US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 05 Feb 2019 17:55

Pentagon Studies Post-INF Weapons, Shooting Down Hypersonics

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/02/pen ... personics/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 06 Feb 2019 02:56

Navy awards dual carrier contract in move it says will save billions
https://www.stripes.com/news/us/navy-aw ... s-1.566848

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Feb 2019 18:16

SPY-6 Radar Finishes Final Round Of Developmental Testing in Hawaii


The Navy’s AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) completed its final round of developmental testing having successfully tracked its 15th ballistic missile target.

During the Jan. 31 test in Hawaii, the SPY-6 searched, found and tracked a ballistic missile target launched from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility as part of the radar’s development, according to the Navy.

“The radar performed exactly as predicted. This completes our rigorous developmental test program to support the on-time delivery of the Navy’s newest Flight III destroyer,” Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for Above Water Sensors in the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), said in a statement.This final SPY-6 radar developmental test occurred nearly two years after the radar’s first such live ballistic missile flight test, according to the Navy. At the same time the Raytheon-built SPY-6 radar was tested in Hawaii, engineers started integrating the electronic cabinets and other back-end radar components into the Aegis Combat System hardware at Aegis-developer Lockheed Martin’s Moorestown, N.J., test facility.

The Raytheon-built SPY-6 radar is an integral component of the Aegis combat weapons system’s latest upgrade, the Baseline 10, which the Navy and developer Lockheed Martin expect to achieve initial operational capability during the Fiscal Year 2023.

The Flight III Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers will have the Baseline 10 system. The future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) is the first Flight III ship, according to the Navy. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. – one of two DDG builders – expects to deliver the destroyer to the Navy in 2021. The SPY-6 radar is on schedule to be delivered to the ship in 2020, according to Raytheon.


The SPY-6 radar is up to 30 times more sensitive than the older AN/SPY-1D(v) radars, the Navy has said. However, the SPY-6 also requires much more power. The Flight III design modification centers around the new radar but also includes systems to support the SPY-6, such as a new power plant that converts 4,160-volt AC power into 1,000-volt DC power. These generators are similar to the ones developed for the DDG-1000 program, according to the Navy.


In a slightly related note, Lockheed recently disclosed that their Solid State Radar (LRDR derived) will also be scaled down for the Canadian Frigate program (Type 26) just as a variant of it is being fitted on Japanese AEGIS ashore program. This will likely mean that there would be two high performance GaN radars so there could be a possibility to compete the AN/SPY-6 down the road between the Raytheon AMDR which is currently the US Navy's choice and Lockheed's SSR which is now going to exist in 4 variants (LRDR + AA SSR + HDR and Canadian Frigate).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2019 20:59


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prem » 10 Feb 2019 02:59

It's a beast With wings and stings


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Feb 2019 05:31

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 10 Feb 2019 08:04

It looks like a giant phallus poised to probe the backside of that plane

What might i ask is this? Some mald xl ?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Pratyush » 10 Feb 2019 18:28

brar_w wrote:Image



Seems to be rocket launch. From a plane.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby chetak » 10 Feb 2019 21:13

Inspiration

twitter

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Feb 2019 01:55

From the Indian Missiles News & Discussions threads :

darshhan wrote:
Singha wrote:stealthy platforms could more easily slip in through cracks and holes in radar bubble created by MALD and growla type platforms.

anyway the muricans are running with F15C/E as the large aperture linebacker going active on Aesa radars while f22/jsf/ucavs roam in front in passive mode. using the high payload of the airframe they will deploy this phoenix replacement LREW on selective targets.


Makes sense as F-22 is severely limited in terms of payload if it carries only internal bay munitions. F-15s will provide the needed and much deeper magazine capacity.


Not really. the F-22A has the ability to carry 8 Air-Air missiles internally along with its full internal fuel and EFT's which it can jettison along with the pylons. Those are plenty of missiles and I doubt that an F-15 kitted for the same mission in an actual wartime setting will be carrying anything more than that once you factor in EFT's, pods etc. Those massive loadouts on the F-15X are specificly to open up a mission where it acts as a missile truck but it is not a loadout that the F-15C will be fighting with in the absence of that one niche role.

The F-22A is primarily an OCA platform in terms of the way it will be deployed and as such the magazine is plenty large for that. Only when you begin opening up other missions does a larger load from beyond FEBA can contribute.

Singha wrote:
meantime the pentagon is funding a LREW that is a 2 stage ER weapon to be equipped with A2G and ARM seekers launched by F-15C arsenal ships operating in silent mode behind a frontal edge of ELO platforms who gather intel on targets. this sounds like the kind of thing I was pointing to with Foxhound/F22 going after enemy heavies both emitting and non-emitting in the rear.

note that ramjets cannot operate that well in upper atmosphere, hence LREW will use solid fuel boosters


I haven't heard anything on the LREW being dual-use in terms of A2A and A2G. If anything, based on a needs assessment type of ballpark estimation it really needs to be an interceptor that can go and knock out ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and Aircraft which basically calls for a very different type of propulsion set up given the acceleration demands, altitudes covered and end-stage maneuverability required to knock out a warhead which will likely be the design driver as it is the most stressing. The primary threat that the US air forces have to overcome is long range strike missiles aimed at their Naval Assets, and ground troops/bases and this involves taking out the weapons themselves, and the platforms, particularly the high value and ISR targeting multipliers that enable this. LREW will do well to focus on that. For everything else there is a huge inventory of Aim-120C7 and Aim-120D with the latter now available in numbers (2500+ missiles delivered already). The F3R Aim-120D should be operational by 2023 and then they can follow that up with other enhancements. That is plenty when combined with the inventory size, and the platforms (F-22 and F-35). Beyond this, the USAF can do well with a cheaper, shorter ranged weapon to take out some of the low-cost cruise missile / UAV threat and this they need in numbers (larger magazine) at a cost that is generally cheaper than the AMRAAM...The SACM and CUDA particularly with a LE like optimized warhead can do wonders for both magazine capacity and performance (agility) against some of these targets and hold the most promise imho.
Last edited by brar_w on 11 Feb 2019 17:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby darshhan » 11 Feb 2019 16:05

I meant limited payload relative to f-15s with Amber multiple ejector rack.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Feb 2019 17:37

That payload is on the Strike Eagle which does not perform the same mission as the F-22A or the F-15C. For the OCA mission neither of those two fighters will be flying off with more than 8-10 missiles. Most pilots would take the F-22A missile load with its associated PK given its performance and LO+sensors. The Amber rack and the larger payloads come into play for other missions or when the aircraft has to act as a missile truck to support other aircraft. It really does not come into play when performing the primary mission the F-22A is designed to perform. Where the F-22A could use more payload is when it is performing DCA or when it is in a mixed mission load-out with A2A and A2G munitions. It would have been nice to swap out the two Aim-9X's for Aim-120's in such a scenario. But then these are not its primary missions.
Last edited by brar_w on 11 Feb 2019 17:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 11 Feb 2019 17:45

for the linebacker role, the 15C is a missile truck. it can also carry missiles too large to fit inside F22 bay, like maybe a son-of-AIM54 ULRAAM.
it has ample fuel, speed@height, climb rate, pylons and now modern avionics.

lets not forget 15C carried the huge ASAT missile @ speed @height before release.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Feb 2019 18:01

Not the F-15C, the F-15E (or now the X) is a more optimized missile truck. The F-15E is very much a multi-role strike aircraft and with its weight (to support mission and the extended airframe life) it is much inferior in the Air-Air role as far as performance is concerned compared to the F-15C and of course the F-22A. It does have a very large payload and that means it can carry lots of missiles along with IRST and other sensors. It is also going to be getting one of the most advanced EW/EA suite of any USAF fighter. This makes it particularly well suited for heavy strike and even DCA and for carrying the sort of missile loads to support stealth aircraft from behind the forward edge of battle area. It also means that it is an excellent candidate to fill in the F-15C's Alert mission which the USAF seems to be leaning towards as a means to modernize the Air-National Guard. Both the F-22A and F-35A are not particularly well suited for the alert roles given how to optimize their roles within the fleet and the cost of going back and forth with EFT's and signature maintenance.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26 ... m-per-copy

While heavier ULRAAM missiles are a plus, the USAF's own study into this determined that given mission types both the F-22A and F-35A could carry these externally. The last time the USAF looked at this was for BPI and TPI it was determined that both the F-22A and F-35A could carry 2-4 ALHTK's externally just as the Eagles. The Strike Eagle is a better candidate because it has additional fuel compared to the F-15C's and if X's are coming then they are probably the best candidates. The LREW seems to be a continuation of the ALHTK concept but with a more Air-Launch optimized missiles which would likely mean that it would be a smaller missile but still capable of similar or greater performance.

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

It is cheap and highly capable cruise missiles (two very different categories), ballistic missiles, maneuvering hypersonic missiles and UAV/UCAV threat that is the most pressing as far as USAF and USN is concerned so any future weapon has to tackle those threats first and foremost. The threat of a large near peer force (with qualitative parity) is not as pressing as these given the current fleet size and quality, missile and sensor inventory, and current modernization scale (60-80 5th gen fighters a year @ LRIP moving closer to 100 at FRP). Moreover, that is why you have the 6th generation fighter investments.

It would be wise to focus weapons development on the sort of threats that will be stressing the USAF first. An Aim-54 like weapon is of little use if it cannot go and defeat these types of threats or at least the most stressing of these threats leaving the lower end stuff for cheaper missiles.

The USAF also does not need an air-launched ASAT program given how much VLS capacity exists with the US Navy. With the arrival of the SM3 IIA, they now have the capability to pretty much go after any satellite that they'd want to destroy if it ever came to that. The USAF does not need to duplicate this capability.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby darshhan » 11 Feb 2019 19:26

Brar ji, Thanks for clarifying. But has F15x been ordered? If it is inducted, it would be almost 2 decades since USAF ordered a 4th gen aircraft.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Feb 2019 19:36

No the F-15X has not been ordered but there are rumors that they may go ahead and order. It wouldn't effect the 4th to 5th generation mix in the USAF as it will mostly be a one for one replacement for the ANG's F-15C's which would have required a considerable structural upgrade and modernization effort to keep them in service beyond 2030. They may extend this and also recapitalize the only 2 remaining active air force F-15C squadrons but that will be the extent of this. A more likely outcome would be that they'll recapitalize part of the F-15C fleet and upgrade the remaining for a young-old mix for the Guard and eventually having the F-35A replace the current F-15C Active Air Force squadrons to standardize the active air force on the platform.

By replacing them with new frames, and by swapping out some of the more recent components (like mission computers and AESA radars) the USAF can get a more capable aircraft, at a reasonable cost and one that has higher Mission Capability Rates than older upgraded aircraft and one that can slot right in without requiring expensive preparation and investments as introducing a new type into a squadron does.

The USAF CSAF as recently as a few weeks ago was quoted as saying that he will be open to the idea as long as it does not compete directly with the AF's big three modernization efforts in terms of $$ (big three = B-21, F-35 and KC-46 acquisition programs). It is one of those things that the USAF leadership would like to have budget permitting so it remains to be seen how and if the current administration allocates funding to it. It had been known to those that follow USAF plans closely that the decision about what to do with the Guard's F-15Cs was being pushed as close to FY 2021 as possible because that would have been the last year of the Budget caps and sequestration. With Mattis drawing a hard line on readiness and this unlikely to be reversed by Shanahan and his successors it does appear that recapitalization of the fleet is back on the table as opposed to simply upgrading and learning to live with lower availability of older frames.

This will be one capable 4+ Aircraft -

* Fastest Mission Computer currently flying on any fighter in the world (until the Block-4 F-35)
* Highly capable Next Gen. Digital EW/EA self defense suite in advanced development including GaN Transmitter antennas for the active jamming portion of the suite
* Largest AESA radar aperture of any USAF fighter
* Amber Missile rack
* IRST, data-link pod with room to add additional processing or capability
* Upgraded all touch mission displays in cockpit..
* UA Interface to ease weapons integration (SDBII, AARGM, JSM, LRASM etc)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 11 Feb 2019 21:56

in an interview its been said the F15X offers
- cheap and easy conversion training for 15C/E pilots & groundcrew.
- hence more squadrons that are ready to deploy and fight than the more slow FOCness of incoming JSF-A squadrons.

they are interested in more usable combat power to keep the pressure on china and russia.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby darshhan » 11 Feb 2019 22:40

Singha wrote:in an interview its been said the F15X offers
- cheap and easy conversion training for 15C/E pilots & groundcrew.
- hence more squadrons that are ready to deploy and fight than the more slow FOCness of incoming JSF-A squadrons.

they are interested in more usable combat power to keep the pressure on china and russia.


I have a feeling that it will be especially very useful against any conflict with China. With limited airbases to attack(Guam and/or Japan+Taiwan) and these bases themselves under intense attacks, every sortie will have to be maximized. This is where F-15X steps in with its immense payload and other advances. Atleast this is the conjecture that I have reached.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Feb 2019 22:49

This is a Air National Guard purchase to replace its older F-15 Cs. The USAF is not looking to add new F-15X squadrons on the active air Force frontline squadron side and may only upgrade its last two remaining active duty F-15 C squadrons in the best case scenario. but that is essentially it. On the active air force side their are the F-15 E squadrons that are getting same upgrades. A vast majority of the ANG F-15X's, if purchased, would support the homeland defense and QRA mission set or essentially slot into the force structure that already exists and is tasked with this mission.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Feb 2019 00:18

Singha wrote:in an interview its been said the F15X offers
- cheap and easy conversion training for 15C/E pilots & groundcrew.
- hence more squadrons that are ready to deploy and fight than the more slow FOCness of incoming JSF-A squadrons.

they are interested in more usable combat power to keep the pressure on china and russia.


For all practical purposes, barring huge CAPEX and OPEX increases the USAF won't buy more than 60-80 F-35A's a year. Adding more will change the acquisition strategy as in its long term program plans the USAF assumes a certain number of aircraft budgeted for each configuration (block 3F, block 4, block 5 etc etc) and by moving everything to the left, not only will they incur the added costs of training and equipping squadrons faster but also the downstream costs of having to upgrade those aircraft to better standards later.

So adding 200 or so F-35A's to the program of record to take care of the ANG fleet recap is going to be quite costly once all those costs are factored in. The F-15X's on the other hand are a drop in with very little adjustment needed at the squadron or air-base level and does not alter the upgrade cycles or training. They will also simply swap out equipment from outgoing F-15C's some of which have only recently received an AESA radar and are now getting a new mission computer and the legion pods. Those things can be reused so your overall acquisition cost can be lowered. This is simply a cost-benefit analysis of paying $20 Million to buy an additional decade of operational use from the existing F-15C's or paying 60-70 Million to buy new 20K hour airframes. If there is money that does not eat into the current acquisition priorities then the USAF will probably like to modernize the ANG with newer jets to have better mission capability rates and performance.

darshhan wrote:
Singha wrote:in an interview its been said the F15X offers
- cheap and easy conversion training for 15C/E pilots & groundcrew.
- hence more squadrons that are ready to deploy and fight than the more slow FOCness of incoming JSF-A squadrons.

they are interested in more usable combat power to keep the pressure on china and russia.


I have a feeling that it will be especially very useful against any conflict with China. With limited airbases to attack(Guam and/or Japan+Taiwan) and these bases themselves under intense attacks, every sortie will have to be maximized. This is where F-15X steps in with its immense payload and other advances. Atleast this is the conjecture that I have reached.



I don't think they make a whole lot of difference vis-a-vis a future conflict with China since these are going to be ANG aircraft and most of them will be tied to CONUS missions but they do increase the overall capability of the USAF so there is that. If they wanted to move very aggressively towards a more dominant strategy towards the Chinese threats then playing around with the B-21 fleet numbers will likely be a much better strategy as many people have called for a fleet size closer to 200 than the 100 B-21's that was originally talked about.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby SBajwa » 13 Feb 2019 22:00


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 13 Feb 2019 22:19

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Karthik S » 13 Feb 2019 22:25

Why go back to F 15 after production run of F 22 is done, and F 35 production about to start?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prasad » 14 Feb 2019 08:23

Cost

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 14 Feb 2019 09:27

Prasad wrote:Cost


And exports.

To the gulf Nations, to whom they won't offer the F 35 (not for a few years anyway)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 14 Feb 2019 09:38

Nobody else i know can carry 22 aam for whatever turkey shoot is planned

Not sure why such a massive number is needed

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prasad » 14 Feb 2019 11:56

Eagles flying wall of Eagles missions would have drop tanks and tons of AAMs. So while 22 AAMs sounds ridiculous, its just another way of saying look at our weapons load capability onlee.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Feb 2019 20:53

Karthik S wrote:Why go back to F 15 after production run of F 22 is done, and F 35 production about to start?


F-22A's production is done like you mentioned so no new ones can be purchased. The F-35 production is not "about to start" but is going on at near triple digits (90+ deliveries last year with 131 planned this year). Yet, despite of this, the USAF still has to answer some key fleet architecture questions that it has been delaying for quite some time, pushing the decision close to 2021 when it anticipates less budgetary pressure.

One of those questions is "What to do with the ageing F-15C fleet with its Air National Guard". The F-15X here makes more sense than either an F-22A restart (too expensive and overkill for the ANG given its role and mission) or a much higher F-35A annual purchase (going from 60-80 a year acquisition (USAF, F-35A) at peak to 100+ at peak is not a linear cost growth as induction costs, transition costs, and other non-recurring costs need to be absorbed while upgrading the Guard's infrastructure to support a 5th generation program. Moreoever, the Guard rarely will be expected to perform OCA or offensive penetrating strike and therefore the F-35A's biggest advantages do not really directly apply to its mission set and need. For most of the roles the Guard is expected to perform the F-15X is just as well suited, if not better suited given capability and other considerations than the F-35A.

This then leaves the USAF with only 3 three reasonable options 1) Upgrade the current F-15C's and make them last till well into the 2030's and perhaps even beyond, 2) Buy or upgrade more F-16's and eventually transition the ANG to an all F-16 fleet or 3) Buy a new fighter and recapitalize the fleet. 1) is attractive but comes with lower mission capability rates and higher cost of maintaining old aircraft. 2) is attractive but there will be some loss of capability as the F-16, even an upgraded one does not have the same capability as the Eagles/Strike Eagles..Option 3) is attractive only if there are funds available to execute the program and if the fleet (about 200 aircraft) can be recapitalized affordably. Here Boeing is likely to pitch an extremely aggressive procurement cost, while porting over the AESA radar, and other equipment (Legion pod and other targeting pods and perhaps the new Mission computers the F-15C fleet is getting) to save cost further.

Singha wrote:Nobody else i know can carry 22 aam for whatever turkey shoot is planned

Not sure why such a massive number is needed


The capability and Boeing PR is showcasing higher loads not of a typical A2A missile load. The higher loads also apply to mixed loads and configurations. Those will likely be more typical and indicative how these aircraft are likely to be kitted. A higher missile load is an advantage when performing DCA and other missions which the F-15's are likely to do especially with the proliferation of UAV's/UCAV's as there are now asymmetric ISR threats and not just enemy fighters that can threaten high value targets.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Feb 2019 21:53

This will be a major upgrade to the AH-64 E Apache in the mid-late 2020s - 50% Increase in thrust and 25% better fuel efficiency.

GE Claims Prized U.S. Army T700 Replacement Contract


Elite U.S. Army pilots like to boast that their helicopters’ night-vision equipment and other sensors allow them to “own the night,” but their engines now stop them from owning the high ground.

Nearly half of Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain on hot days rises above the pressure altitude hover limit for a combat-loaded Sikorsky UH-60 or Boeing AH-64. The empty weight of the UH-60 has steadily crept higher over the years, so the number of utility helicopters needed to move a platoon at any altitude has doubled.

After a 15-year competition, the Army on Feb. 1 decided how to solve that power problem, selecting GE Aviation over a joint venture set up by Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney to complete development of a new, 3,000-shp turboshaft engine for the UH-60 and AH-64 that also will propel a new type of high-speed rotorcraft expected to enter service later in the next decade.

The Army’s $517 million contract award calls for GE to wrap up a critical design review by next spring and deliver the first T901-GE-900 engine for testing in the summer of 2021. The Army has waited a long time for the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) to move beyond the preliminary design stage, and the aviation community is impatient for the long-awaited power and fuel-efficiency upgrade. The baseline schedule sets a 66-month time frame to deliver and test prototype engines, but the Army is offering GE incentive payments to accelerate the time line by up to 12 months, according to Rep. Seth Moulton’s (D-Mass.) office.

“We’ve invested in the resources and infrastructure to execute immediately, and our team is ready to get to work on delivering the improved capabilities of the T901 to the warfighter,” says Tony Mathis, president and CEO of GE Aviation’s military business.
The T901 will replace the T700-GE-701 in 1,300 UH-60 and 600 AH-64 helicopters. GE delivered the latest version of the T700 in 2003. Featuring a 2,000-shp rating, the T700-GE-701D delivered 25% more power than the original model offered 25 years earlier. The Army set far more ambitious targets for the T700’s replacement. GE must drop future T901s into the same engine bays for the UH-60 and AH-64 yet deliver 50% more power and 25% better fuel efficiency.


Including planned growth potential, the T901 is expected to keep both helicopters relevant for decades longer. Instead of carrying only five troops up to 145 km (90 mi.) on a hot day above 6,000-ft. pressure altitude now, a T901-powered UH-60M should be able to lift 13 troops and drop them off 225 km away, Army briefing materials say.
GE won the bid by offering the Army a familiar engine architecture to meet an ambitious requirement. The T901 design features a power turbine module and a single-spool gas generator, replicating the general layout of the T700 family. By contrast, ATEC offered the rival T900 engine with a dual-spool architecture.
Both companies relied on new materials to meet the Army’s performance requirements. The T901 design, for example, features hybrid bearings, which combine ceramic rollers and metallic races to handle the higher temperatures inside a 3,000-shp-class engine. The Army also wants the T901’s inlet particle separators to block more sand and dust without disturbing the airflow entering the gas generator.
The ITEP program has outlived its original platform. In 2004, Army officials described how the T700 replacement would power a vague concept called the UH-60X. The Future Utility Rotorcraft requirement later merged with the AH-64 replacement to form the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program. Sikorsky/Boeing’s SB-1 coaxial, compound rotorcraft and Bell’s V-280 tiltrotor are now gathering flight data to inform the requirements for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The FVL capability has split into rapid prototyping programs: a high-speed armed scout helicopter called the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and a much heavier Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). The latter is replace the the UH-60 and AH-64—but on a time line that could take decades to complete.

In the meantime, GE’s plan to execute the T901 program immediately will be put to the test. The Army needs the T901 to power the production version of the FARA, and it would prefer to use it at the prototype stage starting in 2022, with the Sikorsky S-97 and undisclosed concepts by Bell and Airbus waiting to compete. In response to industry questions about FARA, the Army acknowledged the T901 may not be ready by 2022, but the less powerful T700-GE-701D would be a backup propulsion option. “The differences in power and aircraft performance are acknowledged,” the Army writes.

The future propulsion system for the FLRAA program remains undecided. It is expected to use the Army’s planned replacement for 6,000-shp-class Honeywell T55 and GE T64 engines. An off-the-shelf engine is the 7,500-shp T408, which GE is supplying for the Sikorsky CH-53K program. But the Army may prefer to wait for a next-generation propulsion system. That sets up another extended competition between GE and ATEC. To begin design studies and component rig tests, the Army has awarded early development contracts to GE called the Future Affordable Turbine Engine and to ATEC called the Alternative Concept Engine...


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Feb 2019 04:16

Milestones: Bell’s V-280 Valor JMR-TD tiltrotor


Image

Bell is turning its testing focus to improving the V-280 Valor tiltrotor’s low-speed agility after achieving the aircraft’s high-speed key performance parameter (KPP) of 280 kt.
Ryan Ehinger, V-280 programme manager, told Jane’s on 30 January that the agility KPP is based on aircraft quickness in pitch, roll, and yaw, which are all controlled by the company’s fly-by-wire systems. By continuing to collect a wide variety of performance data this testing will highlight actual aircraft performance in comparison with Bell’s models, said Ehinger.
Testing things such as raw flight control power, Ehinger said, highlights operational advantages when manoeuvring on an objective. Having this deep level of performance data from all aspects of flight testing serves to reduce programme risk, he added.
Bell has an open systems architecture as a baseline for the V-280 demonstrator, which, Ehinger noted, is a statutory requirement for new Pentagon programmes. This will also hold true for a production system, which will give the customer the flexibility to manage hardware obsolescence and spiral in new capabilities more efficiently than before.
Ehinger said the idea is to create a flexible backbone on the aircraft that will enable rapid upgrades to different mission systems as they are needed or available.
“Doing so decreases [the] cost involved in new integrations [in addition to] time and money as well as ensuring our warfighters have what they need to complete their objective,” the programme manager explained.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Feb 2019 04:21

IDEX 2019: Patriot GEM-T missile with GaN completes flight tests - Jane's IHS


Raytheon has completed three flight tests of the Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic Missile (GEM-T) with gallium nitride (GaN) in the missile’s transmitter, the company told Jane’s during the IDEX show held in Abu Dhabi on 17–21 February.

The first live-fire flight test in December 2018 “consisted of firing one GEM-T missile at a target in a complex environment held at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The system tracked the target, processed the engagement, launched the missile, intercepted and killed the target,” Raytheon said.

Joe DeAntona, vice-president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon, said two further successful flight tests were conducted in the week before IDEX.

He added that a transmitter with GaN has a higher performance, does not need to be recertified over the 45-year life of the missile, and that existing GEM-T missiles can be upgraded with the technology.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 20 Feb 2019 04:47

brar_w wrote:This will be a major upgrade to the AH-64 E Apache in the mid-late 2020s - 50% Increase in thrust and 25% better fuel efficiency.

Mother of Goodness Gracious! :eek:

50% increase in thrust, with 25% decrease in fuel efficiency.

Massa R&D is amazing.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 20 Feb 2019 08:46

They did something similar with the venerable Huey, didn't they?

Next up the Chinook please. Well it's already faster than the Apache but who doesn't love more power :)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 20 Feb 2019 08:49

Did you say more power? :mrgreen:

I want to grunt like Tim The Tool Man Taylor! :lol:

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 20 Feb 2019 10:53

^ Am not familiar with Tim Taylor, but nearly every pilot in interviews asks for a bit more power. With the possible exception of one Tornado pilot, but even he mentioned that it was only for low level DPSA mission. He wanted a bit more power for high level air interdiction :)

And extra power in our Chinooks will be very welcome, even more so than afghanistan. More load carrying, at longer ranges, at higher altitudes and better fuel economy. Will likely be pricier but the long run savings on opex will surely make up for it. Good luck yanks, and god speed (assuming they take up such a program).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Feb 2019 11:29

On the Chinook:

Building on the Block II effort already underway with the Army, Boeing is investing in looking at an engine that can replace the current T55 engine. “We have pretty much eked out as much performance as we think we can eke out,” of the current engine, Dabundo said, and with the Block II upgrades, it’s “the next logical step.”

Boeing and General Electric have entered into a cooperative program to test a new engine that will get 50 percent more horsepower and 15 percent more fuel efficiency than the current engine.

The companies plan to demonstrate the engine on a Chinook altered to accommodate the new one in the beginning of next year, according to Dabundo.


https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... -jeopardy/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Manish_P » 20 Feb 2019 12:18

^ Ah

One can hope then...

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Feb 2019 18:45

With the US JMRTD and FVL focusing on two very different helo categories, the CH-47 is going to have to stay in service for decades which means a significant engine replacement is a matter of when and not if. This is primarily why Boeing and GE are trying to get ahead of the demand and flight testing their potential solution beforehand.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Feb 2019 06:30

Philip wrote:Not false at all.Jared Keller's report 20/2/19
taskandpurpose.com.Read it for yourself.


I don't need to, I've read the actual reports he is citing and know that they refer to the development test program and are a snapshot from that timeframe. The DevTest program has since concluded and most of the issues referenced in those reports have been retired or solutions implemented or designed to the acceptance of the concerned operators.

The F-35 is no longer in Developmental phase. It is currently undergoing a follow on modernization phase and operational testing phase. The reports are always dated and provide a snapshot of challenges during that phase. It doesn't mean that those challenges are still outstanding. Since the report was written the test program has concluded and 2 of the three operators in the US have accepted the aircraft in its final SDD configuration. The third operator (USN) will accept it later this month.

The program and the engineers respond point by point and the decision makers decide whether those items are still outstanding or retired. Those reports always never leak.

Read what the USAF chief is saying. If you don't wan't to, watch his words if you prefer the video format. I can provide you similar feedback from the USN boss and the USMC boss. Furthermore, read what the pilots flying it are saying about how it is performing in wargames and at Red Flag. Reading into a list of issues discovered and addressed during the developmental phase and projecting those issues forever is quite a stupid way to go about most things. All these reports tell is the issues the program had to overcome or discovered during the developmental phase. It doesn't mean that those issues will forever remain unaddressed.

The US DOD system is the only one which has something similar to a DOTE who looks over the shoulder of the actual testers and files an annual report on activities of the prior year (this in addition to the auditor which is a separate entity). The problem is that the DOTE files a report of all of its observation from developmental test work only in the year end and that report generally reaches Congress (from where it leaks) even later, usually early into the following year. Normally this does not matter but in the current phase of the program, since the DOTE WROTE his report the JSF actually concluded its devTest program and transitioned to the next phase.

The program and the operators then respond and show what was done about. This is called the process of DISCOVERY and RECTIFICATION. One report cites the former, others cite the latter. It is often only the former that leak out while we have to wait for official congressional testimony to get our hands on the latter.

Rakesh wrote:Philip, please provide link of article. Save everyone the headache of having to search. I found it.

The Air Force is eyeing an F-15 variant nobody wants while still struggling with the F-35
https://taskandpurpose.com/air-force-f15x-purchase-f35


T&P is a known anti-F35 website as one with even slight knowledge on the USAF would be able to tell after reading the clickbait headline which relates two completely unrelated issues trying to project that somehow the Air National Guard's F-15C recapitalization means that the USAF is moving away from the F-35A when the F-35A was never EVER even in the picture as a potential replacement for the ANG's F-15C's as I have painstakingly tried to articulate on a couple of occasions.

I don't think the very top of the USAF leadership could make it any clearer but here is the second recent quote from the USAF Chief of Staff -

And regardless of whether the service does buy the new jets this year, Goldfein said the new aircraft won’t be taking money from the Lockheed Martin F-35.

“I’m not backing an inch off of the F-35” Goldfein said. “The F-35 buy that we’re on continues to remain on track. And I’m not interested in taking a nickel out of it when it comes to buying anything else in the fighter portfolio.”


https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters ... air-force/

In other words, as presented in the program plan, the F-15X is a "NICE TO HAVE" - A good way to affordably recapitalize the F-15C fleet with the Air National Guard as opposed to extending lives of the old F-15C's and facing readiness and expense issues down the road. The only way the USAF will invest into this CAPEX is if they see money in the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) that still allows them to meet its obligations as they are laid out in the F-35A SAR and likely also provide the laid out support to the B-21 and KC-46 program.

Some sensationalists and clickbait sites like T&P, BusinessInsider, and NationalInterest have tried to link these two things when these things are completely unrelated with one referring to the USAF modernization while other trying to modernize the ANG.

When the USAF CS says he's not moving an inch from the "F35" he is referring to scaling back the acquisition plans the USAF currently has for its F-35A through the last stages of LRIP and into FRP. Here are the numbers for orders through 2025 -

Image

The actual orders are usually slightly more since the Congress usually adds a few F-35As each year over and above the request.

The F-35A, KC-46 and B-21 are the three biggest USAF acquisition priorities and this has remained stable over two leadership changes and on two US Government administrations. The notion that plans to invest on these three will be scaled back to buy the f-15X is absurd. If the F-15X finds its way into the budget it will be because there is a topline increase which allows them to fund this recap. They aren't going to be taking money from these programs to support the F-15X.

The US (all three operators combined) will be buying between 84-90 F-35's this coming budget period (FY20). This number will climb slightly to 100 in the next budget period (FY21). That is a lot of aircraft for single year procurement. But in addition to this they will also be buying other stuff not at the expense of the F-35 but as something complementary to it. The USAF in particular has been pushing the decision point on what to do about the ANG F-15's for a while now..deliberating between whether to life extend or retire and pushing the decision to the right when more funds become available. As the Chief has mentioned and others opined, if there is money in the budget that doesn't eat into its other established acquisition priorities, the USAF would like to recapitalize the fleet, or at least a portion of it by acquiring new F-15X's. The advantage of this move is affordability as the F-15X fits the exact same base, depot and training infrastructure as the current F-15C's and the much longer frame life (20,000 hours) ensures that the Guard has its future secured for a long time. The F-15X is also more multi-role and therefore more adaptable than the F-15C's so if the ANG mission changes over the next decade they have an aircraft that can adapt to that change.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Feb 2019 23:17

Lockheed Martin contracted by USAF to develop extreme range JASSM variant


Lockheed Martin has been funded by the US Air Force (USAF) to take the next steps in the development of an ultra long-range version of the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile (JASSM) air-launched precision strike missile.

Known as the JASSM-Extreme Range (JASSM-XR), the new variant will evolve the existing AGM-158B JASSM-ER weapon to extended range beyond 1,000 km. A new wing design already under way will feature as part of JASSM-XR.

Under a USD51 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract awarded on 10 September by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Orlando, Florida, will perform engineering work and hardware development. The contract is expected to run to the end of August 2023.

The original AGM-158A JASSM is a conventionally armed stand-off missile designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets. Equipped with a 2,000 lb penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead, the 370 km-range JASSM combines a low-observable airframe with a precision navigation and guidance package (combining inertial guidance with anti-jam GPS) and an imaging infrared terminal seeker.

The extended range AGM-158B JASSM-ER pushes range out to more than 900 km through a more efficient engine (the Williams International F107-WR-105 turbofan replacing the Teledyne CAE J402-CA-100 turbojet) and a larger fuel volume within the airframe. While the AGM-158A is integrated on the USAF's B-1B, B-2, B-52H, F-16, and F-15E aircraft, currently only the B-1B and F-15E carry JASSM-ER (with the B-52H, F-16C/D [Block 40-52] and B-2 planned to follow).

Under its new JASSM-XR contract, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control has been funded to undertake all-up round level systems engineering and programmatic activities to align and phase work necessary to design, develop, integrate, test, and verify component and subsystem design changes to the JASSM-XR baseline electronics, hardware, firmware, and operational flight software. Activity will also include preparation for final all-up round integration, system-level ground and flight testing, qualification, and incorporation into a future production baseline engineering change proposal.

At the same time, the company will mature a new missile control unit and the necessary hardware and infrastructure to support a future JASSM-XR production cut-in.

In July last year Lockheed Martin received a USD37.7 million contract for continued development of a new wing for JASSM-ER. This embodies what the company characterises as a “novel design” to further increase the missile’s standoff range. A Lockheed Martin spokesman told Jane’s that the wing activity awarded in July 2018 “was for early development work that will eventually lead into a larger continued effort to be included on JASSM-XR”.


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