Patria AMVXP 8×8 vehicles have now been sent from Finland to Japan for test purposes. These vehicles are part of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force’s project called the Next Wheeled Armored Vehicle operating under the Japanese Ministry of Defense. The vehicles will be handed over to the Japanese Ministry of Defense on schedule, and Patria is ready to provide all necessary support to the Japanese in the upcoming tests.
Patria has been selected as one of the competitors for the new 8×8 Wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers (WAPCs) project. The project has progressed to the test phase after which the Japanese Ministry of Defense will evaluate the vehicles.
Patria is confident that Patria AMVXP meets all customer requirements. With a superior mobility and protection, as well as state-of-the-art modularity, performance and reliability, Patria AMVXP is perfect for any operations in any environment. Patria AMV 8×8 family has been contracted for 1600 vehicles globally.
Patria AMVXP integrated with Elbit Systems MT30MK2
‘Himgiri’, the first of the three Project 17A ships being built at M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata was launched today, 14 December 2020. She made her first contact with the waters of Hoogly River at 1335 Hrs. at the launch ceremony, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was the Chief Guest. In keeping with Naval traditions Smt Madhulika Rawat, spouse of CDS launched the ship to the chanting of invocations from the Atharva Veda. The ship has taken its name and crest of the second Frigate of the Leander Class of ships, which incidentally was launched 50 years ago in 1970.
Under the Project 17A program, a total of seven ships, four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three ships at GRSE are being built with enhanced stealth features, advanced indigenous weapon and sensor fit along with several other improvements. The launch of ‘Himgiri’ has showcased GRSE’s commitment towards the building of three state-of-the-art warships of P17A for Indian Navy. Over the years, GRSE has emerged as a leading shipyard having built over 100 ships. The yard has scaled up its infrastructure and skill set to meet new challenges in building of P17A ships. P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.
Since its inception, Project 17A has upheld India’s vision for Atmanirbhar Bharat. P17A ships have been indigenously designed by Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Design Group) – DND(SSG), and are being built at indigenous yards namely MDL and GRSE. Naval shipbuilding provides a great opportunity to energise our economy post COVID-19. Project 17A ships are sourcing 80% of the material/ equipment required for the project from indigenous vendors and with employment generation for over 2000 Indian firms and MSMEs within the country. Modular construction of the ship through outsourcing, and integrated construction methodology are being used to enhance GRSE’s productivity for delivery of ship targeted in August 2023.
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 23, the future USS Cooperstown, completed acceptance trials in Lake Michigan. Trials included a full-power run, maneuverability testing, and surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and machinery control and automation.
Now that trials are complete, the ship will undergo final outfitting and fine-tuning before delivery to the U.S. Navy next year. USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) is the 12th Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team.
«LCS-23, like other Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships, delivers unique flexibility and capability to the U.S. Navy», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager, Small Combatants and Ship Systems. «Freedom-variant LCS are inherently capable, and they offer 40% reconfigurable hull space to evolve to future U.S. Navy missions. During acceptance trials, LCS-23 proved its maneuverability, automation and core combat capability».
Unique among combat ships, the focused-mission LCS is designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions and is easily adapted to serve future and evolving missions. The Freedom-variant LCS is:
Flexible – Forty percent of the hull is easily reconfigurable, able to integrate Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30-mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles designed to meet today’s and tomorrow’s missions.
Lethal – LCS is standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
Powerful – LCS has gas turbines, diesel engines and water jets that together generate 85 MW/113,600 horsepower making LCS capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.
Automated – LCS has the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
«I would like to commend the entire Freedom Team on the successful acceptance trials of LCS-23», said Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. «I’m continuously proud of the dedication and perseverance shown by the entire team to provide our customer, the US Navy, with the most agile, capable warship».
Ship Design Specifications
Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
389 feet/118.6 m
57 feet/17.5 m
13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement
Approximately 3,200 metric tons
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
Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
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
On December 9, the joint force took another step toward achieving a military Internet of Things (IoT) when fifth-generation aircraft overcame long standing connectivity limitations to share actionable operational data in their native secure digital «languages» with and through multiple sources for the first time.
This test was the latest demonstration of the transformative warfighting impact of the open architecture underpinning the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).
The joint effort included a Marine Corps F-35B variant and the Air Force F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II variant flying with an attritableONE XQ-58A Valkyrie for the first time. The primary tests took place at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona with preparatory tests at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Lieutenant Colonel Kate Stowe, gatewayONE program manager at the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, set out with 18 test objectives and successfully achieved nine.
«Testing is all about pushing the limits of what’s possible, finding out where the toughest challenges are, and adapting creative solutions to overcoming difficult problem sets», Stowe said. «The real win of the day was seeing the gatewayONE establish a secure two-way translational data path across multiple platforms and multiple domains. That’s the stuff ABMS is all about».
Fifth-generation fighters are typically limited to communicating with each other and to command and control centers via legacy tactical data connections, not in their native, but incompatible digital «languages» – Multifunctional Advanced Data Link for F-35 Lightning II and Intra-Flight Data Link for the F-22 Raptor. Not only can gatewayONE translate between those formats, in this test it moved data that is normally relegated to an operations center or tactical ground node, directly pushing it into the cockpit at the edge of the multi-domain battlespace for the first time.
Additionally, the test pushed the position data of each platform outside of the aircraft’s close-proximity formation through gatewayONE, which enables battle managers on the ground or in the air to better orchestrate operations. The gatewayONE payload also passed tracks or cues from ground operators to both fighters and passed a cue from the F-35A Lightning II to the F-22 Raptor for the first time. These bi-directional communications pathways occurred in the platforms’ native digital «languages» and the data was displayed through the aircrafts’ organic systems.
«The gatewayONE payload really showed what’s possible and helped us take a big step towards achieving (Joint All-Domain Command and Control)», said Lieutenant Colonel Eric Wright, a 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron F-35 pilot. «This critical capability provides additional connections between our advanced fighters and other forces and battle managers across all domains. The future is promising, and gatewayONE will allow the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II to connect to and feed data sources they’ve never before accessed. Those future connections will bring additional battlefield awareness into the cockpit and enable integrated fires across U.S. forces».
Additional successful tests during the week included establishing a communications pathway between the KC-46 Pegasus tanker and a ground node using commercial internet routing standards over the Tactical Targeting Network Technology waveform and the F-35B Lightning II sending full-motion video to a ground controller.
«If fifth-generation platforms are going to be quarterbacks of a joint-penetrating team, we have to be able to communicate with those quarterbacks in an operationally relevant manner and enable data sharing between them, to them, and from them. For years people said it couldn’t be done. Today the team turned another page toward making the impossible possible», said Preston Dunlap, Air and Space Force’s chief architect. «In just 12 months, the team has opened the door to a world where we can put the power of an operations center into the cockpit at the tactical edge».
The December 9 flight test included the attritableONE platform, also known as the XQ-58 Valkyrie, a lower-cost, unmanned, aerial vehicle. The rocket-launched Valkyrie successfully conducted a semi-autonomous flight alongside the F-22 Raptor and F-35s for the first time. The gatewayONE payload was integrated into the Valkyrie for its maiden voyage with the fifth-generation fighters to conduct an initial test of gateway capabilities from an attritable platform; however, shortly after takeoff, the communications payloads lost connectivity and those test objectives were unable to be accomplished.
The acquisition team – comprised of Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center personnel working in conjunction with Eglin Air Force Base, Florida’s 46th Test Squadron – came together to make this test a success and empower the platforms involved with capability desired by the warfighter and operator.
This integrated test follows a series of gatewayONE ground tests that began during the inaugural Department of the Air Force architecture on-ramp last year in December.
ABMS is the Air Force and Space Force’s priority program to develop the military’s first Internet of Things and is the services’ primary contribution to Joint All-Domain Command and Control, a Defense Department-led effort to securely connect all elements of the U.S. military–every sensor and shooter–across land, air, sea, space and cyberspace.
Attempts at airborne retrieval of three unmanned air vehicles, nicknamed Gremlins, were just inches from success in DARPA’s latest flight test series that started on October 28. Each X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) flew for more than two hours, successfully validating all autonomous formation flying positions and safety features. Nine attempts were made at mechanical engagement of the GAVs to the docking bullet extended from a C-130 aircraft, but relative movement was more dynamic than expected and each GAV ultimately, safely parachuted to the ground.
«All of our systems looked good during the ground tests, but the flight test is where you truly find how things work», said Scott Wierzbanowski, program manager for Gremlins in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. «We came within inches of connection on each attempt but, ultimately, it just wasn’t close enough to engage the recovery system».
Hours of data were collected over three flights, including aerodynamic interactions between the docking bullet and GAV. Efforts are already underway to analyze that data, update models and designs, and conduct additional flights and retrieval attempts in a fourth deployment this spring.
«We made great strides in learning and responding to technological challenges between each of the three test flight deployments to date», said Wierzbanowski. «We were so close this time that I am confident that multiple airborne recoveries will be made in the next deployment. However, as with all flight testing, there are always real world uncertainties and challenges that have to be overcome».
The goal of the Gremlins program is to demonstrate air launch and air recovery of four GAVs within 30 minutes. The capability of safe, effective, and efficient air recoveries will dramatically expand the potential uses of unmanned air vehicles in conflict situations. The GAVs can be equipped with a variety of sensors and other mission-specific technologies. They can also be launched from various types of military aircraft, keeping those less expendable assets beyond the range of adversary defenses. After air retrieval of GAVs, they would be transported back to the ground where crews could prepare them for another mission within 24 hours.
Dynetics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos, is developing the Gremlin vehicles.
The fifth Astute class submarine has officially been named Anson in a ceremony at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
In line with tradition, Anson was blessed by The Venerable Martyn Gough QHC, Chaplain of the Fleet and Archdeacon for the Royal Navy and then christened with a bottle of cider being smashed against her hull.
The 97 metre long, 7,400 tonne submarine is due to be launched into the water in Barrow early next year, ahead of leaving for sea trials in 2022.
Cliff Robson, Managing Director, BAE Systems’ Submarines: «The naming of Anson is a significant step towards her joining the other four Astute class submarines already in service with the Royal Navy. Throughout this year, we’ve adapted the business to keep our people safe whilst allowing them to continue the important role of delivering critical capability to our customer. Reaching this important milestone is testament to the dedicated work of our workforce, our Royal Navy partners and the Submarine Delivery Agency».
More than 1,700 people work on the Astute programme, which is delivering seven attack submarines to the Royal Navy. Earlier this year, HMS Audacious, the fourth boat in the class, left Barrow for her operational base, at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Faslane.
Work is also well under way in Barrow on Astute boats six and seven, as well as the first two boats in the Dreadnought class, which is the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, work on both Astute and Dreadnought has continued throughout this year, with major changes being implemented across its Barrow and satellite sites to enable employees to work safely and adhere to social distancing. It is for that reason that only a handful of people were able to witness the naming ceremony.
Each submarine has a sponsor whose role includes carrying out the official naming. Anson’s sponsor is Julie Weale, the wife of Rear Admiral John Weale, who retired from the Royal Navy as Head of Submarine Service and Flag Officer Scotland and North Ireland earlier this year.
Ian Booth, Chief Executive, Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA): «This is the first submarine to bear the name, HMS Anson, but the eighth naval vessel to carry the title which has a rich history spanning several hundred years. I am certain she will carry on that heritage well into the future as she joins a world-beating, cutting-edge submarine fleet that is of strategic importance to the UK’s security and prosperity».
Advanced nuclear technology means the Astute class submarines never need to be refuelled and they can manufacture their own oxygen and fresh water from the ocean, meaning they are able to circumnavigate the world without surfacing. With 98 crew able to monitor world-leading sensors, the Astute-class carry both Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.
BAE Systems’ Submarine business employs approximately 10,000 people mainly in the North West of England with many more in the supply chain. The business spends more than £1 billion per year with over 1,000 suppliers who support the Astute and Dreadnought programmes, more than 85 per cent of whom are based in the UK.
Boeing and the U.S. Navy have for the first time flown the MQ-25 T1 test asset with an Aerial Refueling Store (ARS), a significant milestone informing development of the unmanned aerial refueler.
The successful 2.5-hour flight with the Cobham ARS – the same ARS currently used by F/A-18s for air-to-air refueling – was designed to test the aircraft’s aerodynamics with the ARS mounted under the wing. The flight was conducted by Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois.
«Having a test asset flying with an ARS gets us one big step closer in our evaluation of how MQ-25 will fulfill its primary mission in the fleet – aerial refueling», said Captain Chad Reed, the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. «T1 will continue to yield valuable early insights as we begin flying with F/A-18s and conduct deck handling testing aboard a carrier».
Future flights will continue to test the aerodynamics of the aircraft and the ARS at various points of the flight envelope, eventually progressing to extension and retraction of the hose and drogue used for refueling.
«To see T1 fly with the hardware and software that makes MQ-25 an aerial refueler this early in the program is a visible reminder of the capability we’re bringing to the carrier deck», said Dave Bujold, Boeing’s MQ-25 program director. «We’re ensuring the ARS and the software operating it will be ready to help MQ-25 extend the range of the carrier air wing».
The Boeing-owned T1 test asset is a predecessor to the engineering development model aircraft being produced under a 2018 contract award. T1 is being used for early learning and discovery, laying the foundation for moving rapidly into development and test of the MQ-25. Following its first flight last year, T1 accumulated approximately 30 hours in the air before the planned modification to install the ARS.
Earlier this year the Navy exercised an option for three additional MQ-25 air vehicles, bringing the total aircraft Boeing is initially producing to seven. The Navy intends to procure more than 70 aircraft, which will assume the tanking role currently performed by F/A-18s, allowing for better use of the combat strike fighters.
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division hosted a keel authentication ceremony on December 11, 2020 for Virginia-class attack submarine USS Massachusetts (SSN-798). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually, without an audience.
«This construction milestone is typically a small ceremony with shipbuilders and the submarine’s crew in attendance», said Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding. «Given the current COVID-19 environment and the precautions it requires, today’s event is smaller than usual in scope, but not in importance».
«Today’s event is a significant milestone in the life of the boat because it is the official construction kickoff, but it also marks the beginning of an important partnership between our shipbuilders who will build this mighty war vessel and the sailors who will bring her to life», Boykin added.
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, is the ship’s sponsor. In a pre-recorded video message, Sandberg etched her initials onto a metal plate, signifying the keel of SSN-798 as being «truly and fairly laid».
Ronnie Payne, a master shipbuilder who has worked on every Virginia-class submarine built at Newport News, then traced Sandberg’s initials with a welding torch at the company’s Supplemental Module Outfitting Facility. The metal plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout its life.
«This year has been difficult for so many, and I am extra grateful for moments like this one when we can celebrate such an important milestone together», Sandberg said. «I have a deep respect for the shipbuilders who will bring this vessel to life. I am so grateful for the opportunity to build a lifelong bond with this boat and its crew in my role as the sponsor».
USS Massachusetts (SSN-798) is the 25th Virginia-class fast attack submarine being built under the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat. Construction began in March 2017 and is approximately 50% complete. The boat is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2023.
«One of the privileges in establishing a command from the very beginning is developing a relationship with the boat’s namesake state – a relationship inherited from our forebears and one that will last the life of the ship and beyond», said Commander Erik Lundberg, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit. «Our mission is clear – deliver the most advanced, most capable warship to the Navy and our nation with an equally advanced and capable crew to bring her to life. The crew of Massachusetts stands ready».
General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
October 3, 2004
One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
377 feet/114.8 m
33 feet/10.0584 m
34 feet/10.3632 m
Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
800+ feet/244+ m
132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles
Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes
4 torpedo tubes
MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)
* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories
Nuclear Submarine Lineup
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover
SSN-796 New Jersey
Huntington Ingalls Industries Authenticates Keel of Virginia-Class Attack Submarine USS Massachusetts (SSN-798)
Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Austal USA has delivered its 13th Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy, from the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
The future USS Mobile (LCS-26) is the fourth ship delivered by Austal USA to the U.S. Navy in CY2020, following the delivery of USS Kansas City (LCS-22) in February, USS Oakland (LCS-24) in June and USNS Newport (EPF-12) in September.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the delivery of the future USS Mobile, in Mobile, was a very fitting way to finish the year 2020.
«What better way to end this challenging year than with the delivery of the future USS Mobile in its namesake city. This ship is a fantastic tribute to the spirit and determination of the people of Austal USA and the City of Mobile», Mr. Singleton said.
«Our warmest congratulations to the U.S. Navy on the delivery of their latest Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship; another great symbol of the success of the United States defence industrial base and a highly capable addition to the fleet».
The Independence-class LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats, such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The 127 metre high-speed trimaran hull warship integrates new technology and capability to support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
Four LCSs are presently under various stages of construction at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard; Assembly continues on the future USS Savannah (LCS-28) and USS Canberra (LCS-30), while modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32), USS Augusta (LCS-34) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility (MMF). The future USS Kingsville (LSC-36) USS Pierre (LCS-38) are under contract.
Austal USA is also under contract to build 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the U.S. Navy, with 12 vessels delivered, an additional vessel under construction and one scheduled.
The Independence Variant of the LCS
Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
421 feet/128.3 m
103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum)
14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load
Mission Bay Volume
118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
4 × Wartsila steerable
40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Survival in Sea State 8
>21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery
Twin boom extending crane
Internal elevator to hanger
Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions
2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
The President of the Republic announced the launch of studies for the replacement of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier by a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier by 2038. Naval Group is delighted with this decision and will be involved in this historic project with its major industrial partners Chantiers de l’Atlantique, TechnicAtome and Dassault Aviation. Naval Group’s know-how and skills will be fully mobilised to meet the French armed forces’ expectations. The President of the French Republic’s choice is a major boost for the French defence industrial and technological base and the nuclear industry as this project will mobilise several hundred jobs in France, and then several thousand each year in the implementation phase.
Pierre Eric Pommellet, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group said: «We are delighted with the announcement by the President of the French Republic, which will enable France to maintain its position in the very restricted circle of major powers holding a nuclear aircraft carrier. This project will help develop jobs in the defence industrial and technological base and ensure the continuity of our skills in the current health and economic crisis. Naval Group, its partners and its entire ecosystem will enable the French Navy to benefit from the best naval systems for its flagship. We are committed, as an overall architect, to respond, together with our partners Chantiers de l’Atlantique and TechnicAtome, as well as Dassault Aviation, to the expression of needs of the French general armament directorate (DGA) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). Finally, this project will make it possible to develop innovation in the fields of propulsion and high added-value military systems, thus maintaining France’s technological lead and its position as a key geostrategic player. This is a huge pride for Naval Group to begin the building of the biggest warship France has ever built».
Naval Group has been contributing for 60 years to the design, construction and maintenance in operational condition of the French aircraft carriers
As the European leader in naval defence, Naval Group has for many decades ensured the technological superiority of the vessels of the French Navy and its international customers. Their operational excellence has been regularly demonstrated.
Among its many accomplishments, Naval Group has contributed to the design, construction and maintenance in operational condition of the three aircraft carriers of the French Navy: the Clémenceau, the Foch and the Charles de Gaulle. These ships have contributed to France’s influence in many conflict areas around the world. Naval Group is one of a very small number of industrial companies capable of building aircraft carriers.
More specifically, Naval Group has also built and integrated, in partnership with the CEA and TechnicAtome, the two nuclear boilers on-board the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the first French aircraft carrier equipped with nuclear propulsion. This nuclear-powered vessel has proven her reliability and safety. Nuclear propulsion gives this ship a considerable autonomy at sea and a great flexibility of use.
Having entered active service in 2001, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will be in service until approximately 2038.
Naval Group’s exceptional skills, unique in Europe, will be fully mobilised
Naval Group, as a system integrator and prime contractor for the French Navy’s submarines and surface vessels, has developed advanced and rare skills. Among its expertise, Naval Group has skills in three key areas in particular: the activities of architect and overall prime contractor, of systems integrator of complex naval weapon systems, and concerning nuclear propulsion, the manufacture and assembly of reactors, and the maintenance in operational condition of nuclear boilers.
Naval Group also has unique expertise in Europe in the integration and implementation of an aircraft carrier equipped with catapults and landing brakes as well as her air group. Integrating more than 200,000 pieces of equipment in 2,500 premises, producing more than 10,000 drawings, managing more than 3,000 contracts, and assembling 1,200 km of cables and 300 km of piping require a cutting-edge expertise. This expertise also covers the integration of the combat and navigation systems. Fully interconnected with allies units, the combat system enables to prepare, coordinate and lead the aircraft carrier’s actions and those of the naval aviation group in real time. The combat system also ensures the ship self-defence and the security of internal as well as external communications.
In addition, Naval Group masters the implementation of fighter aviation on aircraft carriers with catapults and arresting strands. The aircraft is the central element of the aircraft carrier, whose main function is that of a mobile air base capable of operating on all the seas of the globe.
In addition, Naval Group has infrastructures dedicated to these areas of expertise. For nuclear propulsion, for example, there is a test platform for turbo-alternator modules at the Naval Group site in Nantes-Indret. The company also has integration platforms for combat systems and control systems, and a unique tool for simulating flows on the flight deck of aeronautical munitions combined with virtual reality visualization.
The project for the future aircraft carrier guarantees the durability of skills and jobs for the entire French defence industrial and technological base
The development and construction of the new generation aircraft carrier represents an investment of nearly twenty years, from 2021 to 2038. After a sketch phase, Naval Group and its industrial partners will now be in charge of carrying out a two-year preliminary design studiy, which will be followed by detailed design studies that will finally precede the development and construction of the aircraft carrier, a product of rare complexity.
The nuclear component of the propulsion, the implementation of on-board aviation and the operation of the new-generation aircraft carrier will lead Naval Group to reinforce key skills of engineers, technicians and workers at all Naval Group sites: Lorient, Nantes-Indret, Toulon, Angoulême-Ruelle and Brest, as well as those of its major partners Chantiers de l’Atlantique, TechnicAtome and Dassault Aviation.