All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Tanker Drone

Rolls-Royce engines have been selected by Boeing to power the U.S. Navy’s new MQ-25 Stingray aircraft, which will provide unmanned, carrier-based air-to-air refuelling.

Rolls-Royce to power Boeing MQ-25 aircraft for U.S. Navy
Rolls-Royce to power Boeing MQ-25 aircraft for U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy has awarded the MQ-25A engineering and manufacturing contract to Boeing to provide four aircraft. The MQ-25 is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refuelling capability and extend the range of combat aircraft from carriers.

Each MQ-25 aircraft will be powered by a single Rolls-Royce AE 3007N engine, manufactured in Indianapolis, U.S. The AE 3007N, the latest variant of the Rolls-Royce AE family of engines, will provide more than 10,000 lbs./4,536 kg of thrust and additional electrical power to the aircraft.

Jarrett Jones, Rolls-Royce, Executive Vice President, Customer Business, Government Relations and Sales, said: «Congratulations to Boeing for being selected to develop this historic aircraft in support of the U.S. Navy. For Rolls-Royce, it will expand our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) expertise with unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Navy fleet, which includes the Triton and Fire Scout aircraft».

The proven Rolls-Royce AE family of engines includes turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft variants, and the total AE engine fleet has accumulated more than 74 million engine flight hours. AE engines power aircraft for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and a variety of military and civilian aircraft in service around the world. Rolls-Royce has delivered nearly 7,000 AE engines from the company’s advanced manufacturing facility in Indianapolis.

The AE 3007H turbofan engine powers the U.S. Navy’s Triton and the Air Force Global Hawk, as well as commercial and business aviation aircraft. The AE 2100 turboprop powers the Lockheed Martin C-130J and LM-100J, as well as the C-27J and Saab 2000; and the AE 1107C turboshaft powers the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey operated by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The MT7, a marinized variant of the AE 1107, will power the U.S. Navy’s Ship-to-Shore Connector hovercraft.

Korean Poseidon

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea (ROK) of six (6) P-8A Patrol Aircraft for an estimated cost of $2.10 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 13, 2018.

State Department Notifies Congress of Potential $2.1B P-8A Sale to South Korea
State Department Notifies Congress of Potential $2.1B P-8A Sale to South Korea

The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy six (6) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, which includes:

  • nine (9) Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS JTRS 5) (one (1) for each aircraft, one (1) for the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and two (2) as spares);
  • fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) (two (2) for each aircraft and two (2) as spares);
  • forty-two (42) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors (six (6) for each aircraft and six (6) as spares).

Also included are:

  • commercial engines;
  • Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS);
  • Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IO) MX-20HD;
  • AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System;
  • AN/APY-10 Radar;
  • ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures;
  • AN/ALE-47 Counter Measures Dispensing System;
  • support equipment;
  • operation support systems;
  • maintenance trainer/classrooms;
  • publications;
  • software, engineering, and logistics technical assistance;
  • foreign liaison officer support;
  • contractor engineering technical services;
  • repair and return;
  • transportation;
  • aircraft ferry;
  • other associated training, logistics, support equipment and services.

The total estimated program cost is $2.1 billion.

The ROK is one of the closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theater. The proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing Korea’s naval capabilities to provide national defense and significantly contribute to coalition operations.

The ROK procured and has operated U.S.-produced P-3 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for over 25 years, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations. The ROK has maintained a close MSA acquisition and sustainment relationship with the U.S. Navy over that period. The proposed sale will allow the ROK to modernize and sustain its MSA capability for the next 30 years. As a long-time P-3 operator, the ROK will have no difficulty transitioning its MSA force to P-8A.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support does not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA. Additional contractors include:

  • ASEC;
  • Air Cruisers Co LLC;
  • Arnprior Aerospace, Canada;
  • AVOX Zodiac Aerospace;
  • BAE;
  • Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)/EMS;
  • Compass;
  • David Clark;
  • DLS or ViaSat, Carlsbad, California;
  • DRS;
  • Exelis, McLean, Virginia;
  • GC Micro, Petaluma, California;
  • General Dynamics;
  • General Electric, UK;
  • Harris;
  • Joint Electronics;
  • Lockheed Martin;
  • Martin Baker;
  • Northrop Grumman Corp, Falls Church, Virginia;
  • Pole Zero, Cincinnati, Ohio;
  • Raytheon, Waltham, Massachusetts;
  • Raytheon, UK;
  • Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
  • Spirit Aero, Wichita, Kansas;
  • Symmetries Telephonics, Farmingdale, New York;
  • Terma, Arlington, Virginia;
  • Viking;

The purchaser typically requests offsets. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the Purchaser and the prime contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require approximately three (3) U.S. government personnel and ten (10) contractor personnel to support the program in country.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Dosan Ahn Chang-Ho

According to Korea Times, South Korea held a launching ceremony Friday for a 3,000-ton indigenous submarine, a new strategic weapons system designed to bolster underwater defense capabilities.

South Korea launches 3,000-Ton homegrown submarine «Dosan Ahn Chang-Ho»
South Korea launches 3,000-Ton homegrown submarine «Dosan Ahn Chang-Ho»

The ceremony for the diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine, named after a prominent South Korean independence fighter, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, took place at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. on the southern island of Geoje.

The ceremony was attended by 350 people, including government and military officials and employees of the shipbuilder, the Navy said.

«The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine is the Navy’s first mid-class submarine and has been built with a combination of cutting-edge technologies», the Navy said in a press release. «This is a national strategic weapons system capable of responding to all threats, and it will help strengthen the Navy’s defense capabilities».

While the country’s existing 1,200-ton and 1,800-ton submarines were built with technological assistance from Germany defense firms, the latest submarine has been domestically designed, and 76 percent of its component parts were made by Korean businesses.

The new 83.3-meter-long, 9.6-meter-wide submarine capable of carrying 50 crewmembers is equipped with six vertical launching tubes capable of firing submarine-to-ground ballistic missiles and can operate underwater for 20 days without surfacing, officials explained.

It is set to be delivered to the Navy in December 2020 after tests. Its operational deployment is slated for January 2022. It costs around 1 trillion won per unit.

The construction of the new submarine is part of South Korea’s project to domestically build the 3,000-ton Changbogo-III submarine. The project, worth 3.33 trillion won ($2.97 billion), was launched in 2007 and is set to end in 2023.

Flight Test

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) completed a successful intercept flight test in cooperation with the U.S. Navy off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. A Raytheon Company Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IB missile intercepted a ballistic missile target, marking the first time Japan has tested the sophisticated interceptor as announced by MDA.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Atago launched an SM-3 Block IB air-defense missile for the first time during the latest Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight test on September 12 (MDA photo)
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Atago launched an SM-3 Block IB air-defense missile for the first time during the latest Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight test on September 12 (MDA photo)

The target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, and the interceptor was launched from the Japanese ship JS Atago (DDG-177), verifying the newest ballistic missile defense engagement capability of the upgraded destroyer. The flight test mission is a significant milestone in missile defense cooperation between Japan and the U.S. Japan currently employs the SM-3 Block IA interceptor, but the IB variant’s improved two-color seeker and upgraded throttling divert and attitude control system enables engagements with a larger set of threats.

«The Standard Missile-3 family consistently demonstrates capability against sophisticated threats, both on land and at sea», said Doctor Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «This test underlines the importance of allied ballistic missile defense interoperability and the powerful results we generate when we work together with our allies».

The SM-3 is produced at Raytheon’s Space Factory in Tucson, Arizona, and the company’s integration facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

Phase I Complete

The Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) Commercial Modifications and Range Support (CMARS) Team accepted delivery of their newest commercial-derivative aircraft platform, July 30.

The U.S. Navy accepts the Gulfstream G550 with structural modifications on July 30. The aircraft is unique to the U.S. Navy and after further modifications will replace the aging range support aircraft in Point Mugu, California (U.S. Navy photo)
The U.S. Navy accepts the Gulfstream G550 with structural modifications on July 30. The aircraft is unique to the U.S. Navy and after further modifications will replace the aging range support aircraft in Point Mugu, California (U.S. Navy photo)

The Gulfstream G550, with structural modifications, was further modified to house specialized telemetry equipment, unique to the U.S. Navy’s application. The G550 is slated to serve as the replacement for one of the aging P-3 range support aircraft operated out of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in Point Mugu, California. The aircraft’s Airborne Early Warning (AEW) structural modifications allow room for installation of a telemetry system and additional equipment to support future missions.

During a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Gulfstream executives and PMA-207 leadership, Program Manager Captain Steven Nassau spoke to the complexity of this acquisition.

«Just getting to this point has been a process», said Nassau. «The team had to coordinate with AIR-5.0 Test and Evaluation leadership, AIR-2.0 Contracts, AIR-5.2 Ranges and AIR-5.1 test squadrons for mission equipment and airframe expertise, as well as AIR-6.0 Logistics for sustainment to keep this acquisition on schedule. Delivering the aircraft under cost and on schedule is a major milestone for such a complicated project».

PMA-207 CMARS Integrated Program Team Lead Chris Mullaney said credit should not only be given to those currently working on this project, but to those who have in the past as well.

«One of the original leads for this project was Jaimie Grubb. She, along with her Range Support Aircraft Team, had impressive foresight and solid planning at the beginning of this endeavor that paved the way for the successes we are seeing here today – delivery of a high-quality product on cost and on schedule», said Mullaney.

From here, the Phase II Integrator, Raytheon, will receive the G550 aircraft as Government furnished property and will develop, procure and integrate systems that will give the aircraft a multi-role capability in telemetry data collection, range safety and surveillance and communications relay. This modern, phased-array telemetry system will have the capability to support major programs in complex, robust and dynamic test environments for many years.

The aircraft is projected to be delivered for Initial Operating Capability (IOC) by August 2021.

Extreme Range Missile

Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a $51,078,802, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extreme Range (JASSM-ER).

The JASSM-ER is intended to have a range of over 575 miles/925 km
The JASSM-ER is intended to have a range of over 575 miles/925 km

This contract effort includes all all-up round level systems engineering and programmatic activities to align and phase the work necessary to design, develop, integrate, test, and verify component and subsystem design changes to the JASSM-ER baseline electronics, hardware, firmware, and operational flight software.

JASSM-ER will also include preparation for final all-up round integration, system-level ground and flight testing, qualification, and incorporation into a future production baseline engineering change proposal.

This effort will concurrently mature a new missile control unit and necessary hardware and infrastructure to support future JASSM-ER production cut in.

Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by August 31, 2023. This award is the result of sole-source acquisition.

Fiscal 2017 and 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $4,898,622 are being obligated at the time of award.

Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8682-18-C-0009).

ANZAC Class Ship

BAE Systems Australia has welcomed a third ANZAC class warship to its Henderson facility as part of the fleet upgrade to keep the ships in service until they are replaced by the Hunter class frigates.

An unusual view of two Australian ANZAC-class frigates at BAE’s dockyard in South Australia. The third frigate has arrived there to undergo the AMCAP upgrade, and all ten upgraded ships of this class will return to active service by 2023 (BAE photo)
An unusual view of two Australian ANZAC-class frigates at BAE’s dockyard in South Australia. The third frigate has arrived there to undergo the AMCAP upgrade, and all ten upgraded ships of this class will return to active service by 2023 (BAE photo)

The Mid Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade is being undertaken at Henderson by the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance.

HMAS Anzac’s docking marks a significant milestone for BAE Systems, where it joins sister ships HMAS Perth (FFH 157) and HMAS Arunta (FFH 151). This will be the first time that three warships have been on the hardstand at the Henderson facility.

HMAS Anzac (FFH 150) will be the second ship to receive the AMCAP upgrade which includes:

  • Upgraded ventilation systems;
  • New sewage systems;
  • Improvements to the diesel engines to improve power and efficiency;
  • Replacement of the air search radar capability with the Australian CEA L-Band radar; and
  • Replacement of the full communications suite on the ship.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Gabby Costigan, said: «The upgrade of the ANZAC fleet, through our role in the WAMA alliance, demonstrates the breadth and depth of work that BAE Systems Australia has done to date in the sustainment of the ANZAC class fleet over more than two decades. BAE Systems is an Australian industry leader in maritime sustainment. We are very proud of the skilled workforce capacity that we have grown to meet the technical challenges of maritime sustainment».

HMAS Arunta (FFH 151), the first of class AMCAP ship, most recently had her old mast removed to make way for the installation of a newly developed Air Search Radar System. The new mast is currently being manufactured by BAE Systems and scheduled to be installed at the end of October.

Australian company CEA Technologies is responsible for developing the new Air Search Radar System that complements the existing Anti-Ship Missile Defence system.

HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) will undock before the end of the year after having spent more than 12 months on the hard stand. She will then undertake sea trials ahead of a planned return to service in 2019.

The remaining seven ships will be back in service by 2023.

GPS III ground control

Once the next-generation GPS III satellites begin launching later this year, a series of updates to the current ground control system from Lockheed Martin will help the U.S. Air Force gain early command and control of the new satellites for testing and operations.

The fourth Lockheed Martin-built GPS Ill satellite is fully integrated
The fourth Lockheed Martin-built GPS Ill satellite is fully integrated

In 2016 and 2017, the Air Force placed Lockheed Martin under two contracts, called GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) and M-Code Early Use (MCEU), which directed the company to upgrade the existing Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP) Operational Control System (OCS), which operates today’s GPS constellation. These upgrades to the AEP OCS are intended to serve as gap fillers prior to the entire GPS constellation’s operational transition to the next generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 1, now in development.

In April 2018, the Air Force approved Lockheed Martin’s critical design for MCEU, essentially providing a «green light» for the company to proceed with software development and systems engineering to deploy the M-Code upgrade to the legacy AEP OCS. The Air Force gave a similar nod to COps in November 2016. COps is now on schedule for delivery in May 2019 and MCEU is scheduled for delivery in January 2020.

«The Air Force declared the first GPS III satellite ‘Available for Launch’ last year, and it’s expected to launch later this year. Nine more GPS III satellites are following close behind in production flow», explained Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for Navigation Systems. «GPS III is coming soon, and as these satellites are launched, COps and MCEU will allow the Air Force the opportunity to integrate these satellites into the constellation and to start testing some of GPS III’s advanced capabilities even earlier».

 

MCEU Capabilities:

Part of the Air Force’s overall modernization plan for the GPS, M-Code is an advanced, new signal designed to improve anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, as well as to increase secure access to military GPS signals for U.S. and allied armed forces.

To accelerate M-Code’s deployment to support testing and fielding of modernized user equipment in support of the warfighter, MCEU will upgrade the AEP OCS, allowing it to task, upload and monitor M-Code within the GPS constellation. MCEU will provide command and control of M-Code capability to eight GPS IIR-M and 12 GPS IIF satellites currently on orbit, as well as future GPS III satellites.

 

COps Capabilities:

Following launch and check out, each future GPS III satellite will take its place in the GPS constellation. The COps modifications will allow the AEP OCS to support these more powerful GPS III satellites, enabling them to perform their positioning, navigation and timing missions for more than one billion civil, commercial and military users who depend on GPS every day. Besides the addition of GPS III, COps will also continue to support all the GPS IIR, IIR-M and IIF satellites in the legacy constellation.

Lockheed Martin has a long history of supporting ground systems, providing operations, sustainment and logistics support for nearly 60 Department of Defense satellites, including GPS, often allowing them to double their on-orbit operational design life.

Lockheed Martin also is currently under contract to develop and build ten GPS III satellites, which will deliver three times better accuracy and provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III’s new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems.

Inertial Navigator

Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase of the U.S. Navy’s WSN-12 Inertial Sensor Module and will begin production of ten pre-production units.

The U.S. Navy WSN-12 Inertial Navigator will be used on the Virginia Submarines and on the Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, as well as a host of other ships (Image courtesy U.S. Navy)
The U.S. Navy WSN-12 Inertial Navigator will be used on the Virginia Submarines and on the Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, as well as a host of other ships (Image courtesy U.S. Navy)

The WSN-12 is poised to become the primary shipboard inertial navigation system for most U.S. combatant vessels and will be installed on all vessels of the DDG, CG, CVN and SSN classes. The system brings new technology and improved accuracy to these platforms. The Inertial Sensor Module is a primary subsystem of the WSN-12, and includes the inertial sensors, electromechanical equipment supporting them and software to compute the navigation solution. The shipboard inertial navigation system measures, computes and distributes navigation data to all users, including attitude, velocity and position information.

«Northrop Grumman has met or exceeded objectives in all aspects of the sensor design and was able to demonstrate performance in the testing of the engineering development models», said Captain Jon Garcia, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Integrated Warfare Systems 6.0 (IWS6.0). «We are looking forward to successful integration testing this year and receiving the sensor pre-production units next year».

«Completion of this CDR keeps this program on track to deliver exceptional navigation accuracy to the fleet», said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems, Northrop Grumman. «The WSN-12 Inertial Sensor Module provides technology that enables improvements to navigation accuracy and reliability, benefiting all systems that depend upon it».

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

Built in Egypt

The launching ceremony of the Port-Said Gowind corvette, the first warship built in Egypt, took place on September 6th, 2018 in Alexandria. This launching constitutes a success for Alexandria Shipyard team. It also reflects the effectiveness of Naval Group’s industrial cooperation schemes.

Port-Said is the first warship to be built in Egypt, and the Egyptian Navy’s fifth ship designed by France’s Naval Group, with the frigate Tahya Misr, the two Mistral-class LPDs the first Gowind corvette, Elfateh (Naval Group photo)
Port-Said is the first warship to be built in Egypt, and the Egyptian Navy’s fifth ship designed by France’s Naval Group, with the frigate Tahya Misr, the two Mistral-class LPDs the first Gowind corvette, Elfateh (Naval Group photo)

This industrial achievement demonstrates the strength of the strategic partnership between Naval Group and Egypt.

 

A joint success

The launching of the Port Said corvette shows the capabilities of the Alexandria shipyard, as it is the first warship built in Egypt. This launching ceremony celebrates the rise in competences of the Alexandria Shipyard team which is now able to build civilian boats as well as state-of-art military vessels.

Along with the first ever delivered Gowind corvette, Elfateh, already deployed by Egyptian Navy on many operational theatres, it will contribute to increase the Egyptian Navy Power. The corvette is part of a strategic and long-term partnership with Egypt. It is the fifth ship designed by Naval Group, operated by the Egyptian Navy, after the already delivered FREMM frigate Tahya Misr in 2015, the two Landing Helicopter Docks Nasser and Sadat in 2016 and the first Gowind corvette, Elfateh, in 2017.

Hervé Guillou, Naval Group’s CEO declared: «Naval Group is very proud to be part of this long-term partnership with the Egyptian authorities and industry. This ceremony is an opportunity to reiterate our strong commitment to execute all the programs and to equip the Egyptian Navy with a homogeneous fleet. In addition, Naval Group is pleased to participate in the maintenance and modernisation of this fleet. Naval Group has a long-term presence in Egypt and will remain involved for many years to come in Alexandria as partner of the Egyptian Navy to secure their operations».

Naval Group’s commitment to support customers through transfer of technology at each stage of the construction process is reaffirmed. Port Said, the first ever Egyptian made warship, is a proof that industrial cooperation works. The corvette manufactured in Alexandria has identical features and possesses the same performance level than the sea-proven Elfateh, which was built on Naval Group’s site in Lorient and delivered to the Egyptian navy last autumn.

 

Ten Gowind corvettes sold around the world

The modular design of the Gowind corvette enabled Naval Group to meet the specific requirements of the Egyptian navy in the shortest time scale possible. The Gowind corvette, ordered in ten units, meets the challenges faced by navies in changing war environments and offers a complete, multi-mission combat ship for sovereignty operations, the fight against illicit trafficking or maritime protection.

The Gowind corvette is a concentrate of the latest technological advances developed and mastered by Naval Group in naval defense. It integrates the latest generation of combat systems developed by Naval Group, SETIS, the «Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM)» – a combination of the integrated mast with its various sensors and the Operational Centre and associated technical premises – and the high level of integration, automation and user-friendliness of the Naval Group systems. In addition to the Egyptian contract, Malaysia bought Gowind corvettes in 2012.

Naval Group is the European leader in naval defence. As an international high-tech Company, Naval Group uses its extraordinary know-how, unique industrial resources and capacity to arrange innovative strategic partnerships to meet its customers’ requirements. The Group designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships. It also supplies services to shipyards and naval bases. The group reports revenues of €3.7 billion and has a workforce of 13,429 (data for 2017).