Another order for JLTV

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced today that the U.S. Army has placed another order for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program including 409 vehicles, 1,984 installed kits, 82 packaged kits and related services and support. The order valued at more than $176 million, is the fourth order for JLTVs since the contract was awarded in August 2015.

The Oshkosh JLTV is equipped with the EOS (Electro Optic Systems) R-400S-MK2 remote weapons system and the Orbital ATK M230 LF 30-mm gun
The Oshkosh JLTV is equipped with the EOS (Electro Optic Systems) R-400S-MK2 remote weapons system and the Orbital ATK M230 LF 30-mm gun

«The JLTV program is providing our Soldiers and Marines with the world’s most capable light tactical vehicle», said Dave Diersen, Oshkosh Defense vice president and general manager of Joint Programs. «We have begun delivering low rate production vehicles to the Army and Marine Corps for government testing in environments around the country and we have been pleased with its performance thus far». The vehicles and kits for this order will begin delivery in late 2017.


U.S. Soldiers and Marines can expect:

  • A vehicle 1/3 smaller and 1/3 lighter than the Oshkosh Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) All-Terrain Vehicle, or M-ATV
  • Off-road speeds 70 percent faster than today’s gold standard, the Oshkosh M-ATV
  • A modular design that can be quickly and efficiently outfitted for a full range of missions
  • Banks 866T, 6.6 Liter Turbo Diesel Engine, based on GM Duramax architecture
  • Fully transportable by air or sea, such as Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Sikorsky CH-53 Stallion and Boeing CH-47 Chinook
  • Network ready and VICTORY compliant – Vehicular Integration for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR)/Electronic Warfare (EW) Interoperability
  • Superior ride quality


First flight

The prototype of the new Aermacchi M-345HET (High Efficiency Trainer) two-seat basic jet trainer has successfully completed its first flight from Venegono Superiore airfield (Varese, Italy) on December 29, 2016. The aircraft was flown by Quirino Bucci and Giacomo Iannelli from Leonardo Aircraft Division.

The M-345 is the latest-generation basic jet trainer from Leonardo
The M-345 is the latest-generation basic jet trainer from Leonardo

Quirino Bucci, Project Test Pilot Trainers of Leonardo Aircraft Division, expressed great satisfaction at the end of the 30-minute flight and said: «The aircraft conducted itself perfectly, meeting the expectations of the design parameters while showing excellent performance. The engine in particular demonstrated a great capacity to react to regime changes, which is a fundamental characteristic for a basic training aircraft».

The M-345 is the latest-generation aircraft from Leonardo for military pilot training and provides global Air Forces with an economically affordable and effective solution, thanks to a significant reduction in acquisition and life-cycle costs compared to those of powerful turboprop trainer aircraft. The test campaign will be completed within 2017. The next tests will check the advanced avionics systems, the engine and the flight envelope expansion, including altitude, speed and maneuverability.

Thanks to its modern avionics, considerable external load-carrying capability on the wing pylons and performance, the new Aermacchi M-345HET is also suited for operational roles. Life cycle cost reduction is driven by long fatigue and two-level maintenance, the latter made possible by replacing the expensive general overhauls with the airframe and systems Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS). The avionics, based on the latest M-346’s experience, matches the standards of the latest combat jets, including HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) controls, Head Up Display (HUD), Multi-Function Displays (MFD), the real-time data link. The aircraft is powered by a Williams FJ44-4M-34 turbofan engine with thrust of 3,450 lbs/1,540 kg. The operating efficiency is ensured by pressure refueling systems and on-board oxygen generation (OBOGS), both of which reduce ground support crews and ground operation times.

The aircraft met the expectations while showing excellent performance
The aircraft met the expectations while showing excellent performance



Wing span 27.78 feet/8.47 m
Length 32.32 feet/9.85 m
Height 12.27 feet/3.74 m
Wing area 135.6 feet2/12.6 m2
Take-off (Trainer) 7,275 lbs/3,300 kg
Take-off (Maximum) 9,920 lbs/4,500 kg
Engine, turbofan Williams FJ44-4M-34
Maximum Thrust 3,400 lbs/1,540 kg
Internal fuel 1,545 lbs/700 kg
Max level speed (SL/20,000 feet/6,096 m) 380/420 KTAS/437/483 mph/704/778 km/h
Limited Speed 400 KEAS/460 mph/741 km/h (0.8 MN)
Stall speed (landing, 20% fuel) 88 KCSA/101 mph/163 km/h
Rate of climb (SL) 5,200 feet/min/1,585 m/min
Service ceiling 40,000 feet/12,192 m
Take-off/Landing ground run (SL) 1,720 feet/520 m
Ferry range 760 NM/876 miles/1,410 km
Ferry range (clean/2 ext. thanks – 10% reserve) 1,000 NM/1,150 miles/1,850 km


Underwater Radio

The Mechanically Based Antenna program could enable radio communication through seawater and the ground and directly between warfighters hundreds and ultimately thousands of kilometers apart.

A fundamentally new approach to building radio transmitters could open previously impossible communication channels for warfighters
A fundamentally new approach to building radio transmitters could open previously impossible communication channels for warfighters

Here’s something easy to forget when you are chatting on your cell phone or flipping channels on your smart TV: although wireless communication seems nothing short of magic, it is a brilliant, reality-anchored application of physics and engineering in which radio signals travel from a transmitter to a receiver in the form of electric and magnetic fields woven into fast-as-light electromagnetic waves. That very same physics imposes some strict limits, including ones that frustrate the Department of Defense (DoD). Key among these is that radio frequency signals hit veritable and literal walls when they encounter materials like water, soil, and stone, which can block or otherwise ruin those radio signals. This is why scuba buddies rely on sign language and there are radio-dead zones inside tunnels and caves.

With his newly announced A MEchanically Based Antenna (AMEBA) effort, program manager Troy Olsson of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office is betting on a little-exploited aspect of electromagnetic physics that could expand wireless communication and data transfer into undersea, underground, and other settings where such capabilities essentially have been absent. The basis for these potential new abilities are ultra-low-frequency (ULF) electromagnetic waves, ones between hundreds of hertz and 3 kilohertz (KHz), which can penetrate some distance into media like water, soil, rock, metal, and building materials. A nearby band of very-low-frequency (VLF) signals (3 KHz to 30 KHz) opens additional communications possibilities because for these wavelengths the atmospheric corridor between the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere – the highest and electric-charge-rich portion of the upper atmosphere – behaves like a radio waveguide in which the signals can propagate halfway around the planet.

«If we are successful, scuba divers would be able to use a ULF channel for low bit-rate communications, like text messages, to communicate with each other or with nearby submarines, ships, relay buoys, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and ground-based assets, Through-ground communication with people in deep bunkers, mines, or caves could also become possible», Olsson said. And because of that atmospheric waveguide effect, VLF systems might ultimately enable direct soldier-to-soldier text and voice communication across continents and oceans.

To date, there’s been a huge and expensive rub to actually pulling off low-frequency radio communication in the versatile ways that Olsson has in mind. The wavelengths of VLF and ULF radio signals rival the distances across cities and states, respectively. And since longer wavelengths have required taller antennas, communications in these frequency bands have entailed the construction of enormous and costly transmitter structures. A VLF antenna that the U.S. Navy built on a remote peninsula in Cutler, Maine, in the heat of the Cold War just to send a trickle of data to submarines makes the point: the gargantuan transmitter complex occupies 2,000 acres/8 square kilometers, features 26 towers up to 1,000 feet/305 m high, and operates with megawatt levels of power.

With the AMEBA program, Olsson aims to develop entirely new types of VLF and ULF transmitters that are sufficiently small, light, and power efficient to be carried by individual warfighters, whether they are on land, in the water, or underground. Rather than relying on electronic circuits and power amplifiers to create oscillating electric currents that, when driven into antennas, initiate radio signals, the new low-frequency VLF and ULF antennas sought in the AMEBA program would generate the signals by mechanically moving materials harboring strong electric or magnetic fields.

In principle, this is as simple as taking a bar magnet or an electret – an insulating substance, such as a cylinder of quartz (silica) glass, in which positive and negative electric charges are permanently segregated to create an electric dipole – and moving it at rates that will generate ULF and VLF frequencies. To open up practical new capabilities in national security contexts, however, the challenges include packing more powerful magnetic and electric fields into smaller volumes with smaller power requirements than has ever been achieved before for a ULF or VLF transmitter. That will require innovations in chemistry and materials (new magnets and electrets), design (shapes and packing geometries of these materials), and mechanical engineering (means of mechanically moving the magnets and electrets to generate the RF signals).

«Mobile low-frequency communication has been such a hard-technological problem, especially for long-distance linkages, that we have seen little progress in many years», said Olsson. «With AMEBA, we expect to change that. And if we do catalyze the innovations we have in mind, we should be able to give our warfighters extremely valuable mission-expanding channels of communications that no one has had before».

Recapitalization program

The Air Force is well on its way to replacing a critical airborne battle management command and control weapon system with the December 28, 2016, release of the development request for proposal, or RFP, for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or JSTARS Recapitalization program.

An E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System from the 7th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron lands at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar after a mission on September 12, 2016 (U.S. Air Force file photo)
An E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System from the 7th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron lands at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar after a mission on September 12, 2016 (U.S. Air Force file photo)

The JSTARS is a key warfighting asset that provides airborne battle management command and control of joint and coalition forces, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information about ground movements to detect and track enemy forces. JSTARS first flew in support of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and has been a high-demand airborne command and control asset ever since its initial entry into the U.S. military arsenal.

The release of the RFP follows receipt of an Acquisition Decision Memorandum, or ADM, signed by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics on September 7, 2016.

«I can’t say enough about the outstanding effort by the entire Recapitalization team in reaching this important phase in the program», said Colonel Dave Learned, the JSTARS Recapitalization team program manager. «With the release of the RFP, we are keeping the Recapitalization program on track for successful delivery of a critical warfighting capability».

The RFP includes all aspects of the system, including the airframe, radar, communication systems and battle management command and control suite. The RFP will result in the delivery of three Engineering and Manufacturing Development, or EMD, JSTARS Recapitalization weapon systems for testing. There are also contract options for low-rate initial production for two more weapon systems and full-rate production of lots #1-3 for four additional weapon systems each, for a total of 17 aircraft.

In addition, options are included for ground support systems, such as training systems, mission planning and processing systems, system integration labs, support equipment and spares.

The Recapitalization program recently completed an 11-month pre-EMD effort with Northrop Grumman Corp., Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin. According to program officials, these activities helped assess the maturity of subsystem technology, reduced weapon system integration risk and provided information for the RFP.

Ongoing program work includes radar risk reduction efforts with contractors Northrop Grumman Corp. Mission Systems and Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems are pursuing nonrecurring hardware and software engineering activities to ensure radars are scaled to meet JSTARS Recapitalization specific requirements.

«We’ve completed successful pre-EMD efforts with industry and continue to make progress on our radar risk reduction activities», said Learned. «Thanks to the amazing work by our team, the program is well-positioned for a successful EMD phase. But what’s really exciting is how that paves the way for us being able to equip operators with a weapon system that will be more efficient and reliable than the current system».

This proposal solicitation will be a full and open competition with an anticipated contract award in fiscal year 2018, to have assets available for initial operational capability by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024.

«Through significant effort by the Recapitalization team, and valuable feedback from industry, as well as Air Force and OSD leadership, we now have our final Development RFP out for industry competition», said Sueann Lachance, JSTARS Recapitalization Development RFP Program Management lead. «We’re excited to see official proposals».

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) successfully completed acceptance trials December 16 after spending two days underway off the coast of Maine.

The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) sets sail for the first time to conduct initial at-sea builder's trials off the coast of Maine (U.S. Navy Photo/Released)
The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) sets sail for the first time to conduct initial at-sea builder’s trials off the coast of Maine (U.S. Navy Photo/Released)

The U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) reviewed the ship and its crew during a series of demonstrations while underway. INSURV evaluates the ship’s construction and compliance with Navy specifications and is the governing body that recommends the ship be delivered to the U.S. Navy.

The trials were conducted both pier-side and underway. Many of the ship’s onboard systems tested to validate performance, including navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, communications, and propulsion applications, met or exceeded Navy specifications.

«DDG-115 performed exceedingly well during acceptance trials and throughout the test and trials period», said Captain Casey Moton, DDG-51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «This ship is another example of the excellent work performed by our Navy, waterfront, and industry teams. As we continue with serial production of the Arleigh Burke class, I look forward to delivering more of these world-class ships to the fleet».

USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) is equipped with the Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense 5.0 Capability Upgrade and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air capability. The ship’s IAMD radar will provide increased computing power and radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare threats. The Aegis Combat System will enable the ship to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battlespace and effectively increase the theater space.

Following delivery, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) will be the 65th Arleigh Burke class destroyer and the first of the DDG-51 Flight IIA Restart ships to be built at Bath Iron Works. The shipyard is currently in production on future Flight IIA Technology Insertion destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) and USS Carl M. Levin (DDG-120) and under contract for three additional ships awarded as part of the five-ship multi-year procurement for FY13-17.

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


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 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos


Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15


Brimstone for RPAS

MBDA’s Brimstone precision strike missile is being planned as the UK’s guided missile solution for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Protector Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) programme. If confirmed, the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Certifiable Predator B will enter service with the British weapon.

MBDA’s Brimstone missile planned for RAF’S Protector RPAS
MBDA’s Brimstone missile planned for RAF’S Protector RPAS

The integration plan is included as part of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Main Gate selection of the aircraft and, if agreed, the missile will be integrated and fielded in line with the Platform’s introduction to service.

MBDA will now work together with UK MoD, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and GA-ASI towards a programme which would see the missile undergo integration onto the Air System with trials and firings towards the end of the decade. The missile has already successfully completed a series of trial firings on MQ-9 Reaper during early 2014 that saw the weapon engaging 70 mph/113 km/h and maneuvering targets with extreme precision from the RPAS; unmatched by any other weapon since.

The missile promises to arm Protector with the ability to strike fast moving, maneuvering targets with both man in the loop post launch guidance and also autonomous post launch all weather capabilities. This confirms that the missile is a true multiplatform weapon that can operate across fast jets, RPAS and, most recently, helicopters. A number of further enhanced capabilities are planned to be developed and incorporated into the solutions for Protector, AH-64E and Typhoon, demonstrating MBDA’s commitment to spirally evolve the weapon to meet changing customer needs and adapting to new threats.

The UK Sales & Business Development Director, James Allibone, highlighted the significance of the news saying, «Brimstone offers customers the ability to have one missile that can operate across their fleet of operational aircraft, whether they are jets, RPAS or helicopters. One missile for all platforms means customers benefit from simplified and more efficient training, logistics and inventory management as well as Brimstone’s outstanding precision against the most challenging of targets».


Missile Characteristics

Weight 110 lbs/50 kg
Length 5.9 feet/1.8 m
Diameter 7 inches/180 mm
Guidance Millimetric Wave Radar and Semi-Active Laser
Warhead Tandem Shaped Charge


Active Protection Systems

BAE Systems has received a contract from the Netherlands for the testing and verification of Active Protection Systems (APS) on its CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

Dutch CV90s to become first NATO combat vehicles to receive active protection
Dutch CV90s to become first NATO combat vehicles to receive active protection

Active Protection is an advanced solution consisting of countermeasures that can intercept incoming rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, and other threats to increase crew and vehicle survivability.

BAE Systems, the manufacturer of the Dutch CV9035 variant vehicles, will lead the APS integration. BAE Systems will also carry out the future installation of the system, called Iron Fist, developed by Israeli supplier IMI Systems. Iron Fist is an automated system that uses a radar to detect and track threats and then takes action to eliminate the threat.

«Iron Fist will give the Dutch Army a highly sophisticated defensive tool on its CV90s to counter threats and improve the safety of the vehicle and its crew», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of Sweden-based BAE Systems Hägglunds. «Iron Fist is yet another example of the advanced technology BAE Systems and its partners can deliver to our customers».

The integration of this advanced APS solution onto the Dutch CV90s demonstrates the vehicle’s adaptability to new and evolving technologies to meet customer-specific requirements.

«During this test phase, we will pre-qualify the active system against our threat specification, and together with our partners analyze system safety and prepare for its integration onto our CV9035NL vehicles», said Hans de Goeij, project manager at the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation, Ministry of Defence. «We expect to make a decision on the next phase by early 2018. With Iron Fist, the Netherlands is expected to become the first NATO country with an Active Protection System of its kind on combat vehicles».

BAE Systems is a leader in the development of survivability technologies for combat vehicles. The company has, for example, developed a system called ADAPTIV, which uses cloaking technology to alter the appearance of a vehicle, making it harder to identify. BAE Systems has also developed a situational awareness tool called BattleView 360. BattleView 360 employs sensors outside the vehicle that feed a 360-degree image to a helmet-mounted monocle, allowing soldiers inside the vehicle to essentially «see through» armor and better detect threats.

AN-132D demonstrator

On December 20, 2016, rollout ceremony of the AN-132D aircraft-demonstrator, the first prototype of a new AN-132D multipurpose transport, was held. It will take a proper place in the line of the world-known ANTONOV transport aircraft.

ANTONOV Company completed construction of a new AN-132D aircraft
ANTONOV Company completed construction of a new AN-132D aircraft

Programme of the AN-132D creation is realized in accordance with the contract with the customer from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in close cooperation with King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology (KACST) and Тaqnia Aeronautics Co. Enterprises of aircraft industry of Ukraine and leading suppliers of world aviation industry are involved in the project. In this programme ANTONOV Company represents Ukraine as an integrator of international cooperation, holder of high technologies.

Paying high attention to this event on the international level, the officials took part in the rollout ceremony, including: Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, and His Highness, Prince of KSA Turki Saud Mohammed Al Saud, representatives of governments of both countries, deputies of Ukraine, representatives of diplomatic missions of different countries.

The President of Ukraine gave a command to roll out the aircraft.

In his speech at the ceremony, Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, thanked ANTONOV’s team for conscientious works and said in particular: «This event is a result of productive, energetic work of ANTONOV Company and dozens of other enterprises of aircraft industry of Ukraine. This is our joint victory! AN-132D is a real international project. For the first time so many leading company of the world aviation field take part in development of the multipurpose transport aircraft. We are obliged to our partners from Canada, Great Britain, USA, Germany, France and other countries, which participate in creation of this new competitive aircraft. So, on the AN-132D platform we gathered cluster the best companies of the world aviation industry».

The AN-132D rollout ceremony was conducted under presence of heads of the companies-partners, including Doctor Khaled Abdullah Alhussain, Director of National Aerospace Technology Center of KACST, and Major General (retired) Ali M. Alghamdi, Chief executive officer (CEO) of Тaqnia Aeronautics Co.

The photos were given by Administration of the President of Ukraine
The photos were given by Administration of the President of Ukraine

Vehicle mounted mortar

BAE Systems has received a 575 million SEK ($68 million) contract for the installation of vehicle mounted mortar systems on Swedish Army CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

BAE Systems to deliver vehicle mounted mortar systems to Swedish Army
BAE Systems to deliver vehicle mounted mortar systems to Swedish Army

The installation of the company’s mortar system, known as Mjölner, on 40 CV90s will considerably increase the indirect fire capability of the vehicles to support mechanized battalions.

«The delivery of the Mjölner solution to the Swedish Army allows it to field a capability well adapted for the CV90 while enhancing the fleet’s firepower», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of BAE Systems Hägglunds.

Mjölner is the hammer of Thor in Norse mythology. The contract was issued by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV, Försvarets materielverk), with first deliveries scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2019.

CV90 is a family of Swedish tracked combat vehicles designed for FMV by BAE Systems Hägglunds and BAE Systems Bofors, which provides the vehicle’s turrets. More than 4.5 million engineering hours has contributed to the development of this advanced vehicle. The Swedish version is outfitted with a turret equipped with a 40-mm autocannon.

The Swedish Army has more than 500 CV90s. Earlier this year, BAE Systems was awarded a contract to refurbish 262 of the vehicles, including survivability, turret, and combat system performance upgrades. Adding the mounted mortar systems addresses another priority that helps increase the vehicles’ lifespan in support of Army capabilities.

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland also operate CV90s.

Gabrielle delivered

Austal Limited (Austal) is pleased to announce the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) has been delivered to the United States Navy (USN) during a ceremony held aboard the ship at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is the fifth Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship to be delivered by Austal to the U.S. Navy (Photo: Austal)
The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is the fifth Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship to be delivered by Austal to the U.S. Navy (Photo: Austal)

The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is the fifth Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) delivered to the USN since 2009 and the fourth naval vessel delivered to the USN by Austal USA in 2016; including 2 × Littoral Combat Ships (USS Montgomery LCS-8 and USS Gabrielle Giffords LCS-10) and 2 × Expeditionary Fast Transport (USNS Brunswick T-EPF-6 and USNS Carson City T-EPF-7).

Designed in Australia by the team bidding for the Commonwealth of Australia’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (SEA1180) program, the 417-foot/127-meter frigate-sized Littoral Combat Ships are constructed in Mobile, Alabama utilizing Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF), which offers production-line efficiencies and industry leading productivity.

Announcing the delivery, Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said: «Gabrielle Giffords joins Independence, Coronado, Jackson and Montgomery as the fifth Littoral Combat Ship Austal USA has delivered to the U.S. Navy. This vessel further demonstrates our capability to successfully deliver large, complex naval programs and reinforces our ability to transition an innovative, effective design not just across shipyards but continents».

«The Independence-variant LCS platform has gone from strength to strength, as the first LCS variant to be fitted with a Harpoon Anti-ship Missile System and the first U.S. Navy class of vessel to successfully pass shock testing since 2008», Singleton added.

Six additional Independence-variant LCS are under construction at Austal USA under an 11 ship contract worth approximately US$4 billion. The future USS Omaha (LCS-12) and USS Manchester (LCS-14) are preparing for sea-trials, USS Tulsa (LCS-16) and USS Charleston (LCS-18) are in Assembly and modules for USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) and USS Kansas City (LCS-22) are underway in the MMF. Austal delivered USS Jackson (LCS-6) in August 2015 and USS Montgomery (LCS-8) in June 2016.

LCS10 Completes Acceptance Trials with Dolphins in tow


The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 417 feet/127.1 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules



Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)
USS Kansas City (LCS-22)
USS Oakland (LCS-24)
USS Mobile (LCS-26)