Maiden deployment

Five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 will make their maiden deployment as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

True 360-degree radar coverage provides uncompromised all-weather tracking and situational awareness
True 360-degree radar coverage provides uncompromised all-weather tracking and situational awareness

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is set to replace the E-2C Hawkeye in its primary mission to provide airborne early warning and command and control capabilities for all aircraft-carrier battle groups. While the primary mission for the E-2 has not changed, the Advanced Hawkeye is able to gather and process data more precisely and efficiently thanks to state-of-the-art radar and communication equipment.

«Suppose you’re looking through a pair of goggles, with the E-2C you have 20/20 vision, and with the E-2D you have 20/10», said Cmdr. Daryl Trent, commanding officer of VAW-125. «It has significantly advanced radar, its computer processing capabilities have been increased and the communication suites have been enhanced. This plane is a real game-changer».

The Advanced Hawkeye’s technology makes it a multi-mission platform through its ability to coordinate concurrent missions, which may arise during a single flight. These missions can include airborne strike, ground force support, rescue operations and managing a reliable communications network capable of supporting drug interdiction operations.

Along with advances in equipment, the Advanced Hawkeye’s all-glass cockpit boasts an entirely digital display, an upgrade that allows the co-pilot to act as the Tactical 4th Operator (T4O).

A completely new radar featuring both mechanical and electronic scanning capabilities
A completely new radar featuring both mechanical and electronic scanning capabilities

«It’s not like before when everything was pressure gauges», said Trent. «Now everything is digital. This makes for a stronger ability to process information, and allows the co-pilot to change his display and access acquired data».

With the first five going out to sea, the Navy plans to continue procuring the Advanced Hawkeye to replace the Hawkeye through 2023.

«This aircraft has been in development for almost 20 years», said Trent. «Now that we’re set for our maiden deployment, and we get set to integrate with craft like the growler and the hornet, we’re going to become the most efficient carrier strike group in the fleet».

VAW-125 deploys as part of CVW-1 on a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility to conduct maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Open architecture compliant, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based hardware and software enables rapid, cost-wise technology refresh for consistent leading-edge mission tools
Open architecture compliant, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based hardware and software enables rapid, cost-wise technology refresh for consistent leading-edge mission tools

 

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control. By serving as the «digital quarterback» to sweep ahead of strike, manage the mission, and keep our net-centric carrier battle groups out of harms way, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the key to advancing the mission, no matter what it may be. The E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system.

The Hawkeye provides all-weather airborne early warning, airborne battle management and command and control functions for the Carrier Strike Group and Joint Force Commander
The Hawkeye provides all-weather airborne early warning, airborne battle management and command and control functions for the Carrier Strike Group and Joint Force Commander

Hardware with system characteristics that provides:

  • Substantial target processing capacity (>3,000 reports per second)
  • Three highly automated and common operator stations
  • High-capacity, flat-panel color high-resolution displays
  • Extensive video type selection (radar and identification friend/foe)
  • HF/VHF/UHF and satellite communications systems
  • Extensive data link capabilities
  • Inertial navigational system and global positioning system navigation and in-flight alignment
  • Integrated and centralized diagnostic system
  • Glass Cockpit allows software reconfigurable flight/mission displays
  • Cockpit – 4th tactical operator
  • Open architecture ensures rapid technology upgrades and customized configuration options
Fully Integrated «All Glass» Tactical Cockpit
Fully Integrated «All Glass» Tactical Cockpit

 

General Characteristics

Wingspan:                                           24.56 m/80 feet 7 in

Width, wings folded:                     8.94 m/29 feet 4 in

Length overall:                                  17.60 m/57 feet 8.75 in

Height overall:                                   5.58 m/18 feet 3.75 in

Diameter of rotodome:                7.32 m/24 feet

Weight empty:                                   19,536 kg/43,068 lbs

Internal fuel:                                       5,624 kg/12,400 lbs

Takeoff gross weight:                    26,083 kg/57,500 lbs

Maximum level speed:                  648 km/h/350 knots/403 mph

Maximum cruise speed:               602 km/h/325 knots/374 mph

Cruise speed:                                     474 km/h/256 knots/295 mph

Approach speed:                              200 km/h/108 knots/124 mph

Service ceiling:                                  10,576 m/34,700 feet

Minimum takeoff distance:       410 m/1,346 feet ground roll

Minimum landing distance:       537 m/1,764 feet ground roll

Ferry range:                                        2,708 km/1,462 NM

Crew Members:                               5

Power Plant:  2 × Rolls-Royce T56-A-427A, rated at 5,100 eshp each

Unrefueled:                                        >6 hours

In-flight refueling:                           12 hours

The E-2D is a twin engine, five crewmember, high-wing turboprop aircraft with a 24-foot diameter radar rotodome attached to the upper fuselage
The E-2D is a twin engine, five crewmember, high-wing turboprop aircraft with a 24-foot diameter radar rotodome attached to the upper fuselage

SCORPION programme

The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) notified Nexter Systems of the Leclerc tank renovation contract. This order constitutes the third operation launched by the French Ministry of Defence under the Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’InfovalorisatiON (SCORPION) programme intended to modernise the French Army’s contact forces. Valued at approximately €330 million, the contract provides for the delivery of 200 «Renovated Leclerc» tanks and 18 «Renovated DCL» (Dépanneur du Char Leclerc – Leclerc tank repair) recovery vehicles from 2020.

The French army’s Leclerc main battle tank is one of the most advanced in the world, but despite a previous upgrade now requires a more radical modernization to keep it operationally effective until 2040 (French MoD photo)
The French army’s Leclerc main battle tank is one of the most advanced in the world, but despite a previous upgrade now requires a more radical modernization to keep it operationally effective until 2040 (French MoD photo)

The planned renovation work will enable the Leclerc to make the best use of its fire power and mobility within future SCORPION Joint Tactical Groups (GTIA). Thanks to the development of specific interfaces for the new COmmunications Numériques TACtiques et de ThéâtrE (CONTACT) tactical radio system and the Système d’Information et de Commandement SCORPION (SICS), it will be able to effectively network with all components of future SCORPION GTIAs. Moreover, the upgrade of its protection through the development of specific armour kits will enable the Leclerc tank to deal more effectively with new threats, such as improvised explosive devices.

A 3rd generation tank with a high degree of automation and diagnostic assistance, the Leclerc tank currently gives the French land forces «first entry» capability as part of an international coalition. The renovation operation launched aims to maintain this capacity beyond 2040.

The Leclerc is equipped with a CN120-26 120-mm smoothbore cannon
The Leclerc is equipped with a CN120-26 120-mm smoothbore cannon

 

Leclerc main battle tank

Mission

The Leclerc Main Battle Tank (MBT) enables armoured units to fight, defeat, and survive against an out-numbering enemy. Its ability to fire on-the-move, high firing rate and firepower, and exceptional mobility enables it to impose its rhythm on the enemy. It engages the enemy at a speed on 31 mph/50 km/h on all-terrains. It fights day and night, under all weather conditions and in contaminated zones.

Its all-purpose modular armouring, «hunter killer» function, stealth, agility and engagement distance award it an unequalled survival capacity.

The Leclerc has an eight-cylinder V8X-1500 1,500 hp Hyperbar diesel engine
The Leclerc has an eight-cylinder V8X-1500 1,500 hp Hyperbar diesel engine

 

Technical Characteristics

Requiring a crew of only 3 men thanks to its automatic loading system, its weight in combat order is less than 58 tons in its latest version and its nominal power rated at l,500 hp/1,118 kW. Fitted with hydropneumatic suspensions, its maximum speed is 45 mph/72 km/h on the road and 34 mph/55 km/h on all-terrains. Its main weapon is the standard NATO 120-mm/52 caliber and it is equipped with a coaxial 12.7-mm machine gun, as well as a 7.62-mm roof machine gun.

It is equipped with a commander stabilized 360° panoramic sight, laser rangefinder, day channel and thermal camera (in its latest versions) and a stabilized mantlet gunner sight with thermal camera, laser rangefinder, day channel and video channel.

Nexter Systems originally built 254 Leclerc MBTs for the French Army
Nexter Systems originally built 254 Leclerc MBTs for the French Army

Status

In service.

 

It’s not PowerPoint

Boeing and Saab have proven that Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I), originally developed for use by aircraft, can be adapted for launch from a ground artillery system. The companies recently tested the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), integrating the SDB I and M26 rocket motor technologies for the Multiple Launch Rocket System. The testing showed that the bomb can withstand a rocket artillery launch without its performance being compromised.

The weapon can do both high and low angles of attack, fly around terrain to hit targets on the back of mountains, or circle back around to attack a target behind the launch vehicle
The weapon can do both high and low angles of attack, fly around terrain to hit targets on the back of mountains, or circle back around to attack a target behind the launch vehicle

«GLSDB combines two highly successful, combat-proven systems into an effective ground forces offensive capability», said Beth Kluba, vice president, Boeing Weapons and Missile Systems. «Boeing and Saab bring together deep knowledge of precision weapon systems and can quickly and cost-effectively deliver GLSDB domestically and around the world. Moreover, this is not developmental, it’s not PowerPoint. It’ hardware, it exists, and through our investment we’re able to bring this capability to the war fighter very quickly».

GLSDB allows the artillery system to reach targets from significantly longer distances, and engage hard-to-reach targets, while maintaining the Small Diameter Bomb’s flight maneuverability and accuracy. Under a teaming agreement signed last year, Boeing and Saab will offer GLSDB to current and future rocket artillery users. The rocket motor used during testing was provided by Nammo.

«Saab and Boeing have a history of successful cooperation that now extends into yet another technology area – precision weapons systems», said Görgen Johansson, Head of the Dynamics Business Area within Saab AB. «Together, we now offer a new and game-changing capability for the U.S. as well as the global market».

The weapon is designed to be launched out of a Multiple Launch Rocket System, used by a number of US allies already, avoiding the need to design a new launch system. That MLRS can hold six weapons per pod, with two pods per vehicle
The weapon is designed to be launched out of a Multiple Launch Rocket System, used by a number of US allies already, avoiding the need to design a new launch system. That MLRS can hold six weapons per pod, with two pods per vehicle

 

Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb

The Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb revolutionizes rocket artillery. GLSDB will provide the warfighter with a long-range, precision fires weapon capable of conducting reverse slope engagements and defeating targets ranging from hardened facilities to soft-skinned assets. With 360-degree target engagement ability, GLSDB provides commanders and planners with a highly flexible weapon that complements existing ballistic trajectory weapons.

GLSDB is an integration of combat proven systems, not a developmental program. It builds upon Boeing’s highly successful Small Diameter Bomb Increment I and existing Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) rockets.

The SDB I is a 250-pound/113.3-kilogram class weapon with an Advanced Anti-Jam Global Positioning System aided Inertial Navigation System, combined with a multipurpose penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and a programmable electronic fuze. The result of this integration is an innovative, low risk weapon that provides significantly more capability over current MLRS rockets.

More than 10,000 SDBs have been built at Boeing’s award-winning, modern production facility in St. Charles, Missouri. Since the first SDB delivery in April 2005, every weapon has been delivered on time and at cost.

The system essentially sticks a GBU-39B small diameter bomb, widely used by the US military and a number of international customers, on the front of a M26 rocket
The system essentially sticks a GBU-39B small diameter bomb, widely used by the US military and a number of international customers, on the front of a M26 rocket

 

General Characteristics

  • Increased range – extends range 60 km/37 miles beyond current Guided MLRS
  • Highly accurate
  • All angle, all aspect attack – even targets behind the launch point
  • Multiple rocket, multiple target, near simultaneous impact
  • All weather, 24/7 availability
  • Terrain avoidance, such as mountains
  • Cave breaching capability
  • Launches from hidden or protected positions to avoid detection
  • Programmable fuze provides impact and delay fuzing for deep penetration or proximity height-of-burst
  • SDB Focused Lethality Munition variant is also an option for low collateral damage
  • Laser SDB variant provides moving target capability

 

Key Performance Factors

  • Compatible with M270A1 MLRS and M142 HIMARS platforms
  • 150 km/93 miles range
  • 360-degree target engagement ability Six rockets per pod

 

Dimensions

  • Length: 154 in/3.9 m
  • Weight: 615 lbs/279 kg
The SDB I is a 250-pound/113.3-kilogram class weapon with an Advanced Anti-Jam Global Positioning System aided Inertial Navigation System, combined with a multipurpose penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and a programmable electronic fuze
The SDB I is a 250-pound/113.3-kilogram class weapon with an Advanced Anti-Jam Global Positioning System aided Inertial Navigation System, combined with a multipurpose penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and a programmable electronic fuze

Warhead

  • Penetrating blast fragmentation
  • Weight: 205 lbs/93 kg – 4340 steel cylindrical case with conical-shaped nose
  • Explosive Fill: 36 lbs/16 kg Insensitive Munition Certified
  • Fuse: Integrated Electronic Safe/Arm Fuse System Impact and Delayed Settings with Height of Burst Sensor
  • Size: 71 in/1.80 m (L) x 7.75 in/0.20 m (H) x 7.5 in/0.19 m (W)
  • Wingspan: 63.3 in/1.60 m (open), 7.5 in/0.19 m (stowed)

 

Guidance Set

  • Inertial Navigation System (INS)/Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Anti-jam and Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module
  • Advanced Core Processor Two Module

 

Defence and security company Saab and Boeing have proven that Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb I, originally developed for use by aircraft, can be adapted for launch from a ground artillery system

The first in the world

Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) are pleased to announce the delivery of the first Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM) equipped KHI MCH-101 helicopter to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The KHI MCH-101, a licence built version of the AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter, is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A airborne mine hunting system and the Northrop Grumman AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS).

The MCH-101 which has just been delivered to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101, and the only modern helicopter capable of carrying Northrop’s airborne minehunting suite, visible here in place of its rear ramp (AW photo)
The MCH-101 which has just been delivered to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101, and the only modern helicopter capable of carrying Northrop’s airborne minehunting suite, visible here in place of its rear ramp (AW photo)

Together these systems provide a complete surface-to-bottom mine detection capability. The AW101/MCH-101 is one of only two helicopter types capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A and the only modern helicopter type.

The development of the AMCM variant of the AW101/MCH-101 has been led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, as prime contractor, with AgustaWestland providing technical support. KHI has responsibility for system integration and design of the AN/AQS-24A carriage, deploy, tow and recovery system that is installed in the cabin.

AgustaWestland in addition to providing technical support also modified the aircraft’s Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) to be able to perform coupled towing patterns with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A.

Following the handover ceremony at Kawasaki’s Gifu factory on 27th February, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force aircraft was delivered to Iwakuni where it will perform evaluation trials with the 51st Experimental Squadron before entering operational service in 2016.

With a typical range of 735 NM (over 1,360 km) in standard configuration the MCH-101 is the most capable Maritime helicopter in the world today
With a typical range of 735 NM (over 1,360 km) in standard configuration the MCH-101 is the most capable Maritime helicopter in the world today

The AN/AQS-24A is the only operationally proven, high speed airborne mine hunting system in the world. It features a high-resolution, side scan sonar for real time, detection, localization and classification of bottom and moored mines at high area coverage rates and a laser line scanner to provide precision optical identification of underwater mines and other objects of interest.

 

KHI MCH-101

KHI developed the MCH-101, a successor of the current MH-53E minesweeping/transport helicopter, by modifying the EH-101, a utility helicopter developed and manufactured by AgustaWestland based in Italy and the United Kingdom, in order to meet needs specific to Japan. The MCH-101 will be used in the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s minesweeping/transport activities as well as transport support for Antarctic exploration.

The MCH-101 is the only modern helicopter capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A
The MCH-101 is the only modern helicopter capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A

The AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System uses pulsed laser light and streak tube receivers housed in an external equipment pod to image the entire near-surface volume potentially containing mines. The ALMDS pod is mounted on the port weapon carrier and data is displayed on the cabin mission console.

The first AMCM configured is the eighth of 13 AW101s that Kawasaki Heavy Industries is building under licence from AgustaWestland for the Japan Maritime Defense Force.

The eight aircraft delivered to date comprise six MCH-101s and two CH-101s. The CH-101s are used to support Japan’s Antarctic research activities.

 

AgustaWestland AW101

The AW101 combines the most advanced technologies, safety by design, mission systems and leading-edge manufacturing to provide a proven platform for Heads of State and Very Very Important Person (VVIP) operators.

The MCH-101 is equipped with three civil certified (FAA Type Certificate E8NE) General Electric CT7-8E engines
The MCH-101 is equipped with three civil certified (FAA Type Certificate E8NE) General Electric CT7-8E engines

Featuring the largest cabin in its class, 2.49 m/8.17 feet wide and 1.83 m/6 feet high, passengers are able to walk in the spacious environment, which can be fitted with a range of fixtures and equipment, finished in highest quality materials to customers exacting standards. The aircraft has been proven in the world’s most extreme environments, from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

 

Weights

Maximum Take-Off (int./ext. loads):  15,600 kg/34,392 lbs

Engine Rating (3 x GE CT7-8E)

Take-Off power (5 min):                          3 x 1,884 kW/3 x 2,527 shp

Intermediate (30 min):                             3 x 1,855 kW/3 x 2,488 shp

Maximum Continuous Power:            3 x 1,522 kW/3 x 2,041 shp

OEI* Max Contingency (2 min):          2 x 1,880 kW/2 x 2,522 shp

* One Engine Inoperative

With the largest cabin in its class, the MCH-101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility
With the largest cabin in its class, the MCH-101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility

Fuel Capacity (VVIP version)

4 cell tanks (self-sealing):                       4,094 L/1,081 USgal

Fuel Capacity (Utility version)

5 cell tanks (self-sealing):                       5,135 L/1,357 USgal

Crew

Pilot:                                                                   2

Passengers:                                                    38

External Dimensions

Overall length:                                               22.83 m/74.92 feet

Overall height:                                               6.66 m/21.83 feet

Main rotor diameter:                                 18.60 m/61.00 feet

Performance

Cruise speed:                                                 278 km/h/150 knots

Hovering In Ground Effect (IGE):      3,307 m/10,850 feet

Max Range (Utility version):                 1,360 km/735 NM

Max Endurance (Utility version):       6 h 30 min

Whether equipped for autonomous ASW/ASuW or amphibious assault with 38 troops, the MCH-101 offers total flexibility to fleet commanders
Whether equipped for autonomous ASW/ASuW or amphibious assault with 38 troops, the MCH-101 offers total flexibility to fleet commanders

Maritime Surveillance

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) officially accepted ownership of the new Seasprite SH-2G(I) helicopters from Kaman Aerospace in a ceremony at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Auckland. There are three new Seasprites at Base Auckland and the remaining five will be delivered by September. The new SH-2G(I) helicopters replaces the SH-2G model that is presently being used.

Navy Seasprite helicopter landing at Tauranga Airport
Navy Seasprite helicopter landing at Tauranga Airport

Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Jack Steer said the handover marked a significant milestone for the Defence Force’s maritime aviation capability: «The Seasprites perform a vital function for the Navy, and enhance the roles of our ships at sea, by undertaking a range of tasks including maritime surveillance, search and rescue, counter-terrorism and utility lift. We’ve operated Seasprites since the 1990s and they have proven to be a great capability for us».

«We deployed a Seasprite on HMNZS Te Mana (F111) to the Gulf of Aden in 2014 in support of the multi-national Combined Task Force undertaking anti-piracy activities in the region. The Seasprite flew over 120 hours and was used for surveillance and reconnaissance adding substantial value to the operation. We currently have a Seasprite embarked on HMNZS Te Kaha (F77) who is on operational deployment until May and the helicopter is an integral part of this mission», said Rear Admiral Steer.

Operation of the Seasprites is a joint effort between the Navy and Air Force. Seasprites are flown by Navy personnel and maintained by Air Force engineers and technicians who form No.6 Squadron at Whenuapai.

Exercise Tropic Twilight 09, Disaster relief operation. Two Seasprites on HMNZS Canterbury off shore from Puka Puka Island
Exercise Tropic Twilight 09, Disaster relief operation. Two Seasprites on HMNZS Canterbury off shore from Puka Puka Island

 

SH-2G Super Seasprite

The SH-2G Super Seasprite is a proven day/night/all-weather multi-mission helicopter. Designed to meet the exacting requirements of the U.S. Navy, the SH-2G Super Seasprite has the highest power-to-weight ratio of any maritime helicopter, assuring a safe return-to-ship capability even in single-engine flight conditions. Its robust design, outstanding stability, excellent reliability, and proven capability (more than 1.5 million flight hours) are important benefits in the demanding maritime environment.

The SH-2G is a fully integrated, multi-mission maritime weapon system designed to fulfill Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), over the horizon targeting, surveillance, troop transport, vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and utility missions.

It is also the largest, most powerful small ship helicopter on the market today and is recognized for its mission effectiveness, support, and unmatched performance. In 1997 Kaman delivered its first international SH-2G Super Seasprite to the Arab Republic of Egypt. Today the SH-2G Super Seasprite is operated in Egypt, Poland, and New Zealand.

Navy, Devonport; Safety and Readiness Checks were performed on the crew of HMNZS Wellington to ensure the ship is safe to proceed on its next phase of operations. A Winchex using a Seasprite helicopter was one of the many exercises evaluated on the day
Navy, Devonport; Safety and Readiness Checks were performed on the crew of HMNZS Wellington to ensure the ship is safe to proceed on its next phase of operations. A Winchex using a Seasprite helicopter was one of the many exercises evaluated on the day

 

Specifications

Standard Displacement:     6 tonnes

Length Overall:                        16.1 m/52.8 feet

Beam:                                             3 m/9.8 feet

Main Rotor Diameter:          13.4 m/44 feet

Height:                                            4.6 m/15 feet

Speed:                                             120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h

Operating maximum:             150 knots/172.6 mph/278 km/h

Ceiling height:                             3,048 m/10,000 feet

Range:                                              450 NM/833 km

Endurance:                                    3.5 hours

Complement:

3 crew: pilot, tactical operator and crewman;

Plus up to 5 passengers;

Evacuation capacity of 2 stretchers and 2 attendants

Propulsion:                                  2 × General Electric T700 Turbines (1,600 hp/1,193 kW each)

Lifting Capacity:                       1,814 kg/3,999 lbs

Winch Lifting Capacity:       272 kg/599 lbs or two people

Armament:                                  Can be armed with a combination of homing torpedoes, depth charges, Maverick Air-to-Surface missiles, Penguin Anti-Ship missiles, M60 Machine Gun

Exercise Tropic Twilight 09, Disaster relief operation. HMNZS Canterbury
Exercise Tropic Twilight 09, Disaster relief operation. HMNZS Canterbury

nEUROn – 100th flight

With the completion of its 100th flight in February, the nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator has completed its test campaign in France. Throughout this entire campaign, the nEUROn and associated equipment demonstrated exemplary availability and reliability.

Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce/Turboméca Adour/Snecma M88, 40 kN/8,992 lbf thrust each
Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce/Turboméca Adour/Snecma M88, 40 kN/8,992 lbf thrust each

In the first phase, the purpose of the tests was to open the flight envelope (including with weapon bay doors open), to test the electro-optical sensor and to evaluate datalink performance. In the second phase, most flights were dedicated to infrared and electromagnetic signature/detection confrontations against operational systems.

These confrontations, which produced all the expected results, were performed under the authority of the French defense procurement agency DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement). The nEUROn, in full stealth configuration, was operated by Dassault Aviation. Stealth-related data and feedback will serve as a reference for future aircraft projects.

This success demonstrates Dassault Aviation’s know-how in strategic technologies and prime contractorship, as well as its ability to lead programs involving European cooperation. A new chapter now opens for the nEUROn with evaluations that will take place in Italy, then Sweden. This success augurs well for preparing the programs of the future.

 

nEUROn

For the coming twenty years, the European combat aircraft industry will face three main challenges:

  • the need to develop strategic technologies;
  • the necessity to uphold skills of excellences in areas in which the European industry has gained technical competences and fields of excellence;
  • the goal to provide workload to the European design offices.
Maximum speed: 980 km/h/608 mph
Maximum speed: 980 km/h/608 mph

Facing such a situation, the French government took the initiative by launching in 2003 a project for a technological demonstrator of an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, elaborated in the frame of a European cooperation scheme. The aim of the nEUROn demonstrator is to provide the European design offices with a project allowing them to develop know-how and to maintain their technological capabilities in the coming years.

This project goes far beyond the theoretical studies that have been conducted until now, as it plans the building and the flight demonstration of an unmanned aircraft. It is also a way to implement an innovative process in terms of management and organisation of a European cooperative programme.

To be fully effective, a single point of decision, the French Defence Procurement Agency, and a single point of implementation, Dassault Aviation company as prime contractor, were settled to manage the nEUROn programme.

The Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek and Swiss governments acting together with their related industrial teams, Alenia, SAAB, EADS-CASA, Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and RUAG, have joined the French initiative.

 

Aim of the programme

The aim of the nEUROn programme is to demonstrate the maturity and the effectiveness of technical solutions, but not to perform military missions. The main technological challenges addressed during the design phase of the nEUROn are:

  • the shapes of the air vehicle (aerodynamic, innovative composite structure, and internal weapon bay);
  • the technologies related to low observability issues;
  • the insertion of this type of aircraft within the test area;
  • the high-level algorithms necessary to the development of the automated processes;
  • as well as the place of the human factor within the mission loop.
Service ceiling: 14,000 m/45,900 feet
Service ceiling: 14,000 m/45,900 feet

The last, but certainly not the least, important technology to be demonstrated is the capability to carry and deliver weapons from an internal bay. Today, European aircraft are designed with external loading capabilities for bombs and missiles. The demonstration goals are the followings:

  • the performance of an air-to-ground mission based on the detection, localization, and reconnaissance of ground targets in autonomous modes;
  • the evaluation of the detection results of a stealth platform facing ground or aerial threats, in terms of radar cross section and infrared signature;
  • the weapon release from an internal bay, with the very stringent tempo constraints of a fast decision loop.

It is clear that through these demonstration missions, the goals are to validate technologies around command and control of an unmanned air vehicle of a size similar to a combat aircraft, with all back-up modes insuring necessary safety and security. The nEUROn system will be network-centric capable.

 

Related industrial team

Dassault Aviation (France), in addition to being the design authority, takes care of the general design and architecture of the system, the flight control system, the implementation of low observable devices, the final assembly, the systems integration on the «global integration tests rig», the ground tests, and the flight tests.

Alenia Aermacchi (Italy) contributes to the project with a new concept of internal weapon bay (Smart Integrated Weapon Bay – SIWB), an internal EO/IR sensor, the bay doors and their operating mechanisms, the electrical power and distribution system, and the air data system.

SAAB (Sweden) is entrusted with the general design of the main fuselage, the landing gear doors, the avionics and the fuel system.

EADS-CASA (Spain) brings its experience for the wings, the ground station, and the data link integration.

Hellenic Aerospace Industry – HAI (Greece) is responsible for the rear fuselage, the exhaust pipe, and the supply of racks of the «global integration tests rig».

RUAG (Switzerland) is taking care of the low speed wind tunnel tests, and the weapon interfaces between the aircraft and the armaments.

 

Programme Milestones

The nEUROn programme was launched in 2003. The main contract was notified to the prime contractor in 2006, the industrial partnership contracts were signed concurrently. The first flight of the technological demonstrator was completed on December 1, 2012, in Istres (France).

Demonstration flights

The scenarios to be validated through the demonstration flights will be as follows:

  • insertion in the test range airspace;
  • air-to-ground subsonic mission;
  • detection, localisation and autonomous reconnaissance of ground targets without being detected («to see without being seen»);
  • air-to-surface weapon release from an internal bay.

Programme status

At the end of 2012, the status of the nEUROn programme is the following:

  1. a) The different parts of the airframe have been manufactured and are delivered to Dassault Aviation in Istres facilities (France):
  • the main fuselage by SAAB;
  • the rear fuselage and the exhaust nozzle by HAI;
  • the wings by EADS-CASA;
  • the bay doors by Alenia;
  • the weapon interface by RUAG;
  • the structural parts contributing to the low observability by Dassault Aviation factories of Argenteuil and Biarritz.
  1. b) The final assembly and the final layout of the piping, electrical wiring and equipment installation, including the engine and the landing gear, were completed in the Dassault Aviation facilities.
  2. c) The software integration in the various electronic equipment was completed, using the «global integration tests rig» in Istres.
  3. d) The ground tests (hydraulics, electrical, fuel), soon to be followed by comprehensive engine tests, took place throughout 2012 with a first flight at the end of 2012.
  4. e) The maiden flight was completed on December 1, 2012. This first sortie proceeded exactly as expected. It lasted twenty-five minutes and validated the vehicle’s main flight parameters. Take-off was entirely automatic and the aircraft reached an altitude of about 2,000 meters/6,561 feet, before turning round, completing the approach and then landing.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frNsu7g7r94

100th flight of the nEUROn, Istres, the 26th February 2015

 

Keel laying

The keel of the 15th Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine named for Colorado was laid at the Rhode Island manufacturing plant for General Dynamics Electric Boat Division on Saturday, March 7, at 1:30 pm. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams represented the state at the keel laying ceremony.

Commander Ken Franklin was designated to be the Commander of the USS Colorado
Commander Ken Franklin was designated to be the Commander of the USS Colorado

The construction milestone for SSN-788 was being marked at the North Kingstown shipyard. Annie Mabus, daughter of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, is the ship’s sponsor. She authenticated the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. The initials were welded and the plate was permanently affixed to the ship.

By the way, the submarine doesn’t have a traditional keel that runs the length of the ship. USS Colorado is built in modules. Construction on the nuclear-powered fast attack submarine began in 2012. Colorado is slated to be delivered in 2017. When complete, the USS Colorado (SSN-788) will be a high-tech attack submarine. It is the third Navy ship to bear the name Colorado. The first was an armored cruiser commissioned in 1905. The second USS Colorado was a battleship that took part in the invasion of Tarawa during World War II.

USS Colorado is so-called Block III submarine. The Third Block of the Virginia-class submarine began construction in 2009. Block III submarines feature a revised bow with a Large Aperture Bow (LAB) sonar array, as well as technology from Ohio-class SSGNs (two Virginia Payload Tubes each containing 6 missiles). The horseshoe-shaped LAB sonar array replaces the spherical main sonar array, which has been used on all U.S. Navy SSNs since 1960. The LAB sonar array is water-backed – as opposed to earlier sonar arrays, which were air-backed – and consists of a passive array and a medium-frequency active array. Compared to earlier Virginia-class attack submarines about 40% of the bow has been redesigned.

Annie Mabus, ship sponsor of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN-788), delivers remarks during the ship's keel laying ceremony. Annie is the daughter of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), Ray Mabus. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Armando Gonzales (Released)
Annie Mabus, ship sponsor of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN-788), delivers remarks during the ship’s keel laying ceremony. Annie is the daughter of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), Ray Mabus. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Armando Gonzales (Released)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat
Propulsion One S9G nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.5156 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

Tactical Mobility

BAE Systems has handed over the first CV9030 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) in serial production to the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (FLO) on time and on budget. A rollout ceremony was held in Moelv, Norway, at the facilities of BAE Systems Hägglunds’ business partner CHSnor AS. More than 200 guests attended, representing FLO and the Norwegian Armed Forces, as well as BAE Systems Hägglunds and its Norwegian industrial partners.

The CV90 platform is engineered to provide optimum mobility and agility
The CV90 platform is engineered to provide optimum mobility and agility

BAE Systems Hägglunds’ contract, signed in 2012, includes the upgrade of the Norwegian Army’s existing fleet of 103 CV9030s and 41 new-build vehicles, giving the Army a total of 144 state-of-the-art CV90s in varying configurations. They will all include enhanced capabilities for future battlefield and conflict scenarios, such as in the areas of protection, survivability, situational awareness, intelligence, and interoperability.

«I’m really pleased that we are able to reach this key milestone», said Colonel Ragnar Wennevik, Norwegian Army CV90 project leader. «BAE Systems Hägglunds is an impressive supplier, and with the new CV9030, we are buying the world’s most advanced armored combat vehicle family. Already proven in combat, we are now taking it to the next generation with state-of-the-art survivability, lethality, digitalization, and mobility».

This program is a key element of the modernization of the Norwegian Army, providing them with the next-generation CV90, one of the world’s most advanced IFV and a low-risk proven solution. The Norwegian Army will incorporate five different configurations of the CV90 from 2015 onwards: 74 infantry fighting, 21 reconnaissance, 15 command, 16 engineering, and 16 multi-role and tow driver-training vehicles. The multi-role vehicles can fulfill different functions, including mortar carrier and logistics roles.

In 2014, BAE Systems rolled out three variants of the Norwegian vehicles in Sweden, which were subsequently handed over to Norwegian industry for completion, as part of in-country partnerships.

Both the Norwegian customer and BAE Systems Hägglunds have been extremely focused on meeting every milestone in the contract from the outset. This focus has ensured that the two parties have developed a strong relationship based on mutual respect and openness, which has ensured project success.

BAE Systems Hägglunds is working closely with Norwegian industry in a comprehensive industrial cooperation contract, which is part of the main vehicle contract. Companies such as Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Nammo Raufoss AS, CHSnor AS, Moelv, and Ritek AS Levanger are key parties to the contract. The turret upgrade work, for example, takes place at CHSnor AS, and yesterday’s handover was the first in a series of vehicle deliveries from CHSnor AS and Ritek through 2018.

«The Norwegian industrial cooperation is extensive and important to us, especially when industrial cooperation is one of the major factors for international success», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director for BAE Systems Hägglunds. «We want to thank all industry partners for their commitment and dedication, and also our professional and supportive customer».

With a full range of armament options, the CV90 can be developed or configured to match any situation, from patrol to combat
With a full range of armament options, the CV90 can be developed or configured to match any situation, from patrol to combat

 

CV9030 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Protection

The CV9030 has the most advanced protection kits available in the world, providing flexible solutions for any mission requirements. The platform utilises a modular approach to armour. Its base structure is designed to carry any add-on armour without adding parasitic weight to the overall vehicle.

It provides crew protection from the latest heavy weaponry including:

  • Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs);
  • Anti-tank mines.

It also protects occupants from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threats with a specialised filter system.

To meet modern day battlefield threats, the vehicle can be fitted with further protection including:

  • Different types of armour to protect against diverse threats, such as shaped charge warheads and RPG-7s;
  • A Defensive Aid Suite (DAS) that classifies targets, gives threat warnings via the Vehicle Information System (VIS) and supports the driver with speed corrections to reduce the risk of being hit;
  • Adaptive camouflage, which offers an active multi-spectral defence system, rendering the vehicle appearance to match its environment.

The technology also takes on the textures of other objects, minimising the vehicle’s radar and IR signature and further increasing crew survivability.

The CV90120 is also equipped with a modern 120-mm anti-tank gun and adaptive armour
The CV90120 is also equipped with a modern 120-mm anti-tank gun and adaptive armour

 

Mobility

Powered by a high torque V8 diesel engine, the CV9030 can reach speeds of 70 km/h/43.5 mph. The vehicle’s road range is also constantly improving, with new variants capable of travelling up to 900 km/559 miles.

While upgrades to the CV90’s armour have seen the platform’s curb weight rise from 23 to 35 tonnes, power-to-weight ratio has remained approximately the same thanks to stronger diesel engines.

The CV90’s track suspension has also been improved. The new track system allows the vehicle to travel effortlessly through both snow and sand, enabling:

  • Quieter movement and improved stealth;
  • Greater speed over rough terrain;
  • Higher ground clearance for protection against mines and improvised explosive devices.

The platform’s semi-active damping reduces the pitch accelerations of the vehicle by approximately 40 percent. For the crew this means:

  • A smoother ride for reduced fatigue;
  • Reduced vertical motion (increasing the gunner’s hit probability and ability to find targets);
  • Higher all-terrain speeds;
  • Increased life expectancy for components in the drive line.
The CV90’s C4I capability provides the crew with decision superiority, enabling your forces to stay one step ahead of the enemy
The CV90’s C4I capability provides the crew with decision superiority, enabling your forces to stay one step ahead of the enemy

 

Armament

As a first class combat vehicle, the CV9030 is compatible with a range of armaments to suit any mission requirements.

The vehicle is normally fitted with a two-man turret, which is equipped with the well-proven 30-mm Bushmaster II cannon. This can be supplied in different configurations, including unmanned and uses programmable ammunition to meet precise lethality performance needs.

The CV90 Mk-III incorporates a Munition Programmer for Air Burst Munition (ABM) and has a target-driven gunner Man Machine Interface (MMI). The Fire Control System also has the ability to choose:

  • The type of ammunition;
  • Offset;
  • Fuse setting;
  • Burst pattern.

This significantly decreases operator workload allowing the gunner to focus on the type of target that he wants to engage.

The vehicle’s hunter-killer function features an independent sight system for the commander, enabling him to search, engage or hand over targets to the gunner. The CV90’s state-of-the-art systems allow the crew to rapidly discover and identify targets in minimal time. This enables them to be the first to shoot, whether the target is on the ground or in the air.

Its advanced Human Machine Interfaces and ergonomics make the vehicle’s operation as easy and efficient as possible
Its advanced Human Machine Interfaces and ergonomics make the vehicle’s operation as easy and efficient as possible

 

Specifications

Top speed:                                        70 km/h/43.5 mph

Range:                                                 900 km/559 miles

Payload:                                             16 tonnes

Protection level:                            Standardization Agreement (STANAG)

Ballistic:                                              > 5

Mine:                                                    > 4a/4b

Trench crossing:                            2.6 m/8.5 feet

Step climbing:                                 1.1 m/3.6 feet

Fording:                                              1.5 m/4.9 feet

Remote Weapon Station (RWS):      7.62 – 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL)

Turret:                                                  25-120 mm/0.98-4.72 inch

No. of operators:                            3 + 7

Gradient:                                            60 %

Power to weight ratio:                17.1-24.2 kW/ton

Electrical power:                            570 A

Engine:                                                 Scania V8

Operating temperature:           C2-A1

Driveline

Steel or rubber tracks:     ≤ 28 tonnes

Steel:                                           > 28 tonnes

Semi active dampening

 

BAE Systems designed the CV9030 with a clear vision: to create a vehicle that provides high tactical and strategic mobility, air defense, anti-tank capability, high survivability and protection in any terrain or tactical environment

 

Due Regard Radar

According to Marina Malenic, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, the U.S. Navy (USN) plans to add a Due Regard Radar to its Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft after it is deployed to the fleet.

U.S. Navy's First Triton Unmanned Aircraft
U.S. Navy’s First Triton Unmanned Aircraft

The radar «will be an upgrade to the initial capability in the 2020 time frame», said Sean Burke, the programme manager for the navy’s persistent maritime unmanned aircraft systems programme office. Due Regard Radar would allow «non co-operative» detection of other aircraft.

The name «Due Regard» comes from an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirement that military aircraft be flown with «Due Regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft». Burke said the navy will begin conducting Triton sensor test flights within the next three weeks and delivering the aircraft to the fleet at the end of 2017 and early 2018.

USN officials have previously said Triton will come equipped with a Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Both TCAS and ADS-B are transponder-based systems that require other aircraft to have such systems so that they can «see» and avoid one another.

Though neither TCAS nor ADS-B meets the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) requirements for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sense-and-avoid on its own, the USN and the FAA are working with other international regulatory bodies to develop a plan whereby they can be used in conjunction.

Previously known as the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS), the Triton is a derivative of Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk being developed to provide the USN with persistent maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) as a companion to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon manned maritime surveillance aircraft. It will operate in US national airspace, as well as international, foreign, civil, and military airspace.

Based on the proven Global Hawk UAS, Triton incorporates a reinforced airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems
Based on the proven Global Hawk UAS, Triton incorporates a reinforced airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems

 

MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) provides real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance over vast ocean and coastal regions. Supporting missions up to 24 hours, the high-altitude UAS is equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings at a radius of over 2,000 nautical miles/3,704 km.

Triton builds on elements of the Global Hawk UAS while incorporating reinforcements to the airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suite allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification.

Built to support the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program, Triton will support a wide range of intelligence-gathering and reconnaissance missions, maritime patrol and search and rescue. The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be built.

Triton will also be equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings and allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification
Triton will also be equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings and allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification

 

Key Features

  • Provides persistent maritime ISR at a mission radius of 2,000 NM/3,704 km; 24 hours/7 days per week with 80% Effective Time On Station (ETOS)
  • Land-based air vehicle and sensor command and control
  • Afloat Level II payload sensor data via line-of-sight
  • Dual redundant flight controls and surfaces
  • 51,000-hour airframe life
  • Due Regard Radar for safe separation
  • Anti/de-ice, bird strike, and lightning protection
  • Communications bandwidth management
  • Commercial off-the-shelf open architecture mission control system
  • Net-ready interoperability solution
Built for the U.S. Navy, Triton will support a wide range of missions including maritime patrol and search and rescue
Built for the U.S. Navy, Triton will support a wide range of missions including maritime patrol and search and rescue

 

Payload (360-degree Field of Regard)

Multi-Function Active Sensor Active Electronically Steered Array (MFAS AESA) radar:

  • 2D AESA;
  • Maritime and air-to-ground modes;
  • Long-range detection and classification of targets.

MTS-B multi-spectral targeting system:

  • Electro-optical/infrared;
  • Auto-target tracking;
  • High resolution at multiple field-of-views;
  • Full motion video.

AN/ZLQ-1 Electronic Support Measures:

  • All digital;
  • Specific Emitter Identification.

Automatic Identification System:

  • Provides information received from VHF broadcasts on maritime vessel movements.
The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be fielded
The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be fielded

 

Specifications

Wingspan:                                                 130.9 feet/39.9 m

Length:                                                         47.6 feet/14.5 m

Height:                                                         15.4 feet/4.6 m

Gross Take-Off Weight:                     32,250 lbs/14,628 kg

Maximum Internal Payload:           3,200 lbs/1,452 kg

Maximum External Payload:          2,400 lbs/1,089 kg

Self-Deploy:                                              8,200 NM/15,186 km

Maximum Altitude:                              56,500 feet/17,220 m

Maximum Velocity:                              331 knots True Air Speed (TAS)/ 381 mph/613 km/h

Maximum Endurance:                        24 hours

 

MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system flies from Palmdale, California, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland

 

Flight III Final

The Department of the Navy (DoN) is committed to the acquisition of the DDG 51 Flight III destroyers with an integrated Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) to meet the requirements for Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities. After several years of study, analysis, requirements validation, and prototype testing, the AMDR S-Band system is poised for successful integration into the DDG 51 Class ships as the Flight III upgrade. (Prepared by: Assistant Secretary of the Navy Research, Development, and Acquisition 1000 Navy Pentagon Washington, DC 20350-1000)

Flight III Operational View
Flight III Operational View

The AMDR has successfully completed Milestone B, a full system Preliminary Design Review, a hardware Critical Design Review, and will deliver its first full ship set of production equipment by early FY 2020. The remaining equipment required to provide power and cooling to the AMDR are all based on currently existing equipment and therefore induce low technical risk to the program. Given the tremendous capability improvement AMDR provides to defeat emerging air and ballistic missile threats over current radars, the low to moderate technical risk associated with implementing this radar on an FY 2016 DDG 51 justifies execution of the ECP during the FY 2013-2017 multiyear procurement contract.

The DDG 51 Class Program has awarded a total of 76 ships from 1985 to 2017 between two shipbuilders, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). Most recently, 10 were awarded in June 2013 under Multi-Year Procurement (MYP) authority for FY13-17. Sixty-two ships have been delivered. Of the remaining 14, six are in various stages of construction and will deliver in 2016 and beyond. The Flight III configuration will be integrated via the Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) process onto the last three ships of the FY13-17 MYP: one ship in FY16 and both FY17 ships. A follow-on FY18 MYP will continue the production line.

Prior to Flight III, the program has produced three flights (I, II and IIA). Flights II and IIA included important modifications for changing mission requirements and technology updates, thus demonstrating the substantial capacity and flexibility of the base DDG 51 hull form. Flight II introduced enhanced capability in Combat Systems and Electronic Warfare. Flight IIA constituted a more significant change to the ship by incorporation of an organic dual hangar/dual helicopter aviation facility, extended transom, Zonal Electrical Power Distribution (ZEDS), enhanced missile capacity, and reconfigured primary radar arrays.

The combined scope and means for integrating the changes for Flight III is similar to the approach used in the Flight IIA upgrade. Additionally, during Flight IIA production in the middle of the FY98-01 MYP, the class was significantly upgraded with a new radar, the AN/SPY-1D(V), and an improved combat management computing plant, AEGIS Baseline 7.1. The previous ship system changes were successfully executed by ECPs introduced via the existing systems engineering processes on both Flight II and IIA in support of the ongoing construction program. This methodology takes advantage of the U.S. Navy and prime contractor experience with the proven processes while offering effective and efficient introduction of the desired configuration changes. It also provides the more affordable and effective approach toward producing this enhanced ship capability in lieu of starting a new ship design to incorporate the same capabilities into a new production line for ship construction.

DDG 51 Flight III will be the third evolution of the original DDG 51 Class and will achieve the U.S. Navy’s critical need for an enhanced surface combatant integrated IAMD capability. Flight III will build on the warfighting capabilities of DDG 51 Flight IIA ships, providing this capability at the earliest feasible time. Its defining characteristics include integration of the AMDR, associated Combat Systems elements, and related Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) changes into a modified repeat Flight IIA design. AMDR will give Flight III ships the ability to conduct simultaneous Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) operations. Flight III will contribute to mitigating the capability gaps identified in the Maritime Air and Missile Defense of the Joint Force (MAMDJF) Initial Capabilities Document (ICD). The integrated Flight III ship system as delivered will meet the program requirements as stated in the DDG 51 Class Flight III Capabilities Development Document (CDD).

DDG 51 Flight III will execute four primary missions:

  • Integrated Air and Missile Defense,
  • Anti-Surface Warfare,
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare,
  • Strike Warfare,

and will have the ability to plan, coordinate and execute alternate warfare commander responsibilities for either anti-air warfare or ballistic missile defense.

In addition to the incorporation of AMDR-S and HM&E upgrades, the AMDR system will be integrated into the AEGIS Combat System
In addition to the incorporation of AMDR-S and HM&E upgrades, the AMDR system will be integrated into the AEGIS Combat System
Flight III Systems Technological Maturity
AMDR In Engineering & Manufacturing Development, LRIP scheduled for FY 2017
MT-5 Gas Turbine Generator Fielded on DDG 1000 class
4160VAC Electric Plant Fielded on LHA 6 Class
300 Ton A/C Plant In operation at vendor plant, environmental qualification in progress
4160VAC to 1000VDC Power Conversion Module Fielded on DDG 1000 Class

Throughout the five-year span of evaluation and refinement as the ship concept was being matured, the Flight III ship capability requirements were also being clarified and validated. A meticulous and concerted effort was applied in considering the secondary effects of ship impacts created from the Flight III changes to avoid degrading or compromising the existing DDG 51 Flight IIA requirements. A substantial milestone achievement was reached on 28 October 2014 when the Flight III CDD was validated and approved by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC). The Flight III CDD requirements reflect an achievable set of goals for upgrading the DDG 51 Class with the AMDR S-Band. The new requirements that could only be met by modifying the ship include the IAMD, Space, Weight, Power, and Cooling Service Life Allowance (SWaP-C SLA), Manpower, and Alternate Warfare Commander requirements. The majority of the remaining CDD requirements are met by the current DDG 51 Class design.

Most Recent AEGIS Baselines
Most Recent AEGIS Baselines

ECP development is a fundamental systems engineering approach; an approach currently implemented in the DDG 51 program that has been continuously updated and improved since the program’s inception in the early 1980s and has resulted in the successful delivery of 62 DDG 51 Class destroyers. The last three ships of the FY13-17 MYP are designated as Flight III beginning with one of the FY16 ship. The Flight III is a modified repeat of the existing baseline and will be centered on the addition of an IAMD capability in the form of the AMDR-S, associated enhanced combat systems elements and requisite supporting HM&E changes. These changes will be incorporated via discrete ECPs with the same proven processes and rigor that produced successful Flight II and IIA upgrades to the class.

Flight III CDD Requirements Summary
Flight III CDD Requirements Summary

The AMDR suite consists of an S-Band radar (AMDR-S), X-Band radar (SPQ-9B), and a Radar Suite Controller (RSC). AMDR-S is a new development IAMD radar providing sensitivity for long-range detection and engagement of advanced threats. The X-Band radar is a horizon-search radar based on existing technology. The RSC provides radar resource management and coordination for both S and X-Band, and interface to the combat system. The SPQ-9B, radar is already slated for installation on the FY14 Flight IIA ships.

AMDR System Overview
AMDR System Overview

AIU – Array Interface Unit

APDU – Array Power Distribution Unit

CEU – Cooling Electronics Unit

DBFS – Digital Beamforming System

DSPS – Digital Signal Processing System

FTS – Frequency Time System

MPDU – Main Power Distribution Unit

RCPS – Radar Control Processing Subsystem

RSC – Radar Suite Controller

RTSS – Real-Time Simulation Subsystem

UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supply