Category Archives: Navy

First-of-Class

The U.S. Navy converted USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) to a U.S. naval warship, commissioning the Expeditionary Sea Base, USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) during a ceremony at Khalifa bin Salman Port in Al Hidd, Bahrain, August 17.

The Military Sealift Command expeditionary mobile base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) departs Naval Station Norfolk to begin its first operational deployment. Puller is deploying to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. Navy and allied military efforts in the region (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta/Released)
The Military Sealift Command expeditionary mobile base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) departs Naval Station Norfolk to begin its first operational deployment. Puller is deploying to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. Navy and allied military efforts in the region (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta/Released)

Puller is the first U.S. ship to be commissioned outside the United States. With its commissioning, the U.S. Navy adds yet another warship towards its goal of having a larger, more capable force. The ship’s reclassification provides U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. 5th Fleet greater flexibility to better meet regional challenges.

Vice Admiral Donegan, commander of Naval Forces Central Command said, «The Puller isn’t just another ship, but a revolutionary concept; a ship that provides us a key platform that will provide continuity to a variety of operations», he continued saying, «Named after the most decorated Marine in American history, the USS Lewis B. Puller will provide greater operational flexibility to 5th Fleet, forward-deployed as the first ship built specifically for the purpose of serving as an expeditionary sea base. As such, it will augment our amphibious forces, not replace them, mine countermeasure forces and provide an expeditionary sea base for maritime security operations throughout the region».

The need for new solutions to new problems in the 5th Fleet area of operations continues to grow and Donegan recognized the challenge.

«As the security environment becomes faster paced, more complex and increasingly competitive, with the ever-growing and evolving challenge of asymmetric threats from state and non-state actors alike, the Navy has a growing need to station more diverse and capable warships around the globe. Commissioning this expeditionary sea base, the USS Lewis B. Puller, will allow the Navy and Marine Corps team to meet the threats in the region head on», said Donegan.

Puller’s namesake, Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell «Chesty» Puller, was the most decorated Marine in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He is one of only two men, and the only Marine, to be awarded five Navy Crosses. He fought in Haiti and Nicaragua, as well as several key battles in World War II and the Korean War.

«For the most part, Puller spent much of his time in the Pacific», said Lieutenant General Dave Beydler, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. «Why was he there? Because that is where the fight was … I would argue that if he lived in our era, he would have spent a majority of his time in this region, the CENTCOM area of responsibility. I’m glad to have Chesty Puller back where the fight is».

Captain Adan G. Cruz is the USS Puller’s first commanding officer. Per naval tradition, Cruz read his orders before addressing those in attendance.

«It is really an honor to be part of a team and part of a crew with great Sailors and great civilian mariners», said Cruz.

Puller’s crew of nearly 150 Sailors and civilian mariners work in concert with one another as did those on the ship’s predecessor, USS Ponce (AFSB-(I) 15) to extend U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s maritime reach in 5th Fleet by supporting a wide variety of missions including counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid, disaster relief and crisis response operations.

Ballistic Missile Test

The U.S. Navy successfully conducted another Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight test with the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) off the west coast of Hawaii, July 27.

AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar array at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)
AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar array at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)

At 2:05 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time (8:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR searched for, detected and maintained track on the target throughout its trajectory. The flight test, designated Vigilant Titan, is the second in a series of ballistic missile defense flight tests for the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR.

«We are continuing to stress this radar by increasing the range and complexity of the targets and demonstrating the awesome capability and versatility of the Navy’s next generation Integrated Air and Missile Defense radar». said Navy Captain Seiko Okano, major program manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS). «AN/SPY-6 is the nation’s most advanced radar and will be the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s surface combatants for many decades».

Based on preliminary data, the test successfully met its primary objectives against a complex Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

The culmination of over a decade of Navy investment in advanced radar technology, AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR is being designed for the DDG-51 Flight III destroyer to provide the U.S. Navy with state-of-the-art technology for integrated air and missile defense.

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

The Air and Missile Defense Radar is the U.S. Navy’s next generation integrated air and missile defense radar. It enhances ships’ abilities to detect air, surface and ballistic missile targets

Third Generation Railgun

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that its new 10 Mega Joule (MJ) medium range multi-mission railgun system has completed final assembly and factory acceptance test in preparation for transport to Dugway Proving Ground in Utah to begin testing. The 10 MJ railgun system has been designed and built by GA-EMS to provide multi-mission, multi-domain capability with greater flexibility and a smaller footprint for ship, land and mobile platforms.

Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapon System (MMRRWS)
Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapon System (MMRRWS)

«The 10 MJ railgun system has our third-generation railgun launcher, and includes our fifth-generation pulsed power system and a new mounting system that allows the launcher to elevate and train for better targeting», stated Nick Bucci, vice president for Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. «This represents a leap forward in advancing railgun technologies, offering reduced size and weight for the launcher, twice the energy density in a significantly reduced pulsed power footprint, and more capable hypersonic projectiles. We’ll continue to develop and mature these technologies, perform risk reduction, and test under real-world conditions to ultimately deliver a more capable, effective, and cost-efficient solution to counter future threats».

GA-EMS multi-mission medium range railgun weapon system integrates the High Energy Pulsed Power Container (HEPPC), 10 MJ launcher, hypersonic hybrid missile, and fire control technologies. The HEPPC utilizes GA-EMS next generation railgun capacitors and a new approach to packaging and distribution of the energy in a smaller footprint than existing pulsed power solutions. This reduces the number of pulsed power containers required to launch the guided projectiles or hybrid missiles. The HEPPC provides additional capabilities to test GA-EMS hypersonic projectiles, which contain a Guidance Control Unit with guidance, navigation, and control software and a complex control actuation system.

Successful projectile component testing was completed earlier this year, with multiple firings at launch accelerations over 30,000 Gees. The testing also demonstrated a continuous two-way data link between the in-flight projectiles and the ground station over an open range that supports the fire control solution.

GA-EMS performs successful testing of electromagnetic railgun launched hypersonic projectiles

Builder’s Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division announced on July 25 the successful completion of builder’s sea trials on the guided missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114). The Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) destroyer spent more than three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other ship systems.

Ingalls Shipbuilding completed builder's sea trials for USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114). The Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) destroyer spent more than three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other ship systems (HII photo)
Ingalls Shipbuilding completed builder’s sea trials for USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114). The Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) destroyer spent more than three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other ship systems (HII photo)

«It’s always a great accomplishment when our shipbuilders successfully take a ship to sea for the first time», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «DDG-114’s sea trials showcase the skill of our shipbuilders and our large, national DDG-51 supplier base. We look forward to acceptance trials, and to delivering our 30th Aegis destroyer to our U.S. Navy customer later this year».

Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy, most recently delivering USS John Finn (DDG-113), which was commissioned on July 15 in Pearl Harbor. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) and USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123). In June, Ingalls received a contract modification to incorporate the «Flight III» upgrades to USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) which will start fabrication in 2018.

«Our test and trials personnel, craftsmen and Supervisor of Shipbuilding team continue to show their dedication to delivering quality ships to the Navy every time they go to sea on these trials», said George S. Jones, Ingalls’ vice president of operations. «The shipbuilders at Ingalls take pride in their work and in the missions that these ships will be doing for our country».

DDG-114 is named to honor Private First Class Ralph Henry Johnson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions that saved others during the Vietnam War. Johnson shouted a warning to his fellow Marines and hurled himself on an explosive device, saving the life of one Marine and preventing the enemy from penetrating his sector of the patrol’s perimeter. Johnson died instantly. The Charleston, South Carolina, native had only been in Vietnam for two months and a few days when he was killed at the age of 19.

«There is still work to be done», said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG-51 program manager. «Completing another successful sea trial puts us one step closer to delivering the Navy another state-of-the art guided missile destroyer to help in our nation’s defense. Now it’s time for our team to get back to work so they can have USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) ready for acceptance trials and then ready for the fleet».

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

 

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 90 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: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15 07-15-17 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15  07-29-2017  San Diego, California

 

Go Navy!

The Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115), during a 10 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, July 29, at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

Commissioning of USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115)
Commissioning of USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115)

The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) honors Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Peralta is credited with saving the lives of fellow Marines during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.

General Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Ms. Rosa Maria Peralta, Sergeant Peralta’s mother, served as the ship’s sponsor.

«This commissioning memorializes the life of Sgt. Rafael Peralta and marks the beginning of what will be decades of exceptional service for this ship», said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the U.S. Navy. «During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sergeant Peralta acted heroically and sacrificed himself for his fellow Marines. He was proud to be an American, proud to be a Marine and we are proud to welcome USS Rafael Peralta to the fleet. I have no doubt the men and women who serve aboard Peralta will continue his legacy of service».

Rafael Peralta, the 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. The USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities.

The ship will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego.

You could hear the BOOM of the 5-inch off the Southern California coast
You could hear the BOOM of the 5-inch off the Southern California coast

 

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 90 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
Future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) arrives at her homeport for the first time in anticipation of commissioning scheduled for July 29. The 65th ship of its class, Peralta is classified as a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and is named for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Phil Ladouceur/Released)
Future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) arrives at her homeport for the first time in anticipation of commissioning scheduled for July 29. The 65th ship of its class, Peralta is classified as a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and is named for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Phil Ladouceur/Released)

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15 07-15-17 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15 07-29-2017 San Diego, California
USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) completed her birth shift to Naval Air Station North Island
USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) completed her birth shift to Naval Air Station North Island

Exercise Sea Breeze

U.S. and Ukrainian Marines launched coordinated amphibious assault from a Turkish ship against a beachhead, on July 20, during Exercise Sea Breeze in Mykolaivka, Ukraine.

Marines in Ukraine for Exercise Sea Breeze had a different kind of beach day
Marines in Ukraine for Exercise Sea Breeze had a different kind of beach day

The partnered Marine forces assaulted the beach in two different waves with firepower from a land force to support the attack. The coordinated attack demonstrated a high-level of military interoperability among Allies and partners.

«It’s a great opportunity for U.S. Marines to train with and execute an amphibious landing with our Allies and partners», said Captain Kevin Murphy, commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, 23rdMarine Regiment, based out of Nashville, Tennessee. «The cooperation and support received from Turkey and Ukraine has been superb».

Sea Breeze 2017 is an annual, multinational exercise that focuses on maritime interdiction operations, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, damage control tactics, search and rescue, and amphibious warfare. Sea Breeze is currently in its 17th iteration and is co-hosted by the U.S. and Ukraine, with the participation of 16 Allied and partner countries.

This year’s participating nations include: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

U.S. European Command is one of the United States’ two forward-deployed Geographic Combatant Commands whose area of focus cover almost one-fifth of the planet, including all of Europe, large portions of Asia, parts of the Middle East and the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. The command is responsible for military relations with NATO and 51 countries with a total population of close to a billion people.

U.S. and Ukrainian Marines navigate the haze during an amphibious assault at Exercise Sea Breeze
U.S. and Ukrainian Marines navigate the haze during an amphibious assault at Exercise Sea Breeze

Sea Breeze 2017

The Turkish Ay-class submarine TCG Batiray (S-349) and a U.S. P-8A Poseidon from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, took anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training to an advanced level during exercise Sea Breeze 2017.

The Turkish Navy submarine TCG Batiray (S-349)
The Turkish Navy submarine TCG Batiray (S-349)

Sea Breeze 2017, a U.S. and Ukraine co-hosted multinational maritime exercise held in the Black Sea, is designed to enhance the interoperability of participating nations and strengthen maritime security in the region.

Since submarines of Black Sea nations regularly operate in the region, knowing how to find and track them is of great interest to navies operating there.

Having a NATO ally in the form of Turkey at this year’s exercise helped to train the Ukrainian military in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) techniques that they’ve not practiced before, said Lieutenant (junior grade) Onur Kiroğlu, a Turkish navy communications officer who served as a battle watch officer in the Sea Breeze maritime operations center.

«It’s very important for them to see what a sub can do in an exercise», he said.

Another key role the Turkish submarine played was in helping ships learn to operate effectively in an ASW task group, said Lieutenant Jonathan Wheeler, a U.S. Navy submariner and a Sea Breeze exercise officer.

«Finding and keeping contact with a submarine is a complex process that involves effective engagement among ships’ crews», he said. «It was a good opportunity to practice ASW in the Black Sea against a friendly asset».

The P-8A Poseidon adds a critical air element to the ASW training, said Lieutenant Justin Branch, a U.S. Navy aviation/operations limited duty officer and a Sea Breeze liaison officer for the aircraft.

«It’s the Navy’s newest long-range ASW aircraft, capable of precision active-and-passive tracking, multi-sensor correlation and long flight endurance», Branch said.

Sea Breeze 2017 Takes Anti-Submarine Warfare Training to Advanced Level
Sea Breeze 2017 Takes Anti-Submarine Warfare Training to Advanced Level

 

Decades of experience

Turkey is the only NATO country in the Black Sea that operates submarines. Its military has been involved in the exercise since the 1990s, bringing decades of submarine and ASW experience.

«This year, the Ukrainians and other exercise navy participants saw the real capacity of a submarine as part of an opposing force», Kiroğlu said.

A diesel submarine, such as the Ay-class involved in the exercise, can become almost as quiet as the surrounding ocean. It can rest on the seafloor and blend in with surrounding underwater formations.

«Learning to recognize the subtle acoustic sounds of a diesel submarine operating near a task force is helpful because most countries that have submarines tend to use diesels», Kiroğlu said. «Nuclear-powered submarines are used by only a handful of countries. After the submarine departed Odessa, Ukraine, with the other exercise vessels participating in the free-play portion of Sea Breeze, its unpredictability became an especially important element of the exercise», he said.

The Turkish submarine helped Ukrainian and other exercise participants learn to methodically search the sea.

In addition to ASW training, there was another benefit to the Turkish submarine’s participation.

Turkey’s submarine command is run in accordance with NATO standards, contributing to the interoperability of the Sea Breeze navies, helping them to work as a team.

Managing a submarine force is more than just attaching an underwater vessel to surface combatants, Kiroğlu said. It involves effective thinking of the underwater dimension, and learning to not just simply respond to the presence of adversary submarines, but proactively engaging with them to protect ships and personnel.

Where hunting submarines in the battle space is concerned, «communication is everything», he said.

Production begins

BAE Systems welcomed Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, to its Glasgow shipyard to press the button to start production of the first of the new Type 26 Global Combat Ships for the UK Royal Navy. During his speech, the Defence Secretary unveiled the name of the first ship as HMS Glasgow.

Production begins in Glasgow for the first Royal Navy Type 26 Global Combat Ship
Production begins in Glasgow for the first Royal Navy Type 26 Global Combat Ship

This ceremonial event follows the UK Government’s recent award of a contract worth c£3.7bn for the first three ships to be built at BAE Systems’ sites in Glasgow. This builds on the work already underway to construct five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and provides a strong foundation for the next two decades of shipbuilding in Scotland, securing more than 4,000 jobs across BAE Systems and its UK maritime supply chain.

During the visit to BAE Systems’ shipyard in Glasgow, Defence Secretary, Sir Michael said: «Today marks yet another historic milestone for the Royal Navy, Scottish shipbuilding and UK Defence more widely. Glasgow will protect our powerful new aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, keeping British interests safe across the world. The Type 26 is a cutting-edge warship that will maintain our naval power with a truly global reach. Designed for a service life of at least 25 years, the Type 26 Frigates will form a backbone of the future Royal Navy surface fleet into the 2060s».

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship, replacing the Type 23 anti-submarine variant frigates, with the first ship due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid 2020s. Globally deployable, the flexible mission bay, aviation facilities and combat systems ensure it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. We are exploring potential export opportunities where we have strong interest from international customers.

Type 26 is cutting edge in terms of its capability and benefits from the latest advances in digital technologies, including 3D and virtual reality, to ensure that the ship’s design is refined earlier in the process.  This has enabled BAE Systems to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy to ensure every zone of the ship has the requirements of its crew at the heart of the design.

Commenting on this important announcement, Iain Stevenson, Managing Director, BAE Systems Naval Ships said: «This is an extremely proud day for our employees across the UK and our wider UK maritime supply chain. Providing our customers with next generation platforms and technologies that give them an essential edge is what inspires us. Working with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy we have designed the Type 26 in a fully digital environment and have now seen her through the eyes of her crew in a 3D environment. Through this approach we have a mature ship design that is ready for manufacture».

 

General Characteristics

Builder BAE Systems
Propulsion 2 electric motors, 4 high speed diesel generators, 1 gas turbine
Length 489 feet/149 m
Beam 68 feet/20.8 m
Displacement approximately 6,900 tonnes
Speed 26+ knots/30+ mph/48+ km/h
Range In excess of 7,000 NM/8,055 miles/12,964 km
Crew 157
Accommodation Up to 208, including Embarked Forces
Flexible mission bay Space for 10 × 20 feet/3 × 6 m ISO containers or boats and unmanned vehicles
Flight deck Capable of landing a Chinook helicopter

 

New First-In-Class

The Navy commissioned its newest aircraft carrier, the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, July 22, at Naval Station Norfolk.

Navy commissioned new first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford
Navy commissioned new first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the lead ship of the new Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carrier, the first new class in more than 40 years and will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers when the ship is commissioned.

CVN-78 honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, in the U.S. government and to the nation. During World War II, Ford attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy, serving on the light carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26). Released from active duty in February 1946, Ford remained in the Naval Reserve until 1963. Ford was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1948, where he served until President Nixon tapped him to become Vice President in 1973. Ford became president in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and served in the country’s highest office from 1974-1977.

President Donald J. Trump delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Susan Ford Bales, Ford’s daughter, served as the ship’s sponsor.

USS Gerald R. Ford – Landing and Launching of Aircraft

«The nation’s going to be very proud of USS Gerald R. Ford», said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson. «I am incredibly thankful for the shipyard workers and Sailors who worked amazingly hard to bring this mighty ship to life. This Saturday will be a huge day for our Navy and our nation. The new technology and warfighting capabilities that Ford brings will transform naval warfare, making us a more lethal Navy. The increased combat power will enable new ways to combine information, ships, aircraft and undersea forces, changing how we operate and fight».

The Navy plans to spend $43 billion developing and building the three new Ford-class ships – Ford, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), and the future USS Enterprise (CVN-80). Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Gerald R. Ford class is designed with significant quality-of-life improvements and reduced maintenance. These innovations are expected to improve operational availability and capability compared with Nimitz-class carriers.

The Gerald R. Ford class incorporates advances in technology such as a new reactor plant, propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, Dual Band Radar and integrated warfare systems. Compared to Nimitz-class carriers, the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers have more than 23 new or modified systems.

MV-22 Ospreys assigned to the U.S. Presidential Helicopter Squadron land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during the ship's commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)
MV-22 Ospreys assigned to the U.S. Presidential Helicopter Squadron land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during the ship’s commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+
Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during its commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)
Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during its commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013 07-22-2017 Norfolk, Virginia
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
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MOCCA program

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems a $4.6 million contract for its Mobile Offboard Clandestine Communications and Approach (MOCCA) program. The MOCCA program’s goal is to enable submarines to detect other submerged vessels at greater distances, while minimizing the risk of counter-detection.

The company is working with DARPA to enable submarines to detect other submerged vessels at greater distances, while minimizing the risk of counter-detection
The company is working with DARPA to enable submarines to detect other submerged vessels at greater distances, while minimizing the risk of counter-detection

«Advances in maritime technology are critical to the Department of Defense and an area where the U.S. military can continue to strengthen its advantage», said Geoff Edelson, director of Maritime Systems and Technology at BAE Systems. «With the resurgence of near-peer competitors and an increasing number of submarines, MOCCA technology will provide Navy submariners with a vital asymmetrical advantage against a rapidly proliferating undersea threat».

To meet the MOCCA program’s ambitious Phase 1 goals, BAE Systems’ researchers will design efficient sonar capabilities to maximize detection range and improve target identification and tracking.

The MOCCA program demonstrates BAE Systems’ strength in innovation and its capability to design technologies for future combat scenarios. The research and development team at BAE Systems regularly works closely with DARPA and other defense research institutes to create and deliver capabilities that improve the competitive advantages of the U.S. armed forces.