Tag Archives: US Navy

Lockheed Martin Completes Critical Milestone to upgrade the Navy’s Electronic Warfare Defenses

lockheed_martin_logoSYRACUSE, N.Y., Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] recently completed a milestone test on the U.S. Navy’s evolutionary Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 system. This test further validated the system’s ability to protect the Navy’s fleet from evolving anti-ship missile threats.

Under SEWIP Block 2, Lockheed Martin will upgrade the AN/SLQ-32(V)2 system found on all U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other warships with key capabilities to determine if adversaries are using electronic sensors to track the ship.

Block 2 obtained a Milestone C decision in January 2013, after which the system began 11 months of land-based testing in preparation for installation on a Navy warship. This test, which successfully completed earlier this month, demonstrated the maturity of the open architecture electronic warfare system by performing full system operation in multiple scenarios.

“We are very proud of the effort the SEWIP team has put into achieving these successes,” said Joseph Ottaviano, director of surface electronic warfare at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training division. “Milestone C is a critical step towards delivering these next generation systems to the Fleet, and we are extremely pleased with the progress and results.”

Block 2 is the latest in an evolutionary succession of improvement “blocks” the Navy is pursuing for its shipboard electronic warfare system, which will incrementally add new technologies and functional capabilities. The Navy competitively awarded Lockheed Martin a contract in 2009 to develop SEWIP Block 2 to upgrade the passive detection capabilities of the current SLQ-32 systems. The company recently completed shore-based testing in preparation for ship installation.

Work on the SEWIP program is performed at the company’s Syracuse, N.Y. facility, which houses a new electronic warfare system test facility that simulates the complex environment submarines, surface ships and aircraft could operate in. By performing testing prior to delivery, the company is able to reduce risk and lower costs for the SEWIP program.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.

You really ought to go home! Navy Pilot Intercepts Iranian Over International Waters.

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The Author with an F4 Phantom II at Fort Snelling MN. The F4 was the workhorse of the US military and is currently in use in the Iranian Air Force.

“You really ought to go home!” were the words of warning from an American F-22 pilot, likely a Navy pilot, to an Iranian Air Force pilot this past March. The F-22 intercepted the F-4 Phantom II aircraft over international waters over the Gulf after the Iranian pilot attempted to engage a US drone there.

 

The Washington Times carried the story this week and PJTV’s Bill Whittle has excellent commentary on it on his hit podcast “Afterburner”. I invite everyone to look at both of these. I also wanted to pile in and comment on this story.

 

My brother first brought my attention to this story. He’s a retired Army Major and served as a space officer in Afghanistan. Here’s the story. The Iranians have been aggressively testing their limits in the region attempting to establish themselves as the dominant power in the Middle East. With the fall of their nemesis, Iraq, Iran feels a power gap in the region and is willing to fill the void. You may remember that Iran and Iraq were engaged in an 11-year civil war, a conflict that was costly in blood and material on both sides and ended in stalemate.

 

Since then Iran has been in a proxy war with us. As Mr. Whittle points out, most of the IED’s, improvised explosive devices have been manufactured by Iranian Quds Force agents operating in Iraq and have been used to target our American Servicemembers there, to costly effect. The Iranian military would love to further embarrass us and damage our credibility in the region, which is why they attack our drones from time to time.

 

In February of 2012 they attacked a drone and downed it, capturing the vehicle. They made another attempt in March, but it didn’t go as planned. Instead, as they were lining up a shot with their internal machine guns, the pilot, unawares, was intercepted by the best stealth fighter in the world, the F-22 Raptor. He literally didn’t see it coming. The US pilot lined up beneath the F-4 to check it’s payload, to ascertain the weapons it was carrying. Then it nonchalantly rolled out to the wingtip of the other aircraft and that is when the US Navy pilot got the Iranian’s attention. The US pilot flipped to the Iranian frequency and warned him in English, the international language of aviation that, “You really ought to go home!” The Iranian complied, tail tucked down between his legs, intimidated by the superior technology of the opponent aircraft and in awe of the sheer skill and aplomb of its pilot.

 

Now Bill makes some eloquent points on why this incident is significant and I’ll let him explain what those are. I would like to add a few more.

 

Sure, the F22 is a special aircraft, there is none like it and they are in short supply, thanks to the Obama administration’s canceling of their manufacture. That matters, but there is something else that matters more. Our political leaders lack in the vision and strength to meet the threats out there and it shows, but our men and women in the military are not lacking in that regard. They have it in spades and as long as we have them, the US is in good hands. What they need to succeed is a real leader in the White House, not the little girly man we have now that rides a little girl’s bike. We were blessed with that kind of leadership when Ronald Reagan occupied the office and for the most part the Bush family kept up appearances. We were lucky to have George W. for the beginning of this new cold war with radical Islam.

 

But, we are backsliding now and the world can feel our lack of leadership. Russia is stepping up and Obama is being easily outmaneuvered by the skill and political savvy of Vladimir Putin.  The influence of Russia, which supports regimes like Iran and Syria, is growing, while the influence of the US is unfortunately shrinking.

 

While we are distracted by the healthcare debate and the economy and jobs, let us remember that we still have real men and women in uniform out there who are holding back the hordes of tyranny all around the world. They need our thoughts; our prayers and they deserve better leadership. They deserve the best training and the best equipment, items like the F22. Next time around, I hope we can pick a leader who is worthy of them.

Rebuttal of liberals’ attack on AirSea Battle

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In 2009, the Secretary of Defense directed the Navy and the Air Force to develop an AirSea Battle concept to deal with increasingly aggressive Chinese behavior and military posture in the Western Pacific, as well as Beijing’s expansive territorial claims that China has threatened to go to war over. The two services completed the work in late 2011 and stood up an AirSea Battle office in the Pentagon.

No sooner had that happened than liberals – who, for decades, have falsely claimed (and continue to) that China is a peaceful state with benign intentions that resolves its disputes peacefully and doesn’t provoke or attack anyone – began denouncing AirSea Battle as a mere justification for weapon systems, a gold vein for the defense industry, and a provocation against China that could lead to nuclear war. Examples of these liberals’ blatant lies can be found here and here.

They falsely claim that:

  • AirSea Battle is an unnecessary and aggressive provocation against a peaceful China which will lead to escalation and to nuclear war with that country;
  • ASB is a mere justification for more defense spending and for weapon systems that the defense industry could make money on;
  • China is a peace-loving, nonaggressive state that resolves its disputes with others peacefully; and
  • China’s defense budgets and military capabilities are nonthreatening to the US, meager, and way behind those of the US; warnings about China’s military are mere “China hype.”

All of their claims are blatant lies. There is not a single shred of veracity to them; their claims are 100%.

Writing recently in The Diplomat, Robert E. Kelly falsely claims that:

“And the U.S. Department of Defense, eager to cash-in on the China hype in an era of sequestration and domestic exhaustion with the “Global War on Terror,” tells us now that the U.S. must shift to an Air-Sea Battle concept (ASB). In a not-so-amazing coincidence, ASB is chock of full of the sorts of costly, high-profile, air and maritime mega-platforms the military-industrial complex adores. China’s single, barely functional aircraft carrier—the second one is not due for awhile—is a god-send to hawks and neo-cons everywhere. Even as the U.S. scales back in the Middle East, defense can seemingly never be cut.”

Those are blatant lies.

China’s aggressive behavior

Regionally, China is trying to dominate the Western Pacific by coercion and if necessary by military force. It has made vast (and ridiculous) territorial claims WRT and around the Senkaku, Spratly, and Paracelsus Islands. It has repeatedly sent submarines and entire flotillas of surface warships into Japanese and Philippine waters to bully those countries into accepting these claims. They have repeatedly threatened war on these countries over those islands, have repeatedly used force to expel the Vietnamese from the Paracelsus Islands, allowed (if not encouraged) Chinese mob attacks on Japanese businesses, and repeatedly threatened (and are quite prepared) to use force to subjugate Taiwan.

(And yet, liberals claim that America is the aggressor and the wrong side here!)

As for China’s global ambitions, one of China’s most prominent political analysts let the cat out of the bag last year in the pages of the NYT. He said that China and the US are in a struggle for world leadership and world influence, and that for him and his fellow countrymen, including China’s leadership, this is a “zero-sum game” (his words, not mine).

Analyst Robert Sutter was absolutely correct when he wrote in 2005 that “China is the only large power in the world preparing to shoot Americans.”

And indeed, the Chinese are vying with the US for influence and world leadership – the world over. In Latin America, they are actively courting that region’s leftist, anti-American dictators, from Rafael Correa to Cristina de Kirchner to Nicolas Maduro to Raul Castro. In Africa, they’re courting governments too – and the US, for its part, is countering that with its own reachout, investments, and trade proposals. (When Barack Obama recently visited Africa, he brought some 500 American businessmen with him.)

In Europe, China has long been lobbying the EU to abolish its arms embargo against China, so that the PLA could get access to Europe’s top-drawer weapons. And in Asia, in addition to bullying the above-mentioned allies and partners of the US, China has been significantly (and covertly) aiding North Korea with ICBM launchers (the ones first displayed in 2012, supplied by China’s CASIC company). Moreover, China has been supplying anti-American terrorists with weapons, including MANPADS, and has extended diplomatic protection to Syria, Iran, and North Korea – the most anti-American regimes on this planet.

In the outer space, China has blinded a US satellite with a laser (in 2006) and has tested two ASAT ballistic missiles: one (SC-19) in 2007 and another one (the Dong Ning 2) last May. Internal PLA documents reveal plans of waging massive (and integrated) warfare against the US in cyberspace and the outer space, including attacks on US satellites, which, as China knows, are very vulnerable to kinetic hits and jamming. Internal PLA documents also call for destroying eight US GPS satellites, which would cripple the US military’s communications, navigation, and weapon guidance capability.

So yes, the Chinese ARE trying to forcefully expand their territory and unseat the US as the world’s top power. And they ARE preparing to wage war against the US.

China’s military: far more powerful than you may think

And their military capabilities are growing rapidly, and are already close to matching and surpassing those of the US – with or without sequestration of America’s defense budget. China currently has, inter alia:

– enough ICBMs to deliver over 460 nuclear warheads to the US, plus 6 SSBNs with further dozens of SLBMs, again multiple warhead;

– over 1,600 SRBMs and over 140 MRBMs, as well as numerous GLCMs and 120-160 cruise-missile-capable H-6 bombers, to destroy targets inside both the First and the Second Island Chain;

– potent cyberwarfare capabilities that have repeatedly and successfully attacked US cyber networks and stolen the design docs for dozens of American weapon systems;

– carrier-killer DF-21 ASBMs and 500 carrier-killer SS-N-22 Sunburn ASCMs, as well as hundreds of ASCMs of other types (notably the SS-N-27 Sizzler and the Yingji family);

– about 100,000 naval mines;

– 63 nuclear- and conventional-powered submarines of all types (BM and attack), most of them being quiet attack submarines;

– over 500 modern 4th generation aircraft, such as the J-10, J-11, Su-27, and Su-30, superior to everything the US has except the F-22 and the F-15, plus hundreds of upgraded J-8 interceptors and lightweight, very maneuverable (though aging) J-7 (MiG-21) fighters;

– dozens of modern and well-armed DDGs and FFGs, most notably the Type 052, the latest variant of which, Type 052D (AKA the Chinese Aegis) is more capable than any destroyer currently being built by the US;

– anti-satellite weapons, including up to 24 ASAT missiles and 3 recently-launched ASAT satellites (yes, there is such a thing – these PRC satellites would engage US satellites in orbit and damage or destroy them);

– between 1,600 and 3,000 nuclear warheads (depending on whether you ask Gen. Viktor Yesin or Professor Philip Karber);

– the second largest military budget in the world, which has been growing at double digit rates for the last 24 years uninterrupted, to $235 bn this year (without even accounting for PPP differences), and shows no sign of slowing down;

– the largest and most active ballistic missile program in the world according to USAF intelligence (NASIC);

– and the largest and most capable ground army in the world.

On top of all of that, China is currently developing, among other things:

– TWO medium range stealthy fighter/strike aircraft, the J-20 and the J-31, BOTH of which will, when commissioned, be superior to every other fighter on the planet except the F-22 and the PAK FA; the J-20 is due to enter service 4-5 years from now;

– a carrier-capable fighter (the J-15, already tested numerous types on the Liaoning aircraft carrier);

– a new, long-range anti-ship missile called the HN-2000, with a planned range of 3,000-4,000 kms;

EMP weapons which, if detonated above the US, could instantly set the US back to the Stone Age;

– new ASAT weapons;

– a stealthy, intercontinental, nuclear-capable bomber.

In addition, China plans to build SEVERAL new aircraft carriers – in the 100,000 ton league of the Nimitz class – and create entire carrier battle groups, as has been confirmed by Chinese shipbuilding companies and PLAN admirals.

So China’s military capabilities are already awesome – and they will overtake America’s before long. So now, ASB was NOT developed in “a foreign policy vacuum”, is NOT provocative or aggressive, and is well justified. It is merely a response to China’s ever-more-belligerent actions, both in the Western Pacific and around the world, and its rapid military buildup that long ago exceeded China’s legitimate self-defense requirements.

ASB is NOT a gift to the defense industry

As for the claims that ASB is a gift to the “military-industrial complex” and that the DOD just wants to get more funding based on “China hype” – those are also blatant lies. There is no such thing as the “military-industrial complex”, and the DOD knows full well that its budget will decline significantly under any scenario. ASB is designed to help the DOD counter the real and growing Chinese threat in an era of quickly declining defense budgets – which means tight cooperation between the services, among other things.

This was the ASB concept’s authors’ challenge from the start: how to counter the Chinese threat (and other A2/AD threats) in an era of rapidly declining defense budgets.

As for the platforms required by ASB – they don’t have to be (and probably won’t be) expensive, and they have been singled out by the DOD and the CSBA because they are the ones needed to win wars of the future – especially in the vast expanses of the Pacific, but also in the Middle East, whee US military access to warzones and to in-theater bases is under doubt.

Liberals: “Let’s be weak! Weakness leads to peace; strength is provocative!”

Liberals, including Kelly and Etzioni, falsely claim that AirSea Battle is a needless, aggressive “provocation” against China which, they claim, will lead to unnecessary escalation and to nuclear war.

This is utterly false too, and it’s essentially a claim – which the Left has been perpetuating for decades – that military strength is provocative and leads to war while weakness leads to peace.

But, as all human history shows, the CONVERSE is true: it is military WEAKNESS that is provocative, while military strength safeguards peace and prevents war – as Ronald Reagan showed during the 1980s, while Carter’s military weakness only led to a more warlike and less peaceful world. Indeed, throughout the 1970s and 1980s the Left, including RINOs within the GOP, falsely claimed that Reagan’s peace through strength policies, especially his reconstruction of the US military, would lead to nuclear war with the Soviet Union. History, of course, proved them dead wrong once again.

Nowadays, China, like the former Soviet Union, is conducting a military buildup that long ago exceeded China’s legitimate self-defense capabilities, challenging the US to an arms race, and bullying America’s allies – even threatening war over territorial claims and engaging in naval standoffs against US allies. It is also supplying Islamic terrorists with weapons and North Korea with ICBM launchers.

Liberals claim ASB will spark an arms race, but China is ALREADY engaged in such a race against the US – but America is currently slow to respond.

America can ignore the lessons of all human history, continue to gut its military, cancel ASB, and adopt a posture of appeasement and military weakness towards China – as Kelly, Etzioni, and other liberals advocate – and hope that it brings about peace contrary to all human experience.

Or, America can heed the lessons of history, learn for once that weakness only invites aggression while strength prevents it, reverse its defense cuts, and fully implement the ASB concept. If history is any guide, THIS is the road to peace.

Moreover, as the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the think-tank where ASB originated, has stressed, ASB is based on the assumption that CHINA, not the US, will initiate hostilities. All China has to do to avoid a fight with the US is not to attack the US or any of its allies. That’s not an unreasonable demand.

As for the rest, a nice rebuttal of the Left’s lies about AirSea Battle is here: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/09/why_air-sea_battle_is_needed.html

Conclusions

The US government is absolutely right to adopt the ASB concept and to start implementing it. Shame on liberas like Kelly and Etzioni for lying so blatantly on China’s behalf, downplaying and understating the Chinese threat while blaming solely the US. The American Left has not learned ANYTHING since the Jimmy Carter days. Just like in those days, they claim that weakness brings about peace, that military strength is provocative, and that America’s adversaries are benign and peace-loving – when precisely THE OPPOSITE is true.

 

Recommended further reading:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/chinas-high-tech-military-threat/

http://www.examiner.com/article/china-developing-super-electromagnet-pulse-bomb-to-use-war-against-u-s

http://freebeacon.com/china-military-preparing-for-peoples-war-in-cyberspace-space/

Defense Issues Weekly – May 28th

NOTE: From this edition forward, Defense Issues Weekly will appear on weekdays. This week, it will appear on Tuesday, and afterwards, it will appear on Mondays.

US on course to gut its military…

With sequestration in effect and no prospect of it being cancelled, the DOD will have to cut an additional $550 bn from its budget over the next decade on top of all the defense cuts already implemented or mandated. Accordingly, the DOD is now devising three budgetary plans for three different contingencies.

The first assumes that only $100 bn per decade in cuts is implemented, i.e. that Congress accepts Barack Obama’s budget proposal. The second assumes $300 bn, and the third $500 bn in cuts over the next decade.

Under the first scenario, the Army would take the biggest hits, mostly in force structure. Under the second and third, all services would have to make deep cuts in their size, modernization programs, and mission readiness alike. DOD officials have privately conceded to DefenseNews.com that should the full $500 bn cuts of the sequester hit the Department, the military would be severely weakened and would not be able to defeat a major adversary, let alone a peer competitor (such as China or Russia).

$500 bn in additional budgetary cuts would also mean the military won’t get the promised and badly needed equipment and munitions to prevail in theaters where access is denied by the enemy with anti-access/area-denial weapons and where the free use of the airspace, the sea, cyberspace, and outer space is in danger. This means no new bombers, cruise missiles, carrier-capable drones, or other crucial weapons needed to prevail in such environments – which are becoming more common every day.

DefenseNews.com reports that:

“If the second option — the $300 billion cut — were put in place, the cuts would be levied against all the services.

The third option assumes full sequestration, or $500 billion over the decade. Sources with insight into the SCMR say this option would wreak the most havoc on the military and force the cancellation or scaling back of several major acquisition efforts.

These sources also said the magnitude of the cut could prevent the military from being able to fight a major war against a near peer competitor.”

Also, by the end of May, four Washington think-tanks – the CSBA, the CNAS, the AEI, and the CSIS – intend to present their own plans on how to cut defense spending by the amount required by sequestration. These presentations will attempt to lull the public into thinking that such deep defense cuts can be done safely, without jeopardizing national security or any key mission of the military.

While 62% of all Americans oppose further defense cuts and believe the defense budget is either “about right” or inadequate, and even though the vast majority of both Republicans and Democrats oppose sequestration, there is little prospect of the issue being resolved. The two sides vehemently disagree on how to solve the problem, with Republicans opposing any new tax hikes and Democrats advocating a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts. Both sides have firmly entrenched in their positions and neither side is willing to blink first.

Also, both parties are being held hostage by extremists on both sides of the spectrum who oppose any compromise and believe sequestration is sacred and should stay on the books.

Already prior to sequestration, the military had to make significant cuts, from cancelling programs to retiring hundreds of aircraft, multiple surface combatants and amphibious ships, and 80,000 troops. These cuts would have to be several orders of magnitude deeper if sequestration were to stay on the books.

At present, the US Navy has only 284 commissioned ships – the fewest since 1915 and able to supply only 59% of combatant commanders’ requirements – while the Air Force is flying the oldest and smallest fleet of aircraft in its entire history, with average aircraft age at over 24 years. Moreover, most USAF bombers, tankers, airlifters, and fighters are much older.

The Marines are poised to decline to 182,000 troops, the fewest since the 1950s, even without sequestration, but with sequestration, the USMC would shrink to only 150,000 troops, the fewest since the late 1940s. The US nuclear arsenal, at just 5,000 warheads, is over 75% smaller than 20 years ago.

…and so is France

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The French government is also in the process of deeply cutting the country’s military, further weakening it after deep cuts implemented by President Sarkozy (2007-2012) (photographed above).

After the newest cuts – outlined in the White Paper on Defense released on April 29th – are fully implemented, the French Army will have only 7 brigades and only 200 tanks. Its fleet of lighter combat vehicles, helicopters, and other platforms also faces significant cuts.

The French Navy will not get the second aircraft carrier that President Sarkozy promised in 2007 nor a fourth amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class. After the 2 ageing air-defense frigates (destroyers) of the Cassard class are retired without replacement, the Navy will have only 2 destroyers for air defense. The frigate fleet will also shrink, from 18 to 15, while second-rate frigates will be reclassified as first-rate ones. It will shrink further as ageing vessels leave service, because only 8 new frigates (FREMM class) will be built – not the 11 planned just a few years ago, or the 17 originally planned.

The planned air-defense frigate type (FREDA) will not be built.

Yet, the deepest cuts will fall on the already-overstretched French Air Force, the world’s oldest. It currently has only 226 combat aircraft (Rafale, Mirage 2000, Mirage F1), but will have to cut that to a paltry 180 per the newest defense cuts. The entire French military will have only 225 combat aircraft (mostly Rafales and Mirage 2000s; the remaining Mirage F1s will be retired). This is another steep cut in combat power for an Air Force already deeply cut since 2000 (when it had 382 combat aircraft) and 2006 (when it had 330). The previous President, Nicolas Sarkozy, allowed the French Air Force and Navy combined to have only 300 combat aircraft.

The Air Force’s tanker fleet will also shrink, from 14 to 12. Thus, the FAF will see the fleets of its two most important aircraft types – multirole fighters and tankers – shrink at the very time when these aircraft types are playing the lead roles in France’s wars, from Afghanistan to Libya to Mali, where France doesn’t have any local airbases and has had to fly combat missions (performed by the very multirole fighters the government wants to cut, of course) from metropolitan France through Algerian airspace with aerial refueling on the way.

Likewise, the order for A400M airlifters has been cut from 70 to 50.

France’s Malian operation has revealed a shortage of tankers and airlifters, which France has had to ask the US and Britain for, but the French government remains stubborn in cutting the Air Force.

For overseas operations, France will be able to contribute only 15,000 troops in total, backed up by one amphibious assault ship and a dozen fighters. This means that, as retired French generals have admitted, France will be able to conduct only small-scale operations overseas, and in coalition expeditionary operations, it won’t be able to offer more than a symbolic contribution.

Russia exports A2/AD arms worldwide

Russia has stepped up its exports of anti-access/area-denial weapons – such as air defense systems and anti-ship missiles – worldwide, particularly to nations unfriendly to the US, as the US ponders how to counter such weapons while its own defense budget is shrinking rapidly.

Russia has recently decided – despite US and Israeli protests – to sell advanced S-300 air defense systems and Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles and launchers to Syria, whose government is battling a Sunni Islamic insurgency and fears a Western or Israeli intervention.

The sale follows Moscow’s earlier decision, though not yet inked in a firm contract, to supply 24 Su-35 multirole fighters (with a combat radius of 1,000 nm and thrust-vectoring-capable engines), supersonic TVC engines for China’s domestically-produced fighters, S-400 (SA-21) air defense systems (with a range of 400 kms), and the Tu-22M bomber production line (China plans to build 36 of these aircraft) to Beijing, which has already built a massive, impressive network of A2/AD weapons, mostly supplied by Russia and threatening America’s ability to project power in the Western Pacific.

Russia has also sold S-300 air defense (SAM) systems, Kilo class submarines, and Su-30MKV multirole fighters to Venezuela and has been sued by Iran in international courts to deliver the S-300 systems it had promised to Tehran.

The S-300 and S-400 systems are more capable than the PATRIOT and render the airspace protected by them firmly closed to nonstealthy aircraft and missiles, as do upgraded legacy Soviet air defense systems such as the SA-6 and SA-11/17.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130519/DEFREG02/305190007/DoD-Examines-3-Budget-Cut-Scenarios