US Navy to christen Future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)

The US Navy officially christened its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) with a ceremony Saturday, May 5, in Mobile, Alabama.

At the mast stepping ceremony prior to the christening, Cincinnati Council Member and US Navy veteran David Mann presented a key to the city and a letter from Mayor John Cranley, along with other items. These items will be welded within the ship.

USS Cincinati ceremony

According to Cincinnati City official web news; Cincinnati has a long and proud tradition of recognition by the Navy including the naming of four other vessels. The first was a stern-wheel casemate gunboat that served during the Civil War and was sunk by Confederate fire on two separate occasions. Raised both times and returned to service, she was decommissioned following the war. The second Cincinnati was a cruiser commissioned in 1894. She served extensively in the Caribbean before, during, and after the Spanish-American War before being decommissioned in 1919. The third ship to bear the name was a light cruiser commissioned in 1924 that served around the world and earned a battle star for World War II service that included convoy escort and blockade duty. She was decommissioned in 1945 after the war ended. The fourth Cincinnati was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine commissioned in 1978. The boat served for 17 years before being decommissioned in 1995.

LCS

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare (SUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.

Independence class 01

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

General Characteristics, Independence variant :
Builder: General Dynamics (LCS 2 and LCS 4), Austal USA (LCS 6 and follow)
Length: 421.5 feet (128.5 meters)
Height: 126.3 feet (38.5 meters)
Beam: 103.7 feet (31.6 meters)
Displacement: approximately 3,200 MT full load
Draft: 15.1 feet (4.6 meters)

US Navy Accepts Partial Delivery of Zumwalt-class destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001)

Future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) was delivered to US Navy with a ceremony held on April 24.

The Navy accepted the hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) delivery of the Zumwalt-class destroyer. DDG 1000 class ships are delivered through a two-phase approach in which combat systems are installed and activated subsequent to HM&E delivery.   Following HM&E delivery, Michael Monsoor will transit to its homeport in San Diego, California for commissioning in January 2019 and to begin Combat Systems Activation, testing and trials.

The delivery follows extensive tests and trials of the 185.9-metre ship’s hull, mechanical and electrical systems, including the boat handling, anchor and mooring systems, and demonstrations of the damage control, ballasting, navigation and communications systems.

DDG 1001 03DDG 1001 employs an integrated power system (IPS) that distributes 1,000 volts of direct current across the ship.

The IPS can allocate all 78 megawatts of installed power to propulsion, ship’s service and combat system loads from the same gas turbine prime movers based on operational requirements.

DDG 1001 04

DDG 1001 is the second ship of the Zumwalt class.  The third and final ship of the class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), is currently in construction at BIW’s shipyard along with Arleigh Burke class destroyers Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M. Levin (DDG 120) and John Basilone (DDG 122).

Michael Monsoor is named for Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after jumping on a grenade to save his teammates in Ramadi, Iraq, during a mission in 2006.

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Sources:

http://www.navsea.navy.mil/
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https://www.defensenews.com/

US & UK awarded General Dynamics a contract modification for Navy Submarine Missile Tube Components

General Dynamics Electric Boat subsidiary has received a five-year, $126.2 million contract modification from the U.S. Navy and the UK Government to obtain long-lead-time materials for the missile tube of Columbia-class and Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarines.

The contract modification includes funding for procurement of long-lead time material for missile tubes which will be integrated into both the Navy’s new SSBN and the Royal Navy’s Dreadnought-class strategic missile submarine.

US Columbia Class 01

According to official announcement from Department of Defense on April 2;

“This is a joint U.S./United Kingdom (U.K.) Common Missile Compartment program, and this modification combines purchases for the Navy (72 percent); and the government of the U.K. (28 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program.

Work will be performed in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and is expected to be completed by December 2023. Fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and U.K. funding in the amount of $79,664,255 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.”

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NAVSEA selected Swiftships LLC for the LCU Program

The Navy awarded Louisiana-based Swiftships LLC an $18-million contract for the detail design and construction of the first Landing Craft Utility (LCU-1700) surface connector, a program that has seen both timeline acceleration efforts and some slow-downs over the past two years.

LCU_01

The LCU-1700 is meant to be a “modified repeat” that looks and functions much like its predecessor, the LCU-1610 that dates back to the late 1950s, with the addition of some improvements to boost reliability and maintainability, according to the service

The LCU replacement effort had been slated to start in 2018, but in late 2015 lawmakers chose to bump up the funding and get started on design efforts with Fiscal Year 2016 dollars – at that time, the average age of the 32 LCUs in the fleet was 43 years, well beyond the 25-year life the craft were built for, creating a readiness challenge for the amphibious force.

The March 30 contract award is an $18-million fixed-price incentive contract for detail design and construction of one LCU-1700 craft, which is set for delivery about 31 months from the date of the contract award. Options for up to 31 more craft are included, which, if executed, would continue LCU delivery through 2027. The contract also includes options for product support, technical manuals, engineering services and more – which, if exercised in full, would bring the value of the total contract for the LCU-1700 program to more than $429.4 million.

Courtesy of USNI News. For more details please visit news.usni.org

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Gulf Island Shipyards to build new salvage ship for US Navy

The contract awarded to Louisiana-based Gulf Island Shipyards has an initial value of $63.6 million to fund the first Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship and includes options for the construction of seven additional T-ATS vessels.

The T-ATS Class will replace two different classes of vessels in the Navy: The Safeguard Class of Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ARS) and the Powhatan Class Fleet Ocean Tug (T-ATF).

The firm-fixed-price and fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract is worth around $63.5 million. This contract includes options for seven additional vessels which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to around $522.7 million.

USS TARS 52 02

The T-ATS will operate as the primary open ocean towing vessel for the U. S. Navy, and will have salvage operations and submarine rescue mission support capabilities. The T-ATS will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs which provide similar capabilities to those needed for U.S. Navy operations.

The vessel will be capable of performing towing, deep ocean search and recovery, mobile diving and salvage unit-embarked operations, submarine rescue vessel of opportunity, oil spill response, and humanitarian assistance.

The first ship in the class will be built at the company’s shipyard in Houma, Louisiana, and is expected to be completed by September 2020.


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Austal delivers 7th LCS, The Future USS Manchester (LCS 14) to US Navy

Austal USA delivered its seventh Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy on 28 February 2018. Delivery marks the official transfer of LCS 14 from the shipbuilder. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for May in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The future USS Manchester is the second LCS delivered to the Navy by Austal in less than six months, following the USS Omaha (LCS 12) commissioning, which took place in San Diego earlier this year.

“We’re very happy to be delivering another LCS to the US fleet and the efficient and reliable delivery of these ships is a testament to the incredible skill and hard work of the shipbuilding professionals at Austal USA,” Austal CEO, David Singleton said.

LCS-Trials

Six LCS remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard with assembly underway on Cincinnati (LCS 20) and Kansas City (LCS 22) and modules for Oakland (LCS 24) and Mobile (LCS 26) under construction. Construction on LCS 28, recently named Savannah and LCS 30, recently named Canberra is to begin later this year.

You can read official press release here. 


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Boeing awarded $73m contract to modernize US Navy Super Hornets

Boeing has been awarded a contract to modernize the U.S. Navy F/A-18 fleet, extending the life of existing Super Hornets from 6,000 to 9,000+ flight hours. In the early 2020s, Boeing will begin installing initial updates to the aircraft that will convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration.

The Block III conversion will include enhanced network capability, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, signature improvements and an enhanced communication system. The updates are expected to keep the F/A-18 in active service for decades to come.

F18 Super Hornet 02

According to company’s official announcement; “The initial focus of this program will extend the life of the fleet from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours,” said Mark Sears, SLM program director. “But SLM will expand to include Block II to Block III conversion, systems grooming and reset and O-level maintenance tasks designed to deliver a more maintainable aircraft with an extended life and more capability. Each of these jets will fly another 10 to 15 years, so making them next-generation aircraft is critical.”

The Super Hornet Block III could incorporate a new 10” x 19” large screen cockpit display as first proposed for Boeing’s Advanced Super Hornet concept.

F18 Super Hornet 03 cockpit

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US Navy Requests $300M in Fiscal Year 2019 to Develop Shipboard Laser Weapons

The Navy proposed spending $299 million in Fiscal Year 2019 on laser systems to protect ships against current and anticipated future threats, as part of a rapid prototyping, experimentation and demonstration initiative.

For nearly a decade, the Navy has considered laser technology a more cost-efficient and effective tool to protect ships from emerging threats such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and small patrol craft that could swarm a surface ship

Lasers 01

Directed energy refers to weapons that emit focused energy in the form of lasers, microwaves, electromagnetic radiation, radio waves, sound or particle beams. Lasers are already widely used to guide bombs to their target, but the next step would be to use the lasers as weapons themselves.

In the upcoming fiscal year, the Navy wants to purchase four ship-mounted Surface Navy Laser Weapon Systems (SNLWS), which include a High Energy Laser with an integrated low-power laser dazzler. If successful, this system would provide ships with a new means of countering unmanned aerial vehicles, fast inshore attack craft and adversary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets.

Lasers 03

You can read more details on news.usni.org

BAE Systems awarded 40 Mk4 Naval Gun contract for Finland

BAE Systems will produce and deliver Bofors 40 Mk4 Naval Guns for the Finnish Navy and its Hamina Class Squadron 2000 fast attack craft, under a contract with Patria, the prime contractor for the vessel’s mid-life upgrade and overhaul program.

With this contract, Finland adds the 40 Mk4 to its installed base of BAE Systems naval guns, including both previous versions of 40-millimeter (mm) L/70 systems and 57-mm Mk3 systems.

The low weight and compact Bofors 40 Mk4 gun system with its high rate of fire and ability to switch between optimized ammunition types – including the intelligent 40mm 3P all-target ammunition – provides high survivability and tactical freedom at all levels of conflict.

BAE 40mm 02

In addition to Finland, more than 10 countries currently use BAE Systems Bofors 40-mm guns.

You can read BAE Systems press release here

 

Huntington Ingalls Industries awarded $1.4B for US Navy LPD 29 (San Antonio-Class)

Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division was awarded a $1.43 billion, fixed-price incentive contract for the detail design and construction of LPD 29, the 13thSan Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.

Ingalls has built and delivered 11 San Antonio-class ships. The 11th, Portland (LPD 27), will be commissioned on April 21 in Portland, Oregon. The 12th, Fort Lauderdale, is under construction and is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2020. Preliminary work has begun on LPD 29, and the start of fabrication will take place later this year.

“This contract is further recognition of the confidence the Navy/Marine Corps team has in the great work our shipbuilders are doing in the LPD program,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “This efficient work is proven through our hot production line keeping the work going in the shipyard and through our nationwide network of suppliers. We are excited to build this additional ship and in providing our sailors and Marines with the best amphibious ships in the world.”

San Antonio 02

The LPD ships measure 684 feet in length and are 105 feet wide.

The San Antonio class is a major part of the Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long, 105-foot-wide ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey.

You can read the HII press release here.