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United States Military News

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by brain_dead, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    United States Military News :​


    C4 Systems In $146M Deal For U.S. Navy Radios

    PHOENIX - Scottsdale-based General Dynamics C4 Systems is being awarded a $146.3 million contract to build radios for the U.S. Navy, the latest order in a deal that could reach an estimated $544 million.

    General Dynamics will build digital modular radios for communications on new ships, including destroyers, fast-attack submarines and aircraft carriers.

    The radios are software-defined, a concept a company spokesman said was invented at General Dynamics. Instead of switching or replacing the radios, they can be reprogrammed and software can be added as technology advances.

    "The ability to change the features of the radio without changing the equipment is more cost-effective for the military," said Fran Jacques, a company spokeswoman.

    The first digital-modular-radio contract from the Navy was awarded to General Dynamics in 1998 and radios were delivered in 2000, the company said.

    The new order will feature smaller radios than in the past because space on ships is at a premium, Jacques said. Work is expected to be completed by May 2013.

    Half of the work will be preformed in Scottsdale with General Dynamics' facilities in Crawley, England, and Clarksburg, Md., picking up the rest.

    If all of the options in the contract are exercised, its value could reach $544 million, with work continuing until September 2018.
     
  2. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    U.S.-Russia Arms Treaty Advances In Senate

    WASHINGTON - President Obama urged the full U.S. Senate on Sept. 16 to approve a landmark nuclear treaty with Russia, after the pact won a key committee's crucial support despite stiff Republican opposition.

    "I urge the full Senate to move forward quickly with a vote to approve this Treaty," Obama said after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee endorsed the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by a 14-4 margin.

    The panel's action sent the agreement to the full Senate for a final vote expected this year, but after the Nov. 2 mid-term elections, with the outcome uncertain because of Republican resistance.

    "Ratification of this treaty will reinforce our cooperation with Russia on a range of issues, including one of our highest priorities - preventing the spread of nuclear weapons," Obama said.

    The treaty - signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Obama at an elaborate ceremony in Prague in April - restricts each nation to a maximum of 1,550 deployed warheads, a cut of about 30 percent from a limit set in 2002.

    The agreement, a top Obama foreign policy initiative, replaces a previous accord that lapsed in December 2009 and also requires ratification by Russia's lower house, the Duma.

    "I personally believe we will have the votes to ratify this," said Democratic Sen. John Kerry, the committee's chairman, after the panel acted. "The stakes are enormous."

    U.S. Senate ratification requires 67 votes. Democrats control 59 seats, and just three Republicans on Kerry's committee voted in favor of the accord, with four against.

    "When we ratify this treaty, we limit Russia's nuclear arsenal, regain the ability to inspect their nuclear forces, and redouble international support for our nonproliferation efforts to counter the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue nations like Iran and North Korea," Kerry said.

    Republicans have charged the accord could hamper U.S. missile defense plans - a charge denied by the Pentagon - have concerns about Russian implementation, and want assurances about plans to modernize the existing U.S. nuclear arsenal.

    The panel approved by voice vote a resolution of ratification authored by its top Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar, to address those concerns, with Republican Sen. James Risch the sole "no."

    Lugar said his resolution declared that the treaty "imposes no limitations on the development and the deployment of U.S. missile defenses" apart from forbidding the conversion of some existing launch mechanisms.

    It also restated U.S. policy to deploy a missile defense system to thwart rogue launches as soon as technologically possible, and emphasized the importance of ensuring Russian compliance and modernizing the U.S. arsenal.

    Lugar also highlighted that U.S. inspectors in Russia had been unable to do their jobs since the previous treaty lapsed, and stressed the need to have U.S. "boots on the ground" to verify compliance.

    Risch said the U.S. intelligence community had provided "troubling" information recently to the Senate Intelligence Committee, but Kerry shot back that the community had also not changed its support of the treaty.

    Lawmakers were tight-lipped about the details, but the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kit Bond, warned in a statement about "the treaty's lack of verification necessary to detect Russian cheating."

    Asked if there were anything new given longstanding allegations of Russian non-compliance, Risch told reporters: "You haven't seen the same stuff I've seen," but would not elaborate.

    Risch won committee approval of an amendment calling for modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, even as the panel rejected several amendments that Kerry warned would have the effect of killing the treaty.

    The panel also approved, after diluting it, an amendment from Republican Sen. Jim DeMint recommitting Washington to deploying a missile defense system - a proposal that has drawn frequent, angry opposition from Moscow.

    DeMint was absent for the vote.
     
  3. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    U.S. Says Arms Deals Serve 'National Interest'

    WASHINGTON - Big arms deals to countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel are in the "national interest" of the United States as Washington seeks to keep the region stable and counter potential threats from Iran, a U.S. diplomat said Sept. 16.

    State Department spokesman Philip Crowley had no specific comment on what officials said this week will be the largest ever U.S. arms deal, a $60 billion sale to Saudi Arabia of advanced warplanes and helicopters.

    Nor would he confirm comments from a U.S. defense official that President Obama's administration would formally notify Congress this week or next about the groundbreaking deal.

    "We provide military resources, security assistance to a range of allies, from Israel to Saudi Arabia," Crowley said. "It is in our national interest to do so, to maintain security and stability in the region."

    Crowley said, "We do work closely with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region to make sure that our allies and friends have the capability they need for their own security."

    He added that Saudi Arabia and other countries "have very justifiable concerns about the emergence of Iran as a less than constructive actor in the region."

    The comments came as the Israeli government said Sept. 16 it had given final approval to the purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States, in one of the Jewish state's biggest arms purchases.

    U.S. officials see the package for Saudi Arabia as underscoring the strategic alliance between the two countries, despite serious strains over Middle East diplomacy and the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to comments from a defense official this week.
     
  4. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    U.S. Navy Fire Scouts To Resume Flights

    Flights of the MQ-8B Fire Scout, a small, unmanned helicopter the U.S. Navy is testing to operate from its warships, will resume Sept. 20, the Navy announced late Sept. 16. The flights will end a period where the drones were grounded after operators lost control of one on Aug. 2 and it entered restricted airspace around Washington.

    [​IMG]
    A MQ-8B FIRE Scout seen in a test flight. After a six-week hiatus, the Fire Scout program will resume flights on Sept. 20, a Pentagon official said.

    The area around Yuma is "sparsely populated and the range is large," Lt. Myers Vasquez, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, said in a statement. "The Navy is putting safety first and eliminating all risk before flying aircraft in densely populated, highly-visible airspace."

    The service had been flying Fire Scouts out of Webster Field, an annex to nearby Naval Air Station Patuxent River in southern Maryland. Testing will resume at Webster Field but only after engineers validate updated software for the aircraft. New software is scheduled to be installed early next month, according to Vasquez.

    The Aug. 2 incident came about 75 minutes into what had been a routine test flight. Ground operators lost the control link with the Fire Scout, which should have automatically flown back to its base. Instead, the helicopter flew about 23 miles on a north-by-northwest course and entered the National Capital Region restricted airspace, part of the Air Defense Identification Zone surrounding the capital.

    The link was eventually restored when engineers moved to another ground control station, and the aircraft was commanded to return to Webster Field, where it landed without damage or having incurred any injuries.

    Although the Fire Scout has racked up more than 1,000 flight hours since December 2006, this was the first such incident to hit the program, the Navy said.

    The service did not reveal the incident until Aug. 25, and then only in response to news queries.

    The cause appeared to have been "a software anomaly that allowed the aircraft not to follow its pre-programmed flight procedures," Fire Scout program manager Capt. Tim Dunigan said Aug. 25 in an e-mail statement. "We have identified the issue and have aircraft operating restrictions that will prevent this from happening again."

    The incident caused a stir at Northern Command, responsible for the overall defense of Washington.

    "It's headed right for the heart of the National Capital Region," Adm. James Winnefeld, head of NORTHCOM, said on Sept. 9 in Washington as he recounted the incident for reporters. "Do you let it run out of gas and hopefully crash in a farmer's field, or do you actually take action to shoot it down?"

    "You certainly don't want to shoot it down over a populated area if you can avoid it," he added.

    Although the Navy was coordinating its recovery efforts with NORTHCOM, fighters were about to be scrambled to intercept the Fire Scout, Winnefeld said, when control was re-established.

    The Federal Aviation Administration has been pressured by the Pentagon to relax restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft over the U.S., but the effects of the latest incident remain to be seen.

    "It certainly doesn't help our case anytime there's a UAV that wanders around a little bit outside of what's controlled airspace," Winnefeld said.

    Developed by Northrop Grumman, Fire Scout is intended to provide surveillance and reconnaissance data to Navy warships, including Littoral Combat Ships and other surface combatants.
     
  5. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Lawmakers: Shipbuilding Might Continue at Avondale

    Democratic members of Louisiana's congressional delegation believe they may have found a solution to keep the beleaguered Avondale shipyard near New Orleans in business.

    "The Navy will make public tomorrow its plans to move up construction of double-hulled tankers from 2017 to 2014 and the guarantee that two LPD ships currently under construction at Avondale will be completed there," Sen. Mary Landrieu and Rep. Charlie Melancon said in a news release issued Sept. 16.

    Northrop Grumman Corp. revealed in July its intention to close the Avondale yard and offer for sale all of its shipyards. Navy officials privately have supported the closure of the Avondale yard - smallest of the company's three major shipyards - as part of a series of solutions to improve Northrop's Gulf coast operations.

    Northrop took that a step further with its announcement to shed itself of shipbuilding and concentrate on its electronics and communications businesses.

    Avondale employs about 5,000 people in the hard-hit New Orleans area, which is still recovering from 2005's Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of the city.

    Northrop builds LPD amphibious transport ships at the Avondale yard and its Ingalls facility at Pascagoula, Miss. Northrop leadership pledged in its July declarations to complete the ships at Avondale rather than have them towed to Ingalls.

    The Navy is planning to build new double-hulled tankers but has yet to put the T-AO(X) program up for bids. Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, head of the Navy's Military Sealift Command, writing in the September issue of MSC's monthly newsletter, said the Navy "will go forward with an accelerated funding profile to start building these ships four years earlier than planned."

    There is no guarantee Avondale would win the T-AO(X) contract, as the General Dynamics-owned National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego also is expected to bid on the program. The ships also are seen as key to that shipyard's future.

    Landrieu and Melancon said in a joint letter the chance to bid on the tanker contract would make Avondale "more attractive to prospective new shipbuilding buyers." They acknowledged they didn't yet have all the answers.

    "While today's announcement is not a silver bullet, it is a small step in the direction of making Avondale viable years into the future," they wrote.

    Politics could also be afoot, as they normally are with jobs programs. While Landrieu is not up for re-election, Melancon is in a race with incumbent Republican David Vitter for Louisiana's other Senate seat. A Rasmussen poll in late August showed Melancon training Vitter by 54 percent to 33 percent - a margin which has remained somewhat steady throughout this year. Even a recent Democratic poll had Melancon trailing Vitter by 10 points.

    Navy officials announced a news conference for early Sept. 17, although they have not disclosed the subject matter.
     
  6. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    More Sikhs Allowed to Wear Turbans in U.S. Military :tup:

    While New York City and many other parts of America struggle to accept Muslims near Ground Zero, the U.S. Army is showing signs of more openness towards one group mistakenly caught up in the post-9/11 hysteria.

    Sikhs, who were mistaken for Muslims following the terrorist attacks and persecuted because of their appearance, are being allowed in a few instances to retain their turbans and beards, which are required by their faith, while serving in the Army. There are more than half a million Sikhs in the United States.

    Captain Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi said on his first day of training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, a first sergeant pulled him out of the crowd—not to admonish him for his appearance, but to make it clear to the rest of the soldiers that Kalsi had every right to serve his country.

    “These were his words: ‘The Army is made up of different shades of green, and if you have any objection to him being here, you need to tell me now,’â€￾ Kalsi told Agence France-Presse. “It was great; everybody clapped.â€￾

    AllGov - News - More Sikhs Allowed to Wear Turbans in U.S. Military
     
  7. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    US Air Force rebuts concerns about GPS


    A US government report raising questions about the future reliability of the Global Positioning System satellite network is "overly pessimistic," Air Force commanders said Friday.

    A report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said the latest GPS satellite was launched almost 3 1/2 years behind schedule, and further delays could leave the system with fewer than the 24 orbiting satellites it needs as older models wear out and quit working.

    Col. David Buckman of the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., said the report's facts were correct, but "we think it draws overly pessimistic conclusions based on those facts."

    Buckman said satellites currently in the design or construction phase are on schedule and the Air Force has 31 healthy, operational satellites in orbit.

    Even if the count did drop below 24 — which Buckman said was unlikely — most users, including some military applications, wouldn't be affected, he said.

    GPS has become nearly indispensable, with untold numbers of receivers in everything from cars and cell phones to military weapons. The receivers can determine their position, their path and the time of day using signals from the satellites, which are launched and operated by the Air Force.

    Col. Bernard Gruber, commander of the GPS Wing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., estimated that there are 750 million GPS users worldwide.

    A May 2009 GAO report cast doubt on whether the Air Force could acquire new satellites in time to prevent an interruption in service as older satellites die.

    A follow-up report released Sept. 15 credited the Air Force with making improvements but warned that a delay in launching one of the next-generation satellites could still drop the number of operational orbiting satellites to less than 24.

    In a conference call with reporters Friday, Buckman and Gruber acknowledged that the Air Force has no spare satellites ready to launch if an orbiting satellite fails, but they pointed to the fact that the system already has more than it needs in orbit.

    "We'd like to have more in the barn, (but) we have very robust constellation on orbit right now that's well above the minimum number that were required to have on orbit," Buckman said.

    "I think GPS is extremely strong today," he said.

    US Air Force rebuts concerns about GPS - Technology News - SINA English
     
  8. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    ADDING MULTIMEDIA Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur IV Rocket for U.S. Air Force Carrying Space Based Space Surveillance Satellite


    Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced that it successfully launched the U.S. Air Force's Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) Satellite, also known as SBSS Block 10, aboard a Minotaur IV rocket. The launch, which took place on Saturday, September 25, 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, extends Orbital's record of launches with the Minotaur family of rockets to a perfect 18 successes out of a total of 18 missions.
    The Minotaur IV rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex-8 at VAFB at 9:41 p.m. (PDT). The rocket flew an orbital trajectory downrange over the Pacific Ocean and delivered the SBSS satellite to the desired separation conditions.

    The Minotaur IV launch vehicle is based on decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors that Orbital has upgraded and integrated with modern avionics and other subsystems to produce a cost-effective launcher based on flight-proven hardware. The launch of the SBSS satellite marks the first orbital mission for the Minotaur IV, which currently has a manifest of eight missions over the next several years.

    “The second successful Minotaur IV flight, and the first orbital mission for the vehicle, continues the strong and growing tradition of mission success of the Minotaur rocket family. We are proud to support the U.S. Air Force with the next generation of the Minotaur family for the government's Space Based Space Surveillance satellite program,â€￾ said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital's Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “With two successful launches, we are confident the Minotaur IV can provide the flexibility and reliability the Air Force demands.â€￾

    Orbital has eight subsequent Minotaur IV launches scheduled, the next of which will launch the STP-26 mission, which is a small developmental satellite for the Air Force. The mission will originate from the Alaska Spaceport launch complex in Kodiak, Alaska.

    About Minotaur IV

    The Minotaur IV space launch vehicle leverages the flight-proven heritage of Orbital's Minotaur I, Pegasus and Taurus space launch vehicles to provide a reliable, capable and cost-effective space launcher. Minotaur IV utilizes three government-furnished solid rocket motors from decommissioned Peacekeeper ICBMs and, in certain configurations, a commercial solid rocket upper stage. Building on long experience of launch systems with over 50 flights of each core stage, Minotaur IV is capable of launching payloads up to approximately 4,000 lbs. (1,830 kgs.) to low Earth orbit.
    ADDING MULTIMEDIA Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur IV Rocket for U.S. Air Force Carrying Space Based Space Surveillance Satellite
     
  9. SpArK

    SpArK SorCeroR Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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  10. brain_dead

    brain_dead Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^^^
    i cant see it.
     
  11. RoYaN

    RoYaN Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    ....................................
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  12. RoYaN

    RoYaN Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Copy and paste then it works
     
  13. Dilemma

    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    U.S. Navy Awards Super Hornet Contract

    U.S. Navy Awards Super Hornet Contract
    By JOHN REED
    Published: 28 Sep 2010 17:47

    The U.S. Navy today awarded Boeing the long-awaited $5 billion multiyear contract for 124 F/A-18EF Super Hornets and their Growler electronic attack variants.

    The deal will provide the sea service with 46 F/A-18E and 20 F/A-18F Super Hornets and 58 EA-18G Growlers after the Navy gave Boeing $5.2 billion to convert the "advance acquisition contract" into a fixed-price deal.

    This latest Super Hornet buy will allow the Navy to complete its program of record of 515 Super Hornets and 114 Growlers by the end of fiscal year 2013, according to a Sept. 28 service announcement.

    U.S. Navy Awards Super Hornet Contract - Defense News
     
  14. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Boeing gets $11.9 billion Air Force contract

    The U.S. Air Force has signed an eight-year contract with Boeing Co. worth $11.9 billion for upgrades to B-52 bombers.

    The Defense Department says that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is handling contract activities.

    The Associated Press: Boeing gets $11.9 billion Air Force contract
     
  15. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    U.S. Army orders firearms simulator

    TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has ordered a VirTra Systems multi-tiered, multi-system firearm simulator, the company announced.

    The Army also contracted the company for a firearms simulator at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

    "Being recognized by the United States military as the absolute best option for the most ultra-realistic, use-of-force simulation is indeed a great honor and testament to VirTra's tireless team; however, we are not motivated by recognition. Our objective is to save lives and by creating the best simulation product on the market, we are doing our part to keep our troops, law enforcement and civilians safe," said Don Andrus, president and chief operating officer of VirTra Systems.

    VirTra said the Army purchased its VirTra 300 MIL simulators, which features an elevated deck and HD sound effects for complete auditory immersion. This fully immersive five-screen, ultra-realistic military enhanced use-of-force simulator, is equipped with recoil kits, return fire simulation devices, multiple tetherless firearm recoil kits, a full stun-gun package, firearm refill and recharge stations, M16 rifle kits with Smart Magazines as were recoil kits for M-9 Berettas, M-16's, M-4's and Crew Served M240's and M249's.

    VirTra's proprietary Recoil Refill Stations were also included in the award.

    The company said the VirTra 300 is the only five-screen, 300-degree simulator with seamless video available in the marketplace today.

    This fully immersive, ultra realistic training environment is as valuable in the military community as it is in law enforcement.

    The Directorate of Emergency Services, which provides police, fire, security and emergency services for the mountainous southern Arizona base, chose the VirTra 300 LE.

    Along with the simulator, several recoil kits and VirTra's Threat-Fire II return fire simulator were purchased.

    U.S. Army orders firearms simulator - UPI.com
     

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