Thursday, April 30, 2015

FREMM "Carabiniere Delivered to Italian Navy

File photo

Trieste April 28, 2015 - The frigate “Carabiniere” was delivered today at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. It is the fourth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates - commissioned to Fincantieri within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri and 49% Finmeccanica) is the prime contractor for Italy in the FREMM program, which envisions the building of 10 units, all already ordered. 
The ship has been named “Carabiniere” to celebrate in 2014, year of the launching, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Carabinieri Force. 
“Carabiniere” is the fourth FREMM unit which Fincantieri builds and delivers to the Italian Navy completed with a combat system (the third with the ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare configuration), that is the ability of silent navigation speed in significant anti-submarine hunting. 
144 meters long and a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes, the FREMM frigates represent technological excellence: designed to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and to provide accommodation for 200 people (crew and staff), these vessels are able to always guarantee a high degree of flexibility and to operate in a wide range of scenarios and tactical situations. 
The program faces the fleet renewal need of the Italian Navy’s units of the class frigates Lupo (disarment completed in 2003) and Maestrale (close in reaching its operational life limit). It is coordinated by OCCAR, the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation. 
These units significantly contribute to the tasks assigned to the Italian Navy, being able to operate in various sectors: anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-naval warfare, fire support from the sea as well as an organic helicopter component embarked. The FREMM units are set to become the backbone of the Italian Navy of the next decades. 

Raytheon receives $20 million DARPA contract to continue hypersonic missile development

Tucson April 29, 2015 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Raytheon Company a $20,489,714 million contract modification for the Tactical Boost Glide program. Under the TBG program, Raytheon intends to develop and demonstrate the technology to enable air-launched hypersonic boost glide systems. A majority of the work will be performed in Tucson.
"Hypersonics is the new frontier of missile design and development," said Tom Bussing, Raytheon vice president of Advanced Missile Systems. "The extreme environments where these advanced missiles must operate present significant engineering challenges. Our extensive experience and expertise in developing advanced guided weapon systems uniquely position Raytheon to help solve these problems and deliver these solutions."
Once fielded, TBG could fly at speeds faster than Mach 5 and at altitudes of nearly 200,000 feet. To achieve the required speeds, the re-entry vehicles would be designed to skip across the inside of Earth's upper atmosphere before descending on their targets. The new missiles would have to withstand intense heat while remaining highly maneuverable, and would require sensor packages to engage moving or re-locatable targets.
Hypersonic weapons would be difficult to intercept, and would enable warfighters to strike targets at long range much more quickly than current missile technology allows.

Navy to Christen New Guided Missile Destroyer John Finn

Washington April 30, 2015 - The Navy will christen the newest guided missile destroyer, the future USS John Finn (DDG 113), Saturday, May 2, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The new destroyer honors Lt. John Finn, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the first attack by Japanese airplanes at Pearl Harbor. While under heavy machine gun fire, Finn manned a .50-caliber machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp. Painfully wounded multiple times, he had to be convinced to leave his post. After receiving first aid treatment, he overcame the severe pain of his injuries and returned to the squadron area to supervise the rearming of returning planes.
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Laura Stavridis, spouse of Adm. James Stavridis, will serve as the ship's sponsor. In accordance with Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship's bow to formally christen the ship.
"I often speak to the members of the chief petty officer mess about the characteristics of a leader, and more specifically the characteristics I expect to see in my chiefs, said Stevens. "I tell them that a model chief petty officer is a quiet, humble, servant leader. I believe with all my heart that John Finn exemplified all of these traits through his heroic actions on that day."
Designated DDG 113, John Finn is the 63rd Arleigh Burke class destroyer, and will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. John Finn will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare including integrated air and missile defense capabilities.

Panama Canal Expansion Marks Key Milestone with Installation of Final Gate

Photo Courtesy of ACP

Panama City April 28, 2015 - The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today a key milestone in the Expansion Program, with the installation of the sixteenth and final gate for the new locks on the Pacific side of the Canal.
The installation process began at 12:00 PM (Panama Time) on the south end of the Canal's Pacific locks, which connect directly to the ocean. The final gate is one of the heaviest and weighs 4,232 tons, or roughly 8.5 million pounds. It measures 57.6 meters wide by 10 meters long and 33 meters high.
"Today's installation is a key milestone in the Expansion Program and another important step forward for the Canal," said Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. "Once finished, the expanded waterway will provide new possibilities for world maritime trade and further position the Canal as a reliable route to the industry."
Manufactured in Italy, the new gates first arrived in Panama in four staggered shipments starting in August of 2013. With the installation of the final gate today in the Pacific, another important stage begins with the electro-mechanical work, which connects the gates with the other structures in the new locks.
The Panama Canal Expansion recorded an overall advance of 87.6 percent among all its components. With all 16 gates now installed, the next milestone for the expanded Canal will occur when the lock chambers are flooded.
The installation of all eight gates on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal was completed earlier this month on April 1.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

FREMM "Carabiniere Delivered to Italian Navy

Trieste April 28, 2015 - The frigate “Carabiniere” was delivered today at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. It is the fourth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates - commissioned to Fincantieri within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri and 49% Finmeccanica) is the prime contractor for Italy in the FREMM program, which envisions the building of 10 units, all already ordered. 
The ship has been named “Carabiniere” to celebrate in 2014, year of the launching, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Carabinieri Force. 
“Carabiniere” is the fourth FREMM unit which Fincantieri builds and delivers to the Italian Navy completed with a combat system (the third with the ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare configuration), that is the ability of silent navigation speed in significant anti-submarine hunting. 
144 meters long and a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes, the FREMM frigates represent technological excellence: designed to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and to provide accommodation for 200 people (crew and staff), these vessels are able to always guarantee a high degree of flexibility and to operate in a wide range of scenarios and tactical situations. 
The program faces the fleet renewal need of the Italian Navy’s units of the class frigates Lupo (disarment completed in 2003) and Maestrale (close in reaching its operational life limit). It is coordinated by OCCAR, the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation. 
These units significantly contribute to the tasks assigned to the Italian Navy, being able to operate in various sectors: anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-naval warfare, fire support from the sea as well as an organic helicopter component embarked. The FREMM units are set to become the backbone of the Italian Navy of the next decades. 

Rockwell Collins’ FireStorm™ targeting system certified for use with F-35 Lightning II

The Rockwell Collins FireStorm targeting system (pictured here) recently was used by a current and qualified Forward Air Controller (FAC) from the United Kingdom who became the first FAC to successfully guide an F-35 Lightning II aircraft digitally using a complete air strike mission thread in both a ground test and live flight.

Edwards AFB April 21, 2015 - A current and qualified Forward Air Controller (FAC) from the United Kingdom, using the Rockwell Collins FireStorm Integrated Targeting System, was the first to successfully guide an F-35 Lightning II aircraft digitally using a complete air strike mission thread in both a ground test and live flight.
The flight test was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, California, F-35 Lightning II flight test facility in coordination with the integrated project team from the U.K. F-35 Office.
“The FAC approached the test from a practical standpoint and was able to use the system under simulated tactical conditions,” said Tommy Dodson, vice president and general manager of Surface Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “The test was also significant because FireStorm is currently fielded by the British Army, and has now been proven to be interoperable with the F-35.”
The Rockwell Collins FireStorm Integrated Targeting System is a lightweight and modular Joint Fires system that provides proven digital connectivity with virtually all coalition aircraft, field artillery systems and command-and-control center battle managers. FireStorm systems are in operation around the world, and in use by five NATO countries.

AMSC Announces U.S. Navy's Intention to Order High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) Equipment

Devens MA April 20, 2015 - AMSC, a global solutions provider serving the wind and power grid industry, today announced that the U.S. Navy created a sole source solicitation notice for AMSC's high temperature superconductor (HTS) equipment. The contract is expected after April 28, 2015. Additionally, AMSC has established a relationship with the Navy to develop HTS power cable hardware for ship board power applications.
For the past several years, AMSC and the Navy have collaborated on AMSC's advanced HTS degaussing system. The core components of the degaussing system are transferable to other applications being targeted for ship implementation. AMSC is continuing its work to expand HTS technology into the fleet through a variety of applications for power, propulsion, and protection equipment. AMSC refers to its HTS-based products for the Navy as "Ship Protection Systems."
AMSC's Ship Protection Systems, such as degaussing systems, reduce the magnetic signature of a ship, which can interfere with undersea mines' ability to detect and damage the ship. AMSC has worked with the U.S. Navy to develop and qualify a lighter weight, more power efficient HTS version of this degaussing system. HTS is an enabling technology for advanced degaussing systems on platforms with weight and power limitations. These systems require significantly less power to operate and can reduce the overall degaussing system weight by 50-70%.
AMSC has been working jointly with the Navy Metal Working Center of Excellence to optimize manufacturing costs associated with HTS degaussing cables. During the course of this Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program, the cable making process has been streamlined and is expected to meet the delivery and cost targets associated with full ship production. The manufacturing infrastructure developed under the ManTech program has been transitioned to AMSC's Devens facility.
"AMSC has worked extensively with the U.S. Navy to develop prototypes of the HTS advanced degaussing systems on surface platforms. AMSC's HTS systems have now traveled close to 75,000 miles and compiled over 20,000 hours of run time on U.S. Navy vessels," said Daniel P. McGahn, President and CEO, AMSC. "Combined with the manufacturing advances gained through the ManTech program, we believe AMSC is capable of delivering HTS systems to the U.S. Navy."
The success of an HTS degaussing program has potential for other applications such as ship board power transmission using similar equipment. AMSC has recently received a contract from the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research to develop power cable hardware in direct support of that effort.

Norfolk Shipyard Celebrates 100 Years of Service and Support

BAE Systems
April 20, 2015 - BAE Systems commemorated the 100th anniversary of its Norfolk, Virginia shipyard with a special event for employees and their families.
The company, which had been known for many years as the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation, has been a driving force and mainstay of the Hampton Roads business community. Today, as one of the largest private employers in the region, BAE Systems is a leading provider of ship maintenance and modernization to the U.S. Navy, other government agencies, and commercial customers.
At the April 18th event, senior leaders recognized the shipyard’s employees as the cornerstone of the company’s success, and local officials thanked the workforce for keeping Norfolk a busy and vibrant port. Attendees included U.S. Representatives Randy Forbes and Rob Wittman.
“This is a great day for BAE Systems, but it would not be possible without the continuing support and commitment of our employees,” said Dave Thomas, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair. “Our nation’s sailors and ships have the competitive edge in battle thanks to their efforts. We’re extremely proud of their service and of those who preceded them in this shipyard over the last 100 years.”
The company was first formed by the merger of three competitive shipyards at a time when the new age of steam-driven and steel-hulled ships was in its infancy. When World War I made the region one of the nation’s busiest ports, the shipyard began to expand.
An Apprentice School was established in 1936 to develop a well-trained, highly-skilled workforce and a ready source of capable supervisory personnel. On the eve of World War II, the company was contacted by the U.S. Navy to build a modern shipyard facility in the Berkley area of Norfolk. It was designed to dry dock and repair ocean-going vessels of all types and to handle expected battle damage to cruisers, jeep aircraft carriers, troop transports, and other large ships. Employment peaked at the height of the war.
After a series of ownership changes, the shipyard joined BAE Systems in 2005. Today, the company employs approximately 2,200 people and encompasses 109 acres along the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. The facility maintains two dry docks, one of which is the largest floating dry dock on the East Coast, plus four piers and 16 cranes.
The Apprentice Program has been operating continuously since 2004 and has graduated nearly 1,000 welders, electricians, riggers, and ship fitters, many of whom have become supervisors, managers, and senior leaders with the company. The shipyard is a trusted partner of the Navy and has been recognized as a leader in safety and environmental stewardship.
BAE Systems is a leading provider of ship repair, maintenance, modernization, conversion, and overhaul for the Navy, other government, commercial, and private customers. The company operates seven full-service shipyards in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia, and Hawaii, and offers a highly skilled and experienced workforce of more than 5,000 employees, eight dry docks, and significant pier space and ship support services. The company also has commercial shipbuilding and module fabrication capabilities at its Mobile, Alabama, and Jacksonville, Florida, shipyards.

Textron Systems Expands Production on U.S. Navy Ship-to-Shore Connector Program With Latest Contract Option Award


New Orleans April 13, 2015 - Textron Systems Marine & Land Systems announced today it has been awarded a $84,087,095 contract option from the U.S. Navy Naval Sea Systems Command for two next-generation Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles and associated technical manuals as part of the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) program. Marine & Land Systems will assemble crafts 102 and 103 at its New Orleans Shipyard. Deliveries are expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.
SSC craft will serve as the evolutionary replacement for the Navy's existing fleet of LCACs, which are nearing the end of their service life. Their mission is to land surface assault elements in support of operational maneuver from the sea, at over-the-horizon distances, while operating from the Navy's amphibious ships and mobile landing platforms. Like earlier LCACs, these craft also will be used for humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
The new air cushion vehicles, offering increased reliability and availability, are designed for a 30-year service life. They will use more corrosion-resistant aluminum in the hull than current LCAC, as well as composites in the propeller shroud assembly and shafting to increase craft availability and lower life-cycle maintenance costs. These craft also will incorporate an advanced skirt, a pilot/co-pilot arrangement, a cargo deck to accommodate a 74 short ton payload (up to M1A1 Tank), and more powerful, fuel efficient Rolls-Royce engines.
"The multi-million dollar technology investments we've made for the SSC program at our 600,000 square-foot shipyard are set to deliver important dividends to our Navy customer in terms of manufacturing efficiencies, productivity and quality," explains Tom Walmsley, senior vice president and general manager, Marine & Land Systems. "The new craft our team is fabricating and assembling will offer improved performance over legacy LCAC along with enhancements that will increase availability and reduce ownership costs for the Navy."
Textron Systems, in July 2012, earned a $213 million contract for the detailed design and construction of the SSC Test and Training craft (LCAC 100), which is scheduled to be delivered in 2017. The initial SSC contract includes total options for up to eight production craft to be delivered by 2020. A contract option for LCAC 101 was awarded in August 2014. The SSC program requirement is for a total of 73 craft (one Test and Training and 72 operational craft).

Navy Names Littoral Combat Ship

US Navy

Washington April 21, 2015 - Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the next Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named USS St. Louis.
The future USS St. Louis, designated LCS 19, will be the seventh ship to bear the name. The first St. Louis, a sloop of war, was launched in 1828. It spent the majority of its service patrolling the coasts of the Americas to secure interests and trade. In addition, it served as the flagship for the West Indies Squadron working to suppress piracy in the Caribbean Sea, the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico region.
"The name St. Louis holds a strong naval legacy," Mabus said. "In this era when our country is faced with similar challenges as our forefathers, it's important that all who encounter this ship are reminded of the history of our Navy's bravery and sense of duty."
The LCS is designed to defeat littoral threats, and provide access and dominance in coastal waters. A fast, agile surface combatant, LCS provides war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare.
St. Louis will be built with modular design incorporating mission packages that can be changed out quickly as combat needs demand. These mission packages are supported by detachments that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles, and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.
The ship will be 388 feet long, have a waterline beam of 58 feet and make speeds in excess of 40 knots. The construction will be led by a Lockheed Martin industry team in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Navy Awards $8.2 Million Task Order to Virginia-Based ESN for Critical Work with Naval Surface Warfare Center

April 13, 2015 - Engineering Services Network, Inc. (ESN), a leading engineering and IT solutions company based in Arlington, VA, announced today that it has received an $8.2 million task order from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (PHD NSWC PT HUEMEME).
"This ongoing contract with the Naval Surface Warfare Center demonstrates ESN's extensive experience in comprehensive program management and systems engineering. It also highlights the breadth and depth of our support for planning and coordinating the installation of Combat System Ship Platform Integration in aircraft carriers, L-Class ships and other battle group units," said Douglas R. Lopez, ESN's Chief Operating Officer.
He said the one-year task order will create three additional positions and the entire task order will be executed in various locations. They include Oxnard, CA, Norfolk, VA, Bremerton, WA, Washington, D.C., San Diego, and Yokosuka, Japan.
"Our mission at ESN is to work with the Fleet & Type Commanders by establishing an engineering resource for planning and coordinating the installation of combat system ship platform integration and C4I in aircraft carriers, L-Class ships," said ESN President and CEO Raymond F. Lopez, Jr.
Mr. Lopez started the company 20 years ago after an illustrious 29-year career in the U.S. Navy. "We're proud and honored to continue to work 'Shoulder to Shoulder®' with the Navy," the retired Navy Commander added.
Under the contract, ESN will evaluate design concepts and develop technical documentation to support efforts on current and proposed Combat System and C4I Programs.
ESN supports the Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Combat System Engineering and Integration Branch; the Program Executive Officer Carriers; the PEO, Ships; PEO IWS; the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA); and the Fleet & Type Commanders.

Transas integrates Shipping Guides Port Data in its Navi-Planner 4000


April 14, 2015 - Transas Marine has teamed up with Shipping Guides Ltd (UK) to incorporate port data within the Transas Navi-Planner 4000. Having detailed information on ports is essential to fully plan a port call, and adding port data became a logical step in development of this market-leading voyage planning software.
The Navi-Planner Port overlay displays port information for viewing on a chart panel or in tabular format. Port data can be ordered and updated directly through Navi-Planner to assist passage planning to all ports on your route.
The port database locates over 9,000 ports, harbours, terminals and marine facilities around the world. Through incorporating the information within the Navi-Planner Transas customers have vital access to over 70 port information categories tailored to assist in the planning of a port call, as well as a variety of port entry requirements.
The in-depth port data provides pre-arrival details, berth and cargo specific port facilities, port security information, contact details for over 24,000 port service providers, as well as general details including local information and shore based facilities.
There are two levels of access to the database, with basic port data available for free and detailed information provided at a fixed annual rate.
All featured data is the result of constant research carried out by Shipping Guides, with worldwide authentication through the key port authorities and agents.

U.S. Navy Selects BAE Systems to Provide Weapons Engineering for Submarines

BAE Systems

London April 14, 2015 - The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a three-year contract to provide engineering and other services to modernize weapon launch platforms on U.S. and allied submarines. The initial award from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center is valued at $3.4 million, with the total value of the three-year contract estimated at $13.8 million.
BAE Systems experts will provide a wide range of support services, including development, analysis and integration of new weapon launch and payload systems; mechanical configuration and interface control; and fabrication, assembly, installation and evaluation of test facilities and naval platforms. The company’s unique team of highly qualified engineers and specialists will continue to provide on-call, expert knowledge of legacy submarine systems.
“Our team reflects a remarkable scope of experience and knowledge, from our skilled engineers and former sailors to our youngest and newest members,” said Mark Keeler, vice president and general manager of Integrated Electronics & Warfare Systems at BAE Systems. “By combining legacy knowledge with operational understanding and new engineering tools, we’ve been proudly evolving to support this important customer for more than 40 years.”
Work on the latest award will be performed at BAE Systems’ facilities in Middletown, Rhode Island, and Groton, Connecticut, and will support U.S. Navy operations across the globe.
BAE Systems provides intelligence and security services to manage big data, inform big decisions, and support big missions. BAE Systems delivers a broad range of solutions and services including intelligence analysis, cyber operations, IT, systems development, systems integration, and operations and maintenance to enable the U.S. military and government to recognize, manage, and defeat threats. The company takes pride in supporting critical national security missions that protect the nation and those who serve.

Bluefin Robotics Delivers Ship Hull Inspection Systems 4 and 5 to the U.S. Navy

Bluefin Robotics

Quincy MA April 20, 2015 - Bluefin Robotics has successfully delivered new vehicles to the United States Navy that will increase the Navy's capability to remotely search and investigate ship hulls, harbor sea floors, and other underwater infrastructure for limpet mines, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other objects of interest. The Navy accepted delivery of Bluefin Robotics' ship hull inspection systems 4 and 5 under the "Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Hull Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Localization System" (EOD HULS) Program of Record, in February.
Each EOD HULS System (known as MK19), consists of two vehicles and associated support equipment. Bluefin's third-generation Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAUV-3), used in the MK19 system, was developed under Office of Naval Research and the EOD Program Office (PMS 408). The vehicle allows detection of IEDs and limpet mines on ship hulls, piers, pilings, and quay walls for harbor and force protection.
"The MK19 vehicle operates by hull-relative navigation and control and provides very detailed acoustic images of a ship hull with 100 percent sonar coverage, without prior knowledge about the ship," said Jerome Vaganay, Bluefin's Director of Inspection Systems.
"Although it looks like a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with its six thrusters and its fiber optic data tether, the vehicle is powered by an onboard battery and operates primarily autonomously with the ability for the operator to take manual control to investigate contacts," Vaganay said.
With the delivery of systems 4 and 5, the Navy currently owns 10 production vehicles and two prototypes. Another two systems are scheduled to be purchased by the Navy in 2015 under the EOD HULS contract, which is worth $15 million.

Underwater Mine Countermeasure for the Future: Groupe Gorgé is Set to Develop Autonomous Underwater Vehicles as Part of the French-UK MMCM Program


Paris April 10, 2015 - ECA Group, subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé, is a partner in the MMCM program, which OCCAR awarded to Thalès (in partnership with BAE Systems) on 27 March 2015. Aimed at the British and French navies, this programme will develop a prototype autonomous system for the detection and neutralisation of sea mines and underwater improvised explosive devices.

The program comprises three stages, two of which are optional.

In the first stage, which represents several million euros and should be completed in 2015 and 2016, ECA Group will design the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and its Launch and Recovery System (LARS). ECA Group has filed several patents for the latter system, which falls under its areas of expertise.

The systems will be manufactured and delivered during the following stages of the program, which represent more than €10 million. They will enable the French and British navies to perform operational assessments.

ECA Group's participation in this programme confirms its leading position - worldwide and especially in Europe, over a period spanning more than 30 years in the unmanned neutralisation of underwater mines.

Well known for its mine identification and neutralisation vehicles, which can operate at depths of more than 300 metres and in areas with very strong currents, ECA Group has extended its offer over the last ten years. It now boasts the most comprehensive range of underwater and surface drones required to launch an unmanned mine countermeasure fighting force.

ECA Group's range of mine countermeasure AUVs includes the A9-M, A18-M and A27-M. This comprehensive and complementary range of vehicles carrying the various sensors required to detect, identify and locate mines can operate in shallow water and in the deep sea. The autonomous underwater vehicle designed for the MMCM programme will be derived from the A27-M, the largest AUV in the range. It will include the most recent SAMDIS sonar from Thalès. The LARS will enable this AUV to be launched in the most challenging sea conditions from non-specialised vessels.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Chinese Navy turns 66

On April 23, 1949, the PLA Navy was officially established in east China's Jiangsu province. Over the 66 years, Chinese Navy has grown to be a steel bulwark on the sea to defense national sovereignty. (Photo source: Weibo of PLA Daily reporters)

Naval ships of China and U.S. hold joint military drill in Zhanjiang

The amphibious transport dock ship Jinggangshan of the Chinese Navy's South China Sea Fleet and USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the U.S. Navy 's Seventh Fleet, held a joint military drill focusing on maritime search and rescue at a sea area off the Zhanjiang Port on April 24, 2015. USS Blue Ridge wrapped up on Friday its five-day visit to Zhanjiang in south China's Guangdong Province. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Naval Aviation Symposium 2015

Naval Aviation Symposium 2015

May 6 - 8
Make plans to attend the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation’s annual Symposium featuring panels discussing “Air War, Vietnam”, “HA(L)-3 Seawolves; Navy Assault Helicopters in Vietnam” and “Naval Aviation Today and Tomorrow” flag officer panel. Other events include a golf tournament on May 6, an awards luncheon with NASA Astronaut Colonel Ken Cameron and a banquet with guest speaker former Secretary of the Navy and Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Hon. Gordon England on May 7. All Symposium panels and events are open to the public, panels are free admission, luncheon and banquet require ticket purchase.

Click Here to Register or Purchase Tickets

‘Journey to Space’ and ‘Living in the Age of Airplanes’ Now Showing on the IMAX Giant Screen

“Journey to Space,” presented by K2 Communications and Giant Screen Films, explores the next steps for human space exploration. Narrated by actor Sir Patrick Stewart, the film will take audiences on a behind-the-scenes tour of the international effort to send astronauts to Mars within the next 20 years.
Actor and pilot Harrison Ford narrates the National Geographic Studios feature, “Living in the Age of Airplanes.” The film takes audiences around the globe on an epic journey to 95 locations in 18 countries spanning all seven continents to remind us how, in a single century, aviation has changed our world forever.

Click here for show times

Blue Angels practices

The Blues will conduct practice sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. most Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the 2015 season. The public is invited to view the practices for the Museum Flight Line. Following most Wed. practices, members of the Blue Angels visit the Museum to meet fans and sign autographs.
April practice dates: April 28, 29
May practice dates: May 5, 6, 12, 13, 27

Click Here to View Blue Angels Practice Schedule

Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Guitar and Watch Auction.

Own a tribute to the legends of Space - Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Astronauts autographed Fender Strater Caster Guitar. This guitar is one of two designed and built by Fender in honor of America’s Pioneers of Space. This unique guitar is signed by Gene Cernan; Fred Haise, James Lovell, John Glenn, Alan Bean, Walt Cunningham, Joe Engle, Michael Collins, Richard Gordon , Charlie Duke, David Scott, and Thomas Stafford. There is a $5000 reserve on this item.

Limited Edition No. 120 of 1972 - Beautiful OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo XVII 40th Anniversary Watch. There is a $5000 reserve on this item.

Click Here to Learn More

Summer Camp and Education Programs

At the Naval Aviation Museum and National Flight Academy
Register your child or grandchild for an aviation inspired adventure, we have programs for all ages offered all year long.

Flight Adventure Deck summer camp - 5 day sessions for 5th and 6th graders

National Flight Academy Deployments - 6 day sessions for 7th-12th graders

Adventure Saturday at the National Flight Academy-1 day (4 hours) sessions for Kindergarten-6th graders

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 Classified (SECRET) Submarine Technology Symposium


Classified (SECRET) Submarine Technology Symposium with speakers that include ADM Jonathan Greenert, The Honorable Sean Stackley,
VADM Mike Connor, RADM Phil Sawyer, RADM Joe Tofalo,
Mr. Jack Evans (OHIO Replacement Program),
Mr. Ron O'Rourke (Congressional Research Service),
 Dr. James Bellingham (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)


MAY 12-14, 2015


For Registration and Symposium Information:

For more information or assistance please contact the 
Naval Submarine League at 703-256-0891


Tim W. Oliver
Captain, U.S. Navy, Retired
Executive Director
703-256-0891 |  Fax: 703-642-5815
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X-47B First to Complete Autonomous Aerial Refueling

US Navy's unmanned X-47B receives fuel from an Omega K-707 tanker April 22 while operating in the Atlantic Test Ranges over the Chesapeake Bay. This test marked the first time an unmanned aircraft refueled in flight. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

NAS Patuxent River April 22, 2015 - The X-47B successfully conducted the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) of an unmanned aircraft April 22, completing the final test objective under the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration program.
While flying off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, the X-47B connected to an Omega K-707 tanker aircraft and received over 4,000 pounds of fuel using the Navy's probe-and-drogue method.
"What we accomplished today demonstrates a significant, groundbreaking step forward for the Navy," said Capt. Beau Duarte, the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. "The ability to autonomously transfer and receive fuel in flight will increase the range and flexibility of future unmanned aircraft platforms, ultimately extending carrier power projection."
During the test, the X-47B exchanged refueling messages with a government-designed Refueling Interface System (RIS) aboard the tanker. The aircraft autonomously maneuvered its fixed refueling probe into the tanker's drogue, also known as the basket, the same way a Navy pilot would refuel a manned aircraft.
"In manned platforms, aerial refueling is a challenging maneuver because of the precision required by the pilot to engage the basket," Duarte said. "Adding an autonomous functionality creates another layer of complexity."
This testing helps solidify the concept that future unmanned aircraft can perform standard missions like aerial refueling and operate seamlessly with manned aircraft as part of the Carrier Air Wing, he said.
"This segment of the X-47B demonstration program allowed us to further mature AAR technologies and evaluate the government tanker RIS," said Barbara Weathers, X-47B deputy program manager. "We used similar command-control and navigation processes previously demonstrated during the X-47B landings aboard the aircraft carrier."
Over the last few years, the Navy accomplished several significant firsts with the X-47B that showcased the Navy's commitment to unmanned carrier aviation. With the completion of this program, the service continues to develop its future unmanned carrier-based platform, known as UCLASS.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bollinger Delivers 13th Fast Response Cutter Richard Dixon

USCGC RICHARD DIXON during builders trials in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Bollinger photo.

Lockport LA April 14, 2015 - Bollinger Shipyards LLC has delivered the RICHARD DIXON, the 13th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.
The announcement was made by Bollinger’s President & C.E.O., Ben Bordelon. "We are very pleased to announce the delivery of the latest FRC built by Bollinger, the RICHARD DIXON, to the 7th Coast Guard District in Puerto Rico. We are looking forward to honoring and celebrating the heroic acts of Richard Dixon at the vessel’s commissioning.”
The 154 foot patrol craft RICHARD DIXON is the 13th vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class FRC program. To build the FRC, Bollinger used a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessels 26 foot cutter boat. The FRC has been described as an operational "game changer,” by senior Coast Guard officials.
The Coast Guard took delivery on April 14, 2015 in Key West, Florida, and is scheduled to commission the vessel in Tampa, FL during June, 2015.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero Richard Dixon. Dixon, a First Class Boatswains Mate stationed at Tillamook Bay, was awarded two Coast Guard Medals for his heroic actions on the July Fourth weekend in 1980. A series of dangerous storms swept across the Pacific Northwest and two boating incidents could have ended in disaster. Dixon and his crew courageously performed two separate rescues that weekend in the treacherous storm conditions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NAVSEA Dedicates Building to Historic Shipbuilder

Official U.S. Navy file photo of USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, which was designed by Joshua Humphreys, the man whose name the Naval Sea Systems Command gave to its headquarters building on the historic Washington Navy Yard.

Washington April 21, 2015 - Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) headquarters officially opened its recently redesigned, renovated and renamed building with a ceremony April 20 at the Washington Navy Yard. 
With a nod to NAVSEA's mission, Building 197 will be known as the Humphreys Building, named in honor of Joshua Humphreys, the original designer of the U.S. Navy's first six frigates. 
"As America's first warship designer, he laid the foundation upon which the Navy and NAVSEA is built ... As the designer, builder maintainer, and armorer of today's Navy, NAVSEA carries on Joshua Humphreys' work, and in fact our history and future are forever intertwined," said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. William H. Hilarides. 
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, along with NAVSEA leadership and direct descendants of Joshua Humphreys, attended the ceremony Monday.
During the 17-month-long renovation, NAVSEA took the opportunity to bridge the gap between naval history and current innovations in shipbuilding with help from the Naval History and Heritage Command and the National Museum of the United States Navy. 
A series of history display panels featuring a timeline of naval shipbuilding highlight the important role of innovation in shipbuilding throughout the Navy's history since Joshua Humphreys' era. It is located near a section that honors the 12 people who died when a lone gunman attacked the building Sept. 16, 2013.
"Our staff provided images, historical information, helped develop the shipbuilding timeline as well as recommended an appropriate design for the exhibits and other aspects," said Jim Bruns, director of the National Museum of the United States Navy.
Bruns added that on a regular basis, NHHC researches, analyzes and interprets the Navy's history, customs, and traditions.
Humphreys was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 1751. He started early on as a ship's carpenter apprentice in Philadelphia. His reputation grew in the colonies as a naval architect. In 1776, he was commissioned to build ships in Philadelphia and prepare them for the Revolutionary War. Years later in 1794, he was charged with building the Navy's first six frigates. 
Humphreys used his innovative designs and applied new technology to improve ships' speed and efficiency. His most famous frigate is USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat. Joshua Humphreys died on Jan. 12, 1838.
The Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions throughout our nation's history, and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.