Travelling to Sydney

NUSHIP Adelaide, one of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), left BAE Systems Williamstown (17 June) to begin sea trials. After some initial trials in Port Phillip Bay, HMAS Adelaide (L01) will spend ten days on the water travelling to Sydney.

The second ship, HMAS Adelaide, is planned to commission in 2016
The second ship, HMAS Adelaide, is planned to commission in 2016

The current testing precedes a second period of sea trials in August, ahead of delivery to the Royal Australian Navy later this year. The sea trials are conducted under a number of scenarios; some require the ship in certain conditions and/or water depths while others require the ship’s systems in specific configurations.

In Sydney, HMAS Adelaide (L01) will be dry docked so her hull and flight deck can be cleaned and painted. NUSHIP Adelaide will then set sail and undertake more sea trials on the return voyage to Williamstown, arriving in mid-July. The August sea trials will focus on communication and combat systems.

BAE Systems Director of Maritime, Bill Saltzer said: «We will undertake approximately 240 hours of testing over 20 days to ensure all systems perform to their capability. Some of the trials will run concurrently and cover everything from basic systems operations such as alarms, to the ship’s manoeuvrability while at sea. We are on track to deliver NUSHIP Adelaide at the end of September this year. The ship is even more ready than HMAS Canberra (L02) was for her first sea trials, reinforcing that we have implemented lessons learned from the first of class and we have continued to improve our productivity».

The LHDs are the largest warships ever to be built for the RAN. As the prime contractor, BAE Systems has worked closely with the Defence Materiel Organization to deliver the project with subcontractors Navantia, which constructed the hulls in Spain, SAAB and L3, which supplied the combat and communications systems respectively.

These 27,000-tonne ships will be able to land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and watercraft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores
These 27,000-tonne ships will be able to land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and watercraft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores

 

Platform Characteristics

Length Overall                                                                          757 feet/230.8 m

Length Waterline                                                                     680 feet/207.2 m

Beam                                                                                               105 feet/32 m

Design Draft                                                                                23.5 feet/7.18 m

Full Load Displacement                                                         27,831 tonnes

Crew and Embarked Forced Accommodation         1,403

 

Machinery

Propulsion                 2 × Siemens 11,000 kW PODs

Bowthruster             2 × 1,500 kW Brunvoll/Siemens motors

Stabilisers                   2 × Fincantieri

Generators                         1 × 22,000 kW GE LM2500 Gas Turbine and                                                      2 × 7,680 kW Diesel

Integrated Platform Management System              Navantia – Sistemas

Fresh Water              6 × Reverse Osmosis Plants (each 25 tonnes/day)

Sewage                         2 × Treatment Plants

The largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy, the LHDs are being built as a collaboration between Navantia and BAE Systems – Maritime
The largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy, the LHDs are being built as a collaboration between Navantia and BAE Systems – Maritime

 

Performance

Maximum Speed                                   20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h

Economic Speed                                    15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h

Maximum Range                                   9,250 NM/10,644 miles/17,131 km

Endurance                                                45+ days

 

Capacity

Flight Deck                                                            4,750 m²/51,128.57 feet²

Dock (including ramp)                                    1,165 m²/12,540 feet²

Heavy Cargo Garage                                       1,410 m²/12,270.86 feet²

Light Cargo Garage                                          1,880 m²/20,236 feet²

Hangar                                                                      990 m²/10,656.27 feet²

Garages, Hangar and Well Dock               1,350 lane metre (2.9 m wide)

General Store Rooms                                       1,079 m²/11,614.26 feet²

Future Growth Margin                                    672 tonnes

The flight deck has been configured with six spots on the port side for medium sized aircraft such as the NRH 90 or Blackhawk, which allows for simultaneous take-off and landing operations; alternatively it can support simultaneous take-off and landing operations of four CH-47 Chinooks
The flight deck has been configured with six spots on the port side for medium sized aircraft such as the NRH 90 or Blackhawk, which allows for simultaneous take-off and landing operations; alternatively it can support simultaneous take-off and landing operations of four CH-47 Chinooks

Mighty engine

The 65,000-tonne future flagship of the Royal Navy has undergone months of preparation work by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) to start the first of her four diesel engines, which are directly coupled to the generators. Together, each power unit weighs approximately 200 tonnes – the weight of two medium size passenger jets.

The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was named on 4 July 2014, with her ship commissioning planned for 2017, and an initial operating capability expected in 2020
The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was named on 4 July 2014, with her ship commissioning planned for 2017, and an initial operating capability expected in 2020

Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne, officially started the first of the ship’s four diesel generators at the home of the UK’s aircraft carrier programme in Rosyth, Scotland on June 25, bringing the ship to life for the first time.

He also announced that BAE Systems has been awarded a £5.5 million contract to install a new Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) to assist in the controlling and monitoring of all ship movements within Portsmouth Harbour and the Eastern Solent to prepare for the arrival of the carrier, around the end of 2016, beginning of 2017.

Mr. Dunne said: «It is a real pleasure to be back in Scotland, home of the UK’s shipbuilding industry, to witness the impressive progress that is being made on our new aircraft carriers. Powering up the diesel generator today marks an important milestone on the journey to bring these highly versatile ships into service with our Armed Forces. They will be the largest, most capable and effective surface warships ever constructed in the United Kingdom. The build programme is supporting thousands of jobs across the country, with over 4,000 of those jobs at Rosyth and the Clyde».

The diesel generator sets will provide sufficient electrical power to drive the ship at cruise speeds (25 knots/29 mph/46.3 km/h), but when higher speed is required, two Gas Turbine Alternators will also be used. Together they will produce 109 MW of power, enough to power a medium-sized town.

Rear Admiral Henry Parker, DE&S Director of Ship Acquisition, said: «Every milestone achieved on HMS Queen Elizabeth brings us a step closer to her becoming an operational warship. A great deal of hard work has taken place to bring us to this stage and, with good progress also being made on HMS Prince Of Wales, we are moving ever closer towards these magnificent ships joining the Fleet and becoming the centerpiece of Britain’s future military capability».

The separation and distribution of power generation machinery on the QE Class increases the survivability of the ships, while the electric propulsion system enables the prime movers to operate more efficiently, reducing less fuel consumption and running costs
The separation and distribution of power generation machinery on the QE Class increases the survivability of the ships, while the electric propulsion system enables the prime movers to operate more efficiently, reducing less fuel consumption and running costs

To the end of May 2015, the Ministry of Defence had paid around £3.12 billion to BAE Systems on the Clyde (c. £1.925 billion) and to Babcock at Rosyth (c £1.194 billion) on the Queen Elizabeth Carrier (QEC) programme. Our estimates for the level of remaining work in Scottish yards are currently being updated. QEC work is estimated to support directly some 4,000 jobs and hundreds of apprentices at the Rosyth and Clyde-based shipyards.

The VTMS contract is the latest development in the partnering agreement between BAE Systems, the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence (MoD) to modernise HM Naval Base Portsmouth and prepare for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08).

The new system installation, which is to be completed early 2016, is designed to provide the Queen’s Harbour Master and the Vessel Traffic Service team with the situational awareness they require to control the vessels in their operational area.

Following sea trials (from 2017) and First of Class Flying Trials for helicopters and the F-35B Lightning II (starting in 2018), HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) will undertake a coherent build up towards achieving an Initial Carrier Strike Capability in 2020.

Second of class HMS Prince Of Wales (R09) is now almost half-complete at 30,000 tonnes, the forward island was installed in May 2015 forming the iconic carrier shape of the vessel. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) of HMS Prince Of Wales (R09) is expected in 2023.

The aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) and HMS Prince Of Wales (R09) are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.

Main Diesel Generator Installation
Main Diesel Generator Installation

 

Weapons and sensors

Mission systems complex

Artisan 3D medium range radar

S1850m long-range radar

Navigation radar

Highly mechanized weapon handling system

Phalanx automated close-in weapons systems

30-mm guns & mini guns to counter seaborne threats

 

Mission capability

Capacity to accommodate up to 40 aircraft

280-m flight deck, capable of landing Chinook and Merlin helicopters

Aviation store

Hangar, capable of accommodating and maintaining fixed and rotary wing aircraft

Aircraft lifts (forward and aft)

Diesel generator on board HMS Queen Elizabeth
Diesel generator on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

 

Propulsion

2 × Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines (36 MW/48,000 hp)

4 × Wartsila diesel generator sets (2× 9 MW/12,000 hp & 2 × 11 MW/15,000 hp)

2 × 33 tonne propellers

4 × advanced induction motors

 

Accommodation

Accommodation for 1,600 personnel

Dedicated accommodation and facilities for embarked forces

Hospital area incorporating eight bed medical suite, operating theatre and dental surgery

Recreational facilities including fitness suites and cinema

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)
HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)

 

Main dimensions

Displacement                                65,000 tonnes

Length                                               280 m/918.63 feet

Maximum beam                           70 m/229.66 feet

Crew size                                         679

Embarked forces up to            921

 

Performance

Top speed                                        25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h

Range                                                 10,000 NM/11,508 miles/18,520 km

 

Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne, officially started the first of the ship’s four diesel generators at the home of the UK’s aircraft carrier programme in Rosyth, Scotland today bringing the ship to life for the first time

 

Anti-Missile System

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a delivery order from the Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) to deliver an advanced anti-missile system to the Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC).

The system benefits from the LAIRCM Block 30 configuration, which incorporates the latest system processor technology, infrared missile warning sensors, the Viper laser and a new control interface unit
The system benefits from the LAIRCM Block 30 configuration, which incorporates the latest system processor technology, infrared missile warning sensors, the Viper laser and a new control interface unit

Under the terms of the $31.7 million contract, Northrop Grumman will deliver three modernized third-generation pods, which are based on the Northrop Grumman Guardian system that was developed for the Department of Homeland Security, for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command’s KC-135 aircraft. The company will also support government flight tests and provide training. The work is expected to be completed by early 2017.

The third-generation pod benefits from the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Block 30 configuration, which incorporates the latest system processor technology, infrared missile warning sensors, the Viper laser and a new control interface unit.

«This open architecture configuration, with its increased capability and reliability, provides the next level of aircraft protection», said Carl Smith, vice president, infrared countermeasure programs, Land and Self Protection Systems Division, Northrop Grumman. «Block 30 builds on the company’s more than 15 years of experience in battle-proven laser-based infrared countermeasures. The third-generation role-fit pod configuration offers reliable, flexible protection that is ideally suited to numerous military and commercial aircraft».

LAIRCM System
LAIRCM System

The third-generation pod provides 360-degree protection against a wide range of missile threats. When LAIRCM detects a Man-Portable Air-Defense System (MANPADS) launch, it tracks the incoming missile and uses a laser beam to jam the missile’s guidance system, causing it to miss the target aircraft. The entire process occurs in just a few seconds and requires no action on the part of the aircraft crew. The system includes a multiband laser pointer/tracker and four infrared missile-warning sensors. The system is contained almost entirely in a single pod that mounts to the underside of the fuselage and can be moved easily from one aircraft to another, as needed.

Northrop Grumman’s various infrared countermeasure systems are now installed or scheduled for installation on more than 1,000 military aircraft around the world, protecting 55 different types of large fixed-wing transports and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks.

All Viper Mid-IR Laser components, including all wavelength conversion and beam- forming optics controller and power supply, fit in a 13-inch/33-cm diameter × 2-inch/5-cm high chassis, weighing less than 10 pounds/4.5 kg
All Viper Mid-IR Laser components, including all wavelength conversion and beam- forming optics controller and power supply, fit in a 13-inch/33-cm diameter × 2-inch/5-cm high chassis, weighing less than 10 pounds/4.5 kg

Italian Caesar

According to Defense-aerospace.com, the Italian Air Force unveiled its new aircraft to the media on June 19, on Cervia Air Base. The HH-101A helicopter, which has now been dubbed Caesar, was developed by AgustaWestland according to the specific requirements of the Air Force in order to meet a requirement for a medium-sized rotary wing aircraft to perform a number of roles: Air Support to Special Operations (SAOS), Personnel Recovery (PR), Search and Rescue (SAR), with the additional capability, when required, of Slow Mover Interceptor (SMI).

The Italian air force is introducing into service the AgustaWestland HH-101 Caesar combat search and rescue helicopter, which will replace the earlier Sikorsky HH-3F Jolly Green Giants of Vietnam War fame (AW photo)
The Italian air force is introducing into service the AgustaWestland HH-101 Caesar combat search and rescue helicopter, which will replace the earlier Sikorsky HH-3F Jolly Green Giants of Vietnam War fame (AW photo)

The aircraft and all its logistic support component, including equipment and materials, are especially suited for deployment, even outside the country, in National Operations Outside Borders (Operazioni Fuori Confini Nazionali – OFCN).

The HH-101A Caesar helicopter is fitted with the latest-generation avionics. Among its main features, the aircraft has high reliability and a great ease of maintainability, as well as excellent survival features, including crash protection. Its performance is the result of modern technology, and in this respect Caesar will have a very long range (including a probe for in-flight refueling), and excellent maneuverability.

The air force’s 15th Wing guarantees, 24 hours 24, 365 days a year, the search and rescue flight crew in difficulty. It also contributes to public service missions such as finding people lost at sea or in the mountains, medical transport of emergency patients at risk of life, and relief of severe trauma. Since its establishment, the crews of the 15th Wing have saved approximately 7,000 people in life-threatening situations.

With the largest cabin in its class, the AW101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility
With the largest cabin in its class, the AW101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility

The AW101 is a flexible multi-mission platform with extensive provisions to conduct a diverse range of primary and secondary roles. The capabilities of the platform allow many of these missions to be conducted simultaneously through the use of modular role equipment and rapid reconfiguration within the cabin.

The AW101 Combat Search and Rescue is capable of performing a wide range of peacetime and conflict roles including:

  • Casualty / Medical Evacuation;
  • Medical Treatment / Transfer;
  • Special Forces Operations;
  • Surveillance Operations;
  • Internal / External Cargo Movements;
  • Disaster Response & Relief;
  • Passenger Transit;
  • Fire Fighting Support.

AgustaWestland provide an extensive range of additional role kits to further expand the capabilities of the AW101.

Aircraft specification and options
Aircraft specification and options

 

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length Overall 22.83 m/ 74 feet 11 inch
Overall Height 6.66 m/ 21 feet 10 inch
Rotor Diameter 18.60 m/ 61 feet 0 inch
Engine Ratings (3 × CT7-8E)
Take-off Power (5 min) 3 × 1,884 kW/3 × 2,527 shp
Intermediate (30 min) 3 × 1,855 kW/3 × 2,488 shp
Max Continuous 3 × 1,522 kW/3 × 2,041 shp
OEI (One Engine Inoperative) 2 Minute Rating 2 × 1,880 kW/2 × 2,522 shp
OEI Continuous Rating 2 × 1,855 kW/2 × 2,488 shp
Transmission Ratings
Max Take-off power (2.5 min) 4,161 kW/5,580 shp
Intermediate (30 min) 3,955 kW/5,304 shp
Maximum Continuous 3,715 kW/4,982 shp
Maximum Contingency OEI 3,096 kW/4,152 shp
Maximum Continuous OEI 2,774 kW3,720 shp
Fuel Capacity
Standard Internal Fuel Tanks 5,135 L/1,357 USG
Small USG (US liquid gallon) Auxiliary Fuel Tank 649 L/171 USG
Large USG Auxiliary Fuel Tank 1,389 L/367 USG
Weights
Maximum Gross Weight 15,600 kg/34,390 lbs
Empty Weight >5,500 kg/>12,125 lbs
Maximum External Load 4,536 kg/10,000 lbs
Seating
Cockpit / Cabin 2 / 25+ crashworthy
All Engines Operating Performance (MGW), ISA
Maximum Cruise Speed (SL – MCP) 150 knots/172.6 mph/277 km/h
Rate of Climb (SL – MCP) 1,680 feet/min/8.5 m/s
Service Ceiling 4,570 m/15,000 feet
Hovering In Ground Effect (IGE) 3,307 m/10,850 feet
Maximum Range (All Engine Cruise)* 735 NM/846 miles/1,363 km
Maximum Range (Twin Engine Cruise)* 810 NM/932 miles/1,500 km
Maximum Endurance (Twin Engine Cruise)* 6 hours 50 min
ISA+20 Hovering IGE 2,420 m/7,950 feet
ISA+35 Hovering IGE 1,325 m/4,350 feet
One Engine In Operative Performance (MGW), ISA
Forward Rate of Climb (MCP) 800 feet/min/4.06 m/s
Service Ceiling (MCP) 3,108 m/10,200 feet
ISA+20 Service Ceiling (MCP) 2,270 m/7,460 feet
ISA+35 Service Ceiling (MCP) 1,220 m/4,000 feet

* No reserves, standard fuel tanks, 6,000 feet/1,829 m cruise

Roles: Standard CSAR; Special Forces; High Capacity SAR; CASEVAC; Long Range SAR
Roles: Standard CSAR; Special Forces; High Capacity SAR; CASEVAC; Long Range SAR

3-megajoule railgun

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced on June 22 that projectiles with on-board electronics survived the railgun launch environment and performed their intended functions in four consecutive tests on 9-10 June at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The week of test activity included marking the 100th successful launch from the GA-EMS’ 3 megajoule Blitzer electromagnetic railgun.

Blitzer 3-megajoule Electromagnetic Railgun
Blitzer 3-megajoule Electromagnetic Railgun

«This is a significant milestone in the technology development toward a railgun weapon system and marks the first time flight dynamics data have been successfully measured and down-linked from an aerodynamic projectile fired from our railgun on an open test range», stated Nick Bucci, Vice President Missile Defense Systems, GA Electromagnetic Systems Group. «GA-EMS’ successful testing and on-going investment to advance our scalable railgun and projectile technologies illustrates our commitment to mature this transformational weapon system and provide the warfighter multi-mission advantages across several platforms».

During the week of testing, the electronics on-board the projectiles successfully measured in-bore accelerations and projectile dynamics, for several kilometers downrange, with the integral data link continuing to operate after the projectiles impacted the desert floor. On-board measurement of flight dynamics is essential for precision guidance. The test projectiles were launched at accelerations over 30,000 times that of gravity and were exposed to the full electromagnetic environment of the railgun launch.

GA-EMS’ Blitzer railgun is a test asset designed and manufactured by GA-EMS to advance technology development toward multi-mission weapon systems. Railguns launch projectiles using electromagnetic forces instead of chemical propellants and can deliver muzzle velocities greater than twice those of conventional guns. Blitzer railgun technology, when integrated into a weapon system that includes the launcher, high-density capacitor driven pulsed power, and weapon fire control system, can launch multi-mission projectiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range.

GA provides energy storage units for U.S. Navy 32-megajoule Railgun
GA provides energy storage units for U.S. Navy 32-megajoule Railgun

 

Electromagnetic Systems Group of General Atomics

The Electromagnetic Systems Group of General Atomics (GA-EMS) is actively working to bring electromagnetic railgun technology to the Department of Defense for multiple missions: integrated air and missile defense, surface fire support and anti-surface warfare.

GA-EMS’s expertise in electromagnetics stems from GA’s long history in high power electrical systems, from developing and building both fission and fusion reactors, through the Navy’s first electromagnetic launch and recovery equipment for aircraft carriers.

GA-EMS has developed, built and successfully tested two railguns, the internally funded the Blitzer 3 MJ system and a 32 MJ launcher for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). GA-EMS also designed and built the pulse power supply for both guns and is developing projectiles for air and missile defense and precision strike.

GA-EMS is continuing the Blitzer family of railguns with a 10 MJ system designed for mobile and fixed land-based applications.

Railguns deliver muzzle velocities up to twice those of conventional guns, resulting in shorter time to target and higher lethality at greater range with no propellant required onboard the platform. Railguns offer much deeper magazines and lower cost per engagement compared with missiles of comparable range.

Shorter time to the target and extended range

Railguns can reliably launch projectiles to muzzle velocities of Mach 6-7+. A round fired at sea level can reach the horizon in 6 to 7 seconds and still be traveling faster than a conventional gun‑launched munition at its muzzle.

Lethality without high explosives

Hypervelocity impact achieves high lethality through kinetic energy, eliminating the safety and logistic burdens of explosives.

Multi-mission capability

Railgun weapon systems employ guided, maneuverable projectiles, which can accomplish multiple missions with the same round. Railguns can also fire a family of different projectiles with varying capabilities, levels of sophistication, and cost.

Elimination of propellant

Because rounds are launched electromagnetically, propellant is not required. This results in much smaller rounds, enabling many more stowed rounds in a constrained volume as well as improved safety and reduced logistics burden.

Lower cost

The confluence of microelectronics, nanotechnologies, and electromagnetic acceleration enable missile performance without rocket motors. Railgun-launched guided projectiles are expected to be much lower cost than current assets for integrated air and missile defense.

Higher firepower

With deep magazines and high, sustained firing rates, railguns provide unprecedented firepower.

Reduced Asymmetry

The lower cost and higher firepower of railguns levels the playing field with potential adversaries.

General Atomics Railgun Projectile Development Passes Critical Tests at U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground

John Warner Delivered

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division delivered the nuclear-powered fast attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) to the U.S. Navy on Jun 25, 2015. The Virginia-class submarine, the first to be named for a person, was delivered two and a half months ahead of schedule.

The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

«This submarine embodies the spirit of Senator Warner and symbolizes his unwavering support for the Navy and the shipyard», said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «It’s truly special to have a boat named after a living person, and we as shipbuilders are proud to deliver John Warner to the Navy because this submarine will continue Senator Warner’s enduring legacy».

John Warner is the 12th Virginia-class submarine and the sixth to be delivered by Newport News. Nearly 4,000 shipbuilders have worked on the submarine since construction began in 2010. The nuclear-powered fast attack submarine was named for John Warner, who served as Secretary of the Navy and represented Virginia in the Senate for 30 years. USS John Warner (SSN-785) was christened by Senator Warner’s wife, Jeanne Warner, on September 6, 2014. Commissioning is scheduled on August 1.

«Today, we are excited to join the operational fleet and to bring Senator Warner’s legacy back to the Navy, carrying on his tradition of service to our nation», said Commander Dan Caldwell, the submarine’s commanding officer. «The crew and the ship have performed exceptionally well during the acceptance trials, and we are prepared and excited to conduct the operational missions which await us».

Newport News is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build Virginia-class submarines, which use advanced technologies to increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth. The 377-foot-long/114.8-meter-long submarines are capable of submerged speeds of more than 25 knots/28 mph/46.3 km/h and can stay submerged for up to three months at a time.

She will be the first in the class to be named after a person
She will be the first in the class to be named after a person

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed Jun 25, 2015
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-inch/2.2-meter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

The Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

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
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
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

Concept phase

The concept phase start-up for a new European helicopter, Airbus Helicopters’ X6, was announced on June 16 at the Paris Air Show, initiating a two-year definition period on this next-generation heavy-lift rotorcraft that will be tailored for the civil market. X6 will initially target oil and gas missions and will also be perfectly suited for Search and Rescue, VIP and other applications.

Airbus Helicopters launches X6 concept phase, setting the standard for the future in heavy-lift rotorcraft
Airbus Helicopters launches X6 concept phase, setting the standard for the future in heavy-lift rotorcraft

Major marketing, architecture and design choices for the twin-engine aircraft will be assessed to meet customer operational requirements during the concept phase, supported by a significant dialog with customers worldwide to validate the X6’s value creation for their operations.

The X6 is the newest arrival in Airbus Helicopters’ H generation, continuing on from the success of the recently unveiled H160. In line with its company-wide transformation, Airbus Helicopters continues to live up to the excellence of the Airbus name and sets its ambitions looking forward.

«X6 will be for the heavy segment in the next decade what the H160 is today for the mediums. It will set new standards in the industry not only for design, but for its production strategy as well, as we will rely on the industrial capacities of our core countries, including the upcoming pillar in Poland», explained Guillaume Faury, the President & CEO of Airbus Helicopters. «Our objective is to bring to the market the most efficient helicopter solutions adapted for how our customers’ needs and the industry itself will evolve in the future».

In defining and developing the X6, Airbus Helicopters will build on its reputation as a recognized leader in the industry, resulting in a next-generation, twin-engine rotorcraft that is mature and all-weather ready – including full de-icing – from the first delivery. One of the major innovations to be integrated on X6 is the Fly-by-Wire flight control system.

As the latest program to benefit from Airbus Helicopters’ long history of innovation and expertise, the X6 will share commonality features with the company’s latest rotorcraft – including the new H175 and H160. As one of the key-programs for the coming decades, the X6 also will maintain Airbus Helicopters’ leadership in the oil and gas sector.

Once adequate program maturity has been achieved in the concept phase, a subsequent development phase will follow, leading to an X6 entry into service anticipated in the 2020s.

 

King’s Fuselage

Spirit AeroSystems has successfully delivered to Sikorsky the third fuselage section for the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter program’s System Demonstration and Test Article (SDTA) contract. Consisting of an integrated cockpit and cabin structure with a separately attached tail section, the composite-skinned fuselage will enable prime contractor Sikorsky to begin assembling the third of four SDTA aircraft to further solidify the final production configuration of the CH-53K aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Spirit AeroSystems has design and build responsibility on the composite fuselage for the Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter
Spirit AeroSystems has design and build responsibility on the composite fuselage for the Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter

«Spirit AeroSystems is pleased to be a major supplier to a new generation, heavy-lift helicopter capability for the Marine Corps», said Phil Anderson, Spirit senior vice president of Defense Programs. «The strong, lightweight composite structures we are providing to Sikorsky will in turn give the Marine Corps a much needed increase in payload capability».

Sikorsky came under contract to the U.S. Navy in 2013 to assemble and deliver the four SDTA aircraft by 2017 in support of the Marine Corps operational evaluation of the CH-53K platform. Spirit is on contract to deliver to Sikorsky the final SDTA fuselage unit later this year.

The U.S. Marine Corps will employ the four SDTA aircraft to verify the helicopter’s design capability to carry 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km under «high hot» ambient conditions, tripling the external load carrying capacity of the current CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter.

The USMC is planning for eight active CH-53K squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron
The USMC is planning for eight active CH-53K squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Sikorsky Tests CH-53K Helicopter for Airframe Structural Strength
Sikorsky Tests CH-53K Helicopter for Airframe Structural Strength

Cyclone to Canada

On June 19, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. delivered six CH-148 Cyclone helicopters to the Canadian government during an acceptance celebration joined by Canada’s Defense Minister Jason Kenney, Public Works and Government Services Minister Diane Finley, Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Regional Ministers. Representing Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., was William Gostic, Vice President of the Maritime Helicopter Program (MHP), who hailed the event as «a major milestone for the Canadian Armed Forces, our industry partners, Sikorsky and all of our employees committed to this unique and highly sophisticated aircraft».

MHP has a contract in place to supply 12 Canadian – Recovery, Assist, Secure and Traverse Systems (formerly known as Helicopter Hauldown Rapid Securing Devices) for the 12 Halifax-class ships in service with the Canadian Armed Forces
MHP has a contract in place to supply 12 Canadian – Recovery, Assist, Secure and Traverse Systems (formerly known as Helicopter Hauldown Rapid Securing Devices) for the 12 Halifax-class ships in service with the Canadian Armed Forces

The six helicopters represent the first of 28 Cyclone aircraft that Sikorsky will deliver to the Canadian Armed Forces to perform a full range of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and utility missions in various environments. Sikorsky will introduce increased capabilities that will be phased in while the Royal Canadian Air Force determines operational strategy and more personnel are trained to fly and maintain the aircraft. More than 40 military personnel have completed initial training already. Completion of all deliveries and capability upgrades will enable replacement of the venerable Sea King fleet, also provided by Sikorsky, beginning in 2018.

«In addition to today’s deliveries, Sikorsky will continue developing and enhancing the capability of the Cyclone to meet all of Canada’s required operational capabilities. In our view, the CH-148 Cyclone will be the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter», said Gostic. «In parallel to the development effort, Sikorsky and our Canadian partners are committed to delivering world class, in-service support of the Cyclone to the men and women who fly and maintain the aircraft. It is a privilege for us to serve the Canadian Armed Forces, and one we take with the highest sense of responsibility».

«Today is an exciting day as we take another significant step forward in the Cyclone project», said The Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defense, during the aircraft acceptance celebration at the Canadian Forces’ base in Shearwater. «I am confident this modern aircraft will improve our aviators’ and sailors’ ability to work together in defense of Canada from current and future threats».

The new CH-148 Cyclone, in its final configuration, will be a leading maritime helicopter at the forefront of modern technology
The new CH-148 Cyclone, in its final configuration, will be a leading maritime helicopter at the forefront of modern technology

The Honorable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, said, «Last year our government committed to delivering the first CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters, and I am pleased to be here today to see them now safely in the hands of the Canadian Armed Forces. This marks an important milestone in our Maritime Helicopter Project and demonstrates our commitment to equipping our men and women in uniform with state-of-the-art helicopters».

«Our government is committed to supporting our men and women in uniform across the country», said The Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. «With today’s announcement, this government is once again showing its support for our forces by providing them with the lifesaving equipment they need to do their challenging job protecting Canadians».

Sikorsky International Operations Inc., as the prime contractor for MHP, will build the CH-148 in Bridgeport, Connecticut and West Palm Beach, Florida. General Dynamics Canada Ltd. and L-3 MAS are principal sub-contractors to Sikorsky. Development of the mission data management system, integration testing of the integrated mission system and development of all shipboard and ground-based support systems will be performed by General Dynamics Canada Ltd. at their Ottawa and Calgary engineering facilities.

The Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter is a military variant of the Sikorsky S-92
The Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter is a military variant of the Sikorsky S-92

 

Characteristics

Power plant and fuel system
Number of Engines 2
Engine Type General Electric CT7-8A
Maximum Take Off 2,520 shp/1,879 kW
One Engine Inoperative (OEI) horsepower 2,740 shp/2,043 kW
Performance
Maximum Gross Weight 26,500 lbs/12,018 kg
Maximum Cruise Speed 151 knots/174 mph/280 km/h
Maximum Range – No Reserve 539 NM/621 miles/999 km
Hovering In Ground Effect (HIGE) Ceiling 9,000 feet/2,743 m
Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) Ceiling 6,500 feet/1,981 m
OEI Service Ceiling 5,000 feet/1,524 m
All Engine Operable (AEO) Service Ceiling 15,000 feet/4,572 m
Accommodations
Cabin Length 20 feet/6 m
Cabin Width 6.6 feet/2 m
Cabin Height 6 feet/1.8m
Cabin Area 132 feet2/12 m2
Cabin Volume 792 feet3/21.6 m3

 

Valor at the start

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, and Spirit AeroSystems Inc. announced on June 15, 2015 that major assembly has started on the Bell V-280 Valor fuselage. The delivery of the first V-280 fuselage to the Bell Helicopter facility in Amarillo, Texas, is expected later this year. First flight of the V-280 Technology Demonstrator is anticipated in the second half of 2017.

Textron has started on the fuselage assembly
Textron has started on the fuselage assembly

«Spirit AeroSystems brings decades of composite manufacturing experience to the team which allows us to quickly build an aircraft like the V-280», said Phil Anderson, Spirit AeroSystems senior vice president of Defense. «This is a major milestone for the technology demonstrator unit. Spirit AeroSystems is proud to be on Team Valor and we are excited to be designing and building the composite cabin and cockpit for the V-280».

«U.S. ground forces require significant increase in speed and range to operate against and strike adversary systems much deeper than existing platforms», said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter. «That is the vision for Future Vertical Lift (FVL). The V-280 advanced technology tiltrotor provides the Department of Defense (DoD) with unmatched speed, range and payload for expeditionary maneuver to win these future conflicts. We are confident in the capability that the V-280 will provide, and we are proud to have Spirit AeroSystems adding their expertise to Team Valor and to the Bell V-280. Spirit AeroSystems beginning major assembly on the V-280 fuselage brings this high-performance aircraft one step closer to completion».

With more than twice the speed and twice the range of current helicopter platforms, the Bell V-280 is designed to provide combatant commanders with the ability to reach the battlefield while providing superior low-speed agility at the objective. The efficient speed and reduced reaction time provided by the V-280 will allow operators to outmaneuver their adversaries. The tiltrotor’s speed, range and payload significantly reduce logistical, security and medical footprints, freeing up personnel and additional combat power.

Bell Helicopter has led the formation of Team Valor, a group of preeminent aerospace companies bringing the best engineering resources and industrial capabilities to meet the Department of Defense’s anticipated needs.

In August 2014, the JMR-TD government team selected Bell Helicopter to build and fly the V-280 Valor as part of the demonstration program
In August 2014, the JMR-TD government team selected Bell Helicopter to build and fly the V-280 Valor as part of the demonstration program

 

Facts

Speed:                                       280 KTAS/322 mph/518 km/h

Combat Range:                    500-800 NM/575-920 miles/926-1,481 km

Strategically Self-Deployable:    2,100+ NM/2.416.5 miles/3,889 km

High/Hot 6k/95F Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) Performance

Carries crew of four and 14 troops

Useful load of 12,000+ lbs/5,443+ kg

Triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system

Conventional, retractable landing gear

Two 6’ wide large side doors for ease of rapid ingress/egress

Enhanced situational awareness and sensing technologies

Advanced tiltrotor to offer significant capabilities increase in speed, range and access
Advanced tiltrotor to offer significant capabilities increase in speed, range and access

 

Team Valor includes:

Lockheed Martin

Spirit AeroSystems

Astronics

Eaton

General Electric

GKN Aerospace

Israel Aerospace Industries

Lord

Meggitt

Moog

TRU Simulation and Training

 

The Future of Vertical Lift has taken shape, as a full-scale mockup of the Bell V-280 Valor