All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

For Special Operations

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, and Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B Osprey for fleet operations to the U.S. Navy on June 22. The V-22 is based at Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

The first CMV-22B Osprey assigned to Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 landed at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego on June 22 (U.S. Navy photo)

«This first fleet delivery marks a new chapter of the V-22 Tiltrotor program providing enhanced capabilities and increased flexibility to the U.S. Navy as they conduct important operational missions around the globe», said Shane Openshaw, Boeing vice president of Tiltrotor Programs and deputy director of the Bell Boeing team.

This aircraft is the third overall delivery to the U.S. Navy. Bell Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B Osprey at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in February for developmental testing, followed by a second in May. The U.S. Navy variant V-22 will take over the Carrier Onboard Delivery Mission, replacing the C-2A Greyhound.

«We are thrilled to bring the Osprey’s capabilities as a warfighting enabler and its ability to provide time sensitive logistics to the men and women deployed around the world in support of U.S. Navy operations», said Kurt Fuller, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing program director.

The CMV-22B Osprey and C-2A Greyhound conducted a symbolic passing of the torch flight in April.

«The CMV-22 will be a game-changing enabler to the high end fight supporting the sustainment of combat lethality to the carrier strike group», said U.S. Navy Captain Dewon Chaney, Commodore, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing. «The multi-mission capabilities of the CMV-22, already recognized, will be realized in Naval Aviation’s Air Wing of the future. The arrival of this aircraft is the first of many steps to that becoming reality».

The CMV-22B Osprey carries up to 6,000 pounds/2,722 kg of cargo and combines the Vertical TakeOff, hover and Landing (VTOL) qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft.

Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant to have the expanded range needed for fleet operations. Two additional 60-gallon tanks and redesigned forward sponson tanks can cover more than 1,150 nautical miles. The CMV-22B Osprey also has the unique ability to provide roll-on/roll-off delivery of the F135 engine power module, enhancing the U.S. Navy’s readiness.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces
Contractor Bell-Boeing
Date Deployed 2009
Propulsion Two Rolls-Royce Liberty AE1107C engines, each deliver 6,200 shaft horsepower/4,560 kW
Rotor Diameter 38 feet/11.58 meters; Blades per rotor: Three
Length 63 feet/19.2 meters
Height 22 feet/6.7 meters, 1 inch/2.54 centimeters with nacelles vertical
Wingspan 84.6 feet/25.79 meters with rotors turning
Maximum gross, Vertical Take-Off 52,600 lbs./23,859 kg
Maximum gross, Short Take-Off 57,000 lbs./ 25,855 kg
Airspeed Cruise: 280 knots/322 mph/519 km/h
Ceiling 25,000 feet/7,620 meters
Range 2,100 NM/2,417 miles/3,889 km with internal auxiliary fuel tanks
Crew 4 – pilot, copilot, flight engineer, crew chief; 24 troops

 

Navy Accepts Oakland

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Oakland (LCS-24) June 26 during a ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Oakland (LCS-24)

Oakland is the 22nd Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the 12th of the Independence variant to join the fleet. Its delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the U.S. Navy, bringing the service’s inventory up to 300. It is the final milestone prior to its scheduled commissioning in early 2021.

«This is a great day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Oakland», said LCS program manager Captain Mike Taylor. «This ship will play an essential role in in carrying out our nation’s future maritime strategy».

Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA: USS Mobile (LCS-26), USS Savannah (LCS-28), USS Canberra (LCS-30) and USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32). Three additional ships are awaiting the start of construction.

The future USS Oakland (LCS-24) is the third U.S. Navy ship to honor the long history its namesake city has had with the Navy. The first Oakland was commissioned in 1918 and used to transport cargo. In 1943 the second USS Oakland was commissioned. Though in service for less than seven years, she was key to many anti-aircraft missions in the Western Pacific – Marshall Islands, Pagan Island, Guam, Iwo Jima, Rota, Peleliu and Okinawa. After the war, Oakland performed two duty patrols off the coast of China before her decommissioning in 1949.

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

The future USS Oakland (LCS-24) is the third LCS delivered to the Navy in 2020. The future USS St. Louis (LCS-19) was delivered February 6, and the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) delivered February 12. Two additional ships – USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21) and USS Mobile (LCS-26) – are planned for delivery this year.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Phoenix

The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force (NAGSF), with support from Northrop Grumman Corporation, marked a significant milestone recently in the System Level Performance Verification with the completion of a nine-hour training and test flight conducted for the first time under control of NAGSF trained pilots.

NATO RQ-4D Phoenix Reaches New Milestone

«Northrop Grumman is proud to support NAGSF pilots training as they control flights with number one NATO RQ-4D Phoenix», said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. «We remain committed in our relationship to NATO and the mission to protect and defend global security».

The NATO AGS RQ-4D aircraft is based on the U.S. Air Force wide area surveillance Global Hawk. It has been uniquely adapted to NATO requirements and will provide NATO state-of-the-art intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. This includes protecting ground troops, civilian populations and international borders in peacetime, times of conflict and for humanitarian missions during natural disasters.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Tactical Vehicle

This third week of the Arquus e-xpo is an opportunity for Arquus to present the latest addition to its range of tactical vehicles: the FORTRESS Mk2. Designed to answer the intensification of the threats encountered on the battlefield, the FORTRESS Mk2 combines the very high mobility of the FORTRESS and brand new capabilities in terms of protection and firepower. More aggressive and even better protected, the FORTRESS Mk2 is a modern, high-performance vehicle, very well adapted to current and future operational commitments. It combines mobility, firepower and protection in a single multi-purpose vehicle, developed to meet the demands of Arquus’ customers and partners.

Arquus launches the FORTRESS Mk2

Designed to transport a combat group of 11 soldiers over all terrains, the FORTRESS Mk2 combines optimal protection against all ballistic threats and mines encountered on the battlefield, and unprecedented off-road mobility capabilities thanks to its independent suspensions and very powerful engine.

To better face the evolution of threats on the battlefield, the FORTRESS Mk2 is natively designed with very high levels of protection, both against ballistic threats and against mines and IEDs, thanks to an innovative under-body architecture. This new protection, particularly coherent and balanced, makes the FORTRESS Mk2 one of the most protected 4×4 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) on the market.

This increase in protection has been achieved without any increase in mass, thanks to the use of the latest Arquus technologies in terms of armour and body architecture. This major evolution has therefore been completed while maintaining the exceptional mobility of the FORTRESS. Since its presentation in 2014, the FORTRESS has always been very popular due to its excellent off-roads capabilities, and has very soon been adopted by a European Special Forces unit.

The FORTRESS Mk2 is a vehicle at ease in all circumstances, off-roads as well as for obstacle crossing, thanks to its independent suspensions and proven chassis, which is the result of decades of operational experience. The FORTRESS Mk2 retains the 6-cylinder 340-horsepower engine, which gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 23 horsepower per ton, a top speed of 75 mph/120 km/h and a range of 1,200 kilometers/746 miles.

Thanks to its mobility and firepower, the FORTRESS Mk2 can carry and accompany the infantry on the battlefield, while providing operational fire support.

Its exceptional mobility and interior configuration allow for the safe transport of a full fighting group and their equipment, on all terrains, and with a high level of comfort, ensuring that they are well restedboth physically and mentally before the action.

The FORTRESS Mk2 has been specially designedto carry Arquus’ Hornet range of Remote-Controlled Weapons Stations (RCWS). As part of the Scorpion program, Arquus has created a new French line of RCWS which accommodates a wide range of weaponry, from 5.56-mm to 12.7-mm, including 7.62-mm and HK40. Commonequipment for all the new combat vehicles of the Scorpion program, these systems will equip the French Army’s new combat vehicles. The FORTRESS Mk2 is natively equipped with Arquus’ Battlenet vetronics suite, designed to operate with the Hornet turrets and featuring Blue Force Tracking (BFT).

In addition to the Hornet RCWS, the FORTRESS Mk2 can accommodate a wide variety of weapons and systems, such as 7.62-mm, 12.7-mm or 14.5-mm protected manual circulars, grenade launchers or acoustic and laser detectors.

These developments make the FORTRESS Mk2 an agile, well-protected, well-armed vehicle capable of going on the offensive on all terrains and in all conditions. In line with all formerly ACMAT vehicles, the FORTRESS Mk2 is rustic, durable, reliable and modular, which simplifies and reduces maintenance needs. Customizable, it can be configured in right- or left-hand drive.

For all vehicles in its ranges, Arquus presents a complete and innovative service offer, guaranteeing optimal uptime in all theatres of operation. Thanks to its logistics platform in Garchizy and its international network, Arquus can guarantee the availability of spare parts anywhere in the world on very short notice.

Modular Handgun System

Combat arms units across the Air Force are getting new and improved 9-mm caliber handguns to replace the M9 pistols that have been in service since 1985.

The Air Force Security Forces Center, in partnership with the Air Force Small Arms Program Office, has begun fielding the new M18 Modular Handgun System to Security Forces units. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office acquired approximately 125,000 M18s from Sig Sauer for $22.1 million (U.S. Air Force photo by Vicki Stein)

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office acquired approximately 125,000 M18s from Sig Sauer for $22.1 million, and is making them available to Air Force organizations that have a handgun requirement.

The purchase includes test ammunition as well as engineering services.

«The Air Force bought the M9s back in the 1980s, and the design has not really changed since then», said Merrill Adkison, Small Arms Program Office senior logistics manager. «M9s are larger, heavier, all-metal pistols; whereas M18s are lighter polymer pistols with a more consistent trigger pull and adjustable grips for large and small hands».

Adkison added that providing a modern handgun to Airmen was important in part due to the increasing difficulty of replacing and sustaining older technology in M9s.

In response to issues with the age and sustainment of M9s, the Air Force Security Forces Center developed the Capability Production Document for the Modular Handgun System that the Army later adopted, resulting in procurement of the M17 and M18 Modular Handgun System.

The new M18 costs the Air Force about one-third of what it would cost to buy an M9 today.

«It is important for the U.S. Air Force to move forward with improvement and replacement of weapon systems to keep pace with potential adversaries and field the best technology and equipment available for our warfighters», said Brian Lautzenheiser, lead program manager in the office. «The USAF Small Arms Program Office has worked with the Army to get these new weapons on contract and in the hands of the warfighters. We are a small team with a lot going on as we work to procure and sustain all small arms from pistols to .50 caliber ground-mounted machine guns. We have a great professional team that understands the importance of assisting the field to meet their needs».

The program office anticipates that M18 delivery will be complete by August 2022.

Thermal Vacuum Testing

The world’s most advanced missile defense satellite recently and successfully came out of almost two months of harsh simulated space environmental testing.

Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS GEO-5 satellite, the first military space satellite built on a modernized LM 2100 bus, recently completed Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) environmental testing

On June 9, the U.S. Space Force’s fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite (SBIRS GEO-5) successfully completed Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California satellite manufacturing facility.

Completing TVAC was a significant milestone for the first military space satellite to be built on one of Lockheed Martin’s modernized LM 2100 satellite buses. During TVAC testing, the satellite – with its sophisticated electronics performing full operations – faced waves of heat and cold in a depressurized atmosphere similar to the drastic environmental changes experienced in space.

«The completion of TVAC can be attributed to a tremendous effort from the Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Aerospace Corporation, and supporting contractor teams», said Tucker White, SBIRS GEO-5 Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations Lead from the Government Program Office. «The teams worked around the clock and finished on schedule to their original projection. This test phase is vital to any space vehicle test regime and takes GEO-5 one step closer to providing enhanced missile detection to our warfighters».

SBIRS GEO-5 will join the Space Force’s constellation of missile warning satellites equipped, with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors, which protect our nation 24-7. These sensors collect data that allow the U.S. military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense, expand technical intelligence gathering and bolster situational awareness on the battlefield.

«In SBIRS GEO-5, and our next satellite GEO-6, we’re introducing game-changing enhancements to address the needs of our nation’s space warfighting force going forward», said Tom McCormick, Vice President for Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Missions at Lockheed Martin Space. «The threat posed by ballistic missile technology continues to spread exponentially around the world. In 2019, SBIRS detected nearly a thousand missile launches globally, which is about a two-fold increase in two years».

 

No «Ordinary» Missile Defense Satellite

SBIRS GEO-5 is the first of two new SBIRS missile defense satellites and the fourth satellite built on Lockheed Martin’s new, modernized LM 2100 satellite bus. A major investment by Lockheed Martin, the LM 2100 purposefully focuses on increasing production speed, reducing costs, adding resiliency and building in more mission flexibility. The LM 2100:

  • Drives efficiency and cost savings into satellite design and production by leveraging common components, processes and production practices across the entire satellite production line.
  • Features 26 improvements that add more power and flexibility to the company’s proven A2100 satellite platform.
  • Increases satellite resiliency, eliminates older components and utilizes modern electronics to add new capability and increase reliability.
  • Offers a configurable payload module that provides more flexibility for military missions, accommodating mass, power, propellant and volume.
  • Allows easy implementation of additional modernized sensor suites and mission payloads thru its modular design.

«As we build more military LM 2100 satellites, we gain schedule efficiencies both from suppliers and the ability to enable concurrent bus and payload testing, which shortens the single line manufacturing flow», McCormick explained.

LM 2100 is currently slated to be the baseline bus of SBIRS GEO-5, and SBIRS GEO-6, expected to be launched in 2021 and 2022 respectively; three next Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared System (Next Gen OPIR) Block 0 GEO satellites expecting to launch starting in 2025; and the future GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellites, which are expected to launch starting in 2026.

 

Upgraded SBIRS Ground

The sophisticated SBIRS ground control system has had significant upgrades. SBIRS receives and processes large amounts of data from the global coverage of the satellites’ powerful sensors and converts this data into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications.

In August 2019, the U.S. Air Force operationally accepted Lockheed Martin’s Block 20 upgrade to the SBIRS ground control system, which improves its overall performance allowing better mission planning and processing for the full constellation, as well as enhanced cyber security defenses.

The upgrade also formally completed SBIRS’ Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase. This let the Air Force transition their focus to SBIRS’ operations and sustainment, as well as further enhanced capabilities that will be offered by the Next Gen OPIR system, and the Future Operational Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) ground system.

The SBIRS development team is led by the Production Corps, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Division, at the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Azusa, California, as the payload integrator.

Air Defence Systems

On June 19 the NASAMS (National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) medium-range air defence systems procured from Norway were delivered to the Air Defence Battalion of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The modern air defence equipment will provide the Lithuanian Air Force with a several tens of kilometres effective range capability.

NASAMS medium-range air defence systems delivered to the Lithuanian Air Force

«Arrival of the systems has made the Lithuanian air defence stronger and contributes to further strengthening of deterrence. If we link together all elements of the defence system, we get good results that will make potential aggressor think twice, and consequently give us more security and discretion», Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys says.

NASAMS is the most widely used mid-range air defence system in NATO member states, and even for guarding the airspace over the White House. Lithuania has acquired the most recent, their generation, NASAMS 3, its current users are still only the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of Norway, the manufacturer.

The procured NASAMS systems comprise many components – fire control centres, missile launchers, communications equipment, etc. Lithuania also upgraded the RBS70 short-range air defence systems it has been using, both systems will be integrated to form an overall Lithuanian airspace defence shield.

Training of qualified personnel for work with the new equipment began in Norway in the end of last year according to methodology and programs developed by the Norwegian Armed Forces and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. Further training will be carried in Lithuania by Norwegian professionals on the ground, in the Air Defence Battalion. The personnel are planned to be fully trained by 2021 and integration of the systems into the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) will begin.

One step closer

Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, will build two prototype sensor payloads for DARPA’s Blackjack program, under a $37M contract. Blackjack is a low Earth orbit satellite constellation program that aims to develop and demonstrate the critical elements for persistent global coverage against a range of advanced threats. It seeks to track multiple threats simultaneously for faster and earlier warning for national security.

Constellation of low earth orbit sensors to be delivered to DARPA

«Constellations offer built-in resiliency – strength in numbers», said Wallis Laughrey, Space & Command and Control communication (C2) Systems lead for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. «The entire network of satellites can continue to operate uninterrupted, even if one drops off».

RI&S is reducing integration timelines for rapid deployment, having completed Blackjack’s preliminary design review in October 2019. During preliminary design review, RI&S engaged with major subcontractors to confirm costs and ensure the team would be ready to go to production. The company is leveraging its advanced manufacturing capabilities, fast-production and commercial space programs to deliver the two sensors.

«Blackjack is innovative in its simplicity», said Laughrey. «We’ve incorporated mature tech like advanced algorithms and optics that allow us to go fast, but from day one, our primary design driver was manufacturing for cost».

RI&S’ Blackjack production will support the team for the constellation’s autonomous mission management system, Pit Boss. Pit Boss interconnects all of the data from the Blackjack satellite constellation, acting as the collection and processing hub to deliver data to the right person at the right time.

The RI&S contract goes through critical design review and support to the systems integrator for integration with Pit Boss and the space vehicle. It also includes launch campaign support and the on-orbit demonstration. Following Critical Design Review (CDR) in November 2020, DARPA has the option to order an additional eight or 18 sensor payloads.

Trailers for the JLTV

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced today that it has been awarded a $61.8M modification from the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal to increase available trailer options under the current Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles contract from 32 to 3,541.

Oshkosh Defense Awarded $61.8M to Produce Trailers for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

The JLTV-T was designed as an integral part of the JLTV Family of Vehicles, providing the same superior off-road performance and durability.

«When it comes to hauling mission critical equipment, a reliable trailer is just as essential as the vehicle it supports», said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense. «Whether it’s hauling ammunition, weapons, or other supplies, the JLTV-T is the only trailer that can keep pace with the JLTV’s superior speed and off-road mobility».

JLTV-T deliveries are expected to begin this year and continue through 2021.

 

About the JLTV-T

Wheel travel 18.5 inch/47 cm
Payload 5,100 lbs./2,313 kg
Fording capability 60 inch/152 cm
Maximum speed 70 mph/113 km/h
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Compatible with legacy pintles on High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), Logistic Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR), MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), and Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR)

 

Kansas City

The U.S. Navy commissioned Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Kansas City (LCS-22) June 20.

Official U.S. Navy file photo of The Navy’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Kansas City (LCS-22), arriving at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on May 24, 2020 (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin C. Leitner/Released)

The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Kansas City (LCS-22) administratively via naval message, due to public health safety and restrictions of large public gatherings related to the coronavirus pandemic and transitioned the ship to normal operations. The U.S. Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the ship’s sponsor, crew, and commissioning committee.

«This Independence-variant littoral combat ship will continue our proud naval legacy and embody the spirit of the people of Kansas City», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. «I am confident the crew of the USS Kansas City (LCS-22) will extend the reach and capability of our force and confront the challenges of today’s complex world with our core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment».

Vice Admiral Richard A. Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, welcomed the ship that brings capabilities to counter diesel submarine, mines, and fast surface craft threats to the premier Surface Force in the world.

«Like other littoral combat ships, Kansas City brings speed and agility to the fleet», said Brown via naval message. «Congratulations to Kansas City’s Captain and crew for all of your hard work to reach this milestone. You join a proud Surface Force that controls the seas and provides the Nation with combat naval power when and where needed».

Tracy Davidson, the ship’s sponsor, offered congratulations to everyone who played a role in delivering USS Kansas City (LCS-22) to service.

«I am so proud of USS Kansas City (LCS-22) and her crew, and everyone involved, for all the tremendous work they’ve done to bring this ship to life. Their dedication to our nation and the Navy is very much appreciated», Davidson said. «I am privileged to be a part of this ship honoring Kansas City and look forward to remaining connected to USS Kansas City (LCS-22) as her legacy grows, wherever she may sail».

Kansas City’s commanding officer, Commander R.J. Zamberlan, reported the ship ready.

«The caliber of crew required to prepare a warship entering the fleet is second to none», Zamberlan said. «This is even more impressive aboard an LCS, where every member of the minimally manned team is required to fulfill multiple roles and excel at all of them to get the job done. This crew has exceeded expectations in unprecedented times and I could not be prouder to be their captain».

USS Kansas City (LCS-22) is the 11th of the Independence-variant to join the fleet and second ship to be named for Kansas City. The name Kansas City was assigned to a heavy cruiser during World War II. However, construction was canceled after one month due to the end of the war.

The name Kansas City was also assigned to the Wichita-class replenishment oiler AOR-3 in 1967. This ship saw service in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and was decommissioned in 1994.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile and networked surface combatant, and the primary mission for the LCS includes countering diesel submarine threats, littoral mine threats and surface threats to assure maritime access for joint forces. The underlying strength of the LCS lies in its innovative design approach, applying modularity for operational flexibility.

Fundamental to this approach is the capability to rapidly install interchangeable Mission Packages (MPs) onto the seaframe to fulfill a specific mission and then be uninstalled, maintained and upgraded at the Mission Package Support Facility (MPSF) for future use aboard any LCS seaframe.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)