“…the combat reach of the 2020 carrier air wing will not have improved much beyond that of the mid-1980s air wing, which had trouble dealing with 1970s Soviet land-based anti-access/area-denial technologies. Perhaps more significantly, the CVW’s ability to establish persistent orbits at range will not have improved much beyond that of the 1950s… Said another way, will an operational strike system with limited tactical reach and persistence – one optimized for pulsed strikes against land targets at ranges out to about 450-475 nm – be able to tackle future operational challenges and threats that are likely to appear over the long term? The answer is: probably not… As this short discussion suggests, then, there is a growing strategic imperative to increase the range, persistence, and stealth of the Navy’s carrier air wing. Indeed, failing to increase the CVW’s reach, endurance, and survivability risks the long-term operational and tactical relevance of the US carrier fleet.”
The Persistence Gap (Animation: click & wait…)
Along the way, their paper deals with a number of issues. The historic lack of interest in UAVs within the US Navy, which manifested as early as Vietnam. The choice of shrinking strike range for current US carrier groups, but greater strike density within that limited range. The emergence of land-based “surveillance-strike complexes” in other nations, designed to keep US carriers well outside of that range. International carrier plans. Not to mention a future in which the USA will have 11 operational carriers – but just 10 US Navy/ USMC carrier aircraft wings. This is followed by a look at the history of the J-UCAS unmanned combat air vehicle program to date, and recommendations for the future in light of emerging trends. Read the CSBA’s entire 39-page preliminary backgrounder, which serves as a lead-in summary for a forthcoming report.
India Defence reports that Israeli firm Star Night Technologies Limited’s subsidiary, New Noga Light, has won a 100 million shekel (NIS, currently about $25 million) tender to supply more night vision equipment to 2 mountain divisions of the Indian Army. Star Night had already received an 38 million shekel (NIS) order from India’s army in November 2006, and its total 2006 sales amounted to NIS 57 million.
Israel’s business daily Globes added that the order will be supplied over a two-year period, the firm is currently negotiating with Indian authorities on a date for the start of deliveries. A Ha’aretz newspaper report, however, said that the Israeli company is to provide 35% of the contracted items by mid-2008. A toehold in this market may be significant over the longer term, if the right local partners can be found – those of watching US night-vision buys weren’t surprised when India Defence added:
“Though almost all the front line units and those engaged in counter-insurgency have been equipped with night vision devices, according to Army estimates such equipment worth over USD 500 million was still needed to arm the remaining units.”
This contract includes services and supplies required for the operation and maintenance of UUV systems, including maintaining them in state-of-the-art configuration. The contract will also provide for procurement of up to 24 additional UUV replacement vehicles/ auxiliary support equipment, should UUVs be lost or damaged beyond repair. Work will be performed in Pocasset, MA and is expected to be complete by May 2012. The contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command, Indian Head Division in Indian Head, MD (N00174-07-D-0001).
The CV-22 is the Special Forces variant of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey. Unlike the MV-22, which is slated to deploy to Iraq soon, the CV-22 is still in final development and testing. On May 11th, The Naval Inventory Control Point announced a pair of sole-source orders for spare components for the CV-22 aircraft. Work is expected to be completed by December 2009, and will be performed in Ridley Park, PA.
Bell Helicopter Textron in Hurst, TX received $17.5 million for ceiling-priced-order #0225 under previously awarded contract (N00383-03-G-001B).
Boeing Helicopter in Ridley Park, PA received $15.9 million for ceiling-priced-order #0222 under previously awarded contract (N00383-03-G-001B).