Safe-for-Flight

The «Argonauts» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 completed their carrier qualifications December 12 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), the final required component for Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing (CJSFW) to issue the squadron its safe-for-flight operations certification. This marks a major milestone for the U.S. Navy toward declaring Initial Operating Capability (IOC) next year.

Sailors direct an F-35C Lightning II assigned to the «Argonauts» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ethan J. Soto/Released)
Sailors direct an F-35C Lightning II assigned to the «Argonauts» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ethan J. Soto/Released)

The Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification (SFFOC) is the final step for VFA-147’s transition from the F/A-18E Super Hornet to the F-35C Lightning II. This process ensures a squadron is manned with qualified personnel to implement maintenance and safety programs in support of fleet operations. All transitioning squadrons are required to complete this certification prior to independently conducting flight operations.

When introducing a new aircraft to the fleet, the appropriate Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) is assigned oversight responsibility for the transitioning unit. The VFA-125 «Rough Raiders» were re-activated in January 2017 to fulfill the appropriate FRS role for the Lightning II. Since completing their combat deployment last winter, VFA-147 has been working with the Rough Raiders to accomplish the safe-for-flight operations certification. The Argonauts will be able to operate independently from the Rough Raiders, having received their safe-for-flight operations certification.

«Since we returned from deployment last December, our team has been driving toward fully bringing this platform online for the U.S. Navy», said VFA-147 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Patrick Corrigan. «As the Argonauts close out 2018 and the final stages of our safe-for-flight certification, we continue to exhibit the relentless drive required to meet transition goals and milestones. With this certification, we are announcing that we have the right skills, training and people to take this mission and execute it, to its fullest potential».

The safe-for-flight operations certification encompasses areas such as equipment, personnel and programs. Not least among them is the requirement for the squadron to be in the physical custody of at least 30 percent of the assigned aircraft. Other requirements include the installation and operation of management information systems such as Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) and its accompanying support networks. There is also a requirement for operational F-35C Lightning II squadrons to maintain robust, on-track, maintenance programs, as well as complete various inspections ranging from weapons to safety. Aircrew complete a transition flight syllabus and maintain certain proficiencies in accordance with Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures and Standardization (NATOPS).

«The Argonauts’ safe-for-flight operations certification was earned through the herculean effort of squadron Sailors and is an acknowledgement that they have developed the skills to safely maintain and operate the F-35C Lightning II», said Joint Strike Fighter Wing Commander Capt. Max McCoy. «We eagerly look forward to declaring IOC and integrating the F-35C Lightning II into the carrier strike group. This aircraft is a key component to maintaining the U.S. Navy’s dominance anywhere in the world».

«VFA-147 continues to accomplish significant milestones, advancing this program closer to its ultimate goal of integrating the F-35C Lightning II into the fleet», said McCoy. «The exceptional performance of the squadron throughout the entire transition process is a testament to the hard-working Sailors who make the U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II program a reality. We will succeed because the professionals in this program will not let it fail. It is evident in all that they do. It is who we are as a team».

Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, ensures that each F-35C Lightning II squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C Lightning II will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. Currently, the U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II program is scheduled to declare initial operating capability by the end of February 2019.

 

F-35C Lightning II launch From USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)

 

F-35С Lightning II specifications

Length 51.5 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.7 feet/4.48 m
Wing span 43 feet/13.1 m
Wing area 668 feet2/62.1 m2
Horizontal tail span 26.3 feet/8.02 m
Weight empty 34,800 lbs/15,785 kg
Internal fuel capacity 19,750 lbs/8,960 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 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
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-400
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Propulsion Length 220 inch/5.59 m
Propulsion Inlet Diameter 46 inch/1.17 m
Propulsion Maximum Diameter 51 inch/1.30 m
Propulsion Bypass Ratio 0.57
Propulsion Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6/1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h
Combat radius (internal fuel) >600 NM/683.5 miles/1,100 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Max g-rating 7.5

 

Planned Quantities

U.S. Navy 260
U.S. Marine Corps 80
In total 340

 

Multi-Role Tanker

Airbus Defence and Space has received a firm order from the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for a further three A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

France orders three more Airbus A330 MRTT tankers
France orders three more Airbus A330 MRTT tankers

The aircraft, known as Phénix in French service, constitute the third and final tranche of the multi-year contract for 12 A330 MRTTs signed by the French Ministry of Defence in 2014.

The first of the fleet was formally handed over in October and the remainder will be delivered by the end of 2023 under an accelerated timescale requested by France.

In French service the A330 MRTT will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and equipped with a combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods. The aircraft can be configured in a variety of layouts carrying up to 272 passengers as well as medevac arrangements including the French MORPHEE (MOdule de Réanimation Pour Haute Elongation d’Evacuation, or Resuscitation Module for High Elongation Evacuation) intensive care module carrying up to ten patients as well as 88 passengers.

The combat-proven A330 MRTT has been ordered by 12 nations which have now placed firm orders for 60 aircraft, of which 34 have been delivered.

The attached photo shows the first delivered Phénix.

European Aircraft

Another major milestone in the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS) programme was attained with the achievement of the System Preliminary Design Review on November 22nd. This highly significant accomplishment follows the European Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) inviting Airbus Defence and Space on October 31st to submit a Tender for the Development, Production and initial in-Service Support phase of the European MALE RPAS Programme. This milestone will allow the Participating States and Industry to start developing the System with aligned requirements and a clear picture of the overall system design.

The European MALE RPAS programme successfully passed the System Preliminary Design Review as final milestone of the Programme Definition Study
The European MALE RPAS programme successfully passed the System Preliminary Design Review as final milestone of the Programme Definition Study

As designated future prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space will coordinate the industrial response to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) with the involvement of major Sub-Contractors: Airbus Defence & Space, Dassault Aviation SA and Leonardo.

The ITT gives testimony to the willingness of the Participating States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) to continue with the programme after a highly successful requirement alignment phase and a convincing demonstration of the quality and fitness for purpose of the proposed design.

This successful achievement of the System Preliminary Design Review comes after a two-year definition study launched in September 2016 by the aforementioned Participating States. Three of these States had already signed a Declaration of Intent (DoI) to work together on a European MALE unmanned aerial system in May 2015, while Spain joined the programme in 2016.

Designed for flight in non-segregated airspace, its characteristics will include mission modularity for operational superiority in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, both wide area and in-theatre. The Participating States’ agreed on the air vehicle configuration in mid-2017, selecting a twin-turboprop propulsion system.

By the middle of the next decade the MALE RPAS will be operated worldwide to perform Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

Sea trials

The second of the Navy’s next-generation patrol ships will debut in Portsmouth in the New Year after successfully completing her maiden sea trials.

HMS Medway (P223) makes headway as new patrol ship completes sea trials
HMS Medway (P223) makes headway as new patrol ship completes sea trials

HMS Medway (P223) spent 15 days in the Firth of Clyde tested her engines, manoeuvrability, sensors and main cannon under a mixed civilian/Royal Navy crew under Admiralty Trials Master Captain Graham Baxter.

The ship is the second of five 2,000-tonne River-class 2.0 vessels built for patrol duties in home waters and beyond by BAE Systems on the Clyde.

After more than a year being fitted out at Scotstoun, the ship headed down the Clyde and into its estuary for a busy trials programme.

Throughout the trials package, all onboard systems were put through their paces including the Integrated Platform Management System, which controls and monitors most of the ship’s systems, and the Combat Management System which is used to collate sensor information and assist the command team in the decisions they make when in action.

The Automated Small Calibre Gun, the 30-mm cannon on the forecastle, fired rounds at a ‘killer tomato’ inflatable target with impressive accuracy and the off-ship fire monitors tested correctly.

Ship handling trials such as manoeuvrability, speed and range trials generated a lot of interest onboard, as HMS Medway (P223) was taken to the upper limits of performance.

«It was great to finally get to sea on Medway», said marine engineer Chief Petty Officer Will Davies. «The small Royal Navy team benefited from the experience and had a lot of opportunities to improve their ship and systems knowledge. The whole trials package was really positive».

Weapon engineer Chief Petty Officer Luke Travell added: «Achieving so much during our trials period really shows how much effort we have all put in. BAE, ship’s staff and all the contractors should be really proud».

Lieutenant Commander Ben Power – Medway’s first sea-going Commanding Officer – said the small ship presented a superb sight as she manoeuvred deftly in the Firth of Clyde. «She is a hugely-capable ship which will add flexibility and strength to the offshore patrol vessel force», he added.

HMS Medway (P223) is now back in Scotstoun undergoing a final period of planned maintenance and tweaks, as well as processing and analysing results from the trials to meet criteria which will her allow her to be accepted by the Royal Navy, before she sails down to her future home of Portsmouth in 2019.

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Billings (LCS-15) successfully completed its acceptance trials December 7 after a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations on the Great Lakes for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

Future USS Billings (LCS-15) completes acceptance trials
Future USS Billings (LCS-15) completes acceptance trials

Acceptance trials is the last significant milestone before the ship is delivered to the U.S. Navy. During the trial, the U.S. Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling capabilities and auxiliary systems.

«The successful completion of these acceptance trials is an important step in the life of the future USS Billings», said LCS program manager Captain Mike Taylor. «I look forward to the next phase of Billings’s journey when she is delivered to the Navy in early spring 2019».

Following delivery and commissioning, USS Billings (LCS-15) will sail to her Florida homeport in Mayport with sister ships USS Milwaukee (LCS-5), USS Detroit (LCS-7), USS Little Rock (LCS-9), USS Sioux City (LCS-11) and the future USS Wichita (LCS-13).

Seven more Freedom-variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wisconsin. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) was christened in April, and the future USS St. Louis (LCS 19) is scheduled to be christened on December 15.

Additional ships in the production phase include the future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21), USS Cooperstown (LCS-23), USS Marinette (LCS-25) and USS Nantucket (LCS-27), with USS Beloit (LCS-29) in the pre-production phase.

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016   Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017   Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018    
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017      
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018      
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018      
USS Marinette LCS-25        
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)        
USS Beloit (LCS-29)        

The third and final

The future USSLyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) was launched December 9 at General Dynamics-BathIron Works shipyard.

BATH, Maine (December 9, 2018) Following a multi-day process that includes moving the ship from the land level facility to the dry dock, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is made ready before flooding of the dry dock at General Dynamic-Bath Iron Works shipyard, and subsequent launching of the third Zumwalt-class destroyer (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works/Released)
BATH, Maine (December 9, 2018) Following a multi-day process that includes moving the ship from the land level facility to the dry dock, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is made ready before flooding of the dry dock at General Dynamic-Bath Iron Works shipyard, and subsequent launching of the third Zumwalt-class destroyer (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works/Released)

The process of launching a ship is a multi-day process that includes moving the ship from the land level facility to the dry dock which is then slowly flooded until the ship is afloat. With the ship in the water, final outfitting and production can commence.

«It’s important for the DDG-1000 program and shipyard to reach this major milestone», said Captain Kevin Smith, DDG-1000 program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «With the first two ships of the class underway, we are excited to continue the next phase of construction of the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002)».

Zumwalt-class destroyers feature a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design and are equipped with the most advanced warfighting technology and weaponry. These ships will be capable of performing a range of deterrence, power projection, sea control, and command and control missions while allowing the Navy to evolve with new systems and missions.

«The crew of Lyndon B. Johnson looks forward to bringing this great warship honoring our 36th President to life, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to be present for this important step in the ship’s construction», said Captain Jeremy Gray, prospective commanding officer, USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002). «It is truly impressive to see the ship afloat in the Kennebec River for the first time and we look forward to taking her to sea».

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is the third and final DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class ship, and is scheduled to be christened in the spring of 2019.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.

New Era

Australia’s firsttwo locally-based F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft arrived on home soil onDecember 9 at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Williamtown, signalling thedawn of a new era for the nation’s defence capabilities.

Australia's first F-35s arrive home to RAAF Williamtown heralding new era for the Australian Defence Force
Australia’s first F-35s arrive home to RAAF Williamtown heralding new era for the Australian Defence Force

Lockheed Martin designed and built Australia’s fleet of F-35s and also serves as the global industry lead for F-35 sustainment.

The most advanced fighter jet ever built, the F-35 will be a catalyst for the transformation of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), utilising its sensors and low observability to operate with impunity in contested airspace and fuse a picture of the battlespace for other air, land and sea assets. Along with its advanced weapons capacity and superior range, the 5th Generation F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter in the world.

«The arrival of the first F-35 aircraft to be permanently based in Australia is a historic occasion and we are proud of our role as the 5th Generation design pioneer and F-35 original equipment manufacturer», said Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, Vince Di Pietro AM, CSC.

«We congratulatethe RAAF, the ADF and all of our Australian industry partners who have workedto make this achievement a reality».

             

Australia PlaysMajor Role in the F-35 Program

Australian suppliers play a significant role in the F-35 program with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the global program of record of more than 3,000 aircraft. To date, the F-35 program has secured more than 2,400 highly skilled jobs created and generated more than $1.3 billion AUD in contracts for Australian industry.

«Flown by Australian pilots, maintained by Australian maintenance personnel and containing many best-of-breed advanced components made right here in Australia, all Australians have every reason to be proud of this achievement», Di Pietro said. «Australia plays a significant role in the program with a suite of local industrial technology and know-how behind the hundreds of F-35s flying today, as well as the thousands of F-35s that will be produced in the future».

Lockheed Martin is the industry lead for F-35 global sustainment and is working in partnership with the Australian Defence Force and local industry to provide sustainment support and realise the full potential of the F-35 as an integrated force multiplier for decades to come.

Australia’s hascommitted to 72 F-35As, which will be flown by Australian pilots, andmaintained by a joint team of Australian maintenance personnel and industrypartners including Lockheed Martin Australia. Australia has received 10 aircraft to date, the remainder of which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base inArizona where they are part of the international cooperative F-35 trainingoperations.

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 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
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

Dreadnought
programme

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a £400 million funding boost for the Dreadnought programme, as he opened a new training academy and revealed the name of the second Dreadnought submarine.

An artist's impression of HMS Dreadnought (Credit: BAE Systems)
An artist’s impression of HMS Dreadnought (Credit: BAE Systems)

The planned funding release, which supports the building phase of the programme, came as the Defence Secretary unveiled a £25 million BAE Systems academy that will upskill employees to work on Royal Navy submarines for the next two decades.

The £400million investment will safeguard more than 8,000 jobs in Barrow and across the UK, which are all supported by the £31billion Dreadnought programme and supply chain.

The announcement was made during the Defence Secretary’s visit to BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness, where he also named the second Dreadnought submarine as HMS Valiant.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «Next year marks half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began patrolling the waters in response to the danger posed by the Cold War – and the world is again facing a raft of intensifying threats. This £400m investment will ensure the Dreadnought programme remains on track, so we continue to have a nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come. Not only does today’s news see us safeguard 8,000 jobs right now, but I have also opened a brand new multi-million-pound facility to train Britain’s submarine engineers of the future».

The last vessel to carry the name HMS Valiant was the second Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine.

Launched in 1963, she took part in the Navy’s first tactical exercise under the Arctic ice and played an important role in the Falklands War, deterring the Argentine surface fleet from closing the islands.

The latest investment comes after £960 million worth of contracts were announced in May to ramp up the current phase of construction for the UK’s four nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines.

Submarine Delivery Agency Chief Executive Ian Booth said: «The Academy for Skills and Knowledge is essential in developing the vast range of talent in Barrow and ensures that the workforce is equipped with the best possible tools needed to meet the ever-growing demands placed on the UK’s submarine construction industry».

The Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge will provide around 2,500 people a month – including 600 apprentices from across industry and the Ministry of Defence – with invaluable skills and training to benefit the work carried out on the Dreadnought and Astute submarine programmes.

Cliff Robson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «This is a fantastic facility that will provide a unique environment in which to train our growing workforce. Our investment in skills will not only ensure we have a pipeline of world-class talent available to deliver our complex programmes, but will also positively contribute to the economic prosperity of the region and the UK’s engineering industry. The new academy will give our current and future workforce access to the very latest in learning and development, demonstrating our lasting commitment not just to our current employees but to those who will join our company in years to come».

Today’s funding announcement comes a year after the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which set out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

It demonstrates how defence is building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.

Heavy punch

Adding to the Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessels’ (USV) capability to mount and launch light weight torpedoes, Elbit Systems ISTAR division has teamed with Leonardo to develop and demonstrate Leonardo’s lightweight and mini torpedoes launching capabilities from the USV. The two companies announced the agreement at Exponaval (Valparaiso, Chile, 4-7 December).

Fitting torpedoes to small, unmanned boats like Elbit’s Seagull gives small boat swarms a heavy punch at very low cost, and would allow large numbers of such boats to overwhelm the defenses of large ship formations such as carrier groups (Elbit photo)
Fitting torpedoes to small, unmanned boats like Elbit’s Seagull gives small boat swarms a heavy punch at very low cost, and would allow large numbers of such boats to overwhelm the defenses of large ship formations such as carrier groups (Elbit photo)

The solution will be based on the same architecture used for airborne torpedo launching systems. Operational with the Israeli Navy, Elbit Systems’ Seagull USV performed superbly in the Belgian Defence Ministry 2017 North Sea trials and has been participating regularly in international naval exercises conducting Mine Counter Measures and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions.

Leonardo holds a strategic market position in the design, production and integration of torpedoes with over 30 Countries having selected its systems.

Ukrainian Missile

The tests of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov upon completion of the tests at the military proving ground in the Odesa region.

Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)
Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)

According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests, in particular, a successful flight test of Ukrainian cruise missiles was carried out, and the coast defense system was worked out with the help of the modernized S-125 missile system.

«The task put today before cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets», – the NSDC Secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers.

Mr. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of hitting long-range targets and that a special point on the Snake Island was equipped.

In addition, Mr. Turchynov said that to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of hitting the conditional opponent’s watercraft by the S-125 missile systems, which had undergone a deep modernization at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industry, were checked.

«According to the results of the watercraft firing, the upgraded S-125 proved to be effective. There were 8 launches during which 8 surface targets were destroyed. This is a very good result, which proves that these modernized systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea, and will significantly enhance the coast defense of the Black Sea and Azov coast», – Mr. Turchynov noticed.

After the tests were completed, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading developers of missile equipment and the military leadership to determine the priority areas for strengthening defense of the Black Sea-Azov region. The meeting took place in a new command-and-staff mobile special telecommunication complex, which was involved in coordinating missile firing.