4 janvier 2023 | International, Aérospatial

Pentagon And Lockheed Martin Finalize Lot 15-17 Agreement, Capping A Year Of International Growth

The agreement includes 145 aircraft for Lot 15, 127 for Lot 16, and up to 126 for the Lot 17 contract option, including the first F-35 aircraft for Belgium, Finland...


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  • Submarines are poised to take on a major role in strike warfare, but is that a good idea?

    29 octobre 2019 | International, Naval

    Submarines are poised to take on a major role in strike warfare, but is that a good idea?

    By: David B. Larter WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy is preparing to ink one of the largest contracts in its history with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the firm's partner shipyard Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News that will make the new generation of attack submarines a major force in strike warfare. The Block V Virginia contract is expected to produce 11 boats with eight Virginia Payload Modules, and will triple the Virginia's Tomahawk Land Attack Missile capacity to 40 missiles per hull. Experts say that the new Virginia Payload Module will also be large enough to accommodate boost-glide hypersonic missiles like those the Navy is developing with the Army. But the logic for the Virginia Payload Module has always been about replacing the Ohio-class guided missile submarines retiring in the 2020s. Because submarines have been the Navy's go-to asset to penetrate areas threated by Chinese and Russian surface-to-surface and anti-ship missiles, attack submarines loaded with strike missiles would have to be the ones to get close enough to be able to launch land-attack strikes. That model upends decades of the surface Navy's supremacy in the world of strike warfare from the sea, but experts are beginning to question the logic of giving the strike warfare mission to submariners in an era of great power competition. With Russia and, to an even greater extent, China investing heavily in anti-submarine technology, does it make sense to give a stealthy asset a mission that will blow its cover? Bryan Clark, a retired submariner and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, wonders if the surface fleet is the best place inside the force to house the strike mission. “I think the requirement may be changing,” he said in an Oct. 22 phone call with Defense News. “Over the past 10 years there has been a real emphasis on the submarine as the one tool we have that may be able to get into contested areas — the East and South China seas, up in the north Atlantic, etc. “That's changing now: These countries are investing in their own anti-submarine warfare systems. China has put a lot of money into ASW systems, they are installing surveillance systems akin to our SOSUS [sound surveillance system]. So the idea that our submarines are our go-to asset to gain access, that may not be true in the next few years as it was in the past 10, so there is a question as to whether we should be investing in submarines to maintain the undersea strike capacity.” ‘Increasingly vulnerable' The issue is not just that submarines run the risk of being detected, which is an ever-present risk anytime a submarine leaves the pier, but that it won't be able to create the volume of fires that the surface fleet could, especially with new concepts in development such as a large unmanned surface vessel that could act as a kind of arsenal ship. “The surface fleet is likely going to be our best strike capacity asset in the next decade,” Clark said. “Submarines are going to be increasingly vulnerable, so the question becomes: Do I want to take my [Virginia Payload Module]-equipped SSN, put it inside the South China Sea to launch strikes, get counter-detected and harassed for days afterward? I lose it from the fight for a long time just evading attacks. “Whereas if you used unmanned surface vessel[s], those can launch just as many cruise missiles as a Virginia class, many times cheaper; they can rotate, get reloaded and just keep launching strikes at a much higher rate of fire as you would ever get out of the SSN force.” Jerry Hendrix, a retired naval flight officer and analyst with The Telemus Group, agreed that the surface fleet is likely going to be the place to house a strike capability, especially in the era of mass hypersonic fires, because of the cost it would impose on the U.S. to try to match Chinese capabilities on subs. “I think there is a powerful argument to distribute these weapons across the surface force,” Hendrix said. “If you can create a strike weapon that allows the surface force to stand outside of DF-21 and DF-26 range and shoot three-pointers from outside, then yes. To create mass and volume in the submerged force is twice to three times as expensive as it is to create that volume from the surface force. “So there is a solid argument just from the standpoint of cost. If I was trying to create 2,000 tubes of hypersonics — which are much more massive than Tomahawks, wont fit into a Mark 41 vertical launch system and hence will have to go into a different configuration — to create that mass in the submerged force is going to be very expensive.” The Navy is looking at back-fitting destroyers with larger vertical launching system tubes to accommodate so-called prompt-strike weapons, Defense News reported in June. But some analysts say the mission is better suited for a large unmanned surface vessel. “I think this is going to one of the main things driving the design of the large unmanned surface combatant,” said Dan Gouré, an analyst at the Lexington Institute think tank. “We're back to arsenal ship: long-range, park it into a surface action group of carrier strike group — kind of like a surface version of the SSGN.” https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/10/28/submarines-are-poised-to-take-on-a-major-role-in-strike-warfare-but-is-that-a-good-idea/

  • CSCSU Great Lakes Opens New VMS Lab

    29 juillet 2019 | International, Naval

    CSCSU Great Lakes Opens New VMS Lab

    By Brian Walsh, Training Support Center Public Affairs GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Great Lakes held a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling a new Voyage Management System (VMS) lab for operations specialist (OS) A School July 26. CSCSU staff overhauled a space that was previously used for chart plotting and converted it into the new VMS lab. Eight instructors were dedicated to the process working a total 320 man-hours creating the lab that will be used in the training of students to meet fleet VMS requirements. “The dedication of the staff was highly important in this process,” said Chief Operations Specialist James Rodney, leading chief petty officer of CSCSU Great Lakes' operations specialist A School. “Without their hard work and determination to finish the lab, it would not have been ready for the implementation of OS Ready Relevant Learning (RRL).” The benefits of opening the new VMS lab allows us to alleviate lab bottleneck concerns, which can result in lost training time when another class is already in the lab. CSCSU can also raise their annual throughput of students because of the additional VMS lab. VMS is a computer-based system for navigation planning and monitoring. Its primary purpose is to contribute to safe navigation. The system is designed to increase the situational awareness of watch standers on the bridge and at other shipboard locations where the system is made available. The VMS user interface consists of one or more computer workstations that are linked via the ship's network or a Local Area Network (LAN). Multiple workstations and/or remote monitors may be provided, to place a VMS display at any required shipboard location. The lab is critical to OS “A” students because they are learning about safety of navigation. The addition of 80 hours of classroom and lab time will ensure VMS certified operations specialist report to their follow on commands better prepared to assist the bridge and combat information center watch teams with safe navigation soon after reporting onboard. “This lab is a benefit to students because they are provided access to the most up to date VMS lab Great Lakes has to offer with the most current version of VMS,” Rodney said. “It benefits CSCSU because it a tool the instructors can use to better provide training to the students and it alleviates potential bottle necks with classes. It benefits the Navy because every OS “A” student is leaving the schoolhouse with a VMS certification and this helps take pressure off the ships because it will lower the number of personnel they will need to send to VMS school in the Fleet.” On hand to praise the staff was CSCSU Commanding Officer Cmdr. Richie Enriquez. “Today's ribbon-cutting is a significant accomplishment to better prepare our students and support the fleet," Enriquez said. "The new VMS lab allows us to have a dedicated space for the training of our operations specialist and it is vital to implementing OS RRL curriculum. The time put in to ensure our students receive the highest caliber of training shows the professionalism, excellence and pride CSCSU takes in supporting our mission to develop and deliver surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority.” https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=110365

  • Navy information warfare project received $400 million funding boost

    19 août 2020 | International, Naval, C4ISR

    Navy information warfare project received $400 million funding boost

    Andrew Eversden WASHINGTON — An information warfare project run by Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) recently received hundreds of millions of dollars in new funds after a successful first 18 months, NAVWAR announced Aug. 17. NAVWAR's Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP), which uses an agile acquisition tool known as an Other Transaction Authority to quickly contract for and deliver IW tools, recently received a $400 million funding increase and two-year performance period extension after hitting its $100 million funding ceiling a year before the project was set to expire next summer. The massive bump was approved by Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts. The project, which kicked off in October 2018, now has a $500 million ceiling and a five-year performance period. “IWRP has proven its effectiveness and successfulness as a streamlined approach to rapid prototyping,” said Jee Youn Fickling, IWRP program manager at Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic, in a statement. “As interest increases to do more prototyping in order to keep up with the pace of technology, IWRP OTA offers the flexibility and speed within 14 technology areas. The growth in interest from IWRP users across many Navy and Marine Corps commands and program offices and the growth in the size of the consortium, speaks volumes to the need to quickly make awards for prototypes.” The project focuses on technology areas that include tools for cyber warfare, autonomous systems, cloud computing and data analytics. IWRP partners with industry and academia through a consortium managed by Advanced Technology International, a non-profit that builds research and development partnerships. In the last 18 months, the IWRP has released more than 800 prototyping opportunities, according to the NAVWAR press release. The consortium has more than 580 partners. IWRP users include NAVWAR, NIWC Atlantic, NIWC Pacific, Naval Sea Systems Command Logistics, Maintenance and Industrial Operations, Program Executive Office (PEO) for Digital Enterprise Services, PEO for Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions, PEO Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Space Systems, PEO Integrated Warfare Systems, Marine Corps Systems Command, Naval Analytics Office and Office of Naval Research. “IWRP has been a game changer and has proven to be a key enabler in rapid delivery of IW capability to the warfighter,” said Nicole Stone, director of rapid prototyping – information warfare at NIWC Pacific, in a statement. “Collaboration with our partners in industry, small business and academia, with the flexibility necessary to adapt to evolving requirements, is critical to our success in winning the fight. IWRP provides that platform for us.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/information-warfare/2020/08/18/navy-information-warfare-project-received-400-million-funding-boost/

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