HMS Forth leads her sisters Medway and Trent, all three third-generation River-class patrol vessels. Work on October 09, 2015 began on the third and final ship in the trio, Trent, at the BAE yard in Govan as defence procurement Philip Dunne pressed the button to start a plasma cutter at work on sheets of steel.
Forth is already 50 per cent assembled in the neighbouring ship hall – her engines and pipes have now been fitted – and will be complete outwardly by the year’s end. Work piecing together Medway will began in the same building before 2015 is out.
Despite the River-class title, the trio are much closer to patrol ships BAE built for the Thai and Brazilian Navies than Tyne, Mersey, Severn and Clyde – although there are 28 enhancements, such as a stronger flight deck (so a Merlin can use it) and installing BAE’s new command system.
The 800 or so shipwrights and engineers involved with the trio are using lessons from the construction of blocks for carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
In addition, work on the three ships will act as a stepping-stone towards building the Type 26s, the successors to the Type 23 frigates, which begins next year.
«It doesn’t matter whether we building one of the biggest ships we have ever built, or the smallest – pride seeps through all the team. People in this business are very proud to be building warships», said Iain Stevenson, overseeing the construction of all three River-class ships.
Forth is due to join the Fleet in 2017, followed shortly afterwards by her younger sisters.
A cutting-edge 3D radar system, capable of detecting objects as small as a tennis ball and travelling at three times the speed of sound more than 15.5 miles/25 km away, has been successfully installed to the Royal Navy’s future aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Known as Artisan 3D the radar system will be used for the first time to deliver air traffic management, providing the aircraft carriers with unparalleled awareness and control of the skies around them. The successful installation of Artisan took place in late September, marking another major milestone in the preparation for sea trials.
The Artisan 3D system designed and developed by BAE Systems, can monitor more than 800 objects simultaneously from 656 feet/200 metres to 124 miles/200 km and cut through radio interference equal to 10,000 mobile phone signals. The radar system has already proven its capability to deliver uncompromising air defence and anti-ship operations on the Type 23 frigate and helicopter carrier.
Les Gregory, Director for Products and Training Services at BAE Systems said: «Artisan is a ground-breaking radar system that delivers real capability to the Royal Navy in its supreme accuracy and uncompromising tracking. In addition, its world-leading electronic protection measure ensures that even the most complex of jammers will not reduce its effectiveness. We have already seen the radar perform excellently on the Type 23 frigates and are proud to be able to bring this advanced technology to the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers utilising its air traffic management capability for the first time».
Rear Admiral Henry Parker, Defence Equipment & Support Director of Ship Acquisition, said: «The addition of such an effective system, which has already proved itself on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Frigates, will provide HMS Queen Elizabeth with first-class radar performance. The construction of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers has created and sustained thousands of UK jobs and will act as a spearhead for our naval capability for years to come».
The new aircraft carriers will become the flagship of the Royal Navy and demand the very best radar technology to deliver uncompromising carrier strike capability anywhere in the world. The carriers will also be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
BAE Systems designed and developed the Artisan 3D at its sites in Cowes, Chelmsford and Portsmouth and the system is currently in use on the Royal Navy Type 23 frigates. Preparations to install the radar system on to HMS Queen Elizabeth have taken two and a half years with engineers from BAE Systems working closely with the Ministry of Defence. Part of this work included creating a life-sized mock-up of the carriers’ aft island in Cowes, which was used to hone the radar’s interaction with the combat systems on-board the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, to deliver an optimal integrated solution.
Ground breaking radar capability fitted to future Royal Navy flagship
BAE Systems on September 28 delivered the first production series Archer artillery system to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) during a ceremony at the company’s Karlskoga facility. The Archer system is one of the world’s most advanced artillery systems with high mobility and precision. Archer provides fire support that is powerful and flexible, and features high levels of autonomous operation under protection. It is based on proven subsystems and has an extensive ammunition portfolio.
«BAE Systems and FMV have been working very closely to achieve our high-level requirements for the Archer program. This is an important milestone as we begin the delivery of all systems for our Swedish customer», said Lena Gillström, managing director for Weapon Systems, Sweden at BAE Systems, Inc. « Archer will provide the Swedish armed forces with an advanced artillery system that focuses on the safety of our soldiers».
BAE Systems’ employees and representatives from FMV, the Swedish Armed Forces, and the Ministry of Defence were in attendance as Gillström delivered the first system to Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvst. «Archer is an important part of strengthening the Swedish defense», said Dan Ohlsson, Acting Director General for FMV.
BAE Systems delivered the pre-serial Archer systems to the Swedish government in 2013, which have been in use by the Swedish artillery regiment.
Archer artillery system
Archer is a self-propelled field howitzer that can operate autonomously in tandem with today’s command and control systems. The 155-mm, 52 calibre, long-range weapon features an outstanding tracking capability and an intensive rate of fire, engaging ground and sea targets, both stationary and moving, with high precision.
The projectile magazines handle all types of 155-mm artillery ammo, including advanced sensor-fused and precision-guided munitions. Depending on customer requirements, the charge magazine can be adapted for either conventional bags or modular systems. Fire capabilities include direct fire and Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI).
Precision targeting is achieved using highly integrated components, such as ballistic calculation, in the gun computer system. Firing and operation of the gun computer can both be handled automatically or manually, providing ultimate flexibility.
9.84 feet/3.0 m
11.15 feet/3.4 m
Height with Remotely-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS)
13.12 feet/4.0 m
34.12 feet/10.4 m
-1° to +70°
-85° to +85°
Rate of fire (burst)
3 rounds/20 sec
Rate of fire (intensive)
21 rounds/3.5 min
Rate of fire (continuous)
54 rounds/35 min
BONUS: Up to 21.75 miles/35 km
HEER 40: Up to 24.85 miles/40 km
EXCALIBUR: Up to 31 miles/50 km
approximately 20 secs
Out of action
approximately 20 secs
Up to 6 rounds
Day and night capability
Grenade launcher or heavy machine gun (optional)
43.5 mph/70 km/h
310.68 miles/500 km
Maximum longitudinal slope
Maximum lateral slope traverse
3.28 feet/1 m
1.31 feet/0.4 m
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) protection
Climate control system
For harsh winter and summer conditions
BAE Systems delivers the first production series Archer artillery system to Sweden. Archer is one of the world’s most advanced artillery systems. It’s highly mobile and precise; provides powerful and flexible fire support; and features high levels of autonomous operation under protection
A new BAE Systems all-terrain vehicle, which can reach more places and carry more cargo than any other vehicle of its kind, is making its debut at DSEI 2015 (Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition) in London.
The new vehicle, called «Beowulf», is based on the Company’s revered Viking BvS10 fighting, troop-carrying and logistics vehicle that was initially designed in Sweden for the UK Royal Marines. Beowulf has a payload capacity of eight tonnes and built-in flexibility with special role cabins in the rear car to carry a combination of personnel and cargo. The vehicle can traverse through water, swamps, snow and soft sand; and climb 45-degree slopes. Beowulf features increased crew comfort and visibility, and is easy to maintain and support, resulting in reduced operational costs.
«We know from more than 40 years of all-terrain vehicle experience that there is a need for an unarmoured vehicle that can reach places other systems cannot, carry a high payload and do it around the clock regardless of weather conditions», said Tore Akser, platform manager at BAE Systems Hägglunds, a subsidiary of BAE Systems, Inc. in the United States.
BAE Systems sees Beowulf as a successor to its Bv206. More than 12,000 of the glass-fibre bodied vehicles were built and the majority are still in service with military and emergency services in more than 40 countries around the world. Beowulf is well placed to meet a recently declared requirement from the UK Royal Marines for approximately 230 vehicles, in a range of variants to replace the Marines’ 350 Bv206s.
Though aimed primarily at the military market, Beowulf is also expected to attract interest for carrying out civilian missions in areas difficult to access.
In most critical situations, the ability to quickly reach your objective is a top priority. BvS10 Beowulf is designed to support the crew in any conditions and in any terrain. Whether the mission is to transport equipment or serve as an ambulance service, you can always rely on getting there even if you have to cross deep waters or rocky mountains.
Mobile – Outstanding in all environments
Capable – Up to 14 personnel, approximately 17,637 lbs/8,000 kg payload at 40 mph/65 km/h
Durable – Engineered for 24/7 operations
Reliable – All conditions, worldwide
Maintainable – Engineered for low cost of ownership
Amphibious – Without preparation.
6.56 feet/2 m
≥ 3.28 feet/1.0 m
Maximum cant (static)
36/46 feet/11/14 m (with/without pitch control)
Nominal Ground Pressure (NGP)
25 kPA (at 0.2/0.05 m sinkage at GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight)
A prototype of the next-generation Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo has successfully completed a first in-water trial at the Ministry of Defence operated British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre, on the west coast of Scotland.
The trial is part of a five-year programme to develop an upgrade to the Spearfish Mod-0 Heavyweight Torpedo, which is currently in service with the UK Royal Navy on the Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute Class submarines, also designed and built by BAE Systems.
The upgrade extends the life of the torpedo and improves safety through the introduction of an «insensitive munitions» warhead together with a single fuel system. The next generation Spearfish will also feature better data links between the weapon system and the launching vessel. This results in capability improvements as well as a reduction in through-life operating costs for the Royal Navy.
The recently completed trial included the launch of a prototype weapon from a chute frame, which demonstrated control in a range of manoeuvres and explored the performance of newly introduced capabilities. Submarine-launched trials are planned to start next year.
Les Gregory, Products & Training Services Director at BAE Systems, said: «This is an important step in demonstrating the enhanced capability of the Spearfish Mod-1 Heavyweight Torpedo, as well as generating the necessary performance data, which will inform the rest of the programme. The success of this trial is testament to the knowledge and experience we have gained over more than 35 years of torpedo development. It is also a reflection of our strong relationship with the customer and our supply chain».
Following the completion of this demonstration phase, existing Mod-0 Heavyweight Torpedoes will be upgraded by BAE Systems based at its Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth to the new mod-1 design with initial deliveries in 2020. Since its award in December 2014, the £270 million upgrade contract has created 30 new roles.
BAE Systems on September 15, 2015 confirmed its selection as preferred bidder by the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) to provide the gun system, known as the Maritime Indirect Fires System (MIFS), for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. This follows the MOD’s £859 million Demonstration Phase contract for the Type 26 program that was awarded to BAE Systems earlier this year.
Subject to contract award, BAE Systems will provide the MIFS Integrated Gunnery System (IGS), which includes the 5-inch/127-mm, 62-caliber Mark-45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System, along with an automated Ammunition Handling System, Gun Fire Control System, and qualified ammunition.
«The Mark-45 is at the center of our MIFS solution and will provide the Royal Navy with a low-risk, low-cost, and highly effective automatic weapon system», said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «It combines the benefits of a mature, reliable, and proven system with the capacity to deliver the full range of ammunition available today and in development».
BAE Systems has begun work in support of the overall Type 26 development design effort and, earlier this year, participated in Mark-45 technical briefings between the U.S. Navy and Royal Navy on board the USS Winston Churchill in Portsmouth, U.K. The event gave members of the Royal Navy the opportunity to further experience the gun system’s features and capabilities.
The world-leading Mark-45 is in service with the U.S. Navy and 10 other allied nations. More than 240 Mark-45 guns have been delivered into service globally, benefiting engineering and manufacturing capabilities around the world.
With business and service teams in the United States and the United Kingdom, BAE Systems brings unrivalled skills and experience to the Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will replace the capability of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates with a multi-mission warship capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. Designed with an acoustically quiet hull, the ship is being designed to be supportable and upgradeable as new technology develops to ensure that it remains relevant to the future demands of the maritime environment.
BAE Systems has revealed the latest images of the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship, which will replace the Type 23 frigate as the workhorse of the Fleet
BAE Systems has offered a highly protected armoured vehicle integrated with a combat proven turret as the solution that will best meet the Australian Army’s mounted combat reconnaissance requirements. As prime contractor, the Company has teamed with Patria to offer the AMV35 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) under Phase 2 of the Land 400 Program.
The solution combines Patria’s Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) and BAE Systems Hägglunds’ E35 turret system. Both are qualified and in service with NATO nations.
The Patria AMV has been selected by seven nations with more than 1,400 contracted vehicles. The platform has attained a strong combat reputation, chiefly based on the strength of its operational performance with the Polish Army in Afghanistan.
The BAE Systems-Hägglunds manned turret system is fitted to the successful CV90 family of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) operated by seven nations. It has been used on UN and NATO missions across the globe, including Afghanistan. The unique features of the E35 turret provide the AMV35 with real battlefield advantage for Australian soldiers through game-changing levels of accuracy and weight of fire.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Glynn Phillips said: «The AMV35 is an outstanding combat reconnaissance platform that integrates BAE Systems-Hägglunds’ E35 turret onto a modern, agile, highly protected Patria Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV), both of which have attained a fearsome reputation based on their operational performance in Afghanistan. It represents a low risk and affordable step change in protection, mobility and firepower for the Australian Army in any future operations. We look forward to being the given the chance to demonstrate the exceptional capabilities of this armoured vehicle system».
If selected, the BAE Systems/Patria team will manufacture and support the AMV35 in Australia, securing and retaining in-country capability, and contributing significantly to the Australian economy throughout the expected 30+ year life of the vehicles.
The BAE Systems-led team is committed to ensuring a high level of Australian content and industry capability development. The decision to manufacture the vehicle in Australia assures that there will be opportunities for involvement and content for Australian suppliers.
BAE Systems has delivered 12 new CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) to the Norwegian Army. They are the first production batch of a total of 144 new and upgraded CV90s planned for the nation’s Army and represent the next generation of advanced combat vehicles.
The delivery of the CV90s occurred on schedule and took place during a ceremony at the Setermoen Military Camp in North-Norway. The event was attended by several BAE Systems representatives, including Erwin Bieber, president of the company’s Platforms & Services sector, as well as Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, president of BAE Systems Hägglunds AB.
«The delivery of these vehicles on schedule and within cost illustrates the highly collaborative, robust relationship between the Norwegian authorities, BAE Systems and its Norwegian industry partners», said Gustafsson-Rask. «We look forward to sustaining that relationship as we continue to carry out this contract over many years to come».
The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation and BAE Systems signed a contract in June 2012 for the production of the 41 new vehicles as well as upgrades to 103 of the Army’s existing fleet of CV9030s. The upgrades include enhanced capabilities for protection, survivability, situational awareness, intelligence, and interoperability.
The IFV program is a key part of the Norwegian military’s ongoing modernization. The CV90 is a next generation combat vehicle, one of the most advanced in the world, and is also a mature, proven, and cost-effective solution.
«We are very proud of giving our soldiers the best IFV in the world. It is thanks to a close and intensive cooperation with BAE Systems Hägglunds and with Norwegian industry for several years that led to this delivery», said Colonel Ragnar Wennevik, the Norwegian Army’s CV90 project leader. «We received the CV90s exactly on the date we wrote into the contract more than three years ago and that is something that we are very pleased with. BAE Systems Hägglunds is a good partner and we hope we can continue to develop the relationship during the many years of use for the CV90 fleet».
The 144 vehicles are designed to operate in five configurations: 74 for infantry fighting, 21 for reconnaissance, 15 for command and control, 16 for engineering support, 16 in a multi-role configuration, and 2 for driver training.
BAE Systems Hägglunds developed a comprehensive partnership with Norwegian industry to develop, produce, and deliver these vehicles. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Nammo Raufoss AS, CHSnor AS, Moelv, and Ritek AS Levanger are among the companies playing a key role in delivering on the contract.
«Our industrial cooperation in Norway is extensive and critical, especially when collaboration across industry is a major factor for international success», said Gustafsson-Rask.
BAE Systems Hägglunds, based in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, is a leading provider of tracked and wheeled combat vehicles, and also develops versions that can be used for civilian purposes. BAE Systems Hägglunds is a subsidiary of BAE Systems, Inc. headquartered in the United States.
HMAS Adelaide (L01), Australia’s second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, is successfully completing her second and final sea trials in Port Phillip Bay. The 27,800-tonne warship will return to BAE Systems’ Williamstown shipyard later on August 28 where she will then be prepared for delivery to the Department of Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The main focus of the final sea trials was on testing the ship’s combat and communications systems. They were undertaken over a 10-day period throughout the ship’s journey from Williamstown to Jervis Bay, NSW and the return voyage. These areas were chosen to provide maximum flexibility and proximity to the Australian Defence Force assets being used.
The Royal Australian Navy will have the opportunity to perform various routine alongside exercises as it continues to build its capability for crewing the vessel while the ship compartments and systems are progressively handed over to the HMAS Adelaide (L01) crew as part of the overall ship delivery process.
The crew has already been trained for its role on the RAN’s second LHD ship. BAE Systems Australia trained all 700 crew serving on HMAS Adelaide (L01) and HMAS Canberra (L02) at the Company’s state-of-the-art training facility at Mascot, Sydney.
Director of Maritime, BAE Systems Australia, Bill Saltzer said: «The upcoming handover will of course be a very proud day for all involved with building HMAS Adelaide (L01), but it won’t be the end of our involvement with these mighty ships. As prime contractor for LHD In Service Support, our team of experienced engineers, technicians and logisticians in both Sydney and Williamstown will continue to be the key partner to the CASG and RAN in managing the availability of these two ships at Garden Island, Sydney. Our LHD team is now focused on the final elements of work in preparing HMAS Adelaide (L01) for delivery. Some of the team members on the LHD build program will then transition to the support services group. Some have already made that transition since the time of delivery of HMAS Canberra (L02). BAE Systems has the capability, experience and facilities to support and upgrade the Navy’s ships, as we are currently successfully demonstrating on the Anzac Frigate Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade project and our other support activities on both Anzac and Adelaide Class Frigates, Hydrographic Vessels and systems/components installed on the RAN’s minehunters and submarines».
757 feet/230.8 m
680 feet/207.2 m
105 feet/32 m
23.5 feet/7.18 m
Full Load Displacement
Crew and Embarked Forced Accommodation
2 × Siemens 11,000 kW PODs
2 × 1,500 kW Brunvoll/Siemens motors
2 × Fincantieri
1 × 22,000 kW GE LM2500 Gas Turbine and 2 × 7,680 kW Diesel
Irving Shipbuilding of Canada has awarded BAE Systems a contract to deliver up to six modified 25-mm Mk-38 Machine Gun Systems for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) program. The award also covers spare parts, technical support, and long-term field support services. Irving Shipbuilding is the prime contractor for the ships and will build them at its Halifax shipyards.
«We will be working very closely with Canadian industry on this program», said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapons Systems at BAE Systems. «BAE Systems is currently selecting its Canadian partners to participate not only in the build of these naval gun systems, but also to join our Mk-38 global supply chain. This will help bring sustained economic value to Canada as part of the AOPS program».
The AOPS program will introduce six vessels that can patrol the Arctic region and remain there for longer than the service’s existing ships to support sovereignty and surveillance operations. BAE Systems’ first gun system will be delivered in 2017, with follow-on deliveries of approximately one per year through 2021, as the AOPS ships are built and become ready for launch.
Each Mk-38 System features a highly accurate gun targeting and surveillance system as well as the M242 Cannon. They will be modified for protection against arctic conditions. The Mk-38 has also been selected by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Spanish Navy.
Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS
The Mk-38 Mod 2 Machine Gun System (MGS) from BAE Systems sets the standard for shipboard defense against small, fast, and agile surface threats. With system variants deployed worldwide, the stabilized, remote control Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS is proven capable in defending against multiple surface threats – in all sea states. The Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS incorporates the service-proven Toplite electro-optical fire control system to optimize effective engagement of enemy targets in all weather conditions, day or night.
Weaponry. The Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS main weapon is the proven M242 NATO standard auto cannon with 2.5-km range and selectable rates of fire.
Lethality. The M242 fires all U.S. Navy (USN) approved 25-mm ammunition at up to 180 rounds per minute, with the Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS providing up to 200 ready rounds on-mount.
Command and Control. The Toplite Fire Control System (FCS) provides four axis gimbal stabilization and superior optics including the forward-looking infrared radar with three fields-of-view, a low contrast, low light level color television camera, and an eye-safe laser range finder.
Survivability. The Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS provides for crew-safe conditions with a remote operation console located in the Combat Information Center or in other protected ship structures.
Adaptability. The enhanced Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS is the USN’s ORDALT choice to upgrade the Mk-38 Mod 0/1 25-mm machine gun.
The system can be applied to a wide range of different ship classes and platform designs of 50 tons or greater displacement. Near term product upgrades include larger magazine, 30-mm cannon, advanced optics, and integration of laser effects.
Weight (with gun, w/o ammo)
2,300 lbs/1,042 kg
± 15° to ± 165° adjustable to any value in range
-20° to +40°
Electro-Optical Fire Control System (relative to mount)
-20° to +85°
200 ready rounds
Rate of fire
5 rates from single to 180 rpm max
Operability tests and scheduled maintenance (average daily)
Ammunition reloading time
With more than 90 system variants deployed worldwide, the stabilized, remote controlled Mk-38 Mod 2 minor caliber gun is proven capable in defending against multiple surface threats – in all sea states