US military, technology, arms, tactics

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Rsatchi
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rsatchi » 30 Jan 2021 14:12

https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-b ... 45155.html
What does this mean???
Is this a message sent to China or ??? sales pitch!!!.
With BIF's working overtime in Dilli how can their aka's in US allow this to happen
Or is it just 'Business trumps everything else' :wink: :wink:

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Jan 2021 19:18

US Navy launches FVL Maritime Strike replacement for MH-60 Seahawk


The U.S. Navy is rafting up to the Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) game, launching an official search for possible successors to the MH-60R/S Seahawk and MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.

Navy officials plan to conduct an analysis of alternatives (AoA) “to identify cost-effective alternatives to fill capability gaps in the MH-60R/S and MQ-8C as they begin to reach their end of service in the 2030s,” according to a notice published Jan. 28 on the U.S. government’s contracting website.

Planned capabilities for an FVL Maritime Strike (MS) were approved in November 2019 when the service established a requirement for a vertical lift capability to replace the Navy’s existing fleet of MH-60R/S and MQ-8B/C systems. FVL-MS is expected to enter service in the mid-2030s, about the same time the Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) comes online to begin replacing the UH-60 Back Hawk.

“The MH-60 Seahawk helicopters and the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned air vehicles are the pillars of the Naval Helicopter Concept of Operations for the 21st century,” the Navy’s AoA notice said. “The warfighting capability provided, whether deployed as carrier air wing squadrons embarked on aircraft carriers under the leadership of carrier air wing commanders or as expeditionary squadrons embarked on . . . surface combatants and logistics vessels, is broad and unparalleled in naval warfare.”

FVL is an Army-led program aimed at replacing the land service’s legacy aircraft with a family of speedier, more technologically advanced rotorcraft. Aside from FLRAA, the program includes the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) that will fill the gap left by retirement of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, and the Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (FTUAS) that will supplant the RQ-7 Shadow drone.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Jan 2021 19:41

A great summary on the next generation destroyer (which will replace both the destroyer and cruiser fleets) behind the paywall. Will have the baseline 10 or an offshoot combat system from AEGIS (current Flight III DDG-51 baseline) at start, including the SPY-6 V(X) radar (they don't yet know what size but it could start with the 34 RMA variant then scale up in future iterations) and an IPS. Basically lot more room for directed-energy and large diameter hypersonic weapons. Land based test infrastructure for the new power system, vertical launch cells, combat system, and radars to be set up using the current and next budget funds.

Current plans is to buy the last DDG-51 Flight III destroyer in Fiscal Year 2027, and buy the first DDG-X in FY 2028. I assume that both HII and Bath will be involved with DDG-X production under a similar Leader-Follower model that has been at play for the DDG-51. Once the last DDG-51 Flight III is delivered, which based on these plans should be in 2029-2030 time-frame, then the DDG-X will be the only large surface combatant in production in the US.

They should have ideally competed the radar ( SPY-6 and SPY-7 are both in production) for this new class but other than that it seems to be doing pretty well in leveraging the advances made over the last decade or so.

Navy working to translate top-level DDG-X requirements into preliminary cost estimate, performance targets


Navy leaders are working to translate recently set high-level requirements for a new Large Surface Combatant, recently dubbed DDG-X, into specific performance capabilities as well as draft a cost estimate in an effort to ready for industry a solicitation to design and build the follow-on warship to the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class fleet. On Dec. 2, 2020, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday approved top-level Large Surface Combatant requirements, clearing the service to proceed with drafting specifications...

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby kit » 30 Jan 2021 20:25

Rsatchi wrote:https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/american-b-1b-lancer-heavy-bomber-to-perform-fly-by-at-aero-india-945155.html
What does this mean???
Is this a message sent to China or ??? sales pitch!!!.
With BIF's working overtime in Dilli how can their aka's in US allow this to happen
Or is it just 'Business trumps everything else' :wink: :wink:


Indeed , if a S400 was nearby , would Washington send its cutting edge stealth fighters ? Food for thought :mrgreen:

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Jan 2021 20:54

Why wouldn't they? They routinely operate in areas covered by the S-400 and both the F-22 and F-35 have done plenty of foreign air-show over nations that possess very sophisticated EW systems. There is a reason they are always kitted with luneburg lenses and they have spent decades refining their CONOPS for not revealing their EMCON and other techniques.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 30 Jan 2021 21:03

This in addition to "alternatives to Guam" airfields being looked at. Good insight into the USAF thinking here - Not enough Air-Defense in the Pentagon to 100% protect its forward air-fields so they will need to distribute and assume that some will be taken down for either a short amount of time or permanently. Mitigations would require more investment into long range aircraft and distributing the refueling, arming and servicing of aircraft across traditional and non-traditional, US and friendly airfields across the region..

F-35s, F-16s to Operate from Austere Airfield on Guam During Cope North


Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, will soon prove the ability of small groups of Airmen to turn fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft on a flight line the base’s commander called a “no-kidding remote environment.” The February exercise is one of many that fall under the Agile Combat Employment concept, aimed at increasing USAF’s ability to use austere locations for combat operations.

For this year’s iteration of Cope North, Andersen’s Northwest Field will host F-35s from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and F-16s from Misawa Air Base, Japan, on the rough airfield that until now has only hosted C-130s and helicopter operations. Small groups of contingency response Airmen will quickly clear the airfield to allow fighters to come in and conduct combat turns, practicing PACAF’s vision of Agile Combat Employment, said Brig. Gen. Jeremy T. Sloane, commander of the 36th Wing at Andersen, during an Air Force Association “Air and Space Warfighters in Action” virtual event.

Being able to operate from small, rough airfields is a requirement, as the Defense Department shifts its focus to great power competition where major airfields could be at risk in a fight, he said.

“China and Russia can increasingly hold overseas U.S. bases at risk. To adapt, the Air Force must evolve from its dependence on well-established airfields or risk building an operational edge,” Sloane said. “… While the service can overcome some disadvantage with long-range bombers, a war in which missiles knock out American air bases and prevent the ability to launch and recover short-range fighter jets is unlikely to end well.”

Andersen’s Northwest Field sits in “deep jungle” and is less than 8,000 feet long, with limited taxiway and hangar space, and no permanent airfield controls. The pavement is rough, and only helicopters and C-130s have used it recently, Sloane said. A temporary mobile aircraft arresting system is being built for the event.

For the exercise, the contingency response Airmen will quickly clear the airstrip and ensure it is safe for F-16s and F-35s to come in, refuel, and turn the aircraft for combat operations.

Cope North is Andersen’s yearly trilateral exercise, alongside the Japan Air Self Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force, featuring about 100 aircraft and 2,500 personnel. Last year, F-22s conducted a hot-pit refueling from a C-130J for the first time in Palau, another remote location.

Andersen is the U.S. military’s farthest west sovereign operating base, which is key to operations, but it also makes it a target, Sloane said. China released a propaganda film last year showing its long-range bombers targeting the base. At the time, PACAF called it “an attempt to coerce and intimidate the region,” but it also highlights the importance of ACE, as well as the need for diplomacy and planning with nearby allies to ensure access to more potential operating bases, Sloane said. Relationship with small Pacific island nations could be key in operational planning.

“We’ve got to be very forward and proactive about going out and engaging … [We need to] have real, meaningful relationships with otherwise small communities that [could] allow access at some point of our choosing,” he said. “That could be something as easy as supporting COVID vaccinations, providing humanitarian and disaster relief in an area that doesn’t get a lot of news.”



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Feb 2021 20:15

F-117s Cleared To Refuel From All KC-135s As "Retired" Stealth Jets Expand Operations


The Air Force's Air Mobility Command (AMC) has issued a formal order that all KC-135 Stratotankers are now cleared to execute aerial refueling operations with F-117 Nighthawks. The order is quite the 'back to the future' directive as the F-117 was first cleared for aerial refueling operations in the mid-1980s and has been officially retired for 13 years now, although this really isn't the case for a number of the remaining 'Black Jets.'

This serves as additional evidence that the F-117's post-retirement operations are becoming more widespread and far less reclusive in nature. The F-117s, some of which have remained flying for the vast majority of the type's official retirement, at least to a limited degree, have drastically expanded their operational footprint in recent years and are now actively acting in the operational test and development support role and as stealthy dissimilar aggressors. Once bound to their original home at the remote Tonopah Test Range Airport (TTR), the F-117s have ventured increasingly further from it to higher-profile locations, especially in recent months. Now they are even forward deploying to operational airbases in order to support things like carrier strike group work-ups. The F-117s have also even been calling on Nellis Air Force Base in broad daylight as their use as stealth aggressors have broadened, with the type even playing a major role in recent Red Flag international air combat exercises.

Acting in a stealthy aggressor role, they will help bridge the gap until the services stand up low-observable aggressor forces, whether that be with 5th generation F-35s, which will be arriving to take up this role at Nellis in the near future, or stealthy unmanned aircraft.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby kit » 01 Feb 2021 20:21

brar_w wrote:Why wouldn't they? They routinely operate in areas covered by the S-400 and both the F-22 and F-35 have done plenty of foreign air-show over nations that possess very sophisticated EW systems. There is a reason they are always kitted with luneburg lenses and they have spent decades refining their CONOPS for not revealing their EMCON and other techniques.


thats a very valid argument., but wasnt this the reason put for throwing (the) turkey under the bus :mrgreen: for procuring S400 s ?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 01 Feb 2021 20:28

kit wrote:
brar_w wrote:Why wouldn't they? They routinely operate in areas covered by the S-400 and both the F-22 and F-35 have done plenty of foreign air-show over nations that possess very sophisticated EW systems. There is a reason they are always kitted with luneburg lenses and they have spent decades refining their CONOPS for not revealing their EMCON and other techniques.


thats a very valid argument., but wasnt this the reason put for throwing (the) turkey under the bus :mrgreen: for procuring S400 s ?


Because the US operating the aircraft for an air-show appearance or taking protective measures while de-conflicting in an air-space isn't the same as someone else permanently operating the said system alongside Russian IADS (and Turkey was not just buying S-400 they also wanted S-500 partnership at one point IIRC). Moreover, a partner status on the largest 5th generation program in the world was seen as a privilege extended only to the closest NATO and non NATO allies. If that said partner is now going to turn around and begin buying arms from NATO's primary adversary then that would and should warrant a re-examining that relationship and assumptions that led to the partner status in the first place. The US services operate more than 400 F-35's (all types) right now with about 90 new aircraft added to that number each year. So beyond politics the operator has a vested interest in ensuring that the system can't be exploited so they too get a vote in addition to the policy makers.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 03 Feb 2021 01:26

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/135 ... 03521?s=20 ---> A @BoeingDefense F-15EX has just taken off on its first flight from St Louis, US. Expect to hear a lot about it at #AeroIndia2021.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 03 Feb 2021 01:38

F-15EX:

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Feb 2021 02:18

Boeing invested its own money on the first couple of airframes so that they could hand the F-15EX over to the USAF within months of contract award which was only signed in July of 2020.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby kit » 03 Feb 2021 03:51

brar_w wrote:Boeing invested its own money on the first couple of airframes so that they could hand the F-15EX over to the USAF within months of contract award which was only signed in July of 2020.


How does the F 15 Ex compare with the Rafale F4.2 in an air superiority role ?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Feb 2021 04:44

kit wrote:
brar_w wrote:Boeing invested its own money on the first couple of airframes so that they could hand the F-15EX over to the USAF within months of contract award which was only signed in July of 2020.


How does the F 15 Ex compare with the Rafale F4.2 in an air superiority role ?


I think a direct comparison is probably not that great since they serve different purposes and being different level or capabilities . Rafael would have a significant RCS advantage while the F-15EX has more payload and combat radius. Honestly, if one was just interested in air to air combat or air-superiority then it is difficult to justify the F-15EX since it is a heavy strike fighter with lots of room for payload, fuel and a and structural upgrades.

Lots of goodies built into the F-15EX on account of it sharing the baseline with the USAF s F-15 E upgrade (which is different from both Qatar and KSA baselines). This is seen elsewhere as well. For example the advanced CID/NCTR developed for the USAF F-15 fleet will go into F-15EX while those things are lacking in the export Advanced Eagles baselines. Interestingly until 2024, the F-15EX will have the fastest mission computer of any fighter currently in service (globally) so while this is old wine in a new bottle some of the systems are more advanced than those on the raptor or even F-35. F-15 EX is primarily a DCA platform for one half of its core user group and a strike-fighter for the other half (both Air National Guard users in the US Air Force and not active units). It's packed with lots of high end equipment but that's primarily because it piggy backs on investments made for the F-15E fleet upgrade and on account of the Qatari investments in things like a new cockpit. Rest is basically an implant from the F-15E modernization program.
Last edited by brar_w on 03 Feb 2021 06:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Prem » 03 Feb 2021 04:59

The Air Force’s New F-15EX Eagle Just Took To The Sky For The First Time
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... first-time

The Air Force has also requested money to buy an additional 12 aircraft in the 2021 Fiscal Year and hopes to purchase a total of 76 F-15EXs over the five-year Future Years Defense Program. Ultimately, the aims to acquire at least 144 of the jets as it sets about replacing its older F-15C/D Eagles that are rapidly running out of airframe hours. That number could grow in the future as the flying force balances its needs for low-observable fighters and advanced 4th generation types

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Feb 2021 06:47

The 144 aircraft (F-15 EX) will replace the ANG F-15's and move them over to a new platform completely. I don't think the US Air Force will look at a number beyond 144. If it did, and it came to a competition, there is little reason to believe that the F-16 block 70/72 won't trump the F-15 EX in total cost of ownership. The only reason they avoided competition in round-1 was because they were migrating from F-15's to F-15's and retaining the depot and training infrastructure so it was just the fly-away cost that they'd be paying for (everything else was a drop-in). That will not be the case if they chose to replace older F-16's or A-10's with new, old aircraft.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 03 Feb 2021 09:58


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 04 Feb 2021 03:40

https://twitter.com/TheWolfpackIN/statu ... 68288?s=20 ---> F-15EX cockpit (official pic by Boeing).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Feb 2021 05:57

They should have used the Raptor’s HUD. It’s the same cockpit as the F-15 QA.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 04 Feb 2021 06:56

Any advantage having a single display as in the F-15EX above versus the MFDs in the F-22 below?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby NRao » 04 Feb 2021 07:07

brar_w wrote:They should have used the Raptor’s HUD. It’s the same cockpit as the F-15 QA.


Not sure if the F-22 HUD conforms to the ARINC 764 tech standards issued in 2005. I suspect it does not, in which case it would have meant a good deal of re-design and therefore cost


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Feb 2021 07:10

It’s mostly a preference and whether you want to give the option to customize where you want each display window. It also maximizes screen real estate as opposed to multiple smaller displays. In the end it is mostly about preference of a particular community that has a vote in which direction a program goes. On the raptor they steered away from fewer large display because there was still skepticism on reliability and redundancy. By the time the did the interface on the F-35 ( where they also considered a single large , two largish display and multiple smaller displays) they had enough data and tech had advanced enough to give them enough confidence on going for what they did.

Starting with production Lot -15 the displays and processors on the F-35 will be completely overhauled. That’s going to happen in 2024 delivery lots.

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NRao, is that standard USDOD approved or mandated? I don't think it is a thing at all. They seem to have just stuck with whatever the export F-15 customers had chosen. I just don’t like the look of the particular BAE HUD they used on the EX. But it is a minor thing.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 04 Feb 2021 20:30

Northrop Grumman, Ultra Demonstrate Unmanned ASW Capability


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Northrop Grumman Corporation and UK-based Ultra equipped a modified, manned Bell 407 (acting as an MQ-8C Fire Scout surrogate) platform with Ultra sonobuoys, receiver and processor to complete an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability demonstration.

This successful demonstration of the UAS ASW mission on October 29 was the first time a vertical takeoff surrogate unmanned aerial system (VTUAS) had been used to conduct a large area multistatic acoustic search. The mission payload and effects were controlled from the ground with the resultant ASW picture disseminated to locations across the globe.

“Adding an ASW capability to Fire Scout’s existing multi-mission capabilities would further enhance this highly-versatile platform. This ASW capability would offer commanders flexibility to employ not only UAS systems in this particular ASW role, but also utilize the increased availability of crewed aircraft more incisively against an expanded mission set. This would increase the total available effect of the manned/unmanned teamed force mix.”


By jointly developing and demonstrating UAS ASW capabilities, initially on an MQ-8C Fire Scout manned surrogate as part of an industry-led initiative, the two companies are combining their world-leading expertise and experience with the aim of bringing unique ASW solutions to global customers. While the U.S. Navy has not yet identified a clear requirement for UAS ASW capability, it has shown interest in the development and continues to support and monitor progress.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout can fly missions in excess of 12 hours, providing commanders an unrivaled level of layered multi-source/sensor intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and command and control/comms relay capabilities over land and sea. When operating in a manned-unmanned teaming concept, Fire Scout enables commanders to employ manned assets in a more focused manner, allowing them to exploit hybrid manned/unmanned teaming opportunities.


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Feb 2021 21:29

US Air Force Testing Dialable Effects Munition This Year


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is conducting a Joint Concept Technology Demonstration (JCTD) with the Navy on an AFRL-developed Dialable Effects Munition (DEM) that would allow pilots to dial up or down a munition’s power before weapons release–for example “wide area effects” for a truck convoy with no civilians present or a narrow effect in which there is a significant risk of civilian casualties.

While the JCTD began in 2018, demonstrations appear to be ramping up this year.

“We have some more tests coming up over the next several months on that,” Air Force Col. Garry Haase, the director of AFRL’s munitions directorate at Eglin AFB, Fla., said of DEM in a Jan. 29 phone interview. “The focus is on the warhead technology that could be incorporated into multiple weapons and warheads. There are some ground tests and flight tests lined up also this year. The focus is on the warhead and fusing itself.”

The DEM, if proven, could afford strike pilots more flexibility and reduce collateral damage. “Through discussions with the operational community from the early 2000s to today, we have examples of folks flying out with a particular load-out, especially in the Iraq and Afghanistan type of low-intensity conflict scenarios, and the mission may change and collateral damage may be a concern for the targets they encounter, and, if all I have is a 500-pound bomb, I may have to not prosecute that target because I don’t have that flexibility,” Haase said. “This [DEM] is trying to get after a single munition that has greater flexibility for the operator to adjust to the scenario he may encounter.”

During the Jan. 29 interview, Haase also mentioned a change in approach on Golden Horde, one of the Air Force’s three Vanguard programs.

Golden Horde is to integrate datalink radios and demonstrate the ability of a “swarm” of networked weapons systems to collaborate to decrease target error and defeat targets while adapting to changes in the field. The program is to mark a change from the typical pre-designated missions of weapon systems to missions using a Playbook of set plays under defined Rules of Engagement.

In a Dec. 15 test, an Air Force F-16 released two Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs (CSDBs) in what the Air Force called the first-ever flight demonstration of collaborative weapons.

The CSDBs used technology developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and California-based Scientific Applications and Research Associates, Inc. (SARA), which received a $100 million contract for CSDB-I in 2019. In 2019, as part of Golden Horde, Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp. (GTARC) also received an $85 million contract for a Collaborative Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (CMALD).

Raytheon builds MALD, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Northrop Grumman.

CSDBs are 250-pound Boeing GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs modified with a collaborative autonomy payload to locate and prioritize targets. AFRL said that, during the Dec. 15 CSDB test flight, the two CSDBs “quickly established communication with each other and their seekers detected a GPS jammer.”

AFRL plans had called for a collaboration this fall between CSDB-I and CMALD to defeat simulated targets, but Haase said on Jan. 29 that AFRL will not go forward with that test.

“We are moving away from doing that [test] and changing the focus for Golden Horde to be a little broader to be able to bring in more industry competition and opportunity in this technical area and shift from the point solution of these specific platforms and be a little more open and broad with more of a focus on modeling and simulation, hardware and software in the loop, plugging in subsystems and algorithms, or some of these kinds of capability,” he said.

The more generic approach to Golden Horde in not featuring adaptations to specific weapons in the Air Force inventory appears to be in response to congressional concern that Golden Horde was too mature a program to receive science and technology (S&T) funding.



More on DEM from 2018:

As early as 1999, Air Force units patrolling the “no fly zones” over Saddam Hussein’s Iraq were replacing the explosive in their 2,000-pound bombs with concrete, turning them from big blasts to giant sniper rounds. Soon the military was building specialized low-yield weapons like the 250-lb Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) and the 500-lb Very Low Collateral Damage Weapon that replaces the standard metal body with a carbon-fiber casing that doesn’t fragment into lethal shrapnel. Even the standard metal-cased, 500-lb Mk 82 got on board with a clever innovation: By slowing the fuse down about 10 milliseconds, you gave the bomb just enough time to bury itself in the ground before exploding, which muffled the blast.

The problem with all these damped-down weapons was you couldn’t turn them back up when you needed to. In one case, Air Force Research Laboratory scientist John Wilcox told this week’s Air Force Association conference, pilots dropped slow-fused Mk 82s on a halted enemy convoy. The bombs dutifully buried themselves and shook the ground, the convoy’s vehicles all bounced, and the unhurt enemy scrambled back inside to drive away.

The immediate solution to the problem, Wilcox said, was for planes to carry a mix of slowed-fuse and regular bombs – but that meant they could only use half their ordnance on any given target. What if you could develop one weapon that could work for multiple kinds of targets and adjust all of them to hit whatever you needed to hit on this particular mission? That’s what the Air Force Research Laboratory is working on now, said Wilcox’s boss, ARFL munitions director Haase.

Stage one is the Dialable Effects Munition (DEM) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) launched at the lab this year, Col. Haase told me and another reporter after the AFA panel.

DEM is a 2,000-pound bomb that, turned all the way up, can blast a wide area. In fact, it spun off from an effort to replace cluster bombs, whose “steel rain” of submunitions can devastate whole convoys of armored vehicles, but leave so many duds behind for civilians to trip over that the US has agreed to an international ban. (The Russians have not and used cluster munitions to wipe out Ukrainian units).

While a 2,000-lb bomb would be useful in a major war, however, counterterrorist strikes would rarely want to dial the power up that high. So, Haase said, “as we have started with JCTD, we’re getting feedback from the operational community who’s more interested in a 250-lb class of warhead because they see that as (more) flexible.” If you do come across a target that takes 2,000 lbs of bomb, you just drop four 250-pounders. That said, Haase caveated, there are some particularly tough targets, such as buried bunkers, where you still need one big bomb to make sure all your explosive hits the exact same point at the exact same time.

The 250-lb version will be the second generation of the technology, the Selectable Effects Munition (SEM). It’s called that because, besides being smaller, the SEM will also add advanced electronic controls that allow the pilot to adjust the desired yield from the cockpit in the middle of a mission.

But how do you physically vary the blast? The two extremes are easy: Either you set off all the explosive material in the weapon to get the maximum effect, or you set off none of it, turning the bomb into a big bullet like the concrete-filled bombs from 1999. Getting a range of possible yields in the middle is the tricky part. Instead of turning the fuse on or off, you need the explosive equivalent of a rheostat.

Using additive manufacturing and other innovations, AFRL is “distributing the fuse chain within the warhead itself,” Haase said, “so you might only initiate half of it versus all of it.” Or, he said, you might start the explosion from the front of the warhead, propagating backwards, for one kind of target, but start the explosion from the back of the warhead, propagating forwards, to shape the blast differently for a different target.

In crude terms, instead of a single fuse that sets off a single block of explosive (or doesn’t), you 3D print a warhead with multiple fuses, so you can set off only part of the explosive, or set off different parts in different sequences to change the shape of the blast.

LINK



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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 06 Feb 2021 21:49

NRao wrote:
brar_w wrote:They should have used the Raptor’s HUD. It’s the same cockpit as the F-15 QA.


Not sure if the F-22 HUD conforms to the ARINC 764 tech standards issued in 2005. I suspect it does not, in which case it would have meant a good deal of re-design and therefore cost


Does the ARINC standard apply to military aircraft, or just commercial and GA?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Feb 2021 21:52

Yeah I don't think it applies to DOD programs at all or at least it doesn't seem to be a mandate. But I haven't looked very much into it. At face value, the fact that there is some international standard prohibiting the USAF from mounting its most recent/newest operational HUD on a new fighter seems dubious.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 06 Feb 2021 23:18

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 06 Feb 2021 23:40

brar_w wrote:Yeah I don't think it applies to DOD programs at all or at least it doesn't seem to be a mandate. But I haven't looked very much into it. At face value, the fact that there is some international standard prohibiting the USAF from mounting its most recent/newest operational HUD on a new fighter seems dubious.


ARINC is Rockwell-Collins, who is also a DoD contractor, which defines various civil aviation manufacturing standards that are in accordance to DOT/FAA standards. It isn’t necessarily EU or ICAO driven. There may be a complimentary DoD MiL-STD that defines ARINC 764.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Feb 2021 00:56

Could very well be but I don't remember seeing separate/specific HUD RFP (for the export/Adv. eagles) so it is difficult to ascertain whether the DOD is even mandating this. I mean they were accepting new build raptors with its existing HUD till 2012 and it was indeed the last/latest HUD they put on an AF fighter (the F-35 lacks a HUD). In this case, Boeing stuck with the F-15 QA as the baseline so the cockpit and the HUD remained unchanged. The primary differences in the two baselines (F-15 QA and EX) are around the EW/EA suite (EPAWSS replaces DEWS), NCTR/CID radar capabilities that are USAF F-15E specific and other classified capabilities that wouldn't have been in the exported baseline. They've tried to keep everything else standard to what was developed for the Saudi's or the Qataris - to minimize development, cost and testing.
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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Rakesh » 07 Feb 2021 00:56


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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 07 Feb 2021 06:16

AH-64E Apache teams with two UAVs to identify, attack target

The US Army says it has conducted manned-unmanned teaming between the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and two different unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

An AH-64E, a Textron Shadow RQ-7BV2 Block 3 tactical UAV and a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range UAV successfully worked together to carry out an air-to-ground missile attack at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah last October, the service says.

An Apache pilot took control of the RQ-7’s sensor payload for reconnaissance and lased a target. Then, the MQ-1C fired a laser-guided Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missile, successfully hitting the ground target from 15,000ft. The trio of aircraft repeated the manned-unmanned demonstration a few days later, hitting a ground target with a Small Glide Munition.

(More details inside the free-article)

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby ArjunPandit » 08 Feb 2021 21:10

Boeing seems to be getting good orders for KC46 off late, may be govts way to prop it up

Boeing just had a good month in terms of contracts. The inflow of orders was primarily driven by the KC-46A which I find interesting since Boeing is having an extremely difficult time making progress on the program. In fact, the progress has been so slow-paced that the USAF started to withhold payments and release those funds when progress is booked. Withholding payments and at the same time paying out billions of dollars is not something that does make a lot of sense to the common man whose tax dollars are being used for this. Nevertheless, for Boeing, it provides an important stream of cash at a time where the jet maker is facing a multi-billion debt load.

Boeing is heavily battered right now. The new current CEO is a GE Old timer who was at helm post 2001 slump. Stock is trading at in 190-200 range compared to a peak of 350-400 last year. Anyways all airline stocks are down. However, RTX, LMT, NOC are doing comparatively better

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 08 Feb 2021 21:25

The USAF has a firm fixed price contract with Boeing on the KC-46. The USAF agreed upon a deal with Boeing that it will accept deliveries of Pre RVS 2.0 aircraft to stay "in contract" but will continue to withhold a portion of payments until the RVS 1+ and then 2.0 is installed, tested, certified and accepted. This is a good deal for the USAF as staying in contract means that anything new required to meet objective contractual requirements will not come out of USAF budget but will be solely paid by Boeing. If the USAF breaks contract (which it will in case it doesn't follow laid out procedures and progress payments for agreed upon schedule) then Boeing will want to renegotiate the whole RVS deal to include, in govt funded development, things like LIDAR etc which were never in the original proposal but now may be essential to meeting specifications. If they exit the deal, the cost of the tanker will become significantly more expensive for them owing to the delay as well as development cost that Boeing will no doubt transfer over. This is a bad deal for Boeing since it is up for 100% of the penalties, and development, testing, certification costs of the RVS 2.0 which it must pay to develop from scratch since nothing in the market meets USAF requirements (to which Boeing originally signed up for). It has already taken more charges on the program than what it had originally bid for the ENTIRE program so it essentially ate up 100% of the project risk on the program.

KC-46 and its RVS is a $5 Billion lesson for Boeing to NEVER AGAIN let its Commercial division agree to negotiate and execute a military program especially not one where it was bidding on an FFP. Contrast this to the P-8 and other succesfull commercial derivative programs and their leadership structure. Boeing is taking a lot of flak for entering into an FFP when clearly there was developmental need to support what the USAF was asking for and what Boeing was promoting. I suspect had the Military side of the house taken the lead they would have warned them that customer requirements cannot be met off-the-shelf. I am actually surprised that investors have not sued Boeing. There is an operational, perfectly working, 767-based tanker aircraft in service with the Italians. Boeing had claimed that the KC-X likewise will just be an OTS solution while what they were pitching to the USAF had, in hindsight, a ton of development cost and risk associated with it. As such they should have never entered into an FFP with their proposal (which only Boeing and the USAF knew in totality - and not investors). Defense contractors should not bid on an FFP development effort with potential of billions of $$ work of risk, when they are throttled on their margins by the ability of their customer to ignore negotiations and unilaterally award a contract at a set price. High cost development work should not be OEM led but government led with established govt.-OEM risk-sharing.

Pure Defense stocks on the other hand have built up huge backlogs that they are executing now.

Both Lockheed and Northrop, and even Raytheon's defense business (at least their space business) have probably never had this significant a classified order book in their respective histories so they are doing rather well (stock price and investor expectations aside). In their note to investors all three, at one point or another, in the last 12-months, have highlighted that their classified business has continued to out pace the rest of the business growth in the last few years. So they are well positioned to deliver on that work going forward despite flat defense budgets. But both these (commercial and defense) are cyclical so that explains investor expectations (for when times are good).

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Feb 2021 08:24

Boeing's Chief F-15 Test Pilot Talks Flying The Air Force's New Eagle On Its Maiden Flight

“We were confident that in the first 15 minutes of this flight we were going to be up to Mach 2, and that’s exactly what we did,” said Boeing’s F-15 Chief Test Pilot Matt “Phat” Giese who was at the controls for the maiden flight of the first new F-15EX for the U.S. Air Force on February 2, 2021. The rationale behind the USAF procuring the two-seat F-15EX is that it is a readily available solution to efficiently recapitalize the aging F-15C/D Eagle fleet. It builds on the baseline F-15QA that is currently in production for Qatar. “We inserted the USAF [Suite 9] Operational Flight Program into the jet, so it was minimal impact on what we would normally do on a first flight. Since we have some maturity already from that platform, the first flight profile [mirrored] very closely what we would do on a normal production acceptance test flight of any jet off the line at St. Louis.”

“We flew [profile wise] our normal Acceptance Test Procedure [ATP] with just a few caveats in the sense that this jet has some instrumentation, [and] some Open Mission System [OMS] cabling, which increases capability. The profile was a 'Viking takeoff' right out of St. Louis — and the reason we [did] that on our first flight is that we were confident in how the jet was going to perform. If there was any question at all on how the OFP was going to affect this jet or this specific platform, we would have done a more traditional first flight, which is stay slow, probably leave the gear down for a while, do some powered approach test points and then work your way out to faster up and away approaches.”

“We were so confident this jet was going to perform well we went straight to the ATP — maximum afterburner and pulled-up on a 'Viking' — and I had zero problem with that profile and proved it from the start. We went out to what’s called the “Mac North” airspace and executed some flight control checks to make sure the aircraft rig was correct. We climbed up and made sure the jet fuel starter worked on the way up. We got up to 40,000 feet and pushed out to Mach 2. That [speed] is a CFT [Conformal Fuel Tank] limitation. If it was a clean jet we’d go out to Mach 2.5. We did engine checks at 40,000 feet, at 30,000 feet, and then we came down to 20,000 feet and we intentionally shut down the perfectly good engines and then re-started those motors in both primary and secondary mode to prove the reliability of the General Electric GE-129 motors. We had no problems with the re-starts.”

Giese and Quintini then descended for some Visual Flight Rules (VFR) work for the remaining profiles. “We checked the load limiter, the roll limiter, the Environmental Control System, how did the landing gear perform for extension/retraction in both normal and emergency modes, and then we did a bunch of avionics checks,” Giese explained. “How’s the radar working, how’s the electronic warfare system powering-on, are the radios functioning properly, our normal acceptance test procedure — we ran through the rest of that.” Giese points out that the “target” aircraft for the mission — likely a company-owned A-4 Skyhawk — had maintenance issues and was not able to participate in the mission.

Giese said the flight threw up some “minor squawks” in terms of maintenance issues “but nothing we wouldn't normally see on an ATP,” he adds, and nothing that would preclude handing a jet over to a customer. F-15EX-1 is now due to make a customer flight, and the first flight of the second jet is now a focus as Boeing works towards delivering the first two aircraft to the USAF at Eglin in the first quarter of this year to initially join the ongoing Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) test program. Boeing’s flight-test work with the F-15EX is initially limited to the additional test instrumentation, and any other unique wiring and cabling. “These first two airplanes have been laid out with the Open Mission Systems [OMS] high-speed fiber cabling,” explains Giese, referring to the new open avionics architecture that is planned for the F-15EX. The following six Lot 2 production aircraft will additionally feature the OMS processor. “They will have the full capability for the OMS architecture that the USAF has planned for these airplanes,” Giese explains.


“We have the most powerful mission computer processor [in the Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCP) II] in any fighter on the planet today, with room for growth. We have the most powerful radar [Raytheon AN/APG-82(V)1 Active Electronically Scanned Array] that we have ever seen in a fighter. Then you add EPAWSS, which is a brand new electronic warfare capability, which is really what the community needed. You've got stations 1 and 9 [allowing a total of] 12 missiles now. I've flown it with 12 missiles before and quite frankly I felt like King Kong in the jet. How often we will train like that I don't know, but having that capability if we need it with a 4-ship going out with 48 missiles is unbelievable!”




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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 09 Feb 2021 09:25

US B-1B Lancer debuts at Aero India 2021

34th EBS supports Aero India 2021

Image
A B-1B Lancer takes off at Kempegowda International Airport, prior to performing a flyover at the Aero India 2021 tradeshow in Bengaluru, India, Feb 5, 2021. The B-1 and nearly 40 Airmen deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., to support the tradeshow. Aero India is the largest tradeshow in the Indo-Pacific region, attracting a large number of exhibitors from around the world, with a large number of Department of Defense leadership in attendance.

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Feb 2021 09:45

More coming out from Northrop on the Extended Range AARGM. Expanded SEAD/DEAD is a Block 4 focus for the F-35 and it will get an internal (and external) compatible dedicated SEAD weapon. Interestingly, the US Air Force is adding its own warhead and some guidance upgrades to the ER AARGM for its Stand-In weapon which is likely for highly time-critical Air-Defense targets. AARGM-ER retains the AARGM's guidance and multi-role seeker setup and National technical means networking while doubling its range and speed because they wanted to get time-on-target the same as the AARGM/HARM even from 2x the distance.

In "Beast" mode with external stores, they can load the F-35A and C up with up to 10 (8 ext. + 2 internal) of these weapons in addition to a pair of AMRAAM's for self defense.

Image

There is also likely a classified podded EW/Cyber solution that is going to enhance the EA capability for missions not included in the baseline F-35. The program hinted at the pod's existence in 2015 but never formally updated any programmatic materials.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme is developing a pod-mounted cyber-attack system as it continues kinetic weapons integration, the deputy programme executive officer said on 17 March. LINK

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 09 Feb 2021 10:04

^^^Is this AARGM-ER a revision of the AGM-88E?

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby brar_w » 09 Feb 2021 10:13

The HARM was transformed into the AARGM which is the AGM-88E (which is now the production standard as HARM is no longer produced) years ago by introducing a new seeker, guidance, data-link and adding NTM links and processors. The AARGM-ER rids the rest of the legacy HARM (body, SRM, control surfaces etc) which were retained by AARGM, by moving to a low-drag larger diameter design, and adding a next generation highly loaded grain solid rocket motor. Idea was to double the range without any increase in the time-to target (which is one of the main requirements for this type of weapon) which essentially meant a corresponding 2x increase in average velocity within the most commonly used flight profiles. This warranted adding thermal protection etc to deal with the higher speeds. The USAF picks up the AARGM-ER (which is a US Navy F-35C, and EA-18G weapon) and adds a new USAF specific warhead and unspecified networking changes to add additional missions. The standard AARGM is used against both land and sea based emitting or non-emitting targets. AARGM ER will retain that and will likely add additional targets depending on what warhead changes USAF adds via its SiAW upgrades.

AARGM-ER is compatible with F-35 internal bays. It will likely also be a widely used weapon on the B-21. The AARGM-ER which is the baseline Navy variant is already flying its dev. test flights on Super Hornet/Growlers.

Image

You can see both AARGM (which externally looks exactly like the vanilla HARM) and AARGM-ER here -

Image

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Re: US military, technology, arms, tactics

Postby Mort Walker » 09 Feb 2021 10:29

So NG took over the AARGM-ER, so I guess they won the contract when the original AGM-88 was developed by TI, then acquired by Hughes, then Raytheon.

Looks like USAF got over $160 million for Stand-In Attack Weapon (SiAW) development in 2021 and upto $364 million for production through 2025. I wonder what the cost of AARGM-ER is? The AGM-88E, which I think was made past 2010, was about $870K/unit.


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