andDOD’s so-called “deploy or get out” policy is expected to affect about 1,600 Active Duty airmen who’ve been non-deployable for at least a year straight, and service says it’s still firming up details what its review process and impact on airmen will be. “Until the updated guidance is complete in late 2018,” these airmen’s cases will be handled according to “existing procedures,” the Air Force said in a
and now comes a related question
... the article goes on below due to size limitWith Russia’s reemergence as a menace in Europe, the U.S. Army
And even if the Army could get there in numbers, then the real problems would start: how would the U.S. sustain them?
The U.S. sealift capacity — the ships that would ultimately be used to transport Army equipment from the states to Europe or Asia — is orders of magnitude smaller than it was during World War II. Combine that with the fact that the commercial shipbuilding industry in the U.S. is all but gone, and the U.S. can’t launch the kind of massive buildup of logistics ships it undertook during wartime decades ago.
Among the ships the country has for sealift and logistics forces, the Government Accountability Office
The ships the U.S. counts among its ready stock available for a large-scale contingency are 46 ships in the Ready Reserve Force, 15 ships in the Military Sealift Command surge force, and roughly 60 U.S.-flagged commercial ships in the Maritime Security Program available to the military in a crisis,
The 46 Ready Reserve Force ships, overseen by the Maritime Administration, are old and rapidly approaching the end of their hull life, as are many of the senior engineers who are still qualified and able to work on the aging steam propulsion plants.
This is setting up a struggle to get more funding into sealift as the Defense Department realigns itself for the potential of largescale combat operations after 17 years focused on small wars.
Spotlight on logistics
The decline of U.S. surge capacity has been raising alarm bells in Washington as the National security structure comes to grips with facing dual threats from China and Russia, and has spurred efforts in Congress to try and get the Navy moving on a new class of logistics ship — also suggesting a look on the open market for used commercial ships to bridge the modernization gap.
But the list of issues the Ready Reserve Force faces in the meantime is ponderous. And solving them is going to mean the Navy, on the hook for the funding, will have to spend a lot of money on ships that largely stay in port during anything but national emergencies. This at a time that the Navy is trying to buy a new class of ballistic missile submarines, frigates and a new large surface combatant.
Shaking the dust off its long-range logistics plans has been a priority in the Army. A recent Navy report to Congress from March estimated that about 90 percent of all equipment used by the Army and Marine Corps in a major contingency would be transported by sea and the Army has been
In 2017, the Army deployed two heavy Armored Brigade Combat Teams to Europe back-to-back, including their state-side heavy equipment, and is looking to move even larger groups in the future. But if the Army is to get in any large-scale fight in Europe, it has to start thinking big, said Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain and analyst with consulting firm The Telemus Group.
“The American people far too often seem to believe that we could fly everything we needed over to Europe but that’s just not the case,” Hendrix said. “We’ve been practicing with Brigade Combat Teams but if we needed to respond to a large-scale contingency with Russia, you’d be looking at the need to move a corps — two or three divisions.”
Of the 46 ships in the ready reserve force, which combined with Military Sealift Command’s 15 roll-on/roll-off container ships makes up the U.S. surge fleet, 24 are steam operated. Steam is largely obsolete in the commercial world that the U.S. relies upon to keep its emergency stock of trained mariners employed and in seagoing careers. And the hulls themselves are rapidly approaching the end of their useful service life.
“The average age of this fleet is 43 years,” said the maritime administrator, retired Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, in a recent interview. “They are some old girls that have served well. They aren’t commercially viable anymore but they are militarily useful because of their configuration, deck strength, height of their hulls that can take large equipment that wouldn’t fit in commercial designs.”
Of the 46 ships in his reserve force, about 23 or 24 need urgent attention, Buzby said. The Navy has a plan that includes a mash-up of service-life extensions, new-build replacements (the most expensive option) and buying used ships from the commercial market that can measure up to the task. But a used ship could cost anywhere from $75 to $100 million, even before the needed retrofitting and modernization bill that would accompany such a purchase, he said. A Navy estimate found that some ships couple be purchased and repurposed for more like $30 million.
Related to the issues of recapitalization are a heap of personnel issues. A recent report to Congress from the Maritime Administration estimated that among active mariners the agency would have just barely enough personnel to man the reserve force up front, and if they needed to start rotating crews during sustained operations, the numbers quickly fall short.
The Maritime Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, estimates it has 11,768 qualified mariners with unlimited credentials available to crew the Ready Reserve Force, a number that just barely exceeds the needed total of 11,678 to operate both the reserve and commercial fleets at the same time.
But that comes with a big catch: this service is entirely voluntary.
“Maritime Workforce Working Group estimates that there are sufficient mariners working in the industry to activate the surge fleet if the entire pool of qualified United States citizen mariners identified by MWWG are available and willing to sail when required,” the report reads. “This assumption is of paramount importance given the voluntary nature of mariner service.”
Furthermore that number is just what it would take to activate the ships and operate them for a little while. If the nation needed to sustain a largescale effort, it would soon begin to falter.
“We are about 1,800 mariners short for any kind of long-term sustainment effort,” Buzby said. “We believe we have enough today to activate all the ships we would need to activate … But anything less than an all-of-nation effort … where everyone who went out to sea, stayed at sea, we start to run short of people as we rotate.”
And inside that pool of mariners, there is a growing issue forced on the Ready Reserve by its steam plants.
All junior engineers come out of training certified to work on steam plants, but the opportunities to actually work on steam are limited to non-existent in the commercial sector. That means most of the operational experience junior engineers get in their day jobs is with more modern diesel systems unless they are actually working for either Military Sealift Command or Ready Reserve Force, opportunities which are of course limited.
Some issues are being addressed by doubling up on engineers when the steam ships are operating to get the hours they need in to stay qualified, but the net result of the problem is that there are lots of junior steam plant engineers and a big group of greybeards, and few in between.
“Most of my senior steam engineers are in their 50s,” Buzby said. “There is a whole block of them who came up when there still was a lot of steam ships, but they’re all going to be retiring soon.”
Congress stepping in
It’s a problem that Congress and the military, with little fanfare, are starting to focus on.
In the 2018 and 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress freed up authorization for the Defense Department to buy up to seven commercial ships, built anywhere in the world, that could recapitalize the Ready Reserve Force.
The kicker, however, is that Congress wants the secretary of the Navy, prior to purchasing more than two of the new ships, to submit a plan for a new class of new-build sealift ships.
“In order to procure more than two such vessels, the secretary would need to certify that the U.S. Navy has initiated an acquisition strategy for the construction of no fewer than 10 new sealift vessels, with the lead ship anticipated to be delivered by not later than 2026,” according to the explanatory statement released by Congress.
The 2019 NDAA also requires the Navy to submit a business case analysis for getting the Ready Reserve recapitalized.
Ultimately if the U.S. is serious about great power competition, it has to get serious about its logistics fleet, said Hendrix.
source:The US Army plans to move at least $25 billion over the next five years from low-priority programs to
“Most of those savings were principally found in… equipping,” Esper said, what budgeteers call the Equipment PEG (Program Evaluation Group). But “we are in the process now of going through the other PEGs,” he said, such as personnel and facilities, to find similar savings.
The plan is to make such a close scrub of the Army budget a routine, bringing in
The Big Six
In their review of the equipment portfolio, Esper said, he and the Army Chief of Staff,
Those examples hit three of the Army’s Big Six modernization priorities, which are — in order of importance —
But while individual “soldier lethality” may be the last of the Big Six, it still outranks everything else in the Army. And because soldier kit is relatively small and simple, it’s actually the first of the Big Six to actually field new equipment. That includes a
Shooting For 6.8
“We’re committed to a new rifle and a new squad automatic weapon,” Gen. Milley told reporters this morning “Right now, feedback looks like we’re going to go to a 6.8 caliber round.” That’s a lot heftier than the M16/M4 family’s 5.56 round — derided as “varmint round” because it’s nigh-identical to the civilian .223 caliber — but a lot lighter than the 7.62 round used by the M14 rifle, used early in Vietnam and still prized by marskmen. The tradeoff is that heavier rounds go farther and hit harder, which is particularly important with the worldwide spread of body armor, but they also have more recoil, which hurts accuracy, and weigh more, whch liits the reloads a soldier can carry.
But the new weapon is not just about a new caliber, Milley made clear.
“What I’ve seen so far,” the Chief of Staff said, “(and) this is entirely technologically possible, (is) an accurate range far in excess of any existing known military rifle today.”
“It will fire at speeds that far exceed the velocity of bullets today,” Milley continued, “and it will penetrate any existing… body armor” — or any future body armor projected to be fielded “in the next quarter century.”
The Army’s already
“We expect it to be expensive,” Milley said of the future weapon. But after years of favoring sexier technical specialties, the US Army is increasingly mindful of its
any mechanism can be "finicky" if you change the operating pressure and temperature. Don't train operators for basic maintenance, intentionally leave out cleaning supplies. Don't include proper environmental protection for the environment of its deployment and insist on supporting it with third party out of spec replacement parts. Even the Vaunted AKM would and has failed from such.But the soldier lethality portfolio also includes replacing the venerable M16 rifle and its derivatives, whose finicky mechanisms and small 5.56 mm bullet have caused bitter controversy.
The new ammo is not the same as the 6.8 SPC or SPC II it's a new low drag round. The cartridges for it will likely be of a reduced weight type possibly polymer cases telescoped.Shooting For 6.8
“We’re committed to a new rifle and a new squad automatic weapon,” Gen. Milley told reporters this morning “Right now, feedback looks like we’re going to go to a 6.8 caliber round.” That’s a lot heftier than the M16/M4 family’s 5.56 round — derided as “varmint round” because it’s nigh-identical to the civilian .223 caliber — but a lot lighter than the 7.62 round used by the M14 rifle, used early in Vietnam and still prized by marskmen. The tradeoff is that heavier rounds go farther and hit harder, which is particularly important with the worldwide spread of body armor, but they also have more recoil, which hurts accuracy, and weigh more, whch liits the reloads a soldier can carry
We are Circling the wagons to keep the Congressional bean counter raiders from attacking our future armored programs.
The modernization team tasked with advancing the Army’s
The OMFV is meant to “provide options to commanders in combat, so it’s a decision to, manned or unmanned, gain contact with the enemy, and that can be visual or through firepower, and it actually provides options to commanders so that they can use the best way to accomplish their mission,” Coffman said in an interview with Defense News shortly before the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.
The CFT has had many conversations with industry to determine what’s possible. The team has laid out what it thinks will be the requirements for the vehicle, Coffman said, including aspects like an optionally manned capability, loading it on a C-17 aircraft, protection elements and lethality.
Even though the Army plans to rapidly prototype and procure the OMFV, Coffman said the team will continue to roll new technologies in through constant experimentation, in parallel with OMFV procurement, so that the first OMFV that comes out and gets fielded is constantly improved.
The Army will roll those improvements into manufacturing “so that we can always maintain the current technology on these vehicles,” he said.
The Army is requesting that designs have lots of room for upgrades and to add in new technology.
"We know technology will continue to move at the pace it is today or faster, and it is going to allow us to have enough physical space and computing power as well as propulsion power that, if we want to add things to these vehicles, we have the ability to build them [to be] the best they can be,” Coffman said.
Jumping right in, the service plans to release a request for proposals, not just a draft, by the end of the year, Coffman said.
It is anticipated that the proposals will be due in May next year, and then the Army will downselect to two competitors who will build 14 prototypes in an engineering and manufacturing development phase in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, according to industry sources.
Coffman said he hoped to cast a wide net with industry, including looking to partners around the world for solutions.
“We want them to bring us their best, and we will evaluate and downselect to some number and do a procurement contract at the end of the final evaluation,” he said.
To accommodate for the OMFV effort and the other lines of development within the CFT’s portfolio, the Army has downgraded its prototype activity within the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
A year ago, the Army had kicked off a major prototyping effort to develop what the service was calling its NGCV by awarding an industry team a contract to build two demonstrators by fiscal year 2022.
The Army awarded a seven-year, $700 million contract to a team consisting of SAIC — the team lead — as well as Lockheed Martin, Moog Inc., GS Engineering Inc., Hodges Transportation Inc. and Roush Industries.
Jim Scanlon, senior vice president and general manager of SAIC’s Defense Systems Group, told Defense News in a recent interview that while the initial plan was to build prototypes, the strategy has evolved. Now, the team is working on sub-system experimentation for TARDEC using Bradley assets, to test capabilities such as mobility systems and manned-unmanned teaming.
SAIC, according to Scanlon, sees the Mobile Protected Firepower solution it is hoping to prototype for the Army as possessing technological capabilities that will serve as “hooks” — or a pathway — to fulfilling OMFV requirements.
Other companies are likely to emerge with offerings for OMFV, including General Dynamics Land Systems, AM General and BAE Systems.
BAE Systems brought its CV90 fighting vehicle, developed for the Swedish army, to AUSA. The Netherlands, Finland and Denmark are also customers of the vehicle. According to BAE, it brought the CV90 to the show as a starting point to discuss possible options for the NGCV program.
Raytheon and Rheinmetall announced at the AUSA conference Oct. 8 that they are partnering to provide Rheinmetall’s Lynx combat vehicle as its submission to the impending OMFV competition.
...any mechanism can be "finicky" ...
The NGSAR is dead, long live the NGSW. We haven’t heard much from the US Army about its next generation infantry weapons programme since the announcement of
On the 25th June, the US Army
The new ‘draft’ PON, released on 4th October, is intended as a request for proposals and feedback on the requirements from interested vendors. The draft PON’s FedBizOps page explains the reasoning behind the release of the draft:
The Government is seeking Industry questions and comments to assist in shaping the NGSW program strategy to rapidly develop and deliver prototype weapons and ammunition. The intent is to engage Industry early in order to provide the best materiel solution for the NGSW program. Additionally, the Government intends to hold an Industry Day to provide program overview, clarification, and address questions.
Curiously, this new ‘draft’ POD appears to supersede the previous NGSAR PON, as it calls for both a rifle and an automatic rifle. While Army Contracting Command claim to be seeking to “engage industry early” it seems that the programme is being restarted. We have contacted Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, for confirmation of this, the
What Does the New PON Ask For?
The new ‘draft’ PON seeks both an NGSW-R, the planned replacement for the M4/M4A1 carbine, and a NGSW-AR (Automatic Rifle) to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).
The new PON also differs in that it is seeking two weapon systems that can fire “Government provided 6.8 millimeter projectiles” with vendors expected to develop a cartridge, which fits defined lethality requirements, using the government projectile. The two weapon platforms must also have magazine interchangeability – if the NGSW-AR feeds from magazines.
The draft PON defines the two weapons in more detail but gives no indication of requirements for weight, length or barrel length:
“NGSW-R” refers to a prototype 6.8 millimeter rifle with sling, flash hider, suppressor, cleaning kit, flash hider/suppressor removal tool, and quantities of magazines required to provide a minimum of 210 stowed rounds.
“NGSW-AR” refers to a prototype 6.8 millimeter automatic rifle with bi-pod, sling [author’s emphasis], flash hider, suppressor, cleaning kit, flash hider/suppressor removal tool, and quantities of magazines/drums/belts/other required to provide a minimum of 210 stowed rounds.
The PON leaves the ammunition carriage system of the NGSW-AR open while stipulating magazines for the NGSW-R. Both weapons, however, must use the same round. The PON includes a list of characteristics the two platforms must have:
The NGSW-R and the NGSW-AR prototypes shall:
a. allow for ambidextrous operation and controls;
b. include a removable flash hider, suppressor, and a tool for removal after firing or for
c. include a tactical carrying sling with quick release attachments;
d. include selection positions for Safe, Semi-Automatic Firing, and Automatic Firing
e. be resistant to corrosion, abrasion, impact and chemical, biological, radiological and
nuclear defense (CBRNE) contaminants, decontaminants, battlefield-chemicals,
electromagnetic pulse and cyber-attacks;
f. reduce visual detection via a neutral non-reflective, non-black color not lighter than
Light Coyote 481 and not darker than Coyote 499;
g. function in all environments and weather conditions, including marine, high
humidity, rain, and desert conditions;
h. be compatible with combat clothing (including body armor and Modular Lightweight
Load-carrying Equipment), CBRNE, wet weather, and cold weather gear;
i. provide interchangeable magazines between both weapons if NGSW-AR utilizes a
j. include MIL-STD-1913 equivalent rails capable of mounting Rifle Combat Optic,
Close Combat Optic, Aiming Laser, Family of Weapon Sights–Individual, Squad-Fire
Control and other legacy enablers.
While we can’t comment on the ammunition requirement fully as this is set at Distribution F, and not freely available, the draft PON appears to dictate the weapon’s ammunition by stipulating a specific projectile. The PON states that the government’s new ‘6.8MM GENERAL PURPOSE (GP)’ projectile, designated the XM1186, must be used to develop a round that will provide “all-purpose solutions for combat, limited training, and basic qualification.” In a change from the previous PON the Government also states that submitting vendors may work with the Government-owned Contractor-operated Lake City Army Ammunition Plant may be used as a subcontractor to work on ammunition development.
Successful vendors will have to supply “50 NGSW-R weapons, 50 NGSW-AR weapons, 850,000 rounds of ammunition, spare parts, test barrels, tools/gauges/accessories, and engineering support” in the space of 27 months. Interestingly, vendors will also have to supply the full technical data package for both weapons and the ammunition.
Industry vendors have until the 7th December to submit their question and comments on the draft PON, following that the Army Contracting Command will probably publish an official PON and will subsequently hold an Industry Day to provide program overview, clarification, and address questions.
Probably based off the Lynx41 due to the larger size. I really hope the Army looks at a bigger gun than the 25mm Or 30mm the European 40mm CTA cannons would give a nice edge in kill potential.Raytheon and Rheinmetall announced at the AUSA conference Oct. 8 that they are partnering to provide Rheinmetall’s Lynx combat vehicle as its submission to the impending OMFV competition
Now then, I am a TFB reader so yeah I saw this. Farther more I submit SIG Sauer's new concepts shown at AUSA18 including a 8.6NM Machine gun for Socom and the MCX-MR prototype for this with 3 piece ammo.
Two weapons a single caliber.NGSW-R, the planned replacement for the M4/M4A1 carbine, and a NGSW-AR (Automatic Rifle) to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).
General Milley is quoted by military.com in regards to a possible smart sight for this. Note the suppressor requirement the Army is taking an interest in soldier infantry signature reduction. In the final product I expect the Army to require compatibility with accessory weapons in the form of M320 and under barrel shotguns either M26 Or a Sucessor like the Crye Precision Six-12 revolver“NGSW-R” refers to a prototype 6.8 millimeter rifle with sling, flash hider, suppressor, cleaning kit, flash hider/suppressor removal tool, and quantities of magazines required to provide a minimum of 210 stowed rounds.
The Army for now is leaving Belt fed or magazine fed for LMG at the builders discretion. Again suppressor.“NGSW-AR” refers to a prototype 6.8 millimeter automatic rifle with bi-pod, sling [author’s emphasis], flash hider, suppressor, cleaning kit, flash hider/suppressor removal tool, and quantities of magazines/drums/belts/other required to provide a minimum of 210 stowed rounds
Gen Mark Milley US Army"It's a very sophisticated weapon, a very capable weapon. It's got an integrated sight system to it, and it also integrates into the soldier's gear and other equipment that we are fielding"..."And not surprisingly with a weapon like that, it's probably pretty expensive. We expect it to be expensive so we are probably not going to field the entire Army with this weapon."