Sunday, November 30, 2014

Royal Navy Frigate to Arrive in Havana on Sunday

UK Royal Navy Frigate to Arrive in Havana on Sunday
HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 28 (acn) Up next, excerpts of an official note issued by the Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces on the arrival on Sunday, November 30, of a frigate of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom.
The entry to Havana's port on an official visit of the HMS Argyll frigate of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom has been scheduled for Sunday morning.
During its stay in Cuba, the English sailors will carry out a program of activities that will include courtesy visits to the Head of the Revolutionary Navy and the President of the Provincial Assembly of the People's Power of Havana, and will tour places of historic and cultural interest.
The population will be able to visit the ship from 9: 00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. that same day.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

From Pole to Pole, Richard E. Byrd Sets Navy Exploration Records

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd, photographed at the Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 10, 1925. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

History may have given naval aviator/navigator extraordinaire Richard E. Byrd a mulligan for his flight over the North Pole, but there has never been any question about his historic flight over the South Pole shortly after midnight on Nov. 29, 1929, 85 years ago today.
And as it is with most great achievements, it came as a result of a life-changing event.
When it comes to lucky breaks, Richard E. Byrd had plenty of them. He was born into one of the founding families of Virginia, a family that dabbled in politics and publishing. That sort of privilege allowed a teenage Byrd to travel alone to visit relatives in the Philippine Islands. He wrote of his experiences, published in his family’s newspapers, and returned home a year later smitten by ships and the sea. Byrd attended Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia for a year before entering the U.S. Naval Academy at the age of 20.
Not all of his breaks, however, were fortuitous. More drawn to sports than academics, Byrd broke his right ankle while playing football at the Academy. As captain of his gymnastics team, he shattered that right ankle again after falling 13 feet while performing a daring routine off the high rings. Although recommended for “retirement” due to the injury, Byrd persevered and graduated from the Academy in 1912. It was during his stint on the battleship Wyoming (BB 32) when Ensign Byrd suffered yet another injury to his weakened leg. That set into motion his retirement from active duty on March 15, 1916, and what appeared to be the end of his sea-faring career.
Au contraire, mon cheri, the Navy said two months later when the sea service recalled Byrd to limited service active duty as Instructor-Inspector of Naval Militia, Providence, East Providence, Bristol and Newport, R.I. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Byrd organized a commission on training camps.
So where might a naval officer with weakened leg best serve his country sitting down, other than behind a desk? As a naval aviator.
Byrd attended flight training at Pensacola, Fla., and that was where he met fellow aviator and comrade-in-air Floyd Bennett. Byrd was designated Naval Aviator No. 608 on April 17, 1918 and served during the remainder of World War I as Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Air Stations in Canada.

Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd, (left) and Boatswain E. E. Rober, (right), take observations from an airplane to determine their position. The sextant Byrd is using in the picture is the one he used in his first Arctic Expedition. Undated photograph. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Lt. Cmdr. Byrd’s aviation skills were exceeded, however, by his navigational skills. In planning and executing antisubmarine patrols, Byrd pioneered techniques for navigating over the ocean at night, which included drift indicators and bubble sextants.
He proposed and devised a plan for a transatlantic flight, which resulted in the historic NC-4 flying boats flight, the first crossing of the Atlantic by air in 1919. After studying in England at the Royal Air Force School of Aerial Navigation, Byrd helped to establish naval reserve air stations throughout the United States.
Another break Byrd’s career came in 1925 when he was appointed navigator of the lighter-than-air craft Shenandoah (ZR-1) proposed flight over the North Pole. The expedition was canceled when the craft was damaged in a storm.
With an explorer’s passion and his connections to the wealthy, Byrd began to fundraise for his own Navy flight with heavier-than-air craft over the North Pole. He obtained funds from private sources to pay for the expedition and borrowed equipment such as planes, tractors, and ships from government agencies. Byrd pitched the idea to Secretary of Navy Curtis D. Wilbur, arguing the arctic regions should be explored, and, well, it wouldn’t hurt to take the wind out of the Army’s sails on their claims of having air superiority. Wilbur agreed and after getting the nod from President Calvin Coolidge, Byrd’s expedition was a go.
Except he had a lot of competition for resources, most notably from Naval Reservist Lt. Cmdr. Donald MacMillan who had been with Cmdr. Robert E. Peary April 6, 1909 when he first set foot on the North Pole. The veteran explorer already had sponsorship by the National Geographic Society and E.F. McDonald Jr., CEO of the Zenith radio manufacturing firm and a fellow lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve.
Byrd joined forces with the MacMillan Expedition. It was an uneasy alliance, with MacMillan in charge of the overall expedition and Byrd serving as commanding officer of the military personnel. Although a flight to the North Pole was never achieved during the joint venture, Byrd and Bennett completed aviation surveys over Ellsmere Island and the interior of Greenland. After the expedition returned to the states in the fall of 1925, Byrd’s first story appeared in the National Geographic Magazine, beginning a valuable association with the National Geographic Society that continued over the next three decades.
The following year, navigator Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett took off from King’s Bay, Spitzbergen, 750 miles from the Pole, May 9, 1926. After 7 hours of flight they were over the North Pole. Byrd, the first man to fly over the Pole, was second only to Peary to reach that point. Byrd and Bennett returned home as heroes, were given the Medal of Honor and the first of his three New York ticker tape parades. Many now question Byrd’s claim for that North Pole flight, based on discrepancies between his hand-written notations and those published later, and the top flight speed of the plane.
In 1926 Byrd acquired an improved three engine Fokker and named it America, and prepared for a nonstop transatlantic flight to establish the feasibility of regular passenger service across the Atlantic. However, while bad luck delayed Byrd, Charles Lindbergh took off from New York on May 20, 1927 and landed in Paris 33 hours later. America departed New York June 29, 1927, found Paris fogged in, and so landed in the ocean just off the French coast. Cmdr. Byrd and his three crewmen were rescued, taken to Paris, and then returned to an enthusiastic welcome in New York, his second ticker-tape parade.

Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd arrives on the dock at San Pedro, Calif. accompanied by his dog “Igloo.” He would soon board a ship that will take him to the scene of the beginning of his first Antarctic Expedition, Oct. 11, 1928. NHHC photo

Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition, consisting of City of New York and Eleanor Bolling, departed the United States Aug. 28, 1928; steamed via the Panama Canal and New Zealand; and, on Jan. 1, 1929, established a base named Little America on the face of the Ross Ice Shelf near the Bay of Whales, Antarctica. The base was made of prefabricated buildings that included housing quarters, a library, hospital, radio laboratory, photography lab and mess hall. Some were igloos with tarps. Many were connected by snow tunnels, for good reason.
During the expedition, subzero temperatures were the norm, with minus 72.2 degrees Fahrenheit recorded July 28, 1929. According to one of the expedition meteorologists, a 25-mph wind coupled with a minus 64 temperature, also in July, created a wind-chill equivalent of less than minus 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature was 17 degrees Fahrenheit a few weeks later on Aug. 19.
Although well-equipped and with lots of personnel, Byrd was without his long-time, trusted pilot, Floyd Bennett, who had died from pneumonia just months before. Byrd made sure Bennett would be part of his historic flight, naming his ski-equipped tri-motored monoplane Floyd Bennett.
It was in this plane that Byrd and three others – pilot Bernt Balchen, co-pilot and radioman Harold June and aerial photographer Capt. Ashley McKinley, with his Navy-issued Fairchild K-3 camera, took off from Little America at 3:29 p.m. Nov. 28, 1929 headed for the South Pole.
After dropping supplies for a geological party, the Floyd Bennett climbed to 9,000 feet but was still shy of the 11,000 altitude needed to get over the pass at the head of Liv Glacier and reach the Polar Plateau.
Empty gasoline tins were dropped, as well as more food and the plane made it through the pass. At a little past midnight, Byrd and his crew in the Floyd Bennett came upon the South Pole, where a weighted American flag was dropped. At 1:25 a.m., they headed back to Little America. After a short refueling with gasoline cached at the foot of Liv Glacier, the plane returned to its base camp at 10:10 a.m., 18 hours and 41 minutes after leaving the previous day.

Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd, dressed in furs with his dog “Igloo” outside a hut during his first Antarctic Expedition, April 12, 1930. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

The expedition was far from over. By the time Byrd and his expedition returned to New York on June 18, 1930, they had:

  • Discovered Jan. 27, 1929 at 4,000 feet in altitude a new mountain range and named them the Rockefeller Mountains;
  • Completed a triangulation survey March 13 of the Rockefeller Mountains.
  • Supported a six-man geological survey party of the Queen Maud Mountains with dropping of supplies and equipment along the 1,500 mile course over 2 ½ months.
  • A flight Dec. 5, 1929 that discovered a body of water named Sulzberger Bay, the Paul Block Bay and a glacier named for his pilot Balchen with its associated mountain range the Edsel Ford Range.
  • On Dec. 21, 1929, the geological party claimed all land east of 150 degrees west as Marie Byrd Land (named after Byrd’s wife) and the territory for the United States.

After this expedition, Byrd was promoted to rear admiral and treated to his third ticker-tape parade, the most by any individual.
In 1933-35 he led a second expedition to Antarctica. Living at an advanced base to record weather data during the long winter night, Byrd nearly died from carbon monoxide. Although rescued in time, he suffered from the ill effects of the poisoning for the rest of his life.
Byrd’s third expedition consisted of the Navy commissioned and manned Bear (AG-29) and Department of the Interior’s North Star. Two wintering over bases were established and scientific investigation was intensified.
During World War II, Admiral Byrd studied and reported on their suitability for airfields.
After the war ended, Byrd resumed polar exploration. During Operation “Highjump” he led an expedition of 4,700 men and modern support equipment in 13 ships to the Antarctic. They explored much of the little known continent and added greatly to man’s knowledge of the region.
In 1954 the Secretary of Defense agreed to furnish logistical support for American scientists in the Antarctic for the International Geophysical Year which would begin on 1 July 1957. President Eisenhower appointed Byrd, Officer-in-Charge of U.S. Antarctic programs.
Admiral Byrd remained active in exploration of Antarctica until he died in his home at Boston on March 11, 1957.

Friday, November 28, 2014

MBDA’s Sea Ceptor selected for Brazilian Navy’s next generation corvette


November 28, 2014 - The Brazilian Navy has selected MBDA’s Sea Ceptor to provide the local area air defence for its next generation Tamandaré class corvettes. After the UK’s Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), Brazil’s is now the third navy to have chosen Sea Ceptor. With discussions also well advanced with other leading navies around the world, Sea Ceptor is rapidly establishing a significant user community.
A production contract was awarded by the UK MoD in September 2013 for Sea Ceptor to provide the next generation Air Defence capability and so replace the Seawolf system on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates from 2016 onwards. Sea Ceptor will subsequently be transferred to the Royal Navy’s new ships as they start entering service, when the Type 23s are replaced by the future Type 26s. This long term commitment to Sea Ceptor by the Royal Navy is a solid assurance to each new member of the weapon’s user community of the longevity of this new system over the years to come.


Sea Ceptor provides all-weather, night and day, 360° local area air defence coverage against multiple simultaneous  targets  including sea-skimming anti-ship missiles,  helicopters  and fast combat  jets.  In facing saturating attacks posed by a range of diverse threats, Sea Ceptor has a clear advantage thanks to its advanced technology, active radar seeker. The weapon is also capable of engaging surface targets.
A major feature lies in Sea Ceptor’s soft launch technology which does away with the need for a launcher efflux management system, thereby reducing overall mass and onboard footprint characteristics. This allows greater flexibility for the customer in choosing the weapon’s installation position, a particularly important feature for smaller vessels. It also allows for easy installation as a retrofit on older ships.

Recapping Indian Navy Accidents

HMAS Canberra joins the fleet

Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Chloe Oliver with the Australian White Ensign where it will be hoisted for the first time in the newly commissioned HMAS Canberra. (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Chloe Oliver with the Australian White Ensign where it will be hoisted for the first time in the newly commissioned HMAS Canberra.

The Governor General of Australia, together with the Prime Minister of Australia, were the guests of honour today as Australia’s first Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) was welcomed into service in the Royal Australian Navy.
The Australian White Ensign was raised for the first time, signalling that HMAS Canberra (III) was formally commissioned into the Fleet.
Leading Seaman Communications and Information Systems Stewart Thurlow raises the Australian White Ensign onboard HMAS Canberra during the commissioning ceremony, Fleet Base East, Sydney.
Leading Seaman Communications and Information Systems Stewart Thurlow raises the Australian White Ensign onboard HMAS Canberra during the commissioning ceremony, Fleet Base East, Sydney.
Navy, Army and Air Force members of ship’s company lined the aircraft hangar as invited guests witnessed the historic event.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett said that the commissioning was a step towards developing the future of the Navy.
“HMAS Canberra is an exciting addition to the Royal Australian Navy. This very capable ship will serve the nation well for decades to come,” he said.
Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Sadleir said it was also a significant moment for the tri-service ship’s company who had been training for months in preparation for the introduction of the LHD.
“It was a proud and emotional experience for me to stand with 400 exceptional members of my crew today.
“Through the efforts of many organizations, this outstanding ship is now a reality,” said Captain Sadleir.
The ship brings a significant increase in amphibious potential to the Australian Defence Force.
“We know it’s an awesome ship with huge capability, but the next step is to go to sea and test procedures, refine and consolidate, so we can be ready when the nation needs us,” he said.
Leading Seaman Communications Information Systems Stuart Thurlow had the proud role of breaking the ensign for the first time.
Captain Jonathan Sadleir, AM, RAN, is handed the Commissioning Order by Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC and Bar at the commissioning of HMAS Canberra in Sydney.
Captain Jonathan Sadleir, AM, RAN, is handed the Commissioning Order by Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC and Bar at the commissioning of HMAS Canberra in Sydney.

“I remember one of the first briefings my class received during recruit training back in 2009 was a White Paper presentation on the introduction of the LHDs, and I remember thinking how much I would love to be part of the commissioning crew,” said Leading Seaman Thurlow.
“Not only having been able to do that, but to have such an important role today such as raising the Australian White Ensign for the first time makes it even more special - I think my parents were very surprised and proud today,” he said.
The youngest member of Canberra’s ship’s company, Seaman Marine Technician Michael Lane had the honour of joining Canberra’s Commanding Officer to cut the ship’s Commissioning cake which is a traditional part of the day and a fitting tribute to the celebration.
HMAS Canberra will proceed to sea in the coming weeks for a period of training and assessment for the crew.
HMAS Canberra ships company conducts a march past before the conclusion of the commissioning ceremony held in the new ship in Sydney.
HMAS Canberra ships company conducts a march past before the conclusion of the commissioning ceremony held in the new ship in Sydney.

Canberra is first of two LHDs to be introduced into the Navy. The ship is expected to used for diverse tasking such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and amphibious operations.
Canberra is capable of embarking over 1,000 troops and associated cargo which can be landed ashore by helicopters or state of the art landing craft.
She is the third ship to bear the name.

NNS Centenary Delivered at Wuhan (Video)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chosin and the Importance of Perspective

The guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) is underway in close formation as one of 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014. The cruiser is named for the Chosin Reservoir Campaign during the Korean War. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

By Rear Adm. Rick Williams Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Our recent change of command aboard USS Chosin (CG 65) here at Pearl Harbor was another occasion to reflect on the ship’s namesake – Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 64 years ago this week.
In that battle, the Navy provided firepower support off the coast of Korea to assist Marines, Soldiers and other United Nations troops fighting ashore.
Those warriors, led by Marine Generals “Chesty” Puller and Oliver Smith, give us perspective for the present and a sense of purpose for the future.
Here at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, on historic Marine Barracks property, stands the venerable old building known as Puller Hall, named after Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller.
Gen. Puller is a legend in American military history. His record of five Navy Crosses and an Army Distinguished Service Cross in a career that spanned nearly forty years is unmatched in the annals of the U.S. Marine Corps.
His fifth Navy Cross was won during the Korean War as the commanding officer of the First Marine Regiment when then-Col. Puller led his Marines in the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir.
On Nov. 24, 1950 American forces began the final drive toward the Yalu River on the border between China and the Korean Peninsula. Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur believed that this offensive would shatter the North Korean army and effectively end the Korean War. American troops looked forward to being home by Christmas.

Marines engage the enemy to help 5th and 7th Marines to withdraw from the Yudam-ni area Nov. 27, 1950 during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

But on Nov. 27 approximately 65,000 enemy troops began pouring over the border and 15,000 U.S. Marines found themselves surrounded in the Chosin Reservoir, with only a thin and winding mountain pass between them and escape through the port of Hungnam some 60 miles to the east. Thoughts of Christmas carols and relaxing by the fire turned to simple survival and the relentless focus on keeping the road to Hungnam open allowing the Marines out of the suddenly perilous dilemma.
The weather didn’t help the situation, with a Siberian cold front and 60-knot winds dropping temperatures to minus-35 degrees. Many of the casualties during the battle were a result of the exposure to what was considered the coldest winter Korea had seen in 100 years.
At this critical moment in the Korean War leadership, teamwork and courage won the day. On Dec. 6, the breakout from Chosin began. Maj. Gen. Oliver Smith, the Commander of the First Marine Division, is quoted as saying, “it is not a retreat; we are attacking in a different direction.”

Col. Lewis “Chesty” Puller

For his part, then-Col. Puller led his regiment in the rear guard of the withdrawal, defending the perimeter and keeping the vital supply main supply route open for the movement of the division. Col. Puller is reported to have said to a journalist, “We’ve been looking for the enemy for several days now. We’ve finally found them. We are surrounded. That simplifies the problem.”
With the steady hand of leaders like Smith and Puller and the tenacity and courage of the troops under their command, the breakout was successful and the majority of the U.S. troops trapped at Chosin were able to reach Hungnam by the 13th of December.
In the final phase of the battle Navy and Air Force aircraft flew missions to defend the Hungnam perimeter and ships like the USS Missouri off the Korean coast laid down covering fire for the Marines as amphibious craft sealifted thousands of military personnel and civilians to safety.
Gen. Smith’s quote about an attack “in a different direction” reminds us of the importance of perspective.
It has been said that, “great opportunities are often disguised as impossible situations” and it requires perspective to turn the tide.
The epic Battle of Chosin, fought and won 64 years ago in the most adverse conditions and implacable odds, reminds us that adversity often requires leaders to keep a cool head, take a fresh look at a problem and attack the issue from a different direction.
Retreat does not always mean defeat.
The withdrawal from Chosin may have led to a disaster and the destruction or capture of thousands of American troops. Instead they fought their way out of the impending catastrophe and instead inflicted as many as 25,000 casualties on the enemy while evacuating the bulk of their strength to rejoin the fight on another day.
As I said in my commentary on NavyLive blog last year: Looking back more than 60 years later, we know the Korean War preserved freedom and democracy for South Korea and provided a better way of life for millions of people over many generations. The U.S. Navy had a critical role in supporting Marines and UN Allies throughout the war.

Marines assigned to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Rifle Salute detail stand in formation next to the battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) Memorial during the commemoration ceremony that marked 68th anniversary of the signing of the end of World War II. The ceremony was followed by an unveiling of a nine-foot bronze and granite statue honoring Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, who directed the War of the Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Diana Quinlan/Released)

Naval forces provided the key strategic advantage. Our surface ships, submarines and aircraft provided sea control, effectively blockading North Korea’s coastlines and denying enemy shipments while ensuring mobility of sea lanes for our side. Aircraft from Task Force 77 carriers and escorts provided strikes and support. Cruisers, destroyers and other ships put a barrage of fire between our troops and the enemy during the war. Pearl Harbor’s own Mighty Mo, battleship USS Missouri (BB 63), added the weight of her 16-inch guns to the fight.
For our own perspective on what we fought for in Korea, just consider the powerful ally and friend we have today on the southern half of the peninsula. The Republic of Korea navy regularly visits Pearl Harbor and was here for RIMPAC last summer.
ROK sailors and marines work with their American counterparts as partners for a common defense. That perspective leads to our sense of purpose: building and maintaining cooperative partnerships as we support Adm. Harris and the U.S. Pacific Fleet in the rebalance to Asia-Pacific.

Jim Neuman, historian and public affairs specialist, contributed to this commentary.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pentagon Loses Landmark Legal Battle Over Subcontracting Data

Petaluma November 26, 2014 - The Pentagon has lost a landmark Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case to the American Small Business League (ASBL). San Francisco Federal District Court Judge William Alsup has ordered the Pentagon to release the small business subcontracting data that has been submitted by Sikorsky under the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program (CSPTP).
The Pentagon had refused to release the data claiming that it contained "confidential financial information." Judge Alsup disagreed and denied both of their motions for summary judgment and ordered the Pentagon to release the information to the ASBL by December 3, 2014.
"Judge Alsup's ruling will be the basis for the American Small Business Leagues efforts to ensue the subcontracting information that has been submitted by all of the participants of the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program will be made publicly available," said ASBL's attorney Robert Belshaw.
Current participants of the Pentagon's CSPTP include, BAE Systems, Boeing, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation, Harris Corporation, L3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Company and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.
The ASBL originally requested the data because they believed the CSPTP was designed to create a loophole in federal contracting law that has allowed many of the Pentagon's largest prime contractors to circumvent federal law establishing small business subcontracting goals.
When the Pentagon implemented the CSPTP in 1990 it eliminated any publicly available information on small business subcontracting goals and any penalties that Pentagon contractors could face for refusing to comply with their small business subcontracting goals. Although the CSPTP eliminated all transparency and penalties for prime contractors, the stated mission of the program was to "increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses."
In 2004 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the results of an investigation into the CSPTP that stated, "Although the Test Program was started more than 12 years ago, DOD has yet to establish metrics to evaluate the program's results and effectiveness."
Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation's leading experts on federal contracting law released a legal opinion on the CSPTP that stated, "The program is a sham and its extension will be seriously harmful to vital opportunities for small business to get government contracting work... There is no doubt in my mind the CSPTP has significantly reduced subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. It should not have gotten its 25 years of extension as a never-tested 'Test Program.' Let it expire."
"Think of the lunacy of removing all transparency and penalties for small business subcontracting programs for the Pentagon's largest prime contractors and test it for 25 years to see of it increases subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. It's an unparalleled example of fraud and corruption at the Pentagon. We expect Judge Alsup's ruling to lead to the eventual release of data on all firms participating in the CSPTP that will prove the Pentagon has cheated American small businesses out of well over a trillion dollars in subcontracts," stated ASBL President Lloyd Chapman.

Prelude to War: Japanese Strike Force Takes Aim at Pearl Harbor

Akagi (Japanese Aircraft Carrier, 1925-1942) at sea during the summer of 1941, with three Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters parked forward. Donation of Kazutoshi Hando, 1970. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.
Akagi (Japanese Aircraft Carrier, 1925-1942) at sea during the summer of 1941, with three Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” fighters parked forward. Donation of Kazutoshi Hando, 1970. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

The road to war between Japan and the United States began in the 1930s when differences over China drove the two nations apart. In 1931 Japan conquered Manchuria, which until then had been part of China. In 1937 Japan began a long and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to conquer the rest of China. Then in 1940, the Japanese government allied itself with Nazi Germany in the Axis Alliance, and, in the following year, occupied all of Indochina.
The United States, which had important political and economic interests in East Asia, was alarmed by these Japanese moves. The U.S. increased military and financial aid to China, embarked on a program of strengthening its military power in the Pacific, and cut off the shipment of oil and other raw materials to Japan.
Because Japan was poor in natural resources, its government viewed these steps, especially the embargo on oil, as a threat to the nation’s survival. Japan’s leaders responded by resolving to seize the resource-rich territories of Southeast Asia, even though that move would certainly result in war with the United States.
Understanding this, Japanese leadership developed a bold plan for a surprise attack. Approved just weeks earlier, the Japanese Imperial Navy Strike Group sailed toward Pearl Harbor, 73 years ago today.
The Pearl Harbor naval base was recognized by both the Japanese and the U.S. Navies as a potential target for hostile carrier air power. Its distance from Japan and shallow harbor, the certainty that Japan’s navy would have many other pressing needs for its aircraft carriers in the event of war, and a belief that intelligence would provide warning, persuaded senior U.S. officers the prospect of an attack on Pearl Harbor could be safely discounted.
During the interwar period, the Japanese had reached similar conclusions. But their pressing need for secure flanks during the planned offensive into Southeast Asia and the East Indies spurred the dynamic commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, to revisit the issue.
His staff found the assault was feasible, given the greater capabilities of newer aircraft types, modifications to aerial torpedoes, a high level of communications security, and a reasonable level of good luck. The key elements in Yamamoto’s plans were meticulous preparation, the element of surprise, and the use of aircraft carriers and naval aviation on an unprecedented scale. In the spring of 1941, Japanese carrier pilots began training in the special tactics called for by the Pearl Harbor attack plan.
In October 1941 the naval general staff gave final approval to Yamamoto’s plan. It centered around six heavy aircraft carriers accompanied by 24 supporting vessels. A separate group of submarines was to sink any American warships that escaped the Japanese carrier force.
All six of Japan’s first-line aircraft carriers, Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku, were assigned to the mission. With more than 420 embarked planes, these ships constituted by far the most powerful carrier task force ever assembled. The Pearl Harbor Striking Force also included fast battleships, cruisers and destroyers, with tankers to fuel the ships during their passage across the Pacific.
An Advance Expeditionary Force of large submarines, five of them carrying midget submarines, was sent to scout around Hawaii, dispatch the midgets into Pearl Harbor to attack ships there, and torpedo American warships that might attempt to escape to sea.
Anticipating casualties from the pending attack, hospital facilities at Bako, Sama and Palau were told Nov. 26 to prepare to treat up to 1,000 casualties. The information came from intercepted Japanese messages that were not decoded and translated until after the war.
“Be prepared to supply 10 times the annual ‘battleship requirements’ of medical supplies for dressing of wounds and disinfection by Feb. 10, 1942,” one dispatch stated.
More ominous was a message from the day before: “Plans for exhaustive conscription of…and civilians are in hands of Central Authorities. In order to preserve security, however, they will be activated at a future time.”
The Japanese carrier striking force under the command of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, assembled in the remote anchorage of Tankan Bay in the Kurile Islands and departed in strictest secrecy for Hawaii on Nov. 26, 1941. If discovered, he was to abort the mission. The ships’ route crossed the North Pacific and avoided normal shipping lanes.
Upon their departure Prince Hiroyasu Fushimi sent this dispatch: “I pray for your long and lasting battle fortunes.”
The Imperial Navy carefully monitored all ships that might give away their plans. “Although there are indications of several ships operating in the Aleutians area, the ships in the Northern Pacific appear chiefly to be Russian ships.” The ships were identified as Uzbekistan and Azerbaldjan, both westbound from San Francisco.
As the Strike Group grew nearer, a dispatch ordered “all capital ships, destroyers, submarines of the South Sea Force and the Kukokawa Maru to maintain battle condition short wave silence,” starting at noon Nov. 29.
A Philippine merchant ship that arrived in Naha on Okinawa Nov. 30 had her radio sealed and departure delayed to “prevent their learning of our activities.”
A cryptic dispatch sent Dec. 2 was labeled top secret. “This order is effective at 1730 on 2 December. Climb NIITAKAYAMA 1208, repeat 1208.” Cryptologists examining this traffic after the war understood it to mean “Attack on 8 December.”
At dawn Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese task force had approached mostly undetected to a point slightly more than 200 miles north of Oahu. With a 19-hour time difference, it was Dec. 8 in Japan.

Japanese Type A or Type C Midget Submarine beached on a southwest Pacific island, 1943-44. Photographed from a PB4Y-1 patrol bomber of Bombing Squadron 106 (VB-106). Courtesy of Vice Admiral John T. Hayward, USN (Retired), 1972. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.
Japanese Type A or Type C Midget Submarine beached on a southwest Pacific island, 1943-44. Photographed from a PB4Y-1 patrol bomber of Bombing Squadron 106 (VB-106). Courtesy of Vice Admiral John T. Hayward, USN (Retired), 1972. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Meanwhile, near Oahu’s southern shore, the five midget submarines had already cast loose from their “mother” subs and were trying to make their way into Pearl Harbor’s narrow entrance channel. One was sited at 3:42 a.m. by the minesweeper Condor less than two miles from the entrance to Pearl Harbor. A blinker-light message was sent to the destroyer Ward (DD 139): “Sighted submerged submarine on westerly course, speed 9 knots.”
The first attack wave of more than 180 aircraft, including torpedo planes, high-level bombers, dive bombers and fighters, was launched in the darkness and flew off to the south. Pilots homed in on a Honolulu radio station’s music as a guiding beam.

Japanese naval aircraft prepare to take off from an aircraft carrier (reportedly Shokaku) to attack Pearl Harbor during the morning of 7 December 1941. Plane in the foreground is a "Zero" Fighter. This is probably the launch of the second attack wave. The original photograph was captured on Attu in 1943. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.
Japanese naval aircraft prepare to take off from an aircraft carrier (reportedly Shokaku) to attack Pearl Harbor during the morning of 7 December 1941. Plane in the foreground is a “Zero” Fighter. This is probably the launch of the second attack wave. The original photograph was captured on Attu in 1943.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Within 30-45 minutes after the first group had taken off, a second attack wave of similar size, but with more dive bombers and no torpedo planes, was brought up from the carriers’ hangar decks and sent off into the emerging morning light.
In the meantime, USS Ward began firing on the submerged submarine, with the second shot hitting it at its waterline. To assure the kill, Ward dropped a pattern of depth charges. At 6:53 a.m., the destroyer sent a coded message: “We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area.” The message, decoded, paraphrased and in-boxed, would remain unread until hours after the attack.
The first bomb dropped on Ford Island just before 8 a.m. Less than two hours later, the Japanese fighters, having lost only 29 planes and five midget submarines, were headed back to their carriers. Pilots urged a third strike to take out fuel depots, but Japanese officers, unsure as to where the U.S. carrier fleet was located, turned the Pearl Harbor Strike Force back to its homeland by 1 p.m.
In the aftermath of the attack, five of eight battleships had either been sunk, were sinking or heavily damaged. An additional 16 ships were sunk, 188 aircraft destroyed and 159 damaged, with more than 2,400 service members and civilians killed.
All but three of those eight stricken American battleships – Utah, Oklahoma and Arizona – rejoined the fleet to fight the Japanese. In fact, USS West Virginia (BB 48) was raised from the bottom of Pearl Harbor (See related blog series: Part 1, 2, and 3), returned to the fight in 1944, and was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.
By the end of the war, American naval forces sank every one of the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships and cruisers in the Pearl Harbor Strike Force.

RN Merlins deliver aid to continue Ebola effort

A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter delivers supplies for the medical teams and aid experts working in country [Picture: Lieutenant Steve Dunning, Crown copyright]
A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter delivers supplies

Royal Navy helicopters have delivered essential materials to Northern Sierra Leone as the part of the UK’s ongoing efforts to tackle Ebola.
Responding to a United Nations World Food Program (WFP) request, a Merlin helicopter from 820 Naval Air Squadron lifted urgent supplies for a support camp to be built near a community care centre in Kumala.
The center is a 28-bed facility for the care of Ebola patients, including young children under the age of 5. Because it is in a mountainous area the centre is currently not accessible by road.
The Merlin helicopters flew 6 heavy loads of building materials, suspended below the aircraft, from the WFP hub in Port Loko.
Over 5 days 5.5 tonnes of equipment was transported which will be used to help keep the community centre operational.
Lieutenant Roger Angliss, 820 Naval Air Squadron, said, "This is the first time that we have been asked to complete a mission of this type. We have flown many missions since deploying to Sierra Leone that have been in support of the UK effort on the ground, but this mission was crucial to the people of Kumala, as it is so remote. Without our help they could have gone weeks without trained health care workers to help them fight Ebola and I think I can speak for the whole crew when I say that we are extremely proud of the fact that we could help this small, remote community. We are looking forward to helping others in the near future too."

A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter delivers supplies
A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter delivers supplies for the medical teams and aid experts working in country [Picture: Lieutenant Steve Dunning, Crown copyright]

The staff from the UN agencies and their non-governmental organisation partners, including World Health Organisation, UNICEF and Oxfam, urgently require safe accommodation so they could continue to support the center.
The units, delivered by the Royal Navy’s Merlin helicopters, will be assembled within a week to support 30 people working there, providing supervision and training to staff working there.
Mark Warne-Smith, WFP, said, "The UK Military assisted with what would have been a major logistical challenge if the building materials had to be moved by road. It would probably have taken weeks rather than days."
The UK has so far committed £230 million to tackle Ebola. This includes:
  • supporting 700 treatment beds, more than tripling Sierra Leone’s capacity
  • providing care to up to 8,800 patients over 6 months
  • shoring up the country’s stretched public health services to help contain the disease.
In addition, RFA Argus and 3 Merlin helicopters have been deployed to deliver transportation and logistical support for medical teams and aid experts working in the country.
Hundreds of defence personnel are working in Sierra Leone to help tackle Ebola.

DCNS Opens Australian Subsidiary


November 24, 2014 - Hervé Guillou, CEO of DCNS Group opened the new DCNS Australia subsidiary on Wednesday, November 19th, in the presence of the Australian Defence Minister, the Honourable David Johnston, top management of local defence industries and numerous key personalities of government.
By setting up a long-term base in Australia, DCNS aims at taking the lead on coming discussions on SEA 1000 program between Australian stakeholders and a combined French government/industry team, including THALES Australia. Through this program, Australia plans to replace its current Collins Class submarines and DCNS is considering to propose a “conventional Barracuda” submarine, offering to Australia access to the most advanced French design and engineering know-how.
Hervé Guillou, CEO of DCNS, commented: “I am very pleased to officially announce the creation of DCNS Australia Pty Ltd. Australia is a key objective for the Group and for the French defence industry. Thanks to our dual expertise in design, build and through-life support of submarines of all sizes, including combat systems integration, we intend to bring a key contribution to the Commonwealth of Australia. Using sea proven solutions and robust industrial roadmap for the Future Submarine Australian program (SEA 1000), we’ll mitigate both program and technological risks while ensuring proper delivery strategy and capability continuity.”

C Sword 90 concept unveiled at EURONAVAL 2014 exhibition

On the occasion of the exhibition EURONAVAL, CMN presents an innovative concept: the C-90 SWORD.
This is the biggest warship ever designed by CMN
The C Sword 90 Corvette adopts an innovative hull and superstructure design with sloped surface.

Nothing was left to chance, and each volume and each curve are adjusted to not allow any compromise between maneuverability, performance and resistance to sea. Corvette C Sword 90, is simply designed to operate safely and efficiently.
Designed for the high intensity combat, the new flagship of CMN can both act on the high seas and coastal area.

Navy's First F-35C Lightning II Squadron Surpasses 1000 Flight Hours

US Navy

San Diego November 21, 2014 - The "Grim Reapers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant squadron, reached a milestone in November 2014 by surpassing 1,000 mishap-free flight hours in the F-35C.
As the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, VFA-101, homeported at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, trains Navy aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the aircraft.
"I am incredibly proud of the 'Grim Reapers' for accomplishing this milestone," said Cmdr. Frederick Crecelius, VFA-101's commanding officer. "With each additional flight hour, the men and women of VFA-101 are paving the way for the future of Naval Aviation."
The unit became the Navy's first F-35C squadron after receiving the aircraft June 22, 2013, from Lockheed Martin, and completed the first check flight, Aug. 14.
"The 1,000-hour milestone not only demonstrates the incredible teamwork of VFA-101," said Crecelius. "It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the capabilities of the aircraft and how this fifth-generation fighter will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of the carrier air wing."
While VFA-101 remains involved in preparations for the F-35C to achieve initial operational capability in 2018, the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, completed its first phase of developmental testing for the F-35C aboard an aircraft carrier Nov. 14. During the initial testing phase, the aircraft demonstrated exceptional performance throughout its sea trails aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
The F-35C is a fifth-generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. The F-35C will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy's premier strike fighter. By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of the F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growler, E-2D Hawkeye, Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike air vehicles, MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.
Since June 1942, "Grim Reapers" has served as the name used to identify three different squadrons - Fighter Squadron (VF) 10, VF-101 and now VFA-101 - flying various aircraft, including the F4F Wildcat, the FG1-D Corsair, the F-4 Phantom, the F-14 Tomcat and currently the F-35C.

SEWIP Block Upgrade Program Evaluated for LCS

US Navy

Washington November 21, 2014 - The Navy is evaluating a scaled-down version of the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) system for potential incorporation on future Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), Naval Sea Systems Command announced, Nov. 20.
SEWIP is an evolutionary development block upgrade program for the SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare (EW) System and will be designated as AN/SLQ-32C(V)6. Still in the early stages of development, its purpose is to provide LCS with an improved electronic warfare suite to improve the ship's defense capabilities.
"This system is another example of the close partnerships to deliver a tremendous improvement in warfighting capability to our Sailors," said Capt. Doug Small, major program manager for Above Water Sensors (PEO IWS 2.0). "By maintaining commonality with SEWIP Block 2, we are able to simultaneously reduce life-cycle sustainment costs for the fleet."
Upgrades to the antenna, receiver and combat system interface allow the SEWIP system to pace new threats; improve signal detection, measurement accuracies and classification, and mitigate electromagnetic interference.
AN/SLQ-32(V)6 provides enhanced electronic support capability that allows better detection of current threats. The SEWIP Block 3 will include improvements for the electronic attack by providing integrated countermeasures against radio frequency-guided threats and extending frequency range coverage. The Block 3 will be installed on surface combatants that have the existing active version of the SLQ-32.
An at-sea demonstration to test the effectiveness of the system's capabilities on LCS is scheduled for December 2014 aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1) off the coast of San Diego.
Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.
Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the LCS class from procurement through fleet employment and sustainment.


At Euronaval 2014, DCNS is unveiling the SMX®-OCÉAN conventionally powered attack submarine. The new vessel draws extensively on the design of a state-of-the-art nuclear- powered submarine, with a number of key innovations that give this diesel-electric adaptation truly outstanding performance.
A world leader in naval defence and an innovator in energy, the DCNS Group and its 13,600 employees are committed to applying their advanced know-how to help keep the oceans safe and secure. The Group’s internationally acclaimed expertise is perfectly illustrated by the SMX®-OCÉAN project.

Exceptional performance

This innovative concept ship promises submerged endurance and deployment capabilities that are unprecedented for a conventional-propulsion submarine. With up to three months’ endurance, an SMX®-OCÉAN could cross the Atlantic six times without surfacing. Its transit speed is up to 14 knots.
To achieve this level of performance, DCNS teams have developed and combined a number of innovations including a high-performance air-independent propulsion (AIP) system using second- generation fuel cells for submerged endurance of up to three weeks.
The SMX®-OCÉAN features the same combat system, provisions for special forces’ missions, masts and general layout as the Barracuda SSN.

4D firepower: effective against underwater, surface, land and air threats

With a total of 34 weapons including torpedoes, mines, anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles and anti-air missiles, the SMX®-OCÉAN’s firepower will be unprecedented for an SSK.
The SMX®-OCÉAN concept ship design also includes vertical launchers, another major innovation in SSK design, to provide a salvo capability for cruise missile strikes on land targets.

A reconfigurable multi-role submarine

The SMX®-OCÉAN offers more multi-role capabilities than any other submarine of its type. It can operate alone or as part of a carrier group or other naval deployment, and will be the only conventionally powered submarine with the ability to deploy special forces, combat swimmers, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and even unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Carrier group escort

Equipped with tactical datalinks meeting international standards, the SMX®-OCÉAN is ideal for carrier group escort roles in support of coalition operations in any theatre of operations.

Technical data

  • Length: 100 m
  • Height: 15.5 m
  • Beam: 8.8 m
  • Surface displacement: 4,750 t
  • Maximum diving depth: 350 m
  • Maximum speed, submerged: 20 kts

DCNS Evolves With STANAG 1276

Thanks to its extensive experience related to harpoon/grid securing systems, DCNS has long anticipated the evolution of standard STANAG 1276, which came into force in July 1981 and was reviewed on last June 25th. It is known as STANAG (STANdardization AGreement)1 1276 Edition 2.
This strategy has enabled DCNS today to be the only company to offer a complete range, including grid 27-07 MKII meeting the requirements of the new standard.
Grid to secure the landing of the heaviest helicopters
27-07 MKII model, made up with highly resistant steels meets the requirements of the Navies having NH90*, EH101* or Sea Hawk* type helicopters up to 18 tons, fitted with a 40 HRC** harpoon.
STANAG: STANAG, published by NATO is a set of standardization agreements. The documents define the procedures, terms and conditions adopted by the Member Countries of NATO alliance for military systems and equipment. Each Member Country ratifies a version of the STANAG and implements it for its own army. The purpose of STANAG is to define the common operational and administrative procedures to allow interactions between the armies of different nations. STANAG 1276 is specific to the harpoon/grids securing systems for shipborne helicopters.

  • NH90: European military transport helicopter produced by NHIndustries.
  • EH101: helicopter produced by AGUSTA WESTLAND Anglo-Italian manufacturer.
  • Sea Hawk: helicopter designed and manufactured by SIKORSKY, USA.
  • 40 HRC: alloy whose hardness is 40 on Rockwell scale.

DCNS landing grids are compatible with a wide range of helicopters and UAVs. More than 450 DCNS landing grids (helicopters and drones) fit the ships of approximately 30 customer Navies and coastguard services.

AEGIS Baseline 9 Destroyer Scores Historic Flight Test Mission

US Navy

Washington November 21, 2014 - USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) in partnership with U.S. Pacific Command and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully executed Flight Test Standard Missile-25 (FTM-25), announced Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), Nov. 20.
This was the first live-fire event in the integrated air and missile defense radar priority mode to engage a ballistic missile target and a raid of cruise missile targets with its AEGIS Combat System.
John Paul Jones engaged three successful near-simultaneous target shots over the Pacific Ocean by the Aegis Baseline 9.C1 (BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade) Weapon System. One short-range ballistic missile target was intercepted by a Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile, while two low-flying cruise missile targets were engaged by Standard Missile-2 Block IIIA guided missiles.
"The capability that the USS John Paul Jones demonstrated during FTM-25 is the culmination of years of tough engineering across the Navy's technical community and our industry partners," said Rear Adm. Jon A. Hill, PEO IWS. "The technology displayed during FTM-25 will be a critical addition to the fleet and their ability to stay prepared."
PEO IWS spearheaded the FTM-25 as part of a developmental test/operational test sequence of events. Other test participants included discriminating sensors flown on two MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and sensor systems ashore, command and control, battle management and Communications (C2BMC) Enterprise Sensors Lab, C2BMC Experimentation Lab, and the AEGIS Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex located at the Pacific Missile Range Facility.
Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

Kongsberg Maritime launches K-Sim Navigation, the next step in realism for Ship's Bridge Simulation

Typical K-Sim Navigation bridge. Kongsberg image

November 2014 - Kongsberg Maritime has unveiled its latest generation ship's bridge simulator, K-Sim Navigation, which meets the requirements of the most demanding navigation training for merchant, offshore and naval vessels. Designed for the future of advanced and integrated simulation training, K-Sim Navigation is based on a new cutting-edge technology platform enabling more realistic training scenarios and enhanced user benefits for both instructors and students.
K-Sim Navigation features an advanced physical engine and state-of-the-art hydrodynamic modelling, allowing vessels, objects and equipment to behave and interact as in real life. To enhance the realism further, a sophisticated new visual system is included, bringing vessels and objects in all possible weather conditions to life.
The result of these improvements is, according to Terje Heierstad, Global Product Manager, Kongsberg Maritime Simulation: "A fully immersive and optimum quality simulation experience. It's a step change in maritime simulation. The shipping sector doesn't stand still, and neither do we. Using our 40 years of simulation experience, it was our goal to take ship's bridge simulation to the next level."
K-Sim Navigation has been developed with the user experience firmly in focus. In addition to the realistic environment for students, instructors benefit from an award winning* instructor system designed to facilitate ease of use. It features an intuitive and modern educational tool utilising a modified ECDIS chart as a starting point with drag & drop function for creating exercises. The instructor system also includes automatic recording and an advanced assessment system for ensuring optimal training and feedback standards.
"Instructors are perhaps the key link in the training value chain, so we wanted to give them the ability to create the most advanced training scenarios, with the utmost efficiency and ease," explains Heierstad. "Flexibility is also crucial, giving instructors the capacity to adjust exercise parameters before and during simulations to provide the best quality training for every individual student."

Kongsberg image
K-Sim Navigation's flexibility extends to hardware, with a fully scalable range of options available – from a PC based desktop system, through to a full mission bridge simulator. The system, built on the same core technology platform as the market leading K-Sim Offshore simulator, can easily be integrated with other Kongsberg Maritime simulators (including crane, offshore, engine, cargo, ballast and DP) to enable a comprehensive range of training scenarios.
Already approved to DNV GL Class-A standards, K-Sim Navigation allows maritime schools and academies to extend their available portfolio of courses, while in addition, providing them with the controlled environment necessary for undertaking valuable research projects.
"We believe that the new functionality and realism we have developed for K-Sim Navigation is an essential building block for enhancing sea skills and thus providing safe, secure and reliable vessel handling. Which, at the end of the day, is what maritime simulation is all about," concludes Heierstad.
*Award for Design Excellence from the Norwegian Design Council.

Lockheed Martin Opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

 Lockheed Martin

Moorestown NJ November 18, 2014 - Lockheed Martin  has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center (SNIC) to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy.  The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings together industry, government and academia to design the next generation of capabilities the surface fleet needs to combat evolving threats around the world.
"The SNIC establishes a community space to promote rapid technology fielding that addresses the Navy's most pressing challenges," said Jim Sheridan, director of Aegis U.S. Navy programs. "As the maritime security environment changes, we will find new ways to use products and best practices to benefit the sailors who rely on these systems to defend our nation."
The center will foster collaboration among key organizations to rapidly develop emerging technologies and quickly put them into service. To stay ahead of threats, Lockheed Martin is committed to making ongoing improvements to its current systems and integrating the most advanced technologies to meet the needs of its U.S. Navy customers.
Building on Lockheed Martin's 100-year history of innovation, the SNIC also continues the development of the Aegis Combat System to meet new security challenges, building on the company's 40 years of partnership with the Surface Navy on this program. Aegis already is the premier naval combat system, globally deployed counter ballistic missiles and other advanced air and missile threats. The SNIC will serve as a collaboration space to continue Aegis' evolution, advancing modernization efforts and pushing the system to new levels of defense for sailors and citizens.

Transas launches Web Map Service


November 21, 2014 - Transas Marine has launched Transas Web Map Service (WMS) to provide transparent and easy access to navigation charts through common interface. Access to comprehensive mapping data is a powerful tool for developers of online web-based and mobile apps who can now use Transas' top-notch technology to build their own applications.
Transas WMS incorporates the company's renowned TX-97 chart collection and guarantees fast and reliable chart viewing service with a worldwide coverage. Developers of custom mapping applications with web access features can now use Transas TX-97 map tiles. Efficient tile caching ensures maximum performance even in most demanding scenarios, allowing a large number of simultaneous users to access the service without any adverse impact on speed and quality.
The Transas Web Map Service package includes regular updates of chart collection, as well as future upgrades with new features and improved performance, and allows for easy integration with virtually any web and mobile online map engine, like Google, Bing, OpenLayers, Leaflet, Yandex, Yahoo, jQueryGeo and others.