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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

Old 5th Jun 2023, 11:48
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there's a difference between a test and real conditions - as the USAF often discover. The rest of the article is thought provoking
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 17:51
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1) Asturias, I was particularly referring to MQ-9s (Unit cost $30m+ - $56.5m when buying four with ground station and satellite link v Typhoon unit cost $125m + and of course the relative running costs)

2) The Ukrainians appear particularly to be vulnerable to the R-77 because of the tactics they are forced adopt as they don't have a BVR capability (Their R-27s require firing at altitude and pre-launch acquisition of the target by the missile seeker).

3) Ohrly, the 150km hit was a SAM presumably from an S-400, receiving a mid-course update from a networked Podlet K1 which is alleged to have supplied the final target data.
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Old 6th Jun 2023, 00:00
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft
1)
3) Ohrly, the 150km hit was a SAM presumably from an S-400, receiving a mid-course update from a networked Podlet K1 which is alleged to have supplied the final target data.
Wierd that the r-37 is a russian wunder weapon and yet the ukrainian airforce still exists and is still flying limited operations
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Old 6th Jun 2023, 06:35
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Back to the various ways of speeding up the deployment of UCAVs swarms….

https://www.defensenews.com/unmanned...ons-for-helos/

US Marines are developing air-launched swarming munitions for helos

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Marine Corps intends to replace some decades-old Hellfire missiles with a family of long-range loitering munitions, giving its attack helicopters greater range and lethality for a fight in the Pacific region.…

The Force Design annual update noted “other projects include developing a common launcher for the family of ground launched loitering munitions and testing a low-cost, hypersonic booster in a form factor the Marine Corps can logistically support in a contested environment.

”Lacy did not elaborate much on the hypersonic booster, other than to say experimentation is ongoing at the lab.
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Old 6th Jun 2023, 08:18
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Welcome to the era of "NCO Air Forces," drones in the hands of non-commissioned officers supporting light infantry companies and platoons with local airpower sporting precision firepower.

Big centralized western air forces and artillery organizations now have a combat relevance problem.

Drones are a disruptive innovation to big costly platforms as they provide some of the big platforms firepower capabilities very cheaply. In addition, drones give local 'G-ds eye view' infantry never had before while the big platforms are completely irrelevant in stopping the drone threat.

This is a prescription to disinvest in big platforms to provide small infantry formations with organic electronic warfare capabilities to deal with drones.…

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1...564724736.html
​​​​​​​
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Old 6th Jun 2023, 08:53
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Originally Posted by ORAC
Welcome to the era of "NCO Air Forces," drones in the hands of non-commissioned officers supporting light infantry companies and platoons with local airpower sporting precision firepower.

Big centralized western air forces and artillery organizations now have a combat relevance problem.

Drones are a disruptive innovation to big costly platforms as they provide some of the big platforms firepower capabilities very cheaply. In addition, drones give local 'G-ds eye view' infantry never had before while the big platforms are completely irrelevant in stopping the drone threat.

This is a prescription to disinvest in big platforms to provide small infantry formations with organic electronic warfare capabilities to deal with drones.…

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1...564724736.html
So take away the air force, how does the first day of Operation Desert Storm go with just an army and small drones?
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Old 6th Jun 2023, 09:01
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If you read the thread and his later comment, he is talking about army aviation, artillery etc for BAI and CAS, not strike etc.

In my view, a new combined arms drone/electronic warfare military branch is going to eat US Army aviation, artillery, air defense & military intelligence branches with a few unit names to mark their passing like horse cavalry.
Storm Shadow and the l8ke are good but expensive, smart stealthy platforms with cheap bombs and their own deployable swarms will remain cheaper per target and overall.
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Old 6th Jun 2023, 17:55
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History teaches us that any military technological edge is transitory, there are many countries either (potentially) hostile or neutral with military/economic links to the former churning out STEM graduates some of whom will be working to produce the EW and AD solutions to counteract UAVs big, medium and small. Also (especially) small attritable UAVs ae going to be lost and some will end up subject to reverse engineering.

Interesting trio of articles including the statement of the blindingly obvious 'the threat is going to continually change'
Given the Army’s need for flexibility and readiness, backed by a philosophy known as multidomain operations, Kitz* does not expect to buy massive quantities of rigid gear. Instead, the executive officer thinks small batches of upgradeable, alterable kit will be the correct choice.

“I don’t think we’re going to ever be in a situation where we’re going to buy thousands of ALEs,” he said, “because the threat is going to continually change.”

A prime example is in Ukraine, where even “six months ago, the environment looked very different than it looks now,” Kitz said. Both cyberwarfare and electronic warfare have played roles in the bloody Russia-Ukraine conflict, leaving government websites paralyzed, command-and-control methods jeopardized, and GPS signals jammed.
*Mark C Kitz the Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEW&S)

https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-...ronic-warfare/

https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-...uture-threats/

https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-warfare/2022/08/25/army-demos-aerial-jammer-amid-push-to-catch-up-in-electronic-warfare/
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Old 7th Jun 2023, 13:47
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft
History teaches us that any military technological edge is transitory, there are many countries either (potentially) hostile or neutral with military/economic links to the former churning out STEM graduates some of whom will be working to produce the EW and AD solutions to counteract UAVs big, medium and small. Also (especially) small attritable UAVs ae going to be lost and some will end up subject to reverse engineering.
The UK issued a contract notice in 2017: 'The Authority has an Urgent Capability Requirement (UCR) to provide a Counter Unmanned Air System (C-UAS) capability (Technology Readiness Level 8 minimum) for UK armed forces. The Capability shall be able to Detect, Track, Identify and Defeat UAS's with weight ranges of between 2-150kg.'

TRL8 = System complete and qualified
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Old 7th Jun 2023, 17:26
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Did we ever get it? Or is it still under a "study" or some such? That was 6 years ago - we fought WW2 in that time
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Old 7th Jun 2023, 18:49
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I can neither confirm nor deny...

There have been some C-UAS trials / procurements but not sure if they were for the particular UCR.
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Old 8th Jun 2023, 07:11
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Thanks!
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Old 8th Jun 2023, 20:48
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https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/l...ystems-admits/

UK no longer able to manufacture large-calibre gun barrels, BAE Systems admits

The UK may need to cannibalise stored Challenger tanks and AS90 howitzers to source replacement barrels for platforms sent to Ukraine as no manufacturing capability currently exists.

While great emphasis is being placed on NATO supplying Ukraine with armoured fighting vehicles, artillery and massive amounts of ammunition and other equipment, little thought has been given to the supply of replacement barrels for these systems.

In peacetime these vehicles and artillery systems fire very few rounds, not only to save money but also due to the introduction of simulation and static trainers, so they have a long life.

The life of a barrel is dictated by the type and number of rounds fired. For a rifled tank gun, for example, this life is around 500 rounds after which accuracy decreases so it has to be replaced. A smoothbore gun has a longer life.

In the case of a typical 155mm artillery barrel its life is shorter when it is engaging targets at long range. For example, a 155mm/52cal barrel would use six modular charge systems (MCS) to obtain maximum range. Reports indicate that some Ukrainian artillery systems are firing over 100 rounds a day at maximum charge.

The UK has supplied Ukraine with Challenger 2 MBTs fitted with a L30 120mm rifled guns as well as AS90 155mm/39cal self-propelled howitzers, which have probably already used some of their barrel life up before being donated.

Both of these use barrels produced at the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) Nottingham which was the sole source for UK tank, artillery and naval gun barrels with some smaller calibres made at BMARC at Grantham. Both of these are now closed and the sites redeveloped.

An Armament Production Facility was established at Barrow-in-Furness by BAE Systems but this was shut down some years ago due to lack of orders. The 155mm/39cal barrel for the best-selling BAE Systems M777 series Lightweight Howitzer is made at Watervliet Arsenal in the USA.

In the short term the UK could probably supply replacement barrels to Ukraine by stripping these from vehicles no longer in front-line service.

In a statement BAE Systems said: 'We no longer have barrel manufacturing equipment. But we have retained the workforce and the knowledge. We are now looking into what it would take to restart building the capability in the UK.'

The barrel is a key part of a weapon system and unless manufactured to the highest standard it will not be accurate. In addition some barrels have to be chrome lined for increased life and the number of suppliers that can do this is also small.

In addition to barrels for the Challenger 2 and AS90, ROF Nottingham made barrels for many other exported weapons including the 120mm L11 for Challenger 1s (now in service in Jordan) and 105mm Light Gun barrels for L118 and L119 towed systems which are still used by many countries.

Others included 120mm mortar barrels for the Armoured Mortar System (Saudi Arabia National Guard), 115mm smoothbore guns (T-62s in Egypt), 105mm Low Recoil Force (Thailand) and 76mm barrels for the CVR(T) Scorpion.

The UK is not the only country to have lost its barrel manufacturing capability with at least one European nation passing all of its equipment to India.
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Old 17th Jun 2023, 22:41
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All such delays, of course, meaning slipping decisions and increased costs….

https://news.sky.com/story/updated-p...layed-12903953

Updated plan on size and strength of UK armed forces delayed

The release of an updated plan on the size and strength of the UK's armed forces has been delayed at a time of mounting cost pressures, Sky News understands.A defence minister, James Cartlidge, told MPs last month the aim was to publish the defence command paper "refresh" by the end of June.

But multiple sources now say the timeline has slipped and the document will not be released until after the UK and its NATO allies meet for a major summit in Lithuania in mid-July.

A number of sources said the delay was caused by bureaucratic and logistical reasons rather than anything more serious, with it taking longer than anticipated to ensure relevant ministers or chiefs were available to read and discuss drafts and implement any changes.

"I would not read too much into it," one defence source said.

Other sources, however, said - away from any bureaucracy-induced delays - the process of assessing the affordability of the Ministry of Defence's ambitions to transform the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force over the coming decade had thrown up very tough questions on what capabilities might have to be scrapped to make the plan affordable.

There is a tension between the immediate need to free up cash to rebuild the army given Russia's war in Ukraine and committing vast sums to major long-term programmes to renew the UK's nuclear deterrent; build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines with Australia; and create next-generation combat jets in an agreement with Japan and Italy.

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, secured an additional £5bn for the armed forces over two years in Rishi Sunak's first budget as prime minister in March.

But this increase - while welcomed - was less than half the amount needed. In addition, most of the extra money - £3bn - was earmarked for the UK's nuclear weapons enterprise, while most of the rest was to be spent on replenishing stockpiles of ammunition after the military gave much of its supplies to Ukraine.

A delay in announcing the results of the updated defence command paper could save the UK the embarrassing spectre of talking tough on defence on the global stage at the NATO summit in Vilnius on 11 and 12 July, having just announced plans to cut its own capabilities even further at home.

Another possible outcome is that a genuine refresh is deemed too difficult given what the spending challenges might mean in terms of curbing ambitions. That could lead defence chiefs to water down the content by not specifying exactly how they will deliver their plans.

Such a move would knock the really tough decisions about the future shape and size of the military back until after the next general election.….
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Old 18th Jun 2023, 08:22
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Sunday Telegraph says Treasury turning the screws on spending departments to create space for tax cuts (!!)
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Old 29th Jun 2023, 12:39
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Land Ground Based Air Defence programme, again.
6 Projects, each further split down in various components.
Defence Procurement Minister, James Cartlidge delivered a speech which adds some more info ahead of Defence Command paper.

Link to the speech:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speech...nce-conference

Defence Minister's speech at Full Spectrum Air Defence Conference
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Old 29th Jun 2023, 15:59
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Is it just me, or does Future Air Dominance System sound like 'If we big it up, if we're lucky potential adversaries will be scared of it and won't realise that we're doing it on the cheap and it'll be crap.'?
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Old 29th Jun 2023, 19:33
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The Guardian is reporting that CGS could resign over expected cuts and the interviews for a replacement have already taken place.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...r-further-cuts

The head of the British army could resign, allies say, amid a fierce row over further proposed cuts to land forces in the run-up to a special defence review responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Interviews have already begun to replace Gen Sir Patrick Sanders, who has served only a year as chief of the general staff, and friends of the military leader say he may quit even sooner if the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, imposes further cuts.

“He told Wallace that he could not deliver without more headcount and budget, and Wallace didn’t like that,” an ally of Sanders, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. “It looks like cuts are coming and [Sanders] may use this as an opportunity to resign.”

Sanders is said to have repeatedly clashed with Adm Sir Tony Radakin, the chief of the defence staff, who beat him to the top job as head of the armed forces in October 2021. Radakin was previously head of the Royal Navy, and army sources complain that he favours spending on costly warships.

(...)

Army sources say it has been asked to cut its core numbers further from 72,500 to 70,000, with no new money available until after the election, and that infantry units will be cut further to make way for more investment in artillery, which has been heavily used in Ukraine.

(...)

This week, he (Sanders) said Britain should “never again be unprepared as our forebears were in the 1930s”, and suggested the crisis in Russia could be compared to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.

“Those who believe that our geography allows us to minimise investment on land or that we can simply hide behind the armies of other Nato contributors are simply wrong,” he told a conference organised by the Rusi thinktank.
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Old 30th Jun 2023, 08:15
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Times says Wallace has said Sanders is already the longest serving Army 4* in years and he'll go at the previously agreed time.
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Old 11th Jul 2023, 14:21
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So it is now 11 July, the Vilnius summit is taking place and the PM is busily urging other NATO states to increase defence spending, despite the fact that UK defence spending has risen in real terms by just 0.14% in the last 9 years. And still no Command Paper refresh. Parliament rises for its long summer break on 20 July, so in classic fashion it looks like the refresh will be smuggled out immediately beforehand. Quelle surprise, et plus ca change...
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