Friday Linkzookery – 27 OCT 2017

Boeing hit with another KC-46 cost overrun, this time worth $329M
Boeing says it plans to deliver the first 18 tankers in 2018.

Air Force Adds More Than $40 Million to SpaceX Engine Contract
The U.S. Air Force has provided SpaceX with an additional $40.7 million to support continued development of the company’s Raptor engine.

THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS WILL SCREAM HELPLESSLY AT THE SKY ON TRUMP’S ELECTION ANNIVERSARY
Hahahahaha.

Northrop pulls out of MQ-25 drone competition
Northrop’s decision leaves Boeing, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin in competition for the MQ-25 tanker contract.

Arizona’s Jeff Flake announces he will not seek re-election to U.S. Senate
Anti-Trump Republican throws in the towel.

Superaccurate GPS Coming to Smartphones in 2018
Will utilize new L5 civil signal.

300 Hours Training Required to Shampoo Hair In Tennessee
Thank God the government is protecting us from unlicensed shampooers.

F-16 Burning

An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron takes off for a night training mission at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2017. As U.S. Air Forces in Europe's only F-16 Block 50 squadron, the unit provides the Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe and USAFE commanders with dedicated suppression of enemy air defense, air interdiction, counter-air and close air support capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron takes off for a night training mission at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2017. As U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s only F-16 Block 50 squadron, the unit provides the Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe and USAFE commanders with dedicated suppression of enemy air defense, air interdiction, counter-air and close air support capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

B-1B Lancer Takeoff

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., takes off from Andersen AFB, Guam, to fly sequenced bilateral missions with two Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15s and two South Korea air force F-15Ks near the Sea of Japan, Oct. 10, 2017. This mission marks the first time U.S. Pacific Command B-1B Lancers conducted combined training with JASDF and ROKAF fighters at night, demonstrating our increasing combined capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)
A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., takes off from Andersen AFB, Guam, to fly sequenced bilateral missions with two Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15s and two South Korea air force F-15Ks near the Sea of Japan, Oct. 10, 2017. This mission marks the first time U.S. Pacific Command B-1B Lancers conducted combined training with JASDF and ROKAF fighters at night, demonstrating our increasing combined capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

M109A6 Sending Love

Soldiers of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, fire a M109A6 Paladin howitzer during Exercise Combined Resolve IX at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Aug. 21 2017. Exercise Combine Resolve IX is designed to train the Army's Regionally Allocated Forces to the U.S. European Command. The goal of the exercise is to prepare forces in Europe to operate together to promote stability and security in the region. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Hulett)
Soldiers of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, fire a M109A6 Paladin howitzer during Exercise Combined Resolve IX at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Aug. 21 2017. Exercise Combine Resolve IX is designed to train the Army’s Regionally Allocated Forces to the U.S. European Command. The goal of the exercise is to prepare forces in Europe to operate together to promote stability and security in the region. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Hulett)

U-2

Capt. Jon, a U-2 Dragon Lady pilot lands on the runway during his final flight with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 12, 2017. The U-2 brings versatile high altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to Combined Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr)
Capt. Jon, a U-2 Dragon Lady pilot lands on the runway during his final flight with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 12, 2017. The U-2 brings versatile high altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to Combined Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr)

Friday Linkzookery – 20 Oct 2017

108 F-35s Will Not Be Combat Capable
Concurrency at its finest.

Influential congressman calls on Navy to extend lives of oldest cruisers
“Instead of discussing the decommissioning of cruisers, we need to spend more time discussing the maintenance, modernization and service-life extension of all twenty-two cruisers,” said Virginia Republican Rep. Rob Wittman, the head of the HASC Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, in a statement to Defense News.

4 alternatives to the Pentagon’s new ICBM modernization plan
Of these options, Murdoc favors extending the life of the current Minuteman III missiles.

Erik Prince should run for senator — in Michigan
Seems legit

Prez ‘surprised’ and ‘shocked’ that UF must allow free speech
Why is Murdoc NOT surprised when college leadership seem surprised that Free Speech is a thing?

Why Are Millennials Wary of Freedom?
It might be because so many of their teachers have taught them to be.

Need More Attack Boats

The U.S. Navy Needs to Build More Attack Submarines

The problem for the submarine force is that the need for attack boats is rising precisely as the Los Angeles class is being retired. According to recent Congressional testimony, U.S. Pacific Command operates about half the number of SSNs it requires and this is in peacetime. At the same time, both China and Russia are building large numbers of advanced conventional and nuclear-powered attack and cruise missile submarines.

The Navy once believed that 48 SSNs as part of an overall force level of 308 ships would be enough into the middle of the century. The Navy’s new goal is to maintain a 355-ship fleet, of which 66 would be SSNs. Unfortunately, the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan does not build enough Virginias even to meet the prior, lower goal for the SSN force. At currently proposed building rates, the SSN fleet will decline to a low of 41 boats in 2029, seven short of the Navy’s original force structure plan and 25 below the new, higher target, before rising to 51 boats at mid-century.

66 attack boats seems like a reasonable number. But we need to get there sooner rather than later. The fact that the building plan never gets us there should be troubling. The proposal to keep building two Virginias a year even as Columbia-class SSBNs begin construction is the obvious answer.

And the Block V Virginias will be the most-capable SSNs ever built. The Virginia-class program is one of the few bright spots in the Navy and in military procurement. So, of course, the decision makers want to scale it back.