The INSIDER - July 31, 2012
Inside the Army's Tony Bertuca continues to lead on the JTRS story:
Controversial JTRS Manpack Report Pits Top Tester Against Army, Industry
In the face of Army and industry backlash, the Defense Department's chief weapons tester is standing by his assertion that the Joint Tactical Radio System's two-channel Manpack radio is "not operationally effective," according to a Pentagon spokeswoman.
The disputed finding was presented in an internal Pentagon memo written by J. Michael Gilmore, DOD's director of operational test and evaluation, and sent to Frank Kendall, DOD's acquisition chief.
"JTRS HMS Manpack radio is not operationally effective," Gilmore wrote in the July 20 memo, obtained and first reported by InsideDefense.com last week. "This assessment is based upon the radio's performance when running the Single Channel Ground Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS) waveform."
And in case you missed this last week:
DOT&E Assessment Of The JTRS HMS Manpack Radio
In a July 20, 2012, memo, Pentagon Operational Test and Evaluation Director Michael Gilmore finds the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit radio "not operationally effective." Gilmore also finds the Joint Enterprise Network Manager (JENM) to be "operationally suitable."
More Army news:
DOD Reviews Precision-Weapons Inventory In Light Of New A2/AD Focus
Defense Department leaders have commissioned a sweeping review of the U.S. military's precision weapons portfolio, an assessment that could affect a broad range of Army programs, according to officials.
The drill comes as top defense officials try to prepare for a post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan future. Per U.S. policy, America's new role in that future is defined in large measure by events and threats in the Asia Pacific region, to include China. The Middle East will continue play a key role as well, according to the Obama administration's strategic guidance.
Common to both theaters is an expectation that future adversaries will be proficient at keeping U.S. forces at bay from a distance. The concept -- dubbed "anti-access and area denial," or A2/AD -- has begun to drive significant budget and policy decisions.
Assessments related to precision weapons are happening in different avenues at the Pentagon, according to an official not authorized to speak on the record. "The Joint Staff is reviewing munitions with an eye to A2/AD capabilities, ATL" -- the Pentagon's acquisition, technology and logistics shop -- "is reviewing their munitions requirements process to see if we are doing it right, and CAPE" -- the office of cost assessment and program evaluation -- "is doing a strategic portfolio review of all of the above," the official said.
Army Sets Out To Thwart Cyber Attacks With MORPHINATOR
The Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center has picked Raytheon to help develop a new program aimed at thwarting attacks on Army networks, according to a center official.
The MORPHINATOR program -- Morphing Network Assets to Restrict Adversarial Reconnaissance -- is managed by CERDEC's Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate. It uses "moving target defense, or cyber maneuver" to thwart attacks, Jonathan Santos, the directorate's information security branch chief told Inside the Army in a July 26 interview.
Raytheon received a $3.1 million contract to develop technology for the program after it was selected through a competitive process, Santos said. He declined to say how many other contractors were in the running.
CSIS Report: Four-Star Army Point Man Needed To Liaise With China
The Defense Department should elevate the job of overseeing Army forces in the Pacific to a four-star job, putting that official in a better position to forge partnerships with high-ranking military leaders from across the region, according a congressionally mandated assessment of DOD policies.
The recommendation is included in a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that is generally supportive of the Pentagon's new focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Senate Armed Forces Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) released the report last week.
Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski is the commander of U.S. Army Forces Pacific. His Navy and Air Force counterparts are four-star officers. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno so far has taken it upon himself to visit countries in the PACOM area of responsibility in an effort to strengthen relationships there. Odierno has tirelessly pointed out that most major countries in the region have armed forces led by army generals.
CSIS Report To Congress On U.S. Military Posture In Asia
On July 24, 2012, the Defense Department submitted a report to Congress conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that evaluates the U.S. military posture in Asia.
Inside the Navy's top story this week:
Navy Collected Biofuel Data At RIMPAC For More Than A Week
The Navy collected data on its biofuel consumption for more than a week during the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise near Hawaii, rather than for the one to two days the service had previously announced.
Navy officials had said that three ships would consume 700,000 gallons of a 50/50 blend of biofuel made from diesel and oils derived from algae and used cooking oil during a one- or two-day demonstration of the Great Green Fleet during RIMPAC. Two helicopters and two airplanes operating off the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz (CVN-68) would consume 200,000 gallons of the biofuel blend during that time, according to the service.
And more on the sea service:
Switching To Third F/A-18E/F Multiyear Contract Hits Northrop's Profits
Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems took the hardest hit to its operating income of the company's four segments in the second quarter of 2012, in part due to switching to a new multiyear contract for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the company announced in a July 25 conference call.
Aerospace Systems' operating income fell 9 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011, the company announced, and said one of two major drivers was "the transition to the lower-margin multiyear 3 contract for the F/A-18," vice president and chief financial officer James Palmer said during the conference call.
Palmer said during the question and answer session that previous figures reflected efficiencies that were built into the second multiyear contract, whereas the company hasn't yet achieved savings in the just-begun third multiyear contract.
Official: Lockheed Will Work With Navy To Decide Future Of MUOS
Lockheed Martin is looking ahead to what is next after Mobile User Objective System satellite production, whether it is a continuation of the MUOS franchise or increased capability, according to a company executive.
"We're open to a number of different options, and we'll be working with the Navy on those as soon as they're ready to have those dialogues," Mark Pasquale, vice president and deputy general manager for Lockheed Martin's Military Space division, told Inside the Navy July 27.
ONR Kicks Off Research Efforts To Improve Sea-Based Aircraft Propulsion
As evolving warfighter needs push the limits of aircraft power generation, the Office of Naval Research is looking to advance propulsion systems for sea-based aviation and will soon begin accepting research proposals on that new focus area.
As part of its Sea-Based Aviation National Naval Responsibility, which was created last year, ONR identified propulsion as one of three focus areas, along with aircraft research and structures. Joseph Doychak, SBA NNR propulsion program manager in ONR's naval air warfare and weapons department, said that "propulsion touches most aspects -- all aspects, actually -- of a vehicle's performance.
"A lot of the capability gains which involve vehicle performance are really dependent on the propulsion system -- essentially, that's what you start with," he told Inside the Navy in a July 20 interview.
No more new Compass Call aircraft, for now:
DOD Discards Plan To Further Increase Size Of EC-130H Fleet In FY-14
The Pentagon has set aside a proposal to further expand its small fleet of Air Force EC-130H Compass Call aircraft as part of the fiscal year 2014 spending proposal, citing the planned drawdown of forces from Afghanistan, budget constrains and the time needed to convert a cargo plane into an electronic warfare platform.
While finalizing the Defense Department's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed the Air Force to lead a study this spring exploring the possibility of expanding the 15-aircraft Compass Call fleet by a single aircraft, according to DOD sources.
"Yes, recently the Department of Defense and the Air Force considered adding a sixteenth operational EC-130H aircraft," Col. Joseph M. Skaja, head of Air Combat Command's combat enabler division's requirements directorate, wrote in response to questions from InsideDefense.com. The proposal for an additional Compass Call aircraft was crafted to meet an operational gap stemming from delays in fielding another system, according to Skaja.
IDGA's Joint Force Integration and Projection Summit
September 12 - 14, 2012 - Venue to be Confirmed, Washington, District of Columbia
Battlefields have never been as complex as they are today. Whether the threat is land, air, or sea-based, our forces must be ready to counter threats with fast, lethal and deployable weapons systems. These systems can be used for anti-access/area-denial, counter-strike, close air support or defensive operations, and they must always meet specific operational needs to give our forces a lethal battlefield advantage.
With this in mind, IDGA’s Joint Force Integration and Projection Summit will offer delegates vital knowledge on the latest requirements, advancements and tactics as well as lessons learned from recent combat operations.
-- Dan Dupont
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