Category Archives: Navy

AUKUS

Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have agreed to the creation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership – AUKUS.

AUKUS
Australia to pursue nuclear-powered submarines through new trilateral enhanced security partnership

The security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region have grown significantly. Military modernisation is occurring at an unprecedented rate and capabilities are rapidly advancing and their reach expanding. The technological edge enjoyed by Australia and our partners is narrowing.

AUKUS will build on the three nations’ longstanding and ongoing bilateral ties, and will enable the partners to significantly deepen cooperation on a range of emerging security and defence capabilities, which will enhance joint capability and interoperability. Initial efforts under AUKUS will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.

This is an historic opportunity for the three nations, with like-minded allies and partners, to protect shared values and promote security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

AUKUS will complement Australia’s network of strategic partnerships, including with our ASEAN friends, our Pacific family, our Five Eyes partners, the Quad and other like-minded partners.

 

First initiative under AUKUS

The first initiative under AUKUS is for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine technology, leveraging decades of experience from the US and UK.

Under AUKUS, the three nations will focus immediately on identifying the optimal pathway to deliver at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.

Over the next 18 months, Australia, the UK and US will intensely examine the full suite of requirements that underpin nuclear stewardship and demonstrate a clear pathway to becoming a responsible and reliable steward of this sensitive technology. Australia will establish a Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce in the Department of Defence to lead this work.

Nuclear-powered submarines do not have the same limitations that face conventional submarines on weapons storage, speed and endurance. They can stay completely submerged for many months, limiting the opportunities for detection by adversaries.

As a three-ocean nation, it is necessary for Australia to have access to the most capable submarine technology available. As a nation, we are ready to take the step to pursue the most advanced submarine technology available to defend Australia and its national interests.

Australia has no plans to acquire nuclear weapons and this proposal will remain consistent with Australia’s longstanding commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. All three nations are deeply committed to upholding leadership on global non-proliferation.

The Government’s intention is to build the nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia, maximising the use of Australian workers.

Building the submarines in Australia is the best way to develop a strong and effective sustainment industry, which will enable us to meet every requirement to safely operate and maintain nuclear-powered submarines.

 

Attack class submarine program

The pursuit of nuclear-powered submarine technology means that Australia will no longer proceed with the Attack class conventional submarine program with Naval Group.

The Government would like to thank the Attack class submarine workforce, Naval Group, the Government of France and Lockheed Martin Australia for their efforts to date. However, accelerating changes to regional security make conventional submarines unsuited to our operational needs in the decades ahead.

The Government will actively work with industry to ensure the people and skills developed under the existing program are not lost to the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise as we establish a new program to support the delivery of nuclear-powered submarines to the Navy.

The existing submarine workforce are prime candidates for the unprecedented work that needs to be performed across the Enterprise over the coming decades, where we will rely on their expertise more than ever.

The Government will partner with our Australian-owned sovereign shipbuilder, ASC, to manage and implement a new Sovereign Shipbuilding Talent Pool.

The Government is committed to finding a role within the Sovereign Shipbuilding Talent Pool for each and every skilled shipbuilding worker impacted by this announcement.

The Sovereign Shipbuilding Talent Pool will re-deploy the existing shipbuilding workforce throughout current and new shipbuilding programs, while building the nuclear-powered submarine skills that will be crucial for the success of the nuclear-powered submarine program.

This decision was not taken lightly. Our partnership with the Government of France and Naval Group on the Attack class conventional submarine program would have resulted in the most capable and lethal conventional submarine ever built.

As likeminded liberal democracies, Australia and France share a common commitment to the rules-based global order that has delivered stability and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific.

We look forward to continuing to work closely and positively with our French counterparts. France is a key friend and partner to Australia and the Indo-Pacific.

 

Other capabilities

The Government will also acquire additional long-range strike capabilities for the Australian Defence Force.

Throughout the decade, Australia will rapidly acquire long-range strike capabilities to enhance the ADF’s ability to deliver strike effects across our air, land and maritime domains.

These include:

  • Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, to be fielded on our Hobart class destroyers, enabling our maritime assets to strike land targets at greater distances, with better precision.
  • Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (Extended Range) will enable our F/A-18 A/B Hornets and in future, our F-35A Lightning II, to hit targets at a range of 559 miles/900 km.
  • Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (Extended Range) (LRASM) for the F/A-18F Super Hornet.
  • Continuing collaboration with the United States to develop hypersonic missiles for our air capabilities.
  • Precision strike guided missiles for our land forces, which are capable of destroying, neutralising and supressing diverse targets from over 248.5 miles/400 km.
  • Accelerating $1 billion for a sovereign guided weapons manufacturing enterprise – which will enable us to create our own weapons on Australian soil.

These capabilities, coupled with the planned Life-of-Type Extension of Australia’s Collins class submarine fleet, will enhance Australia’s ability to deter and respond to potential security challenges.

The management of this transition, and other capability acquisition options that will meet Australia’s strategic requirements, will be at the forefront of consultations through AUKUS over the next 18 months.

Mission with F-35C

The U.S. Navy and Boeing have used the MQ-25TM T1 test asset to refuel a U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II fighter jet for the first time, once again demonstrating the aircraft’s ability to achieve its primary aerial refueling mission.

MQ-25 Stingray
Boeing’s MQ-25 T1 test asset transfers fuel to a U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II fighter jet Sept. 13 during a flight-test mission. The U.S. Navy and Boeing have conducted three refueling flights in the past three months, including an F/A-18 Super Hornet and E-2D Hawkeye (Kevin Flynn photo)

This was the third refueling mission for the Boeing-owned test asset in just over three months, advancing the test program for the U.S. Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft. T1 refueled an F/A-18 Super Hornet in June and an E-2D Hawkeye in August.

«Every test flight with another Type/Model/Series aircraft gets us one step closer to rapidly delivering a fully mission-capable MQ-25 Stingray to the fleet», said Captain Chad Reed, the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. «Stingray’s unmatched refueling capability is going to increase the U.S. Navy’s power projection and provide operational flexibility to the Carrier Strike Group commanders».

During a test flight September 13, an F-35C Lightning II test pilot from the U.S. Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) conducted a successful wake survey behind T1 to ensure performance and stability before making contact with T1’s aerial refueling drogue and receiving fuel.

«This flight was yet another physical demonstration of the maturity and stability of the MQ-25 Stingray aircraft design», said Dave Bujold, Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray program director. «Thanks to this latest mission in our accelerated test program, we are confident the MQ-25 Stingray aircraft we are building right now will meet the U.S. Navy’s primary requirement – delivering fuel safely to the carrier air wing».

The T1 flight test program began in September 2019 with the aircraft’s first flight. In the following two years, the test program completed more than 120 flight hours – gathering data on everything from aircraft performance to propulsion dynamics to structural loads and flutter testing for strength and stability.

MQ-25 Stingray is benefitting from the two years of early flight test data, which has been integrated back into its digital models to strengthen the digital thread connecting aircraft design to production to test to operations and sustainment. Boeing is currently manufacturing the first two MQ-25 Stingray test aircraft.

T1 will be used to conduct a deck handling demonstration aboard a U.S. Navy carrier in the coming months to help advance the carrier integration progress.

Future vision

The future of the Royal Navy and how it could further embrace autonomous technology, including drones, has been unveiled.

Persistent Operational Deployment Systems (PODS)
Royal Navy outlines future vision

Led by a design challenge for young engineers from UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology (UKNEST), the Royal Navy will develop a Future Autonomous Fleet programme that could shape how it operates over the next 50 years.

Stemming from the design challenge, the future vision envisages drones based in the stratosphere to be launched at a moment’s notice; uncrewed fast attack crafts housing smaller autonomous boats; aircraft carriers propelled by both sea-based biofuels and wind power; and an underwater flagship at the centre of the fleet. Other conceptual ideas include the increased use of artificial intelligence to assist with low-level planning and underwater transport units carrying anything from munitions to food.

Although in the conceptual phase, the Royal Navy is on track to implement one of these futuristic visions into reality over the coming decade – The Persistent Operational Deployment Systems (PODS).

PODS are interchangeable modules that can be fitted to the surface fleet. Similar in design to a shipping container, the PODS create the idea of a ‘plug and play’ warship and will enable Royal Navy ships of all sizes to be more adaptable and versatile when deployed.

Delivered using innovative technology such as heavy-lift drones or autonomous boats, a ship will be able to receive the equipment it needs to be re-tasked quicker without the need to go into a port to collect it.

Large in size, the PODS will house assets vital to supporting Royal Navy operations. These may include an autonomous boat for surveillance and reconnaissance, quadcopter drones to deliver supplies, humanitarian aid and disaster relief stores or medical equipment. Versatile in their approach, they have the capacity to become an additional medical room for service personnel at sea or a control centre for Royal Marines’ operations.

Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Nick Hine said: «In a future scenario if we find ourselves unable to compete traditionally in terms of mass, we must think differently if we are to regain operational advantage. The young engineers who worked on this project are thinking radically and with real imagination and reflects how the Royal Navy is thinking too».

Outlined in the recent Defence Command Paper, the Royal Navy is focussed on investing in a more innovative and automated fleet. Enhanced by the £24 billion increase in spending across four years as announced by the Prime Minister last November, the Royal Navy will improve the sustainability, lethality and availability of its vessels.

UKNEST young engineer, Fiona McIntosh said: «The collaborative nature of the project, coupled with us being unconstrained in the ideas and technologies we discussed, really helped us base our concept on technologies we thought would be key to innovation over the coming decades. The sessions were really interesting and it was great to see all of the concept designs in a presentation to senior Royal Navy Officers at the end. It was encouraging to see that the designs had some similar features and the groups had envisioned similar technologies being utilised by the future fleet. Hopefully we’ll see some of our ideas incorporated into future platforms».

Supported by the future conceptual ideas, the Royal Navy continues to be at the forefront of maritime technology as it adapts to meet future threats and maintain competitive advantage.

Keel Laying of Utah

On September 01, 2021, Electric Boat (EB) held a keel laying ceremony for the 28th ship of the Virginia class, the submarine USS Utah (SSN-801), at Quonset Point. EB senior staff, including President Kevin Graney and Vice President for QP Operations Sean Davies, joined U.S. Navy leadership, EB employees, and members of the USS Utah (SSN-801) commissioning committee to mark this important construction milestone.

USS Utah (SSN-801)
Quonset Point employee Steven Tavares, an X-Ray Welder in Dept. 921, welds Ship Sponsor Kate Mabus’ initials into the Keel Plate that will be installed on the Utah

Utah will be the second U.S. Navy vessel named after the «Beehive State», the first being a Florida-class battleship (BB-31) commissioned in 1911. BB-31 served during the Mexican Revolution, World War I, and provided a covering force for Allied convoys near Britain in 1918.

The battleship met its fate during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 where it was moored as an anti-aircraft gunnery training ship. «The six torpedoes used on Utah could have potentially destroyed a third or fourth battleship, further crippling U.S. naval power in the Pacific and changing the course of the war», said Graney. «Today the hull of Utah remains at Pearl Harbor as a memorial to the 58 officers and crew who lost their lives that day. May the spirit of those brave souls guide the future crew of the second USS Utah, whose keel-laying today celebrates the ceremonial birth of the ship. In the days of wooden ships, the start of construction was marked by the laying of the first timber – the backbone of the vessel». Graney explained how this tradition has been modified to reflect current manufacturing methods and the cylindrical shape of modern submarines, also noting that the bottom centerline of these ships is referred to as the keel.

Ship Sponsor, Ms. Kate Mabus, delivered her remarks and expressed her dedication to the future crew of the USS Utah (SSN-801). «This Utah will be a fitting tribute to those who served on the original USS Utah. I recognize the responsibility I have as sponsor to be a part of this submarine’s life. I am immensely excited to meet the sailors that will serve on the Utah, and the Captain who will command her. As a plank owner and honorary member of the first crew, I will be connected with the Utah for the decades she serves in the fleet. As we lay the keel today, I also want to celebrate the amazing ship builders here at Electric Boat as well as those at Huntington Ingalls in Newport News, Virginia who are building the other parts».

Steven Tavares, an X-Ray welder in D921 was selected to weld the sponsor’s initials on the keel plate that will permanently be installed in the USS Utah (SSN-801). Tavares joined EB in 2013 as an entry level welder in D915 after working in the concrete/masonry industry for 11 years. He was selected for his high weld acceptance rate, as well as the quality and complexity of the welds he performs.

After verifying her initials on the plate that will be installed in the Utah for the entire service life of the boat, Ms. Mabus concluded the event with the declaration, «I declare this keel to be well and truly laid».

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB 10-20-18 04-18-20 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-793 Oregon EB 10-05-19
SSN-794 Montana NNS 09-12-20
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB 07-31-21
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS Under Construction
SSN-797 Iowa EB Under Construction
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS Under Construction
SSN-799 Idaho EB Under Construction
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS Under Construction
SSN-801 Utah EB Under Construction

 

Fleet mission

The CH-53K King Stallion successfully recovered a Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter from Mount Hogue in the White Mountains of California on Sunday, September 5. The two-day operation was the first official fleet mission for the Marine Corps’ new heavy lift capability, which is in the midst of Initial Operational Test and Evaluation with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California.

CH-53K King Stallion
A Marine Corps CH-53K King Stallion lifts a Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter from a draw in Mount Hogue, California, September 5, 2021. The Knighthawk conducted a hard landing during a search-and-rescue mission, which resulted in no casualties or injuries of its crew. The two-day operation was the first official fleet mission for the CH-53K King Stallion, as it is currently undergoing an operational assessment while the Marine Corps modernizes and prepares to respond globally to emerging crises or contingencies (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Therese Edwards)

«VMX-1 received a request for assistance from the Naval Safety Center about an MH-60S Knighthawk that suffered a hard landing near Mount Hogue, California, at an elevation of 12,000’ Mean Sea Level (MSL) in July», said Lieutenant Colonel Luke Frank, CH-53K King Stallion Detachment Officer in Charge for VMX-1.

The MH-60S Knighthawk was sitting on a high altitude ridge in very rugged terrain near the California-Nevada line on July 16 following a hard landing. The helicopter was supporting a search and rescue effort for a lost hiker. All four crewmembers survived without injury and were rescued the following day.

According to Frank, both the MH-60S Knighthawk unit and the Naval Safety Center had exhausted all other resources for recovery, including Army National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps fleet squadrons. «They all lacked the capability to lift the aircraft without an extensive disassembly», he said.

VMX-1’s CH-53K King Stallion detachment quickly examined the environmental conditions and conducted a quick feasibility assessment of support and determined that the CH-53K King Stallion could conduct the lift. The CH-53K King Stallion fulfills the heavy lift mission of the Marine Corps as it greatly expands the fleet’s ability to move equipment and personnel throughout its area of operations.

«After two weeks of exhaustive planning and assembling a team of more than 25 Marines and sailors from VMX-1 and 1st Landing Support Battalion from Camp Pendleton, California we deployed two CH-53Ks to Bishop, California, and got to work», he said.

The CH-53K King Stallion was designed to lift nearly 14 tons (27,000 lbs.) at a mission radius of 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km in high and hot environments; a capability that expands the service’s range in supporting joint and coalition forces against potential adversaries.

The MH-60S Knighthawk weighed approximately 15,200 lbs./6,894.6 kg and was positioned in a tight ravine at nearly 12,000’ MSL and needed to be transported over 23 nautical miles/26.5 miles/42.6 km to the Bishop, California airport.

«After six months of flight operations with the CH-53K King Stallion, the detachment had every confidence in the aircraft’s abilities to conduct the mission safely. Our main concern was the environmental factors ground support personnel would have to endure», said Frank.

«This is exactly what the K is made to do», he said. «Heavy lift is a unique and invaluable mission for the Marine Corps. Horsepower is our weapon system and the CH-53K King Stallion is armed to the teeth. The entire team of Marines at VMX-1, 1st Landing Support Battalion, and Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon Search and Rescue were extremely motivated to execute this mission and we are all very proud to have completed this one flawlessly. To be the first group of professionals to complete a real-world, heavy lift/high altitude mission in support of a unit who thought all options were off the table is extremely rewarding», said Frank. «This is sure to be the first of what will be many, many successful missions for this aircraft and for heavy lift squadrons».

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Builder’s Trials

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) recently conducted Builder’s Trials.

USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002)
Future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) Conducts Builder’s Trials

Builder’s Trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and the U.S. Navy to assess the ship’s systems.

«Trials provide an opportunity for the U.S. Navy and industry team to test the capability and readiness of the ship», Capt. Matthew Schroeder, DDG-1000 program manager, Program Executive (PEO) Ships. «DDG-1002 is a warship that is going to equip our fleet with next-generation capability and capacity for the high-end fight».

After completing Builder’s Trials and fully proving out the hull, mechanical, and electrical systems, the ship will complete combat systems installation and activation.

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is the third and final ship in the Zumwalt-class of guided missile destroyers and will provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities to the fleet.

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.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length 610 feet/186 m
Beam 80.7 feet/24.6 m
Draft 27.6 feet/8.4 m
Displacement 15,761 long tonnes/16,014 metric tonnes
Speed 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Installed Power 104,600 hp/78 MW
Crew Size 158 – Includes Aviation Detachment

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) 11-17-2011 10-28-2013 10-15-2016 San Diego, California
USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) 05-23-2013 06-21-2016 01-26-2019 San Diego, California
USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) 01-30-2017 12-09-2018

 

Milestone C

The U.S. Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) received Milestone C (MS-C) approval August 23, allowing the program to move into its first phase of production.

AARGM-ER
The U.S. Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) completes its first live fire event July 19 off the coast of Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California (U.S. Navy photo)

The U.S. Navy plans to award the first two low-rate initial production lots over the next several months.

«The combined government/industry team has worked tirelessly over the last few years to reach this milestone», said Captain Alex Dutko, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242) program manager. «We look forward to getting this new weapon with its increased capability and lethality out to the fleet as soon as possible».

The MS-C decision comes just over two years after the Navy awarded the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract to its prime contractor, Northrop Grumman. The team conducted the first live-fire event in July to verify system integration and rocket motor performance, as well as initiate modeling and simulation validation.

Captive and live fire flight testing is planned to continue through 2022 and Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is planned for 2023.

The U.S. Navy is integrating AARGM-ER on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, and it will be compatible for integration on the F-35 Lightning II. By leveraging the U.S. Navy’s AARGM program, the AARGM-ER with a new rocket motor and warhead will provide advanced capability to detect and engage enemy air defense systems.

Builder’s Trials

The future USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121), the U.S. Navy’s 71st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, completed Builder’s sea trials, August 26.

USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121)
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division successfully completes builder’s trials for guided missile destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121)

The trials were conducted by the shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division.

Builder’s trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder to assess the ship’s systems and readiness for Acceptance Trials prior to delivery.

«Completion of these trials gives us confidence that USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) will be able to conduct successful Acceptance Trials in mid-September», said Captain Seth Miller, DDG-51 program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «The U.S. Navy and industry team continues to work diligently to ensure the ship is ready to operate at its peak performance and can provide capability and capacity to the fleet».

USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121), a Flight IIA destroyer, will be equipped with the Aegis Combat System, which includes Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability and enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability against a variety of threats.

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division is currently in production on future destroyers USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), USS Ted Stevens (DDG-128) and USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129).

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, and boats and craft.

 

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 05-16-21
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

 

Combat System Ship

Sailors aboard amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) completed the ship’s first-ever Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT) earlier this month.

USS Tripoli (LHA-7)
USS Tripoli (LHA-7) Completes Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT)

CSSQT is a major milestone where teams demonstrate the ship’s weapons systems’ ability to effectively communicate and destroy incoming threats in an operational environment.

«This test is designed to go through all of the things that form the backbone and execution of combat systems», said Lieutenant Commander Paul Gillett, Tripoli’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat systems and Interoperability (C5I) officer. «This was just one of several at-sea periods where the team not only had to practice, but execute complex events. This was a huge win for the crew because they got to see all of that hard work come to fruition».

«I can’t say enough about how pleased we are with Tripoli’s performance during the Post Delivery test and trials phase, and their recent successful completion of the Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials is just another step in the right direction towards fleet introduction for this ship», said Captain Cedric McNeal, Program Manager, Amphibious Warfare Programs, Program Executive Office, Ships. «This is just one of many milestones that USS Tripoli (LHA-7) has met on the path to becoming a command and control center of capability for Amphibious Ready Groups in the future fight».

During the qualification phases, the team conducted multiple trials to validate the ship’s self-defense systems’ performance, including ship’s radars tests, and operating the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), NATO Sea Sparrow, and Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) weapons systems. «I have been doing this for 26 years», said Master Chief Fire Controlman James Bush, Tripoli’s combat systems maintenance manager. «They’ve been going above and beyond anything that I can expect. I couldn’t be any happier with the fire controlmen that I have on board Tripoli».

With CSSQT trials now complete, USS Tripoli (LHA-7) will focus on additional certifications and qualifications that will ensure it is a combat ready and lethal asset to the U.S. Navy.

«The crew continues to demonstrate time and time again that Assault Carrier 7 is versatile, capable and lethal», said USS Tripoli (LHA-7) Commanding Officer Captain Joel Lang. «The precision at which we performed during CSSQT speaks volumes to the capabilities of this crew and superb warship».

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is the U.S. Navy’s newest America-class amphibious assault ship homeported in San Diego. The ship is assigned to Amphibious Squadron 7.

 

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 ft/257.3 m
Beam 106 ft/32.3 m
Displacement Approximately 43,745 long tons full load/44,449 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 07-15-2020 San Diego, California
USS Bougainville (LHA-8) 03-14-2019
LHA-9

 

Ballistic Missile Defence

Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT, together with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), is supplying new radars to the German Navy to modernise the sensor technology of the F124 air defence frigates. The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and Operation (BAAINBw) has placed an order worth approximately 200 million euros for the delivery and installation of four sensor systems consisting of radar and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system respectively.

Sachsen (F219)
Together with IAI, HENSOLDT is delivering four long-range radars for the German F124 frigates (Photo: HENSOLDT)

With this order the F124 frigate’s radars will be refurbished to overcome obsolescence of electronics components. The order also marks the start of the development of national capabilities in the field of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD). It includes a shore facility that is a fully functional copy of the ship’s radars. It not only enables training for users and service technicians, but also allows further developments to be tested on land prior to onboard installation.

To this end, HENSOLDT has entered into a strategic cooperation in the field of BMD-capable wide-range radars in S-band with IAI subsidiary ELTA Systems Ltd. This supplies the German customer with a combination of a national partner for certification and long-term support, as well as market-available systems that have been tried and tested in the field.

Previously, the contract for the modernisation of land-based air surveillance in the HADR NF programme, also based on a cooperation with IAI’s ELTA, was awarded to HENSOLDT. The radars used in both projects are largely identical in construction and thus also offer the customer advantages in terms of logistical supply and thus the long-term operation of the systems. In this way, further developments can also be used cross-sectionally and thus be introduced more cost-effectively.