Information operations · Information Warfare

Capability / Strategy / History Ad Hoc Update (32)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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AI updates, strategy, AF structure, a large update on fighter programs, more (previously predicted) F-35 woes and proportionate propaganda effort, J-11D detailed, Electronic Attack programs update, weapons programs update, history, and Boeing troubles.


The Race Is On: Assessing the US-China Artificial Intelligence Competition – Modern War Institute

Discussions of artificial intelligence are everywhere. Understandably so: AI has a seemingly limitless range applications, from schools to the battlefield. McKinsey & Company estimated that AI is likely to result in $13 trillion of additional global economic activity by 2030. AI also allows the development of autonomous weapons and novel platforms, such as advanced drone swarms. A revanchist Russia might be the scourge of the Western defense community, but Vladimir Putin has arguably issued the clearest articulation of AI’s massive potential: “Whoever becomes the leader in [AI] will become the ruler of the world.” But how do we assess who is leading? A simple metaphor proves a powerful tool for thinking about the AI race: the traditional manufacturing process. Applying the analogy to the United States vs. China AI competition illustrates that although the United States is ahead overall, China is positioned to surpass it in the long term. On some measures, China is already winning. A simple manufacturing process consists of three elements: raw materials, production, and manufactured goods. Raw materials are inputs such as wood, wool, or steel. Production includes the equipment, techniques, and manpower to process the raw materials. Manufactured goods are the final outputs: chairs, guns, and tanks. Likewise, current AI systems typically take large amounts of input data, process it using machine-learning techniques, and output trained algorithms. For example, numerous photos of cars can be processed using machine learning to create an algorithm that recognizes cars in other photos. The government and private sector use those algorithms in applications from autonomous vehicle vision to detecting terrorist activity. (Note: machine learning drives the current AI focus, but technically it is only one form of AI. Other forms are less reliant on data.) The metaphor highlights two interdependencies in the AI competition. First, outputs depend on inputs. If you want to build a chair, you need wood. An M16 requires steel, aluminum alloy, and composite plastics. Likewise, data on Netflix ratings can lead to better movie recommendations, but is useless for autonomous vehicles. Second, both input volume and production processes determine output volume. If a company has lots of wool, but no looms, it cannot make any rugs. A company with many looms, but no wool, also cannot make any rugs. Likewise, an organization may have sophisticated machine-learning capabilities but lack the data needed to create trained algorithms. Or the organization may have extensive data but lack the capacity to turn it into a useful algorithm. Applying this framework to the United States vs. China AI competition provides a clear picture of both where that competition stands today and its future trajectory—as well as the consequent policy implications.

Can the Pentagon sell Silicon Valley on AI as ethical war?

At a Defense Innovation Board listening session, Pentagon Counsel makes case for military AI, to some public skepticism.

DARPA Seeks Space Robots to Repair Satellites – Defense One

The robots would service military, government, and commercial spacecraft more than 22,000 miles above the Earth.

NASA warns spectacular ‘beauty and the beast’ aurora could wreak havoc on Earth – Mirror Online

Scientists warn that a solar flare could one day bring down the Earth’s communication networks

Deter? Detente? NATO Has Lessons for the North Korean Conundrum – Defense One

The U.S.-ROK alliance needs a strategy that supports best-case outcomes — and hedges against worst-case scenarios.

Ex-DoD official offers path to boost defense-industrial cooperation with US allies

A former Pentagon acquisitions official is recommending to Congress a series of legal and regulatory changes to ease defense-industrial cooperation between America and its closest allies.

Mike Pietrucha and Jeremy Renken | Bringing the Air Division Back to the Future

Figure 1: Homestead-based F-104 Interceptors of the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron over Biscayne Bay in 1958. The 319th was attached to the 32nd Air

Boeing prepares St. Louis plant for likely Air Force F-15 orders

Boeing is preparing to build F-15 fighter planes for the U.S. Air Force at its St. Louis County plant even though the military branch hasn’t bought the jet in over a decade. ST. LOUIS — Boeing is preparing to build F-15 fighter planes for the U.S. Air Force at its St. Louis County plant even though the military branch hasn’t bought the jet in over a decade. The Chicago-based company began ramping up its F-15 production line near St. Louis after the Air Force submitted a nearly $8 billion budget request last month that included eight F-15s next year and 72 in the following four years. The request came as a surprise to many since the U.S. military has moved toward stealth fighters, such as Lockheed Martin’s F-35, in recent years. Prat Kumar, Boeing International’s vice president, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company is investing before Congress approves the budget request so it can respond quickly should the Air Force seek rapid field deployment. Engineers and manufacturing experts recently met at the St. Louis County facility to determine how to efficiently assemble the fighter jet with its modern defense, radar and operating systems. The first F-15 was first developed in the early 1970s, and foreign orders from Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia have kept the Missouri manufacturing line running in recent years. “With all the improvements we’ve done to the F-15 over the years, there’s more interest in the F-15,” said Andy Stark, manager of F-15 assembly. “We’d rather get ahead of the need versus waiting for the need to happen. So we’re doing these studies so that way when the need occurs we’ve already got the business case and we’re ready to pull the trigger.” The line is equipped to build about one F-15 a month, but Boeing officials believe that minimal modifications can increase production to up to three of the jets each month. Some lawmakers have already expressed concern that the request for F-15s could come at the expense of Boeing’s competitor, Lockheed Martin. The Air Force cut its plans to buy F-35s in the recent budget request from 54 to 48 for the fiscal year 2021 through 2023.

U.S. Air Force Pilot on the F-35: There is No Plane I Would Rather Be In

An F-35 fighter pilot says he would be confident flying the Joint Strike Fighter against any enemy in the world, including Russian and Chinese 5th Generation stealth fighters.An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be able to use its sensors, weapons and computer technology to destroy Russian and Chinese

F-35s vs. J-20s: How America’s 5th Generation Stealth Fighters Would Crush China

This can be explained in terms of a well-known Air Force strategic concept pioneered years ago by air theorist and pilot Col. John Boyd, referred to as the “OODA Loop,” — for observe, orient, decide and act. The concept is to complete this process quickly and make fast decisions while in

F-35s vs. J-20s: How America’s 5th Generation Stealth Fighters Would Crush China | The National Interest

Technology.

Japan Plans to Sell Off 100 of its Homebrew F-15J Eagles to Pay for More Stealth Jets | The National Interest

A good idea or big mistake?

Lockheed (LMT) Costly F-35 to Be Billions More, Pentagon Finds – Bloomberg

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the world’s costliest weapons program, just got even costlier.

August/September 2018 – F-35: Is The Trillion-Dollar Fighter Finally Worth It? | Avionics Digital Edition

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is shifting into full-rate production with around 60 software and hardware upgrades planned over the next decade.

Government watchdog finds more problems with F-35’s spare parts pipeline

Issues with spare parts are contributing to low mission capability rates in the F-35 fleet.

The US Air Force, not Turkey, is frustrating Lockheed execs on the F-35 program

Lockheed’s CEO would like the U.S. military to beef up the F-35 production rate, but sees further promise in the international market.

Air Force F-35As deploy to the Middle East

F-35As from Hill AFB in Utah have deployed to Al Dhafra AB in the United Arab Emirates to replace F-22s previously assigned there.

Threat Data Biggest Worry For F-35A’s IOC; But It ‘Will Be On Time’ « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

PENTAGON: The F-35‘s highly sensitive sensors suffer a basic problem right now: They often aren’t sure what they are detecting. That results in a high rate of false alarms. The key to fixing this lies in building highly complex data files — what we can colloquially call the threat library — and integrating them with the Joint Strike Fighter‘s software. “I think the probably the biggest concern is with these mission data files [threat library],” Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told me in his first interview since being named at the end of January to coordinate procurement and integration of the F-35A into the Air Force. “With any detection systems, it’s always a chore to work through what the sensor is actually seeing.” Creating those threat files is complex enough. The data on missile launches, frequencies, opponents’ weapons and their sensors come from the Intelligence Community (IC). The Office of Secretary of Defense’s Intelligence Mission Data Center gathers the data from across the IC. A lab at Nellis Air Force Base turns that information into threat data for the Air Force’s weapons. The Air Force civilian who handles F-35A integration, Thomas Lawhead, said the missile warning data fusion for the F-35 “is still a little too sensitive.” An Air Force officer involved with the building of the threat library told me recently that most of it is still being built and much of the combination of the plane’s fusion software and threat information won’t be ready until close to Air Force IOC. But Harrigian several times told me calmly variations on this: “I’m very confident we are going to get to IOC on time.” In his 2014 annual report, the director of Operational Test and Evaluation described the sensors this way: “fusion of information from own-ship sensors, as well as fusion of information from off-board sensors is still deficient. The Distributed Aperture System continues to exhibit high false-alarm rates and false target tracks, and poor stability performance, even in later versions of software.” Full integration of the threats and the aircraft software won’t occur until close to Full Operational Capability, in part because it takes time for pilots, intelligence analysts and the plane’s builder — Lockheed Martin — to figure out exactly what the sensors are capable of and how the software should be redesigned to do the best job of taking the sensors information and the threat information and helping them work together. In part, that’s because the F-35 gathers so much more data through its array of sensors than does its fifth generation cousin, the F-22. On top of the challenges of assimilating and integrating the threat library data, Herrigian says they are looking hard at how to get the huge quantities of data collected by the F-35 from the plane to ground forces and ships. “As we look long at this airplane and look at the capability of the airplane to bring in all this information, how do we get it off the airplane to support the joint warfighter? We’ve talked about it, but this will take some thinking and working with the joint team to figure out how to do it appropriately.” Since Harrigian was picked for the job to improve the service’s access to program information and give it a senior general as advocate, I asked him for an example where his rank made a difference. About 10 days ago, he got word that pilots and maintainers needed the technical orders about the moderately famous engine “bad rub” described to the world by Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, head of the F-35 program. “We were trying to understand exactly where the hold up was; whether it was the program office or AFMC [Air Force Materiel Command],” Harrigian told me. An email went out bearing the imprimatur of the two-star general. Magic! Answers were found. Problem solved. He grinned as he told me what happened. One of the F-35’s crucial aspects has not been discussed much: keeping it stealthy. While Breaking Defense readers know from retired Gen. Mike Hostage that the F-35 is a stealthier airplane than the F-22. But one of the crucial aspects of stealth has always been maintaining it. How much does stealth degrade during operations? How long does it take to restore it? How much does it cost to maintain? Lockheed Martin has long boasted about the F-35’s designed-in stealth. “I would call it one of the success stories,” Harrigian said. “But I was skeptical early on.” Col. Carl Schaeffer, who was the Air Force’s top integration guy on the F-35 until Harrigian was named, entered the conversation and was about as positive as one can get on such a topic: “The high point for this program is the LO [Low Observables] maintainability.” He pointed to the creation by Lockheed Martin of an LO “innovation team,” formed with a range of highly experienced stealth experts as a key reason behind the success of the aircraft’s relatively easy maintenance. No one in the room offered any details except to note that no one has to apply multiple coatings that wear off. Also, Lorraine Martin, head of Lockheed’s work on the F-35, recently made it clear that the designed-in stealth has been made easier to create and maintain thanks to automation. In other F-35 news from Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Navy Department, Adm. Jonathan Greenert said his service is “on track” for its IOC in late fiscal year 2018 — but again, software is an issue. “My concern is that the software is able to integrate all of the weapons that we have in the current aircraft in our air wing. This aircraft has to fit into our air wing: We can’t fit the air wing around the aircraft.” Greenert has long been portrayed as a very reluctant supporter of the F-35C, mainly because of his concerns about stealth. Most of those comments have been either misunderstood or mischaracterized, but the Navy clearly is paying much closer attention to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet than to its F-35C variant of the Joint Strike Fighter right now. Talking to reporters after today’s hearing, Greenert made clear the service’s attention and anxiety focused on the F-18s: “In the end, the question is, when we go to the Joint Strike Fighter/Super Hornet integrated air wing out there, do we have enough Super Hornets? Will we be able to SLEP [Service Life Extension Program] them? I’m concerned about that shortfall.” The Navy’s “fighter shortfall” has been an issue under debate for at least six years. But the pace of Navy fighter operations has not declined much over that period and rebuilding F-18s to keep them flying for many more hours is taking longer than expected so the problem doesn’t seem to be going away. Meanwhile, the Marines remain the service most relentlessly committed to and optimistic service the F-35, even under a new commandant, Gen. Joseph Dunford. Their F-35B variant will be the first to reach IOC, this summer — Dunford pledged that they’re on track — and will replace three different kinds of aircraft. “It doesn’t just replace the F-18, the AV-8, and the EA-6,” Dunford told the committee. It’ll do everything those three aircraft can do but also in…the information environment, it’ll do a significant amount more for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.” Doing more in the information environment, though, requires getting those sensors and their software to work. Sydney contributed the SASC elements to this story.

Sustaining F-35 Electronic Warfare systems · Atlantic Organization for Security (AOS)

F-35 Information

While researching exactly what the F-35 was, what benefits it brought and what features it had, i found a lack of informative and sourced descriptions available to read, this is my compendium of information i have found and compiled to give an accurate picture, everything i state is either directly sourced or within the sources listed. There is often competing information for certain aspects, I give weight to what pilots state is important and those who have relevant backgrounds or good information, i do not give credit to people who do not have the relevant backgrounds and either lack sources or misuse facts as well as those who use emotive language(usually a recourse to lacking knowledge on the subject), i would advise you to do the same. If a link is no longer working it may still be accessible through http://archive.org/

F-35 or Not: This Country Needs 88 New Fighter Jets Before Its Air Force Falls Apart | The National Interest

Check out the contenders.

Looks Like Poland Wants To Replace Its Soviet-era MiG-29 And Su-22 Jets With The F-35 At Any Cost – The Aviationist

Is Poland Getting the F-35 in its Harpia Program? In early April, Vice-Admiral Mathias Winter, representing the US DoD, suggested, at the House of Representatives, that the US is considering selling the F-35 to five allied nations: Poland, Romania, Greece, Spain and Singapore. Back in February, on the other hand, the head of the Polish MoD signed the so called Technical Modernization Plan document, outlining the priorities that shall be addressed over the course of the modernization process. Given that during the presentation of the plan Błaszczak suggested the procurement of 32 fifth generation fighters is a priority, he was probably referring to acquisition of the F-35 – no other true 5-generation aircraft is currently available on the market. The analysts suggest that the information is somewhat tied to the tensions between Turkey and the US – so would the aforesaid allies be getting the F-35 that were originally destined to be acquired by the Turkish Air Force? The Pentagon has been somewhat upset with Turkey making a decision to acquire the Russian-made S-400 SAM (Surface to Air Missile) system and hence the resistance in the domain of the fighter procurement. On Apr. 17, the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, expressed his hopes with regards to the F-35 procurement. During an Easter meeting with the soldiers held at the 1st Airlift Base in Warsaw, Duda emphasized the need to replace the post-Soviet jets (MiG-29 and Su-22) so that the Polish Air Force could operate the best aircraft available in the world now, Duda said. The meeting was also attended by the head of the MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak, who named the F-35 a key to success.

Lockheed, Frustrated with US Air Force, Eyes Foreign F-35 Sales – Defense One

The service’s proposed purchase of Boeing F-15s has the company increasing its sales efforts on Capitol Hill, and elsewhere.

China won’t find lost F-35 stealth fighter first, says Pentagon

Not long after the F-35 went missing, pundits speculated whether Chinese or Russian assets were seeking out the secretive aircraft.

China’s Stealth Aircraft Program Will Face Advanced Defenses [2011] | [primary-term] content from Aviation Week

China’s newest combat aircraft prototype, the J-20, will require an intense development program if it is going to catch up with fast-moving anti-stealth advances. In fact, anti-stealth will bring into question all stealth designs: How much invulnerability will current low-observability techniques offer as air defense systems adopt larger and more powerful active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radars? From the early days of AESA development, a key goal was to build a radar that could detect very small objects—such as a cruise missile at a distance great enough to target and shoot it down—or a larger object like a fighter with a very low-observable treatment. Airborne detection of stealth aircraft may already be an operational capability. In a series of tests at Edwards AFB, Calif., in 2009, Lockheed Martin’s CATbird avionics testbed—a Boeing 737 that carries the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s entire avionics system—engaged a mixed force of F-22s and Boeing F-15s and was able to locate and jam F-22 radars, according to researchers. Raytheon’s family of X-band airborne AESA radar—in particular, those on upgraded F-15Cs stationed in Okinawa—can detect small, low-signature cruise missiles. Moreover, Northrop Grumman’s lower-frequency, L-band AESA radar on Australia’s Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft is larger and potentially more capable of detecting stealth aircraft at longer ranges. Lockheed Martin also hinted at a JSF anti-stealth capability in 2009 in a reference to combat with sophisticated, foreign aircraft. “The F-35’s avionics include onboard sensors that will enable pilots to strike fixed or moving ground targets in high-threat environments, day or night, in any weather, while simultaneously targeting and eliminating advanced airborne threats,” said Dan Crowley, then-executive vice president and F-35 program general manager.

Stealth No More?: Russia’s Su-35 Fighter Might Be Able to Track an F-22 Raptor | The National Interest

A big maybe.

Why is China Developing a New J-11 Variant? | The Diplomat

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force recently unveiled the first high quality images of the J-11D “4++ generation” air superiority fighter — the latest derivative of the Soviet Su-27 Flanker design and the fifth to be manufactured in China. Flanker derivatives have come to form the bulk of the PLA Air Force’s combat fleet since their acquisition from Russia in 1992 – with over 500 currently in service including both Russian and indigenous variants. The J-11D program, and recent acquisitions of both the Russian Su-35 and indigenous J-16 strike fighter, demonstrate that the PLA sees a continuing role for enhanced Flanker derivatives as it modernizes its aerial warfare capabilities. The new fighter represents the latest of China’s new generation of indigenous fighters alongside the Chengdu J-20 stealth platform which entered service in March 2017 and the J-10C which was inducted in April the following year, and is capable of fulfilling a highly complementary role to these two aircraft. The fighter is a direct analogue to the Russian Su-35, of which the PLA has received two dozen since 2016, and is speculated to have benefited considerably from a study of Russia’s own enhanced Flanker design. China has manufactured enhanced derivatives of the Su-27 since the mid-1990s, when the state owned Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group began to mass produce the J-11B fourth generation air superiority fighter as an enhancement of the original Su-27 acquired from Russia. While the airframe of this platform was almost identical to that of the original Su-27, avionics, sensors and electronic warfare systems were all indigenous and later production batches also integrated indigenous WS-10A turbofan engines in place of the Russian AL-31F. While Chengdu has already completed development of the J-20 as a fifth generation air superiority fighter — the first aircraft of its generation developed anywhere in the world outside the United States — the PLA still has much use for high end “4++ generation” aircraft which, though lacking the J-20’s stealth capabilities and its next generation WS-15 engines, are able to compensate for this in other fields. Although the J-20 program does not face the constraints of its U.S. and Russian analogues, with production of the former’s F-22 Raptor terminated due largely to massive operational costs while the latter’s Su-57 program has floundered due to a lack of funding, the PLA is still unlikely to rely on high end stealth jets to make up its entire air superiority fleet. Although estimates of the J-20’s acquisition costs remain modest by the standards of fifth generation aircraft, the J-11D is likely to be considerably cheaper to operate and easier to maintain, while its airframe will be able to more easily integrate a wider range of technologies including three dimensional thrust vectoring engines and next generation missiles such as the ship hunting YJ-12 and ramjet powered PL-21 “AWACS hunter” which are not compatible with the J-20. The fact that the J-11D carries its weapons externally gives it access to a far wider range of munitions than the J-20 – which is limited by the dimensions of its internal weapons bays. With comparable electronic warfare systems and sensors, and with some stealth technologies of its own, this will make the J-11D an effective next generation complement to the J-20 for decades to come. It is likely that the J-11D will integrate many similar enhancements to the original Su-27 airframe design as the Russian Su-35, including three dimensional thrust vectoring engines recently tested on the J-10, a radar cross section reducing frontal profile, an enlarged missile carrying capacity and state of the art electronic warfare systems. While the Su-35 was designed in the 2000s, and relied heavily on technologies developed in the 1990s, the J-11D is set to be considerably more sophisticated and will very likely surpass the Russian Flanker in its combat performance. The Chinese jet is expected to make more use of composite materials for a stronger but lighter airframe, and is reportedly set to complement a “pseudo stealthy” airframe with radar absorbent coatings which its Russian counterpart lacks. The most notable difference between the two designs however is that the J-11D will integrate a miniaturized active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a next generation technology pioneered in its integration onto fighter aircraft by the Japanese F-2 and American F-22 in the early 2000s and since integrated onto the PLA’s J-20 and J-10C. Russia for its part has yet to integrate an AESA radar onto its frontline fighters. These radars will provide the J-11D with superior situational awareness to any other Flanker variant, likely increasing its detection range by a factor of around 80 percent relative to the older J-11B. The name of the radar system to be integrated onto the J-11D is currently unknown, but AESA systems are considerably more difficult to jam than the pulse doppler radars used by the original J-11 or the Su-35’s passive electronically scanned array radar while also minimizing the fighter’s radar signature — making it more difficult to detect at range.

Bad News for China: J-20 Stealth Fighters Can’t Touch an F-22s or F-35 | The National Interest

No contest. Here’s why.

Why Nothing Could Stop a 6th Generation F-22 Stealth Fighter | The National Interest

Wanna fight Russia or China? This is what you need.

Penetrating Counter Air Fighter Could Cost $300 Million Apiece

And you thought the F-35 was expensive.

Lockheed enterprise computer connects older aircraft with F-35s — Defense Systems

New tech allows aircraft using different data links to communicate.

Master Chart Showing US Military Aircraft And Their Data-Links Includes RQ-170 Sentinel – The Drive

The diagram offers a detailed look at which planes and helicopters have which systems, but undoubtedly leaves out certain classified capabilities.

Penetrating Electronic Attack May Come Before Counter-Air Platform | Air Force Magazine

Gen. Hawk Carlisle thinks the Air Force’s nascent Penetrating Electronic Attack aircraft may actually go operational before the Penetrating Counter-Air platform that will notionally succeed or complement the F-22 and F-35 in the air superiority role. The Air Combat Command chief, speaking with defense reporters on Friday, said the PEA, which he described as a “partnership platform” with the F-22, F-35, and B-21 bomber, could be “autonomous or semi-autonomous” and escort strike aircraft going into the most heavily defended enemy airspace as a stand-in jammer. The Navy, he reiterated, has a need to do a different kind of electronic warfare, and USAF and the Navy are working out who will do what with regards to electronic warfare through the Joint Air Dominance Organization, set up to apportion such roles and missions. Carlisle said he’d like both the PCA and PEA programs to “move to the left,” meaning appear in service earlier than now planned. “Sooner would be better,” he added, noting the electronic combat environment is getting “intense.”

Air Force Explains Electronic Warfare Restructure Following ECCT Review | Air Force Magazine

The Air Force on Tuesday gave some more specifics on how it will add new organizations and structure to better address electromagnetic superiority in the coming years.

Air Force Launches Electronic Warfare Roadmap: EMS ECCT 2.0 – To Inform is to Influence

By Colin Clark for Breaking Defense // on April 24, 2019 at 12:43 PM PENTAGON:  The Air Force is looking across the enterprise to build a comprehensive map of all electronic warfare capabilities for the second stage of its landmark service-wide probe of how to bolster the Air Force’s EW and cyber warfare capabilities. Gen. Paul Selva, vice…

August/September 2018 – Cognitive Electronic Warfare: Radio Frequency Spectrum Meets Machine Learning | Avionics Digital Edition

A look at the technologies that will power the aircraft of tomorrow.

Vadum to support electronic-warfare project to counter waveform-agile enemy radar with machine learning

U.S. Navy avionics experts are looking to electronic warfare (EW) experts at Vadum Inc. in Raleigh, N.C., to support a project that aims at developing detection and classification techniques that identify new or waveform-agile radar threats and automatically respond with an electronic warfare (EW) attack.

Northrop Grumman Developing Machine Learning Capabilities for the Navy | SIGNAL Magazine

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, New York, is awarded a $7,255,294 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development of machine learning algorithms (MLAs) for the Reactive Electronic Attack Measures (REAM) program. The REAM program is a future naval capabilities enabling capability with the objective of transitioning MLAs to the EA-18G airborne electronic attack suite to achieve capabilities against agile, adaptive, and unknown hostile radars or radar modes. Work will be performed in Bethpage, New York, and is expected to be completed in December 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $461,000 are obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via a broad agency announcement; one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (N68335-18-C-0291).

Northrop Grumman Producing Electronic Attack Pods for the Air Force | SIGNAL Magazine

Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $44,395,362 modification (P00040) to previously awarded contract FA8540-12-C-0004 for the production of electronic attack pods. This modification provides for the exercise of Option Three, and brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $200,468,873. Work will be performed in Herndon, Virginia, and is expected to be complete by April 18, 2022. Fiscal year 2017 and 2019 procurement funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity.

Off the Eastern Seaboard, a US Navy missile test could make big waves

It might look like just another missile test, but what was happening inside the ship was revolutionary.

Army reworking enduring plans for indirect fires protection system

The Army is taking a fresh look over the next year to decide on the optimal mix of sensors and shooters that will make up its Indirect Fires Protection Capability designed to defend against rockets, artillery and mortars as well as cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft systems.

Raytheon is one step closer to maiden flight test of its newest DeepStrike missile – Defence Blog

Raytheon Company has announced on 23 April that it is one step closer to maiden flight test of its newest DeepStrike missile. According to a statement released on Tuesday, Raytheon Company completed a successful static test of the new DeepStrike missile rocket motor, which moved the advanced, surface-to-surface weapon closer to its maiden flight test later this year. The company is offering the DeepStrike missile for the U.S. Army’s Precision Strike Missile, or PrSM, program to replace the aging Army Tactical Missile System that is approaching the end of its service life. The U.S. Army needs more mobile firepower to counter Russia’s aggression in Europe and to achieve parity with Iskander ballistic missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. To counteract the possible threat in Eastern Europe and in the whole world, the US Army decided to develop the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program. The new PrSM (pronounced “prism”) will be a surface-to-surface, all weather, precision-strike guided missile fired from the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). “Testing shows us how initial data assessments line up and validates them for the next phase in development,” said Dr.Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. “This test confirms our design for the DeepStrike propulsion system is solid and moves us one step closer to extending the Army’s reach and doubling the load-out of long-range fires.” The rocket motor test at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory inWest Virginiais the latest in a series of milestones for the DeepStrike missile. Raytheon recently concluded a successful preliminary design review for the weapon. Raytheon’s new, long-range precision strike missile features an innovative, two-in-the-pod design and will fly farther, faster, and give the Army twice the firepower at half the cost per missile. It is also more maneuverable and has a modular, open architecture to simplify system upgrades. “With our expertise in advanced weapon systems, Raytheon is best positioned to provide an affordable, low-risk solution that gives the Army an overwhelming advantage over our nation’s adversaries,” Bussing said. The DeepStrike missile will defeat fixed land targets 60-499 kilometers away, and get there faster than current systems.

US Army picks 5 teams to design new attack recon helicopter

The Army awarded five contracts to design Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft by early next year.

Can this tracked robot haul as much as a mule and as quietly as a bear?

Textron appears confident in its entry into the Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport program.

4 questions on the risks facing Turkey’s defense industry

WASHINGTON — Since his early days in power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made growing the country’s defense industry a long-term goal. But with the future of Ankara’s participation in the F-35 program in doubt, and the country in the midst of an economic downturn, can Turkey’s defense firms stay on track? Defense News talked with Bulent Aliriza, director and senior associate on the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, about the challenges ahead. Under Erdogan, Turkey has made growing its indigenous defense industry a priority. How would you rate that development? Developing a self-sufficient defense industry was one of Erdogan’s very ambitious 2023 goals, for the centennial of the Turkish republic. By his own self-proclaimed yardstick, the sector is not where he wants it to be. However, there has been impressive progress under Erdogan’s personal direction with around 65 percent of the sector now indigenous, compared to 20 percent when he came to power in 2003, along with defense exports of over $2 billion last year. While Turkey cannot challenge the U.S. and Russia, who dominate the arms market and have the technology to make the fighter jets and missile systems Turkey cannot manufacture, Erdogan wants it to break into the second category comprising the Chinese, British, German and French.

Turkish firms see IDEF as chance to pitch locally made systems for export

This year’s show is expected to highlight aerospace systems, including drones, a new fighter jet and an advanced jet trainer, plus naval systems and a locally made new-generation battle tank.

If this rocket is so ‘dumb,’ how does it ram enemy drones out of the sky?

Sometimes all force takes is mass and acceleration.

First B-1Bs resume flying after nearly month-long grounding

It was the second time in a year that the Lancer has been grounded over an ejection seat issue.

This Photo Shows The Large Drag Chutes Needed To Slow Down The Russian Tu-160 Blackjack Bomber After Landing – The Aviationist

The three chutes deploy from the tail of the “White Swan” to reduce the landing roll. Many aircraft still use such braking system. The Russian Ministry of Defense has recently shared the above shot. It shows a Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack, also known as the “White Swan”, under the braking action of the three drag chutes that deploy from the aircraft’s tail. With a total area of 105 sqm (1,130 sq ft), the three parachutes are used to provide additional breaking action and to reduce the landing roll. Drag (or drogue) chutes are a quite common design trait of the Soviet-made jets, even though many western aircraft use them too. The system consists of a single or several parachutes (for instance, the B-52 uses one, the Su-24 Fencer uses two, etc.) placed in a special pod or fairing located in the rear section of the fuselage. The chute is ejected with the use of a smaller parachute, spring-driven or compressed air based system. With a landing weight of between 140,000 and 155,000 kg (341,716 lb), the heavy Russian bomber may require a landing distance between 1,200 and 1,600 m (3,937 – 5,250 ft). The braking action of the drag chute(s) help the aircraft stop quicker: generally speaking these parachutes can be particularly useful as the aircraft is not equipped with thrust reversers; for landing on shorter runways or when the runway is covered with rain, ice or snow, in order to reduce speed before applying wheel brakes. The latter can become hot and take fire, posing a risk for the aircraft itself.

US Navy seeks new OASuW missile – ADBR

The US Navy has issued an updated request for information (RFI) to industry for an Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) analysis of alternatives with a view to fielding a next-generation weapon after 2028. The RFI is seeking details on key capabilities, technical readiness levels, cost, schedule and risks associated with the OASuW. It is an extension of the Navy’s Next Generation Land Attack Weapon (NGLAW) program, and has been expanded to include Naval TACAIR with the objective to inform Navy’s next generation strike weapon roadmaps. The RFI says the OASuW will be employed from aircraft including the F-35 (internal and exterior carriage), F/A-18, Next Generation Fighter, and the P-8 against maritime and land targets in a range of environments. It says the ‘trade space’ will be assessed with respect to concept capabilities, mission effectiveness, technical and operational risk, development and total ownership cost, and overall system value. The Navy is requesting concepts, systems, subsystems, and technologies that might form a possible solution or solutions. Its primary interest areas are associated with the air vehicle including airframe, propulsion, guidance, navigation, control, communication, payload, and warhead. There is also interest in interoperability, autonomy in denied environment, weapon-to-weapon communications and collaboration in RF denied environment, logistics/product support, aircraft carrier handling, and self-targeting capability. Responses to the RFI are due by June 28 2019.

The Navy wants new tools for launching robots from torpedo tubes

The Office of Naval Research wants expendable sabots to eject from the torpedo tube alongside an underwater robot.

End of an era: Navy’s P-3C Orion embarks on its final deployment

The last P-3C Orion is expected to be phased out in 2023, the end of more than six decades of service for the venerable plane.

U.S. Marines conducted live-fire testing of a 40mm cannon on new ACV – Defence Blog

The U.S. Marine Corps conducted successful live-fire tests of its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) with a deadly 40mm cannon. According to the FOX News report, during the Bushmaster Users Conference in Arizona was held live-fire testing of a new suite of amphibious vehicle weapons and sensors with new 40mm cannon. The ACV, developed by Britain’s biggest defense company BAE Systems, is taken part in a live-fire demonstration and showed 40 mm chain-driven autocannon that was integrated on the upgraded turret. The deadly 40mm cannon brings an ability to do with defense against low-altitude air threats, primarily helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. Also, rounds of new advanced cannon will provide air burst capability and the can penetrate armor with a thickness in excess of 150 millimeters. “The vehicle is designed to have a turret superstructure that is reinforced in the base design. This is the culmination of turret-integration analysis,” John Swift, Director of Amphibious Warfare, told Warrior Maven in an interview. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps interest in up-gunning its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle with a stronger, longer-range 40mm cannon and during Bushmaster Users Conference. Northrop weapons developers explain that the 40mm cannon can, due to the vehicle’s turret and fire control configuration, easily swap out the 30mm cannon barrel for a 40mm barrel without any technical difficulty or significant alterations.

Israel inks deal with Elbit for advanced ‘artillery of the future’

Israel’s future artillery effort could solve operational challenges the country faces in the north, potentially in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

This Israeli company made a super scope out of a smartphone

At a first glance, the SSR400 looks like something out of a video game — an unwieldy box-like object which looks completed out of place when perched above an AR or a bolt gun.

Bad News: The British Army Bought the Wrong Tank | The National Interest

At least that’s the opinion of one retired army officer who during his 20-year career helped to assess tank designs on behalf of U.K. policymakers.

Kadena F-15 Crash Due to Pilot Error that Forced Negative-G Spin | Military.com

An F-15C Eagle from Kadena Air Base, Japan, crashed last year due to a pilot error. An F-15C Eagle from Kadena Air Base, Japan, crashed last year due to a pilot error that caused the fighter jet to spin out of control, according to an Accident Investigation Report released Wednesday. The pilot, who has not been publicly named, survived the crash but sustained serious injuries, officials said. Investigators found that an “improper application of the forward stick with full right rudder” resulted in “a negative G departure from controlled flight,” according to the report. Col. Harmon S. Lewis Jr., the Accident Investigation Board president, also determined that “spatial disorientation, lack of emergency procedure training for negative G departures from controlled flight, and limited time to analyze the situation and recover were substantially contributing factors to the mishap.” The F-15, assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron, 18th Wing, was training with an F-22 Raptor from the 525th Fighter Squadron out of Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, on the morning of June 11, 2018. The two aircraft were over the Pacific for a routine sortie to practice simulated air-to-air missile engagements, according to the investigation. The pilot in the mishap aircraft was maneuvering defensively in relation to the F-22 at an altitude of about 5,400 feet, and traveling at about 180 knots, or 207 miles per hour, according to the report. Then the pilot initiated a vertical climb, bringing the F-15 to a nose height of 65 degrees, “20 degrees of right bank, 39 degrees Angle-of-Attack,” flying at 1.2 Gs. The plane reached an apex of 6,300 feet, traveling 105 knots or 120 mph, the report stated. G-force refers to the force of acceleration coupled with gravity, which produces weight on the body. But the pilot did not feel the plane was flying as desired, and attempted to break the AOA — or the angle between the reference line of a wing or the airplane itself to the relative oncoming wind — and get the nose tracking faster during the perceived right turn, the report states.

Mitsubishi jet faces scrutiny after Boeing 737 Max crashes – Nikkei Asian Review

TOKYO — The perennially delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet may&nbsp;come under&nbsp;stricter&nbsp;regulatory scrutiny in the wake of&nbsp;the Boeing 737

First Japan-Built Airliner in 50 Years Takes on Boeing, Airbus – Bloomberg

A new, long-delayed 88-passenger jet from Japan may finally be the right plane at the right time.

World War II-era flying wing crashes in California prison yard

A one-of-its-kind World War II-era flying wing aircraft crashed and burst into flames in the exercise yard of a Southern California prison on Monday, killing the pilot

Rare and Historic Northrop Flying Wing Crashes Into Prison Yard In California (Updated) – The Drive

Details are still coming in, but a privately owned Northrop N-9M crashed in Norco, California at around 12:10 PM local time. The condition of the pilot is unknown, but the aircraft itself sustained

Greenland Is Falling Apart – Defense One

Its ice sheet, which holds enough water to raise sea level by 25 feet, may now be melting from the bottom.

Israeli F-16 Jets Blew Up a Syrian Missile Factory (And Russia’s Air Defense Missiles Didn’t Strike) | The National Interest

Why not?

Did Israel use the supersonic Rampage to strike Iranian targets in Syria? – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Israel allegedly struck an Iranian missile factory in Syria’s Masyaf on Saturday.

How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer – IEEE Spectrum

Design shortcuts meant to make a new plane seem like an old, familiar one are to blame

How badly is the 737 Max crisis affecting Boeing’s bottom line? – CNN

The Boeing 737 Max crisis is a tragedy that cost 346 lives. On Wednesday, investors will start to find out the cost to Boeing’s bottom line.

Boeing’s Dreamliner facing claims of manufacturing issues: NYT report

A New York Times investigation found numerous complaints raised by workers at a Boeing facility in South Carolina.

Boeing delivers the eighth KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft to the U.S. Air Force – Defence Blog

Boeing said on 20 April that it has delivered the eighth KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft to the U.S. Air Force. “We’re proud to deliver the 8th KC46 tanker to the U.S. Air Force at McConnell Air Force Base,” announced the aerospace giant in a Twitter post. McConnell houses Airmen that are certified on both the KC-135 and the KC-46. Even with the addition of the KC-46, the fuel shop will continue to maintain the KC-135. The KC-46A Pegasus is a widebody, multirole tanker that can refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. During extensive flight testing, six KC-46 completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than four million pounds of fuel to A-10, B-52, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, KC-46, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. The Pegasus has been rigorously tested throughout all aspects of the refueling envelope and in all conditions, including day, night and covert. The KC‐46A provides improved capabilities over older Air Force air refueling aircraft to include boom and drogue refueling on the same sortie, a refueling capability of more than 212,000 pounds of fuel and palletized cargo up to 65,000 pounds, depending on fuel storage configuration. Boeing designed the KC-46 to carry passengers, cargo and patients. The aircraft can detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection, which will enable it to operate safely in medium-threat environments. The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframes, is built in the company’s Everett, Wash., facility. Boeing is on contract for 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the Air Force.