All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

F-35 fires AIM-9X

An F-35 Lightning II fighter jet from the 461st Flight Test Squadron launched an AIM-9X missile for the first time over the Pacific Sea Test Range January 12.

AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile January 12, 2016 (Lockheed Martin photo/Chad Bellay)
AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile January 12, 2016 (Lockheed Martin photo/Chad Bellay)

The flight sciences aircraft, AF-1, of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Integrated Test Force, was piloted by David Nelson, the Lockheed Martin chief F-35 Lightning II test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The AIM-9X is an advanced infrared missile and the newest of the Sidewinder family of short-range air-to-air missiles carried on a wide range of fighter jets.

The missile was launched at 6,000 feet/1,829 m.

The shot paves the way for the F-35 Lightning II to utilize the weapon’s high off-boresight and targeting capabilities, increasing lethality in the visual arena.

 

Specifications

Length 51.4 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.4 feet/4.38 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 22.5 feet/6.86 m
Weight empty 29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity 18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-100
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Engine Length 220 in/5.59 m
Engine Inlet Diameter 46 in/1.17 m
Engine Maximum Diameter 51 in/1.30 m
Bypass Ratio 0.57
Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Maximum g-rating 9.0

 

Nulka was fired

The Nulka active missile decoy has been successfully fired from a U.S. Navy CVN Class aircraft carrier for the first time. On December 16, 2015, the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) completed the first successful carrier launch of the Mk-234 Nulka countermeasure fired from the Mk-53 Decoy Launching System (DLS).

Nulka is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning to «be quick»
Nulka is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning to «be quick»

Five successful decoy launches took place over three days. Two of BAE Systems Australia’s employees were also on-board to support the trial. While Nulka has been used by smaller U.S. naval vessels for years, it had never been fired from a ship as large as an aircraft carrier before. The successful firings also expand our Company’s presence on U.S. Navy major ships.

 

Nulka

The Nulka active missile decoy is the most sophisticated soft-kill defence system against anti-ship missiles available for the protection of surface warships. It is currently deployed on over 150 Australian, U.S. and Canadian warships.

The Nulka system is the result of a collaborative development between Australia and the U.S., and brings together advanced flight vehicle guidance and control techniques, and sophisticated RF electronic technologies. Fully autonomous after launch, the unique flight vehicle design allows the decoy’s flight-path to be maintained with a high degree of precision over a wide range of environmental conditions, resulting in extremely high levels of mission effectiveness against modern anti-ship missiles.

The thrust vector controlled solid fuel rocket motor provides rapid response against detected threats, while the extended decoy flight duration supports the engagement of multiple threats. Accurate control of the flight vehicle allows for optimal positioning of the decoy, independent of ship manoeuvre, and minimises the likelihood of collateral damage to friendly forces.

Nulka is an integral element of a comprehensive, integrated layered defence system, and its unique capabilities complement conventional hard-kill missile and gun systems.

Nulka has been integrated with Arleigh Burke DDG, Ticonderoga CG, Oliver Hazard Perry FFG (Australian Adelaide Class FFG), San Antonio LPD, Whidbey Island LPD, Bertholf, ANZAC FFH and Iroquois DDG class ships. All U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers equipped with AEGIS have Nulka included in their layered defense system. Future installations are planned for the Royal Australian Navy’s Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) and Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD).

BAE Systems Australia is the Nulka prime contractor and System Design Agent. Lockheed Martin Inc. (USA) is the Design Agent for the electronic warfare payload. Aerojet Inc. (USA) manufacture the rocket motor. BAE Systems manufactures the flight control hardware at their manufacturing facility in Edinburgh Parks (SA), and assembles and tests the completed Nulka Round at their Nulka Round Assembly Facility in Mulwala (NSW).

Nulka is Australia’s largest regular defence export program and pre-planned product improvement activities are ongoing to enhance the performance of the system.

When launched, the Nulka decoy radiates a large, ship-like radar cross section that attempts to lure ASMs away from their intended targets
When launched, the Nulka decoy radiates a large, ship-like radar cross section that attempts to lure ASMs away from their intended targets

Ready for fleet

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ RQ-21A Blackjack Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) received the official green light for operation January 13, marking a major milestone for the program.

An RQ-21A Blackjack in flight during testing aboard USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) in 2015. The Marines will deploy with the unmanned air system for its first shipboard deployment in summer 2016 (U.S. Navy photo)
An RQ-21A Blackjack in flight during testing aboard USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) in 2015. The Marines will deploy with the unmanned air system for its first shipboard deployment in summer 2016 (U.S. Navy photo)

Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lieutenant General Jon Davis, announced the program has achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC), which confirms that the first Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) squadron is sufficiently manned, trained and ready to deploy with the RQ-21A system.

«We are ‘go for launch,’» said Colonel Eldon Metzger, program manager for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-263) whose team oversees the Blackjack program. «Achieving IOC designation means the fleet can now deploy using this critical piece of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) architecture to enhance mission success».

Last month, the first system from Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) lot 3 was delivered to VMU-2 and will be in direct support of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), based in Cherry Point, North Carolina. The Marines will make their first shipboard deployment with this system in the summer.

«The Blackjack team has endured many long hours seeing this program to fruition and I am very proud to lead such a dedicated team of professionals», Metzger said.

A Blackjack system is comprised of five air vehicles, two ground control systems, and launch and recovery support equipment. At eight feet/2.5 m long and with a wingspan of 16 feet/4.8 m, the air vehicle’s open-architecture configuration is designed to seamlessly integrate sensor payloads, with an endurance of 10-12 hours.

The expeditionary nature of the Blackjack, which does not require a runway for launch and recovery, makes it possible to deploy a multi-intelligence-capable UAS with minimal footprint from ships.

Standard Payloads: day/night, full-motion video; electro-optical/infrared cameras; mid-wave infrared imager; infrared marker; laser rangefinder; communications relay; Automatic Identification System receivers for shipping traffic data
Standard Payloads: day/night, full-motion video; electro-optical/infrared cameras; mid-wave infrared imager; infrared marker; laser rangefinder; communications relay; Automatic Identification System receivers for shipping traffic data

 

SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS
Length 8.2 feet/2.5 m
Wingspan 16 feet/4.8 m
WEIGHTS
Empty structure weight 81 lbs/36 kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 135 lbs/61 kg
Maximum payload weight 39 lbs/17 kg
PERFORMANCE
Endurance up to 16 hours
Ceiling >19,500 feet/5,944 m
Maximum horizontal speed 90+ knots/104 mph/167 km/h
Cruise speed 60 knots/69 mph/111 km/h
Engine 8 HP reciprocating engine with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI); JP-5, JP-8
PAYLOAD INTEGRATION
Onboard power 350 W for payload
Onboard connectivity Ethernet (TCP/IP), data encryption
STANDARD PAYLOAD CONFIGURATION
Electro-optic imager
Mid-wave infrared imager
Laser rangefinder
IR marker
Communications relay and Automatic Identification System (AIS)
The RQ-21A completed its first shipboard flight in February 2013 from USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19)
The RQ-21A completed its first shipboard flight in February 2013 from USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19)

Christening of
Carson City

Austal celebrated the christening of Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Carson City (EPF-7) with a ceremony on January 15 at its state-of-the-art shipyard, Mobile, Alabama. USNS Carson City is the seventh of 10 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF), formerly Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV), that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy as part of a $1.6 billion 10-ship block-buy contract.

USNS Carson City (EPF-7) christening ceremony participants
USNS Carson City (EPF-7) christening ceremony participants

EPF-7, a 338-foot/103-meter shallow draft aluminum catamaran, is a multi-mission, non-combatant transport vessel characterized by its high volume, high speed, and flexibility. It is the second U.S. Navy ship to be named Carson City after the capital city of Nevada.

When Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus officially named EPF-7 «USNS Carson City» in April 2013 he proclaimed, «Carson City displays American values of community, ingenuity and perseverance at their best». He said he chose to name the ship after Carson City to honor those values and the men and women of the community as well as the state of Nevada.

Carson City will soon join her sister EPF’s that have been delivered over the last three years including USNS Spearhead (T-EPF-1) which has over 100,000 nautical miles/115,078 miles/185,200 km at sea and is currently on her fifth deployment since she was delivered in 2012.

«We’re very excited to christened Carson City, and at how well this ship is coming together». Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said. «The EPF program has really matured very well thanks to the incredible shipbuilding team we have here at Austal, including our U.S. Navy teammates».

The ship’s sponsor, Susan Asbury Crowell is the daughter of U.S. Air Force Colonel Robert Asbury and wife of Captain Robert Crowell, USN (Retired). Susan and her husband have called Carson City home since the early 1970s. Active in her community, Susan has been a long-standing member of the Nevada Opera Association as well as president of the Brewery Arts Board of Directors and a member of the Mile High Jazz Band board, two of the premier organizations promoting all art forms in Nevada’s capital city. She has also served on the Carson Tahoe Hospital Foundation board of directors and is currently a member of the Carson Tahoe Hospital advisory board.

More than 300 naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees attended the ceremony held beneath the hull of the ship in Austal’s final assembly bay.

Three EPFs and six Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are currently under construction in Austal’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard. The company is scheduled to launch EPF-7 before the end of the month, while the future USS Montgomery (LCS-8) prepares for its acceptance sea trials later this spring.

Austal USA operates a full-service shipyard offering design, construction and high-speed vessel service and repair. As Austal continues to expand its service and repair capabilities, the company is well-positioned for new business with advanced engineering, test and trials capabilities, a west coast operations office in San Diego and a state-of-the-art waterfront facility located in the Port of Mobile on Mobile Bay.

Susan Asbury Crowell christens USNS Carson City
Susan Asbury Crowell christens USNS Carson City

 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Material Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 103 m/337.9 feet
Beam overall 28.5 m/93.5 feet
Hull draft (maximum) 3.83 m/12.57 feet
MISSION BAY
Area (with tie-downs) 1,863 m2/20,053 feet2
Clear Height 4.75 m/15.6 feet
Turning diameter 26.2 m/86.0 feet
ISO TEU (Twenty Equivalent Units) Stations 6 Interface Panels
ACCOMMODATIONS
Crew 41
Single SR 2
Double SR 6
Quad SR 7
Troop Seats 312
Troop Berths Permanent: 104
Temporary: 46
Galley and Messing 48
PROPULSION
Main Engines 4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L Diesel Engines 4 × 9.1 MW
Gear boxes 4 × ZF 60000NR2H Reduction Gears
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila WLD 1400 SR
PERFORMANCE
Average Speed 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload
Maximum Speed 43 knots/50 mph/80 km/h without payload
Maximum Transit Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km
Self-Deployment Range 5,600 NM/6,444 miles/10,371 km
Survival Through SS-7
AVIATION FACILITIES
NAVAIR Level 1 Class 2 Certified Flight Deck for one helicopter
Centreline parking area for one helicopter
NAVAIR Level 1 class 4 Type 2 Certified VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment)
Helicopter Control Station
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Active Ride Control Transcom Interceptors
Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 feet2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls
Vehicle Ramp Articulated Slewing Stern Ramp
Straight aft to 45 Starboard
Telescoping Boom Crane 12.3 mt @ 15 m, 18.2 mt @ 10 m/13.6 Lt @ 49.2 feet, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 feet

 

Ships

USNS Spearhead (EPF-1), Delivered

USNS Choctaw County (EPF-2), Delivered

USNS Millinocket (EPF-3), Delivered

USNS Fall River (EPF-4), Delivered

USNS Trenton (EPF-5), Delivered

USNS Brunswick (EPF-6), Delivered

Carson City (EPF-7), under construction

Yuma (EPF-8), under construction

Bismark (EPF-9), under construction

Burlington (EPF-10), under construction

EPF-11

EPF-12

 

Indonesian first SIGMA

PT PAL has launched the first of two SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) guided-missile frigates designated for the Indonesian Navy (TNI AL). PT PAL built these ships in collaboration with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS). The ceremony was attended by the Guests of Honour, namely the Indonesian Minister of Defense, Ryamizard Rycudu along with Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs, Rizal Ramli; ambassadors from neighboring countries; the Governor of East Java, Soekarwo and Chief of the Navy Admiral Ade Supandi.

Indonesian Navy first SIGMA 10514 PKR launched at PT Pal Surabaya Shipyard
Indonesian Navy first SIGMA 10514 PKR launched at PT Pal Surabaya Shipyard

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Rizal Ramli said: «The Launching of PKR1 is a great momentum for the development of the Indonesian Shipbuilding and Maritime Industry. This has shown that Indonesia has the human resources and skills to develop naval vessels. However, we must still improve our technology and knowledge in order to compete internationally. Certainly, this is what we hope to achieve from our partner DSNS».

Mr. Firmansyah Arifin, President Director of PT Pal: «The launching of the first PKR went very smoothly. We are confident that the installation of the remaining technical parts of the vessel will be carried out in due time, so that the delivery phase can be achieved on or ahead of schedule».

The SIGMA 10514 PKR frigate was a project initiated in August 2010 by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence. The Ministry awarded a contract to Damen for the construction of the first SIGMA 10514 PKR in December 2015. The first steel was cut by the former Minister of Defence, Mr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro in January 2014 and the keel was laid in April 2014 at PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya. The PKRs are designed and built to endure various missions.

Damen frigate modularly constructed in the Netherlands and Indonesia in collaborative construction project
Damen frigate modularly constructed in the Netherlands and Indonesia in collaborative construction project

 

Purpose

Primarily, the vessel will be operated for Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, and Anti-Submarine Warfare. However, it is also compatible with Maritime Security, Search and Rescue, Patrol, and Humanitarian Support tasks. TNI-Al will be strongly empowered by this state-of-the-art maritime capacity.

Damen has extensive experience in the use of composite materials
Damen has extensive experience in the use of composite materials

 

Modular construction

The SIGMA 10514 PKR has a proven design and is uniquely built using a modular approach. SIGMA stands for Ship Integrated Geometrical Modularity Approach. In essence, the PKRs are divided into 6 modules of which 4 were built in PT PAL’s shipyards while the other two modules were built and fully tested at DSNS in the Netherlands. The modular building enables greater flexibility, is more cost effective and allows for building in various locations worldwide. Essentially, it provides a large portion of technological transfer. When the 6 modules were complete, PT PAL had the responsibility of integrating them into one sole vessel.

A study was carried out to evaluate the influence of different ship components on the airflow around a ship's superstructure
A study was carried out to evaluate the influence of different ship components on the airflow around a ship’s superstructure

 

Main characteristics

Technically, the PKR has a length of 345 feet/105.11 metres, a beam of 46.6 feet/14.2 metres and a displacement of 2,365 tons. The vessel features a fully air-conditioned accommodation for up to 120 persons. The helicopter deck is suitable to host a medium sized helicopter hanger with a weight of max 10 tons. The vessel is also equipped with two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) for rescue and patrol operations. The frigate has a speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, and can sail up to 5,000 NM/5,754 miles/9,260 km at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h. The endurance is at least 20 days at sea.

The propulsion system of the PKR vessel utilises a combined diesel or electric (CODOE) which consists of two 10,000 kW Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR) diesel engines, two 1,300 kW electric motors, two double input gearboxes and two 12 feet/3.65 metre controllable pitch propellers. The vessel is equipped with a sophisticated platform management system that enables operating, control and monitoring of the ship’s auxiliary systems. The vessel will naturally be equipped with a complete, state-of-the-art sensor and weapon package to counter air, surface and sub-surface threats. For self-defence, the vessel is also equipped with comprehensive electronic warfare systems.

The sensory aspect of the SIGMA is equipped with 3-D surveillance radar with a range of 135 NM/155 miles/250 km. Furthermore, there is a target indication radar which also has an electro optical fire control system. The sensor array also comprises a Friend or Foe Identification (IFF) system and a hull mounted sonar.

By using Finite Element Analysis, the actual behaviour of a ship’s structure can be simulated. Undesired effects can be found and corrected
By using Finite Element Analysis, the actual behaviour of a ship’s structure can be simulated. Undesired effects can be found and corrected

 

Sharing expertise

Naturally, this strategic project between PT PAL and DSNS also led to a flow of knowledge transfer from Damen to its Indonesian counterpart. In fact, more than 300 people from PT PAL benefitted from the extensive sharing of shipbuilding expertise. PT PAL shipyards also ameliorated its infrastructure as part of the project. Mr. Arifin: «The partnership between PAL and Damen is undoubtedly a great opportunity. In particular, PT PAL has extensively benefitted from a transfer of knowledge and technology. For instance, we have improved our yard standards and trained our workers. Certainly, we would highly recommend the continuation of this strategic partnership for the future».

Damen works alongside world-renowned research institutes such as Delft University of Technology, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) and the Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research (TNO), as well as other reputable universities and leading maritime companies
Damen works alongside world-renowned research institutes such as Delft University of Technology, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) and the Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research (TNO), as well as other reputable universities and leading maritime companies

 

CHARACTERISTICS

GENERAL
Customer Indonesian Navy
Basic functions Naval Patrol Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), deterrence, Search and Rescue (SAR), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASW), Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASUW), Electronic Warfare (EW)
Hull material Steel grade A/AH36
Standards Naval/Commercial, naval intact/damaged stability, noise reduced, moderate shock
Classification Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (supervision) 100 A1 SSC Mono Patrol, G6, LMC UMS
DIMENSIONS
Length overall (o.a.) 345 feet/105.11 m
Beam Moulded (mld) 46.6 feet/14.2 m
Depth no.1 deck 28.7 feet/8.75 m
Draught (dwl) 12.1 feet/3.7 m
Displacement (dwl) 2,365 tonnes
PERFORMANCE
Speed (Maximum power) 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h 5,000 NM/5,754 miles/9,260 km
Endurance 20 days at sea
PROPULSION SYSTEM
Propulsion type Combined Diesel or Electric (CODOE)
Diesel engines 2 × 10,000 kW Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR) Propulsion type
Electric motors 2 × 1300 kW
Gearbox 2 × double input input/single output
Propellers 2 × Controllable Pitch Propellers (CPP) diameter 12 feet/3.65 m
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Generator sets 6 × 715 kWE
Emergency gen. set 1 × 180 kWE
Chilled water system 2 × units, redundant distribution
Fire fighting 4 × main pumps +1 x service pump
Degaussing System
DECK EQUIPMENT
Helicopter deck Max. 10 tons helicopter, with lashing points
Helicopter operations day/night with refueling system
Helicopter hangar
RAS on helicopter deck PS&SB, astern fueling
Boats 2 × Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB)
ACCOMMODATION
Fully air-conditioned accommodation for 120 persons
Commanding Officer 1
Officers 26
Chief Petty Officers 10
Petty Officers 36
Junior Ratings 29
Trainee Officers 18
Provisions for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) citadel/decontamination
WEAPON & SENSOR SUITE
3D-Surveillance & target indication radar & Friend or Foe Identification (IFF)
Radar/electro optical fire control
Hull Mounted Sonar
Combat management system
Medium calibre gun 76-mm
1 × Close In Weapon System (CIWS)
2 × Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) launcher
12 cell Vertical Launching (VL) Short Range Air Defense (SHORADS)
2 × triple Torpedo launcher
Electronic Support Measures (ESM) & Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM)
2 × Decoys/chaff
Integrated internal & external communication system
NAUTICAL EQUIPMENT
Integrated bridge console, 2 × Radar, Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS-A3), reference gyro

 

Sea Base Ship

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus announced the Navy’s newest Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, T-ESB-4, was named USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams during a ceremony in Charleston, West Virginia, January 14.

SECNAV Ray Mabus greets Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woody Williams before naming T-ESB-4 in his honor
SECNAV Ray Mabus greets Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woody Williams before naming T-ESB-4 in his honor

Hershel «Woody» Williams, the ship’s namesake, was born in West Virginia and joined the Marine Corps following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1944, after serving in Guadalcanal and Guam, he joined the campaign in Iwo Jima. Two days after arriving on the island, Williams picked up a 70-pound flamethrower and walked ahead of his infantry’s tanks for four hours clearing their path of enemy machine gun fire. President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor two years later for his actions.

Williams served during the Battle of Iwo Jima until he was wounded in March of 1945. He returned to the United States, was awarded a Purple Heart and released from active duty. Later, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves for 17 years.

Williams is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The new 785-foot-long/239.3-meter-long vessel will feature a 52,000 square foot/4,831 square-meter flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, and mission-planning spaces.

Able to accommodate up to 250 personnel, the new ESB ship will support multiple missions, such as Air Mine Counter Measures (AMCM), counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster-relief missions, and crisis response operations.

In addition, the vessel will be capable of supporting MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, with an option for future upgrades to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.

USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams will be constructed by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego. The ship is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2018.

ESB 3D Model
ESB 3D Model

 

General Characteristics

Builder NASSCO
Propulsion Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length 785 feet/239.3 m
Beam 164 feet/50 m
Displacement 78,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft 30 feet/9 m (fully loaded)
40 feet/12 m (load line)
Speed 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Range 9,500 nautical miles/10,932 miles/17,594 km
Crew 34 Military Sealift Command personnel
Accommodations 250 personnel

 

Brunswick to the Navy

Austal Limited (Austal) is pleased to announce that Expeditionary Fast Transport 6 (EPF-6) was delivered to the U.S. Navy on January 14 during a ceremony aboard the ship at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, USA. The delivery of the USNS Brunswick (EPF-6) marks the first ship in its class Austal has delivered to the Navy in 2016.

Rollout of USNS Brunswick (EPF-6)
Rollout of USNS Brunswick (EPF-6)

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said it’s a testament to the dedication and skill of Austal’s work force. «The EPF program is now mature and stable. The entire team at Austal USA has much to be proud of in achieving this. It’s a great ship and a great program», Mr. Bellamy said.

Three additional EPF, formerly Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV), remain under construction in Mobile as part of a 10-ship, US$1.6 billion block-buy contract from the U.S. Navy. The future USNS Carson City (EPF-7) will be christened in January 2016 and will launch soon after, while modules for Yuma (EPF-8) and Bismarck (EPF-9) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility. Construction of Burlington (EPF-10) is expected to begin later in 2016.

EPF-11 and EPF-12 were fully funded by Congress in the 2015 and 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bills. Shipbuilding contracts for EPF-11 and EPF-12 have not yet been finalised however the U.S. Navy awarded Austal a $54 million contract in October 2015 to fund long lead materials for EPF-11.

The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2)
The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2)

 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Material Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 103 m/337.9 feet
Beam overall 28.5 m/93.5 feet
Hull draft (maximum) 3.83 m/12.57 feet
MISSION BAY
Area (with tie-downs) 1,863 m2/20,053 feet2
Clear Height 4.75 m/15.6 feet
Turning diameter 26.2 m/86.0 feet
ISO TEU (Twenty Equivalent Units) Stations 6 Interface Panels
ACCOMMODATIONS
Crew 41
Single SR 2
Double SR 6
Quad SR 7
Troop Seats 312
Troop Berths Permanent: 104
Temporary: 46
Galley and Messing 48
PROPULSION
Main Engines 4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L Diesel Engines 4 × 9.1 MW
Gear boxes 4 × ZF 60000NR2H Reduction Gears
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila WLD 1400 SR
PERFORMANCE
Average Speed 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload
Maximum Speed 43 knots/50 mph/80 km/h without payload
Maximum Transit Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km
Self-Deployment Range 5,600 NM/6,444 miles/10,371 km
Survival Through SS-7
AVIATION FACILITIES
NAVAIR Level 1 Class 2 Certified Flight Deck for one helicopter
Centreline parking area for one helicopter
NAVAIR Level 1 class 4 Type 2 Certified VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment)
Helicopter Control Station
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Active Ride Control Transcom Interceptors
Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 feet2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls
Vehicle Ramp Articulated Slewing Stern Ramp
Straight aft to 45 Starboard
Telescoping Boom Crane 12.3 mt @ 15 m, 18.2 mt @ 10 m/13.6 Lt @ 49.2 feet, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 feet
The JHSV program is procuring 10 high-speed transport vessels for the US Army and the US Navy
The JHSV program is procuring 10 high-speed transport vessels for the US Army and the US Navy

 

Ships

USNS Spearhead (EPF-1), Delivered

USNS Choctaw County (EPF-2), Delivered

USNS Millinocket (EPF-3), Delivered

USNS Fall River (EPF-4), Delivered

USNS Trenton (EPF-5), Delivered

USNS Brunswick (EPF-6), Delivered

Carson City (EPF-7), under construction

Yuma (EPF-8), under construction

Bismark (EPF-9), under construction

Burlington (EPF-10), under construction

EPF-11

EPF-12

The JHSV includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to quickly drive off the ship
The JHSV includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to quickly drive off the ship

Aster New Technology

The French Ministry of Defence has launched the Aster Block 1 NT (New Technology) programme aimed at modernising the Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain (SAMP/T) ground based air defence system as well as its associated Aster missile. The contract was notified by the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) to the EUROSAM consortium involving MBDA and Thales on 23rd December 2015.

Aster 30 SAMP/T firing at PISQ (Italian test center)
Aster 30 SAMP/T firing at PISQ (Italian test center)

This contract provides for the development of a new version of the Aster 30 Block 1 missile, referred to as Aster B1 NT with first deliveries to the French Air Force being expected in 2023. It also covers the modernization of the current SAMP/T system to provide enhanced capabilities particularly against ballistic missiles. These evolutions will enable SAMP/T to further enhance its contribution towards NATO’s anti-ballistic missile defence programme.

In the next few months, France should be joined also by Italy whose ground based air defence units are similarly equipped with the SAMP/T system.

For quite some time, the UK, Italy and France have shared a successful cooperation covering ground and naval air defence systems based on the Aster missile. This cooperation was reaffirmed by the signing of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) by the three nations on 11th December 2015.

France’s Aster programme is led by the DGA with the support of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement), the European intergovernmental organisation for joint armament cooperation.

Full radar array

Raytheon Company announced its AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) team has completed the first full radar array, fully populated with component Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), including more than 5,000 Transmit/Receive elements, in 140 days. In less than two years, the AMDR radar has been designed, built and transitioned to test; the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the program is now more than 66 percent complete. The program remains on track to begin production and deliver on time to the FY16 authorized DDG-51 Flight III destroyer.

AMDR is a key enabler for the capability and performance enhancements of the new DDG-51 Flight III ship
AMDR is a key enabler for the capability and performance enhancements of the new DDG-51 Flight III ship

«As each milestone is completed, development of the SPY-6 radar progresses on schedule», said U.S. Navy Captain Seiko Okano, major program manager, Above Water Sensors (IWS 2.0). «With this array, now built and operational in the Near Field Range, we are proceeding to plan and commencing full-scale integration and test of AMDR’s unprecedented capability».

Subcontractor Major Tool and Machine delivered the array structure to Raytheon’s Near Field Range on July 29; and Raytheon installed all passive RF components before September 1. The first Radar Modular Assembly (RMA) was powered up in October and testing began. All RMA chassis were installed by October 16, complete with cooling, power, fiber-optic control and data interfaces. In 79 days the array infrastructure was complete – verification of the simplicity of the AMDR array design. Population of the array with Transmit Receive Integrated Multi-channel Modules and Distributed Receiver/Exciter LRUs completed on December 16.

These recent achievements are among the many successes and milestones realized to date, including:

  • Nine of nine major program milestones completed on schedule, including hardware and software Critical Design Reviews and the Development Test Event 2 (DT-2) Readiness Review;
  • Transition to DT-2 – currently in process, culminating in 2016 with verification of hardware level specifications to requirements and shipment of the array to the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii for system validation testing (DT-3);
  • Completed Build 2 software early, with all planned functionality (30 capabilities), formally qualified in July 2016; Build 3 is more than 75% percent complete;
  • 95% of EMD hardware production is complete; awaiting final power systems delivery in early 2016.

«Our solid performance leverages our high-power AESA radar and digital beam-forming expertise and our collaborative partnerships with the U.S. Navy and a network of dedicated suppliers», said Tad Dickenson, Raytheon’s AMDR program director. «Benefits in productivity, quality and affordability continue to be realized as a result of our mature Agile development methodology. In fact, the AMDR software development team achieved a greater than 99 percent pass rate at system test, all driven by Agile processes for early and incremental testing and defect identification».

 

SPY-6(V) AMDR

SPY-6(V) is the next-generation integrated air and ballistic missile defense radar for the U.S. Navy, filling a critical capability gap for the surface fleet. It is the first scalable radar, built with RMAs – radar building blocks. Each RMA, roughly 2′ × 2′ × 2′ in size, is a standalone radar that can be grouped to build any size radar aperture, from a single RMA to configurations larger than currently fielded radars. All cooling, power, command logic and software are scalable, allowing for new instantiations without significant radar development costs.

The Air and Missile Defense Radar is the U.S. Navy’s next generation integrated air and missile defense radar. It enhances ships’ abilities to detect air, surface and ballistic missile targets

 

C295W for Canada

On January 12, 2015, following the submission of their proposal for Canada’s Fixed Wing Search And Rescue (FWSAR) replacement program; Airbus Defence and Space and Provincial Aerospace formally announced the establishment of AirPro SAR Services (AirPro).

Airbus has teamed with Provincial Aerospace under the AirPro banner to jointly offer the C295W turboprop transport for Canada’s long-delayed Fixed-Wing Search And Rescue competition (Airbus photo)
Airbus has teamed with Provincial Aerospace under the AirPro banner to jointly offer the C295W turboprop transport for Canada’s long-delayed Fixed-Wing Search And Rescue competition (Airbus photo)

AirPro is a joint venture that, upon contract award, will be the Canadian In-Service Support (ISS) integrator of the FWSAR C295W fleet for the life of its service in Canada. As the FWSAR ISS integrator, AirPro is a critical component of the companies’ proven, reliable, and low-risk solution. Airbus Defence and Space offers Canada a single point of accountability for the life of the program, combining the deep experience of both partners through AirPro.

«AirPro brings together Provincial Aerospace and Airbus Defence and Space as the Canadian ISS integrator in our proposal for the FWSAR program», said Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan, Senior Vice-President Commercial, Special Projects for Airbus Defence and Space. «Both companies successfully deliver ISS services around the world and we are excited to combine our experience and expertise to bid an optimal solution for Canada. The C295W ISS model is used by more than 20 operators around the world and has a proven track record of maximizing mission success. If the Airbus Defence and Space offer is selected, AirPro will utilize this trusted ISS model and combine it with deep domestic experience to ensure the best and most cost effective solution for Canada throughout the entirety of this program. AirPro brings together two world-class companies for the benefit of Canadian industry».

«AirPro is a joint venture that reflects the Airbus Defence and Space commitment to Canadian Industry», said Provincial Aerospace CEO Brian Chafe. The skills and technology required to service Canadian C295W aircraft will reside in Canada with Canadians who will complete the work required over the lifetime of the FWSAR program. Provincial Aerospace brings significant ISS experience to AirPro and is providing ISS services to similar missionized military and paramilitary aircraft domestically and internationally.

These aircraft have collectively accumulated over 250,000 hours of flying time in challenging operational environments such as Canada’s Maritime and Arctic environments. «The domestic and global ISS experience that we bring to AirPro will ensure that Canada is able to maximize DND’s mission success, ensuring reliable aircraft are ready to help Canadians in need», added Jake Trainor, Chief Operating Officer for Provincial Aerospace.

The C295 is the market leader in its class with more than 165 units sold worldwide to over 20 operators. It serves a broad range of critical and challenging requirements including search and rescue, maritime patrol, and troop transport. In addition to Airbus Defence and Space and Provincial Aerospace, the C295W team includes a number of other leading and export oriented Canadian companies, such as Pratt and Whitney Canada, CAE, and L3 Wescam. The C295W program is immersed in Canadian technology, products, and services.

«The C295W is the best plane for Canada’s needs and is exceeding expectations with air forces around the world», concluded Barberan. «We are excited to have submitted our bid for Canada’s new fleet of Search and Rescue aircraft. AirPro offers Canada and Canadian industry a unique opportunity to capitalize upon the global experience of Airbus Defence and Space and Provincial Aerospace».

 

Specifications

Dimensions
Overall Length 24.50 m/80 feet 3 inch
Overall Height 8.65 m/28 feet 5 inch
Wing Span 25.81 m/84 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 12.70 m/41 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Height 1.90 m/6 feet 3 inch
Cargo Hold Width 2.70 m/8 feet 10 inch
Cargo Hold Volume 64 m3/2,260 feet3
Weights
Maximum Take Off Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 6,150 kg/13,600 lbs
Maximum Payload 9,250 kg/20,400 lbs
Engine (×2)
Pratt & Whitney PW-127G 2,645 shp (up to 2,920 shp with Auxiliary Power Reserve, APR)/1,970 kW
Performance
Maximum Operating Altitude 9,100 m/30,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS*) 260 knots/299 mph/480 km/h
Range
Range with Maximum Payload (9,250 kg/20,400 lbs) 700 NM/1,300 km
Range with 6,000 kg/13,200 lbs Payload 2,000 NM/3,700 km
Range with 3,000 kg/6,600 lbs Payload 2,500 NM/4,600 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 2,900 NM/5,400 km

* The true airspeed (TAS; also KTAS, for Knots True AirSpeed) of an aircraft is the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass in which it is flying