US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
would you briefly explain this part:

(I've said it many times before: I'm not good in tanks)
Okay, Currently in NATO the majority of MBT use a Human loader. That means that a crew member opens the gun selects and hand loads the gun then locks the breech and the commander fires. This is more or less the standard for MBT found from the Abrams, Leopard 2, Challenger 2 And C1 Ariete. Any way the advantage of a human loader is that the loader can knows how to pick from a wider range of ammo types and in theory, on a good day can load the gun at a rate about 15 rounds per minute. That is to say they can open the magazine pull a round release the open on the magazine, open the breech, load the round and close the breach for firing at a speed allowing 15 shots per minute.
now the other concept is a Autoloader.
Autoloaders come in two modern types A Carousel style loader like those found on Russian and Chinese MBT.
T80.jpg
This is built under the Turret via machine loads the gun by cycling the next round up opening the breach and loading the gun. Of course the magazine in this style is not to NATO liking. When the US Studied it They even built a version of the Abrams with one.
main-qimg-5f02ab8183c70615b4a3c00ed5142f80-c.jpeg
They decided that it had to much a risk as if the magazine cooked off it would explode inside the turret and hull. This Version of the Abrams ironically shares a lot of features with the new Russian Armata Tank. With the crew in the hull.

Now Abrams tanks were designed with a lot of features to isolate the crew compartment from the magazine. Even when there have been cases where the Magazine has cooked off. A Firewall and blow out panels have isolated the event to the magazine and left the crew compartment of the turret intact allowing survival. Some newer models of NATO MBT have sought to try and create a Autoloader system that gets the best of both.
That is Consistent reload speed without tiring or stressing and the potential for reducing the crew workload or Crew size allowing the loader to serve other functions like in this article operating a drone or be eliminated altogether.well maintaining survivability.
So here is where the other type comes in Pioneered by the Japanese Type 90.
To do this they want a system that keeps the magazine in the rear of the Turret and isolated from the crew compartment keeps Blow out panels so any cook off explosion would be channeled out of the the tank. All of Which is a tall order. A few seem to match these demands the Japanese Type 90 MBT, The Leclerc, The Altay and the K2.
Lundy noted an automatic loader, which is a proven capability not yet fielded, would be integrated into an Abrams in order to take the burden off the weapons loader and free that crew member for unmanned systems operations duty.
I favor the K2 as It's dimensionally similar and features a Hard kill Active protection system.
K2BlackL.jpg
Now in the long... debate of Autoloader vs Manual loader the main issues boil down to survivability, Complexity, Weight, crew and finally some argue rate of fire.
Adding an Autoloader adds weight and complexity as it's a machine like any other but they tend to get around this by being smaller allowing for weight reduction by having smaller crew compartments so Dimensionally the K2 is close to M1A2 but K2 is 61 short tons well the M1A2 is around 72 short tons.

I mentioned crew and survivability which is he really big issue.
That just leaves Rate of fire. on a great day in peak condition a human loader can load the main gun of a MBT(120mm) at about 15 rounds per minute but that is more theoretical. moving over a battlefield with the tank gun traversing best case drops down to about 12 to 10 rounds per minute which matches a Autoloader. so as I see it Rate of Fire is not a realistic argument as in reality you're more likely to hit lower rates per minute. additionally a Machine is less likely to get hurt or tired out by loading the gun.

Additionally Autoloaders may allow totally unmanned turrets like the PL01 concept and yes the Russian Armata tank but both these still have ammo in the hull.
 
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
well they even say
".... an automatic loader, which is a proven capability not yet fielded, would be integrated into an Abrams in order to take the burden off the weapons loader and free that crew member for unmanned systems operations duty."
inside https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/us-military-news-reports-data-etc.t1547/page-657#post-431325
Right, As of yet No production version of the Abrams has an Autoloader and the Latest SEP3 also has no provisions for such. There is talk of a SEP v4 in the works post 2021 which is said to be a quantum leap beyond SEP3 or it maybe something to emerge after that as there has also been talk of an eventual replacement for the Abrams but that's not likely until the late 2020's. basically even with the Propaganda of the Armata there is no real justification for a totally new tank just yet.
 
Right, As of yet No production version of the Abrams has an Autoloader and the Latest SEP3 also has no provisions for such. ...
first they "will assess whether it’s possible to give the weapons loader on an Abrams tank the responsibility to control unmanned air and ground vehicles by equipping the tank with an automatic loader" https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/us-military-news-reports-data-etc.t1547/page-657#post-431325
and the answer may turn out to be no :)
heck what's certainly not funny though is how easily a VBIED was able to blow off an Iraqi (new) Abrams (saw two such vids recently, didn't find it appropriate to post)
 
Wednesday at 10:08 PM
inside
Dec 1, 2016

"In the case of the JSTARS recapitalisation programme, the Defense Secretary could waive the need for a fixed-price contract in case of a national security interest, staff say."
and now JSTARS Recap Program Moves Forward After DoD Nixes Fixed-Price Requirement

source:
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indeed: "Congress handed down guidelines in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requiring the Air Force to work only with a fixed-price contract — locking in a price and putting the company on the hook for cost overruns. Yet the NDAA also made a provision for the defense secretary “to waive this limitation if the Secretary determines such a waiver is in the national security interests,” the release states."
Air Force Launches $6.9 Billion JSTARS Competition
The
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has kicked off an open contest to build new radar planes capable of developing, detecting, locating and tracking moving targets on the ground.

The service on Wednesday released a development request for proposal, or RFP, for the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) Recapitalization program, intended to replace the current Northrop Grumman-modified
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.

The award stipulates $6.9 billion for the engineering, manufacturing and development phase, the Air Force said in a release. The RFP includes all aspects of the system, including airframe, radar, communication systems, and battle management command and control.

The Air Force anticipates awarding the contract, including the first three JSTARS recap test aircraft, in 2018; it expects the first “assets” to reach initial operational capability “by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024, or earlier,” the release states.

The airborne command and control plane, a modified Boeing 707-300 series commercial airframe that can fly as high as 42,000 feet, is “extensively remanufactured and modified with the radar, communications, operations and control subsystems,” including a prominent 27-foot bathtub-like radome under the fuselage. The radome “houses the 24-foot long, side-looking phased array antenna,” according to the Air Force.

The service currently has 16 of the aircraft in inventory.

Boeing Co., Northrop Grumman Corp., and Lockheed Martin Corp.
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. Risk reduction efforts also are underway with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon for radar construction.

Each of the contractors is allowed to submit two proposals with Northrop-made and Raytheon-made radars,
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reported.

Congress handed down guidelines in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requiring the Air Force to work only with a fixed-price contract — locking in a price and putting the company on the hook for cost overruns. Yet the NDAA also made a provision for the defense secretary “to waive this limitation if the Secretary determines such a waiver is in the national security interests,” the release states.

Defense Department acquisition chief Frank Kendall granted the waiver on behalf of Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Dec. 23.

“We realize intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is currently a combatant commander top priority. Given the language in this year’s defense policy bill, we took additional time before releasing the JSTARS request for proposal,” Air Force Secretary Deborah James said in a statement Wednesday.

“With the support of the Department on the importance of JSTARS to national security, we are moving out to deliver this critical ISR capability. We will continually look for ways to speed up the process towards initial operational capability,” she said.

The waiver allows the Air Force to work with both a fixed-price and cost-plus estimate contract strategy, Defense News said.

The Air Force plans to buy 17 new aircraft.

Recently, The New York Times’ Eric Schmitt put a spotlight on JSTARS, detailing the aircraft’s aerial hunting capabilities. The modified airliner’s first flight was in support of Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Schmitt,
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over Iraq as
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and Air Force crews watched movements by Islamic State militants, said, “[The] rotation of aircraft and surveillance crews can monitor a particular area for days, weeks or months, watching Islamic State activity to understand what the military calls the enemy’s ‘pattern of life.’ “

Unlike
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or
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drones, electronic attack aircraft such as the
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, and reconnaissance aircraft such as
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and JSTARS “suck up some enemy communications, jam others and help paint a picture of the Islamic State on the ground for American fighters and bombers to attack,” Schmitt said.
source is DefenseTech
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now I read
US Topped Global Market in Arms Sales in 2015
U.S. sales of conventional weaponry worldwide through a Pentagon agency totaled about $40 billion in 2015, once again far surpassing the efforts of Russia, China and other competitors in the international arms bazaar, according to the Congressional Research Service.

However, the $40 billion was only a fraction of the more than $200 billion in arms estimated to have been sold separately by U.S. defense firms in 2015 under commercial licenses, an independent think tank reported.

The non-partisan CRS, an arm of the Library of Congress, said in a report last week that U.S. Foreign Military Sales through the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency for arms, defense services and military training rose by $4 billion last year to about $40 billion, or about half of the total global arms trade of $80 billion.

France ranked second as a weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, followed by Russia with $11.1 billion and China with $6 billion, the CRS said in the report titled “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations 2008-2001.”

Countries listed as developing nations bought from all selling nations a total of $65 billion in weaponry in 2015, down from $79 billion in 2014, the CRS said. Some of the major buyers among “developing” nations were Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and South Korea.

In the report summary, the CRS stated, “For decades, during the height of the Cold War, providing conventional weapons to friendly states was an instrument of foreign policy utilized by the United States and its allies,” and was meant to offset arms transfers by the Soviet Union and its allies.

“Following the Cold War’s end, U.S. arms transfer policy has been based on maintaining or augmenting friendly and allied nations’ ability to deal with regional security threats and concerns,” the CRS said.

The report also said that U.S. Foreign Military Sales through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency covered only a fraction of the arms flow from the U.S. to foreign countries since it did not include arms sold separately by defense firms under commercial licenses approved by the State Department.

“The United States is the only major arms supplier that has two distinct systems for the export of weapons: the government-to-government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system, and the licensed commercial export system,” the CRS said.

The CRS did not estimate the amount of sales by U.S. firms under commercial licenses, but the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent global security outlet, said that U.S. commercial arms transfers were more than five times the $40 billion amount under the Foreign Military Sales program

In a report earlier this month, SIPRI said, “Companies based in the United States continue to dominate the Top 100 [arms firms] with total arms sales amounting to $209.7 billion for 2015.”

“Lockheed Martin remains the largest arms producer in the world,” said Aude Fleurant, director of SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Program. “However, U.S. companies’ arms sales are constrained by caps on U.S. military spending, delays in deliveries major weapon systems and the strength of the U.S. dollar, which has negatively affected export sales.”

In another report earlier this month, the
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said that its U.S. Army Security Assistance Command closed fiscal 2016 with $14.8 billion in new business under the overall Foreign Military Sales program to mark “yet another successful year in foreign military sales.“

“The command, which develops and manages the Army’s security assistance programs and Foreign Military Sales, is currently managing more than 5,722 FMS cases valued at $175.9 billion in 147 countries,” the Army said in a release.

U.S. Central Command alone is handling $7.4 billion in new business and more than 2,000 active cases totaling $126 billion, the Army said.

Among the major sales in CentCom’s area in fiscal 2016 were $1.65 billion for
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anti-missile systems for Saudi Arabia and $477 million for refurbishing Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles for the United Arab Emirates, the Army said.
source is DoDBuzz
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“Companies based in the United States continue to dominate the Top 100 [arms firms] with total arms sales amounting to $209.7 billion for 2015.” so Obama wasn't that bad after all? LOL he's just made that impression
 
let's see What's Ahead for the Air Force in 2017
according to Military.com
A new year, a new administration and new priorities. Here's what airmen need to know in the year ahead.

More Airmen, Squadron Boost
The
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will add
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to its ranks next year under a compromise version of the defense authorization bill negotiated in December.

The move would boost the service's authorized end-strength for the active component to 321,000 airmen, according to a summary document on the negotiated fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

The Air Force in September had about 311,000 airmen serving on active duty, according to Pentagon personnel statistics. The size of the service peaked in 2004 at nearly 377,000 airmen during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before beginning a steady drawdown. Last year, the service was authorized to add more airmen for the first time in six years.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, who is departing from her role in January, in recent months pushed for 4,000 to 8,000 more airmen, in part to address a shortage of fighter pilots
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in the force. The service has not named her successor.

Adding the 4,000 troops will cost roughly $145 million,
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.

Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told audience members at the National Guard Association of the United States this summer that he also plans to review and revitalize the makeup of "the fundamental unit" of squadrons.

Goldfein wants to improve how the Air Force uses joint leaders to better work with sister services, and enhance command and control systems to better network and make faster decisions in any environment, Defense News
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.

While the move is still in planning stages, Goldfein in September
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who will have the task of carrying out his ambitious plan for revitalizing the service.

Brig. Gen. Stephen Davis, currently the Air Force director of manpower, will lead the effort to remake the function and formation of the basic squadron, which Goldfein called the "heartbeat of the Air Force."

Bonuses for Fliers
The Air Force
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Congress to increase the Aviator Retention Pay for manned pilots to $48,000 from the $25,000 cap, which has been in effect since 1999.

Pilots will see an increase, but not the hike the Air Force was hoping for.

The NDAA authorizes the Air Force to increase aviation retention pay from $25,000 to $35,000 per year and flight pay up to $1,000 per month "as needed to address manning shortfalls and challenges," the Air Force said
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.

Simultaneously, the service plans to increase the number of fighter pilots in its ranks by as much as 20 percent a year in part by using more
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and trainer aircraft. The hope is to boost the number of fighter pilots it trains each year
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.

In September, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James Cody said enlisted drone pilots -- who became eligible to fly the
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in 2015 --
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the Air Force plans to offer its officers.

Cody, however, did not say when enlisted airmen would start receiving the bonus pay. The
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began training in October. It will take roughly a year before they're ready for their new duties, Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, the head of Air Education and Training Command, said at the time.

Aircraft Buildup
While the service has no plans
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, key programs budgeted in the 2017 request remain on the fast track for upgrades, testing and delivery.

The Pentagon expects to receive $10.5 billion for 63 F-35 fifth-generation fighters -- including 43
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for the Air Force, 16
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for the
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, and four
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for the
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.

However, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has found a vocal critic: President-elect Donald Trump.

In the latest discussion about the over-budget aircraft, Trump fired another shot at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-35 program Dec. 22 and hinted at the possibility of a renewed competition with rival defense contractor Boeing Co.

"Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable
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!"
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.

Nevertheless, a smaller price tag may not be out of the question.

James acknowledged recently that
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. The Pentagon estimates it will spend nearly $400 billion to procure 2,457 of the single-engine fighters -- and some $1.5 trillion in lifetime sustainment costs.

"Can the costs be driven down more? Perhaps," James said Dec. 19, adding that the president-elect may search for other ways to find a better deal for taxpayers.

The F-35 is poised to deploy for the first time this coming summer, James said. After being approved to fly initial operations in August,
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in line with how "allies expect it will transform the battlefield, even in the ... anti-access area denial environment," she said.

Other programs the Air Force will be monitoring are the
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, B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber and an award for the new T-X to replace the fleet's
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trainer aircraft.

In August, the service awarded Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, a $2.8 billion initial production contract for 19 KC-46 refueling tanker as well as spare parts. The Chicago-based company plans to build a total of 179 of the 767-based refueling aircraft for the Air Force to replace its
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fleet, Boeing
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at the time.

Preliminary work has begun and will continue into 2017 on the B-21 "Raider," named
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. Northrop Grumman Corp. last October beat out Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor, for the $21.4 billion initial contract as part of the LRS-B program.
...
... goes on in the subsequent post (size limit reached); source:
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