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good luck with this
Pentagon is prepared to spend over $900 million in first audit
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The Pentagon is preparing to spend more than $900 million in fiscal 2018 to identify and fix problems as part of its first-ever financial audit.

David Norquist, the Pentagon’s comptroller, said Wednesday that the first steps of the long-awaited Pentagon audit are already underway.

The audit itself will cost $367 million in FY18 — covering fees for the independent public accounting firms ($181 million) and infrastructure to support the audits ($186 million). That will help fund the roughly 1,200 auditors who will support the 24 individual audits that make up the overall effort.

In addition, Norquist estimated the Defense Department will spend about $551 million to fix problems identified by the auditors, bringing the total to an estimated $918 million. While that’s not cheap, Norquist spent part of his hearing at the House Armed Services Committee defending the upfront cost as necessary to create the baseline for future reforms.

“Accurate data helps drive more accurate decision-making,” Norquist said.

And those costs could come down easily if the Pentagon decides it can live with the issues identified by the services — although neither Norquist nor the committee members seemed keen on that option.

HASC Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, told reporters after the hearing that while he was not aware of the costs of the audit until recently, it will be money well-spent.

“If you have things that need to be fixed, they need to be fixed,” the chairman said. “Particularly at the beginning it will be expensive, but I am firmly of the view that it will pay off for the taxpayers and for the war fighters over time.”

The audit has been a focus for Norquist since being confirmed over the summer. At the Defense News Conference in September, the comptroller said he was “
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” about the possibilities the audit offered the Pentagon. And in December, he
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that the audit will lead to “a steady improvement in the accuracy and reliability of our business data,” which will build on itself year after year.

It has also received a bipartisan focus on Capitol Hill, which was on full display during Wednesday’s hearing. In his opening comments, Thornberry emphasized that this was the first HASC hearing of 2018, showing the importance of the audit to members. Ranking member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., also shared positive words for the audit and its attempts to fixed a “screwed up” system.

When designing the audit, Norquist purposefully laid out a design for 24 individual audits that will flow up to the inspector general’s office, partly to ensure independence from review teams.

Under his guidance, no firm can audit an agency if their company does consulting work with them. In other words, if your firm does business with the Army, you can’t audit the Army. Finding a firm to do the Pentagon-wide audit without those conflicts of interest would have been almost impossible; finding several firms to break that work up, however, was entirely doable.

In addition, using just one firm to do an audit would lead to what Norquist called a “monopoly” that would, down the road, cost the Pentagon.

“We would never, after they learned our business process, be able to find another auditor who could compete. And then I’d be explaining to you why the audit costs went through the ceiling,” he said.

And while the focus is on getting the Pentagon’s dollars all accounted for, there are extra benefits to doing the audit, Norquist argued. Those include learning what systems can and cannot talk to each other and figuring out where improvements can come from.

“If we’re trying to do acquisition reform and other things, you’ve got to have data. You have to know what you’re doing in order to fix it,” Thornberry agreed.

The comptroller also confirmed the audit will cover classified programs and overseas contingency operations funding, but asked for an opportunity to go into greater detail on how that would work in a classified setting.


Lieutenant General
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BAE Systems Adaptable Canister Launcher new launcher great can be used for LCS with one can have up to 16 ESSMs ! cellules of MK-41 quadpacked !

SNA 2018 Day 1: Lockheed FFG(X), BAE Systems ADL, Raytheon ESSM & NSM

What idea put 2 VLS for each 24 Helfire between main gun and VLS better have in more a VLS with 8 - 16 cell's !
Lockheed Martin FFG(X) Design.jpg


Tyrant King
BAE Systems Adaptable Canister Launcher new launcher great can be used for LCS with one can have up to 16 ESSMs ! cellules of MK-41 quadpacked !

SNA 2018 Day 1: Lockheed FFG(X), BAE Systems ADL, Raytheon ESSM & NSM
I am aware Day one was posted before
Where would we be without Navyreco? Includes the
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based FFG(X),
Almost every part of this applies to FFG(X)
also of interest returning anti ship capacity to the US Army
GD Bath Iron works offering with Spanish NAVANTIA-IZAR, Astillero Ferrol partner for
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derived FFG (X)
Atlas NA, ThyssenKrupp's offering
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derived FFG(X) offering,
Austal USA,
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based FFG(X) offering
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derived FFG(X) offering

LCS/FFG(X) Northrop grumman Hellfire VLS modules
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canon is the ATK MK44 Bushmaster II originally intended for the Aborted USMC EFV also found on San Antonio class other versions of the same auto canon can be found on a huge verity of platforms from AC130J Ghostriders to British Type 23 Frigates to Stryker Dragoons.


Tyrant King
Thursday at 8:02 AM

and here's story 'Saving Guys on the Ground': A-10 Documentary Shows Stunning Mission
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and well that was glowing pilots were having having other issues.
Dozens Of A-10s Grounded Last Year After Hypoxia Reports
Jan 8, 2018
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| Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

  • A-10: USAF

    The U.S. Air Force temporarily grounded more than two dozen A-10 Warthogs at an Arizona Air Force base late last year after multiple pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms in flight, Aviation Week has learned.

    Two pilots experienced physiological episodes (PEs) during flights out of Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, the week of Nov. 27, Air Force spokesman Capt. Josh Benedetti said Jan. 8. In both cases the backup oxygen system kicked in and the pilots landed safely, he said.

    One of the aircraft was outfitted with the older liquid oxygen system (LOX) that equips the majority of A-10s, while the other was equipped with the Onboard Oxygen Generation System (Obogs) that is installed on the rest of the fleet, Benedetti said.

    A third pilot experienced a problem with the Obogs while he was still on the ground, he noted.

    Investigators quickly determined the LOX-equipped aircraft had a cabin pressure and oxygen regulator issue with the LOX system, and fixed the problem. But investigators could not immediately determine the root cause of the problem on the Obogs-equipped aircraft.

    Leadership decided to pause flight operations for all 28 Obogs-equipped A-10s on base while investigators looked into the issue, Benedetti said.

    Investigators are still looking into the incident and have not yet determined a root cause, although they did find some corrosion in the piping. The maintenance team has implemented some “best practices” such as keeping the water separator drained so air can flow through unobstructed, and enforced a more prescriptive pre-flight checklist, Benedetti said.

    The Obogs-equipped aircraft resumed normal flying operations about a week after the initial grounding, he said. The impact on operations was minimal, as the wing continued flying sorties in the LOX-equipped A-10s, he stressed.

    No PEs have been reported on the Davis-Monthan A-10s since then, Benedetti said.
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there's an interesting paragraph inside
Navy’s Top Weapons Buyer Geurts Spells Out Acquisition Philosophy
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"Acquisitions are just part of the calculus when considering overall Navy costs. About 70 percent of program costs deal with the long-term sustainment of equipment, Geurts said. Evaluating how the Navy accounts for maintaining equipment after delivery, he said, will also drive program affordability by ensuring contracts handle sustainment costs."

The Navy’s top weapons buyer wants to speed-up purchases, including finding ways to squeeze cost and time-saving efficiencies out of large programs.

While speaking with reporters at the Surface Navy Association symposium, James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, spelled out the cornerstones of his approach to purchasing. He boiled it down to three primary tenants: reliable, agile, affordable

“We need to look at things with a portfolio approach,” Geurts said.
“I want to build everything as fast as we can.”

With rapid prototyping, Geurts said Congress gave the Navy the authority to speed up the timelines for developing new systems. He wants to use this approach used for all systems, not just the small buys. Competition and price challenges also drive costs down.

“We’ve got to make that not just the thing we do in small orders but make that part of the way we do business [across the service],” Geurts said.

Geurts, who had been Special Operations Command’s top weapons buyer, said many of the same strategies he previously used, can be employed by the Navy. Even large purchases, he said, offer plenty of opportunities to speed up the overall pace of development and building process by hastening the pace of developing various components.

“I think there are opportunities too, within these longer more deliberate programs, to build agility cycles in there,” Geurts said.
“So, it may take us a while to build a ship, and we’re always going to look to drive that efficiency and timeline down, but if I think about the combat systems on a ship, how do I retain agility, both for the hulls we have in the water and the hulls that we’re building, that I can continue to operate at the pace of technology, at the pace of the threat, and at the pace of my warfighters demands.”

Using open architecture, which allows changes or updates to quickly spread through a program, is one way to improve the way programs are efficiently built and maintained. Bringing non-traditional thinkers, research and development labs, small businesses into the early phases of a new program’s design will also help speed up the process, he said.

Citing the Navy’s new frigate acquisition program as an example, Geurts said, “I’m not as focused on one single program as a culture of affordability.”

Acquisitions are just part of the calculus when considering overall Navy costs. About 70 percent of program costs deal with the long-term sustainment of equipment, Geurts said. Evaluating how the Navy accounts for maintaining equipment after delivery, he said, will also drive program affordability by ensuring contracts handle sustainment costs.

“There’s a lot of different ways to do things,” Geurts said. “The really good programs are the ones that can knit all that together, so while they’re delivering on a deliberate predictable credible schedule, they’re constantly delivering innovation within that more deliberate schedule.”


Pakistan army chief: US general called, offered assurances...


Head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel spoke by phone with Pakistan's army chief offering assurances that the United States will not unilaterally strike targets inside Pakistan, a spokesman for Pakistan's military said on Friday.

In a statement, spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said that Votel in his call to Gen. Qamer Javed Bajwa reiterated Washington's concern about Afghans using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks inside
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Ghafoor did not state exactly when the conversation took place, saying the call was made to Bajwa earlier this week.

The dialogue comes a week after the U.S announced its suspension of security assistance to Pakistan for failing to take "decisive action" against
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militants targeting U.S. personnel in neighboring Afghanistan.

The announcement followed President Donald Trump's surprising New Year's day tweet, in which he said Washington had "foolishly" given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over the past 15 years and in return received "deceit and lies."

According to Friday's statement, Bajwa told Votel that Pakistan would not request the resumption of military aid from the U.S.

It said both generals spoke of the need for continued cooperation in the
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The statement added that Bajwa told Votel that "the entire Pakistani nation" felt betrayed by the recent U.S. statements despite decades of cooperation.

It said Bajwa, however, assured Votel that Pakistan would continue its counter-terrorism efforts even without U.S. financial support in accordance with the Islamic nation's security interests. It added that Bajwa told Votel Pakistan was fully aware of the U.S. concerns regarding activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and is already undertaking several operations against militants.

It said Bajwa assured Votel that Pakistan will keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been a key ally of the United States in war on terror since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S., but relations have been strained between the two sides since Trump accused Islamabad of harboring terrorists.

Pakistan responded to Trump's accusations by convening a National Security Committee meeting, which was attended by Pakistan's prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Bajwa. The committee at the time said that the U.S. was scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure to bring peace to Afghanistan after 16 years of war.

Washington has long accused Islamabad of harboring militants, a charge Pakistan's government and military routinely deny.

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Pakistan army chief says nation felt 'betrayed' at U.S. criticism...

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan’s army chief told a top U.S. general the nation “felt betrayed” at criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, the military said on Friday, after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit”.

U.S. Central Command chief General Joseph Votel told General Qamar Javed Bajwa during a telephone call this week that the United States was not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan, the Pakistani army said in a statement.

Tension between the United States and Pakistan has grown over U.S. complaints that the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network that target American troops in Afghanistan are allowed to take shelter on Pakistani soil.

Trump’s administration last week announced the suspension of about $2 billion in security aid to nuclear-armed Pakistan - officially a U.S. ally - over accusations Islamabad is playing a double game in Afghanistan.

Islamabad denies this and accuses the United States of disrespecting its vast sacrifices - casualties have numbered in the tens of thousands - in fighting terrorism.

The U.S. aid suspension was announced days after Trump tweeted on Jan. 1 that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over 15 years and was rewarded with “nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools”.

It is not clear what prompted Trump’s tweet, which infuriated Pakistani officials and caught the rest of the U.S. administration off guard.

The Pakistani statement on Friday did not directly refer to Trump’s tweet.

“(Bajwa) said that entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed over U.S. recent statements despite decades of cooperation,” the army said, referring to the phone call between Bajwa and Votel.

The Pakistani assertion that Votel said no unilateral action inside Pakistan was being considered may have referred to the possibility of cross-border U.S. drone strikes and other military missions targeting Taliban and other militant figures outside the border area.

In 2016, a U.S. drone killed the then-leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, prompting protests from Islamabad of a violation of sovereignty.

And in 2011, a secret American raid in the military garrison city of Abbottabad killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on American cities that prompted the U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Since Trump took office, there have been several drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region but they have not so far gone deeper into Pakistani territory, though Islamabad believes that is on a menu of punitive actions the U.S. administration is considering.

However, the U.S. military is also concerned that the Pakistani army, which effectively runs foreign policy, might close the air and land corridors on which U.S.-led troops and Afghan forces in landlocked Afghanistan depend for supplies. So far, Pakistan has not done so.

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Nov 7, 2015
I think I posted about LX(R) in the past, anyway
Navy: LX(R) Will Be Cheaper, More Capable Thanks To Using San Antonio LPD Design As Starting Point

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while now Navy Wants FY 2018 Amphib to be First-in-Class LX(R), Not a 14th LPD
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The Navy wants the next amphibious ship it buys to be the first of the next-generation LX(R) amphibs rather than another “bridge ship” to the new class, two service officials said, after Congress appears to be leaving the choice to the Navy.

The Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks (LPD-17) had been set to end at 11 ships, but once the Navy identified the LPD hull form as the basis of its next amphib class, the LX(R) dock landing ship replacement, Congress added funding for an LPD-28 to serve as a bridge from one class to the next, to keep the production line hot until the Navy was ready to move out on LX(R). With the production line running ahead of anticipation, LPD-29 was added in Fiscal Year 2017 as another “bridge ship.”

Now, in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, the House and Senate armed services committees gave the Navy a choice, providing money for either an LPD-30 or the first-in-class LX(R).

The Navy’s director of expeditionary warfare (OPNAV N95), Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Coffman, said this week that LPD-29 “puts the bow on it, we’re done, we’re going to have a class of 13.”

Coffman told USNI News after giving a speech on Jan. 9 that “what my position is, N95’s position is, is not to go back to LPD.”

The Navy made the decision to use Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) and the unnamed LPD-29 as transition ships to the LX(R) design, reverting back to a stick mast instead of the composite enclosed mast, moving from hydraulically driven systems to electrically driven ones, and more. That, combined with smaller changes made along the way as the class was built out, means “there’s not an LPD-17 (class design); there’s 13 ships, they’re all quite different, and the last few you could argue are closer to LX(R).”

Coffman noted that Congress has still not passed an FY 2018 appropriations bill, so the money still hasn’t arrived, but assuming the appropriators follow what’s in the NDAA when it comes to an FY 2018 amphib, Coffman made clear he didn’t want to continue the LPD class and wanted to begin the new class of amphibs.

“[LX(R)] is the ship for the future. … We don’t want to build San Antonio, I can tell you that. We’ve moved on,” he said.

LPD program manager Capt. Brian Metcalf said at a briefing at the SNA symposium that he’s confident in the LX(R) design and nothing but acquisition actions stand in the way of him using the FY 2018 money to buy an LX(R) instead of an LPD.

“In order to do LXR … there’s a few Navy gates that I would have to go through,” he said.
“The only thing that would stand in my way is the permission slips from the Pentagon to go and get under contract – I would have to release a [request for proposals], gather proposals, do a negotiation – it’s unlikely that that’s going to happen in the next six to nine months,”

Metcalf said his office just reached a handshake agreement with Ingalls Shipbuilding over the holidays for the LPD-29 contract and hoped to sign all the paperwork by the first week in February. After receiving the funding to buy that ship in March 2017, he called it a “sporty” pace for putting a ship on contract.

Even on that timeline, the Navy wouldn’t actually be able to put the first LX(R) on contract before the end of FY 2018 unless some other creative contracting actions were used, but Metcalf made clear that, as far as taking the leap into the new class of ship now, “nothing really stands in my way from being able to execute, nothing stands in the shipbuilder’s way from getting started.”

“We’re done with contract design. I believe I’m 100 ready for a detail design contract,” he said.

Metcalf said the decision to use LPDs 28 and 29 as transition ships to the LX(R) design has proven to be a good decision.

“What we were able to do was take advantage of these two congressionally added ships and take all of the planning products and new innovations and technologies and capabilities that were planned to happen at a five- or six- or seven-year gap and accelerate them to install them on the two what we’re calling transition ships,” he explained.
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. Some of them you can see, some of them you can’t,” he said, such as changes to promote fuel efficiency.

He noted that LPD-29 will make another change closer to the LX(R) design, being the first ship in all the Navy to use the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) that will also go on amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers. Metcalf said the radar won’t deliver until after the ship delivers to the Navy in 2023, so Ingalls will build in all the cabling and back-end support during the shipbuilding process and will install the radar itself later on.

“We’re very excited about getting started with EASR,” the program manager said.
“It’s the next-generation for 3D search radar, it’s connecting my ships with LHAs and the aircraft carrier so it’s fantastic.”

Coffman made clear that the fleet needed this move from the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships (LSD-41/49) to the LX(R), with all the next-generation capabilities like EASR and the LPD-like command and control environment it will bring.

He said in his speech that the LSDs “were not designed, built and put together for independent ops for a future operating environment. … We are almost desperate – almost desperate, at least mindful – we gotta get moving, and we need to start one-for-one to get these (LSDs) off the books and get those independent deployable LPDs” into the fleet through the LX(R) acquisition program.