All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Crouching Tiger

Airbus Helicopters has completed official delivery of the first two Tiger helicopters in the new HAD-E version (Helicoptero de Apoyo y Destrucción, Support and Destruction Helicopter) for the Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET), said Gloria Illas, Airbus Helicopters España.

Tiger HAD-E version (Helicoptero de Apoyo y Destrucción, Support and Destruction Helicopter)
Tiger HAD-E version (Helicoptero de Apoyo y Destrucción, Support and Destruction Helicopter)

As for the combat helicopters, Tiger deliveries belong to the new HAD-E version, which offers numerous advantages compared to the HAP-E Tigers (Hélicoptère d’Appui Protection, Support and Escort Helicopter) currently in service: a new MTR390-E (Enhanced) turboshaft with 14% more power, an improved optronic vision system, Spike air-to-ground missiles, an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system coupled with an interrogator and a new electronic warfare and countermeasure system.

The Spanish Army purchased a total of 24 of these helicopters. To date, six HAP-E version Tiger helicopters have been delivered to the Attack Helicopter Battalion. Their satisfactory deployment in Afghanistan during 2013 represents an important milestone for this helicopter.

Tiger HAD-E
Tiger HAD-E

 

CHARACTERISTICS

 

Main Assets

Length (rotor rotating):                                                          15.82 m (51.90 ft)

Fuselage length:                                                                          13.85 m (45.43 ft)

Rotor diameter:                                                                           13.00 m (42.85 ft)

Height:                                                                                               3.84 m (12.60 ft)

Width:                                                                                                4.53 m (14.85 ft)

Disc area:                                                                                         133 m² (1,430 ft²)

 

Typical characteristics

Maxi Take-Off Weight (MTOW) – ISA (International Standard Atmosphere), SL (Sea Level):                                           6,600 kg/14,553 lb

Engine 2 × MTR 390 – Step 1-5:                                    1,092 kW/1,464 shp

Super contingency power (One Engine Inoperative):           1,322 kW/ 1,774 shp

Standard fuel capacity:                                                        1,105 kg/2,435 lb

Standard fuel capacity + external fuel tanks:         1,689 kg/3,723 lb

 

Performances

Fast cruise speed at MTOW, SL:                                     271 km/h/146 kts

Mission duration (standard):                                             2 h 30 min

Maximum endurance with external fuel tank:        5 h 00 min

Max range «armed» with standard fuel tanks:        400 NM/740 km

Max range «not armed» with external fuel tanks: 610 NM/1,130 km

 

Flight envelope

Operating temperature:         – 30°C to ISA + 35°C

Service ceiling:                              -500 m to 4000 m/-1,640 ft to 13,123 ft

Tiger HAD-E with 70 mm unguided rockets (up to 52 rockets)
Tiger HAD-E with 70 mm unguided rockets (up to 52 rockets)

 

Typical configurations

Attack

4 Air-to-Air Mistral

+ 8 Hellfire or Spike

+ 30 mm turreted gun

 

Ground

68 rockets 68 mm

or

52 rockets 70 mm

+ 30 mm turreted gun

 

Attack

2 Air-to-Air Mistral

+ 4 Hellfire or Spike

+ 34 rockets 68mm

or

26 rockets 70 mm

+ 30 mm turreted gun

 

Armed Reconnaissance

4 Air-to-Air Mistral

+ 44 rockets 68 mm

or

38 rockets 70 mm

+ 30 mm turreted gun

 

Air-to-Air combat

4 Air-to-Air Mistral

+ 30 mm turreted gun

 

Armament

30 mm turret-mounted gun (Nexter 30M781)

Total Ammunition capacity:

450 rounds;

Rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute;

Bursts: 5/10/25 bullets;

Azimuth: +/-90°;

Elevation: +28°/-25°

Optimized firing domain:

ATG (Air-To-Ground): up to 1,500 m;

ATA (Air-To-Air): up to 1,000 m

30 mm turret-mounted gun (Nexter 30M781)
30 mm turret-mounted gun (Nexter 30M781)

 

Rockets

Versatile 68 mm or 70 mm unguided rocket system (change of rocket type without change of any fixed part on helicopter)

68 mm (up to 68 rockets):

2 inner launchers of 22 rockets;

2 outer launchers of 12 rockets

70 mm (up to 52 rockets):

2 inner launchers of 19 rockets;

2 outer launchers of 7 rockets

Firing Control for:

rocket inner pods elevation;

sub-ammunition ejection delays;

rocket types

Growth potential for laser guided rockets

 

Missiles

Air-to-Air Mistral Missile:

Off boresight capability;

Multicell seeker;

2 × 2 missiles (outer launchers);

Range = up to 6000 m

Air-to-Ground missiles

Hellfire (laser guided):

2 M299 launchers × 4 missiles;

Range = 8000 m;

Self-designation or Collaborative designation;

Locked Before Launch (LOBL) or Locked After Launch (LOAL)

Spike ER:

2 × 4 missiles;

Range = 8000 m;

(Fire-and-follow) with electro-optical or fiber optics technologies

Tiger HAD-E (Spanish Army Airmobile Force)
Tiger HAD-E (Spanish Army Airmobile Force)

Swedish destroyer

Defence and Security Company Saab presented the newly developed next generation Carl Gustaf M4 at the 2014 Association of the U.S. Army exhibition in Washington D.C. The Carl Gustaf M4, known in the U.S. as M3A1 MAAWS (Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System), is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario.

The new Carl-Gustaf M4 is a man-portable multi-role weapon system
The new Carl-Gustaf M4 is a man-portable multi-role weapon system

Since 1948, Carl Gustaf has been supporting dismounted infantry around the world in dealing with a full range of battlefield challenges. A marked evolution in the history of the system, the new Carl Gustaf M4 model meets the needs of modern conflict environments while offering compatibility with future innovations.

The new lightweight Carl Gustaf M4, weighing approximately 15 pounds (<7 kg, some 3 kg lighter than the earlier Carl Gustaf M3 and half the weight of the 14.2 kg M2 version), offers significant weight savings to the soldier. According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, this has been achieved by constructing the recoilless rifle’s barrel out of titanium, saving 1.1 kg (compared to the M3’s steel barrel), building its outer casing our of carbon fibre (saving 0.8 kg), and by redesigning the weapon’s venturi to save a further 0.9 kg. The redesign has also served to decrease the size of the Carl Gustaf, bringing the M4’s total length down to under 1,000 mm (M2 – 1,130 mm; M3 – 1,065 mm).

The M4 enables soldiers to deal with any tactical situation
The M4 enables soldiers to deal with any tactical situation

The Carl Gustaf M4’s current default sight is the same telescopic sight used on the M3 model, although it can also mount a red-dot sight or, through its integrated 1913 Picatinny rail mounts, be fitted with a variety of other sighting options.

It is also compatible with future battlefield technology such as intelligent sighting systems for programmable ammunition. With a wide variety of munitions available, it is a weapon system capable of handling multiple tactical situations, bridging the gap between full-scale operations and low intensity conflicts, and providing the modern warfighter with unprecedented flexibility and capability on the battlefield. The Carl Gustaf M4 enables soldiers to deal with any tactical situation – from neutralizing armored tanks or enemy troops in defilade, to clearing obstacles and engaging enemies in buildings.

The Carl-Gustaf M4 is compatible with all existing and future Carl-Gustaf ammunition from its wide range of anti-armour, anti-structure, anti-personnel and support rounds
The Carl-Gustaf M4 is compatible with all existing and future Carl-Gustaf ammunition from its wide range of anti-armour, anti-structure, anti-personnel and support rounds

The new generation Carl Gustaf is a further development of today’s widely deployed Carl-Gustaf M3. This «outdated» version has long been in service with the U.S. Army Rangers and has been employed by every U.S. Special Operations Force in the U.S. military. Versions of the system are in service with more than 40 nations globally.

The latest M4 design and capability enhancements were recently showcased to a select group of visitors at a ground combat systems demonstration held in Sweden. The demonstration included a comprehensive series of successful firings with a range of ammunition types against a variety of targets. The new Carl-Gustaf is attracting a high level of interest.

In addition, development does not stop here. Future complementary improvements to this new formidable system will include development of smart programmable ammunition, advanced sighting systems, and expanded confined space capabilities.

 

Little pigeons
can carry great messages

Insitu, Inc. (Bingen, Washington) is being awarded a $41,076,746 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of three low rate initial production RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft systems. This award provides for the procurement of the air vehicles, ground control stations, launch and recovery equipment, initial spares, and system engineering and program management (Source: US Department of Defense).

RQ-21A Blackjack
RQ-21A Blackjack

Work will be performed in Bingen, Washington, and is expected to be completed in January 2016. Fiscal 2014 procurement funds (Marine Corps) in the amount of $38,309,942 and fiscal 2015 research and development funds (Marine Corps) in the amount of $2,766,804 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

 

Mission

The RQ-21A Blackjack, a larger twin-tailed follow-on to the ScanEagle, was selected in 2010 for procurement by the Navy and Marine Corps to fill the requirement for a Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS). The system provides persistent maritime and land-based tactical Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) data collection and dissemination capabilities to the warfighter. The air vehicle’s open-architecture configuration can integrate new payloads quickly and can carry sensor payloads as heavy as 25 pounds.

The RQ-21A completed its first shipboard flight in February 2013 from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19)
The RQ-21A completed its first shipboard flight in February 2013 from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19)

 

Description

RQ-21A will consist of five air vehicles, two ground control stations and multi-mission payloads that will provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications relay for up to 12 hours per day continuously with a short surge capability for 24 hours a day. Payloads include day/night full-motion video cameras, infrared marker, laser range finder, communications relay package and Automatic Identification System receivers. Ancillary equipment includes launch/recovery mechanisms, tactical communications equipment and spares.

RQ-21A will have a minimal operating radius of 50 nautical miles (92,6 km) and the air vehicle will be capable of airspeeds up to 80 knots (92 mph/148 km/h) with a service ceiling of 15,000 feet (4572 m) density altitude. The fully autonomous launch and recovery system will require minimal space for takeoff and recovery from an unimproved expeditionary/urban environment, as well as from the deck of U.S. Navy ships.

The Marine Corps requirement is 32 RQ-21A systems, and the Navy requirement is 25 RQ-21A systems for shipboard, special warfare and expeditionary missions. In July 2010, the Department of the Navy awarded a contract for the design, development, integration and test of RQ-21A. The Marine Corps exercised an early operational capability option and took delivery in late 2011 of two systems.

The RQ-21A completed its first shipboard flight in February 2013 from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19). Low-rate initial production was approved in May 2013 and accepted by the Marine Corps in January 2014. Initial operational test and evaluation began January 2014 with Initial Operational Capability slated for spring 2014. The RQ-21A will be deployed by Marine UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) squadrons.

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

 

Dimensions

Length:                                                 8.2 ft/2.5 m

Wingspan:                                          16 ft/4.8 m

 

Weights

Empty structure weight:           81 lb/36 kg

Max takeoff weight:                     135 lb/61 kg

Max payload weight:                   39 lb/17 kg

 

Performance

Endurance:                                        up to 16 hours

Ceiling:                                                 >19,500 ft/5,944 m

Max horizontal speed:                90+ knots/104 mph/167 km/h

Cruise speed:                                    60 knots/69 mph/111 km/h

Engine:                                 8 HP reciprocating engine with 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 AIS (Automatic Identification System)

 

Technicians prepare an RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System for it's first flight from the Webster Field Annex at Naval Air Station Patuxent River
Technicians prepare an RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System for it’s first flight from the Webster Field Annex at Naval Air Station Patuxent River

Workhorse for Spain

According to Mr. Julien Negrel, NHIndustries Business Director, NHI delivered to the Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET) the first NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter built in Spain. This delivery took place on Friday 19th December 2014 in Albacette, in the Airbus Helicopters Spain facility.

The Spanish version of the NH90 TTH
The Spanish version of the NH90 TTH

«This delivery is the proof that the NH90 is not only the best helicopter in its class to modernize the Spanish armed forces, but it is as well a true industrial partnership creating skilled jobs in Spain», declared Xavier Poupardin Delegated Managing Director of NHI. «The Spanish NH90 program is the result of an excellent cooperation between Industry and the Spanish Ministry of Defense, the Spanish Ministry of Industry with the support of the Directorate General of Armament and Equipment (DGAM)», added Xavier Poupardin.

The Spanish version of the NH90 TTH, the GSPA, will be the workhorse of the Spanish armed forces for the next decades, replacing several types of previous generation helicopters. Its main missions will be Tactical Troop Transport, Search and Rescue, Personnel Recovery and Medical Evacuation. NHI and Airbus Helicopters España will supply a total of 22 NH90 helicopters to the Spanish Armed Forces under a delivery schedule that continues through to 2019.

The NH90 is the optimal choice for modern operations thanks to its large full composite airframe, its excellent power to weight ratio, and its wide range of role equipment. It features a redundant Fly-by-Wire flight control system for reduced Pilot’s workload and enhanced flight characteristics.

The NH90 is proposed in two main variants, one dedicated to naval operations, the NH90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) and the NH90 TTH (Tactical Troop Transport) for land based operations. As of today, 230 helicopters have been delivered in Naval and Tactical transport variants since the beginning of the program and 51 since the beginning of 2014. They are in service in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Oman, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

NH90 TTH (Tactical Troop Transport)
NH90 TTH (Tactical Troop Transport)

 

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

 

External Dimensions

Overall dimensions (rotors turning)

Length:                                                                                19.56 m (64.18 ft)

Width:                                                                                  16.30 m (53.48 ft)

Height:                                                                                  5.31 m (17.42 ft)

 

Weights

Maximum Gross Weight:                                           10,600 kg (23,369 lb)

Alternate Gross Weight:                                            11,000 kg (24,250 lb)

Empty Weight:                                                                  6,400 kg (14,109 lb)

Useful Load:                                                                        4,200 kg (9,260 lb)

 

Cargo Capacity

Cargo Hook:                                                                        4,000 kg (8,818 lb)

Single or dual Rescue Hoist:                                      270 kg (595 lb)

Rescue Hoist on ground:                                             400 kg (880 lb)

Crew (2 + 1); 20 troops in full crashworthy or up to 12 strechers

 

Fuel Capacity

7-Cell Internal System:                                                2,035 kg (4,486 lb)

Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each):                   400 kg (882 lb)

External Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each)                   292 kg (644 lb)

or                                                                                               500 kg (1,102 lb)

NH90 Helicopter
NH90 Helicopter

 

Internal Dimensions

Width:                                                                                    2.00 m (6.56 ft)

Length:                                                                                   4.80 m (15.75 ft)

Height:                                                                                   1.58 m (5.18 ft)

Volume:                                                                                 15.20 m³ (536.78 ft³)

Sliding doors opening:                                    1.60 × 1.50 m (5.25 × 4.92 ft)

Rear ramp opening:                                          1.78 × 1.58 m (5.84 × 5.18 ft)

 

NH90 General Performance (Basic Aircraft, at 10,000 kg)

Maximum Cruise Speed:                                               300 km/h (162 kts)

Economical Cruise Speed:                                            260 km/h (140 kts)

Maximum Rate of Climb:                                              11.2 m/s (2,200 ft/min)

OEI (One Engine Inoperative) Rate of Climb 2 min Rating:        4.3 m/s (850 ft/min)

OEI Rate of Climb Continuous Rating at 2000 m (6560 ft):       1.5 m/s (300 ft/min)

Hover Ceiling IGE (In Ground Effect):                   3,200 m (10,500 ft)

Hover Ceiling OGE (Out of Ground Effect):      2,600 m (8,530 ft)

Maximum Range:                                                               982 km (530 NM)

Maximum Range with 2,500 kg payload:             900 km (486 NM)

Maximum Endurance:                                                     5 h

Ferry Range (with Internal Aux Fuel Tanks):     1,600 km (864 NM)

GSPA Helicopter
GSPA Helicopter

 

Power System – Twin engine with dual channel FADEC

(Full Authority Digital Electronic Control)

Two Turbomecca (RTM 322-01/9 or RTM 322-01/9A enhanced version)

or

Two General Electric (GE T700/T6E1 or CT7-8F5 enhanced version)

 

NH90 Engines Power Ratings

(Uninstalled power data-ISA/Sea Level)

 

RATING                                                                                     RTM 322-01/9

OEI 30 sec (100%):                                                              2,172 kW (2,913 shp)

OEI 2 min:                                                                                 1,855 kW (2,488 shp)

OEI Continuous:                                                                   1,781 kW (2,388 shp)

AEO TOP (All Engines Operating)(30 min) (x2):1,781 kW (2,388 shp)

AEO Continuous (x2):                                                        1,664 kW (2,231 shp)

 

RATING                                                                                     GE T700/T6E1 (*)

OEI 30 sec (100%):                                                              2,095 kW (2,809 shp)

OEI 2 min:                                                                                 1,842 kW (2,470 shp)

OEI 60 min:                                                                              1,692 kW (2,269 shp)

AEO TOP (30 min) (x2):                                                    1,692 kW (2,269 shp)

AEO Continuous (x2):                                                        1,577 kW (2,115 shp)

(*) GE engines with Integrated Particle Separator (IPS)

 

Role Equipment

Door mounted pintle machine gun (7.62 mm or 12.7 mm)

Armour protection for cabin (modular)

Self-protection suite

 

The Apocalypse Machine

As is known, the Vanguard-class is a British class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in service with the Royal Navy. Commissioned into service between 1993 and 1999, HMS Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, and Vengeance were originally designed for a 25-year lifespan. However, this has been extended by up to 13 years, postponing the requirement for a new class of SSBN and bringing the procurement timeframe into line with the Ohio-class replacement program (U.S. Navy).

The first computer generated image of the replacement to the Vanguard class
The first computer generated image of the replacement to the Vanguard class

According to Jon Rosamond, USNI News, the concept work on Britain’s so-called Successor SSBN began in 2007, with the Ministry of Defense appointing an industry team consisting of shipbuilder and design lead BAE Systems plus Babcock (providing the torpedo handling/launch system, signal ejector system, and through-life support expertise) and Rolls-Royce (responsible for the nuclear steam-raising plant). The MOD approved the so-called «Initial Gate» business case for the new submarines in 2011, releasing funds for a five-year assessment phase intended to bring the design to 70 percent maturity.

In 2013, BAE Systems has been awarded contracts totaling £79 million by the UK Ministry of Defence to begin procuring its first long lead items for the Vanguard Successor programme, which will carry the nation’s nuclear deterrent capability from 2028. The MOD released a concept image depicting an aggressively raked sail, X-shaped stern, and bowplanes located below the waterline when the boat is surfaced. Displacing about 17,000 tons, Successor will be slightly larger than the UK’s current SSBNs (15,900 tons).

Propulsion system components, high-grade steel for the pressure hull and other critical long-lead items for the first ship have now been ordered and some manufacturing activities have started. Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, said: «Following the Government’s announcement in May 2011 that the programme had passed its «Initial Gate», it is now well into its third year of a five-year design and development phase, during which the submarine’s concept design and operational requirements are being matured into a detailed design. The «Main Gate» procurement decision – giving permission to proceed for full production – is due in 2016».

By aligning the procurement of the Vanguard and Ohio replacements, the U.K. opened up opportunities for collaborative work with the United States in several areas, notably the design of the Common Missile Compartment (CMC) and the nuclear powerplant, and the integration of sonar arrays and associated combat systems.

HMS Victorious is pictured near Faslane in Scotland
HMS Victorious is pictured near Faslane in Scotland

Although Successor will be fitted with three quad-pack CMC modules, providing 12 launch tubes for Trident D5 ballistic missiles (down from Vanguard‘s 16 tubes), the British government has decided that just 8 operational missiles will be routinely carried on patrol. Meanwhile, General Dynamics Electric Boat will supply outfitted tubes – 87 inches (2.21 m) in diameter and 45 feet (13.72 m) high – for CMC assembly in the U.K.

In October 2014, the U.S. Navy awarded Electric Boat $84 million to start CMC missile tube manufacturing: 12 for the Successor lead ship, 4 for the Ohio replacement program and 1 for the Strategic Weapons System-Ashore test facility at Cape Canaveral. Meanwhile Rolls-Royce is developing the RN’s third-generation pressurized water reactor (PWR3) with technological support from the United States, under the terms of a 1958 intergovernmental agreement to share atomic energy technology for defense purposes. The PWR3 design has benefitted in particular from lessons learned with the S9G reactor that powers the Virginia-class submarines.

Compared with the Vanguards’ PWR2 system (27,500 shp, 20.5 MW), the PWR3 has a simpler circulation design and should be easier to operate. According to Rolls-Royce representatives, it promises a «huge improvement in terms of safety, integrity and availability, while at the same time reducing the through-life costs».

Vanguards’ PWR2 system (27,500 shp, 20.5 MW)
Vanguards’ PWR2 system (27,500 shp, 20.5 MW)

Meanwhile, the U.K. is also participating in the U.S.-led Trident missile life-extension program, which will keep the D5 ballistic vehicle – capable of delivering up to 12 independently targetable nuclear warheads – in service into the 2040s.

One major decision remains outstanding: Whether to replace the Vanguards on a one-for-one basis, at an estimated cost of $17.28-$22 billion (at 2006/07 prices), or attempt to benefit from improved reliability and maintainability by ordering just three SSBN submarines. However, the cost savings inherent in a three-boat solution would be too small compared with total program expenditure, and the RN believes that 4 SSBNs is the minimum required to maintain a credible and continuous at-sea deterrent.

«We have a proud history of collaboration with the United States on submarine programs and I’m pleased to say that continues today», Will Blamey, the Successor program director at BAE Systems Submarines said. «We’re more than halfway through the five-year assessment phase and are making good progress with the submarine design. We’re fully focused on achieving our program objectives and remain confident the first submarine will be in service by 2028».

 

Striking Distance

The U.S. Air Force has approved full rate production for Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER).

JASSM-ER is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B
First B-1B live JASSM drop. China Lake Range

JASSM-ER successfully completed U.S. Air Force Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) flight-testing in 2013. During IOT&E, the program had a 95 percent success rate, scoring 20 successes in 21 flights. Lots 11 and 12 of the JASSM contract awarded in December 2013 included 100 ER missiles.

«The full rate production decision demonstrates that our customer, at all levels of the U.S. Air Force, has confidence in JASSM-ER», said Jason Denney, long-range strike systems program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «JASSM-ER provides warfighters with a first day, first strike capability in an anti-access, area-denial environment».

Armed with a dual-mode penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, JASSM and JASSM-ER cruise autonomously day or night in all weather conditions. Both missiles share the same powerful capabilities and stealthy characteristics, though JASSM-ER has more than two-and-a-half times the range of the baseline JASSM for greater standoff margin. These 2,000-pound cruise missiles employ an infrared seeker and Global Positioning System receiver to dial into specific target aimpoints. The infrared seeker allows the weapon to find its target even in areas where GPS signals are jammed.

JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-2
JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-2

«The baseline JASSM has a range in excess of 200 n miles (370 km), is powered by a Teledyne turbojet engine, and carries a WDU-42B (J-1000) 1,000-lb-class blast fragmentation/penetrating warhead. The JASSM-ER is powered by the Williams International F107-WR-105 turbofan engine, but is otherwise identical. It has a range of about 500 n miles (926 km)», Lockheed Martin’s representative Melissa Hilliard told IHS Jane’s.

JASSM and JASSM-ER are critical weapons for the U.S. Air Force. Extremely effective against high-value, well-fortified, fixed and relocatable targets, the stealthy JASSM-ER is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B, but there are efforts under way for F-15E, F-16, and B-52 integration. JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-2, B-52, F-16, F-15E, and internationally, on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18A/B.

Produced at the company’s award-winning manufacturing facility in Troy, Alabama, more than 1,500 JASSM cruise missiles have been assembled for testing and operational use toward a total U.S. Air Force objective of 4,900.

 

Specifications

Weight:                                  2250 lbs./1020.58 kg

Warhead:                             1000 lbs./453.59 kg (WDU-42/B)

Engine Type:                       Williams International F107-WR-105

Length:                                   168 in/4.267 m

Storage:                                 15 years

Range:                                    >500 NMI/>926 km

 

Antipiracy frigate

It is said in the IHS Jane’s Navy International that state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL has held a keel-laying ceremony for the Indonesian Navy’s second SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) guided-missile frigate. Defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, who presided over the ceremony at PT PAL’s premises in Surabaya, described the keel laying as a vote of confidence in the local shipbuilding industry’s capability to produce a complex warship like a PKR frigate.

SIGMA FRIGATE 10514
SIGMA FRIGATE 10514

PT PAL is building two PKR frigates in collaboration with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS, a Dutch shipyard) under a skills and technology transfer arrangement. For the second vessel, the Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL is producing all of the modules except for the mast/bridge/operations block, which is to be completed by DSNS at its yard in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. For the first ship, PT PAL is responsible for the forward and stern hull modules and the mid and aft superstructure blocks. Both vessels will undergo final assembly and trials in Surabaya, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 11 December 2014.

The Indonesian MoD signed a contract with DSNS for the first vessel in December 2012, while an option for the second ship was exercised in mid-2013. The frigates are scheduled for delivery in January 2017 and October 2017, respectively. Indonesia has planned to acquire at least two more ships in the class, although a contract for these has yet to be finalised.

Perusak Kawal Rudal guided-missile frigate
Perusak Kawal Rudal guided-missile frigate

The Indonesian MoD has said it will deploy the SIGMA PKR frigates for maritime surveillance, including to counter piracy and illegal fishing. The Tentera Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL) plans to equip the warships with AS565 Panther helicopters that will be fitted with the Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) dipping sonar and torpedo launching system, bolstering the frigates’ Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities.

According to Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore IHS, the Indonesian frigates will be equipped with a variant of the Thales TACTICOS 300 combat management suite, a Rheinmetall Defence Millennium 35 mm Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), a Thales SMART-S Mark-2 surveillance radar, and a 12-cell vertical-launch air-defence system. The ships will also be equipped with six 324 mm torpedo tubes.

PKR frigate
PKR frigate

 

SIGMA FRIGATE 10514

(Perusak Kawal Rudal guided-missile frigate)

GENERAL

Customer:                                            Indonesian Navy

Basic functions:                                 Naval Patrol EEZ, deterrence, Search and Rescue, ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), AAW (Anti-Aircraft Warfare), ASUW (Anti-Surface Warfare), EW (Electronic Warfare)

Hull material:                                      Steel grade A/AH36

Standards:                                            Naval/Commercial, naval intact/damaged stability, noise reduced, moderate shock

Classification:                                    Lloyd’s Register of Shipping

 

DIMENSIONS

Length o.a.:                                          105.11 m

Beam mld:                                            14.02 m

Depth no.1 deck:                              8.75 m

Draught (dwl):                                    3.7 m

Displacement (dwl):                        2365 tonnes

SIGMA 10514 PKR guided-missile frigate
SIGMA 10514 PKR guided-missile frigate

 

PERFORMANCE

Speed (Maximum power):           28 knots (52 km/h)

Range at 14 knots (26 km/h):    5000 NM (9260 km)

Endurance:                                           20 days at sea

 

PROPULSION SYSTEM

Propulsion type:                              CODOE (Combined Diesel or Electric)

Diesel engines:                                 2 × 10,000 kW MCR (Maximum Continuous Rating) Propulsion type

Electric motors:                               2 × 1300 kW

Gearbox:                                              2 × double input input/single output

Propellers:                                          2 × CPP diameter 3.55 m

Perusak Kawal Rudal frigate
Perusak Kawal Rudal frigate

 

AUXILIARY SYSTEMS

Generator sets:                                6 × 715 kWE (kilowatts electrical)

Emergency gen. set:                      1 × 180 kWE (kilowatts electrical)

Chilled water system:                   2 × units, redundant distrubution

Fire fighting:                                       4 × main pumps + 1 × service pump

Degaussing System

 

DECK EQUIPMENT

Helicopter deck:                   max. 10 tons helicopter, with lashing points

Heli operations:                    day/night with refueling system

Helicopter hangar

RAS (Replenishment at Sea):     on helicopter deck PS&SB, astern fuelling

Boats:                                           2 × RHIB (Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat)

PKR frigate
PKR frigate

 

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 NBC citadel/decontamination

 

WEAPON & SENSOR SUITE

3D-Surveillance & target indication radar & IFF (Identification Friend or Foe)

Radar/electro optical fire control

Hull Mounted Sonar

Combat management system

Medium calibre gun 76 mm

1 × Close In Weapon System

2 × SSM (Surface-to-Surface Missile) launcher

12 cell VL (Vertical Launch) SHORADS

2 × triple 324 mm Torpedo launcher

ESM & ECM (Electronic Support Measures and Electronic Countermeasures systems)

2 × Decoys/chaff

Integrated internal & external communication system

 

NAUTICAL EQUIPMENT

Integrated bridge console, 2 × Radar, ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display & Information System), GMDSS-A3 (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System), reference gyro

 

Air trap

U.S. Air Force finds new effective ways to overcome the modern air defense system. According to Ashley Mehl, Raytheon, the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force successfully collaborated with Raytheon Company for the first flight demonstration of a Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer (MALD-J) equipped with a radio data link. Adding the data link expands the weapon’s situational awareness and allows for in-flight targeting adjustments.

MALD is a flexible and modular system that has the potential to keep aviators and aircraft out of harm’s way
MALD is a flexible and modular system that has the potential to keep aviators and aircraft out of harm’s way

Raytheon flew a captive carry mission from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma (Arizona) to support a Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor exercise. The exercise used the USMC’s recently released Electronic Warfare Services Architecture protocol and a Tactical Targeting Network Technology radio.

«This flight test shows MALD-J’s ability to integrate new technology that will provide the warfighter more capabilities on the battlefield», said Mike Jarrett, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. «The Marines are operationalizing the Marine Air Ground Task Force Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Coordination Cell and Raytheon is part of this forward-thinking solution to a complex problem».

MALD-J carried out its assigned radar-jamming mission on the range and was able to send situation awareness data to the Electronic Warfare Battle Manager (EWBM). The EWBM used this information to adjust the MALD’s mission while in flight.

MALD is an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a U.S. or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defense systems
MALD is an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a U.S. or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defense systems

 

MALD

The MALD is a low-cost, air-launched programmable craft that accurately duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft. MALD is a flexible and modular system that has the potential to keep aviators and aircraft out of harm’s way. MALD is an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a U.S. or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defense systems (IADS).

The U.S. and its allies can confuse and deceive enemy IADS by sending a formation of MALDs into hostile airspace. MALD weighs less than 300 pounds (136 kg) and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (575 statute miles, 926 km). After it is launched from its host aircraft, MALD flies a preprogrammed mission.

In addition to protecting valuable aircraft, MALD offers counter air operations to neutralize air defense systems that pose a threat to U.S. and allied pilots.

MALD is a low-cost, air-launched programmable craft that accurately duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft
MALD is a low-cost, air-launched programmable craft that accurately duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft

 

MALD-J

MALD-J is the jammer variant of the basic decoy, and the first ever stand-in jammer to enter production. The unmanned MALD-J navigates and operates much closer than conventional Electronic Warfare to the victim radar when jamming the electronics, allowing aviators and aircraft to stay out of harm’s way. Moreover, it is able to loiter in the target area for an extended period – plenty of time to complete the mission.

MALD-J can operate alone or in pairs, but is designed to work with and leverage other electronic warfare platforms. Raytheon began delivery of MALD-Js in the fall of 2012.

Big problems
of small ships

«Something is rotten in the state of Denmark» (Hamlet 1.4). The U.S. Navy again restructures Littoral Combat Ship’s programme. The LCS is known as «the WARship that can’t go to WAR» because of its high vulnerability. «The Navy needs a Small Surface Combatant», Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, told reporters at the Pentagon.

SUW Configured Independence
SUW Configured Independence

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has directed the Navy «to move forward with a multi-mission Small Surface Combatant (SSC) based on modified Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) hull designs. The new SSC will offer improvements in ship lethality and survivability, delivering enhanced naval combat performance at an affordable price».

Consistent with the Fleet’s views on the most valued capabilities delivered by a Small Surface Combatant, the modified LCS ship will provide multi-mission anti-surface warfare (SUW) and anti-submarine warfare capabilities (ASW), as well as continuous and effective air, surface and underwater self-defense. Adding to current LCS Flight 0+ baseline configurations, which include the 57 mm gun and SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System, this ship will be equipped with:

  • over-the-horizon Surface-to-Surface Missiles;
  • air defense upgrades (sensors and weapons);
  • an advanced electronic warfare system;
  • advanced decoys;
  • a towed array system for submarine detection and torpedo defense;
  • two 25 mm guns;
  • an armed helicopter (MH-60R Seahawk) capable of engaging with either Hellfire missiles or Mark-54 torpedoes;
  • and an unmanned Fire Scout helicopter for surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting.
SUW Configured Freedom
SUW Configured Freedom

Modularity design features will also be retained to augment SUW and ASW capabilities as directed by the Fleet Commanders. Available mission modules include Longbow Surface-to-Surface Missiles (Hellfire), two Mark-46 30 mm guns, and two 11M RHIBs for Surface Warfare, or a variable depth sonar for submarine warfare which, when added to the ship’s organic multi-function towed array and embarked helicopter, make this an extremely effective anti-submarine warfare platform.

In addition to the improved weapon systems capabilities for this ship, which reduce its susceptibility to being hit by a threat weapon, the Small Surface Combatant will also include improved passive measures – measures that will reduce the ship’s signature against mine threats, and measures that will harden certain vital spaces and systems against potential damage caused by weapon impact – to further enhance its overall survivability.

From an operational perspective, the sum of these improvements will increase the ship’s capability and availability to participate in SUW Surface Action Groups, ASW Search and Attack Units; escort of High Value Units, and support of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) SUW and ASW operations.

With increased lethality and survivability, the modified LCS will provide the flexibility to operate both independently and as a part of an aggregated force. This decision allows the Navy to add organic multi-mission capabilities to the Small Surface Combatant force while leveraging the benefits and affordability of the LCS program.

SSC improvements to the LCS fleet
SSC improvements to the LCS fleet

The modified LCS ships will complement the planned 32 LCS ships, resulting in a 52 ship Small Surface Combatant Fleet in keeping with the Navy’s Force Structure Analysis. The 32 LCS ships, with their full modular capability, will allow the Navy to deploy assets to meet the Navy’s mine warfare, SUW, and ASW demands.

According to Chuck Hagel, «production of the new SSC will begin no later than fiscal year 2019, and there will be no gap between production of the last LCS and the first SSC. A significant advantage to this approach is the ability to enhance naval combat performance by back-fitting select SSC improvements to the LCS fleet. By avoiding a new class of ships and new system design costs, it also represents the most responsible use of our industrial base investment while expanding the commonality of the Navy’s fleet».

«The new SSC ships will cost about $60 to 75 million more than the current versions of LCS. Over the life of each class, both have come in at less than $500 million a hull, not including the mission packages», Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA) told reporters.

USS Independence
USS Independence

However, and this new concept was heavily criticized by some experts. For example, the editor of the defense-aerospace.com says, «the idea that the LCS’ numerous flaws – unworkable modular design, cost overruns, inability to take battle damage, faulty design and construction, unworkable operational concept with interchangeable mission packages and crews (3-2-1) – can be fixed by resigning an improved version called SSC seems unlikely to result in an operationally effective ship, but will certainly add additional cost to the LCS’ already unconscionably high price tag. The LCS was designed, as its name implies, for coastal work in shallow and constrained waters where it could be supported by other larger and better-armed ships. However, it cannot be expected to operate effectively in theaters like the Pacific, and especially not anywhere within hundreds of miles of the Chinese coast, where it would be operationally useless, yet still a sitting duck».

Another example, Clark, the naval analyst, in his report, spells out exactly why the ship’s ASCM (Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles) vulnerability is a fatal one, especially in circumstances where an LCS is tasked with defending a larger ship.

«Given the LCS’s short-range missiles, a defended ship would have to operate too close to the LCS to permit effective maneuvering and the LCS would have to be positioned between the incoming missile and the escorted ship or directly in front of or behind the escorted ship. To ensure the incoming ASCM is intercepted, two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) would likely be shot at each incoming ASCM. This would result in the LCS’s magazine of RAMs being exhausted after ten ASCM attacks. In the LCS’s envisioned littoral operating environment, more ASCM attacks would likely occur before the ship could reload its RAM magazine».

The avoidance of detection, the LCS’s only real survival capability, will become more difficult thanks to improvements in ship locating technologies. Frank Hoffman, a former deputy director of the Navy’s Office of Program Appraisal, told Defense One that enhancements to Chinese ship detection capabilities would render the LCS a very, very targetable ship.

 

USS Independence (LCS-2)
USS Independence (LCS-2)

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

 

Principal dimensions

Construction:                        Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy

Length overall:                      127.1 m

Beam overall:                         31.4 m

Hull draft (maximum):       4.5 m

 

Payload and capacities

Complement:                          Core Crew – 40

Mission crew – 36

Berthing:                                    76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments

Maximum mission load:     210 tonnes

Mission packages:                 ASW, SUW, MIW

 

Propulsion

Main engines:                          2 × GE LM2500

2 × MTU 20V 8000

Waterjets:                                  4 × Wartsila steerable

Bow thruster:                           Retractable azimuthing

 

Performance

Speed:                                             40 knots (46 mph, 74 km/h)

Range:                                             3,500 NM (6,482 km)

Operational limitation:         Survival in Sea State 8

 

Mission/Logistics deck

Deck area:                                    >2000 m2

Launch and recovery:            Twin boom extending crane

Loading:                                         Side ramp

Internal elevator to hanger

 

Flight deck and hanger

Flight deck dimensions:         2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53

Hanger:                               Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60

 

Weapons and sensors

Standard:                                        1 × 57 mm gun

4 × .50 caliber guns

1 × SAM launcher

3 × weapons modules

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

 

Independence Class LCS (Littoral Combat Ship)  (http://navyarm.blogspot.ru/2014/11/independence-class-lcs.html)

The terror
that flaps in the night

According to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, Poland is adding a standoff cruise missile capability to its air force, signing an agreement to buy the Lockheed Martin AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) on 11 December 2014.

AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile
AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile

In addition to the purchase of the missiles, the programme will also include the upgrade of 46 Polish Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft to carry the missiles. Tomasz Siemoniak, Polish minister of national defence and deputy prime minister, stated during the signing ceremony at the 31 Tactical Air Base at Krzesiny (part of the Nowe Miasto district of Poznań, Poland) that «never in Poland’s history have we had such a modern weapon».

Poland is purchasing the new capability as part of an effort to increase its airborne, naval, and land-based long-range strike assets. This is combined with new defensive missile programmes and is intended to deter hostile actions against Poland. These efforts have been given new impetus by the crisis in Ukraine and concerns about Russia’s intentions.

Following the government-to-government letter of offer and acceptance on 11 December 2014, a contract is expected to be awarded to contractor Lockheed Martin in the first quarter of 2015, a company statement said.

The 31st Tactical Air Base
The 31st Tactical Air Base

The agreement to buy the JASSM follows US Congress approval on 2 October 2014 of the sale of up to 40 of the stealthy cruise missiles and the F-16 upgrade package. According to the Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD), the upgrade process for its F-16s will include the installation of retrofit kits and new software for the aircraft to Mid-Life Update tape M6.5 standard.

According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, IHS reporter, beginning in 2015 two Polish F-16s will have the new software integrated and will conduct flight-trials in the United States. The remaining 44 aircraft will receive the software upgrade and retrofit kits at Polish air bases from the second half of 2016 onwards, when the country also expects to receive its first batch of missiles.

When the US Defense Security Co-operation Agency notified the possible sale of the JASSM to Poland on 17 September, it estimated the maximum cost of the programme at $500 million: a figure that Polish sources previously described as «unacceptably high».

However, Polish deputy defence minister Czeslaw Mroczek, responsible for negotiating the purchase, stated that the price of the contract «was negotiated for a long time, but we received a very good price and the contract includes not only the acquisition of JASSM missiles, but also the development of customized software and training».

AGM-158 JASSM
AGM-158 JASSM

 

Overview

JASSM is a long-range, semi-autonomously guided, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile for the U.S. Air Force. Designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets, JASSM’s significant standoff range keeps aircrews well out of danger from hostile air defense systems.

A 2,000-pound class weapon with a penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM employs semi-autonomous guidance in adverse weather, day or night, using a state-of-the-art infrared seeker in addition to the anti-jam GPS to find a specific aimpoint on the target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult to defeat.

JASSM is integrated on multiple aircraft including the B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16, and F-15E. Internationally, JASSM is certified on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18. Future integration efforts will focus on the U.S. and international versions of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft and other international platforms. With superior performance and affordable price, JASSM offers the best value of any weapon in its class.

The warhead is a WDU-42/B (1000 lbs./453.59 kg) penetrator
The warhead is a WDU-42/B (1000 lbs./453.59 kg) penetrator

 

Features

  • Simple mission planning
  • Adverse weather operable
  • Global Positioning System/Inertial Measurement Unit guidance
  • GPS jam resistant
  • Autonomous terminal guidance
  • Pinpoint accuracy
  • High lethality
  • Highly survivable
  • Supportable
  • Low cost of ownership
  • Full loadout on F-16C/D, F/A-18C/D, F-15E, B-1, B-2, and B-52 aircraft
  • Full aircraft carrier compatibility

 

Specifications

JASSM’s design incorporates proven technologies and subsystems into a stealthy air vehicle to meet today’s and tomorrow’s threats

Weight:                                   2250 lbs./1020.58 kg

Warhead:                              1000 lbs./453.59 kg (WDU-42/B)

Length:                                   168 in/4.267 m

Storage:                                 15 years

Range:                                    >200 NMI/>370.4 km

 

 

F-16 Fighting Falcon (Multirole fighter)  (http://usairforc.blogspot.ru/2014/11/f-16-fighting-falcon.html)