Forward Point

Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics, leading developer of autonomous command and control systems for surface vessels, announces that it has been awarded a multi-year Other Transaction (OT) agreement by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). The primary purpose of the agreement is to initiate a prototype that will enable commercial ocean-service barges as autonomous Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) units for an Amphibious Maritime Projection Platform (AMPP).

Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP)
Department of Defense Taps Sea Machines for Autonomous VTOL Replenishment Vessels

Under this OT agreement, Sea Machines will engineer, build and demonstrate ready-to-deploy system kits that enable autonomous, self-propelled operation of opportunistically available barges to land and replenish military aircraft. The kits will include Sea Machines’ SM300 autonomous-command and control systems, barge propulsion, sensing, positioning, communications and refueling equipment, as well as items required for global deployment. Each modular kit will meet U.S. Navy criteria and will be in compliance with classifications and regulations from the DOD’s aviation bodies.

The contract includes a concept demonstration phase, with an option for following phases to deploy SM300 Operational Kits. The live concept demonstration is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020, in Washington state, for which Sea Machines has teamed with FOSS Maritime, a leading maritime transportation and logistics provider based in Seattle. FOSS will provide naval architecture, support engineering and operations management to outfit a remotely commanded deck barge to land helicopters and host a scaled fueling station for aircraft, surface vessels and shore replenishment. Using the SM300, shoreside operators will have remote situational awareness and will be able to demonstrate the capabilities of remote command and control of the vessel, her operating systems and flight deck.

Sea Machines is the prime contractor for the multi-year contract and is working closely alongside FOSS Maritime and other significant industry leaders, including Huntington Ingalls, America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services, based in Newport News, Va., and Bell Flight, a producer of commercial and military, vertical-lift aircraft, based in Fort Worth, Texas, to ensure a successful demonstration.

«The AMPP autonomous replenishment systems will solve critical logistics challenges of expeditionary missions. We are pleased to enable this innovative capability, which will increase the effectiveness and flexibility for the U.S. military», said Sea Machines’ Phil Bourque, director, sales. «With Sea Machines systems already working off the waters of four continents, this project is well suited for us and one that we look forward to delivering on for the U.S. Government».

«Foss is excited about this new opportunity with Sea Machines. This contract has led to discussions with Sea Machines in a number of other areas where their expertise can help Foss, including bringing more technology to our tug fleet. What they are doing in automation is very interesting and that technology could help our mariners and our vessels safety», said Foss’ Will Roberts, chief operating officer.

DIU’s work is part of the DOD’s Resilient Expeditionary Agile Littoral Logistics (REALL) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) project. Funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Research & Engineering, the JCTD Program addresses Combatant Command (CCMD) and Joint warfighting gaps through prototyping and demonstration of innovative and game-changing technologies. The following offices are involved with defining performance requirements and developing capabilities for REALL: U.S. Central Command, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and the Naval Aviation Warfare Center – Lakehurst.

Wideband SATCOM

Boeing and the U.S. Space Force successfully completed the first major engineering design review for the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)-11+ communications satellite. This successful review demonstrates that Boeing is ready to proceed to the final system design phase. Production will begin next year at Boeing’s El Segundo factory, with delivery scheduled for 2024.

Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS)
This artist rendering shows the WGS-11+ satellite, which is being built in El Segundo, California, and will be delivered to the U.S. Space Force in 2024 (Boeing illustration)

WGS-11+ features a modern digital payload that performs at twice the operational capability of its predecessors, increasing the availability of military-grade communications. Leveraging advances in Boeing commercial technologies, it will provide secure communications to connect U.S. and allied forces globally.

The current WGS constellation, consisting of 10 satellites, is the backbone of the U.S. military’s global communications system, providing flexible, high data-rate connectivity. Users include all U.S. military services, the White House Communications Agency, the U.S. State Department and international partners.

«Completing this engineering design review is a key milestone and brings us one step closer to delivering this groundbreaking satellite to the warfighter in record time, significantly improving capacity and coverage to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and allies», said Colonel John Dukes, chief of the Geosynchronous/Polar Division at Space and Missile Systems Center Production Corps.

«WGS-11+ uses narrower spot beams to deliver a stronger, more reliable connection exactly where it’s needed, which means better performance and greater flexibility than ever before», said Troy Dawson, vice president of Boeing Government Satellite Systems.

In addition to U.S. military forces, the WGS constellation provides service to international partners including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Norway.

Fully Assembled

Northrop Grumman Corporation and NASA have completed environmental testing on the James Webb Space Telescope.

James Webb Space Telescope
Northrop Grumman and NASA Complete Environmental Testing on the James Webb Space Telescope

The environmental testing demonstrated Webb’s ability to withstand harsh environmental characteristics during its upcoming rocket launch and journey to reach its orbit at the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2), approximately one million miles away from Earth.

«The completion of environmental testing is a major step forward in our preparations for Webb’s historic launch and a testament to the remarkable dedication of the team», said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman.

Webb’s environmental testing consisted of a series of rigorous acoustic and sine-vibration tests spanning several weeks. Webb was first placed in Northrop Grumman’s acoustic testing chamber where it underwent high frequency oscillating sound pressure levels above 140 decibels to simulate the effects of being launched on a rocket. The completion of the acoustic tests and analysis validated that Webb’s hardware, science instruments, structure and electronics can successfully survive the planned rocket launch in a simulated environment.

Following the completion of acoustic testing, Webb transitioned to a separate chamber where it underwent a series of sine-vibration tests on a shaker table to simulate vertical and horizontal accelerations in lower frequencies. The observatory was rigorously exposed to vibration levels on the shaker that are well above the flight environment, exciting its resonances to demonstrate its capability to withstand the flight environment with significant margins.

The next series of major milestones for Webb will require NASA and Northrop Grumman engineers and technicians to deploy the observatory’s five-layered sunshield followed by wing deployments of its primary mirror in order to fully verify Webb’s flight worthiness. Lastly, Webb will undergo a full systems evaluation before it begins preparations for its historic journey to Kourou, French Guiana for its October 2021 launch.

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. NASA leads an international partnership that includes the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. Goddard Space Flight Center manages the Webb Telescope project, and the Space Telescope Science Institute is responsible for science and mission operations, as well as ground station development.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

The James Webb Space Telescope Completes its Final Environmental Tests

Acceptance Trial

The future USS Mobile (LCS-26) successfully concluded its acceptance trial in the Gulf of Mexico September 25 after a series of in-port and underway demonstrations.

USS Mobile (LCS-26)
Future USS Mobile (LCS-26) Completes Successful Acceptance Trial

The Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the Independence-variant littoral combat ship’s systems during the trial, spanning multiple functional areas including main propulsion, auxiliaries and electrical systems. USS Mobile (LCS-26) also performed a full-power demonstration, steering and quick reversal, anchor drop test and combat system detect-to-engage sequence. The acceptance trial is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, currently planned for October.

«I am impressed with the outstanding results achieved by the U.S. Navy and industry team during this acceptance trial of the future USS Mobile. We continue to see impressive results during trials as we work to provide warfighting capability to the fleet and the nation», said Captain Mike Taylor, Littoral Combat Ship program manager.

Following delivery and commissioning, Mobile will sail to its homeport in San Diego with sister ships USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Coronado (LCS-4), USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), USS Omaha (LCS-12), USS Manchester (LCS-14), USS Tulsa (LCS-16), USS Charleston (LCS-18), USS Cincinnati (LCS-20), USS Kansas City (LCS-22), and USS Oakland (LCS-24).

Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile. Final assembly is well under way on USS Savannah (LCS-28). The modules for USS Canberra (LCS-30) are erected. Additionally, Austal is fabricating modules for USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) and fabrication has started on USS Augusta (LCS-34). USS Kingsville (LCS-36) and USS Pierre (LCS-38) will begin fabrication in 2021.

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future missions, from deep water to the littorals.

LCS is now the second-largest surface ship class in production, behind the Navy’s DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer program. In 2019, three LCSs were delivered to the fleet and four will be delivered in 2020 – a shipbuilding pace not seen since the 1990s.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft 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)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Ukrainian Navy

A memorandum of intent between the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on cooperation in developing and enhancing the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was signed during the official visit of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to Great Britain.

Ukrainian Navy
Ukraine and Great Britain have launched large-scale projects for the development of the Ukrainian Navy, – Andrii Taran

The document was signed on behalf of Ukraine by Defence Minister Andrii Taran. According to him, it is a question of supply of modern samples of military equipment and the newest high-precision armament, adjustment of production of separate types of military production in Ukraine, and also development of bases of the Navy.

The implementation of these projects will significantly strengthen the capabilities and combat potential of the Ukrainian Navy, as well as the interoperability with the naval component of NATO member states. In addition, we expect that this will be a driver of recovery of the shipbuilding industry of Ukraine and will attract to our economy the latest technologies, – noted Andrii Taran.

Specific measures for the practical implementation of the agreements reached will be discussed during a bilateral meeting between the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Andrii Taran and the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace, which will take place on Thursday, October 8.

On October 7, 2020 the Ukrainian delegation headed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi visited the naval base of Great Britain «Portsmouth». During the event, the delegation inspected the aircraft carrier of the British Navy «Prince of Wales» and held an interactive round table with representatives of British companies, which are considered as potential partners in developing the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Minister of Defence of Ukraine Andrii Taran, as a member of the official delegation of Ukraine, is taking part in the events envisaged by the program of the official visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to the United Kingdom.

Space Architecture

The Space Development Agency (SDA) announced on October 5, 2020 that two companies won bids to build out Tranche 0 of the tracking layer for the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). Together, those contracts amount to more than $342 million.

National Defense Space Architecture
The Space Development Agency announced on Oct. 5, 2020, the award of two contracts to build satellites for the «tracking» layer of the National Defense Space Architecture

Both L3Harris Technologies, Inc., of Melbourne, Florida, and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., of Hawthorne, California, also known as SpaceX, were successful in their bids to participate in the NDSA.

Each company is expected to build four Overhead Persistent Infrared Imaging, or OPIR, satellites for the tracking layer of the NDSA. Those satellites should be ready by the end of fiscal year 2022.

«The satellites will be able to provide missile tracking data for hypersonic glide vehicles and the next generation of advanced missile threats», said Derek Tournear, the director of the Space Development Agency.

Tournear said both L3Harris and SpaceX will build satellites of their own design, but that meet criteria set by the SDA. They must all be able to do the missile tracking mission, and then also be able to communicate directly with transport layer satellites via laser communications link.

This most recent contract award is the second for development of the NDSA, Tournear said. About a month ago, he said, contracts were awarded for transport layer satellites. Those contracts went to Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems. Each of these companies will build ten satellites.

The contracts for both the tracking and transport layers are part of Tranche 0 of the NDSA. Tranche 0, he said, comprises 28 SDA satellites: 20 transport satellites and 8 tracking layer satellites. Tournear said there will be a separate solicitation to launch those 28 satellites.

«We call it ‘tracking’ because it’s missile tracking – so it provides detection, tracking and fire control formation for hypersonic glide vehicles, ballistic missiles … any of those kinds of threats», Tournear said.

Space Architecture
Agency Awards Contracts for Tracking Layer of National Defense Space Architecture

When tracking layer satellites detect a threat, such as a ballistic missile, they send that information to satellites in the transport layer.

«The transport satellites are the backbone of the National Defense Space Architecture», Tournear said. «They take data from multiple tracking systems, fuse those, and are able to calculate a fire control solution, and then the transport satellites will be able to send those data down directly to a weapons platform via a tactical data link, or some other means».

The development of the NDSA is based on two pillars: proliferation and spiral development. Ultimately, Tournear said, there will be hundreds of satellites that make up the NDSA.

«With Tranche 0 in 2022, we will provide enough capability to where people can start to experiment with what those data could do, and figure out how they could put that into their operational plans for battle», Tournear said.

Tranche 1, due in 2024, will include a couple hundred satellites in the transport layer, and a few dozen in the tracking layer. With Tranche 2, in 2026, the SDA would continue to build out the system as needed. By then, he said, the SDA would have global coverage, ensuring that the capabilities provided by the NDSA could be available to warfighters anywhere in the world.

«Every two years thereafter, we would continually spiral out and proliferate more satellites with new capabilities and, in essence, retire satellites with older capabilities as we develop new tranches», he said.

Tournear said that the NDSA is certainly based in space, its focus is mostly back on Earth – in support of service members conducting operations on land, at sea and in the air.

«Our architecture is entirely warfighter-focused for the terrestrial battlefield», Tournear said. «Our goal is to be able to provide real-time targeting data for targets, for time-sensitive targets and for missiles, so that the terrestrial warfighter can utilize space to be able to affect their mission in real time. We’re focused on making sure that we can provide capabilities from space».

Tracking Layer
Tracking Layer

Battlefield
Collaboration

October 6, 2020, UVision Air Ltd. – a global leader in Loitering Munitions Systems of all sizes for a variety of missions, and Milrem Robotics – a world renowned manufacturer of advanced unmanned ground vehicles and robotic warfare solutions, have recently joined forces. The joint solution – two of Milrem Robotics’ Robotic Combat Vehicles (commonly known as Unmanned Ground Vehicles, UGV´s) which are now mounted with Loitering Munition Multi-Canister Launcher, is a new step in the deployment of combat unmanned remotely operated systems.

Type-X
A New step in Man-Machine Battlefield Collaboration: UVision Air and Milrem Robotics Join Forces to Present UGV-Mounted Loitering Munition Multi-Canister Launcher

The new operational concept, presented by the two companies, is designed to offer frontline forces with a new independent ability to locate, track and accurately eliminate heavily armored targets from large distances in challenging battlefield conditions, including GPS denied environment and communication jamming, without the need for a headquarters’ support. It provides small light forces with advanced ISR capabilities combined with highly accurate long-range heavy fire power that were achieved until now only with complex cooperation between several units and echelons.

The Estonian-based Milrem Robotics, which only four months ago announced the integration of the Cockerill Protected Weapons Station Generation II (CPWS II) on to its newly developed Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV), again shows its innovation, teaming with the Israeli company UVision, and installing a Multi Canister Launcher for UVision’s Lethal Loitering Munition Systems (LMs) on the RCV. The Launcher can be equipped with two of UVision’s already operational Loitering Munition Systems: The Hero-120, with its anti-tank warhead and up to one hour of flight time, and the Hero-400EC, capable of destroying fortified targets, with up to two operational hours. Milrem’s Type-X will also be equipped with a 40 km/25 miles range communication antenna, located on a telescopic rising mast, improving the operator’s control of the system.

The second vehicle, Milrem robotics’ UGV flagship, THeMIS, is designed for operation by dismounted infantry and Special Forces. Able to carry up to six of UVision’s Loitering Munition systems, it will provide the forces with long-range ISR and firepower combination that will now be available to them for the first time. The THeMIS recently completed a full 12-month deployment to an international military operation in Mali, and has already been delivered to a several NATO countries (including Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and USA).

«As a leading innovative company that takes pride in advanced and in-depth military understanding, UVision has long been a provider of new operational solutions», says Major General (res) Avi Mizrachi, UVision’s CEO. «With a highly experienced team, all – with military background, and many with actual combat experience, we know first-hand the challenges that are facing operational forces in battle conditions today, and we are committed to provide advanced, yet user-friendly and affordable solutions that meet those challenges. Teaming up with Milrem Robotics, to provide new operational concepts based on the advantages of both companies’ cutting-edge solutions, is another milestone in our unprecedented developments».

Kuldar Väärsi, Milrem Robotics CEO adds «bringing disruptive technologies to the battlefield and enhancing our warfighters’ safety and capabilities are the driving force for Milrem Robotics. Our robotic platforms are deployed by different nations and it is our duty to propose new ways on how unmanned systems can benefit to capability building».

 

UVision’s Hero-120 and Hero-400EC

Modular, customizable loitering weapon systems that can be fitted with a range of powerful multi-purpose warheads and variety of payloads. These versatile, precision, multi-operational systems, with a unique aerodynamic structure, can carry out pinpoint lethal strikes against mid-range hard targets ‒ vehicles, tanks, concrete fortifications and personnel ‒ in populated urban areas or remote locations with minimal collateral damage. Their extended endurance of over an hour (Hero-120), and up to 2 Hours (Hero-400EC), and their loitering range of 40 km/25 miles (Hero-120) and up to 150 km/93 miles (Hero-400), allow these systems to be independently operated by frontline forces, precisely striking time-sensitive targets from a wide variety of angles. Featuring low acoustic and low visual and thermal signatures, and fully gimbaled, stabilized day/night tracking, both systems combine real-time intelligence with high-precision attack to allow a whole new range of operational possibilities. Advanced and versatile, these systems are highly affordable and cost-effective due to their recoverable option, using a parachute, while securing the warhead. The Hero-120 was recently purchased by several NATO military forces. The Hero-400EC was already operationally demonstrated and is currently in evaluation stages by several key military forces.

 

Milrem Robotics Type-X and THeMIS

The Type-X RCV is a Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) with tactical characteristics of a modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The RCV can be equipped with a main armament of 30 up to 50 mm automatic cannon. It is a rapidly deployable and dependable unit, able to autonomously navigate the battlefield and perform tasks, keeping the operator in the loop with real-time Situational Awareness.

The Type-X concept is based on open architecture that enables it to be integrated with various payloads. The vehicle is designed for operations encompassing the entire spectrum of conflict from permissive to denied environments, fighting effectively in both conventional and non-conventional conflicts.

The THeMIS is the first hybrid fully modular unmanned ground vehicle in the world. The vehicle is intended to provide support for dismounted troops by serving as a transport platform, remote weapon station, IED detection and disposal unit, and much more. The vehicle’s open architecture gives it the multi-missions capability much needed on the modern battlefield.

Acceptance Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division announced on October 02, 2020 the successful completion of acceptance sea trials for the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest national security cutter, USCGC Stone (WMSL-758). During seal trials, the ship spent two days in the Gulf of Mexico proving its systems.

USCGC Stone (WMSL-758)
Ingalls Shipbuilding successfully completed acceptance trials for the U.S. Coast Guard’s ninth National Security Cutter, USCGC Stone (WMSL-758) (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«I am very proud of the Ingalls team that conducted another outstanding acceptance trial on our ninth national security cutter Stone. This ship, like all of the national security cutters we have delivered, will be capable of undertaking the most challenging Coast Guard missions with great capability and endurance», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «We are proud of our shipbuilders and the state-of-the-art design and construction of Stone, and we look forward to the ship’s upcoming delivery».

Ingalls has delivered eight Legend-class NSCs with two more under construction and one additional under contract. Stone is scheduled to deliver later this year and will be homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.

NSC-9 was named to honor Coast Guard officer Commander Elmer «Archie» Fowler Stone, Coast Guard aviator number one, who made history in 1919 for being one of two Coast Guard pilots in the four-man air crew who completed the first transatlantic flight in a Navy seaplane.

The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard’s fleet, which enables it to meet the high demands required for maritime and homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs are 418 feet/127 m long with a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.

 

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 10-04-2019
Calhoun WMSL-759
Friedman WMSL-760

 

Kalpana Chawla

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft was successfully captured by Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA using the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2 at 5:32 a.m. EDT after its launch on the company’s Antares rocket on October 2 from Wallops Island.

Cygnus CRS NG-14
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft was successfully captured by Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA using the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2 at 5:32 a.m. EDT after its launch on the company’s Antares rocket on October 2 from Wallops Island

The S.S. Kalpana Chawla executed a series of thruster burns during its three-day journey to the station. Once Cygnus was in close range, crew members grappled the spacecraft with the station’s robotic arm. Cygnus was then guided to its berthing port on the Earth facing side of the station’s Unity module and officially installed to the space station at 8:01 a.m. EDT.

«The S.S. Kalpana Chawla has successfully completed the first part of its mission with its arrival at the International Space Station», said Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager, tactical space systems, Northrop Grumman. «Northrop Grumman is proud to support both NASA and our commercial partners as we continue to play a critical role in support of humans living and working in space».

Cygnus will remain berthed to the International Space Station for approximately three months while more than 8,000 pounds/3,629 kg of cargo is unloaded and astronauts reload the vehicle with disposal cargo. Cygnus will then undock and complete its secondary mission of hosting both the Northrop Grumman-built SharkSat payload and the Saffire-V experiment. The SharkSat prototype payload is mounted to Cygnus and will collect performance data of new technologies in low Earth orbit. To learn more about these payloads, visit Northrop Grumman’s website.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

IM-SHORAD Vehicles

General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), was awarded a $1.219 billion contract to produce, test and deliver Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) systems to the U.S. Army. The Army’s initial order on the contract calls for 28 Stryker IM-SHORAD vehicles for $230 million.

Stryker IM-SHORAD
General Dynamics Land Systems awarded $1.2 Billion U.S. Army Contract for Stryker IM-SHORAD Vehicles

«General Dynamics and our teammates Leonardo DRS and Raytheon are pleased to be able to partner with the Army to bring this powerful capability to U.S. Soldiers», said Don Kotchman, Vice President and General Manager of GD Land Systems. «This dedicated SHORAD capability adds a new operational dimension to the Stryker fleet in all of the Army’s maneuver formations».

The IM-SHORAD is designed to counter threats from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and a multitude of other Rotary and Fixed Wing aircraft, and provides a common Army platform that is cost-effective, highly mobile, survivable, sustainable and transportable.

Stryker continues to be a highly sought platform beyond the Stryker Brigade Combat Team formations.

Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September, 30, 2025. GD Land Systems has production locations in Tallahassee, Florida; Scranton, Pennsylvania; London, Ontario; Lima, Ohio; and Anniston, Alabama.

Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, General Dynamics Land Systems provides innovative design, engineering, technology, production and full life-cycle support for land combat vehicles around the globe. The company’s extensive experience, customer-first focus and seasoned supply chain network provide unmatched capabilities to the U.S. military and its allies.