US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

the funniest part of
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The Defense Department is notoriously prone to jargon and cant, for multiple reasons: to communicate in time-saving code to fellow insiders, to obfuscate what’s actually happening to outsiders, and to proclaim compliance with superiors.
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‘s mantra, for example, is increasing “
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,” a term his
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. For his predecessor Ashton Carter, who
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the Defense Innovation Advisory Board (confusingly acronymed as DIB, not DIAB), the Sesame Street words of the day were “
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” and “
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.” For Donald Rumsfeld, it was “
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I noticed because of the story (
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) now high on a server where I read my emails:
America 'very likely' to be at war with China in 15 YEARS, warns former US general
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  • Ben Hodges warned of a 'very strong likelihood' of a conflict with China by 2033
  • Retired Lieutenant General called for European allies to bolster their defences
  • He said a recent near-miss between US navy destroyer and Chinese warship in disputed South China Sea pointed to 'increasingly tense relationship'
very interesting
Boeing Lands Contracts With Upfront R&D Investing
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Boeing landed the contract to build the Navy’s unmanned carrier-based refueling aircraft thanks to what company executives described as an aggressive up-front research and development investment.

In August,
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to win the Navy’s $805-million contract to build the first four unmanned carrier-based tankers, the MQ-25A Stingray. The program ultimately could be worth $13 billion if the Navy follows through with purchasing an additional 72 Stingrays.

The MQ-25 contract and an award to build the Air Force T-X trainer jets are considered to be the start of multi-decade programs, Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chief executive, said Wednesday during a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss Boeing’s third quarter financial results.

“This is a targeted and very deliberate strategy focused on some key defense strategies that we believe have lifecycles that are measured in decades,” Muilenburg said.

Boeing did report a $691-million pre-tax charge during the third quarter, in part because of planned MQ-25 and T-X investments, Greg Smith, Boeing’s chief financial officer, said. Overall for the quarter, Boeing reported revenues of $25 billion, compared to revenues of $24 billion a year ago. Earnings for the quarter were $2.4 billion, compared to earnings of $1.9 billion a year ago.

“Our T-X and MQ-25 investments are based on deliberate and intentional decisions to create long-term valuable products and services franchises,” Smith said. “In selective key market opportunities such as these, we are taking into account the considerable market potential in our business cases, and not just the initial order quantity with the contracts.”

Analysts, though, voiced some concerns over the expense of creating the bids and fears Boeing executives did not accurately measure the risk to the company’s bottom line when developing bids lower than what competitors offered.

A day before Boeing’s call, many of the same analysts heard
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, describe Boeing’s winning bids for the MQ-25 and T-X contracts as unsustainable for her company.

“Had we matched the winning prices and been awarded the contracts, we estimate that we would have incurred cumulative losses across all three programs in excess of $5 billion; an outcome that we do not feel would have been in the best interest of our stockholders or customers,” Hewson said on Tuesday.

Boeing’s bids were lower than competitors, Muilenberg said, because the company spent significant time and money on developing their concepts. In the case of the MQ-25, Boeing conducted the competition’s minimum required testing, Muilenberg said, but also performed engine testing and built a prototype that will begin flight testing in 2019.

“The idea is to accelerate capability for our customers,” Muilenberg said.

The Navy has signaled for some time it wants the defense industry to pick up more of the cost to research and develop new capabilities. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said as much when speaking in December at the
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, sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute.

“The industry has handed back $20 billion over the last two or three years to their shareholders,” Spencer said in December. “I’d like a little of that to come back into R&D and CapEx (capital expenditures), but I have to have to give them a reason, I have to give them a signal.”

The signal Spencer talked of nearly a year ago is now appearing to register in defense industry boardrooms. Speaking with analysts Thursday, Thomas Kennedy, chief executive of Raytheon, explained his company enters every contract competition focused on cost. Before submitting bids, Kennedy said Raytheon studies the companies it plans to partner with, how to make factories more efficient, and what technology is needed. Raytheon makes missiles that are part of the Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) construct, which is on about 60 surface ships, and missiles that are part of the Aegis Ashore system, among other weapons.

“Price is important to our customer, so we have to be cost-effective,” Kennedy said. “One of the things we have been doing is using our technology: technology we’ve been developing and bringing to these competitions, not just to enhance the performance of our solution, but to take out the cost significantly.”

With $8 billion in cash on hand as of September 30, Boeing has the capital to cushion research and development expenses. This money can be used for such business functions as reinvesting in the company, paying dividends, buying back stock. Boeing finished 2017 with $8.8 billion in cash and reported having roughly the same amount at the end of 2016, according to the company’s financial reports.

In comparison, Lockheed Martin reported having $897 million in cash on hand as of September 30. The company finished 2017 with $2.9 billion in cash and finished 2016 with $1.8 billion in cash, according to the company’s financial reports. However, Lockheed Martin is currently ramping up production on its lucrative and likely multi-decade F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program.

“With the strong cash performance of our company, our strong financial performance overall, we have the fuel to do this,” Muilenberg said. “This is an excellent use of cash.”
Feb 21, 2018
Feb 2, 2018
maybe this:
Failed missile test off of Kauai costs $130 million
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now though After consecutive failures, Navy has successful SM-3 missile intercept
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The Pentagon intercepted a test ballistic missile with the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA system, the second time that weapon has been successfully tested — a relief for the department following two consecutive test failures.

The SM-3 Block IIA is a
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between the U.S. and Japan, and is expected to be equipped on both the U.S. Aegis Ashore stations in Romania and Poland and the future Aegis Ashore stations in Japan — making it a keystone to America’s short- and intermediate-range missile defense strategies.

The system can be launched from sea or land via the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. The IIA variant comes with enlarged rocket motors and a bigger kinetic warhead, according to industry lead Raytheon.

The intercept occurred off the west coast of Hawaii, when an SM-3 launched by the guided-missile destroyer John Finn destroyed a target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai.

“This was a superb accomplishment and key milestone for the SM-3 Block IIA return to flight," Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said in a statement. "My congratulations to the entire team, including our sailors, industry partners, and allies who helped achieve this milestone."

“This second intercept for the SM-3 Block IIA is a success we share with the Missile Defense Agency and the country of Japan, our cooperative development partners,” Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, said in a statement. “Together, we are building the most advanced solutions for ballistic missile defense.”

Tests have not always gone smoothly for the new SM-3 system. While the first system test in February 2017 was successful, a second test in June 2017 was washed out after a sailor
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the missile’s self-destruct feature by misidentifying it as a friendly target. A third test, held in January 2018,
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that cost taxpayers $130 million.

Speaking to
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, Greaves emphasized that even in an intercept failure, MDA gains a wealth of knowledge from each test launch. As he put it then: “If North Korea is learning as much as I’m learning from these failures, we all ought to be concerned.”

Along those lines, it is notable that the MDA statement said: “Based on observations and initial data review, the test met its objectives. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance.”
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Trump campaigned on more money for the Pentagon, but his budget director appears to have won the fight for sweeping, across the board cuts to all federal agencies, including the Pentagon.
The Pentagon has been ordered to slash its 2020 budget request by $33 billion, about five percent, the military’s No. 2 official said Friday. The surprise cut comes at a critical time for the department, which has enjoyed two years of budget growth under the Trump administration, and raises questions over key modernization programs.

“We are building two budgets concurrently,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told the Military Reporters & Editors conference here Friday morning. The two budgets — a long-planned $733 billion topline and another for $700 billion — will provide Defense Secretary Jim Mattis options, Shanhan said, and then “we will go back to the president and give him a $700 billion budget.”

The order to cut came directly from Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, Shanahan said. Mulvaney “called me on the phone and said here’s the number let’s get to work on it,” he said. Mulvaney is a longtime budget hawk who advocated for cuts to the defense budget while he was a member of Congress. He was a surprise choice to become the Trump administration’s OMB director, given candidate Trump’s calls for a larger defense budget and wide-ranging Pentagon modernization initiatives.

The confirmation of the president’s seemingly offhand remark earlier this month that the Pentagon’s budget would fall from $716 billion in 2019 to $700 billion (2.3 percent) will force the building to make hard choices as it scurries to modernize its force.

There was already widespread concern in defense circles that Congress would fail to reach a deal to push back the return of budget caps under the Budget Control Act, which is set to return in 2020 after a two-year hiatus. The legislation, if left in place, would shave $71 billion from the budget.

While much of the planning for the $733 billion budget is already done, “we are not going to reverse course on all that planning,” Shanahan said. Instead, budgeters are “going through and looking at what these projects would be and then it comes down to a judgement call” as to what to defer. or cut.

While the US defense budget continues to dwarf every other country’s military spending by orders of magnitude, the drop of $33 billion will likely take a bite out of some major modernization programs.

The Defense Department has said it needs a budget increase of two to five percent a year in order to sufficiently modernize.

While Shanahan declined to provide details about what programs might be at risk, the easiest place to take money in the short-term are the modernization programs that Mattis and his top aides have said are at the top of their to-do list in order to stay ahead of advancements made by China and Russia in recent years.

Shanahan said his priorities are the sustainment of the growing F-35 fleet, digital modernization initiatives, and the
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The Navy, in particular, is looking to move out on host of expensive shipbuilding and modernization programs, including the Columbia-class submarine, Ford-class aircraft carriers, and a new class of frigates while buying more F-35s.

When it comes to the Navy’s goal of a 355 ship fleet, Shanahan said that “in the work we’re doing right now there’s a mix, what’s the right mix? In this budget, quantity is very important.” The Navy should begin looking for “less exquisite” technologies to put on its ships in order to grow the fleet more quickly, he said.

“In a situation like this where you have to find $33 billion in a month everybody get a haircut,” said Tom Spoehr, director of Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense. Spoehr said he would expect modernization programs and planned increases to force size will be the low-hanging fruit, since they don’t affect programs already in the pipeline.

Republican defense hawks on Capitol Hill will have a particularly difficult line to walk until the midterms on Nov. 6, as they’ll be loathe to criticize the president and end up the subject of a presidential tantrum on Twitter.

But during the Obama years when sequestration was first enacted, cuts to the Pentagon budgets brought howls of protest from Republicans lawmakers, who slammed the White House for undercutting national security initiatives.

But with the House in play, it is unlikely that Democrats — if they take power — would fight the White House too hard on lower defense budgets, leaving Republicans to rail against a president from their party who is rolling back years of promises to grow defense budgets.
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It’s official: DoD told to take cut with FY20 budget
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The Pentagon has officially been told the national security top line for fiscal 2020 will be $700 billion, representing the first cut to defense spending under the Trump administration.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters at the Military Reporters & Editors Conference on Friday that Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney directly told him the Department of Defense must aim for the $700 billion figure, first floated by President Donald Trump at a
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Notably, Shanahan indicated this will not be a one-year blip, but rather part of a flattening of budgets, saying “when you look at the $700 billion, it’s not just for one year drop down, [or] a phase, it’s a drop and then held constant over the” future years defense program, a five year projection included in every budget.

Asked whether this impacts the department’s plan to shift roughly $50 billion from the Overseas Contingency Operations wartime funding account
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, Shanahan said that no decision has been made. Critics of OCO have argued the DoD pushes items that should be in the base budget into the wartime fund in order to circumvent the sequestration-related budget caps.

The change comes with just weeks left in the DoD’s budget planning process, where the department had been working under the assumption it would have a $733 billion budget top line.

The $700 billion figure represents a roughly 2.2 percent cut below the FY19 level of $716 billion, and a 4.5 percent cut below the projected $733 billion for FY20. However, the new figure still exceeds the $576 billion budget caps for discretionary defense spending, set under the Budget Control Act for fiscal 2020.

In years past, easing those caps have required intense bipartisan negotiations, though if the new number holds, budget hawks and the Pentagon would have less to show for them than last year.

As a result of the last-minute change, Pentagon Comptroller David Norquist is now developing two parallel budget documents, one still working to the $733 billion figure and one working to the $700 billion figure, to illustrate for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis the potential “trade-offs.”

“Imagine we’ve been going through this very disciplined process for the whole year to build a budget that’s $733 billion, and then last week we’re told to build a $700 billion budget. We are not going to reverse course on all that planning, but we will build two budgets,” Shanahan said.

Under the budget change, expect modernization to take a hit.

“The way I would think a about those two budgets and the approach, there are certain things that you can’t change. There are just near-term costs that we’re going to spend in the next year that are on contract, and for all intents and purposes are fixed. Then there are other investments we would make in science and technology and procurement, where we have [options] in terms of timing.”

As an example, Shanahan pointed to the number of
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in development, noting some of those may be delayed as one way to save investment funding — despite the systems
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for the department.

“It comes down to a judgment call, how fast do we modernize? And that’s probably the biggest knob that we have to turn,” he said.

Asked whether that means a trade-off between capability and capacity, Shanahan tried to thread the needle, saying, “In this budget, quantity is very important,” before pointing out part of his mission is to improve the systems already in hand.

“We’re looking at taking from the assets we already have and getting more,” Shanahan said, noting as a example that the department is “very committed to getting more F-18s flying.”

However, Shanahan indicated that the development of a
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and its associated offices will still be part of the budget request.

The news drew a measured reaction from the fiscally conservative think tank FreedomWorks, whose president Adam Brandon said the organization was “cautiously optimistic,” since Congress would still have to approve the request.

“There’s a possibility Congress continues to boost defense spending or uses off-budget slush funds like Overseas Contingency Operations to further increase the Pentagon’s budget,” Brandon said. “The greatest existential threat to the United States is still our massive debt. By being responsible now and balancing the budget we can ensure the long-term ability to defend our nation.”

But the hawkishly conservative Heritage Foundation blasted the move as, “political games or lack of leadership” and questioned Trump’s commitment to “making the military great again.” Retired Lt. Gen. Tom Spoehr, director of its Center for National Defense, said this demonstrates “the United States does not possess that same seriousness” in military investments as its enemies, “even as we enter a new era of great-power competition.”

Despite defense increases to $700 billion in FY18 and $716 billion in FY19, Spoehr said budget caps, an excessive reliance on OCO, “and the department’s acceptance of stagnant budget growth are all preventing the military from regaining the strength it needs to defend the nation.”

“Rebuilding our military will take years and require sustained commitment," Spoehr said in a statement. "If Pres. Trump is truly devoted to ‘making the military great again,’ he needs to lead on this issue and work with Congress to ensure we maintain that positive trajectory, and ensure our role as the world’s leading superpower for decades to come.”
Aug 21, 2018
Jul 17, 2018
while L3, Northrop Selected for Next Generation Jammer Work; Program Stalled After Raytheon Protest
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somehow related is
The Navy is moving forward on its next-gen jamming pod

1 hour ago
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The Navy has selected a company to demonstrate existing technologies for the second increment of the service’s multiphase approach to replacing an aging jamming pod.

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $35.1 million, 20-month contract for the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Low Band, part of the jamming pods that will be outfitted onto EA-18 Growler aircraft to replace the legacy ALQ-99 jammer.

The Navy is splitting the upgrade into three pods to cover respective parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The order of development for the pods is “Mid-Band (Increment (Inc) 1), Low-Band (Inc 2), and the future High-Band (Inc 3),” which “was determined based on criticality of current and emergent threats,” a Navy spokesmen previously told C4ISRNET in response to written questions. “The NGJ full system capability is comprised of these three standalone programs ... each of which covers a different frequency band and addresses a variety of adversary systems.”

Northrop’s contract award is part of a demonstrator that will help inform the Navy of how to continue to mature the program for the low-band jammer.

“Northrop Grumman will deliver a mature, low-risk and exceedingly capable solution for Next Generation Jammer Low Band that outpaces evolving threats and enables the Navy’s speed-to-fleet path,” said Thomas Jones, vice president and general manager, airborne C4ISR systems, Northrop Grumman.

“Our NGJ-LB pod provides multimission capability for electromagnetic maneuver warfare. We stand ready to demonstrate advancements in this mission area and deliver ahead of schedule.”

The low-band capability will “deliver significantly improved radar and communications jamming capabilities with Open Systems Architecture that supports software and hardware updates to rapidly counter improving threats” contributing “across the spectrum of missions defined in the Defense Strategic Guidance to include strike warfare, projecting power despite anti-access/area denial challenges, and counterinsurgency/irregular warfare,” Navy budget documents have stated.

Raytheon is currently on contract for the mid-band portion, which has been dubbed AN/ALQ-249(V)1 by the Navy.
OK now the USNI News gave more sense to me:
GAO Denies Raytheon Next Generation Jammer Protest; Navy Signs Contracts with L3, Northrop
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