Category Archives: Naval Warfare

Draper awarded $191M for Trident missile guidance system

Draper awarded $191M for Trident missile guidance system

The U.S. Navy has awarded Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. a $191 million contract for the Trident II weapons system as the Pentagon upgrades its nuclear weapons arsenal. The contract includes technical support and research into the guidance, navigation and control applications for the U.S. and British D5 MK6 systems, the Department of Defense announced Friday. Work, which is expected to be completed by July 31, 2022, will be performed at Draper’s plant in Cambridge, Mass., as well as Clearwater, Fla., Pittsfield, Mass., and McKinney, Texas. If all options on the deal are exercised, the total value of the contract would be $391.8 million and add a year onto the contracted work period.

Draper has designed and supported the guidance system for all fleet ballistic missiles since the program began in 1955. The Trident II D5, named for the three-pronged spear of mythology’s King Neptune, was developed by Lockheed Martin. The Draper Lab contract extends the life of the D5 missiles to the year 2040 by replacing obsolete components with commercial off-the-shelf hardware. The first flight test of the guidance system was in early 2012 aboard the ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee. In February 2018, Draper signed a $132.9 million contract for Trident’s failure verification, test, repair and recertification of inertial measurement units, electronic assemblies and electronic modules for the U.S. and British systems.

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the submarine USS Maryland off the coast of Florida on Aug. 31, 2016.

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the submarine USS Maryland off the coast of Florida on Aug. 31, 2016.


The Trident II Weapons System is the U.S. and British’s primary submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missile fleet. They are launched from the Navy’s 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines and from four British Royal Navy Vanguard-class ballistic-missile submarines. These vessels together carry about half of all U.S. strategic thermonuclear warheads. They are also planned for the Navy’s future Columbia-class submarine. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021, with the vessels expected to enter service in 2031. Draper has been obligated $189.5 million from fiscal 2019 Navy weapons procurement funds and $1.5 million in United Kingdom funds, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

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Boeing to deliver two F-18 Super Hornets to Navy for $17.8M

Boeing to deliver two F-18 Super Hornets to Navy for $17.8M

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $17.8 million for two F/A-18EF Super Hornet jets. The two Super Hornets include modifications to extend the service life of the aircraft, the Defense of Defense announced Friday. Most of the work on the contract, which is expected to be completed in October 2020, will most be performed in St. Louis, with the rest done in El Segundo, Calif. No funds are being obligated at time of award, as funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued.

Boeing to deliver two F-18 Super Hornets to Navy for $17.8M

Boeing to deliver two F-18 Super Hornets to Navy for $17.8M


The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which made its first flight in November 1995, is a low-observable aircraft that performs day and night missions with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort and close air support, according to Boeing. The E model of the aircraft is a single seat, and F model is a two-seater. The F/A-18E/F, which is 25 percent larger than the original Hornet that entered service in 1983, is operational in 10 U.S. Navy Carrier Air Wings as well as the Royal Australian Air Force.

Republic of Singapore Navy RSS Invincible Type 218SG class submarine

Republic of Singapore Navy RSS Invincible Type 218SG class submarine


The first Type 218SG submarine, named RSS Invincible, was officially launched during a ceremony in Kiel on 18 February 2019. The Invincible class (also known as Type 218SG) is a submarine class ordered by the Republic of Singapore Navy from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. These submarines, along with the previously acquired Archer-class, will replace Singapore’s Challenger-class submarines. The initial deal for two submarines was valued at €1.6 billion, including logistics and crew training. On 16 May 2017, Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen announced an order of 2 more Type 218SG submarines for a total of 4. The first 2 will be delivered in 2021 and 2022, while the remaining 2 will be delivered from 2024.

Republic of Singapore Navy RSS Invincible Type 218SG class submarine

Republic of Singapore Navy RSS Invincible Type 218SG class submarine


The customised design is oceangoing and larger than the Challenger-class and Archer-class submarines operated by the Singapore Navy. The design is expected to be influenced by the export Type 214 submarine or Type 216 submarine, which have been designed for the potential needs of several other navies (Australian, Canadian and Indian). Features will include AIP and a combat system designed by both Atlas Elektronik and ST Electronics. The Invincible class also features an “X” rudder “which offers enhanced manoeuvrability in confined littoral waters, as opposed to the Type 214’s cruciform rudder arrangement.”

Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)


The Ada class (also known as the MILGEM project), is a Turkish national warship program, the purpose of which was to build a modern littoral combat ship with indigenous anti-submarine warfare and high-seas patrol capabilities, extensively using the principles of stealth technology in its design. Three Ada-class corvettes have already been commissioned by the Turkish Navy and more are scheduled to enter into service in due course. The corvettes of the MİLGEM project are named the Ada class (ada means island in Turkish). The lead ship of the class, TCG Heybeliada is named after Heybeliada Island, where the Turkish Naval High School is located. The project covers the construction of four corvettes (Ada class), eight frigates which four (TF-100 class) and four (TF-2000 class) for the Turkish Navy, with possible exports to other countries. The first three ships of the class, TCG Heybeliada, TCG Büyükada and TCG Burgazada were built by the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command.

Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)

Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)


The project is generally described as the subclasses of multi-purpose warships capable of sustaining a sea war in a littoral combat environment. MİLGEM Project Office (MPO) of the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command designed and developed the vessel platform. MİLGEM’s design concept covers a multipurpose patrol warship, which can be deployed in a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, target identification, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations. It features a steel hull and fragmentation resistant composite superstructure. Fore and aft masts and the funnel have been constructed with sea resistant aluminium alloys. The warships of the MİLGEM project are designed to fully operate at sea state 5 and partially operate at sea state 6. Reduction and management of the ship signatures was taken as the major input during the whole design phase. Many classified precautions were taken in order to reduce hydrodynamic, acoustic, magnetic, IR, radar signatures, and therefore, to achieve the specified level of stealth feature. Locally designed degaussing system minimizes the magnetic signature for protection against the magnetic mines.
Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)

Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)


The ships are driven by a RENK CODAG Cross Connect propulsion plant. It consists of a gas turbine rated at 23,000 kilowatts (31,000 hp) and two diesel engines rated at 4,320 kW (5,790 hp). Each diesel engine drives one controllable pitch propeller via a two speed main reduction gear. The cross connect gear splits the power from the gas turbine via both main reduction gears to the two shafts. The ship can be operated in Diesel mode, in single gas turbine mode or in CODAG mode where diesel and gas turbine are providing a combined power of 27,640 kW (37,070 hp). The design concept and mission profile of the Ada-class corvette bears similarities with the Freedom-class littoral combat ship developed by Lockheed Martin as the first member of the next generation of U.S. Navy warships; though the Ada-class corvettes are more heavily armed and are equipped with more capable radar and sonar systems, while the Freedom class has a higher speed and variable mission modules.
Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)

Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)


GENESIS (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi, i.e. Ship Integrated Combat Management System), a network-centric combat management system developed by Havelsan and originally used in the upgraded G-class frigates of the Turkish Navy, was contracted for the first two Ada-class corvettes on May 23, 2007. The MİLGEM project warships have an indigenous hull mounted sonar developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Foundation of Turkey. Sonar dome has been developed and produced by STM’s subcontractor ONUK-BG Defence Systems, extensively employing nano-enhanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer.[13] The Ada class features a electronic chart precise integrated navigation system (ECPINS) supplied by OSI Geospatial.[14] Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), delivered by STM’s subcontractor Yaltes JV, monitors and controls machinery, auxiliary systems, electrical power generation and distribution. The main systems integrated in IPMS include a power management system, fire detection system, fire fighting and damage control system, CCTV system and stability control system.
Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)

Turkish Navy Ada Class Corvettes (MILGEM Project)

Royal Marines train in Belize jungle

Royal Marines train in Belize jungle


While some Royal Marines are freezing in the Arctic at 30 degrees below zero, others are learning to survive and fight in the tropical Central American jungle. As the UK’s ultimate conventional warriors, the Royal Marines are likely to be the first called upon in the event of an international crisis, wherever it occurs. They must be able to safely operate in extreme climates and terrain, as well as more typical temperate environments with rolling green countryside. For Exercise Curry Trail, Alpha Company from 40 Commando, based in Taunton, have been joined in the jungle by soldiers from 24 Commando Royal Engineers, gunners of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, based in Plymouth’s Citadel, and 30 Commando Information Exploitation Commando.

They first learnt basic skills: how to live, move and survive in the jungle. Temperatures are in the high 20s and low 30s Celsius, and in humidity that is never less than 85 per cent. Movement is on foot – the undergrowth is too thick to use the Royal Marines’ Viking and BV tracked vehicles. Instead, to get anywhere, the commandos have to hack away with machetes to cut through the thick vegetation – covering just a short distance may take hours. Having learned the basics, training progressed to jungle warfare against a determined enemy: tracking, closing and finally ‘killing’ an adversary whilst simultaneously making it as difficult as possible to be tracked and attacked themselves.

Royal Marines train in Belize jungle

Royal Marines train in Belize jungle


Having only earned his green beret in December after completing more than a year’s training to become a Royal Marines officer, 21-year-old Lieutenant Henry Hives found himself leading men from Alpha Company through the dense scrub. “I have really enjoyed the challenges of working in the jungle; you wouldn’t get many opportunities outside the Royal Marines to work in a place like this.” Twenty-five-year-old Franco Bent, also from Alpha Company, added: “It has been really beneficial getting to work as a company, improving our skills in a jungle environment.”

The present-day reputation of the Royal Marines is built in part on what the commandos of yesteryear – including the late Paddy Ashdown – achieved in the jungles of Borneo half a century ago. With the region taking on renewed importance for the future of the UK, 40 Commando’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Paul Maynard said training in the tropical climate and undergrowth of Belize was imperative. “It is essential that the UK’s commandos can operate with partners and allies in the many close tropical environments in the Indo-Pacific region,” he added. “We have a long and distinguished history of operating in the jungle and the advanced soldiering skills required to be effective will be equally important as we look to the future.”

Royal Marines train in Belize jungle

Royal Marines train in Belize jungle

Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)


The Phalanx CIWS is a close-in weapon system for defense against anti-ship missiles, aircraft, small high-speed surface craft, helicopters, surface mines etc. It was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division (now a part of Raytheon). General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems produces the 20mm M61A1 Gatling gun (Vulcan cannon) and ammunition handling system for the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System prime contractor Raytheon. Because of their distinctive barrel-shaped radome and their automated nature of operation, Phalanx CIWS units are sometimes nicknamed “R2-D2” after the famous droid character from the Star Wars films.

Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)

Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)


The Block 1B Surface Mode configuration builds on earlier capabilities with the addition of an Optimized Gun Barrel (OGB) for an improved dispersion pattern and an integrated Forward-Looking Infrared System. The new OGBs are 18 inches longer than the original M61A1 gun barrels, are substantially thicker, and include both a barrel brace and muzzle restraint to improve longevity and projectile dispersion patterns. The Enhanced Lethality Cartridge provides a 50 percent increase in penetration mass. The Phalanx FLIR provides a unique capability to search, track and engage littoral warfare threats while simultaneously providing a significant improvement in ASM engagement ranges.
Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)

Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)


The Block 1 CIWS mounts also fired at 3,000 rounds per minute with an extended magazine drum holding 1,550 rounds. The velocity of the rounds fired is about 3,600 feet per second (1,100 m/s). The rounds are armor-piercing tungsten penetrator rounds or depleted uranium with discardable sabots. The Phalanx CIWS 20 mm rounds are designed to destroy a missile’s airframe and make it unaerodynamic, thus keeping shrapnel from the exploding projectile to a minimum, effectively keeping secondary damage to a minimum. The ammunition handling system has two conveyor belt systems. The 20 mm APDS rounds consist of a 15 mm penetrator encased in a plastic sabot and a lightweight metal pusher. Shells fired by the Phalanx cost around $30 each and the gun typically fires 100 or more when engaging a target.
Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)

Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)


Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) production started in 1978 and has been used by multiple navies around the world, notably the U.S. Navy on every class of surface combat ship with the exception of the San Antonio-class LPD, by the Canadian Royal Canadian Navy, the British Royal Navy, and by the U.S. Coast Guard aboard its Hamilton and Legend-class cutters. The Phalanx is used by 15 other allied nations. With over 850 systems now produced for 24 nations, production contracts are in place to carry further development well into the 21st century.

Japan certified its Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB) in joint exercise with US marines

Japan certified its Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade in joint exercise with US marines

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force amphibious assault vehicles approach the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during Exercise Iron Fist 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force amphibious assault vehicles approach the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during Exercise Iron Fist 2019.


The Iron Fist 2019 multilateral training event concluded earlier this month, which included the certification of Japan’s first amphibious assault force. Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the newly minted 1st Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade took part in the Iron Fist exercises, which included tasks in sharpshooting, amphibious reconnaissance and landing missions, and other areas. The 14th installment of Iron First also marked the first time Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers brought their own amphibious assault vehicles. Classes at Forest Light 19.2 covered material on unmanned aerial systems and improvised explosive devices
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers load a combat rubber raiding craft aboard a CH-53E Super Stallion, assigned to the “Flying Tigers” of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 361, on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during Exercise Iron Fist 2019.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers load a combat rubber raiding craft aboard a CH-53E Super Stallion, assigned to the “Flying Tigers” of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 361, on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during Exercise Iron Fist 2019.


Iron Fist, held in Southern California, was one of two training exercises between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force this month. The other, Forest Light 19.2, will conclude Friday in Japan’s Aibano Maneuver Area and has included roughly 400 U.S. Marines based in Okinawa, the Marine Corps said in a separate release. Making matters more difficult in Southern California, soldiers had to contend with rain during many of the exercises this year Separated by nearly 10,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean, these exercises are taking place at the same time. U.S.-Japan exercises like these are vital for rapid expeditionary response to support regional security.
A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force amphibious assault vehicle drives downhill during Exercise Iron Fist 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force amphibious assault vehicle drives downhill during Exercise Iron Fist 2019.


The training builds on longstanding military ties between the two countries, which have been treaty allies for nearly 70 years. It is designed to improve the ability of the U.S. Marine Corps and Japanese Force to plan, communicate and conduct combined amphibious operations. The Japan Ground Self Defense Force was established to protect the country, uphold security and maintain peace. Japan continues to have concerns over China’s increasing military strength and an ongoing conflict between the two countries over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. In 2012, Japan nationalized the islands, which are near rich fishing grounds and untapped natural gas.
 A Japanese amphibious assault vehicle enters the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during Exercise Iron Fist 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer)

A Japanese amphibious assault vehicle enters the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during Exercise Iron Fist 2019.


(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer)