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MessageSujet: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMer 24 Aoû 2016 - 12:09

Rappel du premier message :

quote]Strengthening The Ukrainian Army
(Source: U.S Army; issued Aug 21, 2016)
YAVORIV, Ukraine ----The Ukrainian army, with the assistance of U.S. and multinational partners, continues to strive to improve the capability and capacity within its armed forces. Approximately 20 Ukrainian cadre recently completed their first rotation training Ukrainian Soldiers on individual combat skills at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.

The training is part of the ongoing operations of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine. The JMTG-U mission is focused on building a sustainable, enduring combat training center here. Part of this mission includes building training capacity quickly through the consolidation and resourcing of dedicated training cadre.

These instructors are the first group of cadre trained on conducting the first six modules of a nine-week rotational training set. The modules include weapons training, land navigation, combat lifesaving skills, and section live-fire. Soldiers of 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division certified the instructors by observing and gauging their ability to put the six modules into action and effectively train other Ukrainian Soldiers.

Spc. Brett Jones, a rifleman assigned to 6-8 Cav., is a fourth generation veteran and is excited to be able to continue the family tradition. Jones said that he is optimistic about training alongside the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

"Every time we go out and observe the Ukrainian Soldiers, they do the training to a T," said Jones. "They are very hands on with the training and make sure each Soldier knows how to effectively do each task to standard."

Staff Sgt. Alex Fernandez, a squad leader and instructor assigned to 6-8 Cav. spent two years as a drill sergeant and was able to use the skills he acquired to ensure the Ukrainian instructors were fully up to speed on training their Soldiers on individual tasks.

"They have always been comfortable teaching the Soldiers, but now I feel they are more confident with their teaching techniques," said Fernandez. "They have built that trust and bond with the Soldiers and they listen to the instructors when given instructions."

After the training has been conducted, the Soldiers from 6-8 Cav pull the Ukrainian instructors aside and brief them on their performance during the exercise.

According to Jones the Ukrainian Soldiers respond well when they receive praise, validation and feedback from the multinational force trainers. "They do training by the book and listen to recommendations that we make," he said.

1st Lt. Taras Tanailov, an instructor assigned to the Combat Training Center mentored the newly graduated Ukrainian instructors over the past three weeks. Tanailov has been with the instructors since they were certified to teach and observed the progression in their ability to train Soldiers.

Tanailov said that over the last few weeks his instructors had learned a lot about leading and training Soldiers. He said that they are more confident in the training, which allows them to be more effective leaders.

Cpt. Abdullah H. Clark, company commander for Charlie Troop, 6-8 Cav., had the opportunity to observe the Ukrainian instructors and was able to view military tactics from a different perspective.

"So far I've learned a different method of every aspect of military affairs from logistics to tactics to unofficial dynamics of the social system," said Clark. "They have taught me a different way to run things other than the way we normally do for our military."

The ultimate goal of the JMTG-U is to establish a sustainable Combat Training Center staffed and led completely by the Ukrainian military.

"I think if we left here today, they would do everything they need to do to train their military," said Jones. "I definitely think they are doing a good job."

Now that the initial six modules are complete, the Ukrainian instructors will move on to learn the next two modules, which is a milestone for the JMTG-U. This marks the first time Ukrainian instructors will learn modules seven and eight, which include squad, section and platoon collective tasks.



http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/176345/us-army%2C-partner-nations-strengthen-ukrainian-army.html






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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeDim 26 Juil 2020 - 21:15

Citation :
Un M1A2 Abrams a accidentellement été touché par le tir d’un autre char lors d’un exercice de l’US Army

par Laurent Lagneau · 26 juillet 2020


US Army - Page 10 _12f6393

Un char M1A2 Abrams touché par le tir d’un autre M1A2 Abrams… Aussi incroyable soit-il, c’est ce qui est arrivé le 20 juillet sur un champ de manoeuvres, à Fort Bliss, lors d’un exercice de la 3rd Brigade Combat Team relevant de la 1ère Divison blindée de l’US Army. Cette information a été révélée via Instragram, puis reprise Defence Blog et confirmée quelques jours plus tard par Army Times et Task & Purpose.

« La 1ère Division blindée est au courant d’un incident ayant impliqué un soldat et de l’équipement de la 3rd ABCT », a déclaré le lieutenant-colonel Lindsey Elder, sans s’attarder sur les détails. Un soldat a été apparemment sérieusement touché [il est question de blessures à un bras et au niveau du torse]. Il « a reçu une assistance médicale immédiate. Il se rétablit et son état est stable », a précisé l’officier à son sujet. Et d’ajouter : « Tant que l’enquête ne sera pas terminée, nous n’avons aucun autre commentaire. »

Des images du char Abrams touché ont circulé sur les réseaux sociaux.


Citation :
M1A2 vs M1A2 – friendly fire
On July 20, 2020, the command of tank fired the M1002 at 2600m. at another M1 Abrams, confusing it with a moving target. As a result of the incident……..⤵https://t.co/NGl7rTO389 pic.twitter.com/KOaHexAOBg

— The Dead District (@TheDeadDistrict) July 22, 2020

A priori, l’incident s’est produit lors d’une « exercice de qualification », lequel comprenait des tirs sur des cibles en mouvement avec des obus M1002 TPMP-T de 120 mm utilisés pour l’entraînement. Un des chars Abrams a donc fait mouche sur un autre de son propre régiment, ce dernier ayant été touché au niveau de sa tourelle, alors qu’il se trouvait à une distance d’environ 2.600 mètres.

Pour rappel, le char M1A2 Abrams dispose d’un ordinateur de contrôle de tir balistique qui utilise les données fournies par différents capteurs. La solution de tir ainsi générée lui assurerait un pourcentage de succès supérieur à 95%.

Il s’agit du second incident impliquant des M1A2 Abrams en l’espace de quelques semaines. En mars, un char de ce type, appartenant au 2e bataillon du 12e régiment de cavalerie, a en effet pris feu à Fort Hood [Texas]. Une enquête a ensuite été ouverte. Ses résultats ne sont pas encore connus.

Photo : Archive / US ARMY

http://www.opex360.com/2020/07/26/un-m1a2-abrams-a-accidentellement-ete-touche-par-tir-un-autre-char-lors-dun-exercice-de-lus-army/
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeLun 3 Aoû 2020 - 20:02

Citation :
03/08/2020

L’US Army commande des MH-47G Block II supplémentaires !


US Army - Page 10 _12f3945

Boeing a signé un contrat d’une valeur de 265 millions de dollars pour neuf autres hélicoptères MH-47G Block II « Chinook » destiné à US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC).

Boeing est maintenant en contrat pour 24 des « Chinook » de nouvelle génération. Le Chinook MH-47G Block II présente une structure améliorée et des initiatives de réduction de poids, telles que de nouvelles nacelles de carburant plus légères qui augmentent les performances, l'efficacité et la communauté dans toute la flotte. Les nouveaux « Chinook » donneront à l'armée beaucoup plus de capacités pour des missions extrêmement difficiles.

A ce jour l’US Army exploite une flotte de 61 MH-47G au standard Block I. Le programme Block II intègre plusieurs améliorations. Mise ne service par le Commandement des opérations spéciales de l'armée américaine (USASOAC), la flotte actuelle de MH-47G comprend les 61 hélicoptères reconstruits du Block I (62 ont été livrés, soit 35 CH-47D, 9 MH-47D et 18 MH-47E).

Dérivé du célèbre hélicoptère « Chinook » de base le MH-47G est une plate-forme spéciale qui comprend des réservoirs de carburant à double capacité, une sonde de ravitaillement en vol, un système numérique avancé de contrôle de vol et des capteurs avancés, un système de guerre électronique. Le MH-47G utilise 2 moteurs T55-GA-714A équipés de suppresseurs d'échappement infrarouges IES-47 pour réduire la visibilité IR de l'hélicoptère. La cellule a une trappe abdominale, des fenêtres à bulles le long de chaque côté. Un treuil de sauvetage est monté au-dessus de la porte avant tribord. La fenêtre du tireur se trouve sur le fuselage bâbord, à l'arrière du poste de pilotage.

Le MH-47G dispose d'un cockpit numérique compatible avec les lunettes de vision nocturne. Il comporte 5 écrans d'affichage multifonctions (MFD) à cristaux liquides de 6x8 pouces et 2 unités d'affichage de contrôle (CDU). Le cockpit est conforme à la norme CAAS (Common Avionics Architecture System), partageant les mêmes unités de traitement et d'affichage que le MH-60M « Black Hawk ». Le CAAS a été développé pour les « Night Stalkers » puis adopté par l'armée.

Les améliorations du standard Block II, qui sont en cours de développement pour la flotte de CH-47F de l'armée américaine, comprennent de nouvelles pâles de rotor avancée (ACRB), dotée d'une géométrie pour augmenter la capacité de levage de 680 kg à 4 000 ft et 35 ° C en vol stationnaire et de nouveaux équipements électroniques.

US Army - Page 10 _12f3944

Photos : MH-47G @ USASOAC

http://psk.blog.24heures.ch/archive/2020/08/03/l-us-army-commande-des-mh-47g-block-ii-supplementaires -869562.html
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeLun 3 Aoû 2020 - 21:16

Citation :
03.08.2020

1 000 soldats US de plus en Pologne en vertu de l'Accord de défense et de coopération EDCA


Polonais et Américains viennent de s'entendre sur l'Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), un accord de coopération militaire qui finalise le processus lancé en 2019 et la Déclaration conjointe alors signée par Donald Trump et Andrzej Duda.

L'annonce a été faite par Mark Esper, le secrétaire à la Défense.

Le contenu de cet EDCA est très en-dessous des attentes, en tout cas celle des Polonais puisqu'il n'annonce que le déploiement de mille soldats US de plus dans le cadre des rotations d'unités et de la présence actuelle de 4 500 militaires américains sur le territoire polonais.

Ces mille soldats seront répartis entre le QG du 5e Corps de l'US Army qui sera positionné en Pologne, un QG divisionnaire, des éléments ISR et des unités de soutien supplémentaires pour les deux brigades qui assurent une présence tournante (une brigade blindée et une brigade d'hélicoptères)

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/archive/2020/08/03/1 000-soldats-us-de-plus-en-pologne-en-vertu-de-l-accord-de-21367.html
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMar 4 Aoû 2020 - 19:00

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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeSam 22 Aoû 2020 - 19:29

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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMer 2 Sep 2020 - 22:04

Citation :
02/09/2020

Livraison du premier MH-47G BlockII !


US Army - Page 10 _12f1239

Boeing a livré le premier exemplaire au Commandement des opérations spéciales américain (SOCOM) du MH-47G « Chinook » Block II.

« Cette livraison marque une étape majeure pour le programme Chinook », a déclaré Andy Builta, vice-président et directeur du programme H-47. « Le nouveau Chinook donnera aux forces d'opérations spéciales américaines beaucoup plus de capacités pour des missions extrêmement difficiles et leur permettra de mener ces missions sur le futur champ de bataille ».

Basée sur la variante CH-47F utilisée par les forces régulières, la version des forces spéciales dispose d'une capacité de ravitaillement en vol, d'une suite complète d'aides défensives et d'aides au pilotage à basse altitude par mauvais temps, avec un capteur infrarouge et un radar de suivi de terrain.

Les caractéristiques de la dernière variante Block II, qui a été officiellement lancée en 2017, incluent des pales de rotor avancées qui augmentent la charge utile de 1’500 livres tout en réduisant les coûts de maintenance. La cellule a été repensée pour augmenter sa résistance. Le système de carburant a été repensé, les six anciens réservoirs individuels cèdent la place à deux réservoirs plus légers de capacité accrue. Une transmission améliorée transfère plus efficacement la puissance des moteurs Honeywell T55 aux rotors, offrant une augmentation de 9% de la capacité de transport de couple.

Ces améliorations font passer la charge utile du Block II de 20’000 à 22’000 livres. De plus, la mise à niveau améliore considérablement les performances à chaud et à haute performance. C'était l'un des moteurs du programme, basé sur l'expérience opérationnelle en Afghanistan.

La version originale du MH-47G est en service depuis quelques années et est l’hélicoptère standard exploité par le 160e Régiment d’aviation d’opérations spéciales de l’USASOC (aéroporté). Le rééquipement du 160e SOAR (A) est considéré comme une priorité pour l'armée américaine.

À ce jour, trois ordres de fabrication ont été passés. Le dernier, annoncé le 31 juillet, a ajouté neuf hélicoptères d'une valeur de 265 millions de dollars, pour porter le total actuellement souscrit à 24. L'USASOC prévoit d'acheter à terme 69 appareils pour équiper complètement les unités de transport lourd / longue portée du 160e SOAR (A).

Le MH-47G « Chinook » BlockII :

Le MH-47G dispose d'un cockpit numérique compatible avec les lunettes de vision nocturne. Il comporte 5 écrans d'affichage multifonctions (MFD) à cristaux liquides de 6x8 pouces et 2 unités d'affichage de contrôle (CDU). Le cockpit est conforme à la norme CAAS (Common Avionics Architecture System), partageant les mêmes unités de traitement et d'affichage que le MH-60M « Black Hawk ». Le CAAS a été développé pour les « Night Stalkers » puis adopté par l'armée.

Les améliorations du standard Block II, qui sont en cours de développement pour la flotte de CH-47F de l'armée américaine, comprennent de nouvelles pâles de rotor avancée (ACRB), dotée d'une géométrie pour augmenter la capacité de levage de 680 kg à 4 000 ft et 35 ° C en vol stationnaire et de nouveaux équipements électroniques.

US Army - Page 10 _12f1238

Photos : MH-47G Block II @ Boeing

http://psk.blog.24heures.ch/archive/2020/09/02/livraison-du-premier-mh-47g-blockii -869700.html
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeJeu 3 Sep 2020 - 0:11

Il serait la bienvenue chez nous,celui là il est le plus magnifique appareil de ce genre.😎👍

_________________
US Army - Page 10 75px-m10
الله الوطن الملك
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeLun 7 Sep 2020 - 21:54

Citation :
07 September 2020

Airbus reveals updated Lakota configuration for US Army

by Gareth Jennings


Airbus Helicopters has revealed an upgraded version of the UH-72A Lakota training and support platform for the US Army and National Guard.

US Army - Page 10 _12f1270
The UH-72B, pictured, will feature a number of enhancements over the UH-72A Lakota. Most notable is the replacement of the conventional tail rotor with a more efficient Fenestron. (Airbus Helicopters)

The new version of the UH-72A that was first launched in 2005 is designated the UH-72B and features several enhancements including, most notably, a Fenestron in place of a conventional tail rotor.

Revealed in late August at the 2020 National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) virtual tradeshow, the UH-72B is essentially a US Army version of the latest civilian model H145 helicopter. “The [US] Army is leveraging the benefits of a commercial off the shelf (COTS) programme by receiving product improvements and enhancements through the evolution of the aircraft, without investing any government money into the development of those capabilities,” Airbus said.

As noted by Airbus, specific enhancements for the UH-72B over the UH-72A include a more efficient Fenestron tail rotor, more powerful engines, enhanced controls, and the Airbus Helionix avionics suite.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/airbus-reveals-updated-lakota-configuration-for-us-army
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMer 23 Sep 2020 - 19:49

Citation :
U.S. Army awards $78M contract to FN America for M249 light machine guns

By Dylan Malyasov Sep 23, 2020

US Army - Page 10 _12f6506
Photo by Spc. TIN P. VUONG



The U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday that FN America won a $78,7 million for a contract to deliver additional M249 light machine guns.

The contract award from U.S. Army Contracting Command enables the company to produce and deliver M249s, formerly known as the Squad Automatic Weapon.

The M249 engages point targets out to 800 meters, firing the improved North Atlantic Treaty Organization standard 5.56mm cartridge. The SAW forms the basis of firepower for the fire team.

The gunner has the option of using 30-round M16 magazines or linked ammunition from pre-loaded 200-round plastic magazines.

The M249 light machine gun seems more powerful than the M16 assault rifle. The M249 provides Army Soldiers with the heavy volume of machine gun fire combined with accuracy and portability approaching that of a rifle.

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-awards-78m-contract-to-fn-america-for-m249-light-machine-guns.html
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeSam 10 Oct 2020 - 19:53

Citation :
09 October 2020

US Army receives second AMPV, pushes fielding date back

by Ashley Roque



BAE Systems is continuing to deliver Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPVs) to the US Army after a delayed start and the service said it is anticipating that the programme will remain on track but with minor slips to key testing and fielding dates.

Over the past year, the army’s AMPV line has experienced some hiccups including an initial vehicle delivery postponed from March until late August. As of 6 October, though, the service had accepted two AMPVs and BAE Systems has an additional two vehicles ready for acceptance, Ashley John, the public affairs director for the army’s Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, told Janes .

The company was under contract to begin delivering vehicles to the army in March, but the duo modified the deal and pushed the date back until July. However, that date was delayed further, and the service did not accept the first vehicle, a mission command variant, until late August.

“The shift was due to production start-up challenges, fabrication, parts availability and assembly line readiness issues, and installing advanced manufacturing capabilities,” John wrote in an email. “As an [acquisition category] 1C programme, the programme manager included some flexibility in the programme schedule to accommodate the inherent risk of such a complex endeavour (building five variants of AMPV, for example).”

This flexibility typically includes a six-month window for meeting milestone dates and the AMPV schedule included some leeway, she noted. As a result, the programme should stay on track and the first 64 vehicles will be used to support production qualification testing, live-fire test, and initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), John added

US Army - Page 10 354

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-army-receives-second-ampv-pushes-fielding-date-back
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeDim 1 Nov 2020 - 19:53

Citation :
01.11.2020

L'US Army a réussi son recrutement pour 2020, malgré la pandémie


US Army - Page 10 593

Au terme de l'année fiscale (FY) 2020, l'US Army a le sourire. Au moins en ce qui concerne son recrutement (photo ci-dessus US Army).

En effet, elle avait tablé sur des effectifs globaux atteignant, au 30 septembre 2020, 485 000 soldats pour l'active, 189 500 pour la réserve, 336 000 pour la Garde nationale. Seule la réserve n'a pas réussi à faire le plein, n'atteignant que 188 703 soldats.

Le résultat général est toutefois satisfaisant, surtout quand on sait que les 1400 bureaux de recrutement de l'Army ont fermé pendant deux mois. Par ailleurs, la féminisation progresse: 18,1% en 2020, contre 17,8% en 2019 et 17,1% en 2018.

Cette réussite est quand même à moduler. L'US Army espérait recruter 65 000 soldats pendant la FY 2020 mais elle n'a réussi à attirer que 62 150 candidats. Ce qui explique que les effectifs totaux soient au niveau attendu, c'est l'impact de la pandémie sur la situation de l'emploi et le chômage dans le civil. De nombreux militaires (au moins 2 600 selon des données partielles) ont décidé de prolonger leur contrat de peur de se retrouver sur le carreau.

Le général. Kevin Vereen, patron de l'Army Recruiting Command, entend faire aussi bien en 2021, mais l'optimisme reste mesuré. Il espère toutefois réussir (à coup de primes) à recruter 15 000 soldats candidats à des postes dans l'infanterie (la prime d'engagement peut y atteindre 25 000 $).

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/archive/2020/10/30/l-us-army-a-reussi-son-recrutement-pour-2020-malgre-la-pande-21571.html
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeSam 7 Nov 2020 - 20:03


Les Marines poussent leur JLTV à la limite

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Le vrai soldat ne se bat pas parce qu'il déteste ce qui est devant lui, mais parce qu'il aime ce qui est derrière lui...
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeLun 9 Nov 2020 - 19:12

TYLER ROGOWAY - The Drive a écrit:

The Army Has Officially Selected The Navy's SM-6 Missile To Be Used In A Strike Role



A ground-launched SM-6 could become one of the Army's most versatile weapons.



US Army - Page 10 Sm-6-d10

Just as The War Zone had predicted and reported on as recently as two months ago, the U.S. Army has now officially chosen to adopt the Navy's SM-6 (RIM-174) surface-to-air missile to satisfy its ground-based Mid-Range Capability (MRC) as part of its larger Long-Range Precision Fires initiative. As such, the weapon's secondary ballistic missile-like surface-to-surface strike capabilities will become a primary capability set for the Army units equipped with it in the future. This will initially be a prototype effort to combine the missile with a fully integrated ground-based fire control and launching system, but barring any unforeseen major setbacks, which are unlikely for a relatively mature off-the-shelf system like SM-6, it will facilitate the fielding of the missile in an operational capacity in 2023.

The Navy's BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile was also selected by the Army to become its staple ground-launched cruise missile in the post-Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) era. This was all but a given as testing has already begun for introducing this capability, which the Marines are also looking to field in some fashion, and it is similar to the Army's BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched derivative of the Tomahawk that was fielded during the twilight of the Cold War. It's also worth noting that the latest Tactical Tomahawk is far more capable than its predecessors. It can be retargeted mid-flight, it can avoid hostile air defenses, home in on its target using an imaging infrared sensor, and is fully capable of anti-ship operations. Unlike the BGM-109G, this is a conventionally armed weapon as it sits today, though.

US Army - Page 10 Messag18

An official announcement from Redstone Arsenal offers some justification for the award:

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (November 6, 2020)– The U.S. Army awarded a prototype Other Transaction (OT) agreement to advance its development and delivery of a ground-launched, mid-range fires capability that will enable the United States to deter, and if necessary, defeat near-peer competitors.

The Mid-Range Capability (MRC), part of the Army’s number one modernization priority of Long-Range Precision Fires, will be designed to hit targets in the range between the Precision Strike Missile and the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon. The MRC prototype, consisting of launchers, missiles, and a battery operations center (BOC), will be fielded to an operational battery in Fiscal Year 2023.

The MRC addresses a need identified in the Army’s Fiscal Year 2020 Strategic Fires Study in coordination with Combatant Commanders in key theaters. The Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) will develop and deliver the prototype MRC. “Adapting existing systems as much as possible will allow us to move faster than traditional acquisition methods to get this capability into the hands of Soldiers in support of the National Defense Strategy,” said LTG L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, who leads the RCCTO. “Soldier feedback and touchpoints will be embedded throughout the prototyping effort in order to make this system operationally effective the day it is delivered.”

On November 6, 2020, the Army awarded the prototype OT agreement on a sole source basis to Lockheed Martin in the amount of $339.3 million, inclusive of options. Under this agreement, Lockheed Martin will design, build, integrate, test, evaluate, document, deliver, and support the MRC prototype battery capability. In order to accelerate fielding to meet the FY23 timeline, the MRC prototype will utilize and modify existing hardware and software from the Army and joint service partners, and integrate additional technologies to achieve new operational effects.

Following a broad review of joint service technologies potentially applicable to MRC, the Army has selected variants of the Navy SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles to be part of the initial prototype. The Army will leverage Navy contract vehicles for missile procurement in support of the Army integration OT agreement. The MRC will complement other critical systems in the Army’s long range fires portfolio, providing a combined operational and strategic capability that can attack specific threat vulnerabilities in order to penetrate, disintegrate and exploit targets in deep maneuver areas critical to the joint fight.

The capability also allows the Army and joint services to synchronize and leverage modernization efforts and investments across mid-range missile programs in support of multi-domain operations. The MRC supports one of the Army’s chief roles in multi-domain operations: to use strategic fires to penetrate and disintegrate enemy layered defense systems, creating windows of opportunity for exploitation by the joint force

As to the question of what configuration of the SM-6 will the Army adopt, we have an answer to that thanks to Breaking Defense. The wider form-factor borrowed from the SM-3 Block IIA ballistic missile interceptor, a cousin of the SM-6, will be available in the future. This new SM-6 variant is already under development and will extend the range of the missile, which is already measured in hundreds of miles, and increase its kinetic performance significantly. You can read all about this new SM-6 variant in this past War Zone article. But as it stands now, the MRC capability will initially be fielded with the existing SM-6 the Navy is currently buying with an eye on upgrading to the more capable variant once it is fully developed.

We don't know what type of launcher configuration would be used for a ground-based SM-6, although it could share the one being developed for the ground-launched Tomahawk, as both were originally designed to fit into the Navy's Mk 41 Vertical Launch System cells.

US Army - Page 10 Messag19

Another huge outstanding question we have is will the Army's ground-launched SM-6 also leverage its surface-to-air missile capability, which is effective against air-breathing threats like aircraft and cruise missiles, as well as ballistic missiles in their terminal stage of flight. One can imagine just how beneficial this secondary capability could be if it was distributed throughout a theater of war. The Army is introducing a highly integrated air defense architecture that is perfectly suited for enabling such a dual-role system. It could also serve as an offensive command and control system for engaging ground targets with the SM-6, as well. You can read all about the Integrated Battle Command System in this in-depth interview of ours here. So, we may be looking at an enormously flexible capability set the Army is adding that will work far beyond the surface and ground strike roles.

The bottom line here is that the Army is racing to get a ground-launched cruise missile (Tomahawk) and a quasi-ballistic missile (SM-6), the latter of which approaches or exceeds hypersonic velocities during its terminal stage of the flight, into service and the Navy just happens to have what it needs. Adapting these proven missile designs and integrating them into the Army's larger command and control networks and overall strategy not only speeds their entry to service, but it also stands to save massive sums of money.

US Army - Page 10 Messag11

There is one other major benefit to these choices. Both programs, SM-6 and Tomahawk, will have another huge customer now. Not only will much larger combined purchases of these weapons lower their unit cost, but it could also significantly accelerate research and development of additional improvements and upgrades for these systems via the sharing of those costs as well.

So, there you have it. The Tomahawk will find itself in a U.S. Army ground-based launcher once again and the SM-6 could become one of the most versatile weapons in the service's entire arsenal.

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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeLun 9 Nov 2020 - 21:41

Citation :
Le CAESAR de Nexter tente l’aventure américaine

Actualités  Nathan Gain  8 novembre, 2020  

US Army - Page 10 889
Le CAESAR de Nexter lors d’une séquence de tir réalisée par l’armée de Terre (Crédits: Nexter)



L’US Army cherche un canon automoteur de calibre 155 mm pour remplacer les obusiers tractés des forces présentes en Europe. Une demande de proposition (RFP) a été émise en juillet dernier en vue d’évaluations menées début 2021 aux États-Unis, demande à laquelle Nexter répondra avec les versions 6×6 et 8×8 de son CAESAR.


BRUTUS vs CAESAR


Le CAESAR réécrira-t-il l’histoire en allant terrasser le BRUTUS sur son propre terrain ? Conçu par les Américains AM General et Mandus Group, ce dernier espérait un duel avec le système Archer produit par le groupe britannique BAE Systems. C’était sans compter sur le trouble-fête français, qui s’apprête à entamer les négociations avec l’US Army.

En publiant cette RFP, l’US Army envisage l’acquisition d’un « système de 155 mm plus mobile, létal et résistant pour remplacer sa flotte actuelle d’obusiers tractés ». Dépourvue d’une telle capacité, les militaires américains souhaitent sonder le marché et récolter les données nécessaires à l’orientation des futurs besoins émis par le Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition (JPEO A&A).

Les évaluations auront lieu sur le terrain d’essai de Yuma (Arizona), qui dispose notamment d’un polygone de tir pour l’artillerie profond de 89 km. Chaque candidat sélectionné se verra attribuer une fenêtre de test d’environ trois mois répartie entre janvier et mai 2021. Plusieurs entreprises pourront être sélectionnées pour cette phase initiale, mais une seule se verra attribuer un contrat de production pour un lot de 18 pièces destinées à la poursuite des expérimentations. Les premières livraisons sont attendues, dans le meilleur des cas, au premier semestre 2023.

Ces canons équiperont en priorité les brigades de combat Stryker (SBCT). Force interarmes centrée sur le véhicule à roues Stryker, une SBCT est conçue pour maximiser l’équilibre entre mobilité et puissance de feu. Sa capacité d’appui-feu repose sur un bataillon d’artillerie composé de trois batteries à six pièces M777A2 de 155 mm. La portée limitée de cet obusier, de même que des exigences accrues en terme de mobilité, ont contribué au lancement d’un programme de remplacement dès février 2018.

Depuis 2016, l’US Army étudie l’introduction d’une version améliorée de cet obusier susceptible de doubler la portée maximale. L’allongement du tube qui en découle affecte néanmoins la mobilité du système en terrain difficile, conduisant à privilégier l’artillerie autopropulsée. Trop lourd, trop lent, un chenillé est exclu au profit d’un véhicule à roues, le plus à même d’accompagner au plus près les unités de manœuvre dans leur progression. En cas de généralisation du canon automoteur à l’ensemble des SBCT, la cible initiale évoluera vers des proportions typiquement « américaines ». Soit, plusieurs dizaines d’exemplaires, plusieurs années de charge de travail pour l’industriel sélectionné et un tremplin potentiel vers d’autres clients prestigieux, l’US Marine Corps en tête.


L’héritage des TF Lafayette et Wagram


Des canons automoteurs à roues, beaucoup d’armées en veulent, peu en ont et une seule en déploie régulièrement en OPEX : l’armée de Terre. Des trois candidats pour l’instant en lice, le CAESAR est en effet le seul à pouvoir se prévaloir d’être « combat proven » depuis plus d’une décennie. C’est d’ailleurs à la faveur d’opérations conjointes qu’il a su démontrer ses capacités auprès des militaires américains.

En Afghanistan, premièrement, où l’artillerie des GTIA Surobi et Kapisa de la TF Lafayette aura été régulièrement mise à profit par les troupes américaines. En Irak ensuite, où les artilleurs français de la TF Wagram ont réalisé plus de 2500 missions de feu entre 2016 et 2019 aux côtés de leurs homologues américains. Deux environnements opérationnels différents, mais dans lesquels l’agilité et la puissance de feu du CAESAR auront fait forte impression auprès des partenaires étrangers. Avec un corolaire qui, côté américain, tient en cinq mots : « Nous aussi on en veut ». C’est aussi ce SOUTEX « au contact » de l’armée de Terre qui pèsera dans la balance lorsque le JPEO A&A devra trancher.

Hormis ses résultats opérationnels, le CAESAR est le seul à cocher pratiquement toutes les cases commerciales et techniques. Plus lourd et plus complexe en raison de du système de chargement automatique, l’Archer est également bien plus cher et n’a jusqu’à présent été adopté que par la Suède. Le premier des 48 systèmes commandés n’est entré en service qu’en 2016 dans l’armée suédoise. Le principal avantage de l’Archer reste finalement la possibilité de profiter de la force de frappe de la puissante filiale américaine de BAE Systems, fournisseur de longue date de l’US Army.

Lorsque l’Archer se cherche toujours un premier client export, le CAESAR est un succès commercial avéré avec plus de 300 exemplaires vendus de par le monde. Et ce carnet de clients s’est encore étoffé cette année avec les 36 pièces acquises par le Maroc et les négociations contractuelles en cours avec la République tchèque pour la livraison de 52 exemplaires. Tel qu’exigé dans la RFP, le canon français est entièrement compatible avec les munitions guidées BONUS et Excalibur du portfolio américain, la première étant le produit d’un codéveloppement entre Nexter Munitions et Bofors (BAE Systems).

Quant au BRUTUS, celui-ci est certes le seul à être un produit 100% américain et a avoir déjà été évalué par l’US Army. Mais s’il joue la carte de la simplicité en misant sur la combinaison d’un camion FMTV 6×6 et d’un tube identique à celui du M777A2, son développement n’est pas encore achevé. L’usage de ce canon de 155/39 calibres limite toujours autant sa portée à 22 km avec une munition standard, contre jusqu’à 38 km pour le CAESAR. Le FMTV ne comprend ni protection pour l’équipage, ni système de chargement, ni casier de munitions intégré, quand le CAESAR embarque 18 munitions prêtes au tir pour la version 6×6 et 30 pour le châssis 8×8. Le BRUTUS doit donc être accompagné en permanence d’un second FMTV pour transporter les cinq à sept artilleurs nécessaires pour sa mise en œuvre et pour l’approvisionner en obus. Avec les conséquences que cela comporte en matières d’autonomie, de mobilité et de temps de mise en batterie. L’US Army devra potentiellement choisir entre un protectionnisme synonyme de capacités moindres et un pragmatisme davantage favorable à une solution étrangère. Début de réponse, si Nexter est sélectionné et le calendrier respecté, dans environ six mois.

https://forcesoperations.com/le-caesar-de-nexter-tente-laventure-americaine/  
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMar 10 Nov 2020 - 5:07

vidéo intéressante montrant les différents drones en service au sein de l'armée américaine.

plein d'information (14000 dollar par heure de vol de moins que le F-16, les opérateurs sont des pilotes qualifiés d'où la nécessité de former beaucoup de pilotes au sein de nos bases aériennes )

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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMer 11 Nov 2020 - 19:20

JOSEPH TREVITHICK - The Drive a écrit:

Army Offers Glimpse Of New Low-Cost Surface-To-Air Missile

The weapon is intended to fill a critical gap between high-end Patriot and shoulder-fired Stinger surface-to-air missile systems.



US Army - Page 10 Lower-10

The  U.S. Army has released what appears to be one of the first images of a prototype low-cost surface-to-air missile following a successful flight test. The weapon is primarily designed to provide a defense against unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles, but could also engage fixed and rotary wing aircraft in certain envelopes. It is intended to be cheaper to employ than the Patriot surface-to-air missile system, but has a greater range and is otherwise far more capable than the shoulder-fired Stinger man-portable air defense system, or MANPADS.

The Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command's (CCDC) Aviation and Missile Center announced the successful flight test on Twitter on Nov. 9, 2020. The social media post did not say when or where the service had fired the missile or offer any additional details about the test parameters.

This is not the first flight test of this missile under what is formally known as the Low-Cost Extended Range Air Defense (LOWER-AD) program. However, the accompanying picture the Army released, seen at the top of this story and below, showed a yellow band on the forward portion of the missile body, which typically indicates the presence of a live high-explosive warhead, as well as a brown one at the center, generally used to mark the location of a missile's rocket motor. All this suggests that this may have been one of the first tests of a fully-functional prototype against an actual target of some kind.

US Army - Page 10 Messag29

"LOWER AD will conduct a flight test in fiscal year 2021, using various targets at extended ranges to demonstrate Level 6 maturity of the technology," CCDC had said in September 2019. The 2021 Fiscal Year began on Oct. 1.

The Army's most recent budget request for the 2021 Fiscal Year had also said that its plans for the previous fiscal cycle had included integrating the "motor, airframe, mission computer, power supply, telemetry, and data link as an interceptor for demonstrating initial capability in two Ballistic Test Vehicle (BTV) flight tests." There is notably no mention of a warhead with regards to those flight tests.

It's also not clear who the U.S. Army is working with on the development of the missile. It does have some visual similarities to concept art Raytheon has previously released of its Peregine, a small air-to-air missile derived from the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), but we no indication that there is a relationship of any kind between the two weapons.

US Army - Page 10 Messag30

We do know that the service has conducted other flight testing in support of the LOWER-AD program since at least 2018, when it carried out "successful Launch Test Vehicle flight tests to verify operation of the launcher testbed and validate predictive dynamic models," according to one CCDC document. The program, as a whole, has been ongoing since at least 2012.

The stated goal at that time was to develop an air defense interceptor that would have a range of more than 25 kilometers, or over 15.5 miles, and be able to knock down fixed and rotary wing aircraft and large artillery rockets, as well as drones and cruise missiles. The missile would be cued using existing Army radars and use an active seeker of an unspecified type to home in on its target in the terminal phase of flight.

The hope was that the weapon would be able to do this all while costing less than $150,000 "per kill." It's not clear what the current projected unit cost of the LOWER-AD interceptor is, but, for comparison, the Army said it expected to pay just over $3.85 million for each of 122 examples of the latest PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors for its Patriot systems in its 2021 Fiscal Year budget request.

US Army - Page 10 Messag31

Various interceptors for Patriot have demonstrated their ability to knock down targets representing subsonic cruise missiles and lower-end unmanned aerial vehicles, but at a significant expense compared to that of the incoming threat. "That quadcopter that cost 200 bucks from Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot," now-retired Army General David G. Perkins, then commander of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), said during a speech in 2017, underscoring the cost disparity. Perkins was referring to a then-recent intercept that an unspecified "ally," possibly Israel, had carried out using that surface-to-air missile system.

US Army - Page 10 Messag32

The concern has long been that during an actual conflict, it could become exorbitantly expensive for the Army to intercept waves of incoming cruise missiles or swarms of unmanned aircraft using Patriot alone. Smaller, cheaper interceptors, such as LOWER-AD, could also offer Army units valuable additional magazine depth when dealing with large groups of threats.

"The LOWER AD technology will make it possible to reduce the size of the missile, which in turn will allow more missiles per launcher," the Army said in 2019. "Internal components of the LOWER AD missile technology will include improved navigation and a low-cost seeker and warhead, which will maximize its capability to protect defended areas and troops."

LOWER-AD is just one of a multitude of efforts the Army, along with the other branches of the U.S. military, is working on now, including using 155mm self-propelled howitzers to shoot down cruise missiles, to make up for the fact that shorter-range and lower-tier air defense capabilities quickly atrophied across all of the services after the end of the Cold War. You can read about these somewhat dire circumstances in more detail in this past War Zone piece. This has come as the U.S. military, as a whole, has sought to reorient itself to be more prepared for potential high-end conflicts against major adversaries, such as Russia and China, who are developing increasingly more capable drone and cruise missile technology.



Of course, small drones and lower-end cruise missiles are also increasingly proliferating to smaller countries and even non-state actors. All this has underscored the threat these weapons pose to American troops on the battlefield, as well as in garrison, especially at bases overseas, not to mention to other sensitive targets outside of a conventional conflict. These are issues that the War Zone has been exploring and highlighting for years now.

LOWER-AD is also set to form the top end of a future Army layered shorter-range air defense architecture that also includes a number of other gun, missile, and directed energy-based systems meant to counter a variety of threats, ranging from fixed and rotary wing aircraft to artillery rockets, shells, and mortar bombs. The latter mission set is typically referred to as Counter Rockets, Artillery, and Mortars, or C-RAM. The service's primary C-RAM system at present is Centurian, a ground-based version of the U.S. Navy's Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), which features a 20mm Vulcan cannon.

US Army - Page 10 Messag33
A graphic showing how the Army sees LOWER-AD in the context of a larger, layered shorter-range air and missile defense architecture. Also included are laser-based directed energy weapons in the form of the High Energy Laser-Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL-TVD) and Multi-Mission High-Energy Laser (MMHEL), as well as the multi-purpose Maneuver Air Defense Technology (MADT) effort and the Ballistic Low Altitude Drone Engagement (BLADE) system, a derivative of the Army's Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS).

In October, the Army also received the first of two batteries worth of the Israeli-made Iron Dome system, which is primarily geared toward the C-RAM mission. However, the service had initially decided to acquire these systems primarily to satisfy interim cruise missile defense requirements. This demand had become more pronounced with its separate decision to cancel work on its Multi-Mission Launcher (MML) system, a truck-mounted system that was to be capable of firing various kinds of air and missile defense interceptors to respond to a variety of threats.

US Army - Page 10 Messag34




However, the Army subsequently halted those plans over concerns about whether Iron Dome could adequately defend against these threats, as well as issues relating to integrating the systems with its over-arching Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) network architecture, which you can read about in more detail in this recent War Zone feature. It's unclear how the two batteries it has already agreed to buy will now be integrated into the service's overall air and missile defense force structure plans.

On top of all that, the Army recently announced plans to acquire a ground-launched version of the U.S. Navy's SM-6 missile, ostensibly as a medium-range surface-to-surface weapon. However, the existing variants of this missile have air and missile defense capabilities, as well, which might lead to their future inclusion into its integrated air defense plans.

LOWER-AD, and the recent successful test of a prototype interceptor, represents another important push to develop a low-cost air and missile defense interceptor that could fill a critical gap between Patriot and lower-end short-range air defense systems.

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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMer 11 Nov 2020 - 20:00

Besse7a le MICA-VL US Army - Page 10 Icon_mrg
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeJeu 12 Nov 2020 - 16:50

Citation :
11 November 2020

US seeks Stinger MANPADS replacement

by Gareth Jennings



The US Army is seeking a replacement for its Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger short-range air-defence (SHORAD) surface-to-air missile (SAM) system,
with a request for information (RFI) issued to interested parties on 10 November.

US Army - Page 10 890
Having entered service with the US Army in 1981, the Stinger MANPADS is now being slated for retirement. An award for up to 8,000 new
systems is expected no later than FY 2026. (US Army)



The man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) RFI seeks to meet increasing demand to counter the growing aerial threat capabilities with a new SAM system to replace the Stinger that has been in the US Army inventory since the early 1980s.

“The Stinger Reprogrammable Microprocessor (RMP) will become obsolete in fiscal year (FY) 2023, and Stinger Block I is undergoing a service life extension to extend its end of useful life. The current Stinger inventory is in decline,” the army said. “The [US] Army is conducting a SHORAD study which will inform efforts to modernise and to address emerging threats, which may increase the demand for MANPADS capable missiles.”

According to the RFI, the US Army is currently planning to award a full and open competitive contract no later than FY 2026 for the production of up to 8,000 MANPADS missiles to fill this need.

As noted by the army, in 2016 Congress and military senior leaders, “noting the results of studies and peer threat nations’ aggressions, provided resources and directed the army to aggressively pursue air-defence capabilities to protect maneuvering forces as soon as feasibly possible. This effort serves to meet increasing demand for MANPADS, organisational growth within the Air and Missile Defense (AMD) portfolio, and increasing near-peer threat capability.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-seeks-stinger-manpads-replacement    
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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeJeu 26 Nov 2020 - 22:16



Superbes images aériennes du 1er ABCT de la 3e division d'infanterie
Tous les véhicules d'une brigade blindée de l'armée américaine en vue de drone

Les États-Unis sont l'une des armées les plus importantes et les plus puissantes du monde. Une vidéo montre les dimensions d'une de ses unités de manière spectaculaire.

La 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) est une brigade blindée de la 3e division d'infanterie de l'armée américaine. Bien que cette brigade soit basée à Fort Stewart, en Géorgie, son déploiement en République de Corée a été annoncé en septembre , dans le cadre des rotations périodiques de l'armée américaine pour contribuer à la défense de ce pays.

Le 1er ABCT est composé de deux bataillons blindés, un bataillon d'infanterie, un bataillon d'artillerie de campagne, un bataillon du génie, un bataillon de soutien logistique et une escouade de cavalerie de reconnaissance (cette dernière rattachée, d'ailleurs, au fameux 7e régiment Cavalerie «Garryowen» qui a combattu dans la bataille de Little Bighorn sous le commandement du lieutenant-colonel Custer).

Une brigade comme la 1ère ABCT est composée de quelque 4700 militaires, 87 chars de combat Abrams, 152 véhicules de combat d'infanterie Bradley, 18 obusiers automoteurs M-109 (avec leurs véhicules de munitions M-992 correspondants) et 45 véhicules blindés M-113 pour diverses utilisations, en plus d'autres véhicules de divers types, dont 15 camions-citernes M969A1 et 48 camions-citernes M-978. Hier, les archives militaires ont publié une vidéo impressionnante dans laquelle elles montrent tous les 1ers véhicules ABCT en vue du drone , quelques images enregistrées en 2017 par le sergent Antonio Vincent:https://www.outono.net/elentir/2020/11/26/todos-los-vehiculos-de-una-brigada-acorazada-del-ejercito-de-estados-unidos-a-vista-de-dron/

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MessageSujet: Re: US Army   US Army - Page 10 Icon_minitimeMar 1 Déc 2020 - 19:59

JOSEPH TREVITHICK - The War Zone a écrit:

The Army Wants To Launch Drone Swarms Behind Enemy Lines From High-Altitude Balloons

The balloons could also collect intelligence, serve as communications relays, and send sensors falling down to the ground to watch for enemy activity.


The U.S. Army is looking at developing a network of high-altitude balloons that would fly in the stratosphere and be able to launch swarms of unmanned aircraft, including those configured as loitering munitions, also known as "suicide drones," over enemy-controlled territory. These lighter-than-air vehicles could also be configured as sensor platforms to collect various kinds of intelligence or deploy other surveillance systems that would fall to the ground in order to monitor hostile movements, as well as act as communications relays.

The Army's Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors, or PEO IEW&S, posted a briefing, which had been presented at a recent industry day event and that showed general depictions of these concepts of operation, on the U.S. government's top contracting website, beta.SAMG.gov, last week. The balloons are one part of a broader, layered Multi-Domain Sensing System (MDSS) concept that the Army is in the early stages of developing.

Steve Trimble, Aviation Week's Defense Editor and good friend of The War Zone, managed to save a copy of the briefing, which was later taken down, and posted the slides on Twitter.

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It was previously known that the Army was exploring using balloons floating in the stratosphere, which begins at altitudes ranging from 23,000 to 66,000 feet, depending on where you are on Earth, for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and communications roles. As part of the larger MDSS network, they would fill something of a gap between traditional ground-based and aerial ISR and communications platforms and space-based systems.

“Conceptually, with the types of missions that the Multidomain Task Force is working, the high-altitude balloons would be a key capability enabler,” Brent Fraser, head of the Concept Development Division at Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence, part of the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), told Defense News in an interview in October. “[The balloons would] be able to provide some beyond-line-of-sight capability, whether it’s communications, extended distances, to be able to provide the ability to enable sensing of targets deep in the adversary’s areas, to be able to reinforce and complement existing sensing systems other than the aerial layer as well as the space layer."

The PEO IEW&S slides, seen earlier in this story and below, show high-altitude (HA) balloons in these roles. When it comes to ISR, they indicate that the lighter-than-air craft could carry electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) suites, as well as radars with synthetic aperture imaging, or SAR, and moving target indicator (MTI) functionality. Though not mentioned, these balloons would also be ideal platforms for carrying electronic warfare jammers and cyber warfare systems.

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In addition, the slides also depict balloons sending out swarms of drones or deploying unattended ground sensors (UGS). No additional details are provided about the potential capabilities of the swarming drones of the UGSs.

It is worth noting that the Army is also in the process of developing air-launched drones, which could be fired from manned or unmanned aircraft, with swarming capabilities to carry out ISR missions and act as loitering munitions, as part of its Air Launch Effects (ALE) program. You can read more about that effort in this previous War Zone story.

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A US Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter launches a drone in an Air Launch Effects-related test in September 2020.

The service is also exploring other novel loitering munition concepts, including potentially delivering them via a hypersonic missile as part of a program nicknamed Vintage Racer. The PEO IEW&S slides do notable depict units using missiles in development under the Army's broad Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) effort to deploy suicide drones, as well as clusters of UGSs, deep into enemy territory.

Using balloons for these various roles holds the promise of being able to deploy persistent capabilities in denied or semi-denied areas that could be difficult for an opponent to detect or neutralize. High-altitude balloons have traditionally had relatively small radar signatures and radar reflectors have been employed to make them more visible to reduce the chance of accidents. Electronic warfare packages, as well as using them tactically in concert with other platforms, could help maximize their survivability.

These would be cheaper than satellites and potentially less vulnerable than traditional manned or unmanned aircraft. With that in mind, balloons could also serve as at least interim replacements on relatively short notice for certain space-based capabilities, such as communications or navigation, should satellites get destroyed or otherwise disabled during a conflict, which is a very real possibility.

The ability to launch UGSs, or even carry out strikes directly on targets they find using individual loitering munitions or fully autonomous swarms, would only make them more flexible and disruptive to enemy operations. A swarm could include ISR-configured drones, as well as those capable of strikes, as well, allowing them to further scout ahead and find new targets on their own.

"It’s just phenomenal what we’re able to do with high-altitude balloons," Army Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler told Defense News in an interview published earlier this month. "I don’t have the cost analysis but, in my mind, pennies on the dollar with respect to doing it. If I had to do it via a [low-Earth orbit] or some satellite constellation, what we are able to provide with high-altitude balloons, it’s tactically responsive support to the warfighter."

Of course, this is hardly the first time that the Army, as well as the U.S. military, as a whole, has explored using lighter-than-air vehicles as sensor platforms or communications relays. The most infamous of these was the abortive Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS, which were tethered aerostats carrying radars intended to spot and track incoming low-flying threats, including cruise missiles.

In 2015, a JLENS aerostat infamously broke free of its mooring at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, drifted into neighboring Pennsylvania, and caused significant damage to power lines before becoming tangled in a tree. This incident, together with cost growth and delays, contributed to the decision to cancel that program in 2017. Other tethered aerostats carrying search radars, as well as electro-optical and infrared cameras, are still in use to provide surveillance around bases and support counter-drug operations in the Caribbean.



However, high-altitude balloons offer the ability to cover a much wider area than aerostats tethered to the ground, that are relegated to specific area surveillance. It's not the first time that a military, as well as intelligence agencies, have used high-flying balloons for intelligence-gathering purposes, or even to launch attacks, either. During World War II, Japan launched balloons carrying incendiary bombs toward the Pacific Northwest with the hope of starting debilitating forest fires, a strategy that failed to produce any meaningful results. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), among others, employed balloons in the past to try to peer into denied areas, as well as to act as decoys part of a special project to gather information about Soviet radars, which you can read about more in this past War Zone piece.

Previously, these kinds of balloon-based systems had been limited in their utility because they were hard to control and could generally only stay aloft for periods measured in hours or days. Technological advancements mean that current generation high-altitude balloons are much easier to deliberately navigate to a desired area and can stay in the air for weeks or months at a time. In August, balloon-maker Raven Aerostar announced that one of its Thunderhead Balloon Systems had demonstrated its ability to stay aloft for 59 days.

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Personnel work to launch a high-altitude balloon made by Raven Aerostar.

The Army's high-altitude balloon plans are not the only time in recent years that the U.S. military has explored the potential value of these lighter-than-air craft, as well. In 2019, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) sponsored tests of Raven Aerostar balloons carrying ISR packages at altitudes of 65,000 feet across six states to explore their potential use in counter-drug operations and disaster response, as well as general intelligence collection.

The U.S. military isn't the only one looking into uses for high-altitude balloons, either. Last week, NATO posted a video on YouTube about a project the alliance is conducting in cooperation with the University of New South Wales in Australia to develop a balloon-based radar system, ostensibly for "emergency response and disaster relief" scenarios.



Commercial companies have been looking into the use of high-altitude balloons, too. Loon, originally Project Loon, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, notably offers high-altitude balloons to help provide cell phone and internet service in remote areas or in the wake of a natural disaster.

The Army is still very much in the early stages of defining exactly what it might want from its balloon-based concepts of operation. "We’re in the initial stages of defining what those requirements would be," Army Colonel Tim Dalton, a space and high altitude capability manager at SMDC's Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence, recently told Defense News. "There’s kind of two aspects to the high-altitude piece: the high-altitude platform, so it’s the balloon, and then whatever it’s carrying on there for a payload."

From the briefing slides that have now emerged online, it seems clear that the Army is already looking at using high-altitude balloons in a number of different roles, including as platforms to deploy swarms to strike behind enemy lines.

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