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MASSACHUSETTS FIELD ARTILLERY EXPANDS RADAR CAPABILITIES WITH THE TPQ-50
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Click image for a larger picture

Members Of The 101st Field Artillery Assemble A TPQ-50

Source: U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Steven Littlefield


Members Of The 101st Field Artillery Assemble A TPQ-50

Source: U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Steven Littlefield


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JOINT BASE MAGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ - Members of one of the U.S. Army's oldest artillery units will now be able to protect fellow troops using a lighter, leaner and less complicated radar system.

As part of a new equipment fielding, the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment - which is based in Brockton, Mass. - received training and field tested the TPQ-50 Lightweight Counter-Mortar Radar (LCMR), which is a fully transportable radar featuring 360-degree coverage and a range of 10 km (5.4 nm).

"This new radar is awesome - it’s 1,000 percent better," Radar Operator Spec. Michael Stevenson said, adding it’s easier to transport, set up, maintain and use than previous radar systems.

Unlike the outgoing TPQ-36 Firefinder Radar - which weighs 3,200 pounds, is towed on a trailer and requires two vehicles to transport, the TPQ-50 weighs less than 500 pounds. The new radar can be mounted on rooftops, on a tripod, or on the back of a vehicle

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Justin Smith, radar platoon leader, said the LCMR would "be an integral part of the battalion's early warning system. Combined with the TPQ-36, it provides advanced counter-fire capabilities that the battalion has not had before."

Sgt. 1st Class William Mockus, radar platoon sergeant, said the new system can detect a variety of incoming rounds - from both direct and indirect weapon systems - in all weather and environmental conditions.

Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Jeffrey Holloway was excited about the possibilities and capabilities of the new system.

"Radar’s going to start tracking us - which is awesome," Holloway informed the commanders and staff of the 1-101 FA while live-fire continued Saturday evening.

Members of the Radar Section successfully began tracking artillery rounds Saturday and continued to do so during a five-day live-fire exercise involving the battalion’s light and medium howitzers - 105 mm rounds from M119A3s and 155 mm rounds from M777A2s.

Sgt. 1st Class Bob Russo, assistant platoon sergeant, commended the communications aspect of the radar system stating, "It runs on Windows - Soldiers will know how to use it."

Randy Scott, a Radar Fielder and New Equipment instructor with ESP and PDM Radars said he was impressed at the knowledge and performance of the radar section.

"They most definitely stack up to their active duty counterparts," Scott said, adding many U.S. Army units have trouble inputting the radar into their digital systems.

Unlike other units, Scott said, the members of the 1-101 FA already had created and previously used radar systems in their digital database, which connects target acquisition elements to the gun line via the Fire Direction Center. As a result, the radar section established communications - via radio and digital systems - much quicker than other units.

The Radar Section is part of Headquarters & Headquarters Battery, which is based in Brockton, Mass. and supports three firing batteries.

Following a week-long training period with members of the Project Management Team, Towed Artillery System (PM-TAS), Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment fired 120 105mm high explosive rounds Friday using their newly acquired M119A3 Light Howitzers.

While members of A and B Batteries - respectfully headquartered in Fall River, Mass. and Waterville, Vt. - fired the new 105 mm howitzers, their counterparts in C Battery - located in Danvers, Mass. - trained on the new M777A2 Medium Towed Howitzers, a 155 mm towed weapon system. They will conduct a confidence shoot and live-fire exercises later during Annual Training.

The 1-101 FA, which continues the lineage of the South Regiment - formed as the militia in 1636 - provides fire support to the 86th (Mountain) Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a multi-state National Guard unit which is headquartered in Vermont.

Source:  DVIDS
Source Date: July 23, 2016
Posted: 08/23/2016

 
 
MUOS CONSTELLATION NEARS COMPLETION
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Click image for a larger picture

Artist's rendition of a MUOS satellite

Source: Lockheed Martin


Artist's rendition of a MUOS satellite

Source: Lockheed Martin


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NEWTOWN, Conn. - Despite setbacks caused by aggressive scheduling early in program development as well as technical issues, three Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites have been launched. The first MUOS satellite (originally scheduled to launch in July 2011) lifted off in February 2012 and entered service later that year. MUOS-2 launched in July 2013. A welding issue with the third satellite caused further delays, but it was finally launched on January 20, 2015. The fourth satellite launched in September 2015. The fifth satellite will launch in 2016 and the system will be declared fully operational by late 2016.

Even as deliveries continue, the Navy has been forced to find new sources of satellite capacity. The Navy's current UHF satellites have begun to degrade as they age, meaning they cannot provide the same level of service they used to. The ground systems designed to work with MUOS have also had problems, meaning the advanced capabilities of the MUOS spacecraft cannot be taken advantage of. In addition, the U.S. armed forces continue to demand the additional bandwidth that is required to fight modern wars. In response, the Navy was forced to lease services with Intelsat General, the United Kingdom's Skynet service, and Italy's Sicral service. The Navy will also use UHF capacity on Intelsat 22 under an agreement with the Australian Defence Force.

The Navy will take delivery of five MUOS satellites between 2012 and 2016. A sixth satellite is likely to be delivered by 2017. The service is looking for allies to finance the cost of the sixth satellite, similar to agreements signed by the U.S. Air Force to share its Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) constellation. With Canada expressing interest, it is likely that a sixth satellite will be built.

At this point, it is unclear what direction the Navy will take following the launch of MUOS satellites. However, with the ever-increasing need for bandwidth, follow-on satellites will likely be launched starting sometime in the middle of the next decade.

Source:  Forecast International
Associated URL: www.forecastinternational.com
Source Date: August 23, 2016
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 08/23/2016

 
 
BOEING DELIVERS AH-64E APACHE TRAINING SYSTEM TO SOUTH KOREA
Monday, August 22, 2016
Click image for a larger picture

Longbow Crew Trainer

Source: Boeing


Longbow Crew Trainer

Source: Boeing


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ST. LOUIS - Boeing has delivered to the Republic of Korea an Apache Longbow Crew Trainer that the country’s Army air crews will use to prepare for the AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters that Boeing begins delivering later this year. The system uses the Apache’s flight software and matured flight and avionics simulation models to create an accurate training environment that increases mission readiness.

"The AH-64 Apache helicopter is a critical force multiplier to the U.S. Army and customers around the world," said Randy Nielson, U.S. Army Apache Program Management Office lead for operator training devices. "The Longbow Crew Trainer is an invaluable asset that will enable Korean Army AH-64 aviators to train and sustain aircraft systems, flight and tactical tasks, increasing their combat effectiveness while reducing risk to the soldier."

Boeing will provide two years of training and maintenance on the system. The delivery completes one portion of South Korea’s $1.6 billion order for 36 Guardian helicopters and training and logistical support.

Source:  Boeing
Associated URL: boeing.com
Source Date: August 22, 2016
Posted: 08/23/2016

 

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