Two AORs for Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia and Navantia have signed a contract to supply two AORs (Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment). These two ships are based on the Spanish Navy ship SPS Cantabria (A15) which will be tailored to fulfil specific Australian standards and requirements. The agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia also includes the sustainment of the two AOR ships for a period of five years.

SPS Cantabria (A15) has a maximum sustained speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h and a range of 6,000 nautical miles/6,900 miles/11,000 km; the ship's complement is 122
SPS Cantabria (A15) has a maximum sustained speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h and a range of 6,000 nautical miles/6,900 miles/11,000 km; the ship’s complement is 122

These contracts include a significant amount of participation from Australian industry, with companies such as Saab Australia as supplier of the Combat System, Scientific Management Associates (SMA) as suppliers of engineering services, Baker and Provan as supplier of cranes and an Australian communication system supplier. In relation to Support, all the sustainment activities will be performed in Australia (New South Wales, NSW and Western Australia, WA) with Navantia Australia and its subcontractors, which has been partnering with Australian companies since 2007. Other opportunities for Australian suppliers will be published through the ICN gateway.

With this contract, Navantia has further established a reputation for being a reference platform designer for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). These two ships will join the two LHDs, the three AWDs and the twelve Landing Craft designed by Navantia. Navantia is proud of its participation in the development of the naval capabilities for the RAN.

Navantia Australia has significant capability established in Australia which with the company’s Technical Operation Centre located in Adelaide, will be a valuable asset for future shipbuilding activities in Australia, providing the required expertise to face the challenge of future projects. Navantia is fully committed to Australia and will contribute to naval projects with proven capacity and ability to supply. Navantia now looks forward to working with the Commonwealth and Industry even more closely, to achieve program goals that we all totally share.

Navantia selected to supply two Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship to Australia
Navantia selected to supply two Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship to Australia

First two K-MAX

The Marine Corps’ first two Kaman K-MAX Helicopters arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Arizona, May 7, 2016. The Kaman K-MAX Helicopter is very unique in many ways, such as its purpose and design. It is a helicopter with interlinking rotors whose primary mission is to provide cargo load operations with a maximum payload of 6,000 pounds/2,722 kg.

The K-MAX will be added to MCAS Yuma's already vast collection of military air assets, and will utilize the station’s ranges to strengthen training, testing and operations across the Marine Corps
The K-MAX will be added to MCAS Yuma’s already vast collection of military air assets, and will utilize the station’s ranges to strengthen training, testing and operations across the Marine Corps

«The most unique thing is this aircraft can fly itself», said Jerry McCawley, a Chief Pilot and Flight Safety Engineer with Lockheed Martin. «These two particular aircraft were over in Afghanistan for almost three years flying unhanded, and moving almost five million pounds of cargo, keeping numerous convoys off the road, preventing any roadside attacks».

The K-MAX will utilize MCAS Yuma’s training ranges in both Arizona and California, and will soon have an integral part in testing and operations.

As MCAS Yuma continues expanding its scope of operations, the K-MAX will continue revolutionizing expeditionary Marine air-ground combat power in all environments.

«It’s very resilient and can fly day or night», said McCawley. «It’s out here in Yuma for future test and development with the Marines. It’s great now, and it’s only going to get better».

The K-MAX will be added to MCAS Yuma’s already vast collection of military aircraft, strengthening training, testing and operations across the Marine Corps.

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

 

K-MAX Unmanned Aerial System

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Technical characteristics

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

 

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

 

Five M-ATV Variants

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, is offering five Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) variants to meet a full range of mission requirements for armed forces around the world.

The Oshkosh M-ATV Family of Vehicles defines performance for MRAP class vehicles
The Oshkosh M-ATV Family of Vehicles defines performance for MRAP class vehicles

Collectively, the battle-proven M-ATV Family of Vehicles offers the best combination of protection and off-road mobility performance for peacekeeping, internal security, border security, special forces, counterinsurgency and conventional military operations. The M-ATV Family of Vehicles includes:

  • M-ATV Special Forces;
  • M-ATV Assault;
  • M-ATV Engineer;
  • M-ATV Command;
  • M-ATV Utility.

«Whether soldiers are mobilized for large force-on-force wars, unconventional conflicts, or routine security operations, militaries require tactical vehicles that will allow them to carry out their mission in any environment, climate or threat level», said Bill Mooney, regional vice president of Middle East and North Africa for Oshkosh Defense. «The common fleet of the Oshkosh M-ATV Family of Vehicles optimizes fleet readiness and maintainability while providing versatility for even more mission capabilities».

The global M-ATV platform achieves industry leading off-road performance with the Oshkosh TAK-4 independent suspension system. The TAK-4 independent suspension system delivers exceptional mobility in places where off-road terrain and unpaved roads dominate the landscape. The latest generation Oshkosh M-ATV provides response, improved ride quality, and support capabilities to soldiers for a range of offensive and defensive missions across a wide range of environments.

Oshkosh Defense combines the latest technologies to develop an advanced Core1080 crew protection system, to achieve proven best-in-class performance and protection. From blast mitigation, advanced suspensions and drivetrains, integrated C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) and beyond – the Oshkosh Core1080 comprehensive approach increases survivability and gives soldiers the confidence they need as they complete their missions outside the wire.

To date, Oshkosh Defense has received orders for nearly 10,000 M-ATVs from the U.S. military and Middle East armed forces.

Christening of
Manchester

According to Shawne K. Wickham, New Hampshire Sunday News’s correspondent, the U.S. Navy’s new combat ship USS Manchester (LCS-14) was christened on April 07 at the Alabama shipyard where she was built. New Hampshire’s senior senator, Jeanne Shaheen, did the honors, smashing a bottle of champagne against the ship, named in honor of her state’s largest city.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat Party-New Hampshire, christens the Navy combat ship USS Manchester on May 07 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat Party-New Hampshire, christens the Navy combat ship USS Manchester on May 07 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama

Shaheen is the ship’s sponsor, which she called both an honor and a «solemn responsibility». «For the United States of America, I christen thee Manchester», said Shaheen, whose family was in attendance. «May God bless this ship and all who sail in it». Shaheen was sporting protective safety goggles and gloves but that didn’t protect her fuchsia blazer and black skirt from getting drenched with champagne as the bottle shattered.

The ship’s horn sounded and a band struck up «Anchors Aweigh» as Shaheen exchanged hugs with Navy Commander Emily Bassett, who will command the Manchester. Bassett had visited Manchester last weekend to get a first-hand look at the city for which her ship is named. Shaheen also took a moment in her remarks to lobby for holding the official commissioning ceremony for the USS Manchester (LCS-14) in Portsmouth.

The Manchester was built by Austal USA at its Mobile, Alabama, shipyard. Components and critical systems for the 417-foot/127.1-meter littoral combat ship were made by Manchester-based Granite State Manufacturing. Company executives Glenn Lawton and Doug Thomson were on hand for the christening ceremony.

The new Independence-class ship will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads called mission modules, which can be changed quickly. The modules, combined with crew detachments and aviation assets, will be used to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions, according to the U.S. Navy.

This is actually the second USS Manchester. The first was a light cruiser that served three combat tours during the Korean War and earned nine battle stars before it was decommissioned in 1956. During her recent visit to Manchester, Commander Bassett explained that the new Manchester’s «trimaran» hull is designed to minimize the amount of water displaced. That allows the ship to go faster and reach waters only smaller vessels could have navigated in the past.

The new ship will not be fully named the USS Manchester (LCS-14) until it is officially commissioned in the fall.

Shaheen, the new ship’s sponsor, also took the opportunity to lobby for the ship to be commissioned in Portsmouth later this year
Shaheen, the new ship’s sponsor, also took the opportunity to lobby for the ship to be commissioned in Portsmouth later this year

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
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
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
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)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
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
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
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 AND HANGER
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
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules
Thomas Oppel, chief of staff to the secretary of the Navy, served as the principal speaker. New Hampshire Senator, the Honorable Jeanne Shaheen, served as the ship’s sponsor
Thomas Oppel, chief of staff to the secretary of the Navy, served as the principal speaker. New Hampshire Senator, the Honorable Jeanne Shaheen, served as the ship’s sponsor

 

Independence-class

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
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
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016
USS Charleston (LCS-18)
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)
USS Kansas City (LCS-22)
USS Oakland (LCS-24)
The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA
The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA

Bell completes Valor

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, has successfully joined the V-280 Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) wing and nacelles to the aircraft fuselage. The milestone occurred last week at the company’s aircraft assembly center in Amarillo, Texas.

Bell Helicopter completes successful V-280 Valor wing and fuselage mate
Bell Helicopter completes successful V-280 Valor wing and fuselage mate

«The V-280 wing, nacelles and fuselage are now assembled into the aircraft we’ve designed as the next generation tiltrotor», said Lisa Atherton, executive vice president of Military Business Development for Bell Helicopter. «This is a major milestone. The attention to detail from our employees, our suppliers and from all of Team Valor, today and throughout this entire process, has been astounding. Their efforts have resulted in an aircraft that is coming together quickly and according to schedule. We are excited and counting down to the first flight in 2017».

The V-280 Valor is a next-generation tiltrotor that is designed to provide unmatched agility, speed, range, and payload capabilities at an affordable cost. The V-280’s tiltrotor technology converts Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capability into a tactical, operational and strategic advantage. The revolutionary aircraft capitalizes on the more than 300,000 V-22 fleet flight hours, and leverages Bell Helicopter’s decades of tiltrotor experience.

Once the aircraft achieves a successful first flight in September 2017, program leaders are confident Bell Helicopter will have the data required to go into the full scale Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase.

«The V-280 tiltrotor is designed with technology advancements that significantly reduce risk and cost, allowing the Department of Defense to field Future Vertical Lift (FVL) to the warfighter far earlier than previously anticipated. We have improved the manufacturing processes to arrive at a revolutionary aircraft with reduced sustainment costs and simplified maintenance procedures. This technology will provide the Department of Defense with the overmatch requirements to win in a complex world», said Atherton.

The V-280 has an anticipated cruise speed of 280 KTAS/322 mph/518 km/h, with a 500-800 NM/575-921 miles/926-1,481 km combat range and 11 to 14 operators. The Valor benefits from a flexible design, matching multi-mission versatility with exceptional 6K/95 hover performance. Tiltrotor is the only vertical lift technology which can rapidly self-deploy to any theater, and can cover more than five times the area of current MEDEVAC platforms. The V-280 provides the low-speed hover agility of a helicopter with fixed wing range and efficiencies.

In the coming weeks and months work on the V-280 will involve preparing for verification work leading to a tethered power-up at the Bell Helicopter facility in Amarillo in the first half of 2017. Development continues in the company’s flight control systems lab in Fort Worth. The lab integrates pilot inputs with flight control computers and flight controls, providing data for software that works with the hardware controlling flight loads and hydraulic performance. The T64-GE-419 engines and gearboxes are expected to be installed in the nacelles this November.

Next generation tiltrotor progressing, on track for 2017 first flight
Next generation tiltrotor progressing, on track for 2017 first flight

Maritime Patrol Vessel

Steel cutting ceremony of 600 ton Maritime Patrol Vessel (MPV) for Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) was held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW) on 03 May 2016. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Professor Ahsan Iqbal, graced the occasion as Chief Guest. The ceremony was attended by high ranking officials from the Government, Pakistan Navy, China Shipbuilding Trading Co., Ltd. (CSTC), Karachi Port Trust (KPT), PMSA, Port Qasim Authority (PQA), KS&EW and Corporate Sector.

Maritime Patrol Vessels will replace the Barkat-class patrol boats that have been in service since the late 1980s
Maritime Patrol Vessels will replace the Barkat-class patrol boats that have been in service since the late 1980s

MD KS&EW, Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah HI(M) in his welcome address expressed that construction of 600 tons MPV at KS&EW signifies the trust and confidence that Government reposes in Karachi Shipyard. The 600 ton Maritime Patrol Vessel is a state of the art, multi mission vessel with steel hull and aluminium super structure. He said that this ship will be fully equipped to enforce maritime security, Search and Rescue (SAR) missions in Maritime Exclusive Economic Zone of Pakistan. He further said that this year we will be launching 2 ships and starting projects of 3 new ships.

Later, the Chief Guest in his address congratulated Karachi Shipyard and M/s China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC) for timely achievement of this construction milestone. He said that induction of MPVs will go a long way in protecting national sovereignty and safeguarding rich natural resources of the area. He further said that the Government is committed to develop maritime infrastructure along the coast to prepare for trade expansion. In this regard, the upcoming China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub, which will prove to be a «game and fate changer» for the region. He congratulated KS&EW for the award of contract of 4 new generation Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines, which is a landmark achievement.

While sharing his views about the upcoming development in the maritime sector, he said that the upcoming Ship Lift and Transfer System will further enhance the capacity of KS&EW whereby repair of 13 ships would be possible at one time. Ensuring his continued support for Karachi Shipyard in upgrading and maintaining its infrastructure, he motivated the workforce with the pledge to make Pakistan a leading shipbuilding country in the region in line with its potential and ideal location.

With no moving parts

Leonardo-Finmeccanica has launched Osprey, the latest addition to the company’s electronically scanning (E-scan) radar product range. Based around a flat-panel antenna design, Osprey is the world’s first lightweight airborne surveillance radar to be built with no moving parts. Leonardo-Finmeccanica also announced that the launch customer for the radar will be Norway, which has purchased Osprey as part of the country’s acquisition of 16 Leonardo-Finmeccanica Helicopters AW101s for the NAWSARH programme (Norway All Weather Search And Rescue Helicopter).

The Osprey E-Scan radar is the first lightweight airborne surveillance radar to provide a 360-degree field of view without moving parts
The Osprey E-Scan radar is the first lightweight airborne surveillance radar to provide a 360-degree field of view without moving parts

Osprey’s flat panel design opens up the potential for installation on a long list of aircraft previously deemed unable to carry such a class of radar, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). In its configuration for NAWSARH, Osprey comprises three flat panels, one on the front of the helicopter and two at the rear, facing out at angles to create the 360-degree field of regard. Space requirements are minimal and the helicopter’s belly is left clear, maximizing ground clearance for challenging rescue landings on rough terrain.

Osprey also marks a second world-first in providing a persistent 360-degree field of view in a lightweight package suitable for small platforms. Osprey represents the latest in «E-scan» technology, meaning that it uses electronic-only means to direct the radar beam – moving it from target to target in fractions of a second. Because of the speed of these changes in direction, the Osprey radar effectively provides simultaneous coverage in multiple directions.

Designed and manufactured in the UK at Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s Edinburgh site, Osprey was developed via inward investment from the company in radar technology and expertise. Osprey will be sold alongside the company’s successful Seaspray family of E-Scan radars, which are in active service with the Royal Navy and with a number of export customers including the United States Coast Guard.

In addition to surveillance radars, Leonardo-Finmeccanica is Europe’s leader in fire control radar, providing the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar for Saab’s Gripen NG fighter. The company also leads the Pan-European EuroRADAR consortium to provide the current Captor-M radar for the Eurofighter Typhoon and is leading the same consortium in the development of the Typhoon’s new Captor-E AESA radar.

Leonardo-Finmeccanica in Nerviano (near Milan, Italy) also produces high-performance mechanically scanned radars, the Grifo (combat radar family) and Gabbiano (surveillance radar family). These are both in production and have been sold widely internationally, over 400 Grifo radars and over 50 Gabbiano radars have been sold to date.

Sea Trial of Kalvari

«Kalvari», the first of the Scorpene-class submarines, being built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd Mumbai (MDL), went to sea for the first time on 01 May 2016. The submarine sailed out at about 1000 hrs under her own propulsion for the first sea trial, off the Mumbai coast and during the sortie. A number of preliminary tests on the propulsion system, Auxiliary Equipment and Systems, Navigation Aids, Communication Equipment and Steering gear. Various Standard Operating Procedures were also validated for this new class of submarines. The submarine then returned to harbor in the evening.

The Kalvari class is a class of submarines based on the Scorpene-class submarine being built for the Indian Navy
The Kalvari class is a class of submarines based on the Scorpene-class submarine being built for the Indian Navy

This important milestone was achieved by MDL after overcoming a number of challenges faced since launching of the submarine last year in October. During the next few months, the submarine will undergo a barrage of sea trials, including surface trials, diving trials, weapon trials, Noise trials etc., which would test the submarine to the extremes of its intended operating envelop. Thereafter she would be commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Kalvari (S50) later this year. Commissioning of Kalvari will be a re-affirmation of India’s capability to build submarines and a major boost for the «Make in India» programme of the government.

In April last year, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri had visited MDL and directed that all-out effort be made to complete the project in time. Accordingly, the teams from MDL, Indian Navy and DCNS have been working round the clock. On 01 May, with the first sea sortie of Kalvari, MDL has achieved a major project milestone.

Leveraging on the experience and the transfer-of-technology of the Scorpene project, and with the enhanced and upgraded infrastructure, MDL is ready for undertaking future submarine and shipbuilding projects, in order to meet the growing requirements of National Security.

 

Background

India joined the exclusive group of submarine constructing nations on 07 February 1992, with the commissioning of the first Indian built submarine, INS Shalki (S46). That was indeed a proud day for Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, who had built this submarine. Mazagon Dock then went on to commission another submarine, INS Shankul (S47), on 28 May 1994. These submarines are still in service today, after more than 20 years; testimony to the skills and capability of Mazagon Dock.

The ongoing project for the construction of six Scorpene-class submarines, has M/s DCNS of France, as Collaborator and includes «Transfer of Technology», with M/s MDL as the «Builder».

 

Operational Features

The state-of-art features of the Scorpene include superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The Stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.

The Scorpene Submarine is designed to operate in all theatres including the Tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine i.e. Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Intelligence gathering, Mine Laying, Area Surveillance etc.

 

Construction Features

Submarines are built from special steel, capable of withstanding high yield stress and having high tensile strength, thereby allowing them to withstand high hydrostatic force and enabling them to dive deeper to further enhance stealth.

The Submarine is built according to the principle of Modular Construction, which involves dividing the submarine into a number of sections and building them parallelly. The equipment is mounted onto Cradles and then embarked into the sections. The complexity of the task increases exponentially as it involves laying of around 60 km of cabling and 11 km of piping in extremely congested and limited space inside the submarine. Further, the stringent tolerances laid down for the construction of the Scorpene were indeed a challenge, but have been successfully achieved.

 

Other Features

The Scorpene is equipped with Weapons Launching Tubes (WLT), and can carry weapons on board which can be easily reloaded at sea, through special handling and loading equipment. The array of weapons and complex sensors fitted on board the Scorpene are managed by a high technology Combat Management System, which integrates various diverse systems fitted onboard into One Formidable Whole.

 

Status of Submarine

The submarine was undocked on pontoon on 06 April 2015 in the presence of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar. After completing the important milestones of vacuum test and battery loading, the submarine was launched at the Naval Dockyard on 28 October 2015 and thereafter brought back to MDL for completion of the Basin trials and Harbour Acceptance trials phase.

After conquering numerous challenges faced during the «Setting to Work» phase and undergoing rigorous harbour tests & trials to the complete satisfaction of the customer, the submarine is now fully ready to undergo for sea trials.

 

«Kalvari»: The Tiger Shark

Kalvari is the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator. As is the tradition, ships and submarines of the Navy, are brought alive after decommissioning. The first Kalvari, which was also the first Indian submarine, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 08 December 1967. She was decommissioned on 31 May 1996 after almost 30 years of yeoman service to the nation. In true nautical traditions, she will now be re-incarnated, by Mazagon Dock, once again a powerful predator of the deep, guarding the vast maritime interests and areas of our nation.

The commissioning of Yard 11875 (Kalvari), will not only mark a generational shift in technology, insofar as submarine construction in India is concerned, but also for submarine operations by the Indian Navy.

 

Contribution to National Security and Nation Building

With its history of constructing the Leander and Godavari class Frigates, Khukri class Corvettes, Delhi and Kolkata class Destroyers, Shivalik class Stealth Frigates, 1241 RE Missile Boats and the Shalki class submarines, there is now no doubt that MDL has deservedly earned the soubriquet «Warship and Submarine Builders to the Nation».

MDL’s contribution to national security and nation building will continue with the P-15B class destroyers, the first of which was launched in April 2015, and the P-17A class stealth frigates, the follow-on of the P-17 Stealth Frigates.

 

AIM-9X hits the mark

Integration of the joint U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force AIM-9X Sidewinder Air Intercept Missile with the Army’s Multi-Mission Launcher (MML) hit the mark as the teams completed a successful live-fire engineering demonstration at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico, March 28-April 1.

A Navy and Air Force AIM-9X Sidewinder Air Intercept Missile launches from the Army’s Multi-Mission Launcher during a recent Indirect Fire Protection Capability test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (U.S. Army photo)
A Navy and Air Force AIM-9X Sidewinder Air Intercept Missile launches from the Army’s Multi-Mission Launcher during a recent Indirect Fire Protection Capability test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (U.S. Army photo)

During the Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) conceptual demonstration, missiles were launched from the MML, locked-on, and intercepted both an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and a cruise missile.

«Working closely with our industry partner and the Army, the PMA-259 team established a first-of-its-kind surface-to-air missile capability», said Captain Jim Stoneman, Air-to-Air Missiles (PMA-259) program manager. «We are thrilled with the outcome of the live-fire as it solidifies the repurpose of the missile for use in a surface-launch role. The demo is a testament to the fact that the missile and launcher integration will be an affordable game-changer in future wartime conflicts, and will greatly increase mission effectiveness against aerial adversaries».

The event scenarios validated the lethality of the AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missile in the surface-to-air arena and against smaller target sets, adding to the weapon’s performance portfolio. Prior to the AIM-9X IFPC engineering demonstration, it was capable of being launched only from aircraft to include the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon, and various international partner aircraft.

«These live fires are a major accomplishment and significant step forward for the Army’s IFPC program and the AIM-9X missile», said Commander Rob Betts, PMA-259 AIM-9X Block II and IFPC military lead. «The Army continues to make extraordinary strides in the development of their IFPC system, and the AIM-9X team is honored to support them. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Army as they utilize the AIM-9X in more advanced surface-to-air scenarios».

The AIM-9X air-intercept missile is 119 inches/3 m in length, weighs 186.2 pounds/84.5 kg and serves to detect, acquire, intercept and destroy a wide range of high-performance airborne and surface threats.

The next step for the AIM-9X IFPC is a Milestone B decision scheduled for summer 2016 which signifies the end of the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase. The IFPC program is expected to enter the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase shortly thereafter, and is scheduled to reach Initial Operating Capability (IOC) early 2020.

Demonstration showcases AIM-9X joint-service venture
Demonstration showcases AIM-9X joint-service venture

Multi-Spectral
Targeting System

The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon Company a $90 million first-lot production contract for the next-generation Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS). The AN/DAS-4, the latest variant of the MTS family of sensors, incorporates greater fire control and Target Location Accuracy technology for precise coordinates.

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Raytheon a first-lot production contract for the AN/DAS-4 Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Turret, shown here deployed on the MQ-9 Reaper (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)
The U.S. Air Force has awarded Raytheon a first-lot production contract for the AN/DAS-4 Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Turret, shown here deployed on the MQ-9 Reaper (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)

Combat-proven, with nearly three million operational flight hours, MTS sensors provide detailed intelligence data from the visual and infrared spectra. The new MTS variant allows mission commanders to use high definition data from an airborne tactical sensor to identify and engage targets with much greater accuracy, significantly improving overall mission effectiveness.

The DAS-4 incorporates other major improvements, including:

  • four high definition cameras covering five spectral bands;
  • a three-color diode pump laser designator/rangefinder;
  • laser spot search and track capability;
  • automated sensor and laser bore sight alignment;
  • three mode target tracker;
  • built in provisions for future growth.

«These next generation capabilities give our warfighters an unfair advantage through more effective assessment of threats and engagement of targets», said Fred Darlington, vice president of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems.

Raytheon has delivered more than 3,000 MTS systems on a wide range of platforms, including: remotely piloted aircraft, helicopters and fixed-wing Aircraft. MTS delivers superior performance and reliability at the lowest life-cycle cost.