US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

May 3, 2018
Apr 6, 2018
Work to refurbish Navy Super Hornets part of Pentagon’s $700B budget
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of course Boeing Touts Block III Super Hornet’s Better Range, Improved Digital Connectivity to Fleet
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They will be a little bit stealthier, pack a more powerful punch, fly with increased stamina and carry a more robust communication and targeting systems. That’s how Boeing officials talked up the benefits of the Block III F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as they prepare to start rolling off the production line next year.

In 2013 Boeing developed a plan that would make the Super Hornet 50-percent stealthier than its already-low-radar signature design, Boeing’s F-18 program manager Dan Gillian told reporters on Wednesday. But the Navy reportedly balked at the plan, explaining they don’t need Super Hornets to be extremely low observable – the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter accomplishes that – but rather they need an F-18 to stay on station longer, deliver more weapons and be better integrated into the
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system, Gillian said.

“The Navy’s carrier air wing doesn’t need us to be at F-35 level of stealth to perform the missions the carrier air wing has to do,” Gillian said.
“They need us to improve our radar cross section and they need us to carry large amounts of ordinance far forward.”

The end result, according to Boeing, is that the Block III Super Hornets are only slightly stealthier than Block II fighters but will have greater range and the ability to carry more weapons on a more robust airframe designed to last up to 9,000 flight hours – about a decade longer than the current airframes. The jets will also have far superior data processing and communications capabilities than previous versions.

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its first Block II Super Hornets, and the Navy has requested funding for new-build Block III planes starting in Fiscal Year 2019. Gillian said the first new-construction planes would deliver in early 2021.

Within six years from now, half the total Super Hornet inventory will be the Block III planes, Gillian said. Within a decade, the entire Super Hornet fleet assigned to carrier air wings – about 480 aircraft – will be Block III jets. This includes 116 new-build Super Hornets and modernizing about 364 Block II airframes. The Navy will retain about 100 Block I Super Hornets for training purposes.

Boeing focused its Block III development on outfitting Super Hornets with an Advanced Network Infrastructure, using systems already part of the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, Gillian said. Block III Super Hornets will have the Distributed Targeting Processor Network (DTP-N), which is 17-times more powerful than the previous systems. Block III Super Hornets are also getting the Tactical Targeting Networking Technology (TTNT) data link and satellite communications for advanced network connectivity.

The improved networking onboard Block III Super Hornets, though, still doesn’t address a vexing problem for the Navy’s future air wing – finding a way for F-35 jets to communicate with other platforms without losing their stealth. Boeing officials conceded they’re still working on a solution but would not elaborate.

Perhaps the most visible change to the jets is the location of fuel tanks on Block III Super Hornets. Instead of carrying external drop-tanks as previous versions did, the Block III Super Hornets will have conformal fuel tanks installed behind the cockpit on the jet’s shoulders. These hold slightly less fuel, but because they are lighter and make the jet more aerodynamic the end result is an increased range of about 129 nautical miles, Gillian said.

More importantly to the pilots, the new fuel tanks will allow the Super Hornets to remain on station longer and carry more weapons, Capt. Dave Kindley, the Navy’s F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager, said.

“As an operator, there is some interest in range, but there’s fascination with time. If I can get 100 miles farther, that’s awesome. But if I can stay in the air and support someone on the ground for 20 minutes or 30 minutes more, that’s much, much more interesting to us,” Kindley said.
now noticed (dated May 22, 2018)
Save the Tomahawk
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The U.S. Navy wants to stop production of America’s most useful long-range missile, betting that a replacement will arrive without delay.

America’s long-range land-attack cruise missiles have been an indispensable element of every major military action for more than two decades — including the
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strikes to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons. Unfortunately, acquisition officials and lawmakers appear poised to
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of these deep-strike weapons even as our need for them is increasing.

Developed and first fielded in the 1980s, cruise-missile technology allowed America to hit targets deep in enemy territory without subjecting pilots to dangerous enemy fire. Launched by standoff aircraft, warships, or stealthy submerged submarines, the Tomahawk and its ilk fly at very low altitudes, where they are hard to detect and even harder to shoot down. These attributes, plus accuracy that can minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage, have made cruise missiles the
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of military strike planners for the U.S. and our allies.

Initially configured as autonomous fire-and-forget weapons, deep-strike cruise missiles like Tomahawk and Conventional Air Launch Cruise Missiles have evolved. Today’s versions mimic many traits of manned aircraft, incorporating GPS and satellite communications to allow loiter capability, specific target identification,
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, mid-course guidance, and even the ability to hit moving targets in anti-ship variants.

Perhaps the best evidence for these missiles’ success are the Russian and Chinese efforts to
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and counter them. Earlier detection at longer ranges, spoofing, jamming, and improved kinetic solutions such as
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are all aimed at lowering Tomahawk’s
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Like any weapon, Tomahawk will ultimately require replacement — and improvements in enemy tech means the need is urgent. The main lines of effort to create a
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precision strike weapon include the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, or
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, and the Next Generation Land Attack weapon, or
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. Scheduled for introduction in roughly 2025 and 2030 respectively, follow-on weapons to Tomahawk could be supersonic or hypersonic, even more accurate, highly agile, and effective even in a challenging electronic warfare and counter-missile environment.

But that’s only on paper. “Out-year” upgrades for complex, new-technology military systems have a nasty habit of arriving in the fleet a lot later than planned.

Which is why we should do everything we can to prevent the cuts to the Tomahawk purchase line and the proposed halt to production. When we lack so much as a firm design for follow-on weapons procurement, it only makes sense to continue to fund and upgrade working systems until we have a fully tested, fully integrated, and fully stocked arsenal of replacement missiles— especially when we are using them up at a rate greater than planned.

Acquisition professionals are possessed of the seemingly congenital habit of under-estimating
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for new systems and then paying for their mistakes from the readiness and procurement accounts of systems to be replaced. Whether with bombers, fighters, helicopters or howitzers,
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than rosy original estimates, and are bought in numbers insufficient to satisfy current requirements.

This generally results in more expense, as existing systems are kept in service via Band-Aid solutions while the promised replacements make their belated way to the front lines. Worse, the services are sometimes forced to reopen closed production lines at exorbitant cost.

The U.S. simply cannot allow to occur with the “main battery” of standoff weapons. Unmanned deep-strike weapons like Tomahawk are not optional, or “nice to have.” More than most weapons in our inventory, they exist as a credible threat, a strong deterrence, a means to project power and enforce the political will of the U.S. and our allies in ways that other capabilities can’t. We need them at a moment’s notice, and we can’t afford for our adversaries to assume their absence or ineffectiveness. Their use must be guaranteed. Sufficient quantities must be assured. Stopping their production, as Congress would have U.S. do in 2019, is simply unacceptable in a dangerous and uncertain world.
now presumably good news Lockheed tests production version of LRASM
Defense contractor Lockheed Martin on May 23 announced a successful test firing of two production representative Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) from a US Air Force B-1B bomber.

In the event over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California, a US Air Force B-1B from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, released the pair of LRASMs.

According to Lockheed, the missiles navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and flew toward the moving maritime target using inputs from the onboard sensors. The missiles then positively identified the intended target and impacted successfully.

“The success of this second dual-LRASM test event speaks volumes,” said David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “As LRASM moves toward early operational fielding for the US Air Force and US Navy, the weapon system continues to demonstrate critical capabilities that our warfighters need.”

LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in contested environments. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range. It is designed to meet the needs of US Navy and US Air Force warfighters in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the US Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onboard the US Air Force’s B-1B in 2018 and on the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.
source is NavalToday
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Seems like China isn't the only country doing civil military integration.

Pentagon Wants Silicon Valley’s Help on A.I.

There is little doubt that the Defense Department needs help from Silicon Valley’s biggest companies as it pursues work on artificial intelligence. The question is whether the people who work at those companies are willing to cooperate.

On Thursday, Robert O. Work, a former deputy secretary of defense, announced that he is teaming up with the Center for a New American Security, an influential Washington think tank that specializes in national security, to create a task force of former government officials, academics and representatives from private industry. Their goal is to explore how the federal government should embrace A.I. technology and work better with big tech companies and other organizations.

There is a growing sense of urgency to the question of what the United States is doing in artificial intelligence. China has vowed to become the world’s leader in A.I. by 2030, committing billions of dollars to the effort. Like many other officials from government and industry, Mr. Work believes the United States risks falling behind.

“The question is, how should the United States respond to this challenge?” he said. “This is a Sputnik moment.”

The military and intelligence communities have long played a big role in the technology industry and had close ties with many of Silicon Valley’s early tech giants. David Packard, Hewlett-Packard’s co-founder, even served as the deputy secretary of defense under President Richard M. Nixon.

But those relations have soured in recent years — at least with the rank and file of some better-known companies. In 2013, documents leaked by the former defense contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed the breadth of spying on Americans by intelligence services, including monitoring the users of several large internet companies.

Two years ago, that antagonism grew worse after the F.B.I. demanded that Apple create special software to help it gain access to a locked iPhone that had belonged to a gunman involved in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

“In the wake of Edward Snowden, there has been a lot of concern over what it would mean for Silicon Valley companies to work with the national security community,” said Gregory Allen, an adjunct fellow with the Center for a New American Security. “These companies are — understandably — very cautious about these relationships.”

The Pentagon needs help on A.I. from Silicon Valley because that’s where the talent is. The tech industry’s biggest companies have been hoarding A.I. expertise, sometimes offering multimillion-dollar pay packages that the government could never hope to match.

Mr. Work was the driving force behind the creation of Project Maven, the Defense Department’s sweeping effort to embrace artificial intelligence. His new task force will include Terah Lyons, the executive director of the Partnership on AI, an industry group that includes many of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.

Mr. Work will lead the 18-member task force with Andrew Moore, the dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Moore has warned that too much of the country’s computer science talent is going to work at America’s largest internet companies.

With tech companies gobbling up all that talent, who will train the next generation of A.I. experts? Who will lead government efforts?

“Even if the U.S. does have the best A.I. companies, it is not clear they are going to be involved in national security in a substantive way,” Mr. Allen said.

Google illustrates the challenges that big internet companies face in working more closely with the Pentagon. Google’s former executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who is still a member of the board of directors of its parent company, Alphabet, also leads the Defense Innovation Board, a federal advisory committee that recommends closer collaboration with industry on A.I. technologies.

Last week, two news outlets revealed that the Defense Department had been working with Google in developing A.I. technology that can analyze aerial footage captured by flying drones. The effort was part of Project Maven, led by Mr. Work. Some employees were angered that the company was contributing to military work.

Google runs two of the best A.I. research labs in the world — Google Brain in California and DeepMind in London.

Top researchers inside both Google A.I. labs have expressed concern over the use of A.I. by the military. When Google acquired DeepMind, the company agreed to set up an internal board that would help ensure that the lab’s technology was used in an ethical way. And one of the lab’s founders, Demis Hassabis, has explicitly said its A.I. would not be used for military purposes.

Google acknowledged in a statement that the military use of A.I. “raises valid concerns” and said it was working on policies around the use of its so-called machine learning technologies.

Among A.I. researchers and other technologists, there is widespread fear that today’s machine learning techniques could put too much power in dangerous hands. A recent report from prominent labs and think tanks in both the United States and Britain detailed the risks, including problems with weapons and surveillance equipment.

Google said it was working with the Defense Department to build technology for “non-offensive uses only.” And Mr. Work said the government explored many technologies that did not involve “lethal force.” But it is unclear where Google and other top internet companies will draw the line.

“This is a conversation we have to have,” Mr. Work said.
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I liked the speeches (I mean it), at least the parts quoted inside Trump Tells US Naval Academy Class Of 2018: Dominate The Sea
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President Donald Trump congratulated the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2018 as they were commissioned Friday as Navy ensigns and Marine Corps second lieutenants.

“Together you are the tip of the spear, the edge of the blade, the front of the shield protecting and defending our nation,” Trump said to the graduating class.

During the Friday ceremony, 784 midshipmen stood and were commissioned as Naval officers, 236 midshipmen stood and were commissioned as Marine Corps officers, and 11 international students graduated and will return to serve their nations.

Nearly four years ago, when the class of 2018 was inducted on July 1, 2014,303 of the 1,191 new midshipmen were women, the largest number of women inducted to a Naval Academy class at that point.

Addressing the class, in a speech laden with congratulations to for their academic and athletic achievements – including beating the Army in 19 sporting events this past year – Trump encouraged the soon-to-be commissioned officers to continue the culture of winning.

“You crave adventure. You chase discovery. And you never flinch in the eye of a raging storm,” Trump said.

In terms of policy, Trump discussed the recently approved Fiscal Year 2018 Department of Defense budget, securing $700 billion to support the military, which ended “the disastrous defense sequester.”

With a FY 2019 defense bill approved this week by the House of Representatives and being worked on by the Senate, Trump added that next year will continue adding money for defense spending for such items as new ships, new equipment and pay raises for military personnel.

“We are recommitting to that fundamental truth, we are a maritime nation,” Trump said. “And being a maritime nation, we’re surrounded by sea, we must always dominate that sea.”

Bulking up the nation’s maritime capability was also at the heart of Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s address to the class. Modly, a 1983 U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former helicopter pilot, likened the Navy the 2018 class enters to the one he was commissioned into 35 years ago today.

Defense spending was increasing, especially spending on the Navy, after years of deficient budgets, Modly said.

“The Soviet Union had no choice but to retreat and eventually collapse into the annals of its own inglorious past,” Modly said.

Today’s military is charged with protecting U.S. interests around the globe, including spreading “the guiding lights of individual liberty and human dignity,” Modly said.

“Weakness in pursuit of such lofty aspirations invites aggression, and it always will,” the undersecretary added.

Before offering a final congratulations, Modly offered a bit of advice, honed during his years in the Navy and then in the business world at Price Waterhouse Cooper as the managing director of the national security practice and the Global Government Defense Network leader.

“Don’t ever worry about being loved for what you do; rather, love the country you’re asked to defend. Love the Constitution you’re about to pledge your lives to protect and defend. And most importantly, love the people you have been privileged to lead.

“Make sure they eat before you do. Care about their families as much as you do your own. Be invested in their successes more than your own accomplishments, and nurture their careers more than you pursue your own individual advancement. Value their lives to the point you will always consider their safety and security in every decision you make. And you will do this best by making sure they know how to fight and how to win,” Modly said.

Viktor Jav

Senior Member
Registered Member
I liked the speeches (I mean it), at least the parts quoted inside Trump Tells US Naval Academy Class Of 2018: Dominate The Sea
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Well at least it is good to know that Trump also have a penchant for bombastic and rhetorical speeches.Goes to show the hypocrisy of some people when they point to the language used in speeches given by Xi or Putin.