All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

USS Constitution

The world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat is no longer afloat after entering dry dock May 19 for a planned multi-year restoration. USS Constitution, eased into historic Dry Dock 1 at Charlestown Navy Yard Boston National Historical Park with the help and coordination of a large team of stakeholders including the ship’s crew, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Naval History and Heritage Command’s Maintenance Detachment Boston, USS Constitution Museum, and the National Park Service.

USS Constitution enters Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard to commence a multi-year planned restoration period (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild/Released)
USS Constitution enters Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard to commence a multi-year planned restoration period (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild/Released)

«We couldn’t have asked for better weather or better support from the dedicated team of professionals who helped with the docking», said Commander Sean Kearns, USS Constitution’s 73rd commanding officer. «We are now positioned to carry out the restoration work which will return Constitution to the water preserving her for the next generation of Americans to enjoy and learn about our nation’s great naval heritage».

Since entering service in the U.S. Navy on October 21, 1797, USS Constitution, undefeated in combat, remains a commissioned U.S. Navy warship. However, since 1907, the ship has been on display opening her decks to the public. According to Naval History and Heritage Command Director Sam Cox, that mission is an important one.

«Her mission today is to preserve and promote U.S. Navy heritage by sharing the history of ‘Old Ironsides’ and the stories of the men and women who have faithfully served with distinction on the warship’s decks for 217 years. When a visitor sets foot on the deck of USS Constitution, he or she is making contact with the beginnings of the U.S. Navy, a navy that has kept the sea lanes free for more than 200 years. Keeping her ready to do so is incredibly important», said Cox.

«Constitution was the product of unique American ingenuity», Cox continued. «At a time when the U.S. Navy was outnumbered by the great European navies, Constitution was designed to outgun anything she couldn’t outrun, and outrun anything she couldn’t out-gun. Coupled with great captains and well-trained and disciplined Sailors, that is why she was undefeated».

According to Vice Admiral William Hilarides, the commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), which oversees the development, delivery and maintenance of the Navy’s ships, the 217-year-old Constitution is a stark reminder of the importance of sound ship design, construction and maintenance.

«The Navy’s strength comes from its Sailors who must be equipped with ships and tools that make it possible for them to successfully sail into harm’s way, and then return safely home to their families», said Hilarides. «When you look at what was cutting edge Naval technology in the late 18th century, you can see Constitution’s crews were equipped with the best tools in the world which enabled them to achieve such a remarkable record of success in combat. It’s a tradition of design, construction and maintenance excellence that continues in America’s shipyards today».

Still, Hilarides said, like any of the Navy’s other nearly 300 commissioned warships, USS Constitution must be maintained to carry out its vital mission.

Constitution enters Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Kinney/Released)
Constitution enters Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Kinney/Released)

This restoration will last more than two years and marks the first time Constitution will have been dry docked since 1992. The work of this restoration will include:

  • replacing lower hull planking and caulking;
  • removing the 1995 copper sheathing and replacing it with 3,400 sheets of new copper that will protect the ship’s hull below the waterline;
  • replacement of select deck beams;
  • on-going preservation and repair of the ship’s rigging, upper masts, and yards.

The estimated cost of the restoration is expected to be $12 million to $15 million and is part of the ongoing care and maintenance the ship receives. It will be a complex work package and among those completing it, is a cadre of craftsmen from the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Maintenance Detachment Boston who have the delicate job of melding new tools and technology into an endeavor that often requires extensive, knowledge of 18th century shipbuilding techniques.

«We do work with modern tools but we still use some of the old methods; the hull planks are still pinned through the deck but we use hydraulics and pneumatics to pull them out», said Detachment Boston’s director, Richard Moore, who says the restoration will require specialized talents. «Back in the day if someone went down, they had someone to replace them. It’s not so easy nowadays to replace a person with someone who is up to speed and knows what they are doing».

Still he believes his team is up to the challenge and he knows they are excited to be a part of the historic restoration.

«They realize the undertaking they are on. I emphasize it all the time, that this is, in my words, ‘a big deal.’ They all know how important it is, they are all proud to work on this vessel, they take such great care and their workmanship is great. I am very proud to work here and so are they».

Beginning June 9, Constitution will reopen to the public and remain open throughout the restoration with tours scheduled:

  • Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.;
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (closed Mondays).

Visitors will see something remarkable – an active shipyard with craftspeople including, blacksmiths, wood workers and others, working to make sure USS Constitution remains ship shape for future generations.

This is Constitution's first time in dry dock since its 1992-1996 restoration (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild/Released)
This is Constitution’s first time in dry dock since its 1992-1996 restoration (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild/Released)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Colonel George Claghorn, Edmond Harrt’s Shipyard, Boston, Massachusetts
Date Deployed October 21, 1797
Unit Cost $302,718 (1797 dollars)
Propulsion 42,710 feet2/3,968 m2 of sail on three masts
Length 204 feet/62.16 m (billet head to taffrail)
175 feet/53.32 m at waterline
Mast height Foremast, 198 feet/60.33 m
Mainmast, 220 feet/67.03 m
Mizzenmast, 172.5 feet/52.56 m
Beam 43.5 feet/13.25 m
Displacement 2,200 tons
Speed 13+ knots/15 mph, 24 km/h
Crew 450 including 55 Marines and 30 boys (1797)
Armament 32 24-pounder/11-kg long guns
20 32-pounder/14.5-kg carronades
Two 24-pounder/11-kg bow chasers
Landing/Attack Craft One 36-feet/11-meter long boat
Two 30-feet/9-meter cutters, two 28-feet/8.5-meter whaleboats
One 28-feet/8.5-meter gig
One 22-feet/6.7-meter jolly boat
One 14-feet/4.3-meter punt
Anchors Two main bowers (5,300 lbs/2,404 kg)
One sheet anchor (5,400 lbs/2,449 kg)
One stream anchor (1,100 lbs/499 kg)
Two kedge anchors (400 to 700 lbs/ 181 to 318 kg)
Homeport Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts

 

Milestone C

Raytheon Company and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) Milestone C decision briefing, paving the way for the program to enter Low Rate Initial (LRI) production. SDB II is an all-weather solution that continues to provide precision even in limited visibility scenarios.

With its tri-mode seeker, the Small Diameter Bomb II destroys moving and stationary targets in adverse weather
With its tri-mode seeker, the Small Diameter Bomb II destroys moving and stationary targets in adverse weather

Unlike standard bombs, SDB II employs Raytheon’s revolutionary tri-mode seeker that operates in three different modes:

  • millimeter-wave radar;
  • uncooled imaging infrared;
  • semi-active laser.

SDB II can strike targets from a range of more than 40 nautical miles/46 miles/74 km, with a dynamic warhead that can destroy both soft and hard targets. The bomb can also change targets in-flight through the use of a secure datalink.

Locked and loaded, the F-15E fighter aircraft can carry seven groups of four Small Diameter Bomb IIs, for a total of 28 weapons
Locked and loaded, the F-15E fighter aircraft can carry seven groups of four Small Diameter Bomb IIs, for a total of 28 weapons

«The Milestone C decision enables us to begin putting this game-changing capability into the warfighters’ hands», said Colonel Kevin Hickman, USAF SDB II program manager. «The ability to strike moving targets with extreme precision in adverse weather reduces an aircrew’s time in harm’s way and limits collateral damage in the battlespace».

The Milestone C achievement follows a successful functional configuration audit, production readiness review and system verification review. Milestone C will lead to a positive acquisition decision memorandum validating the preparedness of the company and the weapon system to continue to production.

«Achieving Milestone C marks the hard work of the U.S. government and Raytheon teams to verify that we meet or exceed the requirements necessary for a Lot 1 production decision», said Jim Sweetman, SDB II program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. «SDB II’s unique capabilities help ensure that our warfighters maintain their unfair advantage in the fight».

Raytheon, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have begun Small Diameter Bomb II integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-16 aircrafts
Raytheon, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have begun Small Diameter Bomb II integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-16 aircrafts

 

Small Diameter Bomb II

SDB II employs Raytheon’s unprecedented tri-mode seeker. The new seeker operates in multi-attack modes: millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semi-active laser. These sensors enable the weapon to seek and destroy targets, both moving and stationary, even in adverse weather conditions from standoff ranges.

SDB II can strike targets from a range of more than 40 nautical miles/46 miles/74 km, with a dynamic warhead that can destroy both soft and armored targets, while keeping collateral damage to a minimum through a small explosive footprint. The highly accurate SDB II offers warfighters the flexibility to change targets after release through a secure datalink that passes in-flight updates to the weapon.

The Department of Defense has validated SDB II as a weapon that meets a critical warfighter need and has invested more than $700 million in the SDB II program.

SDB II can fly over 46 miles/74 km to meet its target, allowing the warfighter to maintain a secure distance from the threat
SDB II can fly over 46 miles/74 km to meet its target, allowing the warfighter to maintain a secure distance from the threat

 

This animation depicts a Raytheon Small Diameter Bomb II using laser guidance to track and destroy a target.

 

This animation depicts an F-15E aircraft employing a Raytheon Small Diameter Bomb II.

 

This animation depicts an F-15 employing a Raytheon Small Diameter Bomb II. Using its advanced Tri-mode seeker, the SDB II targets and destroys a moving vehicle.

 

Small Diameter Bomb II can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing aircrews’ time in harm’s way. The weapon’s small size allows fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets.

 

Operational Trials

Six U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II jet aircraft arrived on the evening of May 18, 2015 aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) off the coast of the United States’ Eastern Seaboard to mark the beginning of the first shipboard phase of the F-35B Operational Test (OT-1).

A sailor aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) signals to the pilot of an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to land as it arrives for the first phase of operational testing, May 18, 2015. The short take-off, vertical landing capabilities of the F-35B are crucial to the mission of the Marine Corps and necessary for operation aboard a Navy amphibious ship (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
A sailor aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) signals to the pilot of an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to land as it arrives for the first phase of operational testing, May 18, 2015. The short take-off, vertical landing capabilities of the F-35B are crucial to the mission of the Marine Corps and necessary for operation aboard a Navy amphibious ship (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

The at-sea period will continue aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1) for the next two weeks, with fleet representative aircraft and maintenance personnel from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons 13 and 31.

OT-1 will assess the integration of the F-35B while operating across a wide array of flight and deck operations. Specific OT-1 objectives include:

  • demonstrating and assessing day and night flight operations in varying aircraft configurations;
  • digital interoperability of aircraft and ship systems;
  • F-35B landing signal officer’s launch and recovery software;
  • day and night weapons loading;
  • all aspects of maintenance, logistics, and sustainment support of the F-35B while deployed at sea.

Additionally, the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team is working closely with Naval Sea Systems Command to assess specific modifications made to USS Wasp (LHD-1) to support future deployments.

«The F-35 Lightning II is the most versatile, agile and technologically-advanced aircraft in the skies today, enabling our Marine Corps to be the nation’s force in readiness, regardless of the threat, and regardless of the location of the battle», said Lieutenant General Jon Davis, the Deputy Commandant for Marine Corps Aviation. «As we modernize our fixed-wing aviation assets for the future, the continued development and fielding of the short take-off and vertical landing, the F-35B remains the centerpiece of this effort».

Data collected and lessons learned during OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers following the Marine Corps’ F-35B Initial Operating Capability (IOC) declaration planned for this coming July.

Marines and sailors aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) secure and refuel an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter after its arrival for the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015. Data and information gathered from OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard Navy amphibious ships and the announcement of the Marine Corps' initial operating capacity of the F-35B in July (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
Marines and sailors aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) secure and refuel an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter after its arrival for the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015. Data and information gathered from OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard Navy amphibious ships and the announcement of the Marine Corps’ initial operating capacity of the F-35B in July (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

 

F-35B SPECIFICATIONS

Length:                                                       51.2 feet/15.6 m

Height:                                                       14.3 feet/4.36 m

Wingspan:                                                35 feet/10.7 m

Wing area:                                                460 feet2/42.7 m2

Horizontal tail span:                           21.8 feet/6.65 m

Weight empty:                                       32,300 lbs/14,651 kg

Internal fuel capacity:                        13,500 lb/6,125 kg

Weapons payload:                               15,000 lbs/6,800 kg

Maximum weight:                                60,000 lbs class/27,215 kg

Standard internal weapons load:

Two AIM-120C Air-to-Air Missiles

Two 2,000-pound/907-kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs

Four F-35B Lighting II Joing Strike Fighters (JSF) sit secured to the deck after their arrival aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1), May 18, 2015. As the future of Marine Corps aviation, the F-35B will eventually replace all aircraft from three legacy Marine Corps platforms; the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
Four F-35B Lighting II Joing Strike Fighters (JSF) sit secured to the deck after their arrival aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1), May 18, 2015. As the future of Marine Corps aviation, the F-35B will eventually replace all aircraft from three legacy Marine Corps platforms; the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings):    F135-PW-600

Maximum Power (with afterburner):         41,000 lbs/182,4 kN/ 18,597 kgf

Military Power (without afterburner):      27,000 lbs/120,1 kN/ 12,247 kgf

Short Take Off Thrust:                              40,740 lbs/181,2 kN/18,479 kgf

Hover Thrust:                                                 40,650 lbs/180,8 kN/18,438 kgf

Main Engine:                                                   18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf

Lift Fan:                                                              18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf

Roll Post:                                                           3,290 lbs/14,6 kN/1,492 kgf

Length:                                                               369 in/9.37 m

Main Engine Inlet Diameter:                 43 in/1.09 m

Main Engine Maximum Diameter:     46 in/1.17 m

Lift Fan Inlet Diameter:                            51 in/1,30 m

Lift Fan Maximum Diameter:               53 in/1,34 m

Conventional Bypass Ratio:                  0.57

Powered Lift Bypass Ratio:                   0.51

Conventional Overall Pressure Ratio:         28

Powered Lift Overall Pressure Ratio:          29

An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter idles on the flight deck of the USS Wasp (LHD-1) in preparation for take-off, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter idles on the flight deck of the USS Wasp (LHD-1) in preparation for take-off, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

Speed (full internal weapons load):               Mach 1.6 (~1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)

Combat radius (internal fuel):                          >450 NM/833 km

Range (internal fuel):                                             >900 NM/1,667 km

Max g-rating:                                                              7.0

 

Planned Quantities

U.S. Marine Corps:                                        340;

U.K. Royal Air Force/Royal Navy:        138;

Italy:                                                                          30;

In total:                                                                  508

Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters complete vertical landings aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) during the opening day of the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters complete vertical landings aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) during the opening day of the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

ASW Corvette

The Fourth Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette of Project-28, christened Kavaratti, was launched on May 19 at a glittering ceremony held at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata. The Honorable Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh was the Chief Guest at the occasion. In keeping with the nautical traditions, the ship was launched by Smt Manita Singh, wife of the Honorable Raksha Rajya Mantri. After an invocation to the Gods was recited, Smt Manita Singh broke a coconut on the Ship’s Bow, named the ship and wished her future crew good luck.

The future INS Kavaratti, an anti-submarine warfare corvette displacing 3,300 tonnes, was launched today at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd shipyard in Kolkata (India MoD photo)
The future INS Kavaratti, an anti-submarine warfare corvette displacing 3,300 tonnes, was launched today at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd shipyard in Kolkata (India MoD photo)

Speaking on the occasion the Honorable Raksha Rajya Mantri, Rao Inderjit Singh lauded the contributions made by GRSE, Kolkata in meeting the growing requirements of the Indian Navy. Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, during his address acknowledged the excellent work done by the yard for contributing towards achieving Indian Navy’s dream of transforming itself from a «Buyers Navy» to «Builders Navy». He also commended the work of DGND and his team at Directorate of Naval Design in designing state of the art warships for the country.

The four ships of Project-28 built by GRSE, Kolkata have been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi and bear testimony to the acclaimed legacy of Naval Designers. The ships have been constructed using high grade steel (DMR 249A) produced in India. With a displacement of 3,300 tonnes, the sleek and magnificent ASW Corvettes span 109.1 meters/358 feet in length and 13.7 meters/45 feet at the beam. They are propelled by four diesel engines to achieve speeds in excess of 25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h and have an endurance of more than 3,000 NM/3,452 miles/5,556 km.

The P-28 corvettes also boast of «firsts» such as the revolutionary Rail-less Helo Traversing System, Foldable Hangar Door, use of Personnel Locator System and use of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) Superstructure integrated with the Steel Hull in the third (INS Kiltan) and fourth (INS Kavaratti) ships of the Kamorta-Class.

These ships have common raft mounted Gear Box and Diesel Engines, which give the vessels very low radiated underwater noise. This is well complemented with an efficient propeller with very high cavitation inception speed. The P-28 Ships also have Total Atmospheric Control System (TACS) and an Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), which include Integrated Bridge System as well as Battle Damage Control System.

The ASW Corvettes also incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and manoeuvrability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved by including Low Radar Cross Section (RCS) signature through full beam superstructure, inclined ship sides and reduced Infra-Red (IR) signature by use of Infra-Red Suppression System (IRSS) device for cooling the Engine and Diesel Alternator exhausts. The ships are also equipped to carry and operate one multiple role helicopter.

Kavaratti will also be packed with an array of state of art weapons and sensors, including a Medium Range Gun (from M/s Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd), Torpedo Tube Launchers (2 × 3) as well as Rocket Launchers (from M/s Larsen & Tubro), Close-In Weapon System (from M/s Gun and Shell Factory) and Chaff System (from M/s Machine Tool Prototype Factory). With significant indigenous content, the Ship is a true hallmark of self-reliance attained by our country in warship design and shipbuilding.

All the ships names of the class are reincarnations of ships from the previous Arnala-class corvettes which are considered the spiritual predecessors of the Kamorta-class
All the ships names of the class are reincarnations of ships from the previous Arnala-class corvettes which are considered the spiritual predecessors of the Kamorta-class

 

General Characteristics

Length Overall 358 feet/109.1 m
Beam 45 feet/13.7 m
Displacement 3,300 tonnes
Max Speed 25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h
Endurance at 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h 3,450 NM/3,970 miles/6,389 km
Main Engine 4 × 3,888 kW
Diesel Generators 2 × 1,000 kW & 2 × 500 kW
Crew 123 including 17 officers & 106 sailors
INS Kamorta is the first of four anti-submarine Kamorta-class stealth corvettes which has been built for the Indian Navy
INS Kamorta is the first of four anti-submarine Kamorta-class stealth corvettes which has been built for the Indian Navy

The latest RAM

The US Navy successfully completed tests of the Rolling Airframe Block 2 missile at the Navy’s Pacific Missile Test Range, May 10. The missiles were launched from a Self Defense Test Ship operated by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme and intercepted turbojet-powered targets emulating enemy anti-ship cruise missiles.

The Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 is the latest step in the development of the weapon system
The Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 is the latest step in the development of the weapon system

Testing continued with another successful firing, using two RAM Block 2 missiles, meeting all test objectives May 12. Scheduled over the next several months, these were the first of a series of planned tests to demonstrate RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 performance against anti-ship cruise missile threats at sea. The Block 2 missile will now have flight tests from an operational ship.

«With an Evolved Radio Frequency (ERF) receiver and improved kinematics, RAM Block 2 was designed to engage these types of LPI (Low-Probability Intercept) and maneuvering threats», said Captain John Keegan, RAM major program manager. «Our success over the last several days is the first step in proving Block 2’s operational effectiveness and suitability for fleet use».

The Block 2 missile is the latest RAM configuration. The missile provides improvements in sensitivity, maneuverability, and range over the existing Block 0 and Block 1A variants currently deployed. RAM Block 2 missile is in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) with an approved U.S. inventory objective of 2,093 missiles.

The Rolling Airframe Missile is a supersonic, lightweight, quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile that provides defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, helicopter and airborne threats, and hostile surface craft
The Rolling Airframe Missile is a supersonic, lightweight, quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile that provides defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, helicopter and airborne threats, and hostile surface craft

RAM is a cooperative development, production and in-service program between the United States and Federal Republic of Germany in the Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems’ (PEO IWS) portfolio. The RAM missile is a supersonic, lightweight, quick reaction, fire-and-forget missile that defends against anti-ship cruise missiles.

It is jointly developed and produced by Raytheon Missile Systems and RAMSYS GmbH. In addition to being deployed in the U.S. and German fleets, the RAM system is also in-service or planned for in-service in the navies of Egypt, Greece, Japan, Republic of Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

PEO IWS, an affiliated program executive office of the Naval Sea Systems Command, manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and coordinates Navy Enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

The Rolling Airframe Missile provides world-class ship self-defense for U.S. Navy carriers, amphibious ships and littoral combat ships
The Rolling Airframe Missile provides world-class ship self-defense for U.S. Navy carriers, amphibious ships and littoral combat ships

 

RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2

RAM Block 2, the latest step in the development of the Rolling Airframe Missile, is a kinematic and Radio Frequency (RF) receiver upgrade of Block 1/1A. A larger, more powerful, composite case rocket motor and advanced Control Section (4 canards vs. current 2) make the missile two and a half times more maneuverable with one and a half times the effective intercept range. This provides the Block 2 missile with the capability to defeat high-maneuvering threats, increasing the survivability of the defended ship. An enhanced RF receiver allows detection of anti-ship missiles that employ low probability of intercept receivers.

The Mk-44 Guided Missile Round Pack (GMRP) and the Mk-49 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS), which hold 21 missiles, comprise the Mk-31 Guided Missile Weapon System (GMWS). The system is designed for flexibility in ships’ integration, with no dedicated sensors required. A variety of existing ship sensors can readily provide the target and pointing information required to engage the anti-ship threat.

The Mk-44 GMRP is also the missile used in the SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defense System, replacing the M601A1 Gatling gun in the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) with an 11-round launcher. The Phalanx sensor suite serves as the search and track radar designating the threat for RAM missiles to intercept.

The Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 upgrade includes a four-axis independent control actuator system and an increase in rocket motor capability
The Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2 upgrade includes a four-axis independent control actuator system and an increase in rocket motor capability

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Ship Self Defense
Contractor Raytheon
Missile Capacity (Mk-49 GMLS) 21
Length 9.45 feet/2.88 m
Diameter 6.25 inch/15.87 cm
Wingspan 12.65 inch/32.17 cm
Weight 194.4 lbs/88.2 kg
Speed Supersonic
The Rolling Airframe Missile’s autonomous dual-mode, passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provide a high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously
The Rolling Airframe Missile’s autonomous dual-mode, passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provide a high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously

Keel for Indiana

The keel of the 16th Virginia-class attack submarine, named after the 16th largest state, was laid May 16 at Newport News Shipyard. She is the third ship to bear the name Indiana, and will be the first in almost 70 years to sail under the national colors with that name. It is said in the Navy Times that the ship’s sponsor, Diane Donald, the wife of retired Admiral Kirk Donald, a former director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, declared the keel «to be truly and fairly laid». Diane Donald authenticated the keel with her initials, which were welded onto a metal plate and permanently affixed to the ship.

Heather Johnson, a 37-year-old mother of four, has the honor of being the first female welder at Newport News Shipbuilding to weld the sponsor's initials on a Virginia-class submarine (Photo by John Whalen/HII)
Heather Johnson, a 37-year-old mother of four, has the honor of being the first female welder at Newport News Shipbuilding to weld the sponsor’s initials on a Virginia-class submarine (Photo by John Whalen/HII)

Construction on Indiana, the sixth of eight Block III variants, started in September 2012. The state is known as «the crossroads of America», and its namesake honors that motto well. She carries millions of parts from 5,000 suppliers located in all 50 states. Assembling these parts is what Jim Hughes, vice president for Submarines and Fleet Support, called «one of the biggest orchestras in the world». The symphony carefully played by 4,000 shipbuilders will now unite hull sections into a 377-foot/114.8 m military masterpiece that will crescendo with its 2017 commissioning, then slip into three decades of silent service.

Her missions will be many and multifaceted. The Virginia class has a large lock-in/lock-out chamber, and a reconfigurable torpedo room to accommodate more snake eaters. She will carry roughly three dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles. Traditional periscopes have been replaced by photonics masts with high-resolution cameras and infrared sensors. A fly-by-wire ship control system provides unmatched operation in shallow littoral areas.

A shipbuilder on a lift works on the stern unit of Indiana (SSN-789) at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2013 (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)
A shipbuilder on a lift works on the stern unit of Indiana (SSN-789) at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2013 (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)

While the Virginia class boasts these and other upgrades in weaponry and other tactical equipment, its biggest edge is in acoustics, said Commander Jesse Zimbauer, the ship’s skipper. Among its many advances, the Block III variant vastly improved passive detection by replacing the traditional sonar sphere with the Large Aperture Bow array. «We are building the future with this submarine», said Jesse Zimbauer, who «jumped on the opportunity» to be part of the pre-commissioning unit.

A keel laying is the symbolic beginning of building a ship, originating from the large structural beam, or keel, that serves as the foundation or spine of the ship’s hull. Although modular construction techniques mean that the ship is no longer built from the bottom up, the keel laying is still celebrated as a momentous event in the ship’s construction. During the keel laying ceremony, the ship’s sponsor authenticates the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. The initials are then welded onto a plate that is permanently affixed to the ship.

Diane Donald, the Indiana's sponsor, looks over her initials on a steel plate held by welder Heather Johnson of Newport News Shipbuilding
Diane Donald, the Indiana’s sponsor, looks over her initials on a steel plate held by welder Heather Johnson of Newport News Shipbuilding

 

INDIANA (SSN-789) FACTS

  • Navy names SSN-789 in honor of the state of Indiana: April 13, 2012
  • Construction start: September 2012
  • Keel Authentication Ceremony: May 16, 2015
  • Ship’s sponsor: Ms. Diane Donald, wife of retired Admiral Kirk Donald
  • Number of NNS shipbuilders who support Indiana construction: 4,000
  • Officers and Crew: Currently, 57; At delivery 135; Commanded by Jesse Zimbauer
  • Indiana is about 48 percent complete and is on track to complete in summer 2017
  • Indiana is the 16th ship of the Virginia class
A unit for the Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN-790) under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2014 (Photo by Chris Oxley)
A unit for the Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN-790) under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2014 (Photo by Chris Oxley)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One S9G* nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.5156 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

A panorama of the shipyard shows the bow unit of Illinois (SSN-786) being moved to the sea shuttle (right) June 24, 2014. Illinois is being delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics Electric Boat (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
A panorama of the shipyard shows the bow unit of Illinois (SSN-786) being moved to the sea shuttle (right) June 24, 2014. Illinois is being delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics Electric Boat (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

Patriotic martyr

A patriotic martyr, Yu Gwan-sun, 1902-1920, who died in her youth while struggling against Japanese coercion, is revived as a most capable submarine. Daewoo Shipbuilding Engineering in Geoje-gun, Gyeongnam, had launching ceremony of the type 214, 6th submarine Yu Gwan Sun Ham on the afternoon of May 7th. The launching ceremony is a ritual of sending a warship, which is mounted with equipment and a weapons system, into the sea for the first time.

The diesel-powered submarine will be deployed on anti-vessel and anti-submarine missions
The diesel-powered submarine will be deployed on anti-vessel and anti-submarine missions

The Navy offered congratulations at the ceremony for the very first female-named submarine and invited female fighters for independence and relevant officials of Korean women’s independence movement organizations to meditate on martyr Yu’s spirit of independence. Defense Minister Han Min-koo was at the ceremony as the guest of honor. His grandfather was the commander of loyal troops, Cheongam Han Bong-soo.

According to the traditional process of the Navy, the launching ceremony was preceded by the Pledge of Allegiance, shipbuilding progress report, the announcement of the name of submarine, ribbon-cutting and champaign breaking.

Navy Chief of Staff Jung Ho-seob named the submarine «Yu Gwan Sun» and assigned «78» as the number of body through a letter of naming No. 462. As Mrs. Kwak Jung-im, Minister Han’s wife, cut the launching ribbon with an axe, colorful confetti and balloons flew through the sky and the first historical whistle blew.

«With its unique invisibility and survivability, Yu Gwan Sun Ham is a national core strategic weapon as well as a symbol of a strong Navy for obtaining maritime control. The Navy should develop the fighting power of the submarine to protect the national interest and the ocean sovereignty as a rock, and have an elevated readiness posture», Minister Han said in a congratulatory speech.

He also made a request for the sailors to be an example of an elite advanced Navy, fighting with self-esteem and pride to protect our territorial waters and seaway, saying that history has proved that strong security is the base of our national existence as well as the foundation for peace of the Korean Peninsula. «I’m very excited to be here at the launching ceremony for Yu Gwan Sun Ham, the first female-named submarine. I hope the Navy befits the name of patriotic martyr Yu to be the strongest Navy in the world», said Mrs. Oh Hee-ok.

The submarine is being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and it will be delivered in November of next year
The submarine is being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and it will be delivered in November of next year

The Navy named the type 214, the 6th submarine, the Yu Gwan Sun for the meaningful year of the 70th anniversary of independence, 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Navy, and 95th anniversary of the death of Yu Gwan-sun. It is the first female-named warship in Navy history. There are some other cases of Aegis destroyer and helicopter carrier in the U.S., the UK and France. The Navy has named the type 214 submarines for great men who contributed to the independence movement against Japan or overcoming a national crisis.

Martyr Yu Gwan-sun participated in the Independence Movement in front of the South Gate of Seoul on March 5, 1919, while in Ihwa School. And she was arrested for leading the movement at Aunae marketplace in Galjeon-myeon, Chungnam, on April 1. She died at Seodaemun prison in 1920 due to brutal torture. The government posthumously honored on her with the Order of Merit for National Foundation, Independent Medal, in 1962, admiring her merits.

Yu Gwan Sun Ham, a submarine in the 1,800-ton class with submerged displacement, is 65.3 m/214.2 feet in length, 6.3 m/20.7 feet in width and has a top speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h. It can make a round trip to Hawaii in the U.S. with around 40 sailors on board without refueling.

With Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) that is able to charge a storage battery without air, it is available for operations for two weeks without floating to the surface of the water.

And thanks to «Haeseong», a domestic submarine-to-ground cruise missile, it can precisely strike the enemy’s main facilities and deal with 300 targets at the same time from under the water. It is capable of not only antiship, antiaircraft and antisubmarine warfare, but it can carry out a mission for offensive mining.

It is the first female-named warship in the Korean Navy history
It is the first female-named warship in the Korean Navy history

It is evaluated as a world-class diesel submarine equipped with detection sensors, such as sailing radar, periscope, sonar, etc., and a decoy system that avoids enemy torpedoes.

The type 214 design is characterised by the following features:

  • increased underwater endurance and low detection risk using the proven Fuel Cell system for air-independent propulsion;
  • increased diving depth;
  • low revolution, permanently excited PERMASYN motor for maximum speed without transient switching noises;
  • optimised signature management;
  • sonar development within the ISUS 90 for increased low-frequency detection ranges (flank array);
  • large weapon payload for a mix of torpedoes, missiles and mines (8 weapon tubes);
  • integration of Torpedo Countermeasures (TCM) system.

It will be delivered to the Navy in November 2016 and protect the Korean territorial waters after its commission and force integration process.

 

Korean Navy names its latest submarine after female independence fighter

 

Test Fire

The solid rocket booster that will propel NASA’s skyscraper-size Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion spacecraft on deep space missions in the coming years took a huge step forward in its development on March 11, 2015, unleashing its fury on a barren mountainside at Orbital ATK’s test stand in Promontory, Utah, for the Qualification Motor-1 test fire (QM-1). The colossal 154-foot-long (47-meter-long) booster, the largest of its kind in the world, ignited to verify its performance at the highest end of the booster has accepted propellant temperature range, 90 degrees. That’s the temperature the SLS can expect to encounter on a regular basis at its Florida launch site on Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex 39B, and this week NASA and Orbital ATK released initial findings and data from the QM-1 test fire. Detailed inspections of the disassembled booster will take another several months.

Orbital ATK’s SLS solid rocket booster Qualification Motor-1 test fire March 11, 2015 at the company’s test stand in Promontory, Utah (Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace)
Orbital ATK’s SLS solid rocket booster Qualification Motor-1 test fire March 11, 2015 at the company’s test stand in Promontory, Utah (Photo Credit: Mike Killian/AmericaSpace)

«Having analyzed the data from QM-1 for a little more than a month, we can now confirm the test was a resounding success», said Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division, and four-time space shuttle astronaut. «These test results, along with the many other milestones being achieved across the program, show SLS is on track to preserve our nation’s leadership in space exploration».

It took only a second for the booster to reach 3.6 million pounds of thrust (equivalent to 22 million horsepower/16,405 MW), burning through 5.5 tons of propellant per second, at 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, for just over two minutes – exactly as it will when it launches the SLS. More than 500 instrumentation channels were used to help evaluate over 100 defined test objectives, and newly designed avionics hardware and equipment to control the motor helped provide improved test monitoring capability.

According to Mike Killian, AmericaSpace reporter, the test also demonstrated the booster’s ability to meet applicable ballistic performance requirements, such as thrust and pressure. Other objectives included data gathering on vital motor upgrades, such as the new internal motor insulation and liner and an improved nozzle design. «Current data show the nozzle and insulation performed as expected, and ballistics performance parameters met allowable requirements», noted Orbital ATK in their report. «Additionally, the thrust vector control and avionics system provided the required command and control of the motor nozzle position».

The five-segment Solid Rocket Booster has been in development for years, having been initially designed to launch NASA’s Ares rockets for the agency’s cancelled Constellation program. The booster is similar to the four-segment Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) that helped launch NASA’s now retired space shuttle fleet, but it is even larger and incorporates several upgrades and improvements. Now, after a lengthy investigation and trouble-shooting effort to determine root causes and corrective actions for the existence of small voids previously discovered prior to QM-1 between the propellant and outer casing of the booster’s aft segment, Orbital ATK is back on track with the booster’s development and already constructing the hardware for a second test fire in spring 2016 (QM-2).

A cold-temperature test, at a target of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the low end of the propellant temperature range, is planned for QM-2 before the hardware testing to support qualification of the boosters for flight will be complete, at which point Orbital ATK will then be ready to proceed toward the first flight of SLS, an uncrewed flight to validate the entire integrated system, currently scheduled to fly on the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) in late 2018.

Orbital ATK technicians inspect the SLS Qualification Motor-1 booster after a successful test fire on March 11, 2015 (Photo Credit: Orbital ATK)
Orbital ATK technicians inspect the SLS Qualification Motor-1 booster after a successful test fire on March 11, 2015 (Photo Credit: Orbital ATK)

With QM-1 there have now been four fully developed, five-segment SRBs fired up on Orbital ATK’s Promontory, Utah, T-97 test stand since 2009, with the most recent prior to QM-1 having been conducted in 2011, and all performed fine. The first three tests, known as the Development Motor test series (DM-1, DM-2, and DM-3), helped engineers measure the new SRB’s performance at low temperature, verify design requirements of new materials in the motor joints, and gather performance data about upgrades made to the booster since the space shuttle program.

The five-segment SLS boosters will burn for the same amount of time as the old shuttle boosters – two minutes – but they will provide 20 percent more power, while also providing more than 75 percent of the thrust needed for the rocket to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth.

«Ground tests are very important – we strongly believe in testing before flight to ensure lessons-learned occur on the ground and not during a mission», added Precourt. «With each test we have learned things that enable us to modify the configuration to best meet the needs for the upcoming first flight».

Although the boosters themselves will provide 75 percent of the power needed to break Earth’s hold, the SLS will still employ four engines of its own – former (upgraded) liquid-fueled space shuttle RS-25 engines – which are currently at NASA’s Stennis Space Center preparing for their own series of tests, the first of which occurred earlier this year. A second RS-25 test fire is currently scheduled for May or June this year.

The SLS program also kicked off its Critical Design Review (CDR) this week at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, which demonstrates that the SLS design meets all system requirements with acceptable risk, and accomplishes that within cost and schedule constraints. The CDR proves that the rocket should continue with full-scale production, assembly, integration, and testing, and that the program is ready to begin the next major review covering design certification. The SLS CDR is expected to be completed by late July.

 

Turkish LPD

On 7th May, during IDEF 2015, the Defence exhibition in Istanbul, the Turkish shipyard SEDEF has signed a contract with the SSM for the design and construction of one Landing Platform Dock (LPD, also called Amphibious Transport Dock) ship for the Turkish Navy. Navantia participates in this contract as a technological partner.

This ship is the biggest warship ever built in Spain and is named after H.R.M. King Juan Carlos I
This ship is the biggest warship ever built in Spain and is named after H.R.M. King Juan Carlos I

Navantia will provide the design, transfer of technology, equipments and technical assistance to SEDEF for local construction. The design, based on the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Juan Carlos I for the Spanish Navy, is adapted to the Turkish Navy requirements, having the advantage of being a tested ship with excellent performance since commissioning. Navantia will also provide several components and systems, as the engines and the IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System).

The selection of the design was announced on 27th December 2013 and the commissioning of the ship is scheduled for 2021.

Navantia has also a contract for two similar ships in Australia, the HMAS Canberra (L02), already commissioned and the HMAS Adelaide (L01), to be commissioned in the last quarter of 2015. Last, this contract means the entrance of Navantia in the Turkish market, where has opened an office in 2013 and is also involved in the anti-air frigates program, as well as the consolidation of Navantia as a reference in the LHD market.

 

Juan Carlos I (L61)

The Juan Carlos I is a single hull ship made of steel with the superstructure on the starboard side. Her design is based on a combination of military and commercial standards and specifications; the structure, equipment and materials follow Lloyd’s Register of Shipping’s civil standards, whilst her combat system, ordnance handling and stowage systems, systems of supply at sea, flight deck and the damage control system follow military standards.

Garage for heavy loads, with 1,410 square meters and a capacity to house 29 Leopard or similar battle tanks, AAV amphibious vehicles and practically any type of caterpillar track vehicle, as well as 16 tonne TEU cargo containers.  Its length is 90 metres, with a width of 16 metres
Garage for heavy loads, with 1,410 square meters and a capacity to house 29 Leopard or similar battle tanks, AAV amphibious vehicles and practically any type of caterpillar track vehicle, as well as 16 tonne TEU cargo containers. Its length is 90 metres, with a width of 16 metres

 

Characteristics

Length overall 231 m/758 feet
Maximum beam 32 m/105 feet
Draught at full load 7.1 m/23.3 feet
Height 58 m/190 feet
Flight deck height over water level 20 m/65.6 feet
Maximum displacement 26,000 tonnes
Maximum displacement in Amphibious Operation 30,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 21 knots/24 mph/39 km/h
Range at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h 9,000 NM/10,357 miles/16,668 km
Capacity 1,435 personnel
Crew 254
Embarked or transport forces 883
Chiefs of Staff 103
Embarked Air Wing Unit 172
Naval Beach Group 23

 

New Generation

According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, Turkish armoured vehicle manufacturer FNSS displayed its Kaplan-20 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) for the first time on 5 May at the IDEF 2015 defence exhibition in Istanbul (Turkey). The Kaplan-20 NGAFV (New Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle), weighing in at 20 tonnes, is the latest member of the Kaplan family, following on from the 10-tonne Kaplan reconnaissance vehicle, which was unveiled at IDEF 2013.

The vehicle architecture contains protection systems against mines, rocket propelled grenades and kinetic energy threats
The vehicle architecture contains protection systems against mines, rocket propelled grenades and kinetic energy threats

The Kaplan-20 IFV at IDEF this year is a working prototype, company officials told IHS Jane’s, and is planned to begin trials in later in 2015. Although not created for a current Turkish military requirement, the country is expected to launch a programme for a replacement IFV within the next few years.

The Kaplan-20 IFV has a low silhouette, and with its twin 6 road wheeled tracks, has the ability operate in hot/cold weather conditions at high speed not only on asphalt and stabilized highways, but also in soft soil, muddy and rough terrains. The advanced suspension system, tracks has been designed to reduce vibration and increase road holding. Access to the vehicle is gained through a personnel door on the ramp or the hydraulic ramp located at the rear of the vehicle. On the top, there is a wide hatch for personnel and another hatch that has been specifically designed to maximize the driver’s field of view. The maintenance and repair of the power pack are performed via the cabin access hatch and hatches that are at the front of the vehicle. The two fuel tanks are located at the rear for balance and are fully-armored and isolated from the vehicle to ensure the security of personnel.

The Kaplan-20 is available with two turret options, with both a two-person and an unmanned version of the FNSS Teber turret being offered. Either can be fitted with a 30-40 mm automatic cannon, with the IDEF display vehicle being equipped with an unmanned turret armed with a an ATK Bushmaster Mk-44 30-mm dual-feed cannon. Both turret configurations are armed with a 7.62-mm coaxial chain gun.

In addition up to date electronic subsystems are also integrated together with high performance power pack, heavy duty suspension and tracks which enables the vehicle to carry heavy loads such as 105-mm gun systems
In addition up to date electronic subsystems are also integrated together with high performance power pack, heavy duty suspension and tracks which enables the vehicle to carry heavy loads such as 105-mm gun systems

Company officials told IHS Jane’s that the vehicle has been designed to offer a low visual and thermal signature. They added that it has an internal volume 40% larger than vehicles in the same weight class, such as the ACV. When fitted with an unmanned turret the Kaplan-20 carries a crew of three and can take eight dismounts – which drops to six when fitted with a manned turret. Situational awareness is provided across 360° through day and night cameras. It is also fitted with a range of features such as an acoustic shot detection system and an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).

FNSS officials told IHS Jane’s that the Kaplan-20 is entirely indigenously designed, although the vehicle’s running gear, powerpack, electronic systems, and armour have been bought in from foreign suppliers. The Kaplan-20 features rubber band tracks (from Germany’s Diehl), which FNSS company representatives said reduced both noise and vibration, improving crew comfort and extending the service life of onboard equipment.

The IFV has been designed to keep pace with Turkey’s new Altay Main Battle Tank (MBT), and offers a maximum cross-country speed of 43 mph/70 km/h. FNSS intends the Kaplan-20 to offer 25 hp per tonne, although an engine supplier has yet to be chosen for the vehicle, which was displayed without an engine installed. As well, Kaplan-20 has an amphibious capability, with two water jets mounted at the rear.

There are also laser-protected glass periscopes that allows the driver to see outside with wide angle of view which provides, high situational awareness. Integrated night vision systems is standard in all variants
There are also laser-protected glass periscopes that allows the driver to see outside with wide angle of view which provides, high situational awareness. Integrated night vision systems is standard in all variants

Technical Specifications

GENERAL
Power to Weight Ratio 25 hp/ton
Engine Diesel
Transmission Fully Automatic
Crew 3+6, 3+8 (Including Gunner, Driver and Commander)
Length 6.5 m/21.3 feet
Width 3.15 m/10.3 feet (Without Active Protection)
Height Overall 2 m/6.5 feet
Electrical System 24 V
Suspension Torsion Bar
Steering System Through Transmission
MOBILITY
Maximum Road Speed 43 mph/70 km/h
Swimming Amphibiously
Range 404+ miles/650+ km
Gradient 60 %
Side Slope 40 %
Trench Crossing 2.6 m/8.5 feet
Obstacle Climbing 0.70 m/2.3 feet
ARMAMENT
Main Armament RCT (Remote Controlled Turret), 30-mm Automatic Cannon
Coaxial Armament 7.62 mm Machine Gun
PROTECTION SYSTEM
CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Protection System
CBRN Detection System
A/C
Automatic Fire Extinguishing System
Reduced Thermal Signature
Blast and Leakage Protected Fuel Cells
Advanced Modular Armor Protection
Active Protection System
Mine Blast Protected Seats
Smoke Grenade Dischargers
MISSION EQUIPMENT
360° Degrees Situational Awareness
See Throe Armor System
Wireless Crew Intercom System
Navigation System
Auxiliary Power Unit (APU)
Daylight-Responsive Interior Lighting Controls
Drivers Thermal Sights
Sniper Detection System

 

The New Generation Tracked Armoured Fighting Vehicle