Category Archives: Navy

John Lewis

On January 12, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) launched the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), the first of six vessels in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler program designed to support the U.S. Navy.

USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205)
General Dynamics NASSCO Launches First Ship in the T-AO Fleet Oiler Program for the U.S. Navy

Construction of the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) began in the fall of 2018 and utilized more than 18,575 tons of steel to complete. The 745.7-foot-long/227.3-meter-long vessel is designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the oilers will feature the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels/24,961,005 liters of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h.

«NASSCO is immensely honored to be a part of this historic day launching the future John Lewis», said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. «This ship reaffirms our Nation’s stability and represents the same strength, values and honor that her namesake, the Honorable John Lewis, stood for. The shipbuilders of NASSCO are proud to ensure his legacy will live on in this majestic vessel».

Adding to the momentum of the fleet’s success, NASSCO started construction on the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), the third vessel in the program, late last year.

In 2016, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company was awarded the contract by the U.S. Navy for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class (T-AO 205), previously known as the TAO(X). This contract is for the construction of six ships.

The christening of the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), will be celebrated later in 2021 with the ship’s sponsor following tradition of breaking a champagne bottle on the ship’s hull.

 

General Characteristics

Builder NASSCO
Propulsion Twin shaft, geared medium speed diesels with Power Take-Off (PTO) generators/Power Take In (PTI)
Length 227.3 meters/745.7 feet
Beam 32.2 meters/105.6 feet
Displacement 22,173 metric tons/24,442 short tons (lightship)
Speed 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 99 civilian mariners (CIVMARS)
Load Dry Stores Capacity: 1,576 m3/55,656 feet3
Freeze/Chill Capacity: 1,362 m3/48,099 feet3
Aircraft None (landing platform for vertical replenishment can accommodate H-1 Iroquois, H-53 Sea Stallion, H-60 Black Hawk, MV-22 Osprey, and Military Support Centers’ (MSC’s) commercial logistics helicopters)

 

Ships:

T-AO-205 John Lewis – (under construction)

T-AO-206 Harvey Milk – (named)

T-AO 207 Earl Warren – (named)

T-AO 208 Robert F. Kennedy – (named)

T-AO 209 Lucy Stone – (named)

T-AO 210 Sojouner Truth – (named)

T-AO 211

T-AO 212

T-AO 213

T-AO 214

T-AO 215

T-AO 216

T-AO 217

T-AO 218

T-AO 219

T-AO 220

T-AO 221

T-AO 222

T-AO 223

T-AO 224

3D-Printed Propeller

Naval Group manufactured this new-generation propeller thanks to a metal 3D printing process. Mounted on a tripartite minehunter, the propeller will now accompany the ship in all of its operational missions.

3D-Printed Propeller
Naval Group equips a French navy ship with a 3D-printed propeller

This propeller is a technological exploit. With its 2.5-metre/8.2-foot span supported by five 200-kg/441-lbs. blades, the equipment left the workshops of the Naval Group site of Nantes-Indret in October 2020 for the site of Brest in order to be mounted on the propeller shaft. As part of its major technical stop, the assembly was transferred to the submarine base to be mounted on the intermediate shaft of the Andromède in November. Sea trials were then performed successfully at the end of December.

 

A world first for this on-board innovation

«Obtaining military naval quality requires rigorous development. Nearly three years of R&D – carried out by the Technical and Innovation Department in cooperation with the Ecole Centrale de Nantes within the framework of the LabCom Joint Laboratory of Maritime Technology – went into the development of the deposition process of metal wire fusion», states Emmanuel Chol, Director of the Nantes-Indret site. «Today, we witness a world first. It is the largest metal 3D-printed thruster ever to have been manufactured and the first propeller resulting from this technology, embarked on board a military ship and manufactured for use beyond just sea trials».

The harsh conditions in which ships are used warrant the need to meet strict requirements (corrosion, fatigue, shock resistance, etc.). Naval Group worked together Bureau Véritas throughout the process to present its technical justification file in order to allow the SSF (Fleet Support Services) and the DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency) to authorise the trial of the blades produced on a military ship in normal operating conditions. The blades received certification from Bureau Véritas.

 

€7 million investment in metal 3D printing in 2021

For Eric Balufin, Director of the Naval Group site of Brest, «the assembly of this 3D-printed propeller shows great promise for the future. This new technology will enable us to considerably reduce technical constraints, and therefore allow for new manufacturing solutions for complex geometrical shapes which cannot be produced through conventional processes. It will also enable us to greatly reduce production time and consequently in-service support».

This propeller is a first step. A new development phase will begin, aimed at revamping the detailed design of other parts so that they benefit from 3D printing (acoustic discretion, weight reduction, increased productivity of the parts). For example, 3D-printed production of thrusters will provide ships with greater efficacy at sea: increased thrust efficiency, stealth and lightening.

For Ship Testing

This year, the U.S. Navy will field the first acquisition program to deploy the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, or HELIOS, a laser weapon system with high-energy fiber lasers for permanent fielding by the U.S. Department of Defense. This will be the only deployed laser system integrated into an operational Flight IIA DDG. This follows the Lockheed Martin and Navy’s recent demonstration of full laser power in excess of the 60 kW requirement. The scalable laser design architecture spectrally combines multiple kilowatt fiber lasers to attain high beam quality at various power levels.

Flight IIA DDG
Artist’s rendering of Lockheed Martin’s HELIOS system (Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) and Navy Factory Qualification Test milestones in 2020, demonstrating the value of system engineering rigor and proven Aegis system integration and test processes on the way to delivering operationally effective and suitable laser weapon system that meets the Navy’s mission requirements.

Lockheed Martin Directed Energy solutions provide a proven, affordable, scalable, multi-mission capability and weapon architecture with advanced beam control and innovative fiber lasers that support size, weight and power constraints for air, sea and land platforms. Lockheed Martin is advancing and demonstrating a range of technologies to position laser weapon systems for success on the battlefield and at-sea on a variety of platforms.

The final of five OPV

The final of five new offshore patrol vessels has formally joined the Royal Navy in a short ceremony to raise the White Ensign for the first time on HMS Spey (P234).

HMS Spey (P234)
White Ensign raised as HMS Spey (P234) joins the Royal Navy

She was delivered to Portsmouth Naval Base in October from BAE Systems’ shipyards on the Clyde for the final stages of construction before Spey’s crew took custody of her yesterday afternoon.

Spey’s first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans, said: «It is such a privilege to lead Spey’s complement through the coming trials and training programme and bring her to operational status. In spite of the considerable disruption caused by the pandemic, the Royal Navy has received the fifth and final offshore patrol vessel and our job now is to prepare ourselves and Spey for whatever operations we are assigned».

No guests were invited for the ceremony to change the Blue Ensign – denoting a ship in government service – for White, and only essential personnel were on board with HMS Spey (P234), which is expected to depart Portsmouth next month for the first time.

HMS Spey (P234) will need to complete a series of safety and readiness checks, successfully complete about a month of Operational Sea Training later this year and then she can be formally commissioned into the Fleet like her sisters HMS Tamar (P233) and HMS Trent (P224) did during 2020.

They are both on operations in UK waters, HMS Trent (P224) having returned from her second deployment to the Mediterranean. The first two Batch 2 River Class, HMS Forth (P222) and HMS Medway (P223) are deployed to the South and North Atlantic respectively.

The second-generation River-class programme has delivered five warships inside six years, joining the original Rivers (HMS Mersey (P283), HMS Severn (P283) and HMS Tyne (P283)), with the two most recently constructed benefitting from urea filters which reduce their nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions by 90 per cent.

With Spey’s handover the Batch 2 programme comes to an end, £44 m under its original approved cost of £690 m and on time thanks to effective collaboration between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and industry.

At its peak, it has sustained about 1,400 jobs within BAE Systems, including more than 200 apprentices, and delivered a supply chain spend of almost £240m to more than 150 suppliers across the UK and Europe.

Jeremiah Denton

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division officially started fabrication of the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) destroyer USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129) on January 07, 2021. The start of fabrication signifies the first 100 tons of steel have been cut.

USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129)
Erika Lynd, Ingalls burner workleaderman, cuts steel into patterns using the Avenger IV plasma cutter, signifying 100 tons of steel cut and start of fabrication for the destroyer USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129). Observing the milestone are U.S. Navy Cmdr. Sean Doherty, DDG program manager’s representative, and Ben Barnett, Ingalls Shipbuilding’s DDG 129 ship program manager (Photo by Derek Fountain/HII)

«The start of fabrication for one of the U.S. Navy’s most critical assets is always a significant milestone for our shipbuilders», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «We look forward to leveraging our unparalleled shipbuilding expertise to construct the nation’s newest, most capable destroyer».

The destroyer’s name honors former U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism while a prisoner of war. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, Denton went on to serve in the Navy for 34 years as a test pilot, flight instructor and squadron leader. Following decades of military service, Denton was elected to the Senate in 1980 where he represented the state of Alabama for six years.

Denton was born in Mobile, Alabama on July 15, 1924. His wife, the former Kathryn Jane Maury, served as ship’s sponsor of the Ingalls-built Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) which was christened in 1985.

Ingalls has delivered 32 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction include USS Frank E. Peterson Jr. (DDG-121), USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) and USS Ted Stevens (DDG-128).

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.

 

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 III

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-125 Jack H. Lucas HIIIS
DDG-126 Louis H. Wilson, Jr. GDBIW
DDG-128 Ted Stevens HIIIS
DDG-129 Jeremiah Denton HIIIS
DDG-130 William Charette GDBIW
DDG-131 George M. Neal HIIIS
DDG-132 Quentin Walsh GDBIW
DDG-133 Sam Nunn HIIIS
DDG-134 John E. Kilmer GDBIW
DDG-135 Thad Cochran HIIIS
DDG-136 Richard G. Lugar GDBIW
DDG-137 John F. Lehman HIIIS
DDG-138
DDG-139

 

Gowind-class corvette

6th of January 2021, Alexandria Shipyard Company celebrates the handover of the corvette ENS Port Said (976) as the first Egyptian Gowind corvette that will join the service with the Egyptian naval fleet to carry out its combat missions. The corvette ENS Port Said (976) was launched on 9/2018, and it is the first warship to be built with 100% Egyptian capacity resulting from fruitful technology transfer cooperation with the French side represented in Naval Group company.

ENS Port Said (976)
Alexandria Shipyard Company celebrates the handover of the corvette ENS Port Said (976)

The handover ceremony and the raising of the Egyptian flag held in the presence of The Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan at Alexandria Shipyard before sailing to Alexandria naval base, ENS Port Said (976) is the first of three Egyptian corvettes that will be joining the service with the naval forces according to a specific schedule.

The Egyptian Gowind Vessels of 102 m/335 feet Total Length, 16 m/52.5 feet Width, 2,600 tons Displacement and a maximum speed of 25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h. The corvette is equipped with facilities for an embarked helicopter and drones. The Gowind corvette accommodates 65 crew members and is fitted with the Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system including Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM). A panoramic bridge offers 360° visibility and a single enclosed mast offers 360° Sensor visibility.

The Gowind New Multi-Mission Corvette Type Designed for Surveillance, Surface and Subsurface Combat, Protection and Escort Naval Missions, it can also perform Maritime Surveillance and Policing Missions against Trafficking and Piracy. It has many technical characteristics and modern armament systems that enable it to carry out all combat missions at sea, support and protect the land forces along the coast during offensive and defensive operations which makes it a tremendous technological addition to the capabilities of the naval forces in support of their ability to protect the Egyptian national security.

Boats for Ukraine

SAFE Boats International LLC, Bremerton, Washington, was awarded a $19,969,119 not-to-exceed, firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract action for long lead time material and associated pre-production and planning support for two MK VI patrol boats to be delivered to the government of Ukraine.

Mark VI Patrol Boat
Mark VI Patrol Boat

Work will be performed in:

  • Rock Hill, South Carolina (69%);
  • Kent, Washington (21%);
  • Woodinville, Washington (5%);
  • Bellingham, Washington (4%);
  • Seattle, Washington (1%);

and is expected to be completed by December 2022.

Fiscal 2020 Title 10 Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding in the amount of $5,463,500 was obligated at award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

This 85-foot/26-meter vessel is designed for optimal performance, fuel economy, and firepower

 

Description

The primary mission of Mark VI Patrol Boats is to provide capability to persistently patrol littoral areas beyond sheltered harbors and bays for the purpose of force protection of friendly and coalition forces and critical infrastructure. These missions include: Security Force Assistance (SFA); High Value Unit (HVU) shipping escort; Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) operations; and Theater Security Cooperation (TSC). The Mark VI program of record is for a total of 12 boats, all boats are to be delivered by the end of the 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2018.

 

Features

Multimission Reconfigurable for a variety of missions-VBSS, EOD or SOC Team; Medical Evacuation/Triage; Berthing / Detainee; Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Counter-Intelligence Missions.

Supports Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) and Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) operations.

Transportable via ship.

 

General Characteristics

Propulsion Installed Power: 5,200 HP/3,878 kW – 2 × MTU 16V2000 M94 and 2 × Hamilton HM651 Water Jets
Length (Length overall, LOA) 84.8 feet/25.85 m
Beam 20.5 feet/6.25 m
Draft less than 5 feet/1.52 m
Displacement (full load displacement) 170,000 lbs./77 ton
Speed Cruise: 25+ knots/29 mph/46 km/h
Sprint: 35+ knots/40 mph/65 km/h
Range 600+ NM/690 miles/1,111 km
Crew 2 Crews, 5 Personnel each, plus 8 Person Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Team (18 Total)
Armament MK 50 (.50 cal/12.7-mm) Gun Weapon System (Qty 4); MK 38 Mod 2 (25-mm) Gun Weapon System (Qty 2); MK 44 Machine Gun System; Multiple Crew Served Weapon & Long-Range Acoustic Hailing Device (Qty 6)

 

Landing Craft Utility

Kolkata, 31 December 20: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., (GRSE), a leading warship building and Mini-ratna Category 1 Company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, tops off year 2020 with «Delivery» of the «Last of Eight LCU Project» & «Start Production» of the First Ship of Eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWSWC) Project.

IN LCU L-58 (Yard 2099)
GRSE Delivers 106th Warship: LCU L-58 Bids Adieu to 2020, Achieving A Double Milestone

GRSE delivered IN LCU L-58 (Yard 2099), eighth and last in the series of Landing Craft Utility Ships to the Indian Navy. This ship is the 106th Warship built and delivered by GRSE so far, since its inception in 1960, the highest no. of warships delivered by any Indian Shipyard till date.

The Protocol of delivery and acceptance was signed between Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retired), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE and Lieutenant Commander Krishan Kumar Yadav in the presence of Commodore Sanjeev Nayyar, IN (Retired), Director (Shipbuilding), Commodore P R Hari, Director (Personnel) and Shri RK Dash, Director (Finance) and other Senior Officials of GRSE and Indian Navy.

The LCU is the third ship delivered by GRSE in 2020, no mean feat considering the operational constraints imposed by the global pandemic of COVID 19. The Shipyard has delivered 14 ships in the last 42 months which clocks an average of 3 months per ship. The complete design of the LCU Mark IV ships has been developed in-house by GRSE as per requirements specified by the Indian Navy which necessitate a unique design with no precedence worldwide. The 62.8 m/206 feet long and 11 m/36 feet wide LCU has a displacement of 830 T and can achieve a speed of 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h. The LCU is designed to accommodate 216 personnel and is equipped with Two Indigenous CRN 91 Guns to provide Artillery Fire support during landing operations. The ship is fitted with State-of-the-Art Equipment and Advanced Systems like the Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). In line with the Govt. of India’s Make In India Initiative towards Self Reliance & Indigenisation efforts, the LCU Mark IV Class of Ships are fitted with close to 90% indigenous equipment fit and multiple innovations.

LCU L-58 being delivered by GRSE today to the Indian Navy shall join the fleet of ships at Andaman & Nicobar Command. The Andaman & Nicobar Archipelago whilst acting as the extended arms of India, straddle one of the busiest trade routes in the world leading into the South China Sea and keeping the islands safe is one of the chief responsibilities of the Indian Navy. The Eight LCUs with high military lift capabilities built by GRSE, shall form the backbone of the Maritime Security Cover and HADR activity in the A&N Archipelago.

GRSE is also currently executing three major projects of the Indian Navy pertaining to the construction of 03 Stealth Frigates, 04 Survey Vessel (Large) ships and 08 Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts. The last two projects have been won on competitive bidding.

Today is also the ‘Start Production’ Day for the First of Eight ASWSWCs which is the first ‘Milestone’ in shipbuilding and signifies commencement of vessel construction after design engineering phase. The compact and complex stealth crafts are designed by GRSE. The platforms will be packed with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors like Hull Mounted Sonar, Towed Sonar, Torpedo Launchers and Rocket Launcher to interdict and destroy sub-surface targets in coastal waters. The crafts are capable of ‘Search & Rescue’ and ‘Low Intensity Maritime Operations’ and are propelled by water-jets capable of doing high speeds.

Since its takeover by the Government of India in 1960, GRSE has delivered high-end warships ranging from Fast Patrol Vessels, Survey Vessels, LSTs, LCUs, Fleet Tanker, Frigates and Missile & ASW Corvettes. The shipyard also has the distinction of achieving over 90% indigenous content, onboard ASW Corvettes, a significant advancement towards self-reliance in state-of-the-art warship design and construction. Having modernized its infrastructure facilities, GRSE is using Advanced Modular Integrated Shipbuilding Technology in line with the best in the world. This has helped enhance its capacity to the present level of constructing 20 warships concurrently. On 14 December 2020, GRSE created history with the launching of first of three Stealth Frigates, «Himgiri» under prestigious Project 17A.

The shipyard has a healthy order book of over Rs 26,000/-Crore for construction of 15 warships of the Navy to be completed progressively by the year 2027. GRSE has also diversified into ‘Engineering’ business and more than 5300 Portable Steel Bridges have been supplied to Indian Army, Border Road Organisation and State Governments. These bridges have also been exported to friendly neighborhood countries including, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka & Bhutan. GRSE also undertakes production of Deck Machinery Items which are fitted on GRSE built ships as well as those built by other shipyards in the country. Assembly, Testing and Overhauling of MTU Diesel Engines is undertaken at GRSE’s Diesel Engine Plant at Ranchi.

Patrol Corvette

EDA’s Steering Board recently approved the launch of a specific European Defence Agency (EDA) ad hoc project which will contribute to the implementation of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project aimed at developing a European Patrol Corvette. Italy, which leads a group of four PESCO participating countries involved in EPC (together with France, Spain and Greece), had requested the Agency’s support for moving this ambitious project forward.

European Patrol Corvette (EPC)
EDA to support ‘European Patrol Corvette’ PESCO project

Part of the third batch of PESCO projects approved in November 2019, the project aims at designing and developing a new class of military ship, named «European Patrol Corvette» (EPC), which will host several systems and payloads able to accomplish a large number of tasks and missions in a modular and flexible way. The EPC will provide valuable capabilities in the areas of maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection. The participating Member States aim to produce their first corvette prototype in 2026-2027.

The EPC is envisaged as a common platform, a shared baseline, which can be customised as needed by participating Member States according to their national needs and specifications. The overall displacement is expected to be no more than 3,000 tonnes, which will allow the ship to operate from minor harbours (draft less than 5.5 meters/18 feet). The length of the ship, to be equipped with diesel and/or electrical engines, should not exceed 110 meters/361 feet.

The ship will be based on an open plug-and-play architecture which will facilitate the versatility of response in the framework of EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations and will provide a quick reaction capability, applicable to a broad range of scenarios.

 

EDA tasks

The Agency’s new project will support the EPC PESCO project implementation through the development and adoption of Common Staff Target (CST), Common Staff Requirements (CSR) and a Business Case (BC). The objective of these documents, which are an indispensable step for a follow-on phase of the EPC PESCO project, is to shape the common core part and identify specifications and requirements that would be compatible with the modularity concept of the military ship.

The Agency will also support the governance body of the EPC project. With its expertise in project management and harmonisation of capability requirements, EDA will be able to provide valuable assistance in these domains. Industry is not participating directly in this EDA project, but may be consulted, if deemed necessary by the contributing Member States.

EDA’s Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: «EDA is delighted to support this ambitious and innovative PESCO project. As the European hub for collaborative capability development, the Agency has the expertise to help Member States in the implementation of their PESCO projects. The European Patrol Corvette project responds directly to an existing gap in Europe’s capability landscape acknowledged by Member States during the revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP) in 2018, namely that of naval manoeuvrability and the need for improved maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection. The future EPC will provide participating Member States with those missing capabilities, thereby further strengthening the Europe of Defence».

Italy’s Capability Director, General Giovanni Iannucci said: «The project of the European Patrol Corvette is aimed at developing a new Class of military ships in order to accomplish, with a flexible approach, a large number of tasks and missions aimed to Homeland Security and protection of European waters. More in details, the EPC will carry out Maritime Security Operations and Police of the High Seas functions, playing a key role in preserving Freedom of Navigation (FoN) and fighting against terrorism and illegal trafficking at sea. The EPC will be characterized by a multi-purpose and modular approach by design that will also allow to perform dual-use missions, such as anti-pollution activities, humanitarian assistance operations and interventions in support of populations in case of natural disasters. Italy is very proud of the coordinating role and will continue to conduct all necessary activities for the EPC’s success. Furthermore, I believe that this project constitutes an excellent opportunity for the whole European Defence and in particular the military shipyards sector to work together in order to foster industrial synergies, operational interoperability and maintain a technological advantage».

Operating Capability

The UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has achieved a major milestone ahead of its first operational deployment this year.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)
HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) has achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC)

The CSG has reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC), meaning all elements of the group from fighter jets to radar systems to anti-ship weapons have been successfully brought together and operated.

Both the air and naval elements of the CSG have now met this milestone, which includes qualified pilots and ground crews being held at short notice for carrier-based operations and trained to handle weapons and maintain the equipment.

Another marker of success at this stage includes the ability to deploy Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities such as frigates and destroyers, as well as both fixed and rotary wing aircraft including Merlin helicopters to operate alongside the carrier.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: «This is a hugely significant milestone for HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), the Royal Navy and the whole country. This achievement is a testament to the determination of our service personnel and industry workforce who have delivered this first-rate military capability, a capability held by only a handful of nations. I wish the entire Carrier Strike Group well ahead of their first operational deployment this year».

Following the success of the NATO Joint Warrior Exercises last autumn, the Carrier Strike Group capability has reached the key IOC milestone for the programme on schedule.

The multinational deployment in 2020 focussed on incorporating all elements of the CSG with 13 of the UK’s allies including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Japan, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the U.S. Exercise Joint Warrior saw the largest number of aircraft on a British Royal Navy carrier since 1983, as well as the most F-35B Lightning II jets at sea across the globe.

Full Operating Capability (FOC) for the CSG is expected by December 2023.