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US Military / Re: Virginia Class Upgrades
« Last post by MarkOttawa on Today at 17:41:06 »
Lots more on Virginia-class Block V upgrade, cruise missile load useful for trying to deal with, say, China (a huge problem now for USN, see,129967.msg1591343.html#msg1591343):

Here’s what you need to know about the US Navy’s new deadly (and expensive) attack subs

 The U.S. Navy inked a deal with General Dynamics Electric Boat on Dec. 2 to be the lead contractor for the newest iteration of the Virginia-class attack submarine.

The largest shipbuilding contract in the history of the service — in excess of $22 billion — the Navy has big plans for Block V. It is destined to be a true multimission submarine, with a strike capability and the ability to delivery large-diameter unmanned underwater vehicles in addition to the more traditional surveillance mission.

Here’s are the four things you need to know about the vessel:

1. A bigger boat

Most of Block V is going to be bigger (much bigger) than its older sisters in the class. Of the nine — potentially 10 — boats in the class, eight of them will have 84-foot sections plugged into the hull that will include four large-diameter tubes rated for seven Tomahawks each. In addition to the 12 in the bow, that means each Block V will have the capacity for 40 cruise missiles.

But it’s not just the traditional Tomahawk land-attack missiles that will be stuffed in the payload module. Submariners are envisioning a whole range of missions for the big tubes, such as:

    Deploying large-diameter unmanned undersea vehicles for various missions.
    Launching hypersonic prompt-strike missiles.
    Launching Tomahawk’s new maritime strike iteration against ships in addition to the existing Harpoon missile.
    Really anything they can get to fit in there that could benefit from being deployed off a submarine.

2. Responsibilities galore

Because the Navy designed a lot of versatility in the platform, the Block V will act as a Swiss Army knife for undersea warfare, taking on a range of missions that traditionally have gone to the retiring guided-missile submarines, or SSGNs, said Bryan Clark, a retired submarine officer and analyst for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

That’s going to require a cultural change inside the submarine community, Clark said.

“The Block V will be a marked difference in terms of the concept of operations for a multimission ship,” he said. “For strike, that mission has largely been sent off to SSGNs: They’ve focused on Tomahawk missions and SEAL delivery; the rest of the attack submarines have focused on focused on traditional intelligence-gathering missions.

“With the introduction of Block V, those missions are going to expand to a larger percentage of the force.”

Much of that is already part of submariner training, but the emphasis will have to be increased, Clark predicted.

“Submariners were always trained on Tomahawk missions, anti-ship missions and swimmer delivery: Those are all things you train for in case you have to do them,” he said. “But with the advent of Block V, those missions are going to have to be a bigger part of submariner training. And with [the] Tomahawk maritime strike missile coming into the fleet, they are going have an anti-ship mission alongside the older [Los Angeles-class] 688s having the torpedo-tube launched harpoon.

“So in a lot of ways the submarine community is going back in [the] direction it was during the Cold War — it was a much more expansive mission then back then. Then It narrowed with the introduction of the SSGN. Now its set to expand again.”

3. Quiet...

Without a question Cold Lake needs a massive infastructure upgrade, from hangars/hangarettes, fueling etc. The current state of the hangar line is just laughable.
US Navy seriously trying to figure our how carriers can cope with China--things don't look too good these days (further links at original):

With China gunning for aircraft carriers, US Navy says it must change how it fights

Just because China might be able to hit U.S. Navy aircraft carriers with long-range anti-ship missiles doesn’t mean carriers are worthless, the service’s top officer said Thursday.

The chorus of doom and gloom over China’s anti-access weapons is too simplistic, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said, but that doesn’t mean the Navy should refrain from adjusting the way it fights.

“Let’s look at this like a physics problem,” Gilday proposed. “[People will say]: ‘Hypersonics go really fast and they travel at long ranges. Carriers can only travel [‘X’ distance], so carriers are going to have to go away.’ That’s a very simplistic way to look at the problem.

"I’ve been in two big war games since I’ve been [CNO], and I absolutely believe that we have to wring more out of what we have today in terms of how we are going to fight with it.”

Gilday’s comments come as the fleet is gearing up for the first of what it intends to be annual “large-scale” exercises this summer, a major muscle movement that will allow the Navy to test new concepts and play with new technologies. The Navy is shifting from fighting as an aggregated force, clustered around an aircraft carrier serving as the main strike arm of the U.S. fleet, to a more distributed and spread-out force that it hopes can stretch Chinese surveillance assets and frustrate their ability to impose unacceptably high losses on the U.S. Navy.

But to get there, the Navy must come up with new ways of fighting, Gilday said.

“There are alternative concepts of operations that we must develop and we have to test, and we’re not going to do it during the certification phase of a carrier strike group for a combat deployment,” he told the audience at the USNI Defense Forum in Washington. “We have to do that in large-scale exercises, that’s where we are going to experiment with unmanned. That’s where we are going to experiment with new capabilities.”

Gilday acknowledged that his fleet is not optimized today to fight the way it thinks it must to beat China, but that can’t lead the Navy to just throw its hands up, he said [emphasis added].

“Our fleet is too small, and our capabilities are stacked on too few ships that are too big,” he said. “And that needs to change over time. [But] we have made significant investments in aircraft carriers and we’re going to have those for a long time.

“Look, people don’t give us enough credit for the gray matter between our ears, and there are some very smart people we have thinking about how we fight better. The fleet that we have today, 75 percent of it, will be the fleet we have in 2030 So, we have to think about how we get more out of it.”

The CNO’s defense of the carrier comes after two separate op-eds in Defense News by active and former senior Navy officials defending the carrier’s continued utility in the era of long-range anti-ship missiles.


The discussion around making the carrier relevant in an anti-access environment is nothing new, but in the past several months the topic has gained traction because of a recent report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments that called for the Navy to build its capabilities to fight at extended ranges.

The study called for the carrier air wing of the future to be able to hunt submarines (serving as a replacement for the S-3 Viking aircraft), provide surveillance and targeting, and destroy ships and land targets with standoff weapons, all while fighting at nearly double the range of today’s air wing.

If the Navy wants to counter China’s anti-ship cruise missiles and increasing naval capabilities, it must resurrect the Cold War-era Outer Air Battle concept, which focused on longer-range aircraft to counter Russia’s bombers. However, instead of fighting at 200-plus nautical miles, the air wing will have to fight at 1,000 nautical miles, according to the study’s lead author, retired submarine officer and analyst Bryan Clark.

“The air wing of the future is going to have to be focused less on attacking terrorist training camps and huts in Syria, and more focused on killing ships and submarines at sea — dealing with naval capabilities and island-based littoral capabilities,” Clark said in a telephone interview earlier this year. “Those are the challenges: Range and the mission set is changing.”

In other words, the entire air wing, both the range at which it can fight and the missions it is set up to execute, must be completely overhauled...

“Look, people don’t give us enough credit for the gray matter between our ears, and there are some very smart people we have thinking about how we fight better. The fleet that we have today, 75 percent of it, will be the fleet we have in 2030 So, we have to think about how we get more out of it.”

The CNO’s defense of the carrier comes after two separate op-eds in Defense News by active and former senior Navy officials defending the carrier’s continued utility in the era of long-range anti-ship missiles...

Since this kind of training cannot be duplicated ashore in a traditional classroom setting, this program offers a green and sustainable solution that can be updated whenever necessary.

Virtual training and videos sound awesome...

I've got a question this part though... can totally simulate any of it in a classroom, it's just more expensive.

PO2 Gillies from Naval Personnel Training Group assists in the filming of a training video with a film crew from Race Rocks 3D. Photo by PO1 Beaulieu./Le M 2 Gillies du Groupe d’instruction du personnel naval participe au tournage d’une vidéo d’instruction avec une équipe de tournage de RaceRocks 3 D. Photo par M 1 Beaulieu

New training videos

Peter Mallett

A new tool in the training box of Naval Fleet School is currently being developed.

Contracted by Naval Training Development Center Pacific (NTDC(P)), Race Rocks 3D is creating a fully functioning virtual reality version of the ship’s power generation and distribution system. It will include a series of instructional videos to be used in tandem with the virtual task trainer.

By utilizing this technology, NTDC(P) hopes to enable naval trainees to hone their practical skills before placing them in real-world scenarios. This will also help propel current naval training into the future, and fulfill the vision of the Future Naval Training Strategy – to produce a world-class training system that fosters excellence at sea.

Currently, phase two of the development shows trainees how to:

- Sync a generator at the switchboard;
- Parallel a generator with shore power at the switchboard; and
- Reset a load shed condition.

Created by the Program Support Services section of the Learning Support Center division of the NTDC(P), and Race Rocks 3D, this technology can be facilitated in-class or remotely, allowing trainees to learn at their own pace at any time via the Defence Learning Network (DLN). The program can be accessed at the convenience of the trainees via a tablet or computer onboard the ship, or remotely from their own devices.

In the program, trainees or current sailors who need a refresher can decide what level of instruction they need while looking at an interactive, exact replica of a Halifax-class frigate switchboard. Trainees can watch videos that walk them through tasks step-by-step; they can choose to be walked through each step via a series of on-screen instructions; or they can test themselves by completing the tasks without assistance. If they make an error, the program will show them where they went wrong, and what steps they can take to correct it.

Training includes losing power on a warship, which is critical and can have catastrophic effects. This type of skill-development is essential in creating sailors who have competency with confidence in extreme pressure situations – the kind of situation naval trainees may have to face.

Since this kind of training cannot be duplicated ashore in a traditional classroom setting, this program offers a green and sustainable solution that can be updated whenever necessary.

In addition, there are limited opportunities for ships that can facilitate this training due to a significant number of them being on missions, and those alongside often lack functioning equipment due to maintenance.

Furthermore, with ships understaffed, this program can save time for personnel who have a multitude of tasks to complete in a day, in addition to facilitating training for others.

The videos and virtual reality version of the ship’s power generation and distribution system trainer are set to be released in 2020.

Canada’s Future Fighter Capability: Supplier teams are visiting two Air Force fighter Bases

By Stéphanie Poulin, communications advisor, FFCP / Ottawa

3 Wing Bagotville and 4 Wing Cold Lake are the Royal Canadian Air Force’s two busy fighter bases,  supporting Canada’s domestic needs and international commitments. These are our two main operating bases, or MOB if you want to learn the jargon. Our current fighter fleet is stationed at these two MOBs, and is where our 88 future fighters will be housed. Every time our government makes a decision to send a fighter in support of NATO, NORAD, or a global coalition, one, or both, of these locations sends them off. This means that jets have to be ready at any time, all the time. Efficient workspace becomes crucial to making this happen.

Ideally located for this responsibility, these two high-alert Wings will continue to be the cornerstones of Canada’s air defence. This makes these two locations a key part of the current future fighter capability project and of the bids eligible suppliers are currently preparing.

While Supplier teams are still working on their bids, the three contenders, Sweden-Saab (Gripen E), US-The Boeing Company (F/A-18 Super Hornet) and US-Lockheed Martin (F-35 Lightning II), were invited to visit Bagotville and Cold Lake.

The goal of this visit is for the supplier teams to gain a better understanding of how we operate and sustain our current aircraft, so they can frame their proposals in the Canadian context. The teams are also looking at our current facilities to evaluate future needs should their aircraft be selected. The outcome of the visit won’t decide what infrastructure we will need, but rather allow the three Supplier teams to include how we can make use of Canada’s current fighter infrastructure and if any new or expanded facilities would be required.

This visit is the second occurring within the FFCP process. The first was in November 2018, with the same purpose of providing Suppliers an equal opportunity to understand how we in Canada operate.

Is it too early to think of infrastructure? New aircraft mean new needs for space, training, maintenance, supply, and operations. And fighter jets are among the most complex and advanced equipment in the military that need to be maintained from the moment they are received. Although we have yet to identify our future fighter, it’s necessary to get started on infrastructure planning now, to be ready by the time the first aircraft arrive.

Other RCAF operating locations may also need to be altered to support the new fighters. Bagotville and Cold Lake will remain the permanent homes of our jets, however.

We’ll keep working on all these pieces, while waiting for Suppliers’ proposals, this coming March.
Cadets / CIC / Re: Being a Good Officer/CI/CV
« Last post by Kyle Burrows on Today at 16:42:47 »
The biggest thing I can suggest when it comes to leading cadets (and anyone for that matter) is to make yourself approachable.  There is a way to be approachable and supportive without crossing the boundary from supervisor to friend.  You will find that some of the most effective communication comes from a place where they trust the leader in front of them.

Another thing that I have found helps them to grow is to provide them with the tools to solve their own problems.  If it isn't an emergency, I don't rush.  If you have the time to spare, encourage them to submit formal communications via email or in writing or find their own resources.  This helps them to realize that for their asks, there is an element that is on them to satisfy.  Remember that you are there to help them grow and develop skills, not be a hover parent (or a parent at all).  People that contribute to the resolution of their problems typically function more effectively as leaders in their own right, which is what we are here to promote.  (For this same purpose, I don't entertain things being turned in by parents/guardians.  If they trust their cadet to go off into the bush, they can trust their cadet to present their signed paperwork.)

I can echo the sentiment for setting and maintaining a high standard.  This starts with you and carries on downwards.  Model the behaviour you want to see from the cadets and also provide them feedback when their behaviour and personal standards aren't up to par - make it a learning experience.  Holistically, this is a mentoring relationship.  Formally, correctional/disciplinary items are governed by CATO 15-22 which is available on

On the topic of disclosures, your primary focus is to ensure the safety and welfare of the cadet.  You are not a police officer or social worker and it is your job to get the information upwards in the fastest and safest manner.  In working with the cadets, I have not once had a cadet take issue with another officer being present in the room during a conversation like this.  By coming to you, they are asking for help.  It is an intentional act, whether they realize it or not.  For some context and tools, all adult staff members working in the program are required to complete PYDPO training.  This training is available on the DLN for Reg/Res/COATS/Civilian Instructors and also for volunteers and other involved persons via the leagues -

I will say this - the CAF Principles of Leadership do apply.  Rather, they apply universally whether your troops are cadets, CAF Mbrs, or just civvies at your day job.  Learn them, love them, and use them as the guide they are.

Foreign Militaries / Re: Turkey and the S400 SAM
« Last post by on Today at 16:41:28 »
Yeah, about those missiles ...
Russia reportedly included a system to distinguish between friendly and hostile aircraft that it built to NATO standards with the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems it has sold to Turkey. The same report claims that the actual coded waveforms that this identification friend-or-foe system, or IFF, uses are kept secure within an attached, but separate Turkish-made cryptologic system that the Russians do not have direct access to.

The U.S. government and other NATO allies have repeatedly raised concerns that Turkey's S-400s will not be able to work in concert with other alliance air defenses during a crisis and could give the Kremlin access to sensitive information, including details about the stealthy signature of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The United States kicked Turkey out of the F-35 program earlier this year over its purchase of the Russian air defense systems.

Russia's Gazeta newspaper published the report about Turkey's S-400s, which is clearly meant to challenge the concerns that the country won't be able to integrate surface-to-air missile systems with other allied air defenses, on Dec. 5, 2019. The story says that Turkey successfully tested the IFF system during an initial evaluation of one of its S-400s last month.

Those tests also involved checking the function of the S-400's radars. The complete systems that Turkey acquired include the 91N6E Big Bird surveillance and acquisition radar, the 96L6E Cheese Board air search and acquisition radar, and the 92N6E Grave Stone fire control radar. Only the 91N6E and the 96L6E, the latter of which was mounted on a 40V6M elevated mast, were visible in pictures and video from the testing, but Gazeta's sources said that the 92N6E was also present and active.

Those same sources said that the aircraft flew around the S-400 site at Murted Air Base, located near the Turkish capital Ankara, for approximately eight hours in total. Two of the Turkish Air Force's American-made F-16 Viper fighter jets, an older F-4E Phantom II combat jet, and an unspecified helicopter, according to Gazeta.

They flew at the radars from various directions and altitudes, including extremely low altitudes and in "dead crater" blind spots, likely a reference to a phenomenon known as the "doppler notch," which you can read about in more detail in this past War Zone piece. The testing reportedly culminated with a successful simulated engagement of an unspecified target ...
Cadets / CIC / Re: Being a Good Officer/CI/CV
« Last post by on Today at 16:00:24 »
... Delegate and empower the Cadets to lead and conduct their own training, to the extent allowed by Cadet Orders. They will feel a sense of accomplishment by doing things themselves ...
- Let the Cadet NCOs lead.  Stand back and do the higher level stuff, coach them.
That right there.  Properly trained & guided, they'll feel great excelling, and become outstanding ambassadors for the organization & future recruitment as well.  I see civilians sitting on advanced Cadet course selection boards being hugely impressed with people in that age group, but I'm not as surprised having seen lots of young keeners come through the system.
Most of all: have fun! That part is infectious!
That too!
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