Inlet Coating Repair

Lockheed Martin Corp. completed the first F-22 Raptor at the company’s Inlet Coating Repair (ICR) Speedline facility and delivered the aircraft back to the U.S. Air Force ahead of schedule.

Technicians inspect an F-22 Raptor at the F-22 Speedline in Marietta, Georgia (Lockheed Martin photo by Andrew McMurtrie)
Technicians inspect an F-22 Raptor at the F-22 Speedline in Marietta, Georgia (Lockheed Martin photo by Andrew McMurtrie)

The U.S. Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin to establish the Speedline in Marietta, Georgia, in August 2016 and the first F-22 Raptor arrived there in early November 2016. A second aircraft arrived in early December 2016 and a third in late January 2017. Lockheed Martin is on contract to perform this work on a total of 12 aircraft and a follow-on contract is anticipated. Additionally, Lockheed Martin is providing modification support services, analytical condition inspections, radar cross section turntable support and antenna calibration.

Periodic maintenance is required to maintain the special exterior coatings that contribute to the 5th Generation Raptor’s Very Low Observable (VLO) radar cross-section. The increase in F-22 Raptor deployments, including ongoing operational combat missions, has increased the demand for ICR.

«The inlet coatings work, coupled with future improved Low Observable materials and repair improvements, is a critical part of increasing the 325th Fighter Wing’s repair capacity and combat readiness», said Lieutenant Colonel Argie Moore, deputy commander of the 325th Maintenance Group.

Lockheed Martin provides sustainment services to the F-22 Raptor fleet through a U.S. Air Force-awarded Performance Based Logistics contract and a comprehensive weapons management program called Follow-on Agile Sustainment for the Raptor (FASTeR). As the original equipment manufacturer and support integrator for the F-22 Raptor, Lockheed Martin works closely with the U.S. Air Force to integrate a total life-cycle systems management process to ensure the Raptor fleet is ready to perform its mission.

Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor depot work is part of a public-private partnership agreement between the Air Force and Lockheed Martin that has been in place for nearly a decade.

 

About the F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor defines air dominance. The 5th Generation F-22’s unique combination of stealth, speed, agility, and situational awareness, combined with lethal long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, makes it the best air dominance fighter in the world.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Air dominance, multi-role fighter
Contractor Lockheed-Martin, Boeing
Crew 1
Length 62 feet/18.90 m
Height 16.7 feet/5.09 m
Wingspan 44.5 feet/13.56 m
Wing area 840 feet2/78.04 m2
Horizontal tail span 29 feet/8.84 m
Weight empty 43,340 lbs/19,700 kg
Maximum take-off weight 83,500 lbs/38,000 kg
Internal fuel 18,000 lbs/8,200 kg
Fuel Capacity with 2 external wing tanks 26,000 lbs/11,900 kg
Speed Mach 2 class
Ceiling >50,000 feet/15,000 m
Range* >1,600 NM/2,963 km
Power plant Two F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles
Armament One M61A2 20-mm cannon with 480 rounds, internal side weapon bays carriage of 2 AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking) air-to-air missiles and internal main weapon bays carriage of 6 AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-air loadout) or two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-ground loadout)
Unit Cost $143 million
Initial operating capability December 2005
Inventory Total force, 183

* With 2 external wing tanks

 

Advance fabrication

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) was awarded a $25.5 million modification to an existing advance planning contract in support of advance fabrication of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80) on Tuesday, February 01, 2017. The initial structural fabrication and shop work on the third Gerald R. Ford-class carrier will be performed at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division through March 2018.

Rendering of the third ship in the Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers, USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
Rendering of the third ship in the Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers, USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

«This award authorizes us to begin fabrication of structural components, sub-components, sub-units and pre-assemblies in our manufacturing shops to support the 2018 construction of Enterprise», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and USS Enterprise (CVN-80) construction. «This is an important step in getting this next Gerald R. Ford-class ship off to a great start, as it allows us to continue implementation of lessons learned, and the initial steel work will allow us to utilize our aircraft carrier steel production line in an efficient manner».

Huntington Ingalls Industries shipbuilders have captured thousands of lessons learned and developed new build approaches during construction of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), most of which are being implemented as cost-saving initiatives in building the second ship in the class, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). These initiatives will also apply to USS Enterprise (CVN-80), and Huntington Ingalls Industries will work with the U.S. Navy to identify additional cost-saving initiatives for future Ford-class carrier construction.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

 

First SIGMA frigate

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding has handed over the first SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) frigate to the Indonesian Ministry of Defence, on schedule and on budget. The ceremony took place at the PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya where the vessel was assembled. The Indonesian Ministry of Defence awarded the contract to Damen as main contractor for the construction of the first SIGMA 10514 PKR in December 2012. On receiving the ship, named the Raden Eddy Martadinata after one of the founders of the Indonesian Navy, the Ministry handed it on to the Navy.

DSNS delivers first SIGMA 10514 PKR frigate to Indonesian Ministry of Defence
DSNS delivers first SIGMA 10514 PKR frigate to Indonesian Ministry of Defence

The 345-foot/105-metre, 2,365 tonne PKR frigates are designed to undertake a wide range of missions in and around the waters of Indonesia, an archipelago nation made up of over 18,000 islands. Their primary mission is anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. However, they are also equipped for maritime security, search and rescue, and humanitarian support tasks.

The Raden Eddy Martadinatawas built using a collaborative modular process operating simultaneously at Damen Schelde Naval Shipyard (DSNS) in the Netherlands and PT PAL shipyard. The vessel is made up of six modules, and for the Raden Eddy Martadinata four of these were built at PT PAL while the other two modules – the power plant and the bridge & command center – were built and fully tested at DSNS before being shipped for final assembly at PT PAL.

This process brings many other benefits, including allowing Damen to build top quality vessels anywhere in the world. It also is the best way for Damen to fulfil its contractual obligation to Indonesia’s defence ministry to deliver an exceptionally extensive knowledge and technology transfer programme. This has the explicit aim of establishing a center of naval shipbuilding expertise at the PT PAL shipyard. By collaborating closely on the first two vessels the transfer of skills and upgrading of the yard is taking place smoothly and with a strong spirit of cooperation.

Construction of the second frigate using the same procedure is now well advanced with sea trials due May 2017, and delivery October 2017.

Sigma Class Frigate 10514 Raden Eddy Martadinata
Sigma Class Frigate 10514 Raden Eddy Martadinata

 

CHARACTERISTICS

GENERAL
Customer Indonesian Navy
Basic functions Naval Patrol Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), deterrence, Search and Rescue (SAR), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASW), Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASUW), Electronic Warfare (EW)
Hull material Steel grade A/AH36
Standards Naval/Commercial, naval intact/damaged stability, noise reduced, moderate shock
Classification Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (supervision) 100 A1 SSC Mono Patrol, G6, LMC UMS
DIMENSIONS
Length overall (o.a.) 345 feet/105.11 m
Beam Moulded (mld) 46.6 feet/14.2 m
Depth no.1 deck 28.7 feet/8.75 m
Draught (dwl) 12.1 feet/3.7 m
Displacement (dwl) 2,365 tonnes
PERFORMANCE
Speed (Maximum power) 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h 5,000 NM/5,754 miles/9,260 km
Endurance 20 days at sea
PROPULSION SYSTEM
Propulsion type Combined Diesel or Electric (CODOE)
Diesel engines 2 × 10,000 kW Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR) Propulsion type
Electric motors 2 × 1300 kW
Gearbox 2 × double input input/single output
Propellers 2 × Controllable Pitch Propellers (CPP) diameter 12 feet/3.65 m
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Generator sets 6 × 715 kWE
Emergency gen. set 1 × 180 kWE
Chilled water system 2 × units, redundant distribution
Fire fighting 4 × main pumps +1 x service pump
Degaussing System
DECK EQUIPMENT
Helicopter deck Maximum 10 tons helicopter, with lashing points
Helicopter operations day/night with refueling system
Helicopter hangar
RAS on helicopter deck PS&SB, astern fueling
Boats 2 × Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB)
ACCOMMODATION
Fully air-conditioned accommodation for 120 persons
Commanding Officer 1
Officers 26
Chief Petty Officers 10
Petty Officers 36
Junior Ratings 29
Trainee Officers 18
Provisions for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) citadel/decontamination
WEAPON & SENSOR SUITE
3D-Surveillance & target indication radar & Friend or Foe Identification (IFF)
Radar/electro optical fire control
Hull Mounted Sonar
Combat management system
Medium caliber gun 76-mm
1 × Close In Weapon System (CIWS)
2 × Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) launcher
12 cell Vertical Launching (VL) Short Range Air Defense (SHORADS)
2 × triple Torpedo launcher
Electronic Support Measures (ESM) & Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM)
2 × Decoys/chaff
Integrated internal & external communication system
NAUTICAL EQUIPMENT
Integrated bridge console, 2 × Radar, Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS-A3), reference gyro

Sea Trials of first SIGMA 10514 PKR frigate for Indonesian navy

Tanker Production Lot

The U.S. Air Force today awarded Boeing $2.1 billion for 15 KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits. This order is the third low-rate initial production lot for Boeing. The first two came in August 2016 and included seven and 12 planes, respectively, as well as spare parts.

The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel allied and coalition military aircraft and also carry passengers, cargo and patients (Boeing photo)
The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel allied and coalition military aircraft and also carry passengers, cargo and patients (Boeing photo)

Boeing plans to build 179 of the 767-based refueling aircraft for the U.S. Air Force to replace its legacy tanker fleet. Tanker deliveries will begin later this year.

«This award is great news for the joint Boeing-Air Force team and reinforces the need for this highly efficient and capable tanker aircraft», said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker vice president and program manager. «Our Boeing industry team is hard at work building and testing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft, and we look forward to first delivery».

«Placing an order for another 15 aircraft is another important milestone for the KC-46 Pegasus program», said Colonel John Newberry, U.S. Air Force KC-46 Pegasus System program manager. «I know the warfighter is excited about bringing this next generation capability into the inventory».

Boeing received an initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft. As part of that contract, Boeing built four test aircraft – two configured as 767-2Cs and two as KC-46A Pegasus tankers. Those test aircraft, along with the first production plane, have completed nearly 1,500 flight hours to date.

The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Boeing is assembling KC-46 Pegasus aircraft at its Everett, Washington, facility.

 

General Characteristics

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

 

Stealthy vehicle

In a tactical situation, the last thing a Soldier wants to do is give away his position to the enemy. The ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle promises to provide that important element of stealth, said Kevin Centeck. team lead, Non-Primary Power Systems, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center at the 2017 Washington Auto Show here Thursday, on January 27, 2017.

General Motor's ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (Photo Credit: TARDEC)
General Motor’s ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (Photo Credit: TARDEC)

The ZH2 is basically a modified Chevy Colorado, fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell and electric drive, he said. It was put together fairly quickly, from May to September, and will be tested by Soldiers in field conditions later this year.

Charley Freese, executive director of General Motor’s Global Fuel Cell Activities, explained the ZH2 is stealthy because its drive system does not produce smoke, noise, odor or thermal signature. GM developed the vehicle and the associated technologies.

The vehicle provides a number of other advantages for Soldiers:

  • The ZH2 produces high torque and comes equipped with 37-inch/94-centimeter tires that enable it to negotiate rough and steep terrain.
  • The hydrogen fuel cell can produce two gallons per hour of potable water.
  • When the vehicle isn’t moving, it can generate 25 kilowatts of continuous power or 50 kilowatts of peak power. There are 120 and 240-volt outlets located in the trunk.
  • The vehicle is equipped with a winch on the front bumper.

Doctor Paul D. Rogers, director of TARDEC, said the Army got a good deal in testing this vehicle, leveraging some $2.2 billion in GM research money spent in fuel cell research over the last several decades. The Army is always eager to leverage innovation in new technology, he added.

While GM developed the technology and produced the demonstrator, the Army’s role will be to test and evaluate the vehicle in real-world field conditions over the next near.

 

HOW IT WORKS

Electricity drives the vehicle, Centeck said. But the electricity doesn’t come from storage batteries like those found in electric cars today. Instead, the electricity is generated from highly compressed hydrogen that is stored in the vehicle by an electrochemical reaction.

A look under the hood of the ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle was allowed at the Washington Auto Show, January 26, 2017 (Photo Credit: David Vergun)
A look under the hood of the ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle was allowed at the Washington Auto Show, January 26, 2017 (Photo Credit: David Vergun)

As one of the two elements that make water (the other being oxygen), there’s plenty of hydrogen in the world. But hydrogen isn’t exactly free, Centeck pointed out. It takes a lot of electricity to separate the strong bond between hydrogen and oxygen.

That electricity could come from the grid or it could come from renewables like wind or solar, Centeck said.

Existing fuels like gasoline, propane, and natural gas can also be used to extract hydrogen, he said. The Army and GM are comparing the costs and benefits for each approach and haven’t yet settled on which approach to use.

Christopher Colquitt, GM’s project manager for the ZH2, said that the cost of producing hydrogen isn’t the only complicating factor; another is the lack of hydrogen fueling stations.

Most gas stations aren’t equipped with hydrogen pumps, Colquitt pointed out, but California and some other places in the world are in the process of building those fueling stations. For field testing purposes, the Army plans to store the hydrogen fuel in an ISO container.

Another cost involves the hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system itself. Fuel cell stacks under the hood convert hydrogen and air into useable electricity. They are composed of stacks of plates and membranes coated with platinum.

In the ZH2 demonstrator, there are about 80 grams of platinum, costing thousands of dollars, he said. But within the last few months, GM developers have managed to whittle that amount of platinum down to just 10 grams needed to produce a working vehicle, he said.

The modern-day gas and diesel combustion engine took a century to refine. Now, GM is attempting to do that similar refining with hydrogen fuel cells in just a matter of months, he said. It’s a huge undertaking.

By refining the design, Colquitt explained, he means lowering cost and providing durability, reliability and high performance. Refining doesn’t just mean using less platinum, he explained. A lot of other science went into the project, including the design of advanced pumps, sensors, compressors that work with the fuel cell technology.

Colquitt said the ZH2’s performance is impressive for such a rapidly-produced vehicle. For instance, the fuel cell produces 80 to 90 kilowatts of power and, when a buffer battery is added, nearly 130 kilowatts. The vehicle also instantly produces 236 foot-pounds/320 newton-meters of torque through the motor to the transfer case.

The range on one fill-up is about 150 miles/241 km, since this is a demonstrator, he said. If GM were actually fielding these vehicles, the range would be much greater.

 

NOT READY FOR CONSUMERS

Colquitt said hydrogen fuel cell technology hasn’t yet yielded vehicles for consumers, but GM is working on doing just that in the near future, depending on a number of factors, mainly the availability of fueling stations.

A look at the 120- and 240-volt outlets of the ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle was allowed at the Washington Auto Show, January 26, 2017 (Photo Credit: David Vergun)
A look at the 120- and 240-volt outlets of the ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle was allowed at the Washington Auto Show, January 26, 2017 (Photo Credit: David Vergun)

The Army is no stranger to the technology, he said. GM’s Equinox vehicles, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, are being used on several installations. The difference is that the ZH2 is the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to go tactical, he said.

The value of having the Army test the vehicle is that it will be driven off-road aggressively by Soldiers, who will provide their unvarnished feedback, Colquitt said. Besides collecting subjective feedback from the Soldiers, he said, the vehicle contains data loggers that will yield objective data as well.

Testers will put the vehicle through its paces this year at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Benning, Georgia; Quantico Marine Base, North Carolina; and, GM’s own Proving Grounds in Michigan.

Keel Laid for DDG-1002

A keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) was held January 30 at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.

Luci Baines Johnson applauds Timothy Trask, a Bath Iron Works welder, after he helped her authenticate the keel plate of DDG-1002, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, by striking an arc to her initials engraved in the plate. She was at BIW with her sister, Lynda Johnson Robb, as the two participated in the keel laying ceremony for the third destroyer in the Zumwalt class
Luci Baines Johnson applauds Timothy Trask, a Bath Iron Works welder, after he helped her authenticate the keel plate of DDG-1002, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, by striking an arc to her initials engraved in the plate. She was at BIW with her sister, Lynda Johnson Robb, as the two participated in the keel laying ceremony for the third destroyer in the Zumwalt class

The keel was authenticated by President Johnson’s daughters and ship co-sponsors, Ms. Lynda Johnson Robb and Ms. Luci Baines Johnson, by welding their initials into the keel plate.

«We’ve made tremendous progress on this ship and although we’re celebrating an early production milestone, we’re nearing 60 percent completion on the future Lyndon B. Johnson», said Captain Kevin Smith, DDG-1000 program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. «We’re honored to be celebrating this milestone with our 36th President’s daughters and look forward to continued progress on the final ship of the Zumwalt class».

While the keel laying has traditionally represented the formal start of a ship’s construction, advanced modular shipbuilding allows fabrication of the ship to begin months in advance. Today, the keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.

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.

Bath Iron Works is currently in production on the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) as well Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) and USS Carl M. Levin (DDG-120).

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, boats and craft.

 

Features unique to DDG 1000:

  • Eighty peripheral Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells, two Advanced Gun System (AGS) 155-mm guns, and two 30-mm Close In Guns (CIGs);
  • A stern boat ramp for two 7-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), designed with room for two 11-meter RHIBs;
  • Aviation capacity for two MH-60R or one MH-60R and 3 VT Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs);
  • It will be powered by an Integrated Power System (IPS) with an Integrated Fight Through Power (IFTP). This is created by an Advanced Induction Motor (AIM);
  • A superstructure with integrated apertures and low signature profile;
  • Advanced sensors including a SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar;
  • A wave-piercing «Tumblehome» hull form.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length 610 feet/186 m
Beam 80.7 feet/24.6 m
Draft 27.6 feet/8.4 m
Displacement 15,761 long tonnes/16,014 metric tonnes
Speed 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Installed Power 104,600 hp/78 MW
Crew Size 158 – Includes Aviation Detachment

 

Next-generation destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean on December 7, 2015

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) 11-17-2011 10-28-2013 10-15-2016 San Diego, California
USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) 05-23-2013 06-21-2016
USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) 01-30-2017

 

Modular Handgun System

On January 20, SIG Sauer, Inc. announced that the U.S. Army has selected the SIG Sauer Model P320 to replace the M9 service pistol currently in use since the mid-1980’s. Released in 2014, the P320 is a polymer striker-fired pistol that has proven itself in both the United States and worldwide markets. The P320 is the first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the operator. All pistols will be produced at the SIG Sauer facilities in New Hampshire.

SIG Sauer, Inc. Awarded the U.S. Army Contract for its New Modular Handgun System (MHS)
SIG Sauer, Inc. Awarded the U.S. Army Contract for its New Modular Handgun System (MHS)

The Modular Handgun System (MHS) Program provides for the delivery of both full size and compact P320’s, over a period of ten (10) years. All pistols will be configurable to receive silencers and will also include both standard and extended capacity magazines.

«I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System Team», said Army Acquisition Executive, Steffanie Easter in the release. «By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we truly have optimized the private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters».

Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG Sauer, said «We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to SIG Sauer employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world».

According to Jane’s International Defence Review, the long-running XM17 Modular Handgun System contract, intended to replace legacy 9-mm M9 Beretta pistols, was awarded on 19 January with a total USD580.217 million maximum ceiling.

It is understood that SIG Sauer bested bids from Beretta, FN Herstal, and Glock, after Smith & Wesson and partner General Dynamics Ordnance Tactical Systems (GDOTS) had earlier been dropped from the programme. A total of nine bids were submitted, according to a separate Pentagon statement. The U.S. Army declined to reveal the other bids.

The MHS programme, which is expected to reach full-rate production in 2018, could result in buying between 280,000 and 500,000 weapons for the army, navy, air force, marines, and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOC). The army has said it wants more than 280,000 handguns, including potentially about 7,000 compact versions of the handgun.

In the statement, the army said the USD580 million potential contract was «sufficient to procure army requirements, other service requirements, and potential Foreign Military Sales requirements», and allows for the procurement of handguns and ancillary components for up to 10 years and ammunition for up to 5 years.

Army officials expect the first handguns to be will be provided to units in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 to participate in initial operational testing.

Truly and fairly laid

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the eighth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) on January 27, 2017.

Ship Sponsor Jazania O’Neal writes her initials onto a steel plate that will be welded inside USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757), the National Security Cutter named in honor of her grandfather, John Allen Midgett. Pictured with O’Neal are (left to right) Capt. Christopher Webb, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Project Resident Office Gulf Coast; Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias; and Jack Beard, a structural welder at Ingalls (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Ship Sponsor Jazania O’Neal writes her initials onto a steel plate that will be welded inside USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757), the National Security Cutter named in honor of her grandfather, John Allen Midgett. Pictured with O’Neal are (left to right) Capt. Christopher Webb, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Project Resident Office Gulf Coast; Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias; and Jack Beard, a structural welder at Ingalls (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«The National Security Cutter Program is vital to our Coast Guard, our country and to Ingalls Shipbuilding», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «Today, we lay the foundation upon which this great ship will be built. The Midgett, like her sister ships, is being built to the highest quality standards with outstanding cost and schedule performance, and the NSC team is energized to make this one the best yet».

The ship is named to honor John Allen Midgett, who was awarded the silver cup by the U.K. Board of Trade in 1918 for the renowned rescue of 42 British sailors aboard the British tanker Mirlo after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of North Carolina. He was also awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1924. Midgett was a senior enlisted member of the U.S. Lifesaving Service when it merged with the U.S. Lighthouse Service and U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to become today’s U.S. Coast Guard.

Jazania O’Neal, Midgett’s granddaughter and the ship’s sponsor, spoke today, proclaiming Midgett’s keel to be «truly and fairly laid». O’Neal’s initials were welded onto a keel plate by Jack Beard, a structural welder at Ingalls.

«For my grandfather to be memorialized as the namesake for this ship, in the company of the seven other Legend-class ship namesakes, surpasses validation of our heritage on a worldwide scale», O’Neal said. «We wish you well throughout the remaining construction of this fine ship, and we look forward to seeing you at the christening».

Ingalls has delivered six NSCs to the U.S. Coast Guard, and two more are currently under construction. In addition to USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757), the seventh NSC, USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756), is scheduled to deliver in 2018. In December 2016, Ingalls received a $486 million fixed-price incentive contract from the U.S. Coast Guard to build a ninth National Security Cutter – USCGC Stone (WMSL-758).

«The entire Coast Guard team is appreciative of the Ingalls Shipbuilding team», said Captain Christopher Webb, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Project Resident Office Gulf Coast. «We rely on your talents, skills and masterful crafts to provide the NSCs we utilize to complete our many missions around the world. NSC 8 reached its start fabrication milestone just over 14 and a half months ago, and remains ahead of production schedule. Most importantly, I look forward to seeing the continued emphasis on quality, while maximizing NSC completeness improvements indicative of the planning, hard work, integration and shipbuilding excellence here».

Legend-Class National Security Cutters are the flagships of the U.S. Coast Guard. They are the most technologically advanced ships in the Coast Guard’s fleet, with capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement and national security missions. NSCs are 418 feet/127 m long with a 54-foot/16-meter beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 nautical miles/13,809 miles/22,224 km, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120. The Legend class of cutters plays an important role in enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness.

 

Facts

Displacement 4,500 long tons/4,572 metric tons
Length 418 feet/127 m
Beam 54 feet/16 m
Speed 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km
Endurance 60 days
Crew 110
Equipped with Mk-110 57-mm turret mounted gun
6 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber machine guns
3D air search radar
2 level 1, class 1 aircraft hangers
A stern launch ramp for mission boats

 

Ship list

Ship Hull Number Laid down Launched Commissioned
Bertholf WMSL-750 03-29-2005 09-29-2006 08-04-2008
Waesche WMSL-751 09-11-2006 07-12-2008 05-07-2010
Stratton WMSL-752 07-20-2009 07-23-2010 03-31-2012
Hamilton WMSL-753 09-05-2012 08-10-2013 12-06-2014
James WMSL-754 05-17-2013 05-03-2014 08-08-2015
Munro WMSL-755 10-07-2013 09-12-2015
Kimball WMSL-756 03-04-2016 12-17-2016
Midgett WMSL-757  01-27-2017
Stone WMSL-758