Friday, August 29, 2014

Development Squadron 5 Receives First Unmanned Undersea Vehicle

140822-N-MN975-012 KEYPORT, Wash. (Aug. 22, 2014) Sailors assigned to Commander, Submarine Development Squadron (CSDS) 5, Detachment Unmanned Undersea Vehicle, prepare Large Training Vehicle 38 (LTV 38), an unmanned undersea vehicle, to be unloaded at Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Keyport. LTV 38 is designed as a full-pressure hull vehicle, capable of both line of sight and over the horizon communications in support of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin A. Johndro/Released)

Keyport WA August 22, 2014 - Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5 (CSDS 5), Detachment UUV, took delivery of Large Training Vehicle 38 (LTV 38), an unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) Aug. 22.
The delivery makes LTV 38 the first UUV to join the vehicle inventory used by detachment UUV at Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport.
Once a few final operational preparations are completed over the next few weeks, it will be ready to hit the water for both capabilities tests and proficiency training.
"This is certainly a key milestone for Detachment UUV in that we will have a baseline training vehicle for the future of Large Displacement UUVs," said Lt. Brian Nuss, officer in charge at Detachment UUV.
LTV 38 was originally developed for the Sea Stalker program. The vehicle is 27 feet in length and 38 inches in diameter, and was originally assembled in 2008 by Penn State University's UUV land-based test facility at State College, Pennsylvania. It underwent its first series of operational tests shortly after its assembly and made its first operational deployment on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).
"This process was a long time coming," said Sonar Technician (Submarines) 1st Class (SS/DSV) Travis Townsend, leading petty officer at detachment UUV. "Puget Sound has a great undersea and naval presence. It truly makes sense for the detachment to receive this vehicle and start preparing for what the future of the Navy holds."
As a UUV, LTV 38 is able to perform at a maximum depth of 1,000 meters for up to 72 hours. It is designed as a full-pressure hull vehicle, capable of both line of sight and over the horizon communications, and can also conduct limited autonomous contact avoidance maneuvers via acoustic sensors while anchored and such missions are conducted and controlled remotely.
UUVs allow naval submarines to safely gain access to denied areas with revolutionary sensors and weapons. These areas may be denied based on unacceptable risks to a submarine such as extremely shallow water, very poor acoustic conditions, or mined waters. UUVs provide unique capabilities and extend the "reach" of naval platforms while reducing the risk to the submarine and its crew.
The use of unmanned vehicles in the undersea environment is projected to grow for the Navy. During a recent visit to the Pacific Northwest, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told Sailors he envisions having autonomous underwater vehicles on patrol by the end of the decade.
"The future large-diameter vehicles will come in 2020 and in order for the detachment to fully prepare for the delivery of those vehicles we have to start with the tactics, training and procedures now to make it a successful program in the future," Nuss said.
According to the Penn State University Applied Research Lab, the Pacific Northwest provides key components for efficient transition of UUV technology to the fleet that includes technology development, testing and evaluation, and fleet presence.
"We couldn't have done this without the partnership from Keyport, Penn State and Commander, Submarine Force Pacific, supporting us both financially and realizing that there's a gap in training that needs to be filled for Det. UUV to succeed in the future," said Nuss.

HMS Illustrious Takes Final Bow

Royal Navy
Portsmouth August 28, 2014 - Having sailed over 900,000 miles on operations across the globe, including helping with the aftermath of the first Gulf War, HMS Illustrious has been decommissioned at a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.
The ship’s white ensign was lowered for the final time in front of hundreds of guests, ending an era which began with the launch of her sister ship HMS Invincible in 1977.
Lady Sarah Chatto, whose mother Princess Margaret launched HMS Illustrious in 1978, was joined by 15 of the ship’s 17 former commanding officers at the decommissioning ceremony today.
Captain Mike Utley, the ship’s current commanding officer, said:
It has been a great honour to be the final commanding officer of HMS Illustrious. This is a symbolic day in the history of the Royal Navy as we lower the ensign for the final time on the Invincible Class.
We say goodbye to Illustrious with sadness and pride as we remember her outstanding history, but also excitement as the Royal Navy looks to the future and HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Illustrious is being replaced as the nation’s helicopter carrier by HMS Ocean which has just undergone a £65 million refit.
Ocean will eventually be replaced by two new 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers being built for the navy; HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
The Ministry of Defence is looking to preserve HMS Illustrious as a lasting tribute to the personnel who served on all 3 of the Invincible Class aircraft carriers.
Bids from private companies, charities and trusts to secure her future are currently being considered, and a condition of sale is that HMS Illustrious must remain in the UK.

General Dynamics Delivers Submarine North Dakota

General Dynamics

Groton August 29, 2014 - General Dynamics Electric Boat today delivered the nuclear-powered attack submarine North Dakota (SSN-784) on time and more than $30 million below target cost. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (GD).
North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia Class, which provides the Navy with the capabilities required to retain undersea dominance well into the 21st century. North Dakota will join the fleet in a commissioning ceremony Oct. 25 at the Navy submarine base in Groton.
North Dakota is also the first of the eight-ship group of Virginia-class submarines known as Block III. These ships embody a Navy and industry commitment to reduce costs without decreasing capabilities through an initiative comprising a multi-year procurement strategy, improvements in construction practices and the Design For Affordability (DFA) program.
The DFA program focuses primarily on the redesign of the submarine's bow, lowering program costs by $800 million, increasing capability and providing the capacity for additional growth at no additional cost. This redesign replaces a sonar sphere with a Large Aperture Bow (LAB) Array and the 12 individual vertical-launch missile tubes with two Virginia payload tubes (VPTs), which will each initially carry six missiles in multiple all-up round canisters.
The new LAB Array eliminates hundreds of hull penetrations and replaces tranducers with lower cost, life-of-the-ship hydrophones. By nearly doubling the payload space available from 1,200 cubic feet with the 12 vertical launch tubes to 2,300 cubic feet, the VPTs will enable Virginia-class ships to deploy a wider variety of payloads.
"The full range of Block III improvements were successfully tested during North Dakota's sea trials," said Kurt Hesch, vice president and Virginia program manager, noting that the submarine received the highest quality score to date from the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey.
"This is an important accomplishment that reflects the skill and commitment of everyone involved in the Virginia-class submarine program. Maintaining this level of performance helps the Navy attain its shipbuilding goals and ensures our continuing success as a business."
Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding have delivered 11 Virginia-class submarines to the Navy: USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas (SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777), USS New Hampshire (SSN-778), USS New Mexico (SSN-779), USS Missouri (SSN-780), USS California (SSN-781), USS Mississippi (SSN-782) USS Minnesota (SSN-783) and North Dakota. Seven additional Block III submarines are under construction, while the 10 ships of the recently awarded Block IV contract will continue the two-per-year construction pace through 2018.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Missile System


Tucson August 27, 2014 - Raytheon Company delivered the first Block 2 variant of its Rolling Airframe Missile system to the U.S. Navy as part of the company's 2012 Low Rate Initial Production contract.  RAM Block 2 is a significant performance upgrade featuring enhanced kinematics, an evolved radio frequency receiver, and an improved control system.
"As today's threats continue to evolve, RAM Block 2's enhanced features give an unfair advantage to naval warfighters across the globe," said Rick Nelson, vice president of Raytheon Missile System's Naval and Area Mission Defense product line.  "Along with demonstrating a long-standing international partnership, the RAM program has a record of 91 consecutive months of contractual on-time deliveries, and continues its remarkable success rate of over 90 percent during flight tests."
RAM is a cooperative program between the U.S. and German governments with industry support from Raytheon and RAMSYS of Germany. The RAM Cooperative program has been in place for over 30 years and has enjoyed excellent integration and technology sharing between both countries.
The initial Block 2 delivery milestone was marked by a ceremony at Raytheon Missile Systems that was attended by U.S. and German naval dignitaries, and Raytheon leaders and RAM program and team members.
"It is a significant accomplishment for the RAM Program and the U.S. Navy to accept our first Block 2 Missiles on time and within budget," said USN CAPT John Keegan, RAM Major Program Manager. "It is extremely challenging to successfully transition from a development program to a production program.  Our success with Block 2 is testament to the outstanding cooperative effort across the entire international team and is indicative of the technical competence and rigor evident throughout the Program."

Delayed delivery of new equipment to the cruiser "Marshal Ustinov"

Russian Navy photo

August 27, 2014 - Delivery of some units on the missile cruiser "Marshal Ustinov" passing repair center repair "asterisk", lingers. Nevertheless, the company deliberately to finish the job in the previous time frame. 
Progress repair According to the official blog of the press service of "Sprockets". "Replaced more than a hundred kilometers of cable routes, - the report says. Mounted four of the six gas turbine, the fifth shipped the other day. Plant started painting the superstructure." Now there is a new build antenna systems, replacement of the defective cable. Under the electrical work presented five compartments in the presentation of eight. By the end nearing for the preparation of positions and cutting equipment for loading, the amount of which is estimated in hundreds of units. In the near future shipbuilders are ready to begin installation of antennas. "By the end of this year the main task remains the completion of all work under the reception on board the power" - note on the "star". Moreover, according to the press service, the sixth gas turbine was a delay. Designed for "Ustinov" unit fleet ordered to use on another ship, so the timing of its installation moved to the end of September. In addition, a six-month supply is delayed desalination plant. "These wires with a complete set of systems do not give the possibility to builders brew technology cuts. As a result, delayed the start of work on the formation of engine rooms, posts and flues, difficult and electrical work," - said on the "star". "Completion of the ship, meanwhile, remains the same - 2015 ", - said the press service. On the "Star" "Marshal Ustinov" came in July 2011. Cruiser passes at Severodvinsk shipyard restoration technical readiness with replacement navigation system. Initially renting "Ustinov" Navy assumed in 2014, but in late 2013 it became clear that the real volume of repairs far exceeded the originally planned. Therefore, the change was moved in 2015. cruiser "Marshal Ustinov" (Project 1164, code "Atlas") came into operation in the fleet in 1986. Displacement of the ship is 9800/11300 tonnes. Speed ??- 32 knots, cruising range - 6800 miles, autonomy - 30 days, the crew - 476 people, including 62 officers. The main weapon - cruise missiles "Basalt". It was assumed that the cruiser can be transferred from Severomorsk to Vladivostok to reinforce the group of surface ships of the Pacific Fleet. 

Global Hawk Variants Safely Surpass 100,000 Combat/Operational Support Hours

Northrop Grumman

San Diego August 27, 2014 - Two U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) high altitude long endurance (HALE) series safely surpassed 100,000 combat/operational support hours.
The Air Force Global Hawk fleet logged more than 88 percent of the global intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information-gathering and airborne communications missions. The Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator flew the remaining hours. Combat/operational support hours are tallied separate from noncombat support hours – the UAS surpassed 100,000 total hours in September 2013.
"Global Hawk has continuously and successfully supported overseas contingency operations since its first deployment to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks," said Jim Culmo, vice president, HALE Enterprise, Northrop Grumman. "Operating 11 miles above danger zones, Global Hawk is a strategic airborne asset with unprecedented endurance, range and persistence providing decision makers near real-time information from around the world."
The aircrafts' ISR missions support six combatant commands and have included contingency missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Nigeria. Global Hawk variants carry a variety of ISR sensor payloads that allow military commanders to gather near real-time imagery and use radar to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground. The system also provides airborne communications capabilities to military units in harsh environments.

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