Do you know what a SLOC is?

Well it stands for Sea Lines of Communications (SLOC) and it’s more important than you may think. in this age of digital worldwide web, we (and our governments) seem to have forgotten how we get our stuff and all the things we need to live from A to B. Yes you may order your things on Internet, through Ebay, Amazon or some fancy Chinese webstores. But the next thing will be to ship it from A(sia) to B (or Europe:) ofcourse most of these goods come to Europe through our Dutch Main port of Rotterdam. Yes im proud of that.

Well just see and observe this visualization of the world’s shipping routes

“Just remember what DutchForce21 is all about. A maritime focus to (Dutch) armed forces, just because this is the reality.”

About 11 billion tons of stuff gets carried around the world every year by large ships. Clothes, flat-screen TVs, grain, cars, oil — transporting these goods from port to port is what makes the global economy go .

And now there’s a great way to visualize this entire process, through this stunning interactive map from the UCL Energy Institute

Some previous articles:

Solutions:

Nederlandse toevoeging:

Iedereen die dit fimpje ziet, begrijpt hopelijk direct waarom Dutchforce21 de krijgsmacht een maritieme focus wil geven! En ook waarom dit op een expeditionaire manier zal moeten… en dus de JSF totaal ongeschikt is!!

Lees de serie:

 

 

Voortgang van JSF huidige stand van zaken

Apetrots zijn ze erop, De JSF komt naar Nederland, en daarmee troeven ze de Farnborough Air Show in Groot Britannië af, die vorig jaar deze primeur voorbij moest laten gaan…. omdat er toen problemen met de JSF waren (ongelukje) en daarom de oversteek niet kon maken. De kans is groot dat het dit jaar wel lukt… maar dat Nederland het voor hun Britse neus wegkaapt…. wauw.

JackdevriesJSF

Voornaamste rol voor JSF… deep strike en vliegend sensor platform.

De overtocht van een JSF is heel goed mogelijk… kijk maar hoe de Italianen het deden door een Italiaans productietoestel over te vliegen naar de VS. met alle logistieke support van dien natuurlijk. Wat een gedoe om één toestel van A naar B(eter) te krijgen zeg! 

A Relatively Short Crossing

The southern route across the Atlantic, through the Azores, is about 7,280 km long, broken down into 3,120 km from Cameri to Lajes (1,675 n.m.) and 4,150 km from Lajes to Pax River (2,240 n.m.)

During the first leg, the F-35 refuelled three times; assuming it took off with a full fuel load, it consumed four fuel loads during the first leg, or an average distance of 418 n.m. per fuel load.

During the second leg, the F-35 refuelled four times and, again assuming it took off with full tanks, the total increases to five, or an average distance of 448 n.m. per fuel load.

It is worth observing that the second leg, which according to official reports was flown with “headwinds of up to 120 knots,” actually used less fuel per mile than the first leg, during which no adverse weather or headwinds are mentioned.

-ends-

Software – Verouderde software en systeem architectuur (bijvoorbeeld Windows 7?)

Er is een hoop gezegd en geschreven over de Joint Strike Fighter en de Nederlandse deelname daaraan. Wij zijn van mening dat er veel niet klopt aan dit project, maar wat telkens weer terug komt zijn de problemen met de software. Het gaat hier te ver om diep in te gaan op wat er dan niet klopt maar het begint al met  het feit dat software voor besturing en EW door elkaar heen geschreven zijn en niet separaat, dit betekend dat als er iets gewijzigd word aan de besturingssoftware dat dit dan gevolgen heeft voor de EW data. De reden hiervoor is dat het concept van de JSF dateert van het begin van de jaren 90. Andere fabrikanten gebruiken een modulaire besturingssoftware waarbij dingen gescheiden zijn. Men kan als het ware apps invoegen naar gelang de missie.

Lees het stukje hieronder over Open systems architecture Bedenk goed de “uiteindelijke JSF productietoestellen voor Nederland stromen in vanaf 2019 is de planning…. en dan vanaf 2023 zou dan de software (en de belangrijkste hardware systemen motoren en Electro Optical System (EOTS) “vernieuwd” moeten worden?)

But Bogdan said the program would require a switch to a so-called open systems architecture by around 2023, which would make it easier to swap out sensors and other equipment on the aircraft in the future. He said the program would draw lessons from the Air Force’s new B-21 long-range bomber program, which is being designed from the start with such an open architecture.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lockkeed-fighter-upgrades-idUSKCN0WP2XB

Het gaat zoals gezegd om een nieuwe motor en EOTS sensor systeem, door Mindef als top of the bill verkocht. En wat lezen we nu?  De JSF moet een nieuwe Update krijgen, en een nieuw Open Architecture System… iets wat standaard is ingebouwd in de Saab GripenE (en zelfs in de huidige C/D variant… eigenlijk al vanaf de A/B). Ik wil hier bij opmerken dat het leuk is om zoals gezegd nieuwe sensorsystemen in te kunnen bouwen. maar er zijn twee beperkende factoren. 1. de Buitenkant van de JSF kan en mag niets aan worden gedaan (STEALTH) en 2. intern is er weinig ruimte… derde mogelijke factor minder waarschijnlijk: sensoren en systemen worden steeds lichter qua gewicht. Het zou dus best mogelijk zijn dat nieuwe sensoren qua gewicht ingebouwd moeten kunnen worden. Punt is wel dat deze systemen wel specifiek voor de JSF moeten worden gebouwd…. andere toestellen kunnen echt modulair worden aangepast wat veel goedkoper is!

Conclusie:  Toestellen als de Gripen zijn door Defensie bestempeld als inferieur, achterhaald, verouderd…. en nu zien we dat de JSF (die al bijna 20 jaar in ontwikkeling is, en ruim 10 jaar in productie) zelf verouderd is voordat ze in dienst genomen kan worden! 

Internet security – Verplicht Uploaden en downloaden info van en naar de VS
Wat we zien bij de JSF is dat er verschillende zorgen zijn die direct invloed hebben op ons hele land. De Nederlandse JSF’s zullen straks voorafgaand aan iedere vlucht en na afloop van iedere vlucht hun data moeten gaan uploaden naar de Verenigde Staten. Alle data is eigendom van de Verenigde Staten, wij mogen het als het ware gebruiken.. Dit brengt echter enorme risico’s met zich mee. Als deze uploads niet gebeuren zijn de JSF toestellen nutteloos. Men kan er niets mee.

The F-35 is entirely dependent on the ALIS system for its maintenance, and on US-based software laboratories for its mission data loads, so that its operation requires secure and high-speed Internet links between its operating bases and the US. 

Korte samenvatting van het artikel is te vinden in een vorige blog. European countries and their quest for sovereignty !

  • USG decided unilateral that all software laboratories should be on US territory, also Operation & Sustainment (O&S) also managed from US territory.
  • The JSF needs permanent data exchanges, before and after every sortie
  • ALIS can, and has, prevented aircraft taking off because of an incomplete data file.
  • the volume of data that must travel to and from the United States is gigantic, and any disruption in Internet traffic could cripple air forces as the F-35 cannot operate unless it is logged into, and cleared by, ALIS.
  • “undersea Internet cables are surprisingly vulnerable.”
  • “Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.”
  • “ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent,”
  • If the F-35 performs as advertised, it should gather very argue amounts of tactical data during each mission – data that it will have to transmit to the software labs in the US so they can be used to update the mission data files, adding another large volume data flow in both directions.
  • The OT&E report mentions that “Maintenance downloads using the ground data receptacle … usually takes an hour, delaying access to maintenance information.” This is an indication of the data volume involved, especially as the upgraded ALIS runs on a standard Windows 7 operating system.
  • “Currently, the pilot debrief timeline is too long as it takes approximately 1.5 hours to download a 1.5 hour flight. This is unacceptable and [we] are in the process of fielding an improved system [which] will decrease the timeline to download mission data by a factor of 8, meaning a 1.5 hour flight will be downloaded in about fifteen minutes,” he told the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces of the House Armed Services Committee on Oct 21.
  • The USG will manage the entire global fleet, and we are bound to their rules. And we will be able to operate only when and where the USG wants us to operate.
  • What we read here should have impact on decision making in Europe within each JSF partner country.
  • The non-U.S. operator will not be able to use its own intelligence data to update the EW system, or the “fusion engine” used to identify targets, or modify the system to defeat cyber threats, without the active cooperation of U.S. personnel in the Reprogramming Labs.
  • Our Aircraft can fly…. but they can’t operate!

Het risico voor ons land moge duidelijk zijn. Nederland zit straks opgescheept met 35 + 2 test JSF, die met name bedoeld is voor strategische bombardementen (en niet Multi Role zoals de JSF lobby altijd heeft beweerd).  Feitenmateriaal, ook uit de VS spreekt dat tegen. bijvoorbeeld voormalig U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command Gen Hostage:

“If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22,” says Hostage to Air Force Times.

Testen – vooruitschuiven of zelfs annuleren van tests om maar de snelle punten te scoren

En dan het voortgangsrapport JSF van onze minister: prachtig al die testpunten bijvoorbeeld. Maar wist je dat ze die overdaad aan punten halen door makkelijke dingen te testen, (die ze naar voren halen) en andere issues te passeren door ze te verschuiven…. of gewoon niet te testen?

Ook de operationele tests en zelfs “computer” simulaties worden volgens ooggetuigen letterlijk beïnvloed: (zie dit verslag aan het Australische parlement)

35 Lt.Col Anker Sorensen (Rtd) (PDF 35 KB) 

 

I’m a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Royal Danish Air force. I have flown the F-16 for 16 years. Been Squadron Commander, Base Commander Operations, Base Commander and Inspector General Flight Safety Armed Forces Denmark. In my career I also worked at Air Force Tactical Command and was responsible for the operational requirements for new fighter aircraft. In this connection I repeatedly took part in simulated flights with Joint Strike Fighter at Wright Patterson AFB in the United States and also in England.

On one of these simulations, I had a Danish test pilot with me. In addition, there were participants from a number of other countries. We also simulated Joint Strike Fighter against Russian fighter aircraft where we flew two against two.

In the forenoon I and the Danish test pilot was flying Joint Strike Fighters against two Russian fighters. In the afternoon we swapped, so we flew Russian fighter aircraft against the Joint Strike Fighter. In the afternoon the first thing the test pilot and I noticed was that the Russian fighters was not loaded with the best air-to-air missiles as the Russians have in real life. We therefore asked about getting some better. It was denied us.

We two pilots complained but it was not changed. My test pilot and I decided in our simulated Russian combat aircraft to fly “line abreast”, but with 25 nautical miles distance. Then at least one of us could with radar look into the side of the Joint Strike Fighter and thus view it at long distance. The one who “saw” the Joint Strike Fighter could then link the radar image to the other. Then missiles could be fired at long distance at the Joint Strike Fighter. It was also denied us, although we protested this incomprehensible disposition.

It was now quite clear to us that with the directives and emotional limitations simulations would in no way give a true and fair view of anything. On the other hand, it would show that the Joint Strike Fighter was a good air defense fighter, which in no way can be inferred from the simulations. We spoke loudly and clearly that this way was manipulating with the Joint Strike Fighter air defence capability. Because of these circumstances, I would not let the Danish Air Force be included as part of the totally misleading/non-transparent results, which alone would show Joint Strike Fighters superiority in the air defence role, which it would not have been against an opponent with missiles with a far better Joint Strike Fighter Submission 35 performance than those who we were given permission to. Also there was given major obstacles in the way flying tactically against the Joint Strike Fighter. We therefore left simulations, returned to Denmark and complained to the Chief of Staff Tactical Air Command and technical manager Air Material Command. Due to these conditions and having insight into what else was going on, attempts were made from the Danish side to get an operational pilot to the Joint Program Office but due to some special circumstances it at that time failed. With my speech, I would like to draw attention to the fact that at least some of the air to air simulations that have been carried out, in no way give a true and fair view of the Joint Strike Fighter in the air defence role. I consider it to be a disaster if simulations as mentioned above are accepted and thus forms part of a possible decision to choose the Joint Strike Fighter.

SO test results in the case of the JSF don’t say anything, if it’s preplanned and according to best outcome of the JSF itself.

Op 11 December kwam  Michael Gilmore, Director, Operational Test and Evaluation Office of the Secretary of Defense met zijn rapport.

On 11 December 2015, Dr Michael Gilmore, in a memorandum (attached) to the Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, officially advised of ‘Concerns with Plans for F-35 System Development and Follow-On Development’; here is the opening paragraph: The current “official schedule” to complete full development and testing of all Block 3F capabilities by 31 July 2017, is not realistic.It could be achieved only by eliminating a significant number of currently planned test points, tripling the rate at which weapons delivery events have historically been conducted, and deferring resolution of significant operational deficiencies to Block 4. In fact, I learned very recently that the program is currently considering reducing by two thirds the number of planned weapons delivery events (per the approved Test and Evaluation Master Plan) for weapons certification. This course of action, if followed, constitutes a very high risk of failing Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E). (My bolding) Under US law, if a weapon system fails Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, it cannot legally go into full-rate production. The USA has cancelled large weapons system after failure to reach required operational capability; examples are the Navy A-12 Avenger II Stealth Fighter / Attack aircraft cancelled 7 January 1991 and the Army RAH-66 Comanche Attack Helicopter cancelled 24 February 2004.

Lezen we hierover iets terug in het voortgangsrapport van Defensie over de JSF?  Nee alleen een terloopse opmerking dat DOT&E nog altijd problemen ziet in de “software” en dat ze claimt dat de Block3F software pas in 2018 bruikbaar zal zijn…. maar dat maakt niet uit, Nederlandse JSF’jes stromen pas vanaf 2019 in en de IOC is gepland voor 2021.

In de tussentijd ligt geen enkel ding de bestelling van de eerste echte 8 “productie” JSF in de weg. Alles gaat zoals het hoort… bij de JSF. Niet goed, maar we doen het toch! Meer hierover op JSFNieuws.nl

Alle logica spreekt tegen de aanschaf van de JSF voor Nederland (andere landen kunnen zowel een bommenwerper als Air Superiority fighter aanschaffen, maar kleine landen kunnen zich dat niet veroorloven.) De meerderheid van de Tweede Kamer kiest dus opzettelijk voor een toestel dat ongeschikt is voor Nederlands gebruik… De luchtmacht wil het toestel graag maar waarom zijn zij niet eerlijk hierover? Deze leugens—- want dat zijn het, men wist het omdat ook de Amerikaanse Luchtmacht het weet! — in combinatie met de oneerlijke manier van kandidatenvergelijking maakt dit tot een democratisch debacle… ten top.

Als je naar het gehele “defensie” plaatje kijkt zijn de gevolgen van de JSF schikbarend. Zie het wegbezuinigen van capaciteiten (om lagere exploitatiekosten te hebben – feit is dat de exploitatiekosten van de JSF die gaten weer opvullen… want 37 JSF kosten meer in exploitatie dan 68 F-16… met minder vluchten per toestel! En het is die Airpower die de verloren gegane gevechtskracht van Landmacht en Marine zou moeten opvangen…. als het er op aankomt!

Ja de Luchtmacht wil de JSF. (al sinds de jaren 90 van de vorige eeuw… nu zo’n 20 jaar geleden alweer.. waarvan de JSF al zo’n 10 jaar in ontwikkeling is.. nog altijd niet operationeel, hoewel de JSF fans dat wel beweren.. maar wat is operationele inzet? Dat is wat onze F-16’s doen, en daar is nog geen enkele JSF toe in staat. Ook die van de USMC niet, die inmiddels de operationele status zeggen te hebben. DOT&E, en GAO spreken dit tegen.. maar toch…)   De Koninklijke Luchtmacht heeft de JSF verkocht als het een echt multirole toestel. Hoewel de VS in al haar publicaties duidelijk is… het is een strategische bommenwerper  die (ongezien zonder enkele bedreiging ) haar doel kan bestoken. Daarvoor hoefde ze in eerste instantie ook geen lange-afstandswapens in te zetten.. Dat is tenslotte het argument van NL JSF lobby ministerie tegen de 4e generatie toestellen, die dat wel nodig zouden hebben inmiddels wil men in de JSF ook dergelijke wapens integreren, en heeft men in Nederland het plan voor een aanvullend wapen….). Multi-rol mn neus dus…. feitelijk (volgens de Amerikanen zelf) is het toestel niet (meer) geschikt/bedoeld voor de twee belangrijkste redenen voor de Nederlandse krijgsmacht. Zoals die altijd geweest is, en zoals dat hoort te zijn voor een relatief klein land, met een relatief kleine krijgsmacht. Zonder deze factoren heeft het hebben van iedere andere capaciteit (in de lucht) nauwelijk zin. Zeker niet omdat ook andere capaciteiten die “gedeeltelijk” in de behoefte zouden kunnen voorzien zijn wegbezuinigd.  (denk aan Tanks, Vermindering van Artillerie denk aan Long-Range Guided Weapons / YPR-PRAT, denk aan de PRTL (mobiel wapenysteem tegen luchtdoelen…)  De twee voornaamste taken van het “luchtwapen” voor Nederland zijn:

1. Luchtverdediging / air superiority zie bv opmerking USAF gen. Hostage over de irrelevantie vd JSF als de F22 vloot er niet zou zijn.

2. CAS… het aanvallen van gronddoelen in rechtstreekse ondersteuning van eigen grondgebonden eenheden.

Voornaamste rol voor JSF… deep strike en vliegend sensor platform.  Met verouderde sensoren en gedeeltelijk stealth maar zichtbaar met IRST (infrarood) passieve radar.. en SMART-L radar van Thales Nederland. (zie uitzending hierover 13:45)  Als het aan Dutchforce21 ligt zou een derde primaire taak aan het “luchtwapen” worden toegevoegd c.q. in ere worden hersteld. De capaciteit om het maritieme gevecht vanuit de lucht te ondersteunen door Maritiem Patrouillevliegtuigen en de beschikking over wapens tegen oppervlakteschepen in een A2/D2 rol.

En dat alles veel te duur in aanschaf en exploitatie. En (mede) verantwoordelijk voor de afbraak van de rest van de krijgsmacht en afhankelijkheid van Airpower 35+2 JSF + 30 Apache helikopters. Die feitelijk niet in staat zullen zijn om 24/7 onder alle omstandigheden te opereren. Bedankt Luchtmacht en JSF lobbyisten, en politici die de JSF mogelijk hebben gemaakt…..!

concurrency explained with a joke!

This isn’t about a train… this is about concurrency.. and in that sense it isn’t funny at all! because the “civilized” world called “the West” under command of the USG and all her Western vassal states promote this as the new way of developing things… with the JSF, LCS and many other great examples of how not to engineer things… but because they have the marketingtools and the US Congress on their side.. they keep on going… on the same track! so much for smart thinking and smart buying.

Watch this movie: Wonderful Engineering

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“The overlap of development with production and operations results in the need to manage a concurrency program and conduct retrofits on jets with life-limited parts or impacts to capabilities. For the F-35 program, concurrency phases out with the completion of SDD. Block 3i DT&E full Certification is planned by 3rd Qtr FY15, and Block 3F DT&E full Certification is planned by 4th Qtr FY17.”

life-limited parts or impacts to capabilities: this means… a costly retrofit…. or downgrade the capabilities of the JSF aircraft.. Both have happened many times. still the RNLAF (and many other)  guys keep on promising mountains of improved capabilities versus 4th generation aircraft. Totally ridiculous isn’t it? but our politicians eat it like sweet cake.

(you can scroll down the list… and this isn’t all, since this report there have been new issues, and there will come a lot more…..and some of the issues are military secrets so aren’t counted in this list. All because of the amazing concurrency..trying to fix a bug in production!

Now look at what this leads to…. in the case of the JSF!

Total cost of corrections to upgrade Block 1, 2 to Block 3 standard US AIR FORCE only (F-35A): US$ 1.389.388 between FY2013 and FY2020

Total cost of corrections due to concurrency US AIR FORCE only (F-35A) : US$ 1.296.458  between FY2013 and FY2020

Source: US DOD, JSF Program Office. http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140310-042.pdf  (page 207-212)

One wouldn’t believe, when you couldn’t read it in an official document, 240 items highest priority only (so, what lower priority items there are????)

Description:

This effort (MN-F3516) funds retrofits due to concurrency changes to correct deficiencies discovered after DD-250 of the last aircraft in a given Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) lot. This includes modifications required to extend aircraft service life currently limited by low-life parts, and relieve capability limitations driven by concurrency of production with development. The concurrency funding line will procure the highest priority modifications from the Tri-Service Modification Prioritization List, as soon as they become supportable from an engineering, production, and installation standpoint. The list is vetted by the Services  and Partners every 6 months to ensure the list accurately reflects existing requirements as well as emerging issues. Per-kit costs will vary for each modification being implemented, and in some cases will also vary for aircraft from different LRIP lots to implement an individual modification. For FY16, the highest priority modifications will directly support USAF IOC, Block 3i, and tactics development. The following modifications will be the highest priorities for accomplishment throughout the F-35A CTOL fleet using funds from this Budget Activity.

Lees verder

a known troubled software program… F-35 Officials Cancel Cyber Test! ofcourse the JSF

Just a small addition from my part. the article on War is Boring blog from the hand of Dan Grazier says enough.

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The military services and defense contractors have a long history of working and lobbying to avoid realistic operational testing of new weapons systems.

…The military services and defense contractors have a long history of working and lobbying to avoid realistic operational testing of new weapons systems. A common claim is that testing of this kind is too expensive and adds unnecessary delays to an already lengthy weapons acquisition process.
In fact, the most recent industry effort to avoid realistic testing resulted in a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act requiring DOT&E to “ensure that policies, procedures, and activities implemented by their offices and agencies in connection with defense acquisition program oversight do not result in unnecessary increases in program costs or cost estimates or delays in schedule or schedule estimates.”

However, these claims are false. The Government Accountability Office recently released an audit showing that operational testing does not cause significant cost increases or schedule delays in major weapons programs.

The Pentagon and defense contractors will continue to avoid independent, realistic testing out of their own self-interest. The GAO said it well in its recent report — “postponing difficult tests or limiting open communication about test results can help a program avoid unwanted scrutiny because tests against criteria can reveal shortfalls, which may call into question whether a program should proceed as planned.”

The JSF is tested on large scale… and it delivers many faults, issues and even some which are probably not possible to make it work. (the result is many times visible in decreasing KPI and technical performance measures). If they continue with a full open vulnerability test of the various software risks.. it could be so obvious the US has to stop the full JSF production… program. This area also touches the sovereignty question i raised time and time again about the JSF. Not only it’s the USG who decides if and when we operate the JSF (fleet consisting of a mere 35 + 2 test aircraft) we are depending on the World wide web to support the ALIS system and send and receive the always needed EW database.. without this the whole aircraft is useless and unable to operate… It probably still is able to fly… just like all “operational” aircraft are able to fly… but an operational aircraft should…. operate and execute missions…right? So besides the our sovereignty is “deliberately” risked and sold to the interests of USG, we also have the high risk of becoming targeted by international criminal, terrorist or foreign hackers. All because the Air Force and Industrial contractors don’t want to risk their program being scrapped (for not or under performing). They just want their money and deliver an seemingly incapable aircraft which will need upgrades from now on to forever.

FIA Saab slide 8

Concurrency increases software risks and vulnerabilities – 
Many (Dutch political parties at least: VVD, CDA, NIFARP, the Dutch Defence industries JSF promo -team (with Mat Herben and many other bobo’s bragging about the JSF’s performance if it was already for real…) and even our own (destructive) influence of experienced fighter pilots of the RNLAF are all claiming that concurrency is the way to go. Our minister from the VVD party will frame the faults, errors and misjudgment and increased costs and time as “normal” to these kind of projects… and her fellow politicians from many parties will accept this for a fact. The strange thing is, there are many programs working fine… according to preplanned timelines and budgets. There can be some cost overruns, and increases of projected O&S costs… that’s not my point. framing these huge… gigantic cost overruns, claims of 40% lower O&S costs, decreasing capabilities (while fighter pilots still claim enormous improvements vs 4th generation fighters…) is based on… thin air. It’s complete nonsense. This card blanche to the Military Industrial Complex is the same reflex we see towards the banking sector… give them all, protect their bad behaviour and performance (they don’t deliver what they promise now do they?) and protect their money grabing cultures. There are always alternatives, whatever our minister is claiming.

These are the facts about the alternatives.

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….. In other words, acquisition decisions can be made based on performance achieved rather than capabilities hoped for.

This article supports my previous article:

European countries and their quest for sovereignty !

…. Clearly the design of ALIS and it’s vulnerabilities is seriously flawed… How can they use so much money and resources and deliberately risk hacks, and thus risking availability of JSF fighters for users concerned. Some countries have several different fighter aircraft. Others, like the Netherlands can only operate one type. the JSF. More on this, read my article: How can Air Force guys (and girls) be so ignorant? they use the OODA Loop… don’t they?

To the War is boring article, some quotes:

Realistic weapon testing has come under assault yet again. The troubled F-35 recently hit another snag when, as first reported by Politico, the Joint Program Office refused to proceed with the required cyber security tests of the F-35’s massive maintenance computer, tests needed to determine the computer system’s vulnerability to hackers.

The JPO argued that such realistic hacker tests could damage the critical maintenance and logistics software, thereby disrupting flights of the approximately 100 F-35s already in service. But that simply raises obvious and disturbing questions about what could happen in combat.

 

In theory, ALIS would identify a broken part, order a replacement through the logistics system, and tell the maintenance crews what to fix. Cyber tests are particularly important for the F-35, which is commonly referred to as a “flying computer.” The plane has approximately 30 million lines of software code controlling all of the plane’s functions, from moving flight surfaces to creating images in its infamous $600,000 helmet.

All this is tightly integrated with the ALIS program, which many consider to be the plane’s largest vulnerability. Should an enemy hack the ALIS system successfully, they could disable F-35 systems in combat, cause disastrous crashes, or ground the entire fleet.

Highly concurrent programs increase the risk that systems built early in the process will require expensive fixes or retrofits after problems are identified during subsequent testing. The Defense Department’s Undersecretary of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics reported to Congress that the costs of concurrency for the F-35 program last year were $1.65 billion. These costs include “recurring engineering efforts, production cut-in, and retrofit of existing aircraft.”

The report hardly painted a flattering picture of the practice.

Concurrent software development issues are hardly new. Frank Conahan, an assistant comptroller with the then-named General Accounting Office, warned against the practice in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1990. Even then, nearly a decade before the Joint Strike Fighter program began, Conahan correctly identified software development as the one of the biggest risks to success in highly concurrent programs.

“If the software doesn’t work, then the weapon system as a whole is not going to work the way it should,” he said.

But because the F-35 is already in multibillion-dollar production employing thousands of people in hundreds of congressional districts, the plane has a great deal of political support. At least, that is the image Lockheed Martin wishes to cultivate.

Parts of the aircraft are built in factories all across the country before eventually arriving in Fort Worth for final assembly. Lockheed Martin says the F-35 relies on suppliers from 46 states and provides an interactive map touting this fact.

The reality is the majority of the work is done in only two states, California and Texas. Several states counted in the 46 have twelve or fewer jobs tied to the F-35. Still, there are precious few politicians willing to cast a vote that will be portrayed as “killing jobs” when campaigning for reelection.

A much better way of doing business is known as “fly before you buy,” the almost universal buying practice in commercial, non-defense procurement. Former Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Tom Christie says when done properly it “will demand the demonstration, through actual field testing of new technologies, subsystems, concepts, etc. to certain success criteria before proceeding at each milestone, not just the production decision.”

In other words, acquisition decisions can be made based on performance achieved rather than capabilities hoped for.

Just read the whole article on the War is Boring blog.

 

 

European countries and their quest for sovereignty !

The news which I will discuss later in this blog is very exciting. To be honest, this is news which I was expecting. This should have political impact all over Europe. But first some thoughts about Europe and why some countries sabotage European cooperation by choosing the JSF. European countries are all holding on to their sovereignty regarding European cooperation. For example the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)  isn’t working because each country has its own agenda, it’s own interests. This is a fact. and for us, the European people this is very hard, because our security and our welfare is at stake. I often use the phrase:

“But there is one single interest all European countries share… we live on the same continent which is under threat at the moment.”

threats to europe

This is the most important interest we, Europeans share… only with European countries. Not with the US, not with South Africa or Brazil, not with Australia or Indonesia. Our governments, including the Dutch Government, have two strange habits.. which strengthen each other.  first, they claim that European countries have their own agenda and interests.. so better cooperation isn’t an option. Then they (at least a lot of the European countries) chose for to prioritize NATO and thus the transatlantic connection. I am very in favor of good relations within NATO. I See European cooperation within the cadres of NATO… don’t get me wrong… But i see it as an equal partner. Not just being some little vassal state… like we are now.  The strange thing is, that these interests should be prioritized by European leaders. But they don’t. These same leaders are also in favour of the devastating TTIP and other big trade deals. Why? Are the interests of industrialists and their shareholders more important than the interests of the European peoples? Can we eat exponential growth? Can we drink debt? Can we fuel our cars on legal disputes? Why do some countries, like the Netherlands, choose to be a vassal state of the United States Government? I say specifically government because i believe in the American people and the land of the free. But I see the USG has changed all that. The things President Eisenhower was warning us for. (Here you can find the written speech of President Eisenhower.)

This is what President Eisenhower warned us about:

…we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

 

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.

But here we are. Completely like a vassal state of the USG, just like the old days:

vassal state is any state that is subordinate to another. The vassal in these cases is the ruler, rather than the state itself. Being a vassal most commonly implies providing military assistance to the dominant state when requested to do so; it sometimes implies paying tribute, but a state which does so is better described as a tributary state. In simpler terms the vassal state would have to provide military power to the dominant state. Today, more common terms are puppet stateprotectorate or associated state.

We give assistance to wars of the USG, didn’t we? Yes we did some good things in Afghanistan, and also in Iraq. But was it really necessary? We had to support the USG, why? because they defend us from Russia? Otherwise we would have spoken Russian today? You think I’m kidding/ This is exactly what many “transatlantic” thinkers are saying to me.. when i ask them why? Shouldn’t we think ourselves where and when, and whom we would fight? What are our interests (except the always important economic interests… of the high society rulers?

Then I read the following article of Giovanni de Briganti @ defense-aerospace.com

The F-35 is entirely dependent on the ALIS system for its maintenance, and on US-based software laboratories for its mission data loads, so that its operation requires secure and high-speed Internet links between its operating bases and the US. 

It is written in the following article see the first paragraphs here:

                US Software Stranglehold Threatens F-35 Foreign Operations

The unilateral decision by the United States to locate all F-35 software laboratories on its territory, and to manage the operation and sustainment of the global F-35 fleet from its territory, has introduced vulnerabilities that are only beginning to emerge. 

The biggest risk is that, since the F-35 cannot operate effectively without permanent data exchanges with its software labs and logistic support computers in the United States, any disruption in the two-way flow of information would compromise its effectiveness.

All F-35 aircraft operating across the world will have to update their mission data files and their Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS) profiles before and after every sortie, to ensure that on-board systems are programmed with the latest available operational data and that ALIS is kept permanently informed of each aircraft’s technical status and maintenance requirements. ALIS can, and has, prevented aircraft taking off because of an incomplete data file.

Short summary article:

  • USG decided unilateral that all software laboratories should be on US territory, also Operation & Sustainment (O&S) also managed from US territory.
  • The JSF needs permanent data exchanges, before and after every sortie
  • ALIS can, and has, prevented aircraft taking off because of an incomplete data file.
  • the volume of data that must travel to and from the United States is gigantic, and any disruption in Internet traffic could cripple air forces as the F-35 cannot operate unless it is logged into, and cleared by, ALIS.
  • “undersea Internet cables are surprisingly vulnerable.”
  • “Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.”
  • “ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent,”
  • If the F-35 performs as advertised, it should gather very argue amounts of tactical data during each mission – data that it will have to transmit to the software labs in the US so they can be used to update the mission data files, adding another large volume data flow in both directions.
  • The OT&E report mentions that “Maintenance downloads using the ground data receptacle … usually takes an hour, delaying access to maintenance information.” This is an indication of the data volume involved, especially as the upgraded ALIS runs on a standard Windows 7 operating system.
  • “Currently, the pilot debrief timeline is too long as it takes approximately 1.5 hours to download a 1.5 hour flight. This is unacceptable and [we] are in the process of fielding an improved system [which] will decrease the timeline to download mission data by a factor of 8, meaning a 1.5 hour flight will be downloaded in about fifteen minutes,” he told the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces of the House Armed Services Committee on Oct 21.

international-maritime-route

For some people this still isn’t clear what the implications are.

  • The USG will manage the entire global fleet, and we are bound to their rules. And we will be able to operate only when and where the USG wants us to operate.
  • What we read here should have impact on decision making in Europe within each JSF partner country.
  • The non-U.S. operator will not be able to use its own intelligence data to update the EW system, or the “fusion engine” used to identify targets, or modify the system to defeat cyber threats, without the active cooperation of U.S. personnel in the Reprogramming Labs.
  • Our Aircraft can fly…. but they can’t operate!

Do we really want to be tight (forced) to this way of operation? With this system every European country, like the Netherlands, which is claiming they want sovereignty concerning EU foreign policy for example are willing to give away full sovereignty over our Air Force… and as we don’t have much more than an Air Force we have no other means.

Taking so much risk with the internet use for ALIS and the reprogramming labs and enormous data flows is incredible because we all know that hackers can… and will attack such systems.

What amazes me is the enormous arrogance of the Transatlantic proponents. Why do they think they are superior. Taking so much risk with the internet use for ALIS and the reprogramming labs and enormous data flows is incredible because we all know that hackers can… and will attack such systems. as the Chinese already have done. A different aspect (and risk) of using a public network infrastructure we know as ‘the internet’ is known in information security communities as “CIA”: confidentiality, integrity & availability. As the widespread and frequent problems of ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks and ‘distributed denial of service’ attacks demonstrate, there are some risks associated with using the internet, despite security measures such as vpn tunneling, encryption, etc.

1455906_743216355796245_3719165153701863531_n

Clearly the design of ALIS and it’s vulnerabilities is seriously flawed… How can they use so much money and resources and deliberately risk hacks, and thus risking availability of JSF fighters for users concerned. Some countries have several different fighter aircraft. Others, like the Netherlands can only operate one type. the JSF. More on this, read my article: How can Air Force guys (and girls) be so ignorant? they use the OODA Loop… don’t they?

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Why Israel Wants the F-15 SE “Silent Eagle” And what it means for the US Air Force

Well this is an interesting view. A long read… as you will be used of me too:)

Technology and Security

by Stephen Bryen

According to news reports, Israel wants the F-15 Silent Eagle. The F-15 Silent Eagle is a stealthy evolution of the F-15 Strike Eagle, which forms the backbone of Israel’s Air Force.

F-15 Silent Eagle F-15 Silent Eagle

Some analysts are surprised Israel would request the Silent Eagle.  But there are good reasons for it: in fact, the reasons are so good that if our Air Force had common sense it would reduce the size of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter buy and get the Silent Eagles for our Air Force too.

There is, of course, both a sort of respect and competition that characterizes relations between the US Air Force and Israel’s Air Force.  And there are differences in mission: Israel is a regional power, not a superpower.  It mostly fights in its own neighborhood; although the Iranian challenge means Israel needs more long range aircraft that can carry a…

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A modest proposal for South East ASEAN own A2/AD

Before you ask… what is A2/AD …. no it’s not a new robot from Star Wars…. it stands for: Anti-access/Area denial. And it’s a big fancy way of saying… a layered defence organisation capable of restricting other nations (especially their military systems) to enter a specific area. for example your own territorial waters (near the Spratley islands….)

The term “Anti-access” (A2) means the action to hinder other nations’ power projection into a theater, while “Area denial” (AD) means the action to hinder other nations’ operation within a theater.

I wrote before about South-East Asia. Bluntly said these (now) peaceful countries are under threat of one big country… namely China. Which would like to incorporate the South China sea within their own territorial waters. Lately I wrote about the Philippines and how they are trying to beef up their military capabilities after years of neglecting and corruption they are bound to change this. Other countries in the South East Asia region are doing this to. They also have established a cooperation for the region. something like the EU. but not as powerful (economically) yet.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.

Island claimes SouthEast Asia Malacca-2

The defence cooperation is a part of this in the form of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM).

The objectives of the ADMM, as outlined in the Concept Paper for the Establishment of an ADMM endorsed at the Inaugural ADMM in Kuala Lumpur on 9 May 2006, are as follows:

 

  • To promote regional peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation in defence and security;
    • To give guidance to existing senior defence and military officials dialogue and cooperation in the field of defence and security within ASEAN and between ASEAN and dialogue partners;
    • To promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness; and
    • To contribute to the establishment of an ASEAN Security Community (ASC) as stipulated in the Bali Concord II and to promote the implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) on ASC
    .

On diverse blogs and forums you can read the signs that the cooperation between ASEAN nations is bound to increase and improve. In my opinion one of these areas which need to be addressed is the acquisition and (joint) development of military hardware. Adoption of joint operational doctrine and procedures (and training).

IMO only the strength and determination of these “smaller” countries together can deter the Chinese will to occupy this area.

Modest proposal
A modest proposal starts with the question what if I had a say in it? What should i do? Well there are some rumours about Saab at the moment. they are quietly delivering proposals to many countries. With attractive offers.

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Interesting news from #Indonesia : Since there is growing interest in South East Asia for what i call the “Thai approach” Im interested what Indonesia will make of this.

Rather than offering only the latest generation of its light, single engine Gripen jet fighter, Swedish defense and security giant Saab throws a complete set of air defense systems.

The offer also includes Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) for maritime surveillance and control; ground-based Command and Control; tactical data link to share data among various platforms; industrial cooperation, including transfer of technology and local production; and extensive job creation, reaching into the thousands.

The Thai approach
Also interesting of course is the offer to Malaysia and Vietnam as well. The Thai approach doesn’t only consist of a very capable fighter (already the C/D standard is internationally very modern and capable.) But also the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) is a very powerful instrument for each country which would like their sovereignty be respected. And at rather low costs as well. I would also like to see the possibility of these countries. Interesting thing to note hear is that all these countries have made their interest clear to buy the (IPTN

ERIEYE_SAAB340

Reasoning behind this?
What if Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia,Vietnam and the Philipines, buy the same affordable Air Superiority fighter with outstanding Anti Ship capabilities (RBS15) + the Airborne Early Warning (and let’s say Maritime Patrol Aircraft versions) of each single country into one joint ASEAN network?

C-295 AEW Erieyeyourfile

CN295 in both transport and C-295 ASW / ASuW. If the Saab Erieye could be integrated on this platform it would safe these countries considerable costs – they already use this platform (not all but this would be possible because they need this transport platform to) To have a common fleet of Gripen Fighters but also a common fleet of Supporting aircraft (Transport – Tanker (just to name it) – MPA – AEW&C – EW/Intel) all combined in one basic platform. Besides the CN295 option there are of course other alternatives as well, each should be looked at their merits. If these countries can take the same Fighters and Supporting aircraft they can also integrate easily the very silent data link which make them more effective in a joint ASEAN vs China situation.

There are some downturns to this CN295 option though. Range and payload for example…. (not the same as an Orion or other real ASuW platform I read somewhere 11 hrs at a 200nm patrol range) But as these aircraft will be used mainly for national sovereignty missions (Air and Sea denial) this could be not a real point. the positive side would be that these aircraft are relative cheap to buy and operate. This means countries can spend more on their payloads (over platforms) which means they can acquire sophisticated Long range weapons, Meteor BVRAAM, etc. to deter an aggressive dominating country like China for example.

IMO only the strength and determination of these “smaller” countries together can deter the Chinese will to occupy this area. IMO this could be a very useful sign of jointness and an effective force….  A force which could make China think twice before it would really attack the region. these thought’s arent that strange. A Japanese Research fellow, Mr. Junichi Fukuda of the Institute for International Policy Studies(IIPS), suggests this same idea… and calls it “mini-A2/AD capabilities” .

The “mini-A2/AD capabilities” hinder the power projection of an adversary by using asymmetrical methods. This could thus be viewed as turning the tables on China for its posture towards the U.S. The “mini-A2/AD capabilities” represent even more vital capabilities for Japan than the U.S., given Japan’s particularly vulnerable position in geography. The principal challenges for Japan and the U.S. in the future would appear to be to efficiently allocate defense resources and to build and share strategies and operational concepts for conflict, according to the approach outlined above. For example, the former requires efforts to optimally allocate the defense resources based on the strategic priority, while the latter requires efforts to build and share a common strategy.

This should be a tool in the overall toolbox of Defence organisations together with boots on the ground, ships in (and under) the water. Only the you can protect your countries integrity and sovereignty.

In the end I come back to the Netherlands… and Europe. This same capability network and thus the ” mini-A2/AD capabilities” could be ours too. Making us less dependent on US And I think it can be done within cost, within timeframe and with enough numbers to be effective and…. deterrent!