The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract worth up to $376 million for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) phase of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program and rapid prototyping effort with low-rate initial production options.
BAE Systems’ solution combines new technology with proven capability to provide the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) with a highly agile, armor-protected platform that delivers overwhelming and precise firepower for use across the spectrum of terrains and operations.
«Our offering integrates innovative technology that reduces the burden on the crew into a compact design deployable in areas that are hard to reach», said Deepak Bazaz, director of combat vehicles programs at BAE Systems. «We’re confident our design meets the requirements and the unique capabilities the IBCT needs».
Under the contract, one of two awarded ahead of the Government’s down-select to a final contractor, BAE Systems will produce 12 prototype vehicles during the EMD phase.
The BAE Systems MPF is the result of more than 30 years of research and development for an optimized, rapidly deployable, light combat vehicle designed specifically to support light infantry. The vehicle leverages investments the Army made in the M8 Armored Gun System, including its low-profile design, and proven technologies like the M35 105-mm cannon, and an auto-loading ammunition system that allows the gun to fire at a rate of 12 rounds per minute. The innovative roll-out powerpack design allows for easy access to the engine and transmission without the aid of heavy equipment.
It also integrates scalable armor and innovative survivability subsystems to protect the vehicle and crew from threats on the future battlefield. The vehicle employs situational awareness systems adding to the highest levels of survivability and crew protection. The compact design allows for multiple vehicle deployment on a C-17 Globemaster III and exceeds the Army’s transport requirement and it is sustainable within the IBCT.
Work on the EMD vehicles will take place at BAE Systems’ facilities in Aiken, South Carolina; San Jose, California; Sterling Heights, Michigan; and York, Pennsylvania.
The second of the Navy’s next-generation patrol ships will debut in Portsmouth in the New Year after successfully completing her maiden sea trials.
HMS Medway (P223) spent 15 days in the Firth of Clyde tested her engines, manoeuvrability, sensors and main cannon under a mixed civilian/Royal Navy crew under Admiralty Trials Master Captain Graham Baxter.
The ship is the second of five 2,000-tonne River-class 2.0 vessels built for patrol duties in home waters and beyond by BAE Systems on the Clyde.
After more than a year being fitted out at Scotstoun, the ship headed down the Clyde and into its estuary for a busy trials programme.
Throughout the trials package, all onboard systems were put through their paces including the Integrated Platform Management System, which controls and monitors most of the ship’s systems, and the Combat Management System which is used to collate sensor information and assist the command team in the decisions they make when in action.
The Automated Small Calibre Gun, the 30-mm cannon on the forecastle, fired rounds at a ‘killer tomato’ inflatable target with impressive accuracy and the off-ship fire monitors tested correctly.
Ship handling trials such as manoeuvrability, speed and range trials generated a lot of interest onboard, as HMS Medway (P223) was taken to the upper limits of performance.
«It was great to finally get to sea on Medway», said marine engineer Chief Petty Officer Will Davies. «The small Royal Navy team benefited from the experience and had a lot of opportunities to improve their ship and systems knowledge. The whole trials package was really positive».
Weapon engineer Chief Petty Officer Luke Travell added: «Achieving so much during our trials period really shows how much effort we have all put in. BAE, ship’s staff and all the contractors should be really proud».
Lieutenant Commander Ben Power – Medway’s first sea-going Commanding Officer – said the small ship presented a superb sight as she manoeuvred deftly in the Firth of Clyde. «She is a hugely-capable ship which will add flexibility and strength to the offshore patrol vessel force», he added.
HMS Medway (P223) is now back in Scotstoun undergoing a final period of planned maintenance and tweaks, as well as processing and analysing results from the trials to meet criteria which will her allow her to be accepted by the Royal Navy, before she sails down to her future home of Portsmouth in 2019.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a £400 million funding boost for the Dreadnought programme, as he opened a new training academy and revealed the name of the second Dreadnought submarine.
The planned funding release, which supports the building phase of the programme, came as the Defence Secretary unveiled a £25 million BAE Systems academy that will upskill employees to work on Royal Navy submarines for the next two decades.
The £400million investment will safeguard more than 8,000 jobs in Barrow and across the UK, which are all supported by the £31billion Dreadnought programme and supply chain.
The announcement was made during the Defence Secretary’s visit to BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness, where he also named the second Dreadnought submarine as HMS Valiant.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «Next year marks half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began patrolling the waters in response to the danger posed by the Cold War – and the world is again facing a raft of intensifying threats. This £400m investment will ensure the Dreadnought programme remains on track, so we continue to have a nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come. Not only does today’s news see us safeguard 8,000 jobs right now, but I have also opened a brand new multi-million-pound facility to train Britain’s submarine engineers of the future».
The last vessel to carry the name HMS Valiant was the second Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine.
Launched in 1963, she took part in the Navy’s first tactical exercise under the Arctic ice and played an important role in the Falklands War, deterring the Argentine surface fleet from closing the islands.
The latest investment comes after £960 million worth of contracts were announced in May to ramp up the current phase of construction for the UK’s four nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines.
Submarine Delivery Agency Chief Executive Ian Booth said: «The Academy for Skills and Knowledge is essential in developing the vast range of talent in Barrow and ensures that the workforce is equipped with the best possible tools needed to meet the ever-growing demands placed on the UK’s submarine construction industry».
The Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge will provide around 2,500 people a month – including 600 apprentices from across industry and the Ministry of Defence – with invaluable skills and training to benefit the work carried out on the Dreadnought and Astute submarine programmes.
Cliff Robson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «This is a fantastic facility that will provide a unique environment in which to train our growing workforce. Our investment in skills will not only ensure we have a pipeline of world-class talent available to deliver our complex programmes, but will also positively contribute to the economic prosperity of the region and the UK’s engineering industry. The new academy will give our current and future workforce access to the very latest in learning and development, demonstrating our lasting commitment not just to our current employees but to those who will join our company in years to come».
Today’s funding announcement comes a year after the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which set out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.
It demonstrates how defence is building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced HMS Edinburgh as the name of a cutting-edge British warship on the eve of St Andrew’s Day.
The submarine-hunting state-of-the-art frigate builds on the city’s proud naval history and is the seventh warship to carry the name.
And as the eighth frigate to be named in the future Type 26 fleet, Edinburgh will be built on the Clyde as part of a £3.7bn programme that will sustain 4,000 jobs. HMS Edinburgh will be at the forefront of the nation’s world-leading navy, providing unrivalled capability at sea.
The Defence Secretary marked the announcement with Councillor Jason Rust, Bailie for the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh at the Nelson Monument and museum on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill.
Speaking during a visit to Edinburgh, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «The new HMS Edinburgh is a symbol of the United Kingdom’s future global ambition, but also the important role Scotland plays in shipbuilding and the national security of our country. Her cutting-edge capabilities will ensure that the UK remains a world-leader at sea, protecting our national interests and promoting global peace. Built on more than 300 years of proud naval history, HMS Edinburgh will play a crucial role in defending our nation for decades to come».
The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, said: «The last HMS Edinburgh famously retired from the Royal Navy’s fleet in 2013. Five years later, we are thrilled a new ship will be named in the city’s honour. Built on centuries of history, she will be the seventh ship to carry the HMS Edinburgh title. It will be a truly Scottish ship – built on the Clyde – and I hope she will visit us in the Port of Leith on her maiden voyage when the time comes. We’ve always enjoyed strong ties with the Royal Navy and the many hundreds of personnel who have served aboard the HMS Edinburgh vessels over the years. I’m sure the new ship will reinforce this bond».
The first ship to carry the name HMS Edinburgh was a fifth-rate ship, which was transferred into the Royal Navy in 1707. The last was a Type 42 destroyer, which was decommissioned in 2013 after deployments to the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf.
Royal Navy ships carrying the name Edinburgh have won nine battle honours between them, with five being awarded during the Second World War.
Scotland is already crucial to the United Kingdom’s defence capabilities, being home to the RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert interceptors and submarine-hunting Maritime Patrol Aircraft flying from Lossiemouth, and soon to the be home to the entire Royal Navy Submarine Service from 2020.
More than 10,000 sailors, soldiers and air personnel are also living permanently in Scotland, supported by 8,000 reservists and civilians.
Meanwhile, the Scottish industry benefits from £1.59bn of defence spending every year – supporting 10,500 private sector jobs – and just last year the Defence Board confirmed £1.7 billion would be invested to upgrade Scottish military bases over the next decade.
All the Type 26 frigates will be built on the Clyde, supported by suppliers across the country and securing decades of work for more than 4,000 people. The first three ships, HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast, have already been ordered for £3.7bn. HMS Edinburgh will join HMS Birmingham, HMS Sheffield, HMS Newcastle and HMS London as part of the second batch of Type 26 warships.
The first Type 26 warship, HMS Glasgow, will enter service in the mid-2020s.
Indian Army celebrated receiving its first M777A2 Ultra Lightweight Howitzers (ULH) at an official handover ceremony today, a key step toward the modernizing and strengthening of the Indian Army’s artillery capabilities.
The 155-mm M777 systems will deploy to their first regiment in 2019. The gun systems, produced by BAE Systems, were accepted earlier this year, as part of a 145-gun agreement between the U.S. and Indian governments.
«The Indian Army is receiving an extremely reliable and battle-proven artillery platform», Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ weapon systems business, said while attending the event. «The M777 brings a new level of capability to the artillery unit by offering rapid deployment and extreme accuracy. It can operate in areas that are difficult to access and is also very easy to maintain».
BAE Systems is building and delivering the first 25 M777 ULHs fully assembled, with the remaining 120 to be assembled in India by Mahindra Defence Systems Ltd. (MDSL) under an arrangement designed to support defense industrial cooperation and promote local economic growth.
«The M777 ULH is more than a very effective piece of artillery technology», said Nik Khanna, managing director India, BAE Systems. «With the M777 program, BAE Systems has made the first step of our substantive Make-in-India commitment, which includes our pledge to develop a network of Indian suppliers for our global supply chain and deepen our relationship with industry in India. We are committed to a strong and collaborative working relationship between BAE Systems, the Indian Armed Forces and Indian industry».
«This is a landmark event with the first M777s being delivered to the Indian Army. It is a product of our long-standing business partnership with BAE Systems», said SPShukla, Group President – Aerospace & Defence Sector, Mahindra Group, and Chairman – Mahindra Defence Systems. «In this program each of the M777 howitzers have value addition from Mahindra Defence. I believe that this is the first step towards Make-in-India with much bigger programs to follow».
The U.S. government recently certified that MDSL is ready to carry out the work at a purpose-built production facility created for this program to conduct the in-country Assembly and Integration of 120 of the 145 gun systems on order. The newly-handed over M777 ULHs were instrumental in establishing the new MDSL capability in India. The Mahindra team finalized these weapons by replicating the proven manufacturing processes to the highest of quality specifications, including modifications specifically tailored for the Indian Artillery, such as a unique camouflage paint scheme.
Earlier this year, BAE Systems delivered the first spares and other logistics including tooling, technical publications and training materials, to support the Indian Army as it brings these new M777 ULHs into service. The company also recently received a contract to provide 18 additional M777 systems to the U.S. Army, taking the total number of systems ordered and in service with the United States, Canada, Australia and India to more than 1,250.
BAE Systems Australia has welcomed a third ANZAC class warship to its Henderson facility as part of the fleet upgrade to keep the ships in service until they are replaced by the Hunter class frigates.
The Mid Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade is being undertaken at Henderson by the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance.
HMAS Anzac’s docking marks a significant milestone for BAE Systems, where it joins sister ships HMAS Perth (FFH 157) and HMAS Arunta (FFH 151). This will be the first time that three warships have been on the hardstand at the Henderson facility.
HMAS Anzac (FFH 150) will be the second ship to receive the AMCAP upgrade which includes:
Upgraded ventilation systems;
New sewage systems;
Improvements to the diesel engines to improve power and efficiency;
Replacement of the air search radar capability with the Australian CEA L-Band radar; and
Replacement of the full communications suite on the ship.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Gabby Costigan, said: «The upgrade of the ANZAC fleet, through our role in the WAMA alliance, demonstrates the breadth and depth of work that BAE Systems Australia has done to date in the sustainment of the ANZAC class fleet over more than two decades. BAE Systems is an Australian industry leader in maritime sustainment. We are very proud of the skilled workforce capacity that we have grown to meet the technical challenges of maritime sustainment».
HMAS Arunta (FFH 151), the first of class AMCAP ship, most recently had her old mast removed to make way for the installation of a newly developed Air Search Radar System. The new mast is currently being manufactured by BAE Systems and scheduled to be installed at the end of October.
Australian company CEA Technologies is responsible for developing the new Air Search Radar System that complements the existing Anti-Ship Missile Defence system.
HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) will undock before the end of the year after having spent more than 12 months on the hard stand. She will then undertake sea trials ahead of a planned return to service in 2019.
The remaining seven ships will be back in service by 2023.
World-leading thermal imaging technology is being offered to the British Army as part of Team Challenger 2’s bid to upgrade the Army’s Main Battle Tank.
The technology, developed by Leonardo in the UK, forms part of the BAE Systems led bid to upgrade the tank and would for the first time bring independent night vision for both the gunner and the commander.
Also known as «electro-optic technology», the thermal imaging system will help British troops identify potential threats and move undetected in hostile situations, while also shaving valuable seconds off reaction times, which can make the difference between mission success and failure.
Instead of sensing light like a standard digital camera, Leonardo’s infrared camera senses heat emitted by all objects with temperatures greater than absolute zero (-273°C). The hundreds-of-thousands of individual pixels in the camera, each one-twelfth the thickness of a human hair, can detect temperature differences as small as one-fiftieth of a centigrade, allowing for extremely sharp images.
Simon Jackson, Campaign leader for Team Challenger 2 at BAE Systems said: «Leonardo’s sight brings to Team Challenger 2 the most capable night vision available. Combined with our engineering skills and knowledge of Challenger 2 – which we designed and built – we will work together to integrate Leonardo’s technology seamlessly into the tank, sharing data across crew stations and with battle management computers. Sighting is a vital element of a battle tank’s role and Leonardo’s sight will provide our troops with unparalleled 24-hour night-and-day visibility, giving them a long-range threat identification system that really makes the most of the tank’s firepower».
Mike Gilbert, SVP Optronics Systems UK at Leonardo, said: «Our thermal cameras – designed and built in the UK – can «see» in total darkness as far as the horizon, and the applications for this technology are endless – from helping improve our understanding of the natural world to improving the operational capabilities of the British Army’s Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank. Our infra-red technology plays a crucial role in supporting British troops in the most challenging environments and we’re pleased to be working alongside BAE Systems to offer this technology for Challenger 2, helping extend its life to 2035 and beyond».
The technology is already proven on other military platforms – such as the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier and the Royal Air Force’s Chinook fleet – but has wider applications, including being used by leading broadcasters to capture some of the most difficult shots possible for television.
In David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II documentary, cameras equipped with Leonardo’s technology allowed the filmmakers to capture the most detailed film ever seen of a leopard’s nocturnal hunt, down to the movement of individual hairs on its body. While in the fast-paced world of sport, the Hot Spot system used in international cricket incorporates Leonardo’s thermal imaging technology, helping umpires see whether a ball has struck the batsman, pad or ball, by looking for a temperature change caused by the friction of impact.
From a military standpoint, the thermal imaging system was previously used in Afghanistan to allow Chinook Helicopters to fly undetected through mountain valleys, even in poor weather conditions. It also brought the ability to detect, recognise and identify coalition troops or vehicles at a safe standoff range prior to entry into drop or landing zones.
The U.S. Army has selected BAE Systems to provide touch screen Computer Display Units (CDU) as an upgrade to the company’s ASN-128 Doppler GPS Navigation System on Black Hawk helicopters. The self-contained, all-weather, day or night navigation system enables Black Hawk pilots to view real-time flight plan data.
This task order, which was awarded to BAE Systems under a current $226 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, will bring touch-screen navigation system control to UH-60A/L Black Hawks. The Army plans to use the ASN-128 systems through 2035, and the upgrades will support safer operation for pilots by minimizing heads-down tasks.
«We’ve been a supplier for the ASN-128 program since 1978», said Alan Dewar, director of Communications and Navigation Solutions at BAE Systems. «The full touch screen with moving map capability will improve safety for pilots, assisting our customer’s mission success».
The CDUs will be produced at BAE Systems’ facility in Wayne, New Jersey, with circuit card production in Austin, Texas. Additional CDU delivery orders may follow as part of the Army’s upgrade plan. The initial order of 250 CDUs will be delivered in 2019 and 2020.
BAE Systems’ AN/ASN-128 operates on more than 15,000 helicopters in 35 nations. The company’s Doppler Navigation Systems provide accurate, independent, jam-resistant navigation in friendly and hostile environments and in operational situations where interference with GPS is likely. The system automatically selects Doppler navigation in GPS-denied environments.
The Turnbull Government will deliver one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates, create 4000 Australian jobs and secure a local naval shipbuilding industry for decades to come.
The frigates, to be designed by BAE Systems and built by ASC Shipbuilding, are central to our plan to secure our nation, our naval shipbuilding sovereignty and create Australian jobs.
BAE System’s Global Combat Ship – Australia will provide our nation with one of the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world – a maritime combat capability that will underpin our security for decades to come.
The Future Frigates, named the Hunter class, will be built in Australia, by Australians, using Australian steel.
This $35 billion program will create 4,000 Australian jobs right around the country and create unprecedented local and global opportunities for businesses large and small.
The Hunter class will begin entering service in the late 2020s replacing the eight Anzac Frigates, which have been in service since 1996.
The Turnbull Government is committed to giving our military the potent naval capability it needs.
Naval Shipbuilding Sovereignty
The Future Frigate program is one of Australia’s most significant investments in military capability.
It provides a unique opportunity to not just strengthen but guarantee Australia’s naval shipbuilding sovereignty.
The next generation of frigates will be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard. ASC Shipbuilding, currently wholly owned by the Commonwealth, will become a subsidiary of BAE Systems during the build. This ensures BAE Systems is fully responsible and accountable for the delivery of the frigates and ensures the work will be carried out by Australian workers and create Australian jobs.
The Commonwealth of Australia will retain a sovereign share in ASC Shipbuilding while BAE manages the program. At the end of the program the Commonwealth will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, thereby ensuring the retention in Australia of intellectual property, a highly skilled workforce and the associated equipment.
By the conclusion of the frigate build, ASC Shipbuilding will be a strategic national asset capable of independently designing, developing and leading the construction of complex, large naval warships.
This does not affect the Offshore Patrol Vessels, Air Warfare Destroyers, or the sustainment of the Collins Class submarines and will not preclude ASC Group from pursuing future shipbuilding opportunities.
Capability – The Hunter class
Following a rigorous and comprehensive Competitive Evaluation Process, the Government has assessed BAE’s Global Combat Ship – Australia as the capability best suited for our nation.
The Hunter class will provide the Australian Defence Force with the highest levels of lethality and deterrence our major surface combatants need in periods of global uncertainty.
The Hunter class will have the capability to conduct a variety of missions independently, or as part of a task group, with sufficient range and endurance to operate effectively throughout the region.
The frigates will also have the flexibility to support non-warfare roles such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Incorporating the leading-edge Australian-developed CEA Phased-Array Radar and the US Navy’s Aegis combat management system, with an Australian interface developed by Saab Australia, the Hunter class will be one of the most capable warships in the world.
Australian Industry Content
The Turnbull Government’s commitment to maximise Australian Industry Content in our military capability is delivering for Australian workers and Australian businesses.
BAE expects the Australian Industry Content for the Hunter class build will be 65-70 per cent which will create and secure thousands of jobs for decades.
BAE has prequalified over 500 Australian businesses from every state and territory to be in the Hunter class supply chain.
The Turnbull Government would like to thank BAE Systems, Fincantieri and Navantia for their participation in the extensive and thorough process of selecting Australia’s new Hunter class.
Frigate, Guided Missile (FFG)
Surveillance & Intelligence
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
BAE Systems/ASC Shipbuilding
8,800 tonnes (full load)
149.9 metres/491.8 feet
20.8 metres/68.2 feet
Combined Diesel Electric or Gas (CODLOG)
27+ knots/31 mph/50 km/h (top speed)
7,000 NM/8,055.5 miles/12,964 km (electric motor drive)
Mk45 Mod 4 5″/127-mm gun
SM2 & ESSM missiles
Advanced anti-ship missiles
Mk41 Vertical Launch System
Nulka Decoy System
1 × MH-60R helicopter
180 crew including embarked flight. Accommodation for up to 208
The U.S. Marine Corps has awarded BAE Systems a $198 million contract to deliver an initial 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV), with options for a total of 204 vehicles which could be worth up to $1.2 billion.
BAE Systems, along with teammate Iveco Defence Vehicles, prevailed in the Marine Corps’ robust competition for the next generation of vehicles to get the Marines from ship to shore to engage in land combat operations.
«We are well positioned and ready to build the future of amphibious fighting vehicles for the Marine Corps, having already produced 16 prototypes», said Dean Medland, vice president and general manager of Combat Vehicles Amphibious and International at BAE Systems. «Through this award, we are proud to continue our partnership with the Marine Corps by providing a best-in-class vehicle to support its mission through mobility, survivability and lethality».
The ACV provides exceptional mobility in all terrains, and blast mitigation protection for all three crew and 13 embarked Marines, along with other improvements over currently fielded systems. The new vehicle is an advanced 8×8 open ocean-capable vehicle that is equipped with a new 6-cylinder, 700HP engine, which provides a significant power increase over the Assault Amphibious Vehicle, which is currently in service and has been in operation for decades. The ACV is also adaptable to accommodate growth for future technologies or requirements.
The BAE Systems team conducted its own extensive risk mitigation testing and evaluation for land mobility, survivability, and swim capabilities that proved its vehicle’s performance prior to delivering the first 16 prototypes to the Marine Corps in 2017.
Over the past 15 months, the company supported the Marine Corps’ rigorous Developmental Testing and Operational Assessment of the vehicles, which performed superbly in water and land operations, payload, and survivability.
Work on the program will be performed at the company’s facilities in Aiken, South Carolina; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Minneapolis; Stafford; San Jose, California; and York, Pennsylvania.
The Marine Corps’ selection of BAE Systems for the ACV 1.1 program further solidifies the company’s 70-year legacy of providing superior amphibious vehicle capabilities to meet ship-to-objective and combat tactical lift objectives. As a leading provider of combat vehicles, the company has produced more than 100,000 systems for customers worldwide. Iveco is also a proven manufacturer of combat vehicles, having designed and built more than 30,000 multi-purpose, protected, and armored military vehicles in service today.
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)
67,500 lbs./30,617 kg
up to 7,280 lbs./3,302 kg
13 + 3 crew
>65 mph/105 km/h
6 knots/6.9 mph/11.1 km/h
Range on road at 55 mph/89 km/h
up to 325 miles/523 km
Range at sea followed by land
up to 12 NM/13.8 miles/22.2 km followed by 250+ miles/402+ km on land
36-foot/11-meter curb to curb turning radius
350 inches/8.9 m
124 inches/3.1 m
113 inches/2.8 m
Capable of operating in conditions up to Sea State 3 and through a nine-foot plunging surf