Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on September 1 that the Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) is «pressure hull complete», signifying that all of the submarine’s hull sections have been joined to form a single, watertight unit. USS Washington (SSN-787) will be the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-class submarine (VCS) and the seventh to be delivered by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.
«Pressure hull complete is an exciting step toward the boat’s completion because it’s the point when the submarine really starts to take its final shape and is the last major construction milestone before christening and delivery next year», said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «As with all of our Virginia-class submarines, Washington represents a true team effort that involves our partners at General Dynamics Electric Boat, the Navy, our suppliers and the Washington crew».
Washington’s construction, which began in September 2011 under a teaming arrangement between Newport News and Electric Boat, marked the beginning of the VCS program’s two-submarines-per-year build plan. The ship is currently 83 percent complete.
«Over the last year and a half, I have enjoyed watching the many parts that make up a submarine come together», said Commander Jason Schneider, Washington’s commanding officer. «I can truly say Washington now looks like a submarine on the outside. I look forward to seeing the systems that make up the internals of the submarine continue to come together as we approach launch and delivery».
Nuclear Submarine Lineup
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-778 New Hampshire
SSN-779 New Mexico
SSN-784 North Dakota
SSN-785 John Warner
SSN-790 South Dakota
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover
SSN-796 New Jersey
EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Boeing will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft. The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircrafts for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a long-time partner to the U.S. Navy on P-8A development.
«By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the U.S. and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries», said Captain Scott Dillon, U.S. Navy P-8 program manager. «The U.S. and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come».
This latest award puts Boeing on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft, bringing the U.S. Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. Boeing has delivered 28 Poseidon aircrafts to date.
«Delivering premier aircraft on schedule and on cost has become a hallmark of the P-8 program», said James Dodd, Boeing vice president and general manager of Mobility, Surveillance and Engagement. «We look forward to building on Boeing’s long-standing relationship with Australia by providing the quality, value and capability of the P-8A».
Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced Anti-Submarine (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The U.S. Navy has deployed the first two P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.
Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the first in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the U.S. Navy on system design and development. The U.S. Navy and the RAAF also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
Production of the first Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the RAAF scheduled for 2016. Boeing will also provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.
Austal Limited is pleased to announce it has delivered Cape York the final of eight Cape Class Patrol Boats supplied to Australian Border Force (formerly Australian Customs and Border Protection) under a $330 million design, build and in-service support contract.
Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said that with eight boats successfully delivered within the original timeframe, Austal has demonstrated its credentials as a partner of choice for government defence vessel programs and a world leader in patrol boat design, build and sustainment.
«The on-time and on-budget delivery of all eight Cape Class Patrol Boats is a credit to our highly skilled team at the Henderson shipyard, which has achieved valuable production efficiencies as the program progressed; clearly demonstrating the benefits of continuous shipbuilding and reinforcing Austal’s capability to successfully design, build and sustain multiple naval and border protection vessel programs. Austal has delivered one Cape Class Patrol vessel approximately every 10 weeks over 2014-2015; which has significantly increased Australian Border Force’s capability to reliably deliver on the Border Protection obligations it undertakes for the Commonwealth of Australia», Mr. Bellamy said. «Our national sustainment team, services and facilities continues to grow in line with the Cape Class Patrol Boats coming into service; ensuring the operational availability of the Australian Border Force fleet around the country».
As the sole provider of the Commonwealth’s border patrol capability for the past 17 years and as a successful exporter, Austal has now delivered a total of 72 patrol boats. The company has recently submitted a tender for the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program, comprising 21 vessels for delivery to Pacific Island nations from 2017.
190.6 feet/58.1 m
35.4 feet/10.8 m
10.2 feet/3.1 m
Holding areas equipped with Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) and facilities for accommodating intercepted illegal foreign fishers and suspected unauthorized people attempting to enter Australia
Two deck-mounted 12.7-mm/0.50 cal general purpose machine guns
COMMUNICATION & SENSORS
Secure/Non-secure voice and data over Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and Sea Boat’s Situational Awareness
Integrated bridge system including Radars, 2 × Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS), 2 × Gyro Compass, Secure Automatic Identification System (AIS), 2 × Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), Electro-Optical Sensor System (EOSS) and Voyage Data Recorder (VDR)
2 × 24 feet/7.3 m Gemini
Motion control system
Austal 2 × 35 feet2/3.25 m2 roll fins; 2 × 48.4 feet2/4.5 m2 trim flaps
When the third Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 satellite, which is now in orbit, becomes fully operational later this year, it will provide the technology and coverage necessary for worldwide high-speed broadband access.
Inmarsat-5 F3 sent signals from space following its launch on August 28, on an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. After reaching final orbit, the spacecraft will undergo testing and checkout before becoming operational.
«The Inmarsat Global Xpress network will be the first high-speed Ka-band broadband network to span the world», said Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat. «New technology and engineering design will allow us to steer capacity where it’s needed most and adjust to shifting subscriber usage patterns and evolving demographics over the minimum 15-year life span of the network. We can now look forward to the introduction of global GX commercial services by the end of this year».
Each of the three Inmarsat-5 satellites use fixed narrow spot beams to deliver higher speeds through more compact terminals. Steerable beams direct additional capacity in real-time to where it’s needed to provide seamless, global broadband communications coverage to Inmarsat users worldwide on land, at sea, and in the air. The first two Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress satellites were launched December 2013 and February 2015, respectively. A fourth Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 (F4) is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016.
«The 702HP (high power) satellite is ideally suited for delivering the advanced capabilities Inmarsat required for this mission», said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. «More than 20 of these 702HP spacecraft are in orbit now for customers, including Inmarsat, providing reliable, affordable and innovative service».
Boeing has a strategic marketing partnership with Inmarsat and currently provides both military Ka-band and commercial Global Xpress services to U.S. government customers. Boeing recently concluded an extensive demonstration program for ten U.S. government customer communities using the Inmarsat-5 F2 spacecraft.
HMAS Adelaide (L01), Australia’s second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, is successfully completing her second and final sea trials in Port Phillip Bay. The 27,800-tonne warship will return to BAE Systems’ Williamstown shipyard later on August 28 where she will then be prepared for delivery to the Department of Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The main focus of the final sea trials was on testing the ship’s combat and communications systems. They were undertaken over a 10-day period throughout the ship’s journey from Williamstown to Jervis Bay, NSW and the return voyage. These areas were chosen to provide maximum flexibility and proximity to the Australian Defence Force assets being used.
The Royal Australian Navy will have the opportunity to perform various routine alongside exercises as it continues to build its capability for crewing the vessel while the ship compartments and systems are progressively handed over to the HMAS Adelaide (L01) crew as part of the overall ship delivery process.
The crew has already been trained for its role on the RAN’s second LHD ship. BAE Systems Australia trained all 700 crew serving on HMAS Adelaide (L01) and HMAS Canberra (L02) at the Company’s state-of-the-art training facility at Mascot, Sydney.
Director of Maritime, BAE Systems Australia, Bill Saltzer said: «The upcoming handover will of course be a very proud day for all involved with building HMAS Adelaide (L01), but it won’t be the end of our involvement with these mighty ships. As prime contractor for LHD In Service Support, our team of experienced engineers, technicians and logisticians in both Sydney and Williamstown will continue to be the key partner to the CASG and RAN in managing the availability of these two ships at Garden Island, Sydney. Our LHD team is now focused on the final elements of work in preparing HMAS Adelaide (L01) for delivery. Some of the team members on the LHD build program will then transition to the support services group. Some have already made that transition since the time of delivery of HMAS Canberra (L02). BAE Systems has the capability, experience and facilities to support and upgrade the Navy’s ships, as we are currently successfully demonstrating on the Anzac Frigate Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade project and our other support activities on both Anzac and Adelaide Class Frigates, Hydrographic Vessels and systems/components installed on the RAN’s minehunters and submarines».
757 feet/230.8 m
680 feet/207.2 m
105 feet/32 m
23.5 feet/7.18 m
Full Load Displacement
Crew and Embarked Forced Accommodation
2 × Siemens 11,000 kW PODs
2 × 1,500 kW Brunvoll/Siemens motors
2 × Fincantieri
1 × 22,000 kW GE LM2500 Gas Turbine and 2 × 7,680 kW Diesel
According to Sam LaGrone, USNI News editor, Japan has launched the second in its new class of helicopter carrier – the largest Japanese ships since World War II – in a Thursday (August 27) ceremony in Yokohama. The 24,000-ton Kaga (DDH-184) – built by ship builder Japan Marine United – bears the same name as the World War II Imperial Japanese Navy carrier Kaga that was part of Pearl Harbor attack and was sunk in the Battle Midway.
The ship follows JS Izumo (DDH-183) which entered service in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in March. The Japanese have said the primary roles of the two ships are Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. The ships «heightens our ability to deal with Chinese submarines that have become more difficult to detect», a JMSDF officer told Asahi Shimbum in March.
The ships will field seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60 ASW helicopters and seven AgustaWestland MCM-101 Mine CounterMeasure (MCM) helicopters, U.S. Naval Institute’s Combat Fleets of the World. There is a potential for the two ships to work with American MV-22s and potentially the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). However, the Japanese say they have no plans to operate the JSF from either ship.
When JS Kaga (DDH-184) commissions Japan will have four helicopter carriers. Along with Izumo, Japan have 18,300-ton Hyuga-class helicopter carriers already in commission.
Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated endurance capabilities with the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. On a planned 10+ hour flight and range out to 150 nautical miles/173 miles/278 km flight from Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu; the MQ-8C Fire Scout achieved 11 hours with over an hour of fuel in reserve.
The long range, long endurance flight was part of a series of capability based tests used by the U.S. Navy to validate their concept of operations and previously tested performance parameters. The U.S. Navy conducted the demonstration with support of Northrop Grumman engineers.
«Endurance flights provide a full evaluation of the MQ-8C Fire Scout systems», said Captain Jeff Dodge, program manager, Fire Scout, Naval Air Systems Command. «We can better understand the capability of the system and look at crew tasks and interactions in a controlled environment. This will allow us to adjust operational procedures to maximize the system’s effectiveness».
This is a new flight record set for the MQ-8 Fire Scout; a system designed to provide persistent reconnaissance, situational awareness, and precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces.
«Today’s MQ-8C Fire Scout performance matches our model exactly. With adjustments, our production aircraft will have 12 hours of total endurance on a standard day. This prolonged endurance gives the Navy’s commanders a tremendous operational advantage», said George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman. «Increased time-on-station and fewer launch and recovery cycles better enables the Navy’s diverse missions».
The MQ-8C Fire Scout completed its developmental flight test program earlier this year and has operational assessment planned for later this year. The MQ-8C Fire Scout has accumulated over 513 flight hours and flown 353 sorties.
41.4 feet/12.6 m
7.8 feet/2.4 m
Blades Folded Hangar
7.8×34.7×10.9 feet/2.4×10.6×3.3 m
10.9 feet/3.3 m
35 feet/10.7 m
Gross Take-Off Weight (GTOW)
6,000 lbs/2,721.5 kg
Rolls-Royce 250-C47B with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control)
The flight test campaign in Italy of the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle nEUROn has been successfully concluded with the achievement of all established goals, thus allowing an important step forward for the program.
The nEUROn is the European full-scale technological demonstrator for an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) developed by an industrial team led by Dassault Aviation with the collaboration of Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, Saab, Airbus Defence and Space, RUAG and HAI.
The aircraft has been deployed at the Italian Air Force’s Decimomannu Air Base, in Sardinia, Italy, where it has fulfilled a series of important operational tests. In particular, the 12 highly sensitive sorties have allowed to verify the characteristics of nEUROn’s combat capability, its low radar-cross section and low infrared signature, during missions flown at different altitudes and flight profiles and against both ground-based and air radar «threats», using in this latter case, an Eurofighter Typhoon.
During the deployment in Italy, the nEUROn has confirmed its already ascertained excellent performance and high operational reliability. Starting this summer, the next testing phase will be run in Sweden, at the Vidsel Air Base, where tests of low observability and use of weapon delivery from the aircraft’s Weapon Bay will be carried out.
The demonstrator’s development activity is an important step in the technology maturation process of the acquired technology, mitigating the level of risk of future investments for UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in Europe and moving towards systems’ development for operational uses.
The nEUROn is the European full-scale technological demonstrator for an UCAV developed by an industrial team led by Dassault Aviation with the collaboration of Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, Saab, Airbus Defence and Space, RUAG and HAI
The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) has awarded Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, a $6.7 billion firm fixed price production contract to manufacture the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The JLTV program fills a critical capability gap for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps by replacing a large portion of the legacy HMMWV fleet with a light tactical vehicle with far superior protection and off-road mobility. During the contract, which includes both Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) and Full Rate Production (FRP), Oshkosh expects to deliver approximately 17,000 vehicles and sustainment services.
«Following a rigorous, disciplined JLTV competition, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are giving our nation’s Warfighters the world’s most capable light vehicle – the Oshkosh JLTV», said Charles L. Szews, Oshkosh Corporation chief executive officer. «Oshkosh is honored to be selected for the JLTV production contract, which builds upon our 90-year history of producing tactical wheeled vehicles for U.S. military operations at home and abroad. We are fully prepared to build a fleet of exceptional JLTVs to serve our troops in future missions».
The JLTV program provides protected, sustained and networked light tactical mobility for American troops across the full spectrum of military operations and missions anywhere in the world. The JLTV production contract awarded to Oshkosh includes a base contract award and eight option years covering three years of LRIP and five years of FRP. Oshkosh will begin delivering vehicles approximately ten months after contract award.
«Because of the JLTV program, our Soldiers and Marines are getting a level of technical performance that no other vehicle can match», said U.S. Army Major General (Retired) John M. Urias, executive vice president of Oshkosh Corporation and president of Oshkosh Defense. «Our JLTV has been extensively tested and is proven to provide the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of an MRAP-class (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle, and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer. The Oshkosh JLTV allows troops to travel over rugged terrain at speeds 70% faster than today’s gold standard, which is our Oshkosh M-ATV. Looking to future battlefields, we know that our troops will face a myriad of threats. Soldiers and Marines can be assured that the highly capable Oshkosh JLTV will perform the mission».
The JLTV Family of Vehicles is comprised of two variants, a two-seat and a four-seat variant, as well as a companion trailer (JLTV-T). The two-seat variant has one base vehicle platform, the Utility (JLTV-UTL). The four-seat variant has two base vehicle platforms, the General Purpose (JLTV-GP) and the Close Combat Weapons Carrier (JLTV-CCWC).
The Oshkosh JLTV combines the latest in automotive technologies with the Oshkosh CORE1080 crew protection and TAK-4i independent suspension systems to provide next generation performance. In designing its JLTV, Oshkosh leveraged its extensive experience producing and sustaining more than 150,000 heavy, medium and protected MRAP vehicles for the U.S. and its allies.
«Developing our Oshkosh JLTV solution has been an incredible journey», said Szews. «For the past decade, our entire team has been focused on putting our troops behind the wheel of the world’s most capable light vehicle. It is our relationship with our troops and our deep appreciation for their service that inspires our best work every day. I offer my sincere thanks to our employees and suppliers for their years of dedication to reach this historic day».
The Oshkosh JLTV Journey
2005: Oshkosh begins developing its next generation TAK-4i independent suspension system
Airbus Helicopters has completed delivery of an initial four EC725s to the Royal Thai Air Force, providing highly-capable rotorcraft for this military service’s search and rescue and troop transport duties. The order of four EC725s was signed in 2012, with the deliveries having just been completed. They are expected to begin operations later this month. Two additional EC725s were booked in 2014 for deliveries to the Royal Thai Air Force next year.
«With Thailand’s investment in the modernization of its aircraft inventory, the EC725s will become a formidable asset in the Royal Thai Air Force’s helicopter fleet», said Fabrice Rochereau, Airbus Helicopters’ Vice President of Sales and Customer Relations in Asia Pacific.
The EC725 is an 11-ton twin-engine helicopter featuring high-performance navigation and mission systems – including a unique digital four-axis autopilot. Delivering excellent flight autonomy and seating 28 persons, this powerful helicopter is perfectly tailored for the Royal Thai Air Force’s Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions, Search and Rescue (SAR) flights, troop transport operations and other tasks.
«We welcome the Royal Thai Air Force as a new Airbus Helicopters operator», said Derek Sharples, the Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia. «They can count on our full resources to support the successful deployment of the aircraft, and proximity services from our Thailand-based customer center».
Airbus Helicopters’ EC725 is a military rotorcraft of reference for the Asia Pacific region. Indonesia has ordered six units, deliveries of which started in late 2014, while Malaysia is already operating its fleet of 12 aircraft, performing numerous SAR missions at high availability rates.
Designed for the most demanding missions, the H225M’s reliability and durability have been demonstrated in combat conditions and crisis areas that include Lebanon, Afghanistan and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya. As the latest member of Airbus Helicopters’ military Super Puma/Cougar family, this 11-metric-ton helicopter, previously named the EC725, is ready for multiple missions.
As a true multi-role platform, the H225M enables military forces to deploy wherever and whenever needed. Operating from both ships and land, this helicopter has an all-weather capability – including flight in icing conditions – supported by state-of-the-art night-vision goggle compatibility. The helicopter’s outstanding 700 nautical mile/806 miles/1,296 km range is extended with air-to-air refueling, which can be performed while in forward flight and during hover.
Powered by two latest-generation engines, the H225M’s five-blade rotor provides an exceptionally low vibration level, and the modular design of rotor mechanical assemblies allows for easier maintenance. The H225M is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and communication systems that reduce crew workload while enhancing mission capability and safety. Airbus Helicopters has incorporated significant advances in terms of man-machine interface, ensuring the most important information arrives to the pilot for the most effective decision-making process.
The flight crew has at their fingertips all navigation and piloting data from the electronic flight instruments in the glass cockpit, including dual-channel full-authority digital engine control for the H225M’s two Turbomeca turboshaft engines.
Airbus Helicopters’ renowned 4-axis, dual-duplex autopilot provides outstanding precision and stability and enables flight in search and rescue patterns as well as automatic approaches in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) procedures.
Unrivalled redundancy is provided in key onboard systems to maintain full functionality, including the dual-duplex Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), dual-engine Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) with backup; five LCD electronic flight instruments; and two Vehicle Monitoring Displays, among other features.
Using the proven military heritage of Airbus Helicopters’ Puma and Super Puma rotorcraft, the H225M was conceived with survivability in mind. Its airframe has reinforced structural main frames and is equipped with high energy-absorbing landing gear, along with self-sealing and crashworthy fuel tanks.
Cockpit protection is provided by armored and energy-absorbing crew seats, while the cabin can be equipped with armor plating in the floors and walls or fitted with armor-plated carpets. The rotor blades’ multi-box construction enhances their resistance to bullet impacts.
Contributing to the H225M’s survivability is a radar-warning receiver, missile approach warning system, and chaff/flare dispensers. The engine exhausts can be fitted with infrared suppressors, with protection against sand and ice provided by inlet design and with installable filters.
The H225M carries a strong «punch» when called on, ready for everything from front-line missions to critical logistics support. Qualified armament includes a 7.62-mm machine gun in the forward cabin windows; along with 180-round 20-mm gun pods and 19-tube 2.75-inch/70-mm rocket launchers.
Included in the mission avionics are a flight management system with Doppler, GPS satellite navigation and SAR modes; a digital moving map; a personal locator system; a loud speaker and a searchlight, among others.
From home base to the most remote locations, Airbus Helicopters conceived the H225M with maintainability in mind.
The Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines are of modular design for easy maintenance, and Airbus Helicopters’ Spheriflex fiberglass main rotor head is easy to adjust. The airframe includes a built-in step to access the engines.
Overall maintenance information is provided through the integrated HUMS (Health Usage Monitoring System).
2 pilots + 1 chief of stick + 28 seats
2 pilots + 8 to 12 passengers
2 pilots + up to 11 stretchers + 4 seats
4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
16.79 m/55.08 feet
3.96 m/13 feet
4.60 m/15.09 feet
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
11,000 kg/24,251 lbs
MTOW in external load configuration
11,200 kg/24,690 lbs
5,715 kg/12,600 lbs
5,285 kg/11,651 lbs
Maximum cargo-sling load
4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
Standard fuel capacity
2,247 kg/4,954 lbs
ENGINES 2 TURBOMECA MAKILA 2A1
Take-off power per engine
1,567 kW/2,101 shp
PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, ISA*, SL**
Maximum speed (Vne***)
324 km/h/175 knots
Fast cruise speed (at MCP****)
262 km/h/142 knots
Rate of climb
5.4 m/s/1,064 feet/min
Service ceiling (Vz = 0.508 m/s = 100 feet/min)
3,968 m/13,019 feet
Hover ceiling OGE***** at ISA*, MTOW, take-off power
792 m/2,600 feet
Maximum range without reserve at Economical Cruise Speed