Fury, the expeditionary, runway-independent Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) now has engine updates that will further increase its flight endurance, Lockheed Martin announced on November 15, 2017.
With the integration of the 1803 engine into the platform, engineering tests performed by the company indicate that Fury will be able to stay in the air for 15 continuous hours, making it one of the highest endurance unmanned systems in its class.
«We’ve engineered Fury to bring the flight endurance and other advantages of much larger unmanned aircraft into a compact, effective, category three system», said Kevin Westfall, director of Unmanned Systems at Lockheed Martin. «Lockheed Martin has invested heavily to mature the incredible capabilities Fury can deliver, and we’re excited to bring this system to customers around the world».
Fury is a long-endurance, expeditionary aircraft that leverages its advanced fuel propulsion system, power generation and low signature design to deliver capabilities to Class 3 UAV that were previously only available in larger and more complex systems. It has no landing gear, making it the most advanced truly runway-independent UAV in its class on the market today. The complete Fury launch and recovery element can be set up on unimproved ground, in areas a small as 200 feet/18.58 meters square.
Leveraging open architecture design, Fury is both adaptable and reconfigurable to serve a multitude of military missions – including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and cyber-electronic warfare.
Runway independent – catapult launch and expeditionary recovery system
Blended 17-foot/5.18-meter wingspan for minimal visual signature
Endurance proven above 15 hours
Altitude up to 15,000 feet/4,572 meters
Engine successfully tested to FAR33.49 Accelerated Life Testing standard
Tested with Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) and Electronic Warfare (EW) payloads
Can carry a combination of over 200 lbs/90.72 kg of payload and fuel
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) on November 14, 2017. The ship is named in honor of the first woman to receive the Navy Cross.
«It is always exciting to celebrate the keel authentication of another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said during a shipyard ceremony this morning. «The keel authentication is an important milestone in a ship’s life, as we lay the foundation upon which this great ship will be built. Like her namesake, DDG-123 will be strong and capable. Our men and women in the Navy – and Mrs. Higbee’s legacy – deserve nothing less».
Louisa Dixon, Virginia Munford and Pickett Wilson are the ship’s sponsors. The three women played an important role during former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ term as governor of Mississippi.
«We want to thank Ingalls Shipbuilding, its employees and its suppliers for the high standards of design and construction and the strong and important support they give their employees and the state of Mississippi», Dixon said. «We are thrilled and look forward to seeing everyone again at a christening in the very near future».
C.C. Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls, welded the three sponsors’ initials onto a steel plate, signifying the keel of DDG-123 as being «truly and fairly laid». The plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout its lifetime.
«Today marks the true start of this ship’s construction», said Commander Scott Williams, program manager representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast. «With 29 Ingalls-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently in active service and four of her sister ships also in production here at Ingalls, the mere continuity of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer over the past 25 years shows their importance to our naval forces. To the men and women of Huntington Ingalls Industries who will bring DDG-123 to life, thank you. Thank you to the shipfitters, pipefitters, electricians, welders, testers and engineers who will toil in this historic shipbuilding journey that will carry a pioneer’s name».
USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) will be the second ship named for Higbee. The first was a destroyer commissioned in 1945 and was the first U.S. Navy surface combatant named for a female member of the U.S. Navy. 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.
Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) and USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121).
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 United States’ military strategy. DDGs are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline
59 feet/18 m
30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load
9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
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
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
2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Leonardo’s M-346FA (Fighter Attack) makes its debut at the Dubai Airshow, one of the most important global defence and aerospace events, held from 12 to 16 November.
The M-346FA, for which several international air forces have already demonstrated their interest, represents a further evolution – after the AJT (Advanced Jet Trainer) for the advanced training of military pilots and the multi-role M-346FT (Fighter Trainer) – of a family concept designed to create a common baseline, able to rapidly answer to the different requirements.
Thanks to the integration of the Grifo multi-mode fire control radar, designed and manufactured by Leonardo and already chosen by several customers in the world, the M-346FA offers advanced operational capabilities.
The M-346FA’s characteristics make it not only an excellent advanced trainer, but also a light fighter aircraft capable of carrying out operational missions at far lower costs than those of front-line fighters.
With seven pylons for external loads, the M-346FA is able to operate very effectively as multi-role tactical aircraft, capable of air-to-surface, air-to-air and tactical reconnaissance missions.
Leonardo, a world leader in the training field, offers a product portfolio able to cover the entire training syllabus, from basic-advanced training on the new M-345 into the advanced/Lead-In Fighter Training (LIFT) phase with the M-346.
Already ordered by the Italian Air Force, the M-345 jet trainer is comparable in cost to a high-power turboprop aircraft but with higher levels of performance.
A complete Ground Based Training System (GBTS), well-integrated with the platforms and able to ensure both high quality training and strong operating efficiency, complements the aerial platforms. Platforms and systems offer worldwide customers a «turnkey» training solution that can guarantee the highest quality standards at every training stage.
Among the most notable examples that have integrated Leonardo products and selected them based on excellent performance characteristics is the United Arab Emirates’ national aerobatic team, Al Fursan, which uses the Aermacchi MB-339 aircraft. The Emirati pilots were trained in Italy and the UAE under the guidance of the «Frecce Tricolori» pilots using Italian aircraft and training systems.
MBDA presents SmartGlider at Dubai Airshow, a new family of air launched guided weapons, for the first time outside Europe.
«We are seeing a huge interest in the SmartGlider family from the region», states Florent Duleux, MBDA Vice-President Middle East. «The region’s air forces are equipped with the latest generation of combat aircraft, particularly European combat aircraft, and Smart Glider allows the full exploitation of the sensors and systems that equip these modern aircraft – to deliver military effects that could not even be considered before».
The new SmartGlider family of guided weapons is optimised to counter anti-access strategies and other emerging battlespace threats. Designed to complement newest and future fast jets, SmartGlider forms a family of all-up-round glider weapons, with folding wings and a range of over 100 km/62 miles allowing the combat platform to stay at safe distance from the enemy defences. This new generation of air-to-ground weapons is designed to counter new networked short- and medium-range surface-to-air threats, as well as moving/relocatable targets or hardened fixed targets.
The compact family member, SmartGlider Light, is 2 meters/6,56 feet long and weighs 120 kg/264.5 lbs. 12 to 18 SmartGlider Lights can be carried on an aircraft thanks to a Hexabomb Smart Launcher (HSL) capable of managing reactive strikes without affecting the pilot’s workload. As such, the SmartGlider Light will allow first-day-entry by saturating and destroying enemy air defences.
For general purpose missions, the SmartGlider Light can be engaged against a wide spectrum of targets, from hardened and defended fixed targets such as hangars, to relocatable targets that can only be destroyed from a standoff distance with significant lethal effects.
Last, MBDA also prepares a 1,300 kg/2,866 lbs SmartGlider Heavy able to carry a multipurpose warhead of more than 1,000 kg/2,204.6 lbs to deal with large and hardened infrastructure.
SmartGliders will integrate new technologies in their guidance and navigation functions, as well as multi-purpose warheads. Thus, they will be able to reach and destroy the best defended targets, notably enemy air defences, thanks to a mix of optronics and radio frequency sensors that makes them robust against anti-access measures.
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces a successful atmospheric Free-Flight test of its Dream Chaser spacecraft, signaling the program is another achievement closer to orbital operations.
The full-scale Dream Chaser test vehicle was lifted from a Columbia Helicopters Model 234-UT Chinook helicopter on Saturday, released and flew a pre-planned flight path ending with an autonomous landing on Runway 22L at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California.
«The Dream Chaser flight test demonstrated excellent performance of the spacecraft’s aerodynamic design and the data shows that we are firmly on the path for safe, reliable orbital flight», said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space System business area.
The first orbital vehicle is scheduled to go to the International Space Station as soon as 2020 for at least six missions as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract (CRS2). The missions will supply astronauts with much needed supplies and technical support elements and enable the gentle return of scientific experiments. The test vehicle was originally developed under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities agreement (CCiCap).
«The Dream Chaser spacecraft today has proven its atmospheric flight performance along with its return and landing capability. This advances our program and the Dream Chaser towards orbital flight, while meeting the final milestone for our NASA CCiCap agreement and supporting milestone 5 of the CRS2 contract», Sirangelo added.
The test verified and validated the performance of the Dream Chaser spacecraft in the final approach and landing phase of flight, modeling a successful return from the space station. Most critically, by flying the same flight path that would be used returning from orbit, this free-flight proves the highly important landing attributes needed to bring back science and experiments from the space station.
SNC and NASA will evaluate information from the test, including the Dream Chaser aerodynamic and integrated system performance from 12,400 feet/3,780 meters altitude through main landing gear touchdown, nose landing gear touchdown and final rollout to wheel-stop on the runway. The Edwards Air Force Base runway is very similar to the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility runway that Dream Chaser will land on for CRS2 flights.
This approach and landing test expands on phase one flight testing, with key differences including adding specific program test inputs into the trajectory, which helps the engineers refine the aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle. Saturday’s test also included orbital vehicle avionics and flight software for the first time, providing orbital vehicle design validation.
«I’m so proud of the Dream Chaser team for their continued excellence. This spacecraft is the future and has the ability to change the way humans interact with space, and I couldn’t be happier with SNC’s dedicated team and the results of the test», said Fatih Ozmen, CEO of SNC.
The Dream Chaser has been at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center since January undergoing a variety of tests in preparation for the Free-Flight. The spacecraft used the same historic hangar occupied by the Enterprise Shuttle.
Northrop Grumman Corp. delivered the first operational MQ-4C Triton aircraft to the U.S. Navy facility at Point Mugu, providing the service with unparalleled endurance and 360-degree coverage that allows for a vastly expanded maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission.
«This aircraft represents the beginning of a new era for Naval aviation», said Doug Shaffer, vice president, Triton programs, Northrop Grumman. «Triton is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned system that delivers a critical autonomous capability to the Navy, expanding the service’s maritime patrol mission. We are proud to be a part of this historic program».
Northrop Grumman is expected to deliver the second operational Triton aircraft later this year. Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu is home to the maintenance detachment of Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP)19. Maintainers will prepare the first two operational Triton aircraft for its employment to Guam, scheduled next year. VUP-19, the U.S. Navy’s first unmanned patrol squadron, is based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. Pilots and operators will fly the unmanned Triton aircraft from NAS Jacksonville.
The Navy has announced plans to deploy Triton to NAS Mayport, Florida, NAS Sigonella, Italy and the Middle East in the future.
Flying upwards of 55,000 feet/16,764 meters for up to 24 hours at a time, Triton provides unprecedented, persistent 360-degree maritime domain awareness through vessel detection, classification and tracking. Triton aircraft can combine to fly an orbit, with one plane on station and another en route, providing the U.S. Navy with near-constant coverage of huge swaths of ocean and littorals. The program of record ultimately calls for Northrop Grumman to deliver 68 aircraft to the U.S. Navy.
Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System provides real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance over vast ocean and coastal regions. Supporting missions up to 24 hours, the high-altitude UAS is equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings at a radius of over 2,000 NM/2,302 miles/3,704 km.
Triton builds on elements of the Global Hawk UAS while incorporating reinforcements to the airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suite allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification.
Built to support the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program, Triton will support a wide range of intelligence gathering and reconnaissance missions, maritime patrol and search and rescue. The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be built.
Provides persistent maritime ISR at a mission radius of 2,000 NM/2,302 miles/3,704 km; 24 hours/7 days per week with 80% Effective Time On Station (ETOS)
Land-based air vehicle and sensor command and control
Afloat Level II payload sensor data via line-of-sight
Dual redundant flight controls and surfaces
51,000-hour airframe life
Due Regard Radar for safe separation
Anti/de-ice, bird strike, and lightning protection
Communications bandwidth management
Commercial off-the-shelf open architecture mission control system
Net-ready interoperability solution
Payload (360-degree Field of Regard)
Multi-Function Active Sensor Active Electronically Steered Array (MFAS AESA) radar:
Maritime and air-to-ground modes;
Long-range detection and classification of targets.
MTS-B multi-spectral targeting system:
High resolution at multiple field-of-views;
Full motion video.
AN/ZLQ-1 Electronic Support Measures:
Specific Emitter Identification.
Automatic Identification System:
Provides information received from VHF broadcasts on maritime vessel movements.
Airbus Helicopters has recently completed a ballistic development test of an HForce weapon system on a H145M on Pápa Airbase in Hungary. The tested system included guns (FN Herstal HMP400), unguided rockets (Thales FZ231) and cannons (Nexter NC621) as well as an electro-optical targeting system by Wescam (MX15) and a helmet mounted sight display by Thales (Scorpion). All planned and required tests were performed in a tight and demanding time schedule.
«This is an important milestone towards the qualification of HForce on the H145M, which is planned for end 2018», said Axel Humpert, Head of H145 Programme. «The positive results of this first ballistic development test are the outcome of a very good and professional cooperation between all parties involved, especially with the Hungarian Ministry of Defence».
Next steps prior to the qualification of HForce on the H145M are the development testing of laser-guided rockets in Sweden before the end of the year as well as additional live-firing trials in summer 2018.
HForce is an innovative, incremental and integrated high-performance weapon system that can easily be fitted («plug and play») into Airbus Helicopter’s military platforms such as H125M, H145M and H225M for ambitious and smart military operations where flexibility of mission equipment is a vital criterion. It is designed to meet the requirements of defence agencies seeking light attack mission capabilities or a complement to their existing fleet of specialized attack helicopters. Meanwhile, qualification of the core HForce system is on track for end 2017, following an extensive flight-test campaign carried out on a H225M testbed.
The H145M is a proven military helicopter, derived from the H145, a rugged workhorse and best in its class for rough EMS and police missions. First delivery of the H145 took place in 2014. The entire H145 fleet has now clocked up more than 80,000 flight hours. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes/8,157 lbs the H145M is an agile light attack helicopter. It perfectly matches the needs of Special Forces, can be used for a wide range of tasks, including armed reconnaissance, ground fire support, anti-tank warfare, escort, tactical transport, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) and Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC). Customers for the H145M include Germany – which in June received their 15th and final H145M LUH SOF helicopter on time and on budget – as well as the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of Thailand.
On November 08, 2017 (Wednesday), two additional «Adir» (F-35I Lightning II) stealth fighters landed in Nevatim Air Force Base (AFB). The jets will join the seven fighters that landed in Israel over the past year and will soon undergo a fitness inspection.
The new aircraft were escorted by a pair of «Adir» (F-35I Lightning II) jets that have already been integrated in Israel.
The two aircraft will join the seven fighters that landed in Israel over the past year and are the latest addition to the 140th Squadron («Golden Eagle»). With nine «Adir» (F-35I Lightning II) aircraft in Israel, the platform will soon undergo an initial fitness inspection.
The first two «Adir» (F-35I Lightning II) stealth fighters landed in Israel about a year ago, and seven additional aircraft have arrived since on three separate occasions. Throughout the past year, the stealth fighter underwent a series of tests and experiments in which the Israeli Air Force (IAF) learned to operate the new platform such as live munition fire and aerial refueling. Next month, the squadron will undergo a fitness inspection in which the IAF’s stealth fighters’ capabilities and readiness will be validated. Upon the completion of the inspection, the «Adir» (F-35I Lightning II) will become operational.
51.4 feet/15.7 m
14.4 feet/4.38 m
35 feet/10.7 m
460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span
22.5 feet/6.86 m
29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity
18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load
Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
On November 7 Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis met with Secretary of Defence of the United States James Mattis in Helsinki, Finland. He notified Defence Secretary J. Mattis on the decision of the MoD Defence Recourse Council to contact the U.S. Government regarding the possibility of buying Light Combat Tactical All-terrain Vehicles (L-ATV) manufactured by Oshkosh Defence. If the U.S. Government approves the request, Lithuania’s order will be delivered on together with orders of the United States and other countries’ armed forces. Cooperation with the U.S. Government would ensure Lithuania the best conditions for procurement and maintenance of the L-ATVs.
«At the Defence Resource Council session held in the end of last we week we recognised the L-ATV as the best efficiency-price ratio and decided to open negotiations on procurement of these armoured all-terrain vehicles», Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis commented on the MoD Defence Resource Council.
Combat support multirole armoured ATVs will supplement and update the fleet of this type of vehicles and will be distributed across the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The least of 200 Light Combat Tactical All-terrain Vehicles is planned to be procured, while delivery times and price will depend on the contract (however, 2021 has been foreseen as the starting time for delivery).
It was decided to begin the acquisition project relatively early because the procedure may take up to 2 years while the ATVs are an important element of the army mechanisation (also including the acquisition of Vilkas/Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
«Having taken into account potential threats and deployment rates of such vehicles both for national defence and to multinational operations, the Lithuanian Armed Forces identified a shortage of armoured ATVs. The shortage is the result of normal wear-and-tear of the present ATV fleet and also of the increased demand because of the armed forces enlargement», Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis said.
When the project was launched, first, information on the ATVs of the relevant type on the market was collected. Then, 9 models were selected according to such criteria as efficiency, compatibility, maintenance, etc. They were tested for capacity and functionality in practice and additional technical information was collected. When all the data was evaluated, it was decided that the U.S.-made L-ATV matched the criteria best.
Representatives of Oshkosh Defense provided a demonstration of L-ATV capacity at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Gaižiūnai Training Area for experts of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and other countries’ armed forces in October 2016.
Other manufacturers presented their production in Lithuania as well. Eagle (General Dynamics European Land System) and LAPV (Daimler AG) armoured ATVs were demonstrated in Lithuania in 2017.
Currently the Lithuanian Armed Forces use HMMWV and Toyota Land Cruiser 200 armoured all-terrain vehicles.
The L-ATV manufactured by the highly experienced Oshkosh Defense won the contract for 55,000 ATVs for the U.S. Armed Forces. L-ATVs should replace part of the HMMWVs used by the U.S. Armed Forces since 1984.
The Government of the United Kingdom also took a decision to buy L-ATVs for the Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
A series of live firings of the MBDA Brimstone precision strike missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon have been completed successfully, adding enhanced capability to the aircraft.
The trials, conducted from BAE Systems’ Military Air & Information at Warton, Lancashire, UK, form part of a programme of new enhancements which will be rolled out across the Royal Air Force (RAF), ensuring Typhoon remains at the cutting edge of combat capability.
Brimstone will provide Typhoon with a low collateral, pin-point accurate air-to-surface weapon, further enhancing the aircraft’s already combat-proven swing-role performance. Planning for the next stages of work on Brimstone – including evaluation by the RAF in mid-2018 – is now underway ahead of its entry into service.
Andy Flynn, Eurofighter Capability Delivery Director, BAE Systems, said: «To complete this milestone is testament to the expertise and dedication of our people and the value of working closely with our partners. Brimstone will add a low-collateral, high precision strike capability and ensure Typhoon remains fit to meet the threats of the future for decades to come».
Brimstone is part of the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package which also includes mission system and sensor upgrades. P3E is the final part of Project Centurion – the programme to ensure a smooth transition of Tornado GR4 capabilities on to Typhoon for the RAF.
In total nine firings and nine jettison trials, which began in July, have been completed, with support from the UK Ministry of Defence, MBDA, QinetiQ, Eurofighter GmbH and the Eurofighter Partner Companies – Airbus and Leonardo.
The aim of the trials was to provide weapons integration clearance for operational use. They covered a range of specific release scenarios, testing at various heights, speeds, levels of G-force and in different positions on the aircraft wing and in the launcher. The nine firings have also been used to perform data analysis and models of the weapon’s performance. Further flight trials will take place in early 2018, followed by operational evaluation by the RAF.
Operational evaluation of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package with the with RAF’s 41(R) Squadron – the Test and Evaluation Squadron – at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK, is continuing and will include live firings ahead of roll out to the UK fleet. The P2E package includes MBDA’s Meteor Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile and the Storm Shadow deep strike stand-off air-to-surface missile.