US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


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Raytheon's BattleGuard is an under armor remotely operated weapons station designed for tracked and wheeled combat vehicles. The system combines electro-optical, infrared and visible-light sensors that can be driven together with a weapon or used independently. With the BattleGuard concept, operators can align their weapons in three different modes: stored, ready and active gun-following. BattleGuard provides 360 degrees of "under armor" unobstructed coverage. It features ...a high-performance, second- or third-generation forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor. Its threat detection system allows operators to classify and track stationary and moving targets from well beyond the range of enemy weapons. The system supports a number of machine and chain guns, including the M249, M240, M2, MK-19, MK-47, M134 and the M230LF. It also supports hard- or soft-launch missiles such as the Griffin, Javelin, Stinger and TOW, as well as non-lethal weapons.

this is interesting:
Navy Expects to Field Winged ASW Torpedo by 2020
The Navy’s program to develop an anti-submarine torpedo launched from high altitude from a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft is on track to field the weapon to fleet units by fiscal 2020, a Boeing official said.

The High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) program is being put through separation tests with 100 percent success so far, Cindy Gruensfelder, director of Direct Attack programs for Boeing, told reporters March 28.

The HAAWC is a combination of a Mk 54 anti-submarine warfare torpedo with a folding wing and Global Positioning System guidance kit — called the Air-Launch Accessory, or ALA — attached. The weapon is launched from the weapons bay of a P-8A at altitudes up to 30,000 feet. The weapon glides to the target datum using the wings and precision guidance system and the wings detach upon water entry. The torpedo uses active or passive homing to the targets submarine. The HAAWC gives the P-8A the option of remaining at fuel-efficient altitudes and at standoff ranges to attack submerged submarines.

Currently, P-8s must descend to low altitudes of 500 feet or less to launch a parachute-retarded Mk 54 torpedo.

The ALA is not equipped with an inflight data link to enable target position updates, but that could be added in future versions of the HAAWC.

Development testing of the HAAWC will be finished this year, Gruensfelder said. Integration testing is continuing this year, with a flight of the HAAWC scheduled for later this year as well. Operational testing will be conducted before the fielding of the weapon.

Gruensfelder expects a government decision for Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) later this year. The first and second lots of LRIP are expected to total 140 weapons.

The HAAWC will be made available for procurement by the foreign nations that have or are procuring the P-8, including Australia, India, Norway and the United Kingdom, said Capt. Tony Rossi, the Navy’s maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft program manager, also speaking to reporters at the same event.
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Tyrant King
And Boeing is bowing out.
Boeing Opts Out Of USAF’s Light Attack Demo
Mar 29, 2017
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| Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

  • Mwari: Paramount Group

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    has decided not to participate in the U.S. Air Force’s light-attack flight demonstration, a company spokeswoman says.

    Boeing’s decision to opt out of the initial phase of the Air Force’s “OA-X” effort could leave the company at a disadvantage should the service ultimately decide to move forward with a plan to buy 300 low-cost, light attack aircraft for counterterrorism operations.

    Boeing chose not to participate in this early stage of OA-X because the company does not “see a viable path forward for this phase,” spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson told Aviation Week. The demonstration is planned to take place this summer at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Proposals are due to the Air Force on April 7.

    Hutcheson did not rule out Boeing participating in OA-X at a later date.

    The move comes as a bit of a surprise, as Boeing has several off-the-shelf designs that would fit the OA-X bill. In 2009, Boeing put together internal plans to build a modernized version of North American Aviation’s OV-10 Bronco observation aircraft for a possible light-attack program that was later scrapped.

    History shows the Air Force would be open to an OV-10X. The service evaluated two OV-10s as part of the 2013 Combat Dragon II program, aimed at demonstrating that a small turboprop can be effective at counterterrorism missions.

    Boeing could also offer an attack variant of its next-generation T-X, which it is co-developing with
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    as an option for the Air Force to replace its legacy T-38 pilot trainers.

    Less well known is Boeing’s collaboration with the South Africa-based Paramount Group on a new reconnaissance and light attack aircraft known as Mwari. Boeing is developing an integrated mission system for the aircraft, enabling it to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and light strike missions. Mwari is a high-wing, twin-boom aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66B turboprop engine and pusher propeller. The wings accommodate six hard points for external stores and weapons; the fuselage contains a 20mm cannon.

    The Holloman demonstration will inform the Air Force’s decision on whether or not to procure a light-attack fleet to help fight violent extremists in the Middle East and could potentially serve to alleviate the service’s growing pilot shortage. But the Air Force has stressed that right now the effort is in the experimentation phase, and no program of record has been initiated. The assessment at Holloman could lead to another experiment, a combat demonstration, or even an immediate acquisition program, said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force’s military acquisition deputy.

    The Air Force is looking to choose up to four respondents to bring just one or two non-developmental aircraft to Holloman for a four- to six-week capability assessment. Air Force aircrew will fly the selected aircraft to assess its basic aerodynamic performance as well as its weapons, sensor, communications and austere field operations capabilities.

    The aircraft selected must be able to perform light attack and armed reconnaissance and operate from austere locations, according to a list of notional requirements.

    Qualifying aircraft need to be able to support a high operations tempo of 900 flight hours per year for 10 years and have a 90% mission capable rate for day and night missions. The aircraft must be able to take off using a maximum runway length of 6,000 ft. and be equipped with secure tactical communications and the ability to hit stationary or moving targets day and night. In addition, qualifying jets must have a 2.5-hr. mission endurance with an average fuel flow of about 1,500 lb./hr. or less. The aircraft will also be evaluated for survivability, including infrared and visual signature.

    The most obvious front-runners are
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    /Sierra Nevada’s A-29 Super Tucano,
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    /Beechcraft’s AT-6, and Textron’s Scorpion.
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Tyrant King
USAF pushes back on F-15 retirement

  • 30 MARCH, 2017

The US Air Force is trying to stamp out rumors that the service will retire its F-15C/D fleet, at least in the near future.

The prospect of an F-15C/D fleet retirement cropped up during a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week, when members of Congress asked USAF leadership whether the Boeing aircraft could be replaced with Lockheed Martin F-16s. While the director of the Air National Guard entertained that concept as a possibility, the air force’s public affairs quickly pushed back on the idea, saying it was “pre-decisional.”

Air Force leadership continued that line during a 29 March hearing on Capitol Hill, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that the service intends to maintain the F-15C fleet through the 2020s.

“We are not replacing it at this time,” Lt Gen Jerry Harris, USAF deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, says. “It’s something we are looking at as we continue to bring in more fifth-gen capability...what assets do we push out at the bottom of that chain?”

The air force is undertaking an analysis that compares the purchase of new F-16s and servicing the F-15s, Harris confirmed. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, may not wait on those results to determine a way forward on the F-15 retirement. During her 30 March Senate confirmation hearing, Wilson refused a request from Senator Elizabeth Warren to delay the retirement until the Senate receives the comparison analysis.

The USAF will be able to form a better idea of the F-15’s future once the F-35 becomes a full operational platform, Harris told reporters. He also countered that the F-16 could perform the F-15’s traditional air-to-air role, something lawmakers have questioned.

Along with the F-15s, other fourth-generation aircraft could fall out of the USAF’s inventory to make room for the fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. For years, the air force attempted to retire the A-10 Warthog, but faced strong opposition from Congress. Although the air force lauds the A-10 as its best CAS platform, the service argues the F-35 will bring more even more survivability than the titanium bathtub. The USAF will not consider retiring the fourth-generation platform until the service completes its comparison study on the A-10 and F-35, Harris says. In the meantime, the air force is not asking for additional upgrades on the Warthog, which just received updated Boeing wings that could keep the aircraft flying through the 2040s.

While the USAF is saying news of the F-15’s demise has been greatly exaggerated, the service’s head of Air Combat Command also outlined the increasing costs to keep the Eagle flying. The F-15 would require a series of service life extension programmes including a center fuselage overhaul estimated at $40 million per unit, Gen Mike Holmes told reporters during a 29 March event in Washington.

“I’m probably not going to do that,” he says. “So the question is, what year does that happen at the rate we’re flying them and then there’s an end out there and somewhere in the late 20s that you either have to put $30 million or $40 million an airplane into them or stop flying them.”

If the USAF retires the F-15, then the service could use block 52 F-16s with a modernized AESA radar to fulfill the Eagle’s domestic air defense role, Holmes says.
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Really If they wanted to retire F15 The best options would be Either A) Restart the F22 line and do a proper 1 for 1, or B) buy F15SE. F16 is a fine bird don't get me wrong, I hope the USAF keeps F16's around even after F35 goes full operational just for Aggressors. Like this F16 in Russian Shark scheme here. F16 Shark 1.jpeg You hear the Jaws theme playing? I bet some Eagle Drive at Red Flag did.
I <3 aggressor colors!
But Viper was always meant to be the low fighter for the Eagle's high. And phasing out F15C/D would be phasing out the majority of that high leaving only the ground attack F15E.

US Navy on track for high-altitude P-8A weapon

  • 29 MARCH, 2017

A new torpedo upgrade that will fundamentally change the way US Navy airmen hunt submarines is on track to seek approval to begin low-rate initial production later this year, Boeing and Navy officials say on 28 March.

The Lockheed Martin High Altitude Anti-submarine warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) is in the midst of safe separation tests from the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. A guided flight test is planned in late Fiscal 2017, allowing the programme potentially to order 140 high-altitude torpedoes total over the first two lots.

Following operational testing scheduled for completion by FY 2020, HAAWC also will be available to the P-8 fleet’s foreign customers, which currently include Australia, India and the UK, says Capt Tony Rossi, programme manager for Maritime Patrol and Reconnsassance Aircraft.

The HAAWC integrates an air-launched accessory (ALA) kit with a GPS guidance system and folding wings onto a standard Mk54 torpedo. Boeing describes the HAAWC release ceiling as “up to 30,000ft”, but the precise maximum altitude is under discussion and could be higher.

The capability potentially transforms a typically low-altitude anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission, as practiced for decades by Lockheed P-3C Orion crews, who are required to skim the wave tops at 100ft to release torpedoes.

In the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) competition that led to the P-8A’s selection in 2004, Boeing officials were careful to emphasize that the 737-800ERX-derived aircraft could perform the same low-altitude ASW mission. The company even organised flights for sceptical P-3C crews and journalists, swooping down from 41,000ft on an ocean vessel, leveling off at 200ft and performing tight turns to make multiple surveillance passes of a simulated target.

Despite the company’s marketing, the navy’s ASW community were already eager to dispense with such laborious low-altitude operations, Rossi says. Indeed, the navy deleted the magnetic anomaly detector from the P-8A configuration, the only sensor that demands the aircraft fly at low altitudes.

“If it’s not something that drives you to low altitude, I’m not sure why you would go there,” Rossi says.

The P-8A has “no problem with low-altitude,” Rossi says. But the navy prefers to operate the aircraft at higher altitudes, where crews are less fatigues and can take full advantage of the Poseidon’s sensor suite, including a multi-mode radar, electro-optical/infrared camera and a multi-static active coherent acoustic system.

The HAAWC is expected to be fielded in 2020 with an initial capability that could be upgraded later. The initial configuration lacks a data link to allow the weapon to receive target updates from the P-8A launch platform en route to the moving target. Studies are underway to determine the requirements for the data link, Boeing says. But the HAAWC meets the navy’s standards for targeting accuracy without an in-flight navigation update.
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Tyrant King
speaking of Grpo

BAE System's concept for a ground vehicle with cannon and laser weapon.jpg
Next-gen combat vehicle prototype efforts emerge
By: Jen Judson, March 29, 2017 (Photo Credit: Spc. Charles Probst / Fort Irwin Operations Group)
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — The Army’s efforts to prototype capabilities for a possible next-generation combat vehicle are taking shape as a collaborative endeavor between industry and the service, according to the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s project manager for next-generation combat vehicle prototyping.

Todd Thomas told Defense News in an interview Monday that the Army would meet with industry Wednesday to convey the way ahead for a prototyping effort that will kick off this calendar year with the goal of building a prototype by fiscal year 2022, followed by operational evaluation by soldiers in 2023.

The Army is asking industry to form teams and deliver proposals outlining what each team believes offers the best set of capabilities for an NGCV, Thomas said.

TARDEC will then award a contract to the best team around September, he said.

Then the industry team and TARDEC will together design, develop and test a prototype over a seven-year period. The contract will cover an overarching scope of work, and the service will issue work directives based on needs that need to be fulfilled throughout the life of the contract.

The Army and the industry team will develop two identical prototypes that will be focused “right now” toward an infantry fighting vehicle.

Col. William Nuckols, the director of the mounted requirements division at the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, said late last year the service will assess what the next-generation combat vehicle might look like. Considerations include whether it should be developed as an infantry fighting vehicle or a single combat vehicle that replaces the Abrams, the Bradley and potentially the Mobile Protected Firepower platform or the Stryker.

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Thomas said the infantry fighting vehicle design will be based on a “squad-centric, mounted maneuver concept” that provides for a two-man crew and six dismounted soldiers, splitting the squad among two vehicles, “so they are going to be operating mounted as they would operate dismounted in fires teams.”

Experimenting with splitting the squad will be useful as the Army struggled in a previous attempt to field a new combat ride -- the Ground Combat Vehicle -- to fit the entire squad in one platform without growing the vehicle to an unmanageable size.

TARDEC is also applying lessons learned from the failed Future Combat Systems program by prototyping in a more phased approach.

“We are starting with the basics, where we know we really need to address certain capability needs, and we are starting in providing leap-ahead capabilities” in power, mobility, survivability and lethality, according to Thomas.

The Army has mission-enablers it would like to examine such as improved closed-hatch driving and identification, improved distributed operations at the squad and platoon level, improved 360-degree situational awareness and hostile fire detection, Thomas said.

In a March 22 Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee hearing, Lt. Gen. John Murray, deputy chief of staff of the Army's financial management branch (G-8), warned, “We need to be careful about what technologies we count on and when we go down this [NGCV] path so we don’t end up with another program we cannot deliver.”

TARDEC’s plan is to design a “1.0” prototype and three to four years later bring in other technologies that are ready and aligned with the NGCV into a “2.0” prototype and so on, according to Thomas.

“I think this is a strategy the Army has been missing since before FCS when we quit prototyping, which has been one of our biggest reasons for probably the recent failures that we’ve seen starting with FCS and then followed by GCV,” he said.

The goal, according to the Army, would be to field an NCGV by 2035, if it chooses to go that route. Fiscal 2022 will be a critical decision point for the Army on whether to move forward into a program of record for an NGCV or if it wants to continue to focus on upgrades to the current fleet of vehicles.
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Lieutenant General
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Less sophisticated than a Legend surely more cheaper a little less big 4000 vs 4500 tons, 110 m vs 127 m, same 57 mm gun
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Babcock secures US Coast Guard Cutter design support contract

Babcock International Group, as part of Team Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG), has been awarded a contract to provide platform engineering design for the design and construction phases of the United States Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) class vessels. This highlights the growing international competitiveness of Babcock’s engineering capability, and its ability to deliver design support to shipyards around the world.
As the key provider of engineering support services on Team ESG for the last two years, Babcock has brought a wealth of experience to the development of the OPC design, the build strategy and the electrical systems. Babcock has worked closely with ESG and will deliver a whole ship 3D model, selected systems and production support as part of the new design work, underpinning the programme with detailed modelling, production outputs and the detailed design of auxiliary systems, structure, outfit and electrical systems.

Elements of the work will be subcontracted to VARD, building on a successful design relationship with Babcock to develop Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Irish Naval Service.

Production of the lead Cutter is due to start in late 2018, and will be due for completion in 2021. Up to eight follow-on ships are included in this initial contract. The United States Coast Guard plans to build up to 25 OPCs.
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Offshore Patrol Cutter .jpg Offshore Patrol Cutter - 2.jpg


Lieutenant General
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Trump clears F-16 sale to Bahrain, drops human rights conditions

The State Department told Congress it backs the sale of 19 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to Bahrain without preconditions on improved human rights previously demanded by the Obama administration, according to two people familiar with the proposal.

The request of support for the sale of up to $2.7 billion in jets doesn’t include a package to upgrade older F-16s, which officials said last year could bring the proposal to as much as $4 billion, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Wednesday’s request triggers a roughly three-week informal notification period that will be followed by a formal, publicly released document that Congress has 30 days to approve


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