Boeing and the Paramount Group, the South Africa-based global defense and aerospace business, have expanded their 2014 agreement to cooperate on an advanced mission system for a variant of the Advanced, High Performance, Reconnaissance, Light Aircraft (AHRLAC).
A high-wing, two-seat aircraft, AHRLAC is designed to incorporate advanced Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and weapons systems. Boeing will develop an integrated mission system for the aircraft enabling ISR and light strike missions for the AHRLAC safety & security, and military variants. This militarised version will be known as Mwari.
Speaking from the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi, Jeffrey Johnson, vice president, Business Development, Boeing Military Aircraft, said, «Through AHRLAC, we’ll not only bring a flexible, persistent and affordable aircraft to the international market, but we’ll also be developing world-class technology in Africa». «Our relationship with Paramount will help us access markets that are new to Boeing», Johnson added.
The Paramount Group is the largest privately owned defense and aerospace business in Africa, providing fully integrated turnkey solutions to global defense, peacekeeping and internal security forces. Since its inception in 1994, Paramount has built strong relationships with governments and government agencies in more than 30 countries around the world. Paramount is a leading innovator in the design and development of state-of-the-art products that it manufactures in locations globally and has partnered with some of the world’s largest and most reputable organizations in the global defense community.
Pusher configuration, jet-like characteristics
Unobstructed forward view for sensors
Internal high velocity 20-mm cannon
Flexible belly-mounted multi-mission sensor pod
High wing for good external view and rough field operation
MAXIMUM TAKE-OFF WEIGHT (MTOW)
8,378 lbs/3,800 kg
PAYLOAD WITH FULL FUEL
1,764 lbs/800 kg +
Retractable, optimised for semi- and unprepared sites
Sized for optional extra-large high flotation wheels
Tandem seat, two crew
Large vertical cockpit separation and high wing for optimum external view
New generation multi-function IFR Glass cockpit
1,804 feet/550 m Full payload
Maximum Cruise Speed
272 knots/313 mph/504 km/h
31,000 feet/9,449 m
External Stores and Armament
6 Wing Hard Points
20-mm Fuselage mounted Cannon
Maximum Mission Range
1,150 NM/1,323 miles/2,130 km
Maximum Ferry Range
2,000 NM/2,302 miles/3,704 km
34.4 feet/10.5 m
39.4 feet/12 m
13.1 feet/4 m
1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66B 950 HP Flat-rated (Growth to 1,600 HP/1,193 kW)
CONFORMAL AND INTERCHANGEABLE MISSION-SPECIFIC POD ACCOMMODATING COMBINATIONS OF:
On March 7, 2016 General Dynamics Land Systems-UK inaugurated its new Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) facility at Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. The facility, which will undergo significant refurbishment through 2016 and be fully operational in 2017, will support the delivery of AJAX vehicles to the British Army.
At a short ceremony attended by the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, and Alun Cairns MP, Wales Office Minister, representatives of the British Army and other local dignitaries, the facility was declared open and reaffirms the UK’s proud history of developing and manufacturing AFVs.
The facility was dedicated in the memory of famous Welshman, Sir Tasker Watkins. Born in Nelson, Caerphilly, which is a short distance from Merthyr Tydfil, Sir Tasker earned the Victoria Cross during the Second World War for his gallantry in the face of the enemy. Following the war, he served Wales with equal distinction in many different roles, including as President of the Welsh Rugby Union.
The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, said: «Today’s news is great for Merthyr and great for Wales. We’ve built a strong and close working relationship with General Dynamics – one of our anchor companies – and we have supported a number of their key projects that have brought new work and technology to Wales and created hundreds of new jobs. I am delighted we were able to support this latest, strategically important, investment and welcome the considerable associated economic benefits it will create».
Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Procurement, commented: «The opening of this new facility is a major development for both Merthyr Tydfil and the British Army. It is another reminder of the importance of Defence investment right across the UK: the AJAX programme alone is sustaining 2,800 jobs across the country, 550 of which are here in Wales. This new facility, like the next generation vehicle it will produce, is more evidence of our £178 billion commitment to provide our Armed Forces with the equipment they need. Thanks to the close partnership between the UK Government and industry, this site will spring back in to life as a significant centre of employment and bring in valuable skills with a lasting legacy for the entire region».
Alun Cairns MP, Wales Office Minister, remarked: «The UK government is determined to see as many MoD projects designed, built and manufactured here in the UK. General Dynamics’ decision to bring the assembly, integration and testing of AJAX vehicles to south Wales is an enormous vote of confidence in the skills and expertise of the workforce here in Merthyr Tydfil. This grows the defence footprint in Wales and is an excellent example of the UK and Welsh Governments working together in the interests of the Welsh economy. The Welsh manufacturing sector is surging from strength to strength. Today’s event showcases the invaluable contribution our home-grown talent is making in the provision of first-class protection and support to the brave men and women working in front line situations around the world».
Kevin Connell, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, said: «Today’s inauguration reaffirms our commitment to delivering world-leading AFVs to the British Army from the UK, and firmly establishes Wales as the home of the UK’s AFV industry. I’d like to thank the UK Government, Welsh Government, local council and community for its support as we establish a facility that we can all be proud of, which will lead the way in the delivery of a cutting-edge, fully-digitised fleet of vehicles for the British Army».
Commenting on the dedication of the facility in the memory of Sir Tasker Watkins, Kevin Connell said: «Sir Tasker put his service to his men and country before his own safety during the Second World War, and his gallantry deserves to be continually remembered. Today’s dedication was our way of honouring his memory, and recognising the service of our Armed Forces, who serve our country with distinction every day».
The new facility will support the creation of 250 new jobs, whilst the entire AJAX programme directly supports approximately 2,800 jobs across the UK at more than 210 UK-based companies. General Dynamics Land Systems-UK will begin initial, limited recruitment for the new facility later this year, with further significant recruitment taking place in mid-2017.
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on March 7 the successful sea trials of the company’s 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26). The ship, built at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, spent four days in the Gulf of Mexico last week with Ingalls’ test and trials team operating the ship and performing more than 200 test events.
«Overall the builder’s trial was successful, and the ship performed well», said Kari Wilkinson, Ingalls’ LPD-26 program manager. «This shipbuilding milestone is another accomplishment for a seasoned LPD production and test team that is ready to continue the learning on future LPD platforms. This team understands the important mission LPDs provide to our nation, and we look forward to delivering another fine, much-needed asset to our sailors and Marines».
Major evolutions during builder’s trials include the anchor-handling demonstration, ballast/deballast demonstration, detect-to-engage exercise, running the ship at full power and steering.
Shipbuilders will now prepare USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) for acceptance trials in April to demonstrate the same tests and operational success to the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in the second quarter of 2016.
«LPD-26 experienced an excellent builders trials», said George S. Jones, Ingalls’ vice president of operations. «This is another fine testament to the dedicated men and women of Ingalls shipbuilding and their shipbuilding talents. The USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is a quality ship, and the ability to deliver her on schedule later this year is a result of great craftsmen and the outstanding Navy partnership we have with the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast».
LPD-26 is named in honor of the late John P. Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 to 2010. In addition to his tenured history in the House of Representatives, Murtha was also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserves. He served for 37 years and received the Bronze Star with Combat «V», two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War. He retired as a colonel in 1990.
Ingalls has built and delivered nine ships in the San Antonio-class. In addition to USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26), Ingalls has the 11th LPD, USS Portland (LPD-27), under construction. USS Portland (LPD-27) launched on February 13 and will be christened on May 21. Ingalls received a $200 million advance procurement contract for the 12th ship in the class, LPD-28, in December 2015.
The San Antonio-class is the latest addition to the U.S. Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long/208-meter-long, 105-foot-wide/32-meter-wide ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.
Ingalls Shipbuilding conducted Builder Sea Trials for USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) in the Gulf of Mexico
Huntington Ingalls Industries
Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower
684 feet/208 m
105 feet/32 m
Approximately 24,900 long tons (25,300 metric tons) full load
Raytheon Company’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) successfully engaged a surface target – the decommissioned USS Reuben James (FFG-57) – in a recent flight test. The test was a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s concept of «distributed lethality», employing ships in dispersed formations to increase the offensive might of the surface force and enabling future options for the joint force commander. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) fired the SM-6 during the test; another Air Defense Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer was on station as the assist ship.
The mission validated that the legacy Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) capability of the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) family of missiles and the Mk-7 Aegis Weapon System (AWS) has successfully carried over to SM-6 and the latest Aegis Destroyer baseline 9. The investment in the Standard Missile family resulted in an affordable SM-6 effector that continues to perform beyond expectations.
«This test event demonstrated Raytheon’s decades of continued technological development and partnership with the U.S. Navy», said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «The ability to leverage the Standard Missile Family and the legacy AWS in newly fielded systems brings additional warfighting capability to the U.S. Fleet».
In recent testing, SM-6 has shown expanded mission capability in three key areas: Anti-Air Warfare, Sea-Based Terminal and Anti-Surface Warfare. The tri-mission capability of SM-6 continues to emphasize its value by providing additional capability beyond its original intended mission.
Raytheon has delivered more than 250 SM-6 missiles, which were deployed for the first time in 2013. The missile’s final assembly takes place at Raytheon’s state-of-the-art SM-6 and SM-3 all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) delivered the «Jinryu» (Benevolent Dragon) submarine to the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) on March 7 in a ceremony held at the MHI Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works’ No.3 pier in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. The «Jinryu» (SS-507) is the seventh Soryu-class submarine supplied to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the fourth built by MHI. MHI also built the first Soryu-class submarine, and has produced a total of 26 submarines at the MHI Kobe Shipyard over the last 70 years.
The delivery ceremony was attended by a number of MOD officials including State Minister of Defense Kenji Wakamiya, JMSDF Chief of Staff Tomohisa Takei, and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency Commissioner Hideaki Watanabe. MHI was represented by Hisakazu Mizutani, Executive Vice President of MHI and President & CEO of MHI Integrated Defense & Space Systems.
Soryu-class submarines are the world’s largest conventionally powered submarines. They have an excellent operational track record and are equipped with state-of-the art technologies, including Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems that enable them to remain fully submerged for long periods of time, and advanced stealth technologies that make them extremely difficult to detect.
275.6 feet/84 m
30 feet/9.1 m
33.8 feet/10.3 m
Diesel-Stirling-electric, one shaft
6,000 kW/8,000 PS
20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Armament and other equipment
Torpedo tubes, snorkel, submarine sonar system, etc.
The Boeing test team successfully completed the first flight of the program’s second KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft on March 2, taking off from Paine Field and landing later at Boeing Field in Seattle. During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems.
«Adding a second tanker to the flight test program is very important as we move into the next phase of testing», said Colonel John Newberry, U.S. Air Force KC-46 System program manager. «The team will initially use the aircraft to test mission system avionics and exterior lighting. Later, it will share the air refueling effort with the first KC-46».
The Boeing team now will conduct a post-flight inspection and calibrate instrumentation prior to the next series of flights. As part of the overall flight test program, the KC-46 Pegasus will demonstrate it can refuel 18 different aircraft. The second tanker will help share the test load and receiver certification.
Boeing was awarded a contract in 2011 to design and develop the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft and is building four test aircraft – two are currently configured as 767-2Cs and two as KC-46A Pegasus tankers.
Engineering & Manufacturing and Development-1 (EMD-1), a 767-2C test aircraft, has completed more than 260 flight test hours to date since its first flight in December 2014. EMD-2, the program’s first KC-46A Pegasus tanker, made its maiden flight September 25, 2015 and has now completed more than 180 flight test hours. EMD-3, a 767-2C, will begin flight testing later this year.
The KC-46A Pegasus is a multirole tanker Boeing is building for the U.S. Air Force that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. Overall, Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 Pegasus aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
Aerial refueling and airlift
The Boeing Company
2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
415,000 lbs/188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight
310,000 lbs/140,614 kg
212,299 lbs/96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load
207,672 lbs/94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity
65,000 lbs/29,484 kg
360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
43,100 feet/13,137 m
7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
18 pallet positions
15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment
After more than a decade of performing precision strike operations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility, the B-1 Lancers have returned home. While U.S. and coalition aircraft step in to continue the air campaign in Iraq and Syria, where B-1s from Dyess and Ellsworth Air Force Bases (AFBs) delivered devastating blows to Daesh forces, the Lancers are stateside, completing the largest fleet sustainment block upgrade in the program’s history.
The 7th Bomb Wing is wasting no time putting those upgrades to work, recently executing a short-notice, long-range strike exercise to successfully demonstrate, for the first time, the U.S. Air Force’s ability to deploy Block 16 B-1s during a 15-hour flight to the Yukon Range in Alaska.
«This exercise proved that the B-1 fleet is now capable of deploying and employing Block 16 aircraft to provide a global strike presence within hours of being tasked», according to Captain Ryan Stillwell, wing weapons officer, adding that the Block 16 modifications allow the aircraft to perform more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
A key element of the modifications he pointed out is that the upgrade allows better data sharing between aircrew and aircraft in the sky.
«The Block 16 upgrade results in increased situational awareness in the jets as well as increased reliability in our systems and displays», Stillwell said. «This ties us into the external sensors the rest of the U.S. Air Force and military provide in a more usable way».
This enhanced capability not only aids the crew of the B-1 Lancer, but allows other military assets to be better prepared against enemy threats.
«B-1s are a global deterrence platform in the conventional strike role; we can put bombs on targets anywhere in the world, anytime», Stillwell said. «Block 16 enables that because it increases our situational awareness and it makes us more lethal. We can share target and threat data with other assets, which help us survive and allow us to place our weapons in an accurate location in a quicker timeline against the enemy».
Block 16 has made the B-1 Lancer a complete combat machine, the captain added. «The B-1 is not limited to a certain sortie duration», Stillwell said. «Our B-1s are only limited to crew fatigue, as long as the crew is rested and we get in-air refueling there is no limit to how far our B-1 can go».
An important piece of the exercise was to ensure the Block 16 B-1s are ready for that long-duration mission. «One of the key planning factors was demonstrating the global reach of the B-1», said Lieutenant Colonel Luke Baker, 7th Bomb Wing director of inspections. «We also wanted to demonstrate its global capability with long-range and precision attacks, which allows us to reach out and touch people across the world».
During this exercise the B-1’s three weapons bays were loaded with inert Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and Joint Direct Attack Munitions. Both sets of weapons benefit the addition of the Block 16 technology by allowing the weapon systems officers to be more accurate in targeting the enemy.
While exercising a new system successfully was one objective, Stillwell pointed out that this exercise was also critical in ensuring the wing is capable of getting jets and Airmen ready to deploy in a short-notice scenario.
«We did this exercise to exercise the machine that is Dyess Air Force Base, which eventually results in putting bombs on targets», Stillwell said. «We were able to get all six aircraft launched on time. From the maintenance side and operation side they had everything ready before we launched the aircraft».
A successful deployment or exercise ultimately hinges on the skill and dedication of Airmen, and according to the 7th Bomb Wing vice commander, he never doubted they would achieve the targeted goal.
«It doesn’t surprise me that our Airmen were able to accomplish such a large task on such short order, because we have developed a ‘bomber Airmen’ culture, who are ready to defend the nation at any time», Colonel Michael Miller said. «These upgrades just further enhance the ability of our Airmen to do what they do best, which is putting steel on target».
long-range, multi-role, heavy bomber
Boeing, North America (formerly Rockwell International, North American Aircraft); offensive avionics, Boeing Military Airplane; defensive avionics, EDO Corporation
4 × General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engine with afterburner
30,780 lbf/13,962 kgf/136.92 kN with afterburner, per engine
137 feet/41.8 m extended forward
79 feet/24.1 m swept aft
146 feet/44.5 m
34 feet/10.4 m
approximately 190,000 lbs/86,183 kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
477,000 lbs/216,634 kg
265,274 lbs/120,326 kg
75,000 lbs/34,019 kg
Mach 1.2/900 mph/1,448 km/h at sea level
more than 30,000 feet/9,144 m
84 500-pound/227-kg Mk-82 or 24 2,000-pound/907-kg Mk-84 general purpose bombs
up to 84 500-pound/227-kg Mk-62 or 8 2,000-pound/907-kg Mk-65 Quick Strike naval mines
For decades, aircraft designers seeking to improve Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities have endured a substantial set of interrelated challenges. Dozens of attempts have been made to increase top speed without sacrificing range, efficiency or the ability to do useful work, with each effort struggling or failing in one way or another.
DARPA’s VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) program aims to overcome these challenges through innovative cross-pollination between fixed-wing and rotary-wing technologies and by developing and integrating novel subsystems to enable radical improvements in vertical and cruising flight capabilities. In an important step toward that goal, DARPA has awarded the Phase 2 contract for VTOL X-Plane to Aurora Flight Sciences.
«Just when we thought it had all been done before, the Aurora team found room for invention – truly new elements of engineering and technology that show enormous promise for demonstration on actual flight vehicles», said Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager. «This is an extremely novel approach», Bagai said of the selected design. «It will be very challenging to demonstrate, but it has the potential to move the technology needle the farthest and provide some of the greatest spinoff opportunities for other vertical flight and aviation products».
VTOL X-Plane seeks to develop a technology demonstrator that could:
Achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 knot/345 mph/555 km/h to 400 knot/460 mph/740 km/h;
Raise aircraft hover efficiency from 60 percent to at least 75 percent;
Present a more favorable cruise lift-to-drag ratio of at least 10, up from 5-6;
Carry a useful load of at least 40 percent of the vehicle’s projected gross weight of 10,000-12,000 pounds/4,536-5,443 kg.
Aurora’s Phase 2 design for VTOL X-Plane envisions an unmanned aircraft with two large rear wings and two smaller front canards – short winglets mounted near the nose of the aircraft. A turboshaft engine – one used in V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft – mounted in the fuselage would provide 3 megawatts (4,000 horsepower) of electrical power, the equivalent of an average commercial wind turbine. The engine would drive 24 ducted fans, nine integrated into each wing and three inside each canard. Both the wings and the canards would rotate to direct fan thrust as needed: rearward for forward flight, downward for hovering and at angles during transition between the two.
The design envisions an aircraft that could fly fast and far, hover when needed and accomplish diverse missions without the need for prepared landing areas. While the technology demonstrator would be unmanned, the technologies that VTOL X-Plane intends to develop could apply equally well to manned aircraft. The program has the goal of performing flight tests in the 2018 timeframe.
Aurora’s unique design is only possible through advances in technology over the past 60 years, in fields such as air vehicle and aeromechanics design and testing, adaptive and reconfigurable control systems, and highly integrated designs. It would also be impossible with the classical mechanical drive systems used in today’s vertical lift aircraft, Bagai said.
The Phase 2 design addresses in innovative ways many longstanding technical obstacles, the biggest of which is that the design characteristics that enable good hovering capabilities are completely different from those that enable fast forward flight. Among the revolutionary design advances to be incorporated in the technology demonstrator:
Electric power generation and distribution systems to enable multiple fans and transmission-agnostic air vehicle designs;
Modularized, cellular aerodynamic wing design with integrated propulsion to enable the wings to perform efficiently in forward flight, hover and when transitioning between them;
Overactuated flight control systems that could change the thrust of each fan to increase maneuverability and efficiency.
«This VTOL X-plane won’t be in volume production in the next few years but is important for the future capabilities it could enable», Bagai said. «Imagine electric aircraft that are more quiet, fuel-efficient and adaptable and are capable of runway-independent operations. We want to open up whole new design and mission spaces freed from prior constraints, and enable new VTOL aircraft systems and subsystems».
On March 5, 2016 Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division celebrated the christening of the future USS Washington (SSN-787), the 14th Virginia-class submarine.
Ship sponsor Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine, dipped in the waters of Washington’s Puget Sound, across the bow to mark the christening of the submarine named for the Evergreen State.
«It seems amazing that only a year and a half ago we were laying the keel», Elisabeth said. «It is a testament to the work at Newport News and Electric Boat that we are back here so soon to christen the newest member of the fleet».
Secretary Mabus served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Other ceremony participants included Representative Randy Forbes, Republican Party, Virginia; Representative Bobby Scott, Democratic Party, Virginia; Admiral James Caldwell, director, U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program; Vice Admiral Joseph Tofalo, commander of Submarine Forces, Submarine Forces Atlantic and Allied Submarine Command; Matt Mulherin, president, Newport News Shipbuilding; and Jeffrey Geiger, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.
Secretary Mabus highlighted the award of 10 Virginia-class submarines in the Block IV contract, the largest shipbuilding contract in U.S. Navy history, and the cost savings associated with it.
«Many things have allowed us to bring the cost down», Mabus said. «So many efficiencies by these shipyards. By giving them stability – by Congress allowing us to do this 10-ship buy at the same time so they can make the investments, employ the skilled workers, buy the materials that they need to build not just one submarine, but all 10 – it’s good for our shipbuilders, it’s good for the shipbuilding industry, it’s good for America’s Navy, and it’s good for America».
USS Washington (SSN-787) will be the seventh Virginia-class submarine delivered by Newport News. Construction began in September 2011, marking the beginning of the two-submarines-per-year build plan between Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat.
«Today’s ceremony marks a new chapter in the life of this submarine, which embodies years of hard work by a team committed to continuous improvement and extending its record of deliveries ahead of schedule and under budget», Geiger said. «Largely because of the Virginia-class program’s success, we are in the midst of a sustained period of increased submarine production».
Nearly 4,000 Newport News shipbuilders have worked on USS Washington (SSN-787). The submarine is on track to be delivered in 2016.
«Here at the shipyard, we’re celebrating our 130 years in business», Mulherin said. «We’ve been christening ships throughout our history, with more than 800 such ships built here. For more than a century, we’ve christened ships. The pride, patriotism and attention to every little detail is something that has been passed down from generation to generation. We are extremely proud to be a part of that tradition because we know we aren’t just celebrating a christening today, we are also celebrating the men and women who built this magnificent submarine and those who will serve aboard her».
General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
October 3, 2004
One GE PWR S9G(*) nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
377 feet/114.8 m
33 feet/10.0584 m
34 feet/10.3632 m
Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
800+ feet/244+ m
132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles
12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes
4 torpedo tubes
MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)
(*) – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories
Nuclear Submarine Lineup
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered
SSN-778 New Hampshire
SSN-779 New Mexico
SSN-784 North Dakota
SSN-785 John Warner
SSN-790 South Dakota
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover
SSN-796 New Jersey
Watch an awesome time-lapse video of the rollout, flooding and launch of Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) at Newport News Shipbuilding. It’s four days of work compressed into less than two minutes.
The third of a total of four 125 class frigates for the German Navy was christened «Sachsen-Anhalt» on March 4 at the Hamburg site of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Following the christening of the first two frigates «Baden-Württemberg» in December 2013 and «Nordrhein-Westfalen» in April 2015 this is a further important milestone in the shipbuilding program for this frigate class. Dr. Gabriele Haseloff, wife of the premier of the state of Saxony-Anhalt after which the frigate has been named, performed the christening ceremony in the presence of high-level representatives from government, the German Navy and the companies involved.
The frigate «Sachsen-Anhalt» is scheduled to be handed over to the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw in early 2019. Commissioning and in-port trials of the first F125 frigate, the «Baden-Württemberg», have now advanced to the stage where sea trials can commence as planned in spring this year. Handover of the «Baden-Württemberg» to the BAAINBw is scheduled for mid-2017. The contract for the F125 program is worth around two billion euros in total.
Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien, member of the Management Board of ThyssenKrupp’s Industrial Solutions business area and chairman of the supervisory board of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «The F125 frigate class is a completely new type of ship. With numerous innovations and a multiple-crew strategy it is a further showcase for the leading engineering expertise of German naval shipbuilding».
The ARGE F125 consortium which was awarded the contract to build four F125 class ships for the German Navy in 2007 comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections are being manufactured at the Fr. Lürssen Werft shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out is being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg.
The four 125 class frigates will replace the German Navy’s eight (Bremen type) 122 class frigates. The ships were developed specially for current and future deployment scenarios for the German Navy. In addition to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, the 125 class frigates are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention/stabilization operations in the international arena. The ships are capable of remaining at sea for 24 months and thus represent the first realization of the intensive use concept, i.e. significantly increased availability in the deployment region. This capability is supported by a smaller crew and a multiple-crew strategy which permits a complete change of crew during deployment.
Class 125 Frigate
The Blohm+Voss Class 125 stabilisation frigate, now under construction for the German Navy, is especially designed for sustained littoral presence for the stabilisation of crisis regions.
The ship has enhanced Command and Control, boat, helicopter and shore bombardment capabilities for the support of Special Forces amphibious operations. In particular, four large, fast Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), 50 Special Forces, and two 20-feet/6-meter containers may be embarked.
The ship has palletised cargo routes for efficient replenishment and rapid operational disembarkation. Incorporating all of the tough survivability features of its predecessors, the Blohm+Voss Classes 123 and 124, the Blohm+Voss Class 125 introduces the «twoisland» concept, whereby critical Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), sensors and effectors are split between separated superstructure «islands» forward and aft, allowing the ship to continue to fight even after severe damage.
As a world-first in frigate logistic support, the Blohm+Voss Class 125 logistic engineering has been specially tailored for the ship to remain on station in a distant theatre of operations for up to two years without base or dockyard maintenance. In this concept, the crew is rotated while the ship remains in theatre.
149 m/489 feet
18.8 m/61.7 feet
5.0 m/16.4 feet
26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km at a speed of 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h