All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Jeremiah Denton

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division officially started fabrication of the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) destroyer USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129) on January 07, 2021. The start of fabrication signifies the first 100 tons of steel have been cut.

USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129)
Erika Lynd, Ingalls burner workleaderman, cuts steel into patterns using the Avenger IV plasma cutter, signifying 100 tons of steel cut and start of fabrication for the destroyer USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129). Observing the milestone are U.S. Navy Cmdr. Sean Doherty, DDG program manager’s representative, and Ben Barnett, Ingalls Shipbuilding’s DDG 129 ship program manager (Photo by Derek Fountain/HII)

«The start of fabrication for one of the U.S. Navy’s most critical assets is always a significant milestone for our shipbuilders», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «We look forward to leveraging our unparalleled shipbuilding expertise to construct the nation’s newest, most capable destroyer».

The destroyer’s name honors former U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism while a prisoner of war. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, Denton went on to serve in the Navy for 34 years as a test pilot, flight instructor and squadron leader. Following decades of military service, Denton was elected to the Senate in 1980 where he represented the state of Alabama for six years.

Denton was born in Mobile, Alabama on July 15, 1924. His wife, the former Kathryn Jane Maury, served as ship’s sponsor of the Ingalls-built Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) which was christened in 1985.

Ingalls has delivered 32 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction include USS Frank E. Peterson Jr. (DDG-121), USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) and USS Ted Stevens (DDG-128).

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. The guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Length Overall 525 feet/160 m
Beam – Waterline 65.6 feet/20 m
Draft 32.8 feet/10 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYERS LINEUP

 

Flight III

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-125 Jack H. Lucas HIIIS
DDG-126 Louis H. Wilson, Jr. GDBIW
DDG-128 Ted Stevens HIIIS
DDG-129 Jeremiah Denton HIIIS
DDG-130 William Charette GDBIW
DDG-131 George M. Neal HIIIS
DDG-132 Quentin Walsh GDBIW
DDG-133 Sam Nunn HIIIS
DDG-134 John E. Kilmer GDBIW
DDG-135 Thad Cochran HIIIS
DDG-136 Richard G. Lugar GDBIW
DDG-137 John F. Lehman HIIIS
DDG-138
DDG-139

 

Gowind-class corvette

6th of January 2021, Alexandria Shipyard Company celebrates the handover of the corvette ENS Port Said (976) as the first Egyptian Gowind corvette that will join the service with the Egyptian naval fleet to carry out its combat missions. The corvette ENS Port Said (976) was launched on 9/2018, and it is the first warship to be built with 100% Egyptian capacity resulting from fruitful technology transfer cooperation with the French side represented in Naval Group company.

ENS Port Said (976)
Alexandria Shipyard Company celebrates the handover of the corvette ENS Port Said (976)

The handover ceremony and the raising of the Egyptian flag held in the presence of The Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan at Alexandria Shipyard before sailing to Alexandria naval base, ENS Port Said (976) is the first of three Egyptian corvettes that will be joining the service with the naval forces according to a specific schedule.

The Egyptian Gowind Vessels of 102 m/335 feet Total Length, 16 m/52.5 feet Width, 2,600 tons Displacement and a maximum speed of 25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h. The corvette is equipped with facilities for an embarked helicopter and drones. The Gowind corvette accommodates 65 crew members and is fitted with the Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system including Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM). A panoramic bridge offers 360° visibility and a single enclosed mast offers 360° Sensor visibility.

The Gowind New Multi-Mission Corvette Type Designed for Surveillance, Surface and Subsurface Combat, Protection and Escort Naval Missions, it can also perform Maritime Surveillance and Policing Missions against Trafficking and Piracy. It has many technical characteristics and modern armament systems that enable it to carry out all combat missions at sea, support and protect the land forces along the coast during offensive and defensive operations which makes it a tremendous technological addition to the capabilities of the naval forces in support of their ability to protect the Egyptian national security.

Principal strike weapon

Strike fighters flying from Royal Navy aircraft carriers will be armed with the next-generation of lethal missiles following a £550m deal.

SPEAR3
Carriers’ F-35 jets to get next-generation air-to-ground missile

SPEAR3 will become the principal strike weapon of the F-35B Lightning II jets operating from the decks of HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) and HMS Prince of Wales (R09).

Designed to knock out warships, tanks and armoured vehicles, missile launchers, bunkers, radar posts and air defence batteries, the new missile can be fired at such long range – more than 140 kilometres (nearly 90 miles) – it should keep the Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots out of harm’s way from enemy ground defences.

Defence firm MBDA has been awarded £550m to equip the Lightning Force – based at RAF Marham – with the new weapon, which has been developed over the past decade and will be introduced to the front line over the next seven years.

Weighing under 90 kg/198 lbs. and just 1.8 metres/5.9 feet long, SPEAR3 – Select Precision Effects At Range missile No.3 – is powered at high subsonic speeds by a turbojet engine, can operate across land and sea, day or night, and strike at moving and stationary targets.

It will support 700 jobs in the UK – 190 of them highly-skilled technology jobs in system design, guidance control and navigation and software engineering – at sites around the country including Bristol, Stevenage and Bolton.

Testing, simulation and trials will include controlled firings from a Typhoon aircraft before the missile is delivered to Marham and the Portsmouth-based carriers for front-line operations.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight: < 100 kg/220 lbs.
Length < 2 m/6.56 feet
Diameter 180 mm/7 inches
Operational range 140 kilometres/90 miles

 

Boats for Ukraine

SAFE Boats International LLC, Bremerton, Washington, was awarded a $19,969,119 not-to-exceed, firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract action for long lead time material and associated pre-production and planning support for two MK VI patrol boats to be delivered to the government of Ukraine.

Mark VI Patrol Boat
Mark VI Patrol Boat

Work will be performed in:

  • Rock Hill, South Carolina (69%);
  • Kent, Washington (21%);
  • Woodinville, Washington (5%);
  • Bellingham, Washington (4%);
  • Seattle, Washington (1%);

and is expected to be completed by December 2022.

Fiscal 2020 Title 10 Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding in the amount of $5,463,500 was obligated at award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

This 85-foot/26-meter vessel is designed for optimal performance, fuel economy, and firepower

 

Description

The primary mission of Mark VI Patrol Boats is to provide capability to persistently patrol littoral areas beyond sheltered harbors and bays for the purpose of force protection of friendly and coalition forces and critical infrastructure. These missions include: Security Force Assistance (SFA); High Value Unit (HVU) shipping escort; Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) operations; and Theater Security Cooperation (TSC). The Mark VI program of record is for a total of 12 boats, all boats are to be delivered by the end of the 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2018.

 

Features

Multimission Reconfigurable for a variety of missions-VBSS, EOD or SOC Team; Medical Evacuation/Triage; Berthing / Detainee; Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Counter-Intelligence Missions.

Supports Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) and Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) operations.

Transportable via ship.

 

General Characteristics

Propulsion Installed Power: 5,200 HP/3,878 kW – 2 × MTU 16V2000 M94 and 2 × Hamilton HM651 Water Jets
Length (Length overall, LOA) 84.8 feet/25.85 m
Beam 20.5 feet/6.25 m
Draft less than 5 feet/1.52 m
Displacement (full load displacement) 170,000 lbs./77 ton
Speed Cruise: 25+ knots/29 mph/46 km/h
Sprint: 35+ knots/40 mph/65 km/h
Range 600+ NM/690 miles/1,111 km
Crew 2 Crews, 5 Personnel each, plus 8 Person Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Team (18 Total)
Armament MK 50 (.50 cal/12.7-mm) Gun Weapon System (Qty 4); MK 38 Mod 2 (25-mm) Gun Weapon System (Qty 2); MK 44 Machine Gun System; Multiple Crew Served Weapon & Long-Range Acoustic Hailing Device (Qty 6)

 

RFCM system

BAE Systems received a $4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to conduct a quick-turnaround demonstration of a new Radio Frequency CounterMeasure (RFCM) system for the P-8A Poseidon. The pod-mounted RFCM system is a leading-edge, lightweight, high-power system that will add a new self-protection capability to this next-generation U.S. Navy aircraft.

P8-A Poseidon
Image shows large P8-A Poseidon Navy aircraft in flight against a dusk sky with thin cloud coverage with attached AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

«The ability to meet this unprecedented response time underscores our agility, focus on meeting customer needs, and our ultimate goal of protecting our warfighters», said Don Davidson, director of the Advanced Compact Electronic Warfare Solutions product line at BAE Systems. «A process that used to take 18 to 24 months has been scaled to five or six months, which is remarkable, as is deploying this new self-protection capability».

The rapid response is the result of collaboration among small focus teams who developed an innovative approach to the design and fabrication of the system’s mechanical parts. As a result, BAE Systems will design, build, integrate, and ship the RFCM system in approximately five months, followed by two months of flight testing on the P-8A Poseidon platform. Testing will begin early in 2021.

The RFCM system consists of a small form factor jammer, a high-powered amplifier and the AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD).

Work on the contract will be performed at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Nashua, New Hampshire.

AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy
AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

 

AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

The AN/ALE-55 subsystem consists of an on-board signal conditioning assembly and the FOTD. The signal conditioning assembly converts RF frequencies to light for transfer through the fiber-optic line. The system has two modes. In the primary mode, the onboard EW system detects and analyzes a threat, determines the appropriate response, and then sends that response down the line to the FOTD for transmission. The alternative back-up mode is an independent repeater. In this mode, the threat signal is detected, modulated, and then sent down the line to the FOTD. The system can interface with any on-board techniques generator, and can convert any technique. This broad capability enables the system to be installed on a variety of aircraft and to handle both today’s range of techniques and any developed to defeat future threats.

The AN/ALE-55 has been extensively flight-tested on a variety of aircraft, demonstrating robust aerodynamic performance and its ability to jam threats. The AN/ALE-55 is currently in full rate production with over 3,000 FOTDs delivered for U.S. and FMS customers.

Attack Helicopters

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait of AH-64E Apache Helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $4.0 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on December 29, 2020.

AH-64E Apache
AH-64E Apache Helicopter

The Government of Kuwait has requested to buy eight (8) AH-64E Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters and remanufacture sixteen (16) of their AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters to the AH-64E configuration consisting of:

  • eight (8) AH-64E Apache Helicopters (new procurement);
  • sixteen (16) AH-64E Apache Helicopters (remanufacture);
  • twenty-two (22) T700-GE 701D engines;
  • thirty-six (36) remanufactured T700-GE 701D engines;
  • twenty-seven (27) AN/AAR-57 Counter Missile Warning Systems (CMWS);
  • eighteen (18) Embedded Global Position Systems with Inertial Navigation (EGI) with Multi-Mode Receiver (MMR);
  • thirty-six (36) remanufactured EGIs with MMR;
  • eight (8) AN/ASQ-170(V) Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/AN/AAQ-11 Pilot Night Vision Sensor (MTADS/PNVS);
  • seventeen (17) AN/APG-78 Longbow Fire Control Radars (FCR) with Radar Electronics Units (REU);
  • seventeen (17) APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency Interferometers (M-RFI);
  • eighteen (18) M299 AGM-114 Hellfire Missile Launchers;
  • four (4) remanufactured M299 AGM-114 Hellfire Missile Launchers;
  • eighteen (18) Hydra 70 (70-mm) 2.75 Inch Rocket M260 Rocket Launchers; four (4) remanufactured Hydra 70 (70-mm) 2.75 Inch Rocket M260 Rocket Launchers;
  • nine (9) M230El 30-mm Chain Gun M139 Area Weapons System (AWS) Guns;
  • two (2) remanufactured M230El 30-mm Chain Gun M139 AWS Guns; one (1) Longbow Crew Trainers (LCT);
  • one (1) remanufactured LCT.

Also included are:

  • fifty-four (54) AN/ARC‑201 non-COMSEC Very-High Frequency/Frequency Modulation (VHF/FM) radios;
  • fifty-four (54) Ultra‑High Frequency (UHF) radios (AN/ARC‑231 or MXF 4027);
  • twenty-eight (28) Identify Friend or Foe Transponders (APX 123 or APX 119);
  • twenty-seven (27) IDM 401 (Improved Data Modem);
  • twenty-seven (27) Link 16 Datalinks; twenty-seven (27) AN/APR-39D (V)2 Radar Warning Receivers;
  • twenty-seven (27) AN/AVR-2 Laser Warning Receivers; twenty-seven (27) Infrared Countermeasures Dispensers (2 flares, 1 chaff);
  • nine (9) ASN-157 Doppler Radar Velocity Sensors;
  • nine (9) AN/ARN-149 (V)3 Automatic Direction Finders (ADF);
  • sixteen (16) remanufactured AN/ARN-149 (V)3 ADFs;
  • nine (9) AN/APN-209 Radar Altimeters;
  • twenty-seven (27) AN/ARN-153 Tactical Airborne Navigation (TACAN) systems;
  • sixteen (16) Manned-Unmanned Teaming International (MUM-Ti) (UPR) Air to Air to Ground Data Link Systems;
  • twenty-four (24) MUM-Ti (Ground) Air to Air to Ground Data Link Systems;
  • twenty-four (24) 100 gallon Internal Auxiliary Fuel Systems (IAFS);
  • twenty-four (24) 125 gallon Reduced Capacity Crashworthy External Fuel Systems (RCEFS); two (2) IAFS Spares;
  • two (2) IAFS Publications; six (6) IAFS Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Apache Magazine and Auxiliary Tank Transfer Systems (AMATTS);
  • five (5) IDM Software Loader Verifiers (SLV);
  • training devices;
  • helmets;
  • simulators;
  • generators;
  • transportation;
  • wheeled vehicles and organizational equipment;
  • spare and repair parts;
  • support equipment;
  • tools and test equipment;
  • technical data and publications;
  • personnel training and training equipment;
  • S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services;
  • other related elements of logistics support.

The total estimated cost is $4.0 billion.

The proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

The proposed sale of the AH-64E Apache helicopters will supplement and improve Kuwait’s capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing Kuwait’s close air support, armed reconnaissance, and antitank warfare mission capabilities. Kuwait will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors associated with this sale will be The Boeing Company, Mesa, AZ; Lockheed Martin Corporation, Orlando, FL; General Electric, Cincinnati, OH; Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Owego, NY; Longbow Limited Liability Corporation, Orlando, FL; and Raytheon Corporation, Tucson, AZ. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the temporary assignment of approximately three U.S. Government personnel and five contractor representatives to Kuwait to support delivery of the helicopters and provide support and equipment familiarization. In addition, Kuwait has expressed an interest in a Technical Assistance Fielding Team (TAFT) to provide in-country pilot and maintenance training. Execution of a TAFT will require a team of twelve additional personnel (one military and eleven contractors) to be deployed to Kuwait for the period of approximately three years.

Landing Craft Utility

Kolkata, 31 December 20: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., (GRSE), a leading warship building and Mini-ratna Category 1 Company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, tops off year 2020 with «Delivery» of the «Last of Eight LCU Project» & «Start Production» of the First Ship of Eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWSWC) Project.

IN LCU L-58 (Yard 2099)
GRSE Delivers 106th Warship: LCU L-58 Bids Adieu to 2020, Achieving A Double Milestone

GRSE delivered IN LCU L-58 (Yard 2099), eighth and last in the series of Landing Craft Utility Ships to the Indian Navy. This ship is the 106th Warship built and delivered by GRSE so far, since its inception in 1960, the highest no. of warships delivered by any Indian Shipyard till date.

The Protocol of delivery and acceptance was signed between Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retired), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE and Lieutenant Commander Krishan Kumar Yadav in the presence of Commodore Sanjeev Nayyar, IN (Retired), Director (Shipbuilding), Commodore P R Hari, Director (Personnel) and Shri RK Dash, Director (Finance) and other Senior Officials of GRSE and Indian Navy.

The LCU is the third ship delivered by GRSE in 2020, no mean feat considering the operational constraints imposed by the global pandemic of COVID 19. The Shipyard has delivered 14 ships in the last 42 months which clocks an average of 3 months per ship. The complete design of the LCU Mark IV ships has been developed in-house by GRSE as per requirements specified by the Indian Navy which necessitate a unique design with no precedence worldwide. The 62.8 m/206 feet long and 11 m/36 feet wide LCU has a displacement of 830 T and can achieve a speed of 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h. The LCU is designed to accommodate 216 personnel and is equipped with Two Indigenous CRN 91 Guns to provide Artillery Fire support during landing operations. The ship is fitted with State-of-the-Art Equipment and Advanced Systems like the Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). In line with the Govt. of India’s Make In India Initiative towards Self Reliance & Indigenisation efforts, the LCU Mark IV Class of Ships are fitted with close to 90% indigenous equipment fit and multiple innovations.

LCU L-58 being delivered by GRSE today to the Indian Navy shall join the fleet of ships at Andaman & Nicobar Command. The Andaman & Nicobar Archipelago whilst acting as the extended arms of India, straddle one of the busiest trade routes in the world leading into the South China Sea and keeping the islands safe is one of the chief responsibilities of the Indian Navy. The Eight LCUs with high military lift capabilities built by GRSE, shall form the backbone of the Maritime Security Cover and HADR activity in the A&N Archipelago.

GRSE is also currently executing three major projects of the Indian Navy pertaining to the construction of 03 Stealth Frigates, 04 Survey Vessel (Large) ships and 08 Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts. The last two projects have been won on competitive bidding.

Today is also the ‘Start Production’ Day for the First of Eight ASWSWCs which is the first ‘Milestone’ in shipbuilding and signifies commencement of vessel construction after design engineering phase. The compact and complex stealth crafts are designed by GRSE. The platforms will be packed with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors like Hull Mounted Sonar, Towed Sonar, Torpedo Launchers and Rocket Launcher to interdict and destroy sub-surface targets in coastal waters. The crafts are capable of ‘Search & Rescue’ and ‘Low Intensity Maritime Operations’ and are propelled by water-jets capable of doing high speeds.

Since its takeover by the Government of India in 1960, GRSE has delivered high-end warships ranging from Fast Patrol Vessels, Survey Vessels, LSTs, LCUs, Fleet Tanker, Frigates and Missile & ASW Corvettes. The shipyard also has the distinction of achieving over 90% indigenous content, onboard ASW Corvettes, a significant advancement towards self-reliance in state-of-the-art warship design and construction. Having modernized its infrastructure facilities, GRSE is using Advanced Modular Integrated Shipbuilding Technology in line with the best in the world. This has helped enhance its capacity to the present level of constructing 20 warships concurrently. On 14 December 2020, GRSE created history with the launching of first of three Stealth Frigates, «Himgiri» under prestigious Project 17A.

The shipyard has a healthy order book of over Rs 26,000/-Crore for construction of 15 warships of the Navy to be completed progressively by the year 2027. GRSE has also diversified into ‘Engineering’ business and more than 5300 Portable Steel Bridges have been supplied to Indian Army, Border Road Organisation and State Governments. These bridges have also been exported to friendly neighborhood countries including, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka & Bhutan. GRSE also undertakes production of Deck Machinery Items which are fitted on GRSE built ships as well as those built by other shipyards in the country. Assembly, Testing and Overhauling of MTU Diesel Engines is undertaken at GRSE’s Diesel Engine Plant at Ranchi.

Patrol Corvette

EDA’s Steering Board recently approved the launch of a specific European Defence Agency (EDA) ad hoc project which will contribute to the implementation of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project aimed at developing a European Patrol Corvette. Italy, which leads a group of four PESCO participating countries involved in EPC (together with France, Spain and Greece), had requested the Agency’s support for moving this ambitious project forward.

European Patrol Corvette (EPC)
EDA to support ‘European Patrol Corvette’ PESCO project

Part of the third batch of PESCO projects approved in November 2019, the project aims at designing and developing a new class of military ship, named «European Patrol Corvette» (EPC), which will host several systems and payloads able to accomplish a large number of tasks and missions in a modular and flexible way. The EPC will provide valuable capabilities in the areas of maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection. The participating Member States aim to produce their first corvette prototype in 2026-2027.

The EPC is envisaged as a common platform, a shared baseline, which can be customised as needed by participating Member States according to their national needs and specifications. The overall displacement is expected to be no more than 3,000 tonnes, which will allow the ship to operate from minor harbours (draft less than 5.5 meters/18 feet). The length of the ship, to be equipped with diesel and/or electrical engines, should not exceed 110 meters/361 feet.

The ship will be based on an open plug-and-play architecture which will facilitate the versatility of response in the framework of EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations and will provide a quick reaction capability, applicable to a broad range of scenarios.

 

EDA tasks

The Agency’s new project will support the EPC PESCO project implementation through the development and adoption of Common Staff Target (CST), Common Staff Requirements (CSR) and a Business Case (BC). The objective of these documents, which are an indispensable step for a follow-on phase of the EPC PESCO project, is to shape the common core part and identify specifications and requirements that would be compatible with the modularity concept of the military ship.

The Agency will also support the governance body of the EPC project. With its expertise in project management and harmonisation of capability requirements, EDA will be able to provide valuable assistance in these domains. Industry is not participating directly in this EDA project, but may be consulted, if deemed necessary by the contributing Member States.

EDA’s Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: «EDA is delighted to support this ambitious and innovative PESCO project. As the European hub for collaborative capability development, the Agency has the expertise to help Member States in the implementation of their PESCO projects. The European Patrol Corvette project responds directly to an existing gap in Europe’s capability landscape acknowledged by Member States during the revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP) in 2018, namely that of naval manoeuvrability and the need for improved maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection. The future EPC will provide participating Member States with those missing capabilities, thereby further strengthening the Europe of Defence».

Italy’s Capability Director, General Giovanni Iannucci said: «The project of the European Patrol Corvette is aimed at developing a new Class of military ships in order to accomplish, with a flexible approach, a large number of tasks and missions aimed to Homeland Security and protection of European waters. More in details, the EPC will carry out Maritime Security Operations and Police of the High Seas functions, playing a key role in preserving Freedom of Navigation (FoN) and fighting against terrorism and illegal trafficking at sea. The EPC will be characterized by a multi-purpose and modular approach by design that will also allow to perform dual-use missions, such as anti-pollution activities, humanitarian assistance operations and interventions in support of populations in case of natural disasters. Italy is very proud of the coordinating role and will continue to conduct all necessary activities for the EPC’s success. Furthermore, I believe that this project constitutes an excellent opportunity for the whole European Defence and in particular the military shipyards sector to work together in order to foster industrial synergies, operational interoperability and maintain a technological advantage».

Operating Capability

The UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has achieved a major milestone ahead of its first operational deployment this year.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)
HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) has achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC)

The CSG has reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC), meaning all elements of the group from fighter jets to radar systems to anti-ship weapons have been successfully brought together and operated.

Both the air and naval elements of the CSG have now met this milestone, which includes qualified pilots and ground crews being held at short notice for carrier-based operations and trained to handle weapons and maintain the equipment.

Another marker of success at this stage includes the ability to deploy Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities such as frigates and destroyers, as well as both fixed and rotary wing aircraft including Merlin helicopters to operate alongside the carrier.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: «This is a hugely significant milestone for HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), the Royal Navy and the whole country. This achievement is a testament to the determination of our service personnel and industry workforce who have delivered this first-rate military capability, a capability held by only a handful of nations. I wish the entire Carrier Strike Group well ahead of their first operational deployment this year».

Following the success of the NATO Joint Warrior Exercises last autumn, the Carrier Strike Group capability has reached the key IOC milestone for the programme on schedule.

The multinational deployment in 2020 focussed on incorporating all elements of the CSG with 13 of the UK’s allies including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Japan, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the U.S. Exercise Joint Warrior saw the largest number of aircraft on a British Royal Navy carrier since 1983, as well as the most F-35B Lightning II jets at sea across the globe.

Full Operating Capability (FOC) for the CSG is expected by December 2023.

Two more Poseidon

Air Force’s maritime patrol capability will be boosted with Australia set to acquire two more P-8A Poseidon surveillance and response aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 14.

P-8A Poseidon
Two more P-8A Poseidon aircraft boosts maritime patrol capability

The Government has also approved sustainment funding for the current approved fleet of three MQ-4C Triton aircraft.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Honorable Linda Reynolds Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) said the announcement is part of the Morrison Government’s unprecedented $270 billion investment in defence capability over the next decade.

«Together, the P-8A Poseidon and the MQ-4C Triton will provide Australia with one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response capabilities in the world», Minister Reynolds said. «The P-8A Poseidon is a proven capability that will conduct tasks including anti-submarine warfare, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and support to search and rescue missions. These additional aircraft will enhance Air Force’s flexibility to support multiple operations and will play an important role in ensuring Australia’s maritime region is secure for generations to come. The Morrison Government’s continued investment in the P-8A Poseidon program is also creating more Australian jobs and opportunities for Australian small businesses. Several Australian companies are already completing work for Boeing Defence Australia, and industry investment including facilities works is over $1 billion».

The additional P-8A Poseidon aircraft are to be purchased through our existing Cooperative Program with the United States Navy.

Minister Reynolds said being part of the Cooperative Program with the United States Navy allows Australia to share in the benefits of their technical expertise and divide project costs.

«Defence is committed to this cooperative approach; together we are striving to develop this military technology to the highest standards», Minister Reynolds said.

The P-8A Poseidon is a highly versatile, long endurance platform capable of a range of mission types including Maritime Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance and striking targets above and below the ocean’s surface.

The planned integration of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) into Air Force capability will also allow it to strike adversary surface vessels at significantly increased ranges.

P-8A
Based at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Edinburgh, the P-8A Poseidon is an important part of Australia’s future maritime patrol and response strategy

 

P-8A Poseidon

The P-8A Poseidon has advanced sensors and mission systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-role radar, high-definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the AP-3C Orions.

The P-8A Poseidon is built specifically as a military aircraft. It is based on the proven commercial designs of Boeing’s 737-800 fuselage, but has been substantially modified to include:

  • a weapons bay;
  • under wing and under fuselage hard points for weapons;
  • increased strengthening for low level (down to 200 feet/61 m) operations and high angle turns.

The P-8A Poseidon aircraft has an extensive communications system including radios and data links across Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), High Frequency (HF) and SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM).

An internal fuel capacity of almost 34 tonnes/74,957 lbs. allows the P-8A Poseidon to conduct low level anti-submarine warfare missions at a distance of greater than 2,000 kilometres/1,243 miles/1,080 NM from base. The P-8A Poseidon will be compatible for air-to-air refueling with the Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

Poseidon
A RAAF P-8A Poseidon supports sea trials for the HMAS Hobart (DDG-39) in the Gulf St Vincent off the coast of Adelaide

 

Specifications

Manufacturer Boeing
Role Maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response
Crew Pilot, co-pilot, mission specialists
Engine Two CFM56-7 BE (27) engines each with 27,000 lbs./12,247 kg thrust
Length 129.6 feet/39.5 m
Height 42 feet/12.8 m
Wingspan 123.4 feet/37.6 m
Weight (maximum) 189,201 lbs./85,820 kg
Maximum Speed 490 knots/564 mph/907 km/h
Range 4,050 NM/4,660 miles/7,500 km
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,497 m
Capacity Sonobuoys, 11 weapons stations
Weapons Self-Protection Measures, Lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo, AGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles
Learmonth
The spectacular Milky Way dominates the night sky as a No. 11 Squadron P-8A Poseidon sits on the hardstand at RAAF Base Learmonth