US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 11 Sep 2019 21:22

Some major themes are lots of unmanned enablers, AI and a LEO basee space constellation that aids in Air Superiority..

USAF’s Dogfight Power Curve


“China and Russia understand the value of stealth,” said retired USAF Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, head of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “They are working very hard to replicate that capability. They may not have figured it out to the degree we have, operationally, but they will get there eventually.”

USAF is responding with more than a dozen major initiatives on the books to rapidly develop or insert new capabilities into its existing fighter force, and with others to advance the state of the art in next-generation air dominance.

Looking further ahead, the Air Force is also developing future concepts, ranging from a stealthy successor to the MQ-9 Reaper—because the MQ-9 cannot operate in defended airspace—to a family of systems that will make up the future Next-Generation Air Dominance concept.

The Air Force requested more than $1 billion dollars for NGAD in its fiscal 2020 budget to fund development of a new, undetermined platform as well as a number of other approaches to control the air.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, has proposed developing a “new Century Series” of aircraft, recalling the rapid development of fighters designed in the 1950s and ’60s. Each took a slightly different approach to dogfighting and ground attack, making incremental improvements along the way. None of those aircraft were ever intended to be 30-year platforms, but neither were they disposable.

Because these new aircraft won’t be built for a 20,000-hour service life and won’t need the logistics train to support that, the jets could be developed more affordably, Roper said.

NGAD will also make use of remotely piloted, and potentially autonomous, aircraft to complement the fifth-generation F-22 and F-35. In USAF’s “loyal wingman” concept, RPAs would fly in the vicinity of manned fighters, either providing extra missiles or carrying out their own missions independently. Dubbed “Skyborg” by Roper, the concept is being tested on the XQ-58 Valkyrie, which flew for the first time in March, and on other testbeds.

These unmanned systems would be “attritable” aircraft, meaning combat losses would be acceptable, or at least less costly to lose than manned platforms.

Swarms of such autonomous, attritable aircraft “could do things on behalf of a manned fighter, to either go into areas that pose too high a threat or to provide more dilemmas for the adversary,” according to Pacific Air Forces Director of Air and Cyber Operations Maj. Gen Scott L. Pleus.

In fact, Air Force leaders have consistently said NGAD need not produce a new fighter, but could yield something else entirely.

“If we were to characterize it as a fighter, we would be …thinking too narrowly about what kind of airplane we need in a highly contested environment,” Pleus said. “A B-21 that also has air-to-air capabilities” and the ability “to work with the family of systems to defend itself, utilizing stealth—maybe that’s where the sixth-generation airplane comes from.”
....

Reclaiming clear air superiority is not simply a matter of building another next-generation fighter. Instead, the Air Force is pursuing a “family of systems” that “really does diverge away from a platform-centric way of doing air superiority,” said Pleus, the former director of plans, programs, and requirements at ACC.

Traditionally, the Air Force approached air superiority as a numbers game. “More airplanes equal more capability,” he said. But that may not be the case in the future.

“We’re going to have to up our game in all areas,” Pleus said. Stealth, sensors, and connectivity will be key attributes, increasing situational awareness both for pilots and commanders. Converging air, space, and ground-based sensors creates “the ultimate in synergy” and an “unbelievable edge in dominating in the air superiority realm,” Pleus noted.

Active electronically scanned array radars, infrared search-and-track systems, ground-based sensors, bistatic radars, and satellites­—plus the ability to fuse all that situational insight together into a single operating picture—will give the US a speed advantage and force adversaries into a reactive posture.

That means F-35s and F-22s would penetrate contested airspace and “vacuum up” information, passing it undetected to heavily armed fourth-generation aircraft outside of the contested area. Those aircraft will need longer-range missiles, Pleus said, and the Air Force is “teaming with industry” now to develop jam-resistant multimode sensors to guide those weapons and more powerful motors to increase speed and extend range.

“With the scramjet technology … missiles go much longer, much higher, much faster,” he said.

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin are developing the AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile—a faster, longer-range replacement for the AIM-120 AMRAAM—which has been the undisputed dogfight champ since the early 1990s.

Brig. Gen. Anthony W. Genatempo, USAF program executive officer for weapons, stated in June that said flight tests are to begin in 2021, with initial operational capability targeted for 2022. The missile will fit in the F-22 and F-35 weapon bays, just as the AMRAAM does today.

AMRAAM has a range in excess of 50 miles. The range of the JATM is not yet known. But to counter China’s PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile, Pleus said the US needs something far more capable.

“I would love to see us get a missile that would get us in excess of 150 miles,” he said.




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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 11 Sep 2019 21:51

AFWERX hosted a two day gathering in Las Vegas in July.

MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS (MDO) CHALLENGE

In some scenarios, MDOs will have less than 15 minutes to receive incoming data, orient data into useful information, make decisions, and then disseminate situational awareness to the relevant people who will perform multiple actions to create a dominant effect.


And a lot more.

AFWERX with SBIR AF are moving very fast.

They are considering allowing resources from India to participate through the company's making a proposal.

Technology wise everything is on the table. GPU, FACE, RTOS, .............. ML, CNN, ......... Hardware and OS vendors have already responded to this call.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Nikhil T » 12 Sep 2019 06:33

Poland buys 32 F-35A for $6.5B

https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/p ... r-aircraft

So nearly $200 million per bird, without any weaponry.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2019 06:43

Nikhil T wrote:Poland buys 32 F-35A for $6.5B

https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/p ... r-aircraft

So nearly $200 million per bird, without any weaponry.


That is not a sale. That is an FMS notification based on the maximum amount of resources the US is willing to offer to Poland. It also includes the GOTUS estimate for future contractor PBL cost which is very difficult to estimate this out in the future (since Milestone C is just round the corner) and hence is likely a highly conservative estimate.

Following this, there will be long negotiations where Poland will pick and chose their package and then inform then JSF JPO of their schedule and then the JPO will club their orders in when it comes time to place aircraft on order, generally 2-3 years before delivery. The FMS notification is just giving the US Congress an estimate of a pre negotiation top end of what a potential sale could like. It neither means that Poland has “bought” the F-35, nor that they have agreed to go ahead with package as laid out by GOTUS at the present moment.

There is also no way for GOTUS to be certain of what top lime $ the JPO will arrive to an agreement at in the future so these estimates tend to be conservative and reflect the upper limit of a possible future deal. In the past I’ve shared examples of actual negotiated contracts being 30-50% below FMS top line numbers owing to a different package being negotiated or estimates being off as program has had a milestone transition in between FMS notifications and actual contract complete.

Here's an example of this at play -

FMS Notification for SIngapore's purchase of Counterfire AESA radars -

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Singapore of 6 AN/TPQ-53 (V) Counterfire Target Acquisition Radar Systems and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $179 million. LINK


And the actual contract award, some 4 years later -

The US government has awarded Lockheed Martin a USD63 million firm, fixed-price contract in support of a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procurement effort of six AN/TPQ-53 counter-fire target acquisition radars destined for Singapore, according to federal contracting documents reviewed by Jane's on 21 August.

The contract – which was signed on 13 April 2017 – includes options that would bring the cumulative value of the order to USD81 million if exercised by the Singapore government. Work on the radar systems is expected to be completed by 13 March 2019, with the US Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) in Maryland functioning as the contracting activity...The original DSCA notification of 8 October 2013 for FMS to Singapore involved USD179 million for the purchase of six AN/TPQ-53 radar systems, including all options. The fall in cost to USD81 million reflects a drastic reduction in unit cost of the radar due to full-rate production (FRP). On 30 March 2017, Lockheed Martin was awarded a USD1.59-billion, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract for the radar, which included full-rate production of up to 127 radars – including 70 radars for the US Army, 50 for FMS and/or US requirements, and the remaining seven for obsolescence and production. ~ SOURCE - JANE'S International Defense Review 25-Aug-2017



So what changed? FMS notification went through as the system was at a milestone transition i.e. production was ramping up, costs were projected to come down but the FRP contracts had not yet been negotiated with the vendor. In such cases GOTUS is conservative and errs on the side of using a higher number so that their are no surprises to what the Congress has had no objection too.

Having said that, a package for a first time operator (not someone topping up) with GOTUS and contractor support, spares, and a PBL for a block-4 F-35 will probably run 2x of URF and above so a unit price of around $160 Million won't be far fetched once negotiations are complete and they arrive to a package and price that fits their budget.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Chinmay » 13 Sep 2019 18:41

Fascinating glimpse into the future.

Chinook Teamed Up With Bomb-Slinging Drone In Complex AI-Enabled Test

Personnel flying onboard an MH-47 Chinook special operations transport helicopter directly controlled an MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, which then launched a GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition at a target. Other individuals on the ground then redirected the small glide bomb to another target mid-flight. Altogether, this single experiment offered a window into U.S. military advances in manned-unmanned teaming, networked munitions, and artificial intelligence.


The munition, delivery platform, primary operator and secondary operator are all networked and backed up by AI which prioritizes the targets.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 13 Sep 2019 20:33

Air Force Test Center

Hypersonic test at mach 8.6


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Sep 2019 18:28

Air Refueling Capable E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Joins U.S. Navy Fleet


An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye capable of aerial refueling landed at Naval Station Norfolk Sept. 9, officially marking the arrival of this upgraded aircraft to the fleet.

The aerial-refueling-capable E-2D joined the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120.VAW-120 is only the first step in rolling out this new capability. The U.S. Navy will transition two operational fleet squadrons to aerial refueling capable E-2Ds by 2020.

VAW-120 is a Fleet Replacement Squadron attached to Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing commanded by Capt. Matthew Duffy. Its mission it to train naval aviators, naval flight officers, Navy aircrewmen and qualified maintainers to safely and effectively operate E-2 and C-2 aircraft.



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The US Navy receives its first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye which France would like three copies


France plans to buy three copies to replace the three planes of the 4F Lann-Bihoué (photo above US Navy). These three old planes have been modernized (the last plane is waiting for its re-launch scheduled for next Tuesday, according to the Navy) in order to be able to fly until the arrival of their successors whose order is foreseen in the current law of military programming. , for a delivery between 2026 and 2028. Negotiations would drag a little, the fault at the high cost of this new aircraft.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Sep 2019 18:37

Sneak peek: Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band on a Growler

Below are the first images of Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band on the EA-18 GROWLER. NGJ-MB is a high-capacity and high-power airborne electronic attack weapon system. It will protect air forces by denying, degrading and disrupting threat radars and communication devices.

In July, 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.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Sep 2019 21:29

Raytheon unveiled its entry into the Small Advanced Capability Missile (or derivative) category for the AFRL/USAF. They've been working on it for a few years and I believe they were put on an S&T contract a couple of years back as well. Raytheon is perhaps also the only company in the world that is currently producing a multi-mode RF/IR interceptor seeker for air and missile defense so they not only have a hot production line but also plenty of design experience in that field as well..

Raytheon Unveils Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile Project


Raytheon has unveiled an internally funded program to develop a new air-to-air missile called Peregrine that combines the reach of the medium-range AIM-120 and the maneuverability of the short-range AIM-9X, but in a smaller form factor to increase the magazine depth of tactical aircraft.

The unveiling of a Peregrine mockup on Sept. 16 at the Air Force Association’s annual National Convention in Washington comes just three months after U.S. Air Force officials confirmed the ongoing development of the Lockheed Martin AIM-260, which is intended to replace the AIM-120 with a longer-range missile of the same length.

The Peregrine missile is being pitched to U.S. and international customers that want AIM-120 performance in a smaller package to double missile loads in the internal weapon bays of stealth fighters or triple the magazine depth on the external weapon stations of nonstealth aircraft, says Mark Noyes, vice president of business development and strategy for Raytheon Missile Systems... Raytheon lists the Peregrine with a length of 6 ft. (1.8 m) and a total weight of about 150 lb. (68 kg), or roughly half the length and mass of the 12-ft., 335-lb. AIM-120. Although Peregrine shares a common stature with Lockheed’s Cuda concept, there are distinct differences. Lockheed designed the Cuda as a hit-to-kill weapon, but the Peregrine destroys the target with a blast-fragmentation warhead.

The missile is guided to the target with a “multimode autonomous seeker,” says Noyes, but he declined to elaborate. A multimode guidance system places the Peregrine in a different category than the radar-guided AIM-120 and infrared homing AIM-9X. It could more closely reflect the multimode guidance system installed in the Raytheon/Rafael Stunner surface-to-air missile, which combines radar and infrared sensors into a dolphin nose-shaped radome.

A “new, high-performance propulsion section” will accelerate the Peregrine to supersonic speed to achieve potentially slightly better range than the AIM-120, but Noyes declined to describe the specific type of propulsion technology selected for the new missile.






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Last edited by brar_w on 16 Sep 2019 22:03, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 16 Sep 2019 21:38

Is this a lifafa article?

The Air Force’s latest tanker is banned from carrying cargo and passengers
https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... anker-ban/

Defects in the aircraft could prove deadly to personnel riding inside.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Sep 2019 21:43

No this is true..Boeing has been having severe quality control issues with that program which is typical for their firm when they are in a commercial boom period as they assign their B or C teams to the defense side programs. I think the best option (USAF perspective) is for their defense and commercial business to part ways..But the USAF basically offloaded all of the program risk to Boeing, so anything that is in need of re-work, re-design, or re-testing is on their dime.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 17 Sep 2019 09:22

One of two areas of interest:

Next-Generation Air Dominance Will Rely On Data Sharing

For about two decades, the Air Force has fielded both the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II — both billed as technical marvels. But what's next for the Air Force?

Developing what officials call next-generation air dominance likely won't require a new aircraft at all, Air Force leaders have said.

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The United States is facing an increasingly competitive global security environment, Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Fantini, director of the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability said today at a Mitchell Institute-sponsored panel discussion on next-generation air superiority in Arlington, Virginia.

Nevertheless, he said, the U.S. military will need to continue to execute its core missions of homeland defense and nuclear deterrence. It also will need to be able to defeat a peer adversary while holding another at bay while continuing to engage in countering the violent extremist challenge.

"We will not be able to accomplish that without the ability to continue to control the skies," Fantini said.

The Air Force's next-generation air dominance program is meant to help it maintain control of the skies — and that doesn't necessarily mean a new fighter jet, said Air Force Maj. Gen. David A. Krumm, director for Air Force Global Power Programs.

"It is not a thing. It is not a platform," he said. "The next generation of air superiority is a network-connected family of systems that works together to get after the things we need to get after for our nation to ensure air superiority. It's not one thing; it's a multitude of things."

Next-generation air dominance involves ensuring that everything can share data with everything else, across services and across domains, including air, land, sea, space and cyberspace, Krumm said. "All of that connected is what we want it to be," he added.

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And it takes into account the incredible pace of technology advancement as well, he said, noting that it will be constantly evolving and constantly changing.

The Air Force will look for capabilities that are rapidly upgradable and modular in nature, Krumm said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 17 Sep 2019 09:25

Two of two:

Life After JSTARS

The Advanced Battle Management System could point the way toward a radically new acquisition model for the Air Force—but first, the service needs to get a better handle on what ABMS is going to include.

ABMS is an open architecture family of systems the Air Force hopes to develop in place of the canceled E-8 Joint STARS recapitalization program.

Defining ABMS may not be easy, but that’s the point. “The way our acquisition system works now, we presume we’re smart enough to know the right design before we bend metal. That’s crazy. There’s a huge trade space to explore,” Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, said in an interview.

The Air Force knows it wants the system to include a space component, an air component, and a command and control component, but how those work together, or which element might be more dominant, is still undetermined.

So rather than creating one massive acquisition program, Roper envisions multiple contributing programs, such as ABMS space, ABMS air, and ABMS networking and communications—each with its own funding, its own program manager, and its own schedule. The program manager would be tasked with pushing the program as far as possible over two to three years, after which the service can “reevaluate what the next segment of the race should be and how it should be run,” Roper said.

While each of the program managers will be experts in their field, an overarching “architect” will oversee the big picture. Reporting directly to Roper, that person will be Preston Dunlop, formerly an executive with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

In a March 1 interview with Air Force Magazine, Roper said the architect will spend a significant amount of time modeling and simulating how ABMS could work. The architect likely will have a small staff and leverage federally funded research and development centers or academic institutions, such as MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory or APL for analytical expertise and support.

“We’re going to try to avoid making the major defense acquisition program mistake, and instead, create a new role that we currently don’t have in defense acquisition,” Roper said. “An architect, at least in theory, will be defined by the ability to do technical trades that flow back into the programs.”

Acknowledging that ABMS has gotten off to a slow start, Roper promised the program will pick up pace with his new hire.

The first phase will focus on developing the technology, with multiple goal lines defined by the architect. The more progress each individual program manager makes in the allotted time, the more funding will be available for the next phase of development. This way, Roper said, “you’re incentivized to go big.”

Then, “at that chalk line in time, we’ll evaluate whether we have pushed the technology enough across those different domains to converge to an architecture that we call Advanced Battle Management System,” Roper said.

“If you have, great. You integrate it, then go field it. If you haven’t, then you evaluate who did well and who didn’t, and if someone is further behind with an option to catch up, then you may terminate their tech push and shift it to someone else that still has the ability to go further. That’s where you could see the architecture shifting” to a more space-centric or air-centric model, depending on where the most progress is seen.

The second increment likely will be distributed unevenly across the components, because each component is bound to mature at different rates.

Dunlop will serve as the “honest broker,” Roper said, helping to motivate program managers to smartly take on risk.

“It will be very much a tech-push program initially with rigid delivery times,” he said. “If that technology does not make it, then it will have to go to the next variant. Keeping that constant delivery cadence to see if a design converges that can do the ground moving target indicator mission.”

Roper is already looking at other places this process could be implemented.

He’s spoken with combatant commanders and training leaders about how it could be used in training opportunities. Because the Air Force’s training needs are distributed across the country and utilize a variety of different trainers and simulators, each representing different missions and threat scenarios, this approach could have merit there, he said.

Another possibility could be the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) system. Though he declined to provide much detail, saying he doesn’t want to “tell the world what we think the next generation of airpower will be”—he said a family of systems that allows for a diversified portfolio of options would make sense there, as well.

For now, though, ABMS is the focus. “During the next phase of my tenure in acquisition, I think getting ABMS right is a critical thing,” Roper stated. “It creates a new model in acquisition where when we have to create an integrated system—or a family of systems—we don’t automatically default to a Future Combat System-type program.”

The Army’s ambitious Future Combat Systems program set out to replace virtually its entire vehicle fleet. Once envisioned as a $25 billion acquisition extravaganza, it was canceled in 2009—a massive flop.

“The program of programs has not worked very well in the past,” Roper said.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 18 Sep 2019 08:06

Sent as suggested reading from a Major USAF (the due date has been pushed back to end of this year, with a planned AoA)

Here’s the No. 1 rule for US Air Force’s new advanced battle management system

The U.S. Air Force has started work on a data architecture for its Advanced Battle Management System, the family of platforms that will eventually replace the E-8C JSTARS surveillance planes.

But the “biblical” rule for the program, according to the service’s acquisition executive Will Roper, is that “we don’t start talking platforms until the end,” he told Defense News at the Paris Air Show in June.

“It is so easy to start talking about satellites and airplanes and forget what ABMS is going to have to uniquely champion, which is the data architecture that will connect them,” Roper explained.

“I’m actually glad we don’t have big money this year because we can’t go build a drone or a satellite, so we’ve got to focus on the part that’s less sexy, which is that data architecture,” he said. “We’re going to have to do software development at multiple levels of classification and do it securely. All of those are things that are hard to get people energized about, but they’re going to be the make-or-break [undertakings] for this program.”

Some initial work has begun on identifying the requirements for ABMS data architecture. The service in March named Preston Dunlap, a national security analysis executive at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, as the program’s “chief architect.” Dunlap will be responsible for developing the requirements for ABMS and ensuring they are met throughout the menu of systems that will comprise it.

The Air Force Warfighter Integration Center, or AFWIC — the service’s planning cell for future technologies and concepts of operation — provided feedback to Dunlap about how ABMS should work, Roper said.

The Air Force is still deliberating what ABMS will look like in its final form, although officials have said it will include a mix of traditional manned aircraft, drones, space-based technologies and data links.

The effort was devised as an alternative to a replacement for the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System.

While the service first considered a traditional recapitalization program where it would buy new JSTARS aircraft equipped with more sophisticated radars, leaders ultimately backed the more ambitious ABMS proposal, believing it to be a more survivable capability.

But defense companies are hungry for more information about the platforms that will comprise ABMS, seeing the opportunity to develop new systems or upgrade legacy ones as a major potential moneymaker.

Once the service has defined an ABMS data architecture — which Roper believes will occur before the fiscal 2021 budget is released — it will need to form requirements for the data that will run through and populate it as well as the artificial intelligence that automatically sorts important information and passes it to users.

“Maybe one sensor needs to be able to fill a gap that others are creating,” he said. “We’re going to have to look at requirements at a systems level and tell satellites that you need to be able to provide this level of data at this refresh rate. UAVs, you need to be able to do this rate and so on and so forth. Once we do that, then we’ll be in the traditional part of the acquisition, which will be building those satellites, building those UAVs.”

The Air Force intends to conduct yearly demonstrations throughout this process, the first of which will involve “ad hoc mesh networking,” which will allow platforms to automatically begin working together and sharing information without human interference. By FY21, full-scale prototyping could start, he said.

In the commercial sector, where devices can be seamlessly linked and monitored over the internet, this concept is known as the internet of things. But that construct — where companies build technologies from the get-go with open software — is difficult to replicate in the defense world, where firms must meet strict security standards and are protective of sharing intellectual property that could give competitors an edge.

“Openness in the internet of things makes sense because you can monetize the data,” Roper said. “That’s not going to exist for us, so we’re going to have to have a contracting incentive that replicates it. The best theory we have right now is some kind of royalty scheme that the more open you are and the more adaptation we do on top of your system, the more you benefit from it.”

The service wants to hold a series of industry days to see whether such a construct would be appealing to defense companies, and how to structure it so that it will be fair and profitable. One unanswered is how to incentivize and compensate defense firms that build in new software capability.

“If you create the system that allows us to put 100 apps on top of it, you benefit differently than if we can only put one. But the details are going to be difficult because maybe that one app is super important,” Roper said.

“But if we can’t replicate profit and cash flow on which their quarterlies depend, then they’re going to have to go back to the old model of saying they are for open [architecture] but secretly giving you closed.”

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Sep 2019 18:42

Acting SecAF Donovan announces B-21 manufacturing, testing locations

While speaking at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Donovan remarked on the Air Force’s B-21 program noting, “the development of the B-21 Raider is on schedule and the first test aircraft is under production at the same production facility in Palmdale, California, as its predecessor, the B-2. The first flight of the Raider will take it from Palmdale to Edwards AFB, where the legacy of excellence will continue with the reactivation of the 420th Flight Test Squadron.”

The B-21 will be a highly survivable, next-generation bomber with the ability to penetrate modern air defenses and hold any target at risk globally. The program has a mature and stable design and is transitioning to manufacturing development of the first test aircraft in Palmdale. The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office along with the 420th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB will ensure delivery of this asymmetric capability to the warfighter at the preferred main operating base locations of Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and Dyess AFB, Texas. These three bomber bases will continue their long heritage of equipping and supporting Air Force Global Strike Command as they prepare for the arrival of the next generation bomber.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2019 19:05

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Skunk Works®, the Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Air Force successfully connected an F-35, U-2 and a multi-domain ground station in a ground-breaking test demonstrating multi-domain operations and the secure distribution of sensitive information across multiple platforms.

During the demonstration, called Project Riot, an F-35 detected a long-range missile launch with its onboard sensors and shared the information through the U-2 to the air defense commander on the ground, enabling the commander to quickly make the decision to target the threat. This next-level connectivity reduces the data-to-decision timeline from minutes to seconds, which is critical in fighting today's adversaries and advanced threats.

Leveraging common industry standards to drive down cost and shorten schedules, the team achieved four mission critical data points in less than four months:

Demonstrated the ability to leverage F-35 sensor data for missile defense

Leveraged the modernized U-2's extensive payload capacity, modular design and open architecture to provide beyond line of sight communications between the F-35 and a multi-domain ground station

Established two new data paths to securely transmit 5th generation sensor data at multiple levels of security to the warfighter, enabling a multi-domain network of legacy and 5th generation systems

Disseminated 5th generation data using the Air Force's Universal Command and Control Interface and Open Mission Systems standards for faster capability deployment and seamless connection between systems

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https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2019-09 ... Operations

brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2019 19:17



MQ-25 and how it differs from recovery tanker operations currently performed by the Super Hornet -

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Sep 2019 19:27

Meanwhile, as Airbus, Boeing, Dassault et al are producing graphics, and cardboard/plastic models Kratos is not only flying its loyal-wingman (including runway independent take off and recovery) but is also getting ready to integrate mission systems and even ...And they are on record of stating that they are working on an even bigger UAV for a undisclosed customer/application..

Payload tests for XQ-58A set for early 2020


19 SEPTEMBER, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GARRETT REIM WASHINGTON DC
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions expects to be on a contract before the end of September 2019 to integrate communications and autonomy payloads into its XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

The loyal wingman aircraft, being developed in partnership with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), would be tested in the first quarter of 2020. The payloads are not part of the AFRL programme, but come from another US defence customer, says Steve Fendley, president of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division. He declines to name the client or the specific hardware that is planned for integration.

Kratos has completed three examples of its XQ-58A and all are flight worthy, says Fendley. The first aircraft has flown twice since March 2019 and is owned by the US Air Force (USAF). The other two are owned by Kratos, one of which is anticipated to fly before the end of the year.

“We know the airplane works. Now, put some sensors and systems on it that are configured in the way that you would ultimately use the airplane,” says Fendley. “We'll be integrating things into the weapons bay and there are two major payload bays on the forward section of the airplane – we will be integrating in all those areas.”

The Valkyrie has a modular nose cone and front midsection, as well as plug and play interfaces, to allow sensor hardware to be quickly swapped in and out, he adds.

Speaking hypothetically about future capabilities, Fendley also says the recently unveiled Raytheon Peregrine, a half-sized, medium-range, air-to-air missile, could be carried in the XQ-58A’s weapons bay. The Lockheed Martin Cuda might be another air-to-air missile candidate, he says.

The UAV’s weapons bay is sized to carry four small diameter bombs, but could fit at least two Peregrine-sized air-to-air missiles, says Fendley. Adding air-to-air missiles to the XQ-58A would help fulfill one of its envisioned roles as an escort wingman for manned aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II or Boeing Super Hornet F/A-18E/F.




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