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15 mars 2013 5 15 /03 /mars /2013 08:20

US Navy FA-18EF source asdnews

 

OTTAWA, March 14 (UPI)

 

As international concerns grow over the Joint Strike Fighter F-35 costs, Boeing is offering Canada a rival warplane that the company says can beat Lockheed Martin on price, performance and operational expense.

 

"In a dogfight of defense contractors, the hunter can quickly become the hunted. It's happening now to the F-35," CBC News said.

 

Canada has been at the forefront of controversy over JSF costs, which have been contested by other prospective buyers elsewhere.

 

Boeing senior executives told CBC the defense manufacturer's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was "a proven fighter" in contrast to F-35's "paper airplane" and could be available to Canada at half the price tag.

 

Both Boeing and Lockheed Martin claim superiority of their aircraft in different features but independent analysts see JSF having an edge over Super Hornet in stealth capability. However, Boeing's offer of a cheaper aircraft is aimed at budget conscious procurement agencies in Canada and elsewhere.

 

Boeing also claims the Super Hornet has "effective stealth."

 

The Super Hornet sells for about $55 million, half the anticipated cost of an F-35. Industry data indicate as much as 80 percent of the F-35 cost is operations-related, from training and paying for the pilots to maintenance and spares.

 

Shifting cost estimates for the JSF has helped critics of the Lockheed Martin contender not only in Canada but also in other markets, including Japan which in 2011 chose the F-35 over Boeing's Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon.

 

Italy and other prospective buyers have also protested JSF costs, cut their orders or announced reviews.

 

"We know that the Super Hornet has effective stealth and that's really the key," Boeing's vice president in charge of the Super Hornet program told CBC. "We believe we have a more affordable stealth than many other platforms that are being designed specifically and touted as stealthy platforms."

 

The F-35 was spotlighted in technical troubles in addition to debates over its costs. In February the U.S. Department of Defense suspended flights of all 51 F-35 planes after a routine inspection revealed a crack on a turbine blade in the jet engine of an F-35 test aircraft.

 

It was the second grounding of the aircraft, central to the Pentagon's $396 billion JSF program.

 

The program has faced frequent restructuring and is reported at risk of further cutbacks.

 

The Ottawa Citizen cited critical comment on the F-35 program by Time magazine and Postmedia News in stories carried by Canada.com.

 

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, current head of the JSF program, this week announced plans for restructuring to pare down expenditure.

 

The F-35 program is about seven years behind schedule and estimated to be at least 70 percent more expensive than originally envisaged.

 

Bogdan said cost cuts were needed to make the JSF more affordable to buyers worldwide and forestall further reductions in orders.

 

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government this week gave a $56,217.50 contract to Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc. to conduct an independent review of costs related to plans to buy a new generation of fighter jets.

 

Canada plans to purchase 65 F-35s that the government estimates will cost $9 billion to buy and almost $37 billion to operate over the next 42 years. Boeing says it can deliver the same number of Super Hornets at half that cost, including maintenance.

 

Boeing has also dangled benefits, similar to those offered by Lockheed Martin, for Canadian industries that will be invited to take part in the building and supply of the winning fighter jet and related activities.

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15 mars 2013 5 15 /03 /mars /2013 08:20

K-MAX in Afghanistan (USMC photo)

 

03/14/2013  Andrew Elwell - defenceiq.com

 

What’s the focus of the Defense and Strategic Studies Program at the United States Military Academy? What is your role?


The Defense and Strategic Studies Program is an academic major in the Department of Military Instruction at the United States Military Academy, West Point.  It is a multi-disciplinary major where our cadets are challenged to apply history, policy, and theory; frame complex strategic problems; and generate viable and innovative solutions to contemporary military problems. I am an academic instructor and course director for "DS385: Sustaining the Force."  In DS385 we look at a country's ability to Generate, Transport, Sustain, and Reallocate/Redeploy its fighting forces as a factor of military, and thus national, power. This includes historical and contemporary studies of military logistics at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war. This position is one of many that Army officers can apply for after their company command. I served in Baghdad, Iraq as a Platoon Leader in 2005 and as a planner and company commander in 2007-08. The Army then sent me to get my Masters Degree at the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy in preparation for this assignment. It’s worth pointing out here that as a U.S. Army Armor Officer - not a logistician or aviation officer – I must emphasise that all of my contributions to the Gulf Military Helicopter Conference are academic and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the United States Military Academy, the U.S. Army, or the U.S. Department of Defense.

 

Could you please discuss and summarise your thoughts on the use of Cargo UAVs for the U.S. Army? What are the pros and cons?


The last 11 years of combat have forced the US military to consider a number of new technologies and systems. While tactics revolving around counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism gain a lot of attention, logistics considerations can often go underappreciated, and therefore under-analysed. Although unmanned technological integration is currently popular, it is not sensible for the Army to pursue a supply-oriented UAV when the funds for such a project could be used to augment current rotary-wing assets. Recent accolades for the United States Marine Corps’ use of Lockheed Martin’s K-MAX optionally-manned helicopter are, in my opinion, overblown, and fall short from legitimating widespread acquisition of the platform, or concept.

 

There are certainly pros and cons on both sides of the argument. Some argue that every load a cargo UAV carries reduces ground convoys that are vulnerable to threats inherent in modern warfare. Further, the current Syrian conflict has shown the vulnerability of cargo helicopters in the face of hybrid threats. Taking the pilot out of harm’s way when supplies are being moved across the battlefield seems to be a good idea. Finally, UAVs could alleviate the pilot rest cycle for aviation units, especially given that autonomous flight and tethering may be future capabilities.

 

My skepticism is rooted mainly in organisational issues. In order to carry loads that are meaningful in the resupply mission, the size of the craft will ultimately lack the flexibility found in reconnaissance UAVs, such as the Shadow. The large aircraft (the KMAX is as big as an AH-64 Apache) have requisite service personnel and maintenance that demand protected maintenance facilities. Furthermore, delivery accuracy assumes the existence of trained crews to be on the ground where the supplies are being delivered. One study on the topic implies that six crews are needed for each UAV. This would represent a significant increase in manpower in the “tail’ of the force for a capability that has a marginal net benefit.  I say this with all due respect to those logisticians

 

A closing thought for those who argue that the U.S. Army should adopt these platforms.  It is important to consider that no pilot is endangered when one of these choppers crashes or is shot down. One cannot forget, however, that the sensitive nature of the equipment on the UAV will still require an extensive recovery process, ground forces approaching a known objective. This should limit the argument that their use eliminates all risk. I look forward to discussing the concept with true aviators and members of the industry.

 

What about the drawdown from Afghanistan next year - could the logistics challenge there be aided with improvements to current rotary cargo aircraft?


I think that the reverse logistics of wide area security operations in terrain like Afghanistan places uniquely strenuous demands on rotary airlift units. It is easy enough to drop tonnage from fixed wing assets in large quantities, but when the equipment and personnel have to be extracted, rotary wing lift is critical. As the strength of the force reduces, it will be that much more difficult to secure the ground lines of communications. This brings up another point about the Cargo UAV problem. While transferring cargo and equipment between larger Forward/Main Operating Bases (FOBs) seems feasible, there would be significant additional requirements to allow cargo to be lifted by UAVs out of the smaller Combat Outposts (COPs) like those in Afghanistan.

Most importantly, I believe that the apparent direction modern warfare demands robust tactical airlift capabilities within modern forces. Manned, rotary, cargo lift provides flexibility and operational options to ground force commanders as they face the prospect of hybrid threats, a lack of a rear area, and dilapidated infrastructure.

 

What are you hoping to get out of the Gulf Military Helicopter conference? What will make it a successful conference for you?


As a professional officer, I look forward to this opportunity to learn. What better way than to do so from service members from so many different countries in the phenomenal setting of the Armed Forces Officers’ Club in the UAE? This experience can only make me a better officer. I hope that my presentation will contribute to any dialogue surrounding the testing, acquisition, and fielding of cargo UAVs.  Moreover, I hope to generate discussion about helicopters’ roles in military logistics.  I teach my cadets at West Point that military logistics, a country’s ability to generate-transport-sustain-redeploy its armed forces, is a key factor of military power, and therefore national power. The presence of organic cargo helicopters can therefore, in the words of Colin Gray, be the arbiter of military strategies.

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15 mars 2013 5 15 /03 /mars /2013 08:20

EA-18G Growler VX-9 from below 2008 photo US Navy

 

March 14th, 2013 by Matt Cox - defensetech.org

 

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $19.3 million contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to produce Type-3 advanced mission computers for the F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G Super Hornet aircraft.

 

These special computers act as the nerve center of the Super Hornet, providing situational awareness and combat systems control to the flight crew, GD officials maintain. General Dynamics has delivered F/A-18 advanced mission computers since 2002.

 

They’re ruggedized, highly-reliable systems that can process high-speed data flows from the latest sensor technologies, GD officials maintain. The system performs general purpose, input/output, video, voice and graphics processing, and it is designed to operate in the extreme environmental conditions of today’s high-performance fighter aircraft.

 

“Last year we hit a major milestone with the delivery of the 1,500th advanced mission computer to the U.S. Navy in support of the Super Hornet program,” said Lou Von Thaer, president of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. “Our long-standing commitment to outfitting this world-class aircraft with our open architecture has provided the Navy with the ability to cost-effectively address obsolescence, increase flexibility and strengthen performance capabilities.”

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14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 18:20

itar.jpg

 

SAN DIEGO, March 14 (UPI)

 

U.S. professional staffing company Trucept Inc. has entered the defense consulting and staffing business for companies seeking to do business internationally.

 

"Our target for staffing is software engineers and intelligence analysts," said Trucept's Chief Executive Officer Brian Bonar. "Consulting will focus on assisting small- to medium-size businesses tap the international market."

 

Trucept entering the international market is a challenge for small- to medium-sized U.S. manufacturers because of U.S. State Department regulations governing the export of technology and the different regulations and procedures of foreign companies and their countries.

 

Trucept will help its clients through the maze. Leading the effort will be Martin Neill, a 20-year veteran of U.S., British and allied governments.

 

"Neill will develop the Trucept staffing brand, Solvis, into the defense and security sector," the company said. "As companies deal with likely reductions in the U.S. defense and security budgets, the need to reduce overhead costs while increasing flexibility will drive them toward a rise in demand for temporary staffing.

 

"Trucept will utilize Neill's knowledge and experience to identify those key areas and get ahead of the market."

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14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 18:20

puma ae web

 

March 14, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: US Marine Corps; issued March 13, 2013)


PATROL BASE BOLDAK, Afghanistan --- The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, had been taking sporadic enemy fire for most of the morning March 2 while conducting their daily patrol through Boldak, a small town interlaced with green fields and large mud compounds about eight kilometers southeast of Camp Leatherneck. Due to their position and the unforgiving terrain of the city, the Marines couldn’t locate the shooter.

The Marines radioed their combat operations center at Patrol Base Boldak, a small base just two kilometers away, and asked for aerial surveillance to help locate where the shots were coming from.

Within minutes, Marines with Weapons Company, 2nd Bn., 7th Marines, had launched an RQ-LOA Puma AE, a small, unarmed aerial vehicle, to search for potential suspects.

As the Puma positioned over the patrol’s location, a man on a motorcycle was spotted speeding north away from their position. An object was tossed across the man’s lap.

The aerial vehicle followed the man as he drove through the city and across fields, weaving in and out of narrow dirt roads and washed out wadies. The man pulled up to a large compound and parked his motorcycle underneath trees that padded the right side of the road. Multiple men flooded out from inside of the compound to meet the motorcyclist.

The Marines at PB Boldak watched on a television screen as the motorcyclist and the men gathered under the trees. For the next few minutes, people moved back and forth from under the tree line to the inside of the compound. After about ten minutes, the motorcyclist and a female passenger left the compound, but without the object.

Although the Marines couldn’t positively identify the object as a weapon, through the use of the aerial surveillance they were able to identify a possible insurgent compound they would now monitor.

The use of unarmed aerial surveillance in Helmand

Unconventional warfare has defined Afghanistan for the last 12 years. With an enemy who hides amongst the population and uses improvised explosive devices, the U.S. military has reinvented and transformed its strategies for defeating insurgency.

Weapons Company, 2/7, is one of the few Marine Corps units in Helmand province still operating independently of the Afghan National Army and remains focused on counterinsurgency operations. Aerial surveillance systems are ideal for them as an infantry unit because they allow them to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance flights over their battlespace.


Since 2012, the Marine Corps has fielded the Puma surveillance system to units in Afghanistan. And for the last five months, the Puma systems have become a fundamental part of battlefield planning for 2nd Bn., 7th Marines.

“Aerial surveillance has become indispensable to our unit,” said Capt. John Dalby, the company commander of Weapons 2/7. “The Puma system has become a lifeline for our unit, allowing us to observe, detect, and monitor a transparent enemy while operating in a counterinsurgency environment.”

The Puma is a hand-launched unarmed aerial vehicle (UAV) with a range greater than 15 kilometers. It weighs 13 pounds, has a two-hour time of flight and can be operated from a static position or a mobile platform. The Puma’s small size and its ease of use are positives for infantry units because it allows them to operate the systems organically.

“The Puma system is very important, especially for the infantry,” said Lance Cpl. Scott Chase, the Puma flight chief for 2/7. “When it comes to fighting insurgency, we are attempting to fight an enemy who isn’t directly attacking us. With the Puma system, we can independently observe our battlespace day or night, which allows us to find the enemy before he has the chance to find us.”

Currently, the unit has four Puma systems and four flight operators. The operators, who are all infantryman, fly for approximately eight hours each day and have logged over 1,000 flight hours during their deployment.

According to Lance Cpl. Josh Miller, a Puma flight operator, the system has helped them to locate 12 improvised explosive device (IED) emplacements and numerous enemy firing positions, as well as track multiple insurgents across the battlefield.

The future of UAVs

The use of unarmed aerial vehicles has become commonplace on the battlefield and is poised to define the future of combat. However, Dalby believes the real future of aerial surveillance in the Marine Corps lies within its use in amphibious operations.

Dalby was a former small boat commander with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and he believes the Puma systems have unlimited potential in support of ship-to-shore movements.

“Moving into the future, the use of aerial surveillance will become more important,” said Dalby. “As we return to our amphibious roots, we will adapt the technology into a valuable tool for MEU commanders to use in their decision making process for beach landings. “

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14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 18:20

ANAAQ-37 DAS rocket-launch-tracked-aaq-37-distributed-apert

 

Mar 14, 2013 ASDNews Source : Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has delivered its 500th AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) sensor to Lockheed Martin for integration into the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

 

The DAS is a multifunction infrared system that provides passive, spherical battlespace awareness for F-35 pilots by simultaneously detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in every direction, as well as providing visual imagery for day/night navigation and targeting purposes. DAS imagery projected onto the pilot's helmet mounted display provides the capability to look at targets and terrain through the floor and wings of the aircraft. The DAS works in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and other onboard systems to give pilots an unprecedented degree of situational awareness.

 

"This production milestone is a testament to the maturity of the sensor design and our manufacturing processes," said Mark Rossi, Northrop Grumman's DAS business area director. "This revolutionary system is integral to the F-35's fifth-generation leap in technology and Northrop Grumman is ensuring that the sensor systems are ready to meet the warfighter's needs."

 

As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to producing the DAS and software modes, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft's AN/APG-81AESA radar and communications subsystems; produces the center fuselage; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.

 

 


 
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http://www.asdnews.com/data_news/ID48163_600.jpg

 

Mar 14, 2013 ASDNews Source : CAE

 

Two CC-130J full-mission simulators built by CAE for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) have been certified by Transport Canada to Level D, the highest qualification for flight simulators.

 

The two CC-130J simulators are located at the new Air Mobility Training Centre (AMTC) at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Canada.

 

"The Royal Canadian Air Force fully understands the value of simulation-based training, both for the cost benefits as well as the enhanced training and mission rehearsal capabilities it delivers," said Pietro D'Ulisse, CAE's Vice President and Military Business Leader - Canada. "By formally certifying its two CC-130J simulators to Level D, the Department of National Defence will receive the highest fidelity training systems for its forces."

 

CAE is the prime contractor for the Operational Training Systems Provider (OTSP) program, under which the company is providing a comprehensive aircrew training capability for Canada's CC-130J and CH-147F aircraft. At the new AMTC, CAE and its pan-Canadian team of subcontractors are delivering a full suite of CC-130J academic and synthetic training systems to be used for qualification, conversion, refresher, and mission rehearsal training. CAE will also provide 20 years of in-service support for the AMTC in Trenton.

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14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 17:20

c130h

 

Mar. 14, 2013 - By BRIAN EVERSTINE – Defense News

 

The congressional mandate for the Air Force to keep 32 additional tactical airlifters will keep a Pennsylvania Reserve base alive and retain 24 more C-130s across all Air Force components.

 

The 911th Airlift Wing at Pittsburgh, Pa., will retain eight C-130s assigned to the base through 2014, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., announced Wednesday. The C-130s were originally slated to be cut in fiscal 2013 budget plans. Murphy said in a statement that the decision will affect 1,400 active-duty airmen, reservists, technicians and civilians at the 911th.

 

The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act created an Intratheater Airlift Working Group to find 32 tactical airlifters to keep through the fiscal year that would be available to assist in the drawdown in Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs, briefed Congress Wednesday on the aircraft the Air Force will keep.

 

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said although the NDAA directed the Air Force to keep the additional aircraft, it did not provide additional funding for their operation, meaning the service will need to find the funding by reducing other programs.

 

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said recently that the directive to keep additional tactical airlifters would not reverse Air Force plans to cut all C-27J Spartans.

 

In addition to Pittsburgh, the Air Force will retain two C-130s at the 109th Airlift Wing in Schenectady, N.Y., and the 139th Airlift wing in St. Joseph, Mo. One C-130 will be kept at each of the following: 123rd Airlift Wing in Louisville, Ky.; 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston, W.Va.; 18th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.; 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Field, N.C.; 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio; and 914th Airlift Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y.

 

The NDAA directed the Air Force to keep 358 total aircraft through fiscal 2013, but the service will keep that limit through 2014 to allow time for additional studies and to address sequestration before the fiscal 2015 budget cycle.

 

“Although we were required to retain aircraft only through the end of this fiscal year, we extended the aircraft through FY14 to allow time to complete additional analysis and to coordinate with our stakeholders,” Donley said in a release.

 

For fiscal 2014, the service also will keep eight aircraft that were to be decommissioned from the reserve 934th Airlift Wing at Minneapolis Air Reserve Station. Additionally, the service will retain one aircraft each at Louisville; Charleston; St. Joseph; Niagara Falls; the 136th Airlift Wing in Fort Worth, Texas; the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte, N.C.; and the 176th Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

 

The service said it also will keep additional aircraft to “enhance mission effectiveness.” Those five are at Little Rock, two for the 189th Airlift Wing, two at the 22nd Air Force Detachment 1 and one for the 19th Airlift Wing, along with one each at the 152nd Airlift Wing in Reno, Nev.; the 165th Airlift Wing in Savannah, Ga.; the 166th Airlift Wing in New Castle, Del.; the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill.; and the 302nd Airlift Wing in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 17:20

USS Enterprise photo US NAVY

 

March 14, 2013 By Robert Farley - Flashpoints

 

Two detailed arguments on the end of the aircraft carrier emerged earlier this month.  The first, which has already received notable attention in the naval blogosphere, comes from Captain Jerry Hendrix in the form of the first Center for a New American Security (CNAS) “Disruptive Defense” paper.  CNAS’s Disruptive Defense series seeks to provide analysts an opportunity to “present hard-hitting arguments” on controversial U.S. defense issues.

 

Hendrix argues that the modern American nuclear aircraft carrier (CVN) is, in cost-effectiveness terms, unequal to the task of managing the proliferation of anti-access technologies, particularly China’s DF-21D Anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM).

 

This argument has not gone unchallenged. As Bryan McGrath argues over at Information Dissemination, a straight comparison between the costs of a CVN and of 1,227 DF-21s is surely misleading; both weapons require support systems not included in that cost, and the carrier is considerably more flexible in usage than the ballistic missile.

Moreover, many of the key problems identified by Hendrix involve decisions about the air group rather than about the platform itself.  Carriers need planes, and any assessment of the cost of a carrier requires an analysis of the price and capabilities of its aircraft. At the same time, carriers tend not to be bound to a single specific air group configuration, and over the lifespan of the platform will be expected to employ many different aircraft.

 

The blogger Sir Humphrey presents a broader challenge to the aircraft carrier, arguing that it is in decline across the globe. Spain has given up its lone carrier in preference for a (somewhat larger) amphibious multi-purpose ship, the Principe de Asturias. Italy may soon do the same and the future of France and Brazil’s carrier fleets are increasingly in doubt.

 

I’m sympathetic with parts of this argument, as it seems clear that states are more frequently opting for multi-purpose aircraft carrying ships that can conduct amphibious, command, and relief missions in addition to serving as platforms for high-intensity air combat. 

 

The key transition, however, involves less a decision to forego carriers than the lack of an affordable successor to the Harrier jump jet, which has long served as the staple of naval air forces unable to operate CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery) aircraft. The last Harrier II was delivered in 2003, making it not particularly old for a modern jet airframe, but the maintenance and training requirements exceed the capabilities and resources of many small and medium size navies.

 

An affordable, user-friendly successor to the Harrier II might find numerous international customers, although perhaps not enough demand to justify design costs. Perhaps UAC could devote some attention to developing a useful successor to the Yak-38?  However, during the Libya conflict the French and British navies ameliorated this gap by launching attack helicopters from amphibious assault ships, a project that emphasized the flexibility of the flat deck aircraft carrying ship.

 

I suspect that we will continue to see navies devoting resources to multi-purpose flat-deck aircraft carrying warships.  Put simply, as long as states continue to see utility in such ships, they’ll continue to build them. Larger ships with dedicated equipment will carry more and better aircraft. The largest ships, operated by the largest states, will carry an array of exceedingly advanced aircraft, both manned and unmanned. 

At the same time, the constitution of a carrier air group will always be an imperfect fit with the tasks of the day, because development of the air group generally takes place long before the specifics of future conflict are known. And this fact underscores the utility of aircraft carriers.

 

Any air group (whether consisting of F-35s, F/A-18s, Yak-38s, A-6s, or Sea Hawk helicopters) represents a best guess at the demands of future conflict, mediated through the lenses of bureaucracy and the defense industrial base. Many of the assumptions behind these decisions can and often do turn out to be incorrect. The carrier’s primary virtue is therefore its flexibility and adaptability to different circumstances, not in its unique capacity to solve specific problems.

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F16- photo USAF source FG

 

INDIANAPOLIS, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire

 

Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC (RTSC), a subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), has received U.S. Air Force endorsement of its Center Display Unit (CDU) as the F-16's primary flight reference (PFR). Following the endorsement late last year, the Air Force awarded Raytheon a contract for full-rate production of the first 100 CDUs.

 

A PFR is a requirement in all aircraft and must include airspeed, altitude and attitude data, as well as flight path information for the pilot. Besides flight data, Raytheon's CDU gives the pilot the ability to control and display information from both on-board and off-board sources, including ground force information.

 

"This endorsement means F-16 pilots can now use our CDU as their sole primary flight reference," said Rudy Lewis, vice president of Customized Engineering and Depot Support for RTSC. "The CDU's efficient installation -- which minimizes aircraft integration, airframe and wiring modifications -- demonstrates how we are listening to, and working with, our customers to provide advanced and cost-effective situational awareness products."

 

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.

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14 mars 2013 4 14 /03 /mars /2013 13:20

568 us-navy-sm-3-block-ib-missile-interceptor-launched US

 

Mar 14, 2013 ASDNews Source : aerojet

 

Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced that it completed Throttling Divert and Attitude Control System (TDACS) qualification testing with the successful altitude hot fire test for the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB program. The SM-3 program is managed by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and by prime contractor Raytheon.

 

The final TDACS qualification unit was altitude tested at Aerojet's Sacramento, Calif., headquarters. A total of five TDACS were subjected to rigorous qualification requirements. The units were exposed to environmental extremes and various operational duty cycles. The success of these tests validates that the SM-3 Block IB TDACS design with Aerojet's unique throttling solid propulsion technology can operate in all expected environments.

 

“This is the last qualification test in a series of five qualification tests. It is the final ground test verification needed to support SM-3 Block IB production decisions this year,” said Michael Bright, vice president of the Missile Defense and Strategic Systems Business Unit.

 

“These successful qualification tests reflect the significant engineering discipline and technical excellence used to develop Aerojet’s TDACS,” said Marvin Young, vice president of Engineering.

 

The SM-3 Block IB TDACS is produced at Aerojet’s Sacramento, Calif., facility. The SM-3 is powered by Aerojet’s MK 72 first stage booster and MK 104 second stage dual-thrust rocket motor which are produced at Aerojet’s Camden, Ark., facility.

 

SM-3 Block IB, developed as part of MDA’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Phased Adaptive Approach, uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is designed to engage threat ballistic missiles outside of the Earth's atmosphere during the mid-course phase of an incoming missile.

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US Army fields first AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter

 

14 March 2013 army-technology.com

 

The US Army's 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) has fielded the first AH-64E Apache attack helicopter during a ceremony at Gray Army Airfield within Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, US.

 

Eight out of 24 helicopters were received by the battalion, since January 2013, and all are scheduled to be operational by the end of April this year.

 

Known as Guardian, the new heavily-armed helicopter features more powerful, fuel-efficient T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blade technology, as well as advanced electronics, and is designed to replace the army's existing AH-64D Longbow model helicopters.

 

Other features include improved drive system and sensor enhancements, improved handling and performance, as well as the ability to hover at 6,000ft with a full mission payload, providing pilots with more control during high-altitude operations.

 

Commenting on the helicopter, 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion commander lieutenant colonel Geoffrey Crawford said it would increase the battalion's lethality and survivability, while also improving its ability to support ground forces.

 

"The increased power will now allow us to stay on the objective longer and with more ammunition," Crawford added.

 

With a combat speed of around 189mph, the helicopter, which was formerly known as AH-64D Block III, can turn faster and tighter in challenging environments, and also provide pilots with options to remotely operate nearby unmanned aerial vehicles/systems.

 

In addition, 1-229th ARB maintenance test pilot chief warrant officer 3 Richard Crabtree said: "They can view UAV camera feeds, adjust their flight path and launch missiles at targets spotted by the UAV."

 

The battalion flight crews are scheduled to conduct familiarisation training using the actual aircraft and AH-64E flight simulators at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in addition to training in preparation for upcoming rotations to the Army's National Training Center (NTC) later this year.

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MQ-9 Reaper

 

14/03/2013 par Jacques N. Godbout - 45enord.ca

 

Un démocrate en vue, John Podesta, a publié dans l’édition du mercredi 13 mars du Washington Post un billet où il demande au président américain de rendre public tous les documents ayant servis l’établissement de la politique d’assassinats ciblés par drones de l’administration Obama.


«En refusant de dévoiler au Congrès les règles et les justifications qui régissent un programme qui a mené à près de 400 frappes de drones sans pilote et tué au moins trois citoyens américains dans les quatre dernières années, le président Obama ignore le système de freins et contrepoids (checks and balances) qui a gouverné notre pays depuis ses premier jours. En cachant cette information aux Américains, il sape la capacité de la nation [américaine] à être un leader sur la scène internationale et agit en contradiction avec les principes démocratiques que nous tenons pour importants», écrit-il dans le Washington Post.

 

La semaine dernière, dans son témoignage devant le Comité judiciaire du Sénat, le ministre américain de la Justice, Eric Holder, a d’ailleurs admis que l’administration Obama est aux prises avec le problème de la divulgation de l’information programme d’assassinats ciblés. Le président lui-même, dans son discours sur l’état de l’Union le 12 février dernier, a parlé de la nécessité de transparence.

 

Après un examen de la politique d’assassinats ciblés par la commission du renseignement du Sénat, un filibuster de 13 heures menée par le sénateur républicain Rand Paul avant la confirmation à la tête de la CIA de John Brennan, l’architecte du programme américain de drones, et l’admission par la maison Blanche que le président n’a pas le pouvoir d’utiliser des drones pour tuer sur le territoire des États-Unis un citoyen américain qui n’est pas engagée dans le combat, l’administration Obama en est encore à s’interroger sur la pertinence de partager avec le Congrès les avis juridiques et des protocoles détaillés régissant les assassinats ciblés.

 

À lire aussi:

Quand un tueur peut-il tuer: le livre blanc américain sur les drones >>

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Canadian Forces Flag.svg

 

13/03/2013 par Jacques N. Godbout - 45enord.ca

 

Ayant déjà réintroduit le «royal» dans les noms des branches des Forces canadiennes que sont l’Aviation, redevenue royale en 2011 et la Marine, redevenue  elle aussi royale la même année, le gouvernement Harper prépare un autre changement, le retour à l’appellation «Forces armées canadiennes» au lieu de «Forces canadiennes», rapporte Postmedia.

 

Par cette opération de rebranding, de refonte de l’image de marque, le gouvernement Harper rappellerait aux Canadiens que leurs soldats sont armés et non pas simplement une bande de chouettes copains en uniformes. Des soldats armés qui risquent parfois leur vie au service des Canadiens.

 

Le rebranding


Le rebranding est une stratégie de marketing dans lequel un nouveau nom, terme, symbole ou dessin est créé pour une marque établie avec l’intention de développer une nouvelle identité différenciée dans l’esprit des gens.

Ces changements visent généralement à repositionner ce qui est ainsi l’objet de cette refonte d’image et, bien souvent, à communiquer un nouveau message.

 

Ainsi, c’est par l’appellation «Forces armées canadiennes» qu’on désignait auparavant nos soldats, aviateurs et marins canadiens, depuis l’unification en 1968 des trois branches (armée de terre, aviation et marine) mais, dans une opération de refonte de l’image, le gouvernement libéral de Jean Chrétien, qui a précédé celui de Stephen Harper, avait supprimé l’adjectif «armées» de l’appellation officielle.

 

En pleine période de coupes budgétaires, dans les années 90, le gouvernement Chrétien, qui n’était pas particulièrement militariste, préférait cette façon plus douce de désigner nos forces militaires.

 

Il semble que, maintenant, on prendra le chemin inverse et on assistera probablement à une nouvelle refonte de l’image des forces militaires du pays.

 

Refonte de l’image des forces militaires


Une porte-parole du ministre de la Défense, Peter MacKay, Paloma Aguilar, a déclaré à la presse que les termes «Forces canadiennes» et «Forces armées canadiennes» sont pour le moment interchangeables, selon la Loi sur la défense nationale, mais a bien confirmé que l’appellation «Forces armées canadiennes» est maintenant utilisée régulièrement par le premier ministre Harper et le ministre de la Défense Peter MacKay.

«Des deux [appellations], nous pensons que les «Forces armées canadiennes est la plus appropriée», a-t-elle ajouté: «Nos forces militaires sont des forces armées.»

 

Pour l’instant, l’article 14 de la Loi sur la Défense nationale (National Defence Act), partie II, Constitution, les Forces canadiennes, à laquelle se réfère Mme Aguilar,  se lit comme suit:

«Les Forces canadiennes sont les forces armées de Sa Majesté levées par le Canada. Elles constituent un service intégré appelé «Forces armées canadiennes».

 

Opérations passées de rebranding des conservateurs


Quoi qu’il en soit, s’il va de l’avant avec ce projet, le gouvernement Harper, n’en serait pas à sa première opération de rebranding.

 

Outre rebaptiser Aviation royale canadienne et Marine royale canadienne en 2011 les forces aériennes et navales du pays, le gouvernement conservateur avait changé la même année le nom du ministère des «Affaires indiennes» pour en faire le ministère des «Affaires autochtones» pour marquer l’élargissement de son mandat aux Métis et aux Inuits.

Toujours en 2011, à la veille des élections législatives fédérales du printemps, on soupçonne le gouvernement conservateur d’avoir invité les fonctionnaires à utiliser l’appellation «gouvernement Harper» dans les communications officielles du gouvernement du Canada pour établir, dans l’esprit des électeurs, que «gouvernement Harper» était synonyme de «gouvernement du Canada».

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13 mars 2013 3 13 /03 /mars /2013 17:20

MQ-8B Fire Scout source Asdnews

 

Mar 13, 2013 ASDNews Source : Naval Air Systems Command

 

After exceeding the 8,000-flight-hour mark Friday, an MQ-8B Fire Scout assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 Detachment 5 prepares to land aboard USS Robert G. Bradley for a "hot pump" and re-launch while conducting maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations in the Mediterranean Sea March 11. Fire Scouts aboard Bradley are routinely flying 17-hour days while providing 12 hours on station ISR coverage in the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility.

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pentagon source defenseWeb

 

March 13, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued March 12, 2013)

 

WASHINGTON --- Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter pledged today that the Pentagon will not allow a $46 billion cut in spending and uncertainty over future funding to keep it from focusing on challenges facing the nation even though the current fiscal situation will lead to “perverse, unsafe and wasteful consequences.”

 

While calling the current budget sequester and the continuing lack of a defense appropriation bill harmful to the entire defense industry, Carter sought to reassure defense industry representatives attending a conference here that the department intends to “think and act ahead of today’s turmoil” by making strategic budget decisions for the future.

 

“We must continue to look above and beyond this year to the future, to the great strategic transition that is before us and to providing the country the defense it needs for the amount of money that it has to spend,” he said.

 

That transition comprises ending more than a decade of conflict and shifting focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, “where America will continue to play its seven-decade-old pivotal stabilizing role in the future,” he said.

 

At the same time, Carter said, “threats to the United States have not been sequestered,” mentioning North Korea, Iran, cyber threats and al-Qaida.

 

Carter acknowledged the ongoing budget uncertainty likely will create “second-order effects” that will last for years, with one of them perhaps being a pivot of the defense industry itself.

 

“The act of sequestration and longer-term budget cuts and the prolongation of uncertainty could limit capital market confidence in the defense industry,” he said, adding that “companies may be less willing to make internal investments in their defense portfolios. “Some of them have certainly told me that,” he added.

 

A $46 billion across-the-board cut in defense spending through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year took effect March 1 after Congress failed to reach an agreement on how to reduce the federal budget deficit. As he has in the past, Carter predicted the impact the cuts will have on everything from military readiness across the force to furloughs for the department’s 800,000 civilian employees.

 

“[Defense] Secretary [Chuck] Hagel and I and the entire DOD leadership are committed to doing everything in our power under this deliberately restrictive law to mitigate its harmful effects on national security,” the deputy secretary said. But he called the sequester and the ongoing continuing resolution now funding government operations in the absence of a federal budget a “double absurdity.”

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F-35A four-ship

 

Mar. 12, 2013 -by MARCUS WEISGERBER – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The general in charge of the multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter effort is shrinking the staff within the Pentagon’s program office, and he has a message for the jet’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, and engine-maker, Pratt & Whitney: Do the same thing.

 

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said Tuesday that he is “not quite ready” to disclose the changes within the government program office yet, but he has been trimming his staff.

 

“I am making housekeeping changes. You just don’t know about them yet,” he told a small group of reporters after speaking at a conference here sponsored by Credit Suisse and McAleese and Associates.

 

“Mark my word, I am reorganizing and I’m making personnel changes,” said Bogdan, who in December took over the nearly $400 billion program to build jets for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and U.S. allies.

 

Asked how much he plans to shrink the program office, Bogdan said, “I plan on leaning out my program office at the same rate that I want to see Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney lean out their program offices.”

 

The government has about 2,000 people working on the F-35 program at the Arlington, Va.-based headquarters and multiple sites around the country.

 

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the size of the contractors’ F-35 program offices is considerable.

 

“One of the things that we observed when going through the structure of Lockheed was that they do have a very large program office,” Kendall told reporters after speaking at the same conference. “It’s one of the cost items that we talked about during the course of the negotiation.”

 

A Lockheed F-35 program spokesman disagreed.

 

“Our program office staff is properly sized for the F-35 development, production and sustainment scope for our current contracts,” Michael Rein said in an email. “We continuously examine staffing as we submit proposals in response to new or additional government requests, and we make adjustments as necessary and appropriate.”

 

Pratt officials were not immediately available to comment on Bogdan’s remarks.

 

Getting the Price Down

 

The price tag of the F-35 continues to come down with each jet purchased, but there are many variables influencing the numbers.

 

For instance, when the Turkish government delayed buying two airplanes from the seventh production batch to the ninth, the price of the remaining F-35s in the seventh production lot went up $1 million each.

 

“In a lot of 36 airplanes, just moving two airplanes out created about a 1 [percent] to 1.5 percent increase from all the other airplanes in that lot regardless of the variant,” Bogdan said.

 

“What I tell my partners and I tell the services is, we’re all going to hang together or we’re all going to hang separately,” he said. “If we start moving airplanes out and each of us takes our own course in when we want airplanes, everyone else is going to pay a price for that.”

 

Bogdan said he believes the cost of the jet will continue to fall with each batch purchased.

 

“I believe that trend is going to continue on and on and on until we get to a point where the airplane is going to almost, in then-year dollars, cost what we thought it would cost in the early years of this program,” Bogdan said. “I think we can get there.”

 

Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney are getting more efficient in production, and manufacturing quality is improving, Bogdan said.

 

“I believe that, relative to the rest of the program, that production costs are moving in the right direction,” he said.

 

In 2019 or 2020, a conventional F-35A, with an engine, is expected to cost about $90 million in then-year dollars. An A-model F-35 currently costs about $119 million.

 

As production costs decline later in the decade, the F-35 will become more affordable and “fit within the budget,” Bogdan said.

 

On Monday, the Government Accountability Office said the F-35 program had made strides in 2012 but still has lots of testing ahead.

 

F-35 acquisition funding requirements average $12.6 billion annually through 2037, according to the GAO report.

 

“The GAO finding that the program is on more stable footing reflects tremendous effort to rebaseline the program and aggressively manage development, production and cost,” Bogdan said in a statement. “We have more work to do and we’re committed to delivering on the promise of the F-35; it will form the backbone of U.S. air combat superiority for generations to come.”

 

The Impact of Sequestration

 

With mandatory defense spending cuts — known as sequestration — on the horizon, Bogdan said his top priority is keeping F-35 development funded over production.

 

If the Pentagon has the authority to choose where it makes the cuts mandated by sequestration, program officials will have more flexibility in making F-35 program decisions.

 

“I can’t do anything that takes me off course to 2015 and 2017 in terms of development,” Bogdan said at the conference, referring to key battle-ready dates for the Marine Corps and Air Force, respectively. “The first dollar that comes out of the program will not, should not, come out of development.

 

“If I can’t get to 2015 and 2017 with the capabilities that the war fighter wants, why in heck would I continue building airplanes that come off the production line without the capability we want?” he said.

 

If money is taken from the F-35 program, Bogdan said it should be done in a balanced way. For instance, he said spare parts should not be sacrificed to save an aircraft.

 

“Don’t kill all of my spares to save a tail, because in two years when I have no spares, I’ll have airplanes out in the field, hundreds of them, that I can’t fly,” he said.

 

Despite sequestration, Kendall said, “we still have a budget that is adequate to support F-35.”

 

Kendall discussed another pressure that could potentially affect the F-35 program: the start of an effort to find its replacement. In his remarks at the conference, Kendall said he has been working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on the Air Dominance Initiative, designed to start the preliminary work on the next-generation fighter. How quickly that program proceeds will partially be driven by the success of the F-35 program.

 

“There are going to be footsteps behind Lockheed eventually from the next generation, whatever it is, of air dominance system,” Kendall said. “At some point, we’re going to go beyond F-35 to whatever comes next, and the point at which we choose to do that will depend in part on how well we get the cost of the F-35 down and on how well it performs.”

 

Zachary Fryer-Biggs contributed to this report.

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MQ-8C

 

Mar. 12, 2013 by Zach Rosenberg – FG

 

Washington DC - The US Navy has purchased six additional Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scouts, representing the second lot from a planned total for 30 of the vertical take-off and landing unmanned air vehicles.

 

The aircraft will start deploying in 2014, says the navy. The MQ-8B, a previous version based on the smaller Schweizer 333 platform, has three times deployed with the USN in support of special operations forces both at sea and in Afghanistan.

 

This latest buy is notable, coming on the heels of a defence budget sequestration act that will reduce the navy's budget by around 10%: a cut that threatens many influential programmes, including Northrop's RQ-4 Global Hawk.

 

The navy had already purchased six low-rate initial production MQ-8Cs, in addition to two for testing purposes. With its new order, Northrop is under contract for a total of 14 MQ-8Cs, derived from the Bell 407 helicopter.

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12 mars 2013 2 12 /03 /mars /2013 19:20

Canadian Forces Flag.svg

 

12 mars 2013 NR - 13.064

 

OTTAWA – Le chef d’état-major de la Défense, le général Tom Lawson, a accueilli la semaine dernière l’amiral Édouard Guillaud pour participer à des discussions bilatérales, en plus d’assister à d’autres événements. Cette visite de deux jours visait à renforcer les liens bilatéraux qui existent entre le Canada et la France, ainsi qu’à poursuivre le travail déjà amorcé par les deux pays dans le cadre de l’initiative Partenaires de la défense.

 

« C’est avec grand plaisir que je reçois l’amiral Guillaud. Sa deuxième visite au Canada représentait pour nous une excellente occasion d’approfondir les conversations entre militaires entreprises au cours des dernières années, de déclarer le général Lawson. La profondeur et la portée accrues de notre coopération témoignent du professionnalisme de nos militaires, et de nos efforts incessants en vue d’améliorer l’interopérabilité entre nos forces. Je suis certain que nous continuerons d’assister, au cours des années à venir, à d’autres développements positifs au sein de notre partenariat déjà excellent en matière de défense. »

 

« J’ai accepté l’invitation de venir au Canada étant donné l’importance de notre relation franco-canadienne partagée et la valeur que nous accordons à ce lien transatlantique », a déclaré l’amiral Guillaud avant de quitter le Canada.

Les Forces armées canadiennes et les Forces armées de France jouissent d’une relation étroite, fondée sur un long historique de valeurs et d’intérêts communs. Le Canada et la France partagent le désir de veiller à ce que l’alliance de l’OTAN continue d’assurer la sécurité en Amérique du Nord et en Europe, tout en veillant à ce que l’Alliance possède les capacités modernes, souples et rapidement adaptables dont elle a besoin pour défendre les populations et les territoires de ses membres, et pour traiter des défis du XXIe siècle.

 

Le but premier de cette visite était de discuter de la façon dont le Canada et la France pourraient approfondir les liens qui existent déjà en matière de défense. Les deux pays participent à des programmes d’échanges et de formation avec le personnel militaire, à des exercices militaires conjoints au Canada et à l’étranger, ainsi qu’à des opérations internationales, les plus récentes étant celles au Mali où les Forces armées canadiennes ont fourni un avion de transport aérien stratégique CC-177 Globemaster‑III en appui à l’opération Serval, en Afghanistan (dans le cadre de la Force internationale d’assistance à la sécurité de l’OTAN), ainsi qu’en Lybie en appui à l’opération Unified Protector, menée par l’OTAN.

 

En plus de participer aux activités particulières des réunions de l’amiral Guillaud avec le général Lawson, les deux hommes ont également assisté, le 22 février dernier à Ottawa, à la conférence annuelle sur la défense et la sécurité de l’Institut de la Conférence des associations de la défense, et y ont pris la parole.

 

Pour plus d’information sur le soutien apporté par le Canada au Mali, vous pouvez également visiter le site suivant : http://www.cjoc-coic.forces.gc.ca/exp/mali/index-fra.asp.


Pour plus d’information sur l’engagement du Canada en Afghanistan, veuillez consulter le site suivant :
http://www.cjoc-coic.forces.gc.ca/exp/attention/index-fra.asp.

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http://www.cnas.org/files/imagecache/portrait-full/images/press/CNASHendrixALL_mar2013_WEB_PT.jpg

 

Mar. 12, 2013 - By WENDELL MINNICK – Defense News

 

TAIPEI — A 12-page report issued March 11 by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS spells out the disadvantages of continuing to rely on expensive, capacious vessels like aircraft carriers with the dawn of a new type of anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) capable of destroying them far out at sea.

 

Read Report Here: http://www.cnas.org/node/10190

 

The paper, “At What Cost a Carrier,” by U.S. Navy Capt. Henry Hendrix, is the first in the new Disruptive Defense Papers series by CNAS. The series deals with controversial issues in U.S. defense policy at a time when hard choices must be made.

 

Hendrix, a career naval flight officer, argues that the aircraft carrier, the centerpiece of U.S. naval operations for 70 years, is in danger of becoming too vulnerable to be relevant.

 

He also examines the life-cycle costs and utility of the aircraft carrier and recommends a new approach for U.S. naval operations that includes unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) and submarines armed with land-attack cruise missiles. He also argues that the Navy should drop the expensive, untested F-35 and retain the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

 

Hendrix writes that the aircraft carrier is in danger of becoming like the battleships it was originally designed to support: big, expensive, vulnerable and surprisingly irrelevant to the conflicts of the time. This outcome has become more likely as the U.S. Navy continues to emphasize manned carrier aircraft at the expense of unmanned missiles and aircraft.

If the fleet were being designed today from scratch, with the technologies now available and the threats now emerging, it likely would look very different, he postulates.

 

With the expansion of foreign operated surveillance satellites and new long-range precision strike missiles, the carrier may not be able to move close enough to targets to operate effectively or even survive for very long.

 

China is developing ways that challenge the carrier’s maneuverability and survivability. Chinese submarines (63 conventional and nuclear), surface ships (75 destroyers, frigates and one aircraft carrier), aircraft (227 bombers and fighters), anti-ship cruise missiles (around 30 types) and swarming small craft (332 patrol boats) each pose threats to a U.S. Navy Task Force.

 

Hendrix writes that no weapon has captured the imagination of American naval strategists like the DF-21D ASBM. “Using a maneuverable re-entry vehicle placed on a CSS-5 missile, China’s Second Artillery Division states that its doctrine will be to saturate a target with multiple warheads and multiple axis attacks, overwhelming the target’s ability to defend itself.”

 

Analysts estimate the cost of each DF-21D to be $5 million to $11 million. “Assuming the conservative, high-end estimate of $11 million gives an exchange ratio of $11 million to $13.5 billion, which means that China could build 1,227 DF-21Ds for every carrier the United States builds going forward,” Hendrix writes.

 

Given the 1,087-mile range of the DF-21D and the unfueled range of the F-35 at 690 miles, this causes problems.

“U.S. defenses would have to destroy every missile fired, a tough problem given the magazines of U.S. cruisers and destroyers, while China would need only one of its weapons to survive to effect a mission kill,” according to the report.

 

Hendrix compares the carrier to the French knights at Agincourt who were wiped out by the English longbowmen.

 

Using an $11 million missile to sink a $7 billion Nimitz carrier or a $13 billion Ford carrier is upsetting. Arguably, it could take all of the 1,227 DF-21Ds at a total cost of $13.5 billion to kill a Nimitz carrier, but that seems unlikely.

 

China has been testing its DF-21D on an outline of an aircraft carrier in the Gobi desert. Though sinking an unprotected outline of an aircraft carrier is not the real thing, the imagery simply cannot be ignored.

 

Hendrix says the inefficiency of manned aviation, with its massive fiscal overhead of training, pilot currency and maintenance, is rapidly outpacing its utility.

 

“The idea that the United States needs a large sortie capability inexorably drives decision-makers to large carriers,” he writes. “These maritime juggernauts are expensive and hence need to be defended by an ever-larger ring of exquisite technologies in order to launch a historically shrinking number of very expensive aircraft from ever-increasing distances that may or may not drop their bombs.”

 

Advancements in surveillance, reconnaissance, global positioning, missiles and precision strike all signal a sea change in not only naval warfare, but all forms of warfare, according to the report.

 

To continue to invest in aircraft carriers at this stage, to believe that the USS Ford, with a service life of 50 years, would go unchallenged on the high seas, Hendrix writes, “smells of hubris.” The U.S. must break out of its “ossified force structure and not only get ahead of the strategic curve, but actively seek to redefine the curve.”

 

One solution is the development of UCAV and cancellation of the F-35 program.

 

UCAVs with longer range and loitering time could be operated from conventional carriers currently deployed, including light amphibious carriers.

 

“The new UCAVs would be flown only when operationally needed,” Hendrix writes. “UCAV pilots would maintain their currency in simulators, reducing personnel and operational costs and extending their airframes’ lives by decades.”

This would allow the slowly declining number of carriers that would remain in the inventory until the USS Ford retires in 2065 to remain effective.

 

A parallel path, Henderson suggests, should include the maturation and extension of the U.S. inventory of conventional missiles. The current Tomahawk missiles are deployed on Navy cruisers, destroyers, fast-attack submarines and, more recently, four modified Ohio-class submarines, which can carry 155 Tomahawks.

 

This compared to the daily sortie rate of 120 fighters a day for the Nimitz and 160 for the Ford, the Ohio guided-missile submarines (SSGN) “represent the most effective path forward in strike warfare.”

 

“Super quiet, the Ohio SSGNs can penetrate enemy waters unseen, positioning themselves to unleash massive waves of precision strike weapons to take down critical nodes of enemy infrastructure, weakening resolve and resistance from the strategic center outward,” Hendrix writes. These submarines do not need the outer defense ring of destroyers, frigates, support ships and submarines.

 

Carrier strike groups are expensive. Factoring the staggering personnel numbers, roughly 6,700 men and women, and the daily operating cost of $6.5 million, the value of these in real terms is questionable, according to the report — whereas stealthy submarines loaded with low-cost precision cruise and ballistic missiles capped with conventional warheads, as the Chinese are doing with the JL-1/2, provide the U.S. with an elegant “one target + one missile = one kill” solution.

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CP-140 Aurora fleet - photo Canadian Forces

 

March 11, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

Editor’s note: The Air Force Association of Canada has sent this to Defence Watch. The Airpower Advocacy Committee of the Air Force Association of Canada has produced this paper entitled “Manned C4ISR Capability” which discusses what it says is the potentially looming gap in Canada’s capabilities and what can be done about that.

The AFAC is a group of over 7,000 retired forces personnel and associates who advocate for “an effective air power capability for our country.”

 

AFAC POSITION PAPER 01/2013

 Issue:  CF Manned C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Capability

 

Background

 

  • The Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) outlines the following strategic Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) responsibilities:

 

  •  
    • The Canadian Forces (CF) must work closely with federal government partners to ensure the constant monitoring of Canada’s territory and air and maritime approaches, including in the Arctic, to detect threats to Canadian security as early as possible;

 

  •  
    • The CF must be able to identify and deal with such threats as over-fishing, organized crime, drug and people smuggling and environmental degradation and maintain capabilities to address these quickly and effectively if so directed; and

 

  •  
    • The CF must have the capacity to exercise control over and defend Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic.

 

  • In addition, the CF must be able to make a meaningful contribution to the full spectrum of international operations – operations which, as evidenced in Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere, rely highly on information derived from C4ISR capabilities.

 

  • The most effective platform currently available for the CF to carry out strategic C4ISR is the CP-140 Aurora. This aircraft has been significantly upgraded in recent years as part of the Aurora Incremental Modernization Project (AIMP) which, in addition to replacing outdated navigation and communications systems, introduced highly capable new sensor systems for:

 

  •  
    • acoustic processing;
    • electro-optical and infra-red (EO/IR) surveillance;
    • electronic warfare support (ESM);
    • radar imaging;
    • magnetic anomaly detection (MAD); and
    • data management.

 

  • The upgraded CP-140 is considered by knowledgeable observers, from a systems perspective, as being one of if not the most capable multi-mission Long Range Patrol aircraft currently in existence.

 

  • In addition to systems upgrades, as part of the CP-140 modernization process, DND also took steps to extend the Aurora’s available service life through the Aurora Service Life Extension Program (ASLEP). While all 18 Auroras were originally expected to be life extended, the announced plan is for only 10 aircraft to go through ASLEP. This will result in a significant degradation in Canada’s C4ISR capabilities by the end of the decade unless steps are taken to resolve the issue.

 

  • The CFDS originally called for the Aurora fleet to be replaced with 10 to 12 modern maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) in about 2020 as part of what was characterized as a surveillance ‘system of systems’: manned aircraft; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and satellites. While plans are somewhat unclear, it has become increasingly evident of late that at least the MPA portion of this plan will not happen in a timely manner.

 

AFAC Position

 

  • Modernizing the CP-140 Aurora has provided new life to the Aurora fleet and has given the CF an outstanding ability to carry out joint (land, sea and air) C4ISR missions, at home and abroad. As demonstrated in recent operations near and over Libya, the aircraft has the ability to conduct surveillance over land or water; to command and control joint forces; and to conduct other complex C4ISR missions of great value to Canadian and Allied Joint Force Commanders.  Of course, the CP-140 also retains an outstanding ability to carry out anti-submarine warfare operations should these be required.

 

  • While there is potential for the CP-140 to be replaced by a comparable Multi-Mission Aircraft (the Boeing P-8 Poseidon being one example) it appears increasingly doubtful that the defence budget will allow acquisition of such an aircraft before non-ASLEP CP-140s run out of available service life. There is also concern that other elements of the surveillance ‘system of systems’ foreseen in the CFDS may be delayed.

 

  • Under the circumstances, AFAC considers the most prudent course of action would be to upgrade as many of the available CP-140s as possible to allow this critical platform to continue to operate until approximately 2025 – 2030. In addition to ensuring Canada’s existing AIMP investments are not squandered, this would give DND time to investigate and move forward with alternative (and perhaps currently unforeseen) C4ISR solutions.


Messages

 

  • The CP-140 Aurora currently represents a critical strategic C4ISR capability, one which will be increasingly important to Canada in the future for deployed operations, coastal surveillance and Arctic sovereignty.

 

  • The CP-140 is a multi-mission platform capable of contributing to operations over land and sea and across the full spectrum of operations, from search and rescue to combat.

 

  • Canada has made a significant investment over the past decade to modernize the CP-140’s avionics and sensor systems. As a result, the aircraft has capabilities which now match or exceed those of the most technologically advanced ISR platforms available to Western military forces.

 

  • Given the uncertainty that currently surrounds DND’s overall capital program, AFAC believes it would be prudent for Canada to structurally upgrade as many Aurora aircraft as possible (up to 18) thus preserving the maximum C4ISR capability possible over the next decade and a half.
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12 mars 2013 2 12 /03 /mars /2013 17:20

F-22-Raptors-PMP source Defence Talk

 

Mar. 11, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Las Vegas - US Air Force operational testers at Nellis AFB, Nevada, are preparing to evaluate the Visionix Scorpion helmet-mounted cueing system (HMCS) on the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor later this year.

 

"We absolutely hope to have the Scorpion helmet [on the Raptor]," says Col Robert Novotny, commander of the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group (53rd TEG), which investigates new technologies and tactics for the service. "We think we'll get into that business this summer."

 

Novotny cautions that while work is underway to investigate adding the new helmet -mounted display, a test plan has not been formally approved just yet. "We're figuring out what's required, what are the issues," he says.

 

Even so, the new full-colour lightweight paddle-shaped display has made a very positive impression on the Raptor community. "Everybody really likes the Scorpion," Novotny says. "Everybody wants the helmet and we're trying to work our way forward."

 

The integration of the Scorpion onto the Raptor will pave the way for the fifth-generation air-superiority fighter to take full advantage of the Raytheon AIM-9X high off-boresight (HOBS) dogfighting missile. "So if we can get that in the jet, and then we can get them an off-boresight heat-seeking missile like the AIM-9X," Novotny says. "[Adding the AIM-9X is a] little bit further off. We want to get this done because we'll bring some great capability to the pilot, as all helmets do, and give them the off-boresight later."

 

The Raptor is expected to receive a "rudimentary" capability to use the weapon in 2015. Full integration of the AIM-9X is expected in 2017 when the Raptor's Increment 3.2B upgrade is fielded.

 

The F-22 community considers the addition of a HMCS and the AIM-9X to the Raptor to be vital. Even though the jet grossly outperforms other aircraft at the "merge", the Raptor can be at a disadvantage once it transitions into the visual arena against a threat aircraft equipped with a HMCS and HOBS missile.

 

The addition of the Scorpion and AIM-9X will also allow for "heads out" multi-targeting of enemy aircraft while approaching the merge, which will help the Raptor in scenarios where it is outnumbered, says one highly experienced F-22 pilot. Given the small size of the F-22 fleet, that "will be about all the time these days," the pilot says.

 

Generally speaking, Novotny-who has had years of experience flying as an aggressor against the Raptor--says one is usually not aware of being attacked by a F-22 until it is too late. That is because even at the merge, a pilot flying against a Raptor does not know where the F-22 is coming from due to its stealth capabilities.

 

However, once engaged in a classic dogfight, "I have a chance," Novotny says. The outcome of visual range encounters is largely dependent on individual pilot skill, he notes.

 

The addition of the Scorpion and AIM-9X would ensure the USAF's small Raptor fleet, which only numbers 184, retains its advantage even during a within visual range encounter.

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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter source defpro.com

 

Mar 12, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Reuters; published Mar 11, 2013)

 

WASHINGTON --- One of two F-35 fighter jets headed to a Nevada air base made an unscheduled landing in Lubbock, Texas on Monday after a caution light came on in the cockpit, according to a Pentagon spokesman and the plane's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp.

The next-generation stealth fighter was flying from the Lockheed plant in Fort Worth, Texas to Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas on Monday afternoon, when a caution warning light came on, requiring the pilot to land at the nearest airport, said Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein.

He said the pilot landed safely. The second plane landed as planned at the Nevada air base, joining two other aircraft that arrived there last week, where they will be used for operational testing and evaluation of the new warplane.

A team of Lockheed maintenance experts was en route to examine the single-engine plane at the Lubbock airport, which is about 300 miles from Fort Worth, Rein said. It was not yet clear what caused the caution light to come on, he said. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.

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MQ-8C.jpg

 

Mar 12, 2013 Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

    Next-Generation Unmanned Helicopter System Provides Greater Endurance, Range and Payload Capacity

 

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract valued at more than $71 million to produce six additional next-generation Fire Scout unmanned helicopters. The Fire Scout endurance upgrade, designated the MQ-8C and based on Bell Helicopter's 407, will provide ship commanders with increased range, endurance and payload capacity over the current MQ-8B variant.

 

The Navy plans to purchase a total of 30 aircraft under a rapid development effort. Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to produce 14 Fire Scouts that are scheduled to begin deploying in 2014.

 

"This contract provides significant momentum for the work Northrop Grumman and its supply chain partners are doing to meet the Navy's requirements," said George Vardoulakis, vice president for tactical unmanned systems with Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "Our entire team is focused on delivering this game-changing capability on time, on cost and with unquestionable quality. Along with our industry partners – Bell, Rolls-Royce, Cubic and others – we are making significant progress in reducing cost, enabling us to achieve our affordability targets and provide the Navy with the absolute best value."

 

Manufacturing and assembly operations of the new Fire Scout variant are well under way across the country, with airframe modifications being made at Bell's facility in Ozark, Ala., and final assembly being completed at Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss.

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IMGP4331-Raytheon-logo

 

TEWKSBURY, Mass., March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire

 

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) was awarded a sub-contract from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to deliver its first 5th generation medium frequency hull mounted sonar system as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program.

 

According to the U.S. Navy, 43 nations operate more than 600 submarines; the steady increase in undersea vessels makes tracking a challenge. Raytheon's Modular Scalable Sonar System (MS3) will integrate into SAIC's prototype trimaran vessel as the primary search and detection sonar. The system is designed to provide search, detection, passive-threat filtering, localization and tracking capabilities without requiring human operation.

 

MS3 enables anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and undersea warfare with capabilities such as active and passive search, torpedo detection and alertment, and small object avoidance. Data from multiple sonars may be fed to a central command and control node, providing a common operating picture as part of the ASW mission. By integrating a host of capabilities in a single sonar system, Raytheon delivers an affordable solution that addresses critical naval challenges. 

 

"Historically, manned sonars were central to anti-submarine warfare missions. However, the growing number of submarines traversing the world's oceans makes this model unsustainable," said Joe Biondi, vice president of Advanced Technology for Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business. "By leveraging Raytheon's heritage in developing undersea sensors, MS3 can be configured to provide the capabilities required for ASW in an autonomous environment."

 

About Raytheon
Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.

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