The Australian Government has announced that the next generation of Army’s combat reconnaissance vehicles will be built by Rheinmetall.
The armoured vehicles will deliver improved firepower, protection, mobility and communication systems to ensure our soldiers can fight, win and survive while operating in an ever-changing threat environment.
Army’s next generation of fighting vehicle will be more capable than any other vehicle Army has operated. These vehicles will have digital warfare and information networking capabilities that will provide operational commanders with advanced knowledge and understanding of the battlefield.
This bigger and better protected armoured fighting vehicle will provide Australian troops with increased firepower and protection on the battlefield in the decades ahead.
The Department of Defence completed a comprehensive tender process over three years, during which the vehicles were rigorously and extensively tested across Australia.
The process was designed to secure the best outcome for Defence. Rheinmetall’s Boxer was assessed as the most capable vehicle for Australia.
As part of the LAND 400 Phase 2 project Rheinmetall will deliver 211 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles with the first vehicles ready for training in 2020.
Rheinmetall’s Boxer will replace Army’s current reconnaissance vehicle, the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) that has been in service since 1996 and seen extensive operational service.
The first L-159T2 for the Czech Air Force made its first flight on August 2, 2018, at Aero Vodochody Airport. Czech Air Force ordered three L-159T2 twin seat aircraft with several upgrades on board in 2016 to fulfil operational missions and advanced jet training. The L-159T2s are supposed to be delivered to the 21. Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav till the end of this year.
The successful first flight of L-159T2 with tail number 6028, piloted by Aero’s test pilots Vladimír Kvarda and David Jahoda, lasted 30 minutes. «Aero achieved another important milestone. Thanks to this cooperation with our national customer, the L-159 program got additional features. Based on requirements of the Czech Air Force, we will deliver additional twin seaters that are suitable for not only advanced pilot training but are also equipped for military operations», said President & CEO of Aero Vodochody Giuseppe Giordo.
These new T2 twin seat aircraft have newly built central and forward fuselage, several significant improvements, mostly in equipment of both cockpits and in the fuel system, and are fully NVG compatible. Each cockpit is further equipped with two Multi-Function Displays and upgraded version of an ejection seat VS-20. The aircraft is also adapted to offer a pressure refueling capability. The Grifo radar, commonly used in single seat version, is now integrated also into the dual seat L-159T2 as well as the self-protection systems (countermeasures and radar warning receiver).
The L-159 aircraft is operated by Czech Air Force, Iraqi Air Force and US company Draken International. In the past, L-159s were leased by Hungarian Air Force to train pilots.
At Farnborough Air Show 2018, Aero Vodochody and its strategic partner, Israeli IAI, introduced a multirole aircraft for close air support F/A-259 Striker. The F/A-259 Striker combines the robustness and effectiveness of its successful predecessor – the L-159 Alca – with the latest advances in avionics and aircraft systems technology. Using benefits of a wet wing, F/A-259 Striker provides superior performance, great maneuverability, and a high range.
L-159 aircraft mates Aero’s long-term experience in development and production of military jet aircraft, in the category of which Aero represents historically the largest producer in the world, with latest advances in avionics, engine and aircraft systems technology. The L-159 is a light multi-role combat aircraft designed for a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft is equipped with a state-of-the-art multi-mode radar for all-weather, day and night operations and can carry a wide range of NATO standards stores including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and laser guided bombs. The two-seat L-159 is a derivate of the single-seat L-159, primarily designed for Advanced and Operational/Lead-In Fighter Training. The L-159 configuration can also be tailored to customer specific requirements and adapted to needs of basic training as well as combat missions including air-to-ground, patrol and reconnaissance missions.
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announced on August 14, 2018 the delivery of two Bell 429s to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). A third Bell 429 is scheduled for delivery to the JDF next year. The three aircraft will be used to complete a range of missions including, search and rescue, medical evacuations, natural disaster relief, national security and military training.
The JDF began its helicopter operations in 1963 with two Bell 47Gs. Its active fleet includes four Bell 407s, two Bell 412s and two Bell 206s.
«Over the years, our mission has evolved resulting in the need to acquire the Bell 429 to more effectively meet the demands of our mission profiles and further prove our rotary wing capability», said Colonel Roderick Williams, the JDF’s Colonel Adjutant Quartermaster and a former Commanding Officer of the JDF Air Wing. «The Bell 429 offers excellent performance and advanced avionics with outstanding maintainability and aircraft readiness for multi-mission operations».
Designed with the future in mind, the Bell 429 meets or exceeds today’s airworthiness requirements to enhance occupant safety, with the adaptability to remain at the forefront as mission requirements evolve. Advanced capabilities of the 429 include Single-Pilot Instrument Flight Rules (SPIFR), Category A operations and an integrated avionics glass cockpit. The use of metallic and composite parts in its construction creates balance between rigidity and flexibility, safety and durability.
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s 23rd Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Ellen R. Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, New York, completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the ship.
«It is a tremendous honor to authenticate the keel for the future USS Cooperstown», Tillapaugh said. «Ships and their crews have a special bond with their namesake, and I know the village of Cooperstown will proudly support this ship throughout her construction, and when she is commissioned and 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 Cooperstown (LCS-23) is one of eight ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
«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».
LCS-23 will be the first vessel named for Cooperstown. Her name honors the veterans who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in the namesake city. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.
Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable. Originally designed to support focused missions such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, the team continues to evolve capabilities based on rigorous Navy operational testing; sailor feedback and multiple successful fleet deployments. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
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
Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully installed a production APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) on a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
The fit check, performed August 2 at the request of the Marine Corps, demonstrated APG-83 SABR is a low-risk option for installation on F/A-18C/D Hornets and that the radar can be integrated with the aircraft’s power, cooling and avionics systems.
«The Marine Corps asked for an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) solution due to the radar’s increase in reliability and sustainability with no decrease in operational performance», said Greg Simer, vice president, integrated avionics systems, Northrop Grumman. «The Marine Corps’ stated objective is to modify an in-production, fielded AESA while meeting the current size, weight, power and cooling requirements of the F/A-18 C/D. We have proven our production APG-83 SABR radar fits into the F/A-18 C/D, achieving the objectives and bringing the technical maturity needed to attain the Marine Corps fleet insertion timelines».
The APG-83 is a multifunction AESA fire control radar that delivers fifth-generation fighter capabilities to counter and defeat increasingly sophisticated threats.
Northrop Grumman is competing to replace the mechanically-scanned radar on F/A-18C/Ds with an AESA radar. The Marine Corps plans to upgrade the radar on approximately 100 F/A-18C/Ds. The APG-83 SABR will address survivability, reliability and maintainability concerns for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The government of Sweden signed an agreement to purchase Raytheon’s Patriot air and missile defense system from the U.S. Army. The agreement, formally referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance, paves the way for Sweden’s Patriot force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability.
«Sweden and 15 other countries trust our Patriot system to defend its citizens, military and sovereignty because Patriot has a proven track record of defeating ballistic missiles and a host of other aerial threats», said Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «Patriot in Sweden will enhance Northern European security and further strengthen the Trans-Atlantic partnership by providing a common approach to Integrated Air and Missile Defense».
Patriot is the backbone of Europe’s defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced aircraft and drones.
European Nations with Patriot: Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, and Spain currently have Patriot. Within the past 12 months Romania and Poland signed Letters of Acceptance for Patriot, becoming the 5th and 6th European nations to procure Raytheon’s Patriot system.
The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) will equip United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) with Electronic Warfare Tactical Vehicles (EWTVs) this Fall as part of ongoing efforts to advance Army capabilities in the area of electronic warfare.
The EWTVs were developed in response to an operational requirement to sense and jam enemy communications and networks. The vehicles are designed to be self-contained and independent, operated by Electronic Warfare Soldiers within the vehicle. The EWTV includes an advanced EW system mounted on the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle platform.
«This is an advanced EW technology that can provide the Army new offensive and defensive capabilities», said Lieutenant Colonel Scott Schumacher, REF solutions team chief.
The Department of the Army directed REF to equip the EWTVs to FORSCOM due to its close proximity to training areas, operational alignment for deployment to both Korea and Europe, and the ease of platform integration.
EWTVs enable training opportunities that would refine tactics, techniques and procedures for EW employment as well as provide lessons learned to the entire operational force.
«This effort will allow the ability for EW Soldiers to influence future vehicle improvements and grow their knowledge», Schumacher said. «Simultaneously, FORSCOM will have an EW tool for contingency operations».
Throughout the development of the EWTVs, REF partnered with several organizations across the materiel enterprise, as well as United States Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) and the Army Test and Evaluation Command to provide contracting, testing, equipment and subject matter expertise.
The vehicles are expected to complete the final stages of development and testing in August and be delivered to FORSCOM later this year.
The Rapid Equipping Force provides innovative materiel solutions to meet the urgent requirements of U.S. Army forces employed globally, informs materiel development for the future force, and on order expands to meet operational demands.
The REF supports priority equipping efforts including solutions for Subterranean Operations, Electronic Warfare, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems, Persistent ISR, and Expeditionary Force Protection. Because of its unique flexibility and speed, the REF has also been directed to support Headquarters, Department of the Army with select projects such as Patriot Cooling System, Commercial Heavy Armored Vehicle, and Electronic Warfare Tactical Vehicle.
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 on August 12 at 3:31 a.m. EDT. NASA selected ULA’s Delta IV Heavy for its unique ability to deliver the necessary energy to begin the Parker Solar Probe’s journey to the sun.
The Delta IV Heavy is the nation’s proven heavy lift launch vehicle, delivering high-priority missions for NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office. With its advanced cryogenic upper stage, Delta IV Heavy can deliver more than 14,000 pounds/6,350 kg directly to geosynchronous orbit, as well as a wide variety of complex interplanetary trajectories.
«The unique requirements of this mission made the Delta IV Heavy the perfect launch vehicle to deliver Parker Solar Probe into orbit with the highest precision», said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. «Congratulations to our team and mission partners, we are proud to launch this exceptional spacecraft that will provide invaluable scientific information benefiting all of humankind».
This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Heavy, which is comprised of three common core boosters each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR) RS-68A liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines producing a combined total of more than 2.1 million pounds/952,544 kg of thrust. The second stage was powered by an AR RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine. Due to the extremely high energy required for this mission, the Delta IV Heavy’s capability was enhanced by a powerful third stage provided by Northrop Grumman.
This was the 37th launch of the Delta IV rocket, and the 10th in the Heavy configuration. It also marks ULA’s sixth launch in 2018 and the 129th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
ULA’s next launch is the ICESat-2 mission for NASA on what will be the final Delta II mission. The launch is scheduled for September 15 at Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 125 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field and enable personal device-based GPS navigation.
Lockheed Martin delivered the 52nd C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport modernized under the U.S. Air Force’s Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) on August 2 at the company’s Marietta, Georgia, facility.
The delivery completes the RERP upgrade, which extends the service life of the C-5 fleet out until the 2040s.
«With the capability inherent in the C-5M, the Super Galaxy is more efficient and more reliable, and better able to do its job of truly global strategic airlift», said Patricia Pagan, Lockheed Martin Air Mobility and Maritime Missions Strategic Airlift director, «I am very proud of the contractor-government team than carried out the C-5 fleet modernization effort. We’ve worked very hard to ensure the C-5Ms are the absolute best strategic airlifters possible for our armed forces».
An Air Force Reserve Command aircrew from the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, ferried the final C-5M Super Galaxy to Stewart Air Force Base, New York, where the aircraft will undergo interior paint restoration. Once that work is complete, the aircraft will be flown to Westover where it will be the eighth C-5M Super Galaxy assigned to the base.
Lockheed Martin began RERP development work in 2001. RERP incorporates more than 70 improvements that improve reliability, efficiency, maintainability and availability. RERP included changes or modifications to the airframe structure; environmental and pneumatic systems; hydraulic systems, electrical system; fuel system; landing gear; and flight controls.
The heart of the system is the GE F138 turbofan engine (known as a CF6-80C2L1F in the commercial world) de-rated to 50,000 pounds/22,680 kg of thrust on the C-5M Super Galaxy. This engine provides 22 percent more thrust than the out-of-production TF39 turbofans on the earlier C-5A/B/C aircraft. The engines also allow the C-5M Super Galaxy to meet the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) Stage 4 noise reduction requirements.
These changes, taken together, result in a 22 percent increase in thrust, a shorter takeoff roll; a 58 percent improvement in climb rate; allows the C-5M Super Galaxy to cruise – at maximum gross weight – in the Communication/Navigation/Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) flight environment; and greatly enhanced fuel efficiency and less tanker support demand.
First flight of a modified aircraft to the C-5M Super Galaxy standard came in Marietta, Georgia, on June 19, 2006. The first operational C-5M Super Galaxy was delivered to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on February 9, 2009. A total of 49 C 5Bs, two C-5C aircraft, and one original C-5A was modified under RERP.
The C-5M Super Galaxy holds 89 FAI-certified (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) world aviation records, the most by any aircraft type. These records include time-to-climb with payload, altitude with payload, and greatest payload carried.
The C-5 Galaxy has been operated solely by the U.S. Air Force since 1970 and is the largest strategic airlifter in the U.S. Air Force’s fleet. The C-5 Galaxy is capable of carrying two 78-ton M1A1 main battle tanks or helicopters and other large equipment intercontinental distances. Fully loaded, a C-5 Galaxy has a gross weight of more than 800,000 pounds/362,874 kg. All of the C-5s were built at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta site.
In addition to Westover, C-5Ms are assigned to active duty and Air Force Reserve Command units at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware (436th and 512th Airlift Wings) and Travis Air Force Base, California (60th and 349th Air Mobility Wings). The C-5 aircrew training squadron is part of the 433rd Airlift Wing, the Reserve wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
C-5M Super Galaxy
The C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft is a game changer to the warfighter and America’s premier global direct delivery weapons system. It is also the Air Force’s only true strategic airlifter. While setting 86 world records in airlift, the C-5M Super Galaxy established new benchmarks in carrying more cargo faster and farther than any other airlifter.
A venerable workhorse, the recognized improvements in performance, efficiency and safety it provides validate the tremendous value to the taxpayer in modernizing proven and viable aircraft. As the only strategic airlifter with the capability of carrying 100 percent of certified air-transportable cargo, the C-5M Super Galaxy can carry twice the cargo of other strategic airlift systems. The C-5M Super Galaxy also has a dedicated passenger compartment, carrying troops and their supplies straight to the theater. It can be loaded from the front and back simultaneously, and vehicles can also be driven directly on or off the Galaxy. This means the C-5M Super Galaxy can be loaded quickly and efficiently.
The C-5M Super Galaxy has been a vital element of strategic airlift in every major contingency and humanitarian relief effort since it entered service. The C-5M Super Galaxy is the only strategic airlifter capable of linking America directly to the warfighter in all theatres of combat with mission capable rates excess of 80 percent. With more than half of its useful structural life remaining, the C-5M Super Galaxy will be a force multiplier through 2040 and beyond.
Outsize cargo transport
Seven: pilot, co-pilot, 2 flight engineers and 3 loadmasters
247.8 feet/75.53 m
65.1 feet/19.84 m
222.8 feet/67.91 m
4 × General Electric CF6-80C2 turbofans
50,580 lbs/22,942.7 kgf/225 kN
Normal cruise speed
Mach 0.77/518 mph/834 km/h
Unrefueled Range with 120,000 lbs/54,431 kg
5,250 NM/9,723 km
Max takeoff weight (2.2 g)
840,000 lbs/381,018 kg
400,000 lbs/181,437 kg
332,500 lbs/150,819 kg
Max payload (2.0 g)
285,000 lbs/129,274 kg
143.7 feet/43.8 m
19 feet/5.79 m
13.48 feet/4.11 m
$90 million (fiscal 2009 constant dollars)
16 C-5Ms have been delivered through December 2013
52 C-5Ms are scheduled to be in the inventory by fiscal 2017
Northrop Grumman Corporation supported Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) in their Final Critical Design Review (FCDR) for the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program.
Northrop Grumman serves as ESG’s C4ISR and control systems integrator for OPC, with responsibilities that include the integrated bridge, navigation, command and control, computing network, data distribution, machinery control, and propulsion control system design and production.
«Northrop Grumman has been a trusted member of the ESG team since the inception of the OPC program», said Joey D’Isernia, president, ESG. «Their expertise in systems design and integration has contributed to ESG’s ongoing success in achieving the USCG’s requirements for the OPC platform».
The OPC will be the Coast Guard’s newest class of cutters, with 25 ships planned for the class. It will provide the majority of offshore presence by the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, assisting in missions ranging from combating transnational organized criminal networks off Central America to patrolling in the increasingly accessible Arctic.
«Northrop Grumman’s C4ISR and control systems architecture for OPC is innovative, affordable and open», said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems, Northrop Grumman. «FCDR approval establishes a C4ISR/control systems design baseline that fulfills the newest generation of Coast Guard mission requirements, and is easily scalable for future platforms».
FCDR was held on June 27-28, with OPC Production Readiness Review to follow later this year. Northrop Grumman will operate the OPC Test and Integration Facility for C4ISR, and the Land-Based Test Facility for control systems, at their facility in Charlottesville.