International Naval News & Discussion

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brar_w
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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 16 Nov 2019 23:49

Lockheed Martin's Long Range Discrimination Radar derivatives finally get an official US Navy designation - AN/SPY-7(V)"X". The scalable GaN AESA is going to be operational, in its largest form in late 2020/early 2021, when the LRDR site in Alaska is expected to begin emitting. The "AEGIS-Ashore" sized variant has already completed testing at a testing facility in the US and is the radar for Japan's two AA sites. Canada and Spain will be the other two users of the radar optimizing for a size that matches the space, weight, power and performance needs of their Frigates.In its LRDR form factor (parent design), the radar is the second largest GaN AESA in the world, and the largest if one looks only at Air or Missile Defense radars.

Lockheed Martin Latest Solid-State Radar Now Designated AN/SPY-7(V)1


The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected AN/SPY-7(V)1 for two planned Aegis Ashore installations in 2018. Additionally, variants of AN/SPY-7(V)1 will be used by the Royal Canadian Navy for the Canadian Surface Combatant program and the Spanish Navy for the upcoming F-110 frigate program.

AN/SPY-7(V)1 is a modular and scalable solid state radar, allowing for continuous surveillance and protection. It will be fully integrated with the Aegis Combat System, providing advanced technology for future ship classes.



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A single face test article for the Aegis Ashore sized variant of the SPY-7 -

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Nov 2019 21:26

QE design and F-35 capacity- 45 on deck parking spots for Aviation assets (aircraft or helicopters) and another 21 aircraft capacity below deck -

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby chola » 14 Dec 2019 10:45

Another disaster for the Kuznetsov.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Capt_Navy/status/1205070211352805376

Capt(N)
@Capt_Navy
Footage of the fire onboard aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznestov shows black smoke rising above the decks of the ship.According Russian state news agencies,one worker remains unaccounted for.The same wires suggest the fire is spreading and now covers 600 sq metres of the ship.





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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby chola » 14 Dec 2019 18:38

I wonder if Russians are superstitious but the Kuznetsov seems monumentally CURSED. I would be scared sh1tless if posted on that thing.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 14 Dec 2019 19:01

Sailors are amongst the most superstitious of all. RN submariners and oxtail soup...Fires aboard warships in refit are common, affecting all navies but the poor Kuz is right now jinxed.The dry dock catastrophe, etc. and now this fire. It only underscores the intense 100% anti-fire precautions reqd. aboard warships and subs,especially when in refit when so much of flammable stuff like paint, etc. is lying around.From some reports the fire was in a propulsion/power compartment with a lot of diesel around.The damage would then be huge. The Kuz will not see service it appears for another 2 years.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 14 Dec 2019 20:37

Based on reports the AC was to deploy in late 2021 even before the dry-dock incident last year, and this current fire. That has to put a pretty sizable dent into its modernization pace and program so it the next deployment will probably be closer to 2023 if not later. Interfax has reported that the flame eventually spread to nearly 600 sq. meters. That is one big fire that ran uncontrolled and grew for quite a significant amount of time. This will take a lot of work to remedy and fix even before they could get around to actually overhauling and modernizing based on the original schedule. Of course this also assumes that the dry dock is repaired in time.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Jan 2020 07:44

The Ford is out at sea, and the ship EC verification is about to wrap up and flight ops are expected to begin by the end of the month. They should surpass the 1000th at-sea take-off and arrestments by the end of this phase which may be followed one additional round of at-sea operations to clear all the USN's platforms for EMALS and AAG at-sea takeoffs and landings...

General Atomics Advanced Arresting Gear System Completes Critical High Cycle Testing


SAN DIEGO, CA, 03 JAN 2020 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that High Cycle Testing of its Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system for Ford-class aircraft carriers was successfully completed over a two-day period in October 2019 at the Runway Arrested Landing Site (RALS) in Lakehurst, New Jersey. High Cycle Testing was conducted at RALS on a single AAG system that is identical to the three systems aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Five F/A-18E/F Super Hornets were involved in the testing to simulate the operational tempo of carrier flight operations at sea.

“Over and over again, in rapid succession, AAG sustained an aircraft arrestment rate of nearly one per minute, successfully testing the system’s capability to handle the recovery sequence required for combat readiness,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Arresting aircraft at a high rate over a sustained period on the same wire is an aggressive test and shows the ability of the system to withstand extreme conditions. The Ford has the capability for an even higher operational tempo than demonstrated at the test site because it has three wires and clears aircraft from the flight path more efficiently.”

High cycle testing is part of the verification and validation of AAG System requirements. The AAG system test program has completed more than 5,000 arrestments at the land-based test facilities at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and 747 arrestments aboard CVN 78 during the ship’s initial sea trials. The Navy has also issued an Aircraft Recovery Bulletin for the fleet air wing, clearing the AAG system for use on all Ford-class carriers.

“We look forward to CVN 78 getting back out to sea in early 2020 to conduct more robust flight operations,” continued Forney. “We anticipate executing significantly more sorties during this phase, utilizing both jet and prop aircraft. AAG works as intended, and we will continue to collaborate with the Navy to ensure system readiness and reliability to meet operational objectives.”

AAG is a turbo-electric system designed for controlled and reliable deceleration of aircraft. AAG is installed on board Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) along with the GA-EMS Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), which uses electromagnetic technology to launch aircraft from the deck of naval aircraft carriers. In addition to CVN 78, EMALS and AAG are being delivered for the future John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and the Enterprise (CVN 80).

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Jan 2020 07:54

Interesting tid-bit for additional shipsets from the last LRIP enhancement to account for the additional DDG-51 ships added by Congress. At $125 Million a shipset this comes in at about a 40% cost premium over the latest variant of the SPY-1. This for the largest single face variant of the SPY-6 currently on order (5328 T/R modules per face x 4 faces per DDG-51). I suspect that once this thing kicks into FRP they'd be able to get it to around 25% premium which is quite reasonable for a larger radar face and Raytheon's proprietary 2nd gen. GaN technology. This cost trajectory also bodes well for the 18 ft. or 21 ft. variant of the radar being designed to support a future LSC..The 18ft. will actually fit on the DDG-1000 if they ever decide to add an S-band dedicated surveillance sensor on that vessel..Between Lockheed's SSR and Raytheon's AMDR the USN/DOD now has two advanced GaN S-band radars that scale for frigate-Cruiser applications at sea, and right up to large BMD applications for land based uses. I suspect after a couple of rounds of exclusive Raytheon awards, they may open up to competition to allow Lockheed back into after it lost the SPY franchise..

Raytheon building additional SPY-6 radars for US Navy


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 18 Jan 2020 01:55

First E-2D landing on USS Ford kicking off above deck testing and qualifications. The US Navy has laid out a very ambitious 2020 plan for CVN-78 which includes nearly 188 days of at sea-deployment for test and cert. and more than 6000 take off and landing cycles between testing and certification and the fact that for a number of months this year, the USS Ford will serve as the East Coast carrier fleet's only AC pilot certification ship...

Last edited by brar_w on 19 Jan 2020 01:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 18 Jan 2020 09:28

More pics -

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 Jan 2020 06:44

At the 3:21 mark you can see the final configuration of Fincantieri FFG(X) frigate proposal (based on the Italian FREMM ASW variant) for the US Navy. 16 Naval Strike Missiles, and 36 cell Strike length Mk41 Vertical Launch System for a total of more than 100 potential interceptors (15 X Quad Pack ESSM's and 21 x SM2/6 is likely a more realistic load-out for a total of 81 interceptors). SPY-6 (V)2 GaN S-Band EASR Radar along with SEWIP 2 EW suite and a Sea RAM launcher as well. Room and power provisioned for a High Energy Laser as well...It is rumored that Huntington Ingalls is proposing a LITE variant of the DDG-51 destroyer for this so this will be an interesting program to follow. I think it will between these two. Selection is in the July-September time-frame..20 ship program that will likely grow to more like 30.


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 Jan 2020 23:34

It's going to take a while to get used to not seeing steam during TO's -


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Jan 2020 17:49

It seems the US Navy will keep an objective Block V inventory (upgraded block IV's and new builds) of about 5,000 missiles before it shuts down the Tomahawk program and switches to NGLAW.

Entire [US] Navy Tomahawk Missile Arsenal Will Upgrade To Block V


he Navy’s arsenal of Tomahawk cruise missiles will all become a Block V configuration, with older models to be retired and demilitarized, according to the program manager.


“All Block IVs will be converted” and become Block V Tomahawks, said Capt. John Red, speaking to reporters during the 2020 Surface Navy Association Symposium last week.

The upgraded Tomahawks will have a more extended range and modernized data-link radio and navigation systems. The upgrades are being done at Raytheon’s Tucson, Ariz., facility.

The existing Tomahawk Block III missiles will be retired and demilitarized.

The first five Tomahawk Block IVs being modernized will come out as test missiles with four heading back to the fleet “to demonstrate their capabilities” when used in an expected contested environment in the future, Red said.

When the Block IV cruise missiles were first manufactured, the expectation was they would have a 30-year life. Red added, “they were designed in 1999, the late 90s with early 2000s technology. That meant “the future is now” for their modernization.

“We’re still producing Block IVs,” which reached initial operating capability in 2004, said Chris Daly, director of program management at Raytheon.

Red said 90 missiles will go through the recertification process per cycle. There will be three variants in Block V, but “the determination of the split” between the versions has yet to be determined, Red said.

“The Block Va variants will be called Maritime Strike” with a new seeker capable of hitting a moving target. Red would not detail the seeker’s capability beyond saying it operated in various modes and has “the ability to discriminate targets” and can be updated in flight.

Block Vb will feature the Joint Multi-Effects Warhead System. The new warhead was first announced in 2010 and tested in 2014.


After the Tomahawks used by the U.S. military are upgraded, it is possible the United Kingdom, the only other nation with Tomahawk cruise missiles would begin modernizing its arsenals, Red said. U.S. law covering foreign military sales says systems and weapons must be fielded first in the United States.

“We’re still working through that” in Washington and London, Red said.


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Jan 2020 18:06

^^ The approach for Maritime Strike with the Tomahawk this time around is with a seeker that can be used to hit moving targets both on land and in the water. The solution is believed to be a Multi Mode RF seeker that Raytheon has internally developed and demonstrated to the USN a few years back. Janes Navy International described it as an Active AESA based RF seeker with passive modes.

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Raytheon completed a successful captive flight test of a seeker designed for the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile, mounted on a T-39 test aircraft. The seeker will enable Tomahawk to engage moving targets on land and at sea.


https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2016/0 ... 452789391/

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Jan 2020 17:49

CVN71 performing a series of maneuvers in the Pacific 25 Jan with #cruiser BUNKER HILL CG52 and the five #destroyers of DESRON 23. TR deployed from San Diego 17 Jan with #CVW11 Carrier Air Wing 11 LINK


That's 5 x DDG-51 AEGIS destroyers, and 1 x AEGIS Cruiser on support (SSN not in the picture). A total of around 600 Vertical Launch cells available for both CSG protectionm, Area and Point Ballistic Missile Defense, and offensive ops (Plus the carrier's own weapons and of course the Air Wing). This is one of the larger deployments for a CSG in recent USN deployments (typical deployments have about half the footprint) but is probably reflective of how the deployments are going to be in the Indo-Pacific AOR while other regions stick to the smaller footprint.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 28 Jan 2020 06:26

Maiden deployment of the MQ-4C Triton -

U.S. Navy’s Triton unmanned aircraft system arrives in 7th Fleet


The Navy’s first MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have arrived in Guam for their initial deployment in the Pacific theater.

Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the first Triton UAS squadron, will operate and maintain two aircraft as part of an early operational capability (EOC) to further develop the concept of operations and fleet learning associated with operating a high-altitude, long-endurance system in the maritime domain.

The Tritons forward-deployed to Guam, both of which have arrived at Andersen Air Force base as of Jan. 26, will fall under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72, lead for patrol, reconnaissance and surveillance forces in 7th Fleet.

“The introduction of MQ-4C Triton to the Seventh Fleet area of operations expands the reach of the U.S. Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force in the Western Pacific,” said Capt. Matt Rutherford, commander of CTF-72. “Coupling the capabilities of the MQ-4C with the proven performance of P-8, P-3 and EP-3 will enable improved maritime domain awareness in support of regional and national security objectives.”

The Navy’s Persistent Maritime UAS program office at Patuxent River, managed by Capt. Dan Mackin, and industry partner Northrop Grumman, worked closely with VUP-19 in preparation for EOC. Prior to flying the aircraft to Guam, the team completed extensive operational test and unit level training.

"This significant milestone marks the culmination of years of hard work by the joint team to prepare Triton for overseas operations," said Mackin. "The fielding of the Navy's premier unmanned aircraft system and its additive, persistent, multi-sensor data collection and real-time dissemination capability will revolutionize the way maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is performed."

The MQ-4C Triton will conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions that will complement the P-8A Poseidon and will bring increased persistence, capability, and capacity through its multi-sensor mission payload.

“The inaugural deployment of Triton UAS brings enhanced capabilities and a broad increase in Maritime Domain Awareness to our forward Fleet commanders,” said Rear Adm. Peter Garvin, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group. “VUP-19, the Navy’s first dedicated UAS squadron supported by an outstanding NAVAIR and industry team, is superbly trained and ready to provide the persistent ISR coverage the Navy needs.”

Initial operational capability will include four air vehicles with capacity to support 24/7 operations.


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 28 Jan 2020 19:44

Philip wrote:Warships are getting smaller and with more automation,smaller crews and more weaponry in corvette sized combatants are taking place.Unmanned long endurance systems like the USN Sea Hunter are taking over some ASW tasks once the staple diet of frigates. One is going to see a lot more in this direction just as UAV/ UCAVs are complementing and reducing manned LRMP aircraft.


Warships are not getting smaller. On the contrary they are getting bigger. Destroyers have gone from 8-9 K Ton capacity to 10-15k Ton range. Cruisers, likewise are probably headed in the 15-20k ton range. Frigates are now coming in at the 6-8k Ton range and corvettes are being up sized. What's driving this increase in size? The need for these combatants to better protected (defensive systems) and for them to carry a larger offensive punch. A rough back of the envelope math gets us to about 10-15 tons of additional displacement is added for every Vertically Launched cell that is added to a design. If you want larger sensor coverage which is going to be required to better defend yourself then you need a stronger structure to handle more powerful and larger sensors. Larger frigates are going to be sporting anywhere from 36-48 Vertically launched cells depending upon the size and medium sized frigates between 18 and 24.

Look at the Frigates the Europeans are buying, the Canadians are buying and the Americans are buying or the Chinese are buying. For reference look what each competitor is offering the USN for their Frigate (scroll up to see the Canadian and US frigate concepts/designs). One one end you have Fincantieri offering a 7000+ ton design based on the Italian FREMM, and on the other you have Huntigton Ingalls which is rumored to be offering a stripped down version of the DDG-51 destroyer which is probably in the 8000+ ton range. This for a Frigate competition. Same with destroyers. The Flight III Burke is pushing closer to 10K and the Lexus version of the AEGIS destroyers are already there. The Chinese just put out a 12K ton destroyer and the DDG-1000 is in the 15K ton range. One of the Cruiser designs for the US Navy's LSC (proposed by Huntington Ingalls) is in the 20-25K ton range. Germany also just put out a program to build a 10-12K ton destroyer for its future need.

Just because the Russians built a corvette that has a very limited VL cell capacity and used it to launch a few Kalibrs from undefended waters does not constitute a trend. The rest of the world is pretty much hard at work upsizing nearly every damn ship class in existence. They aren't doing this just because they can..this is being driven by a need to better protect them and for them to be effective in their designed roles against the current and future threats.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Jan 2020 01:18

Philip wrote:At the larger end of the spectrum,the USN's response to RuN LR strike missiles has produced the CPS ( conventional prompt strike) ultra- LR ballistic missile with a conventional warhead for a " fast hit" anywhere on the planet..


Wrong. CPS is not a "response" to anything and it is NOT a Ballistic Missile. It is a Hypersonic Boost Glide Vehicle (BGV) that will fly a non-ballistic flight path for > 50% of its flight profile. Read up on the difference between the two. The program dates back to a decade ago and Prompt Strike capability is something the US Congress directed the US Navy to possess by 2020-2022 time-frame (It is actually codified in US LAW)..not something that was asked for by the USN as a response to something (no one responds to an offensive missile with another offensive missile..you respond with better Integrated Air Defense capability). The CPS will have a range in excess of 3500 km based on the two flight-tests that have already occurred. It could be more than that. All this information is present on this forum so it shouldn't be hard to get the facts straight.

Here's some help - viewtopic.php?t=7088&start=760#p2227306

Fitted onto the Zumwalt stealth DDGs


Wrong. The Zumwalt Class is getting a different weapon - a 21" diameter SM-6 which will be capable of AAW at roughly 300 nautical miles (using NIFC-CA), Sea Based Terminal defense against Intermediate Ranged Ballistic Missiles (and below), and Medium-Long Range Strike. Can the Zumwalt and other class US LSC's get CPS capability? Possibly, but that would entail Vertical Launch cells larger than the MK-57. The CPS will be a 36" diameter weapon IIRC.

The 1000 mile MST Tomahawk is going as an upgrade to all Block IV TLAM's so about 5000 overall missiles. It does not need the Zumwalt Class destroyer. It can be launched from anything that has a Strike length MK-41 and that would include the 20+ FFG(X) Frigates the USN is getting. LRASM is in production and the booster for it is in-service so a VLS launched LRASM with a range of roughly 500-600 km but with a very very small RCS is also possible very rapidly. The USN though does not think in terms of anti-ship missiles and they aren't a very big priority. Their CONOPS has most of the anti-ship role dedicated to its large SSN fleet and to airpower.

Philip wrote:Add to this across the board is a further Tomahawk variant in an anti-ship mode out to 900/1000km


Wrong once again. The range of the TLAM is 1000 miles or roughly 1600 km. The TLAM was designed from day 1 with a low altitude flight path in its range requirements and the payload, fuel, and maneuvering were all set up with that factored. Given a typical Anti Ship profile requires only terminal low altitude flight and an ship to land attack involves flying through huge swaths of defended airspace or re-routing you are pretty safe to assume that range impact on the the Anti Ship variant is going to be minimal. perhaps just a couple of hundred km's.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Feb 2020 17:40

brar_w wrote:Northrop Grumman begins testing of SEWIP Block 3 hardware


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Northrop Grumman has revealed that it has begun testing of engineering development model (EDM) hardware developed under the US Navy's (USN's) Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 programme.

The company said it is "on track" for the targeted installation of the first SEWIP Block 3 system in 2021 on board a DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

The latest in a series of incremental upgrades to the AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare (EW) system, Block 3 introduces an advanced electronic attack (EA) subsystem to the architecture of the existing AN/SLQ-32(V)6/SEWIP Block 2 system. The resulting system is being designated AN/SLQ-32(V)7.

The SEWIP Block 3 technical solution adopts an active electronically scanned array based on Gallium Nitride (GaN) transmit/receive modules and capitalises on technology previously matured and derisked under the Office of Naval Research's Integrated Topside programme. As well as jamming targeting radars and missile seekers, the Block 3 increment will also feature a Soft Kill Coordination System (SKCS) to provide direction and scheduling for both onboard and offboard soft-kill effectors.

Northrop Grumman was in October 2015 awarded a USD91.7 million target cost plus fee contract by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to complete the SEWIP Block 3 Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase. Under this award, the company has been tasked to mature the SEWIP Block 3 system design, finalise integration, modelling and test plans, and produce two production-representative EDMs for laboratory and field testing.

The SEWIP Block 3 EMD programme has encountered significant cost overruns and schedule slippage. However, Northrop Grumman was in January awarded a USD27.6 million contract modification to exercise options for the production of two SEWIP Block 3 system low rate initial production (LRIP) units. This followed a Milestone C acquisition approval from the USN that same month.


Here's a video describing the new system -

https://youtu.be/XJ3ir7UStTM?t=422

What is interesting about the AESA apertures is that they are multi-functional from the very start. Though block III is using the High and Low band Electronic Attack they are hardware capable of functioning as communication and sensor antennas in any future application. In fact the main thrust of the design was to add these and eventually make a couple of existing comms and data-link antennas onboard redundant and having single apertures handle multiple applications thereby saving space, weight, power and being overall more efficient.

The parent design for the block 3 is sourced from this -

https://www.janes.com/article/92308/nrl ... pabilities

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Feb 2020 00:13

brar_w wrote:Interesting that LRASM pre-checks have been performed on the P-8. I always thought that the NSM/JSM would be one on the first new weapons to be integrated given Norwegian involvement in the JPO for the MPA program and given it is likely more suitable for the platform..

In addition to the B-52 development, Lockheed Martin representatives also told Naval News that fit checks of LRASM with the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft were conducted about one year ago....


Interesting new posting from the US Navy. Not only do they want LRASM capability (by default this will integrate JASSM-ER) they also want the MALD decoy and jammer, and SDB-II, JDAM and other systems...

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), PMA-290 (Program Office for P-8A aircraft), is soliciting information from industry to determine potential contractors who have the skills, experience, qualifications, and knowledge required to perform aeromechanical and software integration of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) onto the P-8A aircraft, with the potential to include, but not limited to, the following additional weapon systems: 500 lb to 2,000 lb class of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) variants, Mk62/63/65 mines, Small Diameter Bomb (SDB-II), Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD), Bomb Rack Unit BRU-55, and Universal Armament Interface (UAI). Engineering tasks for this effort includes, but are not limited to upgrades to the Boeing Tactical Open Mission Systems (TOMS) and Stores Management Computer (SMC) software and interfaces, test planning, execution, data reduction, and reporting on flight test efforts. The Contractor shall support the Government in designing, modifying, installing, and maintaining the test aircraft and aircraft sub-system instrumentation. The Government will review industry responses to this sources sought in order to determine whether it is appropriate to issue competitive solicitations on an unrestricted basis or pursue a sole source award. The contemplated contract action cover a planned period of performance from January 2021 through January 2026. LINK
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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Feb 2020 17:49

US Navy To Greatly Expand P-8 Poseidon's Mission With New Missiles, Mines, Bombs, And Decoys


The U.S. Navy says that it is interested in dramatically expanding the arsenal of weapons that its P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft are capable of carrying. The service says that it wants to start by integrating the AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, on the planes, but then potentially move on to add various air-launched naval mines, precision-guided bombs, and the Miniature Air Launched Decoy, or MALD, to the available loadout options. There has been a debate within the Navy for years about giving the P-8As the ability to employ more types of munitions and other stores, which could turn these aircraft into arsenal ships of sorts capable of performing missions beyond anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare, and search and rescue, something The War Zone has been following for years now.

On Jan. 28, 2020, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) issued a notice on the Federal government's new central contracting website beta.SAM.gov, asking for contractors to submit information about their capabilities for integrating LRASM and the various other weapons onto the P-8A. LRASM, which is derived from the AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) land-attack cruise missile, entered service last year on the Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, as well as the U.S. Air Force's B-1B Bone bombers.

"The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), PMA-290 (Program Office for P-8A aircraft), is soliciting information from industry to determine potential contractors who have the skills, experience, qualifications, and knowledge required to perform aeromechanical and software integration of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) onto the P-8A aircraft," the contracting notice reads. There is also "the potential to include, but not limited to, the following additional weapon systems: 500 lb to 2,000 lb class of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) variants, Mk62/63/65 mines, Small Diameter Bomb (SDB-II), Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD), Bomb Rack Unit BRU-55, and Universal Armament Interface (UAI). Engineering tasks for this effort includes, but are not limited to upgrades to the Boeing Tactical Open Mission Systems (TOMS) and Stores Management Computer (SMC) software and interfaces, test planning, execution, data reduction, and reporting on flight test efforts."

At present, the P-8A's armament options consist of the AGM-84D Harpoon anti-ship missile and the Mk 54 air-launched lightweight torpedo. The Navy is also already working on integrating Mk 54s with the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) kit onto the aircraft, which you can read about in more detail in this past War Zone piece. HAAWC adds pop-out wings and tail fins to the standard torpedoes, which will allow Poseidon crews to employ them from a standoff range.

The stealthy LRASM, which has been in development since 2014, is an obvious choice to give the P-8As a more capable standoff anti-surface warfare weapon over the aging Harpoon and has been a planned addition to the aircraft's arsenal for some time.

The possible addition of the Mk 62, 63, and 65 naval mines, collectively known as the Quickstrike family, which you can read about in-depth in this past War Zone story, also makes good sense. The Navy has been re-investing heavily in naval mine warfare, including developing new air, surface, and submarine-launched types, as a means of improving its ability to respond to a future large scale and very likely distributed maritime conflict, especially in the Pacific region. There are standoff wing kits now in development for the Mk 62 and Mk 63 mines, which would also enable the Poseidons to emplace maritime minefields from a safer standoff distance. The U.S. Air Force is already actively exploring this concept using its B-52H bombers.

Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB-II), now also known as the GBU-53/B StormBreaker, is a small munition with standoff capabilities and a multi-mode guidance capability, allowing it to engage static or moving targets in any weather and at standoff ranges. A P-8A loaded with GBU-53/Bs would be a powerful tool against swarms of manned or unmanned small boats. The ability of the Poseidons to carry a large number of those munitions in place of larger weapons, combined with the aircraft's range, sensor, and endurance abilities, could enable it to provide a more persistent defense against those types of threats across a broad area. The Navy's largely retired P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft had the ability to engage smaller targets from a distance with AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles, a capability that did not get carried over to the P-8A.

The inclusion of Joint Direct Attack Munition-series GPS-guided bombs and the Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) are especially interesting because they point to potential future mission sets for the P-8A beyond purely maritime operations. With the exception of Laser JDAM variants, munitions in this family are not capable of engaging moving targets, such as ships or other watercraft sailing on bodies of water. The same standoff wing kit in development now for certain Quickstrike mines was also originally intended to help give JDAMs additional range and could become an additional capability for the P-8As in the future.

StormBreaker also has the ability to engage land-based targets, including moving vehicles. Again, the P-8A's range and endurance, combined with its overall payload capacity, and its vast array of sensors, could help turn the aircraft into more of a multi-mission weapons truck.


Similarly, though the various versions of MALD, including the newest MALD-X, which you can read about in-depth in this past War Zone story, could distract and confuse the air defense systems on enemy warships and shores. In addition to helping to protect itself on the way to a target area, the P-8A could use its large payload capacity to employ significant numbers of MALDs in support of other combat aircraft and cruise missiles as they wend their way to their objectives.

It's not necessarily surprising that the Navy would be interested in growing the P-8A's arsenal and, as a result, its mission sets. As mentioned earlier, there has been a debate going on about exactly this in the Navy's maritime patrol community since around when the Poseidon first entered Navy service in late 2013.

In 2014, a Navy maritime patrol pilot that had time flying the P-3 and the P-8 told The War Zone's own Tyler Rogoway, then writing for Foxtrot Alpha, the following:

"There are currently two schools of thought in the maritime patrol community right now when it comes to how the P-8 should be used. One where it works closely along the lines of its predecessor, and follows the P-3's traditional mission sets of ASuW [anti-surface warfare], ASW [anti-submarine warfare], and limited ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance], and another where the P-8 can be adapted more dramatically for a litany of missions, including direct attack on ground targets. Personally, I believe the P-8A should also be equipped with a more robust set of weapons and sensors for the fight against smaller vessels in constrained littoral environments."

"Harpoon is a great weapon, but it's too imprecise to use with civilian shipping nearby and in dense target environments close to shore. P-3C had a robust short-range ASuW capability with AGM-65 Mavericks, and we saw that used in Libya. We took a major step back capability-wise with only Harpoon being deployed aboard the P-8. I would equip P-8A with an off-the-shelf targeting pod such as the AAQ-33 Sniper [Advanced Targeting Pod], which is currently found on everything from USAF F-16s to B-52s. Couple the targeting pod with short-range, laser-guided munitions such as AGM-65 Laser Mavericks, AGM-176 Griffin, and/or or Small Diameter Bombs and you have a lethal and persistent weapons system."


The recent NAVAIR contracting announcement strongly suggests that the proponents of expanding the P-8A's mission set and giving it the ability to carry additional munitions and other stores to realize that expansion, have won the debate after all these years. It's not entirely clear what the Navy's timeline might be for when the aircraft may gain the ability to employ weapons such as SDB-IIs or JDAMs, but the goal certainly now seems to be to integrate these munitions in the future. The contract notice says that the prospective period of performance would run from 2021 to 2026.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Feb 2020 21:46

From the Indian Navy Thread:

hnair wrote:brar_w, swarm attack by supersonic AShMs have been an area of focus for USN, since public first started hearing of Aegis in the early 80s, almost 40 years ago. So why would you infer that the PLAN need that many decades to get their act together? They seem to have all the building blocks a while ago.


Coordinated attack from multiple subsonic or supersonic weapons was definitely a focus and an area of concern back during the Cold War but the defense against that involved a lot more than just relying on AEGIS. It relied on counter strike, relied on F-14's coming in and taking out the shooter and and a lot of deception as well. And of course a whole lot of praying. I didn't mean that the Chinese are going to take decades to become competent but they will have a steep learning curve and it takes a long time to mature technology, field a stable Combat System, Sensor and Shooter trio wrapped around an optimal doctrinal and training structure that is non-compromising and leverages real world system surrogates. You have to continuously test and stress the system and leverage that to identify areas of improvement and shore those up in follow on increments. This all will take time and cannot be accelerated or skipped entirely.

One of the Defense and Aero podcasts featured a Japanese Admiral recently where he spoke about how AEGIS has evolved over decades of iteration and real world experience of the US, Japan and other users and how while what China has recently fielded with its large destroyer is impressive will need time for them to show that they can dedicate themselves to this and then deliver. . But as I said it was an evolutionary approach to continuously get better and chip away at the technological barriers required to do so, and the doctrinal and training areas which needed to constantly improve to keep pace with the threat. Those are still being worked on till this day and a lot can still be made better.

Post Cold War, look at how AEGIS adapted from say Baseline 7/8 to the current Baseline 10 which is being installed on the first Flight III DDG-51 being constructed. First a very nascent terminal BMD capability was fielded with modified SM-2's, then a much deeper layered BMD capability came in with SM-3 and now SM-3 and SM-6 provides a layered BMD cover. Then even the smallest VLS interceptor was asked to be upgraded to tackle some of the short ranged BM threats (ESSM II). Even the latest block of the RIM-116 is tested against a supersonic cruise missile surrogate.

On the sensor side they realized that they needed to go into a digital environment and the SPY-1 was modified with AEGIS Baseline 9.0 so that BMD ships could also concurrently conduct the AAW and Anti Cruise Missile defense mission. This was challenging from an autonomy and MMI perspective and as such the baseline 9+ configuration addressed some of that. Magazines were modified and a very larger investment was made in Ballistic Missile and Subsonic and Supersonic Cruise missile surrogate target systems. Right now the USN target program is the largest and most elaborate of its kind in the world with targets currently being built to simulate nearly the entire SRBM-IRBM threat (and now even ICBM threat) and includes two supersonic cruise missile surrogates and 3 subsonic cruise missile surrogate. Even a Hypersonic glider is being built to exist as a surrogate. Yet despite of this, they've already identified baseline 10 deficiencies and the need to go from a 14 foot SPY-6 (which skipped an entire generation of AESA tech and moved directly over to 2nd gen. GaN) to something like an 18 or 21 foot radar on the next cruiser. All those will go into baseline 11 and beyond. CES was considered a marvel in the 90's and early 2000's. But through complex threat system development and testing they realized that CES would be inadequate so a new Naval Integrated Fire Control capability was developed and fielded in the 2015-2016 time frame. My point is that all this takes time..you need a mature system and then spend time designing counter systems that simulate your enemies capability and then find things that you need to introduce into your system to make it better against that. Even then you only increase your probability of success and not guarantee it. That process has just begun for the Chinese. To think they can fast forward or completely skip the iterative process or the process of cold hard testing (both live and virtual) and can field something comparable to AEGIS BL 9 from the get go is giving them (or anyone) way too much credit.

Even the US's own combat system that is a rival to the AEGIS (and onboard the CVN and DDG-1000 class) isn't as good as AEGIS and will take time to catch up. Its akin to them developing a BMD system, intercepting 2 targets and claiming that it is fully developed and fielded. While this may be OK on paper your confidence in your own system's ability to perform comes from the fact that you've actually tested the thing against a myriad of different threat types using diverse scenarios and that you continue to test with an operational crew in a realistic test environment so that you continuously identify areas that need to be made better. And that testing guides your future investment and not some pie in the sky idea on a PPT that someone trying to get a promotion came up with. The AEGIS BMD system (just the BMD portion) currently stands at around a 47 test program*. Through those 47 live intercept attempts they've learnt a heck of a lot that they couldn't had they just stopped at 5 or 10. They continue to learn, iterate, improve and validate and introduce new sensors, shooters and upgrade the CS based on that. Add CMD and AAW testing and you are looking at a a cumulative test campaign running into the hundreds. The Chinese would have to do the same and the jury is still out on whether they actually make the hard investments required to do so because the temptation is always there to field more and more capability and not look at the qualitative aspect of things.

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EDIT: Cleaning up the posts on the IN section so putting a reply to Phillip here -

Philip wrote:Reg. fancy missile defences,look how well Patriot has worked against Houthi/ Iranian strikes.


Those Iranian missiles at KSA were up against a sectored air-defenses obscured by geography and clutter and carrying PAC-2 missiles which need LOS with the radar. Saudi's lack a proper SHORAD system and don't have PATRIOT in the numbers required to have it substitute for one. They delayed PAC-3 and as such only fielded it a couple of years ago and barely have one battery currently operational with the system. On most occasions the missiles weren't even interceptable given trajectories and targets chosen and where their air-defenses were emplaced. This in no way compares to a 360-degree capable, multi-layered missile defense system that is tied to a CES/NIFC and fielding active seeker weapons for long range OTH intercepts and has dedicated interceptors for different range and types of weapons which the larger destroyers of most navies will have eventually (though it will take some time). Naval air-defenses don't have to face geography and LOS challenges the same way ground defenses do. Learn the difference between the two scenarios. Again, Brahmos is not obsolete..far from it..it will be a potent weapon against the Chinese for decades to come but lets properly assess how the large ships defend or are gearing up to defend themselves and the other ships they are escorting.

Philip wrote: Even the Israelis almost lost a corvette against the Hiz some time ago.


Isreali Navy fields nothing like the AEGIS (their threats are different). The Chinese on the other hand look like they want to go down that road.

Philip wrote:The extreme haste with which the US is to field its own supersonic strike missiles taken from BM and SAM systems speaks for itself.


The US is not fielding a superosnic anti-ship weapon. They are fielding long range hypersonic strike weapon for time critical targets. Beyond 2000 km range (in the 3000-4000 km range) the utility of your subsonic missile greatly diminishes given the time-to-target. Even high supersonic doesn't provide prompt strike. In fact even something like a Mach 5-6 missile won't cut it if you want time-critical strike at that distance. You need something much much faster. Moreover what they are fielding is a Mach 15-20 glider that can probably manuever (glide//skip) within the atmosphere for close to or more than 20 minutes. Now again, try to figure out the utility of that and how that differs from a supersonic threat. These are a completely different class of weapons and a source of much confusion because some folks take the liberty of classifying them as ballistic missiles when they are not ballistic, and others who classify ballistic missiles as hypersonic (which they are) but that confuses stuff even more because Hypersonic BG weapons are a completely different challenge as they predominantly exist inside the atmosphere and are capable of handling the stresses of that environment for an order of magnitude (in fact multiples in some cases) longer than something like a MaRV.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Feb 2020 20:24

Details on the capstone HMS Queen Elizabeth operational deployment expected next year -

HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group to deploy next year


Commodore Michael Utley, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, is reported as saying that HMS Queen Elizabeth will be escorted by two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates, a nuclear submarine, a Tide-class tanker and RFA Fort Victoria.The ship will also carry 24 F-35B jets, including US Marine Corps aircraft, in addition to a number of helicopters. Prior to the deployment, it is understood that the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group will go through a work-up trial off the west Hebrides range sometime in early 2021.

When asked about whether or not the UK has enough escorts to do this without impacting other commitment, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:“The size and the scale of the escort depends on the deployments and the task that the carrier is involved in. If it is a NATO tasking in the north Atlantic, for example, you would expect an international contribution to those types of taskings, in the same way as we sometimes escort the French carrier or American carriers to make up that.It is definitely our intention, though, that the carrier strike group will be able to be a wholly UK sovereign deployable group. Now, it is probably not necessary to do that every single time we do it, depending on the tasking, but we want to do that and test doing it. Once we have done that, depending on the deployment, of course, we will cut our cloth as required.”Air Marshal Knighton added:

“The escorts that go with the carrier will depend on the circumstances. The work-up for carrier strike group 21 will be with British ships, because we need to demonstrate and prove that we can do that, but we are already engaged with international partners to understand how we will integrate an Arleigh Burke destroyer from the US or a Dutch destroyer into that package.”

Captain Jerry Kyd, former commander of HMS Queen Elizabeth, commented on the initial deployment and the gradual increase in air wing numbers:

“We are constrained by the F-35 buy rate even though that was accelerated in SDSR in 2015, so initial operating capability numbers in 2020 are going to be very modest indeed. We will flesh it out with helicopters, and a lot depends on how many USMC F-35s come on our first deployment in 2021. But by 2023, we are committed to 24 UK jets onboard, and after that it’s too far away to say.”It is understood that the 2021 deployment will see the Carrier Strike Group sail in the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf and end up in the Pacific.



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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 13 Feb 2020 03:13

https://www.yahoo.com/news/navy-wants-r ... 00605.html
The Navy Wants to Retire a Ship That's Only Six Years Old

The U.S. Navy wants to retire four ships of the controversial Littoral Combat Ship class, including one ship that is just six years old. The four ships all have at least 10, if not 20 years of service in them but are currently non-deployable test ships not rated for combat. It’s unclear why the Navy wants to dump them when at the same time it is trying to reach a fleet of 355 ships by 2030.


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