Saturday, November 23, 2013

Industry In Charge

In an interview (1) with Real Clear Defense (RCD), CNO Greenert expressed concern about the Navy’s lack of anti-ship weaponry.  As RCD reported,

“Greenert said that while he is comfortable now, it’s “reasonably fair” to say there is a real long-term concern about being out-sticked in the future. “I’m not dissatisfied, let’s just say impatient in the near term to get something out there with what we have. Industry can come up with some pretty interesting payloads pretty quickly, and I’d like to see what they’re going to do in the nearer term. “
The Navy chief emphasized that the military does not “think of things like, ship-to-ship, air-to-air,” but rather places emphasis on systems. But he acknowledged “the need is there to deliver something from the ship.” “

Greenert’s statement demonstrates exactly the point I’ve been hammering on for some time, now, with regard to the Navy’s lack of in-house expertise.  He notes that “Industry can come up with some pretty interesting payloads …” and wants “… to see what they’re going to do in the nearer term.”

The Navy wants to see what industry is going to do about our national defense and about the Navy’s capabilities!?!  Not only does the Navy no longer have the expertise to design weapons and systems in-house but they don’t even have enough grasp of strategy, tactics, and requirements to come up with a list of requirements to present to industry for development.  The Navy should be telling industry what to build not waiting to see what industry comes up with and hoping it meets a need.

Aside from my absolute disgust with Navy leadership, we also can see a system that is ingrained with an industry-first bias.  A company is going to propose and develop the products that it can make a larger profit on and that enhance and support its existing product lines rather than developing weapons and systems that are actually needed.  That’s understandable.  That’s why industry exists – to make a profit.  That’s also why, when you approach industry, you tell them what YOU want rather than having them tell you what THEY will give you.  If a company can’t deliver what you want you go to another company that can.

This is incompetence and irresponsibility on a scale that makes our naval forefathers roll over in their graves.  This CNO hasn’t got a clue how to run a Navy.


(1) Real Clear Defense, Justin Walker, 19-Nov-2013, “Navy Chief Impatient To Avoid Being Out-Sticked”,

2 comments:

  1. Do you not think it is a play by the CNO to soften up Congress to authorise the production of a new ASuW, either the LRASM or the Tomahawk ESM.

    The Lockheed LRSAM based on the AirForce AGM-158B JASSM-ER is a vehicle for the BAE Systems (originally Sanders Associates New Hampshire) who have developed a multi-sensor guidance package which DARPA seem taken with and so came up with the funding. It has been undergoing captive-carry flight tests on a Sabreliner testbed since mid-2012. LRASM is designed to reduce dependence on ISR platforms, with a data link and if necessary no GPS navigation for targeting in the electronic-warfare environment expected in any future war with China. Autonomous guidance should allow the missile to use less precise cueing data to find its target, and innovative terminal survivability approaches and precision lethality to defeat countermeasures and destroy that target,

    The Tomahawk ESM is Raytheon's competitor and I would think favorite as it is already in service missile with the Navy. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly if you were more cynical Raytheon released a more detailed technical write which appeared last month, the BAE System for LRSAM it appears is still classified. A write up from http://mwrf.com/systems/tomahawk-missile-s-esm-seeker-uses-em-signature-track-targets
    Recently, Raytheon completed field tests of an advanced ESM seeker to be installed as part of the improvement program. That seeker incorporates a next-generation processor and antenna, which are capable of locating and tracking both fixed and moving targets by following their electromagnetic (EM) signature. It also can track multiple targets at once, although the specific number is classified. A wideband conformal array consisting of 16 antennas is utilized— each providing broad frequency coverage and angular direction finding for the active-radar-homing (ARH) solution. The antenna also boasts conformal receive elements and high-precision angular DF accuracy.

    In addition, the upgrade includes a two-way satellite data-link, enabling a strike controller to redirect the missile in-flight to preprogrammed alternate targets or more critical targets. The seeker uses an ultra-high-frequency (UHF) satellite-communications (satcom) system, which is carried by the DoD UHF Follow On System. That sitcom system provides two-way data communications including in-flight health and status and mission or target re-assignments. The satcom system is set to be enhanced over the Tomahawk’s re-certification and re-manufacture program from 2017 to 2019.

    In the field tests, the seeker was validated in a realistic, high-density environment after seven months of testing in anechoic chambers. Using a high-power processor, the passive sensor successfully identified a target with accurate direction finding and location. A captive flight test of the technology is scheduled for December/January 2013. An added active RF channel is planned for 2014. The multimode technology is expected to enable the Navy’s Surface Action Group to fire Tomahawks from sanctuary and defeat mobile threats at a long range.

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  2. /Dumb Question/
    Back in 'the day' was BuShips actually doing things like designing the Iowa guns and building them?

    I'd like to see something like that happen today, but to me that is a long term goal. In the meantime, I wonder if we could break up some of our defense contractors.

    I see real problems with the way we have just a couple Mega Contractors who have a ton of lobbying ability. The way the F-35 is spread out across the nation is very suspicious to me.

    In the short term, can we work on breaking up our defense contractors and using foreign purchases, if necessary, to help fill gaps we don't have, for smaller things like missiles? Is there enough money out there to support split up contractors?

    Handing all of the R&D to the megacorps is a problem. It leads to delays and cost overruns. Lets try to mix it up a bit.

    I still remember reading an article on how Rickover was just doom to contractors. He had a clear idea of the ships he wanted, but he also seemed to be very protective of the taxpayers.

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