US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


continuation of the above article:
The Air Force hopes whatever new engines it might buy won’t have a need for serious maintenance that requires ground crews to remove them from the aircraft entirely for at least 6,000 flight hours at a time on average, and up to 8,000 flight hours if possible. When the engines do come off, the service wants maintainers to be able to swap them out in four hours or less.

The biggest question that remains is how long it might take for the Air Force to get the re-engine program up and running. In its industry day briefings, the service said that there was a team already in place to manage the project and initial funds in the defense budget for the 2018 fiscal year that President Donald Trump
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on Dec. 12, 2017.

Unfortunately, Congress has yet to
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to go towards that budget and the U.S. government as a whole continues to move along on short-term funding measures known as “continuing resolutions.” At the same time, the Air Force itself has not settled on an acquisition plan, having described three potential courses of action that it could consider.

Two of these involve reviews of separate formal proposals for the necessary aircraft modifications and the engines themselves that are either simultaneous or split into a two-step process. The other option would be to let the contractor integrating the new engines on the B-52s pick the powerplants it deems best suited for the upgrade.

In its industry day presentation, the Air Force offered a detailed timeline of how the process might work under the two-phase plan. If it could get things moving in the 2018 fiscal year, the initial low-rate conversion process wouldn’t begin until 2025 and full-rate work would run through at least 2034.

This means the bulk of the B-52s could continue flying with their older engines for another decade at least. Each one of the existing TF33 turbofans, which have been out of production for decades, need a complete depot overhaul every 6,000 flight hours. This process costs the Air Force approximately $2 million every time.

As we
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, absent some form of public-private partnership, it could continue to be difficult for the Air Force to find the necessary funding for this new project as well as its other modernization priorities, including other updates for its two legs of the nuclear triad, such as the
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,
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, and
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. That latest defense budget would provide ample funding these existing projects, but the Congressional Budget Office has warned that nuclear modernization plans alone could ultimately
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.

A public-private deal could get around this by offering to pay contractors primarily out of the cost savings from the new, more fuel efficient engines, potentially making the re-engine effort cost-neutral for the Air Force. If the suppliers can achieve the goal of a 40 increase in efficiency, this type of arrangement could be even more attractive. Agreeing to start work without a firm understanding off the ultimate benefits could still require a leap of faith for any vendors involved in the final project, though.

As noted, the Air Force will have to decide how it wants to proceed soon if it plans to get new engines onto the B-52s any time soon. In the meantime, the aircraft will continue to fly combat missions with the same engines they had when they entered service in the early 1960s.
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some time ago Jun 13, 2015
deciding about 100 billions for the boomers ...
Congressmen: Ohio Replacement Might Now Have Much-Needed Stability in Funding

source:
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now US Navy’s new missile sub cruising for cost overruns, warns watchdog
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A
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that pushing too fast toward construction with unproven and immature technologies could drive up the price of and delay the Columbia-class nuclear missile boats — the U.S. Navy’s No. 1 budgetary priority.

The Government Accountability Office said the Navy is overselling how far along some crucial technologies are, including its reactor, the integrated power system, propulsion system and the U.S.-U.K. common missile compartment. The Navy has moved into detailed design with immature technologies, which has driven up costs and created delays in other programs, the GAO found.

“Proceeding into detail design and construction with immature technologies can lead to design instability and cause construction delays,” the report reads. “The Navy plans to accelerate construction of the lead submarine to compensate for an aggressive schedule, which may lead to future delays if the technologies are not fully mature before construction starts, planned for 2021.”

But the Navy and the Department of Defense disagree, arguing among other things that the GAO uses too high a standard for judging when a technology is considered mature.

”[The GAO’s] approach would require all technologies on a shipbuilding program to be prototyped at full-scale and demonstrated in at-sea environments — essentially building a full-sized prototype submarine — before authorizing the lead ship,” James MacStravic, the acting assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, wrote in the DoD’s response.

That approach would greatly increase the cost of the program and would delay the launch of the lead ship, presenting a dangerous interruption in U.S. strategic deterrence policy.

The Navy aims to have the first ship on a nuclear deterrent patrol by 2031, a timeline it must meet as the aging Ohio-class submarines reach the end of their service lives. The 12-ship Columbia-class program is designed to replace 14 of the Ohio-class boomers, and the with the first patrol just 13 years away, the Navy has said there is no room for error.

The Ohio-class subs will be 42 years old when they leave the fleet. In September, General Dynamics Electric Boat received a $5.1 billion contract for detailed design of the class.

With a tight schedule in mind, the Navy has been forced to forge ahead with detailed design despite risks of cost and schedule delays, said Thomas Callender, a retired submariner and analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

“We can’t push off any further, even if there is some risk as we push forward,” Callender said. “We don’t have any choice, and I think everyone knows the stakes here. There has and will be a lot of attention to issues early so they’ll be overcome, but in this case schedule has to override cost risks in this lead ship.”

The Navy has been finding ways to drive down costs and technology risks by using best practices and designs from the Virginia-class attack submarines, but with new technologies there are always risks, Callendar said.
 
Sunday at 9:33 AM
Friday at 8:06 AM

to watch:

"However, the raise and the entire defense budget is caught up in the perennial battle in Congress over continuing resolutions and tradeoffs between military and domestic spending.

The military currently is operating at 2017 spending levels under a continuing resolution that expires on Dec. 22, raising another possibility of a government shutdown.

Congressional leaders have proposed another continuing resolution into next year that would fund the military at 2018 levels of nearly $700 billion, while keeping domestic spending at 2017 levels. It was unclear whether the administration had the votes in the Senate to pass the proposal."
Trump Touts Military Pay Raise That Congress Has Yet to Pass
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and Congress avoids government shutdown with another short-term budget fix
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"... The measure allows government operations to continue uninterrupted until Jan. 19, although still funded at fiscal 2017 levels. ... Congress is on holiday recess until Jan. 3. When they return, they’ll have just 16 days before the next budget deadline and potential government shutdown threat."
 
Yesterday at 10:25 PM
some time ago Jun 13, 2015

now US Navy’s new missile sub cruising for cost overruns, warns watchdog
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while Electric Boat Awards Newport News Shipbuilding $468M for Columbia-Class Integrated Product and Process Development
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General Dynamics Electric Boat awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding a contract worth up to $468 million to begin work on integrated product and process development for the upcoming Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine, according to an HII news release this week.

Electric Boat serves as the lead shipyard on the program and Newport News Shipbuilding as a subcontractor. As is the case with the Virginia-class attack submarine program, each yard will design and build separate portions of the SSBN.

The Navy awarded Electric Boat a $5.1-billion integrated product and process development contract on Sept. 21 for design completion, engineering analysis, component development, detail planning and more, according to the HII release. That work began Oct. 1, according to the HII news release.

“This contract leverages the productive partnership we’ve built with Electric Boat in the construction of Virginia-class submarines,” Dave Bolcar, vice president of submarine programs at Newport News Shipbuilding, said in the news release.
“We are excited and ready to do our part to support EB and deliver these submarines to the Navy in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin told USNI News in an Oct. 27 shipyard visit that her yard would be designing the portion of the submarine it would eventually build – a construct that has “really allowed that team to bring innovation into the design. They’ve come up with a lot of ideas that were presented to the lead design yard, Electric Boat, that’s just made so much sense in terms of designing in opportunities to take cost out.”

Boykin said the Columbia-class design team at the Virginia shipyard has design experience ranging from the old Seawolf-class submarine to the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. The yard is leveraging that design experience, as well as about $1.5 billion in shipyard investments and a move to digital shipbuilding, to bring efficiency to the Columbia program.

Construction on the lead ship, Columbia (SSBN-826), will begin in Fiscal Year 2021, with delivery to the Navy in 2029 to support a 2031 maiden deployment.

Also this month, Electric Boat was awarded a $432-million contract modification by the Navy to “undertake development studies and other work related to Virginia-class submarine design improvements” and “perform research and development work required to evaluate new technologies to be inserted in newly built Virginia-class ships, including the Virginia Payload Module,” according to a company news release.
 
noticed Pentagon official promises impactful nuclear, missile defense strategies
The National Defense Strategy will be revealed to the public in January, with a pair of major reviews of America’s nuclear and missile defense capabilities to follow in February, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Shanahan confirmed the expectation that the National Defense Strategy would come out next month, describing the process of developing that document as cramming the two-year Quadrennial Defense Review process into a five-month window.

The deputy acknowledged that the Pentagon archives are littered with strategy documents that come out and then fail to make an impact, but pledged that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is determined to make this document matter.

“We will probably talk about the National Defense Strategy probably a hundred thousand times” in 2018, Shanahan predicted. “Because if we don’t talk about it a hundred thousand times, it will just become a document that lives on a shelf ― and the difference between strategy and real outcomes if you marshal resources.”

As to the
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and
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, those will both be released in February. While both those documents will have some impact into the upcoming fiscal 2019 budget proposal, they will truly show up in the FY20 request, Shanahan said.

Experts are closely watching both reviews, which are expected to call for increased activity in both categories, driven in part by concerns about North Korea.

Asked about specifics in the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, Shanahan said there will be an “emphasis on the capabilities we have” while also guiding future investments divided into three buckets: homeland defense, regional theater defense and strategic defense.

“There will be more depth around those categories [in the report], but we’re going to expand our capability,” Shanahan pledged.
source is NavyTimes
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oops,Trump administration shelves plans to survey US defense firms
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The Trump administration’s effort to assess and strengthen America’s defense-industrial base is backing off plans to survey hundreds of companies to identify weak spots, the Pentagon has confirmed.

The cross-government effort now plans to use data the government already collects, rather than burdening defense firms by asking for their proprietary data, Pentagon officials have been privately telling leaders at major U.S. defense trade associations.

Government and industry sources said the effort lagged over how to draft a less invasive questionnaire and over approvals from the Office of Management and Budget, required under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

On Thursday, the Pentagon acknowledged the survey process had been halted, but may restart.

“The survey may still occur but would be part of phase two of the effort, and will be coordinated appropriately with OMB,” Pentagon Spokesman Adam Stump said in an email. “We stopped the survey process as of now, so the clearance from OMB was overcome by events."

In compliance with a sweeping
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earlier this year, more than a dozen working groups from across government have been studying the defense-industrial base to recommend ways to cover gaps and weaknesses. Those groups include representatives from the Pentagon and other agencies like the departments of Commerce and Homeland Security.

By mid-April, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis must provide the president with an unclassified report, with a classified annex.

By embracing a pro-military, pro-business image, Trump has set high expectations for a military buildup that could be a windfall to the defense industry. Still, Trump has yet to prevail over the congressional politics that preserve the sector’s worst enemies: the 2011 Budget Control Act’s spending caps and their enforcement mechanism — sequestration.

Could new information change those politics? With the executive order, Trump ordered a deep dive into the health of the vast network of suppliers to America’s national security apparatus, looking at the raw materials, physical plant capacity, energy management and so-called single-point-of-failure capabilities.

The second phase of the effort will include a
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, or war games, for the defense-industrial base, to see how well certain subsets are prepared to surge in certain war scenarios.

Though that modeling is likely meant to reveal whether the defense sector is ready for a war against America’s larger adversaries — Russia, China, Iran and North Korea — defense officials have declined to describe those specifics.

To feed those models, the plan for now is to rely on the government’s existing data, and where there are gaps, conduct targeted focus groups, town halls and listening sessions with industry to learn more, according to the Department of Defense.

Already the working groups are using data from Bureau of Industry and Security surveys, Bureau of Labor statistics and DoD industrial base assessments, among other sources.

Leading the review is the Pentagon is the Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, headed by the new deputy assistant secretary, Eric Chewning, and his principal deputy, Jerry McGinn.

McGinn said in a September public appearance that the aim of the survey is to find and address gaps in what the federal government knows.

“We can make estimates and do it on our own, but the greater the information we have from industry on their challenges — because we have some known knowns, but there are a lot of areas where we don’t know,” he said.

To contrast it with the Obama administration’s sweeping, compulsory Sector-by-Sector, Tier-by-Tier (S2T2) evaluation of the defense-industrial base, the Trump administration has stressed the planned survey was to be narrow and voluntary. Still, accommodating industry proved a challenge.

“I think they were having trouble pulling together the right set of questions, in a way that would protect information from large swaths of industry,” Aerospace Industries Association CEO David Melcher told reporters last week. “In some cases, maybe they thought it would have been duplicative of some other work they had done previously.”

To assist the new evaluation, AIA is leaning in with an industrial-base working group comprised of its member companies. The aim is to “give them the whole-of-industry picture,” Melcher said, beyond the prime contractors with which the DoD is most familiar “because, quite honestly, 170 of our 348 member companies are in the tier-three [and] -four companies.”

“We have the ability to provide anecdotal and factual information about what’s happening in tiers one, two, three and four,” Melcher said. “DoD will have to take all these inputs and figure out how to make it into a credible response to the president.”
 
Today at 8:44 AM
Sunday at 9:33 AM

and Congress avoids government shutdown with another short-term budget fix
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"... The measure allows government operations to continue uninterrupted until Jan. 19, although still funded at fiscal 2017 levels. ... Congress is on holiday recess until Jan. 3. When they return, they’ll have just 16 days before the next budget deadline and potential government shutdown threat."
related:
"In the current bout of brinkmanship in Congress, the Defense Department could end up having to file a proposed budget for 2019 before the defense budget for 2018 is finally passed and signed by President Donald Trump."
Budget Battles Create More Risk for Military: Shanahan
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Dec 15, 2017
Today at 7:47 AM
... related:
Navy in 30-Year Decline; Overhaul Needed, SecNav Review Finds
source is Military.com:
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and now noticed about
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1. Supply-Demand mismatch: Kudos to Navy Secretary Spencer for highlighting the role of excessive deployments in stressing the fleet and eroding readiness. While the
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and Navy
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materials have made this point, the secretary was very clear in saying the implication of the supply-demand mismatch is that the
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to some deployments, until or unless
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. The report does an excellent job of examining the structural and organizational reasons why it is hard for the Navy to align demand with supply and proposing some changes that will help address the problem.

2. Fleet size: The problem with the report’s significant discussion of resetting the supply-demand mismatch is that it isn’t followed with a discussion of why the mismatch exists. The implication is that these deployments could be eliminated without significant impact. In some cases that may be true, but the pressure being exerted by
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on their neighbors has been driving up demands on naval and other forces. The report discusses the need to grow the fleet early on, but does not address the underlying problem that fixing the supply-demand mismatch can have strategic consequences. The
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released Monday highlights the fact the US is in competition with China and Russia, and has adversarial relationships with Iran and North Korea. But the administration’s budgets don’t seem to follow through with a military that can support that kind of strategy.

3. Learning organization: I liked how the report describes the evolution needed in how the Navy assesses itself. Many times, a service or company will say it needs to become a “learning organization,” but the description of what that means reads like a lot of vague “Ted Talk” aphorisms. The description in this report is very specific and focuses on the use of data analytics to assess how the Navy is performing and then applying those to organizational change. There is a lot of data collected by the Navy, and it is usually not well analyzed or applied. The Digital Warfare Office is doing great work on this front, as the report indicates.

4. Data in the report: That said, the strategic review does not include much data. It would have been more compelling had the strategic review actually applied some of the learning organization approaches described in the report. Some of the data that could be used for this purpose would be
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. Some of it could be declassified by Spencer, however, or when abstracted up to very large data sets, it may no longer be classified.

5. Credibility: The lack of data highlights why the military sometimes is accused of “crying wolf” about readiness. The few anecdotes shared in this report or Congressional testimony are usually not enough to be compelling. The services need to be willing to use data to show how they are doing if they want
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and the public to push for
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.
source is BreakingDefense
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