US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

I am not so concern about the technical aspect but the concept of operations. With flying drones, you either blow it out of the sky or spoof it to hijack the drone like what the Iranians did. What is stopping the Iranians or anybody else to sail along it, board it, disable the systems and hijack it? With a manned vessel you don't have such a problem to deal with.
it's going to be interesting to see manufacturer(s) of that ... .... and interest group(s) behind 'unmanned warships' scheme
May 15, 2019
May 6, 2019
Navy Planning Aggressive Unmanned Ship Prototyping, Acquisition Effort
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and I ask if they have ConOps of those things, or poured in "almost $3 billion" just like that?
here we go
Thanks to border wall, 'all-out brawl’ looms over Pentagon spending bill
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Senate Republican plans to
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over the next few weeks now appear at risk, amidst a push from Democrats to rebuke President Donald Trump’s
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with Mexico.

A $695 billion defense spending bill advanced Tuesday in the Senate Appropriations Committee, but the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, warned it would not pass easily. He said he would propose amendments to the defense bill that would undo the president’s actions on the wall and limit his flexibility to transfer and reprogram money.

The bill emerged as the center of partisan rancor over efforts to fund the government and avoid a shutdown when spending runs out on Oct. 1. Senate Republicans had planned a sprint to get 12 spending bills needed before the end of the fiscal year, but that now appears to be in danger of unraveling.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee is still expected to take up its defense spending bill on Thursday. It includes $622.4 billion in base funding, $70.7 billion in wartime spending, and $1.7 billion for storm damaged military bases, according to a bill summary.

Industry might note the inclusion of 96
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, eight
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, and $1.7 billion for
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. The bill also provides $24.4 billion for 14 battle force ships; including two Virginia Class submarines and three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers.

Days after the Pentagon released the list of 127 projects deferred by the administration to devote $3.6 billion to the border wall, Leahy used a floor speech to demand Republicans defend local projects like military schoolhouses and fire stations, if not Congress’s power of the purse. Trump was attempting an “end-run” after Congress cut his wall request by $4.2 billion, he said.

“So far, the abuses of authority have been used in ways that mostly impact issues Democrats care about, and Republicans have stood silent,” Leahy said. “But what happens when this administration crosses a Republican red line? What about members from states impacted by the canceled military construction projects? Will they at least stand up for their states, if they won’t stand up for the Congress, or the Constitution?”

At least one key Republicans was open to the conversation. Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman John Boozman of Arkansas said that the law authorized the administration to divert the money, but he and other Republicans would hear out proposals to protect Congress’s appropriating authority.

“I think it’s legitimate to take a look and say ‘do we want to make it where it’s not as broad, to tightening that authority up,’” Boozman said. “I would entertain looking at it, the pros and cons, why we did it in the first place and the controversy we’ve encountered now.”

Boozman’s House counterpart, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., has made clear she will not support backfilling the funds being diverted for the wall. Support from Senate Democrats strengthens the hand of House Democrats, who passed a defense spending bill in June which slashed the amount of money the military can shift between accounts from $9.5 billion to $1.5 billion.

House authorizers are attempting to pressure the administration as well, as House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee Chairman John Garamendi, D-Calif., said he was dissatisfied with defense officials he met with Tuesday who, by his account, could not justify the national security need for a wall. In a statement Tuesday, he pledged to meet with officials from each military service.

“The Secretary of Defense and the White House can expect an all-out brawl from the Readiness Subcommittee," Garamendi said.

Beyond the military construction fight, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., had yet to get bipartisan agreement on the spending allocations for the 12 bills. Shelby hoped to attain “critical mass” for a larger deal by passing several large spending bills.

On the heels of a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Shelby said he was pressing for a “comprehensive” agreement with both Senate Democrats and House Democrats with whom he’ll have to reconcile competing bills. “We’re doing everything we can to work together,” he told reporters Tuesday morning.

Still, the morning’s planned Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee markup was postponed “until further notice,” amid accusations from Democrats that Republicans reduced the bill’s top-line to pay for the border wall ― a charge Shelby’s staff denied.

Lawmakers had hoped to avoid disputes over policy measures with a handshake agreement ― connected to their bipartisan budget deal in July ― that there would be no “poison pill” riders on spending legislation. But Shelby acknowledged there’s now some disagreement over precisely what that meant, as Democrats focus on election security, gun control and the border wall.

“Agreements are sometimes in the eyes of the beholder, and some [Democrats] might think that’s not a poison bill while we would deem it would be,” Shelby said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday he wants the Senate to pass as many spending bills as possible before resorting to a short-term continuing resolution to avoid a partial government shutdown when funding lapses Sept. 30. A short-term continuing resolution until Nov. 21 was being discussed.

In the House, which is further ahead on spending legislation, Democratic leaders are
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a short-term continuing resolution to buy more time for the Senate to complete its work.
Aug 22, 2019
since no real F-35 news are being released by the Pentagon/LM this summer, here's the poll:

How many US F-35s will get funded in FY2020?

my guess is 88 (ten more than requested)

and LOL don't quit on me!
above there's "the inclusion of 96" now
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OK but what Hypersonic Missile
they're talking about LOL

hope it's not "eventually" "undoubtedly" "ultimately" "will" malarkey
Probably a mock up of a hypersonic missile to demonstrate the increased capacity to house them.

The increased capacity will allow the B-1 to carry 40 LRASM up from the present capacity of 24. A pair of B-1s potentially can deliver 80 LRASMs in one strike. Currently it is the weapon of choice against a large naval surface group due to its VLO, ESM features and ability to coordinate a swarm attack collaboratively..
Probably a mock up of a hypersonic missile to demonstrate the increased capacity to house them.
View attachment 53772

The increased capacity will allow the B-1 to carry 40 LRASM ...
Mass 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) (air-launch)
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LOL I edited this post because I wrongly thought a Lancer max. payload was smaller (originally posted it was twenty something tons)
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here's what FlightGlobal had to say
USAF shows larger B-1B weapons capacity for hypersonic missiles
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  • 11 September, 2019
The US Air Force (USAF) has modified a Boeing B-1B Lancer to enable the bomber to carry larger and heavier weapons, including hypersonic missiles.

The service's 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base in California showcased a B-1B with the improve weapons capabilities to an undisclosed group of industry partners on 28 August, the USAF says.

The service has engineered two methods of increasing the aircraft's weapons capacity: an external carriage system and a lengthened bomb bay.

The changes would enable the aircraft either to carry larger weapons like hypersonic missiles, or more smaller munitions.

“The purpose of the demonstration was to show that we’re still able to move the bulkhead from the forward intermediate bay to the forward location.” says Lieutenant Colonel Dominic Ross, B-1B programme element monitor with the Air Force Global Strike Command.

That change increases the intermediate bay's length from 457cm to 683cm (180-269in).

“Additionally, we demonstrated that we can still carry weapons externally on six of the eight hard points, which increases our overall carriage capacity,” Ross adds.

The bomber will continue to only carry conventional weapons in order to remain within the bounds of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, he says.

“Currently we can carry 24 weapons internally. Now it can be increased to potentially 40, based on what type of pylon we would create,” Ross says. “This [also] gets the B-1 into the larger weapons, the 5,000 pounders. It gets it into the hypersonics game as well.”

The demonstration showed a hypersonic missile mock-up attached to a Conventional Rotary Launcher inside the B-1B’s bomb bay. That rotary launcher is the same type that has been used to increase the precision weapons capacity of the Boeing B-52H Stratofortress. Ross says he and fellow B-1B crewmembers came up with the idea and designs for modifying the bomber’s magazine capacity.

The modification can be done quickly, says Captain Timothy Grace, test weapons systems officer, with 419th Test Wing.

“It’s not a permanent modification, it’s something that can be done through a few work shifts with the maintenance (flight),” he says. “So depending on what the targets are that we’re going after, the weapons we need to carry, we can move that bulkhead and [add] the external carriage.”

Additional magazine capacity means the B-1B could attack more targets in a single combat mission, says Colonel Richard Barksdale, 28th Operations Group commander, from Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota.

“It would basically increase the weapons capacity to make the bomber more efficient, so that we’re able to strike more targets with the same aircraft,” Barksdale says. “It would allow us to more-efficiently plan for targeting and use fewer aircraft, with fewer aircrews in harm’s way, to strike the same number of targets. It would also decrease the support required, whether that’s tankers or other support assets.”
found Nov 5, 2018
I still recall discussions at Fox News (if to deploy to the border) from the time I had lived in the US, which was in 2001 and 02;

at first glance it sounded like an outrage to have "permeable" borders with Terrorists potentially coming,

but from what I figured, there wouldn't have been enough Illegals to for example pick up apples for less-than-minimal wage, so

LOL no big tasty apple for a quarter,

and of course enough Lobbyists to keep this going

(not sure if it's changed since then)
Esper Approves Troop Deployments Along the US-Mexico Border Through 2020
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper has authorized up to 5,500 service members to continue missions along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2020.

Esper approved the request last week from the Department of Homeland Security to extend the mission, Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed Wednesday.

Troops will provide infrastructure support, operational support, detection and monitoring support and air support, Mitchell said. This is similar to the work that officials have described is now being done by troops along the border.

"These missions can be supported with manageable impacts to readiness, and are contingent on the availability of funds and the continued statutory authority to provide such support," he said.

Nearly 5,000 American troops -- about 2,900 active duty and 2,000
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members -- are now serving along the U.S. southern border, but that number has varied since the mission first began in April 2018 with President Donald Trump's first authorization of National Guard members to serve alongside U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Six months later, active-duty troops began
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s to the border.

Troops work alongside Border Patrol agents using mobile surveillance detection equipment, working in detention facilities, conducting administrative tasks and providing food service, transportation and medical.

An additional 1,000 Texas National Guard troops are serving through the end of September at the command of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Mitchell said. Those troops are working in two migrant detention facilities.

It is unclear whether Esper's recent agreement of 5,500 troops includes National Guard and active-duty troops. It also is unclear whether troops will remain
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for all of fiscal year 2020.

In April, military officials estimated the cost of the deployments to be about $500 million through fiscal year 2019, which ends Sept. 30.

The deployments began as a way to help Border Patrols agents deal with an increase in apprehensions along the southern border. In May, more than 144,000 people were arrested at the border, according to data from Customs and Border Protection. They were primarily migrants from South and Central America seeking asylum. In August, apprehensions dropped to about 64,000 -- the third consecutive month to see a decrease.

The deployments are unrelated to the Defense Department's support in building Trump's border wall. Earlier this month, Esper approved moving $3.6 billion from the military construction budget to pay for 11 border barrier projects. That's in addition to $2.5 billion approved for use to construct border barriers under then acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan.

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Corps of Engineers awards these contracts, though service members do not do any of the actual construction, defense officials said in April.