Category Archives: Naval Warfare

Bharat Dynamics Limited to Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to Indian Navy

Bharat Dynamics Limited to supply Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to Indian Navy

Indian state-owned defence company Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed an USD170.7 million (INR11.87 billion) contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply heavyweight weight Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes for the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) front-line warships.T he contract was inked by NP Diwakar, Director (Technical), BDL and Nidhi Chhibber, Joint Secretary & Acquisition Manager (Maritime & Systems), Ministry of Defence, Govt of India in New Delhi. The company announced in a 13 June statement that the contract, which was signed in New Delhi two days earlier, mandates the delivery of the ship-launched torpedoes over the next 42 months. The weapon will be manufactured at BDL Visakhapatnam Unit under collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Bharat Dynamics Limited to  supply Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to Indian Navy

Bharat Dynamics Limited to supply Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to Indian Navy


Varunastra has been designed with the latest technologies such as high speed and long endurance propulsion, software-driven intelligence, conformal array acoustic homing with wide look angle and advanced digital signal processing. The weapon has been developed by the Naval Science and and Technology Laboratory (NTSL), Visakhapatnam. This torpedo has been developed with a high degree of modularity with more than 95 per cent indigenous content. All the test systems, accessories, special tools and handling equipment are developed simultaneously, enabling smooth maintenance, sourcing of spares, industry support and up-gradation.

The Heavy Weight Torpedo or the Varunastra is a ship launched, electrically propelled underwater weapon equipped with one of the most advanced automatic and remote controlled guidance systems. Varunastra can hit stealth submarines underwater. The ship-launched missiles can also be launched from ashore. It is seven to eight metres long, weighs 1,500 kg and has a diameter of 533 mm. The anti-submarine electric torpedo when fired can travel at 40 knots, or 74 kmph. The operational range is 40 km and it can carry a warhead weighing 250 kg. According to DRDO, it can be launched from ships and submarines.

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Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched

Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched

The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard. Ship sponsor Jodi J. Greene, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy for Policy, christened LCS 21 just prior to launch. “LCS is the second largest ship class in the U.S. Navy, and Lockheed Martin is proud to deliver capability and added force projection with each additional hull,” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. “LCS is ready to serve a variety of missions, and our team is working with the Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to meet the missions sailors will face in the future.”

Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched

Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched


Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet.
It is flexible—with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, LCS can be modified to integrate capabilities including over-the-horizon missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems and decoys, and in the future, vertical launching systems or laser weapon systems.
It is fast—capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
It is automated—with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
It is lethal—standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched

Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched


Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered eight ships to the U.S. Navy. There are eight ships in various stages of production and test. This year, Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine will begin construction on two ships, deliver two ships, complete sea trials for two ships and see three ships commissioned (LCS 13, 15 and 17). Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.
Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched

Littoral Combat Ship 21 Christened and Launched


LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Lockheed Martin-led team builds the odd-numbered hulls. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama. The Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a resilient flexible warship, designed from the keel up to affordably take on new capabilities – from the most advanced sensors, to the latest missiles, to cutting-edge cyber systems.

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24)

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24)

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) is a United States Marine Corps aviation unit based at Marine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay. MAG-24 is subordinate to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF). Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) was activated on 1 March 1942 at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on Oahu, Hawaii. During World War II, MAG-24 saw extensive action throughout the Pacific theater, most notably in the campaigns to liberate the Philippines. Following the war, MAG-24 was deployed as part of III Amphibious Corps to Peiping in Northern China to take part in the occupation that lasted from October 1945 until April 1947. In April 1947, MAG-24 was relocated to Guam. In 1949, MAG-24 moved to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina where it remained for the next twenty years. In April 1968, MAG-24 relocated back to the Pacific in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where it became the Marine Corps’ largest and only permanent composite Marine Aircraft Group. Starting in 1978, the MAG provided both fixed and rotary wing squadrons for six-month unit deployments to the Western Pacific. From 1 October 1986 through 30 September 1994, MAG-24 served as the Aviation Combat Element for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 CH-53E Super Stallion

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 CH-53E Super Stallion


In September 2004 a detachment of CH-53Ds from HMH-363 and HMH-463 chopped to HMM-265 to provide the 31st MEU ACE with heavy lift capability. This MEU detachment marked the return of the CH-53D to combat operations in the Middle East. The squadron forward deployed to Al Asad Airbase in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). Beginning in 2006, MAG-24 began sourcing a complete squadron deployment to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq in support of OIF. HMH-463 began what became a seven-month deployment rotation to Iraq for all MAG-24 squadrons that lasted over three years. In 2009, HMH-362 upgraded 11 CH-53D’s to the T64-GE-416 engines and transitioned from the flat sands of Iraq to the mountainous, rocky deserts of Afghanistan to begin support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM(OEF). MAG-24 heavy lift squadrons were in constant OIF/OEF combat rotations from 2006 through 2012.
Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 AH-1Z Viper Helicopter

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 AH-1Z Viper Helicopter


MAG-24 is presently experiencing an exciting period of growth and transition that started in 2011 with HMH-463’s last OEF deployment ending September 2011. At the conclusion of HMH-463’s tour they completely transitioned all of their aircraft to the CH-53E from the CH-53D. HMH-363 would continue the transition of MAG-24 upon its return from combat operations in March of 2012, when they were re-designated Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron 363 (VMM-363) and moved to MAG-16 in Miramar, CA. In the summer of 2012, the entire USMC inventory of active duty CH-53D “Sea Stallions” was retired with the exception of the aircraft forward deployed to Afghanistan with the “Ugly Angels” of HMH-362. Upon completion of that deployment in the Fall of 2012, HMH-362 was deactivated and the remaining aircraft were retired. The summer of 2012, also marked another historic occasion; MAG-24 becoming a composite MAG with the arrival of Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) from Camp Pendleton and the stand up of Marine Wing Support Detachment 24.
Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 MV-22B Osprey Medium Tiltrotor

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 MV-22B Osprey Medium Tiltrotor


MAG-24 conducts operations and exercises throughout the Pacific. Regular support is provided to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Marine Rotational Force Darwin. within the Hawaiian island chain, MAG-24 supports 3d Marine Regiment and exercises like Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). In March 2015, MAG-24 was approved for its current nickname “Pacific Eagles”. The genesis for this nickname was the 15th February 2002 unit insignia which shows the following: blue, which represents the Pacific Ocean; the Hawaii island chain; the gold wings with Eagle, Globe, and Anchor which represents Marine Aviation; the Roman numeral I which signifies the MAG is part of 1st MAW. The nickname “Pacific Eagles” remind us of both our legacy and our current mission. The eagle represents our great nation which deploys MAG-24 with its talons wherever needed, and the term Pacific highlights MAG-24’s illustrious history during the World War II Pacific Campaign.

Naval Air Systems Command Awards Kratos a $25.4 Million Contract for the BQM-177A Aerial Target

Naval Air Systems Command Awards Kratos a $25.4 Million Contract for the BQM-177A Aerial Target

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider and industry leading provider of high performance jet powered unmanned aerial target and tactical drone systems, announced today that Kratos has received a $25,413,946 contract for Lot 3 of Low Rate Initial Production for the BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT) from the US Navy as reflected in the US Navy’s May 28, 2019 announcement: “Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc., Sacramento, California, is awarded a $25,413,946 firm-fixed-price contract to procure 34 low-rate initial production Lot 3 BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Targets and technical data. Work will be performed in Sacramento, California, and is expected to be completed March 2021. Fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $25,413,946 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-1024).”

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


Steve Fendley, Kratos Unmanned Systems Division President, commented, “This LRIP III award following the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) achievement announced earlier this year, represents the final milestone prior to the expected Full Rate Production start for Kratos’ BQM-177A SSAT. Once in full rate production, these programs have historically been decades long both in operations and production. The recapitalization of strategic weapon systems by the U.S. and its allies to address peer-level threats is driving the need for new and additional threat representative target drones to exercise our forces and defensive systems. We are proud to be the sole source provider well into the future for this crucial high performance system that emulates anti-ship cruise missiles for the US Navy and our allies.”
Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


The BQM-177A is the US Navy’s next-generation Sub-Sonic Aerial Target (SSAT). While it provides formidable threat emulation for air-to-air engagements, the BQM-177A’s aerodynamic design and unmatched performance capabilities make it the world’s best choice for highly-dynamic, high-subsonic, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile threat emulation. Capable of speeds in excess of 0.95 Mach and a sea-skimming altitude as low as 10 feet, the BQM-177A has no equal when it comes to delivering realistic anti-ship missile threat emulation. This highly-versatile aerial target supports a variety of mission requirements by carrying a wide array of internal and external payloads including proximity scoring, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), passive and active RF augmentation, electronic counter-measures, infrared (IR) augmentation (plume pods), chaff and flare dispensers, and towed targets.
Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms and systems for United States National Security related customers, allies and commercial enterprises. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research and streamlined development processes. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training, combat systems and next generation turbo jet and turbo fan engine development. For more information go to http://www.KratosDefense.com

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine

A B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the USAF’s 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., conducts an operational demonstration of the Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), May 30, 2019. PMRF is the world’s largest instrumented, multi-dimensional testing and training missile range. A B-52 bomber from the 49th Test Squadron carried out the exercise and released four inert QS64-ER 2000lb mine shapes on a remote shallow water location of the PMRF. This is the final and largest demonstration of the project and is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test, and operationally demonstrate QS-ER. USINDOPACOM initiated the project as part of ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance military readiness throughout the joint forces in the Indo-Pacific region.

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine


Quickstrike 64-ER (QS-ER) is an air-laid mine equipped with a 2000 lb MK64 Quickstrike naval mine. The Quickstrike is a Mark 80-series general purpose bomb with the fuze replaced with a target detection device (TDD) to detonate it when a ship passes within lethal range, a safe/arm device in the nose, and a parachute-retarder tailkit in the back. The Naval mine project is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test and operationally demonstrate the capabilities of the QS64-ER that combines Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) technology and an additional wing kit and battery section with existing mine components. This allows it to be delivered long range and high altitude, which significantly reduces risk to the aircraft.
The Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project drops towards the Pacific Ocean from a B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., during an operational demonstration May 30. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline)

The Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project drops towards the Pacific Ocean from a B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., during an operational demonstration May 30. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline)


The U.S. Air Force performed the first-ever drop of a precision guided aerial mine, consisting of a Quickstrike mine equipped with a JDAM kit on 23 September 2014. The Quickstrike-J precision maritime mine is a JDAM-equipped 1,000 lb or 2,000 lb version, while the GBU-62B(V-1)/B Quickstrike-ER standoff, precision maritime mine is a 500 lb or 2,000 lb gliding version based on the JDAM-ER, which has a range of 40 nmi (46 mi; 74 km) when launched from 35,000 ft (11,000 m). This aerial maritime mine is compatible, interoperable, and can be employed by virtually any JDAM enabled aircraft, including foreign partners. Current mine technology, while effective, has been largely unchanged since World War II. These innovations and capabilities in the QS-ER project will allow our forces to generate more effective minefields from longer ranges and more rapidly than ever before.

HMNZS Manawanui multi-role offshore support

Royal New Zealand Navy commissions HMNZS Manawanui multi-role offshore support

HMNZS Manawanui (A 09) is a multi-role offshore support vessel currently commissioning with the Royal New Zealand Navy on 7 June in a ceremony held at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, and presided over by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The ship will replace two decommissioned vessels, the hydrographic survey ship HMNZS Resolution and the diving support vessel HMNZS Manawanui. New Zealand Defence officials reviewed 150 vessels before identifying the Norwegian built MV Edda Fonn as suitable for conversion. The ship, which had previously been in service as a commercial offshore support vessel known as Edda Fonn, was procured by New Zealand in August 2018 for NZD103 million (USD67.3 million) to fulfil operational gaps in the RNZN’s diving support and maritime survey capabilities following the retirement of the service᾿s hydrographic ship, HMNZS Resolution, in 2012 and of the dive tender HMNZS Manawanui in 2018.

HMNZS Manawanui multi-role offshore support

HMNZS Manawanui multi-role offshore support


HMNZS Manawanui (the fourth Navy ship to bear this name) has an overall beam of 18 m, a hull draught of 6.3 m and length of 84.7 m. is equipped with a 100-tonne salvage crane. Some of these new and enhanced capabilities include a 100-tonne salvage crane, a remotely operated vehicle and a contemporary dynamic positioning system, which will allow Navy’s specialist divers to achieve greater levels of effectiveness and safety, in a greater range of conditions. Powered by four diesel-electric engines driving two azimuth propulsion systems, the 5,700-tonne vessel can reach a top speed of 13 kt. The new vessel, which is also fitted with a diving chamber and a helicopter flight deck, can accommodate a core crew of 39, with 27 more bunks for mission-specific personnel. The modern design and systems of the dive and hydrographic vessel will provide improved capacity, speed, safety, and capability over the previous vessels.

Raytheon test Excalibur N5 munitions

US Navy, Raytheon test Excalibur N5 munitions

Raytheon Company and the U.S. Navy completed a new round of successful Excalibur N5 munition test firings. The precision-guided projectiles demonstrated various short-, mid- and long-range capabilities. Raytheon’s sea-based Excalibur N5 projectile will more than double the maximum range of conventional 5-inch munitions and provide the same accuracy as the land-based version. Designed to be fired from the Navy’s five-inch guns, Excalibur N5 is the sea-based variant of the revolutionary, extended-range, precision munition used by ground forces around the globe. Excalibur N5 answers the Navy’s need for a sea-launched, precision-guided projectile, N5 doubles the range of the Navy’s big guns and delivers the same accuracy as the land-based version.

Raytheon’s sea-based Excalibur N5 projectile will more than double the maximum range of conventional 5-inch munitions and provide the same accuracy as the land-based version. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

Raytheon’s sea-based Excalibur N5 projectile will more than double the maximum range of conventional 5-inch munitions and provide the same accuracy as the land-based version. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)


Excalibur is a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of less than two meters from the target. The Excalibur weapon provides accurate, first-round effects at all ranges in all weather conditions.Widely used by U.S. and international artillery forces, Excalibur has been fired more than 1,400 times in combat. The precision-guided projectile was co-developed by Raytheon Company and BAE Systems Bofors. Besides N5, Raytheon has developed other variants such as the laser-guided Excalibur S, Excalibur HTK and Excalibur Shaped Charged Trajectory. The Excalibur projectile is a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of less than two meters from the target. Unlike “near precision” guidance systems, the Excalibur weapon provides accurate first-round effects at all ranges in all weather conditions. This weapon system also extends the reach of .39-caliber artillery to 40 km and .52-caliber artillery to more than 50 km.