Friday, December 19, 2014

General Dynamics Awarded $36 Million for Development of Advanced Submarine Technologies

Groton December 19, 2014 - General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $36.5 million contract modification from the U.S. Navy to develop advanced submarine technologies for current and future undersea platforms. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.
Under the terms of the modification, Electric Boat will perform advanced submarine research and development studies in support of a wide range of technology areas including manufacturability, maintainability, survivability, hydrodynamics, acoustics and materials. Electric Boat also will conduct research and development work in additional areas including affordability, manning, hull integrity, performance, ship control, logistics, weapons handling and safety. Additionally, the contract supports near-term Virginia-class technology insertion, future submarine concepts and core technologies.
Initially awarded in November 2010, the contract has a potential value of $710.6 million over a total of five years if all options are exercised and funded.

Lockheed Martin-Built MUOS-3 Secure Communications Satellite Encapsulated In Launch Vehicle Fairing


Cape Canaveral December 19, 2014 - The third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy was encapsulated into its payload fairing Dec. 18. It is scheduled to launch Jan. 20 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
MUOS operates like a smart phone network in the sky, vastly improving current secure mobile satellite communications for warfighters on the move. Unlike previous systems, MUOS provides users an on-demand, beyond-line-of-sight capability to transmit and receive high-quality, prioritized voice and mission data, on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.
"MUOS is a game changer in communications for our warfighters and will allow them to have high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone connected to a secure terminal around the world," said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. "The launch of MUOS-3 will increase our network coverage to about three-quarters of the globe."
Replacing the legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Follow-On system, MUOS satellites have two payloads to ensure UHF narrowband communications accessibility and new capabilities. MUOS' advanced Wideband Code Division Access (WCDMA) payload incorporates commercial technology and a new waveform to provide users priority-based capacity. Once fully operational, MUOS will provide comparatively 16 times the capacity of the legacy system. More than 50,000 terminals in the field today can be retro-fitted with WCDMA.
MUOS is expected to provide warfighters global coverage before the end of 2015. MUOS-1 and MUOS-2, launched respectively in 2012 and 2013, are already operational and providing high-quality voice communications. MUOS-4 is on track to launch later in the year. The fourth and final required MUOS ground station also is expected to be operational early next year.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, California, is the MUOS prime contractor and system integrator. The Navy's Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program Office, San Diego, California, are responsible for the MUOS program.

NSM Coastal Defence contract valued at NOK 1.3 Billion with Poland

Kongsberg
December 19, 2014 - Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has signed a contract with the Polish Ministry of National Defence for an NSM (Naval Strike Missile) Coastal Defence System valued at NOK 1.3 Billion. The scope of delivery is a Squadron-size unit similar to the contract won with Poland in 2008.
After a successful delivery and acceptance of the first Squadron, this second Squadron will increase the cooperation with the Polish Government and industry and further enhance security of supply by establishing the capability to maintain the system in Poland in an alliance with WZE (Wojskowe Zakłady Elektroniczne S.A).
The system uses NSM in conjunction with a command and weapon control system similar to the renowned NASAMS air defence system in use by four NATO countries, including the US. The radar system, communications system and trucks carrying launch ramps are provided by Polish subcontractors.
The NSM is a fifth generation Strike Missile, developed by KONGSBERG for the Norwegian Navy. NSM reached Initial Operational Capability on the new Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Class frigates and the new Norwegian Skjold Class corvettes in 2012. NSM was also recently tested by the US Navy on LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) #4 Coronado.
"This agreement proves the leading position of NSM and our position as a reliable partner and supplier to Poland. Polish industry and KONGSBERG successfully delivered the first NSM Coastal Defence Squadron through a close cooperation with the Polish Government. With this contract we continue our ambition of involving even more Polish companies and expand our cooperation into a broader technological arena", says Harald Ånnestad, President of Kongsberg

DDG 1000: Future is here

By Capt. David M. McFarland, USN
Deputy Director, Surface Warfare, N96B

As 2014 draws to a close, we begin to focus on some of the important strides forward the Surface Force will make in the coming year, specifically the commissioning and initial operational testing of the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the first of the three ship Zumwalt class. USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), will join the fleet in 2018 and 2021, providing the Navy with the world’s most sophisticated destroyers.
Earlier this year, the christening of the Zumwalt captured the imagination of the American public, as it saw for the first time the distinctive, powerful shape of this futuristic warship bristling with new technologies and capabilities designed to influence world events and sail American naval power where it matters, when it matters. DDG 1000 will provide sea control and power projections options that will help protect and sustain our national interests, assure friends and allies, and dissuade potential adversaries.

Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers Christens the guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Zumwalt (DDG 1000) during a christening ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, April 12, 2014. The ship, the first of three Zumwalt class destroyers, will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces and operate as part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. The lead ship and class are named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt Jr., who served as chief of naval operations from 1970-1974.(U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works by Dennis Griggs/Released)
Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers Christens the guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Zumwalt (DDG 1000) during a christening ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, April 12, 2014. The ship, the first of three Zumwalt class destroyers, will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces and operate as part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. The lead ship and class are named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who served as chief of naval operations from 1970-1974.(U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works by Dennis Griggs/Released)

The first thing one notices about this ship is its shape. Its tumblehome hull is designed to pierce through oncoming waves, rather than ride atop them. The second thing is its size and its distinct lack of sharp angles and protrusions creating a radar image significantly smaller than the DDG 51 class, though the ship is half again as large at 14,000 tons. Forward of the conformal deckhouse, one finds two mammoth Advanced Gun System 155mm mounts, capable of hurling GPS-guided projectiles in excess of 60 miles in support of ground operations or in a quick-strike capability. Yet with all the capability visible to the outside, much of this ship’s value to the war-fight resides inside.
Internally, the heart of this ship is an innovative electric drive system in which four massive gas turbine engines provide all the power this ship needs for propulsion and the advanced weapons systems. Rated at a total of 78 megawatts of power, the equivalent to the power needed to serve 47,000 average U.S. homes, it creates the conditions necessary for the future seamless integration of forthcoming weapons such as the electromagnetic Rail-Gun and high-energy lasers.
Ringing the main deck are four, 20-cell Peripheral Vertical Launch Systems, each of which will accommodate a range of advanced missiles to be used against air, surface, subsurface and land targets.  A next generation of bow mounted, dual high and mid-frequency sonar is integrated with the aft mounted multifunction towed sonar array providing detection and classification of even the most sophisticated adversary submarines and torpedoes.
We see this ship operating both independently and in concert with others. As the centerpiece of a Hunter-Killer group joined by an Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG 51) and an littoral combat ship, DDG 1000 will provide lethal sea control. In support of amphibious forces and land attack missions, DDG 1000 will add a new range and depth of fires to expeditionary power projection, and will be a strong complement to F-35B’s operating off large deck amphibious ships.

The Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer DDG 1000 is floated out of dry dock at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard.
The Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer DDG 1000 is floated out of dry dock at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard.

The technology this ship brings to the Fleet is impressive, and while only three will be built, they will undoubtedly be in high demand in every ocean as the center-piece of high end surface actions groups.
For the Surface Navy, the future is now, and now is the DDG 1000. We look forward to continuing to provide updates on the progress of system testing as this exciting ship moves steadily toward joining the Fleet.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DDG Modernization

By Capt Ted Zobel
Program Manager for Surface Combatant Modernization



Operating as integral players in global maritime security while engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense (BMD), the Navy’s Arleigh Burke class DDG 51 destroyers are the workhorses of the Fleet. With 62 destroyers currently in service and an expected service life of 35 years or greater, the sustained maintenance and modernization of these ships is crucial to their continued role as an essential component of surface warfare.
To date, the Navy has modernized 11 destroyers with hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) upgrades and one with combat systems upgrades.  USS Russell (DDG 59) successfully completed its HM&E mid-life upgrade and subsequent sea trials in October 2014.  By the end of the year, two additional ships, USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Benfold (DDG 65) will complete combat system modernization availabilities.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 6, 2014) The guided-missile destroyers USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57), the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 96) align in a column behind USS Vicksburg (CG 69), not pictured.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 6, 2014) The guided-missile destroyers USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57), the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 96) align in a column behind USS Vicksburg (CG 69), not pictured.

These efforts are part of Naval Sea Systems Command’s Surface Warfare Directorate (NAVSEA 21) and is a comprehensive lifecycle modernization program for the Navy’s DDG 51 destroyers. The modernization program enhances Fleet capability and ensures Navy’s surface combatant mission-relevance by pacing the  evolving threat.. The destroyer modernization program is fully mature, executing on cost and schedule with two ships projected to complete availabilities in 2015.
The highly successful DDG 51 modernization program began in 2006 by identifying the most resourceful and effective ways to upgrade Navy destroyers. The program proceeded with upgrades to Flight I and II destroyers (DDGs 51-78) in 2010 with upgrades to USS Arleigh Burke’s (DDG 51) HM&E system. This set of critical upgrades incorporated technology improvements to reduce workload and total ship ownership costs and included a fully integrated bridge, improved machinery and damage control systems, wireless communications and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computing equipment.  Since 2010, eleven DDG 51s have received HM&E upgrades and redeployed to the Fleet.
GULF OF THAILAND (Oct. 29, 2014) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) is underway during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia 2014.
GULF OF THAILAND (Oct. 29, 2014) USS Mustin (DDG 89) is underway during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia 2014.
In addition to HM&E systems upgrades, ships receive combat systems enhancements including improvements to BMD capability, the gun system, and anti-submarine warfare systems.Arleigh Burke destroyers are equipped with Navy’s Aegis system, the world’s foremost integrated naval combat management system. Upgrades to DDG 51 combat systems began in 2012 with USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) becoming the first destroyer to receive these very important upgrades.  The upgraded combat system network of both on-board and off-board sensors provides ground-breaking defense capability against cruise missiles and other modern threats.Following John Paul Jones, two more DDGs will complete combat systems upgrades by the end of 2014.
Beginning in 2014, the Navy evolved its modernization strategy to provide additional air defense capabilities to the Fleet by increasing the rate of combat systems modernization of DDG Flight IIAs (DDG 79 and later) to align with the date in which these ships were commissioned.  This approach will maximize the Navy’s return on investment (ROI) by modernizing Flight IIA ships at their midlife, increasing overall ship operational availability by combining separate combat systems and HM&E modernization periods into one. Modernization availabilities forFlights I and II will continue as planned, and modernization of Flight IIA destroyers will commence in 2017.
The Flight IIA modernization strategy increases the Navy’s BMD capabilities, and in turn the surface Fleet’s capability by incorporating BMD upgrades across all flights of DDG 51s. Modernized Flight I and II destroyers retain their very stable and operationally-proven Aegis baseline 5.3.9 computer program and receive the upgraded BMD 4.1 system. Newer destroyers, Flight IIA and beyond, will receive the upgraded Aegis weapon system baseline 9 which includes the BMD 5.0 system and the Multi-Mission Signal Processor which together enable simultaneous processing of Anti-Air Warfare and BMD threats.  Not only does the transition to baseline 9 provide significant air defense capabilities to our warfighters, it also simplifies and builds concurrency with the new construction DDG 51 efforts, effectively saving money on both procurement and training costs.
PEARL HARBOR (July 8, 2014) The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) departs Pearl Harbor for the at-sea phase of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.
PEARL HARBOR (July 8, 2014) The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) departs Pearl Harbor for the at-sea phase of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

In addition to enhanced BMD capabilities, the modernization strategy includes equipping all destroyers with the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). The integration of CEC into the DDG 51 enables a wide ranging set of ships and aircraft to link onboard sensors to build a composite operational picture of the entire battle space. To address the underwater warfighting requirement, Navy is installing the SQQ-89A(V)15 Anti-Submarine Undersea Warfare System with Multi-Function Towed Array (MFTA) that includes superior capabilities in underwater fire control, on-board training, a highly-evolved display subsystem and integration with the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) helicopter. These improvements effectively and dramatically increase the battle space and provide the Navy with an unparalleled 21st century fighting edge at sea.
The modernization program office plans the modernization availabilities well in advance of arriving at the shipyard so that complex technical modernization efforts are balanced, aligned and ready for installation. This type of preparation improves efficiency and increases the probability that the ship will complete its availability on time and in budget, fully ready to resume its operational commitments.
These major shipboard system upgrades on DDG 51 class ships improve the combat power of the surface Fleet and its ability to execute a wide spectrum of missions. By incorporating smarter technologies, the Navy ensures destroyers are not only more capable but are combat relevant for years to come.
The destroyer modernization program is evidence of the central role NAVSEA 21 performs in the rapid development and delivery of key capabilities required to pace the threat for the life of the ship.  NAVSEA 21 continues to manage and execute critical proven programs enabling the Navy to stay mission-relevant and meet combatant commander requirements in an increasingly complex and challenging budget environment. Through the implementation of modernization programs, the Navy ensures its ships are primed and ready for tasking in the most sustainable, cost efficient manner.

Swift Boats Were Workhorses of Brown Water Navy in Vietnam

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Swift Boat PCF-1 is on display at the National Museum of the United States Navy located at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast D.C. PCF-1 was a training boat at the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, Calif., until April 1975 when it left for Panama to patrol the Panama Canal where it was utilized in Operation Just Cause—the removal of Manuel Noriega and his regime in 1990. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric Lockwood (released)

By Laura Hockensmith, National Museum of the United States Navy

Not since the end of the Civil War did the U.S. Navy have a need for a riverine force, or Brown Water Navy. But that all changed as the United States got deeper and deeper into conflict between North and South Vietnam. Due to the nature of the fighting and supply lines in Vietnam, the Navy needed fast, strong, reliable boats that could patrol the waterways and stop the Viet Cong infiltrated into South Vietnam from receiving guns and ammunition from the Communists in North Vietnam.
At first, they borrowed ships from the Coast Guard, cutters and river patrol boats up-armored for combat with a .50-caliber machine gun and 81-mm mortars installed on the forecastle and four .50-caliber deck guns on the fantail.
The U.S. Navy found what they were looking for in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil rig workers off the coast of Louisiana and Texas were shuttled to and from the rigs in strong aluminum boats built by Seward Seacraft Company of Louisiana. The taxi boats were sturdy, quiet and with a draft of 3 ½ feet, powered by two diesel engines with twin screws and speeds up to 28 knots. With the addition of weapons and living amenities, they were the perfect craft for patrolling the waterways of Vietnam.
On Dec. 18, 1965 the U.S. Navy formalized a Brown Water Navy, commissioning the water taxis as Patrol Craft, Fast, or swift boats. From the Cau Mau peninsula in South Vietnam to the western inland waters at the border of Cambodia, the Sailors patrolled the brown water.
The PCFs were not given names, only numbers, unlike the Navy’s larger blue water vessels. The Sailors who navigated the PCFs through murky waterways and manned the .50-caliber machine guns were soon recognized for their courage and actions on the battlefield.
Swift boats patrolled the waterways, interrupted enemy supply lines, and participated in complex insertion and extraction operations, while enduring monsoons, riverbank ambushes, mines laid by the Viet Cong, and difficult nighttime operations. Swift boat Sailors brought the naval fight inland and had a decisive role in the fight against the Viet Cong.
Following the Vietnam War, PCFs continued to have a role in the Navy in various ways, such as coastal patrols and anti-piracy campaigns throughout the world. One swift boat, PCF-1, is on display at the National Museum of the United States Navy located at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast D.C.
PCF-1 was a training boat at the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, Calif., until April 1975 when it left for Panama to patrol the Panama Canal. Because of its Sailors’ intimate knowledge of the Panamanian waterways, PCF-1 was utilized in Operation Just Cause—the removal of Manuel Noriega and his regime in 1990. It found its permanent home at the Navy Yard in 1998. Its bow faces the Anacostia River, and in the words of then-Sen. John Kerry, “May she always be a shining example of Navy ingenuity and creativity, Navy commitment and courage…and may she stand here in constant vigil guarding the memory of those who served on Swifts but did not return.” Kerry, the current Secretary of State, was a former officer-in-charge of Swift boats during his service in Vietnam.
Forty-nine years ago the Brown Water Navy was born. With that came a class of Sailors with undeniable courage and commitment to their duty and their fellow Sailors, navigating waters deep into hostile territory to interrupt the shipping pipeline bringing supplies to the enemy.

Battelle Unifies Maritime Technologies Leadership Structure




Columbus December 18, 2014 - Battelle announced this week that its wide array of maritime technologies will now be housed under one leadership structure lead by Rear Admiral Fred Byus, USN (Ret'd) to better meet the accelerating growth of the government and commercial maritime technology markets.
Over the course of the last decade, Battelle has seen accelerating growth of the government and commercial maritime technology markets alongside simultaneous expansion -- both organically and through investments and acquisitions -- of its maritime portfolio of businesses. These include for-profit, wholly owned, and autonomous subsidiaries Bluefin Robotics and SeeByte. Byus will be working closely with Rich Leonard, interim CEO of Bluefin Robotics and SeeByte CEO Bob Black.
"By streamlining our operations, we're positioned for a better customer response and more agility in this marketplace which has growing significance for us," said Battelle National Security President Steve Kelly.
"I'm excited about this new chapter for our robust maritime business," Byus said. "Battelle and our subsidiaries have a lot to offer government and commercial customers."
"SeeByte is enthusiastic about this consolidation." said Bob Black of SeeByte. "Unified operational alignment will allow us to improve our already strong customer support while assuring the distinctiveness and vibrancy of our brand."