BAE Systems has received a contract from General Dynamics Electric Boat to begin work associated with the production of Virginia Payload Module (VPM) tubes for Block V Virginia-class (SSN-774) submarines.
This initial award will fund work surrounding certification, special tooling, and other items related to production readiness.
The VPM is an additional mid-body section being integrated into the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarines, beginning with the second boat of Block V. It contains four large-diameter payload tubes, each capable of storing and launching up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles. Accessible while at sea, the VPM also offers an unprecedented amount of flexibility in the potential integration of future payloads.
«The new Virginia Payload Module will bring an additional 28 missiles to each Virginia-class submarine, tripling their payload strike capacity», said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «Increasing the firepower of the Virginia class is a cost-effective way for the U.S. Navy to maintain its strike capability after its four SSGN guided missile submarines retire».
BAE Systems has a long history of supporting the U.S. undersea fleet as the leading provider of propulsors and other submarine systems. Earlier this year the company announced it was selected to provide propulsors, spare hardware, and tailcones for Block IV Virginia-class submarines.
Work on the initial award will be performed at BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Contracts for the launch tube production are expected in early 2017, with deliveries through 2019.
BAE Systems has signed a contract with the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) for the installation of Denmark-specific battle management radio systems across its fleet of 44 CV9035 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV).
The CV90 is a family of tracked combat vehicles designed and built by BAE Systems Hägglunds, with more than 4.5 million engineering hours contributing to the development and system integration of the advanced and modern IFV.
«CV90 is a well demonstrated solution, combat proven by the Danish Army in Afghanistan», said Peter Nygren, director of business development at BAE Systems Hägglunds. «As a member of NATO, Denmark needs to have the CV90s in top condition. Crew survivability and interoperability are of primary importance to all armed forces, and we are proud of the confidence the Danish government has shown in us to upgrade these vehicles».
«The CV90’s open electronic architecture allows for the integration of any country’s chosen system and regular updates of all key electronic systems. BAE Systems can tailor the fit of C4ISR systems for each customer and vehicle variant», Nygren added.
The contract includes comprehensive industrial cooperation between BAE Systems and industrial partners in Denmark. BAE Systems’ industrial solution provides a foundation for job creation, technology transfer, and investment, paving the way for economic development and national growth. Since 2009 our industrial activity has delivered close to €300M into the Danish economy as part of the commitment to use Danish companies to support the CV90 fleet.
CV90s have successfully operated worldwide, including in United Nations and NATO missions. The vehicle provides interoperability, high tactical and strategic mobility, air defence, anti-tank capability, and high survivability and lethality in any terrain or tactical environment.
There are nine CV90 variants in service, with more than 1,280 vehicles operated by seven European countries, including four NATO members. The latest variant is in production for Norway.
BAE Systems’ Next Generation Bradley Fighting Vehicle demonstrator is debuting on October 3, 2016 at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The concept vehicle features an upgraded chassis that allows for significantly increased underbelly protection, improved force protection for mounted troops, compartmentation of fuel and ordnance, and more space and electrical power for future technology growth.
«In the current budget environment, the Army often has to choose between maintaining an existing fleet and developing new capabilities», said Deepak Bazaz, director of Artillery and Bradley Programs at BAE Systems. «We’re investing in research and development to demonstrate cost-effective options for the Army to address current gaps. We’re focused on integrating current, emerging, and future technologies to significantly improve the Bradley’s mobility, force protection, and lethality».
«By leveraging new and emerging technology, with an eye towards commonality within the formation, we can continue to provide superior capabilities for our troops», Bazaz added. «Key to our approach is providing built-in growth capacity that will ensure the system can support future inbound technologies, allowing our soldiers to successfully execute their mission in the coming decades».
The Next Generation Bradley includes suspension upgrades to enhance mobility to maneuver within the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). It incorporates an upgraded turret from the current Bradley and enhancements achieved during ongoing Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) modernization efforts, such as suspension improvements, targeting sensors, and network connectivity. BAE Systems will use this vehicle to mature these technologies and provide a platform for development and user experimentation and evaluation.
The prototype features armor, fuel tanks, and the driver’s hatch from the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), and the 600 volt electronics and final drives from the Paladin M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer integrated with current and future Bradley systems. Leveraging technology from other BAE Systems-built vehicles in the ABCT allows for significant savings in both development time and cost. In addition, the commonality of parts among the vehicles also provides significant cost savings opportunities over the life cycle of the vehicle and reduces the complex logistics trail.
BAE Systems is the original equipment manufacturer of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and continues to provide full life-cycle support to the Army and allied partners.
On October 1, BAE Systems welcomed the announcement by the Right Honourable Sir Michael Fallon Member of Parliament (MP), Secretary of State for Defence, of nearly £1.3 billion ($1,672 million) of funding for the Successor programme.
The programme will deliver four new submarines for the Royal Navy and will replace the current Vanguard class, with the first submarine entering service in the early 2030s. The United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence (MOD) funding announced on 1 October will cover initial manufacturing work, which will start next week, on the first of the Trident ballistic-missile-carrying submarines. It will also enable further procurement of long lead items in addition to ongoing redevelopment of the facilities and infrastructure required to build the submarines at BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Comparable in size to the Vanguard class submarines, the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarine is widely considered to be one of the world’s most complex engineering challenges. Technological advances, threat changes, new methods of design and production mean the new submarines will be a completely new design.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: «Britain’s ballistic missile submarines are the ultimate guarantee of our nation’s safety – we use them every day to deter the most extreme threats. We cannot know what new dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s so we are acting now to replace them».
Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, added: «This additional financial investment by the MOD is an expression of confidence in our ability to build these sophisticated vessels. We have been designing the new class of submarine for more than five years and thanks to the maturity of our design, we’re now in a position to start production on the date we set back in 2011. This is a terrific achievement and I pay tribute to all those who have made this possible».
The Company and the MOD have also made significant investments in the Barrow site’s operating systems, facilities and skills to prepare for the manufacturing phase of the Successor programme. The continued redevelopment of the site will transform the way submarines are built and will include new facilities and the refurbishment of existing infrastructure to ensure it has the capacity needed to deliver the Successor programme.
The Successor programme already employs more than 2,600 people across MOD and industry, including 1,800 at BAE Systems. Thousands more will be employed in the supply chain with an average of 7,800 people expected to be working on Successor each year throughout the duration of the programme. At peak, in the early 2020s, BAE Systems anticipates employing more than 5,000 people on the Successor programme.
To date, BAE Systems has worked with more than 100 suppliers, 85% of whom are based in the UK. The total spend in the supply chain is anticipated to reach between £8-9 billion ($9-10 billion), with in excess of 350 suppliers in the submarines’ build programme.
BAE Systems has signed a contract with the Commonwealth Government to further refine its design of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) for the Royal Australian Navy under the SEA 5000 (Future Frigate) program.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Glynn Phillips, said: «We look forward to demonstrating the adaptability and maturity of the Global Combat Ship design to meet Australia’s requirements for an Anti-Submarine Warship frigate. The Global Combat Ship design is the most modern, adaptable and flexible of all possible options available today, and I am confident that we will be able to demonstrate that it is the best able to meet the requirements of the Royal Australian Navy».
In coming months, a team of BAE Systems’ Australian engineers will be deployed to the UK to join the Company’s established design team. Being embedded into the one of the most advanced warship building teams in the world will allow these engineers to acquire the skills and knowledge required to effectively transfer the technology to Australia.
BAE Systems is using the latest in modern digital planning capability to refine and tailor its designs to the Commonwealth of Australia’s requirements. To assist this process, the Company has revealed that, a 3-dimensional visualisation suite will be delivered to Australia to help improve understanding of the unique features of the ship design. This will enable conversations about design modifications the Royal Australian Navy requires and will help demonstrate how the Global Combat Ship could accommodate the required CEA Technologies’ phased-array radar system.
This is part of the Australian Department of Defence’s Competitive Evaluation Process for the program. The Commonwealth has also entered into similar agreements with Fincantieri and Navantia.
The Global Combat Ship is the most adaptable and flexible design and best suited to meet the operational requirements of the Royal Australian Navy.
BAE Systems is one of the world’s leading designers, builders and systems integrators of naval ships and submarines. BAE Systems Australia has been building, upgrading and maintaining the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet for more than 30 years.
BAE Systems is currently supporting and upgrading the Anzac Class Frigates, sustaining the largest ships in the fleet – the Landing Helicopter Docks, as well as the Adelaide Class Frigates, Minehunters and the Hydrographic Fleet.
The first complex warship to be built at Glasgow since the last Type 45, HMS Duncan (D37), has successfully completed its journey from BAE Systems shipyard at Govan on the Clyde and is now safely docked at the company’s Scotstoun facility where she will complete final systems installation and testing.
HMS Forth, the first of the new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), entered the water for the first time on Saturday 13 August and her arrival at Scotstoun is the latest step in a modernised approach to shipbuilding at Glasgow that uses the latest technologies and processes. The first plate of steel for Forth was delivered to Glasgow in October 2014 and progressed down the production line soon after, with the ship structurally complete just 18 months later.
Vice Admiral Simon Lister, Chief of Materiel (Fleet) for the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said: «The cutting-edge technology of the Royal Navy’s versatile new Offshore Patrol Vessels will enable these warships to carry out a wide range of tasks, from disaster relief missions to maritime security, all the while protecting the UK’s interests at home and around the globe. Supported by a rising Defence budget, the rollout of HMS Forth reflects the success of the OPV programme, safeguarding the vital capability and skills that will be used in the delivery of the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Frigates».
Iain Stevenson, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «For Forth to enter the water less than two years after construction started is hugely significant and sets the tone for the future of modern warship building. She is the first complex warship to benefit from the new technologies and methods that we are introducing to further bolster our ability to be the best supplier to the Royal Navy. Forth has already benefitted from a safer and more efficient build process that enabled much of the work to take place under cover, and as a result she leaves our Govan facility at a much higher rate of completion. We’re building on the proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow and looking to the future. Not only does this mean we are creating valuable additions to the Royal Navy’s fleet but we are ensuring that shipbuilding skills and expertise are maintained and developed in the UK».
The new process to transfer HMS Forth across the Clyde began with a single remote control and 160 wheels driving the 1600 tonne Forth from inside the ship build hall at Govan to the dock side at a careful half a mile per hour. HMS Forth, with a weight comparable to 120 London buses, then made a short journey towards the waiting barge before setting sail for Scotstoun via the King George V dock. She is now safely at Scotstoun with the installation of the complex combat systems already underway, prior to handover to the Royal Navy in the first half of 2017.
This design of the offshore patrol vessel builds on the Royal Navy’s existing River Class ships and variants of this design are already in service in Brazil and Thailand. Engineers at BAE Systems have modified the design to meet the requirements of the Royal Navy in support of UK interests both at home and abroad.
The OPVs will be globally deployable and capable of ocean patrol with a range in excess of 5,000 nautical miles/5,754 miles/9,260 km, equivalent to a journey from Portsmouth to Rio de Janeiro, and a maximum speed of 24 knots/27.6 mph/44.5 km/h.
The manufacturing contract for the first three ships was announced in August 2014 and in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review the UK Government announced its intention to buy a further two offshore patrol vessels to be built in Glasgow. Construction of first of class, HMS Forth, began in October 2014, second of class, HMS Medway, began in June 2015 while HMS Trent began in October 2015. HMS Forth (length – 90.5 m, width – 13 m) is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.
Since it became operational, the EC-130H Compass Call has demonstrated its electronic combat power in tactical air operations around the world, and this year the aircraft has achieved another first. The aircraft has received an Avionic Viability Program (AVP) upgrade to make it more effective in combat and while maintaining compliance with federal and international aviation regulations.
«This program has been in the works for almost three years at a cost of about $45 million», said Major Gerardo Sanchez, the 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron assistant director of operations. «Currently, we have two aircraft here at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) with the 55th Electronic Combat Group (ECG), and we have two more scheduled for delivery».
The upgrade revitalizes the cockpit with liquid crystal displays that consolidate vital flight information. «With the new upgrades, we can grab the information with the push of a button», Sanchez said. «It increases the pilot’s situational awareness tenfold».
The entire EC-130 Compass Call fleet is expected to become upgraded via the AVP.
«With this new AVP modernization program of the EC-130 fleet, we are more capable with precision navigation», Sanchez said. «With the new radar upgrades, the EC-130H has improved navigation performance in order to sharpen tactics, techniques and procedures for precision electronic attack».
The 55th ECG has set up a training plan led by approximately 20 members who have been trained as cadre to familiarize personnel with the new system. AVP training for all flight deck personnel is projected to be completed in March 2017.
electronic warfare, suppression of enemy air defenses and offensive counter information
BAE Systems (prime mission equipment), and L3 Communications (aircraft integration and depot maintenance)
four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops
4,910 prop shaft horsepower
132 feet, 7 inches/39.7 m
97 feet, 9 inches/29.3 m
38 feet, 3 inches/11.4 meters
Block 1 – 107,000 pounds/48,534 kg
Block 2 – 103,000 pounds/46,720 kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
155,000 pounds/69,750 kg
62,000 pounds/28,182 kg
Speed at 20,000 feet/6,060 m
261 knots/300 mph/Mach 0.52/483 km/h
1,994 NM/2,295 miles/3,694 km
25,000 feet/7,600 m
non-kinetic energy waveforms
13 (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer, two electronic warfare officers, mission crew supervisor, four cryptologic linguists, acquisition operator and an airborne maintenance technician)
Initial Operating Capability (IOC)
Inventory: active force
After 30 plus years in service, the EC-130’s Avionics system is getting a major helping hand
The programme to transform BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria is gathering pace with the award of another major contract and erection of the first steelwork for the largest of the planned new facilities to build Successor, the replacement for the Vanguard class submarines.
BAE Systems has signed a £67 million contract with Morgan Sindall to extend its Devonshire Dock Hall to incorporate new manufacturing and installation capabilities. The facility hosts the construction of Astute class submarines and is where Successor will be integrated and tested.
This development is part of an investment programme which includes a number of new facilities and refurbishment of existing buildings. The Central Yard Facility will stand 45 m/147.6 feet tall and work is well underway, with the first pieces of its steel structure now in place. A new 28,000 m2/301,389.5 feet2 off-site logistics facility is also due to open later this year.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said: «This infrastructure investment at BAE Systems in Barrow will help ensure our new Successor submarines are built efficiently. The Successor programme is a truly national undertaking, and this investment is another example of the Government’s commitment to maintaining the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent».
Allan Day, Director of the Site Redevelopment Programme at BAE Systems Submarines, said: «We are in the third year of an eight-year redevelopment programme which is starting to see some dramatic changes across our site as we enhance our facilities and capabilities for the future. The Devonshire Dock Hall is an iconic building – home to the construction of some of the world’s most advanced and capable submarines. This contract will enhance the facility to ensure our workforce can deliver future submarine programmes to the Royal Navy».
The design and build of a brand new, nuclear-powered submarine is one of the world’s most complex engineering challenges and is a significant national endeavour which will involve a supply chain stretching the length and breadth of the country.
In an aviation first, British scientists in Chelmsford have successfully trialled a highly accurate laser airspeed sensor for use in the next generation of high altitude aircraft which will increase survivability while improving performance and fuel efficiency.
The Laser Air Speed Sensing Instrument (LASSI) which is being exhibited at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow sets itself apart from conventional methods as it accurately measures velocity even at low speeds.
Conventionally, air speed is determined using pitot tubes – which protrude from aircraft and sense variations in air pressure with speed. Although usually heated, these tubes are vulnerable to blockage in icy conditions. They could also be damaged by collisions with birds and when the aircraft is on the ground.
Operating on the same principle as roadside speed-guns, the new technique works by bouncing ultraviolet laser light off air molecules and measuring the change in «colour» of the reflections caused by the Doppler Effect. In layman’s terms, the further away from the ultraviolet light the reflection is, the faster the aircraft is travelling. Although invisible to the human eye, the detector can identify minute changes in colour – which indicate the aircraft’s airspeed.
Doctor Leslie Laycock, Executive Scientist at BAE Systems said, «LASSI is a ground-breaking piece of technology which is challenging the conventional method of measuring air speed. Conventional air data sensors which protrude from the sides of aircraft must be carefully located to work properly and are inaccurate at low airspeeds. LASSI can be located completely inside the aircraft and is accurate at low airspeeds. It can even measure negative air velocities. These features should ensure that the equipment is robust against damage, require less maintenance and be easier to operate at lower airspeeds. A significant benefit is that LASSI has the potential to detect air speed at a distance, meaning an aircraft could predict oncoming turbulence and change course accordingly».
BAE Systems has successfully trialled LASSI in a low speed wind tunnel and on ground vehicles. Engineers from the Company predict the component technology could be miniaturised and be in use within the next five years and are now investigating how it could be integrated in future aircraft.
Ahead of this years’ Farnborough International Airshow, engineers and scientists at BAE Systems and the University of Glasgow have outlined their current thinking about military aircraft and how they might be designed and manufactured in the future.
The concepts have been developed collaboratively as part of BAE Systems’ «open innovation» approach to sharing technology and scientific ideas which sees large and established companies working with academia and small technology start-ups.
During this century, the scientists and engineers envisage that small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) bespoke to specific military operations, could be «grown» in large-scale labs through chemistry, speeding up evolutionary processes and creating bespoke aircraft in weeks, rather than years.
A radical new machine called a Chemputer could enable advanced chemical processes to grow aircraft and some of their complex electronic systems, conceivably from a molecular level upwards. This unique UK technology could use environmentally sustainable materials and support military operations where a multitude of small UAVs with a combination of technologies serving a specific purpose might be needed quickly. It could also be used to produce multi-functional parts for large manned aircraft.
Flying at such speeds and high altitude would allow them to outpace adversary missiles. The aircraft could perform a variety of missions where a rapid response is needed. These include deploying emergency supplies for Special Forces inside enemy territory using a sophisticated release system and deploying small surveillance aircraft.
«The world of military and civil aircraft is constantly evolving and it’s been exciting to work with scientists and engineers outside BAE Systems and to consider how some unique British technologies could tackle the military threats of the future», said Professor Nick Colosimo, a BAE Systems Global Engineering Fellow.
Regius Professor Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow, and Founding Scientific Director at Cronin Group PLC – who is developing the Chemputer added; «This is a very exciting time in the development of chemistry. We have been developing routes to digitize synthetic and materials chemistry and at some point in the future hope to assemble complex objects in a machine from the bottom up, or with minimal human assistance. Creating small aircraft would be very challenging but I’m confident that creative thinking and convergent digital technologies will eventually lead to the digital programming of complex chemical and material systems».
BAE Systems has developed some of the world’s most innovative technologies and continues to invest in research and development to generate future products and capabilities.
During this century, scientists and engineers from BAE Systems and The University of Glasgow envisage that small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) bespoke to military operations, could be ‘grown’ in large-scale labs through chemistry, speeding up evolutionary processes and creating bespoke aircraft in weeks, rather than years