All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

John F. Kennedy

Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), on August 22 celebrated the keel laying of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the ship’s namesake, the 35th President of the United States, is the ship’s sponsor. She declared the keel «truly and fairly laid» via video to signify the ceremonial start of construction.

Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

«The aircraft carrier came of age in a time of conflict», Caroline said. «It was untested, and the capabilities it brought were questioned. Since those early days, the carrier has come to be recognized as a symbol of peace, strength and freedom».

Caroline’s video was introduced by her cousin, Representative Joseph Kennedy, Democrat-Massachusetts. Other ceremony participants included Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; Representative Randy Forbes, Republican-Virginia; Representative Bobby Scott, Democrat-Virginia; Vice Admiral William Hilarides; Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy Sean Stackley; Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of CVA-67, the first aircraft carrier to bear the name John F. Kennedy; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin.

During the ceremony, Caroline’s initials were welded onto a steel plate by Leon Walston, a Newport News welder from Massachusetts. The plate will be permanently affixed to the ship, signifying the sponsor’s enduring relationship with the shipbuilders and crew.

In his remarks, Stackley expressed the significance of aircraft carriers, calling upon shipbuilders to recognize the importance of what they build. «They are our nation’s great instruments of security and … of goodwill», he said. «In times of crisis, they are the first to respond, and when called upon, they will deliver the final word in the bidding of our nation. So let this great purpose serve as a constant reminder – as inspiration to you, the men and women of Newport News Shipbuilding – that shipbuilding is not just what you do; it is who you are. And that building great ships – it is not just your tradition; it is your duty».

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier in the Ford Class
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier in the Ford Class

Governor McAuliffe emphasized the importance of John F. Kennedy’s future presence in the U.S. Navy fleet. «President John F. Kennedy was an inspiration to all of us», he said, «so it is only fitting today that we now have a U.S. President who now will have two aircraft carriers named after him».

Representative Joseph Kennedy spoke of the original USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) and its legacy that will continue with the new aircraft carrier. «USS John F. Kennedy demonstrated strength to our enemies and support for our allies», he said. «Today, as we lay the keel of CVN-79, the next USS John F. Kennedy, we begin construction on a ship with the same mission and the same spirit, but with new capabilities and a new generation».

Mulherin spoke of the shipbuilders constructing USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), highlighting their commitment to ethics once emphasized by President Kennedy. «While this aircraft carrier that we lay the keel for today will serve as a tangible legacy of our nation’s 35th President, so too will the people behind the steel», he said. «When we say the greatest shipbuilders in the world work right here, it isn’t just because we build the most sophisticated ships known to man. It is also because of the way in which we build them. Our shipbuilders demonstrate ethics, integrity and courage every day».

John F. Kennedy will be the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the 35th President. Crew members who served on the first USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) attended and were recognized during the ceremony. To conclude the event, Yates, the first commanding officer of CVA-67, signaled crane operators to lift the aircraft carrier’s engine room No. 2 unit into the dry dock while more than 1,500 guests watched.

A composite photo illustration representing the Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). The carrier, underconstruction at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the second Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the second U.S. Navy carrier named for the 35th U. S. President
A composite photo illustration representing the Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). The carrier, underconstruction at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the second Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the second U.S. Navy carrier named for the 35th U. S. President

 

Quick Facts about CVN-79

Kennedy is the 2nd ship of the Ford class.

At an official naming ceremony at the JFK Library on May 29, 2011, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier CVN-79 would be called the USS John F. Kennedy. The announcement was made on what would have been the 94th birthday of President John F. Kennedy.

Since the first cut of steel in 2010, more than 450 of the ship’s 1,100 structural units have been constructed, and more than 60 percent of the total ship’s material funding has been committed to vendors.

CVN-79 marks the second aircraft carrier to be named for the late president. The first, a conventionally-powered carrier, served from 1968 to 2007 and was also built by Newport News Shipbuilding.

Shipbuilders have captured 60,000 lessons-learned from the seven-year process of building Gerald R. Ford, many that are already being implemented as cost-saving initiatives in building John F. Kennedy.

Caroline Kennedy smashes a bottle of American sparking wine across the bow of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in 1967 (Image courtesy of the Daily Press)
Caroline Kennedy smashes a bottle of American sparking wine across the bow of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in 1967 (Image courtesy of the Daily Press)

 

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+
Leon Walston, a Newport News Shipbuilding welder from Massachusetts, displays the welded initials of Caroline Kennedy, the sponsor of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Also pictured (left to right) are Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67); Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Representative Joseph Kennedy (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
Leon Walston, a Newport News Shipbuilding welder from Massachusetts, displays the welded initials of Caroline Kennedy, the sponsor of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Also pictured (left to right) are Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67); Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Representative Joseph Kennedy (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

Combat Helicopter

Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) completed the delivery of the first fleet (9 helicopters) of T129 ATAK Multirole Combat Helicopter on July 31, 2015.

T129 ATAK advanced attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter
T129 ATAK advanced attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter

T129 ATAK is now ready to meet a range of new export opportunities and requirements in the worldwide market. The successful delivery of the first fleet of helicopters is a major milestone for the Turkish Aerospace and Defence Industry in terms of design, development and international collaboration. This latest accomplishment provides further evidence of the successful cooperation between Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) as a procurement agency, Turkish Land Forces as an end user, TAI as a prime contractor and subcontractors with the development and delivery of the most advanced combat helicopter in its class. As an outcome of the endorsement provided by the Turkish Armed Forces, the already strong international interest in the T129 ATAK as a superior alternative is expected to intensify.

Having completed the delivery of first fleet (nine helicopters) the delivered helicopters are now being used effectively in operational theatres for the Turkish Land Forces.

The T129 ATAK Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter is a candidate for the KRUK Program of the Polish Armed Forces
The T129 ATAK Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter is a candidate for the KRUK Program of the Polish Armed Forces

 

T129 ATAK advanced attack helicopter

T129 ATAK is a new generation, tandem two-seat, twin-engine helicopter specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance purposes. T129 ATAK, developed from the combat proven AgustaWestland A129CBT, incorporates totally new system philosophy with new engines (LHTEC CTS 800-4A), new avionics, visionics and weapons, modified airframe, uprated drive train and new tail rotor.

The T129 ATAK is the helicopter selected in 2007 by the Government of Turkey for the Turkish Land Forces; development and production will be assured by the «ATAK Team», a Joint Partnership of Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. and AgustaWestland. The first TAI-manufactured helicopter was delivered to Turkish Land Forces by the end of April 2014.

T129 ATAK has been optimized to meet and exceed the «high and hot» performance requirements for harsh geographical and environmental conditions while providing the following key characteristics:

The first batch of T129 ATAK Helicopters has already been delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces and is in service supporting the missions of the Turkish Army
The first batch of T129 ATAK Helicopters has already been delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces and is in service supporting the missions of the Turkish Army
  • Day & night all environment capability; effective, precise weapon systems that provide combat superiority while low visual, aural, radar and IR signatures, high level of crashworthiness and ballistic tolerance provide high battlefield survivability.
  • Excellent situational awareness through good visibility arcs and fully integrated mission and communication systems.
  • Eased crew workloads through superior performance, agility and platform stability and handling qualities.
  • Reduced Preparation Time augmented by off-board Mission Planning System and reduced take-off time.
  • Low operating cost through effective design and on-condition maintenance.

T129 ATAK could be provided with MIZRAK ATGMs, and CIRIT (70-mm Guided Rockets) designed for Turkish Armed Forces. Further armament options include Hellfire and Spike ATGMs, Stinger A/A missiles. A new Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system increases image quality and range performance with real-time image processing and multiple target tracking with high resolution thermal camera, laser rangefinder, designator and spot tracker. The relatively small radar cross section and state of the art systems counter measure systems help to provide high battlefield survivability, low visual, aural, radar and IR signatures.

T129 ATAK developed from the combat proven AgustaWestland A129CBT
T129 ATAK developed from the combat proven AgustaWestland A129CBT

 

Technical Specifications

Powerplant LHTEC CTS-800 4A, 2×1,014 kW/2×1,361 shp
Maximum Design Gross Weight 11,023 lbs/5,000 kg
Length 44.75 feet/13.64 m
Main Rotor Diameter 39 feet/11.9 m
Overall Height 13 feet/3.96 m
Crew 2, Tandem
Cruise Speed 145 knots/167 mph/269 km/h
Range 303 NM/349 miles/561 km
Hovering In Ground Effect (HIGE) 13,100 feet/3,993 m
Hovering Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) 10,000 feet/3,048 m
Service Ceiling 20,000 feet/6,096 m
Endurance 3 hrs (standard tank)
Armaments 2×4 UMTAS ATGM Missile (or Hellfire or Spike)
4×19 70-mm (2.75”) Unguided Rockets
4×2-4 70-mm (2.75”) Guided CIRIT Rockets
2×2 ATAM Stinger
The first TAI-manufactured helicopter was delivered to Turkish Land Forces by the end of April 2014
The first TAI-manufactured helicopter was delivered to Turkish Land Forces by the end of April 2014

Anechoic chamber

An MQ-4C Triton is lifted inside Patuxent River’s anechoic chamber on August 12, 2015 for ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing. This event marked the first time that an unmanned aircraft inside the chamber was controlled from an external ground control station. Triton’s EMC testing will continue for the next eight weeks to verify the aircraft’s subsystems can operate without interfering with each other.

The program portfolio includes the MQ-4C Triton UAS and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance – Demonstrator (BAMS-D), advanced sensors and technology, and international programs
The program portfolio includes the MQ-4C Triton UAS and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance – Demonstrator (BAMS-D), advanced sensors and technology, and international programs

 

MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) provides real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance over vast ocean and coastal regions. Supporting missions up to 24 hours, the high-altitude UAS is equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings at a radius of over 2,000 nautical miles/3,704 km.

Triton builds on elements of the Global Hawk UAS while incorporating reinforcements to the airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suite allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification.

Built to support the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program, Triton will support a wide range of intelligence gathering and reconnaissance missions, maritime patrol and search and rescue. The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be built.

The Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Office (PMA-262), located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, is responsible for the development, production, fielding and sustainment of the Navy's high-altitude, long-endurance UAS
The Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Office (PMA-262), located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, is responsible for the development, production, fielding and sustainment of the Navy’s high-altitude, long-endurance UAS

 

Key Features

  • Provides persistent maritime ISR at a mission radius of 2,000 NM/3,704 km; 24 hours/7 days per week with 80% Effective Time On Station (ETOS)
  • Land-based air vehicle and sensor command and control
  • Afloat Level II payload sensor data via line-of-sight
  • Dual redundant flight controls and surfaces
  • 51,000-hour airframe life
  • Due Regard Radar for safe separation
  • Anti/de-ice, bird strike, and lightning protection
  • Communications bandwidth management
  • Commercial off-the-shelf open architecture mission control system
  • Net-ready interoperability solution

 

Payload (360-degree Field of Regard)

Multi-Function Active Sensor Active Electronically Steered Array (MFAS AESA) radar:

  • 2D AESA;
  • Maritime and air-to-ground modes;
  • Long-range detection and classification of targets.

MTS-B multi-spectral targeting system:

  • Electro-optical/infrared;
  • Auto-target tracking;
  • High resolution at multiple field-of-views;
  • Full motion video.

AN/ZLQ-1 Electronic Support Measures:

  • All digital;
  • Specific Emitter Identification.

Automatic Identification System:

  • Provides information received from VHF broadcasts on maritime vessel movements.
PMA-262 is overseen by the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO(U&W))
PMA-262 is overseen by the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO(U&W))

 

Specifications

Wingspan 130.9 feet/39.9 m
Length 47.6 feet/14.5 m
Height 15.4 feet/4.6 m
Gross Take-Off Weight (GTOW) 32,250 lbs/14,628 kg
Maximum Internal Payload 3,200 lbs/1,452 kg
Maximum External Payload 2,400 lbs/1,089 kg
Self-Deploy 8,200 NM/9,436 miles/15,186 km
Maximum Altitude 56,500 feet/17,220 m
Maximum Velocity, TAS (True Air Speed) 331 knots/381 mph/613 km/h
Maximum Endurance 24 hours

 

MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System flies from Palmdale, California, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland

 

Upgrade Mk-45

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a contract to overhaul and upgrade Mk-45 systems on U.S. Navy Destroyer Class (DDG) ships. The initial contract of approximately $80 million includes the upgrade of six guns to the Mod 4 configuration, with an option for four additional guns expected to be exercised in 2016, bringing the full value of the contract to $130 million.

Mk-45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System
Mk-45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System

The Mod 4 capability upgrades include a 62-caliber barrel, strengthened gun and mount subsystems, enhanced advanced control systems, a reduced signature, and low maintenance gun shield. The operational and performance improvements are designed to support potential increased ranges for Naval Surface Fire Support achieved through future extended range guided munitions.

«Our combat-proven Mk-45 Naval Gun System provides ships with an effective weapon for anti-surface, strike, fire support, and anti-air warfare combat», said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «This award strengthens our position in large caliber guns and promotes the United States’ naval gun industrial base».

Work on this contract will be performed in Louisville, Kentucky, with support from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Delivery of the first upgraded gun will take place in October 2017 with the last delivery scheduled for January 2020.

BAE Systems has more than 40 years of experience with Mk-45 Mods 0-4, including more than 260 deliveries to the U.S. Navy and 10 fleets worldwide. The company’s Louisville facility houses its Naval Guns Center of Excellence for Naval Gun System manufacturing, providing component and spares fabrication, as well as final system assembly and test of new and modernized Mk-45 Naval Gun Systems.

The most compact 5-inch/127-mm fully automatic naval gun in the world
The most compact 5-inch/127-mm fully automatic naval gun in the world

 

System Data

GENERAL SYSTEM AND AMMUNITION DATA
Barrel One-piece (Mk-36 Mod 4)
Loading-pointing-operation Fully automatic
CONVENTIONAL AMMUNITION
Ready service complement Conventional 20 rounds
Extended Range 10 rounds
Projectile weight 70 lbs/31.75 kg
110 lbs/50 kg Extended Range Munition (ERM)
Muzzle velocity of service round 2,700 feet/sec/823 m/sec
3,450 feet/sec/1051.56 m/sec
Ammunition types All separate loading 5-inch 62-caliber ammunition have point detonating (PDF), proximity (VTF and IR), mechanical time (MTF) and electronically settable (ESF) fuzes. In addition, the ammunition has extended length munitions handling capability
Signal input for fuze setter Continuous function to 1X and 5X synchros
Target capability Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS), Airborne and surface
Misfire removal Automatic
WEIGHT DATA
Gun System (w/o fluids/lower hoist) 53,770 lbs/24,389 kg
Gun System and four-flight lower hoist (w/o fluids) 57,722 lbs/26,182 kg
Gun System and four-flight lower hoist, Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) Handling Mechanism Mod 0 (w/o fluids) 63,767 lbs/28,924 kg
Barrel one-piece 4,316 lbs/1,958 kg
PERSONNEL REQUIREMENTS
Gun captain One
Panel operator One
Ammunition handlers Four
Above deck None
FIRE CONTROL SYSTEM APPLICATIONS
Mk-160; Fiber-optic high-speed digital fire control interface accommodates integration of existing and future/improved Fire-Control Systems (FCSs), and provides for growth requirements to accommodate integration of future munitions types and ancillary capabilities
SHIP APPLICATION
Escort ships, frigates, destroyers, cruisers and landing helicopter assault ships
TRAIN AND ELEVATION DATA
Train Elevation
Preset limits +170 deg from stow -15 deg, +65 deg
Velocity 30 deg/sec 20 deg/sec
Acceleration 38 deg/sec2 31 deg/sec2
POWER REQUIREMENTS
Electrical
Main power from ship supply 440 volts 60 Hz 3 ph
Average (rms) standby load 21 kW
Average (rms) firing load 185 kW
Peak running load (including anti-icing circuits) 200 kW
Pneumatic
Train or elevation motor (during maintenance) 1,274 cu m/min (45 cu feet/min) free air supplied at 7.03 kg/cm2 (100 psig)
Gas ejector system 1,379 cu m/min (48.7 cu feet/min) Gun reduces free air supply at 12.3 kg/cm2 (175 psig) to 7.03 kg/cm2 (100 psig) for air motors
MAINTENANCE AND AVAILABILITY DATA
Operability tests and scheduled maintenance (average daily) 1.6 hours
Regunning time 1.0 hour
Availability (inherent) 99.6%
The most widely deployed 5-inch/127-mm naval gun in the U.S. Navy
The most widely deployed 5-inch/127-mm naval gun in the U.S. Navy

MUOS-4 Encapsulated

The fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy was encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing August 10. It is scheduled to launch August 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, has been encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its August 31 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)
MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, has been encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its August 31 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)

MUOS-4 is the latest addition to a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces. Users with operational MUOS terminals can seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the globe and into the Global Information Grid. MUOS’ new smart phone-like capabilities include simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data, over a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.

«Delivery of this fourth satellite for the U.S. Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network», said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. «For our mobile forces, that means for the first time they will be able to have secure, high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone around the world connected with a MUOS terminal».

MUOS, which also supports the legacy ultra-high frequency communications satellite system, will provide comparatively 16 times the capacity of the legacy system and eventually replace it. The MUOS-1, MUOS-2 and MUOS-3 satellites launched respectively in 2012, 2013 and January 2015. All four required MUOS ground stations are complete. MUOS-5, an on-orbit Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) spare with additional legacy system capability, is expected to launch in 2016.

More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible, with many of them requiring just a software upgrade.

Lockheed Martin manufactured MUOS-4 at the prime contractor’s Sunnyvale, California facility. Earlier this summer, the satellite shipped to the Cape, where it was pre-launch processed and finally encapsulated at Astrotech Space Operations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin. The Navy’s Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program Office, San Diego, California, are responsible for the MUOS program.

MUOS-4 will complete near-global coverage for U.S. Navy’s new military smart phone-like network (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)
MUOS-4 will complete near-global coverage for U.S. Navy’s new military smart phone-like network (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance)

Artful sets sail

The latest technologically advanced attack submarine HMS Artful (S121) built by BAE Systems set sail from its facility in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, for sea trials on August 13. Commander Bower said: «I am immensely proud and honoured to be leading the crew of Artful. Her capabilities are extraordinary and represent the next step in our country’s century-long history of operating submarines».

HMS Artful (S121) will now join HMS Astute (S119) and HMS Ambush (S120)
HMS Artful (S121) will now join HMS Astute (S119) and HMS Ambush (S120)

Tony Johns, Managing Director, BAE Systems Submarines said: «Seeing Artful exit from Barrow on August 13 is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work from everyone at BAE Systems, our partners and the hundreds of businesses in our supply chain network. BAE Systems in Barrow is a world-class facility, designing and building submarines that are some of the most sophisticated engineering projects in the world. Everyone involved in the Astute programme should feel immensely proud of their achievements as the third in class Astute submarine reaches this significant milestone».

The design and build of the Astute class is a highly complex engineering feat. The 7,400-tonne attack submarines measure 318 feet/97 metres and are powered by nuclear reactors. Each submarine is armed with Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk land attack missiles.

Artful is the third Astute class submarine to have been built by BAE Systems. Seven of the class have been commissioned in total and the remaining four boats are currently under construction.

Commander Bower said: «The crew, alongside the workers at BAE Systems have done a sterling job in generating more than a million parts into a submarine. Artful will be home to more than 100 men, and can spend months at a time submerged. She is able to generate her own air and water; food will be her only limiting factor. Having left Barrow, a period of trials begins to put the submarine through her paces, proving all of her systems before she officially becomes part of the Royal Navy’s fleet».

The Astute submarine programme is a key part of our £163 billion plan
The Astute submarine programme is a key part of our £163 billion plan

Artful will follow her sister submarines to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Scotland.

  1. HMS Astute (S119)
  2. HMS Ambush (S120)
  3. HMS Artful (S121)
  4. Audacious (S122)
  5. Anson (S123)
  6. Agamemnon (S124)
  7. Ajax (S125)

 

Artful, the latest Astute class submarine built by BAE Systems setting sail from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, for sea trials

Full-Duration Test

Aerojet Rocketdyne announced on August 13 that it successfully completed a full duration (535 seconds) verification test of its RS-25 rocket engine that will power NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), America’s next generation heavy-lift launch vehicle. A test, conducted at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, was the sixth test in a seven-test series that began in January 2015 to validate the engine for use on the SLS.

NASA conducted a developmental test firing of the RS-25 rocket engine, on August 13 at the agency’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi
NASA conducted a developmental test firing of the RS-25 rocket engine, on August 13 at the agency’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi

«It is great to see this revered engine back in action and progressing full steam ahead for launch aboard Exploration Mission-1 in 2018», said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advanced Space & Launch Programs business unit. «The RS-25 is the world’s most reliable and thoroughly tested large liquid-fueled rocket engine ever built».

The RS-25, previously known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), successfully powered the space shuttle during 30 years of operation. The RS-25 uses a staged-combustion engine cycle that burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants to achieve performance never previously attained in a production rocket engine. Interestingly, the only exhaust produced by the RS-25 is water vapor in the form of steam.

The RS-25 will continue to serve the nation’s human exploration propulsion needs as the core stage engines for SLS. The SLS program has 16 engines in inventory at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility within Stennis Space Center, with 14 of them previously flown aboard the space shuttle.

«The engine that was tested on August 13, development engine 0525, continues demonstration of the new controller’s functionality and the engine’s ability to perform to SLS requirements», said Jim Paulsen, vice president, Program Execution, Advanced Space & Launch Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne. «We are conducting engine testing to ensure all 16 flight engines in our inventory meet flightworthiness requirements for SLS».

SLS will fly 4 RS-25 engines at the bottom of the core stage as opposed to three that flew on the space shuttle; the solid rocket boosters will be closer to the RS-25 engines than they were on the shuttle stack; and the taller SLS launch vehicle will result in higher propellant inlet pressure on the engine system. These changes, as well as operating them at 109% thrust means the engines will need to withstand more demanding conditions than when they were previously flown.

In addition to preparing for the new environmental conditions, the engines also are receiving a technology «refresh» of their controllers, which serve as the brains of the engines. The upgraded controller provides for communication between the vehicle and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the vehicle to regulate the thrust and fuel mixture ratio and monitor the engine’s health and status.

«The new controller provides modern electronics, architecture and software», said Paulsen. «It will improve reliability and safety for the SLS crew as well as the ability to readily procure electronics for decades to come».

The first flight test of the SLS will be configured for a 70-metric-ton lift capacity and carry an un-crewed Orion spacecraft. As SLS evolves, it will be the most powerful rocket ever built and provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons.

«SLS is the vehicle that will take astronauts to Mars and pre-position cargo for their survival», said Van Kleeck. «It is great to see that the red planet is one step closer and know our Aerojet Rocketdyne team is helping make that dream a reality».

 

 

Turkish Saber

FNSS’ Brand New Saber 25-mm One Man Turret successfully completes firing qualification tests on FNSS Pars 8×8 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).

Saber turret incorporates the latest technologies in turret drives, fire control, protection and lethality
Saber turret incorporates the latest technologies in turret drives, fire control, protection and lethality

Saber is a new generation one-man turret that can be deployed on wheeled and tracked armored vehicles and designed by taking the modern combat conditions and customer demands into consideration. The firepower of the turret consists of a 25-mm automatic cannon and 7.62-mm machine gun.

The design of the project has been started in November 2013 with the support of TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) and the qualification and the firing tests have been completed in June 2015 after realization of the prototype production.

The long-range firing tests of the Saber Turret mounted on FNSS Pars 8×8 vehicle have been conducted on 22-26 June in the firing test field of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) located in Konya Karapinar District. During the tests, static and moving firing is conducted to the targets located at a range of 1,968 feet/600 m to 4,921 feet/1,500 m. The targets are hit with high hit rate and all tests are completed successfully.

 

Technical Specifications

PRIMARY ARMAMENT
Type 25-mm M242 Enhanced (Dual Feed Automatic Cannon)
25-mm Ready Rounds 150 High Explosive (HE)/90 Armor Piercing (AP) – Total 240 Rounds
Rate of Fire 200 rounds/min; Full Auto/3-5-10 Round Controlled Burst/Single Shot
SECONDARY ARMAMENT
Type 7,62-mm Coaxial Machine Gun
Ready Rounds 600
GUN/TURRET DRIVE SYSTEM
Type Electric Drive with Two Axis Stabilization
Traverse 360° Continuous with Manual Back-up
Elevation +48° to -8°, with Manual Back-up
Rate >60°/sec Traverse & Elevation
Tracking Rate 0.3 mil/sec
Deck Clearance Automatic & Programmable
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Turret Weight 3,968 lbs/1,800 kg (Combat Weight)
Ring Gear Diameter 3.3 feet/1 m
Swing Radius w/Weapon 2.6 m
Width 1.6 m
Height Above Mounting Surface 0.61 m
BALLISTIC PROTECTION
Composite and Steel Add-On Armor Providing STANAG 4569 Level 4 Protection
Spall Liners for Crew Compartment
SMOKE SCREENING
Grenade Launchers Standard, 6×76 or 80 mm
GUNNER’S SIGHT SYSTEM
Primary Sight 8-12 μm or 3-5 μm Thermal Imager, Direct View Optics, Laser Range Finder with 26,247 feet/8,000 m Range
Ballistic Calculation Automatic Super Elevation Computation

 

Saber is a medium caliber one-man power operated turret that can be deployed on wheeled and tracked armored vehicles

 

Combat Ship 6

Austal Limited is pleased to announce it has successfully delivered Littoral Combat Ship 6 (LCS-6), the future USS Jackson, to the U.S. Navy. USS Jackson (LCS-6) is the first ship in its class built by Austal as prime contractor at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, under a 10 vessel, US$3.5 billion contract the U.S. Navy awarded to Austal in 2010.

The future USS Jackson (LCS-6) will soon be operating alongside her two sister ships of the Austal variant of the Littoral Combat Ship design, which has so far escaped the technical glitches that have affected the single-hulled variant
The future USS Jackson (LCS-6) will soon be operating alongside her two sister ships of the Austal variant of the Littoral Combat Ship design, which has so far escaped the technical glitches that have affected the single-hulled variant

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the delivery is testament to the dedication and skill of our workforce. «Delivering the third ship of its class and the first as prime contractor is a significant milestone in the growth of the LCS program and for Austal Limited», Mr. Bellamy said. «Our workforce continues to demonstrate superior design, construction and execution building the Littoral Combat Ship. The program is well positioned for a smooth transition from LCS to frigate».

Six additional Independence-variant LCS are at various stages of construction at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. USS Montgomery (LCS-8) is preparing for sea trials later this year while USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was recently christened. USS Omaha (LCS-12) is preparing for launch in CY2015 and final assembly is well underway on USS Manchester (LCS-14). Modules for USS Tulsa (LCS-16) and USS Charleston (LCS-18) are both under construction. The first cut for USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) is slated for later this year.

SUW Configured Independence
SUW Configured Independence

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 417 feet/127.1 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
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class is a high speed, agile, shallow draft and networked surface ship
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class is a high speed, agile, shallow draft and networked surface ship

Gen III Helmet

Senator Joni Ernst, Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins executives commemorated the delivery of the first Gen III F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) on August 11. In addition to the HMDS, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II demonstrator was on site at the Cedar Rapids headquarters of Rockwell Collins for Senator Ernst to get a first-hand experience of «flying» the military’s most advanced fighter jet following the delivery ceremony.

The F-35 Gen III HMDS offers a fully integrated day and night solution through advanced, next-generation features
The F-35 Gen III HMDS offers a fully integrated day and night solution through advanced, next-generation features

Rockwell Collins, through its joint venture, Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC, is providing the most advanced technology for warfighters with the F-35 HMDS, which provides pilots with unprecedented levels of situational awareness and allows them to «look through» the airframe.

«Today’s visit was an opportunity to place focus on Rockwell Collins, as manufacturing makes up such an important part of our economy here in Iowa», said Senator Ernst. «Having served in the military for over 20 years, I appreciate the company’s efforts in support of our national defense, our armed forces and our veterans».

«We’re pleased to be able to demonstrate the advanced capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II at Rockwell Collins today to Senator Ernst and members of the Cedar Rapids community», said Steve Callaghan, director, F-35 Lightning II Program, Lockheed Martin Washington Operations. «The employees at Rockwell Collins are contributing to the F-35s flying today, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the superior performance capabilities of this aircraft with them».

The Gen III helmet, which includes an improved night vision camera, improved liquid-crystal displays, automated alignment and software improvements is to be introduced to the fleet in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 7 in 2016. Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems LLC also developed the Gen 2 helmet that F-35 pilots currently use, which met the needs for the U.S. Marine Corps and will allow the service to declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

All the information that pilots need to complete their missions – through all weather, day or night – is projected on the helmet’s visor. Additionally, the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS), made by Northrop Grumman, streams real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, allowing pilots to «look through» the airframe.

Overall, Rockwell Collins has built and fit more than 200 helmets for F-35 pilots who are being trained for the program.

For night missions, the HMDS projects the night vision scene directly onto the visor, eliminating the need for separate night-vision goggles
For night missions, the HMDS projects the night vision scene directly onto the visor, eliminating the need for separate night-vision goggles

 

Helmet Mounted Display System

Pilots flying missions in the F-35 Lightning II and other multi-role tactical aircraft now can have unmatched visual capability. The F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System provides a next-generation user interface that integrates the F-35 pilot more tightly than ever into the aircraft’s avionics, with more than 10,000 flight hours of operational use.

The system gives F-35 pilots unsurpassed situational awareness by displaying critical flight information and sensor video throughout the entire mission. The HMDS serves as the virtual head-up display, enabling the F-35 to become the first tactical fighter in 50 years without a traditional head-up display.

By fully integrating three advanced technologies – head-up display, helmet-mounted display and visor-projected night vision – the F-35 Gen III HMDS provides revolutionary capability to the fighter cockpit.

F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System
F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System

 

Key benefits

  • Provides enhanced situational awareness
  • Integrated, virtual head-up display on the helmet visor for critical flight and mission information with a smooth transition to HMD symbology
  • Night vision capability built into the helmet
  • Lightweight helmet with optimal center of gravity for maximum comfort and reduced pilot fatigue
  • Provides weapons targeting by looking at and designating targets, and target verification when receiving steering cues from onboard sensors or via datalink
The F-35 Gen III HMDS is provided by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems, LLC, a joint venture between Elbit Systems Ltd. of Israel, through its U.S. subsidiary Elbit Systems of America, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Rockwell Collins
The F-35 Gen III HMDS is provided by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems, LLC, a joint venture between Elbit Systems Ltd. of Israel, through its U.S. subsidiary Elbit Systems of America, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Rockwell Collins

 

Key features

  • Binocular, 30-by-40-degree wide-field-of-view with 100 percent overlap
  • Virtual head-up display
  • Look-through-aircraft capability via Distributed Aperture System imagery
  • High accuracy tracking with auto-boresighting
  • Active Noise Reduction (ANR)
  • Digital night vision sensor
  • Ejection capability to 550 KEAS
  • Lightweight and well-balanced helmet
  • Custom helmet liner for precise fit and comfort
  • Multiple Interpupillary Distance (IPD) settings
  • Video recording
  • Picture in picture
  • Compatible with eyeglasses and Laser Eye Protection (LEP) devices
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)