US Armed Forces | Page 50 | World Defense

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Army Inks $1.2 Billion Deal to Equip Strykers with Short-Range Air Defense Weapons

1601772677200.png

The Army has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Land Systems for Stryker combat vehicles equipped with new short-range air defense weapons. (Photo courtesy of General Dynamics)

The Army just awarded a $1.2 billion contract to General Dynamics Land Systems for Stryker combat vehicles equipped with new short-range air defense weapons.

Under the contract, the company will produce, test and deliver Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) Strykers to the Army, a key modernization effort for the service, according to an Oct. 2 company news release.

The IM-SHORAD is designed to counter threats from unmanned aerial systems, as well as enemy helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, according to the release, which adds that the Army's initial, $230 million order calls for 28 Stryker IM-SHORAD vehicles.

"This dedicated SHORAD capability adds a new operational dimension to the Stryker fleet in all of the Army's maneuver formations," Don Kotchman, vice president and general manager of GD Land Systems -- the company that also manufactures Stryker vehicles for the service -- said in the release.

General Dynamics has partnered with Leonardo DRS and Raytheon on the deal, which has an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2025, according to the release.

Air and missile defense is a major modernization priority for the Army as it prepares for future, large-scale conflicts with adversaries such as Russia and China.

The IM-SHORAD vehicles will be equipped with Raytheon's Stinger Missiles.

The Army is also working to equip Strykers with 50-kilowatt lasers under the Directed-Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) effort.

In July 2019, the service selected Northrop and Raytheon to develop competing prototypes of 50-kilowatt laser-equipped Strykers as part of a $203 million deal that includes Kord Technologies as the prime contractor.

Northrop and Raytheon will each bring their laser-equipped Stryker to a competitive shoot-off scheduled for the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Army officials plan to select one of the prototypes, which will ultimately be among four vehicles fielded to the first platoon equipped with the 50-kilowatt version of M-SHORAD.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

In Major Shift, Army to Shut Down Asymmetric Warfare Group and Rapid Equipping Force

1601773111600.png

Sgt. Maj. Raymond Hendrick (left), Asymmetric Warfare Group Adviser, explains specifics of the blast radius of the man-portable line charge system during a training exercise just outside of Forward Operating Base Zangabad, Afghanistan, Oct. 20, 2013. (U.S Army/Cpl. Alex Flynn)

The U.S. Army announced Friday that it is shutting down two of the specialized organizations it stood up after the 9/11 attacks to quickly identify and perfect new tactics and equipment for combat units.

The "discontinuation" of both the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) and the Rapid Equipping Force (REF) is occurring because the Army is transitioning from counterinsurgency operations to a focus on multi-domain, large-scale combat operations, according to a brief news release.

"The Army established these units to rapidly identify material and non-material solutions to operational challenges encountered during the counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan and Iraq," according to the statement. "As our focus changes to great power competition and large-scale combat operations, Army analysis indicated that the personnel and resources could best be utilized in building the operational fighting force."
Army Times was first to report the story.

Most recently, the AWG led the Army's effort to train combat brigades in subterranean warfare. That effort began in 2018 when the service budgeted $572 million to train the majority of its brigade combat teams to fight in large-scale underground facilities that exist beneath dense urban areas around the world.

Former Special Operations Command AWG members developed new tactics in underground breaching and small-unit operations at the organization's Asymmetric Warfare Training Facility at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.

The Army has not yet decided how it will use the specialized A.P. Hill facility or the AWG's headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.
"The Army is currently determining the final disposition of the facilities," a service spokesman told Military.com in an email.

The Fort Belvoir, Virginia-based REF has been a significant player in the Army's counter-drone effort. The REF has fielded anti-drone systems, such as Battelle's DroneDefender, which can be aimed like a rifle, and Radio Hill Technologies' radar gun-like Dronebuster to help protect units from small, commercial-style unmanned aerial systems that can easily be armed with homemade bombs.

Personnel and resources from both organizations will be reallocated to the operational force, according to the release. Both organizations will be fully deactivated by Sept. 30, 2021.

The service said it plans to "ensure the value of the organization's work over the past 14 years is not lost" by maintaining the lessons learned at the Army Combined Arms Center by organizations such as Center for Army Lessons Learned, according to the release.
 

Gripen9

THINK TANK
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
1,175
Reactions
18 4,456 174
Country
Pakistan
Location
USA
View attachment 16621
View attachment 16622
View attachment 16623

USMC accident: F-35B crash, KC-130J emergency landing

The pilot of an F-35B has ejected and parachuted himself to safety after colliding with a KC-130J during a mid-air refuelling operation over southern California, around 16:00 hrs (local time) on 29 September 2020. The KC-130J was able to make an emergency landing, all eight crew members survived. The F-35B pilot is reported to have slight injuries and is being treated.

The Lightning II crashed just north of the Salton Sea, Imperial County, after hitting a KC-130J tanker, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing. The KC-130J, BuNo 166765/QB of VMGR-352, based at MCAS Miramar (CA), landed in a field in the vicinity of Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport.

The F-35B (BuNo unknown) disintegrated and is completely destroyed. It was operating out of Miramar too, but was based at Yuma AFB (AZ).
The cause of the collision is unknown. As can be seen on the photos of the KC-130J, both right wing engines are extensively damaged and the outer left wing engine is missing some blades. More info to follow when available.


 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

U.S. Navy to homeport USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams in Greece

1601847568900.png

The expeditionary sea base USS Hershel "Woody" Williams will be homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, the U. S. Navy announced this week. Photo by Bill Mesta/U.S. Navy

A troop-carrying ship will be deployed to Greece for the first time in decades, the U.S. Navy announced this week, which experts call a possible indication of U.S. frustration with Turkey.

The expeditionary sea base ship USS Hershel "Woody" Williams will be homeported at Souda Bay on the Greek island of Crete, 600 miles from the Turkish coast. It is the first time in 40 years that a U. S. ship will use the joint U.S.-Greece base as a homeport, Stars and Stripes reported.

It will patrol the Mediterranean Sea and conduct missions in Africa in coordination with regional partners, the Navy announced.

The ship's presence in the area "provides a new capability in the theater," said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander of the Sixth Fleet.

While the ship is not prepared to intervene in conflict between Greece and Turkey, each a NATO member, it could serve as a symbolic warning that the United States is frustrated with Turkey -- including its incursions into Syria, its relationship with Russia in purchasing air defense systems and its insistence on drilling for minerals in eastern Mediterranean Sea areas controlled by Greece.

"It is a very sensitive area that has been recently tried by Turkey's aggressiveness with provocative actions," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said this week.

The arrival of the ship could be a prelude to a U.S. military buildup at Souda Bay, which could become an alternative to the use by the U.S. Air Force of the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, where nuclear weapons are reportedly stored. However, the Pentagon has not released any information suggesting that direction.

The ship, 784 feet long, carries a crew of 240 and is designed to serve as a modular platform to perform large-scale logistics movements, including the transfer of troops, vehicles and equipment from sea to shore.

The Puller class of expeditionary sea base ships is designed to reduce dependency on foreign ports and provide support if no ports are available.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Pentagon reports increase in suicide rates among active-duty service members

1601848062100.png

The Pentagon reported that 344 active-duty members died by suicide in 2019, representing an increase in suicide rates over the past two years. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Suicide rates among active-duty military service members in the United States increased in 2019, the fifth year in a row, according to a report released by the Department of Defense on Thursday.

A total of 498 service members died by suicide in 2019, including 344 active-duty members, the Pentagon said in its Annual Suicide Report.

The active-duty suicides represent a rate of 25.9 per 100,000 service members, up from 24.9 in 2018 and 22.1 in 2017.

"The [calendar year] 2019 suicide rate for the Active Component is statistically comparable to the CY 2017, but not going in the right direction," the Pentagon said.

The department added that suicide rates among the Reserve and National Guard are statistically lower than 2017 and that while overall rates have increased among active-duty members since 2014 they have remained statistically consistent among the Reserve and National Guard members.

Enlisted men under the age of 30 were the most at-risk group according to the data -- they accounted for 61% of all suicides in 2019.

The Pentagon said it developed and began piloting educational and training programs for young and enlisted service members. It also trained more than 2,000 non-medical military providers to provide counseling on "access and safe storage of lethal means" to service members and their families.

"The loss of every life is heartbreaking and each suicide carries a deeply personal story. Every suicide has wide-reaching impacts on families, friends, peers, the broader military community and the nation as a whole," said Elizabeth Van Winkle, executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency.

Data for 2020 is not yet available, but officials said they recognize and are "closely monitoring" the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on death by suicide within the military population.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

U.S. Army, Air Force unite in Joint All-Domain Control and Command structure


1601849513700.png

A communications drone, an element of the U.S. Air Force Advanced Battle Management System, is tested at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in August. Photo by Senior Airman Daniel Garcia/U.S. Air Force


(UPI) -- A two-year collaboration agreement between the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force was signed this week, calling for greater synchronization of warfighting assets.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. agreed to establish Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control in a day-long meeting at the Pentagon, the Air Force said on Friday.

It was the first high-level discussion between the Army and Air Force discussion since Brown took on his new role in August.

The alliance will be led by the Army Futures Command and the Air Force A-5 office of strategy, integration and requirements.

It will link the Army's Project Convergence, which completed a five-week exercise in September to test artificial intelligence capabilities, with the Air Force and Space Force's Advanced Battlefield Management System.

Two weeks ago, the Air Force announced its second test of the ABMS, meant to streamline the collection, analysis and sharing of information so that joint forces can make decisions faster in the battlefield. The test featured the rapid detection and destruction of surrogate Russian cruise missiles.

In establishing CJADC2, McConville and Brown agreed to mutual standards for data sharing and service interfacing, regarded as the "basic levels" of collaboration, the Air Force said.

The cooperative relationship will be part of a "mesh network" which includes all six service branches, offering mutual access to data, reconnaissance and intelligence collected across joint networks.

"The core challenges of the future fight are speed and scale," said Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, Army deputy chief of staff. "The future fight will be much faster, and the joint force will have more sensors and more shooters. It will be more widely distributed than ever before."
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Coast Guard fields new Glock pistols

1601851340600.png

The U.S. Coast Guard began fielding the new Glock 19 Gen5 MOS pistol this week, according to the company. Photo courtesy of Glock Inc.


Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard began fielding handguns made by Glock Inc., the manufacturer announced, a departure from the plans of other service branches.

The Glock Gen5 MOS pistol will replace the .40mm Sig Sauer P229 DAK which the Coast Guard has used since 2006. The Army, Navy and Marines chose to replace the aging handgun with Sig Sauer's M18 Modular Handgun System, and have begun rolling out the new weapons to units around the world.

The Marines officially began fielding the M18 MHS last week.


The Coast Guard, which in peacetime operates under the Department of Homeland Security, used an existing Customs and Border Patrol contract to acquire the Glock pistols. The number of P229s ordered was not given in Tuesday's announcement.

"Glock is honored to support the requirements of the USCG and provide a weapon solution that delivers on unmatched performance and value in any environment," Josh Dorsey, vice president at Glock, said on Tuesday.

"The comprehensive testing and evaluation process conducted by CBP demonstrated the Glock pistols' lasting reliability that instills confidence in those who use it to go into harm's way," Dorsey said.

The new Gen5 pistols include over 20 design modifications from their Gen4 predecessors, including a different barrel and finish, ambidextrous slide stop lever and the removal of finger grooves, the company said.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

USCGC Stone, Coast Guard's newest cutter, passes acceptance trials​

1601851525900.png

The USCGC Stone, the U.S. Coast Guard's newest cutter, completed its acceptance trials, builder Huntingtoin Ingalls Industries said on Friday. Photo courtesy of HII

Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Acceptance trials were completed for the U.S. Coast Guard's newest national security cutter, builder Huntington Ingalls Industries announced on Friday.

The ship, the USCGC Stone, underwent two days of trials in the Gulf of Mexico to test all its systems. It is the Coast Guard's eighth Legend-class cutter, with two more under construction and one more planned in a $930 million contract.

Coast Guard cutters are used for maritime and homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. The ships have a length of 418 feet, a range of 12,000 miles and crews of 120 personnel.

The ship completed its builder's trials in September.

The ship was christened in March in ceremonies at HII facilities in Pascagoula, Miss. It is a part of the Defense Department's Integrated Deepwater System Program, a 25-year plan envisioned in 2012 to replace most of the Coast Guard's equipment, including aircraft, ships, logistics and command-and-control systems.

"I am very proud of the Ingalls team that conducted another outstanding acceptance trial on our ninth national security cutter Stone. This ship, like all of the national security cutters we have delivered, will be capable of undertaking the most challenging Coast Guard missions with great capability and endurance," HII President Brian Cuccias said in a press release.

The Coast Guard is scheduled to officially receive the ship later this year.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Sparrowhawk Aircraft-Launched sUAS Tested​


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has conducted flight tests of its Sparrowhawk small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), which is designed as a captive-carry system that can be launched from larger GA-ASI aerial platforms. Designed around the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System attritableONE technologies, the Sparrowhawk is an iteration of the DARPA Gremlins Program, which aims to develop airborne drone recovery to reduce the cost of operation and provide new mission capabilities.

The Sparrowhawk sUAS was attached to an MQ-9A unmanned aircraft, and controlled exclusively using GA-ASI’s Metis Software Defined Control Station. Metis was hosted on a laptop computer, which significantly reduced the system’s logistical footprint and supports the vision for battlefield UAV control interfaces that do not require a Ground Control Station shelter or vehicle.

The test team communicated with the Sparrowhawk meshONE datalink, enabling collaborative autonomy capabilities among both platforms. The Cooperation in Denied Environments (CODE) autonomy engine was also implemented in order to further trial cognitive Artificial Intelligence (AI) processing for unmanned systems.

These test flights follow on from those conducted with a Gray Eagle UAS that carried two Area-I Altius-600 Air Launched Effects (ALEs) during Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) demonstrations.

Sparrowhawk and UAV airborne recovery also provide a range of other benefits:
  • Below-the-weather ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and reduced visual and acoustic ISR
  • Attritable ISR/EW (electronic warfare) in the contested environment, allowing the MQ-9 to stand off at safe ranges
  • Use of larger and more expensive payloads at greater transit ranges compared to ground-launched aircraft and air-launched expendables
  • Maintaining the chain of custody, through adverse weather, MQ-9 rotations, or with multiple targets
David R. Alexander, President of GA-ASI, commented: “Sparrowhawk extends and multiplies MQ-9-based sensors, reduces manpower and increases ISR coverage. With attritableONE technology that is survivable and precise, Sparrowhawk is a true game changer.”

1601855257400.png
1601855308900.png
1601855636200.png
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
Marines undergo cyber warfare training
Oct. 6, 2020
1602022457900.png

U.S. Marines receive instruction during the Cyber Electronic Warfare Course at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Sept. 17. Photo by Jennessa Davey/U.S. Marines


Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group and 1st Force Reconnaissance Company received two weeks of training in tactical cyber electronic warfare recon and survey capabilities last month, the Marine Corp said Tuesday.

The training, which took place Sept. 7 to 18 at California's Camp Pendleton, was designed to introduce the Marines to newly developed capabilities generated from U.S. Cyber Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace.

USCYBERCOM and MarkPoint technologies plan to provide this training, which is intended to develop Marines' ability to map out the digital terrain, for two years under a direct award called Rapidly Deployable Access Capabilities.

The course also supported the development and delivery of future capabilities that address the constantly changing battlefield with the Internet of Things, officials said.

"Getting to work with Marines from other aspects of the Marine Corps is a great opportunity, especially for a junior Marine, like myself," Lance Cpl. Christopher Brown, a student in the course, and a cryptologic digital network operator from 1st Radio Battalion, I MIG, said in a press release. "This training gives Marines from all job fields the opportunity to come together and learn a new skill set."

Although electronic warfare is not a new concept, the Marine Corps focuses on innovating, modernizing and finding new ways to employ leading-edge technologies and capabilities.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Elbit Systems’ U.S. Subsidiary Awarded a $35 Million Contract to Provide Support for the U.S. Navy V-22 Aircraft​

06.10.2020
1602027312400.png


Elbit Systems of America has won approximately $35 million five-year firm-fixed-priced contract by the U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) for repair of line-replaceable units in support of the V-22 aircraft.

The repairs will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas and Talladega, Alabama, and the contract will be performed until October 2025, the company said in a statement Monday.

1602027202900.png
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
US wants a 355 ship Navy by mid-2030's, and 500 ship Navy by 2045
06 Oct 2020

1602028024600.png

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) steam in formation during a composite training unit exercise as part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) on May 14, 2020, in the Pacific Ocean. (MCSSA Drace Wilson/U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy must rapidly grow its attack submarine force, field smaller manned and unmanned combatants and examine changing the role of aircraft carriers in the coming decades as part of a massive expansion of the fleet to maintain American dominance on the seas, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Tuesday.

To compete with China’s plans to be a first-rate military power by 2049, the U.S. must grow its fleet to more than 500 ships by 2045, and more than 355 ships by the mid-2030s, Esper announced, confirming news reported last month by Defense News.

To get there, Esper said the Navy must prioritize above all else rapidly building up an attack submarine force of between 70 and 80 ships, up from its current force of 51. The Navy must also rethink how it uses carriers, proposing cutting up to four from the force structure while potentially repurposing the America-class amphibious assault ships as light carriers to hold down presence missions.


All told, the fleet laid out by Esper represents a radically different fleet from the current Navy, emphasizing more teaming between manned and unmanned platforms, as well as radically transforming the carrier air wing to focus more on unmanned aircraft of all varieties. In a major shift in department rhetoric, Esper also committed to freeing up funding from across the Defense Department to put into shipbuilding.

“Battle force [20]45 [will] be a more lethal, survivable, adaptable, sustainable, modern and larger force than we have seen in many years,” Esper told an audience at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.


“It will also be more balanced, a more balanced naval force that will have a greater number of smaller surface combatants and unmanned or optionally manned ships, along with an ample submarine force, and a modern strategic deterrent,” the secretary continued. "It will also be able to deliver over overwhelming fires balanced across four domains, from the air from the land, from the sea, and from under the sea.”

What’s included?

The fleet outlined by Esper broadly aligns with the studies first reported by Defense News in September: A lighter fleet with fewer carriers and large surface combatants. The attack submarine count with the upper limit of 80, laid out by Esper on Tuesday, is an increase over the early inputs to the study.

In addition to the changes to the carrier fleet and an increase in attack submarine building, Esper outlined a fleet that included:

140-240 unmanned and optionally manned surface and subsurface vehicles

• 60-70 small surface combatants, up from the current requirement for 52

• 50-60 amphibious warfare ships, up from the current requirement for 38

• 70-90 combat logistics force ships, a massive increase from the current requirement of 32

Immediately begin building three Virginia-class attack submarines per year, up from two per year today

To pay for the growth of the fleet, Esper said the Navy had been, over the past seven months, working to find funds over the coming years for shipbuilding. But he also said savings would be found in ongoing reviews to increase the funding to shipbuilding from outside the Navy, a significant commitment from the head of the Defense Department.

“I agreed to provide additional funding from across the Department of Defense enterprise, funding that was harvested from ongoing reform efforts such as combatant command reviews, ‘fourth estate’ reforms and other initiatives,” Esper said. “Together, these additional funding streams will increase the shipbuilding account to 13 percent.”

It’s unclear if the boost would be 13 percent over the 2021 request, which would result in roughly $22.49 billion for shipbuilding in next year’s budget, or if that is 13 percent over the enacted 2020 shipbuilding budget, which would mean a staggering $27.1 billion shipbuilding budget.
By way of comparison, the Navy’s shipbuilding budget request was $16.6 billion in 2016, which would mean 2021′s budget would represent a 40 percent boost to shipbuilding.

1602028235600.png

Aircraft attached to Carrier Air Wing 5 attached to the carrier Ronald Reagan conduct a flyover. The Navy must overhaul its air wing to incorporate all kinds of unmanned aircraft, Esper said. (MCSA Oswald Felix Jr./U.S. Navy)


Mahan is back
In a remarkable moment early in his remarks, Esper made reference to the 19th century naval thinker and U.S. naval officer Alfred Thayer Mahan, whose book “The Influence of Seapower Upon History” played a major role in shaping both U.S. and European thinking on the role of navies in the early 20th century.

Mahan argued that having a large and powerful fleet directly contributes to economic prosperity and global influence, using the rise of British sea power in the 17th and 18th centuries as his primary example. Mahan’s book influenced Theodore Roosevelt and his push to grow the U.S. fleet after years of decline.

Esper said the nation is at a similar historic point today, arguing that the Navy has declined and atrophied, and called for a major influx of resources.

“Over the past several years, the department had to recover from the crippling effects of sequestration inadequate funding, continuing resolutions, and years of budget uncertainty,” Esper said. "We also placed insufficient attention on the high-end fight, which many believed was behind us with the Cold War. The good news is that we are now on the road to recovery, by first restoring the readiness of the current fleet, and second, by divesting from legacy systems and lower priorities in order to modernize the force.

“We are now at a point where we can and, indeed, we must chart a new path to a future fleet, that will maintain our naval superiority," he added.

While the plan to ensure American sea power into the 21st century is bold, the message landed on some skeptical ears. Bryan McGrath, a retired destroyer captain and vocal sea power advocate, said he’s unsure of how the military would fund it and needs more details.

“Secretary Esper has laid out a very aggressive plan for growing the Navy,” McGrath said. "There is more details to come, including his reference to increasing funding from across DoD whether that excludes Navy accounts.

"But overall, a 66 percent increase of things that need to be supported logistically, with a basic and irreducible level of support needed for any ship of any size: it’s hard to know how you increase the size by 66 percent with funding at current levels plus inflation.”

Mackenzie Eaglen, an analyst with American Enterprise Institute, noted that Esper is going big very late in the game, and agreed that how this shipbuilding plan gets funded will be a crucial and controversial question. But that’s not the only hurdle the plan faces, she warned.

“Congress would strongly prefer the money to come from a higher overall defense topline, but that is unlikely,” Eaglen said. "The billpayers are one of the most controversial points.

“The proposal to have more smaller surface combatants with little mention of DDGs is going to concern Capitol Hill, as is the wideband goal of '8 to 11′ aircraft carriers. Even if the air wings are better and even if there are more large-deck amphibs, Congress has codified not just the 30-year plan and the 355-ship fleet, but also the need for a minimum of 11 carriers," Eaglen noted.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

US Air Force’s C-17 Cargo Plane Becomes Bomber in ‘Palletized Munition’ Test

07 Oct 2020
1602114652100.png

A high altitude airdrop of palletized munitions (JASSM simulants) from a C-17 using standard operational airdrop procedures was conducted during the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management Family of Systems (ABMS) Onramp #2 activities.

Typically used to hoist war materiel to the battlefield rather than taking part in the fight itself, the US Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft got a taste of the action last month when the force tested dropping pallets full of cruise missiles out the back of the plane.

The US Air Force announced on September 30 it had tested deploying a “Palletized Munitions” weapon system from one of its huge C-17 cargo transports. The test involved simulated AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) cruise missiles being dropped not from a bomb bay, but wheeled out the back of the transport’s cargo bay on the same kinds of pallets used to load and unload cargo.

The release didn’t say how many simulated JASSMs were on the pallet, but the huge weapons are 14 feet long and weigh 2,250 pounds each. A typical 463L cargo pallet is 9 feet wide and 7.3 feet long and can hoist 10,000 pounds, so it likely takes two pallets to launch either one or two missiles at a time. The release also didn’t say if it was an original JASSM or a longer-range JASSM-ER; the former can hit targets up to 230 miles away, which the extended-range upgrade can reach up to 600 miles.

“A Palletized Munitions capability could enable various airlift aircraft to employ a range of weapons en masse via a self-contained, roll-on/roll-off palletized system, and may offer an alternative way for the Air Force to bring more mass to the fight,” Dr. Dean Evans, Palletized Munitions Experimentation program manager with the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) office, said in the Air Force release.

1602114626100.png

AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile

“The successful demo represents a key step in SDPE’s Palletized Munitions Experimentation Campaign, which will determine if the Palletized Munitions concept is feasible and provides a competitive advantage for the warfighter,” Evans added. SDPE is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The test is part of a larger effort across the Air Force to develop an “arsenal plane” or “missileer” capable of launching the new family of long-range missiles the Pentagon has been developing for years. Weapons like the JASSM-ER and the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), as well as new hypersonic missiles like the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), are very big and have very long ranges, making an aircraft that can haul lots of them extremely valuable.
In May, the AFRL first tested the concept of a palletized munition by rolling a Cargo Launch Expendable Air Vehicles with Extended Range (CLEAVER) pack out the back of an MC-130J Commando II cargo aircraft. According to The Drive, the test most likely involved simulated AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) glide bombs. During that test, the Air Force also used the term “bomb bay in a box” to describe the concept.

More recently, Air Mobility Command chief Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost said last month the Air Force had tested launching a simulated palletized Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), a kind of laser-guided bomb, from a C-17 as well.

The other aircraft being considered for the role are the B-25 Stratofortress, a lumbering strategic bomber built in the 1950s, and the B-1B Lancer, a powerful supersonic bomber with low-observable characteristics.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams conducts exercises with Nigerian navy
Oct. 7, 2020
By Ed Adamczyk
1602118745300.png

The Nigerian Navy frigate NNS Okpabana is seen from the sea base ship USS Herschel "Woody" Williams during joint Nigerian-U.S. naval exercised in the Gulf of Guinea. Photo by MCS Seaman Conner Foy/U.S. Navy


Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The expeditionary sea base ship USS Hershel "Woody" Williams, recently homeported in Greece, conducted exercises with the Nigerian navy as part of its first deployment, the U.S. Navy said on Wednesday.

The 784-foot long USS Hershel "Woody" Williams performed maneuvering exercises with the Nigerian frigate NNS Okpabana and three other vessels in the Gulf of Guinea, at the equator off the West African coast, according to the Navy.

The ships simulated interceptions and boardings, and worked with Nigeria's Maritime Operations Center in Lagos. The U.S. ship, which typically carries helicopters, also demonstrated the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle in exercises which concluded on Oct. 3.

"The Nigerian navy is a leader in maritime security in Atlantic Africa," Capt. David L. Gray, commanding officer of Hershel "Woody" Williams, said in a press release. "We are excited to work alongside our Nigerian navy counterparts to reinforce our joint commitment to security and stability in the region."

Two weeks ago, the U.S. ship completed similar exercises with the Senegalese navy.

It was announced last week that Hershel "Woody" Williams would be homeported in Souda Bay, Greece, the first such use of the joint U.S.-Greece base by the Navy in over 40 years.

The vessel is designed to serve as a modular platform to perform large-scale logistics movements, including the transfer of troops, vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. It is an example of the Puller class of expeditionary sea base ships, which are meant to reduce dependency on foreign ports and can provide support if no ports are available.

The Nigerian-U.S. exercises were a prelude to the four-day Exercise Grand Africa Nemo 2020 in the Gulf of Guinea, a joint drill involving ships of Nigeria, the United States, France, Italy, Brazil and 10 other countries that surround the Gulf. Those exercises began on Wednesday.
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
11,128
Reactions
110 21,079 1,066
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia

Double the firepower: MQ-9 tests flying with eight Hellfire missiles


An MQ-9A Reaper assigned to the 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron sits on the ramp at Creech Air Force Base carrying eight Hellfire missiles. This was the first flight test of the MQ-9 carrying double its normal payload of Hellfires. (SrA Haley Stevens/Air Force)

The Air Force last month conducted the first flight of an MQ-9A Reaper that had been configured to carry eight AGM-114 Hellfire missiles — twice the number the drone normally carries.

The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada conducted the flight test on Sept. 10, the Air Force said in a Wednesday release.

A software upgrade expected to be rolled out to MQ-9s by the end of the calendar year made the expanded Hellfire capacity possible, the Air Force said. In the past, Reapers could carry no more than four Hellfires, two on the outboard station of each wing.

But with the upgrade, stations that were previously used for fuel tanks or 500-pound bombs can be used for Hellfires.

Master Sgt. Melvin French, the program’s test system configuration manager, said in the release that the hardware and launchers that now can be used to carry Hellfires are the same as the original stations used.

The precision Ninja bomb is also kitted out with six internal blades that can cut through buildings or cars with ease.
J.D. Simkins

“Aside from the extra hardware required to be on-hand, no other changes are required to support this new capability and added lethality,” French said in the release. "The Reaper retains its flexibility to fly 500-pound bombs on any of these stations, instead of the AGM‑114s, when mission requirements dictate.”

Adding the flexibility to carry more Hellfires will let the Reaper meet the needs of both Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command, the release said.

In the past, the Air Force said, the Reaper has run out of firepower during its long missions, which sometimes resulted in waits for a freshly armed backup to arrive before a target could be struck.

The Air Force needs the Reaper to be able to find and immediately strike high-priority targets — some of whom are only vulnerable for fleeting periods of time — as well as defend friendly forces isolated on the ground. Giving the Reaper more firepower will allow it to keep engaging the enemy during its long sorties, which often go for hours on end.

“History has proven the MQ-9′s ability to provide aerial continuity and attack support for air and ground forces during counter-insurgency and close air support,” said 556th commander Lt. Col. Michael Chmielewski. “Doubling the firepower of this high-endurance aircraft with Hellfires improves the lethality and agility of the MQ-9 over many combat roles, with an arsenal of highly versatile, accurate, and collateral-friendly weapons for all combatant commanders.”

1602119225600.png
 
Top