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  1. Americas Black Construction won an $83.7 million deal for design and construction of wharf improvements at Naval Base Guam. The work to be performed includes the renovation and modernization of Berth 2 to provide full capability to support two loaded T-AKE vessels with the proper depth of water, sufficient wharf length, and power and utilities. The Lewis and Clark Class T-AKE is a dry cargo/ammunition ship, totaling 14 ships. Designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services, the T-AKE directly contributes to the ability of the Navy to maintain a forward presence. Work will take place in Guam. Expected completion date is in September 2024. Deloitte Consulting won an estimated $12.5 million contract modification for a training virtual environment (TVE) that will host the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) training curriculum and deliver curriculum packages for CANES baselines. The TVE is a virtualized computing environment that fully replicates the functionality of CANES that provides realistic and testable training and scenarios. The TVE provides a centrally located and integrated learning management system that allows for rapid curriculum updates and configuration changes. Work will take place on California, Arizona, Florida and Virginia. Estimated completion will be by December 2023. Middle East & Africa Israeli defense firm XTEND has inked an agreement with the US Department of Defense to supply hundreds of new Wolverine Gen2 drones to the US military. The unmanned system will be used to protect ground troops, particularly on dangerous missions. Europe UK shipbuilder Babcock has inked a $36.7 million contract to conduct the routine dry-dock maintenance periods of the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) two Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) carriers for the next decade at its dockyard in Rosyth, Fife. Babcock said the 10-year contract also includes the provision of any contingency dockings that may be required over the timeframe of the agreement. Scheduled dockings will be conducted over a six-week period and will include all routine maintenance and repairs that cannot be done when the carriers are afloat. The UK government said the latest contract would help sustain 300 jobs at the yard and the wider supply chain. Asia-Pacific According to Japan’s Sankei news, Tokyo has decided to switch its partner for developing the F-X fighter from Lockheed Martin to BAE Systems. Both countries had announced plans to develop a future fighter aircraft engine demonstrator in December 2021. The aircraft was supposed to be develop by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with assistance from Lockheed Martin. However, talks on how to carry out the development work have run into roadblocks. This prompted Japan to switch the main partner to BAE Systems. Kazakhstan will be able to assemble the ANKA unmanned air vehicle in the future as state-owned Kazakhstan Engineering as it signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkish Aerospace Industries for the production. The memorandum of understanding also covers the repair and maintenance of the ANKA in Kazakhstan. Turkish Aerospace Industries General Manager Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil said, “We are very excited to sign a new production base for our ANKA. Today’s Video WATCH: Meet the XTEND Wolverine, Multi-mission UAS View the full article
  2. Time to raise a topic we first brought up the first year of this blog over 17-years ago; riverine. As we discussed at the time, we invaded a nation, Iraq, dominated by major river systems, yet because of the stupidity of the 1990s defense policies, we divested of our riverine forces. The last units left the reserves just a few years before we would need them again. As a result, we not only did not have the ability to take advantage of the unique mobility riverine environments can provide for our own military operations, we surrendered the waters to the enemy's use unopposed. The requirement was still there, we just ignored it in DC while the US Army did what it could with locally sourced fishing boats. As we have over the years discussing this under-loved topic, let's dig in to it in the context of the Russo-Ukraine War. As always, let's first go the the map room. The Dniester, Bug, Dnieper, and the now famous for the failed river crossing, Donets rivers. Heck, throw in the small part of the Danube in the southwest on the Romanian border. This Texas sized nation is full of large, economically and militarily significant, deep, navigable river systems. I've been thinking even more about this since the video came out last month of the riverine raiding party of Ukrainians and their remarkable fleet of ... The Ukrainian Army launched a waterborne commando raid a few days ago in the Chernihiv area. It ended with an ambush on a Russian military column, taking out 3 vehicles. pic.twitter.com/3Ku8Tgf9xK — Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) April 4, 2022 Yes, they used a collection of fishing, ski, and pleasure boats. Remind you of the images linked above from 2005's Iraq? Read the related article about the raid - it was successful. Before the war, the Ukrainian Navy knew riverine was important, and they had a small fleet, but there wasn't enough time and money - a common pre-war Ukrainian situation. It was on their mind. Just not enough. The Russians are making better use of the riverine environment;Russian patrol boats are racing up the Dnieper River to conduct covert operations deep behind enemy lines, a Ukrainian think tank has said. Boats that can reach Kyiv have been seen speeding upstream from the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, the Centre for Defence Studies (CDS) said. The Dnieper is the fourth longest river in Europe, measuring 13 miles wide at points, and potentially allowing Russian boats to travel deep into Ukrainian-held territory undetected. Defence experts said Russian special forces could be using the missions to mark out targets for air strikes and artillery fire in cities such as Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and the Ukrainian capital itself. The CDS said that Mangust patrol boats had been deployed from Kherson to conduct operations upstream. “The Dnieper River may be the fastest way for them to covertly reach many of the river’s cities, including Kyiv,” the think tank warned. The Mangust patrol boat, which means “Mongoose” in Russian, can travel at speeds of up to 50 knots or about 58 miles per hour. It is armed with a 12.7mm machinegun, two Igla surface-to-air missile launchers and two 30mm grenade launchers. The Russian Black Sea fleet has 26 Mangust boats in its arsenal.This makes sense. There is a shared history of such operations for Russians and Ukrainians. Have you ever heard of the Danube Flotilla? As the Red Army cleared Crimea and the Dniester River of German troops, the Danube Flotilla was re-constituted on the Dniester in April 1944 to assist further offensives. The flotilla assisted the Red Army in operations including the clearing of the Dniester Estuary and the clearing of the Danube Delta, including both troop-carrying and gunfire support for landings at Prymorske and Vylkove on August 23–24, 1944, and at Kiliya on August 25. As the Red Army moved upriver, the Danube Flotilla followed and participated in the Belgrade Offensive, the Budapest Offensive, and the Vienna Offensive.[4] Flotilla operations included assisting in landings at Raduevats and Prahovo on September 29–30, 1944 (even well into the 21st century, the wrecks of about 200 vessels sunk by the Germans to block the landings remain in the Danube at Prahovo), at Smederevo on October 16, at Vukovar on December 8–10, at Gerjen on November 30–December 1, at Esztergom on March 19–23, 1945, and at Radwanska on March 28–30. On April 13, 1945, as the Battle of Vienna was ending, the Flotilla landed troops in a surprise stroke at both ends of the Imperial Bridge in Vienna. This enabled the Red Army to cut the demolition cables and seize the bridge intact. It is almost criminal malpractice not to take full advantage of such river systems. Looking at this note from Jane's in January ... has this been sped up? Time. Never enough and what you need is always late. Plans to rebuild Ukraine's naval capability have taken a further step forward after US company SAFE Boats International received an USD84.2 million contract to deliver six MK VI patrol boats. The award, confirmed by the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on 30 September, combines Building Partner Capacity (BPC) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) funds. The contract includes an option for a further two MK VI craft. The US State Department in June 2020 approved a Foreign Military Sales case for the supply of up to 16 MK VI patrol boats and associated equipment to Ukraine. “The proposed sale will improve Ukraine's capability to meet current and future threats by providing a modern, fast, short-range vessel ... to better defend its territorial waters and protect other maritime interests,” said the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in a statement issued at the time. SAFE Boats International was awarded a USD20 million contract by NAVSEA in December 2020 for long lead time material and associated pre-production and planning support for an initial two MK VI patrol boats for Ukraine. The new award announced at the end of September funds detail design, construction, outfitting, reactivation, and training for six MK VI craft, plus the option for two more units. Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 BPC funds using Ukraine Security Assistance Funding to the amount of USD43.7 million and FY 2021 FMF (Ukraine) funds to the amount of USD40.5 million have been obligated at the time of award. Work is expected to complete in March 2025; the completion date will be extended to March 2026 if the contract options are exercised. There must be more that we can do. Fun note. Guess where the memorial for the Danube Flotilla's Sailors is? Izmail, Ukraine. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=2bfOyOueiZk:a6bWbVLQid4:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=2bfOyOueiZk:a6bWbVLQid4:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=2bfOyOueiZk:a6bWbVLQid4:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=2bfOyOueiZk:a6bWbVLQid4:F7zBnMyn0Lo View the full article
  3. Americas General Dynamics Land won a $29 million deal for Abrams Systems technical support. The M1 Abrams is a third generation main battle tank. Work will take place in Sterling Heights, Michigan, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2023. The first C-130H with eight-bladed propellors assigned to the 133rd Airlift Wing has returned home after modifications. The aircraft arrived home on May 11 at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. Another seven C-130Hs are undergoing the modifications with a completion date by the end of September 2023. After which the cargo planes will get new T56 3.5 turboprop engines. Middle East & Africa SpearUAV, an Israeli company which develops autonomous, AI-based technology for encapsulated SWARM-based UASs, announced last week the completion of a $17 million funding round. The round was led by Israel’s UVision Air, which specializes in aerial loitering munition systems, and a number of other investors. Air UVision stated that following its investment in SpearUAV, it would become a minority shareholder in the company. Europe Ukraine could be operating its most sophisticated air defense missile system in November if a plan by Germany to supply the country with the IRIS-T SLM goes ahead. German media says training of Ukrainian solidiers could start as soon as the German government has approved the plan. Asia-Pacific Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin JV won a $71.4 million contract modification for the Javelin Missile System. Javelin is a man-portable anti-tank guided weapon. The F-Model of the Javelin missile first entered production in 2020 and includes improvements to the missile’s warhead to defeat reactive armor as well as improved case fragmentation that enables the user to strike lightly armored or unarmored targets. Work will take. Place in Arizona. Estimated completion date is February 28, 2025. Fiscal 2022 missile procurement, Army funds; and Foreign Military Sales (Thailand, Norway, Albania and Latvia) funds in the full amount were obligated at the time of the award. Taiwan is scheduled to unveil the design of its new fighter in 2024 and make its first flight in 2025, Up Media reports. The F414-GE-400 has been selected as the power plant while L3Harris will be supplier of the avionics. Ejection seat will be provided by Martin-Baker. Decisions will be made by end of the month to select companies to supply the AESA radar and cockpit displays. Today’s Video WATCH: Germany intends to transfer NATO air defense systems IRIS-T to Ukraine View the full article
  4. What do the numbers tell us about the USN's expected fleet during the rest of what we call the Terrible 20s? We are going to spend an hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern digging in to that question with returning guest Matthew Hipple, active duty Surface Warfare Officer & former president of the Center for International Maritime Security. As a starting point for our conversation we will reference his May 9th article over at CIMSEC, "20 Years of Naval Trends Guarantee a FY23 Shipbuilding Plan Failure." "The FY23 Shipbuilding Plan proposes a 10-year drop in fleet numbers that deviates in spirit from every shipbuilding plan since 2012. During this dangerous decade, the FY23 Shipbuilding Plan returns the fleet to a size that precipitated the period of panic that inspired Congress to enshrine the 355-ship goal into law (Figure 2). The FY23 Long Range Shipbuilding Plan will miss the defunct, minimum goal of 300 ships by another decade, and is less likely to meet the Navy’s legal and operational 355-ship requirement." Join us live if you can, but it not, you can get the show later by subscribing to the podcast. If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here. You can find us on almost all your most popular podcast aggregators as well. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=puRQ9bClAHU:29-Ot_Sjetg:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=puRQ9bClAHU:29-Ot_Sjetg:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=puRQ9bClAHU:29-Ot_Sjetg:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=puRQ9bClAHU:29-Ot_Sjetg:F7zBnMyn0Lo View the full article
  5. Assuming you know what kind of war you are in, (not always known at the time) at the Strategic Level victory is achieved when there is a cascading series of Operational Level victories that brings your enemy to the point of combat ineffectiveness or collapse. At the Operational Level, victories are had when a series of Tactical Level victories achieve Decisive Points along various lines of Operations in support of Objectives and End States and undermining the enemy's Center of Gravity. Some victories are more important than others ... and the smallest thing can make all the difference, even something as simple as listening through the fog for an outboard motor. One day the full story of the the attempted crossing of the Siverskyi Donets river at Bilohorivka will be known, but what we know now is enough for a fullbore: On the morning of May 8 Russia blanketed the river with smoke by burning nearby fields and throwing smoke grenades, he said, but commanders detected the sound of boat engines and called in artillery strikes which caused devastating losses. It came as Ukraine's generals said Russia's offensive in the Donbass has largely stalled, with Putin's troops forced on to the defensive north of Kharkiv as counter-attacks push the invaders back across their own border. In a late-Wednesday update, Ukraine's commander said there had been no major attacks around Izyum - where the bulk of its Donbas force is located - or in Mykolaiv or Kryvyi Rih, hundreds of miles to the south, where it has been forced to reinforce its units after taking casualties. To the north of Kharkiv, commanders said 'occupying forces moved to the defence in order to slow down the pace of the offensive of our troops'. It means the only section of frontline that remains active is around Severodonetsk - where the bridge ambush took place - Donetsk and Mariupol, where Ukrainian defenders are still holding out. ... 'Roughly 20 minutes after recon unit confirmed the Russian bridge was being mounted, heavy artillery engaged against Russian forces, and then aviation chipped in as well. I was still in the area, and I have never seen or heard such heavy combat in my life. 'After one day of combat, 9th May morning the bridge was down. Some Russian forces - roughly 30 to 50 vehicles and infantry - were stuck on the Ukrainian side of the river with no way back. They tried to run away using the broken bridge. Then they tried to arrange a new bridge. 'Aviation started heavy bombing of the area and it destroyed all the remains of Russians there, and the other bridge they tried to make. Rumors say it's 1,500 Russian dead. Their strategic objective was to cross the river and then encircle Lysychansk. They miserably failed.' Russian troop losses in the bombardment are almost impossible to estimate, but online observers have so-far counted 58 destroyed vehicles including at least seven tanks and dozens of armoured infantry carriers. At least one tugboat appears to have been wiped out, along with two pontoon bridges left floating in the river with shell-holes visible in the top of them. Look at the map. You can tell what the Russian were attempting to do with this bridgehead. The Ukrainians continue to exceed all expectations. BZ to them and all the trainers sent to help them since 2014. Read the whole thing from The Daily Mail. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=xyJjY0_ugc8:ilXylkiohrw:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=xyJjY0_ugc8:ilXylkiohrw:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=xyJjY0_ugc8:ilXylkiohrw:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=xyJjY0_ugc8:ilXylkiohrw:F7zBnMyn0Lo View the full article
  6. Americas Lockheed Martin won a $43.6 million order, which provides for diminishing manufacturing sources non-recurring engineering in support of a redesigned panoramic cockpit display electronic unit video mixer for F-35 Lightning II production aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers, and non-US Department of Defense participants. Work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in January 2029. Lockheed Martin Sippican won a $14 million contract modification to exercise options for engineering and maintenance services for the Heavyweight MK48 Torpedo Program at the Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) Pearl Harbor. Work will take place in Hawaii. Expected completion will be by March 2023. Middle East & Africa It was announced that earlier this year, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems alongside the Israeli Navy and Ministry of Defense Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) successfully completed a series of tests on Rafael’s C-GEM naval system. C-GEM is an innovative shipborne off-board RF Active Decoy (RFAD) system protecting naval vessels from anti-ship missiles through electromagnetic spectrum manipulation. C-GEM jams and deceives threats from multiple directions, independent of ship maneuvers. Europe According to the British Royal Air Force, two C-130J Hercules aircraft out of RAF Brize Norton have conducted a low level formation training sortie across the South West of England. the aircraft, after departing Brize Norton, practiced low-level altitude flying near RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. The pair then climbed before practising close-formation airdrop procedures over land. Asia-Pacific The annual migration of Global Hawks based in Andersen Air Force Base, Guam to Japan has started this year. Aircraft from the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron cross the Pacific Ocean on May 11. Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) – the country’s primary military research and development (R&D) organisation – has conducted a series of missile tests from a military base in the southern county of Pingtung. The trials are aligned with Taiwan’s growing efforts to expand its missile development and production capacity in the face of growing tensions with China. Today’s Video WATCH: U.S. Air Force UAV RQ-4 Global Hawk : using a modernised ground control station View the full article
  7. The best thing about LCS is that when you feel the need to take a break from the war in Ukraine, it delivers you news at just the right time. Via our friend Geoff Ziezulewicz at Navy Times;Since its commissioning in 2018, the littoral combat ship Omaha has developed cracks in its hull and superstructure that limit the speed it can travel and the sea states it can operate in.Four years old. Of course, cracks on warships are not new - we saw some issues with OHP, TICO and others ... but this is different. Before we dig more, let's pause a bit and talk to each other as adults. As was amply demonstrated again yesterday on The Hill in front of Congress, our Navy has a loose association with the truth. I'm sorry, that is simply a fact - and it is deeper than LCS or our various shipbuilding problems. There are nicer ways to describe it than "lies" - and "loose association with the truth" is one way. You can call it "happy-talk" or "multi-iterative positivity filtering" if you want to get technical - but really it is just an institutional dysfunction with honesty. It starts with things as basic as our FITREP/EVAL system. You can throw in our awards system on top of it as well. Even our selection boards with their "we don't need photographs to choose the right people but when we got rid of them we had trouble selecting the right people" that sound almost like a lie until you realize that, yes, we are supposed to be part of this lie so its not a lie - it is loyalty to a lie. Etc. In the LCS program's birth at the turn of the century to today, we have seen a path of self-deception that started with hope, then turned to personal loyalty, then careerism to keep what was clearly a sub-optimal program going. As they started to displace water and doubt crept in to those who held out hope that - glory be - no way our Navy leadership could really execute such serial malpractice, a pall of despair began to loiter around the LCS piers. So good people in hard jobs did their best to make the best of previous generations' failures...but at every step there was a need for this reason or that for even the best of people to keep a clear distance from unalloyed candor to themselves, their command, their Navy, and their nation's elected representatives. Was it just pride? Loyalty to people and not institutions ... or simply our culture? Well, those soft-science excuses and habits rarely survive the hard sciences of engineering and metallurgy. Those don't respond to spin or POM cycles. The last couple of years we simply had to surrender to reality and began to decommission non-operational LCS well before their expected life. We've relegated the odd-digit FREEDOM Class to secondary or no duty...but...even ole' Sal held out hope that the INDEPENDENCE Class would find of some utility. The original sin of two decades ago - those compromises and waving away of technology risk - has caught up to even them;Half of the Navy’s littoral combat ship fleet is suffering from structural defects that have led to hull cracks on several vessels, limiting the speed and sea states in which some ships can operate, according to internal records obtained by Navy Times and confirmed by sea service officials....documents obtained by Navy Times warn that cracks can grow if the ships transits faster than 15 knots in seas with maximum wave heights of about eight feet....Such cracks have since been discovered on six of those LCS variants, according to Baribeau, nearly half of the 13-ship Independence class fleet.There you go. The core requirement was 40+ knots ... yet in 2022 we find what many of us warned about almost two decades ago. What do you see here?Asked whether the six ships suffering from hull cracks are operating with those cracks, Baribeau again responded that “all Independence variant ships have been inspected and are able to meet their operational requirements.” The four-to-eight foot wave range of sea state 4 is “fairly common,” according to Martin, who reviewed the records for Navy Times. “Being unable to go at speed in sea state 4 is a pretty significant limitation,” he said. “Fifteen knots is a transit speed, a very normal transit speed, less than half of LCS’s supposed maximum speed.”Again, we see the customer - the Navy - talking as if they work FOR industry and not as a customer OF industry. They know the truth, but can't speak it? Why? Well my sweet summer child - that is the culture. As we can't avoid the Russo-Ukrainian War's lessons, what is one of the primary ones we have seen? It is clear that the Russian military had an uncomfortable relationship with the truth. They lied up their chain of command about their readiness. They lied about their training. They lied about their material condition. How did that work out for them? That can be papered over in peace - but you can't paper over such things at war. BZ to Geoff for keeping this in the news. We need to raise the profile of every LCS failure so it can be an example to future program managers. Well, that is the theory at least. Let's see how FFG-62 works out. The French and Italians did a good job with their FREMM. They've teed the ball up for us - will we hit it? http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CCfWqBynz2s:jCDOMP7e3-M:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CCfWqBynz2s:jCDOMP7e3-M:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CCfWqBynz2s:jCDOMP7e3-M:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CCfWqBynz2s:jCDOMP7e3-M:F7zBnMyn0Lo View the full article
  8. Americas General Atomics has announced the availability of a short takeoff and landing (STOL) wing and tail kit for the MQ-9B. The American company had demonstrated STOL capability on a modified Gray Eagle Extended Range platform last year under its Mojave initiative. The new MQ-9B STOL kit can fold upwards so that the unmanned air vehicle can be parked on the deck or in the hangar bay, of an aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship. Raytheon won a $272.7 million performance-based logistics requirements contract to provide logistics, repair, and upgrade support for 15 Multi-Spectral Targeting System Forward-Looking Infrared components in support of MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters. The deal will include a five-year base period with one two-year option period which if exercised, will bring the total estimated value to $376,414,525. Work will take place in Florida and Texas. Expected completion will be by May 2027; if the option is exercised, work is expected to be completed by May 2029. Middle East & Africa The Morganti Group won a $14.7 million deal to construct an air traffic control tower. Work will take place in Azraq, Jordan. Estimated completion date is June 18, 2024. US Army Corps of Engineers, Middle East District, is the contracting activity Europe Multinational defense firm Elbit Systems has been chosen to provide training technologies for the UK navy’s future Dreadnought-class submarines. The solution will reportedly be provided to British soldiers prior to the deployment of the submarine to ensure “safe and competent” operations. Asia-Pacific Anduril Industries will develop three Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XL-AUVs) for the Royal Australian Navy. The three-year, 140 million Australian dollars ($100 million) co-funded program will see long-endurance AUVs integrated with multi-mission payloads for military and non-military missions such as “advanced intelligence, infrastructure inspection, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting,” the company stated. South Korea’s new President Yoon Suk-yeol called for the “complete denuclearization” of the North at his swearing-in on Tuesday, describing Pyongyang’s weapons as a threat to regional and global security. Yoon, 61, who started work in an underground bunker with a security briefing on North Korea, took office at a time of high tensions on the peninsula, with Pyongyang conducting a record 15 weapons tests since January. Today’s Video WATCH: BAE System Build Most Powerful Dreadnought Class Submarine for UK View the full article
  9. Have you been waiting for more substantial push back by Congress about the Navy's self-deluding happy talk, their iffy deployment numbers, and sleepwalking in to disaster should war come? Do you see the disconnect between warfighting requirements west of Wake and the looming VLS cell issues in the Davidson Window? Are you concerned that not enough people - even in 2022 - see the Terrible 20s headwind? Behold from today's HASC hearing on FY23 Navy Budget. Mr. Secretary, your FY23 Navy Budget Book paints a rosy picture… that does not match reality. pic.twitter.com/sfQKxWAVqF — Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) May 11, 2022 http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MKVZx25B86M:4nWHAb47vt4:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MKVZx25B86M:4nWHAb47vt4:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MKVZx25B86M:4nWHAb47vt4:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MKVZx25B86M:4nWHAb47vt4:F7zBnMyn0Lo View the full article
  10. Americas A US Air Force KC-46A crew has flown the aerial refueling aircraft for 24.2 hours in a mission to gather human factors data on long-duration flights. The aircraft was flown by four pilots working on four-hour shifts with another two pilots acting as backup. They were joined by three boom operators, a photojournalist, and a physician assistant. Taking off from McConnell Air Force Base on May 5, the jet landed back at McConnell Air Force Base the next day with just one refueling from a KC-46A. Korte Construction Co., doing business as The Korte Co. won $37 million firm-fixed-price contract to design and construct an operations and test facility. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will take place at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, with an estimated completion date of May 5, 2024. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles, California, is the contracting activity. Middle East & Africa Iran has claimed that the production of two indigenous destroyers, the Zagros and Damavand-2, has made significant progress and that they will join the country’s navy “in the near future.” As per the Iranian Navy, the studies related to the manufacturing of the destroyers have been completed and they are soon expected to enter the production phase. Europe According to Defense News, US Pentagon leaders are asking Congress for new authorities when it comes to cooperative defense programs with the European Union, a prospect officials on both sides of the Atlantic have said will complement traditional NATO processes. Defense officials circulated legislative language to that effect on Capitol Hill this month in hopes of having it included in the annual defense policy bill now on the congressional docket. German defense manufacturer Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) announced that it has delivered 3,000 unprotected transport vehicles (UTVs) to the German military. The delivery was part of a 2017 contract to produce 2,000 UTVs capable of carrying up to 15 tons (30,000 pounds) of payload. Asia-Pacific Australia has announced plans to acquire 12 more MH-60R naval helicopters and 29 AH-64E attack helicopters. The MH-60R contract will include a 13th aircraft to replace one that was lost in 2021. All will be based at HMAS Albatross. Boeing says it welcomes Australia’s decision as the AH-64E Apache provides Australia with a low-risk, fully-integrated, battle-proven capability. Today’s Video WATCH: MH-60R Seahawk Best Anti Submarine Helicopter View the full article
  11. Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad In his autobiography, Charles H. Bogart has provided readers with a thoroughly enjoyable look at his experiences in the United States Navy from 1958-1961. Written with a good sense of humor, the book provides an intimate look into the day-to-day experiences of young men on board the radar picket destroyer, U.S.S. Dennis J. Buckley (DDR 808), that operated out of Long Beach, California. Bogart served as a radarman, occasionally worked at “mess cooking,” and even attended firefighting school. Bogart takes his readers through three years of enlisted service from Boot Camp to Radar School to four West-Pac journeys. “Denny J’s” travels included four deployments to the Western Pacific while Bogart served on board and included stops in the South China Sea, Yokosuka Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, Midway, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Formosa (Taiwan). Because the book was a compilation of several writings of Bogart, some content is repetitious, yet that did not detract from his explanation of his tours of duty. The book is particularly good for those unfamiliar with procedures and customs of enlisted sailors onboard a destroyer. He provided minute details, such as the number of berthing spaces on the ship to the exchange rate for the Military Payment Certificates issued to sailors in while they went ashore in Japan. Bogart did not assume that readers would understand naval vocabulary, such a “bogey” (unknown aircraft) or “bandits” (enemy aircraft). By not making such assumptions, Bogart permits even the most inexperienced reader to understand his explanations. While off-duty and in the United States, Bogart often visited the local communities or spent a great deal of time in the base library or USO facilities. He noted the difficulties of staying off-base at a church facility that provided a cot to sleep on, as well as encouragement to convert to the church’s religion, all for fifty cents. The maintenance of “Denny J” was of particular interest. The number of times the vessel had to repainted proved fascinating and to hear that the ship was even painted by an all-female painting company in Hong Kong proved even more so. Bogart’s description of taking tours of the areas he visited while in, for example, Yokosuka and Hong Kong do not sound that much different from twenty-first century sailors’ experiences overseas. Noting few negative experiences, Bogart complained that the chaplain never spoke with the crew and the Protestant services were often led by enlisted men. As a Catholic, he assisted the priest during masses. Bogart also explained that he was often seasick but that after a few days, his body adjusted to the ship and sea’s movements. For a seasoned sailor, the book will bring back many memories, good and bad, but for those unfamiliar with life onboard a destroyer, Bogart provides an excellent look into a sailor’s experiences. Bogart gives his readers an enthusiastic sense of his positive experience in the United States Navy. Diana L. Ahmad is a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor with the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Department of History and Political Science. She is also a Book Review Editor for Nevada State Historical Quarterly. A Kentucky Boy in the U.S Navy, 1958-1961. By Charles H. Bogart. (Frankfort, KY: Yellow Sparks Press, 2022). The post A Kentucky Boy in the U.S Navy, 1958-1961 first appeared on Naval Historical Foundation. View the full article
  12. Reviewed by Dr. Ernie Marshall The author is an award-winning freelance journalist and independent author/historian whose previous books include: The Millionaire’s Unit: The Aristocrat Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power; 1941: Fighting the Shadow War; and The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta. With half a score of books written about Admiral Rickover, Wortman’s book is largely a retelling of the story but with his interpretive view of the man. Rickover is one of the most interesting figures in U.S. Naval history. He was born Chaim Godalia Rykower in the small Polish town of Mako’w-Mazowiecki to devoutly orthodox Jewish parents. His family immigrated to the U. S. to escape both their poverty and a dangerous antisemitic environment. Americanizing their names, Chaim was changed to Hyman. In 1918, he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy where he discovered a form of antisemitism to be alive and well. There were few Jews among the midshipmen and Hyman, diminutive in stature, was often referred to by his fellows as the “little Jew.” He was not widely liked but battled through to be graduated with the class of 1922. In the 1940s, the secrets of the atom were being revealed and the Manhattan Project led to the creation of the atom bomb. Simultaneously, however, scientists and engineers recognized the potential of the atom as a source of nuclear power for non-destructive purposes such as generating electricity, and the Navy embarked on a number of programs to develop nuclear power for the propulsion of surface vessels and submarines. Most of the nuclear projects were federally-funded hybrids of military and civilian personnel. Rickover had transferred to the restricted line in 1937 as an Engineering Duty Only (EDO) officer which meant that command on the high seas was not his future. Nonetheless, he had found his place in the Navy – nuclear power. The Navy sent Rickover to Oak Ridge to become involved in nuclear projects, but his education was multifactorial, and he read anything he could get his hands on dealing with the science and engineering of nuclear power. He made himself indispensable within the Navy’s nuclear development program. Rickover was a difficult – often abrasive – personality with a single-minded quest for power. He knew how to achieve power and, fortunately, how to put it to appropriate use for the benefit of whatever project was in front of him. Yet, his methods created enemies. Rickover was a driving force behind the timely development of the nuclear powered U.S.S. Nautilus (SSN 571) and he went on to develop other nuclear powered surface ships and submarines. Secretary of the Navy Dan Kimball referred to the Nautilus as the most important piece of development work in the history of the Navy. Rickover came to be known as “the father of the nuclear Navy,” and Wortman claims – justifiably – that Rickover emerged as “the greatest engineer in military history and among the most influential engineers ever.” Among his other achievements, Rickover became the longest-serving admiral in U.S. Navy history and, true to his nature, his final days were at times rough when it came to interpersonal matters, but, just as he had “survived” his four years at the Academy, he “survived” a remarkable career. Wortman notes Rickover’s commitment to and track record of nuclear safety while also emphasizing his commitment to education. Because other books about Admiral Rickover have dealt with the issues described above, one must ask, “Why another book (Wortman’s)?” Almost no new primary source material was introduced, and his endnotes are replete with primary and secondary source materials given by previous authors. Wortman feels that the previous books dealt heavily with technical matters such as nuclear reactor development, ship building, etc. and did not deal sufficiently with Rickover-the-man – i.e., his education, philosophy and work ethic. Wortman has sought to add more “human” touches to the story and to make him and his contributions accessible to a larger audience while emphasizing that Rickover’s legacy is a living one. Wortman’s writing style is elegant and makes for easy reading. A minor – and perhaps insignificant – critique relates to the cover image – it is a cropped version of the same photograph of Rickover that appears on the cover of the Allen & Polmar book. Wortman’s book contains no photographic images in support of the text. Wortman’s book fills an important void. It is a title in the Jewish Lives award-winning series published in partnership with Yale University Press and the Leon D. Black Foundation and, thus, cements a place for Admiral Rickover and the American Navy in the Jewish experience. While not highly original in content, it is a delightful, entertaining, and informative read. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the history of the American Navy. Admiral Hyman Rickover: Engineer of Power. By Marc Wortman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022). The post Admiral Hyman Rickover: Engineer of Power first appeared on Naval Historical Foundation. View the full article
  13. I just dropped this tweet as an afterthought on twitter last night and it received a LOT of interest so I thought I would bring it over to the blog for review and discussion. Again, the Austrian Army is providing the best briefs on the Russo-Ukrainian War. Col. Markus Reisner, AUT Army sets the benchmark. If your German is iffy, you can get English subtitles in settings by going Settings<Subtitles/CC<English. The Kursk-Donbas side by side is exceptional at the 13-minute mark. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=aJhgQXCoD6g:koQ4UyYrX5c:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=aJhgQXCoD6g:koQ4UyYrX5c:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=aJhgQXCoD6g:koQ4UyYrX5c:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=aJhgQXCoD6g:koQ4UyYrX5c:F7zBnMyn0Lo View the full article
  14. Americas Lockheed Martin won a $14.5 million contract modification to exercise options for Machinery Control System production shipsets in support of both the DDG 51 modernization program and the DDG 51 new construction program. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by June 202. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington DC, is the contracting activity. Sikorsky Aircraft won a $12.3 million modification, which exercises an option to provide production system engineering and program management support in support of CH-53K low-rate initial production. Work will take place in Connecticut. Expected completion will be in May 2023. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Middle East & Africa The Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced that it has signed contracts with the US and France to import advanced military weapons and equipment. According to senior military commander Major General Abd Al-Ardawi, the agreements include the supply of high-powered artillery systems that have recently proven effective in fighting extremist groups. Europe The British Army will reportedly soon see its Coyote six-wheeled tactical vehicles equipped with 105-millimeter Howitzer weapon systems. The Coyote is currently equipped with the Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon, currently used by Ukraine to destroy Russian tanks. Although the armored vehicle already has a powerful weapon, British Army experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria reportedly highlighted the need for the Coyote to have additional firepower. The joint venture of Nexter and Texelis has handed over the first SERVAL 4×4 light armoured multi-role vehicles (véhicule blindé multi-rôles, VBMR) to the French Ministry of Defence. The companies have announced that a total of 70 vehicles will be delivered this year. The French procurement agency had ordered a first batch of 364 SERVALs in early 2021. The SCORPION programme, the objective of which is to renew the French Army’s medium armoured vehicles, foresees 689 vehicles in the first phase Asia-Pacific The militaries of Britain and Japan will “work more closely together” under a defense deal that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced during talks with his Japanese counterpart on May 5. Johnson hosted Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at 10 Downing Street. He commented on the “strong stance” Japan has taken “against the Russian aggression in Ukraine” and drew a parallel with the security situation in Asia. Today’s Video WATCH: Inside The Largest Marine Helicopter | CH-53K King Stallion View the full article
  15. History is funny about how it delivers leaders. Some nations, when they need it most, are given the worst leaders who on paper at least, should have been the right leader at the right time. Other nations are provided leaders who, on paper, seem to be a disaster in the making ... but don't just rise to the occasion, come to dominate the occasion. A comic. They elected a comic. Ukraine's President Zelensky's May 9th address to his nation - and to everyone else - is a masterpiece of the right man at the right time with the right words. Take time to listen to it. This is what a sharp, vibrant, focused, and grounded leader looks like. At least at this moment, at this time, I don't see how a nation in a place such as Ukraine's could get a better leader. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=nnvsRqb1gms:1XlCu4f2S_A:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=nnvsRqb1gms:1XlCu4f2S_A:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=nnvsRqb1gms:1XlCu4f2S_A:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=nnvsRqb1gms:1XlCu4f2S_A:F7zBnMyn0Lo View the full article
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