Tank Destroyer

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile. PGZ Companies and MBDA also signed a statement of co-operation at MSPO to confirm readiness to co-operate on offering this solution to Poland and export markets, recognising the combination of MBDA’s Brimstone missile with PGZ’s armoured vehicle expertise offers the best solution for Poland’s Tank Destroyer requirement from a military capability, sovereignty and industrial perspective.

MBDA showcases Tank Destroyer vehicle with PGZ at MSPO 2019

Sebastian Chwałek, Deputy CEO of PGZ, said: «We are growing our co-operation with MBDA into new areas. We have agreed on the ways of offering those solutions in export markets. By combining our competences with the experience of our British partners, we are able to achieve a lot and deliver the most modern solutions to both Polish and allied armed forces».

Adrian Monks, MBDA Sales Director in Poland, said: «Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with the diverse range of current and future Polish platforms provides the ability to deliver rapid military capability for Poland and for wider markets, whilst strengthening our co-operation with PGZ Group on missiles».

The most important part of the Joint Statement of Co-operation is MBDAs’ declaration that Brimstone missile technology and know-how will be transferred to PGZ, with MESKO SA responsible for missile production. This co-operation is another field of the business relationship developed on the strategic co-operation between PGZ companies and MBDA.

The flexibility of the integration solution and ease of integration with the existing Polish targeting systems makes it flexible to be installed onto or within multiple Polish platforms, including those from WZM SA, HSW SA and Obrum, in any configuration and number of missiles.

The development comes in response to Poland’s requirement for a Tank Destroyer able to counter massed armour formations. With its long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat Active Protection Systems (APS), salvo-firing and moving target capability, Brimstone is uniquely able to meet this challenge.

The system is capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of engagement modes using digital targeting data provided over standard secure military networks fully interoperable with NATO.

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile

National Security Cutters

The Coast Guard commissioned the seventh and eighth National Security Cutters (NSCs), USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756) and USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757), at their Honolulu homeport August 24. The unique joint commissioning ceremony marks the official start of NSC operations in Honolulu where the cutters will carry out activities to safeguard the nation’s maritime safety, security and economic interests.

U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutters USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756) and USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) sail toward Honolulu, August 16, 2019 (Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West)

Admiral Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard, presided over the ceremony. «In today’s complex geostrategic environment with rising great power competition, the importance and demand for a strong Coast Guard presence in the Pacific has never been greater», Schultz said.

Sumner Kimball, the seventh cutter’s namesake, served as superintendent of the Revenue Marine, establishing a training school that would later become the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He later was general-superintendent of the Life-Saving Service (LSS) from 1878 until the LSS merged with the Revenue Marine to become the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915. Kimball’s work lead to great strides in standardization of training and equipment.

The eighth cutter was named after the Midgett family and their history of distinguished service in the Coast Guard that continues to this day. At least ten members of the family have earned high honors for their heroic life-saving efforts. One member of the family, Chief Warrant Officer John Allen Midgett Jr., led crewmembers of his lifeboat in heroically rescuing the entire 42-member crew from the British tanker Mirlo after it was torpedoed off the coast of North Carolina in 1918. For his bravery despite the rough seas and fires from the tanker’s cargo, he was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal. The 378-foot/115-meter High Endurance Cutter (HEC) John Midgett (WHEC-726) was named in his honor.

The NSC acquisition program addresses the Coast Guard’s need for open-ocean patrol cutters with the seakeeping, habitability, endurance and technological advancement to serve as command and control centers in the most demanding maritime environments. The 418-foot/127-meter NSC fleet features advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; stern cutter boat launch; and long-endurance station keeping. The Legend-class cutters are replacing the 378-foot/115-meter HECs, which have been in service since the 1960s.

These newest NSCs are already on their way to making significant operational contributions. Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) completed two interdictions of suspected low-profile go-fast vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during the transit to Hawaii, the first July 25 and the second July 31. The boardings resulted in a combined seizure of over 6,700 pounds/3,039 kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth over $89 million.

Eight NSCs are currently in service. Coast Guard cutters USCGC Hamilton (WMSL-753) and USCGC James (WMSL-754) are stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, and Coast Guard cutters USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750), USCGC Waesche (WMSL-751), USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752) and USCGC Munro (WMSL-755) are stationed in Alameda, California. The ninth cutter, USCGC Stone (WMSL-758), is slated for delivery in fiscal year 2021.

The service awarded a contract option in December 2018 for construction of the 10th and 11th NSCs.

 

Facts

Displacement 4,500 long tons
Length 418 feet/127 m
Beam 54 feet/16 m
Speed 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km
Endurance 60 days
Crew 120
Equipped with Mk-110 57-mm turret mounted gun
6 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber machine guns
3D air search radar
2 level 1, class 1 aircraft hangers
A stern launch ramp for mission boats
Aviation carried (2) MCH, or (4) Vertical-Launch Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (VUAV) or (1) MCH and (2) VUAV
Stern launch Two cutter boats (Long Range Interceptor and/or Short Range Prosecutor)
Electronic Warfare and Decoys AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System, Two Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures (SRBOC)/2 NULKA countermeasures chaff rapid decoy launcher
Communications HF, VHF & UHF
Sensors and Processing Systems X and S band radar, 3D air search radar, AN/SPQ-9 radar, Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF)

 

Ship list

Ship Hull Number Laid down Launched Commissioned
Bertholf WMSL-750 03-29-2005 09-29-2006 08-04-2008
Waesche WMSL-751 09-11-2006 07-12-2008 05-07-2010
Stratton WMSL-752 07-20-2009 07-23-2010 03-31-2012
Hamilton WMSL-753 09-05-2012 08-10-2013 12-06-2014
James WMSL-754 05-17-2013 05-03-2014 08-08-2015
Munro WMSL-755 10-07-2013 09-12-2015 04-01-2017
Kimball WMSL-756 03-04-2016 12-17-2016 08-24-2019
Midgett WMSL-757 01-27-2017 11-22-2017 08-24-2019
Stone WMSL-758 09-14-2018
WMSL-759
WMSL-760

 

Replenishment vessel

The Royal Australian Navy is another step closer to welcoming its new fleet of support tankers into service, following the successful launch of NUSHIP Stalwart at today’s ceremony in Ferrol, Spain.

Navy welcomes NUSHIP Stalwart

The delivery into service of the Supply class replenishment vessels from next year will provide Navy with vital afloat logistics support to enable our ships to remain at sea longer.

Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, RAN said the Supply class AOR vessels will enable Navy to maintain a long-term presence at sea and provide combat support to our frigates, destroyers and combatants wherever they operate in the world.

«NUSHIPs Stalwart and Supply will extend our warships’ endurance and operational range by providing bulk fuels, potable water, stores and explosive ordnance to naval vessels operating at sea», Vice Admiral Noonan said.

NUSHIPs Stalwart and Supply will replace the current replenishment tankers HMAS Sirius and ex-HMAS Success, which was decommissioned on 29 June 2019.

Initial Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division successfully completed the initial sea trials on the newest Virginia-class submarine, USS Delaware (SSN-791).

The submarine USS Delaware (SSN-791) returns to the Newport News Shipbuilding division following its first set of sea trials with three HII-built aircraft carriers visible in the distance at Norfolk Naval Station (Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII)

The submarine, in the final stages of construction, spent three days at sea proving all of its systems, components and compartments. Delaware submerged for the first time and performed high-speed maneuvers on the surface and underwater.

«Delaware performed well during sea trials, which is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the incredible team of shipbuilders who are working to uphold our high standards of quality», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «We look forward to continuing our testing program to deliver the submarine to the U.S. Navy later this year».

The submarine is scheduled to undergo a round of acceptance trials before it is delivered. More than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News and teaming partner General Dynamics Electric Boat and thousands of companies across 48 states have participated in Delaware’s construction since the work began in September 2013.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Mission Driven Innovative Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 41,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

The U.S. Navy’s newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, USS Delaware (SSN-791), submarine successfully completed the initial sea trials

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
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 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

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 10-29-16 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17 09-29-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-790 South Dakota EB 10-14-17 02-02-19 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-791 Delaware NNS 10-20-18

 

Intercept Test

Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system successfully intercepted a Medium-Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target on August 30, 2019 in a missile defense test led by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with critical support provided by the U.S. Army.

Lockheed Martin’s THAAD System made history by using remote launch capability to successfully detect, track and intercept a threat representative target (Photo by Missile Defense Agency)

During the test, designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT-23), the THAAD system located at U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands successfully detected, tracked and intercepted a threat representative target using a THAAD launcher that was positioned at distance from the other THAAD end items.

The THAAD radar detected, acquired and tracked the target. The THAAD system then developed a fire control solution and launched an interceptor from a remotely-located THAAD launcher that destroyed the target’s reentry vehicle.

This was the 16th successful intercept in 16 attempts for the THAAD system since 2005.

The THAAD system now has the capability to physically untether a THAAD launcher from the battle manager and launch interceptors remotely, greatly enhancing launcher emplacement options and increasing the defended area.

«The enhanced THAAD system performed flawlessly in today’s test, and we are proud to support the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Army as they continue to demonstrate the system’s unmatched capabilities», said Richard McDaniel, vice president of Upper Tier Integrated Air and Missile Defense Systems at Lockheed Martin. «This successful test paves the way for delivery of an urgent need capability that will enhance THAAD’s emplacement options resulting in greater asset protection».

THAAD is highly effective at defending against a host of ballistic missile threats to include mass raid scenarios. The system uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy a threat with direct impact neutralizing lethal payloads before they reach protected assets on the ground. The system is rapidly deployable, mobile and interoperable with all other Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) elements, including Patriot/PAC-3, Aegis, forward-based sensors and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications system.

Hypersonic Weapon

On August 29, the U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a contract at an estimated value of $347 million as part of a multi-year hypersonic weapons development in support of the Army’s focus in long-range precision strike missiles.

Notional hypersonic strike glide vehicle

As the prime contractor for the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) systems integration project, the Lockheed Martin-team will develop and integrate a land-based hypersonic strike prototype in partnership with the Army Hypersonic Project Office, part of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office. The team includes: Dynetics Technical Solutions (DTS), Integration Innovation Inc. (i3), Verity Integrated Systems, Martinez & Turek, and Penta Research.

«Lockheed Martin is driving rapid technical development for these national priority programs», said Eric Scherff, vice president for Hypersonic Strike Programs for Lockheed Martin Space. «There are natural synergies with our industry teammates. We believe our relationships offer the Army unmatched expertise and puts us in the best position to deliver this critical capability to the nation. Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with the Army in integrating the common hypersonic glide body and the land-based hypersonic strike weapon system prototype. We are committed to combining the best of what our companies have to offer to deliver on this national priority program».

The Army also awarded a contract to DTS at an estimated value of $352 million to produce the first commercially manufactured set of Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) systems. DTS selected Lockheed Martin to support integration and prototyping of this new C-HGB. The C-HGB will be available across military services to provide commonality to air, land and sea platform needs and requirements.

«Dynetics Technical Solutions is pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin on this national defense priority. The Common-Hypersonic Glide Body and Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon programs will modernize our national capabilities and will counter the threat from our foreign adversaries. We are looking forward to the progress our teams will make as we deliver this combat capability to the warfighter», said Steve Cook, DTS president.

The Army LRHW prototype will leverage the C-HGB and introduce a new class of ultrafast and maneuverable long-range missles with the ability to launch from ground mobile platforms. The LRHW system prototype will provide residual combat capability to soldiers by 2023.

Hypersonic strike weapons, capable of flying speeds in excess of Mach 5, are a key aspect of the long-range precision fire modernization effort for the Army and the national security strategy to compete with and outpace potential threats.

LRHW program work will be performed at Lockheed Martin’s Alabama, Colorado, California and Texas facilities.

Lockheed Martin is an established industry leader in the development of hypersonic strike technology and our experience will serve as the cornerstone for hypersonic defense systems. Lockheed Martin’s hypersonic strike awards exceed over $2.5 billion across the corporation. We are proud to partner with the Army, Air Force, and Navy on the technology development and demonstration for multiple capabilities that span all hypersonic flight disciplines.

James Webb

At Northrop Grumman Corporation in Redondo Beach, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Spacecraft Element (SCE) and Optical Telescope Element/Integrated Science Instrument Module (OTIS) are now one. Both halves of the telescope (SCE and OTIS) have been successfully assembled.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope fully assembled at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California (Photo credit: NASA/Chris Gunn)

The Northrop Grumman and NASA team started preparations for the milestone seven years ago, when engineers began the design and build of the flight hardware and tools needed to join the two halves. With the base composite structures for the SCE and OTIS, engineers used an interface transfer tool to physically match the connection interfaces, preparing them for this very moment. At roughly 8,000 pounds/3,629 kg, spanning 131 inches/3.327 m, OTIS had to align with six launch load interfaces. This resulted in stringent alignment requirements to within .004 inches/0.1 mm, about the width of a human hair, and meant engineers had to be meticulous. Over the two-phase operation, OTIS was lifted and suspended in the air, then lowered to connect in tight quarters (up to approximately 0.2 inches/0.5 mm) between in-place hardware and parts of the OTIS.

«This milestone marks a major achievement for all of us at Northrop Grumman and NASA», said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman. «Seeing the full observatory for the first time further reinforces our commitment to mission success. There is still more work to be done, but it is a great feeling seeing something that was once a concept, become reality».

A view of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope OTIS, being lowered on the SCE to become a fully assembled observatory at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California (Photo credit: NASA/Chris Gunn)

Earlier this year, Webb’s SCE completed its final environmental tests in preparation for the milestone. To date, both halves have undergone environmental testing separately. The fully assembled observatory will complete the next steps of the integration process in the coming months in preparation for acoustic and vibration environmental testing next year.

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the world’s premier space science observatory when it launches in 2021. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Optical Telescope Element/Integrated Science Instrument Module (OTIS) suspended from a crane before being positioned above the Spacecraft Element before being fully assembled at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California (Photo credit: NASA/Chris Gunn)

Combat Vehicle

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Lithuania of five hundred Joint Light Tactical Vehicles with support for an estimated cost of $170.8 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 27, 2019.

Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV)

The Government of Lithuania has requested to buy five hundred Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, M1278A1 Heavy Guns Carriers. Also included are Baseline Integration Kits; Ballistic Kits Armor; Explosive Formed Protection Kit; Shot Detection Boomerang Kits; Shot Detection, Boomerang III; GPS Stand Alone kits; Network Switch – 8 port; M153 Common Remote Weapon Stations (CROWS); CROWS Baseline v2 Integration Kit; MK-93 Weapons Mounts; M2 QCB .50 CAL/12.7-mm Machine Guns; M230 TAC-FLIR Systems; Opaque Armor (windows); Basic Issue Item Kits; Winch Kits; Flat Tow Kits; Run-Flat Kits; Spare Tire Kits; Combat Bumper Kits; Duramax Turbo Engine with Allison 6 speed automatic transmission and 4×4 TAK-4i Independent suspension systems; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated program cost is $170.8 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Lithuania, a NATO ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress within Easter Europe.

The proposed sale of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) will help improve Lithuania’s light tactical vehicle fleet and enhance the capabilities to meet current and future enemy threats. Lithuania will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be Oshkosh Defense LLC of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There are no known offset agreements associated with this proposed sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Lithuania. However, it is anticipated that engineering and technical support services provided by the U.S. Government and/or the contractor may be required on an interim basis for training and technical assistance.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Initial production

The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon Company a $190 million low-rate initial production contract for Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 missiles featuring a new guidance system with a dual mode active and semi-active radar.

The U.S. Navy completed the first successful guided flight test of the ESSM Block 2 intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile on June 12, 2018 (Photo: U.S. Navy)

This award follows the U.S. Navy’s decision to shift from development to production on the enhanced intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile, placing the Block 2 variant on track for initial operating capability in 2020.

The ESSM missile is the primary ship self-defense missile aboard U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious assault ships. It is an integral component of the U.S. Navy’s layered area and ship self-defense capability for cruisers and destroyers.

«ESSM plays a critical role in protecting navy sailors worldwide and our international partners share our commitment to evolve this missile», said Doctor Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Strategic and Naval Systems vice president.

ESSM is the foundation of several allied navies’ anti-ship missile defense efforts and is operational on almost 200 naval platforms worldwide.

The ESSM program is a cooperative effort managed by a NATO-led consortium comprising 12 nations: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

Squad Vehicle

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced on August 23, 2019 that the U.S. Army has awarded Oshkosh Defense along with teammate, Flyer Defense LLC, a Task Assignment award under an existing Project Agreement with the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) to develop the new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).

The ISV is a lightweight expeditionary all-terrain vehicle that can carry up to nine passengers and associated equipment

The ISV is a lightweight expeditionary all-terrain vehicle that can carry up to nine troops and associated combat equipment.

Under the award, Oshkosh and Flyer will deliver two prototype ISVs in support of government testing and evaluation.

«The ISV program is critical in providing infantry troops with an agile means to get to and through the battlefield as quickly and capably as possible», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs at Oshkosh Defense. «The ISV platform will also significantly lighten the load for infantry troops, who regularly each carry over 100 pounds/45 kg of gear on foot», continued Mansfield.

Flyer Defense is most prominently known for the highly successful GMV 1.1 deployed around the world by U.S. Special Operations Forces as well as the U.S. Army A-GMV (Army-Ground Mobility Vehicles), which is fielded as the interim ISV solution. Flyer Defense is the design authority and leads the build team for the two prototype ISVs which will be submitted to the government for testing. If selected, Oshkosh Defense will be responsible for manufacturing the production phase vehicles. «The Oshkosh and Flyer team brings together an abundance of tactical wheeled vehicle design and manufacturing expertise and we’re very confident in our team’s ISV offering», concluded Mansfield.

The ISV production contract award is expected to take place in the Spring of 2020. In total, the U.S. Army plans to procure 651 vehicles and associated hardware and services between fiscal years 2020 and 2024.