Category Archives: Navy

FLOTLOG program

The steel cutting of the first of four forward sections for as many logistic support units LSS (Logistic Support Ship) ordered by Chantiers de l’Atlantique to Fincantieri under the FLOTLOG program («Flotte logistique») took place at the Castellammare di Stabia shipyard.

The Group will build for Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the forward sections of the four logistic support ships under the Franco-Italian LSS program led by OCCAR

The sections will be built at the Castellammare di Stabia shipyard with deliveries scheduled between 2021 and 2027.

The FLOTLOG program consists in the construction of four Logistic Support Ships (LSS), destined to the French Navy, by the temporary consortium between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group under the Franco-Italian LSS Program led by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) on behalf of DGA, the French Armament General Directorate, and its Italian counterpart, NAVARM (Italian Ministry of Defense).

This cooperation between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Fincantieri is part of the broader Franco-Italian alliance in the naval surface ship domain.

The highly innovative LSS program, similarly to the units of the multi-year program for the renewal of the Italian Navy’s fleet, provides a considerable degree of efficiency and flexibility in serving different mission profiles.

Furthermore, the LSS unit combines features of transportation and transfer to other vessels of both liquid (diesel fuel, jet fuel, fresh water) and solid loads (emergency spare parts, food and ammunitions).

Expeditionary Sea Base

Construction of the fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship officially began on June 25 at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, California. Due to the COVID pandemic, the milestone was marked with an informal shipyard ceremony.

Commander Chris Schindler, Officer in Charge, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Bath (det. San Diego) commences construction of the fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB-6) at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard, June 25. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the milestone was marked with an informal shipyard ceremony (Photo by U.S. Navy Released)

Expeditionary Sea Base ships are highly flexible platforms that are used across a broad range of military operations supporting multiple operational phases. Acting as a mobile sea base, they are part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to provide prepositioned equipment and sustainment with flexible distribution.

«This is a great Navy day as we mark the start of construction on the fourth ship in a class of flexible, adaptable ships that will provide our combatant commanders with enhanced capabilities», said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. «The ESB platform has proven to be a valuable addition to the Navy and Marine Corps battle force».

Expeditionary Sea Bases support Aviation Mine Countermeasure and Special Operations Force missions. In addition to the flight deck, the ESB has a hangar with two aviation operating spots capable of handling MH-53E Super Stallion equivalent helicopters, accommodations, work spaces, and ordnance storage for embarked force, enhanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) to support embarked force mission planning and execution and reconfigurable mission deck area to store embarked force equipment to include mine sleds and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs).

In 2019, the U.S. Navy made the decision to commission all Expeditionary Sea Base ships to allow them to conduct a broader and more lethal mission set, compared to original plans for them to operate with a USNS designation. ESBs are commanded by a Navy O-6 with a hybrid-manned crew of military personnel and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners. This designation provides combatant commanders greater operational flexibility as to how the platform is employed.

In addition to ESB-6, NASSCO is under contract for the construction of ESB-7, with an option for ESB-8, as well as the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis Class Fleet Replenishment Oilers (T-AO 205 – 210).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

For Special Operations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

General Characteristics

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

 

Navy Accepts Oakland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

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

 

Independence-class

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

 

Kansas City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

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

 

Independence-class

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

 

Assault Ship

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on June 17, 2020 that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received a third contract modification from the U.S. Navy for $145 million to provide long-lead-time material and advance procurement activities for amphibious assault ship LHA-9. This modification brings the total advance funding for LHA-9 to $350 million.

Assault Ship LHA-9

«This advance procurement contract will help protect the health of our supplier base and strengthen our efforts to efficiently modernize the nation’s amphibious fleet as we continue to build amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said.

Ingalls is the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. The shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli (LPH-10), in 1966. Ingalls has since built five Tarawa-class (LHA-1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD-1) ships and the first in a new class of amphibious assault ships, USS America (LHA-6), in 2014. The second ship in that class, USS Tripoli (LHA-7), was delivered to the U.S. Navy earlier this year. USS Bougainville (LHA-8) is under construction.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division supports national security missions around the globe with unmanned systems, defense and federal solutions, nuclear and environmental services, and fleet sustainment. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 42,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Date Deployed Delivered to the fleet in on April 10, 2014
Propulsion Two marine gas turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total brake horsepower/52,199 kW, two 5,000 horsepower/3,728 kW auxiliary propulsion motors
Length 844 feet/257.3 m
Beam 106 feet/32.3 m
Displacement Approximately 45,000 long tons full load /45,722 metric tons
Speed 20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h
Crew 1,059 (65 officers)
Load 1,687 troops (plus 184 surge)
Armament 2 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launchers
2 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile)
2 20-mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) mounts
7 twin 12,7-mm/.50 cal. machine guns
Aircraft 9 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft
4 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters
4 CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters
12 MV-22B Osprey VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) tiltrotors
2 MH-60S Sea Hawk Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters
UH-1Y Huey helicopters

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS America (LHA-6) 07-17-2009 06-04-2012 10-11-2014 Sasebo, Japan
USS Tripoli (LHA-7) 06-22-2014 05-01-2017
USS Bougainville (LHA-8) 03-14-2019
LHA-9

 

Acceptance Trials

The Navy’s next generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Land Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 101, concluded acceptance trials the week of June 8 after successfully completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).

The Navy’s next generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Land Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 101, concluded acceptance trials the week of June 8 after successfully completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) (Photo by Textron (courtesy of)/RELEASED)

During the trials, the craft underwent integrated testing to demonstrate the capability of the platform and installed systems across all mission areas to effectively meet its requirements. These demonstrations are used to validate the quality of construction and compliance with Navy specifications and requirements prior to delivering the craft to the U.S. Navy. As INSURV is the approving authority for ships and craft undergoing Acceptance Trials, LCAC 101 can now begin preparing for delivery.

«The first operational production unit for the next-generation landing craft, LCAC 101, performed well having incorporated lessons learned from the recent Craft 100 at-sea trials», said Tom Rivers, amphibious warfare program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «LCAC 101 successfully demonstrated the ability to operate both on and off cushion at full load through the full range of speed, payload and maneuvering requirements».

The SSC is the evolutionary replacement for the existing fleet of legacy LCAC vehicles, and will primarily transport weapon systems, equipment, cargo, and personnel of the assault elements through varied environmental conditions from amphibious ships to and over the beach.

SSCs are constructed at Textron Systems, Marine & Land Systems in Slidell, Louisiana, and are built with similar configurations, dimensions, and clearances to legacy LCAC, ensuring the compatibility of this next-generation air cushion vehicle with existing well deck equipped amphibious ships, as well as Expeditionary Transfer Dock and Expeditionary Sea Bases. Textron has delivered Craft 100, has completed testing on LCAC 101, and is currently in production on 12 craft with an additional 10 on contract.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

 

General Characteristics

Propulsion Four gas turbine engines
Length (with skirt) 91.80 feet/27.98 meters
Beam (with skirt) 48.25 feet/14.71 meters
Speed 35+ knots/40+ mph/65 km/h
Range (mission radius of at least) 25 NM/29 miles/46 km
Crew Five
Load 74 short tons/67 metric tons

 

Underwater Mothership

Kiel, Germany: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Germany’s number three defence company and world market leader in conventional submarines, on June 15, 2020 presented the results of a pioneering research project on the feasibility, usability, construction and operation of large modular underwater vehicles. The focus was on the MUM project «Modifiable Underwater Mothership», which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and, designed in collaboration by industry and science since 2017, is intended to achieve market readiness in the upcoming years.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems presents new modular underwater vehicle: MUM project to set new standard for unmanned underwater operations

The presentation was part of the «Maritime Research Programme» whereby the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports the development of innovative maritime technologies. Norbert Brackmann, German government coordinator for the maritime industry, was on the shipyard site of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to experience the progress of the project and the technological innovations already available for further implementation.

Norbert Brackmann: «The MUM project fits in very well with our aspiration to technological leadership. The project results show that individual commitment, teamwork, creativity and German engineering skills are an excellent combination for maintaining our technological lead in future markets. Given the challenging economic situation triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, innovations and the further development of high-tech will pave the way to a successful future. Therefore, we have included provisions in the recently adopted economic stimulus package to provide additional funds for supporting innovation and the Maritime Research Programme».

MUM is a modular unmanned underwater system for various applications in the civil maritime industry. Examples include the transport and deployment of payloads, applications in the offshore wind and oil & gas industries as well as the exploration of sea areas with difficult access, such as the Arctic ice regions. In order to meet these requirements, a modular structure is envisaged. The system will use electrical power as the main energy source, by implementing a state-of-the-art, emission-free fuel cell. Where necessary, the power supply system is supported by a safe and reliable Li-ion battery module. Independent of wind and weather, MUM can operate 24/7, 365 days a year.

Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «We are the only systems supplier in Germany to offer high-tech solutions for the future. The MUM project will benefit from our many years of expertise in fuel cell and battery technology, underwater vehicles as well as maritime sensors and autonomy software. Our project partners from science and industry complement us to an extraordinary degree»!

MUM is to set the new standard for unmanned underwater operations by 2024. Together with the project partners ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, EvoLogics, University of Rostock, TU Berlin, Fraunhofer Institute, German Aerospace Center the Institute for the Protection of Maritime Structures, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will apply for funding for a MUM large-scale demonstrator as part of the Economic Ministry’s Maritime Research Programme.

Next Phase

General Dynamics Electric Boat announced on June 12, 2020 that it had signed a contract to begin the next phase of construction on a facility to support construction of the nation’s new class of ballistic-missile submarines. The company signed a $544 million contract with AECOM of Los Angeles, California, to complete the construction of the South Yard Assembly Building (SYAB), the centerpiece of the biggest facility expansion in 50 years at the company’s Groton shipyard.

Future site of the General Dynamics Electric Boat South Yard Assembly building. This photo shows recently-completed drilled shafts with pile caps that will support the deck of a 200,000 square-foot/18,580 square-meter building dedicated to the construction of the Columbia class of ballistic missile submarines, expected to be complete in 2023

In September 2019 the company broke ground on the SYAB, a 200,000 square-foot/18,580 square-meter building that will eventually be home to 1,400 skilled shipbuilders who will deliver the Columbia class to the U.S. Navy. Electric Boat is also expanding and modernizing other manufacturing spaces in Groton and building a floating dry dock.

Electric Boat is the prime contractor on the design and build of the 12 ships of the Columbia class, which will replace the aging Ohio-class of ballistic-missile submarines. Early construction began in 2017 at the company’s facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Final assembly and test of the Columbia class will take place starting in 2024 at Electric Boat’s shipyard in Groton.

«General Dynamics Electric Boat continues to make investments – in facilities, in our supply chain and in the next generation of shipbuilders – to support the Columbia class, the Navy’s top strategic priority», said EB President Kevin Graney. «Efficient completion of the SYAB will position us to begin delivering the next-generation of ballistic submarines in advance of the Ohio-class retiring from service».

The South Yard Assembly Building is part of an overall $1.7 billion investment the company is making in modernizing and upgrading its facilities to meet the expanded needs of the U.S. Navy.

The company has hired and trained thousands of new employees and has worked with its national network of suppliers to prepare for the estimated 150% increase in the need for supplies and materials to concurrently build the Columbia and Virginia classes.

General Dynamics Electric Boat Begins Next Phase of Expansion to Support Construction of New Class of Submarines

Electro-Magnetic
railgun

Following calls for proposals launched by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2019, the consortium «PILUM» (Projectiles for Increased Long-range effects Using Electro-Magnetic railgun) has been selected to lead a research project on the electromagnetic railgun.

EDA selects the «PILUM» consortium, a disruptive-technology research project for innovative electromagnetic railgun

The project will last two years and aims at proving that this type of railgun concept is capable of launching hypervelocity projectiles with precision over a distance of several hundreds of kilometres. «PILUM» will thus demonstrate that the electromagnetic railgun has the potential to provide a disruptive change in the area of long-range fire support. Indeed, when compared with the former powder railgun, this new technology is capable of reaching a hypersonic velocity, multiplying the effective reach by five.

 

Superior technology

The so-called «railgun» is capable of accelerating projectiles at initial velocities far superior to those obtained by existing chemical guns. It uses electromagnetic force by injection of very high currents into conducting rails. The project will also examine the possibility of integrating the railgun into terrestrial and naval platforms. In a first phase, the project will validate the gun concept using numerical simulations and experimental work. The project represents a new major step towards developing a full-scale demonstrator in the next few years. It also includes reflection on concepts for future applications. This disruptive technology offers an important operational asset since it reduces the risk exposure of vehicles, vessels and crew by increasing the firing distance.

 

Reinforcing European strategic autonomy

Critical to ensure capability superiority, this emergent concept will make a substantial contribution to reinforcing European strategic autonomy. It will also allow advances in many different fields of sovereign technology including aerothermodynamics, projectile technologies, material strength, energy storage and conversion as well as various electric and electromagnetic phenomena likely to produce benefits for further applications.

 

Consortium coordinated by the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL)

The «PILUM» project is part of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) research programme financed by the European Commission and managed by the European Defence Agency. The consortium brings together nine partners from five European countries, each with its own industrial, technological and advanced scientific expertise:

  • ISL, the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis, European leader in
  • electromagnetic acceleration and coordinator of the project;
  • the Von Karman Research Institute (Belgium), specialised in fluid dynamics and propulsion;
  • two system integrators, Naval Group and Nexter Systems (France);
  • two ammunition suppliers, Diehl Defence (Germany) and Nexter Munitions (France);
  • Explomet (Poland), a small company specialised in the explosive cladding of metals;
  • ICAR (Italy), manufacturer of high-density electric capacitors;
  • Erdyn Consultants (France), an expert in the management of European collaborative projects.