Funding for Freedom

The U.S. Navy has issued a Lockheed Martin led industry team the balance of funding of $279 million for the construction of the future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23). The funding approved by Congress provides the financing required to maintain the cost and schedule of this critical national asset. Congress provided $79 million in advanced procurement funding for LCS-23 in March 2015.

Slicing its way through the choppy waters of Lake Michigan, the future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) passed its final test, earning high marks and a thumbs-up from the U.S. Navy after successfully completing its acceptance trial September 18
Slicing its way through the choppy waters of Lake Michigan, the future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) passed its final test, earning high marks and a thumbs-up from the U.S. Navy after successfully completing its acceptance trial September 18

«By providing this funding, the U.S. Navy demonstrates its commitment to the Lockheed Martin-led team in building the advanced Freedom-variant littoral combat ship», said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. «We have delivered three of these ships to the fleet so far, and we stand committed on the remaining block buy deliveries».

The award comes just days after the Navy commissioned the Freedom-variant USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) in the city of Milwaukee.

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team, which includes shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine and naval architect Gibbs & Cox, has already delivered three Freedom-variant littoral combat ships to the U.S. Navy. USS Freedom (LCS-1) conducted a successful deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013 and is currently operating out of her homeport in San Diego. USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is currently deployed in Southeast Asia, serving in the U.S. 7th Fleet.

There is current interest in hull lengths from 85 meters to 118 meters; the hull is proved from 67 meters to 150 meters at various displacements
There is current interest in hull lengths from 85 meters to 118 meters; the hull is proved from 67 meters to 150 meters at various displacements

 

Ship Design Specifications

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

 

Ship list

USS Freedom (LCS-1)

USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)

USS Detroit (LCS-7)

USS Little Rock (LCS-9)

USS Sioux City (LCS-11)

USS Wichita (LCS-13)

USS Billings (LCS-15)

USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)

USS St. Louis (LCS-19)

USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)

The U.S. Navy’s Freedom class littoral combat ship, a revolutionary surface combatant being built by a Lockheed Martin team achieved multiple operational and production milestones

 

Future Submarine

Evaluation of Australia’s Future Submarine program proposals will now commence with all three potential international partners submitting their proposals in full, Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne announced.

Japan will present three options for building the subs: in Australia, in Japan or in a split arrangement
Japan will present three options for building the subs: in Australia, in Japan or in a split arrangement

«The Government’s Competitive Evaluation Process remains on schedule with Defence receiving submissions from DCNS of France, TKMS of Germany, and the Government of Japan by the 30 November 2015 closing deadline»,’ Senator Payne said. «Since the CEP began in February, all three participants have worked closely with Defence and they should be congratulated for the hard work and significant investment they have made to reach this point».

Defence will now assess the ability of the participants to work closely with us, including how each proposal would meet our capability and sustainment needs, and how cost, schedule and risk would be managed throughout the program.

This program offers a once in a generation opportunity for Australian industry to innovate and be part of Australia’s Future Submarine. That is why the assessment will include the level of Australian industry involvement that will be possible under each option.

«Submarines are Defence’s most complex, sensitive, and expensive capability, so it is important that the evaluation process is thorough and robust»,’ Senator Payne said. «The evaluation process will be overseen by the Expert Advisory Panel to ensure it is conducted fairly and equitably, with advice to be provided to Government in 2016».

DCNS Australia is a subsidiary of DCNS, a French naval shipbuilding company and European leader in naval defence
DCNS Australia is a subsidiary of DCNS, a French naval shipbuilding company and European leader in naval defence

 

DCNS

DCNS on 27 November lodged its final deliverables to the Australian Government’s Competitive Evaluation Process to select an International Program partner for the SEA1000 Future Submarine Program.

The proposal includes a Government to Government Agreement from The French Ministère of Defence’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) to the Commonwealth of Australia’s Department of Defence and a binding written commitment on key aspects of the deliverables.

This milestone has been achieved on schedule and marks the beginning of the Commonwealth of Australia’s evaluation phase.

Mr. Sean Costello, CEO DCNS Australia, said, «DCNS acknowledges the dedication from hundreds of people in France and Australia to the development of the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A and a sovereign industry in Australia. We have worked as a team to create the best possible solution for Australia’s future».

HDW Class 216 Submarine is a long-range multi-mission two-deck fuel cell submarine with exceptional endurance
HDW Class 216 Submarine is a long-range multi-mission two-deck fuel cell submarine with exceptional endurance

C295W in La Paz

An Airbus C295W aircraft belonging to the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) and operated by a mixed crew from Airbus Defence and Space and SEMAR has carried out demonstration flights in El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, one of the airports with the most extreme hot and high conditions in the world.

The Airbus Military C295W is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter
The Airbus Military C295W is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter

The C295W, which landed at El Alto International Airport, more than 13,123 feet/4,000 m above sea level, on Tuesday, November 17, has also performed flights to the Cochabamba base and the unprepared runway of San Borja.

The new C295W version is equipped with winglets, which allow transport of more payload over larger distances in hot and high conditions and result in fuel savings of around 4%.

«The highly successful demonstration by the C295W in Bolivia this week underlines again its excellent performance in hot and high conditions, which is key for several countries in the Region. It demonstrates once more the C295W’s status as the most efficient aircraft in its category», said Christophe Roux, Head of Airbus Defence and Space in Latin America.

The aircraft’s tour of the region will include stops in several countries of the Region before returning to Mexico in early December.

The C295’s Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) capability combined with a strong landing gear enable it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landings
The C295’s Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) capability combined with a strong landing gear enable it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landings

 

Specifications

Dimensions
Overall Length 24.50 m/80 feet 3 inch
Overall Height 8.65 m/28 feet 5 inch
Wing Span 25.81 m/84 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 12.70 m/41 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Height 1.90 m/6 feet 3 inch
Cargo Hold Width 2.70 m/8 feet 10 inch
Cargo Hold Volume 64 m3/2,260 feet3
Weights
Maximum Take Off Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 6,150 kg/13,600 lbs
Maximum Payload 9,250 kg/20,400 lbs
Engine (×2)
Pratt & Whitney PW-127G 2,645 shp (up to 2,920 shp with Auxiliary Power Reserve, APR)/1,970 kW
Performance
Maximum Operating Altitude 9,100 m/30,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS*) 260 knots/299 mph/480 km/h
Range
Range with Maximum Payload (9,250 kg/20,400 lbs) 700 NM/1,300 km
Range with 6,000 kg/13,200 lbs Payload 2,000 NM/3,700 km
Range with 3,000 kg/6,600 lbs Payload 2,500 NM/4,600 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 2,900 NM/5,400 km

* The true airspeed (TAS; also KTAS, for Knots True AirSpeed) of an aircraft is the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass in which it is flying

The C295W is based on the earlier CN235, but with many component upgrades
The C295W is based on the earlier CN235, but with many component upgrades

Four LLC to Australia

Navantia has the pleasure in delivering to the Commonwealth in Sydney the final batch of four LLCs. This is a major achievement, where Navantia has played an important role – that of Prime Contractor for the first time in an Australian program. Since 2007, Navantia has been working in three important programs for the ADF, namely the Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs), Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs), and the LHD Landing Craft (LLCs), under different contractual schemes to deliver to the best of its ability.

HMAS Canberra docks down in Sydney Harbour in order to receive the ship’s LHD Landing Craft for the very first time
HMAS Canberra docks down in Sydney Harbour in order to receive the ship’s LHD Landing Craft for the very first time

On 16th December 2011, Navantia signed a contract with the then Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) under JP 2048 Phase 3 to build and deliver twelve LHD Landing Craft (LLCs) to the Commonwealth. All twelve have now been delivered to HMAS Waterhen in Sydney on or ahead of schedule and to budget. The LLCs were built and tested in Cádiz, Spain, and shipped out to Australia.

Navantia understands that the first eight units are in operation with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and are performing to the full satisfaction of Navy, having achieved various missions during sea trials with HMAS Canberra (L02), which has also been commissioned into the RAN. Her sister ship, HMAS Adelaide (L01), is due to be commissioned in Sydney on 4th December 2015. Since delivery of the LLCs, Navantia has provided in-country support and is committed to ensuring its availability for service at all times. This commitment will be maintained by Navantia Australia Pty Ltd, which is also assisting BAE Systems with Through Life Support of the LHDs.

Navantia is fully committed to Australia and will contribute to projects as far as possible within its proven capacity and ability to supply. We look forward to working with the Commonwealth and industry even more closely than before, to achieve the program goals that we totally share. In this regard, Navantia is currently engaged in the SEA 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability tender process, and is working in a collaborative environment in the SEA 5000 Future Frigate program and the SEA 1180 Offshore Patrol Vessels project.

The Royal Australian Navy's first four LCM-1E landing craft for the LHD have arrived at their new home HMAS Waterhen in Sydney
The Royal Australian Navy’s first four LCM-1E landing craft for the LHD have arrived at their new home HMAS Waterhen in Sydney

 

LHD Landing Craft (LLC)

The LCM-1E is a class of amphibious Landing Craft, Mechanized (LCM) manufactured by Navantia who also build the LHD hulls. In Royal Australian Navy service these craft are purpose built for the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) and are referred to as LHD Landing Craft (LLC).

These landing craft are intended to deliver troops and equipment onshore where there are no fixed port facilities. They have the ability to be used Over The Horizon, which means that the LCM-1E can transport between the ship and the coast starting at a distance greater than that marks the horizon, i.e. greater than 20 nautical miles (23 miles/37 km). To perform this type of landing, the LCM-1E are equipped with a radar navigation, GPS, gyro needle/magnetic and HF communications equipment, VHF and UHF.

Another important point is the speed and autonomy. The propulsion is by two engines MAN of 806 kW and two water jet propellers (waterjets), offering a speed of 22 knots/25 mph/41 km/h without load and 13.5 knots/15.5 mph/25 km/h laden, with a range of 190 nautical miles (219 miles/352 km).

The LCM-1E incorporates a stern gate, facilitating the loading/unloading of rolling stock within the flood levee, not necessary the output of the front two boats to load/unload the rear, with a limit of 12 tonnes maximum for the transfer of vehicles one barge to another.

The watercraft will enable transport of troops and equipment from the LHDs to the shore including where there are no fixed port facilities.

 

Characteristics

Type Amphibious Warfare Ancillary Craft
Displacement 56.6 tonnes (light)
110 tonnes (full load)
Length 76.4 feet/23.3 m
Beam 21 feet/6.4 m
Main Machinery 2 × MAN D-2842 LE 402X diesel engines (809 kW each)
2 × waterjets
Speed 22 knots/25 mph/41 km/h (light)
13.5 knots/15.5 mph/25 km/h (full load)
Company 4
Range 190 NM/219 miles/352 km

 

Hit-to-kill interceptor

A Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile successfully intercepted an incoming target on Thursday, November 19, as part of a U.S. Army-led missile defense flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The PAC-3 interceptor successfully detected, tracked and intercepted a Patriot-as-a-Target (PAAT), which is a legacy Patriot missile modified to represent a tactical ballistic missile common in today’s operational environment.

Enemy tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft have met their match. Meet the PAC-3 interceptor – one the most advanced, capable and powerful terminal air defense missiles in the world
Enemy tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft have met their match. Meet the PAC-3 interceptor – one the most advanced, capable and powerful terminal air defense missiles in the world

«The PAC-3 Missile continues to demonstrate its reliability in the field, and it remains the only combat proven hit-to-kill interceptor in the world», said Scott Arnold, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «As global threats escalate, we expect PAC-3 interceptors to continue serving as a critical defense layer in the protection of soldiers, citizens and infrastructure».

The intercept is the second successful PAC-3 Missile test in just under one week. On Thursday, November 12, a PAC-3 also intercepted an airborne target as part of the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air & Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) fight test at White Sands.

The PAC-3 Missile is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft using hit-to-kill technology. PAC-3 currently provides missile defense capabilities for six nations – the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan; and Lockheed Martin is on contract for PAC-3 with four additional nations – Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)

 

PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)

The most mature hit-to-kill weapon system of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), the Patriot Weapon System using Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missiles, is now operational and fielded by the U.S. Army.

A land-based element built upon the proven Patriot air and missile defense infrastructure.

PAC-3 was deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom where it intercepted ballistic missiles with a combination of GEM and PAC-3 missiles. The GEM missile uses a blast fragmentation warhead while the PAC-3 missile employs hit-to-kill technology to kill ballistic missiles.

The Army is responsible for production and further development of the PAC-3 and the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS); the Missile Defense Agency remains responsible for the BMDS and PAC-3 interoperability and integration efforts.

Provides simultaneous air and missile defense capabilities as the Lower Tier element in defense of U.S. deployed forces and allies.

Works with Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to provide an integrated, overlapping defense against missile threats in the terminal phase of flight. Jointly, these systems engage the threat by forming a multi-tier theater defense against adversary missile threats using peer-to-peer engagement coordination, early warning track data, and battle management situational awareness.

Contributes to the entire system’s situational awareness by transmitting precision cueing data to other theater elements while simultaneously protecting system assets against short-range ballistic missiles, large-caliber rockets, and air-breathing threats.

For homeland defense, Patriot provides detection, track, and engagement of short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. These engagements are further enhanced by networked remote sensors that supply early warning data to increase the probability of success.

Patriot has added Upper-Tier Debris Mitigation capability to mitigate the excessive radar load and potential missile waste caused by debris from upper-tier intercepts.

October 25, 2012 – A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from Meck Island and a PATRIOT Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) interceptor is launched from Omelek Island during MDA’s historic integrated flight test on October 24, 2012 (October 25 on Kwajalein)

Marine selected BAE

The U.S. Marine Corps has awarded BAE Systems’ team a contract worth $103.7 million for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) phase of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 program. The company, along with teammate IVECO Defence Vehicles, will deliver a solution that will be built from the ground up to be an amphibious vehicle and will provide significant capability improvements to satisfy the Marine Corps’ current and future needs.

BAE Systems’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 (BAE Systems photo)
BAE Systems’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 (BAE Systems photo)

«We are proud to continue our long history of providing the Marine Corps with superior amphibious capabilities», said Deepak Bazaz, director of new and amphibious vehicles at BAE Systems. «Our vehicle was designed to be fully amphibious with exceptional ground mobility and protection. Our ACV solution will provide the Marine Corps with a mature, cost-effective solution with significant growth capacity».

The award is one of two EMD contracts issued. During this phase, BAE Systems will produce 16 prototypes that will be tested by the Marine Corps beginning in the third quarter of 2016. Work on the vehicles will take place at BAE Systems’ facilities in Quantico, Virginia; San Jose, California; and York, Pennsylvania.

The ACV 1.1 is not required to self-deploy from the well deck of an amphibious ship to the shore, since the Marine Corps decided to wait and introduce that requirement into ACV 1.2, which will also feature mission-based variants of the vehicle
The ACV 1.1 is not required to self-deploy from the well deck of an amphibious ship to the shore, since the Marine Corps decided to wait and introduce that requirement into ACV 1.2, which will also feature mission-based variants of the vehicle

BAE Systems’ ACV 1.1 solution is an advanced 8×8 open ocean-capable vehicle that is based on a platform developed by IVECO Defence Vehicles. It is equipped with a new 6-cylinder, 700HP power pack, which provides a significant power increase over the current Assault Amphibious Vehicle. The vehicle performs best in class mobility in all terrains and has a suspended interior seat structure for 13 embarked Marines, blast-mitigating positions for a crew of three, and improved survivability and force protection over currently fielded systems. The team has conducted extensive risk mitigation testing and evaluation for swim, land mobility, and survivability capabilities that have proven the solution’s capabilities.

BAE Systems has more than 70 years of experience designing and building amphibious vehicles and is a leading provider of combat vehicles, having produced more than 100,000 systems for customers worldwide. IVECO Defence Vehicles brings additional proven experience, having designed and built more than 30,000 multi-purpose, protected, and armored military vehicles in service today.

Part of the success of the program has been the streamlined transition from MPC to ACV 1.1 and eventually into 1.2
Part of the success of the program has been the streamlined transition from MPC to ACV 1.1 and eventually into 1.2

Multi-Object Kill

Raytheon Company completed the first Program Planning Review with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency on the future Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV) concept, a key step toward defining critical aspects of its design.

Raytheon Company is developing a Multi-Object Kill Vehicle that will simultaneously defeat a number of ballistic missile threats in space. The company's cutting-edge approach represents the next generation of technology in kill vehicles (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)
Raytheon Company is developing a Multi-Object Kill Vehicle that will simultaneously defeat a number of ballistic missile threats in space. The company’s cutting-edge approach represents the next generation of technology in kill vehicles (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)

Raytheon Company is developing a Multi-Object Kill Vehicle that will simultaneously defeat a number of ballistic missile threats in space. The company’s cutting-edge approach represents the next generation of technology in kill vehicles.

The milestone is a critical part of the Concept Development Phase. It is designed to ensure Raytheon is aligned with the MDA’s expectations and on track for a Concept Review in December.

«Emerging threats demand a new engagement paradigm – one the Raytheon team is able to fully support with our depth of experience and breadth of capability», said Dr. Thomas Bussing, vice president of Advanced Missile Systems. «We’re leveraging decades of experience across four kill vehicle programs and vast tactical weapon expertise across every domain and mission area to meet this critical need».

As part of the $9,775,608 contract awarded in August 2015, Raytheon will define an operational MOKV concept. The MOKV will destroy several objects by utilizing advanced sensor, divert and attitude control and communication technologies.

Design work on Raytheon’s MOKV concept is occurring in the Advanced Missile System’s product line, an industry-leading technology and innovation hub. Current Raytheon-built kill vehicles are built in the world-class, one-of-a-kind Space Factory, which has been called a national asset. Between the Standard Missile-3 and Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle programs, Raytheon has achieved more than 30 intercepts in space – far more than any other company has.

 

Harpoon flight test

The U.S. Navy completed a free-flight test of the new network-enabled Harpoon missile system November 18 at the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California. Building on the nearly 40-year legacy of the Harpoon, the upgraded missile, known as Block II+, will have the ability to receive in-flight updates that improve the targeting and engagement of moving maritime targets.

An F/A-18 carries the new Harpoon Block II+ missile during a free flight test November 18 at Point Mugu's Sea Range in California. The U.S. Navy plans to deliver the Block II+ variant to the fleet in 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)
An F/A-18 carries the new Harpoon Block II+ missile during a free flight test November 18 at Point Mugu’s Sea Range in California. The U.S. Navy plans to deliver the Block II+ variant to the fleet in 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

«This successful free-flight test is a tremendous achievement for the joint Boeing and Navy team and reflects their hard work and dedication over the past several years», said Commander Matt Farr, Harpoon/Standoff Land Attack Missile-Extended Range deputy program manager. «We are on schedule to deliver this important capability to the fleet in 2017, giving the U.S. Navy a significant advantage in anti-surface warfare».

The free-flight missile event was the first end-to-end functionality test of an inert Harpoon Block II+ from pre-flight to target impact. The test proved that the missile could receive target location updates from an F/A-18 while in-flight through its network-enabled datalink. It then successfully acquired a moving ship target using its active radar seeker and guided itself autonomously to impact the target.

This test, the culmination of 152 lab-test sessions, 15 aircraft ground tests and 16 flight tests, will be followed by another more demanding developmental test in fiscal year 2016.

«The Harpoon missile is the premier surface warfare weapon in service today and we are working to ensure that it remains viable and lethal into the future», said Captain Jaime Engdahl, Precision Strike Weapons program manager. «Block II+ is a critical capability for us and we are taking every opportunity to pace the growing maritime threat by continuously improving Harpoon’s range, survivability, and lethality».

The AGM-84N Harpoon Block II+ will also have a new GPS guidance kit that will enhance the weapon’s navigation.

Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon weapon designed to execute both land-strike and anti-ship missions against a range of targets.  Since introduction to the fleet in 1977, a total of 7,500 missiles have been delivered to the U.S. Navy and its 29 foreign partners.

U.S. Navy infographic: Harpoon chronicle
U.S. Navy infographic: Harpoon chronicle

 

Harpoon missile

The A/U/RGM-84 Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system. The Harpoon’s active radar guidance, warhead design, low-level cruise trajectory, and terminal mode sea-skim or pop-up maneuvers assure high survivability and effectiveness. The missile is capable of being launched from surface ships, submarines, shore batteries, or aircraft (without the booster). Originally developed for the U.S. Navy to serve as its basic anti-ship missile for fleet-wide use. The A/R/UGM-84 was first introduced in 1977, and in 1979 the air-launched version was deployed on the Navy’s P-3C Orion aircraft. The Harpoon was also adapted for use on USAF B-52H bombers, which can carry from 8 to 12 of the missiles. The Harpoon missile has been integrated on foreign F-16 aircraft and is presently being integrated on foreign F-15 aircraft. Under a 1998 agreement between Boeing and the U.S. Navy, an advanced upgrade to Harpoon missile was developed. This Harpoon Block II missile incorporated Global Positioning System-assisted inertial navigation, which enables the system to have both an anti-ship and a land attack capability.

The multi-mission Block II is deployable from all current Harpoon missile system platforms with either existing command and launch equipment or the commercially available Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System (AHWCS)
The multi-mission Block II is deployable from all current Harpoon missile system platforms with either existing command and launch equipment or the commercially available Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System (AHWCS)

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Air, ship, and foreign submarine and land-based coastal defense battery launched anti-ship cruise missile
Contractor The Boeing Company
Date Deployed 1977
Unit Cost $1,200,000 for Harpoon Block II
Propulsion Teledyne Turbojet/solid propellant booster for surface and submarine launch
Thrust Greater than 600 pounds/272.2 kg
Length Air launched: 12 feet, 7 inches/3.8 m
Surface & submarine launched: 15 feet/4.6 m
Diameter 13.5 inches/34.3 cm
Wingspan 3 feet/91.4 cm with booster fins and wings
Weight 1,523 pounds/690.8 kg with booster
Speed High subsonic
Range Over-the-horizon, in excess of 67 NM/77 miles/124 km
Guidance System Sea-skimming cruise monitored by radar altimeter/active radar terminal homing
Warhead Penetration/high-explosive blast: 488 pounds/224 kg
Service Navy and Air Force, and 27 foreign nations

 

Omaha Launches

The future USS Omaha (LCS-12) launched November 20, marking another important production milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. «That this precisely choreographed launch event has become commonplace in Mobile is a sign of the maturity and stability of the LCS serial production line», said Captain Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. «I look forward to the future USS Omaha (LCS-12) completing the test and trial process en route to delivery to the fleet».

Littoral Combat Ship is being put in the water
Littoral Combat Ship is being put in the water

Omaha was rolled out of her assembly bay at the Austal USA Shipyard onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock at BAE Shipyard on November 19. The ship entered the water on November 20 when the drydock was flooded and the ship floated off the blocks. The ship will return to Austal’s final assembly pier to continue outfitting, system activation and testing. She is scheduled to be christened on December 19.

Omaha is the fourth ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build Independence- variant ships. USS Montgomery (LCS-8) is preparing for builders trials and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was christened in June 2015 and is currently completing system testing in preparation for trials. USS Manchester (LCS-14) is under construction preparing for an early 2016 launch. USS Tulsa (LCS-16) will have her keel laid later this year.

Launch of USS Omaha (LCS 12) at Austal USA facility - Mobile, Alabama
Launch of USS Omaha (LCS 12) at Austal USA facility – Mobile, Alabama

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS-1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls) and was led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works for LCS-2 and LCS-4. Purchased under the innovative block-buy acquisition strategy, there are 12 ships currently under construction.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.

Defence vessels designed and built by Austal include focused-mission combatants, such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the United States Navy
Defence vessels designed and built by Austal include focused-mission combatants, such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the United States Navy

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
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
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
The littoral combat ship Independence (LCS 2) underway during builder's trials
The littoral combat ship Independence (LCS 2) underway during builder’s trials

 

Ship list

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)

SUW Configured Independence
SUW Configured Independence

Milwaukee is ready

The U.S. Navy commissioned the nation’s fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) – USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) – in Milwaukee on November 21, officially placing the ship designed and constructed by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team into active service. Milwaukee, the third Freedom-variant in the LCS class, successfully passed Acceptance Trials in September and was delivered to the U.S. Navy on October 16.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Admiral Michelle Howard speaks during the commissioning of USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)
Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Admiral Michelle Howard speaks during the commissioning of USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)

«The USS Milwaukee is a warship with capabilities unlike any others», said Stephanie C. Hill, vice president of Ship & Aviation Systems for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training business. «The entire Lockheed Martin-led LCS industry team is proud to deliver USS Milwaukee to the crew who will bring this great ship to life to participate in the defense of our great nation».

The fifth U.S. Navy vessel bearing the name, Milwaukee will transit to its homeport in San Diego, California, where it will be integrated into the fleet and the industry-Navy team will conduct additional program testing and crew training.

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team, which includes shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine and naval architect Gibbs & Cox, has already delivered two Freedom-variant littoral combat ships to the U.S. Navy. USS Freedom (LCS-1) conducted a successful deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013 and is currently operating out of her homeport in San Diego. USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is currently deployed in Southeast Asia, serving in the U.S. 7th Fleet.

USS Detroit (LCS-7) is scheduled to be delivered in early 2016. USS Sioux City (LCS-11), USS Wichita (LCS-13), USS Billings (LCS-15), and USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) are in construction. USS St. Louis (LCS-19) and USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) are in long-lead material procurement.

The commissioning is the final act that marks entrance of a ship into the naval forces of her nation. It is the final of three events that bring a ship to life: keel laying, launching and christening, and commissioning.

The USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) departs Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard for the last time as LCS crew 104 guides her to Lake Michigan
The USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) departs Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard for the last time as LCS crew 104 guides her to Lake Michigan

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System
Slicing its way through the choppy waters of Lake Michigan, the future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) passed its final test, earning high marks and a thumbs-up from the U.S. Navy after successfully completing its acceptance trial September 18
Slicing its way through the choppy waters of Lake Michigan, the future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) passed its final test, earning high marks and a thumbs-up from the U.S. Navy after successfully completing its acceptance trial September 18

 

Ship list

USS Freedom (LCS-1)

USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)

USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)

USS Detroit (LCS-7)

USS Little Rock (LCS-9)

USS Sioux City (LCS-11)

USS Wichita (LCS-13)

USS Billings (LCS-15)

USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)

USS St. Louis (LCS-19)

USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)

USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)

She will join her sister Freedom-variant littoral combat ships, USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, in the Fleet
She will join her sister Freedom-variant littoral combat ships, USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, in the Fleet