This week, General Dynamics’ Electric Boat yard delivered the Navy’s newest fast attack submarine, the future USS Mississippi, almost one year ahead of schedule. The sub’s contract delivery date was April 30, 2013, and the Navy got the metaphorical keys on May 2nd.
Several say says that defense acquisitions are broken and no one cares. So how is this possible?
to hedge its bet on the cost strapped JSF, the Navy has quietly released a “market survey” asking the big defense contractors for their “candidate[s]” for “strike fighter aircraft” in the decades to come.
The stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is supposed to one day make up 90 percent or more of America’s combat aviation power. But the program has been hit with all kinds of expensive technical glitches and delays. So the Navy has long hedged against the giant JSF bet by buying more of its beloved F/A-18 Super Hornet; that way, the Navy can keep flying modern fighters, even if the JSFs slip. With this “market survey,” the Navy appears to be making a second hedge: a Son of the Super Hornet – one that would come online after the F/A-18s are retired in the 2030s – just in case the JSF flames out entirely.
the new plane will share deck space and fly in a carrier air wing alongside the JSF and the Navy’s future carrier-based drone, currently known as the X-47B.
Video Caption: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has completed a series of hot-fire tests of the 52,000-54,000lb-thrust Bantam demonstration engine for a”pusher” launch abort system on Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft, under design for NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program. The motor “pushes” the spacecraft to safety if a launch is aborted. The tests were conducted in the California desert.
President Obama sent a Valentine’s Day present to the aviation community, including the unmanned systems industry, signing the long-overdue Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill into law on 14 Feb., which includes important provisions on the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system.
US Air force has announced that it has cancelled the efforts to develop the next generation of battlefield drones.
With the continued success of the Predator, RQ-170 and the other UAV and drone systems, the air force has cancelled the MQ-X drone efforts. Many believed the Predator C was the expected winning contender for of this effort.
Another noted issue was that the air force could not keep up the tempo of training enough operators to fly the 48 Reapers delivered each year so it has lower the number of Reapers delivered to 28 per year.
The air force has quietly announced that it is has began work on a new strategic bomber to replace the ageing B-52 and assist the 21 plane B-2 force on the future battle space. The air force has promised that the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) will try to control its budget by using tried and fielded systems and not over use of new technologies in the systems.
After the year 2020 ground wars will be more intense and concentrated in the world’s crowded coastal cities. That’s the consensus from a panel of experts including current and retired Army officers and professional analysts.
David Axe of AOL Defense approached five military experts and former leaders and asked what and where will the future battlefields be and what will our forces need to do be ready to fight those battles.