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.

Chairman McKeon Statement on ISIS

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Wins Hire A Patriot's "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty" Award

San Diego August 26, 2014 - Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider, is pleased to announce that it won Hire A Patriot's 2014 "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty" Award. The award is given to the employer that has exhibited the highest dedication and support of active military, veterans and their families. Kratos has been a key supporter of Hire A Patriot and its career fairs for veterans over the past three years.
Marc Shapiro, Kratos' Vice President of Human Resources, who accepted the award on behalf of Kratos, said, "Kratos is very proud of its history of supporting veterans and their families throughout the United States, whether by hiring veterans, supporting their families, or sponsoring or donating to many worthwhile veterans' organizations. We continue to be a prime sponsor of the annual San Diego Veterans Day parade, received honors from the State of California for our high level of support for the Guard and Reserve and were awarded the Meritorious Support of Veterans Award from the Veteran's Museum & Memorial Center. I am honored to accept the 2014 Hire A Patriot Award on Kratos' behalf."

Kelvin Hughes to co-exhibit with ECM Technologies at AAD 2014

Kelvin Hughes Logo

August 26, 2014 - Kelvin Hughes, a world leader in the design and supply of navigation and surveillance systems, will be co-exhibiting with ECM Technologies, Kelvin Hughes’ exclusive Land Based Security Systems representative in South Africa, at Africa, Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2014.
Kelvin Hughes will be demonstrating the company’s Single Mast Solution (SMS) at the event which is being held at Air Force Base Waterkloof, City of Tshwane, Centurion, South Africa from 17th to 19th September.
SMS is a lightweight, easily deployable, best-in-class radar platform that can be securely attached to any mast system – whether portable, vehicle-mounted or a fixed structure – and fitted with the company’s SharpEye™ SxV, an unrivalled, mobile radar with the capability to detect even small, fast-moving targets in adverse weather conditions. When combined with Kelvin Hughes’ CxEye™ control and integration software, the system offers full situational awareness by pulling together radar, video and electro-optical camera images that can be displayed on a laptop or touchscreen device.
Rupert Swinhoe-Standen, Kelvin Hughes’ Regional Business Manager – Security Systems, who will be conducting the live demonstrations of the SMS at AAD, will also be speaking at the Defence Symposium being hosted by ECM Technologies in tandem with AAD 2014. The ninth such Symposium to be hosted by ECM, the invitation-only event will be held at the CSIR International Conference Centre in Tshwane on 18th September. Mr Swinhoe-Standen will be delivering a presentation on Scalable Land Security Solutions as part of a programme of presentations on topics that include radar-based surveillance systems for protection of borders and critical infrastructure, next-generation night vision technologies, and complete CBRN solutions.
Russell Gould, Kelvin Hughes’ Chief Executive, commented, “AAD 2014 and the Defence Symposium will both offer us excellent opportunities to work with our South African partners, ECM Technologies, to promote the unrivalled benefits of our industry-leading SMS system within what is a very important and growing regional market.”

SCRA Wins Re-Compete for Navy Center of Excellence


Charleston August 26, 2014 - SCRA Applied R&D today announced that they have been selected to lead the Navy Shipbuilding and Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence. This is a U.S. Navy Manufacturing Technologies (ManTech) Center of Excellence, chartered by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The five year contract represents both a re-compete win and expansion of the Navy’s Center for Shipbuilding Technology (CNST), which SCRA Applied R&D has managed for the past 11 years. This award is for an Indefinite Quantity contract; the maximum dollar amount the Government may order under this contract is $99,000,000 (ninety nine million dollars).
SCRA Applied R&D will operate and provide technical oversight for the new center, which will develop and manage projects that support the Navy ManTech program. The Center will also execute special projects as may be directed by the Navy to meet new, emerging objectives. Previously limited to shipbuilding, the scope of this Center has been expanded to include all Navy platforms, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter.
SCRA Vice President Kevin Carpentier will serve as the Director of the new Center. He spent the last seven years as the CNST Director.
“SCRA Applied R&D is proud to continue its support to the Navy’s Manufacturing Technology program through the Navy Shipbuilding and Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence,” said Carpentier. “We will support the Navy and its warfighters by teaming with the industry’s best technology providers to reduce acquisition and life-cycle costs, improve capabilities and deliver exceptional value to the Navy.”
The U.S. Navy sponsors seven Centers of Excellence that develop technologies to ensure the U.S. Navy remains the most technologically-advanced Navy in the world. Two of the seven are led by SCRA and headquartered in South Carolina.

£1.18M Defence Export Order Secured By Gresham Power

Artist's impression of a new Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker completing a replenishment at sea with a type 45 Destroyer
Artist's impression of a new Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker conducting a replenishment with a type 45 Destroyer. Copyright BMT Defence Services

August 26, 2014 - Gresham Power Electronics, the Salisbury based Defence and Commercial power conversion specialist, has secured a £1.18M order to supply UPS systems to be fitted to MARS (Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability) tankers currently being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). .
To be delivered to the UK MoD, each MARS tanker requires a total complement of eight UPS systems of various power ratings. DSME are building four MARS tankers to support Type 45 Destroyers while at sea. These will be tasked with providing fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies in support of the Type 45 destroyer. Gresham Power has already provided a wide range of power conversion and distribution equipment to the Type 45 Destroyer fleet. 
Jake Moir, Managing Director of Gresham Power Electronics, comments; “After nine months of hard work by us and our Korean partner C&A Electric we are very pleased to have secured this important contract. This order will be a major part of our forward order book for the next two years and provide us with a platform to develop further new products for customers worldwide. Our defence business continues to grow and we now have export customers in markets that include Spain, France, Australia, India and now Korea.

First images taken with Exelis system on DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite released

Exelis photo
Rochester August 26, 2014 - DigitalGlobe has released the first images taken with the Exelis-built integrated, super-spectral imaging system on the WorldView-3 satellite, which launched last week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
“Exelis built and delivered a world-class imaging payload that will expand the applications for commercial satellite imagery and allow us to deliver more value to our customers”
The images, taken at 617 kilometers above earth, are of Madrid, Spain.
Exelis built the integrated, super-spectral imaging system consisting of a telescope, sensor and shortwave infrared (SWIR) system, making WorldView-3 the first high-resolution commercial imaging satellite to feature such capabilities and allowing DigitalGlobe to expand its imagery product offerings.
WorldView-3 collects imagery 31 centimeter resolution -- delivering 5 times the clarity of other commercial providers. With the most spectral diversity, the satellite’s SWIR bands will allow for accurate imaging through haze, fog, dust, smoke, and other airborne particulates.
“Exelis is proud to be a trusted ‘lifetime partner’ to DigitalGlobe, providing imaging systems for every satellite they have ever built,” said Rob Mitrevski, vice president and general manager of Exelis Geospatial Systems. “Our imaging systems represent the heart of every satellite in the DigitalGlobe constellation, and every one of these systems continues to collect imagery used by DigitalGlobe and its customers for timely, accurate, actionable information. WorldView-3 proudly follows in the path of these systems with new and enhanced capabilities.”
“Exelis built and delivered a world-class imaging payload that will expand the applications for commercial satellite imagery and allow us to deliver more value to our customers,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, DigitalGlobe’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re very pleased with the early performance of the imaging payload, and we look forward to delivering the unique geospatial products it will enable to our government and commercial customers.”
The new capabilities will help solve tough customer problems across a variety of applications, including accurate crop mapping; efficient site selection, exploration and environmental monitoring for the energy industry; and mineral identification and chemical measurements to support mining.
Other imaging systems provided by Exelis include those on DigitalGlobe’s IKONOS, QuickBird, WorldView-1, GeoEye-1 and WorldView-2 satellites. DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 satellite, planned for launch in mid-2016, will also carry an Exelis-built imager.

Monday, August 25, 2014

F-35 Flight Test Program Milestones Maturing Combat Capabilities

USN photo

Fort Worth August 25, 2014 - The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program continued a steady path of flight test milestones in August, including weapons separation, software compatibility and flight hours, all demonstrating program maturity.
"The test milestones are a direct result of the detailed planning, coordination and execution between various government teams and the integrated test force," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's Vice President for F-35 Test & Verification. "Every testing milestone demonstrates the development of the F-35 in successive steps toward enabling the U.S. Marine Corps to attain its F-35B Initial Operational Capacity (IOC) next year."
F-35A aircraft AF-1 accomplished its 400th flight during a successful GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) aircraft separation test on Aug. 13 at Edwards Air Force Base, California.  This was the first GBU-31 Mark-84 (2,000-pound guided munition) separation demonstration from the F-35.  Previous GBU-31 separations were with the BLU-109 (Bomb Live Unit) bomb body.
F-35B aircraft BF-1 and BF-4 completed "Mode 4" formation testing on Aug 9th, as required for Block 2B software capability. "In Mode 4 operations, the STOVL Propulsion System is engaged, the lift fan, roll post nozzle, and three-bearing-swivel nozzle are operating, and all propulsion system doors and inlets are open.  Flight testing validated the F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant's ability to operate well in this configuration during formation flight which supports operations around the ship; a key milestone for the F-35B path to IOC," McFarlan said.
F-35B aircraft BF-3 completed the 2B software fleet release weapon separation requirements for the F-35B with two successful AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Air Vehicle Instrumented (AAVI) separation flights on consecutive days, Aug. 14 and 15.  The AIM-120 radar-guided missiles were launched over the Atlantic Test Range. "2B software fleet release is critical to the warfighter because it delivers the first combat capability to our most dominant 5th generation platform. Weapons employment is one the most critical combat capabilities.  This culminates years of dedicated work that proves safe separation in 2B configurations and provides this capability and confidence to our customers," McFarlan said.
Along with the testing milestones, to date, the overall System Development and Demonstration (SDD) F-35A test fleet surpassed its 4,000th flight hour on Aug. 14 and in total, the F-35 Fleet has surpassed 19,500 flight hours, with more than 8,000 hours in SDD aircraft. F-35A aircraft AF-1 achieved its 400th flight milestone on Aug. 13; F-35A aircraft AF-4 surpassed 500 flight hours, Aug. 11 and F-35C aircraft CF-2 achieved 300 flights on Aug. 14.  
The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps' planned 2015 IOC, the U.S. Air Force and Navy intend to attain IOC in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

Navy Awards General Dynamics Bath Iron Works $100 Million Contract for LCS Planning Yard Services


Bath ME August 25, 2014 - The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a $100 million contract to provide planning yard services for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics.
Bath Iron Works, as the LCS Planning Yard, will provide maintenance and modernization support for all Navy LCS 1 and LCS 2 variant ships.  Work to be performed under this contract includes availability advanced planning, ship alteration design and logistics support, material support, ship planned maintenance, class services, onboard maintenance, and planning of all maintenance availabilities in the U.S. and abroad.
Bath Iron Works is also the planning yard for the DDG 51 and FFG 7 ship classes.
"We are pleased for the opportunity to apply our planning yard experience in support of the Navy's LCS program," said Bath Iron Works President Fred Harris. "We have been working hard to make every aspect of our business more affordable, enabling us to successfully compete for contracts like this. This award is a result of that work and we look forward to working with our industry partners to meet the needs of our U.S. Navy customer."
Bath Iron Works is the prime contractor under this contract, with partners General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Austal USA, CDI Corporation, and Marinette Marine Corp., a Fincantieri company.
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 ships. The LCS seaframes are outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission modules (which are made up of mission systems and support equipment), and can be changed out.
There are two variants of the LCS class, Freedom and Independence. This Planning Yard Services contract covers both variants. Bath Iron Works had previously been providing similar Interim Support Program services for the Independence variant. The Navy currently has four littoral combat ships in service and another twelve ships under contract for construction.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ecuador to Build Two DAMEN Stan Patrol 5009s for Coast Guard


August 22, 2014 - Damen has recently signed a contract with Astilleros Navales Ecuatorianos (Astinave) to construct two Damen SPa’s 5009 for the Ecuadorian Coastguard. The Ecuadorian shipyard will build both vessels locally with Damen Technical Cooperation, which is Damen’s method of ‘building on site’.
Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC) will supply Astinave with prefabricated kits to build both vessels. As well as the numerous advantages that local construction brings to the contract-signing table, DTC uses proven Damen designs that guarantee technical and operational performance. Due to the sheer complexity of building the Stan Patrol 5009, Damen’s agreement with Astinave includes on-site technical assistance during the construction and commissioning periods.
Although this latest contract represents the first Damen Stan Patrol 5009 for Astinave, the yard has built up considerable experience with Damen designs over the years. “We see Astinave not only as a client but also as a partner,” says Ezequiel Najmias, Damen Sales Manager Americas. “Our relationship with them started more than a decade ago when both parties signed a Strategic Alliance Framework Agreement.” Following the first building contract in 2007, “Astinave has built a great number of vessels in cooperation with Damen, including tugs, cutter suction dredgers, fast crew suppliers and patrol vessels.”
The Ecuadorian Coastguard will mobilise the two new Damen SPa’s 5009 for general patrol duties – benefitting from a top speed of 23 knots provided by four fixed-pitch propellers. They specified that both vessels had the capacity to accommodate 32 people operating for up to 30 days without external support – something that required a number of design adaptations. “Our most challenging modification was to change the standard accommodation layout to fit one extra bed in each room without losing comfort,” explains Mr Najmias. “By increasing the fuel capacity to 90m3, enlarging the storage and freezer rooms and installing a powerful water-maker, both vessels will be able to operate autonomously for 30 days.” Ecuador’s Coastguard already operates three Damen SPa’s 2606, with a fourth currently under construction at Astinave’s facilities on the banks of the Guayas River. After delivery of the two patrol vessels, the fleet will total six Damen builds.

NSWC Crane, Purdue to Collaborate on Showcasing, Moving Innovations to Commercialization

West Lafayette IN August 22, 2014 - Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue Research Foundation and Purdue's Discovery Park have signed a partnership intermediary agreement that will showcase the organizations' intellectual property to expedite and support the move of innovations to the public.
“Partnering with academia provides Crane a credible avenue to move even more innovative technology through the commercialization pipeline with a goal of increasing the number of licensing and startup deals for both organizations.”
"Crane has an incredible intellectual property portfolio, and we've had success at moving those technologies to the public," said Brooke Pyne from Crane's Technology Transfer Office. "Partnering with academia provides Crane a credible avenue to move even more innovative technology through the commercialization pipeline with a goal of increasing the number of licensing and startup deals for both organizations."
Under the agreement, NSWC Crane and Purdue will remain independent in ownership of their relative intellectual property, but Crane's intellectual property will be marketed alongside Purdue's innovations through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, which is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation.
"By showcasing Crane's intellectual property with Purdue's in our marketing databases, we are providing an even deeper pool of available innovations to established companies and startups looking for innovations to commercialize," said Dan Hasler, president and chief entrepreneurial officer of Purdue Research Foundation. "This partnership creates a unique opportunity for both of us and the people we serve. As Indiana's land-grant university, an important part of Purdue's mission is to help the residents of our state and beyond, and one way we can do this is by developing technologies to help improve lives and by using the commercialization to create startups and jobs for Hoosiers.
"Because much of Crane's and Purdue's research is focused on similar disciplines and industries, the partnership could lead to bundling Crane's and Purdue's licensing deals into one package."
NSWC Crane's strength in intellectual property includes technological advances for sensors, antennas and radar used for the Department of Defense and national security. Purdue's portfolio includes innovations in life sciences, engineering, agriculture, technology, IT, computer science and manufacturing.
Purdue promotes its innovations with FlintBox, an online tool; a Web page of available technologies; a monthly e-newsletter with over 100,000 subscribers; and an Innovation and Entrepreneurship landing page of resources for investors, entrepreneurs, researchers and potential collaborators. Purdue is reviewing other collaborative opportunities to promote its portfolio.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Beechcraft delivers T-6C+ trainers, King Air 350ER to Mexican Navy

Wichita Augs 21, 2014 - Beechcraft Corporation today announced it has delivered two Beechcraft T-6C+ military trainers ordered earlier this year to the Mexican Navy Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR), as well as one King Air 350ER, the second of four on order, as part of the Mexican Navy’s ongoing fixed-wing aircraft modernization program.
“Being chosen by the Mexican Navy for this modernization program shows a superior level of confidence not only in Beechcraft products to fill its mission requirements, but in the product support we’ll provide as part of the agreement,” said Russ Bartlett, president, Beechcraft Defense Company. “This is a great example of how militaries around the globe can take advantage of the broad product range and support that Textron Aviation can provide to meet different requirements.”
Bartlett also lauded the cooperation between SEMAR officials and the company in moving so swiftly from the T-6C+ contract award in March to delivery this month.


The newly delivered King Air is part of a four-aircraft contract signed earlier this year. The first King Air 350ER was delivered just a few months ago, and the remaining aircraft are expected to be delivered by early 2015. In addition to the aircraft, both contracts with SEMAR include parts support as well as training for pilots and mechanics.
The T-6C+ features a hard-point wing, Heads-Up Display, Up-Front Control Panel, an integrated glass cockpit and an advanced Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite that greatly expands advanced training opportunities. The systems are integrated with a Hands-On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS), providing the student pilot and instructor with a simpler interface to the digital cockpit. The open architecture design of the Cockpit 4000 provides the flexibility to expand capabilities and continuously meet current and future training needs.
The Beechcraft T-6 military training fleet has surpassed 850 aircraft worldwide with more than 2.5 million flight hours. The T-6 military trainer offers military operators worldwide the most proven and cost-effective primary aviation training system available today. Aircraft deliveries began in 2000 after the T-6 was selected to fill the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military customers worldwide have selected the T-6, including the NATO Flying Training in Canada Program, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force, the Royal Moroccan Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Mexican Air Force and the Mexican Navy.
King Air turboprops, which operate commercially and in all branches of the U.S. military, serve a variety of missions ranging from traditional passenger and cargo transport to electronic and imagery surveillance, air ambulance, airway calibration, photographic mapping, training and weather modification. The global fleet recently surpassed 60 million flight hours.

Kratos Receives $7.5 Million Electronic Attack Platform Related Contract Awards

San Diego August 21, 2014 - Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. announced today that its Electronic Products division has received orders valued at $7.5 million for the production of Integrated Microwave Assemblies (IMA) for two critical U.S. Navy platforms. These awards, from a follow-on customer, are related to continuing production on long term Electronic Attack (EA) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) airborne platforms. No additional details are being provided due to customer and other sensitivities.
Richard F. Poirier, President of Kratos' Electronic Products Division, commented, "These orders are the latest significant awards received from this prime contractor for complex integrated assemblies. The assemblies will be manufactured at Kratos' New England, Lancaster and CTI facilities and are critical elements of high performance sensor systems. Kratos has participated on these programs for many years and continues to be a valued supplier providing sophisticated subsystems for these U.S. Navy aircraft."

Northrop Grumman Wins US Navy CANES Shipboard Network Full Deployment Contract

San Diego August 20, 2014 - The U.S. Navy has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation as one of five contractors for the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) full deployment production contract to upgrade cybersecurity, command and control, communications and intelligence (C4I) systems across the fleet. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity multiple award contract has a potential value of $2.5 billion over eight years.
"Northrop Grumman is deeply committed to helping the Navy transform its afloat C4I computers and networks into a single integrated, cyber-protected computing network," said Sam Abbate, vice president and general manager, command and control division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "We look forward to continued collaboration with the Navy to deploy this crucial system to the fleet."
The CANES program eliminates many legacy, standalone networks and provides a common computing environment for dozens of C4I applications. This strengthens the network infrastructure, improves security, reduces existing hardware footprint and decreases total ownership costs. The CANES effort enhances operational effectiveness and quality of life for deployed sailors.
"CANES is a significantly faster, more secure and flexible network," said Dave Wegmann, director, maritime command and control systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "Our original network design remains important to ensure CANES affordability and agility in delivering the next generation of C4I capabilities."
Northrop Grumman uses the Modular Open Systems Approach-CompetitiveTM process for its CANES solution to achieve the lifecycle benefits of open-systems architecture and commercial off-the-shelf components and software. The strategic business and engineering process ensures vendor-neutral, enduring solutions that improve interoperability and lower the total cost of ownership.
The Navy selected Northrop Grumman for the design and development and limited deployment phase of CANES in early 2012.

CACI Awarded Prime Position on $37 Million Contract to Provide Worldwide Logistics Support to U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command

Arlington August 21, 2014 - CACI International Inc announced today it has been selected as a prime contractor to provide logistics support to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) on the Worldwide Logistics Services (WLS) contract. This five-year (one base plus four option years) multiple-award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a ceiling value of $37 million and represents continuing work in CACI’s Logistics and Material Readiness market area.
“With the Worldwide Logistics Services contract, CACI is pleased to continue our long-standing support for the Military Sealift Command. Our outstanding certifications and use of best practices will help increase the Navy’s capability to provide ships that are always ready for tasking around the globe.”
The Military Sealift Command is the leading provider of ocean transportation for the Navy and the rest of the Department of Defense (DoD), operating approximately 110 ships daily around the globe. The Command ensures DoD readiness by transporting military materials, such as fuel and equipment, and conducting specialized missions worldwide. On the WLS contract, CACI will support MSC’s mission by providing fleet logistics operations, acquisition logistics, sustainment logistics, logistics systems and data management, ordnance management, and supply chain management, among other logistics services.
CACI offers a depth of talent and experience gained over 23 years of delivering logistics solutions and services to MSC. The company blends functional and technical expertise in both logistics and engineering systems to integrate and enhance MSC’s flow of information between shipboard and shore-based personnel. Its consistent application of Software Engineering Institute CMMI®-DEV Maturity Level 3-compliant processes and ISO® 9001 best practices assures MSC of efficient systems development and continuous innovation and improvement.
John Mengucci, CACI’s Chief Operating Officer and President of U.S. Operations, said, “With the Worldwide Logistics Services contract, CACI is pleased to continue our long-standing support for the Military Sealift Command. Our outstanding certifications and use of best practices will help increase the Navy’s capability to provide ships that are always ready for tasking around the globe.”
According to CACI President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Asbury, “CACI’s continuing work with the Navy’s Military Sealift Command is a demonstration of our sustained growth in our Logistics and Material Readiness market area. The services we provide on the Worldwide Logistics Services contract – which will help the Navy to counter global terrorism and provide for our nation’s defense – align with our strategic goals to support our nation’s most critical priorities.”
CMMI is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark office by Carnegie Mellon University. ISO is a registered trademark of the International Organization for Standardization.

Two Pacific Fleet Project 971s Heading for Overhaul

RFS Samara. RIA photo

RFS Bratsk,

Two multi-purpose Project 971 nuclear submarines Samara and Bratsk of the Russian Pacific Fleet will be delivered to the city of Severodvinsk, a nuclear shipbuilding center in Russia’s northern Arkhangelsk region. They will be upgraded at the Zvezdochka military shipyard, the military shipyard’s press service told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.
A dock-ship will deliver nuclear submarines from the Far-Eastern port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Northern Sea Route.

Update on Congressional Activity Related to Submarines

As the FY15 defense bills move through Congress, we want to provide SIBC members with the status of submarine program funding and its potential impact on the submarine industrial base.

Update on FY15 Defense Bills and Submarine Program Funding
The defense authorization and appropriations committees in both the House and the Senate have largely supported the funding levels submitted by the President – and recommended by the SIBC – for the Virginia-class, Ohio Replacement and Virginia Payload Module (VPM) programs.

To date, only the U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of both bills.  The Senate bills have passed their respective committees but await votes by the full Senate.  Once passed by the Senate, both bills will have to be reconciled in conference committees before going to the President for his signature.

Continuing Resolution Likely
With Congress expected to be in session for only a couple weeks in September before recessing for the November elections, it is likely that a Continuing Resolution will be used to fund the Department of Defense, at least for a few months, beginning October 1st.

The uncertainty and possible reduced funding levels associated with one or more Continuing Resolutions can add significant risk to production plans.  As you continue to engage with your Senators and Representatives, we encourage you to seek their support for these vital submarine programs and to finalize both the FY15 Defense Authorization and Appropriations bills as soon as possible.

Congressional Recess: Opportunities for Site Visits
Hosting your representatives for site or plant visits is helpful in demonstrating the direct connection between support for submarine programs and local jobs.  While Congress remains in their districts during the current recess and again when they return home for the election recess, we encourage you to invite your representative to tour your facilities and meet with company executives and workers.

The three issue papers provided at Supplier Days and posted on the SIBC website continue to outline the three key submarine funding priorities for FY15.  We encourage you to use these papers in preparing for and conducting outreach to your congressional representatives.

Acquisition Update: National Security Cutter Program Continues Progress

National Security Cutter
Charlene James Benoit, great-great-niece of Capt. Joshua James, smashes a bottle across the bow of the Ingalls-built Coast Guard Cutter James. Supporting her are, from left, Capt. Andrew Tiongson, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. Huntington Ingalls photo by Lance Davis.

August 18, 2014 - Two Coast Guard National Security Cutters – James and Hamilton – are steadily advancing toward completion.

James, the fifth NSC, was christened at Ingalls Shipyards in Pascagoula, Miss., Aug. 16, 2014. Hamilton, the fourth NSC, completed acceptance trials Aug. 11-14, 2014.

NSC 5 is named for Capt. Joshua James, who is considered one of the most celebrated lifesavers in the world. His lifesaving career began at age 15 when he joined the Massachusetts Humane Society and ended with his death while on duty with the U.S. Life-Saving Service at age 75. James is credited with saving more than 600 lives during his time with the U.S. Life-Saving Service, which merged with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to create the modern U.S. Coast Guard.

James’ great-great-niece, Charlene James Benoit, serves as ship sponsor and performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s bow during the christening ceremony.

Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, Coast Guard vice commandant and the ceremony’s principal speaker, said the NSC will help the Coast Guard continue James’ legacy in the future. “The boundaries surrounding illegal migrant activity, weapons, drug smuggling and terrorism continue to blur and converge. The challenges created by that convergence require a 21st century Joshua James. We need his spirit and his adherence to our values. We need his adaptability, his staying power and his multi-mission focus.”

The NSC is designed to meet the changing needs of the Coast Guard, Neffenger said. “New challenges, driven by complex and uncertain times, require new ways of thinking, new strategies and the right platforms for 21st century mission execution. Platforms like the National Security Cutter.”

James was launched May 3, 2014, and is scheduled for delivery to the Coast Guard next summer.

Acceptance trials for the Hamilton were completed in Pascagoula and at sea in the Gulf of Mexico by the Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey. Acceptance trials are the final significant milestone before the government takes ownership of the new cutter. Representatives from the Board of Inspection and Survey inspected all of Hamilton’s systems, tested its shipboard equipment, examined the quality of the cutter’s construction and evaluated its performance and compliance with the contractual specifications to identify any noteworthy deficiencies that need to be corrected prior to delivery. Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in mid-September, with commissioning set for Dec. 6, 2014. Both Hamilton and James will be homeported in Charleston, S.C.

“Hamilton's acceptance trials demonstrated that Ingalls shipyard has built a superb ship that will endure for many decades,” said. Capt. Douglas Fears, prospective commanding officer of the Hamilton. “The exceptional craftsmanship in Hamilton will soon be met by the extremely talented Coast Guard men and women that will breathe life into this great ship. We are very excited to get Hamilton to sea and make the cutter's new home in Charleston.”

The fourth NSC is the latest in a storied line of Coast Guard cutters named for Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and the driving force behind the establishment of the Revenue Cutter Service, a precursor to the modern U.S. Coast Guard.

The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically sophisticated cutter in the Coast Guard fleet, capable of performing critical homeland security, law enforcement and national defense missions in the most demanding open ocean environments. The cutter is replacing the aging 378-foot High Endurance Cutters, which have been in service since the 1960s. It is 418 feet long, has a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles and endurance to perform 60- to 90-day patrols. The NSCs’ design provides better sea-keeping and higher sustained transit speeds, greater endurance and range, and the ability to launch and recover small boats from astern, as well as aviation support facilities and a flight deck for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The first three NSCs  – Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton – are commissioned and performing operations from their homeport of Alameda, Calif.

The keel for the sixth NSC, Munro, will be laid this October, and delivery is scheduled in 2016. A production contract for NSC 7, Kimball, was awarded March 31, 2014, with production to begin early next year and delivery in 2018. A contract option for the initial order of long lead time materials for NSC 8, Midgett, was exercised June 30, 2014. Long lead time materials includes steel plating, propulsion systems, marine turbine/diesel engines, air search radar, ship integrated control system, switchboards, generators and other items needed for production.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lockheed Martin completes acquisition of Zeta Associates

Zeta photo

August 20, 2014 - Lockheed Martin has completed the acquisition of Zeta Associates, Inc.
Founded in 1984, Zeta Associates specializes in technology that powers critical national security missions. Their highly-skilled workforce focuses on leading-edge software, communications and ground systems innovation to solve complex mission challenges. Zeta is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia and has operations in Denver, Colorado, as well as customer locations.
Zeta will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin reporting through the Corporation’s Space Systems business area.
The Zeta acquisition was originally announced June 30, 2014. The terms of the transaction are not material to Lockheed Martin.

Crowley Heavy Deck Strength Barge Helps Launch USS Montgomery

                                        Crowley photo.

August 15, 2014 - Crowley Maritime Corp.’s ocean class tugboat Ocean Sky and heavy lift barge 455-4, managed by the company’s Houston-based solutions group, provided support to shipbuilder Austal USA during the launch of the newly built U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Montgomery, last week in Mobile, Ala.
To facilitate the launch, the Montgomery was first moved from Austal’s shoreside assembly zone to the deck of Crowley’s 455-4, a feat that required hoisting the 1,600 metric-ton warship almost three feet off the ground and shifting it 400 feet on board the ballasted barge via self-propelled modular trailers (SPMTs). The 455-4 was moored adjacent to Austal’s assembly bay after having been delivered to the Port of Mobile by Crowley’s tug Ocean Sky. Once the Montgomery was securely on board the barge, local harbor tugs shifted the vessels to a nearby floating dry dock, BAE Systems’ Drydock Alabama. The dry dock was made level with the 455-4, and the Montgomery was then driven on board by the SPMTs. As the final step, the Drydock Alabama was submerged and the Montgomery safely entered the water for the first time.
“We listened to our customer’s needs, worked diligently to create a feasible solution and were able to help them fulfill their project goals on time and on budget,” said Crowley Vice President John Ara. “This is the beginning of what we hope is a long, supportive relationship with Austal USA, BAE and the U.S. Navy.”
Austal will utilize Crowley’s 455-4, which has deck strength of 4,200 pounds per square foot, in a similar capacity during the planned Sept. launch of the U.S. Navy’s (USN) spearhead class Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), Trenton. The JHSV will be used for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment when it enters service later this year.
The Montgomery is the second of ten 127-meter independence-variant LCS class ships Austal has been contracted to build for the USN and is the first Navy new-build of this kind for which Crowley has provided support services. The warship’s fast, agile, focused-mission platform is designed for operation in near-shore environments yet is capable of open-ocean operation. The ship is currently moored in the Mobile River in front of Austal USA’s facility, where it will undergo final outfitting and activation before sea trials and delivery to the Navy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Set to Deploy

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Sterett (DDG 104) operate together during a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of Southern California in May. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Kevin Harbach)

San Diego August 19, 2014 - The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group will depart Aug. 22 for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and embarked Destroyer Squadron 1 will deploy with guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Dewey (DDG 105).
Carl Vinson will also embark the aviation squadrons of CVW-17 which include the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the “Sunliners” of VFA-81, the “Stingers” of VFA-113, the “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA-94, the “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron 139, the “Sun Kings” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, the ”Red Lions” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15, the “Battlecats” of Helicopter Sea Maritime Strike Squadron 73, and Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30.
The strike group will deploy with approximately 6,200 Sailors and will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. Bunker Hill, Dewey, Gridley and Sterett, multi-mission ships that possess the Aegis Weapons System, will support Carl Vinson carrier operations and provide deterrence to potential adversaries, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas, and provide humanitarian assistance/disaster relief as necessary.

NUSHIP Canberra Embarks On Final Trials

Chris Sattler Photo

Melbourne August 18, 2014 - NUSHIP Canberra, the first of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships being built for the Australian Defence Force, has sailed on her final contractor sea trials before delivery to the Australian Government. 
The ship departed Williamstown shipyard on 12 August as planned with the trials taking place in both Port Phillip Bay and off the southern coast of New South Wales before returning to Williamstown around the end of August.
Final contractor trials involve testing of the combat and communication systems along with some platform systems trials.
Director of BAE Systems Maritime, Bill Saltzer, said: “This is the last major element of a very complex and comprehensive test program to prove the capabilities of the ship and its systems prior to delivery to our customer. 
“Getting this ship to this stage has been a collaborative effort between BAE Systems and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). Our two project teams have worked closely throughout the project and now we are in the home stretch for the Canberra.” 
Aboard NUSHIP Canberra for the final contractor trials are BAE Systems and DMO project personnel along with a number of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) officers and sailors who will crew the ship once delivered, as well as BAE Systems subcontractors Navantia, Saab, L3 and Teekay. 
The final trials also provide an ideal opportunity for a number of the crew to familiarise themselves with the ship following their training at the BAE Systems facility at Mascot, NSW, in which state-of-the-art simulation technology was developed and utilised to achieve technical competence in a cost-effective environment. 
As well as demonstrating the ship’s capabilities, the trials will provide the team with valuable feedback regarding the effectiveness of the training program. The utilisation and extent of virtual training within LHD has been a new approach for the RAN and the feedback received from the crew so far has been very positive. 
Mr Saltzer said work was also progressing well on NUSHIP Canberra’s sister ship, NUSHIP Adelaide: “In shipbuilding, there are always lessons learned on the first ship of a new class that can be implemented to achieve higher levels of productivity on the following ship or ships and this is certainly the case with NUSHIP Adelaide. The second LHD is coming together rapidly and is on track to be ready to start sea trials in the second quarter of next year.” 
The 27,000 tonne LHDs are the largest ships ever built for the ADF and will be operated by the RAN. BAE Systems is the Prime Contractor for the project. The main subcontractors are Navantia for the platform design and hull construction in Spain, SAAB as the combat system integrator and L3 for the internal and external communications systems. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

US and ROK Navies Sign ASW Charter to Increase Cooperation and Interoperability

Rear Admiral Lisa Franchetti
US Navy

Busan August 16, 2014 - Senior leaders from the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies signed a charter August 16 pledging to increase cooperation in future anti-submarine warfare training. 
The charter was signed during a special ceremony hosted by Vice Adm. Jung, Ho-Sup, commander of the Republic of Korea Fleet. Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti (pictured), commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, and Rear Adm. William Merz, commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, joined ROK navy leaders for the charter-signing ceremony. 
"Anti-submarine warfare is one of the most challenging yet critical tasks that our navies exercise," said Thomas. "It takes a strong combined body of talented people and a cooperative plan to work together to achieve our full potential in ASW capabilities."
The signing of the charter signifies the commitment by both navies to exchange knowledge and develop training scenarios that enhance proficiency in ASW skills. A cooperation committee and special working groups will be formed and will meet routinely to review progress in ASW cooperation initiatives. 
"The routine bi-lateral exercises that we conduct with the ROK navy are based on our mutual desire for continued improvement in all warfare areas, including ASW," said Cmdr. George Dolan, the CNFK assistant chief of staff for security cooperation. "We improve warfare skills by exchanging ideas, expertise, and working closely together at sea in the operational environment."
Frequent naval exercises conducted throughout the year provide many opportunities for the U.S. and ROK navies to train together and improve warfare proficiency. Each year, the two navies conduct approximately 20 bi-lateral exercises around the Korean peninsula to increase interoperability and operational readiness. 
These routine exercises are carried out utilizing diverse naval platforms ranging from guided missile destroyers and cruisers, aircraft carriers and amphibious ships, submarines, and a host of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. 
"We are always training with our U.S. Navy partners," said Cmdr. Kim, Beom Woo of the Republic of Korea Fleet headquarters. "The charter we signed today paves the way for a stronger partnership between our navies by enhancing our training opportunities at sea - where it really matters. This is how we keep our alliance strong and ready."

U.S. Navy to Test and Evaluate Lockheed Martin Industrial Exoskeletons

Lockheed Martin

Orlando August 18, 2014 - Lockheed Martin has received a contract through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) for the U.S. Navy to evaluate and test two FORTIS exoskeletons. This marks the first procurement of Lockheed Martin's exoskeletons for industrial use. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The FORTIS exoskeleton is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton that increases an operator's strength and endurance by transferring the weight of heavy loads from the user's body directly to the ground.
The objective of this effort is to mature and transition exoskeleton technology to the Department of Defense industrial base and perform testing and evaluation for industrial hand-tool applications at Navy shipyards.
"Ship maintenance often requires use of heavy tools, such as grinders, riveters or sandblasters," said Adam Miller, director of new initiatives at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Those tools take a toll on operators due to the tools' weight and the tight areas where they are sometimes used. By wearing the FORTIS exoskeleton, operators can hold the weight of those heavy tools for extended periods of time with reduced fatigue."
The FORTIS exoskeleton augments the strength and endurance of maintenance personnel in the physically demanding shipyard environment. Because its ergonomic design moves naturally with the body and allows operators to maintain flexibility, operators are not hindered by the exoskeleton. This means operators can work longer and more effectively with reduced fatigue from overuse.
Lockheed Martin has been investing in exoskeleton research and development for more than five years, most recently through the NCMS Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA) program. These investments have led to advancements in powered and unpowered exoskeleton systems for applications ranging from military to industrial.
"We are pleased that once again a technology advanced through our highly successful CTMA program will be put into commercialization," said Rick Jarman, president and chief executive officer of NCMS. "The Lockheed Martin FORTIS exoskeleton contract is just another example of how collaboration around research and development speeds the time to market for these important innovations. We applaud Lockheed Martin for seeing the value in our CTMA program."

Draken International to Exhibit at 2014 Tailhook Reunion and Air Force Association Air & Space Conference

Insert Logo Here
Tailhook Assn

Lakeland FL August 18, 2014 - Draken International, the leading provider of 4th generation tactical flight support in the world, will be exhibiting at two upcoming trade shows in the US. The first appearance will be at the 2014 Tailhook Reunion in Reno, Nevada September 4-7, 2014. Draken will follow up this appearance with a visit to the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference in Washington, DC from September 15-17, 2014.
The Tailhook Association is an "independent, fraternal, nonprofit organization internationally recognized as the premier supporter of the aircraft carrier and other sea-based aviation." The Air Force Association (AFA) is a "non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation." Both events are widely attended by active-duty and former military personnel.
At both events, Draken will be showcasing the company's growing fleet of over 70 tactical jet aircraft as well as their recent expansion in capabilities. Draken recently announced the purchase of up to 28 Aero Vodochody L-159E ALCA fighter aircraft as part of an historic agreement with the manufacturer. This agreement also establishes Draken as the exclusive distributor, manufacturer and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider for Aero Vodochody in North and South America.
Draken now owns and operates the largest fleet of privately-owned ex-military aircraft in the world and uses these assets to provide a cost-effective tactical flight support solution to support the US military and its allies. The cost savings available to militaries across the globe by utilizing tactical flight support is overwhelming. Prior to Draken's founding, the application of contract air services was limited to a handful of Lear Jets and Korean War vintage aircraft performing target towing and basic electronic warfare mission sets. Draken has set a new standard in the emerging tactical air services industry by delivering an extensive fleet of aircraft with 4th generation capabilities, flown by world-class, highly-trained pilots and offered at a significant cost-savings over the use of military assets.