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WASHINGTON: Wary of bringing
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full of sailors and Marines in missile range of hostile coastlines, the Pentagon plans to cut two new amphibious warships out of the 2020-2024 budget plan to be released later this month, defense officials confirmed.

The decision to delay the planned purchase of two San Antonio-class Flight II landing dock ships, known as LPDs, out past 2024 is part of a much wider reevaluation of naval warfare. Under high-level pressure to build a fleet better able to face Chinese and Russian precision missiles, the Navy is reducing its investment in large but potentially warships like amphibs and carriers so it can free up money for more offensive weaponry on smaller surface ships, submarines, and aircraft.

I agree with the deferment plan because amphibious assault by sea in an age of extended range standoff missiles deterrent is a highly questionable strategy. The last major amphibious assault was at Inchon approx. 69 years ago. I agree they need a new strategic map rather than just continuing with a replacement strategy. It will be another shit fight with Congress over politics rather than military relevance.
let me inquire also here, after
UK Military News, Reports, Data, etc. 7 minutes ago

anyone got info on this thing?

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03 March 2019
says it's "in RN service",
my google search quickly brought just this (four years old):
Decoys afloat [IDX15D1]
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23 February 2015

now found five years old press-release
March 3, 2014

Airborne Systems Ltd., Bridgend, United Kingdom, is being awarded a $17,976,844 firm-fixed-price job order to previously awarded basic ordering agreement (N00164-13-G-WM55-0003) for the procurement of components in support of the MK 59 Mod 0 Decoy Launch System (DLS). The MK 59 DLS is a deck-mounted countermeasure system that is used to launch an advanced inflatable radar decoy cartridge to confuse hostile tracking and homing associated with anti-ship missiles by simulating the radar cross section of the ship. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity.
British Firm to Provide Radar Decoy System
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what's the status?
Why Trump is trying to help sailors become merchant mariners

7 hours ago
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It probably shouldn’t have taken an executive order from the president to let experienced service members get merchant marine credentials, but that’s what finally happened on Monday.

By signing an executive order entitled “Supporting the Transition of Active Duty Service Members and Military Veterans into the Merchant Marine,” President Donald Trump indicated that helping veterans land good blue collar jobs at sea will strengthen national security, too.

Trump’s declaration is designed to allow Navy, Coast Guard and
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personnel leaving active duty to apply their training and experience to land future careers in the maritime industry.

“It makes it easier for sea service veterans to get high-paying, high-skilled jobs as mariners by waiving government-issued licensing fees and by crediting military training in the
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credentialing system,” said
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the director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

A direct White House adviser to Trump, Navarro said that the executive order makes it easier for enlisted sailors and officers to qualify as “mates and engineers” under the
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Previously, sailors and other service members had to start over by enrolling in basic maritime classes, often paying $25,000 to meet the requirements.

Trump’s executive order should allow service members on active duty to simultaneous earn qualifications at sea while also netting equivalent civilian licenses along the way, Navarro said.

Those who already separated also could be fast-tracked to getting licensed, but Navarro said more work must be done there.

Before all of this becomes a reality, the Navy first must work with the Coast Guard to get schools, qualifications and experiences certified for civilian licensing.

The Army’s already done this for their active-duty mariners, said retired Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. “Buz” Buzby, the
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“I think this is a huge step in the right direction and something the nation critically needs,” Buzby told Navy Times by telephone.

A graduate of the
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and career naval officer. before joining the U.S. Department of Transportation Buzby led Military Sealift Command, the government’s largest employer of civilian mariners.

Their supply ships replenish the Navy’s fleet at sea and would be called upon
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fighting overseas in a ground war.

And they depend on qualified merchant mariners, which is why Trump’s executive order is important to national security, too.

On April 24, Buzby warned senators that an outbreak of war likely would find the nation with a "
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in the event of a full, prolonged mobilization” — and that’s assuming a best case scenario, with no losses of ships or personnel.

Only weeks earlier,
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that dwindling numbers of commercial vessels and qualified crew members to man them might make the “surge” of sealift necessary to support operations difficult.

“Because of the historically low number of ships in the U.S.-flag, oceangoing fleet over the past several years, I am concerned about the availability of a sufficient number of qualified mariners with the necessary endorsements to operate large ships (unlimited horsepower and unlimited tonnage) and to sustain a prolonged sealift mobilization beyond the first four to six months,” Buzby said.

“Historically, the men and women of the merchant marine have always stood up in times of need to meet any task set for them and would likely extend their time at sea beyond normal tours if called upon to do so. However, it is critical to ensure we have enough qualified U.S. mariners to safely crew our government vessels so that the readiness of the force is not negatively impacted.”

What’s good for national security also is good for American workers, Navarro added during his round table with reporters.

He pointed to the average annual wages paid to water transportation workers — $65,720 per year, which is well above the national occupational average of $50,620 — and members of the U.S. Merchant Marine routinely earn even more.

“So this is a great opportunity for sea veterans to seamlessly transition into really good, high-paying jobs that will help our national security front,” Navarro said.

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Many of the merchant sailors working for the Military Sealift Command are former US Navy, USCG & Army watercraft. The problem is getting all the credentials need to be a Merchant Marine. The process is very time consuming and tedious. Looks like President Trump has eased that process.
Aug 4, 2018
Hypersonic Technology Becomes a Top Pentagon Priority
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sounded to me like the Pentagon found yet another buzzword, after 'sensor fusion', 'network-centric', 'modularity', 'commonality', 'directed energy', LOL 'game changer' ...

the text anyway:
now (dated Mar 5, 2019)
DARPA Awards Raytheon Contract For 2nd TBG Hypersonic Weapon
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DARPA has awarded
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a $63.3 million contract “to further develop the Tactical Boost Glide [TBG] hypersonic weapons program.”

The funding includes a critical design review for the joint DARPA/U.S. Air Force program.

Raytheon, now the second company on the TBG program, also has released a new artist’s impression of its concept that, while likely still notional, shows significant changes from its earlier design image.

TBG is developing technology for an air-launched, tactical-range, hypersonic weapon that sits in capability terms between the Air Force’s rocket-boosted Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) and DARPA’s scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC).

Where the HCSW (pronounced Hacksaw) will have a conical glide body derived from the Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, and based on Sandia National Laboratory’s Swerve winged reentry vehicle, TBG is developing a wedge-shaped glide body with higher lift-to-drag ratio for increased range.

In competition with Raytheon,
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in 2016 was awarded a $147 million DARPA contract to develop and flight-test the 500-nm-range TBG. At the time, this was described as the sole contract for the demonstration phase.

But in is fiscal 2019 budget documents, the Pentagon advanced research agency revealed it planned to select a second performer “to evolve an All-Up Round (AUR) design to a critical design level of maturity.” This appears to be the DARPA contract just awarded to Raytheon.

The Air Force has already leveraged Lockheed’s DARPA contract to develop an operational version of the company’s TBG, the AGM-183A Airborne Rapid-Response Weapon (AARW). The company was awarded a $480 million contract for ARRW in August 2018. Total cost will be $859 million, the Air Force says.

Flight testing of Lockheed’s TBG demonstrator was planned for the second quarter of this year, but has slipped to the fourth quarter, according to an Air Force report to Congress released in January. The ARRW subsystem critical design review has also slipped a similar amount, to the third quarter of this year.

Procurement documents released in 2018 revealed the Air Force has been targeting an early operational capability in 2021 for ARRW—ahead of the less-advanced HCSW, for which Lockheed was awarded a $928 million contract in April 2018 and which is aimed at an initial operational capability in 2022.

Various concept images for TBG glide bodies have appeared, but no hardware images. DARPA uses a notional, sharply swept triangular-section cone. Images of Lockheed’s arrow-shaped HTV-2 vehicle, flight-tested unsuccessfully under DARPA’s Falcon program, also are used as TBG is based on HTV-2 technology.

Raytheon originally used a featureless arrow shape, with W-shaped trailing edge, to illustrate its TBG design. Its latest concept shows a waverider shape, with a distinct, sharp-edged, ogive-planform wing that quickly blends into a wide, wedge-shaped body. This is truncated at the rear, as was the HTV-2 design.

The side of the body at the junction with the thin wing shows two unexplained indentations positioned between three bands of a slightly different color that extend across the vehicle from leading edge to leading edge. The function of these bands is not apparent.


More on the XQ-58A -

XQ-58A First Flight

The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator, a long-range, high subsonic unmanned air vehicle completed its inaugural flight March 5, 2019, at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

more at - ttps://
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posted Jul 29, 2018
100b-range projects are cool to watch
The US Navy’s top acquisition priority is getting a new boss
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The U.S. Navy’s
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program is getting a new head and a new program office, the service’s top acquisition boss announced Wednesday.

Program Executive Office Columbia will be stood up this month and headed by Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, a graduate of the Naval Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He most recently headed up the
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The program was previously organized under PEO Submarines. But with two
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attack subs under construction annually, as well as a move taking place to a new Virginia sub with an added section to expand its Tomahawk missile capacity, plus the upcoming SSN(X) program, James Geurts, the Navy’s head of research and development, saw a need to maintain a steady focus on Columbia through a dedicated office.

“My concern was with Columbia being our No. 1 acquisition priority and all the other submarine activities we have going on, do we have enough leadership bandwidth available to oversee and run all those programs simultaneously?” Geurts said in a roundtable with reporters. “As I understand the challenges going forward, [I wanted to] get PEO-level support to that program as it starts ramping up. And I didn’t want to wait for a crisis for that to occur; I wanted to make sure we are proactively working the program.”

Going forward, PEO Columbia will focus on finishing the design and getting Columbia under construction, as well as working with the United Kingdom on the joint aspects of the program. Naval Sea Systems Command’s 07 office will handle maintenance on in-service submarines, and PEO Submarines will handle all aspects of Virginia and the common elements between the various platforms.

“They have to work as a team because that is a very integrated and interconnected enterprise,” Geurts said.

An earlier setback with Columbia — where a vendor delivered improperly inspected welds in missile tubes destined for Columbia, the Virginia payload modules and the U.K.'s Columbia-class program — did not play into the decision to stand up PEO Columbia, Geurts said.

“I don’t think this is in reaction to anything that’s happened in the past,” Geurts said. “It’s really in recognition of all the hard work we’ve got going in the future. I’m a fan of the Jack Welch quote, ‘Change before you have to.’ It was really me looking a couple of years into the future, when we’ve got the first Columbia in productions, we’ve got two Virginias a year and we’ve got SSN(X) starting up — a lot of technology efforts. It was about ensuring that we had a senior leader, every day, focused on our No. 1 acquisition priority.”