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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.

 

Khafee

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Ford-class combat system completes test, first carrier further delayed
While the system test is an important milestone, the USS Gerald R. Ford -- the first of the Ford-class of aircraft carriers -- has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.
June 4, 2019
By Allen Cone

The future USS Gerald R. Ford sails on its own power for the first time out of Newport News, Va., on April 8, 2017. The carrier is now underdoing tests off the coast of California and delivery to the U.S. Navy is expected in October. Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/U.S. Navy | License Photo

June 4 (UPI) -- The integrated combat management system for the USS Gerald R. Ford completed its final developmental test off the coast of California -- a major accomplishment after years of delays and cost overruns with the first of the new class of aircraft carriers.

On Tuesday, Raytheon announced a U.S. Navy unmanned self-defense test ship simulated a scenario the Ford may encounter once deployed. Two anti-ship missile surrogate targets were located, classified, tracked and engaged by the ship self defense system.

"This successful dual-target test demonstrates the maturity of the Ship Self Defense System ICS and paves the way for operational testing to begin," Mike Fabel, Raytheon's SSDS program manager, said in a news release. "SSDS is a critical capability that enables CVN 78 to defend herself and her crew against current and emerging threats."

The system has successfully engaged three targets over the course of its first two test exercises.

In February, the system was also tested -- also off the coast of California.

The system includes dual-band radar, cooperative engagement capability to validate and process the data, ship self defense to process the engagement data, and evolved SeaSparrow missile and rolling airframe missile.

The system is in service on U.S. carriers and amphibious ships.

The Ford class of ships are the first new design for an aircraft carrier since the Nimitz-class debuted in 1975.

The Ford was formally commissioned into the Navy on July 22, 2017, and is projected to be deployed around 2020, following further testing. Follow-on ships in the class currently under construction are the John F. Kennedy and the Enterprise. And the unnamed CVN 81 is planned.

The Ford is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in mid-October

The Navy and manufacturers have had difficulties with the advanced weapons elevators, none of which were functioning after christening.

Of the 11 elevators, two now are completed. The last one was finished in March.

"We are working right now with the fleet on what elevators do we need to have complete so they can exercise all the function in October, and for any of that work that isn't done, how we're going to feather that work in over time," Navy acquisition chief James Geurts said last week during a media briefing at the shipyard.

The new elevators are run with electromagnetic, linear synchronous motors, which allows for greater capacities and a faster movement of weapons than the Nimitz-class carrier elevators that utilize cables.

They also eliminate the need for a "bomb farm," and reduce horizontal and vertical weapons movements to various staging and build-up locations.

The Navy also is dealing with a propulsion problem. During trials one year ago, the situation caused Ford to return to port ahead of its scheduled post shakedown. The ship's main turbine generators are driven by the steam produced by Ford's two nuclear reactors.

"We've got to train crews and get crews certified, wring out the rest of the ship, and then take all those lessons learned and ... pour them into the rest of this design" for the rest of the Ford class, Geurts said. "So our strategy of that lead ship prove out all the technologies and then rapidly reduce the time and cost and complexity to get them on follow-on ships."

In a draft of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, released Monday by House-led Democrats, the Navy is prohibited from accepting the USS Kennedy, which is designated as CVN-79, unless the carrier can deploy with F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters. The carrier is expected to be christened by the end of 2019.

The Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee met Tuesday to mark up the bill.

Caps imposed by Congress on the Ford-class program have results in delays and the Navy accepting delivery of unfinished carriers. Because work on the ships are delayed to satisfy spending caps, seapower subcommittee members fear the overall price will increase dramatically.

"CVN-79 [USS John F. Kennedy] will not be able to deploy with F-35s when it's delivered to the Navy as a direct result of that cost cap," a committee staffer told USNI News. "So when that cost cap was imposed, the Navy traded that capability off and chose to build that back in on the back end. That's unacceptable to our members that the newest carriers can't deploy with the newest aircraft."

 

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Ford-class combat system completes test, first carrier further delayed
While the system test is an important milestone, the USS Gerald R. Ford -- the first of the Ford-class of aircraft carriers -- has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.
June 4, 2019
By Allen Cone

The future USS Gerald R. Ford sails on its own power for the first time out of Newport News, Va., on April 8, 2017. The carrier is now underdoing tests off the coast of California and delivery to the U.S. Navy is expected in October. Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/U.S. Navy | License Photo

June 4 (UPI) -- The integrated combat management system for the USS Gerald R. Ford completed its final developmental test off the coast of California -- a major accomplishment after years of delays and cost overruns with the first of the new class of aircraft carriers.

On Tuesday, Raytheon announced a U.S. Navy unmanned self-defense test ship simulated a scenario the Ford may encounter once deployed. Two anti-ship missile surrogate targets were located, classified, tracked and engaged by the ship self defense system.

"This successful dual-target test demonstrates the maturity of the Ship Self Defense System ICS and paves the way for operational testing to begin," Mike Fabel, Raytheon's SSDS program manager, said in a news release. "SSDS is a critical capability that enables CVN 78 to defend herself and her crew against current and emerging threats."

The system has successfully engaged three targets over the course of its first two test exercises.

In February, the system was also tested -- also off the coast of California.

The system includes dual-band radar, cooperative engagement capability to validate and process the data, ship self defense to process the engagement data, and evolved SeaSparrow missile and rolling airframe missile.

The system is in service on U.S. carriers and amphibious ships.

The Ford class of ships are the first new design for an aircraft carrier since the Nimitz-class debuted in 1975.

The Ford was formally commissioned into the Navy on July 22, 2017, and is projected to be deployed around 2020, following further testing. Follow-on ships in the class currently under construction are the John F. Kennedy and the Enterprise. And the unnamed CVN 81 is planned.

The Ford is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in mid-October

The Navy and manufacturers have had difficulties with the advanced weapons elevators, none of which were functioning after christening.

Of the 11 elevators, two now are completed. The last one was finished in March.

"We are working right now with the fleet on what elevators do we need to have complete so they can exercise all the function in October, and for any of that work that isn't done, how we're going to feather that work in over time," Navy acquisition chief James Geurts said last week during a media briefing at the shipyard.

The new elevators are run with electromagnetic, linear synchronous motors, which allows for greater capacities and a faster movement of weapons than the Nimitz-class carrier elevators that utilize cables.

They also eliminate the need for a "bomb farm," and reduce horizontal and vertical weapons movements to various staging and build-up locations.

The Navy also is dealing with a propulsion problem. During trials one year ago, the situation caused Ford to return to port ahead of its scheduled post shakedown. The ship's main turbine generators are driven by the steam produced by Ford's two nuclear reactors.

"We've got to train crews and get crews certified, wring out the rest of the ship, and then take all those lessons learned and ... pour them into the rest of this design" for the rest of the Ford class, Geurts said. "So our strategy of that lead ship prove out all the technologies and then rapidly reduce the time and cost and complexity to get them on follow-on ships."

In a draft of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, released Monday by House-led Democrats, the Navy is prohibited from accepting the USS Kennedy, which is designated as CVN-79, unless the carrier can deploy with F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters. The carrier is expected to be christened by the end of 2019.

The Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee met Tuesday to mark up the bill.

Caps imposed by Congress on the Ford-class program have results in delays and the Navy accepting delivery of unfinished carriers. Because work on the ships are delayed to satisfy spending caps, seapower subcommittee members fear the overall price will increase dramatically.

"CVN-79 [USS John F. Kennedy] will not be able to deploy with F-35s when it's delivered to the Navy as a direct result of that cost cap," a committee staffer told USNI News. "So when that cost cap was imposed, the Navy traded that capability off and chose to build that back in on the back end. That's unacceptable to our members that the newest carriers can't deploy with the newest aircraft."

 

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Raytheon systems complete first dual-target test of Ford-class integrated combat system
Performance clears path for U.S. Navy operational testing

TEWKSBURY, Mass., June 4, 2019-- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and the U.S. Navy completed the final developmental test of the latest generation of the Ship Self Defense System, or SSDS, Integrated Combat System for the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The test was conducted off the coast of California from the Navy's unmanned Self Defense Test Ship simulating a scenario CVN 78 may encounter once deployed.

During the raid scenario exercise, two anti-ship missile surrogate targets were located, classified, tracked and engaged using the SSDS Integrated Combat System adapted for CVN 78.

"This successful dual-target test demonstrates the maturity of the Ship Self Defense System ICS and paves the way for operational testing to begin," said Mike Fabel, Raytheon's SSDS program manager. "SSDS is a critical capability that enables CVN 78 to defend herself and her crew against current and emerging threats."

The Raytheon Ship Self-Defense System ICS includes:
  • Dual Band Radar: This technology searched for, located and tracked the targets. DBR then provided uplink and radar illumination to the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile to support missile guidance.
  • Cooperative Engagement Capability, or CEC: The capability validated and processed the Dual Band Radar data for SSDS. CEC is responsible for providing a single, integrated air picture by fusing data from multiple sensors to improve track accuracy.
  • Ship Self Defense System: SSDS processed the CEC data, classified the targets, determined the appropriate engagement ranges, passed launch commands to the interceptor missiles, and scheduled Dual Band Radar support for the engagements.
  • Evolved SeaSparrow Missile and Rolling Airframe Missile: Successfully engaged and defeated both targets using live and simulated interceptors.
The Ship Self-Defense System ICS for CVN 78 has now successfully engaged three of three targets over the course of its first two test exercises.

Background on SSDS
Proven and deployed, SSDS is an open, distributed combat management system in service on US carriers and amphibious ships, including CVN, LSD, LPD, LHA and LHD classes. SSDS MK 2 is the premier self-defense system for the U.S. Navy. SSDS is integrated with Raytheon's Cooperative Engagement Capability for the seamless extraction and distribution of sensor-derived information. This further enhances each ship's anti-air warfare capability through sharing of available data to all participating CEC units, improving situational awareness, increasing range, and enabling cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies.

 

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Raytheon systems complete first dual-target test of Ford-class integrated combat system
Performance clears path for U.S. Navy operational testing

TEWKSBURY, Mass., June 4, 2019-- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and the U.S. Navy completed the final developmental test of the latest generation of the Ship Self Defense System, or SSDS, Integrated Combat System for the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The test was conducted off the coast of California from the Navy's unmanned Self Defense Test Ship simulating a scenario CVN 78 may encounter once deployed.

During the raid scenario exercise, two anti-ship missile surrogate targets were located, classified, tracked and engaged using the SSDS Integrated Combat System adapted for CVN 78.

"This successful dual-target test demonstrates the maturity of the Ship Self Defense System ICS and paves the way for operational testing to begin," said Mike Fabel, Raytheon's SSDS program manager. "SSDS is a critical capability that enables CVN 78 to defend herself and her crew against current and emerging threats."

The Raytheon Ship Self-Defense System ICS includes:
  • Dual Band Radar: This technology searched for, located and tracked the targets. DBR then provided uplink and radar illumination to the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile to support missile guidance.
  • Cooperative Engagement Capability, or CEC: The capability validated and processed the Dual Band Radar data for SSDS. CEC is responsible for providing a single, integrated air picture by fusing data from multiple sensors to improve track accuracy.
  • Ship Self Defense System: SSDS processed the CEC data, classified the targets, determined the appropriate engagement ranges, passed launch commands to the interceptor missiles, and scheduled Dual Band Radar support for the engagements.
  • Evolved SeaSparrow Missile and Rolling Airframe Missile: Successfully engaged and defeated both targets using live and simulated interceptors.
The Ship Self-Defense System ICS for CVN 78 has now successfully engaged three of three targets over the course of its first two test exercises.

Background on SSDS
Proven and deployed, SSDS is an open, distributed combat management system in service on US carriers and amphibious ships, including CVN, LSD, LPD, LHA and LHD classes. SSDS MK 2 is the premier self-defense system for the U.S. Navy. SSDS is integrated with Raytheon's Cooperative Engagement Capability for the seamless extraction and distribution of sensor-derived information. This further enhances each ship's anti-air warfare capability through sharing of available data to all participating CEC units, improving situational awareness, increasing range, and enabling cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies.

 

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Navy removes 'space' from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
By Allen Cone
June 4, 2019

Sailors assigned to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Reserve Program Configuration Validation Team collaborate with Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific's Restore Lab on April 23 to explore how three-dimensional scanning and printing can deliver an effective and reliable solution to repair critical warfighting equipment. Photo by Cmdr. John P Fagan/U.S. Navy

June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has removed "space" from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and added "information" in a rebranding effort that emphasizes information warfare.

The agency's new name is the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced the immediate name change Monday at the Information Warfare Senior Leadership Symposium in Washington, D.C.

"We have been on a steady drumbeat since the issuance of the Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority to further normalize information warfare into the way we do operations and warfighting in the Navy," Richardson said in a news release. "Today, we will take an important step in that direction as we rename the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command to the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. This new name more accurately describes the full totality of the mission, supporting naval warfare -- from seabed to space."

The name change better reflects the mission "to identify, develop, deliver and sustain information warfare capabilities and services that enable naval, joint, coalition and other national missions," according to the news release.

"In this era of great power competition, information is a fundamental element of warfare, an essential concept of the Navy's strategy, and a warfare area that transcends the traditional domains of air, sea, land and space," said NAVWARSYSCOM Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker. "This name change underscores the importance of information warfare in providing our fleet with an unfair advantage in today's complex and increasingly competitive security environment."

The command consists of more than 11,000 active-duty military and civil service professionals around the world.

This past February, the two echelon III commands -- formerly "systems centers" -- changed names. In Charleston, S.C., the command became the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic and in San Diego it was changed to Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific.

In the last 53 years, the command has undergone two name changes, as well as structural ones.

In May 1966, the Department of the Navy established the Naval Electronic Systems Command, which was one of five systems commands placed under the cognizance of the Naval Material Command.

The Navy then disestablished the Naval Material Command in 1985, and the Naval Electronic Systems Command became Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, an Echelon II command under the Chief of Naval Operations.

"We have been at the center of incorporating advanced information warfare technologies that enable new operational concepts for decades," NAVWARSYSCOM Executive Director Patrick Sullivan said. "Information Warfare has been and will continue to be our central focus, and now our name accurately reflects this focus."

SPAWAR officials this May discussed the shift to a digital Navy during the 2019 Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Md.

"The battlefield has changed. We are facing a culture shift where data is a vital strategic resource in warfare," Becker said in a news release at the time. "To maintain our advantage in the information domain we must excel across the scope of military operations. Networks, communication and data storage with the tools to access and maximize use of the data are all key to our overall mission effectiveness across the Navy from personnel management to logistics to kinetic operations."



 

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Navy removes 'space' from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
By Allen Cone
June 4, 2019

Sailors assigned to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Reserve Program Configuration Validation Team collaborate with Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific's Restore Lab on April 23 to explore how three-dimensional scanning and printing can deliver an effective and reliable solution to repair critical warfighting equipment. Photo by Cmdr. John P Fagan/U.S. Navy

June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has removed "space" from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and added "information" in a rebranding effort that emphasizes information warfare.

The agency's new name is the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced the immediate name change Monday at the Information Warfare Senior Leadership Symposium in Washington, D.C.

"We have been on a steady drumbeat since the issuance of the Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority to further normalize information warfare into the way we do operations and warfighting in the Navy," Richardson said in a news release. "Today, we will take an important step in that direction as we rename the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command to the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. This new name more accurately describes the full totality of the mission, supporting naval warfare -- from seabed to space."

The name change better reflects the mission "to identify, develop, deliver and sustain information warfare capabilities and services that enable naval, joint, coalition and other national missions," according to the news release.

"In this era of great power competition, information is a fundamental element of warfare, an essential concept of the Navy's strategy, and a warfare area that transcends the traditional domains of air, sea, land and space," said NAVWARSYSCOM Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker. "This name change underscores the importance of information warfare in providing our fleet with an unfair advantage in today's complex and increasingly competitive security environment."

The command consists of more than 11,000 active-duty military and civil service professionals around the world.

This past February, the two echelon III commands -- formerly "systems centers" -- changed names. In Charleston, S.C., the command became the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic and in San Diego it was changed to Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific.

In the last 53 years, the command has undergone two name changes, as well as structural ones.

In May 1966, the Department of the Navy established the Naval Electronic Systems Command, which was one of five systems commands placed under the cognizance of the Naval Material Command.

The Navy then disestablished the Naval Material Command in 1985, and the Naval Electronic Systems Command became Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, an Echelon II command under the Chief of Naval Operations.

"We have been at the center of incorporating advanced information warfare technologies that enable new operational concepts for decades," NAVWARSYSCOM Executive Director Patrick Sullivan said. "Information Warfare has been and will continue to be our central focus, and now our name accurately reflects this focus."

SPAWAR officials this May discussed the shift to a digital Navy during the 2019 Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Md.

"The battlefield has changed. We are facing a culture shift where data is a vital strategic resource in warfare," Becker said in a news release at the time. "To maintain our advantage in the information domain we must excel across the scope of military operations. Networks, communication and data storage with the tools to access and maximize use of the data are all key to our overall mission effectiveness across the Navy from personnel management to logistics to kinetic operations."



 

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GenDyn nets $25.6M for MK46 gun systems on Navy's LCS, LPD vessels
General Dynamics has been awarded a contract for production of the MK 46 MOD 2 Gun Weapon System on the U.S. Navy's littoral combat ship and landing platform dock vessels.
June 6, 2019
By Allen Cone

The USS Green Bay, an amphibious transport dock ship, fires a MK-46 30mm gun during a live-fire exercise in the East China Sea on August 17, 2016. Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 3rd Class Patrick Dionne/U.S. Navy


June 6 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Land was awarded as $25.6 million contract for the production of MK46 modification 2 gun weapon systems for use on littoral combat ships and San Antonio-class landing platform dock ships.

The contract is for two 30mm MK46 MOD 2 GWSs for the surface warfare mission module on each LCS, the future Robert M. McCool Jr., which designated as LPD-29, and the planned LPD-30, as well as associated spare parts, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Sixty percent of the work will be performed at General Dynamics' Land Systems plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.; 25 percent in Anniston, Ala.; 7 percent in Lima, Ohio; 6 percent in Tallahassee, Fla., and 2 percent in Scranton, Penn. It is expected to be completed by September 2021.

Naval fiscal 2017, 2018, and 2019 shipbuilding and conversion funds, as well as fiscal 2018 and 2019 other procurement, and fiscal 2019 weapons procurement in the full amount of the contract has been obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year.

The remotely operated system, which was first deployed in 2005, uses a 30mm high-velocity cannon for shipboard self-defense against small, high-speed surface targets, according to the U.S. Navy.

The system utilizes a forward-looking infrared sensor, a low light television camera and a laser rangefinder. The gun can be operated at the gun turret or remotely from the remote operating console in the Combat Information Center.

The MK 46 has a range of 4,400 yards, which can be extended with sub-caliber munitions. It can fire 200 rounds per minute from each of the two magazines.

A landing platform dock, also known as an amphibious warfare ship, embarks, transports and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. The McCool's keel was laid down on April 12, with the ship expected for delivery in 2023.

The ship will be a transitional ship between the current San Antonio-class design and future San Antonio-class Flight II vessels. Flight II vessels are intended to replace the current Whidbey Island-class and Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ships. Each Flight II ship costs roughly $1.8 billion to build, according to the Congressional Research Service.

LCS ships are designed for near-shore and open-ocean operation to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.
RELATED HII awarded $1.47B for first Flight II landing platform ship

The Freedom variant of the LCS is built by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wis., and the Independence variant is constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The procurement cost for each new ship is $523.7 million according to the Congressional Research Service. Fifteen ships are under construction or in pre-production.

 

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GenDyn nets $25.6M for MK46 gun systems on Navy's LCS, LPD vessels
General Dynamics has been awarded a contract for production of the MK 46 MOD 2 Gun Weapon System on the U.S. Navy's littoral combat ship and landing platform dock vessels.
June 6, 2019
By Allen Cone

The USS Green Bay, an amphibious transport dock ship, fires a MK-46 30mm gun during a live-fire exercise in the East China Sea on August 17, 2016. Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 3rd Class Patrick Dionne/U.S. Navy


June 6 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Land was awarded as $25.6 million contract for the production of MK46 modification 2 gun weapon systems for use on littoral combat ships and San Antonio-class landing platform dock ships.

The contract is for two 30mm MK46 MOD 2 GWSs for the surface warfare mission module on each LCS, the future Robert M. McCool Jr., which designated as LPD-29, and the planned LPD-30, as well as associated spare parts, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Sixty percent of the work will be performed at General Dynamics' Land Systems plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.; 25 percent in Anniston, Ala.; 7 percent in Lima, Ohio; 6 percent in Tallahassee, Fla., and 2 percent in Scranton, Penn. It is expected to be completed by September 2021.

Naval fiscal 2017, 2018, and 2019 shipbuilding and conversion funds, as well as fiscal 2018 and 2019 other procurement, and fiscal 2019 weapons procurement in the full amount of the contract has been obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year.

The remotely operated system, which was first deployed in 2005, uses a 30mm high-velocity cannon for shipboard self-defense against small, high-speed surface targets, according to the U.S. Navy.

The system utilizes a forward-looking infrared sensor, a low light television camera and a laser rangefinder. The gun can be operated at the gun turret or remotely from the remote operating console in the Combat Information Center.

The MK 46 has a range of 4,400 yards, which can be extended with sub-caliber munitions. It can fire 200 rounds per minute from each of the two magazines.

A landing platform dock, also known as an amphibious warfare ship, embarks, transports and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. The McCool's keel was laid down on April 12, with the ship expected for delivery in 2023.

The ship will be a transitional ship between the current San Antonio-class design and future San Antonio-class Flight II vessels. Flight II vessels are intended to replace the current Whidbey Island-class and Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ships. Each Flight II ship costs roughly $1.8 billion to build, according to the Congressional Research Service.

LCS ships are designed for near-shore and open-ocean operation to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.
RELATED HII awarded $1.47B for first Flight II landing platform ship

The Freedom variant of the LCS is built by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wis., and the Independence variant is constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The procurement cost for each new ship is $523.7 million according to the Congressional Research Service. Fifteen ships are under construction or in pre-production.

 

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Russia denies unsafe encounter with U.S. military plane
By Clyde Hughes
June 5, 2019

View attachment 7563
An F/A-18F Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the North Atlantic last year. File Photo by Mass Communication Spec. Seaman Joseph A.D. Phillips/U.S. Navy

June 5 (UPI) -- The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday denied U.S. accusations that one of its jets flew unsafely near an American plane over the Mediterranean Sea.

The Navy 6th Fleet reported that a U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft was flying in international airspace Tuesday when it was intercepted three times by a Russian SU-35 over a 175-minute period. While the first and third passes were deemed safe, Navy officials said the second encounter was not.

"The second interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-35 conducting a high-speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk," the 6th Fleet statement said.

"The crew of the P-8A reported wake turbulence following the second interaction. The duration of the intercept was approximately 28 minutes. While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents," the statement continued.

The Russian defense statement said its airspace control system at the Hmeymim Air Base detected aircraft approaching its Tartus naval facility and the SU-35 was sent to the area to identify the aircraft.

"All flights by Russian aircraft were conducted in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace," the Russian defense ministry told reporters. "There were no complaints from the American aviation flight de-confliction center in Syria addressed to the Russian command."

Last month, U.S. military twice intercepted Russian military jets near the Alaska coast. North American Aerospace Defense Command said then that American pilots intercepted Russian TU-95 bombers and SU-35 fighter jets on May 21.

The day before, U.S. aircraft intercepted six Russian military planes over the Alaskan coast.

 

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'Union Jack' returns to bows of U.S. Navy ships
June 5, 2019
By Ed Adamczyk
7565

The Union Jack flies on Tuesday on the USS Constitution, now a floating museum in Charlestown, Mass. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy


June 5 (UPI) -- In ceremonies around the world, the U.S. Navy resumed use of the Union Jack flag, coinciding with the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.

In a ceremony aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Tuesday, the Union Jack was hoisted on a Navy's ship's bow for the first time since 2002.

Other commissioned vessels held similar ceremonies, honoring the decisive 1942 naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II in which the U.S. Navy defeated an attacking fleet of Japanese military vessels and fighter planes.

The Union Jack features a blue field with 50 stars in the style of the canton, or upper-left area, of the U.S. flag. Its first version was flown by the Navy in 1777. On Tuesday, it was hoisted for the first time since 2002, when it was replaced by the First Navy Jack, depicting a snake and the phrase "Don't Tread on Me," in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

It was announced in February that the Navy would return to its tradition of flying the Union Jack.

"Your role in the United States Navy is vital. The job you are doing right now will contribute to the overall success or failure in the challenges facing our generation," Capt. Joseph Naman, chief of staff for Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, said during the Pearl Harbor ceremony.

"That's the reminder of the Union Jack and the lesson that the Battle of Midway teaches us. With the decisive victory at Midway the United States would begin the long struggle to roll back a proud and determined foe. It would be the unconquerable spirit of this great nation and the United States Navy that would turn the tables on the Axis powers," Naman said.

The Navy Jack will remain in use on one ship, the commissioned ship with the longest active status, excluding the USS Constitution, which was commissioned in 1797 and restored as a floating museum in Charlestown, Mass. That custom falls to the USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the Navy's Seventh Fleet, which was commissioned in 1970.

When Adm. John Richardson, the Navy's chief of naval operations, announced the symbolic change in February, he noted, "Make no mistake: we have entered a new era of competition. We must recommit to the core attributes that made us successful at Midway: integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness.

"For more than 240 years, the Union Jack, flying proudly from jackstaffs aboard U.S. Navy warships, has symbolized these strengths," Richardson said.

 

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'Union Jack' returns to bows of U.S. Navy ships
June 5, 2019
By Ed Adamczyk
View attachment 7565
The Union Jack flies on Tuesday on the USS Constitution, now a floating museum in Charlestown, Mass. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy


June 5 (UPI) -- In ceremonies around the world, the U.S. Navy resumed use of the Union Jack flag, coinciding with the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.

In a ceremony aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Tuesday, the Union Jack was hoisted on a Navy's ship's bow for the first time since 2002.

Other commissioned vessels held similar ceremonies, honoring the decisive 1942 naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II in which the U.S. Navy defeated an attacking fleet of Japanese military vessels and fighter planes.

The Union Jack features a blue field with 50 stars in the style of the canton, or upper-left area, of the U.S. flag. Its first version was flown by the Navy in 1777. On Tuesday, it was hoisted for the first time since 2002, when it was replaced by the First Navy Jack, depicting a snake and the phrase "Don't Tread on Me," in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

It was announced in February that the Navy would return to its tradition of flying the Union Jack.

"Your role in the United States Navy is vital. The job you are doing right now will contribute to the overall success or failure in the challenges facing our generation," Capt. Joseph Naman, chief of staff for Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, said during the Pearl Harbor ceremony.

"That's the reminder of the Union Jack and the lesson that the Battle of Midway teaches us. With the decisive victory at Midway the United States would begin the long struggle to roll back a proud and determined foe. It would be the unconquerable spirit of this great nation and the United States Navy that would turn the tables on the Axis powers," Naman said.

The Navy Jack will remain in use on one ship, the commissioned ship with the longest active status, excluding the USS Constitution, which was commissioned in 1797 and restored as a floating museum in Charlestown, Mass. That custom falls to the USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the Navy's Seventh Fleet, which was commissioned in 1970.

When Adm. John Richardson, the Navy's chief of naval operations, announced the symbolic change in February, he noted, "Make no mistake: we have entered a new era of competition. We must recommit to the core attributes that made us successful at Midway: integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness.

"For more than 240 years, the Union Jack, flying proudly from jackstaffs aboard U.S. Navy warships, has symbolized these strengths," Richardson said.

 

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L-3 to upgrade avionics on C-130H Hercules under $499.5M contract
June 5, 2019
By Ed Adamczyk

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A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, takes off during Exercise Swift Response 16 at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany on June 17, 2016. Photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford/U.S. Air Force

June 5 (UPI) -- L-3 Communications Integrated Systems received a $499.5 million contract for aircraft avionics upgrades on 176 military transport aircraft, the Defense Department announced.

The contract covers engineering and manufacturing development, as well as training and logistics requirements, for improvements to 176 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The four-engine turboprop plane entered U.S. service in 1956 for use as a troop carrier, and has seen numerous improvements, as well as an expansion of its purpose.

With over 40 variants, it is used by more than 60 countries and can be fitted for use as a gunship, for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. Many countries' air forces regard the plane as their primary tactical airlifter.

Work will primarily be performed at L-3 Communications' Waco, Texas, facility, with an expected completion date of Sept. 30, 2029.

 

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