US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Today at 2:26 PM
Nov 17, 2017

updating ("With the current continuing resolution set to expire soon, military leaders are intensifying warnings of the consequences for military readiness if lawmakers cannot agree on a new budget." etc.) with Smith: Continuing Resolution Use is the Worst Thing Congress Does for National Security
11/30/2017
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

(expletives inside, so just the link here)
updating again ("Lawmakers are reportedly considering a GOP proposal of a two-year budget deal that would raise 2011 Budget Control Act caps for defense by $54 billion and nondefense funds by $37 billion in both fiscal 2018 and 2019."):
McCarthy: US Congress must pass 2-week CR to win two-year budget deal
38 minutes ago
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The U.S. House’s No. 2 Republican said Saturday that for Congress to make a two-year deal to ease budget caps for defense, Congress must pass a proposed two-week stopgap spending measure.
“The only reason we’re going into a two-week CR is because we’re in negotiations on the caps,” McCarthy said.

On Saturday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Freylinghuysen, R-N.J., proposed a CR that runs through Dec. 22.

To avoid a government shutdown, lawmakers must pass a budget deal or a new CR before the current one runs out Dec. 8.

Lawmakers are reportedly considering a GOP proposal of a two-year budget deal that would raise 2011 Budget Control Act caps for defense by $54 billion and nondefense funds by $37 billion in both fiscal 2018 and 2019.

In recent weeks, Congressional defense hawks have argued against that number for defense because it would fall below the top-line of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that passed the House and Senate earlier this month.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, acknowledged that continuing resolutions are harmful to the Pentagon, but said, “we’ll be able to put that pressure, get an agreement, not just for this year but next year as well, and we’ll get out of this mess.”

“I cannot tell you there will not be another CR, because there will be another CR...there will be another CR next week. It will be a two-week CR so we can stop having CRs for the future,” said McCarthy of California.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers have insisted on parity between the defense and non-defense sides of the budget.

McCarthy pushed back at that idea, saying, “You should fund your military with what you need to accomplish to protect you from the threats; that’s what you should decide the number upon, and that’s the argument of where we’re going.”
 
it's been a long tanker series ... for me it's interesting to read the spin, wishful thinking, statements made to save the day LOL ... the last one in that series: Nov 14, 2017
Oct 25, 2017
while 12 November, 2017 DUBAI: KC-46 trims major deficiencies to one
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and now
Boeing will miss 2017 delivery goal for first KC-46
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Boeing will miss its self-imposed goal to deliver the first KC-46 tanker to the Air Force by the end of the year, the head of the company’s defense business told Defense News in an exclusive interview.

“We’re not going to be delivering a tanker this year,” Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense and Security, said Saturday on the sidelines of the Reagan National Defense Forum.

“This has been a focus of mine since I’ve taken over this role. The team has been persistent, they have a lot of grit, they’re continuing to drive it,” she said. “We are extremely close, we will be delivering those in 2018 and there is no doubt in my mind that this is a great franchise for the Boeing Company and we are delivering an incredible capability to the United States Air Force and to the world.”

Boeing is contractually required to deliver 18 certified KC-46s and nine refueling pods by October 2018 or face additional penalties, but is not bound by the terms of its fixed-price contract with the Air Force to hand over the first aircraft by a certain date.

As such, the company will not be subject to a fee — a minor point of consolation for Boeing, which has already had to pay $2.9 billion pretax , or about $1.9 billion after tax, because of the numerous cost overruns and delays associated with the program.

Boeing has already missed its original deadline in August 2017 to deliver the first 18 KC-46s, and first delivery has also slipped a couple times since then.

Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force’s uniformed head of acquisition, said the service has been made aware that Boeing will not be able to deliver the first tanker until 2018.

“We’ve said all along that we thought it would be later than what they have been predicted, but the point on it is that Boeing is still very committed to the program,” he added. “They are a great partner, they are definitely committed and are throwing resources at the program to get it to go forward, and we’re doing everything we can to provide the resources to make them successful at getting it done as quickly as they can.”

Bunch said the Air Force had expected to accept the first KC-46 in March, but now “we think it may be a little later than that,” he said.

The Air Force plans to purchase 179 KC-46s during its program of record, and Boeing is hoping to rake in international sales once the program moves out of the test phase.

While Boeing still has a considerable amount of testing required before it can deliver a certified KC-46, the company is also facing challenges in resolving several category-one deficiencies that cropped up this year.

The Air Force has resolved one issue, which occurred when the flow of fuel suddenly stops, causing the KC-46 boom to push forward into the receptacle of the receiving aircraft.

“We’ve worked through the engineering and we’ve done the systems engineering analysis and that one is solved,” Bunch said.

Another problem — which involved ensuring that the high-frequency radio remains off during refueling, even during a systems failure — is slated to be resolved “reasonably quickly” after further testing, he said.

However, the Air Force has still not been able to identify the root cause of why the boom seems to be scraping the receiving aircraft during a refueling, and more testing needs to be done to determine whether the problem is occurring more with the KC-46 than with legacy tankers.

“We’re trying to observe and collect data,” Bunch said. “All of that engineering analysis and those data collections from flight, and all of that, is still something the team is working on.”
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
it's been a long tanker series ... for me it's interesting to read the spin, wishful thinking, statements made to save the day LOL ... the last one in that series: Nov 14, 2017and now
Boeing will miss 2017 delivery goal for first KC-46
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
Boeing will get the job done.

I know a lot of peoeple over there and they (like at Lockheed, Grumman and elsewhere) are very talented and capable.

2018 will see them meet their schedules for the KC-46, though I know they wanted to get the first out this year.

Sometimes you have to know when not to rush things and just get it right as soon as you can.
 
Boeing will get the job done.

I know a lot of peoeple over there and they (like at Lockheed, Grumman and elsewhere) are very talented and capable.

2018 will see them meet their schedules for the KC-46, though I know they wanted to get the first out this year.

Sometimes you have to know when not to rush things and just get it right as soon as you can.
well already Jun 8, 2017
the headline was
US Air Force predicts first KC-46 delivery in spring 2018, likely not this year
 
it's the SDF here, sow why not to post The next Sputnik: Here's why US stands to lose technological edge to China
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

As defense companies struggle to balance the interests of the military customers with those of shareholders, the Pentagon needs to rethink how it buys or else risk sacrificing its technological edge.

The Pentagon can’t shut its eyes to the fact that a healthy bottom line for defense companies is in the best interest of the military and essential to ensure future capabilities, said Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, speaking on a panel at the Reagan National Defense Forum Saturday.

“I am an unapologetic capitalist and free marketeer,” said Spencer, who worked on Wall Street for 16 years. “One thing we need to be responsible for is the health of the industrial base. It’s a dance that has to be done. You’re out there with a fiduciary responsibility to buy the best gear in the most efficient, best way you can. Now you add in, ‘I have to help an industry in a certain area,’ or ‘I have to make the capital investments myself’ — it flies in the face of full and open competition. But we have to live with that to get gear.”

L3 CEO Mike Strianese pointed to his own company’s tactics when defense budgets were flat or declining during the last decade: funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to share repurchases to ensure a particular return for investors.

“[That investment] wasn’t in tomorrow’s technology,” because there was no confidence or assurance from DoD that such an investment would result in business opportunities, Strianese said. “Simply, that was the only place to go for a number of years when the budget was contracting and shrinking, if you wanted to sustain your company and operate in this competitive market.”

Thankfully, as defense budgets have stabilized, so have earnings for the top companies. J.P. Morgan’s executive director for Aerospace and Defense, Michael Leskinen, estimated that the sector is valued at the top 5 percentile — a solid place to be, even if expansion will likely be modest. L3 has shifted its corporate investment policy from predominantly share repurchasing to acquisition and research and development.

Leskinen would like to see players that invest in internal R&D, or IRAD, get disproportionate amount of top line growth — meaning they get some means of an advantage from customers in competitions. But that is an example of discretion that DoD can’t easily take. While companies in Russia and China can often move faster infusing funds into companies, partly because they’re state owned or operated, the Pentagon can’t easily reward private sector investments without a specific contract or opportunity driving that investment.

Procurement restrictions also impede a company’s ability to replicate commercial best practices. Leskinen pointed to Boeing’s Partnering for Success model of negotiating with suppliers on key commercial programs — the 737 and 777 to name a couple — with the understanding that a better price could provide the supplier future opportunities. Such a model could trim costs for the P-8, a modified version of a 737, but Spencer confirmed it falls outside procurement rules on validated prices.

“Why can’t we take the mindset that we’re buying readiness? I don’t want to own parts in the bin. I want to buy readiness,” he said. “How the supply chain gets it there and does it, that’s the value they provide me.”

The biggest threat to U.S. technological dominance, according to DIUx Managing Director Raj Shah, “is candidly ourselves.”

“We’re fortunate we have a senior leadership team focused on modernization; the operators on the ground — they’re the most innovation people in the world. But what we do have is an incentives problem,” Shah said. “We have built a set of structures and rules that does not encourage speed. You have processes where you don’t get fired for going slow but you might get fired for making a small mistake.”

Furthermore, if the Pentagon along with Wall Street continue to look past the smaller startup companies developing future capabilities, unable to rationalize investment without a specific contract attached, the U.S. will fall further behind. If you look at all venture deals in the U.S. in 2015, 12 percent had an investor from China, Shah said. That’s up from 6 percent in 2010. In robotics specifically, 17 percent of funding is from China.

“You can make determinations of why,” Shah said. “But if we think things are going to be military relevant in the future, getting a seat at the table early, is a big deal. ...The challenge for us — we look at our economic arm and national security arm quite separately. Our adversaries don’t.”

Spencer made an analogy to Sputnik when describing the risk of falling behind in technology, saying U.S. overmatch is not as great as it used to be.

“We used to own this space,” he said. “And now, all of a sudden, we’re hearing the pitter patter of feet coming behind us.”
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
USA: Boeing advances on next generation ICBM

The technical specificities of the future American intercontinental ballistic missile of the US Air Force have been validated. The preliminary design phase of the program could be launched by 2020.

Boeing announced on November 30, 2017 the validation of the report establishing the technical specifications of the future land-based intercontinental ballistic missile intended to replace the current Minuteman III missiles.

Boeing was awarded a $ 349 million technology maturing and risk reduction contract a few months ago for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program. Boeing has therefore presented major technical options that have been accepted by the US Air Force.

According to Boeing, the proposed solutions highlighted the modularity and reduction of the cost of ownership of the future missile which should remain in service at least until 2075.
The entire Mineteman III system must be replaced: flight system, weapon system, C2 and silos.
Boeing will now study the cost of the various technical options in order to be able to submit a report as part of the Preliminary Design Review program by 2020.

The Minuteman III is one of the elements of the US nuclear deterrence triad. These intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be fired from silos distributed on US territory are operated by the US Air Force. US Air Force planes can also implement tactical nuclear weapons and the US Navy permanently maintains nuclear launching submarines at sea.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 
Yesterday at 2:22 PM
Today at 2:26 PM

updating again ("Lawmakers are reportedly considering a GOP proposal of a two-year budget deal that would raise 2011 Budget Control Act caps for defense by $54 billion and nondefense funds by $37 billion in both fiscal 2018 and 2019."):
McCarthy: US Congress must pass 2-week CR to win two-year budget deal
38 minutes ago
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
while Handful of hawkish US lawmakers urge military leaders to fight new CR
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

A group of pro-defense lawmakers is urging White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other military leaders to pressure Congress to make a 2018 budget deal before year’s end — and avoid another stopgap funding resolution.

The call comes as Congress is scrambling to avert a government shutdown when the latest continuing resolution runs out Dec. 8. Reportedly, conservative Republicans are arguing for a CR into January as lawmakers wrangle over an omnibus appropriations measure.

Adding urgency, the Senate Appropriations Committee
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
that, if passed, would bust through Budget Control Act caps and trigger an arbitrary across-the-board budget cut known as sequestration. To avert sequestration, Congress would have to pass a deal that raises budget caps.

Three House Republicans pushed military leaders to speak up on Friday, at a House Readiness Subcommittee that hosted testimony from Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, the deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations; Navy Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy; and the Government Accountability Office’s Cary Russell.

“We really need your help because you guys really bring a credibility that Congress does not,” said House Armed Services Committee member and former Marine Mike Gallagher, R-Wis. “Congress is rocking a 12 percent approval rating right now and I think you guys have a 90 percent approval rating… By the way, that approval rating [for Congress] is lower than cockroaches and colonoscopies.”

Mattis did outline the negative impact of the last CR on dozens of procurement and construction projects vital to keeping the military operational in a
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
to lawmakers.

However, lawmakers at the Friday hearing appeared concerned Mattis might now support a CR, as they warned against mixed messages.

“I promise you if Mattis and Kelly ask for a continuing resolution, you are going to have a continuing resolution,” said HASC member Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., shaking his head. “Until you hold Congress’s feet to the fire, you’re going to have to watch our [military] capabilities further degrade. I will just ask for your help.”

Scott said he was open to Congress forgoing its Christmas recess, set to start Dec. 14, to give more time for lawmakers to hammer out a budget deal, without a CR.

HASC member Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss., called for a unified message from Mattis and uniformed leaders, that, “CRs kill our readiness.”

“It’s not okay, not a short one, not a long one,” Kelly said.

In a C-Span appearance Friday, the HASC’s top Democrat, Washington Rep. Adam Smith, said the possibility of a government shutdown was “very high.” Smith also said he would be reluctant to vote for another CR when a larger deal is what’s needed.

“Things aren’t going to be any better in January than they are right now,” Smith said. “We need to sit down together in a bipartisan way and reach an appropriations deal. That was true in January of this year and its still true.”

Smith said that given the president’s recent rhetoric, he was “very, very worried about what is going to happen next week, and I think it will be bad for the country next week and in the future.”

This week, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., canceled a meeting with President Trump and their Republican counterparts after Trump tweeted the two Democrats, “want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes,” adding, “I don’t see a deal!”

Schumer has said Republican s— who control the presidency and both chambers of Congress — would be to blame for a government shutdown.

“The president talks about defending the troops and then threatens shutdown; It’s a contradiction,” Schumer said in a floor speech Friday. “Playing around with the possibility of sequester and shutting down the government is no good for our armed services as well as for the rest of the country.”
 
Nov 21, 2017
Jun 6, 2017

now noticed the article (dated November 20, 2017)
The US Air Force Has Taken Another Step Toward Re-Engining its B-52s
oh really?
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

seeing is believing, won't even repost the text
well,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, the Air Force bomber and missile boss, really wants new jet engines for his aging B-52s. The service has invited interested companies to a two-day information session in December and Boeing and Rolls-Royce are already publicly campaigning for the contract. But, Rand told reporters at the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
here, the project won’t be funded before the 2020 budget at best.

The actual delivery and installation of new engines on the service’s
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
will, of course, take years after that. The project will have
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
at the same time as the Air Force’s new
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, as well as a new Navy
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

Re-engining the B-52 is “on the table, I feel positive, but I’m not going to try to hem in the chief or secretary,” Gen. Rand said. “We’re still deciding.”

That said, “I think we’re closer to getting a decision on re-engining than any time that I’ve been (involved),” Rand emphasized. “I think we’ve made a compelling case that the B-52’s going to be around, and it warrants being re-engined.”

Part of building that case is the unclassified industry day — strictly, two days: Dec. 12-13 — being held at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
emphasizes the Air Force is just asking for information, not formal proposals, and it’s not committed to buying anything, although it does outline the service’s preferred contracting structure.

Industry is definitely excited. In August, Boeing posted a five-and-a-half-minute
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
on YouTube touting its approach to re-engining (see the top of this story). In September, Roll-Royce executive Tom Hartmann told our colleagues at
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
that “we’re acting like it’s imminent.”

It’s not. “This is all part of the FY ’20 planning choices,” Rand said. In the ponderous budget process, Congress is currently struggling to pass proper spending bills for fiscal year 2018 — which began two months ago — while the administration is already finalizing the request for 2019, which will be submitted early next year. Re-engining is on the table for the budget after that, Rand made clear: “That decision hasn’t been made. It won’t be earlier than ’20 if it happens.”

UPDATE: Veteran aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia was skeptical the re-engining would ever happen. “It’s such a great idea — a great idea for the past 30+ years now — and probably doomed, like many great ideas,” he told me. The Pentagon’s budget process makes it an uphill battle.

“The problem is that re-engining would save money from the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
(fuel and parts) and would cost money from the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
,” Aboulafia explained. “Yes, the O&M savings would quickly outweigh the procurement cost, but the two budgets don’t speak. Savings from O&M aren’t used to replace the spent procurement cash stream. It’s a goofy way to do accounting, but I’m afraid DoD is stuck with it.”

“That’s why planes don’t get re-engined,” he said. “The only exceptions were the KC-135 (around 2,000 engines…that moves the needle fast!) and the C-5A, whose TF39 motors were troubled orphans that suffered from low readiness and diminishing spares supplies.”

Missiles & Bombers

Besides potentially re-engining the B-52, 2020 will see another big decision for Rand’s Global Strike Command: whether to contract with
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
or
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
to build a new ICBM to replace the aging
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. (In August, each company got a $300-plus million contract for Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction, while Lockheed’s proposal was rejected). The final price-tag of this Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is in flux, but the Pentagon’s independent Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation (CAPE) office estimates the price tag will be
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

It’s not just about the missile, Rand told reporters. GBSD will change “how we secure the weapons, how we command and control the weapons — there’s a lot of things,” he said. Those changes will flow in part from the winning contractor’s approach, however, so it’s premature to say what they would be.

...
... and the rest of the article is unrelated to B-52; source is BreakingDefense
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

Top