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Missile Defense Agency Looking to Intercept Ballistic Targets Earlier During Boost Phase
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praising Aegis
aking out incoming missiles during the boost phase – the period just after launch – is something the military’s missile defense leadership is confident will occur in the not too distant future.

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, Rear Adm. Jon Hill, deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency, said the continental U.S. is safe for the moment, but his team is focusing on how to defend against an ever-evolving threat. Hill’s talk, part of the Maritime Security Dialogue series, was co-hosted by CSIS and the U.S. Naval Institute.

“The defense system we have in place today will defend against the threat as we understand it today,” Hill said. “What we’re concerned about is tomorrow’s threat as it continues to increase.”

With countries such as North Korea and Iran continuing to enhance their missile technology, Hill said the Missile Defense Agency’s goal is building and maintaining a robust layered defense system as ship-based and land-based radar and interceptors coordinate with satellites. Hill said gathering enemy missile launch data early is vital for the defense system to be effective. With the Aegis radar system aboard guided missile destroyers, Hill said his agency has the ability to receive very early looks at when an enemy launch is occurring.

“If that ship is based is properly placed up forward, it gets an early detection, and can cue the ground-based missile defense,” Hill said.
“It allows them to detect a lot earlier and shoot a lot earlier.”

While parking ships off the coast of threatening nations provides missile defense operators a decisive advantage in calculating a missile’s track, Hill conceded doing so comes with a cost to the fleet’s operational tempo.

Following a year when two deadly collisions between guided-missile destroyers and merchant ships, the Navy is currently reassessing how its ships are deployed. Putting the Aegis system on shore, Hill said, offers a partial solution.

While ships can go where we need them to go and bring a variety of weapons, Hill said it might make sense to put Aegis on land in a region where the threat is static and near a friendly chain of islands.

News reports have stated Japan is considering asking for Aegis Ashore systems, similar to what’s been deployed to Romania and being brought to Poland, but Hill said a decision has not been finalized. Other nations have also inquired about Aegis Ashore.

The remarkable thing about Aegis, Hill said, is the system was developed four decades ago, primarily as an air defense system. But the system proved to be very adaptable, which is why it’s still used today, and why friends and allies are interested in being a part of the missile defense system.

“We did not think back in the ‘70s and ‘80s we’d be tracking objects in space and that we’d be shooting objects in space,” Hill said.
 
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Martin successfully fired production-configuration
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Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles from a USAF B-1B
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this AM on the Sea Range off Point Mugu CALIF. 2 LRASMs launched simultaneously against "multiple maritime targets," LM sez.
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DQ4PZpKXUAsCHWd.jpg

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New Navy secretary report criticizes service culture and top brass decisions
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an interesting read, "Spencer echoed the report’s recommendations calling on Congress to reassess the Goldwater-Nichols Act ... Changing that law could offer more direct control and ownership of Navy assets, Spencer said. ..." etc.:
The two Navy destroyer collisions that killed 17 sailors this summer were borne from decades of cultural dysfunction in the service, according to a
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released this week by Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s office.

The new review also questions an initiative undertaken by today’s top officers for standing up
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to oversee readiness in the troubled West Pacific waters of 7th Fleet.

Still, the report largely focuses on ending decades of cascading errors leading up to today’s overstretched force, and a failure to learn from mistakes.

“The readiness consequences identified in this report are not traceable to any single policy or leadership decision,” according to the report released by Spencer’s office Thursday.

“However, the cumulative effects of well-meaning decisions designed to achieve short-term operational effectiveness and efficiencies have often produced unintended negative consequences which, in turn degraded necessary long-term operational capability.”

The report says today’s training and readiness problems have stemmed from a Navy that cannot say no to the mission requests of combatant commanders, despite the Navy’s budget constraints and smaller fleet.

“Over time, the Navy’s ‘must do’ wartime culture was adopted for peacetime as long-term readiness and capability were sacrificed for immediate mission accomplishment,” the report states.

The review from Spencer’s office sought a higher-level take on service issues than the Navy leadership’s “comprehensive review,” which was released this fall and overseen by Fleet Forces Command head Adm. Phil Davidson. That report focused on assessing the tactical causes of the
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and
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collisions that killed 17 sailors.

The review released from Spencer’s office takes a broader view of the Navy’s problems and was compiled by a group that included retired admirals, junior officers and defense experts, but not any current flag officers. It was headed up by Defense Business Board Chairman Michael Bayer and former Chief of Naval Operations and retired Adm. Gary Roughead.

The new review notes that the Navy in the past has claimed to learn important lessons from crises like this year’s ship collisions, but has often failed to implement its own recommendations.

“Navy history is replete with reports and investigations that contain like findings regarding past collisions, groundings, and other operational incidents,” the report states. “The repeated recommendations and calls for change belie the belief that the Navy always learns from its mistakes.”

The report decries an over-bureaucratized Navy, where surface warfare officers are not allowed to develop needed expertise because they must pull stints in headquarters positions or other staff jobs to advance.

“With the growth of headquarters, and staff centric promotion parameters, staff service began displacing service at sea as a significant driver of officer career paths, assignments, and promotions,” the report states.

It also argues that the Navy needs to streamline command-and-control lines because too much bureaucracy has led to “misaligned authorities, complicated command and control responsibilities, and diffuse accountability structures.”

Spencer’s report is critical of Navy leadership’s decision in October to create Naval Surface Group West Pacific, another layer of command stood up to oversee 7th Fleet readiness in the West Pacific. Navy admirals said the new command will help eliminate ambiguities of authority, but Spencer’s review this week argues that it will do just the opposite.

“The Strategic Review does not concur with establishment of Naval Surface Group West Pacific,” the report states. “Standing up an additional oversight layer provides another headquarters staff and administrative control function that is likely to perpetuate ambiguous and conflicting authorities.”

Spencer acknowledged that the new command is at odds with the report’s call for lesser bureaucracy. “I have to admit, it didn’t dovetail perfectly,” Spencer said at a meeting with reporters at the Pentagon. But he added that such initiatives will be reviewed.

“I’m not in a position to say we’re going to tear it apart,” Spencer said.

He said his office’s review is only a set of recommendations at this point, and that plans are being hashed out for which prescriptions to adopt.

“This is a big needle moment for the Navy and Marine Corps,” Spencer said.

Getting the Navy back on sure footing to adequately address the threats posed by so-called “near peer” military rivals like China — a conventional threat not seen since the Cold War — will require changes in everything from service culture to congressional oversight, according to the report.

The size of the Navy’s fleet has shrunk from more than 500 ships in the 1990s to about 275 today, yet the workload has largely remained the same, the report states.

To continue to fulfill its mission despite fewer ships, the Navy became an echo chamber of risky behaviors, according to the new report.

“Reinforcing these aberrant behaviors was the feedback that implied the risk being taken had little or no consequence — if the operation was a success, then the risk assumed must have been appropriate,” the report states. “The departure from a questioning culture prevented operators, leaders, and resource managers from stepping back and assessing accumulated risk and reinforced a mistaken confidence that operations remained within risk boundaries.”

Spencer echoed the report’s recommendations calling on Congress to reassess the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the 31-year-old legislation that stressed the branches operating jointly but took the service chiefs out of the direct chain of command.

Changing that law could offer more direct control and ownership of Navy assets, Spencer said.

The report also laments too much congressional oversight, which includes reporting requirements, adherence to at least 20 environmental and safety regulations, as well as state statutes, executive orders and other federal regulations.

“Such compliance is resource intensive and frequently distracts leadership’s attention from its primary responsibilities,” the report states. “Responding to ever-increasing National Defense Authorization Act direction, environmental, safety, and acquisition requirements, as well as other legal obligations, requires significantly increasing involvement by the Secretary and the Chief of Naval Operations.”

The report recommends working with the Pentagon to seek relief “from excessively detailed external oversight and reporting requirements.”

As the Navy learns to say no, the report recommends the service “condition congressional and executive branch leaders to accept that the higher cost and time to achieve established readiness standards will mean less Navy presence worldwide.”

Spencer also said that the Navy will hold meetings with Congress’s armed services committees to delineate which Navy missions can be jettisoned to prevent overburdening the force, an idea he said lawmakers have voiced support for thus far.

The problems identified by the new report cannot be resolved by simply giving the Navy more money or by ending 2011’s Budget Control Act, often referred to as “sequestration.”

“Additional funding to increase capacity and maintenance can improve many aspects of readiness, but more money will not address the structural, organizational, training, and cultural facets that contribute just as significantly,” the report states.

Spencer said the training and cultural changes called for in the report are not cost-intensive in and of themselves, but also admitted the Navy will need more resources and a better funding and budget mechanism.

“It’s gonna be a food fight at the table,” he said.
 
Tuesday at 12:01 PM
as of 2016,
97+105.5+63+83+67+98.8 = 514.3
more than a half of a million people directly employed at top-six weapons producers;
5302+4895+2174+2351+2200+2955 = 19877, almost twenty bil of profit, good for them:
5014918_original.jpg

Global arms industry: First rise in arms sales since 2010, says SIPRI
11 December 2017
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and now something not that cheerful:
American exodus? 17,000 US defense suppliers may have left the defense sector
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A large number of American companies supplying the U.S. military may have left the defense market, according to a study announced Thursday, raising alarm over the health and future of the defense industrial base.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies study said the number of first-tier prime vendors declined by roughly 17,000 companies, or roughly 20 percent, between 2011 and 2015.

The full study, due to be released in January, was authored by CSIS Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group Director Andrew Hunter, Deputy Director Gregory Sanders and Research Associate Rhys McCormick. It was sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School and co-produced by the Aerospace Industries Association, which released an executive summary on Dec. 14, the day of its annual aerospace and defense luncheon in Washington.

The authors, who used publicly available contract data, write that it’s unclear — due to the limitations in the subcontract database —whether the companies have exited the industrial base entirely or still perform work at the lower tiers.

“There is no doubt that a huge portion of the recent turbulence in the defense industrial base has taken place among subcontractors, who are less equipped to tolerate the defense marketplace’s funding uncertainly and often onerous regulatory regime — yet it remains extremely difficult to determine the real impact of these conditions on subcontractors,” the authors conclude.

Further details may yet be revealed by the Trump administration’s ongoing review of the resiliency of the defense-industrial base. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ assessment is due to President Donald Trump by mid-April 2018.

The CSIS summary links 2011 Budget Control Act caps, subsequent short-term budget agreements, and Congress’ “unpredictable and inconsistent” appropriations process to the “lost suppliers, changes in competition and market structure, and other turmoil” it found. The years 2011-2015 are considered a period of defense drawdown and decline.

The authors, rather than focus strictly on the total decline of defense contract obligations over the entire period, chose to chart the “whipsaw” effect that struck certain sectors of the industrial base amid the imposition of sequestration in 2013 and subsequent budget caps.

Though the defense budget had been declining in the years leading up to the Budget Control Act, the implementation of an across-the-board sequestration budget cut in 2013 “marked a severe market shock that had a considerable impact on the defense industry,” the authors say.

Compared to the pre-drawdown fiscal 2009-2010 period, the start of the drawdown in fiscal 2011-2012, average annual defense contract obligations dropped 5 percent. When sequestration was triggered in fiscal 2013, defense contract obligations dropped 15 percent from the previous year. Average annual defense contract obligations fell 23 percent during the so-called BCA decline period, fiscal 2013-2015.

The Army, which has a checkered modernization history, bore the brunt of the decline. Average annual defense contracts dropped 18 percent at the start of the drawdown, then 35 percent during the BCA decline period.

Missile defense contract obligations actually gained 7 percent at the start of the drawdown and then dropped only 3 percent under budget caps. During his presidency, Barack Obama reversed course from early cuts to missile defense to spur the development and deployment of missile defense systems in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson reacted to the internally circulated findings earlier this month, saying budget cuts are responsible for the industry being “more fragile and less flexible than I’ve seen it, and I’ve been in the industry many, many years.”

“What we’ve seen in the industry, I’ll give you an example at Lockheed Martin: At the outset of budget cuts we were about 126,000 employees; today we are at 97,000 employees,” Hewson said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. “Our footprint has shrunk dramatically. We see some of our small and medium-sized business, some of the components that we need, there’s one, maybe two suppliers in that field where there were many, many more before.”

Budget cuts have squeezed the Defense Department to unduly prioritize low-cost contracts over innovation and investment. Cost “shootouts,” she said, are endangering the military’s plans to grow in size and lethality.

AIA Vice President for National Security Policy John Luddy said companies have coped through a variety of “healthy efficiencies,” such as mergers and acquisitions, consolidating facilities, exploring shared services, and offloading certain contracting activities.

“Our companies have done an amazing job of managing the downturn, they’ve pulled all kinds of levels to make it work, they’ve shown the ingenuity of the American free market system,” Luddy said. “Nonetheless, the uncertainty of the budgeting process has become a huge challenge for us.”

Army Secretary Mark Esper, formerly of Raytheon, warned lawmakers at a Senate hearing Dec. 7 that uneven funding is driving small suppliers — “an engine of innovation” — out of the defense sector.

“If you’re a small mom and pop shop out there, and I’m referring to my industry experience, it’s hard for them to survive in the uncertain budgetary environment,” Esper said. “And we risk losing those folks who may over time decide that they’re going to get out of the defense business and go elsewhere. So that’s a big threat to our supply chains.”

But the CSIS study found that small vendors either increased their share of platform portfolio contract obligations or held steady, while large and medium vendors were most harmed by the market shock from sequestration and the defense drawdown.
 
Today at 8:31 AM
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Martin successfully fired production-configuration
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Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles from a USAF B-1B
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this AM on the Sea Range off Point Mugu CALIF. 2 LRASMs launched simultaneously against "multiple maritime targets," LM sez.
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DQ4PZpKXUAsCHWd.jpg

DQ4PaEBXcAArQi0.jpg
now USNI News:
Pentagon Tests Next-Gen Anti-Ship Missile From Air Force B-1B Bomber
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The Pentagon’s next generation anti-ship missile was successfully fired at and hit multiple targets during a recent test over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, Calif.


During the test, which was conducted last week, a U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber simultaneously launched two production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) against multiple maritime targets, marking an important step toward meeting early capability milestones, according to a statement released by Lockheed Martin, LRASM’s manufacturer.

“The successful flight demonstrates LRASM’s continued ability to strengthen sea control for our forces,” said a statement released by David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile, and is based on Lockheed’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER). LRSAM began as a DARPA program at the 2009 request of U.S. Pacific Command to rapidly field a modern air-launched, anti-ship weapon.

LRASM is designed for use by both the U.S. Navy and Air Force. LRASMs are expected to be used by the Air Force B1-B bombers starting next year, and the Navy’s F/A-18E/F warplanes in 2019, according to a statement released by Lockheed Martin.

In July, Lockheed officials told USNI News a
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for the LRASM is also being developed for use by the Navy’s surface warfare community. Demonstrations could occur in 2018.
 
Nov 20, 2017
cross-posting from
F-22 Raptor Thread
about Raptors bombing poppy fields:
U.S. F-22 Stealth Jets Perform Raptor’s First Ever Air Strike In Afghanistan Employing Small Diameter Bombs
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and B-52s, F-22s Continue Hitting Taliban Drug Dens in Afghanistan
The US effort to hit the Taliban’s drug production has continued since the opening salvo in November, with now 25 narcotics processing facilities destroyed and about $80 million eliminated from the group’s pockets.

The “sustained air interdiction campaign” is the first time the US has targeted the Taliban’s revenue, and it “directly strengthens the Afghan defense forces” in their continued fight, said USAF Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, the director of future operations with Operation Resolute Support.

While the Afghan Air Force kicked off the campaign with A-29 strikes on Taliban locations, the biggest wave came from aircraft not usually used in Afghanistan—B-52s and F-22s. The Nov. 19 B-52 strike was the first time that aircraft used its conventional rotary launcher in Afghanistan, delivering the largest number of precision munitions from a Stratofortress in its history, Bunch said.

The stealthy, air superiority-focused F-22 was used in the opening salvo, and continued bombings, because it can carry small diameter bombs. US forces needed the most precise weapon it had at its disposal for some of the strikes and the F-22 was available at the time, even though F-15Es also carry the weapon. In addition to these aircraft, F-16s, US Marine Corps High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, and Navy F/A-18s have conducted strikes as part of the effort to hit the Taliban’s drug infrastructure.

The operation—called Jagged Knife—is supported by “over the horizon” flights from USAF JSTARS aircraft, along with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft and aerial refuelers based inside Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East, Bunch said

Bunch leads Resolute Support’s newly created future operations office, or FuOps. It was created as part of the US government’s new South Asia strategy, and move away from time-based planning to a “conditions-based” future in Afghanistan. While the sustained air interdiction campaign, and a new build up of US forces in the country, is focused on fighting the Taliban’s momentum, the war is still at a “stalemate,” US Forces-Afghanistan commander Gen. John Nicholson told
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late last month.
source is AirForceMag
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Kinda funny way back when the Raptor's numbers were cut part of the argument for the cutting was they had not been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan because they were somehow incapable of the job and now we see them used so often.
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
Kinda funny way back when the Raptor's numbers were cut part of the argument for the cutting was they had not been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan because they were somehow incapable of the job and now we see them used so often.

Perhaps some people felt that the B-2 Bomber was more than sufficient enough to do the job over in Iraq and Afghanistan theater.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
B1 and B52 perhaps B2 is overkill.
I see what you are trying to say but the Aim of F22 and F35 were to truly replace F15 and F16 it was only the political choice that rendered the F22 as a special bird.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Chinook To Fly With CH-53K Engine
Dec 6, 2017
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| Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
  • ch-47f-boeing.jpg

    CH-47: Boeing
    MESA, Arizona—Boeing, General Electric and the U.S. Army’s aviation flight test directorate are planning to fly a CH-47 Chinook fitted with the T408 turboshaft from the Sikorsky CH-53K King ...
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There is a member wall on this. The Gist is that Boeing is worried that future requirements will push the Continued use of the CH47 beyond the ability of the L55 series to keep up. So they are looking at the GE38-1B from the King Stallion as possible replacement engines though it would need a new transmission. This engine is claimed to be a option for future Tandem and Tiltrotors
They were also looking at the Future Affordable Turbine Engines
 

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