Category Archives: Navy

155 Successful
Test Flights

The U.S. Navy conducted successful test flights February 22 of two Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles built by Lockheed Martin. This brings the D5 missile’s record to 155 successful test flights since design completion in 1989, a 25-year-plus reliability record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile.

The Mark 5 MIRV can carry up to 14 W88 (475 kt) warheads
The Mark 5 MIRV can carry up to 14 W88 (475 kt) warheads

«These latest test flights demonstrate the reliability of the D5 missile and the readiness of the entire Trident Strategic Weapon System every minute of every day», said Mat Joyce, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs and deputy for Strategic & Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. «The Navy program office, the submarine crews and the industry team never rest to ensure the safety, security and performance of this crucial deterrence system».

The Navy launched the unarmed missiles in the Pacific Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine. The missiles were converted into test configurations using kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.

The Trident II Strategic Weapons System is an improved Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile with greater accuracy, payload, and range than the Trident C-4
The Trident II Strategic Weapons System is an improved Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile with greater accuracy, payload, and range than the Trident C-4

The Navy conducts a continuing series of operational system evaluation tests of the Trident Strategic Weapon System, which is the sea-based element of the nation’s nuclear deterrent triad, under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines. The three-stage ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) and carries multiple independently targeted reentry bodies.

Trident II missiles are carried by 14 US Ohio and 4 British Vanguard-class submarines, with 24 missiles on each Ohio class and 16 missiles on each Vanguard class
Trident II missiles are carried by 14 US Ohio and 4 British Vanguard-class submarines, with 24 missiles on each Ohio class and 16 missiles on each Vanguard class

 

Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM)

The Trident II D5 is the latest generation of the U.S. Navy’s submarine-launched fleet ballistic missiles, following the highly successful Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident I C4 programs. First deployed in 1990, the Trident II D5 missile is currently aboard Ohio-class and British Vanguard-class submarines. Each missile weighs approximately 130,000 pounds (58,967 kilograms).

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy’s Trident missile prime contractor, developed and produced the missile and support equipment. The company also supplies technical and logistical support at sites where the missiles are deployed.

Maximum speed: approximately 18,030 mph/29,020 km/h/Mach 24
Maximum speed: approximately 18,030 mph/29,020 km/h/Mach 24

The FBM team continues to build on a remarkable mission success track record. Through June 2014, the Trident II D5 missile has achieved 150 successful test flights since design completion in 1989 – a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.

The first Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) developed and deployed by the United States was the Polaris A1 missile, named for the North Star. A two-stage ballistic missile with a range of 1,200 nautical miles (2,222 kilometers), the A1 was powered by solid fuel rocket motors and guided by a self-contained inertial guidance system independent of external commands or control. The A1’s first successful underwater launch from a submarine on July 20, 1960, brought to fruition a remarkable Navy and industry research and development effort begun only four years earlier. Subsequent Polaris missiles, the A2 and A3, increased the range and thus the operating area of the stealthy deterrent. U.S. deployment of the Polaris missile series ended with the retirement of the A3 in 1979.

The Trident II is a three-stage rocket, each stage containing a Solid-fuel rocket motor
The Trident II is a three-stage rocket, each stage containing a Solid-fuel rocket motor

The next generation of fleet ballistic missiles to follow Polaris was the Poseidon C3 missile. The Poseidon, despite being 20 inches (508 mm) wider in diameter, 36 inches (914 mm) longer and approximately 30,000 pounds (13,608 kilograms) heavier, fit into the same 16 launch tubes that carried Polaris. Poseidon carried twice the payload of the Polaris A3 with significantly improved accuracy. The first Poseidon test launch occurred on August 16, 1968. The first submarine-based test launch occurred on August 3, 1970, from USS James Madison (SSBN-627). The Poseidon was declared operational on March 31, 1971, and was deployed aboard all 31 Lafayette Class submarines.

The Trident I C4 missiles were the longest continuously operated Fleet Ballistic Missiles ever deployed by the U.S. Navy. Using advanced technology in propellants, micro-electronics and new weight-saving materials, the Trident I C4 missile incorporated the multiple independently-targeted vehicle capability of its predecessor Poseidon and provided an astounding range of more than 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) with a full payload.

Indian Navy

It said in The Times of India that in a major step towards building a formidable blue-water Navy for the future, the Modi government has cleared the indigenous construction of seven stealth frigates and six nuclear-powered attack submarines, which together will cost well upwards of Rs 1 lakh crore ($16.1 billion).

The Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy
The Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) took these decisions in tune with the «critical necessity» for India to bolster its «overall deterrence capability» in the entire Indian Ocean Region (IOR), especially its primary area of strategic interest stretching from the Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait.

Under the over Rs 50,000 crore «Project-17A» for stealth frigates, four will be constructed at Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai and three in Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata. «The contract will be inked with MDL and GRSE this month itself, with an initial payment of Rs 4,000 crore», said a source.

Both the defence shipyards are already geared up for the project because it’s a «follow-on» to the three 6,100-tonne stealth frigates built by MDL, INS Shivalik, INS Satpura and INS Sahyadari, which were inducted in 2010-2012.

The new multi-mission frigates will be larger, faster and stealthier than the Shivaliks as well as packed with more weapons and sensors to operate in «a multi-threat environment». Nevertheless, it could well take a decade, if not more, to build all the seven frigates.

The complex project for the nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs) will take longer. After the CCS approval, technical parameters or Naval Staff Qualitative Requirements (NSQRs) will now be drafted for the over 6,000-tonne submarines.

INS Shivalik is the lead ship of her class of stealth multi-role frigates built for the Indian Navy
INS Shivalik is the lead ship of her class of stealth multi-role frigates built for the Indian Navy

The SSNs are likely to be constructed at the secretive Ship-Building Centre (SBC) in Vizag, where India’s first three SSBNs (nuclear-powered submarines with nuclear ballistic missiles) are being built to complete the country’s nuclear weapons triad.

The government has basically «reworked» the 30-year diesel-electric submarine-building plan, approved by the CCS in 1999, which envisaged induction of 12 new conventional submarines by 2012, followed by another dozen by 2030. However, with no new submarine inducted until now, the government has decided to go in for six SSNs and 18 conventional vessels, said sources.

Nuclear-powered submarines are much deadlier than diesel-electric submarines since they do not need to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries. «SSNs, which usually carry only conventional missiles, can swiftly and quietly undertake long-range patrols. They can run at high speeds like 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 km/h) for much longer distances, hunting for targets and gathering intelligence», said an expert.

INS Chakra, the nuclear-powered Akula-II class SSN taken on a 10-year lease from Russia, may not be armed with long-range missiles due to international treaties, but has bolstered India’s depleting underwater combat arm that is currently grappling with just 13 ageing conventional diesel-electric submarines.

Armed with 300-km (162 NM/186 miles) range Klub-S land-attack cruise missiles and advanced torpedoes, INS Chakra can be a potent «hunter-killer» of enemy submarines and warships as well as provide effective protection to a fleet at sea.

INS Chakra, the nuclear-powered submarine taken on a 10-year lease from Russia
INS Chakra, the nuclear-powered submarine taken on a 10-year lease from Russia

Egyptian frigate

On Monday 16 February, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of a FREMM multi-mission frigate. This agreement strengthens the strategic relations initiated by DCNS last July with the signing of a contract to supply four Gowind 2500 corvettes.

D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (front view)
D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (front view)

Hervé Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DCNS, declared: «I would like to thank the Egyptian authorities for the trust they have once again placed in us, for the participation in the modernization of their defence system. DCNS will be keen to demonstrate that this trust is justified. The Group will do its utmost to ensure that this program is completed successfully».

The frigate, the current D651 «Normandie», will be delivered mid-2015 after some outfitting work, and the first phase of the training programme. The logistics and support services provided to the Egyptian Navy will then continue over several years.

D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (rear view)
D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (rear view)

For Hervé Guillou, «With this historical agreement, DCNS is pursuing a policy of long-term partnership with the Egyptian Navy and its shipyards, with whom we plan to invest in the long-term to develop their skills and industrial facilities. In addition, strengthening our relations opens new perspectives for the sale of vessels».

The FREMM delivered to the Egyptian Navy will be taken from the series currently under construction for the French Navy. To ensure that the operational capacities of the French Navy will not be affected, DCNS will speed up the rate of production of subsequent ships.

D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (right side view)
D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (right side view)

«I would like to stress that this success would not have been possible without a close-knit team in France and the tireless support of the French state services, in particular the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and the French Navy, who accepted the postponement of delivery of its second frigate».

 

FREMM – multi-mission frigate

Multi-mission frigates are versatile vessels able to respond to all types of air, marine, submarine or land threats. FREMM frigates are at the cutting edge of technology and are perfectly suited to ensuring that client navies are able to respond to current threats and the growing needs of maritime security.

A frigate is a ship capable of carrying out several types of mission: protection of a so-called high-value vessel (e.g.: an aircraft carrier), anti-ship warfare, anti-submarine or anti-aircraft warfare, surveillance of a maritime area. A modern frigate is a warship whose dimensions, weapons and equipment allow it to:

  • Navigate on the high seas regardless of the weather conditions;
  • Attack and defend itself, regardless of the level and origin (land, air, sea) of the threat;
  • Attack land-based targets thanks to long-range missiles;
  • Operate alone or in cooperation.
D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (sea trials)
D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (sea trials)

These ships respond to the needs of client navies, including one international client, the Royal Moroccan Navy (701 «Mohammed VI»). These vessels also comply with the most recent MARPOL (MARine POLlution) standards for environmental protection.

With 12 frigates, DCNS is thus the prime contractor of the largest European naval defence program. The FREMM multi-mission frigates are equipped with the most recent technologies developed by DCNS and the best systems available on the market.

FREMM frigates are equipped with hybrid propulsion. In silent mode, the shafts and propellers are driven by electric motors ensuring the acoustic discretion required for anti-submarine warfare operations. In high-speed propulsion mode, the shaft lines are driven by a gas turbine. A retractable thruster ensures manoeuvring safety at quay and in the port. This thruster also acts as an auxiliary propulsion system in the event of a breakdown of the main propulsion system.

D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (side view)
D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (side view)

According to Defense-aerospace.com, the sale of the ship to Egypt will have a strong impact on the French navy, and will require a complete reshuffling of the crews of the FREMM frigates D651 «Normandie» and D652 «Provence», which both are nearing the end of their user trials.

Specifically, once the contract is signed, the current crew of D651 «Normandie» will transfer to D652 «Provence», which will be home-ported in Brest. There, it will work up its anti-submarine warfare capabilities on the Atlantic coast, as originally planned. The current crew of D652 «Provence» will be reallocated to another FREMM frigate, D653 «Languedoc», which is currently being completed by DCNS, for fitting out.

Mechanically, this sale will delay by several months the arrival of the FREMM frigates into the fleet, and will induce a one-year extension of the anti-submarine frigates D642 «Montcalm» and D643 «Jean de Vienne», whose decommissioning has now been pushed back to 2017 and 2018 respectively. These service life extensions will enable the Navy to ensure its mission of maintaining an operational presence on all oceans, 24/24 and 365 days a year.

 

Technical characteristics

Overall length:               466 feet/142 m

Width:                                 65.6 feet/20 m

Displacement:                6,000 tonnes

Maximum speed:          27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h

Crew:                                   108 persons (helicopter detachment included)

Accommodation capacity:     145 men and women

Range:                       6,000 NM/11,112 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h

 

The only solution allowing on-time delivery is to hand over to Egypt one of the FREMM originally intended for the French navy, which is currently fitting out at DCNS’s Lorient shipyard: the frigate «Normandie».

 

The keel of Wichita

The Lockheed Martin industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s thirteenth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Wichita, in a ceremony held at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin, on February 9, 2015.

Lay the keel is a shipbuilding term that marks the beginning of the module erection process, which is a significant undertaking that signifies the ship coming to life
Lay the keel is a shipbuilding term that marks the beginning of the module erection process, which is a significant undertaking that signifies the ship coming to life

Ship sponsor Mrs. Kate Staples Lehrer completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel of Wichita (LCS-13). Mrs. Lehrer had her initials welded into a sheet of the ship’s steel, which will ultimately be mounted in the ship throughout its entire service. «This is an honor and a pleasure for me to be a sponsor of the USS Wichita», said Mrs. Lehrer. «My right hand will remain forever in a salute to those men and women who are building and to those who will serve on this special ship».

Wichita is a flexible Freedom-variant LCS that will be designed and outfitted with mission systems to conduct a variety of missions including anti-surface warfare, mine countermeasures and submarine warfare. The industry team building Wichita has delivered two ships with six others in various stages of construction and testing. The nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom, completed a U.S. Navy deployment in 2013, and USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is currently deployed for 16 months to Southeast Asia. These two deployments demonstrate how the ship class is addressing the U.S. Navy’s need for an affordable, highly-networked and modular ship unlike any other in the world.

The industry team building Wichita has delivered two ships with six others in various stages of construction and testing
The industry team building Wichita has delivered two ships with six others in various stages of construction and testing

«This ship class, and the industry team behind it, has shown it can adapt to meet the Navy’s most challenging missions and provide a powerful, modular platform», said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems at Lockheed Martin. «We have leveraged best practices and incorporated improvements based on sailors’ feedback to ensure the fleet is prepared and empowered to fight, operate and support the ship in the littorals and open seas worldwide».

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as nearly 900 suppliers in 43 states. «The LCS 13, Wichita, is a tangible measure of the collaboration and strength within this industry team», said Jan Allman, president and chief executive officer of Marinette Marine Corporation. «I’m extremely proud of our skilled workforce, the hardworking men and women that transform the LCS from a design into a powerful warship that will serve an invaluable role in the Fleet. Through Fincantieri’s expansion and improvement in our facility, Marinette Marine was tailored to grow with this program, and we look forward to continuing our valuable partnership with the U.S. Navy».

Lay the keel is a shipbuilding term that marks the beginning of the module erection process, which is a significant undertaking that signifies the ship coming to life. Modern warships are now largely built in a series of pre-fabricated, complete hull sections rather than a single keel, so the actual start of the shipbuilding process is now considered to be when the first sheet of steel is cut and is often marked with a ceremonial event.

 

The USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is operating in the vicinity of the tail section and is supporting Indonesian-led efforts to locate the downed aircraft. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos)

 

Christening

Lewis B. Puller, the first purpose built at-sea platform for Mine CounterMeasure (MCM) helicopters and Special Operations Forces (SOF) was christened at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California on February 7, 2015, according to the company. U.S. Marine Corps commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

USNS Lewis B. Puller MLP-3/ASFB-1 (NASSCO Photo)
USNS Lewis B. Puller MLP-3/ASFB-1 (NASSCO Photo)

The Afloat Forward Staging Base – USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/ASFB-1) – was formally named in a ceremony at NASSCO ahead of an anticipated delivery to U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) in September. The ship is capable of supporting additional missions including: counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response.

The first two ships (USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn) have been designated Mobile Landing Platforms (MLP) and will operate as an interface between MSC (Military Sealift Command) cargo ships and Navy landing craft to expand the projection power of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The two planned ships in the class plan to be forward deployed assets for the Navy – one to the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Middle East and one to the U.S. 7th Fleet in the Pacific.

The Navy currently employs the Austin-class LPD, USS Ponce (AFSB-(I)-15), as a Middle East AFSB. In December 2014, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded NASSCO $498 million to start construction on the second AFSB.

The MLP AFSB – based on the hull of an Alaska-class crude oil tanker – is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy’s large-scale airborne mine countermeasures mission. With accommodations for 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck (capable of fielding MH-53E Sea Dragon MCM helicopters), the MLP AFSB will provide a highly capable, innovative and affordable asset to the Navy and Marine Corps.

USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/AFSB-1) was launched at the San Diego yard on November 6, 2014. Lewis B. Puller is slated to become operational in 2015 and will likely replace the current AFSB stand in – USS Ponce (AFSB-(I)-15). The second ship (MLP-4/AFSB-2) will most likely based in the Pacific.

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 6, 2014) The mobile landing platform Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1) successfully completed launch and float-off at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) shipyard.
SAN DIEGO (Nov. 6, 2014) The mobile landing platform Lewis B. Puller (T-MLP-3/T-AFSB-1) successfully completed launch and float-off at the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO) shipyard.

 

General Characteristics, Montford Point Class

Builder:                                             NASSCO

Propulsion:                                     Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion

Length:                                              785 feet/239.3 m

Beam:                                                 164 feet/50 m

Displacement:                              78,000 tons (fully loaded)

Draft:                                                 30 feet/9 m (fully loaded); 40 feet/12 m (load line)

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

Range:                                               9,500 nautical miles/17,594 km

Crew:                                                 34 Military Sealift Command personnel

Accommodations:                      250 personnel

 

Ships:

USNS Montford Point (MLP-1)

USNS John Glenn (MLP-2)

USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/AFSB-1) – Launched – November 6, 2014

USNS (MLP-4/AFSB-2) – Under construction

An artist’s conception of the Afloat Forward Staging Base
An artist’s conception of the Afloat Forward Staging Base

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/)