US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Saturday at 4:07 PM
Wednesday at 9:30 PM
of course Fate Of Classified Zuma Mission Unknown
Jan 9, 2018
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
while Analysts Disagree About Classified Sat Zuma’s Fate
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and Pentagon Mum on Missing Satellite
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Is it missing? What went wrong? Who's to blame?

Big questions remain unanswered as officials remained tight-lipped about a billion-dollar satellite that could be somewhere in orbit -- or crashed into the sea.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

To recap: Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, on Sunday launched a secret U.S. military -- or possibly intelligence -- payload, code-name Zuma, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

And while the launch was deemed successful, the payload -- a satellite manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corp. -- failed to reach orbit, according to unnamed officials who spoke to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

Despite widespread media attention on the mission, defense officials don't want to weigh in. Various spokespeople in recent days -- including during a press briefing Thursday at the Pentagon -- have repeatedly declined to discuss the mission, citing the classified nature of the program.

They also wouldn't confirm whether the launch was a success or failure, and referred questions to California-based SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk, knowing the firm has given only partial comment on what occurred.

"I'd have to refer you to SpaceX, who conducted the launch," said Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


When Bloomberg News' Tony Capaccio said that answer did not suffice, White said, "I understand, but that's the answer. Again, I would have to refer you to them [SpaceX] -- that's the answer."

"This is a billion-dollar satellite. It's been four days. Was it a success or a failure, and what's the fate of the satellite?" Capaccio continued.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the Pentagon's Joint Staff director, was equally unresponsive. "We're not going to be able to give you any more information," he said.

Others in the briefing room noted it wasn't a commercial launch in which SpaceX was the owner of the mission.

Capaccio pressed on. "Accountability is one of your keystones here. [Defense] Secretary [Jim] Mattis said this repeatedly. I'm asking you from an accountability standpoint ... can you give us a sense of whether you consider it a success or a failure as a mission?"

White again referred reporters to SpaceX.

"But you're the government. You paid for it. You're the overseers, and you're asking us to go to the company who may have been partially responsible for the problem? That doesn't make any sense," Capaccio said.

When asked if the Pentagon could provide statistics on how officials are holding themselves accountable for lost or botched multimillion-dollar programs, White said she would take that for the record for a later time.

SpaceX has stated that its rocket was not to blame.

"After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night," SpaceX
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. "If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately.

"Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false," SpaceX's statement continued. "Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible."

There are differing explanations floating around for what might have happened: One official said the upper stage of the Falcon 9 rocket failed, while another said Northrop's satellite never separated from the rocket, according to the Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal articles.

When asked about the misstep, Northrop told
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
it would not publicly comment on a classified mission.

While the mission was
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, the feed did not show the payload directly because of the mission's secrecy.

And it's still not clear which government agency was ultimately responsible for the effort.

The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, an intelligence agency that falls under the Defense Department and initially believed by some observers to be connected to the mission, wasn't involved, according to a spokeswoman.

"The launch payload was not associated with the NRO," Karen Furgeson told Military.com on Tuesday.

United Launch Alliance LLC, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., which SpaceX competes against for military launch business, is scheduled to launch a satellite later Thursday for the National Reconnaissance Office from a Delta IV rocket at
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
in California.
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
The US Navy is going hard after the officers & one Chief Petty Officer involved with the collisions that occurred aboard Fitzgerald and John S McCain in 2017. The big hammer is coming down.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Release Date: 1/16/2018 6:33:00 PM
By Navy Office of Information
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Below is a statement released January 16 by U.S. Navy Chief of Information (Acting), Capt. Greg Hicks on Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) charges preferred against individual service members in relation to the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collisions:

"On 30 October 2017, Admiral William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, designated Admiral Frank Caldwell as the Consolidated Disposition Authority to review the accountability actions taken to date in relation to USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collisions and to take additional administrative or disciplinary actions as appropriate.

After careful deliberation, today Admiral Frank Caldwell announced that Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) charges are being preferred against individual service members in relation to the collisions.

USS Fitzgerald: Courts-martial proceedings/Article 32 hearings are being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against Fitzgerald members. The members' ranks include one Commander (the Commanding Officer), two Lieutenants, and one Lieutenant Junior Grade. The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide.

USS John S. McCain: Additionally, for John S. McCain, one court- martial proceeding/Article 32 hearing is being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against one Commander (the Commanding Officer). The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide. Also, one charge of dereliction of duty was preferred and is pending referral to a forum for a Chief Petty Officer.


The announcement of an Article 32 hearing and referral to a court-martial is not intended to and does not reflect a determination of guilt or innocence related to any offenses. All individuals alleged to have committed misconduct are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Additional administrative actions are being conducted for members of both crews including non-judicial punishment for four Fitzgerald and four John S. McCain crewmembers.
Information regarding further actions, if warranted, will be discussed at the appropriate time."
 
Jan 6, 2018
Dec 22, 2017
and Major US defense strategy review coming Jan. 19
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
it would be ironic if they had to announce the shutdown, too
Thursday at 7:33 AM
Friday at 10:07 AM
kinda quick update:

Does that mean things are headed for a shutdown January 19?
Not out of the realm of possibility.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
anyway,
Can Mattis makes the National Defense Strategy great again?
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

When the Pentagon rolls out the National Defense Strategy on Jan. 19, expect a lot of statements about how it will serve as a definitive document, one that will guide the Pentagon for years to come.

But the Pentagon has a reputation as a building filled with well-intentioned, game-changing documents that are delivered and then ignored. So, will this strategy be different?

Certainly, those involved in the planning are hopeful. In December, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the Jim Mattis-led team running the Pentagon is dedicated to keeping the document vital.

“We will probably talk about the National Defense Strategy 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.”

Asked Jan. 15 in Brussels why he thinks this NDS will be relevant where other strategy documents have faded into the background, Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed to two things. The first was the collaborative nature of how the NDS was put together, which included several meetings with the Joint Chiefs and a back and forth with the joint staff.

“It’s not a consensus document in the sense that it’s the secretary of defense’s, but he has certainly taken in all the input from the Joint Chiefs and so forth,” Dunford told reporters during a visit to NATO headquarters. “So I think there’s a lot of buy-in.”

The second reason to trust this NDS will matter? To Dunford, it comes down to the presence from Mattis himself.

“I think if anybody knows Secretary Mattis, or looks at his history, he’s not inclined to publish documents or give guidance that he doesn’t actually intend to execute,” Dunford said. “Any implementation plan is about leadership. And I have a high degree of confidence that the secretary’s going to drive implementation of the NDS.”


While Mattis has an undeniably strong personality, analysts question just how much the NDS can impact policy or operations without clear funding support behind it – especially given that the document will roll out the same day lawmakers must scramble to keep the government funded.

Todd Harrison, a defense budget expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned that “a strategy that is set without regard for resource constraint is a strategy that risks being unexecutable” in practice.

“If it’s just a lot of words on a page and it doesn’t have numbers, saying ‘this is what it will cost and this is what we’re able to do’, and ‘this is how we will pay for it,’ it will leave a lot wanting,” he added.

In December, Shanahan said the strategy document will be the foundation of the fiscal year 2020 budget request, with the strategy “firmly planted on the hill in front of our brains” when looking at where to invest funding.

But he also said that the timing of the defense strategy is such that the FY19 budget will only be moderately impacted, something Kathleen Hicks, a former principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy now also with CSIS, believes will limit the effectiveness of the entire NDS.

“If they wait for ’20 to sort of be the major thrust of their strategy, that’s going to be their only year. That’s the problem for them,” Hicks said. “Because then the next team gets to play with that, whomever it is.

“It might be them again, but you would have to bank on that, and no administration ever wants to bank on getting that second term when they’re thinking through getting their priorities done,” Hicks continued. “So, it bears a lot of risk, I guess I would say, in a strategy that loos to ’20 to really be the key year for consolidating their strategy.”

Tradeoffs

Loren DeJonge Schulman, a former Defense Department and National Security Council staffer now with the Center for a New American Security, says to expect “a lot of continuity from past strategies” in the document. Any real differences, she believes, will require clear-eyed choices about what can and cannot be done.

Dunford demurred when asked specifically if there were any topics to look for as focus areas in the document, but did say the strategy should serve as a clear look at where Mattis wants the department to go during his time as secretary.

“I think the secretary’s articulation of his priorities would be the number-one thing, you know, that will come out. And I think as just you’d expect, you all have been around Secretary Mattis, I think the document will be fairly clear on what his priorities are. And that would be definitely a thing to look at,” the chairman said.

That likely means some version of Mattis’ three stated priorities – strengthening allies and partners, increasing lethality for the warfighter and reforming the business practices of the Pentagon – will be featured in the strategy document.

However, given the number of major issues facing the country, along with the budget constraints, means that “Mattis, Shanahan, and their OSD team would do well to consider a serious implementation effort that doesn’t just trust elements of DoD to read and execute,” Schulman said.

The NDS will come in both classified and unclassified versions. The classified version should give DoD “the chance to be extremely clear about what it prioritizes and, more importantly, what it doesn’t,” Schulman said. “The latter has always been difficult to say in public forums, but this strategy will be most meaningful if both DoD and Congress are clear on the balance of choices the department is making in their investment and focus.”

Hicks also expects more details about funding in the classified portion of the document, but warned that hard numbers likely won’t be found there, but instead come out of further discussions on the Hill.
 
didn't know Army brings back the Stinger missile in the face of Russian aggression
The Army has intensified the training soldiers receive on the FIM-92 Stinger — a man-portable, air defense missile — after nearly 15 years of moving away from the weapon system.

The Stinger has been around since the late 1970s,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. As counterinsurgency became the Army’s primary mission focus, however, training drifted away from the shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile.

“Bringing back the Stinger addresses a self-identified gap that the Army created and has recognized,” said Lt. Col. Aaron Felter, the director of training and doctrine for the Air Defense Integrated Office. “We’re getting back to the basics and providing short-range air defense to maneuver units.”

The shift back to the Stinger is based on the Army chief of staff’s initiative to close the gap in short-range air defense capabilities the United States and its NATO allies suffer from on the European continent, according to the Army.

These SHORAD systems will be focused on defending against low-flying aircraft, such as drones and attack helicopters, which present a considerable threat to maneuvering forces, according to a memo by Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire, commandant of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School.

“The continuing Russo-Ukrainian conflict has seen a transformation of the Russian military and the need for short-range air defense with our maneuver forces,”
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. Unmanned aircraft “have become increasingly common and important to operations by both sides in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.”


To close the gap, roughly 50 soon-to-be trainers attended their own training session on the Stinger system at the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany on Jan. 10. The area hosts a Joint Multinational Readiness Center for training NATO forces.

“The immediate focus is Europe and getting Europe ready to fight tonight and defend Europe against any adversary,” Felter said.

Instructors from the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, went to Germany to offer their unique expertise with the Stinger missile.


Those being trained at the event will be evaluated on mission-specific tasks with the weapon system, to include determining air avenues of approach, defending a critical location, and de-conflicting engagements of enemy aircraft based on sectors of fire.

“In parallel efforts, the goal is to get 62 Stinger teams into the operational force as soon as possible,” Felter said. “In concert with that, additional SHORAD battalions are being stood up, which will result in aligning one SHORAD battalion with each division.”
source is DefenseNews
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 
US Nuclear Review Calls for Development of Low-Yield Nukes
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

oh really?
The US military wants to overhaul its atomic arsenal and develop a new type of low-yield weapon that experts worry could lead to greater proliferation and heighten the risk of nuclear war.

The proposed changes to the nuclear weapons program, outlined in a draft version of the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review, mark a significant break from the vision for America's nuclear future under Barack Obama, who during a famous speech in Prague in 2009 called for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Arguing today's security environment is vastly more complex than in 2010 -- the last time the Pentagon published a nuclear review -- the draft document states that the United States needs to realign its nuclear policy with a "realistic assessment" of the threats it now faces, including from North Korea, Russia and China.

"Global threat conditions have worsened markedly" since the 2010 nuclear policy review, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote in the document's introduction, a leaked version of which was published by the Huffington Post.

"The United States now faces a more diverse and advanced nuclear-threat environment than ever before."

The new strategy calls for a continuation of the nuclear modernization program ordered by Obama, but notable changes include a call for the increased development of low-yield nuclear weapons.

These devices, also known as "tactical" nukes, are still extremely powerful and can pack as much destructive punch as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

Policymakers worry that regular, large-yield weapons are essentially too big to ever be detonated, as their use would likely result in large-scale retaliation from an adversary and wipe too much of humanity off the map.

The Pentagon argues that by having more, smaller nukes it will counter adversaries' "mistaken confidence" that the United States would not respond to another country using its own low-yield bomb.

"Expanding flexible US nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression," the document states.

The policy says the Defense Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration will develop a low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile for deployment.

Such a capability would ensure "a prompt response option that is able to penetrate adversary defenses."

Barry Blechman, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan anti-nuclear proliferation think tank in Washington, warned that the review contains major steps backward from the goals of previous administrations -- to reduce the risk of nuclear war and prevent nuclear weapons spreading to additional nations.

"Nuclear ideologues maintain that the US has to match the adversary's arsenal, weapon for weapon, yield for yield, to deter nuclear use," Blechman said in a statement to AFP.

"There is no empirical basis for this view, but it is widely held among civilians being appointed to positions in the" administration of President Donald Trump.

Nuclear war-fighting
As president-elect in December 2016, Trump called for the United States to "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear capabilities -- and within days of entering office he called for a new nuclear policy.

The nuclear review states that the development of new, lower-yield nuclear weapons is not intended to enable "nuclear war-fighting" that would see the US military using the weapons on the battlefield.

"Expanding flexible US nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression," the document states.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the policy review, saying it remained "pre-decisional" and not approved by Trump. The final version is due for release February 2.

The document also states that Russia is upgrading its nuclear "triad" of air-, sea- and land-based missiles to include a new "hypersonic glide vehicle" and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, undersea autonomous torpedo.

The New York Times on Wednesday reported that the policy review also outlines changes to the threshold at which America could respond with nuclear weapons, including a massive cyber attack.

The document states that the United States would only consider using nuclear weapons in "extreme circumstances."

These include "attacks on the US, allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities," the document states.

Blechman said this goes against the spirit of the 1968 global non-proliferation treaty aimed at curtailing the spread of nuclear weapons.

"It would encourage those in many other countries who argue that nuclear weapons are essential to security," he said.

The nuclear review states its commitment to the non-proliferation treaty "remains strong."

But, it goes on, "the current environment makes further progress toward nuclear arms reductions in the near term extremely challenging."
 
Jan 11, 2018
Friday at 10:07 AM
kinda quick update:

Does that mean things are headed for a shutdown January 19?
Not out of the realm of possibility.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
now just Trump: Government 'very well could' shut down
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

f431d4b4a8c6245861e24b2f10d6f212.jpg
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Navy
NAVAIR plans to install ACAS Xu on MQ-4C fleet
17 JANUARY, 2018 SOURCE:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
BY: STEPHEN TRIMBLE WASHINGTON DC
Northrop Grumman will prepare to modify the MQ-4C Triton unmanned air system with an emerging technology that can be used to help the maritime surveillance aircraft sense and avoid other objects in flight.

The US Naval Air Systems Command intends to award a contract to sole-source Northrop to execute a risk reduction phase of the new sense-and-avoid technology, the agency says in a 10 January acquisition notice.

The contract should smooth the process of integrating the new technology – an unmanned version of the Airborne Collision Avoidance System X (ACAS Xu) – at some point in the future, the notice says.

After completing the risk reduction phase, NAVAIR plans to award a contract to Northrop to complete an engineering change proposal on the MQ-4C that integrates the hardware and software for the ACAS Xu.

As it approaches the end of a long development phase, NAVAIR plans to initially deploy the MQ-4C with a due regard radar to help avoid other aircraft while flying through airspace. The MQ-4C’s role is to fly surveillance orbits above 50,000ft, scanning the oceans and seas for suspicious and hostile vessels. It will need to descend to lower altitudes to take a closer look at some targets, as well as to ascend and descend at the beginning and end of each mission.

The traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS II) has been mandated on manned transport aircraft in 2000 to automatically warn pilots of potential collision threats, but the system is not designed to use the satellite navigation systems mandated by the US Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen system.

The Lincoln Laboratory in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed ACAS X to work with the NextGen system as a replacement for TCAS II. The laboratory also is developing the ACAS Xu version for unmanned aircraft, such as MQ-4C.
US Nuclear Review Calls for Development of Low-Yield Nukes
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

oh really?
And apparently they want Nuclear Tomahawks.
The Pentagon Wants Its Nuclear Tomahawks Back

Jan 17, 2018 James Drew |
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The Trump administration will embark on a “big-league” revival of the U.S. nuclear complex after decades of decline by reviving production of plutonium cores for new warheads and reintroducing a sea-launched cruise missile, among other plans.

A leaked draft of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review confirms what has been foreshadowed by U.S. military leaders over the past year: America will respond to the growing might of the nuclear forces of China and Russia, as well as emerging threats from North Korea, by broadly modernizing its outdated nuclear arsenal of Cold War-era bombers, submarines, missiles and nuclear-certified tactical fighters.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Short-term funding could delay B-21 delivery
18 JANUARY, 2018
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
BY: LEIGH GIANGRECO WASHINGTON DC


Development and delivery of the US Air Force’s B-21 stealth bomber could stall if Congress passes yet another short term funding bill that would freeze the Pentagon’s spending limit at previous fiscal year levels, a senior USAF official warns.

In a speech this week on Capitol Hill, USAF undersecretary Matt Donovan cautioned against another interim funding measure called a continuing resolution, which would hold funding of the Northrop Grumman programme at fiscal year 2017 levels. That would limit the air force’s ability to execute the programme’s engineering, manufacturing and development phase, he says.

The continuing resolution impacts several other new start programmes within the air force, including an effort to produce four new wing sets for the service’s Fairchild Republic A-10 fleet.

The USAF requested $1.3 billion in its FY2017 budget for the B-21’s engineering, development and manufacturing phase, which the service ramped up to $2 billion in its FY2018 request. Under a continuing resolution, the B-21 programme would see a $700 million shortfall for the development phase.

The air force has already been operating under a continuing resolution for the past four months, though the constraints have not yet affected B-21 development, Donovan says.

“We specifically have checked with the folks to see at what point and they had told us that once you get to about six months, then it’s going to start affecting,” he says, adding the programme will slow down at that point.

Donovan would not elaborate on how much the continuing resolution would delay the B-21 delivery or impact its expected initial operational capability milestone in the mid 2020s. He also suggested the USAF would not seek an anomaly status for the B-21 that would exempt the programme from budget freezes during a continuing resolution.

“If we’re not able to ramp up on our schedule for the acquisition program baseline, then of course it’s going to have an impact on the other end,” he says. “You can’t make up that time.”
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

"The continuing resolution impacts several other new start programmes within the air force, including an effort to produce four new wing sets for the service’s Fairchild Republic A-10 fleet."
Speaking of which there seems to be a brewhahah that never dies.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Air Force snubs A-10 re-winging effort: POGO
17 JANUARY, 2018
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
BY: LEIGH GIANGRECO WASHINGTON DC


The US Air Force is letting its close air support workhorse die a slow death by shelving plans to replace the remaining wings on the rest of its Fairchild-Republic A-10C fleet, according to a government watchdog group.

Despite cries from Congress to keep the A-10 flying and funding for new wings outlined in the fiscal year 2018 defence policy and appropriations bills, air force leadership neither has plans to implement the re-winging programme nor fly more than the aircraft that already received upgrades, according to a 17 January from the Project on Government Oversight.

The A-10’s civilian programme manager at Air Combat Command told USAF personnel the re-winging effort will not happen, POGO reports. That will force the USAF to cut three of its nine A-10 squadrons.

In 2007, the USAF awarded Boeing a $2 billion contract to deliver 242 replacement wing kits and extend the A-10’s life by 20 years. There is a dispute among the three parties – the USAF, Boeing and POGO – over how many wing sets have been completed. The USAF says 173 wing kits for the A-10 have been ordered. Boeing says it has already delivered 173 wing kits for the A-10, but several more remain on back order. POGO, meanwhile, says only 171 wing kits have been delivered, with no more deliveries planned.

In any event, the air force has never extended the order beyond the first 173 wing kits, a Boeing spokesperson tells FlightGlobal. POGO reports the contract lapsed in 2016.

“The contract has not closed, and we’re still delivering wings,” Boeing says in a statement.

However, Boeing must now wait on funding for additional wing sets in order to finish work on the entire fleet. That’s where $103 million approved in Congress’ FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act defence policy bill comes into play, which would compete the award to establish a new wing production line and produce another set of four wings.

“Pending approval of the FY2018 appropriation, the air force plans to use the $103 million authorized in the FY2018 NDAA to award a contract, establish a new wing production line and produce four additional A-10 wings," the USAF says in a statement. "Establishing the production line will enable the air force to procure additional wings if the decision is made to do so in future budgets.”

But appropriations for the re-winging effort are up in the air, as Congress debates its spending bill this week and attempts to avoid a government shutdown. If Congress chooses to pass a short-term spending bill that would fund the government until mid-February, known as a continuing resolution, the USAF would be unable to award any new start programmes, including the re-winging effort.

In December, members of Congress issued the dire warning that more than 100 aircraft in the almost 290-strong A-10 fleet will be grounded if the USAF does not receive funding for new wings.

The USAF has tried to phase out the A-10s several times over three decades, but champions of the Warthog in Congress, like former A-10 pilot Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, have come to its rescue. In an exit interview with FlightGlobal in 2017, outgoing Air Combat Command head Gen Herbert Carlisle appeared to take a turn from official air force policy, assuring the new Boeing-produced wings could stretch the A-10’s life out as far as the 2030s. Air force chief of staff Gen David Goldfein appeared less optimistic on the A-10’S fate, saying in early 2017 that the aircraft’s retirement would at least be delayed.

Something cool.
Boeing Unveils Hypersonic ‘Son-Of-Blackbird’ Contender

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

 
didn't get the sentence

“One of the things we’re suffering right now is the last boom in cost because we have a number of hulls that are coming up in a short period of time for decommissioning, and if we could smooth that curve that would be an excellent solution for both the industrial base and for us,” Spencer said.

inside
Navy FY 2019 Budget Request Will Include a 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


anyway, the article:
Next month’s Pentagon budget request to Congress will include a 30-year shipbuilding plan, Navy leadership said today.

The Navy in recent years has written
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
to give a detailed idea of what the fleet will look like in the near-, mid- and long-term. Though the plans lose fidelity in the out-years, they are still helpful planning tools for industry, lawmakers, analysts, the media and more. However, the Navy did not release a 30-year plan with its Fiscal Year 2018 or five-year spending projections.

Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer promised during a House Armed Services Committee hearing today that “yes you can” expect a 30-year plan with the FY 2019 request, which is set for release the first week of February.

Spencer said the Navy just wrapped up analysis on three shipbuilding rates: a “keep everything warm” approach to current production likes, a normalized curve and an aggressive curve. He said the first approach doesn’t get the Navy to a 355-ship fleet, now required by law, in a reasonable timeframe, but he cautioned that the middle- and high-rate options needed to be balanced to protect industry now and the Navy later on. The secretary promised the plans would balance Navy needs while also taking care of the industrial base.

“One of the things we’re suffering right now is the last boom in cost because we have a number of hulls that are coming up in a short period of time for decommissioning, and if we could smooth that curve that would be an excellent solution for both the industrial base and for us,” Spencer said.
“That is all with one caveat: if, in fact, we need ships for whatever reason in an expedited rate, we’re going to have to go there.”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson added that the plan will also show historical shipbuilding context back to 1955, which makes clear the “devastating effect of the peace dividend, if you will, on our industrial base, where more than a dozen shipyards really shuttered down and leaves us with an industrial base that has far less capacity now. So we really need to protect that treasure with everything we can.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) during the hearing reminded the Navy leaders that Congress added five ships to the Navy’s plans in FY 2018 through the National Defense Authorization Act and expects to see continued higher shipbuilding rates.

“Please work with us on this. I just want you to know that as you work to implement the priorities of the Trump Administration, we expect a large investment in shipbuilding to relieve the stress on our current fleet, which we know has contributed to some of these issues,” he said.

Spencer and Richardson also said at the hearing that the FY 2019 submission would include spending priorities and changes recommended in the recent Strategic Readiness Review and the Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Force Incidents, despite those reports coming out when the budget submission was nearly complete.

Spencer said during the hearing that the two reviews together represent about $800 million in spending across the five-year Future Years Defense Program, mostly for items like schoolhouse training and simulators and efforts to increase the uniformity of ship bridges throughout the fleet.

“When it comes to the Strategic Readiness Review, we really don’t have that much that needs to be funded,” Spencer told USNI News after the hearing, referring to the bigger-picture review that he personally directed.
“Ours is more, again on the strategic level, command and control rewiring, minimal impact on the financial side. When it comes to the (U.S. Fleet Forces Command-led) comprehensive review, that’s where the money really does come. We’ve already had some of it in training” funding in this current fiscal year, he said.

Richardson told USNI News that the Comprehensive Review itself would cost about $600 million to implement and that, when the FY 2019 budget request comes out in two weeks, the investments in simulators and bridge uniformity efforts would be clear.

Spencer said during the hearing that he was particularly excited about the role artificial intelligence is playing in the most modern simulators and said the Navy stood to gain a great capability by investing in the technology.

“AI is now just beginning to tip our scales,” he said.
“We’re exploring the application of artificial intelligence which actually would work with the individual, find weaknesses and actually strengthen the areas of weakness.”
 

Top