S-Band radar

Lockheed Martin completed a rigorous Critical Design Review (CDR) on September 28 with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), demonstrating compliance to all technical performance measures and requirements. The radar system will support a layered ballistic missile defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attacks.

Lockheed Martin’s new SSRIS in Moorestown, New Jersey, provides significant risk reduction for the development of the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) and future solid state radar systems. Lockheed Martin made the investment to build the new test site (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin’s new SSRIS in Moorestown, New Jersey, provides significant risk reduction for the development of the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) and future solid state radar systems. Lockheed Martin made the investment to build the new test site (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

The MDA awarded the $784 million contract to Lockheed Martin in 2015 to develop, build and test LRDR, and the company is on track on an aggressive schedule to deliver the radar to Clear, Alaska in 2020. Teams from Lockheed Martin, MDA Sensors Directorate and the Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications or C2BMC have worked interfaces closely to ensure seamless integration.

Successfully executing CDR validates that the LRDR system is ready to proceed into fabrication, demonstration, and test and that the hardware and software component have achieved Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 and Manufacturing Readiness Level 7.

With the completion of CDR, the program now begins the start of low rate manufacturing which began in October. In preparation for full rate manufacturing starting in mid-2018, Lockheed Martin will be utilizing production hardware in combination with prototype systems, tactical back-end processing equipment as well as tactical software to demonstrate system performance in an operational environment to achieve system TRL 7. Lockheed Martin will be performing a series of tests in the Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS) including a closed loop satellite track test.

«We remain committed to support the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense and Homeland Defense Missions», said Chandra Marshall, LRDR program director, Lockheed Martin. «I am extremely proud of the team for their dedication and commitment to the successful execution of the LRDR program.  This team has achieved every milestone, including this CDR, on schedule since contract award in 2015».

Marshall continued, «I am extremely pleased with the progress the entire LRDR team has made in the two years since contract award. With the success of CDR, LRDR is on track for Initial Operating Capability or IOC in 2020».

In addition to CDR, Lockheed Martin conducted a Facilities Design Review in October for the LRDR equipment shelter design. Lockheed Martin will run a full and open competition for the construction of the equipment shelter in Clear, Alaska and will begin construction of the shelter in the first half of 2019. The MDA team is preparing the site for Radar System Installation and checkout mobilization, constructing the Mission Control Facility and starting the foundation for the LRDR equipment shelter.

Similar to Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence radar system, LRDR is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state Gallium Nitride (GaN) components. LRDR adds the capability of discriminating threats at extreme distances using the inherent wideband capability of the hardware coupled with advanced software algorithms.

LRDR is a strategic national asset of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System and will provide 24/7/365 acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats, a capability that stems from Lockheed Martin’s decades of experience in creating ballistic missile defense systems for the U.S. and allied governments.

Lockheed Martin is well positioned to provide low risk, scalable radar solutions that address critical homeland defense needs; providing a persistent capability to keep pace with evolving threats, delivering unmatched discrimination capability in the Pacific architecture, and increasing the defensive capability of Ground Based Interceptors.

Work on LRDR is primarily performed in New Jersey, Alaska, Alabama, Florida and New York.

As a proven world leader in systems integration and development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, Lockheed Martin delivers high-quality missile defense solutions that protect citizens, critical assets and deployed forces from current and future threats. The company’s experience spans radar and signal processing, missile design and production, hit-to-kill capabilities, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.

The Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state Gallium Nitride (GaN) components capable of discriminating threats at extreme distances. LRDR is a strategic national asset of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and will provide 24/7/365 acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable separate defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)
The Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) is a high-powered S-Band radar incorporating solid-state Gallium Nitride (GaN) components capable of discriminating threats at extreme distances. LRDR is a strategic national asset of the Missile Defense Agency’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and will provide 24/7/365 acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable separate defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Javelin Missiles

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Georgia for Javelin Missiles and Command Launch Units for an estimated cost of $75 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 17, 2017.

U.S. Clears $75 million Sale of Javelin Missiles to Georgia
U.S. Clears $75 million Sale of Javelin Missiles to Georgia

The Government of Georgia has requested to purchase four hundred ten (410) Javelin Missiles, and seventy-two (72) Javelin Command Launch Units (CLUs) (includes two (2) Javelin Block 1 CLUs to be used as spares). Also included are ten (10) Basic Skills Trainers (BST); up to seventy (70) simulated rounds; U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance; transportation; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $75 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Georgia. The Javelin system will provide Georgia with increased capacity to meet its national defense requirements. Georgia will have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture of Orlando, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona. However, these missiles are being provided from U.S. Army stock and the CLUs will be obtained from on-hand Special Defense Acquisition Fund (SDAF)-purchased stock. There are no known offset agreements proposed in conjunction with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of approximately one (1) U.S. Government and two (2) contractor representatives to Georgia.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Demo Flight

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, hosted a ‘first of its kind’ orientation flight in the CH-53K King Stallion for Brigadier General Nir Nin-Nun, Israeli Air Force, Commander, Air Support and Helicopter Division, during a test flight November 7.

Israeli General Given Demo Flight on CH-53K Helicopter
Israeli General Given Demo Flight on CH-53K Helicopter

The 90-minute orientation flight included various operational maneuvers, landings and takeoffs, providing Nin-Nun a firsthand look at the unique and capabilities of the CH-53K King Stallion available through full authority fly-by-wire flight controls.

«This is the first time we have flown an international ally in the CH-53K», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Hank Vanderborght, program manager for the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters program office, PMA-261. «Flights like this give us an opportunity to strengthen relationships with our allies while sharing a taste of America’s next generation heavy lift helicopter».

The flight was arranged based on a government-to-government request from Brig. Gen. Nin-Nun and made possible through a contract modification between Sikorsky and NAVAIR.

«It was a great honor being hosted by the Marines and having a chance to fly on two outstanding platforms as we ramp up to decide on our future heavy lift», said Nin-Nun.

The orientation flight was conducted during an already planned test flight and piloted by Stephen McCulley, Sikorsky chief experimental test pilot. Prior to the flight, Brigadier General Nin-Nun completed a familiarization flight in the simulator and safety brief prior to take-off.

The two-day visit also included simulator flights, relevant program briefs, and a tour of the NAVAIR Internal Cargo Lab.

Currently, there are four Engineering Development and Manufacturing Model aircraft in test and one Ground Test Vehicle, which have logged more than 606 cumulative flight hours. Initial operational capability remains on pace for 2019 and is defined as having four aircraft, with combat-ready crews logistically prepared to deploy. The DOD’s program of record remains at 200 aircraft.

PMA-261 continually works with international partners through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program to potentially meet the international partners’ heavy lift helicopter requirements. FMS aircraft increase the total aircraft procured above the program of record and will decrease the unit cost for all users.

With more than triple the payload capability and a 12-inch/30.5-cm wider internal cabin than its predecessor (CH-53E Super Stallion), the CH-53K’s payload capability can take the form of a variety of relevant payloads ranging from an internally loaded High Mobility, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or the European Fennek armored personnel carrier. In addition, it can handle up to three independent external loads at once, which gives mission flexibility and system efficiency.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Second Destroyer

The second Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) HMAS Brisbane (DDG-41) has entered the first phase of sea trials which will take place over the coming weeks, marking further progress towards her delivery to the Royal Australian Navy next year.

Second Air Warfare Destroyer Enters Sea Trials
Second Air Warfare Destroyer Enters Sea Trials

This first phase of sea trials will test the ship’s propulsion, manoeuvring, control and navigation systems and will be followed by a more advanced phase of sea trials next year to test Brisbane’s combat and communications systems.

«More broadly, the AWD program continues to meet or exceed our milestone targets since the Government’s successful reform initiative, demonstrating our contribution to industry’s role as a fundamental input into Defence capability», said Mr. Evans.

«Our workforce of more than 1,700 in Adelaide has improved and evolved the production and set to work of these ships, with our whole team working hard to achieve this milestone ahead of post-reform schedule targets», said Paul Evans, AWD Alliance General Manager.

AWD Program Manager Commodore Craig Bourke also acknowledged the collaboration between industry and Government on the program. «The AWD program has built the foundation of Australia’s shipbuilding and systems integration industry, with more than 60 per cent Australian Industry Capability to date», he said.

The AWD enterprise partners include the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia as the combat systems integrator, ASC as the shipbuilder and Navantia as the shipbuilder manager, all whom emphasised the commitment of the AWD workforce.

Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward commended the team on today’s achievement. «As the combat systems integrator for the AWD program, Raytheon Australia has applied its highly skilled Australian workforce of 350 architects, systems engineers and project managers to the AWD program over the last decade», he said.

«Raytheon Australia is responsible for the integration of ten major subsystems, including the Aegis Weapon System, which is provided through Foreign Military Sales, and associated delivery of more than 3,500 major pieces of combat system equipment required to establish the warfighting capability of the AWD. This will contribute to making the AWD the most sophisticated warship ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy».

«The commencement of Brisbane’s sea trials is a source of tremendous pride for Raytheon Australia and our home-grown Australian workforce that has built a national asset in complex combat system integration», said Mr. Ward.

ASC Shipbuilding Chief Executive Officer Mark Lamarre said that today’s milestone signifies further progress across the program. «Today marks another big step forward on the journey of delivering three complex surface combatants to the Royal Australian Navy, with the commencement of Builders Sea Trials for the second future destroyer Brisbane», he said.

«Fundamentally, shipbuilding is about people – talented, skilled and experienced people. Our shipbuilding team and their immense skill, capability and pride continues to deliver and demonstrate our strength as a highly capable, sovereign shipbuilder», he said.

«In collaboration with our Alliance partners, including Navantia, we are excited by this great achievement – it is something we should all be proud of, and continues to show the way forward for future shipbuilding in Australia», said Mr. Lamarre.

Navantia Australia’s Managing Director Donato Martínez commented on the sense of pride felt throughout the workforce noting today’s achievement. «It is always an exciting moment for a shipbuilder when a new vessel goes to sea for the first time. Following the commissioning of HMAS Hobart (DDG-39) earlier this year, the sea trials phase for Brisbane demonstrates the success of the Adelaide shipbuilding enterprise», said Mr. Martínez.

«We are proud of the role Navantia has played in meeting the goals of the AWD reform initiative and we look forward to successfully delivering a highly capable warship to the Royal Australian Navy next year», said Mr. Martínez.

Mid-next year, HMAS Brisbane (DDG-41) will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy to join her sister ship, HMAS Hobart (DDG-39), and will be followed in quick succession by the delivery of the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, Sydney, in 2019.

 

Characteristics

Length 481.3 feet/146.7 m
Beam 61 feet/18.6 m
Draft 23.6 feet/7.2 m
Full load displacement 7,000 tonnes
Main Engine 36 MW/48,276 hp
Top speed 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
Crew 186
Accommodation 234
Combat System Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1
AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radar (81 NM/93 miles/150 km)
AN/SPQ-9B Horizon Search Radar
Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (48 VLS cells: RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM)/Standard Missile-2 (SM-2)/SM-6)
Mk-45 Mod.4 5” (127-mm) 62 Calibre Gun (Range: 20 NM/23 miles/37 km)
Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control (2 × 4 launchers)
Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite
Very Short Range Air and Surface Defence
Nulka Active Missile Decoy system
Integrated Sonar System incorporating a hull mounted and towed array sonar
Communications Suite
Aviation Flightdeck and hangar for one helicopter
Boats Two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs)

 

Navy Accepts Ralph

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the guided missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) to the U.S. Navy on November 15, 2017, with shipbuilders, ship’s force and representatives of Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast in attendance.

Ingalls Shipbuilding completed builder's sea trials for USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114). The Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) destroyer spent more than three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other ship systems (HII photo)
Ingalls Shipbuilding completed builder’s sea trials for USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114). The Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) destroyer spent more than three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other ship systems (HII photo)

«Today’s delivery is a culmination of the hard work and dedication of thousands of shipbuilders, industry partners, the Navy and our Gulf Coast shipmates», said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG program manager. «It is a pleasure for our Ingalls team to observe a well-trained crew take ownership of the ship. The shipbuilders of Ingalls will always be watching where you go and celebrating your successes».

The signing of the DD 250 document officially transfers custody of the ship from HII to the U.S. Navy. Ralph Johnson is scheduled to sail away from the shipyard in February and will be commissioned on March 24, 2018, in Charleston, South Carolina.

«This marks an important milestone in this ship’s life with the formal completion of construction», said Commander Jason P. Patterson, the ship’s prospective commanding officer. «I want to thank the shipbuilders for constructing this great ship named after a great man. The crew can sail with confidence that this ship will bring the fight to the enemy and take care of her team just like Ralph did».

USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) is named to honor Private First Class (Pfc.) Ralph Henry Johnson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions that saved lives during the Vietnam War. Johnson shouted a warning to his fellow Marines and hurled himself on an explosive device, saving the life of one Marine and preventing the enemy from penetrating his sector of the patrol’s perimeter. Johnson died instantly. The Charleston native had only been in Vietnam for a little more than two months when he was killed at the age of 19.

Ingalls has now delivered 30 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) and USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123).

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. The guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Ingalls Shipbuilding delivered the guided missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) to the U.S. Navy on November 15, 2017. Signing the DD 250 document are (left to right) Commander Jason P. Patterson, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Commander Scott Williams, program manager representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast; and Freddie Joe O’Brien, Ingalls’ DDG-114 ship program manager (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
Ingalls Shipbuilding delivered the guided missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) to the U.S. Navy on November 15, 2017. Signing the DD 250 document are (left to right) Commander Jason P. Patterson, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Commander Scott Williams, program manager representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast; and Freddie Joe O’Brien, Ingalls’ DDG-114 ship program manager (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15 07-15-17 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15 07-29-2017 San Diego, California

 

New Engine for Fury

Fury, the expeditionary, runway-independent Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) now has engine updates that will further increase its flight endurance, Lockheed Martin announced on November 15, 2017.

Engineering tests performed by Lockheed Martin indicate that Fury will be able to stay in the air for 15 continuous hours, making it one of the highest endurance unmanned systems in its class
Engineering tests performed by Lockheed Martin indicate that Fury will be able to stay in the air for 15 continuous hours, making it one of the highest endurance unmanned systems in its class

With the integration of the 1803 engine into the platform, engineering tests performed by the company indicate that Fury will be able to stay in the air for 15 continuous hours, making it one of the highest endurance unmanned systems in its class.

«We’ve engineered Fury to bring the flight endurance and other advantages of much larger unmanned aircraft into a compact, effective, category three system», said Kevin Westfall, director of Unmanned Systems at Lockheed Martin. «Lockheed Martin has invested heavily to mature the incredible capabilities Fury can deliver, and we’re excited to bring this system to customers around the world».

Fury is a long-endurance, expeditionary aircraft that leverages its advanced fuel propulsion system, power generation and low signature design to deliver capabilities to Class 3 UAV that were previously only available in larger and more complex systems. It has no landing gear, making it the most advanced truly runway-independent UAV in its class on the market today. The complete Fury launch and recovery element can be set up on unimproved ground, in areas a small as 200 feet/18.58 meters square.

Leveraging open architecture design, Fury is both adaptable and reconfigurable to serve a multitude of military missions – including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and cyber-electronic warfare.

 

FEATURES

  • Runway independent – catapult launch and expeditionary recovery system
  • Blended 17-foot/5.18-meter wingspan for minimal visual signature
  • Endurance proven above 15 hours
  • Altitude up to 15,000 feet/4,572 meters
  • Engine successfully tested to FAR33.49 Accelerated Life Testing standard
  • Tested with Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) and Electronic Warfare (EW) payloads
  • Can carry a combination of over 200 lbs/90.72 kg of payload and fuel
  • Open, IP Based Architecture
  • Adaptable and reconfigurable

 

Keel authentication

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) on November 14, 2017. The ship is named in honor of the first woman to receive the Navy Cross.

Ship’s Sponsors (left to right) Virginia Munford, Louisa Dixon and Pickett Wilson trace their initials onto a steel plate that will be welded inside the guided missile destroyer USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) (Photo by Michael Duhe/HII)
Ship’s Sponsors (left to right) Virginia Munford, Louisa Dixon and Pickett Wilson trace their initials onto a steel plate that will be welded inside the guided missile destroyer USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) (Photo by Michael Duhe/HII)

«It is always exciting to celebrate the keel authentication of another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said during a shipyard ceremony this morning. «The keel authentication is an important milestone in a ship’s life, as we lay the foundation upon which this great ship will be built. Like her namesake, DDG-123 will be strong and capable. Our men and women in the Navy – and Mrs. Higbee’s legacy – deserve nothing less».

Louisa Dixon, Virginia Munford and Pickett Wilson are the ship’s sponsors. The three women played an important role during former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ term as governor of Mississippi.

«We want to thank Ingalls Shipbuilding, its employees and its suppliers for the high standards of design and construction and the strong and important support they give their employees and the state of Mississippi», Dixon said. «We are thrilled and look forward to seeing everyone again at a christening in the very near future».

C.C. Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls, welded the three sponsors’ initials onto a steel plate, signifying the keel of DDG-123 as being «truly and fairly laid». The plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout its lifetime.

«Today marks the true start of this ship’s construction», said Commander Scott Williams, program manager representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast. «With 29 Ingalls-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently in active service and four of her sister ships also in production here at Ingalls, the mere continuity of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer over the past 25 years shows their importance to our naval forces. To the men and women of Huntington Ingalls Industries who will bring DDG-123 to life, thank you. Thank you to the shipfitters, pipefitters, electricians, welders, testers and engineers who will toil in this historic shipbuilding journey that will carry a pioneer’s name».

USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) will be the second ship named for Higbee. The first was a destroyer commissioned in 1945 and was the first U.S. Navy surface combatant named for a female member of the U.S. Navy. Higbee joined the Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as «The Sacred Twenty», and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911.

Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) and USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121).

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. DDGs are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-01-17
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS

 

Fighter Attack

Leonardo’s M-346FA (Fighter Attack) makes its debut at the Dubai Airshow, one of the most important global defence and aerospace events, held from 12 to 16 November.

Following Le Bourget, the new M-346FA lands at the Dubai Airshow
Following Le Bourget, the new M-346FA lands at the Dubai Airshow

The M-346FA, for which several international air forces have already demonstrated their interest, represents a further evolution – after the AJT (Advanced Jet Trainer) for the advanced training of military pilots and the multi-role M-346FT (Fighter Trainer) – of a family concept designed to create a common baseline, able to rapidly answer to the different requirements.

Thanks to the integration of the Grifo multi-mode fire control radar, designed and manufactured by Leonardo and already chosen by several customers in the world, the M-346FA offers advanced operational capabilities.

The M-346FA’s characteristics make it not only an excellent advanced trainer, but also a light fighter aircraft capable of carrying out operational missions at far lower costs than those of front-line fighters.

With seven pylons for external loads, the M-346FA is able to operate very effectively as multi-role tactical aircraft, capable of air-to-surface, air-to-air and tactical reconnaissance missions.

Leonardo, a world leader in the training field, offers a product portfolio able to cover the entire training syllabus, from basic-advanced training on the new M-345 into the advanced/Lead-In Fighter Training (LIFT) phase with the M-346.

Already ordered by the Italian Air Force, the M-345 jet trainer is comparable in cost to a high-power turboprop aircraft but with higher levels of performance.

A complete Ground Based Training System (GBTS), well-integrated with the platforms and able to ensure both high quality training and strong operating efficiency, complements the aerial platforms. Platforms and systems offer worldwide customers a «turnkey» training solution that can guarantee the highest quality standards at every training stage.

Among the most notable examples that have integrated Leonardo products and selected them based on excellent performance characteristics is the United Arab Emirates’ national aerobatic team, Al Fursan, which uses the Aermacchi MB-339 aircraft. The Emirati pilots were trained in Italy and the UAE under the guidance of the «Frecce Tricolori» pilots using Italian aircraft and training systems.

SmartGlider

MBDA presents SmartGlider at Dubai Airshow, a new family of air launched guided weapons, for the first time outside Europe.

MBDA presents SmartGlider, a new family of air launched guided weapons
MBDA presents SmartGlider, a new family of air launched guided weapons

«We are seeing a huge interest in the SmartGlider family from the region», states Florent Duleux, MBDA Vice-President Middle East. «The region’s air forces are equipped with the latest generation of combat aircraft, particularly European combat aircraft, and Smart Glider allows the full exploitation of the sensors and systems that equip these modern aircraft – to deliver military effects that could not even be considered before».

The new SmartGlider family of guided weapons is optimised to counter anti-access strategies and other emerging battlespace threats. Designed to complement newest and future fast jets, SmartGlider forms a family of all-up-round glider weapons, with folding wings and a range of over 100 km/62 miles allowing the combat platform to stay at safe distance from the enemy defences. This new generation of air-to-ground weapons is designed to counter new networked short- and medium-range surface-to-air threats, as well as moving/relocatable targets or hardened fixed targets.

The compact family member, SmartGlider Light, is 2 meters/6,56 feet long and weighs 120 kg/264.5 lbs. 12 to 18 SmartGlider Lights can be carried on an aircraft thanks to a Hexabomb Smart Launcher (HSL) capable of managing reactive strikes without affecting the pilot’s workload. As such, the SmartGlider Light will allow first-day-entry by saturating and destroying enemy air defences.

For general purpose missions, the SmartGlider Light can be engaged against a wide spectrum of targets, from hardened and defended fixed targets such as hangars, to relocatable targets that can only be destroyed from a standoff distance with significant lethal effects.

Last, MBDA also prepares a 1,300 kg/2,866 lbs SmartGlider Heavy able to carry a multipurpose warhead of more than 1,000 kg/2,204.6 lbs to deal with large and hardened infrastructure.

SmartGliders will integrate new technologies in their guidance and navigation functions, as well as multi-purpose warheads. Thus, they will be able to reach and destroy the best defended targets, notably enemy air defences, thanks to a mix of optronics and radio frequency sensors that makes them robust against anti-access measures.

Free-Flight test

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces a successful atmospheric Free-Flight test of its Dream Chaser spacecraft, signaling the program is another achievement closer to orbital operations.

The Dream Chaser landing after the Free-Flight test at Edwards AFB, CA on Saturday, November 11
The Dream Chaser landing after the Free-Flight test at Edwards AFB, CA on Saturday, November 11

The full-scale Dream Chaser test vehicle was lifted from a Columbia Helicopters Model 234-UT Chinook helicopter on Saturday, released and flew a pre-planned flight path ending with an autonomous landing on Runway 22L at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California.

«The Dream Chaser flight test demonstrated excellent performance of the spacecraft’s aerodynamic design and the data shows that we are firmly on the path for safe, reliable orbital flight», said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space System business area.

The first orbital vehicle is scheduled to go to the International Space Station as soon as 2020 for at least six missions as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract (CRS2). The missions will supply astronauts with much needed supplies and technical support elements and enable the gentle return of scientific experiments. The test vehicle was originally developed under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities agreement (CCiCap).

«The Dream Chaser spacecraft today has proven its atmospheric flight performance along with its return and landing capability. This advances our program and the Dream Chaser towards orbital flight, while meeting the final milestone for our NASA CCiCap agreement and supporting milestone 5 of the CRS2 contract», Sirangelo added.

The test verified and validated the performance of the Dream Chaser spacecraft in the final approach and landing phase of flight, modeling a successful return from the space station.  Most critically, by flying the same flight path that would be used returning from orbit, this free-flight proves the highly important landing attributes needed to bring back science and experiments from the space station.

SNC and NASA will evaluate information from the test, including the Dream Chaser aerodynamic and integrated system performance from 12,400 feet/3,780 meters altitude through main landing gear touchdown, nose landing gear touchdown and final rollout to wheel-stop on the runway. The Edwards Air Force Base runway is very similar to the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility runway that Dream Chaser will land on for CRS2 flights.

This approach and landing test expands on phase one flight testing, with key differences including adding specific program test inputs into the trajectory, which helps the engineers refine the aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle. Saturday’s test also included orbital vehicle avionics and flight software for the first time, providing orbital vehicle design validation.

«I’m so proud of the Dream Chaser team for their continued excellence. This spacecraft is the future and has the ability to change the way humans interact with space, and I couldn’t be happier with SNC’s dedicated team and the results of the test», said Fatih Ozmen, CEO of SNC.

The Dream Chaser has been at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center since January undergoing a variety of tests in preparation for the Free-Flight. The spacecraft used the same historic hangar occupied by the Enterprise Shuttle.