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Jura

General
here's How Trump’s new chief of staff can impact the FY20 defense plan
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Office of Management and Budget director
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’s takeover, at least temporarily, of the White House chief of staff position could have repercussions for defense spending, analysts predict.

President Donald Trump made the
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.

Mulvaney, a former congressman and leader of the fiscally hawkish House Freedom Caucus, is viewed as a budget hawk, one who has no problem pushing for lowered defense spending. He attempted,
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, to drive down defense spending in both the fiscal 2019 and
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from the Trump administration, according to sources.

It’s not the first time President Donald Trump has tapped Mulvaney to temporarily fill a position. The OMB head held a dual-hat role when he ran the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the majority of 2018, where he
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to weaken the office.

Per
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, Mulvaney is expected to stay as chief of staff for a term of about six months. Should that timetable hold, it would mean he is both the White House’s top budget official and the gatekeeper to Trump for the period during which the FY20 budget submission is finalized and submitted to Congress.

While the OMB director naturally has a heavy hand in all budget discussions, the chief of staff job has power over who does and doesn’t get time with the president, and comes with direct access to the executive. In essence, the job is the final gatekeeper between Trump and those who would seek to negotiate with him.

“Mulvaney has clearly been the highest-ranking person within the administration who is pushing for cuts in defense spending,” said Todd Harrison, a budget analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “So if he’s in that chief of staff role for the president while the final decisions are being made on the FY20 budget request, I think that will put him in a position to exercise more downward pressure on the defense budget.

“And given the fact the president has swung from $700 billion to $750 billion in just a matter of weeks, I think the top-line budget for FY20 is very much in play."

Susanna Blume, a budget analyst with the Center for a New American Security, concurred, saying the chief of staff “generally has a lot more access to the president, and consequently I think you can expect Mulvaney will have a lot more time with the president — meaning, his influence might rise.”

The importance of that access is particularly highlighted in the context of recent budget talks. After unexpectedly announcing in October the Pentagon’s budget would shrink to $700 billion — a cut that some say was directly due to Mulvaney’s influence — Trump sat down with Sen. James Inhofe, Rep. Mac Thornberry and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; as a result of the meeting, the president reportedly agreed to push defense spending up to $750 billion.

Those kinds of meetings could potentially be curtailed under Mulvaney, who would also have the ability to stay behind at the end of the meeting and give the president his own spin, said Harrison.

“The chief of staff is always the last voice with the president, and he can control the flow of information to the president or make sure the president sees the information that Mulvaney feels is important,” Harrison noted. And with the $750 billion figure is still unofficial, “that makes it more consequential that Mulvaney is moving into this chief of staff role," Harrison added.
 

anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
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The Army picked its two traditional armored vehicle manufacturers, General Dynamics and BAE Systems, to build contending prototypes for its Mobile Protected Firepower light tank. Each company will get up to $376 million to build 12 prototypes, with delivery starting in 14 months and testing in 16. The Army will pick a final winner in 2022 to build a planned 504 vehicles.

...

A Mobile Protected Firepower win would be particularly advantageous for General Dynamics, which is pushing a variant of the same vehicle, called Griffin, for a much larger Army competition: the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), meant to replace thousands of M2 Bradleys, the Army’s heavily armed and armored troop carrier.

BAE, which makes both the Bradley and its turretless support variant, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, is also positioning itself for the Bradley replacement, but BAE’s likely offering there is the European CV90, which isn’t related to its MPF contender, the Armored Gun System. SAIC hasn’t publicly discussed an OMFV bid so far, and losing out on another Army competition is doubtlessly discouraging.

The Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle is essentially a 30-ton light tank to accompany airborne troops and other light infantry where the 70-ton M1 Abrams heavy tank can’t go.
The circle is nearly complete. FSCS returns home. The M-8 and the FSCS (variant) are finally in the procurement loop after 20 years.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
Blech. That Griffin light tank prototype looked like utter crap. The M8 AGS looked much better.
Heck I have seen CV90 IFVs with 100/120mm turrets which looked better.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
The last Zumwalt has been launched.
DDG-1002-02.jpg

DDG-1002-03.jpg

and with that we are seeing the final configuration for the first, given the shortcomings imposed bu the Obama administration's actions.

DDG-1000-01.jpg

DDG-1000-03.jpg
But that is okay. The hull is going to be used for some neat things in the future and I believe they will ultimately receive the rail gun as well as LAWS.

A CG(X) version of the umwalt could carrry 160 VLS cells, one large bore rail guns, and then CIWS rail gun, laser, as well as Sea-RAM.

Add to that a goodly number of ESSM and a large number of SM-3, as well as plenty of room for later configurations of AEGIS and dual band APARs, and you end up with a very strong crusier for all of the carrier groups as well as the large Amphibious groups.

And with the rediculous notion that they spent all that money on the AGS, but then cancelled the munitions (which was almost assured when they cut the number back to three), it is clear (to me and those I talk with) that the rail gun is destined to be on these vessels.

The role is going to change to. You will find these vessels as the centerpoint of a hunter killer SAG with ASM, paritcullarly abnti-shipping ASM in mind.

@TerraN_EmpirE @Obi Wan Russell @bd popeye @SamuraiBlue
 

Jura

General
and in the meantime
CBO floats variety of cost cutting ideas, including fewer F-35s
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  • 17 December, 2018
The Congressional Budget Office floated a number of cost-cutting ideas for the US federal government including reducing the number of additional Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II purchases, retiring the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor or Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber fleets, and deferring development of the Northrop Grumman B-21 stealth bomber.

As part of a report titled “Options for reducing the deficit: 2019 to 2028”, the CBO outlined dozens of cuts in discretionary spending, within and outside of the Department of Defense, that could close the US government’s gap between revenue and expenditures. The agency’s analysis was in light of a federal deficit that is projected to rise to an average of 5.1% of GDP between 2022 and 2025 – losses which would drive the federal government’s debt to levels higher than what was incurred during World War II.

The plan to cancel additional F-35 purchases between 2019 and 2028 is estimated to save the Pentagon $13 billion, according the CBO. Instead of buying the F-35, the US Air Force would purchase 510 F-16 Fighting Falcons, and the Navy and Marine Corps would purchase 394 F/A-18 Super Hornets, through 2028. Those purchases would occur on the same schedule as that currently in place for the F-35s. The services would continue to operate the 429 F-35s that have already been purchased.

“An advantage of this option is that it would reduce the cost of replacing DoD’s older fighter aircraft while still providing new F-16s and F/A-18s with improved capabilities—including modern radar, precision weapons, and digital communications—that would be able to defeat most of the threats that the United States is likely to face in the coming years,” the CBO says. “The F-35s that have already been purchased would augment the stealthy B-2 bombers and F-22 fighters that are currently in the force, improving the services’ ability to operate against adversaries equipped with advanced air defense systems.”

There would be drawbacks as well, the CBO notes.

“A disadvantage of this option is that a force composed of a mix of stealthy and non-stealthy aircraft would be less flexible against advanced enemy air defense systems. If the United States was unable to neutralise such defenses early in a conflict, then the use of F-16s and F/A-18s might be limited, effectively reducing the number of fighters that the United States would have at its disposal,” according to the agency. “Although the Marine Corps would end up with fewer STOVL fighters capable of operating from amphibious assault ships under this option, enough F-35Bs have already been purchased to fully replace the STOVL AV-8B Harriers that perform that function today.”

However, reducing acquisitions of the F-35 would be less impactful than retiring the F-22 or B-1B, which are expensive to fly, maintain and upgrade.

“Retiring the F-22 fleet would reduce costs by about $30 billion through 2028,” says the CBO. “That amount comprises three categories of savings: operation and maintenance (about $16 billion); upgrades and modifications (about $9 billion); and military personnel (about $5 billion).”

Additionally, retiring the B-1B would reduce costs by about $18 billion through 2028, according to the CBO. Most of the savings would result from eliminating the costs for operation and maintenance of the B-1B fleet and the costs for the military personnel in the squadrons that would be inactivated.

Yet, the most impactful change in USAF procurement plans might be deferring further development of the B-21 stealth bomber, which could save about $32 billion from 2020 through 2028, according to the CBO. The B-21 is expected to enter service in the mid- to late-2020s.

One benefit of this approach would be that the B-21 programme could take advantage of forthcoming aerospace technologies not yet available, the CBO argues.

“Taking advantage of future technological developments could be particularly valuable for weapon systems that are expected to be in use for several decades,” says the agency. “Even with a 10-year delay, a new bomber would still be available before today’s bombers reached the end of their service life.”

However, the CBO notes that the USAF would be rolling the dice if it chose to delay the B-21, as by 2035, the USAF’s B-52s will be about 75 years old, its B-1Bs will be about 50 years old, and its B-2As about 40 years old. What’s more, larger numbers of stealthy bombers might be useful in operations against adversaries that employed advanced air defenses, such as China or Russia.

“Fewer bombers would be available for operations in places like the western Pacific Ocean, where long distances and limited basing options would make long-range aircraft such as the B-21 particularly useful during a conflict,” says the CBO.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
I think they could probably reduce B-21 upkeep costs if they made two versions. One with the more finicky and expensive RAM materials and another one without. If it is anything like other stealth aircraft in terms of cost of RAM coatings. Also I think the B-52 does not have a radar. So just deleting that would reduce costs even more. Modern AESA radars are not cheap especially a large one for a penetration bomber type. If later the budget allowed for it those systems could be installed and have the plane airframes resurfaced. They just need to figure out a way to cut production costs on the B-21 to the Bone (heh). You would have the expensive version replace the B-1/B-2 and the inexpensive version replace the B-52.

With regards to reducing the costs I think the CBO is forgetting that if the Navy replaces the F/A-18 Super Hornet dual engine fighter with a single engine aircraft, assuming it is reliable, it should have lower total parts count and lower upkeep costs. Alternatively just delay F-35 purchases to the minimum level required to replace lost airframes. Or even don't replace the old airframes at a 1:1 ratio. Wasn't there a pilot shortage? Cut the number of active aircraft. Use a dedicated refueling aircraft in the Navy instead of using buddy-buddy refueling.

Also, figure out some way to cut down on F-22 operational costs. I think one way would be to simply relegate all aircraft in combat duty or patrol duty to minimal activity in 2nd echelon bases to keep the hours per airframe low. Don't waste F-22 aircraft in Syria or other environments like that.

Given current US engagements, do you really need anything better than a turboprop aircraft for like 70% of the operations? Consider aircraft available off the shelf or in storage with lower cost per flight hours. If all you need to do is lob JDAMs and Laser Guided bombs at insurgents an A-10 will suffice. Heck even an A-26 turboprop can do it.

Alternatively just disengage from pointless conflicts. Afghanistan is a waste of resources. Iraq and Syria are another cesspool of resources. Even worse is that in Syria you actually have some opposition so you actually need to use at least 4+ generation aircraft in there if you have a human pilot. Kerry once said the Saudis were willing to foot the bill to oust Assad. Well... are they? If they are not then pull every US soldier out of the Syrian theater of operations and only use drone attacks. Tell the Saudi Coalition that either they find someone else to take care of Al-Tanf or that you will cede control of it to the Russians. Keep air drone support and small weapons material supply to the Kurds, negotiate a peace deal between Assad and the Kurds which provides them with expanded autonomy like the Kurds of Iraq have or better then just eject. Make Syria a federal state and negotiate a tri-partite deal between the Russians, Turks, and the USA where: the Turks agree to expel foreign fighters from the Idlib pocket, and install their own observation posts patrolled together with the Russians to be replaced with UN observers later, the Turks agree to respect the Syrian border in the SDF controlled areas with first US then later UN oversight over the border outposts, Al-Tanf is ceded to Russia which in turn will give it to the Syrian state, Assad agrees to a federation with broad autonomy in the Idlib and North-Eastern Kurd pockets in exchange for taxes on the income of the oil extracted in the Kurd controlled areas. Those funds would be allocated to help rebuild Syria and be split on a per-capita basis. Those states would have the right to have militias but no heavy weapons like artillery. Expand the pipeline network from North Iraq to Turkey to double its capacity and extend the pipelines to Saudi Arabia, also connect a Saudi Gas pipeline to the Arab Gas Pipeline and complete the extension of that gas pipeline to Saudi Arabia. Iraq and Syria would get paid transit fees and gas for each of the pipelines respectively. As a peace gesture Iran could connect to the gas pipeline network in Northern Iraq and Lebanon would have access to Arab Gas Pipeline natural gas. Iraqi and Syrian Kurds would get gas and oil transit fees.

Have the Russians, Saudis, and Iranians agree on transit limits and capacity for natural gas transit in the region with the EU as a moderator and the USA with observer status.
 
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Blech. That Griffin light tank prototype looked like utter crap. The M8 AGS looked much better.
Heck I have seen CV90 IFVs with 100/120mm turrets which looked better.
It's not about looks it's about function the turret in the Griffin is a trimmed down Abram turret returned to 105mm mounted on a ASCOD 2 Hull the same hull as the British Ajax vehicle.
M8 was nearly ready to go all those decades ago. So it's seems like it has an edge in this.

The last Zumwalt has been launched.
View attachment 50426

View attachment 50427

and with that we are seeing the final configuration for the first, given the shortcomings imposed bu the Obama administration's actions.

View attachment 50428

View attachment 50429
But that is okay. The hull is going to be used for some neat things in the future and I believe they will ultimately receive the rail gun as well as LAWS.

A CG(X) version of the umwalt could carrry 160 VLS cells, one large bore rail guns, and then CIWS rail gun, laser, as well as Sea-RAM.

Add to that a goodly number of ESSM and a large number of SM-3, as well as plenty of room for later configurations of AEGIS and dual band APARs, and you end up with a very strong crusier for all of the carrier groups as well as the large Amphibious groups.

And with the rediculous notion that they spent all that money on the AGS, but then cancelled the munitions (which was almost assured when they cut the number back to three), it is clear (to me and those I talk with) that the rail gun is destined to be on these vessels.

The role is going to change to. You will find these vessels as the centerpoint of a hunter killer SAG with ASM, paritcullarly abnti-shipping ASM in mind.

@TerraN_EmpirE @Obi Wan Russell @bd popeye @SamuraiBlue
Glad to have @Jeff Head back. Always good to see you.

The plan to cancel additional F-35 purchases between 2019 and 2028 is estimated to save the Pentagon $13 billion, according the CBO. Instead of buying the F-35, the US Air Force would purchase 510 F-16 Fighting Falcons, and the Navy and Marine Corps would purchase 394 F/A-18 Super Hornets, through 2028. Those purchases would occur on the same schedule as that currently in place for the F-35s. The services would continue to operate the 429 F-35s that have already been purchased.
note no price tag on how much this wonderful scheme to buy new F16 and F/A18 is.
The Marines want F35B for a reason the USAF wants F35A for a reason retiring F22A would basically cut out the one Peer to peer advantage the U.S. has undisputedly in air superiority Numbers of Fifth gens.
I think they could probably reduce B-21 upkeep costs if they made two versions. One with the more finicky and expensive RAM materials and another one without.
That's basically removing the whole reason for being of the B21. If all we wanted to to drop bombs B52 or better yet B1 would be fine. B52 has only really stayed in Service because it's launched cruise missiles.
B1 is the better conventional bomber but against a peer level air defences both go down in flames.
B21 is already aimed to reduce costs by leveraging existing technologies from F35 and F22 and even UCAVs.
Also I think the B-52 does not have a radar.
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and removing the radar would cost as you have to do it then find work arounds for the missing radar. It would also render what little survivability it has gone.
Modern AESA radars are not cheap especially a large one for a penetration bomber type.
B52 hasn't been a penetration bomber for decades. Advances in radar for fighter interceptors like the Mig31 and Fourth gen fighters like Mig29 and SU27 combined with upgraded surface to air missile systems mean that outside of a Dale Brown novel B52 is only useful in peer on Peer for launching cruise missiles. In Asymmetric it doesn't matter fly them all you want if all the adversary has is AKs nothing can touch it. I would rather see the B52 retired it only does one or two jobs these days.
B1 is the better conventional bomber but has a high life cycle to. B2 has a higher life cycle because it seems when every we try to get a new bomber the CBO drops a report that cuts orders drastically increasing cost of aircraft monstrously.
With regards to reducing the costs I think the CBO is forgetting that if the Navy replaces the F/A-18 Super Hornet
No. The Navy wants to Keep and upgrade it's Super Hornets to Super Duper Hornets... I mean Advanced Hornets. The F35C is supposed to take the place of Plain old Hornets.
Super Advanced Mega Ultimate GO GO Mighty Power Hornets are supposed to be replaced by F/A-XX in the 2030s.
Also, figure out some way to cut down on F-22 operational costs. I think one way would be to simply relegate all aircraft in combat duty or patrol duty to minimal activity in 2nd echelon bases to keep the hours per airframe low. Don't waste F-22 aircraft in Syria or other environments like that.
oh the Russians would love that... Basically the Most advanced mission ready fighter on the planet becomes North Korea's Mig29s. With low pilot hours, no actual use and oh yeah the Middle East being a no go zone for the USAF until F35 is full mission rated because none of our fighters can be risked in S300/S400 missile systems.
Given current US engagements, do you really need anything better than a turboprop aircraft for like 70% of the operations?
Current out of Syria no but then again you fight with what you have and if we then have to roll into a Peer in peer that turboprop is useless.

The rest of this is just politics.
 

Jura

General
Sunday at 8:51 PM
just to do the homework, using what's in Today at 7:43 PM :

2014 394m
2015 914
2016 1246
2017 1290
2018 2004
2019 2314
2020 3009
2021 3056
2022 2945
2023 2665
_________
sum 19792


...
... is the announced development cost of B21

LOL while compiling it (from links originally posted by
anzha EDIT you're good, LOL) I thought someone would say something like this:
B21 is already aimed to reduce costs by leveraging existing technologies from F35 and F22 and even UCAVs.
 
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gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
Sometimes the best fighter is the one you don't use. Retiring the F-22 from service like the CBO wants is insane. There is nothing with those specs to replace it. But keeping the F-22s just as a reserve capacity serves a similar purpose to the 'fleet-in-being' naval concept. They don't need to be in an area where they are being constantly sand-blasted. Pivot them to East Asia.

When I said a 'penetration bomber' I was talking about the B-21 as currently planned to be. The bombers don't all need to have the full capability suite as planned. Not if it is to be a B-1/B-52 replacement. Half the bomber units could be simplified. Heck some people even proposed converting Boeing 747's to cruise missile arsenal aircraft in the past. Does that have a radar? Does that have stealth? It doesn't matter for most uses. If you manufacture 200 bombers then like 80 could be full stealth ones and the rest simplified types. Share the engines and the fuselage, landing gear, etc, and simplify the bolt-on expensive items i.e. platinum plating which don't matter much.

The B-1 needs to be replaced because it can't be maintained properly anymore. Remember those guys who ejected from one a couple months back? The airframe will last way less than a B-52's.

They could at least reduce the number of T/R modules on the cheaper bomber radar to make it, well, cheaper. An F-35 radar would probably be an improvement over the B-52's. Most modern AESA radar systems are modular in design. I am sure the USAF will just want a B-1 sized radar. Well that's expensive. It's like 3x the surface area of an F-16 radar for example IIRC.

The turboprop can be used as a flight trainer aircraft with the US National Guard if it isn't in combat use. Trump's always complaining about the border with Mexico not being watched properly. Heh.

The "Super Duper Hornet" should just be merged with the F-22 replacement program. Just make a version for the USN and then lighten it up for the USAF.
 
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