All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Multi-mission frigate

Naval Group is extremely honored to host the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly. This celebration marks not only the end of work on the six multi-mission frigates, but also the beginning of the manufacturing of the FREMM frigates with reinforced air defence capabilities and of the Defence and Intervention Frigate (FDI), the first fully digital warships.

Naval Group Welcomes Minister Florence Parly to its Lorient Shipyard to Mark the End of Construction of the FREMM Frigate Normandie (D651)

Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group, and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, hosted the Minister for the Armed Forces on board the Normandie (D651) frigate for a visit. This warship was delivered in a record time of 40 months, the shortest completion time of the whole multi-mission frigates program.

Florence Parly and Hervé Guillou had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing and future surface ships programs built in Lorient: FREMM, FDI and aircraft carriers.

Hervé Guillou claimed: «We are proud to meet the expectations set by the Military Programming Law. Today, with the completion of the FREMM Normandie, Naval Group has fulfilled its commitment. This industrial and technical success, which represents more than 2.5 million working hours, encourages us to keep on completing our mission in service of our national and international clients. This project shows once again the firm’s capacity to respect its engagements in terms of costs, deadlines and performance».

 

Industrial excellence

The Normandie (D651) is the sixth French multi-mission FREMM frigate. It will soon be delivered in Brest. This program is managed by the OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) on behalf of – in France – the French Navy and of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA).

At the same time the construction of two multi-mission frigates with renewed anti-air defence capacities – the Alsace (D656) and the Lorraine (D657) – will begin in Lorient. They will be respectively delivered in 2021 and 2022.

Furthermore, Naval Group teams are already launching the program for defence and intervention frigates (FDI) that will be delivered from 2023 onward. This first «fully digital» warship will benefit from the latest digital technologies. The first cut of steel-sheets is expected in October 2019.

 

FREMM frigates technical characteristics

Heavily armed, the Normandie FREMM deploys the most effective equipment and weapon systems, integrating the SETIS software as well as the Herakles multi-function radar, the Naval Cruise Missile (NCM), the Aster and Exocet MM40 missiles and MU 90 torpedoes.

 

Characteristics

Overall length 142 metres/466 feet
Width 20 metres/65.6 feet
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Implementation 123 persons (among whom 14 dedicated to the helicopter detachment)
Range 45 days

 

Falcon Heavy

SpaceX is targeting Monday, June 24 for a Falcon Heavy launch of the STP-2 mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The primary launch window opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT, or 3:30 UTC on June 25, and closes at 3:30 a.m. EDT on June 25, or 7:30 UTC. A backup launch window opens on June 25 at 11:30 p.m. EDT, or 3:30 UTC on June 26, and closes at 3:30 a.m. EDT on June 26, or 7:30 UTC. Deployments will begin approximately 12 minutes after liftoff and end approximately 3 hours and 32 minutes after liftoff.

At 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, SpaceX launched the STP-2 mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Falcon Heavy’s side boosters for the STP-2 mission previously supported the Arabsat-6A mission in April 2019. Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the «Of Course I Still Love You» droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Space and Missile Systems Center teamed with multiple commercial, national, and international mission partners for the historic DoD Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) launch. SMC procured the mission to provide spaceflight for advanced research and development satellites from multiple DoD research laboratories, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and universities.

The STP-2 mission will use a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle to perform 20 commanded deployment actions and place 24 separate spacecraft in three different orbits. The spacecraft include the Air Force Research Laboratory Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) satellite; the NOAA-sponsored Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-2) constellation; four NASA experiments; and many other missions. For more detailed descriptions of the experiments on STP-2, visit our website at spacex.com/stp-2.

The DoD Space Test Program accelerates space technologies into operational capabilities by providing space access for cutting edge, DoD-sponsored experiments and demonstrations. STP, through its Johnson Space Center location, is the single face to NASA for all DoD payloads on the International Space Station and other human-rated launch vehicles, for both domestic and international partners.

STP-2 Mission

Multi-Purpose Vehicle

Protolab Oy is pleased to announce the delivery of the first Protolab 6×6 Protected Multi-Purpose Vehicles (PMPV) to the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF). Protolab is delivering four PMPVs to the FDF under a contract signed in 2018. The vehicles are being put through operational testing by the FDF as part of a wider modernisation programme to upgrade and enhance its armoured vehicle fleet.

Despite its deceptively small proportions, the PMPV can carry two crew and ten fully-equipped troops, or a cargo payload of up to 10,000 kg/22,046 lbs. It is narrower than standard combat vehicles, and its 2.55-meter/8.36-foot width makes it suitable for urban operations (Protolab photo)

The Protolab PMPV is exceptionally manoeuvrable and agile and can perform a range of mission roles including patrol, passenger and cargo transport, and command post. Amphibious and medical evacuation (MEDIVAC) variants are also available. The Protolab PMPV is a first of its kind 6×6 armoured personnel carrier developed to meet the mobility, protection and communication requirements of Special Operations Forces and paramilitary security forces.

The PMPV is designed from the ground up with integrated high level mine protection and ballistic protection according to customer-specified blast protection levels of STANAG 4569. The vehicle can be equipped with various customer required weapon systems.

The vehicle can carry two crew and ten fully-equipped troops, or a cargo payload of up to 10,000 kg/22,046 lbs. Narrower than standard fighting vehicles, the vehicle’s 2.55 m/8.36 feet width makes it suitable for urban operations, with advanced mobility both on and off-road. Powered by a Cummins 6.7L multifuel engine and meeting Euro 3 emission levels, the vehicle meets EU truck road regulations qualifying it for registration as a N3G class truck (off-road).

These design features make it an ideal fit for the challenges being faced by modern armies.

«We designed the Protolab PMPV 6×6 to meet the requirements of today’s soldier and today’s asymmetric battlefield», Juha Moisio, Business Development Director, Protolab Oy commented. «With a design approach based around the use of COTS parts with a small proportion of custom-made components, the Protolab PMPV is a cost-effective solution for the range of tasks faced by special operations, security and crisis management forces in the field. We are pleased to see the vehicle progressing well through field trials with the FDF and are getting positive feedback from the customer. We are confident that the Protolab PMPV will become the vehicle of choice for customers looking to replace their existing 6×6 vehicle fleets with a modern, protected and flexible solution».

Protolab Oy specialises in the design, development and delivery of vehicles with high-level, integrated blast and ballistic protection. With a strong design capability, Protolab supports the entire vehicle development cycle, from the initial design through to prototypes and production. Protolab works with a network of key suppliers across Finland and Europe, acting as the design authority, integrator, testing and approval centre, and prime contractor for its customers.

Missile Defense

The TLVS bidders consortium, an MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin joint venture, has submitted its proposal to the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to develop, test and deliver TLVS, Germany’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) system.

MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin Submit Proposal to Develop TLVS for Germany

The tender proposes an efficient four-phased approach that includes development, integration, testing and delivery of a fielded multi-mission system. The fielded unit will deliver new capabilities and significant performance enhancements well beyond the MEADS program and all known systems.

«A brief glance at the headlines show significant advances in adversarial threats in just the last five years, and we are operating in an environment today where those threats will likely only continue to proliferate», said Dietmar Thelen, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «Germany needs a future-proof solution that can grow with the emerging threat».

Designed to replace Germany’s aging, sectored Patriot systems designed in the late 1960s, the 2019 TLVS proposal provides protection from a broader threat spectrum with two mission-specific effectors, significantly enhanced radar capabilities for long range engagements and a new communications system to support enhanced interoperability, data fusion and cyber resilience. TLVS will be the first-ever integrated air and missile defense system able to simultaneously detect, track and intercept multiple threat sets, including medium and short-range threats with full 360-degree coverage.

«We’ve completely reimagined TLVS based on customer requirements. Our approach reduces risk, supports lower life cycle costs and enables more effective coalition operations», said Gregory Kee, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «TLVS will allow Germany to provide regional protection as the Framework Nation for Air and Missile Defense for NATO, with a high degree of system sovereignty».

The TLVS proposal represents the beginning of a new chapter in the longstanding partnership between MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin.

With its integrated plug and fight interface, TLVS is the most advanced, networked 360° IAMD system in the world. It is the only system with the ability to adapt to evolving threats using capabilities that are tailored to the mission. TLVS will transform Germany’s defense capabilities and set an important precedent in how neighboring nations address persistent global threats for years to come.

Compact Sniper Rifle

Operational testing of the Army’s newest precision rifle, the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) began recently, marking one of the final hurdles this system will face prior to fielding.

A Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System awaits its operator before a post-drop live fire exercise at Gryphon Group Range, N.C. The system is made by Germany’s Heckler é Kock (U.S. Army photo)

Snipers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division recently participated in airborne infiltration test trials of what could potentially be the Army’s newest sniper system.

«The compact nature of the CSASS is appealing to airborne forces and particularly Snipers who are typically armed with long barreled precision rifles», said Sergeant 1st Class Ross Martin, a Test NCO with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD).

«Current sniper systems are equipped with 20-inch barrels, sound suppression systems and full-length stocks that provide accuracy and a stable firing platform required of any precision rifle», said David Parris, a CSASS New Equipment Training (NET) trainer from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command’s Soldier Weapons Support.

Being a product of battlefield evolution, the CSASS is more geared toward operations in urban environments and operating in and around armored vehicles where traditional length sniper systems can be cumbersome.

«The CSASS will feature a reduction in overall length (with the suppression system attached) and an adjustable stock that provides maneuverability and promotes a stable firing position», said Victor Yarosh of Project Manager Soldier Weapons.

This will provide airborne snipers a more compact load during airborne infiltration operations and provide a precision rifle platform more conducive to their combat environment without reducing their lethality.

Specialist Nicholas Farmer of Orlando, Florida, a Sniper in C Troop, 1st Battalion, 73rd Cavalry Regiment immediately identified the attributes of a more compact precision rifle.

«The CSASS is much shorter and lighter than our current system which will make long dismounted movements and reaction to contact more efficient», he said.

Specialist William Holland from Sylacauga, Alabama, a sniper with 2nd Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment echoed his fellow snipers assessment as, «lightweight and compact makes for a more manageable load during post drop operations».

Prior to testing, Snipers participated in a NET which included familiarization with the system, maintenance, target engagement and zeroing procedures.

The critical task in testing any small arms platform intended for use by airborne forces is ensuring zero retention of the primary optic subsequent to airborne insertion. This is a critical gauge of the paratrooper’s lethality during airfield seizure and other follow on operations.

«This process establishes a baseline for site reticle locations prior to and post airborne insertion», said Lacretia Cook, an instrumentation technician with the ABNSOTD. «Testers can monitor any ‘shift’ in the weapons sight reticle».

To evaluate this performance measure of the CSASS, the ABNSOTD test team employed the organization’s mobile weapons boresight collimator to ensure the snipers’ «pre-mission» zero was not degraded by shock associated with parachute infiltration.

Once this data was collected, snipers conducted a known distance live fire exercise to gauge lethality subsequent to static line and military free fall operations.

For Sergeant Christopher Landrum of Delano, California, the target audience of trained snipers was perfect.

«It’s vital that operational troops are the ones testing the system as they are best suited to recognize system requirements and mission capabilities», he explained.

Sergeant 1st Class Darin Pott, a senior sniper with the 1st Battalion, 73rd Armored Regiment said he would also like to see Soldiers added to the process earlier.

«The Army should involve the sniper community at the earliest possible milestone of development», he said.

«Operational Testing is about Soldiers. It is about making sure that the systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which Soldiers train and fight», said Colonel Brad Mock, Director of ABNSOTD.

«OTC is the U.S. Army’s only independent operational test organization», said Lieutenant Colonel David Dykema, deputy of ABNSOTD’s Test Division.

«We test Army, Joint, and Multi-service airborne and airdrop related warfighting systems in realistic operational environments, using Soldiers to determine whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. Any time Soldiers and their leaders get involved in operational testing», he added, «they have the opportunity to use, work with, and offer up their own suggestions on pieces of equipment that can impact development of systems that future Soldiers will use in combat».

Operational testing began October 1, 1969, and as the Army’s only independent operational tester, Operational Test Command (OTC) is celebrating «50 Years of Operational Testing». The unit enlists the «Total Army» (Active, National Guard, and Reserve) when testing Army, joint, and multi-service warfighting systems in realistic operational environments, using typical Soldiers to determine whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. OTC is required by public law to test major systems before they are fielded to its ultimate customer – the American Soldier.

The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina – whose lineage traces directly back to the original Parachute Test Platoon of 1940 – is home to the U.S. Army’s only operational test paratroopers, who conduct operational testing for joint airborne contingency and Special Operations Forces in support of the acquisition decision-making process. To provide airdrop certification of all airborne and airdropped equipment, ABNSOTD plans, executes and reports on its operational tests and field experiments, which impacts doctrine, training, organization and materiel.

Navy Accepts Cincinnati

The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) during a June 21 ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

Navy accepts delivery of future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)

The future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) is the 18th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) delivered to the Navy and the 10th of the Independence variant to join the fleet. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, Austal USA, to the Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for this fall in Gulfport, Mississippi.

«This is a great day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Cincinnati», said Captain Mike Taylor, LCS program manager. «I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this great ship alongside the crew later this year. This ship will play an essential role in in carrying out our nation’s maritime strategy».

Five additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA: the future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) is expected to be delivered to the Navy this fall, and the future USS Oakland (LCS-24), USS Mobile (LCS-26), USS Savannah (LCS-28) and USS Canberra (LCS-30) are all in various stages of construction. Four more ships are awaiting the start of construction following LCS-30.

Five other naval vessels have honored the city of Cincinnati. The first, an ironclad river gunboat, was commissioned in 1862. Although sunk twice in battle, it was raised each time. Another ship – USS Queen City, named for Cincinnati, the Queen City of Ohio – was commissioned in April 1863 and was ultimately destroyed by Confederate forces. There was also a protected cruiser in service from 1894 to 1919 that enforced neutrality laws during the Cuban Revolution and served during the Spanish-American War. A light cruiser was commissioned in 1924 that patrolled the Atlantic during World War II, and a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine (SSN-693) was in service from 1978 to 1996.

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. They are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

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
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Future Air Systems

MBDA presents for the first time its vision of the capabilities that will lie at the heart of the next generation of European air combat systems.

MBDA unveils its vision of Future Air Systems

As threats evolve and access denial strategies become ever more complex, with diversified effects combining surface-to-air and air-to-air assets in large scale, air superiority will need to be created on a local and temporary basis. Aircraft and air effectors will need to be able to enter denied areas, see threats before being seen, force hidden threats to uncover early enough to suppress them and to always react quicker than the adversary.

In these ever-faster operations, networked effectors will take an essential part in the combat «cloud», exchanging tactical information and target co-ordinates in real-time with platforms and other network nodes, in order to carry out the desired operational effects. These will also have to deploy robust survivability strategies in front of highly evolving threats. The fight will not only take place between platforms but between enemy networks, and only the most agile and adaptable will win. The engagement of these networked effectors will rely on resilience to any form of aggression (eg: Electronic Warfare, Cyber) as well as on rapid decision aids able to compute complex situations.

MBDA is a key actor able to bring answers to these significant challenges, thanks to its decades long experience in supplying armament capabilities to all Europe’s air combat platforms and to its in-depth understanding of operational and technological issues. This is evidenced by the concepts presented at Paris Air Show, which result from ongoing studies in its domestic nations, whether in cooperation or in the framework of individual national roadmaps. These concepts form a coherent set of capabilities and demonstrate that MBDA can shape innovative responses for the benefit of its customers for their Future Air System projects.

These concepts cover the whole field of key domains:

  • Deep Strike with cruise missiles using the most advanced options in order to penetrate and open breaches in the most efficient Anti Access Area Denial (A2AD) deployments in the future, for the benefit of friendly forces.
  • Tactical Strike with stand-off, networked and compact armaments, delivering precision effects but also able to saturate enemy defences thanks to pack or swarm behaviours.
  • Air-to-Air Combat with, Meteor, which today has no equivalent and will keep its lead and remain a powerful asset for next-generation fighter aircraft.
  • Self-Protection with the «Hard Kill» anti-missile system that will counter incoming missiles and so provide essential protection during «stand-in» combat, when soft-kill counter-measures and decoys are no longer sufficient. Such a system is able to reverse the balance of power against saturating defences.
  • Enablers for the penetration of adversary defences thanks to the «Remote Carriers» that deliver multiple effects, whether lethal or non-lethal, as well as new services for munitions such as intelligence, targeting, and deception of enemy sensors.

MBDA Remote Carriers are compact, stealthy, co-operate with other armaments and platforms, and can be launched from combat or transport aircraft, or surface ships. They work as capability extenders for the platforms and the armaments that they accompany.

MBDA is the only European player in the domain of complex weapons able to master all technologies needed for the development of these concepts and their operational chain:

  • Stealthy or supersonic long-range vehicles;
  • Very compact airframes and sub-systems for high loadouts, without compromising effects and connectivity performance;
  • Networking, infrared and radio frequency sensors with data fusion and artificial intelligence for automated target identification in complex environments, threat detection, complex engagements planning, and decision aids.

As it masters these essential technologies as well as all steps in the OODA (Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action) loop, from detection and localisation to damage assessment, MBDA positions itself as the architect of this decision-action chain, which will experience significant breakthroughs in concept and doctrine.

Referring to this presentation, Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, stated: «MBDA’s vision for future air armaments is exhaustive and ambitious, and we are ready to take on the challenge to deliver to our domestic nations the full sovereignty of their future air combat systems by taking part in the definition and development of the armaments that these systems will operate. MBDA has demonstrated that pulling together the best expertise in propulsion, guidance, connectivity and system integration have made Meteor the world best air-to-air missile, giving the pilots of European combat aircraft a decisive operational advantage. Thanks to its decades long culture of co-operation, MBDA will be equally able to develop the next weapons that will ensure European nations can sustain their air superiority in the long term».

Hypersonic weapon

Building on years of collaboration, Raytheon Company and Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed a teaming agreement to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman’s scramjet combustors to power Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic weapons. The teaming agreement uses the combined capabilities of both companies to accelerate development and demonstrate readiness to produce the next generation of tactical missile systems.

Hypersonic vehicles operate at extreme speeds and high altitudes. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are teaming to accelerate air-breathing hypersonic vehicle development

Scramjet engines use high vehicle speed to forcibly compress incoming air before combustion to enable sustained flight at hypersonic speeds. Such speeds reduce flight times and increase weapon survivability, effectiveness and flexibility.

«The Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team is quickly developing air-breathing hypersonic weapons to keep our nation ahead of the threat», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «This agreement combines Raytheon’s decades of tactical missile expertise with Northrop Grumman’s extensive scramjet engine development experience to produce the best possible weapons».

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are working under a $200 million Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, program contract to deliver an affordable, effective and producible cruise missile for DARPA and the U.S. Air Force.

«This teaming agreement extends our strong partnership with Raytheon on this critical technology capability. Our deep heritage in propulsion, fuzes and warheads will help accelerate readiness of tomorrow’s missiles to meet range, survivability, safety and lethality requirements», said Mike Kahn, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Defense Systems. «Together with Raytheon, we intend to make great strides toward improving our nation’s high-speed weapon systems, which are critical to enhancing our warfighters’ capabilities for greater standoff and quicker time to target».

Under the agreement, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman will continue to collaborate on HAWC and future air-breathing hypersonic missiles. Both companies are investing in hypersonic technologies and programs to ensure the military has a robust portfolio.

Christening of Daniel

The Navy christened its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, June 22, in Bath, Maine.

Navy christened guided-missile destroyer Daniel Inouye

The future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) is named in honor of Daniel Inouye, who served as a United States Senator for Hawaii from 1963 until his death in 2012. He received the Medal of Honor June 21, 2000 for his extraordinary heroism in action while serving with the 442nd Infantry Regiment Combat Team in Italy during World War II. During an assault April 21, 1945, an exploding grenade shattered his right arm; despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation. He remained at the head of his platoon until they broke the enemy resistance and his men deployed in defensive positions, continuing to fight until the regiment’s position was secured.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address. Irene Hirano Inouye, wife of the late Senator, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Inouye christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«The future USS Daniel Inouye will serve for decades as a reminder of Senator Inouye’s service to our nation and his unwavering support of a strong Navy and Marine Corps team», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This ship honors not only his service but the service of our shipbuilders who help make ours the greatest Navy and Marine Corps team in the world».

The future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) will be the 68th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and is one of 21 ships currently under contract for the DDG-51 program. The ship is configured as a Flight IIA destroyer, which enables power projection and delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for anti-air warfare. The Daniel Inouye will be 509.5 feet long and 59 feet wide, with a displacement of 9,496 tons. She will be homeported in Pearl Harbor.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 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 SPY-1D Phased Array Radar 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 IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW

 

German frigate

On 17 June 2019, the F125 «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) was officially commissioned in a ceremony in the presence of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. The German Navy now has in service the most modern and powerful frigate which was ever built in Germany. «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) was built by ARGE F125 with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as lead company.

F125 «Baden-Württemberg» (F222): Germany’s most modern frigate entered service

The newly designed class F125 ships, with their highly complex systems and approximately 28,000 sensors, have a very high degree of automation, which makes it possible to halve the crew size in comparison to previous German frigate classes. The ships can remain in their operational area for up to two years. This way, the number of the usually very long transits can be significantly reduced. The F125 «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) is the first ship worldwide to successfully implement the intensive use concept.

Next to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, the ships are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention and stabilization operations in the international arena. In addition to the ability to fight offshore and onshore targets, they also have anti-aircraft systems and helicopters specially equipped for submarine hunting.

The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design and a detailed design phase followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were specially developed for this new class of ships. Due to this high complexity and the related, different challenges as well as the further modular development of the ship during the project, «Baden-Württemberg» (F222) was delivered about 3 years after the contractually agreed date.

The second class F125 ship, the «Nordrhein-Westfalen» (F223) («North Rhine-Westphalia»), will be ready to be handed over to the customer in 2019. The handing over of the 3rd and 4th ship is planned to take place successively within the next 2 years.

The ARGE F125 consortium comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections are being manufactured at the shipyards of the Lürssen Group in Bremen and Wolgast. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out was being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg under the leadership of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

Marine Systems is one of the world’s leading marine companies and a systems provider in submarine and surface shipbuilding as well as maritime electronics and security technology

 

Key data for the F125

Length 149 m/489 feet
Width 18 m/59 feet
Maximum speed >26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
Displacement: approximately 7,000 t
Crew: maximum 190 (of which up to 120 regular crew members)