Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Virginia-Class Submarine John Warner (SSN 785) Launched for Final Outfitting and Testing

The 7,800-ton Virginia-class submarine John Warner (SSN 785) was moved with the help of three tugboats to Newport News Shipbuilding’s submarine pier, where final outfitting, testing and crew certification will take place over the next six months. SSN 785 is the first Virginia-class submarine to be named for a person. Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII

Newport News September 17, 2014 - Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that the Virginia-class submarine John Warner (SSN 785) was launched into the James River on Sept. 10 at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division, kicking off the final outfitting, testing and crew certification phase of construction prior to sea trials next year.
"The John Warner team has made tremendous progress over the last year," said Jim Hughes, Newport News' vice president of submarines and fleet support. "To see the submarine afloat in the James River just days after the christening is testament to the dedication and hard work of both the shipbuilders here at Newport News, as well those at our partner yard, Electric Boat."
John Warner will be the sixth Virginia-class submarine to be delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News. Since construction began in 2010, nearly 4,000 shipbuilders have worked on Warner. The submarine, the first Virginia-class submarine to be named for a person, is on schedule to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2015.
Once floating, the approximately 7,800-ton submarine was moved with the help of three tugboats to the shipyard's submarine pier, where final outfitting, testing and crew certification will take place over the next six months.
"Having the submarine in the water allows us to test the remaining systems and improves the fidelity of the training that we are doing in preparation for crew certification," said Cmdr. Dan Caldwell, the submarine's prospective commanding officer. "The ship's launching is an important milestone that puts us one step closer to our ultimate goal of taking this ship out to sea."

French Navy Conducts First Iraq Reconassiance Flight

(GOOGLE Translation) A maritime patrol aircraft  Atlantique 2  today conducted a reconnaissance mission about 10 hours in the Iraqi sky. Deployed in the UAE since the beginning, this plane was on the Navy until maritime reconnaissance flights in the Persian Gulf and the northern Indian Ocean, for missions of knowledge and anticipation. With such capacity for taking images both day and night and intelligence capabilities, this aircraft belongs to the 23F-based fleet Lann Bihoué (Morbihan). It currently operates from 104 Al Dhafra Air Base where he is sent.  French Navy photo.

NOAA team reveals forgotten ghost ships off Golden Gate

The engines of the tankers Frank H. Buck (above) and Lyman Stewart are visible at low tide off San Francisco’s Lands End, inside the waters of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park photo.

San Francisco September 16, 2014 - A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco’s Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the “mystery wreck.” The researchers also located the 1863 wreck of the clipper ship Noonday, currently obscured by mud and silt on the ocean floor.
These and other shipwreck investigations mark the first mission of a two-year project to locate, identify and better understand some of the estimated 300 wrecks in Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and the adjacent Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
“The waters of the sanctuary and the park are one of the great undersea museums in the nation,” said James Delgado, director of Maritime Heritage for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “These wrecks tell the powerful story of the people who helped build California and opened America to the Pacific for nearly two centuries. Finding the remains of these ships links the past to the present.” 
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the U.S. National Park Service, which began researching the wrecks in the 1980s, published the first detailed inventory and history of the submerged heritage of the region in 1990. Since then, Robert Schwemmer, project co-leader and NOAA maritime archaeologist, has conducted new research in archives around the world, and interviewed fishermen and pioneering wreck divers like Bruce and Robert Lanham of San Francisco.

SS Silja. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park photo.

The Lanham brothers have discovered a number of historic Bay-area wrecks. Bruce Lanham joined the recent NOAA expedition, and with his brother led the NOAA team to a  widely scattered wreck site they believed was the Selja. In 1910 the steamer Selja sank in a fatal collision, which featured prominently in a legal case that ultimately was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court over a key aspect of maritime law, the “rule of the road.”
“Bruce and Bob were crucial to the success of the mission as was volunteer Gary Fabian, who re-analyzed hours of NOAA sonar data to pinpoint wreck sites,” said Schwemmer.
One of the targets Fabian pointed out was the right size and in the right location to be the clipper ship Noonday, lost in 1863 and part of the fleet of fast-sailing vessels that brought men and supplies to California during and after the Gold Rush. “Noonday Rock,” north of the Farallones, was named for the wreck.
In addition to the newly identified ships, Vitad Pradith, a researcher with NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey Navigation Response Team 6, completed the first-ever sonar survey of the submerged portions of the wrecks of the tankers Frank H. Buck and Lyman Stewart. The engines of both vessels are visible at low tide off San Francisco’s Lands End, inside the waters of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
“Buck and Stewart are probably the best known wrecks in the park,” said Stephen Haller, park historian, who joined the project team on the just-completed mission. “We now have a better understanding of how the two wrecks lie next to each other, and what has survived beneath the surface.”
The NOAA team used remote controlled cameras and sensing equipment and will continue to analyze data from the recent dives, conduct additional research, and plan for the next phase. Brian Johnson, Gulf of the Farallones sanctuary deputy superintendent, said findings from current and future research expeditions will be shared with the public.
“The shipwrecks off the Golden Gate are places to explore, discover and appreciate our country’s maritime cultural heritage,” Johnson said. “Through the study, protection and promotion of this diverse legacy, Americans can learn more about our shared past.”

KONGSBERG contracted by US Navy to test NSM from Littoral Combat Ship

September 8, 2014 - Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (KONGSBERG) is contracted by the US Navy to test fire KONGSBERG`s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) under the Foreign Comparative Testing program. The firing was requested by the US Navy to demonstrate the capability to engage a surface target at a range of 100 nautical miles from an LCS class ship. The test is planned to be conducted during September this year from the USS Coronado, an Independence-class LCS.
This demonstration follows a successful NSM live fire event from the Royal Norwegian Navy´s Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate witnessed by the US Navy during the recently completed Rim of the Pacific 2014.
“We are very pleased that the US Navy has decided to evaluate the NSM missile. This contract does not however include any commitment for the US Navy beyond the test, but confirms NSM`s unique capabilities and the test will enable the US Navy to study it closer in a realistic scenario”, says Harald Ånnestad, President Kongsberg Defence Systems.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

International Read an eBook Day Debuts September 18

Tell your story

Cleveland September 16, 2014 - Thursday, September 18 will mark the first International Read an eBook Day, an annual holiday to celebrate and raise awareness for reading on digital devices. In recent years, the popularity of eBooks has soared, with 28 percent of adults aged 18 and older reading at least one eBook in 2013, according to Pew Research. Readers can access eBooks on any mobile device, computer or tablet, anytime, anywhere.
Readers around the world are encouraged to take part in the largest digital reading event by choosing from millions of free eBooks from their local library or purchasing an eBook from a retailer online. Throughout September 18, OverDrive will be celebrating the holiday by giving away tablets and devices every hour on and through social media to readers who tell their story of what eBooks mean to them. Readers can use the hashtag #eBookDay on Facebook or Twitter to tell their story, or comment directly at
eBooks have proven to be a convenient, beneficial complement to traditional, physical books. When physical books are not available or practical -- such as when you'd like to carry many at once, or if you can't make it to a store or library -- eBooks offer a great alternative for instant access to reading. Also, studies have shown that the adjustable text size, lighting options, and anonymity of eBooks are particularly beneficial for those with limited visibility and reluctant readers.
To participate in the fun or learn how to get started, visit

Enhanced F-35 Lightning II Logistics System Delivered to Flight Test Locations

F-35 Partners for Progress in Canada
Lockheed Martin

Edwards AFB September 16, 2014 - Lockheed Martin delivered the next evolution of the F-35 Lightning II's information technology backbone called the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS). Following validation at test sites, the software will be installed at all F-35 locations and deployed for military operations beginning in 2015.
Military services manage their F-35 fleets through logistics and operational data analysis provided by ALIS. As the F-35 fleet management tool, ALIS integrates preventative maintenance, flight scheduling and the mission planning system. Pilots plan and debrief missions, and maintenance professionals sustain the F-35 using ALIS.
During flight test operations, the military will confirm new ALIS capabilities, including high-speed data download for increased aircraft availability. The release also provides each nation flying the F-35 with advanced reporting features for fleet management and trend analysis.
"The men and women who will take the F-35 into operations are charting a new course for fighter aircraft, from tactics development to fleet sustainment," said Mary Ann Horter, vice president of F-35 Sustainment Support at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. "ALIS provides them with a complete picture of the fleet's status so that they are equipped with the information needed to make proactive decisions and keep the jets flying."
The F-35 is the first tactical aviation system to have sustainment tools engineered in concert with the aircraft for efficiency and cost effectiveness. ALIS is currently operating at nine locations supporting more than 12,000 sorties to date. Compared to previous aircraft, a higher fidelity of information about the F-35 fleet is tracked within ALIS to reduce operations and maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability.
Following the U.S. Marine Corps' planned July 2015 initial operating capability, the U.S. Air Force and Navy are planning initial operations in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

Kratos Receives $4.8 Million Unmanned Aerial Drone Control System Delivery Order

San Diego September 16, 2014 - Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that its Micro Systems, Inc. subsidiary of the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division (KUSD) recently received a delivery order from the U.S. Navy valued at $4.8 million for unmanned aerial drone system command and control systems and services. Under the new contract award, Kratos will provide engineering support and develop upgrades to unmanned aerial drone command and control electronics and related ground control stations. Kratos' Unmanned Systems Division is a premier provider of high performance unmanned drone aircraft and these systems' related avionics, electronics, command and control systems, solutions, services and logistics.
Kevin Ferguson, Senior Vice President of Micro Systems, Inc., said, "Micro Systems is proud to have received this recent delivery order from this valued customer. We look forward to continuing our long and highly successful relationship with the U.S. Navy's Aerial Target & Decoy Systems Program Office. We believe that our business is very well positioned to meet or exceed our customers' requirements for high performance unmanned aerial drone command and control electronics and support services."