All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Joint Support Ship

According to Kate Tringham, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, the Netherlands Defence Material Organisation (DMO) formally handed over the 28,000-ton Joint Logistic Support Ship (JSS) HNLMS Karel Doorman (A833) to the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) on September 24, 2015. The ceremony marked the successful completion of the majority of the ship’s sea acceptance test programme, a DMO spokesperson said. HNLMS Karel Doorman will now start its work-up trajectory, with a view to achieving full operational readiness by mid-2016.

The Joint Logistic Support Ship Karel Doorman (A833) is being built to ensure that the Netherlands armed forces will remain able to conduct operations outside the national boundaries in the future
The Joint Logistic Support Ship Karel Doorman (A833) is being built to ensure that the Netherlands armed forces will remain able to conduct operations outside the national boundaries in the future

Built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding yard in Vlissingen under a contract signed in December 2009, Karel Doorman was laid down in June 2011 and launched in October 2012. Before completion the ship found itself in 2013 declared surplus to requirements under austerity-driven defence budget cuts. The decision was reversed by the Dutch government and it officially entered service with the RNLN on 24 April 2015.

Following commissioning, the ship embarked on a nine-week deployment to Norway, Canada, the United States, and the Dutch Antilles where it conducted warm weather trials, and underwater and magnetic signature testing under DMO supervision. In addition to the DMO’s test programme, Karel Doorman was used for replenishment at sea operations throughout the nine weeks, transport of equipment to the Dutch Antilles, and successful trials with a Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. It also participated in the annual «Hurricane Exercise» («HUREX 2015»), demonstrating the versatility and potential of the ship, the spokesperson said.

Prior to commissioning, in November 2014 the ship also completed a three-month deployment to West Africa to deliver aid to Ebola-struck countries.

The JSS will be equipped with a crane and lift to hoist heavy materiel
The JSS will be equipped with a crane and lift to hoist heavy materiel

 

Characteristics

GENERAL
Yard reference 412
Customer Royal Netherlands Navy
Basic functions Replenishment-At-Sea/Fuelling-At-Sea (RAS/FAS), Sea Basing, Strategic Transport, Disaster Relief, Training
Classification Germanischer Lloyd, SOLAS and MARPOL compliant
NAVAL FEATURES
Shock resistant, Blast bulkheads, Nuclear Biological Chemical and Damage (NBCD) citadel, Degaussing system, Radar Cross Section (RCS), Underwater Noise and Magnetic Signature Reduction
DIMENSIONS
Length OverAll (LOA) 671.6 feet/204.7 m
Beam Moulded 99.7 feet/30.4 m
Draft design 25.6 feet/7.8 m
Depth to n°1 deck 61 feet/18.6 m
Displacement full load approximately 27,000 tonnes
PERFORMANCE
Service speed 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.3 km/h
Range at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h 10,000 NM/11,508 miles/18,520 km
PROPULSION SYSTEM
Diesel-electric propulsion system
Generator power 24,900 kW/33,391.5 hp
Propulsion power 17,800 kW/23,870.2 hp
Propellers 2 × Fixed-Pitch Propeller (FPP)
Bow-thruster 2 × FPP
Stern-thruster 1 × FPP
TRANSPORT CAPACITY
RoRo space approximately 2,350 m2/ 25,295.2 feet2
Lanemeters approximately 2,000 m
Ammunition. Store 730 m2/ 7,857.6 feet2
Store 1,000 m2/10,763.9 feet2
F76 7,700 m3/271,922.9 feet3
F44 1,000 m3/35,314.6 feet3
FW 400 m3/14,125.9 feet3
Flight deck with 2 spots for a Chinook helicopter
Night Vision Compatible helicopter landing aids
Ground Power Units (Helicopter Start & Service Power)
Hangar space for 2 × Chinook size helicopters in the fully spread condition, space for 6 × Chinook size with blades folded
ACCOMODATION
Air-conditioned spaces for 300 crew and special personnel consisting of cabins, stores, galley, mess rooms and sanitary spaces
A fully equipped role 3 hospital
WEAPONS & SENSOR SUITE
Radar systems Extensive radar suite for both surface-to-surface and surface-to-air surveillance, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), IO-detection System
Communication LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF Transceivers, Satcom system, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Message Handling System (MHS), Internal communication system, LAN (secure and civil)
Weapons 2 × Goalkeeper CIWS
4 × Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff (SRBOC) launchers
2 × 30-mm remote controlled force protection gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 remote controlled medium caliber gun
NAUTICAL EQUIPMENT
GPS, Integrated Bridge System, echo sounder, power- and ship’s management system with integrated Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS), Nav-radars I&F (2 ×), Warship Automatic Identification System (W-AIS)
EQUIPMENT
2 × Dual purpose Replenishment-At-Sea (RAS) equipment according to Stanag
Stern quarter ramp 100 ton
3 × 50 m3/day RO-units
2 × Fast Rib
2 × Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP)
1 × Deck Crane 40 ton
2 × Store elevator
1 × Ammunition elevator
1 × Platform elevator
The ship can transport about 5,000 tonnes of heavy rolling (armoured) materiel. The ship will have a hospital with 2 operating theatres
The ship can transport about 5,000 tonnes of heavy rolling (armoured) materiel. The ship will have a hospital with 2 operating theatres

 

The Damen Joint Support Ship fulfils the operational requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy for a robust multifunctional platform

 

Egyptian Patroller

Sagem (Safran) and Egyptian manufacturer AOI-Aircraft Factory have signed an exclusive commercial and industrial collaboration agreement concerning the Patroller surveillance drone system, to address the requirements of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense (MoD). According to the terms of this agreement, AOI-Aircraft Factory could handle final assembly of Patroller drones in its Egyptian plants. The agreement also covers system support and commissioning. AOI-Aircraft Factory will develop a dedicated training center in Egypt to train staff for the operation and maintenance of Sagem’s drone systems.

Patroller composite airframe is certified by EASA to civil aviation standards EASA CS 23
Patroller composite airframe is certified by EASA to civil aviation standards EASA CS 23

Developed in France by Sagem, the Patroller is a versatile long-endurance tactical drone system. It features an open, modular design to handle a broad spectrum of military and security missions, while carrying a multi-sensor payload of up to 551 lbs/250 kg, fuselage or pod-mounted. The Patroller offers endurance of more than 20 hours, and an operating ceiling of 20,000 feet/6,096 meter. Sagem has already conducted a flight demonstration on Patroller Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) showing the simultaneous operation of different sensors: optronic (electro-optical) pod, radar, Electronic Warfare (EW) system, distress beacon detector and Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver.

The Patroller’s design draws on ten years of experience with Sagem’s Sperwer drone system to support operations in Afghanistan.

 

Patroller S

Patroller S is a long endurance surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) performing a wide range of Homeland Security missions for police forces, customs, border control, civil or environmental protection, etc.

It is based on proven and mature solutions: EASA CS22 certified and robust platform, proven latest generation avionics, radio links and image chain equipment. Thanks to its open architecture and modular pods under wings, Patroller S is easily customizable according to the mission:

  • Mission payloads: Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Surveillance And Reconnaissance (SAR), COMmunications INTelligence (COMINT), communication relay, Wide Field-Of-View (WFOV) scanners;
  • Radio link: Line-Of-Sight (LOS), Beyond Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) (SATCOM as an option).

The Patroller S air vehicle can be operated either in UAV or piloted mode. For example, it can be flown to its area of operation within the general air traffic in non-segregated airspace and then it can be operated from a local site in UAV mode and carry out its missions in segregated airspace. The switching from UAV to piloted mode (and reverse) is immediate.

Homeland security applications:

  • Border and coastal surveillance;
  • Law enforcement, surveillance of major events;
  • Protection of sensitive sites (e.g. industrial sites, areas and infrastructures of natural resource exploitation);
  • Civil protection (forest fire detection, natural disaster monitoring);
  • Environmental protection (pollution detection, etc.).
With a flexible offer, systems can be acquired, hired or covered by flight-by-the-hour service contracts with maintenance
With a flexible offer, systems can be acquired, hired or covered by flight-by-the-hour service contracts with maintenance

 

Facts

PERFORMANCES
Endurance 20 hours
Ceiling 20,000 feet/6,096 m
Standard payload TV + IR + Laser RangeFinder (LRF)
LOS redundant data link 200 km range
C-band broadcast link for Remote Video Terminal (RVT)
ATC-integrated (transponder, VHF on-board)
Redundant full triplex Flight Control System
Very low noise
AIR VEHICLE
Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) 1-tonne class
Maximum payload 551 lbs/250 kg
Runway <0,62 miles/1 km
Speed range 70-110 knots/80.5-126.6 mph/130-204 km/h
Transportable in freight transport aircraft
Retractable landing gear
GROUND STATION
Control station 2 to 3 operators
Multi-platform
Hand over capability
Connection to the operation center through civil standard interfaces
Ground data terminal: trailer
RVT for intervention teams
Full mission training simulator

 

LCS-5 makes waves

The future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) successfully concluded its acceptance trial September 18, after completing a series of in-port and underway demonstrations for the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for October. During the five-day trial, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the installed systems.

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) makes waves during its acceptance trial. The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for October (Photo by U.S. Navy)
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) makes waves during its acceptance trial. The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for October (Photo by U.S. Navy)

«What a ride», said LCS program manager Captain Tom Anderson. «The weather on Lake Michigan during the conduct of this trial was not pleasant. Despite the high sea state, Milwaukee crisply executed the schedule of events and received some of the highest demonstration scores to date for the LCS class. Milwaukee lives up to her namesake city in both her tenacity and strength».

While underway, the ship performed launch and recovery operations of the 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat, a four-hour full power run, surface and air self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, and demonstrated the ship’s maneuverability performing tight turns and full-power quick reversal.

Following her commissioning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in November, the ship will prepare for full ship shock trials to be held in the Atlantic Ocean in 2016. She will then sail to California to be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) and USS Coronado (LCS-4).

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.

As the U.S. Navy faces retirement of three important ship classes soon, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship is helping to fill that gap affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions. Photo: US Navy
As the U.S. Navy faces retirement of three important ship classes soon, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship is helping to fill that gap affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions. Photo: US Navy

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System
SUW Configured Freedom
SUW Configured Freedom

 

Ship list

USS Freedom (LCS-1)

USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)

USS Detroit (LCS-7)

USS Little Rock (LCS-9)

USS Sioux City (LCS-11)

USS Wichita (LCS-13)

USS Billings (LCS-15)

USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)

USS St. Louis (LCS-19)

USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)

The Lockheed Martin Multi-mission Combat Ship is one potential next generation variant the company has developed. The MCS design, using the flexible LCS hullform, can be built to different sizes, configured and integrated with sensors and weapons based on individual navies’ requirements. Image: Lockheed Martin
The Lockheed Martin Multi-mission Combat Ship is one potential next generation variant the company has developed. The MCS design, using the flexible LCS hullform, can be built to different sizes, configured and integrated with sensors and weapons based on individual navies’ requirements. Image: Lockheed Martin

First Fuselage

Spirit AeroSystems Inc. announced it has completed the first fuselage to Bell Helicopter for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program. The unit was designed and assembled in Spirit’s rapid prototyping facility in Wichita, Kansas, in just 22 months. The composite fuselage is being prepped to ship to Bell’s Amarillo, Texas, facility for final assembly.

Spirit AeroSystems completes first fuselage for Bell V-280 Valor
Spirit AeroSystems completes first fuselage for Bell V-280 Valor

«Delivering a fuselage from design to completion in 22 months is an amazing accomplishment», said Spirit President and CEO Larry Lawson. «Spirit’s unique capability to design, build and deliver with the highest quality and lowest possible cost make us a great partner on revolutionary programs like the Bell V-280».

The U.S. Army-led JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift program, with the goal to replace 2,000 to 4,000 medium-class utility and attack helicopters. The V-280 Valor is Bell Helicopter’s offering for the JMR-TD program. A next generation tiltrotor, the Bell V-280 Valor advanced technology tiltrotor provides unmatched speed, range and payload for expeditionary maneuver to win in a complex world.

«Spirit AeroSystems is proud to be an investing member of Team Valor with 10 other premier aerospace companies. Together we are helping the Department of Defense inform requirements and reduce risk on a new development program while at the same time providing the capabilities to win on the battlefield», said Phil Anderson, Spirit senior vice president of Spirit Defense.

The V-280 is scheduled to make its first flight in the second half of 2017.

Completion of the first fuselage for Bell’s future V-280 Valor tiltrotor was marked by a short ceremony at Spirit AeroSystems’ plant in Wichita, Kansas (Spirit photo)
Completion of the first fuselage for Bell’s future V-280 Valor tiltrotor was marked by a short ceremony at Spirit AeroSystems’ plant in Wichita, Kansas (Spirit photo)

 

Facts

Speed: 280 KTAS/322 mph/518 km/h

Combat Range: 500-800 NM/575-920 miles/926-1,481 km

Strategically Self-Deployable: 2,100+ NM/2,416.5+ miles/3,889+ km Range

High/Hot 6k/95F Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) Performance

Carries crew of four and 14 troops

Useful load of 12,000+ lbs/5,443+ kg

Triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system

Conventional, retractable landing gear

Two 6’ wide large side doors for ease of rapid ingress/egress

Enhanced situational awareness and sensing technologies

Advanced tiltrotor to offer significant capabilities increase in speed, range and access
Advanced tiltrotor to offer significant capabilities increase in speed, range and access

Amphibious Vehicle

Lockheed Martin officially introduced its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 offering at the Modern Day Marine trade show in Quantico, Virginia, on September 23. The armored, eight-wheel-drive vehicle is designed to transport up to 13 Marines, transition seamlessly between land and water, and provide high levels of blast protection. The U.S. Marine Corps established the ACV program to replace its aging fleet of Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV), which have been in service since the 1970s.

The modular design allows a wide range of weapons, sensor and communications options to address evolving mission and affordability requirements
The modular design allows a wide range of weapons, sensor and communications options to address evolving mission and affordability requirements

The Lockheed Martin ACV candidate is a modular, easily upgradable 8×8 design that allows superior growth for a wide range of variants, weapons, sensors and communications options. Lockheed Martin is the original equipment manufacturer, systems integrator, and final-assembly, integration and test agent for its ACV. The company has selected an experienced team of suppliers for their specific capabilities to enable the production and delivery of a high-quality, affordable solution.

«We have been committed to the Marine Corps for more than eight years in the growth and evolution of the ACV and its predecessor programs», said Scott Greene, vice president of Ground Vehicles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «In concert with the Marine Corps’ desire for domestic production, Lockheed Martin has assembled a supplier team that will enable the manufacturing and delivery of a vehicle that meets or exceeds their requirements at the right price».

The Lockheed Martin ACV candidate will meet or exceed the Marine Corps’ ACV requirements in four key areas: Water Operations; Land Operations; Payload Capacity and Protection. The team’s ACV offering is comprised primarily of off-the-shelf components and products currently in service on vehicles around the world. They have been brought together in the Lockheed Martin 8×8 to provide the Marine Corps a vehicle that meets their needs today and supports their missions far into the future.

The Marine Corps will conduct its own series of automotive, amphibious and protection tests
The Marine Corps will conduct its own series of automotive, amphibious and protection tests

Beowulf

A new BAE Systems all-terrain vehicle, which can reach more places and carry more cargo than any other vehicle of its kind, is making its debut at DSEI 2015 (Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition) in London.

BvS10 Beowulf base configuration is a new unprotected platform combining the best of Bv206, Bv206S and BvS10 and is configurable and ready for future growth
BvS10 Beowulf base configuration is a new unprotected platform combining the best of Bv206, Bv206S and BvS10 and is configurable and ready for future growth

The new vehicle, called «Beowulf», is based on the Company’s revered Viking BvS10 fighting, troop-carrying and logistics vehicle that was initially designed in Sweden for the UK Royal Marines. Beowulf has a payload capacity of eight tonnes and built-in flexibility with special role cabins in the rear car to carry a combination of personnel and cargo. The vehicle can traverse through water, swamps, snow and soft sand; and climb 45-degree slopes. Beowulf features increased crew comfort and visibility, and is easy to maintain and support, resulting in reduced operational costs.

«We know from more than 40 years of all-terrain vehicle experience that there is a need for an unarmoured vehicle that can reach places other systems cannot, carry a high payload and do it around the clock regardless of weather conditions», said Tore Akser, platform manager at BAE Systems Hägglunds, a subsidiary of BAE Systems, Inc. in the United States.

BAE Systems sees Beowulf as a successor to its Bv206. More than 12,000 of the glass-fibre bodied vehicles were built and the majority are still in service with military and emergency services in more than 40 countries around the world. Beowulf is well placed to meet a recently declared requirement from the UK Royal Marines for approximately 230 vehicles, in a range of variants to replace the Marines’ 350 Bv206s.

Though aimed primarily at the military market, Beowulf is also expected to attract interest for carrying out civilian missions in areas difficult to access.

In most critical situations, the ability to quickly reach your objective is a top priority. BvS10 Beowulf is designed to support the crew in any conditions and in any terrain. Whether the mission is to transport equipment or serve as an ambulance service, you can always rely on getting there even if you have to cross deep waters or rocky mountains.

Mobile – Outstanding in all environments

Capable – Up to 14 personnel, approximately 17,637 lbs/8,000 kg payload at 40 mph/65 km/h

Durable – Engineered for 24/7 operations

Reliable – All conditions, worldwide

Maintainable – Engineered for low cost of ownership

Amphibious – Without preparation.

The ideal platform for Military applications, HADR (Humanitarian Aid Disaster Relief), Fire Fighting and Rescue operations thanks to the built in flexibility
The ideal platform for Military applications, HADR (Humanitarian Aid Disaster Relief), Fire Fighting and Rescue operations thanks to the built in flexibility

 

Specifications

MOBILITY
Climbing 45 degrees
Gap crossing 6.56 feet/2 m
Step climbing ≥ 3.28 feet/1.0 m
Maximum cant (static) >35 degrees
Turning circle 36/46 feet/11/14 m (with/without pitch control)
Nominal Ground Pressure (NGP) 25 kPA (at 0.2/0.05 m sinkage at GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight)
ENGINE
Cummins 6.7 L in-line 6-cyl
Power 210 kW/285 hk/970 Nm
TRANSMISSION
Allison automatic, 6 speed forward, 1 speed reverse
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Voltage 24V DC
Alternator 400 A
DIMENSIONS
Gross Vehicle Weight ~34,171.7 lbs/15,500 kg
Height ~8.2 feet/2.5 m
Length ~26.25 feet/8.0 m
Width ~7.2 feet/2.2 m
PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed ~43.5 mph/70 km/h
Reverse ~6.2 mph/10 km/h
Water speed ~2.5 mph/4 km/h
Range 248.5 miles/400 km standard – up to 621 miles/1,000 km
FRONT CAR
2/4 people cabin
Load capacity approximately 6,613.87 lbs/3,000 kg
REAR CAR
People/special-to-role cabin
Load capacity approximately 11,023.1 lbs/5,000 kg

 

BvS10 Beowulf is a dual body, amphibious vehicle with well-proven technology that is designed to provide total operational support where other vehicles cannot

 

ASRAAM for Kingdom

MBDA has received a contract worth over £300 million from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) that ensures the Royal Air Force remains equipped with the highly capable infra-red guided air-to-air missile, ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile). The contract covers the supply of new missiles to refresh the existing inventory of ASRAAM. Value for money is ensured through the re-use of components from other MBDA products such as the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM).

ASRAAM accepts target information via the aircraft sensors, such as the radar or helmet mounted sight but can also act as an autonomous infrared search and track system
ASRAAM accepts target information via the aircraft sensors, such as the radar or helmet mounted sight but can also act as an autonomous infrared search and track system

The missiles will be produced at MBDA’s new Bolton manufacturing and assembly site that will be commissioned in mid-2016. The engineering activities are being carried out at MBDA sites in Stevenage and Bristol. This programme and associated workload around domestic and export programmes using the core CAMM system, will sustain 400 jobs across the MBDA sites and at a number of other UK suppliers. The sustainment of these production facilities also ensures that ASRAAM remains available for overseas customers and future exports.

Dave Armstrong, Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director UK of MBDA said, «I strongly welcome this decision. This contract will deliver value to the MoD and keep the Royal Air Force equipped with an air defence capability that provides operational advantage wherever it flies. It illustrates the importance of the joint MoD and MBDA approach to delivering world leading complex weapons capability and will ensure that essential and unique UK skills, technologies and facilities, such as our new £30 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bolton, are sustained for the future. Finally, the RAF’s commitment to this capability will also enhance future export success and we look forward to extending the joint government and industry approach to securing further ASRAAM customers».

 

Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile

ASRAAM is the most modern air-to-air missile designed to dominate the Within Visual Range (WVR) combat mission. The concept behind ASRAAM is to give the pilot the ability to engage the enemy, fire and get away without risking himself or his aircraft in a dogfight. ASRAAM’s unique capabilities enable it to defeat all short-range missiles, existing or planned, in close-in combat.

The RAAF has demonstrated successful «over the shoulder» firing in LOAL mode against target drones that were behind the wing-line of the launch aircraft
The RAAF has demonstrated successful «over the shoulder» firing in LOAL mode against target drones that were behind the wing-line of the launch aircraft

The missile system performance is attributed to a revolutionary design concept and state-of-the-art technology providing fast reaction time from button press to end game performance and giving ASRAAM the highest speed of any short-range missile.

ASRAAM’s high speed is achieved by means of a combination of low drag and rocket motor size. By using a 6.5-inch/166-mm diameter motor, compared with other missiles, which use a 5-inch/127-mm motor, ASRAAM has more propellant and can maintain a high speed throughout its flight time.

Designed to out manoeuvre target aircraft in Within Visual Range engagements and to allow launch at high off-boresight angles during such engagements; ASRAAM is a highly agile missile. The exceptional manoeuvrability is provided by a sophisticated control system using innovative body lift technology coupled with tail control.

ASRAAM provides the pilot with the ability to effectively engage targets from gun range to near Beyond Visual Range (BVR). The pilot can identify the threat passively and cue the missile using a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) or radar, or it can be cued using third party targeting. The missile imaging infrared seeker allows ASRAAM to fly out to the target passively.

ASRAAM’s maximum range is uncontested, and no other short-range air-to-air missile comes near to this capability, providing the ability to passively home beyond the limits of visual range and well into the realm traditionally thought of as Beyond Visual Range.

ASRAAM can be employed in 3 ways:

  • For normal engagements of targets in the forward hemisphere, the «lock before launch» capability is used.
  • Engagement of targets beyond the seeker acquisition range is made possible using the Lock On After Launch (LOAL) capability with target data provided by the aircraft sensors or a third party.
  • For close-in combat, the aircraft sensors can give target positional data to the missile beyond the seeker off-boresight limits of +/- 90 degrees. This gives the pilot the additional ability to fire an «over-the-shoulder» shot using the Lock On After Launch capability of the missile. In this scenario, the pilot can locate targets behind the aircraft using, for example, the Helmet Mounted Display or third party targeting. In this case, the missile will launch and fly onto the vector provided by the aircraft, and the seeker will acquire the target, engage and destroy it.
The missile can fly faster and further than competing short-range air-to-air missiles
The missile can fly faster and further than competing short-range air-to-air missiles

ASRAAM is in service with the Royal Air Force as its Within Visual Range Dominance weapon. The weapon is also in operational service with the Royal Australian Air Force on its F/A-18 Hornet.

Already fully integrated with proven reliability on Typhoon, Tornado and F/A-18, ASRAAM is also being integrated onto the F-35 Lightning II.

Proven capability demonstrated by firings from a range of aircraft, including: F-16, F/A-18, Tornado F3, Tornado GR4 and Typhoon aircraft.

 

Missile Characteristics

Weight 194 lbs/88 kg
Length 9.5 feet/2.9 m
Diameter 6.5 inch/166 mm
Speed Over Mach 3
Range In excess of 15.5 miles/25 km

 

Upgraded Spearfish

A prototype of the next-generation Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo has successfully completed a first in-water trial at the Ministry of Defence operated British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre, on the west coast of Scotland.

Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo Production
Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo Production

The trial is part of a five-year programme to develop an upgrade to the Spearfish Mod-0 Heavyweight Torpedo, which is currently in service with the UK Royal Navy on the Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute Class submarines, also designed and built by BAE Systems.

The upgrade extends the life of the torpedo and improves safety through the introduction of an «insensitive munitions» warhead together with a single fuel system. The next generation Spearfish will also feature better data links between the weapon system and the launching vessel. This results in capability improvements as well as a reduction in through-life operating costs for the Royal Navy.

The recently completed trial included the launch of a prototype weapon from a chute frame, which demonstrated control in a range of manoeuvres and explored the performance of newly introduced capabilities. Submarine-launched trials are planned to start next year.

Les Gregory, Products & Training Services Director at BAE Systems, said: «This is an important step in demonstrating the enhanced capability of the Spearfish Mod-1 Heavyweight Torpedo, as well as generating the necessary performance data, which will inform the rest of the programme. The success of this trial is testament to the knowledge and experience we have gained over more than 35 years of torpedo development. It is also a reflection of our strong relationship with the customer and our supply chain».

Following the completion of this demonstration phase, existing Mod-0 Heavyweight Torpedoes will be upgraded by BAE Systems based at its Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth to the new mod-1 design with initial deliveries in 2020. Since its award in December 2014, the £270 million upgrade contract has created 30 new roles.

Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo loading
Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo loading

 

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

Length 16.4 feet/5 m
Weight <4,409 lbs/2,000 kg
Speed 61 knots/70 mph/113 km/h
Materials Aluminium and Titanium
Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo Stores
Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo Stores

 

Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo

17 SM-3 Block IIAs

The Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon Company $87 million to purchase long-lead materials needed to produce up to 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIAs that will be used for testing and initial deployment. A follow-on contract for the additional materials, parts and components is expected by early 2016. Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment in 2018.

The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA’s larger rocket motors will allow it to take out threats sooner
The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA’s larger rocket motors will allow it to take out threats sooner

«Our Japanese partners have been tremendous allies in this development program, and together we’ve taken ballistic missile defense to the next level», said Doctor Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «When the SM-3 Block IIA deploys in 2018, we will have a greater degree of protection than ever before».

The SM-3 Block IIA has larger rocket motors and a bigger, more capable kill vehicle that allows it to take out threats sooner in flight and protect larger regions of land. «The SM-3 Block IIA can be used at sea or on land with no modification to the missile», said Amy Cohen, Standard Missile-3 program director. «The SM-3 is the only ballistic missile defense interceptor that can be deployed both ways, and that flexibility is a tremendous asset».

The program is on track for both land and sea deployment in 2018 in line with Phase 3 of the U.S.’s Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense of U.S. deployed forces and allies in NATO Europe.

 

About the Standard Missile-3

SM-3s destroy incoming ballistic missile threats in space using nothing more than sheer impact, which is equivalent to a 10-ton truck traveling at 600 mph/966 km/h.

  • More than 230 SM-3s have been delivered to date.
  • SM-3 Block IB will be deployed at sea and ashore in 2015 in Romania.
  • SM-3 Block IIA is on track for deployment at sea and ashore in 2018 in Poland and/or Romania.
Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA completed its first flight test on June 6, 2015, at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Saint Nicolas Island Facility, California (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)
Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA completed its first flight test on June 6, 2015, at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Saint Nicolas Island Facility, California (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)

British AJAX

General Dynamics UK has unveiled on September 15, the turreted AJAX prototype platform at DSEI 2015. The platform, the flagship variant of the AJAX programme, is the second prototype to be unveiled by General Dynamics UK, and the first to feature the Lockheed Martin UK-developed turret, which is designed to meet the needs of the modern British soldier.

AJAX, the new name for the British Army’s Scout SV reconnaissance vehicle, was unveiled at the DSEI show in London fitted with its new Lockheed Martin 40-mm turret (GD UK image)
AJAX, the new name for the British Army’s Scout SV reconnaissance vehicle, was unveiled at the DSEI show in London fitted with its new Lockheed Martin 40-mm turret (GD UK image)

The AJAX platform will be the «eyes and ears» of the British Army on the battlefields of the future. It will be effective in the most difficult terrains around the world, providing all-weather Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities.

Commenting on the unveiling of the AJAX platform, MoD Armoured Vehicles Head of Programmes, Major General Talbot-Rice, said: «We are committed to supplying the Armed Forces with the very best equipment possible and are delivering on this by supplying the AJAX platform which will become their first fully digitised armoured fighting vehicle».

The AJAX platform is one of six variants to be delivered to the British Army by General Dynamics UK from 2017 through 2024. It represents the future of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) for the British Army, providing best-in-class protection and survivability, reliability and mobility and advanced ISTAR capabilities.

AJAX has been designed and developed at General Dynamics UK’s AFV design and engineering centre in Oakdale, South Wales. The company’s employees include highly-skilled engineers who are delivering the family of best-in-class platforms.

Kevin Connell, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems – UK, said: «We are delighted to unveil the AJAX prototype, which is another significant step in the on schedule delivery of a family of best-in-class platforms to the British Army. Working together with our industry partners, customer and end-user, we will deliver into service a platform that will enable the British Army to gather the information they need, when they need it, on the battlefields of the future».

The range of AJAX variants will allow the British Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint. It can operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide-range of future operating environments. The first British Army squadron will be equipped by mid-2019 to allow conversion to begin with a brigade ready to deploy from the end of 2020.

General Dynamics demonstrates Armoured Fighting Vehicle capability at DSEI 2015
General Dynamics demonstrates Armoured Fighting Vehicle capability at DSEI 2015