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it's actually quite interesting Navy's Most Advanced Subs Will Soon Use Xbox Controllers
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The control room of the Navy's most advanced submarine is filled with sophisticated computers, flat-screen monitors and sailors who grew up in a digital world.

At times it can look a bit like a video game arcade, and not just because of the high-resolution graphics.

The
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is beginning to use an Xbox 360 controller -- like the ones you find at the mall -- to operate the periscopes on board
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.

Unlike other types of submarines people are familiar with from Hollywood, Virginia-class submarines don't have a traditional rotating tube periscope that only one person can look through at a time.

It's been replaced with two photonics masts that rotate 360 degrees. They feature high-resolution cameras whose images are displayed on large monitors that everyone in the control room can see. There's no barrel to peer through anymore; everything is controlled with a helicopter-style stick. But that stick isn't so popular.

"The Navy got together and they asked a bunch of J.O.s and junior guys, 'What can we do to make your life better?' " said Lt. j.g. Kyle Leonard, the USS John Warner's assistant weapons officer, referring to junior officers and sailors. "And one of the things that came out is the controls for the scope. It's kind of clunky in your hand; it's real heavy."

Lockheed Martin and Navy officials have been working to use commercial off-the-shelf technology to reduce costs and take advantage of the technological skills sailors grow up with. The integration of the video-game Xbox controller grew out of that effort.

Lockheed Martin refers to the classified research lab in Manassas where testing occurred as the submarine version of "Area 51," the nickname for the Nevada base where some of the
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's most advanced and secretive projects are tested.

The Xbox controller is no different than the ones a lot of crew members grew up playing with. Lockheed Martin says the sailors who tested the controller at its lab were intuitively able to figure out how to use it on their own within minutes, compared to hours of training required for the joystick.

The Xbox controller also is significantly cheaper. The company says the photonic mast hand grip and imaging control panel that cost about $38,000 can now be replaced with an Xbox controller that typically costs less than $30.

"That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only designed to fit on a Virginia-class submarine," said Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub, the John Warner's assistant navigator. "I can go to any video game store and procure an Xbox controller anywhere in the world, so it makes a very easy replacement."

The Navy says that the system has gone through extensive testing over the past two years and that the Xbox controller will be included as part of the integrated imaging system for Virginia-class subs beginning with the future USS Colorado, which is supposed to be commissioned by November.

The Xbox controller will be installed on other Virginia-class submarines, such as the
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John Warner, through the normal modernization process, according to Brienne Lang, a spokeswoman for the Navy's program executive office for submarines. The John Warner had a demonstration model aboard this past week as it transited from Naval Station Norfolk to
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.

Eichenlaub said the Navy doesn't plan on stopping innovation with the Xbox controller, either. The goal is to develop technology that young people already are comfortable with, such as working with electronic touch screens on iPads and in virtual environments.

"Ideally, what they want to see in 10 years down the road is, there's basically a glass panel display with windows, and you can just pull a window of information, review that, push it off, bring in the next window," he said.

"They want to bring in sailors with what they have at home on their personal laptop, their personal desktop, what they grew up with in a classroom."
 
I've been following so called removal of the Warthog (LOL) for like two years now ...
May 24, 2017
Feb 8, 2017

the latest is inside
Stayin’ alive: No retirement in sight for the A-10 and U-2
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and the story goes on:
Fate of A-10, F-15 to be decided this fall
15 hours ago
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As the Air Force increases its F-35 buy rate and more joint strike fighters come online, the question is not if it will begin retiring its legacy combat aircraft, but when.


Air Force leaders hope to have a better answer to that question later this fall, when Air Combat Command head Gen. Mike Holmes and Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, hash out a fighter recapitalization roadmap as part of initial budget planning meetings for fiscal year 2020, Holmes told Defense News in a Sept. 11 interview.

“We’re trying to work to get a fighter recapitalization roadmap that everybody agrees on in the Air Force so that then we can take that on to the Hill … and try to be able to show everyone that we do have a plan for the future,” Holmes said.

The plan would lay out “where their unit would fall out and what the plan is to replace it,” with the ultimate goal of “tak[ing] some of that angst away.”

The Air Force knows it could be facing a political battle as it considers how to best phase out three beloved combat aircraft: the F-16, F-15C/D Eagles and the A-10.

Holmes acknowledged that the situation has changed since the start of the F-35 program when the joint strike fighter was considered to be the eventual replacement of the F-16 and A-10.

“Now that Congress has directed us and we’ve decided to keep some number of A-10s, and now that our F-15 service life is showing some wear and some of the margin is gone there, we want to go back and just look at that combination of A-10s, F-16s of the various blocks and F-15Cs and come up with a plan that maintains the best mix of combat capability as we bring on the F-35,” he said. “At the buy rates that Congress has funded for the F-35, we’re going to be a mixed fourth and fifth gen force for a long time.”

Holmes and Harris have put together two separate fighter recapitalization roadmaps and expect to work through the differences this fall, said Holmes, who would not expound upon his recommendations.

“Frankly I don’t want to get ahead of the chief or the secretary’s decision space by getting too far into the pros and cons of which one you might take next,” he said. “The Air Force is working through that.”

Here’s the state of play of the legacy combat aircraft fleet.

The A-10 Warthog

After years of trying to divest the A-10, The Air Force doubled back on plans to mothball the venerable Warthog, announcing during the FY2018 budget release that it intended to keep the A-10 throughout the next five fiscal years.

[Air Force to cut three A-10 squadrons unless funding for new wings emerges]

However, after Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a member of the House Armed Services Committee and former A-10 pilot, pressed officials about rumors of retiring some of the fleet, Air Force leaders were forced to clarify their intentions.

The service owns 283 A-10s, and 173 of those planes — about seven squadrons — have recently been re-winged by Boeing. The remaining three squadrons, or 110 Warthogs total, will hit the end of their service life as soon as the early 2020s, at which point the Air Force could get rid of them, Holmes explained to Defense News in June.

The situation has changed a little since then. In the Air Force’s unfunded priorities list, the service included $103 million to restart production of A-10 wings and manufacture four wing sets. Both the House and Senate armed services committees have opted to include that money in their defense authorization bills, although it is yet to be seen whether the appropriations committees — which determine government funding levels — follow suit.

If so, the Air Force will have to issue a request to proposals to industry.

“Having the option to go procure some more wings is a great option no matter where we go or what we do. We understand why Congress would want to do that, and then we’ll work with them on exactly how many,” Holmes said during the Sept. 11 interview. “Frankly, that will affect the vendors on whether they are willing to bid for them or not. People will want to know how many we’re going to do and what the longterm future of a contract is before they go forward.”

Because the Air Force has opted to retain at least a portion of its A-10 fleet, Holmes said the fielding of a direct replacement specifically designed for close air support, or CAS, has become less urgent. Air Combat Command had begun putting together a “wish list” of desired capabilities for a next-generation CAS plane, but discussions had not had not progressed past the very earliest stages.

“We didn’t really get down to the trade part that it takes some acquisition professionals to help with, and then we set it aside when we decided we were going to keep the A-10s for a while,” he said.

The F-15C and F-16

During a congressional panel this March, Maj. Gen. Scott West, the Air Force’s director of current operations and deputy chief of staff for operations, sent shockwaves through the defense community by alluding to the then-unknown proposal working its way through the Air Force that would cull the F-15C/D Eagle fleet, which numbers about 230 planes.

To replace those jets, the Air Force would upgrade F-16s with more advanced active electronically scanned array radars, making them more suited for the homeland defense mission currently performed by the F-15.

[
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]

The biggest obstacle for keeping the F-15 is the cost of making the modifications needed to prolong its lifespan.

Steve Parker, Boeing’s vice president of F-15 programs, told Defense News in April that the company could extend the life of an F-15C/D to about 2030 by replacing the aircraft’s longerons, or the strips of material that make up the skeleton of an airframe. The price tag for that modification would run about $1 million per aircraft.

[
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]

Holmes said the Air Force will “probably” do some work to the longerons, but then will need to ascertain whether to extend the life of the F-15C’s wings — the next point of high fatigue on the jet. All said, a comprehensive service life extension could cost upwards of $30 million per aircraft.

“There will be some service life extension that’s required, and we’ll have to decide as an Air Force — not just me, but as an Air Force— how much of that we’re willing to afford,” Holmes said.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Boeing Displays Missionized MH-139 At Air Show
Sep 18, 2017
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| Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
  • boeingmh139byjamesdrew.jpg

    The armed MH-139 helicopter was a popular display at the Andrews Air Show from Sept. 15-17: James Drew, Aviation Week


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    has stepped up its campaign to capture the U.S. Air Force’s 84-helicopter UH-1N Huey replacement program, displaying a missionized version of its MH-139 at the Andrews Air Show over the weekend.

    The company’s proposal is based on the Leonardo AW139 built in Philadelphia. Boeing rebranded one of Leonardo’s demonstration models as the multi-mission MH-139 as part of its Air Force-focused marketing campaign.

    Over the weekend, the helicopter was displayed to the public during the service’s annual air show at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Boeing’s marketing push at Andrews coincides with the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference taking place at National Harbor, Maryland, this week.

    The display model was equipped with door-mounted machine guns on either side, as well as nose-mounted sensor turret and rescue hoist/cargo winch. The electro-optical/infrared sensor ball was FLIR’s high-definition, full-color Star Safire 350HDc.

    The helicopter was a popular attraction. Thousands of people would have seen the display and many lined up to snap photos of themselves or their children with the machine guns.

    Boeing’s MH-139 was on the flight line during President Donald Trump’s visit to the base on Sept. 15, during the military family day. His visit was probably confined to secure aircraft hangars crammed with
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    ,
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    , A-10s and a B-2 bomber.

    The company responded to the Air Force’s Huey Replacement request for proposals on Sept. 13. Boeing claims its MH-139 proposal could save the government more than $1 billion in acquisition and life-cycle expenses compared to alternative approaches. The aircraft is competing against
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    ’s Black Hawk-based UH-60U to replace Vietnam-era “Twin Hueys.” Dozens of those outdated helicopters guard the Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile fleet from bases in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. UH-1Ns also shuttle government officials around Washington from Joint Base Andrews.

    “The MH-139 is based on the AW139 that’s in service with more than 250 government, military and commercial operators around the world,” Boeing says. “Boeing’s military rotorcraft expertise, combined with the non-developmental, multi-mission helicopter, will provide exceptional value and capability to the Air Force and taxpayers.”

    Commercial versions of the AW139 are also built by Leonardo Italy and HeliVert in Russia.
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"The bill surpasses the president’s $603 billion defense budget request, the $549 billion cap set by the BCA and the $696.5 billion House version, with which the Senate version must be reconciled before the NDAA’s final passage by Congress.The bill surpasses the president’s $603 billion defense budget request, the $549 billion cap set by the BCA and the $696.5 billion House version, with which the Senate version must be reconciled before the NDAA’s final passage by Congress."
etc., just this and the link, as an interest here in $$$ is close to zero as far as I've noticed over the years LOL!
US Senate passes budget-busting $700 billion defense policy bill
18 hours ago
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Jun 8, 2017
May 30, 2017

and US Air Force predicts first KC-46 delivery in spring 2018, likely not this year
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while KC-46A testing glitches could delay USAF tanker milestone
Despite earlier assurances that Boeing would deliver the US Air Force's first 767-based KC-46A tanker by the end of this year, boom scraping issues and a slew of uncompleted test points may delay delivery until 2018, the head of its Air Mobility Command has revealed.

More than half way into testing, the USAF has discovered severe flaws on the tanker, known as “category 1 deficiencies”. Among the most glaring, the tip of its boom has on occasion struck receiver aircraft outside their refuelling slipways. Boeing engineers are working to fix the problem, but unless the issue is resolved it could delay a scheduled 1 December delivery, Gen Carlton Everhart said at the annual Air, Space and Cyber conference near Washington DC.

It is unknown at this point whether Boeing will be able to meet the USAF’s "required assets available" milestone scheduled for October 2018, Everhart adds.

At the same time, Boeing is still working through test points that will grant the KC-46A's amended type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration for the baseline 767 with tanker provisions, and a supplemental type certification for the militarised variant. A US Government Accountability Office report released earlier this year warned that if test points were not completed at the planned rate, the already revised delivery schedule for the KC-46A would be "optimistic at best".

“We’re running into a crunch period right now, where we may not be able to get all the test points done,” Everhart says. “Boeing could get this thing accelerated, it could all fall together. What they’re trying to do with their type certification is do parallel certifications.”
source is FlightGlobal
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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Amphibious Assault Ship Tripoli is Christened
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Amphibious Transport Dock Portland is Delivered
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Future T-EPF City of Bismarck Completes Builder’s Trials
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Navy Accepts Delivery of Future LCS USS Omaha
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Let's get some pics of each:

USS Tripoloi, LHA-7
USS-Tripoli-Chrsiten-launch-01.JPG
The 2nd america class LHA...and we saw how they can carry 12 F-35Bs and helos and Ospreys...if needed, they can carry up to 20-25 F-35Bs as a small carrier in its own right.

USS Portland, LPD-27

US-Portland-LPD-27-01.jpg

The USS Portland is te 11th San Antonio Class LPD. One more to go...then it is on to the new LSD(x) vessels, that will use the same hull. We will build 10-12 of those too!

USNS City of Bismark, T-EFP-09

T-EFP-9-01.jpg
This is the 9th of these transports. These fast transports can carry up to 350 troops and quite a bit of cargo, or a combination of the two at sustained speeds of 35 knots. That's a GOOD thing!

USS Omaha, LCS-12

USS-Omaha-LCS-12-01.JPG

The sixth Independence class LCS. Two others are launched and outfitting, and two others are building. That will make ten of the 13.

That's a petty nice haul for a day...four such vessels.

The US shipbuilding industry is in full swing and looking to keep pace with China.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Four ship in action ! 4 F-35B
16 pics here !
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View attachment 42123
This is how a US President uses his forces to show strength to a potential adversary.

These 14 aircraft flew over the coast there near North Korea.

The F-35s and B-2s are US strong air power, accompanied by F-15s from SKOR and F-2s from the Japanese, they represent air power that the North Koreans would not be able to defense against in the air...and with the stealth aircraft there in any numbers, they would do SEAD duties until there were no more ground defenses to take on the air power there.

The N Koreans know this and hopefully it will help persuade them to stop menacing their neighbors.

The true solution will be for China to pull the N Koreans back from this madness of shooting ballistic missiles over the top of their neighbors nations.

Anyhow, here' show they looked:

USAF-ROKAF-JSDAF-01.jpg USAF-ROKAF-JSDAF-02.jpg USAF-ROKAF-JSDAF-03.jpg USAF-ROKAF-JSDAF-04.jpg
 

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