Christening of
Burlington

The Navy christened its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, the future USNS Burlington (T-EPF-10), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, February 24, at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Navy christened Expeditionary Fast Transport Burlington
Navy christened Expeditionary Fast Transport Burlington

The future USNS Burlington, designated T-EPF-10, will be the first ship in naval service to honor Burlington, Vermont’s largest city. The first Navy ship Burlington (PF-51) was named for Burlington, Iowa, and served during World War II.

The principal speaker is U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Mrs. Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy, Senator Leahy’s wife of 55 years, 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.

«This ship honors Burlington, Vermont, a city that embodies American values and its patriotic, hardworking citizens for their support and contributions to our Navy», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer. «Burlington, like the other ships in the EPF program, will provide our commanders high-speed sealift mobility and agility. I am thankful for this ship and her crew who will serve our nation for decades to come and I am thankful for our industrial force teammates whose service makes this great ship possible».

With an all-aluminum shallow-draft hull, the EPF is a 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 class ships are designed to transport 600 short 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 includes 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 meter) further enhances 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.

The EPF program delivered its ninth ship late last year, USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF-9). USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF-11) and USNS Newport (T-EPF-12) are currently under construction at Austal’s shipyard.

 

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 City of Bismark (EPF-9), Delivered

USNS Burlington (EPF-10), Christened

USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11), Under construction

USNS Newport (EPF-12), On order

21st LCS

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s 21st Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21), in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Jodi J. Greene. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship's module construction process
A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Jodi J. Greene. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s module construction process

Ship sponsor Jodi Greene 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 Minneapolis-Saint Paul», Greene said. «I look forward to supporting the ship and its crew throughout the building process and the life of the ship. I know the people of Minneapolis and Saint Paul will proudly support her when she is commissioned and officially enters the Navy fleet».

The Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered five ships to the U.S. Navy to date. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is one of eight ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one 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 DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president of small combatants and ship 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».

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) will be the second vessel named for the Twin Cities. SSN-708, a Los Angeles-class submarine, served as the first USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul and was decommissioned in 2008. Her name honors the Twin Cities’ patriotic, hard-working citizens for their support of the military.

The Freedom-variant LCS team is comprised of Lockheed Martin, shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states.

 

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 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
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 07-01-2017
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)

 

Navy Accepts Woody

The Navy accepted delivery of its second Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4), February 22.

An undated artist rendering of the future expeditionary sea base USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)
An undated artist rendering of the future expeditionary sea base USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4) (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)

The delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy. USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4) will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command.

«The delivery of this ship marks an enhancement in the Navy’s forward presence and ability to execute a variety of expeditionary warfare missions», said Captain Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «Like the ship’s namesake, USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams will exemplify the Navy’s commitment to service».

USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4) is named for Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel Williams. During the battle of Iwo Jima, then-Corporal Williams bravely went forward alone against enemy machine gun fire to open a lane for the infantry. Williams continues to serve his fellow men and women in uniform through his foundation, the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, established to honor families who have lost a loved one in service to their country.

ESBs are highly flexible, modular platforms that are optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions including Special Operations Force, Airborne Mine Counter Measures operations, humanitarian support and command and control of traditional military missions. The ESBs include a four-spot flight deck, hangar, and a versatile mission deck; and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. The ESBs will operate as the component commanders require, providing the fleet with a critical access infrastructure that supports the flexible deployment of forces and supplies.

USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB 4) was constructed by General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. NASSCO is also constructing the future USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

Third Class 125 frigate

The third 125 class frigate, the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt», has taken to the sea for the first time. On February 22, 2018 the ship left the shipyard in Hamburg for scheduled in-port trials. The ship’s technical systems and equipment, including its propulsion system, maneuvering behavior and technical operations, will be tested over a period of around two weeks. The trials will take the ship from Hamburg via the river Elbe to the North Sea before returning to Hamburg after completing the test program. In addition to technical specialists from the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw, the testing team from the ARGE F125 consortium and employees of other companies involved, members of the future naval crew are also on board. Following the F222 «Baden-Württemberg» and the F223 «Nordrhein-Westfalen», the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt» is now the third of the F125 class frigates to take to the open seas.

Third Class 125 frigate for German Navy heads for sea trials
Third Class 125 frigate for German Navy heads for sea trials

The completely redesigned F125 class ships have an extremely high degree of automation with approximately 28,000 electric devices, permitting a significantly smaller crew size compared with previous frigate classes. At the same time, they are capable of remaining in their area of operation for up to two years. The newly developed ships are thus the first to implement the so-called intensive use principle. In addition to the high level of automation, this is also made possible by a multiple-crew strategy that enables the entire crew to be swapped out during deployment. With sanitary facilities (including shower) in each cabin, a small gym and even internet connections, the ships meet the demands of modern crew members.

The ARGE F125 consortium comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections were manufactured at the Fr. Lürssen Werft shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out is being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg under the direction of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

The third Class 125 Frigate for the German Navy, the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt», left the Hamburg seaport for first sea trials in the North Sea
The third Class 125 Frigate for the German Navy, the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt», left the Hamburg seaport for first sea trials in the North Sea

 

Technical Data

MAIN DIMENSIONS
Length overall 149 m/489 feet
Beam maximum 18.8 m/61.7 feet
Draught 5.0 m/16.4 feet
Displacement (approximately) 7,100 t
Speed 26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
Range 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km at a speed of 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h
PROPULSION PLANT
CODLAG Combined diesel-electric and gas
CPP (Controllable Pitch Propellers) 2
Diesels MTU 20 V 4000 4 × 3,015 kW (total 12.06 MW)
Propulsion Electric Motors 2 × 4.5 MW (total 9 MW)
Gas Turbine GE LM 2500 1 × 20 MW
COMPLEMENT
Crew 120
Supernumerary (Helicopter/Special Forces) 70
HELICOPTER
NHIndustries MH-90 2
BOATS
RHIBs (11-meter length) 4
Following the F222 «Baden-Württemberg» and the F223 «Nordrhein-Westfalen», the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt» is now the third of the F125 class frigates to take to the open seas
Following the F222 «Baden-Württemberg» and the F223 «Nordrhein-Westfalen», the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt» is now the third of the F125 class frigates to take to the open seas

Next-Gen LHD

The keel laying ceremony of the multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock) took place on February 20, 2018, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, marking the beginning of the slipway works of the unit.

A crane lowers the first component of the Italian Navy’s future LHD in place at Fincantieri’s shipyard at Castellammare di Stabia. The ship, which was designed for both military and humanitarian missions, is due to be handed over in 2022 (Fincantieri photo)
A crane lowers the first component of the Italian Navy’s future LHD in place at Fincantieri’s shipyard at Castellammare di Stabia. The ship, which was designed for both military and humanitarian missions, is due to be handed over in 2022 (Fincantieri photo)

The new unit will be delivered in 2022 and it falls within the naval program of the maritime capability of Defense, approved by the Italian Government and Parliament and started in May 2015.

The LHD will be classified by RINA Services pursuant international conventions about prevention of pollution regarding the more traditional aspects, like the ones of the MARPOL Convention, as well as those not yet mandatory, as the Hong Kong Convention about ship dismantling.

 

Vessel’s characteristics: LHD – Landing Helicopter Dock

The unit will be approximately 215 meters/705 feet long with a maximum speed of 25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h. It will be equipped with a combined propulsion system diesel/electric and gas turbines (CODLOG).

The LHD’s main mission is the transport of people, vehicles and loads of different kinds and in their transfer on land in port areas through on board systems and in not equipped areas with on board staffing vessels (such as the LCM landing craft units with a load capacity up to 60 tons, four of which can be admitted, launched, and recovered through a flooded basin, located on the stern of the vessel).

The LHD’s military profile use provides transport and landing, in equipped and non-equipped areas, of troupes, military vehicles, logistic equipment, using the provided features and means of transfer.

The civil profile use provides:

  • healthcare and hospital support;
  • transfer and landing of people and wheeled or crawled means of transport in equipped and non-equipped areas;
  • supply of drinking water to land and supply of electricity;
  • possibility of accommodating specialized staff on board or hosting civilian personnel;
  • rescue operations base through helicopters and on board staffing vessels.

Equipped with wide internal embarkment areas (of about 4,500 m2/48,438 ft2 within dock-garage and hangar-garage), and a continuous open deck, able to receive wheeled vehicles of various kinds, containers and helicopters, the unit can perform several military and civil missions.

The different areas of cargo securing are accessible through stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be managed by internal ramps and elevators.

On board there will be a fully equipped hospital, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office, and a hospital rooms capable of hosting 28 seriously injured patients (further admissions are possible through duly equipped container modules).

Target in space

On February 18, 2018, an «Arrow» weapon system test was completed successfully when an «Arrow 3» missile intercepted a simulated target in space. First, the target was detected by the weapon system’s radar. The data was then transmitted to the interception management center, and the «Arrow 3» missile was launched.

On February 18, 2018, an «Arrow» weapon system test was completed successfully. As part of the test, the «Arrow 3» missile intercepted a simulated target in space
On February 18, 2018, an «Arrow» weapon system test was completed successfully. As part of the test, the «Arrow 3» missile intercepted a simulated target in space

The test was performed by Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, alongside the American Missile Defense Agency, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Israeli Air Force (IAF). Designated systems were installed on the tested missile in order to transmit unique data and enable a more effective analysis of the test results.

The test’s success is a milestone in Israel’s defensive capabilities. «This was an operational test. We tested the ‘Arrow 3′ interceptor missile against a simulated target located thousands of kilometers away at an altitude of over 100 kilometers/62 miles. This target was further and higher than any other target we’ve intercepted so far», explained Lieutenant Colonel Y’, Commander of the «Arrow» Unit. «The test shows the significant capabilities of the weapon system and its operators, capabilities which are now a part of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Division».

 

From Detection to Interception

The «Arrow 3» interceptor missile was integrated into the IAF for operational use in January, 2017. It is an innovative missile, designed to defend against ballistic missile threats outside the atmosphere. Additional tests are expected in the U.S. in 2018. «This is an opportunity to examine the entire process, from detection to interception», said Lieutenant Colonel Y’. «As part of this test, we examined the capabilities of the weapon system’s new program block, which was integrated a few months ago. The new block has many improved defense capabilities with an emphasis on a larger radius and altitude of interception. After the test, we have much more faith in this block and its operational capability».

 

«The test’s success is our success»

The Missile Test Unit was responsible for the test’s infrastructure. «We received the test scenario and began establishing its infrastructure with an emphasis on safety», said Lieutenant Colonel A’, Commander of the Missile Test Unit. «The biggest challenge was mapping out dangerous zones on the ground, in the air and at sea in order to prevent people, aircraft and ships from entering. Our unit is responsible for operating the test field, both in maintenance and in engineering. It is a privilege to perform this test, and its success is our success».

Austal-FFG-X

AUSTAL on February 18, 2018, celebrated the US$15 million dollar fixed price contract for the Guided Missile Frigate FFG(X) Concept Design.

Austal wins contract for frigate (FFG(X)) concept design by united states department of defense
Austal wins contract for frigate (FFG(X)) concept design by united states department of defense

The contract will develop the Austal Frigate design to meet the FFG(X) system specification with the goal of reducing cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract.

«Austal welcomes this contract as an endorsement of our advanced, technology focused design; something that underpins everything we do and is at the heart of what has built our reputation over the last 30 years», Austal CEO, David Singleton said.

«Our continued investment in research and development to support the technology of our vessels is what has kept our designs at the forefront of advanced naval capabilities», Mr. Singleton said.

«Austal’s design department is always increasing its capability to offer the latest technological developments on all our platforms», he said

«Highly technical engineering, research and development, and advanced digital design concepts are continually improved to set the standard of what is possible in naval design. With this latest announcement, the United States has recognised the importance of being able to operate the most advanced naval vessels and we are excited to work with them to develop the technology to do this. Our design team in Mobile will be leading the work on the Austal Frigate, and I have every confidence that they will excel in delivering the next generation frigate design to support the United States Navy», Mr. Singleton said.

The conceptual design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X).

Austal USA is already delivering two classes of ship for the United States Navy through the Spearhead Class, Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) and the Independence Class, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

Lockheed-Martin-FFG(X)

The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $15 million contract to mature its Freedom-variant Frigate design as a part of the Navy’s FFG(X) competition.

Lockheed Martin received a $15 million conceptual design contract from the U.S. Navy on February 16 to mature its Frigate design. Built to U.S. Navy shipbuilding standards, Lockheed Martin’s Frigate offering was designed from the keel up to be adaptable, scalable and responsive to the fleet’s needs. It remains the best platform to grow the fleet quickly and affordably
Lockheed Martin received a $15 million conceptual design contract from the U.S. Navy on February 16 to mature its Frigate design. Built to U.S. Navy shipbuilding standards, Lockheed Martin’s Frigate offering was designed from the keel up to be adaptable, scalable and responsive to the fleet’s needs. It remains the best platform to grow the fleet quickly and affordably

Lockheed Martin submitted its Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) parent design in response to the U.S. Navy’s FFG(X) conceptual design solicitation with Fincantieri Marinette Marine as its shipbuilder and Gibbs & Cox as its naval architect.

«We are proud of our 15-year partnership with the U.S. Navy on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship and look forward to extending it to FFG(X)», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president of small combatants and ship systems. «Built to U.S. Navy shipbuilding standards, our frigate design offers an affordable, low-risk answer to meeting the Navy’s goals of a larger and more capable fleet».

The Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered five ships to the U.S. Navy to date. There are eight ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.

Demonstrating the Freedom-variant LCS design flexibility and ability to integrate increased capabilities, the Royal Saudi Naval Forces selected an LCS derivative, the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant, to fulfill its small combatant requirement. This is the first sale in over three decades of a U.S.-built surface combatant to a foreign partner nation.

Construction of LPD-29

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on February 16, 2018, that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division was awarded a $1.43 billion, fixed-price incentive contract for the detail design and construction of LPD-29, the 13th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.

Ingalls Shipbuilding division received a $218 million contract from the U.S. Navy to provide long-lead-time material and advance construction activities for LPD-29, the 13th amphibious transport dock of the San Antonio (LPD-17) class (HII rendering)
Ingalls Shipbuilding division received a $218 million contract from the U.S. Navy to provide long-lead-time material and advance construction activities for LPD-29, the 13th amphibious transport dock of the San Antonio (LPD-17) class (HII rendering)

«This contract is further recognition of the confidence the Navy/Marine Corps team has in the great work our shipbuilders are doing in the LPD program», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «This efficient work is proven through our hot production line keeping the work going in the shipyard and through our nationwide network of suppliers. We are excited to build this additional ship and in providing our sailors and Marines with the best amphibious ships in the world».

Ingalls has built and delivered 11 San Antonio-class ships. The 11th, USS Portland (LPD-27), will be commissioned on April 21 in Portland, Oregon. The 12th, Fort Lauderdale, is under construction and is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2020. Preliminary work has begun on LPD-29, and the start of fabrication will take place later this year.

The San Antonio class is a major part of the Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long/208-meter-long, 105-foot-wide/32-meter-wide ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey.

The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries
Propulsion Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower
Length 684 feet/208 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Displacement Approximately 24,900 long tons (25,300 metric tons) full load
Draft 23 feet/7 m
Speed In excess of 22 knots/24.2 mph/38.7 km/h
Crew Ship’s Company: 374 Sailors (28 officers, 346 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800
Armament Two Bushmaster II 30-mm Close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 calibre/12.7-mm machine guns
Aircraft Launch or land two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1 or UH-1 helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two LCACs or one LCU; and 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles/Amphibious Assault Vehicles

 

San Antonio-class

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) Avondale 07-12-2003 01-14-2006 Norfolk, Virginia
USS New Orleans (LPD-18) Avondale 12-11-2004 03-10-2007 San Diego, California
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) Ingalls 11-19-2004 12-15-2007 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Green Bay (LPD-20) Avondale 08-11-2006 01-24-2009 San Diego, California
USS New York (LPD-21) Avondale 12-19-2007 11-07-2009 Norfolk, Virginia
USS San Diego (LPD-22) Ingalls 05-07-2010 05-19-2012 San Diego, California
USS Anchorage (LPD-23) Avondale 02-12-2011 05-04-2013 San Diego, California
USS Arlington (LPD-24) Ingalls 11-23-2010 02-08-2013 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Somerset (LPD-25) Avondale 04-14-2012 05-01-2014 San Diego, California
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Ingalls 11-02-2014 10-08-2016 San Diego, California
USS Portland (LPD-27) Ingalls 02-13-2016 12-14-2017 San Diego, California
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) Ingalls
LPD-29

 

Spike anti-tank

Contract for purchase of various Spike anti-tank missile systems, worth €108 million and made by Israel, will be signed by Minister of Defence Raimonds Bergmanis and EuroSpike Managing Directors, Mr. Guenter Lauer and Mr. Arie Lapidot at the Latvian Ministry of Defence on Monday, 12 February, at 14:00.

Latvian MOD Signs 108 million Euro Contract for Acquisition of SPIKE Missiles
Latvian MOD Signs 108 million Euro Contract for Acquisition of SPIKE Missiles

Acquisition of anti-tank weapons is one of defence sector’s priorities. The anti-tank missile systems Spike has been recognized as the most appropriate operational requirements of the National Armed Forces. The newly acquired Spike missile systems, which will complement the existing stockpile of this armament, will significantly enhanced combat capability of the National Armed Forces regular units and the National Guard.

Spike anti-tank missile systems will be also installed on Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) or CVR(T) units, which have been purchased from Great Britain.

In its category of weapons, Spike anti-tank missile systems made by Israel are considered to be the most modern in the world. Spike systems consist of 4th and 5th generation electro-optical missile systems, providing high precision and high lethality against various targets, including advanced Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).

Moreover, these systems provide the highest operational safety standards for the troops who handle them. Data transmitters, which are placed inside Spike missiles, send data from the rocket to control and launch console. Missile combat crew can operate these missiles remotely, from areas beyond enemy’s reach, while fully in control of fired missiles at all times.

Spike anti-tank missile systems will be gradually integrated by 2023.

The SPIKE system was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., which is also involved in the deal as a subcontractor, together with Diehl Defense GmbH & Co. KG and Rheinmetall Electronics (RME) GmbH.