US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Dec 2015 02:23

First intercept test of the AEGIS ashore using the SM3 against an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile -


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby UlanBatori » 13 Dec 2015 04:15

Hype meets reality: 42 at one blow!

The proximate cause {wtf does that mean?}of this SNAFU tragedy was the direct result of avoidable human error, compounded by process and equipment failures," Campbell said.

IOW, The cause was the result. The result was SNAFU. So cause was SNAFU.
"The U.S. version of events presented today (November 25) leaves MSF with more questions than answers," Christopher Stokes, the organization's general director, said in a written statement. "It is shocking that an attack can be carried out when U.S. forces have neither eyes on a target nor access to a no-strike list, and have malfunctioning communications systems."

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby deejay » 14 Dec 2015 12:09

Agence France-PresseVerified account ‏@AFP now15 minutes ago
#INFOGRAPHIC US firms took 54% of the $401 billion sales made by world's top 100 arms companies in 2014

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby TSJones » 14 Dec 2015 12:54

^^^^meaningless statistics

American companies mostly supply the US who has the largest defense budget, with arms. that's a given.

Most third world countries get their gear from Russia or China. including India.

Most of the world does not use US gear.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 14 Dec 2015 15:15

Northrop Grumman Studies Technologies for F-22, F/A-18 Replacement

Image

PALMDALE -- Amid signs of growing U.S. Air Force and Navy interest in a sixth-generation combat aircraft, Northrop Grumman is accelerating studies of key technologies for directed energy weapons and thermal management, which it says will be fundamental to future capability.

The company, whose last venture into the air dominance arena in the 1980s, the YF-23, lost out to Lockheed Martin’s F-22 in the advanced tactical fighter contest, has unveiled new images of a pair of optionally manned, tailless concepts aimed at replacing the Raptor and the Boeing F/A-18E/F. While acknowledging there are still more unknowns than knowns about future requirements for the next generation air dominance (NGAD) aircraft, Northrop says technology to cope with dramatic growth in heat loads will be a key enabler to whatever needs emerge.

The increase in heat loads is driven by the development of advanced weapons, particularly airborne lasers, as well as more powerful electronics, sensors and propulsion systems. The issue, which has already been a factor in early test and operations of the F-35, is expected to challenge all NGAD concepts. Under Northrop’s NGAD umbrella this includes the U.S. Air Force’s F-X requirements (now set to embrace an F-15C replacement in addition to the F-22), as well as the Navy’s F/A-XX mission.

Unlike any previous generation of air dominance aircraft at this embryonic stage, the configuration will be directly impacted by the integration challenges of directed energy weapons. “One of the unique things that happened (on NGAD) is the convergence of aircraft and weapons,” says Tom Vice, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems president. Despite the miniaturization of laser technology and the switch from bulky chemical-based systems to solid-state, electric lasers, Vice says thermal management is still key.

“Even as good as our most advanced lasers are today they’re still only 33% efficient. So if you have a 100kW laser you’ll have to do something like 200kW with an enormous amount of heat. What do you do with two megawatts, where do you put it without making the aircraft glow?” Mastering this challenge will be the deal breaker for the winning NGAD design, says Vice. “Thermodynamics will be the key discriminator on who wins the next generation of air dominance aircraft,” he says, while adding that superiority in electromagnetics, advanced energy weapons and survivability will all play major roles.

Answers to the heat management problem are being sought by the U.S. Air Force’s Integrated Vehicle Energy Technology (Invent) program, which is working with Boeing to develop adaptive, smart aircraft power systems using model-based design. “We’ve been tracking Invent,” says Chris Hernandez, sector vice president of the company’s Research, Technology and Advanced Design unit. However he notes that the “work that one contractor is doing in that is supposed to be shared with industry. We are still waiting to see some of that sharing.”

Northrop is therefore working in parallel on its own thermal management technology. “We can’t wait,” Hernandez says. “We have a laboratory with all the power elements in it that are needed to make the laser work running in the lab today.”

Vice adds: “that’s why we are not relying on somebody else and we are inventing new ideas on how to deal with huge amounts of heat.” Although Vice declines to offer specifics, he says the technology will not be in the form of electric accumulators under study as part of Invent.

“If you are accumulating heat at some point you have to got to get rid of it. But it also provides your ‘shot doctrine’,” he adds, referring to the number of shots that could be fired by the laser. “Our idea is if you have a laser onboard, to get a truly limitless magazine you don’t want to have to invoke some limitation of how fast or how far you can fire. That’s why we are thinking through thermodynamics in terms of what if I want to have continuous lasing capability. What if I want to be able to shoot when needed versus, ‘Oh my accumulator is full, now I have to dissipate heat. Bad guys please don’t come next to me airplane until I can figure out how to reject the heat.’ The accumulator, to me, limits thinking, and I want to remove ourselves from that,” says Vice.

Some heat from the weapons and electronics will also be rejected via heat exchangers located in the “third stream” of adaptive engines, also under study by the Air Force Research Laboratory. “The engine technology is going to get advanced by the Vaate (Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engine) program. Until we know how far and how fast, we don’t know what the engine is,” says Hernandez. “We’re assuming that the technologies that will get advanced in Vaate will be transportable to the core of what we decide we need.”

According to Hernandez, much of the NGAD design space therefore remains wide open. “There are things we know about this and things we do not. How far should it go; how fast, weapons, survivability, how maneuverable? None of those answers are known.”

In lieu of firm answers, Northrop’s Advanced Design group, now headed by former Scaled Composites boss Kevin Mickey, has been “building up modeling and simulation capabilities and playing with different solutions to the problem, which is maintain control over a specific area of the sky for a specific amount of time,” says Hernandez.

However with the lessons of the cost of the F-35’s one-size-fits all approach fresh in the memories of both the services and industry, a key focus is also on affordability. “Everything you want it to do to make it better makes it more expensive. For affordability you can’t make this the be-all to everybody,” Hernandez. “Our focus has been on looking at technologies and designs and the effectiveness of those solutions against the cost.”

Range will be another important design driver, though perhaps not for the usual reason. “We anticipate limited basing in the future,” says Hernandez. “If range is important, then you’ll need to carry a lot of weapons. The other thing we know is that the adversaries have been increasing their defensive capabilities. So survivability is going to be really important. So this looks like a little baby B-2. That’s Northrop’s sweet spot,” he adds.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Dec 2015 03:59

The Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Works, gave the most detailed account of the technologies and capabilities being pursued under the Third Offset Strategy today, which as he called is is essentially the grand strategy that will define US Army, Navy and Air Force, space and cyber commands - capability over the next 20-25 years. They started making technology bets some 18 months ago and he expects around $15 Billion in investments towards technology development in the 2017 budget which will slowly grow towards $30-35 Billion per year as the effort gains steam.

I'll post a video of it as it is released but suffice to say that they are putting some serious money into these projects. The long term planning and strategy guided technology investments have worked very very well for the pentagon in the past resulting in a tactical nuke superiority in the 1950's, and a near-zero-miss weapon superiority that has lasted for over 3 decades (and is beginning to erode) since the Tomahawk like long range PGM's were first introduced into service in the late 1980's. He also announced that a version of the SDBI is in the works that can perform in a totally GPS denied environment among other things.


edit: Video

http://www.c-span.org/video/?401990-1/d ... l-security

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Philip » 15 Dec 2015 09:58

What the AMCA should be like,6th-gen not 5th-gen.There's no point in reinventing a smaller FGFA .We have 15 years time to develop the aircraft.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... lanes.html
Is this the future of American war planes?
Northrop Grumman unveils design of a tailless, long range fighter as Pentagon mulls sixth generation jet for service in the 2030s

An artist's rendering of what the next generation U.S. fighter jet might look like.
By Rob Crilly, New York

1:06AM GMT 15 Dec 2015
With its laser weapons, flying delta shape and sleek design, completely lacking a conventional aeroplane tail, it could be something straight out of the new Star Wars film that opens this week.

In fact it is one vision of what the US Air Force's next generation of fighter jets might look like.

On Monday, Northrop Grumman, a defence technology company, flew a small number of journalists to its aerospace headquarters in California for a sneek preview of its plans for a sixth generation fighter to provide America with its future air superiority capability.

The details are vague for now. Manufacturers are waiting to hear the Pentagon's budget for a new aircraft, and the air force's requirements.

But Chris Hernandez, Northrop’s vice president for research, technology and advanced design, told Breaking Defence that it would need to be capable of operating over long ranges as the number of overseas bases shrinks.

It must also “carry a lot of weapons”, he added.

“This looks a lot like a baby B-2 and this is really getting into our sweet spot,” he said.

The concept design suggests it will integrate stealth features of the B2, the $2billion stealth bomber also built by Northop Grumman.

The company has also said it may try to design a plane that can operate both as a drone and with a pilot.

In previous interviews, executives said no-one had ever built a supersonic aircraft without a tail but advances in computing and materials would make it possible.

The new design would eventually replace Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Boeing F-15C Eagle air superiority fighter in the mid 2030s.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 17 Dec 2015 14:26

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/world ... pe=article

long article on the evolution of seal team 6

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 17 Dec 2015 19:22

What the AMCA should be like,6th-gen not 5th-gen.There's no point in reinventing a smaller FGFA .We have 15 years time to develop the aircraft.


Advocating such an approach would surely make the Russians, and the Western defense companies EXTREMELY happy. Future projects must always be aligned with technological ability to meet design and performance goals within a stipulated time-frame and not some pie in the sky requirements that will take half a century to deliver. Looking out into the 2030+ time-frame the IAF will have Mig-29's, IN Mig-29K's, early Su-30's, M2K's etc that are all ripe candidates for the AMCA to take over. The FGFA is unlikely to replace all MKI's one for one leaving the AMCA to come in and perhaps even replace some Su-30's in the long run. All in, there is a potential internal demand for 250-500+ (factoring in growth) fighters that the AMCA can fill in (including early LCA's).

A sixth generation fighter as being envisioned in the article posted by you, has technologies that even for the US are 10-20 years away if A ) Everything goes as planned (that rarely does and B ) There is steady funding. The US fired a COIL in the 70's, shot down a ballistic missile with an A2A COIL (solving the air to air issue) 5-8 years ago, and are now shooting down rockets, UAV's, etc using SSL's and have plans to shoot down missiles and drones from small sized aircraft by the end of the decade. Even with that much already having been done, and on the horizon it would be a struggle to get SSL's into a fighter sized aircraft and tactically deploy it by 2030. Majority of those issues rest on a timely development schedule for the next generation of adaptive engines and the benefits they provide over the existing 5th generation power-plants in the F119, and F135 series. 2035 is slightly more doable but there would a significant technology PULL just as it occurred under the ATF effort.

If the IAF, DRDO or any other organization within the MOD sets requirements similar to US 6th generation fighters (which would be pointless since US has some very unique challenges that dictate its operational concepts and therefore guide its capability requirements) or aims at those technologies as absolute pre-requisites than you can kiss replacement cycles goodbye and out goes the main thrust behind the LCA and AMCA i.e. to reduce India's dependency on foreign hardware which is substantially more expensive (even Russian stuff), restrictive, and comes with a lot of red-tape that is a hindrance to meeting full operational capability (such as the current spares issue).

Any prudent requirements or acquisition process follows a long hard look at when a capability shortfall is projected, and balances that with a path to have capability being delivered to meet that requirement. If you are projecting the next fighter replacement cycle in 2030, there is no point in aiming for a 2040 technology maturation process. There are several, serious operational and readiness issues that arise every-time one is unable to meet replacement cycle demands and a process that does not balance these things usually leads to a severe mistrust between the developers and the operators and that generally problematic for the S&T community, the industry supporting technology development and the warfighter. With the LCA the issues were political and a lot were out of the hands of the developers (such as sanctions). For the AMCA these issues can be largely avoided. Risk mitigation and managing a finite amount of resources is absolutely critical to advanced program design and management hence every program whether the F-22, Future fighter, PAKFA or FGFA, LCA or AMCA begins first and foremost with a trade study. As a pilot said recently, ideally he wants to fly at Mach 3 and shoot lasers but reality often comes in the way !!

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 19 Dec 2015 09:05

compared to the huge publicity of the seals including real seals acting in a movie, numerous books , the delta force seems to have almost no books or insider stories at all .... yet they exist .. the alleged lot that landed in libya surely were not DSS, I dont think us has any diplomatic presence in anywhere but tripoli now given the threat perceptions.

some claim their long background in the army/green beret/ranger before even trying out makes them better regular soldiers when the need arises and are more 'publicity shy'

also they are allegedly the only unit exempt from the law that needs congress/potus approval to deploy for internal security.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Philip » 19 Dec 2015 12:05

US 2016 Budget.USN,less ships more aircraft. More F-15/16/18s since the F-35 is running late.Two reports.
Easy to calculate the cost of each fighter incl. F-35 variants.

http://news.usni.org/2015/12/16/final-f ... 234c8f82d4
Final FY 2016 Spending Bill Released; Funds Super Hornets, Growlers, Additional F-35s
By: Megan Eckstein
December 16, 2015 12:58 PM
An EA-18G Growler, assigned to the “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron 130, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on Jan 13, 2014. US Navy Photo

The House and Senate appropriations committees released a final Fiscal Year 2016 spending plan that meets the new requirements of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and funds the Defense Department at $572.8 billion in base and Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) funding.

This total is $5.1 billion less than the president requested for the fiscal year but $18.7 billion more than was appropriated in FY 2015.

The Defense Department portion of the spending bill includes $111 billion for new equipment and upgrades, including several items beyond what the Navy and Marine Corps asked for in their budget request. The bill proposes adding $660 million for seven E/A-18G Growlers and $350 million for five F/A-18 Super Hornets, creating more work for Boeing’s production line that the company said earlier this year would stay open despite uncertainties surrounding additional American buys.

The bill would also add [b]$780 million for six additional F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps and $255 million for two additional F-35C JSFs for the Navy; bringing the total to 15 F-35Bs and six F-35Cs in FY 2016.


The bill also adds $1 billion as a partial payment for a future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG-51) and $635 million for an Expeditionary Mobile Base (formerly called the Afloat Forward Staging Base), and it accelerates long-lead procurement for the LX(R) dock landing ship replacement, the SC(X)R landing craft utility (LCU) replacement and the LHA-8 amphibious assault ship.

These plus-ups to the shipbuilding budget began as an idea from the Senate Armed Services Committee when that panel crafted its version of the National Defense Authorization Act in May. SASC poured an additional $1.7 billion into the shipbuilding budget beyond what the Navy had requested to help get ahead of the major challenge the Navy will face as the Ohio Replacement Program ballistic missile submarine effort ramps up in the coming years ahead of a FY 2021 construction start.

The FY 2016 bill also funds three Littoral Combat Ships, two Virginia-class attack submarines (SSN-774) and two Arleigh Burke destroyers, all of which were included in the Navy’s request.

The bill adds $609 million beyond what the Pentagon asked for in the services’ readiness accounts, adds $200 million beyond the budget request to support the Pentagon’s new “technology offset” effort to maintain a technological edge over near-peer competitors, adds $100 million to assess military weapons systems for cyber threats and vulnerabilities, and adds $30 million for development of new auxiliary oceanographic research vessels


AWST:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/opinion ... 9d1281d98b

Opinion: Why Does U.S. Air Force Want New F-15s Or F-16s?
The first step is admitting there is a problem
Dec 17, 2015 Bill Sweetman | Aviation Week & Space Technology

The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) is thinking about buying a wing of new F-15s, F-16s or even F/A/-18s, yet it is having trouble finding money for even 60 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) per year, said a senior ACC commander at a November conference in London. A week later, outgoing air force acquisition chief William LaPlante said it was the first he had heard of any such idea and speculated the report was “garbled,” which it was not. It is not the ...

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Viv S » 19 Dec 2015 13:16

Philip wrote: US 2016 Budget.USN,less ships more aircraft. More F-15/16/18s since the F-35 is running late.Two reports.

Where did the article say that? Don't make stuff up. Here's the only thing it said about the F-35 -

The bill would also add $780 million for six additional F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps and $255 million for two additional F-35C JSFs for the Navy; bringing the total to 15 F-35Bs and six F-35Cs in FY 2016.

Hardly likely if the F-35 wasn't available yet.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2015 17:56

Viv S wrote:Where did the article say that? Don't make stuff up. Here's the only thing it said about the F-35 -

The bill would also add $780 million for six additional F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps and $255 million for two additional F-35C JSFs for the Navy; bringing the total to 15 F-35Bs and six F-35Cs in FY 2016.

Hardly likely if the F-35 wasn't available yet.


Uncle Bill had the idea floated to him a while ago, and the Pentagon, including the person who buys weapons for it DENIED IT. There is probably still merit to Bills claim since the ACC has done the math 2 times before and both the times upgraded F-15E's, and F-16's were deemed to actually come out to be more expensive long term because of A ) The small number that would be procured, and B ) The cost to develop higher end variants of them that could actually last and be survivable against modern threats against which the F-35 is benchmarked.

Interestingly when the US Navy reduced their F-35C five year order by a dozen or so aircraft uncle bill was front and center with his 1000 word analysis with a 'told you so' atitude and now that they seem to have been essentially reinstated back into USN's plans he is nowhere to be found !

Easy to calculate the cost of each fighter incl. F-35 variants


Ok, could you tell me the cost of the F-35A from that? The F-35C cost data (120-130 million) is really irrelevant as no one is likely to buy this variant, and its being produced in tiny quantity at the moment (single digit production per year). The Beach variant is again not the most widely produced but there is added cost of the lift-fan etc. Its the A variant that is getting a big boost with production since everyone has been ordering it and its production has been ramping up the steepest including an assembly line in Italy that went active, and one in Japan that received its first aircraft components a few weeks ago.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Paul » 20 Dec 2015 19:21

he F-35 is a kind of golden turkey what is likely to never fly while eating all the budget. The creators of this joke should get the Nobel Prize for Peace, since they contribute to defang the US giant spider.
Like · Reply · 10 · 19 hrs

Najim Barna · University of Chingalashan
hahahaha I like the idea with Nobel peace prize for Lockheed Martin

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Dec 2015 19:32

These folks need to actually compute what an appropriate cost should be to replace the majority of the NAVAIR, Marine Corps, and the US Air-Force's fast jet fleet. What percentage of the defense budget did the F-16, A-10, F/A-18, and AV8 programs consume? The USAF has not purchased a new fighter besides the F-22A since it stopped buying F-15E's having met its requirement. The cold war saw them rapidly develop and field a bunch of fighter types for various missions and they concurrently operated 3rd, 3.5 and 4th generation aircraft even through the gulf war when it had 180+ fighter squadrons. Since then they have severely downsized the USAF fast jet fleet, and have had to consolidate fighter types into one family that eventually became the JSF. Someone has to foot the bill of modernization unless you want to simply do away with modernization. France with a fraction of the US economy and defense budget will be spending something like $60-65 Billion on the rafale program for less than 300 fighters (development+production+upgrades) while the US is expected to spend around $380 Billion - $390 Billion (and those estimates are projecting downwards every 2 years the GAO tries to calculate these numbers). Based on that the economies are significant given the scale of production. One funny thing that always props up is that these folks always use the $380 Billion (R&D + Procurement) or the $1 Trillion (R&D + Procurement + 50 years sustainment) numbers and in the same breath they say the US will never buy the number it expects. If they don't buy 2000+ they won't spend money on 2000+ for both procurement and support. Its that simple. Its like claiming that India will spend 20+ Billion on the Rafale even though the MMRCA is dead and the deal being negotiated now is for a 3rd of that amount.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 20 Dec 2015 19:59

A nice article in Popular Science titled "The Last Fighter Pilot", on the F-35.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby shiv » 21 Dec 2015 16:05

This has got to be one of the most unfrickin believable stories I have heard. Only Khan can pull off something like this.

B-58 gets damaged on takeoff in the evening, is kept flying all night with 7 refuellings and 250 0.25 million liters of fuel and then has a rough but safe landing in a river of fire retardant foam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZu_ONVE90Y
Last edited by shiv on 21 Dec 2015 19:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Dec 2015 16:17

General Atomics Plans 150kW Laser Tests; Eye On AC-130, Avenger

General Atomics, whose MQ-1 Predator changed the world, is to start testing another potentially revolutionary weapon next month: a 150-kilowatt class laser.

Several other companies are developing laser weapons and “we’re looking at all of them,” said Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, in an interview with Breaking Defense. “The technology is ripe for application on an AC-130.”

General Atomics hopes to see AFSOC install a version of the weapon on the AC-130 gunship in the next few years. They also envision equipping the company’s new jet-powered Predator C Avenger drone with a laser derived from their High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS).The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will run the live-fire tests at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The HELLADS beam will be fired at a wide variety of airborne targets over the next 18 months. It produces its silent, invisible, but blow torch-hot beam by pumping electricity through rare earth minerals to excite their electrons and generate energy.

HELLADS “is designed to counter rockets, artillery, mortars; counter cruise missiles; counter air[craft]; defend against surface to air missiles,” said Michael Perry, the vice president in charge of the company’s laser programs. During the tests at White Sands, the targets could include real rockets, real mortars, and real missiles. “There’s a whole variety of targets that will be shot with this system,” Perry said.

The system being tested at White Sands is far too large to put on an airplane. But GA already has developed a smaller, self-contained Generation 3 High Energy Laser and is working on an even more compact Gen 4 HEL to respond to AFSOC commander Heithold’s goal of putting such a weapon on AC-130 gunships by 2020.

The possible targets for an AC-130 laser are many, Heithold said. The silent, invisible beam might be used prior to a hostage rescue mission, for example, to covertly disable motor vehicles, boats, airplanes or any other “escape mechanism” an enemy might use to move the hostages or flee from U.S. forces. The laser might also be used to disable or disrupt an enemy’s communications, he said.

“The reason that I want it on an AC-130 is, right now, when an AC-130 starts firing kinetic weaponry, everybody knows you’re there,” Heithold said. “What I want on the airplane is to be able to silently disable something.”

Heithold envisions equipping up to five AC-130Ws with a laser whose beam could be aimed by a directing device on the left side of the aircraft and used offensively.

AFRL is in the early stages of a separate program to develop a smaller laser that can fit inside a pod no larger than a standard 600-gallon external fuel tank and be used to defend legacy fighter aircraft such as the F-16 or F-15 against surface-to-air missiles. Known as SHiELD (Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator), this defensive laser is a pet project of Gen. Hawk Carlisle, who leads Air Combat Command.

Heithold said AFSOC is watching the SHiELD program but is not interested for now in pursuing the more difficult challenge of putting a defensive laser on its aircraft. “The hope is that the SHiELD program can learn from our efforts from putting an offensive capability on an AC-130,” Heithold said.

The Gen 3 system General Atomics has built can be entirely contained – laser system, power system and thermal management (cooling) system – in a box roughly 12 feet long, four feet wide and two feet high.

Perry said providing the electrical power the laser needs aboard an aircraft and cooling the system are the chief integration challenges, but they are relatively minor compared to the feat of generating a laser able to burn holes in steel from miles away.

“There’s very little technical question that you can do this,” Perry said of Heithold’s goal. “The question is how much they want to do how quickly.”


If one looks back the US Air Force mounted a COIL on the C-130 and even destroyed ground targets successfully proving that it worked. However the COIL application much like the concept proving YAL (that shot down ballistic missile in the boost phase from 300 km away) was extremely large (C-130 laser and accompanying paraphernalia weighed in at nearly 7000 pounds), and took most of the useful space aboard both the C-130 and the 747 since the fuel for the laser had to be carried internally. SSL's (of which fiber lasers are a part) do away with that and their pound/killowatt numbers are attractive enough to make them compatible with UAV's, UCAV's, fighters or be scaled up to larger aircraft. You also have efficiency down to the sweet spot of 30-35% that allows you to use stored energy to power them for short-medium bursts depending upon the platform.

More on the AFRL's plan to put a podded Laser Weapon on the F-15E strike eagle by the end of the decade -

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/17/politics/ ... -research/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 21 Dec 2015 16:23

shiv wrote:This has got to be one of the most unfrickin believable stories I have heard. Only Khan can pull off something like this.

B-58 gets damaged on takeoff in the evening, is kept flying all night with 7 refuellings and 250 million liters of fuel and then has a rough but safe landing in a river of fire retardant foam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZu_ONVE90Y


seems like a solution looking for a problem to me. why did the pilots not just bail out one by one after dumping all the fuel and let the plane crash in the vast empty desert or even point it out to sea and parachute over the shore?

Wiki
it seated three (pilot, bombardier/navigator, and defensive systems operator) in separated tandem cockpits. Later versions gave each crew member a novel ejection capsule that made it possible to eject at an altitude of 70,000 ft (21,000 m) at speeds up to Mach 2 (1,320 mph/2,450 km/h). Unlike standard ejection seats of the period, a protective clamshell would enclose the seat and the control stick with an attached oxygen cylinder, allowing the pilot to continue to fly even "turtled up" and ready for immediate egress. The capsule would float, and the crewmember could open the clamshell, using it as a life raft.[9][10] In an unusual test program, live bears and chimpanzees were successfully used to test the ejection system.[11] The XB-70 would use a similar system (though using capsules of a different design).


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby shiv » 21 Dec 2015 16:41

Singha wrote:seems like a solution looking for a problem to me. why did the pilots not just bail out

I wondered about that and I suspect that they must have been carrying a special payload. The B 58 had an internal bay for a big nuke IIRC.

But that bit about flying over a lit city sounded iffy to me.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby deejay » 21 Dec 2015 17:15

Singha wrote:
shiv wrote:This has got to be one of the most unfrickin believable stories I have heard. Only Khan can pull off something like this.

B-58 gets damaged on takeoff in the evening, is kept flying all night with 7 refuellings and 250 million liters of fuel and then has a rough but safe landing in a river of fire retardant foam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZu_ONVE90Y


seems like a solution looking for a problem to me. why did the pilots not just bail out one by one after dumping all the fuel and let the plane crash in the vast empty desert or even point it out to sea and parachute over the shore?

Wiki
it seated three (pilot, bombardier/navigator, and defensive systems operator) in separated tandem cockpits. Later versions gave each crew member a novel ejection capsule that made it possible to eject at an altitude of 70,000 ft (21,000 m) at speeds up to Mach 2 (1,320 mph/2,450 km/h). Unlike standard ejection seats of the period, a protective clamshell would enclose the seat and the control stick with an attached oxygen cylinder, allowing the pilot to continue to fly even "turtled up" and ready for immediate egress. The capsule would float, and the crewmember could open the clamshell, using it as a life raft.[9][10] In an unusual test program, live bears and chimpanzees were successfully used to test the ejection system.[11] The XB-70 would use a similar system (though using capsules of a different design).



Hardly, the case. Infact, an amazing rescue. I am not sure why they did not bail out but this could be the reasons as per me.

Undercarriage down, means there will be a forward speed limit. It will also limit climb. Just as there is a maximum parameter limit there will be a minimum parameter limit for bailing in terms of speed and height.

Bailing out has it own difficulties even in perfect conditions for bailing.

Foam on runway for belly landing is standard procedure today the world over (emergency services), though I am not sure it was the case when this incident happened. Even then this does not seem out of the world. The control of the aircraft, duration of flight and mostly, the amount and number of refueling with a "student" crew followed with a great landing after 14 hrs in air- amazing.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 21 Dec 2015 18:56

More on the SHiELD (Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator) program from November 2015 from Reddit -

The Air Force will hold a December industry day for companies capable of integrating a laser source and beam-control system onto a fighter-sized aircraft, according to a Nov. 2 Federal Business Opportunities notice.

As part of the service's Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) Program, which plans to integrate a high-energy laser pod onto a fighter jet for defensive capabilities, the laser pod research and development (LPRD) portion will unite the laser source and beam-control architecture into a weapon system capable of flying up to supersonic speeds. Although the SHiELD program is designed to defend threats from a moderate range, the program could hold offensive capabilities in the future, Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, said during a July directed energy summit.

The SHiELD program will generate four separate contract opportunities, including the laser source, LPRD, beam-control and test and evaluation, said Mark Niece, executive director of the directed energy professional society, in a Nov. 3 interview with Inside the Air Force. The Air Force Research Laboratory held a July industry day for the beam-control portion of SHiELD, known as Shield Turret Research in Aero-Effects (STRAFE). The system should demonstrate transonic aero-effect mitigation and include acquisition, tracking and pointing against a non-cooperative target, according to a request for information released in March.

The Air Force also released a broad agency announcement Nov. 2 seeking research proposals for STRAFE. The Air Force would spend $45 million on the program over the course of five years beginning in fiscal year 2016, according to funding estimates in the BAA.

The Air Force will not select a laser source until it has selected a beam-control system, ITAF previously reported. SHiELD's jet platform is also undefined at this point, according to the Air Force.

"My biggest concern with LPRD [is], have you decided on a laser source?" Niece said. "In order to integrate the source and beam-control architecture together, you've got to know what those interfaces are going to be."

Four potential laser sources exist for the SHiELD program, including two fiber laser sources from Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, Raytheon's Planar Waveguide and General Atomics' High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), which the company aims to integrate onto tactical aircraft, Niece said.

Although the Pentagon canceled the Air Force's Airborne Laser Program in 2011 due to rising costs, Lockheed demonstrated successful beam control with chemical lasers on a Boeing 747. During recent test flights for the Defense Advanced Research Projects' Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control (ABC) turret, Lockheed also mitigated the impact of turbulence on a laser beam. The low-power beam fired through the turret while the aircraft traveled at jet cruise speeds, according to an Oct. 15 Lockheed press release.

"It's my belief alone that Lockheed's work on ABC and their beam-control architecture on the ABL program definitely puts them in a strong position," Niece said. "Whether or not that enhances their ability to be a strong candidate for LPRD will be determined by the source selection and the strength of their proposals."

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Jan 2016 16:14

Assisting The Human Central to Pentagon’s Third Offset

The Pentagon’s “Third Offset” strategy to restore the U.S.’s conventional technological superiority over Russia and China will be built on using artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy to assist human operations, says Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work.

Commercial advances in AI and autonomy are core to the central theme of the strategy—using human-machine collaboration in decision-making and teaming of manned and unmanned systems in combat to overcome the proliferation of precision munitions and advances in electronic warfare (EW) and cyberattack that have eroded the U.S.’s military edge over potential adversaries.

The Third Offset will kick off with $12-15 billion in funding in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget request for “wargaming, experimentation and demonstrations,” Work said in a speech at the Center for New American Security on Dec. 17. He noted that beginning in 2017 the focus will be “on doing the intellectual underpinning and as much of the demonstration work as we possibly can so Congress will help us keep this going and we can maintain a lasting advantage.”

The first offset strategy in the 1950s sought to blunt the Soviet numerical and geographical advantage in Europe by developing the capability to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons. That approach was successful up to the 1970s, when the Soviets achieved strategic nuclear parity and the risk of escalation to all-out nuclear war became too great, Work said.

The U.S. response was the second offset strategy to develop conventional weapons with “near-zero miss.” The Darpa-led Assault Breaker demonstration in 1977 led Soviet military leaders to conclude precision-guided munitions would be as effective as tactical nuclear weapons. “And, unquestionably, I would say that it helped lead to the end of the Cold War,” Work said.

The breakup of the Soviet Union gave the U.S. an advantage in guided weapons for 25 years, a period that is coming to an end with Russia and China approaching precision-munition parity with the U.S. and other second-offset technologies such as unmanned aircraft proliferating. At the same time, Work said, the U.S. focus on fighting Islamic extremists has slowed its response to high-end threats.

The result is the anti-access/area-denial challenge (A2/AD) facing U.S. forces. “Our conventional deterrence posture . . . is based on the assumption that we can project overwhelming power across transoceanic distances and exert our will on any opponent,” Work said.

“So, the first problem is breaking into a theater where the opponents enjoy guided-munitions parity and can throw long-range missile strikes as dense and as accurate as our own, and [for] as long as we can. That’s the anti-access or the A2 part of the A2/AD threat.

“Then, once you’re in the theater, the second problem is fighting against an adversary with conventional capabilities that are as advanced as our own. And that is the AD or area-denial part of the A2/AD problem,” he noted. “And the third is doing both of those while under intense cyber- and electronic-warfare attack.”

Work said Russia’s long-range conventional strikes in Syria provide a “rough sense” of the A2/AD problem. “They’re firing missiles from surface ships, from submarines, strategic bombers, and medium-range bombers.” The Chinese military’s massive “counterintervention” exercises are another sign.

Eastern Ukraine, meanwhile, is “an emerging laboratory for future 21st-century warfare” with Russian units using advanced sensors and small unmanned aircraft backed up by highly capable intelligence-collection platforms. Within minutes of coming up on the radio net, Ukrainian forces are being targeted with cluster munitions, thermobaric warheads and top-attack submunitions, he said. Russia is jamming GPS, knocking out Ukrainian UAVs and the proximity fuses on artillery shells, disabling them.

“The operations in Ukraine highlighted the new speed of war, driven by automated battle networks, boosted by advances in computing power,” said Work. “We are moving at cyberspeed, and [with] intense electronic-warfare battles to dominate the information war along the forward line of troops.

“This trend is only going to continue as advanced militaries experiment with these technologies, as well as others [such as] hypersonics. In the not-too-distant future, we’ll see directed-energy weapons on the battlefield which operate at the speed of light,” he said.

Work noted that the Defense Science Board’s 2015 Summer Study concluded: “[W]e are at an inflection point in the power of artificial intelligence and autonomy,” which will “allow entirely new levels of . . . man-machine symbiosis on the battlefield,” he said. “That is why human-machine is explicitly in what we talk about. The way we will approach this is that this is designed to make the human more effective in combat.”

Five technological building blocks of the Third Offset strategy have been identified and, initially, the focus will be on experimentation and demonstration to verify that the Pentagon’s hypothesis on these five components is sound.

The first component is autonomous deep-learning systems. These are already changing the way intelligence is analyzed, but the Pentagon plans to create learning machines that will provide indications and warnings that “something is happening in the gray zone,”Work explained..


Learning machines will be used to cue intelligence systems, Work said, citing the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Coherence Out of Chaos program to take all data from overhead-imaging satellites, make sense of it, and cue human analysts to look at specific areas.

Learning systems that react at machine speeds can also be used for air and cyberdefense, he said, citing Israel’s highly automated Iron Dome counterrocket system and Darpa programs that will enable electronic-warfare platforms such as the EA-18G to counter new waveforms on the fly.

The second component is human-machine collaboration for decision-making. Work cites the F-35’s helmet-mounted display, which processes 360 deg. of information and portrays it in a way that speeds operations by allowing the pilot to make better decisions faster.

The third component is “assisted human operations,” using technologies such as wearable electronics, head-mounted displays and exoskeletons. “Our adversaries . . . are pursuing enhanced human operations. And that scares the crap out of us. . . . But we are very comfortable going after assisted human operations,” he said, citing Darpa’s Alias program to develop a robotic co-pilot to reduce the crew in the cockpit.


The fourth ingredient is advanced human-machine combat teaming involving cooperative operations with unmanned systems. Existing examples include Army AH-64 attack helicopters operating with MQ-1 Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and Navy plans for P-8 patrol aircraft to operate with MQ-4 Triton broad-area surveillance UAVs.

“We’re looking at large-capacity UUVs [unmanned underwater vehicle] that cascade medium-size UAVs that cascade out smaller-diameter UUVs and form networks. We’re looking at all sorts of different electronic-warfare networks. We’re looking at small surface vessels operating as swarms,” he said, adding “collaborative autonomy will help transform operations.”

The fifth and final building block of the Third Offset is network-enabled semiautonomous weapons that are hardened to operate in an EW and cyber environment and when GPS is denied. “Just like in the Cold War, when electro-magnetic-pulse hardening was required, every weapon and system is going to have to be hardened for cyber,” Work said.


“Those are the five components, and they’re going to ride on the back of a learning network,” he said. “There’s a lot of skepticism right now within the Department of Defense that we’ll be able to perfect and protect such a network, but if you do the smart design up front, coupled with learning defenses, we believe it is not only possible, but it is a requirement.

Work summed up, “We know that advances in AI and autonomy are driven by the commercial world and not government, which means they’ll be available to everybody. We know that second-offset technologies are widely proliferated. So we shouldn’t count on a lasting advantage.”



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Austin » 07 Jan 2016 09:58


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby bahdada » 07 Jan 2016 10:01

Edit


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby rkhanna » 12 Jan 2016 11:05

TALOS: Special Ops Operator Suits - More than mere Exoskeletons

http://sofrep.com/40226/talos-special-operations-powered-armor-just-another-boondoggle/

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2016 15:58

General Atomics Unveils Multi Mission Medium Range Railgun for LCS

At the Surface Navy Association's (SNA) National Symposium currently held near Washington DC, General Atomics Electromagnetics unveils for the first time its "Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapon System". Brochures and a poster at SNA 2016 showed the weapon system fitted on board a Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).The system is designed to fire round similar in diameter to a coke can. Based on the design shown on the poster and brochure, the system shares the same gun body/cupola as BAE System's 57mm gun.

A General Atomics representative at the show told us that deck space availability on was studied and the system could fit. Likewise, the power generated by the LCS is enough to accommodate the railgun. Batteries need to be fitted below deck however.

The Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun would be capable of intercepting anti-ship cruise missiles as well as anti-ship ballistic missiles. The system is capable of firing 10 rounds per minute to deal considerable damage (multi round simultaneous impact).

Other information on the system has not been publicaly released yet.


Image

An excellent article about plans to eventually replace the Arleigh Burke and Ticondergoas classes :

Navy Weighing Options for a Family of Future Surface Ships

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Jan 2016 21:44

Excellent move on part of Raytheon. The BIV is a 1600 km weapon, and the range for a moving target should still be well over 1000 km (including ships). With over 3000 BIV's produced, and majority of those available to be upgraded by the end of the decade it would make a lot of sense to add enhanced capability to some if not all. Its a great way to keep Chinese ships bogged down by having them invest in air-defenses since even at the current reduced capacity, the USN is still an 8000 - VLS cell force. Still not as good as a LRASM seeker, but much more cost-effective. With a VLS launched LRASM the USN would have to buy the missile, with this just the upgrade.

Raytheon plans additional Tomahawk tests in 2016 to mature a new active seeker capability

Raytheon has completed a series of successful captive flight tests of a new dual-mode passive mid-course active terminal seeker for the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile, designed to discriminate and engage moving targets in both the land and maritime domains.

Originally scheduled for September 2015, the tests were conducted during two weeks of November and December 2015, but only announced on 14 January 2016.

The tests were conducted with a modified Tomahawk missile nose cone equipped with a seeker integrated with a Raytheon-developed X Factor modular, multi-mode processor, mounted on a T-39 Sabreliner test aircraft.

Earlier, in June 2014, Raytheon demonstrated the X Factor processor for the Tomahawk Block IV - in similar captive flights on the modified T-39 - to enable identification of and direction-finding to a target as well as improve the weapon's ability to get to a target in a GPS-denied environment

During the latest tests, the modified T-39 Sabreliner flew profiles that simulated the Tomahawk flight routine, aiming at moving targets on land and in the maritime environment. "We were able to perform wide-area search, static stare, and imaging of those targets," Chris Sprinkle, Raytheon senior programme manager for air warfare systems, told IHS Jane's on 14 January.

The trials were also designed to demonstrate that the new sensor suite suite can perform in an operationally relevant environment (i.e. be able to withstand aerodynamic stresses and dynamic electro-magnetic conditions) with design maturity at Technology Readiness Level Six (TRL6).

"We would assert that the dual-mode passive mid-course active terminal seeker is at Technology Readiness Level 6," Sprinkle said. "TRL 6 is a prototype tested in a relevant environment."

"The data we collected not only showed the hardware performed as designed, but we were able even at this early stage to have quality data to be able to discriminate the target we are looking at," Sprinkle said. "There are a number of techniques that can be applied to do that, but they are classified. We were able to use those techniques to say we can see the target and identify the target."

Raytheon has fully funded the seeker and array development, allocating more than USD40 million of internal research and development (IRAD) funding in the programme since 2005, Sprinkle said. The company now intends to continue to mature the seeker's algorithms over the next year. During the November-December 2015 tests the Tomahawk's radar was manually directed at the targets. It will now be modified to automatically slew to the target. The company will also conduct tracking development, Sprinkle added.

"Those are the two main focuses of this year's work: our intention is to make this seeker ready to be integrated whenever the USN says [it wants it]," he said.

The likely timeframe for adding the upgraded seeker technology would be in 2019 when the US inventory of Tomahawk Block IV missiles is scheduled to undergo a recertification programme. This will deliver a 15-year life extension for a 30-year total missile service life. Replacement of both navigation and communications elements are now programmes of record, while the ambition is to install also the new active seeker capability during the recertification period.

The retrofitted missile will continue to field its existing sensors - digital terrain contour matching and Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation for terminal guidance - but with the new seeker allowing it to prosecute moving target on both land and at sea.


Image
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 15 Jan 2016 22:03

USAF to test image-based navigation and precision targeting on SDB I glide bomb

Scientific Systems Company Inc (SSCI), a Massachusetts-based software house specialising in intelligent control systems and software, has won a US Air Force (USAF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to demonstrate a novel image-based navigation and precision targeting package on a GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment I (SDB I) glide bomb.

Under the terms of the two-year, USD11.5 million SBIR III contract, awarded by the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center Rapid Acquisition Cell at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on 13 January, SSCI will "flight test, demonstrate, and evaluate the technology readiness of an ImageNav-SDB advanced navigation system", according to the Department of Defense (DoD).

Developed by Boeing to meet USAF needs for a low-cost/low-collateral-damage precision strike weapon to hit fixed/stationary targets, SDB I is a 250 lb-class weapon that integrates a wing kit (affording a stand-off range of more than 60 n miles), an advanced anti-jam GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System precision guidance package, and a multipurpose penetrating and blast-and-fragmentation warhead.

Total SDB I production has run to 12,300 weapons, plus 2,000 BRU-61 bomb racks. In addition, a further 350 Focused Lethality Munitions have been delivered (these using carbon-fibre bodies to deliver more near-field blast and less collateral damage).

ImageNav (Image-Based Navigation And Precision Targeting) is described by SSCI as "a vision-based navigation and precision targeting system for use on manned/unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles [that] uses the platform's existing sensors to compare the air vehicle's flight path to a known terrain database". According to the company, ImageNav "has demonstrated target geo-location and navigation precision of <3 metres CEP [circular error probability] in high-fidelity tests on real flight data gathered by Boeing", and is currently "being transitioned to several cruise missile and UAV platforms".

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 16 Jan 2016 20:30

USN Shipbuilding Panel :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=537BhqiI29g

On The DDG-1000 from the panel:

DDG 1000 On Track For Delivery In April


The Navy’s first Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG-1000) will return to the seas for builder’s trials in about a month’s time, and the General Dynamics [GD] Bath Iron Works ship is on schedule for delivery on April 25, a program official said Jan. 14.

Rear Adm. David Gale, the Navy’s program executive officer for ships, said the Zumwalt “performed exquisitely” in its first trip out to sea during December, a weeklong event that culminated in the rescue of a Maine fisherman who was having health problems.
The first of the Zumwalt class of destroyers, the DDG-1000. Photo: Dana Rene, special to Defense Daily.The first of the Zumwalt class of destroyers, the DDG-1000. Photo: Dana Rene, special to Defense Daily.

“There were some lessons learned,” he said in a speech at the Surface Navy Association’s national symposium. “There were some things we need to go work on, but nothing that we can't overcome will prevent us from delivering that ship by 25 April of this year. We've got work to do, a lot of coordination, a lot of teamwork to get that done."

After delivery, the Zumwalt will be turned over to Capt. James Kirk and his crew for training and qualification, Gale said. The commissioning of the ship is tentatively scheduled for October in Baltimore, Md.

The DDG 1000 is the Navy’s largest destroyer ever built and contains a host of advanced technologies. The design features a radar cross section more akin to a fishing boat, and its integrated power system allows operators to shift energy from one part of the ship to another. The latter capability could become critical if technologies such as the rail gun, which consumes vast amounts of power, become prevalent on ships.

During its week at sea, the crew demonstrated a variety of the Zumwalt’s shipboard systems, including its anchors, electric steering system and power handling and conditioning system, Rear Adm. Jim Downey, the Navy’s DDG-1000 program manager, said during a briefing Thursday afternoon. Its integrated power system ran 33 knots at full power, and its power generators met its goals for the sea trials. The ship also successfully deployed and recovered 11 mm rigid inflatable boats (RIB).

"We saw eight to 10 foot seas,” he said. "The ship performed extremely well. We ran up full power and full rudder swings, 35 degree of rudder swings in each direction."

Though unexpected, the rescue effort provided a showcase for the ship’s handling capabilities, he said.

"We steamed over there at full plant, got some good data on an unplanned two-hour power ride, and we launched our RIB,” he said. “It was 12 minutes from the launch of the RIB until they got to the vessel, got the person aboard and got back."

Kirk, who was present for the briefing, said the ship “handled marvelously,” comparing the difference in steering a DDG-1000 and DDG-51 as being similar to driving a smaller sedan versus a larger one.

Tests of the ship’s Advanced Gun System, built by BAE Systems, will start after the DDG-1000 has arrived in San Diego, Downey said. There, the ship will also be upgraded with the eighth release of software.

Radar modifications on AN/SPY-3 X band radar, manufactured by Raytheon [RTN], have continued to progress. The radar will move onto the Self Defense Test ship soon, he said.

The USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) is 84 percent complete. All mission systems have been installed, and it is scheduled to be launched in June, he said. The third ship in the class, USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) 43 percent complete.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 19 Jan 2016 16:00

Operation Secret Squirrel Saw B-52s Rippling Off Cruise Missiles At Iraq 25 Years Ago

Cruise missiles played a major part in the opening strikes of Desert Storm. The vast majority of these were BGM-109 Tomahawks launched from U.S. Navy vessels, but 35 were experimental air-launched cruise missiles launched by B-52Gs on a top-secret, ultra long-range mission.

The actual classified name of the operation was Secret Surprise, but bomber crews from the 596th Bombardment Squadron at Barksdale AFB had nicknamed it Secret Squirrel. The mission was kept under tight secrecy, nobody involved could discuss it unless the other person was read-into the operation, and even then only under certain controlled circumstances.

The idea was straight forward, seven B-52Gs would fly a 35 hour, 14,000 mile nonstop route from their bases in the U.S. to the Middle East and back. During this flight they would deliver an experimental conventional (instead of nuclear) armed variant of the AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile, known as the AGM-86C Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile, or CALCM for short.

The CALCMs used GPS for pinpoint accuracy, something that the Tomahawk, an pretty much any other munitions of the time period lacked. This was a major innovation that changed the nature of air-to-ground weaponry. Today GPS is a primary form of guidance for all types of bombs and standoff weapons and allows our air forces to strike targets even when they are totally obscured by clouds or smoke.

The idea was for these highly precise missiles to strike eight strategic targets deep in Iraqi territory, most of which were related to command and control and air defenses. This would help blind Saddam’s commanders as to the armada of aircraft about to strike targets all over their country.

This 35 hour round-robin combat mission would be the longest ever recorded at the time and was a precursor to the global strike missions that were subsequently a part of every major conflict that followed. These types of missions are trained for on a regular basis today by B-2 and B-52 crews.

Secret Squirrel was also the emergence of the B-52 as a precision conventional strike weapon, a mission set it is fully adapted to today and one that the USAF continues to invest in heavily.





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

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Jan 2016 06:01

Missile Defense Agency Director, announced today that the GBMD system will conduct its first ICBM intercept towards the end of the 2016 calendar year. The next test for the interceptor would be later this month but it would not involve an intercept even though an IRBM would be launched (the test is to validate changes made to the divert thrusters). More importantly, both the IRBM test later this month (non-intercept) and the ICBM test later this year will feature Counter-measures and decoys. They also plan to conduct a ripple anti-ICBM launch in early 2017...Also announced that the reliable kill vehicle, being designed as an interim (to better the shot doctrine) by an MDA led team involving Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed will be first test fired (non intercept) possibly by 2018 with a full up future kill vehicle - Multi Object Kill vehicle to follow next decade...Still not clear on the Common kill vehicle and whether it would be the evolution of the reliable kill vehicle or a MOKV like system although the director said that the MOKV would mostly be for homeland defense which could potentially mean that the common kill vehicle may be something that is an interim step in between the reliable kill vehicle and the MOKV and therefore could fill the 44 GBMD system and the deployed SM3 inventory, with the MOKV variants being on top of that for the GBMD system only.





Image

*Dates are in Fiscal year and not Calendar year..
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 20 Jan 2016 07:21

..and hence the urgency by russia to fund their newest icbms - bulava, yars and sarmat.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Jan 2016 07:24

The Ground Based Missile defense absolutely has no threat (politics and arms control is obviously a different thing from technical capability) to Russia's or China's strategic deterrence other than the technology which may at a future be used to develop a very large missile defense system to undermine their deterrence. It is also against US interest to challenge both Russia's and China's deterrence using the Missile defense shield. Its just not affordable enough with the kinetic option. Current GBMD system will reach 44 interceptors by 2017-18 and there are no plans to go significantly beyond that. The Anti-ICBM capability has over the last few years been scaled back because the perceived threat from North Korea was not developing significantly fast enough (where simply upping the shot-doctrine would not work) and Iran is not in the ICBM league yet. The SM3 Block II B was cancelled which would have been a far bigger Anti-ICBM threat since it would have been regionally deployed. Also, the Assent phase intercept programs (assent phase is shortly after burnout but before apogee) were all cancelled or scaled back. All this was done to reallocate resources towards the SRBM, MRBM and IRBM threat to regional allies and deployed forces that was developing faster than the ICBM threat to CONUS. This trend will continue with large scale procurement of the remaining THAAD batteries, development of THAAD-ER, completion of the SM2 Block IIA, and its subsequent fielding and completing both the Romanian (now only weeks/months away from going active) and Poland Aegis Ashore facilities. What is happening with the GBMD system as described in the video is essentially smoothening out the kinks that were created when the system was rapidly rushed into service. They knew what the technical deficiencies were that needed to be corrected and they essentially (though he did not say this but it is commonly known) fielded a system that was a 70% solution with a liberal shot doctrine against a limited attack...They are adding back reliability and improving intercept probability by going through and modernizing the entire system, from the kill vehicle, to the battle management and most importantly the discriminating radars with a new Gallium nitride S band long range radar in Alaska to work alongside forward deployed THAAD, AEGIS and the floating X-band radar (plus upgraded legacy lower frequency (mostly uHF) systems).

Had the MDA been tasked with protecting CONUS and undermining Russian and Chinese deterrence it would have essentially allocated 100% of its resources (which are fairly limited by US DOD budget standards) towards the anti-ICBM capability and would have (pursuing this route) essentially bankrupted the agency.
Last edited by brar_w on 20 Jan 2016 07:47, edited 2 times in total.

Singha
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Singha » 20 Jan 2016 07:32

all pious statements by gotus sir for public consumption. there are always huge black budgets to play with.

from US pov more they force cheen and rus to spend in upgrading and increasing their ICBMs the better as it reduces funds for much needed conventional stuff where US enjoys a massive superiority.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Jan 2016 07:36

all pious statements by gotus sir for public consumption. there are always huge black budgets to play with


Play with what? Where are the interceptor sites? Why/How would fielding a ridiculously large number of interceptor (with a number that you cannot afford) that cannot stay hidden from public be a better deterrence than actually having a strategic deterrence as in a triad? There are plenty of folks over the years that have done the math to see how much money would be required to intercept even a fraction of the Russian deployed warheads..It would essentially bankrupt even the pentagon..

At the end of the day, against a peer state, unless you can get ahead of the technology curve and put a 20-30 year lead (such as be that much ahead in space or with lasers and railgun) you aren't going to be able to afford credible intercept capability that would threaten their strategic deterrence (and such giant leaps won't happen in today's world). Both China and Russia can simply up their warhead count and get out of treaties (russia) if need be. Meanwhile you'll be spending a major portion of your defense budget in fielding better and better capability since even modest upgrades to countermeasures can reck havoc on your intercept capability...No nation can match a peer state through BMD alone without completely gutting their conventional capability at best, or bankrupting themselves at worst..

I am all ears however if someone is willing to do the math and make a convincing case of how this will threaten russia's or even china (that has far fewer deployed warheads) strategic deterrence from a technical perspective..

from US pov more they force cheen and rus to spend in upgrading and increasing their ICBMs the better as it reduces funds for much needed conventional stuff where US enjoys a massive superiority.


It would force them to up their ICBM capability and add more and more sophisticated countermeasures. The cost-equation is actually reversed in such a case since smaller leaps in countermeasures can essentially send you back to the drawing board and can cost you billions in interceptor redesign and technology insertion. There is still no answer to the numerical superiority. We are talking about between 40 and 50 interceptors by 2020 all part of a multi shot doctrine. How many deployed warheads does China and Russia have?

Also your argument also does not count the fact that by investing an extremely large chunk of its own money on a purely defensive ABM shield the US will almost have to trade off conventional and perhaps even strategic capability since there are always finite resources..Is that really a smart thing? Why does strategic deterrence not work against Russia? or even China? Whats wrong with that strategy that you need to complete reverse course and look to invest a ton of money on something else? Regional ABM is far more important given the projected growth of MRBM's and even IRBM's (SRBM's have been growing for a long time now) and how that could prove to be a significant A2AD challenge to the way US troops maneuver and that is why those areas are getting a far larger chunk of the investment pie..No mater how you look at it, a limited ICBM intercept capability is in US interest, a large scale anti ICBM capability is NOT..in fact it would hurt it in the long run by eroding its conventional capability, and possibility even its strategic deterrence (triad)..and even then there is no guarantee that the defenses would hold steady for a 10+ years before the opponent catches up. Modernizing your nukes and delivery mechanisms keeps you going for many many decades (up to 40-50 years) and costs a fraction of the amount. With China and Russian threats, a nuclear deterrence works best. Thats a technical argument. Politics dictate that you cry and shout everytime your opponent modernizes its nukes or ABM...or hypersonics for that matter. Thats a political or an arms-control issue and not a technical reason to fear X, Y or Z.

Another fairly substantial assumption is the fact the intercepting an ICBM is something easy :) especially to do it over and over again with a high probability of success and that too thousands of km's away from your interceptor launch location. Its an extremely challenging engineering problem. Even the currently deployed system would take at least a decade to fully mature before another leap is even possible. There are tremendous challenges to overcome on land, on the sea on even in space from the time the boost phase detection is done to tracking a missile headed towards CONUS and finally calculating precise targets to minimize PIP errors. Once you do all this, you still have to find the damn warhead among the clutter of decoys. You can't simply undermine a nation's deterrence when that nation has thousands of deployed warheads.
Last edited by brar_w on 20 Jan 2016 09:26, edited 13 times in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby RoyG » 20 Jan 2016 07:51

Singha wrote:all pious statements by gotus sir for public consumption. there are always huge black budgets to play with.

from US pov more they force cheen and rus to spend in upgrading and increasing their ICBMs the better as it reduces funds for much needed conventional stuff where US enjoys a massive superiority.


I agree. The US will continue to make ABM tech advances and continue to field more potent systems. Laser, railgun, and offensive black out systems are already a reality and will exert significant pressure on the Russians and Chinese to try and overwhelm it when they're officially weaponized.

The US does have a soft underbelly though. Demographic (Hispanics+Blacks vs whites) and ideological shifts Charvaka postmodernist/atheists vs theists), financial system, wealth inequality, etc. Russia and China will put more of their effort in exploiting these fissures to crack it from within.

Perhaps the only way of keeping the US at a distance is to change the nature of the state itself.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby TSJones » 20 Jan 2016 08:48

there is no way the US has deployed or even thinking of deploying any assets to defend against Russia or Chinese ICBM attacks. It's not there and furthermore it is a sham for these countries to threaten the US for developing anti ICBM capability against North Korea. Putin has admitted that the US cannot stop an overwhelming Russian launch of MIRV's.

the US's main strength is the ability to take a first hit and then respond with immense retaliation and we are feverishly working towards that goal with 24x7 on demand launch services for micro satellites as well as other measures to replace certain services to enable a more complete retaliation. We know our surface fleet is highly vulnerable to a first strike and we are taking certain measures there as well.

don't like that? too bad, we are not going to be sitting ducks.
Last edited by TSJones on 20 Jan 2016 09:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 20 Jan 2016 08:52

Also Putin will modernize his ICBM force because they put a strategic value to their nuclear deterrence. Similarly, US will modernize its nuclear force even though in its posture the nuclear deterrence is not valued as much as it is in the case of Russia. US nuclear ICBMs aren't being modernized or replaced with a new system because Russia or China has a credible ABM system deployed over its territory that deny the US its deterrence (even though both Russia and China have an advanced ABM program). Its an insurance policy and it would be naive to think that either the US or Russia would back out of their ICBM and larger triad modernization efforts if the ABM threat from the US to Russia, or from Russia to the US diminished.


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