Sea Ready

The Navy’s newest submarine was delivered to the U.S. Navy with nearly 100 percent on board material August 26, thanks to the collaboration between the ship’s supply department and Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Norfolk, Groton Division.

Virginia-class submarine USS Illinois (SSN-786) (GD Electric Boat Photo)
Virginia-class submarine USS Illinois (SSN-786) (GD Electric Boat Photo)

According to Assistant Division Director Lieutenant Joseph Aiello, USS Illinois (SSN-786) was delivered ahead of schedule with 99.51 percent on board material – well above the contractual requirement of 97 percent.

Behind the scenes, a small cadre of logistic specialists quietly executed the functions of outfitting and stowing the Navy’s newest submarine. The team tracked and monitored the delivery of more than 10,000 items to include all Authorized Medical Allowance List (AMAL), Authorized Dental Allowance List (ADAL), General Use Consumables List (GUCL), and Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) to the submarine.

«Beyond the hull of Illinois, the most valuable asset – the crew – was provided with dedicated support facilities to ensure training, administration and day-to-day operations of the command continued unencumbered by the construction», said Aiello.

NAVSUP FLC Norfolk, Groton Division is a relatively small unit comprised of 19 civilian and military personnel.

«The single aspect that, to me, is most inspiring about the organization is the sheer dedication to the Sailors on the waterfront and the true collaborative nature that is fostered across the spectrum of organizations at the shipyard», said Aiello.

According to Aiello, collaboration between civilian employees and military staff is a noted organizational strength of the unit.

«While a good segment of the team have prior military experience, those who do not have demonstrated the same commitment to excellence and truly understand the need for flawless customer support», he added.

USS Illinois (SSN-786), which is the 13th submarine in the Virginia class, is scheduled to be commissioned October 29.

 

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 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.06 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.36 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 tons/7,961 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise 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 I

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-774 Virginia EB 8-16-03 10-23-04 Portsmouth, New Hampshire
SSN-775 Texas NNS 7-31-05 9-9-06 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-776 Hawaii EB 6-19-06 5-5-07 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina NNS 4-21-07 5-3-08 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered

 

Block II

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-778 New Hampshire EB 6-21-08 10-25-08 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-779 New Mexico NNS 12-13-08 11-21-09 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-780 Missouri EB 12-5-09 7-31-10 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-781 California NNS 11-6-10 10-29-11 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-782 Mississippi EB 12-3-11 6-2-12 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-783 Minnesota NNS 10-27-12 9-7-13 Norfolk, Virginia

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB Under Construction
SSN-789 Indiana NNS Under Construction
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Autonomous undersea

Northrop Grumman Corporation demonstrated new cross domain approaches for autonomous undersea, surface and air vehicles to advance the Anti-Submarine Warfare mission during this year’s Annual Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport.

A surrogate autonomous aircraft drops a replica torpedo during a cross domain demonstration at the Annual Naval Technology Exercise in Newport, Rhode Island, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (Northrop Grumman Photo)
A surrogate autonomous aircraft drops a replica torpedo during a cross domain demonstration at the Annual Naval Technology Exercise in Newport, Rhode Island, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (Northrop Grumman Photo)

Data collected from multiple sensors arrayed across autonomous undersea, surface and air vehicles were fused autonomously to develop a real-time tracking solution that guided a surrogate autonomous air vehicle to engage a contact for live drop of a replica torpedo, for the first time.

ANTX is an annual three-day event developed by NUWC to demonstrate future Navy technologies in a low risk environment. Government, academia and industry participants gather to showcase new capabilities to push the boundaries of what is possible in a complex environment.

«Integration of our proven autonomous systems across the different maritime environments will enable a shared allied network and common operating picture for enhanced maritime domain awareness which remains a challenge», said Brian Chappel, vice president, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman.

The demonstration features advanced mission management and control of a multi-vehicle collaborative autonomous system-of-systems conducting full spectrum search, detect, track, classify and engagement of submerged targets.

«Northrop Grumman continues to invest to broaden the capabilities of individual autonomous systems and expand the ability of those unmanned systems to interoperate effectively to perform missions», said Alan Lytle, vice president, undersea systems, Northrop Grumman. «Our mission level autonomy allows heterogeneous autonomous systems to understand the unfolding mission and dynamically re-task themselves without human intervention».

Northrop Grumman brings a strong skillset of sensor, maritime and autonomous expertise to this area. Earlier this year, the company demonstrated its latest maritime domain awareness detection capabilities off the southern coast of California during a 43-day test. In collaboration with Ultra USSI and Liquid Robotics the team validated a range of sensors and systems using autonomous surface vehicles.

The autonomous surface vehicles collected data, validated contacts and processed real time data transmission to ground operators via surrogate autonomous aircraft and satellite for exploitation, thus providing an effective maritime domain capability.

«These long-endurance autonomous demonstrations are a vital part of our maritime efforts», said Rick Crooks, director, advanced development, Northrop Grumman. «Our advanced architecture enables an integrated cross-domain data flow throughout maritime centers, creating actionable intelligence for emerging threats».

Combat System
for the U.S. Frigates

The U.S. Navy selected Lockheed Martin’s COMBATSS-21 as the combat management system for the Navy’s frigate ship program. COMBATSS-21 is the combat management system in operation on the Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The five-year contract, which is worth up to $79.5 million, covers fiscal years 2016-2021.

COMBATSS-21 provides commonality across the surface combatant fleet, delivering an affordable path to rapid capability insertion and life-cycle costs. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
COMBATSS-21 provides commonality across the surface combatant fleet, delivering an affordable path to rapid capability insertion and life-cycle costs. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

COMBATSS-21 (COMponent-BAsed Total-Ship System-21st Century) is built from the Aegis Common Source Library (CSL), and shares a pedigree with the Aegis Baseline 9 software developed for the Aegis cruiser and destroyer fleet, as well as international ships, the Aegis Ashore system, LCS and the Coast Guard National Security Cutters (NSC).

«We look forward to providing this combat management system to the frigates and potentially other platforms across the U.S. Navy, as it will bring commonality across the fleet of surface combatants and is a step toward realizing the vision of distributed lethality», said Rich Calabrese, director of Mission Systems at Lockheed Martin. «Using the CSL enhances life-cycle affordability by reducing costs for integration, test and certification – and delivers an open combat system architecture in line with the Navy’s objective architecture, driving affordability and increasing interoperability across the entire fleet».

The CSL allows surface combatants to rapidly and affordably integrate new capabilities across the fleet. This means that ships using a CSL-derived combat system can incorporate new sensors, weapons and capability upgrades to keep pace with evolving threats. The benefit of the surface combatant CSL is that these updates become available for rollout across other ship classes.

«We can build capability, get it into the CSL and then deploy it in a ship class when the Navy determines the need», Calabrese said. In this way, capability developed on a forward fit program may be applied to ships already in service.

As the Aegis Combat System Engineering Agent, Lockheed Martin provides modern combat management systems and conducts the entire combat system integration life-cycle that enables navies around the world to achieve their most critical mission objectives. Lockheed Martin has successfully delivered and integrated Aegis and Aegis-based products on 126 platforms in eight nations, with an additional 23 under construction or planned. Aegis and Aegis-derived systems are in service in U.S. Navy cruisers, destroyers, Littoral Combat Ships, Coast Guard National Security Cutters and Aegis Ashore sites. The navies of Japan, Spain, Norway, the Republic of Korea, and Australia have also chosen Aegis to protect their nations.

G/ATOR Block II

Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Marine Corps have achieved two major milestones in developing the Ground Weapon Locating Radar (GWLR) mode for the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR).

Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Marine Corps have achieved two major milestones in developing the Ground Weapon Locating Radar mode for the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Marine Corps have achieved two major milestones in developing the Ground Weapon Locating Radar mode for the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar

The GWLR preliminary design review in February and critical design review in August marked the successful completion of the design reviews for the development of this capability. These reviews will be followed by an Initial Integration Event (IIE) in October to perform initial testing of the system and take data on several targets to assist in the remaining integration work.

The IIE will be an initial demonstration of G/ATOR’s ability to detect and track multiple types of rocket, artillery and mortar rounds simultaneously. G/ATOR has a significant output power advantage compared to current U.S. counter-fire target acquisition radars, equating directly to longer-range threat detection and tracking. This provides additional time to successfully engage and negate these threats with both current and future longer-range engagement weapons.

«It is critical that we deliver this capability to our warfighters on time and at an affordable cost», said Roshan Roeder, director, mission solutions, Northrop Grumman. «Our unmatched experience in developing and fielding algorithms for the counter-fire targeting mission, combined with internally-funded risk reduction systems that have participated in nearly 1,000 live fire events prior to this contract award, ensured the successful completion of these reviews and support an initial operating capability for G/ATOR Block II in mid-2018».

The GWLR mode adds software to the G/ATOR system to detect, track, and identify rocket, artillery, and mortar projectiles, both 360-degree and sector-only. The GWLR mode addresses multiple types of simultaneous threats.

In addition to providing a broad range of optimized radar capabilities, AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR provides automatic adaptability via a scalable open system architecture
In addition to providing a broad range of optimized radar capabilities, AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR provides automatic adaptability via a scalable open system architecture

 

G/ATOR (AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar)

 

Ukrainian army

The Ukrainian army, with the assistance of U.S. and multinational partners, continues to strive to improve the capability and capacity within its armed forces. Approximately 20 Ukrainian cadre recently completed their first rotation training Ukrainian Soldiers on individual combat skills at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.

Soldiers assigned to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, discuss the importance of properly maintaining the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle with Ukrainian instructors before conducting a live-fire exercise as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, Ukraine, August 13, 2016. The Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine's mission is to train Ukrainian instructors in an ongoing effort to build a Combat Training Center in an effort to strengthen Ukraine's defenses (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Elizabeth Tarr)
Soldiers assigned to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, discuss the importance of properly maintaining the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle with Ukrainian instructors before conducting a live-fire exercise as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, Ukraine, August 13, 2016. The Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine’s mission is to train Ukrainian instructors in an ongoing effort to build a Combat Training Center in an effort to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Elizabeth Tarr)

The training is part of the ongoing operations of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U). The JMTG-U mission is focused on building a sustainable, enduring combat training center here. Part of this mission includes building training capacity quickly through the consolidation and resourcing of dedicated training cadre.

These instructors are the first group of cadre trained on conducting the first six modules of a nine-week rotational training set. The modules include weapons training, land navigation, combat lifesaving skills, and section live-fire. Soldiers of 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division certified the instructors by observing and gauging their ability to put the six modules into action and effectively train other Ukrainian Soldiers.

Spc. Brett Jones, a rifleman assigned to 6-8 Cav., is a fourth generation veteran and is excited to be able to continue the family tradition. Jones said that he is optimistic about training alongside the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

«Every time we go out and observe the Ukrainian Soldiers, they do the training to a T», said Jones. «They are very hands on with the training and make sure each Soldier knows how to effectively do each task to standard».

Staff Sergeant Alex Fernandez, a squad leader and instructor assigned to 6-8 Cav. spent two years as a drill sergeant and was able to use the skills he acquired to ensure the Ukrainian instructors were fully up to speed on training their Soldiers on individual tasks.

«They have always been comfortable teaching the Soldiers, but now I feel they are more confident with their teaching techniques», said Fernandez. «They have built that trust and bond with the Soldiers and they listen to the instructors when given instructions».

After the training has been conducted, the Soldiers from 6-8 Cav. pull the Ukrainian instructors aside and brief them on their performance during the exercise.

According to Jones the Ukrainian Soldiers respond well when they receive praise, validation and feedback from the multinational force trainers. «They do training by the book and listen to recommendations that we make», he said.

First Lieutenant Taras Tanailov, an instructor assigned to the Combat Training Center mentored the newly graduated Ukrainian instructors over the past three weeks. Tanailov has been with the instructors since they were certified to teach and observed the progression in their ability to train Soldiers.

Tanailov said that over the last few weeks his instructors had learned a lot about leading and training Soldiers. He said that they are more confident in the training, which allows them to be more effective leaders.

Captain Abdullah H. Clark, company commander for Charlie Troop, 6-8 Cav., had the opportunity to observe the Ukrainian instructors and was able to view military tactics from a different perspective.

«So far I’ve learned a different method of every aspect of military affairs from logistics to tactics to unofficial dynamics of the social system», said Clark. «They have taught me a different way to run things other than the way we normally do for our military».

The ultimate goal of the JMTG-U is to establish a sustainable Combat Training Center staffed and led completely by the Ukrainian military.

«I think if we left here today, they would do everything they need to do to train their military», said Jones. «I definitely think they are doing a good job».

Now that the initial six modules are complete, the Ukrainian instructors will move on to learn the next two modules, which is a milestone for the JMTG-U. This marks the first time Ukrainian instructors will learn modules seven and eight, which include squad, section and platoon collective tasks.

Boxer for Lithuania

On August 22 the contract of procuring Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) for the Lithuanian Armed Forces was signed at the Ministry of National Defence. 88 IFVs manufactured according to requirements set out by the Lithuanian Armed Forces will be bought for the sum of EUR 385.6 m.

Less than 8 months since selecting the Boxer in December 2015, Lithuania has signed a €400 million contract to buy 88 of the vehicles, becoming the third NATO member to buy the vehicle, which will be delivered from 2017 (ARTEC photo)
Less than 8 months since selecting the Boxer in December 2015, Lithuania has signed a €400 million contract to buy 88 of the vehicles, becoming the third NATO member to buy the vehicle, which will be delivered from 2017 (ARTEC photo)

The contract was endorsed by the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, managing directors of ARTEC GmbH, the Boxer IFV manufacturer, Stefan Lischka and Christoph Heuman, and Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement (OCCAR) director Tim Rowntree.

By the contract, combat vehicles manufactured by a German-Dutch consortium with Israeli-made turrets and armed with 30-mm cannons and «Spike LR» antitank missiles are bought for the average price of EUR 4.38 m per one.

Lithuania and the IFV manufacturer agreed that the vehicles will be renamed from «Boxer» to IFV «Vilkas» IFVs to retain the ties with the history of Lithuania and the traditions of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

The first IFVs «Vilkas» are expected to be delivered in late 2017, and the rest would arrive by 2021.

«The signature today crowns the efforts of the Ministry of National Defence to provide the Lithuanian Armed Forces with quality and value for money product. It is a long-term investment into national defence and also a signal that Lithuania takes its security and investments into it seriously», – Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said.

«Today’s contract signature is a key milestone in the delivery of a modern and highly effective armoured vehicle capability to Lithuania. Within less than eight months, our strong joint team from Lithuania, Germany, The Netherlands, the BOXER industry and OCCAR have developed this highly capable and value for money package, which will provide Lithuania with world class capability and flexibility for decades to come. I and my team are honoured to play our role in delivering this vital programme for the defence and security of Lithuania and I am delighted to welcome Lithuania to the OCCAR community», – OCCAR director Tim Rowntree said.

The new IFVs will be distributed to the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised and the Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalions of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf.

«The IFVs will provide greater mobility, force protection and firepower for the battalions and the entire Brigade. In operational terms, we will not only have the ability to take troops to the battlefield safely, but also to be effective on the battlefield as we destroy armoured and unarmoured targets at the distance of up to 4 km/2.5 miles. In technical term, our units will be better at integration and operation side by side with our allies», – Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas said.

Prior to signing the IFV procurement contract the memorandum of understanding between Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany was signed.

Another contract signed by representatives of OCCAR and Lithuania defined the scope, guidelines and authority of cooperation of Lithuania and OCCAR.

Lithuania joined the OCCAR Boxer Programme and authorised OCCAR to supervise execution of the procurement project and conduct qualitative expertise of the «Vilkas» IFVs vehicles bought. As part of the Boxer Programme, Lithuania will benefit from all the advantages offered: smaller development and maintenance costs, sharing technologies, and better interoperability with other participants of the programme.

The Boxer IFVs manufactured by ARTEC, a joint venture of German Krauss-MaffeiWegmann and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, and Dutch Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Nederland, were selected for the needs of the Lithuanian Armed Forces as the best value for money choice and as fulfilling additional Lithuanian Armed Forces’ requirements for maximum personnel protection and delivery time.

First TAPV

Textron Systems Canada Inc., a Textron Inc. company, announced on August 19 the delivery of the first Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) to the Canadian Army. The Canadian Army is fielding the first vehicles to the 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown and the 2nd Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier.

COMMANDO Elite is the Canadian Forces vehicle of choice for its Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle Program
COMMANDO Elite is the Canadian Forces vehicle of choice for its Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle Program

The TAPV is a 4×4 wheeled armoured vehicle specifically engineered and designed to provide survivability, mobility and versatility over the full spectrum of operations. The comprehensive, modern design is aimed at shielding troops from ballistics and roadside blasts while providing large power reserves for future electronics enhancements, with an ergonomically designed interior for optimum comfort and payload.

«We believe the TAPV is the most mobile, survivable and reliable armoured vehicle in the world today», said Textron Systems Vice President of Land Systems Richard Valenti. «We are excited to start these deliveries to the Canadian Army and support the program through operational capability and beyond».

In April 2016, the TAPV completed a very rigorous Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Durability (RAMD) test program during which it faced multiple operational tests, including driving more than 130,000 kilometers/80,778 miles on challenging terrain representing operational profiles prescribed by the Canadian Army. The TAPV’s RAMD testing also included firing the remote weapons station and conducting more than 4,700 hours of remote weapons station usage, including 1,650 hours of silent watch operations. Testing was conducted over three months, day and night, six days per week. The final results showed that the TAPV exceeded the reliability and maintainability requirements of the contract.

Textron Systems plans to deliver at least 30 vehicles per month to the Canadian Army with all 500 vehicles scheduled to be delivered by December 2017. The fleet will be distributed across seven bases. The Canadian Army expects to declare full operational capability by mid-2020.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

WEIGHT
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) 40,700 lbs/18,460 kg
Curb Weight 36,300 lbs/16,460 kg
PERFORMANCE (at 38,000 lbs/17,236.5 kg)
Speed (level hard surface) 65 mph/105 km/h
Range @ 50 mph/80 km/h 400 miles/644 km
Gradient 60%
Side Slope 30%
Vertical Wall 24 inch/0.6 m
Fording 60 inch/1.5 m
TIRES
Michelin 16.00R20 XZL with Hutchinson run flat inserts
SUSPENSION
Fully independent front and rear, upper and lower control arms
POWER TRAIN
Engine Cummins QSL 365, 365 hp, 1,113 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed, Allison 3200SP
ARMAMENT
Various (depending on customer needs)
SURVIVABILITY
Protects against direct and indirect weapons, mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
Unaided 360 degrees
OTHER MISSION EQUIPMENT OPTIONS
Add-on Armor Customer specification
Turret Enhancements Customer specification
Alternator 400- and 575-amp alternator
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) Customer specification
NAV/GPS Customer specification
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) Individual/Overpressure Customer specification
360-Degree Situational Awareness (Night/Day) Customer specification
SEATING
With turret 3 crew, 2 dismounts
With Objective Gunner Protection Kit (OGPK) or Remote Weapon Station (RWS) 2 crew, 4 dismounts

 

Textron Systems Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV)

 

Christening of Yuma

Austal Limited is pleased to announce the christening of Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) at a ceremony held at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard on Saturday, 20th August 2016.

Ship sponsor Mrs. Janet Napolitano christens USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) (Photo: Austal USA)
Ship sponsor Mrs. Janet Napolitano christens USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) (Photo: Austal USA)

Ship sponsor Mrs. Janet Napolitano, former Governor of Arizona and current President of the University of California, joined distinguished guests from the U.S. Navy, State and Local Government, Austal USA management and employees for the christening ceremony, held beneath the hull of the ship in the final assembly bay.

USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) is the eighth of 10 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) that Austal USA is delivering under a contract with the U.S. Navy valued in excess of US$1.6 billion.

«On behalf of Austal USA’s shipbuilding team – one of the most talented that I’ve ever worked with – we are proud to provide our Navy with an incredible vessel that will honour the great city of Yuma as she supports humanitarian efforts the world over», said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. «The EPF program has matured very well and we are confident that the EPF fleet will continue to serve our Navy as a highly flexible platform», Mr. Perciavalle added.

EPF-8, a 337.9 feet/103 meter, shallow draft all-aluminium catamaran, is a multi-mission, non-combatant transport vessel characterized by its high volume, high speed, and flexibility. It is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named Yuma as a tribute to the residents of the Arizona city and their close ties with the military.

USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) will ultimately join her sister EPF’s that have been delivered over the last three years, including USNS Spearhead (T-EPF-1) which has logged over 100,000 nautical miles/115,078 miles/185,200 km at sea and is currently on her fifth deployment since she was delivered in 2012.

Three more EPF’s and seven Independence variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are currently under construction at Austal USA. Next month, the shipyard is scheduled to launch USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8), while the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) will undergo builder’s sea trials.

Guests gathered to attend the christening of USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) (Photo: Austal USA)
Guests gathered to attend the christening of USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) (Photo: Austal USA)

 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Material Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 103 m/337.9 feet
Beam overall 28.5 m/93.5 feet
Hull draft (maximum) 3.83 m/12.57 feet
MISSION BAY
Area (with tie-downs) 1,863 m2/20,053 feet2
Clear Height 4.75 m/15.6 feet
Turning diameter 26.2 m/86.0 feet
ISO TEU (Twenty Equivalent Units) Stations 6 Interface Panels
ACCOMMODATIONS
Crew 41
Single SR 2
Double SR 6
Quad SR 7
Troop Seats 312
Troop Berths Permanent: 104
Temporary: 46
Galley and Messing 48
PROPULSION
Main Engines 4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L Diesel Engines 4 × 9.1 MW
Gear boxes 4 × ZF 60000NR2H Reduction Gears
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila WLD 1400 SR
PERFORMANCE
Average Speed 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload
Maximum Speed 43 knots/50 mph/80 km/h without payload
Maximum Transit Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km
Self-Deployment Range 5,600 NM/6,444 miles/10,371 km
Survival Through SS-7
AVIATION FACILITIES
NAVAIR Level 1 Class 2 Certified Flight Deck for one helicopter
Centreline parking area for one helicopter
NAVAIR Level 1 class 4 Type 2 Certified VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment)
Helicopter Control Station
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Active Ride Control Transcom Interceptors
Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 feet2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls
Vehicle Ramp Articulated Slewing Stern Ramp
Straight aft to 45 Starboard
Telescoping Boom Crane 12.3 mt @ 15 m, 18.2 mt @ 10 m/13.6 Lt @ 49.2 feet, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 feet

 

Ships

USNS Spearhead (EPF-1), Delivered

USNS Choctaw County (EPF-2), Delivered

USNS Millinocket (EPF-3), Delivered

USNS Fall River (EPF-4), Delivered

USNS Trenton (EPF-5), Delivered

USNS Brunswick (EPF-6), Delivered

USNS Carson City (EPF-7), Delivered

Yuma (EPF-8), under construction

Bismark (EPF-9), under construction

Burlington (EPF-10), under construction

EPF-11

EPF-12

 

Hybrid airship

Airlander 10 has successfully completed its first flight. All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site. Airlander 10 took off from the historic Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire, England at approximately 19:45 on Wednesday 17th of August, after a short flight it landed at 20:00, before dark. The two Test Pilots were ecstatic about the flight and the flight performance of Airlander 10 during its time in the air.

The Airlander 10 made its 15 minute first flight on 17 August, 2016
The Airlander 10 made its 15 minute first flight on 17 August, 2016

Cardington, Bedfordshire, UK – The first flight of Airlander 10 is a historic success and marks the commencement of Airlander 10’s Flight Test Programme which is expected to last for a number of months. After this the aircraft will begin a series of Trials and Demonstrations with prospective customers.

Airlander 10 has been widely hailed as an innovation that will have a hugely positive impact on the world by providing low carbon aviation and brand new capabilities in the sky. Customer interest is strong due to these game-changing capabilities of the Airlander – it offers a stable platform with huge amounts of power and space for search & rescue or communications equipment, and also offers a unique passenger experience.

Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns said, «It was privilege to fly the Airlander for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I’m really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream».

A confirmatory Pre-flight test began at 09:00 this morning and once Technical Director Mike Durham, Chief Test Pilot David Burns and Ground Operations Chief Alex Travell were all in agreement, clearance was granted for First Flight to commence. These three have been working together for almost thirty years, which illustrates the depth of experience and know-how within Hybrid Air Vehicles.

The four massive but quiet engines were started approximately 30 minutes before takeoff. Once airborne, Chief Test Pilot David Burns, accompanied by Test Pilot Simon Davies, flew the majestic Airlander within a 5 nautical mile/6-mile/9.6 km area around Cardington Airfield, just to the south of Bedford, in England. Airlander climbed to a height of 500 feet/152 m and reached a maximum speed of 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h. Due to a later than anticipated take-off time the Airlander was limited to a 19-minute flight so we could land safely before darkness fell.

All test objectives were met during the flight. These included the safe launch, flight and landing of the Airlander 10 and a series of gentle turns at increasing speed. Some technical tests on its hull pressure were also undertaken.

The Airlander is expected to be a showcase of UK innovation and is already being used in the UK Government’s «GREAT Britain» campaign to highlight the strength of the aerospace sector and the innovation in engineering this country is capable of creating. As the Airlander approaches first flight, customer interest has increased, particularly in the defence and security sector, and this, together with UK Government support should secure 400 new aerospace jobs as well as valuable export opportunities for the UK economy. The next step is to ensure the UK Government runs a trial in order to demonstrate the potential of this amazing aircraft to the world and secure the lucrative exports, and grow further jobs in Bedfordshire and in the supply chain across the UK (80% of Airlander’s supply chain is British). This will help ensure the £6m of UK Government grants received thus far lead to orders. Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd is also looking to raise equity through High Net Worth individuals and Institutional Investors to fund some aspects of the Flight Test Programme.

 

Technical Data

Envelope Volume 1,340,000 feet³/38,000 m³
Length 302 feet/92 m
Width 143 feet/43.5 m
Height 85 feet/26 m
Endurance 5 days manned
Altitude up to 16,000 feet/4,880 m
Cruise Speed 80 knots/92 mph/148 km/h
Loiter Speed 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Total Weight 44,100 lbs/20,000 kg
Payload capacity up to 22,050 lbs/10,000 kg

 

View of Earth

Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corporation company, has completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the AstroMesh radar antenna reflector for the NASA-Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite. The antenna reflector, furnished by Astro Aerospace, is part of the NISAR L-band synthetic aperture radar managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

NISAR will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual L-Band and S-Band frequencies, providing an unprecedented, detailed view of Earth (Credit: NASA JPL)
NISAR will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual L-Band and S-Band frequencies, providing an unprecedented, detailed view of Earth (Credit: NASA JPL)

Scheduled to launch in 2021, NISAR will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual L-Band and S-Band frequencies, providing an unprecedented, detailed view of Earth. NISAR is designed to observe some of the planet’s most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet dynamics, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides. Data collected from NISAR will reveal information about the evolution and state of Earth’s crust, help scientists better understand our planet’s processes and changing climate, and aid future resource and hazard management. The mission is a partnership between NASA and ISRO.

With 100 percent on orbit success since 1958, Astro Aerospace brings unmatched expertise in space hardware and deployable structures to NISAR. Astro Aerospace utilizes its proprietary AstroMesh deployable mesh reflector for NISAR’s 39.4-foot/12-meter aperture antenna, building an ultralight and extremely stiff reflector that is ideally suited for high frequency communications and radar applications.

The NISAR instrument design review represents a major program milestone. With the preliminary design review successfully completed, the program will move into detailed design and fabrication.

«We are proud to support JPL and the NISAR program on this important Earth science program», said John A. Alvarez, general manager, Astro Aerospace. «Thank you to the entire Astro NISAR team who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful PDR».

NISAR follows the successful engineering, deployment and spin up of JPL’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, launched January 31, 2015. Astro supplied the 19.7-foot/6-meter AstroMesh antenna for SMAP, the largest spinning reflector ever created.

Since 1958, Astro Aerospace, part of Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Products business unit, has helped enable complex missions to Earth’s orbit, Mars and beyond with its innovative deployable space structures and mechanisms. The business unit’s products have been successfully deployed on hundreds of space flights with a 100 percent success rate, a testament to Northrop Grumman’s commitment to reliability, quality and affordability.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.