Monday, October 24, 2016

Navy Conducts Restrained Missile Firing Test for LCS Surface-to-Surface Missile Module

October 6, 2016 - Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) successfully completed a restrained firing test of the Longbow Hellfire missile for the LCS Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM), the Navy announced Oct. 6.
The Longbow Hellfire missile has been undergoing developmental testing for incorporation into the SSMM, part of the LCS surface warfare mission package.
A major milestone demonstrating the SSMM missile launch module's ability to withstand heat and fire in the event of an unplanned rocket motor ignition was achieved at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division's Explosive Experimental Area. Prior to integrating and testing the Longbow Hellfire missile aboard a LCS, a series of tests must be accomplished to prove the safety of the system.
During the test of the missile exhaust containment structure (MECS), a test designed to duct missile exhaust and fire through plenum exhaust chambers in the top of the SSMM module, one live Longbow Hellfire missile with inert warhead and non-functional guidance section was fired but restrained in the launcher. As the missile's rocket motor burned, exhaust and flames ducted properly through the MECS plenums.
"This critical test concludes another vital step in a series of efforts that will lead to the fielding of this tremendous capability to LCS and to the fleet," said Capt. Ted Zobel, program manager for the LCS Mission Module Program.
The test verified the MECS could prevent ignition exhaust fire from escaping into other missile modules. Three mass-simulated Longbow Hellfire missiles and eight mass-simulated missiles with inert rocket motors were situated with the live missile to help evaluate the MECS's effectiveness.
The Navy is planning to deploy the Longbow Hellfire missile capability aboard a LCS by December 2017. Structural test firing from a LCS is scheduled to occur by March 2017.       

Ultra Electronics awarded $82m contract for control and monitoring of US Navy critical infrastructure

October 10, 2016 - Ultra Electronics today announced the award of a US $34.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract by the Department of the Navy to continue providing cyber-secure critical infrastructure solutions. Initial tasks of US $13.9 million should be completed by September 2017.
The contract includes options which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value to more than US $82 million and extend the contract through September 2020.
Under the contract, Ultra Electronics, 3eTI will continue to work with the Navy to design, develop, integrate and install a variety of cyber-secure systems for critical infrastructure control and monitoring. These solutions include intrusion detection, industrial control systems, and endpoint security. Work will be performed in California, Hawaii and in the Washington, DC, areas.
"We are pleased to have the Department of Defense's continued confidence in delivering cyber-physical network solutions that afford a defense-in-depth framework for ensuring energy security," said Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive, Ultra Electronics. "The award underscores the significance of Ultra and 3eTI’s many accreditations and certifications in the security and cyber domains for federal applications.”

Coast Guard Transfers Two Former Cutters to Republic of Georgia

Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, Coast Guard deputy commandant of mission support, presents Maj. Gen. Zurab Gamezardashvili, deputy minister of internal affairs and head of the border police of Georgia, with a photograph of the former cutter Staten Island during a ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, Sept. 30, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Barney.

October 3, 2016 - The Coast Guard transferred the former cutters Jefferson Island and Staten Island to the Georgian coast guard in a ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, Sept. 30, 2016. The event marks the Office of International Acquisition’s first transfer of 110-foot patrol boats to a friendly nation through the Excess Defense Articles program.
The former cutters are scheduled to be shipped to Georgia in summer 2017 after completing maintenance, upgrades, outfitting and training of Georgian coast guard crews in the Baltimore area. The Coast Guard will provide new equipment and technical and training services worth $5.3 million under a Foreign Military Sales letter of offer and acceptance with Georgia. The ships’ new names are Ochamchire and Dioskuria.
“The transfer of these boats will significantly enhance Georgia’s capacity to monitor and secure its coastline, and make Georgia a stronger bulwark against regional and transnational threats,” said Nicholas Berliner, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in his ceremony remarks. “The enhanced capabilities these modern boats offer will significantly reduce the response time it takes for the Georgian coast guard to investigate and interdict the potential transport of illicit goods, the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction components, or other illegal activities being carried out in the surrounding waters.”
Each 110-foot patrol boat transfer also saves the Coast Guard approximately $400,000 in remediation and disposal costs.
The Coast Guard decommissioned Jefferson Island and Staten Island in October 2014. The multimission 110-foot patrol boats entered service in the mid-1980s. Of the 49 original Island-class vessels, 27 remain in service. The Coast Guard is replacing the ships with 58 154-foot fast response cutters, 18 of which are in service.

Fleet Week Maryland Kicks Off in Baltimore

October 12, 2016 - Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore preserves the time-honored naval tradition of the city while highlighting the U.S. Navy’s newest initiatives such as the DDG 1000 and Energy and Environmental Exhibits.
With approximately 2,500 Sailors and Marines in attendance, 2016 marks the first time that the City of Baltimore has hosted a Navy Fleet Week. Throughout the week service members will meet with children from local schools, conduct ship tours, attend sporting events, participate in community service projects and enjoy the rich history of Baltimore.
“Maryland Fleet Week celebrates the rich Naval tradition of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, city of Baltimore. “We are deeply proud of this heritage and look forward to welcoming visitors from around the city, around the region, and from around the world.”
The U.S. Navy's newest and most technologically advanced surface ship PCU Zumwalt (DDG 1000) arrived in Locust Point, Oct. 7. As a part of the celebration, the guided-missile destroyer will be officially commissioned Oct. 15, ushering in a new era for the Navy.
“The Navy and Marine Corps team belongs to the American people,” said Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, commander, Naval District Washington. “Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore is a great opportunity for us to show the people of Maryland who we are, what we do, and how committed we are to serving our nation.”
Other ships participating include guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (EPF 7), USNA Yard Patrol Craft, USCG District 5, and Canadian ships HMCS Athabascan (D 282) and HMCS Shawinigan (M 704). The U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ jets and other aircraft will be on display at Martin State Airport with an air show slated for Oct. 15 - 16 at Fort McHenry.

“We bleed blue and gold,” said retired Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Whitehead, a Pennsylvania resident who traveled to Baltimore for the event. “Navy week is a great way for us to say ‘thank you’ to our service members and honor our heritage.”

National Museum of the U.S. Navy Celebrates Artist Tom Freeman's Legacy

October 14, 2016 - In celebration of the Navy's 241st birthday, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy hosted a grand opening of an exhibit featuring the art of a world-renowned painter Oct. 13.
Seldom does a person with no formal art training rise to the level of international prominence that Tom W. Freeman achieved.
Freeman's art hangs not only in many museums but also in the West Wing of the White House, the USS Arizona Memorial, the Vatican, and the Royal Palace of Bahrain. Sadly, Freeman passed away suddenly on June 16, 2015, but his artwork and his legacy live on.
The National Museum of the United States Navy (NMUSN), which collects, preserves and displays historic naval artifacts, is honoring his career with a retrospective of his artwork entitled Tom Freeman: Illuminating the Past. The exhibit features nearly 30 of his paintings depicting the story of the U.S. Navy from its inception to present day.
"This remarkable collection of paintings vividly depicts many of the most significant moments in naval history, as illustrated by the brush, hand and heart of one of America's greatest maritime artists," said NMUSN Director Jim Bruns.
Freeman has exhibited at NMUSN before to commemorate the bicentennial of the torching of the White House, telling the story behind his dramatic interpretation of the event. He later commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but Illuminating the Past is the first public showing of his work since his passing.
Ann Freeman, wife of Tom Freeman, loaned the vast majority of the exhibit paintings and prints to the museum. At the opening reception on Oct. 13, she said, "Tom loved what he did and got great enjoyment out of people being able to see his artwork." She continued by sharing, "He would always say that he wanted people to be able to hear the gunfire, smell the smoke and feel the waves. That's what he wanted to portray."
Former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England and Naval History and Heritage Command Director Samuel Cox both shared memorable moments and pieces of Freeman's work including a historical vignette of USS Asheville Defiance.
Secretary Gordon said, "Tom is a person I greatly admired both as a person and an artist. We are united in appreciation of Tom Freeman, an American patriot and artist. His naval maritime historical paintings are unique and priceless to their realistic and accurate depiction."

The National Museum of the United States Navy is the only naval museum to present an overview of U.S. naval history 1775 to the present. Permanent and temporary exhibitions commemorate the Navy's wartime heroes and battles as well as its peacetime contributions in exploration, diplomacy, navigation and humanitarian service. NMUSN is free and open to the public. 

VSE Corporation Awarded $53.4M in FMS Delivery Orders

October 11, 2016 - VSE Corporation was awarded several delivery orders in September 2016 to provide support under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) support contract by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) International Fleet Support Program Office. VSE will provide maritime program support including logistics, planning, repair and maintenance management, supply support, technical assistance, training and engineering support to a variety of client countries. The periods of performance for these delivery orders range between 9 and 20 months, and the delivery orders have a combined funded value of $53.4 million.
"We are pleased to provide the best in-country technical and training support services available to ensure our allied navies achieve their maritime mission requirements," said Federal Group President JR Brown. "Our team is well positioned to execute these delivery orders and exceed our customers’ expectations."

Coast Guard Moves Forward to Next Phase of OPC Acquisition

The notional OPC design includes two five-blade, controllable-pitch propellers and a hangar capable of accommodating one MH-60 or MH-65 helicopter plus one unmanned aerial system. Graphic courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group.
October 5, 2016 - The Coast Guard moved forward with the offshore patrol cutter acquisition today by issuing a notice to proceed to the detail design and construction phase (Phase II). The notice authorizes the contractor, Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. of Panama City, Florida, to begin detail design work.
The full Phase II award includes options for production of the lead OPC and up to eight follow-on cutters. The Coast Guard plans to acquire 25 OPCs.
The OPC project resident office, established earlier this year at the service’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., will move to facilities located at the contractor’s shipyard following their completion this winter. The OPC PRO is staffed with Coast Guard personnel who will oversee construction and provide management of contract execution for the OPC acquisition.
The OPCs will replace the 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance fleet, which have been in service for 30 to 50 years. The ships will bridge the capabilities between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore.