Monday, September 30, 2013

Space and Missile Defense Command saves Army money with low-cost 'Zombie' targets | Article | The United States Army

Space and Missile Defense Command saves Army money with low-cost 'Zombie' targets | Article | The United States Army

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command has found a way to save the Army money while still providing capabilities by using low-cost targets during missile defense testing.

Members of theU.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, or USASMDC/ARSTRAT, Technical Center, in support of the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space's Lower Tier Program Office, or LTPO, is providing a realistic threat ballistic target called "Zombie" for use in testing the PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement, or PAC-3 (MSE), advanced missile defense systems.

With the Army and testers of missile defense programs looking to save money on ballistic missile targets, SMDC has developed low-cost targets that cut expenses from the approximate $30 million each for high-end targets, to approximately $4 million for SMDC's low-cost Zombie targets. These savings will allow program managers to stretch their testing budgets and apply funding to where it is needed while reducing the program's overall testing budget.

Zombie uses government-owned material components that have reached the end of their useful life and are subject to consideration of demilitarization. The re-purposing of this government hardware instead of demilitarization ultimately saves the taxpayers' money.

"This is what the Technical Center does and this is kind of what Redstone Arsenal does," said Col. Morris L. Bodrick, former SMDC Technical Center deputy. "Whenever we are able to leverage the government expertise in our labs and our research centers with our industry partners, we can produce a lot of quality work like this project."

To save the government money, SMDC members are using components from legacy systems and reconfiguring them to fly, in modified configurations, as ballistic targets.

"Some of the legacy components we are pulling from are from systems that some employees refer to as 'dead components' or components that are not part of the active program's future developments," said Bryon K. Manley, Technical Center Flight Test Services chief. "And then someone like us comes and asks the legacy programs if we can utilize components to fly two new targets in 2013."

"The 'rebirth' of the dead components is where the term Zombie came from," Manley explained. "People who have worked this program love this name because of recent pop culture popularity, and even the PATRIOT interceptor program operators have used the name 'Zombie Killers' in their documentation. It is a name that people can get behind and get motivated."

The Zombie missile recently underwent validation as a threat-representative target to meet second quarter testing needs and will fill a target niche in the future. Zombie is an alternative to the high-performance Juno missile targets that remains an important target for LTPO, and its capabilities are still required to meet specific test requirements.

Zombie is an alternative to the high-cost, high-performance, high-fidelity tactical ballistic missile targets historically used in PATRIOT PAC-3 testing, such as the Juno. Although it is natural to compare Zombie to Juno, Zombie is not a replacement for Juno, as Juno is still needed for the occasion when its specific, required performance capabilities are required.

"As the former product manager of the PAC-3 product office, I really understand the value of having these kinds of options," Bodrick said. "Having a target that is able to meet requirements and is able to fly the kind of envelope it is needed to fly, allows us to not only purchase more targets, it also lets us conduct more testing, which is what we haven't been able to do in the past because of the cost of targets and the amount of time it takes to build a target.

"With some of our high-end targets, in the $30 million range, you don't just go out and build five and six of them," he added. "So this option allows us to save greatly and gives the Army a lot of options from a missile defense testing perspective. It really allows us some flexibility in meeting our test objectives and checking the performance of our design more frequently."

Bodrick said the genesis of this project was the cost and schedule of threat representative tactical ballistic missile targets for target options typically used to satisfy these types of target requirements.

"The LTPO uses a selection of targets to trade off the required target characteristics with the target cost," Bodrick said. "LTPO generally uses the high-fidelity, very high-performance, high-cost Juno target or the low-fidelity, medium-performance, very low-cost Patriot-as-a-target, or PAAT, depending on flight test objectives."

This initiative allows a tester to aggressively pursue other options, and in this case, very low-cost options, to be able to meet the same requirements that we need to get the defense missile system past its milestone decisions. The process is designed to save the government, in the long run, a lot of money. Having this option and allowing SMDC to meet the requirements that are needed, is a big deal.

Since its inception, the Zombie took 13 months to build the first two and launch them.

"In these times of budget constraints, the Zombie target allows us more flexibility in testing and can possibly free up more funding elsewhere for the Army," Bodrick said. "Our main goal is to make our customer, PEO MS successful. We want to speed the process of getting the capability to the field. That is what having these low-cost, short lead time production targets allows us to do in meeting the operational needs of the warfighters."

The Zombie idea is one of several low-cost ballistic targets that have been developed and are developing. Each version and individual development has its own unique performance parameters intent on meeting the full threat representative trade space. The Economical Target-1 was the first in a suite of targets that was developed and launched on its maiden voyage in February 2012. Two other developments currently ongoing, however, add more flexibility and performance at longer ranges.

"When the developments are complete, SMDC will be able to make these low-cost target options at lower-than-traditional target costs," Manley said. "The goal is to build huge capabilities at low cost. We built our two Zombie targets for $7.5 million. Our first target, launched on April 7th, was a risk-reduction flight that confirmed our ability to produce future low-cost targets, confirm our performance and allow the system under test to get a 'first look' at the target."

"Lance is another in our low-cost target suite," he continued. "The Missile Defense Agency abandoned the Lance missiles and my division went and picked them up because there are systems that need cheap targets. For less than $500,000 apiece, we are providing eight telemetry configured Lance missiles to get real tactical ballistic missile test articles to exercise a defense system at a fraction of what other targets are normally available in the integrated missile defense community.

"We are not replacing the more expensive targets, we are producing a surrogate that is threat-credible and can be used in its place," Manley added. "If you place the two side-by-side, they can simplistically be compared like a 1972 Volkswagen bug, and the other is a Maserati from a maximum performance perspective, and that is why you are paying more. But during these tests, all you are doing is transporting passengers from here to there; you are not racing. At the end of the day, the customer only cares about if they are successful, if it has low costs and we have a target to shoot at that meets their performance requirements."

On June 6, a PAC-3 (MSE), missile successfully engaged, intercepted and destroyed a second Zombie low-cost threat representative target during a flight test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

Two PAC-3 (MSE) missiles ripple fired against an advanced Zombie tactical ballistic missile target. The first MSE missile successfully engaged and destroyed the tactical ballistic missile target while the second missile self-destructed as planned.

"Zombie was a great accomplishment from different offices working together to generate a viable alternative target from that of the more costly Juno target," said Lawrence Abrams, LTPO assistant project manager for Strategic Planning, "Although the community at large recognized that the alternative target would not meet all the target requirements, collectively it was agreed that critical elements were being met and allowed for use of a significantly lower cost target."

Manley said the idea his team started out with, is knowing that existing target inventories that have been used in the past are going away or have already been shot. These 'legacy' target systems are no more and what was left were targets with more capability than what the tester needed.

"So, the idea behind our approach is to develop a whole new suite of targets that utilize old rocket motors that the Army has already invested money in and developed and have no future planned usage," Manley said. "We are taking them and retrofitting and reconfiguring them to fly in a manner for which they were not designed. But at the end of the day, when you are flying ballistic missile targets, the performance requirements can be simplified from much more complicated requirements."

Manley said when he was given the division in 2009, he had two employees, no budget and no programs. One of the first things he did was look at the mission and SMDC's role in the Army. Being in the missile defense arm of the SMDC Tech Center, he took a look at what the PATRIOT Missile System is going to shoot in the next five years as a target. He then asked what his division can do to help out in the test arena and help PATRIOT be successful.

"As we looked around, we had an issue where legacy targets had either been shot up in the execution of tests over the past 15 years, don't exist, or don't meet testing requirements," Manley said. "What we are left with is the high-performance targets with substantially higher costs. There is a better way to approach target development. By focusing on what the missile defense system's needs are, in this case PATRIOT's needs, performance and cost control can be traded to reach the optimum solutions that meet the program needs."

The PATRIOT missile system's PAC-3 (MSE) missile, along with the PAC-3, are two of the world's most advanced, capable and reliable theater air-and-missile defense interceptors. They are designed to defeat advanced tactical ballistic and air breathing threats.

As the most technologically advanced missiles for the PATRIOT air-and-missile defense system, PAC-3 and MSE missiles significantly increase the system's firepower, allowing 16 PAC-3s or 12 MSE missiles to be loaded in place of four Patriot PAC-2 missiles on the launcher. The PAC-3 MSE missile is packaged in a single canister that stacks to provide more flexibility for warfighters in the field.

"From our mission perspective, we are looking for solutions to allow our customers to save money in the target's arena, so they can increase the amount of testing opportunities and ultimately be successful," Manley said. "We are playing a role in getting the PAC-3 MSE to production and ultimately fielded where the latest interceptor will protect our troops in the field."

Boyd said the LTPO is investing in the Zombie target program for the long haul and expects to be using these low-cost targets for many years to come. The LTPO is already experiencing a push for higher performance testing with more limited budgets and Zombie will help fulfill that goal.

"The addition of the Zombie target to the LTPO stable is an important development for the LTPO," said Dennis Boyd, LTPO. "The LTPO testing philosophy is to select the lowest cost target that meets the key target performance requirements. The addition of the Zombie to the PATRIOT target stable enables the LTPO to meet mission requirements at a lower cost where the savings are applied to other lower priority program funding requirements."

Boyd said that past tests of the PAC-3 MSE interceptor have required the high-cost Juno target to meet the test objectives, and in the recent 7-5 flight test conducted on June 6, LTPO was able to meet all of the MSE flight test objectives with the much lower cost Zombie target. He said the result was a savings of 60 percent over previous target costs and future target design-to-cost goal should result in an even higher percentage of savings.

"The LTPO has a very full test schedule that requires very careful coordination of assets," Boyd said. "Scheduling of the first two Zombie targets provided some challenges, though the challenges were similar to that of most target development programs, they were workable and LTPO is ultimately happy with the result."

Boyd mentioned the success of the second Zombie launch. He said that the launch was one more step in making the PAC-3 (MSE) operational.

Everyone involved talked about how the low-cost targets will save money during shrinking budgets and they all agreed the program's ultimate goal is to speed up the deployment of systems designed to protect Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are defending the nation.

"This is such an innovative approach in this fiscal environment to tackling such a huge problem which is managing target costs within the missile defense community," Bodrick said. "In this fiscal environment, this kind of innovation and forward thinking is going to allow us to not only be able to help the U.S. missile defense capability, but also our allies.

"The SMDC Technical Center is at the forefront of providing the kind of missile defense testing capability to really save the Army a lot of money on its targets," he added. "If we are really able to get this thing rolling, I think it will be a big plus for the command and for the nation."

Friday, September 27, 2013

LockMart Contracts To Transition Long Range Land Attack Projectile To Production

LockMart Contracts To Transition Long Range Land Attack Projectile To Production

Lockheed Martin received an $18 million contract from the National Warhead and Energetic Consortium to transition the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) to production. The contract includes developing production line tooling, test equipment and manufacturing process plans for initial production of the advanced projectile. The guidance and control unit will be assembled at Lockheed Martin's Ocala, Fla., facility. Final assembly of LRLAP will be performed at the company's Troy, Ala., facility. LRLAP is a 155-mm projectile fired from the Advanced Gun System for the U.S. Navy's next-generation DDG 1000 destroyer. It provides precision fire support from a safe standoff distance to U.S. Marine Corps, Army and Joint/Coalition forces engaged in expeditionary assaults or urban operations in coastal cities, with minimal collateral damage.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

US relocates drones airfield after Djibouti crashes

US relocates drones airfield after Djibouti crashes

The Pentagon is shifting its drone operations from a US base in Djibouti to a more remote airfield after local officials voiced concern about possible collisions with commercial aircraft, officials said Wednesday. "There was a concern over what would happen if a MQ-1 (Predator drone) obstructed a runway, and that it would have a significant impact on commercial air operations," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. After the attacks of September 11 2001, Camp Lemonnier -- located next to the Djibouti international airport -- took on crucial strategic importance for Washington as a site for stationing special operations forces and drones for assaults on Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen and Islamist Shabab forces in Somalia. But after five accidents involving MQ-1 Predators since January 2011, the government of Djibouti demanded the Americans halt the drone flights out of Camp Lemonnier, where about 3,000 US troops are deployed, said the defense official, confirming a report in the Washington Post.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

For Obama, an Evolving Doctrine on Foreign Policy -

For Obama, an Evolving Doctrine on Foreign Policy - For five years, President Obama has publicly struggled with the question of when America is willing to act as the world’s policeman, and when he will insist that others take the lead, or at least share the risks, costs and resentments it engenders.

He surged forces into Afghanistan only to quickly reverse himself, speeding the withdrawal with the declaration that “it is time to focus on nation-building here at home.” He briefly joined the fight to halt a slaughter in Libya, but left quickly and refused to go into Syria, a far more complex civil war he saw as nothing but a potential quagmire.

His speech Tuesday at the United Nations signaled how what some have called the Obama Doctrine is once again evolving.

In his first term, that doctrine was defined by Mr. Obama’s surprising comfort in using military force to confront direct threats to the United States. But he split with his predecessor George W. Bush in his deep reluctance to use American power in long, drawn-out conflicts where national interests were remote and allies were missing.

At the United Nations on Tuesday, Mr. Obama drove home the conclusion that he came to after his own party deserted him over a military response to the chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,000 Syrians: The bigger risk for the world in coming years is not that the United States will try to build empires abroad, he argued, but that there will be a price to be paid in chaos and disorder if Americans elect to stay home.

US to sign global treaty on conventional arms trade

US to sign global treaty on conventional arms trade: US Secretary of State John Kerry will sign the first global treaty to regulate the $80 billion annual trade in conventional arms, a US official said Tuesday.
Kerry on Wednesday is to sign the Arms Trade Treaty, in a bid to stem the flow of weapons used in brutal uprisings and genocide.
"Following congressional notifications today, tomorrow Secretary Kerry will sign the treaty on behalf of President (Barack) Obama and the United States of America," a senior State Department official said.
The agreement was adopted earlier this year by the United Nations to regulate trade in tanks, armored combat vehicles, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, missiles as well as small arms.
The treaty, which has been years in the making, was only adopted after tough negotiations at the United Nations. Talks had deadlocked last year after the United States asked for more time to work on the draft text.

US military fights Shebab through regional allies

US military fights Shebab through regional allies

Instead of directly attacking Somalia's Shebab militants, the United States provides crucial intelligence and training to other armies battling the Islamists in a deliberately low-profile approach, officials said Tuesday. A bloody four-day siege of a Nairobi shopping mall claimed by Shebab has focused attention on US-backed efforts to weaken the insurgents, which American officials claim have been effective despite the attack over the weekend. From airfields stretching from Djibouti to Entebbe, the US military and intelligence agencies fly surveillance drones to track Shebab's movements while American special operations forces have taught tactics to troops from Kenya, Ethiopia and the Somali government, officials and experts say. "It is definitely a light footprint approach," Seth Jones, a former adviser to special operations commanders in Afghanistan and the Pentagon, told AFP.

Friday, September 20, 2013

US Navy Expands Surveillance Mission for Maritime Unmanned Aircraft

US Navy Expands Surveillance Mission for Maritime Unmanned Aircraft: The U.S. Navy will increase by 50 percent the monthly surveillance flights of a Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-built maritime unmanned demonstrator under a contract awarded Sept. 6. The contract will allow Navy commanders to keep closer tabs on activities in the ocean and coastal regions of the Middle East.
Under terms of the $9.98 million award, the company will provide maintenance, operations and other support services to enable the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstration (BAMS-D) aircraft to fly 15 missions per month, up from nine missions per month in previous years.
"The Navy planned a six-month demonstration of the BAMS-D aircraft in 2009 to test the maritime surveillance capabilities of the system," said Mike Mackey, Northrop Grumman program director for the Triton unmanned aircraft program that includes the BAMS-D. "That demonstration was so successful that the service has used them for more than four years now."

Scalable Agile Beam Radar Will Extend Viability of F-16s Beyond 2025

Scalable Agile Beam Radar Will Extend Viability of F-16s Beyond 2025: Northrop Grumman Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) will help extend the viability of the U.S. Air Force's F-16 fighter aircraft beyond 2025 and help ensure the F-16 remains a vital component of the nation's fighter force structure.
Skip Wagner, director of International Business Development and Strategy for Northrop Grumman's ISR and Targeting Systems Division, provided details on the radar upgrades to reporters in a briefing today at the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2013.
Northrop Grumman was chosen by prime contractor Lockheed Martin as the radar provider for the F-16 Combat Avionics Programmed Extension Suite (CAPES), which is an avionics modernization program designed to keep the F-16 viable in future threat environments and improve system reliability and maintainability.
CAPES program objectives are to mitigate critical future capability gaps, provide advanced electronic protection, enhance situational awareness and survivability, and provide options to meet force structure requirements with modernized F-16s. SABR contributes substantially to CAPES program objectives.

2nd Gen Aegis Hits Most Sophisticated Target Yet

2nd Gen Aegis Hits Most Sophisticated Target Yet

The Lockheed Martin Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated, on the first attempt, the second generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System's capability to engage a sophisticated, separating short range ballistic missile target with two Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missiles that were fired and guided to intercept nearly simultaneously. The test, known as Flight Test - Standard Missile-21 (FTM-21), was an operational test for Aegis BMD and SM-3 Block IB guided missile to engage and defeat a ballistic missile threat. FTM-21 marked the tenth time the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and crew have successfully performed in Navy and Missile Defense Agency at-sea test events against cruise and ballistic missile targets using the second generation of the Aegis BMD configuration.

Software update keeps B-52 at forefront of bomber fleet > U.S. Air Force > Article Display

Software update keeps B-52 at forefront of bomber fleet > U.S. Air Force > Article Display

The B-52 Stratofortress will soon receive a software upgrade that will keep the aircraft at the forefront of the U.S. strategic bomber fleet.

As new equipment and advanced weapons are added to the B-52 fleet, the B-52 Software Block (BSB) upgrades allow the aircraft to utilize the full potential of those new and improved systems.

"Think in terms of your home," Air Force Global Strike Command B-52 program analyst Nathan Dawn said. "This is similar to when your cable provider gives you a new cable modem, so you upgrade the software on your wireless receiver to take better advantage of the modem's updated capabilities."

Many systems that make the B-52 a formidable force on the battlefield can be improved and enhanced by BSB upgrades, and new systems can be added as they become available, he said.

"The Offensive Avionics System, GPS, GPS Interface Unit and Advanced Targeting Pod computer are examples of hardware that are affected during BSB updates," Dawn said. "Typically new lines of code are created to access new weapon or equipment capabilities such as the new ability to attack fast moving ground targets with smart weapons."

One of the primary purposes of BSB cycles is to correct software errors and patch deficiencies not found during development and testing, Dawn said. Similar to home computer operating systems, new and more complex software is susceptible to errors. When one is found in any of the B-52's systems, it is documented and becomes a high priority for repair in the next cycle of BSB upgrades.

The newest BSB upgrade is scheduled to attain full operational capability this fall, Dawn said. With it, the B-52 can continue to remain viable by adapting to the rapid advancement of technology in the battlespace.

Airmen test skills in first 'Arctic Challenge' > U.S. Air Force > Article Display

Airmen test skills in first 'Arctic Challenge' > U.S. Air Force > Article Display

The first Exercise Arctic Challenge, which includes more than 60 aircraft from five partner nations, in Norway began Sept. 16.

Norwegian F-16 Fighting Falcons, Swedish JAS-39 Gripens, Finnish F/A-18 Hornets and U.K. Eurofighter Typhoons took to the skies with U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, F-15C Eagles and KC-135 Stratotankers to train in a combined environment. They incorporated both strategic planning and tactical war fighting simulations, practicing in-flight maneuvers and communication strategies with each other.

Two NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft also joined in to provided aerial combat command for the dueling aircraft further simulating a real combat scenario.

"(Our) air force has, in periods, had the need to train at bigger scenarios with more aircraft, and this is difficult in Norway, with only our own planes at (our)disposal," said Col. Baid Solheim, Main Air Station Bodø base commander. "Before the cross border training we had to deploy to foreign, far away countries to fly against other types of aircraft, [now] we fly directly from Bodø. In this way it's very efficient in costs."
The Arctic Challenge exercise focused on bringing the Scandinavian nations, the U.S. and the U.K. together in the air, to challenge pilots to react quickly and work together to achieve common goals. During times of maximum participation, more than 60 aircraft are expected to partake in the war-fighting scenarios.

"During this exercise, we will face almost every scenario that could be seen in any war or conflict," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Rich Stringer, 494th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations and lead project officer for the 48th Fighter Wing's participation in the exercise. The different aircraft will take turns as the aggressors and will be tested on how they can respond to a variety of scenarios, according to Stringer.

The purpose of this exercise is to train air forces to operate cohesively. Arctic Challenge, in particular, allows multiple nations to perform aerial operations simultaneously; give critical feedback on how to improve processes; and become a more efficient and effective force -- especially in a multi-national environment.

"These exercises provide the U.S. and NATO forces an opportunity to integrate their operations at both the tactical and strategic levels with a high level of fidelity that could not otherwise be achieved without live-fly exercises," said Capt. Timothy Gerne, 100th Operations Support Squadron chief of wing weapons and tactics and director of operations for the 100th Air Refueling Wing portion of the exercise. "Similar to a Red Flag exercise in mission sets, large force numbers and multinational integration, the benefits of hosting locally allows us and our allies to focus resources toward operations."

In addition to flying with allies, Airmen on MAS Bodø and MAS Ørland combined the exercise with a simulated deployment. The movement tested many assets in U.S. Air Forces in Europe including air lift, medical, legal and financial services.

"This exercise improves the readiness of everyone because of the variety of scenarios and the high level of skill that we are flying with and against," said Stringer. "The Finns, Swedes, British, and Norwegians are all very skilled aviators and have very competent forces."

The Arctic Challenge exercise is scheduled to continue until Sept. 26, before culminating in a final scenario which tests the pilots on their ability to operate in a diverse force.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

USAF Launches Third Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite

USAF Launches Third Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite: The third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communication satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin team for the U.S. Air Force, was successfully launched today at 4:10 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Lockheed Martin confirmed signal acquisition at 51 minutes after launch.
The AEHF system provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms.
The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Lockheed Martin Launches First LRASM Boosted Test Vehicle From MK 41 Vertical Launch System

Lockheed Martin Launches First LRASM Boosted Test Vehicle From MK 41 Vertical Launch System: Lockheed Martin has launched the first Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) Boosted Test Vehicle (BTV) from a MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) canister at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
During the company-funded test, the MK41 VLS successfully launched the LRASM BTV. The BTV, which includes the proven Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (VL/ASROC) Mk-114 rocket motor, ignited successfully, penetrated and exited through the canister cover and performed a guided flight profile similar to a tactical configuration.
The flight test was part of an ongoing Lockheed Martin-funded Offensive Anti-Surface Weapon effort, independent of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) LRASM program, focused on shipboard integration of LRASM's surface launched variant.
Building on the recent push-through testing which proved the missile's ability to break through the canister cover with no damage to the missile, the BTV launch is also an important risk reduction milestone critical to demonstrating LRASM's surface launch capability.
LRASM is an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile leveraging the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters.

Northrop Grumman to Produce Additional Mission Modules for US Navy Littoral Combat Ship

Northrop Grumman to Produce Additional Mission Modules for US Navy Littoral Combat Ship: Northrop Grumman has received a $25.2 million contract from the U.S. Navy for additional Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Modules. The company will deliver three mission module packages - two for surface warfare missions and one for mine countermeasures.
"Northrop Grumman continues to demonstrate that, as the mission package integrator, we are delivering high quality, fully integrated mission modules," said Doug Shaffer, director of information operations and electronic attack, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
"With this procurement, we will work with our customer to capture synergies across the mission module production base, enhance production and supplier base stability, and reduce cost to the Navy."
The littoral combat ship has three primary missions - mine warfare, antisubmarine warfare and surface warfare. Each of the mission packages involves the integration of manned and unmanned systems operating across the air, surface and subsurface domains.

GPS III And OCX Satellite Launch and Early Orbit Operations Successfully Demonstrated

GPS III And OCX Satellite Launch and Early Orbit Operations Successfully Demonstrated

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have completed the third of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate the launch readiness of the world's most powerful and accurate Global Positioning System (GPS), the U.S. Air Force's next generation GPS III satellite and Operational Control System (OCX). Successful completion of Exercise 3, on August 1, was a key milestone demonstrating Raytheon's OCX software meets mission requirements and is on track to support the launch of the first GPS III satellite, currently being produced by Lockheed Martin. Two additional readiness exercises and six 24/7 launch rehearsals are planned prior to launch of the first GPS III satellite in 2015. Using new installments of Raytheon's OCX software and Lockheed Martin's GPS III Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC), the Air Force Global Positioning System Directorate and the industry team completed a launch and early orbit exercise over a three-day period in late July. Exercise 3 demonstrated space-ground communications; first acquisition and transfer orbit sequences; orbit-raising maneuver planning and execution; and basic anomaly detection and resolution capabilities. In addition, the industry and customer teams jointly executed mission planning activities, such as orbit determination and the generation of upload command files.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Israel's missile makers move toward U.S. production deals

Israel's missile makers move toward U.S. production deals: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, one of Israel's leading defense companies, and the Raytheon Co., based in the United States, are reported to be seeking to integrate the jointly funded Israeli-made Stunner air-defense interceptor missile into an advanced version of the U.S. Patriot system.
The moves comes amid growing U.S. interest in co-production deals on air-defense systems that are being produced or developed by state-owned Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries to protect the Jewish state from threatened missile bombardment by Iran and other regional foes.
Despite Israeli misgivings, this and other co-production arrangements involving defense systems could materialize, in large part for economic reasons, given current defense spending cuts.

Canada builds up arctic maritime surveillance

Canada builds up arctic maritime surveillance: Canada is going ahead with plans to keep closer tabs on arctic shipping amid competing claims on the region, especially those from Russia and northern European states.
Plans to build and put in orbit a constellation of monitoring satellites mean Canada is set to spend millions on a maritime surveillance program that will include additional tasks of maintaining control on resource development in the arctic region.
Canada has actively pursued defense and security programs to assert its claim on the region after incidents involving Russian navy vessels which Canada considered to be too uncomfortable for Canadian defense interests.
Diplomatic exchanges on arctic naval incidents so far have been couched in political language. In Ottawa, however, officials are in no doubt they want to assert Canadian national authority on the northern territories before Russia or other European countries attempt another challenge.
It will be another five years before a Canadian satellite surveillance program focused on arctic maritime traffic comes into play.

China warns US to stay out of island disputes

China warns US to stay out of island disputes: Beijing has warned the United States not to support China's neighbours' claims to disputed islands in the East and South China Seas, the government said Friday.
Sino-Japanese ties have soured dramatically since Tokyo nationalised some of the Senkaku islands, which Beijing claims and calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea a year ago.
China also claims almost all of the South China Sea including waters close to its neighbours' coasts, and tensions with the Philippines and Vietnam have intensified in recent years.
Washington has security alliances with both Tokyo and Manila, but Wang Guanzhong, a senior officer of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), this week warned visiting US counterparts that it should handle issues "appropriately" to avoid damaging "mutual strategic trust".

US military looks to cut cost of Afghanistan pullout

US military looks to cut cost of Afghanistan pullout

Pentagon officials are holding talks in Afghanistan on the withdrawal of US military equipment from the country, officials said Friday, as Washington hopes to lower the cost of the massive operation. American forces are having to fly out large amounts of gear at great expense but defense officials would like to move more vehicles and equipment over cheaper land routes through Pakistan, officials said. With the US military's drawdown underway and set to finish by the end of 2014, about 20 percent of the cargo is currently being withdrawn through the overland route across the Pakistan border. But officials say they would prefer to have 60 percent of all materiel move over land instead of by air. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and other senior officials arrived in Kabul earlier Friday and the equipment withdrawal, or "retrograde," will feature prominently in their discussions, officials said. Carter will seek to "assess the continued progress on retrograde efforts," a defense official said. The Afghan government shut the border earlier this year in a dispute over what the US military should pay for withdrawing its gear, with Kabul insisting the Americans owed up to $70 million in customs fines. Washington has maintained the military equipment came into the country legally and refused to pay the fees. Afghan authorities eventually reopened the border. By 2015, the United States must remove about 24,000 vehicles and the equivalent of roughly 20,000 shipping containers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Unified Military Intelligence Picture Helping to Dispel the Fog of War

Unified Military Intelligence Picture Helping to Dispel the Fog of War: Military operations depend upon the unimpeded flow of accurate and relevant information to support timely decisions related to battle planning and execution. To address these needs, numerous intelligence systems and technologies have been developed over the past 20 years, but each of these typically provides only a partial picture of the battlefield, and integrating the information has proven to be burdensome and inefficient.
DARPA's Insight program aims to take defense intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to the next level by creating the capability to meaningfully integrate disparate "stovepiped" source information into a unified picture of the battlefield. As DARPA's capstone ISR processing program, Insight seeks to enable analysts to make sense of the huge volumes of intelligence-rich information available to them from existing sensors and data sources.
Automated behavioral learning and prediction algorithms would help analysts discover and identify potential threats, as well as make and confirm hypotheses about those threats' potential behavior. The goal is a comprehensive operating picture in which expedient delivery of fused actionable intelligence would improve support of time-sensitive operations on the battlefield.

Anti-Ship Missile Prototype Conducts First Solo Test Flight

Anti-Ship Missile Prototype Conducts First Solo Test Flight: Adversaries' sophisticated air defense systems can make it difficult for current air- and surface-launched anti-ship missiles to hit their targets at long range. To engage specific enemy warships from beyond the reach of counter-fire systems, warfighters may require launching multiple missiles or employing overhead targeting assets such as radar-equipped planes or Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites-resources that may not always be available.
To help address these challenges, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) are collaborating on the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program, which successfully launched its first prototype on August 27.
Designed for both surface and air launch,LRASM seeks to develop an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) system.
LRASM aims to incorporate sensors and systems to create a stealthy and survivable subsonic cruise missile with reduced dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. The program also focuses on precision lethality in the face of advanced countermeasures.

Raytheon moves forward on DARPA Persistent Close Air Support program

Raytheon moves forward on DARPA Persistent Close Air Support program

Raytheon is moving forward with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on the agency's Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program, whose software could enable ground troops to receive close air support sooner by improving coordination among joint terminal attack controllers, airborne sensors and weapons. Originally designed for the A-10 Thunderbolt, the recently expanded PCAS program intends to now develop a platform- and sensor-agnostic electronics suite that can be easily integrated onto multiple platforms. During the current 12-month phase 2 effort, Raytheon is maturing the PCAS program from preliminary design to a critical design review, with an option for phase 3. The PCAS Phase 2 contract was awarded in Raytheon's fourth quarter of 2012 and modified in the third quarter of 2013. The phase 3 PCAS contract is expected to include an 18-month, $25 million effort culminating in a series of flight tests and live-fire demonstrations.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Successful Missile Defense Test Against Multiple Targets

Successful Missile Defense Test Against Multiple Targets

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and U.S. Pacific Command, in conjunction with U.S. Army Soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, U.S. Navy Sailors aboard guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73), and U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 613th Air and Operations Center successfully conducted a complex missile defense flight test, resulting in the intercept of two medium-range ballistic missile targets.

The flight test was planned more than a year ago, and is not in any way connected to events in the Middle East.

The test was conducted in the vicinity of the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site and surrounding areas in the western Pacific. The test stressed the ability of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon systems to function in a layered defense architecture and defeat a raid of two near-simultaneous ballistic missile targets.

The two medium-range ballistic missile targets were launched on operationally realistic trajectories towards a defended area near Kwajalein. Along with overhead space assets providing launch alerts, an Army-Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control (AN/TPY-2) radar in Forward Based Mode detected the targets and relayed track information to the Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) system for further transmission to defending BMDS assets.

The USS Decatur with its Aegis Weapon System detected and tracked the first target with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The Aegis BMD weapon system developed a fire control solution, launched a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA missile, and successfully intercepted the target.

In a demonstration of BMDS layered defense capabilities, a second AN/TPY-2 radar in Terminal Mode, located with the THAAD weapon system, acquired and tracked the target missiles. THAAD developed a fire control solution, launched a THAAD interceptor missile, and successfully intercepted the second medium-range ballistic missile target. THAAD was operated by soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment. As a planned demonstration of THAAD's layered defense capabilities, a second THAAD interceptor was launched at the target destroyed by Aegis as a contingency in the event the SM-3 did not achieve an intercept.

Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. MDA officials will extensively assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

The event, a designated Flight Test Operational-01 (FTO-01), demonstrated integrated, layered, regional missile defense capabilities to defeat a raid of two threat-representative medium-range ballistic missiles in a combined live-fire operational test. Soldiers, sailors, and airmen from multiple combatant commands operated the systems, and were provided a unique opportunity to refine operational doctrine and tactics while increasing confidence in the execution of integrated air and missile defense plans.

U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System programs have completed 62 successful hit-to-kill intercepts in 78 flight test attempts since 2001.

USS Lake Erie, Chinese Ships Conduct Search and Rescue Training

USS Lake Erie, Chinese Ships Conduct Search and Rescue Training

As part of a broader advancement in cooperation between the United States and China, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and the People's Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] participated in training scenarios off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, Sept. 9.

The three participating PLA(N) ships, a Fuqing-class fleet oiler Hongzehu (AOR 881), a Lulu-class destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113) and a Jiangkai-class frigate Linyi (FFG 547), had just completed a port visit at Joint Base Harbor Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 6-9. This was the first visit by PLA(N) ships to Pearl Harbor since 2006.

The at-sea training included search and rescue, military medicine, communications, pipe patching and firefighting.

Capt. John Banigan, commanding officer of Lake Erie, said the training helps establish clear paths of communication, builds trust, and encourages multilateral cooperation to address common regional security challenges.

"With this opportunity, we demonstrated our ability to operate and communicate at sea with the PLA(N)," Banigan said. "Having all Pacific nation navies working together on common maritime problems advances our goal of ensuring security, stability, peace and prosperity in the region."

During the search and rescue exercise, which Banigan highlighted as contributing to a core capability that the U.S. Navy practices regularly with navies throughout Pacific, one rigid-hulled inflatable boat from the Lake Erie and one rescue boat from the Qingdao responded to a distressed vessel that had a fire, wounded sailor and was taking on water. Sailors from both of the nations worked together throughout the scenario to put out the fire, pipe and shore the leak and assist the wounded.

Damage Controlman Fireman Jacob Christopher Barr, a search and rescue swimmer aboard Lake Erie, said this is the first time he had worked with PLA(N).

"The exercise went smoothly thanks to the quick reactions to situations by both the U.S. Navy and PLA(N)," Barr said.

Information Technician 2nd Class Wenbin Wu, who was born in China but moved to New York City as a teenager in 1998, stood in as a translator aboard Lake Erie.

"This is a great opportunity for our Navy and China's Navy to build a relationship based on the training exercises today," Wu said.

A productive relationship with the PLA(N) is an essential part of the U.S. Navy's ongoing rebalance strategy, providing an opportunity to deal with common challenges that all Pacific nations face: the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, narco-trafficking, piracy, and protecting the free use of the seas and the global commons like space and cyberspace.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, said activities this past week in Hawaii and San Diego demonstrate the U.S. Navy's commitment to building a positive and constructive relationship with the Chinese Navy, where they contribute to regional stability as a member of the community of nations.

"Our commitment to exploring closer cooperation with China must occur on the foundation of existing U.S. alliances and other partnerships in the region," said Haney. "We want to work with China, our allies and partners to create a shared future that deals with security challenges faced by all Pacific nations. Port visits, senior leader dialogues, bilateral engagements and multilateral exercises will help the U.S. and China work toward common goals while also candidly addressing our differences."

USAF and Boeing Finalize KC-46A Tanker Aircraft Design

USAF and Boeing Finalize KC-46A Tanker Aircraft Design: The U.S. Air Force and Boeing have validated the final design elements of the KC-46A Tanker and concluded that the proposed design embodies and can meet Air Force requirements, clearing the way for production and testing of the next-generation aerial refueling tanker.
"I'm pleased to report that the design of the KC-46A tanker has been locked down," said Air Force Maj. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers. "This is great news for the nation's warfighters. The joint government and Boeing team stayed focused on the design review objectives, and truly delivered."
Following months of component and subsystem reviews, the Air Force and Boeing held a KC-46A Weapon System Critical Design Review July 8-10.
The KC-46A is based on the commercial Boeing 767-200ER, a proven airframe in service worldwide as an airliner, freighter and tanker. The company has delivered more than 1,050 767s.

'Friendly' nation to test missiles in Mediterranean: Cyprus

'Friendly' nation to test missiles in Mediterranean: Cyprus: Cyprus said Monday it had been informed that missile tests will be carried out by a "friendly" country in the eastern Mediterranean this week, as the US weighs military strikes against Syria.
The tests come after Israel last week launched an Ankor (Sparrow) missile in the Mediterranean, ratcheting up the tension in a region already jittery over the possible fallout from any US-led military intervention against Syria.
Foreign Minister Ioanis Kasoulides told state radio a "friendly country" not taking part in any planned action against Syria would carry out the tests from Monday to Saturday.
He did not name the country, although it is believed to be Israel, and a government source told AFP the test area covered 12,700 nautical miles in the east Mediterranean.

Simple compact laser system could detect presence of explosives

Simple compact laser system could detect presence of explosives: A simple, compact system could bring laser technology to the task of bomb detection at security checkpoints, researchers at Michigan State University say.
University scientists report they've developed a laser that can detect micro traces of explosive chemicals on clothing and luggage.
"Since this method uses a single beam and requires no bulky spectrometers, it is quite practical and could scan many people and their belongings quickly," MSU chemistry Professor Marcos Dantus said. "Not only does it detect the explosive material, but it also provides an image of the chemical's exact location, even if it's merely a minute trace on a zipper."
The low-energy laser is safe to use on luggage as well as passengers, he said, and is not affected by the color or surface of clothes or luggage.

Rowhani talks tough on Iran nuclear rights

Rowhani talks tough on Iran nuclear rights

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said Tuesday Tehran will not give up "one iota" of its nuclear rights, echoing his hardline predecessor, while warning world powers the timeframe for negotiation was not unlimited. He spoke ahead of a meeting later this month between Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on restarting negotiations on the Islamic republic's disputed nuclear ambitions. "Our government will not give up one iota of its absolute rights" in its nuclear activities, said Rowhani, repeating a mantra frequently used by his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Warrior Web Closer to Making Its Performance-Improving Suit a Reality

Warrior Web Closer to Making Its Performance-Improving Suit a Reality: Of the many risks dismounted Soldiers face in the field, one of the most common is injury from carrying their gear-often topping 100 pounds-for extended periods over rough terrain. Heavy loads increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal injury and also exacerbate fatigue, which contributes to both acute and chronic injury and impedes Soldiers' physical and cognitive abilities to perform mission-oriented tasks.
To help address these challenges, DARPA seeks performers for the last phase of its Warrior Web program.
Warrior Web aims to develop a soft, lightweight undersuit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue and improve Soldiers' ability to efficiently perform their missions. The garment would protect injury-prone areas and promote efficient and safe movement over a wide range of activities (walking, running, jumping, crawling, etc.).
Comfortable, durable and washable, the garment would not interfere with body armor or other standard clothing and gear. DARPA seeks to create a working prototype that significantly boosts endurance, carrying capacity and overall Soldier effectiveness-all while using no more than 100 watts of power.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Deploys Refueling Equipment in Flight Test

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Deploys Refueling Equipment in Flight Test: The Bell Boeing V-22 Program, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. [NYSE: TXT] and Boeing [NYSE: BA], has successfully completed an initial test of the V-22 Osprey performing as an aerial refueling tanker.
Adding this capability to the tiltrotor aircraft would further advance its versatility in combat, humanitarian and ship-based operations.
In the August demonstration over north Texas, a V-22 equipped with a prototype aerial refueling system safely deployed, held stable, and retracted the refueling drogue as an F/A-18C and an F/A-18D Hornet flew just behind and to the side of the aircraft.
Future Bell Boeing tests will put aircraft in a fuel-receiving position directly behind the V-22, connect receiver aircraft with the refueling drogue and, ultimately, refuel a variety of aircraft in flight.

Northrop Grumman Completes Demonstration of 3D Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) System

Northrop Grumman Completes Demonstration of 3D Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) System: Northrop Grumman has completed a full-scale demonstration of its Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) for the U.S. Air Force last month.
Approximately 40 members of the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and the Office of the Secretary of Defense were on site to witness the comprehensive demonstration of Northrop Grumman's radar system. More than 50 additional participants and observers were connected in real time at multiple locations via secure webcast.
"The U.S. Air Force system variant of the Department of Defense AN/TPS-80 radar performed exceptionally well during this comprehensive demonstration," said Jeff Palombo, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Land and Self Protection Systems Division.
"This mature system is a low-risk solution that can provide significant immediate and long-term development, production and logistics cost savings for our Air Force customer."
During the demonstration, Northrop Grumman's 3DELRR performed long-range detection and tracking of live aircraft via high-power S-Band Gallium Nitride transmit/receive modules while showing successful system ambient air cooling under extremely hot operating conditions and comprehensive automatic system self-test and calibration capabilities.
Designed to replace the current AN/TPS-75 radar systems, 3DELRR will be the primary Air Force ground-based, long-range radar for detecting airborne threats.

U.S. Army Awards Lockheed Martin contract for Counterfire Radar Production

U.S. Army Awards Lockheed Martin contract for Counterfire Radar Production: The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin $206 million in additional orders for the AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53), a long-range counterfire radar that provides soldiers with enhanced 360-degree protection from indirect fire.
This contract is for 19 Q-53 systems, formerly designated as EQ-36. To date Lockheed Martin has delivered 32 initial production systems to the U.S. Army and is currently producing an additional 33 systems, which were awarded in March 2012. This latest contract builds on those 33 systems currently in production.
"The Q-53 radar is helping to save the lives of U.S. forces through its exceptional performance in theater" said Lee Flake, program director for counterfire target acquisition radar programs at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business.
"Deployed since 2010, we have listened to feedback from our soldiers to ensure the system meets operational demands and is evolving to stay ahead of global threats."
Mounted on a five-ton truck, the Q-53 can be rapidly deployed, automatically leveled and remotely operated with a laptop computer or from a fully equipped climate-controlled command vehicle.

US, Russian joint military exercise in Far East, Alaska

US, Russian joint military exercise in Far East, Alaska

The Vigilant Eagle international exercises, in which the Russian Air Force and the North American Aerospace Defence Command are taking part and which are aimed at combating air terrorism, are about to start in the Far East and Alaska. Their main task is practicing interaction between controlling bodies and plane crews during joint action to intercept, accompany and handover planes captured by mock terrorists, head of the press service of the Eastern Military District Alexander Gordeyev said. The maneuvers are being held on US territory, in Canada and Russia - in Khabarovsk, Anadyr and the Kamchatka Peninsula. The practical phase of the Vigilant Eagle exercises starts tomorrow. The exchange of information between the parties concerned is ensured by the Russian A-50 Mainstay Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEW and C) and by the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) on the part of the US and Canada. As the scenario has it, first a US plane takes off and flies along the Anchorage -Anadyr- Anchorage route. Next a Russian plane takes off from the Anadyr airfield. Interceptor aircraft attempt to force a passenger airliner, allegedly seized by terrorists, to land, Editor-in-Chief of the "Independent Military Review "magazine Viktor Litovkin says.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Russia says it will push Syria to relinquish control of chemical weapons - The Washington Post

Russia says it will push Syria to relinquish control of chemical weapons - The Washington Post: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that his country has asked Syria to transfer control of its chemical weapons to international monitors in order to prevent a U.S. military strike.
Lavrov also called on Syria to sign and ratify the Convention on Chemical Weapons, which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, including the nerve gas that the government of President Bashar al-Assad is accused of deploying outside Damascus last month, killing more than 1,400 civilians.
“We do not know whether Syria will agree to this, but if the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country will avoid strikes, we will immediately begin working with Damascus,” Lavrov said. “We call on the Syrian leadership not only to agree on a statement of storage of chemical weapons under international supervision, but also to their subsequent destruction.”

Lavrov spoke after meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem in Moscow and presenting him with the proposal. “We look forward to a quick and hopefully positive response,” Lavrov said.

Hours earlier, in London, Secretary of State John F. Kerry sketched out a similar scenario, then dismissed it, after being asked by a reporter whether there was anything that Assad could do to avoid an attack. “Sure, he could turn over every bit of his weapons to the international community within the next week, without delay,” Kerry said. “But he isn’t about to.”

MEADS System to Identify Friend Or Foe Aircraft Certified by U.S. Air Traffic Control Office

MEADS System to Identify Friend Or Foe Aircraft Certified by U.S. Air Traffic Control Office

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system has been certified for operation. MEADS became the first U.S. system approved to incorporate a non-U.S. cryptographic device in 2009. Certification by the U.S. Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System Identification Friend or Foe Mark XII/XIIA System (AIMS) Program Office is a significant accomplishment for the MEADS program. Mode 5 is more secure and provides positive line-of-sight identification of friendly platforms equipped with an IFF transponder to better differentiate between friend and foe.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Israel says missile tested in joint exercise with US

Israel says missile tested in joint exercise with US: Israel on Tuesday launched a missile over the Mediterranean in a joint exercise with the United States that came as Washington mulls punitive air strikes on Syria.
Speculation mounted after the missile firing at 0615 GMT, with Russia's defence ministry saying its early-warning system had detected two ballistic missile launches from the central Mediterranean sea fired towards the eastern coastline, where Syria is located.
But the Pentagon said the exercise had no connection to possible attacks against the Syrian regime, and that it was a standard drill designed to assess Israel's missile defences.
"This test had nothing to do with United States consideration of military action to respond to Syria's chemical weapons attack," Pentagon spokesman George Little said

Lockheed Martin's paveway II Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb Successfully Employed in Navy Exercises

Lockheed Martin's paveway II Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb Successfully Employed in Navy Exercises

Lockheed Martin's Paveway II Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb (DMLGB) was successfully employed in recent U.S. Navy Tactics Development exercises at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nev. During four missions over a two-day period, F/A-18C/D Hornets and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets released 36 GBU-12F/B bombs fitted with recently upgraded paveway II DMLGB guidance kits. The weapons were used in tactically representative engagements against fixed targets and met all mission success criteria, demonstrating the increased operational utility of the enhancements. By adding the GPS/Inertial Navigation System (INS) guidance to standard laser-guided paveway II weapons, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps can execute precision-strike missions against stationary and relocatable targets in all weather conditions. The kits can operate in laser mode only, INS/GPS mode only or dual mode to provide pilots with the flexibility to engage various types of targets in a single mission. The most recent paveway II DMLGB upgrade to Block II Operational Flight Program software improves overall weapon performance and effectiveness in all three release modes.