Rapid Response Weapon

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress successfully released an AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, off the Southern California coast, May 14.

Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW)
Air Force conducts successful hypersonic weapon test

Following separation from the aircraft, the ARRW’s booster ignited and burned for expected duration, achieving hypersonic speeds five times greater than the speed of sound.

«This was a major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapons enterprise, and our Air Force», said Brigadier General Heath Collins, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons. «The team’s tenacity, expertise, and commitment were key in overcoming the past year’s challenges to get us to the recent success. We are ready to build on what we’ve learned and continue moving hypersonics forward».

The 419th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) and the Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force, or GPB CTF, both at Edwards Air Force Base, California, executed the test.

«The test team made sure we executed this test flawlessly», said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jungquist, 419th FLTS commander and GPB CTF director. «Our highly-skilled team made history on this first air-launched hypersonic weapon. We’re doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible».

ARRW is designed to enable the U.S. to hold fixed, high-value, time-sensitive targets at risk in contested environments from stand-off distances. It will also expand precision-strike capabilities by enabling rapid response strikes against heavily defended land targets.

SCORPION programme

The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded the order for conditional tranche 4 (TC4) of the SCORPION programme to Nexter, Arquus and Thales, operating through the EBMR consortium.

JAGUAR
JAGUAR armoured reconnaissance and fighting vehicle

Tranche TC4 corresponds to an additional 88 JAGUAR armoured reconnaissance and fighting vehicles and 302 GRIFFON multirole armoured vehicles. This new order will bring the number of JAGUAR and GRIFFON vehicles ordered to 150 and 909 respectively, in line with the target laid out in France’s 2019-25 Military Programming Law. This represents half of the French government’s total commitment for JAGUARs and GRIFFONs (excluding the MEPAC variant) to be acquired under the SCORPION programme to renew the medium-tonnage segment of the French Army’s armoured vehicle fleet. The TC4 award comes shortly after an order was placed for 54 GRIFFON MEPAC versions, which are equipped with a 120-mm mortar, with deliveries scheduled from 2024.

GRIFFON
GRIFFON multirole armoured vehicle

These two awards were announced by the French Prime Minister during his visit to Nexter’s Roanne site on 19 February. This latest order underscores France’s continuing confidence in the EBMR consortium partners, which have been ensuring on-time deliveries since the beginning of the programme. It provides Nexter, Arquus and Thales, as well as the entire land defence industrial and technological base in France, with better visibility of their industrial activity through to 2025.

Missile Defense Sensor

The first Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), built by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, arrived at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range on April 11th. The radar is the newest air and missile defense sensor for the U.S. Army, providing significantly more capacity and capability against the wide range of advancing threats facing air defenders around the world.

LTAMDS
Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) arrives at White Sands Missile Range

This is the first of six radars planned for delivery to the Army in 2022 and marks the beginning of a series of extensive tests to prove LTAMDS performance and functionality in an operational environment.

«Together with the Army, we set out to build a radar that could detect and defend against complex and evolving threats while reducing the workload on operators – and we’ve done it with LTAMDS», said Tom Laliberty, president of RMD’s Land Warfare & Air Defense business unit. «LTAMDS provides dramatically more performance against the range of threats, from manned and unmanned aircraft to cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Air defense forces around the world are taking notice of LTAMDS, with over a dozen countries showing formal interest in acquiring the radar».

LTAMDS is a 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar powered by RMD-manufactured Gallium Nitride, a substance that strengthens the radar’s signal, enhances its sensitivity, and increases its reliability. LTAMDS is designed to operate as a sensor in the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.

LTAMDS, designed specifically for the U.S. Army’s lower tier mission, is the first sensor in a family of radars Raytheon is calling GhostEye. These sensors can detect otherwise unseen threats at greater distances, higher velocities, and from any direction. Leveraging the advancements of GaN technology and commonality with LTAMDS, Raytheon has separately developed GhostEye MR, a medium-range battlefield radar.

Heavy Guns Carrier

Oshkosh Defense, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, will displayed a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and trailer (JLTV-T) and a Pratt Miller Defense Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV) at the Modern Day Marine Expo 2022. The vehicles were on display at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, District of Columbia from May 10-12, 2022.

Heavy Guns Carrier (HGC)
Oshkosh Defense highlights advanced technology capabilities at Modern Day Marine Expo 2022

The 4-door Heavy Guns Carrier (HGC) JLTV will be equipped with the John Cockrill Protected Weapon Station CPWS 2.0 turret and Northrop Grumman 25×137 mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun.

«The modular design of the Oshkosh Defense JLTV, which we’ve built over 16,000, can be adapted to dozens of military missions, from serving as battlefield ambulances to hosting antitank weapons», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs for Oshkosh Defense. «The ability to easily integrate weapons that increase the JLTV’s firepower and lethality cost-effectively is yet another example of the vehicle’s flexibility and adaptability for next-generation warfare».

The Pratt Miller Defense EMAV on display is a tracked, autonomous vehicle developed for the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL). The EMAV’s hybrid-electric powertrain is capable of silent watch and silent mobility and provides exportable power capability. Furthermore, with a 6,000 lbs./2,721.5 kg payload capacity and flat rack, the EMAV is designed to support most logistics missions.

«Oshkosh Defense’s advanced technology capabilities run the gamut from autonomous vehicles to hybrid-electric powertrains», said Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. «We partner with the U.S. Marine Corps and other customers to understand and analyze the challenges they face and explore solutions. This collaboration allows us to apply these next generation defense technologies and advanced systems to our vehicles in order to meet their evolving mission needs».

Guided Missile Destroyer

The Navy commissioned USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121), the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, during a 10:00 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, May 14, in Charleston, South Carolina.

USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121)
Navy commissioned Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121)

USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. is the first ship to honor Marine Corps Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr., the first Black Marine Corps aviator and the first Black Marine Corps officer promoted to brigadier general. When Petersen retired in 1988 after 38 years of service, he was, by date of designation, the senior-ranking aviator in the Department of the U.S. Navy.

The principal speaker is The Honorable Carlos Campbell, Naval aviator and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. Additional speakers include The Honorable Nancy Mace, U.S. Representative from South Carolina’s 1st District; The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy; General David Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations; The Honorable John Tecklenberg, Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina; Mr. George Nungesser, Vice President of Program Management, Ingalls Shipbuilding; and Ms. Gayle Petersen, daughter of the ship’s namesake.

The ship’s sponsors are Mrs. D’Arcy Ann Neller, wife of former Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired General Robert «Bob» Neller, and the late Dr. Alicia J. Petersen, Lieutenant General Petersen’s wife at the time of his passing in 2015. Dr. Petersen passed away in September 2021. Both sponsors participated in the keel laying, mast stepping, and christening ceremonies. Mrs. Neller gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life».

«This ship honors the life and legacy of Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr., a pioneer not just for Marine Corps aviation but for our entire naval force», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. «I have no doubt the crew will be a cornerstone of the Surface Force carrying his legacy forward and strengthening the bond between our Navy and Marine Corps team».

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet providing protection to America around the globe. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface domains. These elements of seapower enable the Navy to defend American prosperity and prevent future conflict abroad.

The nearly 9,500-ton USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. is 510 feet/156 m in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet/18 m, and a navigational draft of 31 feet/9.5 m. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h. USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. will homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

 

Ship Characteristics

 

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 31 feet/9.5 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 12-08-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW 05-16-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18 05-14-22 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

Christened And Launched

The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 29, the future USS Beloit. Ship sponsor, Major General Marcia M. Anderson, USA (Ret.) christened Littoral Combat Ship LCS-29, the future USS Beloit, prior to its launch into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) Shipyard on May 7, 2022.

USS Beloit (LCS-29)
Littoral Combat Ship 29 (USS Beloit) Christened and Launched

«Lockheed Martin is confident that the sailors of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 29, the future USS Beloit, will play a critical role in supporting maritime security and deterrence. The LCS Freedom-variant, operationally deployed today, is an unmatched and highly adaptable warship, designed to outpace the growing threat of our adversaries and fulfill the dynamic missions of the U.S. Navy. Our team of more than 800 suppliers maintains a strong partnership with the U.S. Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to the highly capable and resilient LCS class». – Steve Allen, Lockheed Martin vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems.

In 2011, Major General Marcia Anderson was named the first female African American officer to earn her second star in the U.S. Army reserves. When the former Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Richard Spencer, directed that LCS-29 be named after the City of Beloit, he also asked that General Anderson be honored as the ship sponsor.

«I am honored and excited to be a part of the christening and launch of the USS Beloit. As a Beloit native, I am well aware of the long history my city has had as it supported our national security by not just providing people who served, but also helped build the amazing ships and vehicles that have made our military the envy of the world. I know the USS Beloit will carry that tradition forward as she and her crew become an integral part of our nation’s history, and I am happy to be able to play a small role as the Sponsor during the life of this great ship». – Major General Marcia M. Anderson, USA (Ret.), Ship Sponsor of the future USS Beloit (LCS-29).

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. Built at the Midwest’s only naval shipyard, LCS production supports 12,500 U.S. jobs, including more than 7,500 jobs in Wisconsin and Michigan.

«Shipbuilding is hard work, done by dedicated professionals. And I could not be more proud of the work done by our team here in Marinette to get another Freedom-class warship built and in the water where she belongs». – Mark Vandroff, Fincantieri Marinette Marine CEO

Unique among combat ships, LCS is deployed today for close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet. In the last year, Freedom-variant Littoral Combat ships have supported the Navy on various missions including several counter-illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in narcotics seizures. Its speed, strength and versatility make it a critical tool to help sailors achieve their missions. Recently, the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship for the first time has deployed to US 6th Fleet, as a measure of assurance for NATO allies and partners in Europe and Africa.

LCS-29 is the 15th Freedom-variant LCS and 29th in the LCS class. It is the first ship named in honor of the city of Beloit, Wisconsin. Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered 11 ships to the U.S. Navy. There are five ships in various stages of production.

Click here to view additional photos and here for a B-roll package (Password: Beloit) to include ceremony highlights.

 

Background

The christening and launch celebrate a major milestone in the life of the future USS Beloit (LCS-29) and marks a significant event in the history of the nation’s 29th Littoral Combat Ship. LCS-29 is named for Beloit, Wisconsin, and its citizens. It is the first ship to bear the name. Beloit and its citizens have been tremendous supporters of the Navy and Marine Corps for decades. In Beloit, engines for the Freedom-variant LCS are built. These and many other contributions of Beloit citizens have made the U.S. Navy stronger, more capable and lethal.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. Built at the Midwest’s only naval shipyard, LCS production supports 12,500 U.S. jobs, including more than 7,500 jobs in Wisconsin and Michigan.

 

Ship Design Specifications

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

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018 08-08-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019 10-31-2020
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019 08-07-2021
USS Beloit (LCS-29) 07-22-2020 05-07-2022
USS Cleveland (LCS-31) 06-20-2021

 

Extra Large

Defence technology company Anduril Industries and the Australian Defence Force are entering into commercial negotiations for a US$100m co-funded design, development and manufacturing program for Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XL-AUVs) for the Royal Australian Navy.

XL-AUV
Anduril and the Royal Australian Navy to Partner on Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles

The XL-AUV will be an affordable, autonomous, long endurance, multi-mission capable AUV. It is modular, customizable and can be optimized with a variety of payloads for a wide range of military and non-military missions such as advanced intelligence, infrastructure inspection, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting. Anduril’s approach to development of the XL-AUV will deliver the vehicle at a fraction of the cost of existing undersea capabilities in radically lower timeframes.

The three-year XL-AUV development program has an incredibly ambitious delivery schedule which will involve capability assessment and prototyping in record time using Anduril’s agile capability development systems. There will be three prototypes delivered to the Royal Australian Navy over the three-year life of the program.

Anduril has proven it is capable of moving much faster than traditional defence development timelines. In 2020, Anduril became the youngest company to win a program of record with the United States Government since the end of the Korean War with its Autonomous Surveillance Towers (AST) program. Anduril also began developing an end-to-end counter-drone solution in 2019, which U.S. Special Operations Command designated as its system of choice in a US$1B deal in 2022.

Anduril will design, develop and manufacture the XL-AUVs in Australia. Anduril will recruit, build and retain a highly skilled workforce. To support the design, development and manufacturing of the program Anduril plans to hire dozens of employees in high skilled roles including maritime engineering, software development, advanced manufacturing, robotics, propulsion design, mission operations and more. In addition, Anduril will actively partner with other Australian SMEs (small-to-medium enterprise) and the research and technology communities to source nearly all elements of the supply chain for the program.

«The XL-AUV project is a significant investment in Australian industrial capabilities», said David Goodrich, OAM, Exec Chairman and CEO, Anduril Australia. «Through this partnership, Anduril Australia will become a major player in the thriving defence industrial base in Australia and contribute to Australia becoming a leading exporter of cutting-edge autonomous capability to the rest of the world».

«There is a clear need for an XL-AUV built in Australia, for Australia», said Palmer Luckey, Anduril Founder. «The XL-AUV will harness the latest developments in autonomy, edge computing, sensor fusion, propulsion and robotics to bring advanced capability to the Royal Australian Navy».

3DELRR

The world’s most advanced and capable transportable or fixed air defense long-range radar, Lockheed Martin’s first AN/TPY-4 radar – recently selected by the U.S. Air Force for the Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar (3DELRR) Rapid Prototyping program – has completed production marking availability to the world. The technology that enables TPY-4 provides the capability required for today’s threats and unprecedented flexibility to adjust quickly to those that emerge over time.

AN/TPY-4
Lockheed Martin’s First TPY-4 Radar Completes Production, Bringing Unmatched Tracking Precision and Speed to The U.S. And Its Allies

«Lockheed Martin is committed to investing in advanced defense technology, and the TPY-4 radar is a direct result of those investments», said Rick Herodes, Director of Ground Based Air Surveillance Radars at Lockheed Martin. «TPY-4 meets the needs of a rapidly changing battlefields, marked by technological growth and the emergence of increasingly challenging threats».

 

Milestones & Maturity Development

Lockheed Martin has been on the fast track to provide this radar both in the U.S. and internationally.

In March, the U.S. Air Force selected the TPY-4 radar as the best radar for the 3DELRR program. The 3DELRR contract includes production options for 35 long-range radar systems, planned to reach Initial Operational Capability.

In July 2021, the radar received official nomenclature from the U.S. Government and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) delivered the Platform Electronics Subsystem (PES) for the first TPY-4 radar. The Lockheed Martin and KDA partnership leverages Lockheed Martin’s state of the art radar technology and KDA’s experience in defense industry solutions, resulting in a next generation sensor that meets and exceeds current long range surveillance requirements.

 

The World’s First Truly Software-Defined Radar

TPY-4 is intentionally designed as a multi-mission system capable of tracking current and emerging threats, and will integrate seamlessly into existing air defense systems. TPY-4 is an internationally available, transportable, multi-mission radar that can operate in contested RF environments. The radar integrates the latest mature commercial technologies to create a revolutionary radar architecture.

The radar system is fully digital at every transmit/receive element with an unprecedented software-defined sensor architecture, allowing the radar to quickly adjust to tomorrow’s threats and missions. It’s individually software-controlled digital transmitters and receivers provide flexibility to quickly change performance for new missions and environments while providing ease of adaptation to future advanced threats. Performance and operational changes can be made rapidly via software enhancements without the design or hardware changes required by older radar architectures.

TPY-4 outperforms other systems in these key areas:

  • Target Detection: TPY-4 detects smaller, harder-to-detect next generation threats in heavy clutter.
  • Mission Diversity: The radar operators can quickly pivot from one mission to another, enabling them to address threats in a contested environment. The radar will operate in extreme climates and environments.
  • Software Defined: The system is digital at every element with operation and performance defined software enabling quick upgrades to combat emerging threats. TPY-4 adheres to open hardware, software, and interface standards to ensure long-term supportability and ease of integration.
  • Transportability: The system is available in both fixed and transportable variants able to be transported via C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, truck, rail, or helicopter.

 

Radar Coverage

Operation Mode 6 RPM Stop / Stare
Azimuth 360° +/- 45°
Range 300 NM/555 km 540 NM/1000 km
Height 100,000 feet/30.5 km
Search Elevation -6° to 38°
Track Elevation -6° to 90°
Radar Type 3D Element Based Digital Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) with Gallium Nitride (GaN)
Frequency L-Band (1215 to 1400 MHz)

 

«Flight II» configuration

Austal Limited (ASX) is pleased to announce that the United States Navy has exercised a US$230,545,382 (A$324.6M) fixed-priced incentive (firm target) contract option for the detail design and construction of Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 16 by Austal USA.

T-EPF-16
T-EPF-16 will be the third ship constructed by Austal USA in «Flight II» configuration, which has enhanced medical and aviation capabilities (image: Austal USA)

T-EPF-16 will be the third ship constructed by in «Flight II» configuration, which has enhanced medical and aviation capabilities. Austal USA has successfully delivered twelve EPF ships to the U.S. Navy since 2012, on schedule and on budget and is currently constructing EPFs 13, 14 and 15 at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) is being developed as a prototype for autonomous operations, while USNS Cody (T-EPF-14) and USNS Point Loma (T-EPF-15) were redesigned to deliver greater medical capability and capacity.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the contract for another EPF with enhanced medical capabilities highlighted both the success of the high-speed vessel platform and its flexibility to deliver various mission profiles.

«Austal’s Flight II EPF’s will further enhance the US Navy’s capability and enable a fast response with expanded medical support facilities available for any mission or theatre of operation», Mr. Gregg said. «We are delighted to see the EPF platform being deployed globally and we’re excited to begin production of another highly capable ship for the United States Navy».

The United States Navy’s fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transport ships conduct humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, and counter narcotic missions around the globe. The versatility of the EPF design provides a significant operational capability that can be tailored to the needs of each fleet and combatant commander’s geographic command.

Flight II ships enhance the original capabilities of the Spearhead-class EPFs through incorporation of reconfigurable spaces for operating and post-surgical recovery efforts. Combined with the ship’s V-22 Osprey capable flight deck, Flight II ships provide unmatched versatility.

Construction of T-EPF-16 will commence later this year with delivery projected for 2025. In addition to EPFs 13, 14 and 15 currently in production, Austal USA is currently constructing the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) 32, 34 and 36; and is under contract for LCS 38. Following the opening of the company’s new steel shipbuilding production line, construction will soon commence on the first of two Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS), T-ATS 11 and 12 for the United States Navy.

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Paddy Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.

Keel Authenticated

The keel for the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), the U.S. Navy’s 3rd John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, was laid at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO), April 30.

USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207)
Keel Authenticated for Future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207)

A keel laying is the 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 sponsor, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, had her initials etched into the keel plate by NASSCO welders.

«We are looking forward to getting these ships to the fleet to support at-sea operations», said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Office. «This new class of oilers are bringing much needed capability and capacity to the fleet».

The John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and fuel for embarked aircraft.

The oilers feature the capacity to carry barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots. NASSCO designed the new vessels with double hulls to protect against oil spills and strengthened cargo and ballast tanks. The new T-AOs will add capacity to the U.S. Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

NASSCO is currently also in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) are under contract. NASSCO is also currently in production of two Expeditionary Sea Bases (ESB) – the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7).

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, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

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