US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Jura

General
interestingly,
Navy Quietly Fires 20 Hyper Velocity Projectiles Through Destroyer’s Deckgun
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Last summer USS Dewey (DDG-105) fired 20 hyper velocity projectiles (HVP) from a standard Mk 45 5-inch deck gun in a quiet experiment that’s set to add new utility to the weapon found on almost every U.S. warship, officials familiar with the test have told USNI News.

The test, conducted by the Navy and the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office as part of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 international exercise, was part of a series of studies to prove the Navy could turn the more than 40-year-old deck gun design into an effective and low-cost weapon against cruise missiles and larger unmanned aerial vehicles.

While the HVP was originally designed to be the projectile for the electromagnetic railgun, the Navy and the Pentagon see the potential for a new missile defense weapon that can launch a guided round at near-hypersonic speeds.

Currently, the fleet uses a combination of missiles – like
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, the Rolling Airframe Missile and the Standard Missile 2 – to ward off cruise missile threats. The missiles are effective but also expensive, Bryan Clark with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments told USNI News on Monday.

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, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87) fired three missiles to ward off two suspected Iranian cruise missiles fired from Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, in what amounted to a multi-million dollar engagement.

“So if you think about the kinds of threats you might face in the Middle East, the lower-end cruise missiles or a larger UAV, now you have a way to shoot them down that doesn’t require you use a $2 million ESSM or $1 million RAM because a hyper velocity projectile – even in the highest-end estimates have it in the $75,000 to $100,000 range, and that’s for the fanciest version of it with an onboard seeker,” he said.

An added benefit of using HVP in powder guns is the gun’s high rate of fire and a large magazine capacity.

“You can get 15 rounds a minute for an air defense mission as well as a surface-to-surface mission,” Clark said. “That adds significant missile defense capacity when you think that each of those might be replacing a ESSM or a RAM missile. They’re a lot less expensive.”

The HVP is also being investigated to use with ground-based 155mm artillery pieces for the Army and the Marines to provide limited air defense options for forward-deployed troops in austere environments. HVPs could also find a home aboard the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers as a replacement round for the classes 155mm Advanced Gun System.

While officials confirmed to USNI News that the RIMPAC test was unclassified, both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of Naval Research would not acknowledge the test when asked by USNI News. A spokeswoman for OSD referred USNI News to the Navy.

“I don’t have anything for you,” an ONR spokesman told USNI News on Monday. HVP manufacturer BAE Systems referred USNI News to the Navy when contacted.

In 2016, William Roper, who then headed the SCO, said the promise of ONR’s HVP work had been recognized by the Navy and the Army and changed the way the Pentagon office thought about the evolution of the railgun.

“We now think that we can do pretty revolutionary things with existing powder guns – think howitzers, Paladins, the Navy’s five-inch guns. We’ve shifted emphasis to that,”
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during a 2016 talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“We have [more than] a 1,000 powder guns, we have very few railguns.”
 

Jura

General
Dec 14, 2018
interestingly,
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it's
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now
Navy May Deploy Surface Ships to Arctic This Summer as Shipping Lanes Open Up
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Much has been made of potential Arctic shipping lanes opening up as ice melts and more areas become navigable. An expected uptick in commercial shipping and tourism in the Arctic region has put some urgency on the U.S. Coast Guard’s plans to build a fleet of icebreakers, as well as the Navy’s interest in having a more visible presence in the region.

Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said this morning at a Center for a New American Security event that the Navy has been in the Arctic regularly since the 1960s, but most of that presence has been with submarines or patrol aircraft rather than with warships on the sea.

With three potential trans-Arctic routes potentially opening up, he said, the Navy’s discussion about Arctic presence has changed dramatically in the past two years.

“As an example, this summer, the [chief of naval operations] and I have talked about having some ships make the transit in the Arctic. It’s going to be a multi-service task – I think you’ll see the Coast Guard involved. We’re just fleshing it out right now. But what is the purpose of that? We have to learn what it’s like to operate in that environment,” he said.

Spencer said the Ticonderoga-class cruisers were the last class of Navy ships to be designed with steam systems to remove ice from the ship, and that newer classes are not ice-hardened or equipped with systems to remove ice.

When the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group operated north of the Arctic Circle for several weeks this fall, the carrier itself handled the environment well, but its smaller escort ships and the supply ships the carrier relied on had a tougher time in the high sea states and icy waters. Similarly, when the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group sailed from Iceland to Norway in October, the larger amphibious assault ship made the journey safely, but the smaller dock landing ship was damaged in heavy seas and had to turn back.

Though the Navy is currently capable of meeting the Joint Staff’s requirements for Arctic operations, Spencer said, “is that requirement a full requirement? I think we can do more. We’re starting to do more in the Navy as we flesh it out.”

“A strategic port up in the Bering [Sea] area is being explored, but that would be a whole-of-government approach: that would be Coast Guard, Navy and [Department of] Commerce in that regard. But it’s an area we have to focus on, most definitely,” the secretary continued.
“You’re hearing more and more conversations; I think [Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan] talk about it being our northern border, which is true.”

Noting increased Russian activity in the Arctic region in the name of search and rescue capability, Spencer joked that “I guess we should be up there looking for search and rescue too.”

“I say that tongue-in-cheek, but no, freedom of navigation should be plied up there. We’re going to try to do it,” he said. “We’re going to learn our way.”
 

Jura

General
Jan 1, 2019
posting without any comment
Special Arrangement Pays Active-Duty Coast Guard in December Despite Shutdown
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now
Coast Guard to Go Without Pay if Shutdown Continues Through Weekend
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On Tuesday, the 18th day of the partial government shutdown, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Connecticut, took to the House floor to share stories of residents of his state affected by the shutdown, such as Ethan, of Niantic, a member of the Coast Guard Academy's faculty for the past 11 years.

"Personally, without earning a
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, we will find paying for groceries, mortgage, utilities, child care and other essentials nearly impossible," Courtney said, reading from a note he received from Ethan. Courtney did not provide Ethan's last name.

The
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is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is unfunded during the shutdown. The shutdown affects 25 percent of the federal government. Other branches of the military fall within the Department of Defense and remain funded.

The Coast Guard found a way to pay service members through Dec. 31, but if the shutdown continues, they will not be paid on Jan. 15, the date of their next paycheck. That will include cadets at the academy, who are considered active-duty military personnel and receive a stipend.

The stipend for fourth-class cadets, or freshmen, ranges from $300 to $350 a paycheck. For first-class cadets, or seniors, the stipend ranges from $500 to $600.

There's a bill in the Senate to pay the Coast Guard -- U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is an original co-sponsor -- but as of Tuesday night Senate leadership had yet to bring the bill to the floor.

The American Legion supports the legislation and has
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.

Cadets returned to the academy this past weekend from winter break and will resume classes on Saturday. About 160 of the 260 government-funded nonessential employees at the academy are furloughed. The majority of the remaining 100 employees, who are coming into work, but without pay, are faculty.

Ground maintenance, facilities maintenance, secretarial staff, and support staff are not at work. Active-duty military at the academy have been stepping up to make sure everything is taken care of, said Petty Officer Second Class Lauren Laughlin, a spokeswoman for the academy.

Coaches of winter sports are on campus, but those who coach sports during other seasons remain off the job. Janitorial and cafeteria staff are working because they are on contract and those contracts have been paid through the academic year, Laughlin said.

Members of the Coast Guard station in
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continue to report to duty without getting paid.

At the Coast Guard Research & Development Center in New London, more than 75 percent of the staff is furloughed. Of the 73 personnel on staff, 56 have been furloughed, 17 military staff members remain on the job to perform their duties and provide essential services, said Cmdr. Gregory Rothrock, commanding officer of the center.

"Regarding our project portfolio, the Coast Guard continues operations authorized by law that provide for national security or that protect life and property. Activities like routine maintenance to aids to navigation are delayed and/or curtailed, as are some administrative functions, training, and maintenance activities to our surface and aviation fleets. Similarly, projects being conducted by the R&D Center will be paused during the lapse in appropriations," Rothrock said by email.
 

Jura

General
inside
DoD has its topline budget figure
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:

"Asked if the department had finally received its figure, Norquist confirmed it has, but declined to go into details on what the dollar figure would be."

do tell, do tell
LOL!
 

Jura

General
inside
The US Army’s three focus areas to avoid protracted combat
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:

"The first focus area is on countering information warfare and unconventional warfare,
...
The second area of focus Wesley calls “conducting the intelligent preparation of the battlefield.” At its core, this involves studying the enemy order of battle and understanding how a conflict may flow.
...
The third aspect is about posturing your forces to be agile enough to quickly enter a conflict if needed. ..."
 

Jura

General
was now clicking through 'tanker news' back to Mar 26, 2017
I've read the series:
  1. KC-46 costs come down but delays loom
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  2. Already a year delayed, KC-46 program at risk of further schedule slips
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  3. KC-46 Refueling Tanker Faces More Delays, Auditors Say
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interestingly, the GAO bothered with the praise: "Including development, procurement and military construction costs, “the total program acquisition cost now stands at $44.4 billion. This is about $7.3 billion less than the original estimate of $51.7 billion,” it said."
as
USAF Finally Accepts Its First KC-46A Tanker, But The Design Still Needs Years Worth Of Fixes
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I'm not going to follow this 'low-cost, low-risk solution' any more LOL
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
What was the pitch? That Japan and Italy were already using it? Shame that this isn't the same aircraft at all.
 

Jura

General
sad
Shutdown Phenomenon: Government-Employed Vets Find Zeros in Paychecks
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Toby Hauck, an
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veteran and air traffic controller in Chicago, said he received a paycheck from the government Thursday -- minus the money.

"We're getting to see pay stubs with nothing but zeros on them," said Hauck, one of several hundred air traffic controllers in the Chicago area working without pay during the partial shutdown, now in its 20th day, that has affected nine federal departments and several smaller agencies.

Hauck, one of thousands of veterans feeling the shutdown's impact, said the Leave and Earnings Statement sent to his bank had "all zeros" under the heading "Net Pay."

"It's a tough time out here right now, a lot of uncertainty on what to do next," he said of the back-and-forth between Congress and the White House on resolving the impasse, which centers on the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump has demanded for the southern border wall.

Ed Canales, a 100 percent-disabled veteran and Bureau of Prisons worker in California, said, "It's getting to crunch time" for the estimated 800,000 federal workers who have either been furloughed or are working without pay.

Canales, a former
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specialist and Desert Storm veteran, said, "We've got a lot of young kids coming back from Iraq and Syria" who now have federal jobs. "They have low pay as it is, and now they're being denied a check."

"You can get into a deep depression" over the situation, he added.

"God forbid, I start getting the phone calls I dread," said Canales, a union representative who echoed the fears of other federal union officials that veterans under financial stress would harm themselves.

"Right now, our veterans are standing on a cliff," said Will Attig, a former Army sergeant and Iraq veteran.

"One of the leading causes of veterans suicide is financial insecurity," said Attig, executive director of the Union Veterans Council of the AFL-CIO.

About 31 percent of the federal workforce is made up of veterans, and the federal government is the nation's largest employer of disabled veterans, he said. "It's a shame that they're being allowed to be used as pawns in a political game."

Younger veterans just off active duty "are working paycheck to paycheck" in federal jobs, Attig said. "Some average about $500 a week, but they have good benefits and a stable job. Then this happens. They didn't realize they'd be fighting another battle when they came home."

A move in Congress Thursday to end the stalemate shutdown failed, and Trump
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the same day to underscore his case that the U.S. faces an immigration crisis that a border wall could alleviate.

The president has said he would consider
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, which would allow him to use funds allocated by Congress to the Defense Department for the border wall. But in his
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, he stopped short of declaring such an emergency.

In Congress, the Senate mulled House proposals to reopen parts of the government while pushing consideration of border wall funding to a later date, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, blocked a vote.

"Political stunts are not going to get us anywhere," McConnell said on the Senate floor. He added that he would not allow a vote on any legislation that Trump will not sign.
 

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