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Boeing nets $51.5M for engineering support on Navy's C-40As
By Allen Cone
MAY 28, 2019

Naval air crew members load cargo aboard a C-40A at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida in 2010. Photo by Lt. Kendra Kaufman /U.S. Navy

May 28 (UPI) -- Boeing was awarded a $51.5 million contract for engineering services to support up to 17 C-40A Clipper aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

The contract includes sustaining engineering, engineering data, technical publications, access to and distribution of technical data and publications, and other technical support services, the Department of Defense said Friday.

The C-40A is a reconfigured 737-700 optimized to transport passengers, cargo or both in "fleet logistics support" for the U.S. Naval Reserve. The aircraft can carry carry 121 passengers, 36,000 pounds of main deck cargo, or a combination of 70 passengers and 15,000 pounds of cargo, according to Boeing.

Work on the new contract will be performed at Boeing's plant in Renton, Wash., and is expected to be completed by May 2024. No funds were obligated at time of award, and will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued.

The C-40A was delivered to the Navy in 2001 as a replacement for the C-9B Skytrain aircraft.

The U.S. Naval Reserve operates and maintains about a dozen C-40A at air bases in Oceana, Va.; North Island, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Ft. Worth, Texas; and Whidbey Island, Wash.

The Air Force also uses C-40B/C variants, which are officially unnamed. The branch describes the aircraft as an "office in the sky" for senior military and government leaders.


 

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2 Illinois National Guard troops training at Marseilles Training Center, Illinois. 400 soldiers for the ING will be sent to Afghanistan this summer
ING.png
 

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General Dynamics proposal of the Stryker MSL for the US Army's SHORAD program that is currently going on. the MSL will fire 4 Hellfire missiles and be equipped with 4 Stinger missiles. The first vehicle was tested at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
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Raytheon nabs $38.2M contract for Army TOW missiles
By
Ed Adamczyk
MAY 29, 2019

Raytheon Co. received a $38.2 million contract to improve the U.S. Army's Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wireless-guided weapons system, the Defense Department announced on Tuesday. Photo by SSgt. Opal Vaughn/U.S. Army/UPI


May 29 (UPI) -- Raytheon Co. received a $38.2 million contract for the refinement and maintenance of the U.S. Army's TOW missiles, the Defense Department announced.

The contract calls for improvements to the Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wireless-guided weapon systems, including configuration management, fielding service, logistics support, and contractor repair, the Defense Department said on Tuesday.

The missile, predominately in use as an anti-tank weapon, is the successor to a wire-guided variant in use since 1970. It is one of the most widely used anti-tank guided missiles in the world, with over 690,000 built and the system in use by 45 countries.

The TOW missile has semi-automatic guidance, and in its newer, wireless guidance version, keeps the target in the line of sight until the missile impacts. An optical sensor on the sight continuously monitors the position of the missile in relation to the target. It can be launched from ground vehicles and helicopters.

The contract announced on Tuesday calls for work locations to be determined, with a completion date of May 31, 2024.


 

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Ford-class carrier USS John F. Kennedy gets its command center
By Ed Adamczyk


May 29 (UPI) -- The command center of the under-construction aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy was installed on Wednesday, a milestone in its completion.

The 588-ton "island house," 56 feet long and 33 feet wide, was installed by crane atop the nuclear-powered vessel at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News, Va., construction facility. It will serve as the flight deck's command center, housing the navigation bridge and primary flight control, radar and other systems.

Lowering the structure onto the carrier is equivalent to installing the mast on a ship or "topping out" a skyscraper, the Naval Sea Systems Command said in a statement on Wednesday.

"With the island landing, John F. Kennedy takes on that distinctive and unmistakable profile of an aircraft carrier," said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for Navy aircraft carriers. "It symbolizes nearing the end of structural work and the start of bringing the ship to life, transitioning steel and cable to a living ship and crew."

The aircraft carrier is the second of the Navy's Gerald R. Ford-class vessels, and is expected to be the heaviest ever launched. Its christening is planned for November.

Over 3,000 builders and 2,000 suppliers are involved in the construction of the USS John F. Kennedy, HII said.

 

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Spain's Navantia with US General Dynamics is proposing the F-100 Frigate for the US Navy's FFGX program. a contract is expected to be signed by 2020 as a follow on order following the LCS warships. a contract for 20 ships is being proposed.
Sensors: COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System (AEGIS derivative), Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, AN/SPS-73(V)18 Next Gen. Surface Search Radar, AN/SLQ-61 light weight towed array sonar, AN/SQS-62 variable depth sonar, AN/SQQ-89F undersea warfare/anti-submarine warfare combat system.
Weaponry: RIM-162 ESSM & RIM-174 ERAM, 8 Anti-ship missiles, Longbow Hellfire missiles, SeaRAM CIWS, MK110 57mm naval gun, and a 32 cell MK41 VLS.
Aircraft carried: 1 MH-60R and 1 MQ-8C Firescout
A.jpg
 

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Austal's frigate design based on the Independence Class. same as mentioned above. same sensors and weapons amount built etc.
FFG-X.jpg
 

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Is The U.S. Navy Missing The Boat By Not Including The Type 26 In Its Frigate Competition?
The Navy wants to focus on designs that are already in service, but the under construction Type 26 design represents a unique opportunity.

By Joseph Trevithick
May 29, 2019
7439


As the U.S. Navy gets closer to issuing the final request for proposals for its future frigate competition, or FFG(X), one particularly notable design, BAE System's Type 26, has largely been absent from the discussion. It seems particularly curious given that the British-designed ship is well on its way to becoming one of the most popular warships in its class among some of America's closest allies, with 32 examples in various configurations on order for the U.K. Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, and the Royal Canadian Navy.

BAE did propose a variant of the Type 26 to the Navy in 2017, but the United Kingdom-headquartered defense contractor did not receive one of the five initial developmental contracts in 2018. The service says it still expects other firms to make offers when it announces the formal request for FFG(X) proposals, which is supposed to happen by the end of September 2019. But with an eye toward reducing risk and keeping costs low, the program, at present, is focused on designs based on ships that are already in service. Construction of the very first Type 26 for the Royal Navy only began in 2017.

The Type 26's design itself, also known as the Global Combat Ship (GCS), dates back to the mid-2000s. BAE Systems originally developed the ship, which The War Zone previously examined in depth, in response to a U.K. Royal Navy requirement, but has always had an eye toward the export market.


"BAE Systems has a proven track record in licensing warship designs and combat systems to international customers and partners, enabling local build which enhances skills and improves in-service support," the company's website says. "BAE Systems has committed to working with prospective international partners to learn more about their requirements and ensure these can be met by the Global Combat Ship design."

If it weren't for the "already in service" requirement, just based on the Navy's other publicly stated demands and from looking at the other FFG(X) contenders, the Type 26 would certainly be a competitive design. BAE says the ship has a maximum speed of 26 knots, or around 30 miles per hour, and a range of over 7,000 nautical miles, which would meet certain FFG(X) threshold performance requirements. It is not clear if this reaches the Navy's desired top speed, though, although it surely could be modified to do so.

7440

An infographic giving a basic overview of the Type 26 for the Royal Navy and its performance and capabilities.

A crew of just over 150 can operate the frigate, fulfilling another Navy stipulation. The basic design has a big flight deck and associated hangar that could easily accommodate the MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters and MQ-8C Fire Scout the service expects will fly from its FFG(X)s.

7441

A rendering of a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter landing onboard a Type 26 frigate.

With a displacement of around 7,000 tons, the Type 26 is also larger overall than the other known FFG(X) competitors by varying degrees. The existing proposals include a design from Fincantieri Marine Group based on its Fregata Europea Multi-Missione (FREMM), or European Multi-Mission Frigate, and an offering from General Dynamics Bath Iron Works derived from Spanish shipbuilder Navantia's F100 Álvaro de Bazán-class.

Austal USA has pitched a new version of its Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), while the proposal from Hungtinon Ingalls Industries remains unknown. Lockheed Martin, which had been working on a variant of its Freedom-class LCS, just announced it had decided not to make a bid for the final contract later this year.
7442


The ship's starting size could make it easier to accommodate the Navy's existing weapons and mission systems requirements. For instance, the Royal Navy's Type 26 design already has 24 vertical launch system cells for the Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile, as well as another 24 Mk 41 vertical launch system cells, each of which can accommodate a wide array of weapons, including quad-packed RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) or a single Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) cruise missile, among others. FFG(X) calls for a total of 32 Mk 41 cells, which BAE could certainly find space for by deleting the Sea Ceptor system.

BAE would still need to accommodate other systems the Navy has outlined in its FFG(X) requirements, including Lockheed Martin's COMBATSS-21 battle management system, which is a derivative of the Aegis combat system, and Raytheon's Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR). The service also has significant demands for trade space to support the integration of additional capabilities in the future, including manned-unmanned teaming capabilities and directed energy weapons, among other things.

The core Type 26 design already features a reconfigurable "mission bay" that could help with the rapid integration of new systems in the future and make the ship more flexible overall. This, along with the larger starting design, could make a version of the ship particularly attractive. You can read more about the service's exact requirements for the FFG(X) and its future plans to expand its capabilities here and here.

7443

USN

A diagram showing various existing FFG(X) mission system requirements, as well as systems the Navy may want to integrate onto the ships in the future.
The bigger design may also simply be more expensive. The Navy is targeting an average FFG(X) unit cost of around $800 million.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense's awarded BAE a 3.7 billion pound contract for the first three of its Type 26s, which would average out to more than $1.5 billion per ship, though the deal almost certainly includes other ancillary items and costs that don't factor directly into the price tag of the individual ships. Still, past estimates have pegged the unit cost for the Royal Navy's new frigates at between 750 and 800 million pounds. At the time of writing, the current exchange rate is $1.26 to the pound.
At the same time, the price the Navy would pay would likely be lower given that the United Kingdom and others have effectively financed the base Type 26's development already. The service also plans to buy 20 frigates in total, more than twice the number of Type 26s the Royal Navy eventually expects to receive, which could help push the unit cost down, as well.

7444

An artist's conception of one of the future Royal Australian Navy Hunter-class frigates.

With all this in mind, and with BAE's hullform design already mature enough to enter production, one has to wonder whether the Navy is unnecessarily limiting its options by preventing ship designs that are not in service yet from at least competing in the FFG(X) program. In its most recent report to Congress on the frigate project, which came out earlier in May 2019, the Congressional Research Service raised just this question, writing:
As mentioned earlier, using the parent-design approach can reduce design time, design cost, and technical, schedule, and cost risk in building the ship. A clean-sheet design approach, on the other hand, might result in a design that more closely matches the Navy’s desired capabilities for the FFG(X), which might make the design more cost-effective for the Navy over the long run. It might also provide more work for the U.S. ship design and engineering industrial base.
Another possible alternative would be to consider frigate designs that have been developed, but for which there are not yet any completed ships. This approach might make possible consideration of designs, such as (to cite just one possible example) the UK’s new Type 26 frigate design, production of which was in its early stages in 2018. Compared to a clean-sheet design approach, using a developed-but-not-yet-built design would offer a reduction in design time and cost, but might not offer as much reduction in technical, schedule, and cost risk in building the ship as would be offered by use of an already-built design.
There is a possibility that BAE may already be looking to partner with an American shipyard and to make exactly this case. It is worth remembering that Huntington Ingalls Industries has categorically refused to give any details about its FFG(X) proposal or any information about the team it has working on the ship's design. This is already curious given that the shipbuilder had been publicly offering more combat-focused frigate variants of its Legend-class National Security Cutter, which it developed for the U.S. Coast Guard, for years now.

There has also been speculation that Huntington Ingalls might join with one of the companies competing for the U.K. Royal Navy's Type 31e General Purpose Frigate tender and pitch a variant of one of those designs to the Navy for FFG(X). Another option might be a design that leverages the Danish Navy's StanFlex modular mission systems technology.

BAE could also look to partner with Lockheed Martin, as the two companies are already working together to supply a Type 26 variant to the Royal Canadian Navy. The American firm has also now dropped out of the FFG(X) competition as a prime contractor, saying it made its decision in large part on the fact that it will be supplying various systems, such as the COMBATSS-21, to whoever wins the final FFG(X) competition. The two would still need to identify a U.S. shipyard to build the American variant of the Type 26.

7445

An artist's conception of the Royal Canadian Navy's future Type 26 variant.

All told, it is hard to deny that the Type 26 offers a more modern design than any of the existing FFG(X) competitors. The fact that three of America's closest allies are betting big on it is also very attractive, to say the least. Its size and unique feature set lend themselves better to longevity and the ability to offer more flexible capabilities down the road, too.

Although the Navy wants something as close to off the shelf as possible, it seems irresponsible to not at least consider what they are giving up by leaving the Type 26 out of the competition.

 

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Navy to transfer future satcom programs to Air Force
By Sommer Brokaw
MAY 30, 2019

An artist's rendering of a U.S. Navy Mobile User Objective System satellite in space. Military officials announced Tuesday that responsibility for narrowband satellite communication programs will be transferred from the Navy to the Air Force. File Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin


May 30 (UPI) -- The Navy will transfer responsibility for future narrowband satellite communications to the Air Force, a joint memo said.

The Air Force is currently in charge of most Department of Defense satellite acquisitions, but the Navy is responsible for Ultra-High Frequency narrowband satellite communications. The transfer does not impact the Mobile User Objective System constellation of UHF narrowband satellite communications that the Navy now operates and manages, but will impact narrowband satcom programs in the future.

"To prepare for the future alignment of space programs, it is our intent to transfer responsibility for future narrowband capability, beyond the Mobile User Objective System, from the Department of Navy to the Department of the Air Force," Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a memorandum Tuesday.

The transfer is in line with President Donald Trump's goal to consolidate military responsibilities with the establishment of the Space Force.

"While planning for the establishment of a Space Force is underway, the Military Departments can begin to meet the president's intent by consolidating the responsibility for certain capabilities immediately, and enable the development of an integrated space enterprise architecture," the memo obtained by Space News said.
The realignment means that the Air Force budget will have to accommodate these programs in the future.

Days earlier the House Appropriations Committee suggested the Air Force should manage all satcom systems in its report that accompanied the 2020 defense funding bill.

Wilson announced in March she would resign May 31, to become president of the University of Texas at El Paso, so accepting transfer of responsibility for future satcom programs is one of her final acts.

 

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Is The U.S. Navy Missing The Boat By Not Including The Type 26 In Its Frigate Competition?

 

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Oshkosh, Broshuis land $13.3M Army contract for new semitrailers
By Sommer Brokaw
MAY 30, 2019

The U.S. Army has awarded a $13.3 million contract to Oshkosh Defense and partner, Broshuis B.V., to produce semitrailers for the Heavy Equipment Transporter. Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Defense


May 30 (UPI) -- Oshkosh Defense said Thursday that the U.S. Army has awarded it and a partner a $13.3 million contract to produce a semitrailer for heavy equipment transporter.

The $13.3 million contract award will fill an operational need for U.S. Army Europe for a semitrailer capable of carrying a larger payload while abiding by European road rules.

The deal calls for 170 semitrailers to be delivered in the next couple fiscal years and has a maximum value of $109.8 million.
The U.S. Army Tank-automative and Armaments Command awarded the contract to Oshkosh Defense, which has been producing the heavy equipment transporter for the U.S. Army since 1976, and Broshuis B.V., which specializes in producing semitrailers for military transport, according to Oshkosh.

Oshkosh initially designed the HET to quickly move mission-critical equipment such as tanks, armored vehicles, and recovery vehicles.
"Oshkosh Defense and our partner, Broshuis B.V., each bring a unique set of skills and experiences to this program," said Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps programs for Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement.

The Army selected Oshkosh after stereotypes of the new semitrailer successfully finished three months of testing and evaluation at Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland.

Williams said that Oshkosh knows the HET "inside and out" as the original equipment manufacturer.
"By combining our experience with the trailer expertise of our partner, Broshuis B.V., we were able to provide the U.S. Army with an efficient, durable semitrailer that can be relied upon to ensure heavy equipment arrives in mission-ready condition," Williams added.


 

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House panel looks to block funds for low-yield nuclear warheads
JUNE 4, 2019
By Allen Cone

7514

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Maryland off the coast of Florida in 2016. File Photo by John Kowalski/U.S. Navy

June 4 (UPI) -- Legislation by a Democratic-lead U.S. House committee would block funding for the deployment of a new low-yield nuclear warhead, which has been proposed by the Trump administration amid warnings Russia has restarted its own nuclear tests of that type.

On Monday, Democrats on the Armed Services Committee released their version of the annual defense policy bill. The Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, which is run by Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., will meet Tuesday afternoon for "markup" of its section of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

The low-yield warhead, a modified Trident II D5 ballistic missile, or W76-2, was scheduled to be shipped to the Navy this fall. The National Nuclear Security Administration is expected to finish production this year but funding is needed to deploy them.

Last year, when the Republicans controlled the House, a party-line vote restricted funding for the W76-2's development to $65 million in 2019.

The House Armed Services Committee is now run by Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., a critic of the arsenal's size and cost. Smith, who has served on the committee since 1997, reportedly wants even more still more restrictive language.
"I would like to kill the low-yield nuclear weapon, I don't think it's a good idea, and we're going to try to do that," Smith said in March at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

But Republicans control the Senate, and President Donald Trump ultimately has to sign the defense bill or veto it.

The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Strategic Forces Subcommittee ranking member Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, oppose the new language in the bill.
"This is a partisan and irresponsible subcommittee mark that makes us less safe, hinders our ability to defend ourselves, weakens our ability to deter our adversaries, and therefore enables them to challenge us," the lawmakers wrote. And it was a "departure from the bipartisan tradition of the committee pushing those more contentious issues to the full committee."

Besides taking aim on the low-yield nukes, the bill would prevent any withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty in which nations fly over each other's territory to verify military movements and conduct arms control measures, unless Russia is in breach.

Republicans had limited funding for the treaty flights but the Trump administration has defended the funds to upgrade U.S. sensors and aircraft.

The Trump administration is withdrawing from a separate arms control treaty with Russia, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
In addition, any development of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike Weapon, or CPGS, would be banned under the Democrats' bill.

The shared system would prevent the chance that U.S. adversaries would misinterpret the launch of a missile with conventional warheads and determine that the missiles carry nuclear weapons. These weapons can strike targets anywhere on Earth in as little as an hour.

In April 2018, the Air Force awarded a $928 million contract to Lockheed Martin to design, develop and test the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon by 2022, and Lockheed has been charged with developing hypersonic glide weapons for all branches of the U.S. military by 2025.

Four other sub-committees are marking up the bill Tuesday, as well: tactical air and land forces, intelligence and emerging threats and capabilities, military personnel and seapower and projection forces.

 

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House panel looks to block funds for low-yield nuclear warheads
JUNE 4, 2019
By Allen Cone

View attachment 7514
An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Maryland off the coast of Florida in 2016. File Photo by John Kowalski/U.S. Navy

June 4 (UPI) -- Legislation by a Democratic-lead U.S. House committee would block funding for the deployment of a new low-yield nuclear warhead, which has been proposed by the Trump administration amid warnings Russia has restarted its own nuclear tests of that type.

On Monday, Democrats on the Armed Services Committee released their version of the annual defense policy bill. The Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, which is run by Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., will meet Tuesday afternoon for "markup" of its section of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

The low-yield warhead, a modified Trident II D5 ballistic missile, or W76-2, was scheduled to be shipped to the Navy this fall. The National Nuclear Security Administration is expected to finish production this year but funding is needed to deploy them.

Last year, when the Republicans controlled the House, a party-line vote restricted funding for the W76-2's development to $65 million in 2019.

The House Armed Services Committee is now run by Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., a critic of the arsenal's size and cost. Smith, who has served on the committee since 1997, reportedly wants even more still more restrictive language.
"I would like to kill the low-yield nuclear weapon, I don't think it's a good idea, and we're going to try to do that," Smith said in March at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

But Republicans control the Senate, and President Donald Trump ultimately has to sign the defense bill or veto it.

The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Strategic Forces Subcommittee ranking member Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, oppose the new language in the bill.
"This is a partisan and irresponsible subcommittee mark that makes us less safe, hinders our ability to defend ourselves, weakens our ability to deter our adversaries, and therefore enables them to challenge us," the lawmakers wrote. And it was a "departure from the bipartisan tradition of the committee pushing those more contentious issues to the full committee."

Besides taking aim on the low-yield nukes, the bill would prevent any withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty in which nations fly over each other's territory to verify military movements and conduct arms control measures, unless Russia is in breach.

Republicans had limited funding for the treaty flights but the Trump administration has defended the funds to upgrade U.S. sensors and aircraft.

The Trump administration is withdrawing from a separate arms control treaty with Russia, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
In addition, any development of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike Weapon, or CPGS, would be banned under the Democrats' bill.

The shared system would prevent the chance that U.S. adversaries would misinterpret the launch of a missile with conventional warheads and determine that the missiles carry nuclear weapons. These weapons can strike targets anywhere on Earth in as little as an hour.

In April 2018, the Air Force awarded a $928 million contract to Lockheed Martin to design, develop and test the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon by 2022, and Lockheed has been charged with developing hypersonic glide weapons for all branches of the U.S. military by 2025.

Four other sub-committees are marking up the bill Tuesday, as well: tactical air and land forces, intelligence and emerging threats and capabilities, military personnel and seapower and projection forces.

 

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