Maiden flight

On May 7, 2015, the AN-178 new transport, created by ANTONOV in cooperation with partners from 15 countries, performed maiden flight.

Being a representative of the family of regional aircraft, already known worldwide, the AN-178 is also being considered as a basic platform for designing of a number of modifications of civil and military destinations
Being a representative of the family of regional aircraft, already known worldwide, the AN-178 is also being considered as a basic platform for designing of a number of modifications of civil and military destinations

The first 1-hour duration flight performed a crew of ANTONOV test pilots, composed of: Andrii Spasibo, test pilot of the 1st class – the crew captain, Sergii Troshyn, test pilot of the 1st class, Hero of Ukraine – the 2nd pilot, Mykola Sydorenko, leading test engineer. After landing in Kyiv-Antonov airport (Gostomel) the crew reported on a successful flight task realization to Dmytro Kiva, President – General Designer.

According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, no specific details relating to the flight were revealed, neither were the timelines for the remainder of the flight test process or production plans for prospective military customers.

First revealed in February 2010, the twinjet An-178 is intended to replace the An-12 «Cub», the An-26 «Curl», and An-32 «Cline» airlifters. The An-178 is, in essence, an An-158 regional jet with a rear-loading ramp (the two types share a number of components, including the front fuselage and cockpit, and nosewheel leg).

While the AN-178 designing, requests of both commercial airlines and military aircraft operators including Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Ukraine were taken in account
While the AN-178 designing, requests of both commercial airlines and military aircraft operators including Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Ukraine were taken in account

The AN-178 with km fuel consumption practically equal to the AN-12 will have essentially higher productivity owing to cruising speed increased on 35%. Besides, the new aircraft will be able to be operated at the altitudes of up to 12,200 m/40,026 feet, while the AN-12 cruising speed is limited by 8,500 m/27,887 feet. One of the most important advantages of the AN-178 over AN-12 is its correspondence to modern standards of airworthiness, and to perspective demands taking into account further aircraft development.

The unique feature of the AN-178 is ability to carry all the types of the existing packaged freights (containerized and palletized ones), including high capacity 1C containers (sea container) with lateral sizes of 2.44×2.44 m/8×8 feet. This makes it an indispensable transport to provide logistic support in commercial operation and in armed forces, as well as operations under emergency situations. As all ANTONOV aircraft, the AN-178 inherits such necessary for military transport aircraft qualities as basing on poor equipped, unpaved airfields, autonomy, high reliability and vitality.

Decision as for start of the AN-178 program was taken basing on estimation of the world market demands
Decision as for start of the AN-178 program was taken basing on estimation of the world market demands

 

Characteristics

Crew 4
Length 32.95 m/108.1 feet
Wingspan 28.84 m/94.62 feet
Height 10.14 m/33.27 feet
Wing area 87.32 m2/939.9 feet2
Maximum payload 18 tonnes/39,683 lbs
Cargo hold measuring (including ramp) 16.65 m/54.63 feet
Cargo hold measuring (excluding ramp) 12.85 m/42.16 feet
Cargo width at the floor 2.75 m/9 feet
Cargo height 2.75 m/9 feet
Cargo floor area 40 m2/430.5 feet2
Cargo hold volume 125 m3/ 4,414.3 feet3
Powerplant 2 × Progress D-436-148FM Turbofan
Cruise speed 445 knots/512 mph/824 km/h
Service ceiling 12,200 m/40,026 feet
Range 2,970 NM/3,417.5 miles/5,500 km
Range fully loaded 540 NM/621 miles/1,000 km

The AN-178, created on the basis of wide ANTONOV experience in the field of transport aircraft design in combination with the newest aviation technologies in the world, is the further development of the AN-148/AN-158 family of regional jets of different purposes

The AN-178, created on the basis of wide ANTONOV experience in the field of transport aircraft design in combination with the newest aviation technologies in the world, is the further development of the AN-148/AN-158 family of regional jets of different purposes

 

Ukrainian state-run aircraft manufacturer ANTONOV on May 7, 2015 held the maiden flight of its new AN-178 transport aircraft in the capital Kiev, marking another step towards replacing the nation’s aging transport aircraft

 

Australia Accepts

At a ceremony on May 6, 2015 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Townsville in northern Queensland, Australia commissioned their first two Boeing CH-47F Chinook advanced configuration aircraft. It is a major milestone in the updating of the Australian Army’s cargo helicopter fleet.

Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)
Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)

The acquisition is part of an ongoing transformation that is allowing Australia to build one of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced armed forces. Five additional new Chinooks will be delivered this year, eventually replacing an existing fleet of six older Boeing CH-47D Chinooks.

«The outgoing CH-47D Chinooks have proved highly effective in Australian operations, and the new CH-47F Chinook will deliver an improved cargo helicopter for Australia’s Army», said Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Defence Materiel Organisation. «Furthermore, the project to deliver the new Chinooks remains on schedule and under budget».

Australia was among the Chinook’s first international customers and now there are almost twenty countries operating the helicopter.

The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel
The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel

«Working with our Australian allies to build a modernised Chinook fleet enables more seamless operations with U.S. and other forces», said Colonel Robert Barrie, project manager, U.S. Army Cargo Helicopter Office.

«The Australian Army values the features and capabilities of the advanced CH‑47F Chinook and we delivered them as promised», said Steve Parker, Boeing vice president, Cargo Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «These aircraft will meet their demanding mission requirements now and well into the future».

The Australian Chinook fleet is flown by the Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade. Under the scope of the contract, Boeing Defence Australia will provide delivery and on-site operational maintenance support to the seven aircraft.

For more than 70 years, Boeing and Australia have maintained a partnership operating and supporting a broad range of platforms that now includes, in addition to Chinook, the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control System and C-17 Globemaster III.

The current CH-47F modernization programs will ensure this tandem rotor helicopter remains in the Army fleet through the 2030s
The current CH-47F modernization programs will ensure this tandem rotor helicopter remains in the Army fleet through the 2030s

 

Technical Specifications

Rotor Diameter 18.29 m/60 feet
Length with Rotors Operating 30.14 m/98 feet, 10.7 inch
Fuselage 15.46 m/50 feet, 9 inch
Height 5.68 m/18 feet, 7.8 inch
Fuselage Width 3.78 m/12 feet, 5 inch
Fuel Capacity 20,411 kg/45,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Takeoff 36,700 kg/81,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Weight 22,680 kg/50,000 lbs
Useful Load 10,886 kg/24,000 lbs
Maximum Speed 170 KTAS/196 mph/302 km/h
Cruise Speed 157 KTAS/181 mph/291 km/h
Service Ceiling 6,096 m/20,000 feet
Mission Radius 200 NM/370.4 km
Chinooks serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world
Chinooks serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world

Formula One

Engineers at BAE Systems have applied the new upgrade «Active Damping» system to current variants of the CV90 combat vehicle family; breaking speed records in rough terrain and increasing the CV90’s agility by reducing the vehicle’s pitch acceleration by approximately 40 per cent – taking a world class system to the next level, and leaving competitors behind.

In a world first, tracked military vehicles are being upgraded with technology adapted from Formula One to improve handling and speed across the battlefield
In a world first, tracked military vehicles are being upgraded with technology adapted from Formula One to improve handling and speed across the battlefield

First introduced into Formula One in the 1990s, the «Active Damping» system works by sensing the speed of the vehicle and lay-out of the terrain ahead and responding by pressurising the suspension to keep the vehicle on a level plane at all times.

This increased stability across all terrain is helping to reduce the wear and tear on the armoured vehicles and subsequently reduce through-life repair costs for each vehicle, despite seeing each able to travel 30 – 40 per cent faster on rough terrain.

For the crew of a CV90, the technology means a smoother ride and a reduction in fatigue; an important factor on the battlefield. The reduced vertical motion also increases the gunner’s probability of finding and hitting targets.

F1 technology adapted to Armoured Combat Vehicles by BAE Systems
F1 technology adapted to Armoured Combat Vehicles by BAE Systems

The suspension system usually operates on carbon fibre racing cars weighing no more than 700 kg, but engineers at BAE Systems have cleverly adapted it to use on heavy tracked vehicles, some weighing as much as 35 tonnes. In recent trials a CV90 fitted with active damping set a new speed record on a rough terrain course, beating the Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).

Dan Lindell, CV90 Platform Manager at BAE Systems, said: «Adapting the Active Damping system for the first time from a light weight car to a heavy tracked vehicle such as CV90 was a unique challenge for us, but this advanced technology will deliver results to our customers in terms of vehicle performance and savings on the through life costs, as well as providing real benefits to the front line solider».

The CV90 is designed and built by BAE Systems in Sweden and is one of the largest families of armoured combat vehicles. CV90 is currently used in countries such as Norway, Finland and Denmark and has successfully performed in global operations including UN and NATO collaborations.

CV90 Active Damping
CV90 Active Damping

 

Specifications

Top speed:                                           43.5 mph/70 km/h

Range:                                                    559 miles/900 km

Payload:                                                16 tonnes

Ballistic:                                                 > 5

Mine:                                                        > 4a/4b

Trench crossing:                                 2.6 m/8.5 feet

Step climbing:                                      1.1 m/3.6 feet

Fording:                                                   1.5 m/4.9 feet

Remote Weapon Station (RWS):      7.62 – 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL)

Turret:                                                        25-120 mm/0.98-4.72 inch

No. of operators:                                   3 + 7

Gradient:                                                    60 %

Power to weight ratio:                        17.1-24.2 kW/ton

Electrical power:                                     570 A

Engine:                                                           Scania V8

Operating temperature:                      C2-A1

Driveline

Steel or rubber tracks:      ≤ 28 tonnes

Steel:                                            > 28 tonnes

Semi active dampening

F1 technology adapted to CV90
F1 technology adapted to CV90

 

GPS number III

First GPS III space vehicle prepares for testing in simulated harsh space environments. Using a 10-ton crane, Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians gently lowered the system module of the U.S. Air Force’s first next generation GPS III satellite into place over its propulsion core, successfully integrating the two into one space vehicle.

An artist’s rendering of the GPS III satellite
An artist’s rendering of the GPS III satellite

GPS III space vehicle one (SV 01) is the first of a new, advanced GPS satellite design block for the U.S. Air Force. GPS III will deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities and extend spacecraft life to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the satellites launching today. GPS III’s new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems.

The systems integration event brought together several major fully functional satellite components. The system module includes the navigation payload, which performs the primary positioning, navigation and timing mission. The functional bus contains sophisticated electronics that manage all satellite operations. The propulsion core allows the satellite to maneuver for operations on orbit.

«The final integration of the first GPS III satellite is a major milestone for the GPS III program», said Mark Stewart, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area. «This summer, SV 01 will begin Thermal Vacuum testing, where it will be subjected to simulated harsh space environments. Successful completion of this testing is critical as it will help validate our design and manufacturing processes for all follow-on GPS III satellites».

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to build eight GPS III satellites at its GPS III Processing Facility near Denver, a factory specifically designed to streamline satellite production.

The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

Lockheed Martin recently fully integrated the U.S. Air Force’s first next generation GPS III satellite at the company’s Denver-area satellite manufacturing facility.  The first in a design block of new, more powerful and accurate GPS satellites, GPS III Space Vehicle One is now preparing for system-level testing this summer
Lockheed Martin recently fully integrated the U.S. Air Force’s first next generation GPS III satellite at the company’s Denver-area satellite manufacturing facility. The first in a design block of new, more powerful and accurate GPS satellites, GPS III Space Vehicle One is now preparing for system-level testing this summer

 

GPS III Facts

GPS III Specification
Customer U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center
Mission Highly accurate 3-D position, velocity and precise time
Orbit Six orbit planes at 55° inclination
Altitude 10,898 NM/20,183.1 km
Design life 15 years; 13-year MMD (Mean Mission Duration)
Launch weight 8,553 lbs/3,879.58kg
On-orbit weight 5,003 lbs/2,269.32 kg
Size (W×D×H) 97×70×134 inch/2.46×1.78×3.40 m
Position accuracy Under one meter, with daily updates from the control segment
Electrical Power System
Solar array 307 feet2/28.52 m2; high-efficiency UTJ (Ultra Triple Junction) cells; 4,480-W EOL (End-Of-Life) capability
Battery system Nickel hydrogen (NiH2); rechargeable
Electronics Central controller with redundant discharge converters, battery chargers
Attitude Determination and Control
Design approach Zero momentum, 3-axis stabilized, Earth-oriented, Sun-Nadir pointing
Attitude reference Static Earth sensor, Sun sensor, control reaction wheels/magnetic torquers
Propulsion Subsystem
Design approach Bipropellant; Hydrazine, NTO (Nitrogen Tetroxide Oxidizer)
Propellant capacity 5,180 lbm
Thrusters 100-lb Liquid Apogee Engine, twelve 0.2-lb REAs, six 5-lb REAs (Rocket Engine Assembly)
Structural and Thermal
Modular design Four aluminum honeycomb panels mounted to a central composite core
Passive thermal Heat pipes in equipment panels, control blankets, thermal coatings, radiators and electrically controlled heaters
Navigation Payload
Timekeeping Enhanced performance for increased subsystem accuracy; improved anomaly resolution; includes multiple atomic frequency standards (Rubidium clocks), radiation-hardened design, high stability timing, automated integrity monitoring
Mission data unit Rad-Hard processor; expanded waveform generation, full message encoding and processing; real-time Kalman filter
Crosslink transponder Legacy UHF (Ultra High Frequency) receive and transmit, precision intersatellite ranging, full-frame modulation and mode control
New GPS III signal L1C (p, d); programmable waveform generation
Tracking, Telemetry and Command
Space vehicle computer Rad-Hard processor; command and telemetry processing, Bus functions, payload accommodation
Autonomy Redundancy management for on-board power and Bus components
Security architecture Encrypted data links using redundant architecture cryptographic units, centralized command decoding, flexible telemetry communications
RF links S-Band, SGLS/USB Transponder

 

GPS provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and supports a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions – from air traffic control to navigation systems in cars, cell phones and wristwatches

 

Damen’s new OPV

On 20 April 2015, Damen Shipyards Group gave a sneak preview of their newly designed 2nd generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) during the annual OPVs & Corvettes Asia Pacific conference in Singapore. Damen’s Design & Proposal Manager Piet van Rooij explained how this new OPV has been configured for various missions.

The development of the «Axe Bow Concept» followed, a hull shape with unparalleled seakeeping characteristics: the maximum acceleration ever measured on the bow of an existing Axe-Bow is 1.3 G. Based on this concept, Damen has developed the «Sea Axe» Patrol Boats and Fast Crew Suppliers. Damen has delivered over 150 Axe-Bows since 2006
The development of the «Axe Bow Concept» followed, a hull shape with unparalleled seakeeping characteristics: the maximum acceleration ever measured on the bow of an existing Axe-Bow is 1.3 G. Based on this concept, Damen has developed the «Sea Axe» Patrol Boats and Fast Crew Suppliers. Damen has delivered over 150 Axe-Bows since 2006

This new generation of re-configurable Damen OPVs is highly efficient and incredibly versatile. Damen’s famous Sea Axe hull shape is used for these 2nd generation OPVs. Due to this hull design, these vessels demonstrate superior seakeeping including exceptional low heave accelerations. This makes the vessel very comfortable, even in stormy sea states.

Since the hull is designed to reduce water resistance, the new OPV is also very fuel efficient and capable of speeds up to 25/26 knots/29/30 mph/46/48 km/h.

Versatility has been reinvented by three newly developed multi-mission locations – namely the Bridge, Hangar and Bay. The Multi-Mission Bay (MM Bay) can be equipped with dedicated mission modules (e.g. mission containers) for missions such as counter piracy, counter-drug operations, Anti-Mining Warfare (AMW), Search-And-Rescue (SAR) etc.

The MM Bay is also equipped with a nine-meter Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB), which can be launched over a dedicated slipway through the rear of the vessel while the OPV is sailing. In the Damen-built Holland Class Ocean Patrol vessels for the Royal Netherlands Navy this system has already proven to be safe in operations up to SS 5 conditions.

Mission modules (dedicated containers) can be lifted into the Multi-Mission Bay, through the helicopter deck
Mission modules (dedicated containers) can be lifted into the Multi-Mission Bay, through the helicopter deck

Unlike other OPVs, the Command-and-Control Centre (C2 Centre) is located directly behind the bridge. Damen calls this development their Multi-Mission Bridge (MM Bridge). Both spaces can be separated by means of a blinded sliding wall. OPVs are less likely to take part in combat situations such as those faced by a frigate.

During a mission, when lowering the sliding wall, situation awareness in the C2 Centre is improved, allowing C2 Centre officers to observe the situation immediately with their own eyes.

Mr. Van Rooij comments: «Today OPVs don’t engage in combat situations as often as frigates do, however, fast and effective coordination during a ‘chase’ is essential for an OPV».

The Multi-Mission Hangar (MM Hangar) is capable of storing an 11-tonne NH-90 helicopter and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) such as the Boeing ScanEagle. The MM Hangar has been designed so that the OPV crew can deploy either the helicopter or the UAV without having to move either one. Furthermore, there is space for a spare parts store and workshop for both the helicopter and UAV.

The Damen OPV 2nd generation is available as a standard in four series:

  • 75 meter/246 feet – 1,400 tonnes;
  • 85 meter/279 feet – 1,800 tonnes;
  • 95 meter/312 feet – 2,400 tonnes;
  • 103 meter/338 feet – 2,600 tonnes.
Depending on the mission and the situation, the C&C Centre can be separated from the Bridge by means of a blinded sliding door
Depending on the mission and the situation, the C&C Centre can be separated from the Bridge by means of a blinded sliding door

 

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

Series OPV 1400 OPV 1800 OPV 2400 OPV 2600
Displacement 1,400 tonnes 1,800 tonnes 2,400 tonnes 2,600 tonnes
Length o.a. 75 m/246 feet 85 m/279 feet 95 m/312 feet 103 m/338 feet
Beam moulded 12.7 m/ 41.7 feet 13.7 m/45 feet 14.4 m/47 feet 14.4 m/47 feet
Draft 3.8 m/12.5 feet 4 m/13 feet 4 m/13 feet 4 m/13 feet
Speed maximum (MSR) 23 knots/ 26 mph/42 km/h 25 knots/ 29 mph/46 km/h 26 knots/ 30 mph/48 km/h 26 knots/ 30 mph/48 km/h
Range 4,000 NM/ 7,408 km 5,000 NM/ 9,260 km 6,000 NM/ 11,112 km 7,000 NM/ 12,964 km
Endurance 25 days 30 days 40 days 40 days
Helicopter & UAV hangar telescopic telescopic telescopic telescopic
Helicopter flight deck & refueling standard standard standard standard
Helicopter hangar area, L×B 19.2×6 m/ 63×19.7 feet 19.2×6 m/ 63×19.7 feet 19.2×6 m/ 63×19.7 feet 19.2×6 m/ 63×19.7 feet
Helicopter flight deck area, L×B 25×12.7 m/ 82×41.7 feet 25×13.7 m/ 82×45 feet 25×14.4 m/ 82×47 feet 25×14.4 m/ 82×47 feet
Take-off weight maximum 6 tonnes 11 tonnes 11 tonnes 11 tonnes
Multi-Mission Bridge standard standard standard standard
Multi-Mission Bay standard standard standard standard
Mission Module Containers 2 3 3 5
Number of RHIBs 2 2 2
Length of RHIBs 9 m 9 m 9 m 9 m
Core Complement capacity 40 60 60 60
Additional in Multi-role compartment 12 36 48 48
Multi-role compartment area 130 m2/ 1,399.3 feet2 190 m2/ 2,045.1 feet2 220 m2/ 2,368 feet2 320 m2/ 3,444.4 feet2
A small slipway makes ultrafast RHIB deployment possible, while sailing
A small slipway makes ultrafast RHIB deployment possible, while sailing

Accompany or escort?

It is said in The DefenseNews that U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf are accompanying U.S.-flagged merchant vessels through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran’s recent seizure of one cargo ship and its harassment of another in international waters. A dozen ships are operating in the area and capable of providing support, the official said on May 1. U.S. warships frequently transit the strait, but it is more unusual for the U.S. to routinely convoy U.S.-flagged merchants through.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) operate in the Arabian Sea conducting maritime security operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony N. Hilkowski/Released)
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) operate in the Arabian Sea conducting maritime security operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony N. Hilkowski/Released)

The warships include ships with the Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group, which entered 5th Fleet three weeks ago and spent several days in the waters off Yemen, a show of force that compelled Iranian ships to turn around. The ships at NAVCENT’s disposal include:

  • The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71);
  • The cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60);
  • The destroyers USS Paul Hamilton (DDG-60), USS Milius (DDG-69), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) and USS Farragut (DDG-99);
  • Coastal patrol ships USS Monsoon (PC-4), USS Typhoon (PC-5), USS Firebolt (PC-10), USS Whirlwind (PC-11) and USS Thunderbolt (PC-12);
  • The minesweeper USS Devastator (MCM-6).
More than 300 Sailors embarked aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG-99) depart homeport at Naval Station Mayport to support the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. While deployed, they will serve in the U.S. 5th and 6th  Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean P. La Marr/Released)
More than 300 Sailors embarked aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG-99) depart homeport at Naval Station Mayport to support the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. While deployed, they will serve in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean P. La Marr/Released)

The move comes as tensions rise in the region, with news that Iranian navy ships harassed one U.S.-flagged shipping vessel in international waters and later boarded a Marshall Islands cargo ship, a country under U.S. protection. Only a week before, the Theodore Roosevelt and members of its strike group converged off the coast of Yemen, as rumors swirled that Iranian cargo ships were bringing in weapons to arm the Houthi rebels in their clash against Yemeni government.

The Defense Department is not communicating with Iran, and the country’s motives are, «not clear to the Department of Defense», Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren told reporters. «It’s difficult to know why the Iranians are operating this way», he said said. «We certainly call on them to respect all of the internationally established rules of freedom of navigation, the Law of the Sea, to which they are a signatory, and other established protocols».

The Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Whirlwind (PC-11) transits the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)
The Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Whirlwind (PC-11) transits the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

On the other hand, according to Defense One, when Pentagon officials announced yesterday that they would increase protection for U.S.-flagged vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, they also introduced a bit of confusion. U.S. Navy sailors know what it means to escort another vessel. Generally speaking, a warship meets up with another ship, or even a group of them, and together they set out on a voyage, matching courses and speeds for most of the way. That is what happens when an aircraft carrier deploys with its battle group; that is what happened when U.S. warships shepherded tanker convoys through the war-wracked Persian Gulf of the late 1980s.

However, when Pentagon officials announced that the Navy would be increasing the protection given to U.S.-flagged ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, they used a different word: «accompany». And it turns out they meant something a bit different from the far more commonly used «escort». A spokesman for the Navy’s Fifth Fleet, Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, explained, «U.S. naval forces will transit the strait along with and nearby such shipping, although it is not as though they’ll necessarily be in some sort of formation».

«Accompanying is basically a step down from escorting», the official said. «The U.S. Navy ships will be in the same general area as the U.S.-flagged merchant vessels and are there to ensure a safe flow of maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz».

The mine countermeasures ship USS Devastator (MCM-6) prepares to re-supply during the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX). With a quarter of the world's navies participating including 6,500 Sailors from every region, IMCMEX is the largest international naval exercise promoting maritime security and the free-flow of trade through mine countermeasure operations, maritime security operations, and maritime infrastructure protection in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and throughout the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ace Rheaume/Released)
The mine countermeasures ship USS Devastator (MCM-6) prepares to re-supply during the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX). With a quarter of the world’s navies participating including 6,500 Sailors from every region, IMCMEX is the largest international naval exercise promoting maritime security and the free-flow of trade through mine countermeasure operations, maritime security operations, and maritime infrastructure protection in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and throughout the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ace Rheaume/Released)

Christening of John

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the company’s 29th Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) Aegis guided missile destroyer, USS John Finn (DDG-113), today in front of nearly 1,000 guests.

Ship Sponsor Laura Stavridis smashes a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the Ingalls-built Aegis destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113). Also pictured (left to right) are Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens; Cmdr. Micheal Wagner, prospective commanding, John Finn; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. Photo by Andrew Young/HII
Ship Sponsor Laura Stavridis smashes a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the Ingalls-built Aegis destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113). Also pictured (left to right) are Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens; Cmdr. Micheal Wagner, prospective commanding, John Finn; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. Photo by Andrew Young/HII

DDG-113 is named John Finn after the first Medal of Honor recipient of World War II. Finn received the honor for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor despite being shot in the foot and shoulder and suffering numerous shrapnel wounds. He retired as a lieutenant after 30 years of service and died at age 100 in 2010.

«I often speak to the members of the Chief Petty Officer Mess about the characteristics of a leader and, more specifically, the characteristics I expect to see in my chiefs», said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens, who was the principal speaker. «I tell them that a model chief petty officer is a quiet, humble and servant leader. I believe with all my heart that John Finn exemplified all of these traits through his heroic actions that day».

Laura Stavridis, wife of Admiral James Stavridis (U.S. Navy, Ret.) and DDG-113 ship sponsor, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the ship, officially christening DDG-113 as John Finn. «God bless this ship and all who sail on her», she said.

«Finn outlived 14 fellow sailors who earned the Medal of Honor for their service in World War II», said Mike Petters, HII’s president and CEO. «Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to know that a Navy ship would be named after him. I think he would be as humbled by this honor as he was with the title of hero bestowed upon him. Just remember his words: ‘There’s all kinds of heroes.’ And if you ask me, this ship was built for heroes by heroes. All in the name of freedom».

Ingalls Shipbuilding launched the Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer John Finn (DDG-113) on Saturday morning (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
Ingalls Shipbuilding launched the Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer John Finn (DDG-113) on Saturday morning (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

Ingalls has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls are USS John Finn (DDG-113), USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119). Earlier this year, Ingalls received a contract modification funding the construction of the company’s 33nd destroyer, DDG-121.

«Rest assured these shipbuilders – Ingalls shipbuilders – understand their noble calling», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «To build ships like John Finn safe, strong and proud for the sailors and Marines who sail in her, with strength pride and our deepest gratitude and respect».

«The future USS John Finn is the first destroyer built at Ingalls after the U.S. Navy restarted the program», Cuccias continued. «We hit the ground running with the new program, re-establishing the best destroyer team in the world with many best-in-class achievements, and this is already proven, as DDG-113 was launched three weeks ahead of schedule».

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface threats. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

«I have said it many times, and I mean it every time I say it … Gulf Coast shipbuilders build the greatest warships the world has ever seen», said Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss. «Your craftsmanship is beyond compare, and I know that you all care very deeply about the work you do, because you know how important your work is to our national security and keeping America and our loved ones safe. No matter how many times I see these ships grow from steel plate into the great ship you see here today, I still believe it is an absolute modern marvel».

Finn received the honor for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor
Finn received the honor for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 meters
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 meters
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 meters
Displacement – Full Load 9,496 tons/9,648 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/ 75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/ 55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8.149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/ LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 Mark-45 gun; 2 CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Mrs. Laura Elizabeth Stavridis, Ship Sponsor, christens the guided missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113)

Qatar confirms order

Dassault Aviation is honored by Qatar’s decision to acquire 24 Rafale aircraft to equip its Air Force. The contract between the State of Qatar and Dassault Aviation is to be signed on Monday, May 4 in Doha in the presence of Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic. Following on from the Mirage F1, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000, the Rafale is set to extend the historic partnership between Qatar, France and Dassault Aviation.

The radar cross section of the airframe has been kept to the lowest possible value by selecting the most adequate outer mould line and materials. Most of the stealth design features are classified, but some of them are clearly visible, such as the serrated patterns on the trailing edge of the wings and canards
The radar cross section of the airframe has been kept to the lowest possible value by selecting the most adequate outer mould line and materials. Most of the stealth design features are classified, but some of them are clearly visible, such as the serrated patterns on the trailing edge of the wings and canards

«This new success for the French team demonstrates the Rafale’s operational qualities and confirms the confidence that countries, that are already users of the Mirage 2000, have in our company», said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

Dassault Aviation, its partners Thales and Safran, and the 500 companies associated with the Rafale programme, are delighted at the announcement of this new contract, constituting further proof of their competitiveness and their industrial and technological know-how.

The Rafale features a delta wing with close-coupled canards. In-house research in computational fluid dynamics has shown the specific benefits of close coupling between the wings and the canards: it ensures a wide range of centre of gravity positions for all flight conditions, as well as benign handling throughout the whole flight envelope.
The Rafale features a delta wing with close-coupled canards. In-house research in computational fluid dynamics has shown the specific benefits of close coupling between the wings and the canards: it ensures a wide range of centre of gravity positions for all flight conditions, as well as benign handling throughout the whole flight envelope.

 

Specifications and performance data

Dimensions

Wingspan:                                                10.90 m/35.76 feet

Length:                                                       15.30 m/50.19 feet

Height:                                                        5.30 m/17.38 feet

Weight

Overall empty weight:                       10,000 kg/22,000 lbs class

Maximum take-off weight:              24,500 kg/54,000 lbs

Fuel (internal):                                         4,700 kg/10,300 lbs

Fuel (external):                                        up to 6,700 kg/14,700 lbs

External load:                                            9,500 kg/21,000 lbs

Store stations

Total:                                                               14

Heavy – wet:                                                5

Performance

Maximum thrust:                                        2×7.5 tons

Limit load factors:                                      -3.2 g/+9 g

Maximum speed (Low altitude):        M = 1.1/750 knots/863 mph/ 1389 km/h

Maximum speed (High altitude):       M = 1.8/1,032 knots/1,187 mph/ 1,911 km/h

Approach speed:                          less than 120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h

Landing ground run:                  1,500 feet/450 m without drag-chute

Service ceiling:                              50,000 feet/15,240 m

Composite materials are extensively used in the Rafale and they account for 70% of the wetted area. They also account for the 40% increase in the max take-off weight to empty weight ratio compared with traditional airframes built of aluminium and titanium
Composite materials are extensively used in the Rafale and they account for 70% of the wetted area. They also account for the 40% increase in the max take-off weight to empty weight ratio compared with traditional airframes built of aluminium and titanium

First Evacuation

Dangerous frontline operations call for a safe and efficient method to locate and evacuate wounded personnel. To address this critical need and help save lives, Lockheed Martin, Kaman Aerospace, and Neya Systems demonstrated the first ever collaborative unmanned air and ground casualty evacuation using the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Control Segment (UCS) Architecture and K-MAX cargo helicopter on March 26, 2015.

A ground controller uses a ruggedized laptop with command and control software to develop and upload a mission flight plan to the aircraft’s on-board Mission Management Computer (MMC) prior to launch
A ground controller uses a ruggedized laptop with command and control software to develop and upload a mission flight plan to the aircraft’s on-board Mission Management Computer (MMC) prior to launch

During the demonstration, a distress call led ground operators to send an unmanned ground vehicle to assess the area and injured party. The ground operators used control stations that communicated with one another using the UAS Control Segment Architecture. Upon successful identification, the ground operators requested airlift by unmanned K-MAX of one individual who was injured. From the ground, the K-MAX operators used a tablet to determine the precise location and a safe landing area to provide assistance to the team. The injured team member was strapped into a seat on the side of the unmanned K-MAX, which then flew that individual to safety.

«This application of the unmanned K-MAX enables day or night transport of wounded personnel to safety without endangering additional lives», said Jay McConville, director of business development for Unmanned Integrated Solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. «Since the K-MAX returned from a nearly three-year deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps, we’ve seen benefits of and extended our open system design incorporating the UCS Architecture, which allows rapid integration of new applications across industry to increase the safety of operations, such as casualty evacuation, where lives are at stake».

«Neya is continuing to develop advanced technologies for human robot interfaces for complex platforms and multi-robot missions», said Dr. Parag Batavia, president of Neya. «Our and Lockheed Martin’s use of the Unmanned Aircraft System Control Segment Architecture greatly sped up integration of our respective technologies, resulting in a comprehensive capability that can be ultimately transitioned to the warfighter very efficiently».

Portable antennae for line-ofsight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data links maintain continuous connectivity with the unmanned K-MAX anywhere in the world
Portable antennae for line-ofsight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data links maintain continuous connectivity with the unmanned K-MAX anywhere in the world

While deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps from 2011 to 2014, unmanned K-MAX successfully conducted resupply operations, delivering more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo during more than 1,900 missions. Manufactured by Kaman and outfitted with an advanced mission suite by Lockheed Martin, unmanned K-MAX is engineered with a twin-rotor design that maximizes lift capability in the most challenging environments, from the mountainous Alps to the Persian Gulf. Its advanced autonomy allows unmanned K-MAX to work day and night, in all-weather, even when manned assets are unable to fly. Lockheed Martin continues to extend and mature the K-MAX helicopter’s onboard technology and autonomy for defense operations, as well as demonstrate its use for civil and commercial applications.

With five decades of experience in unmanned and robotic systems for air, land and sea, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems are engineered to help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges today and in the future.

Kaman Aerospace is a division Kaman Corporation, which was founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman. Neya Systems, LLC is a small business unmanned systems company in Wexford, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2009, Neya focuses on developing interoperable solutions to the world’s hardest robotics problems.

The MMC communicates the ground controller’s objectives to the FCC (autopilot). FCC dual redundancy provides high reliability
The MMC communicates the ground controller’s objectives to the FCC (autopilot). FCC dual redundancy provides high reliability

 

K-MAX Unmanned Aerial System

Lockheed Martin Corporation and Kaman Aerospace Corporation have successfully transformed Kaman’s proven K-MAX power lift helicopter into an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capable of autonomous or remote controlled cargo delivery. Its mission: battlefield cargo resupply for the U.S. military.

The K-MAX UAS is a transformational technology for a fast-moving battlefield that will enable Marines to deliver supplies either day or night to precise locations without risk of losing life in the process. The aircraft can fly at higher altitudes with a larger payload than any other rotary wing UAS. With its four-hook carousel, the K-MAX UAS can also deliver more cargo to more locations in one flight

The team has flown the K-MAX UAS more than 750 hours in autonomous mode since joining forces in 2007. The rugged system can lift and deliver a full 6,000 lbs/2,722 kg of cargo at sea level and more than 4,000 pounds/1,814 kg at 15,000 feet/4,572 m density altitude.

The K-MAX continues to exceed expectations as an unmanned platform. The aircraft has met all unmanned milestones to date and continues to excel in the commercial logging and firefighting industries. The aircraft will remain optionally piloted for ease of National Airspace Operations, occasional manned mission flexibility, ferry flights, rapid integration of new mission equipment, and allow rapid return-to-service activities.

The manned version of the K-MAX is used for repetitive lift operations by commercial operators for the construction and logging industries. To date, the fleet has accumulated more than 255,000 flight hours since 1994.

Twin counter-rotating, intermeshing main rotors eliminate the need for a tail rotor drive system
Twin counter-rotating, intermeshing main rotors eliminate the need for a tail rotor drive system

 

Technical characteristics

Weights and Measurements
Max gross weight (with external load) 12,000 lbs/5,443 kg
Max take-off weight 7,000 lbs/3,175 kg
Empty weight 5,145 lbs/2,334 kg
Useful load 6,855 lbs/3,109 kg
Cargo hook capacity 6,000 lbs/2,722 kg
Lift Performance – ISA (International Standard Atmosphere) +15°C (59°F)
Sea Level 6,000 lbs/2,722 kg
5,000 feet/1,524 m 5,663 lbs/2,574 kg
10,000 feet/3,048 m 5,163 lbs/2,347 kg
15,000 feet/4,572 m 4,313 lbs/1,960 kg
Hover Performance – 4,000 feet/1,219 m, 35°C (95°F)
Hover IGE (In Ground Effect) 12,000 lbs/5,443 kg
Hover OGE (Out of Ground Effect) 11,500 lbs/5,216 kg
Powerplant
Model Honeywell T53-17 gas turbine
Thermodynamic rating 1,800 shaft horsepower
Maximum Airspeed
Without external load 100 knots/115 mph/185.2 km/h
With external load 80 knots/92 mph/148.2 km/h
Fuel System
Total usable fuel 219.5 gal/831 liters
Average fuel consumption 85 gal/hr/321.7 l/hr
Jet A fuel 557.6 lbs/hr/252.9 kg/hr
Maximum endurance 12+ hr
Maximum range 1,150 miles/1,852 km (est)
Maximum speed with external load 80 knots/92 mph/148.2 km/h
Maximum speed without external load 100 knots/115 mph/185.2 km/h
Internal fuel endurance 2 hr 41 min
Range with external load 246 miles/396.3 km
Range without external load 307 miles/494.5 km
Approved fuels Jet A/A-1, JP-5
Jet B/JP-4
JP-8

 

Lockheed Martin-Kaman’s unmanned helicopter successfully completing the Navy’s Quick Reaction Assessment

 

The rugged K-MAX multi-mission helicopter that Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace have transformed into an Unmanned Aerial Truck proves why it is the best for unmanned battlefield cargo resupply missions

 

In January, 2010, the Unmanned K-MAX helicopter demonstrated autonomous and remote control flight over both line-of-sight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data link

 

Italian Carabiniere

The frigate Carabiniere (F593) was delivered on April 28, 2015 at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. It is the fourth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri and 49% Finmeccanica) is the prime contractor for Italy in the FREMM program, which envisions the building of 10 units, all already ordered.

The ASW version was fitted with both towed and hull mounted sonars
The ASW version was fitted with both towed and hull mounted sonars

The ship has been named Carabiniere (F593) to celebrate in 2014, year of the launching, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Carabinieri Force. Carabiniere (F593) is the fourth FREMM unit which Fincantieri builds and delivers to the Italian Navy completed with a combat system (the third with the ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare configuration), that is the ability of silent navigation speed in significant anti-submarine hunting.

144 meters long and a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes, the FREMM frigates represent technological excellence: designed to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h and to provide accommodation for 200 people (crew and staff), these vessels are able to always guarantee a high degree of flexibility and to operate in a wide range of scenarios and tactical situations.

The program faces the fleet renewal need of the Italian Navy’s units of the class frigates Lupo (disarment completed in 2003) and Maestrale (close in reaching its operational life limit). It is coordinated by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement).

These units significantly contribute to the tasks assigned to the Italian Navy, being able to operate in various sectors: anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-naval warfare, fire support from the sea as well as an organic helicopter component embarked. The FREMM units are set to become the backbone of the Italian Navy of the next decades.

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

 

Technical characteristics

Overall length 472 feet/144 m
Length between perpendiculars 423 feet/128.9 m
Breadth moulded 64.6 feet/19.7 m
Depth (main deck) 37 feet/11.3 m
Full load displacement at delivery (fld) abt. 6,700 tonnes
Growth margin 4%-abt. 230 tonnes
Crew + extra personnel 145 + 20
Maximum speed >27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Endurance 45 days
Range 6,000 NM/11,112 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
CODLAG PROPULSION SYSTEM
Avio-GE LM2500 + G4 32 MW
Electric propulsion motors 2 × 2,5 MW
DG (Diesel Generator) sets 4 × 2,1 MW
CPP (Controllable Pitch Propellers) 2