots. "What you use the live training (the most expensive part, and the part that burns through airframe hours) for is the dynamic part such as manoeuvring. All the things that a simulator cannot do well - replicating spatial disorientation, pilot stress and fatigue, etc - you still have to do in an airplane," he said.

Although the fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor has been in USAF service since late 2005, pilot training has largely followed the fourth-generation ethos and methodology.

With the USMC having declared initial operational capability for its F-35Bs in 2015 and the USAF following suit with its F-35As in 2016, fifth-generation platforms are now entering frontline operational service in ever expanding numbers.

As well as those fifth-generation platforms now being inducted, there are an increasing number being developed elsewhere; specifically the Sukhoi T-50 Perspektivinnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Frontovoi Aviatsyi: PAK-FA (also being developed as the Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft [FGFA]/ Prospective Multirole Fighter [PMF] for India); the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA); the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries F-3 (currently designated X-2 in its demonstrator form, and formerly Advanced Technology Demonstrator - Experimental [ATD-X]); the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Korean Fighter Experimental (KFX); the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) J-20; the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) FC/J-31; and the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Turkish Fighter Experimental (TFX).

In developing a training solution that adequately covers these future fifth-generation requirements, operators will need to be mindful of not neglecting the needs of their fourth-generation pilots that will continue to pass through the training pipeline for many decades to come.

Whatever the solution that is decided upon, one thing that does seem almost inevitable is the continuation of the growing trend towards synthetic training as platform and sustainability costs rise exponentially. As one USAF official put it to IHS Jane's , "The idea is to use the fifth-generation jets as little as possible - only for combat really, and to move everything down the pipeline into simulation and other platforms. The reality is that a lot of this is about costs, because airplanes and their use is expensive - if we had unlimited money, this would all be too easy."

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2017 06:15

Cybaru wrote:Following that report here is another one for F-35. It gives uptime during IOC and development phases. Looks pretty dismal from the report. I am sure some will need to justify those numbers, but really this is to show that shiny new platforms go through ups and downs everywhere. The complexity is testing is just gynormous. The number of tests, the myriad subsystems and the teams required to undergo and test each one is just mind boggling.

http://aviationweek.com/site-files/avia ... Report.pdf

"Block 3F developmental flight testing began in March 2015, 11 months later than the date planned by the program after restructuring in 2012, as reflected in the IMS. Progress has been limited (fl ight testing has accomplished approximately 12 percent of the Block 3F baseline test points as of the end of November) as the program focused on closing out Block 3i testing and providing a software version suitable to support plans for the Air Force to declare IOC in August 2016.
• The current schedule to complete System Development and Demonstration (SDD) and enter IOT&E by August 2017 is unrealistic.
- Full Block 3F mission systems development and testing cannot be completed by May 2017, the date refl ected in the most recent Program Offi ce schedule, which is seven months later than the date planned after the 2012 restructure of the program. Although the program has recently acknowledged some schedule pressure and began referencing July 31, 2017, as the end of SDD fl ight test, that date is unrealistic as well. Instead, the program will likely not fi nish Block 3F development and fl ight testing prior to January 2018, an estimate based on the following
assumptions:"



The F-35 SDD completion delays are mostly based on software development given the footprint on the program (total aircraft SLOC is 3+ times the F-22 for example excluding support (ALIS) and the programatic footprint is more than 10 times the ATF). Everything grinds to a halt when software is being worked upon. Development and testing completion on the higher versions of its developmental software correlate quite well with the reliability of the software. As the software matures they usually begin going through test points a lot faster. This was true of block 2b and is true of 3F up till this point.

There is also a concurrent software development and debugging relationship where each delay in one sub-variant cascades onto another since the same team has to concurrently work on multiple versions. When greater resources were being allocated to making sure the Marines got the necessary stability to IOC with 2B it showed up in delay on the 3I hardware/software interface and 3F pre-development work. Similar thing happened on the Block 3I when resources were taken away from 3F to support the USAF IOC as mentioned in the article. They haven't been able to dedicate 100% programatic resources to block 3F until just recently and this is why the 12 month projected delay will most likely be pulled back to 6-8 months for SDD completion. The same thing happened when the DOTE estimated that the USAF won't be able to IOC till December, 2016 given the status of their software version at the end of 2015..They managed to pull it back and were able to IOC in the early part of their IOC range/window, shaving a 4 or so months from where the DOTE predicted they'd be.

The IOTE delay mentioned in the article is not totally due to testing but also due to funding. The DOTE needs 24 3F configured aircraft by IOTE start and he measures delay in IOTE by that benchmark. The program can't fund for those within that timeline so not all of that delay is attributable to development-delay. Some goes to funding overrun on account of both extended delay, program scale back (they took something like $200 Million away from what they promised at the restructure in 2011) and the rest to addressing technical issues encountered during testing.

AIAA actually has more relevant papers published on structural and non software related testing on the JSF and F-22 programs. There is even a nice one there on the YF23 program and how they approached envelope expansion. From a total-overall program perspective this is a good one -

http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2012-3163

The number of test points and the scope of the JSF test program is quite unique given what they are doing with the 3 variants, the scope of what full operational capability (SDD milestone completion) represents and the fact that they have to plan for foreign system and weapon integration pretty much during development or soon thereafter. Another point to keep in mind is that the government furnished labs have been shown to be too slow and unable to handle the scope of the development of certain things.

An example is the mission data files that make its EW and sensor fusion work..the footprint has been a constant thorn on the side of meeting timelines. The air-force run labs out of Eglin could simply not handle the workload given the requirement and parameters the aircraft uses. Given the sensitive nature of this (taking information form intelligence agencies and crafting it into the MDF's) we aren't going to know the details other than the fact that it is taking longer than expected.

Image

No development and test program is smooth and no design team tends to figure everything out at its inception. A good program at the end of the day is measured by how the challenges were overcome rather than bean-counter based analysis of schedule and milestone timelines. The more the technological challenge the higher the risk and needless the say, the reward as well. This is true whether one is developing something on the commercial side like the A380, or Boeing 787, or on the defense side like the Virginia Class Submarine, F-22 or F-35. From a project management stand point, the program leader on the ATF has written an exceptional and detailed book on the program. It's worth a read on as complex an aerospace (defense) program as one is going to get prior to JSF SDD completion in 2018.

https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Tactica ... ucation%29

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Cybaru » 03 Jan 2017 11:11

Brar, thank you for your informative post. I will take a look at those links and if time permits the book as well. It must be something to get something this complex off the ground. I cannot even imagine what the QA environment looks like. And thanks for posting it here, rather than the LCA thread.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Jan 2017 21:56


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby shiv » 06 Jan 2017 20:29

The Navy's F-35 May Need New Landing Gear
A group within the Department of Defense has recommended fixes for the landing gear naval version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Should they fail, the team recommends a redesign of the F-35C's landing gear to address issues, something that will push back delivery of the already delayed and over-budget aircraft.

Inside Defense reports that carrier takeoff and landing testing done on the USS George Washington last year exposed an issue with the aircraft during takeoffs. The aircraft makes a sudden jarring motion that "is not only uncomfortable but the Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) and oxygen mask push up and down against the pilot's jaw." This results in an unreadable HMD during and after launch, presumably until the pilot can readjust the helmet.

The F-35's $400,0000 HMD uses LCDs to overlay aircraft and sensor data onto the pilot's field of view, prompting F-35 supporters to describe it more as a "workspace" for the pilot than the traditional pilot helmet. This however adds to weight—the F-35 helmet weighs 5.1 pounds, creating an "elevated risk" for pilots under 136 pounds to sustain neck damage. Work is underway to reduce helmet weight to a safer 4.8 pounds or less.

The takeoff issue is so serious that in 105 catapult shots, pilots reported 74 instances of "moderate pain" and several more cases of "severe pain".

The "red team"—typically a group created within an organization to challenge existing assumptions with new ideas—recommended a slate of actions with short, medium and long-term timelines. Short and medium term options range from changing the restraint system for pilots to modifying the nose landing gear. Longer term options include modifications to the aircraft carriers themselves or a redesign of the F-35C's landing gear, which would take one to three years to complete.

Nobody knows whether or not the long term options will actually be needed. The matter could be solved by relatively quick fixes. But if those fail, a major landing gear redesign will be a major spanner in the works for the Navy's F-35. The F-35C is currently projected to be initial operations capable—that is, ready for combat—between August 2018 and February 2019.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Jan 2017 21:22

The F-35C is the least mature of the three variants and has the most amount of testing left. This was by design since the Navy wanted to begin procurement (at scale) starting early 2020's for budgetary reasons (start off and ramp up as the F-18 acquisition program winds down). If historic test--Discover---Correct---Test---Implement cycles are any indication the worst case solutions are unlikely to be realized. The helmet fixes have been tested and they are implementing them fleet wide and once done the restrictions will be lifted. They'll find some more stuff to fix during the Charlie testing since they'll expand the envelope to full capability as they approach final certification. The A and B variants have gone through this a few years ago, the C was relatively late to the party given the number of test points that are yet to be accomplished.


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