Piranha in Paris

General Dynamics European Land Systems will display the new Piranha 3+ vehicle during EUROSATORY in Paris from 16-20 June 2014. With a GVW up to 27 tons, the new Piranha 3+ will be presented in an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) configuration with dedicated seating for a crew of three (driver, gunner and vehicle commander) plus 9 infantry soldiers and is fitted with a Kongsberg 12.7-mm Protector Weapon Station.

General Dynamics European Land Systems Presents the new Piranha 3+ – the next Generation of Piranha 3 Wheeled Armored Vehicle
General Dynamics European Land Systems Presents the new Piranha 3+ – the next Generation of Piranha 3 Wheeled Armored Vehicle

The new Piranha 3+ was developed in response to customer requirements for increased levels of protection, off road mobility and inherent growth for the future. The new Piranha 3+ vehicle also incorporates lessons from over 4,500 Piranha 3 and Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) operated by 13 customers worldwide including in military operations and peace keeping missions.


Piranha 3+ – Protection

The new Piranha 3+ offers a completely modular protection system that has been designed with the flexibility to allow modern armed forces to meet their current and future protection needs. The modular protection system has been developed to fully protect occupants operating within a complex threat environment, as specified in the latest protection system requirements, while being able to be tailored to meet specific theatre and mission needs.


Piranha 3+ – Mobility

General Dynamics European Land Systems recognizes that mobility is protection and accordingly, the new Piranha 3+ offers an enhanced drive system with 30% more engine power and an improved driveline that delivers the best cross country mobility for a vehicle in this weight class. The new Piranha 3+ can be fitted with either a conventional or a hydro-pneumatic suspension system to balance performance, comfort, maintainability and cost as needed. The top speed has been increased to 68 mph/110 km/h with a range of over 621 miles/1,000 km to give the vehicle an even greater autonomy. As with all Piranha platforms, the new Piranha 3+ can be equipped with an amphibious drive to operate as a marine infantry vehicle.


Piranha 3+ – Inherent Growth

In addition to the large internal volume, ten percent payload growth, and fully modular protection system, the new Piranha 3+ provides reserve electrical power to meet the electrical needs of future systems and personal equipment needs and spare cooling capacity with its modular Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)/ Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) System. By allowing for inherent growth within the new Piranha 3+, customers will have the flexibility to operate the vehicle through-out the full service life in a constantly changing world.


Piranha 3+ – Proven Technology ready for operation

The new Piranha 3+ has a proven heritage of over 4,500 Piranha 3 and LAV vehicles used by 13 customers in global military operations and peace keeping missions. The development of the new Piranha 3+ focused on enhancing the performance and capabilities of these existing vehicles through the integration of proven concepts and technologies. The driveline which is unmatched in this class of military vehicles has already been introduced into service in the LAV in North America. While the power pack, providing 30% more power, uses the proven Caterpillar C13 engine and the ZF 7HP902S transmission. Future customers will also be able to leverage off 37 variants of the Piranha 3 vehicle that are already in service including Armored Personnel Carrier, Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), command and control, ambulance, direct fire support, recovery and engineering vehicle.

General Dynamics European Land Systems company also remains committed to support existing customers which is why the majority of the concepts and technologies integrated within the new Piranha 3+ are available as upgrades to existing Piranha vehicles.

With modular protection system, available in amphibious or nonamphibious version, ergonomically designed and easy to operate, provides outstanding overall protection and crew comfort
With modular protection system, available in amphibious or nonamphibious version, ergonomically designed and easy to operate, provides outstanding overall protection and crew comfort


Product Features

Ready for operation empty 17 t
Payload up to 10 t
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) up to 27 t
Overall length (non amphibious) 7.77 m/25.5 feet
Height over hull 2.31 m/7.6 feet
Overall width 2.8 m/9.2 feet
Ground clearance 0.43 m/1.4 feet
Angle of approach 40°
Angle of departure 36°
Number of seats up to 13
Air transportability C-130, C-17, A400M
Maximum speed on roads 68 mph/110 km/h
Speed in water up to 6 mph/10 km/h
Creep speed below 1.9 mph/3 km/h
Gradient 60%
Maximum side slope 30%
Maximum climbing ability 0.60 m/1.9 feet
Fording depth 1.50 m/4.9 feet
Trench crossing ability 2.00 m/6.5 feet
Turning circle diameter (curb-to-curb) 18.00 m/59 feet
Range on roads 750 km/466 miles
Voltage (DC) 24 V
Power-to-weight-ratio 15.3 kW/t
Type Caterpillar C13
Fuel Diesel (F-54) or jet fuel (F34/JP8)
Performance 383 kW/513 hp
Torque 2,200 Nm
Type ZF
Transmission automatic
Speeds 7 + 2 reverse
Transfer case single speed gear
Drive mode 4×8
Wheels and tires 365/85R20, 395/85R20 or 14.00 R20 with Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS), run-flat inserts
Suspension Independent for each wheel, front coil springs and control arms rear torsion bars; conventional standard, hydro-pneumatic optional
Shock absorbers hydraulic on all wheels
Brakes dual circuit air actuated brake system, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
Modular, scalable ballistic/Mine/Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) protection solutions in accordance with international/customer specific standards
Signature reduction
Seawater cooling system
Closable louvers of engine grills
Water propulsion 2 propellers
Steering control 2 twin rudders
Trim van and snorkel system
Bilge pumps
Integration of various weapon systems from remotely controlled weapon stations up to 120-mm heavy turrets and mortars
Operation temperature -46° C to +49° C
Electro-Magnetic Interference/Compatibility Standard (EMI/EMC) according to MIL-STD-461E
Combined Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC)/Air conditioning system
Fire extinguishing system for engine and crew compartment
Further equipment options available including: J1939 Automotive CANBUS with MILCAN interface; Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS); Self-recovery winch; Auxilliary Power Unit


Polish Aermacchi

The roll-out ceremony for the first of eight Polish Air Force M-346 aircraft took place on June 6, 2016, at Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s facility in Venegono-Superiore (near Varese). The event was attended by the Polish Deputy Defense Minister, Bartosz Kownacki, the State Under Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gioacchino Alfano, and by the Managing Director of Leonardo-Finmeccanica Aircraft, Filippo Bagnato.

The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 is the most advanced trainer aircraft available on the market
The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 is the most advanced trainer aircraft available on the market

Mauro Moretti, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Leonardo-Finmeccanica said: «Leonardo-Finmeccanica is the only company in the world able to offer a complete technological solution that reduces pilot training times and prepares them to fly sophisticated, new-generation military aircraft. Today, many countries are turning their attention to integrated training systems that include both aircraft and ground-based simulation systems. These capabilities already have a proven track record at the Italian Air Force’s training center in Galatina (near Lecce) where 11 NATO and Allied Air Forces are trained; pilots obtain their licenses via systems and aircraft built by Leonardo-Finmeccanica».

The first of 8 Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainers ordered by Poland in 2014 will now undergo a flight test programme to certify bespoke systems chosen by the Polish Air Force such as the brake parachute. It will then be delivered to the customer by the end of the year along with a second aircraft. Deliveries will be completed by November 2017.

The M-346s will enter into service with the 4th Training Wing Squadron at Poland’s Deblin base. With the M-346, the base aims to become an international hub for the training of military pilots.

The M-346 has been ordered by the Air Forces of Italy (18), Singapore (12), Israel (30) and Poland (8) for a total of 68 orders.

Aermacchi M-346 specifically designed to prepare pilots for high performance new generation aircraft
Aermacchi M-346 specifically designed to prepare pilots for high performance new generation aircraft


Aermacchi M-346

The M-346 is the most advanced lead-in fighter trainer aircraft currently produced, and the only new-generation trainer optimized for pilots who will go on to fly the latest-generation, high-performance military aircraft. Thanks to its advanced technical design and adoption of modern «design-to-cost» and «design-to-maintain» concepts, the M-346 has reduced acquisition and operation costs. Furthermore, reducing the maintenance hours requirement of the aircraft has increased its cost-effectiveness.

The M-346 features innovative design solutions. It is an aircraft with a full-authority quadruplex Flyby-Wire control system that, thanks to the optimization of its aerodynamic configuration, allows the aircraft to remain fully controllable at angles of attack of over 30 degrees. This, combined with the aircraft’s twin-engine configuration, the duplication and redundancy of its electric and hydraulic systems and a choice of state-of-the-art equipment, makes the M-346 the most modern preoperational tactical training aircraft in the world.

The M-346 is equipped with a digital avionics system, fully modelled on those of latest-generation military aircraft such as the Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-16, F-18, F-22 and the future F-35. It is therefore well-suited for every phase of advanced and pre-operational training, downloading flight hours from the more expensive frontline aircraft.

The M-346’s wide flight envelope, its very high thrust/weight ratio and extreme maneuverability make it an aircraft capable of reproducing, for the trainee pilot, flight conditions similar to those they will find on the combat aircraft they will go on to operate, thus maximizing the effectiveness of training.

The M-346 also integrates the ETTS (Embedded Tactical Training Simulation) with the ability to simulate a complete suite of sensors, countermeasures and armaments and also to create a virtual tactical scenario, simulating air, naval and land forces, friend or foe, interacting in real time with the aircraft during the training missions.

The M-346 features hard points, allowing external loads to be carried, as well as a Helmet Mounted Display, vocal commands and an in-flight refuelling probe. The aircraft’s excellent performance, combined with options to install an Electronic Warfare System, Tactical Data Link, Multi-mode Radar and equipment to reduce the aircraft’s radar signature, the M-346 provides high survivability and effectiveness when operating in hostile theatres.

The M-346 Integrated Training System (ITS) includes, alongside the aircraft, an exhaustive Ground Based Training System (GBTS). This enables the student pilot to learn and rehearse the entire aircraft syllabus and training objectives on the ground, before replicating them in flight. This provides significant cost savings when comprehensively training «fast jet» military pilots.

A core element of the ITS is the Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC), linking simulators to live sorties, allowing pilots flying a training device on the ground to be linked with those flying on real aircraft. It allows trainee pilots to add complexity to training exercises while reducing the risks and costs associated with flying several aircraft during training missions.

First FFX-II

According to Ridzwan Rahmat, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, on June 2, South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has launched the country’s first FFX-II platform.

South Korea has launched its first FFX-II guided-missile frigate
South Korea has launched its first FFX-II guided-missile frigate

The ship, which has been named Daegu with pennant number FFG-818, was launched at the company’s shipyard in Okpo. The FFX-II platform is a larger variant of the Incheon (FFX-I)-class ships that are in service with the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

According to specifications provided by DSME, the platform features an overall length of 400 feet/122 m and an overall beam of 46 feet/14 m. The ship has a standard displacement of 2,800 tonnes and a full load displacement of 3,600 tonnes. Powered by one Rolls-Royce MT30 turbine engine and four diesel generators in a combined diesel-electric or gas configuration (CODOG), the ship can attain a maximum speed of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h, the company said.

The FFX-II platform is armed with one 127-mm Mk-45 Mod. 4 naval gun and one aft-facing, six-barrelled, 20-mm Raytheon Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS). The ship has also been equipped with a 16-cell Korean Vertical Launching System (VLS) for defence against aerial threats and six 324-mm torpedo tubes for submarine prosecution.

The ship can accommodate a crew of 120 and one medium helicopter on its flight deck.

Daegu is scheduled for delivery to the RoKN in late 2017 and expected to be commissioned in late 2018, DSME said. A contract for a second vessel in the class is expected to be issued by the South Korean government this year.

Platform is on track to be commissioned by the end of 2018
Platform is on track to be commissioned by the end of 2018

Europe’s nEUROn

Europe’s nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator was presented in flight on June 4, 2016, at an air meet at Istres organized by the French Air Force. It is the first time in world aeronautical history that a stealth aircraft controlled from the ground has flown in public.

The Istres-Le Tubé air force base 125 Air Show, June 04-05th, 2016 – nEUROn, Falcon 8X and Rafale in flight
The Istres-Le Tubé air force base 125 Air Show, June 04-05th, 2016 – nEUROn, Falcon 8X and Rafale in flight

The event – which was prepared by teams from Dassault Aviation, along with the French defense procurement agency DGA and the French Air Force – was able to take place thanks to the reliability and safety demonstrated by the nEUROn since the start of testing in 2012.

The presentation, which was carried out by the Dassault Aviation flight test center, lasted about 15 minutes. After takeoff, the nEUROn was joined by a Rafale and a Falcon 8X.

«This formation of three aircraft illustrates the technological expertise necessary for tomorrow’s aeronautical projects. It also contributes to the centennial celebrations of our Group, which has been designing, building and supporting civil and military aircraft since 1916», declared Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier.

The three aircraft flew past in formation at an altitude of 150 meters/492 feet above the Istres runway at 217.5 mph/350 km/h, less than 400 meters/1,312 feet from thousands of spectators. This flying display, in a limited airspace, represents a real achievement, both technically and in terms of flying skills.

In March 2014, the nEUROn became the world’s first unmanned combat air vehicle to fly in formation with other aircraft (a Rafale and a Falcon 7X).

Furthermore, outside the United States, the nEUROn team is the first in the world to have designed, built and flown a stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator and the first to have submitted it to a comprehensive test program, including:

  • tests involving operational detection systems (radar and infrared);
  • launch of a weapon from an internal bay at high speed.
Service ceiling: 14,000 m/45,900 feet
Service ceiling: 14,000 m/45,900 feet


About nEUROn

nEUROn is a European program for an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator, conducted by Dassault Aviation as prime contractor under the authority of French defense procurement agency DGA. It heralds tomorrow’s defense programs, since it federates expertise from across Europe (France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Switzerland). The nEUROn program is designed to validate the development of complex technologies representing all mission systems: high-level flight control and stealth, launching real air-to-ground weapons from an internal bay, integration in the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) environment, innovative industrial collaboration processes, etc.

The demonstrator made its first flight at Istres on December 1, 2012. The test schedule was completed in September 2015 with the 123rd flight. All program objectives were achieved. An additional series of tests was launched by the DGA in May 2016 to study the use of an unmanned combat air vehicle in a naval context.

Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce/Turboméca Adour/Snecma M88, 40 kN/8,992 lbf thrust each
Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce/Turboméca Adour/Snecma M88, 40 kN/8,992 lbf thrust each


Key characteristics

Length 10 m/32.8 feet
Wingspan 12.5 m/41 feet
Empty weight 5,000 kg/11,023 lbs
Maximum weight 7,000 kg/15,432 lbs
Maximum speed Mach 0.8
Autonomy 3 hours


Initial flight test

Lockheed Martin successfully completed the initial flight test of its T-50A configured aircraft. The T-50A is the company’s aircraft offering in the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training competition.

The initial flight test of the T-50A configured aircraft was completed June 2, 2016
The initial flight test of the T-50A configured aircraft was completed June 2, 2016

«The aircraft in its new configuration with the 5th Gen cockpit and other upgrades performed flawlessly», said Mark Ward, Lockheed Martin T-50A lead test pilot, after his flight in Sacheon, South Korea. «I have no doubt this aircraft will close the gap which currently exists between the trainer fleet and 5th Generation fighters».

The T-50A is low risk and ready now. It builds on the proven heritage of the T-50 with more than 100 T-50s flying today – 100,000 flight hours and counting – and more than 1,000 pilots trained.

The T-50A is the only offering that meets all APT requirements and can deliver those capabilities on schedule at the lowest risk to the customer. Lockheed Martin teams studied clean-sheet alternatives and determined they pose prohibitive risk to APT cost and schedule requirements. The T-50A delivers the performance and capabilities needed to prepare pilots to fly, fight and win with 5th Generation fighter aircraft.

Lockheed Martin is currently standing up its T-50A Final Assembly and Checkout site in Greenville, South Carolina.

The T-50A was developed jointly by Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries. The accompanying T-50A Ground-Based Training System features innovative technologies that deliver an immersive, synchronized ground-based training platform.

The T-50A is easy to fly – similar to the F-16, F-22, and F-35 – which helps avoid negative training and unnecessary sorties. The T-50A creates better pilots, in less time, for less cost by enabling student pilots to focus their airmanship skills on improved aero performance, digital flight controls/fly-by-wire, with NextGen air traffic management systems, while operating from an anthropometrically designed 5th Generation cockpit.

The Republic of Korea Air Force’s training experience has shown that the new training system yields a better fighter pilot in less time with fewer sorties and lower cost. The T-50 training program has reduced the number of required flights in the KF-16 to only nine sorties. The Ground-Based Training System contains an array of innovative technologies to provide options for «offloading» aircraft training tasks into the simulation environment.

The T-50A aircraft configuration is based on South Korea’s FA-50, which is currently in production. The FA-50, the most advanced version of the T-50, incorporates air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, along with an avionics suite that contains an electronic warfare suite, a multi-mode radar and an advanced data-link.

The T-50A is purpose-built around 5th Generation thinking. There is no more effective or affordable way than the T-50A to train the next generation of pilots to fly, fight and win
The T-50A is purpose-built around 5th Generation thinking. There is no more effective or affordable way than the T-50A to train the next generation of pilots to fly, fight and win

Gamal Abdel Nasser

On June 2nd, 2016, DCNS delivered the first of two helicopter carriers acquired by the Arab Republic of Egypt in October 2015, the LHD (Landing Helo Dock) Gamal Abdel Nasser. The flag transfer ceremony took place in the presence of Egyptian and French Navies’ Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Rabie and Admiral Rogel, Hervé Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DCNS, Laurent Castaing, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STX France, and senior Egyptian and French officials. By 2020, DCNS will have supplied at least seven combat vessels to Egypt, thus contributing to the modernisation of the Arab Republic of Egypt’s defence system.

The LHD: a versatile vessel that is able to conduct a wide range of civil and military missions
The LHD: a versatile vessel that is able to conduct a wide range of civil and military missions

Hervé Guillou, Chairman and CEO of DCNS announced that: «The delivery of the LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser consolidates our relationship with the Arab Republic of Egypt which can count on the total commitment of DCNS and its partners to successfully conduct all of the programmes entrusted to us. I would also like to thank the French government authorities who constantly supported us on this contract. Furthermore, this delivery once again demonstrates our ability to efficiently cooperate with our partner STX France in order to meet the expectations of our client, within strict respects of budgets and deadlines».

On October 10th 2015, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of two Mistral-class LHDs. The flag transfers of the first of the two helicopter carriers, the LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser, contributes to the continuity of the strategic partnership with the Egyptian Defence Ministry, already initiated in July 2014 by the signature of a contract for the sale of four Gowind corvettes, and in August 2015 by the delivery of the FREMM multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr (FFG-1001) to the Egyptian Navy. In addition, DCNS is committed to supporting the Egyptian Navy over the longer term, thanks in particular to the multiannual maintenance contracts for the Egyptian vessels as well as through technologies transfer allowing the Alexandria Shipyards to build three of the four Gowind corvettes ordered in 2014. Other projects are currently under consideration to accelerate full operational capability of the Egyptian Navy.

The LHD Gamal Abdel Nasser will leave Saint-Nazaire in the next few days with the associated support vessels: two new-generation landing craft (CTM NG) and one EDAR fast amphibious landing craft. Before sailing to its home port of Alexandria, the helicopter carrier Gamal Abdel Nasser will participate in a joint exercise between the Egyptian and French Navies. Since February, 180 Egyptian sailors have been trained in Saint-Nazaire on the LHD Nasser. In line with the Egyptian Navy’s image of excellence, they completed a remarkable task in just a few months of work, with the support of the DCNS instructors and our partners STX France and Défense Conseil International.

The Mistral-class LHD is a vessel that responds to the needs of numerous navies thanks to its versatility. It allows a wide spectrum of civil and military missions. With a length of 653 feet/199 meters and a speed exceeding 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.3 km/h, the Mistral-class LHD vessel is characterised by its high capacity for the transportation of troops, equipment, heavy helicopters and landing craft, which the LHD is capable of projecting around the world. It is equipped with an electric propulsion system that uses pods. It also has an onboard hospital, and can carry out large-scale humanitarian missions. Its highly capable communication system makes it the ideal command vessel within a naval force.

Thanks to the close collaboration between DCNS and STX, the three first LHDs, Mistral, Tonnerre and Dixmude were delivered to the French Navy in 2006, 2007 and 2012.

Developed and built by France, and originally sold to Russia, two Mistral-class LHD amphibious warfare ships were finally sold to Egypt; the first one was officially handed over today (DCNS photo)
Developed and built by France, and originally sold to Russia, two Mistral-class LHD amphibious warfare ships were finally sold to Egypt; the first one was officially handed over today (DCNS photo)

Keel Authenticated

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) on June 01. The ship, named in honor of the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, will be the 32nd Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyer Ingalls has built for the U.S. Navy.

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) keel authentication ceremony
USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) keel authentication ceremony

«This ship’s name carries a special meaning», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said at this morning’s keel-laying ceremony. «Destroyers are traditionally named after great men and women in the history of our Navy, and the namesake of DDG-119 is no exception. DDG-119 will be strong and capable. She can be no other way, because our men and women in the Navy and Delbert Black’s legacy deserve nothing less».

Black served as a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. His wife, Ima, is the ship’s sponsor. «To the shipbuilders, thank you so much for your love and your care in building my ship», she said. «My message to you is the same as always: ‘Hurry up! I’m running out of time.’ There is a saying that we have in the Navy», she continued. «That saying is: ‘Carry on.’ Carry on, according to the Navy Blue Jackets manual, means to resume your duties. Sometimes it happens in the stillness of the night. I can hear the faint whisper of a voice in my ear saying, ‘Carry on. Carry on.’»

Delbert and Ima Black met after World War II, during which she served as a Navy WAVE (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service). They were married 50 years until the time of his death in 2000.

She and 45-year shipbuilder Earnest Wiley penned their initials onto a keel plate, and they were welded for permanent display on the ship by CC Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls.

«Today Mrs. Black and Mr. Wiley create a sign that will stay with this ship throughout its service», said Captain Mark Vandroff, program manager of the Navy’s DDG-51 program. «It will inspire us today and eventually inspire the future sailors of Delbert D. Black».

The current Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, Mike Stevens, also spoke at the ceremony. «We are here today for the laying of the keel, which is a tradition going back centuries and marks a milestone in the life of any ship», he said. «The entire foundation of the ship is built around the keel, just as the foundation for today’s enlisted force was built in part around the leadership of Del Black. I once read that ‘Legacy is the lantern that lights the path for others to follow.’ It gives me great pride to know that MCPON Black’s legacy will continue for generations to come».

To date, Ingalls has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. There are five more currently under construction at Ingalls, including USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119).

Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ships contain myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias presents a ceremonial keel plate to Ima Black, the sponsor of her husband’s namesake ship, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)
Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias presents a ceremonial keel plate to Ima Black, the sponsor of her husband’s namesake ship, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)


Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos


Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS


Clean Sky

Airbus Helicopters earlier this year passed an important milestone in the development of the high-speed, compound helicopter demonstrator currently being built as part of the Clean Sky 2 European research programme. A mockup of the breakthrough airframe design has just undergone windtunnel testing in an Airbus facility. The tests proved the viability of the chosen design in terms of efficiency, sustainability and performance, paving the way for a preliminary design review expected end of 2016. Meanwhile, the overall project has passed its first official milestone involving all core partners by reaching the end of its pre-design phase.

Airbus Helicopters advances Clean Sky 2 high-speed efficient rotorcraft demonstrator
Airbus Helicopters advances Clean Sky 2 high-speed efficient rotorcraft demonstrator

Building upon the achievements of the company-funded and record-breaking X3 technology demonstrator, the Airbus Helicopters Clean Sky-demonstrator will help refine the «compound» aerodynamic configuration and bring it closer to an operational design, with the end objective of meeting future requirements for increased speed, better cost-efficiency, as well dramatic reductions of emission and acoustic footprints. Flight-testing of the prototype is expected to start in 2019.

«We are honoured to be carrying out this project on behalf of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking and the large number of European companies who are taking part in the development. Our ambition is to become the benchmark of the rotorcraft industry, and as such we are willing to drive a bold vision for the future of helicopter transportation», said Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus Helicopters Chief Technical Officer. «Our Clean Sky 2-demonstrator will not only be about going faster; it will help make speed smarter by seeking the best trade-off between cost-efficiency, sustainability and mission performance. We want to break the cost barrier usually associated with increased speed and range and pave the way for new missions sets for 2030 and beyond, by providing crucial emergency or door-to-door transportation services to European citizens where they need it most».

Development of the Clean Sky 2-demonstrator relies on a wide European network of industrial partners who are bringing their technical skills and know-how to the project. While Airbus Helicopters facilities in France, Germany, Spain and Poland are involved in areas such as structural and mechanical design, other countries like Romania, Italy and the United Kingdom also highly contribute their expertise through a large number of design and manufacturing work packages.

Ron Van Manen, Clean Sky 2 Programme Manager, highlighted that «The LifeRCraft Demonstrator project in Clean Sky 2 will pull together capabilities from across the European Research Area, addressing technology gaps in systems, structures and overall design and demonstrating the viability of a compound rotorcraft design that can bring a fundamentally new combination of payload/range/speed to the aviation market. In particular, where a rapid response or a key range requirement exists (such as in disaster relief, medical evacuation or search & rescue) this aircraft concept can bring important benefits to the public and open new market opportunities that will strengthen Europe’s already formidable competitive position in the vertical lift aviation sector».

Flight-testing phase to begin before the end of the decade
Flight-testing phase to begin before the end of the decade

Canadian Combatant

Rheinmetall Canada and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) subsidiary ELTA Systems (IAI/ELTA) have joined forces to propose the state-of-the-art, operationally proven MF-STAR radar for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programme. Like this team’s success in bringing the battle-proven Medium Range Radar (MRR) of «Iron Dome» fame to the Canadian Army, ELM-2248 MF-STAR will provide the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with a built-in-Canada, cutting-edge, fully digital, multifunctional Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) naval radar for long-range air and surface surveillance and tracking. The MF-STAR radar is based on the same radar technology as the MRR currently in production at Rheinmetall Canada’s plant in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec.

A Canadian, cost effective, proven and low risk CSC radar solution
A Canadian, cost effective, proven and low risk CSC radar solution

The MF-STAR antenna includes four fixed faces of active arrays in S-band frequency, delivering a high-quality air and surface situation picture and weapon support – particularly in severely cluttered target, electronic, topographical and environmental conditions. With advanced technology and robust system architecture, the MF-STAR employs unique, proven multi-beam and pulse doppler techniques to extract low Radar Cross-Section (RCS) targets from complex clutter and jamming environments.

Moreover, the MF-STAR radar can be easily scaled to fit different requirements and different ship sizes – from 1200-tonne corvettes to frigate/destroyers weighing 7000+ tons. The radar is already in service with two navies in missions similar to those proposed for the CSC.

Importantly, the MF-STAR’s 360-degree coverage and fully multifunction operation minimizes the installation requirements to a single system, thus reducing the upper deck «footprint». MF-STAR’s in-service record and the ongoing delivery of the MRR means reduced operational, technological and programme risk – from contract award to delivery and beyond from an established Canadian company which has recently concluded over $1 billion in Industrial and Technological Benefit (ITB) transactions with Canada.

«We are honoured to extend our teaming with Rheinmetall Canada to include the state-of-the-art MF-STAR radar», declared Mr. Nissim Hadas, IAI Executive VP & ELTA President. «MF-STAR radar is already operational and provides excellent value to our customers».

«This partnership with IAI/ELTA Systems is of strategic importance to Rheinmetall Canada», stated Rheinmetall Canada’s President and CEO, Dr. Andreas Knackstedt. «Our successful teaming with IAI/ELTA on the MRR programme positions Rheinmetall as a leading Canadian radar company. We are building on this experience to offer the MF-STAR radar for the CSC programme and firmly establish Rheinmetall Canada as the in-country radar provider and supporter to DND and the Canadian Forces».

«Furthermore», added Dr. Knackstedt, «we know that it’s not only necessary to provide the best product at the best price to the Canadian government, but to bring value to the Canadian economy. We did this with MRR and achieved 80% identified offsets at bid response. This expertise is essential to any prime contractor and we have the right know-how».



  • Fast threat alert response time;
  • Very high tracking update rate and accuracy for priority targets;
  • Short search frame/ Track While Scan (TWS) revisit time;
  • Mid-course guidance of active/semi-active anti-air missiles;
  • Illuminator enslavement for semi-active missiles;
  • Automatic splash detection and measurement for gunnery support;
  • Instantaneous multi-beam;
  • Advanced beam forming techniques for Electronic Counter-CounterMeasures (ECCM);
  • Lightweight antenna;
  • Scalable, modular active solid-state phased array;
  • High reliability and high availability.


Operational Capabilities:

  • Blue water and littoral warfare support;
  • Simultaneous multi-engagement support;
  • Active and semi active missile support;
  • 3D long-range air surveillance;
  • 3D medium range automatic threat alert;
  • Missile horizon search and threat alert;
  • Maritime surface surveillance;
  • Target classification (including Helo);
  • Gunnery control and splash spotting.


Performances and Parameters

Automatic track initiation
Low flying attacking missile > 25 km/15.5 miles
High flying fighter aircraft > 120 km/74.5 miles
Rx/Tx S-Band solid state
Antenna 4 static arrays
Spatial coverage
Azimuth 360°
Elevation -20° – +85°
Weight 1,500 kg/3,307 lbs per face
900 kg/1,984 lbs below deck


Specialist center

A new center containing facilities to support the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers is nearing completion at Portsmouth Naval Base. The Queen Elizabeth Class Centre of Specialisation will cover an area of 70,000 square meters – approximately the size of 10 football pitches. It will include a 7,000 square meter Forward Support Centre able to hold 15,000 pallets of medical, mail and naval stores under one roof, a café seating more than 500 people at any one time and a reception center for all those working on or visiting the carriers.

The Queen Elizabeth Class Centre of Specialisation works are nearing completion
The Queen Elizabeth Class Centre of Specialisation works are nearing completion

The center will house employees of Team Portsmouth, a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems, with engineers, logisticians and waterfront staff working alongside each other to plan and deliver the maintenance for these ships.

Mike Howarth, Managing Director for BAE Systems Maritime Services in Portsmouth, said: «At 65,000 tonnes the new carriers are the largest and most complex naval ships built in the UK. It’s essential that they have high quality facilities and highly skilled people to support them. This center will be the home not just for the carriers; it will also be home for the military and civilian people who support them. With improvements to the jetty and construction of a high voltage power station already in its final stages, you can now see that we are well on the way to being ready for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s arrival next year».

Commodore Jeremy Rigby, Naval Base Commander, said: «The work on the Queen Elizabeth Class center is yet another tangible milestone in getting the Naval Base ready to support our new aircraft carriers. A huge amount of activity is in train ashore and in the harbour to make sure we are ready to receive HMS Queen Elizabeth. These are exciting times for the Naval Base and the wider Portsmouth area as we prepare for these huge ships which have secured the future of the base for the rest of the century. BAE Systems is working in partnership with the Royal Navy under the Team Portsmouth banner to improve the Queen Elizabeth Class Ships’ Company experience that the carrier’s crew will receive at the waterfront and provide the resources, information, material and facilities they will need in Portsmouth and on operations around the world».

Mark Lancaster, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, was at Portsmouth Naval Base to see the progress on the infrastructure works. He said: «This new Centre of Specialisation will ensure that our highly skilled engineers, logisticians and waterfront staff are well supported, and have the facilities they need as Portsmouth becomes the home of the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers next year. Our £100 million investment in the naval base and the arrival of the carriers will support and sustain thousands of jobs across the region».

The creation of a dedicated area for the carriers forms part of the overall vision for Portsmouth Naval Base – four dedicated areas to support the ships based ships. The first of these dedicated areas was opened in 2015 as the Centre of Specialisation for Frigates and Destroyers, while work began on minehunter HMS Brocklesby (M33) in the new Small Ships Centre of Specialisation in early May.

Specialist center to support aircraft carriers takes shape
Specialist center to support aircraft carriers takes shape