Adding to the Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessels’ (USV) capability to mount and launch light weight torpedoes, Elbit Systems ISTAR division has teamed with Leonardo to develop and demonstrate Leonardo’s lightweight and mini torpedoes launching capabilities from the USV. The two companies announced the agreement at Exponaval (Valparaiso, Chile, 4-7 December).
The solution will be based on the same architecture used for airborne torpedo launching systems. Operational with the Israeli Navy, Elbit Systems’ Seagull USV performed superbly in the Belgian Defence Ministry 2017 North Sea trials and has been participating regularly in international naval exercises conducting Mine Counter Measures and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions.
Leonardo holds a strategic market position in the design, production and integration of torpedoes with over 30 Countries having selected its systems.
The tests of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov upon completion of the tests at the military proving ground in the Odesa region.
According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests, in particular, a successful flight test of Ukrainian cruise missiles was carried out, and the coast defense system was worked out with the help of the modernized S-125 missile system.
«The task put today before cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets», – the NSDC Secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers.
Mr. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of hitting long-range targets and that a special point on the Snake Island was equipped.
In addition, Mr. Turchynov said that to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of hitting the conditional opponent’s watercraft by the S-125 missile systems, which had undergone a deep modernization at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industry, were checked.
«According to the results of the watercraft firing, the upgraded S-125 proved to be effective. There were 8 launches during which 8 surface targets were destroyed. This is a very good result, which proves that these modernized systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea, and will significantly enhance the coast defense of the Black Sea and Azov coast», – Mr. Turchynov noticed.
After the tests were completed, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading developers of missile equipment and the military leadership to determine the priority areas for strengthening defense of the Black Sea-Azov region. The meeting took place in a new command-and-staff mobile special telecommunication complex, which was involved in coordinating missile firing.
The NATO Communications and Information Agency successfully handed off two new radars to the Lithuanian Air Force on 4 December 2018.
The milestone, marked by a formal ceremony in Aukštadvaris, Lithuania, was reached after years of collaboration with Lithuania to procure fixed air defence radars. The NCI Agency brought expertise from managing the same work for other NATO Nations including the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.
The Lithuanian radars are now contributing to NATO’s air surveillance capability as part of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System. In return, Lithuania receives the combined NATO Air Surveillance data, allowing visibility on air traffic way beyond the nation’s borders.
«Today’s event – the initiation of this radar system – continues Lithuania’s steadfast endeavour to secure its freedom and to never allow the atrocities of the past to be repeated. NATO stands with you in this endeavour», said NCI Agency General Manager Kevin J. Scheid at the ceremony.
«The operational launch of the two long-range radars marks a huge qualitative leap in strengthening both Lithuania’s national and NATO’s air surveillance capability, a part of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System», Deputy Defence Minister Edvinas Kerza said on 4 December, during a visit to the Airspace Surveillance and Control post in Antaveršis.
«In this regard, this is not just a state-of-the-art radar system, but a technological declaration of independence. And how appropriate that this declaration comes on the 100th anniversary of Lithuanian Independence», said Mr. Scheid.
«We have a wealth of experience, not just in the procurement domain but also in the technical domain», noted Rene Thaens, Head of the Electronic Warfare and Sensors Branch for the NCI Agency. Mr. Thaens is also the project manager for the Lithuanian Air Surveillance project.
Prior Lithuanian radars dated back to the era before the nation acceded to NATO in 2004. The capabilities of these systems could not meet NATO’s needs, leading Lithuania to seek a modern air surveillance capability. The nearly 40 million EUR project began with a study, conducted by the Agency, on the country’s radar capabilities. Based on the study’s outcome, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence requested the Agency run the procurement, which began in 2010.
Spanish company Indra provided the radar systems. The NCI Agency conducted factory acceptance tests, site acceptance tests and live flying tests, where an aircraft will fly against the radar to see if it can perform against a target.
Work to arrange secure communications was added to the scope of the project over time, Mr. Thaens said. Communications must be secured between the radar and the central node digesting the data, which requires particular cryptographic equipment.
The Lithuanian government also chose to exercise an option for a third radar. The Agency expects to complete work on the third radar by around 2020.
Utilizing NATO’s best practices and standards to complete the project has several benefits, including interoperability, Mr. Thaens added. Nations can do such work independently, but that route can be difficult because the radars must be integrated into NATO’s air surveillance system.
Nations who choose to standardize on a particular radar can also benefit from collective buying power around maintenance.
Boeing’s KC-46A Pegasus tanker program has completed its planned Phase II receiver certification flight testing following three weeks of flights with F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft out of Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Boeing and U.S. Air Force KC-46A Pegasus crews kicked off receiver certification testing with F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in April 2018. Since then the joint team also completed testing with KC-135 Stratotanker, C-17 Globemaster III, A-10 Thunderbolt II, KC-46A Pegasus, B-52 Stratofortress, and F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.
«This accomplishment is a tribute to the Boeing/U.S. Air Force team and helps set the stage for the start of Initial Operational Test & Evaluation testing next year», said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker vice president and program manager. «We are seeing great progress in both test and production and expect the positive momentum to continue as we begin delivering aircraft».
During the certification flight tests, KC-46A Pegasus and receiver aircraft flew at different airspeeds, altitudes and configurations to ensure compatibility and performance throughout the refueling envelope of each receiver. Now, the Air Force and the Aerial Refueling Certification Agency will review all test data and paperwork before ultimately “certifying” each aircraft.
«The Air Force crews were with us every step of the way during this critical testing», said Jake Kwasnik, KC-46A Pegasus test program manager. «It was awesome to see everyone working together as we conducted flights out of Boeing Field and also at Edwards and Minot Air Force bases».
Six test aircraft have now completed more than 3,700 flight hours and supplied more than four million pounds of fuel in flight to receiver aircraft.
Phase III receiver certification testing will be conducted by the Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base in 2019. That testing will include additional receiver aircraft.
The KC-46A Pegasus, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in the company’s Everett, Wash., facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.
The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
Aerial refueling and airlift
The Boeing Company
2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
415,000 lbs/188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight
310,000 lbs/140,614 kg
212,299 lbs/96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load
207,672 lbs/94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity
65,000 lbs/29,484 kg
360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
43,100 feet/13,137 m
7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
18 pallet positions
15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment
According to Defense-aerospace.com, the Brazilian Navy on Tuesday (November 27) launched the first prototype of the National Anti-Ship Missile (Míssil Antinavio Nacional de Superfície, or MANSUP), 300 km/186 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
The test confirmed the correct functioning of several subsystems, and the need for improvement in some others. Data of its in-flight behavior were recorded by telemetry, also developed in Brazil and, after it is analyzed, will guide the next development steps and launches.
The MANSUP is 5.6 meters/18.4 feet long, weighs about a tonne/2,205 lbs. and accelerates to a speed of 540 knots/621 mph/1,000 km/h in less than seven seconds.
This Strategic Project was started 10 years ago in partnership with several national contractors: AVIBRAS, responsible for the propulsion; SIATT, which develops the guidance system, control and telemetry; OMNISYS, which designs the target detection radar; and the EZUTE Foundation, which assists in coordinating the necessary work.
The data obtained with this launch will allow to continue the evolution of this project developed with exclusively national technology, and which place our country in the select group of manufacturers of missiles of this size.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced HMS Edinburgh as the name of a cutting-edge British warship on the eve of St Andrew’s Day.
The submarine-hunting state-of-the-art frigate builds on the city’s proud naval history and is the seventh warship to carry the name.
And as the eighth frigate to be named in the future Type 26 fleet, Edinburgh will be built on the Clyde as part of a £3.7bn programme that will sustain 4,000 jobs. HMS Edinburgh will be at the forefront of the nation’s world-leading navy, providing unrivalled capability at sea.
The Defence Secretary marked the announcement with Councillor Jason Rust, Bailie for the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh at the Nelson Monument and museum on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill.
Speaking during a visit to Edinburgh, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «The new HMS Edinburgh is a symbol of the United Kingdom’s future global ambition, but also the important role Scotland plays in shipbuilding and the national security of our country. Her cutting-edge capabilities will ensure that the UK remains a world-leader at sea, protecting our national interests and promoting global peace. Built on more than 300 years of proud naval history, HMS Edinburgh will play a crucial role in defending our nation for decades to come».
The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, said: «The last HMS Edinburgh famously retired from the Royal Navy’s fleet in 2013. Five years later, we are thrilled a new ship will be named in the city’s honour. Built on centuries of history, she will be the seventh ship to carry the HMS Edinburgh title. It will be a truly Scottish ship – built on the Clyde – and I hope she will visit us in the Port of Leith on her maiden voyage when the time comes. We’ve always enjoyed strong ties with the Royal Navy and the many hundreds of personnel who have served aboard the HMS Edinburgh vessels over the years. I’m sure the new ship will reinforce this bond».
The first ship to carry the name HMS Edinburgh was a fifth-rate ship, which was transferred into the Royal Navy in 1707. The last was a Type 42 destroyer, which was decommissioned in 2013 after deployments to the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf.
Royal Navy ships carrying the name Edinburgh have won nine battle honours between them, with five being awarded during the Second World War.
Scotland is already crucial to the United Kingdom’s defence capabilities, being home to the RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert interceptors and submarine-hunting Maritime Patrol Aircraft flying from Lossiemouth, and soon to the be home to the entire Royal Navy Submarine Service from 2020.
More than 10,000 sailors, soldiers and air personnel are also living permanently in Scotland, supported by 8,000 reservists and civilians.
Meanwhile, the Scottish industry benefits from £1.59bn of defence spending every year – supporting 10,500 private sector jobs – and just last year the Defence Board confirmed £1.7 billion would be invested to upgrade Scottish military bases over the next decade.
All the Type 26 frigates will be built on the Clyde, supported by suppliers across the country and securing decades of work for more than 4,000 people. The first three ships, HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast, have already been ordered for £3.7bn. HMS Edinburgh will join HMS Birmingham, HMS Sheffield, HMS Newcastle and HMS London as part of the second batch of Type 26 warships.
The first Type 26 warship, HMS Glasgow, will enter service in the mid-2020s.
German enterprise FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH won the call to tender organised by the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) and upgraded 22 M577 armoured personnel carriers of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The upgraded M577s will be used for command and control of the PzH2000 howitzers of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
After being awarded the contract the German enterprise hired Lithuanian enterprise UAB Autokurtas to complete part of the work.
«The main work of upgrading the armoured personnel carriers was carried out on Lithuania, therefore part of the resources used to upgrade M577s was received by a Lithuanian enterprise», Director of the Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defence Sigitas Dzekunskas said.
By agreement of the companies, the German enterprise gave the Lithuanian enterprise the maintenance technology needed to carry out the work in our country. According to Alexander Erichsen representing FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH, it was the first time the industrial M577/M113 armoured personnel carrier maintenance technology was used in Lithuania.
All the 22 upgraded M577 armoured personnel carriers are planned to be transferred to the General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion based in Rukla in 2019.
The total value of the upgrading contract amounts to roughly Eur 1.5 million. Later a new command and control system will be integrated.
Seeking to strengthen fire support and lacking armoured personnel carrier capabilities the Lithuanian Armed Forces procured over 180 M577 armoured personnel carriers in good condition for command, indirect fire support, medical evacuation and training purposes from the German Armed Forces, alongside 21 PzH2000 howitzers and 10 BPZ2 armoured recovery vehicles, in 2015-2016.
Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced that the U.S. Army has placed a $1.69 billion order for 6,107 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) and associated installed and packaged kits. Today’s delivery order marks the tenth order under the contract that was awarded to Oshkosh in August 2015.
«The JLTV is engineered with industry leading suspension and protection systems, as well as the ability to support a spectrum of mission kits and weapon systems required for the modern battlefield», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs at Oshkosh Defense. «This vehicle represents a technological leap forward that provides enhanced protection and extreme mobility both off-road and in dense urban terrain».
To date, Oshkosh has delivered more than 2,600 vehicles. Oshkosh expects a Full Rate Production (FRP) decision in December 2018, followed by first Army unit equipped in early 2019.
«The JLTV also features a Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability (VICTORY) compliant modular, scalable, open architecture system to support rapidly evolving Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) suites», Mansfield continued. «This provides our Soldiers and Marines a vehicle that is capable of serving as a mobile command center. Today, other vehicles with this level of C4ISR capability are much larger, with little mobility».
The JLTV fills a critical capability gap for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps by replacing a large portion of the legacy uparmored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) fleet with a modern light protected vehicle.
The Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), during a 10:00 a.m. EST ceremony at Flynn Cruiseport in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, December 1.
The USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) honors naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Captain Thomas J. Hudner Jr. President Harry S. Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to Hudner on April 13, 1951, who displayed «conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity» for attempting to save the life of his squadron mate, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. Although Brown perished in the incident, Hudner survived the war and retired from the Navy after 26 years of service. He passed away November 13, 2017 at the age of 93 and was interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on April 4, 2018. This will be the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Thomas Hudner.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker delivered the ceremony’s principal address. The ship’s sponsors are Georgea Hudner, widow of Captain Thomas Hudner, and Barbara Miller, wife of retired Vice Admiral Michael Miller, former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. In a time-honored Navy tradition, they gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!
«The commissioning of USS Thomas Hudner continues a spirit of faithful service that Thomas Hudner embodied throughout his life, and his legacy will live on in those who serve aboard this ship», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «USS Thomas Hudner is a testament to what the service and teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together, from the start of the acquisition process, to the delivery, to the start of the first watch».
The USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) will be the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The ship will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities.
USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
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)
According to Yonhap News Agency, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), a South Korean defense firm, plans to roll out the prototype of a Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) for the country’s Army in December, its officials said Sunday, 25 November.
The LAH is to replace an aging fleet of the Army’s attack choppers, including MD500s and 70 AH-1S Cobras.
«Following the rollout of the LAH’s prototype next month, an engine test is scheduled in March next year and a maiden flight in May», a KAI official said.
Based on the Eurocopter EC 155 helicopter, the LAH is designed to fly at a speed of upward of 324 kilometers per hour/201 mph/175 knots and have a range of some 905 km/562 miles. Its maximum take-off load is 4.9 tons/9,800 pounds with the chopper to be equipped with a 20-mm gun and anti-armor guided missiles made locally.
The first operational LAH is set to be delivered to units toward the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, KAI has resumed talks with the Philippines on the possible sale of Surion KUH-1 multi-role choppers, according to its CEO Kim Jo-won.
KAI’s export bid came to a halt with the fatal crash in July of a Marineon operated by South Korea’s Marine Corps. An investigation team said a defective rotor master provided by a subcontractor was apparently responsible for the accident.
Marineon is a variant of Surion that’s specialized for use with the Marine Corps.
Kim said his firm restarted «technology talks» with the Philippines last week on the possibility of supplying Surions to the archipelago nation.
Competing models include the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.
If KAI succeeds in exporting the Surion to the Philippines, Indonesia could be a potential buyer as well, Kim said during a recent press conference at the company’s headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province.