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The Two USAF Hypersonic Programmes Awarded to Lockheed Martin

The Two USAF Hypersonic Programmes Awarded to Lockheed Martin

WASHINGTON, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 9 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva, Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Chad Bellay

In a response to the recent China and Russia breakthroughs in extremely high-speed weapons and exactly the surprising developments in hypersonic weapons, the U.S. Air Forces launches two programs for the rapid development and fielding of two hypersonic missiles. Newly-released documents for acquisition, point out that Lockheed Martin is the contractor for the new programmes, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Both programmes were revealed while the Department of Defense of U.S. has decided to take part in the competition and to respond to the hypersonic testing by China and Russia since 2016. Most recent of them was reported on 5 August by state media, broadcasting that a hypersonic wave rider vehicle, similar to Boeing X-51, successfully completed a test, at the end of the last week, in northwestern China. And previously this year Russian president, Vladimir Putin displayed the Kinzhal (“Dagger”) missile, which upon launch from a MiG-31 is capable of hypersonic speed.

Read more: General: The USA Has No Defences Against the Weapons of Russia and China

Since April, this year, it is known that Lockheed’s Missiles and Space company has been awarded a potential $928 million contract for the programme for developing the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). But according to newly-release documents, it becomes clear that in July 2017, the UASF selected Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control division for another separate programme, which is for the quick development and fielding of the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW).

The ARRW, known as AGM-183A, comes from the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) programme, that Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started in 2014. ARRW operates by using a rocket to boost the missile to very high altitudes, and then glides down to lower altitudes, reaching speed up to Mach 20.

Read more: Russia May Boast with at Least Six Super Weapons

Since the original deal was structured as an extension to a DARPA contract for TBG programme, the USAF decided to restructure the terms of the contract by proceeding in the service’s own acquisition. Although the $780 million ARRW contract was awarded to Lockheed more than a year ago, this summer the USAF was forced to open the competition again and reconsidered the other two bidders – Boeing and Raytheon – that previously had been disqualified under the DARPA programme. Although their previous disqualification, both companies responded to the USAF’s latest call for information in July.

Read more: Lockheed Martin’s Last Upgraded C-5 Delivered to US Air Force

But none of the proposals met the USAF’s requirements for ARRW, except Lockheed’s concept. Boeing was dismissed for adding too much risk, according to USAF, by the offered different propulsion systems for development and production versions of the weapon. And the presented hypersonic design by them, rather flew a ballistic re-entry trajectory, than a boost-glide trajectory as required. And the proposal of Raytheon Missile Systems was criticized by USAF for the lack of details about the required efforts to field a flight-qualified weapon, though the compliant boost-glide concept they offered.

Lockheed’s proposal was considered far more detailed and compatible with the ARRW requirement, according to the U.S. Air Forces. They also pointed out that one of Lockheed’s advantages is their work with suppliers in order to be prepared to meet the “required production rate at 36 months after contract award.”

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Northrop Grumman’s IAMD Battle Command System Showed Long Distance Ability in а Test

Northrop Grumman’s IAMD Battle Command System Showed Long Distance Ability in а Test

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 21 August 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Northrop Grumman

On 15th August 2018 Northrop Grumman announced that its IAMD (Integrated Air and Missile Defence) Battle Command System (IBCS) has been recently tested by the US Army. The system successfully showed its ability to scale up and network across long distances, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The test and evaluation was carried out by US Army soldiers within a period of five weeks with air and missile defence assets, situated at sites in Alabama, New Mexico, and Texas.

The vice president and general manager, missile defence and protective systems at Northrop Grumman Dan Verwiel commented, “The ability of IBCS to integrate sensors and shooters over a vast area and grow the single integrated air picture offers huge advantages to air defenders and the joint forces. This was demonstrated using an operationally realistic equipment laydown across several states and showed how IBCS is truly a force multiplier,” and added, “This Soldier Checkout Event (SCOE) demonstrated the ability of IBCS to scale broadly. It further demonstrated IBCS’ robust network management technologies to efficiently and effectively maintain voice, data and video connectivity for the warfighter’s increasingly complex and challenging environment.”

IBCS is the most important component of the US Army’s future IAMD construct. The program is controlled by the Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

As part of SCOE 4.0, the multi-node distributed test tried out the IBCS’ scalability, resilience and performance in tense situations. The open-architecture IBCS networked more than 20 nodes across Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; and Fort Bliss, Texas. In that connection, it shall be mentioned that the test also involved dynamic adding and removing of nodes so that the IBCS’ ability to self-configure as a mobile ad hoc network to be verified.

Integrated to work as a single system, the test included nine IBCS engagement operations centres and 12 IBCS integrated fire control network relays, along with Sentinel short range air defence radars and Patriot radars, Patriot Advance Capability Two (PAC-2), PAC-3 and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement interceptors.

Thanks to the IBCS, air and missile defence commanders can control forces over large distances by using the available means of communications, no matter what they are. Presently, the capabilities of commanders are restricted by the proprietary and limited networks tied to the individual closed systems.

Read more: US Marines Received The First AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar
Read more: Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman’s Joint Venture with Contracts at $170 Million

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Sarcos Robotics Received a Second Exoskeleton Development Contract from the USAF

Sarcos Robotics Received a Second Exoskeleton Development Contract from the USAF

SALT LAKE CITY and BELLEVUE, Wash., the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 20 August 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Sarcos Robotics

The global leader in the manufacturing of full-body exoskeleton robots for industrial and military applications Sarcos Robotics announced on 13th August 2018 the receipt of a second exoskeleton development contract from the U.S. Air Force, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The first contract was awarded in 2017 and its subject was quasi-powered, full-body exoskeleton robots, which facilitate lifting of loads of up to 36.29 kg (80 lb). Now the second contract is directed to an improved variant that will be capable of lifting loads of up to 90.72 kg (200 lb) and is especially focussed on use cases related to Air Force logistics applications.

Ben Wolff, chairman and chief executive officer of Sarcos Robotics, commented, “We are very pleased to have been awarded a second contract to expand our work with the United States Air Force. The Air Force is leading the charge when it comes to developing next-generation robotics technologies that combine human intelligence with the strength, endurance and precision of machines to serve as a force multiplier while also dramatically reducing the risk of injury. These exoskeletons will be a game-changer for the Air Force.”

About Sarcos Robotics

Sarcos is a U.S. company, headquarted in Salt Lake City. It was established in 1983 and specializes in developing and manufacturing robotic devices for military and public safety applications. The Sarcos’ Iron Man-like exoskeleton robot was named by Time Magazine one of “The 50 Best Inventions of 2010”.

The work of Sarcos Robotics is mainly directed toward commercializing of a family of three dexterous robots, thanks to which human operators can perform tasks in physical environments, which are inaccessible or quite dangerous for people, or in cases when the task itself is quite dangerous or time consuming and people are not able to perform it safely or efficiently.

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Two of Three Bell 429s Delivered to the Jamaica Defence Force

Two of Three Bell 429s Delivered to the Jamaica Defence Force

FORT WORTH, TX, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 20 August 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Bell Helicopter

On 13th August 2018, the Textron Inc. company, Bell Helicopter, revealed the delivery of two Bell 429 helicopters to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and in 2019 the JDF will expect a delivery of a third Bell 429, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The intention is the three Bell 429s to be used in various missions such as medical evacuations, search and rescue, natural disaster relief, and national security and military training.

Jay Ortiz, senior vice president, Commercial Business – Americas, commented, “We are proud to celebrate today’s delivery and strengthen our rich history with the JDF. The Bell 429 is the most technologically advanced aircraft in its class and these modern platforms will provide the JDF with enhanced mission capabilities well into the future.”

The helicopter operations of the JDF, started with two Bell 47Gs, date back to 1963. The JDF active fleet involves four Bell 407s, two Bell 206s, and two Bell 412s.

The JDF’s Colonel Adjutant Quartermaster and a former Commanding Officer of the JDF Air Wing Colonel Roderick Williams said, “Over the years, our mission has evolved resulting in the need to acquire the Bell 429 to more effectively meet the demands of our mission profiles and further prove our rotary wing capability. The Bell 429 offers excellent performance and advanced avionics with outstanding maintainability and aircraft readiness for multi-mission operations.”

The multipurpose utility helicopter Bell 429 offers an extremely smooth and quiet ride, as well as a comfortable large cabin. The advanced capabilities of the light, twin-engine Bell 429 helicopter include single-pilot IFR, Runway Category A operations, and an integrated avionics glass cockpit. The balance between rigidity and flexibility, safety and durability is achieved through the use of metallic and composite parts in the construction of the aircraft operated as of July 2018 in 42 countries, including Australia, France, Indonesia, Kuwait, Oman, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom

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Four New Commando Brigades and Military Appointments in Turkey

Four New Commando Brigades and Military Appointments in Turkey
Photo credit: Military Images.net

ANKARA, Turkey (BulgarianMilitary.com), 17 August 2018, Editor: Stanislava Georgieva

Alongside with the new presidential cabinet of Turkey, at the meeting of the Turkish Supreme Military Council, held in August, were taken the first steps of the new defense conception that concern restructuring changes, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The meeting is seen as one of the most critical considering the structural changes and the new appointments in the supreme command staff, in particular the positions for brigade commanders that will be occupied by competent and decisive officers.

Read more: Turkey and Rolls-Royce Will Soon Finalize the TF-X Engine Deal

The establishment of units in the format of “divisional general / brigadier general – senior civilian civil servant” in several Ministry of National Defense structures, aiming to ensure more technical and professional service, has lead to a reformation of the relationship between civilians and military. These changes happened after the former Chief of the General Staff, Hulusi Akar, was nominated for Minister of National Defense, by the President Erdogan, last month.

Referring to the fact of increasing military threats and the changing needs of the Armed Forces of Turkey, The Supreme Military Council also has made an important decision to increase the number of the existing 12 Commando brigades to 16, under Recep Tayyip Erdogan presidential post.

Read more: Tax breaks and loans for attracting investments in Turkish defence programs

Inittialy the community was familiar with the establishment of four Commando brigades- 11th Commando brigade dislocated in Denizli, 7th Commando brigade – Sakarya Province, 17th Commando brigade – Trabzon, 41st Commando brigade – Kırklareli. Later on, to them were assigned similar classical-type combat units in the cities of Kayseri, Bolu, Hakkâri, and Tunceli. Due to urgent needs, two more brigades have been established in the area of Bingöl- Siirt (southeastern Anatolia), as well as and two special gendarmerie brigades. Thus, over the years, the number of the Turkish highly effective and fully professional Commando brigades amounted to 12. Up to now, when their number is increased with four more according to the decision of the Supreme Military Council.

During the August meeting of the Supreme Military Council, also have been overcome the previous meeting difficulties, in lack of personnel provision, by increasing the number of the Turkish generals and admirals to 244. After the coup attempt on 15 July 2016, their number was reduced from 360 to 215, as it is in normal peacetime conditions.

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