Arizona

General Dynamics Electric Boat, a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), announced it hold a keel-laying ceremony for the future submarine USS Arizona (SSN-803) on December 7, 2022, at its facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The keel laying is a ceremonial event in which the initials of the ship’s sponsor are welded onto a plate to be affixed to the submarine. It marks a milestone in the construction of a ship.

USS Arizona (SSN-803)
VPM firing underwater

The submarine will be the first U.S. Navy warship to carry the name Arizona since the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39), sunk in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. Several armored-piercing bombs struck the ship, including one which exploded the forward magazines. The sunken hull is a permanent memorial to the 1,177 officers and crewmen who were killed in the attack.

«We are proud to observe this milestone in the construction of the submarine USS Arizona (SSN-803), a ship which symbolizes the legacy and courage of those who died that fateful day serving their country, a legacy we must never forget», said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat. «The capabilities provided by this ship will enhance the reach of America’s warfighters to preserve our nation’s freedom».

General Dynamics Electric Boat Hold Keel-Laying Ceremony for Submarine Arizona December 7
General Dynamics Electric Boat Hold Keel-Laying Ceremony for Submarine Arizona December 7

The ship’s sponsor, Nikki Stratton, welded her initials onto a steel plate to be permanently mounted in a place of honor on the completed vessel. Stratton is the granddaughter of Donald Stratton, who served on the battleship during the 1941 attack. Badly burned, he was discharged in 1942 and sent home, but successfully reenlisted in 1944 and returned to the Pacific Theater to fight in campaigns in New Guinea, the Philippines and the Battle of Okinawa. He worked throughout life to help honor the memory of Pearl Harbor and those who gave their lives in service to their country. Stratton died in February 2020 at the age of 97.

The Arizona will be the 30th ship of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class fast attack submarines and the first to be equipped with the Virginia Payload Module (VPM). The VPM comprises four large-diameter, vertical payload tubes in a new hull section inserted into the existing Virginia-class submarine design. The tubes enable the submarine to deliver a variety of capabilities, including weapons, unmanned undersea vehicles, and other undersea payloads.

General Dynamics Electric Boat is the prime contractor and lead design yard for the Virginia class, which is the first class of U.S. Navy submarines produced for post-Cold War missions. It is designed to be more cost-effective and modular construction enables it to be equipped to perform a wider range of mission capabilities than previous classes. The company’s construction teammate is Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

Virginia Payload Module
Virginia Payload Module

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G (*) nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 460 feet/140 m
Beam 33 feet/10 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.4 m
Displacement Approximately 10,200 tons
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 135: 15 officers; 120 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles

four 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Modules (VPMs), each capable of launching 7 Tomahawk cruise missiles or 3 hypersonic missiles

Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

(*) – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block V

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-802 Oklahoma EB Under construction
SSN-803 Arizona EB Under construction
SSN-804 Barb NNS Under construction
SSN-805 Tang EB Under construction
SSN-806 Wahoo NNS Under construction
SSN-807 Silversides NNS Ordered
SSN-808 (Unnamed)
SSN-809 (Unnamed)
SSN-810 (Unnamed)
SSN-811 (Unnamed)

 

Project Convergence 22

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment frequently functions as an opposing force, providing a realistic training environment for service members participating in exercises at Fort Irwin’s expansive National Training Center.

Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS)
U.S. Soldiers assigned to 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment assess the Integrated Visual Augmentation System and Enhanced Night Vision Goggle – Binoculars during Project Convergence 22 (PC22) at Fort Irwin, California, November 7, 2022. PC22 brought together members of the Joint and Multinational Force to experiment with cutting-edge weapons and battle systems (U.S. Army photo by Sergeant Thiem Huynh)

Last month, however, select Soldiers from the regiment had the opportunity to serve in a different and very unique role – that of a future warfighter.

Equipped with prototype wearables, next-generation drones and specialized knowledge of maneuver warfare, the Soldiers lent their time and insights to support Project Convergence 22, an experiment designed by the Army to illuminate the benefits and challenges new technologies could bring to tomorrow’s battlefields.

«It’s cool that we’re shaping the future of the Army», said Sergeant Austin Gazaway. Gazaway saw value in conducting future force experimentation alongside major allies – an effort he viewed as helping to «open up transparency» about emerging capabilities and warfighting systems.

Sergeant Calvin Robinson also enjoyed taking part in operational scenarios created specifically to field-test new technologies. «I feel like the PC22 event went really well», he said. «It was a good opportunity to see what the Army is possibly deciding to give future Soldiers».

Gazaway, Robinson and other 11th ACR Soldiers, many of whom had not previously participated in dedicated Army innovation efforts, spent seven days in early November assessing the effectiveness of equipment such as the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle – Binocular, or ENVG-B; the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS; and the ExoBoot.

«Going from old to new, to high-powered technology, it’s pretty nice», said Specialist Ian Campbell. Campbell felt the ENVG-B’s dual scopes performed better than a more traditional single scope night vision goggle. «I thought it was really helpful to keep track of my team and to see where my guys are», he said. «I think overall it improved our team’s lethality».

For many of the Soldiers, using the still-in-development technology took some getting used to. Several experiment participants noted that the IVAS and ExoBoot still had «some kinks» to work through, but that they looked forward to seeing how the Army would incorporate their feedback into future iterations of the apparatuses.

«The fact that they gave us a chance to actually use some of the products is a really good thing, I feel like», Robinson said. Robinson added that the 11th ACR’s familiarity with the terrain at the National Training Center, which encompasses more than 1,000 square miles/2,590 square km, helped ensure the technology received a rigorous and authentic evaluation.

Following completion of the experiment, the overall consensus among 11th ACR Soldiers interviewed was that the Army’s new approaches to enhancing Soldier Lethality were promising.

«I feel like it will make a lot of stuff easier», Gazaway said. He additionally reflected on how Soldiers in the past likely thought certain equipment that the Army uses today was «weird» or awkward when first introduced, but that adjustments to new operating tools and methods are a natural and necessary aspect of change.

«The future just keeps moving forward», Campbell agreed. «At some point, it will just become the new normal».

First crewless submarine

The Royal Navy on December 01, 2022 ordered its first crewless submarine to shape the future of underwater warfare.

Cetus
Royal Navy orders first crewless submarine to dominate underwater battleground

In just two years’ time Cetus – named after a mythological sea monster – will move stealthily through the oceans, monitoring hostile activity, listening out for ships or submarines which may pose a threat to the Fleet, or to key national infrastructure such as deep-sea cables and pipelines.

The Royal Navy has experimented with – and in some cases operated – autonomous underwater systems for more than a decade. Most are small, off-the-shelf technologies, largely used in minehunting.

The £15.4 m Cetus is in a different league: the length of a bus, it will be the largest and most complex crewless submersible operated by European navies, designed and built specially for the Royal Navy by Plymouth-based tech firm MSubs, creating ten specialist jobs and supporting 70 more.

Funded by the Anti-Submarine Warfare Spearhead programme, run by the Royal Navy’s «Develop Directorate» from their Headquarters in Portsmouth and delivered through the Submarine Delivery Agency in Bristol, this is the latest in a series of novel underwater technologies being brought to life to deal with the threats of the next decade.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said, «This is a hugely exciting moment for Project Cetus as the Royal Navy surges ahead with the development of autonomous technology. This Extra Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is a capability step-change in our mission to dominate the underwater battle space. And I am delighted that the project is able to support a small, innovative UK company which is at the cutting edge of this sector».

At 12 metres/39 feet long and 2.2 metres/7 feet in diameter, the 17-tonne submarine can fit inside a shipping container and be transported around the world to wherever the Fleet needs it.

The unarmed battery-powered craft will be able to dive deeper than any vessel in the current submarine fleet and cover up to 1,000 miles/1,609 km in a single mission.

Acting as an operational demonstrator, the goal is for Cetus – and its successors – to work side-by-side with traditional crewed submarines, such as the current Astute-class hunter-killers, or independently.

The crewless submarine is the latest step taken by the Royal Navy into the world of autonomy.

Autonomous minehunting systems are already operating in Scotland, driverless Pacific 24 sea boats are undergoing testing, numerous aerial drones are employed by ships both for reconnaissance/intelligence gathering and target practice for air defence.

And the Royal Navy has invested in a dedicated tech trials ship, XV Patrick Blackett, to assess this new equipment and help determine how it might be used or integrated into the Fleet.

Cetus will do the same for the Silent Service, explained Lieutenant Commander Andrew Witts.

«One hundred and twenty years ago the Royal Navy had the foresight to invest in Holland I – the UK’s first submarine – which helped revolutionise naval warfare above and below the waves», he said. «Cetus is our first venture into large-scale, uncrewed submarines. It’s exciting, the possibilities are enormous, and I like to think Cetus could change the way we fight under the sea as much as those pioneers in Holland I did».

Brett Phaneuf, Chief Executive of MSubs, said his team was proud to take the lead in developing the next generation of autonomous underwater vehicle for the Royal Navy. «The faith the Royal Navy has shown in our small business is humbling and we look forward to working closely together in the future, as we have in the recent past, to develop and deploy Cetus, in the national interest».

Optionally Manned Vehicle

BAE Systems is teaming with Elbit Systems of America, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, and QinetiQ Inc. on its design for the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV).

Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV)
BAE Systems announces partners for Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle design

The companies will work together to produce an innovative, purpose-built, next-generation combat vehicle designed to meet the U.S. Army’s requirements for an agile, lethal, and survivable solution that will help redefine land combat operations and maneuverability in future conflicts. The proposal was submitted to the U.S. Army earlier this month and on November 30, 2022, BAE Systems announced details of how the companies are collaborating.

BAE Systems and Elbit Systems of America are leveraging their extensive experience in the evaluation, demonstration, and validation of next generation combat systems. For OMFV, Elbit is providing its 50-mm Unmanned Turret (UT50), one of the most versatile armament configurations with multiple mission payloads and capabilities, which recently completed a successful live fire demonstration at the Aberdeen Test Center. The UT50 features a XM913 50-mm cannon and a high-capacity ammunition handling system.

The OMFV design will use a standardized, Modular Open Systems Architecture (MOSA), designed by BAE Systems and Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. MOSA solutions are critical for enabling the customer to rapidly refresh technology to field new capabilities and meet emerging threats on the battlefield. The two companies are also providing vital electronics and control systems into the OMFV.

BAE Systems has invested in and collaborated with industry for more than 40 years to advance Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) technology. BAE Systems and QinetiQ Inc. are developing and integrating the HED technology with an electric cross-drive transmission, a key component of an HED system for tracked combat vehicles, to ensure the OMFV has the speed, reliability, and maneuverability necessary to dominate in the toughest battlefield conditions. QinetiQ Inc.’s Modular E-X-Drive transmission has been tested and proven in a wide range of tracked vehicles and weight classes over the last decade.

«The synergy from our diverse and highly capable team allows us to deliver the next-generation, transformational technology and capabilities our customer is looking for», said Andy Corea, vice president and general manager for BAE Systems Combat Mission Systems. «Together we have continually researched, developed, innovated, and delivered and we believe this team can provide a purpose-built vehicle with the winning solutions for future battlefields and, most importantly, for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us each and every day».

BAE Systems already has the expertise, infrastructure, and resources to deliver results for the U.S. Army’s OMFV platform, with plans to complete project elements at facilities across the U.S. that contribute a diverse set of workforce talent and manufacturing quality.

The unveiling of the Raider

Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Air Force unveiled the B-21 Raider to the world on December 02, 2022. The B-21 Raider joins the nuclear triad as a visible and flexible deterrent designed for the U.S. Air Force to meet its most complex missions.

B-21 Raider
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force introduce the B-21 Raider, the world’s first sixth-generation aircraft (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

«The Northrop Grumman team develops and delivers technology that advances science, looks into the future and brings it to the here and now», said Kathy Warden, chair, chief executive officer and president, Northrop Grumman. «The B-21 Raider defines a new era in technology and strengthens America’s role of delivering peace through deterrence».

The B-21 Raider forms the backbone of the future for U.S. air power, leading a powerful family of systems that deliver a new era of capability and flexibility through advanced integration of data, sensors and weapons. Its sixth-generation capabilities include stealth, information advantage and open architecture.

«The B-21 Raider is a testament to America’s enduring advantages in ingenuity and innovation. And it’s proof of the Department’s long-term commitment to building advanced capabilities that will fortify America’s ability to deter aggression, today and into the future. Now, strengthening and sustaining U.S. deterrence is at the heart of our National Defense Strategy», said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. «This bomber was built on a foundation of strong, bipartisan support in Congress. And because of that support, we will soon fly this aircraft, test it and then move into production».

The B-21 Raider is capable of networking across the battlespace to multiple systems, and into all domains. Supported by a digital ecosystem throughout its lifecycle, the B-21 Raider can quickly evolve through rapid technology upgrades that provide new capabilities to outpace future threats.

«With the B-21 Raider, the U.S. Air Force will be able to deter or defeat threats anywhere in the world», said Tom Jones, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems. «The B-21 Raider exemplifies how Northrop Grumman is leading the industry in digital transformation and digital engineering, ultimately delivering more value to our customers».

The B-21 Raider is named in honor of the Doolittle Raids of World War II when 80 men, led by Lieutenant Colonel James «Jimmy» Doolittle, and 16 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers set off on a mission that changed the course of World War II. The designation B-21 recognizes the Raider as the first bomber of the 21st century.

Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) to the U.S. Navy on December 1, 2022. Delivery of DDG-123 represents the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the U.S. Navy.

USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123)
HII delivers destroyer USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) to U.S. Navy

«Delivering an incredibly capable finished ship to the U.S. Navy is always an important event for our Ingalls team», said Kari Wilkinson, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding. «We are absolutely committed to the work that we do for our customers, communities and country».

USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) is the 34th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Ingalls has delivered to the U.S. Navy and will be the final Flight IIA ship built at Ingalls as the U.S. Navy transitions to Flight III destroyers. Ingalls currently has in production the future Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyers USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), USS Ted Stevens (DDG-128), USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129) and USS George M. Neal (DDG-131).

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the national defense strategy. Guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. These ships contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

DDG-123 is named to honor Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, a Navy nurse and first woman to receive the Navy Cross for her heroic actions during World War I. Higbee joined the Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as «The Sacred Twenty», and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911. The ships motto truly reflects the heritage of this naval hero – Bellatrix illa, meaning «she is a warrior».

 

Ship Characteristics

 

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 31 feet/9.5 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 (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) 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 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 12-08-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW 05-16-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18 05-14-22 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW 06-12-22
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

14 THeMIS UGVs to Ukraine

The leading European robotics and autonomous systems developer, Milrem Robotics, and the German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) have signed a contract to deliver 14 THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to Ukraine.

THeMIS UGV
Milrem Robotics to deliver 14 THeMIS UGVs to Ukraine in cooperation with KMW

Of the 14 vehicles, seven will be configured for CASualty EVACuation (CASEVAC) and are scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year. The other seven, to be delivered in the second quarter of 2023, will be configured for route clearance with payloads from the French defence manufacturer CNIM Systèmes Industriels.

The effort is being funded by the German Ministry of Defence.

«Casualty evacuation and route clearance are two labour-intensive activities that require the engagement of several people who remain in constant threat of enemy fire. Automating these tasks with unmanned vehicles alleviates that danger and allows more soldiers to stay in a safe area or be tasked for more important activities», explained Captain (res) Jüri Pajuste, Defence R&D Director at Milrem Robotics.

Milrem Robotics delivered one CASEVAC THeMIS to a Ukrainian charitable organization earlier this year that has proven to be a valuable asset.

«The deployment of the THEMIS UGV to Ukraine means that the Ukrainian forces can increase the safety of their soldiers and let the UGVs handle tasks that are an immediate threat to humans. That is the ultimate purpose of robotic systems. Milrem Robotics is proud to be able to contribute to Ukraine’s fight against the aggressor», said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.

«This important project gives evidence of our common ability to provide advanced technology to Ukraine. We are determined to support Ukraine with protective and lifesaving equipment. The fast delivery of 14 THeMIS UGVs proves that KMW and Milrem are partners you can rely on», said Ralf Ketzel, CEO of KMW.

THeMIS is a multi-mission unmanned ground vehicle with an open architecture that enables it to be rapidly configured from having a transport function to being weaponized, performing ordnance disposal or supporting intelligence operations according to the nature of the mission.

The THeMIS UGV is already part of different programs in 16 countries, including eight NATO members: Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US.

Japan Tankers

Boeing has been awarded a contract to deliver two additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), bringing the total on contract for Japan to six. Boeing delivered the first KC-46A Pegasus tanker to Japan in October 2021, and a second in February 2022.

KC-46A Pegasus
Japan KC-46A Pegasus flies with U.S. KC-46A Pegasus (Boeing photo)

«The unmatched versatility and multi-mission capabilities of the KC-46A Pegasus tanker further support JASDF’s air mobility mission», said James Burgess, vice president and KC-46A Pegasus program manager. «The growing global KC-46A Pegasus fleet increases the interoperability advantages for our customers, ensuring mission readiness as well as value for their investment».

Designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, the proven KC-46A Pegasus has flown more than 10,000 sorties and is delivering millions of pounds of fuel every month to allied forces around the globe. In addition to refueling, the KC-46A Pegasus delivers multi-mission capabilities necessary for the 21st century fleet, including data connectivity and personnel, cargo and aeromedical transportation.

«This additional KC-46A Pegasus acquisition reinforces the U.S.-Japan security alliance to support security and stability throughout the Pacific region», said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan. «Boeing is proud of our enduring partnership with Japan, and we look forward to supporting the nation’s KC-46A Pegasus fleet that will fly for decades to come».

Boeing has delivered 67 KC-46A Pegasus tankers, including 65 to the U.S. Air Force and two to Japan. Built on the proven 767 airframe that has more than 1,200 delivered – and with more KC-46A Pegasus aircraft operational globally than any tanker except the Boeing-built KC-135 Stratotanker – the Pegasus also provides crucial mission reliability for global customers.

The contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales process. Boeing builds KC-46A Pegasus aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, the JASDF and other allied customers on its 767 production line in Everett, Washington. In addition, Boeing’s Japanese partners produce 16 percent of the KC-46A Pegasus airframe structure. The JASDF also operates four earlier generation Boeing-built KC-767 aircraft.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor The Boeing Company
Power Plant 2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust 62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan 157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
Length 165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
Height 52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 415,000 lbs/188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs/140,614 kg
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs/96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load 207,672 lbs/94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity 65,000 lbs/29,484 kg
Maximum Airspeed 360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance 7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions 18 pallet positions
Air Crew 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment

 

Marcantonio Colonna

On November 26, 2022 the technical launch of the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ship (PPA – Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) «Marcantonio Colonna» (P433) took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Riva Trigoso (Genova). The vessel is the fifth of seven vessels to be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano with deliveries expected until 2026.

Marcantonio Colonna (P434)
The fifth PPA «Marcantonio Colonna» launched in Riva Trigoso

The PPAs are 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») under the aegis of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).

At the ceremony, among others, the Undersecretary of Defence, Matteo Perego di Cremnago, the Governor of Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, the Chief of the Italian Navy, Admiral OF-9 Enrico Credendino, OCCAR-EA Director, Admiral Matteo Bisceglia, were received by General Claudio Graziano and Pierroberto Folgiero, respectively Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, as well as the General Manager Naval Vessels Division of the Group, Dario Deste.

Marcantonio Colonna, who lived between 1535 and 1584, was one of the most illustrious land and sea captains of the 16th century, also protagonist of the battle of Lepanto in 1571. The godmother of the launch was Jeanne Colonna Pavoncelli, descendant of the distinguished family.

The Undersecretary of Defence, Matteo Perego di Cremnago, said: «It is a very important day for this extraordinary territory and for Italy, for the national industry and for small and medium-sized companies, both in terms of employment and investments. Thanks to Fincantieri and all the related companies for the great technical and innovative value that today allow the Defense-system of the Country to take another step forward in the process of modernizing the operational lines of the Navy’s vessels». The Undersecretary added: «Strategic-wise, taking such steps forward for national defense and security means taking steps forward for our Country and for our citizens».

 

Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship

The multipurpose offshore patrol vessel is a highly flexible ship, fit 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. For the seven vessels of the program 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, which means equipped for a complete defence ability. The patrol ship is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters/36 feet long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

  • 143 meters/469 feet long overall
  • Speed up to 32 knots/37 mph/59 km/h according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
  • Approximately 135 crew members and accommodation capacity up to 181 beds
  • Combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion system, i.e. with electric motors for low speeds
  • Capacity to supply drinking water, electricity and health support to land

HMS Glasgow

The first Type 26 City Class frigate, HMS Glasgow, has begun the float off process, which will see her enter the water for the first time.

HMS Glasgow (F88)
First Type 26 Frigate to enter the water for the first time

Over the coming days, the ship, currently weighing nearly 6,000 tonnes, will undertake a series of complex manoeuvres that will move her from the BAE Systems Govan shipyard, onto a barge before being towed down river to a deep-water location in the West of Scotland.

Once in position, the float off will involve the base of the barge being slowly submerged over a number of hours until HMS Glasgow fully enters the water. She will then return to BAE Systems’ Scotstoun shipyard further along the Clyde, where she will undergo the next stages of outfit before test and commissioning.

Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, said: «HMS Glasgow entering the water for the first time marks a major milestone for the Type 26 programme which supports thousands of highly skilled jobs in Scotland and more across the wider UK supply chain. We’re continuing to invest in the British shipbuilding industry to maintain the Royal Navy’s cutting-edge ability to defend our nation, while strengthening our partnership with allies».

David Shepherd, Type 26 Programme Director, BAE Systems, said: «Seeing HMS Glasgow in the water for the first time will be a proud and exciting moment for the thousands of people involved in this great endeavour. She will soon transfer to our Scotstoun yard in Glasgow where we look forward to installing her complex systems and bringing her to life».

The BAE Systems engineers involved in the float off of HMS Glasgow have been specially trained using the 3D visualisation suite which gives engineers access to a full digital twin of the ship. They will monitor the ship closely throughout all stages of the process ensuring that the transition is safely managed. The float off process will also be supported by engineers from Defence Equipment & Support, the MOD delivery agent, as well as members of the Royal Navy.

The float off process is a more modern, efficient and low risk way for a ship to enter the water compared to the previous dynamic launches. The process is well proven, having been used for the five Offshore Patrol Vessels built by BAE Systems in Glasgow, the last of which was delivered to the Royal Navy in 2020.

HMS Glasgow has been under construction since steel was cut in 2017. The second and third ships, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast, are currently in build in Govan. The build process for each ship involves its structure being completed in Govan; skilled teams of fabricators and steelworkers construct the units before they are assembled into the forward and aft blocks which are joined together before the ship departs. In Scotstoun, the ship’s outfit is completed and the complex systems are set to work before test and commissioning takes place. HMS GLASGOW will be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defence awarded BAE Systems a £4.2 billion contract to build a further five Type 26 City Class frigates for the Royal Navy, sustaining 4,000 jobs across BAE Systems and the wider UK maritime supply chain.

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