Keel Authenticated

The keel for the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205), the Navy’s first John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, was ceremonially laid at General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) May 13.

Future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) Keel Authenticated

A keel laying is the ceremonial recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining together of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate. The ship’s namesake, U.S. Representative John Lewis, and the ship’s sponsor, actress Alfre Woodard, etched their initials into the keel plate.

«We’re honored to have Representative Lewis and Ms. Woodard with us today as we lay the foundation for recapitalizing our nation’s critical fuel-replenishment-at-sea capabilities», said Mike Kosar, Support Ships, Boats and Craft program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «These ships are steadfast, reliable and allow our warships to defend our freedoms for which Representative Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting».

The John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187-class fleet replenishment oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea. These ships are part of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force.

John Lewis will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and is the first ship named after the civil rights leader and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Construction of John Lewis began in September 2018, with delivery planned in late 2020.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.

Long-range radar

Indra has been awarded a contract to supply the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom with an advanced long-range air defense deployable radar.

Indra to supply a state-of-the-art deployable military radar to the United Kingdom

The company was chosen after competing with the main companies in the industry. Indra will deliver the system later this year, meeting tight deadlines.

The Indra Long Tactical Range 25 (LTR25) L-band radar stands out for offering very high long-range detection capabilities, comparable to those of larger fixed radars, but with the added advantage of being able to operate very quickly and be transported in small aircraft, such as the C-130 Hercules.

It is a robust solution designed to facilitate deployments outside the national territory, to reinforce the surveillance of a specific area on a one-off basis or to be available as backup in the event that one of the fixed radars is attacked or damaged.

Indra is a leading company in the development of radars and one of the main suppliers of this type of solutions for NATO. The company has won all the tenders awarded by the Alliance in the last five years. Its systems also cover surveillance of the whole south-western flank of Europe. Indra has delivered over 50 radars in total to countries from five continents, so the capabilities of its teams have been widely demonstrated in all types of scenarios and environments. The company also has experience in the supply of integrated air defense systems for a number of countries.

 

Lanza

Azimuth 360º
Elevation 20º (40º)
Electronic Programable Tilt ±5º
Maximum Instrumented Range 389-444 km/242-276 miles/210-240 NM
Altitude up to 30,480 m/100,000 feet
Antenna Scan Rate 5-12 s/scan

 

Fifth AEHF Satellite

The U.S. Air Force is gearing up to launch the fifth global, anti-jam, protected communications satellite after its arrival in Florida.

AEHF-5 is hoisted by crane into its satellite ship container at Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California. After the satellite is securely packed into the container, it boards a US Air Force cargo plane where it will travel from California to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
AEHF-5 is hoisted by crane into its satellite ship container at Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California. After the satellite is securely packed into the container, it boards a US Air Force cargo plane where it will travel from California to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Lockheed Martin shipped the Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station ahead of its expected June launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. AEHF-5’s launch comes just eight months after AEHF-4 blasted off from the Cape on October 17, 2018.

Once launched, AEHF-5 will join the AEHF constellation, which provides protected, survivable communications for the nation’s nuclear command, control and communication mission.

Earlier this month, the Air Force and Lockheed Martin marked the successful completion of AEHF-4’s spacecraft on-orbit testing. This event is the last step before the satellite joins the existing AEHF constellation, adding increased resiliency to an on-orbit network that continues to provide highly-secure, protected and survivable communications for the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

«We are thrilled to return to the Cape to launch AEHF-5 less than a year after launching AEHF-4, showing an accelerated pace to support the Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center», said Mike Cacheiro, vice president of Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin Space. «AEHF-4 arrived to its on-orbit operational position a month early, where it demonstrated Extended Data Rate (XDR) connectivity. This is an exciting time where we are witnessing the deployment of critical capabilities of the current four AEHF satellites in geosynchronous orbit, which provide ten times greater capacity than the original Milstar constellation. The AEHF system is essentially a high capacity data network in the sky, and this is a complete paradigm shift for the future of protected communications».

The new AEHF constellation with the advanced technology of XDR will change how users interact with the new high-bandwidth network. Data speeds increase fivefold, and transmissions that used to take hours can take minutes. This enables both strategic and tactical users to communicate globally across a high-speed network that delivers protected communications in any environment.

Lockheed Martin designs, processes and manufactures the AEHF satellites at its production facility in Silicon Valley. AEHF-6 is currently in full production at the company’s Sunnyvale, California advanced satellite manufacturing facility.

Patrol Vessel

The first of Australia’s Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) will celebrate a naval tradition with the keel-laying ceremony to bring good luck for the shipbuilders and future crew members.

First Arafura Class marks ceremonial keel-laying
First Arafura Class marks ceremonial keel-laying

In the second major milestone of Australia’s newest warship construction program, the keel laying ceremony will see a commemorative coin placed under the keel of the vessel by the youngest shipbuilders in the Osborne Naval Shipyard, followed by the Chief of Navy wedging the coin under the keel.

Luerssen Australia Chairman Tim Wagner said the milestone marked the official start of the ship’s life, and demonstrated the significant progress made already on the Arafura Class program.

«This is another reminder of the importance of the Arafura Class program towards Australia building a sovereign naval shipbuilding capability», Mr. Wagner said. «As the prime contractor and designer for the SEA1180 program, we have been delighted with progress so far, and remain confident that we will deliver all 12 vessels on time and on budget for the Royal Australian Navy».

ASC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley said the Arafura Class shipbuilding program is progressing well, employing more than 150 shipbuilders.

«The Arafura Class is ASC’s second shipbuilding program, commenced as we continue to successfully complete the Air Warfare Destroyer program, and we are very pleased at its progress to date», said Mr. Whiley. «I would also like to pay tribute to the skilled and experienced workforce of ASC Shipbuilding, who are carrying out the shipbuilding work on this program, under contract to ASC».

The youngest male and female shipyard workers, Boilermaker Kane Ramsay and Document Editor Lauren Pitman, will feature in today’s ceremony.

«I’m excited to be part of this new program – it’s great to be looking to the future of shipbuilding», said Kane. «The lead ship is coming together well and it’s great to be a part of today’s traditional milestone. I’m looking forward to seeing the ship completed in the coming months», said Lauren.

Construction of the first of 12 Arafura Class OPVs commenced last November, on time, by prime contractor Luerssen Australia and shipbuilding subcontractor ASC.

The Arafura Class marks the commencement of continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia, which will see major warships and submarines constructed in Osborne, South Australia, and minor warships in Henderson, Western Australia.

The first two OPVs will be constructed at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia by ASC, with the Australian steel, cut in Western Australia by Civmec. The remaining ten warships will be constructed at Civmec’s facility in Henderson. It is Luerssen’s intention that the joint venture between Civmec and Luerssen Australia known as Australian Maritime Shipbuilding and Export Group (AMSEG) will play a major role in the construction.

Sensor technology

The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates BAE Systems’ ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness
Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness

BAE Systems worked closely with Lockheed Martin to deliver Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) to the U.S. Air Force, achieving Early Operational Capability (EOC) for the B-1 B Lancer bomber ahead of schedule. The Air Force accepted delivery of production LRASM units following successful simulation, integration, and flight tests that demonstrated the missile’s mission readiness.

«We’re quickly delivering critical capabilities to warfighters to meet their urgent operational needs», said Bruce Konigsberg, Radio Frequency (RF) Sensors product area director at BAE Systems. «Our sensor systems provide U.S. warfighters with a strike capability that lets them engage protected, high-value maritime targets from safe distances. The missile provides a critical advantage to U.S. warfighters».

BAE Systems’ long-range sensor and targeting technology enables LRASM to detect and engage protected ships in all weather conditions, day or night, without relying on external intelligence and navigation data.

BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin are working closely together to further mature the LRASM technology. The companies recently signed a contract for the production of more than 50 additional sensors and are working to achieve EOC on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

The advanced LRASM sensor technology builds on BAE Systems’ expertise in Electronic Warfare (EW), signal processing, and targeting technologies, and demonstrates the company’s ability to apply its world-class EW technology to small platforms. The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates the company’s ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

As part of the company’s electronic warfare capacity expansion initiatives, it locates key programs where they will be optimally staffed to quickly transition from design to production, accelerate deliveries, and improve product affordability. The company’s work on the LRASM program is conducted at state-of-the-art facilities in Wayne, New Jersey and Nashua, New Hampshire, where it benefits from highly skilled EW engineering and manufacturing workforces.

Navigation system

Northrop Grumman Corporation has released SeaFIND (Sea Fiber Optic Inertial Navigation with Data Distribution), a next generation maritime inertial navigation system succeeding the company’s MK-39 Mod 3 and 4 series Inertial Navigation System product line.

SeaFIND is significantly smaller, lighter and uses less power than its predecessor, the MK-39 Mod 3A
SeaFIND is significantly smaller, lighter and uses less power than its predecessor, the MK-39 Mod 3A

SeaFIND provides proven navigation capabilities in a compact and affordable package, making it ideal for applications where low cost as well as reduced size, weight and power requirements are critical. It is the first maritime inertial navigation system to move from the existing ring laser technology to Northrop Grumman’s new enhanced fiber optic gyro technology (eFOG). The system has embedded navigation data distribution capabilities, leveraging Northrop Grumman’s proprietary algorithms for low data latency and allowing for the system to interface with a multitude of users that require accurate position and timing.

«SeaFIND allows us to meet a critical customer need where low size, weight and power requirements, as well as reliable position-keeping performance in GPS-denied environments, are critical», said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems, Northrop Grumman. «This new approach features eFOG technology, which allows us to maintain performance equivalent to our ring laser gyro-based systems, but in a much smaller footprint and at a reduced cost».

The system is designed using a modular system architecture and is comprised of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and a separate Electronics Unit (EU) connected via a single cable. Its smaller coil size and denser IMU package allows for flexible installation in tight places.

Applications include guidance systems for unmanned underwater vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles, coastal and offshore patrol vessels, as well as small, medium and large surface vessels. SeaFIND is non ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and available for use by domestic and international navies.

Operations center

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative Engagement Operations Center (EOC) for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS).

Northrop Grumman has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative engagement operations center for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS)
Northrop Grumman has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative engagement operations center for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS)

«This milestone is testament of the significant progress toward operational capability that will make pivotal differences to warfighters, commanders and acquisition officials», said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. «We will be delivering more EOCs as well as IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) relays in the near future. These articles will be used for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), which informs future production decisions».

The delivered IBCS EOC has completed all functional configuration audits for major configuration items and system verification review, and is representative of the production configuration for hardware and software that will undergo qualification testing before IOT&E. Northrop Grumman is on pace to deliver 11 EOCs and 18 IFCN relays for the IBCS program by the end of the year.

«Northrop Grumman will continue to closely collaborate with our customer and user communities to realize the groundbreaking vision of IBCS and its transformative impact on the air and missile defense mission», said Verwiel.

IBCS is a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address an evolving array of threats. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise. IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy as well as broader surveillance and protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS allows incorporation of current and future sensors and effectors and enables interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.

IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

DARPA’s interceptor

Raytheon Company successfully tested a hot fire rocket motor for DARPA’s Multi-Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System, or MAD-FIRES.

Raytheon tests rocket motor for DARPA's MAD-FIRES interceptor
Raytheon tests rocket motor for DARPA’s MAD-FIRES interceptor

The MAD-FIRES interceptor is designed to provide a robust and affordable self-defense capability that defeats multiple waves of anti-ship missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as other threats.

«The Navy is asking for leading-edge capabilities that can take out rapidly approaching targets, and Raytheon’s interceptor for the MAD-FIRES program will deliver», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «This test shows Raytheon is right on track to provide an affordable, advanced technology to the fleet».

If fielded, this capability will combine the speed, rapid fire and depth of a gun weapon system with the precision and accuracy of guided missiles.

Indian Scorpene

According to Financial Express Online, INS Vela (S40), Indian Navy’s 4th Scorpene-class submarine, launched! In a boost to the Indian Navy’s underwater capabilities, INS Vela (S40), a Scorpene-class submarine was rolled out in the waters on Monday in the presence of the Defence Secretary Production.

Indian Navy’s 4th Scorpene-class made in India submarine launched
Indian Navy’s 4th Scorpene-class made in India submarine launched

This is the fourth submarine in the series of the six submarines being built at Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai under Project 75. The Scorpene-class submarine in the Indian Navy has been termed as the Kalvari-class.

The submarine after completing its out fittings at the dock based on the ocean tide was launched for extensive trials.

At the MDL, the balance two submarines INS Vagir (S41) and INS Vagsheer (S43) are in the advance stages of construction on the assembly line. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has also approved the acquisition of more than 100 heavyweight torpedoes to be equipped on six Scorpene-class submarines.

 

What is INS Vela (S40) submarine?

INS Vela (S40) is the fourth in the series of the six Scorpene class submarines being constructed at the Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai. The out fittings on the submarine have been completed at MDL as per the contract inked between DCNS (now known as Naval Group) of France and MDL as part of Project 75.

Project 75 is already witnessing delays. Out of the six submarines under Project 75, INS Kalvari (S23) has been commissioned in Indian Navy last December. Both INS Khanderi (S22) and INS Karanj (S21) is likely to be commissioned in the Indian Navy. INS Vagir (S41) and INS Vagsheer (S43) are already in the «advanced stages of manufacturing».

As per the contract French Company DCNS (now Naval Group) and the MDL had inked in 2005, the $3.75 billion agreement for the licensed production of six submarines under Project-75 for the Indian Navy and the French Company had decided to transfer technology and jointly build in India. The contract is expected to be completed by next year.

Two other submarines INS Khanderi (S22) and INS Karanj (S21) built at MDL are in line to be commissioned in the Indian Navy. According to senior naval officers INS Khanderi (S22) has completed all trials and is in the final stages of acceptance. According to the 30-year submarine building plan approved in 1999, the Indian Navy needs at least 24 submarines to meet the growing presence of the Chinese presence in the waters.

The Scorpene class submarines which have the capability to be operational in any theatre also have the capability of undertaking different types of missions, which include anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance. They have top end stealth features which includes advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons.

The Indian Navy is currently operating 4 German HDW-class and 9 Russian Kilo-class submarines. In 2000 July, it had inducted a conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Sindhushastra (S65), procured from Russia.

Made in Germany

The third of four 209/1400mod class submarines for the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt was named and launched on May 3, 2019 at the shipyard of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel. As part of the ceremony, Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy, officially named the boat «S43». The boat will now be intensively tested.

Naming and launching of third Egyptian submarine «made in Germany»
Naming and launching of third Egyptian submarine «made in Germany»

Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «This significant milestone in the construction program for the Egyptian Navy is based on an open and trusting dialogue with our customer as well as the competence of our employees and suppliers. These are key factors on our successful way to become Europe’s most modern naval company».

The contract for the delivery of the first two 209/1400mod class submarines to the Arab Republic of Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units of the most recent version of the class 209 «family»: A compact submarine featuring reliability, high combat strength, long submerged range, high submerged speeds, low signatures and excellent handling characteristics.

The first submarine, named «S41», was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine, named «S42», in August 2017. The program is planned to end with the handover of the fourth ship in 2021.

 

Key data for the S43

Length overall (o.a.) approximately 62 m/203.4 feet
Pressure hull diameter approximately 6.2 m/20.3 feet
Surface displacement approximately 1,450 t
Dived displacement approximately 1,600 t
Crew 30