Tag Archives: BAE Systems

Christening of Trent

HMS Trent (P224), the third of five new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), was officially named on March 13, 2018 during a ceremony at BAE Systems’ site at Govan, Glasgow, as final preparations were made before she enters the water for the first time in the coming days.

Third River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel named in Glasgow
Third River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel named in Glasgow

To mark the occasion, employees and guests watched as Mrs. Pamela Potts, Trent’s sponsor and wife of Vice Admiral Duncan Potts, named the vessel which will aid in a range of operations including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling to secure the UK’s borders.

Mrs. Potts released a bottle of gin from the Nelson’s Gin Distillery & Gin School in Stafford against the ship’s hull to officially name the vessel.


Landmark moment

Iain Stevenson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «This is another landmark moment for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme and an important day that honours the traditions of the Royal Navy. Today is made even more special as we are able to see the full scale of Trent as she prepares to enter the water for the very first time in the next few days. This is yet another reminder of the importance of what we do».

Defence Minister Guto Bebb MP said: «As the third of five Offshore Patrol Vessels being built in Scotland, HMS Trent (P224) will soon be part of a fleet of highly capable ships. These new vessels will keep the UK safe by conducting counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and other vital maritime operations. UK Defence has invested in an unprecedented ship-building production line in Glasgow and the city’s shipyards with their 1,700 highly skilled engineers and technicians are benefiting from full order books for the next two decades».

After the Naming Ceremony HMS Trent (P224) will be loaded onto an awaiting barge which will then lower her into the water before her outfitting and systems installation. HMS Trent (P224) is expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the second half of 2018.

In February, HMS Forth (P222), the first of five River Class OPVs departed Glasgow and her birthplace on the Clyde, to make her way to the home port at Portsmouth Naval Base. This was a significant milestone in the programme as HMS Forth (P222) is the first completed complex warship to leave Glasgow since HMS DUNCAN in 2013.

The second in class, HMS Medway (P223), named in October 2017, is set to depart for sea trials in the first half of this year. The fourth ship, HMS Tamar, is now structurally complete while the final River Class OPV, HMS Spey, is under construction at BAE Systems’ Govan yard.

Type 31e at DIMDEX

Visitors to DIMDEX, the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference, which is being held from 12-14 March in Doha, Qatar, will be able to see BAE Systems’ proposed design for the Type 31e frigate competition in the UK.

BAE Systems Type 31e frigate
BAE Systems Type 31e frigate

BAE Systems has brought together its warship design and engineering capability and combat systems expertise with Cammell Laird, the commercial shipbuilder, in a Teaming Agreement to bid for the contract to deliver Type 31e, the UK’s adaptable general purpose frigate.

A key part of the Type 31e programme is configuring the new frigate and its Combat Management System to be attractive to potential international customers and DIMDEX is the first time BAE Systems is showcasing its proposed design outside the UK.

BAE Systems’ design of this highly capable multi-mission warship demonstrates the flexibility of the ship to meet all warfare roles. Using a flexible mission bay that can be reconfigured at short notice it can perform constabulary, disaster relief, maritime interdiction, counter-piracy and joint taskforce operations.

With a proposed top speed in excess of 25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h and a range of more than 7,500 NM/8,631 miles/13,890 km, BAE Systems’ design is equipped with some of the most modern and effective weapons systems available, and has been designed to operate in international waters, including the Gulf. It is capable of operating both independently for significant periods and as part of a task group, offering enormous value in bringing together allied maritime nations.

The Type 31e design being proposed for the UK Royal Navy will also feature an enhanced BAE Systems combat system. Building on the pedigree of the systems installed across the UK Royal Navy’s fleet this combat system will add enhanced features through its open, secure, flexible and extensive architecture, ensuring it can be upgraded as new technology develops, adapting to ever-evolving threats.

Angus Holt, BAE Systems’ Type 31e Programme Director, said: «We are proud to be displaying our Type 31e design at DIMDEX, the first opportunity for international audiences to see this highly capable ship. Our Type 31e design builds on the proven design and quality of our ships, including Type 45, Offshore Patrol Vessels and the Khareef vessels delivered to the Royal Navy of Oman. It also draws upon the invaluable experience of our Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme, giving us the confidence that we are able to offer a highly advanced ship that can be deployed for a variety of purposes around the world».

7th Astute-class

According to In Cumbria Magazine, the Ministry of Defence has announced it will sign a contract for Astute boat seven less than 24 hours after ministers told Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock he would not have to wait long for «good news».

Having already ordered six Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarines, the United Kingdom has finally decided to order a seventh boat, and the contract with BAE will be formalized this year, according to the Ministry of Defence (BAE photo)
Having already ordered six Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarines, the United Kingdom has finally decided to order a seventh boat, and the contract with BAE will be formalized this year, according to the Ministry of Defence (BAE photo)

John hailed the announcement, made in a written statement from new defence procurement minister Guto Bebb, as a «huge relief for the workforce and UK naval security».

The breakthrough comes after several fraught months in which Ministry of Defence officials and BAE management were put under pressure to scrap the seventh boat to alleviate the defence equipment funding crisis.

In the formal statement, Mr. Bebb informed MPs: «The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has received approval in principle from Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) to recognise new contingent liabilities associated with the Astute Boat 7 ‘Whole Boat’ Contract».

The announcement paves the way for the formal contract to be signed before the end of the financial years.

Responding after meeting Mr. Bebb about the submarine programme last night, John said: «Thank goodness the government has listened to the arguments and is pressing ahead with Astute boat seven after all. This is a huge relief for the workforce and naval security which would have been gravely undermined if this vital boat had been withdrawn while Russia is modernising its submarine fleet and targeting UK interests. This announcement is a big feather in the cap for the new managing director of Barrow shipyard Cliff Robson who has successfully made the case that scrapping the boat at this late stage would waste hundreds of millions of pounds and send the build programme into disarray. Defence ministers still need to win the argument with their Treasury counterparts on releasing more money for Dreadnought early on in the build programme, but they will go into that battle with renewed confidence after this win».

Last month a leaked navy document showed the scrapping of boat seven was being actively considered.

Mr. Woodcock raised fears for the future of the defence programme, which has already seen Astute-class submarines launched from the town’s shipyard.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Mr. Woodcock claimed it would be «unthinkable» not to build the full order of submarines, given the country’s continued commitment to NATO.

The formal acceptance

Guto Bebb MP, the recently appointed UK Minister for Defence Procurement, visited BAE Systems’ Clyde shipyards today to announce the formal acceptance of the first River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) by the Ministry of Defence and witness progress on the Type 26 programme as production started on the second hull section of Glasgow, the first of the City Class frigates.

Defence Minister announces acceptance of Royal Navy's new Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Forth (P222)
Defence Minister announces acceptance of Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Forth (P222)

Defence Minister Guto Bebb said: «Thanks to the hard work of the Clyde shipyards, HMS Forth (P222) is now ready to join the Royal Navy surface fleet and begin the vital task of defending the UK and her interests around the world. Developing the Type 26 capability is also making great strides forward, reflecting the UK’s commitment to this cutting-edge new warship, which will sustain 4,000 jobs in Scotland and right across the UK».

HMS Forth (P222) will remain at the Scotstoun yard in Glasgow for a short period to complete some additional work requested by the MOD and on departure will be the first complex warship to leave Glasgow since HMS Duncan (D37) in 2013. She is expected to be commissioned into Her Majesty’s fleet at her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base this year.

HMS Medway (P223), the second of class, was named in October 2017 and is set to depart for sea trials in the first half of this year, while HMS Trent (P224) will be formally named in the spring. Tamar and Spey, the last of the River Class OPVs are currently under production at BAE Systems’ Govan yard.

Iain Stevenson, BAE Systems Naval Ships Managing Director, said: «It has been a pleasure to welcome the Minister to our facilities today and we were proud to show him around HMS Forth (P222). She is the first of a very special class of ships that we know will provide the Royal Navy and her crew with the flexibility they need to perform their vital operations. We are equally proud of the progress we are making on Glasgow, which is the first of three contracted next generation City Class Type 26 frigates. We are committed to supporting the Royal Navy through the delivery of these ships plus the five River Class OPVs, while we continue to work with our partner Cammell Laird to bid for the Type 31e contract».

Manufacture of the first Type 26, Glasgow, began in July 2017 and is progressing well with production starting on the second zone of the ship. The first hull section is already taking shape at the Govan yard and the second houses the main machinery space, aviation stores for embarked helicopters and a recreational area for the ships’ 59 senior rates.

During the visit BAE Systems also announced the signing of a £5.6 million contract with General Electric to establish an Electrical Integration and Test Facility in Whetstone, Leicestershire, to enable critical de-risking integration tests for the Type 26 propulsion systems. The agreement, which follows a previous Design Development contract signed in 2016, brings the total committed investment in the facility to around £13 million.

With a cutting edge platform design and the ability to adapt to the requirements of different navies, the Type 26 design has been proposed for the Australian Government’s anti-submarine warfare frigate programme and the Canadian Surface Combatant programme.

Next evolution

On 24 January 2018, at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference in London, BAE Systems presented the next phase of development for the CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with the launch of the new CV90 MkIV.

BAE Systems introduces next evolution of Infantry Fighting Vehicle with new CV90 MkIV
BAE Systems introduces next evolution of Infantry Fighting Vehicle with new CV90 MkIV

This fifth generation of the company’s combat-proven IFV family represents the next step for the CV90 concept.

The new MkIV offers substantial capability upgrades, including increased drive train capabilities and active damping technology to improve battlefield speeds and handling. The new vehicle also features the latest NATO-standard Electronic Architecture to meet customer demands for sensor integration and the implementation of autonomous systems.

The new CV90 MkIV D-series of turrets which feature a modular design offering 30/40-, 35/50 and 120-mm main guns and weapon pods for integrated Anti-Tank Guided Missiles and machine guns. The turrets are designed to support a more extensive sensor suite integration and utilize BAE Systems’ revolutionary new iFighting concept. The MkIV generation will also be the first Western IFV with a qualified Active Protection System.

BAE Systems intends to offer the CV90 MkIV to the Czech Republic in the ongoing armoured vehicle competition to replace the Czech Army´s legacy fleet of BMP-II IFVs.

«We are proud and excited to present the next step in the development of CV90», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, vice president and general manager for BAE Systems’ Hägglunds business. «The MkIV will now be available to both current and future users of the CV90, who can take full advantage of this combat-proven vehicle’s ongoing development and benefit from these new capabilities. This approach provides the leading combination of a proven low-risk solution for the most modern IFV for future growth».

The CV90 IFV is a modern, adaptable, and combat-proven vehicle with 1,280 vehicles in 15 variants sold to seven nations, including four NATO allies. The most recent generation of the CV90, under delivery for the Norwegian Army, is one of the most modern IFVs in production in the world.

The CV90 MkIV includes a new Scania engine with up to 1,000 horsepower/745.7 kW and the latest upgraded X300 heavy-duty transmission. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is increased from 35 tonnes to 37 tonnes, meaning users will benefit from two tonnes of extra payload without a decrease in vehicle agility, with the same level of protection. This gives any users an unrivalled amount of potential for future growth.

The MkIV capability upgrades also enable the full implementation of BAE Systems’ iFighting concept. iFighting – or intelligent fighting – is the company’s vision for the future complex battlefield. iFighting supports the vehicle’s crew with significantly enhanced situational awareness, aiding the decision-making process. This safeguards the vigilance and the endurance of the crew, while ensuring peak performance for the whole system. iFighting achieves improved ergonomics, more advanced autonomous support, augmented reality, and the possibility of remote operation.

The CV90 is currently in use in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

First dive

The fourth Astute class submarine, HMS Audacious (S122), which is being built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy, has achieved a significant milestone by completing her first ever dive.

Fourth Astute class submarine completes first dive
Fourth Astute class submarine completes first dive

The trim and basin dive took place over two days in Devonshire Dock, at the Company’s site in Barrow-in-Furness last week.

The operation, which saw Audacious submerge fully under water for the first time, tested many of her on-board systems, and proved the safety and stability of the 7,400-tonne, 318-foot/97-metre-long attack submarine.

Employees from BAE Systems worked alongside Audacious’ crew, including its Commanding Officer, Captain Scott Bower, to complete the test.

Officially named in December 2016 and launched in April last year, HMS Audacious (S122) is scheduled to leave Barrow for sea trials later this year.

HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120) and HMS Artful (S121) are already in-service with the Royal Navy. Boats 5 and 6, HMS Anson (S123) and HMS Agamemnon (S124), along with a seventh, as yet unnamed, Astute-class submarine are in different stages of construction at the Barrow site.

Find out more
Find out more

Full-rate production

The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract that clears the path to begin full-rate production of the company’s M109A7 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) and M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicles (FAASVs).

BAE Systems receives U.S. Army contract to begin M109A7 Paladin full-rate production
BAE Systems receives U.S. Army contract to begin M109A7 Paladin full-rate production

The contract includes an initial $413.7 million award to execute the third and final option for low-rate initial production on the program. Options are also included that would begin the full-rate production phase, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the award to approximately $1.7 billion.

BAE Systems will initially produce 48 vehicle sets, with the options calling for 60 sets per year for approximately three years of deliveries thereafter during full-rate production. The M109A7 Paladin consists of a new chassis design for improved performance, upgraded survivability, and components common to other Army vehicles, as well as additional key features.

«We have been working with the Army to design, develop, build, and test this vehicle for several years», said Adam Zarfoss, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ Combat Vehicles U.S. business. «By working closely with our customer, we were able to design a vehicle that meets the needs of the current forces, and provides the system infrastructure and electrical power generation that leaves ample room to incorporate future capabilities».

The M109A7 Paladin program is a significant upgrade over the vehicle’s predecessor, the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer. It uses the existing main armament and cab structure of the M109A6 Paladin, but replaces the vehicle’s chassis structure with a new design that increases survivability and allows for the integration of drive-train and suspension components common to the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. This commonality reduces overall program cost and logistical footprint, and provides improved mobility and system survivability to maintain dominance on the battlefield.

The M109A7 Paladin also leverages technologies from previous design programs, such as a 600-volt on-board power generation, distribution, and management system, coupled with a high-voltage electric gun drive and projectile ramming systems. The state-of-the-art digital-backbone and power generation capability provides significant growth potential for future payloads, and will accommodate existing battlefield network requirements. The upgrades ensure commonality with the existing systems in the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Team, including the BAE Systems-built Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle family.

Work on the M109A7 Paladin is currently underway at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, and at BAE Systems’ facilities in York, Pennsylvania; Elgin, Oklahoma; Aiken, South Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Endicott, New York.


BAE Systems and The University of Manchester set to change the future of aircraft design with unique flight control technology.

Successful first flight trial completion of unmanned aerial vehicle, MAGMA
Successful first flight trial completion of unmanned aerial vehicle, MAGMA

Together with The University of Manchester, we have successfully completed the first phase of flight trials with MAGMA – a small scale Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which will use a unique blown-air system to manoeuvre the aircraft – paving the way for future stealthier aircraft designs.

The new concept for aircraft control removes the conventional need for complex, mechanical moving parts used to move flaps to control the aircraft during flight. This could give greater control as well as reduce weight and maintenance costs, allowing for lighter, stealthier, faster and more efficient military and civil aircraft in the future.

The two technologies to be trialled first using the jet-powered UAV, MAGMA, are:

  • Wing Circulation Control, which takes air from the aircraft engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing to provide control for the aircraft
  • Fluidic Thrust Vectoring, which uses blown air to deflect the exhaust, allowing for the direction of the aircraft to be changed.

The flight trials are part of an ongoing project between our two organisations and wider long-term collaboration between industry, academia and government to explore and develop innovative flight control technology. Further flight trials are planned for the coming months to demonstrate the novel flight control technologies with the ultimate aim of flying the aircraft without any moving control surfaces or fins. If successful, the tests will demonstrate the first ever use of such circulation control in flight on a gas turbine aircraft and from a single engine.

Clyde Warsop, Engineering Fellow here at BAE Systems, said: «The technologies we are developing with The University of Manchester will make it possible to design cheaper, higher performance, next generation aircraft. Our investment in research and development drives continued technological improvements in our advanced military aircraft, helping to ensure UK aerospace remains at the forefront of the industry and that we retain the right skills to design and build the aircraft of the future».

Bill Crowther, a senior academic and leader of the MAGMA project at The University of Manchester, adds: «These trials are an important step forward in our efforts to explore adaptable airframes. What we are seeking to do through this programme is truly ground-breaking».

Additional technologies to improve the performance of the UAV are being explored in collaboration with the University of Arizona and NATO Science and Technology Organisation.

Innovation is a key focus for us here at BAE Systems, having invested £4.4 billion in Research and Development (R&D) over the past five years, representing a major asset to the UK defence industry. Our company has spent £1 billion on R&D in 2016 alone, including £10.7 million partnering with leading UK universities in areas such as novel materials, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, air vehicles and avionics testing. We have also made strategic investments in a range of evolving technologies in the aerospace sector including the SABRE (Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) air-breathing rocket engine with Reaction Engines Ltd and mixed reality cockpit technology in partnership with The University of Birmingham as well as unique flight control technology with The University of Manchester.

Qatar Agrees Contract

BAE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar have entered into a contract, valued at approximately £5bn, for the supply of Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force along with a bespoke support and training package.

Qatar agrees contract for Typhoon aircraft
Qatar agrees contract for Typhoon aircraft

The contract is subject to financing conditions and receipt by the Company of first payment, which are expected to be fulfilled no later than mid-2018.

The contract provides for 24 Typhoon aircraft with delivery expected to commence in late 2022.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor for both the provision of the aircraft and the agreed arrangements for the in-service support and initial training.

Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems Chief Executive said: «We are delighted to begin a new chapter in the development of a long-term relationship with the State of Qatar and the Qatar Armed Forces, and we look forward to working alongside our customer as they continue to develop their military capability».

Eurofighter Typhoon Statistics
Eurofighter Typhoon Statistics


General characteristics

Wingspan 35 feet 11 inch/10.95 m
Length overall 52 feet 4 inch/15.96 m
Height 17 feet 4 inch/5.28 m
Wing Area 551.1 feet2/51.2 m2
Basic Mass Empty 24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
Maximum Take-Off >51,809 lbs/23,500 kg
Maximum External Load >16,535 lbs/7,500 kg
Single seat twin-engine, with a two-seat variant
Weapon Carriage 13 Hardpoints
G’ limits +9/-3 ‘g’
Engines Two Eurojet EJ200 reheated turbofans
Maximum dry thrust class 13,500 lbs/6,124 kgf/60 kN
Maximum reheat thrust class 20,000 lbs/9,072 kgf/90 kN
Ceiling >55,000 feet/16,764 m
Brakes off to 35,000 feet(10,668 m)/Mach 1.5 <2.5 minutes
Brakes off to lift off <8 seconds
At low level, 200 knots/230 mph/370 km/h to Mach 1.0 in 30 seconds
Maximum Speed Mach 2.0
Operational Runway Length <2,297 feet/700 m
Carbon Fibre Composites (CFC) 70%
Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) 12%
Aluminium Alloy, Titanium Alloy 15%
Acrylic (Röhm 249) 3%
United Kingdom 232 Aircraft
Germany 180 Aircraft
Italy 121 Aircraft
Spain 87 Aircraft
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 72 Aircraft
Austria 15 Aircraft
Sultanate of Oman 12 Aircraft
Kuwait 28 Aircraft
Total 747 Aircraft


Czech optical systems

Czech optical specialist Meopta will support vital line-of-sight technology for BAE Systems’ CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) as part of a Memorandum of Understanding with defence and security company Saab.

Czech precision optical systems producer to support line-of-sight technology for BAE Systems’ CV90
Czech precision optical systems producer to support line-of-sight technology for BAE Systems’ CV90

The agreement, signed at NATO Days 2017 in Ostrava, the Czech Republic, will cover potential local production of key components for the CV90’s fire control system, of which Meopta and Saab are subcontractors.

The Universal Tank and Anti-Aircraft Fire Control System (UTAAS), developed by Saab with production supplier Meopta, is produced specifically for the combat-proven CV90. There are more than 1,200 CV90s in operation with seven nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. BAE Systems is offering the CV90 to replace the Czech Army’s fleet of BMP II IFVs, and has joined forces with Czech industry to strengthen the offer while promoting local investment and job creation. Adding Meopta to a team already consisting of numerous Czech companies, among them VOP CZ and Ray Service, further builds on BAE Systems’ relationship with Czech industry.

«BAE Systems is committed to offering the Czech Army a modern, adaptable combat vehicle with cutting edge technologies», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, general manager of BAE Systems’ Hägglunds business. «As we continue to pursue the BMP II replacement program, we are pleased to see one of our key suppliers expand their own range of services in support of one of the nation’s most important defence programs».

The modular integrated UTAAS technology provides direct fire capability, which is a critical operational feature. This allows the CV90’s gunner to take aim independently of the vehicle’s movements while the fire control system automatically aligns the gun. In combat situations, this means firing can commence quicker than with conventional target alignment technology, providing a crucial advantage in battle. Meopta’s participation in BAE Systems’ Czech CV90 offering could extend to other future opportunities.

BAE Systems recently participated in the Czech-Swedish Industry Days organized by the Czech Ministry of Defence in Prague. Representatives from 20 local Czech companies – including Meopta, Ray Service, and VOP CZ – were joined by Swedish businesses for a three-day event focused on building local industry relationships across the defence sector.