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  • US Air Force : un appel d'offre pour un avion léger en fin d'année

    August 30, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    US Air Force : un appel d'offre pour un avion léger en fin d'année

    Par Emmanuel Huberdeau L'US Air Force a annoncé son intention de publier fin 2018 un appel d'offre pour un avion d'attaque léger. Celui-ci pourrait être commandé en fin d'année fiscale 2019.   L'US Air Force a publié le 3 août 2018 un document officiel annonçant son intention de solliciter en décembre 2018 des offres de la part de l'industrie pour l'acquisition d'un avion léger d'attaque. Il s'agira d'un avion déjà développé conçu pour les conflits irréguliers précise le document. L'US Air Force estime déjà que seul Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) et Textron Aviation sont en mesure de répondre à son besoin. SNC produit en partenariat avec Embraer l'A-29 Super Tucano et Textron propose l'AT-6 Wolverine via sa filiale Beechcraft. Ces appareils ont été testés par l'US Air Force lors de campagnes d'essais réalisés avec plusieurs types d'avions d'attaque légers. Malgré cette déclaration de l'USAF, la société Stavatti Aerospace Ltd espère pouvoir faire participer à l'appel d'offre son concept d'avion d'appui aérien rapproché le SM-27 Machete. Ce concept qui semble sortir tout droit d'une bande dessinée a été imaginé pour succéder à l'A-10. Il s'agit d'un appareil doté d'un turbo propulseur "pousseur" avec une voilure droite, des plans canards et deux dérives. Ses concepteurs annoncent une vitesse maximale de 400 noeuds. L'armement comprendrait un canon de 30 mm et 3600 kg de munitions. Le cockpit serait dérivé de celui du F-16. Stavatti annonce avoir envoyé un document de 80 pages à  l'USAF le 17 août pour expliquer son offre. Pas sûr que cela suffise à convaincre l'armée de l'air américaine qui cherche un appareil disponible sur étagère.  http://www.air-cosmos.com/us-air-force-un-appel-d-offre-pour-un-avion-leger-en-fin-d-annee-114427

  • Berlin prône une consolidation du secteur de la défense européen

    August 30, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land

    Berlin prône une consolidation du secteur de la défense européen

    JOUY-EN-JOSAS, Yvelines, 29 août (Reuters) - L’Union européenne doit renforcer les synergies en matière d’équipements militaires pour optimiser les dépenses de défense des Etats membres, ce qui passe notamment par une consolidation du secteur à l’échelle européenne, estime le ministre allemand des Finances, Olaf Scholz. Au-delà des progrès déjà enregistrés en matière de politique commune de défense et de sécurité, des mesures complémentaires sont nécessaires, déclare le vice-chancelier d’Allemagne, selon le texte d’un discours qu’il devait prononcer mercredi à l’université d’été du Medef, à Jouy-en-Josas (Yvelines). Cela passe par “une approche commune pour le matériel militaire, ce qui signifiera davantage de coopération et un processus de consolidation de l’industrie militaire européenne, y compris via des fusions”, dit-il. “Nous devons encourager les fusions pas seulement lorsqu’elles se font au bénéfice de nos propres champions nationaux”, poursuit-il. A ses yeux, cela permettra de mettre sur pied une politique de défense commune plus intégrée, à même de permettre à l’Union européenne de garantir sa sécurité mais aussi de devenir un “acteur sérieux” de l’architecture militaire mondiale. La France et l’Allemagne ont donné l’été dernier, peu après l’accession d’Emmanuel Macron à l’Elysée, un grand coup d’accélérateur à leur coopération dans le domaine de la défense en convenant de développer ensemble un avion de combat de prochaine génération, mais aussi de concevoir en commun des chars, hélicoptères et autres matériels. Toujours dans le domaine aéronautique, le bilan de l’avion de transport militaire A400M d’Airbus est pour l’instant mitigé, le programme européen ayant connu des années de dérapage des coûts, de problèmes techniques et de retards multiples. A rebours du discours volontariste du dirigeant allemand, la France semble adopter une position plus mesurée dans le projet de rapprochement auquel oeuvrent les groupes français Naval Group et italien Fincantieri. Le ministre français de l’Economie et des Finances Bruno Le Maire a assuré lors d’un déplacement à Rome au début du mois que la France et l’Italie partageait “le même désir de boucler la fusion STX-Fincantieri, qui donnera naissance à l’un des plus gros chantiers navals civils du monde”. Mais une source gouvernementale française, s’exprimant sous condition d’anonymat, avait déclaré que Naval Group (dont Thales détient 35%) ne pouvait pas être privatisé et précisé que certaines de ses activités, comme la construction de sous-marins nucléaires, constituaient des actifs stratégiques ne pouvant pas passer sous pavillon étranger. (Myriam Rivet, Leigh Thomas et Matthieu Protard, édité par Sophie Louet) https://fr.reuters.com/article/frEuroRpt/idFRL8N1VK2SM  

  • Germany, seeking independence from U.S., pushes cyber security research

    August 30, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Germany, seeking independence from U.S., pushes cyber security research

    BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany announced a new agency on Wednesday to fund research on cyber security and to end its reliance on digital technologies from the United States, China and other countries. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told reporters that Germany needed new tools to become a top player in cyber security and shore up European security and independence. “It is our joint goal for Germany to take a leading role in cyber security on an international level,” Seehofer told a news conference with Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “We have to acknowledge we’re lagging behind, and when one is lagging, one needs completely new approaches.” The agency is a joint interior and defense ministry project. Germany, like many other countries, faces a daily barrage of cyber attacks on its government and industry computer networks. Full article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-cyber/germany-seeking-independence-from-u-s-pushes-cyber-security-research-idUSKCN1LE1FX

  • What will top the Space Force to-do list?

    August 30, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    What will top the Space Force to-do list?

    By: Kelsey Atherton In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Air Force’s Global Positioning System was a continuous target. “Every year [as] we went through the budget cycle the United States Air Force ... tried to kill the GPS program,” Gen. John Hyten, now head of U.S. Strategic Command, said during a 2015 speech. “Why would they kill the GPS program? It’s really very simple: ‘Why would we need a satellite navigation system when we have perfectly good [inertial navigation system, or] INS for airplanes? Why would we do it?’ Nobody could see the future of what GPS was going to bring to the world.” First developed and launched late in the Cold War, GPS made its combat debut in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and ever since has informed the movements and targeting capabilities of the Department of Defense. More than that, since GPS signals were opened to the commercial world, everything from road trips to finding new restaurants to the entire development of self-driving cars has hinged around accessing the reliable signals, that let machines and people know exactly where they are in time and space. The whole architecture is simultaneously vital and vulnerable and, in the era of a pending Space Force, an unspoken mandate is that it has never been more important that the United States ensure the signal endures. It is the potential risk of losing GPS, and everything else supported by the satellite network, that serves as the foundation for much of the discussion around a new Space Force. For as long as humans have put objects into orbit, space has been a military domain, but one with a curious distinction from other fighting theaters: while land, sea and air have all seen direct armed confrontation, space is instead a storehouse for sensors, where weapons are vanishingly rare and have yet to be used in anger. “Capabilities that we have built that we now take for granted in the Air Force, the whole [remotely piloted aircraft, or RPA] fleet that we fly, is impossible without space,” Hyten said at another speech in 2015. “You cannot have Creech Air Force Base without space because the operators at Creech reach out and talk to their RPAs via satellite links. Those aircraft are guided by GPS. You take away GPS, you take away SATCOM, you take away RPAs. They don’t exist anymore. All those things are fundamentally changed in the Air Force.” Looking over the horizon Missiles remain the most effective way for nations to reach out and mess with something in orbit, and so long as GPS satellites cost around $500 million to build and launch, the cost of destroying a satellite will remain cheaper than fielding satellites. There is a double asymmetry here: not only are the satellites that power the GPS network expensive to build and launch, but the United States relies on this network to a far greater extent than any adversary that might decide to shoot those satellites down. This vulnerability is one reason that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding development of networks of smaller satellites, which are individually less capable than existing models but are cheaper to field and replace and will deploy in greater numbers, making destruction by missile a much more expensive proposition. Blackjack, the DARPA program that aims to do this, is focused on military communications satellites first, though the approach may have lessons for other satellite functions. “Better distribution, disaggregation and diversity of space capabilities can make them more resilient against attacks,” said Brian Weeden, director of program planning for the Secure World Foundation. “But the specific answer of how best to do that might be different for each capability. The specific techniques to make [position, navigation and timing, or] PNT more resilient may be different than the techniques needed to make satellite communications more resilient.” Missiles are not the only threat faced by satellites in orbit. An April 2018 report by the Secure World Foundation on Global Counterspace Capabilities details the full spectrum of weapons and tools for disrupting objects in orbit, and also the nations and, in some instances, nonstate actors that can field those tools. The nations with counterspace programs highlighted in the report include China, Russia, the United States, Iran, North Korea and India, all of which (barring Iran) are also nuclear-armed nations. Beyond anti-satellite missiles, which only China, Russia and the United States have demonstrated, the other means of messing up a satellite are the familiar bugaboos of modern machines: electronic warfare, jamming and cyberattacks. “The most important thing is that it’s not always about the satellites in space. Space capabilities include the satellites, the user terminal/receivers, and the signals being broadcast between them. Disrupting any one of those segments could lead to loss of the capability,” Weeden said. “In many cases, it’s far easier to jam a satellite capability rather than destroy the satellite. And, from a military perspective, the end effect is what’s important.” A satellite that cannot broadcast or whose signal cannot overcome the strength of a jammer is a satellite that is functionally offline, and the means to disable satellites extend beyond the traditional strengths of near-peer competitors to the United States and down even to nonstate actors. In 2007, the Tamil Tigers reportedly hacked the ground nodes for a commercial satellite and were able to gain control of its broadcasting capabilities, and in 2008 a set of hackers demonstrated they could eavesdrop on supposedly secure Iridium signals. A decade has passed since those demonstrations, but satellite architectures change slowly, in waves of half-a-billion dollar machines launched over time. Should a vulnerability be found on the ground, there’s lag time between how long it can be exploited and how long it can be rendered inert. What happens if the GPS signal stutters out of sync with time? Everything about how GPS works is bound up in its ability to precisely and consistently track time. Knowing where something is depends on knowing when something was. Without the entire network of automatic navigation aids they’ve built their lives around, people will fumble. Consider what happened for 11 hours on Jan. 26, 2016. “The root cause was a bug in the GPS network,” wrote Paul Tullis in Bloomberg. “When the U.S. Air Force, which operates the 31 satellites, decommissioned an older one and zeroed out its database values, it accidentally introduced tiny errors into the database, skewing the numbers. By the time Buckner’s inbox started blowing up, several satellites were transmitting bad timing data, running slow by 13.7 millionths of a second.” Tullis goes on to detail the possibility and plans for a redundant ground-based navigation system that could let GPS-dependent functions of commercial machines keep working, even if a satellite slips out of sync. There is an international agreement to eventually make all signals across the Global Navigation Satellite System (GPS, Galileo, etc.) broadcast compatible civil signals. This would improve the redundancy among day-to-day civilian applications dependent upon GPS, but it would do very little for the military signals. “There is no such compatibility between the military signals of the different constellations,” says Weeden. “In fact, during negotiations with the European Union the U.S. demanded that the Galileo protected/military signal be made separate from the GPS military signal. It is possible to create receivers that can pull in the military signals from both GPS and Galileo, but it’s not easy to do so securely.” GPS III, which Lockheed Martin is building, will mitigate some of this when those satellites are on orbit: the new hardware is designed with stronger signals that will make them harder to jam, but that will also require new receivers on the ground. While developers are working on making those new receivers, one way to build in redundancy would be to make GPS receivers that can use both Galileo and GPS military signals, suggests Weeden. That’s a technical solution that requires at least some political finesse to achieve, but it’s one possibility for making existing infrastructure more redundant. “But there are also other ways to get precision timing and navigation other than from GPS, such as better gyroscopes or even using airborne or terrestrial broadcasts of PNT signals,” says Weeden. “These alternatives are probably not going to be as easy to use or have other drawbacks compared to GPS, but they’re better than nothing.” Redundant systems or complementary systems provide a safeguard against spoofing, when a navigation system is fed false GPS coordinates in order to reroute it. Big changes in inputs are easy for humans monitoring the system, say a car’s navigation or a drone flying by GPS coordinates, to spot, but subtle changes can be accepted as normal, lost as noise, and then lead people or cars or drones into places they did not plan on going. The next generation of threats Protecting the integrity of satellite communications from malicious interference is the centerpiece of a report from the Belfer Center, entitled “Job One for Space Force: Space Asset Cybersecurity.” The report’s author, Gregory Falco, outlines broad goals for organizations that manage objects in space, policymakers, as well as a proposed Information Sharing and Analysis Center for space. These include everything from adopting cybersecurity practices like working with security researchers and encrypting communications to setting up a mechanism for organizations to disclose if their satellites suffered interference or hacking. If the security of GPS is suffering from anything, it is less ignorance of the threat and more complacency in the continued durability of the system as currently operating. “Cybersecurity challenges will only become more substantial as technology continues to evolve and attackers will always find the weakest link to penetrate a target system,” writes Falco. “Today, space assets are that weakest link. Space asset organizations must not wait for policy-makers to take action on this issue, as there are several steps that could be taken to secure their systems without policy guidance.” The fourth domain of space is more directly threatened by threats traveling through the fifth domain of cyberspace than anything else. To the extent that space requires a specialized hand, it is managing from the start to the launch the specific vulnerabilities of orbital assets, and the points at which they are controlled from the ground. Perhaps the way to address that specific problem is a Space Force framed around the physical and cybersecurity needs of satellites. Raytheon is the contractor tasked with building GPS OCX, the next-generation operational control system for the satellite network. After years of delay in the program, Block 0 of the OCX deployed in September 2017, putting in place a system that could manage the launch and early orbit management of the new GPS satellites. Besides managing the satellites, the control system has to ensure that only the right people access the controls, and that means extensive cybersecurity. Raytheon says that, together with the Air Force, the company recently completed two cybersecurity assessments, including a simulated attack by an adversary. While Air Force classification prevents Raytheon from disclosing the results of that test, the company’s president of intelligence, information and services, Dave Wajsgras, offered this: “We’ve built a layered defense and implemented all information assurance requirements for the program into this system. We’re cognizant that the cyber threat will always change, so we’ve built GPS OCX to evolve and to make sure it’s always operating at this level of protection.” Ideally, this massive job of protecting GPS will fall to the Space Force. “One of the big drivers for the Space Force is improving the space acquisitions process, and another is developing better ways to defend U.S. military satellites against attack,” says Weeden. “So, in that context, the Space Force debate could impact the future of GPS.” Yet many of the answers to vulnerabilities in space are not found in orbit, and it’s possible that shifting the full responsibility for signal security to a body built around managing satellites would miss the ways greater signal redundancy can be built in atmospheric or terrestrial systems. The Army and Navy are funding GPS alternatives, but that funding is minuscule by Pentagon standards. “The United States should take smart steps to make its space force more resilient,” writes Paul Scharre of the Center for New American Security, “but the U.S. also needs to be investing in ways to fight without space, given the inherent vulnerabilities in the domain.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/satellites/2018/08/29/what-will-top-the-space-force-to-do-list

  • UK eyes alternative to Galileo satellite system as Brexit row widens

    August 30, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    UK eyes alternative to Galileo satellite system as Brexit row widens

    By: Andrew Chuter LONDON — Britain is moving toward launching its own satellite navigation system in a response to moves by the European Union to freeze it out of the Galileo constellation over the country’s divorce from the EU. The Conservative government in London announced Aug. 29 it was setting aside £92 million (U.S. $119 million) to undertake an 18-month study looking at the feasibility of designing and developing an alternative to the Galileo satellite system. The move is the latest development in a growing row between Britain and the EU after Brexit negotiators in Brussels told their U.K. counterparts they would only be allowed standard, third-party access to Galileo and would not receive data from the system’s Public Regulated Service — an encrypted navigation service primarily designed for military users and resistant to jamming, interference and spoofing. The Brexit squabble has also snared Britain’s fast-growing space industry, which has been excluded by the EU from bidding for further Galileo-related contracts. Paul Everitt , the CEO of ADS, the lobby group representing the U.K. space and defense industries, said the space industry here has played a “key role in creating the Galileo program, from early pathfinder spacecraft more than a decade ago, to encryption and ground control operations.” “The government’s new investment to develop a national satellite navigation system, to make sure valuable U.K. capability continues to be supported, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit negotiations, is very welcome,” Everitt said. The British announcement comes just days after a European Space Agency rocket launched the last four of 26 Galileo satellites required to complete the €10 billion (U.S. $11.7 billion) satellite navigation network. Further spacecraft are scheduled to be launched as backups. The row between London and Brussels could have wider implications for Britain’s security relations with the EU, according to analyst Sophia Besch with the Centre for European Reform. As the disagreement over Galileo gathered momentum earlier this year, the think tank tweeted: “#Galileo could set a dangerous precedent for #Brexit #defence negotiations in the future — or it could serve as a wake-up call for EU and UK negotiators argues @SophiaBesch.” Britain has invested about £1.4 billion in the Galileo system, and industry here has been a significant provider of technology in critical areas like encryption as Europe moved to obtain autonomy in navigation satellite systems alongside rival systems owned and operated by the U.S., Russia and China. In a July 29 statement , the British government said it wants to remain part of the Galileo program but will go it alone if it can’t negotiate an acceptable agreement. “Without the assurance that UK industry can collaborate on an equal basis now and in the future, and without access to the necessary security-related information to rely on Galileo for military functions such as missile guidance, the UK would be obliged to end its participation in the project,” the statement said. Business secretary Greg Clark said Britain’s position on Galileo has been consistent and clear. “We have repeatedly highlighted the specialist expertise we bring to the project and the risks in time delays and cost increases that the European Commission is taking by excluding U.K. industry," Clark said. “Britain has the skills, expertise and commitment to create our own sovereign satellite system, and I am determined that we take full advantage of the opportunities this brings.” The UK Space Agency is leading the study-phase work supported by the Ministry of Defence. Britain is due to lay out its wider plans for military space later this year when Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is due to publish the long-delayed defense space strategy. The British government announced at the Farnborough Air Show last month that it is investing in building a space port in Scotland to launch spacecraft. Williamson, who is currently embroiled in a bitter fight with the Treasury and the Cabinet Office over the level of funding for Britain’s cash-strapped military, said in a statement that the sector is one of his personal priorities. “The danger space poses as a new front for warfare is one of my personal priorities, and it is absolutely right that we waste no time in going it alone if we need an independent satellite system to combat those emerging threats,” he said. The cash for the satellite navigation study hasn’t come from the MoD, but it has been allocated from the £3 billion Brexit readiness fund announced last year by the government. https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/08/29/uk-eyes-alternative-to-galileo-satellite-system-as-brexit-row-widens

  • The Pentagon is downplaying serious problems with the F-35, watchdog says

    August 30, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    The Pentagon is downplaying serious problems with the F-35, watchdog says

    by Travis J. Tritten The Pentagon is trying to paper over serious problems with the F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft that could endanger troops, according to an investigation released Wednesday by the Project On Government Oversight. An oversight board looking at development of the high-tech fighter made by Lockheed Martin decided in June to downgrade 19 of the aircraft’s most severe deficiencies without a plan for fixes, the watchdog group found. The moves could help speed up the F-35 program, the most expensive in Pentagon history, as it moves into a critical phase of development, said Dan Grazier, a military fellow at POGO and long-time program watcher. “They want to be able to go up to Capitol Hill and say, ‘Nope, we don’t have any more Category 1 deficiencies,’” Grazier said. Those types of deficiencies can lead to death and injury, loss of the aircraft or a halt to the F-35 production line. The 19 Category 1 deficiencies downgraded by the F-35 Deficiency Review Board on June 4 included an emergency alert system for when pilots eject and a system for bombing coordinates that could protect troops on the ground from friendly fire. The issues were moved to Category II status, which can impede a military mission, according to board meeting minutes obtained by POGO. Overall, the Government Accountability Office found the F-35 has 111 of the most severe Category 1 problems and 855 deficiencies classified as Category II. “This is not how the development process is supposed to work,” according to the watchdog’s investigation. The Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin did not immediately comment on the POGO investigation. The next big hurdle for the F-35 comes on Sept. 15, which is the deadline for initial test and evaluation of the aircraft. The tri-service fighters are billed as the most advanced in the world and are chock full of new military technology. The Air Force and Marine Corps variants are already in operational use. The Navy's version is expected to be deemed ready to deploy next year. “We are obviously just three weeks away from that, so the big rush to kind of clear up these paperwork issues is to try to meet that deadline,” Grazier said. “Having these deficiencies, it actually increases the likelihood that the program will not pass IOT&E.” https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/the-pentagon-is-downplaying-serious-problems-with-the-f-35-watchdog-says

  • Northrop Grumman gets a start on next-gen missile warning satellites

    August 30, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Northrop Grumman gets a start on next-gen missile warning satellites

    By: Daniel Cebul WASHINGTON — The Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a contract worth as much as $47 million for an analysis of system and payload requirements for a new missile warning satellite system in polar orbit. Specifically, the contract will be used for the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar (OPIR) space vehicles 1 and 2. Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California, and is expected to be completed by June 25, 2020, according to a contract announcement. The OPIR polar space vehicles will be part of a five-satellite constellation that will augment the legacy Space-based Infrared Satellite (SBIRS), which operates as the U.S. military’s early warning missile system. During the fiscal year 2019 budget release, the Air Force announced its plans to cancel the 7th and 8th SBIRS satellites in favor or reallocating funds towards OPIR systems. In May 2018, the Air Force released a notice of intent to sole-source contracts to Lockheed Martin and Northrop for the new program. Lockheed Martin will produce three geosynchronous orbiting satellites and Northrop Grumman is responsible for two polar orbiting satellites. The first geosynchronous OPIR satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2023, and the first polar satellite is scheduled to launch in 2027. The Air Force wants the entire “block O” architecture to be operational by FY 2029. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the SBIRS satellites. Northrop Grumman provides the sensors, a scanner and a starer, on those satellites. Full article: https://www.c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/satellites/2018/08/29/northrop-grumman-gets-a-start-next-gen-missile-warning-satellites

  • Army National Guard soldiers anxious over new PT test, gear shortfalls

    August 30, 2018 | International, Land

    Army National Guard soldiers anxious over new PT test, gear shortfalls

    By: Kyle Rempfer NEW ORLEANS — Equipment requirements, logistics and training are on the minds of Army National Guard soldiers this year, as the Army prepares to roll out a new gender- and age-neutral fitness test. But while soldiers voice trepidation, the larger Army says it’s not going to be an issue. “I think the test is going to be good, [but] my concern in the National Guard is the equipment requirement,” a battalion commander from the Louisiana National Guard said during a discussion with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley at the National Guard Association of the United States conference in New Orleans this past weekend. “There’s a tremendous amount of equipment that’s going to be needed at every company, every armory, every detachment in order to administer the test and to train our troops. Have we addressed a plan to do that prior to the roll-out?” the soldier asked. Milley said the equipment concerns were not just an issue for the Guard, but one across the force. However, the new Army Combat Fitness Test correlates much better to actual combat requirements, and “we’d all be negligent if we didn’t train to this [new] test," he said. “In order to do it right there’s going to have to be a lot of training the trainers, it has be phased in, we have to make sure the scoring standards are correct, and, as you pointed out, it does require a little bit of equipment," Milley said. The ACFT field tests will begin in October and last one year. It will include 60 different types of battalions from all three components of the total force — active Army, Army Guard and Army Reserve. Additionally, Milley said, Training and Doctrine Command is currently conducting an analysis of all the equipment required throughout the force, how much it will cost and how to distribute the gear to the entire Army. There will be some challenges, Milley acknowledged. “For example, embassies," he said. “We have soldiers at embassies around the world, not in big units but small ones. ... But the equipment is an issue. The Guard will get the same equipment the rest of the Army gets. In the meantime — which means the next year — you can train for it. This isn’t rocket science." For instance, grab “a 10-pound medicine ball, throw it over your head. Every gym in America has a 10-pound medicine ball,” he added. Full article: https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/08/29/army-national-guard-soldiers-anxious-over-new-pt-test-gear-shortfalls

  • Navy Making Room for Railguns in Next Warship, But No Extra Investments

    August 30, 2018 | International, Naval

    Navy Making Room for Railguns in Next Warship, But No Extra Investments

    By: Megan Eckstein THE PENTAGON – The Navy’s next large surface combatant will have all the space, weight and power margins the sea service could need now and into the future to accommodate new weapons in development – but the director of surface warfare said the Navy would not accelerate weapons development to get them ready in time to outfit the new ships. Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, OPNAV N96, spoke to USNI News on Aug. 28, in his first interview on the Future Surface Combatant program since its initial capabilities document was signed out by leadership. Noting that the next large surface combatant would pull from some of the advances made with the Zumwalt-class destroyers (DDG-1000) – including potentially its integrated power system that could easily support laser guns, an electromagnetic railgun, powerful radars and other power-hungry technologies – Boxall told USNI News that the new large surface combatant represented an opportunity to put these technologies into the surface fleet whereas the legacy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers simply do not have the power and cooling capacity to do so. “We’re just excited that we think we do have something that is expandable, has SWaP-C (space, weight, power and cooling) for the future. I think all of us were kind of a little bit nervous about the DDG Flight III and whether we’ll have long-term ability to put future energy weapons on there, or the power that we need for directed energy, lasers, things like that,” he said. But just because the new ship will be able to support energy weapons doesn’t mean Boxall wants to accelerate energy weapons development to ensure they’re ready to field on the first new ships. He said moving to the Future Surface Combatant in 2023 is an “aggressive timeline” and that at some point the Navy will have to “snap the chalk line and say, this is what you have that’s good enough to go on there” – and if a technology isn’t ready, it would wait for fielding in a later block buy of the ship. With the Navy already seeking a new hull to better support the Aegis Combat System and the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense radar – collectively called the DDG-51 Flight III capability – Boxall said he didn’t want to force too many changes all at once. “So I’m inclined to say, as long as we build it modularly, we’re going to make those assessments in stride” in terms of inserting in new weapons as they come through the development process, he said. “But I don’t want to get too crazy about trying to accelerate new technology in the first of the class as we change hulls, which will hopefully be a hull that will be with us for a very long time.” Full article: https://news.usni.org/2018/08/29/navy-making-room-railguns-next-warship-no-extra-investments

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