According to Navy Recognition, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its second Izumo-class Helicopter Destroyer (Carrier) JS Kaga (hull number DDH-184) during the ceremony at the JMU Japan Marine United Corporation shipyard in Yokohama Isogo on March 22, 2017.
The vessel was named and launched in August 2015. Kaga was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the third to enter service, named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture.
Izumo-class Helicopter Destroyers have 5 helicopter spots and accommodation for 14 in hangar. A typical «air wing» would consist in 7 Mitsubishi SH-60J or SH-60K Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Helicopters, 2 Mitsubishi UH-60J Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopters, 2 AgustaWestland MCH-101 minesweeping helicopters and 2 Boeing CH-47J Chinook.
First of class JS Izumo (DDH-183) was commissioned on 25 March 2015 in Yokosuka naval base. Izumo is the flagship of the JMSDF fleet and is the largest warship built by Japan since World War II. The 814-foot-long/248-meter-long and 19,500-ton helicopter carrier was unveiled for the first time in August 2013 in Yokohama.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the helicopter carrier is expected to play a key role both in defense of territorial sovereignty, in rescue missions, and in case of natural disasters.
It said in the Defense-aerospace.com that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to begin contract negotiations for acquiring 56 Airbus C-295 transport aircraft as replacements for its ageing Avro HS-748 aircraft.
According to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, due attention is being paid to all assets of IAF, fighters and transporters included, and that «contract negotiations for 56 C-295 aircraft to replace the ageing Avro fleet are likely to commence shortly».
Separately, official sources indicated that the Border Security Force (BSF) is also looking at four C-295s for movement of its troopers within the country.
That takes the projected number to 60, but as the aircraft will be made in India by the Tata Group, their number should go up eventually, keeping in mind the regional connectivity plans of the Civil Aviation Ministry, particularly in India’s northern Himalayan cities.
Airbus officials have also said they are looking at a sizeable share of the Indian civil aviation market, pointing out that the C-295 is already operational in 19 countries.
The air chief’s statement is significant as it clearly indicates that the process of acquiring the C-295s is now on a firm track.
The aircraft is to be made in India by the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) in partnership with Airbus, and as per their announcement in 2014, once a contract is awarded, Airbus Defence and Space will supply the first 16 aircraft in «fly-away» condition from its own final assembly line in Spain and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by TASL.
The arrangement will include undertaking structural assembly, final aircraft assembly, systems integration and testing, and management of the indigenous supply chain.
Asked how the IAF was overcoming many challenges in the transport domain, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that IAF will also induct another six Lockheed Martin C-130J Special Operations aircraft within the first half of 2017 while one more Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic lift aircraft is being acquired to take their number to 11. Ten C-17s are already operational with the IAF.
It may be recalled that IAF has already inducted the first lot of six C-130Js. One of them, however, had crashed and a case has now been made for its replacement.
About the AN-32 aircraft, which is the workhorse of the IAF and has been under upgrades, he said that their first lot is due for «phase out in 2023-24 and a suitable replacement will be considered at an appropriate time».
The IAF had acquired more than 100 AN 32s beginning mid-1980s from the Soviet Union, and these are being upgraded by Ukraine, which is now an independent state after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
About the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) that was proposed (in 2007) to be designed and built in collaboration with Russia, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that «the agreement with Russia for MTA could not mature as their proposal did not meet some of the Air Staff Qualitative requirements (ASRs)».
Future ground troops may one day have a «third arm» device attached to their protective vests that will hold their weapon, lessening the weight on their arms and freeing up their hands for other tasks.
Weighing less than 4 pounds/1.81 kg, the body-worn weapon mount is currently undergoing testing at the Army Research Laboratory, where researchers hope the lightweight device will ensure Soldiers pack a more powerful punch in combat.
«We’re looking at a new way for the Soldier to interface with the weapon», said Zac Wingard, a mechanical engineer for the lab’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate. «It is not a product; it is simply a way to study how far we can push the ballistic performance of future weapons without increasing Soldier burden».
Today, some Soldiers are weighed down by combat loads that exceed 110 pounds/49.9 kg. Those heavy loads, he said, may worsen as high energy weapons, which could be larger with heavier ammunition, are developed for future warfare.
«You wind up pushing that Soldier’s combat load up beyond 120 pounds/54.4 kg and they’re already overburdened», he said last week at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium. «We now have Soldiers in their late teens and early 20s and they’re getting broken sometimes in training before they see a day in combat».
The goal of the third arm device is to redirect all of a weapon’s weight to the body, making it easier for the Soldier to carry a more lethal firearm.
«With this configuration, right now, we can go up to 20 pounds/9 kg and take all of that weight off of the arms», said Dan Baechle, also a mechanical engineer.
The passive mechanical appendage, which is made out of carbon fiber composite, can be used in the prone position and on both sides of the body.
To test the device, researchers are conducting a pilot with a few Soldiers using an M4 carbine on a firing range at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. As part of the pilot, Baechle said, the Soldiers wear electromyography sensors on their arms and upper body to measure muscle activity to determine if there’s a change in fatigue when shooting with the device.
Researchers also score the Soldiers’ shots to see if there’s an improvement in marksmanship.
«The research and development we’re focused on now is refining this device», Baechle said, adding that they’re also working on it with the lab’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate.
Further research will look at answering questions by the Soldiers, such as if the device will get in the way if they wear a medical kit on the side or a magazine pouch in the front. «Those are all future use issues that we’re going to address in future iterations», he said.
While the M4 is the only weapon currently being tested with the device, Baechle said, they plan to investigate other types of weapons with different calibers, like an M249 squad automatic weapon or M240B machine gun.
«Imagine shoulder-firing either of these without the weight on your arms, and without all the recoil going into your shoulder», he said.
The third arm could also allow Soldiers to use future weapons with more recoil.
«We could potentially look at very high recoil systems that aren’t going to beat up on the Soldier like they normally would», he said.
Researchers also plan to examine the device’s potential applications for various fighting techniques, like shoot-on-the-move, close-quarters combat, or even shooting around corners with augmented reality displays, he said.
Other possible applications for the device include helping a Soldier keep his weapon close by as he cuts through a barrier with a power saw during a breaching operation. A Soldier might also use it to carry a shield as he leads other Soldiers in clearing a room.
Before any field testing takes place, Baechle said, they hope to «ruggedize» the device to ensure it can withstand rigorous activity, such as having a Soldier fall to the ground with it.
«Right now, we’re just doing proof of concept, so we’re not diving into the dirt with our only prototype», he said. «But that’s something we would want to make sure we can do, because Soldiers will be doing that».
On March 17th, 2017, DCNS is proud to announce the success of the first sea trials of the first-of-class Gowind 2500 corvette under construction in Lorient, France by DCNS. Ten Gowind 2500 corvette, aimed at supplementing DCNS surface vessel product range, has been ordered so far by international navies.
The first sea trials of the first Gowind 2500 corvette designed and built in Lorient by DCNS underline the quality of the conception and production of this new range of vessels. «It is a very important moment for DCNS: the Gowind corvette designed especially for the international market is now sea proven», explains Eric Chaplet, DCNS Marketing Vice-President. «We are very proud to announce that, with the Gowind 2500 corvette, DCNS now has the last generation vessel to strengthen its product line geared to the international naval defence market».
«The sea trials of the Gowind 2500 corvette once again illustrate DCNS’ industrial capacity to manage and realize major programs with products meeting the needs of our customers», adds Pierre Legros, DCNS Senior Vice-President Programs. The first Gowind® 2500 corvette is being built on the DCNS site in Lorient, France, one of the most modern naval shipyards in Europe. Nine other corvettes are to be built in Egypt and Malaysia, on the basis of technology transfer realized by DCNS.
«The Gowind 2500 responds to navies’ needs to have access to a complete and multi-mission combat vessel for sovereignty and maritime protection operations», details Eric Chaplet.
The Gowind 2500 is bristling with the very latest technological advances, developed and implemented by DCNS for naval defence. It incorporates the SETIS combat system, developed by DCNS for FREMM frigates and Gowind corvettes, the «Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM)» – an assembly bringing together the integrated mast with its various sensors as well as the Operational Centre and its associated technical rooms – and the high degree of integration, automation and conviviality of the DCNS systems.
Gowind 2500 technical characteristics
334.65 feet/102 m
52.49 feet/16 m
25 knots/28.77 mph/46.3 km/h
3,700 nautical miles/4,258 miles/6,852 km at 15 knots/17.26 mph/27.78 km/h
Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract by the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) to provide LITENING advanced targeting pods for its F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. LITENING gives pilots powerful capabilities for detecting, identifying and tracking targets at extremely long ranges.
Denmark was the first international partner to take delivery of the fourth generation of the LITENING pod. With this award, the RDAF will expand the use of LITENING to additional aircraft in its fleet.
«As a key member of NATO, Denmark supports a wide range of missions. LITENING gives the RDAF powerful capabilities to carry out these missions, whether they call for targeting or Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)», said Doctor Robert Fleming, vice president, programmes, Northrop Grumman.
The Northrop Grumman LITENING Advanced Targeting System, now in its fourth generation, gives aircrews superior situational awareness and targeting capabilities for strike and ISR missions. Technologies include digital, high definition video, 1K forward-looking infrared and charge-coupled device sensors, laser imaging sensors and advanced data links. These advances deliver more accurate target identification and location at longer ranges than previous targeting pod systems, while also reducing pilot workload.
LITENING pod has been integrated on the A-10 Thunderbolt II, AV-8B Harrier II, B-52 Stratofortress, C-130 Hercules, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet and has achieved more than two million operating hours.
Littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) completed final contract trials, March 17, marking the completion of the construction and initial operating testing of the Navy’s eighth LCS.
The trials, administered by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, are part of a series of post-delivery test and trial events through which the ship and its major systems are exercised.
The five-day trials began with pre-underway and material condition checks followed by at-sea demonstrations. Trial highlights included combat systems air and surface detect-to-engage scenarios, 57-mm gun firing exercises, maneuvering testing and operation of the twin boom extendable crane.
«I am exceptionally proud of the USS Montgomery (LCS-8) team and the combined efforts of the blue and gold crews, Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS), Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, and all of the other contributors who worked to create this successful outcome», said Commander Mark Stefanik, Montgomery’s commanding officer. «Montgomery has continued to raise the bar and we are looking forward to her next challenge and a successful introduction to fleet operations».
Several government and private agencies supported the trials led by PEO LCS; industry partners included Austal USA and General Dynamics Mission Systems, and Southwest Regional Maintenance Center provided logistical support. Additionally, in a move to the blue and gold crewing construct, Montgomery Blue Crew, currently in an off-hull status, successfully demonstrated the support a Blue-Gold model provides.
«Montgomery is our ship, both blue and gold crews, and we continue that legacy even while off-hull», said Commander Daniel Straub, Montgomery Blue Crew commanding officer. «We put a lot of hard work and sweat equity into the ship during the pre-commissioning phase, commissioning, and sail-around to homeport San Diego. Our commitment to the ship remains constant whether on-hull or off-hull, and we are excited and motivated that we knocked these final contract trials out of the park».
Constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, the Independence-class vessel is the fourth vessel of the trimaran design. Montgomery is preceded by USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Coronado (LCS-4), and USS Jackson (LCS-6). Montgomery was christened November 8, 2014, and commissioned September 10, 2016, in Mobile.
LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. LCS is complementary to the surface fleet, with the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.
Independence Variant of the LCS Class
Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
417 feet/127.1 m
103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum)
14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load
Mission Bay Volume
118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
4 × Wartsila steerable
40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Survival in Sea State 8
>21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery
Twin boom extending crane
Internal elevator to hanger
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)
For the first time since its introduction into service in December 2016, the Italian Air Force’s ATR 72MP has flown overseas to attend the Langkawi International Maritime And Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia, from March 21 to 25. During the show, the aircraft and its crew will be available to delegations and guests for hosted visits and briefings. Leonardo envisions significant export opportunities for the aircraft in the region due the aircraft’s low cost of operation, ease of maintenance and exceptional versatility in a number of maritime roles.
The ATR 72MP, which was developed by Leonardo using the ATR 72-600 turboprop as a base, can perform roles including maritime patrol, search and identification of surface vessels, Command, Control and Communication, ISR, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, SAR (Search and Rescue) missions, the prevention of narcotics trafficking, piracy, smuggling, territorial water security and monitoring and intervention in the event of environmental catastrophes.
The ATR 72MP is equipped with Leonardo’s ATOS mission system, which uses advanced data fusion techniques to present a single tactical picture to the operator that integrates information from all of the aircraft’s on-board sensors. One key sensor on the ATR 72MP is Leonardo’s Seaspray AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) surveillance radar. Seaspray provides a powerful surveillance capability with a range of modes, all in a highly reliable package. The aircraft also uses the latest communication systems, able to transmit or receive information in real time to/from command and control centers either on the ground, in the air or at-sea, to ensure coordinated and effective operations. The aircraft is also equipped with a self-protection system, fully integrated with the ATR 72MP’s mission system and avionics.
DARPA recently completed Phase 1 of its Gremlins program, which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) – or «gremlins» – that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. Taking the program to its next stage, the Agency has now awarded Phase 2 contracts to two teams, one led by Dynetics, Inc. (Huntsville, Alabama) and the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (San Diego, California).
«The Phase 1 program showed the feasibility of airborne UAS launch and recovery systems that would require minimal modification to the host aircraft», said Scott Wierzbanowski, DARPA program manager. «We’re aiming in Phase 2 to mature two system concepts to enable ‘aircraft carriers in the sky’ using air-recoverable UASs that could carry various payloads – advances that would greatly extend the range, flexibility, and affordability of UAS operations for the U.S. military».
Gremlins Phase 2 research seeks to complete preliminary designs for full-scale technology demonstration systems, as well as develop and perform risk-reduction tests of individual system components. Phase 3 goals include developing one full-scale technology demonstration system and conducting flight demonstrations involving airborne launch and recovery of multiple gremlins. Flight tests are currently scheduled for the 2019 timeframe.
Named for the imaginary, mischievous imps that became the good luck charms of many British pilots during World War II, the program envisions launching groups of UASs from multiple types of military aircraft – including bombers, transport, fighters, and small, unmanned fixed-wing platforms – while out of range of adversary defenses. When the gremlins complete their mission, Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours.
The gremlins’ expected lifetime of about 20 uses could provide significant cost advantages over expendable unmanned systems by reducing payload and airframe costs and by having lower mission and maintenance costs than conventional manned platforms.
Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) Phase 2 Concept Video
According to defense-aerospace.com, Senior Minister for State for Defence Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman officiated at the launching ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s fourth Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Justice, at the Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine)’s Benoi shipyard on March 17, 2017. The LMV was launched by Mdm Sadiah Shahal, wife of Dr. Maliki.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Maliki highlighted that given the increasingly volatile maritime domain, the LMVs aptly illustrate how the RSN is «looking ahead to the next 50 years to make sure it stays relevant and ready for the challenges ahead». He added, «the RSN has designed the LMV to conduct a wider range of operations in a more complex environment. It will give the RSN greater mission flexibility and sustainability».
The launch of Justice is another significant milestone in the RSN’s continued transformation to keep Singapore’s seas safe. The LMVs are faster, more versatile, and equipped with sharper capabilities to further strengthen the RSN’s effectiveness in seaward defence. The LMVs can be quickly configured with mission modules to take on a wide spectrum of operations, allowing the crew to deliver calibrated responses using lethal and non-lethal options to deal with a range of maritime threats.
The LMV project is progressing well, with LMV Justice expected to be fully operational by 2018, and all eight LMVs by 2020. The first three LMVs, Independence, Sovereignty and Unity, are presently undergoing sea trials and LMV Independence will be commissioned during the RSN’s Golden Jubilee on 5 May 2017.
Also present at the ceremony were Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han and senior officials from the RSN.
Polish and U.S. armored forces dug into their individual battle positions, using the tree line for concealment and awaiting the operation order, tank crew members mentally prepare for a bilateral training event at Range Joanna in Karliki, Poland, March 15.
Two Polish platoons with the 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade hosted a combined tank maneuver exercise, integrating a U.S. tank platoon from Dakota Company, 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team into the daylong training.
Throughout their nine-month-long deployment, 3rd ABCT will conduct combined training, which provides the opportunity to hone skills and sustain the ability to shoot, move and communicate alongside NATO Allies.
«Building on our tactical techniques sustains combat readiness as a result of having a mutual understanding about maneuver formation procedures», said Staff Sergeant Ian Brown, tank commander in 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd ABCT. «If something actually happened, we would be able to come together and develop a maneuver plan faster».
The day was spent training on maneuver formations and developing combined tactical techniques in preparation for upcoming NATO exercise as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
A Polish platoon leader acknowledged the unique opportunity to train alongside a U.S. tank platoon and the benefit gained from the experience. «This is the first time that I’ve participated in this kind of exercise and it’s very nice», said Polish 1st Lieutenant Michal Tyjewski, platoon leader in 1st Tank Battalion, 10th ACB. «The most important benefit is the additional experience that we would not be able to have if the U.S. Army weren’t here».
Operation Atlantic Resolve enables NATO Allies to recognize and work through common difficulties to strengthen the bonds between the two nations.
«The most difficult hurdle, in the beginning, was the language barrier», said Tyjewski. «However, all the operation procedures are quite similar so even if the language is a little hard to understand, we can just use our combined procedures to overcome that barrier».
U.S. Army Europe is a leadership laboratory that empowers junior leaders to thrive in a complex operating environment.
Spc. Johnathan Garache, tank crewmen in 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd ABCT was one of the front-line troops conducting the maneuver training with the Polish soldiers.
«It’s good to expand your horizon and be more open-minded», Garache said. «It’s a learning experience, so when I become a noncommissioned officer I can pass that knowledge down to my Soldiers, teach them how other nations work and incorporate that into what we do».