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  • Stealthier Tanks Are On The Way

    August 7, 2018 | International, Land

    Stealthier Tanks Are On The Way

    BY JOHN WATTS Several tech trends will make tomorrow's tanks harder to spot — and that may have strategic implications. Truly game-changing technology does not develop in isolation. It results from the convergence of multiple trends and usually the combination of multiple technologies. For example, today's social-media platforms did not arise from internet connectivity alone. Rather, they evolved iteratively over multiple generations of technological development, incorporating the miniaturization of digital cameras, the increase in portable computing power of smartphones, and advances in cellular connectivity. In that context, a cluster of technological trends may be converging to produce a potentially transformative battlefield capability: “stealth tanks.” This concept is not new and there is no certainty that these new technological developments will fully scale or prove operationally effective. But as these technologies develop they hint at possibilities that warrant serious discussion about their potential application to armored vehicles, as well as their operational and politico-strategic implications. By “stealth,” we do not mean invisibility. Rather, it is a collection of technologies designed to reduce an object's observable signature, thereby making detection more difficult. Even if temporary or incomplete, stealth provides a significant tactical advantage. Aircraft achieve stealth through a decreased radar cross section which incredibly complicates detection. Full Article: https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/08/stealthier-tanks/150276/

  • Marines increase ways to detect and kill air threats, from hobby drones to cruise missiles

    August 7, 2018 | International, Land

    Marines increase ways to detect and kill air threats, from hobby drones to cruise missiles

    By: Todd South As Marine units face evolving drone threats from terrorist organizations and at the same time shore up their air defenses against near-peer air attacks, a few key pieces of gear in the most recent defense bill could vastly strengthen overhead protection. Until recently, Marines tasked with taking down drones or short-range missiles had to link into a vast array of detection devices and then perform a practically 20th century task to take them out. Essentially, a Marine with binoculars scans the air for drones while another Marine zeroes in with a Stinger missile ― first fielded in the 1980s but upgraded since ― to shoot down what is often a few hundred dollars' worth of a patched together, weaponized or surveillance-type commercial drone. But a review of the past five years of Marine Corps budget requests and approvals for two systems, the Ground Based Air Defense-Transformation, or GBAD, and the Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar, or G/ATOR, have more than doubled in the past five years and are projected to maintain or increase from now until 2022, when a GBAD with a laser component is expected to field. Beginning as far back as 2013, the Marines have been purchasing the G/ATOR, an advanced radar system that executes the function of a combined five legacy systems. Full Article: https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2018/08/06/marines-increase-ways-to-detect-and-kill-air-threats-from-hobby-drones-to-cruise-missiles/

  • Bulgaria details armoured vehicle procurement

    August 7, 2018 | International, Land

    Bulgaria details armoured vehicle procurement

    Igor Bozinovski The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 25 July placed details online of the project to procure 150 armoured vehicles for the Bulgarian Land Forces (BuLF). The 17-page document was approved by Bulgaria's Council of Ministers on 16 May. The BGN1.224 billion (USD722 million) BuLF modernisation project calls for BGN810 million to be spent on the acquisition of at least 90 armoured combat vehicles, and BGN414 million on at least 60 special and support vehicles. In addition, BGN240 million is planned for the acquisition of related equipment, documentation, personnel training, training and simulation equipment, an automated fire control system for a self-propelled mortar battery, and related communication and information systems. Full Article: https://www.janes.com/article/82190/bulgaria-details-armoured-vehicle-procurement

  • Bulgaria overhauls Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters

    August 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Bulgaria overhauls Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters

    Igor Bozinovski On 30 July, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence published a tender for the general overhaul of two Mi-17 transport and four Mi-24V combat helicopters of the Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF). The deadline for submission of bids is 3 September, with a framework agreement covering a period of 48 months to be signed with the successful bidder. The procurement is valued at BGN37.3 million (USD22 billion): BGN11.3 million for the Mi-17s and BGN26 million for the Mi-24Vs. Full Article: https://www.janes.com/article/82199/bulgaria-overhauls-mi-17-and-mi-24-helicopters

  • Congress offers millions in budget to cyber-harden missile defense systems

    August 7, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Congress offers millions in budget to cyber-harden missile defense systems

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — House and Senate lawmakers have authorized an injection of about $51 million in funding to cyber-harden missile defense systems, according to the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act conference report, and appropriators are expected to follow suit in the defense spending bill with roughly $100 million in additional funding. Congressional authorizers noted in a summary of the NDAA conference report, released July 23, that the conferees were supporting an increase in funding to address cyberthreats to U.S. missile defense systems. WASHINGTON — House and Senate lawmakers have authorized an injection of about $51 million in funding to cyber-harden missile defense systems, according to the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act conference report, and appropriators are expected to follow suit in the defense spending bill with roughly $100 million in additional funding. Congressional authorizers noted in a summary of the NDAA conference report, released July 23, that the conferees were supporting an increase in funding to address cyberthreats to U.S. missile defense systems. What the new defense bill means for cyber U.S. House and Senate negotiators boosted funding for cybersecurity in the annual defense authorization bill, which serves as a repudiation of the Trump administration's foreign policy. By: Justin Lynch The U.S. military and its allies are reliant on missile defense systems both regionally and to defend the homeland. Such a capability will require a more robust level of protection against cyberattacks as adversaries grow in their ability to take down systems through jamming and other electronic warfare capabilities. The strategy to disarm enemy systems using jamming and electronic attack already plays a major role in war gaming against possible peer adversaries in the future. Using cyber and electronic attack is seen, at times, as the first line of offense to take down enemy air defense systems, so as to allow the injection of friendly forces into denied territory. And since that's part of the strategy to penetrate enemy systems, it will be and already is a part of the adversaries' strategies, too. Full Article: https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/07/27/congress-offers-millions-in-budget-to-cyber-harden-missile-defense-systems/

  • Navy satellite system approved for expanded use

    August 6, 2018 | International, Naval, C4ISR

    Navy satellite system approved for expanded use

    By: Maddy Longwell   U.S. Strategic Command has approved the Navy's new narrowband satellite communication system for expanded operational use, which could begin as early as this fall, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command announced Aug. 2. “MUOS' acceptance for operational use is an important milestone for the Navy, and it's one step closer for significant communications improvements for all our forces,” Rear Adm. Carl Chebi, the Navy's program executive officer for space systems, said in the release. The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), built by Lockheed Martin, is a five-satellite constellation, which includes four operational satellites and an on-orbit spare, that works with ground relays to operate like a global military cellular network. The first satellite launched in 2012. The system can transmit voice, video and mission data on an Internet Protocol based system that can connect to military networks. Users can connect to Department of Defense communications networks such as the Global Information Grid and Defense Switched Network. Full Article: https://www.c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/2018/08/03/navy-satellite-system-approved-for-expanded-use

  • Bell Pushes V-280 Gunship, Shipboard Variants: Recon In Works

    August 6, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Bell Pushes V-280 Gunship, Shipboard Variants: Recon In Works

    One variant, in Army colors, has missile racks sticking out of what was originally the passenger cabin — a conversion that units could potentially install or remove as needed in the field. The other, with Marine Corps markings, is a sleeker thoroughbred gunship with internal weapons bays, stealth features, and folding wings to fit in shipboard hangars. By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR. ARLINGTON: How new is Bell Helicopter's shiny showroom — excuse me, Advanced Vertical Lift Center — minutes from the Pentagon and the Capitol? Between the time I arrived this morning and the time I headed out, they installed two huge mockups of their high-speed V-280 Valor tilrotor. But these aren't land-based troop transports like the prototype Bell's already flying for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) demonstration program. They're heavily armed gunships. One, in Army colors, has missile racks sticking out of what was originally the passenger cabin — a conversion that units could potentially install or remove as needed in the field. The other, with Marine Corps markings, is a sleeker thoroughbred gunship with internal weapons bays, stealth features, and folding wings to fit in shipboard hangars. Bell showed off these mockups before, but there's almost no imagery available online, so when executives said I was free to take photos, I had my phone out at once. Equally interesting was what they said about another design they've still got under wraps: Bell's contender for the Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft(FARA), a scout light, small, and agile enough to avoid detection by flying down city streets. https://breakingdefense.com/2018/08/bell-pushes-v-280-gunship-shipboard-variants-recon-in-works/

  • Latvia cleared to buy Black Hawks

    August 6, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    Latvia cleared to buy Black Hawks

    By: Aaron Mehta A Louisiana National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk is used to assess flooding on June 5, 2015. Latvia wants to purchase four of the Sikorsky-made helicopters. (1st Lt. Rebekah Malone/Army National Guard) WASHINGTON — Latvia has been cleared by the U.S. State Department to buy four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, in a move to bolster the NATO nation's ability to move forces around the alliance's eastern flank. The sale has an estimated price tag of $200 million, which covers the four rotorcraft, 10 engines and associated equipment. As with all announcements by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the sale must pass through the Senate, at which point negotiations can begin; total quantities and dollar totals often change from the original DSCA announcement and final sale. “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally,” according to a DSCA statement. “These UH-60 helicopters will allow for interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces in rapid response to a variety of missions, and quick positioning of troops with minimal helicopter assets.” Full Article: https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/08/03/latvia-cleared-to-buy-black-hawks

  • How underwater drones will change the Navy’s sub game

    August 6, 2018 | International, Naval, C4ISR

    How underwater drones will change the Navy’s sub game

    By: Geoff Ziezulewicz   Standing at the forefront of game-changing innovations in undersea warfare, Navy Cmdr. Scott Smith has only one small request. Don't call the Navy's fleet of unmanned undersea vehicles “drones.” “It has a negative connotation,” Smith said. “We think of drone strikes as taking out Taliban, and we're nowhere near that.” Not yet, anyway. But the Pentagon is trying quickly to get there. Last fall, the Navy named Smith as the first-ever commander of the new Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron 1, or UUVRON-1. It's spearheading the service's development and deployment of unmanned underwater vehicles. Called UUVs, they're are already being used for surveillance and to clear mines and map the ocean floor, according to Bryan Clark, a retired submariner who is now a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Full Article: https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/08/03/how-underwater-drones-will-change-the-navys-sub-game/

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