Army, Contractors & Vendors, Policy, tech

Roadmap for Army's future combat vehicles coming

Jane’s reports that the US Army will release its new direction for ground combat vehicles in September. After canceling the majority of the Future Combat Systems program’s vehicles, the Army is taking a new look at what new vehicles should be built, and how current vehicles should be incorporated across the Army’s Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs).

The Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, hosted a workshop on June 15 at the National Defense University to bring together the Army’s ground vehicle thought leaders to hammer out the way ahead for a new ground combat vehicle. “We will work to include both lessons from the current fight and what we’ve learned from technology and build a better vehicle,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey.

While FCS was cancelled, it is expected that the FCS Network and the System of Systems Common Operating Environment (SoSCOE) Boeing developed for the vehicles will likely be incorporated into both the new ground combat vehicle and existing vehicles, according to people familiar with the program.

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Air Force, Contractors & Vendors, Defense Department

Boeing baffled by C-130 modernization program holdup

(UPDATE: The Air Force is reportedly considering C-130 AMP for cancellation. )

Jane’s reports that Boeing is chomping at the bit to move forward with Milestone C for its  C-130 Avionics Modernization Program. The Air Force cancelled the scheduled Defense Aquisition Board meeting on July 3o a few days in advance, and has not yet rescheduled.

Mark Angelo, program manager for C-130 AMP, told Jane’s that he and Boeing “have been given no idea as to … why it was postponed. With development complete, the risk is behind us, and the aircraft upgrade is ready.”

The C-130 AMP program is intended to “modernize, standardize, and reduce total ownership cost for the US Air Force C-130 fleet,” according to Boeing.  Its features include a “glass cockpit”, with the majority of instrumentation replaced by digital displays. Milestone C is the acquisition process decision point that approves the production and deployment of a system.

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Coalition/Allies, Space, tech

South Korean satellite fails to orbit

YONHAP NEWS reports that South Korea’s first attempt to put its own satellite into orbit has failed.  One of the two fairings — the aerodynamic covers for the satellite–failed to detach, resulting in it not achieving enough lift to make orbit.  The satellite is suspected to have re-entered and burned up.
“Only one fairing was ejected 216 seconds after launch with the other section remaining in place until the Science and Technology Satellite-2 (STSAT-2) separated from the second stage rocket 540 seconds into the flight, the ministry in charge of the country’s science and technology policies said. ‘The fairings weigh 300kg or three times more than the scientific satellite, making it effectively impossible for the second stage rocket to generate the necessary thrust to keep the satellite in orbit,’ said Vice Science and Technology Minister Kim Jung-hyun.”

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Defense Department, Iran, Policy, Soutwest Asia

Iran’s Sejil missile ‘threatens Europe’

Iran’s Sejil missile ‘threatens Europe’ .

“Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel’s ballistic missile defense program, says Iran has made a “technological and strategic breakthrough” with its Sejil-2 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which will be able to hit a swathe of European states in three to four years.That assertion…intensified concerns that Iran has stepped up its drive to acquire ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. He said that the two-stage Sejil-2 has an estimated range of 1,560 miles, not 1,250 miles as previously thought, and that the successful testing of a solid-fueled missile on May 20 was a major breakthrough for Iran.”

Watch for this being used as justification of additional work on the land-based ABM defense, and, as a result, further diplomatic tension with Russia over that system — either that, or the Obama administration is going to have to come to some sort of agreement with Russia over cooperative policies on Iran and on missile defense.

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Defense Department, Iran, Policy, Soutwest Asia

Iran's Sejil missile 'threatens Europe'

Iran’s Sejil missile ‘threatens Europe’ .

“Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel’s ballistic missile defense program, says Iran has made a “technological and strategic breakthrough” with its Sejil-2 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which will be able to hit a swathe of European states in three to four years.That assertion…intensified concerns that Iran has stepped up its drive to acquire ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. He said that the two-stage Sejil-2 has an estimated range of 1,560 miles, not 1,250 miles as previously thought, and that the successful testing of a solid-fueled missile on May 20 was a major breakthrough for Iran.”

Watch for this being used as justification of additional work on the land-based ABM defense, and, as a result, further diplomatic tension with Russia over that system — either that, or the Obama administration is going to have to come to some sort of agreement with Russia over cooperative policies on Iran and on missile defense.

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Afghanistan, Coalition/Allies, Defense Department, Soutwest Asia

Stavridis: Afghanistan Situation Challenging, But Winnable

DefenseLink News Article: Stavridis: Afghanistan Situation Challenging, But Winnable.

The situation in Afghanistan is “extremely serious,” Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis wrote, but he expressed confidence that “the coalition, working with the Afghan people, will ultimately win.”

Adm. Stavridis, the new NATO commander and former commander of US Southern Command, is at least not pulling punches.  He laid out what he sees as the keys to success in Afghanistan, and none of them are easy. Stopping collateral damage, balancing civil and military activities, and training the Afghan forces–all of these are pretty traditional counterinsurgency tasks made all the much harder by the geography and political economy of Afghanistan.  And then there’s owning the information war:

— Effective strategic communication. Messages must be well defined and communicated to the citizens of Afghanistan as well as to the 42 nations that make up the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force there, Stavridis said. Meanwhile, he cited the need for a truthful, realistic antidote to negative Taliban messaging.

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