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5 novembre 2015 4 05 /11 /novembre /2015 17:20
Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept

Nov 05, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Fortune; published Nov 04, 2015)


The Air Force’s New Bomber Faces A Pentagon Budget Battle (excerpt)


As Congress seeks billion in defense cuts, America’s new $100 billion stealth bomber looks for space in the Pentagon’s long-term spending plan

The battle over who will build the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation stealth bomber came to a close last week, but a new conflict is already developing at the Pentagon. A defense budget passed Friday has Congress and military planners seeking $5 billion in defense cuts, as the Air Force prepares to squeeze another costly development program into a Pentagon budget already packed with big-ticket weapons buys.

Last week’s award of the Long Range Strike Bomber program, or LRS-B, to Northrop Grumman over a joint bid by defense giants Lockheed Martin “LMT” and Boeing “BA” marks what is expected to be the Pentagon’s last major combat aircraft program for a decade. But as defense planners embark on a slew of much-needed modernization programs over the next decade, money remains scarce—and could grow scarcer still.

With limited funds to go around, the LRS-B program could find itself competing for funds with myriad Pentagon programs amid tightening budgets. The U.S. Navy has embarked on a major program—starting in the early 2020s—to replace its fleet of Ohio-class nuclear submarines, a key component of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. The U.S. Army is engaged in a multi-billion dollar effort to upgrade its ground vehicles and plans to develop and buy a whole new fleet of helicopters in the 2020s. Meanwhile, the Army, Navy, and Marines are all engaged in the $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Within the Air Force alone, the LRS-B will join a number of major new and ongoing programs. In the next several years, the service plans to begin replacing its fleet of E-8 ground surveillance aircraft known as JSTARS, its aging Vietnam War-vintage T-38 jet trainers, and its land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

A new combat rescue helicopter and a replacement for Air Force One are in the works. Meanwhile, Air Force brass have also prioritized ramping up production on both the F-35 and the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker—made by Lockheed and Boeing respectively—at the same time the LRS-B is trying to get off the ground. (end of excerpt)

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

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
L'EI publie la liste de 100 militaires américains à abattre


Washington, 22 mars 2015 Marine & Océans (AFP)


Des hackers se réclamant du groupe jihadiste de l'Etat islamique ont publié une liste de 100 militaires américains à abattre, précisant leurs noms et adresses supposés, indique dimanche le centre américain de surveillance des sites islamistes (SITE).


Ce groupe qui se présente comme la "Division des hackers de l'Etat islamique" a mis en ligne ces informations sur des membres de différents corps de l'armée américaine, y compris leurs photographies et grades, ajoute le SITE.


Il affirme avoir piraté ces informations sur des serveurs, bases de données et emails du gouvernement.


Selon lui, les 100 militaires ciblés ont participé à la guerre contre l'EI en Syrie, en Irak et au Yémen.


Interrogés par le New York Times, le département américain de la Défense et le FBI ont dit être informés de ces menaces et enquêter sur le site.


Le journal cite par ailleurs une source militaire qui affirme que les informations publiées sont pour la plupart accessibles au public et que les serveurs du gouvernement ne semblent pas avoir été piratés.


Ces derniers mois, plusieurs médias et institutions américaines ont été piratés par des hackers se réclamant de l'EI. En janvier, ils avaient ainsi brièvement pris le contrôle des comptes Twitter et YouTube du commandement militaire américain au Moyen-Orient (Centcom), une intrusion embarrassante pour l'armée américaine en pleine guerre contre l'EI en Syrie et Irak.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Pratt, Pentagon Open F-35 Engine Price War


April 8, 2014 Source: Defense-Aerospace.com


PARIS --- Having canceled the GE/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine program for short-term savings, the Pentagon finds itself powerless to force Pratt & Whitney to reduce the cost of its own F135 engine, now the single-source powerplant for the entire F-35 program.


While many in Congress tried to block cancellation of the F136 program for several years, arguing that competition had very effectively reduced fighter engine acquisition costs in the past, the program was eventually killed in December 2011 when GE and Rolls-Royce finally decided to stop funding the project in the hope the Pentagon would restore funding. At the time, the Pentagon opted to cut F136 funding as part of a program-wide campaign to reduce the F-35’s ballooning costs.


Pratt & Whitney’s single-source, monopoly position is so strong that the F-35 Joint Program Office cannot even force the company to reveal the true cost of the engines, Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, deputy program manager of the F-35. “I can’t force somebody to go ahead and report something that by law they are not” required to report, he told Aviation Week at the Sea Air Space 2014 conference in Washington, DC on April 7 (see below).


The most recent F135 production contract, announced Oct. 23, 2013, covers 38 engines for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 7 and is worth $1.1 billion, or an average cost of $28.9 million per engine. More precise cost figures are not available.


At the time, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer, said that "The engine price has been going down and that trend will continue." He added that "I've met with Pratt & Whitney's senior leaders and they are working closely with the supply chain to continue to bring down the cost to the government."


Six months later, Bogdan’s comments appear very optimistic. The following two stories show that Pratt & Whitney is dragging its heels in reducing engine costs, and that the company, which now holds an unassailable monopoly position on F-35 engine production, is virtually immune to Pentagon pressure.

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