Italian Vulcano

The Logistic Support Ship (LSS) Vulcano (A5335), named after one of the Eolian Islands North of Sicily, had her First Sea Going on 5th December 2019, logging her first nautical miles in the in the Gulf of La Spezia. This step of the programme is a key contractual milestone towards the delivery of the ship to the Italian Navy (FOAR), scheduled for September 2020.

LSS Vulcano (A5335) sets sail for the first time, an outstanding achievement and success for OCCAR, Direzione degli armamenti navali (NAVARM) and the Italian Navy

During the First Sea Going (FSG), several Platform and Combat Systems installed onboard have been tested, especially the propulsion, steering and navigation systems.

Only four years and a half have elapsed since the signature of the LSS contract in May 2015 and the FSG. This is a great achievement for Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement (OCCAR) as contracting authority, given the exceptional challenges to finalize, under extreme time constraints, the reconstruction works of the aft part of the ship, after her launch in June 2018. The LSS Vulcano (A5335) FSG bears witness of the success brought by the combined efforts of OCCAR, Italy as Participating State and Industry.

The Vulcano (A5335) is expected to complete her sea trials by September 2020 and to be delivered to the Italian Navy that same month.

With France joining in January 2019, four more Logistic Support Ships will follow the path of their elder sister Vulcano (A5335), being the first delivery expected by the end of 2022.

The unmistakable outline of the Vulcano (A5335) bridge and aft Replenishment at sea masts

 

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS
Length overall 193 m/633.2 feet
Length between perpendiculars 176 m/577.4 feet
Moulded breadth 24 m/78.7 feet
Depth to main deck (deck 1) 16.3 m/53.5 feet
Full load displacement 27,200 t
Transported cargoes up to 15,500 t
Speed (maximum/cruise) about 20/16 knots/23/18.4 mph/37/30 km/h
Range at 16 knots 7,000 NM/8,055 miles/12,964 km
Crew + additional personnel 235 people + 13 hospitalized
ENERGY AND PROPULSION SYSTEMS
Propulsion system COmbined Diesel-eLectric And Diesel (CODLAD) – 2 × DE + 2 EM/2 × Featherable Controllable Pitch Propellers (FCPP)
Generating sets 4 + 2 Shaft generators + 1 Emerg.
HELO CAPABILITIES
Flight deck for NH90 or EH101
Hangar for 2 EH101
COMBAT SYSTEM
1 Internal Networking System
1 Combat Management System (CMS)
1 Integrated Int/Ext Communication System
1 Integrated Navigation System
2 Navigation Radars
1 Helo Decking Radar
1 2D Surveillance Radar 2D RAN 21S
1 Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF) Interrogator System
1 IFF Transponder System
1 IR Surveillance System (2 turrets)
2 Secondary Caliber Guns – 25 mm
2 Long Range Acoustic Devices
1 Obstacle Avoidance Sonar
1 Diver Detection Sonar
1 Electronic Warfare (EW) System (RESM/CESM – Radar Electronic Support Measures/Communications Electronic Support Measures)*
1 Fire Control System (ADT)*
1 Quick Point Device System (2 Pointing Devices)*
1 Main Caliber Gun – 76 mm SR*
1 Decoy Launching System (2 Launchers)**
1 Torpedo Detection System**
1 Reaction Management System**
1 Bathy Termograph Unit**

* Fitted for

** Space foreseen for

Fast Transport ship

Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Austal USA has delivered the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF-11) to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony aboard the ship at the shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF-11) was the first EPF to perform and successfully complete integrated sea trials – combining builder’s trials and acceptance trials into one at-sea event (Image: Austal USA)

In August this year USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF-11) was the first EPF to perform and successfully complete integrated sea trials – combining builder’s trials and acceptance trials into one at-sea event – returning to port flying a broom at her mast indicating a «clean sweep» of the tests the ship and her crew performed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Austal Chief Executive David Singleton said the EPF continues to impress stakeholders, with a flexible platform that is delivering multi-mission capability to the U.S. Navy’s global operations.

«Puerto Rico joins the growing fleet of EPFs constructed by Austal USA and proudly serving with the U.S. Navy in locations as diverse as the USA, Middle East and South East Asia», he said. «The EPF continues to impress the U.S. Navy and indeed many other navies around the world with the genuine flexibility and operability of the platform».

The Spearhead-class EPF, a 103 metre/337.9 feet high-speed aluminium catamaran, provides high-payload transport capability to U.S. combatant commanders around the world and has quickly become known as ‘the pickup truck’ of the fleet; with 10 EPFs in service, including seven deployed internationally.

The Austal-designed EPF’s large flight deck, open mission bay and habitability spaces provide an opportunity to conduct a wide range of missions – from maritime security operations to humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions. The ship’s flexibility also allows it to support potential future missions such as special operations, command and control, and primary medical operations. With its ability to access small, austere and degraded ports with minimal external support, the EPF provides unique options to fleet and combatant commanders.

Two additional Spearhead-class EPFs remain under construction at Austal USA’s shipyard. USNS Newport (T-EPF-12) is in final assembly, while construction recently began on the future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) at Austal USA’s state-of-the-art Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF).

In addition to the EPF program, Austal is under contract to build Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the U.S. Navy. Ten LCSs have been delivered, while an additional six are in various stages of construction.

 

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), Delivered

USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11), Delivered

USNS Newport (EPF-12), Christened

USNS Apalachicola (EPF-13), Under construction

USNS Cody (EPF-14), On order

On behalf of Boeing

Antonov Airlines flew four Apache AH-64E Attack Helicopters on behalf of Boeing, from Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA), Arizona, USA, to Hindan Airforce Base (VIDX) in India.

Antonov Airlines partners with Boeing to transport Apache Helicopters

An Antonov Airlines AN-124-100, which can accommodate up to five Apache helicopters, transported the aircraft, with a total payload of 39 tonnes/85,980 lbs. including their dismantled rotor blades. The mission proved highly successful.

«The Antonov Airlines team was responsive and willing to support deadlines while applying for the complex overflight permits required for military cargo», said Jon Roland, Boeing Program Manager. «Antonov Airlines partnered with us to secure the required clearance and permissions, creating a cooperative environment to ensure smooth delivery».

The Antonov and Boeing engineers collaborated closely on mission planning in real time during the loading process.

«We worked out how to best use the available space during loading to safely transport the cargo», said Amnon Ehrlich, Commercial Director, Antonov Airlines USA. «We also took into consideration the high summer temperatures in Arizona while planning the move. The loading started in the early hours to avoid the high temperatures. Following a night-time departure, the mission was completed 24 hours later».

Boeing has already contracted Antonov Airlines for further Apache helicopter shipments later this year.

The project required special planning and execution due to complex geopolitical issues affecting the flightpath of the cargo

Maiden flight

On Monday 9th December 2019, the maiden flight of the L-39NG aircraft with MSN 7004 took place at Aero Vodochody. This aircraft will be the first pre-serial aircraft. Aero company pilots Vladimír Továrek and Vytautas Požela flew for 32 minutes.

The second flying L-39NG and pre-serial aircraft had its maiden flight

Aircraft with MSN 7004 is a second flying L-39NG. «Today, we mark another important milestone of the L-39NG project. The 7004 has joined as planned the 7001 aircraft and the technology demonstrator aircraft (2626) in the flight programme now, so we can speed up the flight-testing according to our plan and get the advanced trainer certification in the third quarter of 2020. I am proud that Aero was able to produce and assemble three prototype aircraft and one pre-serial aircraft in less than 2 years. The 7004 is also the first pre-serial aircraft which has been built according to serial aircraft final specification and provides additional opportunities for target customers to testify and experience the outstanding capabilities, performance and flight characteristics of that next generation training and light attack aircraft. Worthwhile mentioning, that the L-39NG is one of few trainer development programs in the world that will have three aircrafts flying at the same time for flight test and customer demos», said Dieter John, President & CEO of Aero Vodochody AEROSPACE.

The flight was observed by several guests including representatives of Penta Investment Group, which is 100% shareholder of Aero Vodochody, and management of OMNIPOL company, a strategic partner to Aero Vodochody in the L-39NG project. «The timetable is in line with the established plan, which is essential for us. Today’s flight of aircraft 7004 is an important milestone not only for the whole project, but above all for our further dealings with our business partners and potential customers», said Jiří Podpěra, President of OMNIPOL.

 

Four L-39NGs completed

Aero has until now produced four L-39NG aircraft. Three prototypes – one dedicated to flight tests, one to static tests and one for fatigue tests. The fatigue one has been finished just couple of days ago, the fuselage has already been transported to the VZLÚ (Czech Aerospace Research Centre), the wing should follow in couple of weeks and the testing will start in the beginning of 2020. Static prototype has been passing static testing programme since June 2019 and shall last until mid 2020.

Both flying aircraft, the prototype with MSN 7001 and the pre-serial 7004 aircraft are dedicated to intensive flight tests. Some of the tests are performed also on the technological demonstrator – aircraft with fuselage number 2626, which is former L-39C trainer equipped by new engine, avionics and other modern technologies used in L-39NG. Aero wants to complete certification for the advanced trainer, which will cover also the basic trainer, in the third quarter of 2020. The 7001 aircraft will then continue in certification for light attack aircraft that should be completed in the second half of 2021.

The aircraft was accompanied by the first prototype of L-39NG, 7001, and technology demonstrator (aircraft with fuselage number 2626, former L-39C equipped with the same engine, avionics, wet wing and other features used in L-39NG)

 

L-39NG

The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective light jet capable to serve in a role of light attack and/or unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 with optimized features to reduce resistance and increase efficiency and utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Power is provided by the modern FJ44-4M engine supplied with the TAP Blue engine support service to ensure unprecedented airworthiness and predictable maintenance costs. The aircraft’s avionics are prepared to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft and can be tailored to the customer’s requirements. The L-39NG is equipped with five hard-points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centres with the goal to increase training efficiency. Strategic partner of the L-39NG project is the Czech company OMNIPOL by having 50% of share and financial contribution in the project.

 

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the design, manufacturing maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest aerospace companies worldwide. In the field of military aircraft, Aero has been a reliable long-term partner to many of the world’s air forces and it has a strong position on the market of military training and light combat aircraft.

With a track record of 11.000 aircraft produced over the last 100 years, a broad coverage of 60 military operators and 15 demo teams, a huge existing fleet of L-39 Albatrosses and with a brand new aircraft, the L-39NG now, Aero is maintaining its positioning as a leader in the jet training market. In the field of civil aviation, Aero collaborates with many of the world’s largest manufacturers in a diverse range of projects.  More recently, Aero became a full partner in several risk-sharing programmes, taking responsibility not only for the production of structures but also for development.

 

OMNIPOL

OMNIPOL is a Prague headquartered investment and trading group with more than eighty-five years of experience in both the domestic international markets. The company provides cutting-edge solutions for the defence and security sectors.

OMNIPOL is the owner of two very well known subsidiaries namely ERA and MESIT. They are both production companies with advanced technologies, which mainly focus on passive systems for monitoring air, land and naval targets, military communications, aircraft instruments and precision engineering production, including its own foundry together with galvanic processes. They also deal with related software products, but also cybersecurity, both for the military and civilian sectors. The entire OMNIPOL Group employs more than 1,400 professionals, of which over 200 employees are involved in research and development of new products.

 

BASIC DATA (depends on the version)

Wingspan 9.38 m/30.77 feet
Length, overall 11.70 m/38.38 feet
Empty Weight 3,200 kg/7,054.79 lbs.
Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) 5,600-5800 kg/12,345.89-12,786.81 lbs.
Maximum Fuel, internal 1,250 kg/2,755.77 lbs.
Maximum External Store 1,640 kg/3,615.58 lbs.
Maximum Speed 780 km/h/420 KTAS/485 mph
Range, internal fuel 1,150 NM/1,323 miles/2,130 km
Rate of climb S/L 23 m/s/4,500 feet/min
Maximum Thrust 16.87 kN/3,790 lbst
Maximum Structural Limit +8/-4 g

AeroNews L-39NG 7004 1st flight

Prince of Wales

HMS Prince of Wales (R09) has been commissioned into the Fleet on 10 December 2019 as the largest warship ever built for the nation.

Royal Navy commissions its 2nd aircraft carrier – HMS Prince of Wales (R09)

Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Duchess of Cornwall, as the ship’s Lady Sponsor, alongside His Royal Highness (HRH) The Prince of Wales, presided over the ceremony at Her Majesty’s (HM) Naval Base Portsmouth this morning, to an audience of 2,000 from industry, allies, friends and families.

Commanding Officer, Captain Darren Houston, read the commissioning warrant to the crew and guests gathered in the hangar which will soon house F-35B Lightning II jets and a variety of helicopters. Among those watching were the First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, ambassadors from France and USA, and the commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti.

The iconic White Ensign then replaced the Blue Ensign which has flown since she left Rosyth in September for her initial sea trials. Leading Writer Megan Ryan (27, from Stoke-On-Trent) was granted the honour of raising the new ensign; and youngest sailor, Chef Seth Day (17), cut the commissioning cake with Liesl Houston, the Commanding Officer’s wife.

«The men and women of my Ship’s Company have demonstrated significant flexibility, patience and resilience. However, I also want to recognise the wider naval family for their support of our achievements, and I am so pleased that so many of our families and loved ones are able to share this special day with us», said Captain Houston.

About 550 VIP guests, 1,400 family and friends of the ship’s company, including guests with connections to the previous HMS Prince of Wales (53), a battleship sunk on that same date 78 years earlier by Japanese forces in the South China Sea, joined the crew for the ceremony.

Leading Writer Ryan said: «I am lucky enough to have been involved in the commissioning of three ships, but this is the one I will always look back on with exceptional pride. Raising the White Ensign for the first time on HMS Prince of Wales (R09) is such a privilege that I will never forget».

Nearly 7,000 miles away, the crew of HMS Enterprise (H88) stopped at the final resting place of HMS Prince of Wales (53) and HMS Repulse (1916) last week to hold a memorial service and lower a White Ensign to the remains.

For the whole crew, from the chefs making the cakes to the warrant officers perfecting the drills, there has been a sense of pride in preparing the ship and themselves for this day.

AET Patrick Gauson (30, from Edinburgh) said: «Having been present at HMS Queen Elizabeth’s commissioning, to be involved in HMS Prince of Wales’ as well is an immense honour and privilege. It’s another day in my career that I can look back on with great pride and a sense of achievement».

AET Sam Ward (21, from York) said: «To be part of such an important day in the ship’s history gives me great pride and it will definitely be an interesting story to regale to the grandkids one day».

HMS Prince of Wales (R09), which by naval tradition will be referred to in the feminine form despite carrying the title of the male heir apparent, is marginally larger and heavier than her sister.

The carrier is powered by four diesel engines and two gas turbines, run by the 170-strong marine engineering department. They are part of a core ship’s company of about 700 which can swell to more than double that with the addition of personnel from Naval Air Squadrons and Royal Marines.

She departed Rosyth in September and conducted her first sea trials before making her first entry to Portsmouth harbour in mid-November.

More than 10,000 people across the UK have contributed to the delivery of the ship as part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, building on the experience they gained in constructing and operating HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08).

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) has recently returned from her second deployment to the east coast of North America conducting aviation trials with UK F-35B Lightning II jets and developing her warfighting capabilities. Both carriers are alongside in Portsmouth for routine maintenance and well-earned Christmas leave for their crews before resuming their programmes to reach operational capability.

Radar technology

Lockheed Martin recently signed a contract with Navantia to equip five new F-110 multimission frigates and their land-based test site (Centro de Integración de Sistemas en Tierra or CIST) – with Lockheed Martin’s first naval installation of its solid-state S-band radar. The new F-110 frigates will be built by Spain’s national shipbuilder, Navantia.

Spain builds on its 20-year partnership with Lockheed Martin with the selection of SPY-7, the company’s latest radar technology and combat system for the new F-110 frigates

Recently designated by the U.S. Government as AN/SPY-7(V)1, this technology is derived from current radar programs and significant Lockheed Martin investment. Variants of the SPY-7 radar will also be utilized on programs with Japan’s Aegis Ashore, the Royal Canadian Navy for the Canadian Surface Combatant program and the U.S. Government.

 

Why Does It Matter?

Providing Spain’s homeland with a defense for evolving threats, the F-110 program will further protect the country and its citizens. Equipped with the latest digital, solid-state radar technology, this crucial program:

  • Ensures Spain’s warfighters have the most capable combat system to perform new missions;
  • Strengthens Spain’s economy through industrial participation;
  • Advances Spain’s competitiveness in the global market by providing an opportunity for joint technology development;
  • Paves the way for interoperability with navies across the world, thanks to Aegis’ open architecture.

 

What’s the Technology?

The F-110 will host the first-ever naval solid-state S-band radar for the Spanish Navy. To foster the growth of Spain’s defense and technology industries, Lockheed Martin and Spanish company, Indra, will jointly provide the radar. It will go to sea as part of the Aegis Weapon System, which will be integrated with the ship’s combat management system SCOMBA, when the first frigate deploys in 2026.

The Aegis Weapon System is the most deployed combat system in the world, and its flexible system enables it to fulfill a variety of missions. Due in part to its unique open architecture design, the Aegis family continues to grow internationally as more nations around the world partner with Lockheed Martin.

 

What’s the History?

Lockheed Martin and its Spanish partners have over 20 years of experience in development, production and integration of tactical naval radar systems. Spain’s defense industry growth and expansion of their maritime defense portfolio is a mission Lockheed Martin continues to support.

In the exciting future that lies ahead, Lockheed Martin will continue to work with Spanish industry to explore new areas of industrial cooperation in radar and combat system technologies. This will help pave the way for future international sales of the F-110 frigate and new technologies, including the new S-band radar.

Swiss EAGLE

General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag announced December 05, 2019, that it signed a contract with armasuisse on November 18th, 2019, for the delivery of 100 protected EAGLE 6×6 reconnaissance vehicles for the Swiss Army. The EAGLE 6×6 was selected after an international competition conducted by armasuisse, the Swiss federal office for defence procurement. This first order of the EAGLE 6×6 is a milestone for the latest development of the EAGLE vehicle family.

Switzerland awards contract to General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag to deliver 100 EAGLE 6×6 reconnaissance vehicles

The 100 EAGLE 6×6 vehicles will be the vehicle platform of the tactical reconnaissance system «TASYS». TASYS will be used to gather intelligence for the Swiss Armed Forces including support of civil authorities. It consists of an EAGLE V 6×6 carrier vehicle, a multi-sensor system mounted on a telescopic mast, and a data processing system. For self-protection, the highly-mobile EAGLE V 6×6 TASYS is armoured and equipped with a remotely controlled weapon station. The vehicle offers sufficient payload reserves to allow for future improvements, such as the integration of additional sensors. The EAGLE V 6×6 TASYS starts production in 2020 and will be fielded between 2023 and 2025.

Besides the Swiss Army the EAGLE V 4×4 is also extensively used by both Denmark and Germany, where it is very popular with the troops. The further development of the EAGLE V 4×4 into the EAGLE V 6×6 was inspired by operational experience and the need for a vehicle with increased useful volume, more payload, very compact exterior dimensions, as well as constant high mobility and maximized protection. «We are very proud that the Swiss Army is the first customer to introduce the EAGLE V 6×6», says Oliver Dürr, Vice President Wheeled Vehicles and Managing Director of General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag.

 

Facts about the EAGLE V

The EAGLE V is available in 4×4 and 6×6 versions and is one of the most modern protected wheeled vehicles in its class. The EAGLE has already proven its efficiency and reliability in various military missions. Due to its power reserves, the EAGLE offers an ideal platform to meet both current and future requirements. In addition to its excellent protection against mines and improvised explosive devices, the EAGLE V 6×6 offers a high payload and a large transport volume, within very compact dimensions. With its unique axle and drive system, the EAGLE V delivers off-road mobility and on-road driving safety.

Christening of Mobile

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS-26), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, December 7, in Mobile, Alabama.

Navy christened Littoral Combat Ship USS Mobile (LCS-26)

U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, representing Alabama’s first district, delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address. His wife, Rebecca Byrne, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Rebecca Byrne christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«USS Mobile is a marvel of engineering», said Acting Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas Modly. «She will extend our capabilities for any mission, from the middle of the ocean to the shallowest of waters, enhancing our ability to project power ashore and at sea. This Independence-class LCS will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world».

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. 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 two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

USS Mobile (LCS-26) is the 13th Independence-variant LCS and the 26th in the class. It is the fifth ship named in honor of the port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft 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)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Serve with Courage

The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), was christened on Saturday, December 7, 2019, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at Newport News, Virginia.

New Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) christened December 7

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier of the Gerald R. Ford class, slated to replace USS Nimitz (CVN-68), when that ship is decommissioned.

Former NASA Administrator Major General Charles F. Bolden, USMC (Retired), delivered the ceremony’s keynote address. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy’s daughter, served as the ship’s sponsor and broke a bottle of American sparkling wine against a plate welded to the hull.

«USS John F. Kennedy will carry the legacy of its namesake and the power of our nation», said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. «The advanced technology and warfighting capabilities this aircraft carrier brings to our global challenges will strengthen our allies and partners, extend our reach against potential adversaries, and further the global mission of our integrated naval force».

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier to honor President John F. Kennedy for a lifetime of service to the nation. The president wore the uniform of our nation as a Navy lieutenant during World War II and served as the 35th President of the United States, from January 1961 to November 1963.

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), along with its embarked air wing and other strike group assets, will provide the core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance.

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division, the Gerald R. Ford class incorporates advances in technology, such as a new propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, radars and integrated warfare systems.

«This is a very proud and particularly poignant moment for the CVN-79 shipbuilding team», said Rear Adm. James P. Downey, program executive officer for Aircraft Carriers. «We are grateful to the thousands of engineers and planners from Naval Sea Systems Command, to the HII-NNS shipbuilders, and to the sailors and crew of the John F. Kennedy, who are working tirelessly as a team to construct this formidable aircraft carrier».

At 1,092 feet/333 m in length and 100,000 tons, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) incorporates more than 23 new technologies, comprising dramatic advances in propulsion, power generation, ordnance handling and aircraft launch systems. These innovations will support a 33% higher sortie generation rate at a significant cost savings, when compared to Nimitz-class carriers. The Gerald R. Ford class also offers a significant reduction – approximately $4 billion per ship – in life cycle operations and support costs compared to the earlier Nimitz class.

The new technology and warfighting capabilities that the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) brings to the fleet will transform naval warfare, supporting a more capable and lethal forward-deployed U.S. naval presence. In an emerging era of great power competition, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) will serve as the most agile and lethal combat platform in the world, with improved systems that enhance interoperability among other platforms in the carrier strike group, as well as with the naval forces of regional allies and partners.

The ship’s crest for the Ford-class aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program


USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) christening ceremony

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013 07-22-2017 Norfolk, Virginia
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015 10-29-2019
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

 

Overseas Patrol Vessel

December 03, 2019, at the Maritime Economy Symposium in Montpellier, the President of the French Republic announced the order of six new patrol boats for France’s overseas dependencies.

France has ordered six new large patrol vessels to replace those now deployed in her overseas territories, in addition to the three already ordered for the three territories in the Caribbean (DGA image)

In accordance with the strategic goals of the 2019-2025 military program law, this order reinforces the protection of our maritime territories, and advances the renewal of this capability by two years.

In a context of increasing threats to fishing resources, biodiversity and international rules of the law of the sea, France intends to fully exercise its sovereignty and responsibilities in France and in its overseas dependencies.

This announcement follows the Ministerial Investment Committee of November 19, 2019, when Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly decided to launch the Patrouilleur d’Outre Mer (Overseas Patrol Vessel) program, managed by the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA – Directorate-General of Armaments).

That is why the renewal of naval assets for the surveillance of our overseas maritime territories, which began with the delivery of the three patrol vessels for the Antilles and Guiana between 2017 and 2019, continues today with this latest order, which will allow the replacement of the obsolete patrol vessels deployed in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Reunion Island between 2022 and 2025.

Designed with extensive capabilities – and equipped in particular with an aerial drone – these overseas patrol boats will carry out missions of sovereignty and protection in the France’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), intervention against marine pollution and in favor of the environment, as well as rescue and assistance.

Thus, between 2017 and 2025, all the patrol vessels stationed overseas will have been renewed.