Tag Archives: Operations

F-35s Return to Limited Flight Operations

The 26 Air Force F-35s Lightning II joint strike fighters assigned here returned to limited flight operations July 17 with the approval of commanders and Air Force airworthiness authorities.

The decision to return to flight was coordinated between the F-35 Joint Program Office, Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command and Air Force Materiel Command to ensure accurate return to flight instructions were delivered to Airmen.

“This is the same process the Air Force uses after any suspension of operations,” said Col. Carl Schaefer, Air Force Joint Strike Fighter Integration Chief. “Safety remains our top priority as the F-35 resumes development and training flights.”

The Navy and Marine Corps variants here also returned to limited flight operations July 17 with the approval of Navy airworthiness authorities.

The return has a limited flight clearance that includes an engine inspection regimen and restricted flight rules according to defense officials. While the safety investigation is not yet complete, recently completed inspections indicate that the aircraft can resume flight under the prescribed flight limitations. The limits will remain in place while the safety investigation continues its analysis to determine root cause.

Under the rules of the flight resumption, the F-35s are limited to a maximum speed of Mach 0.9 and 18 degrees of angle of attack. They can go from minus 1 G to 3 Gs, defense official said. After three hours of flight time, the front fan section of each engine has to be inspected with a borescope.

“In terms of our current training syllabus, we don’t anticipate these flight limitations will slow down our training,” said Navy Capt. Paul Haas, 33rd Fighter Wing vice commander.

Despite the grounding, Air Force, Marine and Navy F-35 maintainers and pilots remained busy completing academic and flight simulator training and conducting additional inspections on the aircraft.

“I definitely wouldn’t call this ‘down time’ here,” said Haas. “There is always more work for our team to do with this program. It’s always moving forward, and this experience drives that point home. There were a lot of valuable lessons learned by our community during this incident, both locally and at the higher F-35 program level.”

While the F-35s have returned to limited flight, it will not be appearing at the Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said during a Pentagon news conference July 15.

“While we’re disappointed that we’re not going to be able to participate in the airshow,” he added, “we remain fully committed to the program itself and look forward to future opportunities to showcase its capabilities to allies and to partners.”

The F-35 fleet was grounded July 3 in the wake of a June 23 engine fire on the runway at Eglin . No one was injured during the incident.

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Advertisements

Comments Off on F-35s Return to Limited Flight Operations

Filed under Defence Talk

FAA to Expedite Limited Commercial Operations of UAS

By on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

During a speech at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2014, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Manager of UAS Integration Jim Williams has announced that the FAA is working with several industries to expedite some limited commercial operations of UAS before UAS rules are finalized.

“We applaud the FAA for working collaboratively with the industry and other stakeholders to help UAS technology begin to take off,” said AUVSI President and CEO Michael Toscano.

“UAS have a host of societal and economic benefits, and many industries are clamoring to harness their capabilities. Limited commercial operations is a good first step, but we also need to begin the small UAS rulemaking immediately. We look forward to continue working with the FAA to advance UAS integration safely and responsibly.”

Specifically, Williams said the FAA is expected to allow limited commercial operations for filmmaking, powerline inspection, precision agriculture and flare stack inspection. Williams said these industries approached the FAA for expedited approvals.

“These industries represent the examples of the commercial potential that we highlighted in our economic report last year. The report found that in the first decade following integration, the UAS industry will create more than 100,000 jobs and $82 billion in economic impact. However, each day that integration is delayed will lead to $27 million in lost economic impact,” said Toscano.

“The FAA should begin utilizing its authority under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to allow for limited commercial operations now.”

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on FAA to Expedite Limited Commercial Operations of UAS

Filed under Defence Talk

Special Operations Command Leads Development of ‘Iron Man’ Suit

The U.S. Special Operations Command is using unprecedented outreach and collaboration to develop something special with revolutionary capabilities.

The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, is the vision of Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, SOCOM’s commander. He challenged industry and defense representatives at a SOCOM conference in May 2013 to come up with the concepts and technologies to make the suit a reality. The goal is to offer operators better protection, enhanced performance and improved situational awareness.

McRaven spoke more recently at a February 2014 National Defense Industry Association Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict symposium, in Washington, D.C.

“The TALOS program is a collaboration of efforts,” McRaven said. “We are teaming with 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories and we are leveraging the expertise of leading minds throughout the country to redefine the state of the art in survivability and operator capability.

“This innovative approach brings together the brightest minds in a national effort and we are already seeing astounding results in this collaboration. If we do TALOS right, it will be a huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give our warriors the protection they need in a very demanding environment.”

Exactly what capabilities the TALOs will deliver is not yet clear, explained Michael Fieldson, SOCOM’s TALOS project manager. The goal is to provide operators lighter, more efficient full-body ballistics protection and super-human strength. Antennas and computers embedded into the suit will increase the wearer’s situational awareness by providing user-friendly and real-time battlefield information.

Integrated heaters and coolers will regulate the temperature inside the suit. Embedded sensors will monitor the operator’s core body temperature, skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels. In the event that the operator is wounded, the suit could feasibly start administering the first life-saving oxygen or hemorrhage controls.

Fieldson admitted that the analogy to the suit that the Tony Stark character wore in the “Iron Man” movies may be a bit of a stretch. The TALOS, for example, isn’t expected to fly.

But beyond that, there’s little that Fieldson — or anyone else at SOCOM — is ready to rule out.
In a departure from past practices of introducing new products piecemeal, adding bulk and weight to operators’ kit, the TALOS will be a fully integrated “system of systems,” Fieldson said. To offset the weight of computers, sensors and armor that make up the suit, operators will have an exoskeleton — a mechanism that carries the brunt of the load.

“The intent is to have this fully integrated system so you can provide the most capability at the lowest impact to the Soldier,” Fieldson said. “We think there is some efficiency to be gained if all the equipment is fully integrated as opposed to different components that are simply assembled on the human.”

Keeping the systems and the exoskeleton powered will require more than today’s batteries can deliver. So along with the TALOS technologies, SOCOM is calling on the scientific and technical community to come up with reliable and portable power sources.

“We are really looking at stretching the bounds of science and technology,” Fieldson said.
That’s led SOCOM to reach out to partners within DOD as well as industry and academia for help in pushing today’s technological limits.

The command is working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, as well as U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM, centers like Natick, Mass., and the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md., among other DOD organizations, to tap into projects already underway.

DARPA, for example, is making headway on its Warrior Web project, designed to boost troops’ stamina and carrying capacity without sacrificing speed or agility. The concept includes a lightweight undersuit that would augment the efforts of the wearer’s own muscles.

“Many of the individual technologies currently under development show real promise to reduce injury and fatigue and improve endurance,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Hitt, DARPA’s Warrior Web program manager. “Now we’re aiming to combine them — and hopefully some new ones, too — into a single system that nearly every Soldier could wear and would provide decisive benefits under real-world conditions.”

The Natick lab is busy identifying high-technology armor and mobility technologies with plans to integrate them into a first-generation TALOS system ready for demonstration by the end of June, reported Greg Kanagaki, project engineer for Natick’s Unmanned Equipment and Human Augmentation Systems Team.

Natick personnel also are serving as subject-matter experts for the TALOS project, particularly in the areas of mobility, human performance and thermal management, Kanagaki said.

Meanwhile, RDECOM officials say their programs have a direct application to TALOS as well. “[The] requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that — a whole bunch of stuff that RDECOM is playing heavily in,” said Army Lt. Col. Karl Borjes, the command’s science adviser.

“RDECOM cuts across every aspect making up this combat armor suit,” he said. “It’s advanced armor. It’s communications, antennas. It’s cognitive performance. It’s sensors, miniature-type circuits. That’s all going to fit in here, too.”

SOCOM has called on the private sector, too, inviting not just its traditional industry partners, but also those who have never before worked with the command, to participate in the TALOS program.

“There is no one industry that can build it,” SOCOM’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Army Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris said during a panel discussion at the command’s MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., headquarters, as reported by the Defense Media Network.

The outreach has generated a lot of interest. SOCOM’s TALOS planning session this past summer attracted representatives of 80 colleges, 10 universities and four national laboratories. At a demonstration in July, 80 companies demonstrated technologies ranging from advanced body armor, some using liquids that turn solid on impact, to power supplies to exoskeleton mechanisms.

SOCOM’s goal, Fieldson said, is to have a TALOS prototype within the next year and to have the suit ready for full field testing within five years. That timetable is revolutionary for the military research, development and acquisition world, even for rapid-equipping programs.

As the only combatant command with acquisition authority, SOCOM is able to accelerate the TALOS project, Fieldson explained. The command’s acquisition executive and research and development staff share a building at MacDill Air Force Base, which he said promotes close collaboration and speedy decision-making.

“We have access that is nontraditional and that absolutely helps us,” Fieldson said. “We can bounce ideas back and forth against the leadership and ensure that what we are doing makes sense. I think that is critical to trying to develop this system within the timeline we are working toward.”

Also, in a departure from traditional development projects, SOCOM’s Acquisition Center staff established an innovation cell to lead the effort, advised by operators and focused on transforming business processes to solve the extreme integration challenges associated with TALOS.

“Because of the technical challenges and the compressed timeline, we are going to take more ownership on the government side than we typically take,” Fieldson said.

“We are going to go in and make some decisions that we sometimes rely on industry partners to make for us,” he said. “That allows us to reach out to a broader audience. That way, if there is a great idea in some nontraditional organization, we can integrate it” without relying on a commercial company to do so.

“We are really changing the process,” Fieldson said. “And the reason we are doing that is to try to streamline the overall effort and drive down both the cost and the schedule. That way, we get the best possible equipment to our force as quickly as possible.”

Although the TALOS is initially intended for special operators involved in high-risk missions, it has implications for the conventional force as well, Fieldson said.

“We have a long history at SOCOM of developing things first and then the technology moving out to the broader force,” he said. “We fully expect that to happen with this one as well. I think there will be a lot of spinoff technologies that the broader force will be able to use.”

Meanwhile, McRaven remains the suit’s No. 1 proponent. “I’m very committed to this,” he told industry representatives at a July planning forum. “I’d like that last operator that we lost to be the last operator we lose in this fight or the fight of the future. And I think we can get there.”

U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army’s premier provider of materiel readiness — technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment — to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations.

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on Special Operations Command Leads Development of ‘Iron Man’ Suit

Filed under Defence Talk

US Will Beef Up Air Operations in Poland

By on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

More U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons will deploy to Poland in the coming days and weeks, a Pentagon official said here today.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spoke yesterday, and Siemoiniak thanked the secretary for looking at options for basing, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

“No decision [have been made] on numbers yet,” he added. “That decision has not been finalized.”

U.S. European Command would provide the aircraft once a decision is made, the colonel told reporters.

The decision has been made to increase the size of the U.S. aviation detachment in Poland, Warren said. Ten U.S. Air Force personnel are stationed at Lask Air Base in Poland, “but there is no permanent jet presence there,” he added.

The airmen support quarterly rotations of U.S. F-16s and C-130s for joint training with the Polish air force. They are part of the 52nd Fighter Wing based in Spangdahlem, Germany.

Typically, there are four annual aircraft rotations to the air base, with at least two weeks of flying per rotation.

“What we are doing is reassuring our allies that we are there for them,” Warren said. “This is an important time for us to make it crystal clear to all our allies and partners in the region that the United States of America stands by them.”

This is just one of the visible actions the United States has taken since the Russian incursion into Ukraine. The United States sent six more F-15C Eagle aircraft to beef up the air policing mission in the Baltics. In addition, the USS Truxton has been deployed to the Black Sea.

These are examples, Warren said, of U.S. commitments to allies and partners in the region.

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on US Will Beef Up Air Operations in Poland

Filed under Defence Talk

Brunei to Acquire CN235-220 Aircraft for Maritime Operations

13 Februari 2014

CN-235 220 ASW (photo : Defense Studies)

The Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAF) is set to acquire three CN235-220 aircraft from Indonesian aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Persero) for maritime patrol and anti-submarine (ASW) operations.

Persero spokesperson Teguh Graito told IHS Jane’s on 12 February at the Singapore Airshow that he had received strong indications from the RBAF that they had come to a decision. Acquisition details are expected to be finalised soon.

Colonel Shahril Anwar Bin Hj Ma’awiah, director of the Directorate of Force Capability Development at the Brunei Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), told IHS Jane’s in December 2013 that one of the country’s priorities was the acquisition of fixed-wing maritime patrol aircraft.

(Jane’s)

View the Original article

Comments Off on Brunei to Acquire CN235-220 Aircraft for Maritime Operations

Filed under Indonesia

US, French Navies Conclude Combined Operations

By on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HST CSG) and French Navy Task Force 473 concluded five weeks of combined carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Feb 2.

The two strike groups began conducting integrated operations Dec. 26 in the Gulf of Oman and have operated together in the northern Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf to enhance regional maritime security and stability.

Ships participating in the combined operations included USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS San Jacinto (CG 56), and guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Mason (DDG 87), all assigned to HST CSG. French ships included French aircraft carrier and Task Force 473 flagship FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91), destroyers FS Forbin (D 620) and FS Jean de Vienne (D 643) and replenishment oiler FS Meuse (A 607).

“We executed a wide array of operations together with the Charles de Gaulle strike group,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. “We conducted combined flight operations from both the Truman and the Charles de Gaulle as well as carrier landing qualifications on both aircraft carriers.”

Lt. Cmdr. Rob Littman, an F/A-18 pilot assigned to the “Ragin Bulls” of Strike Fighter Squadron 37, is a U.S. Navy pilot who had the opportunity to land on Charles de Gaulle.

“Landing on the Charles DeGaulle was a terrific experience,” said Littman. “It was remarkable how similar it was to landing on the Truman. The French were extremely professional and the transition was seamless.”

Capt. Bob Roth, Truman’s commanding officer, said it was a unique experience being able to execute flight operations with jets and pilots from the French carrier.

“Planning and conducting actual missions together in this region brought our two fighting units closer together,” said Roth. “Our carrier aviation cultures are very similar, so the mutual real-world missions were executed using familiar tactics, but with a unique mix of platforms. Carrier Air Wing 3 Hornets and Rhinos flew seamlessly from Charles de Gaulle, just as the Rafales and Super Etendards landed and launched effortlessly from Truman. We are a good team and I look forward to the next opportunity to operate with our trusted French allies.”

Sweeney said operations weren’t limited to just the aircraft carriers.

“We conducted helicopter deck landing qualifications on our smaller ships. We executed boarding exercises, live-fire gunnery exercises, air defense exercises and combat search and rescue training – all types of missions we could be called upon to do at any moment. We even executed what we call a “shotgun swap,” which had the Forbin providing actual air defense control for Truman and the Gettysburg providing the same defense for Charles de Gaulle.”

Sweeney highlighted that the combined operations not only improved interoperability between the French and U.S. navies, but they also provided reassurance to regional partners.

“These operations were designed to enhance our levels of cooperation and interoperability,” he said. “Just as importantly though, it helps promote long-term regional stability and through our continuous presence, we build trust and confidence throughout the region.”

Capt. Bill Combes, HST CSG chief of staff, echoed the significance of conducting the combined operations in the region.

“Regional stability and these cooperative relationships both contribute to safeguarding the region’s vital links to the global economy,” said Combes.

Personnel from most of the U.S. and French ships also had the opportunity to visit other ships to meet with counterparts and learn how they do their jobs on their respective ships.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Kathryn Bustos, spent three days aboard the French carrier.

“The [French] sailor I was partnered with was the equivalent to a U.S. Navy electronics technician,” said Bustos. “We repaired hydra radios and headphones worn by French sailors on the flight deck and performed maintenance on other electronic equipment together.”

Bustos said it was an experience she would remember forever.

“It was an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” she said. “I met people aboard Charles de Gaulle that I will keep in touch with even after our deployment and joint operations are finished. The French sailors were very welcoming and friendly.”

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on US, French Navies Conclude Combined Operations

Filed under Defence Talk

Undersea Domain Operating Concept Approved by Chief of Naval Operations

By on Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Chief of Naval Operations recently approved the Undersea Domain Operating Concept (UDOC) to ensure the U.S. Navy maintains undersea superiority into the future.

Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) worked with commander, Submarine Forces and other stakeholders to develop this concept.

Navy concepts are ways to stimulate innovation and the UDOC is a consolidation of many new ideas.

The UDOC describes how expanded use of the undersea domain contributes to cross-domain synergy, providing significant joint warfighting advantages. It provides a conceptual framework from which senior military leaders can better recognize and employ the effects and capabilities of undersea forces in joint warfighting. The concept explores several specific contributions of undersea maneuver as well as some enabling capabilities that will support expanded use of the undersea domain. An accompanying action plan sets the stage for more detailed products including integrating and enabling concepts and concepts of operation that inform future doctrine and tactics, techniques and procedures.

“As a maritime nation, our economy depends upon open commercial sea lanes, and our national security – and that of our allies – increasingly depends upon the advantages we enjoy in the undersea domain,” said Rear Adm. Scott Jerabek, commander, NWDC. “The Undersea Domain Operating Concept offers new ways for preserving our freedom of action in the undersea domain.”

Related Topic Tags

Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions

View the Original article

Comments Off on Undersea Domain Operating Concept Approved by Chief of Naval Operations

Filed under Defence Talk