Terrestrial Layer System

The U.S. Army through the Consortium Management Group (CMG)/Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace (C5), awarded Lockheed Martin a Project Agreement to continue development of the Terrestrial Layer System (TLS) program, which will provide critical situational awareness capabilities to the U.S. Army.

Terrestrial Layer System (TLS)
Lockheed Martin will integrate the Terrestrial Layer System prototype onto the U.S. Army’s Stryker vehicles (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

In today’s complex, digital environment, the U.S. military requires a Joint All-Domain Operations-capable force to counter near-peer adversaries. As evidenced in the Department of Defense’s most recent plans to execute its Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) Superiority Strategy, each military service must be able to fight and win in the EMS.

The U.S. Army says TLS will play a critical role in realizing the service’s Army of 2028 vision. Designed for tactical vehicles, TLS will deliver an integrated suite of SIGnals INTelligence (SIGINT), electronic warfare, and cyberspace operations capabilities to enable the Joint All Domain Operational (JADO) capable force.

«On the battlefield, everything happens fluidly, and the tools of warfare need to be fully interoperable and integrated», said Deon Viergutz, Lockheed Martin Spectrum Convergence Vice President. «As a result, Lockheed Martin has been investing millions in internal research and development dollars to fuse its research and development programs so our customers can collaborate using our products that work seamlessly in the field».

Lockheed Martin has spent years and invested millions to develop open architecture for converged cyber, EW and SIGINT systems that conform to the DoD’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR)/Electronic Warfare (EW) Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS). Through CMOSS open system standards, the Army and industry can:

  • rapidly develop and deploy new techniques,
  • use hardware and software across airborne and ground platforms for optimal interoperability,
  • promptly insert new hardware technology,
  • and reduce total ownership costs.

The contract for TLS Phase 2 is valued at $9,672,781. Over the next three months, Lockheed Martin will finalize designs associated with key hardware and software elements based on experience gained in Phase 1 and soldier feedback. They will also conduct further operational analysis and demonstrate additional operational capabilities to the Army.

This ensures that Lockheed Martin will be able to immediately transition from the Phase 2 activity to prototype production at the beginning of next phase, which will allow TLS to meet its schedule requirements.

U.S. Army’s Terrestrial Layer Prototype Readies for Delivery

Evolved Cape-class

The first of six Evolved Cape-class patrol boats was recently launched at the Austal Ships shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

Cape-class
The first Evolved Cape-class patrol boat in the water after being launched (Photo: Austal)

Head Maritime Systems Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said the vessels would replace the Navy’s Armidale-class patrol boats and would be used as interim patrol platforms until the commissioning of the Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels.

«The Evolved Cape-class patrol boats will ensure the Royal Australian Navy is well-equipped to keep Australia’s borders safe», Rear Admiral Malcolm said. «With all six Evolved Cape-class patrol boats to be built in WA, we are continuing to strengthen Australia’s naval capability while supporting local jobs».

Austal has commenced construction on the remaining five boats, the first of which is expected to be accepted by the Navy early next year.

The 58-metre-long/190-foot-long boats are being built with a number of enhancements, improving operational capability and crew capacity compared to the vessels already operated by the Navy and Australian Border Force.

Patrouilleur d’Outre-Mer

According to Naval News, French shipbuilder Socarenam launched the first ship in a new class of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the French Navy. The «Auguste Benebig» was launched at the Socarenam shipyard in Saint Malo (Brittany) on 15 October 2021 as part of the POM (Patrouilleur d’Outre-Mer) program.

POM (Patrouilleur d’Outre-Mer)
The first POM OPV for the French Navy being towed from Saint Malo to Boulogne sur Mer for final outfitting at Socarenam shipyard. Picture by Albatros Lines Navigation (LinkedIn account)

The Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Admiral Vandier said: «A new step towards the renewal of our overseas assets has just been taken with the launch of the hull of the first Overseas Patrol Boat (POM). From 2023, it will protect our national interests from New Caledonia».

Right after the launch in Saint Malo, the hull of the ship was towed to Socarenam’s main site in Boulogne-sur-mer (North of France), for final outfitting. This is shown by pictures shared on LinkedIn by local company Albatros Lines Navigation.

Following outfitting and builder trials, the «Auguste Benebig» will be handed over next year. The ship will then join the Brest naval base around May 2022 in order to carry out all her tests and qualifications. The ship should reach New Caledonia, by its own means, and be operational at the end of the same year. The vessel will achieve active duty in 2023.

For the record, the French Minister of the Armed Forces confirmed on January 17, 2020 an order for six «POM» Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). The contract was awarded on December 24, 2019 to a Socarenam/CNN MCO consortium by the French Armament Procurement Agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement, DGA). Intended for the French Navy, these OPVs will be based in French overseas territories to replace ageing P400-class patrol boats.

The future POM patrol vessels will carry out protection missions in the French Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), intervention against maritime pollution and for environmental protection, as well as rescue and assistance to people.

Two patrol boats will each be based in New Caledonia (Nouméa), French Polynesia (Papeete) and La Réunion (Port-des-Galets). The first of them, based in New Caledonia, will be christened August Bénébig, a native of Noumea and will be followed by the Jean Tranape. Those destined for French Polynesia will be baptized Teriieroo a teriierooiterai and Philippe Bernardino, those in La Réunion Auguste Techer and Félix Éboué.

The POM will have an endurance of 30 days without refueling. Each ship will accommodate a crew of 30 sailors and 23 passengers and operate an unmanned aerial vehicle (SMDM Aliaca by Survey Copter). Their armament will include a 20-mm caliber remote-controlled turret (Narwhal by Nexter), as well as 12.7-mm and 7.62-mm machine guns. Nexeya is supplying the combat management system. HENSOLDT UK is supplying the Kelvin Hughes Mk11 SharpEye surface search radars with combined HENSOLDT MSSR 2000 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems. Vestdavit is supplying fast rescue boat davit systems.

The POM vessel are 79.9 meters/262 feet long and 11.8 meters/38.7 feet wide, with a draft of 3.5/11.5 feet meters for a displacement of 1,300 tons at full load.

Tenth Italian FREMM

The First Steel Cutting ceremony for the twelfth FREMM (the tenth Italian frigate) took place on 12 October at Fincantieri integrated shipyard in Riva Trigoso (Genoa).

FREMM (F599)
First Steel Cutting ceremony for the twelfth FREMM

On the one hand, the event officially represents the beginning of production phase for a new ship, on the other, as the tenth frigate complete the batch for the Italian Navy, the conclusion of a path started in the 2008 with the first steel cutting of ITS Bergamini (F590).

Today, at the ceremony were present the FREMM Programme Manager – Mr. Luigi Durante, the Naval Armament Directorate (NAVARM) Representative – Captain Gianni Labori and the Industrial representatives.

The delivery of the twelfth FREMM is planned in late 2025, only six months after the eleventh Frigate.

The last two Italian units will be realized in the General Purpose (GP) version, with an updated release of several systems giving the Italian Navy the opportunity to have frigates at the state of the art in order to fulfil a wide range of missions.

 

Technical Information

Overall Length 144 m/472.4 feet
Width 20 m/65.6 feet
Displacement 6700 tonnes
Maximum Speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Crew 145 people
Accommodation Up to 200 men and women
Range 6,000 NM/6,905 miles/11,112 km

 

Santa Barbara

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, October 16 in Mobile, Alabama.

USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
Navy Christened Littoral Combat Ship Santa Barbara

The Honorable Meredith Berger, performing the duties of Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Remarks were also be provided by Vice Admiral Jeffrey Trussler, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare; the Honorable Oscar Gutierrez, Mayor Pro Tempore for the city of Santa Barbara, California.; and Mr. Rusty Murdaugh, President of Austal, USA.

Lolita Zinke, wife of former Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke and the ship’s sponsor, participated in a time-honored Navy tradition to christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«We christen the third USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32), named for the beautiful coastal city in central California», Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro said. «In so doing we move one step closer to welcoming a new ship to Naval service and transitioning the platform from a mere hull number to a ship with a name and spirit. There is no doubt future Sailors aboard this ship will carry on the same values of honor, courage and commitment upheld by crews from an earlier vessel that bore this name».

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and the Independence, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) is the 16th Freedom-variant LCS and 32nd in the LCS class. It is the third U.S. Navy ship named in honor of the city of Santa Barbara. The first USS Santa Barbara (Id. No. 4522) was a single-screw steel freighter that was placed into commission by the Navy on April 15, 1918, in New York. The ship made four round-trip voyages to Europe during and after World War I and was decommissioned on August 6, 1919, and returned to her owners. Later renamed American, the ship was sunk by German submarine torpedoes off the east coast of British Honduras (modern-day Belize) on June 11, 1942. The second USS Santa Barbara (AE-28) was commissioned on July 11, 1970. The Kilauea-class ammunition ship completed deployments to the Mediterranean, the western Pacific, and the Caribbean before being decommissioned in 1998.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

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

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 04-17-2021 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020 05-22-2021 San Diego, California
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018 09-08-2020
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020 03-30-2021
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) 10-27-2020
USS Augusta (LCS-34) 07-30-2021
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

First steel unit

More than 28 tonnes of Australian steel has been rolled off the production line at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide with the completion of structural manufacture of the first steel prototype unit for the Hunter Class Frigate Program, the largest surface shipbuilding project in the nation’s defence history.

HMAS Hunter (FFG)
Hunter Class Frigate Program rolls out first steel unit

The 217 square meter/2,336 square foot unit, which has a bigger footprint than the average Australian house, has been moved from the shipyard’s primary manufacturing hall into the next stage of production where it will be outfitted and consolidated (with the addition of three more units) into the first prototyping block.

The prototype unit is one of four in the first representative ship block and is the first to have been blasted and painted, cut and constructed in the new Shipyard. This particular unit and block are located in the middle of the ship and would contain the Officer’s Accommodation.

BAE Systems Maritime Australia will build nine of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. The prototyping phase commenced in December 2020 and program mobilisation continues at pace with more than 1,300 people now working across the program including 35 apprentices and 26 graduates. The Hunter program will create and sustain 5,000 jobs over the life of the program.

Steel for the prototyping phase of the Hunter program has already been procured from Bluescope AIS at Port Kembla, NSW and structural steel from Infrabuild in Whyalla, SA.

The Hunter program has already placed around 40 contracts with Australian businesses to support design and prototyping. Around 20 further contracts will be awarded to support prototyping, including ship outfitting, gaskets, wholeship eyeplates, insulation and deck coverings.

BAE Systems Maritime Australia Managing Director, Craig Lockhart said: «This is a significant production milestone for the Hunter frigate program and an important start towards establishing shipbuilding capability across the Osborne Shipyard. Osborne is one of the world’s most technologically advanced shipyards, a purpose-built modern manufacturing facility built for the digital age to deliver next generation anti-submarine warships by a highly skilled Australian workforce equipped to use Industry 4.0 technologies. Critically, the manufacture of the first unit has put into practice this step-change to shipbuilding programs of the past, as our employees test the full productive capacity of the yard maximising our ability to build high quality ships through our pulse line process utilising robotics that enable high quality welds and zero defects. This ensures an enduring and uniquely Australian sovereign industrial capability that supports Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy for future generations».

White Whale

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI or simply Kawasaki) on October 14, 2021 held a ceremony marking the launch of the submarine JS Hakugei (SS-514) at its Kobe Works’ No.1 Building Berth at 12:50 PM, which is built for the Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD). The ceremony was attended by a delegation of top MOD officials.

JS Hakugei (SS-514)
Submarine Hakugei Launched

The submarine is the second Taigei-class submarine, and the 30th built at Kawasaki Kobe shipyard after World War II. Hakugei means «White Whale».

It provides high water pressure resistance performance by using high strength steel for its pressure hull, and superior submerged operations and propulsion performance by adopting an X-rudder. It also has lithium-ion battery systems for increased underwater endurance, a variety of automated systems, improved surveillance capabilities using high-performance sonar, increased stealth capabilities, enhanced safety measures and woman only facilities.

 

Specifications

Construction begun January 25, 2019
Launched October 14, 2021
Estimated completion March, 2023
Length 84.0 m/275.6 feet
Beam 9.1 m/29.8 feet
Depth 10.4 m/34.1 feet
Displacement 3,000 tons
Engines Kawasaki 12V 25/25 SB-type diesel engines (2);

Electric propulsion motor (1)

Armament Underwater launch tubes
Other Submarine snorkel;

Sonar

 

Shoot-off evaluation

BAE Systems, Inc.’s 155-mm ARCHER wheeled howitzer system successfully completed testing during the U.S. Army’s «shoot off» evaluation, as the service evaluates whether to add a wheeled capability to its arsenal.

ARCHER
BAE Systems’ 155-mm ARCHER successfully completes U.S. Army’s shoot-off evaluation

ARCHER is a fully automated mobile weapon system that provides highly responsive and versatile fire support to troops in combat.

ARCHER fired about 450 rounds, including six to 12 round bursts, and up to as many as eight rounds per minute, during various testing in different conditions at the Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona over the summer evaluation. The shoot off included charge compatibility with Army rounds, soldier training and testing, mobility, performance of Army’s identified requirements, studying integrated digital fire control, and maintenance evaluation.

«We are confident ARCHER meets the need for new wheeled artillery system with unprecedented shoot and scoot capability so soldiers can avoid counterfire», said Mark Signorelli, vice president of business development at BAE Systems. «We look forward to additional opportunities to demonstrate the full breadth of ARCHER’s capabilities to the Army».

ARCHER can initiate fire within 30 seconds of receiving an order and depart in the same amount of time, giving it superior survivability by minimizing the enemy’s ability to return fire.

ARCHER is already in service the Swedish Army with the highest technical and manufacturing readiness levels. The testing at temperatures reaching 120 degrees (50 degrees Celsius) in Arizona demonstrated ARCHER can operate effectively in high temperatures as well as in arctic conditions typically experienced in northern Sweden.

Soldiers can operate and fire ARCHER while remaining in the armored cabin through its fully automated fire and ammunition loading system. Its magazine carries 21 rounds and can fire all of them in less than three minutes. ARCHER can fire the precision BONUS anti-armor munition up to 35 km/21.7 miles, conventional munitions up to 40 km/24.8 miles, and currently fielded precision-guided munitions like Excalibur in excess of 50 km/31 miles. BONUS and Excalibur are currently in the U.S. Army’s inventory.

ARCHER is on display at BAE Systems’ booth during the Association of the United States Army exhibition in Washington, D.C. October 11-13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Radar for NASAMS

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, introduces GhostEye MR, a new medium-range radar for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS. GhostEye MR is on display at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting and exhibition, in booth #2147 of NASAMS partner Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

GhostEye MR
Raytheon Missiles & Defense unveils GhostEye MR, a new medium-range air and missile defense radar for NASAMS

The increased range and altitude coverage provided by GhostEye MR expands NASAMS capability to detect, track and identify enemy aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, and cruise missile threats. The extended range of this new sensor also maximizes the capabilities of the family of effectors employed by NASAMS.

GhostEye MR is a variant of the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) that the company is building for the U.S. Army. It is a scalable Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar providing 360-degree surveillance and advanced fire control capabilities. Raytheon’s name for the family of radars based on LTAMDS is GhostEye. GhostEye MR is a separate, but concurrent, radar development program funded by Raytheon Missiles & Defense that leverages LTAMDS technology baseline and common manufacturing processes.

«GhostEye MR makes NASAMS even more capable for our current and future customers around the globe», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense, a Raytheon Missiles & Defense business area. «We’re leveraging the best of our technology development from the U.S. Army’s most advanced radar to give the U.S. and our allies a robust sensor that can defend against a wide range of threats».

Building on the progress of the LTAMDS program, GhostEye MR is on an accelerated path to availability. The sensor’s capabilities and performance were tested through a series of modeling and simulation-based threat scenarios. The radar will undergo open air testing in 2022, followed by customer demonstrations.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, in partnership with Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, produces and supports NASAMS. The system has been chosen by 12 countries for their air defense needs and has been integrated into the U.S. National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. In addition to the U.S., Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Oman, Lithuania, Indonesia, Australia, Qatar, Hungary and one undisclosed country have selected NASAMS for defense of their homeland and critical assets.

Raytheon’s GhostEye MR is the latest program in the company’s vast portfolio of sophisticated radar systems, extending a legacy of technological innovation and manufacturing expertise that spans decades. The GhostEye family of radars will enhance the capabilities of U.S. and allies to defend against short, medium, and long-range threats.

Navy’s Towing Ship

Austal Limited is pleased to announce Austal USA has been awarded its first steel vessel construction contract by the United States Navy, a US$145 million (~A$198.5 million) build of two Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ships (T-ATS 11 and 12).

T-ATS
The United States Navy’s Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS) to be constructed by Austal USA

The contract modification establishes options for up to three additional T-ATS ships, which, if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of the contract to US$385 million (~A$528.6 million).

Austal was initially awarded a US$3.6 million contract by the United States Navy for the functional design of the Navajo-class T-ATS vessels. Overnight awarded the US$145 million (~A$198.5 million) fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract modification, to include the detailed design and construction of two T-ATS 11 and 12, as well as the option for the additional ships.

The T-ATS contract is the first steel ship construction program awarded by the United States Navy to Austal USA and will be the first program to be delivered in the new steel shipbuilding facilities nearing completion at the shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the contract was an exciting milestone in the history of the company and a great demonstration of the company’s new steel shipbuilding capabilities in the United States, following on from the successful addition of steel shipbuilding in Australia.

«This is great news for Austal USA as they enter a new era of steel shipbuilding in the United States, supporting the Navy’s requirements for steel ships», Mr. Gregg said.

The 80-metre/262.5-foot Navajo-class T-ATS has ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities, with a multi-mission common hull platform, capable of towing heavy ships. These ships will be able to support USN fleet operations and a variety of missions, including oil spill response, humanitarian assistance, and wide area search and surveillance.

Austal USA will utilise its proven ship manufacturing processes and innovative methods that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction and moving assembly lines; using the company’s new state-of-the-art enclosed steel production facility which is set to open in April 2022. Austal USA broke ground on its USD$100 million steel manufacturing facility in March 2020.

The T-ATS award is one of several steel shipbuilding programs Austal USA is pursuing as it diversifies its capabilities. The shipyard previously announced it had submitted a bid to build the United States Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter and continues to execute a Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) concept studies and preliminary design contract for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Austal USA’s new steel line and facility expansion also positions it well to be a follow-on Frigate yard for the United States Navy.

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Patrick Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.

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