US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Feb 2019 20:07

Boeing awarded EPAWSS contract modification for F-15E


Boeing has been awarded a USD24.1 million contract modification related to the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) upgrade for the F-15E Strike Eagle combat aircraft.

The contract, which was awarded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 21 February, is for hardware and systems engineering programme management for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) and initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) phases of the jamming pod. Work will be performed in St Louis, Missouri, and is scheduled to be complete by 1 June 2021.

Developed by BAE Systems as a sub-contractor to Boeing, the EPAWSS is designed to sample the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, identify threats, prioritise, and allocate jamming resources against them, and will replace the 1980s-vintage Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite (TEWS) currently fitted to the USAF’s more than 400 F-15C and F-15E-variant Eagles.

In February 2017 Boeing completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) of the system following a CDR for the system’s electronic warfare (EW) suite undertaken by BAE Systems in late 2016. “This will be the most state-of-the-art EW system, that has taken some proven technology already out there in the fifth-gen domain,” Steve Parker, vice-president of F-15 programmes at Boeing, said at the time.

The EPAWSS upgrade is part of a wider USD12 billion modernisation programme taking place across the range of Eagle types being flown in the USAF inventory. As the largest operator of the Eagle by some margin, the USAF fields the platform in its F-15C air-superiority guise; in its F-15D operational-trainer guise; and in its F-15E Strike Eagle ground-attack guise.

The USAF’s upgrade roadmap is currently funded through to 2025, with several enhancements, such as the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) already carried out and fielded. Other enhancements comprise a new advanced mission computer, conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) for the Air National Guard, the infrared search-and-track (IRST) Legion Pod, replacement of the current mechanically scanned (M-Scan) radar with new active electronically scanned array (AESA) systems, as well as a new ‘gateway’ communications system known as Talon HATE.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Feb 2019 20:12

More details on EPAWSS ( Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System) design from a 2015 article from the Association of Old Crows (JED). It essentially retains the all digital architecture found on the export advanced strike eagles (F-15SA and QA) but borrows a lot of the EW components and software from the F-22A and F-35 programs while introducing Gallium Nitride (GaN) based self protection jamming antennas for its active component. Boeing is currently on contract to achieve IOC with the first 24 F-15E's equipped with EPAWSS by late 2021 - Mid 2022 time frame.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 23 Feb 2019 21:00

The EA-18G Growler will be getting both the MALD-N and the Next Generation Jammer - Mid-Band around the same time towards the end of 2021 and into 2022 while the USAF will be upgrading its MALD-J's to the X configuration that it has been flight testing for a while now.

MALD-N programme funded into EMD phase ; Jane's Missiles & Rockets ; Richard Scott, London

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a USD33 million contract modification that will fund engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the Miniature Air Launched Decoy – Navy (MALD-N).
Announced on 30 January the 24-month EMD phase follows on from a USD46.6 million technical maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) contract placed by NAVAIR in September 2018.

Evolved from the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) ADM-160C MALD-J system – a subscale turbojet-powered decoy/jammer with a maximum range of about 500 n miles – the MALD-N programme is intended to address the US Navy’s (USN’s) requirement for a network-enabled stand-in jammer to support suppression of enemy air defences. Stand-in jamming employs a combination of tactics and techniques whereby an unmanned aerial vehicle, equipped with an electronic attack (EA) payload, is deployed in close proximity to the threat radar and within the lethal engagement envelope of associated surface-to-air missiles. In this way, it provides screening for other platforms.

The EMD phase for MALD-N will be followed by low-rate initial production (LRIP) during fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) and FY 2022 (LRIP covers an estimated quantity of 250 MALD-N weapons). MALD-N is scheduled to achieve early operating capability on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2021, followed by initial operating capability in 2022.

While MALD-N air vehicle development is being single-sourced to Raytheon, the development of the EA payload has been split off and is to be the subject of a separate competition. According to NAVAIR, the successful EA payload contractor will in due course become a subcontractor to Raytheon.

The MALD-N development is leveraging the recent MALD-X capability demonstrator programme, for which Raytheon was awarded a USD34.8 million contract by the USAF in March 2016. Funded through the Special Capabilities Office at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, MALD-X was set up to demonstrate capabilities potentially applicable to the USN’s MALD-N programme and at the same time establish an upgrade path for USAF’s existing MALD-J inventory.

The MALD-X air vehicle system embodied a new modular front end, an improved EA payload, a datalink, and a low-altitude capability. Flight demonstrations were performed in August 2018 at the USN’s Point Mugu Sea Range off California.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 23 Feb 2019 21:21

Excellent and very lengthy article from Michael Fabey from Jane's IDR on the Virginia and Columbia class submarine programs. Posting only a portion here as the complete article is still only available to subscribers :

Sub Routine: Columbia class, Virginia payload module remain US Navy priorities; Jane's International Defence Review ; Michael Fabey


The USN intends to buy the first Columbia-class boat in FY 2021 and the second in FY 2024. It plans to finish off the acquisition with annual buys of one ship per year from FY 2026 through to FY 2035. The first submarine is slated to be delivered in FY 2027 and the second in FY 2030. Then it will be one per year from FY 2032 through to FY 2041.

There is an especially close margin between the retirement of the Ohio class and the arrival of the Columbia class in part because the USN has pushed the new SSBN programme into the future to pay for other platforms and systems. Even with the emphasis on completing the Columbia class to schedule, there is still some risk. The USN acknowledges that the SSBN force would decline to 11 boats from FY 2030 through FY 2036, dropping to 10 between FY 2037 and FY 2040. The fleet should increase back to 11 boats in FY 2041 and then up to 12 in FY 2042.

Despite the importance of the SSBN mission and the potential risk to meeting strategic nuclear deterrence requirements due to the reduction from 11 or 10 boats between FY 2030 and FY 2041, USN officials said they can fulfill the mission. They noted that during those leaner fleet years, all of the SSBNs in service are to be operational; none would be stuck pier side underdoing the long mid-life overhauls.
However, the greater risk would come if one of the ships must be pulled out of operations for unscheduled long-term maintenance or some other unforeseen issue.

From the start, the Columbia class is to be designed for a 42-year service lifespan but it will require no mid-life nuclear refueling like the Ohio class. The USN will equip the Columbia-class boats with a life-of-the-ship nuclear fuel core. However, the new submarines will still need a mid-life overhaul of systems and equipment.

The Columbia-class SLBM launch tubes will be the same size as those on the Ohio – a diameter of 87 inches and a length sufficient to accommodate a D-5 SLBM – but its 13 m beam will be slightly larger than that on the Ohio class. The lengths will be the same for both boats, 170.7 m. However, the Columbia class will only have 16 SLBM launch tubes, whereas Ohio had 24 tubes.

The Columbia class’s submerged displacement is to be 18,883 tonnes, greater than the Ohio class’s 17,033 tonnes.

Virginia investment

The FY 2019 request includes about USD7.3 billion for the Virginia class, including USD7.2 billion for two Block V Virginia-class submarines and related advance procurement and economic order quantity funds, which are part of the FY 2019-23 multiyear procurement plan.

The Block V hulls will include improvements in acoustic stealth and on-hull sensors. The second hull in FY 2019 will include the first VPM and a hull section with four additional payload tubes capable of carrying an additional 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles, which increases the Tomahawk per-ship capacity from 12 to 40.

Virginia-class boats to be procured in coming years with VPM have an estimated unit procurement cost of about USD3.2 billion, while non-VPM
ships acquired in recent years cost about USD2.7 billion each.


The USN may have another option to make up for SSGN firepower, which is to keep the Columbia-class strategic submarine line running even after the service gets all 12 of the planned boats.

The navy wants to keep the line going not only to possibly build more strategic submarines – should the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) determine that more of the boats are needed – but also to potentially develop a new kind of undersea vessel, Rear Admiral John Tammen, director of Undersea Warfare, said on 8 November 2018 during the Naval Submarine League symposium.

“If STRATCOM needs more than 12, we can produce more than 12,” he said. “If STRATCOM doesn’t need more than 12, we’re looking at what we call the large-volume host platform. We haven’t nailed down the concept yet, but we’ll take that centre section; there will be payload volume. We’ll have the ability to host vehicles aboard inside that centre section.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 23 Feb 2019 22:15

^ While the article does not specifically mention this but there are now some serious voices wanting the Virginia class production to increase from its current 2 subs a year (delivery rate) to a 3 sub a year (delivery rate) during the odd years (when the Navy is not buying the Columbia SSBN). Earlier the plans were to keep the Virginia production at 2 but reduce it down to 1 during the odd years when the USN pays for Columbia class. The current administration moved it up to 2 even during the odd years but there seems to be a consensus building that they need to move to a 3-2 model (buy 3 a year during years when not procuring the Columbia and 2 when procuring the columbia).

There will be some serious CAPEX required from the shipyards and supplier base and the estimated lead time to prepare for this production increase is around 3-5 years. Meanwhile the Acoustic Superiority program has delivered the latest AS enhanced sub with the recent christening of the USS Delaware (SSN-791). The current Virginia SSN status is 17 operational SSN's out of the 21 subs that have been launched with 2 additional subs christened but not yet commissioned. 16 additional Virginia class submarines are on contract covering the block buy for block IV and block V submarines.

Delaware is the last Block III submarine but is on its special schedule as it is validating the Acoustic superiority upgrades for future classes so it will have a much protracted test and subsequent shakedown phase. SSN-792 (Vermont) was the first block IV sub christened a couple of weeks ago and will be commissioned next year.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Neshant » 24 Feb 2019 19:43

India should attempt servicing & mock repairs on a couple of these US subs in preparation for the day they might actually be in need of emergency repairs in Indo-Pacific battles.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2019 04:19

This is obviously not realistic as the US Navy prefers to own yards for most of the vital work on its nuclear attack and ballistic missile submarines with only a very select portion of the work farmed to privately owned yards. It operates no SSKs that it can separate from the nuclear powered force. Additionally, any capital investment in adding servicing and overhaul capability (quality and quantity) will first go the US navy's own yards which are in dire need of modernization as the USN has been kicking the can down the road since 2011 to a time when the budget control act goes away.

It is reasonable to assume that contingency plans probably exist to do some sort of rapid work and turn these SSN's around in the Indo-Pacific during conflict probably utilizing infrastructure in Guam (4 SSN's are home ported there), Japan and perhaps Australia. Greater bilateral training and wargames utilizing a larger undersea and ASW component is probably a really good option when it comes to the IN-USN relationship over the medium-long term. This is an area where a giant leap in competitive advantage over China can be had by training at a higher intensity with other capable navies.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2019 19:28

A couple of screen grabs from a recent Jane's IHS article covering the development of the Next Generation Jammer Increment 1 and the competition for the NGJ Increment 2. Based on my understanding and observation this is the first time the program office or an OEM has referenced the power level targets for the new module which explains why the current pods are so much larger than the legacy ones they replace. For reference, the current ALQ-99 pods and the associated RAT generate an output of around 7-10 kW.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 26 Feb 2019 20:08

It's just not Israeli F-35I Adir's that are operating over Syria. USMC F-35B's also got in on the action during their deployment on the USS Essex. 6 F-35B's have been deployed in the region since August of last year and have been able to conduct strikes over Afghanistan and Syria while training over the horn or Africa and performing an integration exercise with a CVN and its battle group. Each one of the combat pilots aboard the USS Essex was able to fly a combat sortie during the deployment. Huge learning opportunity on the USMCs first deployment in an active combat theater.

Marine F-35s Dropped a Bunch of Bombs on ISIS During 1st Middle East Deployment



Members of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 flew 1,200 combat hours over Iraq and Syria, "making up a considerable portion of the ordnance that was dropping in theater," said Col. Chandler Nelms, commander of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Marines spent more than seven months deployed to the Pacific and Middle East. The F-35B detachment was assigned to the 13th MEU, which operated from aboard the amphibious assault ship Essex. It was the first time the Marine Corps' variant of the stealth jet, which can take off and land vertically, deployed to the Middle East.

The F-35B's first combat strike was in Afghanistan in September, where the Marine pilots were flying close-air support missions, said Lt. Col. Kyle Shoop, VMFA-211's commanding officer.

From there, they flew more than 50 days' worth of close-air support and defensive counter-air missions in Iraq and Syria.

"Every day, [the pilots] were supporting over six hours of time in theater," Shoop said.

"We were aware they were airborne," Shoop said. "There are some established de-conflictions that are already set up between Russian and U.S. forces. They were all adhered to, but we were aware."

The F-35Bs were able to give troops on the ground more information than would have been possible in the AV-8B Harrier jump jet, which the Joint Strike Fighter will eventually replace. Its sensors are better in poor weather, Shoop said.

The Marines ended up flying the F-35B about twice as much as the Harrier flew on past deployments, Nelms said.

"A conservative estimate is the F-35 flew 100 percent more hours on this deployment than a typical deployment for a Harrier squadron," he said. "When you consider that their readiness was 75 percent or better ... while doubling the amount of flight hours being flown, it's a real testament to the aircraft and the maintainers."

The F-35B pilots weren't the only members of the MEU supporting the fight against ISIS. A CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter provided airlift in Iraq, Nelms said, and an artillery battery deployed to Syria with M777 howitzers.


Essex has concluded its ME deployment hence probably why they are now talking about it and providing these details. More info will likely be released once they are back..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2019 01:24

Recent pic of the F-117 flying over Nevada..Rumor has it that they are beginning to be utilized as aggressor red forces to simulate LO intruders and strike aircraft..

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https://twitter.com/CombatAir_Mag/statu ... 7303721985

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2019 17:06

First Marine F-35B Combat Deployment Hints at New Roles for Amphibious Ready Group


After eight months at sea with a squadron of F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, the Marines and the Navy are seeing how the next-generation aircraft will expand the effectiveness of U.S. amphibious forces.

The Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are nearly back to California after deploying in July to the Pacific and Middle East. The ARG/MEU’s return – with the embarked Wake Island Avengers of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 – marks the end of the first combat deployment of the JSFs, 13th MEU commanding officer Col. Chandler Nelms told USNI News by phone Friday from USS Essex (LHD-2).

“It’s got the short-takeoff capability of the Harrier, the speed and payload of a (F/A-18) Hornet, and it’s got the forcible entry options that stealth technologies give us,” Nelms said.

“Because of its air-to-air capability and its sensors for air-to-ground capabilities, it also provides a new dynamic for the ARG commander, for the commodore, while we’re out conducting blue-water operations or littoral operations or defending the ARG. … On its first deployment, it was kept very busy.”

“[It] increases battlespace awareness with data fusion and the ability to share information with the ships and the ships’ combat control system,” Capt. Gerald Olin, Amphibious Squadron 1 commander and Essex ARG/MEU commodore, told USNI News from Essex. “So it’s really an extension of our sensors, and it also brings to the table a greater increased lethality than what we had with previous generation aircraft.”

“The aircraft and its integration with the ship and integration with the mission exceed my expectations,” Lt. Col. Kyle Shoop, who commands VMFA-211, told USNI News. “Just in our time with 5th Fleet, we supported over 50 days of combat for over 1,200 flight hours … didn’t drop a single line of FRAG or combat support.”

At times, the jets flew off Essex for long missions, “and we kept employing ordnance in both theaters,” Shoop said, referring to Afghanistan for Operation Freedom Sentinel and Syria and Iraq for Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The jet itself proved to be very reliable. Throughout that whole time period, Marines did a great job keeping it serviceable,” he said. “We were gone away from the ship for an extreme amount of time – a lot of times over five, six hours away from the ship – and they’d turn them around that night to fly again the next day. So that went really well.”

The F-35B performed “like we expected,” Shoop added. “Some of the sensors onboard would do better than, say, a Harrier would through adverse weather or things like that. So it proved to be pretty versatile.”

The F-35B crews operated from Essex for nearly all missions, except when the ship pulled into port for a mid-deployment repair.

“We did step off the ship during that time to keep employing the aircraft in theater, so we did a short period of time ashore,” Shoop said. “We were used for defensive counter-air in-theater, as well as sustaining alerts on the ship, able to launch with air-to-air weapons,” he added.

Shoop said squadron Marines were excited and appreciated the significance of the jet’s first operational combat deployment.

“They knew there were a lot of eyes outside of this ship that were on them and how they were performing,” he said. “So they were very aware of that and knew they needed to be extra diligent the whole time.”

The busy flight schedule and maintenance demands have provided more data and lessons about the F-35B.

“This was a great deployment for us, a great experience especially with being a part of a new, revolutionary aircraft and figuring out how we’re going to use (the F-35B),” Olin said. “There’s a lot of lessons that we learned and to be learned.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Mar 2019 03:03

F-35C Achieves Initial Operational Capability

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Commander, Naval Air Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation jointly announced that the aircraft carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C Lightning II, met all requirements and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

The Feb. 28 announcement comes shortly after the Department of the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and received Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification.

In order to declare IOC, the first operational squadron must be properly manned, trained and equipped to conduct assigned missions in support of fleet operations. This includes having 10 Block 3F, F-35C aircraft, requisite spare parts, support equipment, tools, technical publications, training programs and a functional Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS).

Additionally, the ship that supports the first squadron must possess the proper infrastructure, qualifications and certifications. Lastly, the Joint Program Office, industry, and Naval Aviation must demonstrate that all procedures, processes and policies are in place to sustain operations.

“The F-35C is ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win,” said Commander Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller. “We are adding an incredible weapon system into the arsenal of our Carrier Strike Groups that significantly enhances the capability of the joint force.”


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With this all three US operators of the aircraft have declared the aircraft operational as have the Royal Navy, Italian Air Force and the Israeli Air Force with Norway up next followed by Japan and then Australia and other users.

Next step for VFA-147 is to go through Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program, COMPTUEX and a couple of other training and integration exercises and pre-deployment workups before getting in line for a prolonged deployment on a CVN which is tentatively planned for late next year or early 2021 depending upon carrier training and deployment schedule and the squadron successfully completing their work up..
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Mar 2019 10:01

Philip wrote:The USMC has reportedly achieved about 75% of testing of the F-35 B on its amphib.


Are you confusing something? The USMC took 3F jets on the USS Essex i.e. fully operational SDD configuration. The only reference I can see to 75% was the Mission Capability i.e availability rate and that is fantastic for a 5th generation STOVL fighter that just spent 8 months deployed at sea halfway across the world from the US while managing to rack up 100+ combat sorties during the process in both Afghanistan and over Iraq/Syria while not missing a single tasking order over the entire time it was called to provide combat support.

And by the way, it did it on its very first outing at sea with pilots who were all learning to use their aircraft and maintainers who had to maintain the aircraft and keep it mission capable for months during the very first deployment of the type anywhere in the world. [Not very surprising though if you consider that it had one of the longest devTest programs that the US has ever run and the type (STOVL) conducted no less than 6 at sea Developmental and Operational assessments (not counting the ones done by and for the UK test team) and racked up 1500 vertical landings prior to wrapping up SDD.]

The actual quotes from the pilot who commanded the USMC unit can be read in my posts above. Needless to say this was a very good outing for his team and this along with the Essex's sister ship's (USS Wasp) deployment in the Pacific with an equal number of F-35B's will lead the way on how the type will likely be operated over the next decades.

Next step for the USMC - 2 additional F-35B deployments (one in the Pacific and one into CENTCOM) and then the capstone 20xF-35B USS Americas deployment to validate the Lightning Carrier concept currently tentatively scheduled for mid 2021.
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Mar 2019 20:12

Timeline for USN F-35C IOC. Besides extensive ground testing, they took the aircraft out to the carrier twice for developmental testing (DTI and DTII) and two more times for more operationally focused assessment and pilot CQ-

F-35C Testing and Fielding Timeline


F-35Cs began arriving at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in 2011 for testing, and by November that year a JSF had conducted its first ground-based catapult launch from Pax River. In 2012, the final test jets had arrived at Pax River; a carrier-landing assistance tool began ground-based testing, and the first external weapons test flight took place.
In 2013 the first F-35Cs were delivered to a squadron – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy’s F-35C fleet replacement squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

On Nov. 3, 2014, an F-35C made its first-ever arrested landing on a carrier, aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68). The jets then conducted 11 days of sea trials aboard Nimitz, completing Developmental Test-I with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) and meeting all test objectives to prove interoperability between the ship and the planes and carrier suitability for at-sea operations. In September 2015 DT-II was conducted aboard USS Eisenhower (CVN-69).

In September 2017 USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) conducted its first F-35C at-sea operations, and in December USS Lincoln (CVN-72) hosted carrier qualifications for the Navy’s first nine pilots who were set to conduct at-sea F-35C operations.

In August 2018, Lincoln hosted the first integrated air wing operations, where the ship’s crew launched and recovered, towed and maintained both F-35s and other aircraft types at the same time, rather than carefully handling the new airplanes separately. This integrated air wing operation used airplanes from VFA-125, a fleet replacement squadron, and VFA-147.

In December 2018, VFA-147 began its bid for independence – the squadron reached the safe-for-flight milestone, which allowed it to fly and maintain the planes without supervision from the fleet replacement squadron

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Mar 2019 17:29

Seems General Electric is on track to begin testing by the end of 2019/ early 2020 of its adaptive engine prototype :-

GE Completes Design Phase For F-35 Re-Engine Candidate

GE Aviation has released the design of a next-generation military jet engine to suppliers to begin building the first of a new experimental series designated XA100 by the U.S. Air Force, a company official said March 1.

The variable-cycle XA100 will be offered to replace the Pratt & Whitney F135 in the Lockheed MartinF-35A, if the Air Force creates a requirement. The variable-cycle technology allows GE to adapt the bypass flow around the core, yielding a 10% thrust improvement along with a 25% increase in fuel efficiency compared to a traditional turbofan with a fixed bypass ratio.

Pratt & Whitney is separately designing an alternative variable cycle engine designated as the XA101.
The design release milestone means GE is moving closer to assembling the first of the 45,000 lb-thrust XA100 engine series, said David Tweedie, GE’s general manager for advanced combat engines.

The technology for the XA100 and XA101 entered development in 2007 with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology program. That preliminary design and rig testing phase transitioned to the construction of a proof-of-concept engine after 2012 under the Advanced Engine Technology Development program.

The Air Force launched the follow-on, called the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), to develop the XA100 and XA101 prototypes in 2016.
The “A” prefix in the designation stands for “adaptive,” marking a departure from the Air Force’s F-series designations for military turbofans. The Air Force currently doesn’t have a requirement to re-engine the F-35, but the GE and Pratt prototypes will be sized and designed to integrate into the F-35.

In addition to opening an optional third stream of bypass air, the XA100 also features GE’s advanced composite materials, such as ceramic matrix composites (CMC), in the core of the engine. GE already introduced such materials in the cores of new commercial engines, such as the GE9X. But the XA100 could expand the application of the technology to rotating components. GE already demonstrated the feasibility of CMC turbine planes in the spinning turbine blades of an F414 engine.

“It’s in our toolkit,” Tweedie said.

Last summer, the Air Force also awarded GE and Pratt new contract modifications under the AETP to apply variable-cycle technologies for next generation air superiority aircraft. Tweedie confirmed development activity continues, but the details are not releasable.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Mar 2019 01:44

Detailed Design Complete for GE’s Revolutionary Adaptive Fighter Engine


GE Aviation has completed the detailed design process of its XA100 engine under the U.S. Air Force's Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), the company announced Thursday.

The latest development means that GE can send engineering drawings out to its supply chain to get engine parts manufactured, according to David Tweedie, general manager for advanced combat engines at GE.

In accordance with AETP requirements, the XA100 ramps up engine thrust by 10 percent while simultaneously improving fuel efficiency by 25 percent over what would typically be possible with a fighter jet engine. The key is XA100's variable cycle that allows for adjustment to the bypass ratio and fan pressure.

"Historically, the big turbofans have a much lower bypass ratio and a much higher fan pressure ratio, and that gives you very high specific thrust," Tweedie said. "For a given technology, you can either optimize for fuel efficiency or thrust depending on what you want the aircraft to do."

Traditionally, he said, militaries have lived with low fuel efficiency in fighters because range was not a major concern during combat. That has been changing in recent years, however.

"What we've seen happen is, with where our adversaries are heading and the improvements in their standoff capabilities, nowadays range is a much more important part for ... fighters than has historically been the case," he said.

The architecture of adaptive-cycle engines such as the XA100 can adjust the bypass ratio to favor either fuel economy, such as when a fighter is in cruise, or thrust, during combat. As such, the decision no longer has to be made between the previous two extremes; the same jet can have the best of both worlds.

Beyond the primary goal of maximizing both range and thrust, the XA100 allows for improved thermal management, which is becoming more important as more powerful aircraft systems generate more and more heat and exteriors are switched from aluminum to composite skins, which Tweedie said act like a Thermos.

According to Tweedie, the improved thermal management is accomplished through two main tactics. GE used more temperature-resistant ceramic matrix composites developed for its commercial engines and added a cool third stream that acts as a heat sink inside the engine. Most modern engines have two airstreams.

Additive technology has changed the way that GE can design engines, Tweedie said.

“Really, we’re limited only by our imagination at this point in terms of the geometries and the design configurations that we’re able to implement on parts in the engine," he said.

While the earlier Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology program was solely about scientific testing to prove out technology, AETP was based on applying that technology to an actual use case by choosing a platform with program requirements and proving that the adaptive engines could be developed under those restrictions and at a workable cost.

Though one of the prime potential uses for the fruits of the AETP is a sixth-gen fighter, Tweedie said the most obvious candidate is the F-35, which is the platform GE has been planning toward.

"The most direct transition for this technology would be the F-35A," he said. "There's talk about spinning off the technology into upgrades for 4th-gen fighters, whether that’s F-15, F-16 or F-22 platforms, and certainly it's under considerations as we think about future platforms.”

The Air Force has spent upward of $3 billion on adaptive engine technology programs so far, with Pratt & Whitney and UTC joining GE in the AETP. However, Tweedie said that GE having been involved all throughout ADVENT and now AETP makes them feel good about where the company stands among its competition.

"We believe with all the work we've done on the ADVENT and early AETP, and the trajectory we’re on," Tweedie said, "We could be ready to support the Air Force for initiation of low-risk engineering and manufacturing development programs, EMD programs, at any point in the future that they’re ready to pull the trigger."



Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 11 Mar 2019 00:19

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Mar 2019 19:12

brar_w wrote:More details on EPAWSS ( Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System) design from a 2015 article from the Association of Old Crows (JED). It essentially retains the all digital architecture found on the export advanced strike eagles (F-15SA and QA) but borrows a lot of the EW components and software from the F-22A and F-35 programs while introducing Gallium Nitride (GaN) based self protection jamming antennas for its active component. Boeing is currently on contract to achieve IOC with the first 24 F-15E's equipped with EPAWSS by late 2021 - Mid 2022 time frame.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Mar 2019 23:01

US FY-20 budget request has been released. While the specific Defense budget will be released tomorrow here are the highlights shared -

In 2020, the Budget funds an end strength of 2,140,300 active and reserve military personnel, buys 12 battle force ships and two
large experimental unmanned surface vessels, procures 110 fighter aircraft, and modernizes nearly two
brigade combat teams. To prevent the erosion of the U.S. competitive military advantage, the Budget invests in new technologies, including autonomous systems, hypersonics, artificial intelligence, and directed energy. The Budget requests more than $59 billion in research, engineering, and prototyping activities to maintain the military's technological superiority and conventional overmatch against priority challenges..The Budget supports the creation of the United States Space Force (USSF) as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces...


https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/u ... _FINAL.pdf

I don't think the fighter # will stand as is. It will likely be closer to 120 once the Congress has had its word. Last year the # was 117.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby darshhan » 12 Mar 2019 01:36

brar_w wrote:Detailed Design Complete for GE’s Revolutionary Adaptive Fighter Engine


GE Aviation has completed the detailed design process of its XA100 engine under the U.S. Air Force's Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), the company announced Thursday.

The latest development means that GE can send engineering drawings out to its supply chain to get engine parts manufactured, according to David Tweedie, general manager for advanced combat engines at GE.

In accordance with AETP requirements, the XA100 ramps up engine thrust by 10 percent while simultaneously improving fuel efficiency by 25 percent over what would typically be possible with a fighter jet engine. The key is XA100's variable cycle that allows for adjustment to the bypass ratio and fan pressure.

"Historically, the big turbofans have a much lower bypass ratio and a much higher fan pressure ratio, and that gives you very high specific thrust," Tweedie said. "For a given technology, you can either optimize for fuel efficiency or thrust depending on what you want the aircraft to do."

Traditionally, he said, militaries have lived with low fuel efficiency in fighters because range was not a major concern during combat. That has been changing in recent years, however.

"What we've seen happen is, with where our adversaries are heading and the improvements in their standoff capabilities, nowadays range is a much more important part for ... fighters than has historically been the case," he said.

The architecture of adaptive-cycle engines such as the XA100 can adjust the bypass ratio to favor either fuel economy, such as when a fighter is in cruise, or thrust, during combat. As such, the decision no longer has to be made between the previous two extremes; the same jet can have the best of both worlds.

Beyond the primary goal of maximizing both range and thrust, the XA100 allows for improved thermal management, which is becoming more important as more powerful aircraft systems generate more and more heat and exteriors are switched from aluminum to composite skins, which Tweedie said act like a Thermos.

According to Tweedie, the improved thermal management is accomplished through two main tactics. GE used more temperature-resistant ceramic matrix composites developed for its commercial engines and added a cool third stream that acts as a heat sink inside the engine. Most modern engines have two airstreams.

Additive technology has changed the way that GE can design engines, Tweedie said.

“Really, we’re limited only by our imagination at this point in terms of the geometries and the design configurations that we’re able to implement on parts in the engine," he said.

While the earlier Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology program was solely about scientific testing to prove out technology, AETP was based on applying that technology to an actual use case by choosing a platform with program requirements and proving that the adaptive engines could be developed under those restrictions and at a workable cost.

Though one of the prime potential uses for the fruits of the AETP is a sixth-gen fighter, Tweedie said the most obvious candidate is the F-35, which is the platform GE has been planning toward.

"The most direct transition for this technology would be the F-35A," he said. "There's talk about spinning off the technology into upgrades for 4th-gen fighters, whether that’s F-15, F-16 or F-22 platforms, and certainly it's under considerations as we think about future platforms.”

The Air Force has spent upward of $3 billion on adaptive engine technology programs so far, with Pratt & Whitney and UTC joining GE in the AETP. However, Tweedie said that GE having been involved all throughout ADVENT and now AETP makes them feel good about where the company stands among its competition.

"We believe with all the work we've done on the ADVENT and early AETP, and the trajectory we’re on," Tweedie said, "We could be ready to support the Air Force for initiation of low-risk engineering and manufacturing development programs, EMD programs, at any point in the future that they’re ready to pull the trigger."



Image


What will be the increase in range in percentage terms for a multirole aircraft like F-35 with the new engine? Of course when it enters the service.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Mar 2019 01:59

darshhan wrote:


What will be the increase in range in percentage terms for a multirole aircraft like F-35 with the new engine? Of course when it enters the service.


The design goal for the XA-100 and XA-101 are 47000 + lb thrust (10% increase over baseline engine) and 30% increase in combat radius (A and C) within the space and weight margins of the F-135/F-35 as it supposed to be ( as a design constaint) a direct insert into the F-35 A and C if green lighted. Depending upon the current engine choice for the B-21, this could be a direct fit there too allowing it to come within 90% of the B-2's max thrust.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2019 11:12

brar_w wrote:US FY-20 budget request has been released. While the specific Defense budget will be released tomorrow here are the highlights shared -


Full budget released and can be accessed using the link below.

https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals ... w_Book.pdf

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Aditya_V » 13 Mar 2019 11:51

Any idea what was the emergency USD 6 Billion US has spent in FY 18, what emergency did they face. Well a puny 719 Billion request in FY19-20. hmm.
and what is this new classification OCO for Base? and they have already started spending on ADAG in spite of having virtual air dominance, and one wonders why they are acquiring 8 F-15EX Advanced eagles.

Procurment budget is just USD 143 Billion and RDT&E is USD 104 Billion, apart from routine stores maintenance. Talk about proper funding.
Last edited by Aditya_V on 13 Mar 2019 12:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2019 12:00

OCO and Emergency is an account that is outside of the US Budget caps so it is a political gimmick used as a negotiation tactic. This is Dead On Arrival in the US Congress which will insist that the funding, most of it currently budgeted under OCO, be added to the base budget thereby requiring a higher majority to pass the NDAA (defense budget) which then means negotiating other areas of the overall budget.

The way the money is appropriated will change nearly 180 degrees between now and when the budget is cleared so it is really not worth reading much into (unless you follow the politics). What is likely to change very little is the big ticket procurement and Research and Development funding requests and line items. Those usually do no change very significantly as the budget is developed in consultation with the two armed services committees of Congress and is, for the most part, sanctioned by them as formulated at least on the big ticket items.

and they have already started spending on ADAG in spite of having virtual air dominance, and one wonders why they are acquiring 8 F-15EX Advanced eagles.


You don't wait till you loose your ability to be dominant in the air before beginning to invest into the all critical area of Air Superiority which is the base on which the US expeditionary forces operate either on land or at sea. The reason the USAF has the F-22 and F-35 today is because it invested in the ATF enablers going back into the late 1970s and early 1980s. Similarly, if it wants to have to maintain that edge it has to do the same cycle in anticipation for newer threats in the post 2030 period.

The 8 F-15X fighters are for the Air National Guard modernization as I've discussed in the previous pages. The current F-15C in the ANG fleet are incapable of lasting into the 2025+ period while still holding the now mandated 80% readiness rate put in place by Mattis while he was Secretary of Defense. The current F-35 number (1700) does not account for their replacement as that was something that the F-22 would have done had it still been in production. Therefore, the USAF has attempted to initiate a 80-100 aircraft program to replace some of the oldest F-15C's in the Air National Guard with new built F-15X's. This budget funds the first 8 of those along with some development work to integrate some of the USAF unique end items on the Advanced Eagle developed for export.

Procurment budget is just USD 143 Billion and RDT&E is USD 104 Billion, apart from routine stores maintenance. Talk about proper funding.


That is just a phase in the life-cycle and recapitalization of key systems. The US is currently modernizing all the legs of its triad so there is huge R&D expenditure to support the Columbia class submarine, the B-21 bomber, and the new ICBM and Air Launched nuclear cruise missile. Similarly, the US Army too has its 6 priorities nearly all of which are in the R&D phase. Once these programs are developed you will see the ratio be more heavily weighted towards procurement so the current levels are simply a reflection of where some of the big ticket programs are in their life cycle.
Last edited by brar_w on 13 Mar 2019 12:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Aditya_V » 13 Mar 2019 12:16

Wow, no wonder the US leads the world in defense technologies, it is something we Indians should understand especially with respect to planning.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Mar 2019 08:01

INF busting GLCM and GLBM tests planned for August and November 2019 though production decision and operations could be 18 months and 60 months out for each respectively -

The officials, who spoke to a small group of reporters under Pentagon ground rules that did not permit use of their names or titles, said one project is a low-flying cruise missile with a potential range of about 1,000 kilometers; the other would be a ballistic missile with a range of roughly 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers. Neither would be nuclear armed, the officials said.

The U.S. cruise missile is likely to be flight-tested in August, one official said, adding that it might be ready for deployment within 18 months. The longer-range ballistic missile is expected to be tested in November, with deployment not likely for five years or more, the official said. If Russia and the U.S. were to reach a deal to rescue the INF treaty before August, these projects would not go forward.

The cruise missile recalls a nuclear-armed U.S. weapon that was deployed in Britain and several other European NATO countries in the 1980s, along with Pershing 2 ground-based ballistic missiles, in response to a buildup of Soviet SS-20 missiles targeting Western Europe. With the signing of the INF treaty, those missiles were withdrawn and destroyed.


https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pent ... -missiles/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 14 Mar 2019 08:09

isnt the jassm-ER already a low flying CM with 1000km range? maybe they can cheaply adapt it to a box launcher.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 14 Mar 2019 08:12

the Adaptive engine will kill chinese hopes in the east pacific. they are struggling to productize any engine with the durability and reliability of the AL31/RD93 which itself is trailing edge....

flying into combat vs a enemy with twice the loiter time/range gives the enemy a lot of advantages in choosing or declining combat and operating away from your reach, and you suffer heavy reliance on tankers to extend the stick .... tankers that may be driven off station using new ERAMs of hypersonic,ramjet genres.

it stacks the deck in favour of the usa. permits the carriers to sit further out few 100 more km while still generating the same sorties.

a good example of just how strategic engine tech is in the hard power card deck - no less than VLO platforms or global C4ISR coverage.

india would be well advised to make the kaveri a functioning product whether in flying testbeds , a special HAL funded kaveri mini-squadron and ofcourse in ucavs and take it from there to a next gen bigger engine. there is lot of diff between 90% there and 100% there.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Mar 2019 08:27

Singha wrote:isnt the jassm-ER already a low flying CM with 1000km range? maybe they can cheaply adapt it to a box launcher.


Yes and so is the TLAM which will get you about 1000+ km when flying low for most of its flight plan so it really depends on what profile the official was speaking about when referring to the 1000 km. Blueprints already exist for the launcher so that is something that could be easily put out and modernized in 18 months with block IV TLAM's pulled right out of the US Navy inventory and modified as desired. The USAF on the other hand is still building up its JASSM-ER inventory and the production is now at its maximum capacity. A ground launched block IV TLAM is also more beneficial in the Pacific scenario where its longer range with higher altitude profiles gives more tactical flexibility. The Block IV TLAM shares nothing with the Gryphon but the one thing it does share is likely the OML and launcher compatibility (with suitable modifications)..

Image

There is a Coastal LRASM being proposed to the USMC with flight demonstrations planned later this year if the USMC chooses it as a candidate for demonstrations. The problem with choosing a Land based JASSM-ER and its launcher is that if there is an INF like deal in the future it could lead to the destruction of those launchers which would affect LRASM as well so that is something to consider. But you are right, it could as well be the JASSMER or the JASSMXR that is now being funded..in that case the 1000 km likely represents the upper limit of the range though the XR could get 20-30% more.


But this is likely just to develop something and I doubt the US Army will field something in this space especially when they can field longer ranged hypersonic gliders which offer a higher deployment flexibility as I doubt they can base 1000 km cruise missiles at enough locations in the Pacific for them to be a strong conventional deterrent (that's what the VLS is for). A GLBM may offer more flexibility to a cruise missile of that range but again it is not as survivable as OpsFires being developed by DARPA and US Army. They may build a few as an insurance but I doubt these will be deployed in quantity...

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Mar 2019 09:17

Washington Post claims it will be a Block IV TLAM so the range mentioned is likely in the low-low profile or the briefing could have just generically mentioned > 1000 km.. -

The U.S. ground-launched cruise missile is slated for testing in August, just after the treaty formally ends. According to a senior defense official, it will essentially involve putting a Tomahawk missile in a container that could be placed on a ship or in a mobile launcher.

“We’ll actually launch it, and it’ll fly out, and we’ll prove the concept — that you can take a Tomahawk and put it on a truck,” the senior defense official said. Deployment of the mobile missile would require procuring the system and training and equipping the forces that operate it. The official said that could take place within 18 months.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/na ... 891a3d16af

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Mar 2019 19:54

The USN in its latest budgets has funded 2 unmanned Corvette class surface combatants (up to 2000 ton displacement)..with an additional 8 in the out years...

Navy Wants 10-Ship Unmanned ‘Ghost Fleet’ to Supplement Manned Force


Unlike the small unmanned craft the Navy has experimented with in the past, the 10 large USVs the Navy wants to buy are the size of a small warship. The corvette-sized USVs are being developed to field different types of sensors and, eventually, vertical launch system (VLS) cells for a variety of guided missiles. However, it’s unclear how the unmanned systems will fit into the larger Navy force structure, how they will be measured as part of the battle force, how they would function with other platforms and what requirements for the Navy the systems would fulfill.

Based on Tuesday’s budget submission, it’s also unclear what the hull form for the large USV would be, but the Navy has used images of commercial offshore support vessels used in the oil and gas industry in unclassified presentations. The Navy is also developing a medium USV that would be 12 to 50 meters in length, or somewhere between the size of the service’s 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and the Navy’s Cyclone-class patrol craft (PCs).

On Wednesday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told reporters the Navy decided to accelerated the large USV’s development and fielding to the operational fleet after experimentation with smaller unmanned surface ships like the DARPA-developed Sea Hunter. He compared the effort to how the Navy experimented with carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicles for a while before quickly moving out on the MQ-25A Stingray that will begin operating off carrier decks in 2024.

“We’ve done some work in working with unmanned surface vessels and have made some progress there, and I would liken it to that. This is the surface vessel version of how we picked up on MQ-25 and are moving very aggressively to get something on deck in unmanned air,” Richardson said.

In terms of developing a large USV, the buy “seems like the next natural step. I want to move this past the [research and development] phase, if you will, and get it out into the operational phase as quick as we can.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Mar 2019 20:18

^ It seems there was a classified program working on the Unmanned Corvettes which is now transitioning into the mainstream so they aren't truly starting from scratch and figuring this out as the prior article seemed to suggest -

A classified Pentagon maritime drone program is about to get its moment in the sun


A project birthed in the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office is getting some serious buy-in from the U.S. Navy, and could yield the world’s first large-scale armed unmanned warship.

The Navy raised eyebrows in its budget rollout Tuesday when it requested $400 million for two large unmanned surface vessels to be purchased in 2020, with 10 total to be purchased across the five-year projection known as the future year defense program. But it was not immediately clear what exactly the Navy was buying two of, since no program of record exists for a large unmanned surface vessel (or LUSV).

Navy officials now say the request is an outgrowth of SCO’s Project Overlord, which first surfaced in 2017 with a draft solicitation outlining a program that would take existing autonomy technologies and integrate them into large and medium unmanned surface vessels with some heady ambitions: an autonomous ship capable of carrying up to 40 tons of payloads, and operate in up to sea-state five independently for 90 days without a crew for maintenance, while following all rules of navigation and obstacle avoidance.

The elevation of SCO’s Overlord program from science project to fast-tracked acquisition reflects both the Navy’s growing confidence in its ability to make the technology work and the urgency it feels to field technologies that can combat a growing threat from anti-access area denial technologies designed to keep the Navy’s powerful strike arm far from the shores of potential adversaries.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 15 Mar 2019 23:53

rocky balboa is finally hitting his stride and preparing himself for a rumble in the jungle.

clubber lang has a suprise coming.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Mar 2019 09:58

So basically a F-15 QA but with -

- USAF specified radar changes
- USAF only/classified CID enhancements and FPS 9.1 software suite
- Replaces the GaAs based Digital EW Suite (DEWS) with the GaN based EPAWSS for commonality with USAF Strike Eagles
- USAF specific core processor (though QA may be getting that too)

Fly-Away unit cost will be $80.3 Million in 2020 dollars with those changes listed above, but most importantly it is a drop-in fit into the ANG operational and training infrastructure and will leverage the existing F-15C/E depots.

There will be no single seater unlike what The Drive and others had claimed in prior articles posted here..

USAF’s Five-Year Plan Includes $7.86 Billion for 80 F-15EXs


The Air Force plans to spend $7.86 billion over the next five years buying 80 F-15EXs, new Eagles to replace aging F-15Cs that service leaders said they did not initially want.

The service will spend $1.05 billion in 2020 to buy the first eight aircraft, and that buy will accelerate to 18 at a cost of $1.65 billion in 2021, with that rate holding steady until 2024, according to new budget documents released Monday afternoon.

The new aircraft will be based on the F-15QA, which Boeing built for the Qatar Emiri Air Force, though it will have USAF-specific capabilities, including the Eagle Passive Active Warning and Survivability System and the Suite 9.1 Operational Flight Program software. The jet will have two seats to be flown by one or two aircrew, and will be multi-role capable, according to the justification document, or J-Book.

Current F-15C/Ds are beyond their service life “and have SERIOUS structures risks, wire chafing issues, and obsolete parts,” the justification states, adding that Air Force readiness goals cannot be achieved because of the aging aircraft’s repairs, modernization efforts, and structural inspections.

The 2020 request includes aircraft and production factory tooling, systems integration lab equipment, technical orders, support equipment, training materials, and other items needed to manufacture the jets. The gross weapon system unit cost is $131.25 million, with $80 million of that solely for the aircraft.

The pre-decisional plan, outlined in the justification, is for the first two aircraft to be taken from the existing production line and delivered two years after contract award for flight testing in 2022. The delivery of the next six aircraft will be expected about three years after contract award.

Maj. Gen. David Krumm, the Air Force’s director of strategic plans and requirements, said last week the F-15EX has about 80-90 percent commonality with the F-15C, and the new jets can use the same ground equipment. Even though the Air Force is bringing on the jet in a new start acquisition program, it will not take money away from the main jet of the future—the F-35, he said.

The Air Force eventually could buy up to 144 of the aircraft, with the buy continuing beyond the end of the FYDP, according to a service official. If the cost continues at the same rate, the new fleet would cost more than $14 billion.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Khalsa » 20 Mar 2019 13:04

brar_w wrote:Recent pic of the F-117 flying over Nevada..Rumor has it that they are beginning to be utilized as aggressor red forces to simulate LO intruders and strike aircraft..


https://twitter.com/CombatAir_Mag/statu ... 7303721985



aha
Thats why they came out of storage. Many watchers have seen them flying and were wondering whats up.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Mar 2019 18:51

Khalsa wrote:
brar_w wrote:Recent pic of the F-117 flying over Nevada..Rumor has it that they are beginning to be utilized as aggressor red forces to simulate LO intruders and strike aircraft..


https://twitter.com/CombatAir_Mag/statu ... 7303721985



aha
Thats why they came out of storage. Many watchers have seen them flying and were wondering whats up.



A few were always flying as they were kept in that state as this was a requirement. The F-117 is highly suited for red air duties given its signature and the fact that it uses the F-404 that are in the US forces inventory in large numbers so there are always supplies around. Plus you can use it even when international partners are present, like at Red-Flag, without the fear of revealing all the secrets because it's a retired type. You can't really do that at RF with say the F-22 which has in the past formed the red team strike package.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/27 ... rt-flights

Interestingly, one of the things the USAF was exploring investing in on the QF-16 target drone a couple of years ago was new RCS reducing coatings so that it could be a better complement to other "range assets" and to make its "DRFM payloads more effective". Though both those things were to provide more stressfull testing to support AMRAAM and other interceptor test programs, If indeed red-forces are being mixed with a bunch of LO and non LO aircraft (as you would expect in an actual high end conflict with J-20's or T-50s) then this is a good concept especially when manned and unmanned teaming is leading to safer flying which would open up these possibilities in the near term, at least at US only Red-Flags where other high end capabilities (Space assets) are used as well..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Khalsa » 21 Mar 2019 13:13

Brar_w sir, fair enough . Infact this is the second or third time you have done it where you have answered my unasked question. Congrats on your mind reading capabilities of why not train with F-22 or 35 as red forces.

:-)


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2019 07:55

Image

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 23 Mar 2019 04:48

Aviation Week's scrub of the US budget provides a glimpse of the AMRAAM complement/replacement weapon that the USAF is developing for the F-22/35 and eventual 6th gen aircraft. We will probably not get additional details for some time given classification but the picture is becoming a lot clearer...What they want -

- New generation of solid rocket motor tech with highly loaded grain concepts that promise considerable increase in range (>50%) within the same size/weight of current SRMs
- New Lethality enhanced warheads
- "hyper-agility" both during burn and post burn via a combination of aero surfaces, thrust vectoring and attitude control opening up broad H2K envelope (more potent against air-breathing targets at longer and shorter ranges but H2K will give it capability to go after TBM targets as well)
- Continue down the path the current AMRAAM is on when it comes to defeating ECM for the seeker tech...

U.S. Defense Budget Proposal Favors Next Gen Over Current Production

Another concept for NGAD development is being championed by Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. In a speech to the McAleese/Credit Suisse Defense Programs Conference on March 13, Roper reiterated his call for a creating a “capability pipeline” for future air combat aircraft, with new models introduced every few years. In tandem with his continuous development and fielding philosophy, Roper also wants to incentivize the aerospace industry to change business models. Instead of concentrating resources in margin-rich sustainment, he wants them to refocus capacity on designing and producing new combat aircraft. The goal is to reproduce acquisition strategy at the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office, which Roper led from 2012-17.

Roper notes that he wanted a program to come out every three years. “We would never get relief on schedule. We would trade performance to hold to schedule. And I love that idea for the Air Force,” he said.

The fiscal 2020 budget proposal seeks to usher in a new era of long-range high-speed missiles. A $10.5 billion plan to develop a series of prototypes for hypersonic boost-glide vehicles has captured most of the attention, but the budget submittal also proposes introducing a wide range of new air- and ground-launched missiles.


A portion of the classified NGAD program has been devoted to developing new weapons to augment the capabilities of existing air interceptor missiles such as the AIM-120C/D and AIM-9X. In fiscal 2020, the Air Force wants to launch the first “scaled flight demonstrations” for a new generation of air-launched weapons, including miniature self-defense munitions and “multishot” air-to-air weapons.

The latter was formerly known as the Small Advanced Counter-air Missile (SACM), but has been renamed within the [b]Air Force Research Laboratory as the Counter-Air Science and Technology (CAST) program. While SACM was focused on developing a missile half the size of the AIM-120 but with similar range, CAST takes a broader approach. Under CAST, the same technology that enables AIM-120-like range in a vehicle half the size can produce a weapon with double the range in a similar form factor.
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The Air Force also has revealed plans to greatly expand the offensive reach of the F-35A in stealth mode. The Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) will be integrated in the F-35A’s weapons bay under a five-year $860 million spending proposal. The SiAW adapts the Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range munition with a new warhead and fuse combination and the universal armament interface for the F-35A. SiAW would allow the F-35A to attack missile-launching systems at extended ranges while remaining in stealth mode for the first time. The AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile must be carried under the wing.


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