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as I can see, you're new here LOL

money-related posts are generally ignored here (except if they showed what, ehm, enthusiasts had claimed) , so ... you're welcome

Still pressed for time, so I promise I will get to the studies that are public that are feeding into the NGAD.

That said, fanboys are gonna fanboy. If you really want to know the status of a project, watch the money. Budgets and timing matter more than KEWLDUDEPROJECTS. ahem.

And I have a feeling the PCA/NGAD/WhateverTheAcronymOfTheWeekIs will be interesting in a big, bug way.

LOL a good question, if F-35s are such marvels, why not to get even more of them

It's less about marvels than they are the standard F-16 replacement and adding another aircraft to your logistics chain is probably not worth it. A SLEP is going to be the best route for the F-15s. Money matters.

Air Force Brat

Super Moderator
as I can see, you're new here LOL

money-related posts are generally ignored here (except if they showed what, ehm, enthusiasts had claimed) , so ... you're welcome

LOL a good question, if F-35s are such marvels, why not to get even more of them

Whiner!, just because you sound like the Honey Badger when you nag about money, I already have one wife telling me I can't afford a Car, Airplane, Motorcycle, nother gun, etc, etc, etc....

Yeah, she is the Head Teller at the local bank too,,, anyway Jr.

Since you prolly don't even ride a bicycle, or drive a car, this will probably not make the connection between your ears?? but an F-22 is to an F-35, what a J-20 is to a J-31!

F-35s are marvelous, but F-22's, is the "Alien Bird", feeds in the 20,000 ft or so where no one else operates, as Norton Schwartz stated, "It can pull 6Gs at 50,000 ft, what else can do that?" the answer is NOTHING else can come close to that kind of performance, NOTHING!
Jan 6, 2018
Dec 22, 2017
and Major US defense strategy review coming Jan. 19
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while now (LOL) the question is
After repeated delays, will the Pentagon’s missile defense review be out soon?
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The Pentagon’s long-awaited
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has been delayed more than just a few times, but the under secretary of defense for policy said he’s hopeful it’s coming out very soon.

“It will be coming soon to a theater near you,” John Rood, told an audience at a Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance event on Capitol Hill Sept. 4. “Hope to have that out in the very near term, in the next few weeks, as we just are wrapping up some of the remaining items.”

The Defense Department seems to have been wrapping up the review for the better part of a year, as it was
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but was then delayed to February and again pushed back to a mid-May release.

Many expected the review to come out shortly before the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in early August, but, once again, it didn’t come, leaving an elephant in the room at the Huntsville-based event.

At the symposium, Pentagon leaders also managed to avoid questions related to reasons for the delay. Questions submitted via text by the audience there were handpicked by conference moderators throughout the event.

And because DoD leadership has been tight-lipped over the reasons for delaying the review, it has led many in the missile defense community to speculate reasons from a lack of satisfaction over the state of drafts to an increasingly complicated relationship with North Korea stemming from the Trump administration’s more recent dealings with the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, who said he might be willing to back off some of his nuclear missile development.

Much of the U.S. homeland ballistic missile defense capability was developed in response to the growing threat of possible ballistic missile attacks from North Korea and Iran.

In April, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the review had not yet come out due to quality. He characterized the delay as a mix of wanting to be thorough, the logistics of working on multiple reviews over the last six months and the need to have people in place, most notably Rood himself, who was confirmed in early January.

Shanahan added the Pentagon leadership spent the better part of the fall working on the
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and the
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, both which have now been out for months.

While Rood did not discuss the reasons for the delay of the congressionally mandated review, he did say the review has expanded from a focus on ballistic missile threats to all missile threats from cruise missiles to hypersonics.

The review will
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from “what is that policy framework, what are the developments in the international security arena that have led us to make alterations to our approach, how are we approaching it in terms of working with friends and allies, looking at trades across the department for competing needs or competing ways to address some of the security concerns that we have,” he said, “and in some case they are not competing, they are complementary.”

Simply put, the review, he said, will contain the Pentagon’s policy intent going forward and its plans.

Rood added he was eager to push out the review “as soon as we can, believe me, on a personal level, I am, and hopefully we will get through the final hurdles in the department to do that very soon.”
Jun 20, 2018
is the headline true
The USMC Is Buying New Amphibious Vehicles That Can't Swim Faster Than What They Have Now
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and Marine Corps Taking Low-Risk Approach to Amphibious Combat Vehicle
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Instead of grasping for leap-ahead technologies that might derail efforts to acquire a new amphibious combat vehicle, the Marine Corps is pursuing a low-risk path that could deliver a big win for the acquisition community.

In June, the program reached Milestone C and the service awarded a $198 million contract to BAE Systems for 30 vehicles for low-rate initial production and live-fire testing. The company beat out a team led by SAIC for the final downselect.

BAE partnered with Italian firm Iveco for the competition.

“They had a proven platform” that was developed for the Italian military, said John Swift, BAE’s program director for amphibious combat vehicles. “We believed it was low risk, and then fortunately we were able to prove to the Marine Corps that it was indeed low risk.”

The drive train and suspension performed well in reliability testing, he noted.

Additionally, the vehicles delivered for the engineering and manufacturing development phase were built in “a production-like environment,” he said. That demonstrated the company’s ability to plan for and then execute the manufacture of the vehicle, and then deliver it on or ahead of schedule, he said.

The LRIP contract award was a big win for the company and reestablishes it as the leader in the amphibious vehicle sector, Swift said. It “makes us really the only manufacturer of ground combat amphibious vehicles in the U.S.,” he added. “As far as our strategic portfolio opening for us, this is very profound.”

BAE’s platform is an 8x8 wheeled vehicle that can swim up to 12 nautical miles at speeds of 6 knots. On a paved road, it can drive 65 mph with a range of up 325 miles. It can carry 13 Marines plus a crew of three, with a payload capacity of 7,280 pounds, according to the company.

“It’s a design that has been around a while, it’s just customized for the Marines,” said Jim Hasik, a defense analyst at the Atlantic Council.

The ACV is intended to replace aging amphibious assault vehicles. The Marine Corps wants a platform that can carry seaborne troops onto the beach and then operate ashore.

Increment 1.1 will consist of 204 personnel vehicles. Increment 1.2 is expected to consist of approximately 490 platforms to include personnel, command and control, recovery and gun variants.

“We have hit every milestone and every knowledge point that was levied upon the program ... and we hit them on schedule,” Col. Kirk Mullins, program manager for advanced amphibious assault in program executive office land systems, told National Defense in an interview.

Dakota Wood, a senior research fellow for defense programs at the Heritage Foundation who served 20 years in the Marine Corps, said the ACV program is in a good place today.

“The recognition of needing to go with something that was low risk — meaning relatively commercially available — so that you could get a new vehicle into the fleet sooner … was a very good decision,” he said.

Hasik said the underlying automotive technologies for armored vehicles aren’t advancing rapidly, and it was prudent for the Marine Corps not to swing for the fences when it comes to capability.

“When you’re faced with that it makes a whole lot of sense to bunt — to use a baseball analogy — in your efforts to develop a new weapon system … which is what the Marines have done” with the ACV program, he said.

The pursuit of the new platform began after the expeditionary fighting vehicle project was canceled in 2011 due to concerns about cost overruns and reliability. Approximately $3 billion had already been spent on the ambitious program when it was terminated.

The Defense Department released a draft request for proposals for the ACV in 2014. In 2015, it awarded BAE and SAIC contracts to develop prototypes, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Angelo Scarlato, the Marine Corps’ ACV product manager, said program officials took note of problems in previous vehicle efforts as they pursued the new platform.

“One of the most important lessons learned … is having stable and achievable requirements,” he said.

Swift said the Marine Corps has done a commendable job in structuring the program and executing it to plan.

“If you look at the other programs [that failed in the past], the requirements weren’t necessarily stable or testable,” he said. “In this program the requirements have never changed or altered, and they tested to what they said they would test to. … That and the open communication with the vendors I think was critical.”

The first iterations of ACV will have a remote weapon station that can carry a .50 caliber machine gun or a Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher. The service is looking at potentially adding a 30 mm cannon to increase lethality, Mullins said.

The ACV has about 15 percent growth margin, he noted. “We have the ability to add a capability to the vehicle as the requirements develop and still maintain its full amphibious capability,” he said.

Swift said BAE will unveil a model of a new variant at the Modern Day Marine conference in September. “We’re kind of looking at what we can do in regards for lethality,” he said. Swift declined to elaborate.

Survivability against explosive devices was a key Marine Corps requirement for the ACV.

“If I’m coming across a beach … anti-vehicle mines are absolutely a significant potential problem,” Hasik said. “It gets to be a bigger problem when you are looking for long distance road mobility because I can mine the roads. … So protection against landmines is pretty damned important.”

Mullins said the ACV will have comparable, and in some cases greater levels of protection than what is provided by the mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles that were widely used in Iraq to defend against insurgents’ improvised explosive devices.

The Marine Corps is also looking to add active protection systems to thwart enemy projectiles.

“We’re working and aligned hand in hand with the U.S. Army to see if we can realize some of that” on the ACV, Angelo said. “We are committed to that capability.”

Observers of the program have noted that the amphibious combat vehicle is unable to swim long distances, which creates operational challenges against adversaries with anti-access weapons.

“If you’re needing to operate farther away from shore to enhance force protection for your amphibious fleet, you’ve got to have some means of getting your landing force from those ships across a lot of water,” Wood said. “ACV is not going to do that.”

The vehicles will have to be transported via a ship-to-shore connector such as a hovercraft or landing craft utility ship, he said.

Critics of the program have questioned the survivability of the platform when it approaches a heavily defended beach.

“This thing is not designed for Iwo Jima, no question about that,” Hasik said. “It is a vehicle that does allow you to get ashore against comparatively light opposition but it would be a vehicle in which you would not want to embark if you were assaulting a shore against comparatively heavy opposition.”

Nevertheless, choosing that type of platform was the right choice for the Marine Corps because developing something with both heavy armor and an advanced amphibious capability “probably was going to be impossible” to achieve, Hasik said.

Wood noted that the military could use its other weaponry to degrade the enemy’s forces and open up opportunities for the ACV to come ashore safely.

“The critics aren’t accounting for the tactics that would be involved in preparation of the battlefield,” he said. “On land that’s really where [the ACV] hits its stride and … it’s going to be a pretty good asset,” he added.

Mullins touted the vehicle’s ability to operate in a variety of terrains that Marines might encounter, including littorals, forests and urban environments.

“Whether it’s major conventional operations or it’s the low-intensity humanitarian [mission]… it’s going to give the Marine Corps a lot of decision space in how it employs the ACV,” he said.

The service will receive the first deliveries of the LRIP platforms in the spring and summer of 2019. That will be followed by reliability testing, initial operational test and evaluation, and “full-up” system live-fire test and evaluation, Angelo said. The service hopes to achieve initial operating capability in 2020.

goes on below due to size limit
the rest of
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posted right above:
Program officials expect to have a critical design review for increment 1.2 in fiscal year 2019.

“We’re not envisioning any structural changes to the ACV 1.2,” Angelo said. “There’s not going to be changes to a lot of the subsystems or components, the electrical systems, the suspension — things like that are going to remain common. It’s just those unique attributes of the mission role variants is really where we need to focus our energy on.”

Mullins noted that the 1.1 and 1.2 personnel variants will have 95 percent commonality.

Planned upgrades include adding an environmental control unit, an inertial navigation system and improved situational awareness for operations in the water. Mullins said he is “100 percent sure” that the modifications will be made successfully.

The Marine Corps expects ACV 1.1 to enter full-rate production in mid-fiscal year 2020. The plan is to have no break in production between increments 1.1 and 1.2, Angelo said.

Full operational capability for increment 1.1 is slated for late-2022. Both increments are expected to be fully fielded by 2027.

Program officials are trying to control costs as they buy large numbers of platforms. The current affordability cap is a $6.5 million average unit cost. “We are coming in much lower than that,” Angelo said.

Hasik said the program has realistic goals. “This is a very doable project,” he said. “It’s not a very expensive vehicle and they are buying them over time.”

Wood said a successful ACV program could have major implications for the Defense Department’s acquisition community.

Lawmakers are tired of hearing about program failures, he said, adding that the services need to “post a win” with a successful acquisition program. If BAE is able to deliver the vehicle on time and on cost, and it gives the Marine Corps a better capability than the 40-year-old AAV, it could heavily influence how the services pursue new equipment, he added.

“Do you shoot for the stars and try to get something that is at the outer reaches there of what’s technologically feasible?” Wood said. “Or do you … go with something that’s a little bit less advanced but more technologically achievable, and make these incremental advances in force capability instead of trying to bet on revolutionary leaps?”

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
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A KC-46A Pegasus tanker takes off from Boeing Field, Seattle, June 4, 2018. US Air Force

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(Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Wednesday its KC-46 mid-air refueling tanker program completed the US Federal Aviation Administration certification, nearly three years after the planemaker commenced testing for the certification.

The KC-46, which is derived from Boeing's commercial 767 airframe, will receive a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). The KC-46 is a multirole tanker which will refuel US, allied and coalition military aircraft using its boom and hose and drogue systems.

Earlier in July when Boeing reported quarterly results, the company said it would spend an additional $426 million before taxes on the program as it worked through test delays and production changes to eight aircraft in various stages of production.

Analysts had said they were worried that the additional expenses on the KC-46 program would slow shares, adding that the higher tanker costs came with unchanged earnings and cash flow forecasts.

"This milestone is important in that it is one of the last major hurdles in advance of first delivery to the US Air Force," said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager.

Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the US Air Force, the Chicago-based company said.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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NAVSEA Looking for Early Wins as it Kicks Off 20-Year Yard Modernization
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"... Moore said there would be an opportunity to invest in new capital equipment, which the Navy tends to replace every 20 to 25 years compared to the industry average of 10 to 12 years."
etc. etc.
Jul 14, 2018
Yesterday at 7:48 AM
now MarineCorpsTimes:
F−35Bs leave with 13th MEU on first deployment with stateside unit
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Marine F-35Bs with the 13th MEU enter Middle East for first time
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F-35Bs embarked with the
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, or MEU, have recently just entered the U.S. Central Command area of operations for the first time.

According to a photo uploaded by the Marine Corps showing the F-35B, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Essex entered the 5th fleet area of operations. The U.S. 5th Fleet is responsible for the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and parts of the Indian Ocean, and is a component command of CENTCOM.

The 13th MEU’s entrance into the CENTCOM arena heralds the first time the F-35B has entered the volatile Middle East arena and puts the high-tech aircraft closer to the fight against possible ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, or as a counter to sophisticated Russian and Syrian air defense systems in Syria.

But the 13th MEU’s F-35s are not going to be dropping ordnance on targets in the Middle East just yet.

The 13th MEU is slated to kick of a two-week Theater Amphibious Combat Rehearsal, or TACR, off the coast of Djibouti on Sept. 8, according to a command release.

About 4,500 Marines and sailors will participate in the maritime exercise that will include simulated air defense training, mine countermeasure training, quick-reaction force drills, deck landing qualifications, and at-sea ship interdictions, according to a command release.

“TACR allows us to demonstrate the enhanced capabilities and tactical lethality that embarked F-35Bs on an ARG bring to the region,” Col. Chandler Nelms, the 13th MEU commander, said in a commander release.

Marines assigned to the MEU recently just wrapped up the 24th iteration of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise in Malaysia and a theatre security cooperation training evolution in Sri Lanka.

But not everything has been smooth sailing for the MEU.

On August 9,
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was reported overboard from the Essex off the coast of the Philippines, which set of a massive five-day international search and rescue effort. The corporal was never found and later pronounced dead by 13th MEU officials.

The deployment of the F-35B aboard the 13th MEU is also the first time the F-35 has been deployed on ship from the
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