Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $3 billion contract for the detail design and construction of the amphibious assault ship USS Bougainville (LHA-8). Ingalls was awarded the original long-lead material contract for the third ship in the USS America (LHA-6) class on June 30, 2016.
«Our shipbuilders do an outstanding job building large-deck amphibious warships», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «We look forward to incorporating 50 years of amphibious shipbuilding knowledge into the U.S. Navy’s newest assault ship and providing the sailors and Marines a complex and highly capable product to perform their missions of freedom».
Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, and delivery is expected in 2024. USS Tripoli (LHA-7), the second of the America-class amphibious assault ships, is currently under construction at Ingalls and was launched on May 1. The ship will be christened on September 16.
Bougainville will retain the aviation capability of the America-class design while adding the surface assault capability of a well deck. The well deck will give the U.S. Marine Corps the ability to house and launch two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) hovercraft or one Landing Craft Utility (LCU) as needed during their maritime missions. Other additions to Bougainville include a larger flight deck configured for Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and Osprey V-22 aircraft, which can be used for surface and aviation assaults. The additional area on the flight deck comes in part from a smaller deck house and an additional sponson.
USS Bougainville (LHA-8) will be the second Navy vessel to bear the name Bougainville. The name commemorates the Bougainville Campaign that took place during World War II. During the campaign, which lasted from 1943 to 1944, Allied forces secured a strategic airfield from Japan in the northern Solomon Islands, helping the allies break the Japanese stronghold in the South Pacific.
Ingalls is currently the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. The shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli (LPH-10), in 1966. Ingalls has since built five Tarawa-class (LHA-1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD-1) ships and the first in a new class of ships, USS America (LHA-6).
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, on 16 June 2017 attended a ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide to mark the Government’s provisional acceptance of the first Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Hobart.
Minister Pyne said Hobart is the first of three AWD’s being built and integrated by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance which comprises the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia, ASC and support from Navantia.
«The acceptance of this first of class ship is a further demonstration of the success of the Government-led reform initiative, with the program meeting all budget and schedule targets, Hobart will enter into service later this year», Minister Pyne said.
«Hobart will play a critical role for Defence by providing new interoperable capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy. By using a combination of U.S. and Australian technologies, these ships will allow us to work even closer with our allies. Importantly, these ships will provide a safer environment for Australia’s entire Defence Force, as they have the ability to move faster for longer, whilst forming a protective bubble around themselves and other assets in a task force», he said.
Over the last decade, more than 5,000 skilled Australians have constructed all three AWD’s whilst also creating a new combat and support system to meet the unique needs of the Australian Defence Force.
Minister Pyne said provisional acceptance represented some of the most complex and innovative engineering accomplishments ever undertaken in Australia.
«These skills have taken over a decade to build and position Australia well to support the Government’s new Naval Shipbuilding Plan», he said. «The AWD program underscores the importance of Australia’s defence industry as a fundamental input into capability. Rather than just being a supplier for Defence, this program proves how Australian defence industry is truly a strategic partner with Defence».
481.3 feet/146.7 m
61 feet/18.6 m
23.6 feet/7.2 m
Full load displacement
36 MW/48,276 hp
28+ knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 18+ knots/21 mph/33 km/h
5,000+ NM/5,779 miles/9,300 km
Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1
AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radar (81 NM/93 miles/150 km)
On 15 June 2017 Defence and security company Saab completed a successful first flight of the next generation smart fighter, Gripen E.
At 10:32 on Thursday June 15, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.
«The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say, I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight», says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.
«Today we have flown this world class fighter aircraft for the first time. We achieved it with the fully qualified software for the revolutionary avionics system. This is about giving our customers a smart fighter system with the future designed in from the start. The flight test activities will continue to build on this achievement with the programme on track to achieve the 2019 delivery schedule to our Swedish and Brazilian customers», says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.
By 2018, Ukrainian brigades will be better equipped to face separatists in the Donbass region after rotating through a combat training center in western Ukraine that the California National Guard helped to establish.
Colonel Nick Ducich, who serves as commander of the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which is part of the California National Guard, was instrumental in helping the Ukrainian military build the combat training center. He began formulating the idea for the center back in November 2015, when he was beginning a 14-month deployment to the region.
Ducich met June 7 with reporters in the Pentagon to discuss operations in Ukraine during his deployment. He relayed that he took 54 Soldiers from the California National Guard with him to the Ukraine, which has had a partnership with the California National Guard for more than 24 years as part of the National Guard State Partnership Program.
Ducich explained that the new combat training center is co-located with the existing International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC) in Yavoriv, near the country’s border with Poland. The IPSC already hosts the Rapid Trident exercise each year and so is used to the demands of a training center, Ducich said. «It’s a pretty immense training area, so the foundation was there», Ducich said.
At the IPSC, he said, efforts focused on the training and mentoring of newly assigned personnel, including Ukrainian staff, instructors, and observer-controller trainers, and the soldier participants. The effort was part of an ongoing effort to help Ukrainian forces to achieve defense reform as well as full interoperability with NATO by 2020.
The IPSC added infrastructure such as a site for dedicated to training for military operations in simulated urbanized terrain. Staff instituted «effective range control for terrain management, safety procedures and remediation of unexploded ordnance, among other requirements», Ducich said. These additions «elevated the efficiency and effectiveness of the training area».
During his time in the Ukraine, Ducich reported that he saw five battalions of soldiers from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense rotating through the training center, with each unit on 55-day rotations. Those battalions had previously been fighting separatist forces to regain full control of the Donbass, a heavily populated region that makes up the eastern half of Ukraine.
«These rotations consisted of individual and collective training requirements, emphasizing leader development, team building, and combat arms synchronization, to reflect the necessary interoperability defense reforms», Ducich explained.
«The individual training included marksmanship, movement techniques, communications, and medical combat care», he continued. «The collective training began with pairs, elevating through squad, platoon, company and finally battalion-level events, highlighting defensive operations».
After their training rotations, the Ukrainian units returned to fighting. Ducich said some of the soldiers from each rotation were interviewed within 60 to 90 days after their rotations regarding the effectiveness of their training they received at the center.
«From that, we also learned what the newest techniques that the enemy was using, to try to see how we could adjust the training», Ducich said. «So, we were a learning, adaptive organization, within ourselves, of taking that flow of combat scenarios and actualities from the Donbass and incorporating them into the training plan within the 55-day construct».
Those lessons learned helped refine the focus at the training center to implement enhancements in training for large-scale movement, gunnery, indirect fires, and integration of weapons systems such as air defense capabilities.
The new combat training center is in its infancy, according to Ducich, and there’s still a lot to accomplish. Right now, there are only battalions rotating through the training center, but he hopes that brigade-sized elements will be able to rotate through by 2018.
Ducich said that from what he has seen, he thinks the Ukrainian ground forces are doing remarkably well.
«At brigade level, they are outstanding», he said. «They have been able to hold the line and begin the integration of the new weapons systems and rectify some of the logistical shortfalls that those brigades went to the Donbass with. I see the Ukrainian armed forces getting only stronger each day, whether it be logistically, or in their defensive posture, and in their capabilities».
Ducich said the Ukrainian army had suffered from more than 20 years of «neglect» in terms of funding, but the country is now mobilizing its defense industry, ramping up new capabilities, and focusing on both officer and NCO development.
«So, they are playing catch-up while engaged in conflict at the same time», he said. «So, I have a lot of patience for where they are right now. They are getting stronger every day. They had so many obstacles they had to overcome, on top of engaging an enemy in their own backyard».
The U.S. Air Force selected Northrop Grumman Corporation’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) as the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) for its F-16 radar upgrade.
Northrop Grumman will upgrade 72 U.S. Air National Guard F-16s to meet a U.S. Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need for homeland defense.
«AESA radar upgrades are critically important to give the F-16 community, the tactical advantage it deserves, and we are honored to provide this differentiating technology for the safety and mission effectiveness of our warfighters», said Bob Gough, vice president, combat avionics systems, Northrop Grumman. «The APG-83 SABR system is in full rate production and available now for U.S. and international F-16 upgrades».
The radar upgrade extends the operational viability and reliability of the F-16 and provides pilots with 5th generation fighter radar capabilities to counter and defeat increasingly sophisticated threats.
The greater bandwidth, speed, and agility of Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 SABR enables the F-16 to detect, track and identify greater numbers of targets faster and at longer ranges. In addition, the radar can operate in hostile electronic environments and features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping, which presents the pilot with a large surface image enabling precision target identification and strike.
The APG-83 SABR has also been selected by a growing number of international customers and is the base radar for Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70. Northrop Grumman began delivering production APG-83 radars for its first international customer on schedule at the end of 2016.
The APG-83 AESA provides the following capability enhancements over legacy mechanically scanned APG-66 & APG-68 radars to ensure F-16s remain operationally viable and sustainable for decades to come:
Two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers joined B-1B Lancers and B-52H Stratofortresses June 9, 2017, to participate in theater bomber assurance and deterrence operations.
Three B-52Hs Stratofortresses from Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), Louisiana, and three B-1Bs Lancers from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, along with approximately 800 Airmen, are currently supporting exercises Saber Strike and Baltic Operations in the U.S. European Theater.
While not actively participating in ongoing regional exercises, the B-2s Spirit join the other Air Force Global Strike Command assets in support of recurring bomber assurance and deterrence operations. Bomber deployments enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any contingency or challenge across the globe.
«The bomber assurance and deterrence missions these three aircraft are supporting are key to reinforcing our commitment to our allies in NATO – in a very visible, very tangible way – that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them, no matter what», said Colonel Jared Kennish, the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander.
U.S. Strategic Command routinely conducts bomber operations across the globe as a demonstration of commitment to collective defense and to integrate with geographic combatant commands operations and activities. This is the first time that all three bomber platforms have been located together in the European theater, and only the second time total in Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) history; the first was in Guam in August 2016.
«This short-term deployment demonstrates the flexible global strike capabilities of the U.S. bomber force, and ensures bomber crews maintain a high state of readiness», said Kennish. «The training will provide opportunities to integrate capabilities with regional partners, and is part of the United States’ commitment to supporting global security».
A number of total force Airmen from Whiteman AFB, Missouri, are supporting the B-2 Spirit operation. Many, including Kennish, are members of the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Bomb Wing. The Guard wing has cleared a number of operational performance evaluations and readiness assessments to obtain full operational capability to perform the strategic bomber mission of the B-2 Spirit alongside the active duty 509th Bomb Wing, at home and at Royal Air Force Fairford.
Members of the 131st BW have been a part of every previous bomber assurance and deterrence operation; however, this is the first time that the operations of all three strategic bombers has been led by a guardsman, further signaling the full arrival of the total force construct in AFGSC.
«There may have been a time early in our transition when people wondered if our two wings could make (total force integration) work in the B-2 Spirit operations, maintenance and support missions, but we’ve long since proved the concept at Whiteman (AFB)», said Kennish. «Operations like the ones we’re supporting this month just put an exclamation point on our record of total force team success».
Multi-role heavy bomber
Northrop Grumman Corp.
4 General Electric F118-GE-100 engines
19,000 lbs/8,618 kg/84,5 kN each engine
172 feet/52.12 m
69 feet/20.9 m
17 feet/5.1 m
160,000 lbs/72,575 kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
336,500 lbs/152,634 kg
167,000 lbs/75,750 kg
40,000 lbs/18,144 kg
6,000 NM/11,112 km unrefueled; 10,000 NM/18,520 km with one refueling
50,000 feet/15,240 m
Can deliver a variety of conventional and nuclear weapons, including precision-guided munitions, and gravity bombs
Two pilots, with provisions for a third crew member if future missions require it
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), the U.S. Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, was brought to life by her crew before a crowd of nearly 2,500 guests at Pier 21 at the Port of Galveston, June 10.
Admiral William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, delivered the ceremony’s principal address before officially commissioning the ship into service.
«As we man the rails today, blood gets pumped, the ship comes alive, and the heart begins to beat», said Moran. «It’s the blood that is infused by the spirit, the attitude, and the courage of its namesake. We are so proud to be part of Gabrielle Giffords’ legacy to the United States».
Following the commissioning, Doctor Jill Biden, the ship’s sponsor and wife of former Vice President Joe Biden, gave the time-honored Navy tradition of ordering the crew to «man our ship and bring her to life»!
The crowd sounded its approval as the crew ran aboard the ship to man their assigned stations and complete the ceremony of bringing the ship into active service to end a story that began more than five years ago.
In 2012 the Secretary of the U.S. Navy announced the future ship’s name, and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) became the 16th ship to be named for a woman and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850.
The ship is commanded by Commander Keith Woodley, a native of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who leads the core crew of 50 officers and enlisted personnel.
During the ceremony Woodley praised the crew for their dedication and hard work in getting the ship ready for service.
«This is not just a new ship. This is a new class of ship and that makes it even more challenging for the crew», said Woodley. «They have risen to that challenge and performed exceptionally well in getting this ship ready for service».
Most other Navy surface combatant ships have a crew of 300 or more Sailors, but Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) like Gabrielle Giffords have more automated systems and much smaller crews than their counterparts. Gabrielle Giffords’ crew is just 73 at the ship’s commissioning.
«It’s not easy being an LCS Sailor», said Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Mark Dobrinin. «We have to wear so many hats and be trained on systems and duties outside of our normal job specialty due to the small crew size. Every enlisted Sailor here volunteered for the program and we’re excited to serve on USS Gabrielle Giffords».
The 3,200-ton USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The ship is 421 feet/128.3 m in length and has a beam of 103 feet/31.4 m and a navigational draft of 14.8 feet/4.5 m. The ship uses two gas turbines and two diesel engines to power four steerable waterjets to speeds in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.
Littoral combat ships are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking, and win against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft.
A fast, maneuverable, and networked surface combatant, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. It is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) will depart Galveston and begin her transit to her homeport at Naval Base San Diego.
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class
Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
421 feet/128.3 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)
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on Jun 09, 2017 that the Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) was launched into the James River at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The boat was moved to the shipyard’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification.
«Launch is a true testament to our shipbuilders’ roughly four years of hard work», said Matt Needy, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «Over the next several months, we will work closely with the Indiana crew to bring this great ship to life. With the Navy’s recent increase in SSN force structure requirements from 48 to 66 submarines, the shipbuilders here at Newport News and at our teaming partner, Electric Boat, understand the importance of getting these highly valued ships delivered and ready for mission-tasking by our Navy leadership».
USS Indiana (SSN-789) a is the 16th Virginia-class submarine and the eighth that will be delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News. Nearly 4,000 shipbuilders have participated in Indiana’s construction since the work began in September 2012.
Indiana was moved out of a construction facility into a floating dry dock using a transfer car system. The floating dry dock was submerged, and the submarine was launched into the James River. The approximately 7,800-ton submarine was moved to the shipyard’s submarine pier, where final outfitting, testing and crew certification will take place.
«Our Indiana sailors are honored to be at the helm as the newest Hoosier boat launches into a new chapter at sea», said Commander Jesse Zimbauer, Indiana’s commanding officer.
Virginia-class submarines, a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, are built for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions to replace the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines as they are retired. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at submerged speeds of more than 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h for months at a time.
General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
October 3, 2004
One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
377 feet/114.8 m
33 feet/10.06 m
34 feet/10.36 m
Approximately 7,835 tons/7,961 metric tons submerged
25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
800+ feet/244+ m
132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles
12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes
4 torpedo tubes
MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)
* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories
Nuclear Submarine Lineup
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Boeing and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) are teaming on the design and production of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) in support of the U.S. Navy’s Extra Large UUV program.
«This partnership provides the U.S. Navy a cost-effective, low-risk path to meet the emergent needs that prompted the Navy’s Advanced Undersea Prototyping program», said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works. «We are combining Boeing’s preeminent UUV maritime engineering team with our nation’s leading shipbuilder and Navy technical services company to get operational vehicles to the Navy years ahead of the standard acquisition process».
Boeing is currently testing its newest and largest UUV, Echo Voyager, off the Southern California coast. The vehicle is designed for multiple missions and could include a modular payload bay of up to 34 feet/10.36 meters, offering enhanced endurance and increased payload capacity over traditional UUVs. Echo Voyager is fully autonomous, requiring no support vessel for launch or recovery, enabling operation at sea for months before returning to port.
«We look forward to a long relationship with Boeing as we embark together to field this unmanned force-multiplier for the U.S. Navy», said Andy Green, executive vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries and president of the company’s Technical Solutions division. «I am confident this team will continue redefining the autonomy paradigm for UUVs».
The partnership will leverage design and production facilities in Huntington Beach, California, Newport News, Virginia, and Panama City, Florida, and will offer access to all of the expertise and capability of Boeing and HII.
A concept of a future variant of BAE Systems’ highly successful Hawk aircraft has flown for the first time at the Company’s military aircraft facility in Warton, Lancashire. Equipped with a new type of pilot display, a redesigned wing and defensive aids, the Advanced Hawk will meet market requirements for the next generation of fast jet training aircraft.
Whilst the existing Hawk continues to be the world’s most successful jet trainer, the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator builds on these proven successes. The concept demonstrator features an upgraded cockpit equipped with BAE Systems’ LiteHUD (a low-profile head-up display) and a new, large area display that introduces a new student/pilot training experience. It also features a redesigned wing that increases performance in areas such as turn rates, angles of attack and both take-off and landing.
Other technology advances include increased stores capability, a new set of defensive aids and a range of new flight systems, all aimed at ensuring Hawk continues to provide the edge in fast jet pilot training, as well as offering increased operational utility.
The first flight of the aircraft builds on its public debut at Aero India 2017 in Bangalore earlier this year.
Steve Timms, Managing Director Defence Information, Training & Services at BAE Systems said: «The successful first flight of the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator is the latest step in the aircraft’s development and marks a significant milestone in Hawk’s capability upgrade. We already have the world’s leading advanced jet trainer and the new features in Advanced Hawk have been developed after listening to our customers’ views on where fast jet pilot training will go in the future and how we ensure the Hawk continues to meet their requirements. By using this demonstrator aircraft, we have highlighted to existing users of Hawk that many of the proposed features of an Advanced Hawk, such as the large area display and new wing, could be achievable as upgrades».
The aircraft will now undergo a series of flights to collect test data on the new key capability enhancements.