US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Tyrant King
after I had seen:
I recalled this cool picture (presumably recent):

I guess TE knows the source LOL
That's the Bell Mock up shown at AUSA18 clearly configured for scout attack.


Tyrant King
Replacing Virginia-class orders for something larger is, to put it simply, bonkers. I think some US admiral looked at the Russian Yasen-class Severodvinsk and got some kind of size envy. But the Russians have like a single one of those boats and the modernized class that is supposed to replace it in further construction is reported to be smaller in size and closer to the size of the Virginia-class. The USA, unlike Russia, also has no diesel-submarine fleet at all. So the Virginia-class has to be a one size fits all kind of boat. It makes sense for it to be smaller and to build it in large quantities to decrease the per unit costs.
First the story never says larger than Virginia class.
The Sea wolf class SSN which they kinda want to return to, is both larger and smaller then Virginia class boats. It's larger in diameter by 2 meters but only one is longer in length the Jimmy Carter which is a special mission ship with a 100 ft length extension giving it a similar length to the Yasen class but narrower diameter.
Only the SSGN and SSBN types are larger.
Virginia class is a bit or a alrounder to be sure but it was designed oriented more to operate in latoral areas specific and shallow sea areas it also has features specific to special operations deployments.
The VPM farther enhanced this with cruise missiles and potentially drones. The Main reasons the Virginia came to be was the end of the cold war and Congress looking to attack Navy bugets so Sea Wolf went from 29 boats to 3. And Virginia was devised to reduce cost and tackle the Asymmetric warfare mission.
The Sea Wolf and Connecticut cost about $3 Billion brand new in 1995 dollars. Today that would be about 4.9 billion. When brand new Virginia class was about 2.7 Billion back in 04. Adjusting again we get 3.6 today. With the Latest off the line running about 3.5 billion with the VPM they have actual dropped the price a little.
They are designed to penetrate an enemy coast line and engage in operations from either the shallows or even riverine deploying Special ops frogmen or missile strikes and escape.
Sea Wolf by contrast is a deep deep water hunter. Her job was to seek stalk and if need be kill other Nuclear submarines. Hence her armament is focused around torpedoes without a VLS. She is designed for deep deep water ops.
What they are talking about is targeting the latter mission role again. That is a deep deep water silent killer. It doesn't need to be bigger it could be, it likely would be wider. But Size doesn't need to equal more.

Next the Russian Navy is not all SSK types they have maintained at great cost a number of vintage SSBN, SSGN, and SSN classes left from the Soviet navy and 90s to early 00s. Russian boats are noted for heavy use of high pressure hulls.
Also their have been rumors of Russia looking to build a smaller cheaper SSN class
the Yasen has sometimes been dubbed the "Seawolfski" because it aimed for similar big goals although it's more of a SSGN type the price has been an issue to the point where it's said to equal two of their new SSBNs.
So a "VirginaSki" seems to be a aim for them. Something less capable perhaps a dedicated SSN and cheaper.

Now yes some want the U.S.N. to seriously look more at the SSP and modern SSK type but other than large Unmanned boats that seams unlikely.
The flexibility of the large nuclear boat is preferred by the U.S. for its long range deep deep water.
US commander drew firearm in Kandahar attack
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no wonder once can see stuff like
The Afghanistan War Is Over. We Lost.
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Updated Oct 19, 2018, 05:26 PM
"The Taliban, which knows the U.S. is desperate to leave, just attacked a meeting between Afghan officials and the top U.S. military commander"

Saturday at 8:44 AM
"Using this size, the CBO estimates building the new Seawolf-class type of submarine will cost about $5.5 billion per sub. In contrast, the Navy’s shipbuilding plan estimates SSN(X) production will run about $3.1 billion per sub."

Navy’s New SSN(X) Attack Sub To Be Faster, More Lethal – And More Expensive
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now inside
Navy Wants New 'Seawolf-Like' Attack Submarines To Challenge Russian And Chinese Threats
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"However, CBO is warning that this cost estimate may no longer be valid, since the Navy based it on the premise of buying a submarine design derived largely from the existing Virginia-class. If the service’s requirements demand more extensive modifications or a clean-sheet design, this could significantly raise the cost of the program, with the average cost per sub possibly coming out to around $5.5 billion – closer to what a new Seawolf would cost today."
Oct 5, 2018
Sep 24, 2018
LOL here's the follow-up
Report: Trump may fire Air Force Secretary Wilson over Space Force
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and, while LOL I go to bed now,
Here’s The Pentagon’s Initial Plan For Creating a Space Force
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Parts of the Air Force, Navy and Army would move into a sixth branch, but the NRO will likely remain independent.

The U.S. Space Force will include uniformed service members drawn from the Air Force, Navy and Army — but it is not expected to include the National Reconnaissance Office mission, according an internal draft of the Pentagon’s plan to create a sixth branch of the military.

Defense One reviewed a copy of the 13-page document, which will be further developed in coming months before the Pentagon sends it to Congress in February along with its 2020 budget request. This early draft provides a glimpse into a 21st-century approach to creating a new service branch, an endeavor not undertaken since 1947. Among other things, it reveals divergent views among senior Pentagon officials about how to structure it.

For example, the document says the Space Force will not “include the transfer of [the] strategic intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance mission of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). But the Space Force and the National Reconnaissance Office will be integrated through …NOTE FURTHER INPUT HERE LATER REGARDING DOD/IC integration.” Note that in a Sept. 14 memo to Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson Deputy Defense
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in the Space Force.

The draft document calls for Space Force to absorb parts of Air Force Space Command, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the Naval Satellite Operations Center, and the Army’s 1st Space Brigade.

The document says the installations and facilities where those units are based will remain part of their respective services until the Space Force “reaches an appropriate operating capacity.” There are six Air Force Space Command bases: three in Colorado, two in California and one in Florida. The Army’s 1st Space Brigade is based in Colorado. The Navy’s San Diego-based SPAWAR has facilities around the world. The Naval Satellite Operations Center is at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California.

The existing military services would still “retain organic space capabilities uniquely designated to support that Service’s or organization’s mission,” the document says. “Additionally, each Service may retain a cadre of space experts that serve as liaisons to advocate for and potentially operate space-related capabilities unique to its respective domain.”

Among the Space Force’s missions: space situational advantage; battle management command and control of space forces; space lift and range operations; space support to nuclear command and control; missile warning; satellite communications and position, navigation and timing.

“The Space Force will only be responsible for those missions directly associated with joint space operations,” the document says.

Missions that “that are tangentially associated with space” — including nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, cyber operations and “the overall missile defense missions” — will not be part of the Space Force, at least initially.

“Inclusion of these missions into the Space Force may be reevaluated in the future, as necessary,” the document states.

Pentagon officials have stressed their desire not to add layers of bureaucracy. Wilson, in September, said an
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. The draft Space Force proposal mentions a “lean headquarters model,” but does not list any numbers.

However, the plan says that the new branch would have a secretary and chief of staff, who would be a member of the Joint Chiefs. It also talks of creating a Space National Guard and Space Force Reserve.

The plan talks of creating a “pilot program” to enable the Space Force “to acquire talent from the civilian market in a rapid manner for a defined period after which the individual would return to civilian life.”

The draft does not including funding estimates, but has placeholders for a budget proposal and a “Defense Space Strategy.” Wilson, in her proposal, said it would likely cost taxpayers an additional
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to create the Space Force. Defense budget analyst Todd Harrison, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
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her take “the highest estimate I think you could possibly come up with.”

Earlier this month,
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Pentagon officials would be figuring out the Space Force budget in October and November.
Sunday at 8:57 AM
it's the SDF here so China related part of
Trump says US is ending decades-old nuclear arms treaty with Russia
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"Administration officials believe the treaty has put the US at a disadvantage because China does not face any constraints on developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles in the Pacific and it does not allow the US to develop new weapons.
Trump, speaking with reporters on Saturday, referenced China when explaining his reasoning for pulling out of the agreement.
"Unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say, 'Let's really get smart and let's none of us develop those weapons.' But if Russia's doing it and if China's doing it and we're adhering to the agreement, that's unacceptable," Trump said.
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, the head of US Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, told Congress that approximately 95% of China's missile force would violate the INF Treaty if they were part of the agreement.
now BreakingDefense pulled V-2 and Newton inside
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We explore the possibilities, from cutting-edge hypersonics and 1,000-mile cannon to repackaged Tomahawk cruise missiles and updated Pershing ballstic missiles.
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Thursday at 7:56 AM
Aug 6, 2018
The first KC-46 delivery is not happening this October as planned
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Boeing's Troubled New KC-46 Pegasus Tanker Just Flew Across The Pacific Ocean To Japan
Just as yet another target delivery date may be emerging, the KC-46 has hopped across the Pacific to visit its first export customer.
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has traveled along a
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. Over budget and behind schedule, with multiple promised delivery dates come and gone, the
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, exactly when the first jets would be delivered to the USAF's
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has been, for lack of a better term, up in the air. Now it appears that Boeing has executed a test flight mission that is sure to increase confidence in the new aerial refueling and transport plane, flying from Edwards AFB in Southern California to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, and on to Yokota Air Base located on the outskirts of Toyko. In other words, this was an end-to-end trip across the Pacific. To my knowledge, this is by far the farthest a KC-46 has yet to venture. In fact, I don't think that one has even left North America before.

Of course, Japan is not just a major ally of the United States and home to thousands of American servicemen and hundreds of the Pentagon's aircraft, but the country's Ministry of Defense is also a KC-46 customer.
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for a single example earlier this year, making them the first export customer for the type. Japan already operates a handful of KC-767s which are similar to the KC-46 in that they too are based on the 767 airframe, but the KC-767 is a
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of the 767 than the KC-46A.

With that in mind, this trip will likely kill two birds with one stone, acting as a landmark trans-Pacific flight for the KC-46 in general, while also being the first time Japan gets to see their new plane on their own soil.

The big question still remains—when will the KC-46A actually be delivered to the USAF? Speculation has been running rampant within the aerospace reporting community, but a contract announcement today for event services—porta-poddies, trash services and the like—at McConnell AFB on November 16th, 2018 has pointed to the real likelihood that the long-awaited date is not too far off in the future.

As we noted earlier, after previous delays, Boeing had ardently promised that the first KC-46s would be delivered to the USAF this month, but even as the aircraft was receiving its final FAA certifications,
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with the aircraft remained unresolved. Then, on September 17th, it was discovered that
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had been identified, all but sinking the chances that the tanker would be in the USAF's hands by about this time.

It is possible that the USAF could just overlook these issues and accept the aircraft anyways with a guarantee from Boeing that the issues will get fixed, but we don't know if this is now the case or not.

Still, flying the KC-46 across the Pacific is sure to inspire trust in the aircraft and bring some much needed good press for the beleaguered program.

Update: 12:30am PDT—

Photos of the KC-46's historic arrival:
... are inside the link which is
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Registered Member
Sunday at 8:57 AMnow BreakingDefense pulled V-2 and Newton inside
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We explore the possibilities, from cutting-edge hypersonics and 1,000-mile cannon to repackaged Tomahawk cruise missiles and updated Pershing ballstic missiles.
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- cutting-edge hypersonics
The USA is actually behind Russia, China, even India in deploying these kinds of weapons.

- 1,000-mile cannon

- repackaged Tomahawk cruise missiles
I thought the USA already had stealthy subsonic air launched cruise missiles.

- updated Pershing ballstic missiles
Bwah. No. But it is not particularly hard to build an IRBM or MRBM. Instead of making, say, a three stage rocket you make a two stage or single stage rocket with the same parts. They could use a cut down Trident II missile for example.

Also, notice that unlike Russia, which actually kept their end of the deal and disposed of all the Plutonium in their dismantled nuclear weapon warheads, the USA dragged its feet and the Plutonium is still around despite dismantling the warheads and rockets. How. Convenient. Problem is, if Russia wants to they can easily get more Plutonium. Not only do they have the RBMK reactors still in operational use, the Russian nuclear fuel processing industry is more advanced than the USA's which has left its nuclear industry rot quite a lot. For example their pathetic efforts at building a MOX fuel processing facility or a centrifuge cascade. In theory the USA has even more advanced uranium separation processes available like SILEX with the proper investment but they basically killed that while it was still in the cradle. China has a lot of civilian nuclear reactors and even the CANDU design so I think they have no shortage of Plutonium for nuclear weapons either.
quote of the day:

“We do see that affordability is a very important element for them,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s chief executive, referring to the Pentagon’s weapons buyers.

Lockheed: DoD Focused on Lowest Price in Recent Competitions; May Affect LM Participation in Future Bids
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bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
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OCT 23, 2018

The U.S. military has sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait for the second time this year as Washington ramps up its passages through the waterway amid tensions with China.

The two vessels, the guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur and the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam, conducted what the U.S. military said was a “routine” transit of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, “in accordance with international law.”

Both warships are home-ported at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” U.S. Pacific Fleet Deputy Spokesman Cmdr. Nate Christensen said in a statement. “U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

Multiple Chinese warships had shadowed the two U.S. vessels during the transit, following at a safe distance, CNN reported, quoting defense officials.

Beijing expressed “serious concern” to the United States, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference Tuesday.

“The Taiwan issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territory, and is the most important, most sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations,” she said.

China urged the United States to cautiously and appropriately handle the Taiwan issue to promote peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, she added.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry had earlier announced on its website that the United States had sent two naval vessels through the 180-kilometer-wide stretch of water.

The ministry said in a statement that it had monitored the warships’ passage through the strait, and that it had been “in full control of the situation.”

China remains extremely sensitive about U.S. military forces in the waterway. The U.S. Navy last conducted a similar mission through the international waters in July, but before that had sent just one ship through the Taiwan Strait last year. It has not sailed an aircraft carrier in the area since 2007.

The operation comes amid heightened tensions between Taiwan and China, which has warned that it will defend — by force if necessary — its “One China” principle under which the self-ruling island is seen as part of China’s own territory, awaiting reunification.

Beijing has also lashed out at Washington over recent moves it sees as aiding the country.

The U.S. has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island’s main source of arms. The Pentagon says Washington has sold Taipei more than $15 billion in weaponry since 2010.

China has bolstered its military presence near Taiwan this year, sailing its sole operating aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait in January and March and holding large-scale “encirclement” exercises and bomber training nearby in recent months.

China’s hostility toward Taiwan has grown since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the island’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.
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