Category Archives: Navy

Railgun for Destroyer

According to Sam LaGrone, USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute, engineering studies to include an electromagnetic railgun on a Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG-1000) have started at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

An electromagnetic railgun prototypes on display aboard the joint high speed vessel USS Millinocket (JHSV-3) in port at Naval Station San Diego, California (U.S. Navy Photo)
An electromagnetic railgun prototypes on display aboard the joint high speed vessel USS Millinocket (JHSV-3) in port at Naval Station San Diego, California (U.S. Navy Photo)

The work will do the math to determine if the Zumwalt-class will have the space, power and cooling to field a railgun – likely replacing one of the two 155-mm BAE Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) ahead of the ship’s deck house, Vice Adm. William Hilarides told USNI News following remarks at the Office of Naval Research Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo. «We have begun real studies – as opposed to just a bunch of guys sitting around – real engineering studies are being done to make sure it’s possible».

The likely candidate for the weapon would be the third planned Zumwalt, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) with an expected delivery date of 2018. Hilarides said the first two ships – Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) – would be less likely to field the capability initially due to the schedule of testing with the new class. «The team is working diligently now but it would not happen until after delivery of the ships – probably the third ship is where we’d have it», he said. «That would certainly be my recommendation».

Vice Admiral William Hilarides became the 43rd commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
Vice Admiral William Hilarides became the 43rd commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)

The Navy is in early stages of testing and fielding a railgun – which forgoes the gunpowder in the shells of conventional naval guns and instead uses high-powered electromagnetic pulses along a set of rails to shoot a projectile at supersonic speeds.

The Navy plans to test a BAE Systems prototype railgun onboard the Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV-3).

Last year, then Navy director of surface warfare now commander of U.S. Surface Forces Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden told USNI News the Zumwalts would be likely used as test beds for emerging technologies like railguns and directed energy weapons the Navy wants for its next large surface combatant due to the ship’s size an ability to generate power.

The second of two Office of Naval Research (ONR) Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun industry prototype launchers is being evaluated at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division
The second of two Office of Naval Research (ONR) Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun industry prototype launchers is being evaluated at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division

The Integrated Power System (IPS) on the 16,000-ton ships – powered by two massive Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbines and two smaller Rolls-Royce RR450 – allow the ships to route and generate 80 mega-watt power – much more electrical power than the current crop of U.S. destroyers and cruisers.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said a Zumwalt would likely be the first ship to get the capability. The inclusion of the railgun does mean a capabilities trade for the ship. «We’ll go do the studies and I suspect they’ll say ‘yes,’ but it’s going to come at a cost of some of the capabilities on this ship – of course», Hilarides said. «It’s physics. Without taking something off, you’re not putting on a many ton system, so a gun would be a logical thing to take off and put the railgun in its place».

The three ship Zumwalt-class were – in part – originally designed to address a gap in naval surface fire support with the AGS firing the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) at a range of up to 75 nautical miles/139 km. Each ship is designed to field two AGS. Zumwalt is expected to deliver to the service next year.

Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) with an expected delivery date of 2018
Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) with an expected delivery date of 2018

Pacific Horizon 2015

Last week, the Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Captain Henry Stevens, said that over months of at-sea testing, USNS Montford Point (MLP-1), the first ship of the U.S. Navy’s class of Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) demonstrated exceptional capabilities and inherent flexibility during her participation in a series of Post-Delivery Tests and Trials (PDT&T) events. These events, held in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, successfully evaluated and demonstrated the performance of the ship and her systems.

USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) delivered on time and on budget in May 2013 and successfully completed Final Contract Trials
USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) delivered on time and on budget in May 2013 and successfully completed Final Contract Trials

PDT&T began on Montford Point in April 2014, following installation of her Core Capabilities Set (CCS) and in advance of achievement of the ship class’ Initial Operating Capability (IOC), which the U.S. Navy looks forward to declaring in April 2015.

Montford Point participated in many of PDT&T events, including the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) end-to-end event, designed to determine the operational effectiveness and suitability of the program. Directly following completion of the end-to-end event, and without pulling into port, USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) displayed her capabilities during the Fleet’s Pacific Horizon 2015, a week-long scenario-driven humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise.

Throughout the course of these tests and exercises, USNS Montford Point demonstrated many of her capabilities by interfacing with prepositioning ships and the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) to offload equipment and supplies for transshipment to shore by Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). These capabilities are the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s seabasing strategy, further enabling large-scale logistics movements from sea to shore forces and prepositioned Marine Corps equipment from the Sea Base to the shore, significantly reducing dependency on foreign ports.

The ships' size allows for 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment stowage space
The ships’ size allows for 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment stowage space

 

Mobile Landing Platform

The Mobile Landing Platform will become the centerpiece of the Sea Base. It will facilitate the selective offload of prepositioned equipment. In concert with JHSV (Joint High Speed Vessel) and prepositioned LMSRs (Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships), MLP will facilitate movement of forces and prepositioned Marine Corps equipment from the Sea Base to the shore via LCAC. The MLP is planned for use across the range of military operations including Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR), Theater Security Cooperation, and Major Combat Operations.

USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) and vehicle cargo ship USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300) are moored alongside of each other during vehicle transfer operations
USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) and vehicle cargo ship USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300) are moored alongside of each other during vehicle transfer operations

 

Dimensions and Performance

Displacement:             78,000 tons (fully loaded)

Length, Overall:         785 feet/239.3 m

Beam:                               164 feet/50 m

Draft:                        29.5 feet/9 m (fully loaded); 39 feet/12 m (load line)

Sustained Speed:       >15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h

Endurance: over 9,500 NM/17,594 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h

Montford Point completes mooring operations with Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV-3), and prepares to deploy Millinocket’s vehicle ramp
Montford Point completes mooring operations with Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV-3), and prepares to deploy Millinocket’s vehicle ramp

 

Propulsion system

  • Twin-screw diesel electric
  • 4 MAN/B&W medium speed diesel main engines
  • 24 MW diesel electric plant
  • 2 MW Azimuth Vertically Retractable Bow Thrusters
During retrograde operations, vehicles are transported onboard a LCAC, to be transferred from Montford Point onto Bob Hope. The vehicles include, 2 M88 Armored Recovery Vehicles (ARV), 3 Internally Transportable Vehicle-Light Strike Vehicles (ITV-LSV), 3 Internally Transportable Vehicle-Prime Movers with Ammo Trailer (ITV-PM/AT), and 3 Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Expanded Capacity Vehicles (ECV)
During retrograde operations, vehicles are transported onboard a LCAC, to be transferred from Montford Point onto Bob Hope. The vehicles include, 2 M88 Armored Recovery Vehicles (ARV), 3 Internally Transportable Vehicle-Light Strike Vehicles (ITV-LSV), 3 Internally Transportable Vehicle-Prime Movers with Ammo Trailer (ITV-PM/AT), and 3 Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Expanded Capacity Vehicles (ECV)

 

Vehicle transfer

  • Skin to skin transfer to/from LMSR and JHSV
  • 25,000 square feet of vehicle stowage
  • Fender stowage and handling gear
USMC (U.S. Marine Corps) Vehicles transit from vehicle cargo ship USNS Dahl (T-AKR 313) on to Montford Point and are loaded on two LCACs, which will deliver the equipment ashore during the Pacific Horizon 2015 exercise
USMC (U.S. Marine Corps) Vehicles transit from vehicle cargo ship USNS Dahl (T-AKR 313) on to Montford Point and are loaded on two LCACs, which will deliver the equipment ashore during the Pacific Horizon 2015 exercise

 

Ship services

  • 34 Military Sealift Command (MSC) personnel
  • Including hotel Services to support berthing modules
    • 3 MW 60 Hz power
    • Over 100,000 gal potable water
  • Over 590,000 gal JP-5 (Jet Propellant 5)
An LCAC is launched from USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) during the ship’s participation in Pacific Horizon 2015
An LCAC is launched from USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) during the ship’s participation in Pacific Horizon 2015

 

LCAC support

  • 3 LCAC spots
  • Space for LCAC support containers (O-Level support)
  • 60 Hz
  • AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam)
  • JP-5
  • Potable water/LCAC wash-down

 

 

Soryu
is becoming popular

According to Rahul Bedi, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, India has invited Japan to compete in the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) long-delayed INR500 billion ($8.1 billion) Project 75I (India) requirement for 6 diesel-electric submarines with land attack and Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capabilities. Official sources said India had recently forwarded a proposal to Tokyo asking it to consider participating in the Project 75I tender with its 4,200-tonne Soryu-class submarine.

Hakuryu (SS503) has the largest displacement of any submarine used by post war Japan
Hakuryu (SS503) has the largest displacement of any submarine used by post war Japan

In this connection it is interesting to note that the Soryu class is currently under evaluation by the Royal Australian Navy as a replacement for its six Collins-class boats. India’s offer to Japan to join Project 75I is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort at forging closer strategic and defence ties with Tokyo and formulating a wider maritime quadrilateral grouping that would include Australia and the United States.

India is also in advanced negotiations with Japan to acquire 12 ShinMaywa US-2i (formerly Shin Meiwa) amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft for around $1.65 billion, a deal that is likely to be concluded in early 2016.

The Project 75I tender, delayed by nearly seven years, was approved by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in October 2014 and is likely to be dispatched later this year. It is aimed at boosting the IN’s underwater assets, which at 11 submarines is 13 fewer than their sanctioned strength.

Project 75I envisages licence-building a submarine shortlisted from multiple contenders, including DCNS (France), TKMS subsidiary HDW (Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Rosonboronexport (Russia), under a Joint Venture (JV) with an Indian shipyard.

The Soryu-class submarines are diesel-electric submarines that entered service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2009
The Soryu-class submarines are diesel-electric submarines that entered service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2009

A committee headed by Vice Admiral A.V. Subedar recently completed an audit of seven domestic shipyards – five of them state-owned and two private – to evaluate their submarine-building capability. Officials said it would submit its report to the MoD in February, after which the selected shipyards, along with IN-approved overseas submarine manufacturers, would be invited for trials around 2016 and a platform shortlisted by 2018.

Price negotiations would follow, and IN officials anticipate the first Project 75I submarine being commissioned around 2025-27. Meanwhile, the MoD has for the third time postponed the deadline for local vendors to respond to its Requests for Information (RfI) to indigenously build more than 140 twin-engine Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH).

Industry sources said the RfI response date, for nine potential local bidders, was deferred to 28 February – from the earlier deadlines of 24 November 2014 and 24 January – as many had been unable to conclude JVs with foreign original equipment manufacturers.

India is keen for Japan to participate in its domestic materiel manufacturing programmes as it is seeking technology to boost its defence industrial base. It is also keen to propagate its bilateral strategic partnership with Japan to counter China’s growing military assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Both countries have unresolved territorial disputes with China that erupt periodically. The United States has also been advocating increased defence co-operation between India and Japan and Australia, which shares their collective concerns regarding China.

The ShinMaywa is a Japanese large STOL amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue work
The ShinMaywa is a Japanese large STOL amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue work

Arctic Patrol

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, along with the Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, announced the awarding of the build contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for the construction of six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). This contract, valued at $2.3 billion, marks the start of the construction phase under the NSPS (Source: Public Works and Government Services Canada).

HMCS Harry DeWolf is the first of the AOPS designed to better enable the RCN to exercise sovereignty in Canadian waters, including in the Arctic
HMCS Harry DeWolf is the first of the AOPS designed to better enable the RCN to exercise sovereignty in Canadian waters, including in the Arctic

The contract has been designed to ensure best value for taxpayers and sets out the plan for the delivery of six ships within a ceiling price.

The AOPS build contract will sustain approximately 1,000 jobs at Irving Shipbuilding as well as many jobs at suppliers across Canada. For example, today, Member of Parliament, Bryan Hayes, highlighted that the majority (60 per cent) of steel plate for the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship will be produced at the Essar Steel Algoma rolling mill in his riding of Sault Saint Marie in Ontario. To date, 197 companies in Canada have already benefited from NSPS work.

Construction of an initial block for the first AOPS is scheduled for the summer, while full production will commence in September 2015. Delivery of the first HMCS Harry DeWolf class ship is expected in 2018.

The new DeWolf-class Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be able to operate and support the new Cyclone naval helicopters
The new DeWolf-class Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be able to operate and support the new Cyclone naval helicopters

It was also confirmed that Irving Shipbuilding will be the Prime Contractor for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project. As outlined in the NSPS RFP (Request For Proposal) and the resulting umbrella agreement with the selected shipyards, Canada retains the right to determine if the shipyard will be designated as the Prime Contractor. After discussions with industry and review by an independent third party, it was determined that Irving is best positioned to manage the contracts associated with the three decades of work to design and build these ships.

 

Quick Facts

The $3.5 billion budget for the AOPS includes acquisition costs (for vessel design and build), project office operations, a provision for infrastructure costs (e.g. for jetties), as well as initial spares and support.

The build contract, valued at $2.3 billion, is a cost reimbursable incentive fee-based contract that provides incentives for Irving Shipbuilding to deliver 6 ships to the Royal Canadian Navy within a pre‑determined and not-to-exceed ceiling price.

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf is named in honour of a wartime Canadian naval hero. A native of Bedford, Nova Scotia, Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf (RCN) was decorated for outstanding service throughout his naval career, which included wartime command of HMCS St. Laurent from 1939-40, and later, his 1943-44 command of HMCS Haida, known as the «Fightingest Ship in the RCN»
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf is named in honour of a wartime Canadian naval hero. A native of Bedford, Nova Scotia, Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf (RCN) was decorated for outstanding service throughout his naval career, which included wartime command of HMCS St. Laurent from 1939-40, and later, his 1943-44 command of HMCS Haida, known as the «Fightingest Ship in the RCN»

The new DeWolf class Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be equipped with state of the art sensors and will also be able to operate and support the new Cyclone naval helicopters. Operating in conjunction with other capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard, the DeWolf class ships will play a critical role in protecting Canada’s offshore sovereignty in the Atlantic, the Pacific as well as in the Arctic.

 

Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships

Canada defends more coastline than any other country, as it is bounded by three oceans. Canada protects its maritime approaches from smuggling, trafficking and pollution, and also provides life-saving search and rescue as well as opportunities for scientific research. The fleets also act internationally to meet our commitments and protect our interests.

In June 2010, the Government of Canada announced the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Through this strategy, Canada will replace the current surface fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, which are reaching the end of their operational lives. First in line will be the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy in the combat package. These will be followed by the Canadian Surface Combatant. The Joint Support Ships (JSS) will be built for the Royal Canadian Navy under the non-combat work package.

Designed to a Polar Class 5 international ice classification standard, which will allow for operations in first year ice up to one meter in thickness
Designed to a Polar Class 5 international ice classification standard, which will allow for operations in first year ice up to one meter in thickness

The AOPS project will deliver six ice-capable offshore patrol ships that will conduct sovereignty and surveillance operations in Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone, including in the Arctic. The Royal Canadian Navy will also use the AOPS to support other units of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the conduct of maritime-related operations and to support other government departments in carrying out their mandates, as required. The AOPS project will also deliver associated jetty infrastructure in Esquimalt (BC), Halifax (NS) and Nanisivik (NU).

The AOPS are key to the Government of Canada’s ability to deliver on three of our guiding strategies – the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Northern Strategy, and the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

 

Proposed Ship Capabilities

The AOPS will have a number of capabilities that will allow the ships to assist the Royal Canadian Navy in carrying out missions. The following high-level draft requirements are examples of these capabilities, and will be studied and refined during project definition. AOPS will:

Have a cruising speed of at least 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h and a maximum speed of at least 17 knots/19.5 mph/31 km/h
Have a cruising speed of at least 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h and a maximum speed of at least 17 knots/19.5 mph/31 km/h
  • Be capable of performing independent open ocean patrols on the east and west coasts of Canada, and in the Canadian Arctic during the navigable season.
  • Designed to a Polar Class 5 international ice classification standard, which will allow for operations in first year ice up to one meter in thickness.
  • Have a capability to manoeuvre in ice, however AOPS will not provide icebreaking services to others.
  • Be able to sustain operations for up to 4 months.
  • Have a range of at least 6,800 nautical miles/12,593.6 km at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h.
  • Have a sufficient command, control and communication capability to exchange real-time information with the Canadian Armed Forces Maritime Security Operations Centres.
  • Have a cruising speed of at least 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h and a maximum speed of at least 17 knots/19.5 mph/31 km/h.
  • Have a gun armament.
  • Remain operational for 25 years beyond Initial Operational Capability (IOC).
  • Be capable of embarking and operating a variety of helicopter types up to and including the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Cyclone helicopter be capable of embarking and deploying a variety of boat types to support activities such as boarding operations and transfer of cargo and personnel for ship-to-shore transfer as well as arrangements for cargo and container storage to support CAF and Other Government Departments operations.
Subsequent ships in the class will be named to honour other prominent Canadian naval heroes who served their country with the highest distinction
Subsequent ships in the class will be named to honour other prominent Canadian naval heroes who served their country with the highest distinction

Multirole vessel

It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that the Republic of China Navy (RoCN) took delivery on 23 January of a newly completed fast combat support ship Panshih (磐石) AOE 532 (AOE, acronym used in the U.S. Navy).

New locally-built fast combat support ship AOE 532 Panshih finished its sea trials and officially entered ROC Navy service on Friday, January 23, 2015
New locally-built fast combat support ship AOE 532 Panshih finished its sea trials and officially entered ROC Navy service on Friday, January 23, 2015

Panshih was built by state-owned Kaohsiung-based shipbuilder CSBC Corporation at a cost of $130 million. Construction began in 2011 and the ship was launched in 2013.

According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Panshih AOE 532 is a multirole vessel and will be used as a transport, maritime rescue, and humanitarian assistance vessel. Defence officials say the navy will begin training personnel this month and that the vessel will enter full operational service by March.

Panshih is 643 ft/196 m long and 82.7 ft/25.2 m wide and has a full load displacement of 20,800 tons (light displacement around 10,000 tons). AOE 532 can carry a crew of up to 165 sailors at maximum speed is 22 knots/25 mph/40 km/h and has a range of 8,000 NM/14,816 km. Panshih is able to replenish two ships at the same time. Prior to its delivery, the RoCN had only one operational supply ship, Wuyi, which entered service in 1990.

Panshih has two 40-mm cannons, two 20-mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) and short-range air-defense system Sea Chaparral, based on Taiwan-made TC-1 missiles (itself derivate of AIM-9L Sidewinder). In addition, Taiwan’s new combat support ship does not only carry vital supplies for ROCN’s warships but is also able to accommodate SH-60 Sea Hawk (Sikorsky S-70) or CH-47D Chinook helicopters.

Combat support ships usually do not get the same amount of attention like major combat ships. However, they are absolutely crucial for keeping fleet on the open sea, especially under combat conditions when replenishment in ports may be restricted. In a peacetime, AOEs can conduct HADR (Humanitarian And Disaster Relief) operations. For that purpose, Panshih is equipped with medical facilities, including operating room and three regular and one isolation ward.

Taiwan commissions combat support ship
Taiwan commissions combat support ship

According to Gavin Phipps, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, delivery of Panshih comes as Taiwan’s government looks to invest heavily in the RoCN as a means of boosting the island’s defence capabilities.

The Ministry of National Defense took delivery of the island’s first indigenous Tuo Jiang-class missile corvette earlier in January, and the government approved a $94.46 million four-year design contract for an indigenous submarine in December 2014.

The government increased its 2015 defence budget to $10.7 billion, a 2.6% rise from 2014. Prior to that increase, the island’s defence budget had been in decline since 2009.

The budget was passed by a legislature forced to take a more bipartisan stance on defence spending and production of indigenous weapons systems, as the island faces both a growing threat from China’s fast modernizing military and current U.S. government opposition to the sale of advanced weapons platforms to Taiwan.

The Source: Posted on January 24, 2015 by Michal Thim
(http://taiwan-in-perspective.com/2015/01/24/taiwan-navys-new-fast-combat-support-ship-enters-service/)

Fleet Air Defense

The U.S. Navy authorized ships in the Aegis Combat Weapon System baselines 5.3 and 3.A.0 series to carry the Raytheon Company Standard Missile-6 (SM-6). The authorization expands the missile’s use from five ships to more than 35 ships.

The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) used a Standard Missile-6 to destroy a supersonic high altitude target drone in a live fire tests June 18-20, 2014. (US Navy photo)
The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) used a Standard Missile-6 to destroy a supersonic high altitude target drone in a live fire tests June 18-20, 2014. (US Navy photo)

«SM-6 is the longest range integrated air and missile defense interceptor deployed, and its multi-role capabilities are unprecedented», said Mike Campisi, Standard Missile-6 senior program director. «Its use is transforming how we define fleet defense».

Raytheon has delivered more than 130 missiles to the U.S. Navy, which deployed SM-6 for the first time in December 2013.

SM-6 is a new surface-to-air supersonic missile capable of successfully engaging manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. It also defends against land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles in flight.

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.

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

 

Standard Missile-6

SM-6 delivers a proven over-the-horizon air defense capability by leveraging the time-tested advantages of the Standard Missile’s airframe and propulsion.

  • The SM-6 uses both active and semiactive guidance modes and advanced fuzing techniques.
  • It incorporates the advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities from Raytheon’s Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

Raytheon’s SM-6 is a key component in the U.S. Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA) providing the surface Navy with an increased battlespace against over-the-horizon anti-air warfare threats.

Model of the Standard Missile-6 outside the Raytheon factory that produces them in Huntsville, Alabama
Model of the Standard Missile-6 outside the Raytheon factory that produces them in Huntsville, Alabama

«The SM-6 is the newest addition to Raytheon’s highly successful Standard Missile family of missiles», said Wes Kremer, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems product line. «This missile can use both active and semiactive modes, giving the warfighter an enhanced ability to intercept beyond-line-of-sight targets».

SM-6 has also been selected to fulfill the U.S. Navy’s Sea-Based Terminal (SBT) role and will provide defense against ballistic missiles in their terminal phase of flight, succeeding the SM-2 Blok IV missile. The initial version of the SBT, Increment 1, is to enter service around 2015, with a subsequent version, called Increment 2, to enter service around 2018

«The SM-6 represents the cutting-edge compilation of decades of best practices», said Mike Campisi, Raytheon’s SM-6 senior program director. «It’s been a model program from concept through development and testing. We’ve delivered on time and on budget at every step in the process».

 

 

Let’s call it a frigate

The modified Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class will be designated as frigates, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced at the Surface Navy Association 2015 symposium. The name change follows the December decision by the Navy to up gun the existing LCS classes for the last 20 of the service’s 52 small surface combatant requirement as part of an almost yearlong study directed by the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD).

The Lockheed Martin Multi-mission Combat Ship is one potential next generation variant the company has developed. The MCS design, using the flexible LCS hullform, can be built to different sizes, configured and integrated with sensors and weapons based on individual navies’ requirements. Image: Lockheed Martin
The Lockheed Martin Multi-mission Combat Ship is one potential next generation variant the company has developed. The MCS design, using the flexible LCS hullform, can be built to different sizes, configured and integrated with sensors and weapons based on individual navies’ requirements. Image: Lockheed Martin

«One of the requirements of the Small Surface Combatant Task Force was to have a ship with frigate-like capabilities. Well, if it’s like a frigate, Let’s call it a frigate»? Mabus said. «We are going to change the hull designation of the LCS class ships to FF. It will still be the same ship, the same program of record, just with an appropriate and traditional name».

As the existing Flight 0 LCS are modified and back fitted with additional capabilities, they could earn the FF label, he said. Mabus said the name change came after consultation with Navy leadership, including Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA). Mabus said he often had confusing conversations about the LCS ship class. «It’s not an ‘L’ class ship», he said. «When I hear ‘L’ I think amphib, so does everybody else». The FF designation for the LCS will be the first of a planned set of nomenclature changes for other ships classes as well that will come in the coming weeks, Mabus said. He mentioned the Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), the Mobile Landing Platform and the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) in his remarks.

The Navy's first trimaran Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Independence (LCS 2), during Builder's Sea Trials in the Gulf of Mexico July 2009
The Navy’s first trimaran Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Independence (LCS 2), during Builder’s Sea Trials in the Gulf of Mexico July 2009

As for the now Fast Frigate class, the up gunned variants are moving forward are set to be acquired starting in Fiscal Year 2019, will add about $50 to 60 million in weapons, sensors and armor to beef up the existing Flight 0 Austal USA Independence and Lockheed Martin Freedom class designs which are now being built for about $500 million a hull on average.

According to Sam LaGrone, USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute, Navy leaders have highlighted the new ships will have an emphasis on anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare borrowing some of the modularity of the Flight 0 LCS designs. The Navy is set to deliver an acquisition strategy to the OSD in May and an analysis if some of the modifications can be back fit on to the existing LCS designs.

As the U.S. Navy faces retirement of three important ship classes soon, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship is helping to fill that gap affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions. Photo: US Navy
As the U.S. Navy faces retirement of three important ship classes soon, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship is helping to fill that gap affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions. Photo: US Navy

Fifth high-speed vessel

The Navy christened the future USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) January 10 during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony in Mobile, Alabama. «This ship represents the hard-working men and women of New Jersey and the importance of the American cities along the Delaware River. It represents American shipyard, factory, and assembly line workers who have been the backbone of the Arsenal of Democracy since President Franklin Roosevelt coined the phrase more than seven decades ago. It represents the American spirit of hard work, patriotism and perseverance», said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. «The USNS Trenton will carry these values and this spirit around the world. It is tailor-made for our 21st century operations and maritime security missions, from the wide expanses of the Pacific to the littorals of Africa».

The future Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) rolls out in preparation for launch at Austal USA shipyard
The future Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) rolls out in preparation for launch at Austal USA shipyard

JHSV 5 will be the fourth naval vessel to bear the name Trenton. The first ship was built following the Civil War and was named to honor George Washington’s Revolutionary War victory on the banks of the Delaware River. Since then, a ship bearing the name Trenton has served during every vital Navy mission until 2007 when the last ship was decommissioned.

The 338 foot-long (103 m) aluminum catamaran is under construction at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. JHSVs are ideal for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies and equipment. These ships are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles (2,222 km) at an average speed of 35 knots (65 km/h) with berthing space for up to 104 personnel and airline-style seating for up to 312.

JHSVs have a 20,000 square foot (1,863 m2) open mission deck and a flight deck to support day and night launch and recovery operations, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility. They can operate in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts.

Upon delivery to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Trenton will be designated as a United States Naval ship, and will have a core crew of 22 civilian mariners with military mission personnel embarking as necessary.

The JHSV program is procuring 10 high-speed transport vessels for the US Army and the US Navy
The JHSV program is procuring 10 high-speed transport vessels for the US Army and the US Navy

 

Specifications

Principal dimensions

Material:                                    Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy

Length overall:                       103 m/337.9 ft

Beam overall:                          28.5 m/93.5 ft

Hull draft (maximum):        3.83 m/12.57 ft

Mission bay

Area (with tie-downs):       1,863 m2/20,053 ft2

Clear Height:                            4.75 m/15.6 ft

Turning diameter:                 26.2 m/86.0 ft

ISO TEU Stations:                  6 Interface Panels

Accommodations

Crew:                                            41

Single SR:                             2

Double SR:                          6

Quad SR:                              7

Troop Seats:                          312

Troop Berths

Permanent:                 104

Temporary:                   46

Galley and Messing:          48

The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2)
The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2)

Propulsion

Main Engines:    4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L Diesel Engines 4 × 9.1 MW

Gear boxes:         4 × ZF 60000NR2H Reduction Gears

Waterjets:            4 Wartsila WLD 1400 SR

Performance

Speed

Average:                     35 knots/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload

Maximum:                 43 knots/80 km/h without payload

Range

Maximum Transit:      1,200 NM/2,222 km

Self-Deployment:        5,600 NM/10,371 km

Survival Through:                 SS-7

Aviation facilities

NAVAIR Level 1 Class 2 Certified Flight Deck for one helicopter

Centreline parking area for one helicopter

NAVAIR Level 1 class 4 Type 2 Certified VERTREP

Helicopter Control Station

Auxiliary systems

Active Ride Control

Transcom Interceptors

Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 ft2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls

Vehicle Ramp

Articulated Slewing Stern Ramp

Straight aft to 45 Starboard

Telescoping Boom Crane

12.3 mt @ 15 m, 18.2 mt @ 10 m/13.6 Lt @ 49.2 ft, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 ft

The JHSV includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to quickly drive off the ship
The JHSV includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to quickly drive off the ship

Italian volcano

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) recently approved the INR15 billion ($243.5 million) procurement of 13 127-mm guns for Indian Navy (IN) warships, for which Italy’s OTO Melara was the sole bidder.

VULCANO can fire all standard 127-mm/5 inches ammunition as well as the new VULCANO family of ammunition
VULCANO can fire all standard 127-mm/5 inches ammunition as well as the new VULCANO family of ammunition

According to Rahul Bedi, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, OTO Melara has offered its 127/64 LW – Vulcano gun system for 13 indigenously designed and built Shivalik-class frigates and Delhi-class destroyers. OTO Melara emerged as the solitary vendor after BAE Systems declined to field its 127 mm/62 calibre Mk-45 Naval Gun System.

The November 2013 tender stipulated that three of the 13 naval guns would be imported and the remaining 10 licence-built by state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) at Haridwar, 200 km north of New Delhi. The MoD also wanted the vendors to undertake production, quality control and timeline guarantees for the BHEL-produced naval guns but without providing the vendor with executive or supervisory authority over the public sector company. BAE Systems opposed this arrangement, and in an official statement declared its unwillingness to accept the «disproportionate level of risk» in the tender.

Industry sources said OTO Melara has no such reservations as BHEL has been licence-producing its 76/62 Super Rapid Light gun since the mid-1990s. The contract will require special clearance by the MoD’s Defence Acquisition Council, however, as India’s Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) discourages solitary bids. The DPP provides for exceptions based on operational exigencies, of which the 127-mm gun procurement is one, Indian Navy sources said.

VULCANO is equipped with a modular feeding magazine, composed by 4 drums with 14 ready to fire ammunition each
VULCANO is equipped with a modular feeding magazine, composed by 4 drums with 14 ready to fire ammunition each

 

OTO Melara: 127/64 LW – VULCANO System

The 127/64 LW – VULCANO System consists of four key sub-systems:

  • The medium caliber 127/64 LW Gun assembly;
  • The Automated Ammunition Handling System;
  • The Naval Fire Control Support;
  • The VULCANO family of ammunition.

The 127/64 LW – VULCANO is a state of art medium caliber gun suitable for installation on large and medium size ships and intended for surface fire and naval gunfire support as main role and anti-aircraft fire as secondary role. The compactness of the gun feeding system makes possible the installation on narrow section crafts.

The 127/64 LW – VULCANO is equipped with a modular feeding magazine, composed by 4 drums with 14 ready to fire ammunition each, reloadable during firing, and highly flexible in terms of selection of ammunition, independently from their position in the drums. Ammunition flow is reversible as rounds can be downloaded automatically.

The maximum range of the gun is up to 100 km
The maximum range of the gun is up to 100 km

The 127/64 LW – VULCANO can fire all standard 127-mm/5 inches ammunition as well as the new VULCANO family of ammunition.

The 127/64 LW – VULCANO has digital/analogical interface and ballistic calculation capabilities that allow a smooth integration with any Combat Management System.

The Automatic Ammunition Handling System is a modular solution adaptable to any ship ammunition magazine layout; it is able to load the feeding magazine of the gun without man assistance during operation to allow a sustained firing action of the gun. The system is able to handle both standard 127-mm/5-inches ammunition and new VULCANO family of ammunition.

The Naval Fire Control Support is a mission planning system that may support the Combat Management System for definition of possible firing solutions, ammunition selection, trajectory definition, best ship course identification.

The 127-mm VULCANO ammunition family is composed by Ballistic Extended Range (BER) and Guided Long Range (GLR) ammunition with different multifunctional fuses, sensor and final guidance that extend the range of the gun up to 100 km.

The 127/64 LW VULCANO System is ITAR free and it has been currently selected by three customers.

 

Specifications

VULCANO is a state of art medium caliber gun suitable for installation on large and medium size ships
VULCANO is a state of art medium caliber gun suitable for installation on large and medium size ships

Rate of fire:                                       32 rds/min ± 10% elevation depending

Dry Weight (without ammunition):   33,000 kg ± 5% configuration depending

Training arc:                                       ±155º

Elevation arc:                                    -12º/+70º

Training speed/acceleration max:       40º/sec (60º/sec2)

Elevation speed/acceleration max:     30º/sec (40º/sec2)

Ready-to-fire-rounds:                 56

Range, max:                                       >100 km (Vulcano ammunition)

Cooling system:                               sea water – fresh water for flushing

Electrical power supply:                     440 V, 3 -phase, 60 Hz, <135 kW main circuit, 115 V, 1 -phase, 60 Hz, 4 kW

 

The last line of defense

After waiting on the U.S. to make good on plans to develop a diesel electric attack submarine (SSK) for almost 15 years, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence announced it was kicking off its own domestic attack submarine construction program, the agency told Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan. Defense officials told the legislative body preparation work would begin this year starting with a modest $315,000 start into a $94.46 million four-year effort, beginning in earnest in 2016.

A Taiwan Navy SS-793 Hai Lung diesel-electric submarine emerges from underwater during a naval demonstration near a military naval base in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, in this file picture taken January 22, 2013
A Taiwan Navy SS-793 Hai Lung diesel-electric submarine emerges from underwater during a naval demonstration near a military naval base in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, in this file picture taken January 22, 2013

According to Sam LaGrone, USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute, the planned result would be around four SSKs to replace the island’s current boats – 2 Dutch-built, 1980s vintage 2,600-ton Hai-lang-class SSKs and 2 World War II era U.S. Guppy-class boats used for training. «At present the navy’s demand is submarines ranging from 1,200-3,000 tons», Vice Adm. Hsiao Wei-min with the Republic of China Navy (RoCN) told the legislator on Monday.

The new boats are a long awaited hedge against the expansion of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the looming threat of an amphibious assault from the mainland. «After Taiwan has lost air and sea control, it’s the submarines that will still be able to attack groups of amphibious landing aircraft», Wang Jyh-perng, RoCN reserve captain told the Asia Times.

As is known, in 2001, the Bush administration promised Taiwan 8 U.S.-built SSKs but the boats never materialized for several reasons. With rare exception, the U.S. naval submarine industrial base has built only nuclear submarines (SSN) since the 1960s. Moreover, there are elements in the U.S. Navy are also reportedly reluctant to stray from the SSN model.

Hai Shih (SS-791), ex-USS Cutlass (SS-478), oldest active submarine in the world
Hai Shih (SS-791), ex-USS Cutlass (SS-478), oldest active submarine in the world

Taiwan’s other submarine options are non-existent. Other countries have been fearful of drawing the ire of mainland China by supplying Taiwan with submarines, or even design help. By the way, in November, 2014 the Chinese foreign ministry reiterated its position on foreign design aid to the RoCN following the announcement of U.S. and Italian companies in developing a domestic mine countermeasures (MCM) ship.

«We ask relevant countries to respect China’s core interests, adhere to the one-China principle, neither sell arms to Taiwan in any form nor assist Taiwan in developing its military equipment, and take concrete actions to support the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and peaceful reunification of China», said a foreign ministry spokesman.

Taiwan is now in the midst of naval capabilities refresh. In addition to the new SSK submarine program, it plans to acquire four U.S. Oliver Hazard Perry frigates – the USS Taylor (FFG-50), USS Gary (FFG-51), USS Carr (FFG-52) and USS Elrod (FFG-55) – and has recently launched the first of a planned class of missile frigates (USS Taylor).

USS Taylor, one of the frigates that the U.S. is scheduled to sell Taiwan
USS Taylor, one of the frigates that the U.S. is scheduled to sell Taiwan