Naval War College Professor Updates Congress on China’s Military Capabilities

March 1, 2017

An expert on the faculty of U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, updated Congress on China’s current military capabilities, possible intentions, and what he sees as the future options in the region at a governmental committee meeting, Feb. 23.

Andrew S. Erickson, professor of strategy at NWC in the China Maritime Studies Institute testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington.

“My key points are, with its ambitious ASBM (anti-ship ballistic missile) development, China is challenging U.S. Asia-Pacific interests and military influence in new ways,” said Erickson. “This is part of a much larger Chinese counter-intervention effort that is advancing significantly regardless of precise ASBM capabilities or limitations. While China’s missiles pose potential challenges to U.S. forces, ensuring that they can be targeted effectively is expensive and creates growing space-based electromagnetic spectrum vulnerabilities that can be exploited.”

The hearing was co-chaired by Carolyn Bartholomew and Sen. James Talent of Missouri.

Erickson went on to say select regions are particularly active for the Chinese military right now.

“In what it (China) considers the near seas (the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and the South China Sea), Beijing enjoys powerful synergies and advantages vis-a-vis the disputed sovereignty claims it pursues there,” Erickson testified, “increasingly in defiance of regional stability and international laws and norms, and supported by precision-targeted systems designed to challenge American sea control and make American intervention risky.”

The panel was titled “China’s Hypersonic and Maneuverable Re-Entry Vehicle Programs” and also included James Acton, co-director of Nuclear Policy Program and senior fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Mark Stokes, executive director, Project 2049 Institute.

In closing, Erickson gave USCC some direction on where U.S. policy might go next.

“U.S. policy makers should enhance efforts at developing tailored countermeasures, particularly concerning electronic warfare,” Erickson said. “[The U.S. should also] attempt to ensure that China doesn’t develop Scarborough Shoal into a key targeting node in the South China Sea, and increase U.S. Navy ship numbers to avoid presenting China with an over-concentrated target set.”

Video of the event is available at http://www.uscc.gov/Hearings/hearing-china%E2%80%99s-advanced-weapons-video.

The USCC was created by the United States Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.

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Spy planes help detect roadside bombs in Afghanistan

July 16, 2012

 

Images from spy planes and sensors that detect wires that trigger explosives have helped to mitigate the No. 1 threat to U.S. troops in Afghanistan — roadside bombs — over the past year.

The Pentagon has filled the skies over Afghanistan with high-tech sensors, and the effect has been measurable. From March through May, troops in vehicles found 64 percent of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) before they blew up, an 11 percentage-point increase over the previous quarter. Troops on foot patrol discovered 81 percent, a 4 percentage-point increase, according to the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).

The rate of discovery before bombs exploded hovered around 50 percent for years. The most important measure of progress: IEDs caused less than half of troop deaths for the first time in five years.

“We are, in terms of detection of all types of IEDs, vastly better than we were a year ago,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told USA Today in an interview. He credited airborne surveillance with driving progress against IEDs

.http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/afghanistan/spy-planes-help-detect-roadside-bombs-in-afghanistan-1.183054

German Submarine Technology – World’s Most Advanced?

January 19, 2011

The German shipbuilding industry remains a global technology leader in conventional submarine development. Modern day “U-Boats” are sought after by NATO allies, by Israel, and by other nations around the world. In fact they are a leading export item for Germany’s military industry. And the German Navy’s U-Boat flotilla is a welcome partner in ongoing NATO and EU security operations. 

Some experts believe that German conventional submarines have actually assumed the technological lead over nuclear submarines.

Advances in Air Independent Propulsion and Fuel Cell Technology; state-of-the-art Command and Control systems such as the ISUS90 system currently deployed on Class 212A U-Boats; improved sonar, communication suites, and IFF systems; acoustic and electric signature reduction technology; and current as well as developmental weapon systems against underwater, surface, land and aerial targets are all discussed here

US Military Cyber Defense

January 19, 2011

The US military is preparing for 21st Century electronic warfare and cyber terrorism. A joint US Cyber Command and four service cyber commands have been set up.

Their mission is to defend American military networks and civilian American infrastructure from cyber terrorism and from foreign government hackers.

More info at http://www.teamultimedia.com/cyber-defense.html

Defense News in Brief – 5 March 2010

March 5, 2010

New Army Black Hawk succeeds in combat

The Army’s new high-tech UH-60 Black Hawk M-model helicopter — equipped with a stronger engine, a digital cockpit and composite rotor blades — performed exceptionally well in Afghanistan during its first major combat deployment, according to a recently completed After Action Review at Fort Campbell, Ky., service officials said.

“The M-model Black Hawks were in Afghanistan for 12 months. The aircraft performed exceptionally well,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Davis, product manager for UH-60 Modernization. “We got great reaction from pilots. They experienced a higher than average operational readiness rate with those aircraft in theater and they loved the technologies on-board.”

The year-long deployment was the first for the M-model Black Hawks, which entered full-rate production in June, 2007. So far, 154 M-models have been delivered, Davis said.

C-130 low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrops now operational

A C-130 Hercules aircrew conducted a new method of airdrop that makes deliveries more accurate and flexible for resupply of small, mobile forces Feb. 6, in Afghanistan. The C-130 aircrew from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, performed the first-ever low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrop to re-supply soldiers at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. The airdrop concept became operational March 1.

A C-130 low-cost, low-altitude combat airdrop is accomplished by dropping bundles weighing 80 to 500 pounds, with pre-packed expendable parachutes, in groups of up to four bundles per pass. The drops are termed “low-cost” to reflect the relative expense of the expendable parachutes compared to their more durable, but pricier, nylon counterparts. “Low-altitude” alludes to the relative height from which bundles are released from the aircraft.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dam Neck Hosts Anti-Piracy Conference

An international group of 50 leading scientists, engineers and technologists convened at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dam Neck Feb. 23 to explore new technological concepts and collaboration initiatives to defeat piracy. Participants from U.S. and international navies, U.S. Naval Warfare Centers, industry and academia shared their insight and expertise to gain a better understanding of the issue and develop improved ways to combat piracy.

“We are thankful that all of the participants brought us their perspectives, especially the coalition viewpoint,” said Ray Campfield, workshop organizer. “Anti-piracy solutions are neither nation nor Navy specific. We must continue to work together and include our commercial shipping partners to achieve interoperable, integrated solutions for Navy, coalition and joint forces worldwide.”

Wargame results continue to shape future

October 18, 2009

 






Wargame results continue to shape future forces, doctrine

 

More than 180 participants from combatant commands, key coalition partners, and a broad range of government agencies gathered in northern Virginia earlier this year to examine how joint force operations will unfold in the future.

The results of that wargame in May and June led U.S. Joint Forces Command’s (USJFCOM) Joint Concept Development and Experimentation (JCD&E) Directorate to find the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO) a conceptually sufficient framework for the future of joint operations.


USJFCOM, the services, other combatant commands and the Joint Staff developed the CCJO as a guide to how joint forces will operate in response to an array of future security challenges. 


The CCJO as a whole held up to the scrutiny of the experiment’s participants. , At the same time, the experiment uncovered several other conceptual areas that need further development, said Navy Rear Adm. Dan Davenport, JCD&E director.


“The CCJO held up very well to all the challenges presented and was determined, through the rigorous evaluation of the experiment to be sufficient to guide future force development,” he said.  “We did find areas where additional concept development is needed to further flesh out the ideas in the CCJO, and those will be the focus of future work we do here at Joint Forces Command and across DoD.”


Davenport said participants in the experiment’s blue force confronted many challenges as they examined particular areas.


“Some of these challenges were recognized in the wargame as potential game changers requiring a versatile joint force that is able to understand and adapt to the situation,” he said.  “None were show stoppers, and all the objectives that the blue force had to carry out were achieved.”


The wargame generated detailed insights and recommendations in several areas of challenge for the joint force, including a “whole of nation” approach will be required to deal with a complex and uncertain future environment, keeping a well-defined balance between military tasks and those performed by other agencies, both inside and outside the government. 


The idea of “whole of nation integrates academia, industry and other elements that need to be brought to bear to really, fully deal with many of the challenges,” Davenport said.


Other insights and recommendations include:



  • Situational understanding goes beyond situational awareness.  It requires an ability to interpret the implications of events and conditions, according to experiment organizers.  Joint forces need better tools and processes to frame problems and develop courses of action in complex and dynamic environments.
  • Joint forces need to be better prepared to operate in degraded or denied network environments.  Future enemies will increasingly take the fight into the cyber domain, and two goals are imperative, Davenport said.  “The first is the need to improve the capability of our systems to be resilient and redundant in the face of cyber threats and the [second is the] need to regularly train our forces to operate in degraded or denied environments.”
  • A comprehensive, flexible, culturally informed strategic communication capability is critical to future operations.  “Our joint force commanders need an effective, coherent narrative – with words matching actions – to achieve success and maintain domestic, international and allied support,” Davenport said.

Davenport said that USJFCOM’s staff is maintaining its “bias for action” and is actively transitioning the wargame’s results into action.


“Joint Forces Command remains committed to turning the wargame recommendations into action,” he said.  “We’re working with leaders and organizations across DoD to transition the results to drive enduring change.  In many cases, the action is already underway. 


 


Jacob Boyer


# END

Find this and other exciting images as p

July 15, 2009


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Pentagon Brief Has a New Web Address

March 13, 2009

The Pentagon Brief blog has moved to www.pentagonbrief.blogspot.com

Overhauling the KC-135 Tanker

March 8, 2009

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It’s looking like the KC-135 fleet will need an expensive re-skinning circa 2018, says Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Art Lichte. The projection was actually made in 2000 by an independent study of airlifter longevity, but the study has proved remarkably prescient, he noted and added that the prediction still looks valid. As it is, the KC-135s need a $7 million depot maintenance every five years, but the cost and complexity of each visit is growing significantly, Air Force Magazine quotes Lichte. The re-skinning would be a “major re-build” and wouldn’t buy very much in terms of extra years of use, since other aspects of the aircraft would still be Eisenhower vintage. Stepping up the pace at which the new KC-X tanker is bought would diminish the number of re-skins necessary, but Lichte restated the Pentagon’s position that buying two different tankers at once—the only way to skip the re-skins entirely since the more aircraft would be available sooner—is unaffordable, reports Air Force Magazine.

Air Force Perils

March 8, 2009

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The perils of flying aging aircraft was an issue at last February’s Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., and it remained on the mind of Gen. John Corley, Air Combat Command head, at this year’s event. During his presentation Friday, Corley reminded attendees that, this time last year, the Air Force was still in the midst of ascertaining what caused an F-15C to break apart in flight over Missouri in November 2007, and numerous F-15s remain grounded. This year, the rigors of age are continuing to plague the A-10 fleet, Air Force Magazine quotes the general. Corley said 108 A-10s—in a fleet of roughly 350—remain on the ground due to a systemic issue with wing cracks in the thinner winged variant of the aircraft. And, 53 more have yet to be inspected; probably 10 of those will end up grounded, too, he said.