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February 11, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land

Here’s how many bombs the US plans to buy in the next year

By: Aaron Mehta

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's fiscal 2021 budget request seeks to buy fewer munitions needed for the fights in Afghanistan and Iraq as it attempts to pivot towards investments in the kind of weapons that will be used in a high-end fight against China or Russia.

The DoD has requested $21.3 billion in munitions, including $6 billion for conventional ammunition, $4 billion for strategic missiles and $11.3 billion for tactical missiles. Munitions and missiles make up 8.8 percent of overall procurement in the budget request.

The department is pursuing a two-pronged approach, according to a budget summary provided by the Pentagon. The first is to make sure “U.S. worldwide munition inventories are sufficiently stocked” for ongoing needs. The second is to ensure “sufficient procurement of more advanced high-end weapon systems, which provide increases standoff, enhanced lethality and autonomous targeting for employment against near-peer threats in more contested environment.”

Examples of that kind of high-end munition includes the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), both of which have enhanced procurement in the budget request.

Major munitions buys in the budget include:

  • 20,338 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) - $533 million. That is down 8,050 units from the FY20 enacted.
  • 7,360 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) - $1.2 billion. That is down 1,163 units from FY20 enacted.
  • 2,462 Small Diameter Bomb 1 (SDB 1) – $95.9 million. That is down 4,616 units from FY20 enacted.
  • 1,490 Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) - $432 million. That is down 197 units from FY20 enacted.
  • 8,150 Hellfire missiles - $517 million. That is down 640 units from FY20 enacted.
  • 601 AIM-9X sidewinders - $316.6 million. That is down 119 units from FY20 enacted.
  • 125 Standard Missile-6 - $816 million. That is the same amount as purchased in FY20 enacted.
  • 400 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) - $577 million. That is up 10 units from FY20 enacted.
  • 53 Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) - $224 million. That is up 36 units from FY20 enacted.

The slowdown of procurement for munitions comes as the U.S. dropped 7,423 munitions onto Afghanistan in 2019 —the highest number of bombs released in nearly a decade.

“For munitions, we continue to carefully manage production and stockpiles," Pentagon comptroller Elaine McCusker said Monday. "The JADM stockpile is healthier due to our last four years of increased procurements. The SM-6 is being procured at the maximum rate of production, continuing a five-year, multi-year procurement contract.”

Keeping the munitions industrial base humming is important for the Pentagon. A May 2018 report identified major gaps in the munitions industrial base, warning that key components for America's weapons could disappear entirely if a small handful of suppliers were to close up shop.

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  • German army relies on Rohde And Schwarz

    July 24, 2019 | International, C4ISR

    German army relies on Rohde And Schwarz

    Munich 22-Jul-2019 - IDZ-ES and the PUMA infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for the VJTF 2023 are making a start on the end-to-end digital command radio link over the first mile using software defined radios from Rohde & Schwarz. The seamless command radio link for the PUMA armored infantry system with the infantryman of the future (IdZ-ES) for the Very High Readiness Joint Taskforce (VJTF) 2023 is provided by Rohde & Schwarz. With the Budget Committee of the German Lower House of German Parliament (Bundestag) having given its approval for the armored infantry system service package at the end of June, the necessary contracts for procurement have now also been completed. "This order is a milestone that we have reached after winning against international competitors in challenging trials and comparative tests set by the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in 2018 in Munster, Germany," explained Hartmut Jäschke, Senior Vice President Market Segments Secure Communications Sales and Projects at Rohde & Schwarz. Its basis is the intention of the Bundeswehr to be ready with the PUMA IFV/armored infantry system and the latest version of IdZ-ES for NATO VJTF (Land) in 2023. Rohde & Schwarz is a subcontractor of Rheinmetall Electronics, which is responsible for the IdZ-ES system, and will supply the latest tactical software defined radios (SDR) together with suitable waveforms, integration, training and services. The SOVERON family works with the high data rate and interference-immune SOVERON WAVE waveforms for tactical rugged use on the first mile, and is thus an exact match for the spectrum of requirements of a battle group for territorial and collective defense as well as for international crisis management operations. All members of the SOVERON WAVE family of waveforms offer mobile ad hoc network (MANET) functionality. Radios equipped with this capability function as routers within the IP network group, forwarding the information via other communication nodes and thus ensuring that a robust, interference-immune link can be maintained under all circumstances. The Rohde & Schwarz VHF/UHF radio systems selected for this project will establish and maintain the command radio link with simultaneous voice and IP data from dismounted troops up to the platoon and company level. The systems concerned are handheld (SDHR/SOVERON HR) and vehicular radios (SDTR/SOVERON VR) that are interoperable with the German Armed Forces joint radio system (SVFuA, series name: SOVERON D) that has already been commissioned by the Bundeswehr and the SDR waveforms procured with it. The first batch of SOVERON D commissioned for command vehicles will be delivered to the troops in the first half of 2020. This interplay is also of great importance for future viability in the context of the Digitalization of Land Based Operations/Tactical Edge Networking (D-LBO/TEN) major project for highly secure and trusted interoperable connections that will only come into effect after VJTF 2023. SOVERON D also provides backward compatibility with the analog SEM radio infrastructure that will be in service for some time yet even though it is obsolete. This capability was also recently demonstrated in further tests. "With our innovative overall approach – SOVERON – we provide national trusted solutions that can be tailored to the customer's needs but which, due to their open architecture, are compatible with established radio systems and architectures and, at the same time, will be viable in the future," Mr. Jäschke continued. "It is an honor for us to bring into operation by the troops the latest state of the art for the VJTF. By doing so, we are not only paving the way for the next steps of D-LBO/TEN and for further strategic projects of the Bundeswehr. There are also significant synergies with the Telecommunications of the Army (TK A) project in Switzerland, comparable to the networking part of D-LBO/TEN. We are in the final round of a multi-year competition here." Rohde & Schwarz The Rohde & Schwarz technology group develops, produces and markets innovative communications, information and security products for professional users. The group's test and measurement, broadcast and media, aerospace | defense | security, networks and cybersecurity business fields address many different industry and government-sector market segments. On June 30, 2018, Rohde & Schwarz had approximately 11,500 employees. The independent group achieved a net revenue of approximately EUR 2 billion in the 2017/2018 fiscal year (July to June). The company has its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Internationally, it has subsidiaries in more than 70 countries, with regional hubs in Asia and America. R&S® is a registered trademark of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co.KG. View source version on Rohde & Schwarz :

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