Archive for the ‘F-22’ Category

After Eight Boom Years, Defense Spending Likely to Slow

October 13, 2008

ByBy Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 13, 2008; Page D01

At the Walter E. Washington Convention Center last week, Army soldiers, Pentagon weapons buyers and defense company representatives milled about a cavernous trade show floor for a look at the latest military equipment and gadgets.
.
Huge tanks sat beside armored trucks and machine guns. In one aisle, a stack of fake sandbags were arranged around a free cappuccino stand sponsored by KBR, one of the biggest government contractors in Iraq.

The annual exposition — put on by the Association of the United States Army — is one of the largest industry shows of its kind in the country, and the bustling convention floor was a testament to the success of an industry that has enjoyed steadily rising sales over the past eight years.

But the mood at the show was hardly celebratory. Rather, Topic A was whether those good times would continue.

Many assumed they would not.

Attendees worried that a new administration may be forced to cut back on defense spending as the nation strains under a global economic crisis and as presidential contenders talk about the eventuality of bringing troops home. Major weapons systems built by the likes of Falls Church-based General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin of Bethesda are likely to face new scrutiny — potentially dealing a blow to an industry that has helped insulate the region from deeper economic pain.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there,” said Kevin G. Kroger, president of Pura Dyn, a small Boynton Beach, Fla., company, who came to the trade show to pitch the Army on buying more of its oil filters for armored trucks. “We’re not sure where the budgets are going and what’s going to get funded. It leaves us nervous.”
Uss Zumwalt.jpg
Above: ZUMWALT Class destroyer

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2008/10/12/AR2008101201724.html

Two F-22A Raptor in column flight - (Noise reduced).jpg
Above: F-22 Raptor

Advertisements

SecDef Gates, Admiral Mullen Testify Before SASC

February 6, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen testified before the Sente Armed Services Committee today.  Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is chairman of the committee and Sen. John Warner (R-VA) is the ranking member of the minority.

Several issues of interest were discussed.

Asked about the size of the defense budget both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen said that the budget needed to be 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Admiral Mullen said that 4% of GDP should be an annual “floor” or lowest national investment in defense.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness ...
Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh) 

Secretary Gates said that there has been a recent shift in understanding by the government of Pakistan and that President Musharraf and his closest advisors now realize that the free reign apparently given to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan has now resulted in an “existential threat to the current government of Pakistan.”  Consequently, President Musharraf and his advisors are now waging a much more effective war against terror in the tribal areas.

US intelligence chief Mike McConnell told a Senate hearing yesterday, Tuesday, February 5, that the al Qaeda network in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered setbacks, but still poses a persistent and growing danger from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He stressed that al Qaeda remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States” more than six years after 9/11.

Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen supported and reiterated that view.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol ...
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, today, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh)

On the issue of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Senators expressed concern that all NATO nations had not fielded troops in Afghanistan.  Secretary Gates said that he feared the evolution of a two tiered NATO with one tier “fighting and dying” and a second tier not participating.  Secretary Gates said that he will continue to persuade NATO member nations toward a more active role in the war against terror.

Secretary Gates said he had become a “nag” to the Defense Ministers of NATO by pestering them about their contributions to the mission in Afghanistan.

In January some NATO defense ministers went public with their resentment for Mr. Gates.

“This is not the Robert Gates we have come to know,” Van Middlekoop told the Dutch broadcasting agency NOS last month, following criticism from Mr. Gates. “It’s also not the manner in which you treat each other when you have to cooperate with each other in the south of Afghanistan.”

Today Secretary Gates went out of his way to compliment the Dutch, Canadians, British, Australians and others for their work in Afghanistan.  But he said there were still several NATO member nations not taking the mission seriously enough. 

Secretary Gates said he would continue to press this issue this week end at a Defense Ministers’ meeting. 

Last month, Pentagon spokesman Geo Morrell said, “The secretary is not backing off his fundamental criticism that NATO needs to do a better job in training for counterinsurgency. But he is not — nor has he ever — criticized any particular nation for their service in Afghanistan.”

Secretary Gates also spoke eloquently about the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense system now deployed at sea, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and THAAD.

On combat troops in the war zone, Admiral Mullen said, “The well is deep, but it is not infinite.  We must get Army deployments down to 12 months as soon as possible. People are tired.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates makes a statement about the ...
Secretary Gates at a recent Pentagon briefing.

From the  Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080206/ap_on_go_
ca_st_pe/us_iraq_21

From Reuters:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080206/us_nm/
usa_budget_wars_dc_1

Pentagon Eyes High-Speed Missiles for Stealth Aircraft

December 24, 2007

By Robert Wall and Douglas Barrie
Aviation Week and Space Technology
December 23, 2007

The U.S. military is increasingly interested in developing a new generation of high-speed air-to-surface missiles that could be integrated into stealth aircraft to attack an enemy’s radar sites or fleeting targets.

U.S. Air Force planners are anxious about enhancements in air defense technology, worrying that as powerful computer processing becomes more ubiquitous and network cabling becomes cheaper, adversaries can link radar systems of different types to raise their chances of spotting and potentially shooting down even low-observable aircraft.

Although the military is putting much effort into using directed-energy and network attack tools to thwart such threats, the kinetic kill approach hasn’t fallen out of favor entirely. One reason is that the initial generation of directed-energy systems will still require aircraft to get comparatively close to a threat, while missiles can be launched at greater stand-off ranges. The missiles themselves could also be candidates for directed-energy warheads.

There has been frustration among weapon developers that the U.S. and Europe have not done more to push high-speed technology, with a few exceptions such as the European rocket/ramjet-powered Meteor air-to-air missile. Russia has ramjet-powered air-to-surface weapons in its inventory, and China and India are also pursuing this area aggressively, bemoans a European industry official.

But the situation may be changing. One emerging project, for instance, is a Raytheon initiative to design a ramjet-powered version of the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), according to a company official. Raytheon has been exploring various options for a ramjet motor, which would be paired with an enhanced HARM front end.

The ramjet concept now undergoing more detailed systems analysis at Raytheon would use an asymmetric intake configuration, with the two ducts on opposite sides of the missile body. The motor would be paired with a standard 10-in.-dia. missile frame, says a European industry official.

In addition to the anti-radar role, the weapon would be aimed to meet the Pentagon’s persistent requirement for higher-speed strike weapons to eliminate time-sensitive targets, which can move quickly and often prove elusive. A HARM coupled with the high-speed motor would likely feature guidance enhancements enabling it to strike coordinates even if a target is not emitting.

Raytheon is working with Diehl Defense to try to interest the German government in the HARM Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses Attack Module (HDAM), an upgrade of the basic weapon which includes an inertial measurement unit/global positioning system for enhanced precision. Germany at one point funded Diehl to develop its own ramjet-powered anti-radar missile, Armiger, but the military ran out of funding.

HARM’s 10-in. diameter would be an integration problem on smaller stealth aircraft, but one U.S. official suggests the effort could be aimed at long-standing U.S. Air Force interest in integrating such a weapon on the B-2 bomber.

The F-22 and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter might potentially be outfitted with reduced-diameter weapons. But they would require much smaller missiles because of the limited space in their internal weapons bays. Even a 7.5-in.-dia. missile could have fit problems because of the inlet ducts and control surfaces, says one industry official who has looked at the problem.

An electronics upgrade slated for the F-22 will give it enhanced ground-emitter location capability, which would significantly boost the aircraft’s capability to destroy enemy air-defenses. But with its current array of air-to-surface weapons, the fighter would have to fly well inside the layered engagement zones of systems such as the Almaz Antey S-400 (SA-21 Growler).

Even though the F-22’s stealth features and ability to fly supersonic without afterburner greatly increase survivability, weaponry with additional stand-off range is seen as important to the fighter’s long-term future. Russia is working on upgrades and follow-on development to the S-400 partly driven by the ability to combat stealth. S-400-derivative systems will also probably begin to proliferate during the coming decade.

One option to deal with this threat would be internal carriage on the F-22 and the F-35 of a 7-in.-dia. version of HARM now being worked on by Raytheon.

However, Alliant Techsystems, which builds the latest upgrade to HARM, the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radar Guided Missile (Aargm), also has its eyes on trying to address the emerging market and the internal carriage problem. Aargm has a sophisticated millimeter-wave seeker and an INS/GPS and passive radar detector. The company is exploring various options, including fitting the Aargm front end with an enhanced Amraam air-to-air missile motor. Amraam is smaller than HARM and is a baseline weapon for both the F-35 and F-22, so the integration would not be an issue.

Another option being studied would marry the Aargm seeker with the ramjet-powered Meteor missile. There’s already an agreement with MBDA because of Italian interest in the AGM-88E. The air-to-air Meteor is a candidate weapon for the U.K.’s F-35. Another set of fit check trials were due to be carried out in mid-December on a slightly revised missile configuration to provide adequate clearance in the aircraft’s internal bays.