The Romanian authorities announced on July 03, 2019 the selection of Naval Group and its partner Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) for the programme to build four new Gowind multi-mission corvettes, to modernize the T22 frigates and to create a maintenance centre and a training centre.
The Naval Group and SNC teams are honoured by the trust of the Romanian authorities and look forward to working together to provide the Romanian Navy with the four state-of-the art Gowind corvettes.
With this programme, Romania will benefit from Naval Group’s long tradition of excellence and experience. The Gowind design has already been chosen by several countries. The platform and its combat system including the Setis Combat Management System (CMS) offer a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art NATO-standard combat-proven capabilities for Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Air Warfare (AAW). The Gowind is the perfect solution for Romania to carry out its strategic missions as a major NATO partner in the Black Sea and will also strengthen European Defence capabilities.
Naval Group and SNC’s offer is based on the complementarities of their partnership, which will ensure Romania’s sovereignty and autonomy since SNC will receive the necessary know-how to support the complete life cycle of the corvettes, from building to maintenance and modernisation.
The critical launch abort system for NASA’s Orion spacecraft was put to its hardest test on July 2, 2019, and it demonstrated its capability to pull the crew module and future astronauts to safety during a launch if there is an emergency. Lockheed Martin designed and built the launch abort system for the test and is also the prime contractor building the Orion spacecraft for NASA.
The Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test is a major test milestone that is enabling the safe passage of astronauts aboard Orion on the Artemis missions to the Moon and then Mars.
During the test this morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, the Orion launch abort system, with a mock-up Orion capsule, was launched on a modified Peacekeeper missile. At 31,000 feet/9,449 m, or about six miles up, into the flight, the on-board computers initiated the abort sequence. The launch abort motors, generating 400,000 pounds/181,437 kg of thrust, then pulled the Orion capsule away from the rocket which was already traveling nearly 1,000 mph/1,609 km/h. Using its attitude control motor, the abort system then reoriented itself and jettisoned the Orion capsule using its jettison motor. The total test took less than three minutes.
«The test flight performed perfectly, not to mention it was really exciting to watch», said Mike Hawes, Orion program manager for Lockheed Martin Space. «Hopefully this will be the last time we see this launch abort system ever work, but this test brings confidence that if needed on future Orion missions, it will safely pull the crew module and astronauts away from a life-threatening event during launch».
The Orion launch abort system is the highest thrust and acceleration escape system ever developed and is the only system of its kind in the world. It’s a major system that makes the Orion exploration-class spaceship the safest spacecraft ever built.
This is the second time the Orion launch abort system has been put to the test. The first flight test was in 2010 simulating a static abort from the launch pad. AA-2 is the final test and demonstration of the full-up launch abort system.
NASA’s Orion spacecraft for the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission to the Moon is being developed at the NASA Kennedy Space Center and will soon head into environmental testing – all in preparation for a 2020 launch.
Infantry Soldiers are closer to getting their hands on a «light tank» that will boost the firepower of their formations without slowing them down.
The Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) vehicle, part of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicles suite, is currently in competition after two vendors were chosen in December to each build 12 prototypes for under $376 million.
Beginning in March, those prototypes will be put through the wringer in a series of lethality, survivability and mobility tests. A light infantry unit at 82nd Airborne Division will also conduct an assessment later next year to gain Soldier input.
«It will be the first time anybody really puts their hands on it», said David Dopp, the vehicle’s project manager at Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). «That’s a real key test».
The Army expects to receive about 500 MPFs, which it will start fielding in fiscal 2025. Each infantry brigade combat team will get their own 14-vehicle company for armor support.
One vendor will be chosen to begin producing the vehicles in fiscal 2022.
The «light tanks» would help infantry Soldiers blast through obstacles, take out machine-gun nests and defend against other armored vehicles.
«Infantry would go out on foot or in a Humvee, but then if they ran into some fortification, a bunker or other vehicles, everything kind of stopped», Dopp said Wednesday at the International Armored Vehicles USA conference. «With MPF, we can break through that».
The «light tank» will be a tracked vehicle with likely a 105-mm cannon and 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun for firepower, he said.
At least two of them would need to fit on a C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft, and each vehicle would weigh less than 40 tons, much lighter than an M1 Abrams tank that can weigh 60 tons or more.
«It has better mobility for the infantry than an Abrams tank», Dopp said. «It goes where the infantry goes».
The MPF could be a game-changer for infantry units and fill a lethality gap they have had since 1996, when the M551 Sheridan light tank was officially retired without a replacement.
«We haven’t put a ‘tank’ in a light infantry unit for a long time», said Major General Brian Cummings, head of PEO GCS.
Today, an infantry brigade combat team has little to protect itself from an adversary with light armored vehicles, particularly Russia, which the Defense Department considers to be a near-peer adversary.
«In flows a company’s worth of MPFs to help give an armor capability against the threat», Cummings said, «so they’re not just there all by themselves with their javelin missiles».
While the MPF will have some of the latest available technology, autonomous features as well as additional sensors and other improvements could be implemented into it in the future.
«When we get it out there, we’ll start looking to put on those more advanced technologies», Dopp said. «It was all about getting it out there in a hurry».
Rheinmetall and BAE Systems have today launched a new, independent UK-based joint venture for military vehicle design, manufacture and support – known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL). Headquartered in Telford in the West Midlands, the joint venture will sustain around 450 jobs across the UK and is well positioned for future growth.
RBSL intends to play a major role in manufacturing the Boxer 8×8 for the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme and other strategic combat vehicle programmes, while also providing support to the British Army’s in-service bridging and armoured vehicle fleets.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: «This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in the UK’s defence industry as a world-leader in designing, supplying and supporting military vehicles. This exciting venture clearly demonstrates how Defence sits at the heart of the prosperity agenda. Its benefits will be felt in the West Midlands and across the UK defence supply chain, creating jobs, boosting exports and guaranteeing our technical skills base into the future».
RBSL will draw on Rheinmetall’s broader military vehicle technologies combined with the additional capabilities and systems brought to the Joint Venture by BAE Systems’ Land UK business, such as Trojan, Terrier, Warrior, military bridging and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system. RBSL will have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs, both in Telford and the wider supply chain.
Peter Hardisty, formerly of Rheinmetall UK, has been appointed as Managing Director of the new company. He said: «RBSL is a new business drawing on the significant strengths and expertise of both BAE Systems Land UK and Rheinmetall. Our employees in Telford, Bristol, and Washington (UK) have a valuable skill set and extensive experience in combat vehicle engineering. With new orders, we shall be able to sustain these capabilities and expand over the coming years, seeking new opportunities in the UK and overseas».
The new management team that will lead RBSL into the future also includes Carrie White as Finance Director and Phil Simon as Operations Director, both of whom join from BAE Systems.
Regulatory approval for the joint venture was granted on 13 June 2019.
The U.S. Navy christened its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Oakland (LCS-24), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, June 29, in Mobile, Alabama.
U.S. Representative Ken Calvert of California delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address. Kate Brandt, Google’s sustainability officer, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Brandt christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
«The christening of the future USS Oakland marks an important step toward this great ship’s entry into the fleet», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «The dedication and skilled work of our industry partners ensure this ship will represent the great city of Oakland and serve our Navy and Marine Corps team for decades to come».
The future USS Oakland (LCS-24) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The ship will be homeported in San Diego.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama (for LCS-6 and subsequent even-numbered hulls).
The future USS Oakland (LCS-24) is the third U.S. Navy ship named for the city in California. The first Oakland (2847) was commissioned in 1918 and used for cargo transport. The second, CL 95, was commissioned in 1942, and during seven years of service, it played a key role in many antiaircraft missions across the Asia-Pacific theater of operations.
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class
Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
421 feet/128.3 m
103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum)
14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load
Mission Bay Volume
118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
4 × Wartsila steerable
40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Survival in Sea State 8
>21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery
Twin boom extending crane
Internal elevator to hanger
Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions
2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 17, the future USS Indianapolis, completed Acceptance Trials in Lake Michigan. This is the ship’s final significant milestone before the ship is delivered to the U.S. Navy. USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) is the ninth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and is slated for delivery to the U.S. Navy this year.
«LCS 17 is joining the second-largest class of ships in the U.S. Navy fleet, and we are proud to get the newest Littoral Combat Ship one step closer to delivery», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager, Small Combatants and Ship Systems. «This ship is lethal and flexible, and we are confident that she will capably serve critical U.S. Navy missions today and in future».
Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet.
It is flexible – with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, LCS can be modified to integrate capabilities including over-the-horizon missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems and decoys.
It is fast – capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.
It is lethal – standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
It is automated – with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
The trials included a full-power run, maneuverability testing, and surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and machinery control and automation.
«I am extremely proud of our LCS team including our shipbuilders at Fincantieri Marinette Marine», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. «These are complex vessels, and it takes a strong team effort to design, build and test these American warships».
Ship Design Specifications
Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
389 feet/118.6 m
57 feet/17.5 m
13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement
Approximately 3,200 metric tons
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
Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
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
Naval Group is extremely honored to host the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly. This celebration marks not only the end of work on the six multi-mission frigates, but also the beginning of the manufacturing of the FREMM frigates with reinforced air defence capabilities and of the Defence and Intervention Frigate (FDI), the first fully digital warships.
Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group, and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, hosted the Minister for the Armed Forces on board the Normandie (D651) frigate for a visit. This warship was delivered in a record time of 40 months, the shortest completion time of the whole multi-mission frigates program.
Florence Parly and Hervé Guillou had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing and future surface ships programs built in Lorient: FREMM, FDI and aircraft carriers.
Hervé Guillou claimed: «We are proud to meet the expectations set by the Military Programming Law. Today, with the completion of the FREMM Normandie, Naval Group has fulfilled its commitment. This industrial and technical success, which represents more than 2.5 million working hours, encourages us to keep on completing our mission in service of our national and international clients. This project shows once again the firm’s capacity to respect its engagements in terms of costs, deadlines and performance».
The Normandie (D651) is the sixth French multi-mission FREMM frigate. It will soon be delivered in Brest. This program is managed by the OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) on behalf of – in France – the French Navy and of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA).
At the same time the construction of two multi-mission frigates with renewed anti-air defence capacities – the Alsace (D656) and the Lorraine (D657) – will begin in Lorient. They will be respectively delivered in 2021 and 2022.
Furthermore, Naval Group teams are already launching the program for defence and intervention frigates (FDI) that will be delivered from 2023 onward. This first «fully digital» warship will benefit from the latest digital technologies. The first cut of steel-sheets is expected in October 2019.
FREMM frigates technical characteristics
Heavily armed, the Normandie FREMM deploys the most effective equipment and weapon systems, integrating the SETIS software as well as the Herakles multi-function radar, the Naval Cruise Missile (NCM), the Aster and Exocet MM40 missiles and MU 90 torpedoes.
142 metres/466 feet
20 metres/65.6 feet
27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
123 persons (among whom 14 dedicated to the helicopter detachment)
SpaceX is targeting Monday, June 24 for a Falcon Heavy launch of the STP-2 mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The primary launch window opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT, or 3:30 UTC on June 25, and closes at 3:30 a.m. EDT on June 25, or 7:30 UTC. A backup launch window opens on June 25 at 11:30 p.m. EDT, or 3:30 UTC on June 26, and closes at 3:30 a.m. EDT on June 26, or 7:30 UTC. Deployments will begin approximately 12 minutes after liftoff and end approximately 3 hours and 32 minutes after liftoff.
Falcon Heavy’s side boosters for the STP-2 mission previously supported the Arabsat-6A mission in April 2019. Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the «Of Course I Still Love You» droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Space and Missile Systems Center teamed with multiple commercial, national, and international mission partners for the historic DoD Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) launch. SMC procured the mission to provide spaceflight for advanced research and development satellites from multiple DoD research laboratories, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and universities.
The STP-2 mission will use a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle to perform 20 commanded deployment actions and place 24 separate spacecraft in three different orbits. The spacecraft include the Air Force Research Laboratory Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) satellite; the NOAA-sponsored Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-2) constellation; four NASA experiments; and many other missions. For more detailed descriptions of the experiments on STP-2, visit our website at spacex.com/stp-2.
The DoD Space Test Program accelerates space technologies into operational capabilities by providing space access for cutting edge, DoD-sponsored experiments and demonstrations. STP, through its Johnson Space Center location, is the single face to NASA for all DoD payloads on the International Space Station and other human-rated launch vehicles, for both domestic and international partners.
Protolab Oy is pleased to announce the delivery of the first Protolab 6×6 Protected Multi-Purpose Vehicles (PMPV) to the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF). Protolab is delivering four PMPVs to the FDF under a contract signed in 2018. The vehicles are being put through operational testing by the FDF as part of a wider modernisation programme to upgrade and enhance its armoured vehicle fleet.
The Protolab PMPV is exceptionally manoeuvrable and agile and can perform a range of mission roles including patrol, passenger and cargo transport, and command post. Amphibious and medical evacuation (MEDIVAC) variants are also available. The Protolab PMPV is a first of its kind 6×6 armoured personnel carrier developed to meet the mobility, protection and communication requirements of Special Operations Forces and paramilitary security forces.
The PMPV is designed from the ground up with integrated high level mine protection and ballistic protection according to customer-specified blast protection levels of STANAG 4569. The vehicle can be equipped with various customer required weapon systems.
The vehicle can carry two crew and ten fully-equipped troops, or a cargo payload of up to 10,000 kg/22,046 lbs. Narrower than standard fighting vehicles, the vehicle’s 2.55 m/8.36 feet width makes it suitable for urban operations, with advanced mobility both on and off-road. Powered by a Cummins 6.7L multifuel engine and meeting Euro 3 emission levels, the vehicle meets EU truck road regulations qualifying it for registration as a N3G class truck (off-road).
These design features make it an ideal fit for the challenges being faced by modern armies.
«We designed the Protolab PMPV 6×6 to meet the requirements of today’s soldier and today’s asymmetric battlefield», Juha Moisio, Business Development Director, Protolab Oy commented. «With a design approach based around the use of COTS parts with a small proportion of custom-made components, the Protolab PMPV is a cost-effective solution for the range of tasks faced by special operations, security and crisis management forces in the field. We are pleased to see the vehicle progressing well through field trials with the FDF and are getting positive feedback from the customer. We are confident that the Protolab PMPV will become the vehicle of choice for customers looking to replace their existing 6×6 vehicle fleets with a modern, protected and flexible solution».
Protolab Oy specialises in the design, development and delivery of vehicles with high-level, integrated blast and ballistic protection. With a strong design capability, Protolab supports the entire vehicle development cycle, from the initial design through to prototypes and production. Protolab works with a network of key suppliers across Finland and Europe, acting as the design authority, integrator, testing and approval centre, and prime contractor for its customers.
The TLVS bidders consortium, an MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin joint venture, has submitted its proposal to the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to develop, test and deliver TLVS, Germany’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) system.
The tender proposes an efficient four-phased approach that includes development, integration, testing and delivery of a fielded multi-mission system. The fielded unit will deliver new capabilities and significant performance enhancements well beyond the MEADS program and all known systems.
«A brief glance at the headlines show significant advances in adversarial threats in just the last five years, and we are operating in an environment today where those threats will likely only continue to proliferate», said Dietmar Thelen, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «Germany needs a future-proof solution that can grow with the emerging threat».
Designed to replace Germany’s aging, sectored Patriot systems designed in the late 1960s, the 2019 TLVS proposal provides protection from a broader threat spectrum with two mission-specific effectors, significantly enhanced radar capabilities for long range engagements and a new communications system to support enhanced interoperability, data fusion and cyber resilience. TLVS will be the first-ever integrated air and missile defense system able to simultaneously detect, track and intercept multiple threat sets, including medium and short-range threats with full 360-degree coverage.
«We’ve completely reimagined TLVS based on customer requirements. Our approach reduces risk, supports lower life cycle costs and enables more effective coalition operations», said Gregory Kee, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «TLVS will allow Germany to provide regional protection as the Framework Nation for Air and Missile Defense for NATO, with a high degree of system sovereignty».
The TLVS proposal represents the beginning of a new chapter in the longstanding partnership between MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin.
With its integrated plug and fight interface, TLVS is the most advanced, networked 360° IAMD system in the world. It is the only system with the ability to adapt to evolving threats using capabilities that are tailored to the mission. TLVS will transform Germany’s defense capabilities and set an important precedent in how neighboring nations address persistent global threats for years to come.