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Thread: USAF not F-35 thread

  1. #1171
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    Posted earlier in the thread....

    One of the questions surrounding the design of EPAWSS has been the choice of technology that would be used to power the system’s jammer transmitters, whether a solid-state amplifier approach or more conventional traveling wave tube (TWT) technology. Walters answers that question saying BAE’s approach is a GaN-based solid-state amplifier design.
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/291713432...TQXB2zZ1ogDFNA

    @haavarla, the aim with F-15E modernization is two pronged i.e. to make it more survivable, and more lethal. The former comes with EPAWSS while the latter comes via a mix of processor, weapons, and sensor upgrades. I wouldn't be surprised if the F-15E is also the initial/threshold platform of choice for the Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon (and its offshoots) that will begin flight testing in a year or two.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 12th February 2018 at 20:31.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  2. #1172
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    Some USAF Budget summaries. Also, overall aircraft procurement. 101 fighters to be procured in FY19 up 17 from FY18.
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th February 2018 at 00:04.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  3. #1173
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    I noticed the first summary mentions the F-16E, I thought the USAF didn't procure any of those?

    "Air Superiority Family of Systems", I hate such phrasing. We can't we call a program for a new fighter what it is?

  4. #1174
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    Lockheed-Martin could be doing some upgrade work for the UAEAF.

    https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com...n-fleet-04538/

  5. #1175
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    "Air Superiority Family of Systems", I hate such phrasing. We can't we call a program for a new fighter what it is?
    Because that is likely not the only thing that is funded under this effort. The full USAF budget is not out (hopefully we will see those RDTE details by later today) but the current funding level under the line item is likely meant to be used for multiple efforts, which likely includes an aircraft, under the larger umbrella of air-superiority. There was plenty of this sort of stuff spread around in the FY18 budget request last year, from everything from conformal load bearing antennas, to inlets and exhaust research and prototyping for future fighter aircraft, to next generation infra-red search and track sensors and even next-generation weapons and High Energy Laser applications. AS2030 focused on other aspects of the mission and not strictly a platform, so it is logical that the investment also focus on multiple things under the broader effort.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th February 2018 at 11:48.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  6. #1176
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    Att. is the budget allocation for the Next Generation Air Dominance capabilities and technologies. Overall investment across the FYDP (FY19-FY23) stands at roughly $10 Billion (R&D) including a new A2A weapon development among other technologies. R&D funding spikes from $22 Million in FY17 to > $500 Million in FY19 and will be >$3 Billion in FY2022. Some of the FY18 and 19 funding is towards building "demonstrative prototypes".

    In addition, technical risk reduction activities will be performed
    to include experimentation, integration and building demonstrative prototypes.
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th February 2018 at 18:51.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  7. #1177
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    ..
    Title: Air Launched Rapid response Weapon (ARRW)
    Description: Integrates Air Force and DARPA enabled system technologies into a prototype that will
    demonstrate the viability of this concept to be fielded as a long range prompt strike capability. ARRW will
    design, develop, manufacture, and test, a number of prototype vehicles to inform decisions concerning ARRW
    acquisition and production.

    ARRW Aquisition Strategy - The Air Force applied funding to an existing DARPA other transaction authority contract to Lockheed Martin in order to leverage the synergistic efforts ongoing in the Tactical Boost Glide technology demonstration. The cost type contract incentives schedule through milestone payments. The government agency responsible for managing this program is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Armament Directorate, Eglin AFB FL.

    HCSW - The Air Force is conducting a limited source competition for the rapid development of a hypersonic, conventional air-launched, stand-off weapon. An IDIQ contract will be awarded to a single offeror to develop/test all elements of the end-to-end system, integration with existing bomber/fighter Aircraft, all respective operations/mission planning and sustainment efforts, to include operational safety, suitability, and effectiveness. Contract award is anticipated in the second quarter of FY 2018. The government agency responsible for managing this program is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Armament Directorate, Eglin AFB FL.
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  8. #1178
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    Finally an A&D media/industry outlet spots the difference in the the FY18 to 19 transition. It was pretty well known that last year's budget used placeholders for the FYDP which has now been firmed up. Also of note, the AOA on the Joint Airborne Electronic Attack effort is also expected to conclude in 19 so expect quite a few new starts to appear in the FY20 budget.

    Air Force's five-year spending plan more than doubles funding for Next-Gen Air Dominance


    The Air Force's budget outlook for Next-Generation Air Dominance has nearly doubled in its fiscal year 2019 funding request, which proposes $9.8 billion over the next five years to support continued experimentation and risk reduction for a new air dominance family of systems.

    The budget request, released this week, proposes $503 million for the effort in FY-19 -- a slight drop from the $507 million projected in last year's request -- which would more than double in FY-20 to $1.3 billion. Funding would grow to $2 billion in FY-21, $3.1 billion in FY-22 and $2.8 billion in FY-23 under the Air Force's plan.

    The increase in projected funding comes after last year's budget request programmed about $4.5 billion for NGAD across the future years defense program -- a steep jump compared to previous projections and an indication the service is eyeing contracts for risk-reduction and experimentation work. The FY-17 budget request called for just $20 million for NGAD and projected it would require only $12.8 million in FY-18 and FY-19.

    Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters Feb. 13 the funding increase for NGAD -- as well as increases in spending for fourth-generation aircraft modernization and multidomain command and control -- better aligns the service with the newly released National Defense Strategy, which emphasizes increased lethality in order to counter growing threats from Russia and China. Air Force spokesman Ann Stefanek told Inside Defense that while the service was already projecting measured investments in those areas, the increases in this year's budget can be directly tied to the NDS.

    The Air Force has been exploring options for a new air dominance capability since at least 2011, when the Pentagon approved a requirement for a follow-on to the F-22. In 2016, as part of its renewed developmental planning effort, the service completed a study that considered the capabilities needed to maintain air dominance against future threats.

    That study identified a need for a penetrating counter air capability -- which aligned with ongoing NGAD investment -- and kicked off an analysis of alternatives, which should be completed in the third quarter of FY-18.

    The FY-19 budget divides NGAD funding into two lines of effort -- one focused on the air system and the other on a next-generation air-to-air weapon. Air Force Budget Deputy Carolyn Gleason and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Maj. Gen. John Pletcher told reporters Feb. 12 that FY-19 funds would be used to complete the NGAD analysis of alternatives, which is informing both efforts. The AOA will lead to decisions on how to proceed with experimentation and early development work, she said.

    Pletcher noted that the service is still determining what an NGAD family of systems will look like and whether it will require a new platform for penetrating counter-air.

    "I think the analysis of alternatives is designed to tell us what we need, what that family of systems looks like," he said. "It could be a platform. It could be something else. That's the intent of the analysis of alternatives."
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 14th February 2018 at 22:26.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  9. #1179
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    Both DARPA's Tactical Boost Glide (Air Launched Hypersonic BG weapon), and the Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon (air launched cruise missile) to begin flight testing in the late 2018 - mid-late 2019 time frame...I would have to go back and check prior year submissions but it does appear that they have moved flight testing up by 6 months to a year.
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  10. #1180
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    JASSM-ER achieves FOC on F-15E Strike Eagle

    The USAF’s Seek Eagle Office – which leads the integration of the AGM-158 JASSM and AGM-158B JASSM-ER missiles on the F-15E Strike Eagle – declared FOC for JASSM-ER on the aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2017, although this was only publicly disclosed in early February 2018.
    A Lockheed Martin release noted, “With the completion of integration and fielding of JASSM-ER’s Suite 8 Operational Flight Programme [the software programme of an embedded computer system which enables that system to perform its interactive tasks as designed] the F-15E Strike Eagle becomes the first Universal Armament Interface [UAI-compliant platform to field JASSM-ER.”
    Source:
    IHS Jane's

  11. #1181
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    Air Force announces official retirement date for iconic MQ-1 Predator


    The Air Force will officially retire its iconic, groundbreaking — and controversial ― MQ-1 Predator on March 9, officials at Creech Air Force Base said.

    In a Wednesday release, Creech said that the Air Force will shift to entirely using MQ-9 Reapers for combat missions after the Predator’s sunset. The Air Force also flies unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawks for reconnaissance missions.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  12. #1182
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    Some F-22A, post Increment 3.2B plans are begining to shape up including some FY19 new starts. Talon SPITBALL is the effort that will be upgrading all block 30.35 F-22s with an HMD solution and will select a system in FY19. About $100 Million is being spent on unspecified Sensor enhancements (R&D) in FY19 among other efforts that are focused on the software side. The sensor enhancements effort will be at Milestone-B by FY20 so we'll probably get additional details in the next budget.

    Sensor Enhancements:Description: Improved sensor capabilities to maintain air dominance and preserve first shot, first kill capability.

    FY 2019 Plans:
    Commence proposal preparation activities for EMD and start PDR preparation contract to support 2020 MS B. Initiate integration
    studies to utilize results from related ATD efforts as part of assessing overall program technological readiness.
    Pilot Systems: Description: This major thrust was formally known as Helmet Mounted Display and Cueing System (HMDCS). The Pilot Systems
    product line will select, integrate, test, and field mature hardware to support the F-22 Raptor's pilot environment. In FY17, theprogram began efforts to develop the HMDCS to take full advantage of advanced weapons such as the AIM-9X and improved battlespace situational awareness during day/night within-visual-range engagements. The HMDCS will be integrated on all Block 30/35 Raptors. In FY19, the program will support studies and integration risk reduction activities for Talon SPITBALL
    FY 2018 Plans:
    Complete a study and analysis on canopy distortion to inform understanding of display solutions compatible with the F-22s unique
    canopy construction/coatings. Updating market research and releasing the Request for Proposal for Pre-EMD.
    FY 2019 Plans:
    Select F-22 helmet solution. Enter Pre-EMD contract for integration of helmet solution and achieving system-level PDR. Support
    studies and integration risk reduction activities for Talon SPITBALL
    Also, some more recent information on the ongoing Tactical Mandates effort. Based on the schedule released this month, the USAF plan on installing Tactical Mandates upgrades by late 2021 or 2022. All in F-22 Improvements and research and development gets about $500 Million in FY19.

    The F-22 TACLink 16 and F-22 Tactical Mandates programs are follow-on modernization efforts to Increment 3.2B and Update 6. The programs will provide Open
    Systems Architecture (OSA), Link 16 Transmit and Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Transpond/Interrogate on the F-22 Block 30/35 combat coded F-22 fleet.
    In FY 2017 the budget began to reflect the TACLink 16 program. The F-22 recognized a valuable opportunity to field OSA and Link 16 Transmit earlier than originally
    planned under the F-22 Tactical Mandates. The Link 16 Transmit enables 5th generation F-22 fighter aircraft to transmit tactical information through datalink to the
    5th generation F-35 (a.k.a. 5th-to-5th), as well as to 4th generation aircraft (a.k.a. 5th-to-4th). Transmitting tactical data to other aircraft types via datalink is a top Air
    Force priority. With Link 16 Transmit, the F-22's superior 5th Generation sensor suite will critically support the situational awareness of all participants in the operational
    environment. The TACLink 16 program accelerates the installation of this key data link capability. Additionally, the TACLink 16 will enable future life cycle savings
    opportunities for the F-22 and provide risk reduction effort for the F-22 Tactical Mandates program.
    The F-22 Tactical Mandates program (product line) is conducted using AGILE system development environments. The AGILE environment allows the F-22 Raptor
    program to develop, test, and field software/hardware from multiple programs using a schedule cadence for capabilities as they mature.
    The F-22 Tactical Mandates program will field Mode 5 IFF on the TACLink 16 baseline. Mode 5 IFF is a Joint Requirements Oversight Council-mandated Blue Force
    identification capability that improves Raptor survivability and reduces fratricide risk DoD-wide. Mode 5 IFF brings significantly enhanced combat identification in both
    quality and security
    TacLink 16 which was carved out of TACMAN to move its schedule to the left will begin its flight testing (DT) in FY19 as well.
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 20th February 2018 at 14:09.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  13. #1183
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    New wings on Qatar F-15s pave upgrade path for USAF


    A Qatari order for the F-15 Advanced Eagle will introduce a new structural upgrade for the wing that could be offered as a service life extension option for the US Air Force’s F-15Cs and for the fleets of other international customers, a top Boeing manager says.

    The government of Qatar awarded Boeing a $6.2 billion contract for 36 F-15QA (Qatari Advanced) fighters in late December that extends the St. Louis-based production line through the end of 2022.

    The F-15QA introduces a number of previously-announced features, including an advanced cockpit system with a large format display, says Steve Parker, Boeing’s vice-president of F-15 programmes.In an interview with FlightGlobal on 22 February, Parker also confirmed the F-15QA also will be delivered with a redesigned wing that strengthens the internal structure without changing the aerodynamics,. The redesign was made possible by using advanced new manufacturing techniques developed within Boeing in the last few years, he adds.

    As the F-15QA enters development, Boeing sees opportunities to replace the wings on existing F-15Cs, if the USAF decides to keep the twin-engined fighter in service for more than two more decades.

    Over the past two years, the USAF has discussed options for keeping a subset of the F-15C fleet in service through the mid- to late-2030s. Those aircraft would require a longeron replacement with a $1 million cost per shipset, Parker says. Some Air Force officials also are discussing options to keep the F-15Cs in service even longer, which could require a wing replacement, Parker says.

    The additional life extension is currently “not required, but it my be something they want to do”” Parker says. “We’re just giving them some options.”

    Other customers, including the Japan Air Self-Defence Force, also may consider structural upgrades to keep their F-15s in service beyond planned retirement dates, Parker says.

    Boeing showed off other possible upgrades for the 45-year-old F-15 fleet in a virtual reality display set up inside the exhibit hall of the Air Warfare Symposium on 22-23 February. The digital imagery included a concept for a “conformal technology pod”. It would replace the conformal fuel tank with a pod that can carry advanced sensors, such as a side-looking synthetic aperture radar. Boeing also showed images of an F-15 adorned with the “Amber” multiple ejector rack, allowing the fighter to carry up to 22 air-to-air missiles.

    Those proposed new upgrades come after a multi-year revitalisation of F-15 capabilities, including a new mission computer, electronic-scan radar, a new electronic warfare suite, fly-by-wire flight controls, newly-activated weapon stations and the more powerful GE Aviation F110-GE-129 engines.

    “We’re just taking the F-15 through a metamorphosis,” Parker says.

    Moreover, plans to win new orders for the F-15. Qatar ordered 36, but is approved by the US Congress to order up to 72, Parker says. Boeing also is delivering a requested classified briefing about the F-15 to the German air force, as one of several candidates to replace the Germany’s fleet of Panavia Tornados, Parker says.

    “It’s not dead by a long shot,” he adds. “It’s got a bright future ahead.”
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  14. #1184
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    JSTAR Eagle? Would make senses.

  15. #1185
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    JSTARS Eagles could work well with AWACS F-22's (vis Stephen Trimble)

    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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    Dan McCormick, general manager for advanced combat engine programs at GE Aviation, discusses the company's $1 billion Adaptive Engine Transition Program contract to mature its three-stream adaptive cycle engine for use in sixth-generation fighter jets, embracing additive manufacturing, tackling thermal-signature and power-generation challenges, and more
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 28th February 2018 at 15:10.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  18. #1188
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    FY19 updated on the F-15 Advanced Processors for the F-15C and F-15E fleet. Overall, current program of record is for around 400 systems to be fitted on the F-15E, and C fleet. This is in line with the AESA radar upgrade via the installation of 214 APG-63(V). Also, 235 C/D aircraft to be upgraded with Mode 5 IFF, and the AESA upgrade to 217 F-15Es with the AN/APG-82 radar. The E fleet will also be getting the Mode 5 IFF. Current program of record for F-15 C/D IRST stands at 100. Overall, roughly 49 F-15's will be delivered during FY19 post AESA upgrade.

    While the FY19 SARs (Dec,2017) are not public yet, the budget reveals that there are still no plans to add EPAWSS on the C/D fleet. The program of record for EPAWSS-E is still 217 installs to the Strike Eagle fleet.

    The F-15E requires a replacement Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCP II) to meet future and projected subsystem demands. The ADCP II program will equip the F-15E with a central processor with
    sufficient memory, processing throughput, and Input/Output bandwidth to meet the Operational Flight Program growth requirements of Suite 8 and beyond, and to support other major platform modernization
    upgrades such as EPAWSS. The increased capability of ADCP II will also enable the F-15E to fully exploit the APG-82(V)1 radar capabilities, to include increased target tracks, mode simultaneity, and increased
    track data. The ADCP II is required to meet all APG-82(V)1 key system attributes.
    The ADCP II upgrade ensures continued combat viability for the F-15C platform. The F-15C central computer (CC) and cockpit radar display (Vertical Situation Display) are functionally obsolete. CC speed and
    memory are unable to support growth beyond Operational Flight Plan (OFP) Suite 7C, and the monochrome radar display is the #1 mission degrader in the cockpit. The ADCP II system for the F-15C consists
    of the ADCP II Line Replaceable Unit (LRU), Vertical Situation Display Replacement (VSDR), and a Remote Interface Unit (RIU). Replacing the CC with the ADCP II mission computer (common with F-15E) will
    provide increased throughput and memory capability to support (OFP) upgrades beyond Suite 7C, enabling the aircraft to meet requirements of expanded datalink capabilities, sensors, electronic warfare, and
    forward/netcentric operations. Replacing the monochrome display with a 5x5 color display will reduce maintenance and sustainment costs while increasing the capability to fully support the APG-63(V)3 Active
    Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) radar, fighter datalink, and video recording. This program has associated RDT&E funding in PE 0207134F
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 4th March 2018 at 17:31.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  19. #1189
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    Industry aims to streamline weapons production as quantities grow


    Executives at the Air Force's top weapons suppliers say they are looking for new ways to streamline munitions production as demand grows and the service focuses on more advanced adversaries.

    As in fiscal year 2018, the Air Force again seeks to hit maximum production levels for some munitions in FY-19, with an even greater boost projected for certain programs over the next five years.

    "The Air Force is increasing lethality by fully funding preferred munitions to current industry capacity through a combination of base and [Overseas Contingency Operations] to operate in a high-end future conflict," the service said in budget documents released last month.

    Missile procurement totals about $1.8 billion in the FY-19 request, nearly $200 million higher than in FY-18, largely to replenish weapon stocks depleted by combat operations in the Middle East. Ammunition procurement also spiked from $1.4 billion in FY-18 to $1.6 billion in FY-19.

    The Air Force shifted more procurement of "preferred" weapons under the OCO budget, growing the number of key munitions bought with OCO funding by about 13,000 to 35,060 in FY-19. Comparatively, weapons spending under the base budget shrank by about 3,000 units since FY-18, totaling 13,452 units in FY-19.

    All told, the service plans to buy 48,512 preferred munitions in FY-19, up from 39,136 in the previous year's request. It shifted about 2 percent more of total missile procurement into OCO compared to last year, as well as about 20 percent more of ammunition procurement.

    Favored munitions programs include Raytheon's AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-120D Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile and Small Diameter Bomb II, Lockheed Martin's AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and Boeing's Joint Direct Attack Munition and SDB I.

    Boeing and Lockheed Martin executives told Inside the Air Force at the Air Force Association's winter conference in Orlando, FL, last week they said they are figuring out how to give the service the most bang for its buck -- building more weapons at a lower price and adding capabilities they say can cut operational costs.

    "We are looking at how do we not only drive out cost, but look at how do we reduce cycle times, how do we handle inventory in a different way now that we're up in higher, more significant ramps, more significant quantities, and that's been a whole learning process," Cindy Gruensfelder, Boeing's direct attack weapons director, said. "We're working through that and trying to go to the next ramp after this."

    Boeing spokeswoman Ashlee Erwin said March 1 the company works through its backlog of munitions orders early to be able to turn larger lots around faster. Suppliers order materials in advance to keep weapons on schedule, and only deliver parts when levels are low to save money on storage.

    "We're developing long-term agreements with some suppliers to shorten cycle times to production and get best overall rates," Erwin said. "Those long-term agreements secure pricing at various quantities to secure capacity well ahead of customer needs. Many of our suppliers have added additional work shifts, tooling and equipment, and modifications to existing facilities, all in support of ramp-up activities."

    Gruensfelder said Boeing has added workers, including mechanics and support staff, without growing its facilities' footprint. The company and its suppliers are doing away with obsolete equipment and adding test equipment to allow for a smoother production ramp, she said.

    John Travis, a business development manager at Lockheed, said Feb. 23 that recent JASSM lots have benefited from the company's partnership with the program office, which helps Lockheed adjust to new capability and quantity requirements. A Raytheon spokeswoman declined to comment.

    JDAM would see the most significant growth under the FY-19 request, jumping from about 27,300 kits in FY-18 to 36,000 for $972.6 million in FY-19. Last year's budget documents projected the service would ask for less than a third of that.

    "JDAM is funded to maximum production capacity between both base and OCO funding and integrates a GPS-aided internal navigation system kit to provide an accurate, adverse weather capability munition attached to a plethora of Air Force platforms," the Air Force said.

    Gruensfelder noted Boeing will build the 350,000th JDAM this year and has already found the easiest ways to cut costs for those tailkits.

    The Hellfire program would grow by about 700 missiles to 4,338 in FY-19, costing $368.8 million. The service last year projected needing 574 Hellfire missiles in FY-19.

    Both SDB programs are expected to stay relatively stable at a combined 7,336 munitions. Of that, 510 SDB II units -- 50 more than in FY-18 -- would cost $100.9 million. The remaining 6,826 SDB I units -- around 25 less than in FY-18 -- would total about $245.8 million.

    On Feb. 27, the Defense Department announced a $77.4 million contract award to Raytheon for 570 SDB II units under the fourth low-rate initial production lot, along with weapon containers, maintenance and load crew trainers and hardware to test the bomb's reliability. Work will run through the end of July 2020.

    While the AMRAAM program requested 222 missiles costing $340.5 million, slightly more than in the previous year, the ask is about half of what the FY-18 budget projected.

    "Due to parts limitations with Processor Replacement Program missile configuration and a delay in the Form, Fit, Function Refresh effort, the program office has adjusted FY-19 production quantities to ensure a smooth production cut-in of F3R design," FY-19 budget documents said.

    F3R obsolescence upgrades offer faster processors and new memory, and were planned to enter the production line during Lot 31 in FY-19. ITAF previously reported Raytheon expected the Air Force could lower procurement amounts until F3R installation is complete.

    The Air Force plans to order another round of 360 JASSMs, all in the extended-range configuration, for $492.3 million. Though the quantities are the same, the FY-19 price is about $51 million higher than in the previous year. Lockheed's related program, the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, planned for 15 missiles in both FY-18 and FY-19, but the service now says it wants 12 missiles at a cost of $44.2 million.

    Raytheon's Sidewinder would also see a small drop from 310 munitions in FY-18 to 256 in FY-19 for $121.3 million. The previous budget expected to need 286 Sidewinders in FY-19. Next year's funding will pay for the fifth full-rate production lot of Block II Sidewinder missiles, as well as Navy and Army procurement. Along with AMRAAM, the service says Sidewinders "sustain the Air Force's air dominance and global precision attack capabilities" on its F-15 and F-16.

    Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System procurement is expected to remain level at 7,279 units, costing $183.5 million. BAE Systems' guidance section "offers greater precision, reduced collateral damage and increased standoff range to enhance crew survivability," the Air Force's budget documents stated.

    The Air Force said it has expended about 66,000 weapons in Middle Eastern operations since August 2014. While the service is trying to plan ahead for future quantities of its most-used munitions in U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility, industry is also juggling its response to the military's renewed focus on Russia and China.

    The Air Force is pursuing hypersonics, new standoff capabilities, warhead and other payload improvements, microwaves and more to challenge adversaries in contested and denied airspace. Boeing officials suggested JDAM and SDB I can evolve further for use against high-end threats.

    "Whereas the perception may be these legacy weapons are outdated and would serve only a purpose of a near-term fight, we do believe there is a lot of relevancy in the future as well," Gruensfelder said.

    Travis noted work is underway to improve JASSM-ER -- including extending how far it can fly -- but said it's already a preferred system for advanced conflicts. He added Lockheed expects to ink a Lot 16 contract for JASSM in the second quarter of 2018.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  20. #1190
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  21. #1191
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    Some ‘hiccups’ with engine design, but B-21 on track, Wittman says


    WASHINGTON — Despite a series of early production “hiccups” with the engines and wings, including an issue with air flow, the B-21 Raider bomber aircraft is largely on track, according to the chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

    Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., said he was largely pleased with the work prime contractor Northrop Grumman has been doing on the bomber program, praising in particular how the company has worked to integrate its subcontractors together to find solutions to early design problems. But he acknowledged there have been a few challenges that have popped up.

    “This is an extraordinary, complex aircraft,” Wittman, who has oversight of the B-21, told reporters after a speech at the McAleese/Credit Suisse defense conference held in Washington on Tuesday. “The issue is not that you have these uncertainties. The issue is how you address them.”Wittman’s comments are notable given the intense secrecy surrounding the B-21. The service plans to buy at least 100 Raiders at a price of about $550 million, in 2010 dollars, per copy. The engineering and manufacturing development phase is being carried out under a separate, cost-plus contract that is estimated to amount to about $21.4 billion.

    Wittman highlighted several times the challenge of pushing air through the B-21’s engines. “This is a very, very different design as far as airflow, and there have been some design challenges there,” he said.

    “Pratt and Whitney says one thing; if the exhaust, the ducting contractor says another thing and says, ‘There’s only so much air we can move through there,’ and Pratt & Whitney says, ‘No, we need a certain amount of air to go through the front of the engine,’ then the question is: How do you do that?” Wittman added.“Do you split [the requirements] between the two? Does Pratt & Whitney say: ‘Well, we can change some of the cowling [the cover on the engine] on the surface face there to be able to do that,’ ” he wondered, noting this as something that could impact the B-21’s low-observable characteristics.

    “It’s not just the engine, but it’s the ducting on the engine, too. I think all those things are elements that you would normally expect in an aircraft that’s new, that takes a concept from B-2, refines and uses it on this platform.”.....
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  22. #1192
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    sounds like distributed exhaust: classical inlets and challenges with the geometry and massflow at the exit. We were surprised when the photo was released to see no exhaust systems on the plane, but now it seems to get clearer with probably a distributed exhaust along the trailing edges.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 11th March 2018 at 22:04.

  23. #1193
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    sounds like distributed exhaust: classical inlets and challenges with the geometry and massflow at the exit. We were surprised when the photo was released to see no exhaust systems on the plane, but now it seems to ge clearer with probably a distributed exhaust along the trailing edges.
    Which photo..?
    Thanks

  24. #1194
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    Not a photo exactly. A picture of the design. The one that was displayed at program anoucement.


  25. #1195
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    Some cost/schedule and procurement data on AF systems from the USAF's 2017 Annual Report on Acquisition. Further confirmation (in addition to the FY19 budget) that the EPAWSS sticks with the E and ditches the C variant Eagle.

    http://www.af.mil/Portals/1/document...report_web.pdf
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 14th March 2018 at 01:11.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  26. #1196
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    https://www.defensenews.com/breaking...blic-outreach/

    Defense (and military aviation-pertinent to this forum) is about to become a lot less interesting with stricter OPSEC rules coming into effect as well as a media freeze. The US had enjoyed a pretty open policy on this, and I get the need for it (even documents not cleared for public release regarding Congressional testimony on weapon systems were leaking to the internet). There are some interesting projects on the horizon, it would seem the level of access to information to these will be far less than in the past, at least for now.

  27. #1197
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    It is a temporary move as they review and re-train airmen and the civilians on these regulations and proper compliance..But the meltdown of reporters on twitter is amusing to see..
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 20th March 2018 at 10:46.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  28. #1198
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    US Air Force still struggling with stabilising airborne lasers



    The US Air Force (USAF) continues to struggle with stabilising lasers on its airborne platforms, according to a key service official.

    Tony Hostutler, technical advisor at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for laser technologies, told reporters on 19 March at the Pentagon that the aero-optics effects of air moving over the turret of airborne laser weapons has traditionally been a challenge. Hostutler said the USAF is working to further mitigate this jitter as the service matures directed energy, or laser, weapons to make them smaller and better.

    Hostutler said the USAF is working on the Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) programme to better mitigate airborne laser risks as the service tries to put directed energy weapons on faster, more tactical platforms. AFRL in November awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to design, develop, and industrialise the Laser Advancement for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE) portion of its embryonic airborne SHiELD programme.

    The USAF is looking at putting a podded laser solution on the Boeing F-15 Eagle for SHiELD, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering Jeffrey Stanley. The USAF has tests starting mid-2018 with a flight test in mid-2019. The service will test the laser at 50 kW.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  29. #1199
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    Mission capable rates 2017- apologize if someone posted (I remember seeing it earlier this month and wanted to repost)-
    https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/y...-pilot-crisis/

    F-22 nosediving mission capable rates in the midst of the RAMMP, and modernization. Another impact of such a small fleet. There is no way to plug in attrition, or BAI aircraft to replace those down for upgrades.

    For reference-
    9 aircraft at a time are undergoing SRP- which takes about 1/3 of a year to complete.
    Several are undergoing 3.2A upgrades.
    Inlet coating repair at several depots (entire fleet rotated through)- roughly 90 days for each.
    Last edited by FBW; 20th March 2018 at 19:15.

  30. #1200
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    Air Force studying whether U-2 can keep flying until 2100


    The Air Force is studying whether Lockheed Martin's U-2 can fly until 2100, about five decades longer than its current expected service life, according to Susan Thornton, director for information dominance programs in the service's acquisition branch. "The U-2s are pretty much rebuilt every seven years," she said at a March 15 House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee hearing. "So right now, they have a life out to 2055, but we are also investing in a structural...
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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