US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

The US Navy, facing a shortfall, aims to ink an enormous attack sub contract next month
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very interesting, considering Oct 28, 2018
quoting from p. 18 of
An Analysis of
the Navy’s
Fiscal Year 2019
Shipbuilding Plan
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"Under the 2019 shipbuilding plan, submarines would
consume the lion’s share of shipbuilding funds over
the next 30 years—almost half of the amount needed
for new-ship construction (see
Table 6). The Navy
currently operates 14 Ohio class ballistic missile
submarines, 4 Ohio class guided missile submarines
(SSGNs) modified from the SSBN version, and
50 attack submarines of several classes. Over the next
three decades, the Navy plans to buy 12 new SSBNs,
with the first purchase occurring in 2021. In a major
departure from the last five shipbuilding plans, the Navy
also wants to purchase 5 “large payload submarines”
that are intended to replace the capability provided
by the SSGNs that will be retired in the mid- to late
2020s. It also plans to buy 60 new attack submarines,
including 30 Virginia class submarines that will carry
more weapons than existing Virginias and 30 attack
submarines of a new, advanced design. Production of
those ships is set to begin in 2034."

and here's the chart (p. 12; 16 of 33 in PDF):

and so on:
The U.S. Navy is preparing to sign a contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat and subcontractor
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for the next tranche of
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, according to budget documents submitted to Congress this week.

The 10-ship contract, which will include the 84-foot Virginia Payload Module upgrades, is planned for April, the documents say. The VPM is designed to triple the
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capacity of the Virginia-class subs, a move designed to offset the pending retirement of the Ohio-class guided-missile subs, which have 154-Tomahawk capacity . Each Virginia Payload Module sub will have a 40-Tomahawk loadout.

The first Virginia Payload Module ship, SSN-803, was awarded last year and is planned for a 2025 delivery, the documents say.

The contract is sure to be the largest submarine contract since 2014, when the Navy signed a 10-sub, $17.6 billion contract with Electric Boat and HII for the Block IV Virginia subs. The first of the
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, the attack submarine Vermont, is slated to be delivered in October, according to budget materials, with the final Block IV slated to be delivered in 2023.

The contract could still face delays, however. Last year’s budget materials listed the contract date for the Block V boats as October 2018, which has come and gone.

The Navy is pushing to boost attack submarine production ahead of an expected dip in attack boat numbers. The Navy expects to drop from 52 to 42 attack boats by the late 2020s, a move that prompted the Navy this year
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and bump the start of LPD Flight II construction.

The Navy’s top officer said the move is meant to get the Navy closer to its required SSN levels.

“We’re much farther away from our war-fighting requirement in SSNs than we are in amphibs," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said at a March 13 roundtable. “So that was just a war-fighting priority.”

Richardson also sounded a cautious note on service-life extensions for Los Angeles-class attack submarines, saying the service is looking at each sub individually.

“It’s kind of a case-by-case basis,” Richardson said. "These submarines, the usage over their life is varying. You have to do it hull by hull. Overall, though, I’m pretty optimistic that that’s going to help us meet our requirements and attack submarine numbers.”
Yesterday at 5:41 PM
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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Water Levels Begin to Recede at Offutt as Base Begins to Analyze Flood Damage
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Offutt AFB, Neb., is beginning to analyze the damage from extensive floods that wrecked the base and surrounding region, but while dozens of buildings took on water, the base’s strategically important aircraft stayed safe.

Massive flooding hit Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota beginning Friday, killing at least three people and leaving hundreds of square miles under water. Offutt took the worst damage on its southeastern portion, where most of the flight operations buildings, hangars, and the flightline itself are located, base spokesman Ryan Hansen told Air Force Magazine.

The base was able to move nine of its aircraft away from the base—eight RC-135 Rivet Joints and one E-4B Nightwatch. Four aircraft remained—three 135s and one E-4B. Those aircraft were moved to a part of the flight line on higher ground, and are safe, Hansen said.

The buildings next to the flightline were hardest hit. The majority of the base’s aircraft hangars, maintenance facilities, the 55th Wing headquarters building, 97th Intelligence Squadron building, the 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron building, and the 55th Security Forces building were all flooded. Overall, about 30 buildings were damaged. The 55th Wing flew in a portable dam to try to protect the building holding its high-tech flight simulators, but it could not be deployed in time, Hansen said.

Airmen filled more than 235,000 sandbags and deployed more than 460 flood barriers to try to minimize the damage, but aerial photographs show much of the southeast portion of the base underwater.

The current US Strategic Command headquarters building, along with the new $1.3 billion headquarters facility set to open by the end of the year, are safe. Additionally, base housing is not in the affected area, Hansen said.

The base is starting to analyze aerial pictures, but it is too early for an accurate assessment of the damage, Hansen said. Only mission essential personnel reported to duty as Offutt’s main gate remain closed. Despite the heavy damage to the southeastern portion of the base, the rest of the base is “fine” and remains fully operational, he said.

Col. Michael Manion, commander of the 55th Wing, said on Facebook, “It is extremely clear that we face a grand challenge. The Warhawks are up to the task but it will be a steady recovery.”

The flood damage appears to be more serious than the June 2017 tornado that touched down in the same part of the base that is currently under water. That tornado damaged seven RC-135s and two E-4Bs, along with structures on the flightline.

The storm also comes as the Air Force is still determining how it will rebuild another Air Combat Command base severely damaged by a natural disaster. Most of Tyndall AFB, Fla., was destroyed when a hurricane directly hit the base in October. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told lawmakers
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it expects to need about $1 billion to start recovering the Florida base.
Mar 13, 2019
Feb 2, 2019
and now a blockbuster:
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Let a hundred hypersonic flowers bloom, Pentagon officials say, instead of a single cumbersome mega-program.
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while now
Northrop launches hypersonic defense push
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With the Pentagon making
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a priority, Northrop Grumman is throwing its hat into the ring in an attempt to claim space in the still-early hypersonic defense market.

The company last week launched a new
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focused on hypersonic defense as part of a broader push into the business area, where the Pentagon expects to spend more than $10 billion in the next five years to develop offensive and defensive capabilities.

Hypersonic defense is significantly behind hypersonic offense, something Kenn Todorov, vice president of missile defense solutions and the lead for Northrop’s counter-hypersonic efforts, acknowledged in a March 19 interview. That means there is a lot of room for experimentation in how to tackle the issue.

“What we’re hearing from our customer is: ‘We want to reach out and touch this thing as far forward into the battlespace, giving the war fighter as much battlespace as possible,’ ” he said. “This threat spends most of its time in the glide phase, and I think that’s where we want to reach out and touch it, both kinetically or with” non-kinetic means.

Northrop has benefited by
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for direct advertisements. In 2014, when the Air Force asked competitors on the Long Range Strike Bomber program to keep a low profile, Northrop instead launched a TV, radio and print
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. Despite angering some in the service with that move, the company eventually won the contract for what has since become the B-21 bomber.

How aggressive the company intends to be with this campaign remains to be seen, but the fact that Northrop launched the site around the same time as the
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release, and then reached out to reporters, indicates the company hopes to establish itself in the hypersonic defense market ahead of potential competitors.

As to the strategy, Todorov and Joanna Cangianelli, the company’s direct of business development for missile defense solutions and counter-hypersonics, laid out a four-tiered layer for the company’s approach:

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    based in space.
  • Kinetic interceptors, which will be built off existing capabilities within the company and work for both the terminal and glide phases.
  • Non-kinetic capabilities, primarily cyber, electronic warfare and directed energy.
  • The command-and-control systems to make it all work.
Development-wise, expect a focus first on the space-based sensor layer, per the Pentagon’s focus. The other systems will follow, building off existing technologies on which the company has already been developing, said Cangianelli.

The two executives declined to go into technical or strategic details for competitive reasons, including whether the non-kinetic capabilities could be part of a “left of launch” defense — that is, a capability to take out a
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before it can get into the air.

But at various points they acknowledged that Northrop’s addition of
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has added “extensive” capabilities relevant to hypersonic defense, that the firm has seen “breakthroughs” in the non-kinetic options, and that they see close allies as “potential partners” for the hypersonic defense mission, either as contributors to developing technology or as participants in the broader defense network.

In addition, Todorov insisted several times that the idea of taking an existing interceptor and modifying it simply won’t work, given the physics of hypersonic weapons.

“As a company, we’re investing a lot of our own resources to give us a leg up and to do some things so we’ll be ready, forward-looking as opposed to reactionary,” he said. “We clearly are anticipating that those numbers will come, and we want to be ready for them and be out front when we do so we’ll be well-positioned.”
Yesterday at 8:27 PM
The US Navy, facing a shortfall, aims to ink an enormous attack sub contract next month
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very interesting, considering Oct 28, 2018
and so on:
Late is the new normal for Virginia-class attack boats
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The U.S. Navy is dealing with persistent delays throughout its submarine-building enterprise as it prepares to enter into a historically large contract for the complicated Block V
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and begin heavy work on the
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The Virginia-class boats across the board are facing delivery delays of between four and seven months, according to
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materials submitted to Congress. The setbacks are part of a systemwide issue, with the Navy ramping up demand on the supplier base in the wake of pressure on shipbuilding budgets and a shrinking fleet.

But it’s a problem the Navy will have to address as it prepares to buy the 10-ship Block V Virginia-class boats, nine of which will have the 84-foot Virginia Payload Module designed to triple the Tomahawk capacity of the Virginia class. The previous block buy in 2014 was $17.6 billion, and the new contract could be closer to $20 billion with the addition of the VPM.

The Navy also faces an imperative to begin to field its new ballistic missile submarines in the late 2020s, which is part of the national strategic deterrent strategy, an effort that will draw from the same stressed supplier base as the Virginia class.

In a statement, Naval Sea Systems Command acknowledged the delays but cautioned that the program was already on an accelerated path.

“PEO Submarines and the program office have communicated schedule delays to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition — the milestone decision authority for the program,” according to a statement from NAVSEA.

“As the Navy and the shipbuilders continue to address construction performance and utilize opportunities for improvement, up to seven months late is the current estimate — note that this is against an accelerated schedule verse prior block deliveries.”

NAVSEA said the hiccups in the supply system were creating schedule delays because the yards lose time waiting for parts.

“Delays are not associated with key material, but rather the cumulative effect of the two-per-year construction rate impact on the submarine industrial base,” the statement reads. “There are some instances of late material that have an indirect impact on construction, most often causing less-efficient work sequencing, leading to overall ship schedule delays.

“The Navy and shipbuilders are actively working to mitigate these material delays with the vendor base and within the shipyards.”

The cumulative affect is that planned accelerations to the construction schedule will likely not pan out, the statement continues.

“The contract build span for SSNs 792-794 is 62 months and reduces down to 60 months for SSNs 795-801,” NAVSEA said. “The delivery of SSNs 792-798 are estimated to be four to seven months late to contract. These ships will deliver to more-executable construction spans similar to the Block III ship delivery of 66 months.”

The Navy’s top acquisition official said in an email that the stress on the system is a challenge, but one the Navy is working to manage.

“We see continuing stresses on labor, materials, suppliers and shipyard infrastructure as we continue to try to maintain and reduce [construction times],” said James Geurts, the Navy’s head of research, development and acquisition. “Although challenging, we will work through them as we drive the construction span goals below 66 months while adding Virginia payload modules, sustaining the fleet and ramping up the Columbia program.

The Navy on Monday issued $2 billion in contracts for long-lead time material for the Virginia Block V buy,
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USNI News.

Supplier base blues

The delays in the Virginia schedule are a problem for the Navy as it works toward its No. 1 shipbuilding priority: the Columbia program. The Navy has said alternately that it has
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and that it has built in a
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to work around delays, but the service has also made clear from the beginning that the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines are almost spent.

The first Ohio-class boomer will need to decommission in 2027, which puts the pressure on the Navy to deliver the Columbia on time in 2027.

But the state of the submarine industrial base is cause for concern, said Bryan Clark, a retired submariner and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

“It does not bode well if they are already seeing delays in the Virginia program with building two per year,” Clark said. “Within the supplier base there are a lot of sole-source and single-source suppliers who provide parts for Virginia, but also for Columbia. One of the unintended consequences of using a lot of common components between Virginia and Columbia is you have to rely on the same suppliers.”

The Navy likes common parts and components because it cuts down on specialized training, maintenance time and costs, but if the supplier is not sized to take on the level of work the Navy wants, it can cause delays to creep into the system, Clark explained.

Furthermore, the suppliers may be hesitant to invest in expanding their business because within recent memory the Navy has cut back on submarine building. Some suppliers remember the lean times and don’t want to be caught out on a limb when Columbia wraps up.

“In the 1990s we suffered a reduction in sub building with the Seawolf debacle,” Clark said, referring to a submarine program that was slashed from 29 to three hulls because of costs. “Then we moved to Virginia and that had a lot of problems starting out.

“There was a five- or six-year period when we weren’t building a lot of submarines, and a lot of suppliers went out of business. The suppliers that survived right-sized their business to meet the current demand, and these companies are saying: ‘Do I expand now when down the road there could be another issue like Seawolf?’ ”

It’s a question the Navy is going to have to tackle if it hopes to field Columbia on time, Clark said, but it was not an issue that was unexpected.

“This is something that was always going to happen as the Navy ramped up,” Clark said. “And the Navy is starting to see it with building two Virginias per year.”
LOL time for one of my favorite quotes (its source inside Sep 9, 2015)

"Laser skeptics sometimes note that laser proponents over the years have made numerous predictions about when lasers might enter service with DOD, and that these predictions repeatedly have not come to pass. Viewing this record of unfulfilled predictions, skeptics might argue that “lasers are X years in the future—and always will be.”

Navy Ready to ‘Burn the Boats’ with 2021 Laser Installation on a Destroyer
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In the next two years, the Navy wants to deploy a laser aboard a guided-missile destroyer as the service learns to integrate directed energy weapon systems on warships, the Navy’s director of surface warfare said on Wednesday.

“We are going to burn the boats if you will and move forward with this technology,” Rear Adm. Ron Boxall said during the Booz, Allen, Hamilton and CSBA Directed Energy Summit 2019.

The service is targeting 2021 to install a High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance weapon system aboard a West Coast Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA destroyer, Boxall said.

The 60-kilowatt HELIOS, much more powerful than the 20-kilowatt laser weapon system the Navy tested aboard afloat forward staging base USS Ponce five years ago, is designed to counter small attack boats small unmanned aerial vehicles.

Last year, Lockheed Martin won a $150 million contract to develop two of the systems – one for shore testing and a second to be installed on a destroyer. The Navy initially planned for the installation in 2020 for what it is calling the Surface Navy Laser Weapon System Increment 1.

HELIOS will serve as an early test case to integrate a laser system into the Aegis combat system of the Navy’s surface fleet. Additionally, the laser system provides a new capability as a sensor to give more precise targeting data than a ship’s combat system.

Combining both the capabilities of the sensor and the offensive power Boxall said was the largest challenge to putting lasers aboard warships.

“The problem I have today is the integration of that system into my existing combat system. If I’m going to burn the boats, I’m going to replace something I have today with that system doing that mission with these weapons,” Boxall said.
“If I have this system that can kill and I have a system that can actually sense, then I have to make sure it integrates with the other things I have on my ship that can sense and kill, namely the Aegis weapon system.”

For the specific deployment on the destroyer in 2021, the Navy will have to learn the basics of using the laser tied to the ship’s combat system.

“It’s a crawl, walk, run approach,” Boxall said in answer to a USNI News question.
“Starting with the simple level, it’s closing the fire control loop and moving from there.
Fundamentally, we’re going to start to make sure we have a two-way input output from the laser into the combat system so we can track and sense using the laser. That’s a starting point and we’ll see how it progresses from there.”

Moving beyond the HELIOS installation, the Navy is working toward future increments of the SNLWS to be able to use the system against larger targets like anti-ship cruise missiles.

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
incredible (hey Brumby) claims inside
Posted: March 20, 2019 4:52 PM
Navy Deploying New Shipboard Laser Weapon Systems in 2019, 2021
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In case anyone did not know or missed this the USN installed a laser aboard USS Ponce in 2014 and removed the system in 2017 and installed it aboard USS Portland.;

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Yes I see it in the above article posted by Jura...
In case anyone did not know or missed this the USN installed a laser aboard USS Ponce in 2014 and removed the system in 2017 and installed it aboard USS Portland.;

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Yes I see it in the above article posted by Jura...
Oct 17, 2017
Sep 28, 2017

so I'm curious what will happen to this LaWS contraption now:
USS Ponce, Last of the Austin-class Amphibious warships, Decommissions
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bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
You know.. people can read and read and re-read about that laser but does anyone really know what the true capabilities of the laser are? I don't...:confused: