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U.S. AIR FORCE'S AGM-86B ALCM PASSES TESTS
Thursday, January 19, 2017
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Source: US Air Force


Source: US Air Force


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KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircrews recently tested three unarmed AGM-86B air-launched cruise missiles, demonstrating the bomber force's ability to configure, load, fly and deliver the nation’s only nuclear cruise missile.

The B-52H aircrews departed Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, for the Utah Test and Training Range, about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah, and launched the unarmed ALCMs during three separate sorties.

The ALCM is a key air component of the nuclear triad, providing the nation a strategic capability to assure our allies and deter potential adversaries. It provides a clear, visible and tailorable deterrent effect, and denies geographic sanctuaries to potential adversaries.

The AGM-86B is designed to deliver a nuclear payload on target, destroying it on impact. As a standoff weapon, the ALCM can be launched from outside the combat area, allowing aircrews to strike distant targets with a high degree of accuracy without exposing themselves to potentially deadly enemy fire. A B-52H can carry six ALCMs on each of the two externally-mounted pylons and eight internally on a rotary launcher, giving the B-52H a maximum capacity of 20 missiles.

The ALCM sustainment program is managed by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and the tests were conducted under Air Force Global Strike Command's Nuclear Weapon System Evaluation Program, part of the Air Force's ongoing effort to test weapons systems in training missions and prepare aircrews for future mission requirements. The integrated test team also included personnel, assets and aircraft from AFGSC's 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, its 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, and Air Combat Command's 53rd Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida.

The ALCM was initially designed with a 10-year life span but has been in use for about 35 years, largely due to successful sustainment programs. While the current ALCM remains a safe, secure, effective and viable nuclear capability, it faces increasing sustainment and operational challenges against emerging threats as it continues to age. The Long Range Stand Off weapon is being developed to replace the ALCM, which the Air Force expects to start fielding by 2030.

"The LRSO will be a critical element of the United States' nuclear deterrence strategy, but we must continue to support the ALCM program until it is fielded and these recent tests are clear indicators of the ALCM's effectiveness and reliability," said Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for Strategic Systems.

The LRSO weapon system will be a cost-effective force multiplier for B-52, B-2 and B-21 aircraft to credibly deter adversaries and assure U.S. allies of our deterrent capabilities. Currently in source selection, up to two LRSO contracts are expected to be awarded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.

About 200 personnel in AFNWC's Air-Delivered Capabilities Directorate deliver, sustain and support air-delivered nuclear weapon systems. The directorate is located at Kirtland AFB and oversees locations at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; Eglin AFB, Florida; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Ramstein AB, Germany; Robins AFB, Georgia; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The ALCM sustainment program is managed at the Tinker AFB location.

The AFNWC is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in direct support of AFGSC. Headquartered at Kirtland AFB, the center has about 1,000 personnel assigned at 17 locations worldwide.

Source:  U.S. Air Force
Associated URL: http://www.kirtland.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1054147/air-launched-cru
Source Date: January 19, 2017
Posted: 01/20/2017

 
 
BLACKJACK SOARS OVER SOUTHERN MARYLAND
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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Source: Insitu


Source: Insitu


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PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - The RQ-21A Blackjack Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) flew for the first time from Patuxent River Naval Air Station Webster Outlying Field, Maryland, in December.

Before flying at Webster Field, the system conducted testing at the manufacturer Insitu's facility, in Boardman, Oregon, as well as at Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadrons (VMUs) on the East and West Coasts.

"We're excited to have Blackjack flying and to be able to support it," said Cmdr. Matt Densing, director of UAS Test Directorate (UASTD). "Webster Field is a great place to test UAS. We are right under restricted air space, and we’ve got the right people and resources available to conduct developmental tests on Blackjack."

The UASTD will evaluate new payloads and check out new software versions through regression testing, which is when new software or components are added to a system or air vehicle, and the test team completes test points to ensure there are no unintended consequences of the modification or upgrade.

"Having Blackjack flying locally is beneficial for the RQ-21A team and for UASTD," said Col. Eldon Metzger, program manager for the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-263), whose team oversees the Blackjack program. "It's great to have resources and a test team so close to the program office to be able to maintain consistent testing and evaluation as we continue to grow and develop the system’s capabilities."

Blackjack is currently deployed with the Marine Corps and will continue to support shipboard operations. The first Navy systems will become operational this year.

The Blackjack system provides the warfighter with dedicated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capable of delivering actionable intelligence directly to the tactical commander in real time. The expeditionary nature of the Blackjack, which does not require a runway for launch and recovery, makes it possible to deploy a multi-intelligence-capable UAS from ships with minimal footprint.

A Blackjack system is comprised of five air vehicles, two ground control stations, and launch and recovery support equipment. At eight feet long and with a wingspan of 16 feet, the air vehicle's open-architecture configuration is designed to seamlessly integrate sensor payloads, with an endurance of up to 16 hours.

Source:  U.S. Navy
Associated URL: http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.PrintNewsStory&id=6460
Source Date: January 18, 2017
Posted: 01/20/2017

 
 
DYNCORP AARDED AVIATION MAINTENANCE CONTRACT MOD
Thursday, January 19, 2017
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Source: DynCorp


Source: DynCorp


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PENTAGON - Dyncorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $30,790,391 modification (P00148) to foreign military sales contract (Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait) W58RGZ-13-C-0040 to exercise option year three of a regional management fee for aviation field maintenance services in support of the Army Aviation and Missile Command, Aviation Field Maintenance Division outside the continental U.S. operations. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, the effort necessary to reset an aircraft to a fully mission capable condition; the installation of aircraft modifications under modification work orders; and support to various units and combat aviation brigades.

Work will be performed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2017. Fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $30,790,391 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Source:  DOD
Associated URL: https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1054538
Source Date: January 19, 2017
Posted: 01/20/2017

 

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