Category Archives: Navy

BIW Lays Keel

On Tuesday, April 6, General Dynamics (GD) Bath Iron Works (BIW) celebrated the keel laying of the future USS Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. (DDG-124). The U.S. Navy named the ship in honor of Marine Corps Colonel Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., a Medal of Honor recipient who attended Tuesday’s ceremony. Colonel Barnum served in the Vietnam War and continued to serve his country afterward, eventually being named Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs). The ship’s sponsor is Martha Hill, Colonel Barnum’s wife.

USS Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. (DDG-124)
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Lays Keel of future USS Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. (DDG-124)

Colonel Barnum and Ms. Hill authenticated the keel by striking welding arcs onto a steel plate that will be incorporated into the ship. They were assisted by Marty Fish, a Specialist Welder and work leader with 34 years of experience at BIW, currently working on Main Machinery Room 1 of DDG-124. The laying of the keel and its authentication signifies the start of hull integration and the pre-cursor to final integration, launch and sea trials.

Ed Kenyon, Director of New Construction Programs for Bath Iron Works, hosted the ceremony and welcomed the audience, which included Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker, Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, Representative Chellie Pingree, Navy personnel and BIW employees. «The keel-laying ceremony is an opportunity to re-affirm our commitment that a Bath-built ship is best built, at all stages of construction». Kenyon said. «We are proud to be building the Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. We will ensure that Colonel Barnum’s ship will be ready to serve our nation, nobly, as he did during his service in Vietnam and subsequent service to our nation».

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Length Overall 525 feet/160 m
Beam – Waterline 65.6 feet/20 m
Draft 32.8 feet/10 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 AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) 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 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
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 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

FDI frigates

On March 29, 2021, during a visit to Lorient of the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, Naval Group received notification of the order for two Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) frigates by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA). The acceleration of the FDI program will support the activity of the Naval Group site in Lorient where the frigates are designed and built, also ensuring the preservation of skills.

Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI)
The French Ministry of the Armed forces accelerates the FDI frigates program and supports Naval Group’s activity in Lorient

The two frigates – the second (Admiral Louzeau) and third (Admiral Castex) in a series of five – will both be delivered in 2025, whereas the original plan was to deliver them every 18 months.

The first FDI (Admiral Ronarc’h), for which construction work began in 2020, is scheduled for delivery in 2024.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group said: «We are honoured by the confidence of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. It is a strong message for local jobs and the preservation of our very unique skills, but also to international navies that could be interested in this frigate. We will mobilise all our industrial and technological excellence to meet the new deadlines».

With a tonnage of more than 4,200 tonnes and a length of 121 metres/397 feet, the FDI frigates are based on a digital and scalable architecture built around our SETIS 3.0 combat management system.

They can conduct all the missions of modern navies (anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine warfare or special forces projection) and address new threats such as cyber attacks and asymmetric threats.

The FDI also benefits from the best technologies available on the naval defence market, including the latest Thales multi-function radar with active antenna and fixed panels as well as a fully digital electronic warfare system.

Naval Group employs 2,200 people at its Lorient site, where it builds surface ships for its customers, including the FREMM multimission frigates and Gowind corvettes.

Submarine Hunters

The U.S. Navy today awarded Boeing a $1.6 billion production contract for the next 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Nine aircraft will join the U.S. Navy fleet and two will go to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a cooperative partner in the P-8A joint program since 2009. The contract brings the total number of U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft under contract to 128 and the RAAF total to 14.

P-8A Poseidon
A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft flies near Mount Rainier in Washington state (Boeing photo)

«The P-8A Poseidon continues to be an invaluable asset and these additional aircraft will help deliver expanded maritime patrol and reconnaissance capabilities to the fleet», said Captain Eric Gardner, program manager for the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office.

The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft used by the U.S Navy. It’s vital for intelligence gathering, surveillance reconnaissance and search and rescue. Deployed around the world, with 103 aircraft in service and more than 300,000 flight-hours, the P-8’s performance and reliability delivers confidence to customers operating in an uncertain world.

«We continue to hear feedback from deployed Navy squadrons who tell us the P-8A Poseidon is exceeding expectations», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon program. «Our focus is on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft. That only happens when teams truly collaborate, listen and focus on customer priorities».

The P-8 Poseidon is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture and commercial-like support for affordability. It’s the principal aircraft with the ability to detect and track submarines. The aircraft is modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons. It has two weapons stations on each wing and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system.

A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 Poseidon combines the most advanced weapon system in the world with the cost advantages of the most popular airliner on the planet. The P-8 Poseidon shares 86% commonality with the commercial 737NG, providing enormous supply chain economies of scale in production and support.

The P-8 Poseidon has two variants: The P-8I, flown by the Indian Navy, and the P-8A Poseidon, flown by the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. The RAAF has acquired the Boeing aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales process and will receive a variant designed and produced for the U.S. Navy called the P-8A Poseidon.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Sachsen-Anhalt

On March 30, 2021, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TK MS) handed over the frigate Sachsen-Anhalt (F224) to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Wilhelmshaven. It is the third of a total of four ships of the Type F125 which TK MS is building in the ARGE F125 consortium together with the Fr. Lürssen Shipyard.

Sachsen-Anhalt (F224)
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems hands over frigate Sachsen-Anhalt (F224)

The ship was handed over to the BAAINBw, represented by the Head of the Acceptance Commission, Matthias Rohde and the responsible project manager at the BAAINBw, Marc Steffens, during a ceremony in Wilhelmshaven, which was kept small in view of the pandemic. On behalf of TK MS, Programme Manager Patrick Buggenthin signed the handover papers.

Chief Operating Officer Doctor Alexander Orellano, who was present, commented: «We have already delivered two ships that have since proven their technical capabilities. We are convinced that the third vessel, the Sachsen-Anhalt (F224), will also be successful. We wish her “fair winds and following seas”. Full operational readiness of all ships for the German Navy remains our most important goal. On behalf of all employees, I would like to express my gratitude for the trust placed in us. We look forward to continued good teamwork».

The last ship of the F125 series, the Rheinland-Pfalz (F225), is to be handed over this year.

The completely redesigned vessels of the Type F125 have highly complex systems and around 28,000 sensors that enable a very high degree of automation, making it possible to reduce the required number of crew members by about half compared to previous frigate classes. The ships can remain in the operational area for up to two years. Besides the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, they are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as for intervention and stabilization operations in an international context. In addition to the ability to engage targets both on land and on water, they are equipped with air defence systems and helicopters.

The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design and detailed design phases followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were developed specifically for this new type of ship.

ARGE F125 comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company together with the Bremen-based Lürssen shipyard. The pre-fitted bow sections were produced at the shipyards of the Lürssen Group in Bremen and in Wolgast on the Baltic Sea. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two vessel halves, further fitting-out, commissioning and testing all took place at the Lürssen location Blohm+Voss in Hamburg.

 

Principal data of the F125

Length 489 feet/149 m
Beam 59 feet/18 m
Maximum speed 26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
Displacement approximately 7,200 t
Complement maximum 190 (of which 126 are regular crew)

 

Autonomous Vessel

The Royal Navy’s experimentation innovator NavyX has officially welcomed a new autonomous vessel into its service.

Madfox
This exciting work will help inform how systems are deployed, and employed, from future vessels of the Type 26 and Type 31 classes

Named Madfox (Maritime Demonstrator For Operational eXperimentation), it is derived from technology firm L3Harris’ Mast-13 vessel, which for the past 18 months has been operated by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) on a series of trials with the Royal Navy.

Since being delivered, NavyX has been working hard to get Madfox to sea and ready to begin a demanding year of testing.

Over the next few months, NavyX will carry on its work with Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV), while also examining how these vessels can deliver across the range of military operations including surveillance and force protection.

Commander Antony Crabb, NavyX team leader, said: «With Madfox now directly in the hands of NavyX, the team will be able to explore a multitude of issues such as safety, regulatory compliance, new missions, new payloads and the role that a USV can play in complex operations and within the future fleet. Later this year NavyX will also accept an autonomous Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) into the inventory. This exciting work will help inform how systems are deployed, and employed, from future vessels of the Type 26 and Type 31 classes».

The investment in Madfox comes as the Royal Navy and Royal Marines look to expand their use of crewless and autonomous equipment.

Mast-13, proved the value of USVs during experimentation in Norway last year when it was successfully integrated with HMS Albion (L14) for Autonomous Advance Force 3.0. There it was controlled remotely, including for the transit in and out of the ship’s dock.

Autonomous vessel ready for operations

Multi Mission Vessel

On 25 March 2021, Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) launched the first of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV) procured by ARMSCOR for the South African Navy (SAN).

Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPV)
DSCT launches SA Navy’s first Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel

The vessels will augment South Africa’s maritime security by enhancing the country’s capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-effectively to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing.

DSCT Project Manager, Ian Stewart says the launch is an important milestone for the shipyard. «This is the culmination of three years of hard work by a dedicated team of people. Ultimately, more than one million man-hours of work will be invested in the construction of the three MMIPVs».

The more than 600-ton vessel was transported from the DSCT shipyard on the evening of 23 March 2021 to the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) synchrolift at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront Basin. The move was conducted by Mammoet South Africa, using 48 axle lines of Self Propelled Mobile Transporters (SPMTs) to provide precision movement. Mammoet Project Manager, Uzayr Karimulla, says while moving the vessel at night meant less impact on traffic, the reduction in light came with its own challenges. «Through careful planning, close collaboration, and the teamwork between DSCT and Mammoet South Africa, our team made this move a success. We are very happy to have been part of the project, contributing to the advancement of safer waters in Southern Africa».

Once the vessel was raised onto the synchrolift, the team waited for high tide to come in before moving it out of the V&A Basin via TNPA tugs towards the Elliot Bason. The testing of the ship systems will now commence before the vessel will officially be delivered to ARMSCOR/SAN, before the end of the year.

The MMIPVs are built according to the patented Damen Axe Bow design, which ensures low resistance, high sustained speed in waves and superior sea keeping characteristics in the toughest conditions.

As vertical accelerations are reduced significantly and bow slamming almost eliminated, the safety of the vessel and crew increases considerably, reducing operational risks. The multi mission deck is used for supporting diving, search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.

DSCT HR & Transformation Manager, Eva Moloi, says DSCT is particularly proud of the many years it has invested in local South African skills transfer, training, and entrepreneurship development and collaboration, which have resulted in a strong South African pool of scarce trade skills and supplier partnerships.

«Our local skills transfer and Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) initiatives mean that we are not only contributing to the South African economy but ensuring that our local South African maritime market is less reliant on imports from international suppliers. DSCT fully supports the transfer of technology, inclusion of local companies in the execution projects, and stimulation of export transactions under the Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) programme, which particularly focuses on benefiting SMMEs, Military Veteran (MV) Owned Entities and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Compliant Entities. The partnerships formed during this project have led to the successful launch of the MMIPV. One can truly state that the MMIPVs have been built in South Africa, by South Africans for South Africa», she adds.

The engineering of the vessel commenced in 2018 and the keel was laid in February 2019. «Despite the COVID lockdown period, our local skills and partnerships, resilient production schedule and advanced planning capabilities of our Cape Town team, allowed the different subcontractors and teams to work on the vessel in a safe manner», notes Moloi.

Block V Tomahawk

The Navy received its first Block V configured Tomahawk missile from Raytheon March 25, paving the way to provide the fleet with an upgraded warfighting capability.

Block V Tomahawk Missile
A Block V Tomahawk off the recertification production line at Raytheon’s Camden, Arkansas facility in March 2021 (Photo courtesy of Raytheon)

These first Block V missiles are from the existing Tomahawk Block IV inventory, and have been recertified and modernized for fleet use.

«This is the next big advancement in Tomahawk capability, and a major achievement for the program», said Captain Red, program manager for the Tomahawk Weapons System program (PMA-280). «We’re focused now on delivering advanced capability to the fleet by recertifying and modernizing our Block IV inventory, and by contracting production Block V missiles».

Red spoke at a virtual ceremony March 25 to commemorate the event along with industry leaders. He noted over the last four decades the program has continued to upgrade Tomahawk’s capability and this marked the collaboration between Raytheon, supply chains, field activities and the program office.

Raytheon is conducting the mid-life recertification process at its Camden, Arkansas facility. The process replaces life-limited components in Block IV missiles to enable their remaining 15 years of service life, and provides the opportunity for the missiles to receive Block V modernizations. All Block IV missiles will undergo recertification and modernization.

Block V Tomahawk missiles feature a NAV/COMMs upgrade that maintains the capability for In-Flight Target Updates and Improved Navigation. Future Block V capabilities will add to the NAV/COMMs upgrade and include the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) variant, designated as Block Va; and the Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System (JMEWS), designated as Block Vb.

MUAS for Australia

Northrop Grumman Australia and Leonardo Australia’s team has been shortlisted to proceed to the next phase of the SEA129 Phase 5 program for the acquisition of a Maritime Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS) designed to deliver a deployable Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR&T) capability to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Northrop Grumman and Leonardo proposal will enhance capability effects and tactical decision-making during RAN maritime operations.

Leonardo AWHERO
Leonardo AWHERO – First Ocean 2020 sea trial demonstration (Source: Leonardo S.p.A.)

«Northrop Grumman brings decades of unmatched expertise delivering and sustaining unmanned and manned aerial systems for customers in Australia and across the globe», said Christine Zeitz, general manager, Asia Pacific, Northrop Grumman. «We are confident our MUAS offering delivers world-class capability that addresses the RAN’s ISR&T mission requirements and optimises Australian industry capability».

The Northrop Grumman and Leonardo team’s proposal includes the state-of-the-art AWHero MUAS platform and subsystems, a capability specifically designed to operate in complex maritime environments. The AWHero is based on a mature and modular architecture that allows a wide and easily reconfigurable range of payloads including Leonardo’s Maritime Radar for unmatched ISR&T area coverage.

The team’s offering also includes an exportable variant of Northrop Grumman’s ground-breaking Distributed Autonomy/Responsive Control (DA/RC) command and control system. Integrated with the ship, control station and aircraft, DA/RC will deliver enhanced and automated tactical decision making to the RAN to help outmatch threats in a complex, unpredictable threat environment. The collaborative autonomy software will also be incorporated in Northrop Grumman Australia’s distributed systems integration laboratory which will provide the RAN and Australian industry a collaborative development environment to effectively exploit evolving technologies.

«We are excited to join forces with Northrop Grumman and Australian industry partners, further strengthening our collaborative approach in Australia», said Brian McEachen, VP Military Sales Asia-Pacific, Leonardo Helicopters. «The integrated capability of the AWHero leverages Leonardo’s expertise in rotorcraft, system integration, UAS and operations in the maritime domain, which combined with Northrop Grumman’s extensive portfolio of world-leading capabilities and technologies will provide the Royal Australian Navy with a level of advanced MUAS-based ISR&T they seek both now and into the future».

An integral part of the Northrop Grumman and Leonardo proposal is a commitment to maximising Australian industry participation. A robust and reliable domestic support network of proven industry members will be engaged in the production, delivery, sustainment and follow-on development of sovereign MUAS capability to the Australian Defence Force to meet the RAN’s current and future needs.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 97,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Fighting Dragon

According to Navy Recognition, on March 24, 2021, Japan Ministry of Defense Nakayama attended the commission ceremony for the new submarine JS Tōryū (SS-512), the 12th submarine of Sōryū-class and instructed to the crew.

JS Tōryū (SS-512)
Defense state Minister Nakayama attended the commission ceremony for the new submarine JS Tōryū (SS-512)

JS Tōryū (SS-512) is the 12th and final Sōryū-class submarine produced for the JMSDF (the 6th built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the other 6 having been built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries). «Tōryū» means «Fighting Dragon». The name of Tōryū is derived from the famous scenic dragon fighting in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, where the torrent of the Kako River flows between strangely shaped rocks.

The ship, built for 69 billion yen, has a displacement of 2,950 tons and a total length of 275.6 feet/84 meters and a width of 29.8 feet/9.1 meters. It is capable of navigating at about 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h when submerged and 12 knots/14 mph/22 km/h when surfaced. The power source uses a lithium-ion battery, which has excellent submarine capabilities and automates the system. The Submarine is equipped with a Kawasaki 12V 25/25SB type diesel engine and another Kawasaki Kokkamusu V4-275R Stirling engine four.

The Sōryū-class is a diesel-electric submarine built by the Japanese companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). It is an improved version of the Oyashio Class submarine. The keel for the first Sōryū-class submarine was laid down in March 2005 and launched in December 2007 and commissioned in March 2009.

The Sōryū-class is equipped with six HU-606 533-mm torpedo tubes that can fire Type 89 heavyweight homing torpedoes and UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles. It has an optronic mast and ZPS-6F surface/low-level air search radar for detection of enemy Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and maritime patrol craft, as well as the Hughes/Oki ZQQ-7 sonar suite incorporating one bow-mounted sonar array and four flank sonar arrays.

The Sōryū-class submarine has a range of 6,100 nautical miles/7,020 miles/11,297 km and can reportedly dive to a depth of 2,132 feet/650 m, or two-fifths of a mile.

Growler Modification

The F/A-18 & EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) commenced the five-year Growler Capability Modification (GCM) program at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Washington. This kicks off the first major effort to upgrade the capabilities of the EA-18G Growler in the history of the platform.

EA-18G Growler
The first EA-18G Growler is inducted into Growler Capability Modification at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington on March 3 (Courtesy photo from The Boeing Company)

«As the first major upgrade to the platform since its inception, the GCM will allow the Growler community to maintain the advantage in the electromagnetic spectrum and lay the basis for future upgrades to keep the aircraft relevant into 2040», said Commander Chris Gierhart, PMA-265 Growler Systems Integration lead.

The EA-18G Growler, a variant of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, will receive multiple modifications, which support the upcoming fleet release of the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pod (AN/ALQ-249(V) 1). These modifications focus on updating the jets’ Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) and mission systems, enabling future capability growth for the U.S. Navy’s 160 EA-18Gs that serve a critical role in jamming radar and communications signals of threat forces, hindering their ability to detect and track U.S. and allied military forces. GCM will integrate advanced datalinks and the NGJ-MB pod, providing a considerable increase in electronic attack capability over the Growler’s current AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming Systems pod, which has been in use since the 1970s.

«These modifications provide the warfighter a significant leap in capability across the electromagnetic spectrum, improving combat support to front-line strike fighters of U.S. joint and allied forces», said Gierhart.

GCM is comprised of multiple Engineering Change Proposals across several of the EA-18G aircraft systems. The very first EA-18G production aircraft delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2007 was the first aircraft inducted for GCM.

No major aircraft modification line previously existed at NAS Whidbey Island, the EA-18G Growler fleet homeport. The PMA-265 team took on the challenge of standing up the operational GCM line, on-site. In addition to coordinating with NAS Whidbey Island, PMA-265 also worked closely with AEA Systems Program Office (PMA-234), Commander Electronic Attack Wing Pacific, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, Indiana, Fleet Readiness Center Northwest, and industry partner The Boeing Company, to ensure overall cost, schedule and performance metrics are met.

«The team’s diligence and extensive coordination resulted in a cross-organizational solution that brought in the required support equipment, facility upgrades and workforce, all during the restrictions and protocols associated with the COVID-19 pandemic», said Captain Stephen May, PMA-265 EA-18G Growler deputy program manager.

«We’re excited to get this effort underway to ensure the latest technologies are incorporated into the EA-18G Growler, giving our warfighter the tools needed to be successful in every mission».