All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Counter Battery Radar

In response to a request from Ukraine, and as part of our ongoing efforts to bolster Ukraine’s defense and internal security operations, on November 14, 2015 the United States delivered two AN/TPQ-36 radar systems to Ukraine at a ceremony in Lviv.

The compact, mobile, combat proven AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder weapon locating radar accurately, rapidly and automatically locates medium-range enemy mortars, artillery and rocket launchers. It can handle simultaneous fire from weapons at multiple locations, detecting and reporting their positions on the first round
The compact, mobile, combat proven AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder weapon locating radar accurately, rapidly and automatically locates medium-range enemy mortars, artillery and rocket launchers. It can handle simultaneous fire from weapons at multiple locations, detecting and reporting their positions on the first round

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had the opportunity to review the equipment, and was briefed by U.S. military personnel on its capabilities. The radar systems delivered on November 14 will help defend Ukrainian military personnel and civilians against rocket and artillery attacks, which have historically been the most lethal threat to Ukrainian personnel and civilians.

The equipment was delivered on a rapid timeline – less than two months after President Obama delegated to the Secretary of State the authority to draw down up to $20 million in defense articles and services and up to $1.5 million in non-lethal commodities and services to provide these systems to Ukraine.

The provision of these systems brings our total security assistance committed to Ukraine in response to the crisis to more than $265 million since 2014.

 

AN/TPQ-36(V)10 Firefinder Weapon Locating System

The AN/TPQ-36 directs accurate counterfire to neutralize enemy positions.

During an official ceremony on Lviv airport attended by ranking government officials, the U.S. government formally delivered two AN/TPQ-36 counter-battery radars to Ukraine, transported to destination by a U.S/ Air Force C-17 airlifter (U.S. State Department photo)
During an official ceremony on Lviv airport attended by ranking government officials, the U.S. government formally delivered two AN/TPQ-36 counter-battery radars to Ukraine, transported to destination by a U.S/ Air Force C-17 airlifter (U.S. State Department photo)

 

Medium-Range Surveillance

ThalesRaytheonSystems’ compact, mobile, combat proven AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar accurately, rapidly and automatically locates medium-range enemy mortars, artillery, and rocket launchers. It can handle simultaneous fire from weapons at multiple locations, detecting and reporting their positions on the first round. The AN/TPQ-36 can detect and report the positions of up to 10 different weapons in seconds, at a maximum range of 15 miles/24 km. The system also corrects and improves delivery of friendly fire.

 

Highly Mobile

Compact and highly mobile, the AN/TPQ-36 supports rapid deployment of forces and close combat. It can be positioned and ready for operation in 15 minutes. It can be readied for movement in 5 minutes by a five-man crew. Because it can move quickly from one position to another, it is typically located close to the forward battle line in direct support of brigade operations. The AN/TPQ-36 comprises an antenna-transceiver trailer, a generator, and an operation control shelter that contains the paper map display and communications suite.

The prime movers for the system consists of three HMMWVs (Recon/Cargo Vehicle, Shelter Vehicle with Q-36 in tow, Generator Vehicle with spare generator in tow). The manned operation control shelter can be located as far as 164 feet/50 m away from the unmanned antenna trailer. The system is capable of being operated remotely 328 feet/100 m from the shelter.

 

Defeats Enemy Firepower, Supports Friendly Weapons

The AN/TPQ-36 stationary antenna sweeps a rapid sequence of beams along the horizon, forming an electronic radar curtain over 90 degree area. Any target penetrating the curtain triggers an immediate verification beam. On verification, an automatic tracking sequence begins. While tracking any single target, the radar continues scanning, locating, and tracking others.

 

Training and Maintenance

With high system reliability and maintainability simplified by computer-controlled, built-in test equipment, ThalesRaytheonSystems’ AN/TPQ-36 provides unusually high system availability. Improved On-line fault detection and off-line fault diagnostics alert the operator to system faults, directing repair action to the unit that must be replaced. Ninety percent of all repairs required in the field can be performed by the crew, with a mean-time-to-repair of only 30 minutes. The cost effectiveness of the AN/TPQ-36 is enhanced by its 90 degree – 360 degree sector, small crew, ease of operation, and high availability.

 

State of the Art Radar Processor

The AN/TPQ-36 has been upgraded with a full radar compliance radar processor. The radar processor is common between the AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 Radars. The new processor reduces the number of circuit cards from 9 to 3. Customers benefit tremendously from the significant reduction in cost per unit and unlimited future growth potential. The open LAN based design accommodates future changes.

United States Delivers Two Q-36 Counter Battery Radar Systems to Ukraine
United States Delivers Two Q-36 Counter Battery Radar Systems to Ukraine

 

Specifications

Maximum range 15 miles/24 km
Effective range Mortar: 11 miles/18 km
Artillery: 9 miles/14.5 km
Rockets: 15 miles/24 km
Azimuth sector 90°
Frequency X-band, 32 frequencies
Prime power 115/200 VAC, 400 Hz, 3-phase, 8 kW
Peak transmitted power 23 kW, min

 

First roll out

On November 9 2015, the roll out of the first MPA (Multirole Patrol Aircraft) took place in Genoa and represented a key milestone in the development of this innovative new airplane, which is now approaching ground and flight tests activities to achieve its complete flight envelope configuration.

First roll out for the new MPA – Multirole Patrol Aircraft
First roll out for the new MPA – Multirole Patrol Aircraft

Fully compatible with the unmanned HammerHead system, the MPA is developed by Piaggio Aerospace in partnership with ADASI – Abu Dhabi Autonomous System Investments – and represents a significant evolution of the P.180 Avanti platform, including:

  • 50% increasing of the wing span;
  • 35% increasing of the horizontal tail and 20% increasing of the forward wing surfaces;
  • Significant upgrade of the power plant with new scimitar propeller blades and noise reduction;
  • Increased fuel tanks capacity (50%);
  • New SAAB Albatros Mission System by with Radar 1700 G2, EO/IR and Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion Avionic Suite.

Simultaneously with the Italian roll-out, the MPA Ground Demonstrator is show-cased at the Dubai Air Show within the stand of Mubadala, shareholder of Piaggio Aerospace. It is constituted by the forward section of the aircraft, fully equipped with the new avionic and mission systems. The main goal of this Ground Demonstrator is to offer a realistic representation of the system capabilities and perform ground testing of equipment, anthropometric evaluation, cockpit lighting/glare, and human machine interface evaluation.

Carlo Logli, CEO of Piaggio Aerospace, commented in Dubai the MPA roll-out by saying: «We are very pleased about this step ahead in the MPA programme, as we consider this new aircraft as a key strategic asset of our product portfolio. In the very near future, we will be able to offer an integrated range of manned and unmanned solutions, tailored on the needs of each Customer, boosting unique capabilities, and able to match the growing and sophisticated demand of security of many Nations».

Jonas Hjel, SAAB’s Head of Business Area Support and Services, said: «We have worked closely together with Piaggio Aerospace to integrate SAAB’s advanced multi-mission surveillance systems for maritime and overland missions, with equipment that includes a mission management system, radar and electro-optics. Today we are proud to present this system, which is the most advanced technology for airborne surveillance, in the MPA product».

Claude Alber, Rockwell Collins Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa added: «Piaggio Aerospace’s new MPA represents a significant technological step forward for completing special missions, and Pro Line Fusion delivers information to the flight deck faster and more efficiently on customised, empowering pilot interfaces. This aircraft is another proud milestone in our long-standing relationship with Piaggio».

Piaggo’s new maritime patrol variant of the Avanti twin-turboprop follows the HammerHead unmanned ISR drone, and is intended to evolve into a family of optionally-manned aircraft (Piaggio photo)
Piaggo’s new maritime patrol variant of the Avanti twin-turboprop follows the HammerHead unmanned ISR drone, and is intended to evolve into a family of optionally-manned aircraft (Piaggio photo)

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS
Span 65.16 feet/21.4 m
Length 43.89 feet/14.4 m
Height 12.08 feet/4 m
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 16,500 lbs/7,484.3 kg
Maximum Landing Weight (MLW) 14,500 lbs/6,577 kg
Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW) 11,050 lbs/5,012 kg
Mission Payload (mission equipment and 2 operators) 1,350 lbs/612 kg
Maximum Fuel @ Maximum Payload 5,100 lbs/2,313 kg
Maximum Allowable Fuel 5,300 lbs/2,404 kg
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Cruise Speed 350 KTAS/403 mph/648 km/h
Maximum Operation Altitude 41,000 feet/12,497 m
Maximum Endurance (at 5,000 feet/1,524 m) 45 min Visual Flight Rules (VFR) reserve 6.4 hours
POWERPLANT
2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66B, 950 shp (ISA, sea level)
Hartzell five blades low noise propeller, counter rotating
MISSION SYSTEM
2 SAAB removable, tactical operator stations equipped with multifunction, integrated display control units
AVIONICS SYSTEM
Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion
The Piaggio Aerospace Multirole Patrol Aircraft represents the evolution of the Piaggio Aerospace P.180 Avanti II aircraft
The Piaggio Aerospace Multirole Patrol Aircraft represents the evolution of the Piaggio Aerospace P.180 Avanti II aircraft

Cost-effective solution

The United States Army has exercised $65.8 million in contract options for 12 additional UH-72A Lakota helicopters and associated mission equipment packages. The UH-72A is manufactured by Airbus Helicopters Inc. at its final assembly plant in Columbus, Miss., which has already produced and delivered almost 350 Lakotas to date, all on time and on cost.

UH-72A Lakota in flight
UH-72A Lakota in flight

The UH-72A was competitively selected in 2006 for a broad range of active Army and Army National Guard missions, including training, search and rescue, medical evacuation, border security, command and control, VIP transport and general utility.

The 12 aircraft on this latest contract option will be delivered starting in August of 2017, configured for the Army as initial entry rotary-wing trainers. This year the Army has fielded more than 50 Lakotas to Fort Rucker, Alabama, in preparation for the UH-72A’s formal introduction into the training curriculum by early 2016. Ultimately, Army plans call for an initial-entry rotary wing training fleet of 187 Lakotas, made up of a mix of new deliveries and already in-service aircraft reconfigured for the training mission.

«Time and again the UH-72A has proven to be the most cost-effective solution to meet a wide variety of needs for the U.S. military and our allies», said Allan McArtor, Airbus Group Inc. Chairman and CEO. «The Army’s flawless execution of the Lakota program has proven that even in today’s challenging defense acquisition environment, there are success stories for the taxpayer and warfighter alike».

«Almost half the men and women who build the UH-72A in Mississippi are U.S. military veterans, and some even fly in Lakotas in the National Guard or Reserves», said Chris Emerson, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters Inc. «Everyone on that production line takes a great amount of pride in their unbroken record of delivering on their commitments, and we hope they’ll be building Lakotas for many years to come».

The Lakota continues to meet a wide range of needs for several military user communities. The Navy operates the Lakota in a training role at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and the Army National Guard units operating specially equipped Lakotas are deployed supporting Customs and Border Protection missions along the U.S. southwest border. The Royal Thai Army is the first allied operator of the UH-72A, having purchased six aircraft to date through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program.

A modern, twin-engine helicopter, the UH-72A is a powerful, stable, and agile platform with a glass cockpit that is compatible with night vision goggles. The Lakota is also single-pilot Instrument Flight Rules certified. It has the lowest cost to buy, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production.

Airbus Group delivers first new UH-72A Lakota for Army initial-entry trainer mission
Airbus Group delivers first new UH-72A Lakota for Army initial-entry trainer mission

 

Characteristics

Maximum Take-Off Weight 3,585 kg/7,903 lbs (All configurations)
Useful load 1,810 kg/3,990 lbs
Capacity 1 pilot + up to 11 passengers
2 pilots + 10 passengers
Maximum cargo sling load 1,500 kg/3,307 lbs
Engine 2 × Turbomeca ARRIEL 1E2, turboshaft engines
Maximum emergency power (OEI) 574 kW/770 shp
Fast cruise speed 133 knots/153 mph/246 km/h
Range 461 NM/531 miles/855 km
Endurance 4 h 30 min
The EC145’s integrated glass cockpit includes Airbus Helicopters’ Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) and a Caution and Advisory Display (CAD) to enhance pilot efficiency – thereby reducing pilot fatigue and enhancing flight safety
The EC145’s integrated glass cockpit includes Airbus Helicopters’ Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) and a Caution and Advisory Display (CAD) to enhance pilot efficiency – thereby reducing pilot fatigue and enhancing flight safety

Christening of Munro

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the company’s sixth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC), Munro (WMSL-755), on November 14, in front of nearly 600 guests. Julie Sheehan, the great niece of the ship’s namesake, Signalman First Class Douglas Munro, is the ship’s sponsor. At the culmination of the ceremony, she smashed a bottle across the bow of the ship, proclaiming, «May God bless this ship and all who sail in her».

Ship’s Sponsor Julie Sheehan smashes a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the National Security Cutter Munro (WMSL-755). Also pictured (left to right) are Captain Thomas King, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Ship’s Sponsor Julie Sheehan smashes a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the National Security Cutter Munro (WMSL-755). Also pictured (left to right) are Captain Thomas King, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

Admiral Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, was the ceremony’s principal speaker. «I couldn’t help but notice when I drove into the shipyard today the banner that read, ‘What you do today matters,’» he said. «Nothing could be truer than what you do today at Huntington Ingalls, because 45 years from today – if not longer – this ship will continue to serve our nation. Many of us will have crossed the bar by that time, but this ship will live on».

Munro died heroically on September 27, 1942, on Guadalcanal. Having volunteered to evacuate a detachment of U.S. Marines who were facing annihilation by a large and unanticipated enemy force, he succeeded in safely extricating them and in doing so was mortally wounded. For his heroic and selfless actions in the completion of this rescue mission, Munro was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He is the Coast Guard’s sole recipient of the award. Ingalls has delivered five NSCs, and three more, including Munro, are currently under construction.

«Our Ingalls/Coast Guard team continues to get stronger, proving that serial production and stable requirements have a direct effect on improving quality, cost and schedule, and this program has been an excellent one», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «The National Security Cutters are clearly changing the game in how to protect our country. Not only does that make us proud, but more importantly, it makes our enemies nervous. It is our job to build a ship that protects the brave men and women who go into harm’s way. And it is a job our shipbuilders take very seriously».

Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot/115-meter Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters that entered service during the 1960s, they are 418 feet/127 m long with a 54-foot/16-meter beam and displace 4,500 long tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 nautical miles/13,809 miles/22,224 km, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.

NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High-Endurance Cutter. They include an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraft. The Legend class is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs play an important role enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

Ingalls Shipbuilding Christens Sixth National Security Cutter, Munro
Ingalls Shipbuilding Christens Sixth National Security Cutter, Munro

 

Facts

Displacement 4,500 long tons
Length 418 feet/127 m
Beam 54 feet/16 m
Speed 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km
Endurance 60 days
Crew 120
Equipped with Mk-110 57-mm turret mounted gun
6 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber machine guns
3D air search radar
2 level 1, class 1 aircraft hangers
A stern launch ramp for mission boats
The fifth U.S. Coast Guard NSC, James (WMSL 754), has successfully completed acceptance trials in early May 2015. The Ingalls-built NSC spent two full days in the Gulf of Mexico proving the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
The fifth U.S. Coast Guard NSC, James (WMSL 754), has successfully completed acceptance trials in early May 2015. The Ingalls-built NSC spent two full days in the Gulf of Mexico proving the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

 

Ship list

USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750)

USCGC Waesche (WMSL-751)

USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752)

USCGC Hamilton (WMSL-753)

USCGC James (WMSL-754)

USCGC Munro (WMSL-755)

USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756)

USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757)

 

Finnish GMLRS

The Finnish Defence Forces is currently preparing the procurement of GMLRS AW and the GMLRS UNITARY munitions. The invitation to tender concerning the procurement is currently under consideration in the United States Congress.

The Integration software of the upgraded M20B1 UK launcher fires its first GMLRS rocket at the White Sand Missile Range in New Mexico. GMLRS and M270B1 are now deployed in theater in support of UK ground forces and complement their US counterparts (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
The Integration software of the upgraded M20B1 UK launcher fires its first GMLRS rocket at the White Sand Missile Range in New Mexico. GMLRS and M270B1 are now deployed in theater in support of UK ground forces and complement their US counterparts (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

Procurement of the new guided munitions will make the use of the rocket launch system procured in 2006 more efficient and diversify the range of munitions available for the multiple launch rocket systems. The use of guided munitions is possible due to the reform of the fire control of rocket launcher systems drawn up in 2012-15.

When exploding the GMLRS AW spreads fragments above the target. The effect of the GMLRS UNITARY on the other hand is based on its explosive and pressure impact. The range of both the munitions is approximately 70 kilometres.

The procurement decision for the munitions will be made by Finland’s Ministry of Defence following the contract negotiations. The product is in accordance with the international Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Guided MLRS Unitary Rocket diagram (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
Guided MLRS Unitary Rocket diagram (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

Guided MLRS Unitary Rocket

The MLRS Family of Munitions includes three rockets and four missiles with an additional six variants in development. This MFOM meets the complete Army requirement for tactical and operational support.

Guided Unitary MLRS:

  • A pre-planned product improvement to GMLRS;
  • Integrates approximately 200 pound Unitary Warhead into the GMLRS;
  • Enhanced anti-jam and accuracy processor;
  • Low cost/risk program to greatly reduce collateral damage;
  • One round, one kill capability.

 

Test milestone

The Joint Strike Missile (JSM) successfully completed a missile flight test in the United States last week. The missile was launched at 22,000 feet/6,706 m from an Edwards Air Force-based F-16 over the Utah Test and Training Range and performed a number of challenging flight maneuvers. The test proved the maturity of the missile, which is specifically designed to fit inside the F-35A weapons bay, and the missile flight control software.

The JSM missile is primarily designed for operations from fixed wing aircraft platforms
The JSM missile is primarily designed for operations from fixed wing aircraft platforms

«This is a major accomplishment for the JSM program, and in addition several critical capabilities beyond the scope of the test were verified. The test demonstrates that we are on track with the qualification of JSM, which brings critical capability to F-35A and the warfighter», says Harald Ånnestad, President Kongsberg Defence Systems.

The JSM is a new missile being developed in partnership with Raytheon for the Norwegian Armed Forces. The missile will complete the qualification program in 2017 and will have unmatched operational capabilities enabling the F-35 to fight well-defended targets across long distances. The missile will be integrated on the F-35A but can also be integrated on other types of aircrafts, meaning its market potential extends beyond the future users of the F-35.

«This successful flight test further validates that JSM will be an ideal solution for the medium-range anti-ship and land attack mission», said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Air Warfare Systems. «Raytheon and Kongsberg are working together to deliver this important, new capability to customers around the globe».

The missile flight test program started early 2015 with numerous captive carry tests on an F-16 and will continue with flight tests of increasing complexity through 2016 and 2017. The flight test program is scheduled to complete in accordance with plan in 2017.

 

Joint Strike Missile (JSM)

The JSM is based on the well-proven and modern technology of NSM (Naval Strike Missile) which is operational in the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) and Poland. The development of JSM is well under way and fully funded by Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF). The JSM operational analysis and design process has focused on the following key operational capabilities.

Survivability (launch platform and missile):

  • Stand-off Range;
  • Low Observable;
  • Mission Profile;
  • End Game Profile.

Target Selectivity:

  • Target Detection & Identification;
  • Autonomous Target Recognition (ATR);
  • Target Discrimination (in cluttered invironment);
  • ROE Compatible.

Lethality:

  • Precision Aimpoint;
  • Warhead Effect;
  • Collateral Damage Mitigation.

Mission Flexibility:

  • Multi Target Capable;
  • Multiple Operational Domains.

Service Suitability:

  • Multi-Platform Capable;
  • Net Ready;
  • Minimum Maintenance;
  • Aircraft Carrier Suitable.

 

JSM Key Characteristics

Length 13.1 feet/4 m
Height 1.7 feet/0.52 m
Width 1.6 feet/0.48 m (stowed)
Mass 917 lbs/416 kg
Speed High Subsonic
Agility High

Norwegian industry contributes to the F-35 program

 

Storm Shadow

A Typhoon Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) has successfully completed a release of the MBDA Storm Shadow, conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off precision missile, Eurofighter GmbH has announced. This continues the series of trials that Eurofighter Partner Company, Alenia Aermacchi, is leading to demonstrate the full integration of the Storm Shadow missile with Typhoon’s weapon system.

After launch, the Storm Shadow/SCALP (Système de Croisière Autonome à Longue Portée) missile descends to a low cruising altitude powered by a turbojet engine
After launch, the Storm Shadow/SCALP (Système de Croisière Autonome à Longue Portée) missile descends to a low cruising altitude powered by a turbojet engine

With support from Eurofighter Partner Company BAE Systems, missile designer and producer MBDA, and specialist trials support from QinetiQ, the trials were conducted in November 2015 at Aberporth MoD firing range, in the UK.

The integration of the missile with the aircraft’s weapon system was successfully demonstrated. The trials also verified the interface of the missile with the weapon system for pre-launch checks, demonstrated post-launch safe separation and the subsequent commencement of missile flight.

Test pilot Enrico Scarabotto flew the sorties and he said: «The Eurofighter and its weapon system performed exactly as expected. The aircraft’s performance is not significantly degraded by this heavy missile and, thanks to the aircraft’s performance and the large number of weapon stations, after the launch of the missiles the Eurofighter keeps a full spectrum of capabilities for both air-to-air and air-to-surface engagements. This is a great advantage that only the Eurofighter, among western fighters, can guarantee. A truly swing-role combat aircraft».

Storm Shadow provides a significant leap in the Eurofighter Typhoon’s operational capabilities, enabling the platform to deploy multiple weapons at a very long range well clear of danger from air defences. Storm Shadow, already in service with the Italian Air Force, Royal Air Force and others, is a long-range weapon system designed to neutralise high value, hardened or buried targets.

The new weapons system will add the capability to strike in day or night in all-weather conditions, well-defended infrastructure targets such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges that would otherwise require several aircraft and missions.

This is a new addition to the Eurofighter Typhoon’s potent simultaneous multi-role/swing-role capabilities. Powered by a turbo-jet engine, with a range in excess of 155 miles/250 km, the Storm Shadow missile weighs approximately 2,866 lbs/1,300 kg and is just over 16.7 feet/5.1 metres long.

The missile follows its pre-planned trajectory through continuous updates to its navigation system. This is supplied by the missile avionics, which incorporates an Inertial Measurement Unit, combined with both digital terrain profile matching and GPS
The missile follows its pre-planned trajectory through continuous updates to its navigation system. This is supplied by the missile avionics, which incorporates an Inertial Measurement Unit, combined with both digital terrain profile matching and GPS

Successful test flights

The U.S. Navy conducted successful test flights November 7 and 9 of two Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles built by Lockheed Martin. The world’s most reliable large ballistic missile, the D5 missile has achieved a total of 157 successful test flights since design completion in 1989. The D5 is the sixth in a series of missile generations deployed since the sea-based deterrent program began 60 years ago.

The U.S. Navy tested two Trident II D5 fleet ballistic missiles November 7 and 9 in the Pacific Ocean. One of the missiles is shown here shortly after its launch from a submerged submarine (Photo: U.S. Navy)
The U.S. Navy tested two Trident II D5 fleet ballistic missiles November 7 and 9 in the Pacific Ocean. One of the missiles is shown here shortly after its launch from a submerged submarine (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The Navy launched the unarmed missiles in the Pacific Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine. The missiles were converted into test configurations using kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation. The test flights were part of a demonstration and shakedown operation, which the Navy uses to certify a submarine for deployment following an overhaul.

«This reliability record is a testament to the unwavering dedication to the deterrence mission by the Navy program office, the submarine crews and the industry team», said Mat Joyce, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs and deputy for Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. «Building on a six-decade history of success, we’re moving into the future by implementing new engineering methods that will pave the way for continued innovation and performance».

To support the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs, Lockheed Martin is incorporating modernized electronics technology to cost effectively prolong the service life of the D5 missile design on current and next-generation submarine platforms. These two missile flights formally qualify the new flight control and interlocks electronics packages for deployment in 2017. The modernized avionics subsystems, which control key missile functions during flight, enable missile life extension through 2042.

The company also is transitioning to designing components in a digital environment and using 3-D printing to efficiently produce prototypes.

«This is an example of how Lockheed Martin continually moves forward in advancing our ballistic missile systems to ensure that we are employing the latest technologies to meet our customers’ mission and budget requirements», said Joyce.

The Trident II D5 missile is deployed aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines to deter nuclear aggression. The three-stage ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles/4,603 miles/7,408 km and carry multiple independently targeted reentry bodies.

Lockheed Martin has been the Navy’s strategic missile prime contractor since December 27, 1955 – one of the longest government and industry partnerships for a major U.S. weapon system. The company also performs program management and engineering services for the Royal Navy under the Polaris Sales Agreement.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Strategic Nuclear Deterrence
Contractor Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Inc., Sunnyvale, California
Date Deployed 1990
Unit Cost $30.9 million
Propulsion Three-stage solid-propellant rocket
Length 44 feet/13.41 m
Diameter 83 inches/2.11 m
Weight 130,000 pounds/58,500 kg
Range Greater than 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Guidance System Inertial
Warhead Nuclear MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles)

 

Design Review

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation announced today the successful completion of the VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program Preliminary Design Review (PDR), completion of the integration and performance testing of Mission Communications System (MCS) components, and Sikorsky’s acceptance of the second S-92A aircraft for the program. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

H-92 helicopter is the military version of the company's commercial S-92 helicopter
H-92 helicopter is the military version of the company’s commercial S-92 helicopter

«Completing these three milestones on or ahead of schedule is a fantastic accomplishment. We are committed to executing this program on-time and within budget. These achievements keep this program moving forward», said Spencer Elani, Sikorsky program director, VH-92A.

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Navy awarded a $1,244,677,064 fixed-price incentive Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract with production options to Sikorsky for 21 operational and two test aircraft.

Initial fielding is planned for 2020, with production concluding in 2023. Under the contract, Sikorsky will use its in-production S-92 aircraft and integrate government-defined mission systems and install an executive interior.

The PDR, completed on August 21, allowed the VH-92A team to demonstrate the preliminary design for the VH-92A aircraft, including integration of the MCS, and the supporting logistics elements. Completing this step signals that the program is ready to proceed into detailed design (Critical Design Review).

«This is but one of many steps toward the replacement for our Presidential Fleet of helicopters. I am pleased how effectively we’ve gotten out of the gate and established a solid foundation on which we’ll mature the detailed design work of this important program», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Robert Pridgen, program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Presidential Helicopters Program Office. «This team is focused and disciplined. We must maintain both to ensure we meet or exceed the expectations of a program such as the VH-92A in the months ahead».

Engineering Development Model 0 (EDM-0), the first S-92A helicopter for the VH-92A Program, completed MCS testing on August 25. More than 80 hours of ground and flight-testing was conducted over the course of three months in Owego, New York, site of system integrator Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s principal supplier on the program.

Sikorsky accepted the second S-92A aircraft for the VH-92A program on September 3 when it was flown from Sikorsky’s commercial aircraft facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, to the Stratford, Connecticut, location. This aircraft has commenced the early stages of the modification process.

Sikorsky is working with the U.S. Navy on a fleet of VH-92A helicopters to support the presidential worldwide vertical-lift mission. To help ensure an affordable program, Sikorsky is integrating the already-FAA certified S-92A aircraft with a mature MCS and an executive interior. The VH-92A will continue to provide safe and reliable helicopter transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States and other officials.

Eventual production quantities will be determined over the life of the program, based on Department of Defense funding priorities and subject to Congressional approval of funding.

Grass runway tests

Airbus Defence and Space has successfully completed certification testing of the A400M new generation airlifter on a grass runway. The tests using the development aircraft MSN2 took place over a three-week period at the airfield of Écury-sur-Coole in France in September and examined the aircraft’s behaviour on grass and natural soil runways. The A400M demonstrated excellent performance both in taxying manoeuvres, such as U-turns, and during take-off and landing on the 1,500 m strip. These tests followed earlier successful results on the gravel surface at Ablitas in Spain and will be followed by tests on sand surfaces next year.

A400M completes grass runway certification tests
A400M completes grass runway certification tests

 

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 45.10 m/148 feet
Overall Height 14.70 m/48 feet
Wing Span 42.40 m/139 feet
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m/58 feet
Cargo Hold Height 3.85-4.00 m/12 feet 7 inch-13 feet
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m/13 feet
Cargo Hold Volume 340 m3/12,000 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 141,000 kg/310,850 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 123,000 kg/271,200 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 50,500 kg/111,300 lbs
Maximum Payload 37,000 kg/81,600 lbs
ENGINE (×4)
EuroProp International TP400-D6 11,000 shp/8,200 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,200 m/40,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS) 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h
Cruise Speed Range 0.68-0.72 M
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (37,000 kg/81,600 lbs) 1,780 NM/2,050 miles/3,300 km
Range with 30,000 kg/66,000 lbs Payload 2,450 NM/2,796 miles/4,500 km
Range with 20,000 kg/44,000 lbs Payload 3,450 NM/3,977 miles/6,400 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 4,700 NM/5,406 miles/8,700 km

 

Airbus Defence and Space has successfully completed certification testing of the A400M new generation airlifter on a grass runway. Tests took place over a three-week period at the airfield of Écury-sur-Coole in France in September and examined the aircraft’s behaviour on grass and natural soil runways.