On May 24, 2018, Piaggio Aerospace, a leading Italian aircraft manufacturer active in the business aviation and defense and security sectors, announced the successful accomplishment of the first flight test program, with its remotely piloted P.1HH HammerHead aircraft, aimed at experimenting the satellite control of a MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) system, designed for long endurance flights at medium altitudes.
The flight test program was performed in partnership with Telespazio, the joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%), which provided the satellite technology. The purpose of the program was to integrate the technologies that allow flying beyond the line of sight (BRLOS, Beyond Radio Line Of Sight) and to assess their performance.
The experimental campaign was carried out at Birgi Airport in Trapani by a team of experts by Piaggio Aerospace and Telespazio, who verified on the ground the efficiency of the satellite technology in several areas of application. Tests were performed by using the satellite Athena-Fidus, which is managed by the Fucino Space Centre of Telespazio. The satellite allowed both to communicate to the P.1HH the necessary information for the command and control of the aircraft, and also to transmit from the aircraft to the ground the on-board sensors’ data acquired during the flight, fully simulating surveillance missions in the BRLOS mode.
Fabio Guida, Chief Technology Officer of Piaggio Aerospace, remarked: «Our aircraft guaranteed the success of a key test at European level for the future development of the defense and security sector, that will increasingly rely upon remotely piloted systems of this class. The outstanding outcome is the evidence of Piaggio Aerospace’s commitment to the continuous development of the P.1HH HammerHead program, which will see the first deliveries this year. The platform represents the only European MALE product and is an uncontested excellence within the industry».
An engineer at NAWCAD is developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system with the potential to teach itself how to recognize and remove external interference from radar signals.
The AI system is an outgrowth of Ph.D. research into pulsars and mysterious cosmic signals called fast radio bursts conducted by the Atlantic Test Range’s (ATR) electrical engineer Stephen Itschner.
«I’m hoping it will help us automate a process that’s now very time consuming because we have to do it all by hand», said Itschner, who works with ATR’s Advanced Dynamic Aircraft Measurement System (ADAMS) group.
If successful, Itschner’s system will be integrated into ADAMS, which provides radar cross-section data from aircraft during flight tests.
«Radar cross-section is just a measure of how big a target looks to a radar», he said. «It’s more related to electrical size than to actual physical size. Radar signals bouncing back from an aircraft can be contaminated with external Radio Frequency Interference or RFI. It’s essentially the same as the static you hear on a radio when there’s lightning nearby. It can come from other radar sites, walkie-talkies, military radios, boat radios, even garage door openers».
When plotted on an x-y graph, RFI appears as sharp peaks throughout the radar signal, making it hard to tell what represents the true radar return from an aircraft and what is coming from unwanted external sources.
«Radar cross-section post-analysis is very labor-intensive», said Jim Ashley, head of ATR’s Aircraft Signature and Avionics Measurement branch. «We’re hoping Steve’s research will lead to an 80 percent solution – letting the machine do 80 percent of the work before we turn it over to our human analysts».
Itschner presented his initial results with a limited set of data at a meeting last week to the country’s top radar experts at the National Radar Cross Section Test Facility (NRTF) managed by Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
According to Itschner, his system achieved 80 percent correct RFI classifications with almost no false positives, that is, virtually no misidentification of true radar returns as RFI when using a «proof-of-concept» set of radar data from a Learjet. He trained the AI system on 90 percent of the Learjet data, then tested it against the remaining 10 percent which the system had not encountered before.
«I’ve gotten it to train and test well on one class of target», he said. «But I haven’t yet looked at whether that type of training will extend to, say, a helicopter or other type of jet».
Ashley said the ADAMS equipment is being upgraded to handle new, more complex aircraft programs that will require far greater data analysis capability. «It’s simply not going to be practical to continue using people to do all of it», he said.
«NRTF engineers at the conference have come to similar conclusions», Itschner said. «They independently found they’re going to have the same type of problem for a slightly different application and would need a solution similar to the one we’re working on. It gave me a nice warm feeling to know we’re on a promising track».
The similarities between Itschner’s work with radar and his Ph.D. research in radio astronomy led him to develop the artificial intelligence system, or machine learning, as he calls it. For his Ph.D. Itschner’s working on instruments and signal-processing techniques to identify fast radio bursts, which are very powerful but extremely brief eruptions of energy from deep space.
«They’re very mysterious signals and no one knows quite what they are», he said. «They only last for a millisecond and they’re completely unpredictable».
Itschner is looking for commonalities among fast radio bursts, radar and RFI in order to develop machine learning systems to analyze them.
He’s come up with a machine learning algorithm – a series of computer instructions – called a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). The CNN is able to identify whether a piece of radar data is corrupted with RFI or not. In his astronomy research, he uses a neural network to determine whether data captured by a radio telescope comes from a fast radio burst or not.
«People can learn to see the difference without too much training, and CNNs are really, really good at mimicking human vision performance», he said. «To hand-design an algorithm that can see the same differences people can, an engineer traditionally would choose features that would help discriminate between objects – two types of fish for example. I would say, ‘let’s look at the length of the fish and the number of fins it has’. I’d just try different things and then build a system around that. But that traditional approach restricts the algorithm’s discriminating ability. Its accuracy is limited by the engineer’s imagination».
So instead of telling his algorithm to look for specific characteristics of a real radar return data versus RFI, Itschner lets the CNN figure them out for itself.
«All you do is give the algorithm a bunch of examples and an answer key that says what class each example really belongs to, and the machine is able to learn the difference on its own», he said. «Eventually it learns to make correct decisions on new data so that a human doesn’t need to examine it».
Itschner’s initial results are encouraging, Ashley said. «The next step is to buy hardware for the higher processing power needed to train the system for a wider range of radar data», he said. The equipment is expected to arrive at ATR in time to begin running AI training algorithms next month.
«We’re not sure yet if it’s the right way forward», he said, «but Steve’s work will help us narrow down how best to apply it to ATR».
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has successfully completed the initial sea trials on the newest Virginia-class submarine, USS Indiana (SSN-789).
The initial round of sea trials, known as alpha trials, provides an opportunity to test all systems and components. It includes submerging for the first time and high-speed maneuvers while on the surface and submerged.
«Sea trials is a significant milestone and the first major test of submarine’s capabilities at sea», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «We are pleased with how Indiana performed and look forward to continuing our testing program before we deliver the boat to the U.S. Navy later this year».
Construction of Indiana began in 2012. The boat – the 16th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat – was christened in April 2017.
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/10.0584 m
34 feet/10.3632 m
Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
800+ feet/244+ m
132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles
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
SSN-784 North Dakota
SSN-785 John Warner
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-790 South Dakota
U.S. Navy Virginia class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) completes first sea trials
On May 24, 2018, Defence Minister Guto Bebb announced the delivery of the first of a fleet of new helicopters designed for Royal Marine aircraft carrier operations.
The helicopter, known as the Commando Merlin Mk4, has been upgraded to a faster and more powerful aircraft than its predecessor. It now sports a maritime grey coat, has a folding main rotor and tail, upgraded flight controls and a tactical computer. The modifications are designed to ensure it can now operate from sea, and it will take off from ships including the UK’s new 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08).
A total of 25 Commando Merlin aircraft will be delivered to the air wing of the Royal Marines – the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) – who will use them to deliver troops and supplies from sea to land.
Defence Minister Guto Bebb said: «This new version of the Merlin will provide an essential bridge between sea and land for our Marines operating from ships, including our brand-new aircraft carriers. This fleet will deliver troops and supplies to the centre of the action, be that a conflict zone or the site of a humanitarian disaster, as well as providing search and rescue cover. Flown from the Yeovil factory to now be homed here, this is another way defence is supporting the South West, where we spent over £5bn last year – more than any other region in the UK».
The Commando Merlin Mk4 aircraft, an upgrade from the Merlin Mk3 standard, are being delivered through a £388 million contract between the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Leonardo Helicopters, supporting 175 skilled jobs at Leonardo in Yeovil, and a further 500 across the UK supply chain.
Last year the MOD’s highest spend per person in the UK was in the South West, where £920 was spent for each member of the population – totalling around £5,079,000,000. Defence spending in the region also supported one in every 60 jobs there – the highest proportion of jobs support by MOD expenditure in the UK, totalling 33,500 jobs.
DE&S Director Helicopters Air Vice-Marshal Graham Russell said: «DE&S is proud to have delivered the first Merlin Mk4 to the Royal Navy. Today underscores that DE&S and their industrial partners are delivering. And delivering more with less, thanks to our effective change programme and fantastic staff. We look forward to all 25 aircraft being fully operational by 2023. DE&S will also ensure the Commando Merlin are supported with a full training and support solution, so they are always available to be deployed across the globe».
The delivery will allow air crews to familiarise themselves with the Commando Merlin before they enter service, expected in the summer. They have been acquired to replace the veteran Sea Kings.
When not deployed on operations the helicopters will be based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton, the home of CHF since the unit was formed in 1997.
CHF, known as the ‘Junglies’, have served in a commando support role in theatres of operations including Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s the ability to fold the tail section – which has been completely rebuilt for the Mk4 – and the rotor heads which assist flying from Royal Navy carriers in particular.
Colonel Lenny Brown RM, the Officer Commanding Commando Helicopter Force said: «Commando Helicopter Force provides aerial support to the Royal Marines, be they at sea, in an assault ship or in the sand and dust of Afghanistan. My air crews will soon begin training to fly the Commando Merlin from the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, marking the start of a new era of Commando support operations».
The Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Manchester (LCS-14), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, May 26, at the State Pier in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Admiral William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, senior United States Senator from New Hampshire, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to, «man our ship and bring her to life»!
«The future USS Manchester is a modern marvel and an example of the increased capability that comes from a true partnership with the American industry», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer. «The ship honors the city of Manchester and the patriotic citizens of New Hampshire for their support to our military, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things the crew will accomplish».
The future USS Manchester, designated LCS-14, is the twelfth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the seventh of the Independence-variant design. The ship is the second naval vessel to honor New Hampshire’s largest city. The first, a light cruiser, was commissioned October 29, 1946. During nearly ten years of commissioned service, the ship completed numerous deployments, including three combat deployments in support of operations in the Korean conflict during which she earned nine battle stars. The ship was decommissioned June 27, 1956 and stricken from the Navy list April 1, 1960.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for Surface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Mine Countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems, and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain, and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS-class consists of the Freedom-variant and Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered ships). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered ships). Twenty-nine LCS ships have been awarded to date: 13 have been delivered to the Navy, another 13 are in various stages of construction and testing, and three are in pre-production states.
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)
Sea Ceptor provides a powerful shield against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missiles, and has been developed and manufactured through Ministry of Defence contracts worth around £850m.
It will be carried by the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates and has been successfully demonstrated through a trials and test firing campaign that started last year. Most recently, Plymouth-based HMS Montrose (F236) became the third ship to test fire the system.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «Sea Ceptor will protect our nation against the intensifying threats we face today and, in the future, giving our ships a powerful shield against everything from supersonic missiles to enemy fighter jets. Fitting our warships with this ground-breaking technology not only protects our Navy but shows we are world leaders at sea. HMS Argyll (F231) will be the first ship to deploy with this cutting-edge system when she heads to support peace and security in the Asia Pacific region later this year».
The announcement, made at the RUSI Sea Power Conference in London, follows detailed analysis of data gathered during the first of class firing trials by HMS Argyll (F231), which took place last year. HMS Westminster (F237) and HMS Montrose (F236), the second and third ships to be fitted with Sea Ceptor, have since also carried out successful firings.
Sea Ceptor has been designed and manufactured by MBDA and is directly supporting 600 jobs in Bristol, Stevenage and Bolton as part of the Team Complex Weapons partnering agreement between MOD and MBDA. The first firings of Sea Ceptor were conducted from HMS Argyll (F231) at the Hebrides range off the coast of Scotland and saw the system tested against a range of complex scenarios – including engaging multiple targets at once. Sea Ceptor is a major improvement on the existing Seawolf missile system which is being replaced. It offers improved performance against current and projected future threats, the ability to engage multiple targets, and allows the frigates to protect escorted vessels. The system is to be fitted to the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates.
Richard Smart, Director Weapons for the MOD’s procurement organisation Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), said: «Sea Ceptor’s entry into service with the Royal Navy is a significant milestone, a massive achievement for everyone involved and a proud moment for the team. It’s really exciting to be delivering a new capability that will form part of the protection for the new aircraft carriers and will help to keep our service personnel and our country safe».
Recently, HMS Montrose (F236) took part in the third test firing of the system and successfully intercepted a fast-moving drone target. Within seconds of the missile bursting from the ship’s silo, the simulated threat was destroyed.
Commander Conor O’Neill, the Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose (F236), said: «The test firing we carried out represents the successful culmination of a great deal of hard work by many people from Babcock, the Short Range Air Defence team, DE&S, MBDA and the Royal Navy. I am extremely proud of my ship’s company for their professional attitude which enabled the test firing to go so smoothly. This missile system represents a vastly-improved capability for the Royal Navy and puts us ahead of the game in being able to defend ourselves and our new aircraft carriers from threat».
The Royal Australian Navy’s newest ship has been launched during a ceremony at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide. The Hobart Class Destroyer Sydney carries a proud name and is a significant warfighting enhancement to Australia’s fleet.
Air Warfare Destroyers like HMAS Sydney (DDG-42) use a combination of global and Australian technology, to provide defence to a Task Group from air, surface and submarine threats. They are the first Australian ships equipped with the U.S. Aegis weapon system, which significantly enhances Navy warfighting capability and allows them to work more closely with our allies than ever before.
The Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett said the launching of HMAS Sydney (DDG-42) is a significant milestone for industry and Defence.
«As Sydney floats clear of her synchrolift, she will continue her journey towards decades of service to the nation», CN told the launch ceremony. «In the last three years we have seen the launch of the first two Air Warfare Destroyers – HMAS Hobart (DDG-39) and HMAS Brisbane (DDG-41) – and with the launch today of Sydney, the class is now complete. They are powerful, elegant new warships that will serve Australia as a key part of our fleet for decades to come – a fleet that will be strong, agile, intelligent, and lethal».
HMAS Sydney (DDG-42) will continue fitting out prior to the commencement of sea trials next year.
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)
Lockheed Martin recently put its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) satellite through its paces in realistic simulations of its future launch experience. The satellite completed the tests successfully and is now in system-level testing in preparation for delivery to the U.S. Air Force in 2019.
For the 39 days of Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVAC) testing, AEHF-5 was subjected to extreme cold and heat in zero atmosphere, to simulate its upcoming on-orbit life. TVAC is a part of a battery of tests that ensure a satellite will arrive in space functionally sound and ready to operate through the extreme temperature changes of space.
Following the TVAC test series, AEHF-5 completed acoustic testing, where the satellite was subjected to high intensity, low frequency sound waves that simulated the vibrations generated by a rocket propelling its payload from zero to over 17,500 miles/28,163.5 km per hour in under eight minutes.
«TVAC and acoustic tests are critical milestones in the production cycle of a satellite, where we have one shot to get it right, so we take every precaution to ensure the vehicle is ready for the harsh space environment. We design and build our AEHF satellites to serve our military’s strategic and tactical protected communications needs. The team and the satellite performed flawlessly, and AEHF-5 is now in system level testing», said Michael Cacheiro, vice president for Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin Space.
Following its anticipated 2019 launch, the satellite will join the AEHF constellation that continues to provide global, highly-secure, protected and survivable communications for U.S. and allied warfighters on ground, sea and air platforms.
In addition to AEHF-5, the fourth AEHF satellite is rapidly nearing the end of its production journey. AEHF-4 will be shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station later this year in preparation for a launch on an Atlas V launch vehicle. Once on-orbit, AEHF-4 will complete the minimum constellation of AEHF satellites needed to bring global Extended Data Rate (XDR) connectivity to warfighters and international partners.
«XDR adds an unprecedented protected communication capability, providing 10 times more communications throughput than the legacy MILSTAR (Military Strategic and Tactical Relay) constellation», stated Cacheiro.
The AEHF team is led by the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is the AEHF prime contractor and system manager, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, California, as the satellite payload provider.
The Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) conducted a live-fire missile exercise off the coast of Virginia May 11.
The Milwaukee fired four longbow hellfire missiles that successfully struck fast inshore attack craft targets.
During the evolution, the ship’s crew executed a scenario simulating a complex warfighting environment, utilized radar and other systems to track small surface targets, simulated engagements and then fired missiles against the surface targets.
«The crew of the USS Milwaukee executed superbly and the test team ran the event seamlessly, both were critical in making this event successful», said Captain Ted Zobel, LCS Mission Modules program manager.
This marks the completion of the first phase of the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM) Developmental Testing (DT) for the LCS Mission Modules (MM) program. This was the first integrated firing of the SSMM from an LCS. Additionally, this was the second at-sea launch of SSMM missiles from an LCS. SSMM leverages the U.S. Army’s Longbow Hellfire Missile in a vertical launch capability to counter small boat threats. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and fielding of the SSMM is expected in 2019.
The Milwaukee, homeported at Naval Station Mayport, is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.
«The east coast littoral combat team continues to grow and mature with two Freedom variant LCS arriving annually in Mayport. We look forward to conducting the next phase of SSMM testing onboard USS Detroit (LCS-7)», said Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two Captain Shawn Johnston.
The ship is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain, and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) fires a Longbow Hellfire missile during a live-fire missile exercise
Ship Design Specifications
Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
389 feet/118.6 m
57 feet/17.5 m
13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement
Approximately 3,200 metric tons
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
Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
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
The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) destroyers continue to achieve shipbuilding milestones with start of construction at both shipbuilders, Bath Iron Works (BIW), Bath, Maine, and Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi.
On May 17, construction of the future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG-124) began at BIW. The ship’s namesake, Colonel Harvey «Barney» Barnum, Jr. (Ret.), was on hand to officially mark the start of fabrication on the ship.
In Pascagoula, Mississippi, construction of the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) officially began May 7. DDG-125 will be the first Arleigh Burke class destroyer built in the Flight III configuration with improved capability and capacity to perform Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) in support of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) mission.
These milestones, which signify the first 100 tons of steel being cut, were marked with ceremonies held in the shipyards’ respective fabrication shops.
«This is an exciting time in the DDG-51 program as we celebrate the start of construction on DDG-124 and DDG-125», said Captain Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «Both of these ships are named after Medal of Honor recipients and we are proud to honor their legacy with such capable warfighters».
These ships are Aegis baseline 9 (DDG-124) and baseline 10 (DDG-125) IAMD destroyers with significant capabilities against modern air warfare and BMD threats. When operational, these multi-mission surface combatants will serve as integral players in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense as well as providing increased capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare.
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 special warfare craft.
510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline
59 feet/18 m
30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load
9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
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
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
2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)