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  • 8/18/2019 SEAPOWER, Volume 55, Number 10, October 2012


    SEAPOWERN A V Y  / M A R I N E C O R P S / C O A S T G U A R D / M E R C H A N T M A R I N E

    October 2012 $5.00



    T H E N AV Y ’ S A I R S H I P / N O N - L E T H A L W E A P O N S T O D E T E C T , D E T E R , D E F E N D



  • 8/18/2019 SEAPOWER, Volume 55, Number 10, October 2012


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    SEAPOWERVolume 55, Number 10, October 2012





      3  President’s Message

      4   Editor’s Note

      6  A Point of View

      9  Intercepts

     48  Program Snapshot

     50  Seapower International

     52  Historical Perspective

     53  Ship’s Library

    54   Navy League News

    56  Council Digest

      8  Washington Report:Election, lame-duck Congress

     put defense spending decisionsin doubt




      14  INTERVIEW : Navy Rear Adm. William F. “Bill” MoranDirector of Air WarfareBY RICHARD R. BURGESS

      18  Arrival of UCAS on a Carrier Deck Will Usher in New Eraof Naval AviationBY DANIEL P. TAYLOR

      20  Testing of Marine Corps’ Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft

    Nears CompletionBY JOHN M. DOYLE

      22  As Threat Evolves, So Must AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-AirMissile ProgramBY DANIEL P. TAYLOR

      24  Marine Corps’ New AH-1Z Helicopter Completes Initial DeploymentBY RICHARD R. BURGESS

      28  INTERVIEW : Navy Capt. David SilkeyCommanderCarrier Air Wing TwoBY RICHARD R. BURGESS


      3   Facing the Fiscal Cliff BY PHILIP L. DUNMIRE

      6   A Point of ViewBY NORMAN POLMAR

      32  As Sequestration Looms, Defense Companies Hope for the Best,Prepare for the WorstBY DAISY R. KHALIFA

      36   Navy’s Airship Continues to Prove its Worth as an ISR,Test PlatformBY WILLIAM MATTHEWS

      40   Non-lethal Weapons Offer Options ‘Between Shouting and Shooting’BY EDWARD LUNDQUIST

      44  U.S.-flag Shippers Adapt to Changing Market, Economic FactorsBY JOHN C. MARCARIO

      46  Marine Corps’ Light Armored Vehicles Will Be Staying Until 2035BY JOHN M. DOYLE


     V-22 TEST PILOT



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    P R E S I D E N T ’ S M E S S A G E

    Facing the Fiscal CliffBy PHILIP L. DUNMIRE, Navy League National President

    While Republican and Demo-cratic Party leaders rallied

    the faithful at their respectivenational conventions in Tampa,Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., the nationthey so desperately want to repre-sent continued its slide toward theedge of a fiscal cliff called sequestra-tion, a cliff these leaders created bytheir failure to act.

    And as they take their campaignson the road in the run-up to Elec-tion Day with the promise of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” companies across thisnation that do business with the fed-eral government — from mom-and-pop shops to multibillion-dollar cor-porations — must take steps now to deal with federalfunding cuts that will take effect Jan. 2 if lawmakers failto do something to delay or stop our tumble over theedge. Those steps will include layoffs in a fragile econo-my and the possible permanent loss of critical industrial

    capabilities and expertise.This is not a Republican problem. It is not a Demo-

    cratic problem. This is a national crisis. Nothing couldundermine national security and economic prosperitymore than sequestration. In fact, programs related tonational defense and homeland security will absorb 50percent of the sequestration cuts despite being just 19percent of the federal spending budget.

    The Budget Control Act of 2011 called for morethan $900 billion in cuts to discretionary spendingover the next decade. The Doomsday scenario that issequestration was triggered when the bipartisan Joint

    Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — the so-called Super Committee — failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan, meaning an additional $1.2 trillion inacross-the-board cuts to discretionary spending overthat same decade.

    For the defense and security sector, this means $487billion in cuts already mandated by the Budget ControlAct and nearly $500 billion more over the next decadeshould sequestration occur.

     Jan. 2 may seem a long way off, but the federal Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification(WARN) Act mandates that companies notify their

    employees 60 days in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs —meaning pink slips on Nov. 2.

     Who would this impact?According to the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and TrainingAdministration Fact Sheet, “employ-ers are covered by WARN if theyhave 100 or more employees, notcounting employees who haveworked less than 6 months in thelast 12 months and not countingemployees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week. Private,for-profit employers and private,nonprofit employers are covered, asare public and quasi-public entities

    which operate in a commercial context and are separatelyorganized from the regular government.”

    This not only will impact companies workingdirectly for the federal government, a shipbuilder orservice provider for a military base, for example, but

    also the cities and towns in which their plants operate,where their employees live and shop. Indeed, estimateshave ranged from hundreds of thousands to more than1 million joining the ranks of the unemployed in thiscountry should sequestration go into effect.

     Who can stop this? Your senators and representa-tives, many of whom are on the campaign trail and won’treturn until after Nov. 6 for a lame-duck session of Congress. This will leave precious little time to addressa looming crisis of epic proportions that will rock thevery foundation on which this country was built.

     When you encounter your lawmakers or their cam-

    paign workers as they reach out to their constituents, tellthem the time is now to stop pointing fingers across thepolitical aisle, find a compromise and stop sequestration.Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum,make sure your voice is heard at the polls on Nov. 6.

    Every Member Get a Member … Involved!

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    E D I T O R ’ S N O T E

    Current bud-get constraints

    and the fiscal uncer-tainty for 2013 andbeyond compoundthe challenges mili-tary decision-makersface. For naval avia-tion, it all boilsdown to manpowerand readiness.

    “In this fiscal envi-ronment, our ability to continue toman, train, equip and provide theforce we need to be able to fight in afuture environment is the chal-lenge,” says Rear Adm. William F.“Bill” Moran.

    In his interview with ManagingEditor Richard R. Burgess, “HolisticProgramming” (page 14), Moran dis-cusses the effort to keep legacy air-

    craft aloft as well as the developmentand integration into the fleet of newtechnologies and capabilities, such asthe F-35 Lightning II joint strikefighter and unmanned air systems.

    For our Air Warfare special re-port, Special Correspondents DanielP. Taylor and John M. Doyle take acloser look at the interest in un-manned systems.

    In his report, “UnmannedLanding” (page 18), Taylor provides

    an update on the Unmanned CombatAir System-Demonstrator programand looks at how its developmentand testing will inform the Navy’sUnmanned Carrier Launched Air-borne Surveillance and Strike pro-gram, among others, in the future.

    Doyle, in “Small Bird, Big Job”(page 20), notes milestones reachedin the RQ-21A program. The MarineCorps wants a small tactical unman-ned aircraft system for Marine Expe-

    ditionary Forces andsubordinate com-mands that can deliv-er dedicated intelli-gence, surveillanceand reconnaissancedata in real time.

    Taylor also reportson upgrades beingmade to the popularAIM-9X in “SmartMissile” (page 22).

    One of the biggest improvements tonew versions of the air-to-air missile,he says, is the ability to acquire tar-gets even in a cluttered background.“The AIM-9X coupled with thehelmet-mounted cueing system nowlets pilots do some really great workin the dogfighting arena,” says Capt. John Martins, the program manager.

    In the helicopter arena, Burgess’

    “Eyes on Targets” (page 24), looks atthe successful initial operationaldeployment of the Marine Corps’newest gunship, the AH-1Z Viper, or“Zulu.” The deployment also sawthe AH-1Z teamed with its UH-1YVenom counterpart for the first time.

    Capt. David Silkey, commander,Carrier Air Wing Two, in his inter-view with Burgess, “Carrier Air WingHere to Stay” (page 28), talks aboutthe “plug-and-play” nature of carrier

    air wings (CVWs), the challenges of extended deployments, how theCVW has evolved and the next gen-eration of aviators. He notes that thetraining command and fleet readi-ness squadrons “are producing a cal-iber of aviator that I could not com-pete with when I joined the fleet.”

    Aviation ChallengesBy AMY L. WITTMAN, Editor in Chief SEAPOWER



    Volume 55, Number 10, October 2012


    Philip L. Dunmire


    Dale A. Lumme


    Amy L. [email protected]


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    Richard R. [email protected]


    John C. Marcario [email protected]


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    Amy Billingham and Rob BlackPensaré Design Group


    2300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 200Arlington, VA 22201-5424TEL: 703-528-1775 — editorial  703-528-2075 — advertisingFAX: 703-243-8251E-MAIL: [email protected]: www.seapowermagazine.orgTWITTER: @seapowermag


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    The Navy Department has is-sued “A Report on Policies

    and Practices of the U.S. Navy forNaming the Vessels of the Navy” inresponse to the biting criticism of recent ship names assigned byNavy Secretary Ray Mabus.

    Three names, in particular, have brought forth crit-icism from naval historians, active as well as retiredNavy and Marine Corps personnel, and members of Congress: John P. Murtha (LPD 26), Gabrielle Giffords(LCS 10) and Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14).

    The report, prepared under the supervision of Under-secretary Robert O. Work, is a valuable reference docu-ment, explaining Navy ship naming procedures sincecolonial ships of the American Revolution. The authorsof the document, released July 13, are professional navalhistorians, all currently or previously employed by theNavy Department.

     While the report reads well, it fails to effectively ration-alize the recent ship names selected by Mr. Mabus. First, itdivides the “universe” into two distinct schools: “Orthodox 

    Traditionalists” who “believe that Navy ship names shouldbe chosen using fixed naming conventions,” and “Prag-matic Traditionalists” who “know that battle force shiptypes, and classes within ship types, inevitably change dueto a variety of reasons — chief among them technologicaladvancements [and] therefore reject the notion that afixed source of naming conventions for particular shiptypes can possibly stand the test of time.”

    This artificial division is ridiculous. For example,no one expected state names to be ignored for futureships because they once were the name source for bat-tleships long since retired from naval service.

    Technology advances rarely were the chief reason forname changes. For example, the first nuclear-propelledcruiser (CGN) carried on the convention of naming cruis-ers for cities, the first nuclear frigates (DLGN) carried onthe tradition of naming destroyer-type ships for people,and the first 59 nuclear attack submarines (SSN/SSGN/ SSRN) were named for fish and other marine life. USS Tri-ton (SSRN 586) in this series was named for a Greek demi-god who possessed a man’s body above the waist and thatof a fish below. Nuclear propulsion was one of the princi-pal technology changes of the Cold War era. Si milarly,guided missile-armed ships carried on traditional names.

    Some technology advances did bring new namesources for ships. For example, the 41 Polaris missilesubmarines (SSBNs) were named for famous Americans,although the nationality of a couple of these individualswas questionable. The Trident SSBN program initiatednaming submarines for states. The development of theamphibious transport dock (LPD) required a new namesource, as did the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) andmobile landing platform (MLP). Thus, it is difficult toargue against new name sources for new types of ships.

    Rather, the controversy over ship name selections byMr. Mabus centers around the specific names that heselected that are (1) not in line with his own name selec-tion procedures and (2) surround specific names that hehas chosen. The Navy report fails on both these issues.

    LPDs — going back 50 years to USS Raleigh (LPD 1)— have been named for cities, the early ships for citiesthat also bore the names of explorers. Mr. Mabus choseto change the procedure for the 26th ship, naming it forthe late U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., a former Marineand the first Vietnam veteran to be elected to Congress.But other ship types have been named for members of 

    Congress — submarines, destroyers and aircraft carriers. Why break with the “current” tradition for naming

    LPDs? What was the technology change? More signifi-cant, Mr. Murtha had publicly called eight U.S. Marines“cold-blooded killers” for the deaths of 24 unarmed Iraqimen, women and children in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005. Thecase culminated with all but one Marine being found notguilty, or having their charges dropped.

    The Navy report seeks to justify the Murtha by say-ing the naming “is completely consistent with the spe-cial cross-type naming for honoring famous Americanelected leaders ... .” That statement attempts to justify

    any political naming decision.Similarly, the naming of the ammunition cargo ship

    T-AKE 14 for labor leader Cesar Chavez has broughtsharp criticism of Mr. Mabus. Chavez certainly could berated as an American “hero,” i.e., the name source forthese ships beginning with the USNS Lewis and Clark(T-AKE 1). Mr. Chavez, however, called his time in theNavy “the worst two years of his life.”

    Mr. Mabus would have done better to have named abuilding at a Marine base or Navy facility for Murthaand Chavez. Or, the secretary could have prevailedupon the administration to name a federal park or

    Report on Ship Naming Falls ShortBy NORMAN POLMAR

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    A P O I N T O F V I E W

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    bridge for those men. Then, people who would havewanted to honor those individuals could have done so,without being assigned to serve in those ships.

    The most undesirable naming action by Mr. Mabuswas to honor former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of 

    Arizona with the LCS 10. She was severely wounded in amurderous attack in 2011. However, she had no congres-sional record of special legislation supporting the Navyor Marine Corps during her brief career in the House of Representatives, nor had she served in the military. Herhusband, Mark Kelly, is a Navy captain and astronaut.

    The report states: “By naming a ship in her honor, Se-cretary Mabus sought to pay tribute to all 535 members of Congress — a very select group of elected politicians whoserve and protect our Nation very day. The fact that Re-presentative Giffords was a Navy spouse simply reinforcedthe Secretary’s desire. Finally, and perhaps most important-ly, it is Secretary Mabus’ conviction that her story and spiritwould inspire all those who sailed on LCS 10.”

    Did neither the secretary nor any of the authors of thereport realize that scores of U.S. Navy destroyers, attacksubmarines, ballistic missile submarines and aircraft car-riers have been named for members of Congress andcould thus be considered to be a “tribute to all 535 mem-bers of Congress?” Mr. Mabus has named two of these

    ships for former members of Congress, an aircraft carrierand a destroyer, to honor John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, respectively. Both were distinguished solonswho went on to become president of the United States.

    The controversy over ship naming has led some

    members of Congress to advocate that the procedurebe turned over to them. This would not be a valid solu-tion, as those “political types” would certainly intro-duce their own distortions into the process. Rather, thebusiness of ship naming is a Navy matter and shouldreside with the Secretary of the Navy — possibly withthe “advice,” but not the “consent,” of Congress.

    There is considerable useful and important materialin the report on ship naming and it should become astandard reference work. However, the report does not justify the recent name assignments. ■

    To read the report, visit and clickon the “U.S. Navy Ship Naming Report” button.

     Author and naval analyst Norman Polmar has been a consultantto several senior officials in the Navy and Department of Defense,and to the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Theviews expressed here are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Navy League of the United States.

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    W A S H I N G T O N

    R E P O R TElection, Lame-Duck Congress Put

    Defense Spending Decisions in Doubt

    With precious few legislative days remaining in thisCongress and an end-of-year schedule that remains

    a major question mark, there is no guarantee lawmakerswill have time or the inclination during the lame-duck ses-sion following the November elections to take up theannual bills that fund the Pentagon and set new policy.

    The Defense Department and other federal agenciescurrently are funded for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1through a government-wide continuing resolution (CR)that sets spending just slightly above last year’s levels.

    The CR, which the House had approved and wasawaiting a Senate vote at press time, funds the govern-ment for the first six months of the 2013 fiscal year, pro-viding the Pentagon and other agencies with some stabil-ity in an increasingly erratic and partisan era of budget-ing. The longer-term funding agreement also will allow

    lawmakers to let the dust settle after the November elec-tions and to regroup in the new Congress.

    In recent years, Congress has been unable to pass theannual appropriations measure by Oct. 1. Instead, law-makers have approved a series of short-term, stop-gapCRs, at times bringing anxious government officials to thebrink of shutdown when the agreements came close toexpiring.

    But the lengthy CR also calls into question whetherlawmakers will even attempt to pass a separate defenseappropriations bill for fiscal 2013 or simply renew theCR before it expires on March 27.

    Depending on the outcome of the election, there almost certainlywill be no appetite for debatingappropriations bills in the lame-duck session, particularly sincefunding already is approved for thefirst three months of the newCongress. Lawmakers, meanwhile,will be grappling with the threat of sequestration — across-the-boardcuts that will force the Pentagon to

    carve nearly $55 billion from itsfiscal 2013 budget come January if Congress cannot agree to a biparti-san deficit-reduction plan.

    A CR — even amid the partisanrancor surrounding federal spend-ing that has only heightened in theweeks leading up to the election —is far from ideal for the DefenseDepartment. Most notably, defenseofficials cannot sign contracts for

    new-start programs, tying thePentagon’s hands on new procure-ment efforts.

    But considering the threat of sequestration looming over theDefense Department and the uncer-tainty over funding levels for fiscal2013 whether an appropriations billis approved or not, the relativelylong-term CR is far from the depart-ment’s most significant worry.

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    House and Senate Armed Services Committee membersare holding out hope that the annual defense authorizationbill will make its way to the White House by the end of theyear, despite more pressing concerns such as the loomingthreat of sequestration. John McCain, R-Ariz., rankingmember of the Senate Armed Services Committee, shownhere during a March 7 hearing, is among the panel memberswho recently solicited input from the country’s largestdefense contractors on the effects of sequestration.

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    If there is no deal on the deficit bythe new year, the Pentagon will bedealing with how best to implementthe sizeable cuts for fiscal 2013,which don’t take effect until a quar-

    ter of the way into the year, whilealso revising plans for fiscal 2014 toreflect the additional cuts. The lackof an actual appropriations bill like-ly will be little more than back-ground noise for the department’snumber-crunchers.

     While the Pentagon spending billcould be shelved for the remainderof this Congress, House and SenateArmed Services Committee mem-bers are holding out hope that theannual defense authorization billwill make its way to the WhiteHouse by the end of the year.

    The House passed its version of the measure in May, just as the SenateArmed Services Committee wasmarking up its bill. But the Senatehas yet to take up the committee-approved measure, which typicallyconsumes several days of floordebate.

    Lawmakers in both chamberswill spend the weeks leading up to

    Election Day in their states anddistricts, with Congress adjournedand legislative matters put on iceuntil the lame duck.

    Congress has approved — andthe president has signed — a defenseauthorization bill every year for thelast half-century, making it a must-pass measure each year. Lawmakershave in the past overcome schedul-ing hurdles, partisan divides over thewar, veto threats and even a few

    vetoes to get the measure through.The near certainty that the bill,

    which sets Pentagon policy and pre-scribes defense spending levels, willbe enacted every year gives the armedservices panels more power and cred-ibility than many of the oversightcommittees on Capitol Hill.

    But this year may prove morechallenging than most. It is unclearwhether lawmakers, returning toCapitol Hill after an intense elec-

    tion season, will have any desire toengage in a long debate over

    national security issues on theSenate floor. And, even if it madeits way to the Senate floor, theHouse and Senate would then haveto negotiate differences in theirtwo versions of the bill, and pass afinal conference report.

    The question of whether thedefense authorization will fall bythe wayside this year probablywon’t be answered until December.But it’s clear that Armed Services

    Committee leaders in both cham-bers will fight to get the bill to thepresident’s desk.

    Industry Execs RespondTo Sequestration QueriesArizona Sen. John McCain, the topRepublican on the Armed ServicesCommittee, has solicited input fromthe country’s largest defense contrac-tors on the effects of sequestration.Letters also were sent by Sens. Joe

    Lieberman, I-Conn.; Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Kelly

    Ayotte, R-N.H.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and John Cornyn, R-Texas, allmembers of the committee.

    In various responses sent toMcCain this summer, most execu-tives warned about the damagingeffect the across-the-board cutwould have on the defense indus-try and on national security.

    “In fact, the mere specter of sequestration is already having anadverse effect on investment and

    employment within the defenseindustrial base due to the addition-al uncertainty it represents for com-panies,” Boeing Chief ExecutiveOfficer (CEO) W. James McNerney Jr. said in a July 30 letter.

    But some firms may not be hitso hard — at least not right away.Virginia-based shipbuilder Hun-tington Ingalls Industries acknowl-edged that they are working off of a $15.5 billion backlog on orders of 

    I N T E R C E P T S

    “My sense is that I’m not going to be allowed to go below182,000 [Marines], so that means my procurement accounts aregoing to be hit disproportionately and my ability to reset all thatequipment coming out of Afghanistan. The units that go will bethe most trained and the most ready, but eventually I’ll run out ofcapacity. The force that’s left behind will be challenged.”

    Gen. James F. AmosCommandant of the Marine CorpsOn the potential impact of sequestration on Marine Corps procurement.Reuters, Sept. 10

    “The army still does the army thing, the police still does itsthing. What it becomes if you don’t coordinate it is 6-year-oldsoccer. Everybody just follows the ball. It moves in a blob. We

    don’t want that. We want people to play positions and beready to respond to each other if they have trouble.”

    Maj. Gen. Charles M. GurganusCommanding General for I Marine Expeditionary Force ForwardOn ensuring coordination between Afghan national security forces as the U.S.

     forces drawdown and leave more responsibility in their hands.San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 4

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    that will keep production lineshealthy for now.

    “Consequently, the prospectiveimpact of budget sequestration onHuntington Ingalls Industries maynot be as significant near-term as itmay be for other industries,” CEOMike Petters wrote to McCain in a July 13 letter.

    However, Petters also warnedthat budget cuts could prompt pro-duction delays and, ultimately, costincreases on Navy programs. Thehighly consolidated shipbuildingindustry, he warned, is already“extremely fragile.”

    “An additional downturn inNavy shipbuilding could exacer-bate material cost growth and pro-mote further contraction of thesupplier base,” Petters added.

    Stackley Notes ChallengesShould Sequester OccurSean J. Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, developmentand acquisition, went before theHouse Armed Services Oversight andInvestigations subcommittee Sept. 11to talk about the status of the ship-building industrial base and what the

    Navy was doing to sustain it.But most of the questions from

    the few members who showed upfocused on the possible impact onNavy shipbuilding of the $500 bil-lion in additional defense budgetcuts from sequester.

    Subcommittee Chairman Rep.Rob Wittman, R-Va., noted that theshipbuilding industrial base is“essential to national security.” But,he said, many leaders in the indus-

    try are troubled by the uncertaintyover the possibility of sequester andare considering layoffs and delayinginvestments [See story, page 32].

    Stackley said the Navy was not

    doing a lot of planning for sequester,but was “spending a lot of time tryingto figure out the impact” if it occurs.

    Although the law would appear torequire a 10 percent cut to every pro-gram line from the fiscal 2013 fund-ing, Stackley noted the issue wascomplicated by the fact that the cal-culations would be made not to anormal appropriations bill, but to aCR. Because Congress, at the time,still was working on the final versionof the CR, he did not know how itwould treat some critical programs.

    Areas of concern that he listedinclude the multiyear agreementsto build Virginia-class attacksubmarines and DDG 51s, thepartly completed refueling andoverhaul of the aircraft carrier USSTheodore Roosevelt and the plannedbeginning of that process next yearfor USS Abraham Lincoln.

    Stackley said he thought theVirginia-class multiyear buy was in

    “pretty good shape” because it hadbeen approved in the House and Se-nate versions of the defense authori-zation and appropriations bills andwas funded in the current fiscal year.He appeared less confident about theothers, and said the Navy would beable to pay for Theodore Roosevelt’swork only through January or Febru-ary without congressional action.

    The  Abraham Lincoln refueling,because it would be a “new start”

    that was not funded this year,could not start without additionalaction by Congress, he said.

    Failure to start that multiyearprocess on time would have an oper-ational impact, because it wouldaffect the number of deployable car-riers, and impact the HuntingtonIngalls shipyard at Newport News,Va., and have cost impact, he said.

    Stackley also noted that theimpact of sequester on fiscal 2013

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    “We think that they kind of work but don’t really have thedata to say exactly what effects they have. A lot of academ-ic studies about drones try really hard to get at this, butthey’re ultimately not sufficient for making strategic judg-ments. From a broad perspective, we know that in severalplaces around the world, drones offer quick tactical victoriesbut dubious strategic benefits.”

     Joshua Foust A senior fellow for asymmetric operations at the American Security ProjectOn whether drone strikes — such as those handled covertly by the CIA inPakistan, Yemen and Somalia — actually reduce the threat posed by terrorists.National Defense, Aug. 21

    “Piracy is like an ancient disease that should be extinct in this

    modern world. The cure is difficult and requires the disrup-tion of pirate actions, building law and order and livelihoodsashore, and making the merchant prey less vulnerable.Although there are signs of remission, I would judge the medi-cine will be required for some time to come.”

    U.K. Royal Navy Commodore Simon AnconaDeputy Commander of Combined Maritime Forces, which oversees the multina-tional counterpiracy effort Combined Task Force 151Noting that the aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigi-lance by the commercial shipping industry that have helped dramatically reduceattempted pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa must continue.New York Times, Aug. 29

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    funding would be compounded inthe 2014 budget, which depart-ment officials have been trying tocraft amid all the uncertainty.

    Another future problem facing

    the Navy, he said, was finding roomin the base budget to pay for theadditional ship maintenance that hasbeen funded by the separate supple-mental or Overseas ContingencyOperations funds for the conflicts inIraq and Afghanistan. Those fundsare being phased out with theplanned drawdown in Afghanistan.

    In his prepared testimony,Stackley gave a health report on thevarious sectors of the Navy ship-building industrial base. He said theaircraft carrier, submarine and sur-face warship yards and supplierswere in good shape, but expressedconcern about the amphibious andauxiliary shipbuilders.

    He appeared particularly con-cerned about the future of GeneralDynamics’ NASSCO yard in SanDiego, which is finishing the last of the T-AKE supply ships and work-ing on the three authorized mobilelanding platforms, but has no work

    after that.

    Amos: 182,100 Marines‘Rock Bottom’ NumberGen. James F. Amos, the MarineCorps Commandant, said Aug. 23he has no plans to cut the service’spersonnel end strength below the182,100 limit imposed by last year’slong-term budget cuts, calling thatnumber “absolutely the rock bot-tom” force needed to carry out the

    new national security strategy.If Congress and the administra-

    tion fail to find a compromise toavoid sequester and the subsequentadditional $500 billion cut indefense funds over the next decade,the national security strategy wouldhave to be revised, Amos said. Buthe could not say what changes thatwould mean to the Corps.

    “We would take a dispropor-tionate cut,” he said.

    The general stressed that he wascommitted to “keeping faith” withhis Marines during the force reduc-tion. That means not using anyinvoluntary separation methods

    and allowing all enlisted Marinesand officers to complete their con-tracted time in service. But compe-tition for retention would becometougher, he added.

    In an hour-long session withdefense reporters at the Pentagon,Amos sketched out the plans for put-ting about 22,000 Marines in thePacific under the new strategy,described the plans and status of theCorps’ major procurement pro-grams, including the F-35B Light-ning II joint strike fighter, the JointLight Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and theAmphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV).

    Asked about reports that Gen. Joseph L. Dunford Jr., the assistantcommandant, is being consideredto replace Marine Gen. John R.Allen as the top commander inAfghanistan, Amos praised hisdeputy as “one of the finest officersto ever wear this uniform.” But hesaid any new position for him

    would be up to the defense secre-tary and the president.

    Recently returned from a two-week tour of the Pacific, Amos saidthe renewed focus on the Asia-Pacific region has “a sense of goinghome” for older Marines becauseof the Corps’ history there. But, henoted, it would be a new experi-ence for most of the youngerMarines, who have been fighting inIraq and Afghanistan.

    The 22,000 Marines that areplanned for the Pacific wouldinclude additional forces in Hawaii,and about 4,500 on Guam and2,500 in Australia — mostly in unitsthat would rotate in rather thanbeing permanently assigned there.The Marines on Okinawa, Japan,would be reduced from the current14,000 to just over 10,000, withsome moved to Iwakuni, Japan, andothers to Guam, he said.

    On his major procurement pro-grams, Amos said the F-35B is “pro-gressing well,” and he expects tostand up the first operationalsquadron at Marine Corps Air

    Station Yuma, Ariz., in November.But he could not say when it wouldachieve initial operational capability.

    The commandant said plans tobuy about 5,000 JLTVs was part of aground tactical vehicle strategy thatwill require the Corps to go with“what’s good enough” in light of theconstrained budgets. That policyapplies as well to the proposed ACV,which would replace the aged AAV-7amphibious assault vehicles. Amossaid he ordered another review of therequirements for the ACV so he canpresent the proposal to Navy Secre-tary Ray Mabus later this year asabsolutely what the Marines need.

    The vehicle strategy calls forbuying the JLTVs before procure-ment starts on the ACV so they canafford both within the limited pro-curement budget, Amos said.

    CNO Establishes PacificExpeditionary Command

    The Navy in October is establish-ing an expeditionary combat com-mand for the U.S. Pacific Fleet tomirror the fleet command relation-ships of other type commanders.The action will involve the shift of administrative command of someriverine, explosive ordnance dis-posal, and Seabee units from U.S.Fleet Forces Command on the EastCoast to the Pacific Fleet.

    On Oct. 1, Commander, Navy

    Expeditionary Combat CommandPacific (CNECCP), was establishedat Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The newcommand absorbs expeditionaryunits based in the Pacific fromCommander, Navy ExpeditionaryCombat Command (CNECC), basedin Virginia Beach, Va.

    The new NECCP is commandedby the same admiral as NECC undera “dual-hat” arrangement, made eas-ier by modern communications.

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    As noted in the internal Sept. 10establishment directive from Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of navaloperations (CNO), the mission of both expeditionary combat com-

    mands is to “organize, man, train,equip, and sustain Navy expedi-tionary combat forces to executecombat, combat support and combatservice support missions across thespectrum of joint, combined andmultinational operations in near-coast, inshore and riverine environ-ments, to include confronting irreg-ular challenges and other shapingmissions that secure strategic accessand global freedom of action.”

    Some subordinate expeditionarycommands also are dual-hattedunder the new arrangement. Com-mander, Naval Construction ForceCommand, now is named Com-mander, Naval Construction ForceCommand Atlantic (and also namedFirst Naval Construction Division).First Naval Construction DivisionPacific now is named Commander,Naval Construction Force Com-mand Pacific. Like the expedi-tionary combat commands, a single

    admiral is dual-hatted as command-ers of both.

    “These name changes reflect theunity of the Naval ConstructionForce that is led by a single flagofficer and mission requirementsthat are distributed along tradition-al Atlantic and Pacific forces,” thedirective said.

    The dual-hat arrangement doesnot extend to lower units. For exam-ple, Coastal Riverine Group One

    and Explosive Ordnance DisposalGroup One, both based in SanDiego, and their subordinate unitsare now units assigned to CNECCP.

    High-Level LCS CouncilOrganized by CNOGreenert has set up a high-levelcouncil to coordinate all adminis-trative control responsibilities forthe Navy’s fleet of Littoral CombatShips (LCSs).

    The LCS Council, ordered in anAug. 22 internal directive fromGreenert to Vice Adm. Richard W.Hunt, director of the Navy Staff,names Hunt as chairman of thecouncil, with members Vice Adm.

     W. Mark Skinner, principal militarydeputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, developmentand acquisition; Vice Adm. ThomasH. Copeman III, commander, NavalSurface Forces; and Vice Adm.Kevin M. McCoy, commander,Naval Sea Systems Command. Huntis allowed to add members for spe-cific matters as appropriate.

    Greenert is implementing thecouncil as a response to several inde-

    pendent studies that assessed theLCS “across several aspects of the‘man, train, equip and maintaindomain,’” and as a way to “driveaction across the acquisition, require-ments and Fleet enterprises of theNavy,” he said in the memorandum.

    “All Navy combat ships, even testand evaluation platforms,” he wrote,referring to the two LCS lead shipsUSS Freedom and USS Independence,“must be ready to meet assigned

    capability and missions starting thefirst day of active service. The LittoralCombat Ship is no exception.

    “The immediate focus of the LCSCouncil will be the development

    and implementation of an LCS Planof Action and Milestones,” Greenertwrote, adding that the plan must beimplemented by Jan. 31.

    NSC Hamilton Reaches MilestoneThe keel for the Coast Guard’s fourthNational Security Cutter (NSC),Hamilton, was authenticated Sept. 5by the ship’s sponsor, Linda Papp,the wife of Coast Guard Com-mandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr.

    Hamilton is scheduled to bedelivered in the third quarter of 2014. A fifth NSC, Joshua James, is4 percent complete and is expectedto be delivered in the second quar-ter of 2015.

    Bertholf , the lead ship of the fleet,spent several months in Alaska overthe summer during Operation ArcticShield 2012. Waesche, the secondNSC, finished a 161-day Asia-Pacificpatrol on Sept. 1, where the crew

    participated in Cooperation AfloatReadiness and Training Operationswith the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Thethird NSC, Stratton, was out of com-mission for several weeks over thesummer as the service was forced torepair rust holes in its hull.

    The service raised eyebrowswhen it released its fiscal 2013budget request in February withoutincluding funding for the seventhand eighth NSCs. The NSC pro-

    gram of record is for eight cutters —they will replace the 1960s-era built378-foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters — and serviceofficials have repeatedly said theyexpect to build all eight. ■

    Reporting by Seapower CorrespondentMegan Scully. Managing Editor RichardR. Burgess, Associate Editor John C.Marcario and Special CorrespondentOtto Kreisher contributed to this report.

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    Chief of Naval Operations Adm.Jonathan W. Greenert has established

    a council to coordinate administrativecontrol responsibilities for the Navy’sLittoral Combat Ships. He’s shownhere during a June 27 press confer-ence at the Pentagon to provide anupdate on the status of Navy.

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    What are the main challenges for naval avia-

    tion today?

    MORAN: The challenges for us are no different [thanfor] any other service, frankly. We’ve got an enormous

    number of transitions going on in naval aviation. In thisfiscal environment, our ability to continue to man, train,equip and provide the force we need to be able to fightin a future environment is the challenge. Having theresources to be able to put a forward program togetheris the greatest challenge I think any of us have.

    [In the recent] realignment of OPNAV [the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations], we realigned theresources for manpower and readiness along with theprocurement accounts. It’s not lost on any of us that themanpower challenges we see in the future are reallytough. Now that we, as a resource sponsor for aviation,

    have complete visibility on the manpower accounts, aswell as the readiness accounts, the expectation from theCNO is that we are able to pull a holistic view of every-thing it takes to man, train, equip the aviation side of 

    the Navy portfolio. For us, this year is a new year topull all that together. That just adds to the challengeswe see for naval aviation, to make sure that manpowerpiece is well understood and accounted for.

    What changes are in store for the carrier air

    wing of the future?

    MORAN: The capability of the air wing is going to changeover time [See story, page 28]. It depends on what time-frame that means. To me, the future is everything fromnext year to 40 years from now. Certainly, we look for-ward to JSF [the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter]

    Holistic ProgrammingDirector of naval aviation integrates platform, weapon, manning requirements

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    As director of Air Warfare (OPNAV N98), on the staff of the chief of

    naval operations (CNO), Rear Adm. William F. “Bill” Moran isresponsible for the development, programming and budgeting of all

    U.S. naval aviation warfighting requirements. His portfolio includesnot only the aircraft, aircraft carriers, weapons and infrastructure, but

    now also personnel requirements and training, a concept designed to

    create an integrated approach to generating and programming avia-

    tion requirements.

    Moran is a P-3 Orion maritime patrol pilot with three operational

    squadron tours, including one as commanding officer, which involved

    operations around the world. His other operational tours include flag

    lieutenant and battle group tactical watch officer for a carrier group

    commander. He has served extensively as an instructor pilot, includ-

    ing two tours with Patrol Squadron 30, the P-3 fleet readiness

    squadron. He commanded Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two inHawaii, and served in numerous shore assignments, including as exec-

    utive assistant to the CNO and as commander, Patrol and Recon-

    naissance Group.

    Moran discussed the status of naval aviation with Managing Editor Richard R. Burgess. Excerpts follow:

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    being incorporated into the air wing.That’s a huge capability improve-ment for a lot of different reasons,some of which I can’t go into. Slowlybut surely, we will add JSF capability

    to every air wing in the fleet.VFA-101 [Strike Fighter Squad-ron 101, the F-35C fleet readinesssquadron] was stood up to startbuilding that cadre of experts andinstructors who are going to be ableto train [pilots] in that aircraft whenit starts to show up in numbers [suf-ficient] that we can start transition-ing the first fleet squadron. Weexpect to start that training processindependently with VFA-101 in the2016 timeframe. So, three to fouryears from now, you’ll see routinetraining occurring in JSF transitionsquadrons.

    [Regarding] all the other transi-tions that are occurring, we’re in the middle of them.The P-8 [Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft] transitionstarted just a month ago down in VP-16 [PatrolSquadron-16], the first squadron. We’re halfwaythrough, give or take, all of the helicopter transitions inRomeo [MH-60R] and Sierra [MH-60S]. We’ve got E-2D[Advanced Hawkeye radar early warning aircraft] in testand it’s going to be a phenomenal capability that we’re

    really looking forward to. You are aware of the Growler[EA-18G electronic attack aircraft] and its successfulfleet introduction and employment operationally over-seas. It was a key player in the operations against Libya.

    Effectively, we’ll be done with the fleet transition of everything but JSF by the end of this decade, which ispretty impressive when you think about the number of airplanes, the number of people it affects, the trainingthat goes into it.

    The Navy is converting more legacy Hornet

    strike fighter squadrons than originally planned

    to the Super Hornet. Do you expect that trendto continue?

    MORAN: Yes. We’re programmed to transition about 31of our 35 legacy squadron airplanes to [F/A-18E/Fs] by2016. That number went up as JSF was delayed in itsintroduction. We were supposed [to reach] IOC [initialoperational capability with] that airplane sooner thanthe 2016-2018 timeframe. We had to do additional pro-curement of [the] E/F to make sure we had capability inthe air wings to do the operations we needed to do. Sowith the F/A-18E/F, we’re still buying them, and they’llbe in production through 2013 in our current budget.

    Is the Navy still planning on extending the

    service life of 150 legacy Hornets for the

    Navy and Marine Corps?

    MORAN: We’re going to continue to extend the life of the legacy airplanes as long as we need to and thatchanges year to year depending on the news we get outof [the] JSF [program]. It depends on the ability of theMarine Corps to move to its F-35B because the Marine

    Corps flies all legacy Hornets and we have to makesure we have enough capacity in the fleet. Part of thestrategy is to be able to extend the life of the legacyHornets to meet that capacity challenge. So, it’s a com-bination of levers that we pull, that being one of them.

    Is the EA-18G Growler making an impact in

    carrier air wing operations now?

    MORAN: There’s no doubt about it. The Growler, with itscommonality with the [Super Hornet], makes for moreefficient capability on the carrier to support that airplane,with reduced maintenance man hours per flight hours.

    So it’s a readiness enhancer. You’ve got a better readinessstatistic if you look at the availability of that airplanecompared to the [EA-6B] Prowler. The Prowler has beenaround a long time. It’s done a great job.

    The Growler is really going to be a game-changerespecially when you combine that capability with itsAESA [active electronically scanned array] radar and itscockpit configuration. And, if you combine that withNext Generation Jammer which is coming out near theend of this decade, that, I believe will fundamentally bean operational game-changer for the air wing and forour capabilities in the air dominance mission.

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    What is the status on the next-generation

    strike fighter, F/A-XX?

    MORAN: I would describe our Request for Information[RFI] as a way to start having a conversation withindustry about what they think the future of naval avi-ation ought to look like. [Department of Defense]-wide, we’re moving into unmanned [aviation], whichis a really exciting area for all of us, but we don’t reallyknow what the art of the possible is.

     When I think about the future as far as 2030 or2040, what does that propulsion system need to be interms of endurance, persistence, speed, range, altitude?All of those things are unknown to us at this point. The

    response from industry has been very positive; a lot of great conversation about technology they see coming. We also have to think about the CONOPs [concepts of operations] and what it means to the air wing.

    The life of the largest component of the air wing, the[F/A-18E/F], those airplanes start to fall off in the late’20s. And, so, if you back up the normal acquisitiontimeline for new capability, we’re in the middle of theearly stages of trying to understand what that shouldbe. We’re excited about continuing that conversationwith industry and seeing what the art of the possible is,make sure our S&T [science and technology] efforts

    and our acquisition timelines are aligned.

    What will be the impact of the Unmanned Carrier-

    Launched Airborne Strike and Surveillance Sys-

    tem (UCLASS) on the carrier air wing?

    MORAN: We’re very interested in what UCLASS cando. We see it as a complementary capability to the airwing in terms of ISR [intelligence, surveillance andreconnaissance] ability. To be able to provide COP [acommon operational picture] for the CSG [carrierstrike group] commander will be very important. Tomy knowledge, we still haven’t completely defined

    what the requirements would be for UCLASS, but wecertainly see the potential in what unmanned oroptionally manned choices might be in the future.

    With the MH-60R/S helicopters well into produc-

    tion, are you starting to look at a next-generation


    MORAN: It’s never too early to think about the future.There is an OSD- [Office of the Secretary of Defense-] and Joint Staff-led effort to look at future vertical-lift capabili-ties. We’re involved in that effort because it looks at newtechnologies from propulsion to lift, to range, endurance,payload capacity. The Army is a little earlier to need than

    we are, but we think there is an advantage to being tied atthe hip with the Army and understanding what industrycan develop, much the way we are with looking at theCOD [carrier-onboard delivery] and at fighter capabilitiesin the future.

    What is the E-2D going to give the air wing as

    opposed to the E-2C?

    MORAN: This is not [an N98] program, but we arevery closely aligned with N2/N6 [deputy CNO forinformation dominance] on understanding what thatcapability is going to be. Everything we see coming out

    of the program office is a game-changer in terms of radar range — up to two times what we see in the cur-rent [E-2C] legacy platform — and its ability to man-age multiple tracks and information networked aroundthe air wing is substantially greater than what we seetoday with E-2C.

    What is the status of a replacement for the

    C-2 COD aircraft?

    MORAN: We’ve just started looking at the CODreplacement. Those airframes start to fall off in the midto late ’20s, so we have done an analysis of alternatives

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    “We’re going to continue to extend the life of the legacy airplanes as long

    as we need to and that changes year to year depending on the news we

    get out of [the] JSF [program]. It depends on the ability of the Marine

    Corps to move to its F-35B because the Marine Corps flies all legacy

    Hornets and we have to make sure we have enough capacity in the fleet.

    Part of the strategy is to be able to extend the life of the legacy Hornets

    to meet that capacity challenge. So, it’s a combination of levers that we

    pull, that being one of them.”

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    looking at multiple different alter-natives inside that study.Obviously, we want to go aftersomething that’s mature andaffordable. We’ll eventually get to

    the RFP [Request for Proposals]stage of the normal acquisitionprocess, but we’re not there yet.

    Under the TACAIR Integra-

    tion Plan, is the Marine Corps

    back on track to supply five

    strike fighter squadrons to

    the fleet?

    MORAN: That’s the goal. It variesmonth to month, year to year,depending on their requirementsto support the COCOMS [combat-ant commanders]. In the last 10years, with as much combat sup-port we, as a nation, had to do, thatnumber has gone up and down. We’re in agreement to obtain five atsome point, but, right now, we’reroughly averaging about threesquadrons across the fleet.

    How rapidly will the P-8 replace the P-3 in the

    fleet? What about the Littoral Surveillance

    Radar System (LSRS) in some P-3s?

    MORAN: We started with our first P-8 transition thisyear and, in subsequent years, it will be two squadrontransitions per year until about 2018, given that acqui-sition profiles and procurements stay on track. There’s[an LSRS] replacement capability built into the P-8program and that capability shows up at the end of thisFYDP [Future Years Defense Plan], but the numbersare on par with what we currently have in the fleet. Wemay have to extend some [P-3s with LSRS] for a cou-ple years until we have the full production capability of its replacement onboard the P-8.

    What new aerial weapons are in development?MORAN: There’s always something new. I can’t talkabout some of it because we’re still very much in theearly stages, but we are introducing new capability tocounter swarming boats. We’re introducing APKWS[Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System] to the airwing; it should IOC in about 2015. It is already outthere with the Marine Corps for land-based targets.

    Today, we’ve integrated 2.75-inch rockets into theSierra MH-60S to be able to put a little volume [of fire]out there, but they’re unguided [and] not as precise asAPKWS. We’ve also outfitted the Sierra with a fixed

    forward-firing [20mm] gun that is going to be veryeffective to go after the same threat profile.

     We’ve got AARGM [Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided

    Missile] coming on line, the next generation of HARM[High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile]. We added a betterseeker and better guidance system to that to make itmore effective. We hope to IOC AARGM in the 2014timeframe. We’re looking the next round of air-to-aircapability, the AMRAAM Delta [Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, AIM-120D] mid-this decade toget that out to the fleet. AIM-9X Block II, the next ver-sion of the Sidewinder, is doing very well in tests.

     We’ve got Laser JDAM [Joint Direct-AttackMunition], basically JDAM with a laser so we can hitmoving targets at speed. That’s going to be a great capa-

    bility coming to the fleet.

    Are any next-generation trainer aircraft in the


    MORAN: No. The T-6 has finished out its transition inPensacola, [Fla.,] and has started the transition atCorpus Christi, [Texas,] to replace the venerable T-34s.The rest of [the training aircraft] are all in steady state,but we’re making significant upgrades on all thoseplatforms, going from analog to digital cockpits anddisplays because all of our future capabilities are digitaland we need to train to that. ■

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    More than 100 years after the Navy first landed

    an aircraft on the deck of a ship, the sea serviceis fast approaching another seminal moment

    in its history — the first landing of a fixed-wingunmanned aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier.

    The date is still uncertain, as is the carrier that will hostsuch a moment. But what is certain is that at some pointin 2013, the Navy will land the Unmanned Combat AirSystem-Demonstrator (UCAS-D) aircraft — a NorthropGrumman-built fixed-wing aircraft — aboard a carrierdeck to set off the next generation in naval aviation.

    The UCAS program, worth about $1 billion, will havea short life. Its first flight from a carrier will be next year,

    and the Navy will close out the program after conductingsubsequent carrier recovery testing and then doing probe-and-drogue aerial refueling tests in fiscal 2014, as the pro-gram only was envisioned to demonstrate technologiesrather than become an actual fleet asset.

    But those test results will have major ramifications forthe future of naval aviation and inform development of future programs, most notably the Unmanned CarrierLaunched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS)program, which the Navy hopes to field in about 2020.

    Charlie Nava, Navy UCLASS program manager, saidthe nascent program is “leveraging technology matura-

    tion executed by the [UCAS-D]program,” including digitized car-rier air traffic control, initial ship-board concept of operations, con-tingency management approaches,precision landing navigation solu-tions and maneuvering the droneon the carrier flight deck.

    The last item may be a particular-ly challenging technical issue thatthe UCAS program is hoping tosolve before UCLASS testing evenbegins. The Navy will need to figureout how to operate an unmannedaircraft on a flight deck buzzing

    with the constant movement of manned aircraft.

    Capt. Jaime Engdahl, UCAS program manager, toldreporters at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., on July 31 that the Navy would be testing ways to controlUCAS when it starts testing aboard the carrier deck. Healso showed reporters a type of mechanical arm thatcould be used by someone on the deck to control theaircraft remotely.

    The UCLASS program will seek to leverage morethan the UCAS program, Nava said. The program alsowill seek to take lessons learned from other programsacross the Pentagon to control costs and reduce sched-ule risks, he added.

    “Some of these systems include existing ship-qualifiedmission control system hardware and common interfacesand standards so that the UCLASS payload data can beshared across end users,” he said. “Coordination withthese other programs is an ongoing activity and will con-tinue throughout the UCLASS program.”

    Once UCLASS reaches the field, it will “enhance carriercapability and versatility” by providing the carrier air wingwith a platform that is persistent and flexible, Nava said.

    Exactly how the Navy will use UCLASS is yet to bedetermined. The Navy has begun examining what willreplace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet down the road.

    Unmanned LandingThe arrival of UCAS on a carrier deck in 2013

    will usher in a new era of naval aviation

    By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Spec ial Cor respondent

    Leveraging Technology

    The Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator (UCAS-D) pro-

    gram will inform the Unmanned Carrier Launched AirborneSurveillance and Strike (UCLASS) effort, among other programs.

    ■  UCAS-D was never meant to be a fleet asset, just a means to

    demonstrate technologies.

    ■  It will fly for the first time from a carrier next year.

    ■  The program will end after probe-and-drogue aerial refueling

    tests in fiscal 2014

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    Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced earlier this yearthat the service had begun pre-Milestone A activities forthe F/A-XX concept.

    Rather than being a single aircraft, however, theNavy is leaning toward a family of systems to fill theF/A-XX role. Mabus told the House Appropriationsdefense subcommittee in March that options includeadditional F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters, theUCLASS or a new manned/unmanned platform, or a

    combination of those options.Mabus acknowledged in his written testimony that

    there had been some challenges with the program.“While we remain committed to the first-generation

    UCLASS, which will provide a low-observable, long-range, unmanned ISR [intelligence, surveillance andreconnaissance] strike capability that will enhance the car-rier’s future ability to project power in anticipated A2/AD[anti-access/area-denial] threat environments,” he wrote,“the target date for limited operational capability has shift-ed by two years from 2018 to 2020 to reduce schedule andtechnical risk, as well as to meet the savings targets man-

    dated by the BCA [Budget Control Act of 2011].”A successful UCAS effort could go a long way to mak-

    ing sure UCLASS stays on track, and Northrop Grummanis making its own preparations for the critical upcomingmilestones. The company is working on software rightnow in advance of the carrier landing next year.

    “We’ve got the next drop of software for the airplane,”said Tighe Parmenter, Northrop’s business developmentmanager for UCAS. “It’s going through its final approvals. We finished testing in the lab … and now the Navy, verycarefully, as you can imagine, is going through all the onesand zeros to make sure they are happy with it.”

    Northrop was responsible for designing themechanical arm-like control for the aircraft, which iscalled the Control Display Unit.

    “The Navy set the requirement to develop a way tomaneuver the aircraft through remote devices on thecarrier deck,” Parmenter said. “They gave that toNorthrop, and it was up to us to design.

    “It’s the first time ever something like this has beendesigned and developed,” he said. “There will

    undoubtedly be huge leaps of lessons learned once weput it in the hands of the capable operators of theUnited States Navy.”

    Northrop will have personnel aboard when theUCAS begins operations aboard the carrier, althoughthey will serve primarily in a supporting role, he said.

    “Northrop will provide flight test people and missionoperators, and then the people to maintain the aircraftwhile it’s at sea doing the testing,” he said. “However, theaircraft carrier, the air traffic control organization …that’s all provided by the Navy, so we are coming with ourequipment and our airplane, and we will integrate into

    that operating environment.”Aerial refueling later in the program also will be a

    major step. Northrop used surrogate aircraft to demon-strate the UCAS software late last year and earlier thisyear in St. Augustine, Fla. An autonomous refuelingcapability would give the Navy an aircraft that can eitherstay on station for a long time or have an extended rangewith multiple refuelings, Parmenter said.

    “That’s kind of the leap that is the most importantafter integration on the carrier,” he said. “The next timewe do flight tests, it will be with the real airplanes and itwill be in 2014 on the Navy contract.” ■

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    An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator (UCAS-D) launches from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.,for a 35-minute flight over the Chesapeake Bay July 29. The Navy plans to conduct launch and recovery tests of aUCAS-D aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier next year.

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    The RQ-21A, the latest small tactical unmannedaircraft system (STUAS) developed for theMarine Corps and Navy, is nearing the end of 

    a 27-month development and testing period, on its wayto limited initial production.

    The 135-pound, twin-boomed unmanned air vehicle(UAV), manufactured by Insitu Inc., a Boeing subsidiary,completed its first one-hour test flight July 28 at anInsitu facility in eastern Oregon.

    “We’ve been flying ever since,” said Ryan Hartman,

    Insitu senior vice president of Integrator Programs.Now the UAV is at Naval Air Weapons Station China

    Lake, Calif., to complete developmental and operationaltesting. That should wrap up in December, he said.

    After that stage is completed, the Navy is slated toconsider purchasing a low-rate initial production ver-sion of the RQ-21A — one system for land-based test-ing, another for shipborne testing. The RQ-21A can belaunched and recovered from land or sea. Each systemconsists of five unmanned aircraft with a ground con-trol station, launch and recovery systems, and supportequipment.

    Hartman said operational testingand evaluation should take about ayear, with initial operational capa-bility expected to be reached nearthe end of 2013. Shipboard testingalso is expected to begin next year.

    Current acquisition plans callfor the Marine Corps to buy 32RQ-21A systems, with anotherfour to be acquired by the Navy.

    The Marines want them for anumber of missions, including land-and sea-based tactical reconnais-sance, surveillance and target acqui-sition (RSTA) data collection. TheRQ-21A will provide Marine

    Expeditionary Forces and subordi-nate commands, such as divisions

    and regiments, with a dedicated intelligence, surveillanceand reconnaissance (ISR) system capable of deliveringdata directly to the tactical commander in real time.

    The Navy version will provide persistent RSTA sup-port for tactical maneuvering decisions and unit-levelforce defense and/or force protection for Navy ships,Marine Corps land forces, Navy Expeditionary CombatCommand forces and Navy special warfare units.

    In announcing the first flight in August, the pro-gram manager, Marine Corps Col. James E. Rector, said

    the “organic ISR capability” the RQ-21A provides “tothe Marine Air Ground Task Force will be a hugeenabler of our Marine Expeditionary Units and theNavy and Marine Corps team afloat.”

    Rector is manager of PMA-263, the Naval Air SystemsCommand office overseeing the STUAS program for theNavy and Marine Corps. It also manages the Shadow andRaven programs of record, as well as ISR services and thesmaller T-Hawk and Wasp programs.

    Insitu was awarded a $43.7 million contract for theSTUAS program in July 2010 to provide persistentmaritime and land-based tactical ISR data collection

    Small Bird, Big JobTesting of Marine Corps’ latest small

    tactical unmanned aircraft nears completion

    By JOHN M. DOYLE, Special Correspondent

    A Multimission ‘Flying Truck’

    The RQ-21A small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS)

    Tier III, a multimission drone, is nearing the end of developmentaland operational testing.

    ■  The drone is a bigger, heavier and more capable version of the

    ScanEagle unmanned aircraft that has logged thousands of hours

    with the Marine Corps and Navy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    ■  Like the ScanEagle and the Integrator drone, the RQ-21A can

    be launched and recovered on land or aboard ship.

    ■  The Marines want it for tactical intelligence, surveillance and

    reconnaissance missions. The Navy likes it for maritime domain

    awareness and force protection in theater.

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    and dissemination. The RQ-21A is a larger, follow-onversion of Insitu’s Integrator UAS, which in turn grewout of the ScanEagle that Marines and Sailors havebeen using in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004, loggingmore than 600,000 combat flight hours.

    The Integrator is designed to carry a bigger payloadthan ScanEagle, including day/night full-motion video

    cameras, infrared marker, laser range finder andAutomatic Identification System (AIS) receivers foridentifying surface vessels for situational awareness.Multimission payloads are expected to provide ISR,communications relaying for up to 15 hours a day, anda short surge capacity of 24 hours.

    Hartman said he had no problem with the descrip-tion of the RQ-21A as a “flying truck” to carry whatev-er modular mission payloads are needed.

    “In fact, we designed the system around that exacttrend. When we were looking at the design parametersand carving out our trade space for design, we looked

    at it as a cyclical environment, in that air vehicles aregood for 10 years before new technologies enable youto design a better air vehicle. But new payloads arebecoming available, if not every year, then every otheryear. We’ve proven that with ScanEagle. So, yeah, weare a flying truck,” he said. “It’s a flying truck that’sgoing to be around for a long time”

    The RQ-21A has an air speed of 80 knots (80 nauti-cal mph), a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a range of 50 nautical miles. It has a length of 7.2 feet, with a wingspan of 16 feet. Payload bays are designed to be “plugand play” to handle a wide variety of missions with lit-

    tle downtime. It is expected to takea crew of four Marines or Sailors tooperate an RQ-21A system

     While the militarized RQ-21Ahas been in development, Insitu

    provided a commercial version of the Integrator to the Marine Corpsfor testing at the Air Ground Com-bat Center at Twentynine Palms,Calif., and at Naval Air StationPatuxent River, Md. Those aircrafthave been flying since early 2011.

    At Twentynine Palms, the UAShas totaled more than 152 flighthours in support of EnhancedMojave Viper, the Corps’ combinedarms exercise that prepares Marinesfor deployment to Afghanistan.

    Although the basic concept hasbeen around for years, Hartman saidthe first flight of the RQ-21A was sig-nificant because it tested “all of theimprovements that we made,”

    including new avionics, new sensor, propulsion moduleunit improvements and the communications relay pay-load. “It was the first flight of all those systems,” he added.

    Both the Integrator and ScanEagle are launched by apneumatic catapult and recovered by a cable on a“SkyHook” that snags the UAV’s wingtip. Both thelauncher and SkyHook, which require neither nets nor

    runway, can be used aboard surface ships. The ScanEaglehas logged 24,500 combat flight hours off destroyerssuch as USS Mahan. Future plans call for flying theSTUAS off San Antonio-class amphibious assault ships.

    The RQ-21A currently packs a sensor payload in itsnose or a gimbaled ball below the nose. Hartman saidit does have hard points under each wing to carry sen-sors, extra fuel or other payloads. He declined to spec-ify whether the UAS was capable of carrying offensiveor defensive weapons, saying only, “Our requirementfor STUAS is ISR and maritime domain awareness, andthat’s what we’re concentrating on now — satisfying

    the mission that we’ve been asked to design a systemaround. As that mission evolves, as the customer’srequirements evolve, this system will evolve with it.”

    As yet, the RQ-21A does not have a name andHartman hopes it keeps the Integrator designation.Three prospective names proposed by the Navy andMarine Corps, Hartman won’t say what they were,were all rejected by the Air Force.

    “The Air Force has the final authority in approvingthe name of aircraft. I think it’s back to square one. Wekind of like the name Integrator and, hopefully, they’llgo with that,” he said. ■

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    An early version of the RQ-21A small tactical unmanned aircraft system is pre-pared for launch during a sneak preview of the system Jan. 22 for MarineUnmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadrons 2 and 3 at Marine Corps Air GroundCombat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

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    The AIM-9 Sidewinder has been the heat-seeking,air-to-air missile of choice for the nation’s fighteraircraft for so long, pilots might be forgiven for

    taking it for granted. But behind the scenes, work is beingdone to make sure it can handle evolving threats.

    Because countermeasures systems to combat theAIM-9’s abilities are improving, the program is work-ing on the latest iteration of the missile — one thatwould allow it to pick out the tiniest of targets even ina cluttered environment. The program is seeking toturn the Sidewinder into less of a missile and more of an unmanned aircraft with a warhead.

    Fighter aircraft have been using the AIM-9Ms since the1980s, but the versions the program is getting ready toroll out in the next few years are AIM-9Xs — Sidewinderswith better computer systems and ability to track targets,said Capt. John Martins, the program manager.

    “The older AIM-9M tracked raw heat, so that’s hotmetal or exhaust,” he said. “Now, the AIM-9X uses afocal plane array to create pictures. So it’s really animaging seeker that uses IR [infrared] to create thatimage. Because it sees everything, it’s harder to decoywith infrared countermeasures.”

    But there is another significant improvement: AIM-

    9Xs do not need to be pointed inthe general direction of the target.

    “The AIM-9X coupled with thehelmet-mounted cueing systemnow lets pilots do some reallygreat work in the dogfightingarena,” he said. “You now don’thave to point the whole plane toshoot the bad guy.”

    The first block of the AIM-9Xentered service in 2003, and is inneed of an update, which is why theprogram is working on Block II andBlock III versions that take advan-tage of the latest technologies.

    For one thing, obsolete comput-

    ers in the Sidewinders will be replaced with new ones.Also, the missile needs a redesigned fuse — one that isimproved so it will not do things like detonate onclouds, for example.

    But one of the biggest enhancements is the ability of the new versions to pick out targets even with a clut-tered background.

    “The old AIM-9X, the Block I, it had what we call,‘lock on after launch,’” Martins said. “You squeeze thetarget, it doesn’t see it on the rail, but it will find the tar-get on its own. If you challenged it with a high-clutterbackground, such as a cloud, it wouldn’t do very well.

    “The AIM-9X with the new computers can do verywell on its own,” he added. “So you can basically tell itto go out a long distance and look for a target.”

    Block II entered operational testing in May and theprogram has conducted three live-fire tests, the firstone being against a target that was behind the aircraftfiring the missile, using a Link 16 data link with third-party targeting from an E-2 or other aircraft to “shootdown a bad guy who’s chasing them down,” the cap-tain said.

    The other two tests were against small cruise missile-type targets at low altitudes. The tests were successful,

    Smart MissilesAs the threat evolves, so must the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile program

    By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Spec ial Cor respondent

    Adapting to Evolving Threats

    With the popular AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, the Navy is looking to

    replace obsolete components and improve performance.

    ■  The first block of AIM-9Xs entered service in 2003 and the

    missiles need a new computer and redesigned fuse.

    ■  One of the biggest enhancements for the Block II and Block III

    missiles will be the ability to pick out targets even with a cluttered


    ■  Block II entered operational testing in May and has had three

    successful live-fire tests.

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    and Block II should wrap up operational testing in fall2013, Martins said.

    For Block III, the program wants a missile that cando everything Block II does, but “even better,” he said,so it is aiming to improve the computers, make themissile safer to handle and even extend the range. TheBlock III will achieve initial operational capability in2014.

    Martins does not envision a new version of the mis-sile anytime soon. The Navy would prefer to simply

    upgrade what it has and does not see the need to seeka radically new missile.

    “The missile has a lot of growth potential and a longlife ahead of it, in that it’s very hard to fool and it’s per-forming very well for us,” he said.

    For the most part, the AIM-9X is adaptable to anystrike fighter platform, although there is some integra-tion work left to be done with the Air Force’s F-22Raptor, which at the moment can only carry AIM-9Ms. The program is in the process of writing the soft-ware for a missile that must fly internally on a veryfast jet, as well as some hardware changes to allow the

    crew to get the missile safely onand off the plane.

    The AIM-9X will come standardon the F-35 Lightning II jointstrike fighter, he noted.

    Meanwhile, manufacturer Ray-theon Missile Systems is continu-ing to do its own work on the mis-sile in conjunction with the pro-gram office. Steve Anderson,Raytheon’s business developmentmanager for the AIM-9X program,said the company tries to keep incontact with the program officealmost daily, and has been success-ful in selling the missile to 11other countries.

    He said the hardware is virtuallythe same for all versions of the AIM-9X, and the main concern is obso-lescence of computers and circuitry.

    “We’ve had a lot of peoplespending a lot of man-hours onwhat is going obsolete and tryingto mitigate that,” Anderson said.

     Work on the Block II led toimprovements in the reliability of the fuse, as well as the incorpora-tion of new data link capabilities.

    “The main focus of our follow-

    on investigations is to try andprove the kinematics as much as

    we can,” Anderson said. “I think most of our effortright now is looking at how do we improve max rangeand do it with even longer legs?”

    After that, the company is seeking a way to drive thecost back down on the Block II, which ended up moreexpensive than the Block I, he said.

    The program was able to bring the costs of Block IImissiles down to $468,000 per copy with the mostrecent lot. A December Selected Acquisition Reportshows that the Navy was able to buy 3,097 Block I mis-

    siles for $911.6 million, or about $300,000 per copy,although that does not include $561.2 million inresearch and development.

    Moving forward, the focus remains on improving thereliability of the data link and the sensitivity of the seek-er, Anderson said, a process that is easier with a missilethat is software-based and won’t require major hardwarerefreshes to match the current threat. For now, however,the vast majority of the focus for Raytheon has been onsimply completing the flight tests.

    “We’re happy with performance thus far in [opera-tional test],” he said. “It’s looking really good so far.” ■

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    The carrier variant of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter flies for the firsttime with external weapons June 27 over Patuxent River, Md. Navy test pilotLt. Christopher Tabert flew CF-1 with inert AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air mis-siles on the port and starboard pylons to measure flying qualities and aircraft

    vibrations. The AIM-9X will be standard equipment on the F-35.

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    he Marine Corps has rated the initial opera-tional deployment of its new helicopter gun-

    ship a success.The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU),

    embarked with the USS Makin Island amphibious readygroup, returned to the West Coast in June after a seven-month deployment to the Indian Ocean and WesternPacific Ocean. A detachment of four AH-1Zs fromMarine Helicopter Light Attack Squadron 367 (HMLA-367, later assigned during deployment to HMLA-267)had joined Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268,the air combat element of the MEU for the deployment.The deployment also for the first time saw the AH-1Zteamed with its UH-1Y Venom counterpart.

    The AH-1Z Viper, or “Zulu,” built by Bell HelicopterTextron, is slowly replacing the AH-1W Super Cobra ver-sion, but, according to current near-term plans, it is notlikely to see combat in Afghanistan. The rate of transitionof Marine HMLA squadrons to the new helicopter is suchthat deployment of the AH-1Z to Afghanistan is unlikelybefore President Barack Obama’s planned withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from that country in 2014.

    “The only way that would happen in the near term isif an MEU goes ashore off the boat to go and do somesort of reinforcing or supporting operations in there,”said Marine Col. Harry Hewson, the Navy Department’s

    AH-1Z and UH-1Y program manag-er. “Because we’re still deliveringthem at fairly a low rate — not quiteone a month — we just can’t buildup a squadron with 15 of them toget to where they need to be to trainand then pack up and deploy. So,we’re still filling the Cobra role inAfghanistan with AH-1Ws.

    “Right now, the only activeHMLA that has the Zulu is 267,and what they’re doing is buildingup detachments so they can sourceMEUs,” he said. “They’re going to

    do that for the next couple of years until we start deliv-ering Zulus at a sustained high rate to transition entire

    squadrons. And then, at that point, they’ll look atpushing the Zulu out on full squadron deployment.”

    The AH-1Z “Zulu” and UH-1Y “Yankee,” which isreplacing the UH-1N “November” in HMLA squad-rons, are products of the H-1 Upgrade Program, whichis an extensive effort to sustain and improve an armedhelicopter capability for the Marine Corps. Both air-craft types are in full-rate production.

    The Marine Corps plans to procure a total of 189 AH-1Zs and 160 UH-1Ys, of which 25 and 63, respectively,had been delivered by July. The AH-1Z total includes 37rebuilt from AH-1Ws and 152 new-production aircraft.

    “We pushed the Yankee out ahead of the Zulu becausewe were really having some challenges with the old UH-1Ns, so we wanted to replace those things as quickly aspossible,” Hewson said. “That’s why the Zulus seem likethey’re a step behind. That was a conscious decision.

    “The Yankee is [coming off the production line]roughly one-and-a-half per month,” he said. “The Zuluis a little slower, not quite one per month coming off of the production line.”

    The current production contract with Bell Helicopter— for fiscal 2011 Lot 8 aircraft — is for 31 helicopters for$550 million, said Hewson, who noted that the contract

    Eyes on TargetsThe Marine Corps’ new AH-1Z helicopter completes its initial deployment

    By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

    Team Effort

    For the first time, the AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters teamed up in

    a Marine Expeditionary Unit.

    ■  Zulus and Yankees complement each other in tag teams.

    ■  The AH-1Z’s Target Sight System allows target identification

    at long ranges.

    ■  The production rate precludes rapid widespread deployment

    of the AH-1Z.

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    price does not include government-furnished equip-ment, which amounts to approximately one-third more.

    After an initial MEU deployment, the UH-1Y hasbeen deployed to Afghanistan since November 2009 incompany with AH-1W “Whiskey” gunships, and with West Coast MEUs. The AH-1Z reached initial opera-tional capability on Feb. 25, 2011.

    On the 11th MEU deployment, the AH-1Z and UH-1Y“did everything we were expecting them to do,” Hewsonsaid. “They never went ashore in combat type of role, butthey did plenty of exercise