US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
Reports are that the Chopper hit a wire pole.
HH60 are fitted with wire cutters but they apparently have trouble when dealing with multiple wires.

the wire cutter is on the upper cabin about a meter in front of the rotor mast/hub,, hitting anything like that in any aircraft is a real crapshoot,, likely your gonna cause major structural damage, in this case 7 people died... no doubt flying very low, sometimes that in and of itself is the only sin required?? sad for all, and sad for that F-18 crew,,, these things come in "clusters", just the "luck of the Irish"??

I just re-read your post, if they did indeed hit a Pole?? those wirecutters aren't gonna help with that??

some JetRangers are on skids and have a lower cutter mounted under the canopy/cabin forward lip.
 
Thursday at 5:24 PM
I don't like the viewer used by USNI News so just

From the Report:
In December 2016, the Navy released a new force structure assessment (FSA) that called for a fleet of 355 ships—substantially larger than the current
force of 280 ships. In response to a request from the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces of the House Committee on Armed Services, the Congressional Budget Office explored the costs of achieving that goal in a previous report. To expand on that analysis, CBO has estimated the costs of achieving a 355-ship fleet under two alternatives. e agency then compared those scenarios with two other alternatives involving smaller fleets. For all four alternatives, CBO explored shipbuilding and operating costs, the composition and capabilities of the fleet, and effects on the shipbuilding industry.

The four alternatives would affect the size and composition of the Navy in the following ways, CBO estimates:

  • Under the first alternative, the Navy would create a 355-ship fleet by building more ships over the next 20 years, achieving the force goal by 2037. The cost to build, crew, and operate a 355-ship fleet achieved by new construction would average $103 billion (in 2017 dollars) per year through 2047.
  • Under the second alternative, the Navy would attain
a 355-ship fleet sooner, in about 2028, but would not achieve the composition that the service wants until 2037—by using a new-ship construction schedule similar to the schedule under the first alternative, and also by extending the service life of some large surface combatants, amphibious ships, attack submarines, and logistics ships. Its costs would average $104 billion annually through 2047.
  • Under the third alternative, the Navy would maintain a fleet comparable in size and composition to today’s fleet of 280 ships. It would cost an average of $91 billion annually through 2047.
  • The fourth alternative would cost the least and illustrates the long-term implications of funding the Navy at roughly the level it has received historically for ship procurement. By 2047, the fleet would fall to 230 ships. In total, that alternative would cost an average of $82 billion per year over the next 30 years.
Congressional Budget Office Report on 355-Ship Navy Costs
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now this is very interesting:
"Just maintaining the status quo, keeping a future fleet at a size comparable to the Navy’s current 282-ship fleet, will still require buying new ships to replace those being retired from service. This plan would require average annual spending of $22.4 billion on shipbuilding, still more than what the Navy proposes spending on shipbuilding in FY 2019."
source is USNI News
CBO: 355-Ship Fleet Will Cost $6.7 Billion More Per Year Than Current Navy Budget Request
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jobjed

Captain
Well, if Type 056A are a sufficient counter to nuclear submarines, that's great for China.

For a war in China's vicinity, yes, a 056A and 927 pairing is enough to deal with a Virginia.

That's not what he said, though. But I don't disagree.
We should also consider that much of the price difference/cost advantage comes from China's lower labor costs (six- to sevenfold difference in GDP per capita), which will increase as China develops. The other part (for ships) is likely from the efficiencies gained from civilian shipbuilding, where China's underlying advantage again comes from labor costs and could be eroded in the future. There are also other areas, such as aircraft, where China might not have any price advantage at all.

China's advantages in procurement does not stem from labour costs, it stems from vertical integration of all core industries. Costs are controlled all the way through the production process and private interests are not allowed to balloon to exorbitant levels. Audits are conducted before every contract to ensure the costs of production are actually what the selling company says they are, then a 5% profit margin is added to satiate their greed. 5% is the cost of the greed in PLA procurement, what is it for the US military?


I stand by what I said. If things are to make sense, people shouldn't throw around terms like "broken" when what they're describing is actually "normal".

Broken is the norm for countries without accountability in procurement. The US GAO has no jurisdiction over Lockheed Martin's profit margins whereas the CPC does over CSIC's profit margins; 5% or gtfo.

I think the contrast is apparent. For every Chinese decision, the background is brought forth to understand and justify the decision. Even when it can't make total sense, we should trust that they know what they're doing ("foresees an imminent contingency"). I don't have a problem with this approach, I just think it should be applied across the board. Like I said, the decisions other countries made were also probably backed with good reasons within their own constraints.

You don't have to speculate when it comes to "democratic" countries. They tell you exactly what the problems are and how that impacted the delays in delivery and cost overruns. There are no "good reasons" for why countries with broken procurements do what they do, indeed the GAO publicises numerous dumbass practices of the US military leading to $10 billion cancelled programs like the Zumwalt and eyewatering $1.6 billion LPDs. The most illuminating is the
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on poor quality control involving non-accountability of workers and managers to the quality of their work.

There is no indication the decisions of those countries are backed with good reasons if the official reports from their compatriots are to be believed.

China's technological limitations not being a factor is again something that might not stand with a single standard. For example, these limitations mean that China is getting two STOBAR carriers in the 2010s, when catapults have been in use for 60 years, plus two conventionally-powered CATOBAR carriers, when nuclear propulsion has been in use for over 40 years. Additionally, we know that China is aiming at nuclear-powered CATOBAR, so all these are compromises. All in all, a massive spend on ships that will be in service for decades, yet are decades behind competing designs and China's ultimate goal.

For another (non-technology) example, J-7 production ended in 2013, when it must have been obsolete for at least 30 years and when China had much more modern options for at least ten.

Brokenness is not measured by what the military gets at the end of it, it's measured by how much they got versus how much they spent. The Russians spent so much on the Gorshkov only to not even have a single combat-capable ship twelve years after construction started. They got no returns on their investment. Same with their endeavour for LHDs, they got nothing back after spending all the effort and money.

So long as the PLA is controlling costs and getting back what they expect, their procurement is not broken. The US military is getting most of what they expect from private arms manufacturers but their fiscal management is utter trash to the contempt of their countrymen at the GAO. Crappy money skills is what leads to the broken nature of US procurement.

As an aside, J-7 production for the PLA ended in late 2000s. The ones afterward were for export.
 
It's less off-topic here.



...
LOL


... 5% profit margin ...
the US margins are smaller than I thought (actually I was surprised they could be that tiny); the only link I have though is Jan 28, 2017
very interesting: "Northrop’s operating margins held at 11%, according to the company’s 26 January fourth quarter earnings report. If the USAF trainer competition turns into a price-shootout, as many analysts have speculated, Northrop could damage its tenuous margins."
Analyst floats theory for Northrop CEO's caution on T-X
source:
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hkbc

Junior Member
LOL



the US margins are smaller than I thought (actually I was surprised they could be that tiny); the only link I have though is Jan 28, 2017

As all the major US defence contractors are public companies their operating margins are in the public domain LockMart's was 12.28% in Dec 2017 as a comparison GM's was 6.84 for the same period. To the point at hand 11-12% is more than double 5% so on 100 billion per annum procurement basis that's ~6 billion difference or put it in more tangible terms enough for an extra 50 or so F35s per year.

As an aside If you're in the business of manufacturing things at scale double digit operating margins are pretty good, if your business is licensing your brand by letting others stick your name on buildings etc then that margin sucks.

Now that's the contractor's margin, you have to wonder what all the subcontractor margins are like all the way down the supply chain! Whether one procurement system is deemed "broken" or not, being able to tightly control the margins throughout a supply chain will reduce the end cost allowing more to be procured or less to be spent its simple arithmetic.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
the wire cutter is on the upper cabin about a meter in front of the rotor mast/hub,, hitting anything like that in any aircraft is a real crapshoot,, likely your gonna cause major structural damage, in this case 7 people died... no doubt flying very low, sometimes that in and of itself is the only sin required?? sad for all, and sad for that F-18 crew,,, these things come in "clusters", just the "luck of the Irish"??

I just re-read your post, if they did indeed hit a Pole?? those wirecutters aren't gonna help with that??

some JetRangers are on skids and have a lower cutter mounted under the canopy/cabin forward lip.
I am not sure on that report if it was a wire from a pole or the pole or even true. It's from the rumors mill.
 
I now skimmed over
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The catch, of course, is that the Army's tried to field all these things before -- and failed. Why would things go any better this time around? Brig. Gen. Christopher Donahue has an answer for that.
There’s a
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afoot in America’s infantry. New guns to replace the M4 carbine, M16 rifle, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. A new
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to scout ahead. A new tactical network to link scattered units. A new night vision sight that displays targeting data like a fighter pilot’s Heads-Up Display. New tactics to use all of the above and new
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to train on. All these innovations could be in the hands of US Army infantry within “a few years,”
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told reporters Friday.

The catch, of course, is that the Army’s tried to field
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before — and failed. Why would things go any better this time around?

First, the technology’s gotten better. This stuff is real, Donahue said. “We’ve already seen and touched a number” of potential Squad Automatic Weapons (basically a heavy assault rifle or light machinegun), Donahue said. “We’ll be getting our first prototypes here in about a year.”

Army troops have field-tested palm-top mini-drones, notably in the
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exercises in Hawaii, and the Defense Secretary’s
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is funding procurement for the Army. Special Operations Forces are already using an early version of network devices. And the new night vision sight can be issued to combat units “in six to seven months.”

That brings us to the second big difference: speed. Last fall,
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created
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to accelerate modernization by bringing together experts from across the bureaucracy, led by one- and two-star combat veterans with the clout to push things through. This spring, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis created his own high-level, high-speed team, the
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, specifically to improve the infantry.

Brig. Gen. Donahue has three jobs: He sits on the Secretary’s inter-service task force, he leads the Army’s Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team, and he commands the Infantry School at Fort Benning. Each
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is different, he said. “Ours is definitely the most broad as far as what we have a mandate to do,” he explained: not just new equipment — his focus in today’s interview — but also training and human performance.

In another sense, however, the Soldier Lethality team is tightly focused. Unlike past programs, they are not trying to come up with General Issue gear for a million GIs. Instead, “we’re focused on the 100,000 active, National Guard, and…Reserve that actually close with the enemy,” he said: infantry, scouts, armored vehicle crews, plus some frontline specialists such as forward observers (who call in artillery and airstrikes) and medics. “We call that the close combat 100,000.”

By focusing on 100,000 soldiers out of a million-strong Army (active, reserve, and Guard), the Soldier Lethality task force cuts both the time and cost to field its innovations by about 90 percent.

Going Fast

The Cross Functional Teams just stood up in November but they’ve crammed years of work into the last five months. Donahue’s CFT quickly identified new night vision devices as low-hanging fruit and put together a formal requirement for them — a process that normally takes years — “in about five weeks,” he said. They’ve also done three “test points” with soldiers using the equipment. “Once the budget’s passed and we have the money,” he said, they can get the sights to Army troops — and potentially
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and
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, who are also very interested — in “six to seven months.”

While the device is called
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(ENVG-B), it’s much more than a night sight. Yes, it combines light amplification with infrared in a dual-camera setup (hence “binocular”) that provides depth perception, a major improvement to aiming at night. But it also has an augmented reality display that Donahue considers the first step towards giving foot troops the kind of computerized Heads-Up Display (HUD) used by fighter pilots.

For example, soldiers can link the goggles to their weapon, then turn on a targeting reticle (i.e. cross-hairs), superimposed over their field of view to show exactly where their shot will land. “What we’re seeing in the initial testing is they’re shooting significantly better,” he said.

Soldiers can also link the goggles to their wireless networking device, which automatically shares tactical data across the force. Instead of looking down at a compass, map, or a handheld GPS — which takes their eyes off the target — they can see their heading superimposed on their view of the real world. The goggles can even display tactical data from the network, for example a red dot to indicate an enemy’s been spotted in a specific direction.

Donahue’s Cross Functional Team is working closely with the network CFT, led by Maj. Gen. Pete Gallagher, to get all this to work in combat. Donahue’s CFT is also working with Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais’s
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CFT on how to load training scenarios into the goggles so they allow troops to train with virtual obstacles and enemies. (It’d be a bit like a militarized version of Pokémon Go).

Overall, said Donahue, everything the squad carries will have to be compatible with an Adaptive Soldier Architecture. The goal is set of common standards that will allow the Army to field new updates quickly, rather than laboriously kludging together pieces of kit that were never designed to be compatible.

Donahue also has a Lethality Analysis Team conducting a rigorous study of every piece of equipment issued to the infantry. “If you put something onto an F-35 or an M1 tank, you know exactly what that does,” he said. “We don’t have that same data of what happens if you put something into a squad.” Donahue wants every piece of kit examined to reduce weight, reduce power demands —
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— and to increase combat power.

That includes new weapons. The
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already replaced some of their M249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW) with the much lighter M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), going from
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and improving accuracy, albeit at the price of halving the rate of fire. Currently, the Marines are replacing all their M16 rifles and M4 carbines with M27. The Army is set to follow suit, albeit not necessarily with the same weapon. The service’s Next Generation Squad Weapon, originally meant to replace the M249 alone, will now also evolve into a replacement for the M4 and M16.

That second-stage weapon, the carbine replacement, will have to be significantly lighter than the M249 SAW replacement, Donahue said. (He consistently said “carbine” today, not “rifle,” which probably rules out the Marines’ M27 as too heavy). The technology to get all the desired capabilities in a lighter package is “not right there yet,” he said.

But the Army’s not looking at a long development program.
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recently promised the Squad Automatic Weapon replacement by 2023. As for the carbine, Donahue said, “you’ll see it a
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after the replacement of the SAW.”
it's
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Feb 4, 2018
Dec 10, 2017
some time ago Sep 20, 2016
now Congress Eager for Results of Air Force's Light Attack Aircraft Demo
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and US Air Force kills combat demo for light attack aircraft
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related:
The Air Force's Light Attack Search Won't Yield a New A-10. Here's Why
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Lawmakers have been pressing the U.S.
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the last few weeks about its light attack program. The service says that light attack, dubbed OA-X, will be an example of how it intends to buy and field planes faster in the near future.

Leaders have been working on light attack for nearly a year, and they're no closer to procuring a new aircraft than when the effort began. Despite the fact the service says the
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is not nearing retirement, some wonder some wonder if light attack may be a viable substitute.
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But some believe it's unlikely that an actual program of record will be begun for a replacement. A history of light attack shows why.

Four aircraft: The Air Force in 2016 announced that it had plans to hold flight demonstrations with a handful of aircraft to test whether lighter, inexpensive and off-the-shelf aircraft may be usable in ongoing wars such as Afghanistan.

Four aircraft --
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; Sierra Nevada and Embraer's
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; and Textron and AirLand LLC's Scorpion, as well as their AT-6B Wolverine -- conducted live-fly exercises, combat maneuver scenarios and, on some occasions, weapons drops during a demonstration at
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, New Mexico, in August 2017.

In November, key lawmakers agreed to provide the Air Force with
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to continue exploring and experimenting with the planes.

Support from Congress: Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain endorsed the Air Force's decision to pursue a future buy, but stressed the aircraft cannot replace the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the service's top close-air-support mission aircraft. The Arizona Republican last January
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on how the Defense Department should move forward in military spending.

"The Air Force should procure 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters that would require minimal work to develop," McCain said in the paper.

The service has not said how many aircraft it expects to procure.

"What you told us about the light attack aircraft and the process is incredibly encouraging, and I hope that you will be able to continue along those lines," Sen Angus King, I-Maine, told Air Force officials during a hearing on Capitol Hill in December.

Down to 2: In February, the Air Force said it will test the Textron Aviation AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano during Phase II of the experiment from May to July 2018 at Holloman. (Officials originally chose
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, Arizona, for testing, but have since moved it. "By executing Phase II of the experiment at Holloman AFB, we can take full advantage of the experimentation support construct and logistical capacity that's already been established," Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Emily Grabowski recently told Military.com.)

The reasoning: The service has said the prolonged conflict in the Middle East, with the Islamic State and other extremist groups extending their influence in the region, is the impetus for buying another plane -- but one that won't cost taxpayers a fortune. The Air Force also believes the light attack program is a stepping stone toward smoother acquisition processes in the future.

In just five months from the original March 5, 2017, proposal, the service "had forward aircraft on the ramp at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico to test," Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said March 14.

"This is the way the Air Force should be doing things," she said before a House Appropriations Defense subcommittee hearing on the fiscal 2019 budget request.

"If we decide to move forward, I think we should move forward quickly, and we'll work together with Congress to get the necessary authorizations and the plan that makes sense to do the acquisition," Wilson said.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told Military.com in September that the light attack initiative should be viewed as a new way of doing business -- not just a plane, but part of a larger communications system.

OA-X "is actually not about the hardware -- it's about the network," he said, adding he wants the service to train more often with coalition partners, who may not have high-end fighter aircraft.

"At the same that we're looking at a relatively inexpensive aircraft and sensor package, can I connect that into a network of shareable information that allows us to better accomplish the strategy as it's been laid out?" he said.

The likelihood of light attack becoming a real program? Slim, according to defense analysts.

"You're talking about an enormous amount of money when there's so many other, higher priority candidates," explained John "JV" Venable, a senior research fellow for defense policy at The Heritage Foundation. Venable flew
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throughout his 25-year Air Force career.

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the service has billions invested into the
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, B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber, and
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refueling tanker programs. The Air Force is also revitalizing its nuclear enterprise, with planned investments in nuclear command and control, communications, and new Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

"Light attack is somewhere between seventh or eighth down that pecking order, and I don't see it ever getting funded," he said in a recent interview with Military.com.

Venable said he estimates the actual procurement and fielding of light attack would cost somewhere between $3.5 billion to $4 billion.

"My recommendation to the Air Force? Don't do it. Spend money elsewhere on your other priorities," he said.

Venable did say even the Air Force's optics of showing interest in light attack helps other allies come to the table to buy off-the-shelf aircraft.

"[The Air Force has] a really good point that nations can't afford an F-35, but they can afford these," he said. "And if one of our friends can afford this level of platform, then we can get that mil-to-mil exchange going."

Light attack will not be the A-10: Venable said either the A-29 or AT-6, the last two aircraft the Air Force is considering, will never and can never bring the same airpower to a battlefield as the A-10 can.

"There's twice the amount of munitions on the A-10," he said. "It will never be a replacement. It's not something we would use in the next major campaign."

Venable added, "The situation you can put those aircraft in cannot withstand what an A-10 can. The A-10 is the aircraft you want in those [danger close] situations because it offers a great deal of protection for the pilots."
 
Mar 4, 2018
as I said, it's going to be interesting to watch this development, 'CSG Lite'

centered on an LHD with F-35Bs

"For example, while the upgunned ESG won’t have an equivalent of a CSG’s E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning radar aircraft, the F-35’s onboard sensors could expand the targeting ability of the three-ship SAG." (the sentence from the USNI News posted Nov 25, 2016)

paired with Aegis of AB destroyer(s) etc.

hope it's obvious CSG Lite is my classification LOL!
now noticed ‘Up-gunned’ Wasp ARG ships stop in Okinawa after concluding amphibious, F-35B certifications
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Ships from the US Navy’s Wasp amphibious ready group made a stop in Okinawa, Japan, on March 15 following two weeks of certifications.

Amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) arrived at White Beach, Okinawa, to embark the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as part of a regularly scheduled patrol in the Indo-Pacific.

Since deploying from Sasebo earlier this month, Wasp completed a dedicated period of flight operations with F-35B Lighting II from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) while the Ashland wrapped up an amphibious warfare (AMW) certification, which includes several events that consist of small boat operations, ballasting and de-ballasting, cargo handling, crane operations, and a wide range of amphibious landing craft drills.

Wasp embarked the F-35B, March 5, and has been conducting a series of landings and launches both during the day and at night, to increase proficiency of both the pilots and the flight deck crew to operate the aircraft at sea.

While much of the initial phase of patrol was focused on F-35B flight operations, Wasp also integrated with the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105). The San Diego-based Dewey is assigned to the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), providing multi-mission capability that leverages advanced radars and weapons systems.

In addition to making history by becoming the first ship to embark the fifth-generation fighter for a deployment in the Indo-Pacific, USS Wasp is advancing the up-gunned ESG concept, which combines a three-ship amphibious ready group (ARG) with a three ship guided-missile destroyer surface action group (SAG).

This surface action group which could be considered to be more of an upgraded expeditionary strike than a carrier strike group is envisioned as a bridge between the 10 carrier strike groups the US Navy currently has and the 15 it would like/need to operate.
 

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