Navy acceptance trials

Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 6, the future USNS Brunswick, completed Acceptance Trials, October 23. The ship, which was constructed by Austal USA, is the sixth ship of the EPF class. The EPF class ships were formerly known as Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV).

After delivery of EPF-6, Austal will deliver a further four Expeditionary Fast Transports from its shipyard at Mobile, Alabama, under a 10-ship, US$1.6 billion contract from the Navy
After delivery of EPF-6, Austal will deliver a further four Expeditionary Fast Transports from its shipyard at Mobile, Alabama, under a 10-ship, US$1.6 billion contract from the Navy

«Conducting Acceptance Trials is a major milestone for the shipyard and the program office», said Captain Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift Program manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. «We are very proud of our contractor and government team’s commitment to delivering affordable, quality ships, and look forward to the delivery of T-EPF-6 later this year».

The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and rigorous at-sea trials, during which the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) evaluated and observed the performance of T-EPF-6 ‘s major systems. Completion of Brunswick’s Acceptance Trials signifies that the ship is ready for delivery to the fleet in the near future.

EPFs are versatile, non-combatant, transport ships that will be used for fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, and equipment. EPF is designed to commercial standards, with limited modifications for military use. The vessel is capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km at an average speed of 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h, and can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading vehicles, such as a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank. Other joint requirements include an aviation flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. T-EPF-6 will have airline style seating for 312 embarked forces, with fixed berthing for 104.

As one of the Department of Defense’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO (Program Executive Office) Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.

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

 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Material Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 103 m/337.9 feet
Beam overall 28.5 m/93.5 feet
Hull draft (maximum) 3.83 m/12.57 feet
MISSION BAY
Area (with tie-downs) 1,863 m2/20,053 feet2
Clear Height 4.75 m/15.6 feet
Turning diameter 26.2 m/86.0 feet
ISO TEU (Twenty Equivalent Units) Stations 6 Interface Panels
ACCOMMODATIONS
Crew 41
Single SR 2
Double SR 6
Quad SR 7
Troop Seats 312
Troop Berths Permanent: 104
Temporary: 46
Galley and Messing 48
PROPULSION
Main Engines 4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L Diesel Engines 4 × 9.1 MW
Gear boxes 4 × ZF 60000NR2H Reduction Gears
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila WLD 1400 SR
PERFORMANCE
Average Speed 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload
Maximum Speed 43 knots/50 mph/80 km/h without payload
Maximum Transit Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km
Self-Deployment Range 5,600 NM/6,444 miles/10,371 km
Survival Through SS-7
AVIATION FACILITIES
NAVAIR Level 1 Class 2 Certified Flight Deck for one helicopter
Centreline parking area for one helicopter
NAVAIR Level 1 class 4 Type 2 Certified VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment)
Helicopter Control Station
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Active Ride Control Transcom Interceptors
Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 feet2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls
Vehicle Ramp Articulated Slewing Stern Ramp
Straight aft to 45 Starboard
Telescoping Boom Crane 12.3 mt @ 15 m, 18.2 mt @ 10 m/13.6 Lt @ 49.2 feet, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 feet
The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2)
The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2)

 

Ships

USNS Spearhead (T-EPF-1), Delivered

USNS Choctaw County (T-EPF-2), Delivered

USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3), Delivered

USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4), Delivered

USNS Trenton (T-EPF-5), Delivered

Brunswick (T-EPF-6), under construction

Carson City (T-EPF-7), under construction

Yuma (T-EPF-8), under construction

Bismark (T-EPF-9), under construction

Burlington (T-EPF-10), under construction

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

New L5 signals

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-11 satellite for the U.S. Air Force lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 (Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida) October 31 at 12:13 p.m. EDT. GPS IIF-11 is one of the next-generation GPS satellites that incorporate numerous improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased signals and enhanced performance for users.

An Atlas V rocket, with the GPS IIF-11 satellite
An Atlas V rocket, with the GPS IIF-11 satellite

«Congratulations to the entire team on today’s successful launch of the GPS IIF-11 satellite! Today’s launch was made possible by the exceptional performance and teamwork exhibited by the entire team, including the men and women of ULA, our many mission partners, and our U.S. Air Force customer», said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. «GPS is omnipresent in our everyday lives and the system provides a critical service to the all of those serving in our military around the world. All of the operational GPS satellites have been launched on Atlas and Delta rockets and the U.S. Air Force does an outstanding job of operating this essential system».

This mission was ULA’s 11th launch in 2015 and the 102nd successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006. This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 401 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter-diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.

GPS IIF-11 will join the GPS worldwide timing and navigation system utilizing 24 satellites in six different planes, with a minimum of four satellites per plane positioned in orbit approximately 11,000 nautical miles/12,656 miles/20,372 km above the Earth’s surface. The GPS IIF series provides improved accuracy and enhanced performance for GPS users.

As a result of increased civil and commercial use as well as experience in military operations, the USAF has added the following capabilities and technologies to the GPS IIF series to sustain the space and control segments while improving mission performance:

  • Two times greater predicted signal accuracy than heritage satellites;
  • New L5 signals for more robust civil and commercial aviation;
  • An on-orbit, reprogrammable processor, receiving software uploads for improved system operation;
  • Military signal «M-code» and variable power for better resistance to jamming hostile meeting the needs of emerging doctrines of navigation warfare.

ULA’s next launch is the Atlas V OA-4 capsule for Orbital ATK scheduled for December 3 from Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The EELV program was established by the U.S. Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.

GPS IIF series satellite is encapsulated inside an Atlas V 4-meter payload fairing
GPS IIF series satellite is encapsulated inside an Atlas V 4-meter payload fairing

 

An Atlas V rocket launches GPS IIF-11, the penultimate GPS IIF satellite, for the United States Air Force

EagleFire Launcher

Raytheon Company has introduced its TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wireless-guided) EagleFire launcher, an evolutionary development designed to bridge the capabilities of existing launchers and eliminate obsolescence issues. Designed to fire both the wire-guided and wireless radio frequency missiles, TOW EagleFire provides increased capabilities over the TOW 2 launcher at a lower cost.

A TOW 2B missile is fired during a live-fire exercise at the Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Feb. 1, 2014. (Photo: U.S. Army)
A TOW 2B missile is fired during a live-fire exercise at the Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Feb. 1, 2014. (Photo: U.S. Army)

«We improved target acquisition and engagement found in the older TOW 2 launcher system», said Duane Gooden, vice president of Raytheon’s Land Warfare Systems. «TOW EagleFire is simpler to maintain and more reliable, thanks to built-in test equipment and a significant reduction in system subassemblies».

Other improvements include:

  • Integrated day-and-night sight with range-finding capability;
  • Ergonomic handgrips;
  • Extensive Built-in-Test capability.

TOW EagleFire’s lithium-ion power source allows for a nine-hour silent watch capability, when a vehicle’s engine is off, along with built-in AC and on-vehicle charging capability.

«Because the new system is less complex, we can provide superior performance in a reduced package», said Gooden. «By planning today for tomorrow’s upgrades, TOW EagleFire will accommodate future missile evolution».

Raytheon Company has delivered more than 675,000 TOW Weapon Systems to U.S. and allied warfighters
Raytheon Company has delivered more than 675,000 TOW Weapon Systems to U.S. and allied warfighters

 

TOW

The tube-launched, optically-tracked, wireless-guided Weapon System, with the multi-mission TOW 2A, TOW 2B Aero and TOW Bunker Buster missiles, is the premier long-range, heavy assault-precision anti-armor, anti-fortification and anti-amphibious landing weapon system used throughout the world today.

The weapon system is deployed with more than 40 international armed forces and integrated on more than 15,000 ground, vehicle and helicopter platforms. TOW is also the preferred heavy assault anti-armor weapon system for NATO, coalition, United Nations and peacekeeping operations worldwide.

The TOW 2A, TOW 2B Aero and TOW Bunker Buster missiles can be fired from all TOW launchers – including the Improved Target Acquisition Systems (ITAS), Stryker anti-tank guided missile vehicle (modified ITAS) and Bradley Fighting Vehicles (Improved Bradley Acquisition Subsystem).

With its extended range performance, the TOW Weapon System is the long-range precision, heavy anti-tank and assault weapon system of choice for the U.S. Army Stryker, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, ITAS High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle and Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank platforms. The TOW weapon system will be in service with the U.S. military beyond 2050.

The TOW Weapon System has transitioned to wireless guidance and is being produced for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines and all international customers

Christening of Rafael

The U.S. Navy christened its newest guided-missile destroyer Rafael Peralta, Saturday, October 31, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The future USS Rafael Peralta, designated DDG-115, honors Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Peralta is credited with saving the lives of fellow Marines during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.

151031-M-SA716-052 BATH, Maine (Oct. 31, 2015) U.S. Marines, Sailors, and guests honor the American and Navy flag during the USS Rafael Peralta christening ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, Oct. 31, 2015. The destroyer was named after Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta who was killed during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004. (U.S. Marine Corps photo Sgt. Gabriela Garcia/Released)
U.S. Marines, Sailors, and guests honor the American and Navy flag during the USS Rafael Peralta christening ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, October 31, 2015. The destroyer was named after Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta who was killed during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004 (U.S. Marine Corps photo Sgt. Gabriela Garcia/Released)

«The tremendous efforts of the highly-skilled men and women of the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works team have brought this ship from an idea to a reality», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus. «Their work will ensure that the heroism, service and sacrifice of Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta will be honored and remembered by all who come in contact with DDG-115 long after this great warship is christened».

General Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Rosa Maria Peralta, Sergeant Peralta’s mother, will serve as ship’s sponsor and officially christen the ship Rafael Peralta.

USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) is the third of 14 ships currently under contract for the DDG-51 program. The DDG-51 class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs, due to the program’s maturity. DDG-51 destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups. DDG-113 and follow on DDGs are being built with Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability.

The 9,217 ton Rafael Peralta is being built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 510 feet/156 m in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet/18 m, and a navigational draft of 30.5 feet/9.3 m. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

Peralta was killed in action on November 15, 2004, while clearing houses in the Iraqi city of Fallujah
Peralta was killed in action on November 15, 2004, while clearing houses in the Iraqi city of Fallujah

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 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
Maria Peralta, Sergeant Peralta's mother, serves as the ship's sponsor and officially christened the USS Rafael Peralta
Maria Peralta, Sergeant Peralta’s mother, serves as the ship’s sponsor and officially christened the USS Rafael Peralta

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15

GDBIW – General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

HIIIS – Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding

DDG – Destroyer, Guided Missile

BIW and the Navy are proud to honor the life and courageous service of Sergeant Rafael Peralta while celebrating the christening of the 35th BIW-built DDG 51 class ship and the 65th ship of the class
BIW and the Navy are proud to honor the life and courageous service of Sergeant Rafael Peralta while celebrating the christening of the 35th BIW-built DDG 51 class ship and the 65th ship of the class

Long-Range
Strike Bomber

The Air Force announced today the contract award of Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) and early production for the Long Range Strike Bomber to Northrop Grumman Corporation. «The LRS-B is critical to national defense and is a top priority for the Air Force», said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. «We face a complex security environment. It’s imperative our Air Force invests in the right people, technology, capability and training to defend the nation and its interests – at an affordable cost».

Northrop plans to work on a potential LRS-B in Florida
Northrop plans to work on a potential LRS-B in Florida

The future threat will evolve through the introduction of advanced air defense systems and development of more capable surface to air missile systems. The LRS-B is designed to replace the Air Force’s aging fleets of bombers – ranging in age from 50+ years for the B-52 to 17+ years for the B-2 – with a long range, highly survivable bomber capable of penetrating and operating in tomorrow’s anti-access, area denial environment. The LRS-B provides the strategic agility to launch from the United States and strike any target, any time around the globe.

«The LRS-B will provide our nation tremendous flexibility as a dual-capable bomber and the strategic agility to respond and adapt faster than our potential adversaries», said Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III. «We have committed to the American people to provide security in the skies, balanced by our responsibility to affordably use taxpayer dollars in doing so. This program delivers both while ensuring we are poised to face emerging threats in an uncertain future».

The Long Range Strike Bomber contract is composed of two parts. The contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development, or EMD, phase is a cost-reimbursable type contract with cost and performance incentives. The incentives minimize the contractor’s profit if they do not control cost and schedule appropriately. The independent estimate for the EMD phase is $21.4 billion in 2010 dollars.

The second part of the contract is composed of options for the first 5 production lots, comprising 21 aircraft out of the total fleet of 100. They are fixed price options with incentives for cost. Based on approved requirements, the Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC) per aircraft is required to be equal to or less than $550 million per aircraft in 2010 dollars when procuring 100 LRS-B aircraft. The APUC from the independent estimate supporting today’s award is $511 million per aircraft, again in 2010 dollars.

Based on current LRS-B independent cost estimates, the Air Force projects the APUC for the program will be approximately a third of the previous B-2 stealth aircraft.

«We believe this is a reasonable and achievable estimate. If we remain disciplined and keep program requirements stable, we should beat this estimate», said Dr. William A. LaPlante, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

The Air Force program office conducted design efforts with industry over the last three years to ensure requirements for the aircraft were stable and allowed for the use of mature systems and existing technology while still providing desired capability.

With that said, agile acquisition processes have been built into the LRS-B development and production efforts to ensure the Air Force delivers system capabilities for the best value. The program also effectively incentivizes industry to achieve cost, schedule and performance goals.

The LRS-B is designed to have an open architecture allowing integration of new technology and timely response to future threats across the full range of military operations. This open architecture also provides the opportunity to retain competition across the life cycle of the program.

«The program acquisition strategy has carefully integrated lessons learned from previous programs and considered all elements of life cycle costs in its design for affordability», LaPlante added. «We are primed to deliver this capability in the most affordable, efficient way possible».

Basing decisions and future program milestones for the aircraft will take place over the next several years.

 

First Flight

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., on October 27 announced the successful first flight of the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter prototype, known as Engineering Development Model-1 (EDM-1). The 30-minute flight signals the beginning of a 2,000-hour flight test program using four test aircraft.

CH-53K Helicopter Achieves First Flight
CH-53K Helicopter Achieves First Flight

«EDM-1’s first flight signifies another major milestone for the CH-53K helicopter program», said Mike Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. «Having independently tested the aircraft’s many components and subsystems, including integrated system level testing on the Ground Test Vehicle, we are now moving on to begin full aircraft system qualification via the flight test program».

Sikorsky delivered the EDM-1 into the test program at the company’s West Palm Beach, Florida-based Development Flight Center in late 2014. During its 30 minute maiden flight the EDM-1 aircraft performed hover, sideward, rearward and forward flight control inputs while in ground effect hover up to 30 feet above the ground. As the flight test program proceeds, the EDM-1 will be joined by an additional 3 EDM aircraft to fully expand the King Stallion’s flight envelope over the course of the three-year flight test program.

«We have entered a much anticipated phase in this developmental program», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager for Heavy Lift Helicopters. «We have experienced significant learning at the system and sub-system levels, which continues to build our confidence in the capabilities of the 53K. With first flight behind us, we look forward to execution of the development and operational testing and the deployment of this incredible heavy lift capability to our warfighters».

Sikorsky, with support of others in the industry, is developing the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps. The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter will maintain similar physical dimensions as its predecessor, the three-engine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, but will nearly triple the payload to 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km under «high hot» ambient conditions. Features of the CH-53K helicopter include a modern glass cockpit; fly-by-wire flight controls; fourth-generation rotor blades with anhedral tips; a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head; upgraded engines; a locking, United States Air Force pallet compatible cargo rail system; external cargo handling improvements; survivability enhancements; and improved reliability, maintainability and supportability.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K aircraft with an Initial Operational Capability in 2019. Eventual production quantities would be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition priorities. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

Sikorsky powered ‘on’ the three GE 7,500 shaft horsepower class engines of the first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter prototype, and spun the rotor head without rotor blades
Sikorsky powered ‘on’ the three GE 7,500 shaft horsepower class engines of the first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter prototype, and spun the rotor head without rotor blades

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

 

Full-Scale Assembly

Lockheed Martin and NASA have completed the majority of Orion’s Critical Design Review (CDR), which means the spacecraft’s design is mature enough to move into full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test of the vehicle. It also means that the program is on track to complete the spacecraft’s development to meet NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) performance requirements. The complete Orion EM-1 CDR process will conclude after the European Service Module CDR and a presentation to the NASA Agency Program Management Council in the spring.

Orion’s total habitable space inside measures 314 cubic feet. Or, about 2 average-sized minivans for future Mars-goers to move around freely
Orion’s total habitable space inside measures 314 cubic feet. Or, about 2 average-sized minivans for future Mars-goers to move around freely

Orion’s CDR kicked off in August of this year. The review focused on the EM-1 design as well as additional common elements that will be included on the Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) spacecraft. These elements include the structure, pyrotechnics, Launch Abort System, software, guidance, navigation and control, and many others.

Although the EM-1 vehicle is designed to accommodate all the necessary elements for human exploration of deep space, systems unique to the EM-2 mission, such as crew displays and the Environmental Control and Life Support System, will be evaluated at a later EM-2 CDR.

«The vast majority of Orion’s design is over, and now we will only change things when new requirements come into play», said Michael Hawes, Lockheed Martin Orion vice president and program manager. «Considering the incredible complexity of this spacecraft, the team is very proud to have successfully completed the design review and is looking forward to seeing it fly».

In early 2016, Orion’s crew module pressure vessel will be shipped to the Operations and Checkout Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. There it will undergo final assembly, integration and testing in order to prepare for EM-1 when Orion is launched atop NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) for the first time. The test flight will send Orion into lunar distant retrograde orbit – a wide orbit around the moon that is farther from Earth than any human-rated spacecraft has ever traveled. The mission will last more than 20 days and will help certify the design and safety of Orion and SLS for human-rated exploration missions.

Orion experienced temperatures as high as 4,000°F during re-entry. That is hotter than lava, but not quite as hot as the sun’s surface
Orion experienced temperatures as high as 4,000°F during re-entry. That is hotter than lava, but not quite as hot as the sun’s surface

Canberra trials

The Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit along with C Squadron, 5 Aviation Regiment has conducted a «quick look» trial of the CH-47D Chinook onboard the Navy’s Flag Ship, HMAS Canberra (L02). The trials were conducted over a week with preliminary work being conducted at HMAS Albatross (air station, also known as Naval Air Station Nowra) and the flying trials conducted at sea on 20-21 October 2015.

A CH-47D Chinook conducts load-lifting trials with HMAS Canberra in Jervis Bay
A CH-47D Chinook conducts load-lifting trials with HMAS Canberra in Jervis Bay

The Chinook helicopter conducted a series of evolutions to HMAS Canberra’s flight deck including launch and recoveries along with an assessment of external load operations known as vertical replenishment or VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment). An assessment was also made of aircraft lashing schemes and refuelling procedures.

This trial was the precursor for a full First of Class Flight Trial planned for the CH-47F in late 2016. The CH-47D and CH-47F are both operated by C Squadron from Townsville in Queensland.

Commander Air HMAS Canberra, Commander Paul Moggach, said the trial represented another milestone in operational capability for the ship. «We are already authorised for deck operations with MRH-90 Taipan and S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters, and the Chinook activity this week has further expanded our knowledge», he said. «We look forward to operating with Army helicopters in support of our amphibious roles».

The outcome of the trial is to provide a limited CH-47D operating envelope to the Landing Helicopter Dock or amphibious assault ship.

A CH-47D Chinook on the deck of HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials in Jervis Bay
A CH-47D Chinook on the deck of HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials in Jervis Bay

 

Characteristics

PLATFORM CHARACTERISTICS
Length Overall 757 feet/230.8 m
Length Waterline 680 feet/207.2 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Design Draft 23.5 feet/7.18 m
Full Load Displacement 27,831 tonnes
Crew and Embarked Forced Accommodation 1,403
MACHINERY
Propulsion 2 × Siemens 11,000 kW PODs
Bowthruster 2 × 1,500 kW Brunvoll/Siemens motors
Stabilisers 2 × Fincantieri
Generators 1 × 22,000 kW GE LM2500 Gas Turbine and 2 × 7,680 kW Diesel
Integrated Platform Management System Navantia – Sistemas
Fresh Water 6 × Reverse Osmosis Plants (each 25 tonnes/day)
Sewage 2 × Treatment Plants
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Speed 20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h
Economic Speed 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Maximum Range 9,250 NM/10,644 miles/17,131 km
Endurance 45+ days
CAPACITY
Flight Deck 51,128.57 feet²/4,750 m²
Dock (including ramp) 12,540 feet²/1,165 m²
Heavy Cargo Garage 12,270.86 feet²/1,410 m²
Light Cargo Garage 20,236 feet²/1,880 m²
Hangar 10,656.27 feet²/990 m²
Garages, Hangar and Well Dock 1,350 lane meter (2.9 m wide)
General Store Rooms 11,614.26 feet²/1,079 m²
Future Growth Margin 672 tonnes
A CH-47D Chinook approaches HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials. HMAS Gascoyne (M 85) can be seen in the background
A CH-47D Chinook approaches HMAS Canberra during First of Class Flight Trials. HMAS Gascoyne (M 85) can be seen in the background

24/7 year-round

A team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base (AFB), Wyoming, launched from here an unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) equipped with a test reentry vehicle October 21. The ICBM’s reentry vehicle, which contained a telemetry package used for operational testing, traveled approximately 4,200 miles/6,759 km to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

The current ICBM force consists of 450 Minuteman III missiles located at the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota
The current ICBM force consists of 450 Minuteman III missiles located at the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota

First Lieutenant Daniel Uresti Jr., a 320th Missile Squadron combat crew commander, said participating in a test launch is rewarding in that he can see the aspects of missile activities he does not typically get to see. «To see the components being built up and talk to the maintenance personnel has been extremely rewarding», Uresti said. «It helps bridge the gap between operator and maintenance terminology and helps us to understand just how difficult their jobs really are, especially when the weather is bad. These guys still get the mission done».

AFGSC’s missile bases have crew members standing alert 24/7 year-round, overseeing the nation’s ICBM alert forces. Uresti said test launches give the ICBM force an opportunity to show the world that the U.S. has the capability and will to use these weapons should it be necessary. «We stand ready, every minute of every day, and we know our jobs well», Uresti said. «We literally hold the keys to the most powerful weapons ever developed and we ensure the safety and reliability of these weapons».

Test launches are conducted with randomly selected ICBMs from one of three missile bases, located at F.E. Warren AFB; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and Minot AFB, North Dakota. While at Vandenberg AFB, launch teams work under the direction of AFGSC’s 576th Flight Test Squadron and receive launch and range support from Air Force Space Command’s 30th Space Wing.

Senior Airman Joshua Isom, a 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron electro-mechanical team chief, represented the 90th MW in the test launch. «It feels really great to be recognized and offered the chance to be a part of something not many people in this career field get to experience», Isom said. «As a missile maintainer, it is pretty awesome to help in the mission of providing the president of the United States with a capable nuclear deterrent».

As an EMT team chief, Isom leads Airmen dispatched to missile fields located throughout Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. His team troubleshoots electrical and mechanical systems, such as the ground support equipment, security system, entry system to the site, as well as load the Missile Guidance System located on the missile.

He said working as a team with other organizations at Vandenberg AFB has helped him to see the bigger picture and value of ICBM operations. «Everyone here at the 576th Flight Test Squadron has done an outstanding job in making sure we have everything to do our job safely, securely and effectively», Isom said. «I’ve learned so much on how the 576th test launches the Minuteman ICBM and how it’s tracked during the many stages of flight».

The ICBM community, including the Defense Department, the Department of Energy, and U.S. Strategic Command uses data collected from test launches for continuing force development evaluation. The ICBM test launch program demonstrates the operational credibility of the Minuteman III and ensures the United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and partners.

«As operators, we know our jobs inside and out. Our maintenance personnel are extremely knowledgeable and capable of building up a missile quickly and together we can ensure we get bombs on target», Uresti said. «The ICBM mission isn’t glamorous. The elements can be harsh and capsule life can be rigorous but we know the importance of what we do».

Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base on September 23, 2014
Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base on September 23, 2014

General characteristics

Primary function Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Contractor Boeing Co.
Power plant Three solid-propellant rocket motors: first stage ATK refurbished M55A1; second stage ATK refurbished SR-19; third stage ATK refurbished SR-73
Technologies chemical systems division thrust first stage: 203,158 pounds/92,151 kg; second stage: 60,793 pounds/27,575 kg; third stage: 35,086 pounds/15,915 kg
Weight 79,432 pounds/36,030 kg
Diameter 5.5 feet/1.67 m
Range 5,218 NM/6,005 miles/9,664 km
Speed approximately Mach 23/15,000 mph/24,000 km/h at burnout
Ceiling 700 miles/1,120 km
Date deployed June 1970, production cessation: December 1978
Inventory 450

 

First Danish Romeo

The U.S. Navy accepted the first MH-60R helicopter slated for Denmark from Lockheed Martin in a ceremony on October 22 at the Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, New York.

The U.S. Navy accepted the first Danish MH-60R Romeo aircraft in a ceremony on October 22, 2015
The U.S. Navy accepted the first Danish MH-60R Romeo aircraft in a ceremony on October 22, 2015

«We are excited to accept this aircraft bound for Denmark», said Rear Admiral CJ Jaynes, program executive officer for air anti-submarine warfare, assault and special mission programs, which oversees the U.S. Navy’s H-60 program office. «The Romeo is the U.S. Navy’s primary rotary anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare platform in operation and we’re proud to know these will be flying soon with the Royal Danish Air Force – our first Seahawks in Europe».

Manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft and provided with advanced mission systems and sensors by Lockheed Martin, the MH-60R is operational and deployed as the primary U.S. Navy anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare system for both open-ocean and littoral zones. In 2012, Denmark announced it will acquire a total of nine MH-60R aircraft by 2018 to conduct missions such as surveillance, search and rescue, anti-piracy and anti-surface warfare.

«MH-60R helicopters host the complete package of sensors and systems that address today’s increasing threats», said Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin vice president of Aviation and Unmanned Systems. «We are honored to extend our international partnership with the Royal Danish Air Force to deliver these capabilities and the technology that will protect our allies around the globe».

Prior to being delivered to the Royal Danish Air Force, these aircraft will enter a series of testing to validate Danish configuration modifications. The first aircraft will be delivered to Denmark in the second quarter of 2016, and the full fleet will be delivered by 2018.

Denmark is the second international partner in the MH-60R program, following the Royal Australian Navy. To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered a total of 14 of 24 Australian aircraft ahead of schedule. The remaining 10 aircraft will be delivered in 2016.

Two multi-mission MH-60R Seahawk helicopters fly in tandem during section landings at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. The new Seahawk variant has many improvements, such as the glass cockpit, improved mission systems, new sensors and advanced avionics. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)
Two multi-mission MH-60R Seahawk helicopters fly in tandem during section landings at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. The new Seahawk variant has many improvements, such as the glass cockpit, improved mission systems, new sensors and advanced avionics. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

 

MH-60R Seahawk (Romeo)

The MH-60R «Romeo» is the most capable and mature Anti-Submarine (ASW)/Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. Together with its sibling, the MH-60S «Sierra», the Seahawk variants have flown more than 650,000 hours across a 500+ aircraft fleet. The MH-60R Seahawk is deployed globally with the U.S. Navy fleet and a growing number of allied international navies.

The journey from the start of MH-60R Seahawk flight-testing through the first deployment, in 2009, of 11 MH-60R helicopters aboard the USS Stennis, represents 1,900 flight hours, the equivalent of 500 labor years, and a considerable financial commitment by Lockheed Martin.

The MH-60R Seahawk, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, and equipped with advanced mission systems and sensors by Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training (MST), is capable of detecting and prosecuting modern submarines in littoral and open ocean scenarios.

In addition, MH-60R Seahawk is capable of conducting stand-alone or joint Anti-Surface Warfare missions with other «Romeo» or MH-60S «Sierra» aircraft. Secondary missions include electronic support measures, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, and medical evacuation.

A pair of U.S. Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks, NE 712 166556 and NE 700 166541 of HSM-77 'Sabrehawks', cruise past the USS Sterett (DDG-104) in the Pacific Ocean
A pair of U.S. Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks, NE 712 166556 and NE 700 166541 of HSM-77 ‘Sabrehawks’, cruise past the USS Sterett (DDG-104) in the Pacific Ocean

The advanced mission sensor suite developed and integrated by Lockheed Martin includes:

  • APS-147 Multi-mode radar (including Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar);
  • AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Dipping Sonar (ALFS) subsystem and sonobuoys;
  • ALQ-210 Electronic Support Measures with an integrated helo threat warning capability;
  • AAS-44 Forward Looking Infrared Electro-Optical device;
  • Integrated self-defense;
  • A weapons suite including torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

Lockheed Martin MST also produces the Common Cockpit avionics, fielded on both the MH-60R «Romeo» and MH-60S «Sierra». The 400th Common Cockpit will be installed on the first Royal Australian Navy MH-60R. In 2012, the Common Cockpit exceeded 600,000 flight hours across an operational fleet of 360 aircraft. The digital, all-glass cockpit features four large, flat-panel, multi-function, night-vision-compatible, color displays. The suite processes and manages communications and sensor data streaming into MH-60 multi-mission helicopters, presenting to the crew of three actionable information that significantly reduces workload while increasing situational awareness.

The U.S. Navy is committed to a long-term preplanned product improvement program, also known as P3I, to keep the MH-60R Seahawk current throughout its life. Recent upgrades have included vital software and mission management systems in the Situational Awareness Technology Insertion (SATI) package as well as design upgrades to the Identification Friend-or-Foe Interrogator Subsystem. Combined with the aircraft’s Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination system, the MH-60R’s range of detection will expand – enhancing situational awareness and advanced threat detection – while interference with civil air traffic control systems will diminish.

The MH-60R Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) system, which provides aircrew with valuable threat-warning capabilities, has benefited from the installation and maintenance of an ESM autoloader, and the development of Mission Data Loads, which comprise a database of possible threats within a specific region of operations.

Smaller elements are included as well, including the integration of a new multi-function radio called the ARC210 Gen 5 (which sister-aircraft MH-60S «Sierra» will also receive), crucial spare assemblies and integration of other core technologies. The Gen 5 radio will provide MH-60R Seahawk aircrew with flexible and secure communication.

Survivability and crashworthiness are not just attributes of the Seahawk helicopter, they are inherent to the design. A strict military standard makes the Seahawk helicopter a rugged and extremely durable helicopter that delivers safety. Safety that has been proven in real missions, around the world. Some of our aircraft have over thirty years of service and continue to support operations in the most rigorous of environments known to man.

Capable of launching eight Hellfire missiles from right and left extended pylons
Capable of launching eight Hellfire missiles from right and left extended pylons

 

Airframe

  • Marinized airframe structure for improved survivability
  • Multi-functional and durable cabin flooring
  • Two jettisonable cockpit doors
  • Single cabin sliding door
  • Recovery, Assist, Secure and Traverse (RAST) System
  • Automatic main rotor blade fold
  • Built-in work platforms, engine cowlings and hydraulic deck
  • External rescue hoist
  • 6,000 lbs/2,721.55 kg external cargo hook
  • Active vibration control system

 

Cockpit

  • Enhanced Advanced Flight Control System (AFCS) with naval modules and coupled hover capability
  • Four 8×10 inch (20.3×25.4 cm) full color, night vision device capable, sunlight readable, multi-function mission and flight displays
  • Secure Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency (VHF/UHF) communication
  • Inertial navigation system
  • Satellite communication
  • Data link
  • AAS-44 Forward Looking Infrared/Night Vision (FLIR/NVG) capability

 

Powerplant and fuel system

  • Two fully marinized T700-GE401C engines
  • Auxiliary power unit
  • Fuel dump system
  • Sealed tub design
  • Hover in-flight refueling
  • Auxiliary external fuel tanks, 120 gallons each

 

Dynamic System

  • Automatic main rotor blade fold
  • Manual pylon and stabilator fold
  • Dual redundant and isolated flight controls
  • Rotor brake
  • Ballistically tolerant transmission and drive system

 

Electrical

  • ALQ-210 Electronic Support Measures
  • Integrated avionics with 1553 data bus
  • Environmental control system
Sailors aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) signal an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 to land during a joint maritime exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sebastian McCormack/Released)
Sailors aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1) signal an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 to land during a joint maritime exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sebastian McCormack/Released)

 

Specifications

Airframe dimensions
Operating length 64.83 feet/19.76 m
Operating width 53.66 feet/16.35 m
Operating height 16.70 feet/5.10 m
Folded Length 41.05 feet/12.51 m
Folded width 11.00 feet/3.37 m
Folded height 12.92 feet/3.94 m
Main rotor diameter 53.66 feet/16.35 m
Tail rotor diameter 11.00 feet/3.35 m
Accommodations
Cabin Length 10.8 feet/3.2 m
Cabin Width 6.1 feet/1.8 m
Cabin Height 4.4 feet/1.3 m
Cabin Area 65 feet2/6.0 m2
Cabin Volume 299 feet3/8.5 m3
Powerplant and fuel system
Number of Engines 2
Engine Type T700-GE401C
Maximum Take Off 3,426 shp/2,554 kW
One Engine Inoperative Shaft horsepower 1,911 shp/1,425 kW
Performance
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 23,500 lbs/10,682 kg
Mission Gross Weight (Surface Warfare) 21,290 lbs/9,657 kg
Mission Endurance (Surface Warfare) 3.30 hours
Maximum Speed 180 knots/207 mph/333 km/h
Maximum Cruise Speed 144 knots/166 mph/267 km/h
Hovering In Ground Effect (HIGE) Ceiling 14,847 feet/4,525 m
Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) Ceiling 9,945 feet/3,031 m
All Engine Operable (AEO) Service Ceiling 11,282 feet/3,438 m
Weapons Anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, 50 cal. guns
Proven network centric warfare capabilities achieve greater effectiveness
Proven network centric warfare capabilities achieve greater effectiveness