Christening of John

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the company’s 29th Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) Aegis guided missile destroyer, USS John Finn (DDG-113), today in front of nearly 1,000 guests.

Ship Sponsor Laura Stavridis smashes a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the Ingalls-built Aegis destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113). Also pictured (left to right) are Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens; Cmdr. Micheal Wagner, prospective commanding, John Finn; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. Photo by Andrew Young/HII
Ship Sponsor Laura Stavridis smashes a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the Ingalls-built Aegis destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113). Also pictured (left to right) are Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens; Cmdr. Micheal Wagner, prospective commanding, John Finn; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. Photo by Andrew Young/HII

DDG-113 is named John Finn after the first Medal of Honor recipient of World War II. Finn received the honor for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor despite being shot in the foot and shoulder and suffering numerous shrapnel wounds. He retired as a lieutenant after 30 years of service and died at age 100 in 2010.

«I often speak to the members of the Chief Petty Officer Mess about the characteristics of a leader and, more specifically, the characteristics I expect to see in my chiefs», said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens, who was the principal speaker. «I tell them that a model chief petty officer is a quiet, humble and servant leader. I believe with all my heart that John Finn exemplified all of these traits through his heroic actions that day».

Laura Stavridis, wife of Admiral James Stavridis (U.S. Navy, Ret.) and DDG-113 ship sponsor, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the ship, officially christening DDG-113 as John Finn. «God bless this ship and all who sail on her», she said.

«Finn outlived 14 fellow sailors who earned the Medal of Honor for their service in World War II», said Mike Petters, HII’s president and CEO. «Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to know that a Navy ship would be named after him. I think he would be as humbled by this honor as he was with the title of hero bestowed upon him. Just remember his words: ‘There’s all kinds of heroes.’ And if you ask me, this ship was built for heroes by heroes. All in the name of freedom».

Ingalls Shipbuilding launched the Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer John Finn (DDG-113) on Saturday morning (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
Ingalls Shipbuilding launched the Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer John Finn (DDG-113) on Saturday morning (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

Ingalls has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls are USS John Finn (DDG-113), USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119). Earlier this year, Ingalls received a contract modification funding the construction of the company’s 33nd destroyer, DDG-121.

«Rest assured these shipbuilders – Ingalls shipbuilders – understand their noble calling», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «To build ships like John Finn safe, strong and proud for the sailors and Marines who sail in her, with strength pride and our deepest gratitude and respect».

«The future USS John Finn is the first destroyer built at Ingalls after the U.S. Navy restarted the program», Cuccias continued. «We hit the ground running with the new program, re-establishing the best destroyer team in the world with many best-in-class achievements, and this is already proven, as DDG-113 was launched three weeks ahead of schedule».

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface threats. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

«I have said it many times, and I mean it every time I say it … Gulf Coast shipbuilders build the greatest warships the world has ever seen», said Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss. «Your craftsmanship is beyond compare, and I know that you all care very deeply about the work you do, because you know how important your work is to our national security and keeping America and our loved ones safe. No matter how many times I see these ships grow from steel plate into the great ship you see here today, I still believe it is an absolute modern marvel».

Finn received the honor for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor
Finn received the honor for machine-gunning Japanese warplanes for over two hours during the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 meters
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 meters
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 meters
Displacement – Full Load 9,496 tons/9,648 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/ 75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/ 55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8.149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/ LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 Mark-45 gun; 2 CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Mrs. Laura Elizabeth Stavridis, Ship Sponsor, christens the guided missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113)

Qatar confirms order

Dassault Aviation is honored by Qatar’s decision to acquire 24 Rafale aircraft to equip its Air Force. The contract between the State of Qatar and Dassault Aviation is to be signed on Monday, May 4 in Doha in the presence of Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic. Following on from the Mirage F1, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000, the Rafale is set to extend the historic partnership between Qatar, France and Dassault Aviation.

The radar cross section of the airframe has been kept to the lowest possible value by selecting the most adequate outer mould line and materials. Most of the stealth design features are classified, but some of them are clearly visible, such as the serrated patterns on the trailing edge of the wings and canards
The radar cross section of the airframe has been kept to the lowest possible value by selecting the most adequate outer mould line and materials. Most of the stealth design features are classified, but some of them are clearly visible, such as the serrated patterns on the trailing edge of the wings and canards

«This new success for the French team demonstrates the Rafale’s operational qualities and confirms the confidence that countries, that are already users of the Mirage 2000, have in our company», said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

Dassault Aviation, its partners Thales and Safran, and the 500 companies associated with the Rafale programme, are delighted at the announcement of this new contract, constituting further proof of their competitiveness and their industrial and technological know-how.

The Rafale features a delta wing with close-coupled canards. In-house research in computational fluid dynamics has shown the specific benefits of close coupling between the wings and the canards: it ensures a wide range of centre of gravity positions for all flight conditions, as well as benign handling throughout the whole flight envelope.
The Rafale features a delta wing with close-coupled canards. In-house research in computational fluid dynamics has shown the specific benefits of close coupling between the wings and the canards: it ensures a wide range of centre of gravity positions for all flight conditions, as well as benign handling throughout the whole flight envelope.

 

Specifications and performance data

Dimensions

Wingspan:                                                10.90 m/35.76 feet

Length:                                                       15.30 m/50.19 feet

Height:                                                        5.30 m/17.38 feet

Weight

Overall empty weight:                       10,000 kg/22,000 lbs class

Maximum take-off weight:              24,500 kg/54,000 lbs

Fuel (internal):                                         4,700 kg/10,300 lbs

Fuel (external):                                        up to 6,700 kg/14,700 lbs

External load:                                            9,500 kg/21,000 lbs

Store stations

Total:                                                               14

Heavy – wet:                                                5

Performance

Maximum thrust:                                        2×7.5 tons

Limit load factors:                                      -3.2 g/+9 g

Maximum speed (Low altitude):        M = 1.1/750 knots/863 mph/ 1389 km/h

Maximum speed (High altitude):       M = 1.8/1,032 knots/1,187 mph/ 1,911 km/h

Approach speed:                          less than 120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h

Landing ground run:                  1,500 feet/450 m without drag-chute

Service ceiling:                              50,000 feet/15,240 m

Composite materials are extensively used in the Rafale and they account for 70% of the wetted area. They also account for the 40% increase in the max take-off weight to empty weight ratio compared with traditional airframes built of aluminium and titanium
Composite materials are extensively used in the Rafale and they account for 70% of the wetted area. They also account for the 40% increase in the max take-off weight to empty weight ratio compared with traditional airframes built of aluminium and titanium

First Evacuation

Dangerous frontline operations call for a safe and efficient method to locate and evacuate wounded personnel. To address this critical need and help save lives, Lockheed Martin, Kaman Aerospace, and Neya Systems demonstrated the first ever collaborative unmanned air and ground casualty evacuation using the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Control Segment (UCS) Architecture and K-MAX cargo helicopter on March 26, 2015.

A ground controller uses a ruggedized laptop with command and control software to develop and upload a mission flight plan to the aircraft’s on-board Mission Management Computer (MMC) prior to launch
A ground controller uses a ruggedized laptop with command and control software to develop and upload a mission flight plan to the aircraft’s on-board Mission Management Computer (MMC) prior to launch

During the demonstration, a distress call led ground operators to send an unmanned ground vehicle to assess the area and injured party. The ground operators used control stations that communicated with one another using the UAS Control Segment Architecture. Upon successful identification, the ground operators requested airlift by unmanned K-MAX of one individual who was injured. From the ground, the K-MAX operators used a tablet to determine the precise location and a safe landing area to provide assistance to the team. The injured team member was strapped into a seat on the side of the unmanned K-MAX, which then flew that individual to safety.

«This application of the unmanned K-MAX enables day or night transport of wounded personnel to safety without endangering additional lives», said Jay McConville, director of business development for Unmanned Integrated Solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. «Since the K-MAX returned from a nearly three-year deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps, we’ve seen benefits of and extended our open system design incorporating the UCS Architecture, which allows rapid integration of new applications across industry to increase the safety of operations, such as casualty evacuation, where lives are at stake».

«Neya is continuing to develop advanced technologies for human robot interfaces for complex platforms and multi-robot missions», said Dr. Parag Batavia, president of Neya. «Our and Lockheed Martin’s use of the Unmanned Aircraft System Control Segment Architecture greatly sped up integration of our respective technologies, resulting in a comprehensive capability that can be ultimately transitioned to the warfighter very efficiently».

Portable antennae for line-ofsight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data links maintain continuous connectivity with the unmanned K-MAX anywhere in the world
Portable antennae for line-ofsight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data links maintain continuous connectivity with the unmanned K-MAX anywhere in the world

While deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps from 2011 to 2014, unmanned K-MAX successfully conducted resupply operations, delivering more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo during more than 1,900 missions. Manufactured by Kaman and outfitted with an advanced mission suite by Lockheed Martin, unmanned K-MAX is engineered with a twin-rotor design that maximizes lift capability in the most challenging environments, from the mountainous Alps to the Persian Gulf. Its advanced autonomy allows unmanned K-MAX to work day and night, in all-weather, even when manned assets are unable to fly. Lockheed Martin continues to extend and mature the K-MAX helicopter’s onboard technology and autonomy for defense operations, as well as demonstrate its use for civil and commercial applications.

With five decades of experience in unmanned and robotic systems for air, land and sea, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems are engineered to help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges today and in the future.

Kaman Aerospace is a division Kaman Corporation, which was founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman. Neya Systems, LLC is a small business unmanned systems company in Wexford, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2009, Neya focuses on developing interoperable solutions to the world’s hardest robotics problems.

The MMC communicates the ground controller’s objectives to the FCC (autopilot). FCC dual redundancy provides high reliability
The MMC communicates the ground controller’s objectives to the FCC (autopilot). FCC dual redundancy provides high reliability

 

K-MAX Unmanned Aerial System

Lockheed Martin Corporation and Kaman Aerospace Corporation have successfully transformed Kaman’s proven K-MAX power lift helicopter into an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capable of autonomous or remote controlled cargo delivery. Its mission: battlefield cargo resupply for the U.S. military.

The K-MAX UAS is a transformational technology for a fast-moving battlefield that will enable Marines to deliver supplies either day or night to precise locations without risk of losing life in the process. The aircraft can fly at higher altitudes with a larger payload than any other rotary wing UAS. With its four-hook carousel, the K-MAX UAS can also deliver more cargo to more locations in one flight

The team has flown the K-MAX UAS more than 750 hours in autonomous mode since joining forces in 2007. The rugged system can lift and deliver a full 6,000 lbs/2,722 kg of cargo at sea level and more than 4,000 pounds/1,814 kg at 15,000 feet/4,572 m density altitude.

The K-MAX continues to exceed expectations as an unmanned platform. The aircraft has met all unmanned milestones to date and continues to excel in the commercial logging and firefighting industries. The aircraft will remain optionally piloted for ease of National Airspace Operations, occasional manned mission flexibility, ferry flights, rapid integration of new mission equipment, and allow rapid return-to-service activities.

The manned version of the K-MAX is used for repetitive lift operations by commercial operators for the construction and logging industries. To date, the fleet has accumulated more than 255,000 flight hours since 1994.

Twin counter-rotating, intermeshing main rotors eliminate the need for a tail rotor drive system
Twin counter-rotating, intermeshing main rotors eliminate the need for a tail rotor drive system

 

Technical characteristics

Weights and Measurements
Max gross weight (with external load) 12,000 lbs/5,443 kg
Max take-off weight 7,000 lbs/3,175 kg
Empty weight 5,145 lbs/2,334 kg
Useful load 6,855 lbs/3,109 kg
Cargo hook capacity 6,000 lbs/2,722 kg
Lift Performance – ISA (International Standard Atmosphere) +15°C (59°F)
Sea Level 6,000 lbs/2,722 kg
5,000 feet/1,524 m 5,663 lbs/2,574 kg
10,000 feet/3,048 m 5,163 lbs/2,347 kg
15,000 feet/4,572 m 4,313 lbs/1,960 kg
Hover Performance – 4,000 feet/1,219 m, 35°C (95°F)
Hover IGE (In Ground Effect) 12,000 lbs/5,443 kg
Hover OGE (Out of Ground Effect) 11,500 lbs/5,216 kg
Powerplant
Model Honeywell T53-17 gas turbine
Thermodynamic rating 1,800 shaft horsepower
Maximum Airspeed
Without external load 100 knots/115 mph/185.2 km/h
With external load 80 knots/92 mph/148.2 km/h
Fuel System
Total usable fuel 219.5 gal/831 liters
Average fuel consumption 85 gal/hr/321.7 l/hr
Jet A fuel 557.6 lbs/hr/252.9 kg/hr
Maximum endurance 12+ hr
Maximum range 1,150 miles/1,852 km (est)
Maximum speed with external load 80 knots/92 mph/148.2 km/h
Maximum speed without external load 100 knots/115 mph/185.2 km/h
Internal fuel endurance 2 hr 41 min
Range with external load 246 miles/396.3 km
Range without external load 307 miles/494.5 km
Approved fuels Jet A/A-1, JP-5
Jet B/JP-4
JP-8

 

Lockheed Martin-Kaman’s unmanned helicopter successfully completing the Navy’s Quick Reaction Assessment

 

The rugged K-MAX multi-mission helicopter that Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace have transformed into an Unmanned Aerial Truck proves why it is the best for unmanned battlefield cargo resupply missions

 

In January, 2010, the Unmanned K-MAX helicopter demonstrated autonomous and remote control flight over both line-of-sight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data link

 

Italian Carabiniere

The frigate Carabiniere (F593) was delivered on April 28, 2015 at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. It is the fourth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri and 49% Finmeccanica) is the prime contractor for Italy in the FREMM program, which envisions the building of 10 units, all already ordered.

The ASW version was fitted with both towed and hull mounted sonars
The ASW version was fitted with both towed and hull mounted sonars

The ship has been named Carabiniere (F593) to celebrate in 2014, year of the launching, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Carabinieri Force. Carabiniere (F593) is the fourth FREMM unit which Fincantieri builds and delivers to the Italian Navy completed with a combat system (the third with the ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare configuration), that is the ability of silent navigation speed in significant anti-submarine hunting.

144 meters long and a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes, the FREMM frigates represent technological excellence: designed to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h and to provide accommodation for 200 people (crew and staff), these vessels are able to always guarantee a high degree of flexibility and to operate in a wide range of scenarios and tactical situations.

The program faces the fleet renewal need of the Italian Navy’s units of the class frigates Lupo (disarment completed in 2003) and Maestrale (close in reaching its operational life limit). It is coordinated by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement).

These units significantly contribute to the tasks assigned to the Italian Navy, being able to operate in various sectors: anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-naval warfare, fire support from the sea as well as an organic helicopter component embarked. The FREMM units are set to become the backbone of the Italian Navy of the next decades.

D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (front view)
D651 «Normandie» FREMM multi-mission frigate (front view)

 

Technical characteristics

Overall length 472 feet/144 m
Length between perpendiculars 423 feet/128.9 m
Breadth moulded 64.6 feet/19.7 m
Depth (main deck) 37 feet/11.3 m
Full load displacement at delivery (fld) abt. 6,700 tonnes
Growth margin 4%-abt. 230 tonnes
Crew + extra personnel 145 + 20
Maximum speed >27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Endurance 45 days
Range 6,000 NM/11,112 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
CODLAG PROPULSION SYSTEM
Avio-GE LM2500 + G4 32 MW
Electric propulsion motors 2 × 2,5 MW
DG (Diesel Generator) sets 4 × 2,1 MW
CPP (Controllable Pitch Propellers) 2

 

Hall thruster

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), and Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) are collaborating to host a Hall thruster experiment onboard the X-37B flight vehicle (Boeing). The experiment will be hosted on Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) mission 4, the fourth flight of the X-37B reusable space plane.

In a testing procedure, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle taxis on the flightline in June 2009 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (Courtesy photo)
In a testing procedure, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle taxis on the flightline in June 2009 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (Courtesy photo)

The first three OTV flights have accumulated a total of 1,367 days of on-orbit experimentation prior to successful landings and recoveries at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation, and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies, and it is administered by RCO.

The Hall thruster that will fly on the X-37B experiment is a modified version of the units that have propelled SMC’s first three Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications spacecraft. A Hall thruster is a type of electric propulsion device that produces thrust by ionizing and accelerating a noble gas, usually xenon. While producing comparatively low thrust relative to conventional rocket engines, Hall thrusters provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy. This results in increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines.

This experiment will enable in-space characterization of Hall thruster design modifications that are intended to improve performance relative to the state-of-the-art units onboard AEHF. The experiment will include collection of telemetry from the Hall thruster operating in the space environment as well as measurement of the thrust imparted on the vehicle. The resulting data will be used to validate and improve Hall thruster and environmental modeling capabilities, which enhance the ability to extrapolate ground test results to actual on-orbit performance. The on-orbit test plans are being developed by AFRL and administered by RCO.

The experiment has garnered strong support from AFRL senior leadership. «Space is so vitally important to everything we do», said Major General Tom Masiello, AFRL commander. «Secure comms, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), missile warning, weather prediction, precision navigation and timing all rely on it, and the domain is increasingly contested. A more efficient on-orbit thruster capability is huge. Less fuel burn lowers the cost to get up there, plus it enhances spacecraft operational flexibility, survivability and longevity».

Dr. Greg Spanjers, the AFRL Space Capability Lead and Chief Scientist of the Space Vehicles Directorate, added, «AFRL is proud to be able to contribute to this research teamed with our partners at SMC, RCO, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Aerojet Rocketdyne. It was great to see our Government-Contractor team identify an opportunity and then quickly respond to implement a solution that will offer future Air Force spacecraft even greater capabilities».

The first X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle waits in the encapsulation cell of the Evolved Expendable Launch vehicle April 5, 2010, at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Florida. Half of the Atlas V five-meter fairing is visible in the background. The Hall thruster being tested on this flight provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy and may lead to increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines (Courtesy photo)
The first X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle waits in the encapsulation cell of the Evolved Expendable Launch vehicle April 5, 2010, at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Florida. Half of the Atlas V five-meter fairing is visible in the background. The Hall thruster being tested on this flight provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy and may lead to increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines (Courtesy photo)

 

Facts

Length 29 feet, 3 inches/8.91 m
Height 9 feet, 6 inches/2.90 m
Wing Span 14 feet, 11 inches/4.55 m
Experiment Bay Size 7 feet/2.13 m by 4 feet/1.22 m
Launch Weight 11,000 pounds/4,990 kg
Orbit Range 110-500 miles/177-805 km above Earth

 

 

Stealth frigates

It is said in The Press Trust of India that Defence PSU (Public Sector Undertakings) Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd has bagged its biggest order of building three advanced stealth frigates for Rs 20,000 crore (approximately $3.14 billion) from the Indian Navy (IN).

The Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy
The Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy

«This is the highest-ever order which Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has got. This shows how much trust the government and the Navy has on us. It is a big shot in the arm for us», GRSE’s Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral A K Verma told reporters. Under the Project P-17A, Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, will make four stealth frigates while the Kolkata shipyard will make three such frigates, all of which will be of the same design.

«Frigates are one-man army which can attack under water, surface level and also at air. It can also carry helicopters and has detection abilities as well. It will become the most potent weapon of the Indian Navy», Verma said. Once the final design is ready, the construction at GRSE will begin after three years and the first ship will be ready by 2023. «The rest will come at one-year intervals and within ten years all the ships would be ready. We would be working in close collaboration with both the Indian Navy as well as MDL», the official said.

Commodore Ratnakar Ghosh, Director (shipbuilding), GRSE, also noted, they are building a new modernised integrated modular construction unit, which would be used for manufacturing the frigates. «It is because of the modular construction that we can bring down the time of construction to five years. Traditional shipbuilding method takes much more time», Commodore Ratnakar Ghosh said.

GRSE already has Goliath cranes and workshops with sliding roofs from where 200-tonne blocks can be lifted out. The ship will have a displacement of 6,000 tonnes.

 

Prince of Wales

The most iconic section of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier is setting sail on April 24, 2015 from Glasgow on its first sea voyage to Rosyth. Upper Block 07 is where HMS Prince of Wales (R09) will be commanded atop the flight deck and is known as the «Forward Island». As the main hub of the ship, it contains the bridge and approximately 100 vital mission systems compartments.

Three times the size of the Invincible Class Aircraft Carriers, these huge ships use the latest technology and equipment, enabling them to operate with a streamlined crew of 679
Three times the size of the Invincible Class Aircraft Carriers, these huge ships use the latest technology and equipment, enabling them to operate with a streamlined crew of 679

Mick Ord, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «This Forward Island is a remarkable feat of engineering designed to command one of the UK’s largest ever warships for more than half a century to come so the last Commanding Officer who will take the helm is not even born yet. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in building and delivering this iconic aircraft carrier section ahead of schedule and to an incredibly high standard».

The tug delivering the Forward Island will blast its horn passing Ferguson Marine Engineering in Greenock as a final farewell to Glasgow and a salute to BAE Systems’ fellow shipbuilders along the Clyde. Due to stormy weather expected around the north coast of Scotland, the Forward Island will travel around the south coast of the UK on a nine-day voyage before entering the Firth of Forth.

Construction of the Forward Island began in December 2013. It left its dock hall in Govan for the first time last weekend before being driven onto a barge using a single remote control and 144 wheels beneath it.

The Queen Elizabeth Class are the first aircraft carriers to use an innovative twin island design. The second «Aft Island» operates as an airport control tower to co-ordinate aircraft movements, but both islands are designed with the ability to incorporate the other’s role in an emergency, thus increasing the survivability of the ship.

The Forward Island has deck-to-deck windows, which are up to two metres tall to ensure a level of visibility far beyond previous aircraft carriers and are designed to withstand a significant impact, such as a helicopter’s spinning rotor blade.

The 65,000 tonne Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will be the centre piece of the UK’s military capability.

A key driver is the carriers’ cutting-edge weapons handling system, which can move armaments to the flight deck six times faster, bringing the number of people required to operate the system down from 160 to just 48 crew members
A key driver is the carriers’ cutting-edge weapons handling system, which can move armaments to the flight deck six times faster, bringing the number of people required to operate the system down from 160 to just 48 crew members

 

Weapons and sensors

Mission systems complex

Artisan 3D medium range radar

S1850m long-range radar

Navigation radar

Highly mechanised weapon handling system

Phalanx automated close-in weapons systems

30-mm guns & mini guns to counter seaborne threats

 

Mission capability

Capacity to accommodate up to 40 aircraft

280-m flight deck, capable of landing Chinook and Merlin helicopters

Aviation store

Hangar, capable of accommodating and maintaining fixed and rotary wing aircraft

Aircraft lifts (forward and aft)

The separation and distribution of power generation machinery on the QE Class increases the survivability of the ships, while the electric propulsion system enables the prime movers to operate more efficiently, reducing less fuel consumption and running costs
The separation and distribution of power generation machinery on the QE Class increases the survivability of the ships, while the electric propulsion system enables the prime movers to operate more efficiently, reducing less fuel consumption and running costs

 

Propulsion

2 × Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines (36 MW/48,000 hp)

4 × Wartsila diesel generator sets (2× 9 MW/12,000 hp; 2 × 11 MW/ 15,000 hp)

2 × 33 tonne propellers

4 × advanced induction motors

 

Accommodation

Accommodation for 1,600 personnel

Dedicated accommodation and facilities for embarked forces

Hospital area incorporating eight bed medical suite, operating theatre and dental surgery

Recreational facilities including fitness suites and cinema

The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was named on 4 July 2014, with her ship commissioning planned for 2017, and an initial operating capability expected in 2020
The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was named on 4 July 2014, with her ship commissioning planned for 2017, and an initial operating capability expected in 2020

 

Main dimensions

Displacement                                  65,000 tonnes

Length                                                 280 metres/918.63 feet

Maximum beam                             70 metres/229.66 feet

Crew size                                           679

Embarked forces up to              921

 

Performance

Top speed                                          25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h

Range                                                   10,000 NM/18,520 km

 

Delivering HMS Prince of Wales’ bridge

First Refueling

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) and the U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated fully Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) with the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft on April 22, 2015, marking the first time in history that an unmanned aircraft has refueled in-flight.

X-47B successfully completes the first autonomous aerial refueling demonstration over the Chesapeake bay on April 22 (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)
X-47B successfully completes the first autonomous aerial refueling demonstration over the Chesapeake bay on April 22 (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)

This is another historic aviation milestone for the X-47B, which in 2013 became the first unmanned aircraft to autonomously launch from and recover aboard an aircraft carrier. In combination, these landmark demonstrations constitute a major step forward in autonomy that has application in both manned and unmanned aircraft. Autonomous launch, recovery and refueling have the potential for reducing operational costs in the future.

«AAR testing with the X-47B helps solidify the concept that future unmanned aircraft can perform standard missions like aerial refueling and operate seamlessly with manned aircraft as part of the Carrier Air Wing», said Captain Beau Duarte, the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager.

During the probe and drogue (or «Navy-style») AAR demonstration, the X-47B performed a close formation flight rendezvous with an Omega K-707 tanker. Upon clearance from the tanker crew, the X-47B maneuvered into position behind the K-707 and successfully engaged the drogue. On completion of the refueling, the X-47B autonomously disengaged the drogue and maneuvered away from the tanker before returning to base.

The X-47B successfully conducted the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling of an unmanned aircraft
The X-47B successfully conducted the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling of an unmanned aircraft

«We are very pleased with the outcome of this first round of probe and drogue flights with the X-47B», said Pablo Gonzalez, UCAS-D program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. «The AAR system and X-47B both performed as expected. While we would certainly benefit from additional probe and drogue flight testing, we have reached a tipping point at which AAR is now feasible».

Northrop Grumman began developing AAR technology for both Navy and Air Force application nearly a decade ago, pioneering a «hybrid» approach that integrates both GPS and infrared imaging to enhance navigational precision and hedge against GPS disruption. Initial UCAS-D flight-testing began in 2012 using a manned Learjet as a surrogate for the X-47B. These successful proof-of-concept flights demonstrated the overall feasibility of the X-47B AAR system and helped refine its navigation, command and control, and infrared sensor processing components.

Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s UCAS-D prime contractor. The UCAS-D industry team includes Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, GKN Aerospace, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace, Sargent Aerospace & Defense, and Rockwell Collins.

X-47B prepares to engage with an Omega K-707 tanker drogue and complete the first autonomous aerial refueling demonstration over the Chesapeake bay on April 22 (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)
X-47B prepares to engage with an Omega K-707 tanker drogue and complete the first autonomous aerial refueling demonstration over the Chesapeake bay on April 22 (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)

 

X-47B Specifications

Length 38.2 feet/11.6 m
Wingspan 62.1 feet/18.9 m
Folded Wingspan 30.9 feet/9.4 m
Height 10.4 feet/3.2 m
Wheelbase 13.9 feet/4.2 m
Powerplant Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U
Max Gross Take-Off Weight (MGTOW) 44,000 lbs/19,958 kg
Twin Internal Weapons Bay 4,500 lbs/2,041 kg
Top Speed High Subsonic
Altitude >40,000 feet/12,192 m
Range >2,100 NM/3,889 km

 

X-47B First to Complete Autonomous Aerial Refueling

 

British Warrior

The British Army’s Warrior armoured vehicle has demonstrated its firepower and fighting capability during successful firing trials in Scotland. Pictures and video released by Lockheed Martin UK show the Warrior vehicle’s new turret and cannon successfully firing against targets while on the move.

Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle is the first to be armed with the French-UK 40-mm auto cannon firing caseless rounds (Lockheed photo)
Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle is the first to be armed with the French-UK 40-mm auto cannon firing caseless rounds (Lockheed photo)

These are the latest trials that Lockheed Martin UK are undertaking as part of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme to upgrade the Army’s fleet of 380 Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). Senior members of the Army and potential international customers were invited to the Ministry of Defence’s ranges in Kirkudbright to see the Warrior IFV in action and get an update on the progression of the programme.

Modified, designed and installed by engineers at Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site in Bedfordshire, the infrastructure of the Warrior vehicle will be significantly improved, including fitting the new turret with the ultra-modern CT40 weapon system, an updated environmental control system to improve crew comfort, better all-round awareness cameras and driver’s night vision, along with a modular protection fitting system to the chassis to enable quick change of armour for specific threats.

Alan Lines, Vice President and Managing Director, Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site said: «These successful trials demonstrate both the accuracy and lethality of the new generation Warrior IFV, which has been designed and manufactured in the UK. This is the latest in a number of trials that have increased confidence in these modifications. We remain on track for critical design review later this year where the maturity of our design and technical effort will take place».

The Warrior IFV has the speed and performance to keep up with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) over the most difficult terrain, and the firepower and armour to support infantry in the assault. The Warrior family of seven variants of armoured vehicles, which entered service in 1988, has been highly successful for armoured infantry battlegroups in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo and Iraq.

They provide excellent mobility, lethality and survivability for the infantry and have enabled key elements from the Royal Artillery and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to operate effectively within the battlegroup. A highly successful armoured fighting vehicle, Warrior can be fitted with enhanced armour and is continuously being updated – the battlegroup thermal imager was fitted to increase its night-fighting capability.

Warrior variants include artillery Observation Post Vehicle (OPV), Command Post Vehicle (CPV), and a REME recovery and repair vehicle. All variants are equipped with a 7.62-mm chain gun. Both chain gun and CT40 cannon have an anti-helicopter capability.

Warrior upgrades would proceed at a cost of one billion pounds, extending the service life of the Warrior to 2040 and beyond
Warrior upgrades would proceed at a cost of one billion pounds, extending the service life of the Warrior to 2040 and beyond

 

40 CTAS

The 40 CTAS cannon is the next generation weapon of choice for medium calibre systems within Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles. It provides with firepower superior to any other Medium-Calibre.

The suite of ammunition developed in association with the weapon is designed to give increased effect against armoured vehicles including some Main Battle Tanks, defeat of reinforce concrete, buildings, and soft targets.

The 40 CTAS can incorporate unlimited natures of ammunition within the same ammunition handling system, which gives the end user the capability to quickly engage threats across the modern battlefield spectrum including those within urban environments through selection of the most pertinent nature of ammunition.

 

Technical characteristics:

  • 40-mm Cased Telescoped Armament System
  • Novel rotating breech mechanism
  • Up to 200 rounds per minute rate of fire, single shot, burst and continuous
  • Ability to fire over a wide range of elevation (-10° to +75°)
  • Ammunition Natures (GPR-AB-T, GPR-PD-T, APFSDS-T, TP-T and TPRR-T)
  • Ammunition Handling System (AHS) automatically handling the ammunition to be fed into the cannon

The currently available ammunition types are:

  • GPR-AB-T (General Purpose Round – Air-Burst – Tracer) programmable round to neutralize dismounted infantry and soft targets
  • GPR-PD-T (GPR – Point Detonation – Tracer) to breach or defeat reinforced concrete walls
  • APFSDS-T (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot – Tracer) able to penetrate 140-mm of RHA (frontal arc of some first generation МВТ and all IFVs)
  • TP-T (Target Practice – Tracer) and TPRR-T (Target Practice Reduced Range – Tracer)

 

Polish Caracal

Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli Invest Services welcome the decision of the Polish Ministry of Defence to pre-select the H225M Caracal from Airbus Helicopters. According Polish Ministry of National Defense, after verification of the operational needs of the Armed Forces, and in particular taking into account the possibility of further use of the Mi-17 helicopters no in service over the next decade, it was decided to buy 50, instead of the 70 it originally planned. The deal is estimated to be worth $3 billion.

The high load capacity and easy cabin access of the H225M, combined with fast cruise speed, long range and in-flight agility make this aircraft the perfect tactical transport helicopter for troops and cargo
The high load capacity and easy cabin access of the H225M, combined with fast cruise speed, long range and in-flight agility make this aircraft the perfect tactical transport helicopter for troops and cargo

In recent years, Poland has proven its technological and industrial capacity with a highly skilled workforce and impressive resources. The country has become an established and internationally recognised industry leader, supplying parts for the full range of Airbus aircraft. Airbus Group’s sourcing from Poland amounts to around €191 million, including aerostructures, systems and services, and the Company employs a local workforce of 850 highly skilled employees.

Poland is among the few countries continuously maintaining and reinforcing its military power. It has a vibrant economy, a growing GDP and stable political system, as well as engineering expertise supported by long-term investment plans.

Airbus Helicopters’ H225M (former EC725) Caracal project has the potential to significantly accelerate the integration of the country’s aerospace and defence industry in Airbus Group’s value chain. Together with substantial research and technology development investments, transfer of technology and engineering capabilities, this project is aimed at laying the basis for a joint and mutually beneficial future.

In this context of Poland’s multirole military helicopter acquisition, the Polish Ministry of Defence has already pre-selected the H225M Caracal. Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli Invest Services are now preparing for the next steps of the tender process.

Airbus Group’s ambition is to partner Poland and have the country play a much bigger role in Europe’s defence industry. The Group aims to widen its industrial presence in the country, going far beyond low-cost or mono-product partnerships by further opening its Divisions in a structured and lasting relationship.

Its large cabin and heavy-lift performance enables the rotorcraft to carry up to 29 troops/personnel in cabin seats, or up to 20 troops/personnel on energy-absorbing wall-mounted seats
Its large cabin and heavy-lift performance enables the rotorcraft to carry up to 29 troops/personnel in cabin seats, or up to 20 troops/personnel on energy-absorbing wall-mounted seats

 

H225M Caracal

Designed for the most demanding missions, the H225M’s reliability and durability have been demonstrated in combat conditions and crisis areas that include Lebanon, Afghanistan and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya. As the latest member of Airbus Helicopters’ military Super Puma/Cougar family, this 11-metric-ton helicopter, previously named the EC725, is ready for multiple missions.

As a true multi-role platform, the H225M enables military forces to deploy wherever and whenever needed. Operating both from ships and land, this helicopter has an all-weather capability – including flight in icing conditions – supported by state-of-the-art night vision goggle compatibility.

The helicopter’s outstanding 700 nautical mile range is extended with air-to-air refueling, which can be performed while in forward flight and during hover.

Powered by two latest-generation engines, the H225M’s five-blade rotor provides an exceptionally low vibration level, and the modular design of rotor mechanical assemblies allows for easier maintenance.

This new generation helicopter also features significant advances in terms of man-machine interface ensuring the most important information arrives to the pilot for the most effective decision making process
This new generation helicopter also features significant advances in terms of man-machine interface ensuring the most important information arrives to the pilot for the most effective decision making process

The H225M is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and communication systems that reduce crew workload while enhancing mission capability and safety. Airbus Helicopters has incorporated significant advances in terms of man-machine interface, ensuring the most important information arrives to the pilot for the most effective decision-making process.

The flight crew has at their fingertips all navigation and piloting data from the electronic flight instruments in the glass cockpit, including dual-channel full-authority digital engine control for the H225M’s two Turbomeca turboshaft engines.

Airbus Helicopters’ renowned 4-axis, dual-duplex autopilot provides outstanding precision and stability and enables flight in search and rescue patterns as well as automatic approaches in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) procedures.

Unrivalled redundancy is provided in key onboard systems to maintain full functionality, including the dual-duplex Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), dual-engine Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) with backup; five LCD electronic flight instruments; and two Vehicle Monitoring Displays, among other features.

For cargo transport missions, the H225M’s high-density cabin floor accommodates a sizeable internal load, while the maximum external load sling capacity is 4,750 kg
For cargo transport missions, the H225M’s high-density cabin floor accommodates a sizeable internal load, while the maximum external load sling capacity is 4,750 kg

Using the proven military heritage of Airbus Helicopters’ Puma and Super Puma rotorcraft, the H225M was conceived with survivability in mind. Its airframe has reinforced structural main frames and is equipped with high energy-absorbing landing gear, along with self-sealing and crashworthy fuel tanks.

Cockpit protection is provided by armored and energy-absorbing crew seats, while the cabin can be equipped with armor plating in the floors and walls or fitted with armor-plated carpets. The rotor blades’ multi-box construction enhances their resistance to bullet impacts.

Contributing to the H225M’s survivability is a radar-warning receiver, missile approach warning system, and chaff/flare dispensers. The engine exhausts can be fitted with infrared suppressors, with protection against sand and ice provided by inlet design and with installable filters.

The H225M carries a strong «punch» when called on, ready for everything from front-line missions to critical logistics support. Qualified armament includes a 7.62-mm machine gun in the forward cabin windows; along with 180-round 20-mm gun pods and 19-tube 2.75-inch/70-mm rocket launchers.

External dimensions
External dimensions

Included in the mission avionics are a flight management system with Doppler, GPS satellite navigation and SAR (Search And Rescue) modes; a digital moving map; a personal locator system; a loud speaker and a searchlight, among others.

From home base to the most remote locations, Airbus Helicopters conceived the H225M with maintainability in mind.

The Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines are of modular design for easy maintenance, and Airbus Helicopters’ Spheriflex fiberglass main rotor head is easy to adjust. The airframe includes a built-in step to access the engines.

Overall maintenance information is provided through the integrated HUMS (Health Usage Monitoring System).

Able to take off in less than five minutes, followed by high-speed cruise, the H225M reaches the scene rapidly, and is ready for a quick return to base when the assignment is completed
Able to take off in less than five minutes, followed by high-speed cruise, the H225M reaches the scene rapidly, and is ready for a quick return to base when the assignment is completed

 

Characteristics

CAPACITY
Troop transport 2 pilots + 1 chief of stick + 28 seats
VIP transport 2 pilots + 8 to 12 passengers
Casualty evacuation 2 pilots + up to 11 stretchers + 4 seats
Sling load 4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS
Length 16.79 m/55.08 feet
Width 3.96 m/13 feet
Height 4.60 m/15.09 feet
WEIGHT
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 11,000 kg/24,251 lbs
MTOW in external load configuration 11,200 kg/24,690 lbs
Empty weight 5,715 kg/12,600 lbs
Useful load 5,285 kg/11,651 lbs
Maximum cargo-sling load 4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
Standard fuel capacity 2,247 kg/4,954 lbs
ENGINES 2 TURBOMECA MAKILA 2A1
Take-off power per engine 1,567 kW/2,101 shp
PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, ISA*, SL**
Maximum speed (Vne***) 324 km/h/175 knots
Fast cruise speed (at MCP****) 262 km/h/142 knots
Rate of climb 5.4 m/s/1,064 feet/min
Service ceiling (Vz = 0.508 m/s = 100 feet/min) 3,968 m/13,019 feet
Hover ceiling OGE***** at ISA*, MTOW, take-off power 792 m/2,600 feet
Maximum range without reserve at Economical Cruise Speed 909 km/491 NM
Endurance without reserve at 148 km/h/80 knots >4 h 20 min

* International Standard Atmosphere

** Sea Level

*** Never Exceed Speed

**** Mode Control Panel

***** Out of Ground Effect

 


Caracal & Tiger in tandem Airbus Helicopters