US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


strehl

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GMLRS alternative warhead testing. I think it's supposed to be a replacement for a CBU warhead but I doubt if the range and effects are able to match it. I would work on some type of inerting mechanism for bomblets that don't go off rather than trying to come up with a better fragmentation warhead. Also, the new "insensitive" explosives tend to make duds safer anyways.

 

Jeff Head

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1280px-USS-Freedom-130222-N-DR144-174-crop.jpg

Naval Today said:
The Lockheed Martin team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s fifteenth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Billings, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, Nov. 2.

Ship sponsor Sharla D. Tester completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel of Billings (LCS 15). Mrs. Tester had her initials welded into a sheet of the ship’s steel, which will be mounted in the ship throughout its entire service.

Billings is a Freedom-variant LCS that will be designed and outfitted with systems to conduct a variety of missions. The industry team building Billings has delivered three ships with seven others in various stages of construction and testing. The future USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) will be commissioned in Milwaukee on November 21.

The first LCS, USS Freedom, completed a U.S. Navy deployment in 2013, and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) is in the midst of her 20-month deployment to Southeast Asia.

Production is ramping up for these vessels, both the Freedom and the Independence variety at Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, and at Austal in Alabama. Each site has 3-4 under construction at any one time and is working toward launching two each per year over the next few years...which will mean four LCS per year.

A total of six have been acquired by the US Navy to date, with a total of ten launched to date.
 
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I think I posted about LX(R) in the past, anyway
Navy: LX(R) Will Be Cheaper, More Capable Thanks To Using San Antonio LPD Design As Starting Point
The Navy and Marine Corps were able to design an LX(R) dock landing ship replacement with greater capability for less money by starting with the higher-end San Antonio-class LPD-17 design, stripping away unneeded features and adding back in desired ones, service officials said last week.

The Navy is still working through the process, having approved the capability design document – which includes key performance parameters and key system attributes – three weeks ago and forwarded it to the Joint Staff for approval, Marianne Lyons, deputy program manager for LPD and LX(R), said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Portsmouth, Va., last week.

The program is in the preliminary design phase now, she said, and will move to contract design in the spring and then detail design and construction in Fiscal Year 2020.

“We are working on sort of the rough arrangement of equipment,” she said, noting the Navy is working with both LPD contractor Ingalls Industries as well as General Dynamics NASSCO during the design process.
“We’re redesigning the topside – as I mentioned, we’re going from an [Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensors] mast to a conventional stick mast. We are also incorporating all the affordability initiatives that we are receiving from industry. So when we transition out of preliminary design, which we’re looking to do sometime in the spring, transition into contract design. So contract design is where we focus on development of ship specifications … when you take the rough design information and actually start to move from system schematics to a more detailed running of piping systems, for instance. What we are trying to do is take it down to the next level to validate that we can meet the cost and inform the ship specification that will eventually go into the request for proposal to support a bid for detail design and construction.”

Capt. Bryon Johnson, head of the amphibious warfare branch in the expeditionary warfare directorate (OPNAV N953), said at the same conference that his office is still working through descoping the LPD design and deciding how much capability to add back in, but he praised the process the Navy had chosen.

When the Navy first started thinking about an LSD replacement, “there was a lot of effort to try to gold-plate the ship. We wanted it to do everything,” Johnson said.
“We wanted it to be able to carry six connectors, surface connectors, we wanted it to be able to carry a greater number of Marine Corps aircraft to support vertical takeoff capability. And once we started adding all of that up, we realized very rapidly that there was no way that we’d be able to afford essentially what was going to be a new start ship design to replace our LSD 41/49 class.”

By starting with an existing ship design and avoiding the extensive engineering cost of beginning with a clean sheet, the Navy saved “enough cost that we were actually able to take that money … and reinvest it into the platform” in the form of additional capabilities today’s LSDs don’t have, such as command and control to support split and disaggregated operations.

Johnson said the program had to stay within a cost cap but said he was confident the first ship would stay within the cost cap and deliver on time.

Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, who served as director of expeditionary warfare (OPNAV N95) until July, said at a Marine Corps Association event last month that, in fact, the Navy and Marine Corps had far surpassed cost-reduction goals while descoping the LPD design.

“We drove that to a cost cap that was given to us by [the chief of naval operations], and we, with our industry partners, with [Naval Sea Systems Command], drove in the right requirements. And we got the most we could possibly get out of that ship, and it almost looks like an LPD-17, and we got it well under the cost cap,” he said.

Current N95 Maj. Gen. Chris Owens said the approach is “attractive to [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] and it’s attractive on Capitol Hill” due to its efficiency. Ultimately, he said, it will “give us a bigger ship, greater capability, not only in size and capacity but also in things like aviation capability, the medical capability and perhaps most importantly in this day and age of split and disaggregated operations the command and control capability that the LSDs lack. And we can only do that because the LPD-17 program is a proven one.”

Among the capabilities stripped out of the LPD design is the four-connector well deck, which is reduced to size to two connectors, and the radar cross section-reducing Advanced Enclosed Mast Lyons mentioned. The change from the enclosed mast to a traditional stick mast, however, is due to changes in the industrial base. Huntington Ingalls Industries owned a Gulfport Composite Center of Excellence in Mississippi that produced composite materials for shipbuilding, but the company announced it would close the center in 2013 due to a reduction in the DDG-1000 destroyer program. The last LPD in the class, LPD-28, will move to a stick mast, which will carry into the LX(R) program.

Lyons said the Navy is also working with industry and with the LHA amphibious assault ship program to find ways to create commonality between the big decks and the LPD-28 and LX(R) programs, as well as move to less expensive commercial technologies where possible.
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Jeff Head

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I think I posted about LX(R) in the past, anyway
Navy: LX(R) Will Be Cheaper, More Capable Thanks To Using San Antonio LPD Design As Starting Point

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Here's the PDF presentation to Congress regarding the LXR from June of this year:

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They might look something like this:

LXR-01.jpg
 

Jeff Head

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nssn-02.jpg

Naval Today said:
US Navy’s newest of Virginia-class attack submarines SSN 798 will bear the name USS Massachusetts.

According to an announcement made by US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on November 8, during a taped video message at the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, the submarine will be named to honor the history its namesake state has with the Navy. The future USS Massachusetts will be the fifth Navy vessel to serve under that name.

Twelve of the next-generation submarines have been commissioned so far and they will replace Los Angeles Class submarines as they retire.

Each Virginia-class submarine is 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. They are designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

The submarine will be built under a teaming agreement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division wherein both companies build certain portions of each submarine and then alternate deliveries. Massachusetts will be delivered by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding

See my:

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...for a full listing of ships and lots of pictures.
 

Brumby

Major
Navy Developing Software To Give Standard Missile-6 Additional Mission Capabilities

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Our focus in IWS 3.0, in surface ship weapons, has been, how do we go find opportunities to take advantage of existing capability in the missiles above and beyond what they were initially required to go do, to see if we could provide an affordable capability faster to the fleet by taking advantage again of the capabilities already in the missiles [and adding] those new mission sets,” he said in an Oct. 26 interview.
“Of course the new missions are classified, but we are taking advantage above what was originally intended for these missiles to go do.”

Ladner said he could not discuss how many new missions sets he was looking at or characterize where they fit in with cruiser and destroyer operations, but he said that making SM-6 a multimission missile fits in nicely with the Navy’s new “focus on distributed lethality and shifting to an offensive capability to counter our adversaries’ [anti-access/area-denial] capabilities.”

My bet is the new mission set is expanding the capability of the SM-6 to include it as a ASM to bridge the current standoff gap and in taking advantage of the NIFC-CA network and the expanded sensor range coming from the IOC of the E-2D's.

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Jeff Head

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missile-launch-1024x668.jpg

Naval Today said:
Members of Congress and the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) commander were aboard the USS Kentucky when the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) conducted a successful test flight of a Trident II D5 missile, November 7.

The D5 missile test flight was conducted to obtain valid reliability, accuracy and performance factors for use by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and USSTRATCOM.

According to U.S. media reports, the missile firing caused confusion among many residents on the western coast of the United States. People were shocked by a bright light in the sky on the night of November 7. San Diego wrote that reports about the “strange sighting” came from as far south as Mexico and as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area.

The unarmed test missile was launched as part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operations from the USS Kentucky, an Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California. The primary objective was to demonstrate the readiness of a SSBN’s crew and weapon system. This launch marked the 156th successful test flight of the Trident II (D5) missile conducted by SSP since 1989.

The unarmed test missile was also launched as part of a DASO from the USS Kentucky in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California.

Some official confirmation of whgat we already all knew here on SD.
 

Jeff Head

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The US Air Force shows off its F-22 Raptors.

Here are fifteen F-22s from the US Air Force 95th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Wing.

f22X15-01.jpg

In this one picture you see more USAF F-22 5th generation stealth fighters flying together than the rest of the world combined has 5th generation stealth fighters.
 

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