US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

Jura

General
Yesterday at 8:34 AM
Friday at 7:58 AM
now
Acting US defense secretary will review programs to cut for wall funding https://us.cnn.com/2019/02/16/us/sec-shanahan-border-funding/index.html
and
Neller: Marines Need $3.5 Billion for Camp Lejeune Repairs, Despite MILCON Cuts for Border Spending https://news.usni.org/2019/02/17/neller-marines-need-3-5-billion-camp-lejeune-repairs-despite-milcon-cuts-border-spending
The commandant of the Marine Corps hopes the Pentagon and Congress can find money for hurricane damage repairs at Camp Lejeune, N.C., despite military construction funding being diverted for the Trump Administration’s border security plan.

Lawmakers and President Donald Trump agreed Friday to a bill that would provide $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border fencing, as well as other spending for law enforcement and humanitarian assistance needs along the U.S./Mexico border. According to a White House press statement, as much as $8.1 billion could be made available for border spending due to Trump declaring a national emergency at the border, including “up to $3.6 billion reallocated from Department of Defense military construction projects under the President’s declaration of a national emergency.”

The Pentagon added in a statement that “this declaration of a national emergency at the southern border requiring the use of the armed forces authorizes the secretary of defense to determine whether border barriers are necessary to support the use of the armed forces and to re-direct unobligated DOD MILCON funding to construct border barriers if required.”

Despite the hit to Fiscal Year 2019 military construction funding, Gen. Robert Neller told USNI News that the Marine Corps needs assistance beyond what was already appropriated this fiscal year to replace old buildings that were damaged by Hurricane Florence last September.

“We have a very clear stated requirement for repair at Camp Lejeune. The total bill is about $3.4, $3.5 billion,” Neller told USNI News at the WEST 2019 conference, cohosted by the U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA.
“We don’t have money for that. If we have to pay that ourselves, it’ll take the MILCON budget of the Marine Corps for probably the next four years. So our requirement is well known within the Department of Defense, and I’m hopeful that now that the Congress has passed the border security thing and passed all the approps for the government for the rest of the year and whatever decision the President has made, it’ll clear the way for a discussion to take place about what we need to do to repair Camp Lejeune.”

Neller said the Marine Corps could effectively put $1.35 billion of that spending on contract this fiscal year if the money were available. And with the next hurricane season just four months away, he said he wants to hurry and get started on some of that work.

“The buildings at Camp Lejeune that were new, they weathered the hurricane. And this was a generational storm: it came in, the winds were strong enough to tear the roofs off 40-, 50-, 60-year-old buildings, and then it rained for three straight days. So the damage is not clearly visible like it is on the panhandle of Florida when (Hurricane) Michael came through with really high devastating winds that leveled the place. It’s all internal,” he said of the damage, which includes mold and other water damage.
“We’ve gone through, we’ve patched the roofs, but some of these buildings, we believe, the cost of repair is not a good way; they need to be replaced. But we have a requirement and I’m hopeful that now that the border security discussion has been settled, at least temporarily, that we’ll be able to get some attention on this.”

House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued a critical statement on Trump’s decision to divert MILCON funding to the border, saying in part that “as the President begins to steal money from military needs to build his wall, Congress must conduct oversight to identify exactly which projects supporting servicemembers and their families the President has chosen to value less than this political stunt.” HASC ranking member Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) released a statement in support of border funding but adding that “I encourage the President not to divert significant Department of Defense funding for border security. Doing so would have detrimental consequences for our troops as military infrastructure was one of the accounts most deprived during the Obama-era defense cuts. And it would undercut one of the most significant accomplishments of the last two years – beginning to repair and rebuild our military. I hope that the President will pursue other options.”

The commandant warned that the repair bill “has got to be paid” and cannot be pushed to the back burner, as so often military construction is when money is tight. But he warned that, without sufficient help from Congress, paying for the hurricane damage at one Marine Corps installation could affect readiness throughout the Marine Corps.

“If we don’t get some help, we would have to pay that ourselves, and that would affect our readiness,” he said, since money would likely be internally reprogrammed and have to come from other accounts such as operations and maintenance or procurement.
“And we’ve made a lot of progress on our readiness because of the resources we’ve been given by the Congress, and we don’t want to go back. So we’re going to need some assistance, otherwise we will have to take some cuts in other places.”
 

Brumby

Major
U.S. Government Approves Release of Boeing EA-18G Growler to Finland

https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-02-18-U-S-Government-Approves-Release-of-Boeing-EA-18G-Growler-to-Finland

ARLINGTON, Va., February 18, 2019 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Navy have received U.S. Department of Defense approval to offer the EA-18G Growler to Finland. Previously only Australia had been authorized to purchase the airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft.

Boeing and the Navy have offered the Growler and F/A-18 Super Hornet in a response to query issued by the Finnish Ministry of Defense as part of their HX fighter program procurement.

“All strike fighter aircraft rely on Growler escort to increase survivability during high-threat missions,” said Dan Gillian, Boeing vice president, F/A-18 and EA-18G programs. “The combination of the Super Hornet Block III and Growler would provide Finland with superior technological capability particularly suited to Finland’s HX mission requirements.”

An F/A-18 variant, the Growler is the world’s most advanced AEA platform and the only one in production today. It’s capable of disrupting, deceiving or denying a broad range of military electronic systems including radar and communication systems.

In addition to the U.S. Navy, the Growler is flown by the Royal Australian Air Force.
 

Brumby

Major
Super Hornet Block III upgrade as we know of it currently.

The Block III standard will be introduced in new production aircraft from 2020 and Boeing will begin upgrading Block II Super Hornets in 2022. Block III upgrade is basically five engineering change programs: displays, conformal fuel tanks, networking capability, signature reduction enhancements and a 9,000-hour service life.

In addition to upgrading the fighter’s Raytheon AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, Block III will add the AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Block IV suite and the Lockheed Martin AN/ASG-34 Infrared Search and Track pod. The Block III will feature an advanced cockpit equipped with Elbit 18 inch flat-panel display with next-generation user interface. To improve the Block III’s network connectivity capability, Block III will feature two systems from the EA-18G Growler. Distributed Targeting Process-Networked (DTP-N) is the computer providing significant increase in processing power and adds multilevel security and open architecture. This allows new applications to be integrated to the platform faster than ever before to adapt to future threats. The Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) is high-throughput waveform that creates a secure network upon which voice, video and data can be plug into the EA-18G Growler and E-2D. It adds an ability to move a bandwidth of data back and forth between platforms, which is a key part of the future fight.
 

localizer

Junior Member
Registered Member
Multiple Whistleblowers Raise Grave Concerns with White House Efforts to Transfer Sensitive U.S. Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia

https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/multiple-whistleblowers-raise-grave-concerns-with-white-house-efforts-to

“The whistleblowers who came forward have expressed significant concerns about the potential procedural and legal violations connected with rushing through a plan to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. They have warned of conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes. They have also warned about a working environment inside the White House marked by chaos, dysfunction, and backbiting. And they have warned about political appointees ignoring directives from top ethics advisors at the White House who repeatedly and unsuccessfully ordered senior Trump Administration officials to halt their efforts.”
*Gulp
 

Jura

General
Jan 26, 2019
... the current Secretary of the Army ...

"You can imagine a scenario where the Navy feels it cannot get into the South China Sea because of Chinese naval vessels, [but] we can from a fixed location," https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2019/01/24/proposed-army-1000-mile-supergun-could-be-ultimate-standoff-weapon.html

his vision of the 21st century naval warfare is ... surreal
now inside
Marines Want to Field a Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile ‘As Fast As Possible’ https://news.usni.org/2019/02/19/marines-want-field-long-range-anti-ship-missile-fast-possible
:

Asked why the Marines feel such an urgency to acquire a long-range anti-ship missile, Neller said that “the urgency is just the situation security-wise we find ourselves in the world. So there’s a lot of geographical chokepoints, and you know what they are, and the potential adversaries know what they are. So if you get there first and you can control that space, then you have an operational advantage. So we’re going to test, there’s a couple capabilities out there and we’re going to test them – working with the Navy, because this is the same type of stuff you’d want to put on a ship.”
 

Jura

General
Dec 2, 2016
while google-translated
Le général Michael Flynn, futur conseiller à la sécurité de Trump: « un dingue...» http://www.lopinion.fr/blog/secret-defense/general-michael-flynn-futur-conseiller-a-securite-trump-dingue-115382

:

General Michael Flynn, future Trump safety advisor: "a crazy ..."
The appointment of General Michael Flynn as Donald Trump's National Security Advisor (NSC) arouses some reservations in French military circles. "It's a crazy," says a general officer who has rubbed shoulders with him in recent years. "He has spent his entire career in intelligence and has developed a complicated vision," he adds.

This opinion is also shared in American circles. A good connoisseur of this universe explains that this appointment is "a catastrophe". "Flynn is excellent at the tactical and operational level, but totally lacking in strategic judgment" ( "theater-stategic and grand-strategic levels").

His analuses are without nuances, for example when he explains that "Islam is a political ideology that lies behind an ideology" - "it is like a cancer".

Michael Flynn, 58, belongs to the category of military "chemically pure" whose political sense is probably not the first quality. Michael Flynn entered the US Army in 1981 and has effectively conducted his entire career in the intelligence specialty. He served at the 82nd Airborne and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) before heading the DIA, the military intelligence agency, from which he was fired by the Obama administration. He has been involved in operations in Grenada, Haiti and especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Flynn left active service in 2014. Long Democrat, he joined the Trump team in the last campaign.

Other military personnel could be appointed to important posts, such as Generals Petraeus and Mattis, much more respected by their French counterparts.
now
Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis, report says https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/02/19/flynn-pushed-to-share-nuclear-tech-with-saudis-report-says/
 

localizer

Junior Member
Registered Member
Do we know if it's tech transfer or just building plants there like the Russians? Or does building plants always incur some tech transfer for operational purposes?
 
Jan 26, 2019
now inside
Marines Want to Field a Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile ‘As Fast As Possible’ https://news.usni.org/2019/02/19/marines-want-field-long-range-anti-ship-missile-fast-possible
:

Asked why the Marines feel such an urgency to acquire a long-range anti-ship missile, Neller said that “the urgency is just the situation security-wise we find ourselves in the world. So there’s a lot of geographical chokepoints, and you know what they are, and the potential adversaries know what they are. So if you get there first and you can control that space, then you have an operational advantage. So we’re going to test, there’s a couple capabilities out there and we’re going to test them – working with the Navy, because this is the same type of stuff you’d want to put on a ship.”
the same reason the Chinese want those Russian S-400s for those cute little islands! LOL
 

Jura

General
Jul 11, 2018
it's the SDF here, so:
The Next B-52 Bomb Upgrade May Be a Tough Message for China https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2018/07/10/next-b-52-bomb-upgrade-may-be-tough-message-china.html
somehow related is
US Air Force testing upgraded rotary launcher for B-52 bomber

20 February, 2019 https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-air-force-testing-upgraded-rotary-launcher-for-b-455970/

The US Air Force started testing an upgraded version of the Boeing B-52 bomber’s Conventional Rotary Launcher on 11 February.

The new rotary launcher is designed to power up more munitions at a time, giving bombardiers the ability to quickly select from a greater variety of smart weapons at short notice.

Boeing installed the Conventional Rotary Launcher within the USAF’s fleet of B-52 bombers in 2016, giving the aircraft for the first time the ability to drop eight joint direct attack munitions from its belly. The launcher can also carry several Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles.

However, the system was limited to supplying power to only four munitions at a time, which slowed the rate at which bombardiers could drop weapons.

“The Conventional Rotary Launcher has a high power draw, so an aircrew could only power up four munitions at a time without risking blowing circuit breakers in mid-flight,” says Maj Jason McCargar, a 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron unit project officer. “With this upgrade, it can now have eight ready at once.”

The improved efficiency has the potential to lower the number of aircraft needed for missions, adds the USAF.

The ability to supply a full power load to all munitions on the rotary launcher, in addition to another 12 under the B-52’s wings, has the potential to improve the jet’s lethality in combat, says Senior Master Sgt Michael Pierce, 307th Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament superintendent.

“Now, a B-52 going into a war zone has the ability to put 20 munitions on a target area very quickly,” he says. “Before, they would have to drop some of their munitions, power up the [Conventional Rotary Launcher] again and then make another pass.”

Once testing is complete, the rest of the other Conventional Rotary Launchers in the Air Force inventory will be modified to the specifications of the test launcher, says the USAF.
 

Jura

General
Feb 5, 2019
long but interesting, two variants of the X and so on:
F-15X Will Come In Two Variants, And No, It Won't Cost $100M Per Copy http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26305/f-15x-will-come-in-two-variants-and-no-it-wont-cost-100m-per-copy
now
Complementary Airpower: The Case for the F-15X https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/02/21/complementary_airpower_the_case_for_the_f-15x_114201.html?utm_source=RC+Defense+Morning+Recon&utm_campaign=399a9f5c52-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_02_20_07_42&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_694f73a8dc-399a9f5c52-85340453
America depends on airpower. Airpower underpins the military options leaders use to enhance deterrence and if deterrence fails, to fight and win with minimum casualties.

A key element of America’s airpower is the fighter force. Historically, fighter aircraft development has shaped militaries and tactics like no other combat system. Today’s emerging technologies, concepts of operations (CONOPs), and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) have increased fighter effectiveness to extraordinary levels.

The U.S. Air Force flies a mix of 4th and 5th “generation” fighters. The 4th gen F-15, F-16 and A-10 fleet is very capable and continues to be the backbone of today’s force. Fourth gen fighters fill the majority of the combatant commander (COCOM) taskings including homeland air defense alert and expeditionary taskings worldwide. The smaller fleet of 5th gen fighters are “low density/high demand” with 187 F-22s and 150+ F-35s. Stealth and sensor fusion technologies make them the most lethal and survivable fighters in the world. The Air Force intends to continue procuring 48+ F-35s per year and upgrading the F-22. Up to this point, the complementary mix of a small but stealthy 5th gen fleet combined with a large fleet of very capable 4thgen fighters has proven adequate in meeting today’s warfighting needs.

Unfortunately, today’s fighter force mix, despite increasing numbers of F-35s over time and upgraded F-22s, will likely not be enough to meet future needs. Specifically:

  1. Current operations tempo for the entire fighter fleet remains high without any relief in sight.
  2. Future fighter availability will be reduced or restricted due to needed upgrades, including the F-22 and early models of the F-35.
  3. 4thgen maintenance and operating costs continue to climb, and upgrades are costly, time-consuming and potentially cost may prohibitive.
  4. Adversaries continue to invest in technologies designed to find, fix, target and engage 5thgen fighters. This will minimize and could totally deny the asymmetric advantages we have today.
  5. 5thgen weapons internal weapons load capacity is limited.
  6. 5thgen procurement will continue to be constrained by production and budget limitations, particularly in the short term.
  7. 5thgen cost per flying hour (CPFH) is significantly higher than the F-15X, and CPFH for 4th gen fleet is increasing significantly as they get older.
One clear solution to mitigate these challenges is the immediate introduction of Boeing’s F-15X into the current fighter force. While DoD was focused on getting the F-35 IOC and increasing inventory, Boeing continued to improve the capability and capacity of one of the most successful fighters in history. The F-15X is a 4th gen ++ fighter that will significantly complement the capabilities of the current fighter force with better sensors, more weapons capacity, reliable data links, and extended range. In addition, the F-15X will provide relief to the 5th gen fleet from missions that do not require stealth but require advanced sensors, weapons, datalinks, and range to optimize effectiveness and survivability.

The F-15X is the common-sense answer to the limitations of both the current and future fighter force. Ten specific reasons include:

  1. It is immediately available, affordable and sustainable without additional training for aircrews and maintenance personnel.
  2. It is an aircraft with a combat-proven track record and an incredible 20,000-hour airframe life.
  3. It can deliver more weapons to any fight because it is not restricted by the number of hardpoints available in constrained 5thgen fighter weapon bays.
  4. The bed down will not require significant infrastructure improvements or new ground support equipment.
  5. The F-15X mission computer can instantaneously process and pass data on the Link 16 data link. This robust capability degrades the effects of ever-increasing adversary threat spoofing and jamming. In addition, it can readily integrate, share and extend the Link 16 network to other US, coalition and partner fighters. The F-35 has Link 16 capability, the F-22 has an aircraft-specific data link.
  6. The F-15X EPAWSS (Eagle Passive-Active Warning Survivability System) is an impressive electronic warfare (EW) and integrated countermeasure system (ICS) suite that makes the F-15X more survivable without dedicated assistance to survive. In addition, it can help support the EW tactical game plan of the 5thgen fleet.
  7. The F-15X will provide needed redundancy and significant additional fighter capability and capacity if adversaries are successful in degrading our current 5thgen advantages and effectiveness.
  8. F-15X capabilities will significantly expand force mix options, CONOPs, and TTPs for warfighters planning across the full spectrum of military conflict. This will make the enemy’s job even more difficult if not impossible to overcome.
  9. As a future FMS fighter option, it can help build partnership capacity with allies and partners who do not need, want or cannot afford a 5thgen fighter.
  10. Retaining another active fighter production line with the F-15X will help sustain a diverse industrial base and provide the needed capacity to defeat great power, near-peer adversaries as described in the National Defense Strategy (NDS)
Adding the F-15X to the current 4th and 5th gen fighter mix is a reasonable and affordable way to ensure the viability and strength of the future fighter force. Many will argue we cannot afford to add another fighter to our current inventory. However, adding the F-15X is really about adding needed capability so that today’s 4th and 5th gen fighter mix is ready to meet future warfighting requirements. Considering the possibility of an existential great power, near-peer conflict with China or Russia as described in the NDS, I say we have no choice.
 
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