Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin

Ghostrider Block 30

The Air Force has received an upgraded version of its Ghostrider gunship.

Air Force Gets First Upgraded Ghostrider Gunship
Air Force Gets First Upgraded Ghostrider Gunship

The 4th Special Operations Squadron, 1st Special Operations Wing, at Hurlburt Field, Florida, received its first AC-130J Ghostrider Block 30 gunship this week during a ceremony at Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview, Florida, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) said in a news release on March 8, 2019.

The 4th Special Operations Squadron currently operates and maintains the AC-130U Spooky.

The Block 30 model marks «a major improvement in software and avionics technology» over the original Block 20 software AC-130J, the release states.

«The Ghostrider is the newest and most modernized gunship in existence, fulfilling the same mission sets as the Spooky but with upgraded avionics, navigation systems and a precision strike package that includes trainable 30-mm and 105-mm weapons», according to the release.

The first Block 30 model will remain in a testing-only status for a year before it can deploy for battlefield operations, officials said.

Along with the 105-mm cannon the U-models sport, the AC-130J is equipped with a 30-mm cannon «almost like a sniper rifle. … It’s that precise, it can pretty much hit first shot, first kill», Colonel Tom Palenske, then-commander of 1st Special Operations Wing, told Military.com last May at Hurlburt.

The model achieved initial operational capability in September 2017.

The J-model also has improved turboprop engines, which reduce operational costs with better flight sustainability, the service has said.

It has the ability to launch 250-pound/113-kg, GPS- or laser-guided Small-Diameter Bombs (SDB). The aircraft is expected to carry AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, interchangeable with the SDBs on its wing pylons, AFSOC has said.

Palenske said last year that airmen have been waiting to see the aircraft in action.

«It’s going to be the most lethal, with the most loiter time, probably the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare. That’s my prediction», he said.

The fourth-generation J is slated to replace the AC-130H/U/W models, with delivery of the final J-model sometime in 2021, according to the Air Force. The service plans to buy 32 of the aircraft.

Crews expect the J to be deployed in late 2019 or early 2020.

«It’s our big gun truck», Palenske said. «It’s going to have more powerful engines, a more efficient fuel rate. … You can keep the sensors on the bad guys longer … and it’s also going to have AGM-176 Griffin missiles on the back, so you can put 10 missiles on the back of them. It’s going to be awesome», he said.

Active Protection

Lockheed Martin and industry partners supported U.S. Army integration of three countermeasures and a cueing sensor into the Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS) framework for a six-week «rodeo» conducted at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

MAPS-enabled countermeasures integrated by Lockheed Martin defeat threats in U.S. Army field tests (city road viaduct streetscape of night scene in Shanghai)
MAPS-enabled countermeasures integrated by Lockheed Martin defeat threats in U.S. Army field tests (city road viaduct streetscape of night scene in Shanghai)

In a series of live-fire tests, the MAPS-enabled systems defeated 15 out of 15 anti-tank guided missiles by jamming their signals, causing them to fly off-target.

«The success of the Army’s testing shows the effectiveness of an active protection system that can rapidly refresh with new components to meet specific mission and platform requirements», said Michael Williamson, vice president of Sensors & Global Sustainment at Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin engineers led hardware and software integration of an Ariel Photonics countermeasure into the MAPS framework ahead of the tests. They also supported U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center efforts with BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman in integrating two other countermeasures and a cueing sensor.

Lockheed Martin was awarded the initial MAPS prototype controller contract in 2014 and continues to manufacture and deliver base kits to MAPS stakeholders. The base kit consists of a controller, user interface, power management distribution system, network switch and application software. It provides processing power to MAPS-enabled sensors and countermeasures and directs them in defeating incoming missiles and rockets.

The base kit supports the rapid integration of MAPS framework-compliant sensors and countermeasures to detect and defeat threats targeting MAPS-equipped vehicles. It is designed to protect current combat vehicles, as well as support future vehicle protection system capabilities.

Safe-For-Flight

The Commander, Naval Air Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation jointly announced that the aircraft carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C Lightning II, met all requirements and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

Three F-35C Lightning II aircraft attached to the «Argonauts» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, the «Rough Raiders» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the «Grim Reapers» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, all attached to Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, complete a flight over Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, February 1, 2019. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at NASL ensures that each F-35C Lightning II squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C Lightning II will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)
Three F-35C Lightning II aircraft attached to the «Argonauts» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, the «Rough Raiders» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the «Grim Reapers» of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, all attached to Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, complete a flight over Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, February 1, 2019. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at NASL ensures that each F-35C Lightning II squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C Lightning II will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

The February 28 announcement comes shortly after the Department of the Navy’s first F-35C Lightning II squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and received Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification.

In order to declare IOC, the first operational squadron must be properly manned, trained and equipped to conduct assigned missions in support of fleet operations. This includes having 10 Block 3F, F-35C Lightning II aircraft, requisite spare parts, support equipment, tools, technical publications, training programs and a functional Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS).

Additionally, the ship that supports the first squadron must possess the proper infrastructure, qualifications and certifications. Lastly, the Joint Program Office, industry, and Naval Aviation must demonstrate that all procedures, processes and policies are in place to sustain operations.

«The F-35C is ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win», said Commander Naval Air Forces, Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller. «We are adding an incredible weapon system into the arsenal of our Carrier Strike Groups that significantly enhances the capability of the joint force».

Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore is the home-base for the Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing, Navy F-35C Lightning II fleet squadrons and the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), VFA-125 that trains Navy and Marine Corps CVN-based Joint Strike Fighter pilots. To accommodate the F-35C Lightning II program at NAS Lemoore, several facilities were built or remodeled to facilitate specific F-35C Lightning II requirements with regard to maintenance and training, including a Pilot Fit Facility, Centralized Engine Repair Facility, Pilot Training Center and a newly-remodeled hangar. Future projects are planned as additional Navy squadrons transition into the F-35C Lightning II. The Marine Corps plans to transition four F-35C Lightning II squadrons that will be assigned to Carrier Air Wings for deployments.

«We’re very proud of what our Sailors have accomplished in the Joint Strike Fighter community», said CAPT Max McCoy, commodore of the U.S. Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing. «Their commitment to mission delivered fifth generation capability to the carrier air wing, making us more combat effective than ever before. We will continue to learn and improve ways to maintain and sustain F-35C as we prepare for first deployment. The addition of F-35C to existing Carrier Air Wing capability ensures that we can fight and win in contested battlespace now and well into the future».

Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Dale Horan, director, USN F-35C Lightning II Fleet Integration Office said, «The F-35C will revolutionize capability and operating concepts of aircraft carrier-based naval aviation using advanced technologies to find, fix and assess threats and, if necessary, track, target and engage them in all contested environments», adding «This accomplishment represents years of hard work on the part of the F-35 Joint Program Office and Naval Aviation Enterprise. Our focus has now shifted to applying lessons learned from this process to future squadron transitions, and preparing VFA-147 for their first overseas deployment».

The mission-ready F-35C Lightning II is the latest addition to U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wing. With its stealth technology, state-of-the-art avionics, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the aircraft carrier-based F-35C Lightning II provides unprecedented air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close-air-support as well as advanced command and control functions through fused sensors. These state-of-the art capabilities provide pilots and combatant commanders unrivaled battlespace awareness and lethality. The F-35C Lightning II is the final U.S. Joint Strike Fighter variant to declare IOC and follows the USAF’s F-35A Lightning II and USMC’s F-35B Lightning II. IOC declaration is a significant milestone.

 

F-35С Lightning II specifications

Length 51.5 feet/15.7 m
Height 14.7 feet/4.48 m
Wing span 43 feet/13.1 m
Wing area 668 feet2/62.1 m2
Horizontal tail span 26.3 feet/8.02 m
Weight empty 34,800 lbs/15,785 kg
Internal fuel capacity 19,750 lbs/8,960 kg
Weapons payload 18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
Maximum weight 70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound (907 kg) GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-400
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
Propulsion Length 220 inch/5.59 m
Propulsion Inlet Diameter 46 inch/1.17 m
Propulsion Maximum Diameter 51 inch/1.30 m
Propulsion Bypass Ratio 0.57
Propulsion Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6/1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h
Combat radius (internal fuel) >600 NM/683.5 miles/1,100 km
Range (internal fuel) >1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
Max g-rating 7.5

 

Planned Quantities

U.S. Navy 260
U.S. Marine Corps 80
In total 340

 

500th center fuselage

On February 21, 2019, Northrop Grumman Corporation has completed the 500th center fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II – ahead of schedule.

An F-35 technician performs a skin assembly process with work instructions projected on the structure as one of the innovative solutions for high rate military aircraft production. A core structure of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the center fuselage is produced on Northrop Grumman's integrated assembly line at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence
An F-35 technician performs a skin assembly process with work instructions projected on the structure as one of the innovative solutions for high rate military aircraft production. A core structure of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the center fuselage is produced on Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence

«We deliver an F-35 center fuselage every 36 hours and I am very proud to say we have made all our deliveries since the inception of the program», said Frank Carus, vice president and F-35 Lightning II program manager, Northrop Grumman. «Our dedicated team works closely with the customer and suppliers to improve quality and affordability in support of the warfighter».

Designated AU-18, the 500th F-35 Lightning II center fuselage is for a conventional takeoff and landing variant for the Royal Australian Air Force. Northrop Grumman began production on the AU-18 center fuselage in June 2018 and completed work on February 21. Northrop Grumman has been producing center fuselages for all three F-35 Lightning II variants since May 2004.

«We have set the standard for the production of military aircraft», said Kevin Mickey, sector vice president and general manager, military aircraft systems, Northrop Grumman. «Our teams and suppliers are constantly finding better, more affordable ways to deliver a superior product on-time, at-cost and, as with this center fuselage, ahead of schedule. When you couple this level of commitment with advanced manufacturing technologies, it’s just a win-win situation for us, our customer and the warfighter».

A core structure of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the center fuselage is designed and produced on Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line, a state-of-the-art facility supported by technologies exclusive to or pioneered by Northrop Grumman bringing together robotics, autonomous systems, virtual 3D and predictive automation to the forefront of center fuselage production.

Lockheed Martin is the industry lead for the F-35 Lightning II program and Northrop Grumman plays a key role in the development, modernization, sustainment and production of the F-35 Lightning II. In addition to producing the center fuselage and wing skins for the aircraft, the company develops, produces and maintains several sensor systems, avionics, mission systems and mission-planning software, pilot and maintainer training systems courseware, electronic warfare simulation test capability, and low-observable technologies.

Falcon Weapon System

February 18, 2019, Lockheed Martin, Diehl Defence and Saab announced the Falcon air defense weapon system as the short and medium-range air defense solution for current and emerging threats.

Lockheed Martin, Diehl and Saab unveil collaboration to counter emerging short and medium-range threats with Falcon Weapon System
Lockheed Martin, Diehl and Saab unveil collaboration to counter emerging short and medium-range threats with Falcon Weapon System

Falcon integrates Diehl’s 40-kilometer/25-mile range Infra-Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) SLM interceptor and vertical launcher, Saab’s 360-degree Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Giraffe 4A radar through Lockheed Martin’s flexible SkyKeeper command and control battle manager. Falcon’s open architecture allows the system to easily integrate into any air operations center.

Threats such as unmanned aerial systems carrying lethal payloads, cruise missiles that can attack from any direction, and fixed and rotary winged aircraft capable of delivering ordnance at extended ranges, demand a technologically advanced solution that Falcon delivers.

«Our international customers are looking for the next generation short and medium range air defense solution. Falcon is threat driven and ready now», said Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin vice president and deputy for Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD). «Falcon is a great example of working with our customers to identify potential gaps and find rapid-response solutions to take on today’s evolving threats».

The Diehl IRIS-T SLM is a highly maneuverable interceptor fired from a 360-degree vertical launcher with the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously in all weather conditions. The Saab Giraffe 4A AESA radar offers high discrimination capabilities and leverages gallium nitrate technology to detect and track both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and drones, while simultaneously featuring an Automatic Sense & Warn functionality. Lockheed Martin’s SkyKeeper command and control battle manager gives commanders unparalleled situational awareness with real-time early warning of incoming threats and optimized engagement solutions for critical decision making. Together these elements make the Falcon weapon system the only integrated short and medium-range missile defense system available in the world with the capabilities required to defeat current and emerging air threats.

Surface Combatant

Canadian technology, experience and infrastructure proved a winning combination for Canada’s new fleet of surface combatants, as Canada’s Combat Ship Team has been awarded the Canadian Surface Combatant design contract by Irving Shipbuilding. Irving Shipbuilding is the Canadian Surface Combatant prime contractor and will build all 15 ships at Halifax Shipyard.

Canada's Combat Ship Team awarded contract for Canadian Surface Combatant
Canada’s Combat Ship Team awarded contract for Canadian Surface Combatant

BAE Systems, CAE, Lockheed Martin Canada, L3 Technologies, MDA and Ultra Electronics partnered as Canada’s Combat Ship Team to offer the Royal Canadian Navy the most advanced and modern warship design, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, with high-tech platform innovations from prominent Canadian companies. The solution includes the internationally renowned and Canadian-developed combat management system, CMS 330.

Bringing together a pan-Canadian team, the six companies have a uniquely skilled workforce and supply chain that are ready to begin work on the program today. Canada’s Combat Ship team employs a combined 9,000 Canadians in 40 facilities from coast to coast and engages a Canadian supply chain of more than 4,000 small and medium sized enterprises. The team also secured several additional partners, including Rolls-Royce with its Canadian-designed and manufactured Mission Bay Handling System that will enable adaptability for the ships’ operations.

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship is a globally deployable multi-role warship that meets the distinctive mission requirements of the Royal Canadian Navy. It is enhanced with the team’s collective Canadian naval expertise in combat system design, integration, training, logistics and program management.  Purposely designed for high-end anti-submarine warfare and capable of performing a variety of missions around the world, the Type 26 is acoustically quiet, versatile, highly survivable, and allows for significant growth margins for future modernization.

Canada’s Combat Ship Team will deliver lasting economic benefits to Canadian industry through $17 billion in value proposition commitments in innovation across Canada’s priority areas, including $2 billion in supplier development, $2 billion in research and development, and $200 million in advanced manufacturing.

All of this contributes to a strong Canadian team – Canada’s Home Team – ready to begin work on day one as promised.

Eighth of the Freedom

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Billings (LCS-15) during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), shipyard, Marinette, Wisconsin, February 1.

Navy accepts delivery of future USS Billings (LCS-15)
Navy accepts delivery of future USS Billings (LCS-15)

The future USS Billings (LCS-15) is the 17th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to be delivered to the U.S. Navy and the eighth of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for later this year.

«Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Billings», said LCS program manager Captain Mike Taylor. «I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this fine ship alongside the crew later this year where she will play an essential role in the new fleet of warships that will carry out our nation’s future maritime strategy».

Several additional Freedom-variant ships are under construction at FMM. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) is preparing for trials this summer. The future USS St. Louis (LCS-19) was christened and launched in December. The future ships USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21), USS Cooperstown (LCS-23), USS Marinette (LCS-25), USS Nantucket (LCS-27) and USS Beloit (LCS-29) are also in various stages of production, with yet-to-be-named LCS-31 awarded last month.

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Lockheed Martin-led team builds the odd-numbered hulls. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

LCS is now the second-largest surface ship class in the U.S. Navy. In 2018, five LCSs were delivered to the fleet, and three are scheduled for delivery in 2019.

 

Ship Design Specifications

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

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)
USS Beloit (LCS-29)
LCS-31

 

EW Podded System

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a Prototype Project Agreement through an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with Consortium Management Group (CMG) on behalf of Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace (C5) valued at $18 million to design, develop and test a cyber/electronic warfare podded system for the «Air Large» component of the U.S. Army’s Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) family of systems program.

Artist rendering of the Silent CROW podded system mounted on a Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system (Credit: Lockheed Martin)
Artist rendering of the Silent CROW podded system mounted on a Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin created an open architecture system called Silent CROW that can be easily configured for a variety of airborne and ground platforms, such as a wing-mounted pod for Group 4 unmanned aerial systems. Silent CROW would enable U.S. soldiers to disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive and destroy adversaries’ electronic systems through electronic support, electronic attack and cyber techniques.

«Lockheed Martin’s deep roots in cyberspace allow us to anticipate future threats while actively solving today’s most complex cyber problems», said Deon Viergutz, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Spectrum Convergence. «We’re prioritizing the Army’s critical needs by partnering with them and investing in new technologies that are scalable and affordable».

Lockheed Martin has decades of cyber and integrated electronic warfare experience, providing real-time situational awareness and countermeasure technologies to protect land, sea and air assets from attacks. The team has completed extensive internal research, development and testing on Silent CROW and will continue to evolve it’s cyber and electronic warfare systems to meet the emerging needs of our Department of Defense (DoD) customers and overcome advances in adversary technologies.

Bring her to life!

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Wichita (LCS-13), during a 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday, January 12, at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, near Jacksonville, where the ship will be homeported.

Navy commissioned the USS Wichita (LCS-13)
Navy commissioned the USS Wichita (LCS-13)

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Kate Lehrer, author and wife of Wichita native Jim Lehrer, the former anchor of «The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour» on PBS, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Lehrer gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«This commissioning represents USS Wichita’s entry into the active fleet and is a testament to the increased capabilities made possible by a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industrial base», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This ship honors the citizens of Wichita, Kansas for their longstanding support of the Navy and Marine Corps team and I am confident USS Wichita and crew will make our Navy and nation stronger».

The USS Wichita (LCS-13) is the third naval vessel to honor Kansas’s largest city. The first was a heavy cruiser in service from 1939 to 1947. Active during World War II, Wichita supported amphibious landings during Operation Torch in November 1942 in the European Theater. She later participated in the Battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf and the invasion of Okinawa in 1944 in the Pacific Theater. Wichita earned 13 battle stars for wartime service. The second USS Wichita (AOR-1) was a first-in-class replenishment oiler in service from 1969 to 1993. During her first three deployments, the ship made numerous trips to replenish ships on «Yankee Station», earning four battle stars for service during the Vietnam War.

The USS Wichita (LCS-13) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments as well as the open-ocean. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, Marinette, Wisconsin, (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

 

Ship Design Specifications

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

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)
USS Beloit (LCS-29)

 

PAC-3 interceptors

The United States and allied military forces will upgrade their missile defense capabilities under a $1.8 billion contract for production and delivery of Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) interceptors.

Lockheed Martin receives $1.8 billion contract for PAC-3 missiles
Lockheed Martin receives $1.8 billion contract for PAC-3 missiles

The contract includes deliveries for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales of PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptors, launcher modification kits and associated equipment.

«PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE give our customers unmatched, combat-proven hit-to-kill technology to address growing and evolving threats», said Jay Pitman, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE are proven, trusted and reliable interceptors that employ hit-to-kill accuracy, lethality and enhanced safety to address dangers around the world».

The family of PAC-3 missiles are high-velocity interceptors that defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. Thirteen nations – the U.S., Germany, Kuwait, Japan, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Poland and Sweden have chosen PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE to provide missile defense capabilities.

Building on the combat-proven PAC-3, the PAC-3 MSE uses a two-pulse solid rocket motor that increases altitude and range to defend against evolving threats.