International Naval News & Discussion

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Philip
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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 08 Apr 2020 20:01

A major milestone for the USN was the commissioning of the 18th. Virginia class SSN,the Delaware. I think a block-3 of the class. This is no small achievement as the class is slowly taking over from the LA class of SSNs as frontline attack subs of the USN. Capabilities are heavily classified,but US sub warfare developments have included UUVs,UAVs launched from mother subs,plus various spl. forces eqpt. Several citations have been awarded to V class SSNs for undisclosed achievements. We'll have to wait decades for some of these to be declassified,as only now are some CW tales emerging.

Ru attack subs of recent entrance are the Yasen class, only a few in service with around 8 planned.These are larger,more SSGN in character than SSN ,as most attack subs today carry a variety of cruise missiles including land attack. A new class of SSN,slightly smaller than the Yasens are in the works,called the Laika.Earlier name given was the Husky..What distinguishes the new class is the shape of the sail,more akin to aquatic life.It may feature VLS cells both fore and aft of the sail and return to a forward torpddo compartment instead of amidships as in USN subs. The difficulty in replacing CW era Victor and Alfa class SSN/SSGNs one-for-one
has resullted in the RuN upgrading Sierra,Oscar,Akula and perhaps even Typhoon ( world's largest) class subs as their hulls can sail on for a few decades more.Some reactors may require only refuelling,not full replacement too,saving much roubles.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Apr 2020 20:31

The Delware (SSN-791) is the last of the Block III Virginia class SSN's. But it is not a vanilla block III. They moved up some block IV capability to it so it will in fact be the only Block III Virginia SSN to have the Acoustic superiority upgrades that go into Block IV and V as standard. This is the reason it had a much larger shakedown period compared to other subs, of its class, previously commissioned. In addition to the ASU's, block IV submarines, starting with SSN-792 will have one additional deployment over their service life compared to prior blocks. This is because block IV eliminates one availability period over the life of the submarine. So Block III's (and earlier) vessels will make 14 deployments and have 4 schedule depot avail availabilities over their expected life, while Block IV's and V's will have 15 deployments and 3 availabilities.

6 Block IV subs have already been laid down, with 2 of them (SSN-792 and SSN-793) having been launched. The Block IV SSN-792 is actually expected to be commissioned in the coming days and has been undergoing sea trials since late last year (see video linked below). The USN commissions roughly 2 Virginia class SSN's a year and starting next year both will be block IV's (1 of the 2 this year will be block IV's with the SSN-792 being a special case as it has a lengthier test/trial period because it is first in block vessel). The Long Lead contract for the first 2 Block V (with VPM) has been issued and the first Block V will actually begin sea-trials ahead of the 10th (and last) block IV hits the water.

https://www.wcax.com/content/news/USS-V ... 87301.html

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Apr 2020 23:28

Ford’s Combat Systems put to the Test


USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) recently completed testing of vital combat systems while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

These tests, conducted during Ford’s post-delivery test and trials (PDT&T) phase, are designed to stress the ship’s combat system capabilities and demonstrate the successful integration of new technologies, which the crew employs to defend the aircraft carrier.

Cmdr. Ron McCallister, Ford’s combat systems officer, noted the testing was a collaborative effort between Naval Sea Systems Command along with the greater technical community and the ship’s force.

“The tests exercise the combat systems suite as a complete unit and ensure maximum availability to meet combat and self-defense mission requirements,” said McCallister. “In the end, the combat systems suite achieves maximum readiness and the Sailors develop more operational and technical competence.”

Ford’s first certification of integrated combat systems tested the Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon (ATCRB) and Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF). The tests, conducted over several days, evaluated the ATCRB’s ability to track air and surface contacts and to identify friendly and enemy aircraft using an advanced identification system. IFF is used not only for positive, secure, friend identification, but also to control aircraft.

“We use an interrogator system to challenge aircraft transponders for identification,” said Operations Specialist 2nd class Juannietagrace Okeli, from Moss Point, Mississippi. “The interrogator, cooperative engagement capability, and the Ships Self-Defense Systems (SSDS) work together to provide us the combat identification.”

Ford also recently completed sea-based developmental testing (SBDT) of vital combat systems. This was the first full test of the integrated combat system against tactical adversaries. Testing was conducted with Kfir and Hawker Hunter jet aircraft from the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company. Ship’s crew tracked the aircraft, using Ford’s Dual Band Radar (DBR).

“SBDT is a stepping stone towards Ford’s Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trial (CSSQT), and follow-on operational tests by the Navy,” said Cmdr. William Buell, Ford’s combat direction center officer. “Our SBDT operations ran very smoothly, which is a good indicator of future success on CSSQT.”

As part of the SBDT, Sailors in Ford’s combat systems department conducted an up-load of simulated munitions for operators in the ship’s Combat Direction Center (CDC) to simulate engaging the aircraft.

“It was encouraging to see the results of our collective labor pay off and prove the warfighting capability of the class,” said Fire Controlman 2nd class Sam Lantinga, from Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Without these self-defense systems, Gerald R. Ford wouldn’t be able to deliver lethal effects to our nation’s adversaries.”

Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. Ford is underway conducting carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean.


USS Ford Combat Direction Center -

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Four Hawker Hunter fighter jets conduct a fly-by of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) during sea based developmental testing (SBDT) of the integrated combat system. SBDT is conducted to stress the ship's combat system capabilities to include the integration of new technologies Dual Band Radar with Rolling Airframe Missile and Sea Sparrow missiles. During SBDT operation 6B, Ford ran a risk reduction scenario for an AQM-37 high diving missile, an exercise that will be required during Combat System Ship Qualification Trial in order for the ship's combat systems to be considered fully operation capable.


SEARAM -

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ESSM-blk1 live target launch from last year. Ford will deploy with Block II when she is ready to head out for first combat deployment.

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Dual Band Radar -

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2020 18:41

Having certified EMALS/AAG and fight deck, the USS Ford is now the ONLY East Coast Carrier Qualification AC in the US for the remainder of 2020. Thousands of launch and recoveries are now going to be performed over the rest of the year as part of all east coast CQ activities..


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby chetak » 09 Apr 2020 23:33

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/04/07/nimitz-becomes-4th-aircraft-carrier-covid-19-case-report.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1586306191


Nimitz Becomes 4th Aircraft Carrier with COVID-19 Case: Report


Update: On Wednesday, Cdr. John Fage, spokesman for the U.S. 3rd Fleet, said the sailor's test is still inconclusive and no sailors aboard the Nimitz have tested positive.

"There are no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on board USS Nimitz at this time," Fage said. "Sailors that had been in close contact with the individual were also removed from the ship as a precaution and placed into quarantine. That sailor remains off the ship."

He added, "Regarding the second Nimitz sailor that has been reported as positive for COVID-19, they tested positive while out of the state on leave in early March. That sailor remains in that location and has not been to or aboard Nimitz since departing the area on leave."

Another aircraft carrier has confirmed a case of coronavirus in a crew member, according to a news report.

Citing three U.S. defense officials, Politico reported Tuesday that a sailor on board the carrier Nimitz (CVN 68) has tested positive for COVID-19. The sailor's test came back positive last week after the individual exhibited symptoms on board, Politico said.

Another crew member also has coronavirus, but the member has not been working on the carrier, Politico said.

A U.S. defense official told Military.com on Tuesday that a Nimitz-based sailor, who displayed symptoms was placed into isolation in late March out of an abundance of caution, was tested twice in recent days. However, both tests came back inconclusive.

The carrier is the fourth to reportedly have a case of the highly contagious disease among its crew.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, based in Bremerton, Washington, has been readying for a deployment, Politico reported. The Nimitz strike group is part of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, which coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to conduct missions throughout the Pacific.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, which reported its first COVID cases on March 24 and now has more than 200 among its crew, had to be sidelined in Guam to offload thousands of sailors in an effort to manage the outbreak.

Capt. Brett Crozier, who commanded the Roosevelt, was removed from his job after a letter he wrote about the situation on his ship was sent to people outside his chain of command last week. Then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on Thursday fired Crozier, calling the leak of the letter -- not the letter itself -- an "uncharacteristic lack of judgment."

Modly resigned Tuesday following a a visit to the Roosevelt to deliver a speech in which he suggested the Crozier was "too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this." The remarks became public and sparked major backlash, with former officials and lawmakers calling for Modly to step down.

The Roosevelt, which has more than 5,000 people onboard, joined two other carriers that had reported cases last month.

The USS Ronald Reagan, forward deployed in Japan, said two sailors on board had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, according to a report from Fox News.

The Kitsap Sun reported on March 23 that a member of the USS Carl Vinson's crew was also diagnosed with COVID-19.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2020 23:40

The Nimitz is in a different situation. It is in availability. Deployment is expected in the May-June time-frame which gives plenty of time for the entire crew to go into 14 day isolation and get tested before embarking. The USN has been doing that for ships/subs expected to go into deployments for a number of weeks now. Larger readiness problems stem from outbreaks on ships currently on deployment.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Apr 2020 05:45

brar_w wrote: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...


360 degree View of the final proposal. The USN should award this contract in the May-June time-frame barring any COVID-19 related delays -

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Apr 2020 06:37

The old and the new

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2020 20:03

Philip wrote:Ru hypersonic Tsirkon missiles are shortly to be tested from rhe Adm.Gorshkov FFG and a Yasen class SSGN. they will be unstoppable even to AEGIS which needs 8 seconds of time to start functioning.It will be touch and go for Mach 3.0 incomings like BMos which give a defender only between 10 to 15 seconds to react. Once BMos- H appears,the Kilos would carry even more devastating ordnance.


A Mach 6 missile (terminal) comes in at roughly 2 km/sec. Even assuming the missile is traveling at low altitude (let's say 25 feet) you are still looking at a 15+ second detection to impact lead time assuming that only one type of sensor is used to detect the weapon, and that a ship has no other means (besides organic sensors) to detect it. Of course AEGIS destroyers and cruisers have CES, NIFC-CA and access to elevated ship and non ship based sensors but let's ignore those for the sake of simplicity.

If this were a Mach 3 (terminal) missile, then you are looking at 30+ seconds given it is traveling at a similar height. This also assume that the missile travels at 25 feet for the entire duration (from launch to target) as in a Low-Low-Low flight profile. If it flies higher during the cruise phase of its flight then it gives further opportunities for longer range interceptors like the SM-2 or the nearly 400 km ranged SM-6.

The USN's fastest sea skimming live target system, at the moment, is the GQM-163A which allows them to test crews, interceptors and mission systems against terminal sea skimming (15 ft with 10+G weave maneuvers) at Mach 2.8-Mach 3. When in different modes (like dive) this system allows intercept against speeds in the Mach 4 range. Other high supersonic systems are available as well. Both the ESSM, and the Sea RAM have been tested against this threat type (as have longer ranged missiles but against different flight trajectories). A hypersonic target program has been stood up and it will cover both air-breathing and non-air-breathing hypersonic threats (BGV). On the non-air-breathing side of the equation, AEGIS routinely destroys MRBM-IRBM class ballistic missiles which travel in double digit mach.

To provide a sub-8 second reaction time dilemma you would need a missile capable of terminal velocities of Mach 12 at 20 ft altitude*. Even that wouldn't be unstoppable as it would just mean that a super fast interceptor would need to be created which isn't beyond the technological limits (though it would have a high cost imposition). In fact some of the lighter, more agile, Air to Air MRAAM's that are currently being developed by the USAF will make an excellent terminal defense complement or replacement for the ESSM given they weight only a fraction of that missile, will have super high acceleration (HLG) and significantly higher agility. In fact a highly agile 10 km interceptor (either a hittile or with a small warhead) equipped with a current state of the art uncooled IIR sensor would probably be best suited for such a type of fast and hot threat. The Sea RAM is a perfect base for it given that a generational leap in propulsion is possible. Expand the missile diameter by an inch or so and your option list grows very very fast.

Also, Raytheon has built and land tested mast mounted/able 2560 x 512 HgCdTe/Si MWIR arrays which are meant to provide constant visibility beyond radar horizon against IR rich targets and will be integrated into the CS. This is analogous to what they have demonstrated on the F-35 Block 4 EODAS (which displaced Northrop's much less capable and more expensive sensor). This is specifically, among other things, to extend the horizon against sea-skimming threats and to develop EOR solutions against those high, fast and low threats that light up on the IR spectrum using current and future missiles. MWIR only and dual band (LWIR/VLWIR) have been proposed with the former taken up by the US Navy.

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*A 500 km ranged (low-low-low) Mach 15+ scramjet weapon with a Mach 12 terminal velocity at range is going to be extremely large. Even if one could cook up such a scramjet motor in an extreme hypothetical scenario, I wonder how one would get it to within 25 feet (motor) or so in length and narrow enough to pack into a Vertical cell on a corvette or frigate. I think even the DDG-1000's larger diameter MK57 VLS would struggle to pack such a hypothetical system in. There is reason that when you are looking at medium to long ranges (say 500 km to 1000+ km class) and terminal speeds beyond Mach 7/8 ish, you tend to go more towards the BGV side of the house.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Apr 2020 11:13

Philip wrote:Both the Teddy R supercarrier and CDG of 45K t,had around 700 cases each.It indicates that their designed bio-decontamination SOPs failed.


The USN instituted a 14-day delay to all deployments, once the number of cases began to grow significantly, restricting sailor movement for 2 weeks leading up to the deployment as a first screen against the virus. TR had deployed earlier and to make things worst made a port call in Vietnam. Bio-decontamination is not designed for rampant organic spread of a novel virus unknowingly brought on board. You can't screen for something like that. There are more than 5,000 people on board a Nimitz class AC. There is no way that you can social distance that many people while on the carrier. They aren't designed for it. You have to get them off. In hindsight TR should have never made that port call. Those sailors are going to be relatively young and healthy so you will likely see excellent recovery with a relatively smaller (compared to the general population) mortality rate IMO. Operational impact on the carrier's deployment is likely to be at least 60-90 days. This is big but there are other flat decks in the area to cover for a while.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Barath » 23 Apr 2020 22:18

The port call was in an area away from the known cases in Vietnam at the while. Nevertheless it was the first suspect

There have also been a couple of reports pointing at it starting
from the air crew and talking about tracing the air trips. I doubt if anything is conclusive right now

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 05 May 2020 17:54

The OZ sub programme for 12 French conv. Barracuda style subs ,highly controversial,is again causing concern with a huge $10B increase in cost.
The total cost is $90B OZ$,with another $135B to support them and the keel for the first sub won't be laid for a while and the first won't be commissioned until the early 2030s!
A clear warning to those enamoured of French sub-tech for our P-75I programme.We've already been shafted well and true with the long-delayed Scorpenes,non- AIP but cost as much as an AIP German U-boat and $200M+ than a late model Ru Kilo 636.3.

This is a signal lesson to those attempting to design and build a conv.boat to have the capabilities of an N-sub. In a conversation with some old salts some time ago ,all of flag rank,on subs and AIP systems,the unanimous conclusion was that the only real AIP sub was a nuclear boat! it's why the US operates only a nuclear sub fleet that gives it true global operations capability. So does the RN too albeit with much smaller numbers.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Vips » 05 May 2020 19:04

Do not want to go OT. Some of the premium we pay to the French is for securing a Strategic bulwark against us should the situation arise. Post August 5 it was the French who clearly vetoed the Chinese when they tried to bring the matter up before the Security Council for 'discussion' which could have resulted in a possible resolution and censure against India. The Brits played a dual game while Russia under chinese control was non committal towards India. It was only later after the French clearly stood for India and it was apparent that the issue would be vetoed that both Russia and Britain also claimed that they would have supported India!!!!

While India is not going to go the Australia way in getting ripped off expect some lucrative deals going to the French. One possible deal would be the Multi Role Naval Helicopter for which the French bird looks very competitive.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 11 May 2020 16:57

Iranian vessel hit by friendly fire, forty dead
Initial reports earlier said a C-802 Noor missile was fired by frigate Jamaran and accidentally struck the Konarek, a general-purpose vessel.


Iran says 19 dead in Gulf of Oman friendly-fire incident
The Konarak, a Hendijan-class support ship taking part in the exercise, was too close to a target during an exercise when the incident happened, the reports said. The vessel had been laying targets for other ships when it was struck accidentally, the report said

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 May 2020 20:46

Iran and friendly fire...how many errors in the past? The Iranian airbus shot down by the USN Vincennes, Iranian goof- ups past and present.It appears that the confined waters and airspace of the Persian Gulf
,the congested littorals, makes it v.difficult to distinguish between friend,foe and neutral. Expect more errors in the future.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby John » 14 May 2020 07:48

Philip wrote:Iran and friendly fire...how many errors in the past? The Iranian airbus shot down by the USN Vincennes, Iranian goof- ups past and present.It appears that the confined waters and airspace of the Persian Gulf
,the congested littorals, makes it v.difficult to distinguish between friend,foe and neutral. Expect more errors in the future.

This incident has anything to do with congested waters. This incident was because the crew of sunken vessel didn’t away move from the target or more likely the launch platform fired it on the wrong target and missile did its work.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 14 May 2020 08:27

Perhaps the missile's innards failed to identify the affected vessel as friendly.Just as we shot down one of our helos during the Balakot affair. We don't know what naval IFF eqpt. the Iranians operate. Iranian eqpt. could be suspect as due to sanctions they lack a lot of contemporary eqpt. considered standard by other countries.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Pratyush » 14 May 2020 16:29

The Iranian missile hit seems to be a case of human error. The missile launch platform did not verify if the target launching platform had relocated to a safe location. With the missile ignoring the target and hitting the actual ship.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 May 2020 01:31

John wrote:
Philip wrote:Iran and friendly fire...how many errors in the past? The Iranian airbus shot down by the USN Vincennes, Iranian goof- ups past and present.It appears that the confined waters and airspace of the Persian Gulf
,the congested littorals, makes it v.difficult to distinguish between friend,foe and neutral. Expect more errors in the future.

This incident has anything to do with congested waters. This incident was because the crew of sunken vessel didn’t away move from the target or more likely the launch platform fired it on the wrong target and missile did its work.


Incompetence is the only reason that can be attributed to this. This is like saying they shot down an airliner a few months ago because the Persian Gulf presents very unique " air-space". :rotfl:

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 May 2020 01:37

Final design configuration of the USN's Frigate. Construction on the program will begin in 2022, with a 10 run buy followed by a competition or design change for a future flight of another 10 ships -




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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 22 May 2020 06:42

https://news.yahoo.com/u-sell-taiwan-18 ... 00415.html

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale to Taiwan of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes and related equipment for an estimated cost of $180 million, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Wednesday."The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today," it added.The proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting Taiwan's "continuing efforts to modernise its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability", the agency said.In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China had lodged "solemn representations" with Washington about the planned sale.China urged the United States to stop all arms sales to, and military ties with, Taiwan to prevent further damage to Sino-U.S. relations, Zhao added.The U.S. announcement came on the same day Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in for her second term in office, saying she strongly rejecting China's sovereignty claims. China responded that "reunification" was inevitable and that it would never tolerate Taiwan's independence.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 May 2020 03:38

The delay with the magazine electro-magnetic elevator certification means that they will test the crap out of EMALS and AAG which is probably a really good thing for a first in class ship that is a couple of years from her first deployment. Ford is the ONLY USN carrier currently doing CQ's for the entire US East Coast carrier fleet to support that certification and training ops tempo, even pre-IOC. There is no back-up carrier. I'm not sure a pre IOC carrier was ever tasked with that workload which is a testament to the reliability of EMALS and AAG that they are now seeing.

CVN 78 Completed A Record 167 Aircraft Launches & Recoveries In A Single Day


U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) achieved another milestone. The next generation carrier just completed a record 167 aircraft launches and recoveries in a single day with its EMALS and AAG systems.

The previous record was set in January 2018, when the Ford and Carrier Air Wing 8 team completed 135 traps in a single day. Ford-class carriers with their new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) systems are designed to sustain 160 sorties per day for 30-plus days, with a surge capability of 270 sorties per day. For comparisons, the existing Nimitz-class with its steam catapults can sustain 120/240 sorties per day.

USS Gerald R. Ford has been conducting carrier qualifications for the past few months. The next generation aircraft carrier went back to sea at the end of 2019 following a long maintenance period. It then started Aircraft Compatibility Testing (ACT) off the East Coast in January. And it achieved its 1,000th recovery of a fixed wing aircraft in March. The ACT involved F/A-18E/F, E-2D, C-2A, EA-18G, and T-45C, to prove EMALS and AAG can accommodate the air wing aircraft.

On May 15. 2020, VAW-117 pilots successfully completed carrier qualifications required to transition to E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. Then it was the turn of student naval aviators. The Ford headed south and has picked up student naval aviators who needed to qualify landing on a carrier before they can earn their wings of gold. It preceded the next major milestone for the ship.

USS Gerald R. Ford has completed carrier qualification for 23 Naval Air Training Command student naval aviators with a total of 477 arrested landings.


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby John » 23 May 2020 05:44

brar_w wrote:Final design configuration of the USN's Frigate. Construction on the program will begin in 2022, with a 10 run buy followed by a competition or design change for a future flight of another 10 ships -


Only 3 faces won’t that result in a blind spot?

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 May 2020 07:32

John wrote:
brar_w wrote:Final design configuration of the USN's Frigate. Construction on the program will begin in 2022, with a 10 run buy followed by a competition or design change for a future flight of another 10 ships -


Only 3 faces won’t that result in a blind spot?


I think the sensor performance trumped coverage on the FFG(X) with its S-Band radar. The AN/SPY-6(V)2 is said to have the sensitivity and performance roughly comparable to the SPY-1 (given the Frigate mission which is Air Defense only and not BMD). Four faces within the structure and budget would have probably required a smaller face or more cost. The Italians already had to add a fair bit of weight to meet USN survivability requirements and the US Navy took into account preliminary designs from all the 4 vendors before finalizing its Government Furnished equipment configuration which narrowed on the 3-face design.

Given how similar the mast design is to the DDG-51 destroyer, it is quite likely that they'll port over the Future X band radar (mast mounted rotator) to the FFG(X) as well just like they are planning to do to the rest of the fleet. Also SEWIP Block 3 has some inherent capability as a short range radar (they built multi-functional AESA antennas into the high and low band system) which will be unlocked in the future via software development and upgrades. Eventually the FFG(X) will get the SEWIP 3's topside antennas as upgrade (it comes with SEWIP Blk 2 as standard).

Given this isn't a BMD ship and will have CEC and NIFC-CA from day-1, I don't think they're too much worried about the choice of 3 faces vs 4 like on the destroyers. Given a choice between an additional face and other capability, I'd much rather they added a dozen or so more MK41 cells in the next variant of the design. The ship will have strike-length VLS so you have both the TLAM with the MST seeker, and both the large and the super-sized SM-6 that can fit in there. The current design will probably only reserve about 10 cells for offensive role (besides 16 NSM's topside) with the remaining reserved for quad pack ESSM and SM-2/6.

https://defensesystems.com/articles/201 ... radar.aspx

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 May 2020 09:32

USS Portland Fires Laser Weapon, Downs Drone in First At-Sea Test


Amphibious ship USS Portland (LPD-27) shot down a drone with a laser weapon during a first-of-its-kind at-sea test of the Navy’s high-energy laser weapon system.

The Navy is currently developing and testing a portfolio of laser weapons, some of which are more powerful but only suited for ships with greater power-generation capabilities, like the San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks (LPD-17), while others are less powerful but could be fielded on a greater variety of ships, including the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

In this test, Portland fired its high-power laser weapon at an unmanned aerial vehicle while operating off Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on May 16, U.S. Pacific Fleet announced in a news release today.

“By conducting advanced at sea tests against UAVs and small crafts, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats,” Capt. Karrey Sanders, commanding officer of Portland, said in the news release.

“The Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the Navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems,” he added. “With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy.”

Portland, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, was tapped in 2018 to be the first ship to test the Solid State Laser – Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) MK 2 MOD 0 at sea. This second iteration of SSL-TM, which is ultimately expected to become a 150-kilowatt laser weapon, draws from lessons learned from Office of Naval Research (ONR) demonstrations and testing that date back to 2011. The original 30-kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was used by interim afloat forward staging base USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations from 2014 to 2017 to gather data and lessons learned on how the system performed in an operational setting.

This follow-on SSL-TM has challenged scientists to made advances in areas like the beam director and spectral beam combining, which takes many lasers of different wave lengths and creates a more powerful beam by “ganging them up,” Frank Peterkin, the Navy’s senior technologist for directed energy, told USNI News last year.

The weapon had been undergoing testing at a Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., where engineers could test subsystems to reduce risk before sending the weapon system to conduct land-based testing and then the at-sea testing on Portland.

The Navy is also working on a less powerful laser weapon, the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS), which is planned to reach 60 kw and could be installed onto ships like today’s fielded destroyers that have less power margin to add in new systems. The Navy is also pursuing an Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) that would not be used to knock down incoming threats but would rather be a non-lethal option to warn away enemy craft approaching a U.S. warship.

In addition to Northrop Grumman’s work on the SSL-TM on board Portland, Lockheed Martin is also pursuing a 150kw laser weapon. The Navy announced earlier this year that it would put a laser weapon – an early version of this weapon system, still at a lower power level, USNI News understands – on USS Little Rock (LCS-9), a Littoral Combat Ship deploying to U.S. 4th Fleet later this year.



Philip
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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 24 May 2020 02:58

Any idea what speed the drone was travelling at? It was definitely subsonic.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby John » 24 May 2020 05:48

brar_w wrote:I think the sensor performance trumped coverage on the FFG(X) with its S-Band radar. The AN/SPY-6(V)2 is said to have the sensitivity and performance roughly comparable to the SPY-1 (given the Frigate mission which is Air Defense only and not BMD). Four faces within the structure and budget would have probably required a smaller face or more cost. The Italians already had to add a fair bit of weight to meet USN survivability requirements and the US Navy took into account preliminary designs from all the 4 vendors before finalizing its Government Furnished equipment configuration which narrowed on the 3-face design.

I understand the rational for cost and trade off but still find it to be puzzling adding another face shouldn’t cost that much unless there is weight and power req that factors in as well. Given the blind spot why not have an additional rotating air search radar (I know there is plenty of cheap light weight alternatives) should help make sure one of missiles doesn’t sneak in via the blind spots.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 24 May 2020 06:35

It isn’t the cost of the radar face but the design cost of the additional face in how much design change, weight and cost of that would add or what other compromises they would force elsewhere to stick within a budget. Power is not a limiting factor on this ship; the thing had more then half a MW reserves for a High Energy Laser insert. I’m not privy to any internal deliberations but it isn’t that hard to see they given a particular cost target you could either go for a smaller less capable sensor to get that additional face within a set cost target or you could go with a rotator. Or you could stick with the sensor that meets your requirements and then grow the capability via new sensors as they come online. They’ve chosen the latter path. This Frigate has to really meet its cost target and unlike others has to really come in at roughly half the cost or getter compared to a Flight III DDG-51. That is the only way the USN will field a frigate force.

As I wrote in my last post they seem to have gone for sensor capability over the fourth face. The EASR was pegged at roughly the current SPY-1 performance levels and even with Raytheons 2nd gen GaN, it would have been very hard to squeeze that performance in from a smaller face without resorting to a new substrate or some other exotic material. This is a wise decision IMO especially given a new rotating GaN X band radar that the USN is developing for most of its ship classes. That radar will be ready before the Frigate declares FOC and given mast commonality with the DDG-51, and the fact that the frigates combat system is AEGIS derived, integration will be easy. This ship will not be left wanting or radar coverage given her mission. Now if this were a BMD tasking then I’d be worried but for the Frigate role and mission, the EASR and the future FXR would be more than plenty and pretty much best in class sensors in their respective categories.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 24 May 2020 19:17

Philip wrote:Any idea what speed the drone was travelling at? It was definitely subsonic.


Obviously subsonic. There aren’t a lot of supersonic drone threats out there. 150 kW Lasers will defeat subsonic UAVs, rotary winged aircraft and fast attack crafts and provided adequate beamforming can also disable certain type of seekers on cruise missiles or other airborne sensors. They can also be used to light up incoming missiles to target them easier to target via systems like SeaRam.

Basically the same targets the LaWS defeated back in 2014 when it was tested showed the USS Ponce. But because this laser will be about 5 times more powerful, it will defeat more targets and do so faster because of lower dwell times on each target. Similarly if they’ve made advances elsewhere it could also extend the tactical range compared to LaWS.

To defeat supersonic and high subsonic cruise missiles will require lasers in the 300 kW class which the US Army is developing for its SHORAD program with a 2022 demonstration. Terminal defense against Ballistic missiles requires power levels in the 500-700 MW range. USN has essentially capped lasers at 150 kW capacity for back fit on destroyers, Frigates and LCS fleets. Newer ships like the Zumwalt and future Tico replacement currently have or will have power to support the megawatt class systems. Current vessels are either limited by power or by a combination of available power and space. The DDG-51 is probably one of the densest ship out there in terms of what they’ve packed inside of it ..this is one of the reasons they want a new large combatant.

John wrote:
Given the blind spot why not have an additional rotating air search radar (I know there is plenty of cheap light weight alternatives) should help make sure one of missiles doesn’t sneak in via the blind spots.



As I linked in my last post, the USN is currently competing a mast mounted next generation X-band radar that will be standardized across ship classes and will replace the AN/SPQ-9B but also add additional capability to complement all sizes of the SPY-6 on large and small vessels from aircraft carrier down. It will be conceptually similar to the now cancelled AMDR-X just smaller and a rotator with possibly a fixed face variant for the large surface combatant. FFGX will eventually get that sensor just like the other medium or large combatants. That combined with the SEWIP block 3 upgrade which the FFGX will also get along with other sensors and CES and NIFC-CA is probably what made the choice easy for the US Navy to go with a 3-face SPY-6V2 as GFE.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 May 2020 00:19

Italian Navy is expected to follow USMC and UK and become the third F-35B operator with the Cavour expected to come to the US to begin F-35B integration activities.


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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby Vips » 29 May 2020 18:29

Philip wrote:Any idea what speed the drone was travelling at? It was definitely subsonic.


Even if it was, just a matter of time. Was watching a program on the Air Borne Laser of USAF. It is going to be really interesting. US air borne laser has destroyed a drone 60 miles away when its laser travelling at speed of Mach 300,000 vaporized it. The race is now to create more powerful lasers with capability to destroy an aircraft in less then a second. While the air borne version has limitations of weight being housed in a titanium casing in the nose of a big aircraft that can fly maximum at 40,000 ft and can target hostiles only in limited angles the land based and ship based versions will not have these limitations. Just like the 5G Fighter program US will have an advantage over the rest of the world of at least one to two decades whenever their Laser Kill Program goes live.

With ICBM's being fielded by North Korea, Iran building longer range missiles and to counter the chinese it will not be long before US sets up and operationalizes a outer space based laser weapon system to enforce a (you know who is the boss) status quo.
Last edited by Vips on 29 May 2020 18:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 May 2020 18:36

Unlike prototype aircraft where nothing else is competing for external power (The YAL was a COIL and not relevant to the modern laser systems) you simply can't take these systems and place them on ships without those ships having adequate capacity to house them, power them or store a large battery bank. You need vast reserve power and cooling surplus to be able to operate it. If you are challenged in that department then you''ll have to throttle the power levels. This is the place that the USN currently finds itself in. The DDG-51 Flight II (current and older destroyers) actually have more power in reserve than the upcoming Flight III destroyers because there the surplus power is being consumed by a larger GaN AESA radar and other EW systems.

So older destroyers will get a 150 kW system, while the newer Flight III will likely get a 60-80 kW system only. Both can handle subsonic drones and FAC (even the 30 kW LaWS demonstrated success against that target set (at sea) nearly 6 years ago) and can be used to aid targeting of other systems (though they can't fully defeat them themselves). But the 150kW system will defeat threats faster and as a consequence defeat more of them in a swarming scenario. The new Frigate can house a 150 kW level also. LCS probably 60-80 kW. But asides the really big ships (like USMC's L-class vessels or Aircraft Carriers) the DDG-1000 class is the only ship in the US Navy that can house a true MW class High Energy Laser. Once that ship is ready to absorb a HEL, expect a 300 kW to 500 kW system going into it first and then it being scaled up from there. That will be adequate power to defeat fixed winged aircraft (though not a primary intended purpose of the HEL) and sea-skimming cruise missiles. By the time the Tico replacement is fielded you can expect MW class lasers on these vessels as they'll probably be capable of generating 80-100 MW of onboard power. Once you get to close MW class system then you are looking at defeating swarms of sea skimming cruise missiles and even a limited number of ballistic missiles.

But the biggest limitation to that is actually getting ships out that have that much power in reserve. HEL maturity itself (though scaling work still needs to be done over the next 5 years or so) will outpace ship availability. There is constant competition for power reserves on the larger ships, particularly if they are tasked for BMD or Integrated air and missile defense. Huntington Ingalls put a 21 foot GaN AESA radar on its BMD ship proposal so some of these NG cruiser configurations will have loads of competition for power even as they up their power generation and storage levels even beyond the DDG-1000's current capability there.

So you can be very advanced in High Energy Laser applications, and the US has certainly made great progress and already deploys systems, but when it comes to naval application you have to work at the pace of shipbuilding, ship-designing, and ship modification schedules and PSA's. It's a slow process even during the best of times. And since it is a complementary system (you aren't removing something and adding a HEL in place) it must constantly compete for power, below deck space and cooling resources with other more established sub-systems like radar, EW suite, VLS, close combat systems etc etc. You may have overcome the technical challenges associated with developing a HEL for the intended application and a desired power set, but the integration challenges particularly around back-fitting the system on ships not designed for it is a tremendous challenge that will likely involve certain compromises and limit the system's efficacy until new ship designs (like the DDG-1000 class and beyond) get these systems and begin exploiting what's possible.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2020 21:22

Final US Navy active duty patrol squadron transitions from P-3C Orion to P-8A Poseidon


All of the US Navy’s (USN) active duty patrol squadrons have transitioned from the Lockheed P-3C Orion to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Patrol Squadron 40, the Fighting Marlins, completed the final transition on 14 May, the service says on 28 May. The squadron started the transition in November 2019.The squadron, based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state, first began P-3C operations in 1968.

The first P-8A was delivered to the USN in 2011. The aircraft which is based on the commercial 737-800 airframe with -900 wings it is much larger and quieter than the four-engined P-3C. That aircraft was developed from the 1950s-era Lockheed L-188 Electra commercial airliner.

The P-8A can carry 126 sonobuoys internally, four Boeing AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles on hardpoints beneath its wings, as well as Mk 54 lightweight hybrid torpedoes and survival kits within an internal bomb bay. It can also fly higher and faster than its turboprop predecessor: up to 41,000ft and with a maximum speed of 490kt (908km/h).

The aircraft is mostly used for maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions, such as anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and search and rescue roles.

The P-8A is also operated by the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Indian navy. Aircraft are also on order for the South Korean navy, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Royal Norwegian Air Force.

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Re: International Naval News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2020 22:02



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