US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Jul 2019 06:58

Northrop Grumman to demonstrate new programmable 30 mm proximity sensing round


Northrop Grumman Armament Systems is expected, in early 2020, to conduct the first demonstration firings to the US Army of an all-up Programmable Light Weight 30 mm Proximity Sensing Ammunition (LW30 PROX) round.

A company-funded development, drawing on legacy Orbital ATK sensor fuzed weapons technologies, the LW30 PROX is a 30 × 113 mm radio frequency (RF) proximity fuzed, high explosive/fragmentation round designed for the M230 and M230LF (XM914) Bushmaster chain guns. Weighing 350 g, including a 245 g projectile, the LW30 PROX features a PA520 electric primer, a Northrop Grumman-developed programmable proximity sensor, and double base propellant delivering a muzzle velocity of 1,105 m/s. LW30 PROX can be programmed for proximity, point detonate (PD) and PD-delay (PDD) modes, and includes a self-destruct feature.

“We are adopting a multi-phased approach to programming the round,” Rylan Harris, Advanced Ammunition Portfolio Director, Northrop Grumman Armament Systems told Jane’s

“Initially, the proximity settings will be programmed into [the] round [via a fire control system – FCS] when it is in the weapon; further on down the development path we are looking at a smarter round that can be programmed after it has been fired.”

LW30 PROX is designed to defeat unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), light armoured vehicles, troops in the open and targets in defilade, where the host weapon system delivers the 30 mm round in close proximity to targets (airborne, naval or ground) using RF proximity sensor-based detonations.

“While it can genuinely benefit air-to-surface or surface-to-surface engagements, the real potential that we are seeing for LW30 PROX is in its counter-UAS application, particularly as a quickly deployable solution against swarming threats,” said Harris. “With proximity rounds, you have the firing rate of your standard M230LF or Mark 44 chain guns, and so you can take out quite a few threats at one time.”

Harris said that while the programmable proximity sensing technology will be rolled out with the 30 mm × 113 mm round, “it is definitely scalable to 30 mm × 173 mm and 50 mm calibre rounds.” Currently at Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 6, the LW30 PROX development should achieve TRL 6–8 by the time of the firing demonstrations next year. Final development will draw on lessons learned from those firings.

Northrop Grumman is now working to evolve a new RF-guided 30 mm proximity sensing round from the LW30 PROX development. The guided concept provides for the round to carry onboard technology that will communicate with the gunner who has locked on to a target. Information from the platform FCS to the warhead in flight will be used to calculate a diversion or series of diversions that the round will make to compensate either for greater accuracy to a stationary target or a larger diversion should the target move while the warhead is in flight. “The round will also have the ability to flow information back to the FCS,” said Harris.

“One of the crucial elements in our guided technology is that the round features an integrated alternator enabling [it] to generate its own power and therefore support the onboard electronics and communications hardware required for precision guidance,” he noted. “To achieve this, we spin the back end of the round freely from the rest of the round; we will also add fins to the projectile to enable it to divert or alter the direction in flight. We will therefore have, in a single 30 mm round, proximity technology on the front end, and power and guidance on [the] aft end.”


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Jul 2019 20:49

From the MRCA thread :

Aditya_V wrote:So Saudis got a little bit of the protection money to protect them from the Saudis


That is the peril of relying on a third party to fund advanced development (same was the case with UAE funding block 60 F-16). Boeing invested very little of its own money to develop and integrate the technological advancements of the F-15 Advanced Eagle (SA in Saudi inventory). Most of those changes were EMD programs funded partly or in some cases wholly by KSA for their program. As such, only the USAF has the right to use those without royalty payments while other users would have to pay a fee via Boeing. Same reason why Lockheed chose not to offer many of the advanced technologies from the F-16 block 60 as upgrades to block 70 customers. Taking the EW suite, or even many of the radar components directly would have been cost-prohibitive..So yeah it is rather amusing that Qatar has to pay a royalty to KSA for its F-15QA or find alternate sources for some of those elements. Similarly, it has had to pay for the advanced flat panel LAD cockpit it is getting by paying EMD fees to Elbit :).

Aditya_V wrote:Whats also clear is Lockheed Martin is also moving away from the F-16 and its derivatives, F-15 will be exported to Tier 2 nations before F-35 is made available allies other than Israel, Japan, NATO after 7-8 years when US will start developing its 6th Gen platform.


I don't think any current F-16 user can afford (or would want) to recapitalize its fleet with F-15 Advanced Eagle derivatives. The F-15C is no longer in production and the E based advanced derivatives (SA, QA and EX) are in the heavy strike fighter class which is an overkill for most F-16 users. If you need it then yes but I don't see many current F-16 users needing that capability in the first place.

Outside of Taiwan, Turkey and Pakistan there are very few F-16 users who would be denied the F-35A.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... -with-uae/

Aditya_V wrote:AMRAAM today for US is like what the sparrow was in the late 1980's/ early 90's. While USAF, USN, Israel, close NATO allies are moving towards to the AIM 260 series of missiles-in a few years its production will also be wound down.


AMRAAM production is not going anywhere for at least a decade (my estimate), perhaps even 15 years (Raytheon's estimate). The USAF and USN's current POR is structured till 2025/2026 at which time they will likely extend that by a few years till perhaps the end of the decade. Filling foreign orders, and derivatives will keep it going (beyond that as only a few nations have been approved for the AIM-120D with a vast majority of AIM-120C users still yet to do so), though nothing like the close to 1000 missiles (it fluctuates given a shared missile production line with other weapons) a year they churn out today. The F3R is currently developing a new signal processor and essentially overhauling the guidance section of the weapon and the ECCM upgrade roadmap for the USAF and USN itself extends to close to the end of the 2020's without any new feature or requirement added to it (which it will pick up along the way between now and then). New build AIM-120D's incorporating those changes in their totality won't begin deliveries for a few years still so there will be a long winding road to replace all USAF AIM-120C5's and earlier with AIM-120D F3R+ missiles.

One also cannot rule out another round of upgrades to the weapon down the road. The current USAF and USN AIM-120 D stock of around 2000 missiles is not adequate. There are about another 1000 missiles that have been put on contract but not yet delivered and the USAF/USN plan on having around 3000 AIM-120D's in service by the end of 2020. That too is not adequate given that by 2021/2022 ish virtually the entire F-15E, and F-15C fleet (that is left) along with the F-22 and F-35 fleet will be AESA equipped and capable of deploying missiles with longer range than the AIM-120C7. Even if they sustain current acquisition volumes they'll be at around 5000 AIM-120D rounds by the mid 2020's with a significant number of them being the F3R variants (eventually all will be upgraded to those). That is still 2-3K short of where they'd like to be IMHO so you could well expect small annual orders through the second half of the 2020' ( Ideally they would want 10K missiles comprising of AIM-120 D F3R+ and AIM-260 by the end of 2020s).

The Sparrow replacement was a clean and clearly demarcated (stopping buying one and moving entire contract to the other) because of a fundamental change in technology (going to Active MRAAM) and because while they put on a small program to show the F-16 could carry the Sparrow it was fundamentally going to be the AMRAAM that was its primary MRAAM and since the USAF was buying F-16's in very large numbers they made a clean transition.

The AIM-120D on the other hand is a perfectly fine MRAAM that is constantly being upgraded (hardware, software and ECCM) with plans to keep on doing so all through next decade. Its capability is significantly more than the AIM-120C7 it replaces and the USAF and USN MRAAM inventory is so large that they cannot wait for the AIM-260 to replace it all. They would have to attack this modernization from both sides i.e. use a combination of AIM-120D and AIM-260 to phase out older AIM-120 rounds in inventory while also upgrading the AIM-120C7 variants for ECCM etc.

Basically everything below the C7 will be retired and replaced with new built rounds (AIM-120D and AIM-260) while the C7 will be constantly upgraded with the last round of upgrades planned in the mid-2020's. It too will eventually be replaced, most likely by the AIM-260's as its production ramps up. A 2022 JATM IOC likely means a 2025-2027 Milestone-C (Full rate production decision) so the USAF/USN is unlikely to stop buying the AIM-120D at its peak rate until at least Milestone-C for the AIM-260. There are also 2 additional missile programs with at least one of them expected to be in production by the mid to late 2020's. Those will be the cheaper, shorter ranged interceptors likely aimed at expanding magazine, and more cost optimized shots against new target types (cruise missiles, AIMs, companion drones etc).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Jul 2019 20:04


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 02 Aug 2019 07:22

Sumeet wrote:
Well said Brar, I second Cybaru. Yes even USAF/USN is investing in F-15EX and Super Hornet Block 3 fighters beefed up with capbilities similar to what you have mentioned.


USAF is not investing in F-15EX. They never wanted it. It was brought about as an industrial base protecting measure and inserted into their budget by the Office of Secretary of Defense to ensure no production gaps for either primes as they compete towards the next generation airframes (figthers and UAVs). Till as late as a few weeks before the 2020 budget was tabled, the USAF Secretary and/or leadership was on record of saying that they didn't request these aircraft.

Different story for the US Navy. They need the F-18 Block III's because it is cheaper ($80 Million per unit vs $100 Million or so for the F-35C) and because they have depot capacity and quality issues (need to upgrade depots) that also limits their maximum F-35 induction rate so the only way they can get out of their readiness glut is by buying new tails and by improving depot_health. Nearly two decades of high-ops-tempo deployments and keeping vital AOR's (like ME and Pacific) nearly completely covered by at least 1 CVN at all times has meant much greater fleet utilization and they've burnt through F/A-18 classic hornet and Super Hornet hours much faster (more hours + more cycles per usage) than anticipated. To further make the problem worst, they completely gutted their Maintenance accounts (that fund depot health and capacity) to pay for modernization and operational needs during the budget sequestration (started in 2011). So they must buy new aircraft to recover readiness much the same way they had to buy new aircraft post Vietnam where greater fleet utilization meant aircraft needed to be replaced years ahead of schedule.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2019 07:31

Northrup Grumman is among the companies tapped to make the US Army’s drone-killing lasers

Northrop Grumman is going to be working on the U.S. Army’s long-planned drone-killing lasers.

The Army wants to mount 50 kilowatt laser systems on top of its General Dynamics-designed Stryker vehicle as part of its U.S. Army Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) directed energy prototyping initiative.

Basically, the army wants to use these lasers to protect frontline combat troops against drone attacks.

The initiative includes integrating a directed energy weapon system on a Stryker vehicle as a pathfinding effort toward the U.S. Army M-SHORAD objective to provide more comprehensive protection of frontline combat units.

“Northrop Grumman is eager to leverage its portfolio of innovative, proven technologies and integration expertise to accelerate delivery of next-generation protection to our maneuver forces,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman, in a statement.

The drone, helicopter, rocket, artillery and mortar defense system that the Army is looking to mount on a group of Stryker all-terrain vehicles could come from either Northrop Grumman or Raytheon, which was also tapped to develop tech for the project.

“The time is now to get directed energy weapons to the battlefield,” said Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition, in a statement. “The Army recognizes the need for directed energy lasers as part of the Army’s modernization plan. This is no longer a research effort or a demonstration effort. It is a strategic combat capability, and we are on the right path to get it in soldiers’ hands.”

For the Army, lasers extend the promise of reducing supply chain hurdles that are associated with conventional kinetic weapons. In May, the Army gave the green light to a strategy for accelerated prototyping and field use of a wide array of lasers for infantry, vehicles and air support.

While Raytheon and Northrop Grumman have both been tapped by the Army, the military will also entertain pitches from other vendors that want to carry out their own research, according to the Army.

It’s a potential $490 million contract for whoever wins the demonstration, and the Army expects to have the vehicles equipped in fiscal year 2022.

“Both the Army and commercial industry have made substantial improvements in the efficiency of high energy lasers — to the point where we can get militarily significant laser power onto a tactically relevant platform,” said Dr. Craig Robin, RCCTO Senior Research Scientist for Directed Energy Applications, in a statement. “Now, we are in position to quickly prototype, compete for the best solution, and deliver to a combat unit.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Aug 2019 22:24

Some clarity on the Fiscal-Year 2020 budget negotiations between the US Senate and House as far as fighter procurement is considered -

Senate - 126 fighters to be purchased ( 94 F-35's (All 3 variants), 24 F/A-18 E/F Block III's, and 8 F-15 EX's)
House - 122 fighters to be purchased (90 F-35's (All 3 variants), 24 F/A-18 E/FBlock III's, and 8 F-15 EX's)


The only difference in the two versions is around 4 F-35's which is not a big bridge for them to cross. I think they'll get 94, or 1 more than what they are getting this year (it is the last procurement year before full-rate-production decision). This will be one of the highest fighter procurement years for the US military in the last couple of decade and probably the last before F-35 production crosses the 100 mark a year (USAF, USN and USMC procurement) next year (FY-21 budget).

The fiscal year 2020 national defense authorization bill approved June 27 by the GOP-controlled Senate would authorize $10 billion to procure 94 F-35 joint strike fighters, 16 more than the Trump administration requested. ..

It would also authorize the purchase of a number of fourth-generation aircraft including 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, and eight of the controversial F-15EX fighters that the Trump administration requested....

Meanwhile, the Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee passed a bill in May that would provide $8.7 billion for 90 F-35s, 12 more than the Trump administration requested. It would also provide $1.7 billion for the procurement of 24 Super Hornets and $986 million for eight F-15EXs to recapitalize the F-15C/D fleet.


https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org ... ghter-jets

Meanwhile, the first F-35A destined for the Vermont Air National Guard has recently flown which means that all of Hill AFB's aircraft have already flown or been mostly delivered (few are forward deployed in the Middle East and Europe presently). Following deliveries to ANG they will start delivering aircraft to the units in Alaska following which will be deliveries to units based at RAF Lakenheath. The first of 54 F-35A's destined for Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska is expected to arrive there by April of next year with deliveries likely concluding sometime in the second half of 2021. The first F-35A built for RAF Lakenheath based is expected to arrive there in November 2021. Around 54 USAF F-35A's are also to be permanently based in the UK with construction of facilities to house and support those recently begun (linked below). So by around mid 2022, around 108 USAF F-35A's will be permanently based OCONUS/Overseas not counting for rotational regional deployments like the current one to Al Dhafra Air Base or Europe. The USMC already has F-35B's currently deployed to Japan on a permanent basis.

Image

RAF Lakenheath breaks ground on future F-35 infrastructure

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Aug 2019 07:24

Northrop Grumman Adding Sigint Capabilities to Triton


On July 22 Northrop Grumman was awarded a $33.8 million contract to procure materials and fund the work necessary to add a signals intelligence (Sigint)-gathering capability to the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system, with the bulk of the work to be performed at the company’s facilities in San Diego and Palmdale, California.

This award follows on from earlier research and development contracts, with work due to be completed by January 2022. The contracting agency is the Naval Air Systems Command, managed by the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-262) that oversees the MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program and related activities with RQ-4A/N aircraft. The latter recently hit the headlines when an RQ-4A BAMS-D air vehicle was shot down on June 20 by Iranian air defenses over the Strait of Hormuz.

The addition of a comprehensive Sigint capability will permit the Triton to take over the roles currently undertaken by the manned Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II, a dedicated Sigint version of the P-3 Orion. To perform these tasks the MQ-4C is being fitted with a suite of receivers that replicate the advanced capabilities of the EP-3E, but with signals analysis and exploitation being performed in ground stations. The upgrade work is part of the MQ-4C Integrated Functional Capability (IFC) 4.0 program, due to achieve operational capability in 2021.

First flying on May 22, 2013, the MQ-4C is a navalized development of the RQ-4 Global Hawk with strengthened structure, lightning protection, and an anti-icing system. In its primary role the platform acts as an unmanned maritime patrol asset to augment the U.S. Navy’s manned Boeing P-8A Poseidon fleet. Currently the Navy has three MQ-4Cs flying with VX-20, the Patuxent River-based test and evaluation squadron, and another three with the first operational unit, VUP-19 “Big Red” at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. The Triton has also been ordered by Australia.

The Aries II—which serves with VQ-1 ‘World Watchers” at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, but operates from a number of locations around the world—is scheduled to be withdrawn from service in 2021. Orions have been used for Sigint since the 1960s in a number of versions, with the current EP-3E fleet having been delivered in the 1990s. The type is best-remembered for an April 2001 incident in which one collided in mid-air with a Chinese J-8IIM fighter, which had intercepted the U.S. aircraft. The J-8 and its pilot were lost, while the EP-3 was forced to land on Hainan island, where it was held by Chinese authorities. It was later disassembled and airlifted back to the U.S. in an Antonov An-124.





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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Aug 2019 19:59

The 2 year combined Dev/Ops test program is about to get underway with the delivery of the first NGJ-MB unit to the US Navy. I believe the first powered flight (pod prime power) from an EA-18G is scheduled for early-mid next year so they'll be doing integration and other testing or the next 6-8 months.

Raytheon Delivers 1st Next Gen Jammer Mid-Band Pod For U.S. Navy Testing


Image

Raytheon delivered the first Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Engineering and Manufacturing Development pod to the U.S. Navy to begin ground and aircraft integration testing.

Raytheon will deliver 15 EMD pods for mission systems testing and qualification as well as 14 aeromechanical pods for airworthiness certification.

NGJ-MB is a high-capacity and power airborne electronic attack weapon system for the EA-18G GROWLER. It will protect air forces by denying, degrading and disrupting threat radars and communication devices.

“The first NGJ-MB pod is out the door. We are one step closer to extending the Navy’s jamming range and capability. Delivery of this pod will allow for the initial verification of ground procedures, mass properties, aircraft installation, and Built In Test checks in preparation for future chamber and flight test.”


Additionally, in the third quarter of 2019, Raytheon will utilize a Prime Power Generation Capability pod installed on a commercial Gulfstream aircraft in order to conduct power generation flight testing and risk reduction efforts in support of the initial flight clearance process.

Raytheon’s NGJ-MB architecture and design include the ability to operate at a significantly enhanced range, attack multiple targets simultaneously and advanced jamming techniques. The technology can also be scaled to other missions and platforms.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Aug 2019 21:00

Kratos primes engine pipeline in anticipation of Valkyrie UCAS orders


Kratos Defense and Security Solutions has begun placing engine orders in anticipation of receiving first series production contracts for its XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned combat air system (UCAS) before the end of 2019.

Developed in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) under the Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) programme, the XQ-58A is a ‘loyal wingman’ designed to function as an armed adjunct to conventional manned fighters.

A prototype is being flight tested by the AFRL. The second of five planned demonstration flights was completed on 11 June, achieving 100% of planned test points. Kratos has built a further two Valkyrie air vehicles, which remain under its ownership.

Reporting the company’s second quarter 2019 results in a 31 July earnings call, Kratos president and CEO Eric DeMarco said that the company was confident that Valkyrie was “on track for initial production and a programme of record”.

In response, the company has begun ordering engines “for expected Valkyrie production to meet anticipated future customer delivery requirements,” DeMarco said. The XQ-58A demonstrator is powered by an off-the-shelf Williams International FJ33 twin-spool turbofan; it has not been confirmed if this engine type is being retained for follow-on production.

Kratos believes that it could receive orders for between 20 and 40 Valkyrie vehicles by the end of the year. According to DeMarco, the US Air Force (USAF) has shown interest in acquiring 20–30 air vehicles for operational experimentation, test, and integration. He also alluded to potential new customers, one of which has “recently expressed interest in acquiring up to an initial 10 Valkyries in either the fourth quarter of this year or the first half of 2020”.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Chinmay » 06 Aug 2019 22:19

Brar_w, out of curiosity, are the Kratos and the Boeing Loyal Wingman concept analogous? The Loyal Wingman seems to be funded entirely by the Aussies, while the Kratos is currently an all-US program, but they seem to be similar in function.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Aug 2019 23:28

Yes similar. The Valkyrie was competitively sourced by the US AFRL and it is believed that the current Boeing design was their proposal to the USAF. Boeing has invested its own money on it and I think they plan on taking it to market with Australian MOD funding to supplement that as they’ve transferred the program over to their Australian Phantom works team. The UK too plans to use that though I’m not entirely sure on that.

From my observation (may or may not be 100% accurate) they’ve deviated from the AFRL requirement in two ways –

- Their system is runway dependent while the Valkyrie is not

- Their system will likely include more sensors, sub-systems and may even be slightly larger and MOST DEFINITLY more expensive. The Valkyrie is right at the edge as expendable transitions to re-usable (still sub $5 Million even with the most expensive payload) while this will probably be significantly more expensive than that owing largely to its sensors..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Chinmay » 06 Aug 2019 23:36

Thanks a lot Brar saab

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Aug 2019 07:56

AFRL achieves record-setting hypersonic ground test milestone


WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – An Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Test Center ground test team set a record for the highest thrust produced by an air-breathing hypersonic engine in Air Force history.

“AFRL, in conjunction with Arnold Engineering Development Complex and Northrop Grumman, achieved over 13,000 pounds of thrust from a scramjet engine during testing at Arnold Air Force Base,” said Todd Barhorst, AFRL aerospace engineer and lead for the Medium Scale Critical Components program.

The 18-foot-long Northrop Grumman engine endured a half hour of accumulated combustion time during the nine months of testing.

“The series of tests, ran in conjunction with AEDC and AFRL, on this fighter-engine sized scramjet was truly remarkable,” said Pat Nolan, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman. “The scramjet successfully ran across a range of hypersonic Mach numbers for unprecedented run times, demonstrating that our technology is leading the way in delivering large scale hypersonic platforms to our warfighters.”

“The plan for a larger and faster hypersonic air breathing engine was established 10 years ago during the X-51 test program, as the Air Force recognized the need to push the boundaries of hypersonic research,” Barhorst said. “A new engine with 10-times the flow of the X-51 would allow for a new class of scramjet vehicles.”

An evaluation of the nation’s test facilities concluded that none could test an engine at this large of a scale in a thermally-relevant environment. To address the issue, AEDC’s Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit facility underwent a two-year upgrade to enable large-scale scramjet combustor tests over the required range of test conditions. The AEDC team also successfully leveraged technology developed by CFD Research Corporation under the Small Business Innovative Research program. This technology proved crucial in achieving most of the required test conditions.

“Our collective team has worked hard over the past few years to get to where we are today,” said Sean Smith, lead for the AEDC Hypersonic Systems Combined Test Force ground test team. “We’ve encountered numerous challenges along the way that we’ve been able to overcome thanks to the dedication and creativity of the team. We’ve learned quite a bit, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. These groundbreaking tests will lead the way for future hypersonic vehicles for a range of missions.”

“After years of hard work, performing analysis and getting hardware ready, it was a great sense of fulfillment completing the first successful test of the world’s largest hydrocarbon fueled scramjet,” added Barhorst.


Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Aug 2019 19:34

Interestingly, Raytheon is calling its TBG offering as TBG-II as in including capability and performance not found on Lockheed's TBG design. They appear to be about 2 years behind Lockheed as far as testing is concerned (Lockheed's test could be as early as this December, while Raytheon's will likely be in 2022).

Raytheon, DARPA complete TBG baseline design review


Raytheon, in co-operation with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has completed a baseline design review of the company’s winged concept solution for the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) hypersonic weapons programme. According to a Raytheon statement on 29 July, the review establishes the company’s technical approach for the critical design review (CDR) milestone.

Launched in 2014, the TBG programme is a joint DARPA/US Air Force (USAF) initiative to develop and demonstrate technologies to enable future air-launched, tactical-range hypersonic boost glide systems. In a boost glide system, a tactical payload is boosted to a high endo-atmospheric altitude at hypersonic speed (hypersonic weapons typically travel at speeds in excess of Mach5.5), separates from its booster, and glides down to its target.

DARPA awarded Raytheon US63.3 million in March to progress its TBG concept from the preliminary design review (PDR) phase to the CDR phase. The award builds on an initial USD20.5 million prototype research contract awarded to Raytheon in April 2015 to develop and demonstrate technologies to enable a TBG concept; Lockheed Martin was awarded a parallel USD147.3 million contract in September 2016 to develop its TBG concept solution.

Raytheon will not comment on specific details of its TBG concept solution. Thomas Bussing, vice-president of Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems, told Jane’s earlier this year, “Typically the outer mould lines, the performance of the system, and how it would be used is classified. What I can say is that we are developing a hypersonic glider with a very high-lift-over drag ratio.”..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Aug 2019 21:17

First US Army Hypersonic Missile (mobile) battery to be delivered and fielded in late 2022/ early-mid 2023. 4 x TEL's per battery with 2 x Hypersonic AUR's per TEL.

Interestingly, as recently as a few weeks ago, senior US Army leadership was quoted as saying that this hypersonic weapon system was ruled as "INF compliant" and they were allowed to pursue it as they decided to move towards it before the INF withdrawal was decided upon. This would indicate that it spends >50% of its flight time flying a non-ballistic profile hence a hypersonic glider (which does not limit it to 500 km ranges for Ballistic Missiles under INF). Now that the INF is gone, they could very well look to add a bigger booster and fly it for longer ranges if required (though block II will probably add a more efficient glider and cover most of that need).

Raytheon's in service AFATDS will form the Command and Control for the weapon system.

Image

The Missile / AUR appears to have a > 40% diamater than the ATACMS and about a 14% smaller diameter compared to the Pershing-II.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Aug 2019 20:05

These easily deployable "pocket" High Energy Laser options are excellent for dispersed or forward deployed basing and dealing with small class I and II UAS used by non-state or state actors for ISR and with munitions strapped on them for attack on land bases. Coupled with a Microwave based system companion (also available as part of this package and being procured), two-three pairs of these can probably deal with 100-200 such small aircraft without needing to fire a kinetic shot. They could probably swap out the power modules and send them straight back. Could potentially be helicopter deployable either as a full-up system or by breaking it down into components. That should make it ideal for use by SOF as well.

While bigger/more-powerful options exist with the US Army (fielding a 50kW Stryker based HEL by 2022, a 100 KW FMTV based HEL in 2024, and 200-300 Kw, HEMTT based HEL by 2027-2028) those are likely harder to deploy, move around and probably an overkill against the type of threat the USAF is interested in using these buggies for.

The USAF is likely sending these prototypes straight to Afghanistan.

US Air Force awards Raytheon contract for laser weapon system prototypes


The US Air Force (USAF) on 2 August awarded Raytheon a USD24 million contract for two prototype High Energy Laser Weapon Systems (HELWS).

These HELWS prototypes will be ground-based systems, according to Raytheon. Company spokesperson BJ Boling said on 5 August that Raytheon integrated its high-energy laser on a Polaris MRZR, a type of all-terrain vehicle. The system is stand-alone, he said, with a footprint of approximately 9 sq m.

This award provides for field assessment outside the continental United States for experimentation purposes. It includes, but is not limited to, 12 months of in-field operation by USAF personnel against unmanned aircraft system (UAS) threats.

Work is expected to be completed by 1 November 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

Raytheon’s HELWS is in the 10 kW power class. Boling said prototypes will deliver four hours of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability and 20–30 laser shots based on a single charge from a standard 220V outlet.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2019 07:14


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Aug 2019 07:58

AEGIS Ashore radar and combat system upgrades in Romania are now complete. While the systems were down, there was a THAAD battery deployed there for uninterrupted coverage. It would be interesting to see if Trump sends that off to Israel as a more frequent or even a semi-permanent deployment to that region...

Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defence system in Romania completes scheduled update

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Aug 2019 20:25

Air Force Research Lab preparing for second hypersonic ground test;Jane's Defence Weekly;15-Aug-2019

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is installing an Aerojet Rocketdyne-designed air-breathing hypersonic engine as it prepares for a second test.

AFRL recently set a record for the highest thrust produced by an air-breathing hypersonic engine in US Air Force (USAF) history. AFRL achieved over 13,000 pounds of thrust from a scramjet engine during testing at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee. The 5.5 m-long Northrop Grumman engine endured 30 minutes of accumulated combustion time during the nine months of testing, according to a service statement.

USAF spokesperson Bryan Ripple said on 14 August that while the service was above 13,000 pounds of thrust on multiple different tests at different amounts of time, the longest single duration run was 67 seconds. The service said the scramjet successfully ran across a range of hypersonic Mach numbers for unprecedented run times, but Ripple declined to comment on this range of Mach numbers.

Ripple said this Aerojet Rocketdyne engine was designed under the same programme as the record-breaking Northrop Grumman engine and has similar goals. The service, he said, is planning to start testing before the end of 2019.

An evaluation of United States test facilities concluded that none could test an engine at this large of a scale in a thermally relevant environment. To address this issue, the Arnold Engineering and Development Complex’s (AEDC’s) Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit (APTU) facility underwent a two-year upgrade to enable large-scale scramjet combustor tests over the required range of conditions.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 18 Aug 2019 22:37

There are about a dozen F-35A's present at Al Dafra Air Base UAE belonging to the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings. They've been there since Mid April of this year, initially replacing the F-22A's that came home after spending several months there to support combat ops in Syria/Iraq. F-22's have since re-deployed to Al Udeid Air Base and have been flying missions for a couple of months now alongside F-35A's and other tactical fighters in CENTCOM.

F-35s Practice Adaptive Basing in the Middle East


F-35As stationed in the Middle East practiced how they can participate in combat operations from a temporary base by deploying from the United Arab Emirates to another, undisclosed location, the service said Aug. 12.

An undisclosed number of Joint Strike Fighters deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing and operated out of an austere area with a skeleton crew of support airmen as part of an adaptive basing exercise called “Agile Lightning” from Aug 4-7. Airmen and support equipment piled into a C-17 to stand up operations for the stealth fighter, and once established at the base, they flew “essential missions” to protect US assets in the region, according to an Air Forces Central Command release.

The aircraft and airmen are from the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed to AFCENT from Hill AFB, Utah.

“By executing the adaptive basing concepts we have only practiced at home until now, we increased the readiness, survivability, and lethality of the F-35A in a combat theater,” 4th EFS Commander Lt. Col. Joshua Arki said. “The Agile Lightning team worked hard to coordinate with multiple bases and across US Air Force core disciplines, such as logistics, munitions, force support, communications, air mobility, Combined Air Operations Center staff, etc.”


“We were able to safely bring the jets and people here to continue supporting operations with a hundred percent mission effectiveness,” said Capt. "Cheque,” 4th EFS pilot. “We were also able to gather lessons learned for untethered operations within the AOR, so that we can more quickly and more efficiently accomplish adaptive basing in the future.”

Adaptive basing methodology is still in its beginning stages. However, it’s being practiced throughout the Air Force, demonstrating for adversaries and allies that with untethered operations, aircraft are able to adapt and respond as necessary to the often unpredictable operational environment.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... perations/


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ArjunPandit » 19 Aug 2019 23:21

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/20 ... aty-world/
WASHINGTON — The United States has tested a new ground-based cruise missile capable of going over 500 kilometers in range, less than three weeks after officially exiting an arms treaty that banned such systems.

The test occurred 2:30 PM local time Sunday at San Nicolas Island, California, according to a Pentagon announcement. The missile “exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight,” the department said.

“Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities.”

The United States exited the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty Aug. 2, following through on a decision made late last year that the treaty no longer benefited American interests.

The INF was a 1987 pact with the former Soviet Union that banned ground-launched nuclear and conventional ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 kilometers. However, the United States and NATO allies have for years declared Russia in violation of the agreement.


American officials have stressed they do not plan on building a nuclear ground-based cruise missile capability, but Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has said his department will “fully pursue the development of these ground-launched conventional missiles as a prudent response to Russia’s actions and as part of the joint force’s broader portfolio of conventional strike options.”

During a recent trip to the Pacific, Esper also said he would like such weapon systems to end up in Asia as a deterrent to China. The governments in both Australia and South Korea quickly denied that any discussions about such a deployment had occurred, and Esper later downplayed his comments as a future objective.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Aug 2019 08:54

ArjunPandit wrote:During a recent trip to the Pacific, Esper also said he would like such weapon systems to end up in Asia as a deterrent to China. The governments in both Australia and South Korea quickly denied that any discussions about such a deployment had occurred, and Esper later downplayed his comments as a future objective.


There is a difference between deployed and deployable systems. While it is unlikely that most friendly nations in the Indo-Pacific will allow GLCM's, Medium-Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, or Hypersonic Weapons to exist on their soil, they sure as hell would probably want that option to be on the table should things escalate and as a check against Chinese expansion etc. 5 years ago, I doubt anyone took THAAD deployment to South Korea seriously. Now, not only is THAAD deployed there with 3-4 TPY-2's deployed in the region (Guam, SoKo, and Japan) but Japan is building 2 AEGIS ashore sites on top of that. Likewise, having the capability to rapidly deploy expeditionary systems like a GLCM or the LRHW and in the near-medium term the more practical OpFire would allow this option to be on the table. The US is known to be planning testing of two weapons non-compliant with the now-dead INF. This TLAM was the first one, and an Intermediate Range conventional Ballistic Missile would be next. The Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon and DARPA's OpFires would have both been INF compliant as INF covers only Ballistic Missiles and Cruise Missiles and they are neither (US DOD received an all clear from the Department of State etc to proceed with those programs and testing even pre-INF demise). This land based "option" (would likely just exist in small-moderate numbers that can be rapidly scaled up if required) is a good flexibility to have as a complement to the thousands of VLS cells currently operational with more to come. Same with sharing the block IV and block V TLAM design. There is a huge USN pool one can dig into to put out systems in short order if required.

Image
Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ArjunPandit » 20 Aug 2019 15:21

brar what amazed me to post it is
1. the speed at which they brought out stuff to real world testing...
2. you didnt post it ;)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Aug 2019 19:05

ArjunPandit wrote:brar what amazed me to post it is
1. the speed at which they brought out stuff to real world testing...
2. you didnt post it ;)


1. They have been at it for a year or more now and given that the Gryphon was in service nearly 35 years ago this was not really all that challenging since they were utilizing a Block IV Tomahawk which is an in service, and well understood weapon. They just stopped making INF weapons during the treaty, they didn't forget how to make them work :). Of course if the US Army chooses to deploy the system then there will be quite a bit of testing to do to develop and test the launcher, and choose an appropriate C2 etc.

2. Yeah the first I read of it was from your post. But this (test) was expected. Quite a series of missile tests lined up to close out 2019 and into 2020. Next up will be the first testing for the ATACMS replacement, currently scheduled for around October (Raytheon) and November/December (Lockheed). Then the Tactical Boost Glide and HAWC (Scramjet) are set to begin flight testing either end of 2019 or early 2020 followed by flight testing of the AARGM-ER. In between all these, the US Army is also expected to test a prototype MRBM-IRBM (son of Pershing II ??) which is again a post INF demonstration decision.
Last edited by brar_w on 20 Aug 2019 20:23, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 20 Aug 2019 19:58

Wonder what the data in the other air forces around the world is. Very sad.

Former fighter pilots developing aggressive cancers: Is radar to blame?
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/poli ... r-to-blame

The Air Force began investigating whether pilots are at an increased risk for prostate cancer last year, finding reported cases among veterans using the Veterans Affairs healthcare system had risen 16% since 2000. The investigation also found that "pilots have greater environmental exposure to ultraviolet and ionizing radiation ... [and fighter pilots] have unique intra-cockpit exposures to non-ionizing radiation."

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ArjunPandit » 20 Aug 2019 20:27

on a lighter note, can we partner on some of our experience to them...at least the ballistic missile for sure..that said the sheer power of 600Bn USD defence budget along with the might of US MIC is at display...i wont be surprised if there are india US exchanges on this and India fielding more no. of more accurate IRBMs ..

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Aug 2019 20:33

Stumbled upon this clip..


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Aug 2019 20:45

ArjunPandit wrote:on a lighter note, can we partner on some of our experience to them...at least the ballistic missile for sure..


I don't think ballistic missile programs are going to be a source of international partnership and cooperation. These are national programs and set to very unique tactical and industrial base (design and production) requirements. The INF only banned production, testing and employment of tactical missiles with ranges > 500 km. It did not prohibit users from R&D or making sure that they maintained the capability to develop the most cutting edge systems suitable for their future needs. Likewise, I seriously doubt the US Army has much of an interest in fielding Medium or even Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles beyond perhaps a minor bump in range (from around 500 km to say 700 km) to the Precision Strike Missile (ATACMS replacement).

The reality is that the US Army will deploy its first tactical hypersonic (intermediate range) glide system on a mobile launcher by 2022-2023. That will shortly be followed by a more advanced, more mobile and higher magazine capacity TBG based glider system that DARPA is set to test in the early 2020's as well. Likewise, both the USAF and DARPA would have tested a scramjet missile (>500 km range) by this time next year and a ground-launched re-purpose is not going to be too difficult beyond that.

The Medium-Intermediate BM inserts (post INF decision) seem to be political decision taken by the current administration, and I seriously doubt the US Army or the USMC would want to fund those capabilities into production if given a choice. The US Army technically only sought DOS and DOD INF ruling on three programs (2 for Army, 1 for DARPA) - the LRHW, the Strategic Cannon, and DARPA's OpFires. All three would have been tested even if INF was still alive as they were deemed compliant (INF only addresses cruise and ballistic missiles and these are neither). Never did the US Army formally ask for INF non-compliant weapons to be made part of the development or test plan...so I doubt they will be very eager to fund these through at the expense of other stuff that they actually have a need for. Of course, it is far cheaper to produce INF-banned weapons than more exotic hypersonic boost glide or scramjet systems given design and industrial base challenges around high production volumes there (those will have to be ironed out with 1st and 2nd gen systems much like the BM industrial challenges were overcome in the 60's and 70s) so from a political perspective this may be seen as a quicker path to a future deal.

Beyond a niche capability to quickly deploy and re-deploy these 1000+ km ranged systems on land there is little use for the US Army or USMC to build large inventory of these systems. 1000-3000 km ranged weapons make more sense coming out of VLS cells and from US Navy submarines both from a flexibility of deployment and survivability perspective..Intermediate ranged hypersonic weapons on the other hand make more sense as you do not need as many to change the strategic calculus given their higher survivability and specialized roles (SEAD/DEAD and C2 targets)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Philip » 21 Aug 2019 12:34

Taiwan is to get 66 F-16 Block 70 birds.The manufacturer states that "they are structurally stronger and can fly and fight to 2070 and beyond"...!

We've been flying MIG-21s from 1964, all non- Bison ones retiring by the year end, but the Q arises whether in the current steeply inclining tech. advancement curve how relevant will a 20th century fighter wherever from be valid even with upgrades in the era of 5th-gen, future 6th-gen and UCAVs.Upto 2050 perhaps, but longer?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Aditya_V » 21 Aug 2019 12:37

Many of those countries such as Taiwan and Qatar are also paying protection money for US MIC. They cannot be supplied with F-35's to upset thier neighbors so are being supplied with the Latest F-15's and F-16's. USA also made a possible calculation that their latest tech does not go to China in case of reunification with China.

Given that 5 Gen is costly are maintenance due to the usage f stealth outer skin, 5 Gen-6 Gen will be tip of the spear while the 4.5 Gen aircraft will fly immediately supporting them for the next 3-4 decades.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Karan M » 21 Aug 2019 12:40

Rakesh wrote:Wonder what the data in the other air forces around the world is. Very sad.

Former fighter pilots developing aggressive cancers: Is radar to blame?
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/poli ... r-to-blame

The Air Force began investigating whether pilots are at an increased risk for prostate cancer last year, finding reported cases among veterans using the Veterans Affairs healthcare system had risen 16% since 2000. The investigation also found that "pilots have greater environmental exposure to ultraviolet and ionizing radiation ... [and fighter pilots] have unique intra-cockpit exposures to non-ionizing radiation."


Probably not radar alone.
https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q11719.html

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Aug 2019 19:25

Philip wrote:Taiwan is to get 66 F-16 Block 70 birds.The manufacturer states that "they are structurally stronger and can fly and fight to 2070 and beyond"...!

We've been flying MIG-21s from 1964, all non- Bison ones retiring by the year end, but the Q arises whether in the current steeply inclining tech. advancement curve how relevant will a 20th century fighter wherever from be valid even with upgrades in the era of 5th-gen, future 6th-gen and UCAVs.Upto 2050 perhaps, but longer?


The aircraft has gone through a third lifetime of structural testing which was used as the basis of a expected frame life increase. Will an F-16 be cutting edge or competitive in 2030 let alone 2070? No. But that is not the point when you are only looking through the lens of the physical ability of the aircraft to fly combat missions which was what the statement was doing. As far as Taiwan is concerned, this is the best if not the ONLY option they have. No one else will sell them any new fighters and definitely not ones that come with things like the capability the Block 70 F-16 is providing (and the commonality with existing upgraded F-16's).

Aditya_V wrote:Given that 5 Gen is costly are maintenance due to the usage f stealth outer skin, 5 Gen-6 Gen will be tip of the spear while the 4.5 Gen aircraft will fly immediately supporting them for the next 3-4 decades.


Five to six years ago, the cheapest 5th generation aircraft one could buy (F-35A) was running at around $150 Million Fly-Away unit cost. Orders being placed today have seen that URF drop to below $80 Million. Three things enabled this 1) Design maturity, 2 ) High rate production (going from 20-40 deliveries per year to 131-150 deliveries per year) and 3) Multi-year contracts between OEM and its supply chain. This was not totally unexpected..Achieving or beating that $80 Million URF (CTOL) was the plan for a number of years with a roadmap on getting there shared with the public (they beat that by 1 year).

Currently the O&S cost is a worry for several reasons but important among them being small overall fleet size, low/moderate organic depot capacity, increasing program production rate (puts burden on spare production as supply chain has to continuously grow to meet ramp rate increases every other year) and the O&S learning curve and feedback process being rather young for most operators. The current plan is to have the F-35A O&S be somewhere in between the F/A-18 E/F and the F-15 fighter by 2025. The stated goal for the USAF fleet is around $25K CPFH by 2024-2025 which is right in between what they pay for (search my previous posts to gain perpsective on what the US CAPE includes as O&S - to summarize it is everything from direct and indirect manpower cost to fleet depot support cost broken down by flight hour per aircraft). They will meet that target as well just as they met the fly-away cost target..But to get there like the URF goal, they will need to make some investments and concentrate on meeting deadlines for depot capacity and modernization of facilities..But once a critical mass of 5th gen aircraft is reached (US will operate around 1000 F-35's by 2025-2027 time-frame) they will have all the incentives in the world to ensure that depots are constructed, modernized and capacity is adequately provided to sustain that large of a fleet. For years they've been kicking the can down the road and it manifests as readiness challenges and high operational cost on account of low bandwidth and poor efficiency...

Stealth is a tool just like the ability to fly supersonic, employ long range or precision weapons or use GPS for navigation and guided weapons is a tool. If there is utility in it, it will be supported and the capability deemed mission critical. Stealth has remained a niche capability since it was first introduced in the 1980's but that is going to change now with global F-35 fleet size >400 and set to cross 500 next year (that is nearly as big as the global Eurofighter fleet for example)..Once you reach 4 digits then you have the critical mass to make the neccesary investments to tackle those challenges and develop the neccesary support infrastructure that is modern and future proof (also applies to 6th gen. fighters). When you have it just as a silver-bullet, niche capability you are always tempted to trade away some of that for other pressing investments and just learn to live with things..You are less likely to do that when a stealth aircraft is your most prevalent combat aircraft and not a niche capability..

In short follow the trend for F-35 O&S cost as global fleet grows from 420-430 aircraft currently (July 2019) to around 1000 aircraft around 2021/2022 and to around 1500 aircraft in 2025. I'm willing to bet that the graph will look very similar to the one for URF over the last 5-8 years as the O&S learning curve is overcome, feedback cycle allows for more optimization, depot capacity is created and depots sustaining the program are adequately modernized for 5th and 6th gen. aircraft (this is a big thing).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 22 Aug 2019 19:57

BAE Systems Wins Major F-35 Electronic Warfare Upgrade

Electronic warfare has emerged as the new focus of a larger, multiyear $10 billion makeover of the Lockheed Martin F-35.
Ending a yearlong negotiating process that involved discussions with potential alternative suppliers, Lockheed has selected BAE Systems to deliver a package of upgrades under the Block 4 program to the ASQ-239 electronic warfare/countermeasures subsystem, both companies announced on Aug. 21.

Block 4 could expand frequency band coverage, add cognitive capability

The award preserves the role of BAE’s facility in Nashua, New Hampshire, as the sole electronic warfare system supplier for the Air Force’s three most advanced combat aircraft: the F-35, the Lockheed Martin F-22 and the future Northrop Grumman B-21. BAE designed the original ASQ-239 for the F-35 and has delivered more than 500 shipsets to Lockheed over the last 14 years.

As the Block 4 upgrade contract came up for consideration, Lockheed considered reopening the electronic warfare system to competitive bidding.

In June 2018, Lockheed released requests for information to several companies. It was part of a larger competitive initiative for Block 4 that led to Lockheed awarding an upgraded version of the distributed aperture system to Raytheon, overruling the original supplier Northrop Grumman on jets delivered after the 14th lot of low-rate initial production in fiscal 2022.

BAE responded by announcing a plan this February to invest $100 million to upgrade its 80,000-ft.2 Nashua plant with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and increase the staff there by 23%.

At the same time, BAE also announced the insertion of a critical new technology into the ASQ-239 to help pave the way for future Block 4 upgrades. In addition to a towed decoy, multiple apertures, and the dispensers and controller for radio-frequency and infrared countermeasures, the ASQ-239 also includes technique generators—called Rack 2A and Rack 2B—to counter electronic threats.

BAE has now inserted the DTIP system into the ASQ-239 to upgrade Racks 2A and 2B. The acronym DTIP is a combination of two other acronyms: DCRTG, for the Digital Channelized Receiver/Techniques Generator, and TIP, for the Tuner Insertion Program. The combination results in a centralized electronic warfare processor that is more powerful, yet smaller. As a result, the DTIP will allow Lockheed to commission BAE to deliver new capabilities under Block 4.

Details of Lockheed’s plans for the F-35 electronic warfare upgrade package are difficult to track down. Many other Block 4 capabilities, including the automated ground collision avoidance system, new weapons and external fuel tanks, are well known. But BAE Systems declined to provide any details about the Block 4 upgrades funded under the newly awarded contract.

The only clues available are contained in an April 2018 presentation by Vice Adm. Mat Winter, who was then the program executive officer for the F-35. He showed a chart with more than 50 planned Block 4 upgrades, including 10 proposed improvements for the ASQ-239.

The list included activating Band 5 receivers for the electronic support measures systems, as well as augmenting the F-35’s existing receivers in Bands 2, 3 and 4. Lockheed has previously said that the ASQ-239 included growth provisions in the existing apertures and aperture electronics to host a Band 5 radar warning capability. The upgrade would require incorporating a Band 5 switch in the new DTIP system.

Winter’s presentation also suggested Block 4 could introduce new software into the ASQ-239 that would enable a “cognitive” electronic warfare capability. Such technology generally refers to an improvement on technique generators based on digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) technology, which identify the chain of signals created by frequency-hopping emitters and develop a matching jamming signal based on stored information. By contrast, a cognitive system uses artificial intelligence algorithms, which learn the signals of advanced emitters that have not been previously recorded and develop a counter technique in real time.


The ASQ-239 also would be upgraded with more advanced chaff and flares, according to Winter’s presentation.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 31 Aug 2019 08:36

Here’s who will build and integrate the first hypersonic weapon system prototype


Dynetics Technical Solutions will be the first to manufacture a set of hypersonic glide body prototypes while Lockheed Martin will serve as the weapon system integrator, according to a U.S. Army announcement.

The other transaction authority, or OTA, contract awards mark an important step forward in getting a prototype of the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, or LRHW — capable of flying at five times the speed of sound — that will launch from a mobile ground platform fielded by fiscal 2023.

Dynetics, based in Huntsville, Alabama, will get $351.6 million to produce the “first commercially manufactured set of prototype Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) systems,” according to the statement.

This means the company will get the first crack at building the C-HGB, but it is likely others will subsequently receive awards to learn how to manufacture the C-HGB developed by the federally funded Sandia National Laboratories in an effort to build up the currently nonexistent hypersonic industrial base in the United States. Dynetics and future award winners will work with the lab to learn how to build the C-HGB.

Lockheed Martin will integrate a launcher that can accommodate the C-HGB onto a mobile truck. That contract is worth $347 million.

The OTA awards cover the design, integration and production work that will bring about a series of flight tests starting in 2020, which will lead to a fielding of a prototype LRHW battery, consisting of four trucks, launchers, hypersonic missile rounds and a command and control system.

The Army is in charge of producing the LRHW C-HGB as part of a collaboration with the other services.

"Dynetics has been developing enabling technologies for many years,” Steve Cook, the company’s president, said in a statement. “Our team is pleased the Army saw that our highly-skilled engineers and technicians can bring this technology rapidly and affordably to the warfighter.”

DTS will lead “a world-class team for the project, including established and proven defense industry contractors” like General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

“Each of these companies will bring decades of experience and will join science and technological capabilities to make a modern prototype and eventually become a program of record,” Cook said.

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems will provide cable, electrical and mechanical manufacturing. Lockheed will support the manufacturing, assembly, integration, testing, systems engineering and analysis.

And as a principal subcontractor, Raytheon will provide its “extensive experience” in advanced hypersonic technology to build control, actuation and power-conditioning sub-assemblies that control flight, and it will help assemble and test the prototype.

Lockheed Martin’s integration team also includes Dynetics, which will develop launchers with hydraulics, outriggers, power generation and distribution for the ground platform.

Other members of Lockheed’s team are Integration Innovation Inc., Verity Integrated Systems, Martinez & Turek, and Penta Research.

“We believe our relationships offer the Army unmatched expertise and puts us in the best position to deliver this critical capability to the nation," Eric Scherff, vice president for hypersonic strike programs for Lockheed Martin Space, said in a statement.

Lockheed Martin’s hypersonic strike contract awards already exceed $2.5 billion.

The Army plans to deliver a hypersonic missile and launcher to a unit in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021. The unit will train for an entire year without live rounds, Thurgood said earlier this month at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. He noted that the canisters the unit will use will be filled with cement to match the weight.

The first live-round test will take place in FY22 and will be conducted by a battery led by a captain.



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby MeshaVishwas » 01 Sep 2019 21:14


Interesting watch.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 05 Sep 2019 22:47

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The first Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Engineering Development Model pod arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River after a trek across America late July. Members of the combined Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office (PMA-234), Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 and industry partner test teams navigate the newly arrived pod to its temporary home at the VX-23 squadron. The pod will start various verification and test procedures in preparation for the second pod delivery early fall. (U.S. Navy photo) LINK

NRao
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 06 Sep 2019 00:14

KC-46A PEGASUS

The KC-46A Pegasus is a widebody, multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. Boeing designed the KC-46 to carry passengers, cargo and patients. The aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection, which will enable it to operate safely in medium-threat environments.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby sooraj » 09 Sep 2019 01:08

Did President Trump Just "Out" the Top-Secret KH-11 Program?

When President Trump tweeted that the U.S. was not involved in the launch explosion at Iran's Semnan Launch Site One, he might have accidentally betrayed the KH-11 photo reconnaissance project.


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According to CNBC, a U.S. defense official confirmed that the picture was part of that Friday's intelligence briefing, and experts have said that the picture was never meant for public view.

Besides the obvious question of whether the president blew the lid off a top-secret operation, was the question of how the picture was taken in the first place.


KH-11 photo-reconnaissance satellites


After the president's tweet, amateur satellite trackers got to work, with Marco Langbroek identifying the picture as the work of reconnaissance satellite USA 224. Langbroek administers an amateur satellite tracking blog in the Netherlands. USA 224 is one of the U.S.'s KH-11 photo-reconnaissance satellites.


For decades, the KH-11 program was one of America's most closely-guarded secrets. It is run by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) whose motto is "Supra Et Ultra. In English: "Above and Beyond."

The NRO's logline is "Develop. Acquire. Launch. Operate" and the agency describes its mission as: "When the United States needs eyes and ears in critical places ... The NRO is the U.S. Government agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites."

The KH-11 program goes all the way back to 1976, and "KH" may be an acronym for "key hole". According to 2012 budget documents, the current codename for the project may be EVOLVED ENHANCED CRYSTAL (EECS), or ADVANCED CRYSTAL, KENNEN. "Kennen" is the German word for "know".

The KH-11 satellites were the first to abandon film-based surveillance in favor of optoelectronics, or optronics. Optoelectronics is the study of the quantum mechanical effects of light on electronic materials, especially semiconductors. Besides visible light, gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared can also be used.

The KH-11 satellites are believed to resemble the Hubble Space Telescope in both size and shape. They have a length of 19.5 meters, a diameter of 3 meters, and weigh in at around 17,000 to 19,000 kg. They are thought to be able to maneuver by using a hydrazine-powered propulsion system.

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In his 2001 book entitled The Wizards of Langley. Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology, author Jeffrey Richelson states that like the Hubble Space Telescope, KH-11 satellites have 2.4-meter (7.9 foot) diameter mirrors, which would yield a resolution of almost 10 cm. By comparison, the highest-caliber commercial satellites can only provide a resolution of 25 centimeters.

The only other known examples of KH-11 satellite images were those leaked in 1984 by Samuel Loring Morison, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst. Morrison gave three classified satellite photos of the Soviet navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Jane's Defense Weekly, a British military magazine. For this offense, Morrison was convicted of espionage and served two years in prison.

In all, nine KH-11 satellites have been launched between 1976 and 2013. They revolve in sun-synchronous orbits (SSO), also called heliosynchronous orbits. These are nearly polar orbits such that the satellite passes over a given point on the Earth's surface at the same local mean solar time.


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There are two types of sun-synchronous orbits: a noon/midnight orbit, where the local mean solar time of passage is around noon or midnight, and a dawn/dusk orbit, where the local mean solar time of passage is around sunrise or sunset. The satellite rides the terminator, the moving line that divides the daylit side and the dark night side of the Earth.

Because shadows help to discern ground features, satellites in a noon/midnight orbit observe the ground at local afternoon hours, while satellites in a dawn/dusk orbit observe the ground at local morning hours.


Besides Marco Langbroek, in a tweet, New York Times columnist Christiaan Triebert used shadows in the photo tweeted by President Trump to determine that the photo was taken between the hours of 13:30 and 14:30 UTC.

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In another tweet, Purdue University graduate student Michael Thompson determined that USA 224 was over the Iranian launch site at exactly that time. Langbroek then analyzed the angle from which the photo was taken to determine almost certainly that the photo was taken by USA 224 from 385 kilometers out in space.

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In January 2011, the National Reconnaissance Office donated two decommissioned Optical Telescope Assemblies (OTA) to NASA. They have an additional third mirror, which allows for a much wider field of view than the Hubble Space Telescope has, thus making them ideal for searching for dark matter and energy.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Thakur_B » 09 Sep 2019 07:42

^^ Size of hubble telescope, stays secret for so long?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Sep 2019 18:52

U.S. military spaceplane breaks its own longevity record in orbit


A robotic U.S. military spaceplane surpassed 719 days in orbit Monday, setting a new record for the longest flight of the Air Force’s winged X-37B orbiting experiment platform nearly two years after launching from Florida on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.Air Force officials have not said when the spacecraft will come back to Earth, or released much detail on the X-37B’s mission. When its mission is complete, it is expected to return to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a landing on the three-mile-long runway originally built for the space shuttle.

The current mission is the fifth flight of the Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane. Boeing has built at least two space-worthy X-37B vehicles, and the aerospace contractor refurbishes the reusable spacecraft inside a modified space shuttle hangar at Kennedy.

The X-37B spaceplane, also called the Orbital Test Vehicle, is about one-fourth the length of NASA’s retired space shuttle orbiters. The X-37B does not carry a crew and has no windows, but it can stay in orbit for years thanks to a deployable solar array to generate electricity.

Developed by Boeing’s Phantom Works division, the X-37B spaceplane can haul experiments and small satellites into orbit, then return equipment to Earth inside its cargo bay. Each spaceship has a wingspan of nearly 15 feet (4.5 meters) and a length of more than 29 feet (8.9 meters). The ship’s wings fit snugly inside the 17-foot-diameter (5-meter) payload shrouds on the Falcon 9 and Atlas 5 rockets.

The X-37B weighs about 11,000 pounds (5 metric tons), according to the Air Force.

The fifth X-37B mission launched Sept. 7, 2017, from launch pad 39A at Kennedy aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The four previous X-37B flights took off on United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets from a nearby pad at Cape Canaveral.....


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