US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

Minuteman III Destroyed Mid-Flight During Test Launch
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The Air Force destroyed an unarmed Minuteman III following a test launch early Tuesday at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., when it developed an “anomaly” during flight, the head of US Strategic Command said Wednesday. An Air Force crew launched the missile for a routine test Tuesday, and at first it “was perfect,” US Strategic Command boss Gen. John Hyten said Wednesday at the STRATCOM Deterrence Symposium in Omaha, Neb. “It came out of the hole just fine, but somewhere in flight we saw an anomaly,” Hyten said. That anomaly created an “unsafe flight condition” so the crew decided to destroy the rocket before it reached its destination, Hyten said. Failures such as this are rare, with the last one occurring in July 2011, and “this is the reason that we test,” he said. Now “we have to go figure out what happened” and learn more about the Minuteman III fleet to make it safer and more effective in the future. “We test because we’ve got to make sure things work … and make sure missiles are safe, secure, and reliable,” Hyten said.
Hypersonic Technology Becomes a Top Pentagon Priority
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sounded to me like the Pentagon found yet another buzzword, after 'sensor fusion', 'network-centric', 'modularity', 'commonality', 'directed energy', LOL 'game changer' ...

the text anyway:
Although hypersonic technology originated in the United States, “we didn’t choose to weaponize it, but now we have to,” the Pentagon’s top technology official said Aug. 1.

“The enemy gets a vote. They have chosen to weaponize hypersonic,” Michael D. Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said.

To respond to that emerging threat, the Pentagon has made regaining the advantage in hypersonic technology one of its top priorities and has brought the three military departments together in a multiservice effort to develop hypersonic weapons, Griffin told a briefing sponsored by the Senate Aerospace Caucus.

“We want to have some of our first hypersonic strike weapons fielded in the early 2020s,” and are working to meet Defense Secretary James Mattis’ “goal of dominance by 2028.” That means an air-breathing” hypersonic weapon capable of a “prompt conventional strike: that can “hold an enemy at risk,” he said.

Hypersonic generally means an air vehicle that can reach and sustain speeds of at least Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, which could be more than 3,000 miles an hour.

Griffin said he was not prepared to say what form of hypersonic vehicle they would have by 2028, whether it would be solely an expendable weapon, or an aircraft that could carry and release guided munitions and return, and whether it would be manned or unmanned.

Each of those variables raises the technological challenge to the quest.

But by using the term “air-breathing,” Griffin is ruling out the simplest solution, a rocket-propelled missile that would have relatively limited range.

Robert A. Pearce, deputy associate administrator for strategy at NASA, noted that while the agency has close ties with the Pentagon, its main focus is on commercial use of technology

“Our primary concern is reusable systems,” Pearce said.

Congress has been increasingly vocal in its demands that the Pentagon match or exceed the hypersonic capabilities of potential adversaries.

Griffin noted that international media has reported that China has successfully tested hypersonic vehicles multiple times and that Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged on Russian television of advances in hypersonics.

That is why hypersonic weapons, along with offensive and defensive cyber, was among the top priorities Mattis gave him when he took the new technology and engineering job, Griffin said.

Those technologies are important, “because much of the world is catching up” and eroding the technological advantage that the U.S. military has had in conflicts since World War II, he said.

The United States would not win a “man-to-man engagement” with our potential adversaries and “we don’t want to engage in that kind of fight.”

The way to prevent that kind of battle is to regain the technological advantage with prompt conventional strike, electronic warfare, directed energy, cyber and space, Griffin said.

“Those are the high-leverage priorities that will allow us to regain the advantage,” and “when we appear to be so strong, people will not want to engage us. That’s the best way,” he said.


Tyrant King
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Solicitation Number:
Notice Type:
Sources Sought

Added: Aug 02, 2018 1:09 pm
The U.S. Army Contracting Command-New Jersey (ACC-NJ), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000, on behalf of the Office of the Product Manager Precision Fires and Mortars (PdM PFM) and the Office of the Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems (PM CAS), is conducting a market survey to identify capable sources to develop and produce the 120mm Mortar Future Indirect Fire Turret (FIFT). The purpose of this market survey is to obtain current information on the capability of all potential companies to develop and produce the 120mm Mortar FIFT starting in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.
The 120mm Mortar FIFT is a 120mm turret that provides protection from enemy counter battery systems and insulates soldiers from the effects of both noise and blast overpressure. This turret shall be capable of firing heavier projectiles at a greater range than the current Battalion Mortar System (BMS) or Recoil Mortar System - Light (RMS-L). The 120mm Mortar FIFT will be able to mass fire from a single platform (Multi-round Simultaneous Impact) (MSRI), be able to engage targets in a direct fire fashion, and facilitate the mounting of developing reach-back effects, such as the Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) or Single Multi-missile Attack Munition (SMAMS).

Additionally, the FIFT shall feature a level of automation, such that physical burden on crew is reduced, while supporting a high rate of fire capability. The FIFT may be manned or unmanned and shall be integrated as a vehicle-mounted solution within the ABCT and SBCT. Vehicles include Stryker, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), and Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV).

Significant 120mm Mortar FIFT system performance requirements include:

- Caliber: 120mm smooth bore (Threshold)
- A Minimum Range of 200m (Threshold) for Indirect and Direct Fire and 50m (Objective) for Direct Fire.
- A Maximum Range of ≥ 8,000m (Threshold) to 20,000m (Objective).
- Ammo Preparation: Automated storage and processing of ammo from fiber packing container (Objective)
- Mission Computation/Gun-Laying: Automated calculation of tactical and technical fire direction and gun lay (Threshold)
- Loading/Firing: Automated loading of round into gun tube from intermediate tray or ready rack and fire-on-command (Threshold). Ammo transitions from stowage through the firing event without human contact (Objective).
- Response Time of Initial Receipt: 30 seconds after receipt of fire mission if emplaced, 60 seconds after receipt of fire mission if moving (Threshold)
- Response Time of Fire and Move: Capable of accepting fire missions, firing and moving up to 750 meters on dry, hard surfaces within 90 seconds of identifying a potential enemy (Threshold) and "shoot on the move" (Objective) capability.
- The mission computation, gun laying, ammunition preparation and firing is Semi-autonomous (Threshold) or autonomous (Objective) computation of tactical and technical fire direction, automatic gun lay, preparation of the ammunition for firing, and firing of the mortar round.
- Munitions Family: Fire the full 120mm Family of Munitions (FoM) with modifications (Threshold) or be able to fire the 120mm FoM with no modifications and capable of handling to be determined (TBD) projectiles up to 40lbs and 40inches length (Objective).
- Fields of Fire: Must allow for firing from the platform in any direction within a 360 degree (6400 mil) arc (Objective).
- Lethality- Engagement Profile: Must be capable of Line of Sight (LOS) engagements to destroy moving or stationary light armored vehicles up to a maximum range of 500m (Threshold) to 4000m (Objective)
- Lethality- Massing Fires: Must be capable of firing Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) missions, with 6 rounds impacting/functioning within 4 seconds (first to last round) (Threshold) to 12 rounds impacting/functioning within 4 seconds (first to last round) (Objective).
- Lethality- Rate of Fire: Must provide a Maximum Rate of Fire (MROF) of at least 16 rounds per minute at maximum increment for 1 minute followed by a sustained rate of fire (SROF) of 6 rounds per minute at maximum increment indefinitely (Threshold). It is desired that the weapon be capable of being fired at the MROF of 24 rounds per minute for 2 minutes and maintain a SROF of 12 rounds per minute indefinitely (Objective).
Per the above requirements, the 120mm FoM include the following items:
- The M934/M934A1 HE, M930/M930E1 ILLUM, M929 SMK (Threshold);
- The M931 FRPC, M933 HE, M57 HE, M983 IR ILLUM, M91 ILLUM (Objective)
Per the above requirements, the 120mm FoM, shall be compatible with the following fuzes:
- The M734/M734A1 MOFA, M935 PD (Threshold)
- The M776 MTSQ, M745 PD, M524/M524A1 PD, M772 PD/MTSQ, M84 TIME, M567 PD, M532 PRX, M783 PD/DLY, M751 PD (Objective)
In order to assess the maturity of industry designs to meet above mentioned 120mm Mortar FIFT system performance requirements and enter into the EMD phase and subsequently production, respondents shall describe (in detail) their proposed 120mm Mortar FIFT design, expected performance relative to the significant threshold and objective requirements, and technological and manufacturing maturity.
Furthermore, to be considered a capable source for the 120mm Mortar FIFT
Okay In summery The Army is starting to look for a Turreted semi automatic Mortar system that it can add to it's new AMPV Bradley and Strykers as well eventually to NGCV.
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Two off the top of my head
Patria Nemo

now some eagle eyed reader will point to the Patria AMOS as another option but it's fairly heavy and not necessarily needed. If they were mounting in a gunship or Naval ship I would favor AMOS more but for the Army, Weight is an issue.
Along side these the Army has been working on Ground mounted systems. The Current systems used in Armored vehicles by the US is simple and easy to use basically it's a infantry mortar mounted on a turn table inside a armored vehicle with a open roof. This has however a problem the mortar crew to use there weapon has to expose themselves to potential attack from CBRN and attack by infantry and counter battery, basically it renders an armored vehicle unarmored.
Additionally these mortar systems can be mounted in other platforms like Trailers and even navy ships to serve as fire support of amphibious ops.


Tyrant King
US Navy awards major contract to Huntington Ingalls for its newest class of amphibious vessels
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  2 days ago
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a $165.5 million contract to procure long lead-time materials for the LPD-17 Flight II, according to a contract dated Aug. 2 and released Friday.

The amphibious transport dock, designated LPD-30, is the first of the 13-ship
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Flight II class that will replace the current dock landing ships. The program, which was until April known as LX(R), is expected to be built exclusively at HII’s yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

“This is a significant milestone as we embark toward a new flight of LPDs,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a statement. “The Flight II LPDs will be highly capable ships meeting the requirements and needs of our Navy-Marine Corps team. We look forward to delivering this series of affordable LPDs to our nation’s fleet of amphibious ships.”

The Navy is anticipating awarding a detailed design and construction contract either late in 2018 or early 2019. The Navy’s cost goal for the program is $1.64 billion for the first ship and $1.4 billion for each subsequent ship, according to the Congressional Research Service.

LPD-30 is going to come equipped with Raytheon’s Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, an upgrade over the AN/SPS-48 currently on the LPD-17 class.

Ingalls has also moved out on fabrication for the future Richard M. McCool, named for a World War II-era Medal of Honor recipient, meaning it has cut the first 100 tons of steel, which will be the last of the Flight I LPD-17, according to a July 30 announcement from Naval Sea Systems Command.

“We are excited to commence fabrication on the 13th and final ship of the LPD 17 Flight I class,” said Capt. Brian Metcalf, LPD 17 program manager, in a statement. “We continue to benefit from the maturity of this program, and look forward to achieving future production milestones as we work to deliver this versatile and capable warship to the fleet.”
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The US Navy’s Columbia-class subs could squeeze General Dynamics’ profits
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  July 28
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’ profit margins, the company’s top executive told analysts this week on its quarterly earnings call.

General Dynamics, which owns Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, usually sees 8 percent to 10 percent margins on its boats. But GD’s CEO, Phebe Novakovic, told investors and analysts on its quarterly earnings those margins will be under pressure as they move from just constructing Virginia-class attack submarines to
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, the first new ballistic missile submarine in decades.

“As we ramp up on Columbia, we will see some margin compression quite naturally because that will be cost-plus work,” Novakovic said.

“And given the long duration of the shipbuilding contracts and the shipbuilding process itself for any one of these single submarines, that margin compression can [last] for a while, offset of course by increased improvements in our Virginia-class performance, which we have historically shown.”

The first Columbia-class boat will start construction in 2020, Novakovic said, and the company would have more clarity on just how much margin they can eek out of Columbia and Virginia in future years within the next year or two.

Last September, General Dynamics was awarded a $5.1 billion detailed design contract for Columbia, which is destined to replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile subs. The acquisition is slated to cost about $128 billion.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report in December saying the Navy was underplaying the technology risk involved in Columbia and risked significant cost growth in the program as it ironed out the kinks.

The first Columbia is slated to make a patrol in 2031.
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All in one! A-10, F-16C, F-15C, F-15E, F-22, F-35 -
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I'd love to see a full formation which includes B-52, B-1B and B-2 in triangle/arrow-shaped formation