The Air Force’s priorities for modernization and continuous improvement in the nuclear enterprise were the top of discussion during the Air Force Association’s monthly breakfast January 20 in Arlington, Virginia.
«This nuclear deterrent is as relevant and is as needed today as it was in January of 1965», said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, the Air Force assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. «And it will be, until that happy day comes when we rid the world of nuclear weapons. It will be just as relevant in 2025, ten years from now».
To remain relevant, Harencak explained the importance of investing in programs to modernize the two legs of the nuclear triad owned by the Air Force, including the long-range strike bomber and the ground-based strategic deterrent.
«It’s not going to be inexpensive, but it’s also not going to be unaffordable», he said. «It’s something we have to do to protect our nation. In this world, there still is a nuclear threat and our United States Air Force is there to meet it so we can defend our great nation and our allies».
The Air Force’s goal is to develop and purchase 80 to 100 LRSB (Long-Range Strike Bomber) aircraft. This modernization of nuclear-capable bombers will provide safe, secure and effective forces for generations to come, he explained. «In what world do we send our grandchildren into combat in 80-year-old airplanes»? Harencak asked. «There are a lot of hard decisions we’ve got to make out there, but this isn’t one of them. We want them (our children and grandchildren) to win: 100 to nothing, not 51 to 49. We can afford this, and it’s desperately needed so the United States Air Force continues to be what it always has been – the force that allows alternatives and options for our president to defend America».
In addition to investment in aircraft, the Air Force is continuously working on increasing morale and mission focus within the intercontinental ballistic missile community, with help and guidance from the Force Improvement Program.
«Our ICBMs have been referred to as America’s ‘ace in the hole,’ for more than 50 years», Harencak said. «They still are. They are still the ante into this game that is so high that no one out there would ever be perversely incentivized to attempt to become a nuclear competitor with us. They make sure no one out there has any illusions that they could accomplish anything through the threat or use of nuclear weapons».
To reinvigorate the ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) community, the Air Force is on track to modernize the Minuteman III weapon system until the ground-based strategic deterrent is underway. Last year marked many changes in the community, and Harencak said the Air Force will continue to make improvements. «What we’re doing is making sure this is a process of continuous improvement», he said. «I am 100% positive we don’t have it 100% right – but that’s okay. We do have the processes and organizations in place to make sure we continually improve and never take our eye off the ball of the needs of Airmen in the nuclear enterprise».
The bottom line is we must move forward to ensure America’s nuclear triad is still the best in the world, and the general said modernization and recapitalization is the way to go. «The triad has been proven and tried and true for decades – because it works», Harencak said. «We need to continue to make the modest investments necessary to make sure we have the absolute best nuclear deterrent going forward».
It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that AgustaWestland is offering the AW139M to the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) to fulfil an urgent requirement to replace Russian-made Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ medium transport helicopters.
The AgustaWestland announcement comes on the heels of a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) proposal made on 12 January to sell the Slovak MoD 9 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk medium helicopters for €300 million ($347 million) including spare parts and training via the Foreign Military Sales programme.
«AgustaWestland is ready to make an offer to Slovakia with the AW139M and, of course, associated training and support», AgustaWestland spokesperson Geoff Russell told IHS Jane’s. «The offer will be very competitive if compared to the €300 million Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk offer. We are sure that, with a much lower cost, the AW139M perfectly fits the country’s requirement», Russell added.
Slovak defence minister Martin Glvac said on 12 January that while the MoD is taking the U.S. DoD offer very seriously, it will also consider bids from other helicopter manufacturers. Glvac also made it clear that an ultimate procurement decision would be made by the Slovak government and Slovak Security Council.
According to Jiri Kominek, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, over the next six years the Slovak MoD is intending to replace 14 Mil Mi-17 medium transport helicopters that are rapidly nearing the end of their service life and proving expensive to operate and maintain. Furthermore the ongoing armed conflict in neighbouring Ukraine has prompted the Slovak MoD to not only modernise its armed forces with equipment in service with other NATO countries but also phase-out Russian-made legacy platforms over concerns of the availability and costs of spare parts.
The AW139M is the militarised version of the AW139, a new generation intermediate twin-turbine helicopter setting the standard against which all intermediate twins are now measured. Building on the considerable worldwide success of the AgustaWestland AW139, the AW139M has been developed to meet the specific requirements of military, homeland security and government users.
The AW139M can be used for a wide range of applications including Surveillance, Utility/Troop Transport, Special Forces Insertion/Extraction, MEDEVAC (Medical evacuation)/CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation), SAR (Search and Rescue)/CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue), Command & Control, and Fire Support.
Designed with inherent multi-role capability and flexibility of operation, the AW139M is capable of carrying up to 10 fully equipped troops or 15 passengers at very high speed in its large unobstructed reconfigurable cabin. Additional stowage is accessible both from the cabin and externally. Two large cabin doors enable rapid ingress and egress of troops and personnel. The AW139M provides the best power reserve of any helicopter in the intermediate twin-engine class. It fully complies with the latest stringent FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations)/JAR (Joint Aviation Requirements)/EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) requirements in terms of performance and safety.
Its Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turbines together with a state-of-the-art 5-bladed main rotor deliver a high cruise speed, even in demanding conditions and at all weights. The AW139M has outstanding power agility and maneuverability, providing excellent handling qualities in a wide range of operating conditions including «hot and high».
Leading edge technology includes a fully integrated avionics system, 4-axis digital AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System) with SAR modes, advanced NVG-compatible (Night Vision) cockpit, inlet particle separators and optional ice protection system that enable safe operation in day, night and all environments.
The AW139M can be tailored to meet specific user requirements utilizing a wide range of mission equipment kits including secure military V/UHF, HF and SATCOM radios, and heavy duty main and nose landing gear for operations from unprepared surfaces. As a result of the new design approach, the AW139M uses fewer components, benefits from integrated avionics and provides easy accessibility to all systems for simplified maintenance tasks.
Maximum take off (MTOW): 6,400/6,800*kg/14,110/14,991*lb
Maximum useful load: 2,650/3,050*kg/5,843/6,724*lb
* An optional MTOW (Internal) of 6,800 kg (14,991 lb) is available as a kit
Engine Rating (2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6C – 67C)
Take off power (5 min): 2 × 1,252 kW/2 × 1,679 shp
Maximum continuous power: 2 × 1,142 kW/2 × 1,531 shp
O.E.I.* maximum contingency power: 1,396 kW/1,872 shp
O.E.I.* maximum continuous power: 1,252 kW/1,679 shp
* One Engine Inoperative
Take off power (5 min): 1,641 kW/2,200 shp
Maximum continuous power: 1,491 kW/2,000 shp
O.E.I.* maximum contingency power: 1,193 kW/1,600 shp
O.E.I.* maximum continuous power: 1,044 kW/1,400 shp
* One Engine Inoperative
Standard: 1,568 L/414 US gal
Auxiliary: 500 L/132 US gal
Pilots/passengers: 1 – 2/15
Length (rotors turning): 16.66 m/54 ft 08 in
Overall height: 5.17 m/16 ft 12 in
Main rotor diameter: 13.80 m/45 ft 03 in
Performance (ISA*, 6400 kg/14110 lb)
VNE (Velocity Never Exceed): 310 km/h/167 knots
Maximum cruise speed: 306 km/h/165 knots
Rate of climb: >10.9 m/s/>2140 ft/min
Hovering IGE (In Ground Effect): 4,682 m/15,360 ft
Hovering OGE (Out of Ground Effect): 2,478 m/8,130 ft
Service ceiling (MCP**): 6,096 m/20,000 ft
Max range***: 1,250 km/675 NM
Max endurance***: 5 h 56 m
* International Standard Atmosphere
** Maximum Continuous Power
*** With 1,654 kg fuel – no reserve – at 1,829 m/6,000 ft
Engine air particle separators
Closed circuit refueling system
Auxiliary fuel tanks (500 L/132 US gal)
Wire strike protection
Blade folding ship deck mooring
Single/dual rescue hoist (272 kg/600 lb) with utility hoist light
Cargo hook (2200 kg/4850 lb) with monitoring cameras
Self-contained EMS (Emergency Medical Supplies)/MEDEVAC kit
Snow skis/ slump protection pads
Cabin bubble windows
Marking for high visibility main rotor blades
Customising painting scheme with metallic colours
All weather covers
Troop seats and medevac stretchers
Rappelling/ fast roping kit
Armoured crew seats and armoured floor
Wire strike protection system
Defensive Aids Suite (DAS)
IR Suppression system
Self – sealing crashworthy fuel tanks
Cockpit Voice Recorder & Flight Data Recorder (CVR/FDR)
4-axis Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS) with SAR modes & FMS SAR patterns
On January 15, 2015 delegation of NATO headed by Patrick Auroy, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, visited Antonov Company. Dmytro Kiva, President – General Designer, presented the enterprise possibilities in directions of development, testing and production of aircraft and modern programs to the guests. He also named a number of Antonov’s initiatives on extending cooperation with countries of NATO and EU.
Taking into account experience of successful interaction on the SALIS (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution) program on performance of strategic air transportations, Antonov suggests joining efforts on development of military transport aviation. The following programs can become a base for it: the AN-70 military STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) transport, the AN-178 new transport that can be considered as an effective replacement of the C-160 European twin-engine turboprop aircraft, joint development of the AN-148/AN-158 new special purpose variants, and further modernization of the world-known AN-124-100 Ruslan.
Within realization of the Open Sky international program a special purpose aircraft, based on the AN-148, is suggested to be used. It will be able to perform observation flights with visual, photo and apparatus information gathering. It will have equipment of observation on-board complex, working places of operators and international observers.
Besides, in order to perform tasks of Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre a special squadron of the AN-32P multifunctional was suggested to be used. In particular, they can provide delivery of humanitarian cargoes (medicaments, products, clothes, etc.) to the necessary place, evacuation of injuries, firefighting. The AN-32P proved efficiency, economy and reliability in operation under conditions of hot climate and highland, during firefighting in Spain, Portugal and Ukraine.
AN-70 – Medium Military Transport STOL Aircraft
The AN-70 aircraft belongs to a new generation of the short takeoff and landing tactical military medium transports. AN-70 is extremely required by army. This aircraft is capable of solving qualitatively new tasks beyond possibilities of previous military transports. It was proved by the wide programme of the Joint State Russian Ukrainian tests, main part of which had been completed. AN-70 can transport almost any item of aeromobile military and engineering vehicles used by armies of the world and to deliver them to poorly equipped unpaved runways directly to the destination. On this ability, AN-70 surpasses all the existent airplanes.
AN-70 can perform the typical transport mission (transportation of 20 t payload at a range of 3,000 km) from unpaved airfield of 600-800 m length only. There is no other airplane with such ability. Taking into account all likely possibilities it is possible to come to conclusion that the AN-70 STOL capabilities as much as twice reduce both the number of aircraft required for the mission and the cost of the operation. According to the design estimations, AN-70 can be operated from/to elevated airfields placed at altitudes up to 3,000 m over sea level. In comparison with the analogues aircraft, the AN-70 can perform air dropping of cargoes and parachutists with twice less scatter and its crew can guide the aircraft to the calculated touchdown point with a pinpoint accuracy.
Four D-27 engines with SV-27 counter-rotating propfans ensure a high cruising speed and 20-30% fuel economy in comparison with modern turbojet airplanes.
The built-in aerial delivery system ensures autonomous loading/unloading of a wide range of cargoes and their air dropping. The onboard loading equipment consists of four overhead rail electric motor hoists and two onboard electric winches. At customer request, the aircraft can be equipped with easily removable upper deck or roller conveyer to automate container-handling operations.
Onboard monitoring and diagnostic systems make possible the autonomous operation of the AN-70 aircraft from poorly equipped airfields without the need for any special ground facilities. Aircraft maintenance is based on the «on-condition» strategy.
The AN-70 is fitted with modern electronic equipment and systems of fully digital control. The AN-70 is competitive enough as for the airframe and power plant characteristics as well as airborne system. The first production AN-70s constructed at Antonov Serial Plant will have modern configuration of electronic equipment.
All three variants of the F-35 Lightning II continue on a path toward full weapons certification by successfully completing numerous milestones during the previous four months. Highlights included validating 2B weapons software and successfully executing several weapons separation and engagement tests. The most recent accomplishments are in support of the first military service Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration by the U.S. Marine Corps in July.
The program also surpassed 25,000 combined flight hours in December with F-35 military fleet aircraft (16,200 hours) nearly doubling the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) test aircraft (8,950) hours. Comprehensive flight test on the F-35A variant GAU-22 25-mm gun system is scheduled to begin mid-year at Edwards AFB, California, and will include ground fire tests, muzzle calibration, flight test integration and in-flight operational tests. The 25-mm missionized gun pod carried externally, centerline mounted on the F-35B and F-35C also begins testing this year to meet U.S. service’s desired schedule for full warfighting capability software known as 3F. The 3F software is currently planned for delivery with the Low Rate Initial Production 9 (LRIP 9) U.S. aircraft in 2017.
«The weapons development program continues to track forward on the plan laid out by the Technical Baseline Review approved in 2010», said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. «All weapons tests needed for 2B software, the software the U.S. Marine Corps will use to declare IOC, is complete and will be ready to go for their combat capability certification».
Specific F-35 Flight Test accomplishments during the past four months include:
First F-35 day and night Mission Effectiveness Close Air Support (CAS) flights completing 2B CAS testing (October 21).
Completion of live fire testing on an F-35B ground test article. (September 9).
Successful first (September 9) and night flight (September 18) with the Generation III helmet-mounted display with 3iR4 software.
Completion of final buffet, loads and high-angle-of-attack testing required for F-35A Block 2B software (November 18).
Successfully launched an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) from an F-35C, marking the last weapon separation test needed for Block 2B software (September 30).
F-35C set a record for 17 sorties in a day for a single F-35 aircraft (November 5) and a record 22 sorties with F-35C aircraft CF-3 and CF-5 combined aboard USS Nimitz for F-35C Sea Trials off the coast of San Diego (November 3-14).
First separation test of a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, a 250-lb. precision-guided glide weapon (October 21) and multi-separation test (November 20).
First F-35 external flutter tests flown with the AIM-132 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) (October 29) and Paveway IV missiles (November 13).
Three Weapon(s) Delivery Accuracy (WDA) live fire events completed in a week. The F-35 employed two AIM-120 AMRAAMs and one Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). These events included the first supersonic-guided missile launch and the first JDAM release on target coordinates generated from the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) (November 18-25 ).
It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered a new ground based Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system from MBDA.
Known as the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) Land, the new SAM system will eventually replace the British Army’s Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) short-range SAM systems. Speaking to IHS Jane’s on 15 January, a MoD spokesperson confirmed that a development and manufacture phase contract had been awarded to MBDA for the programme. An MBDA spokesperson confirmed to IHS Jane’s that it had received the contract in December 2014. The contract is valued at GBP228 million ($348 million).
According to the MoD FLAAD Land should be ready for entry into service at «the end of the decade». This should allow for a smooth change over with the retirement of the Rapier, scheduled to begin in 2020.
The quantity of FLAADS Land systems included in the contract is unclear, although the Royal Artillery (RA) currently operates five batteries of Rapier FSC missiles and these are likely to be replaced broadly on a like-for-like basis. The RA also deploys the very-short range Thales Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM).
FLAADS Land uses the MBDA Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) as its interceptor. CAMM is also under order for the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor primary-air defence system that will equip the services Type 23 frigates and future Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
CAMM is originally derived from the MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), while both Sea Ceptor and FLAADS Land also sharing a common command and control (C2) system.
CAMM for future Land operations
As part of a land based weapon system, CAMM will provide future land forces with an easily transportable and rapidly deployable local area air defence capability, which can operate as a stand-alone unit or be integrated within a future battlespace network. If 3rd party targeting information is available via the battlespace network then CAMM is capable of engaging Non Line of Sight (NLOS) targets. This NLOS feature is particularly attractive for engaging concealed Attack Helicopters and low-flying terrain-following cruise missiles.
The small footprint of a CAMM launch site and the low-signature of a CAMM missile launch increases survivability of air defence assets. CAMM is logistically easy to manage with CAMM canisters slotting straight into launcher frames, with no need for manhandling of actual missiles.
The CAMM missile in its canister is exactly the same whether used on a ship or by a land unit, opening the opportunity for common missile stockpiles across Navies and Armies in the future.
The FLAADS Land system will provide the British Army with a world leading Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system that will be one of the most advanced and capable in its class, providing operational, logistical and cost benefits.
CAMM as part of Sea Ceptor for future Naval operations
As part of the Sea Ceptor weapon system, CAMM provides a 360° air defence capability for naval forces out to ranges greater than 25km against the current and future air threat. Requiring no dedicated tracker/illuminator radars, CAMM can be cured by the ship’s own standard surveillance radar to provide high levels of protection against multiple simultaneous targets in Open Ocean and littoral environments. It can also be used against surface targets.
CAMM launch canisters are compatible with SYLVER and Mark-41 family launch silos with CAMM utilizing features such as folding missile fins to maximize launch canister packing density. The introduction of «soft launch» techniques reduces system mass and allows for more flexibility in terms of installation positions on a ship.
Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red); the missile offers true all weather capability.
The Sea Ceptor weapon system incorporates a 2-way data-link to CAMM missiles in flight and is intended for vessels of corvette size or larger, for either new ships or as a retrofit. In September 2013, the UK’s Royal Navy contracted with MBDA for the manufacture of the Sea Ceptor system for its frigate fleet. The weapon system is designed to be flexible enough for the ‘cross-decking’ of weapon equipment straight onto the Royal Navy’s planned Type 26 class of ships when they replace the Type 23 class in the future.
On May 21st 2014, the New Zealand MoD signed a contract for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) for the Local Area Air Defence (LAAD) system with MBDA. The CAMM missile and its associated ship’s equipment will be installed on the RNZN frigates HMNZ Te Kaha and Te Mana as part of the ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade project.
CAMM for future Air operations
The same CAMM missile design for Navies and Armies is easily adaptable by MBDA for Air Force use on Fast Jets. With MBDA’s experience from ASRAAM and Meteor ensuring world class performance will be achieved. MBDA has been working with the MoD on assessing how CAMM technology could be used to sustain or enhance the Royal Air Force’s ASRAAM capability in the future.
The U.S. Navy authorized ships in the Aegis Combat Weapon System baselines 5.3 and 3.A.0 series to carry the Raytheon Company Standard Missile-6 (SM-6). The authorization expands the missile’s use from five ships to more than 35 ships.
«SM-6 is the longest range integrated air and missile defense interceptor deployed, and its multi-role capabilities are unprecedented», said Mike Campisi, Standard Missile-6 senior program director. «Its use is transforming how we define fleet defense».
Raytheon has delivered more than 130 missiles to the U.S. Navy, which deployed SM-6 for the first time in December 2013.
SM-6 is a new surface-to-air supersonic missile capable of successfully engaging manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. It also defends against land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles in flight.
Final assembly takes place at Raytheon’s state-of-the-art SM-6 and SM-3 all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
SM-6 delivers a proven over-the-horizon air defense capability by leveraging the time-tested advantages of the Standard Missile’s airframe and propulsion.
The SM-6 uses both active and semiactive guidance modes and advanced fuzing techniques.
It incorporates the advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities from Raytheon’s Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).
Raytheon’s SM-6 is a key component in the U.S. Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA) providing the surface Navy with an increased battlespace against over-the-horizon anti-air warfare threats.
«The SM-6 is the newest addition to Raytheon’s highly successful Standard Missile family of missiles», said Wes Kremer, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems product line. «This missile can use both active and semiactive modes, giving the warfighter an enhanced ability to intercept beyond-line-of-sight targets».
SM-6 has also been selected to fulfill the U.S. Navy’s Sea-Based Terminal (SBT) role and will provide defense against ballistic missiles in their terminal phase of flight, succeeding the SM-2 Blok IV missile. The initial version of the SBT, Increment 1, is to enter service around 2015, with a subsequent version, called Increment 2, to enter service around 2018
«The SM-6 represents the cutting-edge compilation of decades of best practices», said Mike Campisi, Raytheon’s SM-6 senior program director. «It’s been a model program from concept through development and testing. We’ve delivered on time and on budget at every step in the process».
The modified Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class will be designated as frigates, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced at the Surface Navy Association 2015 symposium. The name change follows the December decision by the Navy to up gun the existing LCS classes for the last 20 of the service’s 52 small surface combatant requirement as part of an almost yearlong study directed by the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD).
«One of the requirements of the Small Surface Combatant Task Force was to have a ship with frigate-like capabilities. Well, if it’s like a frigate, Let’s call it a frigate»? Mabus said. «We are going to change the hull designation of the LCS class ships to FF. It will still be the same ship, the same program of record, just with an appropriate and traditional name».
As the existing Flight 0 LCS are modified and back fitted with additional capabilities, they could earn the FF label, he said. Mabus said the name change came after consultation with Navy leadership, including Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA). Mabus said he often had confusing conversations about the LCS ship class. «It’s not an ‘L’ class ship», he said. «When I hear ‘L’ I think amphib, so does everybody else». The FF designation for the LCS will be the first of a planned set of nomenclature changes for other ships classes as well that will come in the coming weeks, Mabus said. He mentioned the Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), the Mobile Landing Platform and the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) in his remarks.
As for the now Fast Frigate class, the up gunned variants are moving forward are set to be acquired starting in Fiscal Year 2019, will add about $50 to 60 million in weapons, sensors and armor to beef up the existing Flight 0 Austal USA Independence and Lockheed Martin Freedom class designs which are now being built for about $500 million a hull on average.
According to Sam LaGrone, USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute, Navy leaders have highlighted the new ships will have an emphasis on anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare borrowing some of the modularity of the Flight 0 LCS designs. The Navy is set to deliver an acquisition strategy to the OSD in May and an analysis if some of the modifications can be back fit on to the existing LCS designs.
The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 7 January that it will procure 20 Steyr Pandur II 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicles to fulfil an Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) requirement for staff command and communications platforms.
The MoD said it would order the vehicles directly from General Dynamics European Land Systems – Steyr (GDELS-Steyr) without tender and did not disclose a price for the procurement. According to Jiri Kominek, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, the 20 vehicles are to be ordered in July when funding becomes available from the defence budget. «The vehicle should not differ from Pandur vehicles already in service with the army, not only in visual appearance, but also in terms of fulfilling tactical-technical requirements», said the chief of general staff of the Army of the Czech Republic General Petr Pavel.
The ACR currently operates a fleet of 107 Pandur II armoured vehicles in several configurations including infantry fighting vehicle, armoured personnel carrier, and armoured ambulance. Gen Pavel said the MoD will order unequipped «bare» hulls from GDELS-Steyr and that an indigenous supplier will be selected to provide and integrate the necessary onboard computer hardware and communications systems. «We can more effectively co-operate with an indigenous supplier during the integration process and have greater influence over the type of systems installed which would not be possible with a foreign supplier», said Gen Pavel.
Crew: 1 + 2 + 4
Combat weight: 24,000 kg
Protection: Modular, scalable ballistic/Mine/IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) protection solutions in accordance with international/costumer specific standards; Signature reduction
Main Armament: Steyr SP30 two-person turret with 30-mm automatic canon, fully stabilized, 7.62-mm auxiliary gun at commander’s hatch, 76-mm smoke grenade launchers, digital ballistic computer, automatic target tracking, full manual back up, day sight laser range finder, TI (Thermal Image) for gunner, day sight, remote TI display for commander
Length: 7.36 m
Width: 2.67 m
Height (hull top): 2.09 m
Ground clearance: 0.45 m
Track: 2.20 m
Wheelbase: 1.53/1.40/1.40 m
Angle of approach: 41º
Angle of departure: 38º
Maximum speed: 105 km/h
Fording: 1.5 m
Side slope: 40%
Trench crossing: 2.2 m
Vertical obstacle: 0.6 m
Turning radius: 9 m
Engine: 6-cylinder in-line Diesel, turbocharged and intercooled developing 335 kW, EURO III compliant
The Navy christened the future USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) January 10 during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony in Mobile, Alabama. «This ship represents the hard-working men and women of New Jersey and the importance of the American cities along the Delaware River. It represents American shipyard, factory, and assembly line workers who have been the backbone of the Arsenal of Democracy since President Franklin Roosevelt coined the phrase more than seven decades ago. It represents the American spirit of hard work, patriotism and perseverance», said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. «The USNS Trenton will carry these values and this spirit around the world. It is tailor-made for our 21st century operations and maritime security missions, from the wide expanses of the Pacific to the littorals of Africa».
JHSV 5 will be the fourth naval vessel to bear the name Trenton. The first ship was built following the Civil War and was named to honor George Washington’s Revolutionary War victory on the banks of the Delaware River. Since then, a ship bearing the name Trenton has served during every vital Navy mission until 2007 when the last ship was decommissioned.
The 338 foot-long (103 m) aluminum catamaran is under construction at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. JHSVs are ideal for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies and equipment. These ships are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles (2,222 km) at an average speed of 35 knots (65 km/h) with berthing space for up to 104 personnel and airline-style seating for up to 312.
JHSVs have a 20,000 square foot (1,863 m2) open mission deck and a flight deck to support day and night launch and recovery operations, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility. They can operate in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts.
Upon delivery to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Trenton will be designated as a United States Naval ship, and will have a core crew of 22 civilian mariners with military mission personnel embarking as necessary.
Material: Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall: 103 m/337.9 ft
Beam overall: 28.5 m/93.5 ft
Hull draft (maximum): 3.83 m/12.57 ft
Area (with tie-downs): 1,863 m2/20,053 ft2
Clear Height: 4.75 m/15.6 ft
Turning diameter: 26.2 m/86.0 ft
ISO TEU Stations: 6 Interface Panels
Single SR: 2
Double SR: 6
Quad SR: 7
Troop Seats: 312
Galley and Messing: 48
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
Average: 35 knots/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload
Maximum: 43 knots/80 km/h without payload
Maximum Transit: 1,200 NM/2,222 km
Self-Deployment: 5,600 NM/10,371 km
Survival Through: SS-7
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
Helicopter Control Station
Active Ride Control
Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 ft2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls
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 ft, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 ft
According to Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo, Reuter’s correspondents, Japan is asking Britain to buy its Kawasaki P-1 submarine-hunting jet in a deal that could top $1 billion, a major step in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to arms exports after decades of self-imposed restrictions.
Meanwhile, Britain has not formally decided it will buy new maritime patrol planes, having canceled an order for nine built by BAE Systems in 2010 due to delays and cost over-runs, and the P-1, made by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, would face stiff competition from Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon, the three sources told Reuters. Japanese officials raised the issue of London buying the P-1 to replace the British-made Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, which was retired in 2011, when they met their UK counterparts to discuss defense-equipment cooperation at the Farnborough Air Show near London in July, the sources said.
After Abe eased curbs on military exports in April 2014, his Defense Ministry has been looking to tap foreign markets for its cocooned weapons makers, including potential deals to sell the new submarines to Australia and the ShinMaywa seaplanes to India. A Kawasaki P-1 sale to Britain would be Japan’s first major military deal outside the Asia-Pacific region. Abe wants Japan’s defense suppliers to move into the global arms market through tie-ups that will help bring down procurement costs and strengthen the nation’s military to counter China’s growing military might.
Even if Britain does not buy, the P-1 could benefit from being treated as a genuine contender. «If the UK gives it serious consideration, then the P-1 will garner attention internationally», one Japanese source said. «It has potential customers beyond the UK, like New Zealand, Norway and Canada, with large maritime areas», said UK consultant Simon Chelton, a former BAE Systems Plc executive and defense attache at the British Embassy in Tokyo.
Senior Japanese and UK officials will have a chance to discuss the idea at a strategic dialogue in London organized by independent British and Japanese think-tanks. The P-1, designed to patrol Japan’s territorial waters from the Pacific to the East China Sea, where Beijing claims small islands held by Tokyo, will be the country’s principal sub hunter for decades to come.
Japan’s navy plans to buy around 20, costing about 20 billion yen ($170 million) each, over the next five years, though cracks in the fuselage and wing and engine problems have delayed its entry into service. No announcement from Britain of any replacement for the Nimrod, which tracked Soviet undersea activity during the Cold War, is expected before May’s general election.
Its least risky option could be the Boeing P-8, already built and operated by the United States, the closest ally to both Britain and Japan, the sources said. Deployed by the U.S. Navy last year, the first squadron armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles operates from Okinawa in southwestern Japan near China. Boeing officials in Tokyo were unavailable for comment.
In its most recent order in February, the U.S. Navy said it would buy 16 additional P-8s at a cost of $150 million each. If Japan can offer a P-1 variant tailored for the British military that is competitive on price and capability, it could represent a viable alternative. Jointly building a P-1 that taps into Britain’s experience building the Nimrod would allow London to retain rights over radar and sensing technology it would lose by buying a U.S. aircraft regulated by the Pentagon, one source said. Last year Japan and Britain agreed on a deal that will see Mitsubishi Electric Corp partner with European missile maker MBDA to develop a medium-range air-to-air missile for the F-35 stealth fighter, which both countries plan to deploy.