US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

another of my favorite topic ... Mar 30, 2018
Jan 28, 2018
updating 'retirement of the Warthog' LOL! with U.S. Air Force To Kick Off Competition For New A-10 Wings

Mar 27, 2018
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Air Force Releases Proposal for A-10 Warthog Re-Winging Program
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The U.S.
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has published its solicitation to defense companies to re-wing more than 100
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close-air support mission aircraft.

The proposal, released May 25, calls for 112 wing sets and 15 additional kits over a five-year ordering period as part of the service's A-10 Thunderbolt Advanced-Wing Continuation Kit or "ATTACK."

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According to the request for proposal, the contract includes a five-year ordering period that begins with the contract award, followed by two optional one-year ordering periods. A four-year delivery period will follow the conclusion of the ordering periods.

The Air Force is asking defense companies to respond by Aug. 23,
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. Estimated total costs have not been determined.

The contract award is expected in fiscal 2019, the documents said.

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, recently told reporters she knew of at least two companies interested in the endeavor prior to the draft RFP release. The service in February released a draft RFP to help defense companies submit ideas on how best to develop new wings for the remaining portion of the A-10 fleet.

"I understand there is some potential for some increase in coming editions [of the budgets], so I think there's an interest there,"
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in Washington, D.C., on May 15.

"I think the jury will be out though in terms of the price I can get," Pawlikowski added. "That will be a function of what folks think will be our long-term buy of those as we go forward."

The Air Force in January
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to rebuild wings on the A-10 after ending an arrangement with Boeing Co.

Of the 281 A-10s currently in the inventory, 173 have already been outfitted or are in the process of being outfitted with new wings (though one of the newly re-winged planes was destroyed in a crash), according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

That leaves 108 aircraft remaining in the inventory still slated to receive the upgrades, she told at the time.

The fiscal 2018 budget approved by President Donald Trump in March includes $103 million for the service to re-wing a portion of its fleet. The fiscal 2019 budget, now working its way through Congress, requests an additional $79 million for the effort.

Air Force officials have said the service can commit to maintaining wings for six of its nine A-10 combat squadrons through roughly 2030.

Just how many it will actually restructure is unknown.

During a House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land subcommittee hearing last month, Lt. Gen. Jerry D. Harris, the service's deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, said as a platform, the A-10, beloved among ground troops and attack pilots alike, will remain until about 2030. But the number of A-10s that will keep flying as a result of new wings will likely be reduced.

"We are not confident we are flying all of the airplanes we currently possess through 2025," Harris said in response to Rep. Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona and former Air Force A-10 pilot.

"We're not going to make a further commitment [on additional wingsets] until we know where we're going with both the A-10 and the F-35," he said, referring to the further Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) testing between the two aircraft.

A "fly-off" between the two, part of the IOT&E testing, is expected in the near future.
let's wait and see what's "the near future" from the last sentence
I know I posted about it already May 24, 2018
now presumably good news Lockheed tests production version of LRASM

source is NavalToday
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now FlightGlobal:
Dual air-launched LRASMs hit moving ship for second time
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Lockheed Martin successfully hit a moving vessel with two Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles launched from a US Air Force B-1B bomber.

The test over the Sea Range off NAS Point Mugu, California on an unspecified date in May 2018 was the second time the company demonstrated hitting a ship with two of its long range missiles at once, Lockheed Martin said. The missiles flew through a series of pre-designated waypoints before using their sensors to identify and impact the intended target.

The LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships using its sensors, encrypted communications and a digital anti-jamming GPS, according to Lockheed Martin. It is designed to be used in battle against the surface ships of advanced foes, such as China or Russia – adversaries who could disrupt and attack traditional means of targeting including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation.

The anti-ship standoff missile is based on the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range. It is to be integrated on board the B-1B in 2018 and on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.
recalled Nov 20, 2017
cross-posting from
F-22 Raptor Thread
about Raptors bombing poppy fields:
U.S. F-22 Stealth Jets Perform Raptor’s First Ever Air Strike In Afghanistan Employing Small Diameter Bombs
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after I had read
Wilson: Leave High-End Fighters Out of Low-End Fights
May 30, 2018
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In November 2017,
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Raptors took out a narcotics factory in Afghanistan. But according to the U.S. Air Force Secretary that should not have happened.

“You do not need a high-end stealth fighter to destroy a narcotics factory. It is not a cost-effective way to combat violent extremism,” Heather Wilson said during a May 29 speech at the Atlantic Council.

That is part of the reason why the service continues to experiment with light attack aircraft that would cost just $5,000-$10,000 per hour to operate rather than the $30,000 per hour cost to operate a fifth-generation fighter.

The service already has started on the second phase of a light attack experiment called OA-X at Holloman AFB in New Mexico. The Air Force is looking at the sustainment, sensor and weapons capabilities of the Sierra Nevada/
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A-29 Super Tucano and the
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Aviation AT-6B Wolverine.

Wilson said the service will demonstrate that it can still conduct rapid weapons buys, and is working to establish the light attack aircraft as a node on a network.

“We said let’s put a network on this light attack aircraft that connects it to something on the ground, a forward air controller and to each other and to a satellite and to a command and control element that is completely exportable from the very beginning,” Wilson said. “The network itself has value. Let’s see if we can test and understand a system that is affordable and exportable and interoperable with allies.”

She noted that when it comes to allies buying equipment from foreign competitors, U.S. export controls have created problems, forcing allied nations to buy unmanned aircraft or intelligence-gathering aircraft from China that wind up located near U.S. aircraft on a foreign flight line. “Sometimes we need to figure out how to be better allies … and do things that we are trying to do like the light attack aircraft, that are designed for export from the very beginning, so we can all operate off the same equipment,” she said.

Wilson also wants to use the light attack experiment to demonstrate the service can buy weapons fast.
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bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Good article. the USAF needs to make up it's mind on which way they will go with a new light attack aircraft...

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A pair of Brazilian Air Force Embraer A-29 Super Tucanos in flight over the Amazon Rainforest.

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A Beechcraft AT-6B Wolverine experimental aircraft flies over White Sands Missile Range, N.M. July 31, 2017. The AT-6 is participating in the U.S. Air Force Light Attack Experiment (OA-X), a series of trials to determine the feasibility of using light aircraft in attack roles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan D. Wagner)

It is an excellent fit. Where as the USAF put the funds out to develop these aircraft and has been testing these aircraft for several years..

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Dwindling Merchant Marine fleet crimps U.S. ability to wage war.....


"The once-mighty U.S. Merchant Marine fleet has nearly collapsed under the weight of high labor costs, zigzagging federal policies and intense competition from abroad, damaging America's position as the only country in the world able to supply and sustain a long-distance war.

The U.S. Merchant Marine has declined from 1,288 international trading vessels in 1951 to 81 today.

The Merchant Marine is a a fleet of U.S. ships that carries cargo during peacetime and becomes an auxiliary of the Defense Department during wartime to deliver troops and supplies to conflict zones. The Navy itself does not have enough ships to handle a large-scale supply mission on its own and has relied in almost every conflict on the Merchant Marine."

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US Army starts work on future attack-recon helicopter....

"The Army is now crafting early requirements for what is expected to be a new attack helicopter -- beyond the Apache -- with superior weapons, speed, maneuverability, sensor technology and vastly-improved close-combat attack capability.

“We know that in the future we are going to need to have a lethal capability, which drives us to a future attack reconnaissance platform. The Apache is the world’s greatest but there will come a time when we look at leap ahead technology,“ Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told a small group of reporters."

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The Freedom variant littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) fires an AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missile during a live-fire missile exercise off the coast of Virginia, May 11, 2018. Milwaukee fired four Longbow Hellfire missiles that successfully struck fast inshore attack craft targets during a complex warfighting environment utilizing radar and other systems to track the targets.