They are amazing, keeping us safe into the future!@bd popeye @Air Force Brat @Obi Wan Russell @Jura @asif iqbal @siegecrossbow @duncanidaho @Deino @Equation Well, they are a ways out yet...but this is the first step.
They will be exceptionally quiet...even more so than the Ohios. Which is why they cost so much. 12 boats with 16 tubes for Trident II D5s first, then the new missiles late in the 2020s.
Yes, it is a reduction...but it will be more than enough. These subs have a much longer maintenance period so they will be able to be out there in numbers, possibly eight at a time if needed, to do their work of feterence.
a quarter of a million bombThe Air Force’s top weapons development official says Raytheon’s Small Diameter Bomb II, or “StormBreaker,” is ready for primetime despite needing to work out some lingering issues.
“Getting them out into the field, right now I think that's the best way for us to wring this out,” Air Force Weapons Program Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Anthony Genatempo said at a recent Air Force Life Cycle Management Center conference. “Get it into the hands of the people using it, figure out what they can do with it that we did not think of, figure out what things are happening in the operational environment that we were not able to replicate and test, and then feed that back into successive upgrades.”
The Pentagon plans to buy 17,000 SDB IIs, split between 12,000 for the Air Force and 5,000 for the Navy, and will fly it on all current Air Force fighter and bomber aircraft as well as the A-10, AC-130J, and MQ-9. StormBreaker was designed as a precision munition that can communicate with nearby aircraft to attack moving and stationary targets in bad weather and notch “multiple kills per pass,” according to the Air Force.
“The StormBreaker tri-mode seeker uses imaging infrared and millimeter wave radar in its normal mode to give pilots the ability to destroy moving targets, even in adverse weather, from standoff ranges,” Raytheon said in a press release. “Additionally, the weapon can use its semi-active laser guidance to hit targets.”
As of October 2018, the service planned to spend $1.9 billion on development and $2.6 billion on procurement, the Government Accountability Office
StormBreaker’s ability to communicate with its host aircraft needs more vetting, Genatempo said, and other fixes are already being added into the current production batch, Lot 4. Its radio may not be fixed until Lot 6 or 7, and the service plans to address parts that will be outdated in Lot 8.
“Whether or not that is an issue that will prevent fielding, I don't think I can say that. I don't even think Air Combat Command can say that right now,” Genatempo said. “They very well may choose to take an initial delivery of these weapons at the capability they’re at, knowing that one caveat. … It certainly doesn't affect the entire envelope of operation of the weapon. It's a miniature part of one or two different scenarios.”
The weapon is moving closer to being declared ready for initial operations after
“It's a very good conversation and dialogue with Air Combat Command about what they would like, when they would like it, what they're willing to take and employ,” Genatempo said. “I very much think that this weapon is ready to go out [to] operational use.”
The Air Force now expects to reach its “required assets available” milestone, which has changed multiple times, from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 through the end of 2020. It was most recently slated for January 2019. To meet RAA, the service must arm 12 Boeing F-15Es with 144 weapons and own spare parts, support equipment, and more. The milestone was originally scheduled for July 2017.
Genatempo said RAA was pushed back again to avoid punishing the program for having to wait its turn for testing ranges, as range availability is scarce thanks to several weapons programs simultaneously in testing. Delaying the milestone to later this year was “predominantly a paperwork exercise to make sure we didn't breach our [acquisition program baseline],” he said.
now noticed this write-up dated July 1, 2019Lockheed Developing AIM-260 To Counter China’s PL-15
According to Steve Trimble in an interview podcast this week, the chart shown to him by USAF officials had the AIM-260 operating at double the range of the AIM-120D. This indicates the USAF is working on a missile that will have a range in excess of 300 kms. It is likely to be technically challenging as the plan is to retain the present form factor of the AMRAAM so that it can be housed inside the internal bay of the F-22. Given the missile's intended range and the AN/APG-77's capability to detect an AWAC beyond 400 kms, I would suspect the primary aim is to go after China's emerging AWACS fleet. I would also suspect the kill chain would be to use the AN/ALR-94 to passively pick up the azimuth/elevation of the intended target and then to cue the AN/APG-77 with a single LPI RF burst to establish range velocity. In this way, the AWAC would not even know it is being targeted.
Source : AWST article dated June 26, 2019 ,
"Pulling some of this construction ahead despite what on paper looks like more concurrency risk is what will allow the program to reach 11-percent completion before construction officially starts."
but what's even more important is
and there's an updated inside
Defense News spoke with Roper at the 2019 Paris Air Show on June 19 about some of the programs in which the Air Force is using new tools to develop technology.
There’s been pushback from the House about the Air Force’s approach to replacing the B-52 engine. Lawmakers don’t like that you’re using Section 804 authorities. Why is that approach necessary?
It lets you get on contract a year and half earlier for an MDAP [major defense acquisition program]. And we found that for a variety of MDAPs, including the B-52 re-engine, you can use that year and a half to great effect. It’s much better to be on contract with industry and working from Day One than sitting around twiddling your thumbs.
In the case of B-52 re-engine, we are using that time to do digital engineering for the engine and pod integration, so we have all three industry bidders on one contract. We have Boeing on contract. They are working together as part of the source selection. They will deliver their virtual prototype to us by October. We would normally not even be on contract, and already we have a deliverable that will help us understand the challenges of integration. Are they able to keep the center of gravity and the fluid flow around the power pod? Are they able to keep that the same? We will have that earlier.
Because we have a year and a half, we can go from virtual prototyping into physical prototyping. We’ll select a vendor, and then we’ll do round two, which is: You gave us your digital twin, now give us the physical twin. Show us you can do it in the real world.
And then we’ll downselect and we’ll award a contract and move to the integration side of the program, move into the production side.
What I view in this program, because I had an extra year and half, I can spend more time in EMD, engineering manufacturing and development. I can take on more engineering rigor and retire risks faster than I would if I was denied that time and trying to meet a near-term operational need.
In the case of the B-52, the TF33 engine has been flown hard. It is an old engine. We have maintainers up in places like Minot [Air Force Base, North Dakota], that are doing heroes’ work to piece these engines back together. The depot is doing heroes’ work to try and do maintenance overhaul with a supply chain that is gone. We are at high risk for keeping that engine far into the future, and when my war fighter says I need a new engine and I have one path, which is the 804 path, which I can start a year and a half faster than I could the traditional path, I can’t tell that war fighter I’m going slow because that’s what others think is the best path. I can go fast and I can do it with rigor and discipline.
And to close off, why I don’t think it’s a wholesale overhaul of the acquisition system is that we do all of the same documentation we would have in a traditional program. We just do it after we award contract, so we get the benefit of jump-starting but we still do all the discipline and documentation. And I think the pushback we see from the Hill is a misunderstanding that we still do the rigor.