Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Babcock achieves key milestone in submarine maintenance

Royal Navy

January 26, 2015 - Babcock has marked a major milestone in the substantial Revalidation and Assisted Maintenance Period (RAMP) on Trafalgar class submarine HMS Trenchant – the largest RAMP undertaken to date in Devonport – with the achievement of flood-up, marking the conclusion of some 16 months in dry dock.
This significant RAMP involves a challenging programme of maintenance, system revalidation and capability upgrades, with the successful achievement of flood-up signifying approximately 70 per cent completion of the work-package. 
Activities to date have included the installation of a new composite rudder, overhaul of both port and starboard circulating water systems, the largest RAMP survey package ever undertaken, torpedo tube revalidation, and pressure hull revalidation.  It has also involved a significant package to survey and overhaul the Sonar 2076 flank arrays, installation of the Defence Information Infrastructure, a large galley upgrade, a major tank maintenance programme, and application of the recently developed internal non-destructive testing (NDT) inspection method for tail shafts.  Moreover, Trenchant will undock with an exceptional finish; the product of extensive tile refurbishment and ‘fairness of form’ work, as well as the application of a new signature-reducing paint system. 
Additionally, the RAMP has seen the trial of an eddy current non-destructive testing (NDT) technique that allows weld lines to be inspected without paint removal.  This has proved successful, and will now be introduced for use in future RAMPs. 
Over the next 12 months the team will focus on completing the remaining work, which needs to be undertaken while the vessel is afloat.  This includes the completion of maintenance and upgrade to the nuclear steam raising plant (NRSP), which involves the submarine being heeled, restricting the wider activities that can be undertaken onboard.
Commenting on the achievement of flood-up, Babcock Boat Manager John Pitt said: “We have worked closely with the MoD and Royal Navy, combining our respective areas of specialist knowledge and experience as a joint team to undertake this challenging programme of work successfully and we are delighted to have achieved flood-up, being a significant and highly visible milestone in the project.  We have applied and developed key project management tools to optimise schedule adherence and cost control, and will continue to work closely with the MoD and Royal Navy to deliver the RAMP successfully.”

SAAB chooses KONGSBERG sonar and multibeam systems for Swedish submarines

SAAB chooses KONGSBERG sonar and multibeam systems for Swedish submarines

January 26, 2015 - Defence and security company SAAB has selected a cutting-edge Kongsberg Maritime hydroacoustic package for installation on two Swedish A19 submarines. The delivery will consist of SA9510S Mine Avoidance and Navigation Sonar for submarines and the leading EM 2040 Dual RX multibeam echosounder.
SAAB chooses KONGSBERG sonar and multibeam systems for Swedish submarines
The main purpose of the SA9510S sonar is to detect mines, obstacles and the sea-floor in a wide swath ahead of the submarine. The sonar generates target warnings or alarms with sufficient time available to perform an avoidance manoeuvre. It is a vital tool providing information to crew for bottom navigation purposes and for submerged navigation. The SA9510S sonar has the ability to detect and display the bottom profile in several selected horizontal directions in front of the submarine. Mine-seeking and submerged navigation can be performed simultaneously.
The EM2040 Dual RX to be delivered is an enhanced version of the leading EM2040 multibeam echosounder system. The EM 2040 Dual RX features two TX-Transmitters and two RX-Receivers and is designed for mapping in shallow areas at higher speed. It will provide A19 crews with accurate survey data and excellent range performance (both depth and swath width) at the highest resolution available in the market.
"With this sonar solution selected for both the Swedish submarines and Norwegian submarines, Kongsberg Maritime will have delivered active navigation sonars to the two leading submarine nations specialising in operation in shallow water," comments Thomas Hostvedt Dahle, Product Sales Manager Naval sonars in Kongsberg Maritime. "This contract features our state-of-the-art navigation and avoidance sonar in addition to our flagship multibeam system. It strengthens Kongsberg Maritime's position as a leading supplier of sonars with special capabilities for operation in littoral waters, whilst demonstrating the effectiveness of our standard products adapted for military operations."

Monday, January 26, 2015

U.S. Navy Selects BAE Systems to Provide Communications and Combat Systems Support for Surface Combatants

U.S. Navy Selects BAE Systems to Provide Communications and Combat Systems Support for Surface Combatants

McLean VA January 26, 2015 - The U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded BAE Systems a five-year contract to provide full life-cycle engineering and technical support for communication and combat systems on land and at sea. The initial award is valued at $28.4 million with the total value of the five-year contract estimated at $146.7 million.
Under the contract, the company’s experts will integrate computers, communication systems, combat systems, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems on board U.S. Navy surface combatants and at associated shore sites in the United States and abroad.
“For 30 years our seasoned team has ensured that platforms, sensors, communications, and weapons systems aboard U.S. Navy ships are integrated and optimized for mission success,” said DeEtte Gray, president of BAE Systems’ Intelligence & Security sector. “In addition to aiding in mission readiness, BAE Systems’ life-cycle services directly support NAVAIR’s strategic cost-reduction initiatives.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

Marines Receive First F-35C

Lockheed Martin

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. “Tank” Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander and F-35 pilot, delivered the new F-35C to Strike Fighter Squadron 101, the Navy’s only F-35 fleet replacement squadron January 13th. This aircraft is the first of five Marine Corps F-35Cs that will be delivered to VFA-101 on Eglin. 
Marine F-35 pilots primarily fly F-35Bs – a short take-off vertical landing variant designed to deploy to austere locations and operate aboard amphibious ships
“This is a big day for the Marine Corps tactical air community and a huge honor to be able to deliver our first F-35C,” said Ryan. “It marks the beginning of our training in the carrier variant and puts us that much closer to standing up our first F-35C operational fleet squadron.”
The F-35C model brings 25 percent more range and a bigger weapons bay. It also allows the Marine Corps to fly aboard Navy aircraft carriers, which continues an effective and long-standing tactical air integration program between the Navy and Marine Corps.
“In the past, Marines have been trained to fly the Navy’s F-18 Hornet to share the load of deployment cycles,” said Ryan. “Now, Marine pilots will be flying the F-35C with the Navy’s Carrier Air Wings while deployed aboard aircraft carriers.”
The first operational Marine Corps F-35C fleet squadron, VMFA-115, is scheduled to stand up at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, in 2019. 
“It’s exciting to be on the ground floor of the F-35C and an enormous honor to be the first F-35C Marine pilot,” said Ryan. “I look forward to being a part of VFA-101 and the future of what this aircraft will bring to the fight for our Marines.

US Coast Guard Acquisition Updates

Acquisition Update: Fabrication Starts For Coast Guard's Seventh National Security Cutter

Fabrication of the Coast Guard's seventh national security cutter, Kimball, began Jan. 19, 2015, marking the official start of the cutter's production phase. Production will continue over the next three years with delivery scheduled for early 2018.

Acquisition Update: U.S. Achieves Highest Coverage Standard With Rescue 21 System

The Coast Guard's Rescue 21 direction-finding communications system has achieved Sea Area A1 standards, indicating that radio communications coverage can be expected within 20 miles of most of the U.S. coast.

Acquisition Update: 12th Fast Response Cutter Delivered To Coast Guard

The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 12th Sentinel-class fast response cutter, Isaac Mayo, in Key West, Florida, Jan. 13.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

US Navy Approves F/A-18 Super Hornet IRST System for Production

Lockheed Martin

Orlando January 22, 2015 – The F/A-18 Super Hornet infrared search and track (IRST) system, developed and integrated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, received approval from the U.S. Navy to enter low-rate initial production.
The IRST system consists of Lockheed Martin’s IRST21™ sensor, the GE Aviation FPU-13 Fuel Tank Assembly and the Meggitt Defense Industry Environmental Control unit. The system demonstrated its production readiness through a series of extensive assessments and reviews, including flight tests.   
“This ‘see first, strike first’ capability can be used in a variety of threat environments and is a game changer for our warfighters as we combat future adversaries,” said U.S. Navy F/A-18 program manager Capt. Frank Morley. IRST is expected to deploy on the F/A-18 Super Hornet in 2017. 

Lockheed Martin

IRST21 is the next generation of Lockheed Martin’s legacy IRST sensor system, which accumulated more than 300,000 flight hours on the U.S. Navy’s F-14 and international F-15 platforms. The long-range IRST21 sensor uses infrared search and track technology to detect, track and enable the Super Hornet to engage threats with air-to-air weapons.
“Lockheed Martin and Boeing have proven the maturity of the IRST21 sensor and the IRST system and are poised to get this advanced capability out to the fleet to support Navy carrier strike group objectives,” said Ken Fuhr, fixed wing program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

Lockheed Martin

In addition to detecting airborne threats, IRST significantly enhances multiple target resolution compared to radar, providing greater discrimination of threat formations at longer ranges. Data from the IRST21 sensor is fused with other on-board F/A-18 sensor data to provide maximum situational awareness to the warfighter.
“The IRST system is another example of how we continue to evolve Super Hornet capabilities to ensure it outpaces future adversaries,” said Tim Adrian, F/A-18 IRST program manager at Boeing. 

Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Ready for Demonstration Flights

The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems.

Seattle January 22, 2015 - The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems.
Flights for prospective customers around the world are scheduled to begin in the coming months. The mission system testing followed last year’s airworthiness and certification testing.
“The mission systems flight test program proved the functionality and performance of the onboard sensors and was a huge accomplishment for the MSA team,” said David Utz, MSA demonstrator flight test manager.
The testing included hundreds of scenarios to confirm performance of the Automatic Identification System, radar, Electro-Optical Infrared camera, communications radios and data links, Communications Intelligence System and the Electronic Support Measures.
MSA is a multi-intelligence maritime surveillance platform that leverages investments in the P-8A Poseidon and the Airborne Warning and Control System Block 40/45 aircraft mission systems to provide a high capability, low-risk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance solution in a mid-size business jet.
The aircraft’s potential missions include anti-piracy, immigration patrols, Economic Exclusion Zone enforcement, coastal and border security and long-range search and rescue.