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Is there interest in this sort of defense news aggregation/spergery?

  • No.

    Votes: 4 16.0%
  • Yes.

    Votes: 11 44.0%
  • OP is faggot.

    Votes: 12 48.0%
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    Votes: 1 4.0%

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Fapcop

kiwifarms.net
For large caliber weapon systems the idea is great. For instance: https://www.defenseworld.net/news/15666/BAE_Systems_Hands_Over_40mm_Cased_Telescoped_Cannon_To_British_Army

Telescoping allows much higher energy than would traditionally be available in form factor of that size. It also has a potential to be much lighter pound over pound.

The same applies to small arms technology. Weapon weight is a huge deal for the modern soldier. Especially if you have to hump it over 30 miles of Afghan Mountains.

At the same time, We are going to have to start considering ammunition that is higher powered than the 5.56 as body armor advances in other major powers have started to put into question how lethal a shot to center mass will be.

So, they are testing the platform. If this project works, It will be revolutionary.



All that being said however, I do agree with you. We should have just switched over to a 7.62 round.
Yeah, telescoped ammo has some real advantages. So does caseless. The MP7 was an amazing weapons system, way ahead of anything then. (And prob. way ahead of anything today as well.)

But this kind of weapon system is emblematic of one of the overall problems with the Pentagon.

We’re making billion dollar warships that’ll be up against million dollar missiles.

We’re launching trillion dollar fighters, when the possible opponents make planes that are good enough and cost 50 million.

We’re giving our soldiers 10.000$ guns and ammo that costs a dollars pr round. And they’ll fight guys with 500$ guns and ammo that costs a fraction of ours.

Shit is unsustainable. Especially since military spending have to come down at some point.


(And yeah, obviously we don’t know the price of the weapons system and the telescoped ammo. But if history is a guide to procurements, I’m not that far off.)

Btw: I’m not THAT knowledgeable about the issue... Is the amount of propellant the same in telescoped ammunition?

Or does it use less propellant and is more efficient because of some other factor?

As long as it’s not caseless ammo, wouldn’t the weight be close to the same?
 

MCLOS Horthy

kiwifarms.net
The MP7 didn't use a caseless or telescoping round, it was a scaled down version of the regular 5.56, the 4.6x30mm. It was intended to compete with and maybe replace the FN P90. Unfortunately using a bullet that is a more sophisticated hotrod version of a rabbit-hunting round (.17 HMR) isn't so great for dropping tangos. It's still around, I think it's still manufactured, but it goes on the type of mission us plebeians don't hear about.

The HK G11 that was in development from the 60s-90s used a caseless and telescoping ammo, which had a fucking unbelievably complicated clockwork mechanism to feed a rectangular round into the chamber. This causes obvious problems with reliability in the field.

Caseless ammo is great. It's very lightweight, fast-shooting with a flat trajectory, and can be electrically-primed, further reducing weight of your rifle...as long as you keep it completely dry (the powder used is basically pressed into a clay-like material around the bullet and if it gets wet it's fucked), don't subject it to drop damage or other shocks (again, it's a brittle clay), and have a perfectly clean rifle to fire it with.
 

Fapcop

kiwifarms.net
Y
The MP7 didn't use a caseless or telescoping round, it was a scaled down version of the regular 5.56, the 4.6x30mm. It was intended to compete with and maybe replace the FN P90. Unfortunately using a bullet that is a more sophisticated hotrod version of a rabbit-hunting round (.17 HMR) isn't so great for dropping tangos. It's still around, I think it's still manufactured, but it goes on the type of mission us plebeians don't hear about.

The HK G11 that was in development from the 60s-90s used a caseless and telescoping ammo, which had a fucking unbelievably complicated clockwork mechanism to feed a rectangular round into the chamber. This causes obvious problems with reliability in the field.

Caseless ammo is great. It's very lightweight, fast-shooting with a flat trajectory, and can be electrically-primed, further reducing weight of your rifle...as long as you keep it completely dry (the powder used is basically pressed into a clay-like material around the bullet and if it gets wet it's fucked), don't subject it to drop damage or other shocks (again, it's a brittle clay), and have a perfectly clean rifle to fire it with.

Yes, I was about to say, I confused the MP7 with the H&K G11.


Which was an amazing weapon and even today is impresive. The 3 round burst mode shoots 3 projectiles at a speed of 36 shots pr second!

It’s so fast in fact, that the shooter don’t even feel the recoil, until the third round has left the barrel!
 

BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
A quick drop off for right now.


Laser Guided Bombs back in the belly of the B-52
USAF said:
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Laser-Guided Bomb Units, commonly referred to as LGB’s, were dropped from the bomb bay of a B-52 Stratofortress for the first time in nearly a decade during an operational test performed by the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron here, Aug. 28, 2019.

The munitions used to be dropped from the bomb bay of the jet using a cluster bomb rack system, but the method raised safety concerns and the practice was eliminated.

“We’ve still been able to utilize LGB’s underneath the wings of the B-52, but they don’t do very well when carried externally because they are susceptible to icing and other weather conditions,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Little, 49th TES commander.

According to Little, the seeker head of the LGB can be adversely affected by the elements, potentially reducing its effectiveness.

The advent of the conventional rotary launcher, a bomb bay weapons platform made available to the B-52 fleet in 2017, provides an alternative to the cluster bomb rack system and may once again allow LGB’s to be dropped from inside the jet.

Doing so would keep the weapons protected from the elements, reducing the effects of weather. It also has the potential to increase the jet’s lethality.

“It’s another arrow in the quiver, it gives us the ability to carry more LGB’s on the aircraft or give more variation on a conventional load,” said Little. “It adds capability and is another thing you can bring to the fight.”

Little explained the conventional rotary launcher was not originally designed for gravity-type bombs like the LGB, but recent software upgrades to the system now allow for such munitions.

Getting to the point of operational testing required a team effort between the 49th TES and Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 307th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The 307th AMXS took the lead in configuring the conventional rotary launcher to accept the LGB’s.

Staff Sgt. Skyler McCloyn, 307th AMXS aircraft armament systems mechanic, served as the loading team chief for the event.

“It was very cool mission,” said McCloyn. “It is exciting to know you are a part of something that could have a long-term impact.”

Reserve Citizen Airmen's extensive experience contributed greatly to the success of the effort, according to McCloyn.

“When you are doing something for the first time there will always, be kinks,” said McCloyn. “ But the expertise we have from working with so many type of munitions allowed us to adjust and work through those issues without much trouble .”

Little said he appreciated having the breadth and depth of experience offered by the unit.

“The 307th AMXS is on the leading edge of weapons loading and giving the rest of the B-52 maintenance community the data they need for unique scenarios like this,” he said.
Looks like the old bird is getting into a new set of prime years.
 

BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
Sorry for double posting, but eh... it is my own thread.
“Alert 5” said:
“Defense Blog" said:
“USNI” said:
“Defense Post" said:
“DVIDS" said:
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29624/usaf-mc-130j-spec-ops-transport-flies-through-taiwan-strait-with-u-s-spy-plane-near-by

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29626/shadowy-new-electronic-warfare-system-has-been-installed-on-u-s-navy-7th-fleet-ships

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29631/check-out-these-photos-of-usaf-b-2s-and-raf-f-35bs-flying-together-for-the-first-time


I would pay special attention to this:
“Defense Blog" said:
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, a business unit of Lockheed Martin, has been awarded a $500 million contract for design, develop, integrate, test and certify the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 6.0 capability.

The contract, from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and announced on Friday, is valued at more than $327 million.

Aegis BMD 6.0 provides an increased BMD capability by incorporating the Air and Missile Defense Radar, now designated SPY-6, for introduction on the first DDG Flight III.
The work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey, with an estimated completion date of December 2025.

The primarily ship-based system, Aegis BMD 6.0, will enable BMDS element utilization of AMDR data for remote engagement and supplement deployed assets with simultaneous multimission capabilities (e.g. Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD)). It will include IAMD planning; search, track, and discrimination. SPY-6 will support force level (multi-asset) approach to raid defense and enable U.S. Navy ships greater stand-off range from threat environments.

Weapon System Capability Insertion will capture Aegis BMD capability upgrades to modernized U.S. Navy Destroyers (FLT II, IIA and III). Future capability developments beyond Aegis BMD 6.0 will incrementally continue to provide increased BMD capability with the SPY-1 and SPY-6 radars.

These will include further updates for advanced threats, advanced mission planning, search, track, discrimination improvements; and kill assessment updates. SPY-6 will support force-level (multi-asset) approach to raid defense and will enable U.S. Navy ships to have a greater stand-off range from threat environments.

These future capabilities will serve as the path forward to achieve BMDS Increment 6 requirements and beyond for all COTS based open architecture baselines
Integrated Air and Missile Defense is being pushed hard. The SPY-6 is an extremely capable RADAR system, integrating its targeting capability into a larger Command and Control system makes every other system involved stronger as well.
 

Kamov Ka-52

Stop staring and my co-axial rotors b-baka~
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Sorry for double posting, but eh... it is my own thread.









https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29624/usaf-mc-130j-spec-ops-transport-flies-through-taiwan-strait-with-u-s-spy-plane-near-by

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29626/shadowy-new-electronic-warfare-system-has-been-installed-on-u-s-navy-7th-fleet-ships

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29631/check-out-these-photos-of-usaf-b-2s-and-raf-f-35bs-flying-together-for-the-first-time


I would pay special attention to this:

Integrated Air and Missile Defense is being pushed hard. The SPY-6 is an extremely capable RADAR system, integrating its targeting capability into a larger Command and Control system makes every other system involved stronger as well.
Great thread @BONE_Buddy. It's nice to have this /k/ autism which I'm interested in, but am too lazy to actually seek out, curated in a single place.

I'm a little disappointed I didn't get @'d for the article about the Tiger
 

1Tonka_Truck

Loaded Like A Boxcar Moving Like A Racecar
kiwifarms.net
If I can make a suggestion for the thread @BONE_Buddy, try covering fewer topics and adding some depth to it. The articles on the ESD/ESB don't talk about what the platforms can actually do outside of buzzword bingo. Adding in something about what you like or dislike about a platform would be good too. I'm not asking for a writeup like you did on the Al-Khalid, but a paragraph of background might go a long way with the less dialed in kiwis. I'll give the ESD/ESB news a shot since I really like the concept.

The Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) is a ship class designed to facilitate at sea transfer of vehicles and cargo from Maritime Prepositioning Force ships to LCACs and to act as seabase for amphibious vehicles. The main features of the ESD are a ship-to-ship mooring system, integration of the MPF Roll-On Roll-Off ramps, semi-submersible capability allowing it to flood the forward welldeck, and 3 berths for LCACs.


The Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) is a sub-class variant designed to support special forces, maritime security, and mine clearance operations. The ESB class is intended to support low intensity missions, (operations in and around shithole countries) freeing up the much more expensive amphibious assault ships for other missions and training. Main features differing from the ESD are a helicopter flight deck above the main deck, a hangar capable of storing 2 CH-53Ks, a crane on the main deck for launching and recovering boats up to 11 metric tons, and a forward berthing area for 298 mission personnel. The well deck and semi-submersible capability are not present in the ESB sub-class ships. There is no provision for launching or recovering amphibious vehicles.

I really like the ESD concept. It allows vehicles and cargo to be unloaded from MPF ships without needing a port. It can also be used to prestage a company sized amphibious assault. Years ago I got to talking to some friends in the offshore oil industry about using Platform Supply Vessels as staging for amphibious vehicles and SOF fun times. I think a PSV would be a better basis for the Expeditionary Fast Transport than the catamaran ferry of the Spearhead class. The EFT is slower than most PSVs above sea state 3, can't directly launch amphibious vehicles into the water, and rolls too much to transfer vehicles to an ESD outside of a harbor.

You know what, fuck it. That took way longer than I was expecting. I'll let the professional get back to it.
 
Have there been any updates on the railgun system recently or is that silent? Not much of a follower of weapon development but I'm pretty interested to see it's future, especially if it's possible Zumwalt mount looks like a pipe dream now with the cost of the destroyer by inself
 
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BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
I'm a little disappointed I didn't get @'d for the article about the Tiger
I'll start doing that, do you want an @ for every mention there is in the media, or just bigger shit?

If I can make a suggestion for the thread @BONE_Buddy, try covering fewer topics and adding some depth to it. The articles on the ESD/ESB don't talk about what the platforms can actually do outside of buzzword bingo. Adding in something about what you like or dislike about a platform would be good too. I'm not asking for a writeup like you did on the Al-Khalid, but a paragraph of background might go a long way with the less dialed in kiwis. I'll give the ESD/ESB news a shot since I really like the concept.

The Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) is a ship class designed to facilitate at sea transfer of vehicles and cargo from Maritime Prepositioning Force ships to LCACs and to act as seabase for amphibious vehicles. The main features of the ESD are a ship-to-ship mooring system, integration of the MPF Roll-On Roll-Off ramps, semi-submersible capability allowing it to flood the forward welldeck, and 3 berths for LCACs.


The Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) is a sub-class variant designed to support special forces, maritime security, and mine clearance operations. The ESB class is intended to support low intensity missions, (operations in and around shithole countries) freeing up the much more expensive amphibious assault ships for other missions and training. Main features differing from the ESD are a helicopter flight deck above the main deck, a hangar capable of storing 2 CH-53Ks, a crane on the main deck for launching and recovering boats up to 11 metric tons, and a forward berthing area for 298 mission personnel. The well deck and semi-submersible capability are not present in the ESB sub-class ships. There is no provision for launching or recovering amphibious vehicles.

I really like the ESD concept. It allows vehicles and cargo to be unloaded from MPF ships without needing a port. It can also be used to prestage a company sized amphibious assault. Years ago I got to talking to some friends in the offshore oil industry about using Platform Supply Vessels as staging for amphibious vehicles and SOF fun times. I think a PSV would be a better basis for the Expeditionary Fast Transport than the catamaran ferry of the Spearhead class. The EFT is slower than most PSVs above sea state 3, can't directly launch amphibious vehicles into the water, and rolls too much to transfer vehicles to an ESD outside of a harbor.

You know what, fuck it. That took way longer than I was expecting. I'll let the professional get back to it.
To your first point, I am trying to do that, but as you can see it takes quite a bit of time to even get a couple of paragraphs.

So, I am effectively posting my entire reading list, and pulling out a few of the articles for further highlighting. This is so that people have some more interesting tidbits to ask questions about. Answers to specific questions take a little less time than trying to explain the entire topic myself.

To that end, what I may try to do is start linking people to more general articles on the particular subject in question. So if I talk about the Abrams tank in one of the little breakout articles, I will link to up to date primers on the subject.

Your writeup on the ESB/ESD is excellent.
I must admit, I do not have an amazing depth of knowledge when it comes to the Naval Forces (or for that matter most of the Army or Marines). My two main focuses professionally have been Military Aircraft (with an eye over to the Strategic Bombers), and Missiles/Rockets larger than the Stinger. So if any other autist wants to help/interject I would gladly accept the help, and give them their share of the "glory." And we would all be the better informed because of it.

Have there been any updates on the railgun system recently or is that silent? Not much of a follower of weapon development but I'm pretty interested to see it's future, especially if it's possible Zumwalt mount looks like a pipe dream now with the cost of the destroyer by inself
The program has started to move fairly quickly. When things go quiet in the defense world, it usually means that everyone involved is happy. The last big update (and it is a big update) when it comes to the Railgun was this:
The article explains what it going on better than I could/have-time-for.

As for refitting the Zumwalt class ships with a Railgun platform... It is possible (it is certainly talked about a lot), but I doubt the Navy wants to invest more into that particular project. I could be wrong though. If some Navy sperg wants to correct me, they are welcome to.
 

BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
“Combat Aircraft" said:
“Alert 5" said:
“Defense Blog" said:
“USNI" said:
“Defense Post" said:
“DVIDS" said:
“Jane’s 360" said:
“Military Times" said:
“DoD Releases" said:
Well, there is not much going on today. So here are a couple of small potatoes.

Taiwan to upgrade reconnaissance capabilities of its F-16
Links through to:
https://udn.com/news/story/10930/4022396

“Machine Translation from Taiwanese" said:
The 109th annual budget of the Ministry of National Defense was sent to the Legislative Yuan (budget committee?). The Air Force plans to build a case of 9.8 billion 179,800 yuan next year. It is a new type of RF-16 fighter unit that is stationed in the Hualien nicknamed "Eagle Eye Machine". Detective pod cabin (sensor pod). It is understood that the pod type is a derivative of DB-110 (here is the background: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a390184.pdf).

The military aircraft "far-sea long-haul” (long range recon) is frequently trained around the Taiwan. The ships (Chinese Military Ships?) frequently travel from the eastern seas day and night. I have sent RF-16 fighters to the sea to take pictures of the Liaoning ship, but the existing pods have no night vision capability and lack night fighting functions.

The Air Force Command pointed out that it is planned to purchase long-distance, full-air and day-night surveillance capabilities and real-time image transmission functions in order to meet the difficulties of logistics maintenance and the lack of nighttime surveillance capabilities. The new type of surveillance pods will meet the operational environment of the Taiwan Strait in the future and support the various military training missions of the National Army.

The Air Force Command said that the whole case will be purchased from the US through the military procurement pipeline, which is planned to cost 9.8 billion to 179.80 million yuan and was acquired from 109 to 113 (they will buy between 109 and 113 of the pods).

The Air Force Command said that after the acquisition of the new type of surveillance pods, it can meet the surveillance missions of the reconnaissance planes during the wartime, and conduct joint intelligence surveillance and support national military training exercises.
Taiwan continues to develop its native defense industry, but other than that, it isn't too notable.

Pentagon awards contract for classified ‘Valkyrie’ program
“Defense Blog" said:
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, a business unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., is being awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

In a notice posted on the U.S. government’s main contracting website, the Missile Defense Agency announced that under the new contract, the Lockheed Martin will further develop and refine their Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition White Paper titled “Valkyrie Interceptor Terminal Hypersonic Defense”.

“The work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas with an estimated completion date of May 2, 2020,” through a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, adding that “the performance period is from Sept 3, 2019 through May 2, 2020.”

The classified ‘Valkyrie’ program is operated by Missile Defense Agency and covers the development of next-generation of a weapon system that ability to intercept and destroy hypersonic missile threats.

According to open source, the new ‘Valkyrie’ hypersonic defense weapon system is designing to effectively deter Russia and China, the two largest threats mentioned in the National Defense Strategy.

In an op-ed for The New York Times, a former Obama administration White House official, who asked not to be named said that Hypersonic missiles are ideal for waging a decapitation strike — assassinating a country’s top military or political officials – “Instant leader-killers.”

The enemy’s hypersonic missiles potentially could be aimed, in theory, at nuclear-armed ballistic missiles position, American bombers and other aircraft at bases, military headquarters or the missiles could attack vital land- or sea-based radars anywhere.

According to Express.co.uk, national security experts have warned the U.S. is behind Russia and China in the development of hypersonic weapon technologies.

A cutting-edge ‘Valkyrie’ system will be designed to minimize potential threats that aim to defeat hypersonic, maneuvering weapons.

Boeing Company and Raytheon Missile Systems are also being awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price contract.

The total value of this contract is $4,356,864.00 for Boeing. Under the new contract, the contractor will further develop and refine their Hypersonic Defense Weapon

Systems Concept Definition White Paper titled “Hypervelocity Interceptor (HYVINT) Concept for Hypersonic Weapons”.

Raytheon Missile Systems will further develop and refine their Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition White Paper titled “SM3-HAWK”. The total value of this contract is $4,445,140.00.
The real notable thing about this is the firm-fixed-price contracts.
 

BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
“Alert 5" said:


“UPI" said:



“Combat Aircraft" said:




“Breaking Defense" said:



“USNI" said:

“Defense Post" said:





“DVIDS" said:

































QUOTE=“Jane’s 360"]




















[/QUOTE]






QUOTE=“Defense News shit"]









[/QUOTE]



QUOTE=“DoD Releases"]



[/QUOTE]



“Military Times shit" said:




















“Defense One shit" said:





War News Updates is a guy who posts a good news aggregate of the International Relations world.

I’ll start throwing in his stuff because it doesn’t take much effort on my part, and it might give some context for the larger goings on for you guys.

His daily World News Briefs are much like my Defense New Round Ups.
















USFK to Bring in New Stealth Fighter Jets

“The Chosunilbo" said:
The U.S. Forces Korea is expected to deploy state-of-the-art F-35A stealth fighter jets at major air bases here in place of the current bread-and-butter F-16s. A South Korean government spokesman on Sunday said they will be deployed from early 2020s.

Separately, the South Korean Air Force plans to deploy 40 F-35As by 2021. The stealth fighters will replace the USFK's existing F-16 fighter jets, of which some 60 are stationed at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province and the one in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province.
The U.S. Pacific Air Forces Command did not deny the reports but sidestepped the question by saying it is working to build strategic bases in the Indo-Pacific region, with the U.S. Air Force deploying weapons in due course.

"The U.S. considers the deployment of F-35As from a strategic perspective in the Indo-Pacific region targeting not only North Korea but also China," a South Korean military spokesman commented.

Back in July, Gen. Charles Brown, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said some 220 F-35 fighters will be deployed for U.S. troops and allies in the region by 2025.

North Korea and China are unlikely to be pleased. North Korea has responded extremely sensitively to the South Korean Air Force's recent procurement of F-35As and launched missile provocations in a fit of protest. China is also expected to protest but has its own state-of-the-art stealth fighters.
USAF is going to be basing a wing of F-35As in Korea (probably Osan Airbase ) to replace (or in addition to) about 60 F-16s based there. The Timeline says early 2020s, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 2020 itself.

Virginia-class sub Delaware completes initial sea trials

“UPI" said:
The Virginia-class submarine successfully submerged for the first time and performed high-speed maneuvers on the surface and underwater.


Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division announced the Virginia-class submarine has successfully completed initial sea trials last week.

The nuclear-powered fact attack submarine, built for anti-submarine and anti-surface operations, spent three days at sea proving its system capabilities, the company said in a statement on Saturday.

The vessel submerged for the first time and performed high-speed maneuvers on the surface and underwater, according to HII.

"Delaware performed well during sea trials, which is a testament to the skill and craftmanship of the incredible team of shipbuilders who are working to uphold our high standards of quality," said Dave Bolcar, Newport News' vice president of submarine construction. "We look forward to continuing our testing program to deliver the submarine to the U.S. Navy later this year.”



The Delaware will be the ninth Virginia-class submarine delivered by Newport News to the Navy.

Before the submarine is delivered, it is set to also go through a round of acceptance trials.

Virginia-class submarines are 7,800 tons and 377 feet in length with a beam of 34 feet, according to the U.S. Navy. They operate at more than 25 knots submerged with a crew of 132, 15 officers and 117 personnel, and armament of torpedoes and tomahawk cruise missiles, capable of mine-laying operations.



The Delaware is the 18th Virginia-class submarine built in a teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat.

It was christened last October by ship sponsor Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

The submarine was launched into the James River two months later after an elaborate car system moved it into a floating dry dock.



In July, Delaware's crew had its first meal aboard the vessel, another significant step toward its delivery to the Navy.

More than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat, along with 5,000 suppliers, have participated in Delaware's construction since work began in September 2013.
That formatting is shit, and I am not going to take the time to fix it myself. Besides that, it is nice to see another decently capable submarine about read to be added to the fleet.



Now for what I am going to call my name and shame section:

Wait, where are all the women?


“Defense News Travesty" said:
As I write this, it’s one week before the Defense News Conference. And I can say sincerely it’s setting up to be a massive success: two acting secretaries; a chief of staff; three four-star generals, five three-star generals and one three-star admiral; the Pentagon’s top weapons development official; the Air Force’s acquisition head. The list goes on.

I’m proud of this, and I am incredibly appreciative to the defense community for delivering in spades.

But not including our own editorial team, we have only three women participating in the conference. Candidly, that’s pretty unacceptable.

And we got dinged for it. Social media spotted the lack of diversity and called us out. In the words of Maggie Feldman-Piltch, founder of #NatSecGirlSquad: “There are so many of us.”

Some sympathized a bit. They said our conference simply reflects the lack of diversity in senior leadership. Others felt we were just part of the problem by not working harder to spotlight the many smart women in this industry. In the words of one on Twitter: “Conferences like this only want very senior leaders. And few women occupy those roles. So rather than recruiting up and coming women whose inclusion might (over time) prepare them for said senior roles, it becomes a self perpetuating cycle.”

There’s truth to all of that. We do indeed host this conference to provide our audience with access to and perspective from senior leadership. But I’m not going to apologize for fulfilling that goal. And let’s be honest, people come for that access. They want to hear from the people making the decisions and writing the policy. Right now, those are predominantly men. I’d love to say as many seats would get filled if we went one, two or three levels down, but I simply don’t believe that to be true — not in the current state of the industry.

Also — we did try. We’ve tried for the last few years, in fact, and saw some success in 2018. But it’s never been easy. This year was particularly hard.

Does it sound like I’m making excuses? It does. Another truth is we should’ve just tried harder.

But it does, once again, shine a bright spotlight on the fundamental problem — one that has been a bit camouflaged as of late because of the occasional appointment of a woman CEO or undersecretary of defense; or the celebration of the first female Marine to pilot a F-35 fighter jet. Diversity can only be achieved for real when it permeates an entire institution, usually from the bottom up.

In July 2018, I wrote an editorial right after Northrop Grumman announced that then-Chief Operating Officer Kathy Warden would be the next chief executive. I pointed to statements I had heard implying that the market has done it — that defense and aerospace was no longer an old boys’ club. That women get a fair shot. That sex no longer factors into opportunity. That we’ve come so far.

I warned at the time we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. I recommended then: “Let’s just keep moving.”

And I actually would argue that we have a huge opportunity now to do so. The Pentagon seems to sincerely be seeking innovators — those that can spur advancements in technology; experts in science and engineering. The leaders of tomorrow perhaps don’t have to prove their commitment with deployments that last for months. They can earn their place in the military or certainly the defense industry by exceling in STEM. Perhaps that’s one way we can level the playing field.

But it will take time and effort. We need hiring and promotion decisions to reflect this standard we aspire to see. And it’s the women who do exist in the community that we need to see out front and — yes — on stage. We need to make them hard to ignore.

So I offer a big thank you to Lt. Gen. Karen Gibson of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for agreeing to speak on hybrid warfare, and for Splunk Chief Technical Advisor Juliana Vida and Lockheed Vice President Maria Demaree for taking the time as well. And more important than our conference, credit goes to those institutions for elevating women through the ranks, and to the many others that have done the same.

Because yes, they are out there. And next year, we will work even harder to find more of them.
With all the other things you could report on? You chose to publish a puff piece whining about gender disparity in defense reporting of all things?

I expect this kind of shit out of DefenseOne. Not you Defense News.

Jill Aitoro

She is editor of Defense News. She is also executive editor of Sightline Media's Business-to-Government group, including Defense News, C4ISRNET, Federal Times and Fifth Domain.

I take a look at her twitter and this is what I see.

And she has retweeted this:

Not a full blown cow, but one that could easily get there if/when RBG dies.
 

1Tonka_Truck

Loaded Like A Boxcar Moving Like A Racecar
kiwifarms.net
@BONE_Buddy can you post a full version on the article on the Pakistani Navy Corvettes? I'm curious to see if these are based on the Damen Offshore Patrol Vessel or if they are custom built. Damen has been pumping out navy ships out of their Romanian yard the last couple years.
 
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Reactions: BONE_Buddy

BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
@BONE_Buddy can you post a full version on the article on the Pakistani Navy Corvettes? I'm curious to see if these are based on the Damen Offshore Patrol Vessel or if they are custom built. Damen has been pumping out navy ships out of their Romanian yard the last couple years.
They are Damen OPVs. This is their second one.


I will see what I can do get full Jane's articles. No promises on anything though.
 

thx1138

Are you now, or have you ever been?
kiwifarms.net
First of all...sweet new feature! I hope you keep it up B-One.

Secondly...the AH64D is probably the most dangerous thing flying when it comes to anti-tank. The Longbow radar can peek over hills and trees and lock on up to 16 targets*, and the weapon officer can fire them all off in a glorious, Anime-inspired whoosh of guided missile artistry, about 1 second apart each, and each one independently track the targets assigned to them. Four AH-64D's have the potential to destroy literally a battalion of armor in about 8 seconds. Assuming a Pk of 90, that leaves 4 enemy tanks wandering aimlessly about a hellscape of burning vehicles.

If the Apache knows it is going up against "soft" armored targets (BTR-80s, etc.), it can instead carry direct-fire APKWS missiles. These are 70mm Hydra rockets that are normally unguided but in this mode they are fitted with a laser seeker and armor-defeating warhead; the Apache can carry four pods of 19 of those, but it may take more than a single hit with an APKWS-Hydra to knock out one vehicle.

*the Sidearm is an anti-radar version of the Sidewinder that the AH64D can carry, and it homes in on anti-aircraft radars, so it can kill soft-skinned AA vehicles accompanying the armor, so potentially 18 targets per Apache.
 

BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
Work Said no to giving me access to their Jane’s subscription, and I was not inclined to push the issue.
Sorry folks, but you aren’t getting more access from me unless you want to pay me several thousand dollars each.


“Combat Aircraft" said:
“Defense News" said:
“Alert 5" said:
“Defense Blog" said:
“Breaking Defense" said:
“USNI" said:
“Defense Post" said:
“DVIDS" said:
“Jane’s 360" said:
“AFCEA Signal" said:
“Defense One" said:
“Defense News" said:
“DoD Releases" said:
“Military Times" said:

Got today’s Warzone articles here. I would post them but getting them formatted properly here is hellish.
Still they are worth a look. They seem to put out a high ratio of good stuff.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29679/european-missile-maker-and-polish-defense-giant-join-forces-on-new-tank-destroyer-concept
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29158/the-aim-9x-sidewinder-may-finally-evolve-into-a-completely-new-and-longer-range-missile
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29653/this-is-what-grummans-proposed-f-14-super-tomcat-21-would-have-actually-looked-like
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29659/air-force-wants-super-realistic-mock-launchers-so-it-can-replicate-an-s-300-sam-system




Lockheed nabs $50.3M Navy contract for Aegis system upgrades
More Missile defense developments
“UPI" said:
The contract covers integration and testing of upgrades on nine new Arleigh Burke ships and seven others undergoing modernization.

Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems received a $50.3 million U.S. Navy contract modification for upgrades to the Aegis missile defense system, the Defense Department announced.

The contract, announced Tuesday by the Pentagon, calls for ship integration and test of the Aegis Weapon System for AWS Baselines through the system's latest upgrade, known as Advanced Capability Build 16.

Lockheed will provide Aegis shipboard integration engineering, Aegis test team support, Aegis modernization team engineering support, Ballistic Missile Defense test team support, Aegis ashore support and AWS element assessments for a variety of vessels.

The integration and testing includes AWS ship integration and test efforts for nine new construction DDG 51 class ships, also known as Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, and the major modernization of seven other DDG 51 class ships.

The Aegis Combat System is an advanced command and control and weapon control system using computers and radar to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets. Its Mark 41 Vertical Launch System is available in different versions, with missiles varying in size and weight, for self-defense, tactical and strike purposes.

Advance Capacity Build refers to upgrades in the computers used to integrate the system's AN/SPY-1 radar, MK 99 fire control system, weapons control, the command and decision suite, and SM-2 Standard missile group.

About half the work on the contract will be performed in Lockheed's Moorestown, N.J., facility, 12 percent of the work will be done in Romania and most of the rest at locations around the United States, with a completion date of September 2024.
First next generation Navy’s jamming pod arrives for test preparation
The Growler is going to be getting a quite a bit more powerful over the next couple of years.
“Defense Blog" said:
The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has confirmed that the first Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Engineering Development Model pod arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River after a trek across America late July to begin various verification and test procedures in preparation for the second pod delivery early fall.

The pod will start various verification and test procedures in preparation for the second pod delivery early fall, according to a Navy news release.

In 2016, the U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon a $1B Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract.

According to the current information, Raytheon will deliver 15 EMD pods for mission systems testing and qualification as well as 14 aeromechanical pods for airworthiness certification.

Additionally, in the third quarter of 2019, Raytheon will utilize a Prime Power Generation Capability pod installed on a commercial Gulfstream aircraft in order to conduct power generation flight testing and risk reduction efforts in support of the initial flight clearance process.

Raytheon’s NGJ-MB architecture and design include the ability to operate at a significantly enhanced range, attack multiple targets simultaneously and advanced jamming techniques. The technology can also be scaled to other missions and platforms.
U.S. Air Force’s new B-21 bomber will likely have air-to-air defense capabilities
So much for Stealth and Stealth alone.
“Defense Blog" said:
The U.S. Air Force’s new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, will likely have air-to-air defense capabilities, just like modern fighter jets.

In an op-ed for the Air Force Magazine, Pacific Air Forces Director of Air and Cyber Operations Maj. Gen Scott L. Pleus confirmed that next-generation bomber will have new capabilities for self-defense during flight.

Maj. Gen Scott L. Pleus exposed details of new equipment and new concepts in order to sustain Air Force’s air superiority in the decades to come, adding that “a B-21 that also has air-to-air capabilities”.

Previously, the Air Force’s leaders also said that new B-21 Raider is a long-range and highly-survivable aircraft capable of penetrating air defenses and conducting a range of critical missions.

Sources familiar with the development of next-generation bomber said the B-21 Raider would be fitted with advanced radar that will be provided air-to-air capabilities. For air-to-air defense, the new bomber also would be added capability to carry air-to-air missiles.

The B-21 Raider program has a mature and stable design and is now transitioning to manufacturing development of the first test aircraft. Northrop Grumman is utilizing its Melbourne facility for the design and development of the B-21 Raider.
BAE Systems unveils improved version of new U.S. Army armored vehicle
AMPV is a bigger, heavier, better armored replacement for the M113.
“Defense Blog" said:
British multinational defense, security and aerospace company BAE Systems has unveiled the improved version of Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle during the 141st General Conference & Exhibition in Denver.

The new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is designed to replace the 5 variants of the U.S. Army’s M113 Armored Personnel Carrier family of vehicles, which have been in service since the Vietnam-era.

First fielded in 1962, the M113 was ubiquitous during the conflict in Vietnam and has seen service in virtually every American military action in the ensuing decades. Though largely surpassed in both use and operation by the M2 Bradley, variants of the M113 continue in operation to this day.


The AMPV will replace the M113 in five mission roles: general-purpose, medical evacuation, medical treatment, mortar carrier, and mission command. The Army determined that development of the AMPV is necessary due to mobility, survivability, and force protection deficiencies identified with the M113, as well as space, weight, power, and cooling limitations that prevent the incorporation of future technologies.

The AMPV’s five variants: a general-purpose vehicle, mission command vehicle, mortar carrier, and medical evacuation and treatment vehicles– have nearly 80% more interior volume than their predecessor, and significantly more power and survivability. Cooling and electrical systems are also upgraded to accommodate both existing and future upgrades.

Although the AMPV uses a new hull design, a majority of subsystems are derived from existing vehicles. For example, the AMPV uses a common powertrain with the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle.

The AMPV program entered low-rate initial production in January 2019.
Insurance Companies Are Fueling Ransomware Attacks
https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/09/insurance-companies-are-fueling-ransomware-attacks/159625/
“An actually decent article from DefenseOne" said:
Even when public agencies and companies hit by ransomware could recover their files on their own, insurers prefer to pay the ransom. Why? The attacks are good for business.

On June 24, the mayor and council of Lake City, Florida, gathered in an emergency session to decide how to resolve a ransomware attack that had locked the city’s computer files for the preceding fortnight. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Stephen Witt led an invocation. “Our heavenly father,” Witt said, “we ask for your guidance today, that we do what’s best for our city and our community.”

Witt and the council members also sought guidance from City Manager Joseph Helfenberger. He recommended that the city allow its cyber insurer, Beazley, an underwriter at Lloyd’s of London, to pay the ransom of 42 bitcoin, then worth about $460,000. Lake City, which was covered for ransomware under its cyber-insurance policy, would only be responsible for a $10,000 deductible. In exchange for the ransom, the hacker would provide a key to unlock the files.

“If this process works, it would save the city substantially in both time and money,” Helfenberger told them.
Without asking questions or deliberating, the mayor and the council unanimously approved paying the ransom. The six-figure payment, one of several that U.S. cities have handed over to hackers in recent months to retrieve files, made national headlines.

Left unmentioned in Helfenberger’s briefing was that the city’s IT staff, together with an outside vendor, had been pursuing an alternative approach. Since the attack, they had been attempting to recover backup files that were deleted during the incident. On Beazley’s recommendation, the city chose to pay the ransom because the cost of a prolonged recovery from backups would have exceeded its $1 million coverage limit, and because it wanted to resume normal services as quickly as possible.

“Our insurance company made [the decision] for us,” city spokesman Michael Lee, a sergeant in the Lake City Police Department, said. “At the end of the day, it really boils down to a business decision on the insurance side of things: them looking at how much is it going to cost to fix it ourselves and how much is it going to cost to pay the ransom.”

The mayor, Witt, said in an interview that he was aware of the efforts to recover backup files but preferred to have the insurer pay the ransom because it was less expensive for the city. “We pay a $10,000 deductible, and we get back to business, hopefully,” he said. “Or we go, ‘No, we’re not going to do that,’ then we spend money we don’t have to just get back up and running. And so to me, it wasn’t a pleasant decision, but it was the only decision.”

Ransomware is proliferating across America, disabling computer systems of corporations, city governments, schools and police departments. This month, attackers seeking millions of dollars encrypted the files of 22 Texas municipalities. Overlooked in the ransomware spree is the role of an industry that is both fueling and benefiting from it: insurance. In recent years, cyber insurance sold by domestic and foreign companies has grown into an estimated $7 billion to $8 billion-a-year market in the U.S. alone, according to Fred Eslami, an associate director at AM Best, a credit rating agency that focuses on the insurance industry. While insurers do not release information about ransom payments, ProPublica has found that they often accommodate attackers’ demands, even when alternatives such as saved backup files may be available.

The FBI and security researchers say paying ransoms contributes to the profitability and spread of cybercrime and in some cases may ultimately be funding terrorist regimes. But for insurers, it makes financial sense, industry insiders said. It holds down claim costs by avoiding expenses such as covering lost revenue from snarled services and ongoing fees for consultants aiding in data recovery. And, by rewarding hackers, it encourages more ransomware attacks, which in turn frighten more businesses and government agencies into buying policies.

“The onus isn’t on the insurance company to stop the criminal, that’s not their mission. Their objective is to help you get back to business. But it does beg the question, when you pay out to these criminals, what happens in the future?” said Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, a nonprofit industry group based in New York. Attackers “see the deep pockets. You’ve got the insurance industry that’s going to pay out, this is great.”

A spokesperson for Lloyd’s, which underwrites about one-third of the global cyber-insurance market, said that coverage is designed to mitigate losses and protect against future attacks, and that victims decide whether to pay ransoms. “Coverage is likely to include, in the event of an attack, access to experts who will help repair the damage caused by any cyberattack and ensure any weaknesses in a company’s cyberprotection are eliminated,” the spokesperson said. “A decision whether to pay a ransom will fall to the company or individual that has been attacked.” Beazley declined comment.

Fabian Wosar, chief technology officer for anti-virus provider Emsisoft, said he recently consulted for one U.S. corporation that was attacked by ransomware. After it was determined that restoring files from backups would take weeks, the company’s insurer pressured it to pay the ransom, he said. The insurer wanted to avoid having to reimburse the victim for revenues lost as a result of service interruptions during recovery of backup files, as its coverage required, Wosar said. The company agreed to have the insurer pay the approximately $100,000 ransom. But the decryptor obtained from the attacker in return didn’t work properly and Wosar was called in to fix it, which he did. He declined to identify the client and the insurer, which also covered his services.

“Paying the ransom was a lot cheaper for the insurer,” he said. “Cyber insurance is what’s keeping ransomware alive today. It’s a perverted relationship. They will pay anything, as long as it is cheaper than the loss of revenue they have to cover otherwise.”

Worters, the industry spokeswoman, said ransom payments aren’t the only example of insurers saving money by enriching criminals. For instance, the companies may pay fraudulent claims — for example, from a policyholder who sets a car on fire to collect auto insurance — when it’s cheaper than pursuing criminal charges. “You don’t want to perpetuate people committing fraud,” she said. “But there are some times, quite honestly, when companies say: ’This fraud is not a ton of money. We are better off paying this.’ … It’s much like the ransomware, where you’re paying all these experts and lawyers, and it becomes this huge thing.”

Insurers approve or recommend paying a ransom when doing so is likely to minimize costs by restoring operations quickly, regulators said. As in Lake City, recovering files from backups can be arduous and time-consuming, potentially leaving insurers on the hook for costs ranging from employee overtime to crisis management public relations efforts, they said.

“They’re going to look at their overall claim and dollar exposure and try to minimize their losses,” said Eric Nordman, a former director of the regulatory services division of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, or NAIC, the organization of state insurance regulators. “If it’s more expeditious to pay the ransom and get the key to unlock it, then that’s what they’ll do.”

As insurance companies have approved six- and seven-figure ransom payments over the past year, criminals’ demands have climbed. The average ransom payment among clients of Coveware, a Connecticut firm that specializes in ransomware cases, is about $36,000, according to its quarterly report released in July, up sixfold from last October. Josh Zelonis, a principal analyst for the Massachusetts-based research company Forrester, said the increase in payments by cyber insurers has correlated with a resurgence in ransomware after it had started to fall out of favor in the criminal world about two years ago.

One cybersecurity company executive said his firm has been told by the FBI that hackers are specifically extorting American companies that they know have cyber insurance. After one small insurer highlighted the names of some of its cyber policyholders on its website, three of them were attacked by ransomware, Wosar said. Hackers could also identify insured targets from public filings; the Securities and Exchange Commission suggests that public companies consider reporting “insurance coverage relating to cybersecurity incidents.”

Even when the attackers don’t know that insurers are footing the bill, the repeated capitulations to their demands give them confidence to ask for ever-higher sums, said Thomas Hofmann, vice president of intelligence at Flashpoint, a cyber-risk intelligence firm that works with ransomware victims.

Ransom demands used to be “a lot less,” said Worters, the industry spokeswoman. But if hackers think they can get more, “they’re going to ask for more. So that’s what’s happening. … That’s certainly a concern.”

In the past year, dozens of public entities in the U.S. have been paralyzed by ransomware. Many have paid the ransoms, either from their own funds or through insurance, but others have refused on the grounds that it’s immoral to reward criminals. Rather than pay a $76,000 ransom in May, the city of Baltimore — which did not have cyber insurance — sacrificed more than $5.3 million to date in recovery expenses, a spokesman for the mayor said this month. Similarly, Atlanta, which did have a cyber policy, spurned a $51,000 ransom demand last year and has spent about $8.5 million responding to the attack and recovering files, a spokesman said this month. Spurred by those and other cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution this summer not to pay ransoms.

Still, many public agencies are delighted to have their insurers cover ransoms, especially when the ransomware has also encrypted backup files. Johannesburg-Lewiston Area Schools, a school district in Michigan, faced that predicament after being attacked in October. Beazley, the insurer handling the claim, helped the district conduct a cost-benefit analysis, which found that paying a ransom was preferable to rebuilding the systems from scratch, said Superintendent Kathleen Xenakis-Makowski.

“They sat down with our technology director and said, ‘This is what’s affected, and this is what it would take to re-create,’” said Xenakis-Makowski, who has since spoken at conferences for school officials about the importance of having cyber insurance. She said the district did not discuss the ransom decision publicly at the time in part to avoid a prolonged debate over the ethics of paying. “There’s just certain things you have to do to make things work,” she said.

Ransomware is one of the most common cybercrimes in the world. Although it is often cast as a foreign problem, because hacks tend to originate from countries such as Russia and Iran, ProPublica has found that American industries have fostered its proliferation. We reported in May on two ransomware data recovery firms that purported to use their own technology to disable ransomware but in reality often just paid the attackers. One of the firms, Proven Data, of Elmsford, New York, tells victims on its website that insurance is likely to cover the cost of ransomware recovery.

Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest specialty insurance market, said it pioneered the first cyber liability policy in 1999. Today, it offers cyber coverage through 74 syndicates — formed by one or more Lloyd’s members such as Beazley joining together — that provide capital and accept and spread risk. Eighty percent of the cyber insurance written at Lloyd’s is for entities based in the U.S. The Lloyd’s market is famous for insuring complex, high-risk and unusual exposures, such as climate-change consequences, Arctic explorers and Bruce Springsteen’s voice.

Many insurers were initially reluctant to cover cyber disasters, in part because of the lack of reliable actuarial data. When they protect customers against traditional risks such as fires, floods and auto accidents, they price policies based on authoritative information from national and industry sources. But, as Lloyd’s noted in a 2017 report, “there are no equivalent sources for cyber-risk,” and the data used to set premiums is collected from the internet. Such publicly available data is likely to underestimate the potential financial impact of ransomware for an insurer. According to a report by global consulting firm PwC, both insurers and victimized companies are reluctant to disclose breaches because of concerns over loss of competitive advantage or reputational damage.

Despite the uncertainty over pricing, dozens of carriers eventually followed Lloyd’s in embracing cyber coverage. Other lines of insurance are expected to shrink in the coming decades, said Nordman, the former regulator. Self-driving cars, for example, are expected to lead to significantly fewer car accidents and a corresponding drop in premiums, according to estimates. Insurers are seeking new areas of opportunity, and “cyber is one of the small number of lines that is actually growing,” Nordman said.

Driven partly by the spread of ransomware, the cyber insurance market has grown rapidly. Between 2015 and 2017, total U.S. cyber premiums written by insurers that reported to the NAIC doubled to an estimated $3.1 billion, according to the most recent data available.

Cyber policies have been more profitable for insurers than other lines of insurance. The loss ratio for U.S. cyber policies was about 35% in 2018, according to a report by Aon, a London-based professional services firm. In other words, for every dollar in premiums collected from policyholders, insurers paid out roughly 35 cents in claims. That compares to a loss ratio of about 62% across all property and casualty insurance, according to data compiled by the NAIC of insurers that report to them. Besides ransomware, cyber insurance frequently covers costs for claims related to data breaches, identity theft and electronic financial scams.

During the underwriting process, insurers typically inquire about a prospective policyholder’s cyber security, such as the strength of its firewall or the viability of its backup files, Nordman said. If they believe the organization’s defenses are inadequate, they might decline to write a policy or charge more for it, he said. North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, chairman of the NAIC’s innovation and technology task force, said some insurers suggest prospective policyholders hire outside firms to conduct “cyber audits” as a “risk mitigation tool” aimed to prevent attacks — and claims — by strengthening security.

“Ultimately, you’re going to see that prevention of the ransomware attack is likely going to come from the insurance carrier side,” Godfread said. “If they can prevent it, they don’t have to pay out a claim, it’s better for everybody.”

Not all cyber insurance policies cover ransom payments. After a ransomware attack on Jackson County, Georgia, last March, the county billed insurance for credit monitoring services and an attorney but had to pay the ransom of about $400,000, County Manager Kevin Poe said. Other victims have struggled to get insurers to pay cyber-related claims. Food company Mondelez International and pharmaceutical company Merck sued insurers last year in state courts after the carriers refused to reimburse costs associated with damage from NotPetya malware. The insurers cited “hostile or warlike action” or “act of war” exclusions because the malware was linked to the Russian military. The cases are pending.

The proliferation of cyber insurers willing to accommodate ransom demands has fostered an industry of data recovery and incident response firms that insurers hire to investigate attacks and negotiate with and pay hackers. This year, two FBI officials who recently retired from the bureau opened an incident response firm in Connecticut. The firm, The Aggeris Group, says on its website that it offers “an expedient response by providing cyber extortion negotiation services and support recovery from a ransomware attack.”

Ramarcus Baylor, a principal consultant for The Crypsis Group, a Virginia incident response firm, said he recently worked with two companies hit by ransomware. Although both clients had backup systems, insurers promised to cover the six-figure ransom payments rather than spend several days assessing whether the backups were working. Losing money every day the systems were down, the clients accepted the offer, he said.

Crypsis CEO Bret Padres said his company gets many of its clients from insurance referrals. There’s “really good money in ransomware” for the cyberattacker, recovery experts and insurers, he said. Routine ransom payments have created a “vicious circle,” he said. “It’s a hard cycle to break because everyone involved profits: We do, the insurance carriers do, the attackers do.”

Chris Loehr, executive vice president of Texas-based Solis Security, said there are “a lot of times” when backups are available but clients still pay ransoms. Everyone from the victim to the insurer wants the ransom paid and systems restored as fast as possible, Loehr said.

“They figure out that it’s going to take a month to restore from the cloud, and so even though they have the data backed up,” paying a ransom to obtain a decryption key is faster, he said.

“Let’s get it negotiated very quickly, let’s just get the keys, and get the customer decrypted to minimize business interruption loss,” he continued. “It makes the client happy, it makes the attorneys happy, it makes the insurance happy.”

If clients morally oppose ransom payments, Loehr said, he reminds them where their financial interests lie, and of the high stakes for their businesses and employees. “I’ll ask, ‘The situation you’re in, how long can you go on like this?’” he said. “They’ll say, ‘Well, not for long.’ Insurance is only going to cover you for up to X amount of dollars, which gets burned up fast.”

“I know it sucks having to pay off assholes, but that’s what you gotta do,” he said. “And they’re like, ‘Yeah, OK, let’s get it done.’ You gotta kind of take charge and tell them, ‘This is the way it’s going to be or you’re dead in the water.’”

Lloyd’s-backed CFC, a specialist insurance provider based in London, uses Solis for some of its U.S. clients hit by ransomware. Graeme Newman, chief innovation officer at CFC, said “we work relentlessly” to help victims improve their backup security. “Our primary objective is always to get our clients back up and running as quickly as possible,” he said. “We would never recommend that our clients pay ransoms. This would only ever be a very final course of action, and any decision to do so would be taken by our clients, not us as an insurance company.”

As ransomware has burgeoned, the incident response division of Solis has “taken off like a rocket,” Loehr said. Loehr’s need for a reliable way to pay ransoms, which typically are transacted in digital currencies such as Bitcoin, spawned Sentinel Crypto, a Florida-based money services business managed by his friend, Wesley Spencer. Sentinel’s business is paying ransoms on behalf of clients whose insurers reimburse them, Loehr and Spencer said.

New York-based Flashpoint also pays ransoms for insurance companies. Hofmann, the vice president, said insurers typically give policyholders a toll-free number to dial as soon as they realize they’ve been hit. The number connects to a lawyer who provides a list of incident response firms and other contractors. Insurers tightly control expenses, approving or denying coverage for the recovery efforts advised by the vendors they suggest.

“Carriers are absolutely involved in the decision making,” Hofmann said. On both sides of the attack, “insurance is going to transform this entire market,” he said.

On June 10, Lake City government officials noticed they couldn’t make calls or send emails. IT staff then discovered encrypted files on the city’s servers and disconnected the infected servers from the internet. The city soon learned it was struck by Ryuk ransomware. Over the past year, unknown attackers using the Ryuk strain have besieged small municipalities and technology and logistics companies, demanding ransoms up to $5 million, according to the FBI.

Shortly after realizing it had been attacked, Lake City contacted the Florida League of Cities, which provides insurance for more than 550 public entities in the state. Beazley is the league’s reinsurer for cyber coverage, and they share the risk. The league declined to comment.

Initially, the city had hoped to restore its systems without paying a ransom. IT staff was “plugging along” and had taken server drives to a local vendor who’d had “moderate success at getting the stuff off of it,” Lee said. However, the process was slow and more challenging than anticipated, he said.

As the local technicians worked on the backups, Beazley requested a sample encrypted file and the ransom note so its approved vendor, Coveware, could open negotiations with the hackers, said Steve Roberts, Lake City’s director of risk management. The initial ransom demand was 86 bitcoin, or about $700,000 at the time, Coveware CEO Bill Siegel said. “Beazley was not happy with it — it was way too high,” Roberts said. “So [Coveware] started negotiations with the perps and got it down to the 42 bitcoin. Insurance stood by with the final negotiation amount, waiting for our decision.”

Lee said Lake City may have been able to achieve a “majority recovery” of its files without paying the ransom, but it probably would have cost “three times as much money trying to get there.” The city fired its IT director, Brian Hawkins, in the midst of the recovery efforts. Hawkins, who is suing the city, said in an interview posted online by his new employer that he was made “the scapegoat” for the city’s unpreparedness. The “recovery process on the files was taking a long time” and “the lengthy process was a major factor in paying the ransom,” he said in the interview.

On June 25, the day after the council meeting, the city said in a press release that while its backup recovery efforts “were initially successful, many systems were determined to be unrecoverable.” Lake City fronted the ransom amount to Coveware, which converted the money to bitcoin, paid the attackers and received a fee for its services. The Florida League of Cities reimbursed the city, Roberts said.

Lee acknowledged that paying ransoms spurs more ransomware attacks. But as cyber insurance becomes ubiquitous, he said, he trusts the industry’s judgment.

“The insurer is the one who is going to get hit with most of this if it continues,” he said. “And if they’re the ones deciding it’s still better to pay out, knowing that means they’re more likely to have to do it again — if they still find that it’s the financially correct decision — it’s kind of hard to argue with them because they know the cost-benefit of that. I have a hard time saying it’s the right decision, but maybe it makes sense with a certain perspective.”
“New batch ofDoD contracts are out" said:
AIR FORCE

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $445,361,476 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Air Force National Capital Region information technology services. This contract provides a full range of classified and unclassified information technology services in the National Capital Region. Work will be performed in the National Capital Region to include Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and the Pentagon, and is expected to be complete by Sept. 2, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and three offers were received. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $7,522,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force, District of Washington Contracting, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, is the contracting activity (FA7014-19-D-A005).

GTA Containers Inc., South Bend, Indiana, has been awarded a $9,478,079 contract modification (P00004) to previously awarded FA8533-16-D-0001 for collapsible fuel tank production. The contract modification provides for the purchase of additional quantities of 34 10K collapsible fuel tanks; 171 50K collapsible fuel tanks; and 130 210K collapsible fuel tanks being produced under the basic contract. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $15,102,610. Work will be performed at South Bend, Indiana, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2018 other procurement funds are being used and no funds are being obligated at the time of delivery order award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity.

NAVY

Science Applications International Corp., Reston, Virginia, is awarded a $69,929,520 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-16-C-6425 to exercise Option Year Three for the production of Mk 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedo afterbody/tailcone sections, production support material, spares, auto-electrical power source test sets, engineering support, other direct costs and hardware repair services. Work will be performed in Bedford, Indiana (50%); Marion, Massachusetts (29%); Middletown, Rhode Island (16%); and Indianapolis, Indiana (5%), and is expected to be completed by March 2021. Fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy); fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and Foreign Military Sales funding in the amount of $69,929,520 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin, Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is awarded a $50,307,909 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-15-C-5151 to exercise options for ship integration and test of the Aegis Weapon System (AWS) for AWS Baselines through Advanced Capability Build 16. The contract provides for Aegis shipboard integration engineering, Aegis test team support, Aegis modernization team engineering support, Ballistic Missile Defense test team support, Aegis ashore support and AWS element assessments. This contract will cover the AWS ship integration and test efforts for nine new construction DDG 51 class ships and the major modernization of seven DDG 51 class ships. It will additionally cover the integrated combat system modifications and upgrades for all current ships with all AWS Baselines up to and including ACB 16. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (49%); Deveselu, Romania (12%); Norfolk, Virginia (8%); San Diego, California (8%); Washington, District of Columbia (7%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (5%); Mayport, Florida (4%); Bath, Maine (3%); and various places each below one percent (4% cumulative), and is expected to be complete by September 2024. Fiscal 2014 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,774,574 will be obligated at time of award and $1,452,864 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems, Braintree, Massachusetts, is awarded a $46,679,930 modification to previously awarded contract N00024-18-C-6405 to exercise Option Year One for the production of MK54 MOD 0 lightweight torpedo array kits. This option provides spares, production support material, and related engineering services, hardware support and maintenance of government-furnished equipment. This modification combines purchases for the Navy (23%); the government of Canada (46%); Netherlands (28%); and Norway (3%) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work will be performed in Braintree, Massachusetts (70%); and Lititz, Pennsylvania (30%), and is expected to be completed by September 2022. FMS funding in the amount of $36,031,476; and fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy) in the amount of $10,648,454 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-6405).

General Atomics, San Diego, California, is awarded a $33,187,541 cost-plus-incentive-fee, indefinite-delivery/definite-quantity contract for up to two Bearing Support Structure (BSS) inseparable assemblies in support of the Columbia-class program. This contract is for a five-year ordering period and does not include options. Work will be performed in Tupelo, Mississippi, and is expected to be completed by August 2024. Fiscal 2019 National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund (NSBDF) funding in the amount of $12,497,115 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, West Bethesda, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00167-19-D-0006).

Homeland Security Solutions Inc., Hampton, Virginia, is awarded a $10,951,521 firm-fixed-priced modification to previously awarded contract M00264-19-C-0007 to exercise Option Year One. The work to be performed provides program management support, training, human resources services and non-guard security support services to the Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Camp Lejeune/New River, North Carolina (11%); Camp Pendleton, California (10%); Washington, District of Columbia (9%); Cherry Point, North Carolina (8%); Miramar, California (8%); Quantico, Virginia (8%); Camp Smith and Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (7%); Beaufort/Parris Island, South Carolina (6%); Yuma, Arizona (5%); Barstow, California (5%); San Diego, California (5%); Albany, Georgia (5%); Okinawa, Japan (5%); Bridgeport, California (2%); Blount Island, Florida (2%); New Orleans, Louisiana (2%); and Iwakuni, Japan (2%), and is expected to be completed by September 2020. Fiscal 2019 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $10,095,934 will be obligated at the time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Installations, National Capitol Region - Regional Contracting Office, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Progeny Systems Corp., Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $10,688,154 modification to previously awarded contract N00024-18-C-6410 to exercise Option Year Two for the production of MK54 MOD 1 lightweight torpedo proof of design components, test equipment, associated production support material, spares, and engineering and hardware support services. This modification combines purchases for the Navy (99%); and the government of the United Kingdom (1%) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work will be performed in Charleroi, Pennsylvania (70%); Salt Lake City, Utah (26%); and Manassas, Virginia (4%), and is expected to be completed by March 2022. Fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $10,680,514; and FMS funding in the amount of $32,306 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, has been awarded an estimated $38,040,445 modification (P00039) to a three-year base contract (SPE7MX-16-D-0100) with two one-year option periods adding vehicle spare parts. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Michigan and South Carolina, with an Aug. 11, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Columbus, Ohio.

General Electric Co., Lynn, Massachusetts, has been awarded a maximum $8,845,490 firm-fixed-price delivery order (SPRPA1-19-F-QH08) against a five-year basic ordering agreement (FA8122-19-G-0001) for compressor casings. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a 47-month contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Massachusetts, with a July 31, 2023, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

ARMY

RTI Technologies LLC,* McEwen, Tennessee, was awarded an $18,601,016 firm-fixed-price contract for or the procurement of the M700 time blast fuse. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 2, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-19-D-0086).
CACI-ISS Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a $10,172,707 modification (P00058) to contract W15QKN-15-C-0049 for the Integrated Personnel and Pay System. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $10,172,707 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

NW Construction Inc.,* Bozeman, Montana, was awarded a $7,656,775 firm-fixed-price contract for equalizer dam and dike modifications, construction, electrical, controls, and concrete. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Idaho, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2021. Fiscal 2019 Bureau of Indian Affairs construction funds in the amount of $7,656,775 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (W912PP-19-C-0022).

CORRECTION: A $377,006,101 contract award to Southwest Range Services LLC, Las Cruces, New Mexico (W91151-19-C-0008), was announced Aug. 30, 2019, with an incorrect amount of obligated funds. The correct contract obligation amount is $231,230. All other information in the announcement is correct.

U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND

International Auto Logistics LLC, Brunswick, Georgia, has been awarded a task order modification (P00024) on contract HTC711-14-D-R025 in the estimated amount of $14,950,112. This modification provides continued support of transportation and storage of Department of Defense-sponsored (DoD) shipments of privately owned vehicles belonging to military service members, and transportation of DoD-sponsored shipments of privately owned vehicles belonging to DoD civilian employees. Work will be performed at multiple locations within and outside the U.S. The option period of performance is Sept. 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 transportation working capital funds were obligated. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $942,359,138 from $927,409,026. U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

*Small Business
Japan seeks improved aerial refueling, military transport capabilities in KC-46 funding request
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/09/04/japan-seeks-improved-aerial-refueling-military-transport-capabilities-in-kc-46-funding-request/
“Defense News" said:
MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan’s Ministry of Defense has confirmed it is seeking to increase it fleet of Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers, adding to its current order of four aircraft.

In response to queries from Defense News, a spokeswoman from the ministry said a budget request for four more KC-46s over the next fiscal year will bring its fleet to six aircraft. Japan already has two KC-46s on contract as part of an original 2015 request for four tankers under the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program.

The latest Japanese budget request, released Friday, contained a line item asking for a further $1.05 billion to fund four more KC-46s, which will be for the remaining two aircraft from the 2015 order and another two.

Japan already awarded contracts to Boeing for two KC-46As previously on order, with contracts each for one aircraft worth $279 million and $159 million issued in December 2017 and 2018 respectively. The first contract included additional logistics support, which accounts for the higher cost.

The request for funding for four KC-46As is a departure from normal procedure. Japan tended to place such orders under a rolling acquisition system, with small numbers of aircraft or systems on a year-on year basis. According to the budget request document, the batch order is a more cost-effective means of acquisition, resulting in $100 million worth of savings.

The addition of the KC-46s will significantly enhance the aerial refueling capabilities of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, of JASDF, which operates four Boeing KC-767 tankers at Komaki Air Base near the city of Nagoya, west of Japan’s capital Tokyo.

The KC-46s will be incorporated into a new JASDF unit and will also be used in a transport role.

The tankers will be compatible with the JASDF’s existing F-15J/DJ Eagle fighter jets, most of which are set to undergo an upgrade to improve electronic warfare and multirole capabilities.

The tankers will also complement the Lockheed Martin F-35A/B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters. Japan has ordered 157 F-35 jets, including 42 "B" models, which have less of an endurance than the "A" model because of the former’s short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing capability.

The Japanese government is placing more emphasis on the defense of remote southwest islands such as the Senkaku group, situated in the East

China Sea approximately 550 miles from the Japanese mainland and whose ownership is disputed by China.

Japan’s armed forces are stepping up their role in regional security and are increasing their involvement in training activities alongside partners such as Australia. They are also working to improve the ability to conduct aerial refueling as well as move cargo and personnel over long distances.
Major War Game To Jolt 4 Services, Force Decisions
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/major-war-game-to-jolt-4-services-force-decisions/
An unusually large war-game is always notable.
“Breaking Defense" said:
In conflicts of the future the Pentagon will need some radically new thinking.

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is kicking off a new series of joint war games and exercises this fall designed to figure out how to confront peer adversaries like China and Russia, as military leaders rush to come up with new ideas for how to fight through what one Army general describes as a “hyperactive” battlefield.

The “globally integrated exercises” will include all four armed services, some of the 10 combatant commanders, and several government agencies, who together will try to mesh their various ideas for how to counter threats ranging from information warfare and cyber attacks right up to ballistic missile salvos and potential clashes of fifth generation aircraft.

The idea is that exercise will act as a jolt to the Pentagon’s nerve system, and become “a forcing function where you bring your service concept to the table and see how it operates, and then make compromises from there,” Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, of the Army’s Futures Command told reporters at a Defense News conference today.

“We think we need a solid description of how the joint force sees that [potential future fight] going, and I think that is the next significant effort the services should get after,” he added.

Each branch of the armed services has its own ideas and capabilities for meeting peer competitors, but “what we don’t have is a joint concept that accurately and with rigor describes how the services will fight against a peer adversary,” Wesley said. “That hasn’t been completed yet.”

The idea behind multidomain operations and “being able to connect any shooter with any weapon to any sensor, is not a small challenge,” said Maj. Gen. Mike Fantini, the Air Force’s director of wartime integration. He said in time, if things go as planned, it won’t matter which service operates a particular sensor since the entire armed forces will be networked allowing commanders to “execute thousands of kill chains in hundreds of hours.”

While there are few details available as to the overall scope or specifics of the exercises, but they’re scheduled to take place this month and November, and will help inform how the Pentagon invests in future command and control technologies that will allow the services to quickly share information and communicate, even under the cyber-fog of contemporary combat.

Speaking with reporters at the Pentagon last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Joe Dunford, acknowledged the exercises, saying his office has “scheduled a series of globally integrated exercises with participation from across the US government interagency to refine our plans” and help Defense Secretary Mark Esper develop new war plans.

The exercises come at a time of huge leaderships changes at the Pentagon, with Dunford stepping down at the end of this month and Army Gen. Mark Milley assuming the role of chairman on Oct. 1. The two exercises will bookend that changeover, and it is unclear if Milley will have a different vision than Dunford and his staff as to how the event is run.

The war-game will likely inform some hard choices over how the Pentagon will equip its future forces and help decide which sacred cows are slaughtered. “Everybody loves the future force” Maj. Gen. Michael Fantini, director of the Air Force’s Warfighting Integration Capability, said today.

“The challenge is what are we going to stop doing in order to pivot the future.”

The Army has already found tens of billions in savings by hosting the well known “night court” sessions over the past two years to slash and burn programs that had to be jettisoned in order to invest in future capabilities. SecDef Esper, who chaired those meetings while leading the Army, has indicated he wants to do something similar as the Pentagon’s new leader.

The Marine Corps is already questioning the value of the amphibious fleet in getting Marines to the fight, and are currently looking for ways to get their troops — and F-35s — away from large bases and onto smaller, austere camps where they’re more agile, and harder to find and target.

But underpinning all of this are secure networks that can survive sophisticated electronic attacks, while connecting manned and unmanned systems in the air and sea, with ground troops dispersed over hundreds of miles of contested territory.

Currently, “all of these [networks] are controlled at different echelons and by different services,” Wesley said. “You can very quickly see if you want to rapidly integrate all domains in order to take advantage of opportunities on a very lethal battlefield, you need a different type of C2 structure.”

Back in the days of AirLand Battle, all the services would bring their contributions, and it would take days to synchronize communications and planning. But the future battlefield “will be sufficiently hyperactive that we can’t wait for that kind of industrial approach to synchronization,” he added.
Name and Shame Time:
The neo-Nazi boot: Inside one Marine’s descent into extremism
Folks, this has it all:
Quotes from the SPLC and ADL.
Radicalization via racist gamers.
Charlottesville and Unite the Right.
Attomwaffen and spooky internet Nazis
And one edgy but largely harmless manlet.
“Shawn Snow said:
Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 5.39.45 PM.png
The former Marine junior ROTC cadet and North Carolinian was interested in communism and antifa before he joined a neo-Nazi organization known as Atomwaffen Division — an organization described by some as a terror group.

His ideology has drifted across a spectrum of contradictions from antifa — a group whose name stems from “anti-fascists” and is known to use violence against those it deems fascist or supremacist — to a hate group prepping for a race war and the collapse of the U.S. government.

Marine Lance Cpl. Vasillios G. Pistolis ultimately was booted from Corps mid-summer 2018 for his ties to a hate group. But, his ability to enlist in the Corps highlights a challenge to the military recruiters armed with few tools from records checks to interviews to keep supremacists out of the ranks.

An investigation into his hate group ties by Naval Criminal Investigative Service — obtained by Marine Corps Times through a government records request — reads like a psychological evaluation into extremist thought and behavior, detailing his own path to radicalization and views on various hate groups.

In June 2018, Pistolis was sentenced before a military court to 28 days confinement, reduction in rank to E-1 and forfeiture of two-thirds pay for one month. He was booted from the Marine Corps in July 2018.

Military officials told Marine Corps Times that Pistolis required no waivers to enlist in the Marine Corps, except a minor medical exception.

Pistolis had no physical paper trail or a criminal background that would connect him to radical groups or extremist ideologies.

That was until a bombshell 2018 ProPublica story exposed his online chat logs and participation in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

It was Pistolis’ digital fingerprints that became his downfall, when his commitment to extremist notions was laid bare.

An NCIS cyber review of Pistolis’ confiscated laptop found 279 webpages, 1279 Google searches, 17 videos and six Facebook photos of “evidentiary value,” according to the investigation.

Alarming terms such as “mini 14 supressor,” “balaclava,” “mini 14 anders brevik,” “mini 14 folding stock,” “north hollywood shooters equipment,” “north hollywood shootout museum,” “skull mask,” among others, were found in Pistolis’ search history.

Anders Behring Breivik is a far-right extremist responsible for the July 2011 terror attack in Norway. Breivik killed eight people in a bombing in Oslo and shot up a youth camp on Utoya island, killing 69.

The search term “north Hollywood shooters equipment” may refer to the 1997 shootout between the Los Angeles Police Department and heavily armed bank robbers Larry Phillips Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu. The bank robbers were killed in the shootout and 11 police officers were wounded.

Pistolis’ searches on Amazon and eBay showed he was interested in a vintage fiberglass hockey goalie mask, U.S. Army improvised munitions, U.S. explosives demolitions handbooks, an Ak-AKM rifle builders manual, a gun silencer manual and a sports Ruger mini-14 scope mount.

The search terms are troubling, especially in light of a 2008 FBI report that warned of extremist groups infiltrating the U.S. military to exploit training that could help lone wolfs to carry out violent acts.

A report from the Anti-Defamation League said 2018 was the “fourth-deadliest year on record for domestic extremist-related killings since 1970,” in the U.S.

Pistolis’ path to extremism may have started around 2012

Lance Cpl. Vasillios G. Pistolis told investigators that while he was in middle school in Charlotte, North Carolina, he became interested in antifa and communism through a friend.

He said he knew of some Ku Klux Klan members at the time, but his first conversation with a national socialist was through Xbox live — the online video game portal for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console.

But it wasn’t until President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 when Pistolis began to view communism and antifa as “stupid,” he told investigators.

At a Trump rally at an unknown location in 2016, Pistolis claimed he was assaulted by a member of antifa. This was all before Pistolis joined the Corps.

At that time in his life, Pistolis told investigators that he considered himself a conservative or a patriot, and then drifted toward libertarian views.

While in the Corps, Pistolis started researching the “Unite the Right” movement, fascism, national socialism and National Bolshevism.
He then attended “Unite the Right” rallies in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Charlottesville in 2017.
Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 5.47.19 PM.png
The Charlottesville rally turned deadly when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into counterprotestors, killing Heather Heyer.
Fields, who is alleged to have ties with neo-Nazis, was convicted of first-degree murder, among other charges, and was sentenced to life in prison.

Pistolis said he joined Atomwaffen in 2017 for “shock value.” He described the group to investigators as a “prepper group for the collapse of the United States government,” and said that the “government will collapse and there will be World War III.”

The Anti-Defamation League characterizes Atomwaffen as a “small neo-Nazi group whose members are preparing for a race war to combat what they consider the cultural and racial displacement of the white race.”

Pistolis said he left Atomwaffen in October 2017, describing the leaders of the group as Satanists who purposely leaked his chat logs to ProPublica.
At an October 2017, “Unite the Right” rally in Tennessee, Pistolis told investigators he met the leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, or TWP.

The Southern Poverty Law Center described TWP as a “neo-Nazi group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems.”

But Pistolis described himself as a “nationalist” to investigators and that he did not want white supremacy.

He characterized militia groups as “live action players,” called the Three Percenters “f*cking gay,” and said that the Vanguard hate group was “pretty much dead.”

The Three Percenters came out of the 2009 militia resurgence following the election of President Barack Obama, the ADL says. The group believes only 3 percent of colonialist fought against the British during the Revolutionary War.

“Three Percenters view themselves as modern day versions of those revolutionaries, fighting against a tyrannical U.S. government rather than the British,” the ADL website states.

The ADL says that the Vanguard hate group “opposes multiculturalism and believes America should be an exclusively white nation.”

Problems for recruiters

Pistolis’ drift toward extremism was largely hidden in the cyber realm, which creates a vexing problem for the U.S. military and recruiters seeking to block the entrance of supremacists into military.

“The digital footprints afford some of the best insights into whether or not someone is already expressing some kind of commitment to extremist ideology,” John Horgan, a professor at Georgia State University. He is also the author of “The Psychology of Terrorism.”

But, Horgan admits, providing those tools and authorities to the U.S. military to screen potential recruits would raise a number of questions about privacy and freedom of speech.

Marine Corps Recruiting Command says the screening process for “aberrant thinking and behavior” is a “multi-layered” approach that involves police records checks, records of convictions and a signed statement and screening form that addresses gangs and racist or extremist organizations and activities.

Whether those tools are sufficient and whether the military understands the social dynamics and psychology underpinning young Americans’ recruitment into extremist groups is questionable.

Pistolis had no criminal background, his earlier political viewpoints while in school in Charlotte were polar opposites until after Trump’s election.

His radicalization process occurred silently online and continued into his entry in the Corps.

“The problem here is that we often place too much emphasis on the ideology, and we think that will tell us something about the motivation,” Horgan said.

“People can become involved in extremism irrespective of what shade it is or ideology,” Horgan explained.
Pistolis’ shift from antifa to a neo-Nazi organization is not surprising to Horgan. He says “extremism is full of contradictions.”
Many extremists are “drifters,” the ideology is often less important than the psychological and social benefits to belonging to a group, according to Horgan.

And “with that comes a pressure to prove oneself” and a “natural eagerness to please, and with the right circumstances that can sometimes result in greater lethality,” Horgan said.

That social and psychological dynamic is valuable to movements like Atomwaffen that may “sense opportunity” from an operational and messaging perspective, Horgan said.

It’s a scenario he says has played out many times, “whether it’s Westerners joining the Taliban or English Protestants joining the IRA [Irish Republican Army].”

“It isn’t always about expressing beliefs,” that often can be faked, Horgan said.

Military accountability

Pistolis’ case is similar to a number of Marines outed in 2018 and 2019 by cyber activists doxing white supremacists’ identities online.

In May, Lance Cpl. Piercy was administratively separated from the Corps for his ties to a hate group, according to Maj. Roger Hollenbeck, a Marine spokesman.

Piercy, who was assigned to 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, was under investigation after leaked chat logs tied him to Identity Evropa.

The ADL says Identity Evropa “is a white supremacist group that is focused on the preservation of “white American identity and promoting white European culture.” The ADL also claims the group was founded by Marine veteran Nathan Damigo, who received an other-than-honorable-discharge from the Corps in 2007.

And, in June, the Corps said it was booting out Hawaii-based Lance Cpl. Mason Mead following an investigation into racists posts from the Twitter handle @Jacobite_Edward, which espoused Nazi propaganda. The social media account was alleged to be run by Mead.

These are just a handful of cases during the past couple of years. But, the total number of Marines booted for participation in hate groups over any stretch of time is difficult to nail down.

The only data available comes from a letter dated Aug. 24, 2018, from the Pentagon addressed to then-Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

C4 Nazi.jpeg
In June, the Corps said it was booting out Hawaii-based Lance Cpl. Mason Mead following an investigation into racists posts from the Twitter handle @Jacobite_Edward, which espoused Nazi propaganda. The social media account was alleged to be run by Mead. (Screenshot of Tweet from Twitter account @Jacobite_Edward)



According to the letter, obtained by Marine Corps Times, there have been 27 reports of extremist activity by service members over the past five years, and 18 of those service members were “ultimately disciplined and/or separated” from the military.

Ellison requested the data from the Pentagon on U.S. service member participation in extremist groups following reports of Pistolis’ membership with Atomwaffen.

Yvonne Carlock, a spokeswoman with Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, told Marine Corps Times that there is no separation code that allows the Marines to track the number of people booted for ties to supremacist groups.

Many of these Marines are kicked out for failure to abide by a regulation, not specifically for participating in a hate group.

That makes it difficult to know exactly how entrenched the problem is. How many extremists or members of hate groups are slipping through the cracks of the military’s recruitment process?

Carlock did say that reporting requirements in the Corps’ new Prohibited Activities and Conduct policy does provide “some visibility on these offenses.”

“Commanders and Marines alike have the responsibility and opportunity to bring allegations of misconduct to the attention of their chain of command and/or law enforcement personnel for proper investigation and disposition,” Carlock said.

Moreover, the DoD letter to Ellison noted that the Officer of Personnel and Management and FBI signed a memo in November 2009 that gives OPM Federal Investigative Service access to the violent gang file of the National Criminal Information Center.

This access allows further scrutiny of U.S. military recruits who may have potential extremist ties.

Dillon Hopper, the founder of Vanguard America, told Marine Corps Times in 2018 that his organization includes about 200 members across the country. Hooper is also a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan.

He said that his organization includes “many” veterans and some Marines, but he would not disclose the number.

“For their safety, no active duty or reserve members are allowed to affiliate with my organization until their contract is fulfilled and their contract has ended,” Hopper told Marine Corps Times.

Dillon said his beliefs evolved when he was a teenager and “grew” while he was in the Corps as he “witnessed more and more social, societal and cultural decline on the United States.”

“I tolerated certain individuals being allowed into the Marines and allowed to ‘openly’ serve,” Dillon said.

“I tolerated the curtain of guise, the blanket of blatant deception, mindless obedience and senseless violence. I tolerated all that. I didn’t accept it. Tolerance is not acceptance,” Dillon said.

While it is difficult for the military and to track the number of service members booted for ties to extremist groups, military service law enforcement does partner with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to record service members’ participation in extremist groups.

Specialized training in weapons and explosives could provide deadly skills to extremist or supremacist groups. Though, not every service member booted for ties to hate group was packing lethal skills.

But some of the Marines separated from the Corps over the past couple of years had training with explosives and breaching. Mead, for example, was an assaultman with explosives training.

NCIS obtained phone calls from Pistolis while he was confined to the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina brig, which included discussions about getting his guns back, his disdain for journalists, and hate for people “since this happened.”

Pistolis also mentioned paintball, soccer and potentially leaving the U.S. to go to Greece.
Honorable mention: The headline is clickbait, but the article is almost passable:
Explainer: Why our Founders made sure Trump can’t suspend Congress

Feel free to ask questions, I (or someone else) will probably be able to get you some sort of answer (maybe not quickly however).

Also, if you have any other (free) news source you would like me to add to my rounds (or just generally recommend), let me know.

That's all for today folks.


EDIT:
Forgot one:
SecDef Esper OKs $3.6 Billion Of DoD $$ For Trump’s Border Wall
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/secdef-esper-oks-3-6-billion-of-dod-for-trumps-border-wall/
“Breaking Defense" said:
PENTAGON: Defense Secretary Mark Esper agreed to pull $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build 175 miles of walls and barriers along the US southern border, the first half of which will be available immediately for transfer to the Department of Homeland Security.

The decision, which was made today, clears the way for the first $1.8 billion. The first tranche of funding was originally slated for construction projects overseas, and Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters today that foreign governments and US embassies overseas are currently being notified.

The remaining $1.8 billion in military construction funds, originally slated for domestic construction efforts, will be tapped if there’s a need for more money after the original $1.8 billion runs out.


Members of Congress in affected states and districts are being notified, and more details will be available once those conversations have wrapped up, Pentagon officials said.

In total, the work covers 175 miles of wall and barriers across DoD property, federal and private property, though defense officials did not break down how much construction will occur where. Esper gave the green light for 11 projects overall. None of the money the Pentagon is handing over will be pulled from family housing, projects already awarded or from fiscal 2019 funds. All were slated to be funded in 2020 or later, Hoffman said.


The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to award the first contracts within weeks, with construction beginning in three to four months time.

President Trump issued an emergency declaration in February in order to free up cash for his controversial border wall, which he had promised would be paid for by Mexico. Congress rejected the transfer of funds, triggering the partial government shutdown earlier this year.


The loss to military construction accounts comes as many of the armed services continue to struggle with readiness issues, particularly the Navy, and as the Pentagon is looking to spending billions to repair bases in North Carolina and Florida after a series of hurricanes smashed buildings and flooded the grounds.

It didn’t take long for Democrats to criticize Esper’s decision.

Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the move ”a bid to shift power away from Congress to the president. Clearly, this administration is trying to circumvent Congressional authority…Defense spending is supposed to be for national defense. There is no credible reason to divert these funds and doing so in this manner could disrupt national security efforts.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — chair of the House Armed Services Committe’s military construction committee — tweeted that the decision will “weaken our national security by stealing billions from our military, including training & intelligence funds from our soldiers & poaching from critical projects our service members & their families need, including schools.”
 

Kamov Ka-52

Stop staring and my co-axial rotors b-baka~
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
The Jane's link regarding defections from Pakistan and Afghanistan's armed forces seems to be broken. Also, you did already include the article talking about DoD authorizing expenditures on the wall earlier in your post.

Given Japan's (seemingly) continued attempts to increase their ability to project force and the more conservative bent of their governments, I wonder if we'll start seeing more serious rumblings about doing away with Article 9.

Seems a little odd they're giving the B-21 air-to-air capability given that there was supposed to be a fighter that worked in tandem with it. Or did that get cancelled at some point?

[B]In conflicts of the future the Pentagon will need some radically new thinking.[/B] said:
“We think we need a solid description of how the joint force sees that [potential future fight] going, and I think that is the next significant effort the services should get after,” he added.

Each branch of the armed services has its own ideas and capabilities for meeting peer competitors, but “what we don’t have is a joint concept that accurately and with rigor describes how the services will fight against a peer adversary,” Wesley said. “That hasn’t been completed yet.”
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but that seems like something that should have been considered in the last 10 or 15 years, especially given how radically technology has changed the battlefield. I know that we haven't had a Russo-Japanese-esque harbinger of wars to come will look like, and that COIN and low intensity conflicts have been the central focus of military planners for the last 30 or 40 years, but still.

Edit:
I'll start doing that, do you want an @ for every mention there is in the media, or just bigger shit?
Either way.
 

BONE_Buddy

That Defense Sperg.
kiwifarms.net
Short on time today guys. So you get what you get. My apologies, but I am dead tired.

The Jane's link regarding defections from Pakistan and Afghanistan's armed forces seems to be broken. Also, you did already include the article talking about DoD authorizing expenditures on the wall earlier in your post.
Blame Jane’s, They disappeared that article.

And I post all articles the aggregate section and because I am lazy I don’t take them out. Sue me.
Given Japan's (seemingly) continued attempts to increase their ability to project force and the more conservative bent of their governments, I wonder if we'll start seeing more serious rumblings about doing away with Article 9.
Japan probably won’t get rid of it entirely, though Abe (Japanese PM) has been trying to get rid of it for years. Instead it has and will be “reinterpreted” to allow more aggressive “defensive” weapons. Kind of like things in the US constitution that certain people don’t like, except that article 9 is objectively bad for the Japanese (and their allies).
Seems a little odd they're giving the B-21 air-to-air capability given that there was supposed to be a fighter that worked in tandem with it. Or did that get cancelled at some point?
They discovered stealth fighters have an inherently short range… I wish I was joking. The Idea was there but didn’t get very far.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but that seems like something that should have been considered in the last 10 or 15 years, especially given how radically technology has changed the battlefield. I know that we haven't had a Russo-Japanese-esque harbinger of wars to come will look like, and that COIN and low intensity conflicts have been the central focus of military planners for the last 30 or 40 years, but still.
You would think, but from what I hear, that is not the case. There were continuous “updates” and “revisions” to old plans. But there really hasn’t been a bottom up combined review/remake of plans and contingencies for a great power war recently.

The key word here is “combined”. Major plans like this take a fuckton of time to integrate and get people to agree on. Seriously, It will take a couple of years for this to work its way through.
“Military Times Crap" said:
“Defense Releases" said:
“Defense News" said:
“Defpost" said:
“DVIDS" said:
“Defense Blog" said:
“AFCEA" said:
“Alert 5" said: