Police helicopter

On 19 October, the federal-state police of Baden-Württemberg took delivery of the very first H145 in police configuration at Airbus Helicopters’ industrial site in Donauwörth. The aircraft is the first of an order of six to be handed over to the launch customer.

H145 Polizei Baden-Württemberg in flight
H145 Polizei Baden-Württemberg in flight

«It is of the utmost importance for our police to be able to rely on the quality of their resources in order to meet the challenges of their daily missions. With the acquisition of a total of six new police helicopters, we guarantee the high quality standards of the squadron. I’m particularly pleased with the fact that with the world’s most modern police helicopter H145 Baden-Württemberg is once again a pioneer in terms of technical innovation in our country», said Reinhold Gall, Minister of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg.

As the new reference helicopter for law enforcement, the H145 features all-in-one capabilities: deployment of Special Forces units, VIP transport, external load, as well as observation and reconnaissance. It is equipped with a modern mission management system by Euroavionics that facilitates the multi-role capabilities in police missions. The MMS, in combination with comprehensive connectivity options such as LTE and Wi-Fi, makes the aircraft the most modern police helicopter on the market.

Its primary surveillance mission is supported by forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and daylight cameras, controlled by an on-board operator who also handles communications and data exchange with ground-based police resources.

«Now entering service for law enforcement operations, the Police Baden Württemberg will be using the H145’s capabilities for its most challenging missions», explained Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters in Germany. «In line with our company’s commitment to customer satisfaction, we have set up a dedicated logistic team available 24/7 to support mission execution of Police Baden Württemberg».

As one of the three largest German States in size and population, comprising the major cities of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Freiburg and Mannheim, the helicopter will cover an area of roughly 13,900 miles2/36,000 km2.

The H145 is the latest member of its family, incorporating new Arriel 2E engines and the company’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and tail rotor gearboxes, as well as the innovative digital avionics suite Helionix with 4-axis autopilot.

The federal-state police of Baden-Württemberg currently have a fleet of two EC155 and six MD902, which is to be succeeded by the H145. Police forces throughout the country will soon be operating an all-Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft fleet.

Airbus Helicopters is the global leader for the law enforcement market with 45 percent of the deliveries in the last ten years. In Europe, the light-twin H135 and H145 families are the most successful helicopters in this segment with approximately 40 percent of the in-service fleet.

H145 first flight
H145 first flight

 

Characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Length (rotor rotating) 44.72 feet/13.63 m
Fuselage length 38.35 feet/11.69 m
Height 13.12 feet/4 m
Main rotor diameter 36.09 feet/11 m
Width (blades folded) 8.89 feet/2.71 m
CAPABILITIES
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 8,157 lbs/3,700 kg
Useful Load 3,900 lbs/1,769 kg
Sling load 3,307 lbs/1,500 kg
Maximum seating 1/2 pilots + 10/9 troops
ENGINE
2 Turbomeca ARRIEL 2E turboshaft engines
Maximum Continuous Power (MCP) 2×771 shp/2×575 kW
Take-Off Power (TOP) 2×894 shp/2×667 kW
2 min One Engine Inoperative (OEI) 1×1,038 shp/1×775 kW
30 sec OEI-power 1×1,072 shp/1×800 kW
PERFORMANCE AT MTOW
Speed (Vne – never exceed speed) 135 knots/155 mph/250 km/h
Fast Cruise speed (Vh – maximum speed) 132 knots/152 mph/244 km/h
Maximum range 357 NM/411 miles/662 km
Hover ceiling OGE (TOP), ISA 8,858 feet/2,700 m
H145 delivery's ceremony
H145 delivery’s ceremony

Navy accepted Milwaukee

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) during a ceremony at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard October 16. Milwaukee is the sixth littoral combat ship to be delivered to the Navy and the third of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. Delivery marks the official transfer of LCS-5 from a Lockheed Martin-led team to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for November 21 in its namesake city.

The littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) slides into the Menominee River during a christening ceremony at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)
The littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) slides into the Menominee River during a christening ceremony at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)

«With each LCS delivered, we have succeeded in driving down costs by incorporating lessons learned to provide the Navy with a highly capable and flexible ship», said LCS program manager Captain Tom Anderson. «We are honored to place the Milwaukee in the able hands of her crew as they set sail for the ship’s commissioning».

Captain Warren R. Buller II, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One, was on hand to mark the occasion. «We are pleased to receive the future USS Milwaukee into the LCS class», said Buller. «Milwaukee is scheduled to conduct Full Ship Shock Trials before joining her sister littoral combat ships in their homeport of San Diego».

Buller’s squadron supports the operational commanders with warships ready for tasking by manning, training, equipping, and maintaining all littoral combat ships in the fleet.

Following commissioning, Milwaukee will be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), USS Coronado (LCS-4) and the future USS Jackson (LCS-6).

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.

The littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) is prepared for its christening ceremony December 18 at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard (U.S. Navy photo by Joe Mancini courtesy of Marinette Marine Corporation/Released)
The littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) is prepared for its christening ceremony December 18 at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard (U.S. Navy photo by Joe Mancini courtesy of Marinette Marine Corporation/Released)

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) makes waves during its acceptance trial. The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy (Photo by U.S. Navy)
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) makes waves during its acceptance trial. The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy (Photo by U.S. Navy)

 

Ship list

USS Freedom (LCS-1)

USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)

USS Detroit (LCS-7)

USS Little Rock (LCS-9)

USS Sioux City (LCS-11)

USS Wichita (LCS-13)

USS Billings (LCS-15)

USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)

USS St. Louis (LCS-19)

USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)

 

Laser weapon system

Because enemy aircraft and missiles can come from anywhere, a laser weapon system on a military aircraft will need to be able to fire in any direction. However, the laws of physics say that a laser only can engage targets in front of an aircraft that is travelling close to the speed of sound – unless atmospheric turbulence can be counteracted. That is exactly what Lockheed Martin has done in developing a prototype laser turret for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), paving the way for laser weapon systems on tactical aircraft.

A prototype turret developed by Lockheed Martin for DARPA and AFRL controls and compensates for air flow, paving the way for laser weapon systems on tactical aircraft. Here, a green low-power laser beam passes through the turret on a research aircraft (Photo: Air Force Research Laboratory)
A prototype turret developed by Lockheed Martin for DARPA and AFRL controls and compensates for air flow, paving the way for laser weapon systems on tactical aircraft. Here, a green low-power laser beam passes through the turret on a research aircraft (Photo: Air Force Research Laboratory)

The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control (ABC) turret is the first turret ever to demonstrate a 360-degree field of regard for laser weapon systems on an aircraft flying near the speed of sound. Its performance has been verified in nearly 60 flight tests conducted in 2014 and 2015 using a business jet as a low-cost flying test bed. As the aircraft travelled at jet cruise speeds, a low-power laser beam was fired through the turret’s optical window to measure and verify successful performance in all directions.

The design uses the latest aerodynamic and flow-control technology to minimize the impacts of turbulence on a laser beam. An optical compensation system, which uses deformable mirrors, then is used to ensure that the beam can get through the atmosphere to the target. Left unchecked, turbulence would scatter the light particles that make up a laser beam, much like fog diffuses a flashlight beam.

«This advanced turret design will enable tactical aircraft to have the same laser weapon system advantages as ground vehicles and ships», said Doug Graham, vice president of missile systems and advanced programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. «This is an example of how Lockheed Martin is using a variety of innovative technologies to transform laser devices into integrated weapon systems».

DARPA and AFRL will use the results of the flight tests in determining future requirements for laser weapon systems on high-speed aircraft and expanding their effectiveness.

Lockheed Martin is positioning laser weapon systems for success on the battlefield because of their advantages of speed, flexibility, precision and low cost per engagement. The corporation’s advances include the development and demonstration of precision pointing and control, line-of-sight stabilization and adaptive optics and high-power fiber lasers.

 

High Speed Support

Austal has rolled out the first of two 72-meter High Speed Support Vessels (HSSV’s) being built for the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO), on October 16, 2015 at the company’s Henderson Western Australia shipyard.

Austal has expertise in integrating complex systems into its ships
Austal has expertise in integrating complex systems into its ships

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the HSSV program successfully represents Austal’s capability to deliver competitive, customised defence solutions from proven designs for both domestic and export markets.

Mr. Bellamy commented, «The rollout of the first Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)-sized HSSV not only extends Austal’s naval vessel portfolio but further demonstrates our consistency in delivering major, multiple naval vessel programs, on schedule».

Based on the proven Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) platform, previously known as the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), the HSSV offers a range of capabilities to support naval operations, including helicopter operations, rapid deployment of military personnel and cargo, search and rescue operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.

Austal was awarded the US$124.9 million contract for the design, construction and integrated logistics support of the two HSSV’s in March 2014 and construction commenced in August 2014.

This first HSSV will be launched next week before undergoing final fit out and sea trials prior to delivery to the RNO early in 2016. The second HSSV is under construction and is on schedule for completion later in 2016.

Rollout of 72-meter High Speed Support Vessel
Rollout of 72-meter High Speed Support Vessel

Second Base

On October 14, 2015 General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, began construction on the second ship of the U.S. Navy’s newly reclassified Expeditionary Base Mobile (ESB) program.

ESB 3D Model
ESB 3D Model

The 785-foot/239.3-meter ship will be configured with a 52,000 square-foot/4,831 square-meter flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, mission planning spaces and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship will be capable of supporting multiple missions including Air Mine Counter Measures (AMCM), counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and U.S. Marine Corps crisis response. It will also support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, and will be upgraded to support MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft.

In 2011, General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded a contract from the Navy to design and build two Mobile Landing Platforms (MLP), the USNS Montford Point (ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (ESD-2). MLP was recently reclassified by the Navy as Expeditionary Transfer Docks (ESD). In 2012, a third MLP, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-1), was added to the contract and reconfigured as an ESB, or formerly known as a MLP Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB). All three ships have been delivered by NASSCO to the U.S. Navy.

Bud McKay, program manager; Dan Reed, manager of steel; Paola Gerardo, honoree; and Ian Busch, manager for initial design for naval architecture
Bud McKay, program manager; Dan Reed, manager of steel; Paola Gerardo, honoree; and Ian Busch, manager for initial design for naval architecture

 

General Characteristics

Builder NASSCO
Propulsion Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length 785 feet/239.3 m
Beam 164 feet/50 m
Displacement 78,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft 30 feet/9 m (fully loaded)
40 feet/12 m (load line)
Speed 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Range 9,500 nautical miles/10,932 miles/17,594 km
Crew 34 Military Sealift Command personnel
Accommodations 250 personnel
Honoree Paola Gerardo Measures First Cut for ESB-2
Honoree Paola Gerardo Measures First Cut for ESB-2

Rocket Engine Ban

According to DefenseNews, the Pentagon late last week refused to waive a law banning the use of Russian rocket engines for military satellite launches, rejecting a plea from United Launch Alliance (ULA). ULA, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing that provides spacecraft launch services to the U.S. government, has threatened to skip an upcoming Air Force competition for satellite launches unless it gets some relief from the ban. ULA relies on the Russian RD-180 rocket engine to power its Atlas V rocket, although it also builds a Delta IV rocket powered by U.S. company Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RS-68 engine.

The ULA uses Russian RD-180 rocket engines to power its Atlas 5 rocket (Photo: ULA)
The ULA uses Russian RD-180 rocket engines to power its Atlas 5 rocket (Photo: ULA)

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the other potential competitor for the Air Force’s GPS III Launch Services solicitation, part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. SpaceX has invested heavily over the past few years to develop its own Merlin engine to power its Falcon 9 rocket. Proposals for GPS III Launch Services are due November 16.

In response to recent Russian aggression, particularly Moscow’s annexation of Crimea last year, lawmakers in the fiscal 2015 defense budget banned the use of Russian RD-180 rocket engines for military satellite launches after 2019.

The Pentagon remains committed to maintaining two sources of launch services to ensure access to space, according to Lieutenant Commander Courtney Hillson, spokeswoman for the deputy secretary of defense. Department of Defense (DoD) will continue to evaluate the need for a waiver and consider a range of options, including possible sole-source contracts, to keep both companies in business, she continued.

«We are not planning at this time to issue a waiver lifting the prohibition against award of an EELV space launch services contract to a contractor intending to use a Russian manufactured engine, although we will continue to evaluate the need for such waiver, if deemed necessary», Hillson said in a statement emailed to Defense News on October 13.

«We will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to maintain assured access to space, to achieve the mutual goal of a healthy and competitive industrial base, and to ensure a rapid transition away from the Russian RD-180 engine».

 

Egyptian Mistral

On 10 October 2015, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of two Mistral-class projection and command ships (BPCs). After the delivery of a FREMM frigate and the construction of four GOWIND 2500 corvettes, currently on-going, this agreement strengthens the strategic relations with the Egyptian Navy, initiated by the Group in 2014. By 2020, the Egyptian Navy will deploy a fleet of at least seven combat ships designed and built by DCNS.

Less than a year after its controversial decision not to deliver two Mistral LHDs to Russia, France has found an alternative buyer in Egypt, and signed the formal sale contract on Saturday October 10
Less than a year after its controversial decision not to deliver two Mistral LHDs to Russia, France has found an alternative buyer in Egypt, and signed the formal sale contract on Saturday October 10

Hervé Guillou, Chairman and CEO of DCNS announced that: «After the contracts for the supply of four GOWIND corvettes and a FREMM frigate, we are proud that the Egyptian Navy continues to place its trust in us today by signing a contract for the delivery of two MISTRAL-class BPCs. With 7 combat ships already ordered to date and a latest-generation frigate already in operation in the Egyptian Navy, DCNS is thus participating in the modernization of the defence infrastructure of this strategic French ally».

The two projection and command ships (BPCs) ordered by the Egyptian Navy from DCNS will join their homeport in the summer of 2016, after the training of the future crews. This training will be given mainly over the 1st half of 2016 in Saint-Nazaire.

With regard to associated BPC support ships, DCNS will supply in particular four new-generation landing crafts (CTM NG), designed by the Group as an integrated system to an amphibious force organized around Mistral ships, and two fast landing crafts (EDAR), designed and built by CNIM.

 

A long-term partnership with the Egyptian Navy

Considering that the first of the four future GOWIND corvettes for the Egyptian Navy is already being built, that the other three will be assembled in Egypt in Alexandria and that the FREMM Tahya Misr frigate was already delivered to the Egyptian Navy on 23 June 2015, the signature of this new contract further strengthens the strategic partnership developed between DCNS and the Egyptian Navy.

It also has an onboard hospital, and can carry out large-scale humanitarian missions
It also has an onboard hospital, and can carry out large-scale humanitarian missions

By 2020, the Group will have supplied at least seven ships to Egypt contributing to the modernization of its defence mechanisms.

This strong partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the French Republic is reinforced by DCNS’ commitment to accompany the Egyptian Navy in the long term, especially with the unfailing support of dedicated service teams for the maintenance of main warships. The Group also states its presence in a wider project of industrial cooperation with the Egyptian party in the field of construction and maintenance of major program units.

Once again, due to this historical agreement, DCNS expects to build a partnership with the Egyptian Navy but also with Egyptian shipyards with which the Group intends to build a long-term cooperation. That is how DCNS has decided to invest in the Egyptian Industry to mutually develop the essential knowledge and means to support a leading Navy.

 

Technical characteristics of the Mistral-class ships

With a length of 653 feet/199 meters, a displacement of 23,000 tonnes and a speed in excess of 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h, the Mistral-class BPC is defined by its large carrying capacity.

Its highly capable communication system makes it the ideal command ship within a naval force
Its highly capable communication system makes it the ideal command ship within a naval force

The Mistral-class BPC is designed for force-projection, peacekeeping and humanitarian-support operations, and is equipped with a particularly modular command and control centre, featuring efficient communication systems that can be adapted to all shipboard headquarter configurations.

It also has an onboard hospital, and can carry out large-scale humanitarian missions. Its highly capable communication system makes it the ideal command ship within a naval force.

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Length overall 653 feet/199 m
Breadth 105 feet/32 m at the helicopter deck level
Maximum speed 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h
Full load displacement 23,000 tonnes
Complement 160 crew, 450 troops
Range at 15 knots 11,000 NM/12,659 miles/20,372 km
Carrying capacities 16 helicopters

 

The third in the trio

HMS Forth leads her sisters Medway and Trent, all three third-generation River-class patrol vessels. Work on October 09, 2015 began on the third and final ship in the trio, Trent, at the BAE yard in Govan as defence procurement Philip Dunne pressed the button to start a plasma cutter at work on sheets of steel.

The three vessels are ideal for performing maritime security in British territorial waters
The three vessels are ideal for performing maritime security in British territorial waters

Forth is already 50 per cent assembled in the neighbouring ship hall – her engines and pipes have now been fitted – and will be complete outwardly by the year’s end. Work piecing together Medway will began in the same building before 2015 is out.

Despite the River-class title, the trio are much closer to patrol ships BAE built for the Thai and Brazilian Navies than Tyne, Mersey, Severn and Clyde – although there are 28 enhancements, such as a stronger flight deck (so a Merlin can use it) and installing BAE’s new command system.

The 800 or so shipwrights and engineers involved with the trio are using lessons from the construction of blocks for carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

In addition, work on the three ships will act as a stepping-stone towards building the Type 26s, the successors to the Type 23 frigates, which begins next year.

«It doesn’t matter whether we building one of the biggest ships we have ever built, or the smallest – pride seeps through all the team. People in this business are very proud to be building warships», said Iain Stevenson, overseeing the construction of all three River-class ships.

Forth is due to join the Fleet in 2017, followed shortly afterwards by her younger sisters.

BAE Systems completed the delivery of three OPVs to the Brazilian Navy in 2013 based on a similar design to those now under construction for the Royal Navy
BAE Systems completed the delivery of three OPVs to the Brazilian Navy in 2013 based on a similar design to those now under construction for the Royal Navy

Aerial refueling

The KC-46A Pegasus notched another success this week when the systems at the heart of aerial refueling were demonstrated on Engineering, Manufacturing and Development 2 (EMD-2) with the deployment of both drogue systems and the boom. On October 8, EMD-2 successfully extended the drogue refueling baskets from both the Centerline Drogue System (CDS), located on the belly of the fuselage, and from the Wing Aerial Refueling Pods (WARP), located on the wing tips, for probe receiver aircraft. On October 9, EMD-2 extended the boom, the telescoping tube, which an operator on the tanker aircraft extends to receptacle-equipped receiver aircraft.

The KC-46A Pegasus deploys the centerline boom for the first time October 9, 2015. The boom is the fastest way to refuel aircraft at 1,200 gallons per minute (Boeing photo/John D. Parker)
The KC-46A Pegasus deploys the centerline boom for the first time October 9, 2015. The boom is the fastest way to refuel aircraft at 1,200 gallons per minute (Boeing photo/John D. Parker)

«The core mission of Pegasus is to fuel the fight, so deploying the boom and drogues signals real progress toward demonstrating the ability to pass fuel in flight», said Brigadier General Duke Z. Richardson, the program executive officer for tankers at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. «This sets the stage for the main act, which is hooking up to and refueling an aircraft in flight».

The rigid, centerline boom used on the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender, has been the Air Force standard for in-flight refueling since the 1950s. With a 1,200 gallons per minute transfer rate from the KC-46, the boom will be the fastest way to refuel. Like all previous tankers, the Pegasus can refuel a single aircraft at a time on the boom.

On the other hand, Air Force helicopters and all Navy and Marine Corps aircraft use the hose and drogue method of refueling. The two drogue systems on the KC-46, CDS and WARPs, pass fuel at a rate of 400 gpm, and the WARPs can refuel more than one aircraft at a time. The KC-46A is a leap forward, as it can conduct boom and drogue refueling on a single mission without landing to reconfigure.

«These capability gains are vital to the tanker mission in support of global reach and global power providing the U.S. military the ability to extend the range of aircraft to respond wherever it’s called to duty», said Colonel Christopher Coombs, the KC-46 system program manager. «This tanker will be able to refuel any fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter in the (Defense Department) fleet, while being able to take on fuel itself».

The Air Force contracted with Boeing in February 2011 to acquire 179 KC-46As to begin recapitalizing the aging tanker fleet. The program is currently working to meet the required assets available date, a milestone requiring 18 KC-46As and all necessary support equipment to be on the ramp, ready to support warfighter needs by August 2017.

The drogue systems are used to refuel helicopters along with U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft
The drogue systems are used to refuel helicopters along with U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor The Boeing Company
Power Plant 2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust 62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan 157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
Length 165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
Height 52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 415,000 lbs/188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs/140,614 kg
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs/96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load 207,672 lbs/94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity 65,000 lbs/29,484 kg
Maximum Airspeed 360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance 7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions 18 pallet positions
Air Crew 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment
The drogue system is used to refuel probe receiver aircraft
The drogue system is used to refuel probe receiver aircraft

Christening of Illinois

October 10, 2015, General Dynamics Electric Boat christened the USS Illinois (SSN-786), the 13th submarine of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia Class. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

First lady Michelle Obama christens submarine named after her home state of Illinois
First lady Michelle Obama christens submarine named after her home state of Illinois

The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at Electric Boat’s Groton shipyard with the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus as the ceremony’s principal speaker. First Lady Michelle Obama is the ship’s sponsor and she christened the ship by breaking a bottle of Illinois sparkling wine against the submarine’s bow before an audience of approximately 7,500 people.

USS Illinois (SSN-786) will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2016.

«We are honored to have the First Lady as our sponsor», said Electric Boat President Jeffrey Geiger. «I’m proud to show her that this submarine is the embodiment of our team, whose innovation, ingenuity and unrelenting work ethic is unmatched».

Virginia-class submarines are among the most effective platforms in the U.S. Navy’s portfolio. These submarines are equipped to wage multi-dimensional warfare around the globe. In addition to anti-submarine, anti-surface ship and counter-mine warfare, Illinois will support surveillance, special operations and covert strike missions.

Electric Boat has established standards of excellence in the design, construction and lifecycle support of U.S. Navy submarines. The company’s primary locations are in Groton, New London, Conn., and Quonset Point, R.I. Its current workforce is approximately 14,000 employees.

Submarine Illinois reaches another milestone, Pressure Hull Complete, on December 16, 2014, when all hull sections are joined to form a single watertight unit
Submarine Illinois reaches another milestone, Pressure Hull Complete, on December 16, 2014, when all hull sections are joined to form a single watertight unit

 

General Characteristics

Builder Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 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-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 × 21-inch/533-mm torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)
Electric Boat workers prepare submarine Illinois for rollout on July 24, 2015
Electric Boat workers prepare submarine Illinois for rollout on July 24, 2015

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block I

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-774 Virginia EB 8-16-03 10-23-04 Portsmouth, New Hampshire
SSN-775 Texas NNS 7-31-05 9-9-06 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-776 Hawaii EB 6-19-06 5-5-07 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina NNS 4-21-07 5-3-08 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered

Several Connecticut and Rhode Island officials, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus spoke at the ceremony at the Groton shipyard of Electric Boat
Several Connecticut and Rhode Island officials, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus spoke at the ceremony at the Groton shipyard of Electric Boat

 

Block II

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-778 New Hampshire EB 6-21-08 10-25-08 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-779 New Mexico NNS 12-13-08 11-21-09 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-780 Missouri EB 12-5-09 7-31-10 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-781 California NNS 11-6-10 10-29-11 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-782 Mississippi EB 12-3-11 6-2-12 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-783 Minnesota NNS 10-27-12 9-7-13 Norfolk, Virginia
Float off begins for submarine Illinois on Aug. 7, 2015
Float off begins for submarine Illinois on Aug. 7, 2015

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15
SSN-787 Washington NNS Under Construction
SSN-788 Colorado EB Under Construction
SSN-789 Indiana NNS Under Construction
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction
The emblem of the USS Illinois (SSN-786)
The emblem of the USS Illinois (SSN-786)

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon NNS Under Construction
SSN-794 Montana
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover
SSN-796 New Jersey
SSN-797 Iowa
SSN-798 (Unnamed)
SSN-799 Idaho
SSN-800 (Unnamed)
SSN-801 (Unnamed)
The first description of a U.S. warship christening is that of Constitution, «Old Ironsides», at Boston on October 21, 1797. As the ship slipped into the water, the sponsor, Captain James Sever, broke a bottle of Madeira over the bowsprit
The first description of a U.S. warship christening is that of Constitution, «Old Ironsides», at Boston on October 21, 1797. As the ship slipped into the water, the sponsor, Captain James Sever, broke a bottle of Madeira over the bowsprit

 

Block V

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-802 (Unnamed)
SSN-803 (Unnamed)
SSN-804 (Unnamed)
SSN-805 (Unnamed)

It took her three tries before the determined First Lady Michelle Obama successfully cracked the bottle, causing an immediate eruption of sparkling wine