US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Tyrant King
Why would it be important to me? I commented on that months ago. Supposedly the 1.1 billion is for “Infrastructure that is a one off buy for the program” after all 1.1 billion for 8 aircraft unless they are B2 would be a huge rip off.
quote of the day comes from inside of
HASC Leaders Want Navy to Explain Carrier Early Retirement, Pentagon OCO Request
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“We’ve gotten to the point where the OCO was always a little bit fuzzy in terms of using it to fund things that might not necessarily have bene part of the overseas contingency operations, but now they’ve eliminated any pretense. They’ve actually divided up the OCO into real OCO and then base OCO,” Smith said about the Pentagon’s budget proposal. “I don’t know who coined this term, but I love that person, it’s FOCO – it’s fake OCO and I think we ought to write that into the budget.”

(the context is the Pentagon now attempts to split 174b OCO ("overseas contingency operations" fund) like this:
66b for actually fighting wars,
94b to work around the sequester, plus LOL kinda for Trump's wall)
Feb 2, 2019
... yesterday the buzzword in
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and now a blockbuster:
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Let a hundred hypersonic flowers bloom, Pentagon officials say, instead of a single cumbersome mega-program.
The Pentagon’s pushing hard on hypersonics. There’s $2.6 billion in the 2020 budget for R&D. The services are sharing technology and flight test data. But what the military does not want is a massive multi-service program like the F-35.

“It’s a joint interest program, not a joint program,” Army undersecretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters this morning on the sidelines of the McAleese/Credit Suisse conference here. “We don’t want a big kind of program office like you had for” — he paused — “other major defense acquisition programs.”

“We share office space,” McCarthy said. “We will learn from each other’s tests, [and] we will potentially buy components together, [but] not either slow each other down or tweak the requirements.”

“The deployment of the weapons system is fundamentally different, and we respect that,” McCarthy said: The Army needs to launch its hypersonic weapons from trucks and tracked vehicles, the Air Force from jets, the Navy from aircraft, surface ships, and submarines. While the services are eager to share the costs of developing new technologies and to buy common components where they can, he said, none of them wants to have to compromise its unique requirements — the official to-do list of how the weapon has to work — to produce a single weapon all three can use.

(Interestingly, the massive
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initiative — now split into at least two separate Army programs, the
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scout and the
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transport — went through this “
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” almost five years ago).

Yes, the F-35 Joint Program Office did produce three different variants: the Air Force’s F-35A can only operate off runways, the Navy’s F-35C can also fly from aircraft carriers, and the Marines’ F-35B can even take off and land vertically on helipads and highways. But enough key components were shared that what one service wanted often impacted the others, adding complexity or cost for features they didn’t want..

For hypersonics, by contrast, the Defense Department is trying “about half a dozen” independent programs across the services and DARPA, said Mike White, the Pentagon’s assistant director for hypersonics. The exact number, he told reporters yesterday, depends on how strictly you define “hypersonic” — literally, it just means moving through the air Mach 5-plus — and whether you clump smaller contracts together or count them separately.

White didn’t provide a list, but based on our own research, we’d tentatively identify six:
  • Navy: Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS)
  • Army: Land-Based Hypersonic Missile
  • Air Force: Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) and Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW)
  • DARPA & Air Force: Tactical Boost-Glide (TBG) and Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)
Note these are all offensive hypersonic missiles. Defense against hypersonic missiles, which is much harder, is the job of the Missile Defense Agency. MDA is only getting $157 million for that purpose in 2020 — less than a sixteenth of the offensive funding — but White said defense is laying the technological foundations and is “not very far behind” offense. In third place, he said, is reusable hypersonics: not missiles, which fly one way, once, but actual hypersonic aircraft, manned or unmanned.

White’s spent four decades researching hypersonics and other missile technology, and three months ago he became the chief hypersonics coordinator for the chief fan of hypersonics, Undersecretary for Research & Engineering Mike Griffin. In that role, White said, he handles “vision,” “strategy,” and “integration” of the different programs — but he doesn’t own them. They’re owned by the services, which signed a Memorandum Of Agreement coordinating their hypersonics work last spring.

He added that he hasn’t seen any resistance from the services to overall DoD direction.

“We have multiple programs sharing a common booster, for example,” White said, but with “different hypersonic front ends.” Three of the programs, he added, derive from the Navy-led Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS), which in turn evolved from the Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), which itself evolved from Sandia National Laboratory’s
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CPS had its first test flight in 2017 and will have another “in about a year,” White said. Across all the programs, “you will see a dramatic increase in the number of flight tests we conduct over the next several years,” which will require a corresponding ramp-up in the nationwide testing infrastructure.

How much? The current five-year spending figure for hypersonics across the Future Year Defense Plan (FYDP) is $10.5 billion, but that’s clearly a placeholder. ($10.5 billion divided by five years gives an average of only $2.1 billion, which makes no sense when this year, the first year, is already $2.6 billion and that figure is only going to go up). Plus Congress may plus-up funding well above the request, as it did last year, when it increased hypersonics to a total of $2.4 billion.

A big source of uncertainty: We’re still experimenting. “Right now…. there are not acquisition programs of record,” White cautioned. “Those programs are flight demonstration prototype programs and weapons systems prototype programs.” The decision to start a formal acquisition program of record, he said, is still “a number of years” away.

The ultimate goal? “A family of systems,” White said, “[using] air, sea, and land launch, that can handle both medium ranges and more intermediate ranges — think coastal attack and deep inland attack.”

(White didn’t explain his terms, but this is presumably from the perspective of US forces firing from the sea or island bases at an opponent on the mainland of Eurasia, like Russia or China: Shorter-range weapons can only hit the coast, longer-ranger ones can go “deep inland.” The reference to “intermediate” ranges suggests somewhere between 500 and 5,500 km, the ranges covered by the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty from which the administration is now withdrawing).

White wouldn’t get more specific about ranges, understandably, except to say “it’s not intercontinental.” That’s significant, because previous efforts on what was called Prompt Global Strike were scuppered by fears that a sufficiently fast and long-range conventional missile would be mistaken for a nuclear ICBM, potentially triggering a nuclear war. (Even the original Navy/Air Force concept to break through China’s layered defense,
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, faced deep concerns about how strikes on the Chinese mainland might escalate).

But that previous program envisioned weapons with ICBM-like ranges and flight paths, White said, firing from ICBM launch sites. In fact, one candidate was simply an ICBM with a nuclear warhead replaced by a conventional one.

Today’s hypersonics programs, however, will have shorter ranges and different flight paths. They’ll also be unique systems that were developed solely to carry conventional warheads, without a nuclear variant. Said White: ” Any adversary who’s got the capability to detect [them] will quickly understand the difference.”
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Feb 21, 2019
Aug 29, 2018
also vague, but not completely, is
Large Surface Combatant RFI - Shipbuilders
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Large Surface Combatant Program Delayed Amid Pivot Towards Unmanned, Other Emerging Tech
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The Navy’s new focus on distributed maritime operations and the incorporation of high-end weapons is prompting a re-look at the future Large Surface Combatant program and an apparent delay in the planned start of the new ship class.

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– not a direct replacement for the cruiser or destroyer, but a generic next step for the surface navy – would be awarded to a shipbuilder in 2023 or 2024. However, this week’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request shows shipbuilding requests out through 2024 and makes no mention of the Large Surface Combatant procurement. A budget briefing noted $71 million in research and development funds in FY 2020 but provided no other clues about the program’s future.

Asked about this apparent delay in the new ship’s start, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told USNI News that the requirement for the ship is being revisited in light of the new focus on future operating concepts that emphasize distributed, lethal – and in many cases unmanned – platforms equipped with weapons still in development.

“I’ve got to tell you, given the discussion that’s happened already, first question that we have to do is prove to ourselves that we need a large surface combatant. What is the unique contribution of something like that in the face of all these emerging technologies?” Richardson said while speaking to reporters after a speech at the annual McAleese Defense Programs event.
“Right now the discussions point to the fact that it brings a unique capability in terms of house larger types of weapons, larger missiles; you certainly get more aperture on a bigger sensor; those sorts of things.”

Richardson did not say how long a delay the new combatant may face while these discussions take place.

The FY 2020 budget request also notes the Navy’s intention to cancel a planned cruiser modernization and life-extension program – which the service has asked to do previously and Congress would not agree to. Though the Large Surface Combatant is not meant to be a one-for-one cruiser replacement, today’s cruiser houses the air defense commander’s team for the carrier strike group, and the Large Surface Combatant was expected to pick up that mantle.

A recurring feature of the 2020 budget request is an acceleration of emerging technologies – things that the Navy hasn’t defined its requirement for and industry hasn’t perfected, but that the Pentagon is sure it will need in this era of great power competition – at the expense of known technologies and programs. The future frigate, which will likely command and control a variety of unmanned vehicles in all domains, was accelerated in the budget, as were the development of medium and large unmanned surface vehicles. Meanwhile, the destroyer program was reduced by one ship over the five-year Future Years Defense Program, the cruisers will retire earlier, Large Surface Combatant is delayed and amphibious warship procurement was slowed.

Richardson, in his speech and to reporters, said the Navy was moving fast on these emerging technologies, pouring $1.3 billion into “accelerated acquisition” programs alone for things like laser weapons, unmanned underwater and surface vehicles, and the development of an operational architecture to connect unmanned systems to manned ships and intelligence and fire control data.

“We’ve got to get that capability moving faster, and so we’ve done a lot in our budget to try to accelerate these things,” Richardson said during his speech.

However, he acknowledged that the Navy is still wrapping its head around what exactly distributed maritime operations is and what it means for the Navy, its operational plans and its acquisition needs.

Asked by USNI News about changing its spending plans before having a solid idea about what to buy and how to operate it, he said there was an “iterative discussion” happening, but that the discussion was clearly focused on the National Defense Strategy and the great power competition it described.

“We stood up these
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: one primarily conceptual on the East Coast, one primarily capabilities on the West Coast. But they’re going to be in kind of a dynamic tension, because concepts will give rise to desired capabilities; new capabilities will open up doors for new conceptual approaches,” he said.
“So this is really a vibrant and exciting time as we move forward, and of course it’s going to have budgetary implications because we need to buy new stuff, try it out in exercises and experiments, adjust as we need – and so you’ll see, I think, a much more fluid approach going forward.”

In describing the Navy’s 2020 budget request, Richardson said, “the high-level message of the budget is that it is, one, focused on great power competition. Two, it is very focused on moving into the future with respect to some of these emerging technologies that are going to be decisive: so conventional prompt strike, hypersonics, directed energy, artificial intelligence, autonomy, machine learning.”

But those priorities are paid for by canceling the refueling of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), which was set to begin its mid-life overhaul in 2025. In a further nod to the fluidity of the Navy’s understanding of what a future fight looks like and therefore what gear it needs, Richardson said the Navy had to weigh another 25 years of life for a Nimitz-class carrier against “requirements which are being studied.”

“We’re continuing to study the security environment. We’re doing a force structure assessment that will update the (2016) force structure assessment that resulted in the 355 ship goal. The combatant commanders are doing their analysis of the security environment and updating their global campaign plans. That work will all be done this year,” Richardson said.
“And what this budget also entails is the flexibility to respond to what those studies tell us. … If we continue to see a need for more aircraft carriers, we have the flexibility to revisit that decision on the Truman.”

Air Force Brat

Super Moderator
Feb 5, 2019
OK before TE notices "... the Air Force’s budget seeks funding for ... eight new F-15EX planes for $1.1 billion."
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So actually we should all read this article before making up our minds, after reading this I am a definite yes, this is a 20,000 hr airframe, as opposed to an 8,000 hr airframe, the E model will have two cockpits with full flight controls, for use as a trainer or multi-mission aircraft....

this program would result in the ability to basically buy new aircraft for little more than the SLEP's for the F-15 which will likely be very expensive, ask me, I've worked on lots of old airplanes......

and this would be a lead in for a 1-1 replacement program for F-15 C's and D's, with an initial 12? aircraft?

Now Jura, your new assignment, should you decide to accept, is to take that picture in Tyler's article, with David Goldfein, Marilyn Husan, and Dojo, and insert it into the F-35 thread.... it is from RIAT 2018.....

Actually Terran, or anybody could grab this picture for me, it answers the most important burning F-35 question in my mind? anyway Dudes, the F-35 thread.....
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