Compact Sniper Rifle

Operational testing of the Army’s newest precision rifle, the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) began recently, marking one of the final hurdles this system will face prior to fielding.

A Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System awaits its operator before a post-drop live fire exercise at Gryphon Group Range, N.C. The system is made by Germany’s Heckler é Kock (U.S. Army photo)

Snipers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division recently participated in airborne infiltration test trials of what could potentially be the Army’s newest sniper system.

«The compact nature of the CSASS is appealing to airborne forces and particularly Snipers who are typically armed with long barreled precision rifles», said Sergeant 1st Class Ross Martin, a Test NCO with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD).

«Current sniper systems are equipped with 20-inch barrels, sound suppression systems and full-length stocks that provide accuracy and a stable firing platform required of any precision rifle», said David Parris, a CSASS New Equipment Training (NET) trainer from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command’s Soldier Weapons Support.

Being a product of battlefield evolution, the CSASS is more geared toward operations in urban environments and operating in and around armored vehicles where traditional length sniper systems can be cumbersome.

«The CSASS will feature a reduction in overall length (with the suppression system attached) and an adjustable stock that provides maneuverability and promotes a stable firing position», said Victor Yarosh of Project Manager Soldier Weapons.

This will provide airborne snipers a more compact load during airborne infiltration operations and provide a precision rifle platform more conducive to their combat environment without reducing their lethality.

Specialist Nicholas Farmer of Orlando, Florida, a Sniper in C Troop, 1st Battalion, 73rd Cavalry Regiment immediately identified the attributes of a more compact precision rifle.

«The CSASS is much shorter and lighter than our current system which will make long dismounted movements and reaction to contact more efficient», he said.

Specialist William Holland from Sylacauga, Alabama, a sniper with 2nd Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment echoed his fellow snipers assessment as, «lightweight and compact makes for a more manageable load during post drop operations».

Prior to testing, Snipers participated in a NET which included familiarization with the system, maintenance, target engagement and zeroing procedures.

The critical task in testing any small arms platform intended for use by airborne forces is ensuring zero retention of the primary optic subsequent to airborne insertion. This is a critical gauge of the paratrooper’s lethality during airfield seizure and other follow on operations.

«This process establishes a baseline for site reticle locations prior to and post airborne insertion», said Lacretia Cook, an instrumentation technician with the ABNSOTD. «Testers can monitor any ‘shift’ in the weapons sight reticle».

To evaluate this performance measure of the CSASS, the ABNSOTD test team employed the organization’s mobile weapons boresight collimator to ensure the snipers’ «pre-mission» zero was not degraded by shock associated with parachute infiltration.

Once this data was collected, snipers conducted a known distance live fire exercise to gauge lethality subsequent to static line and military free fall operations.

For Sergeant Christopher Landrum of Delano, California, the target audience of trained snipers was perfect.

«It’s vital that operational troops are the ones testing the system as they are best suited to recognize system requirements and mission capabilities», he explained.

Sergeant 1st Class Darin Pott, a senior sniper with the 1st Battalion, 73rd Armored Regiment said he would also like to see Soldiers added to the process earlier.

«The Army should involve the sniper community at the earliest possible milestone of development», he said.

«Operational Testing is about Soldiers. It is about making sure that the systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which Soldiers train and fight», said Colonel Brad Mock, Director of ABNSOTD.

«OTC is the U.S. Army’s only independent operational test organization», said Lieutenant Colonel David Dykema, deputy of ABNSOTD’s Test Division.

«We test Army, Joint, and Multi-service airborne and airdrop related warfighting systems in realistic operational environments, using Soldiers to determine whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. Any time Soldiers and their leaders get involved in operational testing», he added, «they have the opportunity to use, work with, and offer up their own suggestions on pieces of equipment that can impact development of systems that future Soldiers will use in combat».

Operational testing began October 1, 1969, and as the Army’s only independent operational tester, Operational Test Command (OTC) is celebrating «50 Years of Operational Testing». The unit enlists the «Total Army» (Active, National Guard, and Reserve) when testing Army, joint, and multi-service warfighting systems in realistic operational environments, using typical Soldiers to determine whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. OTC is required by public law to test major systems before they are fielded to its ultimate customer – the American Soldier.

The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina – whose lineage traces directly back to the original Parachute Test Platoon of 1940 – is home to the U.S. Army’s only operational test paratroopers, who conduct operational testing for joint airborne contingency and Special Operations Forces in support of the acquisition decision-making process. To provide airdrop certification of all airborne and airdropped equipment, ABNSOTD plans, executes and reports on its operational tests and field experiments, which impacts doctrine, training, organization and materiel.

Navy Accepts Cincinnati

The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) during a June 21 ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

Navy accepts delivery of future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)

The future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) is the 18th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) delivered to the Navy and the 10th of the Independence variant to join the fleet. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, Austal USA, to the Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for this fall in Gulfport, Mississippi.

«This is a great day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Cincinnati», said Captain Mike Taylor, LCS program manager. «I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this great ship alongside the crew later this year. This ship will play an essential role in in carrying out our nation’s maritime strategy».

Five additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA: the future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) is expected to be delivered to the Navy this fall, and the future USS Oakland (LCS-24), USS Mobile (LCS-26), USS Savannah (LCS-28) and USS Canberra (LCS-30) are all in various stages of construction. Four more ships are awaiting the start of construction following LCS-30.

Five other naval vessels have honored the city of Cincinnati. The first, an ironclad river gunboat, was commissioned in 1862. Although sunk twice in battle, it was raised each time. Another ship – USS Queen City, named for Cincinnati, the Queen City of Ohio – was commissioned in April 1863 and was ultimately destroyed by Confederate forces. There was also a protected cruiser in service from 1894 to 1919 that enforced neutrality laws during the Cuban Revolution and served during the Spanish-American War. A light cruiser was commissioned in 1924 that patrolled the Atlantic during World War II, and a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine (SSN-693) was in service from 1978 to 1996.

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft. They are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Future Air Systems

MBDA presents for the first time its vision of the capabilities that will lie at the heart of the next generation of European air combat systems.

MBDA unveils its vision of Future Air Systems

As threats evolve and access denial strategies become ever more complex, with diversified effects combining surface-to-air and air-to-air assets in large scale, air superiority will need to be created on a local and temporary basis. Aircraft and air effectors will need to be able to enter denied areas, see threats before being seen, force hidden threats to uncover early enough to suppress them and to always react quicker than the adversary.

In these ever-faster operations, networked effectors will take an essential part in the combat «cloud», exchanging tactical information and target co-ordinates in real-time with platforms and other network nodes, in order to carry out the desired operational effects. These will also have to deploy robust survivability strategies in front of highly evolving threats. The fight will not only take place between platforms but between enemy networks, and only the most agile and adaptable will win. The engagement of these networked effectors will rely on resilience to any form of aggression (eg: Electronic Warfare, Cyber) as well as on rapid decision aids able to compute complex situations.

MBDA is a key actor able to bring answers to these significant challenges, thanks to its decades long experience in supplying armament capabilities to all Europe’s air combat platforms and to its in-depth understanding of operational and technological issues. This is evidenced by the concepts presented at Paris Air Show, which result from ongoing studies in its domestic nations, whether in cooperation or in the framework of individual national roadmaps. These concepts form a coherent set of capabilities and demonstrate that MBDA can shape innovative responses for the benefit of its customers for their Future Air System projects.

These concepts cover the whole field of key domains:

  • Deep Strike with cruise missiles using the most advanced options in order to penetrate and open breaches in the most efficient Anti Access Area Denial (A2AD) deployments in the future, for the benefit of friendly forces.
  • Tactical Strike with stand-off, networked and compact armaments, delivering precision effects but also able to saturate enemy defences thanks to pack or swarm behaviours.
  • Air-to-Air Combat with, Meteor, which today has no equivalent and will keep its lead and remain a powerful asset for next-generation fighter aircraft.
  • Self-Protection with the «Hard Kill» anti-missile system that will counter incoming missiles and so provide essential protection during «stand-in» combat, when soft-kill counter-measures and decoys are no longer sufficient. Such a system is able to reverse the balance of power against saturating defences.
  • Enablers for the penetration of adversary defences thanks to the «Remote Carriers» that deliver multiple effects, whether lethal or non-lethal, as well as new services for munitions such as intelligence, targeting, and deception of enemy sensors.

MBDA Remote Carriers are compact, stealthy, co-operate with other armaments and platforms, and can be launched from combat or transport aircraft, or surface ships. They work as capability extenders for the platforms and the armaments that they accompany.

MBDA is the only European player in the domain of complex weapons able to master all technologies needed for the development of these concepts and their operational chain:

  • Stealthy or supersonic long-range vehicles;
  • Very compact airframes and sub-systems for high loadouts, without compromising effects and connectivity performance;
  • Networking, infrared and radio frequency sensors with data fusion and artificial intelligence for automated target identification in complex environments, threat detection, complex engagements planning, and decision aids.

As it masters these essential technologies as well as all steps in the OODA (Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action) loop, from detection and localisation to damage assessment, MBDA positions itself as the architect of this decision-action chain, which will experience significant breakthroughs in concept and doctrine.

Referring to this presentation, Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, stated: «MBDA’s vision for future air armaments is exhaustive and ambitious, and we are ready to take on the challenge to deliver to our domestic nations the full sovereignty of their future air combat systems by taking part in the definition and development of the armaments that these systems will operate. MBDA has demonstrated that pulling together the best expertise in propulsion, guidance, connectivity and system integration have made Meteor the world best air-to-air missile, giving the pilots of European combat aircraft a decisive operational advantage. Thanks to its decades long culture of co-operation, MBDA will be equally able to develop the next weapons that will ensure European nations can sustain their air superiority in the long term».

Hypersonic weapon

Building on years of collaboration, Raytheon Company and Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed a teaming agreement to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman’s scramjet combustors to power Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic weapons. The teaming agreement uses the combined capabilities of both companies to accelerate development and demonstrate readiness to produce the next generation of tactical missile systems.

Hypersonic vehicles operate at extreme speeds and high altitudes. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are teaming to accelerate air-breathing hypersonic vehicle development

Scramjet engines use high vehicle speed to forcibly compress incoming air before combustion to enable sustained flight at hypersonic speeds. Such speeds reduce flight times and increase weapon survivability, effectiveness and flexibility.

«The Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team is quickly developing air-breathing hypersonic weapons to keep our nation ahead of the threat», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «This agreement combines Raytheon’s decades of tactical missile expertise with Northrop Grumman’s extensive scramjet engine development experience to produce the best possible weapons».

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are working under a $200 million Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, program contract to deliver an affordable, effective and producible cruise missile for DARPA and the U.S. Air Force.

«This teaming agreement extends our strong partnership with Raytheon on this critical technology capability. Our deep heritage in propulsion, fuzes and warheads will help accelerate readiness of tomorrow’s missiles to meet range, survivability, safety and lethality requirements», said Mike Kahn, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Defense Systems. «Together with Raytheon, we intend to make great strides toward improving our nation’s high-speed weapon systems, which are critical to enhancing our warfighters’ capabilities for greater standoff and quicker time to target».

Under the agreement, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman will continue to collaborate on HAWC and future air-breathing hypersonic missiles. Both companies are investing in hypersonic technologies and programs to ensure the military has a robust portfolio.

Christening of Daniel

The Navy christened its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, June 22, in Bath, Maine.

Navy christened guided-missile destroyer Daniel Inouye

The future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) is named in honor of Daniel Inouye, who served as a United States Senator for Hawaii from 1963 until his death in 2012. He received the Medal of Honor June 21, 2000 for his extraordinary heroism in action while serving with the 442nd Infantry Regiment Combat Team in Italy during World War II. During an assault April 21, 1945, an exploding grenade shattered his right arm; despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation. He remained at the head of his platoon until they broke the enemy resistance and his men deployed in defensive positions, continuing to fight until the regiment’s position was secured.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address. Irene Hirano Inouye, wife of the late Senator, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Inouye christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«The future USS Daniel Inouye will serve for decades as a reminder of Senator Inouye’s service to our nation and his unwavering support of a strong Navy and Marine Corps team», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This ship honors not only his service but the service of our shipbuilders who help make ours the greatest Navy and Marine Corps team in the world».

The future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) will be the 68th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and is one of 21 ships currently under contract for the DDG-51 program. The ship is configured as a Flight IIA destroyer, which enables power projection and delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for anti-air warfare. The Daniel Inouye will be 509.5 feet long and 59 feet wide, with a displacement of 9,496 tons. She will be homeported in Pearl Harbor.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW

 

German frigate

On 17 June 2019, the F125 «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) was officially commissioned in a ceremony in the presence of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. The German Navy now has in service the most modern and powerful frigate which was ever built in Germany. «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) was built by ARGE F125 with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as lead company.

F125 «Baden-Württemberg» (F222): Germany’s most modern frigate entered service

The newly designed class F125 ships, with their highly complex systems and approximately 28,000 sensors, have a very high degree of automation, which makes it possible to halve the crew size in comparison to previous German frigate classes. The ships can remain in their operational area for up to two years. This way, the number of the usually very long transits can be significantly reduced. The F125 «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) is the first ship worldwide to successfully implement the intensive use concept.

Next to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, the ships are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention and stabilization operations in the international arena. In addition to the ability to fight offshore and onshore targets, they also have anti-aircraft systems and helicopters specially equipped for submarine hunting.

The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design and a detailed design phase followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were specially developed for this new class of ships. Due to this high complexity and the related, different challenges as well as the further modular development of the ship during the project, «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) was delivered about 3 years after the contractually agreed date.

The second class F125 ship, the «Nordrhein-Westfalen» (F223) («North Rhine-Westphalia»), will be ready to be handed over to the customer in 2019. The handing over of the 3rd and 4th ship is planned to take place successively within the next 2 years.

The ARGE F125 consortium comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections are being manufactured at the shipyards of the Lürssen Group in Bremen and Wolgast. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out was being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg under the leadership of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

Marine Systems is one of the world’s leading marine companies and a systems provider in submarine and surface shipbuilding as well as maritime electronics and security technology

 

Key data for the F125

Length 149 m/489 feet
Width 18 m/59 feet
Maximum speed >26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
Displacement: approximately 7,000 t
Crew: maximum 190 (of which up to 120 regular crew members)

 

Offshore Patrol Ship

The launching ceremony of the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship (PPA) «Paolo Thaon di Revel» (P430) took place on June 15, 2019, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia), in the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta.

The Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship (PPA) «Paolo Thaon di Revel» (P430) launched in Muggiano

Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Irene Imperiali, nephew of the Admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel.

The ceremony was attended among others by the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli, by Fincantieri’s Chairman Giampiero Massolo and CEO Giuseppe Bono.

The PPA, first of seven units, will be delivered in 2021 and it is part of the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 («Naval Act»).

 

Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship

The multipurpose offshore patrol vessel is a highly flexible ship with the capacity to serve multiple functions, ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations and, in its most highly equipped version, first line fighting vessel. There will be indeed different configurations of combat system: starting from a «soft» version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defence ability, to a «full» one, equipped for a complete defence ability. The vessel is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

  • 5 meters/434.7 feet long
  • Speed more than 31 knots/35.7 mph/57.4 km/h according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
  • 171 persons of the crew
  • Equipped with a combined diesel, a gas turbine plant (CODAG) and an electric propulsion system
  • Capacity to supply drinking water to land
  • Capacity to provide electricity to land with 2,000 kw/2,682 hp of power
  • 2 modular zones at the stern and at the center of the ship that allow the embarking of various types of containerized operating/logistic/residential/healthcare modules (in particular, the stern area may receive and handle within a covered area up to 5 modules in ISO 20” containers, while the central zone may receive and handle up to 8 ISO 20” containers)

The PPAs will be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery expected, for the first vessel of the class, in 2021, while the following deliveries will take place in 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026.

French Caracal

The French Defence Procurement Agency DGA has signed an order to purchase an additional H225M which will be operated by the French Air Force. The aircraft will be delivered in a configuration that allows it to be interoperable with the existing fleet of 10 H225Ms in the French Air Force and in particular it will be capable of inflight refuelling, an essential operational advantage that this helicopter offers.

French Air Force bolsters its fleet of H225Ms

The aircraft will be based in Cazaux and will be used for Special Forces and Search and Rescue missions.

«We are very proud that the French Air Force is renewing its trust in the reliable multirole H225M, having been the first to deploy the type in an operational theatre in 2006», said Alexandra Cros, Vice President and Head of Governmental Affairs France at Airbus Helicopters. «The H225M is a real military asset thanks to its versatility and its excellent range. Operational from ships and land with an all-weather capability and takeoff in less than five minutes, it’s always ready for assignment», she added.

The H225M, with more than 180 aircraft ordered, 97 helicopters delivered, and 110,000 flight hours accumulated to date, is a recognized combat-proven, versatile and reliable workhorse for military missions worldwide. The 11-tonne member of the Super Puma family is relied upon as a force multiplier by France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. Indonesia has recently placed a follow-on order for an additional eight aircraft. Other recent customers for the H225M include Kuwait, Singapore, and Hungary who signed a contract for 16 H225Ms in December last year.

 

Characteristics

CAPACITY
Troop transport 2 pilots + 1 chief of stick + 28 seats
VIP transport 2 pilots + 8 to 12 passengers
Casualty evacuation 2 pilots + up to 11 stretchers + 4 seats
Sling load 4,750 kg/10,472 lbs.
EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS
Length 16.79 m/55.08 feet
Width 3.96 m/13 feet
Height 4.60 m/15.09 feet
WEIGHT
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 11,000 kg/24,251 lbs.
MTOW in external load configuration 11,200 kg/24,690 lbs.
Empty weight 5,715 kg/12,600 lbs.
Useful load 5,285 kg/11,651 lbs.
Maximum cargo-sling load 4,750 kg/10,472 lbs.
Standard fuel capacity 2,247 kg/4,954 lbs.
ENGINES 2 TURBOMECA MAKILA 2A1
Take-off power per engine 1,567 kW/2,101 shp
PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, ISA*, SL**
Maximum speed (Vne***) 324 km/h/175 knots
Fast cruise speed (at MCP****) 262 km/h/142 knots
Rate of climb 5.4 m/s/1,064 feet/min
Service ceiling (Vz = 0.508 m/s = 100 feet/min) 3,968 m/13,019 feet
Hover ceiling OGE***** at ISA*, MTOW, take-off power 792 m/2,600 feet
Maximum range without reserve at Economical Cruise Speed 909 km/491 NM
Endurance without reserve at 148 km/h/80 knots >4 h 20 min

* International Standard Atmosphere

** Sea Level

*** Never Exceed Speed

**** Mode Control Panel

***** Out of Ground Effect

Maritime Surveillance

Leonardo and Diamond Aircraft Industries are teaming up to offer a version of Diamond’s popular twin-engine DA62 aircraft customised for maritime surveillance missions. The new variant, designated DA62-MSA (Maritime Surveillance Aircraft) will be on show for the first time at Paris Air Show later this month. It will be outfitted with a full Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) suite based on Leonardo’s ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system.

Leonardo and Diamond Aircraft will unveil their new, lightweight maritime patrol aircraft at the Paris Air Show; it combines the Diamond DA62 airframe with Leonardo sensors, including the ATOS mission system, radar and optical sensor ball (Leonardo photo)

The collaboration is a response to the need for cost-effective, short/medium-range land and maritime surveillance platforms in regions such as South America, Africa and Asia Pacific. The DA62-MSA meets this requirement by bringing together an affordable and pilot-friendly aircraft with a full set of state-of-the-art sensors which, through the ATOS mission system, deliver a single, intuitive operational picture to the crew.

The DA62-MSA’s baseline sensor fit will include a Leonardo Gabbiano Ultra-Light TS Radar, which comes with an extensive suite of modes including optimised maritime patrol capabilities (such as high sea state detection), high resolution ground mapping via Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) modes, Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) and weather avoidance modes. The aircraft will also come with a High Definition Electro-Optic and InfraRed (EO/IR) turret which, like the radar, will be fully integrated into the operator’s touch-screen ATOS display in order to follow and manage the surveillance missions. Sensor options will also be offered for users who require additional capability, including Leonardo’s SAGE Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system and Spider COMmunications INTelligence (COMINT) system. SAGE provides tactical threat awareness and strategic intelligence gathering in the Radio-Frequency (RF) environment, while Spider can detect, intercept, identify and geo-locate communications of interest.

More than 110 Twin Engine Special Mission aircraft have been sold by Diamond and more than 60 ATOS systems are installed by Leonardo on 10 different platforms, including for Italy’s Air Force, Guardia di Finanza (customs police) and Coast Guard and Australian Customs. With the DA62-MSA, Leonardo and Diamond are able to offer an extremely cost-effective and user-friendly light ISR solution for maritime security needs, with a Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 2,300 kg/5,070.6 lbs., endurance of up to 8 hours and up to four crew able to operate with land and maritime radar.

Liqun Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft said, «Diamond Aircraft is very proud to step into such an important strategic partnership with Leonardo to provide a cost-efficient high-performance maritime surveillance solution to the market. We all recognized the importance of such a capability and the high demand of many countries to protect their borders against illegal fishing and other criminal operations, This new airborne solution, based on our DA62 Special Mission Aircraft, will be available to the market by the end of the year, ready to deliver and provide security and surveillance tasks. During Paris Air Show 2019, Stand A6, the very first time Diamond will static display this configuration to the audience».

Fabrizio Boggiani, Senior Vice President Airborne Sensors & Mission Systems, Leonardo Electronics said, «Partnership is central to Leonardo’s way of doing business and as such we are delighted to be working with Diamond Aircraft on this venture. Our aim is always to provide the optimum solution to our customers and we believe that this combination of Diamond’s platform with a full suite of Leonardo sensors and our mission system provides an extremely compelling offer for this market segment».

Rapid Response

The U.S. Air Force successfully conducted the first flight test of its AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, on a B-52H Stratofortress aircraft on June 12 at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

A B-52H Stratofortress bomber similar to the one used by the US Air Force to flight-test the sensors of the AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon hypersonic missile it is developing. The weapon was not launched, and carried no warhead (USAF file photo)

A sensor-only version of the ARRW prototype was carried externally by a B-52H Stratofortress during the test to gather environmental and aircraft handling data.

The test gathered data on drag and vibration impacts on the weapon itself and on the external carriage equipment of the aircraft. The prototype did not have explosives and it was not released from the B-52H Stratofortress during the flight test. This type of data collection is required for all Air Force weapon systems undergoing development.

«We’re using the rapid prototyping authorities provided by Congress to quickly bring hypersonic weapon capabilities to the warfighter», said Doctor Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. «We set out an aggressive schedule with ARRW. Getting to this flight test on time highlights the amazing work of our acquisition workforce and our partnership with Lockheed Martin and other industry partners».

The Air Force is leading the way in air-launched hypersonic weapon prototyping efforts. As one of two rapid prototyping hypersonic efforts, ARRW is set to reach early operational capability by fiscal year 2022.

«This type of speed in our acquisition system is essential – it allows us to field capabilities rapidly to compete against the threats we face», Roper said.

The flight test serves as the first of many flight tests that will expand the test parameters and capabilities of the ARRW prototype.

The ARRW rapid prototyping effort awarded a contract in August 2018 to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, for critical design review, test and production readiness support to facilitate fielded prototypes.