Category Archives: Navy

Dosan Ahn Chang-Ho

According to Korea Times, South Korea held a launching ceremony Friday for a 3,000-ton indigenous submarine, a new strategic weapons system designed to bolster underwater defense capabilities.

South Korea launches 3,000-Ton homegrown submarine «Dosan Ahn Chang-Ho»
South Korea launches 3,000-Ton homegrown submarine «Dosan Ahn Chang-Ho»

The ceremony for the diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine, named after a prominent South Korean independence fighter, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, took place at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. on the southern island of Geoje.

The ceremony was attended by 350 people, including government and military officials and employees of the shipbuilder, the Navy said.

«The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine is the Navy’s first mid-class submarine and has been built with a combination of cutting-edge technologies», the Navy said in a press release. «This is a national strategic weapons system capable of responding to all threats, and it will help strengthen the Navy’s defense capabilities».

While the country’s existing 1,200-ton and 1,800-ton submarines were built with technological assistance from Germany defense firms, the latest submarine has been domestically designed, and 76 percent of its component parts were made by Korean businesses.

The new 83.3-meter-long, 9.6-meter-wide submarine capable of carrying 50 crewmembers is equipped with six vertical launching tubes capable of firing submarine-to-ground ballistic missiles and can operate underwater for 20 days without surfacing, officials explained.

It is set to be delivered to the Navy in December 2020 after tests. Its operational deployment is slated for January 2022. It costs around 1 trillion won per unit.

The construction of the new submarine is part of South Korea’s project to domestically build the 3,000-ton Changbogo-III submarine. The project, worth 3.33 trillion won ($2.97 billion), was launched in 2007 and is set to end in 2023.

ANZAC Class Ship

BAE Systems Australia has welcomed a third ANZAC class warship to its Henderson facility as part of the fleet upgrade to keep the ships in service until they are replaced by the Hunter class frigates.

An unusual view of two Australian ANZAC-class frigates at BAE’s dockyard in South Australia. The third frigate has arrived there to undergo the AMCAP upgrade, and all ten upgraded ships of this class will return to active service by 2023 (BAE photo)
An unusual view of two Australian ANZAC-class frigates at BAE’s dockyard in South Australia. The third frigate has arrived there to undergo the AMCAP upgrade, and all ten upgraded ships of this class will return to active service by 2023 (BAE photo)

The Mid Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade is being undertaken at Henderson by the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance.

HMAS Anzac’s docking marks a significant milestone for BAE Systems, where it joins sister ships HMAS Perth (FFH 157) and HMAS Arunta (FFH 151). This will be the first time that three warships have been on the hardstand at the Henderson facility.

HMAS Anzac (FFH 150) will be the second ship to receive the AMCAP upgrade which includes:

  • Upgraded ventilation systems;
  • New sewage systems;
  • Improvements to the diesel engines to improve power and efficiency;
  • Replacement of the air search radar capability with the Australian CEA L-Band radar; and
  • Replacement of the full communications suite on the ship.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Gabby Costigan, said: «The upgrade of the ANZAC fleet, through our role in the WAMA alliance, demonstrates the breadth and depth of work that BAE Systems Australia has done to date in the sustainment of the ANZAC class fleet over more than two decades. BAE Systems is an Australian industry leader in maritime sustainment. We are very proud of the skilled workforce capacity that we have grown to meet the technical challenges of maritime sustainment».

HMAS Arunta (FFH 151), the first of class AMCAP ship, most recently had her old mast removed to make way for the installation of a newly developed Air Search Radar System. The new mast is currently being manufactured by BAE Systems and scheduled to be installed at the end of October.

Australian company CEA Technologies is responsible for developing the new Air Search Radar System that complements the existing Anti-Ship Missile Defence system.

HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) will undock before the end of the year after having spent more than 12 months on the hard stand. She will then undertake sea trials ahead of a planned return to service in 2019.

The remaining seven ships will be back in service by 2023.

Inertial Navigator

Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase of the U.S. Navy’s WSN-12 Inertial Sensor Module and will begin production of ten pre-production units.

The U.S. Navy WSN-12 Inertial Navigator will be used on the Virginia Submarines and on the Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, as well as a host of other ships (Image courtesy U.S. Navy)
The U.S. Navy WSN-12 Inertial Navigator will be used on the Virginia Submarines and on the Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, as well as a host of other ships (Image courtesy U.S. Navy)

The WSN-12 is poised to become the primary shipboard inertial navigation system for most U.S. combatant vessels and will be installed on all vessels of the DDG, CG, CVN and SSN classes. The system brings new technology and improved accuracy to these platforms. The Inertial Sensor Module is a primary subsystem of the WSN-12, and includes the inertial sensors, electromechanical equipment supporting them and software to compute the navigation solution. The shipboard inertial navigation system measures, computes and distributes navigation data to all users, including attitude, velocity and position information.

«Northrop Grumman has met or exceeded objectives in all aspects of the sensor design and was able to demonstrate performance in the testing of the engineering development models», said Captain Jon Garcia, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Integrated Warfare Systems 6.0 (IWS6.0). «We are looking forward to successful integration testing this year and receiving the sensor pre-production units next year».

«Completion of this CDR keeps this program on track to deliver exceptional navigation accuracy to the fleet», said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems, Northrop Grumman. «The WSN-12 Inertial Sensor Module provides technology that enables improvements to navigation accuracy and reliability, benefiting all systems that depend upon it».

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

Built in Egypt

The launching ceremony of the Port-Said Gowind corvette, the first warship built in Egypt, took place on September 6th, 2018 in Alexandria. This launching constitutes a success for Alexandria Shipyard team. It also reflects the effectiveness of Naval Group’s industrial cooperation schemes.

Port-Said is the first warship to be built in Egypt, and the Egyptian Navy’s fifth ship designed by France’s Naval Group, with the frigate Tahya Misr, the two Mistral-class LPDs the first Gowind corvette, Elfateh (Naval Group photo)
Port-Said is the first warship to be built in Egypt, and the Egyptian Navy’s fifth ship designed by France’s Naval Group, with the frigate Tahya Misr, the two Mistral-class LPDs the first Gowind corvette, Elfateh (Naval Group photo)

This industrial achievement demonstrates the strength of the strategic partnership between Naval Group and Egypt.

 

A joint success

The launching of the Port Said corvette shows the capabilities of the Alexandria shipyard, as it is the first warship built in Egypt. This launching ceremony celebrates the rise in competences of the Alexandria Shipyard team which is now able to build civilian boats as well as state-of-art military vessels.

Along with the first ever delivered Gowind corvette, Elfateh, already deployed by Egyptian Navy on many operational theatres, it will contribute to increase the Egyptian Navy Power. The corvette is part of a strategic and long-term partnership with Egypt. It is the fifth ship designed by Naval Group, operated by the Egyptian Navy, after the already delivered FREMM frigate Tahya Misr in 2015, the two Landing Helicopter Docks Nasser and Sadat in 2016 and the first Gowind corvette, Elfateh, in 2017.

Hervé Guillou, Naval Group’s CEO declared: «Naval Group is very proud to be part of this long-term partnership with the Egyptian authorities and industry. This ceremony is an opportunity to reiterate our strong commitment to execute all the programs and to equip the Egyptian Navy with a homogeneous fleet. In addition, Naval Group is pleased to participate in the maintenance and modernisation of this fleet. Naval Group has a long-term presence in Egypt and will remain involved for many years to come in Alexandria as partner of the Egyptian Navy to secure their operations».

Naval Group’s commitment to support customers through transfer of technology at each stage of the construction process is reaffirmed. Port Said, the first ever Egyptian made warship, is a proof that industrial cooperation works. The corvette manufactured in Alexandria has identical features and possesses the same performance level than the sea-proven Elfateh, which was built on Naval Group’s site in Lorient and delivered to the Egyptian navy last autumn.

 

Ten Gowind corvettes sold around the world

The modular design of the Gowind corvette enabled Naval Group to meet the specific requirements of the Egyptian navy in the shortest time scale possible. The Gowind corvette, ordered in ten units, meets the challenges faced by navies in changing war environments and offers a complete, multi-mission combat ship for sovereignty operations, the fight against illicit trafficking or maritime protection.

The Gowind corvette is a concentrate of the latest technological advances developed and mastered by Naval Group in naval defense. It integrates the latest generation of combat systems developed by Naval Group, SETIS, the «Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM)» – a combination of the integrated mast with its various sensors and the Operational Centre and associated technical premises – and the high level of integration, automation and user-friendliness of the Naval Group systems. In addition to the Egyptian contract, Malaysia bought Gowind corvettes in 2012.

Naval Group is the European leader in naval defence. As an international high-tech Company, Naval Group uses its extraordinary know-how, unique industrial resources and capacity to arrange innovative strategic partnerships to meet its customers’ requirements. The Group designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships. It also supplies services to shipyards and naval bases. The group reports revenues of €3.7 billion and has a workforce of 13,429 (data for 2017).

Navy takes Charleston

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Charleston (LCS-18) during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard August 31.

Navy takes delivery of future USS Charleston (LCS-18)
Navy takes delivery of future USS Charleston (LCS-18)

The delivery marks the official transfer of LCS-18 from the Austal USA-led shipbuilding team to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone before commissioning, which is yet to be finalized.

«Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Charleston (LCS-18), as transfer occurs to the Navy and she enters service», said Captain Mike Taylor, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program manager. «I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this fine ship alongside the crew later this year».

Charleston is the 16th LCS to be delivered to the Navy and the eighth of the Independence variant. The Independence variant is noted for its unique trimaran hull and its large flight deck.

«The crew has done a tremendous job getting the future USS Charleston (LCS-18) ready for commissioning, at which time our newest LCS will join the fleet», said Captain Matthew McGonigle, commander, LCS Squadron One (COMLCSRON ONE). «We are excited to see our newest LCS in San Diego soon and welcome the ship into the LCS community».

COMLCSRON ONE supports the operational commanders with warships ready for tasking by manning, training, equipping and maintaining littoral combat ships on the West Coast.

Following commissioning, Charleston will be homeported in San Diego with her sister ships USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), USS Coronado (LCS-4), USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), USS Omaha (LCS-12), USS Manchester (LCS-14) and the future USS Tulsa (LCS-16), which was delivered in April.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.

The Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned and Small Combatants is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

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

 

Independence-class

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

 

50 Percent of Kennedy

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division reached the midpoint in the construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) following the installation of one of the largest units on the ship.

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Aft Section Superlift
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Aft Section Superlift

Weighing approximately 905 metric tons, the unit is one of the heaviest of the planned steel structures, known as superlifts, that will be joined together to make up the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford class. The superlift of the aft section of the ship between the hangar bay and flight deck is 80 feet/24.4 m long, about 110 feet/33.5 m wide and four decks in height.

Combining 19 smaller units into one superlift allowed Newport News to install a majority of the outfitting equipment – grating, pumps, valves, pipe, electrical panels, mounting studs, lighting, ventilation and other components – before the structure was hoisted into the dry dock using the shipyard’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane. This approach resulted in this work being completed 14 months earlier than it was on Ford, said Lucas Hicks, Newport News’ vice president, CVN-79 program.

«This was a game changer for us», Hicks said. «Performing higher levels of pre-outfitting represents a significant improvement in aircraft carrier construction, allowing us to build larger structures than ever before and providing greater cost savings».

«This superlift represents the future build strategy for Ford-class carriers», said Mike Butler, program director of CVN-79. «Not only did we build this superlift larger and with significantly more pre-outfitting, we managed much of the work on the deckplate with new digital project management tools as part of our Integrated Digital Shipbuilding initiative. The lessons we learned from this successful superlift will allow us to build even more similar superlifts on future ships in the Ford class».

Kennedy is scheduled to move from the dry dock to an outfitting berth in the fourth quarter of 2019, three months ahead of schedule.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

 

Ships

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

 

Navy Accepts Delivery

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of two Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), the future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) and USS Wichita (LCS-13), during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on August 22.

USS Wichita (LCS-13) and USS Sioux City (LCS-11) are berthed bow to bow at Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin on Wednesday (on August 22, 2018) as both ships were delivered to the U.S. Navy during ceremonies held at the shipyard (U.S. Navy Photo by Brian Kriese, SUPSHIP Bath Det. Marinette/Released)
USS Wichita (LCS-13) and USS Sioux City (LCS-11) are berthed bow to bow at Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin on Wednesday (on August 22, 2018) as both ships were delivered to the U.S. Navy during ceremonies held at the shipyard (U.S. Navy Photo by Brian Kriese, SUPSHIP Bath Det. Marinette/Released)

Sioux City and Wichita, respectively, are the 14th and 15th Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) to be delivered to the U.S. Navy and the sixth and seventh of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. These deliveries mark the official transfer of the ships from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning. Both ships will be commissioned later this year, USS Sioux City (LCS-11) in Annapolis, Maryland, and USS Wichita (LCS-13) in Jacksonville, Florida.

Regarding the LCS deliveries, Captain Mike Taylor, LCS program manager, said, «The future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is a remarkable ship which will bring tremendous capability to the Fleet. I am excited to join with her crew and celebrate her upcoming commissioning at the home of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis».

«Today also marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Wichita (LCS-13), an exceptional ship which will conduct operations around the globe», he said. «I look forward to seeing Wichita join her sister ships this winter».

Captain Shawn Johnston, commander, LCS Squadron Two, welcomed the ships to the fleet, saying, «The future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is a welcome addition to the East Coast Surface Warfare Division. Both her Blue and Gold crews are ready to put this ship though her paces and prepare the ship to deploy».

«The future USS Wichita (LCS-13) is the first East Coast Mine Warfare Division ship», he said. «She will have a chance to test some of the latest and greatest mine warfare systems after she completes her remaining combat systems trials».

Several additional Freedom variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. The future USS Billings (LCS-15) is preparing for trials in spring 2019. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) was christened/launched in April. The future USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is scheduled for christening and launch in the fall. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) is preparing for launch and christening in spring of 2019, while the future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)’s keel was laid earlier this month and is undergoing construction in the shipyard’s erection bays. The future USS Marinette (LCS-25) started fabrication in February, while the future USS Nantucket (LCS-27) is scheduled to begin fabrication in the fall.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g., LCS-1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls). Twenty-nine LCSs have been awarded to date, with 15 delivered to the U.S. Navy, 11 in various stages of construction and three in pre-production states.

Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)

 

Fighter jet trials

Eight years since a British aircraft carrier last flew a fast jet from her decks, the 65,000-tonne carrier will embark two F-35B Lightning II test aircraft, from the Integrated Test Force (ITF), based out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) departs for the USA to land fast jets on deck for the very first time (Crown copyright)
HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) departs for the USA to land fast jets on deck for the very first time (Crown copyright)

Around 200 supporting staff, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts will be joined by two «orange wired» test aircraft, belonging to the ITF, which are expected to conduct 500 take offs and landings during their 11-week period at sea.

The aim of these initial, or «developmental» trials are to ascertain, through the specially equipped aircraft and sensors around the ship, the operating parameters of the aircraft and ship, in a range of conditions. Similar successful trials were conducted by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) at sea earlier this year for Rotary Wing aircraft.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) is a true statement of our national power, and the whole country can be proud to see this magnificent symbol of our engineering prowess and international ambition leaving port to sail onto the world stage. Her voyage to America not only shows her global reach, but strengthens our special relationship with the U.S. Forces who we have worked hand-in-hand with on this iconic programme. As she sails along the east coast of the USA, she will signal our determination to keep fighting alongside our allies in all corners of an ever more complex and uncertain world».

Four F-35B Lightning II developmental test pilots, who are members of the ITF, will embark to fly the aircraft; three British, one American. The British personnel comprise a Royal Navy Commander, a Squadron Leader from the Royal Air Force (RAF) and one civilian test pilot. They will be joined by a Major from the U.S. Marine Corps.

The trials follow the recent arrival into the UK of the first joint Royal Navy, Royal Air Force F-35B jets, based at RAF Marham. «Operational testing», utilising British F-35B Lightning II aircraft are scheduled to take place on board HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) next year.

F-35B Lightning II aircraft will join HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) when she arrives in the USA (Crown copyright)
F-35B Lightning II aircraft will join HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) when she arrives in the USA (Crown copyright)

The deployment, known as «WESTLANT 18», will be the first-time HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) will have sailed across the Atlantic. As well as the vital deck trials, it will also involve exercises to prove the ability to operate with other nations’ maritime and aviation assets, as well as the landing of Royal Marines and their equipment ashore in the United States, to conduct training with their U.S. counterparts.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd said: «This deployment to the United States will be another first for my ship. Crossing a major ocean with 1500 sailors, aircrew and Marines embarked and the spectre of the first F-35B Lightning II landing on the deck in September is very exciting for us all. It has been an incredible journey since we left Rosyth just over a year ago and we are all looking forward to this next, seminal chapter in HMS Queen Elizabeth’s life».

As the ship’s work-up continues, so too does the regeneration of the UK’s Carrier Strike capability. Commander UK Carrier Strike Group (COMUKCSG), Commodore Andrew Betton, will take command of the ship and other units of his task group, embarking in HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) with his Carrier Strike Group headquarters staff.

He said: «As a critical step towards delivering the UK’s new Carrier Strike Group, this deployment demonstrates the astonishing collaborative effort that will enable the new F-35B Lightning II jets to fly routinely from our Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. At the heart of the Maritime Task Group, the aircraft carrier is well protected and sustained, ready to operate around the world as a potent and exceptionally flexible instrument of our foreign policy. These first F-35B Lightning II embarked trials in a UK aircraft carrier are not only key to future operational success, but represent an iconic moment for the modern Royal Navy».

The ship will conduct trials in UK waters over the coming days, before departing for the USA later this month. She will be joined by Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tiderace (A137) and Plymouth-based type-23 frigate HMS Monmouth (F235), as well as Merlin Mk-2 helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose, Mk-4 Merlins from 845 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Yeovilton and a contingent of Royal Marines from 42 Commando, Plymouth.

Seventh LMV

ST Engineering’s Marine sector on August 18, 2018 launched the seventh Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Dauntless, designed and built for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

The Republic of Singapore Navy's 7th Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Dauntless was launched on August 18, 2018
The Republic of Singapore Navy’s 7th Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Dauntless was launched on August 18, 2018

Held in a ceremony at ST Engineering’s Benoi Yard, the launch was officiated by Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance. Mr. Heng’s spouse, Mrs. Heng Hwee Nee was the lady sponsor who named and launched the vessel in accordance with naval traditions. The event was witnessed by senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces.

The LMV programme that started in 2013 will replace the RSN’s current fleet of Fearless-class Patrol Vessels, also designed and built by ST Engineering’s Marine sector in the 1990s. The LMVs are 2.5 times larger, and possess better seakeeping capabilities to operate in higher sea state conditions, amongst other attributes.

«We are excited to launch the seventh of eight LMVs that we are designing and building for the RSN. We are committed to continue the good progress we have made thus far, and look forward to completing the programme with the last and final LMV», said Ng Sing Chan, President for ST Engineering’s Marine sector.

ST Engineering’s Marine sector has delivered five vessels till date – LMV Independence, LMV Sovereignty, LMV Unity, LMV Justice and LMV Indomitable. The sixth vessel, LMV Fortitude was launched in March this year, and the keel for the eighth LMV was laid a month after.

Laid the keel

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s 23rd Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-23, the future USS Cooperstown, by welding the initials of keel authenticator Ellen R. Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, New York. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship's module construction process
A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-23, the future USS Cooperstown, by welding the initials of keel authenticator Ellen R. Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, New York. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s module construction process

Ellen R. Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, New York, completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the ship.

«It is a tremendous honor to authenticate the keel for the future USS Cooperstown», Tillapaugh said. «Ships and their crews have a special bond with their namesake, and I know the village of Cooperstown will proudly support this ship throughout her construction, and when she is commissioned and enters the Navy fleet».

The Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered five ships to the U.S. Navy to date. The future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) is one of eight ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

«We are proud to build another proven warship that allows our Navy to carry out their missions around the world», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president of small combatants and ship systems. «We look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue building and delivering highly capable and adaptable Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships to the fleet».

LCS-23 will be the first vessel named for Cooperstown. Her name honors the veterans who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in the namesake city. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.

Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable. Originally designed to support focused missions such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, the team continues to evolve capabilities based on rigorous Navy operational testing; sailor feedback and multiple successful fleet deployments. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)