US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Jura

General
now I could dig out a post where I admitted I had supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq (without believing in so called Iraqi WMD), heck I even admired the blizkrieg-type campaign, but I think this link is enough, I repeatedly made hissing (?) sounds while reading Take It From an Iraq War Supporter—War With Iran Would Be a Disaster
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Jura

General
Sunday at 8:48 AM
Dec 20, 2018
now
USAF to Award Light Attack Contract This Fall
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5/10/2019


EDIT
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Light Attack Acquisition Enters Notification Phase
dated May 8, 2019
:
and
US special ops command at odds with Air Force over need for light-attack aircraft
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U.S. Special Operations Command is bullish at the prospect of buying a light-attack aircraft, according to the command’s top leaders — a marked contrast from the U.S. Air Force, which wants to expand the effort to other types of platforms.

The Air Force this year
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. The service had evaluated offerings in 2017 and was set to release a request for proposals at the end of 2018.

The plan now is to continue with experimentation and broaden the scope of a possible program that might include rotorcraft, fixed-wing and unmanned options.

But while the Air Force considers whether it needs a light-attack capability, SOCOM Commander Gen. Richard Clarke said a light-attack platform is essential for its forces and the mission it serves.

“Light attack is a need for SOCOM, and I think it’s a need for our nation,” Clarke said during a House Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing in April.

“One, it will help our special operators on the ground for identification and protection from all our enemy forces,” he said. “Second reason, as we look at the foreign internal defense of other nations, there are many nations that are now developing their own air forces, and in many cases they are light attack.”

Special operators train foreign militaries as one of its central missions, particularly to counter terrorism.

“The most cost-effective [counterterrorism] effort is the one done by our partners and allies if we can help them be successful, and many of them simply don’t have the resources to put into fifth-generation fighters,” Mark Mitchell, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, said at the hearing. “From our strategic perspective, we think the flight hours for those fifth-generation fighters are best spent preparing and deterring our near-peer competitors.”

Air Force leaders are more tentative about the need for a light-attack capability. While Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has spoken about how a light-attack plane would allow the service to accomplish low-end missions more cheaply, he’s also said the service won’t divert funds from priorities like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, B-21 bomber or KC-46 tanker to pay for a light-attack program.

He has also said the Air Force’s experimentation campaign must be expanded to accommodate the needs of allies and partner nations who might benefit from a light-attack capability — as well as greater interoperability with the United States.

"What is the right mix and how do we bring allies and partners in right now with us — not just periodically parachute in — but how do we expand this experiment to bring them into the tent with us?” Goldfein told Defense News in January.

Over the next several years, the Air Force plans to buy a small number of light-attack aircraft and deploy them to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada — where Red Flag and a number of other high-profile training exercises take place — and Hurlburt Field, Florida, the home of Air Force Special Operations Command.

Earlier this month, the
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to buy two to three A-29s from Sierra Nevada Corp. and Embraer by the end of the fiscal year. It plans to make a similar procurement of Textron’s AT-6 during the same time frame, an Air Force spokeswoman said.

However, it doesn’t plan to start a light-attack program of record until at least 2022.

Several lawmakers seem intent on preventing the Air Force from walking back on bringing additional light-attack capabilities online.

“It is my position there’s still a need for it though because F-35, F-22s are high-end,” Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon said. “We need something [in a] permissive environment that’s cheaper to operate and more efficient to operate.”

And Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., said: “While we, of course, as a nation need things that fly far, fast and high, we need things that fly low, armored, and can loiter and can land in places like West Africa.”

Waltz said he will continue to press the Air Force on the capability because “we need it now."

Mitchell added he was “hopeful” that SOCOM and the Air Force can come up with a “suitable solution.”

While he didn’t have specifics related to a possible program, Clarke said SOCOM will work with the Air Force and Goldfein “to look at the timing and the mix and where we go forward with that.”
 

Jura

General
here comes
US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.
:
B-52 Bomber Removed from 'Boneyard' to Return to Service
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A
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bomber built in the early 1960s and put into retirement in an
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"boneyard" in the Arizona desert over 10 years ago is returning to service.

A crew on Tuesday flew the plane nicknamed "Wise Guy" to
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in Louisiana from Tucson where it had been in a sprawling aircraft storage area at
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.

Officials said it was the bomber's first flight since 2008 and only the second time that a B-52H has taken from the storage area and returned to service.

It took months of work to make the bomber airworthy again, and additional restoration work is required to put it back in service.

The bomber will replace one destroyed in a 2016 fire at a base in Guam.

U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Burgess, 307th Operations Group commander, gives a thumbs up after flying a B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed "Wise Guy," to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, May 14, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ted Daigle)
 

Jura

General
Apr 25, 2019
Apr 11, 2019
and
Troubled Lockheed Helicopter Needs New Review, Inhofe Tells Pentagon
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  • GOP senator cites concerns about delayed $31 billion program
  • Navy set to award contract for up to 14 more King Stallions
now
Navy Awards Sikorsky $1.13B for Next 12 CH-53K Heavy-Lift Helicopters
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The Department of the Navy awarded Sikorsky a $1.13-billion contract for 12 CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters, the Defense Department announced on Friday.

The contract to the Lockheed Martin-owned company covers Lots 2 and 3 of the helicopter, which will replace the aging CH-53E Super Stallion. The Navy plans to buy 200 CH-53Ks over the life of the program.

This award comes after an overhaul of the helicopter’s test program, which had fallen behind due to inefficiencies in the test plan and technical problems in the design of the aircraft. Those problems included an exhaust gas reingestion problem in the helo’s three-engine design. A recent Pentagon Selected Acquisition Report noted 126 design deficiencies,
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, and the Department of the Navy has since worked with Sikorsky to restructure the remaining test program.

After cost growth in the Lot 1 contract for the helicopters, the Navy and Marine Corps reduced this contract to 12, compared to a previous plan to buy 14 under Lots 2 and 3.

“The aircraft quantity was negotiated for 12 vice 14 aircraft due to cost growth identified during Lot 1 production as well as the cost of incorporating the correction of known technical deficiencies that have resulted from developmental flight test to date,” Navy spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez told USNI News.
“The lower quantity will allow the program to afford the aircraft while preserving planned support efforts within the budget and program schedule.”

In a Friday news release, Navy and Marine Corps leadership expressed confidence in the program despite the challenges it has faced over the past year or so.

“The Marine Corps is very appreciative of the efforts by the Navy and our industry partners to be able to award the LRIP 2/3 contract,” Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, the deputy commandant for aviation, said in a news release.
“This is a win for the Marine Corps and will secure the heavy-lift capability we need to meet future operational requirements and support the National Defense Strategy. I’m very confident in the success of the CH-53K program and look forward to fielding this critical capability.”

“This contract award reflects close cooperation and risk sharing between the Government and industry teams to deliver critical capabilities to the Marine Corps,” James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said in the release.
“Working with our industry partners, the team ensured that solutions for technical challenges are incorporated into these production aircraft. This reflects the urgency to ensure we deliver capabilities necessary to support the Marine Corps and the Department of Navy’s mission, while continuing to drive affordability and accountability into the program.”

In a House Armed Services Committee hearing earlier this spring, Daniel Nega, the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for air programs, told lawmakers on the tactical air and land forces subcommittee that the upcoming contract would put the onus on Sikorsky to address remaining design flaws and fix any other problems that come up during the remainder of testing.

“The flight envelope’s been tested to the corners; Gen. Rudder talked about how we’ve sort of wrung it out,”
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.
“There’s a relatively low risk that anything major will be found. However, if nuisance issues come along, we are not going to give those nuisance issues to the Marines, and the Navy and Marine Corps team is not going to accept the full risk of that. So the risk concurrency between the development and the production, that overlap is going to be taken care of.”

Asked how the contract awarded today would do that, Hernandez told USNI News that “the production contract is structured to ensure a deployable configuration is delivered for fleet use. All known issues are included in the contract, additionally the contract provides provisions for any new issues discovered during flight testing. This will ensure appropriate shared risk between the government and industry.”

...
... goes on below due to size limit
 

Jura

General
the rest of the USNI News
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posted above:
Sikorsky’s Path Forward
Despite the ongoing technical challenges with the helicopter design and the delays in the test program – which has set back the planned start of initial operational test and evaluation but does not appear to threaten the planned first deployment of the helicopter in 2023 or 2024 – Sikorsky officials remain confident that the aircraft is on the right path following last year’s restructure.

“The majority of the technical issues that we’ve discovered over the 1,400 hours of flight test, nothing too terribly different than we would expect to find on a development program,” Bill Falk, Sikorsky’s program director for CH-53K, told USNI News in an interview earlier this month.
“The majority of them are already resolved, already proven and demonstrated in aircraft. We do have a set of issues that we still are in the process of resolving and demonstrating, but we’ve got a plan in place, parts installing in the aircraft and flight test plans to demonstrate that.”

Falk said the company has dedicated one of its six test aircraft to tackle the exhaust gas reingestion issue, spending the last four or five months using computer-aided modeling and data from test flights to develop prototype solutions and test them out on the aircraft.

“We have enough data that we now understand what solution we need to install on the aircraft, demonstrate and validate, which will become part of the production solution,” Falk said.
“So we are at a completely different spot: where there was uncertainty four to five months ago, we have complete confidence now.”

The new test plan is also more focused than the original one, tying each flight test to the delivery of a specific capability rather than just flying for flying’s sake, Falk told USNI News. The helicopter has already demonstrated that it meets or exceeds all requirements for speed, range, altitude, lift capacity and more. Sikorsky and the Navy/Marine Corps team have also conducted hot weather and brownout condition testing in Arizona, and they have certified the helicopter can be transported via C-5 and C-17 cargo planes.

A key upcoming test will be sea trials, where the CH-53K will have to prove it can fly on and off a flight deck and that Marines can maintain it at sea.

Falk said the Navy is looking at a window of late February or early March through May of 2020 for sea trials, and that the tests will take place aboard a yet-to-be-decided amphibious assault ship.

Initial operational test and evaluation is set to begin in early 2021, which would allow the Marine Corps to declare initial operational capability in time for the first deployment in 2023 or 2024.

Though work still remains to be done, Paul Fortunato, director of Marine Corps business development at Sikorsky, and John Rucci, the company’s senior experimental test pilot for the CH-53K, said the new helicopter has already proven it is easier to operate and maintain than its predecessor and that its warfighting capability surpasses the requirements for the aircraft.

Rucci said pilots have total trust in the fly-by-wire cockpit, which essentially lands the helicopter on its own – meaning the pilots can focus on the mission at hand or evading a threat, or can safely land in a sandstorm or other degraded conditions.

And Fortunado said the helo was built with easy maintenance in mind: fewer tools are required, the all-electronic maintenance documents include graphics that maintainers can zoom in on and rotate to help them maintain or repair parts, the logistics footprint is smaller and easier for deployments aboard amphibious ships. The design even includes putting electronic components in “backwards,” meaning the connections are facing outwards and easily accessible when maintainers take off a panel, instead of the wiring being in the back like usual and requiring a Marine to use a mirror to see what is going on behind the component.

At Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina, Falk said, Marines are using one of the system demonstration test article (SDTA) helicopters to work out any remaining issues in the maintenance manuals and to start learning more about how to fix and sustain the new helo.

“There’s Marines crawling around that aircraft, taking it apart, putting it back together again, running the maintenance procedures, and basically using what we developed in order for them to be able to maintain the aircraft,” Falk said.
“So the opportunity for us before we start delivering production aircraft, we can learn from that, we can feed all that back, we can improve our maintenance procedures and basically when the aircraft is deployed deliver a much higher-quality, more efficient set of maintenance instructions. Plus, you’ve got Marines that have already used it, done it, learned.”
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
B-52 Bomber Removed from 'Boneyard' to Return to Service

A couple of more photos as a follow up to the story Jura posted.

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U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Burgess, 307th Operations Group commander, gives a thumbs up after flying a B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed "Wise Guy," to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, May 14, 2019. The bomber had been at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona since 2008. It took a team of Reserve Citizen Airmen and their active duty counterparts four months to prepare "Wise Guy" for flight after its decade long hiatus at AMARG. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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A B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed "Wise Guy," taxis into Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, May 14, 2019. The jet had been sitting at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona since 2008. It is being returned to service to replace a B-52 lost during takeoff in 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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A B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed "Wise Guy," makes its final approach to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, May 14, 2019. The bomber was flown out of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, also known as the "Boneyard", where it had been since 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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A note found inside the cockpit of Wise Guy, a B-52 Stratofortress, is displayed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. The jet has been a the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group since 2008 and was recently flow out to be restored to active service. (courtesy photo)

HI-RES is here >>>>>
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Last edited:

Jura

General
to me it's scary just to read about that course ("covers room clearing, close-quarters battle and combat marksmanship"),
anyway
1st Woman Completes Marines' Urban Leaders Course
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Jura

General
Former Polish defense minister presses for answers on fate of US Patriot buy
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the link just to show I wasn't kidding Apr 7, 2018
well recently I've read a real world article, plus a discussion below it, at defense24.pl (in Polish so I don't bother with the link),

related not just to the Polish acquisition of Patriots (off topic here anyway), and the point is (I won't push it, actually I'm not going respond if there're comments)

countries should be careful when spending billions on HYPED Patriots (with just 120 degrees of radar coverage etc.) IF not integrated in the air-defense system
 

Jura

General
what is this:

"... James Geurts ... looking hard at the contract vehicles. The contract strategy of the future is probably not one contract of one type to one supplier, but a number of contracts. A prime contractor build, a price challenge to look at new technology, a digital twin to evaluate it — all of those things, I think, will play into allowing us to get more credibility in our delivery programs out of the gate."

inside
The US Navy’s top acquisition official talks controlling costs and fixing maintenance
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?
 

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