Bell Boeing, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, and Boeing, was awarded a U.S. Navy contract for five Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to be delivered to Japan, marking the first sale of the aircraft through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program. The contract for the Block C aircraft (the first five of up to 17 MV-22 Ospreys) includes support, training, and equipment. The versatile V-22 tiltrotor will allow Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force greatly enhanced capabilities, while providing an ideal platform for relief efforts in response to natural disasters.
«The Bell Boeing team is honored to have Japan as the first international customer for the V-22 tiltrotor», said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter. «The distinct performance envelope of the V-22 will provide Japan with an ideal solution when the need arises. When assets are required on-target in a location without an airstrip, the self-deployable Osprey provides customers with an unrivaled combination of speed, range, and payload to execute a variety of missions».
The V-22 is currently in service with the United States Marine Corps (MV-22) and the United States Air Force Special Operations Command (СМ-22). This year, the United States Navy announced their decision to procure 44 V-22 aircraft.
«This is an important day for the Bell Boeing team in Japan and for the U.S.-Japan Alliance», said Shelley Lavender, president of Boeing Military Aircraft. «The V-22 redefines what’s operationally possible for a country, and we’re looking forward to delivering this capability to Japan as we continue our enduring partnership there».
The Osprey’s mission capabilities include troop transport, disaster relief, personnel recovery, medical evacuation, logistics support, and executive transport.
Fuselage: 57.3 feet/17.46 m
Stowed: 63.0 feet/19.20 m
Rotors turning: 84.6 feet/25.78 m
Stowed: 18.4 feet/5.61 m
Nacelles vertical: 22.1 feet/6.73 m
Stabilizer: 17.9 feet/5.46 m
38.1 feet/11.6 m
Performance @ 47,000 lbs/21,318.8 kg
Maximum Cruise Speed, Sea Level (SL)
270 knots/311 mph/500 km/h
Maximum Rate of Climb (RC), A/P mode SL
4,100 feet per minute/1,250 m/min
Service Ceiling, ISA*
24,000 feet/7,315 m
OEI** Service Ceiling, ISA*
9,500 feet/2,896 m
HOGE*** Ceiling, ISA*
5,700 feet/1,737 m
428 NM/492 miles/793 km – MV-22 Block C with 24 troops, ramp mounted weapon system, SL STD, 20 min loiter time
Take-Off, Vertical, Maximum
52,600 lbs/23,859 kg
Take-Off, Short, Maximum
57,000 lbs/25,855 kg
60,500 lbs/27,443 kg
Cargo Hook, Single
10,000 lbs/4,536 kg
Cargo Hook, Dual Capability
12,500 lbs/5,670 kg
1,721 Gal/6,513 L
2025 Gal/7,667 L
AE1107C (Rolls-Royce Liberty)
AEO**** VTOL***** normal power
6,150 shp/4,586 kW
Cockpit – crew seats
2 MV-22/3 CV-22
Cabin – crew seat/troop seats
* International Standard Atmosphere
** One Engine Inoperative
*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect
**** All Engines Operating
***** Vertical Take-Off and Landing
The Air Force Special Operations Command acquired 50 CV-22 variants, with enhanced capabilities tailored for their unique mission requirements. The CV-22 reached initial operational capability in 2009, while the Marines’ variant deployed in late 2007
Lockheed Martin demonstrated its multi-mode Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), engaging two laser-designated stationary targets during recent Government-led flight tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
In the first test, the missile flew four kilometers, engaged its precision-strike, semi-active laser and hit the stationary target. During the second flight, the missile flew four kilometers, acquired the target using its precision strike, semi-active laser while simultaneously tracking the target with its millimeter wave radar, and hit the stationary target.
«These flight tests demonstrate the maturity of Lockheed Martin’s JAGM design and prove our risk-mitigation success and readiness for production», said Frank St. John, vice president of Tactical Missiles and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «Our innovative, affordable JAGM solution will provide operational flexibility and combat effectiveness, keeping the warfighter ahead of the threat».
The risk-reduction flight tests are critical to Lockheed Martin’s performance on the U.S. Army’s Continued Technology Development program in providing warfighters with enhanced accuracy and increased survivability against stationary and moving targets in all weather conditions.
Lockheed Martin recently submitted its JAGM Engineering and Manufacturing Development and Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) proposal to the U.S. Army. Contract award is expected later this year.
Lockheed Martin’s JAGM will be manufactured on existing production lines. The modularity and open architecture of the company’s JAGM design readily support a low-risk path to a tri-mode seeker, should the Army’s Incremental Acquisition Strategy require it in the future.
Joint Air-to-Ground Missile
The Lockheed Martin JAGM multi-mode guidance section offers enhanced performance on tomorrow’s battlefield. Our multi-mode seeker provides an improved Semi-Active Laser (SAL) sensor for precision-strike and a fire-and-forget Millimeter Wave (MMW) radar for moving targets in all-weather conditions. These new sensors have been integrated into our JAGM guidance section and mated with our AGM-114R missile bus and demonstrated during multiple guided flight tests.
Fire-and-forget engagement modes significantly increase JAGM user survivability against threat defenses in GPS denied and austere communications environments. JAGM can engage multiple stationary and moving targets, in the presence of adverse weather, battlefield obscurants and advanced countermeasures. Laser and radar guided engagement modes allow JAGM users to strike accurately across wide target sets and reduce collateral damage. JAGM’s target sets include moving and stationary armor, air defense units, patrol craft, artillery, transporter erector/launchers, radar sites and Command & Control (C2) nodes in addition to bunkers and other structures in urban and complex terrain.
The modularity of Lockheed Martin’s proven, low-risk JAGM design ensures continued affordability in support of the Army’s incremental acquisition strategy and the Department of Defense Better Buying Power initiatives.
SAL sensor provides precision-point accuracy.
MMW sensor provides robust capability against countermeasures and enhances accuracy in clear and adverse weather versus moving targets.
Fire-and-forget capability supports rapid-fire launches at multiple targets and increases survivability.
Lock-on before and lock-on after launch maximizes operational engagement and flexibility while minimizing collateral damage.
A modular seeker design independent of the missile bus offers rapid response to future requirements.
When paired with the Hellfire II missile bus, the JAGM guidance section is fully compatible with all Hellfire platforms, including the AH-64D/E Apache and AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters and MQ-1C Gray Eagle and MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).
The Right Honourable Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, visited BAE Systems on July 10 and toured the latest Astute class submarine. HMS Artful is the third of seven highly sophisticated Astute class submarines being built by the Company for the UK Royal Navy. The remaining four are under construction at its site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
The 7,400-tonne nuclear-powered attack submarine is undergoing final preparations before leaving for its operational base at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, in Faslane, Scotland. From there, it will undergo sea trials, when its full range of capabilities will be tested under the control of its Commanding Officer, Commander Scott Bower. Artful’s sister submarines, HMS Astute (S119) and HMS Ambush (S120), are already operating out of Faslane.
Mr. Fallon, who also visited BAE Systems’ giant build hall in which final assembly of each 318-feet-long/97-meter-long submarine takes place, said: «The Astute submarine programme is a key part of our £163 billion plan to ensure that our armed forces have the equipment they need. HMS Artful (S121) will now join HMS Astute (S119) and HMS Ambush (S120), helping to keep Britain safe. The next four boats are already under construction, securing thousands of jobs and showing our commitment to increase defence spending each year for the rest of the decade».
BAE Systems, which now employs more than 7,000 people at its Submarines facility, is responsible for designing, building, testing and commissioning the Astute class – the most capable attack submarines ever built for the UK Royal Navy. Each submarine packs a range of world-class technologies and is armed with Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk land attack missiles.
Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «It was a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to BAE Systems and to accompany him on a tour of Artful and our world-class submarine building facilities. The design and build of a nuclear powered submarine is the pinnacle of technology, engineering and manufacturing excellence. It is a hugely complex programme of enormous national significance. When Artful was launched, it was done so in a more advanced state of build than any other submarine we have built, so it was a proud moment to be able showcase the progress we are making across the Astute programme and we will continue to look for ways of improving our efficiency and effectiveness. Today’s visit is recognition of the hard work by everyone at BAE Systems, our submarine partners, the Royal Navy crew and the hundreds of businesses in our supply chain network».
This is an exciting time for BAE Systems in Barrow. As well as Astute, the Company is undertaking £300 million-plus of facilities investment in readiness for the start of construction on Successor – the programme to replace the current fleet of Vanguard submarines, which carry the UK’s strategic national deterrent. BAE Systems is leading the design phase of this programme and has more than 1,500 people currently working on it.
One of the new Jehu class landing ships, which the Finnish Navy received in June, was presented to the audience for the first time on 9 July in the South Harbour of Helsinki.
The multipurpose and fast Jehu class represents the newest capacity of the Navy. The ships can be used for troop transports, medical and evacuation tasks, landing, sea surveillance and escorting tasks, as well as for battle and battle support missions. The Jehu boats can be used both in the archipelago and coastal areas and on the high seas.
The Jehu class strengthens the capacity of the coastal troops of the Navy. The capacity of the Navy’s warships is good at the moment, but during the next decade a remarkable part of the warship fleet will have to be replaced by new capacities.
Combat Support Service Vessel (CSSV)
The latest vessel developed by Marine Alutech is the Watercat M18 Armored Modular Craft (AMC). This is a new landing craft, which is designed to fulfill all modern requirements for future combat support vessels. It has been recently announced that Marine Alutech will deliver 12 pcs of these Watercat M18 AMC multipurpose high-speed landing crafts to Finnish Navy during 2014-2016. The vessels will be powered by two 660 kW Scania diesel engines and feature Rolls-Royce waterjet propulsion.
The Watercat M18 AMC is suitable for troop transportation, medical and evacuation tasks, landing operations, patrolling and escort tasks, as well as combat and battle support scenarios. The vessel has been specially designed for archipelagic, coastal and offshore conditions with an effective heating and air-conditioning system allowing heat and extreme cold, arid or humid climates.
65.3 feet/19.9 m
14.1 feet/4.3 m
3.6 feet/1.1 m
32 t (full load)
2 × Scania DI16 077, 900 hp/660 kW
2 × ZF 500
2 × Waterjet, Rolls-Royce 40A3
Fischer Panda 25i PMS
>40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h (lightship)
35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h (full load)
Remote Weapon System (RWS)
Hull and deck: Aluminium
Satellite navigation and positioning systems, radar, forward looking sonar, depth sounder, Automatic Identification System (AIS), autopilot and onboard camera monitoring system
Comprehensive radio equipment such as sea, authority, military and data communications (Inmarsat-C). Onboard communication is provided by an intercom system
Vessel has Ballistic- and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) protection systems, Remote controlled Weapon Station (RWS) and pedestals for manual operated weapons
As drone technology gains greater public attention, along with its potential for hostile action against American targets, U.S. Army engineers adapt ongoing research to counter aerial systems that could threaten Soldiers.
At Picatinny Arsenal, the Extended Area Protection and Survivability Integrated Demonstration, or EAPS ID, began as an Army Technology Objective program. The goal was to develop and demonstrate technology that could support a gun-based solution to Counter Rockets, Artillery and Mortars, or C-RAM.
Research into enhanced C-RAM technology had the goal of extending the range and probability of success against the incoming threat.
«The smaller and smaller the protective area, the more efficient the gun systems become compared to missiles», said Manfredi Luciano, the project officer for the EAPS system. «You don’t need as many, and the gun system has certain logistics advantages».
As news reports about potential airborne threats to the White House have stirred public awareness of such threat to U.S. interests, ongoing technology aimed at countering rockets, artillery and mortars could be used to defend against Unmanned Aerial Systems, or UAS, Luciano said.
«It’s unbelievable how much it’s exploded», Luciano said about the use of drones. «Every country has them now, whether they are armed or not or what level of performance. This is a huge threat has been coming up on everybody. It has kind of almost sneaked up on people, and it’s almost more important than the Counter-RAM threat».
The UAS challenge has grown exponentially in the last decade as the world’s inventory of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has grown from approximately 20 system types and 800 aircraft in 1999, to more than 200 system types and approximately 10,000 unmanned aircraft in 2010, said Nancy Elliott, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Army’s Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Although a missile-based C-RAM defense system has been selected as the technical approach for the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 Intercept Program of Record, the gun alternative continued to mature as force-protection technologies for other potential applications. In response to proliferation, UAS threats were recently added to the project scope of gun-based force protection.
Luciano and his team, working on enhanced area protection and survivability, tested an integrated system April 22 by shooting down a class 2 Unmanned Aerial System using command guidance and command warhead detonation at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. Funding for development and testing was provided by the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Technology Office.
The EAPS ARDEC gun alternative envisions a 50-mm cannon to launch command-guided interceptors. The system uses a precision tracking radar interferometer as a sensor, a fire control computer, and a radio frequency transmitter and receiver to launch the projectile into an engagement «basket».
«In order to minimize the electronics on board the interceptor and to make it cheaper, all the ‘smarts’ are basically done on the ground station», Luciano said. «The computations are done on the ground, and the radio frequency sends the information up to the round».
The Picatinny area-protection systems track both the incoming threat and interceptor, then compute an ideal trajectory correction for the interceptor to maximize probability of mission success. A thruster on the interceptor/projectile is used for course correction. The ground station uplinks the maneuver and detonation commands, while receiving downlinked assessment data.
The interceptor takes the commands and computes the roll orientation and time to execute thruster and warhead detonation. The warhead has a tantalum-tungsten alloy liner to form forward propelled penetrators for defeat of C-RAM targets, and steel body fragments to counter unmanned aerial systems.
The April 22, 2015, test was performed with a single shot Mann barrel. The UAS was flying a surveillance-type track and was engaged on the approach path leg. The airplane fell precipitously from its flight.
«The integrated test demonstrated a proof-of-principle that direct fire, command guided ammunition can intercept and negate aerial threats», Luciano said.
«Technologies from the EAPS gun alternative Army Technology Objective may potentially be used for both Army and Navy air defense systems», he added.
Luciano said that during another upcoming test, the engineers would try to intercept and destroy an unmanned aerial system under a more difficult engagement scenario.
Airbus Helicopters and Patria, the company responsible for the local assembly of the NH90, marked the important milestone of the delivery of the 20th and last serial NH90 during a ceremony with the customer at Patria’s facility in Halli, Finland.
«These helicopters are used for various tasks of the Finnish Defense Forces such as national defense, international crisis management and for Search And Rescue (SAR) missions» said Jussi Ristimäki, FDF Program Manager for the NH90.
The very first flight of a Finnish NH90 took place in the Airbus Helicopters facility in Marignane in 2004 and the Finnish customer took delivery of the first NH90 in 2008. The remaining 19 helicopters were assembled by Patria in Finland. The contract was signed in 2001 for an order of 20 NH90 in Tactical Troop Transport (TTH) version for the Finnish Armed Forces and they have reached more than 7,500 flight hours since delivery.
«The delivery of this last serial helicopter is a significant milestone for the Finnish NH90 Program, and now moving forward we will concentrate on the retrofit program, which is already in progress», said Ernst Heckert, NHIndustries and Airbus Helicopters Program Manager for the Finnish NH90.
The NH90 is well suited for the severe metrological conditions in Northern Europe. Flying through the clouds causes ice to form, making the NH90’s deicing system indispensable for the Finnish winter. In addition, whiteout conditions are a common occurrence during helicopter missions in this cold climate, and clouds, fog, and snow can severely obstruct visibility. The NH90’s state-of-the art 4-axis autopilot and the fly-by-wire controls contribute to safety and maximum flight performance in such severe operating conditions. The NH90 is the first serial helicopter in the world to be equipped with Fly-By-Wire technologies, significantly reducing pilot workload and allowing for this state-of-the-art helicopter to be piloted with ease.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland (32%), Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), and Fokker (5.5%).
The NH90 – developed by Europe’s NHIndustries partnership (Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland, and Fokker) – was designed to meet NATO’s requirement for a modern medium-sized multi-role military helicopter for both land and maritime operations.
The common core vehicle for the Tactical Troop Transport (TTH) and the NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) versions is a twin-engine aircraft incorporating innovative features such as a full glass cockpit and Fly-By-Wire control system with 4-axis autopilot and advanced mission flight aids, along with on-board monitoring and diagnostics systems.
Benefitting from a modern approach to materials, the NH90’s composite fuselage has fewer parts and a lower structural weight, resulting in an endurance increase of 30% compared to a metallic fuselage, plus increased resistance to battle damage, among other benefits. The composite rotor blades have greater fatigue strength, damage tolerance and component lifetimes, as well as improved aerodynamic performance.
Overall dimensions (rotors turning)
64.18 feet/19.56 m
53.48 feet/16.30 m
17.42 feet/5.31 m
Maximum Gross Weight
23,369 lbs/10,600 kg
Alternate Gross Weight
24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
14,109 lbs/6,400 kg
9,260 lbs/4,200 kg
8,818 lbs/4,000 kg
Single or dual Rescue Hoist
595 lbs/270 kg
Rescue Hoist on ground
880 lbs/400 kg
7-Cell Internal System
4,486 lbs/2,035 kg
Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each)
882 lbs/400 kg
External Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each)
644 lbs/292 kg or 1,102 lbs/500 kg
6.56 feet/2.00 m
15.75 feet/4.80 m
5.18 feet/1.58 m
536.78 feet³/15.20 m³
Sliding doors opening
5.25 × 4.92 feet/1.60 × 1.50 m
Rear ramp opening
5.84 × 5.18 feet/1.78 × 1.58 m
NH90 General Performance (Basic Aircraft)
Maximum Cruise Speed*
162 knots/186 mph/300 km/h
Economical Cruise Speed*
140 knots/161 mph/260 km/h
Maximum Rate Of Climb*
2,200 feet/min/11.2 m/sec
One Engine Inoperative (OEI) Rate Of Climb 2 min Rating*
850 feet/min/4.3 m/sec
OEI Rate Of Climb Continuous Rating at 6,560 feet/2,000 m*
AgustaWestland announced on July 8 that the Armed Forces of Malta have placed an order for their third AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter. The aircraft will primarily be used to perform maritime border control missions.
The best-in-class AW139 was selected following an extensive evaluation process thanks to its unmatched capability, performance and value for money characteristics. The overall fleet of three aircraft and a significant training package for pilots and technicians is part of the ongoing plan to strengthen the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Malta, who benefit from the European Borders Fund and Internal Security Fund Programmes. The introduction into service of the best and most modern helicopter for the task in its category is a major boost to national security and rescue operations.
The AW139 is fitted with a state-of-the-art equipment package for maritime patrol and Search And Rescue (SAR) missions that includes a high-definition Forward-Looking Infrared imaging (FLIR) system, search/weather radar, cabin mission console, naval transponder, search light, satellite communication (SATCOM) system, a 4-axis autopilot with SAR modes, external rescue hoist and four bag floatation system. This state of the art intermediate twin-engine helicopter features the largest cabin in its category for greater mission flexibility and comfort. Litter layout options range from two to four in a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) configuration.
Advanced technology and impressive One Engine Inoperative (OEI) performance make the AW139 the intermediate twin-engine helicopter of choice. Two powerful PT6-67C turboshaft engines with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) minimize pilot workload and offer high power margins for maximum safety. Over 900 AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters have been sold to more than 220 customers in over 70 countries worldwide. More than 730 AW139s have been delivered.
The AW139 has been selected by and is now performing maritime/border patrol missions with a large number of operators in countries such as Italy, UK, USA, Spain, Estonia, Japan, Republic of Korea and Malaysia to name a few. The AW139, as the market leader in its class, is also widely used for offshore transport, passenger transport, law enforcement, emergency medical transport, VIP transport and firefighting.
The AW139 helicopter is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the AW169 and AW189. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of these models in areas such as training, maintenance and support.
16.66 m/54 feet 8 inch
4.98 m/16 feet 4 inch
13.8 m/45 feet 3 inch
2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C Turboshafts with FADEC
All Engines Operative (AEO) Take off power
2 × 1,252 kW/2 × 1,679 shp
OEI 2.5 min contingency power
1,396 kW/1,872 shp
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
6,400 kg/14,110 lbs
6,800 kg/14,991 lbs
Up to 15 in light order, or 8 deployable troops in combat order and 2 armed cabin crew for aircraft protection
Up to 4 (with 5 attendants)
3.4 m3/120 feet3
Performance: International Standard Atmosphere (ISA); Sea Level (S.L.); Maximum Gross Weight (MGW)
Velocity Never Exceed (VNE); Indicated Air Speed (IAS)
167 knots/192 mph/310 km/h
165 knots/190 mph/306 km/h
Rate of Climb
2,145 feet/min/10.9 m/s
Hovering Out of Ground Effect (HOGE)
8,130 feet/2,478 m
20,000 feet/6,096 m
OEI service ceiling
11,600 feet/3,536 m
573 NM/659 miles/1,061 km
5 h 13 min
* Rotors turning
** An optional MTOW (internal) of 6,800 kg/14,991 lbs is available as kit
*** No reserve, with Auxiliary fuel
The AW139M is the militarized version of the AW139
The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract worth $110.4 million to convert 36 M88A1 Recovery Vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation Systems (HERCULES) configuration.
«The HERCULES is an integral part of the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and essential to its recovery missions as the fleet becomes heavier», said John Tile, director of Recovery Programs at BAE Systems. «This award continues the Army’s stated objective to pure-fleet its M88s to the more capable HERCULES configuration».
The fleet of ABCT vehicles is getting heavier, making it increasingly important that the recovery fleet is upgraded to support it. The HERCULES, which provides recovery support to soldiers in the field, is the only vehicle able to recover the M1 Abrams tank and the heaviest Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) variants in a combat environment.
The M88 plays a critical role in the company’s efforts to maintain the Combat Vehicle Industrial Base by supporting a team of highly skilled professionals and protecting the affordability of the Army’s combat vehicles. The support of Congress and the Army to protect these vital capabilities through M88 upgrades helps sustain the workforce at BAE Systems’ facilities and ensures that they will be available for future programs.
Work on the contract is expected to begin immediately by the existing workforce and will take place primarily at the company’s York, Pennsylvania, and Aiken, South Carolina, facilities. Deliveries will begin in January 2017 and continue through October 2017.
The M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System (HERCULES) improved Recovery Vehicle is the recovery system of choice for today’s 70-ton combat vehicles. With the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system, HERCULES answers the need for cost-effective, self-supporting heavy recovery performance.
The HERCULES was the primary 70-ton recovery system during Operation Iraqi Freedom. And, U.S. troops found a few other creative uses for its capabilities when they used it to pull down the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad on April 9, 2003. HERCULES utilizes a hull designed for the recovery mission and thoroughly proven by U.S. Army testing. Stability and performance are unmatched by any alternate tank-based design.
HERCULES offers operational and logistics commonality with the existing M88A1 fleet, simplifying training and parts availability. Key upgrades include improved power-assisted braking, improved steering, improved electrical system and increased engine horsepower.
HERCULES features overlay armor protection, ballistic skirts, a longer 35-ton boom, a 140,000-pound/63,504-kg constant pull main winch with 280 feet/85 m of cable, and an auxiliary three-ton winch to aid main winch cable deployment. The M88A2 HERCULES is built and equipped to be the world’s recovery champion.
On 4 July 2015, in the presence of the Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando, the Fincantieri shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) hosted the launching ceremony for the «Romeo Romei» (S529) submarine, the last of the four U212A «Todaro» class twin units ordered to Fincantieri by the Central Unit for Naval Armament – NAVARM for the Italian Navy.
The ceremony was attended among others by the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, while Fincantieri was represented by Giuseppe Bono and Vincenzo Petrone, respectively CEO and Chairman, political and local civil authorities.
After the launching, outfitting works will be continued on the unit at the Integrated Naval shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia), leading to its delivery scheduled in the second half of 2016.
The submarine «Romeo Romei», as its twin unit «Pietro Venuti» launched last October at the Muggiano shipyard, will feature highly innovative technological solutions. It will be entirely built with amagnetic material, using the most modern silencing techniques to reduce its acoustic signature.
The «Romei» submarine
The «Romei» is the 102nd submarine built in the shipyard of Muggiano since 1907, when the Italian Royal Navy’s «Foca» submarine was launched. Since then, this shipyard stands out for naval vessels building, not only for the Italian Navy but also worldwide (Brasil, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark).
The «Romei» is part of the second pair of submarines to be built in chronological order, and follows about one year the «Pietro Venuti», currently under construction at the same shipyard in Muggiano. In the Navy’s fleet these vessels, whose delivery is scheduled in 2015 and 2016, will replace two submarines of the «Sauro» class (third series), built in the late 1980s.
The submarine building programme is the continuation of the project launched in 1994 in cooperation with the German Submarine Consortium, which has already led to the construction in the past years of six vessels for Germany and two for Italy – the «Todaro» and the «Scirè». These latter units, delivered by Fincantieri in 2006 and 2007 respectively, are already operating successfully as part of the Italian Navy’s fleet.
Like the other vessels in the series, the «Romei» features highly innovative technological solutions. It is built entirely of amagnetic material, using the most modern silencing techniques to reduce its acoustic signature. Additionally, it is equipped with a silent propulsion system based on fuel cell technology, producing energy through an oxygen-hydrogen reaction independently from external oxygen, ensuring a considerably higher submerged than the conventional battery-based systems. It also features a fully integrated electro-acoustic and weapon-control system, as well as a modern platform automation system.
«Romei» has a surface displacement of 1,509 tonnes, an overall length of 183.4 feet/55.9 meters, a maximum diameter of 23 feet/7 meters, and can exceed 16 knots/18 mph/30 km/h underwater. It has a 27-person crew.
187.5 feet/57.15 m
Length between perpendiculars
183.4 feet/55.9 m
Maximum breadth (on P.H.)
23 feet/7 m
Height overall (masts in)
38.96 feet/11.875 m
Surface displacement (ready to dive)
Lead cells battery banks (two sub-batteries)
1 synchronous motor with permanent magnet excitation
1 16 cylinder turbocharged diesel-generators set
Air-Independent Propulsion (A.I.P.) System with 8 + 1 Fuel Cell module
Minister for Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen officiated at the launching ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s first Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Independence, at the Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine)’s Benoi shipyard on July 3. The LMV was launched by Mrs. Ivy Ng, wife of Dr. Ng.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Ng highlighted that a strong and capable the Republic of Singapore Navy was critical in securing Singapore’s economic lifeline and protecting our sea lines of communication. He commended the professionalism and commitment of the people of the RSN, saying that it was because of their fervent belief of the mission, «that today we are able to stand here together amid peace and security of our surrounding seas». He also recognised the strong partnership between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the defence technology community and local industry partners for the LMV project. Dr. Ng added, «The LMVs are uniquely Singaporean, having been planned, conceptualised and built locally to meet our requirements».
The launch of Independence is a significant milestone in the RSN’s continued transformation to keep Singapore’s seas safe. The new LMVs are smarter and faster ships, equipped with sharper capabilities to further strengthen the RSN’s ability to ensure the seaward defence of Singapore. They possess lethal and non-lethal options to deliver calibrated responses to deter and defend against a wide range of threats. The advanced radars and sensors, as well as the bridge with a 360-degree out-of-window view, enable the LMVs to have an all-round visual awareness of its immediate surroundings in congested waters.
The LMVs – with its Integrated Command Centre comprising the Bridge, Combat Information Centre and Machinery Control Room – will boost operational effectiveness and efficiency, especially during maritime security operations. The networked-centric ships also possess numerous sense making and decision support systems, which are supported by a high level of automation, so that they can be manned by a leaner crew. In addition, logistics and engineering support were considered during the design of the Independence to enhance the operational readiness of the ship.
The first LMV is named «Independence» and continues the tradition set by our pioneers in safeguarding Singapore’s waters. The first ship that was acquired and built for the RSN in 1968 was a patrol craft named RSS Independence. This name was also inherited by the last of RSN’s patrol vessels. The LMV Independence will carry on the legacy of her predecessors to defend Singapore’s independence and protect our maritime interests.
Independence will be delivered to the RSN in 2016 and is expected to be fully operational by 2017. The keel for the second LMV was recently laid in May 2015. All eight LMVs are expected to be fully operational by 2020 and will replace the existing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs), which have served the RSN well for 20 years.
In addition, present at the ceremony were Second Minister for Defence Mr. Lui Tuck Yew, Minister of State for Defence Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han, senior officials from Ministry of Defence and the SAF, as well as members of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs.
Factsheet: Littoral Mission Vessel
In January 2013, Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd for the construction of eight littoral mission vessels (LMVs) for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). The eight LMVs are «uniquely Singapore» – built by ST Engineering’s subsidiary ST Marine (ST Marine) locally, based on a design jointly developed by ST Marine and Saab Kockums AB. The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is the overall programme manager and systems integrator for the LMV programme. The eight new LMVs will replace the RSN’s Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs), which have been in service for 20 years.
LMV Overview: Smarter, Faster, Sharper
The new LMVs are highly capable warships designed and equipped with advanced combat capabilities and technologies to further strengthen the RSN’s ability in the seaward defence of Singapore and protecting our sea lines of communication.
(A) Smarter Ship
Innovative Operating Concepts. The LMVs are designed with an Integrated Command Centre where the ships’ Bridge, Combat Information Centre and Machinery Control Room are co-located. The Integrated Command Centre integrates and synergises the management of navigation, engineering, and combat functions to achieve greater operational effectiveness and efficiency, especially during maritime security operations.
Innovative Logistics and Engineering Design. Key design elements for the LMV were incorporated to improve efficiency in logistics and engineering support. In «designing the support», the LMVs’ operational readiness will be enhanced as less time will be required for maintenance of the ships. One example is the stacked mast, where 90 percent of the parts that require regular maintenance are housed in an enclosed environment and easily accessible within the mast, instead of outside in most ships’ designs. The ship’s platform and combat systems’ health status can also be transmitted back to shore for centralised monitoring and prognosis of the systems to detect anomalies and plan for pre-emptive maintenance.
Advanced Sense-Making and Decision Support Systems. Numerous sense making and decision support systems, complemented by a high level of automation in the ship, are incorporated into the LMV’s combat and platform suite. This will enhance situational awareness and accelerate decision-making. The LMVs’ Combat Management System features a fusion and identification engine to better identify, track and manage contacts, and a threat evaluation weapon assignment engine to prioritise and assign the relevant weapons to counter threats. The LMVs are also designed with an advanced Integrated Platform Management System, which enhances operational effectiveness and is able to better manage consequences such as engineering defects, or fire and flooding situations.
Network-Centric Design. The LMVs are equipped with an advanced integrated communication and network system to enable the crew to communicate and share information on board. This includes tracking of the ship’s equipment and logistics status as well as crew movement. In addition, the LMVs will be connected to the larger Integrated Knowledge Command and Control network in the Singapore Armed Forces to share information with deployed forces and tap on the expertise from shore headquarters in areas such as operations and engineering support.
(B) Faster Speed
In terms of displacement, the LMVs are 2.5 times larger than the PVs and possess better sea-keeping capabilities to operate in higher sea state conditions. The LMVs also have greater endurance and are able to stay at sea for longer periods of time. In addition, the LMV’s ability to respond rapidly to maritime security incidents is further enhanced with its faster speed in excess of 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h and the ability to support a medium-lift helicopter. The LMVs are also highly manoeuvrable and can operate in confined and congested littoral waters effectively.
(C) Sharper Capabilities
More Versatile. The LMVs are versatile and can be quickly configured with mission modules to take on a wide spectrum of operations. For example, the LMVs can be configured to embark rigid hull inflatable boats, boarding teams and a helicopter to conduct maritime security operations. They could also be configured with medical modules to support Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Search-And-Rescue (SAR) operations. In addition, the LMVs may be deployed with unmanned systems for surveillance or mine countermeasure operations.
Calibrated Responses. The LMVs are equipped with both lethal and non-lethal options to deliver calibrated responses to deter or defend a wide range of threats. This ranges from long-range acoustics devices, water cannon system, small and large calibre guns, to anti-missile missiles.
Superior Surveillance Capabilities. Equipped with a three-dimensional surveillance radar system and two high-resolution navigation radars, the LMVs will be able to detect surface targets better in the congested environment. For target identification, the LMVs are equipped with a 360° panoramic day and night camera suite, comprising an all-round surveillance system and four electro-optics directors, and a 360° bridge that offers an unobstructed view to achieve all-round visual awareness of its immediate surroundings. This is essential in our congested waters where there is a high concentration of shipping and fishing activities amidst island groups.
The LMV programme is progressing well. The first LMV, Independence, was launched on 3 July 2015. The launch of Independence marked a significant milestone for the LMV programme. Following the launching, installation of combat systems on board Independence will commence before it undergoes sea trials. Independence is expected to be delivered to the RSN in 2016 and will be fully operational by 2017. All eight LMVs are expected to be fully operational by 2020.
262.5 feet/80 m
39.4 feet/12 m
9.8 feet/3 m
in excess of 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km (up to 14 days)
Thales NS100 3D Surveillance Radar
Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye Navigation Radar
STELOP 360º All-Round Surveillance System
STELOP Compass D Electro-Optic Director
MBDA MICA Anti-Air/Anti-Missile Missile System
OTO Melara 76-mm Gun
Rafael 25-mm Typhoon Gun
OTO Melara 12.7-mm Hitrole Gun
Remote Control Long Range Acoustic Device and Xenon Light