The world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite, built by Boeing for Bermuda-based ABS, is now operational after an on-orbit handover on August 31. The ABS-3A, a 702SP (small platform) satellite, expands ABS’ communications services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
«The operational ABS-3A satellite and ABS-2A, launching in early 2016, will further strengthen and solidify our global expansion and offer flexible capacity to our growing fleet», said Tom Choi, CEO of ABS. «We believe Boeing’s innovative portfolio can help us to affordably grow now and in the future».
The ABS-3A spacecraft was the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite to be built and launched – part of a stacked pair launched in March with a 702SP satellite built for Eutelsat, based in Paris. The spacecraft’s all-electric xenon-ion propulsion system contains a sufficient quantity of the inert, non-hazardous element xenon to extend the satellite’s operations beyond the expected spacecraft design life of 15 years.
«With a successful launch, testing and execution of orbit operations, we were able to deliver the first 702SP to ABS about one month earlier than planned», said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. «The 702SP product line was designed to bring the latest technology into the hands of customers seeking adaptable and affordable solutions. In addition, the 702SP’s patented dual-launch capability helps customers share launch costs, which can significantly lower overall expenses for a satellite owner».
Boeing is under contract to build a second 702SP satellite for ABS, designated ABS-2A, which will be delivered and launched early next year.
Boeing delivered the seventh CH-47F Chinook to the Australian Army on budget August 10th, three weeks ahead of schedule, supporting modernization of Australia’s cargo helicopter fleet and eventually replacing the Commonwealth’s six older CH-47D Chinooks. The seven advanced Chinooks were ordered as part of a U.S. Government Foreign Military Sales agreement with Australia in 2012.
«Boeing is committed to meeting our customers’ needs anywhere in the world with the right capability, delivered on time and cost», said Steve Parker, vice president, Cargo Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «These early deliveries demonstrate that commitment».
Australia has one of the most advanced and highly capable Chinook fleets in the world. Major developments on the CH-47F include a digital cockpit, an advanced communications system and new avionics. Those allow the Australian Army to operate more effectively with U.S. and international forces through the easy exchange of digital maps that facilitate coordinated responses for military and humanitarian missions. The Australian Chinook configuration also includes a new rotor brake that enables shipboard operations by actively stopping the rotor blades rather than allowing the blades to naturally «spin down» once the engine is turned off after landing.
«Our CH-47D Chinooks have been real workhorses for Australia, both here and on operations overseas, and our new CH-47F Chinooks are set to be even more dependable, affordable and capable assets», said Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Department of Defence. «We are very pleased with how Boeing and the United States Army have worked together to deliver this important capability to Australia ahead of schedule and on budget».
The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade, operates the Chinooks from their home base in northern Queensland, Australia. Boeing Defence Australia will provide on-site operational maintenance support for the CH-47F aircraft, having supported the CH-47D since 2010.
Australia’s partnership with Boeing began nearly 90 years ago. Today, the country is building one of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced armed forces with a range of Boeing platforms and services including the Chinook, EA-18G Growler, P-8A Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, F/A-18 Super Hornet, E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control System, C-17 Globemaster III and training and logistics solutions.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) successfully carried out the hot and the high-altitude trials of indigenously designed, developed attack chopper Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) at Leh recently. «These seasonal trials – including cold weather trials carried out at Leh during February this year – have been completed as part of the certification process. The flight trials at Leh have established hover performance and low speed handling characteristics of the helicopter under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes (10,499 feet/3,200 to 15,748 feet/4,800 m). During the trials, the helicopter and systems performed satisfactorily. LCH also has proven its capability to land and take off at Forward Landing Base in Siachen. LCH is the first attack helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen», says Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.
The trials were carried out on the third prototype of LCH (TD3) at Leh at the temperatures ranging from 13 to 27 degree centigrade with the participation of user pilots from Air Force, Army and representatives from CEMILAC and DGAQA. Various tests included assessment and validation of flight envelope in «Hot-and-High» conditions, culminating in landing at forward bases at geographic elevations of 13,600 feet/4,145 m to 15,800 feet/4,816 m. These landings and take-offs were demonstrated with reasonable amount of weapon load and fuel.
The upper reaches of the Indus river and its tributaries, Nubra and Shyok are home to the mighty Ladakh and Eastern Karakorum Ranges, with multiple lofty peaks over 25,000 feet/7,620 m and an average ridgeline elevation of 20,000 feet/6,096 m. It is also home to the largest glaciated area outside the Polar Regions and is sometimes called the «Third Pole». The Siachen is the largest glacier here and is central to this region. The area experiences a period of summer during July-August in which temperatures soar to 30 degrees above standard atmosphere conditions. This mix of extreme altitudes and relatively high temperatures («Hot-and-High») saps helicopter performance and as such, a few types of helicopters are able to operate effectively all year around.
With the extensive trials carried out on three prototypes at Bengaluru, sea level at Chennai in November 2013, cold weather at Leh during January/February 2015, hot weather at Jodhpur in July 2015 and hot and high altitude trials at a few days ago at Leh, the performance and handling qualities of the helicopter have been established for basic configuration (with Electro-Optical (EO) Pod, Rocket launchers, Turret Gun and Air-to-Air missile launchers). The system functionalities have been assessed and found satisfactory during the trials and long-duration ferry across India. Further development activities are under progress and the weapon firing trials are planned during in the middle of 2016.
The advantage of indigenous development of helicopters such as ALH, LCH and LUH at HAL is that the users’ requirement are well captured right from early design stage and are fine-tuned as the project progresses with the involvement of users so that the product complies to the stringent operational requirements at high altitudes (Himalayan and North Eastern terrains).
The major features of LCH are:
Crash worthy under floor structure;
Crash worthy fixed tricycle type with tail wheel landing gear;
Hundreds of employees gathered in the new Assembly Hall at the Halifax Shipyard to celebrate the start of production of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) for Canada. Delivery of the first HMCS Harry DeWolf-class ship is expected in 2018.
«Today is a milestone we have all been anticipating. It is a great day to be a shipbuilder in Nova Scotia as we mark the beginning of this generational opportunity», said Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding. «We’re doing this with the best team and the largest and most modern shipbuilding facility in North America. Our focus is on delivering the best value to Canada with a growing supply chain from coast to coast to coast».
Production has begun on two units for the center section of the first Arctic Offshore Patrol ship. Welders, pipefitters, marine fabricators and ironworkers are among the trades involved in the process, using the new state-of-the-art panel line.
The ship is the first of up to 21 vessels that will renew Canada’s combatant fleet over the next 30 years under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Irving Shipbuilding has built more than 80% of Canada’s current combatant ships.
All of the employees on the recall list have been contacted. Current direct employment at Marine Fabricators in Dartmouth (where steel is cut) and the Halifax Shipyard is about 900 direct employees (staff and hourly). Over the next two years, the workforce at both sites is expected to rise to 1,600 direct employees with over 1,000 directly employed on AOPS production. In addition, total employment at Irving Shipbuilding (all operations) is forecasted to rise to over 2,500 direct employees at peak production of the larger Canadian Surface Combatant vessels that will replace Canada’s current fleet of Halifax Class frigates.
To date, the modernization at Irving Shipbuilding and the AOPS contract have resulted in over $1 Billion in spending commitments:
Over $850 Million committed within Canada (84% of contracts awarded);
Over $300 Million committed spend to companies in Nova Scotia;
Over 2,000 suppliers now registered with Irving Shipbuilding.
These spend will generate:
Over 8,700 Direct and Indirect jobs in Canada (3,400 in Nova Scotia);
Over $550 Million in Direct and Indirect Employment Income;
An Estimated $400 Million in Consumer Spending.
Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships
The Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) project will deliver six ice-capable ships, designated as the Harry DeWolf Class, after Canadian wartime naval hero Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf.
The AOPS will be capable of:
armed sea-borne surveillance of Canada’s waters, including the Arctic;
providing government situational awareness of activities and events in these regions;
cooperating with other partners in the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments to assert and enforce Canadian sovereignty, when and where necessary.
Construction of the first AOPS will begin in September 2015, with HMCS Harry DeWolf scheduled for delivery in 2018.
The announced names of the Harry DeWolf-class ships to date are:
HMCS Harry DeWolf
HMCS Margaret Brooke
HMCS Max Bernays
HMCS William Hall
HMCS Frédérick Rolette
338 feet/103 m
62.3 feet/19 m
17 knots/19.5 mph/31 km/h
14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h
Range at Cruising speed
6,800 NM/7,825 miles/12,593.6 km
International ice classification standard
Polar Class 5
Be able to sustain operations
up to 4 months
25 years beyond Initial Operational Capability (IOC)
Integrated Bridge Navigation System
Modern integrated bridge, from which control of navigation, machinery, and damage control systems can be performed.
Multi-Purpose Operational Space
Where operational planning and mission execution will be coordinated.
BAE Mk-38 Gun
Remote controlled 25-mm gun to support domestic constabulary role.
Enclosed Focsle/Cable Deck
Protects foredeck machinery and workspace from harsh Arctic environment.
Depending on the mission, the embarked helicopter could range from a small utility aircraft right up to the new CH-148 maritime helicopter.
Multiple payload options such as shipping containers, underwater survey equipment, or a landing craft. Ship has a 20-tonne crane to self-load/unload.
For rapid mobility over land or ice, the ship can carry vehicles such as pickup trucks, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), and snowmobiles.
Propulsion: Two 4.5 MW main propulsion engines, four 3.6 MW generators.
Retractable Active Fin Stabilizers
Deployed to reduce ship roll for open ocean operations, retracted for operations in ice.
Multi-Role Rescue Boats
Top speed of 35+ knots/40+ mph/65+ km/h, 28 feet/8.5 meters long. Will support rescues, personnel transfers, or boarding operations.
To enable maneuvering or berthing without tug assistance.
The Air Force ushered in a new era of combat air power on September 2, as Hill Air Force Base received the service’s first two operational F-35As. Hill’s active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing will be the first combat-coded units to fly and maintain the Air Force’s newest fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
«Make no mistake, we’re built for this. We will deliver the combat capability that our nation so desperately needs to meet tomorrow’s threats», 388th Fighter Wing commander, Colonel David B. Lyons, told the crowd of Airmen and community members.
Lyons, who flew one of the F-35s to Hill from Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, highlighted the jets stealth ability, advanced technology, avionics and sensor fusion, which allow pilots the flexibility to operate in «contested environments» and strike «tough to reach» targets.
Hill has been called the «ideal home» for the F-35 because of its proximity to the Utah Test and Training Range and Hill’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex, which performs F-35 Lightning II depot maintenance and modifications. The integration of the active duty and reserve fighter wings provides increased flexibility and combat surge capability.
«This is a great day in the history of Hill Air Force Base. We have to have these aircraft to achieve air dominance in the future for the United States», said Colonel Bryan Radliff, 419th Fighter Wing commander. «We are extremely proud to be a part of this association».
Since the basing announcement in 2013, Hill has spent more than $120 million and completed numerous renovation and construction projects to prepare for F-35 operations.
«The reason we’re here today is because of our Airmen, civilians, contractors and outstanding community who stood behind us 100 percent», said Colonel Ron Jolly, 75th Air Base Wing commander. «We know the capabilities of this aircraft. We are on the cutting edge and we’re very proud to be a part of that cutting edge».
The 388th and 419th Fighter wings were also the first units in the Air Force to fly combat-coded F-16s when they entered the fleet. The wings will receive one to two F-35s per month until 72 aircraft have been delivered.
Airmen at Hill are eager to get their hands on the new jet said Lieutenant Colonel Darrin Dronoff, chief of the F-35 program integration office for the 388th FW. Both the 388th and 419th have trained F-35 pilots ready to begin flying the new jets, and there are more pilots and maintainers currently in training. The wings will take a week to familiarize themselves with the aircraft, receive parts and begin tracking the aircraft in a maintenance database.
«The plan is to start flying after Labor Day. We’ll start by flying twice a week, but that will slowly progress as we receive more aircraft and training progresses», said Dronoff. «While flying won’t start for a week, training for maintainers starts immediately – including the Airmen who will be towing the first aircraft from the ramp to the hangar», Dronoff said.
«Everyone touching the aircraft is a formally trained F-35 Airman – hand-selected crews from pilots to maintainers to back-shop people», said Dronoff. «But, we’re also training Airmen brand new to the F-35. We’re taking advantage of every training opportunity because this is the first time many of them have had their hands on an F-35».
51.4 feet/15.7 m
14.4 feet/4.38 m
35 feet/10.7 m
460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span
22.5 feet/6.86 m
29,300 lbs/13,290 kg
Internal fuel capacity
18,250 lbs/8,278 kg
18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load
Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for the U.S. Navy launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at 6:18 a.m. EDT on September 2, 2015. The MUOS-4 spacecraft will bring advanced, new, global communications capabilities to mobile military forces, as well as ensure continued mission capability of the existing Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications system. This is ULA’s eighth launch in 2015, the second MUOS satellite launched in 2015 and ULA’s 99th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
«The ULA team is proud to support the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force by delivering this critical communications asset to orbit today», said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. «Today’s successful launch will enable the MUOS constellation to reach global coverage. The Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-4 satellite will deliver voice, data, and video communications capability, similar to a cellular network, to our troops all over the globe».
This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 551 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing along with five Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket motors attached to the Atlas booster. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.
The U.S. Navy’s MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed using a combination of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations to significantly improve communications for U.S. forces on the move. MUOS will provide new beyond-line-of-sight communications capabilities, with smartphone-like simultaneous voice, video and data – to connect military users almost anywhere around the globe.
ULA’s next launch is the Atlas V Morelos-3, communications satellite for Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes, a government agency of Mexico, scheduled for October 2 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The EELV program was established by the U.S. Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 95 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.
BAE Systems has delivered 12 new CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) to the Norwegian Army. They are the first production batch of a total of 144 new and upgraded CV90s planned for the nation’s Army and represent the next generation of advanced combat vehicles.
The delivery of the CV90s occurred on schedule and took place during a ceremony at the Setermoen Military Camp in North-Norway. The event was attended by several BAE Systems representatives, including Erwin Bieber, president of the company’s Platforms & Services sector, as well as Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, president of BAE Systems Hägglunds AB.
«The delivery of these vehicles on schedule and within cost illustrates the highly collaborative, robust relationship between the Norwegian authorities, BAE Systems and its Norwegian industry partners», said Gustafsson-Rask. «We look forward to sustaining that relationship as we continue to carry out this contract over many years to come».
The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation and BAE Systems signed a contract in June 2012 for the production of the 41 new vehicles as well as upgrades to 103 of the Army’s existing fleet of CV9030s. The upgrades include enhanced capabilities for protection, survivability, situational awareness, intelligence, and interoperability.
The IFV program is a key part of the Norwegian military’s ongoing modernization. The CV90 is a next generation combat vehicle, one of the most advanced in the world, and is also a mature, proven, and cost-effective solution.
«We are very proud of giving our soldiers the best IFV in the world. It is thanks to a close and intensive cooperation with BAE Systems Hägglunds and with Norwegian industry for several years that led to this delivery», said Colonel Ragnar Wennevik, the Norwegian Army’s CV90 project leader. «We received the CV90s exactly on the date we wrote into the contract more than three years ago and that is something that we are very pleased with. BAE Systems Hägglunds is a good partner and we hope we can continue to develop the relationship during the many years of use for the CV90 fleet».
The 144 vehicles are designed to operate in five configurations: 74 for infantry fighting, 21 for reconnaissance, 15 for command and control, 16 for engineering support, 16 in a multi-role configuration, and 2 for driver training.
BAE Systems Hägglunds developed a comprehensive partnership with Norwegian industry to develop, produce, and deliver these vehicles. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Nammo Raufoss AS, CHSnor AS, Moelv, and Ritek AS Levanger are among the companies playing a key role in delivering on the contract.
«Our industrial cooperation in Norway is extensive and critical, especially when collaboration across industry is a major factor for international success», said Gustafsson-Rask.
BAE Systems Hägglunds, based in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, is a leading provider of tracked and wheeled combat vehicles, and also develops versions that can be used for civilian purposes. BAE Systems Hägglunds is a subsidiary of BAE Systems, Inc. headquartered in the United States.
DCNS has floated the French Navy’s FREMM multi-mission frigate Auvergne in Lorient. The achievement took place on 2 September and marks an important step in the construction of the most modern front-line ship of the 21st century. The FREMM D654 Auvergne is the sixth frigate in the programme and fourth of the series ordered by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement – Organization for Joint Armament) on behalf of the DGA (the French defence procurement agency) for the French Navy.
With three FREMMs currently under construction in DCNS’ Lorient site, DCNS is accelerating the production speed in order to deliver six FREMMs to the French Navy before mid-2019. Two additional frigates equipped with strengthened anti-aircraft capacities will be delivered before 2022. Two further units have also been sold to international clients: The Royal Moroccan Navy and the Egyptian Navy.
«The floating of the FREMM Auvergne, after the delivery of the FREMM Tahya Misr to the Egyptian Navy and the delivery of the FREMM Provence in June, demonstrate DCNS’s ability to successfully achieve a serial production», explains Anne Bianchi, FREMM Programme Director at DCNS. «DCNS is doing everything in its power to satisfy its clients, the OCCAR, the DGA and the French Navy by delivering these last six frigates before mid-2019».
DCNS commenced construction of the FREMM Auvergne in August 2012. This new-generation frigate will be operated by an optimized crew of 108 (half that required for the frigates of the previous generation). Delivery of the FREMM Aquitaine, the first multi-mission frigate to be built for the French Navy, was taken by OCCAR on 23 November 2012 on behalf of the DGA.
Four surface ships currently being produced at DCNS Lorient
The floating of the FREMM Auvergne is being celebrated while the FREMM programme is progressing at an accelerated speed on the DCNS site in Lorient. Three FREMM frigates are currently under construction for the French Navy. The Lorient teams are also mobilized for the construction of the first GOWIND corvette for the Egyptian Navy.
FREMM technical characteristics
Under the project management of DCNS, the heavily armed FREMM frigates are equipped with the most effective weapon systems and hardware, such as the Héraclès multifunctional radar, the Naval Cruise Missile, the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles and the MU 90 torpedoes.
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on September 1 that the Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) is «pressure hull complete», signifying that all of the submarine’s hull sections have been joined to form a single, watertight unit. USS Washington (SSN-787) will be the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-class submarine (VCS) and the seventh to be delivered by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.
«Pressure hull complete is an exciting step toward the boat’s completion because it’s the point when the submarine really starts to take its final shape and is the last major construction milestone before christening and delivery next year», said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «As with all of our Virginia-class submarines, Washington represents a true team effort that involves our partners at General Dynamics Electric Boat, the Navy, our suppliers and the Washington crew».
Washington’s construction, which began in September 2011 under a teaming arrangement between Newport News and Electric Boat, marked the beginning of the VCS program’s two-submarines-per-year build plan. The ship is currently 83 percent complete.
«Over the last year and a half, I have enjoyed watching the many parts that make up a submarine come together», said Commander Jason Schneider, Washington’s commanding officer. «I can truly say Washington now looks like a submarine on the outside. I look forward to seeing the systems that make up the internals of the submarine continue to come together as we approach launch and delivery».
Nuclear Submarine Lineup
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
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
EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Boeing will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft. The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircrafts for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a long-time partner to the U.S. Navy on P-8A development.
«By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the U.S. and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries», said Captain Scott Dillon, U.S. Navy P-8 program manager. «The U.S. and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come».
This latest award puts Boeing on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft, bringing the U.S. Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. Boeing has delivered 28 Poseidon aircrafts to date.
«Delivering premier aircraft on schedule and on cost has become a hallmark of the P-8 program», said James Dodd, Boeing vice president and general manager of Mobility, Surveillance and Engagement. «We look forward to building on Boeing’s long-standing relationship with Australia by providing the quality, value and capability of the P-8A».
Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced Anti-Submarine (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The U.S. Navy has deployed the first two P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.
Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the first in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the U.S. Navy on system design and development. The U.S. Navy and the RAAF also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
Production of the first Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the RAAF scheduled for 2016. Boeing will also provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.