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AC-130 | US-Airforce Special Operation Command 2019 |
 

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U.S. Defense officials lay out plans for Space Force
By Allen Cone


A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket lifts off at 6:56 PM from Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on March 15. The Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite was sent to a geostationary orbit to provide improved communications capability to the U.S. military. File poto by Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell/UPI | License Photo

April 12 (UPI) -- Top Defense Department officials have detailed plans to develop the Space Force, including a massive network of satellites, recognizing that the "status quo is not sufficient" to confront adversaries in outer space.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan on Thursday appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson; and Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command.

For the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Shanahan asked the committee to authorize the U.S. Space Force in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
"America has enduring interests in space," Shanahan said. "And just as the U.S. Navy ensures freedom of navigation of the seas, America's Space Force must now ensure the freedom to navigate the stars."

RELATED Colorado is front-runner for Space Command home

In March, the Defense Department requested $143.3 billion for space-based defenses out of a total $718.3 billion in a strategy that "fully recognizes that future wars will be waged not just in the air, on the land, and at sea, but also in space and cyberspace, increasing the complexity of warfare. It modernizes capabilities across all warfighting domains to enhance lethality."

Specifically, it would cost $200 billion over five years to develop the Space Force.

Although the United States remains dominant in space, including from a military perspective, the officials warned that adversaries Russia and China are gaining ground.

RELATED Air Force Gen. John Raymond nominated to lead U.S. Space Command

In April, high-level officials testified before the committee on the importance of increased defense spending in the Pentagon's budget request for next year.

"Last month, I testified before you that China and Russia had developed capabilities to contest our ability to operate in all domains," Dunford said Thursday. "This includes space, which is now a fully contested warfighting domain along with sea, air, land and cyberspace."

The two nations,recognizing the benefits of space in the economic and military spheres, have worked to challenge the United States in space. That includes reorganizing their armed forces and developing robust space-based capabilities, included based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"These steps provide the ability to more effectively target U.S. and allied forces," Dunford said. "China and Russia are also capable of searching, tracking and characterizing satellites in all Earth orbits in support of space and counter-space operations."

Shanahan said they are concerned "the next major conflict may be won or lost in space."

"There is widespread agreement the status quo is not sufficient: Change is required to stay ahead," Shanahan told the senators. "Approached correctly, this is an opportunity for a generational improvement. Future space capabilities should be system engineered from the start to include launch, commercial innovation, the network, the satellite, the ground segment, user equipment and cybersecurity."

The United States, he said, needs to change its organizational setup.

"Space is no longer a sanctuary," Dunford said. "Traditionally, the Air Force has been the principal driver of our efforts in space ... and our capabilities in space are second to none. But our current organizational construct was built before space was a contested domain."

Last June, President Donald Trump directed the Department of Defense to create a sixth branch of the military -- a Space Force.

In February, Trump signed a directive ordering the Department of Defense to to put together legislation to present to Congress to create the Space Force, initially as part of the Air Force.

The Defense Department has decided to establish U.S. Space Command for operational control, and then establish the U.S. Space Force.
"Taking the next step to create the Space Force will allow us to develop and maintain a singular focus on developing the people, the capabilities, the doctrine and the culture we'll need to maintain our competitive advantage in space," Dunford said.

That includes creating the Space Development Agency, which will develop and deliver the next generation of space-based communications and Earth observation. Existing organizations continue current efforts, Shanahan told the senators.

"We need to outpace the threats in space, not simply keep up with them," the secretary said. "Because our current system isn't organized to move fast enough, the Space Force will consolidate, elevate, and focus our efforts for results."

SDA is first planning a "transport layer" of about 650 small, inexpensive low-Earth orbit satellites that will transfer data between space and ground assets. The first one could be in orbit as early as 2022.

Then a "tracking layer" of about 200 satellites to provide global coverage of advanced missile threats using infrared imaging could be rolled out.

They would use radar, electro-optical/infrared cameras and signals intelligence to sense and monitor objects on Earth.
"Other layers will follow on deployment timelines of two years and perhaps even less," Fred Kennedy, the newly named director of the office, said Wednesday at Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"We wish to emulate the smartphone and computer industry's approach to upgrades," Kennedy said. We are not building exquisite systems intended to last a decade or more. To the extent possible, we will be buying and building commodities which we can then replace or upgrade on short order."

The "advanced maneuvering vehicles" also would be developed. Kennedy said they could include an advanced space plane like a X-37 successor or another spacecraft. It could be able to move between the Earth and the moon more quickly and efficiently than an adversary's weapons.

Wilson, whose Space Force would be a separate branch of the Air Force, has criticized the plans.
"Launching hundreds of cheap satellites into theater as a substitute for the complex architectures where we provide key capabilities to the war fighter will result in failure on America's worst day if relied upon alone," she said.

Kennedy said that Wilson is addressing how to balance funding for proliferated constellations of smaller satellites with the more costly technologies needed to "protect and defend" large satellites.

If there is a space-based infrared system in a geosynchronous satellite, "you're not going to just write it off, you're going to say how can I protect and defend that system," Kennedy said. But if there are less-expensive proliferated satellites in LEO [low-earth orbit} that can also conduct the missile warning functions that SBIRS does, "we may write that off to a certain extent."

He added: "I'd like to give our adversary that problem to go solve."

Legislators were skeptical about plans to create a new military branch.

Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the Republican committee chairman, asked the defense officials "this organization fix?"

And Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the committee's top Democrat, said changes need to be made but "creating a new branch of the armed forces for the first time in 70 years is not a decision Congress should make lightly. Such a major reorganization would have long-lasting consequences, both intended and unintended."

U.S. Defense officials lay out plans for Space Force
 

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Lockheed Martin's 360-Degree Pilot Visual System Completes First Flight On Bell V-280 Valor

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin's (NYSE: LMT) Pilotage Distributed Aperture Sensor (PDAS) system took flight for the first time aboard the V-280 Valor, Bell Helicopter's next-generation tiltrotor aircraft in a series of flights over Fort Worth, Texas, in March. PDAS is a multi-functional sensor system that generates high-resolution, 360-degree imagery around the aircraft to enhance situational awareness for pilots and other users.

The PDAS system captured complete spherical infrared imagery while operating in a high-speed, tactically relevant flight environment and generated real-time imagery.

  • Lockheed Martin

"Conducting PDAS flight tests on the V-280 is an exciting first step toward delivering a level of situational awareness unavailable on today's Army rotorcraft," said Rita Flaherty, strategy & business development vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "With its embedded, multi-functional sensors, PDAS is the ideal foundation for an integrated survivability suite that will enable Army aircrews to own any environment and universally detect and defeat incoming threats."

Specifically designed for current and future vertical lift aircraft, PDAS consists of six infrared sensors distributed around the aircraft linked to aircrew helmets and cockpit displays via an open-architecture processor.

During testing, engineers demonstrated PDAS's ability to provide simultaneous coverage to multiple independent displays. Aircrews benefit from its all-weather pilotage imagery while transported ground troops can survey the environment for tactical information and threats. While PDAS is currently generating imagery for two users, the system will ultimately support up to six users, which could include pilots in other aircraft and mission commanders on the ground.

Planned capability upgrades will demonstrate additional integrated survivability suite capabilities like Multi-Modal Sensor Fusion (MMSF). MMSF blends data from multiple types of sensors to restore aircrew situational awareness in degraded visual environments and enables navigation in GPS-denied zones.

For additional information, visit our website: https://www.lockheedmartin.com/pdas
 

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Air Force Base Investigating Master Sergeant's Ties to White Nationalist Organization

Air Force Master Sgt. Cory Reeves. Photo via Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Air Force Master Sgt. Cory Reeves. Photo via Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

18 Apr 2019
Denver Post | By Elise Schmelzer

Officials at Schriever Air Force Base are investigating whether a master sergeant stationed there participated in a white nationalist group after his identity was exposed by Colorado Springs activists.

The Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists group first identified Master Sgt. Cory Reeves as a member of the Colorado branch of Identity Evropa earlier this month. Cheri Dragos-Pritchard, a base spokeswoman, confirmed officials there knew of the allegations and are investigating Reeves' ties.

"The Air Force is aware of this allegation, and Air Force officials are looking into this information at this time," Dragos-Pritchard said in an email last week to The Denver Post. "No further information or details of this allegation can be released until the facts involving this allegation are fully reviewed. Racism, bigotry, hatred, and discrimination have no place in the Air Force."

Dragos-Pritchard referred questions Tuesday about the investigation to the Air Force's national media team. Maj. Nick Mercurio, a service spokesman, said he had "no information for you" about whether the investigation was complete, what it found or whether Reeves had been disciplined.

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When reached Tuesday by his phone number at the base, Reeves said he had no comment on the investigation. He hung up the phone when a reporter asked if he was a member of Identity Evropa. He did not pick up a subsequent phone call or return a voicemail left on his cell phone.
Identity Evropa -- which was recently rebranded -- was one of the most visible supremacist groups in Colorado and best known for blue-and-white stickers members place on college campuses and street signs. In leaked chat messages, Reeves positioned himself as a leader of the local chapter.
Identity Evropa was a white nationalist group that aimed to preserve white European and American culture from perceived threats from Muslims, immigrants and non-white people in the United States. It opposed "ethnic diversity" and wanted white Europeans to maintain super majorities in their "homelands."

The Southern Poverty Law Center identified the group as an extremist white nationalist group and the Anti-Defamation League identified it as a white supremacist group. Members of Identity Evropa participated in the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where a woman protesting the rally was ran over and killed.

The group's founder, Nathan Damigo, was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to the ADL.

Patrick Casey, the group's most recent leader, announced in March that Identity Evropa was being "retired." Shortly after, he launched a new group called the American Identity Movement, which activists have said is simply a rebranding of Identity Evropa.

Identity Evropa's end came a few days after a nonprofit group called Unicorn Riot leaked the group's internal messages. News organizations across the country used the leaks to track activity by Identity Evropa and other extremist groups in their communities.

Reeves posted frequently in the chats, including a selfie of himself skiing atop Imperial Summit outside Breckenridge in February, the logs showed. The selfie matches a 2016 photo of Reeves printed in a weekly newspaper published by the joint Air Force and Navy base in Hawaii where Reeves previously worked.

Under his username in the chat boards, Reeves posted photos of himself and others placing Identity Evropa stickers or holding the group's banner in locations across the Front Range. His photos were taken in Breckenridge, Estes Park, Golden, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Greeley, the Cherry Creek Mall, Civic Center Park and inside the Denver International Airport. He was also one of two men featured in a YouTube video purporting to show the men painting a mural with the group's logo underneath a Denver overpass.

The video has been taken down.

In the chat rooms, he pushed others to sign up for a November meetup in Denver called "Defend the Rockies"
"We have a strong sense of local identity here in Colorado," he wrote in September after others asked about a spate of recent activity. "I think it adds to the urgency and high-energy."

He also noted in the chats in December 2017 that he was a dues-paying member of the Oath Keepers -- a radical anti-government group -- but couldn't act more publicly because he is active-duty military.

The military is a particularly fertile ground for white supremacists and other far-right extremists to recruit, said Carter Smith, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University who studies gangs and criminal activity in the military and is a former criminal investigator in the Army.

"They teach you to be a badass," Smith said. "They teach you to shoot, move and communicate, as they put it."

Those skills are appealing to white nationalists because the groups feel like they're fighting a war against modern culture, he said. The groups also recruit within the military because it is largely comprised of men in their 20s and 30s who are still forming their opinions and beliefs.

In February, a Coast Guard lieutenant who identified as a white nationalist was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill journalists and Democratic politicians. The Huffington Post last month used the Unicorn Riot leaked chats to identify seven military members as part of Identity Evropa.

A 2017 poll by the Military Times found that nearly a quarter of troops said they had seen examples of white nationalism in their ranks.
Historically, the Air Force has done a better job about searching for extremists in its ranks than the other branches, Smith said. But the military has not done enough to root out the problem, he said.

"Do I think they will always catch it? No. I don't think they're looking that hard," he said.

Air Force Base Investigating Master Sergeant's Ties to White Nationalist Organization
 

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Army budget request adds $1.5B for network modernization
By: Mark Pomerleau and Mike Gruss   19.04.2019

The Army's budget request seeks to fund network modernization areas across four lines of effort. (Photo by Jen Judson/Staff)

The Army plans to spend more than $8.4 billion over the next five years to modernize its battlefield network, according to the Pentagon’s latest budget request and Army documents.

The plan includes about $1.5 billion more for fiscal years 2020 -2023 than Army leaders projected to spend on the network in last year’s budget request.

Network modernization is one of the top six modernization priorities for the Army’s chief of staff. These priorities seek to better posture the Army to fight and win against near peer adversaries readying the service to be “multidomain” capable by 2028.

The Army believes it will need hardened and resilient communications in the face of sophisticated jamming techniques. It also will need the ability to more rapidly share data for improved situational awareness allowing forces to be more mobile and dispersed.

“What does that network need to be by 2028? We’ve got to be able to dominate in contested environment against a peer adversary,” Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the Army’s network cross functional team, said in February. “We’ve got to be able to conduct distributed mission command in the observe, orient, decide and act at a pace faster than our adversary. Our command posts … have to be mobile and secure and they’ve got to be able to move rapidly in a very violent, very lethal fight ... We’re going to have to move, we’re going to have to move fast and we’re going to have to be connected when we move. That’s the network we’re trying to deliver.”

The Army has developed a list of four priorities in revamping the network which they describe as “lines of effort.” The first of these priorities – to provide ensured network transport in a contested environment against a peer adversary and dominate cyber electromagnetic activities – includes five areas and covers the majority of the spending in this area.

Much of the money to support that initiative will go toward purchasing and developing new handheld manpack and small form fit radios. The Army asked for a total of $503.7 million for radios in fiscal 2020 and about $3.2 billion over the next five years. That latter figure is at least $200 million more than Army leaders projected they would spend in last year’s plan through 2023. Of the $503.7 million requested in FY20, $35.7 million come from research and development funds.

General Dynamics Mission Systems, Harris Corp., Rockwell Collins and Thales Communications are among the contractors working on the program.

The budget request also includes $427 million for the Tactical Network Technology Modernization in Service program. That program helps to enhance cybersecurity, improve resilience, and shrink the use of size, weight and power of network equipment. Army leaders expect it will cost about $2.2 billion over five years. The budget request added about $594 million to that program through 2023 since last year’s request.

Also under the first line of effort, the Army has said it wants $76 million for commercial off the shelf capabilities. This specific portion corresponds to what the Army calls the integrated tactical network, which is a mixture of programs of record and commercial off the shelf to provide greater connectivity and resiliency.

Those numbers begin to jump in the out years as listed by the Army’s future defense spending request to over $100 million each year. Overall, the Army plans to spend $511.8 million over five years.

Most of the new money for the network modernization – $1.2 billion of the $1.5 billion – is projected to go toward the first line of effort.
For the second effort, creating a common operating environment, the Army budget calls for $425.1 million for fiscal 2020. That money is spread across three separate programs.

For the Joint Battle Command-Platform, which is a blue force tracking system to follow friendly forces, the Army is asking for of $303.9 million in FY20 with $12.6 million of that amount coming from research and development funds.

The Army is asking for $12.7 in solely research and development funds for the Mounted Computing Environment, which will provide data services on tactical radio allowing information to flow in data-constrained environments, in fiscal 2020.

Last in line of effort two, the service is asking for $108.5 million for Command Post Computing Environment, a common interface from the command post to the dismounted solider. $31 million of that request is research and development funds.

The Army did not list funds associated with line of effort three, interoperability.

The fourth line of effort focuses on command post mobility and survivability. It is made up of the Command Post Integrated Infrastructure, which seeks to provide modern and survivable command posts. The Army is asking for $35.5 million for research and development funds for fiscal 2020 for that program.

Army budget request adds $1.5B for network modernization
 

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US halts recent practice of disclosing nuclear weapon total
By: Robert Burns, The Associated Press   19.04.2019

Airmen prepare a re-entry system for removal from a launch facility, Feb. 2, 2018, in the F. E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. (Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams/Air Force)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has halted, without explanation, the recent U.S. government practice of disclosing the current size of the nuclear weapons stockpile.

The decision was revealed in a recent Department of Energy letter to the Federation of American Scientists, a private group that studies nuclear weapons issues and advocates for government openness on national security issues.

The Obama administration, in May 2010, had declassified for the first time the full history of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile from its beginning in 1945. It revealed that the warhead total stood at 5,113 as of Sept. 30, 2009, approximately the number that private experts had estimated and about 84 percent below the official peak number of 31,255 warheads in 1967.

As recently as last year, the Trump administration had disclosed that the stockpile consisted of 3,822 nuclear warheads as of Sept. 30, 2017, down 196 warheads from the year before. The 2017 figure was made public in response to a request by the scientists group, which asked for a 2018 update last October.

"After careful consideration ... it was determined that the requested information cannot be declassified at this time," the Energy Department wrote in an April 5 letter responding to the federation's request. The department provided no explanation for the decision, which it said was made by the Formerly Restricted Data Declassification Working Group, consisting of officials from the departments of Defense and Energy.

"Formerly Restricted Data" is a category of classification that pertains to information such as nuclear stockpile quantities, warhead yields and locations.

The Russian government does not disclose its nuclear stockpile total. The Federation of American Scientists estimates Russia has about 4,350.


Nuclear warheads are attached to bombs and missiles, such as those carried by strategic bomber aircraft, ballistic missile submarines and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, which form the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Hans M. Kristensen, director of the federation's Nuclear Information Project, wrote in an analysis Wednesday that the decision against disclosing the 2018 nuclear stockpile number was "unnecessary and counterproductive." In his view there is no national security rationale for keeping the number secret.

"The decision walks back nearly a decade of U.S. nuclear weapons transparency policy — in fact, longer if including stockpile transparency initiatives in the late-1990s," Kristensen wrote.

"With this decision," he added, "the Trump administration surrenders any pressure on other nuclear-armed states to be more transparent about the size of their nuclear weapon stockpiles. This is curious since the Trump administration had repeatedly complained about secrecy in the Russian and Chinese arsenals. Instead, it now appears to endorse their secrecy."

The Pentagon did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

US halts recent practice of disclosing nuclear weapon total
 

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BAE awarded $23.9M for USS Ignatius post-shakedown work
By Allen Cone


The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Paul Ignatius, known as DGG 117, was built at Huntington Ingalls Industries' shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. Photo courtesy Huntington Ingalls

April 19 (UPI) -- BAE Systems was awarded a $23.9 million contract for post-shakedown availability of the Paul Ignatius, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

The contract exercises options for the post-shakedown availability of approximately 16 weeks between when the ship custody is transferred to the Navy and the shipbuilding and conversion obligation of the Navy work-limiting date, the Defense Department announced Thursday.

On Feb. 25, Huntington Ingalls Industries delivered the Ignatius to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony at its shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
Work will be performed at BAE's plant in Jacksonville, Fla. and is expected to be completed by May 2020.
RELATED BAE awarded $70.6M contract for Navy gun modifications

The PSA comprises all of the manpower, support services, material, non-standard equipment and associated technical data and documentation required to prepare for and accomplish the PSA.

Work will include correction of government responsible trial card deficiencies, new work identified between custody transfer and the time of PSA, and incorporation of engineering changes not incorporated during the construction period, which are not otherwise the building yard's responsibility under the ship construction contract.

Naval fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion funding in the amount of $5.1 million and Naval fiscal 2013 shipbuilding and conversion funding in the amount of $5.6 million will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The keel for the Ignatius was laid down in 2016, and the vessel was christened in 2017. In December, the vessel completed acceptance trials ahead of its delivery to the Navy.

The Ignatius, identified as DDG117, is the 31st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer delivered to the Navy.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers can simultaneously fight air, surface and subsurface battles. Missions range "from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States' military strategy," according to HII.

Four more destroyers are under construction at Hunter's shipyard, including Jack H. Lucas, the first DDG-51 Flight III vessel, fabrication on which started in May 2018. The others are the USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee, USS Ted Stevens, USS Jeremiah Denton and George M. Neal.

DDG117 is named for Paul Ignatius, who served as the 59th secretary of the Navy, from 1967 to 1969. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.
On Feb. 21, BAE was also awarded a $55.4 million contract for post shakedown work on the USS Thomas Hudner, also an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

BAE awarded $23.9M for USS Ignatius post-shakedown work
 

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Marines to replace LAV with new armored vehicle in next decade
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A light-armored vehicle equipped with a new anti-tank weapons system sits stationary at the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion ramp on Feb. 10, 2015, in Twentynine Palms, Calif. Photo by Cpl. Charles Santamaria/U.S. Marines

April 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps plans to replace its light-armored vehicle, which has been around since the 1980s, with a modern armored reconnaissance vehicle late in the next decade.
The life cycle of the LAV is set to expire in the mid-2030s and the Corps wants to replace the vehicle before then, the branch said in a news release this week.

The eight-wheeled amphibious vehicle has supported Marine air and ground task force missions on the battlefield.
The ARV, with updated sensors, communication systems and lethality options, will be used against threats that are now being addressed with more heavily armored systems. That includes reconnaissance.

Defence Blog reported the sensors will include a thermal imager, daylight camera and a laser rangefinder.

"The ARV will be an advanced combat vehicle system, capable of fighting for information that balances competing capability demands to sense, shoot, move, communicate and remain transportable as part of the naval expeditionary force," John "Steve" Myers, program manager for the LAV portfolio, said.

In June 2016, the Corps established an LAV Way-Ahead, which included the option to initiate an LAV replacement program to field a next-generation capability in the 2030s.

"The Marine Corps is examining different threats," said Kimberly Bowen, deputy program manager of Light Armored Vehicles. "The ARV helps the Corps maintain an overmatched peer-to-peer capability."

The Office of Naval Research is researching advanced technologies for requirements, technology readiness assessments and competitive prototyping efforts for the next-generation ARV.

ONR has partnered with industry to build two technology demonstrator vehicles. One will comprise current, state-of-the-art technologies and standard weapons systems designed around a notional price point. The second is an "at-the-edge" vehicle with advanced capabilities.
"The purpose of those vehicles is to understand the technology and the trades," Myers said.

"We will take what we've learned in competitive prototyping. Prior to a Milestone B decision, we'll be working to inform trade space, inform requirements and reduce risk."

The Corps expects a material development decision before fiscal year 2020.

The LAV 25, which entered service in 1983, includes a crew of three and six personnel, according to Military.Today.com. They weigh 12.7 tons with a 62 mph road speed and 6.4 mph on water

Marines to replace LAV with new armored vehicle in next decade
 

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Raytheon awarded $19M contract for work on SM-2, SM-6 missiles
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Allen Cone


A Standard Missile-6 is constructed at Raytheon's facility in Huntsville, Ala. Support work on the missile is done in Tucson, Ariz. Photo courtesy of Raytheon


April 19 (UPI) -- Raytheon has been awarded a $19 million contract for engineering and technical services on the Standard Missile-2 and Standard Missile-6.
The contract, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, covers engineering and technical services to support SM-2 and SM-6 production and development.

The combined contract is 90 percent for the Navy, with the rest under foreign military sales for Australia, Germany, Denmark, Korea and Japan.
Work will be performed at Raytheon Missile Systems' plant in Tucson, Ariz., which formerly was Sentinel until it was acquired in 2015, and is expected to be completed by April 2020.

The full value of the contract was obligated to Raytheon at time of award, of which $700,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Obligated funds include fiscal 2018 and 2019 other Department of Defense funds; Naval fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation; foreign military sales funds; and Naval fiscal 2017 weapons procurement, the Pentagon said.

The SM-2 missile provides anti-air warfare and limited anti-surface warfare capability against advanced anti-ship missiles and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles. The SM-2 "gives warfighters a greater reach in the battlespace," according to Raytheon. They have a range of 90 to 200 nautical miles.

Due to global demand, the company has restarted its SM-2 missile line after halting production in 2013.

The SM-6 missile is the only missile considered a "triple threat," with anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare and sea-based terminal ballistic missile defense "enabling the U.S. and its allies to cost-effectively increase the offensive might of surface forces," according to Raytheon.

The missiles are deployed on cruisers and destroyers in the U.S. Navy, as well as by international customers approved by the Defense Department.
In February 2018, Raytheon was also awarded a $12.1 million modified contract to work on the SM-2 and SM-3 for the U.S. Navy, Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea and Netherlands Navy.

Raytheon awarded $19M contract for work on SM-2, SM-6 missiles
 

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Raytheon awarded $12.1M for AIM-9X tactical missiles for U.S., allies
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Allen Cone
()


The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile is configured for the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, E/A-18G, F-22 and F-35 fighters. Photo courtesy of Raytheon


April 16 (UPI) -- Raytheon has been awarded a $12.1 million contract for AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and 21 allies.
The contract is for the procurement of the AIM-9X Lot 18 Block II All Up Round tactical short-range air-to-air missile, as well as captive air training missile guidance units, tail caps and containers, the Department of Defense announced Monday.

The governments are Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

Thirty-percent of the work will be performed at Raytheon's plant in Tucson, Ariz. and 10 percent in Andover, Mass. The rest will be done in other U.S. cities, as well as Ottawa, Canada, and Heilbronn, Germany.

Work is expected to be completed by March 2021.

Fiscal 2017, 2018, and 2019 weapons procurement, research, development, test and evaluation in the amount of 12.1 million will be obligated at time of award, $302,997 of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year.

The modification combines purchases for the Navy at $884,869 and Air Force at $678,935. The rest comes from foreign military sales.

The missile, which is 9.5 feet long and 5 inches in diameter, is configured for the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, E/A-18G, F-22 and F-35 fighters.

The AIM-9 Sidewinder entered service and was adopted by the U.S. Air Force in 1956, but it could not engage targets close to the ground, and it didn't have nighttime or head-on attack capability, according to the Air Force website.

The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, which entered service in November 2003, includes advanced infrared-tracking, short-range, air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles. The Block II variant, which completed its first test firing in November 2008, has a redesigned fuse and a digital ignition safety device to enhance ground handling and in-flight safety.

"The effectiveness and versatility of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile have been combat proven in several theaters throughout the world," Raytheon wrote on its website.

Raytheon awarded $12.1M for AIM-9X tactical missiles for U.S., allies
 

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Boeing receives contract modification for Standoff Land Attack Missiles
By
Danielle Haynes


Airmen load an AGM-84K SLAM-ER missile on a P-8A Poseidon at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida. File Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Kofonow/U.S. Navy


April 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy awarded Boeing a contract modification for Standoff Land Attack Missiles to support Saudi Arabia.
The Department of Defense announced the $30.14 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract Tuesday.

The initial $64 million contract in April 2018 enabled Boeing to "restart" its AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response production line and expand the production process. The modification allows for the redesign of obsolete parts, analysis and test planning for the weapon system.

Work on the contract was expected to occur in St. Louis, Mo., Indianapolis, Melbourne, Fla., and other locations throughout the United States.
The Pentagon said the contract was expected to be completed in July.

The total amount of the contract will be obligated to Boeing at time of award from foreign military sales funds, which will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The AGM-84 SLAM-ER is a precision-guided, air-launched cruise missile that uses GPS and infrared imaging to attack land and sea targets in medium and long range. They can be launched from a number of aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Super Hornet, P-3C Orion and F-15E Strike Eagle.

Boeing receives contract modification for Standoff Land Attack Missiles
 

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GenDyn awarded $125M for MK80, BLU-109 bomb components
In addition to the U.S. military, the components are for foreign military sales to Iraq, Bahrain and Singapore.
By
Allen Cone


Munitions maintainers assemble BLU-109 munitions in the small bomb pad during the Combat Ammunitions Production Exercise on May 25, 2010, at Osan Air Base in South Korea. Photo by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade/U.S. Air Force


April 18 (UPI) -- General Dynamics has received a $125 million contract for MK80 general purpose and BLU-109 Tritonal bomb components, including for Iraq, Bahrain and Singapore.

The contract is for domestic and foreign military sales, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Work completion is estimated by Oct. 31, 2023, with locations and funding to be performed with each order.

The U.S. Army's Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois supervises much of the U.S. military's conventional weapons production.

In December, General Dynamics received $264.8 million for MK80 and BLU-109 Tritonal bomb components.

The MK80 series of air-dropped, general purpose bombs is relatively light, ranging from 250 pounds to 2,000 pounds. They use many types of explosives, including the high-yield compound Tritonal. About 45 percent of the weight is explosives.

They were developed in the 1950s in response to the need for bombs producing less aerodynamic drag and were used extensively in the Vietnam War, according to the Air Force Armament Museum Foundation.

BLU is an acronym for bomb live unit, used by the U.S. Air Force as "bunker busters" for their ability to penetrate hardened structures before exploding.

The single-piece BLU-109 is 2,000 pounds with a hardened casing, that "provides our customer with a vital resource at a time of growing operational demands, eliminating the potential of a single-point production failure," according to General Dynamics.

GenDyn awarded $125M for MK80, BLU-109 bomb components
 
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