US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Aegis Combat System Intercepts Medium Range Ballistic Missile In Test ::

The latest evolution of the Aegis Combat System, Baseline 9.C2 (BMD5.1) successfully detected, tracked, engaged and launched a missile to intercept a Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target.

Aegis Baseline 9.C2 flawlessly detected, tracked, and engaged a ballistic missile target during the event which took place aboard the USS JOHN FINN today.

The test, called Flight Test Standard Missile–45, demonstrated the integrated capabilities of the Aegis Weapon System and how it has continually evolved to counter advanced threats. This test demonstrated the new engagement assessment functionality, bi-directional missile communications and sensor improvement algorithms.

"This test authenticates the strengthening global security of the United States and its allies as we deepen the defense capabilities with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System," said Paul Klammer, director, Aegis BMD.

This test builds upon joint research investments by the United States and Japan and comes on the heels of a successful test with the JS ATAGO (DDG 177) in September. Lockheed Martin is developing a Baseline 9/BMD 5.1 variant computer program, for deployment on Japan's Aegis destroyers.

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US is considering letting Air Mobility pilots transition to fighters or bombers ::

As the Air Force grapples with an ongoing shortage of pilots, Gen. Mike Holmes, the commander of Air Combat Command, is considering one possible remedy, which is transitioning pilots from mobility aircraft to fighter or bomber aircraft.

“If you’re interested out there — and I know some are — if you want to send me a note and what you think about that, I’m considering that,” Holmes said in response to an audience question at the Airlift Tanker Association’s annual symposium outside Dallas. "I’m open to the idea, I just have to make the math work. "

But, the ACC commander said he was skeptical because the training time it would take to transition a pilot from flying mobility aircraft to fighters or bombers is about the same as it is for newly trained pilots to learn how to fly them in the first place.

“To go through [an] introduction to fighter fundamentals course, and then to go to a long course, either a long transition course, or a course that initial students go through, it’s about the same amount of training it takes to train a lieutenant,” he said. “That lieutenant’s gonna give me 10 years of return on that investment. And the older people are that I bring over, the less return I’m gonna get on that investment.”

One possible remedy to that particular problem was brought up by Holmes, who explained how he had heard from some pilots at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma that they were interested in adding to their service commitments if it meant they could fly combat aircraft. But, Holmes said he wasn’t sure about that possible solution.

“It’s counter to the way we’re going. You saw in the past week the Air Force has eliminated most of the active duty service commitments for cross training,” he said. “We don’t want you to say no to that training, to feel like it’s trapping you."

His remarks come as the Air Force is looking to increase the number of pilots it trains per year from about 1,300 in FY2019 to 1,500 in FY2022. The service is also working on a “flying-only” technical track for pilots that cuts non-flying duties.

While Holmes seemed skeptical of the idea during his answer at A/TA, he did say he wanted motivated pilots, regardless of where they come from.

“Ultimately, though, I’m of the mindset that I want people that are dying to be someplace and they’re really eager and determined to do something," he said.

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Boeing started wind tunnel testing of AH-64E compound concept ::

Boeing is testing possible modifications to its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter that could provide increased speed and less drag.

These modifications, known as AH-64E Block 2 Compound, feature a large fixed-wing, rearward-pointing exhaust, a downward-pointing vertical fin, and a pusher propeller in the rear. The aircraft keeps the tail rotor for anti-torque. These modifications are being tested at Boeing’s wind tunnel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at 30% scale. The tests are expected to wrap up by January.

Boeing believes these modifications would provide 50% more speed and range, twice the lifespan, and 24% better fuel efficiency for a 20% increase in price.

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Russia Cannot Replace US In Middle East, Jim Mattis Tells Arab Forum ::

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis told Arab leaders on Saturday that Russia is no replacement for the United States in the Middle East following Moscow's military intervention in Syria.
"Russia's presence in the region cannot replace the longstanding, enduring, and transparent US commitment to the Middle East," Mattis told a meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama.

He was speaking as Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to hold talks in Istanbul with the leaders of France, Germany and Turkey on Saturday seeking to find a lasting political solution to the seven-year civil war in Syria.

Russia supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey backs the rebels seeking to oust the Syrian leader.

Mattis told the IISS Manama Dialogue that Moscow's "opportunism and willingness to overlook Assad's criminal activities against his own people evidences its lack of sincere commitment to essential moral principles."

He said Iran's support for the Syrian regime "coupled with Russia's repeated vetoes of UN Security Council Resolutions, is the leading reason Assad remains in power."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to host Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the summit on the conflict, in which more than 360,000 people have been killed since 2011.

Saturday's summit will be the first to bring together the Turkish and Russian leaders with the European Union's two most significant national leaders.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Friday that the primary goal would be to "clarify the steps to be taken for a political solution and to determine a roadmap".

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Tyrant King
There is talk of a potential restart of C17?
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Here is the gist, the USAF has floated a scheme (not yet a plan) to add 72 squadrons to its numbers by 2030ish. In response to that AMC said they want three new C17 Squadrons and will eliminate 2 C130 squadrons. The Rhubarb? We don't have enough C17s for three new squadrons. The USAF bought more than anyone of the C17 line at about 222 units but that's not enough anch chances of buying them back are pretty much zilch. So where would those C17 come from?
The presumed answer would be new builds or reopening the C17 line. That would be expensive.

The Authors at the Warzone have there own scheme.

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Since C17 rebuild is unlikely look at alternatives.
The first possibility, the C5M Super Galaxy. The conversion line is open now but even with that... C5 is old. The USAF elected very carefully only to upgrade the newest of that line the B type because the A type had so many structural issues.
So they would need to find enough C5 that are sound enough to rebuild.

Option 2, C46. As in a non tanker version of the Boeing KC46. It's self a variant of the Boeing 767-200LRF. The KC configuration can as it is entering US service haul cargo. This version would likely just lack the refueling systems.
The infistructure for this would be easy as it's already being built for the USAF.

Option three Boeing 7478F. The 747 series is a massive airliner a wonder of the world even when eclipsed in size by the A380. But it's real bread and butter is as a freighter. Infact in the last decade the 747 has slowly begun fading from airliner in the US and European air lines to take more and more in the freight market. The USAF has also looked to the 747 for this before. Along side the VC25A used as Air Force One. The USAF looked into the C19 based on 747-100 and later the C33 based on the more modern 747-400F. In both these past cases the decision was made not to pull the trigger on these. In the case of the C33 that ended up being an order for more C17.
If the USAF did this it would be a boon for Boeing and the 747 8 which like the A380 has suffered as modern airlines feel less need for the super jumbo class. Thanks to changes in the market and emergence of decreased demand by business with more advanced internet based meeting systems.

Outside of that there are still two more

Option four would be to shop another smaller transport. Obviously not the Y20 or a Russian bird, however a number of Stra-Tactical lifters have emerged sitting between the small C130 and C17 these lifters in the 30-50 ton range offer the ability list in the C130 to Carry modern armored vehicles and tactical landings with out the huge size. A400M, AN 70, Kawasaki C2 come to Mind. But they would have to partner for production in the U.S..
And this leads us to option five.

Option five is of course a totally new aircraft. This is not without a existing president the DOD has been working in the background to establish among industry the idea of a future C-X program or programs targeting the 2030s. KC-Z, the Speed Agile program, JMR Ultra requirements all more or less show the DOD shoping for the replacements of the big three C130,C17 and C5 around 2030-2040. Obviously this would mean having to pull the trigger on that early to get a program to 2 squadrons in less then 12 years for 2030.


Colonna's Shipyard tapped for services on Spearhead overhaul ::

Colonna's Shipyard Inc. has received an $8 million contract from the U.S. Navy to furnish general services for the USNS Spearhead, including physical security at a private contractor's facility, during its regular overhaul and dry docking.

The firm-fixed-price contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, covers 67 days of shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry docking of the vessel, which includes a variety of general services.

Work on the Spearhead includes providing clean and gas-free tanks, voids, cofferdams and spaces and heater exchangers, structural inspection and weld repair, aluminum hull repair and structural repairs, support for main propulsion engine overhauls, maintenance for reduction gears, stern ramps and related systems, painting, and other maintenance and upgrades.

The new contract includes options which, if exercised, would push the total value of this contract to $9.2 million. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds of $9.2 million have been obligated at the time of award.

The USNS Spearhead is a first-in-class expeditionary fast transport vessel used to rapidly move military equipment and personnel.

Work on the contract will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 10, 2019.

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Tyrant King
believe it or not, one can get an ARMED Western craft for the price of UNARMED USN LCS (please don't give me now something about what's included in their so called Government-furnished equipment);
Does that price include manufacturing in the U.S. because the U.S.N. Will not import a ship built in Europe. So the ship class would have to be built in a U.S. yard with U.S. Workers, armed with U.S. weapons. Set up U.S. Support logistics U.S. Training and more.
Friday at 7:41 AM
very interesting
Boeing Lands Contracts With Upfront R&D Investing
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I guess somehow related is the quote from LockMart CEO:

“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 our customers.”

etc.: Lockheed Martin not counting cost of lost contracts
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General Dynamics wins contract to upgrade M1 Abrams tanks ::

General Dynamics Land Systems won an award to provide various electronic components for the M1 Abrams tank by the Defense Logistics Agency.

The $26 million firm-fixed-price delivery order deal, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, is against a five-year contract.

This latest contract is part of a plan by the Defense Department to modernize the M1A1 Abrams tanks.

In late 2017, General Dynamics signed a $2.6 billion contract to upgrade 786 M1 Abrams tanks, which first went into production in 1980.

Since then, three versions the tank have hit the market: the M1, M1A1 and M1A2. Those versions have seen battle in the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.

The latest upgrade to the M1A1 Abrams vehicles will be the M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3.

"This version is the most modernized configuration of the Abrams tank, having improved force protection and system survivability enhancements and increased lethality over the M1A1 and previous M1A2 variants," Lt. Col. Justin Shell, the Army's product manager for Abrams, said in an October news release.

The contract services will be performed in Michigan and Florida.

The date of completion on the contract is Sept. 22, 2022.

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Does that price include manufacturing in the U.S. because the U.S.N. Will not import a ship built in Europe. So the ship class would have to be built in a U.S. yard with U.S. Workers, armed with U.S. weapons. Set up U.S. Support logistics U.S. Training and more.
I talked in the context of a suggestion (made by some new guy) to export LCSs