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    George1
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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  George1 on Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:48 pm

    Raytheon, Kongsberg Join Forces on NSM

    WASHINGTON — Raytheon and Kongsberg are teaming to produce a fifth-generation naval strike missile (NSM), the two companies announced Thursday.

    The American and Norwegian firms unveiled a similar partnership last year with the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), an anti-ship weapon launched from the air. The companies are hoping to integrate the JSM into F-35 joint strike fighters.

    Raytheon and Kongsberg will collaborate on the NSM, with an eye toward marketing it to the US Navy's next generation of littoral combat ships (LCS). Because the Norwegian government has already borne the costs for developing the NSM — the missile is already in use on Norwegian frigates and corvettes, as well as Polish land defense systems — the companies hope it will present an affordable option in today's cost-conscious budget environment.

    "It's a very good fit, and a very affordable weapon for the US Navy," said Thomas Bussing, Raytheon's vice president of advanced missile systems.

    The midrange missile can strike targets on land and sea more than 200 kilometers away, said Harald Ånnestad, president of Kongsberg Defence Systems. Because the NSM uses an engine normally installed in missiles that weigh twice as much, it has enough maneuverability to avoid defensive measures, he said.

    "We can constantly change acceleration and do maneuvers without losing speed," he said.

    While the NSM is already in production in Norway, the missile could be built and assembled in America if the US buys the weapon for the LCS, said Bussing.

    "There are several international opportunities that are being pursued in parallel," he said.

    While Kongsberg was rolling out details of its tie-up with Raytheon to push NSM for the US Navy requirement, the Norwegian company was also announcing a sales success for the missile in Asia.

    The company has secured what it called a "letter of award" from the Boustead Naval Shipyard in Malaysia to prepare for the installation of the NSM onboard six littoral combat ships scheduled to be built at the yard using the Gowind design of French shipbuilder DCNS.

    The Kongsberg work involves preparation of fixed items like the launcher, cables, electronics and integration with the combat management system ahead of a production contract for the NSM.

    The first ship is scheduled for delivery in 2020. Malaysia is set to become the third operator of the missile following orders from Norway and Poland. The latter uses the weapon in a land-based coastal defense role.

    "This agreement with Boustead Naval Shipyard is to prepare the future Royal Malaysian littoral combat ships for NSM and confirms NSM's very strong competitiveness in the international market. Malaysia is the third user of this modern fifth-generation anti-surface weapon," said Kongsberg's Ånnestad.

    higurashihougi
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    Colt Defense Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

    Post  higurashihougi on Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:07 pm

    Is the situation really that bad ?

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/colt-defense-to-file-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection-by-monday-1434310925

    Gun maker Colt Defense LLC said late Sunday it is filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy-court protection, amid business-execution issues and a heavy debt burden.

    The company has secured $20 million in financing from its existing senior lenders to continue operating while in bankruptcy and expects to remain in business after the restructuring.

    The West Hartford, Conn., company, with a legacy dating to 19th century New England, developed a pistol it calls “the gun that won the West” and enjoyed a lucrative stretch in the late 1990s and early 2000s as supplier to the U.S. military of the M4 line of firearms widely used by front-line troops.

    But Colt has struggled in recent years with supply-chain and working capital issues, a slowdown in rifle sales and its 2013 loss of a key contract to supply the U.S. Army with the M4. As a result of some of its operational issues, the company has had accounting problems that caused it to revise prior years’ reported financial results and miss a creditor’s initial filing deadline for an annual report, according to regulatory filings.

    Colt plans to try to reduce its $355 million debt burden via a court-supervised auction of its business, to generate proceeds to repay some of its lenders.

    Colt has selected its private-equity backer, Sciens Management LLC, as the “stalking horse”—or lead bidder—in the sale.

    As its cash dwindled, Colt spent much of the past year seeking financing and angling for better terms and restructuring-plan support from creditors.

    It tried to win bondholders’ backing for a debt-for-debt exchange or a “prepackaged bankruptcy” filing that could have smoothed its trip through chapter 11. But bondholders balked at the deals, either of which would have slashed the amount the company owed them. As of June 1, just 5.9% of bondholders had registered their support for Colt’s proposal, according to the company.

    Colt borrowed $70 million from Morgan Stanley last year to pay interest on its bonds, and in February it warned it might not have enough cash to make an interest payment by a June 15 deadline. This year it struck a $33 million refinancing deal with hedge fund Marblegate Asset Management LLC that also freed up some additional liquidity, according to filings.

    Ultimately, it failed to turn its performance around or negotiate a deal with all its creditors before Monday’s payment deadline, people familiar with the matter said, setting up a default.

    Colt’s Bankruptcy Affects Large Retail Bondholder Base. Among those staked to Colt Defense’s chapter 11 restructuring are the company’s “mom and pop” bondholders, who number about 2,700, Colt’s chief restructuring officer says in a bankruptcy filing. He thinks fewer than 50 institutional investors own the company’s bonds--though they hold three-fourths of the dollar value of the bond debt. Well-known, iconic companies often attract outsized interest from retail investors, market participants say. The divide in dealing with retail holders and sophisticated institutional investors working with legal and banking advisers complicated Colt’s efforts to cut a deal with bondholders ahead of the filing, its CRO says. (matthew.jarzemsky@wsj.com)

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    Lockheed to buy United Tech's Sikorsky for over $8 billion

    Post  nemrod on Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:11 pm



    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/19/us-sikorsky-m-a-lockheed-idUSKCN0PT0MM20150719?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter


    Exclusive: Lockheed to buy United Tech's Sikorsky for over $8 billion - source



    Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the largest U.S. weapons maker, has agreed to buy United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) Sikorsky Aircraft unit, the maker of Black Hawk helicopters, for over $8 billion, a source familiar with the negotiations said on Sunday.

    The two companies plan to announce the deal on Monday, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

    It will be Lockheed's largest acquisition since it bought Martin Marietta Corp for about $10 billion two decades ago, and the first major strategic move for both United Tech Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes, who was elevated to CEO from finance chief in November, and Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson, who took over her job in January 2013.

    Officials at United Technologies declined comment. No comment was immediately available from Lockheed.

    (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrew Heavens)




    PS: in order to avoid redundancies, please move this subject in the appropriate topic. I searched about Lockheed Martin in this forum, using search button, it did not work correctly. I don't know if the problem comes from my O/S -Linux Kubuntu- and my firefox.

    George1
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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  George1 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:01 pm

    nemrod wrote:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/19/us-sikorsky-m-a-lockheed-idUSKCN0PT0MM20150719?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter


    Exclusive: Lockheed to buy United Tech's Sikorsky for over $8 billion - source



    Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the largest U.S. weapons maker, has agreed to buy United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) Sikorsky Aircraft unit, the maker of Black Hawk helicopters, for over $8 billion, a source familiar with the negotiations said on Sunday.

    The two companies plan to announce the deal on Monday, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

    It will be Lockheed's largest acquisition since it bought Martin Marietta Corp for about $10 billion two decades ago, and the first major strategic move for both United Tech Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes, who was elevated to CEO from finance chief in November, and Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson, who took over her job in January 2013.

    Officials at United Technologies declined comment. No comment was immediately available from Lockheed.

    (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrew Heavens)




    PS: in order to avoid redundancies, please move this subject in the appropriate topic. I searched about Lockheed Martin in this forum, using search button, it did not work correctly. I don't know if the problem comes from my O/S -Linux Kubuntu- and my firefox.  

    Τhis thread i think is the most suitable Smile


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    max steel
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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:48 pm

    Is Lockheed Martin too big to fail?

    magnumcromagnon
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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:21 pm

    ...And yet we still have people debating whether the mismanagement of +$8 trillion wasn't an act of widespread corruption:

    Watchdog fumes over $43m Afghan gas station, Pentagon keeps mum

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:33 pm

    Can the US Military Win Wars If It Keeps Losing Talented Officers?



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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:44 pm

    The End of Pax Americana

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:26 pm

    Setting Priorities for Nuclear Modernization

    In the next decade, the United States will have to make decisions that will shape its nuclear arsenal for much of the next century. Nearly every missile, submarine, aircraft, and warhead in the U.S. arsenal is nearing the end of its service life and must be replaced.

    As Congress and the Obama administration continue to wrestle with the effects of sequestration on projected levels of defense spending, the U.S. Department of Defense has begun a series of procurement programs that will nearly double the amount the country spends on its nuclear deterrent in the next decade compared to what it spent in the past decade.

    Over the next 30 years, the cost of the nuclear deterrent could pass $1 trillion and crowd out defense and domestic investments needed to keep the United States strong and competitive. In addition, it could undermine U.S. credibility on the issue of nuclear proliferation—especially when it comes to dealing with regimes such as Russia, China, and North Korea.

    It is no accident that so many modernization programs must begin in this decade. The United States, like Russia, modernizes its nuclear arsenal in cycles. The current U.S. nuclear arsenal entered service in the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan dramatically expanded the funding devoted to nuclear weapons. That decade saw the Department of Defense field the B-1 and B-2 bombers; the Peacekeeper Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, or ICBM; and the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN.

    With the benefit of hindsight, it is now known that this modernization cycle was highly inefficient: in the years that followed, political, budgetary, and strategic events would modify the U.S. arsenal from its intended shape. Initial plans to deploy 244 B-1A bombers were reduced to 100 B-1B bombers, which were removed from the nuclear mission in 1993; the expected purchase of 132 B-2 bombers was first cut to 75 and then to 21; and 24 planned Ohio-class submarines were cut to 18, four of which were subsequently converted to a conventional role.

    Now, some 30 years later, these weapons systems are nearing retirement and must be replaced. This new modernization cycle represents a major challenge for the United States, as well as an opportunity to ensure that the arsenal is the right size and shape to meet national security needs in a cost-effective manner. There is little reason to hope that the current modernization cycle will be easier than the last. In Congress, budgetary politics have become even more difficult.

    The Budget Control Act of 2011 has severely constrained federal spending, including projected levels of defense spending. At the same time, each of the military services is undergoing contentious and costly modernization of conventional weapons systems. Treasured priorities, including Ford-class aircraft carriers; Virginia-class attack submarines; a large and diverse surface fleet; the F-35 multirole aircraft; and Army readiness could all be affected by the current plans to modernize the nuclear arsenal.

    If history is any guide, modernizing the nuclear arsenal will be a difficult endeavor. Congress is unlikely to appropriate funding for full modernization plans. Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s acquisitions chief, admitted to reporters in early 2015 that the plans are likely “a fantasy, that what we’re going to end up with is nowhere near what we requested.” To ensure that the nuclear force can continue to serve the next president’s strategic guidance, the executive branch should review nuclear spending and put in place an affordable plan for the coming decades. If it does not, the shape of the next nuclear arsenal will likely be set by the vagaries of congressional politics as they seek to curtail whichever programs happen to face cost overruns.

    This report describes four changes to U.S. nuclear modernization plans that ensure strategic stability in a cost-effective way:

    -- Reducing the planned number of submarines from 12 to 10
    -- Cancellation of the new cruise missile
    -- Elimination of the tactical nuclear mission
    -- A gradual reduction in the size of the ICBM force


    Collectively, these changes could save roughly $120 billion over the next 30 years. These savings would increase the likelihood that the services will have the consistent funding necessary to efficiently modernize the nuclear force and would lower the risk they will have to quickly accommodate shocks to the nuclear force structure on short notice. This plan preserves the overall structure of the nuclear triad of bombers, land-based missiles, and sea-based missiles while remaining at the warhead ceiling allowed by the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START. These changes would not reduce either the number or types of targets that the United States could hold at risk nor the yield or speed with which it could strike these targets.

    However, the plan does decrease the number of ways that the services could strike the same target. It may also marginally diminish the survivability of some warheads under certain contingencies. In the authors’ judgment, the benefits of maintaining this redundancy simply do not justify its costs when measured against other military and domestic priorities.

    Before leaving office, the Obama administration can take three steps to ensure that his successor has the information and flexibility necessary to make these needed changes. First, the president should cancel two programs: an effort to consolidate variants of the B61 gravity bomb—a lower-yield nuclear weapon dropped from fighter aircraft—as well as a program to produce a new cruise missile launched from a bomber that is able to maneuver to its target. Second, the president should revise deterrence requirements that currently constrain modernization plans. Third, the White House should order the Pentagon to generate analysis in order to inform the next Nuclear Posture Review regarding options to limit the modernization plans.

    When the new presidential administration takes office in January 2017, it should implement these changes to the nuclear force structure and seriously consider two additional steps: a further reduction of the submarine force from 10 subs to 8 subs, as well as a delay of the Long-Range Strike Bomber program.

    Taking these steps will not only save at least $120 billion, which will allow the Pentagon to fund more critical priorities, but will also permit President Barack Obama’s successor to have the flexibility to make even more reductions to the U.S. nuclear arsenal without undermining nuclear deterrence.


    Full Report : https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/03053017/NuclearArsenal2.pdf

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:05 pm

    Epic Fail: Modernization of US Army Has Numerous Significant Pitfalls

    The experts of the National Commission on the development of the United States Army are alarmed by the pace at which the military unit is being modernized.“The commission considers the limited investment in modernization as a source of significant long-term concern, a concern that would surface even had the less-challenging security conditions assumed in the current defense strategy held,” the eight-member panel wrote in a report published by The National Defense magazine.

    Speaking about the shortcomings of the ground forces, the experts drew attention to the endurance of the military aircraft, short-range air defense systems and the state of the Biochemical Corps’ artillery.The need to modernize equipment in these categories could affect troops in the United States, Europe and the Korean Peninsula, the report said, but left the details to the classified section of the report.

    The Commission also gave a long list of failed programs, which cost American taxpayers billions of dollars, including a failed attempt to modernize its fleet of manned combat vehicles and unmanned military vehicles, as well as the replacement of the multipurpose Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopters to more modern models.

    Daniel Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute in Arlington, a Virginia-based think tank, said that the army has no major modernization programs at the moment and there is no clear, evident future of the army in modernization terms.


    “The Army needs better counter-rocket, precision-guided artillery, mortar systems, active protection systems for vehicles and ways to fly through brownout conditions in helicopters,” he said. “These are incremental improvements that do cost a lot of money, but are relatively close to being fielded,” Goure said.

    According to the expert, the power of the Commission in dealing with the Congress is a unique opportunity to address the fundamental problems of the troops and embark on a path of modernization, in order to achieve greater financial units. So far the army leadership hasn’t utilized their chance.“I think they missed all the marks, maybe because it had to be a consensus document. Maybe because there are politics with these things,” he added.

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  KiloGolf on Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:23 pm

    max steel wrote:“The Army needs better counter-rocket, precision-guided artillery, mortar systems

    They seem to have followed and appreciated the conflict in Ukraine and its warfare.

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:32 pm

    KiloGolf wrote:
    max steel wrote:“The Army needs better counter-rocket, precision-guided artillery, mortar systems

    They seem to have followed and appreciated the conflict in Ukraine and its warfare.

    Well they did lend some anti-mortar radars to Ukies which rebels grabbed during the conflict. What are counter-rocket systems? Never heard of it.

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:58 pm

    U.S. aircraft carriers’ ‘unchallenged primacy may be coming to a close’

    The United States’ aircraft carriers have always been an almost untouchable deterrent, steel behemoths capable of projecting the full weight of the U.S. military wherever they deploy. Yet while many militaries could never hope to match the U.S. carrier fleet in size and strength, countries such as China, Iran and Russia have spent recent years adjusting their forces and fielding equipment designed to counter one of the United States’ greatest military strengths.

    A report published Monday by the Center for a New American Security, a D.C.-based think tank that focuses on national security, claims that the Navy’s carrier operations are at an inflection point. Faced with growing threats abroad, the United States can either “operate its carriers at ever-increasing ranges … or assume high levels of risk in both blood and treasure.”

    The report, titled “Red Alert: The Growing Threat to U.S. Aircraft Carriers,” focuses on China’s burgeoning military posture in the Pacific and on a term that is starting to appear with increasing urgency in defense circles: anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD. The term A2/AD refers to a concept that has long existed in warfare: denying the enemy an ability to move around the battlefield. Currently A2/AD strategy is much the same as it was when moats were dug around castles, except today’s moats are an integrated system of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, submarines, surface ships and aircraft — all designed to push enemy forces as far away as possible from strategically important areas.

    The report highlights China’s capabilities because of its “emphasis on long-range anti-ship missile procurement.” This, coupled with its growing tech base, qualifies China as the “pacing threat” to the U.S. military. China, however, is not the sole architect of an A2/AD strategy designed to deter U.S. operations. In the Baltic, Russia’s naval base in Kaliningrad is known to house a sophisticated air defense network and anti-ship missiles. NATO commanders also have warned of Russian A2/AD buildup around Syria, as Russia has moved advanced surface-to-air missiles into its airbase there as well as a flotilla of ships with robust anti-air capabilities.

    As other countries focus on creating sophisticated A2/AD bubbles by using new technology such as drones, advanced missiles and newer aircraft, the United States — by operating as it always has — is putting itself more at risk. According to the report, this is particularly relevant as carrier groups have reduced their long-range strike ability in favor of being able to fly more air missions but at shorter ranges.

    “Operating the carrier in the face of increasingly lethal and precise munitions will thus require the United States to expose a multi-billion dollar asset to high levels of risk in the event of a conflict,” the report says. “An adversary with A2/AD capabilities would likely launch a saturation attack against the carrier from a variety of platforms and directions. Such an attack would be difficult – if not impossible – to defend against.”

    Last week, China’s A2/AD strategy made international news after satellite imagery showed the deployment of HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island, a disputed atoll in the South China Sea. Though small, the island is claimed by both Taiwan and Vietnam. The CNAS report classifies the HQ-9 as a short-range A2/AD threat but indicates that the movement of such systems into disputed territory in the South China Sea, if properly reinforced, is a potentially long-term problem for U.S. naval operations. Medium and long-range threats discussed in the report include land-based Chinese bombers and anti-ship ballistic missiles such as the DF-21D and DF-26. The two missiles “represent a significant threat to the carrier,” with an estimated range of 810 and 1,620 nautical miles, respectively. According to the report, if the DF-26 is as operational and as accurate as the Chinese say it is, the missile would be able to hit the U.S. territory of Guam.

    While the report discusses possible countermeasures for a sophisticated A2/AD network, including the Navy’s future rail gun project, the United States probably would employ a variety of systems and strategies, including hacking, to defeat the enemy threat. However, long-term strategies suggested in the report include putting U.S. combat power into systems such as submarines and long-range carrier-based drones. Submarines could evade A2/AD by remaining undetected, while carrier based drones — with their increased range — would give carriers much-needed standoff from potential A2/AD threats.


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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:16 pm

    Can America's Navy Save the U.S. Army's Helicopter Fleet?

    The U.S. Army faces a budgetary dilemma when it comes to its aviation portfolio, the largest single cost item in its budget. In essence, it is being required to maintain a large but aging fleet. While there is money going to the Future Vertical Lift program, it is by no means clear when or even if this effort will produce a set of affordable next-generation platforms. In the meantime, not only does the Army have to keep its existing helicopter fleets in the air but invest in some critical upgrades such as improved engines, defenses against manportable anti-aircraft missiles and guidance systems to address flying and landing in inclement weather and during brownouts.

    The National Commission on the Future of the Army made several recommendations that, if implemented, will only complicate this picture. It recommended retaining the 11th Combat Aviation Brigades (CAB) and forward deploying one of these to South Korea. The cost of this decision alone is several hundred million dollars annually. It also found a face saving but expensive compromise to the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Initiative which kept a reduced number of Apache helicopters in the National Guard. Retaining Apaches in the National Guard would have a one-time cost of at least $420 million plus as much as $165 million a year in increased upkeep. The Commission recommended slowing the rate at which new Black Hawks (UH-60s) were procured, a decision that would undermine at least some of the savings garnered from the current multiyear procurement contract, as well as ensure that the existing fleet ages even faster and costs more to maintain.

    The Commission’s recommendations regarding aviation might be less of a problem if Army aviation assets weren’t in such high demand. Helicopters are in constant use in Afghanistan and increasingly so in Iraq. A CAB may end up back in Europe shortly as well as one in South Korea. The greater the demand, the more wear and tear on these assets and the higher the maintenance bills. So the Army faces the unenviable position of having to maintain an aviation force that will be large, but potentially less capable and certainly older and more expensive to maintain.

    How can the Army save money in its aviation portfolio? One obvious way is to do what the U.S. Navy has done with its fleet of Black Hawks, the H-60 Sea Hawk. Since 2004, original equipment manufacturers Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin, operating as the Maritime Helicopter Support Company (MHSCo), have been responsible for sustaining much of the Navy’s Sea Hawk fleet under a performance-based logistics (PBL) contract. Traditional sustainment contracts are a fee-for-service arrangement. In essence, the providers get more money the worse the platform performs. Under a PBL contract, the contractors are paid based on specified outcomes such as level of readiness, number of platforms available and even number of hours in the air. In essence, it is in the interest of the contractor to make sure the platforms work well. Moreover, under a PBL arrangement the contractor bears the risk burden and has the motivation to take prophylactic measures to ensure optimum performance of the platform and its systems.

    The Sea Hawk PBL, an award winning program, manages some 5,000 parts and supports more than 300 helicopters around the world. Since 2004, the program has exceeded availability requirements by 10 percent, and achieved a 97 percent success rate in providing needed replacement parts and spares. More significantly – U.S. Army take note – the Sea Hawk PBL has resulted in a reduction in spares inventory of more than $1 billion, provided process savings worth $22 million annually and reduced costs per flying hour by 17 percent. Last year, the Navy awarded MHSCo its third five year PBL contract. The new contract awarded last year will manage a larger number of parts and will encompass the entire Sea Hawk fleet, more than 500 aircraft.

    The Army took one right step when it agreed to a multiyear procurement contract for new UH-60s. It should take another one by pursuing a PBL-based sustainment contract for the existing fleet of Black Hawks. The requirements for this new contract should reflect the successes of the Navy’s current Sea Hawk PBL contract. The results would be greater availability, more responsiveness and reduced costs. The Army aviation community needs all three.

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    Will Russia sell weapons to US next ?

    Post  nemrod on Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:20 am

    It is not a joke, it is rather serious. I advise US to buy more russian hardware, like for example T-62, T-72, T-90, SU-30, Mig-35, KORD, etc... and give up their M1 Abrams, F-15, F-16, F-18, F-35, M-16-or its - and oll others arrogant, expensive and malfunctioning US hardware.
    The first joke is "Accuracy is the biggest problem", indeed, but it depends the user.
    The other joke is economy for the tax payer, only ? lol!


    http://www.tampabay.com/news/military/macdill/iconic-russian-ak-47-rifle-might-some-day-be-made-in-usa/2280972
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/06/10/special-operations-command-looks-to-u-s-companies-for-homemade-ak-47s/


    U.S. Special Operations Command wants to see if it can slap a "Made in the U.S.A." label on the world's most popular weapon — the Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifle.

    In war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, where the United States has an interest, the iconic AK-47 with its curved ammo magazine is a favorite of insurgents and allies alike because it is inexpensive to own and operate. Compared to U.S. weapons like the M-4 assault rifle, it's also more durable and uses ammunition that's easier to find.

    Now, U.S. Special Operations Command is scouting for companies that might have the interest and ability to manufacture the ubiquitous gun and other Soviet-bloc-era weapons here in the United States.

    Last month, the command, based at MacDill Air Force Base, sent out a market research request regarding what it calls "non-standard weapons."

    This includes Russian-designed guns like the AK-47 and other similar assault rifles, as well as sniper rifles like the Dragunov, light machine guns like the PKM, and heavy machine guns like the DShK and the KPV.

    In soliciting U.S. manufacturers, SOCom has taxpayers in mind as well as its overseas allies, said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Allen, a spokesman for the command.

    Allen said "a U.S.-based source would be a good use of taxpayer funds, while also delivering the weapons our partners not only need to fight extremists, but also the ones they know how to use, know how to fix and have the supplies in their regions to maintain."

    Local gunmakers contacted by the Tampa Bay Times questioned how U.S. manufacturers could compete with foreign companies, which already make the weapons cheaply. Allen said SOCom won't know for certain about things like availability, quality and price until it asks. The command gets some of the weapons from contractors buying them through approved sources around the world.

    SOCom, tasked with training and equipping commandos and synchronizing the war on terror, provides weapons to allies at the behest of headquarters commands like U.S. Central Command. CentCom, also based at MacDill, has overall control of U.S. military operations in the Middle East.

    Exactly which groups of allies might get AK-47s from the United States is a question for CentCom, Allen said. A CentCom spokesman, citing operational security concerns, declined to comment.

    But Scott Neil, a retired Green Beret master sergeant, said the foreign-made versions have been going to U.S. allies like Iraqi and Afghan security forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and Syrian Kurdish and Arab partners.

    "They are much more familiar with these weapons," said Neil, who lives in Tampa and helped train indigenous forces on how to use firearms like those listed in SOCom's solicitation.

    The AK-47, Dragunov sniper rifles and PKM light machine guns are simple to operate and maintain, Neil said. The 7.62mm ammo is more readily available and cheaper than the American ammo, which is typically the smaller 5.56mm so-called NATO round, he said.

    The AK-47, designed by Russian Lt. Gen. Mikhail Kalashnikov and first produced in 1947, is renowned for its utility, but has drawbacks as well, said Neil, who came under fire from Russian-made weapons a number of times.

    Accuracy is the biggest problem, Neil said.

    "We would joke around and say if you just stand still, they won't hit you. If you look at an AK-47, the first selector is fully automatic. A lot of times it is 'spray and pray and inshallah,' " Neil said, using the Arabic word for "God willing."

    The AK-47 was designed to be produced quickly and cheaply. Between 70 million to 150 million of the weapons are in use around the world, said Aaron Karp, a senior lecturer at Old Dominion University in Virginia and senior consultant with the Small Arms Survey, a nonprofit organization that monitors the international arms business.

    Estimates of the global count of other weapons in the SOCom solicitation are virtually impossible to make, Karp said.

    The economics might make it hard for SOCom to find U.S. manufacturers who are interested in producing the weapons, Karp said. In a major small arms purchase during President George W. Bush's administration, for example, foreign-made weapons like AK-47s were going for just $100 apiece.

    Greg Frazee, CEO of the Tampa-based Trident Arms, agreed there would be a number of hurdles for U.S. manufacturers in trying to provide the weapons as cheaply as they're available from manufacturers in Russia, China, Bulgaria and elsewhere.

    "It is cheaper to lay hands on a couple containers of foreign AK-47s from overseas than manufacturing them and then exporting them," Frazee said.

    Still, a government contract would increase the appeal for manufacturers because it would guarantee sales. Frazee said he may respond to SOCom's solicitation, which he learned about from the Tampa Bay Times.

    "At the end of the day, is the juice worth the squeeze?" he asked. "They are looking for capabilities more so than nailing down a number, so we will probably end up responding."

    Mark Serbu, founder and president of Tampa-based Serbu Arms, said he is surprised SOCom is considering looking for manufacturers that would make Russian-designed weapons here.

    "The factories around the world set up to do that are doing it with dirt-cheap labor," said Serbu, who once owned a fully automatic AK-47 used in Red Dawn, the popular movie about a Soviet invasion of the United States. "I don't know how to compete here. I am surprised they are trying to do that. It doesn't make sense."

    One company in Florida that makes a civilian version of the AK-47 is too busy at the moment to consider the SOCom solicitation.

    Kalashnikov USA, which recently opened a plant in Pompano Beach, is "totally focused on ramping up the new facility" to fulfill existing orders, said spokeswoman Laura Burgess.

    The company used to import weapons from Kalashnikov Concern, the original AK-47 manufacturer in Moscow. Then in 2014, President Barack Obama imposed sanctions against Russia following its annexation of Crimea. CNN Money reported that Kalashnikov USA severed all ties with the Russian company.

    Kalashnikov USA is no longer under any sanctions, Burgess said.

    Allen, the SOCom spokesman, described the solicitation as a starting point and not a formal bidding process. The deadline to respond is Friday.

    "This will help us explore what capacity and capability there is within the U.S. industrial base," he said. "After that, we will better understand what could be provided, which missions they may be appropriate to support and to which approved partners they could be beneficial."

    Contact Howard Altman at haltman@tampabay.com or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman.

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:44 pm

    Marines pull aircraft from 'boneyard,' get used Navy jets amid aviation crisis

    With most of its F/A-18 strike fighters unable to fly on any given day, the Marine Corps is resurrecting 23 Hornets from the “boneyard” and getting another seven aircraft from the Navy.

    The move comes as the Marine Corps and Navy struggle to keep F/A-18s in the skies until the F-35 joint strike fighter can replace the services’ aging aircraft.

    As of late April, only 87 of the Marine Corps’ fleet of 276 Hornets were flyable(32% availability), Marine Corps officials told Congress. Many planes are grounded due to a lack of spare parts and other maintenance issues. Obama has not provided money for spares.


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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:08 am

    Forget about two-front doctrine, U.S. military can’t fight even one war

    https://cofda.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/forget-about-two-front-doctrine-u-s-military-cant-fight-even-one-war/

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:47 am

    The Pentagon’s Budget Time Bomb

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    Re: U.S. MIC Issues

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:42 pm

    ‘My Body Was Not Mine, but the U.S. Military’s’

    Inside the disturbing sex industry thriving around America’s bases.   Neutral

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