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Friday, October 13, 2017

Twice the Firepower at Extended Range

Raytheon’s DeepStrike™ system delivers overmatch at a fraction of the cost



Emerging enemy threats—primarily, the use of long-range rockets against infantry and armored formations at extended ranges—put the traditional U.S. and coalition advantages on the battlefield at risk.
This threat, coupled with an aging U.S. long-range rocket inventory, could jeopardize combat forces in a future conflict. A threat of this nature hasn’t existed in such a way since the height of the Cold War.
“Near-peer” adversaries are quickly evolving into pure peer threats, equipped with weapons and capabilities that they didn’t have even five years ago.
Using advanced long-range weapons, an enemy attack on allied forces could begin with a volley of long- range rockets deep into our territory.
To overcome and defeat this threat, Raytheon is developing a long-range missile system, DeepStrike, for the Army’s Long-Range Precision Fires requirement. DeepStrike will allow the Army to field twice as many missiles compared to the aging ATACMS system on its existing launch vehicles.
Thin and sleek, it will fire two missiles from a single weapons pod at half the cost per missile compared to ATACMS. The new missile also flies farther, packs more punch and has a more accurate and robust guidance system than ATACMS.
“Raytheon can develop, test, and field this new capability and we are working with the Army to deliver our LRPF solution sooner than original estimates,” said J.R. Smith, Director of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Advanced Land Warfare Systems directorate. “LRPF provides soldiers on the battlefield overmatch against adversaries.”
The DeepStrike missile system is primarily meant to attack a wide range of fixed ground targets deep beyond enemy lines.
Because current missiles have limitations in range and other important LRPF requirements, a simple life-extension program cannot address long-term threats.
Along with increased firing capacity, the DeepStrike system boosts range over existing weapons by 40 percent. Earlier this year, Raytheon entered the technological maturation stage of the LRPF program. Drawing from its experience producing advanced weapons systems, Raytheon will deliver initial DeepStrike system rounds for Army evaluation within the next 24 to 30 months.
Delivering new capabilities on this timeline will enable the U.S. Army and its allies to maintain to superiority against adversaries—a concept known as overmatch.

The Trouble With Arming Ukraine

Sending Lethal Weapons Would Backfire



It’s long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the lethal defensive assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression,” said Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) in August—and not for the first time. McCain is arguably the most influential person in Congress on national security matters, so his words carry weight. But his is hardly a lone voice. Others, including John Herbst, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from mid-2003 to mid-2006, and Alexander Vershbow, an experienced American diplomat and deputy general secretary of NATO from early 2012 until October 2016, agree with McCain. So do former President Bill Clinton’s deputy secretary of state, Strobe Talbott, and a cluster of diplomatic and national security luminaries, who came out of the gate early on this issue in a report released in 2015.
The efforts of these individuals haven’t been in vain. U.S. President Donald Trump will soon decide whether to implement their proposal, and key members of his national security and military team favor doing so, according to recent statements from General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Kurt Volker, Trump’s top negotiator on the Ukraine crisis. Defense Secretary James Mattis has confirmed that the option was being “actively reviewed.”
Those who call for sending lethal arms to Ukraine (the United States and some of its NATO allies already train Ukrainian troops, and the United States has been providing nonlethal arms to Ukraine to the tune of $300 million in 2016 alone) claim that American weaponry will strengthen Kiev’s hand and compel Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate a just political settlement that ends the war in Ukraine’s Donbas region. 

The Finnish Model

To Improve Europe’s Militaries, Look North



When Mikael Granlund was called up for service in Finland’s military seven years ago, he could have tried to get an exemption. For an elite ice hockey player such as Granlund, who now plays for the National Hockey League team Minnesota Wild, a year in the armed forces can bring serious athletic setbacks. But Granlund didn’t try to be exempted.
“For a Finn, it’s an honor to do military service,” the 25-year-old Granlund said this month. “It’s just something you do if you want your country to stay independent.” What about athletes? “Professional athletes do it, too,” Granlund added. “It’s just something you want to do.”
Granlund is not alone. Each year, several of Finland’s top athletes join the Finnish Defence Forces as conscripts. So do music stars, who could similarly try to be exempted. Though the FDF—like most armed forces—exempts would-be conscripts only for health-related reasons, in many countries young men fake illnesses in order to avoid service. And young star athletes and artists would, one might think, have a good reason to avoid the draft, as their careers could suffer irreparably from a year away from the limelight. (Next year’s cohort of conscripts will include one of the country’s biggest pop stars, Robin, who will enter the navy.)
Indeed, as Granlund’s and Robin’s enlistments show, the FDF has managed a feat that other armed forces could learn from: it has made itself an attractive destination for conscripts and professional troops alike. This helps explain why the armed forces routinely have more applicants than openings for noncommissioned officer positions. According to a May Eurobarometer poll, 95 percent of Finns trust their army, a higher rate than anywhere else in the European Union. (In Germany, 66 percent trust the army; across the EU, the average is 75 percent.)