The U.S. Navy is looking into the feasibility of accelerating design and development work on the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) in case the service decides to begin production earlier than the 2019 planned start, Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley said Wednesday at a House Armed Services Committee (HASC) hearing.
The VPM will add 28 missile tubes to Block V Virginia-class attack submarines (SSN-802-805), to provide more strike capability from undersea as the fleet prepares to lose the Ohio-class SSGN guided missile submarine fleet in the mid-2020s. The Navy planned to start VPM construction in conjunction with the next Virginia-class multiyear contract in 2019, but Stackley said that the SSGNs represent a 600-missile capacity and that sooner is better when it comes to rebuilding that strike capacity.
According to Megan Eckstein, staff writer for USNI News, Stackley told the HASC Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee that he had spoken to the Program Executive Office for Submarines and to the submarine industrial base «to take a look at, can we in fact complete those design and development activities earlier than the 2019 timeframe to give the Navy and the nation the option to determine whether or not we want to advance Virginia Payload Modules earlier than the submarine build cycle».
«We’re looking at first, can we pull design and development to the left a year, and the other aspect is what would be our ability to increase the rate of production of VPMs beyond one per year, which is in our current long-range plan», Stackley later elaborated. «Affordability comes into play, industrial base capacity comes into play».
Sean Stackley said the discussions were ongoing and he would know by March or April what the options were in terms of accelerating VPM progress, though Randy Forbes (R-VA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, pressed for the information sooner to help inform ongoing budget discussions in Congress: «As to specific elements of the budget request, I continue to have concern about the submarine industrial base and the significant workload that stands before us. The 30-year shipbuilding plan presumes a stiff ramp in FY19 with the start of construction of the Ohio-class replacement program. This effort will require an almost 50% increase in our overall submarine industrial capacity. I think that we should review options to better manage the industrial base and to accelerate collateral submarine investments like the Virginia Payload Module» (Source: Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces).
The U.S. Navy decided in November 2013 that it would add a 70-foot (21-meter) section to the new-construction Virginia-class subs, and that section would include four Virginia Payload Tubes. Each tube would contain seven Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM), bringing the submarine’s total load from 12 to 40 TLAMs. The VPM addition would be made beginning with the Block V version of the subs, which would be bought in the 2019-multiyear contract.
One problem the Navy and industry will face, however, is a sharp spike in workload by the end of the decade. Virginia-class submarine procurement is set at two-a-year, but General Dynamics Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding are not currently delivering the subs that quickly. Even as the yards are ramping up to achieve two-a-year delivery, they will need to prepare for one-a-year – or more – VPM production in 2019 and Ohio-replacement ballistic missile submarine production in 2021, according to current Navy plans.
Sean Stackley told reporters after the hearing that the Ohio-replacement was the top priority and needed to stay on schedule regardless of what happens. An ongoing Submarine Build Strategy is looking at what options the Navy and industry have to prepare for the steep uptick in work as the new programs head toward construction.
The Italian Air Force will be the launch customer of the P.1HH HammerHead Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), a state-of-the-art multipurpose UAS, designed and developed by Piaggio Aerospace. This decision was announced at IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, in presence of the Italian Air Force Chief, Lt. Gen. Pasquale Preziosa. Piaggio Aerospace will deliver three UAS systems – 6 air vehicles and 3 ground control stations – complete with Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) configuration to the Italian Air Force in early 2016.
Carlo Logli, CEO of Piaggio Aerospace, said: «We are truly delighted about this decision. It confirms the strong partnership we have with the Italian Air Force and showcases the P.1HH as one of the most advanced systems to enter the market. We are grateful for the continued support of our partner Finmeccanica-Selex ES, the Italian Ministry of Defence, our shareholders and the valuable teamwork with the Italian hi-tech industry». The P.1HH platform is a derivative of the very successful Piaggio Aerospace P.180, the fastest twin turboprop aircraft in the world, with a proven service record of over 20 years and more than 800,000 flight hours.
The P.1HH HammerHead is designed with a variety of operational capabilities that can be tailored to specific customer requirements, enabling the UAS to perform a wide range of ISR missions. Developed in partnership with Finmeccanica-Selex ES, the P.1HH HammerHead UAS is currently going through a comprehensive development and certification flight test campaign, conducted at the Trapani Birgi Italian Air Force base.
THE P.1HH HammerHead UAS
The Piaggio Aerospace P.1HH HammerHead is a new, state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) designed for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions whose combination of performance and operational characteristics is at the very top end of the UAS MALE category. An unmatched combination of range, wide operative speeds, fast climb gradient, high operative ceiling and variety of payloads, provides end-users with a powerful yet flexible Defense System that outperforms other Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Systems, identifying the P.1HH HammerHead as a Super MALE UAS.
P.1HH HammerHead, is suited for a wide range of ISR, Defense and Security missions, and defines an unsurpassed mission role flexibility and sets a new frontier of CONcept of OPerationS (CONOPS) for Defense. The P.1HH HammerHead Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is derived from the successful Piaggio Aerospace P.180 Avanti II business aviation aircraft, the fastest twin turboprop aircraft in the world with a proven, uneventful, service record of more than 20 years and 800,000 flight hours.
The design of the P.1HH HammerHead aims at being a unique ISR platform, able to climb up to 45,000 feet/13,716 m, loitering quietly at low speed (135 KTAS/155 mph/250 km/h) for an endurance of up to 16 flight hours and dashing at very high speed (up to 395 KTAS/454 mph/731 km/h) to target. Its capabilities include being able to host several payload combinations and to perform multiple missions: aerial, land, coastal, maritime and offshore security, COMINT/ELINT (COMmunications INTelligence/ELectronic INTelligence), electronic warfare as well as other roles.
Based on the P.180 Avanti II proven architecture and technologies (tested and certified for passenger transportation) and, on the outstanding experience and capability of Selex ES in the mission management systems for manned/unmanned ISR, P.1HH HammerHead is designed to be an all-weather aircraft with twin turboprop propulsion providing maximum safety, operational reliability and the lowest incident rate in its category.
The P.1HH HammerHead design is fully compliant with STANAG USAR 4671 (Standardization Agreement UAV Systems Airworthiness Requirements 4671) standards to fly in both restricted and unrestricted flight areas, according to the relevant authorities’ permission.
The UAV Platform
The P.1HH HammerHead UAV platform has an aerodynamic configuration largely similar to P.180 Avanti II. This is very versatile thanks to its unique patented 3 Lifting Surfaces Configuration (3 LSC) and high aspect ratio laminar wings, adapted for the P.1HH design by moderately increasing the wing span to sustain larger vehicle masses and allocating a quick detachable joint to the outer wings for rapid aerial deployment of the UAS in remote areas. Being based on a certified Mach 0.70 aircraft, P.1HH HammerHead is the fastest MALE.
The P.1HH HammerHead power plant has two, highly reliable Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66B turbine engines integrated with low noise 5 blade scimitar propellers. The Power Plant is controlled by two Engine Interface Units that receive commands from the Flight Control Computer (FCC) to drive the turbine and the propeller governors while managing engine and propeller data. A large upper fuselage tank, supported by a robust yet efficient carry through beam, is integrated to provide the required fuel quantity for long range and endurance.
A smart fuel system is designed to control and minimize the movement of the aircraft center of gravity for maximum operational flexibility in a wide range of mission payloads. The triple redundant 28VDC electrical generation and distribution system supplies energy for all aircraft functions with adequate operational reserve through the envelope, and fully satisfies large power demands from a variety of power consuming payloads. P.1HH HammerHead inherits proven Piaggio Aerospace P.180 aircraft general systems, e.g.: Anti Ice, with hot air on main wing, electrical on forward wing and pneumatic boots on the engine nacelle inlet. It also has a hydraulic dual pressure system for landing gear extensions/retraction and brake activation, plus other ancillary systems like fire extinguishing for the engine nacelle area. These subsystems are all commanded by the Vector Control & Management System (VCMS), via fail-safe Remote Interface Units.
The large but low drag P.180 aircraft fuselage provides capability for aerodynamically effective payload arrangements, with plenty of available volume from the variety of Line Replaceable Unit’s (LRU’s) equipment, sensors and communication equipment comfortably located inside the fuselage.
The UAV Brain
P.1HH HammerHead features a technologically advanced Vehicle Control & Management System (VCMS) that when combined with the advanced Mission Management System (MMS) manages the UAV and its mission specific equipment.
The VCMS, commanded from the Ground Control Station (GCS) via an airborne datalink system, conducts the vehicle commanding aerodynamic control surfaces and manages on-board equipment with a triple redundant Flight Control Computer (FCC) system and multiple remote multi-lane Servo Interface Units (SIU), developed to achieve the required level of safety and mission reliability.
Position, attitude and air data are guaranteed by triple redundant Inertial Sensors (INS) and Air Data Probes (ADS), mounted in the VCMS. P.1HH HammerHead VCMS features an Automatic Take-Off and Landing (ATOL) system served with dual redundant external sensors for required reliability and safety.
All VCMS LRU’s are installed inside the large volume fuselage, in a very protected optimized operative environment, in a specific lay-out that provides zonal separation and temperature analysis to achieve a state of the art operative temperature range, highest VCMS reliability and finally, P.1HH HammerHead safety. Very easy access is provided through the large entry door and a multitude of access doors for the best maintainability within the segment.
Ground Control Station & Datalink System
An advanced Ground Control Station (GCS) is the P.1HH HammerHead UAS’s command & control center. The GCS is located in an autonomous shelter that hosts crew, equipment and consoles necessary to manage three UAVs (two operational, one in transfer mode) and their related Payloads.
The Crew processes functions necessary to execute tactical unmanned missions and stand-off surveillance unmanned missions, remotely commanding and controlling through VCMS and MMS the on-board surveillance system with an advanced human/machine interface integrating display and control system. The GCS is provided with multiple Ground Data Terminals (GDT) that when coupled with the associated Air Data Terminals (ADT) on the vehicles provide Line Of Sight (LOS) and Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) Link for Vehicle and Payload Control.
The Links System allows LOS & BLOS air vehicle command & control and payload digital encrypted data transmission via redundant, multi-frequency, high bandwidth RF links and via Ku/Ka Band Satellite Communications (SATCOM).
Mission data is eventually relayed to the headquarters either via ground communication systems or eventually with the same LOS/BLOS data link.
VCMS/GCS is developed and supplied by Selex ES thanks to their long experience in Avionics for many different platforms and Unmanned Aerial System.
Mission Management System
The P.1HH HammerHead UAS Mission Management System is based on Selex ES skyISTAR innovative technology, which redefines the concept of patrolling and ISR missions, to encompass threats that range from terrorist attacks to illegal immigration, as well as protection of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), infrastructures and critical sites.
The on board airborne Mission Management System (MMS) manages sensors, video and data, communications, and ISR functions and it is capable of recording video and mission data.
The MMS is modular and reconfigurable with effective and fully integrated open system architecture possessing significant growth capability.
Sensor fusion technology, data management and exploitation features of skyISTAR enable highly effective border control, wide area surveillance, targeted surveillance environmental and disaster control missions.
Main Competitive Characteristics
Capable to perform ISR – COMINT/ELINT – SIGINT missions
Twin turboprop, all weather, proven system architecture and technologies
Vehicle Control Management System compliant with STANAG USAR 4671 standards with Automatic Take Off and Landing
Full redundancy – Safety requirements Cat. Event Prob. 10-6 FH, SW Critical functions DO178B level B
System is ground/sea/air transportable (removable wings)
24 hours deployment capability
LOS/BLOS wide narrow band Datalink
Unpaired combination of performances for range and operational speed
Operational Ceiling: 45,000 feet/13,716 m
MMO (Mach Max Operating): 0.70 Mach
Climb to 35,000 feet/10,668 m in 20 minutes at maximum weight
Loiter at 135 KTAS/155 mph/250 km/h (1 to 3 NM/1.8 to 5.5 km turning radius)
Maximum speed up to 395 KTAS/454 mph/731 km/h
Endurance: 16 hours plus, with ISR payload
Range: up to 4,400 NM/8,149 km
Span: 15.600 m/51.18 feet
Length: 14.408 m/47.27 feet
Height: 3.980 m/13.05 feet
Wing: 18.00 m2/193.75 feet2
Horizontal Tail: 3.834 m2/41.27 feet2
Vertical Tail: 4.731 m2/50.92 feet2
Forward Wing (Exposed): 1.300 m2/13.99 feet2
Max Take Off Weight (MTOW): 6,146 kg/13,550 lbs
2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66B, 850 sph/634 kW, ISA (International Standard Atmosphere), sea level
Hartzell five blade low noise propellers counter rotating
Selex ES SkyISTAR with
FLIR EO/IR StarSafire 380HD
Seaspray 7300 E Radar
Maximum speed: 395 KTAS/454 mph/731 km/h
Cruise speed: 320 KTAS/368 mph/592 km/h
Loiter speed: 135 KTAS/155 mph/250 km/h
Max range: 4,400 NM/8,149 km
Max endurance (500 lbs/227 kg payload): 16 hours
Endurance (500 lbs/227 kg payload) at 1,500 km from takeoff & landing base: 10.5 hours
General Dynamics UK has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the Scout Reconnaissance variant, as part of the Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme. The completion of the Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is a significant marker in the Scout SV programme, with the first Scout Reconnaissance pre-production prototype to be completed later this year.
The CDR covered the fully-integrated Scout Reconnaissance platform, including the platform hull design, the Lockheed Martin UK-developed turret, Electronic Architecture, onboard software solutions, sub-systems and variant-specific products, such as the Primary Sight.
In service, the Scout Reconnaissance variant will provide best-in-class protection and survivability, reliability and mobility and all-weather Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Recognition (ISTAR) capabilities. It will enable the soldier to be at the point of collection of accurate all-weather commander information within a network-enabled, fully-digitised platform.
Kevin Connell, vice president at General Dynamics UK – Land Systems, said: «The Scout Reconnaissance variant is the flagship of the Scout SV programme and will provide a step-change in ground-based ISTAR capability to the British Army. The completion of the Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is a significant step in delivering a family of Scout SV platforms, which represent the future of Armoured Fighting Vehicles for the British Army».
The Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is the final variant-specific CDR to be completed ahead of the pending Scout SV System CDR, which will examine all aspects of each Scout SV platforms under a single review.
Defence Minister, Philip Dunne, said: «The Scout programme has already passed several of its key milestones, including the live blast trials. This latest achievement shows great progress, with Scout SV vehicles well on their way to being ready for Army user trials in 2017. This is an exciting time for the armoured vehicles business in the UK and it is great news that the Scout programme is already securing approximately 2,400 jobs across the country».
The range of Scout SV variants will allow the British Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint. Scout SV can operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide-range of future operating environments.
According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, the UK has ordered a total of 589 of the vehicles, intended to replace the less capable CVR(T) family, at a cost of £3.5 billion ($5.420 billion). These are divided between two principal variant families: the 40-mm turret armed reconnaissance vehicle and the Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS) variant.
It is said in The Jane’s Defence Weekly that Finland’s Special Forces have selected the Belgian FN SCAR-L assault rifle as a new standard firearm. The FN SCAR-L will be the first 5.56×45 mm NATO calibre firearm introduced to the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF). It will supplement the current RK 95 TP assault rifle chambered in the Russian 7.62×39 mm cartridge. Both weapons will be used in parallel by Finnish soldiers.
«We decided that the rifle for the Special Forces should be compatible with other nations for use in crisis management and national defence», said infantry inspector Colonel Jukka Valkeajärvi.
The weapon was approved after field tests. A contract for FN SCAR-L rifles and FN40GL-L under-barrel grenade launchers is to be signed in March. The Special Forces units are also seeking a new light machine gun chambered in 5.56×45 mm. The FN Minimi and the H&K MG4 are being tested at the Finnish Army training centre (Utin Jääkärirykmentti).
Finland launched its ‘reconnaissance weapon system’ for the Special Forces in March 2014. Under it, the country was looking for 200-300 rifles chambered in 5.56×45 mm and 50-75 grenade launchers chambered in 40×46 mm low velocity ammunition. Rifles are set to be equipped with additional accessories, including the tactical light and laser pointer Insight Model 7500 (AN/PEQ-2A). The contract is estimated to be worth €750,000 ($851,378) with all weapons to be delivered in 2015.
Early 2004, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) issued a solicitation for a family of Special Forces Combat Assault Rifles, the so-called SCAR, designed around two different calibers but featuring high commonality of parts and identical ergonomics.
FN Herstal took part in the full and open competition and released prototypes of a brand new family of weapons within timeframe taking advantage of our long-standing firearms know-how.
From the first pre-selection tests, the FN SCAR system developed by FN Herstal has remained the first and only choice of USSOCOM.
The FN SCAR-L STD assault rifle is chambered in 5.56×45 mm NATO caliber and is fitted with a standard 14.5″ barrel.
The operator can replace the standard barrel with a short 10″ barrel for close quarter combat in less than five minutes. The rifle is then called FN SCAR-L CQC.
The FN SCAR-L STD assault rifle can be fitted with a FN40GL-L grenade launcher mounted on the lower rail of the rifle, for additional firepower.
The FN SCAR assault rifle features a foldable buttstock, an adjustable cheek piece (2 positions) and an adjustable length of pull (6 positions) to adapt to any operators.
The FN SCAR assault rifle features a reversible charging handle and an ambidextrous safety/firing selector and magazine release.
Right- and left-handed operators are at ease with any FN SCAR® assault rifle.
The FN SCAR-L STD weighs no more than 3.545 kg (without magazine) and does not exceed 653 mm in length with folded buttstock.
The FN SCAR assault rifle fires semi-automatic or full automatic maintaining high firing accuracy in either mode.
Wide range of Accessories
The FN SCAR assault rifle features an upper Picatinny rail for optional day or night sighting systems (in-line mounting possible) and lower and side rails for optional accessories (e.g. light, laser, foregrip).
Further accessories are available, such as sling, bipod, carrying bag and blank firing system.
Easy Field Stripping
The FN SCAR assault rifle consists of 5 major assemblies:
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Sailors aboard the USS Carney (DDG-64), USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) and USS Barry (DDG-52) successfully completed a flight test today involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) weapon system.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. EST, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near-simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Two Aegis BMD destroyers acquired and tracked the targets, while another destroyer participated in associated operations. Using this data, the Aegis BMD ships conducted simulated Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile engagements with the Distributed Weighted Engagement Scheme (DWES) capability enabled.
The DWES provides an automated engagement coordination scheme between multiple Aegis BMD ships that determines which ship is the preferred shooter, reducing duplication of BMD engagements and missile expenditures while ensuring BMD threat coverage. Several fire control, discrimination, and engagement functions were exercised. Since no SM-3 guided missiles were launched, the test did not include an attempted intercept.
This test was designated Flight Test Other 19 (FTX-19). This was the first flight test to assess the ability of the Aegis BMD 4.0 weapon system to simulate engagements of a raid consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets. This was also the first time Aegis BMD 4.0 ships used the DWES capability with live targets.
According to Geoff Fein, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, in this scenario one ship took two shots and one ship took one. The USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) took two shots based on how DWES determined who had best shot. The system can be configured to automatically fire or have operator intervention. Both ships fired simulated Standard Missile-3s. A third ship, USS Barry (DDG-52), equipped with Aegis baseline 9, also took part in the test, but it did not participate in the co-ordinated tracking and engagement of the three ballistic missile targets.
USS Barry (DDG-52) was tracking the three targets and doing simulated engagements similar to what the other ships were doing, except that USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) were testing out DWES. USS Barry (DDG-52) gave an opportunity to use the latest Baseline 9 build and make sure Navy could do simultaneous engagements in the same raid-type scenario.
The difference between USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) equipped with Aegis Baseline 4 and USS Barry (DDG-52) equipped with Baseline 9 is that the baseline 4 ships have a combination of the older UYK military-based and commercial off-the-shelf computers and rely on the ballistic signal processor functionality.
USS Barry (DDG-52) just received Baseline 9, which has the latest software configuration that brings an integrated air and missile defence capability to the ship. Baseline 9 also has the multi-mission signal processor, which is capable of conducting both air and BMD missions simultaneously. Aegis Baseline 9 has DWES capability built in. Additionally two cruisers, USS Lake Erie (CG-70) and USS Shiloh (CG-67), have DWES functionality.
The MDA will use test results to improve and enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System and support the advancement of Phase 2 of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe to provide protection of U.S. deployed forces and European allies and partners.
The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), launched from the Austal USA shipyard February 25, marking an important production milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The ship is named after former United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords. LCS-10 will be the 16th U.S. naval ship to be named for a woman, and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850.
«This third Independence variant ship of the block buy is the first ship constructed fully utilizing Austal’s LCS Modular Manufacturing Facility and is launching at the highest level of production completion to-date», said Capt. Tom Anderson, Littoral Combat Ship program manager, «a sign that facility investments are now paying off in schedule and cost performance».
Gabrielle Giffords was rolled out of her assembly bay onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock February 24. The new ship entered the water for the first time the following day when the drydock was flooded for the ship launch. The ship will return to the shipyard to continue final outfitting and activation until her christening later this year. She is expected to deliver to the fleet in 2017.
Gabrielle Giffords is the third ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build 10 Independence- variant LCS ships. Sister ship Jackson (LCS-6) is preparing for builder’s trials, and Montgomery (LCS-8) was christened in November 2014. The LCS program is ramping up in 2015 to deliver two ships per year from the Austal shipyard, as well as two Freedom-variant ships from the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.
The Navy is leveraging competition, fixed-price contracting and ongoing production efficiencies to reduce construction time and costs on littoral combat ships. Lessons learned from the lead ships have been incorporated into both Freedom-variant (odd-numbered) and Independence-variant (even-numbered) hulls.
PEO (Program Executive Offices) LCS is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet and is working with industry to increase production efficiencies and leverage cost savings to achieve steady serial production. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class
Construction: Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall: 417 feet/127.1 m
Beam overall: 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum): 14.8 feet/4.5 m
Payload and capacities
Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing: 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load: 210 tonnes
Mission packages: ASW, SUW, MIW
2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets: 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster: Retractable azimuthing
Speed: 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range: 3,500 NM/6,482 km
Operational limitation: Survival in Sea State 8
Deck area: >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery: Twin boom extending crane
Internal elevator to hanger
Flight deck and hanger
Flight deck dimensions: 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53
Hanger: Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
The Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) demonstrated significant range increase while maintaining its expected accuracy during flight-testing conducted by Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The testing centered on a new wing kit that, when used in conjunction with the weapon’s guidance kit, increases the bomb’s range from approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) to more than 45 miles (72 kilometers), as shown during tests above the Woomera Test Range in Australia.
«The JDAM ER wing kit takes advantage of the conventional JDAM aircraft interface and Small Diameter Bomb glide technology», said Beth Kluba, vice president, Boeing Weapons and Missile Systems. «This keeps integration, development and sustainment costs low while bringing customers the range increase needed to neutralize current and future threats».
The 500-pound (227-kilogram) winged JDAM, jointly developed by Boeing and Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation, was dropped from RAAF F/A-18 Classic Hornets from altitudes ranging from 40,000 feet (12,190 meters) down to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The weapon deployed its wing kit successfully during each test and flew to a pre-determined aim point, impacting within meters of its target.
«The extended range wing kit will allow the Australian Defence Force to employ JDAM more flexibly and safely in the target area», said Rear Adm. Tony Dalton, responsible for the acquisition of Guided Weapons in Australia. «Additionally, the program also stands to significantly benefit local Australian industry».
Boeing will produce and integrate JDAM ER wing kits for the RAAF under a contract awarded in 2011. Following additional flight and certification testing, production and initial deliveries of JDAM ER to the RAAF are planned for 2015.
Ferra Engineering supplies major sub-assemblies for the JDAM ER modular wing kit to Boeing from its facility in Brisbane, Australia.
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided bombs into near-precision weapons. Including the JDAM ER wing kit, Boeing designed JDAM technology to accept a variety of upgrades such as a laser sensor, improved immunity to GPS jamming, and an all-weather radar sensor. Boeing has built more than 260,000 JDAM tail kits in its Saint Charles, Missouri, facility since production started in 1998. JDAM is used by 27 international militaries.
Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition
Description and Purpose
The Laser Joint Attack Direct Munition (Laser JDAM) expands the capabilities of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit produced by Boeing that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into near-precision guided «smart» weapons. The JDAM kit consists of a tail section that contains a Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) and body strakes for additional stability and lift.
Because of its modular design, an affordable laser sensor kit can easily be installed on an existing JDAM in the field within minutes. In addition to the outstanding all-weather GPS/INS capability that conventional JDAMs offer, Laser JDAM now adds the flexibility to prosecute targets of opportunity, including mobile and even maritime targets.
U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and six international countries use the laser sensor kit on their JDAMs.
Currently, tail kit variants are integrated with the Mk-84 2,000-pound and BLU-109 2,000-pound (900-kg) warheads (GBU-31). Mk-83 1,000-pound (450-kg) (GBU-32) and Mk-82 500-pound (225-kg) warheads (GBU-38) are in production to deliver the cost-effective JDAM. When employed, these weapons have proven highly accurate and can be delivered in any flyable weather. JDAM can be launched from more than 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the target with updates from GPS satellites to help guide the weapon to the target. Laser JDAM has been integrated with the GBU-38. Follow-on integration with the GBU-31 and GBU-32 is planned.
Laser JDAM is operational on U.S. Air Force F-15E and F-16 and U.S. Navy F/A-18 and A/V-8B platforms. Boeing completed the Laser JDAM development and testing cycle in less than 17 months, and delivered the first production Laser JDAMs to the U.S. Air Force in May 2008. Laser JDAM was successfully employed in combat in Iraq in August 2008. The U.S. Navy’s first Laser JDAMs were delivered in October 2008. In March 2010, the Navy selected Laser JDAM to satisfy its Direct Attack Moving Target Capability (DAMTC) requirement.
In September 2012, Boeing received a $22.7 million modification to an existing U.S. Navy contract for more than 2,300 Laser JDAM sensors, starting full-rate production in order to meet the Navy’s DAMTC program requirements.
The United Arab Emirates-made Nimr – Arabic for «Tiger» – armored vehicle could get a major firepower upgrade, under a pact between Raytheon and Abu Dhabi-based Nimr Automotive that would outfit the rugged four-wheeler with Laser-Guided Rockets (LGRs) previously found only on helicopters (Hydra-70) and other aircraft.
The project to arm the Nimr with TALON rockets is the latest in a series of international partnerships that bring Raytheon’s advanced engineering and innovation to U.S. allies worldwide. The deal was announced at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi (IDEX 2015).
«If you look at the world today, the countries we used to sell to, they’re not happy to buy products off the shelf any more», said Steven C. Schultz, director of business development for land warfare systems at Raytheon Missile Systems. «They want to be true partners in terms of co-production, co-development, and in many cases be the prime contractor for some of these international pursuits».
Nimr Automotive is part of a company owned by Tawazun, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) strategic investment firm. Raytheon and Tawazun previously partnered to develop TALON, which is used to modify older, unguided rockets into laser-seeking weapons.
Other recent international collaborations include:
A partnership with Abu Dhabi Ship Building that provided the United Arab Emirates Navy with the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). RAM is a lightweight, self-guided missile that travels faster than the speed of sound. ESSM is the world’s premier international cooperative missile production program, with 18 industrial partners representing 10 nations.
An agreement that designated Turkish missile maker Roket Sanavii ve Ticaret A.S. as a supplier for Raytheon’s Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (Patriot GEM-T). The company, also known as Roketsan, is the first major trans-Atlantic supplier for the system and is strategically located to support countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
A $1.7 billion Direct Commercial Sales contract in Saudi Arabia to upgrade Patriot systems to the latest Configuration-3.
A partnership with Lockheed Martin to provide the United Arab Emirates with advanced Patriot air and missile defense, along with support and training.
The U.S. Army’s Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support contract, under which Raytheon trains helicopter pilots in Afghanistan. Students graduate as commercial-level pilots.
Bringing TALON to the Nimr vehicle will meet a critical need, should the UAE Armed Forces adopt the system, Schultz said.
«TALON fills a gap between heavy, expensive, anti-tank guided missiles and unguided rockets», Schultz said. «There are a lot of missions for something like TALON. That’s the niche we’re filling».
TALON Laser-Guided Rocket
The weapon integrates Raytheon’s extensive experience in digital semiactive laser technology and proven history in precision air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions development and production. TALON’s architecture and ease of employment make it a low-cost, highly-precise weapon for missions in urban environments, counterinsurgency and swarming boat defense missions.
TALON is certified for use on U.S. Army Apache helicopters and Apaches in international fleets needing an affordable upgrade to the Hydra-70 rocket.
TALON was codeveloped with the United Arab Emirates.
TALON is fully compatible with existing airborne and ground laser designators.
TALON requires no hardware or software modifications to the launcher or aircraft platform and can be deployed from any aircraft that fires 2.75-inch (70-mm) Hydra-70 unguided rockets using the standard M260/261 launchers.
TALON is a low-cost, semi-active laser guidance and control kit that connects directly to the front of 2.75-inch (70-mm) Hydra-70 unguided rockets currently in U.S. and international inventories
Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, introduced its MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Extended Wheel Base Medical (EXM) variant at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2015, taking place February 22-26 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Oshkosh designed the M-ATV EXM to provide off-road mobility and MRAP-level protection to military medics on ambulatory missions in high-threat environments.
«There is no mission more important than keeping troops safe, including the medics and their patients on the battlefield», said U.S. Army Major General (Retired) John Urias, executive vice president of Oshkosh Corporation and president of Oshkosh Defense. «An increasing number of troops and medics are suffering injuries – often life threatening – while trying to deliver care and evacuate the injured in commercial-based ambulances. The Oshkosh M-ATV EXM combines best-in-class off-road mobility with a life-saving crew protection system for urgent medical care in landscapes that are too rugged for other ambulances».
The Oshkosh Defense M-ATV EXM provides urgent evacuation capabilities while shielding patients and medics from enemy fire. The M-ATV’s lightweight ramp and unique «easy glide» system can load two litter-bound patients – on any NATO-standard litter – in less than two minutes. The tactical ambulance has enough interior capacity to simultaneously transport two litter-bound patients, two ambulatory patients, a medic, commander and driver. The M-ATV EXM’s customizable internal configuration also enables equipment to be accessed quickly by a centrally positioned medic. The vehicle supports standard MRAP Medical Equipment Sets (MES) and requirements such as a universal mounting system, secured storage units, and Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) mounted storage bags.
The M-ATV EXM is a variant of the Oshkosh Defense M-ATV Family of Vehicles, which includes two multi-mission models – the M-ATV Standard and M-ATV Extended. The M-ATV Standard model provides response and support capabilities for a range of offensive and defensive missions in off-road environments, and the M-ATV Extended model delivers increased capacity for additional troops and equipment to support multiple mission profiles. M-ATV EXM delivers gold-standard off-road mobility and optimal protection against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other battlefield threats. Oshkosh’s proprietary TAK-4 independent suspension system provides superior ride quality, including a smoother drive in rough terrain to enable better patient care and preserve the longevity of medical equipment. The M-ATV’s crew protection system is designed for today’s most prevalent threats and can be customized to deliver the highest standards of MRAP-level protection. Furthermore, the M-ATV EXM’s silhouette is the same as the other M-ATV Extended Wheel Base variants, which prevents it from standing out as an obvious target in theater.
Oshkosh M-ATV EXM
Purpose-built military ambulance with complete access to patients and medical equipment.
Fully customizable design for medical equipment.
MRAP-level protection and unmatched mobility for medical evacuation operations.
Fully protected, single compartment crew capsule
Integrated blast protection
TAK-4 independent suspension system
Accommodates two crew members, one medic, two ambulatory patients and two litter-bound patients
Centrally positioned medic with easy access to patients and medical equipment
Vinyl floor covering in medic area is easy to clean and sanitize
Customizable work area supports standard MRAP Medical Equipment Sets (MES) with a universal mounting system
Dual-rear hatches with mechanical spring assist reduces opening size and minimizes load and close procedures
Loading ramp with forward locking mechanism glides and secures any NATO-standard litter into position
Complete all load, secure and close procedures for both litters in less than two minutes
Similar silhouette to other M-ATV Extended Wheelbase variants reduces the risk of medic crews becoming targets
Underbody Improvement Kit (UIK) integrated into EXM design
The U.S. Navy conducted successful test flights February 22 of two Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles built by Lockheed Martin. This brings the D5 missile’s record to 155 successful test flights since design completion in 1989, a 25-year-plus reliability record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile.
«These latest test flights demonstrate the reliability of the D5 missile and the readiness of the entire Trident Strategic Weapon System every minute of every day», said Mat Joyce, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs and deputy for Strategic & Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. «The Navy program office, the submarine crews and the industry team never rest to ensure the safety, security and performance of this crucial deterrence system».
The Navy launched the unarmed missiles in the Pacific Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine. The missiles were converted into test configurations using kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.
The Navy conducts a continuing series of operational system evaluation tests of the Trident Strategic Weapon System, which is the sea-based element of the nation’s nuclear deterrent triad, under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines. The three-stage ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) and carries multiple independently targeted reentry bodies.
Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM)
The Trident II D5 is the latest generation of the U.S. Navy’s submarine-launched fleet ballistic missiles, following the highly successful Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident I C4 programs. First deployed in 1990, the Trident II D5 missile is currently aboard Ohio-class and British Vanguard-class submarines. Each missile weighs approximately 130,000 pounds (58,967 kilograms).
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy’s Trident missile prime contractor, developed and produced the missile and support equipment. The company also supplies technical and logistical support at sites where the missiles are deployed.
The FBM team continues to build on a remarkable mission success track record. Through June 2014, the Trident II D5 missile has achieved 150 successful test flights since design completion in 1989 – a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.
The first Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) developed and deployed by the United States was the Polaris A1 missile, named for the North Star. A two-stage ballistic missile with a range of 1,200 nautical miles (2,222 kilometers), the A1 was powered by solid fuel rocket motors and guided by a self-contained inertial guidance system independent of external commands or control. The A1’s first successful underwater launch from a submarine on July 20, 1960, brought to fruition a remarkable Navy and industry research and development effort begun only four years earlier. Subsequent Polaris missiles, the A2 and A3, increased the range and thus the operating area of the stealthy deterrent. U.S. deployment of the Polaris missile series ended with the retirement of the A3 in 1979.
The next generation of fleet ballistic missiles to follow Polaris was the Poseidon C3 missile. The Poseidon, despite being 20 inches (508 mm) wider in diameter, 36 inches (914 mm) longer and approximately 30,000 pounds (13,608 kilograms) heavier, fit into the same 16 launch tubes that carried Polaris. Poseidon carried twice the payload of the Polaris A3 with significantly improved accuracy. The first Poseidon test launch occurred on August 16, 1968. The first submarine-based test launch occurred on August 3, 1970, from USS James Madison (SSBN-627). The Poseidon was declared operational on March 31, 1971, and was deployed aboard all 31 Lafayette Class submarines.
The Trident I C4 missiles were the longest continuously operated Fleet Ballistic Missiles ever deployed by the U.S. Navy. Using advanced technology in propellants, micro-electronics and new weight-saving materials, the Trident I C4 missile incorporated the multiple independently-targeted vehicle capability of its predecessor Poseidon and provided an astounding range of more than 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) with a full payload.