Category Archives: Navy

Builder’s trials

On March 21 the future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) departs the Bath Iron Works shipyard for its second at-sea period to conduct builder’s trials during which many of the ship’s key systems and technologies were demonstrated. In addition to systems testing, the Navy-Industry team was conducting numerous operational demonstrations in preparation for acceptance trials in April. DDG-1000 is the lead ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers, a class of next-generation multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance with capabilities that defeat current and projected threats.

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) departs the Bath Iron Works shipyard for its second at-sea period to conduct builder’s trials on March 21 (U.S. Navy Photo)
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) departs the Bath Iron Works shipyard for its second at-sea period to conduct builder’s trials on March 21 (U.S. Navy Photo)

According to Sam LaGrone, USNI News editor, on March 25 next generation guided missile destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is back at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard after four days of successful builder’s trials, according to the service. The service will now prepare for next month’s acceptance trials ahead of delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy.

During the four days of trials, representatives from BIW, USS Zumwalt, the Navy’s Program Office, SUPSHIP Bath and various technical subject matter experts, including Raytheon personnel, tested several ship systems including key propulsion and auxiliary systems as well as boat operations. These trials also served as a unique opportunity for the crew to train side-by-side with representatives from industry. The Navy will continue to assess system performance over the coming weeks.

The ship’s delivery and acceptance will only be for the ship’s Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E) systems. The ship features a new integrated power system that is much more complex than existing navy ship propulsion designs that have reportedly resulted in schedule and cost increases for the production of the three ships in the $22 billion class.

Following delivery of the ship to the service, USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and its crew will go to San Diego to have the bulk of the combat system installed in part to free up space for additional production at the shipyard.

Zumwalt (DDG 1000) returned to Bath, Maine, after successfully conducting four days of at-sea builder’s Trials on March 25 (U.S. Navy Photo)
Zumwalt (DDG 1000) returned to Bath, Maine, after successfully conducting four days of at-sea builder’s Trials on March 25 (U.S. Navy Photo)

 

Features unique to DDG 1000:

  • Eighty peripheral Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells, two Advanced Gun System (AGS) 155-mm guns, and two 30-mm Close In Guns (CIGs);
  • A stern boat ramp for two 7-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), designed with room for two 11-meter RHIBs;
  • Aviation capacity for two MH-60R or one MH-60R and 3 VT Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs);
  • It will be powered by an Integrated Power System (IPS) with an Integrated Fight Through Power (IFTP). This is created by an Advanced Induction Motor (AIM);
  • A superstructure with integrated apertures and low signature profile;
  • Advanced sensors including a SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar;
  • A wave-piercing «Tumblehome» hull form.

 

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

 

Next-generation destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean on December 7, 2015

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) 11-17-2011 10-28-2013
USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) 05-23-2013
USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002)

 

First Indonesian Sub

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has launched the first of three Type 209/1400 diesel-electric submarines (SSK) on order for the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut, or TNI-AL).

The Indonesian Navy's first Type 209/1400 submarine, pictured at its launching ceremony on 24 March in Okpo (Source: DSME)
The Indonesian Navy’s first Type 209/1400 submarine, pictured at its launching ceremony on 24 March in Okpo (Source: DSME)

The boat was launched on 24 March at DSME’s Okpo shipyard in a ceremony attended by Indonesian defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and TNI-AL chief Admiral Ade Supandi. According to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, TNI-AL sources have confirmed that the submarine has been given the pennant number 403.

The vessel is part of a KRW1.3 trillion (USD1.1 billion) contract signed between DSME and the Indonesian Defence Ministry in December 2011. Under the contract the first and second vessels are to be built in South Korea, while the third boat will be produced at Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL’s premises in Surabaya in a technology transfer arrangement.

According to specifications provided by DSME, the Indonesian Type 209, which displaces 1,400 tonnes dived, has a top speed of 21 knots/24 mph/39 km/h and a maximum operating range of approximately 10,000 nautical miles/11,508 miles/18,520 km at 10 knots/11.5 mph/18.5 km/h while surfaced.

The submarine has been designed for a range of missions, including Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), mine laying, and special forces operations, said DSME in a statement on the launch.

The first boat will now undergo sea trials in South Korean waters and is currently scheduled for delivery by March 2017.

Work on the second vessel has begun and all three boats are expected to be delivered by the end of 2018.

The boat was launched on 24 March at DSME's Okpo shipyard in a ceremony attended by Indonesian defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and TNI-AL chief Admiral Ade Supandi
The boat was launched on 24 March at DSME’s Okpo shipyard in a ceremony attended by Indonesian defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and TNI-AL chief Admiral Ade Supandi

Global Combat Ship

The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded BAE Systems a £472 million contract to progress the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) programme following the UK Government’s commitment in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to buy eight of the advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) ships.

Versatility of roles is enabled by the Integrated Mission Bay and Hanger, capable of supporting multiple helicopters, UUVs, boats, mission loads and disaster relief stores
Versatility of roles is enabled by the Integrated Mission Bay and Hanger, capable of supporting multiple helicopters, UUVs, boats, mission loads and disaster relief stores

The announcement continues the UK Government’s investment in Type 26, reflecting its commitment to the UK’s strategic warship building industry and the programme to deliver the Royal Navy’s next generation warships. Effective from April 2016, the 15-month contract extends the current demonstration phase ensuring continued momentum to further mature the detailed design of the Type 26 ships and to manufacture key equipment for the first three ships.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: «These highly advanced ships will help keep Britain safe and support our shipbuilding industry. Investing in them is part of our plan to increase defence spending so our armed forces have the most modern equipment they need».

Geoff Searle, Type 26 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: «This is a significant investment in the programme and an endorsement of the Government’s commitment to sustain this important national capability. The Type 26 programme is progressing well and over the coming months more of our partners in the supply chain will start to manufacture equipment for the first three ships as we continue to progress towards the manufacturing phase. We are committed to working with the Ministry of Defence and wider industry to ensure the Royal Navy has the capability it needs to protect national interests, whilst ensuring value for money for UK taxpayers. Through the Type 26 programme, we are transforming the way we design and manufacture warships with innovative new technologies, systems and processes to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality equipment at the lowest possible cost».

To date, there are 27 companies across the maritime supply chain working with BAE Systems to deliver the Type 26 ships, including seven firms with contracts underway to manufacture key equipment for the first three ships. This includes manufacturing contracts with Babcock for the ships’ air weapons handling systems, GE Power Conversion for the electric propulsion motor and drive systems and Rolls-Royce for the gas turbines, the first of which passed its factory acceptance test in January.

Under the extended demonstration phase, BAE Systems expects to award manufacturing contracts to a total of approximately 50 companies, helping to support a vibrant maritime industry. Key equipment to be delivered includes the Combat Management System and the Shared Infrastructure IT system developed by BAE Systems. This innovative hardware solution will allow the crew to access all software, such as navigation, communications and sonar needed to operate a ship’s combat systems through a single console.

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will in time replace the Type 23 frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.

A launcher can be provided for fixed wing UAV operation and the Flight Deck is capable of landing a Chinook helicopter for transport of embarked forces
A launcher can be provided for fixed wing UAV operation and the Flight Deck is capable of landing a Chinook helicopter for transport of embarked forces

 

Principal Weapons and Sensors:

Artisan 3D radar

Sonar 2087

Sea Ceptor anti-air missiles

Medium calibre gun

 

Propulsion:

2 × electric motors

4 × high speed diesel generators

Gas turbine direct drive

 

Accommodation:

Accommodation, health and recreation services for 208 crew and 118 core complement

 

Main dimensions:

Displacement 6,900 tonnes

Length 492 feet/149.9 metres

Maximum beam 68 feet/20.8 metres

 

Performance:

Top speed 26+ knots/30+ mph/48 km/h

Range 7,000 nautical miles/8,055 miles/12,964 km in Electric-Motor (EM) drive

 

Commissioned warship

Astute Class submarine HMS Artful (S121) has officially become a Commissioned Warship of the Royal Navy at a ceremony at HM Naval Base Clyde. Guest of honour at the ceremony was the submarine’s sponsor Lady Zambellas, who had named HMS Artful (S121) in September 2013, before her launch in May 2014, in Barrow in Furness.

HMS Artful is the third of six Astute Сlass nuclear attack submarines being built for the Royal Navy. Launched in May 2014, it has now been commissioned into the fleet (RN photo)
HMS Artful is the third of six Astute Сlass nuclear attack submarines being built for the Royal Navy. Launched in May 2014, it has now been commissioned into the fleet (RN photo)

Amanda Zambellas was joined by her husband Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the First Sea Lord and head of the Naval Service, representatives of the companies involved in Artful’s construction and operation as well as the submarine’s 150 crew, their families and friends.

«This is a red letter day that marks the beginning of the next crucial stage of development for the Royal Navy and its Submarine Service», said Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. «Today’s ceremony dramatically increases the operational capability of the Submarine Service with the commissioning of our third Astute-class boat, and is another milestone in the journey towards HM Naval Base Clyde becoming the UK Submarine Centre of Specialisation by 2020».

Lady Amanda Zambellas said: «It is wonderful that so many families and affiliates could join HMS Artful for her big day. Over a decade has passed since her keel was laid, so it is hugely rewarding for everyone involved with the project to finally see the White Ensign flying from her stern. While the technology inside is impressive, it is the Ship’s Company who really give HMS Artful her soul. Through their expertise and a good sense of fun, I know they really will live up to her name, and I look forward to supporting her in the many years ahead».

Since she was handed over to the Royal Navy by BAE Systems Submarines in December 2015, HMS Artful (S121) has been conducting trials to prove her systems and equipment at sea, ahead of her first operational deployment later in 2017. The highlight of the trials was the firing of six heavyweight Spearfish torpedoes on the British Underwater Testing and Evaluation Centre near the Isle of Skye.

HMS Artful (S121) is the first of the Royal Navy’s submarines to be fitted with the Common Combat System (CCS), which is regarded as the digital «brain» of the boat controlling its «eyes», «ears» and «nervous system».

Artful’s two sister boats Astute and Ambush have already successfully conducted operational deployments. Both have deployed to the Mediterranean, and Middle East where they have been involved in anti-smuggling and security operations and have provided Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) capability in support of anti-terrorism operations in the region.

The Astute-class are the largest, most advanced and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, combining world leading sensors, design and weaponry in a versatile vessel.

HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120), and now HMS Artful (S121), are the first of the Class to be accepted by Navy Command, which is responsible for operating all of the Royal Navy’s vessels. The next two submarines in the Class, Audacious (S122) and Anson (S123), are currently being built in Barrow, with Agamemnon (S124) and the unnamed Boat 7 to follow.

BAE Systems is responsible for delivering the Astute Class and for the design of the successor to the Vanguard class, Successor, which will carry the UK’s nuclear deterrent, and also be based at HM Naval Base Clyde.

5th FREMM Frigate

On 16 March 2016, DCNS delivered the FREMM frigate D653 Languedoc intended for the French Navy, on the occasion of the acceptance ceremony by OCCAR (L’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d’Armement) on behalf of the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement). This event once again demonstrates the industrial success of the largest European naval defence programme. The FREMM frigates are amongst some of the highest-performance latest-generation combat vessels on the market and have already won over three client Navies.

DCNS delivers its 5th FREMM frigate, Languedoc
DCNS delivers its 5th FREMM frigate, Languedoc

FREMM D653 Languedoc is the fifth unit to be built by DCNS and the third intended for the French Navy. The frigate was officially accepted by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation), an international organisation for the through-life management of cooperative defence equipment programmes, which has the role of contracting authority for FREMMs intended for France and Italy. The ceremony was presided over by the Director of OCCAR, Timothy Rowntree, and the Armaments Engineer-General, Laurent Sellier, Director of the DGA’s «Armaments Naval Operations» management unit, and in the presence of Pierre Legros, Director of Programmes at DCNS.

The official acceptance of the FREMM Languedoc is a demonstration of the satisfaction of the operational personnel that had the opportunity to test its exceptional military qualities in multiple operations theatres. At the start of the year, the D650 Aquitaine and D652 Provence FREMMs participated in the Task Force 50 actions in the Persian-Arabian Gulf, at the sides of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, designed, built and maintained by DCNS.

These front-line frigates also won over the Royal Moroccan Navy in 2014 and the Egyptian Navy in 2015.

The operational deployments and international successes of this latest-generation frigate demonstrate the capacity of DCNS to design, build and maintain competitive, high-tech vessels, which are perfectly suited to the needs of its clients.

The FREMMs are the first vessels in Europe to deploy the naval cruise missile (MdCN) for which the first firing took place on 19 May 2015 from the FREMM D650 Aquitaine.

«The delivery of the FREMM D653 Languedoc represents an opportunity to highlight the serial effects of a programme that DCNS clients can take advantage of», notes Anne Bianchi, Director of the FREMM programme at DCNS. «With this fifth unit, DCNS has again improved its industrial and economic performance. It was possible to reduce the duration of the sea acceptance trials for the D653 Languedoc frigate to five weeks, thanks to the experience acquired for the FREMMs already delivered. The DCNS teams and our partners have, in effect, attained an unprecedented level of vessel completion even before its first sea outing», she underlines.

The FREMM programme represents today the construction of ten vessels, of which eight for the French Navy. Six FREMMs will have been delivered to the French Navy before mid-2019, in accordance with the 2015-2019 military programming law. DCNS is currently completing the FREMM D654 Auvergne, which was floated on 2 September 2015, and is pursuing the assembly of the FREMM D655 Bretagne. Work has started on the eighth FREMM in the series, the D656 Normandie. Last but not least, DCNS is finalising the design of two FREMMs with strengthened anti-aircraft capacities, the delivery of which is slated for 2022.

Heavily armed, the FREMMs deploy the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the naval cruise missile (MdCN), the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles or the MU 90 torpedoes
Heavily armed, the FREMMs deploy the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the naval cruise missile (MdCN), the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles or the MU 90 torpedoes

 

Overview of the FREMM series

  • D650 Aquitaine, first in the series, delivered in 2012
  • Mohammed VI (701), delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy in 2014
  • D652 Provence delivered in June 2015
  • Tahya Misr (FFG-1001), delivered to the Egyptian Navy in June 2015
  • D653 Languedoc delivered on 16 March 2016
  • D654 Auvergne, D655 Bretagne and D656 Normandie to be delivered in 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Two FREMMs with strengthened anti-aircraft capacities to be delivered in 2021 and 2022
Languedoc, the French navy’s third FREMM-class frigate, sails out of Lorient for its initial sea trials, which will test its propulsion and navigations systems. Six of these ships will be delivered by 2019 (DCNS photo)
Languedoc, the French navy’s third FREMM-class frigate, sails out of Lorient for its initial sea trials, which will test its propulsion and navigations systems. Six of these ships will be delivered by 2019 (DCNS photo)

 

Characteristics

Total length 466 feet/142 m
Width 65.6 feet/20 m
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Operation 108 persons (including helicopter detachment)
Accommodation capacity 145 men and women
Cruising range at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h 6,000 nautical miles/6,905 miles/11,112 km

 

SIMBAD – Final Trials

MBDA has successfully completed two Mistral firings using a SIMBAD-RC firing post. These trials represent the last technical milestone before delivery to its first customer. They served to validate the interface between the missile and the new twin-launcher, confirming the correct departure of the missile from the firing post, as well as the system’s ability to carry out salvo firings.

Trial on SIMBAD-RC firing post
Trial on SIMBAD-RC firing post

The two firings were carried out using two different launch trajectories. Tests in different mechanical and climatic environments will complete the qualification of the system.

The SIMBAD-RC is a remotely-controlled, very short range naval air defence system that provides highly efficient capabilities against a wide range of threats, from fighter aircraft through to anti-ship missiles or small-sized threats such as Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). SIMBAD-RC gives an easy to set up, self-defence capability to patrol vessels and support craft, or complements the air defence capabilities of other ship types. Each turret supports two ready-to-fire missiles. The turrets are remotely-operated and so allow the operator to remain under cover, thereby ensuring longer operational availability in case of a combat alert.

Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, said: «The SIMBAD-RC programme illustrates how MBDA helps customers leverage their previous acquisitions. Starting from a market standard such as the Mistral missile, of which more than 17,000 have been produced and are in service in nearly 30 countries worldwide, we have built a simple to operate and highly automated system that greatly improves the operational use of the missiles already in service».

SIMBAD-RC is featuring an automatic launcher remotely controlled from an interior terminal
SIMBAD-RC is featuring an automatic launcher remotely controlled from an interior terminal

 

Guidance

  • Passive IR homing guidance
  • Proportional navigation guidance
  • Trajectory shaping
  • Self-spinning airframe
  • Control by canard fins

Fire and Forget

Engagement of targets is fully autonomous and is performed by the outstanding infrared homing head of the MISTRAL missile

  • Great accuracy and efficiency
  • No man in the loop
  • Simplicity of operation, low training and maintenance
  • No dedicated fire control system on board

Short reaction time

  • The system is optimised to counter any air target at short notice
  • Firing sequence: less than five seconds
  • High speed missile – short time to intercept

Multi-target

Especially designed for modern naval warfare, MISTRAL can cope with:

  • Head on targets
  • Manoeuvring targets
  • Aircraft before they release conventional armaments
  • Sea skimming and manoeuvring anti-ship missiles
  • Helicopters

96% success rate

96% kill efficiency rate demonstrated during user firings is due to:

  • Outstanding sea and ground clutter rejection by the MISTRAL seeker
  • Interception under a trajectory shaping profile
  • MISTRAL terminal effectiveness: outstanding guidance accuracy – proximity and impact fuzes – 6.6 lbs/3 kg warhead very high reliability
SIMBAD-RC offers a range of turret/SMU-RC configurations and system integration schemes
SIMBAD-RC offers a range of turret/SMU-RC configurations and system integration schemes

 

CHARACTERISTICS

SYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS
Weight 1,102 lbs/500 kg
Bearing +/- 160°
Elevation -15° to +65°
MISSILE CHARACTERISTICS
Weight 43.4 lbs/19.7 kg
Length 6.1 feet/1.86 m
Diameter 3.54 inch/90 mm
Warhead 6.6 lbs/3 kg
Maximum speed Mach 2.5

 

SIMBAD-RC is an extremely simple and lightweight MBDA’s system configured for two MISTRAL missiles

Fire Test of SeaRAM

Sailors of USS Porter (DDG-78), a guided-missile destroyer stationed in Rota, Spain, successfully completed a live-fire test from a SeaRAM missile system March 4. SeaRAM, which replaced Porter’s aft Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) mount, is a self-contained detect-to-engage ship self-defense capability that combines the sensor systems of a CIWS with an 11-round Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher.

The SeaRAM was installed aboard USS Porter (DDG-78) in response to a formal Urgent Operational Need for forward-deployed naval forces in Europe; four DDGs deployed in Europe will receive the Mk-15 SeaRAM with enhanced-capability Block 2 missiles (USN photo)
The SeaRAM was installed aboard USS Porter (DDG-78) in response to a formal Urgent Operational Need for forward-deployed naval forces in Europe; four DDGs deployed in Europe will receive the Mk-15 SeaRAM with enhanced-capability Block 2 missiles (USN photo)

«The addition of this advanced weapon system to Porter’s arsenal is extremely welcome», said Commander Andria Slough, USS Porter’s commanding officer. «It is a culmination of the cooperation of several program offices and agencies, both at sea and ashore, ensuring that out here on the front lines, we receive the capabilities we need, when we need them».

The SeaRAM installation aboard USS Porter (DDG-78) took place as a response to a formal Urgent Operational Need for forward-deployed naval forces in Europe. USS Porter (DDG-78) is the first of four DDGs to receive the Mk-15 SeaRAM Missile System equipped with enhanced capability RAM Block 2 missiles.

Additionally, the live-fire Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trial (CSSQT) represented the first cooperative effort between NAVSEA agencies and El Arenosillo Test Range off the coast of Huelva, Spain. The success of this CSSQT concluded a year’s worth of ground-breaking effort for the engineering and acquisition professionals at NAVSEA.

«This team was able to go from white paper concept to live-fire testing in 12 months», said Rear Admiral Jon Hill, of Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS). «Our weapons, ship integration, and testing experts coordinated across a number of commands and organizations to identify assets, execute critical engineering requirements, deliver equipment, complete system installation, and conduct testing on a foreign test range … all in record time; professionally and with the urgency of meeting a critical warfighting need».

PEO IWS is an affiliated Program Executive Office of the Naval Sea Systems Command. PEO IWS is responsible for spearheading surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and for implementing Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

USS Porter (DDG-78) successfully conducted live-fire tests for SeaRAM (Mk-15 MOD 33) during Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials at El Arenosillo Test Range off the coast of Huelva, Spain

 

Autonomously for Months

On March 10 Boeing introduced Echo Voyager, its latest Unmanned, Undersea Vehicle (UUV), which can operate autonomously for months at a time thanks to a hybrid rechargeable power system and modular payload bay.

51-foot/15.5-meter Echo Voyager largest of three such vehicles Boeing offers
51-foot/15.5-meter Echo Voyager largest of three such vehicles Boeing offers

The 51-foot-long/15.5-meter-long vehicle is not only autonomous while underway, but it can also be launched and recovered without the support ships that normally assist UUVs. Echo Voyager is the latest innovation in Boeing’s UUV family, joining the 32-foot/9.7-meter Echo Seeker and the 18-foot/5.5-meter Echo Ranger.

«Echo Voyager is a new approach to how Unmanned Undersea Vehicles will operate and be used in the future», said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works. «Our investments in innovative technologies such as autonomous systems are helping our customers affordably meet mission requirements now and in the years to come».

Echo Voyager will begin sea trials off the California coast later this summer. Boeing has designed and operated manned and unmanned deep sea systems since the 1960s.

«Echo Voyager can collect data while at sea, rise to the surface, and provide information back to users in a near real-time environment», said Lance Towers, director, Sea & Land, Boeing Phantom Works. «Existing UUVs require a surface ship and crew for day-to-day operations. Echo Voyager eliminates that need and associated costs».

Boeing Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Can Operate Autonomously for Months
Boeing Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Can Operate Autonomously for Months

Murtha’s Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on March 7 the successful sea trials of the company’s 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26). The ship, built at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, spent four days in the Gulf of Mexico last week with Ingalls’ test and trials team operating the ship and performing more than 200 test events.

Ingalls Shipbuilding’s 10th amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) sails the Gulf of Mexico for Builder’s Trial (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Ingalls Shipbuilding’s 10th amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) sails the Gulf of Mexico for Builder’s Trial (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«Overall the builder’s trial was successful, and the ship performed well», said Kari Wilkinson, Ingalls’ LPD-26 program manager. «This shipbuilding milestone is another accomplishment for a seasoned LPD production and test team that is ready to continue the learning on future LPD platforms. This team understands the important mission LPDs provide to our nation, and we look forward to delivering another fine, much-needed asset to our sailors and Marines».

Major evolutions during builder’s trials include the anchor-handling demonstration, ballast/deballast demonstration, detect-to-engage exercise, running the ship at full power and steering.

Shipbuilders will now prepare USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) for acceptance trials in April to demonstrate the same tests and operational success to the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in the second quarter of 2016.

«LPD-26 experienced an excellent builders trials», said George S. Jones, Ingalls’ vice president of operations. «This is another fine testament to the dedicated men and women of Ingalls shipbuilding and their shipbuilding talents. The USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is a quality ship, and the ability to deliver her on schedule later this year is a result of great craftsmen and the outstanding Navy partnership we have with the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast».

LPD-26 is named in honor of the late John P. Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 to 2010. In addition to his tenured history in the House of Representatives, Murtha was also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserves. He served for 37 years and received the Bronze Star with Combat «V», two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War. He retired as a colonel in 1990.

Ingalls has built and delivered nine ships in the San Antonio-class. In addition to USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26), Ingalls has the 11th LPD, USS Portland (LPD-27), under construction. USS Portland (LPD-27) launched on February 13 and will be christened on May 21. Ingalls received a $200 million advance procurement contract for the 12th ship in the class, LPD-28, in December 2015.

The San Antonio-class is the latest addition to the U.S. Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long/208-meter-long, 105-foot-wide/32-meter-wide ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.

Ingalls Shipbuilding conducted Builder Sea Trials for USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) in the Gulf of Mexico

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries
Propulsion Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower
Length 684 feet/208 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Displacement Approximately 24,900 long tons (25,300 metric tons) full load
Draft 23 feet/7 m
Speed In excess of 22 knots/24.2 mph/38.7 km/h
Crew Ship’s Company: 374 Sailors (28 officers, 346 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800
Armament Two Bushmaster II 30-mm Close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 calibre/12.7-mm machine guns
Aircraft Launch or land two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1 or UH-1 helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two LCACs or one LCU; and 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles/Amphibious Assault Vehicles
USS Portland (LPD-27) is seen here in the middle of launch early Saturday morning at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class landing platform dock (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
USS Portland (LPD-27) is seen here in the middle of launch early Saturday morning at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class landing platform dock (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

 

San Antonio-class

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) Avondale 07-12-2003 01-14-2006 Norfolk, Virginia
USS New Orleans (LPD-18) Avondale 12-11-2004 03-10-2007 San Diego, California
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) Ingalls 11-19-2004 12-15-2007 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Green Bay (LPD-20) Avondale 08-11-2006 01-24-2009 San Diego, California
USS New York (LPD-21) Avondale 12-19-2007 11-07-2009 Norfolk, Virginia
USS San Diego (LPD-22) Ingalls 05-07-2010 05-19-2012 San Diego, California
USS Anchorage (LPD-23) Avondale 02-12-2011 05-04-2013 San Diego, California
USS Arlington (LPD-24) Ingalls 11-23-2010 02-08-2013 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Somerset (LPD-25) Avondale 04-14-2012 05-01-2014 San Diego, California
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Ingalls 11-02-2014 San Diego, California
USS Portland (LPD-27) Ingalls 02-13-2016
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) Ingalls

 

SM-6 hits target

Raytheon Company’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) successfully engaged a surface target – the decommissioned USS Reuben James (FFG-57) – in a recent flight test. The test was a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s concept of «distributed lethality», employing ships in dispersed formations to increase the offensive might of the surface force and enabling future options for the joint force commander. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) fired the SM-6 during the test; another Air Defense Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer was on station as the assist ship.

The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), configured with AEGIS Baseline 9.C1, executed the series of four missions with five SM-6 missiles for Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation, part of the final testing leading to a likely declaration of Full Operational Capability in 2017
The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), configured with AEGIS Baseline 9.C1, executed the series of four missions with five SM-6 missiles for Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation, part of the final testing leading to a likely declaration of Full Operational Capability in 2017

The mission validated that the legacy Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) capability of the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) family of missiles and the Mk-7 Aegis Weapon System (AWS) has successfully carried over to SM-6 and the latest Aegis Destroyer baseline 9. The investment in the Standard Missile family resulted in an affordable SM-6 effector that continues to perform beyond expectations.

«This test event demonstrated Raytheon’s decades of continued technological development and partnership with the U.S. Navy», said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «The ability to leverage the Standard Missile Family and the legacy AWS in newly fielded systems brings additional warfighting capability to the U.S. Fleet».

In recent testing, SM-6 has shown expanded mission capability in three key areas: Anti-Air Warfare, Sea-Based Terminal and Anti-Surface Warfare. The tri-mission capability of SM-6 continues to emphasize its value by providing additional capability beyond its original intended mission.

Raytheon has delivered more than 250 SM-6 missiles, which were deployed for the first time in 2013. The missile’s final assembly takes place at Raytheon’s state-of-the-art SM-6 and SM-3 all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

A Standard Missile-6 is loaded into a specialized container at the Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility for delivery to the U.S. Navy
A Standard Missile-6 is loaded into a specialized container at the Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility for delivery to the U.S. Navy