Contract for LHA-9

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on May 05, 2020 that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received a $187.46 million advance procurement contract from the U.S. Navy to provide long-lead-time material and advance procurement activities for amphibious assault ship LHA-9.

Huntington Ingalls Industries awarded $187 million advance procurement contract for Amphibious Assault Ship LHA-9

«This contract allows us to maintain the health of our critical nationwide shipbuilding supplier base while continuing our serial production of large-deck amphibs», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «We will work closely with our Navy-Marine Corps partners and our suppliers across the U.S. to build another highly capable, versatile and survivable warship».

Ingalls is currently the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. The shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli (LPH-10), in 1966. Ingalls has since built five Tarawa-class (LHA-1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD-1) ships and the first in a new class of amphibious assault ships, USS America (LHA-6), in 2014. The second ship in that class, USS Tripoli (LHA-7), was delivered to the Navy earlier this year. USS Bougainville (LHA-8) is currently under construction.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Date Deployed Delivered to the fleet in on April 10, 2014
Propulsion Two marine gas turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total brake horsepower/52,199 kW, two 5,000 horsepower/3,728 kW auxiliary propulsion motors
Length 844 feet/257.3 m
Beam 106 feet/32.3 m
Displacement Approximately 45,000 long tons full load /45,722 metric tons
Speed 20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h
Crew 1,059 (65 officers)
Load 1,687 troops (plus 184 surge)
Armament 2 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launchers
2 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile)
2 20-mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) mounts
7 twin 12,7-mm/.50 cal. machine guns
Aircraft 9 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft
4 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters
4 CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters
12 MV-22B Osprey VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) tiltrotors
2 MH-60S Sea Hawk Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters
UH-1Y Huey helicopters

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS America (LHA-6) 07-17-2009 06-04-2012 10-11-2014 Sasebo, Japan
USS Tripoli (LHA-7) 06-22-2014 05-01-2017
USS Bougainville (LHA-8) 03-14-2019
LHA-9

 

First Loyal Wingman

A Boeing-led Australian industry team has presented the first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force, a historic milestone for the company and the Commonwealth.

Boeing Australia has built the first of three Loyal Wingman aircraft, which will serve as the foundation for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System being developed for the global defense market. The aircraft are designed to fly alongside existing platforms and use artificial intelligence to conduct teaming missions (Boeing photo)

The aircraft, which uses artificial intelligence to extend the capabilities of manned and unmanned platforms, is the first to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years. It is Boeing’s largest investment in an unmanned aircraft outside of the United States.

As the first of three prototypes for Australia’s Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program, the aircraft also serves as the foundation for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (ATS) being developed for the global defense market.

«This is a truly historic moment for our country and for Australian defence innovation», said the Honourable Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia. «The Loyal Wingman will be pivotal to exploring the critical capabilities our Air Force needs to protect our nation and its allies into the future».

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, said the rollout of the first aircraft was a significant milestone in the Boeing Loyal Wingman project.

«This project is an excellent example of innovation through collaboration and what can be achieved working together with defence industry», said Air Marshal Hupfeld. «This demonstrates the importance of the relationship Air Force has with Boeing Australia and defence industry more broadly. I look forward to exploring the capabilities this aircraft may bring to our existing fleet in the future».

More than 35 members of Australian industry are supporting prototype work across four Australian states. With a global market demand for highly capable but extremely affordable unmanned aircraft, Boeing applied company-wide innovation to achieve those goals. The aircraft was engineered using a digital twin to model its structures, systems, capabilities and full life-cycle requirements; manufactured with Boeing’s largest-ever resin-infused single composite piece; and assembled using proven advanced manufacturing processes.

«We are proud to take this significant step forward with the Royal Australian Air Force and show the potential for smart unmanned teaming to serve as a force multiplier», said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Autonomous Systems for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. «We look forward to getting the aircraft into flight testing and proving out the unmanned teaming concept. We see global allies with those same mission needs, which is why this program is so important to advancing the development of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System».

The Loyal Wingman prototype now moves into ground testing, followed by taxi and first flight later this year.

Offshore Patrol Cutter

Panama City, Florida, Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) reports that steel cutting for the second Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), Coast Guard Cutter Chase (WMSM-916), commenced on April 27, 2020 at Eastern’s facilities. The cutting of steel started the fabrication and assembly of the cutter’s hull, and ESG is to complete keel laying of Chase in 2021. Additionally, ESG has commenced the placement of orders for long lead time materials for OPC #3, Coast Guard Cutter Ingham (WMSM-917).

Eastern Shipbuilding Group Announces Commencement of Steel Cutting for USCGC Chase (WMSM-916)

Eastern’s President Mr. Joey D’Isernia noted the following: «Today marks a monumental event and reflects the dedication and resolve of our workforce to execute program milestones on-time. ESG is dedicated to the task of building the most sophisticated, highly capable ships for the Coast Guard. Today’s success is the start of serial production of the OPCs at ESG by our dedicated team of shipbuilders and subcontractors for our customer and partner, the United States Coast Guard. We are excited for what will be a great 2020 for Eastern Shipbuilding Group and Bay County, Florida».

The OPC is designed to conduct multiple missions in support of the nation’s maritime security and border protection. The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. The OPC design includes the capability of carrying an MH-60R Seahawk or MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and three operational Over The-Horizon small boats. The vessel is also equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) suite that will enhance capabilities to execute the service’s missions.

On September 15, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard exercised the option for Detail Design on Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s OPC contract. Eastern Shipbuilding Group will construct the Offshore Patrol Cutters to replace the Medium Endurance Cutters currently in service. The contract includes the production of up to four vessels.

 

Specifications

Displacement 4,520 long tons (Full Load)
Length 360 feet/109.73 m
Beam 54 feet/16.46 m
Draft 17 feet/5.18 m
Sustained Speed 22+ knots/25.3 mph/40.7 km/h
Range 8,500+ NM/9,782 miles/15,742 km
Endurance 60 days

 

Ship list

USCGC Argus (WMSM-915) – Under Construction

USCGC Chase (WMSM-916) – Under Construction

USCGC Ingham (WMSM-917) – Long Lead-Time Material

USCGC Rush (WMSM-918) – Planned

USCGC Pickering (WMSM-919) – Planned

USCGC Icarus (WMSM-920) – Planned

USCGC Active (WMSM-921) – Planned

USCGC Diligence (WMSM-922) – Planned

USCGC Alert (WMSM-923) – Planned

USCGC Vigilant (WMSM-924) – Planned

USCGC Reliance (WMSM-925) – Planned

 

Sentinel A4 Radar

Just four months after the initial contract award, the U.S. Army’s Sentinel A4 radar program already achieved several key milestones. In January, the U.S Army approved the program’s Systems Requirement Review (SRR), Systems Functional Review (SFR), and the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for one of the subsystems.

Sentinel A4 Array Subsystem (Photo Courtesy: Lockheed Martin)

«Traditionally, the SRR and PDR take place several months apart, but thanks to Lockheed Martin’s preparation, investment and our technically mature radar solution, we are able to support the Army’s need to field the system more rapidly», said Mark Mekker, director, Lockheed Martin Army radar programs. «We have achieved every milestone while working on a very aggressive timeline in order to deliver the radar on schedule».

Lockheed Martin’s open scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the radar system’s design and will allow for future upgrades that not only extend the life of the radar, but address threats to our warfighters that will evolve over the next 40 years.

The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $281-million contract to develop the Sentinel A4 system in September 2019. The new air and missile defense radar will provide improved capability against cruise missiles, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), rotary wing and fixed wing, and rocket, artillery, and mortar threats.

The radar will also provide enhanced surveillance, detection, and classification capabilities against current and emerging aerial threats in order to protect U.S. Army maneuver formations and high-value static assets to include: command and control nodes, tactical assembly areas and geo-political centers.

 

Proven Radar Experience

With broad and deep experience developing and delivering ground-based radar solutions to our customers, our high-performing, high-reliability, Solid State Radar (SSR) systems specialize in counter target acquisition, early warning, situational awareness, and integrated air and missile defense. Our radars are designed with the highest degree of commonality and fully integrated SSR systems. They can operate in all environments, are available in highly mobile configurations, and are deployed worldwide. It’s why Lockheed Martin’s ground-based radars are the choice of more than 45 nations on six continents.

Guided Missile Frigate

U.S. Navy awarded a contract to design and produce the next generation small surface combatant, the Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) April 30. The contract for detail design and construction (DD&C) of up to 10 Guided Missile Frigates (consisting of one base ship and nine option ships) was awarded to Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) of Marinette, Wisconsin, officials announced.

An artist rendering of the guided-missile frigate FFG(X). The new small surface combatant will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

«The Navy’s Guided-Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) will be an important part of our future fleet», said Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday. «FFG(X) is the evolution of the Navy’s Small Surface Combatant with increased lethality, survivability, and improved capability to support the National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations. It will no doubt help us conduct distributed maritime operations more effectively, and improve our ability to fight both in contested blue-water and littoral environments».

The FFG(X) will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations. Specifically, FFG(X) will include an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) radar, Baseline Ten (BL10) AEGIS Combat System, a Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), communications systems, Mk-57 Gun Weapon System (GWS) countermeasures and added capability in the EW/IO area with design flexibility for future growth.

«I am very proud of the hard work from the requirements, acquisition, and shipbuilder teams that participated in the full and open competition, enabling the Navy to make this important decision today», said James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. «Throughout this process, the government team and our industry partners have all executed with a sense of urgency and discipline, delivering this contract award three months ahead of schedule. The team’s intense focus on cost, acquisition, and technical rigor, enabled the government to deliver the best value for our taxpayers as we deliver a highly capable next generation Frigate to our Warfighters».

The acquisition process for FFG(X) began in 2017. Since then, the U.S. Navy has worked closely with industry to balance cost and capability. This approach was successful in achieving an Average Follow ship cost across ships 2-20 that is below the objective set in the CDD and aligns to the National Defense Strategy’s stated goal of achieving a more lethal, resilient, and agile force by pursuing acquisition strategies to build ships more quickly and affordably. For example, because the frigate acquisition program promoted shipbuilding competition, included early industry involvement, and open communication between all stakeholders, the program was able to accelerate almost six years as compared to normal shipbuilding programs.

The U.S. Navy released the FFG(X) DD&C Request for Proposals to industry June 20 last year. Technical proposals were received in August 2019, and cost proposals were received in September 2019. This was a full and open competition with multiple offers received.

Features

 

Specifications

Displacement 6,500 tons
Length Overall 496 feet/151.2 m
Beam 65 feet/19.8 m
Propulsion Combined diesel-electric and gas (CODLAG)
Sustained Speed 26+ knots/30+ mph/48 km/h
Range 6,000+ NM/6,905 miles/11,112 km at 16 knots/18.4 mph/29.6 km/h
Accommodations 200

 

GlobalEye

Saab delivered the first GlobalEye Swing Role Surveillance System aircraft to the United Arab Emirates on 29 April 2020.

Saab delivers the first GlobalEye

The United Arab Emirates has ordered three GlobalEye aircraft, with the initial contract signed in late 2015. In November 2019 the country also announced its intention to complete a contract amendment for the purchase of an additional two systems.

«The delivery of the first GlobalEye is a major milestone for Saab, but also an important step in the history of airborne early warning and control. We have set a new standard for the market and I am proud to say that we have delivered the most advanced airborne surveillance solution in the world to the United Arab Emirates», says Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab.

GlobalEye is Saab’s new airborne early warning and control solution. It provides air, maritime and ground surveillance in a single solution. GlobalEye combines Saab’s new Erieye Extended Range Radar and a range of additional advanced sensors with the ultra-long range Global 6000 aircraft from Bombardier.

First Q-53 with GaN

Not only is the AN/TPQ-53 system the most modern radar deployed by the U.S. Army, it is now poised to be the first and only Army radar system operating with Gallium Nitride (GaN).

First Q-53 Radar equipped with Gallium Nitride delivered to U.S. Army

«Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first Q-53 system to the U.S. Army equipped with GaN», said Mark Mekker, director, Lockheed Martin Army radar programs. «This critical upgrade will enable the Army to continuously grow and enhance the system’s capabilities to meet changing mission needs».

GaN transmit-receive modules will provide the radar with additional power, reliability and the possibility for enhanced capabilities, including extended range, counterfire target acquisition (CTA) and multi-mission, which delivers simultaneous CTA and air surveillance. The systems upgraded with GaN are part of the Lot 3 contract awarded in 2018.

«We realize how critical it is to develop and build these radars so they will be responsive to the evolving operational demands and threats our deployed troops face every day», said Mekker. «Lockheed Martin’s open, scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the systems’ designs and will allow for future upgrades that will not only extend the lives of the radars – but evolve their capabilities over the next 40 years».

 

About the Q-53

The primary mission of the Q-53 is to protect troops in combat by detecting, classifying, tracking and identifying the location of enemy indirect fire in either 90 or 360-degree modes. The Q-53 has protected warfighters around the world since 2010.

 

Proven Radar Experience

With broad and deep experience developing and delivering ground-based radar solutions to our customers, our high-performing, high-reliability, Solid State Radar (SSR) systems specialize in counter target acquisition, early warning, situational awareness, and integrated air and missile defense. Our radars are designed with the highest degree of commonality and fully integrated SSR systems. They can operate in all environments, are available in highly mobile configurations, and are deployed worldwide. It’s why Lockheed Martin’s ground-based radars are the choice of more than 45 nations on six continents.

Slocum Glider

Underwater gliders that can rapidly send vital information that could give an extra edge to the Royal Navy’s submarine hunting operations are being rigorously trialled in the North Atlantic.

Royal Navy trials underwater gliders that can aid submarine hunters

One of the Slocum Gliders is right now being tested to the limit as it hoovers up information about the seas west of Scotland during a five-month deployment.

The unmanned Slocum – using its array of cutting-edge sensors – is capable of sending near real-time information on temperature, depth, salinity (salt content), currents, oxygen levels, turbulence and more.

These parameters can impact the efficiency of the sonar and sensors used by the Type 23 frigates and Merlin and Wildcat helicopters – as well as the Royal Air Force’s P-8 Poseidon – during submarine hunting operations.

Currently, data collection takes months, but these gliders can not only provide unparalleled insight, they can also relay information in a matter of hours.

The intention is for the navy to eventually deploy gliders continually to high-threat areas to give a clear and constant picture of the underwater battlespace, meaning operational decisions will be based on the very latest information.

Having this data quickly means sub-hunters will be able to adapt better when they are attempting to detect underwater surface threats.

«Ocean environments are changing – what we knew 20 or 30 years ago doesn’t apply now in many areas, particularly the North Atlantic which is our backyard for submarine operations and probably one of the most complicated and challenging bodies of ocean», said Captain Pat Mowatt RN.

«Salinity, sound velocity and temperature have all changed. We need to know these accurately as we strive to understand more and more about the undersea environment (battlespace) and how this effects the performance of ship and submarine sensors so we can achieve an operational advantage».

The way sound travels through water is greatly affected by the water temperature, pressure and salinity, which impacts the effectiveness of sonar and sensors used by ships and aircraft to track submarines.

The gliders can provide up-to-date information on these matters quickly to TAC HM (tactical hydrography, meteorology and oceanography) trained officers who can then advise submarine hunting commanders about the range of the ship’s sonars and how to adjust settings for best results.

A better understanding of water column properties can also reveal insight into how an adversary might exploit the environment to ‘hide’ in underwater features, such as ocean fronts and eddies.

The glider can dive down to 1,000 m/3,281 feet using controlled buoyancy to drive itself to the surface and back down, which ultimately means it can stay out at sea for months on end and constantly send data.

Right now, the Royal Navy continues to trial these gliders as part of Project Hecla. One of them is currently off the North West coast of the Outer Hebrides.

The Slocum was due to stay out for four weeks but has been extended to up to five months, giving the project the opportunity to test the glider to its limits on a long duration mission for the first time.

The data is being integrated into ocean forecast models by the Met Office and is available for use by the Navy at the Joint Operational Meteorology and Oceanography Centre at Northwood.

These trials are supported by the National Oceanographic Centre, British Oceanographic Data Centre and the Scottish Association of Marine Science.

During these latest tests, the project has been able to look at reducing power consumption of on-board sensors to extend battery life and resolve teething issues of getting data from the shore-side receivers to the Met Office.

Project Hecla was established to optimise the Navy’s ability to collect and exploit hydrographic and oceanographic information and they are continuing to look at other opportunities on top of the gliders.

Among those are ‘profiling floats’ (basically a cylinder packed full of sensors) that can operate for three to four years once they are in the water, sending subsurface measurements to shore.

The project will also trial how autonomous vehicles can aid data collection and exploitation missions alongside NavyX, who are responsible for developing and testing new technology for potential use on the frontlines.

Project Hecla is also involved in maintaining safety of navigation for all ships using autonomous vehicles.

Data from trials of the REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS) autonomous underwater vehicles is used to produce Admiralty Charts for maritime navigation systems.

Main Combat System

With the signing of two agreements, Germany and France have reached another milestone in the development of a new, innovative Main Ground Combat System (MGCS).

Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) agreement signed

The Main Ground Combat System project, to be implemented under German leadership, is to replace the German Leopard 2 main battle tanks and the French Leclerc main battle tanks from the mid-2030s. With the project, Germany and France are sending an important signal for European defense cooperation.

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and her French counterpart Florence Parly have signed a framework agreement that sets out project organization and management structures. Due to the corona situation, the ministers could not meet to sign together.

 

System architecture study

Both countries should benefit equally from the cooperation, which is why the contracts to be concluded are based on 50 percent financing between Germany and France. In addition, both nations should receive sufficient intellectual property rights for the future intended use of the work results.

The ministers therefore also signed an Implementing Arrangement 1, which forms the basis for the commissioning of a system architecture definition study.

The budget committee of the German Bundestag has only recently cleared the way for the commissioning of this two-year study. Here, too, Germany and France share the costs.

The system architecture is a prerequisite for the development of a technology demonstrator with which the German and French requirements for the MGCS Main Ground Combat System can be evaluated.

Barracuda

According to Defense-aerospace.com, Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the first dive in the Suffren at sea, carried out on Tuesday April 28, 2020, after her departure from the naval base of Cherbourg. The Suffren is the first of six Barracuda nuclear attack submarines.

Suffren, the first of six Barracuda-class nuclear-powered attack submarines being built for the French Navy, has kicked off her sea trials with her first dive at sea. These trials were originally due to begin in early 2020 (FR MoD photo)

Led by the French Armaments Directorate (DGA), these sea trials, which will last several months, will confirm the robustness and efficiency of the submarine before her hand-over to the French Navy.

At dockside as at sea, the test campaign will follow the specific health prevention and precautionary measures linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SSNs are real instruments of power, enduring and discreet. Their missions are varied, and range from support to the deterrent force, protection of the carrier strike group, intelligence gathering, and anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare. Suffren-type SSNs will add a land-attack cruise missile capability and will be optimized for the deployment of special forces.

With the Suffren, France is starting to renew its fleet of SSNs, which entered service in the 1980s, and will thus have modern submarines among the most efficient in the world.

With this first outing at sea, the Barracuda program crosses a major milestone after the launch of Suffren, on July 12, 2019, by the President of the Republic.

Over the past eight months, the program’s industrial and state teams have successfully conducted all of the Suffren’s dockside tests aimed at verifying the proper functioning of its various systems and equipment. Three prerequisites have been validated: the combat system has reached the end of its tests on land and is ready for the continuation of assessments at sea; the nuclear reactor was started at the end of 2019 after loading its fuel and, finally, in January 2020 the submarine was floated to validate the first waterproofness tests.

Started in the English Channel, these sea trials will later take the Suffren to the Atlantic and finally to the Mediterranean. Under the supervision of engineers and technicians from the DGA, the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), Naval Group and TechnicAtome, they will be carried out by submariners of the French Navy who will gradually check all of the boat’s technical and operational capabilities.

They are due to last several months until her delivery scheduled for later this year. During the entire phase of sea trials, the boat remains the property of Naval Group. She is placed under the responsibility of the French Navy for operational command and as a delegated nuclear operator. As the contracting authority for the Barracuda program, the DGA is responsible for testing up to the acceptance of the boat and her delivery to the French Navy.

The DGA worked with the CEA, the French Navy and industrial prime contractors to allow the program to continue under specific health conditions. Since March 16, the business continuity plan for the Cherbourg site and the Barracuda program takes into account all measures to ensure the health and safety of personnel.

In particular, all personnel on board for sea trials have been placed in preventive quarantine, and have been tested negative for COVID-19. On board, wearing a mask will be mandatory at all times and the rules of hygiene and disinfection will be strictly applied.

 

Technical characteristics

Surface displacement 4,700 tonnes
Diving displacement 5,200 tonnes
Length 99 metres/325 feet
Diameter 8.8 metres/28.87 feet
Armament naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernized Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles
Hybrid propulsion pressurised water reactor derived from the reactors on board the Triomphant-type SSBN and Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier, two propulsion turbines, two turbo generators and two electric motors
Crew 65 crew members + commandos
Availability > 270 days per year