US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


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well I wondered if you'd concede a decrease in the NGDA funding from
#9945 anzha, Sep 4, 2018
(think I noticed earlier this week in the budget proposal);

was glad to see you did Friday at 11:07 PM

time holds the key anyway

Of course, I did.

I read once that you can believe anything you want, but reality doesn't need to keep a straight face.

Best face reality for what it is.

Time will tell with the NGAD. They could hork it up. They could do amazingly well. Time will tell. All we can do is guess on the information we get.


US wants to push for higher defense budget with China in mind.

New US military budget focused on China despite border talk

Chinese bombers. Chinese hypersonic missiles. Chinese cyberattacks. Chinese anti-satellite weapons.

To a remarkable degree, the 2020 Pentagon budget proposal is shaped by national security threats that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has summarized in three words: “China, China, China.”

The U.S. is still fighting small wars against Islamic extremists, and Russia remains a serious concern, but Shanahan seeks to shift the military’s main focus to what he considers the more pressing security problem of a rapidly growing Chinese military.

This theme, which Shanahan outlined Thursday in presenting the administration’s proposed 2020 defense budget to the Senate Armed Services Committee, is competing for attention with narrower, more immediate problems such as President Donald Trump’s effort to use the military to build a border wall.

The hearing, for example, spent more time on the wall and prospects for using military funds to build parts of it than on any aspect of foreign policy, including the conflict in Syria or military competition with China, Russia or North Korea.

Shanahan is hardly the first defense chief to worry about China. Several predecessors pursued what the Obama administration called a “pivot” to the Pacific, with China in mind. But Shanahan sees it as an increasingly urgent problem that exceeds traditional measures of military strength and transcends partisan priorities.

“We’ve been ignoring the problem for too long,” Shanahan told a senator.

“China is aggressively modernizing its military, systematically stealing science and technology, and seeking military advantage through a strategy of military-civil fusion,” he wrote in prepared testimony to the committee, which is considering a $718 billion Pentagon budget designed in part to counter China’s momentum.

The $25 billion the Pentagon is proposing to spend on nuclear weapons in 2020, for example, is meant in part to stay ahead of China’s nuclear arsenal, which is much smaller than America’s but growing. Shanahan said China is developing a nuclear-capable long-range bomber that, if successful, would enable China to join the United States and Russia as the only nations with air-, sea- and land-based nuclear weapons.

Shanahan ticked off a list of other Chinese advancements — hypersonic missiles against which the U.S. has limited defenses; space launches and other space efforts that could enable it to fight wars in space; “systematically stealing” of U.S. and allied technology, and militarizing land features in the South China Sea.

Bonnie S. Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the U.S. has been lacking effective strategies for competing with China on a broad scale.

“It is overdue,” she said of the Shanahan focus. “We have been somewhat slow in catching up” in such areas as denying China its regional ambitions, including efforts to fully control the South China Sea, which is contested by several other countries.

Some defense analysts think Shanahan and the Pentagon have inflated the China threat.

“I do think it’s worth asking what exactly is threatening about China’s behavior,” said Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He doesn’t discount China as a security issue, including in the South China Sea, but doubts the U.S. military is the institution best suited to deal with such non-military problems as cyber intrusions into American commercial networks.

In Preble’s view, competition with the Chinese is not mainly military. “I still don’t believe the nature of the threat is quite as grave as we’re led to believe” by the Pentagon, he said. “They tend to exaggerate the nature of the threat today.”

In his previous role as deputy defense secretary, Shanahan and President Donald Trump’s first defense secretary, Jim Mattis, crafted a national defense strategy that put China at the top of the list of problems.

“As China continues its economic and military ascendance, asserting power through an all-of-nation long-term strategy, it will continue to pursue a military modernization program that seeks Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near-term and displacement of the United States to achieve global pre-eminence in the future,” that strategy document says.

That explains in part why the U.S. is spending billions more on space, including means of defending satellites against potential Chinese attack, and on building hypersonic missiles to stay ahead of Chinese and Russian hypersonic weapons development.

It also explains some of the thinking behind preparing for an early retirement of the USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier, a strategy that views carriers as a less relevant asset in a future armed conflict involving China.

This concern about countering China has permeated the entire U.S. military. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of U.S. Africa Command, said last month that dozens of African heads of state were invited to Beijing last fall to consider billions in Chinese loans and grants, and that China is building thousands of miles of railroads in Africa, mostly linked to Chinese mineral extraction operations.

“They’re heavily invested and heavily involved” in Africa, he said.

The top U.S. commander in Europe told Congress this week that China also is making inroads in Europe.

“China is looking to secure access to strategic geographic locations and economic sectors through financial stakes in ports, airlines, hotels, and utility providers, while providing a source of capital for struggling European economies,” Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said.

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gosh Offut flooding now made it to a major Polish news-server:

Rzeka zalewa bazę 'samolotów dnia ostatecznego'. Woda w centrum dowodzenia arsenałem jądrowym USA
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it's the SDF here, so:
This is what the 7th Fleet’s Sawyer had to say about China
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The U.S. Navy won’t alter its so-called “freedom of navigation” sail-bys in the disputed
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and has pressed ahead with such operations despite
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against an American destroyer, a senior U.S. Navy commander said Monday.

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, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, told reporters in Manila that Washington protested that “unprofessional behavior” by the Chinese ship, which maneuvered very close to the guided-missile destroyer Decatur as the latter sailed closely by a
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in September.

"No, it's not going to change where we do our freedom of navigation operations," Sawyer said when asked if the Sept. 30 incident off Gaven Reef would change such U.S. Navy operations.

Several such sail-bys have been undertaken by American naval ships since that close encounter in the disputed waters, he said.

"It was concerning because the ships got too close," Sawyer said, adding that U.S. officials have voiced "our displeasure with what we consider to be unprofessional behavior."

The Decatur had sailed
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when a Chinese destroyer dangerously approached within 45 yards (41 meters) of the bow of the U.S. Navy ship, which changed course to prevent a collision.

The Decatur was also warned to leave the area, U.S. Pacific Fleet officials said at the time.

China said the Luoyang, a Chinese missile destroyer, was deployed to identify the U.S. warship and drive it away near Chinese territory. Beijing protested the Decatur's action as provocative.

One of seven disputed reefs transformed by China into militarily fortified islands in recent years, Gaven is claimed by China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Malaysia and Brunei also have claims in the South China Sea.

While Washington has no claims to the strategic waterway, it has declared that freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of the disputes are in the U.S. national interest.

The U.S. has also questioned China’s expansive claims, bringing it into a collision course with Beijing.

The U.S. Navy will continue freedom of navigation sail-bys and patrols in the South China Sea and elsewhere “until there are no excessive maritime claims throughout the world,” said Sawyer, who spoke onboard the 7th Fleet’s flagship Blue Ridge, which arrived in Manila on Thursday for a visit after sailing through the South China Sea.

China has long been wary of the U.S. military presence in the disputed waterway and has asked Washington not to meddle in a purely Asian dispute.

The U.S. has insisted the routine patrols and exercises it has carried out with allies in the region for more than 70 years has helped foster the regional stability that has allowed many Asian countries to prosper economically.

Sawyer said the Navy's joint or multilateral exercises with American allies were crucial in the region or elsewhere.

“I encourage bilateral and multilateral exercises, the more the better,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Manila early this month that the United States is committed to ensuring the South China Sea remains open to all kinds of navigation and that “China does not pose a threat” of closing the disputed sea lanes.
to my dismay (LOL)
US Navy is investing in ‘Ghost Fleet’ USVs to support manned operations

15 March 2019
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In its Fiscal Year 2020 defence budget, the US Navy has set aside $400m to research and develop two of the proposed ‘Ghost Fleet’ large unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), in an attempt to quickly field a new breed of armed surface combatants for use alongside manned operations.

While the US Navy currently deploys some smaller USVs for some activities, it is looking to buy ten larger corvette-sized unmanned ships that can use different types of sensors and, potentially, a new vertical launch system to fire guided missiles.

“It will be smaller, potentially more cost-imposing and more attritable than conventional ships – in addition to being more affordable,” said US Navy deputy assistant secretary for budget rear admiral Randy Crites.

“We procure ten large USVs, that’s two per year…These are currently funded as they’re laid in now, through research and development, however we expect to transition this programme to ship construction at some point later in the FDIP [financial data in procurement] as we further develop the capability of command, control, and the concepts of operations through fleet demonstration.”

Crites noted that the US Navy has already
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in nine Lockheed Martin Orca extra-large unmanned undersea vehicles (XLUUV), which it is developing in areas such as “payload integration, military utility assessment, as well as vehicle employment to accelerate solutions for emerging fleet requirements.”

The deputy assistant secretary told reporters that while the specific hull form of the new Ghost Fleet is unknown, initial test articles weighed in at 2,000t and were around 200ft to 300ft in length, much larger than smaller USVs currently being experimented with, such as DARPA’s Sea Hunter vessel.

According to
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, chief of naval operations admiral John Richardson said he hoped for swift progress on the Ghost Fleet, comparing it to the aggressive push for the navy’s
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unmanned aircraft, which has been fast-tracked for operational use by the early or mid-2020s.

The Ghost Fleet is an important development for the US Navy, especially at a time when Russia and China are developing advanced naval and military capabilities.

Richardson added: “The overall benefits are that you can certainly reduce cost of the platform because you don’t have to support and protect people. You can also change the risk equation because you don’t have human life involved. By virtue of that you can potentially build more of them.”

After the completion of the development phase, the US Navy said it will buy two Ghost Fleet USVs per year until 2024, spending around $2.7bn in total.
Aug 25, 2018
apparently my first post about modernizing or not the Ticos: Apr 26, 2015
With $294 million in contracts, the US Navy keeps its promise to upgrade cruisers
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Once again, the US Navy looks to scrap its largest combatants to save money
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The U.S. Navy is eyeing canceling six planned
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, meaning the Navy will be short six of its current 22 largest surface combatants by 2022, according to defense officials who spoke to Defense News on background.

The plan as it will be proposed to Congress is to
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Bunker Hill, Mobile Bay, Antietam, Leyte Gulf, San Jacinto and Lake Champlain in 2021 and 2022, foregoing plans for service life extensions that have been supported in Congress in the past.

All the ships will be at or near the end of their 35-year service lives when they are decommissioned, but the Navy has yet to decide on a replacement for the cruisers, the largest combatants in the fleet with 122 vertical launch systems cells. This comes at a time when the Navy needs as many missiles downrange as it can field as it squares off with the threat from Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles.

Cruisers have 26 more VLS cells per hull than their Arleigh Burke Flight IIA destroyer counterparts, and 32 more than the Flight I Burkes.

But the cruisers, which act as the lead air defense ship in a carrier strike group, have been notoriously difficult to maintain as the fleet has managed everything from cracking hulls to aging pipes and mechanical systems. The ships’ SPY-1 radars have also been difficult to maintain, as components age and need constant attention from technicians to keep up.

In the past, Congress has outright rejected any plans to decommission the cruisers without the Navy having a replacement program. But the tone on the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces has begun to shift on this issue.

When asked about his position on the Navy’s plan to decommission the six oldest cruisers beginning in 2021, HASC Seapower Chairman Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., did not dismiss the idea outright.

“The Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee has engaged in robust debate over the years on the best path to maintain our fleet of cruisers," Courtney said in a statement. “In previous years, we have put significant restrictions on the retirement and life-extensions to ensure that the fleet maintains a capable cruiser fleet. I fully anticipate that the subcommittee will again review tradeoffs as it relates to the cruiser fleet as we begin our work on the FY20 NDAA.”

Courtney’s Republican counterpart on the committee, ranking member Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., also sounded a cautious note when asked about the decision.

““I believe we should be looking holistically as to options to meet the 355 ship Navy requirement,” Wittman said. “I think that we need to carefully review Navy’s recommendation that reverses their service life extension recommendation of last year. These cruisers are integral to the carrier battle group and in the end, we need to ensure that the Navy has the right force structure to meet combatant commander requirements.”

Moving on

The shift in Congress is likely because lawmakers are coming to terms with the deteriorating condition of the ships, said Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain an expert with the Telemus Group.

“I think there is a growing recognition that the material condition of the ships is going to limit most of them to their rated service life,” Hendrix said. “But I think there will be an effort to see if some number of the cruisers can be saved. I think with the announcement of the follow-on large surface combatant that it’s clear that the Navy is ready to move on and identify a successor for the Ticonderoga class.”

The Navy has announced that it plans to buy a replacement large surface combatant, but recently delayed the first buy from 2023 to 2025,
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The Navy’s top officer told reporters in a roundtable March 14 that the service was working through the requirements process.

“We’re early in the discussion of requirements on the large surface combatant. I’ve got to tell you, given kind of the discussion that’s happened already, the first question that we have to do is prove to ourselves that we need a large surface combatant,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. “What is the unique contribution of something like that in the face of all of these emerging technologies?

Richardson said early analysis showed that the big sensors and missile capacity were a pressing need, but said discussions were ongoing.


The fate of the cruisers has been a nearly annual fight on Capitol Hill as the Navy has tried desperately to divest themselves of the troublesome class.

The service repeatedly drew the ire of former HASC Seapower chairman Randy Forbes, R-Va., who said the Navy couldn’t be trusted not to decommission the ships and who wrote clear language into several NDAA bills prohibiting the move.

The Navy ultimately agreed to the so-called 2-4-6 plan in 2015, which allowed the Navy to lay up two cruisers a year, for no more than four years and allow no more than six of the ships to undergo modernization at any one time. The Navy began modernizing the cruisers Cowpens and Gettysburg last year in accordance with the plan.

Both Cowpens and Gettysburg were put into phased modernization in 2015, meaning they’ll need to come out in 2019.

The Navy’s cruiser modernization efforts will likely continue in 2019. The cruisers Vicksburg and Chosin were inducted into phased modernization in 2016, meaning they will be within their year window next year. Furthermore, the Navy asked for funding for six cruiser service-life extensions in 2019, according to its most recent 30-year shipbuilding plan.

The Navy plans to release an updated 30-year shipbuilding plan in the coming days and declined to comment on the plan for the cruisers until the plan is made public.

The Navy has been making the most of the ships while they have them, however. The cruiser Mobile Bay in 2017 became the first ship in the fleet to have the latest and greatest version of Aegis, Baseline 9, installed on its older open-architecture Baseline 8 system, an experiment to prove that new installs on older ships could be done in a matter of weeks, not months and years, a system the Navy wants to employ in all ships going forward.
DoD requests almost $23B for key intel account
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thought it's much more
The Pentagon wants to increase its
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for a fifth straight year.

The Department of Defense has requested $22.95 billion for the top-line budget of the Military Intelligence Program, the DoD announced Monday. While the
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was released last week, the MIP request typically comes days or weeks afterward.

That total includes both base budget and overseas contingency operations funding. No further budget figures or program details will be released for “national security reasons,” per a department statement.

A 2016
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report says the MIP represents “defense intelligence activities intended to support tactical military operations and priorities,” including “tactical-level systems, people and activities” for the Pentagon and services as they work on intelligence gathering.

That report also identified some of the funding as going toward U.S. Special Operations Command as it pursues “several current acquisition efforts focused on outfitting aircraft — both manned and unmanned, fixed and rotary wing — with advanced ISR and data storage capabilities that will work in multiple environments.” It also can be used for “Advanced Sensors Application Program; Foreign Materiel Acquisition and Exploitation Program, and the Horizontal Fusion Program” at the level of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

In the early part of the decade, the MIP dropped from a high of $27 billion in FY10, hitting its low point in FY15 at $16.6 billion, according to numbers maintained by the analytics group Avascent.

But it has steadily increased since then, with the Pentagon receiving $17.7 billion in FY16, $18.5 billion in FY17 and $21.1 billion in FY18. While it has not released the enacted amount of FY19, the department requested $21.2 billion for that fiscal year.
Mar 9, 2019
Jan 25, 2018

now though it's above 100m (LOL)
Contracts for March 7, 2019
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"Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, Northridge, California, is awarded a $322,504,595 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to provide for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the AGM-88G, Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER). The EMD effort includes the design, integration and test of a new solid rocket motor for the AARGM-ER for use on the F/A-18E/F, EA-18G and F-35A/C aircraft platforms. Work will be performed in Northridge, California (98 percent); and Ridgecrest, California (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2023. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $55,087,929 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0050)."
and here's the link to The Drive's story
Air Force To Turn Navy Air Defense Busting Missile Into High-Speed Critical Strike Weapon
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