Sea Acceptance Trials

In April 2017, the Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore successfully completed Sea Acceptance Trials and is now ready for final handover to the customer, The Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel MV Sycamore
The Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel MV Sycamore

Contracted in December 2014, Terma has successfully delivered and trialed the helicopter mission control system for the MV Sycamore, in due time.

A primary mission for the MV Sycamore is to conduct operational aviation/helicopter training by and for RAN. Consequently, the MV Sycamore is equipped with a helicopter mission control system from Terma that comprises the SCANTER 6002 Air and Surface Surveillance radar with IFF and the C-Flex Mission System.

The SCANTER 6002 is a combined Air and Surface Surveillance radar providing unique capabilities for advanced navigation, air, and surface surveillance and helicopter control. On the MV Sycamore, the SCANTER 6002 radar is configured with its 12 feet/3.66-meter Dual Beam High Gain antenna and combined with the C-Search Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF) system providing for military modes as well as the civilian Mode S. The SCANTER 6002 radar enables the operator to detect a helicopter far from the vessel and follow it all the way until hovering over the helicopter pad.

The C-Flex Mission system is located in the aviation control room from where the operator is presented with the situation awareness based on data from the SCANTER 6002 radar and the IFF. These data are correlated and fused into a layered situation picture with sea chart, track overlay, crisp-clear radar video overlay as well as graphical overlays, routes, heli-approach patterns, etc., allowing for the operator to concentrate on making decisions and commanding the helicopter in the specific operation.

The SCANTER 6002 radar has become a preferred choice for both navigation and surveillance purposes by a large number of navies and coastguards around the world. The SCANTER 6002 is a Solid State X-Band radar providing unique and unmatched small target detection and tracking. The SCANTER 6002 is a member of Terma’s world famous SCANTER radar family with more than 2,700 radars in operation worldwide.

The C-Flex Mission System is derived from Terma’s famous and proven C-Flex Combat Management System supplied fleetwide for the Royal Danish Navy (OPVs and Frigates) and for several other navies, such as the Romanian Navy, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Thai Navy, etc. Rather than providing Combat Management, the C-Flex Mission System provides a mission-oriented command and control solution enabling commercial-, coastguard- and naval vessels to conduct efficient missions within Search & Rescue, Surveillance, Law Enforcement and Deterrence.

LCS-19 Keel Laying

On May 17, 2017, the Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s 19th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS St. Louis (LCS-19), in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-19, the future USS St. Louis, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s module construction process
A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-19, the future USS St. Louis, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s module construction process

Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship.

«It is a tremendous honor to serve as the sponsor of the future USS St. Louis», Taylor said. «The keel-laying ceremony is a great milestone, and I look forward to supporting the ship and its crew throughout the building process. I know the people of St. Louis and Missouri will proudly support her when she is commissioned and officially enters the U.S. Navy fleet».

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered four ships to the U.S. Navy to date. The future USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is one of seven ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with two more in long-lead production.

«We are proud to build another proven warship that allows our Navy to carry out their missions around the world», said Joe North, vice president and general manager of Littoral Ships and Systems. «We look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue building and delivering highly capable and adaptable Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships to the fleet».

LCS-19 will be the seventh ship to bear the name USS St. Louis. The first St. Louis, a sloop of war, was launched in 1828. Other ships to bear the name included an ironclad gunboat commissioned in 1862, a troop transport commissioned in 1898, a protected cruiser in commission from 1906 to 1922, a light cruiser commissioned in 1939, and, most recently, a Charleston-class amphibious cargo ship in service from 1969 to 1991.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. The Freedom-variant’s steel monohull design is based on a proven, resilient design recognized for its stability and reliability.

Costing less than a third of a brand new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the Littoral Combat Ship is the Navy’s most affordable surface combatant shipbuilding program and the ideal platform to grow the U.S. Navy fleet quickly and affordably.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

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

 

Exoskeleton
Helps Soldiers

Their demanding missions often require soldiers to carry heavy equipment packs long distances over rough terrain, or up and down stairs and underground infrastructure in urban environments. Exhaustion and injury are frequently a consequence of these challenging operational scenarios. A new exoskeleton from Lockheed Martin offers a solution.

FORTIS K-SRD helps soldiers climb and walk carrying heavy mission equipment loads by supporting the legs and boosting knee capacity
FORTIS K-SRD helps soldiers climb and walk carrying heavy mission equipment loads by supporting the legs and boosting knee capacity

Using licensed Dermoskeleton bionic augmentation technology, the FORTIS Knee Stress Release Device (K-SRD) is a computer-controlled exoskeleton that counteracts overstress on the lower back and legs and increases mobility and load-carrying capability. It boosts leg capacity for physically demanding tasks that require repetitive or continuous kneeling or squatting, or lifting, dragging, carrying or climbing with heavy loads.

«FORTIS K-SRD features military-specification batteries that are approved for infantry use, improved control box ergonomics and faster actuators that generate more torque», said Keith Maxwell, FORTIS program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «These system upgrades resulted from soldier feedback on the initial design».

Sensors on the exoskeleton report the soldier’s speed, direction and angle of movement to an on-board computer that drives electro-mechanical actuators at the knees. The exoskeleton delivers the right torque at the right time to assist knee flex and extension. FORTIS K-SRD ultimately reduces the energy needed to cross terrain, squat or kneel. These benefits are most noticeable when ascending or descending stairs or navigating inclined surfaces.

Versions of the exoskeleton are also available for industrial workers and first responders who have to perform strenuous tasks in difficult environments.

«For any mission that combines heavy man-portable gear and climbing, FORTIS K-SRD can enhance strength and endurance», Maxwell said.

Enhance the Swordfish

Defence and security company Saab continues to enhance the Swordfish Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Detailed design studies have expanded operational capabilities, adding new mission equipment and a significantly expanded operational payload. The Swordfish MPA is the smart solution for the full range of real-world maritime missions that modern customers demand.

Saab Swordfish MPA delivers true multi-role maritime air power
Saab Swordfish MPA delivers true multi-role maritime air power

Saab’s Swordfish MPA is a strategic, multi-role asset that combines the latest, operationally proven sensors with Bombardier’s ultra-long range, Global 6000 platform. It is a MPA system that can fly further, stay longer on station and deliver superior results in every task that MPAs are required to fulfil across the complete spectrum of national, international and coalition missions.

Recent product development milestones at Saab and Bombardier have validated a significant increase in the available payload carried on Swordfish’s four, NATO-compatible hard points. Swordfish can now be armed with up to six lightweight-torpedoes for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. Swordfish can also carry the Saab RBS 15EF anti-ship missile or a mix of missiles and torpedoes to assure total sea control in every aspect. The Swordfish can equally carry a load of four search-and-rescue pods underlining its true multi-mission capability across the maritime domain.

Another capability that sets Swordfish apart from competitors is its ASW suite with a world-leading acoustics processor, Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), gravity-launching systems and an operational load of around 200 A, F and G size sonobuoys. This complete and highly-capable ASW suite enables Swordfish to locate, track and classify the most advanced, high-threat sub-surface targets for several hours, with a higher probability of detection.

«We have invested heavily to produce an MPA at the peak of operational capability today and future-proofed for decades to come when new technologies, such as unmanned systems, come online. Anti-submarine warfare is the cornerstone of any MPA and we can draw on Saab’s unique design insight into submarines and airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), underwater weapons and sensors, together with decades of experience from our valued partners including GDMS-Canada, CAE and leading sonobuoy specialists Ultra Electronics UK. The result is an MPA optimised for the demands of ASW, especially at low-level, which is where the game is truly won or lost. The need to classify targets from a passive source remains as relevant as ever and is enhanced by confirmation from other sensors such as the MAD», says Gary Shand, sales director at Saab business unit Airborne ISR.

In parallel with Swordfish, Saab’s multi-role and swing-role GlobalEye AEW&C system continues its successful progress with three units in production and scheduled for on-time delivery. Swordfish shares around 70 per cent commonality with its GlobalEye sistership including the Global 6000 platform, mission management system, electronic warfare and self-protection systems, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, electro-optics, Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the majority of communications systems.

Swordfish was launched at the 2016 Singapore Air Show and Saab has since received substantial interest from potential users in every corner of the world, many of whom are already experienced MPA operators.

«We are very encouraged by the increasing interest shown in the Swordfish MPA. We have a fantastic product that offers a high-end, strategic capability with much lower acquisition and operating costs compared to airliner equivalents. Our dialogue with the market and the wider anti-submarine warfare community shows there is a clear requirement for a fast, long-range, multi-mission MPA that performs across a range of profiles with smarter ways of operating to reduce costs. Saab continues to invest in this programme and we know that we can deliver a system that will change forever the way users think and act in in the maritime domain», says Emilien Saindon, head of sales and marketing, Saab business unit Airborne ISR”

The proliferation of submarines around the world continues to increase and many countries have a growing need to replace existing, ageing MPA platforms. Regional maritime disputes, anti-piracy, terrorism and security of national waters, borders and lines of commerce mean that the demand for multi-role ISR air power has never been more pressing. Saab is committed to expanding its presence in Asia Pacific and working with local industries in the region to deliver, support and sustain the Swordfish MPA far into the future.

The Swordfish MPA is a high-end, multi-role platform that offers strategic ISR capabilities over both sea and land
The Swordfish MPA is a high-end, multi-role platform that offers strategic ISR capabilities over both sea and land

Sailaway

The Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), departed from Mobile, Alabama, May 8, beginning her journey to her commissioning site in Galveston, Texas.

Future USS Tulsa (LCS-16) is heading back to Austal USA after launching from the drydock at BAE Ship Systems. She's passing Austal's vessel completion yard where USNS Yuma (EPF-8), future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) and future USS Omaha (LCS-12) are docked (Courtesy photo by USA Austal)
Future USS Tulsa (LCS-16) is heading back to Austal USA after launching from the drydock at BAE Ship Systems. She’s passing Austal’s vessel completion yard where USNS Yuma (EPF-8), future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) and future USS Omaha (LCS-12) are docked (Courtesy photo by USA Austal)

The ship’s commissioning is scheduled for June 10, after which she will begin her transit to her eventual homeport of San Diego. As part of her sail around, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) will conduct regularly scheduled equipment and systems checks, training, visit several ports and transit through the Panama Canal.

«We are making the most of our sail around», said Commander Keith Woodley, commanding officer and a native of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. «During the transit to San Diego we will be conducting routine maintenance checks and training. We will also begin our Combat Ship Systems Qualification Trials events which are designed to test the ship’s ability to track and disable high-speed maneuvering surface targets and defeat long range anti-shipping air threats».

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is the ninth littoral combat ship delivered to the U.S. Navy and the fifth LCS of the Independence variant. The Independence variant is noted for its unique hull, ability to operate at high speeds, and large flight deck size.

«We are pleased to receive the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) into the LCS class», said Captain Matthew J. Harrison, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 and a native of Columbia, Maryland. « USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) will join her sister littoral combat ships in their homeport of San Diego in July and continue testing and training for future deployed operations».

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission 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 a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 417 feet/127.1 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
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017
USS Kansas City (LCS-22)
USS Oakland (LCS-24)

 

Christening of
City of Bismarck

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), the future USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF-9), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, May 13, at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

A «Christening» ceremony is a long-standing tradition in U.S. Navy shipbuilding in which ships receive their names during the construction process
A «Christening» ceremony is a long-standing tradition in U.S. Navy shipbuilding in which ships receive their names during the construction process

The future USNS City of Bismarck, designated T-EPF 9, will be the first ship in naval service to honor the city of Bismarck, the capital of the state of North Dakota.

The principal speaker was Air Force General Darren McDew, commander, U.S. Transportation Command. The Honorable Jane Harman, former congresswoman from California, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«We are honored that former Congresswoman Harman will serve as sponsor for the newest ship in our fleet», said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the U.S. Navy. «She has had a distinguished career working to improve our nation’s security and her relationship with Bismarck and its crew will be a continuation of those efforts».

The EPF is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances.

EPF is designed to transport 600 short tons/544.3 metric tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles/1,381 miles/2,222 km at an average speed of 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h. The ship is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2).

The EPF will include a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. EPF’s shallow draft (under 15 feet/4.57 m) will further enhance littoral operations and port access. This makes the EPF an extremely flexible asset for support of a wide range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.

Badge
Badge

 

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

USNS Yuma (EPF-8), Delivered

USNS Bismark (EPF-9), Christened

USNS Burlington (EPF-10), Under construction

USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11), Under construction

USNS EPF-12, On order

USNS EPF-13, On order

 

Europe Tank Challenge

The Austrian platoon took top honors in the second annual Strong Europe Tank Challenge with Germany and the U.S. placing second and third, May 12, 2017.

An Bundesheer (Austrian Armed Forces) Leopard 2A4 tank crushes car as part of the precision driving lane, during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at the 7th Army Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area (Photo Credit: Spc. Nathanael Mercado)
An Bundesheer (Austrian Armed Forces) Leopard 2A4 tank crushes car as part of the precision driving lane, during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area (Photo Credit: Spc. Nathanael Mercado)

«We tried as hard as we could to prepare ourselves and our crews for competition, and it was just the right way», said Staff Sergeant Thomas Krims, a loader on the platoon commander’s tank.

The challenge was a five-day competition that tested offensive and defensive operations as well as vehicle identification, battle damage assessment and precision maneuvers.

Multinational platoons from six NATO and partner nations took part in the U.S. Army Europe and German Bundeswehr co-hosted event, here, May 7-12, 2017.

Participating nations included Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and the United States, who each brought a platoon with four tanks to compete. Four-person crews manned Austria’s Leopard 2A4 tanks, Germany’s Leopard 2A6 tanks and Poland’s Leopard 2A5 tanks. Three-person teams operated France’s Leclerc tanks and Ukraine’s T-64BM tanks. And the U.S. used the M1A2 SEP tanks with four Soldiers per tank.

Platoons rotated throughout 12 events with 1,500 possible points in total. Teams tested their live-fire maneuvers in defensive and offensive operations, with the possibility of scoring up to 500 points in each event. The other events were worth 50 possible points each.

The teams ran through lanes that challenged their abilities to react to indirect fires, chemical attacks and improvised explosive devices while treating and evacuating casualties, and providing vehicle recovery.

Platoons identified 30 friendly and enemy vehicles, determined the range of targets without using the tank’s main sight or laser ranger finders, and called for fire to engage targets.

Each crew was also tested on their abilities to report accurate information during an urban area patrol and navigate tanks through an obstacle course without vehicle optics.

The remaining events required the Soldiers to dismount from their tanks to compete in a team run, a relay race with tank-related objects, and a combat pistol shoot. The final day of the challenge ended with a friendship shoot.

Along with building an environment for a friendly competition, the event also built camaraderie.

«We learned that every nation has their pride in being a tanker», said Krims. «Every team has their own way, but we learned that our way of performing as a team in every task we got is what brought us success».

«This is a competition, but it’s not really about the competition», said Sergeant Major David Glenn, 7th Army Training Command’s operations senior noncommissioned officer. «It’s really about training, partnership, esprit de corps and interoperability».

The challenge fosters military partnership and promoted interoperability, while providing an environment to share tactics, techniques and procedures.

«We truly appreciate the opportunity to come here and see what other nations do as tankers», said Krims.

The fourth and
final boat

The submarine «Romeo Romei» (S529) was delivered on May 11, 2017, at Fincantieri’s shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia). It is the last of the four U212A «Salvatore Todaro» class twin units ordered to Fincantieri by the Naval Armament Unit – NAVARM for the Italian Navy.

The «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the fourth and final boat of the second batch of Type U212A submarines built by Fincantieri for the Italian navy (Fincantieri photo)
The «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the fourth and final boat of the second batch of Type U212A submarines built by Fincantieri for the Italian navy (Fincantieri photo)

The submarine «Romeo Romei» (S529), as its twin unit «Pietro Venuti» (S528) delivered last July at the Muggiano shipyard, features highly innovative technological solutions. It is entirely built with amagnetic material, using the most modern silencing techniques to reduce its acoustic signature.

«Romeo Romei» (S529) has a surface displacement of 1,509 tonnes, an overall length of 183.4 feet/55.9 meters, a maximum diameter of 23 feet/7 meters, and can exceed 16 knots/18 mph/30 km/h underwater. It has a 27-person crew.

 

The «Romeo Romei» (S529) submarine

The «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the 102nd submarine built in the shipyard of Muggiano since 1907, when the Italian Royal Navy’s «Foca» submarine was launched. Since then, this shipyard has always stood out for building naval units, not only for the Italian Navy, but also for foreign navies (Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark).

The building programme of the submarines «Pietro Venuti» (S528) and «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the continuation of the project launched in 1994 in cooperation with the German Submarine Consortium, which has already led to the construction in the past years of six units for Germany and two for Italy – the «Salvatore Todaro» (S526) and the «Scirè» (S527). These latter units, delivered by Fincantieri in 2006 and 2007 respectively, are operating successfully as part of the Italian Navy’s fleet.

Like the other vessels in the series, the «Romeo Romei» (S529) is equipped with a silent propulsion system based on fuel cell technology, producing energy through an oxygen-hydrogen reaction independently from external oxygen, ensuring a considerably higher autonomy in submersion than the conventional battery-based systems. It features an electro-acoustic system which is fully integrated into the command and control system, as well as a modern automation system of the control platform.

 

Romeo Romei

Corvette Captain

Gold Medal of Military Valour awarded posthumously

Romeo Romei was born in Castelnuovo (Cattaro) on August 14th, 1906. Student at the Naval Academy of Livorno since December 1924, in 1928 he was appointed midshipman, passing to Sub-Lieutenant on July 1st, 1929, while he was embarked as navigating officer on the cruiser «Trieste». Promoted to Lieutenant in 1933, he requested to pass on submarines and commanded the Perla, participating in special missions during the Spanish Civil War.

He was called back home from the naval base in Tobruk on June 10th, 1940 with the declaration of War, taking the lead of the submarine Pier Capponi and standing out for audacious and successful combat missions, so much to be defined the «abysses corsair». In a war mission led on November 10th, 1940 in the Strait of Sicily (50 miles SE from Malta), he attacked a British naval formation – consisting of an aircraft carrier and two battleships convoyed by several destroyers – probably heavily hitting a battleship.

On March 31st, 1941, the unit left Messina for a mission, heading towards the central Mediterranean Sea. It was torpedoed by the British submarine Rorqual, sinking about 17 miles south of Stromboli. Among the crew there were no survivors.

Other decorations:

  • Bronze Medal for Military Valour (Western Mediterranean, 22 June 1940);
  • Bronze Medal for Military Valour (Mediterranean, 10 June 1940 – 12 April 1941).

 

Main Characteristics

Length overall 187.5 feet/57.15 m
Length between perpendiculars 183.4 feet/55.9 m
Maximum breadth (on P.H.) 23 feet/7 m
Height overall (masts in) 38.96 feet/11.875 m
Surface displacement (ready to dive) 1,509 tonnes
Standard displacement 1,460 tonnes
Lead cells battery banks (two sub-batteries)
1 synchronous motor with permanent magnet excitation
1 16-cylinder turbocharged diesel-generators set
Air-Independent Propulsion (A.I.P.) System with 8 + 1 Fuel Cell module
Low signature (acoustic, hydrodynamic, magnetic, radar, I/R)
Maximum surface speed 12 knots/14 mph/22 km/h
Endurance at 8 knots/9 mph/15 km/h on surface 8,000 NM/9,206 miles/14,816 km/h
Maximum submerged speed >16 knots/18 mph/30 km/h
CREW
Officers 9
P.O. & Ratings 15
Extra crew 3
Sanitary spaces masses with Officers seats – 8
P.O./crew seats – 9
Galley
COMBAT SYSTEM
Command & Control Systems based on 4 Multi-functional
Consoles with redundant databus
FULLY INTEGRATED SENSORS
DBQS-40 Sonar System with: Passive Ranging System (PRS), Continuously Active Sonar (CAS), Flank Array Sonar (FAS), Towed Array Sonar (TAS), Mine Avoidance Sonar (MAS), Ice Profiler Sonar (IPS), ONA
Navigation Sensors: Log, Global Positioning System (GPS), Inertial Navigation System (INS), Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS), Echograph
Plotting Table
KH 1007 Navigation Radar
Search Periscope
Attack Periscope
Integrated Communication System: Very Low Frequency (VLF), High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
FL 1800 U Electronic Support Measures (ESM) System
Ultra-Wideband (UW) Telegraphy & Telephony Systems
UHF Satellite Communications (SATCOM) Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA)
WEAPONS
6 × 533-mm launchers for A184 mod. 3 or DM2A4
Mine Laying System (optional)
Torpedo Countermeasure System (optional)

 

Land, Air, and Sea

Lockheed Martin showcased its innovations in autonomy for reporters May 9, 2017, at its Missiles and Fire Control facility in Grand Prairie, Texas. The demonstrations included its all-weather quadrotor Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), its new real-time 3D reconstruction software and its on-going developments in military and commercial autonomous vehicles.

Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) solves capability gaps by lightening the warfighter’s load, serving as a power management resource, and providing a versatile utility platform for various Mission Equipment Packages
Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) solves capability gaps by lightening the warfighter’s load, serving as a power management resource, and providing a versatile utility platform for various Mission Equipment Packages

«We envision trusted autonomous and unmanned systems and solutions that will meet tomorrow’s needs and ensure that the human-machine partnership is fully realized», said Chris Van Buiten, vice president, Sikorsky Innovations. «Our focus is on human-machine integration, autonomous systems control and the intelligent interpretation of the physical world».

The corporation continues to make advances in autonomy, bringing safety, efficiency and intelligence via optionally-piloted aircraft, autonomous ground vehicles and sophisticated UAS.

Proven systems highlighted during the May 8 demonstration in Grand Prairie include.

Indago quadrotor: The newest version of Lockheed Martin’s Indago quadrotor Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), Indago 3, enables military customers to securely complete sensitive Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Depending on payloads, Indago 3 has a flight time of up to 50 minutes, a range of 6 miles/10 kilometers and a cruise speed of 25 mph/40 km/h and can operate at temperatures as low as 30-degrees below zero, and as high as 120 degrees. Indago is used in precision agriculture, disaster relief and inspections, and by first responders, firefighters and in a special partnership with Project Lifesaver International, where the system locates at-risk individuals who have wandered from his or her residence.

Hydra Fusion Tools: Lockheed Martin’s new Hydra Fusion Tools construct a coherent 3D model of the area below during flight, in real time. This real-time reconstruction software gives users a near-instantaneous view, key in military operations, inspections, agriculture, disaster relief and more.

SMSS: Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) leverages robotic technologies for unmanned transport and logistical support for light, early entry and special operations forces. It solves capability gaps by lightening the warfighter’s load, serving as a power management resource, and providing a versatile utility platform for various Mission Equipment Packages.

Site Shuttle: Drawing from the company’s Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) and autonomous ground vehicle heritage, Lockheed Martin has developed and produced a robotic Site Shuttle system for use in rail yards, ports, depots and secured sites. The Site Shuttle project involves creating an autonomous system that transports workers around a large industrial sites on a fully automated basis.

LM XE: A commercial version of the Stalker XE small UAS, LM XE provides long-endurance imaging capability throughout an array of operational environments. The highly automated flight system uses plug-and-play payloads to deliver more frequent actionable data than current methods at a lower cost, in near-real time with improved safety. Leveraging more than 15 years of proven performance operating around the world to support our military, LM XE stands ready to apply our technology and expertise to adjacent markets, including electric transmission, the oil & gas industry, the rail industry, firefighting, and humanitarian and disaster relief.

Lockheed Martin has five decades of experience in unmanned and autonomous systems for air, land and sea. From the depths of the ocean to the rarified air of the stratosphere, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges.

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Autonomous Systems that Advance Unmanned Technology on Land, Air, and Sea

Keel Laying of the PPA

The keel laying ceremony of the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship (PPA) took place on May 9, 2017, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia).

The keel of the lead ship of Italian navy’s new class of multipurpose OPVs, was laid at Fincantieri’s shipyard at Muggiano on May 9. It is due to be delivered in 2021 (Fincantieri photo)
The keel of the lead ship of Italian navy’s new class of multipurpose OPVs, was laid at Fincantieri’s shipyard at Muggiano on May 9. It is due to be delivered in 2021 (Fincantieri photo)

The PPA, first of seven units, will be delivered in 2021 and it is part of the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015.

 

Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship

The main feature of this class of ships is their high level of innovation, which makes them extremely flexible in the different operating profiles with a high degree of efficiency. In particular, these vessels have a dual use profile, the one typically military and the one for civil protection and rescue operations at sea; in addition, they have a low environmental impact obtained with appropriate technological and manufacturing solutions, such as advanced low emission propulsion systems (electric motors).

There will be different configurations of combat system: starting from a «soft» version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defense ability, to a «full» one, equipped for a complete defence ability. The vessel is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

  • 434.7 feet/132.5 meters long
  • Speed more than 31 knots/35.7 mph/57.4 km/h according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
  • 173 persons of the crew
  • Equipped with a combined diesel, a gas turbine plant (CODAG) and an electric propulsion system
  • Capacity to supply drinking water to land
  • Capacity to provide electricity to land with 2000 kW of power

2 modular zones at the stern and at the center of the ship that allow the embarking of various types of containerized operating/logistic/residential/healthcare modules (in particular, the stern area may receive and handle within a covered area up to 5 modules in ISO 20” containers, while the central zone may receive and handle up to 8 ISO 20” containers)

The PPAs will be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery expected, for the first vessel of the class, in 2021, while the following deliveries will take place in 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026.