Lockheed Martin delivered another C-5M Super Galaxy to the U. S. Air Force on August 5. A Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) aircrew ferried the aircraft from the Lockheed Martin facility here to Travis Air Force Base, in Fairfield, California, where it will be permanently based. It will be the 12th Super Galaxy assigned to Travis.
The Lockheed Martin aircraft (U. S. Air Force serial number 86-0026) as originally delivered to the U.S. Air Force in June 1988 and has recorded approximately 20,230 flight hours over its career. This C-5M Super Galaxy was delivered more than six weeks ahead of the contract commitment delivery date.
C-5M Super Galaxy
The C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft is a game changer to the warfighter and America’s premier global direct delivery weapons system. It is also the Air Force’s only true strategic airlifter. While setting 86 world records in airlift, the C-5M Super Galaxy established new benchmarks in carrying more cargo faster and farther than any other airlifter.
A venerable workhorse, the recognized improvements in performance, efficiency and safety it provides validate the tremendous value to the taxpayer in modernizing proven and viable aircraft. As the only strategic airlifter with the capability of carrying 100 percent of certified air-transportable cargo, the C-5M Super Galaxy can carry twice the cargo of other strategic airlift systems. The C-5M Super Galaxy also has a dedicated passenger compartment, carrying troops and their supplies straight to the theater. It can be loaded from the front and back simultaneously, and vehicles can also be driven directly on or off the Galaxy. This means the C-5M Super Galaxy can be loaded quickly and efficiently.
The C-5M Super Galaxy has been a vital element of strategic airlift in every major contingency and humanitarian relief effort since it entered service. The C-5M Super Galaxy is the only strategic airlifter capable of linking America directly to the warfighter in all theatres of combat with mission capable rates excess of 80 percent. With more than half of its useful structural life remaining, the C-5M Super Galaxy will be a force multiplier through 2040 and beyond.
Outsize cargo transport
Seven: pilot, co-pilot, 2 flight engineers and 3 loadmasters
247.8 feet/75.53 m
65.1 feet/19.84 m
222.8 feet/67.91 m
4 × General Electric CF6-80C2 turbofans
50,580 lbs/22,942.7 kgf/225 kN
Normal cruise speed
Mach 0.77/518 mph/834 km/h
Unrefueled Range with 120,000 lbs/54,431 kg
5,250 NM/9,723 km
Maximum Take-Off Weight (2.2 g)
840,000 lbs/381,018 kg
400,000 lbs/181,437 kg
332,500 lbs/150,819 kg
Maximum payload (2.0 g)
285,000 lbs/129,274 kg
143.7 feet/43.8 m
19 feet/5.79 m
13.48 feet/4.11 m
$90 million (fiscal 2009 constant dollars)
16 C-5Ms have been delivered through December 2013
52 C-5Ms are scheduled to be in the inventory by fiscal 2017
BAE Systems has awarded the first equipment manufacturing contracts for the Type 26 Global Combat Ships (GCSs), worth in excess of £170 million. With the contracts awarded to seven companies in the supply chain, there are now more than 1,250 people across the UK working on the programme to deliver the Royal Navy’s next generation warships.
The contracts, awarded from the Demonstration Phase contract funding, cover key equipment such as propulsion, communications and electrical systems for the first three Type 26 ships. The commitment to long lead items keeps the programme on track and means the equipment will be delivered to Glasgow at the point it is needed in the ship’s manufacturing phase, which is expected to begin next year. The contracts include the creation of onshore testing facilities to test the equipment prior to installation on the ships. The contracts are awarded to:
Babcock for the ship’s air weapons handling system;
David Brown Gear Systems Ltd for the propulsion gearbox and the test facility;
General Electric (GE) Power Conversion for the electric propulsion motor and drive system and testing facility;
Raytheon for the integrated navigation and bridge system;
Rolls Royce Power Engineering for the gas turbine;
Rohde & Schwarz UK Ltd for the communications systems;
WR Davis for the uptakes and downtakes.
BAE Systems has also confirmed a subcontract to its Combat Systems team for the Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) system, which collates and analyses environmental information to support operations.
Geoff Searle, Type 26 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: «Today’s announcement is exciting for everyone involved in the Type 26 programme, as it will enable our partners in the supply chain to start manufacturing key equipment for the first three ships. This reinforces the strong momentum behind the programme and is an important step towards the start of manufacturing the Type 26 ships for the Royal Navy in Glasgow next year».
These contracts are helping to support the UK’s vibrant industrial base, as Steve Watson, Managing Director, David Brown Gear Systems Ltd, explains: «The contract to supply the gearboxes for the Type 26 ships is the largest single order in our firm’s 150 history. As a result of our involvement in this programme, we have made significant investments in our infrastructure and we have transformed a semi-derelict area of our Huddersfield site into new state of the art manufacturing, assembly and test facilities. This means we can provide the latest generation of gearing technology to the Royal Navy’s Type 26 ships and it creates a strong platform to secure future orders across the defence, oil and gas, and power generation sectors».
The £859 million Demonstration Phase contract for the Type 26 programme began in April 2015. The new manufacturing contracts build on the existing 15 design development agreements across the supply chain, which means that a total of 17 companies across the UK, Europe and Canada already have contracts in place under the Type 26 programme. A joint team from BAE Systems, the Ministry of Defence, and the supply chain are working together to complete the detailed design for the ships, procure key equipment and prepare the manufacturing proposal to be submitted to the Ministry of Defence.
Under current planning assumptions, 13 Type 26 ships will be delivered to the Royal Navy. The first vessel is due to enter service in the early 2020s and the Type 26 class will remain in service into the middle of this century and beyond.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a globally deployable, multi-mission warship capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. The ship will take full advantage of modular design and open systems architecture, ensuring it can be easily upgraded as new technology develops and can accommodate different sub-systems and equipment suited to potential overseas customer needs.
According to Reuters, Brazil’s Senate approved on 05 August 2015 a $4.6 billion financing agreement reached last week with Sweden for the purchase of 36 Gripen fighter jets from Swedish planemaker Saab AB for the Brazilian Air Force.
The Senate rushed through a request from President Dilma Rousseff’s government authorizing it to borrow up to 39.88 billion Swedish crowns from Sweden’s export credit agency SEK for the planes and an additional $245.3 million for weaponry.
In the midst of a fiscal crunch, Brazil managed to negotiate better terms, reducing the interest rate on the main credit to 2.19 percent from 2.54 percent agreed last year. Interest on the smaller dollar loan was set at 3.56 percent. Brazil has 25 years to repay the loans with an eight-year grace period. Despite Brazil’s economic difficulties, the borrowing authorization was backed by opposition parties who said the purchase was of strategic importance for the country’s defense.
The first Gripen NG fighter jets should be delivered to Brazil in 2019. Saab plans to set up a Brazilian assembly line producing the fighter jets through 2024 in partnership with Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA. The contract provides for full transfer of technology and the production of 15 of the jets in Brazil.
Brazil awarded the contract in December 2013, choosing Saab’s fighter over Boeing Co.’s F-18 Super Hornet and the Rafale made by France’s Dassault Aviation SA. Brazil signed an additional $245 million contract with Saab in April to provide arms for the Gripens.
The maximum combat radius for Gripen NG on an air-to-surface configuration is approximately 800 NM/932 miles/1,500 km. This is defined as flying to a target, releasing air-to-surface weapons, and then returning to home base. The actual combat radius depends on the configuration of the aircraft’s external stores, its profiles and the availability of reserve fuel tanks. Gripen NG’s combat radius meets the needs of air forces around the world, but at a much lower cost than its competitors.
The aircraft’s maximum time on station in a mission depends on the stores carried and the distance from the home base to the combat air patrol station. In a typical air-to-air configuration for example, Gripen NG can patrol for over two hours.
The single-seat Gripen NG is equipped with a 27-mm Mauser BK27 gun. This can be used in air-to-surface attacks against land and sea targets and is suitable for air policing missions. Gripen NG can also carry pods and sensors for reconnaissance and special missions.
Gripen’s flexible weapon system architecture allows easy and cost-efficient integration of new stores, from long-range and agile air-to-air missiles to anti-ship missiles and guided bombs. This is enabled by standard pylon interfaces, a modular avionics system, and adaptive payload classifications that eliminate the need for updates of the flight control system.
The new PS-05/A Mk4 is a multi-function radar system developed to provide air force commanders with efficient means of countering evolving threats and executing complex missions types with new fighter aircraft capabilities.
The U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company demonstrated new capabilities for the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile in a successful flight test conducted from the guided missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG-68). The test proved that the Block IV can operate with an improved, more flexible mission planning capability.
«Together with our U.S. Navy partners, we continue to modernize the Tomahawk Baseline IV weapon system to outpace threats and provide warfighters with a tactical edge», said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. «Tomahawk continues to be our nation’s weapon of choice for long-range, precision strikes against high-value targets».
The flight test validated recent updates to the mission planning system software, enabling planners to more rapidly design dynamic missions. This was also the first significant software update to the tactical Tomahawk missile in more than five years.
The mission missile scored a direct hit on its target. These capabilities will be disseminated throughout the fleet for use in overseas contingency operations.
Tomahawk cruise missile
The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is an all-weather, long range, subsonic cruise missile used for land attack warfare, launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and Royal Navy submarines.
Tomahawk carries a nuclear or conventional payload. The conventional, land-attack, unitary variant carries a 1,000-pound-class (453.6 kg) warhead (TLAM-C) while the submunitions dispenser variant carries 166 combined-effects bomblets (TLAM-D).
The Block III version incorporates engine improvements, an insensitive extended range warhead, time-of-arrival control and navigation capability using an improved Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC) and Global Positioning System (GPS), which can significantly reduce mission-planning time and increase navigation and terminal accuracy.
Tomahawk Block IV (TLAM-E) is the latest improvement to the Tomahawk missile family. Block IV capability enhancements include:
increased flexibility utilizing two-way satellite communications to reprogram the missile in-flight to a new aimpoint or new preplanned mission, send a new mission to the missile enroute to a new target, and missile health and status messages during the flight;
increased responsiveness with faster launch timelines, mission planning capability aboard the launch platform, loiter capability in the area of emerging targets, the ability to provide battle damage indication in the target area, and the capability to provide a single-frame image of the target or other areas of interest along the missile flight path;
improved affordability with a production cost of a Block IV significantly lower than the cost of a new Block III and a 15-year Block IV recertification interval compared to the eight-year interval for Block III.
Tomahawk cruise missiles are designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and are piloted over an evasive route by several mission tailored guidance systems. The first operational use was in Operation Desert Storm, 1991, with immense success. The missile has since been used successfully in several other conflicts. In 1995 the governments of the United States and United Kingdom signed a Foreign Military Sales Agreement for the acquisition of 65 missiles, marking the first sale of Tomahawk to a foreign country.
Long-range subsonic cruise missile for striking high value or heavily defended land targets
Raytheon Systems Company, Tucson, Arizona
Block II TLAM-A IOC*
Block III TLAM-C, TLAM-D IOC*
Block IV TLAM-E IOC*
Williams International F107 cruise turbo-fan engine; ARC/CSD solid-fuel booster
18 feet 3 inch/5.56 m; 20 feet 6 inch/6.25 m with booster
20.4 inch/51.81 cm
8 feet 9 inch/2.67 m
2,900 lbs/1,315.44 kg; 3,500 lbs/1,587.6 kg with booster
about 478 knots/550 mph/880 km/h
Block II TLAM-A
1,350 NM/1,500 statute miles/2,500 km
Block III TLAM-C
900 NM/1,000 statute miles/1,600 km
Block III TLAM-D
700 NM/800 statute miles/1,250 km
Block IV TLAM-E
900 NM/1,000 statute miles/1,600 km
Block II TLAM-A
Block III TLAM-C, D & Block IV TLAM-E
INS**, TERCOM***, DSMAC****, GPS
Block II TLAM-N
W80 nuclear warhead
Block III TLAM-D
conventional submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Navy Sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) – the third Arleigh Burke-class Guided Missile Destroyer – successfully conducted a series of four flight test events exercising the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). The flight test, designated Multi-Mission Warfare (MMW) Events 1 through 4, demonstrated successful intercepts of short-range ballistic missile and cruise missile targets by the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), configured with Aegis Baseline 9.C1 (BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade) and using Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Dual I and SM-2 Block IV missiles. All flight test events were conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Kauai, Hawaii.
MDA Director Vice Admiral James D. Syring said, «This important test campaign not only demonstrated an additional terminal defense layer of the BMDS, it also proved the robustness of the multi-use SM-6 missile on-board a U.S. Navy destroyer, further reinforcing the dynamic capability of the Aegis Baseline 9 weapon system».
On July 28, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (July 29, 4:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time), a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target was launched from PMRF in a northwesterly trajectory. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), positioned west of Hawaii, detected, tracked, and launched a SM-6 Dual I missile, resulting in a successful target intercept.
On July 29, at approximately 8:15 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (July 30, 2:15 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time), a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target was launched from PMRF in a northwesterly trajectory. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) detected, tracked, and launched a SM-2 Block IV missile, resulting in a successful target intercept.
On July 31, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, (8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) an AQM-37C cruise missile target was air-launched to replicate an air-warfare threat. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) detected, tracked, and successfully engaged the target using an SM-6 Dual I missile.
On August 1, at approximately 3:45 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, (9:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time), a BQM-74E cruise missile target was launched from PMRF. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) detected, tracked, and successfully engaged the target using an SM-6 Dual I missile. The SM-6’s proximity-fuze warhead was programmed not to detonate after reaching the lethal distance from the target, thus providing the ability to recover and reuse the BQM-74E target.
MMW Event 1 was the first live fire event of the SM-6 Dual I missile.
MMW Events 1 and 2 were the 30th and 31st successful ballistic missile defense intercepts in 37 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight-testing began in 2002.
The MDA will use test results to improve and enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
Aegis BMD is the naval component of the BMDS. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.
Operational elements of the BMDS are currently deployed, protecting the nation, our allies, and friends against ballistic missile attack.
The BMDS continues to undergo development and testing to provide a robust layered defense against ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight.
The Marine Corps declared on July 31 that a squadron of 10 F-35B Lightning II aircraft is ready for worldwide deployment. The Marines’ declaration of Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for its squadron of F-35Bs «marks a significant milestone in the continued evolution of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program», Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall said in a statement issued on July 31.
«The decision was made following a thorough operational readiness inspection, which assessed the U.S. Marine Corps’ ability to employ this complex weapon system in an operational environment», Kendall continued. «This achievement is a testament to the efforts of the F-35 Joint Program Office and industry team, as well as the hard work and support from the U.S. Marine Corps».
The F-35 Program is on Track
«This accomplishment is an affirmation that the F-35 program is on track to deliver essential 5th generation warfighting capabilities to our U.S. services and international partners», Kendall added. «It is also a reminder that we still have work ahead to deliver the full warfighting capability required by all three services and our partners while we continue our successful efforts to drive cost out of the program».
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, or VMFA-121, based in Yuma, Arizona, is the first squadron in military history to become operational with an F-35 variant, following a five-day operational readiness inspection, which concluded July 17, according to a news release issued on July 31 by the U.S. Marine Corps.
«I am pleased to announce that VMFA-121 has achieved Initial Operational Capability in the F-35B, as defined by requirements outlined in the June 2014 Joint Report to Congressional Defense Committees», Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., commandant of the Marine Corps, said in the U.S. Marine Corps release.
«VMFA-121 has ten aircraft in the Block 2B configuration with the requisite performance envelope and weapons clearances, to include the training, sustainment capabilities, and infrastructure to deploy to an austere site or a ship», Dunford continued. «It is capable of conducting close air support, offensive and defensive counter air, air interdiction, assault support escort and armed reconnaissance as part of a Marine air-ground task force, or in support of the joint force».
Dunford stated that he has his full confidence in the F-35B’s ability to support Marines in combat, predicated on years of concurrent developmental testing and operational flying.
«Prior to declaring Initial Operating Capability, we have conducted flight operations for seven weeks at sea aboard an L-Class carrier, participated in multiple large force exercises, and executed a recent operational evaluation which included multiple live ordnance sorties», Dunford said. «The F-35B’s ability to conduct operations from expeditionary airstrips or sea-based carriers provides our nation with its first 5th generation strike fighter, which will transform the way we fight and win».
F-35 Will Eventually Replace Legacy Aircraft
As the future of Marine Corps tactical aviation, the F-35 will eventually replace three legacy platforms: the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler, according to the Marine Corps release.
«The success of VMFA-121 is a reflection of the hard work and effort by the Marines in the squadron, those involved in the program over many years, and the support we have received from across the Department of the Navy, the joint program office, our industry partners, and the undersecretary of defense», Dunford added. «Achieving Initial Operating Capability has truly been a team effort».
The Marine Corps has trained and qualified more than 50 Marine F-35B pilots and certified about 500 maintenance personnel to assume autonomous, organic-level maintenance support for the F-35B, the release said.
Marine Attack Squadron 211, an AV-8B Harrier II squadron, is scheduled to transition next to the F-35B in fiscal year 2016, according to the release. In 2018, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, an F/A-18 Hornet squadron, will conduct its transition.
51.2 feet/15.6 m
14.3 feet/4.36 m
35 feet/10.7 m
460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span
21.8 feet/6.65 m
32,300 lbs/14,651 kg
Internal fuel capacity
13,500 lbs/6,125 kg
15,000 lbs/6,800 kg
60,000 lbs class/27,215 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
The first AC-130J Ghostrider landed at Hurlburt Field, Florida July 29, making it Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC’s) first AC-130J. After completing the initial developmental test and evaluation by the 413th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, the aircraft will be flown by the 1st Special Operations Group (SOG) Detachment 2 and maintained by the 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (SOAMXS) during its initial operational tests and evaluations at Hurlburt Field.
«Putting it through these tests will allow us to wring out the AC-130J in a simulated combat environment, instead of the more rigid flight profiles in formal developmental testing», said Lieutenant Colonel Brett DeAngelis, the 1st SOG Detachment 2 commander. «Now that we know the equipment works when we turn it on, it’s our task to determine the best way to employ our newest asset».
«The AC-130J brings new technology to the table for AFSOC with more efficient engines, improved fuel efficiency and the ability to fly higher, further and quieter», said Master Sergeant Michael Ezell, the 1st SOAMXS production superintendent. «Additionally, the modified weapons system it possesses is a precision strike package that was collected from the older models, such as the laser-guided bombs and AGM-176 Griffin bombs, and combined to give us all the capabilities of the AC-130W Stinger II and AC-130U Spooky all in one package».
The AC-130J is a modified MC-130J Commando II, containing advanced features that will enable it to provide ground forces with an expeditionary, direct-fire platform that is persistent, suited for urban operations and capable of delivering precision munitions against ground targets.
«This is an exciting transition as we move the AC-130J from the test community to the operational community», DeAngelis said. «While we still have initial operational testing in front of us to accomplish, it will now be done by aircrews selected for their combat expertise, instead of their testing background».
A cadre of 60 aircrew and maintainers were selected by the Air Force Personnel Center to stand up the program, and there will be an additional 30 contractors to help work on the new gunship. «We will be training on the airplane, getting all the qualifications and hands-on experience we need to be able to perform operational testing in order to give an exact picture of how this plane will operate in a real-world environment», Ezell said. «Our focus right now is to learn how to maintain the aircraft and the operators will learn how to fly it and get ready for (initial operational test and evaluation), which should start later this year».
Airmen were hand selected to work on the new AC-130J; they encompass a solid background and level of expertise on C-130Js. The maintenance team cadre came from Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, Dyess AFB, Texas, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, and Cannon AFB, New Mexico.
«As more AC-130Js are produced and delivered, the older models will slowly be retired», DeAngelis said. «Until then, we’ll hold on to them while the AC-130J completes operational tests and the fleet becomes abundant in numbers».
Operational testing is expected to be complete in spring 2016.
«Detachment 2’s mission is simple; ‘Get it right,’» DeAngelis said. «And we have the right group of people to do just that».
The AC-130J Ghostrider’s primary missions are close air support and air interdiction. Close air support missions include troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defense. Air interdiction missions are conducted against preplanned targets or targets of opportunity and include strike coordination and reconnaissance. The AC-130J will provide ground forces an expeditionary, direct-fire platform that is persistent, ideally suited for urban operations and delivers precision low-yield munitions against ground targets.
The AC-130J is a highly modified C-130J aircraft that contains many advanced features. It contains an advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics. The aircraft is capable of extremely accurate navigation due to the fully integrated navigation systems with dual inertial navigation systems and Global Positioning System. Aircraft defensive systems and color weather radar are integrated as well. The aircraft is capable of Air Refueling with the Universal Air Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) system. To handle power requirements imposed by the advanced avionics and aircraft systems, the AC-130J is equipped with 60/90 kilo volt amp generators that provide increased DC electrical output. In anticipation of IR countermeasure installation, it is provisioned for Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) installation.
Additionally, the AC-130J is modified with a precision strike package, which includes a mission management console, robust communications suite, two electro-optical/infrared sensors, advanced fire control equipment, precision guided munitions delivery capability as well as trainable 30-mm and 105-mm weapons. The mission management system will fuse sensor, communication, environment, order of battle and threat information into a common operating picture.
The AC-130J is the fourth generation gunship replacing the aging SOF fleet of 37 AC-130H/U/W gunships. AC-130 gunships have an extensive combat history dating to back to Vietnam where gunships destroyed more than 10,000 trucks and were credited with many life-saving close air support missions. Over the past four decades, AC-130s have deployed constantly to hotspots throughout the world in support of special operations and conventional forces. In South America, Africa, Europe and throughout the Middle East, gunships have significantly contributed to mission success.
The first AC-130J aircraft is scheduled to begin developmental test and evaluation in January 2014. The first squadron will be located at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, while other locations are to be determined. Initial operational capacity is expected in fiscal 2017 and the last delivery is scheduled for fiscal 2021. The aircraft was officially named Ghostrider in May 2012.
Close air support and air interdiction with associated collateral missions
4 × Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 Turboprops
4 × 4,591 shaft horsepower
132 feet 7 inch/39.7 m
97 feet 9 inch/29.3 m
38 feet 10 inch/11.9 m
362 knots/416.6 mph/670.4 km/h at 22,000 feet/6,705.6 m
28,000 feet/8,534.4 m with 42,000 lbs/19,051 kg payload
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) received on July 30 its first EA-18G Growler. Prime contractor Boeing and the U.S Navy formally presented the aircraft to the RAAF at a ceremony in St. Louis in the United States. Former Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown (ret’d), who represented the RAAF at the ceremony, confirmed that Australia would be the first nation outside the United States to fly the airborne electronic attack platform.
«The Growlers will complement our existing and future air combat capability, and ours will be a much more lethal force with this advanced technology», Air Marshal Brown said. «In many respects, it’s the final piece of the air power jigsaw puzzle for the RAAF, and my prediction is it will have one of the biggest strategic effects for the Australian Defence Force since the introduction of the F-111 in the 1970s».
A derivative of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler is the only aircraft in production providing tactical jamming and electronic protection. The Growler will enhance Air Force’s current fleet of 24 Super Hornets and future fleet of F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), and advances «Plan Jericho», the initiative to transform the Air Force into an integrated, networked force able to deliver air power in all operating environments. Growler will also be a key enabler for both maritime and land forces.
The first aircraft to be delivered, A46-301, made its first flight on July 13 but was formally presented in front of RAAF and U.S. Navy representatives, Boeing employees and the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon. «The aircraft will now fly to Naval Air Station China Lake, California, for flight testing and then Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington State, where RAAF operators will continue training with U.S. Navy aircrew to gain expertise in the highly technical electronic warfare mission», Air Marshal Brown said.
The second RAAF Growler has also made its first flight, while the following 10 aircraft are in various stages of assembly at Boeing’s St. Louis plant. On current plans, all 12 aircraft will arrive in Australia by the end of 2017.
The Navy commissioned its newest fast attack submarine, the USS John Warner (SSN-785), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, August 1, 2015, at Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia.
John Warner, designated SSN-785, honors Senator John W. Warner for a lifetime of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to the United States of America as a trusted leader, statesman and public servant. He wore the uniform of American nation as both a Marine and sailor and served as the 61st Secretary of the Navy, 1972-1974.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Jeanne Warner, wife of Senator Warner, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!
«The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service for this great submarine – a fitting tribute to a man who served his nation for so long as a sailor, a Marine, a United States Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as Secretary of the Navy», said the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the U.S. Navy. «This ceremony is not only a celebration of a man who dedicated so much of his life to his country and to the Department of the Navy, but also a reminder of the partnership our Navy shares with the shipbuilding industry in Senator Warner’s home state of Virginia and the continued success of the Virginia-class attack submarine program».
USS John Warner (SSN-785) is the 12th Virginia-class fast attack submarine. While other Virginia-class submarines have been named after U.S. states, SSN-785 holds the distinction of being the first to be named after a person. This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. It will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.
USS John Warner (SSN-785) has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. It is also designed for Special Forces delivery and support, a subject senator John Warner worked on throughout his career in the U.S. Senate.
Virginia-class submarines are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Jun 25, 2015
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
two 87-inch/2.2-meter 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
SSN-778 New Hampshire
SSN-779 New Mexico
SSN-784 North Dakota
SSN-785 John Warner
EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
The seventh C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived in Australia at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on July 29, marking the fastest C-17A delivery in Australian fleet. Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews said the rapid acquisition of the aircraft is a testament to the close relationship that exists between Australia and the United States.
«The active involvement of a number of United States and Australian agencies has been pivotal in meeting the successful delivery of this aircraft and I applaud everyone involved in the acquisition program», Minister Andrews said. «This acquisition signifies considerable work opportunities for the local industry, with $300 million being spent to upgrade facilities. With its proven ability to transport heavy equipment, vehicles and helicopters in a short time frame, the C-17A’s capabilities are vital to Australia’s national security and safety».
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC said the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft will increase the Australian Defence Force’s capacity to provide vital community and humanitarian assistance.
«The C-17A fleet has been integral to recent operations including the rapid deployment of Australian forces in support of the Iraq Government, assistance in the Queensland floods, and the recovery of MH17 victims from Eastern Ukraine», Air Marshal Davies said.
«This latest acquisition will bolster our existing fleet of strategic lift aircraft – providing vital heavy airlift support to a range of operations, and increase our capacity to provide swift disaster relief and humanitarian assistance at home and abroad. Under Plan Jericho, the Air Force is dedicated to developing a networked, future joint force that can respond across the spectrum – from combat to humanitarian support. An additional two C-17A aircraft will help us achieve that», Air Marshal Davies said.
The Government announced the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft in April 2015 representing a $1 billion investment in Australia’s security and Defence Force. The eighth C-17A is planned to arrive in Australia in late 2015.
Wingspan to winglet tip
169.8 ft/51.74 m
174 ft/53.04 m
Height at tail
55.1 ft/16.79 m
22.5 ft/6.86 m
Cargo compartment crew
Cargo floor length
68.2 ft/20.78 m
21.4 ft/6.52 m structural length
18 ft/5.49 m
Loadable height (under wing)
12.3 ft/3.76 m
Loadable height (aft of wing)
14.8 ft/4.50 m
Ramp to ground angle
40,000 lbs/18,144 kg
Aerial delivery system capacity
Eleven 463L(*) pallets (including 2 on ramp)
Single load airdrop
60,000 lbs/27,216 kg platform
Sequential loads airdrop
110,000 lbs/49,895 kg (60 ft/18.29 m of platforms)
Logistic rail system capacity
Eighteen 463L(*) pallets (including 4 on ramp)
Dual-row airdrop system
Up to eight 18 foot/5.49 m platforms or twelve 463L(*) pallets
All pallets from ADS (Alternative Distribution Systems) or logistic rail systems
(*) Each 463L pallet is 88 in/2.24 m wide, 108 in/2.74 m long and 2-1/4 in/0.57 m high. The usable space is 84 in/2.13 m by 104 in/2.64 m. It can hold up to 10,000 lbs/4,500 kg of cargo (not exceeding 250 lbs/113 kg per square inch) at 8 g. Empty, each pallet weighs 290 lbs/130 kg, or 355 lbs/160 kg with two side nets and a top net.
Sidewall (permanently installed)
54 (27 each side, 18 in/45.72 cm wide, 24 in/60.96 cm spacing center to center)
Centerline (stored on board)
48 (in sets of six back-to-back, 8 sets)
Palletized (10-passenger pallets)
80 on 8 pallets, plus 54 passengers on sidewall seats