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Thread: USAF not F-35 thread

  1. #1201
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    AFRL concept video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=PLS84RI6EyI

    Entertaining, not sure why AFRL would advertise with CGI swarm drones, lasers, and future fighter concepts...

  2. #1202
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  3. #1203
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    From boots to flight suits, the Air Force is working to improve gear for female pilots

    “Seats were designed to accommodate from the 10th to the 90th percentile for American men,” [Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson] said during an event in January. “That’s just the way it was. Most equipment was designed that way as well.”
    Because this was the standard, the Air Force believed many women didn’t qualify to fly combat aircraft because they weren’t big enough to fit into that spectrum.
    “OK, well, why don’t we start designing equipment so that 90 percent of Americans can do the job?” Wilson said. “Well, that takes time. We all understand that, but it’s been a generation, folks.”
    I wonder if they are going to release some RFI.

    Source:
    Air force times.com
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 2nd April 2018 at 13:50.

  4. #1204
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    About the DARPA Swarm offset^^

    Its a very Interesting prospect.
    But in my head this also comes with a drawback.. namely cost.
    You do not use this capability to take out a small group of Beardies in the Desert.
    This has high priority target value all over.. like a large expensive anti-Air system.

    Now i'm sure the Russians are thinking how to best counter such.
    And large area nose jamming is clearly on the table.
    But also a better overlapping or modular S 500 system with lots of smaller missiles attached with the larger platforms.
    Thanks

  5. #1205
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    The Offset program is not aimed at the SEAD/DEAD mission using swarming tactics, but at providing the infantry with small UASs in complex urban environments.

    DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program envisions future small-unit infantry forces using small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and/or small unmanned ground systems (UGSs) in swarms of 250 robots or more to accomplish diverse missions in complex urban environments. By leveraging and combining emerging technologies in swarm autonomy and human-swarm teaming, the program seeks to enable rapid development and deployment of breakthrough capabilities to the field. DARPA is continuing its pursuit of these goals through awarding Phase 1 contracts to teams led by Raytheon BBN Technologies (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the Northrop Grumman Corporation (Linthicum, Maryland).

    Each team will serve as a swarm systems integrator tasked with designing, developing, and deploying an open architecture for swarm technologies in physical and virtual environments. Each system would include an extensible game-based architecture to enable design and integration of swarm tactics, a swarm tactics exchange to foster community interaction, immersive interfaces for collaboration among teams of humans and swarm systems, and a physical testbed to validate developed capabilities.

    Each team will be responsible for experimentation and systems-integration efforts for realizing swarm capabilities, including producing tactics and technologies to test on its respective architecture. To augment their efforts and enhance OFFSET’s potential contributions to the warfighter, DARPA also aims to engage with a wider developer and user audience through rapid technology-development and integration efforts called swarm sprints. Participants in these experiments—“sprinters”—can work with one or both integration teams and each other to create and test their own novel swarm tactics and enabling technologies.

    Roughly every six months, DARPA plans to solicit proposals from potential sprinters, with each swarm sprint focusing on one of five thrust areas: swarm tactics, swarm autonomy, human-swarm teaming, virtual environment, and physical testbed. More information about the first three thrust areas and swarms in general is available here..

    The end of each sprint would coincide with physical and virtual capability-based experiments designed to test and assess integration of the thrust-specific OFFSET technologies. The experiments would also provide direct engagement between DARPA, the teams and sprinters, and warfighters who could help further tailor OFFSET capabilities to meet real-world operational needs.

    “The swarm sprints are empirical experiments designed to accelerate our understanding of what swarms can do in urban environments,” said Timothy Chung, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO). “By having swarm sprints at regular intervals, we're able to ensure that we're keeping up with the latest technologies—and are in fact helping inform and advance those technologies—to better suit the needs of the OFFSET program. Given the wide range of capabilities that we’re interested in, we're looking for wherever those innovative solutions are going to come from, whether they be small businesses, academic institutions, or large corporations.”

    OFFSET is preparing for two kinds of swarm sprints: Core swarm sprints that occur at regular six-month intervals, and ad hoc swarm sprints that allow for on-demand exploration of topics aligned with a specific thrust area. DARPA anticipates that ad hoc swarm sprints could take place concurrently during core swarm sprints.

    DARPA is looking for participants for the first core sprint now. The focus of this effort is the generation of swarm tactics for a mixed swarm of 50 air and ground robots to isolate an urban objective within an area of two square city blocks over a mission duration of 15 to 30 minutes. Operationally relevant tactics to achieve that mission include performing reconnaissance, identifying ingress and egress points, and establishing a perimeter around an area of operation.

    https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2017-10-12
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd April 2018 at 13:14.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  6. #1206
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    Vingnette 1 is only the first phase, BIO.
    You/they can call it whatever they want, but there are plans for mission flight profile up to six hours.. a small Quad-copter has what, flight time of 15-30 minutes. Clearly we are talking about some larger UAV's platforms.
    Which falls back to my "Cost" analysis.. the larger you and more durable you construct the SWARM drones the costlier they become, there is no way around this.
    Thanks

  7. #1207
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    Not all missions will involve exclusive UAS. A lot of them would be mixed UAS nad UGS, while others may be see exclusive UGS usage. Similarly, not all will require the ability for the same swarm aircraft to be on station for the entire duration of the mission but multiple orbits of swarms to sustain the duration of the mission. I see what you are trying to get at with this whole S400/S500 thing..but keep in mind that there are other Swarm and UAS programs addressing the SEAD mission. OFFSET however, is not one of them. It is focused on providing this capability to infantry units in complex urban settings.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  8. #1208
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    Mhmm.. you do not need 50, 100 or freakin 250 size Swarm drones(which is planned here) for "ONLY" such "URBAN" missions that you describes here. Its simply NUTS as far as Cost is concerned.

    This DARPA R&D is only part of a larger OFFSET. Namely bringing new capability to the ARMY, MARINES and Special forces.
    Thanks

  9. #1209
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    DARPA is concerned with the back end of the mission, i.e. developing the swarming algorithms, key enabling technology unique to the urban mission, and developing the integrated systems for such a need based on the three Vignettes they have laid out in their program description. How it is scaled, and what size of the UAS and Unmanned ground system components are used is not for them to judge or develop. This will be up to the US Army, and the USMC, both of which have their own UAS and UGS programs at various classes including at the squad level including miniature drone programs right down to the individual dismounted soldier level. DARPA's mandate is to make future technology bets and address areas where the Technology or Manufacturing readiness levels is very low. What they develop, if successful, then transitions to the individual services for them to decide A) whether they want the technology, and B ) how and when they want it.

    The goal of the program is to develop small unmanned air and ground robots with the capability to operate in swarms of 250 or more. According to DARPA, these swarming systems would be teamed with small-unit infantry forces to help accomplish a diverse range of missions in complex urban environments.

    Unlike the extremely expensive drones currently found in most U.S. military ground units, like the AeroVironment Raven, swarms can consist entirely of inexpensive systems. A swarm can also lose many individual drones with little impact on its ability to accomplish its broader mission. LINK


    Think of this as a swarm of small, relatively inexpensive (with some expensive drones mixed in), Unmanned aerial and ground based systems that behave as a swarm and that fulfill missions like securing buildings, providing ISR to advancing troops, doing battle damage assessment, protecting an urban perimeter such as a city block from intrusion and eventually even being linked directly to manned and unmanned shooters in an offensive/defensive mission. Relatively primitive mass employment of drones, in urban environments is already happening but what DARPA is trying to do is take this a few steps forward and focusing on key urban missions which can consume a lot of manpower as well as potentially risk a lot of lives if done exclusively with personnel.

    Surveillance Drones to Be Part of Coachella 2018 Security System


    Here is Geoff Fein from Jane's International Defense Review describing the goals :

    With regards to technology goals, OFFSET comprises two different elements. One element is exploring how DARPA innovates tactics for the swarm using technologies that are currently available, but have not been employed in a swarm tactic-centered way. For example, in an urban setting, where forces might have to clear a 20- or 30-storey building, are there existing technologies that could enable components of a swarm to enter the building on the top floor and clearing downward, meeting ground units as they clear from the bottom up.

    The other element is looking at what are the unexplored, uncharted spaces that can be examined with swarm tactics. "Can we create a virtual world, a game-based environment, where we can now create, invent, and imagine new types of swarm tactics; and there might even be technologies that we can't yet realise on physical platforms .... Can we inject those synthetic capabilities, whether they be component sensors or novel platforms types? The short answer is we don't know what is a 'perfect swarm' platform," Chung explained.

    "There might even be whole new mission sets that could arise that are enabled by these swarms as well," he added. "And we can explore that virtual space. It is basically the confluence of those two [elements] that will allow us to build up this better understanding of what swarm tactics are and ultimately might help shape and inform what future technologies [and] platforms [will be]."

    OFFSET will have a number of challenges to overcome, Chung noted, ranging from transporting upward of 250 robots from one location to another to developing a support infrastructure for the unmanned systems, and how to get the devices to communicate not only with the ground forces but also among themselves.

    Unmanned air and ground systems face numerous challenges when maneuvering through complex environments, notably with perception; navigation, especially when operating without GPS; and simple mobility and locomotion, Chung said. However, the challenges DARPA wants to address in OFFSET are those that are specific to a swarm, such as logistics.

    "The logistics of swarm systems themselves are a challenge that one might not necessarily face with one or few numbers of robots and that includes everything from charging batteries to transporting them - getting them to where they need to go in the first place," he said. "If I have a relatively small size human unit and for every one person they have to bring five robots to support that small unit it is not clear if they are rucksacking those all in themselves. Are there novel deployment constructs we need to explore to bring these swarms to the fight as well?"

    There is also the software backend to consider, with Chung noting how the army or marines, for example, would handle updating the robots' software.

    "Sending one robot back and swapping a loaner robot may not be that big a deal to get a software update, but having to do that for 250 robots or more at a time is quite debilitating," Chung said. "That is a logistics support and maintenance challenge.

    An additional challenge OFFSET must address is how the small units interact with these swarms. Chung said it is not a matter of controlling the swarm in the sense of manually steering individual robots or controlling payloads to get specific sensor feeds.

    "There are a whole lot of challenges of how human operators ... commanders ... would interact with these swarms," he said. "What is the right language to interact/communicate with swarms and that could be at the base level, it could be positional, [and] how do I construct formations? How do they figure out among themselves to go and do [a task] so I don't have to specify to do those things?"
    This DARPA R&D is only part of a larger OFFSET
    OFFSET and offset are two different things. Offset as in the "third offset" is a strategy to develop enabling technologies for the future. OFFSET as in this particular program is an acronym which stands for "Offensive Swarm Enabled Tactics".

    "ONLY" such "URBAN" missions that you describes here.
    I did not describe any mission, I merely pointed out what the mandate is for the program. Whether that gels with what your understanding of the "need" is vs that of the scientists, engineers and program managers working on programs for DARPA is not my concern.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd April 2018 at 18:29.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  10. #1210
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    U.S. Air Force Keeping Options Open For F-15C Epawss


    The Boeing F-15C may or may not receive the next-generation electronic warfare and self-protection system known as the BAE Systems Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (Epawss).
    The U.S. Air Force confirms to Aerospace DAILY that it will keep its options open by continuing Epawss development and testing for the F-15C, despite not funding the procurement of upgrade kits.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  11. #1211
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    Quick question, regarding AN/APG-63V3/82 on F-15's. This AESA radar is supposed to be an "upgrade" option for F-15 by replacing the antenna and provide new beam steering controller, power supply and AESA antenna while retaining APG-63's original processing hardware.

    I'm curious if it also include increase in cooling capacity ?

    The original AN/APG-63 have peak power about 5 kW, thus at least 1.25 kW of average power. Original vacuum tube transmitter is usually more efficient compared to solid state (up to like 50% or more) So at least the set would generate 1.25 kW of heat waste with maybe a little more for other equipment in radar bay. Such heat load could allow air cooling to be used.

  12. #1212
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    Other RMP modifications include the addition of Raytheon's new Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Electronically Scanned Array antenna, which was developed for the F-15C APG-63(v)3 radar system, as well as new Radio Frequency Tunable Filters (RFTF) and an improved Environmental Cooling System (ECS).

    The RFTF will enable the radar and the aircraft's Electronic Warfare System to function at the same time, minimizing degradation to either system. The ECS will provide up to an additional 250 percent liquid cooling capacity, which is required for incorporation of the APG-82 radar.
    http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2009-09-...ew-Designation

    This AESA radar is supposed to be an "upgrade" option for F-15 by replacing the antenna and provide new beam steering controller, power supply and AESA antenna while retaining APG-63's original processing hardware.
    The AN/APG-82 utilizes the APG-63(V)3's antenna and power supply (which had been upgraded from the baseline (V)1 in order to support the AESA radar) while integrating the radar receiver/exciter and Common Integrated Sensor Processor from that developed for the Super Hornet's AN/APG-79 radar program. Basically, these radar upgrades get the aircraft primed for the Suite-9 changes which, through a combination of hardware and software, are required to fully harnass the capability of these sensors and other funded enhancements.

    https://combataircraft.keypublishing...-suite-9-work/
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 7th April 2018 at 13:22.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  13. #1213
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    Thanks.

    The AN/APG-82 utilizes the APG-63(V)3's antenna and power supply (which had been upgraded from the baseline (V)1 in order to support the AESA radar) while integrating the radar receiver/exciter and Common Integrated Sensor Processor from that developed for the Super Hornet's AN/APG-79 radar program. Basically, these radar upgrades get the aircraft primed for the Suite-9 changes which, through a combination of hardware and software, are required to fully harnass the capability of these sensors and other funded enhancements.

    https://combataircraft.keypublishing...-suite-9-work/
    Thanks again. At first tho i thought the 82 was a re-designated V3's.

  14. #1214
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    Air Force: Pilot blamed in 2017 crash that destroyed two A-10s [in Nevada]

    A pilot training to become an instructor was at fault in a crash in September at the Nevada Test and Training Range near Las Vegas that destroyed two A-10C Thunderbolt II attack jets, according to an Air Force investigation released Thursday.
    The pilot failed to adhere to his assigned altitude and did not hear audible signals notifying him that he was climbing higher than that altitude, investigators with the Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board determined. The pilot’s jet eventually climbed into another pilot’s assigned altitude, colliding with his aircraft, according to the investigation.
    Source:
    Stars&Stripes.com

  15. #1215
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    F-22 Raptor Came To A Rest On Its Belly During Major Mishap Friday At NAS Fallon

    AWe contact the public affairs office at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson who jumped right on the story and quickly confirmed that the aircraft had been involved in a mishap at Fallon and although the damage is extensive, it is hoped that it can be repaired at this time. An investigation into the incident is currently underway.

    The F-22 was at NAS Fallon to support the Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, better known as Topgun, providing a dissimilar adversary for students to fight against as part of a class graduation exercise. This is a widely known event in which Topgun students take part in a 1v1 fight against an unknown 'surprise' enemy aircraft. Aircraft of all types, from warbirds to foreign fighters, have been brought in to take part in the exercise over the decades.
    n F-22A Raptor belonging to Elmendorf Air Force Base's 3rd Wing was involved in a major mishap this weekend. Details remain sketchy and are likely to change, but a source told The War Zone that the jet may have retracted its gear too early during takeoff, with the aircraft slamming back down on the runway at relatively high speed and skidding its way to a stop. Thankfully the pilot was able to egress from the aircraft without major injuries.

    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  16. #1216
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    I don'T understand. Is this the old news from the new restoration F-22 or is this a new incident?
    New incident.

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone...-at-nas-fallon


  17. #1217
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    Now will be a good time to begin making preliminary investments and prepare industry to bring to block 30/35 standard, the 34 F-22As that are not currently used for combat duties. The USAF will be focused on getting all of their planned F-22 upgrades with the money allotted the program so they are unlikely to carve that out of this budget. This then would have to either come from the OSD, or more likely, the Congress which can easily add the money into its budgets to fund this step. Increasing the operational/combat-coded fleet by a fourth will really go a long way now that they have no intention of restarting production and given their full, $10 Billion strong preliminary committment to the NGAD effort which will take quite a bit of time to materialize.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 15th April 2018 at 13:16.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  18. #1218
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    A comprehensive article on the F-15 modernization thrust in Jane's International Defence Review ("Still soaring: Boeing takes F-15 Eagle to the next level"). Posting snippets but the full article will be available for subscribers.

    The latest round of upgrades is built around a new advanced mission computer. The F-15C fighter and F-15E strike variant Eagles will be fitted with the new Suite 9 hardware and software package that are designed to power advanced capabilities, Boeing said. "Suite 9 is the first software release to add capability to the new Advanced Display Core Processor II computer. It is the world's fastest flight mission computer and capable of processing up to 87 billion instructions per second," Parker said, adding: “This is important as it unleashes the ‘horsepower’ of the electronic warfare suite currently being developed.”

    EPAWSS

    The electronic warfare suite that Parker referred to is the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) upgrade. EPAWSS is designed to sample the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, identify threats, prioritise them, and then allocate jamming resources against them. It will replace the 1980s-vintage Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite (TEWS) currently fitted to the USAF's Eagle fleets.

    In February 2017 Boeing completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) of the system following a CDR for the system's EW suite that was undertaken by sub-contractor BAE Systems in late 2016. “This will be the most state-of-the-art EW system, that has taken some proven technology already out there in the fifth-gen domain,” Parker said. “This programme is the poster child for the Department of Defense acquisition cycle right now – we have been approximately 60 days ahead of every milestone. We will begin modifying some aircraft towards the end of [2017] and begin flight testing [in 2018]. We will begin deploying the capability across the wider fleet in the early 2020s.” Media reports in March suggested the EPAWSS upgrade for the F-15C had been dropped by the USAF, but a notification issued by the service at around the same time for the commencement of low-rate initial production for the F-15C and F-15E suggests that it is still going ahead.

    AESA Radars

    Besides the Suite 9/Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCP) II computer and EPAWSS enhancements, a central tenet of the Eagle upgrade plan is replacing the mechanically scanned (M-Scan) radar with a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) system. The USAF is putting AESA radars on the F-15C (Raytheon AN/APG-63[V]3 for air-to-air) and F-15E (Raytheon AN/APG-82[V]1 for air-to-ground). “The AESA is a game-changer in terms of range and also for homeland protection against cruise missiles, etc,” Parker noted.More than 125 F-15Cs have been upgraded with a new AESA so far, and the F-15E upgrade is ongoing also and will run through to the early 2020s.

    Talon Hate

    To keep the Eagle relevant in the modern fifth-generation battlespace, Boeing’s Phantom Works advanced research division has developed a new ‘gateway’ communications system known as Talon HATE. This podded system enables fourth-generation fighters such as the Eagle to share data with fifth-generation fighters such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) via Link 16, Common Data Link (CDL), and wideband global satellite (WGS) communication systems.Developmental fight trials of Talon HATE were completed in early 2017, and the system was fielded in Exercise ‘Northern Edge’ in Alaska where, Parker noted, the feedback was positive. Boeing and the USAF have otherwise been tight-lipped about Talon HATE. “Given the sensitivities of this programme, there is only so much that we can say about it,” Parker said.The centerline pod that houses Talon HATE is also fitted with an infrared search-and-track (IRST) sensor.

    Legion Pod

    The Legion Pod houses the IRST21 long-wave infrared sensor (officially designated AN/ASG-34), which is already fitted to the US Navy’s Super Hornet fleet as part of an interim drop tank/IRST sensor combination. According to Jane’s C4ISR & Mission Systems: Air , the Legion Pod is equipped with advanced networking and data processing technology, and also supports the emerging Multi-Domain Adaptable Processing System. According to company literature, the Legion Pod is able to accommodate additional sensors within its current structure, thus acting as a multifunction sensor suite without costly aircraft or system modifications.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 15th April 2018 at 15:25.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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    Really happy with that modernization.

  20. #1220
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    While not USAF but still an important effort to support the Joint Forces. Industry seems to be shaping up for the next increment of the Next Gen. Jammer program which will be competitively acquired (Raytheon is developing the Mid-Band pod). Northrop Grumman is the third competitor and is supposedly already flying a prototype for its offering.

    LM and Cobham Team for Next Gen Jammer Low Band


    Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Cobham (LSE: COB) are joining forces for the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) competition to replace the U.S. Navy’s ALQ-99 tactical jamming system currently on the E/A-18 Growler aircraft.

    “The Lockheed Martin and Cobham team will leverage expertise in both companies to offer the U.S. Navy a critically important system with increased capability and reduced risk,” said Joe Ottaviano, director of electronic warfare at Lockheed Martin. “Our team is confident we can meet the Navy’s need for improved jamming capabilities with a scalable, open architecture design that balances capabilities with size, weight and power constraints.”

    Both partners on the team bring critical capabilities and areas of expertise. Cobham developed and was the only production partner to the U.S. Navy for the ALQ-99 Low Band Transmitter/Antenna Group (LBT/AG) and has been supporting the LBT/AG program for more than 20 years. . Lockheed Martin has been developing electronic warfare solutions for more than 40 years and has experience with various other airborne and naval electronic warfare programs, including the Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) system and the multi-mission AN/ALQ-210 and AN/ALQ-217 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) systems for the U.S. Navy. These Lockheed Martin products provide situational awareness, threat warning and proven electronic warfare solutions to detect, track and deter incoming threats.

    “Cobham has continued to invest in state-of-the-art, next generation Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) transmitter capabilities for the EA-18G community and looks forward to continuing to deliver reliable and scalable solutions well into the future,” said Jim Barber, senior vice president of Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions, a business unit of Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions. “Our strong partnership with Lockheed Martin on programs such as AOEW and the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2, along with our collective capabilities and heritage with the electronic warfare community will provide the best value for the U.S. Navy.”

    The NGJ-LB system will be integrated on the EA-18G aircraft and will replace the ALQ-99 low band pods. The ALQ-99 is a tactical jamming system that has been deployed on the EA-6B Prowler and now the EA-18G Growler. The NGJ-LB system will provide significantly greater electronic attack capabilities in the lower frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum against modern threats.

    Cobham is the only company to continuously provide ALQ-99 Airborne Electronic Attack transmitters to the U.S. Navy since the initial operational deployment of the EA-6B in 1972, delivering over 850 transmitters. Since that time, Cobham has invested in cutting edge Gallium Nitride (GaN) power amplifier and antenna technology to ensure that the Navy’s high performance, reliability, and sustainability needs are met. Cobham’s latest ALQ-99 Low Band Transmitter has provided critical protection for U.S. and coalition warfighters since 2005.
    On the NGJ-MD, the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction effort concluded last year with multiple flights of the tech-demonstrator pod (with full scale GaN Antenna) including jamming, using multiple techniques, on at least 2 separate occasions. Through the Critical Design Review they did need to go back and redesign the external structure of the pod, however no sub-system anomalies were identified. Adequate power levels (claimed to be a multiple of the existing ALQ-99 pod) were demonstrated. Following the CDR, the EMD contract was awarded and the EMD phase is currently being executed. Current plan is to begin EMD developmental testing in the coming months with ground and chamber testing to commence towards the end of 2018 followed by "pod jettison developmental testing" . Target for the first flight of the EMD pod (with all sub-systems) is late 2019 (Q1 FY20) with the first radiating flight planned for a few months later (Q2 FY20).

    The Navy plans to contract for 7 pod shipsets by the middle of next year and these will be used to complete developmental testing and transition into IOT&E. Total program of record is for 132 ship-sets (each ship set comprises of 2 pods) which is likely to increase now that the Growler fleet has increased to 160. Australia joined the NGJ-MB program so they will also be ordering pods for their Growler fleet.

    Based on last year's SAR, the acquisition plans call for 3 LRIP blocks to support EMD and IOC - 4 , 8 and 12 pairs contracted in FY19-FY21 - before Full Rate production of 14 sets (28 pods) a year in FY22. I have not seen the latest SAR but more recent reports claim that FY19 contract will include 7 sets/14 pods instead of 4/8 planned earlier. These numbers will likely be revised upwards to account for Australia's purchase of pods and for the revised US Growler POR.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 16th April 2018 at 21:12.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  21. #1221
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    From Aviation week excerpt on the last strikes in Syria:

    The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command has indicated interest in integrating JASSM-ER with a new electronic warfare technology designed to fry electronic equipment with bursts of high-power microwave energy, called the Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) payload. However, it’s not clear what happened to that project.
    Would have such been used (given that SAM were fired ballistic and late)?

  22. #1222
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    Sloppy reporting by Lara there. Air launched HPM efforts are very much alive and have been reported by Aviation Week itself. I would highly doubt anything like that had been used here. This was a straightforward strike using TLAM, JASSMER and Storm Shadows/SCALP EG.

    http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/...enks-demo-navy
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 16th April 2018 at 14:11.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  23. #1223
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    Updates from the FY19 Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). The Program of Record has increased to 430,222 kits through FY23.

    A contract modification was completed to add an additional 8,621 tail kits to the Lot 21 Delivery Order, increasing the Lot 21 total quantity to 45,000 tail kits for all customers. Boeing and the JDAM supply base have successfully increased JDAM production from 75 kits/day to 165 kits/day (40,000 kits/year) and are on track to produce 180 kits/day (45,000 kits/year) with risk mitigation efforts underway.
    Boeing and the Laser JDAM (LJDAM) supply base have successfully increased LJDAM production from 3,500 kits/year to 6,000 kits/year. The Navy Direct Attack Moving Target Capability (DAMTC) Office serves as lead service for Air Force, Navy, and FMS procurements. JDAM tail kits continue to perform well and deliveries have exceeded the initial production schedule.
    Capacity is still below objectives so we should expect another possible production increase and/or upward revision of the POR.

    Inventory stockpiles for both JDAM and LJDAM remain below the objective due to operational usage
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  24. #1224
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    Quantity and program updates from the Aim-120 AMRAAM FY19 Selected Acquisition Report (SAR). Raytheon is still going through the developmental challenges of the F3R changes to the signals processor and other hardware but current USAF/USN deliveries of the Aim-120D surpassed 2000 earlier this year.

    AIM-120D System Improvement Program (SIP): SIP is a software upgrade program structured to deliver increased combat capability and counter advanced threats and electronic attack techniques on planned intervals to the AIM-120D. SIP 1 was fielded by the Navy on April 26, 2017 and by the Air Force on May 1, 2017. SIP 2 IT activities have begun and will continue through second quarter FY 2018. SIP 2 fielding is projected for the fourth quarter FY 2019. SIP 3 conducted a preliminary design review on June 14, 2017, completing Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction. The SIP 3 Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract was awarded to Raytheon on September 5, 2017. SIP 3 fielding is projected for the fourth quarter FY 2021. Due to delays to the AMRAAM Form, Fit, Function Refresh (F3R) program identified in March 2017, the Program Executive Officer approved the addition of a SIP 3F software release. The SIP 3F software tape will be a
    re-host of SIP 3 capabilities on the F3R missile with a projected contract award in second quarter FY 2020.

    Form, Fit, Function Refresh (F3R): F3R is a comprehensive AMRAAM Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages project to mitigate obsolescence issues in the AMRAAM guidance section and enable missile production beyond Lot 32. Currently in Phases 4A/4B for integration, Raytheon has continued to experience technical difficulties with the Application Specific Integrated Circuit design verification, Circuit Card Assembly build, and hardware integration and testing. F3R production is planned to cut in the latter part of Lot 33 in FY 2021. Phases 4A and 4B are planned for completion in second quarter and fourth quarter FY 2019, respectively.

    Safe and Arming Fuze (SAF) for F-35 / AMRAAM Flight Test:

    The SAF is a component used to initiate the warhead in AMRAAM tactical missiles and the Flight Termination System (FTS) in instrumented flight test missiles. The FTS allows for the ability to terminate the flight of a test missile for safety reasons. In August 2015, it was identified that the current SAF did not meet FTS requirements. This issue is compounded by the fact that the F-35 test environment is more strenuous than legacy platforms (F-15, F-16, F-18 and F-22). The program office has taken a dual path approach to address this issue. In the near term, the program office is making minor design modification to ruggedize the current design to meet legacy platform requirements. This activity is on track to deliver a part that meets legacy requirements in April 2018. In the long term, to reduce risk, two simultaneous efforts are being undertaken to redesign the SAF to meet the more stringent F-35 environmental levels. Implementation of the robust redesign is anticipated by May 2020. To support tactical missile production, SAFs continue to be produced utilizing the existing design.

    AIM-120 Production and Sustainment:

    As of February 12, 2018, Raytheon has delivered 1,996 of 2,918 AIM-120D missiles on contract and has delivered 2,395 of 2,959 AIM-120C7 FMS missiles on contract (through Lot 31). Lot 28 deliveries completed in October 2017. Lot 29 deliveries are planned for March 2017 through July 2018. Lot 30 deliveries are planned for April 2018 through March 2019. Production Lot 31 contract was awarded on December 28, 2017. Deliveries are planned for May 2019 through April 2020. The prepriced option for Lot 32 has a planned contract award in March 2018. Program Support and Annual Sustainment is an Indefinite-Delivery-Indefinite-Quantity contract for program support, contractor logistics support (CLS), the Service Life Prediction Program (SLPP), and non-warranty depot repair. The first task order for program support, CLS, and SLPP was awarded on September 21, 2015, for $18M. Two additional task orders, valued at $5.1M, were awarded in FY 2016. The fourth task order for additional infrastructure, CLS support and reliability testing, valued at $20.8M, was awarded March 3, 2017. Joint missile availability as of February 12, 2018 is 90.7% for tactical missiles against an APB threshold of 82%.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 17th April 2018 at 14:10.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  25. #1225
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    Air Force awards nearly $1 billion contract for a hypersonic cruise missile


    WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Air Force has selected Lockheed Martin to design and prototype a new hypersonic cruise missile, as part of a broad Pentagon push to kickstart America’s hypersonic arsenal.

    The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the “design, development, engineering, systems integration, test, logistics planning, and aircraft integration support of all the elements of a hypersonic, conventional, air-launched, stand-off weapon” was announced by the service Wednesday.

    The total value for Lockheed could be as high as $928 million over the course of the program, which has an unspecified timeline.

    “This effort is one of two hypersonic weapon prototyping efforts being pursued by the Air Force to accelerate hypersonics research and development,” service spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement. “The Air Force is using prototyping to explore the art-of-the-possible and to advance these technologies to a capability as quickly as possible.”The other program referenced by Stefanek is the Tactical Boost Glide program, a co-development between the service and DARPA. That program expects to have a prototype in the 2022-2023 timeframe, according to DARPA head Steven Walker.

    Hypersonic flight is defined as anything about Mach 5, meaning five times the speed of sound. Such a weapon, if successfully developed, would be able to skirt past existing air defenses and hold enemy forces at risk from great ranges. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson has previously started a focus on developing the technology.

    Stefanek noted the dollar amount represents the “estimated face value” for the project and is not a full commitment from the service. Money will be given out through a series of tasking orders, the first of which will come in the next few weeks.

    The announcement comes as Pentagon officials, most vocally Undersecretary of Defense and Research Michael Griffin, have openly called for the need of more investment into hypersonic technology.

    “The most significant advance by our adversaries has been the Chinese development of what is now today a pretty mature system for conventional prompt strike at multi thousand kilometer ranges,” Griffin told the House Armed Services Committee during an April 17 hearing. “We will, with today’s defensive systems, not see these things coming.”

    “It is time for us to renew our emphasis on and funding of these areas in a coordinated way across the department to develop systems which can be based on land for conventional prompt strike, can be based at sea, and later on can be based on aircraft,” Griffin later said.
    Earlier this year (link below), I had provided the budget materials for the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon. The FY18 funding of nearly $1 Billion is to support a program which was classified earlier and only unveiled in the last few budget materials. It is a different effort from what DARPA is currently building for flight-testing next year (Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)).

    https://forum.keypublishing.com/show...36#post2430936

    While Mike Griffin is the best thing to have happened to US DOD R&D in quite a while, this hypersonic effort is actually a result of decisions taken (USAF) in the 2012-2014 time-frame to collaborate with DARPA. It does seem that instead of waiting for DARPA to finish its efforts and transition the technology to the customer (USAF), the USAF is pulling ahead and launching weapons programs concurrently. This suggests some success at the classified level.

    Last edited by bring_it_on; 19th April 2018 at 11:58.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  26. #1226
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    Earlier this year (link below), I had provided the budget materials for the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon. The FY18 funding of nearly $1 Billion is to support a program which was classified earlier and only unveiled in the last few budget materials. It is a different effort from what DARPA is currently building for flight-testing next year (Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)).
    Has there been any indication what the boost vehicle is going to be? It's not like the US has an IRBM to use, and I can't fathom they would re-purpose LGM-30 or UGM-133. Using an existing launch system for testing TGB is one thing, using one for a conventional strike weapon operationally would seem to raise a host of issues.

  27. #1227
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    That appears to be a different project. The USAF's version of TBG is under the ARRW effort while the recent contract is for the HCSW. Not much is known about the ARRW beyond what is in the budget. My understanding is that ARRW is analogous to DARPA's TBG, while HCSW is similar to HAWC although there is no confirmation of either of this. DefenseNews calls it an air-breathing weapon although I have not seen any definitive confirmation of that. Graham Warwick at AvWeek noted in his article -

    While TBG, HAWC and ARRW are Skunk Works program, the HCSW contract has been awarded to Lockheed Martin Space. It is a multi-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quality (IDIQ) contract vehicle for prototyping efforts leading up to a development program.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 19th April 2018 at 14:36.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  28. #1228
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    Darpa Picks Dynetics To Demo UAS Air Launch/Recovery

    Dynetics will flight test its airborne launch and recovery system under a 21-month, $32.5 million contract for Phase 3 of the Gremlins program. The company was selected over the competing Phase 2 performer, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI).

    Phase 3 is to culminate by late 2019 in a flight demonstration of the recovery of four UAS within 30 min. to a Lockheed Martin C-130 host platform, says Tim Keeter, deputy program manager and chief engineer for Gremlins at Dynetics.

    The docking system is lowered on a pylon from the open cargo ramp of a C-130 flying at up to 150 kt. This deploys a capture device, akin to an aerial-refueling drogue, that stabilizes a safe distance below and behind the aircraft.

    The UAS rendezvouses with the host aircraft and docks with the capture device using an unspecified precision navigation system. The UAS then powers down and is winched up to sway braces, secured, then mechanically lifted into the cargo bay and stowed.

    During Phase 2, Dynetics conducted ground and flight tests of the system, the latter using a C-130A operated by team member International Air Response. These demonstrated the ability to safely deploy, stabilize and retrieve the docking system, Keeter says.

    The team also demonstrated safe separation of the UAS, but this did not involve a fully functional air vehicle, he says. Team member Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems is developing the clean-sheet UAS, which is powered by a Williams International turbojet.
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 19th April 2018 at 14:35.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  29. #1229
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    Strikes in Syria:
    JASSM-A:
    the JASSMs used in the April 14 strikes "were, in fact, not JASSM Extended Range (JASSM-ER) munitions, [but] rather, the munitions used were JASSM-A, or the standard, non-extended range versions of the munition," AFCENT spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said Thursday.
    F22:
    , "U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors played an integral role in protecting ground forces during and after the multinational strikes against Syrian chemical weapons production facilities on the morning of April 14."
    [...]
    "Thanks to its unique fifth-generation capabilities, the F-22 was the only airframe suited to operate inside the Syrian integrated air defense systems, offering an option with which to neutralize [Integrated Air Defense System] threats to our forces and installations in the
    region, and provide protective air support for U.S., coalition and partners on the ground in Syria," Graff said.
    Source:
    Military.com
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 19th April 2018 at 16:54.

  30. #1230
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    US Air Force performs first B-21 Raider software drop


    The US Air Force (USAF) has performed its first software drop for its Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider long-range strike bomber programme, according to a key official.Lieutenant General Arnold Bunch, military deputy, office of the assistant secretary of the USAF for acquisition, told a Senate panel on 18 April that the service is now looking at the second software drop. Modern aircraft platforms, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) are software intensive.

    Lt Gen Bunch may have provided a clue on how cost containment is progressing with B-21. Senator Angus King of Maine asked Lt Gen Bunch whether the programme was falling within the parameters of the contract in terms of cost, but Lt Gen Bunch responded that costs are falling within the parameters of the USAF’s independent cost estimate. He did not mention the contract.

    A USAF spokesperson said that she would unlikely be able to expound on Lt Gen Bunch’s testimony.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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