Acceptance Trials

The Navy’s next generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Land Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 101, concluded acceptance trials the week of June 8 after successfully completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).

The Navy’s next generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Land Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 101, concluded acceptance trials the week of June 8 after successfully completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) (Photo by Textron (courtesy of)/RELEASED)

During the trials, the craft underwent integrated testing to demonstrate the capability of the platform and installed systems across all mission areas to effectively meet its requirements. These demonstrations are used to validate the quality of construction and compliance with Navy specifications and requirements prior to delivering the craft to the U.S. Navy. As INSURV is the approving authority for ships and craft undergoing Acceptance Trials, LCAC 101 can now begin preparing for delivery.

«The first operational production unit for the next-generation landing craft, LCAC 101, performed well having incorporated lessons learned from the recent Craft 100 at-sea trials», said Tom Rivers, amphibious warfare program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «LCAC 101 successfully demonstrated the ability to operate both on and off cushion at full load through the full range of speed, payload and maneuvering requirements».

The SSC is the evolutionary replacement for the existing fleet of legacy LCAC vehicles, and will primarily transport weapon systems, equipment, cargo, and personnel of the assault elements through varied environmental conditions from amphibious ships to and over the beach.

SSCs are constructed at Textron Systems, Marine & Land Systems in Slidell, Louisiana, and are built with similar configurations, dimensions, and clearances to legacy LCAC, ensuring the compatibility of this next-generation air cushion vehicle with existing well deck equipped amphibious ships, as well as Expeditionary Transfer Dock and Expeditionary Sea Bases. Textron has delivered Craft 100, has completed testing on LCAC 101, and is currently in production on 12 craft with an additional 10 on contract.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.


General Characteristics

Propulsion Four gas turbine engines
Length (with skirt) 91.80 feet/27.98 meters
Beam (with skirt) 48.25 feet/14.71 meters
Speed 35+ knots/40+ mph/65 km/h
Range (mission radius of at least) 25 NM/29 miles/46 km
Crew Five
Load 74 short tons/67 metric tons


Underwater Mothership

Kiel, Germany: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Germany’s number three defence company and world market leader in conventional submarines, on June 15, 2020 presented the results of a pioneering research project on the feasibility, usability, construction and operation of large modular underwater vehicles. The focus was on the MUM project «Modifiable Underwater Mothership», which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and, designed in collaboration by industry and science since 2017, is intended to achieve market readiness in the upcoming years.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems presents new modular underwater vehicle: MUM project to set new standard for unmanned underwater operations

The presentation was part of the «Maritime Research Programme» whereby the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports the development of innovative maritime technologies. Norbert Brackmann, German government coordinator for the maritime industry, was on the shipyard site of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to experience the progress of the project and the technological innovations already available for further implementation.

Norbert Brackmann: «The MUM project fits in very well with our aspiration to technological leadership. The project results show that individual commitment, teamwork, creativity and German engineering skills are an excellent combination for maintaining our technological lead in future markets. Given the challenging economic situation triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, innovations and the further development of high-tech will pave the way to a successful future. Therefore, we have included provisions in the recently adopted economic stimulus package to provide additional funds for supporting innovation and the Maritime Research Programme».

MUM is a modular unmanned underwater system for various applications in the civil maritime industry. Examples include the transport and deployment of payloads, applications in the offshore wind and oil & gas industries as well as the exploration of sea areas with difficult access, such as the Arctic ice regions. In order to meet these requirements, a modular structure is envisaged. The system will use electrical power as the main energy source, by implementing a state-of-the-art, emission-free fuel cell. Where necessary, the power supply system is supported by a safe and reliable Li-ion battery module. Independent of wind and weather, MUM can operate 24/7, 365 days a year.

Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «We are the only systems supplier in Germany to offer high-tech solutions for the future. The MUM project will benefit from our many years of expertise in fuel cell and battery technology, underwater vehicles as well as maritime sensors and autonomy software. Our project partners from science and industry complement us to an extraordinary degree»!

MUM is to set the new standard for unmanned underwater operations by 2024. Together with the project partners ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, EvoLogics, University of Rostock, TU Berlin, Fraunhofer Institute, German Aerospace Center the Institute for the Protection of Maritime Structures, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will apply for funding for a MUM large-scale demonstrator as part of the Economic Ministry’s Maritime Research Programme.

Next Phase

General Dynamics Electric Boat announced on June 12, 2020 that it had signed a contract to begin the next phase of construction on a facility to support construction of the nation’s new class of ballistic-missile submarines. The company signed a $544 million contract with AECOM of Los Angeles, California, to complete the construction of the South Yard Assembly Building (SYAB), the centerpiece of the biggest facility expansion in 50 years at the company’s Groton shipyard.

Future site of the General Dynamics Electric Boat South Yard Assembly building. This photo shows recently-completed drilled shafts with pile caps that will support the deck of a 200,000 square-foot/18,580 square-meter building dedicated to the construction of the Columbia class of ballistic missile submarines, expected to be complete in 2023

In September 2019 the company broke ground on the SYAB, a 200,000 square-foot/18,580 square-meter building that will eventually be home to 1,400 skilled shipbuilders who will deliver the Columbia class to the U.S. Navy. Electric Boat is also expanding and modernizing other manufacturing spaces in Groton and building a floating dry dock.

Electric Boat is the prime contractor on the design and build of the 12 ships of the Columbia class, which will replace the aging Ohio-class of ballistic-missile submarines. Early construction began in 2017 at the company’s facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Final assembly and test of the Columbia class will take place starting in 2024 at Electric Boat’s shipyard in Groton.

«General Dynamics Electric Boat continues to make investments – in facilities, in our supply chain and in the next generation of shipbuilders – to support the Columbia class, the Navy’s top strategic priority», said EB President Kevin Graney. «Efficient completion of the SYAB will position us to begin delivering the next-generation of ballistic submarines in advance of the Ohio-class retiring from service».

The South Yard Assembly Building is part of an overall $1.7 billion investment the company is making in modernizing and upgrading its facilities to meet the expanded needs of the U.S. Navy.

The company has hired and trained thousands of new employees and has worked with its national network of suppliers to prepare for the estimated 150% increase in the need for supplies and materials to concurrently build the Columbia and Virginia classes.

General Dynamics Electric Boat Begins Next Phase of Expansion to Support Construction of New Class of Submarines

Tactical Transport

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK has delivered two fully-electric 8×8 Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) to the British Army.

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK awarded contract to provide two Unmanned Ground Vehicles to the British Army

Alongside the delivery of these UGV’s, which took place in April 2020, General Dynamics Land Systems-UK will provide New Operator Training, Maintainer Training, In-Service Support, Maintainer Tools and Spares, including a fully-supported Helpdesk.

Carew Wilks, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, said: «This Robotic Platoon Vehicle contract award is recognition of General Dynamics Land Systems’ extensive efforts to meet the needs of Armed Forces worldwide with innovative solutions to the changing landscape of the modern battlefield. We look forward to supporting the British Army in maximising the outstanding capabilities that MUTT provides».

The MUTT, which provides both wheeled and tracked variants, is a rugged, reliable small-unit force multiplier providing increased battlefield capabilities. As a controller-less small-unit robotic follower, it lightens the load across different combat operations.  As a remote-controlled or tele-operated team mate, it provides stand-off from threats or increased projection of combat power. The MUTT is engineered to easily evolve to accommodate new payloads, including Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and Lethality, and proven levels of enhanced autonomy that we are already fielding elsewhere.


Following calls for proposals launched by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2019, the consortium «PILUM» (Projectiles for Increased Long-range effects Using Electro-Magnetic railgun) has been selected to lead a research project on the electromagnetic railgun.

EDA selects the «PILUM» consortium, a disruptive-technology research project for innovative electromagnetic railgun

The project will last two years and aims at proving that this type of railgun concept is capable of launching hypervelocity projectiles with precision over a distance of several hundreds of kilometres. «PILUM» will thus demonstrate that the electromagnetic railgun has the potential to provide a disruptive change in the area of long-range fire support. Indeed, when compared with the former powder railgun, this new technology is capable of reaching a hypersonic velocity, multiplying the effective reach by five.


Superior technology

The so-called «railgun» is capable of accelerating projectiles at initial velocities far superior to those obtained by existing chemical guns. It uses electromagnetic force by injection of very high currents into conducting rails. The project will also examine the possibility of integrating the railgun into terrestrial and naval platforms. In a first phase, the project will validate the gun concept using numerical simulations and experimental work. The project represents a new major step towards developing a full-scale demonstrator in the next few years. It also includes reflection on concepts for future applications. This disruptive technology offers an important operational asset since it reduces the risk exposure of vehicles, vessels and crew by increasing the firing distance.


Reinforcing European strategic autonomy

Critical to ensure capability superiority, this emergent concept will make a substantial contribution to reinforcing European strategic autonomy. It will also allow advances in many different fields of sovereign technology including aerothermodynamics, projectile technologies, material strength, energy storage and conversion as well as various electric and electromagnetic phenomena likely to produce benefits for further applications.


Consortium coordinated by the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL)

The «PILUM» project is part of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) research programme financed by the European Commission and managed by the European Defence Agency. The consortium brings together nine partners from five European countries, each with its own industrial, technological and advanced scientific expertise:

  • ISL, the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis, European leader in
  • electromagnetic acceleration and coordinator of the project;
  • the Von Karman Research Institute (Belgium), specialised in fluid dynamics and propulsion;
  • two system integrators, Naval Group and Nexter Systems (France);
  • two ammunition suppliers, Diehl Defence (Germany) and Nexter Munitions (France);
  • Explomet (Poland), a small company specialised in the explosive cladding of metals;
  • ICAR (Italy), manufacturer of high-density electric capacitors;
  • Erdyn Consultants (France), an expert in the management of European collaborative projects.

Landing System

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business delivered the first production unit of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System, or JPALS, to the U.S. Navy 20 days ahead of schedule. This delivery follows the completion of 12 engineering development models. JPALS, a differential GPS precision landing system, guides aircraft onto carriers and amphibious assault ships in all weather and surface conditions and is integrated on the F-35.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers first JPALS production unit ahead of schedule

«Landing a 15-ton fighter jet flying at hundreds of knots per hour on an aircraft carrier in rolling seas is daunting to say the least», says Matt Gilligan, vice president, Raytheon Intelligence & Space. «JPALS makes those landings simpler, safer and more precise. JPALS gives the Navy the landing accuracy it needs every time regardless of conditions. It is more than an approach and landing system – it is a safety system».

JPALS uses an encrypted datalink to connect software and receiver hardware on the aircraft to an array of GPS sensors, mast-mounted antennas and shipboard equipment, to provide surveillance, ship-relative navigation and precision approach and landing in and around the carrier-controlled airspace.

Applications for JPALS extend beyond the seas. The system has the potential to help expeditionary forces land manned and unmanned aircraft safely in any condition, anywhere. An expeditionary JPALS (eJPALS) could be used for special operations missions or guiding aircraft during humanitarian relief efforts. eJPALS would provide straight, curved and multi-segmented precision approach capabilities and has the capacity to support up to 50 different approaches to touchdown points within a 20-nautical-mile radius of the system.

400th Osprey

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, and Boeing have delivered the 400th V-22 Osprey to the United States Department of Defense. The U.S. Air Force Special Operations command received the CV-22 Osprey on June 2, marking a milestone for the world’s first production tiltrotor aircraft.

Bell Boeing deliver 400th V-22 Osprey

«The delivery of the 400th V-22 Osprey represents the demand for this platform’s unique capabilities. It is a testament to the diligence of the men and women from Bell, Boeing and our entire supply chain who build and deliver this incredible aircraft to our customers», said Kurt Fuller, Bell V-22 Osprey vice president and Bell Boeing program director. «For over 30 years, the people who support the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey have been the foundation in bringing tiltrotor capabilities to the world».

The CV-22 Osprey is the Special Operations Forces (SOF) variant of the V-22 Osprey. The CV-22 Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is to conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for Air Commandos around the world and at a moment’s notice.

«It’s been over 20 years since the first production V-22 Osprey was delivered, and we are proud to reach another milestone in our 400th delivery. V-22s continue to be in high demand, protecting our country and our allies around the world through combat operations, international training partnerships and humanitarian missions», said Marine Corps Colonel Matthew Kelly, program manager for the V-22 Osprey Joint Program Office (PMA-275). «This platform’s impact can’t be overstated».

The V-22 Osprey’s combination of speed, range, payload and vertical lift are ideally suited to the diverse environments, geographies and mission-types performed by operators around the world. The Marine Corps variant, the MV-22B Osprey, provides the safe and reliable transportation of personnel, supplies and equipment for combat assault, assault support and fleet logistics. Since 2007, it has been continuously forward-deployed in a range of combat, humanitarian and special operations. The Navy variant, the CMV-22B Osprey, is the replacement for the C-2A Greyhound for the carrier onboard delivery mission.

Ospreys continue to transform airpower capabilities by enabling the successful completion of missions not possible with conventional aircraft. The V-22 Osprey production line is currently on its third multi-year procurement contract.


On June 10, 2020, the Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223) was officially commissioned – due to the current corona pandemic, the ceremony took place on a small scale. The Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223) is the second out of a total of four frigates after the Baden-Württemberg (F222) to become available to the German Navy. The ships are the most modern and powerful frigates ever built in Germany.

Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223): Germany’s most modern frigate put into service

With their highly complex systems and around 28,000 sensors, the completely redesigned F125 class ships feature a very high degree of automation, making it possible to halve the crew size compared to previous frigate classes. The ships can remain in their operational area for up to two years. This will considerably reduce the number of otherwise very long transit journeys. The Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223) successfully implements the intensive use concept, just like the Baden-Württemberg (F222), which has been in service since June 2019.

In addition to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, the ships are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as for intervention and stabilization operations on an international scale. Alongside their capability to engage targets on land and water, they also have air defence systems and helicopters specially equipped for submarine hunting.

The contract for the construction of the four frigates entered into force in June 2007. This was followed by the concept, design and detailed construction phase. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were newly developed specifically for this type of ship.

After the Baden-Württemberg (F222) and the Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223), the Sachsen-Anhalt and (F224) the Rheinland-Pfalz (F225) will follow in 2021 according to current plans. The new F125 class is named after the first ship and is therefore called the Baden-Württemberg class.

ARGE F125 was formed by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as lead company and the Bremen-based Fr. Lürssen shipyard. The fore ships with corresponding pre-fitting were built at the Lürssen Group’s shipyard sites in Bremen and Wolgast. The production of the stern ships, the assembly of the ship halves, the further final outfitting as well as the commissioning and testing were carried out under the leadership of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg.


Principal data of the F125

Length 149 m/489 feet
Beam 18 m/59 feet
Maximum speed > 26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
Displacement approximately 7,200 t
Complement maximum 190 persons (of which 126 are regular crew)


Lightweight Torpedo

Saab has together with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and Swedish Armed Forces conducted the first tests with the Saab Lightweight Torpedo (SLWT) from a corvette and a submarine.

Successful First Surface Ship and Submarine Firings of Saab Lightweight Torpedo

The tests are the first of its kind for the new torpedo and were undertaken during February and March 2020 at sea ranges outside Karlskrona, on Sweden’s east coast in the Baltic Sea. The tests were conducted from a Gotland-class submarine and from a Visby-class corvette. The purpose of the firings was to verify that the torpedo can be safely launched from the vessels, which also included verification of the integration on the vessels as well as SLWT’s target seeker.

«The Saab Lightweight Torpedo will provide the Swedish and Finnish Navy with the ability to deter and if necessary, destroy hostile underwater and surface threats. Having completed these tests successfully is a major milestone in this joint project», says Görgen Johansson, Head of Saab’s business area Dynamics.

The development of the torpedo commenced with an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in 2016, and is to be deployed on Sweden’s submarine fleet and corvettes. In January 2018, the Finnish Navy placed an order for the SLWT, as a part of the Squadron 2000 Mid-Life Upgrade Programme. The Finnish Navy will operate the system on-board the upgraded Hamina-class vessels as well as the new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes of the Squadron 2020 Programme.

The SLWT is unique in the way that it is adapted for difficult littoral underwater conditions such as those found in the Baltic Sea while also being designed for operations in deeper seas. With its state-of-the-art design, it incorporates a fully digital homing system, which offers both fire-and-forget and wire-guided operation to pursue the target. It is a flexible system that can be launched from multiple platforms, including surface ships, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and submarines.


Technical specifications

Length 2.85 m/9.35 feet
Diameter 0.4 m/0.13 feet
Weight approximately 340 kg/750 lbs.
Speed 10- to 40+ knots/11.5- to 46+ mph/18.5- to 74+ km/h
Endurance 20+ km/12.4 miles/10.8 NM, 1+ hrs
Depth 300+ m/984+ feet
Homing system active/passive, fully digital sonar
Proximity fuse multi-beam sonar
Propulsion pumpjet (ducted rotor/stator)
Energy lithium-based rechargeable battery
Warhead Insensitive Munitions (IM) compliant, omnidirectional, Plastic Bonded Explosives Materials (PBX)
Communication galvanic wire/optic fibre


Successful first firings of Saab’s Lightweight Torpedo

NASA Gateway

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract by NASA to execute the preliminary design and development of the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO). It is to be deployed in lunar orbit as the first crew module of the NASA Gateway, a space station orbiting the moon providing vital support for long-term human exploration of the lunar surface and deep space. This award is a follow-on to the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships 2 (NextSTEP-2) Appendix A contract. A subsequent modification will be definitized for the fabrication, assembly, and delivery of the HALO module.

Northrop Grumman Awarded NASA Contract to Provide First Crew Module for Artemis Program Gateway

The HALO design is derived from Northrop Grumman’s highly successful Cygnus spacecraft, a human-capable vehicle that delivers supplies, spare equipment and scientific experiments to the International Space Station with 13 successful missions to date.

«The success of our Cygnus spacecraft and its active production line helps to enable Northrop Grumman to deliver the HALO module», said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial satellites, Northrop Grumman. «HALO is an essential element in NASA’s long-term exploration of deep-space, and our HALO program team will continue its work in building and delivering this module in partnership with NASA».

Building off of Cygnus’ heritage pressurized cargo module, Northrop Grumman added command and control capabilities, including environmental control and life support systems, which, when coupled with NASA’s Orion spacecraft capabilities, can sustain up to four astronauts for up to 30 days as they embark on, and return from, expeditions to the lunar surface. By leveraging the active Cygnus production line, Northrop Grumman has the unique capability of providing an affordable and reliable HALO module in the timeframe needed to support NASA’s Artemis program.

The HALO module represents a critical component of NASA’s Gateway serving as both a crew habitat and docking hub for cislunar spacecraft, or spacecraft that navigate between the Earth and the moon. HALO will feature three docking ports for visiting spacecraft, including the Orion spacecraft and other lunar support vehicles.

From the first lunar lander to the space shuttle boosters, to supplying the International Space Station with vital cargo, Northrop Grumman has pioneered new products and ideas that have been put into orbit, on the moon, and in deep space for more than 50 years. As a part of NASA’s Artemis program, we are building on our mission heritage with new innovations to enable NASA to return humans to the moon, with the ultimate goal of human exploration of Mars.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.