US military, technology, arms, tactics

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brar_w
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Oct 2019 08:27

To sum up, no the C-band AWACS radar cannot guide an AMRAAM to target. The surveillance sensor cues the fighter which provides a mid flight update to the missile. AEW surveillance radars operate in disparate bands ranging from UHF up to C band, with L and S band AEW aircraft also prevalent. The sub 8 inch A2A interceptors do not carry data-links across those frequency even if one were to ignore the fact that there is absolutely no public information on missile communication being a requirement for any Airborne AEW surveillance radar out there (not to mention the fact that you would need a two-way data link and GPS to establish exact missile location given the vast distance between AEW and missile and it is not feasable to put that much signal out of a missile data-link antenna).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Cain Marko » 06 Oct 2019 11:35

NRao wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Again I'm not entirely sure on all this but I've not heard of aew providing fire control and guidance for AAMs.


The short answer as far as the US is concerned is it does not matter. In the sensor-shooter scenario being pushed around, the system in between the two either decides the best option (embedded intelligence) or assists humans. That in a nutshell.

Very, very briefly, in 2004 (or so) they introduced a "kill web" (below) (as opposed to a "kill chain"). In the "web" a sensor reports, the system decides (it packs a lot) and the shooter shoots. There is a lot more to this, but that would go beyond the topic quoted above.

Image

(Even that is under review, but the revisions should not be too far from that depiction.)

Recent (past 5 years or so) contributions include methodologies/processes used in the commercial world and standardization (to the extent C2 HW/SW can be pretty much common across all platforms, across services).

Here is a recent (June 2019) article from the US Army. It is rather dense:

FROM SENSOR TO SHOOTER, FASTER

yes, this is quite interesting and I had read about it earlier but the question remains can AWACS provide high quality resolution to guide air to air missiles to maneuvering and fast moving targets? If they are successful in providing quality tracks at long ranges the future might just see drones doing all the BVR - the need for humans in the sensor - shooter loop could be minimized. Drones are positioned near the enemy fighters - fire off a salvo, AWACs tracks and guides the missiles all the way to targets from super long ranges.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Oct 2019 18:44

This is an interesting program to follow. They are attempting to fully develop and test a highly loaded grain SRM that would optimize for size and weight to double the magazine capacity of hypersonic missiles/launchers (compared to LRHW) and to allow for easier deployment and mobility. The goal is to go from a 2 Hypersonic rounds per TEL up to 4 per TEL while retaining the range, and performance. End to End testing of a full scale system is expected in 2022 or just as the LRHW becomes operational. There is a strong likelihood that the system chosen is also MK41 cell compliant which would give the DDG's an Intermediate Range Hypersonic missile capability that is likely only going to be on the submarine fleet initially..



DARPA’s Operational Fires (OpFires) program has reached a major program milestone, completing booster preliminary design review of an innovative two-stage tactical missile system. OpFires aims to develop and demonstrate a ground-launched hypersonic weapon system to engage critical, time-sensitive targets in contested environments.

The first two phases of the program focus on the propulsion technologies required to deliver diverse payloads a variety of ranges. Since Phase 1 contract awards last fall, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Exquadrum, and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) have made critical discoveries in advanced rocket motor technology for the OpFires upper stage, completing more than 30 motor trials from subscale through full size. These advances put the program on track for booster critical design review in late 2020.

Exquadrum completed a full-scale, full-duration test fire Sept. 19, which marked the performer’s culminating event for Phase 1. SNC has targeted October to complete its Phase 1 testing, and Aerojet Rocketdyne completed six subscale tests in August. Development activities will continue under Phase 2, which will culminate with multiple hot/static fires targeted for late 2020.

DARPA anticipates awards later this year for the third phase of the OpFires program, which aims to develop an operational system design leveraging propulsion systems concepts developed under the first two phases of the program. Phase 3 will conclude with integrated end-to-end flight tests to begin in 2022.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prasad » 06 Oct 2019 20:40

brarji,
a question. i've not seen any images of US hypersonic missiles. The chinese displayed their bgv mounted on a rocket in the open like the rlv-td. From what I heard from the proj dir, they would've liked to use a pslv/gslv instead so that the payload fairing helps shield it initially and reduce need to do aerodynamic studies and avoid those complexities. I'd assume missiles would be similar. Do american missiles have similar or different configurations?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Oct 2019 21:33

Prasad wrote:brarji,
a question. i've not seen any images of US hypersonic missiles. The chinese displayed their bgv mounted on a rocket in the open like the rlv-td. From what I heard from the proj dir, they would've liked to use a pslv/gslv instead so that the payload fairing helps shield it initially and reduce need to do aerodynamic studies and avoid those complexities. I'd assume missiles would be similar. Do american missiles have similar or different configurations?


There are few images of US hypersonic weapons. Here's one of the AHW test from a few years ago -

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Here's a video of the AGM-183A Hypersonic Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) undergoing Captive carry testing prior to beginning flight testing.



US Army LRHW -

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There are 3 Boost Glide Vehicle designs that have been publicly revealed by the US. One is the Common Glide Vehicle that is on board tri-service programs and it will form the basis of the conventional hypersonic triad (LRHW for the US Army, Conventional Prompt Strike for the US Navy, and Air Launched Hacksaw for the USAF). Then there are the two DARPA Tactical Boost Glide BGV's, one each from Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Lockheed is about 6 months ahead and will test fly its missile by the end of the year or early next year. Raytheon possibly in 2020 or early 2021. All have been depicted with a payload fairing.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prasad » 06 Oct 2019 21:42

Thanks a lot!

So your opinion on the chinese df-17 they displayed?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Oct 2019 21:45

It is a known weapon which was tested in 2016 or 2017 and was confirmed by US intel at the time. It is said to be a medium ranged system believed to be primarily meant to knock out Air and Missile Defense systems and infrastructure and has spurred a pretty frantic round of Counter Hypersonic interceptor (and non kinetic option) development and fast-tracking at the US Missile Defense Agency. Air Defense systems in Guam, South Korea, and Japan are probably within range. Last year, the US MDA became a party to the the tri-service boost glide vehicle program in an effort to fast track a target system and begin testing against the threat type hopefully well ahead of when this missile proliferates in quantity. Your conventional area BMD interceptors are woefully inadequate against this threat (within any reasonable bounds of PK and exchange ratios) as are terrestrial and early warning sensors which need some serious beefing up given the RCS's, flight trajectories and cruise altitudes and distances involved. Mike Griffin, who heads Research and Engineering at the Pentagon literally spent his entire life researching these and other capabilities and has done a pretty good job of laying out the challenges and what needs to be done from a capability development perspective. The challenges are fairly well understood, you just have to roll up your sleeves and get to engineering viable solutions.

https://aviationweek.com/defense/mda-se ... se-studies

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Oct 2019 18:38

While they're gone from the USN, the USMC is upgrading a 100 Classic Hornets with the APG-79(v)4 AESA radar and will hold them on to about a decade or more.

US Navy retires ‘classic’ Hornets from frontline service


The US Navy (USN) has retired from active service its fleet of Boeing F/A-18A-D Hornet combat aircraft, announcing on 2 October that the final flight took place out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Virginia.

The retirement of the ‘classic’ Hornets brings to an end 35 years of frontline service with the USN, and comes just over a year since the service performed its final carrier deployment of the type earlier in 2018.

However, while the Hornet has been retired from the USN’s active unit inventory, it will remain operational with the Navy Reserve, the Blue Angels display team, and the US Marine Corps (USMC). Prior to being withdrawn, the USN and USMC fielded between them 95 F/A-18A, 21 F/A-18B, 370 F/A-18C, and 131 F/A-18D aircraft. While some of the USN’s aircraft will be scrapped, others will be placed in long-term storage should they be required in the future.

Of these 617 platforms, 150 Hornets of differing designations have been earmarked by the USMC for a Structural Life Assessment Program/Service Life Extension Program (SLAP/SLEP) with the aim of keeping them in operational service until about 2035.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 08 Oct 2019 07:16

Cain Marko wrote:
NRao wrote:
The short answer as far as the US is concerned is it does not matter. In the sensor-shooter scenario being pushed around, the system in between the two either decides the best option (embedded intelligence) or assists humans. That in a nutshell.

...................

yes, this is quite interesting and I had read about it earlier but the question remains can AWACS provide high quality resolution to guide air to air missiles to maneuvering and fast moving targets? If they are successful in providing quality tracks at long ranges the future might just see drones doing all the BVR - the need for humans in the sensor - shooter loop could be minimized. Drones are positioned near the enemy fighters - fire off a salvo, AWACs tracks and guides the missiles all the way to targets from super long ranges.


Clarifying what I said in my previous post, in the new scenario such questions are never asked. In the Sensor->"System"->Shooter model, the "System" "knows" and decides all those small details. If and when new techs enter the scene, the "System" updates itself.

Here is a peek:

Lt. Gen. David Deputla wrote:We are moving into a future where aircraft need to be looked at as not just elements of their own, but as a system of information nodes - sensor - shooter - effectors. It is about creating an entire system of systems that is self-forming and self-healing with a greater degree of awareness than an adversary can achieve, and a much greater degree of survivability


"Awareness" is the operative word. "not just elements of there own" = do not bother with small details like what an AC carries, thrust, etc.

As an example, no more net-centric, it is being replaced. Net-centric is "data" (and data fusion), NOT awareness.

Also, the need for "stealth" is being debated within. Sensors are so advanced that what "Stealth" the US has is pretty much what they are thinking of fielding. "Awareness" > stealth.

LM took 4 months to PoC an RT over-the-horizon data integration solution. Too long.

There is a LOT to unpack, things are moving rather fast.

Again, just to be sure, it is for the US. May not apply for others.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2019 07:25

NRao wrote:Clarifying what I said in my previous post, in the new scenario such questions are never asked. In the Sensor->"System"->Shooter, the "System" "knows" and decides all those small details. If and when new techs enter the scene, the "System" updates itself.


I think this does very little to address the question of whether an AWACS can guide a BVRAAM (AMRAAM, meteor etc) to target. The answer, based on all open source data, is NO it cannot. The rest is just a neat and interesting narrative about things that are ongoing with kill webs replacing kill chains and data fusion. There are fundamental technical limitations to that question that 4th/5th generation aircraft and their associated weapons are not able to overcome to enable such concepts of operations. Can this change in years/decades to come? Sure. But as things stand, to answer the original question, the technology is not there to support that capability given some of the technical considerations I highlighted earlier. Things will surely change in the near-mid term but I think the entire concept of "AEW" is going to take a fundamental turn from high value, single points of failures to more dispersed systems possible in both air and space. In that context the missile communication issue only becomes harder though not insurmountable. The technology is there..its just at a cost prohibitive point right now.

I think for a deeper analysis into this question, it would be best to dig deeper into missile communication, how data integrity and uplink is maintained amidst clutter, jamming and other forms of disruption..how targeting updates are provided to a BVRAAM and what systems engineering goes behind your basic 7 inch diameter AAM and its associated systems/components as in what the trade space is and what resources you have to work with.
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2019 07:36


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 08 Oct 2019 08:03

Brar Saheb, very respectfully (nothing personal), I am painfully aware of your contributions - right from the Turkey thread days. So, with all due respects, "open source" AND "URL"s are yesterday's news.

I use "open source"/"URL" to ID and solve problems. AFWERX/SBIR has provided a perfect path for someone like myself. Get funding in literally two weeks and off I go. Dealing with stars. People are just waking to the profound changes happening!!! I will stop at that.



On "does very little to address the question of whether " - the "System" will know that and address it. If today the AWACS cannot, then the "system" will not involve the AWACS in the solution. IF and when the AWACS gets that capability, the "System" will "know" and involve the AWACS - IF the AWACS is actually the best solution. Today, the "System" is an ABM. It is a problem. At one point in time, the problem was what I read and heard. Enough said.

I can go off-line.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2019 08:12

NRao wrote:Brar Saheb, very respectfully (nothing personal), I am painfully aware of your contributions - right from the Turkey thread days. So, with all due respects, "open source" AND "URL"s are yesterday's news.

I use "open source"/"URL" to ID and solve problems. AFWERX/SBIR has provided a perfect path for someone like myself. Get funding in literally two weeks and off I go. Dealing with stars. People are just waking to the profound changes happening!!! I will stop at that.



On "does very little to address the question of whether " - the "System" will know that and address it. If today the AWACS cannot, then the "system" will not involve the AWACS in the solution. IF and when the AWACS gets that capability, the "System" will "know" and involve the AWACS - IF the AWACS is actually the best solution. Today, the "System" is an ABM. It is a problem. At one point in time, the problem was what I read and heard. Enough said.

I can go off-line.


I'm sorry but it is getting really difficult to read and make sense of these posts. I was trying to discuss the question that Cain posed which I felt was interesting and very specific and clear in that the AWACS's ability or inability to execute a Beyond Visual Range engagement utilizing its surveillance sensor as a Fire Control radar.

But I will leave it there and not bother you anymore ! I hope you get your next SBIR soon and close the AEW to BVRAAM fire control loop and then old farts like myself can "URL" it here. :)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 08 Oct 2019 08:15

The answer to Cain's question is no.

Because there is no such need. No task.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Oct 2019 10:21

brar_w wrote:
NRao wrote:Brar Saheb, very respectfully (nothing personal), I am painfully aware of your contributions - right from the Turkey thread days. So, with all due respects, "open source" AND "URL"s are yesterday's news.

I use "open source"/"URL" to ID and solve problems. AFWERX/SBIR has provided a perfect path for someone like myself. Get funding in literally two weeks and off I go. Dealing with stars. People are just waking to the profound changes happening!!! I will stop at that.



On "does very little to address the question of whether " - the "System" will know that and address it. If today the AWACS cannot, then the "system" will not involve the AWACS in the solution. IF and when the AWACS gets that capability, the "System" will "know" and involve the AWACS - IF the AWACS is actually the best solution. Today, the "System" is an ABM. It is a problem. At one point in time, the problem was what I read and heard. Enough said.

I can go off-line.

I was trying to discuss the question that Cain posed which I felt was interesting and very specific and clear in that the AWACS's ability or inability to execute a Beyond Visual Range engagement utilizing its surveillance sensor as a Fire Control radar.

Actually I was going to ask you directly to answer this question - thanks for preempting my post, you are all about early warning I see :) So to take the discussion one step further - how do shipborne radars like the MFSTAR manage to provide weapons quality tracks to SAMs? Is it because of the smaller range on these missiles? Or perhaps the size that these SAMs bring to bear (I'm thinking not only of the Barak 8 here but also the long ranged S300 types). Or is it something else altogether? Some exotic software algorithms that allow these radars to guide SAMs?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2019 10:43

They are Fire Control radars that have missile communication as part of their function, while also operating in other modes when required. They are also guiding SAMs or naval missiles that have data-links that are in band either with them directly or with illuminations or with both in case they build in redundancy (DDG-51 flight IIIs are keeping both). When you are dealing with a large air surveillance mission on an AWACS you are tasked with ATC, guiding intercepts, re-allocating resources and de-conflicting to prevent fratricide etc etc the BVRAAM missile may be hundreds of km away at the FEBA.

You are also dealing with a missile that is most likely out of band as far as it transmission is considered but even if it weren’t it won’t have to power to fully communicate to handshake on a position given that errors creep in when distances are that large. It is not a coincidence that as BVR weapon ranges continue to grow things like GPS augmentation of INS is finding its way as the precision with which you know where the missile is at any given time boosts your pk by allowing a more optimal trajectory to kill box. Missile communication and the ability of low frequency sensors to discriminate and provide the FC quality tracking data to 7 inch optimized missile seeker Is what is holding things back .i reckon very wideband data link solutions exist that may partially solve some of these issues but they are probably very cutting edge and very hard to produce and integrate affordably. They will likely also be power hungry making two way comms problematic at those distances. The sensor frequency diversity is still an issue..An L band radar won’t be able to fire control on a BVRAAM from that distance..simple physics demand a higher frequency sensor even at much shorter distances.

It is my hypothesis that wideband data links in 6-8 inch missiles are just around the corner and that the future may separate, disaggregate and distribute the transmit and receive functions of your basic “Fire Control Sensor” on disparate dispersed platforms. If so this will require quantum leap in missile comms and autonomy but will greatly complicate the defensive mission by completely eliminating single points of failure and ensuring ultimate graceful degradation of capability. It will also reduce the stress on seeker complexity which can drive as much as 70% the cost of a modern interceptor. Let’s see if this pans out but this is my theory..On the ground system side Interferometer Sensors are already being looked at as a viable replacement for giant monolithic missile defense sensors that are expensive and hard to move around..US SCO demonstrated one such system to guide a hypervelocity projectiles (without a seeker) to ballistic missiles targets. There is some promise there which is now being followed through with funding...

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2019 18:34

With all the talk of the big jammers coming online, this little capability is probably as important given the types of mission it enables and supports and the fact that its modular nature means that very threat specific payloads can be designed in developed in short order (months instead of years that it takes traditionally) -

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

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a USD33 million contract modification that will fund engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the Miniature Air Launched Decoy – Navy (MALD-N).

Announced on 30 January the 24-month EMD phase follows on from a USD46.6 million technical maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) contract placed by NAVAIR in September 2018.

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

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

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

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

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



From an earlier article from the same author:

While MALD-N development is being single sourced to Raytheon because it would be prohibitively expensive to qualify a second source, a NAVAIR class justification and approval (CJ&A) document for use of other than full and open competition has revealed that EA payload development is being split off from the air vehicle. Informed by a 2017 submission from BAE Systems, which had offered a prospective TRL 6 solution for the MALD-N payload, the CJ&A noted that the programme office [Precision Strike Weapons (PMA-201)] had “made the decision to ‘breakout’ the payload from the air vehicle to enable multiple sources the opportunity to propose capability solutions for the MALD-N programme during the [TMRR] phase”.

It continued that “The programme office will determine the best-value payload vendor based on proposals received under a separate multiple award contract fair opportunity competition. It is the government’s expectation that the successful payload contractor will be a subcontractor to [Raytheon Missile Systems] on contracts issued under the authority of this CJ&A.”

USN’s interest in a tailored-MALD derivative as a replacement for the ageing ADM-141 Improved Tactical Air-Launched Decoy has developed over several years. A previous activity was the CERBERUS (Countermeasure Expendable with Replaceable Block Elements for Reactive Unmanned Systems Multi-Mission Jammer) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) undertaken jointly by the US Naval Research Laboratory and Raytheon. A Military Utility Assessment, conducted in June 2015 during the biannual ‘Northern Edge’ exercise in Alaska, demonstrated successful captive flights of a modular, rapid replacement architecture for alternative MALD-J payloads.

Evolved over a four-year program in collaboration with the US Pacific Command and NAVAIR (through the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems and EA-6B Program Office [PMA-234]), the JCTD developed a payload system architecture integrated with a quick interchange structural connection. Conceived with emerging threats in the Pacific Command area of responsibility foremost in mind, the precept of CERBERUS was to deliver a net-enabled modular expendable jamming system by employing reconfigurable, flexible, and rapidly replaceable nosecone payloads hosted in the MALD air vehicle.

The CERBERUS was followed by the MALD-X demonstration programme, for which Raytheon was awarded a USD34.8 million contract by the USAF in March 2016. Funded through the Special Capabilities Office at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the MALD-X programme has been used to demonstrate capabilities potentially applicable to MALD-N and establish an upgrade path for the USAF’s MALD-J.

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




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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby kit » 09 Oct 2019 00:28

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a29389666/fa-18-hornet-final-flight/%20?source=nl&utm_source=nl_pop&utm_medium=email&date=100819&utm_campaign=nl18262024&src=nl

The U.S. Navy marked the end of an era last week when the last active duty F/A-18C Hornet flew for the last time. The strike fighter, the first to be anointed with both Fighter and Attack designations, flew for nearly four decades before being replaced by its bigger brother, the Super Hornet. The original Hornet still serves with the U.S. Navy’s elite flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels.

The flight took place at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia on October 2, 2019. The aircraft was Hornet number 300, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (“Gladiators”). According to the U.S. Navy, 300 completed its first acceptance check flight on October 14, 1988. The pilot for the last flight, Lt. Andrew Jalali, was also born in 1988.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Oct 2019 17:40

Much like the SM-6's adoption of the SM-3 IIA's larger diameter body for a super long range Interceptor and a Ballistic Anti Ship Missile capability, (SM-6 Block 1 B ) Raytheon's SM3-HAWK proposal for Hypersonic defense probably utilizes the SM-3 IIA and its high-divert DACS based KV modified to operate in the Mesosphere given the most likely efficient cruising altitudes for BGV's reside there. Given this, proving out some inherent residual capability in the booster or surplus divert capability in the KV may go a long way to get them a contract award to build SM3-HAWK which seems like the fastest way for the US Navy to field a credible Counter Hypersonic/BGV capability that attacks the problem in the vehicle's cruise phase for area defense missions.

I think it may just also open up alternatives to an AEGIS ashore East Coast site with the US Navy likely pushing for more of a deployable East Coast defense capability via procurement of some additional DDG-51 Flight III's. It also provides options for Hawaii in case the Homeland Defense Radars that are being built there ever need to be converted into full fledged Aegis Ashore like systems (they would only really need Anti ICBM capability so those sites would have to be different from a standard AA site in Eastern Europe, Japan or elsewhere).

Raytheon confident SM-3 Block IIA can intercept ICBM warheads


Raytheon is "very confident" the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA -- a new ballistic missile interceptor developed with Japan to defeat medium- and intermediate-range threats -- can also knock down intercontinental ballistic missiles, delivering Washington and Tokyo more than they originally bargained for.

Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president, said the kinematic potential of the SM-3 Block IIA is projected to significantly outperform the original design requirements, delivering a weapon system that allows the U.S. military and Japan's self defense forces to think anew about how to employ the new variant of the SM-3 line.

"From a physics-based model standpoint, we're very confident the capabilities of that missile that was jointly developed with Japan can deal with the ICBM threat that the nation has today," Stevison said. "And that we see evolving every day."

The Missile Defense Agency is preparing to fly the SM-3 Block IIA against an ICBM-class target in early 2020, a test that lawmakers asked for two years ago.


The new interceptor has a 21-inch-diameter body -- an increase from the 13.5 inches used in earlier SM-3 variants -- to fly faster and farther to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The guided missile, developed by Raytheon and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, features two improvements on earlier SM-3 variants: a larger motor and a larger kinetic warhead.

The warhead has new improvements, including a seeker that upgrades search, discrimination and tracking functions.

Pentagon leaders are on the cusp of a decision to transition the SM-3 Block IIA from development to production, capping an effort launched in 2006. The development called for the cost of the new interceptor to be equally divided by Japan and the United States. The U.S. share of the development program is $2.1 billion.

Originally designed to deal with regional ballistic missile threats from Iran and North Korea, MDA is planning FTM-44 to explore the potential for SM-3 Block IIA when paired with the Aegis BMD system built by Lockheed Martin to provide an "underlay" of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

"There is a realization that physics say the design capability exceeds what it was initially set up to be," Stevison said.

No modifications to the SM-3 Block IIA are necessary to defend against an ICBM threat, he added.

"We can't go into specifics. . . . I can tell you there is no adjustment to the missile," Stevison said. "I can tell you . . . the capability of the SM-3 IIA is the inherent capability of the SM-3 IIA as it was designed. The adjustment that you see there is largely around the test construct to be able to test the capability and do the demonstration of what our physics-based models already tells us we can do."

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 10 Oct 2019 09:58

420th Flight Test Squadron reactivated to support B-21 Raider testing at Edwards


EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The 420th Flight Test Squadron was reactivated following an assumption of command ceremony here Oct. 4. The squadron will plan, test, analyze and report on all flight and ground testing of the B-21 Raider.

The 420 FLTS is organized under the 412th Test Wing, which is part of the Air Force Test Center, headquartered at Edwards. The squadron, along with the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, will ensure the Air Force delivers this asymmetric capability to the warfighter.

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, California.

“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,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan, during the Air Force Association Conference Sept. 16.

This legacy of excellence began July 17, 1989, when the B-2 Spirit, the world’s first stealth bomber, took off from Northrop Grumman’s production facility at Plant 42 in Palmdale, and landed 112 minutes later at Edwards for developmental testing by the 420th FLTS.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 12 Oct 2019 21:19

As I had pointed too in an earlier post from a few months ago, there seems to be a divergence in the USMC and US Army requirements. USMC wants more range and a faster aircraft. This will likely mean that potentially both the V-280, and the SB>1 based designs could see the light of the day. One with the US Navy and USMC and the other with the US Army as a Blackhawk replacement. There are plenty of production orders to justify such a split especially when both these aircraft are expected to have a common OMS core and mission systems and engines.

U.S. Army Takes Reins of Rotorcraft Replacement;Aviation Week & Space Technology Oct 09, 2019


The U.S. Army has the Pentagon’s blessing to lead development of a Sikorsky Black Hawk replacement and congressional support to do so without having to stop investing in the Block 2 Boeing Chinook to pay for it.

The Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), also known as Capability Set 3, is a subset of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative established to fill the medium-rotorcraft requirements of the Army, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). But this summer, the services began to chip away at the idea of a joint platform.

In July, the Army received permission to determine the fate of FLRAA prototype development when Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, delegated acquisition authority to the service. Two months later, in September, the Marine Corps launched external studies on the Attack Utility Replacement Aircraft (AURA), a high-speed rotorcraft to replace the Bell UH/AH-1 fleet. A joint replacement for the H-1s, along with the Army’s UH-60s and SOCOM’s MH-60s, was the subject of an analysis of alternatives completed by the services early this year. The Marines’ move to seek ideas for AURA may banish any hope that FVL would result in greater platform commonality across the services. It seems the only way to achieve commonality resides within open mission system technologies.

The Marines’ request for information seeks responses from air vehicle, engine and mission systems suppliers by January. A hurdle to a joint solution with the Army is that the Marine Corps is looking for a top speed of 300-330 kt. and a 450-nm radius carrying 10 troops, while the Army is seeking a maximum speed of 250-289 kt. and an unrefueled combat radius of 200-300 nm with 12 troops.

The Marines need a faster, longer-range rotorcraft because AURA is envisioned as an armed escort for the Bell BoeingMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor. The concept advancement phase will inform a Milestone A decision after fiscal 2023 that will lead to selecting a contractor to develop and produce the AURA. At the same time, the Army has released a solicitation to formally kick off competitive demonstration and risk reduction (CD&RR) for FLRAA with the goal of equipping the first unit no later than 2030—an acceleration of almost five years over previous plans. The solicitation was issued through the Army Aviation and Missile Technology Consortium Other Transaction Authority and is not publicly available.

The solicitation likely went to Bell and Sikorsky/Boeing, which are flight testing demonstrators for FLRAA under the Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) science and technology program. Bell has been flying the V-280 tiltrotor since December 2017 and has demonstrated its 280-kt. top speed. The Sikorsky/Boeing coaxial rigid-rotor compound SB-1 Defiant first flew in March.

“The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant is flying, and we are continuing our flight-test program as part of our aircraft envelope expansion program,” the team tells Aviation Week in a statement.

Aviation modernization plans will cost the Army more than $4.7 billion over the fiscal 2020-24 future years defense program. In order to free up funding for FVL, Army senior leadership decided to cancel the Block 2 upgrade for the service’s heavy-lift CH-47F Chinooks.The Army originally planned to upgrade 542 CH-47Fs and 69 MH-47Gs to the Block 2 standard. Now the service plans to take delivery of the last -CH-47F Block 1 in 2020 and then procure Block 2 upgrades only for the special-operations MH-47Gs.

The justification for canceling CH-47 Block 2 procurement to free funding for FVL is that the Block 1 upgrade has made the Chinook fleet the youngest in the Army, with an average age of less than eight years. However, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing back on the strategy.

Senate appropriators in their mark up of the fiscal 2020 defense bill restored advance procurement funding to support the purchase of Block 2 upgrades. “The [Appropriations] Committee strongly encourages the Secretary of the Army to assess the increased cost, expected production issues as well as industrial base risks of delaying the successful acquisition program,” states a report accompanying the markup.

Funding added by Congress for 2019 will support additional flight testing by the two JMR technology demonstrators. Bell is continuing envelope expansion with the V-280 tiltrotor. For the Defiant, the Sikorsky/Boeing team is targeting a cruise speed of 250 kt.he FLRAA solicitation signals “a tip of the hat on the multi-year acceleration that the Army’s committed to,” says Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen, FVL cross-functional team director at U.S. Futures Command. FVL is the Army’s third modernization priority, after long-range precision fires and a next-generation combat vehicle.

The first phase of the CD&RR effort is to deliver initial conceptual designs that include technical documentation to support the design, requirements work and trade studies. “We are committed to equipping the Army’s first unit with Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft no later than 2030,” says Col. David Phillips, FLRAA project manager at the program executive office for aviation.

Now that the FVL requirements have been approved by Army leadership, the service will begin sharing information with allies. Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK all are interested in the work the U.S. is doing, says Rugen.

“You’re going to see an international plan probably that models other successful programs that the joint force has done,” Rugen says. “We’re glad to have these partners come aboard.”


Meanwhile, Europeans are already wanting to join into the program given the size of the market -

Leonardo: Europe Should Have Role In Future Vertical Lift

The managing director of Leonardo’s helicopter business says he would like to see a role for European industry in the programs that emerge from the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL).

Gian Piero Cutillo told Aerospace DAILY on the sidelines of the 1,000th AW139 helicopter delivery in September that the European helicopter industry had generated the competencies to make it a useful partner in such a program, and said the company was in continuous talks with different partners but “there is nothing concrete.”

European industry points to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which while securing significant sales in Europe has had an impact on the sales of European-built combat aircraft.

There is a fear that with the volume of FVL platforms likely to be purchased by the U.S., their price could make FVL an attractive proposition for export customers. Sikorsky’s Black Hawk has secured an increased customer base, particularly in Eastern Europe in recent years.

The U.S. Army’s work on a Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) is beginning to attract attention from European nations, with the U.S. Army planning to begin sharing information with allies shortly. The UK already has personnel embedded into the FVL program and is working on an operational analysis of its future helicopter fleets, with a focus on what high-speed rotorcraft can offer UK land forces.

“From my heart, I would like to see European industry become one of the main actors. I strongly believe we have all the capabilities,” Cutillo said. “We are talking about what will be a global program, with more than one technology and room for the traditional technology as well.”

Any FVL partnership should not be like that of previous programs, Cutillo said.

European industry has already begun the development of high-speed rotorcraft, such as Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotor, Airbus’ X3 compound helicopter and a future development of the latter, the Rapid And Cost-Efficient Rotorcraft (RACER). But so far they are targeted to the commercial market.

An Airbus proposal for FARA, believed to use the X3 technology, was rejected earlier this year, with only U.S.-based companies awarded contracts. The Italian military is said to be interested in purchasing the Leonardo tiltrotor. But contractual limitations imposed by Bell, which was previously a partner on the AW609, stipulate that the aircraft cannot be offered with armaments. It is unclear whether these limitations extend to future tiltrotor models.

Leonardo is investigating future tiltrotor technologies through the European Union Clean Sky 2 program, with a technology demonstrator, the Next Generation Civil Tilt Rotor, due to fly in 2023.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Oct 2019 22:45

Image

The first Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) engineering development model pod delivered to the Navy is fit checked on an EA-18G Growler in September. The fit check verifies the pod securely attaches to the Growler in preparation for flight tests scheduled to begin later this year. Airborne Electronic Attack program office (PMA-234) is carrying out testing of the NGJ-MB. NGJ-MB is a high-capacity and power airborne electronic attack weapon system for the Growler designed to protect air forces by denying, degrading and disrupting threat radars and communication devices. (U.S. Navy photo)

LINK

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Oct 2019 17:16

Philip wrote:The US has already begun work on a 6th-gen fighter concept to enter service post 2030 replacing F-22s and F-35s.Brainstorming is going on to work out what exotic tech. is required and the sensors and weapon systems required.Britain and France ard also working on their 5+ concepts.When and where our AMCA will slot in is the
$B Q. Will it be dated upon arrival as 5th-gen fighters of 3 nations are flying as of now.


The US programs will likely not end up replacing anything but acting as a complement. The F-22A fleet is going to be in service till beyond 2050 and the USAF will be buying F-35A's through 2038 with the fleet remaining in service till well into 2070. Next Generation Air Dominance will begin replacing F-15 aircraft but on the whole, it along with its system of systems will be the third element of a family of capabilities that support the penetrating mission needs -

- Penetrating ISR <---- RQ-180
- Penetrating LR Strike Bomber <---- B-21
- Penetrating Counter Air <--- Next Gen. Air Dominance program

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Oct 2019 17:30



Lockheed/Sikorsky have revealed their entrant into the FARA competition. It's based on their smaller S-97 Raider (though appears quite a bit larger) which is currently flying and derives its technology form their X-2 platform that shares tech across both FARA and FLARA -

As expected, in contrast to Bell's lower risk offering, Sikorsky is going for the upper right hand corner of all the requirements - Faster speed, higher survivability and likely greater range. It seems internal weapons, and even an internal cannon is aimed at both enabling faster cruise speeds and better signature even though Low RCS is not a key-performance-parameter. The IWB is also much larger than those that Bell is offering which could suggest that 8-12 Hellfire rounds could be carried internally. Interesting choice to go for side by side seating in the cockpit as well. Would be interesting to see a size comparison with the Bell Invictus 360 but tough to see how Sikorsky can produce this at the same cost as Bell's design - It would have to knock the socks off the competition when it comes to performance to justify paying the additional cost (that comes with size and weight).

Analysis and additional information :

Behold Sikorsky's "Raider X" Future High-Speed Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter


Image

There are now 5 teams that were down selected to submit their proposals for the prototype stage. A downselect to 2 is expected next summer with a late 2020 contract award to two companies to go ahead and develop 1 prototype each and fly it by 2023. Once the results of those fly-offs are in, along with other submissions the US Army will select a winner in the 2024-2025 time-frame...It seems quite likely that both Bell and Sikorsky will get funded to build one prototype each for the fly-off. Boeing's compound Apache dream will likely not be going anywhere anytime soon..
Last edited by brar_w on 14 Oct 2019 18:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Oct 2019 17:58

^^ Aviation Week's Analysis :

Sikorsky Unveils Raider-X Proposal For FARA Armed Scout


The coaxial rigid-rotor compound helicopter is a development of the S-97 Raider prototype now in flight testing.

The Raider-X is about 20% larger, with a 14,000-lb. gross weight compared with 11,000 lb. for the S-97, and a 39-ft. rotor diameter compared with 34 ft. for the Raider. The Army requires a rotor diameter of no more than 40 ft. so that FARA can fly between buildings in urban combat.

The Raider-X will exceed the FARA’s threshold maximum speed of 180 kt. Sikorsky is not saying how fast it will fly, but notes the S-97 has reached 215 kt., and 207 kt. in level flight—exceeding the 205 kt. target in the Army’s initial capability document, says Tim Malia, director of Future Vertical Lift - Light.

The Army subsequently reduced the threshold maximum speed to enable a wider competition for the FARA program. But Malia says the greater speed and payload capability of Sikorsky’s X2 coaxial rigid-rotor compound configuration compared with a conventional helicopter provides growth capacity.

“We looked at a single main rotor helicopter for FARA, but it would be minimally compliant in the early 2020s. We need to be able to stay ahead of the threat into the 2030s and 2040s,” he says.

Bell is proposing a winged, single-main-rotor helicopter for FARA, while AVX Aircraft is offering a coaxial-rotor, ducted-fan compound. Boeing and Karem Aircraft have yet to unveil their concepts.

“Single main rotor will not be able to keep up. It’s already tapped out meeting the minimal FARA requirements. It does not have the ability to grow capability over time,” Malia says. “We didn’t want to pull out all the stops to be minimally compliant when we had X2 able to carry more payload and go faster.”

The Raider-X has four-blade rotors and a pusher propulsor. The coaxial rotors generate lift only on the advancing sides, eliminating retreating-blade stall and enabling higher speed. At high speed, 90% of the engine power goes to the propulsor, says Bill Fell, senior experimental test pilot. The propulsor is declutched at low speed to reduce noise.

The Raider-X closely resembles the S-97 prototype, with side-by-side seating. Compared with tandem seating, this improves crew coordination and situational awareness, Malia says. “And we can do it aerodynamically because of the robust performance inherent in X2. We are not trying to get out every last ounce of drag.”

Behind the cockpit is a large internal weapons bay. Internal carriage of missiles and unmanned aircraft—which the Army calls air-launched effects (ALE)—is a FARA requirement, but Malia says the cabin-like volume of Raider-X’s bay provides growth space for future, larger systems. “The minimum threshold works now, but what if in 2030 there is a new ALE that can be decisive, but can’t be carried?” he asks.

The Raider-X is powered by a single 3,000-shp-class General Electric T901 turboshaft—government-furnished equipment to all FARA bidders. “We do not have an additional engine to increase speed,” Malia says, referring to the supplemental power unit in Bell’s 360 Invictus. This augments power from the single T901 to give the single-main-rotor, tandem-seat Invictus a 185-kt. maximum speed.

“We use the power available and have a solid design built around it,” he says. “The T901 provides speeds out of the chute in excess of requirements and, as it improves, we can take direct benefit. We have a growth path to additional speed and payload as the T901 power increases.”

Sikorsky is using the industry-funded S-97 prototype to reduce risk for its FARA bid, conducting flight testing to validate design models and optimize the Raider-X. This includes flying new rotor blades designed to reduce drag and vibration. “We are getting exactly the results the models said,” Malia says.

With two rotor systems and a propulsor, Sikorsky is paying close attention to the Raider-X’s cost. “We have done a complete affordability analysis and design to cost. We are extremely confident we will come in under the cost goal,” he says.

Several divisions of parent company Lockheed Martin are part of Sikorsky’s FARA team, Malia says, including Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control and Rotary and Mission Systems. Swift Engineering will build the airframe if Sikorsky wins one of two FARA competitive prototype contracts scheduled to be awarded in March 2020. The Army flyoff is planned for 2023, with the first unit to be equipped by 2028.

“There is a critical cap in vertical lift, in attack/reconnaissance, and that gap is really impactful to the Army in the 2020s, ‘30s, ‘40s, even ‘50s. So there is a need for a long-term solution,” Malia says. “The threat is projected to evolve rapidly, so we require significant capability growth on our side to stay ahead. Raider-X can provide an asymmetric advantage in the 2030s-50s.”




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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Oct 2019 17:34

Strategic, long-range cannon preps to jump its first tech hurdle

The U.S. Army is wading into a major science and technology development area to build a strategic, long-range cannon — one that can shoot a projectile 1,000 nautical miles — and plans to put the program through its first test soon, according to Col. John Rafferty, who is in charge of executing modernization efforts for the service’s top priority, long-range precision fires.

The Army is working with the Research and Analysis Center at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, as well as the Center for Army Analysis to confirm the service can accomplish what is expected from such a system, Rafferty told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.

The Army wants to demonstrate a prototype of the long-range cannon in 2023, after which it will make a decision on whether to begin a program of record.

The program is structured to pass through “big technology gates,” Rafferty said. “We’re about to knock down one of those gates with a test at [Naval Support Facility] Dahlgren, [Virginia], here very soon.”

If the program passes through that first gate — which Rafferty described as “early ballistic tests” — a report will go to Army leadership for approval.

But the technology needed to achieve such a capability is so cutting edge that it’s unknown whether that specific distance can be achieved at a cost that won’t break the bank.

For the Army, range will be king in operations against adversaries like China and Russia, who have each invested in defensive technologies. The combination of long-range air defense systems, artillery and coastal defenses with seamless integration of long-range, over-the-horizon radars will be difficult to counter, according to Rafferty.

“That integrated system challenges even our most sophisticated aircraft and challenges our most sophisticated ships to gain access to the area,” he said. “That layered enemy standoff at the strategic level was really the fundamental problem. One of the ways to solve that problem is to deliver surface-to-surface fires that can penetrate this [anti-access, area-denial] complex and disintegrate its network and create windows of opportunity for the joint force to exploit.”

That surface-to-surface capability can be delivered by the Army, he added.

There are two complementary systems that would be designed to penetrate enemy territory. There’s the hypersonic missile, which is technologically exquisite, will be expensive and the force “will probably never have enough of those,” Rafftery said. Then there’s the strategic cannon, which “will be able to deliver a volume of more affordable projectiles,” possibly 12, 16 or 20 in shorter order, to destroy a target, Rafferty said.

Each of the technology gates through which the Army will try to pass serves as a chance to assess if the capability is meeting lethality and cost goals. “This idea of volume and affordability and lethality is first and foremost in our minds,” Rafferty said.

“A lot of that comes down to cost,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told Defense News in a recent interview. “If we are able to develop the strategic, long-range cannon system, the rounds may be only $400,000 or $500,000 compared to multimillion-dollar rounds. Cost does matter, and we are concerned about cost. There are some, definitely, physics challenges in doing these types of things, and that is the trade-off.”

The Army is “trying to be innovative, but what they have to do is demonstrate the capability at each phase along the way. And if that doesn’t happen, we are not doing it,” McConville added.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ramana » 15 Oct 2019 19:13

brar_w, Jules Verne had a science fiction novel "From the Earth to Moon" which had a huge cannon to shoot a capsule to the moon!!!

Grew up reading the Classics Illustrated version!

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Oct 2019 19:28

I too envisioned a really big cannon artillery system (Project Babylon) but apparently that is not necessarily the case here. The head of the LRPF portfolio has in the past mentioned that the system is going to have to be C17/C5 air-lift compatible, and while it is not going to be as mobile as say a LWH it will need to be theater re-deployable much the same as a THAAD battery for example. I think the reference to the $400-$500K cost target for the round does provide some insight into how it is expected to achieve the range..Also a data point was the acknowledgement earlier this year that the US DOS ruling gave the Army go ahead on this system even before the INF was in danger or eventually collapsed. This would suggest that it is unpowered, if it is powered it is powered for < 50% of its flight path, and if it is ballistic it is also ballistic for less than 50% of its trajactory (you have to build these things in to be INF compatible at >500 km range). Whatever tech. they are using is at a super super low T/I/M integration level hence the crawl-walk-run approach so it could be utilizing much less known/mainstream tech that most of us would envision.


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