US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Speaking of Drones.
>Warning the Following video features Metal music style: this content may be disturbing to Country music fans The Elderly or Teeny boppers. Viewers discretion is advised.<
BAE Systems Resurrects Armed Robotic Combat Vehicle
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March 13, 2017
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- BAE Systems has resurrected its Armed Robotic Combat Vehicle, originally developed for the now-canceled Future Combat Systems program, as the company aims to meet a demand arising from the recently published Army strategy on robotics and autonomous systems.

The Army debuted a draft form of its robotics and autonomous systems strategy last fall, but last week officially published the strategy.

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This prompted BAE to bring its ARCV to the Association of the US Army’s Global Force Symposium this week to get a conversation started on what is in the realm of the possible for the near term and far term for a large, unmanned ground vehicle that can deliver firepower and perform reconnaissance missions, Jim Miller, a BAE Systems business development director, told Defense News Monday at the show.

BAE didn't just tow it into the show, it drove it right onto the showroom floor.

The ARCV was developed in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, which helped to integrate much of the autonomous capability onto what looks like a shorter, wider version of a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, Miller said.

The vehicle uses a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensor to navigate autonomously and has a powerful 30mm cannon, a popular gun in the Army these days, as the service works to quickly integrate a 30mm gun on the Stryker armored vehicle for the 2 nd Cavalry Regiment in response to an urgent operational need in the European theater.

The idea for the vehicle, according to Miller, is to have a soldier controlling the ARCV from the back of a Bradley, potentially running the robotic vehicle alongside it as a wingman. Or the soldier can use it in a dismounted form, sending it ahead to perform reconnaissance or fire at a target, he described.

Miller said he hopes bringing the vehicle to AUSA will help the Army have a conversation with industry on when it might want to integrate robotic systems such as the one BAE is proposing, or what aspects of the autonomous technology used on the vehicle could be integrated into current and future systems.

“My sense is we are moving in the right direction,” Miller said, and “the timing is right” to look at this capability again.

Perhaps the Army doesn’t go straight into fielding an armed unmanned ground vehicle, but the technology could be used to develop remote turrets, Miller said. A remote turret is now being integrated onto the Stryker, and industry is continuing to advance that technology.

The feedback BAE gets will determine how it invests in the technology going forward, according to Miller.

Other countries are testing the waters when it comes to armed unmanned ground vehicles.

Ukraine's SpetsTechnoExport unveiled its armed UGV at the Abu Dhabi International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) last month, equipped with an anti-tank missile system called Barrier.

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The “nearly invisible” vehicle with Barrier and a 12.7 mm caliber machine gun is designed to go up against heavy and light armored targets from a distance of 100 to 5,000 meters, according to a company statement. SpetsTechnoExport is part of Ukraine’s defense company Ukroboronprom.
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What is old is new again, First the M8 light tank then GD breaks out the FCS XM360 cannon now the Black Knight Drone.
 

Jura

General
Saturday at 10:21 AM
even
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says "The USMC plans to receive 200 helicopters at a total cost of $25 billion." though:
"Lt. Gen. Gary Thomas, deputy commandant for programs and resources ... confirmed the $122-million cost ..."
Lawmaker Worries Marine Corps Investing Too Heavily In Aviation Over Ground Vehicles
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related:
Marines’ CH-53K King Stallion Set to Become World’s Most Expensive Helicopter
The Marine Corps’ new CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter is on track to surpass the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter in unit cost, a lawmaker said this month.

The still-in-development King Stallion is designed to replace the Marines’ CH-53E Super Stallion choppers, which are reaching the end of their service lives. But while Super Stallions cost about $24 million apiece, or $41 million in current dollars, the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin King Stallion began with a per-unit price tag of about $95 million — and there are indications it could rise further.

Citing a 2016 Selected Acquisition Report from the Government Accountability Office, Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., said the CH-53K estimated unit cost had increased about 14 percent from the baseline estimate. Information provided directly from the Marine Corps to House lawmakers this year, she said, indicated that the choppers were now expected to cost 22 percent more than the baseline estimate, or $122 million per copy.

“The Marine Corps intends to buy 200 of these aircraft, so that cost growth multiplied times 200 is a heck of a lot of money,” Tsongas said during a March 10 hearing before a House Armed Services subcommittee. “And even if there is no additional cost growth, it seems worth pointing out that $122 million per aircraft in 2006 dollars exceeds the current cost of an F-35A aircraft for the Air Force by a significant margin.”

The most recent lot of Lockheed Martin F-35As cost $94.6 million apiece, down from over $100 million in previous buys. The Marine Corps’ F-35B and the Navy’s F-35C, modified for ship take-off and landing, remain slightly over $120 million apiece.

Previously the Marines’ Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey held the distinction of being the priciest rotorcraft in the air, at some $72 million apiece. The Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel, a planned replacement for the Marine One presidential transport fleet, did at one point reach a $400 million unit cost amid massive overruns, but the aircraft never entered full-rate production, and the program was officially canceled in 2009.

But the Marines’ head of Programs and Resources said the service is prepared to shoulder the cost of their cutting-edge chopper.

Speaking before the committee March 10, Lt. Gen. Gary Thomas noted that the Marine Corps expected the unit cost to drop to below $89 million when the aircraft enters full-rate production, sometime between 2019 and 2022. As the F-35A unit cost is expected to drop as low as $85 million in the same time-frame, the two programs will remain close in that regard.

“That’s still very expensive; we’re working very hard with the program office and the vendor to keep the cost down and to drive value for the taxpayer,” Thomas said. “In terms of, can we afford it, we do have a plan without our topline that would account for purchases of the new aircraft we desire.”

A spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin, Erin Cox, said in a statement provided to Military.com that the King Stallion program was now on track and meeting goals.

“The CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter, as previously known and reported, overcame developmental issues as are common with new, highly complex programs and is now completely on track and scheduled for Milestone C review leading to initial low rate production,” she said. “The program is performing extremely well.”

Tsongas pointed out that the Marine Corps is now spending three times as much on aviation modernization as it is on modernization of ground vehicles, despite being at its core a ground force. Thomas called the spending plan balanced, noting that the service had active plans to modernize its vehicles, but the realities of aviation costs and the urgency to replace aging platforms required more outlay on aircraft.

The first CH-53K aircraft are expected to reach initial operational capability in 2019. They are designed to carry an external load of 27,000 pounds, more than three times the capacity of the CH-53E Super Stallion, and feature a wider cabin to carry troops and gear.
source is DoDBuzz
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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
The right number !

It’s Official: Minimum of 100 B-21s
The Air Force’s requirement for the B-21 Raider bomber, initially stated as “80-100” airplanes, is now officially at least 100 aircraft, the Air Force said in clarifying recent senior leader remarks. Written testimony presented to the House Armed Services Committee last week by Air Force Global Strike Command chief Gen. Robin Rand and vice chief of staff Gen. Stephen Wilson indicated that 100 is now the minimum number of B-21s required. Through a spokesman, the Air Force confirmed the number, saying the change happened “in Spring 2016”
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. At that time, USAF established 100 “as the floor—not the ceiling” for the B-21 fleet size, he said. AFGSC “requires a minimum of 100 B-21 Raider aircraft, with a mix of legacy bombers, to meet future COCOM [combatant commander] requirements,” the spokesman said. He noted that
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in July last year that 100 aircraft and “not one single one below that” was his “best military advice” on the B-21 fleet size. “I can’t imagine how I would deal with the missions I have, with fewer bombers than we have in today’s inventory,” Rand said in his Mitchell remarks. It was not explained at the time that Rand’s advice had become official policy because of the B-21’s secrecy.
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Another B-21 Preliminary Design Review

The B-21 bomber program, the progress of which remains largely secret, has passed yet another preliminary design review, this one ordered by Congress, an Air Force spokesman said. Last week, Air Force vice chief of staff Gen. Stephen Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee that the bomber had recently passed a PDR, but USAF officials had previously stated that the bomber concepts offered by both Boeing/Lockheed Martin and the eventual winner of the bomber contest, Northrop Grumman,
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. Explaining the discrepancy, the spokesman said, “During the Technology Development phase, the program conducted a weapon system PDR with both offerors prior to source selection.” As part of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, “and directed by the Congressional Defense Committees, an additional PDR was conducted to provide additional insight and fidelity into the program design since Technology Development.” The spokesman would only say that the second PDR “was conducted earlier this year” and wouldn’t say when the Critical Design Review—the milestone that locks down the design before manufacturing is set up—will take place. “Due to the critical nature of the technology and capability” of the B-21, “specific details are protected by enhanced security measures,” he said. The program is “moving along on schedule as planned,” he added.
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USAF B-21 « Raider »@ Northrop -Grumman.jpg
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
12 MQ-1C by Division

US Army to deploy armed drones in South Korea

The US military will deploy MQ-1C Gray Eagle armed drones in South Korea, the Pentagon said on Monday, as concerns grow over North Korea's nuclear missile program.

The Pentagon said the deployment of a Gray Eagle drones company was part of a plan to strengthen the US Army's UAV capabilities around the world.

"This is not unique to Korea," said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.
Eventually, "all US infantry divisions" will have to be equipped with at least one Gray Eagle drones company, according to the Pentagon.

The Gray Eagle MQ-1C drones are a variant of the famous American drone Predator.

They are equipped with many sensors and can carry up to 4 Hellfire missiles to hit ground targets.
A drone company has 128 men and an undisclosed number of these remotely operated aircraft.
That of South Korea will be deployed "at the beginning of next year", according to Jeff Davis.
The Pyongyang regime is increasingly worrying American strategists.

In 2016, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and a series of missile launches, demonstrating that it was progressing in its goal of acquiring nuclear missiles.

The UN Security Council last week unanimously condemned its 15 members, including China, the latest missile shots.

US forces in South Korea have about 28,000 soldiers.

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Jura

General
"2022 will be the year of decision for the Army’s nascent
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oh really?
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2022 will be the year of decision for the Army’s nascent
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, officials told the
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here today. That’s when “at least two” NGCV demonstrators get field-tested by real troops. Those soldiers’ feedback, in turn, will inform Army leaders’ decision: whether to fund a full-up program to
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, or put off a fresh start — again — and just keep updating 1970s designs.

There’s a
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of cancelled programs here, from the Crusader howitzer in 2002 to
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vehicle family in 2009, to the
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in 2014. Meanwhile, the M1 Abrams battle tank and M2 Bradley troop carrier designed in the 1970s have fought well for decades, and they’ve been
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, almost beyond recognition, but there limits to what an old design can do. With
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deploying its latest hardware to devastating effect in Ukraine, many Army leaders fear — in the words of
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, now National Security Advisor — that “
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.”

Piecing together statements from several service officials today, it’s possible to put together the most detailed timeline I’ve seen for future armor. That includes not only the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, but a crucial supporting effort, work on
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(APS) to decoy, blind, or shoot down incoming anti-tank missiles — another technology Russian tanks use in Ukraine that we don’t have.

“Sometime this year,” the Army will establish Team NGCV, said Col. William Nuckols, director of mounted (i.e. vehicle)
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at the Fort Benning
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. That will be a cross-functional “Integrated Concept Development Team” drawn from multiple disciplines to assess both the maturity of the technology and the implications across Army doctrine, organizations, training, and so on (
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).

Next month, the Army will begin “characterization” of how three off-the-shelf Active Protection Systems work on the M1 tank, said Col. Kevin Vanyo, program manager for emerging capabilities at TARDDEC. (That’s the Army’s
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). Testing on the M2 Bradley and eight-wheel-drive Stryker will start soon after. Work on all three vehicles — about a $75 million effort all told — should be done about this time next year (specifically, the second quarter of fiscal year 2018).

“We have a decision point at the end of our characterization phase (in 2018),” Vanyo said. “Do we need something now… or are we just going to sit on this and wait until MAPS is here?”

MAPS is the
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, the Army’s from-scratch effort to develop something more sophisticated and adaptable than the off-the-shelf APS that Vanyo is testing. A TARDEC briefer at AUSA said elements of MAPS will be tested on the Abrams and Bradley in 2018 and 2019.

Progress on active protection is critical for Next Generation Combat Vehicle. Since the British invented
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, a layering of metal and ceramic, in the 1960s, the weight required for a given level of protection has stayed roughly constant, and there is no imminent breakthrough in material science to change that equation. Heavier vehicles take more planes and ships to transport to the war zone; they take more fuel trucks and mechanics to keep moving on the battlefield. The vulnerable fuel convoys suffered heavy losses in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the highly mobile tactics the Army envisions for a future
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may simply be impossible without vehicles that can go much longer before needing resupply. The best bet for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles to survive is Active Protection Systems.

That brings us back to the Next Generation Combat Vehicle. By 2022, contractors will build at least two tech demonstrators — less full-up prototypes than the armored equivalent of concept cars — and have them in the hands of real soldiers for evaluation.

“This is very flexible,” Nuckols said, “(but) we anticipate FY22 being when we decide whether or not we want to make NGCV a program of record and move forward, or take a pause (and) wait for the critical mass of technologies. (Whether) to invest that huge sum of money into a new program… will be based on the technologies that are available, the affordability of those technologies, and how can we integrate those into a platform that does the things we want it to do.”

If NGCV does become a program of record, the Army should have the first unit equipped in the early 2030s. The question’s often asked — including by Congress — “
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?” said Nuckols. “We could go faster. Once the technology demonstrators are completed, and we assess the technologies and we make some refinements to our requirements, we could go earlier.”

“We’re really looking at everything and trying to see where the sweet spot is, in terms of
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, and not waiting so long we’re left with 50-year old Bradleys and 50-year-old Abrams,” Nuckols said.
source:
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Jura

General
Good Lord!
'Fat Leonard'
plus naked servicewomen photos issue at yet another military news server, and another, and ... I'll give myself a break
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
"2022 will be the year of decision for the Army’s nascent
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oh really?
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source:
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Frankly the Army has jumped the gun from time to time on this and "2022 will be the year of decision for the Army’s nascent
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does seem like the boy who cried wolf. but from a system perspective with some upgrades Abrams, Bradley, Stryker and others are Okay. not great but okay. Right now there are a lot of programs and the Army is conservative as is the MArines on ground vehicles. Losses and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan showed that the Army needed the heavier vehicles but not necessarily the conventional APC's and IFV's. with Syria and Asymmetric threats the more common ground vehicles were found as a weakness.
So we have the Partial replacement of the Hummvee in the form of the JLTV. Note that is Partial as the weight of JLTV restricts it from some missions but also behind the fence there is just no real need for JLTVs. Lighter more para friendly vehicles are also making the rounds in both the Army and Marines adding speed for light infantry. Traditionally light infantry was foot infantry now we have lightweight vehicles that can be choppered in. And the Army and marines are trying to learn to use more UGV types Ironically Concepts that had been dropped like the M8 Bedford and the BAE Blackknight are re emerging.

Now 2022 is not next year and they are aiming for these next gen vehicles in the 2030's, This is as They reason and rightly so that being brutally honest most of the Threat is hopla. I mean yes the Russians will have T14 Armada, but although they will be in full production by 2022, they are not as huge a game changer as they had been advertized as. nore are they likely to be getting those world beating claims until far later. Even if they are exported you will still have a lot of Tanks and IFV's conforming to the Third generation of MBT standard. There is really nothing that renders the Abrams or Bradley totally obsolete. They just need some refits to get the Army to the point where they feel that a total overhaul is needed.

Now what is the key issue?
“we are outranged and outgunned.” General/NSA McMaster. And he is right. from a Comparative perspective we did kinda sit on our thumbs, and for a long time.
The 155mm Howitzers used by both the Army and Marines, in both the M109 Paladin vehicles and M198 as well as until recently the M777 were outranged by a gun system produced in the 1980's The Gerald Bull GC45 which was produced by Norinco and South Africa. The M198 (39 calibers) has a conventional round range of 22 km the M777 (39 calibers) pushed that out to 24km GC 45 (45 calibers) almost 40km. The Iraqi's had the GC 45 in the first gulf by luck they lacked the ability to properly employ it. It was not until the Excalibur round that the M777 reached beyond the CG45 to 40km and the experimental M777 ER (52 calibers) with a longer barrel that pushed to 70km. M109A6 vs PLZ45 favors the PLZ45 in range same story the Gun is just not up to it right now. It may be possible with an upgrade to the M109A7 that could change if the Army changes the gun system. The problem here is not the electronics it's the gun system There are other Howitzers even modifications to the M109 done by US Allies like the M109L52 that Change that story by moving to longer guns. the M109 series used by the Us has used a 39 caliber gun (19.8ft 6.04m), the PLz45 uses a 45 caliber gun(22ft, ~7m) Longer barrels in the same caliber=longer range.

Bradley fighting vehicle originally designed in the late 1970's much maligned early on now Blooded and proven up to the A3 version and about to with modifications become the base line for the US Armored force. It's main gun is a 25mm cannon. you look at other IFV's most are moving to armor packages rated for a 30mm gun even the Glass cannon like the BMP-3 has a 30mm rated frontal armor package. and more and more we see heavier armor. you look at vehicles introduced at the same time like the British Warrior they started with a 30mm auto cannon and are now moving to a 40mm cannon. Longer range more penetration and that is not mentioning the Tow II missile system which is aging. Now are there potential fixes? yes The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle and M109A7 both had design upgrades for the vehicle's suspension allowing adding of more Armor and The Bradley has been trialed with a 30mm Bushmaster cannon. and with Javelin missiles the question is will the army push these if they do they can keep using Bradleys for another decade.
In that same line of thought came the lighter Stryker which when introduced was maligned for thin armor and no autocannon. In Iraq the threat of RPG's caused the Strykers to be covered in Cage armor. well already the Stryker is getting a 30mm cannon It's armor is getting upgrades including Reactive armor and ceramic Appliques.
For both the Stryker and Bradley there is the potential of a Hard kill APS in the works.

Then there is The Abrams. Abrams is considered one of the World's top tanks. Excellent protection especially after the Tusk upgrades but it has a problem. The main gun. The abrams main gun is the M256A1 a Licenced version of the L44 main gun found on Leopard 2 series tanks until the Leopard 2 A6 changed to the L55 cannon. L44 is 17.3 ft or 5.28 meters long. It's a fine gun but look at other modern Nato spec tanks and It's smaller. I mentioned the Leopard A6 upgrade to the L55 gun 22ft or 6.6m similar to the Cannons on the Korean K2 and Turkish Altay MBT's the French giat cn120-26/52 found on the French Leclerc MBT is 52 calibers or 20.5ft or 6.24 meters. Even the RUAG Land Systems’ 120 mm CompactTank Gun L50 seen on the Anders, PL01 concept and CV90120 is 50 calibers or 20ft or 6 meters. So why the gun measuring? because they are all 120mm smooth bores and the longer the barrel the higher the pressures the faster the rounds. the longer the range the move from L44 to L55 increased the range of the Leopard 2 by 1.5 km.
So moving to a bigger gun would be a good thing just like with the M777ER so why have they not in the past? Cost, weight and balance. The Abrams was tested with a L55 cannon but the Turret and mount had issues with longer heavier barrels. The Army as part of FCS was trailing a new gun system called the XM360 which was lighter and had a version intended for the Abrams called the XM360E1. Most claim that the XM360 however was only as long = powerful as the Existing Abrams gun however there may have been a longer version in the 48 caliber range. additional range increases could also be made by adopting a guided missile round like the Isreali Lahat that can fire out to 8km which smokes older Russian ATGM rounds with a 5km range and equals the T14 Armada this, This is as the Russian T14 does not sport the 152mm advertized but rather a longer 125mm cannon much like the change from L44 to L55 and the new Russian gun lacks a fuel extractor as the turret is unmanned.
Additional electronics and armor upgrades can also be applied including a Hard kill ASP. These can keep these vehicles relevant until the Army is ready to field Next Generation Combat Vehicles.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Columbia SSBN On Schedule, But Margin is Tight

WASHINGTON — The vice chief of naval operations (VCNO) said the development and procurement of the Navy’s next-generation ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) is tracking on schedule but the margin leaves little room for any disruption that could delay it.

The Columbia-class SSBN “is on time, on schedule, but I’m not satisfied with how much margin we have — the risks to delivering on time — but I’m very comfortable to where we are on the schedule and the costing today,” Adm. Bill Moran said in March 8 testimony on strategic deterrent forces before the House Armed Services Committee.

The Columbia-class SSBN is planned to succeed the Ohio-class SSBN, whose 14 hulls each will serve for 42 years, 12 years beyond their original service life. Moran stressed the need to maintain the Ohio class while the Columbia class is being built in order to ensure a robust deterrent force and a smooth transition.

The SSBN force, armed with Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles, is one of the three legs of the U.S. strategic deterrent, the other two being Air Force land-based strategic bombers and ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. All three legs of the deterrent force are in the process of being modernized.

“We are currently depending on just-in-time modernization,” Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the hearing, noting that strategic deterrent forces comprise 6 percent of the defense budget. “We have been squeezing about all of the life out of the current systems we possess.”

When asked which leg of the triad could be given up if the number were reduced, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander, U.S. Strategic Command, supported the triad concept and said, “I can’t give up any element of the triad. I can’t decide which one is the most important.”

Selva agreed, declaring all three legs as “the foundation to deterrence” and stressed the importance of the Columbia-class SSBN being fielded on schedule.

“There is no slack in [the schedule],” he said.

During the 2030s transition from the Ohio SSBN to the Columbia SSGN, the SSBN force will drop to 10 boats until reaching the planned level of 12 boats in 2041.

“We have worked out the requirements with STRATCOM [U.S. Strategic Command] for the 2030s,” Moran said. “We believe we have enough [SSBNs] to satisfy the requirement.”

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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
House Hearing Sets Up Debate on Current Navy Platforms in Future Fight
...
One debate came over whether a mainstay of the fleet – the nuclear-powered attack submarine – should continue to be the sole manned undersea platform for fighting a high-end conventional war. MITRE argued in its report that the Navy should invest in diesel submarines to supplement the Virginia-class boats, creating a more affordable high-low mix.
...
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An idea a bit curious can be good for price but only possible with more money coz it is not serious build less Virginia than planned but for power/employment questionnable

1/ Virginia is armed with the double of weapons than a SSK except Soryu
2/ A SSK can' t escort a TF to high speed 25+ kn
3/ diistance for deployment USN have much overseas bases ofc only a part are submarines bases but especialy in the Pacific enough far of operations areas so this speed is also important for that.
Why last SSKs used by USN, Barbel Class was based to Yokosuka for be close
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So since 27 years USN use only nuclears in more even before have 3 SSKs for 95 SSNs ! and no SSK have join the Fleet since 1959 !!! in addition actually US shipyards are unable to build in this case necessary build under license so much of if ...
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
needed a break after all that.
So I as I outlined the Current US army vehicles are outgunned and outranged. Even Close allies like the Germens have longer range Self propelled howitzers, IFVs and MBT guns.
There are also Force multipliers like unmanned ground vehicles that can increase the available fire power of a maneuvering armored cavalry unit and even allow scouting of potential risk zones well humans hang back see what's happening and then lay down the hurt. Vehicles like the Black Knight.

Now The US intended a series up refits and upgrades to its existing fleets of armored vehicles. beginning with the retirement of the M113 and replacement with the AMPV Bradleys. these include a General Purpose version, Medical Evacuation Vehicle that serve as an Ambulance,
Medical Treatment Vehicle a First Aid station on Tracks,
Mission Command a moving command post,
and the Mortar Carrier Vehicle... of all the vehicles this is the one I defend the least, I am not a fan. These are basically stripped down GP AMPV vehicles with a paor of doors where the turret ring was and a Soltam K6 (US designation M120) 120mm mortar attached to a swivel on the floor. Really in this day and age there are breech loaded mortar turrets that could do the same job, fire on maneuver and place the crew in less risk. to use the mortar system the crew has to open the doors and open the interior of the track to any potential attack, whether NBC, RPG or hand grenades. The M120 is a fine mortar but if you have a armored vehicle why compromise the protection? The FCS featured a Turret mounted M120 breach loading mortar and there are a few on the market as well.

Bradley IFV's chassis and Drive componets are commonized with the M109A7 SPH and other US military vehicles like the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System, The BAE Blackknight UGV concept platform, even the USMC AAV7A1 uses parts for the Brad chassis.
so the AMPV takes improvements from the M109A7 upgrade and a few of it's own. BAE has farther on there own built a demonstrator of a M2A3 based Bradley refitted with these same upgrades including a V under hull to aid in blast deflection, moving the fuel out of the vehicle hull Engine and power pack upgrades to allow it to cope with the added weight.
Alongside the Abrams TUSK upgrade the Bradley got the BUSK adding reactive and slat armor these would be compatible with the AMPV as well.

Abrams is Slated for the M1A2 SEP v3 upgrade starting later this year. And plans may still have a M1A3 entering service after 2021 although it could just be a more conservative M1A2 SEP v4 with an upgraded main gun. At this point there is little that can not be done with the Abrams that other tanks cannot. current Tusk has added remote weapon stations and both Slat and Reactive armor found on the newest western and eastern tanks. the armor package is still cutting edge.
other than the gun issues I outlined Abrams could still stand as an equal to the latest MBT in the world. Comparing the specs to the Altay or Armada it's still able to do it's job and Eat T72 tanks for dinner.
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!

The Question for beyond the Abrams and Bradley is what will be needed then lighter weight is a want for mobility, potentially stealth technologies like IR signature control and spoofing. but protection and firepower are still needs. Other issues and wants are tanking the priorities and leading to on again off again as super ambitious FCS programs faced a suddenly changed battlefield reality. They thought the issue was a short brush fire flare up where mobility was the main worry they failed to consider other potential threats. but now what's old is new again as systems and tech originally aimed for FCS have returned to be integrated into existing vehicles for changing missions.
The need of Airborne armor and firepower. Want of the ability to deploy light infantry into the field and move them fast as mechanized but from Helicopters and parachutes. is driving some changes that were anticipated but then rejected.
As we move into the 2020's and 2030's it's hard to see what will happen. I expect more of a push to rapid deployment but also survivability. The 20 ton FCS was just to light and the follow on 80 ton GCV was beyond to heavy!
 

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