The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) received on July 30 its first EA-18G Growler. Prime contractor Boeing and the U.S Navy formally presented the aircraft to the RAAF at a ceremony in St. Louis in the United States. Former Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown (ret’d), who represented the RAAF at the ceremony, confirmed that Australia would be the first nation outside the United States to fly the airborne electronic attack platform.
«The Growlers will complement our existing and future air combat capability, and ours will be a much more lethal force with this advanced technology», Air Marshal Brown said. «In many respects, it’s the final piece of the air power jigsaw puzzle for the RAAF, and my prediction is it will have one of the biggest strategic effects for the Australian Defence Force since the introduction of the F-111 in the 1970s».
A derivative of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler is the only aircraft in production providing tactical jamming and electronic protection. The Growler will enhance Air Force’s current fleet of 24 Super Hornets and future fleet of F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), and advances «Plan Jericho», the initiative to transform the Air Force into an integrated, networked force able to deliver air power in all operating environments. Growler will also be a key enabler for both maritime and land forces.
The first aircraft to be delivered, A46-301, made its first flight on July 13 but was formally presented in front of RAAF and U.S. Navy representatives, Boeing employees and the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon. «The aircraft will now fly to Naval Air Station China Lake, California, for flight testing and then Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington State, where RAAF operators will continue training with U.S. Navy aircrew to gain expertise in the highly technical electronic warfare mission», Air Marshal Brown said.
The second RAAF Growler has also made its first flight, while the following 10 aircraft are in various stages of assembly at Boeing’s St. Louis plant. On current plans, all 12 aircraft will arrive in Australia by the end of 2017.
The Navy commissioned its newest fast attack submarine, the USS John Warner (SSN-785), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, August 1, 2015, at Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia.
John Warner, designated SSN-785, honors Senator John W. Warner for a lifetime of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to the United States of America as a trusted leader, statesman and public servant. He wore the uniform of American nation as both a Marine and sailor and served as the 61st Secretary of the Navy, 1972-1974.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Jeanne Warner, wife of Senator Warner, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!
«The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service for this great submarine – a fitting tribute to a man who served his nation for so long as a sailor, a Marine, a United States Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as Secretary of the Navy», said the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the U.S. Navy. «This ceremony is not only a celebration of a man who dedicated so much of his life to his country and to the Department of the Navy, but also a reminder of the partnership our Navy shares with the shipbuilding industry in Senator Warner’s home state of Virginia and the continued success of the Virginia-class attack submarine program».
USS John Warner (SSN-785) is the 12th Virginia-class fast attack submarine. While other Virginia-class submarines have been named after U.S. states, SSN-785 holds the distinction of being the first to be named after a person. This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. It will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.
USS John Warner (SSN-785) has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. It is also designed for Special Forces delivery and support, a subject senator John Warner worked on throughout his career in the U.S. Senate.
Virginia-class submarines are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Jun 25, 2015
One GE PWR S9G(*) nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
377 feet/114.8 m
33 feet/10.0584 m
34 feet/10.3632 m
Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
800+ feet/244+ m
132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles
two 87-inch/2.2-meter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes
4 torpedo tubes
MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)
* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories
Nuclear Submarine Lineup
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-778 New Hampshire
SSN-779 New Mexico
SSN-784 North Dakota
SSN-785 John Warner
EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
The seventh C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived in Australia at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on July 29, marking the fastest C-17A delivery in Australian fleet. Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews said the rapid acquisition of the aircraft is a testament to the close relationship that exists between Australia and the United States.
«The active involvement of a number of United States and Australian agencies has been pivotal in meeting the successful delivery of this aircraft and I applaud everyone involved in the acquisition program», Minister Andrews said. «This acquisition signifies considerable work opportunities for the local industry, with $300 million being spent to upgrade facilities. With its proven ability to transport heavy equipment, vehicles and helicopters in a short time frame, the C-17A’s capabilities are vital to Australia’s national security and safety».
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC said the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft will increase the Australian Defence Force’s capacity to provide vital community and humanitarian assistance.
«The C-17A fleet has been integral to recent operations including the rapid deployment of Australian forces in support of the Iraq Government, assistance in the Queensland floods, and the recovery of MH17 victims from Eastern Ukraine», Air Marshal Davies said.
«This latest acquisition will bolster our existing fleet of strategic lift aircraft – providing vital heavy airlift support to a range of operations, and increase our capacity to provide swift disaster relief and humanitarian assistance at home and abroad. Under Plan Jericho, the Air Force is dedicated to developing a networked, future joint force that can respond across the spectrum – from combat to humanitarian support. An additional two C-17A aircraft will help us achieve that», Air Marshal Davies said.
The Government announced the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft in April 2015 representing a $1 billion investment in Australia’s security and Defence Force. The eighth C-17A is planned to arrive in Australia in late 2015.
Wingspan to winglet tip
169.8 ft/51.74 m
174 ft/53.04 m
Height at tail
55.1 ft/16.79 m
22.5 ft/6.86 m
Cargo compartment crew
Cargo floor length
68.2 ft/20.78 m
21.4 ft/6.52 m structural length
18 ft/5.49 m
Loadable height (under wing)
12.3 ft/3.76 m
Loadable height (aft of wing)
14.8 ft/4.50 m
Ramp to ground angle
40,000 lbs/18,144 kg
Aerial delivery system capacity
Eleven 463L(*) pallets (including 2 on ramp)
Single load airdrop
60,000 lbs/27,216 kg platform
Sequential loads airdrop
110,000 lbs/49,895 kg (60 ft/18.29 m of platforms)
Logistic rail system capacity
Eighteen 463L(*) pallets (including 4 on ramp)
Dual-row airdrop system
Up to eight 18 foot/5.49 m platforms or twelve 463L(*) pallets
All pallets from ADS (Alternative Distribution Systems) or logistic rail systems
(*) Each 463L pallet is 88 in/2.24 m wide, 108 in/2.74 m long and 2-1/4 in/0.57 m high. The usable space is 84 in/2.13 m by 104 in/2.64 m. It can hold up to 10,000 lbs/4,500 kg of cargo (not exceeding 250 lbs/113 kg per square inch) at 8 g. Empty, each pallet weighs 290 lbs/130 kg, or 355 lbs/160 kg with two side nets and a top net.
Sidewall (permanently installed)
54 (27 each side, 18 in/45.72 cm wide, 24 in/60.96 cm spacing center to center)
Centerline (stored on board)
48 (in sets of six back-to-back, 8 sets)
Palletized (10-passenger pallets)
80 on 8 pallets, plus 54 passengers on sidewall seats
Rheinmetall-Canada and ELTA Systems, an Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) subsidiary and group, have been awarded the significant Medium Range Radar (MRR) program by the Canadian Department of National Defense (DND). The radar to be supplied for the multi-mission role is the ELTA ELM-2084 MMR «Iron Dome» radar, which includes C-RAM (Counter Rockets, Artillery and Mortars) and air-surveillance capabilities, and will be produced locally in cooperation with Rheinmetall-Canada.
Following an extensive competition process and demanding demonstrations, which also included live fire testing, the ELM-2084 MMR radar was selected due to its superior performance and outstanding capabilities.
The ELM-2084 MMR is an advanced three-dimensional, S-Band radar, incorporating modular and scalable architecture, and is the world-leading multi-mission system. The solid-state, electronically steered active array system incorporates Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology and offers exceptional detection and accuracy performance. The MMR is a highly mobile system, designed for fast deployment with a minimal crew.
Designed to simultaneously perform hostile weapon locating, friendly-fire ranging and air surveillance, the ELM-2084 MMR radar is able to detect rockets, artillery and mortars at long ranges, and can simultaneously engage a large number of targets. Deployed in a C-RAM role, the MMR can provide fire control when integrated with a weapons system.
Because of its superior tracking capabilities, MMR delivers a reliable and improved air situation picture as well as reliable, uninterrupted tracking of any maneuvering aircraft. Furthermore, it can detect and track low Radar Cross-Section (RCS) targets.
Advanced signal processing enables effective operation even in conditions of heavy clutter as well as in noisy and dense environments, with assured classification and identification of targets and superior low-altitude operation. The radar system also includes advanced Electronic Counter-Counter Measure (ECCM) capabilities.
The two companies will implement a technology transfer program in full conformity with the intent of Canada’s recently announced Defence Procurement Strategy to create local jobs and capabilities and help spur economic growth.
«This partnership with ELTA Systems is of strategic importance to Rheinmetall Canada», said Rheinmetall Canada’s President and CEO, Dr. Andreas Knackstedt. «ELTA was considered the partner of choice due to the program’s demanding requirements. The award of the MRR contract to the Rheinmetall/ELTA team is a testimony of ELTA’s leading-edge technology and know-how for which it is recognized worldwide».
«We are honored to have been selected by the Canadian Army», said Mr. Nissim Hadas, IAI Executive VP & ELTA President. «Together, with our partners in Rheinmetall-Canada, we will provide the most sophisticated C-RAM, air-surveillance and radar available, with a significant portion of the production to be performed locally in Canada».
The Medium Range Radar Project will give the Canadian Armed Forces 10 radar systems that can be transported into an operation by truck.
On Wednesday 22 July, the FREMM FFG-1001 Tahya Misr of the Egyptian navy left the Brest military port to join its homeport in Alexandria, Egypt, six months after the contract for the supply of a multi-mission frigate was signed between DCNS and the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
DCNS quickly initiated the required adaptation and outfitting work and the training of seamen to permit the Egyptian navy to take on the ship. As early as March 2015 DCNS trained the Egyptian seamen making up this frigate’s crew. In order to operate such a highly automated ship safely, DCNS and its partners accompany the crew for a period of 15 months. The programme includes several phases: theoretical modules, on-land training using platforms and simulators and then onboard training both at the quayside and at sea.
On 23 June of this year, the FREMM Tahya Misr was transferred from DCNS to the Egyptian navy during a ceremony attended by the Egyptian and French Defence Ministers. On 22 July, the Egyptian FREMM cast off from Brest and headed to Alexandria, its homeport.
The partnership with DCNS does not, however, stop with the FREMM Tahya Misr leaving France: the contract also includes DCNS providing support services and through life support in Egypt for the next five years.
Second international success for the FREMM
The most technologically advanced and most competitive ship on the market, the FREMM meets the operational requirements of numerous navies due to its versatility and its maneuverability. Capitalizing on its unprecedented success in Europe for the firing of the naval cruise missile on board the FREMM Aquitaine on 19 May 2015, DCNS offers its clients vessels that are global references in terms of their design and construction as well as for the integration of innovative systems.
In addition, the updating of the Military Planning Law will permit DCNS to continue developing its range of ships and services and to accelerate its international development. With the kick-off of the intermediate-size frigate program, DCNS is going to propose a product, which meets the needs of the French Navy and will meet a growing international demand for front-line frigates of approximately 4,000 tons.
Currently, in the surface ship market, DCNS counts among its customers, the Royal Moroccan Navy with the delivery in January 2014 of the FREMM Mohammed VI and the Egyptian Navy with the delivery of the FREMM Tahya Misr (FFG-1001) and four GOWIND corvettes. Moreover, DCNS is building six GOWIND corvettes for the Malaysian Navy. These contracts show the success of DCNS’ products in the international market.
Technical characteristics of the FREMMs
Equipped with high-tech sensors and weapons, integrated with the SETIS combat system developed by DCNS, the frigate can counter all types of threats, whether air, surface, submarine or land-based. The heavily armed FREMM is equipped with the most effective weapons systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles, or the MU 90 torpedoes. It is innovative and offers unequalled levels of interoperability and availability.
General Dynamics UK has been awarded a £390 million contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide in-service support for the Scout Specialist Vehicle (Scout SV) fleet until 2024. In addition, the company is opening a new Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) facility in South Wales.
The contract is an extension of the in-service support that General Dynamics UK was contracted to provide for the Scout SV fleet until 2020, and it includes the provision of spares and repairs for all 589 platforms. The extended in-service support contract offers a cost-effective support solution that builds upon the Scout SV manufacturing phase, taking advantage of the production pricing of parts.
With this facility investment, General Dynamics UK will undertake the assembly, integration and testing of 489 Scout Specialist Vehicle platforms. A further 100 platforms will undergo assembly, integration and testing at General Dynamics European Land Systems’ facility in Seville, Spain. The vehicles are on schedule to be delivered to the British Army from 2017 through 2024.
The new UK industrial capability, alongside the Scout SV extended in-service support contract, will support the creation of 250 new jobs in South Wales. The Scout SV programme directly supports approximately 2,650 jobs across the UK.
The investment by General Dynamics UK in this new AIT industrial capability is reaffirmation of the UK’s proud history of developing and manufacturing AFVs.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: «Today’s decision by General Dynamics to bring the assembly of these world class armored vehicles to South Wales is to the credit of the skills and expertise in the local area. The 250 additional new skilled jobs at General Dynamics UK will build on those already safeguarded by the decision to purchase 589 Scout vehicles for our Armed Forces, ensuring our servicemen and women have the very best equipment to keep us safe».
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said: «Increasing British jobs both at General Dynamics UK and through the supply chain, the Scout SV will make a real contribution to the UK economy over its 30 year lifespan. The decision from General Dynamics UK to create a facility in Wales to assemble and maintain this cutting-edge capability for the British Army will result in greater efficiency in maintaining vehicles, lower costs and create highly-skilled jobs in the process».
Kevin Connell, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems – UK, said: «The UK MoD is a critical partner for General Dynamics, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to delivering world-leading AFV platforms to the British Army from the UK. This new industrial capability will support the delivery of extended in-service support for Scout SV, whilst creating 250 new jobs on this important UK programme, and will open up exciting new possibilities for General Dynamics in the UK in the years ahead».
Scout SV was developed at General Dynamics UK’s AFV design and engineering center in Oakdale, South Wales. The company’s employees include highly skilled engineers who are delivering the family of best-in-class platforms. Today’s announcement creates a UK-based team of more than 550 with expertise in the design, development and AIT of AFV.
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 8:07 p.m. EDT on July 23 from Space Launch Complex-37. This is ULA’s seventh launch in 2015 and the second successful ULA launch in just eight days. It marks ULA’s 98th successful one-at-a-time launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
«Kudos to the U.S. Air Force and all of our mission partners on today’s successful launch and orbital delivery of the WGS-7 satellite. The ULA team is honored to work with these premier U.S. government and industry mission teammates and to contribute to the WGS enhanced communications capabilities to the warfighter», said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. «The team continues to emphasize reliability, and one launch at a time focus on mission success to meet our customer’s needs».
This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus (5,4) configuration Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) using a single ULA common booster core powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine, along with four Orbital ATK GEM-60 solid rocket motors. The upper stage was powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 engine with the satellite encapsulated in a five-meter-diameter composite payload fairing.
Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast and point-to-point connections. WGS provides essential communications services, allowing Combatant Commanders to exert command and control of their tactical forces, from peacetime to military operations. WGS is the only military satellite communications system that can support simultaneous X and Ka band communications.
ULA’s next launch is the Atlas V MUOS-4 mission for the United States Navy, scheduled for August 31 from Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 95 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.
Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)
WGS-7, the first Block II Follow-on satellite, supports communications links in the X-band and Ka-band spectra. While Block I and II satellites can instantaneously filter and downlink up to 4.575 MHz from 39 primary channels, WGS-7 can filter and downlink up to 5.375 MHz from 46 primary channels.
As with the Block II satellites, WGS-7 includes a high-bandwidth Radio Frequency (RF) bypass capability, which allows for larger bandwidth allocations to users. Depending on the mix of ground terminals, data rates, and modulation and coding schemes employed, a single WGS satellite can support data transmission rates between 2.1 and 3.6 Gbps.
WGS-7 also allows for up to ~800 MHz of additional bandwidth through the use of «Redundant Port Activation».
WGS has 19 independent coverage areas, 18 of which can be positioned throughout its field-of-view. This includes eight steerable/shapeable X-band beams formed by separate transmit/receive phased arrays; 10 Ka-band beams served by independently steerable diplexed antennas; and one transmit/receive X-band Earth-coverage beam. WGS can tailor coverage areas and connect X-band and Ka-band users anywhere within its field-of-view.
Five globally located Army Wideband SATCOM Operations Centers provide 24/7 payload monitoring and command and control of the WGS constellation. Each Global Satellite Configuration and Control Element has the capability to control up to three satellites at a time.
Spacecraft platform control and anomaly resolution is accomplished by the third Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The U.S. Air Force’s seventh Wideband Global SATCOM satellite, encapsulated inside a 5-meter payload fairing, is mated to a Delta IV rocket at Space Launch Complex-37
A Delta IV rocket lifts off carrying the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM satellite for the U.S. Air Force. Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast and point-to-point connections
On July 24, a delegation headed by the Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Juozas Olekas paid a visit to Lviv, Ukraine. During the visit Minister of Defence of Poland Tomasz Semoniak and Minister of Defence of Ukraine Lieutenant General Stepan Poltorak and Minister Juozas Olekas met to sign a technical agreement on a joint military unit of the respective countries, the Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade (LITPOLUKRBRIG), and fundamentals of its command.
The technical agreement supplements and elaborates on the agreement of establishing the LITPOLUKRBRIG the defence Ministers of the three establishing countries endorsed in Warsaw last September. The technical agreement stipulates that within 6 months after the signature of the document the LITPOLUKRBRIG command will have reached its initial operational capability, while within 12 months it will be fully capable of commanding the unit. The capacity of the LITPOLUKRBRIG command will then need to be approved by international certification.
The brigade commander, his deputy and the chief of staff will be assigned by Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine for a period of three years on a rotating basis. The establishing states will delegate representatives to form a LITPOLUKRBRIG Coordination Group, which will be tasked with approving the brigade’s budget-related, or other finance, training, exercises and logistics-related planning, and with supervision of the command’s work.
While in Lviv, Minister of National Defence and his delegation will also observe Exercise Rapid Trident in Yavoriv district of Lviv region. It is an exercise the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) organizes in Ukraine on an annual basis. This year a contingent formed by the Grand Duchess Birutė Battalion is taking part in the exercise, also involving 17 other NATO allies and partner nations, on Lithuania’s behalf. Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Major General Almatnas Leika will also pay a visit to Exercise Rapid Trident. The Battalion will also form the core of the Lithuanian contingent to be assigned to the trilateral LITPOLUKRBRIG Brigade.
The Ministers of Defence of the stablishing countries endorsed the agreement on establishing the trilateral Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade (LITPOLUKRBRIG) in Warsaw on 19 September 2014. Subsequently, the agreement was ratified by the parliaments of the respective countries.
The Brigade will be formed following the model of multinational crisis response capabilities – European Union Battle Groups (EU BGs). The LITPOLUKRBRIG is planned to be made up of an international staff, three battalions and special-purpose units. Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine will each assign an infantry battalion, the establishing nations will commit personnel for special-purpose units and the LITPOLUKRBRIG staff.
The agreement provides for the participation of the LITPOLUKRBRIG personnel in joint training and exercises and deployment of the Brigade or its elements to international operations mandated by the United Nations Security Council, while decision regarding deployment of the LITPOLUKRBRIG to international operations will be made by general consent of all the establishing countries.
The LITPOLUKRBRIG HQ will be based in Lublin, Poland. Lithuania plans posting up to five soldiers on a permanent basis as well as to deploy additional military personnel during LITPOLUKRBRIG training and exercises. The LITPOLUKRBRIG battalions will be held on standby in their home countries, and deploy in composition of the LITPOLUKRBRIG in case a decision is made to activate the Brigade or any of its elements.
The Lithuanian contribution to the LITPOLUKRBRIG will be formed from the personnel of the Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion. Personnel of the Battalion were also the source of the Lithuanian input into the joint Lithuanian-Polish Battalion (LITPOLBAL) in 1999-2007. The contemporary military unit formed cooperatively with a NATO ally enabled Lithuanian solders to adopt NATO military procedures, to prepared for NATO-led multinational operations as well as to get ready for integration into NATO’s military organization. The LITPOLUKRBRIG project is also aimed strengthening regional cooperation and assisting Ukraine in taking a more active part in the cooperation in the region and Euro-Atlantic area, and adopting experience and military standards of NATO allies.
As embedded in the LITPOLUKRBRIG establishing agreement, other nations will be able to join the unit at the invitation of the establishing nations. Negotiations on the establishment of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Ukrainian trilateral military unit thus contributing to regional and wide-scale international stability and security were launched in 2007. The project also aims for strengthening the strategic partnership and defence cooperation between Lithuania and Poland and assisting Ukraine to join the cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic space on a more active basis.
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division marked the start of fabrication for the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) on July 21. The start of fabrication signifies that 100 tons of steel have been cut.
The ship is named in honor of Delbert D. Black, who served as a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the battleship USS Maryland during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Black served in three wars and was the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy.
«Our shipbuilders are very excited about beginning the fabrication process of another DDG 51 destroyer, especially one named after the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy», said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG 51 program manager. «Serial production provides the most effective and efficient way to build ships, and this is our fourth ship started in three years. We are committed to building another great warship for the Navy».
Black’s widow, Ima, is the ship’s sponsor and participated in the ceremony. She met Black after World War II, during which she served as a Navy WAVE (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service). She and Delbert were married 50 years until the time of his death in 2000.
«I want to thank all of the shipbuilders who are building this ship», she said. «Today was very emotional for me. I’m happy they did name the ship for him and that they are building it for him, but it is sad that he was not here to receive these honors. He would be very pleased about it. I know the men and women who serve on this ship will be proud to have the name Delbert D. Black on their uniform».
Delbert D. Black is the 32nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be built at Ingalls. From this point on, shipbuilders will assemble the ship using modular construction, where pre-fabricated units are constructed separately and later lifted in place and integrated with other units.
«I am excited to see DDG-119 production starting off strong», said Captain Mark Vandroff, the Navy’s DDG 51 class program manager. «This ship will not only honor a great Navy leader, it will serve as a testament to all our current and future senior enlisted leaders of the value the Navy places on their service. My team was greatly honored to have Mrs. Black present at the start of fabrication and looks forward to her enthusiasm guiding us during the ship’s construction».
To date, Ingalls has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. The highly capable, multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline
59 feet/18 m
30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load
9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/ 75,000 kW
SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
The official ceremony marking the acceptance by the Arab Republic of Egypt of its first three Rafales was held on July 20 at the Dassault Aviation flight test center in Istres, under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Ehab Badawy, Egyptian Ambassador to France, and in the presence of Dassault Aviation Chairman & CEO Eric Trappier.
This first delivery comes just five months after the Egyptian decision to acquire 24 Rafales (16 two-seaters and 8 single-seaters) in order to equip its Air Force with a latest-generation multirole fighter capable of meeting the country’s operational requirements and enabling Egypt, with full sovereignty, to secure its geostrategic position in the region. At the same time, an initial group of Egyptian users has been trained in France. Egyptian pilots, trained by the French Air Force, flew the first three Rafales to Cairo on the day after the ceremony.
Eric Trappier declared: «This contract constitutes a new milestone in the cooperation between Dassault Aviation and Egypt since the 1970s – more than 40 years of an exemplary partnership marked by commitment and mutual trust. After the Mirage 5, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000, the Rafale is the fourth Dassault aircraft to fly in Egyptian colors, and Egypt is the first export customer for the Rafale, as it was for the Mirage 2000. We are very pleased with this partnership, which over time has shown its solidity and ensured the durability of the historical links between our two countries. On behalf of Dassault Aviation and its 8,000 employees, its partners Thales and Snecma and the 500 subcontractors, I thank the Egyptian authorities, for the trust they have placed in us once again, and also the authorities and the French armed forces, without whose support this success would not have been possible».