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United States Military News

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

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    US Army Exploring ‘Devastating’ New Weapon For Use In War with Russia
    [​IMG]


    April 11, 2017



    The Kinetic Energy Projectile would be a tungsten warhead that moves at three times the speed of sound, destroying anything in its path.

    Were the United States to go to war with Russia, both sides could draw on deadly weapons that the world has never seen on a battlefield. On the Russian side, there are new and smaller tactical nuclear weapons. To counter them, the U.S. Army is taking another look at a “devastating” weapon it first tested in 2013: the Kinetic Energy Projectile, or KEP, a tungsten-based charge moving at three times the speed of sound that can destroy anything in its path.

    “Think of it as a big shotgun shell,” Maj. Gen. William Hix, the Army’s director of strategy, plans & policy, said a few weeks ago at the Booz Allen Hamilton Direct Energy Summit. But unlike a shotgun shell, Hix said, the KEP moves at incredible speeds of “Mach 3 to Mach 6.”

    Randy Simpson, a weapons programs manager at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, explains that kinetic energy projectiles are warheads that “take advantage of high terminal speeds to deliver much more energy onto a target than the chemical explosives they carry would deliver alone.”

    Said Hix: “The way that they [Lawrence Livermore] have designed it is quite devastating. I would not want to be around it. Not much can survive it. If you are in a main battle tank, if you’re a crew member, you might survive but the vehicle will be non-mission capable, and everything below that will level of protection will be dead. That’s what I am talking about.”




    The general emphasized that the exploration was in a conceptual phase and not yet any sort of actual program: “We’re looking at ways we might — key, might — use that capability in one of our existing launch platforms as part of the weapons suite that we have.”

    He said the main contender for a launcher would be the Army Tactical Missile System, made by Lockheed Martin.

    In October 2013, an Air Force test team strapped the projectile to a “sled” on the high-speed test track at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. The goal: to get it moving faster than Mach 3 and see how it might actually work in the air. The test showed that the warhead design worked; it also provided data to help simulations and modeling.

    Why would the U.S. military, which has put untold billions of dollars into precision weapons over several decades, need such a blunt and terrifying weapon? To counter small Russian nuclear weapons.

    “The Russians … maintain their tactical nuclear stockpile in ways that we have not,” Hix said.

    Potomac Institute head Philip Karber, who helped write the Pentagon’s Russia New Generation Warfare Study, offered a bit more explanation when Defense One spoke to him in January. While the United States retains just a few of its once-large arsenal of tactical nukes, Karber estimates that Russia currently has anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 of the weapons.

    “Look at what the Russians have been doing in low-fission, high-fusion, sub-kiloton tactical nuclear technology,” he said. “It appears that they are putting a big effort…in both miniaturizing the warheads and using sub-kiloton low-yield warheads.”

    Why is that significant? By shrinking the warhead, you can shoot it out of a wider variety of guns, including, potentially, 152-millimeter tank cannons.

    “They’ve announced that the follow-on tank to the Armata will have a 152-millimeter gun missile launcher. They’re talking about it having a nuclear capability. And you go, ‘You’re talking about building a nuclear tank, a tank that fires a nuke?’ Well, that’s the implication,” said Karber.

    Hix says that the use of tactical battlefield nuclear weapons, even very low-level ones, is not part of official Russian military doctrine, but it is a capability that they are increasingly eager to show off (and discuss) to intimidate neighbors and adversaries.

    “They certainly exercise the use of those weapons in many of their exercises, including the one that participated in the parking of 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border right before [the 2014 invasion of] Crimea. That coercive intimidation is a part of their design,” he said.

    And while even Soviet generals may have shied away from using tactical nukes, Blix said, Putin’s military is “a lot more inclined philosophically to see the utility of them.”[​IMG]
     
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  2. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    First on CNN: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    By Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne, CNN



    Updated 12:42 PM ET, Thu April 13, 2017





    Source: CNN

    ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Kabul blasts 03:26
    Story highlights
    • The MOAB is known as the 'mother of all bombs'
    • The target was ISIS tunnels and personnel
    Washington (CNN)The US military has dropped an enormous bomb in Afghanistan, according to four US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission.

    A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, was dropped at 7 p.m. local time Thursday, the sources said.
    The MOAB is also known as the "mother of all bombs." A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb.


    The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, according to the military sources.
    They said the target was ISIS tunnels and personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province.

    Read More
    The military is currently assessing the damage. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on the use of the bomb, according to the sources.
    This is the first time a MOAB has been used in the battlefield, according to the US officials. This munition was developed during the Iraq War.
     
  3. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/BAE_Systems_to_develop_US_space_missile_defense_tech_999.html

    BAE Systems to develop U.S. space, missile defense tech
    by Ryan Maass
    Washington (UPI) Apr 12, 2017

    [​IMG]


    BAE Systems received a contract to research and develop new space and missile defense technologies for the U.S. Army, the company announced Wednesday.

    The enterprise is one of eight contractors to compete for the $3 billion indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity deal. It was awarded by the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, or SMDC/ARSTRAT.

    Under the agreement, BAE Systems will explore next-generation software and hardware applications for high-altitude defense projects.

    "We've had a long-standing and successful relationship with SMDC," BAE Systems' DeEtte Gray said in a press release. "We're committed to helping the Army develop the new technologies it needs to gain a greater tactical edge on the battlefield and accomplish a wide array of complex missions."

    In addition to research and development, tasks will include integration, testing and small-scale prototype production. BAE Systems adds prototypes and subsystems will also be examined in laboratory and field environments.
     
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  4. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  5. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    Afghan official: Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94
    [​IMG]
    RAHIM FAIEZ

    Associated PressApril 15, 2017
    • [​IMG]
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    1 / 2
    U.S. forces and Afghan commandos are seen in Asad Khil near the site of a U.S. bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 17, 2017. U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear weapon every used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The number of militants killed in an attack by the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military has risen to 94, an Afghan official said Saturday.

    Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said the number of Islamic State group dead was up from the 36 reported a day earlier. A Ministry of Defense official had said Friday the number of dead could rise as officials assessed the bomb site in Achin district.

    "Fortunately there is no report of civilians being killed in the attack," Khogyani said.

    The increased death toll in Nangarhar was announced as officials in southern Helmand province reported at least 11 civilians were killed and one wounded in two roadside bomb blasts overnight.

    The U.S. attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border killed at least four IS group leaders, Khogyani said. He said a clearance operation to assess the site of the attack was continuing.

    The strike using the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, was carried out Thursday against an Islamic State group tunnel complex carved into the mountains that Afghan forces had tried to assault repeatedly in recent weeks in fierce fighting in Nangarhar province.

    Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Saturday criticized both the Afghan and U.S. governments for the attack in Nangarhar. Addressing a gathering in capital Kabul, Karzai said that allowing the U.S. to carry out the bombing was "a national treason" and an insult to Afghanistan.

    Current President Ashraf Ghani's office said Friday there was "close coordination" between the U.S. military and the Afghan government on the operation, and they were careful to prevent any civilian casualties.

    The U.S. estimates 600-800 IS fighters are in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. The U.S. has concentrated on fighting them while also supporting Afghan forces against the Taliban. The U.S. has more than 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.

    In Helmand province, at least 11 civilians were killed and one wounded in two roadside bomb blasts late Friday evening, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor.

    "All victims of the attack were innocent civilians including women and children," said Zwak. The 11 died in a blast in Nawa district when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Another person was wounded when a second bomb exploded in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, he said.

    Also on Saturday, Khogyani said a district leader and three others were wounded when their vehicle was targeted by a bomb. One of the wounded was Ghalib Mujahid, Bati Kot district chief, he said.

    "The district chief and others are out of danger and are not in life-threatening condition," he said.

    Last November, Mujahid was attacked by a sticky bomb attached to the vehicle and he was wounded and his driver was killed.

    Since a large number of caves would have collapsed the real figures may never be knowen.
     
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  6. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    Boeing Upgrades Air Defense Vs. Russians: Avenger SHORAD By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on April 14, 2017 at 2:21 PM
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    [​IMG]

    Boeing’s prototype next-generation Avenger anti-aircraft turret, loaded with Hellfire and AIS-3 missiles.

    Increasingly anxious about Russian drones and helicopters, the US Army is inviting contractors to demonstrate Short-Range Air Defense systems at a “SHORAD shoot-off” this September. The closest thing to an incumbent in this race is Boeing, which developed the Army’s current Avenger, an old-school unarmored Humvee carrying Stinger missile pods. Now Boeing has upgraded the Avenger to fire more powerful missiles like Hellfire and AI-3 — and even lasers — off more formidable vehicles like the 8×8 Stryker and the tracked M2 Bradley.

    “I did SHORAD my entire life,” said Jim Leary, who retired from the air defense corps as a lieutenant colonel and now works air defense for Boeing. “So I have an understanding, from having done it, of how to support the maneuver force (i.e. frontline infantry and armored vehicles). That’s why the vehicle’s so important.”

    [​IMG]
    The current model of the Avenger anti-aircraft missile vehicle, with Stinger missile launchers on an unarmored Humvee.

    An unarmored Humvee worked okay for the Cold War, when the Army’s AirLand Battle doctrine envisioned a clear front line — held by dug-in infantry and armored vehicles — with fragile support vehicles shielded behind it. Horrific Humvee losses in Afghanistan and Iraq showed there is no safe rear area anymore. Now the Army’s emerging doctrine of Multi-Domain Battle envisions a chaotic future battlefield where US forces operate in small units, widely dispersed and constantly moving to evade attack.

    Since these “distributed operations” task forces may advance too far for static missile defense like Patriot batteries to protect them — or the enemy may blow the Patriots up — each unit needs its own SHORAD to defend against enemy air attack. Those SHORAD units, in turn, need to be mobile enough to keep up with the vehicles they’re protecting and tough enough to survive the roadside bombs, anti-tank missiles, and other attacks that will come their way.

    That’s why, in March, Boeing and the Army fitted a new-model Avenger turret onto a Stryker, the eight-wheel-drive armored vehicle used by medium-weight formations. This vehicle will be on display at the Army artillery center on Fort Sill, Oklahoma for an officers’ conference in March. Boeing is also looking at an updated version of the M6 Bradley Linebacker, the air-defense variant of the family of tracked vehicles that makes up a third of each heavy armored brigade. (The anti-aircraft missiles would replace the standard Bradley’s TOW anti-tank missiles; unlike the Stryker, the Bradley already has a turret, so there’s no need to add one).

    [​IMG]

    Boeing is also testing new weapons. Instead of the Stinger, an infra-red “tail chaser” that homes in on the heat of an aircraft’s exhaust, the new Avenger turret can fire longer-ranged, radar-guided weapons like Lockheed’s Longbow Hellfire — originally an anti-tank missile, now widely used by Predator drones — or the Raytheon’s AI-3 — a ground-launched variant of the AIM-9 used by fighter jets. In fact, the same turret can carry both at once, firing Hellfires from one side and AI-3s from the other.

    [​IMG]
    Stryker vehicles from the Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Romania.

    Boeing even wants to integrate missiles and lasers on the same vehicle. It has already worked with General Dynamics, which makes the Stryker, to fit one of the 8×8 vehicles with a two-kilowatt laser (called MEHEL) and radio jammers. That’s not enough firepower to shoot down aircraft, but it could zap incoming drones indefinitely — the laser has power as long as the engine’s got gas — which would let the missile launchers save their limited number of shots for the harder targets. And since the 2 kW laser fit on the Stryker with room to spare, the same vehicle could transport infantry in the back or be fitted with an Avenger turret and racks for extra missiles.

    At this point, the parable of Lincoln’s axe may come to mind: If the original Avenger was Stinger missiles on a Humvee, and the new Avenger changes both the weapon and the vehicle, what do the various versions have in common? The answer is the electronics.

    “Our ability to take our weapons interface and shoot multiple missiles off of an existing combat platform — (one) that can maneuver with the infantry and maneuver with the armor and maneuver with the Stryker formations — is really what makes it unique,” Leary told me. It’s “a plug and play weapons interface,” he said, where adding a new weapon just requires updating software, like installing a new printer driver on your computer.

    [​IMG]
    M6 Bradley Linebacker

    Boeing developed the multi-missile Avenger launcher using its own Independent Research & Development (IRAD) dollars over the past few years and first test-fired it for the Army in 2013. The next year Russia seized the Crimea and effectively invaded eastern Ukraine, showing tactical skill and technological sophistication that forced the Army to take notice. The new Russian arsenal includes everything from new reconnaissance drones — used to target devastating barrages against Ukrainian troops — to Soviet-era Hind helicopter gunships and Sukhoi “Frogfoot” attack jets. The Army realized it had largely divested itself of Short-Range Air Defense since the Cold War: Many SHORAD systems were retired entirely, with all the Linebackers converted back to standard Bradleys, while only about 400 of the over 1,100 Avengers built remain in service. That’s why Boeing rolled out its new-model Avenger turret at last month’s Association of the US Army conference in Huntsville, Ala.

    “That launcher that you saw at AUSA is a real launcher,” Leary said. “We’ve fired the Longbow missile off of it…fired an AIM-9 variant… even shot a two-kilowatt laser off of it.”

    Now Boeing just has to convince the Army that their offering is the right solution for its urgent air defense needs. Said Leary, “All of industry is trying to anticipate…where the Army’s going to go.
     
  7. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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  8. MUC-Spotter

    MUC-Spotter FULL MEMBER

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    Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit US Air Force Spirit of New York Takeoff

     
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  9. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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  10. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    US military tests swarm of mini-drones launched from jets
    By Chris Baraniuk Technology reporter
    [​IMG]Image copyright US Department of Defense
    Image caption The drones were launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets
    The US military has launched 103 miniature swarming drones from a fighter jet during a test in California.

    Three F/A-18 Super Hornets were used to release the Perdix drones last October.

    The drones, which have a wingspan of 12in (30cm), operate autonomously and share a distributed brain.

    A military analyst said the devices, able to dodge air defence systems, were likely to be used for surveillance.

    Video footage of the test was published online by the Department of Defense.


    "Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronised individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature," said William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office.

    "Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team."

    The drones were originally designed by engineering students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and were first modified for military testing in 2013.

    [​IMG]Image copyright US Department of Defense
    Image caption The Perdix drones have a shared mind of their own
    "When looking at how you deal with air defence systems that are optimised to spot very large, fast-moving aircraft, small, cheap disposable drones seem to be one solution," said Elizabeth Quintana, at the Royal United Services Institute, a military think tank.

    She added that the system would probably be used for surveillance purposes in the near term.

    In May, the US Navy tested a system that could launch drones into the sky for rapid deployment.

    Asian competition
    And late last year, the Chinese also demonstrated a swarm of larger, fixed-wing drones.

    Ms Quintana pointed out that China had significant resources both in electronics and drone-manufacturing.

    The world's best-selling consumer drones are made by DJI, a Chinese company.

    "They have a tremendous amount of expertise in the country," she told the BBC.

    "It's going to be very interesting - it won't just be about who has the biggest swarm but also about who can out-manoeuvre who."
     
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  11. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    Watched rocket launch today, lot of drones operating off coast.

     
  12. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  13. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills four suspected al Qaeda members: local officials
    [​IMG]
    Reuters
    April 19, 2017
    SANAA (Reuters) - A U.S. drone killed four suspected al Qaeda members in an overnight strike as they were traveling through the central desert province of Marib, local officials said on Wednesday.

    One said that authorities had not been able to identify those killed because the bodies were so badly burnt.

    Marib, now under the control of President Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi's internationally recognized government, is one of several regions where Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its local affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, operate and is east of the capital Sanaa - controlled by the dominant Houthi group.

    "A drone hit a car carrying four suspected al Qaeda members near the town of Al Hami. The vehicle was completely burned and the persons inside were killed," a second Marib official said.

    AQAP has exploited two years of civil war to recruit followers and cement its dominance in the central and southern part of Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition, with logistical support from the U.S. air force, has been fighting the Houthis to try to restore Hadi to power.

    The Houthis seized much of northern Yemen including Sanaa in a series of lightning military operations that began in 2014, eventually forcing Hadi to flee. The Houthis regard their move on Sanaa as a revolution against corruption.

    The United States has repeatedly attacked AQAP with aircraft and unmanned drones in what U.S. officials say is a campaign to degrade the group's ability to coordinate attacks abroad.

    In late January, at least 30 people were killed in a U.S. commando dawn raid in southern Yemen, including at least 10 women and children, in the first such military operation authorized by President Donald Trump.

    The new U.S. administration has not yet laid out a clear policy on drone strikes, but Trump has said he would support an escalation of the fight against Islamist militant groups.

    U.S. drone strikes have become more frequent in recent weeks, with at least six reported by Reuters last month.

    The previous administration regularly used drones to attack Islamic State, al Qaeda and other militant groups in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Human rights groups criticize the tactic because of civilian casualties.

    The Saudi-led coalition has recently made gains against the Houthis in western Yemen but fighting on other fronts, including Marib, has been static, with little ground changing hands.

    The coalition accuses Iran of trying to use the Houthis to expand its influence in Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries. Iran denies this.

    (Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Additional reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf in ADEN; Writing by Tom Finn; Editing by Louise Ireland)
     
  14. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  15. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    New Missile Defense Radar Passes Key Stage: Lockheed LRDR
    By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.on April 20, 2017 at 4:28 PM
    3 Comments
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    [​IMG]
    The Long-Range Discrimination Radar will be better able to tell apart different types of targets, as illustrated here.

    As anxiety rises over North Korean rocket tests, the Missile Defense Agency needs better radar to tell threats apart. Which of those distant blips is an InterContinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) warhead capable of hitting the US? Which is a burnt-out rocket boaster coasting harmlessly through space? Which is a decoy warhead designed to make MDA waste some of its limited supply of interceptor missiles?

    [​IMG]
    Clear Air Force Station in central Alaska.

    Telling targets apart better is the mission of the $784 million Long-Range Discrimination Radar. Today, contractor Lockheed Martin announced LRDR had passed a major milestone, the Preliminary Design Review. (Critical Design Review is scheduled for September and Final Design Review for December). Lockheed already has a scaled-down LRDR in testing, while the full-size LRDR is on track to be installed at Clear Air Force Station in Alaska in 2020.

    Clear is in central Alaska, about a five-hour drive from Anchorage. It’s a compromise location, said missile defense expert Tom Karako. The Clinton Administration proposed putting radars on Shemya Island at the far end of the Aleutians, as close as possible to North Korea, while the Bush Administration built the Sea-Based X-Band (SBX) radar on a floating oil platform, capable of coming even closer, but installing and supporting sophisticated equipment on tiny, isolated Shemya is a logistical nightmare, while SBX is only able to stay at sea about a third of the time. A land-based radar in mainland Alaska is much easier to keep running, but it doesn’t have as good a view. In particular, said Karako, it can’t cover Hawaii, so the MDA is looking at a second radar to cover the island state, perhaps a scaled-down Medium-Range Discrimination Radar or an Aegis Ashore battery.

    For attacks against the rest of the US, however, the LRDR at Clear will make a major difference, Karako told me. Even without adding decoys to the mix, a ballistic missile launch puts “a flying junkpile” into space, from burnt-out rocket motors to loose bolts, all coasting along on the same ballistic trajectory, and only one of them is worth shooting at: the warhead. LRDR helps sort through that clutter.

    [​IMG]
    Solid State Radar Integration Site, a Lockheed test facility being used for LRDR

    The “discrimination” in the name doesn’t mean the radar’s racist. Instead, it refers to the “ability to do precise, long-distance detection and characterization of ballistic missiles,” Lockheed program director Chandra Marshall told reporters this morning. “This radar can do that better than any radar in the field.”

    How? Marshall was naturally cagey with details, most of which are classified, but she did drop some hints.

    First of all, like many new radars, LRDR uses gallium nitride (GaN), which conducts high-voltage electricity much more efficiently than traditional materials. GaN makes it possible to generate a much more powerful radar beam: One industry executive said you can get 50 percent more range, search five times as large a volume, or improve discrimination.

    Second, LRDR is “a dual-polarized, dual-range capability radar.” Marshall wouldn’t go into details, but the term “dual-polarized” is used in open literature to describe cutting-edge civilian weather radars, which are better at telling the difference between, say, rain, snow, and hail, and can even measure the size of the hailstones as they come down. A traditional radar sends out pulses of energy that are only polarized in one direction, horizontally. Imagine ripples expanding outward through a pond, only the ripples extend straight up into the air, like a moving wall. When such a horizontally polarized radar beam bounces off something, you only get a one-dimensional image of the target. But a dual-polarized radar sends out alternating pulses polarized at right angles to each other — one horizontal, then one vertical, then another horizontal — so you get a two-dimensional picture. By looking at both the horizontal and the vertical dimensions, the dual-polarized radar can tell apart objects that would look the same to a horizontal-only radar. While LRDR is presumably a rather more sophisticated implementation of this technology than a weather radar, the net effect is similar: the ability to tell objects apart — in this case warheads, not hailstones — at roughly twice the range.

    [​IMG]
    Dual-Polarization Radar explained (National Weather Service slide)

    Third, LRDR has the software required to take full advantage of these new hardware features. 90 percent of that code, however, is already in use today with the Lockheed-built Aegis missile defense system on Navy warships and land bases, Marshall said, so there shouldn’t be the programming nightmares often associated with software-intensive federal programs. The software will also have what’s called an open architecture, Marshall said, which means it will consist of modules written to common standards, which in turn allows third parties to write new modules as long as they conform to the standard. This plug-and-play approach is intended to allow easy and rapid updates, particularly important in an area like radar where adversaries are constantly coming up with new countermeasures.

    That said, Karako argues the real long-term solution for target discrimination is to complement ground-based radars like LRDR with electro-optical satellites, in order to get multiple looks at each target from multiple angles with multiple types of sensor. “Every single administration for the past five administrations has had a space sensor layer for national missile defense….on paper,” he lamented. “None of them has done it.”

    While radar is the whole solution, it’s a big part of it, and all of Lockheed’s innovations have application beyond LRDR. Whether or not the Missile Defense Agency decides it needs a second such radar, e.g. for Hawaii, Lockheed can scale the LRDR design up or down to fit on different platforms — not just land bases but also ships — for a wide variety of missions, Marshall said. Indeed, though Lockheed didn’t say this out loud, the superior discrimination of a dual-polarized GaN radar could potentially help it pick the tiny returns of stealth aircraft out of background noise, when traditional radars can’t see them at all. With Russia and China both working on “low observable” aircraft, counter-stealth is a technology the US could use.
     
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