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I tagli di Gates


Rick86

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Io invece dei tagli di Gates mi dispiaccio solo per il VH-71....era l'ennesima vetrina per mostrare l'eccellenza italiana, adesso non lo sarà più.

Sinceramente se ha tagliato il C-17 o l'F-22 non mi importa un granchè...gli USA oggi che mancano i soldi tagliano, domani che la situazione sarà migliorata finanzieranno il doppio, ma nel mentre qualche trabiccolo made-in-usa sarà diventato il nuovo Marine One.

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Rileggendo queste pagine vorrei precisare un punto chiave che non è stato affatto toccato.

 

I "tagli di Gates" in realtà non sono tali....o meglio ancora non lo sono e non è detto che lo siano.

 

Mi spiego:

quelle di Gates sono solo raccomandazioni al Congresso, il quale è l'organo a cui è deputata la decisione finale sui finanziamenti o sui tagli da operare (salvo improbabili veti del Presidente). In passato di fronte a queste raccomandazioni si sono viste decisioni del tutto opposte da parte del Congresso...talune volte certi programmi che si voleva fortemente tagliare sono stati tenuti in vita dal Congresso.

 

Quindi per l'F-22 non è ancora detta l'ultima parola, così come per il C-17....

 

Per il VH-71 le cose stanno in modo differente: il costosissimo Incremente One è ancora da perfezionare e nonostante ciò non è conforme alle specifiche minime richieste dal bando, l' Increment Two costa quanto un Air Force One, la lobby del Made-in-USA è più forte e agguerrita che mai, la crisi galoppa e qualche progetto va tagliato. Mettete insieme questi indizi e avrete la prova che il VH-71 difficilmente sarà confermato come elicottero presidenziale dal voto del Congresso.

 

EDIT: riguardo all'F-35 Gates ritiene nelle sue raccomandazioni che il costo del programma non subirà rilevanti flessioni....checchè ne dica il GAO.

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Conosco molto bene la situazione cinese e se la racontassero veramente in Italia chi si scandalizza per i managers sequestrati si rizzirebbero i capelli in testa, là ne hanno già linciati più d'uno e le autorità non sanno cosa fare per contenere la rabbia di chi resta senza lavoro dall'oggi all'indomani. Sì, i tempi sono cambiati, ma si tratta pur sempre di una dittatura, e la Cina, comunque, mi preoccupa sempre meno della (Nuova) URSS.

E uno che in tempi di crisi annuncia il riarmo non è poi così tranquillizzante. Senza contare che poi, al riarmo, bisognerà dargli un motivo. In molti, io compreso sostengono che sia uno dei fattori che portarono l'Italia fascista in guerra. Non lo so ma per me in quel di Mosca vorrebbero approfittare di come si affronta la crisi in Occidente.

 

Comunque, pap, dubito che il Congresso respinga delle raccomandazioni del genere, a meno di non volersi trovare contro tutta l'opinione pubblica americana. E mi associo al dispiacere per il VH-71, il danno di immagine è enorme, ai più sembrerà che sia colpa di Finmeccanica. Se vogliamo trovare un lato positivo, la MMI o l'AMI avranno delle bestioline quasi in pronta consegna pagate in toto da Obama!

 

Per quanto riguarda il sostituto dell'HumVee, invece, non credo che una collaborazione con Iveco sia del tutto improbabile. Per spendere meno credo si butteranno su qualcosa di convenzionale, magari sfruttando la base del Lince per studiarci su una piattaforma modulare, chi lo dice... Alla fine, di un fuoristrada, il sistema di trazione conta molto, e costa molto progettarne uno nuovo.

 

Esterrefatto per la Navy. Spero sul serio che la prevista affidabilità delle nuove PA compenserà l'enorme vuoto lasciato da un'unità in meno.

 

Rigiardo all'USAF, non ho capito se le linee di montaggio del Raptor e del C-17 verranno smantellate o solo tenute in naftalina. Non tento per il bestione che un suo mercato estero ce l'ha ancora, quanto l'F-22 che, a meno di qualche colpo di genio, non verrà esportato nemmeno agli alleati più fedeli. Nessun rammarico per il B-3, era nell'aria che fosse il primo a saltare, in fondo non è indispensabile come il KC-X, che comunque dovrà ripartire.

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U.S. Defense Department officials are providing more details to new guidance Secretary Robert Gates has unveiled over the Ground-based Midcourse Defense ballistic interceptor program.

 

Earlier plans called for 40 three-stage Orbital Boost Vehicle interceptors - also called ground-based interceptors - in Ft. Greely, Alaska, and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

 

Now, however, the plan is to cap the interceptors at the 26 already in place at Ft. Greely and keep the four in Vandenberg. It is unclear whether spares will be pursued as replacements if any are launched or otherwise removed.

 

Part of the George W. Bush administration's plan for GMD also entailed the so-called Third Site in Eastern Europe, comprising a radar station in the Czech Republic and 10 two-stage GBIs in Poland. That effort, which envisioned U.S. silos there being loaded around 2013, has at least slowed rhetorically while President Barack Obama's administration mulls new diplomacy with Russia.

 

Gates' plans -- together with dropping the Multiple Kill Vehicle, culling the Airborne Laser and underpinning Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Ballistic Missile systems -- signals a shift for the Missile Defense Agency. Less focus is being placed in expanding the scope of capabilities in midcourse defense and more attention is to be put on firming up the ever elusive boost phase defense.

 

www.aviationweek.com

 

MissileLaunch-missiledefenseagency.jpg

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http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-...-decisions.html

 

 

AFA Urges Congress to Reverse Cuts to Vital Air Force Systems

 

 

(Source: Air Force Association; issued April 6, 2009)

 

 

 

ARLINGTON, VA --- The Air Force Association (AFA) today urged Congress to reconsider massive defense cuts announced today by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

 

While pleased with some of the decisions, AFA is deeply concerned that the cuts announced today will significantly impact core capabilities the nation needs...despite the fact that many systems are well underway in research and development, including the F-22 Raptor, already in production; the Transformational Satellite Communications program (TSAT); Airborne Laser (ABL), a key component of missile defense; the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) helicopter and a planned long range strike platform.

 

With the aging Air Force fleet now on average a quarter-century old, the oldest it has ever been, and some key aircraft twice that age and dating back to the Eisenhower administration, AFA strongly believes the U.S. must recapitalize older air and space systems.

 

Air Supremacy: AFA urges preservation of the F-22 Raptor production line, continued US production and backs sales of the F-22 to proven allies. Sales of a few squadrons of these to a handful of our closest allies will serve to robustly augment our combined forces and build important coalitions, drive overall production costs down, and preserve economic activity in the U.S.

 

The F-22 is much too important to allow this line to close prematurely, said Mike Dunn, President/CEO of AFA. We need more of these important aircraft. Production is now at its most affordable point GEN (RET) Barry McCaffrey has stated: The F-22 is the most important acquisition program in the Department of Defense. We should buy 750 of them.

 

AFA believes we should:

--Preserve the production line

--Strengthen our defense capability

--Build coalition capability with strategic partners

--Protect vital U.S. jobs and economic activity

--Drive costs down per aircraft

--Position the U.S. to preserve air dominance for another generation.

 

Combat Search & Rescue: AFA supports a dedicated CSAR force to extract downed pilots, military personnel in danger of capture and other endangered U.S. citizens a capability used from high mountains to deserts to over water, and in response to natural disasters as well as military scenarios.

 

Combat search and rescue capability is a commitment we make with our troops a moral obligation , said Joe Sutter, AFAs Chairman of the Board. We owe them a rapidly deployed, ready, trained, professional force that can bring them to safety.

 

Missile Defense: Already progressing in testing and development, airborne laser technology shows promise of being able to destroy an advancing missile with precision at the peak of its trajectory, where the debris will do the least harm.

 

North Koreas test of missile technology displays the need for continued investment in airborne laser, Dunn said. This technology could revolutionize our defenses. Its time to commit to being able to protect ourselves and our allies from errant missiles and hostile launches.

 

Communications: The Transformational Satellite Communications System will provide survivable, worldwide, secure satellite communications to U.S. strategic and tactical forces during all levels of conflict.

 

This system would deliver secure, jam-resistant, connectivity for stationary or mobile warfighters, Dunn said. It will allow military forces anywhere in the world to gain immediate access to vital intelligence. We owe the warfighter quick access to information without the fear of jamming or eavesdropping.

 

Long Range Strike: Continued planning and investment in a future long range strike platform is essential to complement the Air Forces 20 B-2 bombers and older fleet of B-52s and B-1Bs. In the 1990s, the B-2 program was cut short prematurely on the theory that the nuclear mission was being reduced. Now those 20 aircraft are the only U.S. strike platform capable of going anywhere with the stealth capability that the older platforms do not possess.

 

Long range strike is a core competency of the Air Force and arguably the most important part of its mission, Dunn said. Our bomber fleet is the smallest it has been since before World War II and certainly the oldest it has ever been. Long range strike is vital to ensuring there is truly no sanctuary for an enemy behind anti-aircraft defenses.

 

 

The AFA is a 501©(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has more than 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 125,000 members. (ends)

 

 

Note from AFA President Budget

 

 

(Source: Air Force Association; issued April 7, 2009)

 

 

 

AFA members, Congressional staffers, civic leaders, and DOCA members: yesterday, Secretary Gates briefed the press corps on his budget proposal for 2010.

 

In sum, for the Air Force, the following was recommended:

--Continued production of ISR systems

--Increased production of the F-35

--Continue the process to select tanker replacement

--Purchase of more SOF lift, mobility, and refueling aircraft

 

However, the following programs were terminated/delayed:

-- F-22 production terminated

-- Follow-on Bomber terminated ("until we have a better understanding of the need, requirement, and the technology")

-- C-17 production terminated

-- Combat Search and Rescue Helicopter X terminated

-- Transformational Satellite (TSAT) terminated and instead purchase of two more AEHF satellites

-- Missile Defense radically cut:

*No increase of ground-based interceptors

*Airborne Laser (ABL) terminated

*Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) terminated

*Missile Defense Agency budget reduced by $1.4B/year

 

One cut which has but one line in the release retires 250 aircraft. This means:

*We will have a de facto Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) since 250 aircraft is the equivalent of 3.5 wings (and over 5 CVBGs) of fighter aircraft,

**F-15s, F-16s, and A-10s will all leave the force with no replacements

 

Let me make a few observations about this budget.

 

1. This budget guarantees that the oldest Air Force in the history of our nation will get even older.

 

2. B-52s (built in the 1950s) will have to be kept on duty for a minimum of another 15-20 years

 

3. At a time when the nation is spending literally trillions of dollars, we seem to not have enough money to fund an adequate defense

 

4. We are using tomorrow's dollars to solve today's problems.

 

5. The acquisition decisions recommended will lock in the range of national security options for decades into the future.

 

6. The decisions are not just programic nuance but will impact core Air Force functions, to include Air Force ability to deter, to conduct an air campaign, and to rescue our downed Airmen.

 

7. The launch of an intercontinental missile by North Korea this weekend (and a similar launch by Iran 5 weeks ago) argues for a robust missile defense, not a reduced one to include the ABL. The technology of ABL has the potential to revolutionize warfare in the future.

 

8. It is difficult to determine the strategy which this budget supports. This is especially important since a Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is mandated by law and will be conducted in the upcoming several months. It seems the budget (and hence the strategy) precedes the QDR.

 

9. This budget increases risk in my view beyond so-called "moderate."

 

AFA believes there are major impacts and consequences for the full-up joint team. These budget recommendations may cost us lives and will reduce our strategic options in a very dangerous world.

 

(Signed)

Michael M. Dunn President/CEO

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Beh insomma.....questi dell'AF Association si stanno allargando un pelo. Un conto è auspicare che il Congresso non operi tutti i tagli raccomandati da Gates, altro conto è ritenere necessari 750 Raptor.

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Beh insomma.....questi dell'AF Association si stanno allargando un pelo. Un conto è auspicare che il Congresso non operi tutti i tagli raccomandati da Gates, altro conto è ritenere necessari 750 Raptor.

 

Credo sia un'esagerazione voluta, ne chiediamo tanti per averne qualcuno in più di quelli che, ormai, sembrano essere gli unici previsti.

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Chiaro,ne chiedono 100 per averne 20 per esempio.

 

D'accordo, ma il saggio dice: "chi troppo vuole, nulla stringe"!

Avanzare richieste così disancorate dalla realtà rischia solo di far perdere di credibilità all'ente che le propugna.

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Non credo che l'USAF perderà la sua credibilità per questa richiesta.

Però potrebbe essere anche come dici tu. :hmm:

 

Attenzione DiavoloRosso!!! L'ente che ha avanzato la richiesta al Congresso di non tagliare la produzione di F-22 non è affatto l'USAF: è l'AFA, Air Force Association! Cosa ben distinta!

 

Dal loro sito ufficiale (www.afa.org):

The Air Force Association (AFA) is an independent, nonprofit, civilian education organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation

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The Obama administration’s first off-book supplemental appropriations request includes $11.6 billion to refurbish or replace war-torn equipment, as well as $600 million to buy four F-22 Raptors to replace four legacy fighters lost due to combat operations.

 

Another $9.8 billion is requested “to improve the protection of our forces with lightweight body armor, armored vehicles, safe and secure operating bases, identity management for access control, and persistent surveillance capabilities,” according to the White House. Likewise, $1.5 billion is sought for counter-improvised explosive device efforts.

 

President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget outlined the combined $83.4 billion government-wide request late April 9. Reaction from Capitol Hill appeared universally equivocal as lawmakers received news of a necessary but denounced vestige of the Bush administration. Obama’s request appears to follow his efforts to draw down in Iraq and shift military resources to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

“Timely consideration of the supplemental is especially important to our men and women in uniform, who depend on it for the resources they need to do their jobs,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said. His party had railed against the use of supplementals under President Bush.

 

“Republicans want to work with the President to pass a clean troop funding bill, and it’s my hope that both parties can work together to pass a bill without any strings attached that would tie the hands of our commanders on the ground as well as any unnecessary or extraneous spending,” said John Boehner (R-Ohio), leader of the House’s minority party.

 

“The President’s decision to continue Gen. Petraeus’ successful strategy in Iraq and implement a surge strategy in Afghanistan is a good one, but it will require a significant commitment from this Congress,” said Boehner’s Senate counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “In the consideration of this year’s security supplemental bill, it is imperative that this Democrat-led Congress resist the temptation to use this must-pass bill to leverage additional and extraneous spending and focus instead on committing resources strictly for the defense of our nation.”

 

OMB declared its intention to do just that — in the future. “This is the last planned war supplemental,” the White House office asserted. “Moving forward, the president is committed to honest budgeting and fiscal discipline in which these costs are accounted for in the budget — and are clear for all to see. After seven years of war, the American people deserve an honest accounting of the cost of our involvement in our ongoing military operations.”

 

Other national security spending for the rest of this fiscal year would include:

 

• $3.6 billion for Afghan security forces;

 

• $1.4 billion for coalition partners who have backed U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq;

 

• $400 million to build Pakistani counterinsurgency capabilities.

 

Also, Obama seeks $3.1 billion for classified “counterterrorism” activities in support of ongoing operations. “These activities include support to military operations, intelligence collection and analysis, and overseas law enforcement efforts,” OMB said.

 

The White House also said it wanted $350 million for “other defense activities,” which it described as “defense costs for other security related defense activities.” A total $3.7 billion in requests there supposedly would be offset by $2.9 billion in fuel savings and $500 million in procurement reductions.

 

www.aviationweek.com

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Gates Cuts U.S. Military Helo Programs

 

 

The newest competition in Washington is for biggest loser. Both industry and the military will suffer substantially if the Apr. 6 budget recommendations of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates are implemented. Gates wants to ax the Pentagon’s two most high-profile rotorcraft projects—the Combat Search-and-Rescue (CSAR-X) and VH-71 presidential helicopters—essentially wiping clean the drawing board for new starts in military helicopters for the foreseeable future.

 

Gates prefaced his announcement by saying, “enough rhetoric, now is the time for action.” The $15-billion CSAR-X program has endured years of delays, interservice rivalries, an Inspector General investigation and two bidder protests. Gates’s recommendation was more than a cancellation notice—it was a repudiation of the U.S. Air Force’s stated priorities and acquisition methods: The service has made clear that CSAR-X was its No. 2 acquisition priority, after the KC-X refueling tanker replacement. But analysts say there is little chance this program will be resurrected.

 

The Lockheed Martin-led VH-71 has had its share of troubles as well, with cost overruns and schedule delays. The price tag for 23 helicopters has doubled, to $13 billion, and Gates is concerned that Increment 1 pilot-production aircraft are not equipped with the required capabilities. Eight of nine Increment 1 VH-71s have been delivered for flight-testing, and one industry analyst questions the financial wisdom of canceling a contract so close to completion of delivery.

 

Although industry has been largely silent on Gates’s decisions, Lockheed Martin allows it is “assessing the impact” the cuts would have on its program and workforce. Despite its size, the VH-71 program accounts for only about 1% of Lockheed Martin’s bottom line. Though Gates declined to address termination costs associated with any of its proposals, Finmeccanica, parent company of Lockheed Martin’s VH-71 partner, AgustaWestland, says cutting the platform will have “no financial impact on the group.” The company has other buyers for the helicopter, but the order book is thin.

 

The Army’s hopes still rest on two projects Gates did not mention, the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) and the Joint Future Theater Lift (JFTL), both of which have their own issues. Bell Helicopter’s ARH came in enough over budget and past schedule that outgoing Pentagon acquisitions chief John Young canceled it in October. Now the Army has to wait until the detailed Fiscal 2010 budget is released to determine whether a list of refined requirements will make its way through the Pentagon’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council or if it will have to pour whatever ARH money is left into upgrading its aging Kiowa Warrior fleet instead.

 

The JFTL is locked in a turf war between the Air Force and the Army. Just when it looked as though the Air Force was going to give ground on vertical-lift requirements, Brig. Gen. Walter Davis, director of Army Aviation, said the two services are still “trying to resolve some differences.”

 

That leaves the military with Sikorsky’s workhorse CH-53K. Although based on an old model, it is entirely new, boasting a gross weight of 84,700 lb., versus 73,000 lb. for the CH-53E. The plan is to procure 200 aircraft, increased from an original request for 156, under the Grow the Force initiative, says Program Manager Capt. Rick Muldoon.

 

The Navy and Marine Corps have been very protective of the CH-53K and V-22 tiltrotor, which may account for their lack of interest in (or support of) the JFTL. The Marines did something right—the CH-53K is essentially a single-service platform that is succeeding at a time when Gates is favoring multirole, joint-service assets.

 

Helicopters are in urgent demand in Afghanistan, Gates noted, but the more than $500 million he announced for Fiscal 2010 will go to people, not platforms. “What became clear in the analysis was that the principal shortfall wasn’t in airframes, but in crews,” Gates said. While the Army has made no comment yet, it would probably disagree. Loss rates on the Kiowa have been higher than anticipated, resulting in the need to overhaul the oldest OH-58A and –C models into D-models to make up for the lack of airframes available for planned upgrades.

 

Last year, Congress took note of the problems. Included in the Fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill was a provision for a Future Vertical Lift Capabilities Based Assessment outlining a joint approach to future vertical lift aircraft. But the most recent cuts to rotorcraft programs may be an indication that for now, time and money have run out on those priorities.

 

www.aviationweek.com

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If there was any confusion about U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s position on the possibility of a split buy of Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADS refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force, he is taking pains to fix it. “I am laying my body down across the tracks” in opposition to it, he told an audience of officers at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., on April 15. The response was vigorous applause. During a press conference a day earlier en route to Fort Rucker, Ala., he said he opposes the introduction of two separate training, maintenance and logistics requirements simultaneously into the fleet. He also said that developing two tankers at once could cost $14 billion over five years, double the price of one. Some lawmakers have seized on the idea of a dual buy as the only politically palatable way to move forward with a KC-X program after repeated false starts and protests. Northrop, which partnered with EADS’ Airbus against Boeing in the last round, has also sounded support for such a compromise.

 

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USAF Bomber Grounded by More than Budget

 

www.aviationweek.com

 

The now delayed 2018-version of the Next Generation Bomber was derailed by more than the budget. In fact, Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, commander of the 8th Air Force with responsibility for nuclear deterrence and global strike, says it is not dead, just the victim of a postponement.

 

“What we were looking for in the 2018 bomber was something that would take the B-2 capabilities to a new level, like the F-22 improved on the F-117,” Elder says. “It was stealthier and easier to maintain and from an operational standpoint that’s what you’re looking for.”

 

In fact, there were two key, inter-related issues that created the bomber reassessment: adding a nuclear weapons carrying capability and renewed Start arms control treaty negotiations with the Russians.

 

The delay provides breathing space while “we understand the Start negotiations and some of the other [new weapons,] applications,” Elder says. “With Start, you don’t want to lock yourself into an airplane [design] before you know what the accounting rules are.” And the U.S. military may want to change its approach to standoff weaponry.

 

“The Russians are looking at bombers, and the counting rules for bombers are pretty onerous,” Elder says. “One of the issues is that they count the number of warheads that a bomber is capable of carrying, not its operational load-out. For example, the B-52 is counted as carrying more weapons than it does operationally. That [bomber design] is inefficient for negotiations.”

 

Meantime, not only is the Next-Generation Bomber delayed, the electronic warfare and attack capabilities that would help it penetrate enemy air defenses – by disrupting radar and communications -- are also in disarray.

 

“The legacy platforms we have, we’re going to have to find another way to provide that same electronic attack capability” once provided by the EF-11 and EA-6B, says Elder, who spoke to defense reporters in Washington this week. “The AF is looking at some different approaches that take advantage of stealth in F-22 and F-35 by packaging [all stealthy platforms together]. The capabilities on these platforms is part of the reason the Air Force has been less concerned.”

 

If a target is protected by Russian-made SA-20s, that means you have to use standoff weapons or a packaged stealth force, the general explained. The U.S. Air Force is looking at a number of ways of doing electronic attack without dedicated platforms.

 

For F-22 and F-35, the requirements for electronic attack aren’t nearly as high. But when you talk about B-1 and B-52, they are going to have trouble operating in an SA-20 environment. Unmanned jammers could be part of that, he said.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was not in the room when the Pentagon unveiled its first budget request under the Obama administration on May 7, but he did not need to be, as his fingerprints are all over its themes of reform and unconventional warfare, as well as its omissions.

 

Those omissions include the absence of budget projections for the next five years. This is a budget for fiscal 2010 only, designed to start the Pentagon on its new path and carry it through to completion of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which will shape spending from FY ’11 onward.

 

“We do not have a plan beyond 2010,” said Robert Hale, the Pentagon comptroller, in unveiling the proposed $663.8 billion budget. “We will await the results of the QDR.”

 

Also missing were the new program starts that might have been expected in the 2010 budget cycle. The biggest is a restart: $439 million to begin another competition to replace the U.S. Air Force’s KC-135 tankers.

 

Procurement programs getting under way or accelerating in 2010 include the Boeing P-8A maritime-patrol aircraft, with six for the Navy; Boeing AH-64D Block III, with eight for the Army; and General Atomics MQ-1C Warrior unmanned aircraft, with 36 for the Army.

 

The Air Force gets its first eight L-3/Alenia C-27J Joint Combat Aircraft, and takes over the program from the Army, but planned procurement is cut to 38 aircraft from 78. “We expect to get synergy with the C-130J in the Air Force, because of their commonality,” said Vice Adm. Steve Stanley, director of force structure and resources for the joint staff.

 

The Army is to procure six additional Hawker Beechcraft C-12 manned surveillance aircraft in 2010, and the possibility of transferring the Air Force’s 37 MC-12W Project Liberty aircraft to the Army is under examination, according to Lt. Gen. Edgar Stanton, military deputy for budget.

 

Most of the terminations were already known, thanks to Gates’ unveiling of his overaching budget plans in April (Aerospace DAILY, April 7). Additions to the list are the Missile Defense Agency’s Kinetic Energy Interceptor, terminated because of “technical problems,” Hale said.

 

He defended the Pentagon’s decision to defy Congress and attempt to cancel the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for a third time. “We don’t see a business case [for a second engine]. We think [cancellation] is the right thing for us to do.”

 

Some of the terminations announced by Gates could lead to new programs after 2010, including a new presidential helicopter to replace the overbudget VH-71A. “We have restarted the requirements process to develop a proposal for a new competition,” Stanley said. “We will work with the White House to better define the requirement and be more fiscally informed.”

 

Air Force special operations is to get a new gunship based on existing MC-130W airframes, which are to be replaced with new Lockheed Martin MC-130Js to be acquired under the HC/MC-130 recapitalization program started in FY ’09. With the CSAR-X helicopter competition canceled, the concept of operations is being re-examined as a joint-service mission, Stanley said.

 

 

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Obama Request Includes Four Raptors

 

By Michael Bruno aviationweek.com

 

 

F22formationDOD.jpg

 

The Obama administration’s first off-book supplemental appropriations request includes $11.6 billion to refurbish or replace war-torn equipment, as well as $600 million to buy four F-22 Raptors to replace four legacy fighters lost due to combat operations.

 

Another $9.8 billion is requested “to improve the protection of our forces with lightweight body armor, armored vehicles, safe and secure operating bases, identity management for access control, and persistent surveillance capabilities,” according to the White House. Likewise, $1.5 billion is sought for counter-improvised explosive device efforts.

 

President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget outlined the combined $83.4 billion government-wide request late April 9. Reaction from Capitol Hill appeared universally equivocal as lawmakers received news of a necessary but denounced vestige of the Bush administration. Obama’s request appears to follow his efforts to draw down in Iraq and shift military resources to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

“Timely consideration of the supplemental is especially important to our men and women in uniform, who depend on it for the resources they need to do their jobs,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said. His party had railed against the use of supplementals under President Bush.

 

“Republicans want to work with the President to pass a clean troop funding bill, and it’s my hope that both parties can work together to pass a bill without any strings attached that would tie the hands of our commanders on the ground as well as any unnecessary or extraneous spending,” said John Boehner (R-Ohio), leader of the House’s minority party.

 

“The President’s decision to continue Gen. Petraeus’ successful strategy in Iraq and implement a surge strategy in Afghanistan is a good one, but it will require a significant commitment from this Congress,” said Boehner’s Senate counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “In the consideration of this year’s security supplemental bill, it is imperative that this Democrat-led Congress resist the temptation to use this must-pass bill to leverage additional and extraneous spending and focus instead on committing resources strictly for the defense of our nation.”

 

OMB declared its intention to do just that — in the future. “This is the last planned war supplemental,” the White House office asserted. “Moving forward, the president is committed to honest budgeting and fiscal discipline in which these costs are accounted for in the budget — and are clear for all to see. After seven years of war, the American people deserve an honest accounting of the cost of our involvement in our ongoing military operations.”

 

Other national security spending for the rest of this fiscal year would include:

 

• $3.6 billion for Afghan security forces;

 

• $1.4 billion for coalition partners who have backed U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq;

 

• $400 million to build Pakistani counterinsurgency capabilities.

 

Also, Obama seeks $3.1 billion for classified “counterterrorism” activities in support of ongoing operations. “These activities include support to military operations, intelligence collection and analysis, and overseas law enforcement efforts,” OMB said.

 

The White House also said it wanted $350 million for “other defense activities,” which it described as “defense costs for other security related defense activities.” A total $3.7 billion in requests there supposedly would be offset by $2.9 billion in fuel savings and $500 million in procurement reductions.

 

 

 

EDIT: notizia vecchia e probabilmente giù postata, è di un mese fa stando alla data, l'ho notata solo ora, ma aviationweek me l'ha spedita col briefing giornaliero poco fa... anche loro sbagliano, evidentemente. Mi spiace, caso mai si può eliminare il messaggio.

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AF officials announce Combat Air Forces restructure plan

 

5/20/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Following the May 7 roll-out of the fiscal year 2010 budget proposal for the Department of Defense, Air Force officials announced plans to retire legacy fighters to fund a smaller and more capable force and redistribute people for higher priority missions.

 

The Combat Air Forces restructuring plan would accelerate the retirement of approximately 250 aircraft, which includes 112 F-15 Eagles, 134 F-16 fighting Falcons and three A-10 Thunderbolt IIs. This does not include the five fighters previously scheduled for retirement in FY10.

 

"We have a strategic window of opportunity to do some important things with fighter aircraft restructuring," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. "By accepting some short-term risk, we can convert our inventory of legacy fighters and F-22 (Raptors) into a smaller, more flexible and lethal bridge to fifth-generation fighters like the F-35 (Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter). We'll also add manpower to capabilities needed now for operations across the spectrum of conflict."

 

Under the plan, cost savings of $355 million in FY10 and $3.5 billion over the next five fiscal years would be used to reduce current capability gaps. Air Force officials would invest most of the funds in advanced capability modifications to remaining fighters and bombers. Some would go toward procuring munitions for joint warfighters, including the small diameter bomb, hard-target weapons and the AIM-120D and AIM-9X missiles. The remainder would be dedicated to the procurement or sustainment of critical intelligence capabilities such as the advanced targeting pod as well as enabling technologies for tactical air controllers and special operations forces.

 

"We've taken this major step only after a careful assessment of the current threat environment and our current capabilities," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "Make no mistake, we can't stand still on modernizing our fighter force. The Air Force's advantage over potential adversaries is eroding, and this endangers both air and ground forces alike unless there is a very significant investment in bridge capabilities and fifth-generation aircraft. CAF restructuring gets us there."

 

The CAF restructuring plan, which will require appropriate environmental analyses, would enable Air Force officials to use reassignment and retraining programs to move approximately 4,000 manpower authorizations to emerging and priority missions such as manned and unmanned surveillance operations and nuclear deterrence operations.

 

This realignment would include the expansion of MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and MC-12 Liberty aircrews; the addition of a fourth active-duty B-52 Stratofortress squadron; and the expansion of Distributed Common Ground System and information processing, exploitation and dissemination capabilities for continued combatant commander support in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other adjustments.

 

Secretary Donley and General Schwartz have committed the Air Force to initiatives that will reinvigorate its nuclear enterprise and field 50 unmanned combat air patrols for ongoing operations by FY11.

 

"What we're looking for is a force mix that meets the current mission requirements of combatant commanders while providing a capable force to meet tomorrow's challenges," Secretary Donley said.

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Guest intruder

www.aviatonweek.com

 

The Pentagon spent more than $2.7 billion on “miscellaneous items” in 2008 for which the contractor was listed as “not available” — a rare omission for Defense Department documentation — according to an Aerospace DAILY analysis of an independent national database of government contracting data.

 

The “miscellaneous items” expenditure listing appears to be a catch-all category for Pentagon transactions, according to interviews with defense analysts and a review of Defense Department contracting data provided by the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR).

 

In many cases the transactions also fail to clearly show what the money was spent on. However, defense analysts say the transactions appear to be classified or related to intelligence operations, and the proper congressional overseers have received the names of the contractors and information on the work done.

 

Altogether, Pentagon miscellaneous-item expenses tallied about $7 billion in 2008, making that the eighth highest Defense Departure expenditure item for the year, the Aerospace DAILY analysis showed. (See charts pp. 6-8.) This marks the first time that “miscellaneous items” has cracked the list of top 20 Pentagon expenses this decade.

 

Not only did the “not available” contractors account for 38 percent of the total amount of money the Pentagon designated for miscellaneous-item expenses, but the unnamed companies also accounted for 85 percent of the 7,590 category transactions.

 

The NICAR database is maintained by Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. and the University of Missouri, based on data furnished by the U.S. government. The database is meant, among other things, to help the government keep track of what it is spending its money on and with whom. Usually, when a contractor’s name is unknown, the space is left blank — and even then there are few such cases among any of the other leading Pentagon expenses over the past decade, the DAILY analysis shows.

 

There is little doubt the omission was intentional. In dozens of cases, the contractor listing was misspelled as “availiable.” Also, the “Dunn’s number” — a corporate identification number — provided for all of the “not available” contractors is 01234567, and the vendor’s name is listed as the General Services Administration, which is the federal government’s general purchasing agent.

 

“The fact that the contractor’s name is ‘not available’ implies a classified action,” said Loren Thompson, defense analyst for the Lexington Institute. “It’s quite common to hide purchases related to satellites, for example.”

 

In most of the cases where the names of the contractors are concealed or masked, the type of work done under the contract also is unavailable. Instead of providing a work description, a code is listed instead that can be traced back to the Defense Department. However, some scattered work descriptions appear to show little relationship to satellites or related equipment.

 

Those descriptions include reconstruction security, which ranked fifth among those unavailable contractor cases with about $96 million; convoy security; strategic media; airborne surveillance; billboard placement; vehicle lease; print service; satellite TV; hazmat disposal; bus lease; repair water wells; transportation; convoy support; job cards; heavy equipment; trailers; poles; air traffic control; MRAP phase III; elevator repair; MRAP sprung concrete; bunkers; gravel; vest and helmets; 50-ton crane; radio production; and training courses.

 

Most of the unnamed contractor work — about $2.4 billion — was for transactions designated for Iraq, with the remaining amount targeted for Afghanistan. Analysts say thousands of limited liability companies have been formed for single-purpose Pentagon-funded work in both areas.

 

Analysts also point out that some of the work described could be considered to be under the purview of military intelligence, for which the Pentagon spent about $4.9 billion in 2008 from supplemental funding.

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qualcuno sa se hanno tagliato anche le nuove LPD?

 

so che l'ha navy si era lamentata della loro qualità....

 

sembra di no. i marines dunque in parte si salvano... interessante.

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Guest intruder

MDA Eyes Reduced Cost For Targets

 

Jun 4, 2009

 

 

 

By Amy Butler aviationweek.com

 

 

 

 

The director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, says the agency is rethinking its targets acquisition strategy to attain economies of scale and cut the per-unit cost of target missiles used in flight tests.

 

To date, missile defense tests rely on targets that use motors and components from the Navy’s Polaris and Trident missiles, which are decades old and, thus, less reliable. A delay or problem with targets can act as a pacing item for flight-tests, which cost hundreds of million of dollars to execute. The Lockheed Martin-led Flexible Target Family program is expected to address the fickle propulsion part of the target missile.

 

However, O’Reilly is looking for a new strategy to attain the “top end,” or warhead-area tip, of target missiles, according to one of his aides. In recent tests, MDA has tried to test its system against countermeasures but failed because the countermeasures did not deploy as planned. Much of this work is done by the Sandia National Laboratories.

 

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corp., a Lockheed company, for the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

 

Industry responses to an MDA request for information to explore a new acquisition strategy for the target missiles have been good, according to agency officials.

 

Air Force Maj. Gen. Chris Anzalone, MDA’s test director, says the agency hopes to have some inventory available for target systems. Currently, if a target system is not ready for flight, an entire test can be put on hold for months.

 

Costs of most targets are about $65 million — although some can go as high as $90 million — for flight demonstrations of the Aegis Standard Missile-3 or Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) programs. The problem, O’Reilly notes, is the cost of the interceptors: at about $10 million apiece, they pale in comparison to the price of the target vehicles when an SM-3 or Thaad interceptor is at play. Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) cost about $50 million apiece, he adds.

 

Meanwhile, O’Reilly says MDA is “restructuring” the test program to include more collaboration with the armed services’ operational test and evaluation (OT&E) community. Successes of the system against tests derived by the community — MDA’s tests come out of the development and acquisition arm of the Pentagon, by contrast — also will “bolster the deterrence” qualities of the system, O’Reilly says. They will pit the system in operational test scenarios against the very missiles that threat nations are seeking to acquire.

 

A new test plan is expected this summer and it will project trials for the next six years.

 

O’Reilly also noted that the threat is driving MDA’s focus toward developing ascent-phase capabilities and against threats in theater. He says that of more than 5,900 threat missiles, 93 percent are only capable of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of flight or less. Six percent can fly 1,000-3,000 kilometers, and 1 percent are intercontinental ballistic missile threats.

 

Focusing on the theater-range threats carries the “greatest potential of reducing” the cost of U.S. missile defenses, he says.

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