5 août 2022 | International, Aérospatial

GE, Pratt & Whitney Publicly Pitch F-35 Engine Plans as Decision Looms - Air Force Magazine

Engine makers GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney are competing for the future of the F-35 engine, as the Air Force considers a change.


Sur le même sujet

  • Winning The Spectrum: Pentagon Unveils New Strategy

    19 mai 2020 | International, Sécurité

    Winning The Spectrum: Pentagon Unveils New Strategy

    By   BRYAN CLARK and TIMOTHY WALTON on May 19, 2020 at 4:01 AM The Electromagnetic Spectrum is the key to waging electronic warfare, and EW is key to waging modern war. An enemy who can jam communications or GPS, mislead you (spoofing is the term of art) and stop your weapons from functioning (cyber attacks using radio waves). The US largely abandoned EW after the Cold War ended. Then the Russians made it very clear in their war against Ukraine just how effective EW could be and senior folks in the US military grew uneasy. They and Congress realized how much we had made ourselves vulnerable and the Hill ordered creation of a group to devise a strategy to restore American EW eminence. Bryan Clark and Tim Walton of the Hudson Institute preview the new strategy below — only at Breaking D Read on! The Editor. The electromagnetic spectrum is getting more popular and crowded every day. As Breaking D readers know, the DoD and FCC are battling over frequencies adjacent to those used by GPS, which the telecommunication company Ligado wants to use for its satellite-based 5G network. DoD worries that Ligado’s transmissions will drown out the relatively weak signals that reach Earth from GPS satellites. Ligado fired what is only the first of what will be many salvos in the 5G spectrum battle. To achieve 5G’s promised low latency and broadband speed telecommunication companies require wider swaths of spectrum compared to 4G–some of which they don’t control. With high-frequency millimeter wave 5G towers only able to reach a few city blocks, telecom providers like Ligado are pursuing mid and low-band spectrum below 6 Ghz that enables greater coverage–but also puts them in conflict with FAA and military radars, radios, and GPS. The clamor for 5G spectrum comes as DoD is itself fielding a collection of new networks to support its concept of Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2. The Army Integrated Tactical Network, Air Force Air Battle Management System, and Navy Integrated Fire Control combine existing datalinks and radios with emerging communications systems to connect all U.S. forces across a theater, placing new demands on spectrum. But the EM spectrum is also a global common like the air or sea. To prevent U.S. forces from operating effectively, the Chinese and Russian militaries spent the last 20 years modernizing their electronic warfare equipment, training new EW operators and technicians, and placing EW forces in every unit or formation. During the same period, DoD rested on its Cold War laurels and failed to invest in EW systems or training. DoD strategies developed in 2013 and 2017 addressed the growing challenges of managing and controlling the EM spectrum by directing services to develop better versions of current capabilities and concepts but failed to significantly close the gaps between the U.S. and adversary militaries. Congress, increasingly worried, mandated that DoD stand up an EM Spectrum Operations Cross-Functional Team and create a new strategy. That is nearing completion and may be DoD’s last opportunity to gain an enduring advantage in the EM spectrum. New EM Spectrum Superiority Strategy  Instead of incrementally improving existing EM systems and tactics in a doomed effort to solve capability shortfalls, the new EM Spectrum Superiority Strategy will emphasize how to undermine the strengths and exploit the weaknesses of adversaries in the EM spectrum. The strategies’ initiatives will be targeted at fundamental asymmetries between U.S. and opposing militaries that can provide DoD leverage. A change in approach is desperately needed. The U.S. military didn’t fall behind in EW and EM Spectrum Operations due to a lack of funding, as spending for both rose steadily since 2015, but because the additional dollars were not spent implementing a coherent strategy. Funding instead upgraded legacy systems to fill various capability gaps, not all of which were high priorities. Under today’s plans, DoD will take decades to catch great power adversaries enjoying “home team” advantages and the luxury of focusing on only one potential opponent. Moreover, post-pandemic budget constraints will likely prevent increasing funding to plug capability gaps faster. The key asymmetry between the U.S. and opposing great power militaries is the simple facft that Chinese and Russian are close to likely areas of conflict. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Russian Armed Forces can place EW and sensor systems on their own territory or in nearby sea or airspace where they can rely on reliable and difficult-to-jam wired or line-of-sight EM communications. Leveraging their understanding of the environment, Chinese and Russian forces can employ passive, multistatic, and low-frequency EM sensors and pre-architected systems of systems and tactics to find and attack U.S. forces. The U.S. military must span the world. This requires a more expeditionary force and adaptable C2 process compared to the Chinese or Russians, and which can accommodate more contested communications, changing force packages, and the variety of local conditions. When communications are lost, junior leaders of U.S. forces would employ mission command, exploiting their initiative and judgement to improvise a course of action that follows the commander’s intent. Giving The Enemy Something To Worry About The PLA’s reliance on pre-planned, static systems of systems and tactics could be a liability against highly dynamic and unpredictable U.S. spectrum operations. The EM Spectrum Superiority Strategy should exploit this opportunity by adopting new operational concepts that emphasize maneuver and complexity. A maneuver-centric approach doesn’t require across-the-board improvements to U.S. EM spectrum systems. To create complexity for opponents U.S. forces need capabilities for dynamic and automated spectrum sharing with commercial or military users guided by electronic support sensors and electromagnetic battle management, or EMBM, systems. To protect themselves from enemy attack, U.S. forces would rely on passive or multistatic sensing, complemented by LPI/LPD communications and electronic countermeasures. And U.S. electronic attacks would need the agility afforded by AI-enabled cognitive jammers that use photonics to move across wide ranges of spectrum. The ability of cognitive jammers or EMBM systems to understand the EM environment will depend on their access to information on threat, friendly, and civilian EM spectrum systems. Today, data and analysis from the Intelligence Community is slow to reach operators and slower still to be programmed into EW equipment. DoD will need to establish new frameworks for EM spectrum information sharing and build on its recent success in accelerating the reprogramming process by incorporating AI to a greater degree in deployed EW and EMBM systems. Capabilities for complex and unpredictable EM operations will be difficult to define for today’s top-down requirements process, which seeks a point solution for a particular application and situation. DoD will need to identify potential new EM capabilities through comprehensive assessments of their mission impact in a variety scenarios using modeling and simulation or experimentation and mature them through new processes like the DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework.  The most challenging element of a new strategy will be preparing EW and EM spectrum operators for maneuver warfare. DoD’s current ranges are unable to provide realistic EM operating environments for experimentation or training due to a lack of modern threat systems and concerns that adversaries can monitor U.S. EM emissions during live, open-air events. Rather than focusing on expensive range upgrades, DoD should shift its emphasis to virtual and constructive events, which would enable concept development, tactics innovation, and training against the most challenging threats at all security levels. The urgency to change DoD cannot continue pursuing EMS superiority through incremental, evolutionary improvements. This approach is too unfocused, will take too long to reach fruition, is potentially unaffordable, and cedes the initiative to America’s adversaries. DoD should move in a new direction and focus EM capability development on implementing concepts for maneuver warfare that create adaptability for U.S. forces and complexity for adversaries. If the DoD does not mount a new more strategic and proactive approach to fighting in the EM spectrum, adversaries could be emboldened to continue their efforts to gain territory and influence at the expense of U.S. allies and partners. Demonstrating the ability to survive and fight in a contested and congested EM spectrum could help U.S. forces slow Chinese and Russian activities and give them something to worry about for a change. Bryan Clark is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Timothy Walton is a fellow at Hudson. https://breakingdefense.com/2020/05/winning-the-spectrum-pentagon-unveils-new-strategy/

  • The Air Force may have found new imagery it needs at a pitch day

    27 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    The Air Force may have found new imagery it needs at a pitch day

    By: Nathan Strout  The Air Force awarded Capella Space a $750,000 base contract for high-resolution radar imagery during one of the service’s rapid acquisition events earlier this month. Capella Space announced Nov. 20 that the Air Force plans to use the company’s sub 0.5 meter synthetic aperture radar imagery for virtual reality software, missile defense and developing predictive intelligence to foresee foreign threats. “The U.S. Air Force is always working to maintain our leadership as a global technology innovator, and this contract is a testament to that commitment,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, head of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. SAR satellites are unique in their ability to collect imagery despite adverse weather or lighting conditions that make optical sensors useless. Unlike optical sensors, SAR sensors can pick up data on material properties, moisture content, elevation and precise changes and movements. In addition, SAR data can be used to make both 3D recreations or 2D images of 3D objects. Capella plans to launch its first SAR satellite in early 2020 as part of a constellation of 36 satellites that it expects to be operational in 2022. “Capella will work alongside the U.S. Air Force to foster collaboration and deliver a product that best suits their mission needs,” Dan Brophy, vice president of government services at Capella Space, said in a statement. “Timely SAR data that presents changes on Earth holds tremendous military value, and we will make adaptations to meet unique military requirements. Together with the Air Force, we will define the applications for this data in its hybrid, military and commercial space architecture.” The contract was awarded during the Air Force’s Space Pitch Days Nov. 5-6, where the Air Force invited small and nontraditional companies to make pitches for their products and solutions in an environment like the television show “Shark Tank.” The Air Force awarded Phase II Small Business Innovative Research contracts on the spot to several companies, including to Capella Space. At the conclusion of this base contract, Capella could win a Phase III contract in 2020. https://www.c4isrnet.com/intel-geoint/2019/11/25/the-air-force-may-have-found-new-imagery-it-needs-at-a-pitch-day/

  • Shipbuilding suppliers need more than market forces to stay afloat

    21 mai 2020 | International, Naval

    Shipbuilding suppliers need more than market forces to stay afloat

    By: Bryan Clark and Timothy A. Walton The U.S. Navy’s award this month of the contract for its new class of frigates starts the very necessary process of rebalancing the U.S. surface fleet, but the competition also highlighted the U.S. shipbuilding-industrial base’s increasing fragility. If they lost, two of the four shipyards bidding on the frigate were at risk of either going out of business or joining the underemployed ranks of U.S. commercial shipbuilders. Due to specialization, only one or two yards construct each class of Navy combat ship with workforces, equipment, and infrastructure that would be expensive and difficult to adapt. A decision on any single ship class, as with the frigate, can shut down a shipyard and send its workers to the unemployment line. Specialization is also a problem when orders increase. The Navy’s two submarine shipyards, General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News division, shrank the time needed to build subs by 20 percent during the past decade while increasing production to two per year. The rising sophistication of Virginia-class submarines has now reversed this trend, however, and submarine builders’ challenges are only increasing. They recently started a new contract to build up to 10 of the larger Block V Virginia submarines and are in negotiation with the Navy on a block-buy contract for the first two Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines. Supplier challenges abound U.S. shipbuilders may be fragile, but their suppliers are on life support. After decades of being whipsawed by changes to shipbuilding plans and budget uncertainty, a shrinking number of suppliers are able and willing to stay in business. The Navy’s recent initiatives to improve supplier production capacity and resilience don’t go far enough to address its rising dependence on sole-source suppliers, which now provide more than 75 percent of submarine parts. For example, when problems with Columbia missile tubes led the Navy to seek new suppliers, it replaced the existing, sole source — BWXT — with another — General Dynamics — that will assemble tubes at the same facilities that are constructing parts for the Virginia and Columbia submarines. Last year, the Trump administration used the Defense Production Act to establish new suppliers for military missile fuel. The Navy should build on this effort to identify sole-source items for which an additional supplier is appropriate. In selecting additional suppliers, the Navy should prioritize attributes other than cost. Sole-source items by definition are important enough to justify seeking out or creating a single supplier rather than adapting the ship’s design to use an existing item. Therefore, the Navy should emphasize the provider’s track record in conducting similar or other challenging engineering; its ability to adjust to what will likely be variable demand and changing specifications; and the likelihood of quality production that avoids rework. Planning for resiliency   The Department of Defense could help address the shipbuilding-industrial base’s fragility with its current study of the number and mix of ships needed in the future fleet. Although the primary goal of this analysis should be determining the most effective fleet possible within likely budget constraints, it must also ensure the industrial base can build and sustain the future Navy. Industrial base considerations are not new to Navy force structure planning. During the last decade, the Navy or Congress added amphibious ships, submarines, destroyers and auxiliary vessels to maintain hot production lines or keep a shipyard afloat until the next order. Each of the Navy’s new combatant ships are expected to cost more than $1 billion to build, constraining the Navy’s ability to spread ship construction to other qualified shipyards to fill production gaps or extend classes to keep a shipyard in operation. The Navy could better support shipbuilders by rebalancing its fleet architecture to increase the number of smaller vessels such as corvettes or tank landing ships, and reduce the number of larger destroyers and amphibious warships. Smaller, less-expensive ships could be built in larger numbers per year, providing more flexibility in shipbuilding plans to stabilize the workload for shipbuilders and providing more scalability to align shipbuilding expenditures with changing budgets. Smaller ships could also be built at a wider range of shipyards, including those that only build commercial vessels and noncombatant government ships like Coast Guard cutters and oceanographic research vessels. These “dual-use” shipbuilders suffer today from a lack of coordination between commercial and government shipbuilding, which creates a feast-or-famine cycle of orders. The Navy and nation depend on a healthy shipbuilding-industrial base. To foster the industrial base in the face of natural and man-made challenges, the Navy should change its fleet design and shipbuilding plans, while investing to establish and qualify new suppliers. Without deliberate action, the U.S. shipbuilding industry will become increasingly fragile, limiting the Navy’s ability to build the ships it needs and respond when today’s competitions turn to conflict. Bryan Clark is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, where Timothy A. Walton is a fellow. https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/05/20/shipbuilding-suppliers-need-more-than-market-forces-to-stay-afloat/

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